Sample records for anti-cancer therapeutic target

  1. Role of SNARE proteins in tumourigenesis and their potential as targets for novel anti-cancer therapeutics. (United States)

    Meng, Jianghui; Wang, Jiafu


    The function of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) in cellular trafficking, membrane fusion and vesicle release in synaptic nerve terminals is well characterised. Recent studies suggest that SNAREs are also important in the control of tumourigenesis through the regulation of multiple signalling and transportation pathways. The majority of published studies investigated the effects of knockdown/knockout or overexpression of particular SNAREs on the normal function of cells as well as their dysfunction in tumourigenesis promotion. SNAREs are involved in the regulation of cancer cell invasion, chemo-resistance, the transportation of autocrine and paracrine factors, autophagy, apoptosis and the phosphorylation of kinases essential for cancer cell biogenesis. This evidence highlights SNAREs as potential targets for novel cancer therapy. This is the first review to summarise the expression and role of SNAREs in cancer biology at the cellular level, their interaction with non-SNARE proteins and modulation of cellular signalling cascades. Finally, a strategy is proposed for developing novel anti-cancer therapeutics using targeted delivery of a SNARE-inactivating protease into malignant cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Biodegradable polymers for targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs. (United States)

    Doppalapudi, Sindhu; Jain, Anjali; Domb, Abraham J; Khan, Wahid


    Biodegradable polymers have been used for more than three decades in cancer treatment and have received increased interest in recent years. A range of biodegradable polymeric drug delivery systems designed for localized and systemic administration of therapeutic agents as well as tumor-targeting macromolecules has entered into the clinical phase of development, indicating the significance of biodegradable polymers in cancer therapy. This review elaborates upon applications of biodegradable polymers in the delivery and targeting of anti-cancer agents. Design of various drug delivery systems based on biodegradable polymers has been described. Moreover, the indication of polymers in the targeted delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs via passive, active targeting, and localized drug delivery are also covered. Biodegradable polymer-based drug delivery systems have the potential to deliver the payload to the target and can enhance drug availability at desired sites. Systemic toxicity and serious side effects observed with conventional cancer therapeutics can be significantly reduced with targeted polymeric systems. Still, there are many challenges that need to be met with respect to the degradation kinetics of the system, diffusion of drug payload within solid tumors, targeting tumoral tissue and tumor heterogeneity.

  3. Mitochondrially targeted anti-cancer agents

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Biasutto, L.; Dong, L.A.; Zoratti, M.; Neužil, Jiří


    Roč. 10, č. 6 (2010), s. 670-681 ISSN 1567-7249 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : Mitochondrial targeting * pro-oxidant effect * reactive oxygen species Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.238, year: 2010

  4. Targeting mitosis for anti-cancer therapy. (United States)

    Sudakin, Valery; Yen, Timothy J


    Basic research that has focused on achieving a mechanistic understanding of mitosis has provided unprecedented molecular and biochemical insights into this highly complex phase of the cell cycle. The discovery process has uncovered an ever-expanding list of novel proteins that orchestrate and coordinate spindle formation and chromosome dynamics during mitosis. That many of these proteins appear to function solely in mitosis makes them ideal targets for the development of mitosis-specific cancer drugs. The clinical successes seen with anti-microtubule drugs such as taxanes and the vinca alkaloids have also encouraged the development of drugs that specifically target mitosis. Drugs that selectively inhibit mitotic kinesins involved in spindle and kinetochore functions, as well as kinases that regulate these activities, are currently in various stages of clinical trials. Our increased understanding of mitosis has also revealed that this process is targeted by inhibitors of farnesyl transferase, histone deacetylase, and Hsp90. Although these drugs were originally designed to block cell proliferation by inhibiting signaling pathways and altering gene expression, it is clear now that these drugs can also directly interfere with the mitotic process. The increased attention to mitosis as a chemotherapeutic target has also raised an important issue regarding the cellular determinants that specify drug sensitivity. One likely contribution is the mitotic checkpoint, a failsafe mechanism that delays mitotic exit so that cells whose chromosomes are not properly attached to the spindle have extra time to correct their errors. As the biochemical activity of the mitotic checkpoint is finite, cells cannot indefinitely sustain the delay, as in cases where cells are treated with anti-mitotic drugs. When the mitotic checkpoint activity is eventually lost, cells will exit mitosis and become aneuploid. While many of the aneuploid cells may die because of massive chromosome imbalance

  5. Annotating Cancer Variants and Anti-Cancer Therapeutics in Reactome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Milacic, Marija; Haw, Robin, E-mail:; Rothfels, Karen; Wu, Guanming [Informatics and Bio-computing Platform, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, ON, M5G0A3 (Canada); Croft, David; Hermjakob, Henning [European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD (United Kingdom); D’Eustachio, Peter [Department of Biochemistry, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016 (United States); Stein, Lincoln [Informatics and Bio-computing Platform, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, ON, M5G0A3 (Canada)


    Reactome describes biological pathways as chemical reactions that closely mirror the actual physical interactions that occur in the cell. Recent extensions of our data model accommodate the annotation of cancer and other disease processes. First, we have extended our class of protein modifications to accommodate annotation of changes in amino acid sequence and the formation of fusion proteins to describe the proteins involved in disease processes. Second, we have added a disease attribute to reaction, pathway, and physical entity classes that uses disease ontology terms. To support the graphical representation of “cancer” pathways, we have adapted our Pathway Browser to display disease variants and events in a way that allows comparison with the wild type pathway, and shows connections between perturbations in cancer and other biological pathways. The curation of pathways associated with cancer, coupled with our efforts to create other disease-specific pathways, will interoperate with our existing pathway and network analysis tools. Using the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway as an example, we show how Reactome annotates and presents the altered biological behavior of EGFR variants due to their altered kinase and ligand-binding properties, and the mode of action and specificity of anti-cancer therapeutics.

  6. Annotating cancer variants and anti-cancer therapeutics in reactome. (United States)

    Milacic, Marija; Haw, Robin; Rothfels, Karen; Wu, Guanming; Croft, David; Hermjakob, Henning; D'Eustachio, Peter; Stein, Lincoln


    Reactome describes biological pathways as chemical reactions that closely mirror the actual physical interactions that occur in the cell. Recent extensions of our data model accommodate the annotation of cancer and other disease processes. First, we have extended our class of protein modifications to accommodate annotation of changes in amino acid sequence and the formation of fusion proteins to describe the proteins involved in disease processes. Second, we have added a disease attribute to reaction, pathway, and physical entity classes that uses disease ontology terms. To support the graphical representation of "cancer" pathways, we have adapted our Pathway Browser to display disease variants and events in a way that allows comparison with the wild type pathway, and shows connections between perturbations in cancer and other biological pathways. The curation of pathways associated with cancer, coupled with our efforts to create other disease-specific pathways, will interoperate with our existing pathway and network analysis tools. Using the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway as an example, we show how Reactome annotates and presents the altered biological behavior of EGFR variants due to their altered kinase and ligand-binding properties, and the mode of action and specificity of anti-cancer therapeutics.

  7. Annotating Cancer Variants and Anti-Cancer Therapeutics in Reactome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milacic, Marija; Haw, Robin; Rothfels, Karen; Wu, Guanming; Croft, David; Hermjakob, Henning; D’Eustachio, Peter; Stein, Lincoln


    Reactome describes biological pathways as chemical reactions that closely mirror the actual physical interactions that occur in the cell. Recent extensions of our data model accommodate the annotation of cancer and other disease processes. First, we have extended our class of protein modifications to accommodate annotation of changes in amino acid sequence and the formation of fusion proteins to describe the proteins involved in disease processes. Second, we have added a disease attribute to reaction, pathway, and physical entity classes that uses disease ontology terms. To support the graphical representation of “cancer” pathways, we have adapted our Pathway Browser to display disease variants and events in a way that allows comparison with the wild type pathway, and shows connections between perturbations in cancer and other biological pathways. The curation of pathways associated with cancer, coupled with our efforts to create other disease-specific pathways, will interoperate with our existing pathway and network analysis tools. Using the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway as an example, we show how Reactome annotates and presents the altered biological behavior of EGFR variants due to their altered kinase and ligand-binding properties, and the mode of action and specificity of anti-cancer therapeutics

  8. Absorption, metabolism, anti-cancer effect and molecular targets of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG): An updated review. (United States)

    Gan, Ren-You; Li, Hua-Bin; Sui, Zhong-Quan; Corke, Harold


    Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, especially in Asian countries. Consumption of green tea has been demonstrated to possess many health benefits, which mainly attributed to the main bioactive compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a flavone-3-ol polyphenol, in green tea. EGCG is mainly absorbed in the intestine, and gut microbiota play a critical role in its metabolism prior to absorption. EGCG exhibits versatile bioactivities, with its anti-cancer effect most attracting due to the cancer preventive effect of green tea consumption, and a great number of studies intensively investigated its anti-cancer effect. In this review, we therefore, first stated the absorption and metabolism process of EGCG, and then summarized its anti-cancer effect in vitro and in vivo, including its manifold anti-cancer actions and mechanisms, especially its anti-cancer stem cell effect, and next highlighted its various molecular targets involved in cancer inhibition. Finally, the anti-cancer effect of EGCG analogs and nanoparticles, as well as the potential cancer promoting effect of EGCG were also discussed. Understanding of the absorption, metabolism, anti-cancer effect and molecular targets of EGCG can be of importance to better utilize it as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent.

  9. Molecular targets and anti-cancer potential of escin. (United States)

    Cheong, Dorothy H J; Arfuso, Frank; Sethi, Gautam; Wang, Lingzhi; Hui, Kam Man; Kumar, Alan Prem; Tran, Thai


    Escin is a mixture of triterpenoid saponins extracted from the horse chestnut tree, Aesculus hippocastanum. Its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-odematous properties makes it a choice of therapy against chronic venous insufficiency and odema. More recently, escin is being actively investigated for its potential activity against diverse cancers. It exhibits anti-cancer effects in many cancer cell models including lung adenocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and leukemia. Escin also attenuates tumor growth and metastases in various in vivo models. Importantly, escin augments the effects of existing chemotherapeutic drugs, thereby supporting the role of escin as an adjunct or alternative anti-cancer therapy. The beneficial effects of escin can be attributed to its inhibition of proliferation and induction of cell cycle arrest. By regulating transcription factors/growth factors mediated oncogenic pathways, escin also potentially mitigates chronic inflammatory processes that are linked to cancer survival and resistance. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of escin and its potential as an anti-cancer therapy through its anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Centrosome – a promising anti-cancer target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rivera-Rivera Y


    Full Text Available Yainyrette Rivera-Rivera, Harold I Saavedra Department of Pharmacology, Ponce Health Sciences University-School of Medicine, Ponce Research Institute, Ponce, Puerto Rico Abstract: The centrosome, an organelle discovered >100 years ago, is the main microtubule-organizing center in mammalian organisms. The centrosome is composed of a pair of centrioles surrounded by the pericentriolar material (PMC and plays a major role in the regulation of cell cycle transitions (G1-S, G2-M, and metaphase-anaphase, ensuring the normality of cell division. Hundreds of proteins found in the centrosome exert a variety of roles, including microtubule dynamics, nucleation, and kinetochore–microtubule attachments that allow correct chromosome alignment and segregation. Errors in these processes lead to structural (shape, size, number, position, and composition, functional (abnormal microtubule nucleation and disorganized spindles, and numerical (centrosome amplification [CA] centrosome aberrations causing aneuploidy and genomic instability. Compelling data demonstrate that centrosomes are implicated in cancer, because there are important oncogenic and tumor suppressor proteins that are localized in this organelle and drive centrosome aberrations. Centrosome defects have been found in pre-neoplasias and tumors from breast, ovaries, prostate, head and neck, lung, liver, and bladder among many others. Several drugs/compounds against centrosomal proteins have shown promising results. Other drugs have higher toxicity with modest or no benefits, and there are more recently developed agents being tested in clinical trials. All of this emerging evidence suggests that targeting centrosome aberrations may be a future avenue for therapeutic intervention in cancer research. Keywords: centrosomes, cell cycle, mitosis, CA, CIN, cancer therapy

  11. Mitosis as an anti-cancer drug target. (United States)

    Salmela, Anna-Leena; Kallio, Marko J


    Suppression of cell proliferation by targeting mitosis is one potential cancer intervention. A number of existing chemotherapy drugs disrupt mitosis by targeting microtubule dynamics. While efficacious, these drugs have limitations, i.e. neuropathy, unpredictability and development of resistance. In order to overcome these issues, a great deal of effort has been spent exploring novel mitotic targets including Polo-like kinase 1, Aurora kinases, Mps1, Cenp-E and KSP/Eg5. Here we summarize the latest developments in the discovery and clinical evaluation of new mitotic drug targets.

  12. Mitochondrial DNA is a direct target of anti-cancer anthracycline drugs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashley, Neil; Poulton, Joanna


    The anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin (DXR), are potent anti-cancer drugs but they are limited by their clinical toxicity. The mechanisms involved remain poorly understood partly because of the difficulty in determining sub-cellular drug localisation. Using a novel method utilising the fluorescent DNA dye PicoGreen, we found that anthracyclines intercalated not only into nuclear DNA but also mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Intercalation of mtDNA by anthracyclines may thus contribute to the marked mitochondrial toxicity associated with these drugs. By contrast, ethidium bromide intercalated exclusively into mtDNA, without interacting with nuclear DNA, thereby explaining why mtDNA is the main target for ethidium. By exploiting PicoGreen quenching we also developed a novel assay for quantification of mtDNA levels by flow-cytometry, an approach which should be useful for studies of mitochondrial dysfunction. In summary our PicoGreen assay should be useful to study drug/DNA interactions within live cells, and facilitate therapeutic drug monitoring and kinetic studies in cancer patients.

  13. Metformin and Anti-Cancer Therapeutics: Hopes for a More Enhanced Armamentarium Against Human Neoplasias? (United States)

    Christodoulou, Maria-Ioanna; Scorilas, Andreas


    Metformin, a natural product from Galega officinalis, is an oral drug, now in the forefront of the therapeutic management of type-2 diabetes mellitus. A series of clinical observations of the last decades, support that metformin may contribute to lowering the risk of cancer development in diabetic patients, and also to improvement of response-to-therapy and survival in individuals with certain types of malignancies. Moreover, several preclinical in vitro and in vivo data indicate that metformin indeed exerts anti-proliferative capacities upon tumor cells mediated through a variety of mechanisms. Interestingly, metformin has been shown to act in synergy with certain anti-cancer agents and also to overcome chemo- and/or radio-resistance of various types of tumors, providing a hopeful rationale for novel therapeutic strategies against cancer development and progression. However, this remains an issue of controversy, since significant contradictions exist among the available data. Limitations of preclinical studies and caveats of epidemiological works, together with significant variances among the several types of cancer and the fact that the mode of metformin's action is largely unknown, make longitudinal surveys urgently needed. Now, a plethora of large clinical trials are active worldwide, aiming at determining the effect of metformin in the prevention or prognosis of a variety of human cancers. If encouraging results arise, metformin will be an attractive candidate adjuvant in the management of human neoplasias, due to its safety, tolerability and low-cost, expected to mitigate adverse effects and no-response parameters of current anti-cancer therapeutics, thus improving the quality of life and survival of cancer patients. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  14. Mitosis-targeted anti-cancer therapies: where they stand. (United States)

    Chan, K-S; Koh, C-G; Li, H-Y


    The strategy of clinically targeting cancerous cells at their most vulnerable state during mitosis has instigated numerous studies into the mitotic cell death (MCD) pathway. As the hallmark of cancer revolves around cell-cycle deregulation, it is not surprising that antimitotic therapies are effective against the abnormal proliferation of transformed cells. Moreover, these antimitotic drugs are also highly selective and sensitive. Despite the robust rate of discovery and the development of mitosis-selective inhibitors, the unpredictable complexities of the human body's response to these drugs still herald the biggest challenge towards clinical success. Undoubtedly, the need to bridge the gap between promising preclinical trials and effective translational bedside treatment prompts further investigations towards mapping out the mechanistic pathways of MCD, understanding how these drugs work as medicine in the body and more comprehensive target validations. In this review, current antimitotic agents are summarized with particular emphasis on the evaluation of their clinical efficacy as well as their limitations. In addition, we discuss the basis behind the lack of activity of these inhibitors in human trials and the potential and future directions of mitotic anticancer strategies.

  15. NPACT: Naturally Occurring Plant-based Anti-cancer Compound-Activity-Target database. (United States)

    Mangal, Manu; Sagar, Parul; Singh, Harinder; Raghava, Gajendra P S; Agarwal, Subhash M


    Plant-derived molecules have been highly valued by biomedical researchers and pharmaceutical companies for developing drugs, as they are thought to be optimized during evolution. Therefore, we have collected and compiled a central resource Naturally Occurring Plant-based Anti-cancer Compound-Activity-Target database (NPACT, that gathers the information related to experimentally validated plant-derived natural compounds exhibiting anti-cancerous activity (in vitro and in vivo), to complement the other databases. It currently contains 1574 compound entries, and each record provides information on their structure, manually curated published data on in vitro and in vivo experiments along with reference for users referral, inhibitory values (IC(50)/ED(50)/EC(50)/GI(50)), properties (physical, elemental and topological), cancer types, cell lines, protein targets, commercial suppliers and drug likeness of compounds. NPACT can easily be browsed or queried using various options, and an online similarity tool has also been made available. Further, to facilitate retrieval of existing data, each record is hyperlinked to similar databases like SuperNatural, Herbal Ingredients' Targets, Comparative Toxicogenomics Database, PubChem and NCI-60 GI(50) data.

  16. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore as a selective target for anti-cancer therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Hoon eSuh


    Full Text Available Mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP is the ultimate step in dozens of lethal apoptotic signal transduction pathways which converge on mitochondria. One of the representative systems proposed to be responsible for the MOMP is the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP. Although the molecular composition of the MPTP is not clearly understood, the MPTP attracts much interest as a promising target for resolving two conundrums regarding cancer treatment: tumor selectivity and resistance to treatment. The regulation of the MPTP is closely related to metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells including mitochondrial alterations. Restoration of deregulated apoptotic machinery in cancer cells by tumor-specific modulation of the MPTP could therefore be a promising anti-cancer strategy. Currently, a number of MPTP-targeting agents are under pre-clinical and clinical studies. Here, we reviewed the structure and regulation of the MPTP as well as the current status of the development of promising MPTP-targeting drugs.

  17. Exploiting developments in nanotechnology for the preferential delivery of platinum-based anti-cancer agents to tumours: targeting some of the hallmarks of cancer. (United States)

    Parker, James P; Ude, Ziga; Marmion, Celine J


    Platinum drugs as anti-cancer therapeutics are held in extremely high regard. Despite their success, there are drawbacks associated with their use; their dose-limiting toxicity, their limited activity against an array of common cancers and patient resistance to Pt-based therapeutic regimes. Current investigations in medicinal inorganic chemistry strive to offset these shortcomings through selective targeting of Pt drugs and/or the development of Pt drugs with new or multiple modes of action. A comprehensive overview showcasing how liposomes, nanocapsules, polymers, dendrimers, nanoparticles and nanotubes may be employed as vehicles to selectively deliver cytotoxic Pt payloads to tumour cells is provided.

  18. Optimization of anti-cancer drugs and a targeting molecule on multifunctional gold nanoparticles (United States)

    Rizk, Nahla; Christoforou, Nicolas; Lee, Sungmun


    Breast cancer is the most common and deadly cancer among women worldwide. Currently, nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems are useful for cancer treatment; however, strategic planning is critical in order to enhance the anti-cancer properties and reduce the side effects of cancer therapy. Here, we designed multifunctional gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) conjugated with two anti-cancer drugs, TGF-β1 antibody and methotrexate, and a cancer-targeting molecule, folic acid. First, optimum size and shape of AuNPs was selected by the highest uptake of AuNPs by MDA-MB-231, a metastatic human breast cancer cell line. It was 100 nm spherical AuNPs (S-AuNPs) that were used for further studies. A fixed amount (900 μl) of S-AuNP (3.8 × 108 particles/ml) was conjugated with folic acid-BSA or methotrexate-BSA. Methotrexate on S-AuNP induced cellular toxicity and the optimum amount of methotrexate-BSA (2.83 mM) was 500 μl. Uptake of S-AuNPs was enhanced by folate conjugation that binds to folate receptors overexpressed by MDA-MB-231 and the optimum uptake was at 500 μl of folic acid-BSA (2.83 mM). TGF-β1 antibody on S-AuNP reduced extracellular TGF-β1 of cancer cells by 30%. Due to their efficacy and tunable properties, we anticipate numerous clinical applications of multifunctional gold nanospheres in treating breast cancer.

  19. Targeting NK cells for anti-cancer immunotherapy: clinical and pre-clinical approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian eCarotta


    Full Text Available The recent success of checkpoint blockade has highlighted the potential of immunotherapy approaches for cancer treatment. While the majority of approved immunotherapy drugs target T cell subsets, it is appreciated that other components of the immune system have important roles in tumor immune-surveillance as well and thus represent promising additional targets for immunotherapy. Natural killer cells are the body’s first line of defense against infected or transformed cells as they kill target cells in an antigen-independent manner. Although several studies have clearly demonstrated the active role of NK cells in cancer-immune surveillance, only few clinically approved therapies currently exist that harness their potential. Our increased understanding of NK cell biology over the past few years has renewed the interest in NK cell based anti-cancer therapies, which has lead to a steady increase of NK cell based clinical and pre-clinical trials. Here, the role of NK cells in cancer immunesurveillance is summarized and several novel approaches to enhance NK cell cytotoxicity against cancer are discussed.

  20. Cardio-protective and anti-cancer therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hammad Shafiq


    Full Text Available Nigella sativa is the miraculous plant having a lot of nutritional and medicinal benefits, and attracts large number of nutrition and pharmacological researchers. N. sativa seed composition shows that it is the blessing of nature and it contains and many bioactive compounds like thymoquinone, α-hederin, alkaloids, flavonoids, antioxidants, fatty acids many other compounds that have positive effects on curing of different diseases. Several medicinal properties of N. sativa like its anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antioxidant activities and many others are well acknowledged. However, this article focuses on activity of N. sativa against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. For gathering required data the authors went through vast number of articles using search engines like Science direct, ELSEVIER, Pub Med, Willey on Line Library and Google scholar and the findings were classified on the basis of relevance of the topic and were reviewed in the article. N. sativa is rich source of different biologically active compounds and is found effective in controlling number of cardiovascular diseases and various cancers both in vivo and in vitro studies.

  1. Cardio-protective and anti-cancer therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa (United States)

    Shafiq, Hammad; Ahmad, Asif; Masud, Tariq; Kaleem, Muhammad


    Nigella sativa is the miraculous plant having a lot of nutritional and medicinal benefits, and attracts large number of nutrition and pharmacological researchers. N. sativa seed composition shows that it is the blessing of nature and it contains and many bioactive compounds like thymoquinone, α-hederin, alkaloids, flavonoids, antioxidants, fatty acids many other compounds that have positive effects on curing of different diseases. Several medicinal properties of N. sativa like its anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antioxidant activities and many others are well acknowledged. However, this article focuses on activity of N. sativa against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. For gathering required data the authors went through vast number of articles using search engines like Science direct, ELSEVIER, Pub Med, Willey on Line Library and Google scholar and the findings were classified on the basis of relevance of the topic and were reviewed in the article. N. sativa is rich source of different biologically active compounds and is found effective in controlling number of cardiovascular diseases and various cancers both in vivo and in vitro studies. PMID:25859300

  2. Mitochondrial complex II, a novel target for anti-cancer agents

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klučková, Katarína; Bezawork-Geleta, A.; Rohlena, Jakub; Dong, L.; Neužil, Jiří


    Roč. 1827, č. 5 (2013), s. 552-564 ISSN 0005-2728 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP301/10/1937; GA ČR GAP301/12/1851 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : Mitochondrion * Complex II * Anti- cancer agent Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.829, year: 2013

  3. The pig as a large preclinical model for therapeutic human anti-cancer vaccine development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, Nana Haahr; Frøsig, Thomas Mørch; Welner, Simon


    Development of therapeutic cancer vaccines has largely been based on rodent models and the majority failed to establish therapeutic responses in clinical trials. We therefore used pigs as a large animal model for human cancer vaccine development due to the large similarity between the porcine...

  4. Structure and Potential Cellular Targets of HAMLET-like Anti-Cancer Compounds made from Milk Components. (United States)

    Rath, Emma M; Duff, Anthony P; Håkansson, Anders P; Vacher, Catherine S; Liu, Guo Jun; Knott, Robert B; Church, William Bret


    The HAMLET family of compounds (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumours) was discovered during studies on the properties of human milk, and is a class of protein-lipid complexes having broad spectrum anti-cancer, and some specific anti-bacterial properties. The structure of HAMLET-like compounds consists of an aggregation of partially unfolded protein making up the majority of the compound's mass, with fatty acid molecules bound in the hydrophobic core. This is a novel protein-lipid structure and has only recently been derived by small-angle X-ray scattering analysis. The structure is the basis of a novel cytotoxicity mechanism responsible for anti-cancer activity to all of the around 50 different cancer cell types for which the HAMLET family has been trialled. Multiple cytotoxic mechanisms have been hypothesised for the HAMLET-like compounds, but it is not yet clear which of those are the initiating cytotoxic mechanism(s) and which are subsequent activities triggered by the initiating mechanism(s). In addition to the studies into the structure of these compounds, this review presents the state of knowledge of the anti-cancer aspects of HAMLET-like compounds, the HAMLET-induced cytotoxic activities to cancer and non-cancer cells, and the several prospective cell membrane and intracellular targets of the HAMLET family. The emerging picture is that HAMLET-like compounds initiate their cytotoxic effects on what may be a cancer-specific target in the cell membrane that has yet to be identified. This article is open to POST-PUBLICATION REVIEW. Registered readers (see "For Readers") may comment by clicking on ABSTRACT on the issue's contents page.

  5. Novel Mitochondria-Targeted Furocoumarin Derivatives as Possible Anti-Cancer Agents

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    Andrea Mattarei


    Full Text Available Targeting small molecules to appropriate subcellular compartments is a way to increase their selectivity and effectiveness while minimizing side effects. This can be accomplished either by stably incorporating specific “homing” properties into the structure of the active principle, or by attaching to it a targeting moiety via a labile linker, i.e., by producing a “targeting pro-drug.” Mitochondria are a recognized therapeutic target in oncology, and blocking the population of the potassium channel Kv1.3 residing in the inner mitochondrial membrane (mtKv1.3 has been shown to cause apoptosis of cancerous cells expressing it. These concepts have led us to devise novel, mitochondria-targeted, membrane-permeant drug candidates containing the furocoumarin (psoralenic ring system and the triphenylphosphonium (TPP lipophilic cation. The strategy has proven effective in various cancer models, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, melanoma, and glioblastoma, stimulating us to devise further novel molecules to extend and diversify the range of available drugs of this type. New compounds were synthesized and tested in vitro; one of them—a prodrug in which the coumarinic moiety and the TPP group are linked by a bridge comprising a labile carbonate bond system—proved quite effective in in vitro cytotoxicity assays. Selective death induction is attributed to inhibition of mtKv1.3. This results in oxidative stress, which is fatal for the already-stressed malignant cells. This compound may thus be a candidate drug for the mtKv1.3-targeting therapeutic approach.

  6. Molecular predictors of therapeutic response to specific anti-cancer agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spellman, Paul T.; Gray, Joe W.; Sadanandam, Anguraj; Heiser, Laura M.; Gibb, William J.; Kuo, Wen-lin; Wang, Nicholas J.


    Herein is described the use of a collection of 50 breast cancer cell lines to match responses to 77 conventional and experimental therapeutic agents with transcriptional, proteomic and genomic subtypes found in primary tumors. Almost all compounds produced strong differential responses across the cell lines produced responses that were associated with transcriptional and proteomic subtypes and produced responses that were associated with recurrent genome copy number abnormalities. These associations can now be incorporated into clinical trials that test subtype markers and clinical responses simultaneously.

  7. The effectiveness of therapeutic patient education on adherence to oral anti-cancer medicines in adult cancer patients in ambulatory care settings: a systematic review. (United States)

    Arthurs, Gilly; Simpson, Janice; Brown, Andrea; Kyaw, Ohnma; Shyrier, Sharon; Concert, Catherine M


    Adherence to oral cancer medicines is a challenge for adult patients with cancer. Education specifically tailored for an individual patient with cancer may improve adherence. Therapeutic patient education when utilized effectively may maximize health outcomes and positively affect the quality of life of adult patients with cancer. Currently, there are no published systematic reviews specific to the effectiveness of therapeutic patient education on improvement of oral anti-cancer medicines adherence in patients with cancer. To synthesize the best available evidence on the effectiveness of therapeutic patient education on adherence to oral anti-cancer medicines in adult cancer patients 18 years and older in an ambulatory care setting. Types of participants: This review considered studies involving adults of any ethnicity, race or gender, aged 18 years or older who were diagnosed with any form of cancer, receiving oral anti-cancer medicines in an ambulatory care setting. Types of intervention(s): This review considered studies on the use of therapeutic patient education as the additional intervention to routine patient education for promoting oral anti-cancer medicine adherence in adult patients with cancer in an ambulatory care setting. Routine patient education was considered as a comparator. Types of outcomes: The outcome considered was adherence to prescribed oral anti-cancer medicines. Types of studies: This review considered experimental and observational studies. The literature search included published and unpublished studies in the English Language from 1953 through August 2014. A search of PubMed, CINAHL, Excerpta Medica Database, Academic Search Premier, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition was conducted using identified keywords and indexed terms across all included databases. A search for grey literature and electronic hand searching of relevant journals was also performed. Two reviewers independently evaluated the

  8. Landscape of Targeted Anti-Cancer Drug Synergies in Melanoma Identifies a Novel BRAF-VEGFR/PDGFR Combination Treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam A Friedman

    Full Text Available A newer generation of anti-cancer drugs targeting underlying somatic genetic driver events have resulted in high single-agent or single-pathway response rates in selected patients, but few patients achieve complete responses and a sizeable fraction of patients relapse within a year. Thus, there is a pressing need for identification of combinations of targeted agents which induce more complete responses and prevent disease progression. We describe the results of a combination screen of an unprecedented scale in mammalian cells performed using a collection of targeted, clinically tractable agents across a large panel of melanoma cell lines. We find that even the most synergistic drug pairs are effective only in a discrete number of cell lines, underlying a strong context dependency for synergy, with strong, widespread synergies often corresponding to non-specific or off-target drug effects such as multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1 transporter inhibition. We identified drugs sensitizing cell lines that are BRAFV600E mutant but intrinsically resistant to BRAF inhibitor PLX4720, including the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor/kinase insert domain receptor (VEGFR/KDR and platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR family inhibitor cediranib. The combination of cediranib and PLX4720 induced apoptosis in vitro and tumor regression in animal models. This synergistic interaction is likely due to engagement of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs, demonstrating the potential of drug- rather than gene-specific combination discovery approaches. Patients with elevated biopsy KDR expression showed decreased progression free survival in trials of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK kinase pathway inhibitors. Thus, high-throughput unbiased screening of targeted drug combinations, with appropriate library selection and mechanistic follow-up, can yield clinically-actionable drug combinations.

  9. Mitocans: Mitochondrial targeted anti-cancer drugs as improved therapies and related patent documents

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ralph, S.J.; Low, P.; Dong, L.; Lawen, A.; Neužil, Jiří


    Roč. 1, - (2006), s. 327-346 ISSN 1574-8928 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : mitocans * vitamin E analogues * mitochondria-based targeting Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology

  10. Performance evaluation of structure based and ligand based virtual screening methods on ten selected anti-cancer targets. (United States)

    Ramasamy, Thilagavathi; Selvam, Chelliah


    Virtual screening has become an important tool in drug discovery process. Structure based and ligand based approaches are generally used in virtual screening process. To date, several benchmark sets for evaluating the performance of the virtual screening tool are available. In this study, our aim is to compare the performance of both structure based and ligand based virtual screening methods. Ten anti-cancer targets and their corresponding benchmark sets from 'Demanding Evaluation Kits for Objective In silico Screening' (DEKOIS) library were selected. X-ray crystal structures of protein-ligand complexes were selected based on their resolution. Openeye tools such as FRED, vROCS were used and the results were carefully analyzed. At EF1%, vROCS produced better results but at EF5% and EF10%, both FRED and ROCS produced almost similar results. It was noticed that the enrichment factor values were decreased while going from EF1% to EF5% and EF10% in many cases. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Through the Looking Glass: Time-lapse Microscopy and Longitudinal Tracking of Single Cells to Study Anti-cancer Therapeutics. (United States)

    Burke, Russell T; Orth, James D


    The response of single cells to anti-cancer drugs contributes significantly in determining the population response, and therefore is a major contributing factor in the overall outcome. Immunoblotting, flow cytometry and fixed cell experiments are often used to study how cells respond to anti-cancer drugs. These methods are important, but they have several shortcomings. Variability in drug responses between cancer and normal cells, and between cells of different cancer origin, and transient and rare responses are difficult to understand using population averaging assays and without being able to directly track and analyze them longitudinally. The microscope is particularly well suited to image live cells. Advancements in technology enable us to routinely image cells at a resolution that enables not only cell tracking, but also the observation of a variety of cellular responses. We describe an approach in detail that allows for the continuous time-lapse imaging of cells during the drug response for essentially as long as desired, typically up to 96 hr. Using variations of the approach, cells can be monitored for weeks. With the employment of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors numerous processes, pathways and responses can be followed. We show examples that include tracking and quantification of cell growth and cell cycle progression, chromosome dynamics, DNA damage, and cell death. We also discuss variations of the technique and its flexibility, and highlight some common pitfalls.

  12. A novel peptide enhances therapeutic efficacy of liposomal anti-cancer drugs in mice models of human lung cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De-Kuan Chang

    Full Text Available Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The lack of tumor specificity remains a major drawback for effective chemotherapies and results in dose-limiting toxicities. However, a ligand-mediated drug delivery system should be able to render chemotherapy more specific to tumor cells and less toxic to normal tissues. In this study, we isolated a novel peptide ligand from a phage-displayed peptide library that bound to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC cell lines. The targeting phage bound to several NSCLC cell lines but not to normal cells. Both the targeting phage and the synthetic peptide recognized the surgical specimens of NSCLC with a positive rate of 75% (27 of 36 specimens. In severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID mice bearing NSCLC xenografts, the targeting phage specifically bound to tumor masses. The tumor homing ability of the targeting phage was inhibited by the cognate synthetic peptide, but not by a control or a WTY-mutated peptide. When the targeting peptide was coupled to liposomes carrying doxorubicin or vinorelbine, the therapeutic index of the chemotherapeutic agents and the survival rates of mice with human lung cancer xenografts markedly increased. Furthermore, the targeting liposomes increased drug accumulation in tumor tissues by 5.7-fold compared with free drugs and enhanced cancer cell apoptosis resulting from a higher concentration of bioavailable doxorubicin. The current study suggests that this tumor-specific peptide may be used to create chemotherapies specifically targeting tumor cells in the treatment of NSCLC and to design targeted gene transfer vectors or it may be used one in the diagnosis of this malignancy.

  13. Minimalism in fabrication of self-organized nanogels holding both anti-cancer drug and targeting moiety. (United States)

    Kim, Sungwon; Park, Kyong Mi; Ko, Jin Young; Kwon, Ick Chan; Cho, Hyeon Geun; Kang, Dongmin; Yu, In Tag; Kim, Kwangmeyung; Na, Kun


    Recent researches to develop nano-carrier systems in anti-cancer drug delivery have focused on more complicated design to improve therapeutic efficacy and to reduce side effects. Although such efforts have great impact to biomedical science and engineering, the complexity has been a huddle because of clinical and economic problems. In order to overcome the problems, a simplest strategy to fabricate nano-carriers to deliver doxorubicin (DOX) was proposed in the present study. Two significant subjects (i) formation of nanoparticles loading and releasing DOX and (ii) binding specificity of them to cells, were examined. Folic acid (FA) was directly coupled with pullulan (Pul) backbone by ester linkage (FA/Pul conjugate) and the degree of substitution (DS) was varied, which were confirmed by 1H NMR and UV spectrophotometry. Light scattering results revealed that the nanogels possessed two major size distributions around 70 and 270 nm in an aqueous solution. Their critical aggregation concentrations (CACs) were less than 10 microg/mL, which are lower than general critical micelle concentrations (CMCs) of low-molecular-weight surfactants. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images showed well-dispersed nanogel morphology in a dried state. Depending on the DS, the nanogels showed different DOX-loading and releasing profiles. The DOX release rate from FA8/Pul (with the highest DS) for 24h was slower than that from FA4/or FA6/Pul, indicating that the FA worked as a hydrophobic moiety for drug holding. Cellular uptake of the nanogels (KB cells) was also monitored by confocal microscopy. All nanogels were internalized regardless of the DS of FA. Based on the results, the objectives of this study, to suggest a new method overcoming the complications in the drug carrier design, were successfully verified.

  14. Phage Displayed Peptides/Antibodies Recognizing Growth Factors and Their Tyrosine Kinase Receptors as Tools for Anti-Cancer Therapeutics (United States)

    Ronca, Roberto; Benzoni, Patrizia; De Luca, Angela; Crescini, Elisabetta; Dell’Era, Patrizia


    The basic idea of displaying peptides on a phage, introduced by George P. Smith in 1985, was greatly developed and improved by McCafferty and colleagues at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and, later, by Barbas and colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute. Their approach was dedicated to building a system for the production of antibodies, similar to a naïve B cell repertoire, in order to by-pass the standard hybridoma technology that requires animal immunization. Both groups merged the phage display technology with an antibody library to obtain a huge number of phage variants, each of them carrying a specific antibody ready to bind its target molecule, allowing, later on, rare phage (one in a million) to be isolated by affinity chromatography. Here, we will briefly review the basis of the technology and the therapeutic application of phage-derived bioactive molecules when addressed against key players in tumor development and progression: growth factors and their tyrosine kinase receptors. PMID:22606042

  15. Potential therapeutic applications of multifunctional host-defense peptides from frog skin as anti-cancer, anti-viral, immunomodulatory, and anti-diabetic agents. (United States)

    Conlon, J Michael; Mechkarska, Milena; Lukic, Miodrag L; Flatt, Peter R


    Frog skin constitutes a rich source of peptides with a wide range of biological properties. These include host-defense peptides with cytotoxic activities against bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses, and mammalian cells. Several hundred such peptides from diverse species have been described. Although attention has been focused mainly on antimicrobial activity, the therapeutic potential of frog skin peptides as anti-infective agents remains to be realized and no compound based upon their structures has yet been adopted in clinical practice. Consequently, alternative applications are being explored. Certain naturally occurring frog skin peptides, and analogs with improved therapeutic properties, show selective cytotoxicity against tumor cells and viruses and so have potential for development into anti-cancer and anti-viral agents. Some peptides display complex cytokine-mediated immunomodulatory properties. Effects on the production of both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines by peritoneal macrophages and peripheral blood mononuclear cells have been observed so that clinical applications as anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and immunostimulatory agents are possible. Several frog skin peptides, first identified on the basis of antimicrobial activity, have been shown to stimulate insulin release both in vitro and in vivo and so show potential as incretin-based therapies for treatment of patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. This review assesses the therapeutic possibilities of peptides from frogs belonging to the Ascaphidae, Alytidae, Pipidae, Dicroglossidae, Leptodactylidae, Hylidae, and Ranidae families that complement their potential role as anti-infectives for use against multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Development of a new anti-cancer agent for targeted radionuclide therapy: β- radiolabeled RAFT-RGD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petitprin, A.


    β-emitters radiolabeled RAFT-RGD as new agents for internal targeted radiotherapy. The αvβ3 integrin is known to play an important role in tumor-induced angiogenesis, tumor proliferation, survival and metastasis. Because of its overexpression on neo-endothelial cells such as those present in growing tumors, as well as on tumor cells of various origins, αvβ3 integrin is an attractive molecular target for diagnosis and therapy of the rapidly growing and metastatic tumors. A tetrameric RGD-based peptide, regioselectively addressable functionalized template-(cyclo-[RGDfK])4 (RAFT-RGD), specifically targets integrin αvβ3 in vitro and in vivo. RAFT-RGD has been used for tumor imaging and drug targeting. This study is the first to evaluate the therapeutic potential of the β-emitters radiolabeled tetrameric RGD peptide RAFT-RGD in a Nude mouse model of αvβ3 -expressing tumors. An injection of 37 MBq of 90 Y-RAFT-RGD or 177 Lu-RAFT-RGD in mice with αvβ3 -positive tumors caused a significant growth delay as compared with mice treated with 37 MBq of 90 Y-RAFT-RAD or 177 Lu-RAFT-RAD or untreated mice. In comparison, an injection of 30 MBq of 90 Y-RAFT-RGD had no efficacy for the treatment of αvβ3 -negative tumors. 90 Y-RAFT-RGD and 177 Lu-RAFT-RGD are potent αvβ3 -expressing tumor targeting agents for internal targeted radiotherapy. (author)

  17. Therapeutic targets in liver fibrosis. (United States)

    Fallowfield, Jonathan A


    Detailed analysis of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate liver fibrosis has provided a framework for therapeutic approaches to prevent, slow down, or even reverse fibrosis and cirrhosis. A pivotal event in the development of liver fibrosis is the activation of quiescent hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) to scar-forming myofibroblast-like cells. Consequently, HSCs and the factors that regulate HSC activation, proliferation, and function represent important antifibrotic targets. Drugs currently licensed in the US and Europe for other indications target HSC-related components of the fibrotic cascade. Their deployment in the near future looks likely. Ultimately, treatment strategies for liver fibrosis may vary on an individual basis according to etiology, risk of fibrosis progression, and the prevailing pathogenic milieu, meaning that a multiagent approach could be required. The field continues to develop rapidly and starts to identify exciting potential targets in proof-of-concept preclinical studies. Despite this, no antifibrotics are currently licensed for use in humans. With epidemiological predictions for the future prevalence of viral, obesity-related, and alcohol-related cirrhosis painting an increasingly gloomy picture, and a shortfall in donors for liver transplantation, the clinical urgency for new therapies is high. There is growing interest from stakeholders keen to exploit the market potential for antifibrotics. However, the design of future trials for agents in the developmental pipeline will depend on strategies that enable equal patient stratification, techniques to reliably monitor changes in fibrosis over time, and the definition of clinically meaningful end points.

  18. Therapeutic target for protozoal diseases (United States)

    Rathore, Dharmendar [Blacksburg, VA; Jani, Dewal [Blacksburg, VA; Nagarkatti, Rana [Blacksburg, VA


    A novel Fasciclin Related Adhesive Protein (FRAP) from Plasmodium and related parasites is provided as a target for therapeutic intervention in diseases caused by the parasites. FRAP has been shown to play a critical role in adhesion to, or invasion into, host cells by the parasite. Furthermore, FRAP catalyzes the neutralization of heme by the parasite, by promoting its polymerization into hemozoin. This invention provides methods and compositions for therapies based on the administration of protein, DNA or cell-based vaccines and/or antibodies based on FRAP, or antigenic epitopes of FRAP, either alone or in combination with other parasite antigens. Methods for the development of compounds that inhibit the catalytic activity of FRAP, and diagnostic and laboratory methods utilizing FRAP are also provided.

  19. Delivery of TLR7 agonist to monocytes and dendritic cells by DCIR targeted liposomes induces robust production of anti-cancer cytokines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klauber, Thomas Christopher Bogh; Laursen, Janne Marie; Zucker, Daniel


    Tumor immune escape is today recognized as an important cancer hallmark and is therefore a major focus area in cancer therapy. Monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs), which are central to creating a robust anti-tumor immune response and establishing an anti-tumorigenic microenvironment, are directly...... as their immune activating potential in blood-derived monocytes, myeloid DCs (mDCs), and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Monocytes and mDCs were targeted with high specificity over lymphocytes, and exhibited potent TLR7-specific secretion of the anti-cancer cytokines IL-12p70, IFN-α 2a, and IFN-γ. This delivery system...... could be a way to improve cancer treatment either in the form of a vaccine with co-formulated antigen or as an immunotherapeutic vector to boost monocyte and DC activity in combination with other treatment protocols such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy is a powerful new tool...

  20. Potential Development of Tumor-Targeted Oral Anti-Cancer Prodrugs: Amino Acid and Dipeptide Monoester Prodrugs of Gemcitabine. (United States)

    Tsume, Yasuhiro; Drelich, Adam J; Smith, David E; Amidon, Gordon L


    One of the main obstacles for cancer therapies is to deliver medicines effectively to target sites. Since stroma cells are developed around tumors, chemotherapeutic agents have to go through stroma cells in order to reach tumors. As a method to improve drug delivery to the tumor site, a prodrug approach for gemcitabine was adopted. Amino acid and dipeptide monoester prodrugs of gemcitabine were synthesized and their chemical stability in buffers, resistance to thymidine phosphorylase and cytidine deaminase, antiproliferative activity, and uptake/permeability in HFF cells as a surrogate to stroma cells were determined and compared to their parent drug, gemcitabine. The activation of all gemcitabine prodrugs was faster in pancreatic cell homogenates than their hydrolysis in buffer, suggesting enzymatic action. All prodrugs exhibited great stability in HFF cell homogenate, enhanced resistance to glycosidic bond metabolism by thymidine phosphorylase, and deamination by cytidine deaminase compared to their parent drug. All gemcitabine prodrugs exhibited higher uptake in HFF cells and better permeability across HFF monolayers than gemcitabine, suggesting a better delivery to tumor sites. Cell antiproliferative assays in Panc-1 and Capan-2 pancreatic ductal cell lines indicated that the gemcitabine prodrugs were more potent than their parent drug gemcitabine. The transport and enzymatic profiles of gemcitabine prodrugs suggest their potential for delayed enzymatic bioconversion and enhanced resistance to metabolic enzymes, as well as for enhanced drug delivery to tumor sites, and cytotoxic activity in cancer cells. These attributes would facilitate the prolonged systemic circulation and improved therapeutic efficacy of gemcitabine prodrugs.

  1. Observation and Analysis of Anti-cancer Drug Use and Dose ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    As all anti-cancer drugs are of narrow therapeutic window so dose individualization is required to be done. A study was conducted to check the use of anti-cancer drugs in the local anti-cancer facility of Bahawalpur i.e. Bahawalpur Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Oncology (BINO). In this study, the dose individualization ...

  2. The pig as a model for therapeutic human anti-cancer vaccine development, elucidating the T-cell reactivity against IDO and RhoC

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Overgaard, Nana Haahr; Frøsig, Thomas Mørch; Welner, Simon

    Immunotherapy against cancer has shown increased overall survival of metastatic cancer patients and is a promising new vaccine target. For this to succeed, appropriate tailoring of vaccine formulations to mount in vivo cytotoxic T cell (CTL) responses towards co-delivered cancer antigens...... is important. Previous development of therapeutic cancer vaccines has largely been based on studies in mice and the majority of these candidate vaccines failed to establish therapeutic responses in subsequent human clinical trials. Since the porcine immunome is more closely related to the human counterpart, we...... here introduce pigs as a superior large animal model for human cancer vaccine development via the use of our unique technology for swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) production. IDO and RhoC, both known to be important in human cancer development and progression, were used as vaccine targets. Pigs were...

  3. Synthesis, characterisation, and preliminary anti-cancer photodynamic therapeutic in vitro studies of mixed-metal binuclear ruthenium(II)-vanadium(IV) complexes (United States)

    Taylor, Patrick; Magnusen, Anthony R.; Moffett, Erick T.; Meyer, Kyle; Hong, Yiling; Ramsdale, Stuart E.; Gordon, Michelle; Stubbs, Javelyn; Seymour, Luke A.; Acharya, Dhiraj; Weber, Ralph T.; Smith, Paul F.; Dismukes, G. Charles; Ji, Ping; Menocal, Laura; Bai, Fengwei; Williams, Jennie L.; Cropek, Donald M.; Jarrett, William L.


    We report the synthesis and characterisation of mixed-metal binuclear ruthenium(II)-vanadium(IV) complexes, which were used as potential photodynamic therapeutic agents for melanoma cell growth inhibition. The novel complexes, [Ru(pbt)2(phen2DTT)](PF6)2•1.5H2O 1 (where phen2DTT = 1,4-bis(1,10-phenanthrolin-5-ylsulfanyl)butane-2,3-diol and pbt = 2-(2'-pyridyl)benzothiazole) and [Ru(pbt)2(tpphz)](PF6)2•3H2O 2 (where tpphz = tetrapyrido[3,2-a:2′,3′-c:3″,2″-h:2‴,3‴-j]phenazine) were synthesised and characterised. Compound 1 was reacted with [VO(sal-L-tryp)(H2O)] (where sal-L-tryp = N-salicylidene-L-tryptophanate) to produce [Ru(pbt)2(phen2DTT)VO(sal-L-tryp)](PF6)2•5H2O 4; while [VO(sal-L-tryp)(H2O)] was reacted with compound 2 to produce [Ru(pbt)2(tpphz)VO(sal-L-tryp)](PF6)2•6H2O 3. All complexes were characterised by elemental analysis, HRMS, ESI MS, UV-visible absorption, ESR spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry, where appropriate. In vitro cell toxicity studies (with the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay) via dark and light reaction conditions were carried out with sodium diaqua-4,4',4”,4”'tetrasulfophthalocyaninecobaltate(II) (Na4[Co(tspc)(H2O)2]), [VO(sal-L-tryp)(phen)]•H2O, and the chloride salts of complexes 3 and 4. Such studies involved A431, human epidermoid carcinoma cells; human amelanotic malignant melanoma cells; and HFF, non-cancerous human skin fibroblast cells. Both chloride salts of complexes 3 and 4 were found to be more toxic to melanoma cells than to non-cancerous fibroblast cells, and preferentially led to apoptosis of the melanoma cells over non-cancerous skin cells. The anti-cancer property of the chloride salts of complexes 3 and 4 was further enhanced when treated cells were exposed to light, while no such effect was observed on non-cancerous skin fibroblast cells. ESR and 51V NMR spectroscopic studies were also used to assess the stability of the chloride salts of

  4. Gli as a novel therapeutic target in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Li

    Full Text Available Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM is a highly aggressive tumor with poor prognosis. Current treatment is rarely curative, thus novel meaningful therapies are urgently needed. Inhibition of Hedgehog (Hh signaling at the cell membrane level in several cancers has shown anti-cancer activity in recent clinical studies. Evidence of Hh-independent Gli activation suggests Gli as a more potent therapeutic target. The current study is aimed to evaluate the potential of Gli as a therapeutic target to treat MPM. The expression profiles of Gli factors and other Hh signaling components were characterized in 46 MPM patient tissue samples by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Cultured cell lines were employed to investigate the requirement of Gli activation in tumor cell growth by inhibiting Gli through siRNA or a novel small molecule Gli inhibitor (Gli-I. A xenograft model was used to evaluate Gli-I in vivo. In addition, a side by side comparison between Gli and Smoothened (Smo inhibition was conducted in vitro using siRNA and small molecule inhibitors. Our study reported aberrant Gli1 and Gli2 activation in a large majority of tissues. Inhibition of Gli by siRNAs or Gli-I suppressed cell growth dramatically both in vitro and in vivo. Inhibition of Gli exhibited better cytotoxicity than that of Smo by siRNA and small molecule inhibitors vismodegib and cyclopamine. Combination of Gli-I and pemetrexed, as well as Gli-I and vismodegib demonstrated synergistic effects in suppression of MPM proliferation in vitro. In summary, Gli activation plays a critical role in MPM. Inhibition of Gli function holds strong potential to become a novel, clinically effective approach to treat MPM.

  5. Designing the Sniper: Improving Targeted Human Cytolytic Fusion Proteins for Anti-Cancer Therapy via Molecular Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Bochicchio


    Full Text Available Targeted human cytolytic fusion proteins (hCFPs are humanized immunotoxins for selective treatment of different diseases including cancer. They are composed of a ligand specifically binding to target cells genetically linked to a human apoptosis-inducing enzyme. hCFPs target cancer cells via an antibody or derivative (scFv specifically binding to e.g., tumor associated antigens (TAAs. After internalization and translocation of the enzyme from endocytosed endosomes, the human enzymes introduced into the cytosol are efficiently inducing apoptosis. Under in vivo conditions such enzymes are subject to tight regulation by native inhibitors in order to prevent inappropriate induction of cell death in healthy cells. Tumor cells are known to upregulate these inhibitors as a survival mechanism resulting in escape of malignant cells from elimination by immune effector cells. Cytosolic inhibitors of Granzyme B and Angiogenin (Serpin P9 and RNH1, respectively, reduce the efficacy of hCFPs with these enzymes as effector domains, requiring detrimentally high doses in order to saturate inhibitor binding and rescue cytolytic activity. Variants of Granzyme B and Angiogenin might feature reduced affinity for their respective inhibitors, while retaining or even enhancing their catalytic activity. A powerful tool to design hCFPs mutants with improved potency is given by in silico methods. These include molecular dynamics (MD simulations and enhanced sampling methods (ESM. MD and ESM allow predicting the enzyme-protein inhibitor binding stability and the associated conformational changes, provided that structural information is available. Such “high-resolution” detailed description enables the elucidation of interaction domains and the identification of sites where particular point mutations may modify those interactions. This review discusses recent advances in the use of MD and ESM for hCFP development from the viewpoints of scientists involved in both fields.

  6. Inhibition of microRNA-500 has anti-cancer effect through its conditional downstream target of TFPI in human prostate cancer. (United States)

    Cai, Bing; Chen, Wei; Pan, Yue; Chen, Hongde; Zhang, Yirong; Weng, Zhiliang; Li, Yeping


    We investigated the prognostic potential and regulatory mechanism of microRNA-500 (miR-500), and human gene of tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) in prostate cancer. MiR-500 expression was assessed by qRT-PCR in prostate cancer cell lines and primary tumors. Cancer patients' clinicopathological factors and overall survival were analyzed according to endogenous miR-500 level. MiR-500 was downregulated in DU145 and VCaP cells. Its effect on prostate cancer proliferation, invasion in vitro, and tumorigenicity in vivo, were probed. Possible downstream target of miR-500, TFPI was assessed by luciferase assay and qRT-PCR in prostate cancer cells. In miR-500-downregulated DU145 and VCaP cells, TFPI was silenced to see whether it was directly involved in the regulation of miR-500 in prostate cancer. TFPI alone was either upregulated or downregulated in DU145 and VCaP cells. Their effect on prostate cancer development was further evaluated. MiR-500 is upregulated in both prostate cancer cells and primary tumors. In prostate cancer patients, high miR-500 expression is associated with poor prognosis and overall survival. In DU145 and VCaP cells, miR-500 downregulation inhibited cancer proliferation, invasion in vitro, and explant growth in vivo. TFPI was verified to be associated with miR-500 in prostate cancer. Downregulation of TFPI reversed anti-cancer effects of miR-500 downregulation in prostate cancer cells. However, neither TFPI upregulation nor downregulation alone had any functional impact on prostate cancer development. MiR-500 may be a potential biomarker and molecular target in prostate cancer. TFPI may conditionally regulate prostate cancer in miR-500-downregualted prostate cancer cells. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Novel anti-cancer strategy in bone tumors by targeting molecular and cellular modulators of bone resorption. (United States)

    Brounais, Bénédicte; Ruiz, Carmen; Rousseau, Julie; Lamoureux, François; Blanchard, Frédéric; Heymann, Dominique; Redini, Françoise


    Tumor cells alter the balanced process of bone formation and bone resorption mediated respectively by osteoblasts and osteoclasts, leading to the disruption of the normal equilibrium and resulting in a spectrum of osteolytic to osteoblastic lesions. This review will summarize research on molecules that play direct and essential roles in the differentiation and activity of osteoclasts, and the role of these molecules in bone destruction caused by cancer. Results from experimental models suggest that the Receptor Activator of NF-kB Ligand (RANKL), a member of the TNF superfamily is a common effector of bony lesions in osteolysis caused by primary and secondary bone tumors. Therefore, osteoclast represents an attractive target across a broad range of tumors that develop in bone. Elucidation of the mechanisms of RANKL interactions with its activator (RANK) and decoy (osteoprotegerin: OPG) receptors has enable the development of pharmacological inhibitors of RANKL (and of its signalling pathway) which have been recently patented, with potential for the treatment of cancer-induced bone disease. Blocking bone resorption by specific other drugs such as bisphosphonates, inhibitors of cathepsin K (the main enzyme involved in bone resorption mechanisms) or signalling pathways regulating osteoclast differentiation and activation is also a promising target for the treatment of osteolysis associated to bone tumors.

  8. Transcription factor HBP1 is a direct anti-cancer target of transcription factor FOXO1 in invasive oral cancer. (United States)

    Chan, Chien-Yi; Huang, Shih-Yi; Sheu, Jim Jinn-Chyuan; Roth, Mendel M; Chou, I-Tai; Lien, Chia-Hsien; Lee, Ming-Fen; Huang, Chun-Yin


    Either FOXO1 or HBP1 transcription factor is a downstream effector of the PI3K/Akt pathway and associated with tumorigenesis. However, the relationship between FOXO1 and HBP1 in oral cancer remains unclear. Analysis of 30 oral tumor specimens revealed that mean mRNA levels of both FOXO1 and HBP1 in non-invasive and invasive oral tumors were found to be significantly lower than that of the control tissues, and the status of low FOXO1 and HBP1 (oral tumors. To investigate if HBP1 is a direct transcription target of FOXO1, we searched potential FOXO1 binding sites in the HBP1 promoter using the MAPPER Search Engine, and two putative FOXO1 binding sites located in the HBP1 promoter -132 to -125 bp and -343 to -336 bp were predicted. These binding sites were then confirmed by both reporter gene assays and the in cellulo ChIP assay. In addition, Akt activity manipulated by PI3K inhibitor LY294002 or Akt mutants was shown to negatively affect FOXO1-mediated HBP1 promoter activation and gene expression. Last, the biological significance of the FOXO1-HBP1 axis in oral cancer malignancy was evaluated in cell growth, colony formation, and invasiveness. The results indicated that HBP1 knockdown potently promoted malignant phenotypes of oral cancer and the suppressive effect of FOXO1 on cell growth, colony formation, and invasion was alleviated upon HBP1 knockdown in invasive oral cancer cells. Taken together, our data provide evidence for HBP1 as a direct downstream target of FOXO1 in oral cancer malignancy.

  9. Cytotoxicity and cell death mechanisms induced by the polyamine-vectorized anti-cancer drug F14512 targeting topoisomerase II. (United States)

    Brel, Viviane; Annereau, Jean-Philippe; Vispé, Stéphane; Kruczynski, Anna; Bailly, Christian; Guilbaud, Nicolas


    The polyamines transport system (PTS) is usually enhanced in cancer cells and can be exploited to deliver anticancer drugs. The spermine-conjugated epipodophyllotoxin derivative F14512 is a topoisomerase II poison that exploits the PTS to target preferentially tumor cells. F14512 has been characterized as a potent anticancer drug candidate and is currently in phase 1 clinical trials. Here we have analyzed the mechanisms of cell death induced by F14512, compared to the parent drug etoposide lacking the polyamine tail. F14512 proved to be >30-fold more cytotoxic than etoposide against A549 non-small cell lung cancer cells and triggers less but unrecoverable DNA damages. The cytotoxic action of F14512 is extremely rapid (within 3 h) and does not lead to a marked accumulation in the S-phase of the cell cycle, unlike etoposide. Interestingly, A549 cells treated with F14512 were less prone to undergo apoptosis (neither caspases-dependent nor caspases-independent pathways) or autophagy but preferentially entered into senescence. Drug-induced senescence was characterized qualitatively and quantitatively by an increased β-galactosidase activity, both by cytochemical staining and by flow cytometry. A morphological analysis by electron microscopy revealed the presence of numerous multi-lamellar and vesicular bodies and large electron-lucent (methuosis-like) vacuoles in F14512-treated cell samples. The mechanism of drug-induced cell death is thus distinct for F14512 compared to etoposide, and this difference may account for their distinct pharmacological profiles and the markedly superior activity of F14512 in vivo. This study suggests that senescence markers should be considered as potential pharmacodynamic biomarkers of F14512 antitumor activity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. BAD: a good therapeutic target?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Motoyama, Andrea B; Hynes, Nancy E


    The major goal in cancer treatment is the eradication of tumor cells. Under stress conditions, normal cells undergo apoptosis; this property is fortunately conserved in some tumor cells, leading to their death as a result of chemotherapeutic and/or radiation-induced stress. Many malignant cells, however, have developed ways to subvert apoptosis, a characteristic that constitutes a major clinical problem. Gilmore et al. recently described the ability of ZD1839, a small-molecule inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), to induce apoptosis of mammary cells that are dependent upon growth factors for survival. Furthermore, they showed that the major effector of the EGFR-targeted therapy is BAD, a widely expressed BCL-2 family member. These results are promising in light of the role of the EGFR in breast cancer development

  11. RhoC a new target for therapeutic vaccination against metastatic cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wenandy, L.; Sorensen, R.B.; Straten, P.T.


    moving forward in multiple areas, including the adoptive transfer of anti-tumor-reactive T cells and the use of "therapeutic" vaccines. The over-expression of RhoC in cancer and the fact that immune escape by down regulation or loss of expression of this protein would reduce the morbidity and mortality......Most cancer deaths are due to the development of metastases. Increased expression of RhoC is linked to enhanced metastatic potential in multiple cancers. Consequently, the RhoC protein is an attractive target for drug design. The clinical application of immunotherapy against cancer is rapidly...... of cancer makes RhoC a very attractive target for anti-cancer immunotherapy. Herein, we describe an HLA-A3 restricted epitope from RhoC, which is recognized by cytotoxic T cells. Moreover, RhoC-specific T cells show cytotoxic potential against HLA-matched cancer cells of different origin. Thus, RhoC may...

  12. Chemical dissection of the cell cycle: probes for cell biology and anti-cancer drug development. (United States)

    Senese, S; Lo, Y C; Huang, D; Zangle, T A; Gholkar, A A; Robert, L; Homet, B; Ribas, A; Summers, M K; Teitell, M A; Damoiseaux, R; Torres, J Z


    Cancer cell proliferation relies on the ability of cancer cells to grow, transition through the cell cycle, and divide. To identify novel chemical probes for dissecting the mechanisms governing cell cycle progression and cell division, and for developing new anti-cancer therapeutics, we developed and performed a novel cancer cell-based high-throughput chemical screen for cell cycle modulators. This approach identified novel G1, S, G2, and M-phase specific inhibitors with drug-like properties and diverse chemotypes likely targeting a broad array of processes. We further characterized the M-phase inhibitors and highlight the most potent M-phase inhibitor MI-181, which targets tubulin, inhibits tubulin polymerization, activates the spindle assembly checkpoint, arrests cells in mitosis, and triggers a fast apoptotic cell death. Importantly, MI-181 has broad anti-cancer activity, especially against BRAF(V600E) melanomas.

  13. Liver as a target for oligonucleotide therapeutics. (United States)

    Sehgal, Alfica; Vaishnaw, Akshay; Fitzgerald, Kevin


    Oligonucleotide-based therapeutics are an emerging class of drugs that hold the promise for silencing "un-druggable" targets,thus creating unique opportunities for innovative medicines. As opposed to gene therapy, oligonucleotides are considered to be more akin to small molecule therapeutics because they are small,completely synthetic in origin, do not integrate into the host genome,and have a defined duration of therapeutic activity after which effects recover to baseline. They offer a high degree of specificity at the genetic level, thereby reducing off-target effects.At the same time, they provide a strategy for targeting any gene in the genome, including transcripts that produce mutated proteins.Oligonucleotide-based therapeutics include short interfering RNA (siRNA), that degrade target mRNA through RISC mediated RNAi; anti-miRs, that target miRNAs; miRNA mimics, that regulate target mRNA; antisense oligonucleotides, that may be working through RNAseH mediated mRNA decay; mRNA upregulation,by targeting long non-coding RNAs; and oligonucleotides induced alternative splicing [1]. All these approaches require some minimal degree of homology at the nucleic acid sequence level for them to be functional. The different mechanisms of action and their relevant activity are outlined in Fig. 1. Besides homology,RNA secondary structure has also been exploited in the case of ribozymes and aptamers, which act by binding to nucleic acids or proteins, respectively. While there have been many reports of gene knockdown and gene modulation in cell lines and mice with all these methods, very few have advanced to clinical stages.The main obstacle to date has been the safe and effective intracellular delivery of these compounds in higher species, including humans. Indeed, their action requires direct interaction with DNA/RNA within the target cell so even when one solves the issues of tissue and cellular access, intracellular/intranuclear location represents yet another barrier to

  14. Anti-Cancer Drug Delivery Using Carbohydrate-Based Polymers. (United States)

    Ranjbari, Javad; Mokhtarzadeh, Ahad; Alibakhshi, Abbas; Tabarzad, Maryam; Hejazi, Maryam; Ramezani, Mohammad


    Polymeric drug delivery systems in the form of nanocarriers are the most interesting vehicles in anticancer therapy. Among different types of biocompatible polymers, carbohydrate-based polymers or polysaccharides are the most common natural polymers with complex structures consisting of long chains of monosaccharide or disaccharide units bound by glycosidic linkages. Their appealing properties such as availability, biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity, high chemical reactivity, facile chemical modification and low cost led to their extensive applications in biomedical and pharmaceutical fields including development of nano-vehicles for delivery of anti-cancer therapeutic agents. Generally, reducing systemic toxicity, increasing short half-lives and tumor localization of agents are the top priorities for a successful cancer therapy. Polysaccharide-based or - coated nanosystems with respect to their advantageous features as well as accumulation in tumor tissue due to enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect can provide promising carrier systems for the delivery of noblest impressive agents. Most challenging factor in cancer therapy was the toxicity of anti-cancer therapeutic agents for normal cells and therefore, targeted delivery of these drugs to the site of action can be considered as an interesting therapeutic strategy. In this regard, several polysaccharides exhibited selective affinity for specific cell types, and so they can act as a targeting agent in drug delivery systems. Accordingly, different aspects of polysaccharide applications in cancer treatment or diagnosis were reviewed in this paper. In this regard, after a brief introduction of polysaccharide structure and its importance, the pharmaceutical usage of carbohydrate-based polymers was considered according to the identity of accompanying active pharmaceutical agents. It was also presented that the carbohydrate based polymers have been extensively considered as promising materials in

  15. Model-based global sensitivity analysis as applied to identification of anti-cancer drug targets and biomarkers of drug resistance in the ErbB2/3 network (United States)

    Lebedeva, Galina; Sorokin, Anatoly; Faratian, Dana; Mullen, Peter; Goltsov, Alexey; Langdon, Simon P.; Harrison, David J.; Goryanin, Igor


    High levels of variability in cancer-related cellular signalling networks and a lack of parameter identifiability in large-scale network models hamper translation of the results of modelling studies into the process of anti-cancer drug development. Recently global sensitivity analysis (GSA) has been recognised as a useful technique, capable of addressing the uncertainty of the model parameters and generating valid predictions on parametric sensitivities. Here we propose a novel implementation of model-based GSA specially designed to explore how multi-parametric network perturbations affect signal propagation through cancer-related networks. We use area-under-the-curve for time course of changes in phosphorylation of proteins as a characteristic for sensitivity analysis and rank network parameters with regard to their impact on the level of key cancer-related outputs, separating strong inhibitory from stimulatory effects. This allows interpretation of the results in terms which can incorporate the effects of potential anti-cancer drugs on targets and the associated biological markers of cancer. To illustrate the method we applied it to an ErbB signalling network model and explored the sensitivity profile of its key model readout, phosphorylated Akt, in the absence and presence of the ErbB2 inhibitor pertuzumab. The method successfully identified the parameters associated with elevation or suppression of Akt phosphorylation in the ErbB2/3 network. From analysis and comparison of the sensitivity profiles of pAkt in the absence and presence of targeted drugs we derived predictions of drug targets, cancer-related biomarkers and generated hypotheses for combinatorial therapy. Several key predictions have been confirmed in experiments using human ovarian carcinoma cell lines. We also compared GSA-derived predictions with the results of local sensitivity analysis and discuss the applicability of both methods. We propose that the developed GSA procedure can serve as a

  16. Anti-cancer activities of diospyrin, its derivatives and analogues

    KAUST Repository

    Sagar, Sunil


    Natural products have played a vital role in drug discovery and development process for cancer. Diospyrin, a plant based bisnaphthoquinonoid, has been used as a lead molecule in an effort to develop anti-cancer drugs. Several derivatives/analogues have been synthesized and screened for their pro-apoptotic/anti-cancer activities so far. Our review is focused on the pro-apoptotic/anti-cancer activities of diospyrin, its derivatives/analogues and the different mechanisms potentially involved in the bioactivity of these compounds. Particular focus has been placed on the different mechanisms (both chemical and molecular) thought to underlie the bioactivity of these compounds. A brief bioinformatics analysis at the end of the article provides novel insights into the new potential mechanisms and pathways by which these compounds might exert their effects and lead to a better realization of the full therapeutic potential of these compounds as anti-cancer drugs. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. A modular platform for targeted RNAi therapeutics (United States)

    Kedmi, Ranit; Veiga, Nuphar; Ramishetti, Srinivas; Goldsmith, Meir; Rosenblum, Daniel; Dammes, Niels; Hazan-Halevy, Inbal; Nahary, Limor; Leviatan-Ben-Arye, Shani; Harlev, Michael; Behlke, Mark; Benhar, Itai; Lieberman, Judy; Peer, Dan


    Previous studies have identified relevant genes and signalling pathways that are hampered in human disorders as potential candidates for therapeutics. Developing nucleic acid-based tools to manipulate gene expression, such as short interfering RNAs1-3 (siRNAs), opens up opportunities for personalized medicine. Yet, although major progress has been made in developing siRNA targeted delivery carriers, mainly by utilizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for targeting4-8, their clinical translation has not occurred. This is in part because of the massive development and production requirements and the high batch-to-batch variability of current technologies, which rely on chemical conjugation. Here we present a self-assembled modular platform that enables the construction of a theoretically unlimited repertoire of siRNA targeted carriers. The self-assembly of the platform is based on a membrane-anchored lipoprotein that is incorporated into siRNA-loaded lipid nanoparticles that interact with the antibody crystallizable fragment (Fc) domain. We show that a simple switch of eight different mAbs redirects the specific uptake of siRNAs by diverse leukocyte subsets in vivo. The therapeutic potential of the platform is demonstrated in an inflammatory bowel disease model by targeting colon macrophages to reduce inflammatory symptoms, and in a Mantle Cell Lymphoma xenograft model by targeting cancer cells to induce cell death and improve survival. This modular delivery platform represents a milestone in the development of precision medicine.

  18. When ubiquitin meets NF-κB: a trove for anti-cancer drug development. (United States)

    Wu, Zhao-Hui; Shi, Yuling


    During the last two decades, the studies on ubiquitination in regulating transcription factor NF-κB activation have elucidated the expanding role of ubiquitination in modulating cellular events by non-proteolytic mechanisms, as well as by proteasomal degradation. The significance of ubiquitination has also been recognized in regulating gene transcription, epigenetic modifications, kinase activation, DNA repair and subcellular translocation. This progress has been translated into novel strategies for developing anti-cancer therapeutics, exemplified by the success of the first FDA-approved proteasome inhibitor drug Bortezomib. Here we discuss the current understanding of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and how it is involved in regulating NF-κB signaling pathways in response to a variety of stimuli. We also focus on the recent progress of anti-cancer drug development targeting various steps of ubiquitination process, and the potential of these drugs in cancer treatment as related to their impact on NF-κB activation.

  19. Tumor Evolution as a Therapeutic Target. (United States)

    Amirouchene-Angelozzi, Nabil; Swanton, Charles; Bardelli, Alberto


    Recent technological advances in the field of molecular diagnostics (including blood-based tumor genotyping) allow the measurement of clonal evolution in patients with cancer, thus adding a new dimension to precision medicine: time. The translation of this new knowledge into clinical benefit implies rethinking therapeutic strategies. In essence, it means considering as a target not only individual oncogenes but also the evolving nature of human tumors. Here, we analyze the limitations of targeted therapies and propose approaches for treatment within an evolutionary framework. Significance: Precision cancer medicine relies on the possibility to match, in daily medical practice, detailed genomic profiles of a patient's disease with a portfolio of drugs targeted against tumor-specific alterations. Clinical blockade of oncogenes is effective but only transiently; an approach to monitor clonal evolution in patients and develop therapies that also evolve over time may result in improved therapeutic control and survival outcomes. Cancer Discov; 7(8); 1-13. ©2017 AACR. ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

  20. Advancements in therapeutically-targeting orphan GPCRs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer eStockert


    Full Text Available G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs are popular biological targets for drug discovery and development. To date there are more than 140 orphan GPCRs, i.e. receptors whose endogenous ligands are unknown. Traditionally orphan GPCRs have been difficult to study and the development of therapeutic compounds targeting these receptors has been extremely slow although these GPCRs are considered important targets based on their distribution and behavioral phenotype revealed by animals lacking the receptor. Recent advances in several methods used to study orphan receptors, including protein crystallography and homology modeling are likely to be useful in the identification of therapeutics targeting these receptors. In the past 13 years, over a dozen different Class A GPCRs have been crystallized; this trend is exciting, since homology modeling of GPCRs has previously been limited by the availability of solved structures. As the number of solved GPCR structures continues to grow so does the number of templates that can be used to generate increasingly accurate models of phylogenetically-related orphan GPCRs. The availability of solved structures along with the advances in using multiple templates to build models (in combination with molecular dynamics simulations that reveal structural information not provided by crystallographic data and methods for modeling hard-to-predict flexible loop regions have improved the quality of GPCR homology models. This, in turn, has improved the success rates of virtual ligand screens that use homology models to identify potential receptor binding compounds. Experimental testing of the predicted hits and validation using traditional GPCR pharmacological approaches can be used to drive ligand-based efforts to probe orphan receptor biology as well as to define the chemotypes and chemical scaffolds important for binding. As a result of these advances, orphan GPCRs are emerging from relative obscurity as a new class of drug

  1. Epigenetics and Therapeutic Targets Mediating Neuroprotection (United States)

    Qureshi, Irfan A.; Mehler, Mark F.


    The rapidly evolving science of epigenetics is transforming our understanding of the nervous system in health and disease and holds great promise for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches targeting neurological diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic factors and mechanisms serve as important mediators of the pathogenic processes that lead to irrevocable neural injury and of countervailing homeostatic and regenerative responses. Epigenetics is, therefore, of considerable translational significance to the field of neuroprotection. In this brief review, we provide an overview of epigenetic mechanisms and highlight the emerging roles played by epigenetic processes in neural cell dysfunction and death and in resultant neuroprotective responses. PMID:26236020

  2. Molecular Therapeutic Targets for Glioma Angiogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shingo Takano


    Full Text Available Due to the prominent angiogenesis that occurs in malignant glioma, antiangiogenic therapy has been attempted. There have been several molecular targets that are specific to malignant gliomas, as well as more broadly in systemic cancers. In this review, I will focus on some topics related to molecular therapeutic targets for glioma angiogenesis. First, important angiogenic factors that could be considered molecular targets are VEGF, VEGF-induced proteins on endothelial cells, tissue factor, osteopontin, v3 integrin, and thymidine phosphorylase as well as endogenous inhibitors, soluble Flt1, and thrombospondin 1. Second, hypoxic areas are also decreased by metronomic CPT11 treatment as well as temozolomide. Third, glioma-derived endothelial cells that are genetically and functionally distinct from normal endothelial cells should be targeted, for example, with SDF-1 and CXCR7 chemokine. Fourth, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs likely contribute towards glioma angiogenesis in the brain and could be useful as a drug delivery tool. Finally, blockade of delta-like 4 (Dll4 results in a nonfunctioning vasculature and could be another important target distinct from VEGF.

  3. Mining the Genome for Therapeutic Targets. (United States)

    Florez, Jose C


    Current pharmacological options for type 2 diabetes do not cure the disease. Despite the availability of multiple drug classes that modulate glycemia effectively and minimize long-term complications, these agents do not reverse pathogenesis, and in practice they are not selected to correct the molecular profile specific to the patient. Pharmaceutical companies find drug development programs increasingly costly and burdensome, and many promising compounds fail before launch to market. Human genetics can help advance the therapeutic enterprise. Genomic discovery that is agnostic to preexisting knowledge has uncovered dozens of loci that influence glycemic dysregulation. Physiological investigation has begun to define disease subtypes, clarifying heterogeneity and suggesting molecular pathways for intervention. Convincing genetic associations have paved the way for the identification of effector transcripts that underlie the phenotype, and genetic or experimental proof of gain or loss of function in select cases has clarified the direction of effect to guide therapeutic development. Genetic studies can also examine off-target effects and furnish causal inference. As this information is curated and made widely available to all stakeholders, it is hoped that it will enhance therapeutic development pipelines by accelerating efficiency, maximizing cost-effectiveness, and raising ultimate success rates. © 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.

  4. Enhancer-associated RNAs as therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Léveillé, Nicolas; Melo, Carlos A; Agami, Reuven


    Regulation of gene expression involves a variety of mechanisms driven by a complex regulatory network of factors. Control of transcription is an important step in gene expression regulation, which integrates the function of cis-acting and trans-acting elements. Among cis-regulatory elements, enhancer RNA (eRNA)-producing domains recently emerged as widespread and potent regulators of transcription and cell fate decision. Thus, manipulation of eRNA levels becomes a novel and appealing avenue for the design of new therapeutic treatments. In this review, we focus on eRNA-producing domains. We describe mechanisms involved in their cell-type specific selection and activation as well as their epigenetic features. In addition, we present their function and the growing evidences of their deregulation in human diseases. Finally, we discuss eRNAs as potential therapeutic targets. As key factors in the control of transcription, eRNAs appear to possess a great potential for the establishment of new therapy options. However, thorough testing as well as providing the genetic toolbox to target eRNAs will be needed to fully assess the practical and clinical possibilities.

  5. New Therapeutic Targets in Soft Tissue Sarcoma (United States)

    Demicco, Elizabeth G; Maki, Robert G; Lev, Dina C.; Lazar, Alexander J


    Soft tissue sarcomas are an uncommon and diverse group of more than 50 mesenchymal malignancies. The pathogenesis of many of these is poorly understood, but others have begun to reveal the secrets of their inner workings. With considerable effort over recent years, soft tissue sarcomas have increasingly been classified on the basis of underlying molecular alterations. In turn, this has allowed the development and application of targeted agents in several specific, molecularly defined, sarcoma subtypes. This review will focus the rationale for targeted therapy in sarcoma, with emphasis on the relevance of specific molecular factors and pathways in both translocation-associated sarcomas and in genetically complex tumors. In addition, we will address some of the early successes in sarcoma targeted therapy as well as a few challenges and disappointments in this field. Finally we will discuss several possible opportunities represented by poorly understood, but potentially promising new therapeutic targets, as well as several novel biologic agents currently in preclinical and early phase I/II trials. This will provide the reader with context for understanding the current state this field and a sense of where it may be headed in the coming years. PMID:22498582

  6. Integrins as Therapeutic Targets: Successes and Cancers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Raab-Westphal


    Full Text Available Integrins are transmembrane receptors that are central to the biology of many human pathologies. Classically mediating cell-extracellular matrix and cell-cell interaction, and with an emerging role as local activators of TGFβ, they influence cancer, fibrosis, thrombosis and inflammation. Their ligand binding and some regulatory sites are extracellular and sensitive to pharmacological intervention, as proven by the clinical success of seven drugs targeting them. The six drugs on the market in 2016 generated revenues of some US$3.5 billion, mainly from inhibitors of α4-series integrins. In this review we examine the current developments in integrin therapeutics, especially in cancer, and comment on the health economic implications of these developments.

  7. Classification of mitocans, anti-cancer drugs acting on mitochondria

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neužil, Jiří; Dong, L. F.; Rohlena, Jakub; Truksa, Jaroslav; Ralph, S. J.


    Roč. 13, č. 3 (2013), s. 199-208 ISSN 1567-7249 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : Mitocans * Anti-cancer therapeutics * Classification Subject RIV: EB - Gene tics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.524, year: 2013

  8. Classification of mitocans, anti-cancer drugs acting on mitochondria

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Neužil, Jiří; Dong, L. F.; Rohlena, Jakub; Truksa, Jaroslav; Ralph, S. J.


    Roč. 13, č. 3 (2013), s. 199-208 ISSN 1567-7249 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : Mitocans * Anti-cancer therapeutics * Classification Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.524, year: 2013

  9. Ascaris lumbricoides: an overview of therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Hagel, Isabel; Giusti, Tatiana


    A. lumbricoides is the largest of the common nematode parasites of man and has been associated with intestinal pathology, respiratory symptoms and malnutrition in children from endemic areas. Current anthelmintic treatments have proven to be safe. However, a reduced efficacy of single dose drugs has been reported. In veterinary practice, anthelmintic drug resistance is an irreversible problem. Thus, research and development of sensitive tools for early detection of drug resistance as well as new anthelmintic approaches are urgently needed. In this review, we summarized data providing information about current drug therapy against A. lumbricoides and other intestinal helminths, new drugs in experimental trials, future drugs perspectives and the identification of immunogenic parasite molecules that may be suitable vaccine targets. In addition to the WHO recommended drugs (albendazole, mebendazole, levamisole, and pyrantel pamoate), new anthelmintic alternatives such as tribendimidine and Nitazoxanide have proved to be safe and effective against A. lumbricoides and other soil-transmitted helminthiases in human trials. Also, some new drugs for veterinary use, monepantel and cyclooctadepsipeptides (e.g., PF1022A), will probably expand future drug spectrum for human treatments. The development of genomic technology has provided a great amount of available nematode DNA sequences, coupled with new gene function data that may lead to the identification of new drug targets through efficient mining of nematode genomic databases. On the other hand, the identification of nematode antigens involved in different parasite vital functions as well as immunomodulatory molecules in animals and humans may contribute to future studies of new therapeutic approaches.

  10. Anti-cancer natural products isolated from chinese medicinal herbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Guosheng


    Full Text Available Abstract In recent years, a number of natural products isolated from Chinese herbs have been found to inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis, suppress angiogenesis, retard metastasis and enhance chemotherapy, exhibiting anti-cancer potential both in vitro and in vivo. This article summarizes recent advances in in vitro and in vivo research on the anti-cancer effects and related mechanisms of some promising natural products. These natural products are also reviewed for their therapeutic potentials, including flavonoids (gambogic acid, curcumin, wogonin and silibinin, alkaloids (berberine, terpenes (artemisinin, β-elemene, oridonin, triptolide, and ursolic acid, quinones (shikonin and emodin and saponins (ginsenoside Rg3, which are isolated from Chinese medicinal herbs. In particular, the discovery of the new use of artemisinin derivatives as excellent anti-cancer drugs is also reviewed.

  11. Cancer metabolism as a therapeutic target. (United States)

    Batra, Surabhi; Adekola, Kehinde U A; Rosen, Steven T; Shanmugam, Mala


    Cancer is now recognized to be a disease arising from both genetic and metabolic abnormalities. In the mid-1900s, Otto Warburg described the phenomenon of elevated glucose consumption and aerobic glycolysis, and the dependence of cancer cells on this phenomenon for proliferation and growth. The Warburg effect has formed the basis of such diagnostic and prognostic imaging modalities as positron emission tomography (PET); however, we have not yet capitalized on this phenomenon for therapy. Several mechanisms have now been shown to contribute to the Warburg effect.Ongoing studies are attempting to understand the reasons that tumor cells engage in aerobic glycolysis in lieu of oxidative phosphorylation, and the advantages that accrue to them as a result. In this review, we discuss known benefits to tumor cells from this metabolic switch, and we highlight key enzymes that play a role in aerobic glycolysis. We also describe novel therapeutic options targeting glucose metabolism and the importance of continuing to understand the metabolic plasticity of cancer.

  12. Targeting the Wnt Pathway in Cancer: A Review of Novel Therapeutics. (United States)

    Tabatabai, Roya; Linhares, Yuliya; Bolos, David; Mita, Monica; Mita, Alain


    Wnt signaling is an evolutionarily conserved pathway that controls cell-to-cell interactions during embryogenesis. In adults, Wnt signaling plays a role in tissue homeostasis in almost every organ system. Aberrations within this pathway are implicated in a spectrum of human diseases. A variety of perturbations have been described in both solid and hematologic malignancies, lending way to Wnt signaling as a target for anti-cancer therapy. Of particular interest is the role of Wnt signaling in the development and maintenance of cancer stem cells, a rare population of cells that are able to maintain a tumor via self-renewal and thought to be more resistant to chemotherapy than bulk tumor cells. The ability to eradicate cancer stem cells may decrease the risk of cancer relapse and metastasis. A number of therapeutic agents specifically targeting the Wnt pathway have entered clinical trials, either as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy. We will provide an overview of agents that have been developed to target the Wnt pathways and a summary of pre-clinical and clinical trials.

  13. Prodigiosins as anti cancer agents: living upto their name. (United States)

    Pandey, R; Chander, R; Sainis, K B


    Prodigiosins are a family of bright red colored bacterial pigment and derive their name from the miraculous (prodigious) events associated with their occurrence. They indeed seem to be living upto their name as a host of activities such as anti-microbial, anti-malarial, anti-cancer and immunosuppressive have been associated with them. Out of these, immunosuppressive and anti-cancer activity has received more importance as it has a clinical promise. Prodigiosins, isolated mostly from Gram negative bacteria are characterized by a common pyrryldipyrrylmethene structure with varying side chains. The review discusses the mechanisms involved in the anti-cancer activity of this class of compounds. In vitro, prodigiosins have been shown to primarily target the cancer cells independently of the p53 status while little or no effect has been observed on normal cells. In addition, prodigiosins are effective in cancer cells with multidrug resistance phenotype and defects in the apoptotic pathways. These make prodigiosins attractive candidates for further development. Though the molecular targets of prodigiosins have not been clearly defined, they have been found to target different signaling pathways possibly through induction of DNA double strand breaks and/ or neutralization of pH gradients leading to changes in cell cycle proteins and apoptosis. The review will discuss the recent findings related to the mechanism involved in the anti-cancer activity of this class of molecules.

  14. A comprehensive review on the anti-cancer properties and mechanisms of action of sesamin, a lignan in sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum). (United States)

    Majdalawieh, Amin F; Massri, Mariam; Nasrallah, Gheyath K


    Sesamin is the major active ingredient is Sesamum indicum seeds. Several studies revealed that sesamin possesses potent anti-cancer properties. The anti-cancer effects of sesamin have been mainly attributed to its anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-metastatic, anti- and pro-angiogenic, and pro-autophagocytic activities. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary of the reported anti-cancer effects of sesamin, both in vitro and in vivo. Experimental findings related to the potential of sesamin to attenuate oxidative stress, inflammation, proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis in various cancer cells and tumors are analyzed. Studies focusing on the ability of sesamin to induce apoptosis and autophagy in cancer cells are also underscored. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-cancer effects of sesamin are highlighted, and the major signaling pathways targeted by sesamin are identified. Although the exact signaling events triggered by sesamin in cancer cells are not fully revealed, our analysis indicates that NF-κB, STAT3, JNK, ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, PI3K/AKT, caspase-3, and p53 signaling pathways are critically involved in mediating the anti-cancer effects of sesamin. In sum, the experimental evidence suggesting that sesamin could exert potent anti-cancer activities in vitro and in vivo is compelling. Hence, sesamin can potentially be employed as an effective adjuvant therapeutic agent in ameliorating tumor development and progression, and therefore, it could be used in the prevention and/or treatment of various types of cancer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Identifying unexpected therapeutic targets via chemical-protein interactome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lun Yang

    Full Text Available Drug medications inevitably affect not only their intended protein targets but also other proteins as well. In this study we examined the hypothesis that drugs that share the same therapeutic effect also share a common therapeutic mechanism by targeting not only known drug targets, but also by interacting unexpectedly on the same cryptic targets. By constructing and mining an Alzheimer's disease (AD drug-oriented chemical-protein interactome (CPI using a matrix of 10 drug molecules known to treat AD towards 401 human protein pockets, we found that such cryptic targets exist. We recovered from CPI the only validated therapeutic target of AD, acetylcholinesterase (ACHE, and highlighted several other putative targets. For example, we discovered that estrogen receptor (ER and histone deacetylase (HDAC, which have recently been identified as two new therapeutic targets of AD, might already have been targeted by the marketed AD drugs. We further established that the CPI profile of a drug can reflect its interacting character towards multi-protein sets, and that drugs with the same therapeutic attribute will share a similar interacting profile. These findings indicate that the CPI could represent the landscape of chemical-protein interactions and uncover "behind-the-scenes" aspects of the therapeutic mechanisms of existing drugs, providing testable hypotheses of the key nodes for network pharmacology or brand new drug targets for one-target pharmacology paradigm.

  16. Autoimmune diseases: MIF as a therapeutic target

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Greven, Dorothee; Leng, Lin; Bucala, Richard


    Areas covered in this review: Our aim is to discuss MIF-directed therapies as a novel therapeutic approach. The review covers literature from the past 10 years. What the reader will gain: MIF inhibition has been shown to be efficacious in many experimental and pre-clinical studies of autoimmune

  17. Resveratrol as an anti-cancer agent: A review. (United States)

    Rauf, Abdur; Imran, Muhammad; Butt, Masood Sadiq; Nadeem, Muhammad; Peters, Dennis G; Mubarak, Mohammad S


    Owing to their antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activity, grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) are the archetypal paradigms of fruits used not only for nutritional purposes, but also for exclusive therapeutics. Grapes are a prominent and promising source of phytochemicals, especially resveratrol, a phytoalexin antioxidant found in red grapes which has both chemopreventive and therapeutic effects against various ailments. Resveratrol's role in reducing different human cancers, including breast, cervical, uterine, blood, kidney, liver, eye, bladder, thyroid, esophageal, prostate, brain, lung, skin, gastric, colon, head and neck, bone, ovarian, and cervical, has been reviewed. This review covers the literature that deals with the anti-cancer mechanism of resveratrol with special reference to antioxidant potential. Furthermore, this article summarizes the literature pertaining to resveratrol as an anti-cancer agent.

  18. Utilization and Expenditure of Anti-cancer Medicines in Kosovo: Findings and Implications. (United States)

    Jakupi, Arianit; Godman, Brian; Martin, Antony; Haycox, Alan; Baholli, Indrit


    The Ministry of Health (MoH) leads and organizes health policy in Kosovo, which includes procurement and provision of medicines, including anti-cancer medicines, which compose a special group of medicines. However, there has been limited analysis of the utilization and expenditure on anti-cancer medicines in Kosovo; consequently, the objective of this study is to undertake research to provide future guidance on the use of anti-cancer medicines. National drug utilization data is available in Kosovo. Utilization and expenditure on anti-cancer medicines [Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) code L], initially from 2011 to 2013, especially for anti-cancer medicines on the essential medicines list was analysed from national data. In addition, current systems for procuring and managing anti-cancer medicines in Kosovo was documented. There was appreciable variability in the utilization of anti-cancer medicines over the years, with low or limited use of some anti-cancer medicines on the Essential Medicine List. This is a concern in view of their essential medicine status. From 2011 to 2013, €16.49 million was spent on anti-cancer medicines (ATC L). The process of selection of new medicines begins with suggestions from doctors at the University Clinical Centre in Kosovo. The analysis has shown appreciable variation with current utilization patterns for anti-cancer medicines in Kosovo. This needs to be addressed as part of improving the drug management process to optimize patient care within available resources. Future years and reforms need to be assessed to improve current utilization and expenditure patterns.

  19. Targeting the endocannabinoid system : future therapeutic strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aizpurua-Olaizola, Oier; Elezgarai, Izaskun; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Zarandona, Iratxe; Etxebarria, Nestor; Usobiaga, Aresatz


    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in many physiological regulation pathways in the human body, which makes this system the target of many drugs and therapies. In this review, we highlight the latest studies regarding the role of the ECS and the drugs that target it, with a particular

  20. Emerging Mitochondrial Therapeutic Targets in Optic Neuropathies. (United States)

    Lopez Sanchez, M I G; Crowston, J G; Mackey, D A; Trounce, I A


    Optic neuropathies are an important cause of blindness worldwide. The study of the most common inherited mitochondrial optic neuropathies, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) and autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) has highlighted a fundamental role for mitochondrial function in the survival of the affected neuron-the retinal ganglion cell. A picture is now emerging that links mitochondrial dysfunction to optic nerve disease and other neurodegenerative processes. Insights gained from the peculiar susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells to mitochondrial dysfunction are likely to inform therapeutic development for glaucoma and other common neurodegenerative diseases of aging. Despite it being a fast-evolving field of research, a lack of access to human ocular tissues and limited animal models of mitochondrial disease have prevented direct retinal ganglion cell experimentation and delayed the development of efficient therapeutic strategies to prevent vision loss. Currently, there are no approved treatments for mitochondrial disease, including optic neuropathies caused by primary or secondary mitochondrial dysfunction. Recent advances in eye research have provided important insights into the molecular mechanisms that mediate pathogenesis, and new therapeutic strategies including gene correction approaches are currently being investigated. Here, we review the general principles of mitochondrial biology relevant to retinal ganglion cell function and provide an overview of the major optic neuropathies with mitochondrial involvement, LHON and ADOA, whilst highlighting the emerging link between mitochondrial dysfunction and glaucoma. The pharmacological strategies currently being trialed to improve mitochondrial dysfunction in these optic neuropathies are discussed in addition to emerging therapeutic approaches to preserve retinal ganglion cell function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Therapeutic Approaches to Target Cancer Stem Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz, Arlhee, E-mail:; Leon, Kalet [Department of Systems Biology, Center of Molecular Immunology, 216 Street, PO Box 16040, Atabey, Havana 11600 (Cuba)


    The clinical relevance of cancer stem cells (CSC) remains a major challenge for current cancer therapies, but preliminary findings indicate that specific targeting may be possible. Recent studies have shown that these tumor subpopulations promote tumor angiogenesis through the increased production of VEGF, whereas the VEGF neutralizing antibody bevacizumab specifically inhibits CSC growth. Moreover, nimotuzumab, a monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with a potent antiangiogenic activity, has been shown by our group to reduce the frequency of CSC-like subpopulations in mouse models of brain tumors when combined with ionizing radiation. These studies and subsequent reports from other groups support the relevance of approaches based on molecular-targeted therapies to selectively attack CSC. This review discusses the relevance of targeting both the EGFR and angiogenic pathways as valid approaches to this aim. We discuss the relevance of identifying better molecular markers to develop drug screening strategies that selectively target CSC.

  2. Therapeutic Approaches to Target Cancer Stem Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diaz, Arlhee; Leon, Kalet


    The clinical relevance of cancer stem cells (CSC) remains a major challenge for current cancer therapies, but preliminary findings indicate that specific targeting may be possible. Recent studies have shown that these tumor subpopulations promote tumor angiogenesis through the increased production of VEGF, whereas the VEGF neutralizing antibody bevacizumab specifically inhibits CSC growth. Moreover, nimotuzumab, a monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with a potent antiangiogenic activity, has been shown by our group to reduce the frequency of CSC-like subpopulations in mouse models of brain tumors when combined with ionizing radiation. These studies and subsequent reports from other groups support the relevance of approaches based on molecular-targeted therapies to selectively attack CSC. This review discusses the relevance of targeting both the EGFR and angiogenic pathways as valid approaches to this aim. We discuss the relevance of identifying better molecular markers to develop drug screening strategies that selectively target CSC

  3. GPCR-targeting nanobodies: attractive research tools, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mujić-Delić, A.; de Wit, R.H.; Verkaar, F.; Smit, M.J.


    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent a major therapeutic target class. A large proportion of marketed drugs exert their effect through modulation of GPCR function, and GPCRs have been successfully targeted with small molecules. Yet, the number of small new molecular entities targeting GPCRs

  4. Therapeutic targeting of cancer stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello eMaugeri-Saccà


    Full Text Available Recent breakthroughs in translational oncology are opening new perspectives for the treatment of cancer. The advent of targeted therapies has provided the proof-of-concept to selectively turn-off deregulated oncogenic proteins, while the identification and validation of predictive biomarkers of response has allowed to improve, at least in some cases, their performance. Moreover, a subpopulation of tumor-propagating cells has been identified from many solid and hematological tumors. These cells share functional properties of normal stem cells, and are commonly referred to as cancer stem cells (CSCs. It is emerging that CSCs are defended against broadly-used anticancer agents by means of different, partly interconnected, mechanisms. However, CSCs rely on specific pathways involved in self-renewal that can be pharmacologically antagonized by experimental molecular targeted agents, some of which have recently entered early phases of clinical development. Here, we discuss the spectrum of pharmacological strategies under clinical or preclinical development for CSCs targeting.

  5. Myofibrillogenesis regulator 1 (MR-1 is a novel biomarker and potential therapeutic target for human ovarian cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Jingjing


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Myofibrillogenesis regulator 1 (MR-1 is overexpressed in human cancer cells and plays an essential role in cancer cell growth. However, the significance of MR-1 in human ovarian cancer has not yet been explored. The aim of this study was to examine whether MR-1 is a predictor of ovarian cancer and its value as a therapeutic target in ovarian cancer patients. Methods Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR and quantitative real-time PCR were used to detect MR-1 mRNA levels in tissue samples from 26 ovarian cancer patients and 25 controls with benign ovarian disease. Anti-MR-1 polyclonal antibodies were prepared, tested by ELISA and western blotting, and then used for immunohistochemical analysis of the tissue samples. Adhesion and invasion of 292T cells was also examined after transfection of a pMX-MR-1 plasmid. Knockdown of MR-1 expression was achieved after stable transfection of SKOV3 cells with a short hairpin DNA pGPU6/GFP/Neo plasmid against the MR-1 gene. In addition, SKOV3 cells were treated with paclitaxel and carboplatin, and a potential role for MR-1 as a therapeutic target was evaluated. Results MR-1 was overexpressed in ovarian cancer tissues and SKOV3 cells. 293T cells overexpressed MR-1, and cellular spread and invasion were enhanced after transfection of the pMX-MR-1 plasmid, suggesting that MR-1 is critical for ovarian cancer cell growth. Knockdown of MR-1 expression inhibited cell adhesion and invasion, and treatment with anti-cancer drugs decreased its expression in cancer cells. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which MR-1 might serve as a novel biological marker and potential therapeutic target for ovarian cancer. Conclusions MR-1 may be a biomarker for diagnosis of ovarian cancer. It may also be useful for monitoring of the effects of anti-cancer therapies. Further studies are needed to clarify whether MR-1 is an early

  6. Tumor Progression Locus 2 (Tpl2 Kinase as a Novel Therapeutic Target for Cancer: Double-Sided Effects of Tpl2 on Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hye Won Lee


    Full Text Available Tumor progression locus 2 (Tpl2 is a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK kinase kinase (MAP3K that conveys various intra- and extra-cellular stimuli to effector proteins of cells provoking adequate adoptive responses. Recent studies have elucidated that Tpl2 is an indispensable signal transducer as an MAP3K family member in diverse signaling pathways that regulate cell proliferation, survival, and death. Since tumorigenesis results from dysregulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, Tpl2 participates in many decisive molecular processes of tumor development and progression. Moreover, Tpl2 is closely associated with cytokine release of inflammatory cells, which has crucial effects on not only tumor cells but also tumor microenvironments. These critical roles of Tpl2 in human cancers make it an attractive anti-cancer therapeutic target. However, Tpl2 contradictorily works as a tumor suppressor in some cancers. The double-sided effects of Tpl2 originate from the specific upstream and downstream signaling environment of each tumor, since Tpl2 interacts with various signaling components. This review summarizes recent studies concerning the possible roles of Tpl2 in human cancers and considers its possibility as a therapeutic target, against which novel anti-cancer agents could be developed.

  7. Targeting of microRNAs for therapeutics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stenvang, Jan; Lindow, Morten; Kauppinen, Sakari


    miRNAs (microRNAs) comprise a class of small endogenous non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally repress gene expression by base-pairing with their target mRNAs. Recent evidence has shown that miRNAs play important roles in a wide variety of human diseases, such as viral infections, cancer...

  8. Targeted delivery and pH-responsive release of stereoisomeric anti-cancer drugs using β-cyclodextrin assemblied Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Congli; Huang, Lizhen; Song, Shengmei; Saif, Bassam; Zhou, Yehong; Dong, Chuan; Shuang, Shaomin, E-mail:


    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • β-Cyclodextrin assemblied magnetic Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} nanoparticles (β-CD-MNPs) with good stability were successfully fabricated. • Stereoisomeric doxorubicin (DOX) and epirubicin (EPI) were used to explore the loading and release performance. • The loading properties of β-CD-MNPs were investigated using the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption equilibrium models. • {sup 1}H NMR and the computer simulation were used to demonstrate the inclusion position between drug molecules and β-CD. - Abstract: The β-cyclodextrin assemblied magnetic Fe{sub 3}O{sub 4} nanoparticles (β-CD-MNPs) were successfully fabricated via a layer-by-layer method. Possessing an average size 14 nm, good stability and super-paramagnetic response (Ms 64 emu/g), the resultant nanocomposites could be served as a versatile biocompatible platform for selective loading, targeted delivery and pH-responsive release of stereoisomeric doxorubicin (DOX) and epirubicin (EPI). {sup 1}H-nuclear magnetic resonance ({sup 1}H NMR) and the computer simulation further give the evidence that partial anthracene ring of drug molecule is included by β-CD. In addition, non-toxic β-CD-MNPs have excellent biocompatibility on MCF-7 cells, and cellular uptake indicate that different amounts of DOX or EPI can be transported to targeting site and released from the internalized carriers. The results demonstrate that as-prepared β-CD-MNPs could be a very promising vehicle for DOX and EPI.

  9. New Therapeutic Targets for Mood Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Machado-Vieira


    Full Text Available Existing pharmacological treatments for bipolar disorder (BPD and major depressive disorder (MDD are often insufficient for many patients. Here we describe a number of targets/compounds that clinical and preclinical studies suggest could result in putative novel treatments for mood disorders. These include: (1 glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 and protein kinase C (PKC, (2 the purinergic system, (3 histone deacetylases (HDACs, (4 the melatonergic system, (5 the tachykinin neuropeptides system, (6 the glutamatergic system, and (7 oxidative stress and bioenergetics. The paper reviews data on new compounds that have shown antimanic or antidepressant effects in subjects with mood disorders, or similar effects in preclinical animal models. Overall, an improved understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of mood disorders is critical in order to develop targeted treatments that are more effective, act more rapidly, and are better tolerated than currently available therapies.

  10. Pathways and therapeutic targets in melanoma (United States)

    Shtivelman, Emma; Davies, Michael A.; Hwu, Patrick; Yang, James; Lotem, Michal; Oren, Moshe; Flaherty, Keith T.; Fisher, David E.


    This review aims to summarize the current knowledge of molecular pathways and their clinical relevance in melanoma. Metastatic melanoma was a grim diagnosis, but in recent years tremendous advances have been made in treatments. Chemotherapy provided little benefit in these patients, but development of targeted and new immune approaches made radical changes in prognosis. This would not have happened without remarkable advances in understanding the biology of disease and tremendous progress in the genomic (and other “omics”) scale analyses of tumors. The big problems facing the field are no longer focused exclusively on the development of new treatment modalities, though this is a very busy area of clinical research. The focus shifted now to understanding and overcoming resistance to targeted therapies, and understanding the underlying causes of the heterogeneous responses to immune therapy. PMID:24743024

  11. Anti-cancer Lead Molecule

    KAUST Repository

    Sagar, Sunil


    Derivatives of plumbagin can be selectively cytotoxic to breast cancer cells. Derivative `A` (Acetyl Plumbagin) has emerged as a lead molecule for testing against estrogen positive breast cancer and has shown low hepatotoxicity as well as overall lower toxicity in nude mice model. The toxicity of derivative `A` was determined to be even lower than vehicle control (ALT and AST markers). The possible mechanism of action identified based on the microarray experiments and pathway mapping shows that derivative `A` could be acting by altering the cholesterol-related mechanisms. The low toxicity profile of derivative `A` highlights its possible role as future anti-cancer drug and/or as an adjuvant drug to reduce the toxicity of highly toxic chemotherapeutic drugs

  12. Particulate Systems for Targeting of Macrophages: Basic and Therapeutic Concepts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moghimi, Seyed Moien; Parhamifar, Ladan; Ahmadvand, Davoud


    Particulate systems in the form of liposomes, polymeric micelles, polymeric nano- and microparticles, and many others offer a rational approach for selective delivery of therapeutic agents to the macrophage from different physiological portals of entry. Particulate targeting of macrophages and in...... at a particular subset of macrophages. Advances in basic and therapeutic concepts of particulate targeting of macrophages and related nanotechnology approaches for immune cell modifications are discussed.Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel...

  13. Novel Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Lupus (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-12-1-0205 TITLE: Novel Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Lupus PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Lisa Laury-Kleintop...SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Novel Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Lupus 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0205 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6...Systemic lupus erythematosus, autoantibodies. 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 7 19a. NAME OF

  14. Design and docking of novel series of hybrid xanthones as anti-cancer agent to target human DNA topoisomerase 2-alpha

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lalit Mohan Nainwal


    Full Text Available Topoisomerase (topo IIα is a homodimeric protein catalyzes topological vicissitudes by adding or by soothing super coiling transpiration, occurs in human DNA during DNA replication as an outcome chromosome segregation and condensation occurs during meiosis I and recombination. To prevent the cleavage and religation activity we administered novel hybrid substituted Xanthone series of drugs. The toxicity prediction showed outstanding results which impetus to study its anticancer activities by targeting topoisomerase (topo IIα. We developed the homology model of the topoisomerase (topo IIα due to the unavailability of 3D structure in the Protein Data Bank. Structural assessment of the modeled protein and confirmed the quality of the model. The ligands were docked using Autodock4.2 software and binding energy was reported. The compound XM9, XN2, XM7, XLNU and XNS scored lowest binding energy and highest binding affinity. The interaction sites and the hydrogen bond were observed.

  15. Targeted deletion of the ara operon of Salmonella typhimurium enhances L-arabinose accumulation and drives PBAD-promoted expression of anti-cancer toxins and imaging agents. (United States)

    Hong, Hyun; Lim, Daejin; Kim, Geun-Joong; Park, Seung-Hwan; Sik Kim, Hyeon; Hong, Yeongjin; Choy, Hyon E; Min, Jung-Joon


    Tumor-specific expression of antitumor drugs can be achieved using attenuated Salmonella typhimurium harboring the PBAD promoter, which is induced by L-arabinose. However, L-arabinose does not accumulate because it is metabolized to D-xylulose-5-P by enzymes encoded by the ara operon in Salmonellae. To address this problem, we developed an engineered strain of S. typhimurium in which the ara operon is deleted. Linear DNA transformation was performed using λ red recombinase to exchange the ara operon with linear DNA carrying an antibiotic-resistance gene with homology to regions adjacent to the ara operon. The ara operon-deleted strain and its parental strain were transformed with a plasmid encoding Renilla luciferase variant 8 (RLuc8) or cytolysin A (clyA) under the control of the PBAD promoter. Luciferase assays demonstrated that RLuc8 expression was 49-fold higher in the ara operon-deleted S. typhimurium than in the parental strain after the addition of L-arabinose. In vivo bioluminescence imaging showed that the tumor tissue targeted by the ara operon-deleted Salmonella had a stronger imaging signal (~30-fold) than that targeted by the parental strain. Mice with murine colon cancer (CT26) that had been injected with the ara operon-deleted S. typhimurium expressing clyA showed significant tumor suppression. The present report demonstrates that deletion of the ara operon of S. typhimurium enhances L-arabinose accumulation and thereby drives PBAD-promoted expression of cytotoxic agents and imaging agents. This is a promising approach for tumor therapy and imaging.

  16. Sphingolipid and Ceramide Homeostasis: Potential Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon A. Young


    Full Text Available Sphingolipids are ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells where they have been attributed a plethora of functions from the formation of structural domains to polarized cellular trafficking and signal transduction. Recent research has identified and characterised many of the key enzymes involved in sphingolipid metabolism and this has led to a heightened interest in the possibility of targeting these processes for therapies against cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous important human pathogens. In this paper we outline the major pathways in eukaryotic sphingolipid metabolism and discuss these in relation to disease and therapy for both chronic and infectious conditions.

  17. Neutrophils: potential therapeutic targets in tularemia?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee-Ann H Allen


    Full Text Available The central role of neutrophils in innate immunity and host defense has long been recognized, and the ability of these cells to efficiently engulf and kill invading bacteria has been extensively studied, as has the role of neutrophil apoptosis in resolution of the inflammatory response. In the past few years additional immunoregulatory properties of neutrophils were discovered, and it is now clear that these cells play a much greater role in control of the immune response than was previously appreciated. In this regard, it is noteworthy that Francisella tularensis is one of relatively few pathogens that can successfully parasitize neutrophils as well as macrophages, DC and epithelial cells. Herein we will review the mechanisms used by F. tularensis to evade elimination by neutrophils. We will also reprise effects of this pathogen on neutrophil migration and lifespan as compared with other infectious and inflammatory disease states. In addition, we will discuss the evidence which suggests that neutrophils contribute to disease progression rather than effective defense during tularemia, and consider whether manipulation of neutrophil migration or turnover may be suitable adjunctive therapeutic strategies.

  18. Curcumin binds in silico to anti-cancer drug target enzyme MMP-3 (human stromelysin-1) with affinity comparable to two known inhibitors of the enzyme. (United States)

    Jerah, Ahmed; Hobani, Yahya; Kumar, B Vinod; Bidwai, Anil


    In silico interaction of curcumin with the enzyme MMP-3 (human stromelysin-1) was studied by molecular docking using AutoDock 4.2 as the docking software application. AutoDock 4.2 software serves as a valid and acceptable docking application to study the interactions of small compounds with proteins. Interactions of curcumin with MMP-3 were compared to those of two known inhibitors of the enzyme, PBSA and MPPT. The calculated free energy of binding (ΔG binding) shows that curcumin binds with affinity comparable to or better than the two known inhibitors. Binding interactions of curcumin with active site residues of the enzyme are also predicted. Curcumin appears to bind in an extendended conformation making extensive VDW contacts in the active site of the enzyme. Hydrogen bonding and pi-pi interactions with key active site residues is also observed. Thus, curcumin can be considered as a good lead compound in the development of new inhibitors of MMP-3 which is a potential target of anticancer drugs. The results of these studies can serve as a starting point for further computational and experimental studies.

  19. Therapeutic Potential of Targeting the Ghrelin Pathway. (United States)

    Colldén, Gustav; Tschöp, Matthias H; Müller, Timo D


    Ghrelin was discovered in 1999 as the endogenous ligand of the growth-hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHSR1a). Since then, ghrelin has been found to exert a plethora of physiological effects that go far beyond its initial characterization as a growth hormone (GH) secretagogue. Among the numerous well-established effects of ghrelin are the stimulation of appetite and lipid accumulation, the modulation of immunity and inflammation, the stimulation of gastric motility, the improvement of cardiac performance, the modulation of stress, anxiety, taste sensation and reward-seeking behavior, as well as the regulation of glucose metabolism and thermogenesis. Due to a variety of beneficial effects on systems' metabolism, pharmacological targeting of the endogenous ghrelin system is widely considered a valuable approach to treat metabolic complications, such as chronic inflammation, gastroparesis or cancer-associated anorexia and cachexia. The aim of this review is to discuss and highlight the broad pharmacological potential of ghrelin pathway modulation for the treatment of anorexia, cachexia, sarcopenia, cardiopathy, neurodegenerative disorders, renal and pulmonary disease, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, inflammatory disorders and metabolic syndrome.

  20. Therapeutic targeting of cancer cell metabolism. (United States)

    Dang, Chi V; Hamaker, Max; Sun, Peng; Le, Anne; Gao, Ping


    In 1927, Otto Warburg and coworkers reported the increased uptake of glucose and production of lactate by tumors in vivo as compared with normal tissues. This phenomenon, now known as the Warburg effect, was recapitulated in vitro with cancer tissue slices exhibiting excessive lactate production even with adequate oxygen. Warburg's in vivo studies of tumors further suggest that the dependency of tumors in vivo on glucose could be exploited for therapy, because reduction of arterial glucose by half resulted in a four-fold reduction in tumor fermentation. Recent work in cancer metabolism indicates that the Warburg effect or aerobic glycolysis contributes to redox balance and lipid synthesis, but glycolysis is insufficient to sustain a growing and dividing cancer cell. In this regard, glutamine, which contributes its carbons to the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, has been re-discovered as an essential bioenergetic and anabolic substrate for many cancer cell types. Could alterations in cancer metabolism be exploited for therapy? Here, we address this question by reviewing current concepts of normal metabolism and altered metabolism in cancer cells with specific emphasis on molecular targets involved directly in glycolysis or glutamine metabolism.

  1. Exploiting Cancer Metal Metabolism using Anti-Cancer Metal-Binding Agents. (United States)

    Merlot, Angelica M; Kalinowski, Danuta S; Kovacevic, Zaklina; Jansson, Patric J; Sahni, Sumit; Huang, Michael L; Lane, Darius L; Lok, Hiu; Richardson, Des R


    Metals are vital cellular elements necessary for multiple indispensable biological processes of living organisms, including energy transduction and cell proliferation. Interestingly, alterations in metal levels and also changes in the expression of proteins involved in metal metabolism have been demonstrated in a variety of cancers. Considering this and the important role of metals for cell growth, the development of drugs that sequester metals have become an attractive target for the development of novel anti-cancer agents. Interest in this field has surged with the design and development of new generations of chelators of the thiosemicarbazone class. These ligands have shown potent anti-cancer and anti-metastatic activity in vitro and in vivo. Due to their efficacy and safe toxicological assessment, some of these agents have recently entered multi-center clinical trials as therapeutics for advanced and resistant tumors. This review highlights the role, and changes in homeostasis, of metals in cancer and emphasizes the pre-clinical development and clinical assessment of metal ion-binding agents, namely, thiosemicarbazones, as anti-tumor agents. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  2. Mitosis as an anti-cancer target. (United States)

    Janssen, A; Medema, R H


    Most of the current drugs used to treat cancer can be classified as anti-proliferative drugs. These drugs perturb the proliferative cycle of tumor cells at diverse stages of the cell cycle. Examples of such drugs are DNA-damaging agents and inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases that arrest cell cycle progression at different stages of interphase. Another class of anti-proliferative drugs is the so-called anti-mitotic drugs, which selectively perturb progression through mitosis. Mitosis is the shortest and final stage in the cell cycle and has evolved to accurately divide the duplicated genome over the two daughter cells. This review deals with the different strategies that are currently considered to perturb mitotic progression in the treatment of cancer.

  3. Mammalian target of rapamycin as a therapeutic target in osteoporosis. (United States)

    Shen, Gengyang; Ren, Hui; Qiu, Ting; Zhang, Zhida; Zhao, Wenhua; Yu, Xiang; Huang, Jinjing; Tang, Jingjing; Liang, De; Yao, Zhensong; Yang, Zhidong; Jiang, Xiaobing


    The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays a key role in sensing and integrating large amounts of environmental cues to regulate organismal growth, homeostasis, and many major cellular processes. Recently, mounting evidences highlight its roles in regulating bone homeostasis, which sheds light on the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. The activation/inhibition of mTOR signaling is reported to positively/negatively regulate bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs)/osteoblasts-mediated bone formation, adipogenic differentiation, osteocytes homeostasis, and osteoclasts-mediated bone resorption, which result in the changes of bone homeostasis, thereby resulting in or protect against osteoporosis. Given the likely importance of mTOR signaling in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, here we discuss the detailed mechanisms in mTOR machinery and its association with osteoporosis therapy. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Targeted Therapeutic Nanoparticles: An Immense Promise to Fight against Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheikh Tasnim Jahan


    Full Text Available In nanomedicine, targeted therapeutic nanoparticle (NP is a virtual outcome of nanotechnology taking the advantage of cancer propagation pattern. Tying up all elements such as therapeutic or imaging agent, targeting ligand, and cross-linking agent with the NPs is the key concept to deliver the payload selectively where it intends to reach. The microenvironment of tumor tissues in lymphatic vessels can also help targeted NPs to achieve their anticipated accumulation depending on the formulation objectives. This review accumulates the application of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA and polyethylene glycol (PEG based NP systems, with a specific perspective in cancer. Nowadays, PLGA, PEG, or their combinations are the mostly used polymers to serve the purpose of targeted therapeutic NPs. Their unique physicochemical properties along with their biological activities are also discussed. Depending on the biological effects from parameters associated with existing NPs, several advantages and limitations have been explored in teaming up all the essential facts to give birth to targeted therapeutic NPs. Therefore, the current article will provide a comprehensive review of various approaches to fabricate a targeted system to achieve appropriate physicochemical properties. Based on such findings, researchers can realize the benefits and challenges for the next generation of delivery systems.

  5. Integrin α3β1 as a breast cancer target. (United States)

    Subbaram, Sita; Dipersio, C Michael


    Integrin receptors for cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix have important roles in all stages of cancer progression and metastasis. Since the integrin family was discovered in the early 1980's, many studies have identified critical adhesion and signaling functions for integrins expressed on tumor cells, endothelial cells and other cell types of the tumor microenvironment, in controlling proliferation, survival, migration and angiogenesis. In recent years, the laminin-binding integrin α3β1 has emerged as a potentially promising anti-cancer target on breast cancer cells. Studies from the past decade that implicate integrins as promising anti-cancer targets and the development of integrin antagonists as anti-cancer therapeutics. Recent preclinical studies that have identified the laminin-binding integrin α3β1 as an appealing anti-cancer target and the knowledge gaps that must be closed to fully exploit this integrin as a therapeutic target for breast cancer. Although the tumor-promoting functions of α3β1 implicate this integrin as a promising therapeutic target on breast cancer cells, successful exploitation of this integrin as an anti-cancer target will require a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms whereby it regulates specific tumor cell behaviors and the identification of the most appropriate α3β1 functions to antagonize on breast cancer cells.

  6. Mitochondria: A Novel Therapeutic Target in Diabetic Nephropathy. (United States)

    Yang, Shikun; Han, Yachun; Liu, Jun; Song, Panai; Xu, Xiaoxuan; Zhao, Li; Hu, Chun; Xiao, Li; Liu, Fuyou; Zhang, Hao; Sun, Lin


    Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is an important diabetic microvascular complication, and it is becoming the leading cause of end-stage renal disease worldwide. Unfortunately, there are no effective therapies to treat established DN. Therefore, new therapeutic targets are urgently required. Accumulating studies indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction is central to the pathogenesis of DN, and therapies targeted mitochondria might effectively delay the progression of DN. A structured search of previously research literature about mitochondrial structure and function, mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial dynamics change, mitophagy, mitochondrial ROS, mitochondrial apoptosis and therapies targeted mitochondria has been performed in several databases. 176 papers were included in this review, the results from these papers indicated that mitochondrial dysfunction is a pivotal issue for the development of DN, such as elevated oxidative stress induced by disorders of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex and mitochondrial dynamic disorders, mutation of mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial abnormal biogenesis, mitochondrial excessive fission, mitochondrial ROS overproduction. In addition, several therapeutic agents targeting the mitochondria (e.g mitochondrial ROS modulators, mitochondrial fragmentation inhibitors and mitochondrial biogenesis activators) have shown perfect therapeutic effect and security for DN. The finding of this review has further confirmed the vital role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the progression of DN, management strategies for recovering the normal mitochondrial function will offer potential novel therapeutic targets for DN. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  7. Recent insights in nanotechnology-based drugs and formulations designed for effective anti-cancer therapy. (United States)

    Piktel, Ewelina; Niemirowicz, Katarzyna; Wątek, Marzena; Wollny, Tomasz; Deptuła, Piotr; Bucki, Robert


    The rapid development of nanotechnology provides alternative approaches to overcome several limitations of conventional anti-cancer therapy. Drug targeting using functionalized nanoparticles to advance their transport to the dedicated site, became a new standard in novel anti-cancer methods. In effect, the employment of nanoparticles during design of antineoplastic drugs helps to improve pharmacokinetic properties, with subsequent development of high specific, non-toxic and biocompatible anti-cancer agents. However, the physicochemical and biological diversity of nanomaterials and a broad spectrum of unique features influencing their biological action requires continuous research to assess their activity. Among numerous nanosystems designed to eradicate cancer cells, only a limited number of them entered the clinical trials. It is anticipated that progress in development of nanotechnology-based anti-cancer materials will provide modern, individualized anti-cancer therapies assuring decrease in morbidity and mortality from cancer diseases. In this review we discussed the implication of nanomaterials in design of new drugs for effective antineoplastic therapy and describe a variety of mechanisms and challenges for selective tumor targeting. We emphasized the recent advantages in the field of nanotechnology-based strategies to fight cancer and discussed their part in effective anti-cancer therapy and successful drug delivery.

  8. Glypican-3 antibodies: a new therapeutic target for liver cancer


    Ho, Mingqian Feng, Mitchell


    Glypican-3 (GPC3) is an emerging therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), even though the biological function of GPC3 remains elusive. Currently human (MDX-1414 and HN3) and humanized mouse (GC33 and YP7) antibodies that target GPC3 for HCC treatment are under different stages of preclinical or clinical development. Humanized mouse antibody GC33 is being evaluated in a phase II clinical trial. Human antibodies MDX-1414 and HN3 are under different stages of preclinical evaluation....

  9. Hepatitis B core protein as a therapeutic target. (United States)

    Mak, Lung-Yi; Wong, Danny Ka-Ho; Seto, Wai-Kay; Lai, Ching-Lung; Yuen, Man Fung


    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is difficult to cure, due to the presence of covalently-closed-circular DNA and virus-mediated blunting of host immune response. Existing therapies with nucleos(t)ide analogue or pegylated-interferon are not sufficient to achieve a high rate of HBV surface antigen seroclearance, a more desirable treatment outcome. Novel therapeutic agents targeting alternative viral replication steps are being developed. In this review, we will discuss the hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) as a therapeutic target. Areas covered: The basic structure and fundamental functions of HBcAg including nucleocapsid assembly, pre-genomic RNA encapsidation, reverse transcription, virion formation, cccDNA amplification, immune response regulation, and HBx protein interaction will be reviewed. Most of these are identified as therapeutic targets and tested in in vitro and in vivo studies, although clinical trials are scanty. Among the different components, the core protein allosteric modulators (CpAM) have been most widely investigated and appear promising in clinical trials. Expert opinion: The multiple and essential functions of HBcAg for HBV life cycle are important and attractive targets for HBV therapeutic interventions. Controlled trials involving CpAM are awaited. Apart from CpAM, drugs directed against different functions of HBcAg may be further explored to maximize the chance of cure.

  10. Glyco-Immune Diagnostic Signatures and Therapeutic Targets of Mesothelioma (United States)


    experiments using rat model of human Mesothelioma should also provide leads into the immuno-preventive and immuno- therapeutic approaches to treatments ...experiments involving injection of rat Mesothelioma cells and treatments of the resulting tumors. These experiments will begin as soon as we have...Targets of Mesothelioma PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Harvey Pass, M.D. CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: New York University School of Medicine

  11. Trastuzumab Sensitizes Ovarian Cancer Cells to EGFR-targeted Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilken Jason A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Early studies have demonstrated comparable levels of HER2/ErbB2 expression in both breast and ovarian cancer. Trastuzumab (Herceptin, a therapeutic monoclonal antibody directed against HER2, is FDA-approved for the treatment of both early and late stage breast cancer. However, clinical studies of trastuzumab in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC patients have not met the same level of success. Surprisingly, however, no reports have examined either the basis for primary trastuzumab resistance in ovarian cancer or potential ways of salvaging trastuzumab as a potential ovarian cancer therapeutic. Methods An in vitro model of primary trastuzumab-resistant ovarian cancer was created by long-term culture of HER2-positive ovarian carcinoma-derived cell lines with trastuzumab. Trastuzumab treated vs. untreated parental cells were compared for HER receptor expression, trastuzumab sensitivity, and sensitivity to other HER-targeted therapeutics. Results In contrast to widely held assumptions, here we show that ovarian cancer cells that are not growth inhibited by trastuzumab are still responsive to trastuzumab. Specifically, we show that responsiveness to alternative HER-targeted inhibitors, such as gefitinib and cetuximab, is dramatically potentiated by long-term trastuzumab treatment of ovarian cancer cells. HER2-positive ovarian carcinoma-derived cells are, therefore, not "unresponsive" to trastuzumab as previously assumed, even when they not growth inhibited by this drug. Conclusions Given the recent success of EGFR-targeted therapeutics for the treatment of other solid tumors, and the well-established safety profile of trastuzumab, results presented here provide a rationale for re-evaluation of trastuzumab as an experimental ovarian cancer therapeutic, either in concert with, or perhaps as a "primer" for EGFR-targeted therapeutics.

  12. Structure Identification and Anti-Cancer Pharmacological Prediction of Triterpenes from Ganoderma lucidum. (United States)

    Shao, Yanyan; Qiao, Liansheng; Wu, Lingfang; Sun, Xuefei; Zhu, Dan; Yang, Guanghui; Zhang, Xiaoxue; Mao, Xin; Chen, Wenjing; Liang, Wenyi; Zhang, Yanling; Zhang, Lanzhen


    Ganoderma triterpenes (GTs) are the major secondary metabolites of Ganoderma lucidum, which is a popularly used traditional Chinese medicine for complementary cancer therapy. In the present study, systematic isolation, and in silico pharmacological prediction are implemented to discover potential anti-cancer active GTs from G. lucidum. Nineteen GTs, three steroids, one cerebroside, and one thymidine were isolated from G. lucidum. Six GTs were first isolated from the fruiting bodies of G. lucidum, including 3β,7β,15β-trihydroxy-11,23-dioxo-lanost-8,16-dien-26-oic acid methyl ester (1), 3β,7β,15β-trihydroxy-11,23-dioxo-lanost-8,16-dien-26-oic acid (2), 3β,7β,15α,28-tetrahydroxy-11,23-dioxo-lanost-8,16-dien-26-oic acid (3), ganotropic acid (4), 26-nor-11,23-dioxo-5α-lanost-8-en-3β,7β,15α,25-tetrol (5) and (3β,7α)-dihydroxy-lanosta-8,24-dien- 11-one (6). (4E,8E)-N-d-2'-hydroxypalmitoyl-l-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-9-methyl-4,8-spingodienine (7), and stigmasta-7,22-dien-3β,5α,6α-triol (8) were first reported from the genus Ganodema. By using reverse pharmacophoric profiling of the six GTs, thirty potential anti-cancer therapeutic targets were identified and utilized to construct their ingredient-target interaction network. Then nineteen high frequency targets of GTs were selected from thirty potential targets to construct a protein interaction network (PIN). In order to cluster the pharmacological activity of GTs, twelve function modules were identified by molecular complex detection (MCODE) and gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis. The results indicated that anti-cancer effect of GTs might be related to histone acetylation and interphase of mitotic cell cycle by regulating general control non-derepressible 5 (GCN5) and cyclin-dependent kinase-2 (CDK2), respectively. This research mode of extraction, isolation, pharmacological prediction, and PIN analysis might be beneficial to rapidly predict and discover pharmacological activities of novel compounds.

  13. Breast cancer stem cells, EMT and therapeutic targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kotiyal, Srishti; Bhattacharya, Susinjan, E-mail:


    Highlights: • Therapeutic targeting or inhibition of the key molecules of signaling pathways can control growth of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). • Development of BCSCs also involves miRNA interactions. • Therapeutic achievement can be done by targeting identified targets in the BCSC pathways. - Abstract: A small heterogeneous population of breast cancer cells acts as seeds to induce new tumor growth. These seeds or breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) exhibit great phenotypical plasticity which allows them to undergo “epithelial to mesenchymal transition” (EMT) at the site of primary tumor and a future reverse transition. Apart from metastasis they are also responsible for maintaining the tumor and conferring it with drug and radiation resistance and a tendency for post-treatment relapse. Many of the signaling pathways involved in induction of EMT are involved in CSC generation and regulation. Here we are briefly reviewing the mechanism of TGF-β, Wnt, Notch, TNF-α, NF-κB, RTK signalling pathways which are involved in EMT as well as BCSCs maintenance. Therapeutic targeting or inhibition of the key/accessory players of these pathways could control growth of BCSCs and hence malignant cancer. Additionally several miRNAs are dysregulated in cancer stem cells indicating their roles as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. This review also lists the miRNA interactions identified in BCSCs and discusses on some newly identified targets in the BCSC regulatory pathways like SHIP2, nicastrin, Pin 1, IGF-1R, pro-inflammatory cytokines and syndecan which can be targeted for therapeutic achievements.

  14. Breast cancer stem cells, EMT and therapeutic targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kotiyal, Srishti; Bhattacharya, Susinjan


    Highlights: • Therapeutic targeting or inhibition of the key molecules of signaling pathways can control growth of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). • Development of BCSCs also involves miRNA interactions. • Therapeutic achievement can be done by targeting identified targets in the BCSC pathways. - Abstract: A small heterogeneous population of breast cancer cells acts as seeds to induce new tumor growth. These seeds or breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) exhibit great phenotypical plasticity which allows them to undergo “epithelial to mesenchymal transition” (EMT) at the site of primary tumor and a future reverse transition. Apart from metastasis they are also responsible for maintaining the tumor and conferring it with drug and radiation resistance and a tendency for post-treatment relapse. Many of the signaling pathways involved in induction of EMT are involved in CSC generation and regulation. Here we are briefly reviewing the mechanism of TGF-β, Wnt, Notch, TNF-α, NF-κB, RTK signalling pathways which are involved in EMT as well as BCSCs maintenance. Therapeutic targeting or inhibition of the key/accessory players of these pathways could control growth of BCSCs and hence malignant cancer. Additionally several miRNAs are dysregulated in cancer stem cells indicating their roles as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. This review also lists the miRNA interactions identified in BCSCs and discusses on some newly identified targets in the BCSC regulatory pathways like SHIP2, nicastrin, Pin 1, IGF-1R, pro-inflammatory cytokines and syndecan which can be targeted for therapeutic achievements

  15. The Epigenome as a therapeutic target for Parkinson's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane V Hegarty


    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterised by degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, aggregation of α-synuclein and motor symptoms. Current dopamine-replacement strategies provide symptomatic relief, however their effectiveness wear off over time and their prolonged use leads to disabling side-effects in PD patients. There is therefore a critical need to develop new drugs and drug targets to protect dopaminergic neurons and their axons from degeneration in PD. Over recent years, there has been robust evidence generated showing that epigenetic dysregulation occurs in PD patients, and that epigenetic modulation is a promising therapeutic approach for PD. This article first discusses the present evidence implicating global, and dopaminergic neuron-specific, alterations in the methylome in PD, and the therapeutic potential of pharmacologically targeting the methylome. It then focuses on another mechanism of epigenetic regulation, histone acetylation, and describes how the histone acetyltransferase (HAT and histone deacetylase (HDAC enzymes that mediate this process are attractive therapeutic targets for PD. It discusses the use of activators and/or inhibitors of HDACs and HATs in models of PD, and how these approaches for the selective modulation of histone acetylation elicit neuroprotective effects. Finally, it outlines the potential of employing small molecule epigenetic modulators as neuroprotective therapies for PD, and the future research that will be required to determine and realise this therapeutic potential.

  16. Nano-engineered mesenchymal stem cells increase therapeutic efficacy of anticancer drug through true active tumor targeting. (United States)

    Layek, Buddhadev; Sadhukha, Tanmoy; Panyam, Jayanth; Prabha, Swayam


    Tumor-targeted drug delivery has the potential to improve therapeutic efficacy and mitigate non-specific toxicity of anticancer drugs. However, current drug delivery approaches rely on inefficient passive accumulation of the drug carrier in the tumor. We have developed a unique, truly active tumor targeting strategy that relies on engineering mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with drug-loaded nanoparticles. Our studies using the A549 orthotopic lung tumor model show that nano-engineered MSCs carrying the anticancer drug paclitaxel (PTX) home to tumors and create cellular drug depots that release the drug payload over several days. Despite significantly lower doses of PTX, nano-engineered MSCs resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth and superior survival. Anticancer efficacy of nano-engineered MSCs was confirmed in immunocompetent C57BL/6 albino female mice bearing orthotopic Lewis Lung Carcinoma (LL/2-luc) tumors. Further, at doses that resulted in equivalent therapeutic efficacy, nano-engineered MSCs had no effect on white blood cell count whereas PTX solution and PTX nanoparticle treatments caused leukopenia. Biodistribution studies showed that nano-engineered MSCs resulted in greater than 9-fold higher AUClung of PTX (1.5 µ than PTX solution and nanoparticles (0.2 and 0.1 µ tissue, respectively) in the target lung tumors. Furthermore, the lung-to-liver and the lung-to-spleen ratios of PTX were several folds higher for nano-engineered MSCs relative to those for PTX solution and nanoparticle groups, suggesting that nano-engineered MSCs demonstrate significantly less off-target deposition. In summary, our results demonstrate that nano-engineered MSCs can serve as an efficient carrier for tumor specific drug delivery and significantly improved anti-cancer efficacy of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. Copyright ©2018, American Association for Cancer Research.

  17. Therapeutic targeting strategies using endogenous cells and proteins. (United States)

    Parayath, Neha N; Amiji, Mansoor M


    Targeted drug delivery has become extremely important in enhancing efficacy and reducing the toxicity of therapeutics in the treatment of various disease conditions. Current approaches include passive targeting, which relies on naturally occurring differences between healthy and diseased tissues, and active targeting, which utilizes various ligands that can recognize targets expressed preferentially at the diseased site. Clinical translation of these mechanisms faces many challenges including the immunogenic and toxic effects of these non-natural systems. Thus, use of endogenous targeting systems is increasingly gaining momentum. This review is focused on strategies for employing endogenous moieties, which could serve as safe and efficient carriers for targeted drug delivery. The first part of the review involves cells and cellular components as endogenous carriers for therapeutics in multiple disease states, while the second part discusses the use of endogenous plasma components as endogenous carriers. Further understanding of the biological tropism with cells and proteins and the newer generation of delivery strategies that exploits these endogenous approaches promises to provide better solutions for site-specific delivery and could further facilitate clinical translations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Smac Mimetics to Therapeutically Target IAP Proteins in Cancer. (United States)

    Fulda, S


    Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins are overexpressed in a variety of human cancers. Therefore, they are considered as promising targets for the design of therapeutic strategies. Smac mimetics mimic the endogenous mitochondrial protein Smac that antagonizes IAP proteins upon its release into the cytosol. Multiple preclinical studies have documented the ability of Smac mimetics to either directly induce cell death of cancer cells or to prime them to agents that trigger cell death. At present, several Smac mimetics are being evaluated in early clinical trials. The current review provides an overview on the potential of Smac mimetics as cancer therapeutics to target IAP proteins for cancer therapy. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Therapeutic Targets of Triglyceride Metabolism as Informed by Human Genetics. (United States)

    Bauer, Robert C; Khetarpal, Sumeet A; Hand, Nicholas J; Rader, Daniel J


    Human genetics has contributed to the development of multiple drugs to treat hyperlipidemia and coronary artery disease (CAD), most recently including antibodies targeting PCSK9 to reduce LDL cholesterol. Despite these successes, a large burden of CAD remains. Genetic and epidemiological studies have suggested that circulating triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) are a causal risk factor for CAD, presenting an opportunity for novel therapeutic strategies. We discuss recent unbiased human genetics testing, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and whole-genome or -exome sequencing, that have identified the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and hepatic lipogenesis pathways as important mechanisms in the regulation of circulating TRLs. Further strengthening the causal relationship between TRLs and CAD, findings such as these may provide novel targets for much-needed potential therapeutic interventions. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. ROCK as a therapeutic target for ischemic stroke. (United States)

    Sladojevic, Nikola; Yu, Brian; Liao, James K


    Stroke is a major cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death. Currently, the only approved acute medical treatment of ischemic stroke is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), but its effectiveness is greatly predicated upon early administration of the drug. There is, therefore, an urgent need to find new therapeutic options for acute stroke. Areas covered: In this review, we summarize the role of Rho-associated coiled-coil containing kinase (ROCK) and its potential as a therapeutic target in stroke pathophysiology. ROCK is a major regulator of cell contractility, motility, and proliferation. Many of these ROCK-mediated processes in endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, pericytes, astrocytes, glia, neurons, leukocytes, and platelets are important in stroke pathophysiology, and the inhibition of such processes could improve stroke outcome. Expert commentary: ROCK is a potential therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease and ROCK inhibitors have already been approved for human use in Japan and China for the treatment of acute stroke. Further studies are needed to determine the role of ROCK isoforms in the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia and whether there are further therapeutic benefits with selective ROCK inhibitors.

  1. Podoplanin - an emerging cancer biomarker and therapeutic target. (United States)

    Krishnan, Harini; Rayes, Julie; Miyashita, Tomoyuki; Ishii, Genichiro; Retzbach, Edward P; Sheehan, Stephanie A; Takemoto, Ai; Chang, Yao-Wen; Yoneda, Kazue; Asai, Jun; Jensen, Lasse; Chalise, Lushun; Natsume, Atsushi; Goldberg, Gary S


    Podoplanin (PDPN) is a transmembrane receptor glycoprotein that is upregulated on transformed cells, cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs), and inflammatory macrophages that contribute to cancer progression. In particular, PDPN increases tumor cell clonal capacity, epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), migration, invasion, metastasis, and inflammation. Antibodies, CAR-T cells, biologics, and synthetic compounds that target PDPN can inhibit cancer progression and septic inflammation in preclinical models. This review describes recent advances in how PDPN may be used as a biomarker and therapeutic target for many types of cancer including glioma, squamous cell carcinoma, mesothelioma, and melanoma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. From Toxins Targeting Ligand Gated Ion Channels to Therapeutic Molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine Taly


    Full Text Available Ligand-gated ion channels (LGIC play a central role in inter-cellular communication. This key function has two consequences: (i these receptor channels are major targets for drug discovery because of their potential involvement in numerous human brain diseases; (ii they are often found to be the target of plant and animal toxins. Together this makes toxin/receptor interactions important to drug discovery projects. Therefore, toxins acting on LGIC are presented and their current/potential therapeutic uses highlighted.

  3. Current and Emerging Therapeutic Targets for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma. (United States)

    Zarrabi, Kevin; Wu, Shenhong


    The treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma has evolved dramatically over recent years. In this review, we will summarize current and emerging therapies based on molecular targets and provide insight into treatment strategy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. We have witnessed a paradigm shift in the therapeutic landscape as treatment was formerly reliant on cytokine-based agents which have now been replaced with therapies targeting angiogenesis, mammalian target of rapamycin pathways, and immune responses. These dramatic changes are primarily due to our improved understanding of the underlying mutations and molecular mechanisms leading to tumorigenesis and progression. We now have targeted agents in the form of small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and mTOR inhibitors. Moreover, immunotherapy-targeting checkpoints of T-lymphocyte activity has provided increased overall survival and a new class of agents with potential to radically change the treatment options. With these agents and their combination, durable responses are increasingly seen even though treatment resistance remains a huge challenge. New treatment strategies are rapidly developing and the therapeutic landscape is expected for further evolution.

  4. [Gap junctions: A new therapeutic target in major depressive disorder?]. (United States)

    Sarrouilhe, D; Dejean, C


    Major depressive disorder is a multifactorial chronic and debilitating mood disease with high lifetime prevalence and is associated with excess mortality, especially from cardiovascular diseases and through suicide. The treatments of this disease with tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are poorly tolerated and those that selectively target serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake are not effective in all patients, showing the need to find new therapeutic targets. Post-mortem studies of brains from patients with major depressive disorders described a reduced expression of the gap junction-forming membrane proteins connexin 30 and connexin 43 in the prefrontal cortex and the locus coeruleus. The use of chronic unpredictable stress, a rodent model of depression, suggests that astrocytic gap junction dysfunction contributes to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. Chronic treatments of rats with fluoxetine and of rat cultured cortical astrocytes with amitriptyline support the hypothesis that the upregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication between brain astrocytes could be a novel mechanism for the therapeutic effect of antidepressants. In conclusion, astrocytic gap junctions are emerging as a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. PIM kinases as therapeutic targets against advanced melanoma (United States)

    Shannan, Batool; Watters, Andrea; Chen, Quan; Mollin, Stefan; Dörr, Markus; Meggers, Eric; Xu, Xiaowei; Gimotty, Phyllis A.; Perego, Michela; Li, Ling; Benci, Joseph; Krepler, Clemens; Brafford, Patricia; Zhang, Jie; Wei, Zhi; Zhang, Gao; Liu, Qin; Yin, Xiangfan; Nathanson, Katherine L.; Herlyn, Meenhard; Vultur, Adina


    Therapeutic strategies for the treatment of metastatic melanoma show encouraging results in the clinic; however, not all patients respond equally and tumor resistance still poses a challenge. To identify novel therapeutic targets for melanoma, we screened a panel of structurally diverse organometallic inhibitors against human-derived normal and melanoma cells. We observed that a compound that targets PIM kinases (a family of Ser/Thr kinases) preferentially inhibited melanoma cell proliferation, invasion, and viability in adherent and three-dimensional (3D) melanoma models. Assessment of tumor tissue from melanoma patients showed that PIM kinases are expressed in pre- and post-treatment tumors, suggesting PIM kinases as promising targets in the clinic. Using knockdown studies, we showed that PIM1 contributes to melanoma cell proliferation and tumor growth in vivo; however, the presence of PIM2 and PIM3 could also influence the outcome. The inhibition of all PIM isoforms using SGI-1776 (a clinically-available PIM inhibitor) reduced melanoma proliferation and survival in preclinical models of melanoma. This was potentiated in the presence of the BRAF inhibitor PLX4720 and in the presence of PI3K inhibitors. Our findings suggest that PIM inhibitors provide promising additions to the targeted therapies available to melanoma patients. PMID:27448973

  6. Targeting cancer cell mitochondria as a therapeutic approach: recent updates. (United States)

    Cui, Qingbin; Wen, Shijun; Huang, Peng


    Mitochondria play a key role in ATP generation, redox homeostasis and regulation of apoptosis. Due to the essential role of mitochondria in metabolism and cell survival, targeting mitochondria in cancer cells is considered as an attractive therapeutic strategy. However, metabolic flexibility in cancer cells may enable the upregulation of compensatory pathways, such as glycolysis to support cancer cell survival when mitochondrial metabolism is inhibited. Thus, compounds capable of both targeting mitochondria and inhibiting glycolysis may be particularly useful to overcome such drug-resistant mechanism. This review provides an update on recent development in the field of targeting mitochondria and novel compounds that impact mitochondria, glycolysis or both. Key challenges in this research area and potential solutions are also discussed.

  7. S100-alarmins: potential therapeutic targets for arthritis. (United States)

    Austermann, Judith; Zenker, Stefanie; Roth, Johannes


    In arthritis, inflammatory processes are triggered by numerous factors that are released from joint tissues, promoting joint destruction and pathological progression. During inflammation, a novel family of pro-inflammatory molecules called alarmins is released, amplifying inflammation and joint damage. Areas covered: With regard to the role of the alarmins S100A8 and S100A9 in the pathogenesis of arthritis, recent advances and the future prospects in terms of therapeutic implications are considered. Expert opinion: There is still an urgent need for novel treatment strategies addressing the local mechanisms of joint inflammation and tissue destruction, offering promising therapeutic alternatives. S100A8 and S100A9, which are the most up-regulated alarmins during arthritis, are endogenous triggers of inflammation, defining these proteins as promising targets for local suppression of arthritis. In murine models, the blockade of S100A8/S100A9 ameliorates inflammatory processes, including arthritis, and there are several lines of evidence that S100-alarmins may already be targeted in therapeutic approaches in man.

  8. Neuropeptide Receptors: Novel Targets for HIV/AIDS Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald R. Branch


    Full Text Available The vasoactive intestinal peptide/pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating polypepetide (VPAC receptors are important for many physiologic functions, including glucose homeostasis, neuroprotection, memory, gut function, modulation of the immune system and circadian function. In addition, VPAC receptors have been shown to function in vitro to modulate the infection of HIV by a signal transduction pathway that appears to regulate viral integration. In this article, the affects of VPAC stimulation on HIV infection will be reviewed and approaches for the development of HIV/AIDS therapeutics that target these receptors will be described. Novel HIV/AIDS therapeutics are urgently required to stem the continued spread of this disease, particularly in underdeveloped countries. Drug design to inhibit signaling through VPAC1 and stimulate signaling through VPAC2 could lead to alternative therapies for the treatment and/or prevention of HIV/AIDS.

  9. Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target in Diabetic Nephropathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Tanaka


    Full Text Available Diabetic nephropathy is a serious complication of diabetes mellitus, and its prevalence has been increasing worldwide. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify a new therapeutic target to prevent diabetic nephropathy. Autophagy is a major catabolic pathway involved in degrading and recycling macromolecules and damaged organelles to maintain intracellular homeostasis. The study of autophagy in mammalian systems is advancing rapidly and has revealed that it is involved in the pathogenesis of various metabolic or age-related diseases. The functional role of autophagy in the kidneys is also currently under intense investigation although, until recently, evidence showing the involvement of autophagy in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy has been limited. We provide a systematic review of autophagy and discuss the therapeutic potential of autophagy in diabetic nephropathy to help future investigations in this field.

  10. Therapeutic targeting of cancers with loss of PTEN function (United States)

    Dillon, Lloye M.; Miller, Todd W.


    Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is one of the most frequently disrupted tumor suppressors in cancer. The lipid phosphatase activity of PTEN antagonizes the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mTOR pathway to repress tumor cell growth and survival. In the nucleus, PTEN promotes chromosome stability and DNA repair. Consequently, loss of PTEN function increases genomic instability. PTEN deficiency is caused by inherited germline mutations, somatic mutations, epigenetic and transcriptional silencing, post-translational modifications, and protein-protein interactions. Given the high frequency of PTEN deficiency across cancer subtypes, therapeutic approaches that exploit PTEN loss-of-function could provide effective treatment strategies. Herein, we discuss therapeutic strategies aimed at cancers with loss of PTEN function, and the challenges involved in treating patients afflicted with such cancers. We review preclinical and clinical findings, and highlight novel strategies under development to target PTEN-deficient cancers. PMID:24387334

  11. Vitamin A-aldehyde adducts: AMD risk and targeted therapeutics. (United States)

    Sparrow, Janet R


    Although currently available treatment options for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are limited, particularly for atrophic AMD, the identification of predisposing genetic variations has informed clinical studies addressing therapeutic options such as complement inhibitors and anti-inflammatory agents. To lower risk of early AMD, recommended lifestyle interventions such as the avoidance of smoking and the intake of low glycemic antioxidant-rich diets have largely followed from the identification of nongenetic modifiable factors. On the other hand, the challenge of understanding the complex relationship between aging and cumulative damage leading to AMD has fueled investigations of the visual cycle adducts that accumulate in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and are a hallmark of aging retina. These studies have revealed properties of these compounds that provide insights into processes that may compromise RPE and could contribute to disease mechanisms in AMD. This work has also led to the design of targeted therapeutics that are currently under investigation.

  12. Toll-like receptors as therapeutic targets in cystic fibrosis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Greene, Catherine M


    Background: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern recognition receptors that act as a first-line of defence in the innate immune response by recognising and responding to conserved molecular patterns in microbial factors and endogenous danger signals. Cystic fibrosis (CF)-affected airways represent a milieu potentially rich in TLR agonists and the chronic inflammatory phenotype evident in CF airway epithelial cells is probably due in large part to activation of TLRs. Objective\\/methods: To examine the prospects of developing novel therapies for CF by targeting TLRs. We outline the expression and function of TLRs and explore the therapeutic potential of naturally-occurring and synthetic TLR inhibitors for CF. Results\\/conclusion: Modulation of TLRs has therapeutic potential for the inflammatory lung manifestations of CF.

  13. Metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells: glycolysis, glutaminolysis, and Bcl-2 proteins as novel therapeutic targets for cancer. (United States)

    Li, Chunxia; Zhang, Guifeng; Zhao, Lei; Ma, Zhijun; Chen, Hongbing


    Nearly a century ago, Otto Warburg made the ground-breaking observation that cancer cells, unlike normal cells, prefer a seemingly inefficient mechanism of glucose metabolism: aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon now referred to as the Warburg effect. The finding that rapidly proliferating cancer cells favors incomplete metabolism of glucose, producing large amounts of lactate as opposed to synthesizing ATP to sustain cell growth, has confounded scientists for years. Further investigation into the metabolic phenotype of cancer has expanded our understanding of this puzzling conundrum, and has opened new avenues for the development of anti-cancer therapies. Enhanced glycolytic flux is now known to allow for increased synthesis of intermediates for sustaining anabolic pathways critical for cancer cell growth. Alongside the increase in glycolysis, cancer cells transform their mitochondria into synthesis machines supported by augmented glutaminolysis, supplying lipid production, amino acid synthesis, and the pentose phosphate pathways. Inhibition of several of the key enzymes involved in these pathways has been demonstrated to effectively obstruct cancer cell growth and multiplication, sensitizing them to apoptosis. The modulation of various regulatory proteins involved in metabolic processes is central to cancerous reprogramming of metabolism. The finding that members of one of the major protein families involved in cell death regulation also aberrantly regulated in cancers, the Bcl-2 family of proteins, are also critical mediators of metabolic pathways, provides strong evidence for the importance of the metabolic shift to cancer cell survival. Targeting the anti-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins is proving to be a successful way to selectively target cancer cells and induce apoptosis. Further understanding of how cancer cells modify metabolic regulation to increase channeling of substrates into biosynthesis will allow for the discovery of novel drug

  14. MicroRNAs as Therapeutic Targets for Alzheimer's Disease. (United States)

    Di Meco, Antonio; Praticò, Domenico


    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. With increasing longevity and the absence of a cure, AD has become not only a major health problem but also a heavy social and economic burden worldwide. Given this public health challenge, and that the current approved therapy for AD is limited to symptomatic treatment (i.e., cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists), exploration of new molecular pathways as novel therapeutic targets remains an attractive option for disease modifying drug development. microRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA that control gene expression at the post-translational level by inhibiting translation of specific mRNAs or degrading them. Dysregulation of several miRNAs has been described in AD brains. Interestingly, their molecular targets are pathways that are well-established functional players in the onset and development of AD pathogenesis. Today several molecular tools have been developed to modulate miRNA levels in vitro and in vivo. These scientific advancements are affording us for the first time with the real possibility of targeting in vivo these dysregulated miRNAs as a novel therapeutic approach against AD.

  15. Advances in sarcoma gene mutations and therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Gao, Peng; Seebacher, Nicole A; Hornicek, Francis; Guo, Zheng; Duan, Zhenfeng


    Sarcomas are rare and complex malignancies that have been associated with a poor prognostic outcome. Over the last few decades, traditional treatment with surgery and/or chemotherapy has not significantly improved outcomes for most types of sarcomas. In recent years, there have been significant advances in the understanding of specific gene mutations that are important in driving the pathogenesis and progression of sarcomas. Identification of these new gene mutations, using next-generation sequencing and advanced molecular techniques, has revealed a range of potential therapeutic targets. This, in turn, may lead to the development of novel agents targeted to different sarcoma subtypes. In this review, we highlight the advances made in identifying sarcoma gene mutations, including those of p53, RB, PI3K and IDH genes, as well as novel therapeutic strategies aimed at utilizing these mutant genes. In addition, we discuss a number of preclinical studies and ongoing early clinical trials in sarcoma targeting therapies, as well as gene editing technology, which may provide a better choice for sarcoma patient management. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Opioid withdrawal syndrome: emerging concepts and novel therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Rehni, Ashish K; Jaggi, Amteshwar S; Singh, Nirmal


    Opioid withdrawal syndrome is a debilitating manifestation of opioid dependence and responds poorly to the available clinical therapies. Studies from various in vivo and in vitro animal models of opioid withdrawal syndrome have led to understanding of its pathobiology which includes complex interrelated pathways leading to adenylyl cyclase superactivation based central excitation. Advancements in the elucidation of opioid withdrawal syndrome mechanisms have revealed a number of key targets that have been hypothesized to modulate clinical status. The present review discusses the neurobiology of opioid withdrawal syndrome and its therapeutic target recptors like calcitonin gene related peptide receptors (CGRP), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, gamma aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA), G-proteingated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels and calcium channels. The present review further details the potential role of second messengers like calcium (Ca2+) / calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMKII), nitric oxide synthase, cytokines, arachidonic acid metabolites, corticotropin releasing factor, fos and src kinases in causing opioid withdrawal syndrome. The exploitation of these targets may provide effective therapeutic agents for the management of opioid dependence-induced abstinence syndrome.

  17. Therapeutic Implications of Targeting Energy Metabolism in Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meena K. Sakharkar


    Full Text Available PPARs are ligand activated transcription factors. PPARγ agonists have been reported as a new and potentially efficacious treatment of inflammation, diabetes, obesity, cancer, AD, and schizophrenia. Since cancer cells show dysregulation of glycolysis they are potentially manageable through changes in metabolic environment. Interestingly, several of the genes involved in maintaining the metabolic environment and the central energy generation pathway are regulated or predicted to be regulated by PPARγ. The use of synthetic PPARγ ligands as drugs and their recent withdrawal/restricted usage highlight the lack of understanding of the molecular basis of these drugs, their off-target effects, and their network. These data further underscores the complexity of nuclear receptor signalling mechanisms. This paper will discuss the function and role of PPARγ in energy metabolism and cancer biology in general and its emergence as a promising therapeutic target in breast cancer.

  18. Autophagy of mitochondria: a promising therapeutic target for neurodegenerative disease. (United States)

    Kamat, Pradip K; Kalani, Anuradha; Kyles, Philip; Tyagi, Suresh C; Tyagi, Neetu


    The autophagic process is the only known mechanism for mitochondrial turnover and it has been speculated that dysfunction of autophagy may result in mitochondrial error and cellular stress. Emerging investigations have provided new understanding of how autophagy of mitochondria (also known as mitophagy) is associated with cellular oxidative stress and its impact on neurodegeneration. This impaired autophagic function may be considered as a possible mechanism in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington disease. It can be suggested that autophagy dysfunction along with oxidative stress is considered main events in neurodegenerative disorders. New therapeutic approaches have now begun to target mitochondria as a potential drug target. This review discusses evidence supporting the notion that oxidative stress and autophagy are intimately associated with neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. This review also explores new approaches that can prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, improve neurodegenerative etiology, and also offer possible cures to the aforementioned neurodegenerative diseases.

  19. In Search of New Therapeutic Targets in Obesity Treatment: Sirtuins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Kurylowicz


    Full Text Available Most of the available non-invasive medical therapies for obesity are non-efficient in a long-term evaluation; therefore there is a constant need for new methods of treatment. Research on calorie restriction has led to the discovery of sirtuins (silent information regulators, SIRTs, enzymes regulating different cellular pathways that may constitute potential targets in the treatment of obesity. This review paper presents the role of SIRTs in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism as well as in the differentiation of adipocytes. How disturbances of SIRTs’ expression and activity may lead to the development of obesity and related complications is discussed. A special emphasis is placed on polymorphisms in genes encoding SIRTs and their possible association with susceptibility to obesity and metabolic complications, as well as on data regarding altered expression of SIRTs in human obesity. Finally, the therapeutic potential of SIRTs-targeted strategies in the treatment of obesity and related disorders is discussed.

  20. Targeting angiogenesis-dependent calcified neoplasms using combined polymer therapeutics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehud Segal

    Full Text Available There is an immense clinical need for novel therapeutics for the treatment of angiogenesis-dependent calcified neoplasms such as osteosarcomas and bone metastases. We developed a new therapeutic strategy to target bone metastases and calcified neoplasms using combined polymer-bound angiogenesis inhibitors. Using an advanced "living polymerization" technique, the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT, we conjugated the aminobisphosphonate alendronate (ALN, and the potent anti-angiogenic agent TNP-470 with N-(2-hydroxypropylmethacrylamide (HPMA copolymer through a Glycine-Glycine-Proline-Norleucine linker, cleaved by cathepsin K, a cysteine protease overexpressed at resorption sites in bone tissues. In this approach, dual targeting is achieved. Passive accumulation is possible due to the increase in molecular weight following polymer conjugation of the drugs, thus extravasating from the tumor leaky vessels and not from normal healthy vessels. Active targeting to the calcified tissues is achieved by ALN's affinity to bone mineral.The anti-angiogenic and antitumor potency of HPMA copolymer-ALN-TNP-470 conjugate was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. We show that free and conjugated ALN-TNP-470 have synergistic anti-angiogenic and antitumor activity by inhibiting proliferation, migration and capillary-like tube formation of endothelial and human osteosarcoma cells in vitro. Evaluation of anti-angiogenic, antitumor activity and body distribution of HPMA copolymer-ALN-TNP-470 conjugate was performed on severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID male mice inoculated with mCherry-labeled MG-63-Ras human osteosarcoma and by modified Miles permeability assay. Our targeted bi-specific conjugate reduced VEGF-induced vascular hyperpermeability by 92% and remarkably inhibited osteosarcoma growth in mice by 96%.This is the first report to describe a new concept of a narrowly-dispersed combined polymer therapeutic designed to target both tumor and

  1. MicroRNA as therapeutic targets for treatment of depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hansen KF


    Full Text Available Katelin F Hansen, Karl Obrietan Department of Neuroscience, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA Abstract: Depression is a potentially life-threatening mental disorder affecting approximately 300 million people worldwide. Despite much effort, the molecular underpinnings of clinical depression remain poorly defined, and current treatments carry limited therapeutic efficacy and potentially burdensome side effects. Recently, small noncoding RNA molecules known as microRNA (miRNA have gained prominence as a target for therapeutic intervention, given their capacity to regulate neuronal physiology. Further, mounting evidence suggests a prominent role for miRNA in depressive molecular signaling. Recent studies have demonstrated that dysregulation of miRNA expression occurs in animal models of depression, and in the post-mortem tissue of clinically depressed patients. Investigations into depression-associated miRNA disruption reveals dramatic effects on downstream targets, many of which are thought to contribute to depressive symptoms. Furthermore, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, as well as other antidepressant drugs, have the capacity to reverse aberrant depressive miRNA expression and their downstream targets. Given the powerful effects that miRNA have on the central nervous system transcriptome, and the aforementioned studies, there is a compelling rationale to begin to assess the potential contribution of miRNA to depressive etiology. Here, we review the molecular biology of miRNA, our current understanding of miRNA in relation to clinical depression, and the utility of targeting miRNA for antidepressant treatment. Keywords: depression, microRNA, miRNA, BDNF, Dicer, serotonin

  2. EphB4 as a therapeutic target in mesothelioma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Ren; Ferguson, Benjamin D; Zhou, Yue; Naga, Kranthi; Salgia, Ravi; Gill, Parkash S; Krasnoperov, Valery


    Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) often develops decades following exposure to asbestos. Current best therapy produces a response in only half of patients, and the median survival with this therapy remains under a year. A search for novel targets and therapeutics is underway, and recently identified targets include VEGF, Notch, and EphB4-Ephrin-B2. Each of these targets has dual activity, promoting tumor cell growth as well as tumor angiogenesis. We investigated EphB4 expression in 39 human mesothelioma tissues by immunohistochemistry. Xenograft tumors established with human mesothelioma cells were treated with an EphB4 inhibitor (monomeric soluble EphB4 fused to human serum albumin, or sEphB4-HSA). The combinatorial effect of sEphB4-HSA and biologic agent was also studied. EphB4 was overexpressed in 72% of mesothelioma tissues evaluated, with 85% of epithelioid and 38% of sarcomatoid subtypes demonstrating overexpression. The EphB4 inhibitor sEphB4-HSA was highly active as a single agent to inhibit tumor growth, accompanied by tumor cell apoptosis and inhibition of PI3K and Src signaling. Combination of sEphB4-HSA and the anti-VEGF antibody (Bevacizumab) was superior to each agent alone and led to complete tumor regression. EphB4 is a potential therapeutic target in mesothelioma. Clinical investigation of sEphB4-HSA as a single agent and in combination with VEGF inhibitors is warranted

  3. Endocannabinoid System: A Multi-Facet Therapeutic Target. (United States)

    Kaur, Rimplejeet; Ambwani, Sneha R; Singh, Surjit


    the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists. One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that act selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted. Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids. In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as "protective" and "disease inducing substance", time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.

  4. Massively parallel de novo protein design for targeted therapeutics

    KAUST Repository

    Chevalier, Aaron


    De novo protein design holds promise for creating small stable proteins with shapes customized to bind therapeutic targets. We describe a massively parallel approach for designing, manufacturing and screening mini-protein binders, integrating large-scale computational design, oligonucleotide synthesis, yeast display screening and next-generation sequencing. We designed and tested 22,660 mini-proteins of 37-43 residues that target influenza haemagglutinin and botulinum neurotoxin B, along with 6,286 control sequences to probe contributions to folding and binding, and identified 2,618 high-affinity binders. Comparison of the binding and non-binding design sets, which are two orders of magnitude larger than any previously investigated, enabled the evaluation and improvement of the computational model. Biophysical characterization of a subset of the binder designs showed that they are extremely stable and, unlike antibodies, do not lose activity after exposure to high temperatures. The designs elicit little or no immune response and provide potent prophylactic and therapeutic protection against influenza, even after extensive repeated dosing.

  5. Functional differentiation of cytotoxic cancer drugs and targeted cancer therapeutics. (United States)

    Winkler, Gian C; Barle, Ester Lovsin; Galati, Giuseppe; Kluwe, William M


    There is no nationally or internationally binding definition of the term "cytotoxic drug" although this term is used in a variety of regulations for pharmaceutical development and manufacturing of drugs as well as in regulations for protecting medical personnel from occupational exposure in pharmacy, hospital, and other healthcare settings. The term "cytotoxic drug" is frequently used as a synonym for any and all oncology or antineoplastic drugs. Pharmaceutical companies generate and receive requests for assessments of the potential hazards of drugs regularly - including cytotoxicity. This publication is intended to provide functional definitions that help to differentiate between generically-cytotoxic cancer drugs of significant risk to normal human tissues, and targeted cancer therapeutics that pose much lesser risks. Together with specific assessments, it provides comprehensible guidance on how to assess the relevant properties of cancer drugs, and how targeted therapeutics discriminate between cancer and normal cells. The position of several regulatory agencies in the long-term is clearly to regulate all drugs regardless of classification, according to scientific risk based data. Despite ongoing discussions on how to replace the term "cytotoxic drugs" in current regulations, it is expected that its use will continue for the near future. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. STAT3 targeting by polyphenols: Novel therapeutic strategy for melanoma. (United States)

    Momtaz, Saeideh; Niaz, Kamal; Maqbool, Faheem; Abdollahi, Mohammad; Rastrelli, Luca; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad


    Melanoma or malignant melanocytes appear with the low incidence rate, but very high mortality rate worldwide. Epidemiological studies suggest that polyphenolic compounds contribute for prevention or treatment of several cancers particularly melanoma. Such findings motivate to dig out novel therapeutic strategies against melanoma, including research toward the development of new chemotherapeutic and biologic agents that can target the tumor cells by different mechanisms. Recently, it has been found that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is activated in many cancer cases surprisingly. Different evidences supply the aspect that STAT3 activation plays a vital role in the metastasis, including proliferation of cells, survival, invasion, migration, and angiogenesis. This significant feature plays a vital role in various cellular processes, such as cell proliferation and survival. Here, we reviewed the mechanisms of the STAT3 pathway regulation and their role in promoting melanoma. Also, we have evaluated the emerging data on polyphenols (PPs) specifically their contribution in melanoma therapies with an emphasis on their regulatory/inhibitory actions in relation to STAT3 pathway and current progress in the development of phytochemical therapeutic techniques. An understanding of targeting STAT3 by PPs brings an opportunity to melanoma therapy. © 2016 BioFactors, 43(3):347-370, 2017. © 2016 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  7. DEPDC5 as a potential therapeutic target for epilepsy. (United States)

    Myers, Kenneth A; Scheffer, Ingrid E


    Dishevelled, Egl-10 and Pleckstrin (DEP) domain-containing protein 5 (DEPDC5) is a protein subunit of the GTPase-activating proteins towards Rags 1 (GATOR1) complex. GATOR1 is a recently identified modulator of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) activity. mTOR is a key regulator of cell proliferation and metabolism; disruption of the mTOR pathway is implicated in focal epilepsy, both acquired and genetic. Tuberous sclerosis is the prototypic mTOR genetic syndrome with epilepsy, however GATOR1 gene mutations have recently been shown to cause lesional and non-lesional focal epilepsy. Areas covered: This review summarizes the mTOR pathway, including regulators and downstream effectors, emphasizing recent developments in the understanding of the complex role of the GATOR1 complex. We review the epilepsy types associated with mTOR overactivity, including tuberous sclerosis, polyhydramnios megalencephaly symptomatic epilepsy, cortical dysplasia, non-lesional focal epilepsy and post-traumatic epilepsy. Currently available mTOR inhibitors are discussed, primarily rapamycin analogs and ATP competitive mTOR inhibitors. Expert opinion: DEPDC5 is an attractive therapeutic target in focal epilepsy, as effects of DEPDC5 agonists would likely be anti-epileptogenic and more selective than currently available mTOR inhibitors. Therapeutic effects might be synergistic with certain existing dietary therapies, including the ketogenic diet.

  8. New Insights into Pericarditis: Mechanisms of Injury and Therapeutic Targets. (United States)

    Xu, Bo; Harb, Serge C; Cremer, Paul C


    This review article aims to provide a contemporary insight into the pathophysiological mechanisms of and therapeutic targets for pericarditis, drawing distinction between autoinflammatory and autoimmune pericarditis. Recent research has focused on the distinction between autoinflammatory and autoimmune pericarditis. In autoinflammatory pericarditis, viruses can activate the sensor molecule of the inflammasome, which results in downstream release of cytokines, such as interleukin-1, that recruit neutrophils and macrophages to the site of injury. Conversely, in autoimmune pericarditis, a type I interferon signature predominates, and pericardial manifestations coincide with the severity of the underlying systemic autoimmune disease. In addition, autoimmune pericarditis can also develop after cardiac injury syndromes. With either type of pericarditis, imaging can help stage the inflammatory state. Prominent pericardial delayed hyperenhancement on magnetic resonance imaging suggests ongoing inflammation whereas calcium on computed tomography suggests a completed inflammatory cascade. In patients with ongoing pericarditis, treatments that converge on the inflammasome, such as colchicine and anakinra, have proved effective in recurrent autoinflammatory pericarditis, though further clinical trials with anakinra are warranted. An improved understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of pericarditis helps unravel effective therapeutic targets for this condition.

  9. Current and novel therapeutic molecules and targets in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashwini Kumar


    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline, i.e., dementia. The disease starts with mild symptoms and gradually becomes severe. AD is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Several different hallmarks of the disease have been reported such as deposits of β-amyloid around neurons, hyperphosphorylated tau protein, oxidative stress, dyshomeostasis of bio-metals, low levels of acetylcholine, etc. AD is not simple to diagnose since there is no single diagnostic test for it. Pharmacotherapy for AD currently provides only symptomatic relief and mostly targets cognitive revival. Computational biology approaches have proved to be reliable tools for the selection of novel targets and therapeutic ligands. Molecular docking is a key tool in computer-assisted drug design and development. Docking has been utilized to perform virtual screening on large libraries of compounds, and propose structural hypotheses of how the ligands bind with the target with lead optimization. Another potential application of docking is optimization stages of the drug-discovery cycle. This review summarizes the known drug targets of AD, in vivo active agents against AD, state-of-the-art docking studies done in AD, and future prospects of the docking with particular emphasis on AD.

  10. Molecular and Therapeutic Targets of Genistein in Alzheimer's Disease. (United States)

    Devi, Kasi Pandima; Shanmuganathan, Balakrishnan; Manayi, Azadeh; Nabavi, Seyed Fazel; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad


    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating brain disorder characterized by an increased level of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide deposition and neuronal cell death leading to an impairment of learning and thinking skills. The Aβ deposition is a key factor in senile plaques of the AD brain which cause the elevation of intracellular calcium ions and the production of formidable free radicals, both of which greatly contribute to the AD-associated cascade, leading to unstoppable neuronal loss in the hippocampal region of the brain. Natural products are currently considered as an alternative strategy for the discovery of novel multipotent drugs against AD. They include the naturally occurring dietary soy isoflavone genistein which has been recognized to possess several health-promoting effects. Genistein has been mainly focused because of its potential on amelioration of Aβ-induced impairment and its antioxidant capacity to scavenge the free radicals produced in AD. It can also directly interact with the targeted signaling proteins and stabilize their activity to prevent AD. An improved understanding of the direct interactions between genistein and target proteins would contribute to the further development of AD treatment. This review mainly focuses on molecular targets and the therapeutic effects regulated by genistein, which has the ability to directly target the Aβ peptide and to control its activity involved in intracellular signaling pathways, which otherwise would lead to neuronal death in the hippocampal region of the AD brain.

  11. Garden of therapeutic delights: new targets in rheumatic diseases. (United States)

    Waldburger, Jean M; Firestein, Gary S


    Advances in our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms in rheumatic disease fostered the advent of the targeted therapeutics era. Intense research activity continues to increase the number of potential targets at an accelerated pace. In this review, examples of promising targets and agents that are at various stages of clinical development are described. Cytokine inhibition remains at the forefront with the success of tumor necrosis factor blockers, and biologics that block interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-17, IL-12, and IL-23 and other cytokines are on the horizon. After the success of rituximab and abatacept, other cell-targeted approaches that inhibit or deplete lymphocytes have moved forward, such as blocking BAFF/BLyS (B-cell activation factor of the tumor necrosis factor family/B-lymphocyte stimulator) and APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) or suppressing T-cell activation with costimulation molecule blockers. Small-molecule inhibitors might eventually challenge the dominance of biologics in the future. In addition to plasma membrane G protein-coupled chemokine receptors, small molecules can be designed to block intracellular enzymes that control signaling pathways. Inhibitors of tyrosine kinases expressed in lymphocytes, such as spleen tyrosine kinase and Janus kinase, are being tested in autoimmune diseases. Inactivation of the more broadly expressed mitogen-activated protein kinases could suppress inflammation driven by macrophages and mesenchymal cells. Targeting tyrosine kinases downstream of growth factor receptors might also reduce fibrosis in conditions like systemic sclerosis. The abundance of potential targets suggests that new and creative ways of evaluating safety and efficacy are needed.

  12. Proteomics of anti-cancer drugs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kovářová, Hana; Martinková, Jiřina; Hrabáková, Rita; Skalníková, Helena; Novák, Petr; Hajdůch, M.; Gadher, S. J.


    Roč. 276, Supplement 1 (2009), s. 84-84 E-ISSN 1742-4658. [34th FEBS Congress. 04.07.2009-09.07.2009, Praha] R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC07017 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50450515; CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : proteomics * anti-cancer drugs * biomarkers Subject RIV: FD - Oncology ; Hematology


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise eREDINI


    Full Text Available Ewing sarcoma is the second most common pediatric bone tumor, with three cases per million worldwide. In clinical terms, ES is an aggressive, rapidly fatal malignancy that mainly develops in osseous sites (85%, but also in extraskeletal soft tissue. It spreads naturally to the lungs, bones and bone marrow with poor prognosis in the two latter cases. Bone lesions from primary or secondary (metastases tumors are characterized by extensive bone remodeling, more often due to osteolysis. Osteoclast activation and subsequent bone resorption is responsible for the clinical features of bone tumors including pain, vertebral collapse and spinal cord compression. Based on the vicious cycle concept of tumor cells and bone resorbing cells, drugs which target osteoclasts may be promising agents as adjuvant setting for treating bone tumors, including Ewing sarcoma. There is also increasing evidence that cellular and molecular protagonists present in the bone microenvironment play a part in establishing a favorable niche for tumor initiation and progression. The purpose of this review is to discuss the potential therapeutic value of drugs targeting the bone tumor microenvironment in Ewing Sarcoma. The first part of the review will focus on targeting the bone resorbing function of osteoclasts by means of bisphosphonates (BPs or drugs blocking the pro-resorbing cytokine Receptor Activator of NF-kappa B Ligand (RANKL. Second, the role of this peculiar hypoxic microenvironment will be discussed in the context of resistance to chemotherapy, escape from the immune system, or neo-angiogenesis. Therapeutic interventions based on these specificities could be then proposed in the context of Ewing sarcoma.

  14. Biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles for enhancement of anti-cancer activities of phytochemicals (United States)

    Chuan, Li; Jia, Zhang; Yu-Jiao, Zu; Shu-Fang, Nie; Jun, Cao; Qian, Wang; Shao-Ping, Nie; Ze-Yuan, Deng; Ming-Yong, Xie; Shu, Wang


    Many phytochemicals show promise in cancer prevention and treatment, but their low aqueous solubility, poor stability, unfavorable bioavailability, and low target specificity make administering them at therapeutic doses unrealistic. This is particularly true for (–)-epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol, and genistein. There is an increasing interest in developing novel delivery strategies for these natural products. Liposomes, micelles, nanoemulsions, solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers and poly (lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles are biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles. Those nanoparticles can increase the stability and solubility of phytochemicals, exhibit a sustained release property, enhance their absorption and bioavailability, protect them from premature enzymatic degradation or metabolism, prolong their circulation time, improve their target specificity to cancer cells or tumors via passive or targeted delivery, lower toxicity or side-effects to normal cells or tissues through preventing them from prematurely interacting with the biological environment, and enhance anti-cancer activities. Nanotechnology opens a door for developing phytochemical-loaded nanoparticles for prevention and treatment of cancer. PMID:26412423

  15. Therapeutic targeting of eosinophil adhesion and accumulation in allergic conjunctivitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica eBaiula


    Full Text Available Considerable evidence indicates that eosinophils are important effectors of ocular allergy. Increased worldwide prevalence of allergic eye pathologies has stimulated the identification of novel drug targets, including eosinophils and adhesion molecules.Accumulation of eosinophils in the eye is a key event in the onset and maintenance of allergic inflammation and is mediated by different adhesion molecules. Antihistamines with multiple mechanisms of action can be effective during the early and late phases of allergic conjunctivitis by blocking the interaction between β1 integrins and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1. Small molecule antagonists that target key elements in the process of eosinophil recruitment have been identified and reinforce the validity of α4β1 integrin as a therapeutic target.Glucocorticoids are among the most effective drugs for ocular allergy, but their use is limited by adverse effects. Novel dissociated glucocorticoids can prevent eosinophil accumulation and induce apoptosis of eosinophils, making them promising candidates for ophthalmic drugs.This article reviews recent understanding of the role of adhesion molecules in eosinophil recruitment in the inflamed conjunctiva along with effective treatments for allergic conjunctivitis.

  16. Metabolic isoenzyme shifts in cancer as potential novel therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Ononye, S N; Shi, W; Wali, V B; Aktas, B; Jiang, T; Hatzis, C; Pusztai, L


    The functional redundancy of metabolic enzyme expression may present a new strategy for developing targeted therapies in cancer. To satisfy the increased metabolic demand required during neoplastic transformations and proliferation, cancer cells may rely on additional isoforms of a metabolic enzyme to satisfy the increased demand for metabolic precursors, which could subsequently render cancer cells more vulnerable to isoform-specific inhibitors. In this review, we provide a survey of common isoenzyme shifts that have been reported to be important in cancer metabolism and link those to metabolic pathways that currently have drugs in various stages of development. This phenomenon suggests a potentially new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer by identifying shifts in the expression of metabolic isoenzymes between cancer and normal cells. We also delineate other putative metabolic isoenzymes that could be targets for novel targeted therapies for cancer. Changes in isoenzyme expression that occur during neoplastic transformations or in response to environmental pressure in cancer cells may result in isoenzyme diversity that may subsequently render cancer cells more vulnerable to isoform-specific inhibitors due to reliance on a single isoform to perform a vital enzymatic function.

  17. Novel Colchicine Derivatives and their Anti-cancer Activity. (United States)

    Johnson, Lorelei; Goping, Ing Swie; Rieger, Aja; Mane, Jonathan Y; Huzil, Torin; Banerjee, Asok; Luduena, Richard; Hassani, Bashar; Winter, Philip; Tuszynski, Jack A


    In this paper we provide an overview of the status of various colchicine derivatives in preclinical development with special focus on their anti-cancer activity. We discuss several groups of compounds that have been designed to differentially bind with specific affinities for tubulin β isotypes, especially in regard to βIII, which is commonly over-expressed in cancer. Computational prediction, protein-based and cell-based assays are summarized as well as some animal tests conducted on these compounds. It is concluded that an untapped potential exists for exploiting the colchicine scaffold as a pharmacophore with the possibility of increasing its affinity for tubulin isotypes overexpressed in cancer and decreasing it for normal cells thereby widening the therapeutic window. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  18. Monoacylglycerol Lipase Is a Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongqing Chen


    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is the most common cause of dementia among older people. There are no effective medications currently available to prevent and treat AD and halt disease progression. Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL is the primary enzyme metabolizing the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the brain. We show here that inactivation of MAGL robustly suppressed production and accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ associated with reduced expression of β-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 in a mouse model of AD. MAGL inhibition also prevented neuroinflammation, decreased neurodegeneration, maintained integrity of hippocampal synaptic structure and function, and improved long-term synaptic plasticity, spatial learning, and memory in AD animals. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects produced by MAGL inhibition remain to be determined, our results suggest that MAGL, which regulates endocannabinoid and prostaglandin signaling, contributes to pathogenesis and neuropathology of AD, and thus is a promising therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of AD.

  19. Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target in Cardiovascular Disease (United States)

    Nemchenko, Andriy; Chiong, Mario; Turer, Aslan; Lavandero, Sergio; Hill, Joseph A.


    The epidemic of heart failure continues apace, and development of novel therapies with clinical efficacy has lagged. Now, important insights into the molecular circuitry of cardiovascular autophagy have raised the prospect that this cellular pathway of protein quality control may be a target of clinical relevance. Whereas basal levels of autophagy are required for cell survival, excessive levels – or perhaps distinct forms of autophagic flux – contribute to disease pathogenesis. Our challenge will be to distinguish mechanisms that drive adaptive versus maladaptive autophagy and to manipulate those pathways for therapeutic gain. Recent evidence suggests this may be possible. Here, we review the fundamental biology of autophagy and its role in a variety of forms of cardiovascular disease. We discuss ways in which this evolutionarily conserved catabolic mechanism can be manipulated, discuss studies presently underway in heart disease, and provide our perspective on where this exciting field may lead in the future. PMID:21723289

  20. Regulators of innate immunity as novel targets for panviral therapeutics. (United States)

    Es-Saad, Salwa; Tremblay, Nicolas; Baril, Martin; Lamarre, Daniel


    Interferons (IFNs) have long been used as an immunomodulatory therapy for a large array of acute and chronic viral infections. However, IFN therapies have been plagued by severe side effects. The discovery of pathogen recognition receptors (PRR) rejuvenated the interest for immunomodulatory therapies. The successes obtained with Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists in activating immune cells and as adjuvant for prophylactic vaccines against different viruses paved the way to targeted immunomodulatory therapy. Better characterization of pathogen-induced immune disorders and newly discovered regulators of innate immunity have now the potential to specifically withdraw prevailing subversion mechanisms and to transform antiviral treatments by introducing panviral therapeutics with less adverse effects than IFN therapies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Cytokines: Roles in atherosclerosis disease progression and potential therapeutic targets (United States)

    Moss, Joe W. E.; Ramji, Dipak P.


    Atherosclerosis, the primary cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), is a chronic inflammatory disorder in the walls of medium and large arteries. CVD is currently responsible for about one in three global deaths and this is expected to rise in the future due to an increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Current therapies for atherosclerosis mainly modulate lipid homeostasis and whilst successful at reducing the risk of a CVD-related death, they are associated with considerable residual risk and various side effects. There is therefore a need for alternative therapies aimed at regulating inflammation in order to reduce atherogenesis. This review will highlight the key role cytokines play during disease progression as well as potential therapeutic strategies to target them. PMID:27357616

  2. Cancer stem cell as therapeutic target for melanoma treatment. (United States)

    Alamodi, Abdulhadi A; Eshaq, Abdulaziz M; Hassan, Sofie-Yasmin; Al Hmada, Youssef; El Jamal, Siraj M; Fothan, Ahmed M; Arain, Omair M; Hassan, Sarah-Lilly; Haikel, Youssef; Megahed, Mosaad; Hassan, Mohamed


    Human malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive skin tumor that is characterized by its extraordinary heterogeneity, propensity for dissemination to distant organs and resistance to cytotoxic agents. Although chemo- and immune-based therapies have been evaluated in clinical trials, most of these therapeutics do not show significant benefit for patients with advanced disease. Treatment failure in melanoma patients is attributed mainly to the development of tumor heterogeneity resulting from the formation of genetically divergent subpopulations. These subpopulations are composed of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) as a small fraction and non-cancer stem cells that form the majority of the tumor mass. In recent years, CSCs gained more attention and suggested as valuable experimental model system for tumor study. In melanoma, intratumoral heterogeneity, progression and drug resistance result from the unique characteristics of melanoma stem cells (MSCs). These MSCs are characterized by their distinct protein signature and tumor growth-driving pathways, whose activation is mediated by driver mutation-dependent signal. The molecular features of MSCs are either in a causal or consequential relationship to melanoma progression, drug resistance and relapse. Here, we review the current scientific evidence that supports CSC hypothesis and the validity of MSCs-dependent pathways and their key molecules as potential therapeutic target for melanoma treatment.

  3. MicroRNA: an Emerging Therapeutic Target and Intervention Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Decheng Yang


    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are a class of short non-coding RNAs with posttranscriptional regulatory functions. To date, more than 600 human miRNAs have been experimentally identified, and estimated to regulate more than one third of cellular messenger RNAs. Accumulating evidence has linked the dysregulated expression patterns of miRNAs to a variety of diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases and viral infections. MiRNAs provide its particular layer of network for gene regulation, thus possessing the great potential both as a novel class of therapeutic targets and as a powerful intervention tool. In this regard, synthetic RNAs that contain the binding sites of miRNA have been shown to work as a “decoy” or “miRNA sponge” to inhibit the function of specific miRNAs. On the other hand, miRNA expression vectors have been used to restore or overexpress specific miRNAs to achieve a long-term effect. Further, double-stranded miRNA mimetics for transient replacement have been experimentally validated. Endogenous precursor miRNAs have also been used as scaffolds for the induction of RNA interference. This article reviews the recent progress on this emerging technology as a powerful tool for gene regulation studies and particularly as a rationale strategy for design of therapeutics.

  4. Autobiographical Memory Disturbances in Depression: A Novel Therapeutic Target? (United States)

    Köhler, Cristiano A.; Carvalho, André F.; Alves, Gilberto S.; McIntyre, Roger S.; Hyphantis, Thomas N.; Cammarota, Martín


    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by a dysfunctional processing of autobiographical memories. We review the following core domains of deficit: systematic biases favoring materials of negative emotional valence; diminished access and response to positive memories; a recollection of overgeneral memories in detriment of specific autobiographical memories; and the role of ruminative processes and avoidance when dealing with autobiographical memories. Furthermore, we review evidence from functional neuroimaging studies of neural circuits activated by the recollection of autobiographical memories in both healthy and depressive individuals. Disruptions in autobiographical memories predispose and portend onset and maintenance of depression. Thus, we discuss emerging therapeutics that target memory difficulties in those with depression. We review strategies for this clinical domain, including memory specificity training, method-of-loci, memory rescripting, and real-time fMRI neurofeedback training of amygdala activity in depression. We propose that the manipulation of the reconsolidation of autobiographical memories in depression might represent a novel yet largely unexplored, domain-specific, therapeutic opportunity for depression treatment. PMID:26380121

  5. Cytotoxicity Enhancement in Breast Cancer Cells with Carbonate Apatite-Facilitated Intracellular Delivery of Anti-Cancer Drugs (United States)

    Fatemian, Tahereh; Chowdhury, Ezharul Hoque


    Pharmacotherapy as the mainstay in the management of breast cancer has demonstrated various drawbacks, including non-targeted bio distribution and narrow therapeutic and safety windows. Thus, enhancements in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the classical anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved efficacy against cancer cells. Therefore, inorganic pH-dependent carbonate apatite (CA) nanoparticles were utilized to efficiently deliver various drugs into cancer cells. Following characterization and various modifications in the structure of CA complexes with different drugs, lifted outcomes were achieved. Markedly, complexing paclitaxel with CA resulted in 20.71 ± 4.34% loading efficiency together with 24.14 ± 2.21% enhancement in cytotoxicity on MCF-7 cells plus superior in vivo anti-tumour efficacy compared to free paclitaxel. PMID:29401738

  6. Cytotoxicity Enhancement in Breast Cancer Cells with Carbonate Apatite-Facilitated Intracellular Delivery of Anti-Cancer Drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tahereh Fatemian


    Full Text Available Pharmacotherapy as the mainstay in the management of breast cancer has demonstrated various drawbacks, including non-targeted bio distribution and narrow therapeutic and safety windows. Thus, enhancements in pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the classical anti-cancer drugs could lead to improved efficacy against cancer cells. Therefore, inorganic pH-dependent carbonate apatite (CA nanoparticles were utilized to efficiently deliver various drugs into cancer cells. Following characterization and various modifications in the structure of CA complexes with different drugs, lifted outcomes were achieved. Markedly, complexing paclitaxel with CA resulted in 20.71 ± 4.34% loading efficiency together with 24.14 ± 2.21% enhancement in cytotoxicity on MCF-7 cells plus superior in vivo anti-tumour efficacy compared to free paclitaxel.

  7. BCL-2 as a Therapeutic Target in Human Tubulointerstitial Inflammation (United States)

    Ko, Kichul; Wang, Jianing; Perper, Stuart; Jiang, Yulei; Yanez, Denisse; Kaverina, Natalya; Ai, Junting; Liarski, Vladimir M.; Chang, Anthony; Peng, Yahui; Lan, Li; Westmoreland, Susan; Olson, Lisa; Giger, Maryellen L.; Wang, Li Chun; Clark, Marcus R.


    Objective In lupus nephritis (LuN), tubulointerstitial inflammation (TII) is associated with in situ adaptive immune cell networks that amplify local tissue damage. As patients with severe TII often fail conventional therapy and develop renal failure, understanding these in situ mechanisms might reveal new therapeutic targets. We hypothesized that in TII, dysregulated apoptotic regulators maintain local adaptive immunity and drive inflammation. Methods We developed novel computational approaches that, when applied to multicolor confocal images, quantified apoptotic regulator protein expression in selected lymphocyte subsets. This approach was validated using laser capture microdissection (LCM) coupled to qPCR. Furthermore, we explored the consequences of dysregulated apoptotic mediator expression in a murine model of LuN. Results Analyses of renal biopsies from LuN and mixed cellular allograft rejection patients revealed that BCL-2 was frequently expressed in infiltrating lymphocytes while expression of MCL-1 was low. In contrast, the reciprocal pattern of expression was observed in tonsil germinal centers. These results were consistent with RNA expression data obtained using LCM and qPCR. BCL-2 was also highly expressed in tubulointerstitial infiltrates of NZB/W F1 mice. Furthermore, treatment of NZB/W F1 mice with ABT-199, a selective oral inhibitor of BCL-2, prolonged survival and prevented proteinuria and development of TII in a prevention model. Interestingly, glomerular immune complexes were partially ameliorated by ABT-199 and serum anti-dsDNA antibody titers were unaffected. Conclusion These data demonstrate BCL-2 as an attractive therapeutic target in LuN manifesting TII. PMID:27159593

  8. Myc-Driven Glycolysis Is a Therapeutic Target in Glioblastoma. (United States)

    Tateishi, Kensuke; Iafrate, A John; Ho, Quan; Curry, William T; Batchelor, Tracy T; Flaherty, Keith T; Onozato, Maristela L; Lelic, Nina; Sundaram, Sudhandra; Cahill, Daniel P; Chi, Andrew S; Wakimoto, Hiroaki


    Deregulated Myc drives an oncogenic metabolic state, including pseudohypoxic glycolysis, adapted for the constitutive production of biomolecular precursors to feed rapid tumor cell growth. In glioblastoma, Myc facilitates renewal of the tumor-initiating cell reservoir contributing to tumor maintenance. We investigated whether targeting the Myc-driven metabolic state could be a selectively toxic therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma. The glycolytic dependency of Myc-driven glioblastoma was tested using (13)C metabolic flux analysis, glucose-limiting culture assays, and glycolysis inhibitors, including inhibitors of the NAD(+) salvage enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyl-transferase (NAMPT), in MYC and MYCN shRNA knockdown and lentivirus overexpression systems and in patient-derived glioblastoma tumorspheres with and without MYC/MYCN amplification. The in vivo efficacy of glycolyic inhibition was tested using NAMPT inhibitors in MYCN-amplified patient-derived glioblastoma orthotopic xenograft mouse models. Enforced Myc overexpression increased glucose flux and expression of glycolytic enzymes in glioblastoma cells. Myc and N-Myc knockdown and Myc overexpression systems demonstrated that Myc activity determined sensitivity and resistance to inhibition of glycolysis. Small-molecule inhibitors of glycolysis, particularly NAMPT inhibitors, were selectively toxic to MYC/MYCN-amplified patient-derived glioblastoma tumorspheres. NAMPT inhibitors were potently cytotoxic, inducing apoptosis and significantly extended the survival of mice bearing MYCN-amplified patient-derived glioblastoma orthotopic xenografts. Myc activation in glioblastoma generates a dependency on glycolysis and an addiction to metabolites required for glycolysis. Glycolytic inhibition via NAMPT inhibition represents a novel metabolically targeted therapeutic strategy for MYC or MYCN-amplified glioblastoma and potentially other cancers genetically driven by Myc. Clin Cancer Res; 22(17); 4452-65. ©2016 AACR

  9. Pathogenic Inflammation and Its Therapeutic Targeting in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (United States)

    Gottschalk, Timothy A.; Tsantikos, Evelyn; Hibbs, Margaret L.


    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus) is a highly complex and heterogeneous autoimmune disease that most often afflicts women in their child-bearing years. It is characterized by circulating self-reactive antibodies that deposit in tissues, including skin, kidneys, and brain, and the ensuing inflammatory response can lead to irreparable tissue damage. Over many years, clinical trials in SLE have focused on agents that control B- and T-lymphocyte activation, and, with the single exception of an agent known as belimumab which targets the B-cell survival factor BAFF, they have been disappointing. At present, standard therapy for SLE with mild disease is the agent hydroxychloroquine. During disease flares, steroids are often used, while the more severe manifestations with major organ involvement warrant potent, broad-spectrum immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate. Current treatments have severe and dose-limiting toxicities and thus a more specific therapy targeting a causative factor or signaling pathway would be greatly beneficial in SLE treatment. Moreover, the ability to control inflammation alongside B-cell activation may be a superior approach for disease control. There has been a recent focus on the innate immune system and associated inflammation, which has uncovered key players in driving the pathogenesis of SLE. Delineating some of these intricate inflammatory mechanisms has been possible with studies using spontaneous mouse mutants and genetically engineered mice. These strains, to varying degrees, exhibit hallmarks of the human disease and therefore have been utilized to model human SLE and to test new drugs. Developing a better understanding of the initiation and perpetuation of disease in SLE may uncover suitable novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Here, we discuss the involvement of inflammation in SLE disease pathogenesis, with a focus on several key proinflammatory cytokines and myeloid growth factors, and review the known

  10. Pathogenic inflammation and its therapeutic targeting in systemic lupus erythematosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Andrew Gottschalk


    Full Text Available Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, lupus is a highly complex and heterogeneous autoimmune disease that most often afflicts women in their child-bearing years. It is characterized by circulating self-reactive antibodies that deposit in tissues including skin, kidneys and brain, and the ensuing inflammatory response can lead to irreparable tissue damage. Over many years, clinical trials in SLE have focused on agents that control B and T lymphocyte activation, and, with the single exception of an agent known as Belimumab which targets the B cell survival factor BAFF, they have been disappointing. At present, standard therapy for SLE with mild disease is the agent hydroxychloroquine. During disease flares, steroids are often used, while the more severe manifestations with major organ involvement warrant potent, broad-spectrum immuno-suppression with cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate. Current treatments have severe and dose-limiting toxicities and thus a more specific therapy targeting a causative factor or signaling pathway would be greatly beneficial in SLE treatment. Moreover, the ability to control inflammation alongside B cell activation may be a superior approach for disease control. There has been a recent focus on the innate immune system and associated inflammation, which has uncovered key players in driving the pathogenesis of SLE. Delineating some of these intricate inflammatory mechanisms has been possible with studies using spontaneous mouse mutants and genetically engineered mice. These strains, to varying degrees, exhibit hallmarks of the human disease and therefore have been utilized to model human SLE and to test new drugs. Developing a better understanding of the initiation and perpetuation of disease in SLE may uncover suitable novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Here we discuss the involvement of inflammation in SLE disease pathogenesis, with a focus on several key proinflammatory cytokines and myeloid growth factors, and

  11. Two likely targets for the anti-cancer effect of indole derivatives from cruciferous vegetables: PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling pathway and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. (United States)

    Popolo, Ada; Pinto, Aldo; Daglia, Maria; Nabavi, Seyed Fazel; Farooqi, Ammad Ahmad; Rastrelli, Luca


    Diets containing high quantities of plant foods are linked with a decreased likelihood of incidence of cancer. Several common plant-based dietary components exert effects on DNA methylation levels, and can positively influence genome stability and the transcription of tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a substance present in vegetables of the Brassicaeae family, especially broccoli, white cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. The in vivo biological effects of I3C are ascribed to a series of oligomeric products (including 3,3'-diindolylmethane), developed under acidic conditions. I3C is one of the many natural products and bioactive compounds found in foods which have recently received much attention for its potential effects in cancer prevention and treatment. In vitro studies report that I3C suppresses the proliferation of different tumor cells, including those isolated from breast, prostate, endometrium, and colon cancers. I3C resulted to be a potent in vivo chemopreventive agent for certain hormone-dependent cancers, including breast and cervical cancer. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are not well defined. In this review, we have analysed recent literature on the use of indole derivatives against various forms of cancer, and have identified the main signalling pathways involved in their anti-cancer effect as PI3K/Akt/mTOR and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Targeting colorectal cancer stem cells using curcumin and curcumin analogues: insights into the mechanism of the therapeutic efficacy. (United States)

    Ramasamy, Thamil Selvee; Ayob, Ain Zubaidah; Myint, Hsu Hsu Lynn; Thiagarajah, Sharmanee; Amini, Farahnaz


    Colorectal cancer is one of the commonest cancers in the world and it is also a common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Despite advanced treatment strategies, the disease is rarely cured completely due to recurrence. Evidence shows that this is due to a small population of cells, called cancer stem cells (CSCs), in the tumour mass that have the self-renewal and differentiation potential to give rise to a new tumour population. Many pre-clinical and clinical studies have used curcumin and its analogues as anti-cancer agents in various types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. Intriguingly, curcumin and its analogues have also recently been shown to be effective in lowering tumour recurrence by targeting the CSC population, hence inhibiting tumour growth. In this review, we highlight the efficacy of curcumin and its analogues in targeting colorectal CSC and also the underlying molecular mechanism involved. Curcumin, in the presence or absence of other anti-cancer agents, has been shown to reduce the size of tumour mass and growth in both in vivo and in vitro studies by affecting many intracellular events that are associated with cancer progression and CSC formation. An insight into the molecular mechanism has unraveled the mode of action via which curcumin could affect the key regulators in CSC, importantly; (1) the signaling pathways, including Wnt/β-catenin, Sonic Hedgehog, Notch and PI3K/Akt/mTOR, (2) microRNA and (3) the epithelial-mesenchymal transition at multiple levels. Therefore, curcumin could play a role as chemosensitiser whereby the colorectal CSCs are now sensitised towards the anti-cancer therapy, therefore, combination therapy using anti-cancer agent with curcumin could be much more effective than treatment using a single cancer agent. This potential treatment modality can be further developed by employing an effective delivery system using a nanotechnology based approach to treat colorectal cancer.

  13. STAT3 signaling mediates tumour resistance to EGFR targeted therapeutics. (United States)

    Zulkifli, Ahmad A; Tan, Fiona H; Putoczki, Tracy L; Stylli, Stanley S; Luwor, Rodney B


    Several EGFR inhibitors are currently undergoing clinical assessment or are approved for the clinical management of patients with varying tumour types. However, treatment often results in a lack of response in many patients. The majority of patients that initially respond eventually present with tumours that display acquired resistance to the original therapy. A large number of receptor tyrosine and intracellular kinases have been implicated in driving signaling that mediates this tumour resistance to anti-EGFR targeted therapy, and in a few cases these discoveries have led to overall changes in prospective tumour screening and clinical practice (K-RAS in mCRC and EGFR T790M in NSCLC). In this mini-review, we specifically focus on the role of the STAT3 signaling axis in providing both intrinsic and acquired resistance to inhibitors of the EGFR. We also focus on STAT3 pathway targeting in an attempt to overcome resistance to anti-EGFR therapeutics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Molecular Strategies for Targeting Antioxidants to Mitochondria: Therapeutic Implications (United States)


    Abstract Mitochondrial function and specifically its implication in cellular redox/oxidative balance is fundamental in controlling the life and death of cells, and has been implicated in a wide range of human pathologies. In this context, mitochondrial therapeutics, particularly those involving mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, have attracted increasing interest as potentially effective therapies for several human diseases. For the past 10 years, great progress has been made in the development and functional testing of molecules that specifically target mitochondria, and there has been special focus on compounds with antioxidant properties. In this review, we will discuss several such strategies, including molecules conjugated with lipophilic cations (e.g., triphenylphosphonium) or rhodamine, conjugates of plant alkaloids, amino-acid- and peptide-based compounds, and liposomes. This area has several major challenges that need to be confronted. Apart from antioxidants and other redox active molecules, current research aims at developing compounds that are capable of modulating other mitochondria-controlled processes, such as apoptosis and autophagy. Multiple chemically different molecular strategies have been developed as delivery tools that offer broad opportunities for mitochondrial manipulation. Additional studies, and particularly in vivo approaches under physiologically relevant conditions, are necessary to confirm the clinical usefulness of these molecules. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 22, 686–729. PMID:25546574

  15. Henipavirus Mediated Membrane Fusion, Virus Entry and Targeted Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitar B. Nikolov


    Full Text Available The Paramyxoviridae genus Henipavirus is presently represented by the type species Hendra and Nipah viruses which are both recently emerged zoonotic viral pathogens responsible for repeated outbreaks associated with high morbidity and mortality in Australia, Southeast Asia, India and Bangladesh. These enveloped viruses bind and enter host target cells through the coordinated activities of their attachment (G and class I fusion (F envelope glycoproteins. The henipavirus G glycoprotein interacts with host cellular B class ephrins, triggering conformational alterations in G that lead to the activation of the F glycoprotein, which facilitates the membrane fusion process. Using the recently published structures of HeV-G and NiV-G and other paramyxovirus glycoproteins, we review the features of the henipavirus envelope glycoproteins that appear essential for mediating the viral fusion process, including receptor binding, G-F interaction, F activation, with an emphasis on G and the mutations that disrupt viral infectivity. Finally, recent candidate therapeutics for henipavirus-mediated disease are summarized in light of their ability to inhibit HeV and NiV entry by targeting their G and F glycoproteins.

  16. Osteocytic signalling pathways as therapeutic targets for bone fragility. (United States)

    Plotkin, Lilian I; Bellido, Teresita


    Osteocytes are differentiated osteoblasts that become surrounded by matrix during the process of bone formation. Acquisition of the osteocyte phenotype is achieved by profound changes in gene expression that facilitate adaptation to the changing cellular environment and constitute the molecular signature of osteocytes. During osteocytogenesis, the expression of genes that are characteristic of the osteoblast are altered and the expression of genes and/or proteins that impart dendritic cellular morphology, regulate matrix mineralization and control the function of cells at the bone surface are ordely modulated. The discovery of mutations in human osteocytic genes has contributed, in a large part, to our understanding of the role of osteocytes in bone homeostasis. Osteocytes are targets of the mechanical force imposed on the skeleton and have a critical role in integrating mechanosensory pathways with the action of hormones, which thereby leads to the orchestrated response of bone to environmental cues. Current, therapeutic approaches harness this accumulating knowledge by targeting osteocytic signalling pathways and messengers to improve skeletal health.

  17. Lipoprotein nanoplatform for targeted delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. (United States)

    Glickson, Jerry D; Lund-Katz, Sissel; Zhou, Rong; Choi, Hoon; Chen, I-Wei; Li, Hui; Corbin, Ian; Popov, Anatoliy V; Cao, Weiguo; Song, Liping; Qi, Chenze; Marotta, Diane; Nelson, David S; Chen, Juan; Chance, Britton; Zheng, Gang


    Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) provides a highly versatile natural nanoplatform for delivery of optical and MRI contrast agents, photodynamic therapy agents and chemotherapeutic agents to normal and neoplastic cells that over express LDL receptors (LDLR). Extension to other lipoproteins ranging in diameter from approximately 5-10 nm (high density lipoprotein, HDL) to over a micron (chilomicrons) is feasible. Loading of contrast or therapeutic agents has been achieved by covalent attachment to protein side chains, intercalation into the phospholipid monolayer and extraction and reconstitution of the triglyceride/cholesterol ester core. Covalent attachment of folate to the lysine side chain amino groups was used to reroute the LDL from its natural receptor (LDLR) to folate receptors and could be utilized to target other receptors. A semi-synthetic nanoparticle has been constructed by coating magnetite iron oxide nanoparticles (MIONs) with carboxylated cholesterol and overlaying a monolayer ofphospholipid to which Apo A1, Apo E or synthetic amphoteric alpha-helical polypeptides were adsorbed for targeting HDL, LDL or folate receptors, respectively. These particles can be utilized for in situ loading of magnetite into cells for MRI monitored cell tracking or gene therapy.

  18. RNA decay: a novel therapeutic target in bacteria. (United States)

    Eidem, Tess M; Roux, Christelle M; Dunman, Paul M


    The need for novel antibiotics is greater now than perhaps any time since the pre-antibiotic era. Indeed, the recent collapse of most pharmaceutical antibacterial groups, combined with the emergence of hypervirulent and pan-antibiotic-resistant bacteria have, in effect, created a 'perfect storm' that has severely compromised infection treatment options and led to dramatic increases in the incidence and severity of bacterial infections. To put simply, it is imperative that we develop new classes of antibiotics for the therapeutic intervention of bacterial infections. In that regard, RNA degradation is an essential biological process that has not been exploited for antibiotic development. Herein we discuss the factors that govern bacterial RNA degradation, highlight members of this machinery that represent attractive antimicrobial drug development targets and describe the use of high-throughput screening as a means of developing antimicrobials that target these enzymes. Such agents would represent first-in-class antibiotics that would be less apt to inactivation by currently encountered enzymatic antibiotic-resistance determinants. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. STXBP1 as a therapeutic target for epileptic encephalopathy. (United States)

    Stamberger, Hannah; Weckhuysen, Sarah; De Jonghe, Peter


    STXBP1 is an essential protein for presynaptic vesicle release. Mutations in STXBP1 have been associated with a series of (epileptic) neurodevelopmental disorders collectively referred to as STXBP1-encephalopathy (STXBP1-E). In this review we hypothesize about the potential of STXBP1 as a therapeutic target in the field of epileptic encephalopathies. Areas covered: A state of the art overview on current understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanism underlying STXBP1-E is presented. Possibilities of different treatment modalities are discussed including unbiased compound screening, specific protein-protein interaction inhibition and gene therapy, consisting either of gene suppletion or upregulation of gene expression. Expert opinion: Current treatment for STXBP1-E is largely limited to seizure control and future therapies will need to target the developmental aspects of the disease as well. Both in vitro- and animal models used to study the pathophysiology of STXBP1-E could be further optimized as a model for compound screening. They should reflect both the hyper excitable state and the psychomotor delay of STXBP1-E. Specific protein-protein interaction and gene therapy are promising future treatment options that need to be investigated further. We suggest a parallel research strategy on basic pathophysiology and compound development with both fields working in close collaboration with the patient/clinical community.

  20. Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapeutics (United States)

    Luk, Brian Tsengchi

    interactions between membranes and synthetic nanoparticles, and how the membrane coating technique faithfully translates the complexities of natural cellular membranes to the nanoscale. The following three sections explore potential therapeutic applications of membrane-coated nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, biodetoxification, and immunomodulation. Ultimately, cell membrane-cloaked nanoparticles have the potential to significantly change the landscape of nanomedicine. The novel applications presented in this thesis are just a few of many examples currently being researched, with countless more avenues waiting to be explored.

  1. Novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for optimizing the therapeutic management of melanomas. (United States)

    Mimeault, Murielle; Batra, Surinder K


    Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer with an extremely poor survival rate for the patients diagnosed with locally invasive and metastatic disease states. Intensive research has led in last few years to an improvement of the early detection and curative treatment of primary cutaneous melanomas that are confined to the skin by tumor surgical resection. However, locally advanced and disseminated melanomas are generally resistant to conventional treatments, including ionizing radiation, systemic chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or adjuvant stem cell-based therapies, and result in the death of patients. The rapid progression of primary melanomas to locally invasive and/or metastatic disease states remains a major obstacle for an early effective diagnosis and a curative therapeutic intervention for melanoma patients. Importantly, recent advances in the melanoma research have led to the identification of different gene products that are often implicated in the malignant transformation of melanocytic cells into melanoma cells, including melanoma stem/progenitor cells, during melanoma initiation and progression to locally advanced and metastatic disease states. The frequent deregulated genes products encompass the oncogenic B-RafV600E and N-RasQ61R mutants, different receptor tyrosine kinases and developmental pathways such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), stem cell-like factor (SCF) receptor KIT, hedgehog, Wnt/β-catenin, Notch, stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1)/CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)/VEGFR receptor. These growth factors can cooperate to activate distinct tumorigenic downstream signaling elements and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated molecules, including phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/ molecular target of rapamycin (mTOR), nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB), macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1), vimentin, snail and twist. Of therapeutic

  2. Investigation of antibacterial and anti-cancer activities of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Investigation of antibacterial and anti-cancer activities of Streptomyces sp SRF1 culture filtrate. Kusavadee Sangdee, Benjaporn Buranrat, Prapairat Seephonkai, Nilawan Surapong, Aphidech Sangdee ...

  3. Co-delivery of VP-16 and Bcl-2-targeted antisense on PEG-grafted oMWCNTs for synergistic in vitro anti-cancer effects in non-small and small cell lung cancer. (United States)

    Heger, Zbynek; Polanska, Hana; Krizkova, Sona; Balvan, Jan; Raudenska, Martina; Dostalova, Simona; Moulick, Amitava; Masarik, Michal; Adam, Vojtech


    Present study describes the preparation of a polyethylene glycol-grafted oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (oMWCNTs-PEG) hybrid nanosystem as a carrier of etoposide (VP-16) and Bcl-2 phosphorothioate antisense deoxyoligonucleotides (Aso) to achieve a superior cytostastic efficacy in non-small and small cell lung cancer in vitro. We have demonstrated that the adsorption of hydrophobic VP-16 and Bcl-2 Aso results in a stable nanotransporter exhibiting good dispersion with excellent release profiles (both, in pH 7.4 and 4.8) and negligible hemolytic activity (up to 6.5%). The evaluation of cytotoxicity was carried out in in vitro using small cell (SCLC; DMS53) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC; NCIH2135) cell lines. It was found that Bcl-2 interference significantly increased the anti-cancer efficiency of VP-16 in the chemoresistant NSCLC cells. This was further supported using a flow-cytometry (Annexin V/propidium iodide assay), which revealed a significant increase in apoptotic cells in both the cell lines after the co-administration of VP-16 and Bcl-2 Aso using oMWCNTs-PEG hybrid, and fluorescence microscopy, which showed an increase in reactive oxygen species identified after Bcl-2 knock-down. Overall, oMWCNTs-PEG provided an exceptional biocompatible vehicle enabling the internalization of negatively charged nucleic acids and pH-sensitive release of cargoes in a hypoxic environment of the most of solid tumors. Moreover, Aso specifically binding to the first six codons of the Bcl-2 mRNA gave a satisfactorily decrease in Bcl-2 translation and an increase in NCIH2135 chemosensitivity towards VP-16. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Lipoprotein Nanoplatform for Targeted Delivery of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerry D. Glickson


    Full Text Available Low-density lipoprotein (LDL provides a highly versatile natural nanoplatform for delivery of visible or near-infrared fluorescent optical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI contrast agents and photodynamic therapy and chemotherapeutic agents to normal and neoplastic cells that overexpress low-density lipoprotein receptors (LDLRs. Extension to other lipoproteins ranging in diameter from about 10 nm (high-density lipoprotein [HDL] to over a micron (chylomicrons is feasible. Loading of contrast or therapeutic agents onto or into these particles has been achieved by protein loading (covalent attachment to protein side chains, surface loading (intercalation into the phospholipid monolayer, and core loading (extraction and reconstitution of the triglyceride/cholesterol ester core. Core and surface loading of LDL have been used for delivery of optical imaging agents to tumor cells in vivo and in culture. Surface loading was used for delivery of gadolinium-bis-stearylamide contrast agents for in vivo MRI detection in tumor-bearing mice. Chlorin and phthalocyanine near-infrared photodynamic therapy agents (≤ 400/LDL have been attached by core loading. Protein loading was used to reroute the LDL from its natural receptor (LDLR to folate receptors and could be used to target other receptors. A semisynthetic nanoparticle has been constructed by coating magnetite iron oxide nanoparticles with carboxylated cholesterol and overlaying a monolayer of phospholipid to which apolipoprotein A1 or E was adsorbed for targeting HDL or adsorbing synthetic amphipathic helical peptides ltargeting LDL or folate receptors. These particles can be used for in situ loading of magnetite into cells for MRI-monitored cell tracking or gene expression.

  5. Matrix metalloproteinases as therapeutic targets for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. (United States)

    Craig, Vanessa J; Zhang, Li; Hagood, James S; Owen, Caroline A


    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a restrictive lung disease that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Current medical therapies are not fully effective at limiting mortality in patients with IPF, and new therapies are urgently needed. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteinases that, together, can degrade all components of the extracellular matrix and numerous nonmatrix proteins. MMPs and their inhibitors, tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs), have been implicated in the pathogenesis of IPF based upon the results of clinical studies reporting elevated levels of MMPs (including MMP-1, MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-9) in IPF blood and/or lung samples. Surprisingly, studies of gene-targeted mice in murine models of pulmonary fibrosis (PF) have demonstrated that most MMPs promote (rather than inhibit) the development of PF and have identified diverse mechanisms involved. These mechanisms include MMPs: (1) promoting epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (MMP-3 and MMP-7); (2) increasing lung levels or activity of profibrotic mediators or reducing lung levels of antifibrotic mediators (MMP-3, MMP-7, and MMP-8); (3) promoting abnormal epithelial cell migration and other aberrant repair processes (MMP-3 and MMP-9); (4) inducing the switching of lung macrophage phenotypes from M1 to M2 types (MMP-10 and MMP-28); and (5) promoting fibrocyte migration (MMP-8). Two MMPs, MMP-13 and MMP-19, have antifibrotic activities in murine models of PF, and two MMPs, MMP-1 and MMP-10, have the potential to limit fibrotic responses to injury. Herein, we review what is known about the contributions of MMPs and TIMPs to the pathogenesis of IPF and discuss their potential as therapeutic targets for IPF.

  6. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Charvériat


    networking may emerge as new therapeutic targets in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

  7. Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Oncology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gopinath eSutendra


    Full Text Available Current drug development in oncology is non-selective as it typically focuses on pathways essential for the survival of all dividing cells. The unique metabolic profile of cancer, which is characterized by increased glycolysis and suppressed mitochondrial glucose oxidation provides cancer cells with a proliferative advantage, conducive with apoptosis resistance and even increased angiogenesis. Recent evidence suggests that targeting the cancer-specific metabolic and mitochondrial remodeling may offer selectivity in cancer treatment. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK is a mitochondrial enzyme that is activated in a variety of cancers and results in the selective inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH, a complex of enzymes that converts cytosolic pyruvate to mitochondrial acetyl-CoA, the substrate for the Krebs’ cycle. Inhibition of PDK with either small interfering RNAs or the orphan drug dichloroacetate (DCA shifts the metabolism of cancer cells from glycolysis to glucose oxidation and reverses the suppression of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis. In addition, this therapeutic strategy increases the production of diffusible Krebs’ cycle intermediates and mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species (mROS, activating p53 or inhibiting pro-proliferative and pro-angiogenic transcription factors like nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α. These effects result in decreased tumor growth and angiogenesis in a variety of cancers with high selectivity. In a small but mechanistic clinical trial in patients with glioblastoma, a highly aggressive and vascular form of brain cancer, DCA decreased tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth, suggesting that metabolic targeting therapies can be translated directly to patients. Therefore, reversing the mitochondrial suppression with metabolic-modulating drugs, like PDK inhibitors holds promise in the rapidly expanding field of metabolic oncology.

  8. Activated signature of antiphospholipid syndrome neutrophils reveals potential therapeutic target (United States)

    Knight, Jason S.; Meng, He; Coit, Patrick; Yalavarthi, Srilakshmi; Sule, Gautam; Gandhi, Alex A.; Grenn, Robert C.; Mazza, Levi F.; Ali, Ramadan A.; Renauer, Paul; Wren, Jonathan D.; Bockenstedt, Paula L.; Wang, Hui; Eitzman, Daniel T.; Sawalha, Amr H.


    Antiphospholipid antibodies, present in one-third of lupus patients, increase the risk of thrombosis. We recently reported a key role for neutrophils — neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), in particular — in the thrombotic events that define antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). To further elucidate the role of neutrophils in APS, we performed a comprehensive transcriptome analysis of neutrophils isolated from patients with primary APS. Moreover, APS-associated venous thrombosis was modeled by treating mice with IgG prepared from APS patients, followed by partial restriction of blood flow through the inferior vena cava. In patients, APS neutrophils demonstrated a proinflammatory signature with overexpression of genes relevant to IFN signaling, cellular defense, and intercellular adhesion. For in vivo studies, we focused on P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), a key adhesion molecule overexpressed in APS neutrophils. The introduction of APS IgG (as compared with control IgG) markedly potentiated thrombosis in WT mice, but not PSGL-1–KOs. PSGL-1 deficiency was also associated with reduced leukocyte vessel wall adhesion and NET formation. The thrombosis phenotype was restored in PSGL-1–deficient mice by infusion of WT neutrophils, while an anti–PSGL-1 monoclonal antibody inhibited APS IgG–mediated thrombosis in WT mice. PSGL-1 represents a potential therapeutic target in APS. PMID:28931754

  9. MicroRNA as Therapeutic Targets for Chronic Wound Healing. (United States)

    Mulholland, Eoghan J; Dunne, Nicholas; McCarthy, Helen O


    Wound healing is a highly complex biological process composed of three overlapping phases: inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. Impairments at any one or more of these stages can lead to compromised healing. MicroRNAs (miRs) are non-coding RNAs that act as post-transcriptional regulators of multiple proteins and associated pathways. Thus, identification of the appropriate miR involved in the different phases of wound healing could reveal an effective third-generation genetic therapy in chronic wound care. Several miRs have been shown to be upregulated or downregulated during the wound healing process. This article examines the biological processes involved in wound healing, the miR involved at each stage, and how expression levels are modulated in the chronic wound environment. Key miRs are highlighted as possible therapeutic targets, either through underexpression or overexpression, and the healing benefits are interrogated. These are prime miR candidates that could be considered as a gene therapy option for patients suffering from chronic wounds. The success of miR as a gene therapy, however, is reliant on the development of an appropriate delivery system that must be designed to overcome both extracellular and intracellular barriers. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. MicroRNA as Therapeutic Targets for Chronic Wound Healing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eoghan J. Mulholland


    Full Text Available Wound healing is a highly complex biological process composed of three overlapping phases: inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. Impairments at any one or more of these stages can lead to compromised healing. MicroRNAs (miRs are non-coding RNAs that act as post-transcriptional regulators of multiple proteins and associated pathways. Thus, identification of the appropriate miR involved in the different phases of wound healing could reveal an effective third-generation genetic therapy in chronic wound care. Several miRs have been shown to be upregulated or downregulated during the wound healing process. This article examines the biological processes involved in wound healing, the miR involved at each stage, and how expression levels are modulated in the chronic wound environment. Key miRs are highlighted as possible therapeutic targets, either through underexpression or overexpression, and the healing benefits are interrogated. These are prime miR candidates that could be considered as a gene therapy option for patients suffering from chronic wounds. The success of miR as a gene therapy, however, is reliant on the development of an appropriate delivery system that must be designed to overcome both extracellular and intracellular barriers.

  11. Regression of Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy: Signaling Pathways and Therapeutic Targets (United States)

    Hou, Jianglong; Kang, Y. James


    Pathological cardiac hypertrophy is a key risk factor for heart failure. It is associated with increased interstitial fibrosis, cell death and cardiac dysfunction. The progression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy has long been considered as irreversible. However, recent clinical observations and experimental studies have produced evidence showing the reversal of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Left ventricle assist devices used in heart failure patients for bridging to transplantation not only improve peripheral circulation but also often cause reverse remodeling of the geometry and recovery of the function of the heart. Dietary supplementation with physiologically relevant levels of copper can reverse pathological cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Angiogenesis is essential and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a constitutive factor for the regression. The action of VEGF is mediated by VEGF receptor-1, whose activation is linked to cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase-1 (PKG-1) signaling pathways, and inhibition of cyclic GMP degradation leads to regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Most of these pathways are regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor. Potential therapeutic targets for promoting the regression include: promotion of angiogenesis, selective enhancement of VEGF receptor-1 signaling pathways, stimulation of PKG-1 pathways, and sustention of hypoxia-inducible factor transcriptional activity. More exciting insights into the regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy are emerging. The time of translating the concept of regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy to clinical practice is coming. PMID:22750195

  12. Glioblastoma: Molecular Pathways, Stem Cells and Therapeutic Targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jhanwar-Uniyal, Meena, E-mail:; Labagnara, Michael; Friedman, Marissa; Kwasnicki, Amanda; Murali, Raj [Department of Neurosurgery, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595 (United States)


    Glioblastoma (GBM), a WHO-defined Grade IV astrocytoma, is the most common and aggressive CNS malignancy. Despite current treatment modalities, the survival time remains dismal. The main cause of mortality in patients with this disease is reoccurrence of the malignancy, which is attributed to treatment-resistant cancer stem cells within and surrounding the primary tumor. Inclusion of novel therapies, such as immuno- and DNA-based therapy, may provide better means of treating GBM. Furthermore, manipulation of recently discovered non-coding microRNAs, some of which regulate tumor growth through the development and maintenance of GBM stem cells, could provide new prospective therapies. Studies conducted by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) also demonstrate the role of molecular pathways, specifically the activated PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, in GBM tumorigenesis. Inhibition of the aforementioned pathway may provide a more direct and targeted method to GBM treatment. The combination of these treatment modalities may provide an innovative therapeutic approach for the management of GBM.

  13. Targeting Metabolic Reprogramming by Influenza Infection for Therapeutic Intervention

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smallwood, Heather S.; Duan, Susu; Morfouace, Marie; Rezinciuc, Svetlana; Shulkin, Barry L.; Shelat, Anang; Zink, Erika E.; Milasta, Sandra; Bajracharya, Resha; Oluwaseum, Ajayi J.; Roussel, Martine F.; Green, Douglas R.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Thomas, Paul G.


    Influenza is a worldwide health and financial burden posing a significant risk to the immune-compromised, obese, diabetic, elderly, and pediatric populations. We identified increases in glucose metabolism in the lungs of pediatric patients infected with respiratory pathogens. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we found metabolic changes occurring after influenza infection in primary human respiratory cells and validated infection-associated increases in c-Myc, glycolysis, and glutaminolysis. We confirmed these findings with a metabolic drug screen that identified the PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 as a regulator of infectious virus production. BEZ235 treatment ablated the transient induction of c-Myc, restored PI3K/mTOR pathway homeostasis measured by 4E-BP1 and p85 phosphorylation, and reversed infection-induced changes in metabolism. Importantly, BEZ235 reduced infectious progeny but had no effect on the early stages of viral replication. BEZ235 significantly increased survival in mice, while reducing viral titer. We show metabolic reprogramming of host cells by influenza virus exposes targets for therapeutic intervention.

  14. Oxidative Stress and Liver Cancer: Etiology and Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanpeng Wang


    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence has indicated that oxidative stress (OS is associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC. However, the mechanisms remain largely unknown. Normally, OS occurs when the body receives any danger signal—from either an internal or external source—and further induces DNA oxidative damage and abnormal protein expression, placing the body into a state of vulnerability to the development of various diseases such as cancer. There are many factors involved in liver carcinogenesis, including hepatitis B virus (HBV and hepatitis C virus (HCV infection, alcohol abuse, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD. The relationship between OS and HCC has recently been attracting increasing attention. Therefore, elucidation of the impact of OS on the development of liver carcinogenesis is very important for the prevention and treatment of liver cancer. This review focuses mainly on the relationship between OS and the development of HCC from the perspective of cellular and molecular mechanisms and the etiology and therapeutic targets of HCC.

  15. Regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy: signaling pathways and therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Hou, Jianglong; Kang, Y James


    Pathological cardiac hypertrophy is a key risk factor for heart failure. It is associated with increased interstitial fibrosis, cell death and cardiac dysfunction. The progression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy has long been considered as irreversible. However, recent clinical observations and experimental studies have produced evidence showing the reversal of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Left ventricle assist devices used in heart failure patients for bridging to transplantation not only improve peripheral circulation but also often cause reverse remodeling of the geometry and recovery of the function of the heart. Dietary supplementation with physiologically relevant levels of copper can reverse pathological cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Angiogenesis is essential and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a constitutive factor for the regression. The action of VEGF is mediated by VEGF receptor-1, whose activation is linked to cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase-1 (PKG-1) signaling pathways, and inhibition of cyclic GMP degradation leads to regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Most of these pathways are regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor. Potential therapeutic targets for promoting the regression include: promotion of angiogenesis, selective enhancement of VEGF receptor-1 signaling pathways, stimulation of PKG-1 pathways, and sustention of hypoxia-inducible factor transcriptional activity. More exciting insights into the regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy are emerging. The time of translating the concept of regression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy to clinical practice is coming. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Asparagine endopeptidase is an innovative therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases. (United States)

    Zhang, Zhentao; Xie, Manling; Ye, Keqiang


    Asparagine endopeptidase (AEP) is a pH-dependent endolysosomal cysteine protease that cleaves its substrates after asparagine residues. Our most recent study identifies that it possesses the delta-secretase activity, and that it is implicated in numerous neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and stroke. Accumulating evidence supports that the inhibition of AEP exhibits beneficial effects for treating these devastating diseases. Based on recent evidence, it is clear that AEP cleaves its substrate, such as amyloid precursor protein (APP), tau and SET, and plays a critical role in neuronal cell death in various neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. In this article, the basic biology of AEP, its knockout phenotypes in mouse models, its substrates in neurodegenerative diseases, and its small peptidyl inhibitors and prodrugs are discussed. In addition, we discuss the potential of AEP as a novel therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases. AEP plays a unique role in numerous biological processes, depending on both pH and context. Most striking is our most recent finding; that AEP is activated in an age-dependent manner and simultaneously cleaves both APP and tau, thereby unifying both major pathological events in AD. Thus, AEP acts as an innovative trigger for neurodegenerative diseases. Inhibition of AEP will provide a disease-modifying treatment for neurodegenerative diseases including AD.

  17. Emerging therapeutics for advanced thyroid malignancies: rationale and targeted approaches. (United States)

    Harris, Pamela Jo; Bible, Keith C


    Thyroid cancer is an emerging public health concern. In the USA, its incidence has doubled in the past decade, making it the eighth most commonly diagnosed neoplasm in 2010. Despite this alarming increase, most thyroid cancer patients benefit from conventional approaches (surgery, radioiodine, radiotherapy, TSH suppression with levothyroxine) and are often cured. Nevertheless, a minority have aggressive tumors resistant to cytotoxic and other historical therapies; these patients sorely need new treatment options. Herein the biology and molecular characteristics of the common histological types of thyroid cancer are reviewed to provide context for subsequent discussion of recent developments and emerging therapeutics for advanced thyroid cancers. Several kinase inhibitors, especially those targeting VEGFR and/or RET, have already demonstrated promising activity in differentiated and medullary thyroid cancers (DTC, MTC). Although of minimal benefit in DTC and MTC, cytotoxic chemotherapy with anti-microtubule agents and/or anthracyclines in combination with intensity-modulated radiation therapy appears to extend survival for patients with locoregionally confined anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), but to have only modest benefit in metastatic ATC. Further discovery and development of novel agents and combinations of agents will be critical to further progress in treating advanced thyroid cancers of all histotypes.

  18. [50 years of hepatology - from therapeutic nihilism to targeted therapies]. (United States)

    Manns, Michael P


    Over the past 50 years significant progress has been made in the whole field of hepatology. Part of this is translation of basic research (biochemistry, immunology, virology, molecular biology and others) into clinical hepatology. This enabled us to understand more about the pathogenesis of liver diseases and led to the discovery of the five major hepatotropic viruses, the identification of hepatocellular autoantigens, and to the development of specific therapies for chronic hepatitis B, C and D. In addition, the molecular basis of most genetic liver diseases has been identified. Significant progress was made in the development of medical therapies for various liver diseases with different underlying etiologies. Surgery significantly contributed to the progress in the management of liver diseases; examples are laparoscopic cholecystectomy and the development of liver transplantation. A multimodal therapeutic algorithm has been established for the therapy of hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC); with Sorafenib "targeted therapy" has entered the area of HCC. The progress made over the last 50 years not only led to an aetiological differentiation of acute and chronic liver diseases but also to specific therapies based on the identification and understanding of the underlying etiology. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  19. Targeting Metabolic Reprogramming by Influenza Infection for Therapeutic Intervention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather S. Smallwood


    Full Text Available Influenza is a worldwide health and financial burden posing a significant risk to the immune-compromised, obese, diabetic, elderly, and pediatric populations. We identified increases in glucose metabolism in the lungs of pediatric patients infected with respiratory pathogens. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we found metabolic changes occurring after influenza infection in primary human respiratory cells and validated infection-associated increases in c-Myc, glycolysis, and glutaminolysis. We confirmed these findings with a metabolic drug screen that identified the PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 as a regulator of infectious virus production. BEZ235 treatment ablated the transient induction of c-Myc, restored PI3K/mTOR pathway homeostasis measured by 4E-BP1 and p85 phosphorylation, and reversed infection-induced changes in metabolism. Importantly, BEZ235 reduced infectious progeny but had no effect on the early stages of viral replication. BEZ235 significantly increased survival in mice, while reducing viral titer. We show metabolic reprogramming of host cells by influenza virus exposes targets for therapeutic intervention.

  20. Astrocytes, therapeutic targets for neuroprotection and neurorestoration in ischemic stroke (United States)

    Liu, Zhongwu; Chopp, Michael


    Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type within the central nervous system. They play essential roles in maintaining normal brain function, as they are a critical structural and functional part of the tripartite synapses and the neurovascular unit, and communicate with neurons, oligodendrocytes and endothelial cells. After an ischemic stroke, astrocytes perform multiple functions both detrimental and beneficial, for neuronal survival during the acute phase. Aspects of the astrocytic inflammatory response to stroke may aggravate the ischemic lesion, but astrocytes also provide benefit for neuroprotection, by limiting lesion extension via anti-excitotoxicity effects and releasing neurotrophins. Similarly, during the late recovery phase after stroke, the glial scar may obstruct axonal regeneration and subsequently reduce the functional outcome; however, astrocytes also contribute to angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and axonal remodeling, and thereby promote neurological recovery. Thus, the pivotal involvement of astrocytes in normal brain function and responses to an ischemic lesion designates them as excellent therapeutic targets to improve functional outcome following stroke. In this review, we will focus on functions of astrocytes and astrocyte-mediated events during stroke and recovery. We will provide an overview of approaches on how to reduce the detrimental effects and amplify the beneficial effects of astrocytes on neuroprotection and on neurorestoration post stroke, which may lead to novel and clinically relevant therapies for stroke. PMID:26455456

  1. The road to toxin-targeted therapeutic antibodies. (United States)

    Kozel, Thomas R


    Once an infection by a toxin-producing bacterium is well established, therapies such as antibiotics that target bacterial growth may have little impact on the ultimate patient outcome. In such cases, toxin-neutralizing antibodies offer an opportunity to block key virulence factors. New work by A. K. Varshney, X. Wang, J. L. Aguilar, M. D. Scharff, and B. C. Fries [mBio 5(3):e01007-14, 2014, doi:10.1128/mBio.01007-14] highlights the role of the antibody isotype in determining the efficacy of toxin-neutralizing antibodies in vivo. Varshney et al. examined the role of antibody isotype for protection in murine models of staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)-induced lethal shock and sepsis produced by SEB-producing Staphylococcus aureus. Murine antibodies of the IgG2a isotype were more protective than antibodies of the IgG1 and IgG2b isotypes that have identical variable regions and binding activity. These results add to the complexity inherent in the selection and optimization of antibodies for anti-infective passive immunization and emphasize the need to use relevant in vivo models to evaluate potential therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Copyright © 2014 Kozel.

  2. Aging of the Immune System. Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets. (United States)

    Weyand, Cornelia M; Goronzy, Jörg J


    Beginning with the sixth decade of life, the human immune system undergoes dramatic aging-related changes, which continuously progress to a state of immunosenescence. The aging immune system loses the ability to protect against infections and cancer and fails to support appropriate wound healing. Vaccine responses are typically impaired in older individuals. Conversely, inflammatory responses mediated by the innate immune system gain in intensity and duration, rendering older individuals susceptible to tissue-damaging immunity and inflammatory disease. Immune system aging functions as an accelerator for other age-related pathologies. It occurs prematurely in some clinical conditions, most prominently in patients with the autoimmune syndrome rheumatoid arthritis (RA); and such patients serve as an informative model system to study molecular mechanisms of immune aging. T cells from patients with RA are prone to differentiate into proinflammatory effector cells, sustaining chronic-persistent inflammatory lesions in the joints and many other organ systems. RA T cells have several hallmarks of cellular aging; most importantly, they accumulate damaged DNA. Because of deficiency of the DNA repair kinase ataxia telangiectasia mutated, RA T cells carry a higher burden of DNA double-strand breaks, triggering cell-indigenous stress signals that shift the cell's survival potential and differentiation pattern. Immune aging in RA T cells is also associated with metabolic reprogramming; specifically, with reduced glycolytic flux and diminished ATP production. Chronic energy stress affects the longevity and the functional differentiation of older T cells. Altered metabolic patterns provide opportunities to therapeutically target the immune aging process through metabolic interference.

  3. GABAergic signaling as therapeutic target for Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giada eCellot


    Full Text Available GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, early in postnatal life exerts a depolarizing and excitatory action. This depends on accumulation of chloride inside the cell via the cation-chloride importer NKCC1, being the expression of the chloride exporter KCC2 very low at birth. The developmentally regulated expression of KCC2 results in extrusion of chloride with age and a shift of GABA from the depolarizing to the hyperpolarizing direction. The depolarizing action of GABA leads to intracellular calcium rise through voltage-dependent calcium channels and/or NMDA receptors. GABA-mediated calcium signals regulate a variety of developmental processes from cell proliferation migration, differentiation, synapse maturation and neuronal wiring. Therefore, it is not surprising that some forms of neuro-developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs are associated with alterations of GABAergic signaling and impairment of the excitatory/inhibitory balance in selective neuronal circuits. In this review we will discuss how changes of GABAA-mediated neurotransmission affect several forms of ASDs including the Fragile X, the Angelman and Rett syndromes. Then, we will describe various animal models of ASDs with GABAergic dysfunctions, highlighting their behavioral deficits and the possibility to rescue them by targeting selective components of the GABAergic synapse. In particular, we will discuss how in some cases, reverting the polarity of GABA responses from the depolarizing to the hyperpolarizing direction with the diuretic bumetanide, a selective blocker of NKCC1, may have beneficial effects on ASDs, thus opening new therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of these devastating disorders.

  4. RhoA: A therapeutic target for chronic myeloid leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molli Poonam R


    therapeutic target in CML.

  5. Pharmacological effects and potential therapeutic targets of DT-13. (United States)

    Khan, Ghulam Jilany; Rizwan, Mohsin; Abbas, Muhammad; Naveed, Muhammad; Boyang, Yu; Naeem, Muhammad Ahsan; Khan, Sara; Yuan, Shengtao; Baig, Mirza Muhammad Faran Ashraf; Sun, Li


    DT-13 is an isolated compound from Dwarf lillytruf tuber and currently among active research drugs by National Natural Science foundation of China for its several potential effects. The drug has been reported for its multiple pharmacological actions however no thorough review studies are available on it. Our present study is highlighting the pros and cons of DT-13 focusing on its potential pharmacological actions, therapeutic utilization and further exploration for novel targets. The drug possesses very low toxicity profile, quick onset and long duration of action with slow elimination that combinely makes it favorable for the clinical studies. In vivo and in vitro studies show that the drug regulates multiple cellular functions for its several pharmacological effects including, anti-adhesive effects via regulation of tissue factor and transforming growth factor; anti-migratory effects through indirect regulation of NM-IIA in the tumor microenvironment, Tissue factor, down-regulation of CCR5-CCL5 axis and MMP-2/9 inhibition; anti-metastatic effects via regulation of MMPs and tissue factor; pro-apoptotic effects by modulation of endocytosis of EGF receptor; anti-angiogenic effects via regulation of HIF-1α,ERK, Akt signalling and autophagy inducing characteristics by regulating PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling pathway. In addition to anti-tumor activities, DT-13 has significant anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective and immunomodulating effects. Pharmaceutical dosage form and targeted drug delivery system for DT-13 has not been established yet. Moreover, DT-13, has not been studied for its action on brain, colorectal, hepatic, pancreatic, prostate and blood cancers. Similarly the effects of drug on carbohydrate and glucose metabolism is another niche yet to be explored. In some traditional therapies, crude drug from the plant is used against diabetic and neurological disorders that are not reported in scientific literature, however due to profound effects of

  6. MYC as therapeutic target in leukemia and lymphoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cortiguera MG


    Full Text Available Maria G Cortiguera,1 Ana Batlle-López,1,2 Marta Albajar,1,2 M Dolores Delgado,1,3 Javier León1,3 1Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (IBBTEC, CSIC-University of Cantabria, 2Department of Hemathology, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, 3Department of Molecular Biology, University of Cantabria, Santander, Spain Abstract: MYC is a transcription factor that is involved in the expression of many genes. Deregulated MYC is found in about half of human tumors, being more prevalent in hematological neoplasms. Deregulation mechanisms include chromosomal translocation (particularly in lymphoma, amplification, and hyperactivation of MYC transcription. Here we review MYC involvement in the major types of leukemia and lymphoma. MYC rearrangements appear in all Burkitt lymphomas and are common in other lymphoma types, whereas in acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, lymphoproliferative, and myeloproferative diseases, they are less frequent. However, MYC overexpression is present in all types of hematological malignancies and often correlates with a worse prognosis. Data in leukemia-derived cells and in animal models of lymphomagenesis and leukemogenesis suggest that MYC would be a good therapeutic target. Several MYC-directed therapies have been assayed in preclinical settings and even in clinical trials. First, peptides and small molecules that interrupt the MYC–MAX interaction impair MYC-mediated tumorogenesis in several mouse models of solid tumors, although not yet in lymphoma and leukemia models. Second, there are a number of small molecules inhibiting the interaction of MYC–MAX heterodimers with DNA, still in the preclinical research phase. Third, inhibitors of MYC expression via the inhibition of BRD4 (a reader of acetylated histones have been shown to control the growth of MYC-transformed leukemia and lymphoma cells and are being used in clinic trials. Finally, we review a number of promising MYC

  7. Taking a Stab at Cancer; Oncolytic Virus-Mediated Anti-Cancer Vaccination Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelia Sadie Aitken


    Full Text Available Vaccines have classically been used for disease prevention. Modern clinical vaccines are continuously being developed for both traditional use as well as for new applications. Typically thought of in terms of infectious disease control, vaccination approaches can alternatively be adapted as a cancer therapy. Vaccines targeting cancer antigens can be used to induce anti-tumour immunity and have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy both pre-clinically and clinically. Various approaches now exist and further establish the tremendous potential and adaptability of anti-cancer vaccination. Classical strategies include ex vivo-loaded immune cells, RNA- or DNA-based vaccines and tumour cell lysates. Recent oncolytic virus development has resulted in a surge of novel viruses engineered to induce powerful tumour-specific immune responses. In addition to their use as cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses have the added benefit of being directly cytolytic to cancer cells and thus promote antigen recognition within a highly immune-stimulating tumour microenvironment. While oncolytic viruses are perfectly equipped for efficient immunization, this complicates their use upon previous exposure. Indeed, the host’s anti-viral counter-attacks often impair multiple-dosing regimens. In this review we will focus on the use of oncolytic viruses for anti-tumour vaccination. We will explore different strategies as well as ways to circumvent some of their limitations.

  8. The Integrin-Regulated Kinase PYK-2: A Therapeutic Target for Prostate Cancer

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Edlund, Magnus


    ...) . A number of promising therapeutic targets for androgen-independent and metastatic prostate cancers are contained within the signaling cascades downstream of the ECM-binding Integrin molecules...

  9. Cancer therapeutic target genes identified on chromosome 20q

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Editorial Office


    , Snijders and Mao described that and “when the selection pressure is removed, amplifications are not maintained and eventually disappear. Thus, amplifications focus on those genes that are important for tumor development,” they said. Their analysis showed that, as tumorous cells progress toward malignancy, the DNA copy number plays a major role in the mechanism of increased expression levels for the 18-gene signature on chromosome 20q. “Strong associations between the DNA copy number and gene expression were observed in the majority of tumor types,” the researchers said. “For example, the RAE1 expression was found to be significantly associated with DNA copy number in 20 tumor types,” the study reported. “Elevated DNA copy numbers of MMP9 and SULF2 were associated with increased gene expressions in only two and seven tumor types, respectively,” it added. With their integrated multi-omics analysis of genes on chromosome 20q, Snijders and Mao believed that the 18-gene signature could become new molecular targets for cancer therapy. “Gene ontology analysis revealed significant enrichment of cell cycle and mitosis-related biological processes in our 18-gene, suggesting that a cluster of functionally related genes localize to chromosome 20q,” they said. The identification of good targets such as theirs is a critical step for the development of targeted therapies for cancer treatment, according to the researchers. Microarray and next generation sequencing technologies have become invaluable tools in cataloging genomic abnormalities in human cancers and identifying new potential therapeutic targets, in addition to the availability of large cancer genomic data sets which allows for unbiased approaches to identify genes that are important in tumor progression, the research study noted. “Here, we aggregated available cancer databases to identify cancer driver genes across tumor types by combining gene transcript and DNA copy number across chromosome 20q to

  10. Photosensitizer-mediated mitochondria-targeting nanosized drug carriers: Subcellular targeting, therapeutic, and imaging potentials. (United States)

    Choi, Yeon Su; Kwon, Kiyoon; Yoon, Kwonhyeok; Huh, Kang Moo; Kang, Han Chang


    Mitochondria-targeting drug carriers have considerable potential because of the presence of many molecular drug targets in the mitochondria and their pivotal roles in cellular viability, metabolism, maintenance, and death. To compare the mitochondria-targeting abilities of triphenylphosphonium (TPP) and pheophorbide a (PhA) in nanoparticles (NPs), this study prepared mitochondria-targeting NPs using mixtures of methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-(SS-PhA) 2 [mPEG-(SS-PhA) 2 or PPA] and TPP-b-poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-TPP [TPP-b-PCL-b-TPP or TPCL], which were designated PPA n -TPCL 4-n (0≤n≤4) NPs. With increasing TPCL content, the formed PPA n -TPCL 4-n NPs decreased in size from 33nm to 18nm and increased in terms of positive zeta-potentials from -12mV to 33mV. Although the increased TPCL content caused some dark toxicity of the PPA n -TPCL 4-n NPs due to the intrinsic positive character of TPCL, the NPs showed strong light-induced killing effects in tumor cells. In addition, the mitochondrial distribution of the PPA n -TPCL 4-n NPs was analyzed and imaged by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy, respectively. Thus, the PhA-containing NPs specifically targeted the mitochondria, and light stimulation caused PhA-mediated therapeutic effects and imaging functions. Expanding the capabilities of these nanocarriers by incorporating other drugs should enable multiple potential applications (e.g., targeting, therapy, and imaging) for combination and synergistic treatments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Periostin: a promising target of therapeutical intervention for prostate cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ding Weihong


    RNA-Periostin LNCap cells growed slowly in vitro and in vivo. The tissues of xenografts as PCa were verificated by HE staining. Additionally, the weak positive Periostin expressed tumor cells could be seen in the tissues of 6 xenografts from the group of down-regulated Periostin LNCap cells which had a significant decrease of the amount of Periostin compared to the other two group. Furthermore, our results demonstrated that sliencing Periostin could inhibit migration of LNCap cells in vitro. Conclusions Our data indicates that Periostin as an up-regulated protein in PCa may be a promising target of therapeutical intervention for PCa in future.

  12. Siglec-15 is a potential therapeutic target for postmenopausal osteoporosis. (United States)

    Kameda, Yusuke; Takahata, Masahiko; Mikuni, Shintaro; Shimizu, Tomohiro; Hamano, Hiroki; Angata, Takashi; Hatakeyama, Shigetsugu; Kinjo, Masataka; Iwasaki, Norimasa


    organization of osteoclasts in both RANKL and TNF-α induced osteoclastogenesis. The present findings indicate that Siglec-15 is involved in estrogen deficiency-induced differentiation of osteoclasts and is thus a potential therapeutic target for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Cognition As a Therapeutic Target in the Suicidal Patient Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antônio Geraldo da Silva


    Full Text Available The current considerations about completed suicides and suicide attempts in different cultures call the attention of professionals to this serious public health problem. Integrative approaches have shown that the confluence of multiple biological and social factors modulate various psychopathologies and dysfunctional behaviors, such as suicidal behavior. Considering the level of intermediate analysis, personality traits and cognitive functioning are also of great importance for understanding the suicide phenomenon. About cognitive factors, we can group them into cognitive schemas of reality interpretation and underlying cognitive processes. On the other hand, different types of primary cognitive alterations are related to suicidal behavior, especially those resulting from changes in frontostriatal circuits. Among such cognitive mechanisms can be highlighted the attentional bias for environmental cues related to suicide, impulsive behavior, verbal fluency deficits, non-adaptive decision-making, and reduced planning skills. Attentional bias consists in the effect of thoughts and emotions, frequently not conscious, about the perception of environmental stimuli. Suicidal ideation and hopelessness can make the patient unable to find alternative solutions to their problems other than suicide, biasing their attention to environmental cues related to such behavior. Recent research efforts are directed to assess the possible use of attention bias as a therapeutic target in patients presenting suicide behavior. The relationship between impulsivity and suicide has been largely investigated over the last decades, and there is still controversy about the theme. Although there is strong evidence linking impulsivity to suicide attempts. Effective interventions address to reduce impulsivity in clinical populations at higher risk for suicide could help in the prevention. Deficits in problem-solving ability also seem to be distorted in patients who attempt

  14. Challenges and strategies in anti-cancer nanomedicine development: An industry perspective. (United States)

    Hare, Jennifer I; Lammers, Twan; Ashford, Marianne B; Puri, Sanyogitta; Storm, Gert; Barry, Simon T


    Successfully translating anti-cancer nanomedicines from pre-clinical proof of concept to demonstration of therapeutic value in the clinic is challenging. Having made significant advances with drug delivery technologies, we must learn from other areas of oncology drug development, where patient stratification and target-driven design have improved patient outcomes. We should evolve our nanomedicine development strategies to build the patient and disease into the line of sight from the outset. The success of small molecule targeted therapies has been significantly improved by employing a specific decision-making framework, such as AstraZeneca's 5R principle: right target/efficacy, right tissue/exposure, right safety, right patient, and right commercial potential. With appropriate investment and collaboration to generate a platform of evidence supporting the end clinical application, a similar framework can be established for enhancing nanomedicine translation and performance. Building informative data packages to answer these questions requires the following: (I) an improved understanding of the heterogeneity of clinical cancers and of the biological factors influencing the behaviour of nanomedicines in patient tumours; (II) a transition from formulation-driven research to disease-driven development; (III) the implementation of more relevant animal models and testing protocols; and (IV) the pre-selection of the patients most likely to respond to nanomedicine therapies. These challenges must be overcome to improve (the cost-effectiveness of) nanomedicine development and translation, and they are key to establishing superior therapies for patients. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Therapeutic Targets for Management of Periodontitis and Diabetes (United States)

    Sima, Corneliu; Van Dyke, Thomas E.


    The increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and chronic periodontitis (CP) worldwide imposes a rethinking of individualized therapy for patients with both conditions. Central to bidirectional links between DM and CP is deregulated systemic inflammation and dysfunctional immune responses to altered-self and non-self. Control of blood glucose levels and metabolic imbalances associated with hyperglycemia in DM, and disruption of pathogenic subgingival biofilms in CP are currently the main therapeutic approaches for these conditions. Mounting evidence suggests the need to integrate immune modulatory therapeutics in treatment regimens that address the unresolved inflammation associated with DM and CP. The current review discusses the pathogenesis of DM and CP with emphasis on deregulated inflammation, current therapeutic approaches and the novel pro-resolution lipid mediators derived from n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. PMID:26881443

  16. Targeted Interventions for Homeless Children at a Therapeutic Nursery (United States)

    Norris-Shortle, Carole; Melley, Alison H.; Kiser, Laurel J.; Levey, Eric; Cosgrove, Kim; Leviton, Audrey


    PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs, an affiliate of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, operates a therapeutic nursery that serves families who have at least one child from birth to 3 years of age, and who are living in a Baltimore City homeless shelter. In partnership with the Martin Luther King Early Head Start Program…

  17. Fascaplysin Exerts Anti-Cancer Effects through the Downregulation of Survivin and HIF-1α and Inhibition of VEGFR2 and TRKA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taek-In Oh


    Full Text Available Fascaplysin has been reported to exert anti-cancer effects by inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4; however, the precise mode of action by which fascaplysin suppresses tumor growth is not clear. Here, we found that fascaplysin has stronger anti-cancer effects than other CDK4 inhibitors, including PD0332991 and LY2835219, on lung cancer cells that are wild-type or null for retinoblastoma (RB, indicating that unknown target molecules might be involved in the inhibition of tumor growth by fascaplysin. Fascaplysin treatment significantly decreased tumor angiogenesis and increased cleaved-caspase-3 in xenografted tumor tissues. In addition, survivin and HIF-1α were downregulated in vitro and in vivo by suppressing 4EBP1-p70S6K1 axis-mediated de novo protein synthesis. Kinase screening assays and drug-protein docking simulation studies demonstrated that fascaplysin strongly inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2 and tropomyosin-related kinase A (TRKA via DFG-out non-competitive inhibition. Overall, these results suggest that fascaplysin inhibits TRKA and VEGFR2 and downregulates survivin and HIF-1α, resulting in suppression of tumor growth. Fascaplysin, therefore, represents a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of multiple types of solid cancer.

  18. Galectins as therapeutic targets for hematological malignancies: a hopeful sweetness. (United States)

    Pena, Camilo; Mirandola, Leonardo; Figueroa, Jose A; Hosiriluck, Nattamol; Suvorava, Natallia; Trotter, Kayley; Reidy, Adair; Rakhshanda, Rahman; Payne, Drew; Jenkins, Marjorie; Grizzi, Fabio; Littlefield, Lauren; Chiriva-Internati, Maurizio; Cobos, Everardo


    Galectins are family of galactose-binding proteins known to play critical roles in inflammation and neoplastic progression. Galectins facilitate the growth and survival of neoplastic cells by regulating their cross-talk with the extracellular microenvironment and hampering anti-neoplastic immunity. Here, we review the role of galectins in the biology of hematological malignancies and their promise as potential therapeutic agents in these diseases.

  19. Selective anti-cancer agents as anti-aging drugs. (United States)

    Blagosklonny, Mikhail V


    Recent groundbreaking discoveries have revealed that IGF-1, Ras, MEK, AMPK, TSC1/2, FOXO, PI3K, mTOR, S6K, and NFκB are involved in the aging process. This is remarkable because the same signaling molecules, oncoproteins and tumor suppressors, are well-known targets for cancer therapy. Furthermore, anti-cancer drugs aimed at some of these targets have been already developed. This arsenal could be potentially employed for anti-aging interventions (given that similar signaling molecules are involved in both cancer and aging). In cancer, intrinsic and acquired resistance, tumor heterogeneity, adaptation, and genetic instability of cancer cells all hinder cancer-directed therapy. But for anti-aging applications, these hurdles are irrelevant. For example, since anti-aging interventions should be aimed at normal postmitotic cells, no selection for resistance is expected. At low doses, certain agents may decelerate aging and age-related diseases. Importantly, deceleration of aging can in turn postpone cancer, which is an age-related disease.

  20. New concepts in therapeutic photomedicine: photochemistry, optical targeting and the therapeutic window

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parrish, J.A.


    Advances in optics technology, synthetic photochemistry, and the science of photobiology make it possible to think beyond phototherapy and photochemotherapy which is dependent on direct photochemical alteration of metabolites or direct phototoxic insult to cells. This report discusses another gender of photomedicine therapy which includes in vivo photoactivation of medicines, photon-dependent drug delivery, and manipulation of host and exposure source to maximize therapeutic index. These therapeutic manipulations are made possible because the skin is highly overperfused and because non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation that enters skin and blood has adequate photon energy to cause electronic excitation. Radiation of 320-800 nm is not very directly phototoxic, is absorbed by a variety of relatively nontoxic photolabile molecules and has an internal dosimetric depth profile. This radiation can therefore be used to activate, deactivate, bind, release or biotransform medications in vivo in skin or other organs. The photochemist, synthetic chemist and photobiologist can collaborate to significantly increase therapeutic possibilities

  1. Beliefs Underlying Messages of Anti-Cancer-Screening Websites in Japan: A Qualitative Analysis (United States)

    Okuhara, Tsuyoshi; Ishikawa, Hirono; Okada, Masahumi; Kato, Mio; Kiuchi, Takahiro


    Background: Cancer screening rates are lower in Japan than in Western countries. Meanwhile, anti-cancer-screening activists take to the internet to spread their messages that cancer screening has little or no efficacy, poses substantial health risks such as side effects from radiation exposure, and that people should forgo cancer screening. We applied a qualitative approach to explore the beliefs underlying the messages of anti-cancer-screening websites, by focusing on perceived value the beliefs provided to those who held them. Methods: We conducted online searches using Google Japan and Yahoo! Japan, targeting websites we classified as “pro,” “anti,” or “neutral” depending on their claims. We applied a dual analytic approach- inductive thematic analysis and deductive interpretative analysis- to the textual data of the anti websites. Results: Of the 88 websites analyzed, five themes that correspond to beliefs were identified: destruction of common knowledge, denial of standard cancer control, education about right cancer control, education about hidden truths, and sense of superiority that only I know the truth. Authors of anti websites ascribed two values (“safety of people” and “self-esteem”) to their beliefs. Conclusion: The beliefs of authors of anti-cancer-screening websites were supposed to be strong. It would be better to target in cancer screening promotion not outright screening refusers but screening hesitant people who are more amenable to changing their attitudes toward screening. The possible means to persuade them were discussed. Creative Commons Attribution License

  2. Recent advances on the anti-cancer properties of Nigella sativa, a widely used food additive

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin F. Majdalawieh


    Full Text Available The use of naturally-occurring agents to regulate tumorigenesis is on the rise. Several herbal extracts, pure plant-derived active constituents, and food additives have been reported to possess potent anti-cancer properties and cancer-ameliorating effects. The wide-range anti-cancer effects of Nigella sativa, also known as black seed or black cumin, have been extensively studied using different in vitro and in vivo models. Here, we provide a comprehensive, analytical review of the reported anti-cancer properties of N. sativa seed extracts. This review focuses on analyzing experimental findings related to the ability of N. sativa to exert anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-oxidant, cytotoxic, anti-mutagenic, anti-metastatic, and NK cytotoxic activity enhancing effects against various primary cancer cells and cancer cell lines. Moreover, we underline the molecular mechanisms of action and the signal transduction pathways implicated in the suppression of tumorigenesis by N. sativa. The major signaling pathway utilized by N. sativa to manifest its anti-cancer activity is the iNOS signaling pathway. This review underscores the recent developments that highlight an effective therapeutic potential of N. sativa to suppress tumor development, reduce tumor incidence, and ameliorate carcinogenesis. In sum, experimental findings reported in the last two decades strongly suggest that N. sativa fractions could serve, alone or in combination with known chemotherapeutic drugs, as effective agents to control tumor initiation, growth, and metastasis, and hence, treatment of a wide range of cancers.

  3. Targeting folate metabolism for therapeutic option: A bioinformatics approach. (United States)

    Hande, Sneha; Goswami, Kalyan; Sharma, Richa; Bhoj, Priyanka; Jena, Lingaraj; Reddy, Maryada Venkata Rami


    Lymphatic filariasis, commonly called elephantiasis, poses a burden of estimated level of 5.09 million disability adjusted life year. Limitations of its sole drug, diethylcarbamazine (DEC) drive exploration of effective filarial target. A few plant extracts having polyphenolic ingredients and some synthetic compounds possess potential dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitory effect. Here, we postulated a plausible link between folates and polyphenolics based on their common precursor in shikimate metabolism. Considering its implication in structural resemblance based antagonism, we have attempted to validate parasitic DHFR protein as a target. The bioinformatics approach, in the absence of crystal structure of the proposed target, used to authenticate and for virtual docking with suitable tested compounds, showed remarkably lower thermodynamic parameters as opposed to the positive control. A comparative docking analysis between human and Brugia malayi DHFR also showed effective binding parameters with lower inhibition constants of these ligands with parasitic target, but not with human counterpart highlighting safety and efficacy. This study suggests that DHFR could be a valid drug target for lymphatic filariasis, and further reveal that bioinformatics may be an effective tool in reverse pharmacological approach for drug design.

  4. Tumor angiogenesis--a new therapeutic target in gliomas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, E L; Spang-Thomsen, M; Skovgaard-Poulsen, H


    Tumor growth is critically dependent on angiogenesis, which is sprouting of new vessels from pre-existing vasculature. This process is regulated by inducers and inhibitors released from tumor cells, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Brain tumors, especially glioblastoma multiforme, have...... significant angiogenic activity primarily by the expression of the angiogenic factor VEGF Anti-angiogenic therapy represents a new promising therapeutic modality in solid tumors. Several agents are currently under evaluation in clinical trials. The present review describes the principal inducers...... and inhibitors of angiogenesis in tumors and summarizes what is known about their mechanisms of action in relation to CNS tumors. Potential areas for clinical use are also discussed....

  5. Gene therapy of cancer and development of therapeutic target gene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Chang Min; Kwon, Hee Chung


    We applied HSV-tk/GCV strategy to orthotopic rat hepatoma model and showed anticancer effects of hepatoma. The increased expression of Lac Z gene after adenovirus-mediated gene delivery throughout hepatic artery was thought that is increased the possibility of gene therapy for curing hepatoma. With the construction of kGLP-laboratory, it is possible to produce a good quantity and quality of adenovirus in lage-scale production and purification of adenovirus vector. Also, the analysis of hepatoma related genes by PCR-LOH could be used for the diagnosis of patients and the development of therapeutic gene.

  6. Mesenchymal stem cells as therapeutic delivery vehicles targeting tumor stroma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Serakinci, Nedime; Christensen, Rikke; Sørensen, Flemming Brandt


    better understanding and in vivo supporting data. The homing ability of hMSCs was investigated by creating a human xenograft model by transplanting an ovarian cancer cell line into immunocompromised mice. Then, genetically engineered hMSC-telo1 cells were injected through the tail vein......The field of stem cell biology continues to evolve by characterization of further types of stem cells and by exploring their therapeutic potential for experimental and clinical applications. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are one of the most promising candidates simply because...

  7. Gene therapy of cancer and development of therapeutic target gene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Chang Min; Kwon, Hee Chung


    We applied HSV-tk/GCV strategy to orthotopic rat hepatoma model and showed anticancer effects of hepatoma. The increased expression of Lac Z gene after adenovirus-mediated gene delivery throughout hepatic artery was thought that is increased the possibility of gene therapy for curing hepatoma. With the construction of kGLP-laboratory, it is possible to produce a good quantity and quality of adenovirus in lage-scale production and purification of adenovirus vector. Also, the analysis of hepatoma related genes by PCR-LOH could be used for the diagnosis of patients and the development of therapeutic gene

  8. Molecular pathways and therapeutic targets in lung cancer (United States)

    Shtivelman, Emma; Hensing, Thomas; Simon, George R.; Dennis, Phillip A.; Otterson, Gregory A.; Bueno, Raphael; Salgia, Ravi


    Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Both histologically and molecularly lung cancer is heterogeneous. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the pathways involved in the various types of lung cancer with an emphasis on the clinical implications of the increasing number of actionable molecular targets. It describes the major pathways and molecular alterations implicated in the development and progression of non-small cell lung cancer (adenocarcinoma and squamous cancer), and of small cell carcinoma, emphasizing the molecular alterations comprising the specific blueprints in each group. The approved and investigational targeted therapies as well as the immune therapies, and clinical trials exploring the variety of targeted approaches to treatment of lung cancer are the main focus of this review. PMID:24722523

  9. HER3 as a Therapeutic Target in Cancer. (United States)

    Karachaliou, Niki; Lazzari, Chiara; Verlicchi, Alberto; Sosa, Aaron E; Rosell, Rafael


    Targeting members of the human epidermal growth factor receptor family, especially EGFR and HER2, has been an established strategy for the treatment of tumors with abnormally activated receptors due to overexpression, mutation, ligand-dependent receptor dimerization and ligand-independent activation. Less attention has been paid to the oncogenic activity of HER3, although there is growing evidence that it mediates resistance to EGFR and HER2 pathway directed therapies. The main caveat for the development of effective HER3 targeted therapies is the absence of a strong enzymatic activity to target, as well as the limited potential for single-agent activity. In this review, we highlight the role of HER3 in cancer and, more specifically, in lung cancer. The basis for HER3 involvement in HER2 resistance and EGFR inhibition is discussed, as well as current pharmacologic strategies to combat HER3 inhibition.

  10. Listeria monocytogenes as a vector for anti-cancer therapies.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Tangney, Mark


    The intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes represents a promising therapeutic vector for the delivery of DNA, RNA or protein to cancer cells or to prime immune responses against tumour-specific antigens. A number of biological properties make L. monocytogenes a promising platform for development as a vector for either gene therapy or as an anti-cancer vaccine vector. L. monocytogenes is particularly efficient in mediating internalization into host cells. Once inside cells, the bacterium produces specific virulence factors which lyse the vaculolar membrane and allow escape into the cytoplasm. Once in the cytosol, L. monocytogenes is capable of actin-based motility and cell-to-cell spread without an extracellular phase. The cytoplasmic location of L. monocytogenes is significant as this potentiates entry of antigens into the MHC Class I antigen processing pathway leading to priming of specific CD8(+) T cell responses. The cytoplasmic location is also beneficial for the delivery of DNA (bactofection) by L. monocytogenes whilst cell-to-cell spread may facilitate access of the vector to cells throughout the tumour. Several preclinical studies have demonstrated the ability of L. monocytogenes for intracellular gene or protein delivery in vitro and in vivo, and this vector has also displayed safety and efficacy in clinical trial. Here, we review the features of the L. monocytogenes host-pathogen interaction that make this bacterium such an attractive candidate with which to induce appropriate therapeutic responses. We focus primarily upon work that has led to attenuation of the pathogen, demonstrated DNA, RNA or protein delivery to tumour cells as well as research that shows the efficacy of L. monocytogenes as a vector for tumour-specific vaccine delivery.

  11. Targeted drug delivery to magnetic implants for therapeutic applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yellen, Benjamin B.; Forbes, Zachary G.; Halverson, Derek S.; Fridman, Gregory; Barbee, Kenneth A.; Chorny, Michael; Levy, Robert; Friedman, Gary


    A new method for locally targeted drug delivery is proposed that employs magnetic implants placed directly in the cardiovascular system to attract injected magnetic carriers. Theoretical simulations and experimental results support the assumption that using magnetic implants in combination with externally applied magnetic field will optimize the delivery of magnetic drug to selected sites within a subject

  12. Overview of Nrf2 as Therapeutic Target in Epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Carmona-Aparicio


    Full Text Available Oxidative stress is a biochemical state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and antioxidant defenses. It is involved in the physiopathology of degenerative and chronic neuronal disorders, such as epilepsy. Experimental evidence in humans and animals support the involvement of oxidative stress before and after seizures. In the past few years, research has increasingly focused on the molecular pathways of this process, such as that involving transcription factor nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2, which plays a central role in the regulation of antioxidant response elements (ARE and modulates cellular redox status. The aim of this review is to present experimental evidence on the role of Nrf2 in this neurological disorder and to further determine the therapeutic impact of Nrf2 in epilepsy.

  13. Tachykinin receptors as therapeutic targets in stress-related disorders. (United States)

    Ebner, Karl; Sartori, Simone B; Singewald, Nicolas


    The first report demonstrating the therapeutic efficacy of an orally applied neurokinin-1 (NK1) receptor antagonist in depression was published 10 years ago. Although there were difficulties to reproduce this particular finding, a huge amount of data has been published since this time, supporting the potential therapeutic value of various tachykinin ligands as promising novel tools for the management of stress-related disorders including anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and depression. The present review summarizes evidence derived from anatomical, neurochemical, pharmacological and behavioral studies demonstrating the localization of tachykinin neuropeptides including substance P (SP), neurokinin A, neurokinin B and their receptors (NK1, NK2, NK3) in brain areas known to be implicated in stress-mechanisms, mood/anxiety regulation and emotion-processing; their role as neurotransmitters and/or neuromodulators within these structures and their interactions with other neurotransmitter systems including dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). Finally, there is clear functional evidence from animal and human studies that interference with tachykinin transmission can modulate emotional behavior. Based on these findings and on evidence of upregulated tachykinin transmission in individuals suffering from stress-related disorders, several diverse tachykinin receptor antagonists, as well as compounds with combined antagonist profile have been developed and are currently under clinical investigation revealing evidence for anxiolytic, antidepressant and antipsychotic efficacy, seemingly characterized by a low side effect profile. However, substantial work remains to be done to clarify the precise mechanism of action of these compounds, as well as the potential of combining them with established and experimental therapies in order to boost efficacy.

  14. Resveratrol and pterostilbene epigenetically restore PTEN expression by targeting OncomiRs of the miR-17 family in prostate cancer (United States)

    In recent years, not only has the role of miRNAs in cancer become increasingly clear but also their utilization as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets has also gained ground. Although the importance of dietary stilbenes such as resveratrol and pterostilbene as anti-cancer agents is well rec...

  15. Vocal Tremor: Novel Therapeutic Target for Deep Brain Stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinod K. Ravikumar


    Full Text Available Tremulous voice is characteristically associated with essential tremor, and is referred to as essential vocal tremor (EVT. Current estimates suggest that up to 40% of individuals diagnosed with essential tremor also present with EVT, which is associated with an impaired quality of life. Traditional EVT treatments have demonstrated limited success in long-term management of symptoms. However, voice tremor has been noted to decrease in patients receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS with the targeting of thalamic nuclei. In this study, we describe our multidisciplinary procedure for awake, frameless DBS with optimal stimulation targets as well as acoustic analysis and laryngoscopic assessment to quantify tremor reduction. Finally, we investigate the most recent clinical evidence regarding the procedure.

  16. Myeloid derived suppressor cells as therapeutic target in hematological malignancies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim eDe Veirman


    Full Text Available Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC are a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells that accumulate during pathological conditions such as cancer and are associated with a poor clinical outcome. MDSC expansion hampers the host anti-tumor immune response by inhibition of T cell proliferation, cytokine secretion and recruitment of regulatory T cells. In addition, MDSC exert non-immunological functions including the promotion of angiogenesis, tumor invasion and metastasis. Recent years, MDSC are considered as a potential target in solid tumors and hematological malignancies to enhance the effects of currently used immune modulating agents. This review focuses on the characteristics, distribution, functions, cell-cell interactions and targeting of MDSC in hematological malignancies including multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia.

  17. The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma (United States)

    Cairns, Elizabeth A.; Baldridge, William H.; Kelly, Melanie E. M.


    Glaucoma is an irreversible blinding eye disease which produces progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is currently the only modifiable risk factor, and lowering IOP results in reduced risk of progression of the disorder. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has attracted considerable attention as a potential target for the treatment of glaucoma, largely due to the observed IOP lowering effects seen after administration of exogenous cannabinoids. However, recent evidence has suggested that modulation of the ECS may also be neuroprotective. This paper will review the use of cannabinoids in glaucoma, presenting pertinent information regarding the pathophysiology of glaucoma and how alterations in cannabinoid signalling may contribute to glaucoma pathology. Additionally, the mechanisms and potential for the use of cannabinoids and other novel agents that target the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of glaucoma will be discussed. PMID:26881140

  18. Alzheimer’s disease: Risk factors and therapeutic targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laxman Pokhrel


    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD, a neurodegenerative disorder, has been determined as an outcome of genetic as well as behavioral conditions. The complete understanding of its generation and progress is yet to be understood. However, there has been a significant progress in the diagnosis and identification of the associated risk factors of AD. Several of the risk factors were found connected with cholesterol. Scientists are mainly focusing on the reduction of amyloid β and stabilization of tau protein towards the development of its drugs. To modulate amyloid β, the key components of cholesterol metabolism have been attractive targets and the enzymes involved in the phosphorylation of tau have been tried to stabilize tau protein. This review article briefly highlights the symptoms, risk factors, and drug targets of AD.

  19. Relict plastidic metabolic process as a potential therapeutic target. (United States)

    Sharma, Drista; Soni, Rani; Rai, Praveen; Sharma, Bhaskar; Bhatt, Tarun Kumar


    The alignment of the evolutionary history of parasites with that of plants provides a different panorama in the drug development process. The housing of different metabolic processes, essential for parasite survival, adds to the indispensability of the apicoplast. The different pathways responsible for fueling the apicoplast and parasite offer a myriad of proteins responsible for the apicoplast function. The studies emphasizing the target-based approaches might help in the discovery of antimalarials. The different putative drug targets and their roles are highlighted. In addition, the origin of the apicoplast and metabolic processes are reviewed and the different drugs acting upon the enzymes of the apicoplast are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The Endocannabinoid System as a Therapeutic Target in Glaucoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Cairns


    Full Text Available Glaucoma is an irreversible blinding eye disease which produces progressive retinal ganglion cell (RGC loss. Intraocular pressure (IOP is currently the only modifiable risk factor, and lowering IOP results in reduced risk of progression of the disorder. The endocannabinoid system (ECS has attracted considerable attention as a potential target for the treatment of glaucoma, largely due to the observed IOP lowering effects seen after administration of exogenous cannabinoids. However, recent evidence has suggested that modulation of the ECS may also be neuroprotective. This paper will review the use of cannabinoids in glaucoma, presenting pertinent information regarding the pathophysiology of glaucoma and how alterations in cannabinoid signalling may contribute to glaucoma pathology. Additionally, the mechanisms and potential for the use of cannabinoids and other novel agents that target the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of glaucoma will be discussed.

  1. MicroRNAs: a novel therapeutic target for schizophrenia.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Bravo, Javier A


    Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling psychiatric conditions. Current treatments target monoamine receptors but this approach does not address the full complexity of the disorder. Here we explore the possibility of developing new anti-psychotics by targeting microRNAs (miRNAs), single stranded RNA molecules, 21-23 nucleotides in length that are not translated into proteins and regulate gene expression. The present review reveals that research involving schizophrenia and miRNA is very recent (the earliest report from 2007) and miRNAs add a significant layer of complexity to the pathophysiology of the disorder. However, miRNAs offer an exciting potential not only to understand the underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia, but also for the future development of antipsychotics, as the human miRNA system provides a rich and diverse opportunity for pharmacological targeting. However, technology is still developing in order to produce effective strategies to modulate specific and localized changes in miRNA, particularly in relation to the central nervous system and schizophrenia.

  2. Strategies to Target Matrix Metalloproteinases as Therapeutic Approach in Cancer. (United States)

    Piperigkou, Zoi; Manou, Dimitra; Karamanou, Konstantina; Theocharis, Achilleas D


    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases that are capable of degrading numerous extracellular matrix (ECM) components thus participating in physiological and pathological processes. Apart from the remodeling of ECM, they affect cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and are implicated in the development and progression of various diseases such as cancer. Numerous studies have demonstrated that MMPs evoke epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cancer cells and affect their signaling, adhesion, migration and invasion to promote cancer cell aggressiveness. Various studies have suggested MMPs as suitable targets for treatment of malignancies, and several MMP inhibitors (MMPIs) have been developed. Although initial trials have failed to establish MMPIs as anticancer agents due to lack of specificity and side effects, new MMPIs have been developed with improved action that are currently being investigated. Furthermore, novel strategies that target MMPs for improving drug delivery and regulating their activity in tumors are presented. This review summarizes the implication of MMPs in cancer progression and discusses the advancements in their targeting.

  3. Gab Adapter Proteins as Therapeutic Targets for Hematologic Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheetal Verma


    Full Text Available The Grb-2 associated binder (Gab family of scaffolding/adaptor/docking proteins is a group of three molecules with significant roles in cytokine receptor signaling. Gabs possess structural motifs for phosphorylation-dependent receptor recruitment, Grb2 binding, and activation of downstream signaling pathways through p85 and SHP-2. In addition, Gabs participate in hematopoiesis and regulation of immune response which can be aberrantly activated in cancer and inflammation. The multifunctionality of Gab adapters might suggest that they would be too difficult to consider as candidates for “targeted” therapy. However, the one drug/one target approach is giving way to the concept of one drug/multiple target approach since few cancers are addicted to a single signaling molecule for survival and combination drug therapies can be problematic. In this paper, we cover recent findings on Gab multi-functionality, binding partners, and their role in hematological malignancy and examine the concept of Gab-targeted therapy.

  4. Prostanoid receptor EP2 as a therapeutic target. (United States)

    Ganesh, Thota


    Cycoloxygenase-2 (COX-2) induction is prevalent in a variety of (brain and peripheral) injury models where COX-2 levels correlate with disease progression. Thus, COX-2 has been widely explored for anti-inflammatory therapy with COX-2 inhibitors, which proved to be effective in reducing the pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis and menstrual cramps, but they have not provided any benefit to patients with chronic inflammatory neurodegenerative disease. Recently, two COX-2 drugs, rofecoxib and valdecoxib, were withdrawn from the United States market due to cardiovascular side effects. Thus, future anti-inflammatory therapy could be targeted through a specific prostanoid receptor downstream of COX-2. The PGE2 receptor EP2 is emerging as a pro-inflammatory target in a variety of CNS and peripheral diseases. Here we highlight the latest developments on the role of EP2 in diseases, mechanism of activation, and small molecule discovery targeted either to enhance or to block the function of this receptor.

  5. 1st Joint European Conference on Therapeutic Targets and Medicinal Chemistry (TTMC 2015) (United States)

    Le Borgne, Marc; Haidar, Samer; Duval, Olivier; Wünsch, Bernhard; Jose, Joachim


    The European Conference on Therapeutic Targets and Medicinal Chemistry is a new two-day meeting on drug discovery that is focused on therapeutic targets and the use of tools to explore all fields of drug discovery and drug design such as molecular modelling, bioorganic chemistry, NMR studies, fragment screening, in vitro assays, in vivo assays, structure activity relationships, autodisplay. Abstracts of keynote lectures, plenary lectures, junior lectures, flash presentations, and posters presented during the meeting are collected in this report. PMID:26712767

  6. Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor of Tyk2: Lucrative Therapeutic Target in Lupus (United States)


    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-16-1-0609 TITLE: Novel Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Tyk2: Lucrative Therapeutic Target in Lupus PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...Aug 2017 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Novel Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Tyk2: Lucrative Therapeutic Target in Lupus 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER...use of small molecule inhibitors of Tyk2 and Jak1 aimed at ameliorating the chronic inflammatory milieu and high titers of auto-antibodies in lupus

  7. The Sphenopalatine Ganglion: Anatomy, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutic Targeting in Headache. (United States)

    Robbins, Matthew S; Robertson, Carrie E; Kaplan, Eugene; Ailani, Jessica; Charleston, Larry; Kuruvilla, Deena; Blumenfeld, Andrew; Berliner, Randall; Rosen, Noah L; Duarte, Robert; Vidwan, Jaskiran; Halker, Rashmi B; Gill, Nicole; Ashkenazi, Avi


    The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) has attracted the interest of practitioners treating head and face pain for over a century because of its anatomical connections and role in the trigemino-autonomic reflex. In this review, we discuss the anatomy of the SPG, as well as what is known about its role in the pathophysiology of headache disorders, including cluster headache and migraine. We then address various therapies that target the SPG, including intranasal medication delivery, new SPG blocking catheter devices, neurostimulation, chemical neurolysis, and ablation procedures. © 2015 American Headache Society.

  8. Exosomes: From Garbage Bins to Promising Therapeutic Targets. (United States)

    H Rashed, Mohammed; Bayraktar, Emine; K Helal, Gouda; Abd-Ellah, Mohamed F; Amero, Paola; Chavez-Reyes, Arturo; Rodriguez-Aguayo, Cristian


    Intercellular communication via cell-released vesicles is a very important process for both normal and tumor cells. Cell communication may involve exosomes, small vesicles of endocytic origin that are released by all types of cells and are found in abundance in body fluids, including blood, saliva, urine, and breast milk. Exosomes have been shown to carry lipids, proteins, mRNAs, non-coding RNAs, and even DNA out of cells. They are more than simply molecular garbage bins, however, in that the molecules they carry can be taken up by other cells. Thus, exosomes transfer biological information to neighboring cells and through this cell-to-cell communication are involved not only in physiological functions such as cell-to-cell communication, but also in the pathogenesis of some diseases, including tumors and neurodegenerative conditions. Our increasing understanding of why cells release exosomes and their role in intercellular communication has revealed the very complex and sophisticated contribution of exosomes to health and disease. The aim of this review is to reveal the emerging roles of exosomes in normal and pathological conditions and describe the controversial biological role of exosomes, as it is now understood, in carcinogenesis. We also summarize what is known about exosome biogenesis, composition, functions, and pathways and discuss the potential clinical applications of exosomes, especially as biomarkers and novel therapeutic agents.

  9. Oxidative Stress in Human Atherothrombosis: Sources, Markers and Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Martin-Ventura


    Full Text Available Atherothrombosis remains one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The underlying pathology is a chronic pathological vascular remodeling of the arterial wall involving several pathways, including oxidative stress. Cellular and animal studies have provided compelling evidence of the direct role of oxidative stress in atherothrombosis, but such a relationship is not clearly established in humans and, to date, clinical trials on the possible beneficial effects of antioxidant therapy have provided equivocal results. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH oxidase is one of the main sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS in human atherothrombosis. Moreover, leukocyte-derived myeloperoxidase (MPO and red blood cell-derived iron could be involved in the oxidative modification of lipids/lipoproteins (LDL/HDL in the arterial wall. Interestingly, oxidized lipoproteins, and antioxidants, have been analyzed as potential markers of oxidative stress in the plasma of patients with atherothrombosis. In this review, we will revise sources of ROS, focusing on NADPH oxidase, but also on MPO and iron. We will also discuss the impact of these oxidative systems on LDL and HDL, as well as the value of these modified lipoproteins as circulating markers of oxidative stress in atherothrombosis. We will finish by reviewing some antioxidant systems and compounds as therapeutic strategies to prevent pathological vascular remodeling.

  10. Ethnobotany and ethnopharmacy--their role for anti-cancer drug development. (United States)

    Heinrich, Michael; Bremner, Paul


    Local and traditional knowledge has been the starting point for many successful drug development projects over the last decades. Here we discuss some examples of anti-cancer drugs which have had enormous impact as anti-cancer agents (camptothecan, taxol and derivatives) and a few examples of drugs currently under various stages of preclinical development. Ethnobotanists investigate the relationship between humans and plants in all its complexity, and such research is generally based on a detailed observation and study of the use a society makes of plants. The requirements of modern research on natural products as, for example, outlined in the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio Convention) and the overall approach in ethnobotanical research are also discussed. Selected phytochemical-pharmacological studies based on traditional plant use are used to highlight the potential of ethnobotany driven anti-cancer research. The link between traditionally used plants and targets of the NF-kappaB pathway is discussed using on an EU-funded, multidisciplinary project as an example. Lastly the potential of chemopreventive agents derived from traditional food plants is briefly addressed.

  11. Evidence of vanillin binding to CAMKIV explains the anti-cancer mechanism in human hepatic carcinoma and neuroblastoma cells. (United States)

    Naz, Huma; Tarique, Mohd; Khan, Parvez; Luqman, Suaib; Ahamad, Shahzaib; Islam, Asimul; Ahmad, Faizan; Hassan, Md Imtaiyaz


    Human calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMKIV) is a member of Ser/Thr kinase family, and is associated with different types of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Vanillin is a natural compound, a primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean which possesses varieties of pharmacological features including anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-tumor. Here, we have investigated the binding mechanism and affinity of vanillin to the CAMKIV which is being considered as a potential drug target for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. We found that vanillin binds strongly to the active site cavity of CAMKIV and stabilized by a large number of non-covalent interactions. We explored the utility of vanillin as anti-cancer agent and found that it inhibits the proliferation of human hepatocyte carcinoma (HepG2) and neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, vanillin treatment resulted into the significant reduction in the mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ROS production that eventually leads to apoptosis in HepG2 and SH-SY5Y cancer cells. These findings may offer a novel therapeutic approach by targeting the CAMKIV using natural product and its derivative with a minimal side effect.

  12. Cannabidiol in Humans—The Quest for Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Potvin


    Full Text Available Cannabidiol (CBD, a major phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis, is attracting growing attention in medicine for its anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antiemetic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, up to this point, a comprehensive literature review of the effects of CBD in humans is lacking. The aim of the present systematic review is to examine the randomized and crossover studies that administered CBD to healthy controls and to clinical patients. A systematic search was performed in the electronic databases PubMed and EMBASE using the key word “cannabidiol”. Both monotherapy and combination studies (e.g., CBD + ∆9-THC were included. A total of 34 studies were identified: 16 of these were experimental studies, conducted in healthy subjects, and 18 were conducted in clinical populations, including multiple sclerosis (six studies, schizophrenia and bipolar mania (four studies, social anxiety disorder (two studies, neuropathic and cancer pain (two studies, cancer anorexia (one study, Huntington’s disease (one study, insomnia (one study, and epilepsy (one study. Experimental studies indicate that a high-dose of inhaled/intravenous CBD is required to inhibit the effects of a lower dose of ∆9-THC. Moreover, some experimental and clinical studies suggest that oral/oromucosal CBD may prolong and/or intensify ∆9-THC-induced effects, whereas others suggest that it may inhibit ∆9-THC-induced effects. Finally, preliminary clinical trials suggest that high-dose oral CBD (150–600 mg/d may exert a therapeutic effect for social anxiety disorder, insomnia and epilepsy, but also that it may cause mental sedation. Potential pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic explanations for these results are discussed.

  13. BMI-1, a promising therapeutic target for human cancer (United States)



    BMI-1 oncogene is a member of the polycomb-group gene family and a transcriptional repressor. Overexpression of BMI-1 has been identified in various human cancer tissues and is known to be involved in cancer cell proliferation, cell invasion, distant metastasis, chemosensitivity and patient survival. Accumulating evidence has revealed that BMI-1 is also involved in the regulation of self-renewal, differentiation and tumor initiation of cancer stem cells (CSCs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these biological processes remain unclear. The present review summarized the function of BMI-1 in different human cancer types and CSCs, and discussed the signaling pathways in which BMI-1 is potentially involved. In conclusion, BMI-1 may represent a promising target for the prevention and therapy of various cancer types. PMID:26622537

  14. Skp2 is a promising therapeutic target in breast cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiwei eWang


    Full Text Available Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among American women, and remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death for female in the United States. It has been known that several signaling pathways and various factors play critical roles in the development and progression of breast cancer, such as estrogen receptor, Notch, PTEN, Her2, PI3K/Akt, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Emerging evidence has shown that the F-box protein Skp2 (S-phase kinase associated protein 2 also plays an important role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Therefore, in this brief review, we summarize the novel functions of Skp2 in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Moreover, we provide further evidence regarding the state of our knowledge toward the development of novel Skp2 inhibitors especially natural chemopreventive agents as targeted approach for the prevention and/or treatment of breast cancer.

  15. Atopic dermatitis: recent insight on pathogenesis and novel therapeutic target. (United States)

    D'Auria, Enza; Banderali, Giuseppe; Barberi, Salvatore; Gualandri, Lorenzo; Pietra, Benedetta; Riva, Enrica; Cerri, Amilcare


    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease. It affects infancy, but it is also highly prevalent in adults and it is one of the disease burdens for the patients and their families. Nowadays, AD is recognized as a heterogenous disease with different subtypes with variable clinical manifestations which is affected by the impairments of the skin barrier. The severity of AD dictates the level of treatment. Current AD treatment focuses on restoration of the barrier function, mainly through the use of moisturizers and corticosteroids to control the inflammation, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and immunosuppresive drugs in the most severe cases. However, targeted disease-modifying therapies are under investigation. The most recent findings on the skin microbial dysbiosis is a promising future direction for the development of new treatments. We need to improve the understanding of the complex microbiome-host interactions, the role of autoimmunity, the comparative effectiveness of therapies and the ways to appropriately implement the educational strategies.

  16. Therapeutic targeting of Myc-reprogrammed cancer cell metabolism. (United States)

    Dang, C V


    Studies from many laboratories document that the MYC oncogene produces a pleiotropic transcription factor, Myc, which influences genes driven by all three RNA polymerases to orchestrate nutrient import with biomass accumulation for cell division. Myc has been shown to activate genes involved in glycolysis, glutaminolysis, and mitochondrial biogenesis to provide ATP and anabolic substrates for cell mass accumulation. Myc stimulates ribosome biogenesis and orchestrates the energetic demand for biomass accumulation through its regulation of glucose and glutamine import and metabolism. When normal cells are deprived of nutrients, endogenous MYC expression diminishes and cells withdraw from the cell cycle. However, ectopic MYC-driven cancer cells are locked in a state of deregulated biomass accumulation, which renders them addicted to glucose and glutamine. This addictive state can be exploited for cancer therapy, because nutrient deprivation kills Myc-driven cells and inhibition of the Myc targets, lactate dehydrogenase A or glutaminase, diminishes tumor xenograft growth in vivo.

  17. Therapeutic targets in cancer cell metabolism and autophagy (United States)

    Cheong, Heesun; Lu, Chao; Lindsten, Tullia; Thompson, Craig B.


    The metabolism of cancer cells is reprogrammed by oncogene signaling and/or mutations in metabolic enzymes. These metabolic alterations support cell proliferation and survival, but leave cancer cells dependent on continuous support of the nutrients that fuel their altered metabolism. Thus, in addition to core oncogenic pathways, many metabolic enzymes have become targets for novel therapies. Two novel processes- isoform-specific expression of metabolic enzymes and autophagy- have recently been shown to play critical roles in the adaptation of tumor cells to changes in nutrient availability and the cell's ability to sense and adapt to depletion of critical nutrients. These findings suggest that a better understanding of the molecular basis of cancer-associated metabolic changes has the potential to provide insights to enhance cancer therapy. PMID:22781696

  18. Tumor-Associated Macrophages: Therapeutic Targets for Skin Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taku Fujimura


    Full Text Available Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs and regulatory T cells (Tregs are significant components of the microenvironment of solid tumors in the majority of cancers. TAMs sequentially develop from monocytes into functional macrophages. In each differentiation stage, TAMs obtain various immunosuppressive functions to maintain the tumor microenvironment (e.g., expression of immune checkpoint molecules, production of Treg-related chemokines and cytokines, production of arginase I. Although the main population of TAMs is immunosuppressive M2 macrophages, TAMs can be modulated into M1-type macrophages in each differential stage, leading to the suppression of tumor growth. Because the administration of certain drugs or stromal factors can stimulate TAMs to produce specific chemokines, leading to the recruitment of various tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, TAMs can serve as targets for cancer immunotherapy. In this review, we discuss the differentiation, activation, and immunosuppressive function of TAMs, as well as their benefits in cancer immunotherapy.

  19. REV-ERB and ROR: therapeutic targets for treating myopathies (United States)

    Welch, Ryan D.; Flaveny, Colin A.


    Muscle is primarily known for its mechanical roles in locomotion, maintenance of posture, and regulation of cardiac and respiratory function. There are numerous medical conditions that adversely affect muscle, myopathies that disrupt muscle development, regeneration and protein turnover to detrimental effect. Skeletal muscle is also a vital secretory organ that regulates thermogenesis, inflammatory signaling and directs context specific global metabolic changes in energy substrate preference on a daily basis. Myopathies differ in the causative factors that drive them but share common features including severe reduction in quality of life and significantly increased mortality all due irrefutably to the loss of muscle mass. Thus far clinically viable approaches for preserving muscle proteins and stimulating new muscle growth without unwanted side effects or limited efficacy has been elusive. Over the last few decades, evidence has emerged through in vitro and in vivo studies that suggest the nuclear receptors REV-ERB and ROR might modulate pathways involved in myogenesis and mitochondrial biogenesis. Hinting that REV-ERB and ROR might be targeted to treat myopathies. However there is still a need for substantial investigation into the roles of these nuclear receptors in in vivo rodent models of degenerative muscle diseases and acute injury. Although exciting, REV-ERB and ROR have somewhat confounding roles in muscle physiology and therefore more studies utilizing in vivo models of skeletal muscle myopathies are needed. In this review we highlight the molecular forces driving some of the major degenerative muscular diseases and showcase two promising molecular targets that may have the potential to treat myopathies: ROR and REV-ERB.

  20. Anti-cancer properties and mechanisms of action of thymoquinone, the major active ingredient of Nigella sativa. (United States)

    Majdalawieh, Amin F; Fayyad, Muneera W; Nasrallah, Gheyath K


    Over the past two decades, studies have documented the wide-range anti-cancer effects of Nigella sativa, known as black seed or black cumin. Thymoquinone (TQ), its major active ingredient, has also been extensively studied and reported to possess potent anti-cancer properties. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of the findings related to the anti-cancer activity of TQ. The review focuses on analyzing experimental studies performed using different in vitro and in vivo models to identify the anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-oxidant, cytotoxic, anti-metastatic, and NK-dependent cytotoxic effects exerted by TQ. In addition, we pinpoint the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects and the signal transduction pathways implicated by TQ. Our analysis show that p53, NF-κB, PPARγ, STAT3, MAPK, and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways are among the most significant pathways through which TQ mediates its anti-cancer activity. Experimental findings and recent advances in the field highlight TQ as an effective therapeutic agent for the suppression of tumor development, growth and metastasis for a wide range of tumors.

  1. Targeting nicotine addiction: the possibility of a therapeutic vaccine

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    Escobar-Chávez JJ


    Full Text Available José Juan Escobar-Chávez1, Clara Luisa Domínguez-Delgado2, Isabel Marlen Rodríguez-Cruz21Unidad de Investigación Multidisciplinaria, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Cuautitlán-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Estado de México, México; 2División de Estudios de Posgrado (Tecnología Farmacéutica, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Cuautitlán-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Estado de México, MéxicoAbstract: Cigarette smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, reproductive disorders, and delayed wound healing all over the world. The goals of smoking cessation are both to reduce health risks and to improve quality of life. The development of novel and more effective medications for smoking cessation is crucial in the treatment of nicotine dependence. Currently, first-line smoking cessation therapies include nicotine replacement products and bupropion. The partial nicotinic receptor agonist, varenicline, has recently been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA for smoking cessation. Clonidine and nortriptyline have demonstrated some efficacy, but side effects may limit their use to second-line treatment products. Other therapeutic drugs that are under development include rimonabant, mecamylamine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and dopamine D3 receptor antagonists. Nicotine vaccines are among newer products seeking approval from the FDA. Antidrug vaccines are irreversible, provide protection over years and need booster injections far beyond the critical phase of acute withdrawal symptoms. Interacting with the drug in the blood rather than with a receptor in the brain, the vaccines are free of side effects due to central interaction. For drugs like nicotine, which interacts with different types of receptors in many organs, this is a further advantage. Three anti-nicotine vaccines are today in an advanced stage of clinical evaluation. Results

  2. TCTP as a therapeutic target in melanoma treatment. (United States)

    Boia-Ferreira, M; Basílio, A B; Hamasaki, A E; Matsubara, F H; Appel, M H; Da Costa, C R V; Amson, R; Telerman, A; Chaim, O M; Veiga, S S; Senff-Ribeiro, A


    Translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP) is an antiapoptotic protein highly conserved through phylogeny. Translationally controlled tumour protein overexpression was detected in several tumour types. Silencing TCTP was shown to induce tumour reversion. There is a reciprocal repression between TCTP and P53. Sertraline interacts with TCTP and decreases its cellular levels. We evaluate the role of TCTP in melanoma using sertraline and siRNA. Cell viability, migration, and clonogenicity were assessed in human and murine melanoma cells in vitro. Sertraline was evaluated in a murine melanoma model and was compared with dacarbazine, a major chemotherapeutic agent used in melanoma treatment. Inhibition of TCTP levels decreases melanoma cell viability, migration, clonogenicity, and in vivo tumour growth. Human melanoma cells treated with sertraline show diminished migration properties and capacity to form colonies. Sertraline was effective in inhibiting tumour growth in a murine melanoma model; its effect was stronger when compared with dacarbazine. Altogether, these results indicate that sertraline could be effective against melanoma and TCTP can be a target for melanoma therapy.

  3. High Density Lipoprotein: A Therapeutic Target in Type 2 Diabetes

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    Philip J. Barter


    Full Text Available High density lipoproteins (HDLs have a number of properties that have the potential to inhibit the development of atherosclerosis and thus reduce the risk of having a cardiovascular event. These protective effects of HDLs may be reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the concentration of HDL cholesterol is frequently low. In addition to their potential cardioprotective properties, HDLs also increase the uptake of glucose by skeletal muscle and stimulate the synthesis and secretion of insulin from pancreatic β cells and may thus have a beneficial effect on glycemic control. This raises the possibility that a low HDL concentration in type 2 diabetes may contribute to a worsening of diabetic control. Thus, there is a double case for targeting HDLs in patients with type 2 diabetes: to reduce cardiovascular risk and also to improve glycemic control. Approaches to raising HDL levels include lifestyle factors such as weight reduction, increased physical activity and stopping smoking. There is an ongoing search for HDL-raising drugs as agents to use in patients with type 2 diabetes in whom the HDL level remains low despite lifestyle interventions.

  4. Nicotinic ACh receptors as therapeutic targets in CNS disorders. (United States)

    Dineley, Kelly T; Pandya, Anshul A; Yakel, Jerrel L


    The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) can regulate neuronal excitability by acting on the cys-loop cation-conducting ligand-gated nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) channels. These receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system (CNS), being expressed on neurons and non-neuronal cells, where they participate in a variety of physiological responses such as anxiety, the central processing of pain, food intake, nicotine seeking behavior, and cognitive functions. In the mammalian brain, nine different subunits have been found thus far, which assemble into pentameric complexes with much subunit diversity; however, the α7 and α4β2 subtypes predominate in the CNS. Neuronal nAChR dysfunction is involved in the pathophysiology of many neurological disorders. Here we will briefly discuss the functional makeup and expression of the nAChRs in mammalian brain, and their role as targets in neurodegenerative diseases (in particular Alzheimer's disease, AD), neurodevelopmental disorders (in particular autism and schizophrenia), and neuropathic pain. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Mitochondrial respiration--an important therapeutic target in melanoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Barbi de Moura

    Full Text Available The importance of mitochondria as oxygen sensors as well as producers of ATP and reactive oxygen species (ROS has recently become a focal point of cancer research. However, in the case of melanoma, little information is available to what extent cellular bioenergetics processes contribute to the progression of the disease and related to it, whether oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS has a prominent role in advanced melanoma. In this study we demonstrate that compared to melanocytes, metastatic melanoma cells have elevated levels of OXPHOS. Furthermore, treating metastatic melanoma cells with the drug, Elesclomol, which induces cancer cell apoptosis through oxidative stress, we document by way of stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC that proteins participating in OXPHOS are downregulated. We also provide evidence that melanoma cells with high levels of glycolysis are more resistant to Elesclomol. We further show that Elesclomol upregulates hypoxia inducible factor 1-α (HIF-1α, and that prolonged exposure of melanoma cells to this drug leads to selection of melanoma cells with high levels of glycolysis. Taken together, our findings suggest that molecular targeting of OXPHOS may have efficacy for advanced melanoma.

  6. Neuroprotection as a Therapeutic Target for Diabetic Retinopathy (United States)

    Hernández, Cristina; Simó, Rafael


    Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a multifactorial progressive disease of the retina and a leading cause of vision loss. DR has long been regarded as a vascular disorder, although neuronal death and visual impairment appear before vascular lesions, suggesting an important role played by neurodegeneration in DR and the appropriateness of neuroprotective strategies. Upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the main target of current therapies, is likely to be one of the first responses to retinal hyperglycemic stress and VEGF may represent an important survival factor in early phases of DR. Of central importance for clinical trials is the detection of retinal neurodegeneration in the clinical setting, and spectral domain optical coherence tomography seems the most indicated technique. Many substances have been tested in animal studies for their neuroprotective properties and for possible use in humans. Perhaps, the most intriguing perspective is the use of endogenous neuroprotective substances or nutraceuticals. Together, the data point to the central role of neurodegeneration in the pathogenesis of DR and indicate neuroprotection as an effective strategy for treating this disease. However, clinical trials to determine not only the effectiveness and safety but also the compliance of a noninvasive route of drug administration are needed. PMID:27123463

  7. Aquaporin-4: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Cerebral Edema (United States)

    Tang, Guanghui; Yang, Guo-Yuan


    Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) is a family member of water-channel proteins and is dominantly expressed in the foot process of glial cells surrounding capillaries. The predominant expression at the boundaries between cerebral parenchyma and major fluid compartments suggests the function of aquaporin-4 in water transfer into and out of the brain parenchyma. Accumulating evidences have suggested that the dysregulation of aquaporin-4 relates to the brain edema resulting from a variety of neuro-disorders, such as ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, trauma, etc. During edema formation in the brain, aquaporin-4 has been shown to contribute to the astrocytic swelling, while in the resolution phase, it has been seen to facilitate the reabsorption of extracellular fluid. In addition, aquaporin-4-deficient mice are protected from cytotoxic edema produced by water intoxication and brain ischemia. However, aquaporin-4 deletion exacerbates vasogenic edema in the brain of different pathological disorders. Recently, our published data showed that the upregulation of aquaporin-4 in astrocytes probably contributes to the transition from cytotoxic edema to vasogenic edema. In this review, apart from the traditional knowledge, we also introduce our latest findings about the effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and microRNA-29b on aquaporin-4, which could provide powerful intervention tools targeting aquaporin-4. PMID:27690011

  8. Squalene synthase as a target for Chagas disease therapeutics.

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    Na Shang


    Full Text Available Trypanosomatid parasites are the causative agents of many neglected tropical diseases and there is currently considerable interest in targeting endogenous sterol biosynthesis in these organisms as a route to the development of novel anti-infective drugs. Here, we report the first x-ray crystallographic structures of the enzyme squalene synthase (SQS from a trypanosomatid parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. We obtained five structures of T. cruzi SQS and eight structures of human SQS with four classes of inhibitors: the substrate-analog S-thiolo-farnesyl diphosphate, the quinuclidines E5700 and ER119884, several lipophilic bisphosphonates, and the thiocyanate WC-9, with the structures of the two very potent quinuclidines suggesting strategies for selective inhibitor development. We also show that the lipophilic bisphosphonates have low nM activity against T. cruzi and inhibit endogenous sterol biosynthesis and that E5700 acts synergistically with the azole drug, posaconazole. The determination of the structures of trypanosomatid and human SQS enzymes with a diverse set of inhibitors active in cells provides insights into SQS inhibition, of interest in the context of the development of drugs against Chagas disease.

  9. Myocardial fibroblast-matrix interactions and potential therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Goldsmith, Edie C; Bradshaw, Amy D; Zile, Michael R; Spinale, Francis G


    The cardiac extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic structure, adapting to physiological and pathological stresses placed on the myocardium. Deposition and organization of the matrix fall under the purview of cardiac fibroblasts. While often overlooked compared to myocytes, fibroblasts play a critical role in maintaining ECM homeostasis under normal conditions and in response to pathological stimuli assume an activated, myofibroblast phenotype associated with excessive collagen accumulation contributing to impaired cardiac function. Complete appreciation of fibroblast function is hampered by the lack of fibroblast-specific reagents and the heterogeneity of fibroblast precursors. This is further complicated by our ability to dissect the role of myofibroblasts versus fibroblasts in myocardial in remodeling. This review highlights critical points in the regulation of collagen deposition by fibroblasts, the current panel of molecular tools used to identify fibroblasts and the role of fibroblast-matrix interactions in fibroblast function and differentiation into the myofibroblast phenotype. The clinical potential of exploiting differences between fibroblasts and myofibroblasts and using them to target specific fibroblast populations is also discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Myocyte-Fibroblast Signalling in Myocardium." Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. CD30 is a potential therapeutic target in malignant mesothelioma (United States)

    Dabir, Snehal; Kresak, Adam; Yang, Michael; Fu, Pingfu; Wildey, Gary; Dowlati, Afshin


    CD30 is a cytokine receptor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor superfamily (TNFRSF8) that acts as a regulator of apoptosis. The presence of CD30 antigen is important in the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease and anaplastic large cell lymphoma. There have been sporadic reports of CD30 expression in non-lymphoid tumors, including malignant mesothelioma. Given the remarkable success of brentuximab vedotin, an antibody-drug conjugate directed against CD30 antigen, in lymphoid malignancies, we undertook a study to examine the incidence of CD30 in mesothelioma and to investigate the ability to target CD30 antigen in mesothelioma. Mesothelioma tumor specimens (N = 83) were examined for CD30 expression by immunohistochemistry. Positive CD30 expression was noted in 13 mesothelioma specimens, primarily those of epithelial histology. There was no significant correlation of CD30 positivity with either tumor grade, stage or survival. Examination of four mesothelioma cell lines (H28, H2052, H2452, and 211H) for CD30 expression by both FACS analysis and confocal microscopy showed that CD30 antigen localized to the cell membrane. Brentuximab vedotin treatment of cultured mesothelioma cells produced a dose-dependent decrease in cell growth and viability at clinically relevant concentrations. Our studies validate the presence of CD30 antigen in a subgroup of epithelial-type mesothelioma tumors and indicate that selected mesothelioma patients may derive benefit from brentuximab vedotin treatment. PMID:25589494

  11. From non-pharmacological treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder to novel therapeutic targets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriksen, Erik; Olivier, Berend; Oosting, Ronald S


    The development of new pharmacological therapies starts with target discovery. Finding new therapeutic targets for anxiety disorders is a difficult process. Most of the currently described drugs for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are based on the inhibition of serotonin reuptake. The

  12. Butyrylcholinesterase as a Diagnostic and Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer's Disease. (United States)

    Darvesh, Sultan


    The serine hydrolase butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), like the related enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), co-regulates metabolism of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In the human brain BChE is mainly expressed in white matter and glia and in distinct populations of neurons in regions that are important in cognition and behavior, functions compromised in Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is a neurodegenerative disorder causing dementia with no cure nor means for definitive diagnosis during life. In AD, BChE is found in association with pathology, such as β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques, particularly in the cerebral cortex where BChE is not normally found in quantity. Up to 30% of cognitively normal older adults have abundant Aβ deposition in the brain. We have designed an imaging agent that can detect, through autoradiography, BChE-associated Aβ plaques in the cerebral cortex of AD brains, but does not visualize Aβ plaques in brains of cognitively normal individuals. Furthermore, in an AD mouse model with BChE gene knocked out, there are up to 70% fewer fibrillar Aβ brain plaques, suggesting diminished BChE activity could prove beneficial as a curative approach to AD. To that end, we have examined numerous N-10-carbonyl phenothiazines that are specific inhibitors of human BChE, revealing important details of the enzyme's active site gorge. These phenothiazines can be designed without potential side effects caused by neurotransmitter receptor interactions. In conclusion, BChE is potentially an important target for diagnosis and treatment of AD.

  13. Ornithine decarboxylase as a therapeutic target for endometrial cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong Im Kim

    Full Text Available Ornithine Decarboxylase (ODC a key enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis is often overexpressed in cancers and contributes to polyamine-induced cell proliferation. We noted ubiquitous expression of ODC1 in our published endometrial cancer gene array data and confirmed this in the cancer genome atlas (TCGA with highest expression in non-endometrioid, high grade, and copy number high cancers, which have the worst clinical outcomes. ODC1 expression was associated with worse overall survival and increased recurrence in three endometrial cancer gene expression datasets. Importantly, we confirmed these findings using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR in a validation cohort of 60 endometrial cancers and found that endometrial cancers with elevated ODC1 had significantly shorter recurrence-free intervals (KM log-rank p = 0.0312, Wald test p = 5.59e-05. Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO a specific inhibitor of ODC significantly reduced cell proliferation, cell viability, and colony formation in cell line models derived from undifferentiated, endometrioid, serous, carcinosarcoma (mixed mesodermal tumor; MMT and clear cell endometrial cancers. DFMO also significantly reduced human endometrial cancer ACI-98 tumor burden in mice compared to controls (p = 0.0023. ODC-regulated polyamines (putrescine [Put] and/or spermidine [Spd] known activators of cell proliferation were strongly decreased in response to DFMO, in both tumor tissue ([Put] (p = 0.0006, [Spd] (p<0.0001 and blood plasma ([Put] (p<0.0001, [Spd] (p = 0.0049 of treated mice. Our study indicates that some endometrial cancers appear particularly sensitive to DFMO and that the polyamine pathway in endometrial cancers in general and specifically those most likely to suffer adverse clinical outcomes could be targeted for effective treatment, chemoprevention or chemoprevention of recurrence.

  14. Neurological complications of medical anti-cancer therapies

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    Jerzy Hildebrand


    Full Text Available This review describes the features of central and peripheral neurological disorders caused by anti-cancer chemotherapy and supportive medications, such as antiepileptic drugs, glucocorticosteroids and opioids, frequently used in cancer patients. Diffuse encephalopathy with or without epileptic seizures, cerebellar disorders and aseptic meningitis may occur after systemic administration of conventional drug doses, but their incidence is much higher when either high-dose chemotherapy, or intrathecal or intracarotid administration is used. Spinal cord and/or spinal root lesions have been reported after intrathecal administration of methotrexate or cytosinearabinoside. Anti-cancer chemotherapy is the leading cause of peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients. The main culprits are vinca alkaloids, platinum derivatives and taxanes. Anti-cancer chemotherapy has no significant toxic effect on muscle tissue, but heavy administration of glucocorticosteroids is a common cause of disabling, predominantly pelvic, muscle atrophy.

  15. Targeting the MicroRNA Passenger Strand for Regulating Therapeutic Transgenes. (United States)

    Kim, Sung Jin; Lee, Chang Ho; Lee, Seong-Wook


    Gene therapy strategies have been developed, which can tissue or disease specifically regulate expression of exogenous transgenes by means of endogenous microRNA (miRNA) activity. However, the use of an endogenous guide strand to regulate an exogenous transgene could affect expression of endogenous miRNA target genes. In this study, we developed a new regulatory system of exogenous transgene expression by targeting the passenger strand. We constructed reporter constructs harboring miRNA-122 guide or passenger target sites with perfect or imperfect complementarity. We observed downregulation of an exogenous transgene harboring the miRNA-122 target sites against either the guide or passenger strand in cells expressing the cognate miRNA or cells stably expressing the miRNA target site. Moreover, the transgene activity as well as the gene expression level increased specifically by intracellular introduction of the antisense RNA against the corresponding strand. Endogenous target gene expression was induced by the transgene construct harboring the miRNA guide strand target sites, but not the passenger strand target sites. Importantly, the therapeutic transgene activity was efficiently regulated by targeting the passenger strand. These results suggested that an approach to passenger strand-regulated expression of therapeutic transgenes could be applied more safely as a therapeutic tool.

  16. In silico prediction of novel therapeutic targets using gene-disease association data. (United States)

    Ferrero, Enrico; Dunham, Ian; Sanseau, Philippe


    Target identification and validation is a pressing challenge in the pharmaceutical industry, with many of the programmes that fail for efficacy reasons showing poor association between the drug target and the disease. Computational prediction of successful targets could have a considerable impact on attrition rates in the drug discovery pipeline by significantly reducing the initial search space. Here, we explore whether gene-disease association data from the Open Targets platform is sufficient to predict therapeutic targets that are actively being pursued by pharmaceutical companies or are already on the market. To test our hypothesis, we train four different classifiers (a random forest, a support vector machine, a neural network and a gradient boosting machine) on partially labelled data and evaluate their performance using nested cross-validation and testing on an independent set. We then select the best performing model and use it to make predictions on more than 15,000 genes. Finally, we validate our predictions by mining the scientific literature for proposed therapeutic targets. We observe that the data types with the best predictive power are animal models showing a disease-relevant phenotype, differential expression in diseased tissue and genetic association with the disease under investigation. On a test set, the neural network classifier achieves over 71% accuracy with an AUC of 0.76 when predicting therapeutic targets in a semi-supervised learning setting. We use this model to gain insights into current and failed programmes and to predict 1431 novel targets, of which a highly significant proportion has been independently proposed in the literature. Our in silico approach shows that data linking genes and diseases is sufficient to predict novel therapeutic targets effectively and confirms that this type of evidence is essential for formulating or strengthening hypotheses in the target discovery process. Ultimately, more rapid and automated target

  17. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase: a potential therapeutic target for cerebrovascular diseases. (United States)

    Zhu, Jinqiang; Song, Wanshan; Li, Lin; Fan, Xiang


    Endothelial nitric oxide (NO) is a significant signaling molecule that regulates cerebral blood flow (CBF), playing a pivotal role in the prevention and treatment of cerebrovascular diseases. However, achieving the expected therapeutic efficacy is difficult using direct administration of NO donors. Therefore, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) becomes a potential therapeutic target for cerebrovascular diseases. This review summarizes the current evidence supporting the importance of CBF to cerebrovascular function, and the roles of NO and eNOS in CBF regulation.

  18. Advancing drug therapy for brain tumours: a current review of the pro-inflammatory peptide Substance P and its antagonists as anti-cancer agents. (United States)

    Mander, Kimberley; Harford-Wright, Elizabeth; Lewis, Kate M; Vink, Robert


    Evidence for the involvement of the Substance P (SP)/NK1 receptor system in the development and progression of cancer strongly supports its potential as a therapeutic target in malignancies. Novel strategies for approaching cancer treatment are urgently required particularly with regard to tumours of the central nervous system (CNS), which are notoriously difficult to effectively treat and associated with extremely poor prognosis for many patients. This is due, in part, to the presence of the highly specialised blood-brain barrier, which is known to restrict common treatments such as chemotherapy and hinder early tumour diagnosis. Additionally, tumours of the CNS are difficult to surgically resect completely, often contributing to the resurgence of the disease many years later. Interestingly, despite the presence of the blood-brain barrier, circulating tumour cells are able to gain entry to the brain and form secondary brain tumours; however, the underlying mechanisms of this process remain unclear. Tachykinins, in particular Substance P, have been implicated in early blood-brain barrier disruption via neurogenic inflammation in a number of other CNS pathologies. Recent evidence also suggests that Substance P may play a central role in the development of CNS tumours. It has been well established that a number of tumour cells express Substance P, NK1 receptors and mRNA for the tachykinin NK1 receptor. This increase in the Substance P/NK1 receptor system is known to induce proliferation and migration of tumour cells as well as stimulate angiogenesis, thus contributing to tumour progression. Accordingly, the NK1 receptor antagonist presents a novel target for anti-cancer therapy for which a number of patents have been filed. This review will examine the role of Substance P in the development of CNS tumours and its potential application as an anti-cancer agent.

  19. Cerebral Edema in Traumatic Brain Injury: Pathophysiology and Prospective Therapeutic Targets. (United States)

    Winkler, Ethan A; Minter, Daniel; Yue, John K; Manley, Geoffrey T


    Traumatic brain injury is a heterogeneous disorder resulting from an external force applied to the head. The development of cerebral edema plays a central role in the evolution of injury following brain trauma and is closely associated with neurologic outcomes. Recent advances in the understanding of the molecular and cellular pathways contributing to the posttraumatic development of cerebral edema have led to the identification of multiple prospective therapeutic targets. The authors summarize the pathogenic mechanisms underlying cerebral edema and highlight the molecular pathways that may be therapeutically targeted to mitigate cerebral edema and associated sequelae following traumatic brain injury. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Targeting therapy-resistant cancer stem cells by hyperthermia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oei, A L; Vriend, L E M; Krawczyk, P M


    Eradication of all malignant cells is the ultimate but challenging goal of anti-cancer treatment; most traditional clinically-available approaches fail because there are cells in a tumour that either escape therapy or become therapy-resistant. A subpopulation of cancer cells, the cancer stem cells...... (CSCs), is considered to be of particular significance for tumour initiation, progression and metastasis. CSCs are considered in particular to be therapy-resistant and may drive disease recurrence, which positions CSCs in the focus of anti-cancer research, but successful CSC-targeting therapies...... are limited. Here, we argue that hyperthermia - a therapeutic approach based on local heating of a tumour - is potentially beneficial for targeting CSCs in solid tumours. First, hyperthermia has been described to target cells in hypoxic and nutrient-deprived tumour areas where CSCs reside and ionising...

  1. Onion: Anti Cancer Sulfur Compounds with High Cancer Chemo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Onions are chock full of anti cancer sulfur compounds which are highly beneficial for cancer chemoprevention. Advanced studies have shown that onion may be inhibit liver, colon, prostate, lung cancer etc. with high antioxidant properties which also reduce not only oxidative stress, free radicals but also xenobiotics.

  2. Screening of Chinese brassica species for anti-cancer sulforaphane ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Natural sulforaphane and erucin have been of increasing interest for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries due to their anti-cancer effect. The sulforaphane and/or erucin contents in seeds of 43 different Chinese Brassica oleracea L. varieties were analyzed by HPLC and GC-MS. Among them, 21 cultivars seed meal ...

  3. Syntheses, characterization, and anti-cancer activities of pyridine ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Syntheses, characterization, and anti-cancer activities of pyridine-amide based compounds containing appended phenol or catechol groups. AFSAR ALIa, DEEPAK BANSALa, NAGENDRA K KAUSHIKb, NEHA KAUSHIKb,. EUN HA CHOIb and RAJEEV GUPTAa,∗. aDepartment of Chemistry, University of Delhi, Delhi 110 ...

  4. Screening of Chinese brassica species for anti-cancer sulforaphane ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Jan 18, 2008 ... Natural sulforaphane and erucin have been of increasing interest for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries due to their anti-cancer effect. The sulforaphane and/or erucin contents in seeds of 43 different Chinese Brassica oleracea L. varieties were analyzed by HPLC and GC-MS. Among them, 21.

  5. TNK2 Tyrosine Kinase as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (United States)


    Award Number: W81XWH-15-1-0311 TITLE: TNK2 Tyrosine Kinase as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Triple- Negative Breast Cancer PRINCIPAL...Distribution Unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) represent only 10%-15% of all breast cancers ; however... cancers (TNBC) represent 10-15% of all breast cancers . While significant advances have been made for targeted therapy of ER and HER2-positive breast

  6. Network pharmacology analysis of the anti-cancer pharmacological mechanisms of Ganoderma lucidum extract with experimental support using Hepa1-6-bearing C57 BL/6 mice. (United States)

    Zhao, Ruo-Lin; He, Yu-Min


    important roles in the process of GLE treatment. GLE effectively inhibited tumor growth in Hepa1-6-bearing C57 BL/6 mice. Finally, consistent with the results of qRT-PCR data, the results of western-blot assay demonstrated the expression levels of PGR and ESR1 were up-regulated, as well as the expression levels of NR3C2 and AR were down-regulated, while the change of NR3C1 and CHRM2 had no statistical significance. The results indicated that these 4 hub target genes, including NR3C2, AR, ESR1 and PGR, might act as potential markers to evaluate the curative effect of GLE treatment in tumor. And, the combined data provide preliminary study of the pharmacological mechanisms of GLE, which may be a promising potential therapeutic and chemopreventative candidate for anti-cancer. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Identifying targets for topical RNAi therapeutics in psoriasis: assessment of a new in vitro psoriasis model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bracke, S.; Desmet, E.; Guerrero-Aspizua, S.; Tjabringa, S.; Schalkwijk, J.; Gele, M. Van; Carretero, M.; Lambert, J.


    Diseases of the skin are amenable to RNAi-based therapies and targeting key components in the pathophysiology of psoriasis using RNAi may represent a successful new therapeutic strategy. We aimed to develop a straightforward and highly reproducible in vitro psoriasis model useful to study the

  8. Evaluation of MiR-181a as a potential therapeutic target in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Purpose: To investigate microRNA-181 (miR-181) as a potential therapeutic target in osteoarthritis (OA). Methods: MiR-181 expression was evaluated in articular cartilage samples obtained from OA patients undergoing knee arthroplasty and non-OA (control) patients undergoing other orthopedic procedures. Following the ...

  9. Combined therapeutic potential of nuclear receptors with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors in lung cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wairagu, Peninah M.; Park, Kwang Hwa; Kim, Jihye; Choi, Jong-Whan; Kim, Hyun-Won; Yeh, Byung-Il; Jung, Soon-Hee; Yong, Suk-Joong; Jeong, Yangsik


    Highlights: • The 48 NR genes and 48 biological anti-cancer targets are profiled in paired-cells. • Growth inhibition by NR ligands or TKIs is target receptor level-dependent. • T0901317 with gefitinib/PHA665752 shows additive growth inhibition in lung cells. - Abstract: Cancer heterogeneity is a big hurdle in achieving complete cancer treatment, which has led to the emergence of combinational therapy. In this study, we investigated the potential use of nuclear receptor (NR) ligands for combinational therapy with other anti-cancer drugs. We first profiled all 48 NRs and 48 biological anti-cancer targets in four pairs of lung cell lines, where each pair was obtained from the same patient. Two sets of cell lines were normal and the corresponding tumor cell lines while the other two sets consisted of primary versus metastatic tumor cell lines. Analysis of the expression profile revealed 11 NRs and 15 cancer targets from the two pairs of normal versus tumor cell lines, and 9 NRs and 9 cancer targets from the primary versus metastatic tumor cell lines had distinct expression patterns in each category. Finally, the evaluation of nuclear receptor ligand T0901317 for liver X receptor (LXR) demonstrated its combined therapeutic potential with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The combined treatment of cMET inhibitor PHA665752 or EGFR inhibitor gefitinib with T0901317 showed additive growth inhibition in both H2073 and H1993 cells. Mechanistically, the combined treatment suppressed cell cycle progression by inhibiting cyclinD1 and cyclinB expression. Taken together, this study provides insight into the potential use of NR ligands in combined therapeutics with other biological anti-cancer drugs

  10. Petri net-based prediction of therapeutic targets that recover abnormally phosphorylated proteins in muscle atrophy. (United States)

    Jung, Jinmyung; Kwon, Mijin; Bae, Sunghwa; Yim, Soorin; Lee, Doheon


    Muscle atrophy, an involuntary loss of muscle mass, is involved in various diseases and sometimes leads to mortality. However, therapeutics for muscle atrophy thus far have had limited effects. Here, we present a new approach for therapeutic target prediction using Petri net simulation of the status of phosphorylation, with a reasonable assumption that the recovery of abnormally phosphorylated proteins can be a treatment for muscle atrophy. The Petri net model was employed to simulate phosphorylation status in three states, i.e. reference, atrophic and each gene-inhibited state based on the myocyte-specific phosphorylation network. Here, we newly devised a phosphorylation specific Petri net that involves two types of transitions (phosphorylation or de-phosphorylation) and two types of places (activation with or without phosphorylation). Before predicting therapeutic targets, the simulation results in reference and atrophic states were validated by Western blotting experiments detecting five marker proteins, i.e. RELA, SMAD2, SMAD3, FOXO1 and FOXO3. Finally, we determined 37 potential therapeutic targets whose inhibition recovers the phosphorylation status from an atrophic state as indicated by the five validated marker proteins. In the evaluation, we confirmed that the 37 potential targets were enriched for muscle atrophy-related terms such as actin and muscle contraction processes, and they were also significantly overlapping with the genes associated with muscle atrophy reported in the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (p-value net. We generated a list of the potential therapeutic targets whose inhibition recovers abnormally phosphorylated proteins in an atrophic state. They were evaluated by various approaches, such as Western blotting, GO terms, literature, known muscle atrophy-related genes and shortest path analysis. We expect the new proposed strategy to provide an understanding of phosphorylation status in muscle atrophy and to provide assistance towards

  11. Development of a Novel Anti-HIF-1α Screening System Coupled with Biochemical and Biological Validation for Rapidly Selecting Potent Anti-Cancer Compounds. (United States)

    Lu, Yi; Madu, Chikezie; Masters, Jordan; Lu, Andrew; Li, Liyuan


    Breast cancer (BCa) is the most diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the American women. Adaptation to the hypoxic environment seen in solid tumors is critical for tumor cell survival and growth. The activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), an important master transcriptional factor that is induced and stabilized by intratumoral hypoxia, stimulates a group of HIF-1α-regulated genes including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), leading tumor cells towards malignant progression. Therefore, a promising therapeutic approach to cancer treatment is to target HIF-1α. The goal of this project was to develop and validate a screening system coupled with secondary screen/validation process that has the capability to screen large numbers of potential anti-cancer small-molecule compounds based on their anti-HIF-1α activities. Breast cancer MDA-231 cells were used as the model to select potent anti-HIF-1α compounds by their abilities to inhibit transactivation of a VEGF promoter fused to a luciferase reporter gene under hypoxia. Positive compounds were then validated by a series of assays that confirm compounds' anti-HIF-1α activities including measurement of HIF-1α downstream VEGF gene expression and angiogenic ability of BCa cells. Results of our pilot screening demonstrate that this prototype screening coupled with validation system can effectively select highly potent anti-HIF-1α agents from the compound library, suggesting that this prototype screen system has the potential to be developed into a high-throughput screen (HTS) coupled with automated validation process for the screening and identification of novel and effective anti-cancer drugs based on anti-HIF-1α mechanism.

  12. Rac1 in human diseases: The therapeutic potential of targeting Rac1 signaling regulatory mechanisms. (United States)

    Marei, Hadir; Malliri, Angeliki


    Abnormal Rac1 signaling is linked to a number of debilitating human diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. As such, Rac1 represents an attractive therapeutic target, yet the search for effective Rac1 inhibitors is still underway. Given the adverse effects associated with Rac1 signaling perturbation, cells have evolved several mechanisms to ensure the tight regulation of Rac1 signaling. Thus, characterizing these mechanisms can provide invaluable information regarding major cellular events that lead to aberrant Rac1 signaling. Importantly, this information can be utilized to further facilitate the development of effective pharmacological modulators that can restore normal Rac1 signaling. In this review, we focus on the pathological role of Rac1 signaling, highlighting the benefits and potential drawbacks of targeting Rac1 in a clinical setting. Additionally, we provide an overview of available compounds that target key Rac1 regulatory mechanisms and discuss future therapeutic avenues arising from our understanding of these mechanisms.

  13. Signal integration: a framework for understanding the efficacy of therapeutics targeting the human EGFR family (United States)

    Shepard, H. Michael; Brdlik, Cathleen M.; Schreiber, Hans


    The human EGFR (HER) family is essential for communication between many epithelial cancer cell types and the tumor microenvironment. Therapeutics targeting the HER family have demonstrated clinical success in the treatment of diverse epithelial cancers. Here we propose that the success of HER family–targeted monoclonal antibodies in cancer results from their ability to interfere with HER family consolidation of signals initiated by a multitude of other receptor systems. Ligand/receptor systems that initiate these signals include cytokine receptors, chemokine receptors, TLRs, GPCRs, and integrins. We further extrapolate that improvements in cancer therapeutics targeting the HER family are likely to incorporate mechanisms that block or reverse stromal support of malignant progression by isolating the HER family from autocrine and stromal influences. PMID:18982164

  14. Curcumin as a clinically-promising anti-cancer agent: pharmacokinetics and drug interactions. (United States)

    Adiwidjaja, Jeffry; McLachlan, Andrew J; Boddy, Alan V


    Curcumin has been extensively studied for its anti-cancer properties. While a diverse array of in vitro and preclinical research support the prospect of curcumin use as an anti-cancer therapeutic, most human studies have failed to meet the intended clinical expectation. Poor systemic availability of orally-administered curcumin may account for this disparity. Areas covered: This descriptive review aims to concisely summarise available clinical studies investigating curcumin pharmacokinetics when administered in different formulations. A critical analysis of pharmacokinetic- and pharmacodynamic-based interactions of curcumin with concomitantly administered drugs is also provided. Expert opinion: The encouraging clinical results of curcumin administration are currently limited to people with colorectal cancer, given that sufficient curcumin concentrations persist in colonic mucosa. Higher parent curcumin systemic exposure, which can be achieved by several newer formulations, has important implications for optimal treatment of cancers other than those in gastrointestinal tract. Curcumin-drug pharmacokinetic interactions are also almost exclusively in the enterocytes, owing to extensive first pass metabolism and poor curcumin bioavailability. Greater scope of these interactions, i.e. modulation of the systemic elimination of co-administered drugs, may be expected from more-bioavailable curcumin formulations. Further studies are still warranted, especially with newer formulations to support the inclusion of curcumin in cancer therapy regimens.

  15. Annexin A9 (ANXA9) biomarker and therapeutic target in epithelial cancer (United States)

    Hu, Zhi [El Cerrito, CA; Kuo, Wen-Lin [San Ramon, CA; Neve, Richard M [San Mateo, CA; Gray, Joe W [San Francisco, CA


    Amplification of the ANXA9 gene in human chromosomal region 1q21 in epithelial cancers indicates a likelihood of both in vivo drug resistance and metastasis, and serves as a biomarker indicating these aspects of the disease. ANXA9 can also serve as a therapeutic target. Interfering RNAs (iRNAs) (such as siRNA and miRNA) and shRNA adapted to inhibit ANXA9 expression, when formulated in a therapeutic composition, and delivered to cells of the tumor, function to treat the epithelial cancer.

  16. Leukocyte integrins: role in leukocyte recruitment and as therapeutic targets in inflammatory disease. (United States)

    Mitroulis, Ioannis; Alexaki, Vasileia I; Kourtzelis, Ioannis; Ziogas, Athanassios; Hajishengallis, George; Chavakis, Triantafyllos


    Infection or sterile inflammation triggers site-specific attraction of leukocytes. Leukocyte recruitment is a process comprising several steps orchestrated by adhesion molecules, chemokines, cytokines and endogenous regulatory molecules. Distinct adhesive interactions between endothelial cells and leukocytes and signaling mechanisms contribute to the temporal and spatial fine-tuning of the leukocyte adhesion cascade. Central players in the leukocyte adhesion cascade include the leukocyte adhesion receptors of the β2-integrin family, such as the αLβ2 and αMβ2 integrins, or of the β1-integrin family, such as the α4β1-integrin. Given the central involvement of leukocyte recruitment in different inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, the leukocyte adhesion cascade in general, and leukocyte integrins in particular, represent key therapeutic targets. In this context, the present review focuses on the role of leukocyte integrins in the leukocyte adhesion cascade. Experimental evidence that has implicated leukocyte integrins as targets in animal models of inflammatory disorders, such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, psoriasis, inflammatory bone loss and inflammatory bowel disease as well as preclinical and clinical therapeutic applications of antibodies that target leukocyte integrins in various inflammatory disorders are presented. Finally, we review recent findings on endogenous inhibitors that modify leukocyte integrin function, which could emerge as promising therapeutic targets. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Using Copy Number Alterations to Identify New Therapeutic Targets for Bladder Carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donatella Conconi


    Full Text Available Bladder cancer represents the ninth most widespread malignancy throughout the world. It is characterized by the presence of two different clinical and prognostic subtypes: non-muscle-invasive bladder cancers (NMIBCs and muscle-invasive bladder cancers (MIBCs. MIBCs have a poor outcome with a common progression to metastasis. Despite improvements in knowledge, treatment has not advanced significantly in recent years, with the absence of new therapeutic targets. Because of the limitations of current therapeutic options, the greater challenge will be to identify biomarkers for clinical application. For this reason, we compared our array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH results with those reported in literature for invasive bladder tumors and, in particular, we focused on the evaluation of copy number alterations (CNAs present in biopsies and retained in the corresponding cancer stem cell (CSC subpopulations that should be the main target of therapy. According to our data, CCNE1, MYC, MDM2 and PPARG genes could be interesting therapeutic targets for bladder CSC subpopulations. Surprisingly, HER2 copy number gains are not retained in bladder CSCs, making the gene-targeted therapy less interesting than the others. These results provide precious advice for further study on bladder therapy; however, the clinical importance of these results should be explored.

  18. Advances in the proteomic discovery of novel therapeutic targets in cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo S


    Full Text Available Shanchun Guo,1 Jin Zou,2 Guangdi Wang3 1Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, 2Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, USA; 3Research Centers in Minority Institutions Cancer Research Program, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA, USA Abstract: Proteomic approaches are continuing to make headways in cancer research by helping to elucidate complex signaling networks that underlie tumorigenesis and disease progression. This review describes recent advances made in the proteomic discovery of drug targets for therapeutic development. A variety of technical and methodological advances are overviewed with a critical assessment of challenges and potentials. A number of potential drug targets, such as baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis protein repeat-containing protein 6, macrophage inhibitory cytokine 1, phosphoglycerate mutase 1, prohibitin 1, fascin, and pyruvate kinase isozyme 2 were identified in the proteomic analysis of drug-resistant cancer cells, drug action, and differential disease state tissues. Future directions for proteomics-based target identification and validation to be more translation efficient are also discussed. Keywords: proteomics, cancer, therapeutic target, signaling network, tumorigenesis

  19. Aurora kinases as druggable targets in pediatric leukemia: heterogeneity in target modulation activities and cytotoxicity by diverse novel therapeutic agents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aarthi Jayanthan

    Full Text Available Leukemia is the most common pediatric malignancy, constituting more than 30% of all childhood cancers. Although cure rates have improved greatly, approximately one in five children relapse and poor survival rates post relapse remain a challenge. Given this, more effective and innovative therapeutic strategies are needed in order to improve prognosis. Aurora kinases, a family of serine/threonine kinases essential for the regulation of several mitotic processes, have been identified as potential targets for cancer therapeutics. Elevated expression of Aurora kinases has been demonstrated in several malignancies and is associated with aberrant mitotic activity, aneuploidy and alterations in chromosomal structure and genome instability. Based on this rationale, a number of small molecule inhibitors have been formulated and advanced to human studies in the recent past. A comparative analysis of these agents in cytotoxicity and target modulation analyses against a panel of leukemia cells provides novel insights into the unique mechanisms and codependent activity pathways involved in targeting Aurora kinases, constituting a distinctive preclinical experimental framework to identify appropriate agents and combinations in future clinical studies.

  20. Exploiting polypharmacology for improving therapeutic outcome of kinase inhibitors (KIs): An update of recent medicinal chemistry efforts. (United States)

    Ma, Xiaodong; Lv, Xiaoqing; Zhang, Jiankang


    Polypharmacology has been increasingly advocated for the therapeutic intervention in complex pathological conditions, exemplified by cancer. Although kinase inhibitors (KIs) have revolutionized the treatment for certain types of malignancies, some major medical needs remain unmet due to the relentless advance of drug resistance and insufficient efficacy of mono-target KIs. Hence, "multiple targets, multi-dimensional activities" represents an emerging paradigm for innovative anti-cancer drug discovery. Over recent years, considerable leaps have been made in pursuit of kinase-centric polypharmacological anti-cancer therapeutics, providing avenues to tackling the limitation of mono-target KIs. In the review, we summarize the clinically important mechanisms inducing KI resistance and depict a landscape of recent medicinal chemistry efforts on exploring kinase-centric polypharmacological anti-cancer agents that targeting multiple cancer-related processes. In parallel, some inevitable challenges are emphasized for the sake of more accurate and efficient drug discovery in the field. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Targeting luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone: A potential therapeutics to treat gynecological and other cancers. (United States)

    Ghanghoria, Raksha; Kesharwani, Prashant; Tekade, Rakesh K; Jain, Narendra K


    Cancer is a prime healthcare problem that is significantly responsible for universal mortality. Despite distinguished advancements in medical field, chemotherapy is still the mainstay for the treatment of cancers. During chemotherapy, approximately 90% of the administered dose goes to normal tissues, with mere 2-5% precisely reaching the cancerous tissues. Subsequently, the resultant side effects and associated complications lead to dose reduction or even discontinuance of the therapy. Tumor directed therapy therefore, represents a fascinating approach to augment the therapeutic potential of anticancer bioactives as well as overcomes its side effects. The selective overexpression of LHRH receptors on human tumors compared to normal tissues makes them a suitable marker for diagnostics, molecular probes and targeted therapeutics. These understanding enabled the rational to conjugate LHRH with various cytotoxic drugs (doxorubicin, DOX; camptothecin etc.), cytotoxic genes [small interfering RNA (siRNA), micro RNA (miRNA)], as well as therapeutic nanocarriers (nanoparticles, liposomes or dendrimers) to facilitate their tumor specific delivery. LHRH conjugation enhances their delivery via LHRH receptor mediated endocytosis. Numerous cytotoxic analogs of LHRH were developed over the past two decades to target various types of cancers. The potency of LHRH compound were reported to be as high as 5,00-10,00 folds compared to parent molecules. The objective of this review article is to discuss reports on various LHRH analogs with special emphasis on their prospective application in the medical field. The article also focuses on the attributes that must be taken into account while designing a LHRH therapeutics with special account to the biochemistry and applications of these conjugates. The record on various cytotoxic analogs of LHRH are also discussed. It is anticipated that the knowledge of therapeutic and toxicological aspects of LHRH compounds will facilitate the

  2. Plasmalemmal Vesicle Associated Protein (PLVAP) as a therapeutic target for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. (United States)

    Wang, Yun-Hsin; Cheng, Tsung-Yen; Chen, Ta-Yuan; Chang, Kai-Ming; Chuang, Vincent P; Kao, Kuo-Jang


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignancy with poor survival outcome. New treatment options for the disease are needed. In this study, we identified and evaluated tumor vascular PLVAP as a therapeutic target for treatment of HCC. Genes showing extreme differential expression between paired human HCC and adjacent non-tumorous liver tissue were investigated. PLVAP was identified as one of such genes with potential to serve as a therapeutic target for treatment of HCC. A recombinant monoclonal anti-PLVAP Fab fragment co-expressing extracellular domain of human tissue factor (TF) was developed. The potential therapeutic effect and toxicity to treat HCC were studied using a Hep3B HCC xenograft model in SCID mice. PLVAP was identified as a gene specifically expressed in vascular endothelial cells of HCC but not in non-tumorous liver tissues. This finding was confirmed by RT-PCR analysis of micro-dissected cells and immunohistochemical staining of tissue sections. Infusion of recombinant monoclonal anti-PLVAP Fab-TF into the main tumor feeding artery induced tumor vascular thrombosis and extensive tumor necrosis at doses between 2.5 μg and 12 μg. Tumor growth was suppressed for 40 days after a single treatment. Systemic administration did not induce tumor necrosis. Little systemic toxicity was noted for this therapeutic agent. The results of this study suggest that anti-PLVAP Fab-TF may be used to treat HCC cases for which transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is currently used and potentially avoid the drawback of high viscosity of chemoembolic emulsion for TACE to improve therapeutic outcome. Anti-PLVAP Fab-TF may become a viable therapeutic agent in patients with advanced disease and compromised liver function.

  3. Multi-potent Natural Scaffolds Targeting Amyloid Cascade: In Search of Alzheimer's Disease Therapeutics. (United States)

    Chakraborty, Sandipan


    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) once considered a rare disorder emerges as a major health concern in recent times. The disease pathogenesis is very complex and yet to be understood completely. However, "Amyloid Cascade" is the central event in disease pathogenesis. Several proteins of the amyloid cascade are currently being considered as potential targets for AD therapeutics discovery. Many potential compounds are in clinical trials, but till now there is no known cure for the disease. Recent years have witnessed remarkable research interest in the search of novel concepts in drug designing for AD. Multi-targeted ligand design is a paradigm shift in conventional drug discovery. In this process rather than designing ligands targeting a single receptor, novel ligands have been designed/ synthesized that can simultaneously target many pathways involved in disease pathogenesis. Here, recent developments in computational drug designing protocols to identify multi-targeted ligand for AD have been discussed. Therapeutic potential of different multi-potent compounds also has been discussed briefly. Prime emphasis has been given to multi-potent ligand from natural resources. Polyphenols are an interesting group of compounds which show efficacy against a wide range of disease and have the property to exhibit multi-potency. Several groups attempted to identify novel multi-potent phytochemicals for AD therapy. Multi-potency of several polyphenols or compounds synthesized using the poly-phenolic scaffolds have been briefly discussed here. However, the multi-targeted drug designing for AD is still in early stages, more advancement in drug designing method/algorithm developments is urgently required to discover more efficient compounds for AD therapeutics. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  4. Impact of Shed/Soluble targets on the PK/PD of approved therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. (United States)

    Samineni, Divya; Girish, Sandhya; Li, Chunze


    Suboptimal treatment for monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against endogenous circulating soluble targets and the shed extracellular domains (ECD) of the membrane-bound targets is an important clinical concern due to the potential impact of mAbs on the in vivo efficacy and safety. Consequently, there are considerable challenges in the determination of an optimal dose and/or dosing regimen. Areas covered: This review outlines the impact of shed antigen targets from membrane-bound proteins and soluble targets on the PK and/or PD of therapeutic mAbs that have been approved in the last decade. We discuss various bioanalytical techniques that have facilitated the interpretation of the PK/PD properties of therapeutic mAbs and also considered the factors that may impact such measurements. Quantitative approaches include target-mediated PK models and bi- or tri-molecular interaction PK/PD models that describe the relationships between the antibody PK and the ensuing effects on PD biomarkers, to facilitate the mAb PK/PD characterization. Expert commentary: The proper interpretation of PK/PD relationships through the integrated PK/PD modeling and bioanalytical strategy facilitates a mechanistic understanding of the disease processes and dosing regimen optimization, thereby offering insights into developing effective therapeutic regimens. This review provides an overview of the impact of soluble targets or shed ECD on mAb PK/PD properties. We provide examples of quantitative approaches that facilitate the characterization of mAb PK/PD characteristics and their corresponding bioanalytical strategies.

  5. Cornering metastases: therapeutic targeting of circulating tumor cells and stem cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bishoy eFaltas


    Full Text Available The last decade has witnessed an evolution of our understanding of the biology of the metastatic cascade. Recent insights into the metastatic process show that it is complex, dynamic and multi-directional. This process starts at a very early stage in the natural history of solid tumor growth leading to early development of metastases that grow in parallel with the primary tumor. The role of stem cells in perpetuating cancer metastases is increasingly becoming more evident. At the same time, there is a growing recognition of the crucial role circulating tumor cells (CTCs play in the development of metastases. These insights have laid the biological foundations for therapeutic targeting of CTCs, a promising area of research that aims to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality by preventing the development of metastases at a very early stage. The hematogenous transport phase of the metastatic cascade provides critical access to CTCs for therapeutic targeting aiming to interrupt the metastatic process. Recent advances in the fields of nanotechnology and micro-fluidics have led to the development of several devices for in-vivo targeting of CTC during transit in the circulation. Selectin-coated tubes that target cell adhesion molecules, immuno-magnetic separators and in-vivo photoacoustic flow cytometers are currently being developed for this purpose. On the pharmacological front, several pharmacological and immunological agents targeting cancer stem cells are currently being developed. Such agents may ultimately prove to be effective against circulating tumor stem cells (CTSCs. Although still in its infancy, therapeutic targeting of CTCs and CTSCs offers an unprecedented opportunity to prevent the development of metastasis and potentially alter the natural history of cancer. By rendering cancer a local disease, these approaches could lead to major reductions in metastasis-related morbidity and mortality.

  6. Adipokines: Potential Therapeutic Targets for Vascular Dysfunction in Type II Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Wanees Ahmed El husseny


    Full Text Available Adipokines are bioactive molecules that regulate several physiological functions such as energy balance, insulin sensitization, appetite regulation, inflammatory response, and vascular homeostasis. They include proinflammatory cytokines such as adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP and anti-inflammatory cytokines such as adiponectin, as well as vasodilator and vasoconstrictor molecules. In obesity and type II diabetes mellitus (DM, insulin resistance causes impairment of the endocrine function of the perivascular adipose tissue, an imbalance in the secretion of vasoconstrictor and vasodilator molecules, and an increased production of reactive oxygen species. Recent studies have shown that targeting plasma levels of adipokines or the expression of their receptors can increase insulin sensitivity, improve vascular function, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Several reviews have discussed the potential of adipokines as therapeutic targets for type II DM and obesity; however, this review is the first to focus on their therapeutic potential for vascular dysfunction in type II DM and obesity.

  7. Immunohistochemical detection of a potential molecular therapeutic target for canine hemangiosarcoma. (United States)

    Adachi, Mami; Hoshino, Yuki; Izumi, Yusuke; Takagi, Satoshi


    Canine hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a progressive malignant neoplasm of dogs for which there is currently no effective treatment. A recent study suggested that receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), the PI3K/Akt/m-TOR and MAPK pathways are all activated in canine and human HSA. The aim of the present study was to investigate the overexpression of these proteins by immunohistochemistry in canine splenic HSA to identify potential molecular therapeutic targets. A total of 10 splenic HSAs and two normal splenic samples surgically resected from dogs were sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histological diagnosis or analyzed using immunohistochemistry. The expression of RTKs, c-kit, VEGFR-2 and PDGFR-2, as well as PI3K/Akt/m-TOR and MEK was higher in canine splenic HSAs compared to normal spleens. These proteins may therefore be potential therapeutic targets in canine splenic HSA.

  8. Pathogenesis and therapeutic targeting of aberrant MYC expression in haematological cancers. (United States)

    Schick, Markus; Habringer, Stefan; Nilsson, Jonas A; Keller, Ulrich


    Identifying and therapeutically targeting cancer cell liabilities is of utmost importance in order to improve the treatment of patients with malignancies of poor prognosis. The MYC family genes (MYC, MYCN and MYCL) are among the most deregulated proto-oncogenes in human cancer. Aberrant MYC expression is frequently associated with poor prognosis. Although many aspects of MYC-mediated tumour biology are well characterized, there are currently no effective means for targeting MYC in a specific manner that have been established for clinical use. This review first discusses the role of MYC in the pathogenesis of haematopoietic malignancies, and secondly summarizes how insight into MYC functions could be translated into therapeutic approaches. In particular, we will address the possibilities of taking advantage of MYC-induced cancer cell vulnerabilities that could be exploited in terms of synthetic lethal interactions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Targeting reactive nitrogen species: a promising therapeutic strategy for cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. (United States)

    Chen, Xing-miao; Chen, Han-sen; Xu, Ming-jing; Shen, Jian-gang


    Ischemic stroke accounts for nearly 80% of stroke cases. Recanalization with thrombolysis is a currently crucial therapeutic strategy for re-building blood supply, but the thrombolytic therapy often companies with cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury, which are mediated by free radicals. As an important component of free radicals, reactive nitrogen species (RNS), including nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)), play important roles in the process of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Ischemia-reperfusion results in the production of nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) in ischemic brain, which trigger numerous molecular cascades and lead to disruption of the blood brain barrier and exacerbate brain damage. There are few therapeutic strategies available for saving ischemic brains and preventing the subsequent brain damage. Recent evidence suggests that RNS could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. Herein, we reviewed the recent progress regarding the roles of RNS in the process of cerebral ischemic-reperfusion injury and discussed the potentials of drug development that target NO and ONOO(-) to treat ischemic stroke. We conclude that modulation for RNS level could be an important therapeutic strategy for preventing cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury.

  10. G-Protein-Coupled Receptors: Next Generation Therapeutic Targets in Head and Neck Cancer?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeharu Kanazawa


    Full Text Available Therapeutic outcome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC is poor in most advanced cases. To improve therapeutic efficiency, novel therapeutic targets and prognostic factors must be discovered. Our studies have identified several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs as promising candidates. Significant epigenetic silencing of GPCR expression occurs in HNSCC compared with normal tissue, and is significantly correlated with clinical behavior. Together with the finding that GPCR activity can suppress tumor cell growth, this indicates that GPCR expression has potential utility as a prognostic factor. In this review, we discuss the roles that galanin receptor type 1 (GALR1 and type 2 (GALR2, tachykinin receptor type 1 (TACR1, and somatostatin receptor type 1 (SST1 play in HNSCC. GALR1 inhibits proliferation of HNSCC cells though ERK1/2-mediated effects on cell cycle control proteins such as p27, p57, and cyclin D1, whereas GALR2 inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in HNSCC cells. Hypermethylation of GALR1, GALR2, TACR1, and SST1 is associated with significantly reduced disease-free survival and a higher recurrence rate. Although their overall activities varies, each of these GPCRs has value as both a prognostic factor and a therapeutic target. These data indicate that further study of GPCRs is a promising strategy that will enrich pharmacogenomics and prognostic research in HNSCC.

  11. mTOR inhibition induces compensatory, therapeutically targetable MEK activation in renal cell carcinoma. (United States)

    Bailey, Sean T; Zhou, Bing; Damrauer, Jeffrey S; Krishnan, Bhavani; Wilson, Harper L; Smith, Aleisha M; Li, Mingqing; Yeh, Jen Jen; Kim, William Y


    Rapamycin derivatives allosterically targeting mTOR are currently FDA approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and catalytic inhibitors of mTOR/PI3K are now in clinical trials for treating various solid tumors. We sought to investigate the relative efficacy of allosteric versus catalytic mTOR inhibition, evaluate the crosstalk between the mTOR and MEK/ERK pathways, as well as the therapeutic potential of dual mTOR and MEK inhibition in RCC. Pharmacologic (rapamycin and BEZ235) and genetic manipulation of the mTOR pathway were evaluated by in vitro assays as monotherapy as well as in combination with MEK inhibition (GSK1120212). Catalytic mTOR inhibition with BEZ235 decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis better than allosteric mTOR inhibition with rapamycin. While mTOR inhibition upregulated MEK/ERK signaling, concurrent inhibition of both pathways had enhanced therapeutic efficacy. Finally, primary RCC tumors could be classified into subgroups [(I) MEK activated, (II) Dual MEK and mTOR activated, (III) Not activated, and (IV) mTOR activated] based on their relative activation of the PI3K/mTOR and MEK pathways. Patients with mTOR only activated tumors had the worst prognosis. In summary, dual targeting of the mTOR and MEK pathways in RCC can enhance therapeutic efficacy and primary RCC can be subclassified based on their relative levels of mTOR and MEK activation with potential therapeutic implications.

  12. Deep magnetic capture of magnetically loaded cells for spatially targeted therapeutics. (United States)

    Huang, Zheyong; Pei, Ning; Wang, Yanyan; Xie, Xinxing; Sun, Aijun; Shen, Li; Zhang, Shuning; Liu, Xuebo; Zou, Yunzeng; Qian, Juying; Ge, Junbo


    Magnetic targeting has recently demonstrated potential in promoting magnetically loaded cell delivery to target lesion, but its application is limited by magnetic attenuation. For deep magnetic capture of cells for spatial targeting therapeutics, we designed a magnetic pole, in which the magnetic field density can be focused at a distance from the pole. As flowing through a tube served as a model of blood vessels, the magnetically loaded mesenchymal stem cells (MagMSCs) were highly enriched at the site distance from the magnetic pole. The cell capture efficiency was positively influenced by the magnetic flux density, and inversely influenced by the flow velocity, and well-fitted with the deductive value by theoretical considerations. It appeared to us that the spatially-focused property of the magnetic apparatus promises a new deep targeting strategy to promote homing and engraftment for cellular therapy. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Therapeutic Innovations for Targeting Childhood Neuroblastoma: Implications of the Neurokinin-1 Receptor System. (United States)

    Berger, Michael; VON Schweinitz, Dietrich


    Neuroblastoma is the most common solid extracranial malignant tumor in children. Despite recent advances in the treatment of this heterogenous tumor with surgery and chemotherapy, the prognosis in advanced stages remains poor. Interestingly, neuroblastoma is one of the few solid tumors, to date, in which an effect for targeted immunotherapy has been proven in controlled clinical trials, giving hope for further advances in the treatment of this and other tumors by targeted therapy. A large array of novel therapeutic options for targeted therapy of neuroblastoma is on the horizon. To this repεrtoirε, the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) system was recently added. The present article explores the most recent developments in targeting neuroblastoma cells via the NK1R and how this new knowledge could be helpful to create new anticancer therapies agains neuroblastoma and other cancers. Copyright© 2017, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

  14. Prioritizing multiple therapeutic targets in parallel using automated DNA-encoded library screening (United States)

    Machutta, Carl A.; Kollmann, Christopher S.; Lind, Kenneth E.; Bai, Xiaopeng; Chan, Pan F.; Huang, Jianzhong; Ballell, Lluis; Belyanskaya, Svetlana; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Barros-Aguirre, David; Bates, Robert H.; Centrella, Paolo A.; Chang, Sandy S.; Chai, Jing; Choudhry, Anthony E.; Coffin, Aaron; Davie, Christopher P.; Deng, Hongfeng; Deng, Jianghe; Ding, Yun; Dodson, Jason W.; Fosbenner, David T.; Gao, Enoch N.; Graham, Taylor L.; Graybill, Todd L.; Ingraham, Karen; Johnson, Walter P.; King, Bryan W.; Kwiatkowski, Christopher R.; Lelièvre, Joël; Li, Yue; Liu, Xiaorong; Lu, Quinn; Lehr, Ruth; Mendoza-Losana, Alfonso; Martin, John; McCloskey, Lynn; McCormick, Patti; O'Keefe, Heather P.; O'Keeffe, Thomas; Pao, Christina; Phelps, Christopher B.; Qi, Hongwei; Rafferty, Keith; Scavello, Genaro S.; Steiginga, Matt S.; Sundersingh, Flora S.; Sweitzer, Sharon M.; Szewczuk, Lawrence M.; Taylor, Amy; Toh, May Fern; Wang, Juan; Wang, Minghui; Wilkins, Devan J.; Xia, Bing; Yao, Gang; Zhang, Jean; Zhou, Jingye; Donahue, Christine P.; Messer, Jeffrey A.; Holmes, David; Arico-Muendel, Christopher C.; Pope, Andrew J.; Gross, Jeffrey W.; Evindar, Ghotas


    The identification and prioritization of chemically tractable therapeutic targets is a significant challenge in the discovery of new medicines. We have developed a novel method that rapidly screens multiple proteins in parallel using DNA-encoded library technology (ELT). Initial efforts were focused on the efficient discovery of antibacterial leads against 119 targets from Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus aureus. The success of this effort led to the hypothesis that the relative number of ELT binders alone could be used to assess the ligandability of large sets of proteins. This concept was further explored by screening 42 targets from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Active chemical series for six targets from our initial effort as well as three chemotypes for DHFR from M. tuberculosis are reported. The findings demonstrate that parallel ELT selections can be used to assess ligandability and highlight opportunities for successful lead and tool discovery.

  15. Developing a Novel Therapeutic Strategy Targeting Kallikrein-4 to Inhibit Prostate Cancer Growth and Metastasis (United States)


    Kallikrein-related peptidase 4 (KLK4) is a rational therapeutic target for prostate cancer (PCa) as it is up-regulated in both localised and bone...both localised and bone metastatic cancerous tissue, and is an independent biomarker discriminating between benign and malignant prostate tissue [1,2...cellular function . siKLK4(A), siKLK4(B) and siControl are currently being conjugated onto HBP-peptide by collaborators from AIBN. siRNA sequences are

  16. The hepcidin-ferroportin system as a therapeutic target in anemias and iron overload disorders. (United States)

    Ganz, Tomas; Nemeth, Elizabeta


    The review summarizes the current understanding of the role of hepcidin and ferroportin in normal iron homeostasis and its disorders. The various approaches to therapeutic targeting of hepcidin and ferroportin in iron-overload disorders (mainly hereditary hemochromatosis and β-thalassemia) and iron-restrictive anemias (anemias associated with infections, inflammatory disorders, and certain malignancies, anemia of chronic kidney diseases, and iron-refractory iron-deficiency anemia) are also discussed.

  17. Targeting c-Met in Cancer by MicroRNAs: Potential Therapeutic Applications in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. (United States)

    Karagonlar, Zeynep F; Korhan, Peyda; Atabey, Neşe


    Preclinical Research Cancer is one of the world's deadliest diseases, with very low survival rates and increased occurrence in the future. Successfully developed target-based therapies have significantly changed cancer treatment. However, primary and/or acquired resistance in the tumor is a major challenge in current therapies and novel combinational therapies are required. RNA interference-mediated gene inactivation, alone or in combination with other current therapies, provides novel promising therapeutics that can improve cure rate and overcome resistance mechanisms to conventional therapeutics. Hepatocyte Growth Factor/c-Met signaling is one of the most frequently dysregulated pathways in human cancers and abnormal c-Met activation is correlated with poor clinical outcomes and drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In recent years, a growing number of studies have identified several inhibitors and microRNAs (miRNAs), specifically targeting c-Met in various cancers, including HCC. In this review, we discuss current knowledge regarding miRNAs, focusing on their involvement in cancer and their potential as research tools and therapeutics. Then, we focus on the potential use of c-Met targeting miRNAs for suppressing aberrant c-Met signaling in HCC treatment. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Hypoxia-Inducible Factors: Mediators of Cancer Progression; Prognostic and Therapeutic Targets in Soft Tissue Sarcomas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadri, Navid; Zhang, Paul J.


    Soft-tissue sarcomas remain aggressive tumors that result in death in greater than a third of patients due to either loco-regional recurrence or distant metastasis. Surgical resection remains the main choice of treatment for soft tissue sarcomas with pre- and/or post-operational radiation and neoadjuvant chemotherapy employed in more advanced stage disease. However, in recent decades, there has been little progress in the average five-year survival for the majority of patients with high-grade soft tissue sarcomas, highlighting the need for improved targeted therapeutic agents. Clinical and preclinical studies demonstrate that tumor hypoxia and up-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) is associated with decreased survival, increased metastasis, and resistance to therapy in soft tissue sarcomas. HIF-mediated gene expression regulates many critical aspects of tumor biology, including cell survival, metabolic programming, angiogenesis, metastasis, and therapy resistance. In this review, we discuss HIFs and HIF-mediated genes as potential prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in sarcomas. Many pharmacological agents targeting hypoxia-related pathways are in development that may hold therapeutic potential for treating both primary and metastatic sarcomas that demonstrate increased HIF expression

  19. The Anti-Cancer Effect of Polyphenols against Breast Cancer and Cancer Stem Cells: Molecular Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Abdal Dayem


    Full Text Available The high incidence of breast cancer in developed and developing countries, and its correlation to cancer-related deaths, has prompted concerned scientists to discover novel alternatives to deal with this challenge. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of polyphenol structures and classifications, as well as on the carcinogenic process. The biology of breast cancer cells will also be discussed. The molecular mechanisms involved in the anti-cancer activities of numerous polyphenols, against a wide range of breast cancer cells, in vitro and in vivo, will be explained in detail. The interplay between autophagy and apoptosis in the anti-cancer activity of polyphenols will also be highlighted. In addition, the potential of polyphenols to target cancer stem cells (CSCs via various mechanisms will be explained. Recently, the use of natural products as chemotherapeutics and chemopreventive drugs to overcome the side effects and resistance that arise from using chemical-based agents has garnered the attention of the scientific community. Polyphenol research is considered a promising field in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

  20. Genome-wide transcriptional effects of the anti-cancer agent camptothecin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur Veloso

    Full Text Available The anti-cancer drug camptothecin inhibits replication and transcription by trapping DNA topoisomerase I (Top1 covalently to DNA in a "cleavable complex". To examine the effects of camptothecin on RNA synthesis genome-wide we used Bru-Seq and show that camptothecin treatment primarily affected transcription elongation. We also observed that camptothecin increased RNA reads past transcription termination sites as well as at enhancer elements. Following removal of camptothecin, transcription spread as a wave from the 5'-end of genes with no recovery of transcription apparent from RNA polymerases stalled in the body of genes. As a result, camptothecin preferentially inhibited the expression of large genes such as proto-oncogenes, and anti-apoptotic genes while smaller ribosomal protein genes, pro-apoptotic genes and p53 target genes showed relative higher expression. Cockayne syndrome group B fibroblasts (CS-B, which are defective in transcription-coupled repair (TCR, showed an RNA synthesis recovery profile similar to normal fibroblasts suggesting that TCR is not involved in the repair of or RNA synthesis recovery from transcription-blocking Top1 lesions. These findings of the effects of camptothecin on transcription have important implications for its anti-cancer activities and may aid in the design of improved combinatorial treatments involving Top1 poisons.

  1. Just so stories: the random acts of anti-cancer nanomedicine performance. (United States)

    Moghimi, Seyed Moein; Farhangrazi, Zahra Shadi


    Contrary to high expectations, the majority of clinically approved anti-cancer nanomedicine, and those under clinical trials, have shown limited therapeutic efficacy in humans. So, why these nanomedicine are not delivering their promise? Here, we discuss likely factors, and call for a paradigm shift in approach and design of future cancer nanotherapeutics based on realistic cancer models representing human disease, and better understanding of integrated pathophysiological processes, including systems immunology, that modulate human tumor functionality and growth. This critical review of the current state of translational oncology research utilizing nanomedicine-based approaches provides a comprehensive discussion of the multiple factors that are responsible for poor outcomes when translating these approaches models to the actual human disease.

  2. Attenuation of nucleoside and anti-cancer nucleoside analog drug uptake in prostate cancer cells by Cimicifuga racemosa extract BNO-1055. (United States)

    Dueregger, Andrea; Guggenberger, Fabian; Barthelmes, Jan; Stecher, Günther; Schuh, Markus; Intelmann, Daniel; Abel, Gudrun; Haunschild, Jutta; Klocker, Helmut; Ramoner, Reinhold; Sampson, Natalie


    This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms underlying the anti-proliferative effects of the ethanolic Cimicifuga racemosa extract BNO-1055 on prostate cells and evaluate its therapeutic potential. BNO-1055 dose-dependently attenuated cellular uptake and incorporation of thymidine and BrdU and significantly inhibited cell growth after long-time exposure. Similar results were obtained using saponin-enriched sub-fractions of BNO-1055. These inhibitory effects of BNO-1055 could be mimicked using pharmacological inhibitors and isoform-specific siRNAs targeting the equilibrative nucleoside transporters ENT1 and ENT2. Moreover, BNO-1055 attenuated the uptake of clinically relevant nucleoside analogs, e.g. the anti-cancer drugs gemcitabine and fludarabine. Consistent with inhibition of the salvage nucleoside uptake pathway BNO-1055 potentiated the cytotoxicity of the de novo nucleotide synthesis inhibitor 5-FU without significantly altering its uptake. Collectively, these data show for the first time that the anti-proliferative effects of BNO-1055 result from hindered nucleoside uptake due to impaired ENT activity and demonstrate the potential therapeutic use of BNO-1055 for modulation of nucleoside transport. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Basic/Translational Development of Forthcoming Opioid- and Nonopioid-Targeted Pain Therapeutics. (United States)

    Knezevic, Nebojsa Nick; Yekkirala, Ajay; Yaksh, Tony L


    Opioids represent an efficacious therapeutic modality for some, but not all pain states. Singular reliance on opioid therapy for pain management has limitations, and abuse potential has deleterious consequences for patient and society. Our understanding of pain biology has yielded insights and opportunities for alternatives to conventional opioid agonists. The aim is to have efficacious therapies, with acceptable side effect profiles and minimal abuse potential, which is to say an absence of reinforcing activity in the absence of a pain state. The present work provides a nonexclusive overview of current drug targets and potential future directions of research and development. We discuss channel activators and blockers, including sodium channel blockers, potassium channel activators, and calcium channel blockers; glutamate receptor-targeted agents, including N-methyl-D-aspartate, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid, and metabotropic receptors. Furthermore, we discuss therapeutics targeted at γ-aminobutyric acid, α2-adrenergic, and opioid receptors. We also considered antagonists of angiotensin 2 and Toll receptors and agonists/antagonists of adenosine, purine receptors, and cannabinoids. Novel targets considered are those focusing on lipid mediators and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Of interest is development of novel targeting strategies, which produce long-term alterations in pain signaling, including viral transfection and toxins. We consider issues in the development of druggable molecules, including preclinical screening. While there are examples of successful translation, mechanistically promising preclinical candidates may unexpectedly fail during clinical trials because the preclinical models may not recapitulate the particular human pain condition being addressed. Molecular target characterization can diminish the disconnect between preclinical and humans' targets, which should assist in developing nonaddictive analgesics.

  4. Mitochondria-Targeted Triphenylphosphonium-Based Compounds: Syntheses, Mechanisms of Action, and Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications. (United States)

    Zielonka, Jacek; Joseph, Joy; Sikora, Adam; Hardy, Micael; Ouari, Olivier; Vasquez-Vivar, Jeannette; Cheng, Gang; Lopez, Marcos; Kalyanaraman, Balaraman


    Mitochondria are recognized as one of the most important targets for new drug design in cancer, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. Currently, the most effective way to deliver drugs specifically to mitochondria is by covalent linking a lipophilic cation such as an alkyltriphenylphosphonium moiety to a pharmacophore of interest. Other delocalized lipophilic cations, such as rhodamine, natural and synthetic mitochondria-targeting peptides, and nanoparticle vehicles, have also been used for mitochondrial delivery of small molecules. Depending on the approach used, and the cell and mitochondrial membrane potentials, more than 1000-fold higher mitochondrial concentration can be achieved. Mitochondrial targeting has been developed to study mitochondrial physiology and dysfunction and the interaction between mitochondria and other subcellular organelles and for treatment of a variety of diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer. In this Review, we discuss efforts to target small-molecule compounds to mitochondria for probing mitochondria function, as diagnostic tools and potential therapeutics. We describe the physicochemical basis for mitochondrial accumulation of lipophilic cations, synthetic chemistry strategies to target compounds to mitochondria, mitochondrial probes, and sensors, and examples of mitochondrial targeting of bioactive compounds. Finally, we review published attempts to apply mitochondria-targeted agents for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

  5. Bacteriophages and phage-inspired nanocarriers for targeted delivery of therapeutic cargos. (United States)

    Karimi, Mahdi; Mirshekari, Hamed; Moosavi Basri, Seyed Masoud; Bahrami, Sajad; Moghoofei, Mohsen; Hamblin, Michael R


    The main goal of drug delivery systems is to target therapeutic cargoes to desired cells and to ensure their efficient uptake. Recently a number of studies have focused on designing bio-inspired nanocarriers, such as bacteriophages, and synthetic carriers based on the bacteriophage structure. Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically recognize their bacterial hosts. They can replicate only inside their host cell and can act as natural gene carriers. Each type of phage has a particular shape, a different capacity for loading cargo, a specific production time, and their own mechanisms of supramolecular assembly, that have enabled them to act as tunable carriers. New phage-based technologies have led to the construction of different peptide libraries, and recognition abilities provided by novel targeting ligands. Phage hybridization with non-organic compounds introduces new properties to phages and could be a suitable strategy for construction of bio-inorganic carriers. In this review we try to cover the major phage species that have been used in drug and gene delivery systems, and the biological application of phages as novel targeting ligands and targeted therapeutics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Anti-Cancer Effect of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 1 Inhibition in Human Glioma U87 Cells: Involvement of PI3K/Akt/mTOR Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi Zhang


    Full Text Available Background: Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs are G-protein-coupled receptors that mediate neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity in the central nervous system, and emerging evidence suggests a role of mGluRs in the biology of cancer. Previous studies showed that mGluR1 was a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer and melanoma, but its role in human glioma has not been determined. Methods: In the present study, we investigated the effects of mGluR1 inhibition in human glioma U87 cells using specific targeted small interfering RNA (siRNA or selective antagonists Riluzole and BAY36-7620. The anti-cancer effects of mGluR1 inhibition were measured by cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH release, TUNEL staining, cell cycle assay, cell invasion and migration assays in vitro, and also examined in a U87 xenograft model in vivo. Results: Inhibition of mGluR1 significantly decreased the cell viability but increased the LDH release in a dose-dependent fashion in U87 cells. These effects were accompanied with the induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. In addition, the results of Matrigel invasion and cell tracking assays showed that inhibition of mGluR1 apparently attenuated cell invasion and migration in U87 cells. All these anti-cancer effects were ablated by the mGluR1 agonist L-quisqualic acid. The results of western blot analysis showed that mGluR1 inhibition overtly decreased the phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt, mTOR and P70S6K, indicating the mitigated activation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Moreover, the anti-tumor activity of mGluR1 inhibition in vivo was also demonstrated in a U87 xenograft glioma model in athymic nude mice. Conclusion: The remarkable efficiency of mGluR1 inhibition to induce cell death in U87 cells may find therapeutic application for the treatment of glioma patients.

  7. Arachidonic Acid Metabolite as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Breast Cancer Metastasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaiz F. Borin


    Full Text Available Metastatic breast cancer (BC (also referred to as stage IV spreads beyond the breast to the bones, lungs, liver, or brain and is a major contributor to the deaths of cancer patients. Interestingly, metastasis is a result of stroma-coordinated hallmarks such as invasion and migration of the tumor cells from the primary niche, regrowth of the invading tumor cells in the distant organs, proliferation, vascularization, and immune suppression. Targeted therapies, when used as monotherapies or combination therapies, have shown limited success in decreasing the established metastatic growth and improving survival. Thus, novel therapeutic targets are warranted to improve the metastasis outcomes. We have been actively investigating the cytochrome P450 4 (CYP4 family of enzymes that can biosynthesize 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE, an important signaling eicosanoid involved in the regulation of vascular tone and angiogenesis. We have shown that 20-HETE can activate several intracellular protein kinases, pro-inflammatory mediators, and chemokines in cancer. This review article is focused on understanding the role of the arachidonic acid metabolic pathway in BC metastasis with an emphasis on 20-HETE as a novel therapeutic target to decrease BC metastasis. We have discussed all the significant investigational mechanisms and put forward studies showing how 20-HETE can promote angiogenesis and metastasis, and how its inhibition could affect the metastatic niches. Potential adjuvant therapies targeting the tumor microenvironment showing anti-tumor properties against BC and its lung metastasis are discussed at the end. This review will highlight the importance of exploring tumor-inherent and stromal-inherent metabolic pathways in the development of novel therapeutics for treating BC metastasis.

  8. A CRISPR Dropout Screen Identifies Genetic Vulnerabilities and Therapeutic Targets in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

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    Konstantinos Tzelepis


    Full Text Available Acute myeloid leukemia (AML is an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis, for which mainstream treatments have not changed for decades. To identify additional therapeutic targets in AML, we optimize a genome-wide clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR screening platform and use it to identify genetic vulnerabilities in AML cells. We identify 492 AML-specific cell-essential genes, including several established therapeutic targets such as DOT1L, BCL2, and MEN1, and many other genes including clinically actionable candidates. We validate selected genes using genetic and pharmacological inhibition, and chose KAT2A as a candidate for downstream study. KAT2A inhibition demonstrated anti-AML activity by inducing myeloid differentiation and apoptosis, and suppressed the growth of primary human AMLs of diverse genotypes while sparing normal hemopoietic stem-progenitor cells. Our results propose that KAT2A inhibition should be investigated as a therapeutic strategy in AML and provide a large number of genetic vulnerabilities of this leukemia that can be pursued in downstream studies.

  9. Mesenchymal stem cells as therapeutic target of biophysical stimulation for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. (United States)

    Viganò, Marco; Sansone, Valerio; d'Agostino, Maria Cristina; Romeo, Pietro; Perucca Orfei, Carlotta; de Girolamo, Laura


    Musculoskeletal disorders are regarded as a major cause of worldwide morbidity and disability, and they result in huge costs for national health care systems. Traditional therapies frequently turned out to be poorly effective in treating bone, cartilage, and tendon disorders or joint degeneration. As a consequence, the development of novel biological therapies that can treat more effectively these conditions should be the highest priority in regenerative medicine. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent one of the most promising tools in musculoskeletal tissue regenerative medicine, thanks to their proliferation and differentiation potential and their immunomodulatory and trophic ability. Indeed, MSC-based approaches have been proposed for the treatment of almost all orthopedic conditions, starting from different cell sources, alone or in combination with scaffolds and growth factors, and in one-step or two-step procedures. While all these approaches would require cell harvesting and transplantation, the possibility to stimulate the endogenous MSCs to enhance their tissue homeostasis activity represents a less-invasive and cost-effective therapeutic strategy. Nowadays, the role of tissue-specific resident stem cells as possible therapeutic target in degenerative pathologies is underinvestigated. Biophysical stimulations, and in particular extracorporeal shock waves treatment and pulsed electromagnetic fields, are able to induce proliferation and support differentiation of MSCs from different origins and affect their paracrine production of growth factors and cytokines. The present review reports the attempts to exploit the resident stem cell potential in musculoskeletal pathologies, highlighting the role of MSCs as therapeutic target of currently applied biophysical treatments.

  10. G-protein coupled receptors as therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. (United States)

    Guerram, Mounia; Zhang, Lu-Yong; Jiang, Zhen-Zhou


    Neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases are frequent in elderly populations and comprise primarily of dementia (mainly Alzheimer's disease) Parkinson's disease and stroke. These neurological disorders (NDs) occur as a result of neurodegenerative processes and represent one of the most frequent causes of death and disability worldwide with a significant clinical and socio-economic impact. Although NDs have been characterized for many years, the exact molecular mechanisms that govern these pathologies or why they target specific individuals and specific neuronal populations remain unclear. As research progresses, many similarities appear which relate these diseases to one another on a subcellular level. Discovering these similarities offers hope for therapeutic advances that could ameliorate the conditions of many diseases simultaneously. G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most abundant receptor type in the central nervous system and are linked to complex downstream pathways, manipulation of which may have therapeutic application in many NDs. This review will highlight the potential use of neurotransmitter GPCRs as emerging therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Application of Long Noncoding RNAs in Osteosarcoma: Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets

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    Zhihong Li


    Full Text Available Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone malignancy in children and adolescents. Although improvements in therapeutic strategies were achieved, the outcome remains poor for most patients with metastatic or recurrent osteosarcoma. Therefore, it is imperative to identify novel and effective prognostic biomarker and therapeutic targets for the disease. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs are a novel class of RNA molecules defined as transcripts >200 nucleotides that lack protein coding potential. Many lncRNAs are deregulated in cancer and are important regulators for malignancies. Nine lncRNAs (91H, BCAR4, FGFR3-AS1, HIF2PUT, HOTTIP, HULC, MALAT-1, TUG1, UCA1 are upregulated and considered oncogenic for osteosarcoma. Loc285194 and MEG3 are two lncRNAs downregulated and as tumor suppressor for the disease. Moreover, the expressions of LINC00161 and ODRUL are associated with chemo-resistance of osteosarcoma. The mechanisms for these lncRNAs in regulating development of osteosarcoma are diverse, e.g. ceRNA, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, etc. The lncRNAs identified may serve as potential biomarkers or therapeutic targets for osteosarcoma.

  12. MMP-9 and CXCL8/IL-8 Are Potential Therapeutic Targets in Epidermolysis Bullosa Simplex (United States)

    Lettner, Thomas; Lang, Roland; Klausegger, Alfred; Hainzl, Stefan


    Epidermolysis bullosa refers to a group of genodermatoses that affects the integrity of epithelial layers, phenotypically resulting in severe skin blistering. Dowling-Meara, the major subtype of epidermolysis bullosa simplex, is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and can be caused by mutations in either the keratin-5 (K5) or the keratin-14 (K14) gene. Currently, no therapeutic approach is known, and the main objective of this study was to identify novel therapeutic targets. We used microarray analysis, semi-quantitative real-time PCR, western blot and ELISA to identify differentially regulated genes in two K14 mutant cell lines carrying the mutations K14 R125P and K14 R125H, respectively. We found kallikrein-related peptidases and matrix metalloproteinases to be upregulated. We also found elevated expression of chemokines, and we observed deregulation of the Cdc42 pathway as well as aberrant expression of cytokeratins and junction proteins. We further demonstrated, that expression of these genes is dependent on interleukin-1 β signaling. To evaluate these data in vivo we analysed the blister fluids of epidermolysis bullosa simplex patients vs. healthy controls and identified matrix metalloproteinase-9 and the chemokine CXCL8/IL-8 as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:23894602

  13. Review on the Potential Therapeutic Roles of Nigella sativa in the Treatment of Patients with Cancer: Involvement of Apoptosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Mollazadeh


    Full Text Available Nigella sativa (N. sativa, family Ranunculaceae is a medicinal plant that has been widely used for centuries throughout the world as a natural remedy. A wide range of chemical compounds found in N. sativa expresses its vast therapeutic effects. Thymoquinone (TQ is the main component (up to 50% in the essential oil of N. sativa. Also, pinene (up to 15%, p-cymene (40%, thymohydroquinone (THQ, thymol (THY, and dithymoquinone (DTQ are other pharmacologically active compounds of its oil. Other terpenoid compounds, such as carvacrol, carvone, 4-terpineol, limonenes, and citronellol, are also found in small quantities in its oil. The main pharmacological characteristics of this plant are immune system stimulatory, anti- inflammatory, hypotensive, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-cancer, hypoglycemic, anti- tussive, milk production, uricosuric, choleretic, anti-fertility, and spasmolytic properties. In this regard, we have searched the scientific databases PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar with keywords of N. sativa, anti-cancer, apoptotic effect, antitumor, antioxidant, and malignancy over the period from 2000 to 2017. The effectiveness of N. sativa against cancer in the blood system, kidneys, lungs, prostate, liver, and breast and on many malignant cell lines has been shown in many studies, but the molecular mechanisms behind that anti-cancer role are still not clearly understood. From among the many effects of N. sativa, including its anti-proliferative effect, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis induction, ROS generation, anti-metastasis/anti-angiogenesis effects, Akt pathway control, modulation of multiple molecular targets, including p53, p73, STAT-3, PTEN, and PPAR-γ, and activation of caspases, the main suggestive anti-cancer mechanisms of N. sativa are its free radical scavenger activity and the preservation of various anti-oxidant enzyme activities, such as glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione-S- transferase. In this review

  14. Possible molecular targets for therapeutic applications of caffeic acid phenethyl ester in inflammation and cancer

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    Ghulam Murtaza


    Full Text Available Of the various derivatives of caffeic acid, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE is a hydrophobic, bioactive polyphenolic ester obtained from propolis extract. The objective in writing this review article was to summarize all published studies on therapeutics of CAPE in inflammation and cancer to extract direction for future research. The possible molecular targets for the action of CAPE, include various transcription factors such as nuclear factor-κB, tissue necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, cyclooxygenase-2, Nrf2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor of activated T cells, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, and signal transducers and activators of transcription. Based on the valuable data on its therapeutics in inflammation and cancer, clinical studies of CAPE should also be conducted to explore its toxicities, if any.

  15. CB2 and GPR55 receptors as therapeutic targets for systemic immune dysregulation

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    Juan Zhou


    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system (ECS is involved in many physiological processes and has been suggested to play critical roles in the immune response and the central nervous system (CNS. Therefore, ECS modulation has potential therapeutic effects on immune dysfunctional disorders, such as sepsis and CNS injury-induced immunodeficiency syndrome (CIDS. In sepsis, excessive release of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators results in multi-organ dysfunction/failure and death. In CIDS, an acute CNS injury dysregulates a normally well-balanced interplay between the CNS and immune system, leading to increased patients’ susceptibility to infections. In this review, we will discuss potential therapeutic modulation of the immune response in sepsis and CNS injury by manipulation of the ECS representing a novel target for immunotherapy.

  16. Endocannabinoid System: A Promising Therapeutic Target for the Treatment of Haematological Malignancies? (United States)

    Giaginis, Constantinos; Lakiotaki, Eleftheria; Korkolopoulou, Penelope; Konstantopoulos, Konstantinos; Patsouris, Efstratios; Theocharis, Stamatios


    The therapeutic properties of cannabinoids are well-known since ancient years. Growing evidence exist on endocannabinoid system (ECS) modulation related with human tumorigenesis. Taking into account the substantial role of ECS on immune cell regulation, the present review is aimed to summarize the emerging evidence concerning cannabinoid receptor (CBR) expression and cannabinoid ligand effects on haematological malignancies. Most of cannabinoid actions, mainly CB2R-mediated against haematopoietic malignant cells, seem promising, as inhibition of cell proliferation and apoptosis and paraptosis induction have been documented. Cannabinoid ligands appear to activate rudimentary pathways for cell survival, such as ERK, JNK, p38 MAPK, and to induce caspase synthesis, in vitro. Such data are strongly recommended to be confirmed by in vivo experiments with emphasis on cannabinoid ligands' bioavailability and phytocannabinoid psychotropic properties. The preliminary antitumoral ECS effects and their relative lack of important side effects render ECS a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of haematological malignancies.

  17. Potential prospects of nanomedicine for targeted therapeutics in inflammatory bowel diseases. (United States)

    Pichai, Madharasi V A; Ferguson, Lynnette R


    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn's disease are highly debilitating. There are inconsistencies in response to and side effects in the current conventional medications, failures in adequate drug delivery, and the lack of therapeutics to offer complete remission in the presently available treatments of IBD. This suggests the need to explore beyond the horizons of conventional approaches in IBD therapeutics. This review examines the arena of the evolving IBD nanomedicine, studied so far in animal and in vitro models, before comprehensive clinical testing in humans. The investigations carried out so far in IBD models have provided substantial evidence of the nanotherapeutic approach as having the potential to overcome some of the current drawbacks to conventional IBD therapy. We analyze the pros and cons of nanotechnology in IBD therapies studied in different models, aimed at different targets and mechanisms of IBD pathogenesis, in an attempt to predict its possible impact in humans.

  18. Integrin α5β1, the Fibronectin Receptor, as a Pertinent Therapeutic Target in Solid Tumors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffner, Florence; Ray, Anne Marie; Dontenwill, Monique, E-mail: [UMR 7213 CNRS, Laboratoire de Biophotonique et Pharmacologie, Tumoral signaling and therapeutic targets, Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Pharmacie, 67401 Illkirch (France)


    Integrins are transmembrane heterodimeric proteins sensing the cell microenvironment and modulating numerous signalling pathways. Changes in integrin expression between normal and tumoral cells support involvement of specific integrins in tumor progression and aggressiveness. This review highlights the current knowledge about α5β1 integrin, also called the fibronectin receptor, in solid tumors. We summarize data showing that α5β1 integrin is a pertinent therapeutic target expressed by tumoral neovessels and tumoral cells. Although mainly evaluated in preclinical models, α5β1 integrin merits interest in particular in colon, breast, ovarian, lung and brain tumors where its overexpression is associated with a poor prognosis for patients. Specific α5β1 integrin antagonists will be listed that may represent new potential therapeutic agents to fight defined subpopulations of particularly aggressive tumors.

  19. Anti-cancer effects of xanthones from pericarps of mangosteen. (United States)

    Akao, Yukihiro; Nakagawa, Yoshihito; Iinuma, Munekazu; Nozawa, Yoshinori


    Mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana Linn, is a tree found in South East Asia, and its pericarps have been used as traditional medicine. Phytochemical studies have shown that they contain a variety of secondary metabolites, such as oxygenated and prenylated xanthones. Recent studies revealed that these xanthones exhibited a variety of biological activities containing anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer effects. We previously investigated the anti-proliferative effects of four prenylated xanthones from the pericarps; alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, gamma-mangostin, and methoxy-beta-mangostin in various human cancer cells. These xanthones are different in the number of hydroxyl and methoxy groups. Except for methoxy-beta-mangostin, the other three xanthones strongly inhibited cell growth at low concentrations from 5 to 20 microM in human colon cancer DLD-1 cells. Our recent study focused on the mechanism of alpha-mangostin-induced growth inhibition in DLD-1 cells. It was shown that the anti-proliferative effects of the xanthones were associated with cell-cycle arrest by affecting the expression of cyclins, cdc2, and p27; G1 arrest by alpha-mangostin and beta-Mangostin, and S arrest by gamma-mangostin. alpha-Mangostin found to induce apoptosis through the activation of intrinsic pathway following the down-regulation of signaling cascades involving MAP kinases and the serine/threonine kinase Akt. Synergistic effects by the combined treatment of alpha-mangostin and anti-cancer drug 5-FU was to be noted. alpha-Mangostin was found to have a cancer preventive effect in rat carcinogenesis bioassay and the extract from pericarps, which contains mainly alpha-mangostin and gamma-mangostin, exhibited an enhancement of NK cell activity in a mouse model. These findings could provide a relevant basis for the development of xanthones as an agent for cancer prevention and the combination therapy with anti-cancer drugs.

  20. Anti-cancer activities of Ganoderma lucidum: active ingredients and pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi H.J. Kao


    Full Text Available ABSTRACTGanoderma lucidum, commonly referred to as Lingzhi, has been used in Asia for health promotion for centuries. The anti-cancer effects of G. lucidum have been demonstrated in both in vitro and in vivo studies. In addition, the observed anti-cancer activities of Ganoderma have prompted its usage by cancer patients alongside chemotherapy.The main two bioactive components of G. lucidum can be broadly grouped into triterpenes and polysaccharides. Despite triterpenes and polysaccharides being widely known as the major active ingredients, the different biological pathways by which they exert their anti-cancer effect remain poorly defined. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms of action may lead to more widespread use of Ganoderma as an anti-cancer agent.The aim of this paper is to summarise the various bioactive mechanisms that have been proposed for the anti-cancer properties of triterpenes and polysaccharides extracted from G. lucidum. A literature search of published papers on NCBI with keywords “Ganoderma” and “cancer” was performed. Among those, studies which specifically examined the anti-cancer activities of Ganoderma triterpenes and polysaccharides were selected to be included in this paper.We have found five potential mechanisms which are associated with the anti-cancer activities of Ganoderma triterpenes and three potential mechanisms for Ganoderma polysaccharides. In addition, G. lucidum has been used in combination with known anti-cancer agents to improve the anti-cancer efficacies. This suggests Ganoderma’s bioactive pathways may compliment that of anti-cancer agents. In this paper we present several potential anti-cancer mechanisms of Ganoderma triterpenes and polysaccharides which can be used for the development of Ganoderma as an anti-cancer agent.

  1. Quinones derived from plant secondary metabolites as anti-cancer agents. (United States)

    Lu, Jin-Jian; Bao, Jiao-Lin; Wu, Guo-Sheng; Xu, Wen-Shan; Huang, Ming-Qing; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Wang, Yi-Tao


    Quinones are plant-derived secondary metabolites that present some anti-proliferation and anti-metastasis effects in various cancer types both in vitro and in vivo. This review focuses on the anti-cancer prospects of plant-derived quinones, namely, aloe-emodin, juglone, β-lapachol, plumbagin, shikonin, and thymoquinone. We intend to summarize their anti-cancer effects and investigate the mechanism of actions to promote the research and development of anti-cancer agents from quinones.

  2. ErbB polymorphisms: Insights and implications for response to targeted cancer therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moulay A Alaoui-Jamali


    Full Text Available Advances in high-throughput genomic-scanning have expanded the repertory of genetic variations in DNA sequences encoding ErbB tyrosine kinase receptors in humans, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, polymorphic repetitive elements, microsatellite variations, small-scale insertions and deletions. The ErbB family members: EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4 receptors are established as drivers of many aspects of tumor initiation and progression to metastasis. This knowledge has provided rationales for the development of an arsenal of anti-ErbB therapeutics, ranging from small molecule kinase inhibitors to monoclonal antibodies. Anti-ErbB agents are becoming the cornerstone therapeutics for the management of cancers that overexpress hyperactive variants of ErbB receptors, in particular ErbB2-positive breast cancer and non-small cell lung carcinomas. However, their clinical benefit has been limited to a subset of patients due to a wide heterogeneity in drug response despite the expression of the ErbB targets, attributed to intrinsic (primary and to acquired (secondary resistance. Somatic mutations in ErbB tyrosine kinase domains have been extensively investigated in preclinical and clinical setting as determinants for either high sensitivity or resistance to anti-ErbB therapeutics. In contrast, only scant information is available on the impact of SNPs, which are widespread in genes encoding ErbB receptors, on receptor structure and activity, and their predictive values for drug susceptibility. This review aims to briefly update polymorphic variations in genes encoding ErbB receptors based on recent advances in deep sequencing technologies, and to address challenging issues for a better understanding of the functional impact of single versus combined SNPs in ErbB genes to receptor topology, receptor-drug interaction, and drug susceptibility. The potential of exploiting SNPs in the era of stratified targeted therapeutics is discussed.

  3. Recent Trends in Nanotechnology-Based Drugs and Formulations for Targeted Therapeutic Delivery. (United States)

    Iqbal, Hafiz M N; Rodriguez, Angel M V; Khandia, Rekha; Munjal, Ashok; Dhama, Kuldeep


    In the recent past, a wider spectrum of nanotechnologybased drugs or drug-loaded devices and systems has been engineered and investigated with high interests. The key objective is to help for an enhanced/better quality of patient life in a secure way by avoiding/limiting drug abuse, or severe adverse effects of some in practice traditional therapies. Various methodological approaches including in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo techniques have been exploited, so far. Among them, nanoparticles-based therapeutic agents are of supreme interests for an enhanced and efficient delivery in the current biomedical sector of the modern world. The development of new types of novel, effective and highly reliable therapeutic drug delivery system (DDS) for multipurpose applications is essential and a core demand to tackle many human health related diseases. In this context, nanotechnology-based several advanced DDS have been engineered with novel characteristics for biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical applications that include but not limited to the enhanced/improved bioactivity, bioavailability, drug efficacy, targeted delivery, and therapeutically safer with an extra advantage of overcoming demerits of traditional drug formulations/designs. This review work is focused on recent trends/advances in nanotechnology-based drugs and formulations designed for targeted therapeutic delivery. Moreover, information is also reviewed and given from recent patents and summarized or illustrated diagrammatically to depict a better understanding. Recent patents covering various nanotechnology-based approaches for several applications have also been reviewed. The drug-loaded nanoparticles are among versatile candidates with multifunctional characteristics for potential applications in biomedical, and tissue engineering sector. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  4. SHP2 phosphatase as a novel therapeutic target for melanoma treatment. (United States)

    Zhang, Ruo-Yu; Yu, Zhi-Hong; Zeng, Lifan; Zhang, Sheng; Bai, Yunpeng; Miao, Jinmin; Chen, Lan; Xie, Jingwu; Zhang, Zhong-Yin


    Melanoma ranks among the most aggressive and deadly human cancers. Although a number of targeted therapies are available, they are effective only in a subset of patients and the emergence of drug resistance often reduces durable responses. Thus there is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic targets and develop more potent pharmacological agents for melanoma treatment. Herein we report that SHP2 levels are frequently elevated in melanoma, and high SHP2 expression is significantly associated with more metastatic phenotype and poorer prognosis. We show that SHP2 promotes melanoma cell viability, motility, and anchorage-independent growth, through activation of both ERK1/2 and AKT signaling pathways. We demonstrate that SHP2 inhibitor 11a-1 effectively blocks SHP2-mediated ERK1/2 and AKT activation and attenuates melanoma cell viability, migration and colony formation. Most importantly, SHP2 inhibitor 11a-1 suppresses xenografted melanoma tumor growth, as a result of reduced tumor cell proliferation and enhanced tumor cell apoptosis. Taken together, our data reveal SHP2 as a novel target for melanoma and suggest SHP2 inhibitors as potential novel therapeutic agents for melanoma treatment.

  5. From non-pharmacological treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder to novel therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Hendriksen, Hendrikus; Olivier, Berend; Oosting, Ronald S


    The development of new pharmacological therapies starts with target discovery. Finding new therapeutic targets for anxiety disorders is a difficult process. Most of the currently described drugs for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are based on the inhibition of serotonin reuptake. The mechanism of action of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors was already described in 1977 (Benkert et al., 1977). Now, almost 40 years later, we still rely on the same mechanism of action and more effective pharmacological therapies, based on other working mechanisms, are not on the market yet. Finding new molecular switches that upon modulation cure or alleviate the disorder is hampered by a lack of valid animal models. Many of the characteristics of psychiatric disorders are typically human and hence animal models feature only part of the underlying pathology. In this review we define a set of criteria for animal models of PTSD. First, we describe the symptomatology and pathology of PTSD and the current pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options. Next, we compare three often-used animal models and analyze how these models comply with the set of criteria. Finally, we discuss how resolving the underlying mechanisms of effective non-pharmacological treatments (environmental enrichment, re-exposure) may aid therapeutic target discovery. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Upregulation of MARCKS in kidney cancer and its potential as a therapeutic target. (United States)

    Chen, C-H; Fong, L W R; Yu, E; Wu, R; Trott, J F; Weiss, R H


    Targeted therapeutics, such as those abrogating hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)/vascular endothelial growth factor signaling, are initially effective against kidney cancer (or renal cell carcinoma, RCC); however, drug resistance frequently occurs via subsequent activation of alternative pathways. Through genome-scale integrated analysis of the HIF-α network, we identified the major protein kinase C substrate MARCKS (myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate) as a potential target molecule for kidney cancer. In a screen of nephrectomy samples from 56 patients with RCC, we found that MARCKS expression and its phosphorylation are increased and positively correlate with tumor grade. Genetic and pharmacologic suppression of MARCKS in high-grade RCC cell lines in vitro led to a decrease in cell proliferation and migration. We further demonstrated that higher MARCKS expression promotes growth and angiogenesis in vivo in an RCC xenograft tumor. MARCKS acted upstream of the AKT/mTOR pathway, activating HIF-target genes, notably vascular endothelial growth factor-A. Following knockdown of MARCKS in RCC cells, the IC50 of the multikinase inhibitor regorafenib was reduced. Surprisingly, attenuation of MARCKS using the MPS (MARCKS phosphorylation site domain) peptide synergistically interacted with regorafenib treatment and decreased survival of kidney cancer cells through inactivation of AKT and mTOR. Our data suggest a major contribution of MARCKS to kidney cancer growth and provide an alternative therapeutic strategy of improving the efficacy of multikinase inhibitors.

  7. Prospects for Therapeutic Targeting of MicroRNAs in Human Immunological Diseases. (United States)

    Luck, Marisa E; Muljo, Stefan A; Collins, Colm B


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous oligoribonucleotides with exciting therapeutic potential. Early studies established a clear role for miRNAs in leukocyte biology. The first miRNA-based therapy, miravirsen, is now in phase 2 clinical trials, making the reality of these therapies undeniable. The capacity for miRNAs to fine-tune inflammatory signaling make them attractive treatment targets for immunological diseases. Nonetheless, the degree of redundancy among miRNAs, coupled with the promiscuity of miRNA binding sites in the transcriptome, require consideration when designing miRNA-directed interventions. Altered miRNA expression occurs across a range of inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and diabetes. However, very few studies successfully treated murine models of immunological diseases with miRNA-based approaches. While discussing recent studies targeting miRNAs to treat immunological conditions, we also reflect on the risks of miRNA targeting and showcase some newer delivery systems that may improve the pharmacological profile of this class of therapeutics. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  8. DISC1 pathway in brain development: exploring therapeutic targets for major psychiatric disorders

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    Atsushi eKamiya


    Full Text Available Genetic risk factors for major psychiatric disorders play key roles in neurodevelopment. Thus, exploring the molecular pathways of risk genes is important not only for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying brain development, but also to decipher how genetic disturbances affect brain maturation and functioning relevant to major mental illnesses. During the last decade, there has been significant progress in determining the mechanisms whereby risk genes impact brain development. Nonetheless, given that the majority of psychiatric disorders have etiological complexities encompassing multiple risk genes and environmental factors, the biological mechanisms of these diseases remain poorly understood. How can we move forward in our research for discovery of the biological markers and novel therapeutic targets for major mental disorders? Here we review recent progress in the neurobiology of Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1, a major risk gene for major mental disorders, with a particular focus on its roles in cerebral cortex development. Convergent findings implicate DISC1 as part of a large, multi-step pathway implicated in various cellular processes and signal transduction. We discuss links between the DISC1 pathway and environmental factors, such as immune/inflammatory responses, which may suggest novel therapeutic targets. Existing treatments for major mental disorders are hampered by a limited number of pharmacological targets. Consequently, elucidation of the DISC1 pathway, and its association with neuropsychiatric disorders, may offer hope for novel treatment interventions.

  9. Pharmacological therapeutics targeting the secondary defects and downstream pathology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (United States)

    Spinazzola, Janelle M.; Kunkel, Louis M.


    Introduction Since the identification of the dystrophin gene in 1986, a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has yet to be discovered. Presently, there are a number of genetic-based therapies in development aimed at restoration and/or repair of the primary defect. However, growing understanding of the pathophysiological consequences of dystrophin absence has revealed several promising downstream targets for the development of therapeutics. Areas covered In this review, we discuss various strategies for DMD therapy targeting downstream consequences of dystrophin absence including loss of muscle mass, inflammation, fibrosis, calcium overload, oxidative stress, and ischemia. The rationale of each approach and the efficacy of drugs in preclinical and clinical studies are discussed. Expert opinion For the last 30 years, effective DMD drug therapy has been limited to corticosteroids, which are associated with a number of negative side effects. Our knowledge of the consequences of dystrophin absence that contribute to DMD pathology has revealed several potential therapeutic targets. Some of these approaches may have potential to improve or slow disease progression independently or in combination with genetic-based approaches. The applicability of these pharmacological therapies to DMD patients irrespective of their genetic mutation, as well as the potential benefits even for advanced stage patients warrants their continued investigation. PMID:28670506

  10. Perivascular adipose tissue as a regulator of vascular disease pathogenesis: identifying novel therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Akoumianakis, Ioannis; Tarun, Akansha; Antoniades, Charalambos


    Adipose tissue (AT) is an active endocrine organ with the ability to dynamically secrete a wide range of adipocytokines. Importantly, its secretory profile is altered in various cardiovascular disease states. AT surrounding vessels, or perivascular AT (PVAT), is recognized in particular as an important local regulator of vascular function and dysfunction. Specifically, PVAT has the ability to sense vascular paracrine signals and respond by secreting a variety of vasoactive adipocytokines. Due to the crucial role of PVAT in regulating many aspects of vascular biology, it may constitute a novel therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of vascular disease pathogenesis. Signalling pathways in PVAT, such as those using adiponectin, H 2 S, glucagon-like peptide 1 or pro-inflammatory cytokines, are among the potential novel pharmacological therapeutic targets of PVAT. This article is part of a themed section on Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Perivascular Adipose Tissue - Potential Pharmacological Targets? To view the other articles in this section visit © 2016 The British Pharmacological Society.

  11. Unraveling new therapeutic targets of coronary artery disease by genetic approaches. (United States)

    Lee, Sang Eun; Kim, Hyo-Soo


    Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common cause of death and physical disabilities in developed countries, even though efforts to identify and target causal factors such as hypertension and dyslipidemia have brought tremendous improvements in prevention and treatment. A rapid advance in technology has unraveled new genetic variants associated with CAD and also provided great opportunities to identify novel pathogenic mechanisms and to develop new drugs with higher specificity. Whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing has made it possible to find rare alleles that are responsible for CAD in small, affected families and case-control studies in a very efficient manner. At present, genome-wide association studies have identified more than 50 loci that explain approximately 10% of the heritability of CAD, most of which is unrelated to traditional risk factors. Mendelian randomization studies enable identification of causal factors among numerous biomarkers and to narrow down promising therapeutic targets. This review highlights new genetic approaches and demonstrates the extent to which the outcome contributes to the finding of new therapeutic targets.

  12. Targeting the Hippo Pathway Is a New Potential Therapeutic Modality for Malignant Mesothelioma. (United States)

    Sekido, Yoshitaka


    Malignant mesothelioma (MM) constitutes a very aggressive tumor that arises from the pleural or peritoneal cavities and is highly refractory to conventional therapies. Several key genetic alterations are associated with the development and progression of MM including mutations of the CDKN2A/ARF , NF2 , and BAP1 tumor-suppressor genes. Notably, activating oncogene mutations are very rare; thus, it is difficult to develop effective inhibitors to treat MM. The NF2 gene encodes merlin, a protein that regulates multiple cell-signaling cascades including the Hippo pathway. MMs also exhibit inactivation of Hippo pathway components including LATS1/2, strongly suggesting that merlin-Hippo pathway dysregulation plays a key role in the development and progression of MM. Furthermore, Hippo pathway inactivation has been shown to result in constitutive activation of the YAP1/TAZ transcriptional coactivators, thereby conferring malignant phenotypes to mesothelial cells. Critical YAP1/TAZ target genes, including prooncogenic CCDN1 and CTGF , have also been shown to enhance the malignant phenotypes of MM cells. Together, these data indicate the Hippo pathway as a therapeutic target for the treatment of MM, and support the development of new strategies to effectively target the activation status of YAP1/TAZ as a promising therapeutic modality for this formidable disease.

  13. Black cumin seeds show promising anti-cancer effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Editorial Office


    Full Text Available Lung cancer is responsible for millions of death worldwide each year and it is the second most common cancer in both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is responsible for about 1 in 4 cancer deaths and 14% of all new cases. More and more people require treatment, but due to the side effects and complications of modern drugs, there has been a growing interest in naturally occurring compounds with anti-cancer potential. Black cumin seed is one of the most promising and extensively studied plants which could provide support in considering this compound as an emerging drug.

  14. MEDICI: Mining Essentiality Data to Identify Critical Interactions for Cancer Drug Target Discovery and Development | Office of Cancer Genomics (United States)

    Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediate the transmission and regulation of oncogenic signals that are essential to cellular proliferation and survival, and thus represent potential targets for anti-cancer therapeutic discovery. Despite their significance, there is no method to experimentally disrupt and interrogate the essentiality of individual endogenous PPIs. The ability to computationally predict or infer PPI essentiality would help prioritize PPIs for drug discovery and help advance understanding of cancer biology.

  15. Target-oriented mechanisms of novel herbal therapeutics in the chemotherapy of gastrointestinal cancer and inflammation. (United States)

    Ko, Joshua K; Auyeung, Kathy K


    A prominent group of effective cancer chemopreventive drugs has been derived from natural products having low toxicity while possessing apparent benefit in the disease process. It is plausible that there are multiple target molecules critical to cancer cell survival. Herbal terpenoids have demonstrated excellent target-specific anti-neoplastic functions by suppression of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Transcriptional molecules in the NF-κB, MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways are important molecular targets of chemotherapy that play distinctive roles in modulating the apoptosis cascades. It is recently suggested that NSAID-activated gene (NAG-1), a novel proapoptotic protein, is the upstream anti-carcinogenic target of NSAIDs, PPAR ligands and herbal chemotherapeutic agents that triggers some of the events mentioned above. Besides, angiogenesis, oxidative stress as well as inflammation are important factors that contribute to the development and metastasis of cancer, which could be actively modulated by novel agents of plant origin. The aim of the present review is to discuss and summarize the contemporary use of herbal therapeutics and phytochemicals in the treatment of human cancers, in particular that of the colon. The major events and signaling pathways in the carcinogenesis process being potentially modulated by natural products and novel herbal compounds will be evaluated, with emphasis on some terpenoids. Advances in eliciting the precise cellular and molecular mechanisms during the anti-tumorigenic process of novel herbal therapeutics will be of imperative clinical significance to increase the efficacy and reduce prominent adverse drug effects in cancer patients through target-specific therapy.

  16. Chloroquine potentiates the anti-cancer effect of 5-fluorouracil on colon cancer cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Kazuhito; Hiyoshi, Masaya; Kaneko, Manabu; Kitayama, Joji; Takahashi, Koki; Nagawa, Hirokazu; Tsuno, Nelson H; Sunami, Eiji; Tsurita, Giichiro; Kawai, Kazushige; Okaji, Yurai; Nishikawa, Takeshi; Shuno, Yasutaka; Hongo, Kumiko


    Chloroquine (CQ), the worldwide used anti-malarial drug, has recently being focused as a potential anti-cancer agent as well as a chemosensitizer when used in combination with anti-cancer drugs. It has been shown to inhibit cell growth and/or to induce cell death in various types of cancer. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is the chemotherapeutic agent of first choice in colorectal cancer, but in most cases, resistance to 5-FU develops through various mechanisms. Here, we focused on the combination of CQ as a mechanism to potentiate the inhibitory effect of 5-FU on human colon cancer cells. HT-29 cells were treated with CQ and/or 5-FU, and their proliferative ability, apoptosis and autophagy induction effects, and the affection of the cell cycle were evaluated. The proliferative ability of HT-29 was analyzed by the MTS assay. Apoptosis was quantified by flow-cytometry after double-staining of the cells with AnnexinV/PI. The cell cycle was evaluated by flow-cytometry after staining of cells with PI. Autophagy was quantified by flow-cytometry and Western blot analysis. Finally, to evaluate the fate of the cells treated with CQ and/or 5-FU, the colony formation assay was performed. 5-FU inhibited the proliferative activity of HT-29 cells, which was mostly dependent on the arrest of the cells to the G0/G1-phase but also partially on apoptosis induction, and the effect was potentiated by CQ pre-treatment. The potentiation of the inhibitory effect of 5-FU by CQ was dependent on the increase of p21 Cip1 and p27 Kip1 and the decrease of CDK2. Since CQ is reported to inhibit autophagy, the catabolic process necessary for cell survival under conditions of cell starvation or stress, which is induced by cancer cells as a protective mechanism against chemotherapeutic agents, we also analyzed the induction of autophagy in HT-29. HT-29 induced autophagy in response to 5-FU, and CQ inhibited this induction, a possible mechanism of the potentiation of the anti-cancer effect of 5-FU. Our

  17. [A smear method for measuring anti-cancer drugs residues in hospitals]. (United States)

    Takano, Takumi; Suzuki, Shigeru; Tsukiyama, Ikuto; Saito, Hiroko


    Anti-cancer drugs are harmful to healthy persons. In recent years, occupational exposure to anti-cancer drugs has become a major concern to health care workers. To address this issue, a smear method was developed to measure widely using anti-cancer drugs depositing on the floors, safety cabinet surfaces, and tables in hospital. Ten kinds of widely used anti-cancer drugs, paclitaxel, vincristine, docetaxel, vinorelbine, irinotecan, methotrexate, oxaliplatin, cyclophosphamide, gemcitabine and fluorouracil were collected by smearing material surfaces with methanol impregnated cellulose filter paper and/or polypropylene nonwoven. The collected anti-cancer drugs are extracted in 5 ml of 0.01% (v/v) hydrazine/methanol solution by sonication. The extracted solution was filtered and concentrated to prepare 1ml of sample solution. Then, the anti-cancer drugs in the sample solution were simultaneously measured by LC/MS. The anti-cancer drugs excepting fluorouracil spread on P-tile surface were measured with recoveries of 37-101% and standard deviations (SD) of 1.8-19%. All 10 of the anti-cancer drugs on a stainless steel plate surface were measured with the recoveries of 35-111% and SD of 1.3-11%. Using this smear method, 9 or 10 kinds of widely used anti-cancer drug residues in hospital, possibly exposed to health care workers, were grasped.

  18. Critical analysis of the potential for therapeutic targeting of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR in gastric cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inokuchi M


    Full Text Available Mikito Inokuchi,1 Keiji Kato,1 Kazuyuki Kojima,2 Kenichi Sugihara1 1Department of Surgical Oncology, 2Department of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan Abstract: Multidisciplinary treatment including chemotherapy has become the global standard of care for patients with metastatic gastric cancer (mGC; nonetheless, survival remains poor. Although many molecular-targeted therapies have been developed for various cancers, only anti-HER2 treatment has produced promising results in patients with mGC. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR plays a key role in cell proliferation, antiapoptosis, and metastasis in signaling pathways from the tyrosine kinase receptor, and its activation has been demonstrated in gastric cancer (GC cells. This review discusses the clinical relevance of mTOR in GC and examines its potential as a therapeutic target in patients with mGC. Preclinical studies in animal models suggest that suppression of the mTOR pathway inhibits the proliferation of GC cells and delays tumor progression. The mTOR inhibitor everolimus has been evaluated as second- or third-line treatment in clinical trials. Adverse events were well tolerated although the effectiveness of everolimus alone was limited. Everolimus is now being evaluated in combination with chemotherapy in Phase III clinical studies in this subgroup of patients. Two Phase III studies include exploratory biomarker research designed to evaluate the predictive value of the expression or mutation of molecules related to the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. These biomarker studies may lead to the realization of targeted therapy for selected patients with mGC in the future. Keywords: gastric cancer, mTOR, everolimus

  19. P2X receptors in the cardiovascular system and their potential as therapeutic targets in disease. (United States)

    Ralevic, Vera


    This review considers the expression and roles of P2X receptors in the cardiovascular system in health and disease and their potential as therapeutic targets. P2X receptors are ligand gated ion channels which are activated by the endogenous ligand ATP. They are formed from the assembly of three P2X subunit proteins from the complement of seven (P2X1-7), which can associate to form homomeric or heteromeric P2X receptors. The P2X1 receptor is widely expressed in the cardiovascular system, being located in the heart, in the smooth muscle of the majority of blood vessels and in platelets. P2X1 receptors expressed in blood vessels can be activated by ATP coreleased with noradrenaline as a sympathetic neurotransmitter, leading to smooth muscle depolarisation and contraction. There is evidence that the purinergic component of sympathetic neurotransmission is increased in hypertension, identifying P2X1 receptors as a possible therapeutic target in this disorder. P2X3 and P2X2/3 receptors are expressed on cardiac sympathetic neurones and may, through positive feedback of neuronal ATP at this prejunctional site, amplify sympathetic neurotransmission. Activation of P2X receptors expressed in the heart increases cardiac myocyte contractility, and an important role of the P2X4 receptor in this has been identified. Deletion of P2X4 receptors in the heart depresses contractile performance in models of heart failure, while overexpression of P2X4 receptors has been shown to be cardioprotective, thus P2X4 receptors may be therapeutic targets in the treatment of heart disease. P2X receptors have been identified on endothelial cells. Although immunoreactivity for all P2X1-7 receptor proteins has been shown on the endothelium, relatively little is known about their function, with the exception of the endothelial P2X4 receptor, which has been shown to mediate endothelium-dependent vasodilatation to ATP released during shear stress. The potential of P2X receptors as therapeutic targets

  20. Liquid Biopsy and Therapeutic Targets: Present and Future Issues in Thoracic Oncology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Hofman


    Full Text Available The practice of liquid biopsy (LB has revolutionized the care of patients with metastatic lung cancer. Many oncologists now use this approach in daily practice, applying precise procedures for the detection of activating or resistance mutations in EGFR. These tests are performed with plasma DNA and have been approved as companion diagnostic test for patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. ALK is another important target in lung cancer since it leads to treatment of patients who are positive for a rearrangement in ALK identified with tumor tissue. By analogy with EGFR, LB for detection of genomic alterations in ALK (rearrangements or mutations has been rapidly adopted in the clinic. However, this promising approach has some limitations and has not yet been disseminated as much as the blood test targeting EGFR. In addition to these two therapeutic targets LB can be used for evaluation of the genomic status of other genes of interest of patients with lung cancer (ROS1, RET, NTRK MET, BRAF, HER2, etc.. LB can be performed to evaluate a specific target or for a more or less complex panel of genes. Considering the number of potential targets for clinical trials, techniques of next-generation sequencing of circulating DNA are on the rise. This review will provide an update on the contribution of LB to care of patients with metastatic lung cancer, including the present limits of this approach, and will consider certain perspectives.

  1. HIV-1 gp41 Fusion Intermediate: A Target for HIV Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chungen Pan


    Full Text Available Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 infection is initiated by the binding of gp120 envelope glyco-protein to its cell receptor (CD4 and a coreceptor (CXCR4 or CCR5, followed by a series of conformational changes in the gp41 transmembrane subunit. These changes include insertion of fusion peptide into the target cell membrane and association of C-heptad repeat (CHR peptide with the N-heptad repeat (NHR trimer, a pre-hairpin fusion intermediate. A stable six-helix bundle core is then formed, bringing the viral envelope and target cell membrane into close proximity for fusion. Peptides derived from the CHR region, such as T20 and C34, inhibit HIV-1 fusion by interacting with the gp41 fusion intermediate. A number of anti-HIV-1 peptides and small molecule compounds targeting the gp41 NHR-trimer have been identified. By combining HIV fusion/entry inhibitors targeting different sites in the gp41 fusion intermediate, a potent synergistic effect takes place, resulting in a potential new therapeutic strategy for the HIV infection/AIDS. Here, we present an overview of the current development of anti-HIV drugs, particularly those targeting the gp41 fusion intermediate.

  2. Synthetic Small Molecule Inhibitors of Hh Signaling As Anti-Cancer Chemotherapeutics (United States)

    Maschinot, C.A.; Pace, J.R.; Hadden, M.K.


    The hedgehog (Hh) pathway is a developmental signaling pathway that is essential to the proper embryonic development of many vertebrate systems. Dysregulation of Hh signaling has been implicated as a causative factor in the development and progression of several forms of human cancer. As such, the development of small molecule inhibitors of Hh signaling as potential anti-cancer chemotherapeutics has been a major area of research interest in both academics and industry over the past ten years. Through these efforts, synthetic small molecules that target multiple components of the Hh pathway have been identified and advanced to preclinical or clinical development. The goal of this review is to provide an update on the current status of several synthetic small molecule Hh pathway inhibitors and explore the potential of several recently disclosed inhibitory scaffolds. PMID:26310919

  3. Trypanocidal activity of the proteasome inhibitor and anti-cancer drug bortezomib

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xia


    Full Text Available Abstract The proteasome inhibitor and anti-cancer drug bortezomib was tested for in vitro activity against bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei. The concentrations of bortezomib required to reduce the growth rate by 50% and to kill all trypanosomes were 3.3 nM and 10 nM, respectively. In addition, bortezomib was 10 times more toxic to trypanosomes than to human HL-60 cells. Moreover, exposure of trypanosomes to 10 nM bortezomib for 16 h was enough to kill 90% of the parasites following incubation in fresh medium. However, proteasomal peptidase activities of trypanosomes exposed to bortezomib were only inhibited by 10% and 30% indicating that the proteasome is not the main target of the drug. The results suggest that bortezomib may be useful as drug for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis.

  4. The Endocannabinoid System as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Pain Modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet Ulugöl


    Full Text Available Although cannabis has been used for pain management for millennia, very few approved cannabinoids are indicated for the treatment of pain and other medical symptoms. Cannabinoid therapy re-gained attention only after the discovery of endocannabinoids and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL, the enzymes playing a role in endocannabinoid metabolism. Nowadays, research has focused on the inhibition of these degradative enzymes and the elevation of endocannabinoid tonus locally; special emphasis is given on multi-target analgesia compounds, where one of the targets is the endocannabinoid degrading enzyme. In this review, I provide an overview of the current understanding about the processes accounting for the biosynthesis, transport and metabolism of endocannabinoids, and pharmacological approaches and potential therapeutic applications in this area, regarding the use of drugs elevating endocannabinoid levels in pain conditions.

  5. Understanding the Progression of Bone Metastases to Identify Novel Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Schmid-Alliana


    Full Text Available Bone is one of the most preferential target site for cancer metastases, particularly for prostate, breast, kidney, lung and thyroid primary tumours. Indeed, numerous chemical signals and growth factors produced by the bone microenvironment constitute factors promoting cancer cell invasion and aggression. After reviewing the different theories proposed to provide mechanism for metastatic progression, we report on the gene expression profile of bone-seeking cancer cells. We also discuss the cross-talk between the bone microenvironment and invading cells, which impacts on the tumour actions on surrounding bone tissue. Lastly, we detail therapies for bone metastases. Due to poor prognosis for patients, the strategies mainly aim at reducing the impact of skeletal-related events on patients’ quality of life. However, recent advances have led to a better understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying bone metastases progression, and therefore of novel therapeutic targets.

  6. Insulin Resistance and Endothelial Dysfunction Constitute a Common Therapeutic Target in Cardiometabolic Disorders. (United States)

    Janus, A; Szahidewicz-Krupska, E; Mazur, G; Doroszko, A


    Insulin resistance and other risk factors for atherosclerosis, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, promote endothelial dysfunction and lead to development of metabolic syndrome which constitutes an introduction to cardiovascular disease. The insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction cross talk between each other by numerous metabolic pathways. Hence, targeting one of these pathologies with pleiotropic treatment exerts beneficial effect on another one. Combined and expletive treatment of hypertension, lipid disorders, and insulin resistance with nonpharmacological interventions and conventional pharmacotherapy may inhibit the transformation of metabolic disturbances to fully developed cardiovascular disease. This paper summarises the common therapeutic targets for insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, and vascular inflammatory reaction at molecular level and analyses the potential pleiotropic effects of drugs used currently in management of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

  7. Th17-Associated Cytokines as a Therapeutic Target for Steroid-Insensitive Asthma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuko Morishima


    Full Text Available Steroid-insensitive asthma is an infrequent but problematic airway disease that presents with persistent symptoms, airflow limitation, or recurrent exacerbations even when treated with steroid-based therapies. Because of unsatisfactory results obtained from currently available therapies for steroid-insensitive asthma, a better understanding of its pathogenesis and the development of new targeted molecular therapies are warranted. Recent studies indicated that levels of interleukin (IL-17 are increased and both eosinophils and neutrophils infiltrate the airways of severe asthmatics. IL-17 is a proinflammatory cytokine mainly secreted from helper T (Th 17 cells and is important for the induction of neutrophil recruitment and migration at sites of inflammation. This review focuses on the pathogenetic role of Th17 cells and their associated cytokines in steroid-insensitive asthma and discusses the prospects of novel therapeutic options targeting the Th17 signaling pathway.

  8. Cancer-associated fibroblasts as target and tool in cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. (United States)

    De Vlieghere, Elly; Verset, Laurine; Demetter, Pieter; Bracke, Marc; De Wever, Olivier


    Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are drivers of tumour progression and are considered as a target and a tool in cancer diagnostic and therapeutic applications. An increased abundance of CAFs or CAF signatures are recognized as a bad prognostic marker in several cancer types. Tumour-environment biomimetics strongly improve our understanding of the communication between CAFs, cancer cells and other host cells. Several experimental drugs targeting CAFs are in clinical trials for multiple tumour entities; alternatively, CAFs can be exploited as a tool to characterize the functionality of circulating tumour cells or to capture them as a tool to prevent metastasis. The continuous interaction between tissue engineers, biomaterial experts and cancer researchers creates the possibility to biomimic the tumour-environment and provides new opportunities in cancer diagnostics and management.

  9. Insulin Resistance and Endothelial Dysfunction Constitute a Common Therapeutic Target in Cardiometabolic Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Janus


    Full Text Available Insulin resistance and other risk factors for atherosclerosis, such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, promote endothelial dysfunction and lead to development of metabolic syndrome which constitutes an introduction to cardiovascular disease. The insulin resistance and endothelial dysfunction cross talk between each other by numerous metabolic pathways. Hence, targeting one of these pathologies with pleiotropic treatment exerts beneficial effect on another one. Combined and expletive treatment of hypertension, lipid disorders, and insulin resistance with nonpharmacological interventions and conventional pharmacotherapy may inhibit the transformation of metabolic disturbances to fully developed cardiovascular disease. This paper summarises the common therapeutic targets for insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, and vascular inflammatory reaction at molecular level and analyses the potential pleiotropic effects of drugs used currently in management of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

  10. New therapeutic targets in the management of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sverrisson EF


    Full Text Available Einar F Sverrisson, Patrick N Espiritu, Philippe E SpiessDepartment of Genitourinary Oncology, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USAAbstract: Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, despite the myriad of treatment approaches and our progressively increasing knowledge into its disease processes, remains one of the most clinically challenging problems in modern urological clinical practice. New therapies target biomolecular pathways and cellular mediators responsible for regulating cell growth and metabolism, both of which are frequently overexpressed in malignant urothelial cells, with the intent of inducing cell death by limiting cellular metabolism and growth, creating an immune response, or selectively delivering or activating a cytotoxic agent. These new and novel therapies may offer a potential for reduced toxicity and an encouraging hope for better treatment outcomes, particularly for a disease often refractory or not amenable to the current therapeutic approaches.Keywords: targeted therapy, intravesical agents, systemic therapies

  11. Genome-wide gene expression dataset used to identify potential therapeutic targets in androgenetic alopecia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Dey-Rao


    Full Text Available The microarray dataset attached to this report is related to the research article with the title: “A genomic approach to susceptibility and pathogenesis leads to identifying potential novel therapeutic targets in androgenetic alopecia” (Dey-Rao and Sinha, 2017 [1]. Male-pattern hair loss that is induced by androgens (testosterone in genetically predisposed individuals is known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA. The raw dataset is being made publicly available to enable critical and/or extended analyses. Our related research paper utilizes the attached raw dataset, for genome-wide gene-expression associated investigations. Combined with several in silico bioinformatics-based analyses we were able to delineate five strategic molecular elements as potential novel targets towards future AGA-therapy.

  12. An integrative in-silico approach for therapeutic target identification in the human pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syed Babar Jamal

    Full Text Available Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Cd is a Gram-positive human pathogen responsible for diphtheria infection and once regarded for high mortalities worldwide. The fatality gradually decreased with improved living standards and further alleviated when many immunization programs were introduced. However, numerous drug-resistant strains emerged recently that consequently decreased the efficacy of current therapeutics and vaccines, thereby obliging the scientific community to start investigating new therapeutic targets in pathogenic microorganisms. In this study, our contributions include the prediction of modelome of 13 C. diphtheriae strains, using the MHOLline workflow. A set of 463 conserved proteins were identified by combining the results of pangenomics based core-genome and core-modelome analyses. Further, using subtractive proteomics and modelomics approaches for target identification, a set of 23 proteins was selected as essential for the bacteria. Considering human as a host, eight of these proteins (glpX, nusB, rpsH, hisE, smpB, bioB, DIP1084, and DIP0983 were considered as essential and non-host homologs, and have been subjected to virtual screening using four different compound libraries (extracted from the ZINC database, plant-derived natural compounds and Di-terpenoid Iso-steviol derivatives. The proposed ligand molecules showed favorable interactions, lowered energy values and high complementarity with the predicted targets. Our proposed approach expedites the selection of C. diphtheriae putative proteins for broad-spectrum development of novel drugs and vaccines, owing to the fact that some of these targets have already been identified and validated in other organisms.

  13. Glycoprotein non-metastatic b (GPNMB: A metastatic mediator and emerging therapeutic target in cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maric G


    Full Text Available Gordana Maric,1,2 April AN Rose,3 Matthew G Annis,1,2 Peter M Siegel1,2,4,5 1Goodman Cancer Research Centre, 2Department of Medicine, 3Faculty of Medicine, 4Department of Biochemistry, 5Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada Abstract: Molecularly targeted therapies are rapidly growing with respect to their clinical development and impact on cancer treatment due to their highly selective anti-tumor action. However, many aggressive cancers such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC currently lack well-defined therapeutic targets against which such agents can be developed. The identification of tumor-associated antigens and the generation of antibody drug-conjugates represent an emerging area of intense interest and growth in the field of cancer therapeutics. Glycoprotein non-metastatic b (GPNMB has recently been identified as a gene that is over-expressed in numerous cancers, including TNBC, and often correlates with the metastatic phenotype. In breast cancer, GPNMB expression in the tumor epithelium is associated with a reduction in disease-free and overall survival. Based on these findings, glembatumumab vedotin (CDX-011, an antibody-drug conjugate that selectively targets GPNMB, is currently being investigated in clinical trials for patients with metastatic breast cancer and unresectable melanoma. This review discusses the physiological and potential pathological roles of GPNMB in normal and cancer tissues, respectively, and details the clinical advances and challenges in targeting GPNMB-expressing malignancies. Keywords: GPNMB, osteoactivin, breast cancer, antibody-drug conjugates, CDX-011

  14. Molecular Characterization of Gastric Carcinoma: Therapeutic Implications for Biomarkers and Targets. (United States)

    Kankeu Fonkoua, Lionel; Yee, Nelson S


    Palliative chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment of advanced gastric carcinoma (GC). Monoclonal antibodies including trastuzumab, ramucirumab, and pembrolizumab have been shown to provide additional benefits. However, the clinical outcomes are often unpredictable and they can vary widely among patients. Currently, no biomarker is available for predicting treatment response in the individual patient except human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) amplification and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression for effectiveness of trastuzumab and pembrolizumab, respectively. Multi-platform molecular analysis of cancer, including GC, may help identify predictive biomarkers to guide selection of therapeutic agents. Molecular classification of GC by The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network and the Asian Cancer Research Group is expected to identify therapeutic targets and predictive biomarkers. Complementary to molecular characterization of GC is molecular profiling by expression analysis and genomic sequencing of tumor DNA. Initial analysis of patients with gastroesophageal carcinoma demonstrates that the ratio of progression-free survival (PFS) on molecular profile (MP)-based treatment to PFS on treatment prior to molecular profiling exceeds 1.3, suggesting the potential value of MP in guiding selection of individualized therapy. Future strategies aiming to integrate molecular classification and profiling of tumors with therapeutic agents for achieving the goal of personalized treatment of GC are indicated.

  15. PROSPECT (Profiling of Resistance Patterns & Oncogenic Signaling Pathways in Evaluation of Cancers of the Thorax and Therapeutic Target Identification)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hong, Waun K; Stewart, David J


    We will develop a high throughput therapeutic-target focused (TTF) profiling platform and will combine this with tumor genome wide mRNA profiling and with serum or plasma profiling of phosphopeptides and DNA...

  16. Composition useful for transportation of therapeutically active substance to targeted cell and use of the composition in ..

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bischoff, Rainer; Kolbe, Hanno; Schughart, Klaus; Transgene, S.A.


    PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To obtain the subject composition used for transferring a therapeutically active substance into mammalian cells, and useful for preparing a vector intended to transfer a polynucleotide into targeted cells, by including..

  17. EPHA2 is a mediator of vemurafenib resistance and a novel therapeutic target in melanoma. (United States)

    Miao, Benchun; Ji, Zhenyu; Tan, Li; Taylor, Michael; Zhang, Jianming; Choi, Hwan Geun; Frederick, Dennie T; Kumar, Raj; Wargo, Jennifer A; Flaherty, Keith T; Gray, Nathanael S; Tsao, Hensin


    BRAF(V600E) is the most common oncogenic lesion in melanoma and results in constitutive activation of the MAPK pathway and uncontrolled cell growth. Selective BRAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib have been shown to neutralize oncogenic signaling, restrain cellular growth, and improve patient outcome. Although several mechanisms of vemurafenib resistance have been described, directed solutions to overcome these resistance lesions are still lacking. Herein, we found that vemurafenib resistance can be (i) mediated by EPHA2, a member of the largest receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) subfamily erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular (EPH) receptors, and (ii) associated with a greater phenotypic dependence on EPHA2. Furthermore, we developed a series of first-in-class EPHA2 inhibitors and show that these new compounds potently induce apoptosis, suppress viability, and abrogate tumorigenic growth of melanoma cells, including those that are resistant to vemurafenib. These results provide proof of concept that RTK-guided growth, and therapeutic resistance, can be prospectively defined and selectively targeted. In this study, we show that resistance to selective BRAF inhibitors can be mediated by the RTK EPHA2. Furthermore, direct targeting of EPHA2 can successfully suppress melanoma growth and mitigate therapeutic resistance. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

  18. Targeting Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase as a Potential Therapeutic Strategy to Restore Adult Neurogenesis. (United States)

    Wang, Shu-Na; Xu, Tian-Ying; Li, Wen-Lin; Miao, Chao-Yu


    Adult neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons throughout life in the olfactory bulb and hippocampus of most mammalian species, which is closely related to aging and disease. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), also an adipokine known as visfatin, is the rate-limiting enzyme for mammalian nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) salvage synthesis by generating nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) from nicotinamide. Recent findings from our laboratory and other laboratories have provided much evidence that NAMPT might serve as a therapeutic target to restore adult neurogenesis. NAMPT-mediated NAD biosynthesis in neural stem/progenitor cells is important for their proliferation, self-renewal, and formation of oligodendrocytes in vivo and in vitro. Therapeutic interventions by the administration of NMN, NAD, or recombinant NAMPT are effective for restoring adult neurogenesis in several neurological diseases. We summarize adult neurogenesis in aging, ischemic stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegenerative disease and review the advances of targeting NAMPT in restoring neurogenesis. Specifically, we provide emphasis on the P7C3 family, a class of proneurogenic compounds that are potential NAMPT activators, which might shed light on future drug development in neurogenesis restoration. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Medicinal plants growing in the Judea region: network approach for searching potential therapeutic targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arie Budovsky


    Full Text Available Plants growing in the Judea region are widely used in traditional medicine of the Levant region. Nevertheless, they have not so far been sufficiently analyzed and their medicinal potential has not been evaluated. This study is the first attempt to fill the gap in the knowledge of the plants growing in the region. Comprehensive data mining of online botanical databases and peer-reviewed scientific literature including ethno-pharmacological surveys from the Levant region was applied to compile a full list of plants growing in the Judea region, with the focus on their medicinal applications. Around 1300 plants growing in the Judea region were identified. Of them, 25% have medicinal applications which were analyzed in this study. Screening for chemical-protein interactions, together with the network-based analysis of potential targets, will facilitate discovery and therapeutic applications of the Judea region plants. Such an approach could also be applied as an integrative platform for further searching the potential therapeutic targets of plants growing in other regions of the world.

  20. Immune system of the inner ear as a novel therapeutic target for sensorineural hearing loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takayuki eOkano


    Full Text Available Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL is a common clinical condition resulting from dysfunction in one or more parts in the auditory pathway between the inner ear and auditory cortex. Despite the prevalence of SNHL, little is known about its etiopathology, although several mechanisms have been postulated including ischemia, viral infection or reactivation, and microtrauma. Immune-mediated inner ear disease has been introduced and accepted as one SNHL pathophysiology; it responds to immunosuppressive therapy and is one of the few reversible forms of bilateral SNHL. The concept of immune-mediated inner ear disease is straightforward and comprehensible, but criteria for clinical diagnosis and the precise mechanism of hearing loss have not been determined. Moreover, the therapeutic mechanisms of corticosteroids are unclear, leading to several misconceptions by both clinicians and investigators concerning corticosteroid therapy. This review addresses our current understanding of the immune system in the inner ear and its involvement in the pathophysiology in SNHL. Treatment of SNHL, including immune-mediated inner ear disorder, will be discussed with a focus on the immune mechanism and immunocompetent cells as therapeutic targets. Finally, possible interventions modulating the immune system in the inner ear to repair the tissue organization and improve hearing in patients with SNHL will be discussed. Tissue macrophages in the inner ear appear to be a potential target for modulating the immune response in the inner ear in the pathophysiology of SNHL.

  1. Roles of glial cells in schizophrenia: possible targets for therapeutic approaches. (United States)

    Takahashi, Nagahide; Sakurai, Takeshi


    Glial cells consisting of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia, and NG2 positive cells are major cell populations in the central nervous system, number-wise. They function as effectors and modulators of neurodevelopment through a wide variety of neuron-glial cell interactions in brain development and functions. Glial cells can be affected by both genetic and environmental factors, leading to their dysfunctions in supporting neuronal development and functions. These in turn can affect neuronal cells, causing alterations at the circuitry level that manifest as behavioral characteristics associated with schizophrenia in late teens-early twenties. Glial cells are also involved in neuroinflammatory processes, which sometimes have deleterious effects on the normal brain development. If the glial involvement plays significant roles in schizophrenia, the processes involving glial cells can become possible therapeutic targets for schizophrenia. A number of known antipsychotics are shown to have beneficial effects on glial cells, but other drugs targeting glial cell functions may also have therapeutic effects on schizophrenia. The latter can be taken into consideration for future drug development for schizophrenia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Evidence for the endothelin system as an emerging therapeutic target for the treatment of chronic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smith TP


    Full Text Available Terika P Smith,1 Tami Haymond,1 Sherika N Smith,1 Sarah M Sweitzer1,2 1Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA; 2Department of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy, Clinton, SC, USA Abstract: Many people worldwide suffer from pain and a portion of these sufferers are diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. The management of chronic pain continues to be a challenge, and despite taking prescribed medication for pain, patients continue to have pain of moderate severity. Current pain therapies are often inadequate, with side effects that limit medication adherence. There is a need to identify novel therapeutic targets for the management of chronic pain. One potential candidate for the treatment of chronic pain is therapies aimed at modulating the vasoactive peptide endothelin-1. In addition to vasoactive properties, endothelin-1 has been implicated in pain transmission in both humans and animal models of nociception. Endothelin-1 directly activates nociceptors and potentiates the effect of other algogens, including capsaicin, formalin, and arachidonic acid. In addition, endothelin-1 has been shown to be involved in inflammatory pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, diabetic neuropathy, and pain associated with sickle cell disease. Therefore, endothelin-1 may prove a novel therapeutic target for the relief of many types of chronic pain. Keywords: endothelin-1, acute pain, chronic pain, endothelin receptor antagonists

  3. Retracted: Nrf2: a novel therapeutic target in fragile X syndrome is modulated by NNZ2566. (United States)

    Deacon, R M J; Hurley, M J; Rebolledo, C M; Snape, M; Altimiras, F J; Farías, L; Pino, M; Biekofsky, R; Glass, L; Cogram, P


    Retraction: "Nrf2: a novel therapeutic target in fragile X syndrome is modulated by NNZ2566" by R. M. J. Deacon, M. J. Hurley, C. M. Rebolledo, M. Snape, F. J. Altimiras, L. Farías, M. Pino, R. Biekofsky, L. Glass and P. Cogram. The above article, from Genes, Brain and Behavior, published online on 12th May 2017 in Wiley Online Library (, has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Andrew Holmes and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The retraction has been agreed as all authors cannot agree on a revised author order, and at least one author continues to dispute the original order. In this case, the original article is being retracted on the grounds that the journal does not have permission to publish. Reference: Deacon, R. M. J., Hurley, M. J., Rebolledo, C. M., Snape, M., Altimiras, F. J., Farías, L., Pino, M., Biekofsky, R., Glass, L. and Cogram, P. (2017), Nrf2: a novel therapeutic target in fragile X syndrome is modulated by NNZ2566. Genes, Brain and Behavior. doi:10.1111/gbb.12373. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  4. A novel mouse model identifies cooperating mutations and therapeutic targets critical for chronic myeloid leukemia progression (United States)

    Giotopoulos, George; van der Weyden, Louise; Osaki, Hikari; Rust, Alistair G.; Gallipoli, Paolo; Meduri, Eshwar; Horton, Sarah J.; Chan, Wai-In; Foster, Donna; Prinjha, Rab K.; Pimanda, John E.; Tenen, Daniel G.; Vassiliou, George S.; Koschmieder, Steffen; Adams, David J.


    The introduction of highly selective ABL-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has revolutionized therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, TKIs are only efficacious in the chronic phase of the disease and effective therapies for TKI-refractory CML, or after progression to blast crisis (BC), are lacking. Whereas the chronic phase of CML is dependent on BCR-ABL, additional mutations are required for progression to BC. However, the identity of these mutations and the pathways they affect are poorly understood, hampering our ability to identify therapeutic targets and improve outcomes. Here, we describe a novel mouse model that allows identification of mechanisms of BC progression in an unbiased and tractable manner, using transposon-based insertional mutagenesis on the background of chronic phase CML. Our BC model is the first to faithfully recapitulate the phenotype, cellular and molecular biology of human CML progression. We report a heterogeneous and unique pattern of insertions identifying known and novel candidate genes and demonstrate that these pathways drive disease progression and provide potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies. Our model greatly informs the biology of CML progression and provides a potent resource for the development of candidate therapies to improve the dismal outcomes in this highly aggressive disease. PMID:26304963

  5. The Paramyxovirus Polymerase Complex as a Target for Next-Generation Anti-Paramyxovirus Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard K Plemper


    Full Text Available The paramyxovirus family includes major human and animal pathogens, including measles virus, mumps virus, and human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV, as well as the emerging zoonotic Hendra and Nipah viruses. In the United States, RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalizations due to viral infectious disease. Despite their clinical significance, effective drugs for the improved management of paramyxovirus disease are lacking. The development of novel anti-paramyxovirus therapeutics is therefore urgently needed. Paramyxoviruses contain RNA genomes of negative polarity, necessitating a virus-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp complex for replication and transcription. Since an equivalent enzymatic activity is absent in host cells, the RdRp complex represents an attractive druggable target, although structure-guided drug development campaigns are hampered by the lack of high-resolution RdRp crystal structures. Here, we review the current structural and functional insight into the paramyxovirus polymerase complex in conjunction with an evaluation of the mechanism of activity and developmental status of available experimental RdRp inhibitors. Our assessment spotlights the importance of the RdRp complex as a premier target for therapeutic intervention and examines how high-resolution insight into the organization of the complex will pave the path towards the structure-guided design and optimization of much-needed next-generation paramyxovirus RdRp blockers.

  6. The cytoskeleton as a novel therapeutic target for old neurodegenerative disorders. (United States)

    Eira, Jessica; Silva, Catarina Santos; Sousa, Mónica Mendes; Liz, Márcia Almeida


    Cytoskeleton defects, including alterations in microtubule stability, in axonal transport as well as in actin dynamics, have been characterized in several unrelated neurodegenerative conditions. These observations suggest that defects of cytoskeleton organization may be a common feature contributing to neurodegeneration. In line with this hypothesis, drugs targeting the cytoskeleton are currently being tested in animal models and in human clinical trials, showing promising effects. Drugs that modulate microtubule stability, inhibitors of posttranslational modifications of cytoskeletal components, specifically compounds affecting the levels of tubulin acetylation, and compounds targeting signaling molecules which regulate cytoskeleton dynamics, constitute the mostly addressed therapeutic interventions aiming at preventing cytoskeleton damage in neurodegenerative disorders. In this review, we will discuss in a critical perspective the current knowledge on cytoskeleton damage pathways as well as therapeutic strategies designed to revert cytoskeleton-related defects mainly focusing on the following neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Precision medicine comes of age in nephrology: identification of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for chronic kidney disease. (United States)

    Wyatt, Christina M; Schlondorff, Detlef


    The goal of "precision medicine" is to characterize diseases based on the underlying molecular biology, in order to identify specific biomarkers and therapeutic targets that will ultimately improve clinical outcomes. The nephrology research community has developed a strong foundation for precision medicine, and recent publications demonstrate the feasibility of this approach to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in chronic kidney disease. Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Identification of G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) in Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells as Novel Therapeutic Targets (United States)


    pathophysiology and new therapeutic targets for PAH. Our approach is to isolate PASMCs from PAH subjects and controls, to define the expression and function of...their complement of GPCRs, with the goal of identifying GPCRs that have known physiologic agonists and are uniquely expressed and/or prominently up...regulated in PAH-PASMCs and to define their potential as novel therapeutic targets for PAH. 15. SUBJECT TERMS - 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17

  9. Identification of unique expression signatures and therapeutic targets in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Wusheng


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC, the predominant histological subtype of esophageal cancer, is characterized by high mortality. Previous work identified important mRNA expression differences between normal and tumor cells; however, to date there are limited ex vivo studies examining expression changes occurring during normal esophageal squamous cell differentiation versus those associated with tumorigenesis. In this study, we used a unique tissue microdissection strategy and microarrays to measure gene expression profiles associated with cell differentiation versus tumorigenesis in twelve cases of patient-matched normal basal squamous epithelial cells (NB, normal differentiated squamous epithelium (ND, and squamous cell cancer. Class comparison and pathway analysis were used to compare NB versus tumor in a search for unique therapeutic targets. Results As a first step towards this goal, gene expression profiles and pathways were evaluated. Overall, ND expression patterns were markedly different from NB and tumor; whereas, tumor and NB were more closely related. Tumor showed a general decrease in differentially expressed genes relative to NB as opposed to ND that exhibited the opposite trend. FSH and IgG networks were most highly dysregulated in normal differentiation and tumorigenesis, respectively. DNA repair pathways were generally elevated in NB and tumor relative to ND indicating involvement in both normal and pathological growth. PDGF signaling pathway and 12 individual genes unique to the tumor/NB comparison were identified as therapeutic targets, and 10 associated ESCC gene-drug pairs were identified. We further examined the protein expression level and the distribution patterns of four genes: ODC1, POSTN, ASPA and IGF2BP3. Ultimately, three genes (ODC1, POSTN, ASPA were verified to be dysregulated in the same pattern at both the mRNA and protein levels. Conclusions These data reveal insight into genes and

  10. Potential Diagnostic, Prognostic and Therapeutic Targets of MicroRNAs in Human Gastric Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Ming Tsai


    Full Text Available Human gastric cancer (GC is characterized by a high incidence and mortality rate, largely because it is normally not identified until a relatively advanced stage owing to a lack of early diagnostic biomarkers. Gastroscopy with biopsy is the routine method for screening, and gastrectomy is the major therapeutic strategy for GC. However, in more than 30% of GC surgical patients, cancer has progressed too far for effective medical resection. Thus, useful biomarkers for early screening or detection of GC are essential for improving patients’ survival rate. MicroRNAs (miRNAs play an important role in tumorigenesis. They contribute to gastric carcinogenesis by altering the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Because of their stability in tissues, serum/plasma and other body fluids, miRNAs have been suggested as novel tumor biomarkers with suitable clinical potential. Recently, aberrantly expressed miRNAs have been identified and tested for clinical application in the management of GC. Aberrant miRNA expression profiles determined with miRNA microarrays, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and next-generation sequencing approaches could be used to establish sample specificity and to identify tumor type. Here, we provide an up-to-date summary of tissue-based GC-associated miRNAs, describing their involvement and that of their downstream targets in tumorigenic and biological processes. We examine correlations among significant clinical parameters and prognostic indicators, and discuss recurrence monitoring and therapeutic options in GC. We also review plasma/serum-based, GC-associated, circulating miRNAs and their clinical applications, focusing especially on early diagnosis. By providing insights into the mechanisms of miRNA-related tumor progression, this review will hopefully aid in the identification of novel potential therapeutic targets.

  11. PD-1 and PD-L1 as emerging therapeutic targets in gastric cancer: current evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tran PN


    Full Text Available Phu N Tran,1* Sarmen Sarkissian,1* Joseph Chao,2 Samuel J Klempner3,4 1Division of Hematology-Oncology, University of California Irvine, Orange, 2Department of Medical Oncology and Developmental Therapeutics, City of Hope, Duarte, 3Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 4The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Gastric adenocarcinoma is a leading cause of global cancer-related morbidity and mortality, and new therapeutic approaches are needed. Despite the improved outcomes with monoclonal antibodies targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, durable responses are uncommon. Targeting immune checkpoints including PD-1, PD-L1 and CTLA-4 have led to improved survival across several tumor types, frequently characterized by prolonged benefit in responding patients. Tumoral and lymphocyte-derived immunohistochemical staining for PD-1, PD-L1, and tumor mutational burden have shown potential as predictive response biomarkers in several tumor types. Optimal incorporation of immune-mediated therapies into gastric cancer (GC is an area of intense ongoing investigation and benefit has been demonstrated in smaller studies of advanced patients. Important questions of biomarker selection, roles for molecular characterization, optimal combinatorial approaches, and therapeutic sequencing remain. In this study, current data are reviewed for immune checkpoint inhibitors in GC, and putative biomarkers, ongoing trials, and future considerations are discussed. Keywords: immunotherapy, stomach cancer, checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab, pembrolizumab, tumor mutational burden

  12. Review article: the endocannabinoid system in liver disease, a potential therapeutic target. (United States)

    Basu, P P; Aloysius, M M; Shah, N J; Brown, R S


    Endocannabinoids are a family of potent lipid-soluble molecules, acting on the cannabinoid (CB) receptors that mediate the effects of marijuana. The CB receptors, endocannabinoids and the enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation are located in the brain and peripheral tissues, including the liver. To review the current understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in liver disease-associated pathophysiological conditions, and drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system as therapy for liver disease. Original articles and reviews were used to summarise the relevant pre-clinical and clinical research findings relating to this topic. The endocannabinoid system as a whole plays an important role in liver diseases (i.e. non-alcoholic liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, hepatic encephalopathy and autoimmune hepatitis) and related pathophysiological conditions (i.e. altered hepatic haemodynamics, cirrhotic cardiomyopathy, metabolic syndrome and ischaemia/reperfusion disease). Pharmacological targeting of the endocannabinoid system has had success as treatment for patients with liver disease, but adverse events led to withdrawal of marketing approval. However, there is optimism over novel therapeutics targeting the endocannabinoid system currently in the pre-clinical stage of development. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the pathophysiology of liver disease and its associated conditions. While some drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system have deleterious neurological adverse events, there is promise for a newer generation of therapies that do not cross the blood-brain barrier. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. HIV Capsid is a Tractable Target for Small Molecule Therapeutic Intervention (United States)

    Irving, Stephen L.; Brown, David G.; Anderson, Marie; Bazin, Richard; Cao, Joan; Ciaramella, Giuseppe; Isaacson, Jason; Jackson, Lynn; Hunt, Rachael; Kjerrstrom, Anne; Nieman, James A.; Patick, Amy K.; Perros, Manos; Scott, Andrew D.; Whitby, Kevin; Wu, Hua; Butler, Scott L.


    Despite a high current standard of care in antiretroviral therapy for HIV, multidrug-resistant strains continue to emerge, underscoring the need for additional novel mechanism inhibitors that will offer expanded therapeutic options in the clinic. We report a new class of small molecule antiretroviral compounds that directly target HIV-1 capsid (CA) via a novel mechanism of action. The compounds exhibit potent antiviral activity against HIV-1 laboratory strains, clinical isolates, and HIV-2, and inhibit both early and late events in the viral replication cycle. We present mechanistic studies indicating that these early and late activities result from the compound affecting viral uncoating and assembly, respectively. We show that amino acid substitutions in the N-terminal domain of HIV-1 CA are sufficient to confer resistance to this class of compounds, identifying CA as the target in infected cells. A high-resolution co-crystal structure of the compound bound to HIV-1 CA reveals a novel binding pocket in the N-terminal domain of the protein. Our data demonstrate that broad-spectrum antiviral activity can be achieved by targeting this new binding site and reveal HIV CA as a tractable drug target for HIV therapy. PMID:21170360

  14. Immuno-Oncology-The Translational Runway for Gene Therapy: Gene Therapeutics to Address Multiple Immune Targets. (United States)

    Weß, Ludger; Schnieders, Frank


    Cancer therapy is once again experiencing a paradigm shift. This shift is based on extensive clinical experience demonstrating that cancer cannot be successfully fought by addressing only single targets or pathways. Even the combination of several neo-antigens in cancer vaccines is not sufficient for successful, lasting tumor eradication. The focus has therefore shifted to the immune system's role in cancer and the striking abilities of cancer cells to manipulate and/or deactivate the immune system. Researchers and pharma companies have started to target the processes and cells known to support immune surveillance and the elimination of tumor cells. Immune processes, however, require novel concepts beyond the traditional "single-target-single drug" paradigm and need parallel targeting of diverse cells and mechanisms. This review gives a perspective on the role of gene therapy technologies in the evolving immuno-oncology space and identifies gene therapy as a major driver in the development and regulation of effective cancer immunotherapy. Present challenges and breakthroughs ranging from chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, gene-modified oncolytic viruses, combination cancer vaccines, to RNA therapeutics are spotlighted. Gene therapy is recognized as the most prominent technology enabling effective immuno-oncology strategies.

  15. Design and In vitro Validation of Multivalent Dendrimer Methotrexates as a Folate-targeting Anticancer Therapeutic (United States)

    Thomas, Thommey P.; Joice, Melvin; Sumit, Madhuresh; Silpe, Justin E.; Kotlyar, Alina; Bharathi, Sophia; Kukowska-Latallo, Jolanta; Baker, James R.; Choi, Seok Ki


    Design of cancer-targeting nanotherapeutics relies on a pair of two functionally orthogonal molecules, one serving as a cancer cell-specific targeting ligand, and the other as a therapeutic cytotoxic agent. The present study investigates the validity of an alternative simplified strategy where a dual-acting molecule which bears both targeting and cytotoxic activity is conjugated to the nanoparticle as cancer-targeting nanotherapeutics. Herein we demonstrate that methotrexate is applicable for this dual-acting strategy due to its reasonable affinity to folic acid receptor (FAR) as a tumor biomarker, and cytotoxic inhibitory activity of cytosolic dihydrofolate reductase. This article describes design of new methotrexate-conjugated poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers, each carrying multiple copies of methotrexate attached through a stable amide linker. We evaluated their dual biological activities by performing surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, a cell-free enzyme assay and cell-based experiments in FAR-overexpressing cells. This study identifies the combination of an optimal linker framework and multivalency as the two key design elements that contribute to achieving potent dual activity. PMID:23621534

  16. Exploring DNA topoisomerases as targets of novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of infectious diseases. (United States)

    Tse-Dinh, Y-C


    DNA topoisomerases are ubiquitous enzymes needed to overcome topological problems encountered during DNA replication, transcription, recombination and maintenance of genomic stability. They have proved to be valuable targets for therapy, in part because some anti-topoisomerase agents act as poisons. Bacterial DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV (type IIA topoisomerases) are targets of fluoroquinolones while human topoisomerase I (a type IB topoisomerase) and topoisomerase II are targets of various anticancer drugs. Bacterial type IA topoisomerase share little sequence homology to type IB or type IIA topoisomerases, but all topoisomerases have the potential of having the covalent phosphotyrosine DNA cleavage intermediate trapped by drug action. Recent studies have demonstrated that stabilization of the covalent complex formed by bacterial topoisomerase I and cleaved DNA can lead to bacterial cell death, supporting bacterial topoisomerase I as a promising target for the development of novel antibiotics. For current antibacterial therapy, the prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant bacterial pathogens has become a major public health concern, and efforts are directed towards identifying novel inhibitors of bacterial type IIA topoisomerases that are not affected by fluoroquinolone resistant mutations on the gyrase or topoisomerase IV genes. For anti-viral therapy, poxviruses encode their own type IB topoisomerases; these enzymes differ in drug sensitivity from human topoisomerase I. To confront potential threat of small pox as a weapon in terrorist attacks, vaccinia virus topoisomerase I has been targeted for discovery of anti-viral agents. These new developments of DNA topoisomerases as targets of novel therapeutic agents being reviewed here represent excellent opportunities for drug discovery in the treatment of infectious diseases.

  17. Secreted Frizzled-related protein 2 as a target in antifibrotic therapeutic intervention. (United States)

    Mastri, Michalis; Shah, Zaeem; Hsieh, Karin; Wang, Xiaowen; Wooldridge, Bailey; Martin, Sean; Suzuki, Gen; Lee, Techung


    Progressive fibrosis is a pathological hallmark of many chronic diseases responsible for organ failure. Although there is currently no therapy on the market that specifically targets fibrosis, the dynamic fibrogenic process is known to be regulated by multiple soluble mediators that may be therapeutically intervened. The failing hamster heart exhibits marked fibrosis and increased expression of secreted Frizzled-related protein 2 (sFRP2) amenable to reversal by mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy. Given the previous demonstration that sFRP2-null mice subjected to myocardial infarction exhibited reduced fibrosis and improved function, we tested whether antibody-based sFRP2 blockade might counteract the fibrogenic pathway and repair cardiac injury. Cardiomyopathic hamsters were injected intraperitoneally twice a week each with 20 μg of sFRP2 antibody. Echocardiography, histology, and biochemical analyses were performed after 1 mo. sFRP2 antibody increased left ventricular ejection fraction from 40 ± 1.2 to 49 ± 6.5%, whereas saline and IgG control exhibited a further decline to 37 ± 0.9 and 31 ± 3.2%, respectively. Functional improvement is associated with a ∼ 50% reduction in myocardial fibrosis, ∼ 65% decrease in apoptosis, and ∼ 75% increase in wall thickness. Consistent with attenuated fibrosis, both MSC therapy and sFRP2 antibody administration significantly increased the activity of myocardial matrix metalloproteinase-2. Gene expression analysis of the hamster heart and cultured fibroblasts identified Axin2 as a downstream target, the expression of which was activated by sFRP2 but inhibited by therapeutic intervention. sFRP2 blockade also increased myocardial levels of VEGF and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) along with increased angiogenesis. These findings highlight the pathogenic effect of dysregulated sFRP2, which may be specifically targeted for antifibrotic therapy.

  18. Targeting the renin-angiotensin system as novel therapeutic strategy for pulmonary diseases. (United States)

    Tan, Wan Shun Daniel; Liao, Wupeng; Zhou, Shuo; Mei, Dan; Wong, Wai-Shiu Fred


    The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a major role in regulating electrolyte balance and blood pressure. RAS has also been implicated in the regulation of inflammation, proliferation and fibrosis in pulmonary diseases such as asthma, acute lung injury (ALI), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Current therapeutics suffer from some drawbacks like steroid resistance, limited efficacies and side effects. Novel intervention is definitely needed to offer optimal therapeutic strategy and clinical outcome. This review compiles and analyses recent investigations targeting RAS for the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases. Inhibition of the upstream angiotensin (Ang) I/Ang II/angiotensin receptor type 1 (AT 1 R) pathway and activation of the downstream angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)/Ang (1-7)/Mas receptor pathway are two feasible strategies demonstrating efficacies in various pulmonary disease models. More recent studies favor the development of targeting the downstream ACE2/Ang (1-7)/Mas receptor pathway, in which diminazene aceturate, an ACE2 activator, GSK2586881, a recombinant ACE2, and AV0991, a Mas receptor agonist, showed much potential for further development. As the pathogenesis of pulmonary diseases is so complex that RAS modulation may be used alone or in combination with existing drugs like corticosteroids, pirfenidone/nintedanib or endothelin receptor antagonists for different pulmonary diseases. Personalized medicine through genetic screening and phenotyping for angiotensinogen or ACE would aid treatment especially for non-responsive patients. This review serves to provide an update on the latest development in the field of RAS targeting for pulmonary diseases, and offer some insights into future direction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Targeting Histone Deacetylases in Malignant Melanoma: A Future Therapeutic Agent or Just Great Expectations? (United States)

    Garmpis, Nikolaos; Damaskos, Christos; Garmpi, Anna; Dimitroulis, Dimitrios; Spartalis, Eleftherios; Margonis, Georgios-Antonios; Schizas, Dimitrios; Deskou, Irini; Doula, Chrysoula; Magkouti, Eleni; Andreatos, Nikolaos; Antoniou, Efstathios A; Nonni, Afroditi; Kontzoglou, Konstantinos; Mantas, Dimitrios


    Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer, with increasing frequency and mortality. Melanoma is characterized by rapid proliferation and metastases. Malignant transformation of normal melanocytes is associated with imbalance between oncogenes' action and tumor suppressor genes. Mutations or inactivation of these genes plays an important role in the pathogenesis of malignant melanoma. Many target-specific agents improved progression-free survival but unfortunately metastatic melanoma remains incurable, so new therapeutic strategies are needed. The balance of histones' acetylation affects cell cycle progression, differentiation and apoptosis. Histone deacetylases (HDAC) are associated with different types of cancer. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACI) are enzymes that inhibit the action of HDAC, resulting in block of tumor cell proliferation. A small number of these enzymes has been studied regarding their anticancer effects in melanoma. The purpose of this article was to review the therapeutic effect of HDACI against malignant melanoma, enlightening the molecular mechanisms of their action. The MEDLINE database was used. The keywords/ phrases were; HDACI, melanoma, targeted therapies for melanoma. Our final conclusions were based on studies that didn't refer solely to melanoma due to their wider experimental data. Thirty-two articles were selected from the total number of the search's results. Only English articles published until March 2017 were used. Molecules, such as valproid acid (VPA), LBH589, LAQ824 (dacinostat), vorinostat, tubacin, sirtinol and tx-527, suberoyl bis-hydroxamic acid (SBHA), depsipeptide and Trichostatin A (TSA) have shown promising antineoplastic effects against melanoma. HDACI represent a promising agent for targeted therapy. More trials are required. Copyright© 2017, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

  20. MicroRNAs as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for traumatic brain injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bridget Martinez


    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI is characterized by primary damage to the brain from the external mechanical force and by subsequent secondary injury due to various molecular and pathophysiological responses that eventually lead to neuronal cell death. Secondary brain injury events may occur minutes, hours, or even days after the trauma, and provide valuable therapeutic targets to prevent further neuronal degeneration. At the present time, there is no effective treatment for TBI due, in part, to the widespread impact of numerous complex secondary biochemical and pathophysiological events occurring at different time points following the initial injury. MicroRNAs control a range of physiological and pathological functions such as development, differentiation, apoptosis and metabolism, and may serve as potential targets for progress assessment and intervention against TBI to mitigate secondary damage to the brain. This has implications regarding improving the diagnostic accuracy of brain impairment and long-term outcomes as well as potential novel treatments. Recent human studies have identified specific microRNAs in serum/plasma (miR-425-p, -21, -93, -191 and -499 and cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF (miR-328, -362-3p, -451, -486a as possible indicators of the diagnosis, severity, and prognosis of TBI. Experimental animal studies have examined specific microRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic targets for moderate and mild TBI (e.g., miR-21, miR-23b. MicroRNA profiling was altered by voluntary exercise. Differences in basal microRNA expression in the brain of adult and aged animals and alterations in response to TBI (e.g., miR-21 have also been reported. Further large-scale studies with TBI patients are needed to provide more information on the changes in microRNA profiles in different age groups (children, adults, and elderly.

  1. Quantitative proteomics identification of phosphoglycerate mutase 1 as a novel therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma

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    Tong Aiping


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC is one of the most common malignancies worldwide with poor prognosis due to resistance to conventional chemotherapy and limited efficacy of radiotherapy. There is an urgent need to develop novel biomarkers for early diagnosis, as well as to identify new drug targets for therapeutic interventions. Patients and methods 54 paired HCC samples and 21 normal liver tissues were obtained from West China Hospital of Sichuan University. Informed consent was obtained from all the patients or their relatives prior to analysis, and the project was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of Sichuan University. Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino Acids in Cell Culture (SILAC-based proteomics was employed to profile the differentially expressed proteins between a HepG2 human hepatoma cell line and an immortal hepatic cell line L02. Validation of PGAM1 expression was performed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblot and immunohistochemistry using clinical samples. shRNA expressing plasmids specifically targeting PGAM1 were designed and constructed by GenePharma Corporation (Shanghai, China, and were utilized to silence expression of PGAM1 in vitro and in vivo. Cell proliferation was measured by a combination of colony formation assay and Ki67 staining. Apoptosis was examined by flow cytometry and TUNEL assay. Results A total of 63 dysregulated proteins were identified, including 51 up-regulated proteins, and 12 down-regulated proteins (over 2-fold, p p in vitro and in vivo. Conclusion Our studies suggested that PGAM1 plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis, and should be a potential diagnostic biomarker, as well as an attractive therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma.

  2. Gene silencing by RNA interference in Sarcoptes scabiei: a molecular tool to identify novel therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Fernando, Deepani D; Marr, Edward J; Zakrzewski, Martha; Reynolds, Simone L; Burgess, Stewart T G; Fischer, Katja


    Scabies is one of the most common and widespread parasitic skin infections globally, affecting a large range of mammals including humans, yet the molecular biology of Sarcoptes scabiei is astonishingly understudied. Research has been hampered primarily due to the difficulty of sampling or culturing these obligatory parasitic mites. A further and major impediment to identify and functionally analyse potential therapeutic targets from the recently emerging molecular databases is the lack of appropriate molecular tools. We performed standard BLAST based searches of the existing S. scabiei genome databases using sequences of genes described to be involved in RNA interference in Drosophila and the mite model organism Tetranychus urticae. Experimenting with the S. scabiei mu-class glutathione S-transferase (SsGST-mu1) as a candidate gene we explored the feasibility of gene knockdown in S. scabiei by double-stranded RNA-interference (dsRNAi). We provide here an analysis of the existing S. scabiei draft genomes, confirming the presence of a double stranded RNA (dsRNA) - mediated silencing machinery. We report for the first time experimental gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi) in S. scabiei. Non-invasive immersion of S. scabiei in dsRNA encoding an S. scabiei glutathione S-transferase mu-class 1 enzyme (SsGST-mu1) resulted in a 35% reduction in the transcription of the target gene compared to controls. A series of experiments identified the optimal conditions allowing systemic experimental RNAi without detrimental side effects on mite viability. This technique can now be used to address the key questions on the fundamental aspects of mite biology and pathogenesis, and to assess the potential therapeutic benefits of silencing S. scabiei target genes.

  3. PG545 enhances anti-cancer activity of chemotherapy in ovarian models and increases surrogate biomarkers such as VEGF in preclinical and clinical plasma samples. (United States)

    Winterhoff, Boris; Freyer, Luisa; Hammond, Edward; Giri, Shailendra; Mondal, Susmita; Roy, Debarshi; Teoman, Attila; Mullany, Sally A; Hoffmann, Robert; von Bismarck, Antonia; Chien, Jeremy; Block, Matthew S; Millward, Michael; Bampton, Darryn; Dredge, Keith; Shridhar, Viji


    Despite the utility of antiangiogenic drugs in ovarian cancer, efficacy remains limited due to resistance linked to alternate angiogenic pathways and metastasis. Therefore, we investigated PG545, an anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic agent which is currently in Phase I clinical trials, using preclinical models of ovarian cancer. PG545's anti-cancer activity was investigated in vitro and in vivo as a single agent, and in combination with paclitaxel, cisplatin or carboplatin using various ovarian cancer cell lines and tumour models. PG545, alone, or in combination with chemotherapeutics, inhibited proliferation of ovarian cancer cells, demonstrating synergy with paclitaxel in A2780 cells. PG545 inhibited growth factor-mediated cell migration and reduced HB-EGF-induced phosphorylation of ERK, AKT and EGFR in vitro and significantly reduced tumour burden which was enhanced when combined with paclitaxel in an A2780 model or carboplatin in a SKOV-3 model. Moreover, in the immunocompetent ID8 model, PG545 also significantly reduced ascites in vivo. In the A2780 maintenance model, PG545 initiated with, and following paclitaxel and cisplatin treatment, significantly improved overall survival. PG545 increased plasma VEGF levels (and other targets) in preclinical models and in a small cohort of advanced cancer patients which might represent a potential biomarker of response. Our results support clinical testing of PG545, particularly in combination with paclitaxel, as a novel therapeutic strategy for ovarian cancer. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Activated Microglia Targeting Dendrimer-Minocycline Conjugate as Therapeutics for Neuroinflammation. (United States)

    Sharma, Rishi; Kim, Soo-Young; Sharma, Anjali; Zhang, Zhi; Kambhampati, Siva Pramodh; Kannan, Sujatha; Kannan, Rangaramanujam M


    Brain-related disorders have outmatched cancer and cardiovascular diseases worldwide as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The lack of effective therapies and the relatively dry central nervous system (CNS) drug pipeline pose formidable challenge. Superior, targeted delivery of current clinically approved drugs may offer significant potential. Minocycline has shown promise for the treatment of neurological diseases owing to its ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and potency. Despite its potential in the clinic and in preclinical models, the high doses needed to affect a positive therapeutic response have led to side effects. Targeted delivery of minocycline to the injured site and injured cells in the brain can be highly beneficial. Systemically administered hydroxyl poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) generation-6 (G6) dendrimers have a longer blood circulation time and have been shown to cross the impaired BBB. We have successfully prepared and characterized the in vitro efficacy and in vivo targeting ability of hydroxyl-G6 PAMAM dendrimer-9-amino-minocycline conjugate (D-mino). Minocycline is a challenging drug to carry out chemical transformations due to its inherent instability. We used a combination of a highly efficient and mild copper catalyzed azide-alkyne click reaction (CuAAC) along with microwave energy to conjugate 9-amino-minocycline (mino) to the dendrimer surface via enzyme responsive linkages. D-mino was further evaluated for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity in lipopolysaccharides-activated murine microglial cells. D-mino conjugates enhanced the intracellular availability of the drug due to their rapid uptake, suppressed inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) production, and reduced oxidative stress by suppressing nitric oxide production, all significantly better than the free drug. Fluorescently labeled dendrimer conjugate (Cy5-D-mino) was systematically administered (intravenous, 55 mg/kg) on postnatal

  5. The sigma-2 receptor as a therapeutic target for drug delivery in triple negative breast cancer

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    Makvandi, Mehran; Tilahun, Estifanos D.; Lieberman, Brian P.; Anderson, Redmond-Craig; Zeng, Chenbo; Xu, Kuiying; Hou, Catherine; McDonald, Elizabeth S.; Pryma, Daniel A.; Mach, Robert H., E-mail:


    Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with high relapse rates and increased mortality when compared with other breast cancer subtypes. In contrast to receptor positive breast cancers, there are no approved targeted therapies for TNBC. Identifying biomarkers for TNBC is of high importance for the advancement of patient care. The sigma-2 receptor has been shown to be overexpressed in triple negative breast cancer in vivo and has been characterized as a marker of proliferation. The aim of the present study was to define the sigma-2 receptor as a target for therapeutic drug delivery and biomarker in TNBC. Methods: Three TNBC cell lines were evaluated: MDA-MB-231, HCC1937 and HCC1806. Sigma-2 compounds were tested for pharmacological properties specific to the sigma-2 receptor through competitive inhibition assays. Sigma-2 receptor expression was measured through radioligand receptor saturation studies. Drug sensitivity for taxol was compared to a sigma-2 targeting compound conjugated to a cytotoxic payload, SW IV-134. Cell viability was assessed after treatments for 2 or 48 h. Sigma-2 blockade was assessed to define sigma-2 mediated cytotoxicity of SW IV-134. Caspase 3/7 activation induced by SW IV-134 was measured at corresponding treatment time points. Results: SW IV-134 was the most potent compound tested in two of the three cell lines and was similarly effective in all three. MDA-MB-231 displayed a statistically significant higher sigma-2 receptor expression and also was the most sensitive cell line evaluated to SW IV-134. Conclusion: Targeting the sigma-2 receptor with a cytotoxic payload was effective in all the three cell lines evaluated and provides the proof of concept for future development of a therapeutic platform for the treatment of TNBC. - Highlights: • TNBC cells are sensitive to sigma-2 receptor targeted drug conjugate SW IV-134. • MDA-MB-231 displayed the highest amount of sigma-2 receptors and corresponded well with

  6. Gene therapy-mediated delivery of targeted cytotoxins for glioma therapeutics. (United States)

    Candolfi, Marianela; Xiong, Weidong; Yagiz, Kader; Liu, Chunyan; Muhammad, A K M G; Puntel, Mariana; Foulad, David; Zadmehr, Ali; Ahlzadeh, Gabrielle E; Kroeger, Kurt M; Tesarfreund, Matthew; Lee, Sharon; Debinski, Waldemar; Sareen, Dhruv; Svendsen, Clive N; Rodriguez, Ron; Lowenstein, Pedro R; Castro, Maria G


    Restricting the cytotoxicity of anticancer agents by targeting receptors exclusively expressed on tumor cells is critical when treating infiltrative brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBMs express an IL-13 receptor (IL13Rα2) that differs from the physiological IL4R/IL13R receptor. We developed a regulatable adenoviral vector (Ad.mhIL-4.TRE.mhIL-13-PE) encoding a mutated human IL-13 fused to Pseudomonas exotoxin (mhIL-13-PE) that specifically binds to IL13Rα2 to provide sustained expression, effective anti-GBM cytotoxicity, and minimal neurotoxicity. The therapeutic Ad also encodes mutated human IL-4 that binds to the physiological IL4R/IL13R without interacting with IL13Rα2, thus inhibiting potential binding of mhIL-13-PE to normal brain cells. Using intracranial GBM xenografts and syngeneic mouse models, we tested the Ad.mhIL-4.TRE.mhIL-13-PE and two protein formulations, hIL-13-PE used in clinical trials (Cintredekin Besudotox) and a second-generation mhIL-13-PE. Cintredekin Besudotox doubled median survival without eliciting long-term survival and caused severe neurotoxicity; mhIL-13-PE led to ∼40% long-term survival, eliciting severe neurological toxicity at the high dose tested. In contrast, Ad-mediated delivery of mhIL-13-PE led to tumor regression and long-term survival in over 70% of the animals, without causing apparent neurotoxicity. Although Cintredekin Besudotox was originally developed to target GBM, when tested in a phase III trial it failed to achieve clinical endpoints and revealed neurotoxicity. Limitations of Cintredekin Besudotox include its short half-life, which demanded frequent or continued administration, and binding to IL4R/IL13R, present in normal brain cells. These shortcomings were overcome by our therapeutic Ad, thus representing a significant advance in the development of targeted therapeutics for GBM.

  7. Off-Target Function of the Sonic-Hedgehog Inhibitor Cyclopamine in Mediating Apoptosis via Nitric Oxide-Dependent Neutral Sphingomyelinase 2/Ceramide Induction


    Meyers-Needham, Marisa; Lewis, Jocelyn A.; Gencer, Salih; Sentelle, R. David; Saddoughi, Sahar A.; Clarke, Christopher J.; Hannun, Yusuf A.; Norell, Haakan; da Palma, Telma Martins; Nishimura, Michael; Kraveka, Jacqueline M.; Khavandgar, Zohreh; Murshed, Monzur; Cevik, M. Ozgur; Ogretmen, Besim


    Sonic hedgehog (SHh) signaling is important in the pathogenesis of various human cancers, such as medulloblastomas, and it has been identified as a valid target for anti-cancer therapeutics. The SHh inhibitor cyclopamine induces apoptosis. The bioactive sphingolipid ceramide mediates cell death in response to various chemotherapeutic agents; however, ceramide’s roles/mechanisms in cyclopamine-induced apoptosis are unknown. Here, we report that cyclopamine mediates ceramide generation selectiv...

  8. Identification of anaplastic lymphoma kinase as a potential therapeutic target in Basal Cell Carcinoma. (United States)

    Ning, Hanna; Mitsui, Hiroshi; Wang, Claire Q F; Suárez-Fariñas, Mayte; Gonzalez, Juana; Shah, Kejal R; Chen, Jie; Coats, Israel; Felsen, Diane; Carucci, John A; Krueger, James G


    The pathogenesis of BCC is associated with sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling. Vismodegib, a smoothened inhibitor that targets this pathway, is now in clinical use for advanced BCC patients, but its efficacy is limited. Therefore, new therapeutic options for this cancer are required. We studied gene expression profiling of BCC tumour tissues coupled with laser capture microdissection to identify tumour specific receptor tyrosine kinase expression that can be targeted by small molecule inhibitors. We found a >250 fold increase (FDRskin was observed by immunohistochemistry. Crizotinib, an FDA-approved ALK inhibitor, reduced keratinocyte proliferation in culture, whereas a c-Met inhibitor did not. Crizotinib significantly reduced the expression of GLI1 and CCND2 (members of SHH-pathway) mRNA by approximately 60% and 20%, respectively (p<0.01). Our data suggest that ALK may increase GLI1 expression in parallel with the conventional SHH-pathway and promote keratinocyte proliferation. Hence, an ALK inhibitor alone or in combination with targeting SHH-pathway molecules may be a potential treatment for BCC patients.

  9. The In-flow Capture of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles for Targeting of Gene Therapeutics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Darton, N. J.; Hallmark, B.; Han, X.; Palit, S.; Mackley, M. R.; Slater, N. K. H.; Darling, D.; Farzaneh, F.


    Superparamagnetic magnetite nanoparticles have been synthesised and used for in-flow capture experiments in vitro to provide a better understanding of the physical principles that underlie magnetic directed therapy. Experimental observations and modeling work have enabled initial refinement of magnetic targeting strategies and superparamagnetic nanoparticle properties for different therapeutic targeting requirements. It has been discovered that 330 nm and 580 nm agglomerates of 10 nm magnetite cores can be captured with a 0.5 T magnet in flows of up to 0.35 mlmin -1 in 410 μm diameter microcapillaries. These flows are typical of blood flow rates found in venules and arterioles in the human cardiovascular system. Further analysis of the data obtained from in-flow capture of superparamagnetic nanoparticles has enabled an initial model to be created, which can be used to estimate the steady state layer thickness of captured superparamagnetic nanoparticles and therefore capillary occlusion at the target site. This work provides the basis for future optimisation of a completely in vitro system for testing magnetic directed therapy, enabling data to be provided for preclinical trials

  10. Therapeutic potential of targeting cell division cycle associated 5 for oral squamous cell carcinoma. (United States)

    Tokuzen, Norihiko; Nakashiro, Koh-ichi; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Iwamoto, Kazuki; Hamakawa, Hiroyuki


    Molecularly targeted drugs are used in the treatment of a variety of malignant tumors, but this approach to developing novel therapies for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has lagged behind the progress seen for other cancers. We have attempted to find appropriate molecular targets for OSCC and identified cell division cycle associated 5 (CDCA5) as a cancer-related gene which was overexpressed in all the human OSCC cells tested by microarray analysis. In this study, we investigated the expression and function of CDCA5 in OSCC. First, we confirmed that CDCA5 was overexpressed in 4 human OSCC cell lines by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. We then tested the effect of synthetic small interfering RNAs specific for CDCA5 on the growth and invasion of human OSCC cells. Knockdown of CDCA5 markedly inhibited the growth of OSCC cells in vitro and in vivo. We also examined the expression of CDCA5 protein in 80 cases of OSCC immunohistochemically and found a significant association between CDCA5 expression levels and overall survival. These results suggest that CDCA5 functions as a critical gene supporting OSCC progression and that targeting CDCA5 may be a useful therapeutic strategy for OSCC.

  11. The therapeutic potential of targeting ABC transporters to combat multi-drug resistance. (United States)

    Bugde, Piyush; Biswas, Riya; Merien, Fabrice; Lu, Jun; Liu, Dong-Xu; Chen, Mingwei; Zhou, Shufeng; Li, Yan


    Most disseminated cancers remain fatal despite the availability of a variety of conventional and novel treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and biologically targeted therapy. A major factor responsible for the failure of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer is the development of multidrug resistance (MDR). The overexpression of various ABC transporters in cancer cells can efficiently remove the anticancer drug from the cell, thus causing the drug to lose its effect. Areas covered: In this review, we summarised the ongoing research related to the mechanism, function, and regulation of ABC transporters. We integrated our current knowledge at different levels from molecular biology to clinical trials. We also discussed potential therapeutic strategies of targeting ABC transporters to reverse MDR in cancer cells. Expert opinion: Involvement of various ABC transporters to cancer MDR lays the foundation for developing tailored therapies that can overcome MDR. An ideal MDR reversal agent should have broad-spectrum ABC-transporter inhibitory activity, be potent, have good pharmacokinetics, have no trans-stimulation effects, and have low or no toxicity. Alternatively, nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems containing both the cytotoxic drug and reversing agent may represent a useful approach to reversing MDR with minimal off-target toxicity.

  12. Novel Therapeutic Targets and Drug Candidates for Modifying Disease Progression in Adrenoleukodystrophy. (United States)

    Pujol, Aurora


    X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is the most frequent inherited monogenic demyelinating disease. It is often lethal and currently lacks a satisfactory therapy. The disease is caused by loss of function of the ABCD1 gene, a peroxisomal ATP-binding cassette transporter, resulting in the accumulation of very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA) in organs and plasma. Recent findings on pathomechanisms of the peroxisomal neurometabolic disease X-ALD have provided important clues on therapeutic targets. Here we describe the impact of chronic redox imbalance caused by the excess VLCFA on mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration, and explore the consequences on the protein quality control systems essential for cell survival, such as the proteasome and autophagic flux. Defective proteostasis, together with mitochondrial malfunction, is a hallmark of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and of the aging process. Thus, we discuss molecular targets and emerging treatment options that may be common to both multifactorial neurodegenerative disorders and X-ALD. New-generation antioxidants, some of them mitochondrial targeted, mitochondrial biogenesis boosters such as pioglitazone and resveratrol, and the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus hold promise as disease-modifying therapies. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. TRP channels as targets for therapeutic intervention in obesity: focus on TRPV1 and TRPM5. (United States)

    Palmer, R Kyle; Lunn, Charles A


    The disease of obesity is one of the greatest healthcare challenges of our time. The increasing urgency for effective treatment is driving an intensive search for new targets for anti-obesity drug discovery. The TRP channel super family represents a class of proteins now recognized to serve many functions in physiology related to maintenance of health and the development of diseases. A few of these might offer new potential for therapeutic intervention in obesity. Among the TRP channels, TRPV1 appears most closely associated with body weight homeostasis through its influence on energy expenditure. TRPM5 has been thoroughly characterized as a critical component of taste signaling and recently has been implicated in insulin release. Because of its role in taste signaling, we argue that drugs designed to modulate TRPM5 could be useful in controlling energy consumption by impacting taste sensory signals. As drug targets for obesity, both TRPV1 and TRPM5 offer the advantage of operating in compartments that could limit drug distribution to the site of action. The potential for other TRP channels as anti-obesity drug targets also is discussed.

  14. Epigenetic targeting in acute myeloid leukemia: use of flow cytometry in monitoring therapeutic effects. (United States)

    Ryningen, Anita; Bruserud, Øystein


    Flow cytometric techniques have emerged as a powerful tool in hematology allowing fast, sensitive and reproducible multi-parametric analyses at the single cell level of heterogeneous samples. Small subsets of cells can be studied with high degree of accuracy, and a broad and constantly increasing specter of antibodies is available. Flow cytometry has therefore become the method of choice for evaluation of therapeutic effects at single cell level. These methodological approaches can easily be used to study hematological malignancies, and the future use of this strategy in other malignancies will depend on the development of laboratory techniques to prepare suspensions of viable cells also from tumor biopsies. The selection of biological parameters for evaluation of treatment effects should probably be based on (i) molecular markers involved in cancer-associated genetic abnormalities; (ii) other molecular markers showing altered expression in the malignant cells and thought to be involved in leukemogenesis or having a prognostic impact; (ii) functional assays known to reflect biological characteristics that are important in carcinogenesis (e.g. cell cycle distribution, functional evaluation of apoptosis regulation). These molecules will in addition often represent the therapeutic targets when new anticancer drugs are developed. In this review we use treatment of acute myeloid leukemia with histone deacetylase inhibitors as an example. Based on the criteria mentioned above we suggest that the monitoring of therapeutic effects on the cancer cells in these patients should include differentiation status, histone acetylation, cell cycle distribution, pro- and anti-apoptotic signaling balance and intracellular levels of various transcription factors.

  15. Targeting breast to brain metastatic tumours with death receptor ligand expressing therapeutic stem cells. (United States)

    Bagci-Onder, Tugba; Du, Wanlu; Figueiredo, Jose-Luiz; Martinez-Quintanilla, Jordi; Shah, Khalid


    Characterizing clinically relevant brain metastasis models and assessing the therapeutic efficacy in such models are fundamental for the development of novel therapies for metastatic brain cancers. In this study, we have developed an in vivo imageable breast-to-brain metastasis mouse model. Using real time in vivo imaging and subsequent composite fluorescence imaging, we show a widespread distribution of micro- and macro-metastasis in different stages of metastatic progression. We also show extravasation of tumour cells and the close association of tumour cells with blood vessels in the brain thus mimicking the multi-foci metastases observed in the clinics. Next, we explored the ability of engineered adult stem cells to track metastatic deposits in this model and show that engineered stem cells either implanted or injected via circulation efficiently home to metastatic tumour deposits in the brain. Based on the recent findings that metastatic tumour cells adopt unique mechanisms of evading apoptosis to successfully colonize in the brain, we reasoned that TNF receptor superfamily member 10A/10B apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) based pro-apoptotic therapies that induce death receptor signalling within the metastatic tumour cells might be a favourable therapeutic approach. We engineered stem cells to express a tumour selective, potent and secretable variant of a TRAIL, S-TRAIL, and show that these cells significantly suppressed metastatic tumour growth and prolonged the survival of mice bearing metastatic breast tumours. Furthermore, the incorporation of pro-drug converting enzyme, herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase, into therapeutic S-TRAIL secreting stem cells allowed their eradication post-tumour treatment. These studies are the first of their kind that provide insight into targeting brain metastasis with stem-cell mediated delivery of pro-apoptotic ligands and have important clinical implications. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on

  16. Targeting Specific HATs for Neurodegenerative Disease Treatment: Translating Basic Biology to Therapeutic Possibilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheila K. Pirooznia


    Full Text Available Dynamic epigenetic regulation of neurons is emerging as a fundamental mechanism by which neurons adapt their transcriptional responses to specific developmental and environmental cues. While defects within the neural epigenome have traditionally been studied in the context of early developmental and heritable cognitive disorders, recent studies point to aberrant histone acetylation status as a key mechanism underlying acquired inappropriate alterations of genome structure and function in post-mitotic neurons during the aging process. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly evident that chromatin acetylation status can be impaired during the lifetime of neurons through mechanisms related to loss of function of histone acetyltransferase (HATs activity. Several HATs have been shown to participate in vital neuronal functions such as regulation of neuronal plasticity and memory formation. As such, dysregulation of such HATs has been implicated in the pathogenesis associated with age-associated neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline. In order to counteract the loss of HAT function in neurodegenerative diseases, the current therapeutic strategies involve the use of small molecules called histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitors that antagonize HDAC activity and thus enhance acetylation levels. Although this strategy has displayed promising therapeutic effects, currently used HDAC inhibitors lack target specificity, raising concerns about their applicability. With rapidly evolving literature on HATs and their respective functions in mediating neuronal survival and higher order brain function such as learning and memory, modulating the function of specific HATs holds new promises as a therapeutic tool in neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we focus on the recent progress in research regarding epigenetic histone acetylation mechanisms underlying neuronal activity and cognitive function. We discuss the current understanding of specific HDACs and

  17. Brain Insulin Resistance and Deficiency as Therapeutic Targets in Alzheimer's Disease (United States)

    de la Monte, Suzanne M


    Alzheimer's disease [AD] is the most common cause of dementia in North America. Despite 30+ years of intense investigation, the field lacks consensus regarding the etiology and pathogenesis of sporadic AD, and therefore we still do not know the best strategies for treating and preventing this debilitating and costly disease. However, growing evidence supports the concept that AD is fundamentally a metabolic disease with substantial and progressive derangements in brain glucose utilization and responsiveness to insulin and insulin-like growth factor [IGF] stimulation. Moreover, AD is now recognized to be heterogeneous in nature, and not solely the end-product of aberrantly processed, misfolded, and aggregated oligomeric amyloid-beta peptides and hyperphosphorylated tau. Other factors, including impairments in energy metabolism, increased oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin and IGF resistance, and insulin/IGF deficiency in the brain should be incorporated into all equations used to develop diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to AD. Herein, the contributions of impaired insulin and IGF signaling to AD-associated neuronal loss, synaptic disconnection, tau hyperphosphorylation, amyloid-beta accumulation, and impaired energy metabolism are reviewed. In addition, we discuss current therapeutic strategies and suggest additional approaches based on the hypothesis that AD is principally a metabolic disease similar to diabetes mellitus. Ultimately, our ability to effectively detect, monitor, treat, and prevent AD will require more efficient, accurate and integrative diagnostic tools that utilize clinical, neuroimaging, biochemical, and molecular biomarker data. Finally, it is imperative that future therapeutic strategies for AD abandon the concept of uni-modal therapy in favor of multi-modal treatments that target distinct impairments at different levels within the brain insulin/IGF signaling cascades. PMID:22329651

  18. HDAC6 is a therapeutic target in mutant GARS-induced Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. (United States)

    Benoy, Veronick; Van Helleputte, Lawrence; Prior, Robert; d'Ydewalle, Constantin; Haeck, Wanda; Geens, Natasja; Scheveneels, Wendy; Schevenels, Begga; Cader, M Zameel; Talbot, Kevin; Kozikowski, Alan P; Vanden Berghe, Pieter; Van Damme, Philip; Robberecht, Wim; Van Den Bosch, Ludo


    Peripheral nerve axons require a well-organized axonal microtubule network for efficient transport to ensure the constant crosstalk between soma and synapse. Mutations in more than 80 different genes cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which is the most common inherited disorder affecting peripheral nerves. This genetic heterogeneity has hampered the development of therapeutics for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. The aim of this study was to explore whether histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) can serve as a therapeutic target focusing on the mutant glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GlyRS/GARS)-induced peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral nerves and dorsal root ganglia from the C201R mutant Gars mouse model showed reduced acetylated α-tubulin levels. In primary dorsal root ganglion neurons, mutant GlyRS affected neurite length and disrupted normal mitochondrial transport. We demonstrated that GlyRS co-immunoprecipitated with HDAC6 and that this interaction was blocked by tubastatin A, a selective inhibitor of the deacetylating function of HDAC6. Moreover, HDAC6 inhibition restored mitochondrial axonal transport in mutant GlyRS-expressing neurons. Systemic delivery of a specific HDAC6 inhibitor increased α-tubulin acetylation in peripheral nerves and partially restored nerve conduction and motor behaviour in mutant Gars mice. Our study demonstrates that α-tubulin deacetylation and disrupted axonal transport may represent a common pathogenic mechanism underlying Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and it broadens the therapeutic potential of selective HDAC6 inhibition to other genetic forms of axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. © The Author(s) (2018). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

  19. [Molecular mechanism regulating effect of anti-cancer agents]. (United States)

    Saya, Hideyuki


    Faithful genome duplication is achieved by accurate coordination between DNA replication and chromosome segregation. Abnormalities occurring in this process are checked by biochemical signal transduction pathways, called checkpoints, which ensure the orderly progression of events in the cell cycle. Checkpoints prevent transition into subsequent phases until all processes in the previous phase are completed. Defects in cell cycle checkpoints result in gene mutations, chromosome damage, and aneuploidy, all of which contribute to tumorigenesis. However, it has recently been uncovered that the impairment of checkpoint function is the major reason why DNA damaging anti-cancer agents can selectively kill cancer cells. Given that G1 and G2 checkpoint functions are generally impaired in cancer cells, cells with DNA damage are unable to maintain G2 arrest and eventually die as they enter mitosis. This process is known as mitotic catastrophe.

  20. New therapeutic targets in the management of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (United States)

    Sverrisson, Einar F; Espiritu, Patrick N; Spiess, Philippe E


    Urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, despite the myriad of treatment approaches and our progressively increasing knowledge into its disease processes, remains one of the most clinically challenging problems in modern urological clinical practice. New therapies target biomolecular pathways and cellular mediators responsible for regulating cell growth and metabolism, both of which are frequently overexpressed in malignant urothelial cells, with the intent of inducing cell death by limiting cellular metabolism and growth, creating an immune response, or selectively delivering or activating a cytotoxic agent. These new and novel therapies may offer a potential for reduced toxicity and an encouraging hope for better treatment outcomes, particularly for a disease often refractory or not amenable to the current therapeutic approaches. PMID:24400235

  1. RORα, a Potential Tumor Suppressor and Therapeutic Target of Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Du


    Full Text Available The function of the nuclear receptor (NR in breast cancer progression has been investigated for decades. The majority of the nuclear receptors have well characterized natural ligands, but a few of them are orphan receptors for which no ligand has been identified. RORα, one member of the retinoid orphan nuclear receptor (ROR subfamily of orphan receptors, regulates various cellular and pathological activities. RORα is commonly down-regulated and/or hypoactivated in breast cancer compared to normal mammary tissue. Expression of RORα suppresses malignant phenotypes in breast cancer cells, in vitro and in vivo. Activity of RORα can be categorized into the canonical and non-canonical nuclear receptor pathways, which in turn regulate various breast cancer cellular function, including cell proliferation, apoptosis and invasion. This information suggests that RORα is a potent tumor suppressor and a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer.

  2. IRAK1 is a therapeutic target that drives breast cancer metastasis and resistance to paclitaxel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wee, Zhen Ning; Yatim, Siti Maryam J M; Kohlbauer, Vera K


    it acts to drive aggressive growth, metastasis and acquired resistance to paclitaxel treatment. We show that IRAK1 overexpression confers TNBC growth advantage through NF-κB-related cytokine secretion and metastatic TNBC cells exhibit gain of IRAK1 dependency, resulting in high susceptibility to genetic...... and pharmacologic inhibition of IRAK1. Importantly, paclitaxel treatment induces strong IRAK1 phosphorylation, an increase in inflammatory cytokine expression, enrichment of cancer stem cells and acquired resistance to paclitaxel treatment. Pharmacologic inhibition of IRAK1 is able to reverse paclitaxel resistance...... by triggering massive apoptosis at least in part through inhibiting p38-MCL1 pro-survival pathway. Our study thus demonstrates IRAK1 as a promising therapeutic target for TNBC metastasis and paclitaxel resistance....

  3. Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease: different molecular targets and potential therapeutic agents including curcumin. (United States)

    Ray, Balmiki; Lahiri, Debomoy K


    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder of the elderly. Deposition of amyloid beta plaque and associated neuroinflammation are the major hallmarks of AD. Whereas reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activated microglial cells contribute to neuronal loss, nuclear factor kappaB and apolipoprotein E participate in inflammatory process of AD. Current FDA approved drugs provide only symptomatic relief in AD. For broad spectrum of activity, some natural products are also being tested. Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory medicine in various regions of Asia. Curcumin, which is a yellow colored polyphenol compound present in turmeric, showed anti-inflammatory properties. Herein, we discuss the neurobiological and neuroinflammatory pathways of AD, evaluate different molecular targets and potential therapeutic agents, including curcumin, for the treatment of AD.

  4. p53, SKP2 and DKK3 as MYCN target genes and their potential therapeutic significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindi eChen


    Full Text Available Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumour of childhood. Despite significant advances, it currently still remains one of the most difficult childhood cancers to cure, with less than 40% of patients with high-risk disease being long-term survivors. MYCN is a proto-oncogene implicated to be directly involved in neuroblastoma development. Amplification of MYCN is associated with rapid tumour progression and poor prognosis. Novel therapeutic strategies which can improve the survival rates whilst reducing the toxicity in these patients are therefore required. Here we discuss genes regulated by MYCN in neuroblastoma, with particular reference to p53, SKP2 and DKK3 and strategies that may be employed to target them.

  5. Therapeutic potential of mGluR5 targeting in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil eKumar


    Full Text Available Decades of research dedicated towards Alzheimer's disease (AD has culminated in much of the current understanding of the neurodegeneration associated with disease. However, delineating the pathophysiology and finding a possible cure for the disease is still wanting. This is in part due to the lack of knowledge pertaining to the connecting link between neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory pathways. Consequently, the inefficacy and ill-effects of the drugs currently available for AD encourage the need for alternative and safe therapeutic intervention. In this review we highlight the potential of mGluR5, a metabotropic glutamatergic receptor, in understanding the mechanism underlying the neuronal death and neuroinflammation in AD. We also discuss the role of mGlu5 receptor in mediating the neuron-glia interaction in the disease. Finally, we discuss the potential of mGluR5 as target for treating AD.

  6. Potentials of Long Noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs in Sarcoma: From Biomarkers to Therapeutic Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Min


    Full Text Available Sarcoma includes some of the most heterogeneous tumors, which make the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of these rare yet diverse neoplasms especially challenging. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs are important regulators of cancer initiation and progression, which implies their potential as neoteric prognostic and diagnostic markers in cancer, including sarcoma. A relationship between lncRNAs and sarcoma pathogenesis and progression is emerging. Recent studies demonstrate that lncRNAs influence sarcoma cell proliferation, metastasis, and drug resistance. Additionally, lncRNA expression profiles are predictive of sarcoma prognosis. In this review, we summarize contemporary advances in the research of lncRNA biogenesis and functions in sarcoma. We also highlight the potential for lncRNAs to become innovative diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets in sarcoma.

  7. Predictive Biomarkers in Colorectal Cancer: From the Single Therapeutic Target to a Plethora of Options

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Rodrigues


    Full Text Available Colorectal cancer (CRC is one of the most frequent cancers and is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Treatments used for CRC may include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The current standard drugs used in chemotherapy are 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin in combination with irinotecan and/or oxaliplatin. Most recently, biologic agents have been proven to have therapeutic benefits in metastatic CRC alone or in association with standard chemotherapy. However, patients present different treatment responses, in terms of efficacy and toxicity; therefore, it is important to identify biological markers that can predict the response to therapy and help select patients that would benefit from specific regimens. In this paper, authors review CRC genetic markers that could be useful in predicting the sensitivity/resistance to chemotherapy.

  8. Galectins in hematological malignancies – role, functions and potential therapeutic targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Wdowiak


    Full Text Available Galectins are a family of lectins characterized by an affinity for β – galactosides through the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD. The extracellular and intracellular presence of Galectins has been described. Their activity and functions are mainly attributed to cell type. The tumor microenviroment is a complex milieu connected with immunosupression, angiogenesis and hypoxic compartments. The studies of interactions between Glycans – Lectins are highly advanced and promising. We are not able to explain the pathogenesis of many diseases only by protein – protein interactions, that is why in these studies is a chance to find a new therapeutic targets. Galectins play a fundametal functions in tumor growth and progression, angiogenesis, adhesion, tumor immune – escape. They are also active in inflammation, fibrosis, organogenesis and immunological functions. The most known Galectin is Gal-3. Depending on the localization Gal-3 may exhibit either pro – apoptotic or anti – apoptotic activity. This publication presents role of Galectins in hematological malignancies and shows potencial prognostoic value and new therapeutic possibilities.

  9. The Emerging Role of HMGB1 in Neuropathic Pain: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Neuroinflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenbin Wan


    Full Text Available Neuropathic pain (NPP is intolerable, persistent, and specific type of long-term pain. It is considered to be a direct consequence of pathological changes affecting the somatosensory system and can be debilitating for affected patients. Despite recent progress and growing interest in understanding the pathogenesis of the disease, NPP still presents a major diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1 mediates inflammatory and immune reactions in nervous system and emerging evidence reveals that HMGB1 plays an essential role in neuroinflammation through receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLR, receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE, C-X-X motif chemokines receptor 4 (CXCR4, and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor. In this review, we present evidence from studies that address the role of HMGB1 in NPP. First, we review studies aimed at determining the role of HMGB1 in NPP and discuss the possible mechanisms underlying HMGB1-mediated NPP progression where receptors for HMGB1 are involved. Then we review studies that address HMGB1 as a potential therapeutic target for NPP.

  10. Targeting Microglial Activation States as a Therapeutic Avenue in Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sudhakar R. Subramaniam


    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is a chronic and progressive disorder characterized neuropathologically by loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra, intracellular proteinaceous inclusions, reduction of dopaminergic terminals in the striatum, and increased neuroinflammatory cells. The consequent reduction of dopamine in the basal ganglia results in the classical parkinsonian motor phenotype. A growing body of evidence suggest that neuroinflammation mediated by microglia, the resident macrophage-like immune cells in the brain, play a contributory role in PD pathogenesis. Microglia participate in both physiological and pathological conditions. In the former, microglia restore the integrity of the central nervous system and, in the latter, they promote disease progression. Microglia acquire different activation states to modulate these cellular functions. Upon activation to the M1 phenotype, microglia elaborate pro-inflammatory cytokines and neurotoxic molecules promoting inflammation and cytotoxic responses. In contrast, when adopting the M2 phenotype microglia secrete anti-inflammatory gene products and trophic factors that promote repair, regeneration, and restore homeostasis. Relatively little is known about the different microglial activation states in PD and a better understanding is essential for developing putative neuroprotective agents. Targeting microglial activation states by suppressing their deleterious pro-inflammatory neurotoxicity and/or simultaneously enhancing their beneficial anti-inflammatory protective functions appear as a valid therapeutic approach for PD treatment. In this review, we summarize microglial functions and, their dual neurotoxic and neuroprotective role in PD. We also review molecules that modulate microglial activation states as a therapeutic option for PD treatment.

  11. PCSK 9, a new therapeutic target for the control of hypercholesterolemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Antonio Fuentealba Leyton


    Full Text Available Hypercholesterolemia is produced not only by a sedentary lifestyle and nutritional disorders but also due to genetic factors that result in elevated serum lipids, mainly low-density lipoproteins associated cholesterol (LDL-C, contributing as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. A therapeutic diet and statins are the first line strategies aimed to reduce the levels of LDL-C in hypercholesterolemic patients. Nevertheless, statins are not devoid of side effects, or a lack of efficiency in some patients. The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9, a serine protease has been described recently to play an important role in the metabolism of LDL-C, favoring the degradation of its membrane receptor (LDLR in the hepatocyte. This makes PCSK9 an excellent therapeutic target for the control of LDL-C in hypercholesterolemic patients, reducing their cardiovascular risks. The best-characterized approach so far to control the activity PCSK9 has been the use of monoclonal antibodies. There have been several clinical trials that tested the use of anti-PCSK antibodies showing high effectivity in the control of serum LDL-C and minimal side effects. This review describes part of those studies and their results with the use of this new pharmaceutical that is still in development but shows tremendous potential

  12. Animal models and therapeutic molecular targets of cancer: utility and limitations. (United States)

    Cekanova, Maria; Rathore, Kusum


    Cancer is the term used to describe over 100 diseases that share several common hallmarks. Despite prevention, early detection, and novel therapies, cancer is still the second leading cause of death in the USA. Successful bench-to-bedside translation of basic scientific findings about cancer into therapeutic interventions for patients depends on the selection of appropriate animal experimental models. Cancer research uses animal and human cancer cell lines in vitro to study biochemical pathways in these cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the important animal models of cancer with focus on their advantages and limitations. Mouse cancer models are well known, and are frequently used for cancer research. Rodent models have revolutionized our ability to study gene and protein functions in vivo and to better understand their molecular pathways and mechanisms. Xenograft and chemically or genetically induced mouse cancers are the most commonly used rodent cancer models. Companion animals with spontaneous neoplasms are still an underexploited tool for making rapid advances in human and veterinary cancer therapies by testing new drugs and delivery systems that have shown promise in vitro and in vivo in mouse models. Companion animals have a relatively high incidence of cancers, with biological behavior, response to therapy, and response to cytotoxic agents similar to those in humans. Shorter overall lifespan and more rapid disease progression are factors contributing to the advantages of a companion animal model. In addition, the current focus is on discovering molecular targets for new therapeutic drugs to improve survival and quality of life in cancer patients.

  13. Adaptive Cellular Stress Pathways as Therapeutic Targets of Dietary Phytochemicals: Focus on the Nervous System (United States)

    Jo, Dong-Gyu; Park, Daeui; Chung, Hae Young


    During the past 5 decades, it has been widely promulgated that the chemicals in plants that are good for health act as direct scavengers of free radicals. Here we review evidence that favors a different hypothesis for the health benefits of plant consumption, namely, that some phytochemicals exert disease-preventive and therapeutic actions by engaging one or more adaptive cellular response pathways in cells. The evolutionary basis for the latter mechanism is grounded in the fact that plants produce natural antifeedant/noxious chemicals that discourage insects and other organisms from eating them. However, in the amounts typically consumed by humans, the phytochemicals activate one or more conserved adaptive cellular stress response pathways and thereby enhance the ability of cells to resist injury and disease. Examplesof such pathways include those involving the transcription factors nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2, nuclear factor-κB, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, and forkhead box subgroup O, as well as the production and action of trophic factors and hormones. Translational research to develop interventions that target these pathways may lead to new classes of therapeutic agents that act by stimulating adaptive stress response pathways to bolster endogenous defenses against tissue injury and disease. Because neurons are particularly sensitive to potentially noxious phytochemicals, we focus on the nervous system but also include findings from other cell types in which actions of phytochemicals on specific signal transduction pathways have been more thoroughly studied. PMID:24958636

  14. RNAi screen identifies Brd4 as a therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukaemia. (United States)

    Zuber, Johannes; Shi, Junwei; Wang, Eric; Rappaport, Amy R; Herrmann, Harald; Sison, Edward A; Magoon, Daniel; Qi, Jun; Blatt, Katharina; Wunderlich, Mark; Taylor, Meredith J; Johns, Christopher; Chicas, Agustin; Mulloy, James C; Kogan, Scott C; Brown, Patrick; Valent, Peter; Bradner, James E; Lowe, Scott W; Vakoc, Christopher R


    Epigenetic pathways can regulate gene expression by controlling and interpreting chromatin modifications. Cancer cells are characterized by altered epigenetic landscapes, and commonly exploit the chromatin regulatory machinery to enforce oncogenic gene expression programs. Although chromatin alterations are, in principle, reversible and often amenable to drug intervention, the promise of targeting such pathways therapeutically has been limited by an incomplete understanding of cancer-specific dependencies on epigenetic regulators. Here we describe a non-biased approach to probe epigenetic vulnerabilities in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), an aggressive haematopoietic malignancy that is often associated with aberrant chromatin states. By screening a custom library of small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting known chromatin regulators in a genetically defined AML mouse model, we identify the protein bromodomain-containing 4 (Brd4) as being critically required for disease maintenance. Suppression of Brd4 using shRNAs or the small-molecule inhibitor JQ1 led to robust antileukaemic effects in vitro and in vivo, accompanied by terminal myeloid differentiation and elimination of leukaemia stem cells. Similar sensitivities were observed in a variety of human AML cell lines and primary patient samples, revealing that JQ1 has broad activity in diverse AML subtypes. The effects of Brd4 suppression are, at least in part, due to its role in sustaining Myc expression to promote aberrant self-renewal, which implicates JQ1 as a pharmacological means to suppress MYC in cancer. Our results establish small-molecule inhibition of Brd4 as a promising therapeutic strategy in AML and, potentially, other cancers, and highlight the utility of RNA interference (RNAi) screening for revealing epigenetic vulnerabilities that can be exploited for direct pharmacological intervention.

  15. The molecular effect of metastasis suppressors on Src signaling and tumorigenesis: new therapeutic targets (United States)

    Liu, Wensheng; Kovacevic, Zaklina; Peng, Zhihai; Jin, Runsen; Wang, Puxiongzhi; Yue, Fei; Zheng, Minhua; Huang, Michael L-H.; Jansson, Patric J.; Richardson, Vera; Kalinowski, Danuta S.; Lane, Darius J.R.; Merlot, Angelica M.; Sahni, Sumit; Richardson, Des R.


    A major problem for cancer patients is the metastasis of cancer cells from the primary tumor. This involves: (1) migration through the basement membrane; (2) dissemination via the circulatory system; and (3) invasion into a secondary site. Metastasis suppressors, by definition, inhibit metastasis at any step of the metastatic cascade. Notably, Src is a non-receptor, cytoplasmic, tyrosine kinase, which becomes aberrantly activated in many cancer-types following stimulation of plasma membrane receptors (e.g., receptor tyrosine kinases and integrins). There is evidence of a prominent role of Src in tumor progression-related events such as the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the development of metastasis. However, the precise molecular interactions of Src with metastasis suppressors remain unclear. Herein, we review known metastasis suppressors and summarize recent advances in understanding the mechanisms of how these proteins inhibit metastasis through modulation of Src. Particular emphasis is bestowed on the potent metastasis suppressor, N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) and its interactions with the Src signaling cascade. Recent studies demonstrated a novel mechanism through which NDRG1 plays a significant role in regulating cancer cell migration by inhibiting Src activity. Moreover, we discuss the rationale for targeting metastasis suppressor genes as a sound therapeutic modality, and we review several examples from the literature where such strategies show promise. Collectively, this review summarizes the essential interactions of metastasis suppressors with Src and their effects on progression of cancer metastasis. Moreover, interesting unresolved issues regarding these proteins as well as their potential as therapeutic targets are also discussed. PMID:26431493

  16. Animal models and therapeutic molecular targets of cancer: utility and limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cekanova M


    Full Text Available Maria Cekanova, Kusum Rathore Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA Abstract: Cancer is the term used to describe over 100 diseases that share several common hallmarks. Despite prevention, early detection, and novel therapies, cancer is still the second leading cause of death in the USA. Successful bench-to-bedside translation of basic scientific findings about cancer into therapeutic interventions for patients depends on the selection of appropriate animal experimental models. Cancer research uses animal and human cancer cell lines in vitro to study biochemical pathways in these cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the important animal models of cancer with focus on their advantages and limitations. Mouse cancer models are well known, and are frequently used for cancer research. Rodent models have revolutionized our ability to study gene and protein functions in vivo and to better understand their molecular pathways and mechanisms. Xenograft and chemically or genetically induced mouse cancers are the most commonly used rodent cancer models. Companion animals with spontaneous neoplasms are still an underexploited tool for making rapid advances in human and veterinary cancer therapies by testing new drugs and delivery systems that have shown promise in vitro and in vivo in mouse models. Companion animals have a relatively high incidence of cancers, with biological behavior, response to therapy, and response to cytotoxic agents similar to those in humans. Shorter overall lifespan and more rapid disease progression are factors contributing to the advantages of a companion animal model. In addition, the current focus is on discovering molecular targets for new therapeutic drugs to improve survival and quality of life in cancer patients. Keywords: mouse cancer model, companion animal cancer model, dogs, cats, molecular targets

  17. ALK receptor activation, ligands and therapeutic targeting in glioblastoma and in other cancers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wellstein, Anton


    The intracellular anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fragment shows striking homology with members of the insulin receptor family and was initially identified as an oncogenic fusion protein resulting from a translocation in lymphoma and more recently in a range of cancers. The full-length ALK transmembrane receptor of ~220 kDa was identified based on this initial work. This tyrosine kinase receptor and its ligands, the growth factors pleiotrophin (PTN) and midkine (MK) are highly expressed during development of the nervous system and other organs. Each of these genes has been implicated in malignant progression of different tumor types and shown to alter phenotypes as well as signal transduction in cultured normal and tumor cells. Beyond its role in cancer, the ALK receptor pathway is thought to contribute to nervous system development, function, and repair, as well as metabolic homeostasis and the maintenance of tissue regeneration. ALK receptor activity in cancer can be up-regulated by amplification, overexpression, ligand binding, mutations in the intracellular domain of the receptor and by activity of the receptor tyrosine phosphatase PTPRz. Here we discuss the evidence for ligand control of ALK activity as well as the potential prognostic and therapeutic implications from gene expression and functional studies. An analysis of 18 published gene expression data sets from different cancers shows that overexpression of ALK, its smaller homolog LTK (leukocyte tyrosine kinase) and the ligands PTN and MK in cancer tissues from patients correlate significantly with worse course and outcome of the disease. This observation together with preclinical functional studies suggests that this pathway could be a valid therapeutic target for which complementary targeting strategies with small molecule kinase inhibitors as well as antibodies to ligands or the receptors may be used.

  18. Review of novel therapeutic targets for improving heart failure treatment based on experimental and clinical studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonsu KO


    Full Text Available Kwadwo Osei Bonsu,1,2 Isaac Kofi Owusu,3 Kwame Ohene Buabeng,4 Daniel Diamond Reidpath,1 Amudha Kadirvelu1 1School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Sunway Campus, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia; 2Accident and Emergency Directorate, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, 3Department of Medicine, 4Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana Abstract: Heart failure (HF is a major public health priority due to its epidemiological transition and the world’s aging population. HF is typified by continuous loss of contractile function with reduced, normal, or preserved ejection fraction, elevated vascular resistance, fluid and autonomic imbalance, and ventricular dilatation. Despite considerable advances in the treatment of HF over the past few decades, mortality remains substantial. Pharmacological treatments including β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and aldosterone antagonists have been proven to prolong the survival of patients with HF. However, there are still instances where patients remain symptomatic, despite optimal use of existing therapeutic agents. This understanding that patients with chronic HF progress into advanced stages despite receiving optimal treatment has increased the quest for alternatives, exploring the roles of additional pathways that contribute to the development and progression of HF. Several pharmacological targets associated with pathogenesis of HF have been identified and novel therapies have emerged. In this work, we review recent evidence from proposed mechanisms to the outcomes of experimental and clinical studies of the novel pharmacological agents that have emerged for the treatment of HF. Keywords: novel treatment, experimental and clinical studies, therapeutic targets, heart failure

  19. c-Met in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: an independent prognostic factor and potential therapeutic target

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozawa, Yohei; Nakamura, Yasuhiro; Fujishima, Fumiyoshi; Felizola, Saulo JA; Takeda, Kenichiro; Okamoto, Hiroshi; Ito, Ken; Ishida, Hirotaka; Konno, Takuro; Kamei, Takashi; Miyata, Go; Ohuchi, Noriaki; Sasano, Hironobu


    c-Met is widely known as a poor prognostic factor in various human malignancies. Previous studies have suggested the involvement of c-Met and/or its ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), but the correlation between c-Met status and clinical outcome remains unclear. Furthermore, the identification of a novel molecular therapeutic target might potentially help improve the clinical outcome of ESCC patients. The expression of c-Met and HGF was immunohistochemically assessed in 104 surgically obtained tissue specimens. The correlation between c-Met/HGF expression and patients’ clinicopathological features, including survival, was evaluated. We also investigated changes in cell functions and protein expression of c-Met and its downstream signaling pathway components under treatments with HGF and/or c-Met inhibitor in ESCC cell lines. Elevated expression of c-Met was significantly correlated with tumor depth and pathological stage. Patients with high c-Met expression had significantly worse survival. In addition, multivariate analysis identified the high expression of c-Met as an independent prognostic factor. Treatment with c-Met inhibitor under HGF stimulation significantly inhibited the invasive capacity of an ESCC cell line with elevated c-Met mRNA expression. Moreover, c-Met and its downstream signaling inactivation was also detected after treatment with c-Met inhibitor. The results of our study identified c-Met expression as an independent prognostic factor in ESCC patients and demonstrated that c-Met could be a potential molecular therapeutic target for the treatment of ESCC with elevated c-Met expression. The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1450-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users

  20. [Heart rate as a therapeutic target after acute coronary syndrome and in chronic coronary heart disease]. (United States)

    Ambrosetti, Marco; Scardina, Giuseppe; Favretto, Giuseppe; Temporelli, Pier Luigi; Faggiano, Pompilio Massimo; Greco, Cesare; Pedretti, Roberto Franco


    For patients with stable coronary artery disease (SCAD), either after hospitalization for acute cardiac events or in the chronic phase, comprehensive treatment programs should be devoted to: (i) reducing mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events, (ii) reducing the ischemic burden and related symptoms, and (iii) increasing exercise capacity and quality of life.Heart rate (HR) has demonstrated to have prognostic value and patients beyond the limit of 70 bpm display increased risk of all the above adverse outcomes, even after adjustment for parameters such as the extension of myocardial infarction and the presence of heart failure. It is well known that a sustained HR elevation may contribute to the pathogenesis of SCAD, being the likelihood of developing ischemia, plaque instability, trigger for arrhythmias, increased vascular oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction the mechanisms resulting in this effect. Moreover, high HR could promote chronotropic incompetence, leading to functional disability and reduced quality of life.Despite the strong relationship between HR and prognosis, there is heterogeneity among current guidelines in considering HR as a formal therapeutic target for secondary prevention in SCAD, as far as the cut-off limit. This expert opinion document considered major trials and observational registries in the modern treatment era with beta-blockers and ivabradine, suggesting that an adequate HR control could represent a target for (i), (ii), and (iii) therapeutic goals in SCAD patients with systolic dysfunction (with major evidence for reduced left ventricular ejection fraction SCAD patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction. The defined cut-off limit is 70 bpm. To date, there is room for improvement of HR control, since in contemporary SCAD patients HR values <70 bpm are present in less than half of cases, even in the vulnerable phase after an acute coronary syndrome.

  1. Integrative epigenomic analysis identifies biomarkers and therapeutic targets in adult B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia. (United States)

    Geng, Huimin; Brennan, Sarah; Milne, Thomas A; Chen, Wei-Yi; Li, Yushan; Hurtz, Christian; Kweon, Soo-Mi; Zickl, Lynette; Shojaee, Seyedmehdi; Neuberg, Donna; Huang, Chuanxin; Biswas, Debabrata; Xin, Yuan; Racevskis, Janis; Ketterling, Rhett P; Luger, Selina M; Lazarus, Hillard; Tallman, Martin S; Rowe, Jacob M; Litzow, Mark R; Guzman, Monica L; Allis, C David; Roeder, Robert G; Müschen, Markus; Paietta, Elisabeth; Elemento, Olivier; Melnick, Ari M


    Genetic lesions such as BCR-ABL1, E2A-PBX1, and MLL rearrangements (MLLr) are associated with unfavorable outcomes in adult B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Leukemia oncoproteins may directly or indirectly disrupt cytosine methylation patterning to mediate the malignant phenotype. We postulated that DNA methylation signatures in these aggressive B-ALLs would point toward disease mechanisms and useful biomarkers and therapeutic targets. We therefore conducted DNA methylation and gene expression profiling on a cohort of 215 adult patients with B-ALL enrolled in a single phase III clinical trial (ECOG E2993) and normal control B cells. In BCR-ABL1-positive B-ALLs, aberrant cytosine methylation patterning centered around a cytokine network defined by hypomethylation and overexpression of IL2RA(CD25). The E2993 trial clinical data showed that CD25 expression was strongly associated with a poor outcome in patients with ALL regardless of BCR-ABL1 status, suggesting CD25 as a novel prognostic biomarker for risk stratification in B-ALLs. In E2A-PBX1-positive B-ALLs, aberrant DNA methylation patterning was strongly associated with direct fusion protein binding as shown by the E2A-PBX1 chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing (ChIP-seq), suggesting that E2A-PBX1 fusion protein directly remodels the epigenome to impose an aggressive B-ALL phenotype. MLLr B-ALL featured prominent cytosine hypomethylation, which was linked with MLL fusion protein binding, H3K79 dimethylation, and transcriptional upregulation, affecting a set of known and newly identified MLL fusion direct targets with oncogenic activity such as FLT3 and BCL6. Notably, BCL6 blockade or loss of function suppressed proliferation and survival of MLLr leukemia cells, suggesting BCL6-targeted therapy as a new therapeutic strategy for MLLr B-ALLs. We conducted the first integrative epigenomic study in adult B-ALLs, as a correlative study to the ECOG E2993 phase III clinical trial. This

  2. Anti-cancer potential of a mix of natural extracts of turmeric, ginger and garlic: A cell-based study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satish Kumar Vemuri


    Full Text Available Cancer related morbidity and mortality is a major health care concern. Developing potent anti-cancer therapies which are non-toxic, sustainable and affordable is of alternative medicine. This study was designed to investigate the aqueous natural extracts mixture (NE mix prepared from common spices turmeric, ginger and garlic for its free radical scavenging potential and anti-cancer property against human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, ZR-75 and MDA-MB 231. Qualitative analysis of their bioactive constituents from turmeric, ginger and garlic were done using liquid chromatography-ESI- mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS. To the best of our knowledge, NE mix with and without Tamoxifen has not been tested for its anti-cancer potential. We observed that the NE mix induced apoptosis in all the breast cancer cell lines, but it was more prominent in MCF-7 and ZR-75 cell lines in comparison to MDA-MB 231 cell line. The extent of apoptosis due to combined treatment with NE mix-Tamoxifen was higher than Tamoxifen alone, indicating a potential role of the NE mix in sensitizing the ER-positive breast cancer cells towards Tamoxifen. In support to MTT assay, cell cycle analysis, our RT-PCR results also prove that the NE mix 10 μg, Tam 20 μg and combination of NE mix 10 μg-Tam 20 μg altered the expression of apoptotic markers (p53 and Caspase 9 leading to apoptosis in all three cell lines. Our data strongly indicate that our NE mixture is a potential alternative therapeutic approach in certain types of cancer. Keywords: Breast cancer, Antagonists, Natural extracts, Tamoxifen, Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, LC-ESI-MS/MS

  3. Recent insights into the molecular pathogenesis of Crohn's disease: a review of emerging therapeutic targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuc TE


    Full Text Available Teodora-Ecaterina M Manuc,1 Mircea M Manuc,2 Mircea M Diculescu2 1Fundeni Clinical Institute, 2University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol Davila", Bucharest, Romania Abstract: Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs are a subject of great interest in gastroenterology, due to a pathological mechanism that is difficult to explain and an optimal therapeutic approach still undiscovered. Crohn's disease (CD is one of the main entities in IBD, characterized by clinical polymorphism and great variability in the treatment response. Modern theories on the pathogenesis of CD have proven that gut microbiome and environmental factors lead to an abnormal immune response in a genetically predisposed patient. Genome-wide association studies in patients with CD worldwide revealed several genetic mutations that increase the risk of IBD and that predispose to a more severe course of disease. Gut microbiota is considered a compulsory and an essential part in the pathogenesis of CD. Intestinal dysmicrobism with excessive amounts of different bacterial strains can be found in all patients with IBD. The discovery of Escherichia coli entero-invasive on resection pieces in patients with CD now increases the likelihood of antimicrobial or vaccine-type treatments. Recent studies targeting intestinal immunology and its molecular activation pathways provide new possibilities for therapeutics. In addition to antitumor necrosis factor molecules, which were a breakthrough in IBD, improving mucosal healing and resection-free survival rate, other classes of therapeutic agents come to focus. Leukocyte adhesion inhibitors block the leukocyte homing mechanism and prevent cellular immune response. In addition to anti-integrin antibodies, chemokine receptor antagonists and SMAD7 antisense oligonucleotides have shown encouraging results in clinical trials. Micro-RNAs have demonstrated their role as disease biomarkers but it could also become useful for the treatment of IBD

  4. Ceramic core with polymer corona hybrid nanocarrier for the treatment of osteosarcoma with co-delivery of protein and anti-cancer drug (United States)

    Ram Prasad, S.; Sampath Kumar, T. S.; Jayakrishnan, A.


    For the treatment of metastatic bone cancer, local delivery of therapeutic agents is preferred compared to systemic administration. Delivery of an anti-cancer drug and a protein that helps in bone regeneration simultaneously is a challenging approach. In this study, a nanoparticulate carrier which delivers a protein and an anti-cancer drug is reported. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein was loaded into hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles (NPs) and methotrexate (MTX) conjugated to poly(vinyl alcohol) was coated onto BSA-loaded HA NPs. Coating efficiency was in the range of 10–17 wt%. In vitro drug release showed that there was a steady increase in the release of both BSA and MTX with 76% of BSA and 88% of MTX being released in 13 days. Cytotoxicity studies of the NPs performed using human osteosarcoma (OMG-63) cell line showed the NPs were highly biocompatible and exhibited anti-proliferative activity in a concentration-dependent manner.

  5. Uncoupling Protein 2: A Key Player and a Potential Therapeutic Target in Vascular Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgia Pierelli


    Full Text Available Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2 is an inner mitochondrial membrane protein that belongs to the uncoupling protein family and plays an important role in lowering mitochondrial membrane potential and dissipating metabolic energy with prevention of oxidative stress accumulation. In the present article, we will review the evidence that UCP2, as a consequence of its roles within the mitochondria, represents a critical player in the predisposition to vascular disease development in both animal models and in humans, particularly in relation to obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. The deletion of the UCP2 gene contributes to atherosclerosis lesion development in the knockout mice, also showing significantly shorter lifespan. The UCP2 gene downregulation is a key determinant of higher predisposition to renal and cerebrovascular damage in an animal model of spontaneous hypertension and stroke. In contrast, UCP2 overexpression improves both hyperglycemia- and high-salt diet-induced endothelial dysfunction and ameliorates hypertensive target organ damage in SHRSP. Moreover, drugs (fenofibrate and sitagliptin and several vegetable compounds (extracts from Brassicaceae, berberine, curcumin, and capsaicin are able to induce UCP2 expression level and to exert beneficial effects on the occurrence of vascular damage. As a consequence, UCP2 becomes an interesting therapeutic target for the treatment of common human vascular diseases.

  6. From Molecular Classification to Targeted Therapeutics: The Changing Face of Systemic Therapy in Metastatic Gastroesophageal Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Murphy


    Full Text Available Histological classification of adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma for esophageal cancer or using the Lauren classification for intestinal and diffuse type gastric cancer has limited clinical utility in the management of advanced disease. Germline mutations in E-cadherin (CDH1 or mismatch repair genes (Lynch syndrome were identified many years ago but given their rarity, the identification of these molecular alterations does not substantially impact treatment in the advanced setting. Recent molecular profiling studies of upper GI tumors have added to our knowledge of the underlying biology but have not led to an alternative classification system which can guide clinician’s therapeutic decisions. Recently the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network has proposed four subtypes of gastric cancer dividing tumors into those positive for Epstein-Barr virus, microsatellite unstable tumors, genomically stable tumors, and tumors with chromosomal instability. Unfortunately to date, many phase III clinical trials involving molecularly targeted agents have failed to meet their survival endpoints due to their use in unselected populations. Future clinical trials should utilize molecular profiling of individual tumors in order to determine the optimal use of targeted therapies in preselected patients.

  7. Metallodrugs in targeted cancer therapeutics. Aiming at chemoresistance-related patterns and immunosuppressive tumor networks (United States)

    Salifoglou, Athanasios; Petanidis, Savvas; Kioseoglou, Efrosini


    Tumor cell chemoresistance is a major challenge in cancer therapeutics. Major select metal-based drugs are potent anticancer agents yet they exhibit undesirable side-effects and are effective against only a few types of cancers. A need, therefore, arises for new metallodrugs with an improved spectrum of efficacy and lower toxicity. Development of anticancer drugs based on antitumor metals is currently a very active field, with considerable efforts having been made toward elucidating the mechanisms of immune action of complex metalloforms and optimizing their immunoregulatory bioactivity through appropriate structural modification. In that respect, comprehending the molecular factors involved in drug resistance and immune response may help us develop new strategies toward more promising chemotherapies, reducing the rate of relapse and overcoming chemoresistance. In this review, a) molecular immune-related mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment, leading to decreased drug sensitivity, along with b) strategies for reversing drug resistance and targeting immunosuppressive tumor networks, while concurrently optimizing the design of complex metalloforms bearing anti-tumor activity, are discussed in an effort to identify and overcome underlying mechanisms of chemoresistance to both standard chemotherapeutic agents and targeted molecular therapies. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at

  8. Microglial Phagocytosis and Its Regulation: A Therapeutic Target in Parkinson’s Disease?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elzbieta Janda


    Full Text Available The role of phagocytosis in the neuroprotective function of microglia has been appreciated for a long time, but only more recently a dysregulation of this process has been recognized in Parkinson’s disease (PD. Indeed, microglia play several critical roles in central nervous system (CNS, such as clearance of dying neurons and pathogens as well as immunomodulation, and to fulfill these complex tasks they engage distinct phenotypes. Regulation of phenotypic plasticity and phagocytosis in microglia can be impaired by defects in molecular machinery regulating critical homeostatic mechanisms, including autophagy. Here, we briefly summarize current knowledge on molecular mechanisms of microglia phagocytosis, and the neuro-pathological role of microglia in PD. Then we focus more in detail on the possible functional role of microglial phagocytosis in the pathogenesis and progression of PD. Evidence in support of either a beneficial or deleterious role of phagocytosis in dopaminergic degeneration is reported. Altered expression of target-recognizing receptors and lysosomal receptor CD68, as well as the emerging determinant role of α-synuclein (α-SYN in phagocytic function is discussed. We finally discuss the rationale to consider phagocytic processes as a therapeutic target to prevent or slow down dopaminergic degeneration.

  9. Next-Gen Sequencing Exposes Frequent MED12 Mutations and Actionable Therapeutic Targets in Phyllodes Tumors (United States)

    Cani, Andi K.; Hovelson, Daniel H.; McDaniel, Andrew S.; Sadis, Seth; Haller, Michaela J.; Yadati, Venkata; Amin, Anmol M.; Bratley, Jarred; Bandla, Santhoshi; Williams, Paul D.; Rhodes, Kate; Liu, Chia-Jen; Quist, Michael J.; Rhodes, Daniel R.; Grasso, Catherine S.; Kleer, Celina G.; Tomlins, Scott A.


    Phyllodes tumors are rare fibroepithelial tumors with variable clinical behavior accounting for a small subset of all breast neoplasms, yet little is known about the genetic alterations that drive tumor initiation and/or progression. Here targeted next generation sequencing (NGS) was used to identify somatic alterations in formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) patient specimens from malignant, borderline and benign cases. NGS revealed mutations in mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) affecting the G44 hotspot residue in the majority (67%) of cases spanning all three histological grades. In addition, loss-of-function mutations in p53 (TP53) as well as deleterious mutations in the tumor suppressors retinoblastoma (RB1) and neurofibromin 1 (NF1) were identified exclusively in malignant tumors. High-level copy number alterations (CNAs) were nearly exclusively confined to malignant tumors, including potentially clinically actionable gene amplifications in IGF1R and EGFR. Taken together, this study defines the genomic landscape underlying phyllodes tumor development, suggests potential molecular correlates to histologic grade, expands the spectrum of human tumors with frequent recurrent MED12 mutations, and identifies IGF1R and EGFR as potential therapeutic targets in malignant cases. PMID:25593300

  10. The Importance of CD44 as a Stem Cell Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranjeeta Thapa


    Full Text Available CD44 is a cell surface HA-binding glycoprotein that is overexpressed to some extent by almost all tumors of epithelial origin and plays an important role in tumor initiation and metastasis. CD44 is a compelling marker for cancer stem cells of many solid malignancies. In addition, interaction of HA and CD44 promotes EGFR-mediated pathways, consequently leading to tumor cell growth, tumor cell migration, and chemotherapy resistance in solid cancers. Accumulating evidence indicates that major HA-CD44 signaling pathways involve a specific variant of CD44 isoforms; however, the particular variant almost certainly depends on the type of tumor cell and the stage of the cancer progression. Research to date suggests use of monoclonal antibodies against different CD44 variant isoforms and targeted inhibition of HA/CD44-mediated signaling combined with conventional radio/chemotherapy may be the most favorable therapeutic strategy for future treatments of advanced stage malignancies. Thus, this paper briefly focuses on the association of the major CD44 variant isoforms in cancer progression, the role of HA-CD44 interaction in oncogenic pathways, and strategies to target CD44-overexpressed tumor cells.

  11. The Leloir Pathway of Galactose Metabolism - A Novel Therapeutic Target for Hepatocellular Carcinoma. (United States)

    Tang, Manshu; Etokidem, Enoabasi; Lai, Kent


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most lethal types of cancer worldwide, with poor prognosis and limited treatments. In order to identify novel therapeutic targets that will lead to development of effective therapies with manageable side effects, we tested the hypothesis that knocking-down galactokinase (GALK1) or galactose-1 phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT) gene expression would control the growth of cultured hepatoma cells. Our results showed small interfering RNA (siRNA) against GALK1 or GALT inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in culture. Western blot analysis revealed simultaneous down-regulation of multiple players of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) growth signaling pathway, as well as heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90) and poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) data, however, showed no significant mRNA reduction of the encoded genes. Our study thus not only supports GALK1 and GALT as being possible novel targets for treating HCC, but also uncovers new post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that link the galactose metabolic pathway to protein expression of the PI3K/AKT pathway in hepatoma. Copyright© 2016 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.

  12. Albuminuria Is an Appropriate Therapeutic Target in Patients with CKD: The Pro View. (United States)

    Lambers Heerspink, Hiddo J; Gansevoort, Ron T


    The presence of elevated levels of albuminuria is associated with an increased risk of progressive renal function loss over time. This association is found in various pathophysiological conditions, including diabetic nephropathy, hypertensive nephropathy, and various primary renal diseases, but also, the general, otherwise healthy population. Emerging data report that elevated albuminuria causes tubulointerstitial damage through activation of proinflammatory mediators, which ultimately leads to a progressive decline in renal function. Nowadays, various drugs are available that decrease the rate of GFR loss in patients with kidney disease. Well known are renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors, but there are also other drugs and interventions, like intensive glucose control, anti-inflammatory agents (pentoxifylline), or a low-protein diet. These interventions have an additional effect beyond their original target, namely lowering albuminuria. Analyses from clinical trials show that the reduction in albuminuria observed during the first months of treatment with these drugs correlates with the degree of long-term renal protection: the larger the initial reduction in albuminuria, the lower the risk of ESRD during treatment. In addition, in treated patients, residual albuminuria is again the strongest risk marker for renal disease progression. These observations combined provide a strong argument that albuminuria is an appropriate therapeutic target in patients with CKD. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.

  13. The CBS/CSE system: a potential therapeutic target in NAFLD? (United States)

    Sarna, Lindsei K; Siow, Yaw L; O, Karmin


    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a broad spectrum liver disorder diagnosed in patients without a history of alcohol abuse. NAFLD is growing at alarming rates worldwide. Its pathogenesis is complex and incompletely understood. The cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) system regulates homocysteine and cysteine metabolism and contributes to endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) biosynthesis. This review summarizes our current understanding of the hepatic CBS/CSE system, and for the first time, positions this system as a potential therapeutic target in NAFLD. As will be discussed, the CBS/CSE system is highly expressed and active in the liver. Its dysregulation, presenting as alterations in circulating homocysteine and (or) H2S levels, has been reported in NAFLD patients and in NAFLD-associated co-morbidities such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Intricate links between the CBS/CSE system and a number of metabolic and stress related molecular mediators have also emerged. Various dysfunctions in the hepatic CBS/CSE system have been reported in animal models representative of each NAFLD spectrum. It is anticipated that a newfound appreciation for the hepatic CBS/CSE system will emerge that will improve our understanding of NAFLD pathogenesis, and give rise to new prospective targets for management of this disorder.

  14. The Nuclear Hormone Receptor PPARγ as a Therapeutic Target in Major Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Victoria Schmidt


    Full Text Available The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ belongs to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily and regulates gene expression upon heterodimerization with the retinoid X receptor by ligating to peroxisome proliferator response elements (PPREs in the promoter region of target genes. Originally, PPARγ was identified as being essential for glucose metabolism. Thus, synthetic PPARγ agonists, the thiazolidinediones (TZDs, are used in type 2 diabetes therapy as insulin sensitizers. More recent evidence implied an important role for the nuclear hormone receptor PPARγ in controlling various diseases based on its anti-inflammatory, cell cycle arresting, and proapoptotic properties. In this regard, expression of PPARγ is not restricted to adipocytes, but is also found in immune cells, such as B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and granulocytes. The expression of PPARγ in lymphoid organs and its modulation of macrophage inflammatory responses, lymphocyte proliferation, cytokine production, and apoptosis underscore its immune regulating functions. Moreover, PPARγ expression is found in tumor cells, where its activation facilitates antitumorigenic actions. This review provides an overview about the role of PPARγ as a possible therapeutic target approaching major, severe diseases, such as sepsis, cancer, and atherosclerosis.

  15. Current understanding of BRAF alterations in diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic targeting in paediatric low grade gliomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Louise Penman


    Full Text Available The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK pathway is known to play a key role in the initiation and maintenance of many tumours as well as normal development. This often occurs through mutation of the genes encoding RAS and RAF proteins which are involved in signal transduction in this pathway. BRAF is one of three RAF kinases which act as downstream effectors of growth factor signalling leading to cell cycle progression, proliferation and survival. Initially reported as a point mutation (V600E in the majority of metastatic melanomas, other alterations in the BRAF gene have now been reported in a variety of human cancers including papillary thyroid cancer, colon carcinomas, hairy cell leukaemia and more recently in gliomas. The identification of oncogenic mutations in the BRAF gene have led to a revolution in the treatment of metastatic melanoma using targeted molecular therapies that affect the MAPK pathway either directly through BRAF inhibition or downstream through inhibition of MEK. This review describes the molecular biology of BRAF in the context of paediatric low grade gliomas, the role of BRAF as a diagnostic marker, the prognostic implications of BRAF and evidence for therapeutic targeting of BRAF.

  16. Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy, General Preventive Strategies, and Novel Therapeutic Targets (United States)

    Safi, Sher Zaman; Kumar, Selva; Ismail, Ikram Shah Bin


    The growing number of people with diabetes worldwide suggests that diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) will continue to be sight threatening factors. The pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy is a widespread cause of visual impairment in the world and a range of hyperglycemia-linked pathways have been implicated in the initiation and progression of this condition. Despite understanding the polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C (KPC) isoforms, increased hexosamine pathway flux, and increased advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes induced vision loss are not fully understood. The purpose of this paper is to review molecular mechanisms that regulate cell survival and apoptosis of retinal cells and discuss new and exciting therapeutic targets with comparison to the old and inefficient preventive strategies. This review highlights the recent advancements in understanding hyperglycemia-induced biochemical and molecular alterations, systemic metabolic factors, and aberrant activation of signaling cascades that ultimately lead to activation of a number of transcription factors causing functional and structural damage to retinal cells. It also reviews the established interventions and emerging molecular targets to avert diabetic retinopathy and its associated risk factors. PMID:25105142

  17. The role of secretory phospholipases as therapeutic targets for the treatment of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury. (United States)

    Ravindran, Sriram; Kurian, Gino A


    Myocardial reperfusion injury is a consequence of restoration of blood flow post ischemia. It is a complex process involving an acute inflammatory response activated by cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, and mediated by free radicals, calcium overload leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. Secretory phospholipases (sPLA2) are a group of pro-inflammatory molecules associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis, which increase the risk of reperfusion injury. This acute response leads to breakdown of phospholipids such as cardiolipin, found in the mitochondrial inner membrane, leading to disruption of energy producing enzymes of the electron transport chain. Thus the activation of secretory phospholipases has a direct link to the vascular occlusion and arrhythmia observed in myocardial reperfusion injury. Therapeutic agents targeting sPLA2 are under human trials and many are in the preclinical phase. This article reviews the pathological effects of various groups of secretory phospholipases (I, II, V and X) implicated in myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury and the phospholipase inhibitors under development. Considering the fact that human trials in this class of drugs is limited, sPLA2 as a potential target for drug development is emphasized. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. A calcium-dependent protease as a potential therapeutic target for Wolfram syndrome. (United States)

    Lu, Simin; Kanekura, Kohsuke; Hara, Takashi; Mahadevan, Jana; Spears, Larry D; Oslowski, Christine M; Martinez, Rita; Yamazaki-Inoue, Mayu; Toyoda, Masashi; Neilson, Amber; Blanner, Patrick; Brown, Cris M; Semenkovich, Clay F; Marshall, Bess A; Hershey, Tamara; Umezawa, Akihiro; Greer, Peter A; Urano, Fumihiko


    Wolfram syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by diabetes and neurodegeneration and considered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) disease. Despite the underlying importance of ER dysfunction in Wolfram syndrome and the identification of two causative genes, Wolfram syndrome 1 (WFS1) and Wolfram syndrome 2 (WFS2), a molecular mechanism linking the ER to death of neurons and β cells has not been elucidated. Here we implicate calpain 2 in the mechanism of cell death in Wolfram syndrome. Calpain 2 is negatively regulated by WFS2, and elevated activation of calpain 2 by WFS2-knockdown correlates with cell death. Calpain activation is also induced by high cytosolic calcium mediated by the loss of function of WFS1. Calpain hyperactivation is observed in the WFS1 knockout mouse as well as in neural progenitor cells derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells of Wolfram syndrome patients. A small-scale small-molecule screen targeting ER calcium homeostasis reveals that dantrolene can prevent cell death in neural progenitor cells derived from Wolfram syndrome iPS cells. Our results demonstrate that calpain and the pathway leading its activation provides potential therapeutic targets for Wolfram syndrome and other ER diseases.

  19. Polo-like Kinase 1 as a potential therapeutic target in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amani, Vladimir; Prince, Eric W; Alimova, Irina; Balakrishnan, Ilango; Birks, Diane; Donson, Andrew M.; Harris, Peter; Levy, Jean M. Mulcahy; Handler, Michael; Foreman, Nicholas K.; Venkataraman, Sujatha; Vibhakar, Rajeev


    Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) are highly aggressive, fatal, childhood tumors that arise in the brainstem. DIPGs have no effective treatment, and their location and diffuse nature render them inoperable. Radiation therapy remains the only standard of care for this devastating disease. New therapeutic targets are needed to develop novel therapy for DIPG. We examined the expression of PLK1 mRNA in DIPG tumor samples through microarray analysis and found it to be up regulated versus normal pons. Using the DIPG tumor cells, we inhibited PLK1 using a clinically relevant specific inhibitor BI 6727 and evaluated the effects on, proliferation, apoptosis, induction of DNA damage and radio sensitization of the DIPG tumor cells. Treatment of DIPG cell lines with BI 6727, a new generation, highly selective inhibitor of PLK1, resulted in decreased cell proliferation and a marked increase in cellular apoptosis. Cell cycle analysis showed a significant arrest in G2-M phase and a substantial increase in cell death. Treatment also resulted in an increased γH2AX expression, indicating induction of DNA damage. PLK1 inhibition resulted in radiosensitization of DIPG cells. These findings suggest that targeting PLK1 with small-molecule inhibitors, in combination with radiation therapy, will hold a novel strategy in the treatment of DIPG that warrants further investigation

  20. Survivin as a therapeutic target in Sonic hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma. (United States)

    Brun, S N; Markant, S L; Esparza, L A; Garcia, G; Terry, D; Huang, J-M; Pavlyukov, M S; Li, X-N; Grant, G A; Crawford, J R; Levy, M L; Conway, E M; Smith, L H; Nakano, I; Berezov, A; Greene, M I; Wang, Q; Wechsler-Reya, R J


    Medulloblastoma (MB) is a highly malignant brain tumor that occurs primarily in children. Although surgery, radiation and high-dose chemotherapy have led to increased survival, many MB patients still die from their disease, and patients who survive suffer severe long-term side effects as a consequence of treatment. Thus, more effective and less toxic therapies for MB are critically important. Development of such therapies depends in part on identification of genes that are necessary for growth and survival of tumor cells. Survivin is an inhibitor of apoptosis protein that regulates cell cycle progression and resistance to apoptosis, is frequently expressed in human MB and when expressed at high levels predicts poor clinical outcome. Therefore, we hypothesized that Survivin may have a critical role in growth and survival of MB cells and that targeting it may enhance MB therapy. Here we show that Survivin is overexpressed in tumors from patched (Ptch) mutant mice, a model of Sonic hedgehog (SHH)-driven MB. Genetic deletion of survivin in Ptch mutant tumor cells significantly inhibits proliferation and causes cell cycle arrest. Treatment with small-molecule antagonists of Survivin impairs proliferation and survival of both murine and human MB cells. Finally, Survivin antagonists impede growth of MB cells in vivo. These studies highlight the importance of Survivin in SHH-driven MB, and suggest that it may represent a novel therapeutic target in patients with this disease.

  1. Targeting the Central Pocket in Human Transcription Factor TEAD as a Potential Cancer Therapeutic Strategy. (United States)

    Pobbati, Ajaybabu V; Han, Xiao; Hung, Alvin W; Weiguang, Seetoh; Huda, Nur; Chen, Guo-Ying; Kang, CongBao; Chia, Cheng San Brian; Luo, Xuelian; Hong, Wanjin; Poulsen, Anders


    The human TEAD family of transcription factors (TEAD1-4) is required for YAP-mediated transcription in the Hippo pathway. Hyperactivation of TEAD's co-activator YAP contributes to tissue overgrowth and human cancers, suggesting that pharmacological interference of TEAD-YAP activity may be an effective strategy for anticancer therapy. Here we report the discovery of a central pocket in the YAP-binding domain (YBD) of TEAD that is targetable by small-molecule inhibitors. Our X-ray crystallography studies reveal that flufenamic acid, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), binds to the central pocket of TEAD2 YBD. Our biochemical and functional analyses further demonstrate that binding of NSAIDs to TEAD inhibits TEAD-YAP-dependent transcription, cell migration, and proliferation, indicating that the central pocket is important for TEAD function. Therefore, our studies discover a novel way of targeting TEAD transcription factors and set the stage for therapeutic development of specific TEAD-YAP inhibitors against human cancers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Kinome-wide transcriptional profiling of uveal melanoma reveals new vulnerabilities to targeted therapeutics. (United States)

    Bailey, Fiona P; Clarke, Kim; Kalirai, Helen; Kenyani, Jenna; Shahidipour, Haleh; Falciani, Francesco; Coulson, Judy M; Sacco, Joseph J; Coupland, Sarah E; Eyers, Patrick A


    Metastatic uveal melanoma (UM) is invariably fatal, usually within a year of diagnosis. There are currently no effective therapies, and clinical studies employing kinase inhibitors have so far demonstrated limited success. This is despite common activating mutations in GNAQ/11 genes, which trigger signalling pathways that might predispose tumours to a variety of targeted drugs. In this study, we have profiled kinome expression network dynamics in various human ocular melanomas. We uncovered a shared transcriptional profile in human primary UM samples and across a variety of experimental cell-based models. The poor overall response of UM cells to FDA-approved kinase inhibitors contrasted with much higher sensitivity to the bromodomain inhibitor JQ1, a broad transcriptional repressor. Mechanistically, we identified a repressed FOXM1-dependent kinase subnetwork in JQ1-exposed cells that contained multiple cell cycle-regulated protein kinases. Consistently, we demonstrated vulnerability of UM cells to inhibitors of mitotic protein kinases within this network, including the investigational PLK1 inhibitor BI6727. We conclude that analysis of kinome-wide signalling network dynamics has the potential to reveal actionable drug targets and inhibitors of potential therapeutic benefit for UM patients. © 2017 The Authors. Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research Published by John Wiley & Sons.

  3. Mutational Profiling of Malignant Mesothelioma Revealed Potential Therapeutic Targets in EGFR and NRAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeong Eun Kim


    Full Text Available Pemetrexed and platinum (PP combination chemotherapy is the current standard first-line therapy for treatment of malignant mesothelioma (MM. However, a useful predictive biomarker for PP therapy is yet to be found. Here, we performed targeted exome sequencing to profile somatic mutations and copy number variations in 12 MM patients treated with PP therapy. We identified 187 somatic mutations in 12 patients (65 synonymous, 102 missense, 2 nonsense, 5 splice site, and 13 small coding insertions/deletions. We identified somatic mutations in 23 genes including BAP1, TP53, NRAS, and EGFR. Interestingly, rare NRAS p.Q61K and EGFR exon 19 deletions were observed in 2 patients. We also found somatic chromosomal copy number deletions in CDKN2A and CDKN2B genes. Genetic alteration related to response after PP therapy was not found. Somatic mutation profiling in MM patients receiving PP therapy revealed genetic alterations in potential therapeutic targets such as NRAS and EGFR. No alterations in genes with potential predictive role for PP therapy were found.

  4. Mutational Profiling of Malignant Mesothelioma Revealed Potential Therapeutic Targets in EGFR and NRAS. (United States)

    Kim, Jeong Eun; Kim, Deokhoon; Hong, Yong Sang; Kim, Kyu-Pyo; Yoon, Young Kwang; Lee, Dae Ho; Kim, Sang-We; Chun, Sung-Min; Jang, Se Jin; Kim, Tae Won


    Pemetrexed and platinum (PP) combination chemotherapy is the current standard first-line therapy for treatment of malignant mesothelioma (MM). However, a useful predictive biomarker for PP therapy is yet to be found. Here, we performed targeted exome sequencing to profile somatic mutations and copy number variations in 12 MM patients treated with PP therapy. We identified 187 somatic mutations in 12 patients (65 synonymous, 102 missense, 2 nonsense, 5 splice site, and 13 small coding insertions/deletions). We identified somatic mutations in 23 genes including BAP1, TP53, NRAS, and EGFR. Interestingly, rare NRAS p.Q61K and EGFR exon 19 deletions were observed in 2 patients. We also found somatic chromosomal copy number deletions in CDKN2A and CDKN2B genes. Genetic alteration related to response after PP therapy was not found. Somatic mutation profiling in MM patients receiving PP therapy revealed genetic alterations in potential therapeutic targets such as NRAS and EGFR. No alterations in genes with potential predictive role for PP therapy were found. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Evaluation of Acanthamoeba Myosin-IC as a Potential Therapeutic Target (United States)

    Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Reyes-Batlle, María; Piñero, José E.; Valladares, Basilio; Maciver, Sutherland K.


    Members of the genus Acanthamoeba are facultative pathogens of humans, causing a sight-threatening keratitis and a fatal encephalitis. We have targeted myosin-IC by using small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing as a therapeutic approach, since it is known that the function of this protein is vital for the amoeba. In this work, specific siRNAs against the Acanthamoeba myosin-IC gene were developed. Treated and control amoebae were cultured in growth and encystment media to evaluate the induced effects after myosin-IC gene knockdown, as we have anticipated that cyst formation may be impaired. The effects of myosin-IC gene silencing were inhibition of cyst formation, inhibition of completion of cytokinesis, inhibition of osmoregulation under osmotic stress conditions, and death of the amoebae. The finding that myosin-IC silencing caused incompletion of cytokinesis is in agreement with earlier suggestions that the protein plays a role in cell locomotion, which is necessary to pull daughter cells apart after mitosis in a process known as “traction-mediated cytokinesis”. We conclude that myosin-IC is a very promising potential drug target for the development of much-needed antiamoebal drugs and that it should be further exploited for Acanthamoeba therapy. PMID:24468784

  6. 'Big data' approaches for novel anti-cancer drug discovery. (United States)

    Benstead-Hume, Graeme; Wooller, Sarah K; Pearl, Frances M G


    The development of improved cancer therapies is frequently cited as an urgent unmet medical need. Recent advances in platform technologies and the increasing availability of biological 'big data' are providing an unparalleled opportunity to systematically identify the key genes and pathways involved in tumorigenesis. The discoveries made using these new technologies may lead to novel therapeutic interventions. Areas covered: The authors discuss the current approaches that use 'big data' to identify cancer drivers. These approaches include the analysis of genomic sequencing data, pathway data, multi-platform data, identifying genetic interactions such as synthetic lethality and using cell line data. They review how big data is being used to identify novel drug targets. The authors then provide an overview of the available data repositories and tools being used at the forefront of cancer drug discovery. Expert opinion: Targeted therapies based on the genomic events driving the tumour will eventually inform treatment protocols. However, using a tailored approach to treat all tumour patients may require developing a large repertoire of targeted drugs.

  7. CCL2 and CCL5 Are Novel Therapeutic Targets for Estrogen-Dependent Breast Cancer. (United States)

    Svensson, Susanne; Abrahamsson, Annelie; Rodriguez, Gabriela Vazquez; Olsson, Anna-Karin; Jensen, Lasse; Cao, Yihai; Dabrosin, Charlotta


    Novel therapeutic targets of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancers are urgently needed because current antiestrogen therapy causes severe adverse effects, nearly 50% of patients are intrinsically resistant, and the majority of recurrences have maintained ER expression. We investigated the role of estrogen-dependent chemokine expression and subsequent cancer growth in human tissues and experimental breast cancer models. For in vivo sampling of human chemokines, microdialysis was used in breast cancers of women or normal human breast tissue before and after tamoxifen therapy. Estrogen exposure and targeted therapies were assessed in immune competent PyMT murine breast cancer, orthotopic human breast cancers in nude mice, cell culture of cancer cells, and freshly isolated human macrophages. Cancer cell dissemination was investigated using zebrafish. ER(+) cancers in women produced high levels of extracellular CCL2 and CCL5 in vivo, which was associated with infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages. In experimental breast cancer, estradiol enhanced macrophage influx and angiogenesis through increased release of CCL2, CCL5, and vascular endothelial growth factor. These effects were inhibited by anti-CCL2 or anti-CCL5 therapy, which resulted in potent inhibition of cancer growth. In addition, estradiol induced a protumorigenic activation of the macrophages. In a zebrafish model, macrophages increased cancer cell dissemination via CCL2 and CCL5 in the presence of estradiol, which was inhibited with anti-CCL2 and anti-CCL5 treatment. Our findings shed new light on the mechanisms underlying the progression of ER(+) breast cancer and indicate the potential of novel therapies targeting CCL2 and CCL5 pathways. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  8. Harnessing the fruits of nature for the development of multi-targeted cancer therapeutics. (United States)

    Sarkar, Fazlul H; Li, Yiwei


    Cancer cells exhibit deregulation in multiple cellular signaling pathways. Therefore, treatments using specific agents that target only one pathway usually fail in cancer therapy. The combination treatments using chemotherapeutic agents with distinct molecular mechanisms are considered more promising for higher efficacy; however, using multiple agents contributes to added toxicity. Emerging evidence has shown that some "natural products" such as isoflavones, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its in vivo dimeric product 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), and curcumin among many others, have growth inhibitory and apoptosis inducing effects on human and animal cancer cells mediated by targeting multiple cellular signaling pathways in vitro without causing unwanted toxicity in normal cells. Therefore, these non-toxic "natural products" from natural resources could be useful in combination with conventional chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of human malignancies with lower toxicity and higher efficacy. In fact, recently increasing evidence from pre-clinical in vivo studies and clinical trials have shown some success in support of the use of rational design of multi-targeted therapies for the treatment of cancers using conventional chemotherapeutic agents in combination with "natural products". These studies have provided promising results and further opened-up newer avenues for cancer therapy. In this review article, we have succinctly summarized the known effects of "natural products" especially by focusing on isoflavones, indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its in vivo dimeric product 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), and curcumin, and provided a comprehensive view on the molecular mechanisms underlying the principle of cancer therapy using combination of "natural products" with conventional therapeutics.

  9. Targeting iodothyronine deiodinases locally in the retina is a therapeutic strategy for retinal degeneration. (United States)

    Yang, Fan; Ma, Hongwei; Belcher, Joshua; Butler, Michael R; Redmond, T Michael; Boye, Sanford L; Hauswirth, William W; Ding, Xi-Qin


    Recent studies have implicated thyroid hormone (TH) signaling in cone photoreceptor viability. Using mouse models of retinal degeneration, we found that antithyroid treatment preserves cones. This work investigates the significance of targeting intracellular TH components locally in the retina. The cellular TH level is mainly regulated by deiodinase iodothyronine (DIO)-2 and -3. DIO2 converts thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3), which binds to the TH receptor, whereas DIO3 degrades T3 and T4. We examined cone survival after overexpression of DIO3 and inhibition of DIO2 and demonstrated the benefits of these manipulations. Subretinal delivery of AAV5-IRBP/GNAT2-DIO3, which directs expression of human DIO3 specifically in cones, increased cone density by 30-40% in a Rpe65 -/- mouse model of Lebers congenital amaurosis (LCA) and in a Cpfl1 mouse with Pde6c defect model of achromatopsia, compared with their respective untreated controls. Intravitreal and topical delivery of the DIO2 inhibitor iopanoic acid also significantly improved cone survival in the LCA model mice. Moreover, the expression levels of DIO2 and Slc16a2 were significantly higher in the diseased retinas, suggesting locally elevated TH signaling. We show that targeting DIOs protects cones, and intracellular inhibition of TH components locally in the retina may represent a novel strategy for retinal degeneration management.-Yang, F., Ma, H., Belcher, J., Butler, M. R., Redmond, T. M., Boye, S. L., Hauswirth, W. W., Ding, X.-Q. Targeting iodothyronine deiodinases locally in the retina is a therapeutic strategy for retinal degeneration. © FASEB.

  10. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal plasticity of cancer stem cells: therapeutic targets in hepatocellular carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aparna Jayachandran


    Full Text Available Abstract Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC remains one of the most common and lethal malignancies worldwide despite the development of various therapeutic strategies. A better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for HCC initiation and progression is essential for the development of more effective therapies. The cancer stem cell (CSC model has provided new insights into the development and progression of HCC. CSCs are specialized tumor cells that are capable of self-renewal and have long-term repopulation potential. As they are important mediators of tumor proliferation, invasion, metastasis, therapy resistance, and cancer relapse, the selective targeting of this crucial population of cells has the potential to improve HCC patient outcomes and survival. In recent years, the role of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT in the advancement of HCC has gained increasing attention. This multi-step reprograming process resulting in a phenotype switch from an epithelial to a mesenchymal cellular state has been closely associated with the acquisition of stem cell-like attributes in tumors. Moreover, CSC mediates tumor metastasis by maintaining plasticity to transition between epithelial or mesenchymal states. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms of the reprograming switches that determine the progression through EMT and generation of CSC is essential for developing clinically relevant drug targets. This review provides an overview of the proposed roles of CSC in HCC and discusses recent results supporting the emerging role of EMT in facilitating hepatic CSC plasticity. In particular, we discuss how these important new insights may facilitate rational development of combining CSC- and EMT-targeted therapies in the future.

  11. Transforming growth factor β activated kinase 1: a potential therapeutic target for rheumatic diseases. (United States)

    Fechtner, Sabrina; Fox, David A; Ahmed, Salahuddin


    Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α are central regulators of autoinflammatory diseases. While targeting these cytokines has proven to be a successful clinical strategy, the long-term challenges such as drug resistance, lack of efficacy and poor clinical outcomes in some patients are some of the limitations faced by these therapies. This has ignited strategies to reduce inflammation by potentially targeting a variety of molecules, including cell surface receptors, signalling proteins and/or transcription factors to minimize cytokine-induced inflammation and tissue injury. In this regard, transforming growth factor β activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is activated in the inflammatory signal transduction pathways in response to IL-1β, TNF-α or toll-like receptor stimulation. Because of its ideal position upstream of mitogen-activated protein kinases and the IκB kinase complex in signalling cascades, targeting TAK1 may be an attractive strategy for treating diseases characterized by chronic inflammation. Here, we discuss the emerging role of TAK1 in mediating the IL-1β, TNF-α and toll-like receptor mediated inflammatory responses in diseases such as RA, OA, gout and SS. We also review evidence suggesting that TAK1 inhibition may have potential therapeutic value. Finally, we focus on the current status of the development of TAK1 inhibitors and suggest further opportunities for testing TAK1 inhibitors in rheumatic diseases. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:

  12. Vitiligo blood transcriptomics provides new insights into disease mechanisms and identifies potential novel therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Dey-Rao, Rama; Sinha, Animesh A


    Significant gaps remain regarding the pathomechanisms underlying the autoimmune response in vitiligo (VL), where the loss of self-tolerance leads to the targeted killing of melanocytes. Specifically, there is incomplete information regarding alterations in the systemic environment that are relevant to the disease state. We undertook a genome-wide profiling approach to examine gene expression in the peripheral blood of VL patients and healthy controls in the context of our previously published VL-skin gene expression profile. We used several in silico bioinformatics-based analyses to provide new insights into disease mechanisms and suggest novel targets for future therapy. Unsupervised clustering methods of the VL-blood dataset demonstrate a "disease-state"-specific set of co-expressed genes. Ontology enrichment analysis of 99 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) uncovers a down-regulated immune/inflammatory response, B-Cell antigen receptor (BCR) pathways, apoptosis and catabolic processes in VL-blood. There is evidence for both type I and II interferon (IFN) playing a role in VL pathogenesis. We used interactome analysis to identify several key blood associated transcriptional factors (TFs) from within (STAT1, STAT6 and NF-kB), as well as "hidden" (CREB1, MYC, IRF4, IRF1, and TP53) from the dataset that potentially affect disease pathogenesis. The TFs overlap with our reported lesional-skin transcriptional circuitry, underscoring their potential importance to the disease. We also identify a shared VL-blood and -skin transcriptional "hot spot" that maps to chromosome 6, and includes three VL-blood dysregulated genes (PSMB8, PSMB9 and TAP1) described as potential VL-associated genetic susceptibility loci. Finally, we provide bioinformatics-based support for prioritizing dysregulated genes in VL-blood or skin as potential therapeutic targets. We examined the VL-blood transcriptome in context with our (previously published) VL-skin transcriptional profile to address

  13. The ADAMs family of proteases: new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for cancer?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Duffy, Michael J


    Abstract The ADAMs are transmembrane proteins implicated in proteolysis and cell adhesion. Forty gene members of the family have been identified, of which 21 are believed to be functional in humans. As proteases, their main substrates are the ectodomains of other transmembrane proteins. These substrates include precursor forms of growth factors, cytokines, growth factor receptors, cytokine receptors and several different types of adhesion molecules. Although altered expression of specific ADAMs has been implicated in different diseases, their best-documented role is in cancer formation and progression. ADAMs shown to play a role in cancer include ADAM9, ADAM10, ADAM12, ADAM15 and ADAM17. Two of the ADAMs, i.e., ADAM10 and 17 appear to promote cancer progression by releasing HER\\/EGFR ligands. The released ligands activate HER\\/EGFR signalling that culminates in increased cell proliferation, migration and survival. Consistent with a causative role in cancer, several ADAMs are emerging as potential cancer biomarkers for aiding cancer diagnosis and predicting patient outcome. Furthermore, a number of selective ADAM inhibitors, especially against ADAM10 and ADAM17, have been shown to have anti-cancer effects. At least one of these inhibitors is now undergoing clinical trials in patients with breast cancer.

  14. Optimized nonclinical safety assessment strategies supporting clinical development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies targeting inflammatory diseases. (United States)

    Brennan, Frank R; Cauvin, Annick; Tibbitts, Jay; Wolfreys, Alison


    An increasing number of immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and IgG Fc fusion proteins are either approved or in early-to-late stage clinical trials for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases and organ transplant rejection. The exquisite specificity of mAbs, in combination with their multi-functional properties, high potency, long half-life (permitting intermittent dosing and prolonged pharamcological effects), and general lack of off-target toxicity makes them ideal therapeutics. Dosing with mAbs for these severe and debilitating but often non life-threatening diseases is usually prolonged, for several months or years, and not only affects adults, including sensitive populations such as woman of child-bearing potential (WoCBP) and the elderly, but also children. Immunosuppression is usually a therapeutic goal of these mAbs and when administered to patients whose treatment program often involves other immunosuppressive therapies, there is an inherent risk for frank immunosuppression and reduced host defence which when prolonged increases the risk of infection and cancer. In addition when mAbs interact with the immune system they can induce other adverse immune-mediated drug reactions such as infusion reactions, cytokine release syndrome, anaphylaxis, immune-complex-mediated pathology and autoimmunity. An overview of the nonclinical safety assessment and risk mitigation strategies utilized to characterize these immunomodulatory mAbs and Fc fusion proteins to support first-in human (FIH) studies and futher clinical development in inflammatory disease indications is provided. Specific emphasis is placed on the design of studies to qualify animal species for toxicology studies, early studies to investigate safety and define PK/PD relationships, FIH-enabling and chronic toxicology studies, immunotoxicity, developmental, reproductive and juvenile toxicity studies and studies to determine the potential for immunosuppression and

  15. Animal models and therapeutic molecular targets of cancer: utility and limitations (United States)

    Cekanova, Maria; Rathore, Kusum


    Cancer is the term used to describe over 100 diseases that share several common hallmarks. Despite prevention, early detection, and novel therapies, cancer is still the second leading cause of death in the USA. Successful bench-to-bedside translation of basic scientific findings about cancer into therapeutic interventions for patients depends on the selection of appropriate animal experimental models. Cancer research uses animal and human cancer cell lines in vitro to study biochemical pathways in these cancer cells. In this review, we summarize the important animal models of cancer with focus on their advantages and limitations. Mouse cancer models are well known, and are frequently used for cancer research. Rodent models have revolutionized our ability to study gene and protein functions in vivo and to better understand their molecular pathways and mechanisms. Xenograft and chemically or genetically induced mouse cancers are the most commonly used rodent cancer models. Companion animals with spontaneous neoplasms are still an underexploited tool for making rapid advances in human and veterinary cancer therapies by testing new drugs and delivery systems that have shown promise in vitro and in vivo in mouse models. Companion animals have a relatively high incidence of cancers, with biological behavior, response to therapy, and response to cytotoxic agents similar to those in humans. Shorter overall lifespan and more rapid disease progression are factors contributing to the advantages of a companion animal model. In addition, the current focus is on discovering molecular targets for new therapeutic drugs to improve survival and quality of life in cancer patients. PMID:25342884

  16. The role of macrophage polarization on bipolar disorder: Identifying new therapeutic targets. (United States)

    Ascoli, Bruna M; Géa, Luiza P; Colombo, Rafael; Barbé-Tuana, Florência M; Kapczinski, Flávio; Rosa, Adriane Ribeiro


    Bipolar disorder is a chronic, severe and disabling disease; however, its pathophysiology remains poorly understood. Recent evidence has suggested that inflammation and immune dysregulation play a significant role in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. This review is aimed to highlight the importance of systemic inflammation in modulating the inflammatory response of microglia and hence its potential involvement with bipolar disorder. We also discuss novel therapeutic strategies that emerge from this new research. This article presents a theoretical synthesis of the effects of systemic inflammation on the immune response of the central nervous system in bipolar disorder. The complex relationship between stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines and microglial dysfunction is summarized, emphasizing the role of the kynurenine pathway in this process and, consequently, their effects on neuronal plasticity. Bipolar patients demonstrate increased serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α) and lower hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis sensitivity. This imbalance in the immune system promotes a change in blood-brain barrier permeability, leading to an inflammatory signal spread in the central nervous system from the periphery, through macrophages activation (M1 polarization). Chronic microglial activation can result in neuronal apoptosis, neurogenesis inhibition, hippocampal volume reduction, lower neurotransmitters synthesis and cytotoxicity, by increasing glutamate production and kynurenine metabolism. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms involved in the immune system imbalance and its potential involvement in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Consequently, new strategies that normalize the immune-inflammatory pathways may provide a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of these disorders. © The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2016.

  17. Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in the Tumor Microenvironment: Immune Targets for Glioma Therapeutics

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    Marianela Candolfi


    Full Text Available Adenovirus-mediated delivery of the immune-stimulatory cytokine Flt3L and the conditionally cytotoxic thymidine kinase (TK induces tumor regression and long-term survival in preclinical glioma (glioblastoma multiforme [GBM] models. Flt3L induces expansion and recruitment of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs into the brain. Although pDCs can present antigen and produce powerful inflammatory cytokines, that is, interferon α (IFN-α, their role in tumor immunology remains debated. Thus, we studied the role of pDCs and IFN-α in Ad.TK/GCV+ Ad.Flt3L-mediated anti-GBM therapeutic efficacy. Our data indicate that the combined gene therapy induced recruitment of plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs into the tumor mass; which were capable of in vivo phagocytosis, IFN-α release, and T-cell priming. Thus, we next used either pDCs or an Ad vector encoding IFN-α delivered within the tumor microenvironment. When rats were treated with Ad.TK/GCV in combination with pDCs or Ad-IFN-α, they exhibited 35% and 50% survival, respectively. However, whereas intracranial administration of Ad.TK/GCV + Ad.Flt3L exhibited a high safety profile, Ad-IFN-α led to severe local inflammation, with neurologic and systemic adverse effects. To elucidate whether the efficacy of the immunotherapy was dependent on IFN-α-secreting pDCs, we administered an Ad vector encoding B18R, an IFN-α antagonist, which abrogated the antitumoral effect of Ad.TK/GCV + Ad.Flt3L. Our data suggest that IFN-α release by activated pDCs plays a critical role in the antitumor effect mediated by Ad.TK/GCV + Ad.Flt3L. In summary, taken together, our results demonstrate that pDCs mediate anti-GBM therapeutic efficacy through the production of IFN-α, thus manipulation of pDCs constitutes an attractive new therapeutic target for the treatment of GBM.

  18. The dual kinase complex FAK-Src as a promising therapeutic target in cancer

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    Victoria Bolós


    Full Text Available Victoria Bolós1,*, Joan Manuel Gasent2,*, Sara López-Tarruella3, Enrique Grande1,#1Pfizer Oncology, Madrid, Spain; 2Hospital Gral. Universitario Marina Alta, Oncology Department, Denia Alicante, 3,#Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Oncology Department, ∗These authors contributed equally to this work, #Center affiliated to the Red Temática de Investigación Cooperativa (RD06/0020/0021. Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII, Spanish Ministry of Science and InnovationAbstract: Focal adhesion kinase (FAK and steroid receptor coactivator (Src are intracellular (nonreceptor tyrosine kinases that physically and functionally interact to promote a variety of cellular responses. Plenty of reports have already suggested an additional central role for this complex in cancer through its ability to promote proliferation and anoikis resistance in tumor cells. An important role for the FAK/Src complex in tumor angiogenesis has also been established. Furthermore, FAK and Src have been associated with solid tumor metastasis through their ability to promote the epithelial mesenchymal transition. In fact, a strong correlation between increased FAK/Src expression/phosphorylation and the invasive phenotype in human tumors has been found. Additionally, an association for FAK/Src with resistances to the current anticancer therapies has already been established. Currently, novel anticancer agents that target FAK or Src are under development in a broad variety of solid tumors. In this article we will review the normal cellular functions of the FAK/Src complex as an effector of integrin and/or tyrosine kinase receptor signaling. We will also collect data about their role in cancer and we will summarize the most recent data from the FAK and Src inhibitors under clinical and preclinical development. Furthermore, the association of both these proteins with chemotherapy and hormonal therapy resistances, as a rationale for new combined therapeutic approaches with these novel

  19. New Strategies for the Next Generation of Matrix-Metalloproteinase Inhibitors: Selectively Targeting Membrane-Anchored MMPs with Therapeutic Antibodies

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    Laetitia Devy


    Full Text Available MMP intervention strategies have met with limited clinical success due to severe toxicities. In particular, treatment with broad-spectrum MMP-inhibitors (MMPIs caused musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. Selectivity may be essential for realizing the clinical potential of MMPIs. Here we review discoveries pinpointing membrane-bound MMPs as mediators of mechanisms underlying cancer and inflammation and as possible therapeutic targets for prevention/treatment of these diseases. We discuss strategies to target these therapeutic proteases using highly selective inhibitory agents (i.e., human blocking antibodies against individual membrane-bound MMPs.

  20. Targeting Gallium to Cancer Cells through the Folate Receptor


    Nerissa Viola-Villegas; Anthony Vortherms; Robert P. Doyle


    The development of gallium(III) compounds as anti-cancer agents for both treatment and diagnosis is a rapidly developing field of research. Problems remain in exploring the full potential of gallium(III) as a safe and successful therapeutic agent or as an imaging agent. One of the major issues is that gallium(III) compounds have little tropism for cancer cells. We have combined the targeting properties of folic acid (FA) with long chain liquid polymer poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) 'spacers’. Th...

  1. Targeting p53 by small molecules in hematological malignancies


    Saha, Manujendra N; Qiu, Lugui; Chang, Hong


    p53 is a powerful tumor suppressor and is an attractive cancer therapeutic target. A breakthrough in cancer research came from the discovery of the drugs which are capable of reactivating p53 function. Most anti-cancer agents, from traditional chemo- and radiation therapies to more recently developed non-peptide small molecules exert their effects by enhancing the anti-proliferative activities of p53. Small molecules such as nutlin, RITA, and PRIMA-1 that can activate p53 have shown their ant...

  2. Targeting HER2 signaling pathway for radiosensitization: alternative strategy for therapeutic resistance. (United States)

    No, Mina; Choi, Eun Jung; Kim, In Ah


    Several studies have indicated the potential value of targeting HER-2 signaling to enhance the anti-tumor activity of ionizing radiation. However, therapeutic resistance resulting from several factors, including activation of the downstream pathway, represents a major obstacle to treatment. Here, we investigated whether inhibitors targeting downstream of HER-2 signaling would radiosensitize SKBR3 breast cancer cells that exhibit overamplification of HER2. Selective inhibition of MEK-ERK signaling using pharmacologic inhibitors (PD98059, UO126) did not increase the radiosensitivity of SKBR3 cells. Selective inhibition of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway using pharmacologic inhibitors (LY294002, AKT inhibitor VIII, Rapamycin) significantly attenuated expression of p-AKT and p-70S6K, respectively and radiosensitized SKBR3 cells. MCF-7 cells those did not overexpress HER-2, showed less radiosensitization compared to SKBR3 cells by inhibition of this pathway. Pre-treatment with these inhibitors also caused significant abrogation of typical G(2) arrest following ionizing radiation and induced marked prolongation of gammaH2AX foci indicating impairment of DNA damage repair. A dual inhibitor of Class I PI3K and mTOR, PI103 effectively radiosensitized SKBR3 cells and showed significant prolongation of gammaH2AX foci. Inhibition of PI3K-AKT signaling was associated with downregulation of DNA-PKs, respectively. While apoptosis was the major mode of cell death when the cells were pretreated with LY294002 or AKT inhibitor VIII, the cells were pretreated by rapamycin or PI103 showed mixed mode of cell death including autophagy. Our results suggest possible mechanisms to counteract the HER-2 prosurvival signaling implicated in radioresistance, and offer an alternative strategy to overcome resistance to HER-2 inhibitors combined with radiation.

  3. Predictive markers of efficacy for an angiopoietin-2 targeting therapeutic in xenograft models.

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    Gallen Triana-Baltzer

    Full Text Available The clinical efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapies has been difficult to predict, and biomarkers that can predict responsiveness are sorely needed in this era of personalized medicine. CVX-060 is an angiopoietin-2 (Ang2 targeting therapeutic, consisting of two peptides that bind Ang2 with high affinity and specificity, covalently fused to a scaffold antibody. In order to optimize the use of this compound in the clinic the construction of a predictive model is described, based on the efficacy of CVX-060 in 13 cell line and 2 patient-derived xenograft models. Pretreatment size tumors from each of the models were profiled for the levels of 27 protein markers of angiogenesis, SNP haplotype in 5 angiogenesis genes, and somatic mutation status for 11 genes implicated in tumor growth and/or vascularization. CVX-060 efficacy was determined as tumor growth inhibition (TGI% at termination of each study. A predictive statistical model was constructed based on the correlation of these efficacy data with the marker profiles, and the model was subsequently tested by prospective analysis in 11 additional models. The results reveal a range of CVX-060 efficacy in xenograft models of diverse tissue types (0-64% TGI, median = 27% and define a subset of 3 proteins (Ang1, EGF, Emmprin, the levels of which may be predictive of TGI by Ang2 blockade. The direction of the associations is such that better efficacy correlates with high levels of target and low levels of compensatory/antagonizing molecules. This effort has revealed a set of candidate predictive markers for CVX-060 efficacy that will be further evaluated in ongoing clinical trials.

  4. Predictive markers of efficacy for an angiopoietin-2 targeting therapeutic in xenograft models. (United Stat