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Sample records for molecular functions targeted

  1. Transport and detection of unlabeled nucleotide targets by microtubules functionalized with molecular beacons.

    PubMed

    Raab, Matthew; Hancock, William O

    2008-03-01

    Shrinking biosensors down to microscale dimensions enables increases in sensitivity and the ability to analyze minute samples such as the contents of individual cells. The goal of the present study is to create mobile microscale biosensors by attaching molecular beacons to microtubules and using kinesin molecular motors to transport these functionalized microtubules across two-dimensional surfaces. Previous work has shown that microfluidic channels can be functionalized with kinesin motors such that microtubules can be transported and directed through these channels without the need for external power or pressure-driven pumping. In this work, we show that molecular beacons can be attached to microtubules such that both the fluorescence reporting capability of the beacon and the motility of the microtubules are retained. These molecular beacon-functionalized microtubules were able to bind ssDNA target sequences, transport them across surfaces, and report their presence by an increase in fluorescence that was detected by fluorescence microscopy. This work is an important step toward creating hybrid microdevices for sensitive virus detection or analyzing mRNA profiles of individual cells.

  2. Molecular target discovery for neural repair in the functional genomics era.

    PubMed

    Verhaagen, Joost; Van Kesteren, Ronald E; Bossers, Koen A M; Macgillavry, Harold D; Mason, Matthew R; Smit, August B

    2012-01-01

    A comprehensive understanding of the molecular pathways activated by traumatic neural injury is of major importance for the development of treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI). High-throughput gene expression profiling is a powerful approach to reveal genome-wide changes in gene expression during a specific biological process. Microarray analysis of injured nerves or neurons would ideally generate new hypotheses concerning the progression or deregulation of injury- and repair-related biological processes, such as neural scar formation and axon regeneration. These hypotheses should subsequently be tested experimentally and would eventually provide the molecular substrates for the development of novel therapeutics. Over the last decade, this approach has elucidated numerous extrinsic (mostly neural scar-associated) as well as neuron-intrinsic genes that are regulated following an injury. To date, the main challenge is to translate the observed injury-induced gene expression changes into a mechanistic framework to understand their functional implications. To achieve this, research on neural repair will have to adopt the conceptual advances and analytical tools provided by the functional genomics and systems biology revolution. Based on progress made in bioinformatics, high-throughput and high-content functional cellular screening, and in vivo gene transfer technology, we propose a multistep "roadmap" that provides an integrated strategy for molecular target discovery for repair of the injured spinal cord. PMID:23098739

  3. Elucidation of molecular targets of bioactive principles of black cumin relevant to its anti-tumour functionality - An Insilico target fishing approach.

    PubMed

    Sridhar, Amulyashree; Saremy, Sadegh; Bhattacharjee, Biplab

    2014-01-01

    Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is a spice having medicinal properties with pungent and bitter odour. It is used since thousands of years to treat various ailments, including cancer mainly in South Asia and Middle Eastern regions. Substantial evidence in multiple research studies emphasizes about the therapeutic importance of bioactive principles of N. sativa in cancer bioassays; however, the exact mechanism of their anti-tumour action is still to be fully comprehended. The current study makes an attempt in this direction by exploiting the advancements in the Insilico reverse screening technology. In this study, three different Insilico Reverse Screening approaches have been employed for identifying the putative molecular targets of the bioactive principles in Black cumin (thymoquinone, alpha-hederin, dithymoquinone and thymohydroquinone) relevant to its anti-tumour functionality. The identified set of putative targets is further compared with the existing set of experimentally validated targets, so as to estimate the performance of insilico platforms. Subsequently, molecular docking simulations studies were performed to elucidate the molecular interactions between the bioactive compounds & their respective identified targets. The molecular interactions of one such target identified i.e. VEGF2 along with thymoquinone depicted one H-bond formed at the catalytic site. The molecular targets identified in this study need further confirmatory tests on cancer bioassays, in order to justify the research findings from Insilico platforms. This study has brought to light the effectiveness of usage of Insilico Reverse Screening protocols to characterise the un-identified target-ome of poly pharmacological bioactive agents in spices.

  4. Elucidation of molecular targets of bioactive principles of black cumin relevant to its anti-tumour functionality - An Insilico target fishing approach.

    PubMed

    Sridhar, Amulyashree; Saremy, Sadegh; Bhattacharjee, Biplab

    2014-01-01

    Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is a spice having medicinal properties with pungent and bitter odour. It is used since thousands of years to treat various ailments, including cancer mainly in South Asia and Middle Eastern regions. Substantial evidence in multiple research studies emphasizes about the therapeutic importance of bioactive principles of N. sativa in cancer bioassays; however, the exact mechanism of their anti-tumour action is still to be fully comprehended. The current study makes an attempt in this direction by exploiting the advancements in the Insilico reverse screening technology. In this study, three different Insilico Reverse Screening approaches have been employed for identifying the putative molecular targets of the bioactive principles in Black cumin (thymoquinone, alpha-hederin, dithymoquinone and thymohydroquinone) relevant to its anti-tumour functionality. The identified set of putative targets is further compared with the existing set of experimentally validated targets, so as to estimate the performance of insilico platforms. Subsequently, molecular docking simulations studies were performed to elucidate the molecular interactions between the bioactive compounds & their respective identified targets. The molecular interactions of one such target identified i.e. VEGF2 along with thymoquinone depicted one H-bond formed at the catalytic site. The molecular targets identified in this study need further confirmatory tests on cancer bioassays, in order to justify the research findings from Insilico platforms. This study has brought to light the effectiveness of usage of Insilico Reverse Screening protocols to characterise the un-identified target-ome of poly pharmacological bioactive agents in spices. PMID:25512684

  5. Molecular design and nanoparticle-mediated intracellular delivery of functional proteins to target cellular pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Dhiral Ashwin

    Intracellular delivery of specific proteins and peptides represents a novel method to influence stem cells for gain-of-function and loss-of-function. Signaling control is vital in stem cells, wherein intricate control of and interplay among critical pathways directs the fate of these cells into either self-renewal or differentiation. The most common route to manipulate cellular function involves the introduction of genetic material such as full-length genes and shRNA into the cell to generate (or prevent formation of) the target protein, and thereby ultimately alter cell function. However, viral-mediated gene delivery may result in relatively slow expression of proteins and prevalence of oncogene insertion into the cell, which can alter cell function in an unpredictable fashion, and non-viral delivery may lead to low efficiency of genetic delivery. For example, the latter case plagues the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and hinders their use for in vivo applications. Alternatively, introducing proteins into cells that specifically recognize and influence target proteins, can result in immediate deactivation or activation of key signaling pathways within the cell. In this work, we demonstrate the cellular delivery of functional proteins attached to hydrophobically modified silica (SiNP) nanoparticles to manipulate specifically targeted cell signaling proteins. In the Wnt signaling pathway, we have targeted the phosphorylation activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) by designing a chimeric protein and delivering it in neural stem cells. Confocal imaging indicates that the SiNP-chimeric protein conjugates were efficiently delivered to the cytosol of human embryonic kidney cells and rat neural stem cells, presumably via endocytosis. This uptake impacted the Wnt signaling cascade, indicated by the elevation of beta-catenin levels, and increased transcription of Wnt target genes, such as c-MYC. The results presented here suggest that

  6. An Overview on the Marine Neurotoxin, Saxitoxin: Genetics, Molecular Targets, Methods of Detection and Ecological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cusick, Kathleen D.; Sayler, Gary S.

    2013-01-01

    Marine neurotoxins are natural products produced by phytoplankton and select species of invertebrates and fish. These compounds interact with voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels and modulate the flux of these ions into various cell types. This review provides a summary of marine neurotoxins, including their structures, molecular targets and pharmacologies. Saxitoxin and its derivatives, collectively referred to as paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), are unique among neurotoxins in that they are found in both marine and freshwater environments by organisms inhabiting two kingdoms of life. Prokaryotic cyanobacteria are responsible for PST production in freshwater systems, while eukaryotic dinoflagellates are the main producers in marine waters. Bioaccumulation by filter-feeding bivalves and fish and subsequent transfer through the food web results in the potentially fatal human illnesses, paralytic shellfish poisoning and saxitoxin pufferfish poisoning. These illnesses are a result of saxitoxin’s ability to bind to the voltage-gated sodium channel, blocking the passage of nerve impulses and leading to death via respiratory paralysis. Recent advances in saxitoxin research are discussed, including the molecular biology of toxin synthesis, new protein targets, association with metal-binding motifs and methods of detection. The eco-evolutionary role(s) PSTs may serve for phytoplankton species that produce them are also discussed. PMID:23535394

  7. Molecular functions of the TLE tetramerization domain in Wnt target gene repression

    PubMed Central

    Chodaparambil, Jayanth V; Pate, Kira T; Hepler, Margretta R D; Tsai, Becky P; Muthurajan, Uma M; Luger, Karolin; Waterman, Marian L; Weis, William I

    2014-01-01

    Wnt signaling activates target genes by promoting association of the co-activator β-catenin with TCF/LEF transcription factors. In the absence of β-catenin, target genes are silenced by TCF-mediated recruitment of TLE/Groucho proteins, but the molecular basis for TLE/TCF-dependent repression is unclear. We describe the unusual three-dimensional structure of the N-terminal Q domain of TLE1 that mediates tetramerization and binds to TCFs. We find that differences in repression potential of TCF/LEFs correlates with their affinities for TLE-Q, rather than direct competition between β-catenin and TLE for TCFs as part of an activation–repression switch. Structure-based mutation of the TLE tetramer interface shows that dimers cannot mediate repression, even though they bind to TCFs with the same affinity as tetramers. Furthermore, the TLE Q tetramer, not the dimer, binds to chromatin, specifically to K20 methylated histone H4 tails, suggesting that the TCF/TLE tetramer complex promotes structural transitions of chromatin to mediate repression. PMID:24596249

  8. Targeted molecular imaging in oncology.

    PubMed

    Yang, David J; Kim, E Edmund; Inoue, Tomio

    2006-01-01

    Improvement of scintigraphic tumor imaging is extensively determined by the development of more tumor specific radiopharmaceuticals. Thus, to improve the differential diagnosis, prognosis, planning and monitoring of cancer treatment, several functional pharmaceuticals have been developed. Application of molecular targets for cancer imaging, therapy and prevention using generator-produced isotopes is the major focus of ongoing research projects. Radionuclide imaging modalities (positron emission tomography, PET; single photon emission computed tomography, SPECT) are diagnostic cross-sectional imaging techniques that map the location and concentration of radionuclide-labeled radiotracers. 99mTc- and 68Ga-labeled agents using ethylenedicysteine (EC) as a chelator were synthesized and their potential uses to assess tumor targets were evaluated. 99mTc (t1/2 = 6 hr, 140 keV) is used for SPECT and 68Ga (t1/2 = 68 min, 511 keV) for PET. Molecular targets labeled with Tc-99m and Ga-68 can be utilized for prediction of therapeutic response, monitoring tumor response to treatment and differential diagnosis. Molecular targets for oncological research in (1) cell apoptosis, (2) gene and nucleic acid-based approach, (3) angiogenesis (4) tumor hypoxia, and (5) metabolic imaging are discussed. Numerous imaging ligands in these categories have been developed and evaluated in animals and humans. Molecular targets were imaged and their potential to redirect optimal cancer diagnosis and therapeutics were demonstrated. PMID:16485568

  9. Thioredoxin and Thioredoxin Target Proteins: From Molecular Mechanisms to Functional Significance

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Samuel; Kim, Soo Min

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The thioredoxin (Trx) system is one of the central antioxidant systems in mammalian cells, maintaining a reducing environment by catalyzing electron flux from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate through Trx reductase to Trx, which reduces its target proteins using highly conserved thiol groups. While the importance of protecting cells from the detrimental effects of reactive oxygen species is clear, decades of research in this field revealed that there is a network of redox-sensitive proteins forming redox-dependent signaling pathways that are crucial for fundamental cellular processes, including metabolism, proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis. Trx participates in signaling pathways interacting with different proteins to control their dynamic regulation of structure and function. In this review, we focus on Trx target proteins that are involved in redox-dependent signaling pathways. Specifically, Trx-dependent reductive enzymes that participate in classical redox reactions and redox-sensitive signaling molecules are discussed in greater detail. The latter are extensively discussed, as ongoing research unveils more and more details about the complex signaling networks of Trx-sensitive signaling molecules such as apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1, Trx interacting protein, and phosphatase and tensin homolog, thus highlighting the potential direct and indirect impact of their redox-dependent interaction with Trx. Overall, the findings that are described here illustrate the importance and complexity of Trx-dependent, redox-sensitive signaling in the cell. Our increasing understanding of the components and mechanisms of these signaling pathways could lead to the identification of new potential targets for the treatment of diseases, including cancer and diabetes. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1165–1207. PMID:22607099

  10. Molecular and cellular targets.

    PubMed

    Bode, Ann M; Dong, Zigang

    2006-06-01

    Carcinogenesis is a multistage process consisting of initiation, promotion, and progression stages and each stage may be a possible target for chemopreventive agents. A significant outcome of these investigations on the elucidation of molecular and cellular mechanisms is the explication of signal transduction pathways induced by tumor promoters in cancer development. The current belief today is that cancer may be prevented or treated by targeting specific cancer genes, signaling proteins, and transcription factors. The molecular mechanisms explaining how normal cells undergo neoplastic transformation induced by tumor promoters are rapidly being clarified. Accumulating research evidence suggests that many of dietary factors, including tea compounds, may be used alone or in combination with traditional chemotherapeutic agents to prevent or treat cancer. The potential advantage of many natural or dietary compounds seems to focus on their potent anticancer activity combined with low toxicity and very few adverse side effects. This review summarizes some of our recent work regarding the effects of the various tea components on signal transduction pathways involved in neoplastic cell transformation and carcinogenesis. PMID:16688728

  11. Molecular and Cellular Targets

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Ann M.; Dong, Zigang

    2008-01-01

    Carcinogenesis is a multistage process consisting of initiation, promotion and progression stages and each stage may be a possible target for chemopreventive agents. A significant outcome of these investigations on the elucidation of molecular and cellular mechanisms is the explication of signal transduction pathways induced by tumor promoters in cancer development. The current belief today is that cancer may be prevented or treated by targeting specific cancer genes, signaling proteins and transcription factors. The molecular mechanisms explaining how normal cells undergo neoplastic transformation induced by tumor promoters are rapidly being clarified. Accumulating research evidence suggests that many of dietary factors, including tea compounds, may be used alone or in combination with traditional chemotherapeutic agents to prevent or treat cancer. The potential advantage of many natural or dietary compounds seems to focus on their potent anticancer activity combined with low toxicity and very few adverse side effects. This review summarizes some of our recent work regarding the effects of the various tea components on signal transduction pathways involved in neoplastic cell transformation and carcinogenesis. PMID:16688728

  12. Receptor Tyrosine Kinase EphA5 Is a Functional Molecular Target in Human Lung Cancer*

    PubMed Central

    Staquicini, Fernanda I.; Qian, Ming D.; Salameh, Ahmad; Dobroff, Andrey S.; Edwards, Julianna K.; Cimino, Daniel F.; Moeller, Benjamin J.; Kelly, Patrick; Nunez, Maria I.; Tang, Ximing; Liu, Diane D.; Lee, J. Jack; Hong, Waun Ki; Ferrara, Fortunato; Bradbury, Andrew R. M.; Lobb, Roy R.; Edelman, Martin J.; Sidman, Richard L.; Wistuba, Ignacio I.; Arap, Wadih; Pasqualini, Renata

    2015-01-01

    Lung cancer is often refractory to radiotherapy, but molecular mechanisms of tumor resistance remain poorly defined. Here we show that the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA5 is specifically overexpressed in lung cancer and is involved in regulating cellular responses to genotoxic insult. In the absence of EphA5, lung cancer cells displayed a defective G1/S cell cycle checkpoint, were unable to resolve DNA damage, and became radiosensitive. Upon irradiation, EphA5 was transported into the nucleus where it interacted with activated ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) at sites of DNA repair. Finally, we demonstrate that a new monoclonal antibody against human EphA5 sensitized lung cancer cells and human lung cancer xenografts to radiotherapy and significantly prolonged survival, thus suggesting the likelihood of translational applications. PMID:25623065

  13. Receptor tyrosine kinase EphA5 is a functional molecular target in human lung cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Staquicini, Fernanda I.; Qian, Ming D.; Salameh, Ahmad; Dobroff, Andrey S.; Edwards, Julianna K.; Cimino, Daniel F.; Moeller, Benjamin J.; Kelly, Patrick; Nunez, Maria I.; Tang, Ximing; Liu, Diane D.; Lee, J. Jack; Hong, Waun Ki; Ferrara, Fortunato; Bradbury, Andrew R. M.; Lobb, Roy R.; Edelman, Martin J.; Sidman, Richard L.; Wistuba, Ignacio I.; Arap, Wadih; Pasqualini, Renata

    2015-03-20

    Lung cancer is often refractory to radiotherapy, but molecular mechanisms of tumor resistance remain poorly defined. Here we show that the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA5 is specifically overexpressed in lung cancer and is involved in regulating cellular responses to genotoxic insult. In the absence of EphA5, lung cancer cells displayed a defective G1/S cell cycle checkpoint, were unable to resolve DNA damage, and became radiosensitive. Upon irradiation, EphA5 was transported into the nucleus where it interacted with activated ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) at sites of DNA repair. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a new monoclonal antibody against human EphA5 sensitized lung cancer cells and human lung cancer xenografts to radiotherapy and significantly prolonged survival, thus suggesting the likelihood of translational applications.

  14. Receptor tyrosine kinase EphA5 is a functional molecular target in human lung cancer

    DOE PAGES

    Staquicini, Fernanda I.; Qian, Ming D.; Salameh, Ahmad; Dobroff, Andrey S.; Edwards, Julianna K.; Cimino, Daniel F.; Moeller, Benjamin J.; Kelly, Patrick; Nunez, Maria I.; Tang, Ximing; et al

    2015-03-20

    Lung cancer is often refractory to radiotherapy, but molecular mechanisms of tumor resistance remain poorly defined. Here we show that the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA5 is specifically overexpressed in lung cancer and is involved in regulating cellular responses to genotoxic insult. In the absence of EphA5, lung cancer cells displayed a defective G1/S cell cycle checkpoint, were unable to resolve DNA damage, and became radiosensitive. Upon irradiation, EphA5 was transported into the nucleus where it interacted with activated ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) at sites of DNA repair. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a new monoclonal antibody against human EphA5 sensitized lungmore » cancer cells and human lung cancer xenografts to radiotherapy and significantly prolonged survival, thus suggesting the likelihood of translational applications.« less

  15. Protecting Neural Structures and Cognitive Function During Prolonged Space Flight by Targeting the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Molecular Network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, M. A.; Goodwin, T. J.

    2014-01-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the main activity-dependent neurotrophin in the human nervous system. BDNF is implicated in production of new neurons from dentate gyrus stem cells (hippocampal neurogenesis), synapse formation, sprouting of new axons, growth of new axons, sprouting of new dendrites, and neuron survival. Alterations in the amount or activity of BDNF can produce significant detrimental changes to cortical function and synaptic transmission in the human brain. This can result in glial and neuronal dysfunction, which may contribute to a range of clinical conditions, spanning a number of learning, behavioral, and neurological disorders. There is an extensive body of work surrounding the BDNF molecular network, including BDNF gene polymorphisms, methylated BDNF gene promoters, multiple gene transcripts, varied BDNF functional proteins, and different BDNF receptors (whose activation differentially drive the neuron to neurogenesis or apoptosis). BDNF is also closely linked to mitochondrial biogenesis through PGC-1alpha, which can influence brain and muscle metabolic efficiency. BDNF AS A HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT COUNTERMEASURE TARGET Earth-based studies reveal that BDNF is negatively impacted by many of the conditions encountered in the space environment, including oxidative stress, radiation, psychological stressors, sleep deprivation, and many others. A growing body of work suggests that the BDNF network is responsive to a range of diet, nutrition, exercise, drug, and other types of influences. This section explores the BDNF network in the context of 1) protecting the brain and nervous system in the space environment, 2) optimizing neurobehavioral performance in space, and 3) reducing the residual effects of space flight on the nervous system on return to Earth

  16. Improving molecular diagnosis of Chinese patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth by targeted next-generation sequencing and functional analysis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhi-Jun; Ni, Wang; Li, Hong-Fu; Xiao, Bao-Guo; Wu, Zhi-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common hereditary peripheral neuropathy. More than 50 causative genes have been identified. The lack of genotype-phenotype correlations in many CMT patients make it difficult to decide which genes are affected. Recently, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been introduced as an alternative approach for diagnosis of genetic disorders. Here, we applied targeted NGS in combination with PMP22 duplication/deletion analysis to screen causative genes in 22 Chinese CMT families. The novel variants detected by targeted NGS were then further studied in cultured cells. Of the 22 unrelated patients, 8 had PMP22 duplication. The targeted NGS revealed 10 possible pathogenic variants in 11 patients, including 7 previously reported variants and 3 novel heterozygous variants (GJB1: p.Y157H; MFN2: p.G127S; YARS: p.V293M). Further classification of the novel variants according to American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) standards and guidelines and functional analysis in cultured cells indicated that p.Y157H in GJB1 was pathogenic, p.G127S in MFN2 was likely pathogenic, while p.V293M in YARS was likely benign. Our results suggest the potential for targeted NGS to make a more rapid and precise diagnosis in CMT patients. Moreover, the functional analysis is required when the novel variants are indistinct. PMID:27027447

  17. Molecular Targets for Antiepileptic Drug Development

    PubMed Central

    Meldrum, Brian S.; Rogawski, Michael A.

    2007-01-01

    Summary This review considers how recent advances in the physiology of ion channels and other potential molecular targets, in conjunction with new information on the genetics of idiopathic epilepsies, can be applied to the search for improved antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Marketed AEDs predominantly target voltage-gated cation channels (the α subunits of voltage-gated Na+ channels and also T-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels) or influence GABA-mediated inhibition. Recently, α2–δ voltage-gated Ca2+ channel subunits and the SV2A synaptic vesicle protein have been recognized as likely targets. Genetic studies of familial idiopathic epilepsies have identified numerous genes associated with diverse epilepsy syndromes, including genes encoding Na+ channels and GABAA receptors, which are known AED targets. A strategy based on genes associated with epilepsy in animal models and humans suggests other potential AED targets, including various voltage-gated Ca2+ channel subunits and auxiliary proteins, A- or M-type voltage-gated K+ channels, and ionotropic glutamate receptors. Recent progress in ion channel research brought about by molecular cloning of the channel subunit proteins and studies in epilepsy models suggest additional targets, including G-protein-coupled receptors, such as GABAB and metabotropic glutamate receptors; hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated cation (HCN) channel subunits, responsible for hyperpolarization-activated current Ih; connexins, which make up gap junctions; and neurotransmitter transporters, particularly plasma membrane and vesicular transporters for GABA and glutamate. New information from the structural characterization of ion channels, along with better understanding of ion channel function, may allow for more selective targeting. For example, Na+ channels underlying persistent Na+ currents or GABAA receptor isoforms responsible for tonic (extrasynaptic) currents represent attractive targets. The growing understanding of the

  18. Hepatotoxicity of molecular targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sałek-Zań, Agata

    2014-01-01

    A constant increase in occurrence of neoplasms is observed; hence new methods of therapy are being intensively researched. One of the methods of antineoplastic treatment is molecular targeted therapy, which aims to influence individual processes occurring in cells. Using this type of medications is associated with unwanted effects resulting from the treatment. Liver damage is a major adverse effect diagnosed during targeted therapy. Drug-induced liver damage can occur as necrosis of hepatocytes, cholestatic liver damage and cirrhosis. Hepatotoxicity is evaluated on the basis of International Consensus Criteria. Susceptibility of the liver to injury is connected not only with toxicity of the used medications but also with metastasis, coexistence of viral infections or other chronic diseases as well as the patient's age. It has been proven that in most cases the liver injury is caused by treatment with multikinase inhibitors, in particular tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the inclusion of additional labels – so-called “black box warnings” – indicating increased risk of liver injury when treating with pazopanib, sunitinib, lapatinib and regorafenib. A meta-analysis published in 2013 showed that treating neoplastic patients with tyrosine kinase inhibitors can increase the risk of drug-induced liver damage at least twofold. Below the mechanisms of drug-induced liver injury and hepatotoxic effects of molecular targeted therapy are described. PMID:26034384

  19. Targeting of Cancer Cells Using Quantum Dot-Polypeptide Hybrid Assemblies that Function as Molecular Imaging Agents and Carrier Systems

    PubMed Central

    Atmaja, Bayu; Lui, Bertrand H.; Hu, Yuhua; Beck, Stayce E.; Frank, Curtis W.; Cochran, Jennifer R.

    2015-01-01

    We report a highly tunable quantum dot (QD)-polypeptide hybrid assembly system with potential uses for both molecular imaging and delivery of biomolecular cargo to cancer cells. In this work, we demonstrate the tunability of the assembly system, its application for imaging cancer cells, and its ability to carry a biomolecule. The assemblies are formed through the self-assembly of carboxyl-functionalized QDs and poly(diethylene glycol-L-lysine)-poly(L-lysine) (PEGLL-PLL) diblock copolypeptide molecules, and they are modified with peptide ligands containing a cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartate [c(RGD)] motif that has affinity for αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins overexpressed on the tumor vasculature. To illustrate the tunability of the QD-polypeptide assembly system, we show that binding to U87MG glioblastoma cells can be modulated and optimized by changing either the conditions under which the assemblies are formed or the relative lengths of the PEGLL and PLL blocks in the PEGLL-PLL molecules. The optimized c(RGD)-modified assemblies bind integrin receptors on U87MG cells and are endocytosed, as demonstrated by flow cytometry and live-cell imaging. Binding specificity is confirmed by competition with an excess of free c(RGD) peptide. Finally, we show that the QD-polypeptide assemblies can be loaded with fluorescently labeled ovalbumin, as a proof-of-concept for their potential use in biomolecule delivery. PMID:25750609

  20. Tamoxifen Resistance: Emerging Molecular Targets.

    PubMed

    Rondón-Lagos, Milena; Villegas, Victoria E; Rangel, Nelson; Sánchez, Magda Carolina; Zaphiropoulos, Peter G

    2016-01-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of breast cancer. As a result, blockade of the E2 signal through either tamoxifen (TAM) or aromatase inhibitors is an important therapeutic strategy to treat or prevent estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer. However, resistance to TAM is the major obstacle in endocrine therapy. This resistance occurs either de novo or is acquired after an initial beneficial response. The underlying mechanisms for TAM resistance are probably multifactorial and remain largely unknown. Considering that breast cancer is a very heterogeneous disease and patients respond differently to treatment, the molecular analysis of TAM's biological activity could provide the necessary framework to understand the complex effects of this drug in target cells. Moreover, this could explain, at least in part, the development of resistance and indicate an optimal therapeutic option. This review highlights the implications of TAM in breast cancer as well as the role of receptors/signal pathways recently suggested to be involved in the development of TAM resistance. G protein-coupled estrogen receptor, Androgen Receptor and Hedgehog signaling pathways are emerging as novel therapeutic targets and prognostic indicators for breast cancer, based on their ability to mediate estrogenic signaling in ERα-positive or -negative breast cancer. PMID:27548161

  1. Tamoxifen Resistance: Emerging Molecular Targets

    PubMed Central

    Rondón-Lagos, Milena; Villegas, Victoria E.; Rangel, Nelson; Sánchez, Magda Carolina; Zaphiropoulos, Peter G.

    2016-01-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of breast cancer. As a result, blockade of the E2 signal through either tamoxifen (TAM) or aromatase inhibitors is an important therapeutic strategy to treat or prevent estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer. However, resistance to TAM is the major obstacle in endocrine therapy. This resistance occurs either de novo or is acquired after an initial beneficial response. The underlying mechanisms for TAM resistance are probably multifactorial and remain largely unknown. Considering that breast cancer is a very heterogeneous disease and patients respond differently to treatment, the molecular analysis of TAM’s biological activity could provide the necessary framework to understand the complex effects of this drug in target cells. Moreover, this could explain, at least in part, the development of resistance and indicate an optimal therapeutic option. This review highlights the implications of TAM in breast cancer as well as the role of receptors/signal pathways recently suggested to be involved in the development of TAM resistance. G protein—coupled estrogen receptor, Androgen Receptor and Hedgehog signaling pathways are emerging as novel therapeutic targets and prognostic indicators for breast cancer, based on their ability to mediate estrogenic signaling in ERα-positive or -negative breast cancer. PMID:27548161

  2. Functional Molecular Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jizhong; Deng, Ye; Luo, Feng; He, Zhili; Tu, Qichao; Zhi, Xiaoyang

    2010-01-01

    Biodiversity and its responses to environmental changes are central issues in ecology and for society. Almost all microbial biodiversity research focuses on “species” richness and abundance but not on their interactions. Although a network approach is powerful in describing ecological interactions among species, defining the network structure in a microbial community is a great challenge. Also, although the stimulating effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on plant growth and primary productivity are well established, its influences on belowground microbial communities, especially microbial interactions, are poorly understood. Here, a random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework for identifying functional molecular ecological networks was developed with the high-throughput functional gene array hybridization data of soil microbial communities in a long-term grassland FACE (free air, CO2 enrichment) experiment. Our results indicate that RMT is powerful in identifying functional molecular ecological networks in microbial communities. Both functional molecular ecological networks under eCO2 and ambient CO2 (aCO2) possessed the general characteristics of complex systems such as scale free, small world, modular, and hierarchical. However, the topological structures of the functional molecular ecological networks are distinctly different between eCO2 and aCO2, at the levels of the entire communities, individual functional gene categories/groups, and functional genes/sequences, suggesting that eCO2 dramatically altered the network interactions among different microbial functional genes/populations. Such a shift in network structure is also significantly correlated with soil geochemical variables. In short, elucidating network interactions in microbial communities and their responses to environmental changes is fundamentally important for research in microbial ecology, systems microbiology, and global change. PMID:20941329

  3. Ovarian cancer: emerging molecular-targeted therapies

    PubMed Central

    Sourbier, Carole

    2012-01-01

    With about 22,000 new cases estimated in 2012 in the US and 15,500 related deaths, ovarian cancer is a heterogeneous and aggressive disease. Even though most of patients are sensitive to chemotherapy treatment following surgery, recurring disease is almost always lethal, and only about 30% of the women affected will be cured. Thanks to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying ovarian cancer malignancy, new therapeutic options with molecular-targeted agents have become available. This review discusses the rationale behind molecular-targeted therapies and examines how newly identified molecular targets may enhance personalized therapies for ovarian cancer patients. PMID:22807625

  4. Molecular targets of luteolin in cancer

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Many food-derived phytochemical compounds and their derivatives represent a cornucopia of new anticancer compounds. Despite extensive study of luteolin, the literature has no information on the exact mechanisms or molecular targets through which it deters cancer progression. This review discusses existing data on luteolin’s anticancer activities and then offers possible explanations for and molecular targets of its cancer-preventive action. Luteolin prevents tumor development largely by inactivating several signals and transcription pathways essential for cancer cells. This review also offers insights into the molecular mechanisms and targets through which luteolin either prevents cancer or mediates cancer cell death. PMID:25714651

  5. Boswellic acids: biological actions and molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Poeckel, Daniel; Werz, Oliver

    2006-01-01

    Gum resin extracts of Boswellia species have been traditionally applied in folk medicine for centuries to treat various chronic inflammatory diseases, and experimental data from animal models and studies with human subjects confirmed the potential of B. spec extracts for the treatment of not only inflammation but also of cancer. Analysis of the ingredients of these extracts revealed that the pentacyclic triterpenes boswellic acids (BAs) possess biological activities and appear to be responsible for the respective pharmacological actions. Approaches in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the biological effects of BAs identified 5-lipoxygenase, human leukocyte elastase, toposiomerase I and II, as well as IkappaB kinases as molecular targets of BAs. Moreover, it was shown that depending on the cell type and the structure of the BAs, the compounds differentially interfere with signal transduction pathways including Ca(2+/-) and MAPK signaling in various blood cells, related to functional cellular processes important for inflammatory reactions and tumor growth. This review summarizes the biological actions of BAs on the cellular and molecular level and attempts to put the data into perspective of the beneficial effects manifested in animal studies and trials with human subjects related to inflammation and cancer.

  6. Molecularly targeted therapies for recurrent glioblastoma: current and future targets

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Darryl; Magill, Stephen T.; Aghi, Manish K.

    2016-01-01

    Object Glioblastoma is the most aggressive and diffusely infiltrative primary brain tumor. Recurrence is expected and is extremely difficult to treat. Over the past decade, the accumulation of knowledge regarding the molecular and genetic profile of glioblastoma has led to numerous molecularly targeted therapies. This article aims to review the literature and highlight the mechanisms and efficacies of molecularly targeted therapies for recurrent glioblastoma. Methods A systematic search was performed with the phrase “(name of particular agent) and glioblastoma” as a search term in PubMed to identify all articles published up until 2014 that included this phrase in the title and/or abstract. The references of systematic reviews were also reviewed for additional sources. The review included clinical studies that comprised at least 20 patients and reported results for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma with molecular targeted therapies. Results A total of 42 articles were included in this review. In the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma, various targeted therapies have been tested over the past 10–15 years. The targets of interest include epidermal growth factor receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, Ras pathway, protein kinase C, mammalian target of rapamycin, histone acetylation, and integrins. Unfortunately, the clinical responses to most available targeted therapies are modest at best. Radiographic responses generally range in the realm of 5%–20%. Progression-free survival at 6 months and overall survival were also modest with the majority of studies reporting a 10%–20% 6-month progression-free survival and 5- to 8-month overall survival. There have been several clinical trials evaluating the use of combination therapy for molecularly targeted treatments. In general, the outcomes for combination therapy tend to be superior to single-agent therapy, regardless of the specific agent studied

  7. Conotoxins: Molecular and Therapeutic Targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Richard J.

    Marine molluscs known as cone snails produce beautiful shells and a complex array of over 50,000 venom peptides evolved for prey capture and defence. Many of these peptides selectively modulate ion channels and transporters, making them a valuable source of new ligands for studying the role these targets play in normal and disease physiology. A number of conopeptides reduce pain in animal models, and several are now in pre-clinical and clinical development for the treatment of severe pain often associated with diseases such as cancer. Less than 1% of cone snail venom peptides are pharmacologically characterised.

  8. Molecular tweezers targeting transthyretin amyloidosis.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Nelson; Pereira-Henriques, Alda; Attar, Aida; Klärner, Frank-Gerrit; Schrader, Thomas; Bitan, Gal; Gales, Luís; Saraiva, Maria João; Almeida, Maria Rosário

    2014-04-01

    Transthyretin (TTR) amyloidoses comprise a wide spectrum of acquired and hereditary diseases triggered by extracellular deposition of toxic TTR aggregates in various organs. Despite recent advances regarding the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying TTR misfolding and pathogenic self-assembly, there is still no effective therapy for treatment of these fatal disorders. Recently, the "molecular tweezers", CLR01, has been reported to inhibit self-assembly and toxicity of different amyloidogenic proteins in vitro, including TTR, by interfering with hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions known to play an important role in the aggregation process. In addition, CLR01 showed therapeutic effects in animal models of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Here, we assessed the ability of CLR01 to modulate TTR misfolding and aggregation in cell culture and in an animal model. In cell culture assays we found that CLR01 inhibited TTR oligomerization in the conditioned medium and alleviated TTR-induced neurotoxicity by redirecting TTR aggregation into the formation of innocuous assemblies. To determine whether CLR01 was effective in vivo, we tested the compound in mice expressing TTR V30M, a model of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy, which recapitulates the main pathological features of the human disease. Immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses showed a significant decrease in TTR burden in the gastrointestinal tract and the peripheral nervous system in mice treated with CLR01, with a concomitant reduction in aggregate-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress response, protein oxidation, and apoptosis. Taken together, our preclinical data suggest that CLR01 is a promising lead compound for development of innovative, disease-modifying therapy for TTR amyloidosis.

  9. Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Neurological Disorders.

    PubMed

    Ibeas Bih, Clementino; Chen, Tong; Nunn, Alistair V W; Bazelot, Michaël; Dallas, Mark; Whalley, Benjamin J

    2015-10-01

    Cannabis has a long history of anecdotal medicinal use and limited licensed medicinal use. Until recently, alleged clinical effects from anecdotal reports and the use of licensed cannabinoid medicines are most likely mediated by tetrahydrocannabinol by virtue of: 1) this cannabinoid being present in the most significant quantities in these preparations; and b) the proportion:potency relationship between tetrahydrocannabinol and other plant cannabinoids derived from cannabis. However, there has recently been considerable interest in the therapeutic potential for the plant cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), in neurological disorders but the current evidence suggests that CBD does not directly interact with the endocannabinoid system except in vitro at supraphysiological concentrations. Thus, as further evidence for CBD's beneficial effects in neurological disease emerges, there remains an urgent need to establish the molecular targets through which it exerts its therapeutic effects. Here, we conducted a systematic search of the extant literature for original articles describing the molecular pharmacology of CBD. We critically appraised the results for the validity of the molecular targets proposed. Thereafter, we considered whether the molecular targets of CBD identified hold therapeutic potential in relevant neurological diseases. The molecular targets identified include numerous classical ion channels, receptors, transporters, and enzymes. Some CBD effects at these targets in in vitro assays only manifest at high concentrations, which may be difficult to achieve in vivo, particularly given CBD's relatively poor bioavailability. Moreover, several targets were asserted through experimental designs that demonstrate only correlation with a given target rather than a causal proof. When the molecular targets of CBD that were physiologically plausible were considered for their potential for exploitation in neurological therapeutics, the results were variable. In some cases

  10. Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Neurological Disorders.

    PubMed

    Ibeas Bih, Clementino; Chen, Tong; Nunn, Alistair V W; Bazelot, Michaël; Dallas, Mark; Whalley, Benjamin J

    2015-10-01

    Cannabis has a long history of anecdotal medicinal use and limited licensed medicinal use. Until recently, alleged clinical effects from anecdotal reports and the use of licensed cannabinoid medicines are most likely mediated by tetrahydrocannabinol by virtue of: 1) this cannabinoid being present in the most significant quantities in these preparations; and b) the proportion:potency relationship between tetrahydrocannabinol and other plant cannabinoids derived from cannabis. However, there has recently been considerable interest in the therapeutic potential for the plant cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), in neurological disorders but the current evidence suggests that CBD does not directly interact with the endocannabinoid system except in vitro at supraphysiological concentrations. Thus, as further evidence for CBD's beneficial effects in neurological disease emerges, there remains an urgent need to establish the molecular targets through which it exerts its therapeutic effects. Here, we conducted a systematic search of the extant literature for original articles describing the molecular pharmacology of CBD. We critically appraised the results for the validity of the molecular targets proposed. Thereafter, we considered whether the molecular targets of CBD identified hold therapeutic potential in relevant neurological diseases. The molecular targets identified include numerous classical ion channels, receptors, transporters, and enzymes. Some CBD effects at these targets in in vitro assays only manifest at high concentrations, which may be difficult to achieve in vivo, particularly given CBD's relatively poor bioavailability. Moreover, several targets were asserted through experimental designs that demonstrate only correlation with a given target rather than a causal proof. When the molecular targets of CBD that were physiologically plausible were considered for their potential for exploitation in neurological therapeutics, the results were variable. In some cases

  11. A Targeting Microbubble for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Yeh, James Shue-Min; Sennoga, Charles A.; McConnell, Ellen; Eckersley, Robert; Tang, Meng-Xing; Nourshargh, Sussan; Seddon, John M.; Haskard, Dorian O.; Nihoyannopoulos, Petros

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Microbubbles conjugated with targeting ligands are used as contrast agents for ultrasound molecular imaging. However, they often contain immunogenic (strept)avidin, which impedes application in humans. Although targeting bubbles not employing the biotin-(strept)avidin conjugation chemistry have been explored, only a few reached the stage of ultrasound imaging in vivo, none were reported/evaluated to show all three of the following properties desired for clinical applications: (i) low degree of non-specific bubble retention in more than one non-reticuloendothelial tissue; (ii) effective for real-time imaging; and (iii) effective for acoustic quantification of molecular targets to a high degree of quantification. Furthermore, disclosures of the compositions and methodologies enabling reproduction of the bubbles are often withheld. Objective To develop and evaluate a targeting microbubble based on maleimide-thiol conjugation chemistry for ultrasound molecular imaging. Methods and Results Microbubbles with a previously unreported generic (non-targeting components) composition were grafted with anti-E-selectin F(ab’)2 using maleimide-thiol conjugation, to produce E-selectin targeting microbubbles. The resulting targeting bubbles showed high specificity to E-selectin in vitro and in vivo. Non-specific bubble retention was minimal in at least three non-reticuloendothelial tissues with inflammation (mouse heart, kidneys, cremaster). The bubbles were effective for real-time ultrasound imaging of E-selectin expression in the inflamed mouse heart and kidneys, using a clinical ultrasound scanner. The acoustic signal intensity of the targeted bubbles retained in the heart correlated strongly with the level of E-selectin expression (|r|≥0.8), demonstrating a high degree of non-invasive molecular quantification. Conclusions Targeting microbubbles for ultrasound molecular imaging, based on maleimide-thiol conjugation chemistry and the generic composition described

  12. The molecular targets of resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Sameer S; Cantó, Carles

    2015-06-01

    Resveratrol has emerged in recent years as a compound conferring strong protection against metabolic, cardiovascular and other age-related complications, including neurodegeneration and cancer. This has generated the notion that resveratrol treatment acts as a calorie-restriction mimetic, based on the many overlapping health benefits observed upon both interventions in diverse organisms, including yeast, worms, flies and rodents. Though studied for over a decade, the molecular mechanisms governing the therapeutic properties of resveratrol still remain elusive. Elucidating how resveratrol exerts its effects would provide not only new insights in its fundamental biological actions but also new avenues for the design and development of more potent drugs to efficiently manage metabolic disorders. In this review we will cover the most recent advances in the field, with special focus on the metabolic actions of resveratrol and the potential role of SIRT1 and AMPK. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.

  13. Hox Targets and Cellular Functions

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Herrero, Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    Hox genes are a group of genes that specify structures along the anteroposterior axis in bilaterians. Although in many cases they do so by modifying a homologous structure with a different (or no) Hox input, there are also examples of Hox genes constructing new organs with no homology in other regions of the body. Hox genes determine structures though the regulation of targets implementing cellular functions and by coordinating cell behavior. The genetic organization to construct or modify a certain organ involves both a genetic cascade through intermediate transcription factors and a direct regulation of targets carrying out cellular functions. In this review I discuss new data from genome-wide techniques, as well as previous genetic and developmental information, to describe some examples of Hox regulation of different cell functions. I also discuss the organization of genetic cascades leading to the development of new organs, mainly using Drosophila melanogaster as the model to analyze Hox function. PMID:24490109

  14. [Molecular based targets and endometrial cancer].

    PubMed

    Stoyanov, St; Ananiev, J; Ivanova, K; Velev, V; Todorova, M; Gulubova, M

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the rate of spread of endometrial carcinoma, especially in the postmenopausal period. Along with routine diagnostic methods, giving information on the location and progression of the disease, there are some morphological methods determining very accurately the correlations in the development of this type of cancer and his prognosis. Moreover--in recent years, the accumulated information about the molecular profile of this type of cancer made it possible to implement a number of new drugs against the so-called molecular therapy -'targets' in the neoplastic process. Significant proportion of cases show response rates, it is more hope in the development of more successful formulas and target -based therapy. In this review, we present and discuss the role of certain molecular markers as potential indicators of prognosis and development, as well as determining the target treatment of endometrial carcinoma.

  15. [Molecular based targets and endometrial cancer].

    PubMed

    Stoyanov, St; Ananiev, J; Ivanova, K; Velev, V; Todorova, M; Gulubova, M

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the rate of spread of endometrial carcinoma, especially in the postmenopausal period. Along with routine diagnostic methods, giving information on the location and progression of the disease, there are some morphological methods determining very accurately the correlations in the development of this type of cancer and his prognosis. Moreover--in recent years, the accumulated information about the molecular profile of this type of cancer made it possible to implement a number of new drugs against the so-called molecular therapy -'targets' in the neoplastic process. Significant proportion of cases show response rates, it is more hope in the development of more successful formulas and target -based therapy. In this review, we present and discuss the role of certain molecular markers as potential indicators of prognosis and development, as well as determining the target treatment of endometrial carcinoma. PMID:25909140

  16. Molecular Targeted Intervention for Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mohammed, Altaf; Janakiram, Naveena B.; Pant, Shubham; Rao, Chinthalapally V.

    2015-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains one of the worst cancers, with almost uniform lethality. PC risk is associated with westernized diet, tobacco, alcohol, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, and family history of pancreatic cancer. New targeted agents and the use of various therapeutic combinations have yet to provide adequate treatments for patients with advanced cancer. To design better preventive and/or treatment strategies against PC, knowledge of PC pathogenesis at the molecular level is vital. With the advent of genetically modified animals, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular biology and pathogenesis of PC. Currently, several clinical trials and preclinical evaluations are underway to investigate novel agents that target signaling defects in PC. An important consideration in evaluating novel drugs is determining whether an agent can reach the target in concentrations effective to treat the disease. Recently, we have reported evidence for chemoprevention of PC. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of current updates on molecularly targeted interventions, as well as dietary, phytochemical, immunoregulatory, and microenvironment-based approaches for the development of novel therapeutic and preventive regimens. Special attention is given to prevention and treatment in preclinical genetically engineered mouse studies and human clinical studies. PMID:26266422

  17. Design of Targeted Cardiovascular Molecular Imaging Probes

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Carolyn J.; Bulte, Jeff W.M.; Chen, Kai; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Khaw, Ban-An; Shokeen, Monica; Wooley, Karen L.; VanBrocklin, Henry F.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular imaging relies on the development of sensitive and specific probes coupled with imaging hardware and software to provide information about the molecular status of a disease and its response to therapy, which are important aspects of disease management. As genomic and proteomic information from a variety of cardiovascular diseases becomes available, new cellular and molecular targets will provide an imaging readout of fundamental disease processes. A review of the development and application of several cardiovascular probes is presented here. Strategies for labeling cells with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles enable monitoring of the delivery of stem cell therapies. Small molecules and biologics (e.g., proteins and antibodies) with high affinity and specificity for cell surface receptors or cellular proteins as well as enzyme substrates or inhibitors may be labeled with single-photon–emitting or positron-emitting isotopes for nuclear molecular imaging applications. Labeling of bispecific antibodies with single-photon–emitting isotopes coupled with a pretargeting strategy may be used to enhance signal accumulation in small lesions. Emerging nanomaterials will provide platforms that have various sizes and structures and that may be used to develop multimeric, multimodal molecular imaging agents to probe one or more targets simultaneously. These platforms may be chemically manipulated to afford molecules with specific targeting and clearance properties. These examples of molecular imaging probes are characteristic of the multidisciplinary nature of the extraction of advanced biochemical information that will enhance diagnostic evaluation and drug development and predict clinical outcomes, fulfilling the promise of personalized medicine and improved patient care. PMID:20395345

  18. Molecular Pathophysiology of Priapism: Emerging Targets

    PubMed Central

    Anele, Uzoma A.; Morrison, Belinda F.; Burnett, Arthur L.

    2015-01-01

    Priapism is an erectile disorder involving uncontrolled, prolonged penile erection without sexual purpose, which can lead to erectile dysfunction. Ischemic priapism, the most common of the variants, occurs with high prevalence in patients with sickle cell disease. Despite the potentially devastating complications of this condition, management of recurrent priapism episodes historically has commonly involved reactive treatments rather than preventative strategies. Recently, increasing elucidation of the complex molecular mechanisms underlying this disorder, principally involving dysregulation of nitric oxide signaling, has allowed for greater insights and exploration into potential therapeutic targets. In this review, we discuss the multiple molecular regulatory pathways implicated in the pathophysiology of priapism. We also identify the roles and mechanisms of molecular effectors in providing the basis for potential future therapies. PMID:25392014

  19. Solubilizing functionalized molecular aluminosilicates.

    PubMed

    Rascón-Cruz, Fernando; Huerta-Lavorie, Raúl; Jancik, Vojtech; Toscano, Rubén Alfredo; Cea-Olivares, Raymundo

    2009-02-21

    Molecular aluminosilicate Al(SH)(micro-O)Si(OH)(O(t)Bu)(2) ( = [HC{C(Me)N(Ar)}(2)](-), Ar = 2,6-(i)Pr(2)C(6)H(3)) has been prepared from Al(SH)(2) and ((t)BuO)(2)Si(OH)(2) in high yield. When reacted with one equiv. of water, the unique aluminosilicate containing two terminal hydroxy groups Al(OH.THF)(mu-O)Si(OH)(O(t)Bu)(2) can be isolated. However, when is reacted with the bulkier silanol ((t)BuO)(3)SiOH, no reaction is observed. The desired Al(SH)(micro-O)Si(O(t)Bu)(3) can be prepared in a two-step synthesis between AlH(2) and ((t)BuO)(3)SiOH giving first Al(H)(micro-O)Si(O(t)Bu)(3), which reacts further with elemental sulfur to give as the only product. Direct hydrolysis of was conducted to obtain Al(OH)(micro-O)Si(O(t)Bu)(3), however, such hydrolysis always resulted in a complete decomposition of the starting material. Therefore we used boric acid, which condenses in non-polar solvents and slowly evolve water, to hydrolyze to under mild conditions. Compounds , and have been characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction.

  20. [Molecular alterations in melanoma and targeted therapies].

    PubMed

    Mourah, Samia; Lebbé, Céleste

    2014-12-01

    Melanoma is a skin cancer whose incidence is increasing steadily. The recent discovery of frequent and recurrent genetic alterations in cutaneous melanoma allowed a molecular classification of tumors into distinct subgroups, and paved the way for targeted therapy. Several signaling pathways are involved in the progression of this disease with oncogenic mutations affecting signaling pathways: MAPK, PI3K, cAMP and cyclin D1/CDK4. In each of these pathways, several potential therapeutic targets have been identified and specific inhibitors have already been developed and have shown clinical efficacy. The use of these inhibitors is often conditioned by tumors genotyping. In France, melanomas genotyping is supported by the platforms of the National Cancer Institute (INCA), which implemented a national program ensuring access to innovation for personalized medicine. The identification of new targets in melanoma supplies a very active dynamic development of innovative molecules contributing to changing the therapeutic landscape of this pathology.

  1. [Molecular alterations in melanoma and targeted therapies].

    PubMed

    Mourah, Samia; Lebbé, Céleste

    2014-12-01

    Melanoma is a skin cancer whose incidence is increasing steadily. The recent discovery of frequent and recurrent genetic alterations in cutaneous melanoma allowed a molecular classification of tumors into distinct subgroups, and paved the way for targeted therapy. Several signaling pathways are involved in the progression of this disease with oncogenic mutations affecting signaling pathways: MAPK, PI3K, cAMP and cyclin D1/CDK4. In each of these pathways, several potential therapeutic targets have been identified and specific inhibitors have already been developed and have shown clinical efficacy. The use of these inhibitors is often conditioned by tumors genotyping. In France, melanomas genotyping is supported by the platforms of the National Cancer Institute (INCA), which implemented a national program ensuring access to innovation for personalized medicine. The identification of new targets in melanoma supplies a very active dynamic development of innovative molecules contributing to changing the therapeutic landscape of this pathology. PMID:25776766

  2. Molecular targeted therapy for advanced gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Although medical treatment has been shown to improve quality of life and prolong survival, no significant progress has been made in the treatment of advanced gastric cancer (AGC) within the last two decades. Thus, the optimum standard first-line chemotherapy regimen for AGC remains debatable, and most responses to chemotherapy are partial and of short duration; the median survival is approximately 7 to 11 months, and survival at 2 years is exceptionally > 10%. Recently, remarkable progress in tumor biology has led to the development of new agents that target critical aspects of oncogenic pathways. For AGC, many molecular targeting agents have been evaluated in international randomized studies, and trastuzumab, an anti-HER-2 monoclonal antibody, has shown antitumor activity against HER-2-positive AGC. However, this benefit is limited to only ~20% of patients with AGC (patients with HER-2-positive AGC). Therefore, there remains a critical need for both the development of more effective agents and the identification of molecular predictive and prognostic markers to select those patients who will benefit most from specific chemotherapeutic regimens and targeted therapies. PMID:23525404

  3. Molecular chaperones and photoreceptor function

    PubMed Central

    Kosmaoglou, Maria; Schwarz, Nele; Bett, John S.; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2008-01-01

    Molecular chaperones facilitate and regulate protein conformational change within cells. This encompasses many fundamental cellular processes: including the correct folding of nascent chains; protein transport and translocation; signal transduction and protein quality control. Chaperones are, therefore, important in several forms of human disease, including neurodegeneration. Within the retina, the highly specialized photoreceptor cell presents a fascinating paradigm to investigate the specialization of molecular chaperone function and reveals unique chaperone requirements essential to photoreceptor function. Mutations in several photoreceptor proteins lead to protein misfolding mediated neurodegeneration. The best characterized of these are mutations in the molecular light sensor, rhodopsin, which cause autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Rhodopsin biogenesis is likely to require chaperones, while rhodopsin misfolding involves molecular chaperones in quality control and the cellular response to protein aggregation. Furthermore, the specialization of components of the chaperone machinery to photoreceptor specific roles has been revealed by the identification of mutations in molecular chaperones that cause inherited retinal dysfunction and degeneration. These chaperones are involved in several important cellular pathways and further illuminate the essential and diverse roles of molecular chaperones. PMID:18490186

  4. Targets for molecular therapy of skin cancer.

    PubMed

    Green, Cheryl L; Khavari, Paul A

    2004-02-01

    Cancers of the skin encompass the first and second most common neoplasms in the United States, epidermal basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), respectively, as well as the melanocytic malignancy, malignant melanoma (MM). Recently identified alterations in the function of specific genes in these cancers provide new potential therapeutic targets. These alterations affect conserved regulators of cellular proliferation and viability, including the Sonic Hedgehog, Ras/Raf, ARF/p53, p16(INK4A)/CDK4/Rb and NF-kappaB pathways. New modalities designed to target these specific proteins may represent promising approaches to therapy of human skin cancers.

  5. Functionalized gold nanorods for molecular optoacoustic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eghtedari, Mohammad; Oraevsky, Alexander; Conjusteau, Andre; Copland, John A.; Kotov, Nicholas A.; Motamedi, Massoud

    2007-02-01

    The development of gold nanoparticles for molecular optoacoustic imaging is a very promising area of research and development. Enhancement of optoacoustic imaging for molecular detection of tumors requires the engineering of nanoparticles with geometrical and molecular features that can enhance selective targeting of malignant cells while optimizing the sensitivity of optoacoustic detection. In this article, cylindrical gold nanoparticles (i.e. gold nanorods) were fabricated with a plasmon resonance frequency in the near infra-red region of the spectrum, where deep irradiation of tissue is possible using an Alexandrite laser. Gold nanorods (Au-NRs) were functionalized by covalent attachment of Poly(ethylene glycol) to enhance their biocompatibility. These particles were further functionalized with the aim of targeting breast cancer cells using monoclonal antibodies that binds to Her2/neu receptors, which are over expressed on the surface of breast cancer cells. A custom Laser Optoacoustic Imaging System (LOIS) was designed and employed to image nanoparticle-targeted cancer cells in a phantom and PEGylated Au-NRs that were injected subcutaneously into a nude mouse. The results of our experiments show that functionalized Au-NRs with a plasmon resonance frequency at near infra-red region of the spectrum can be detected and imaged in vivo using laser optoacoustic imaging system.

  6. MR Molecular Imaging of Tumor Vasculature and Vascular Targets

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Arvind P.; Penet, Marie-France; Bhujwalla, Zaver M.

    2016-01-01

    Tumor angiogenesis and the ability of cancer cells to induce neovasculature continue to be a fascinating area of research. As the delivery network that provides substrates and nutrients, as well as chemotherapeutic agents to cancer cells, but allows cancer cells to disseminate, the tumor vasculature is richly primed with targets and mechanisms that can be exploited for cancer cure or control. The spatial and temporal heterogeneity of tumor vasculature, and the heterogeneity of response to targeting, make noninvasive imaging essential for understanding the mechanisms of tumor angiogenesis, tracking vascular targeting, and detecting the efficacy of antiangiogenic therapies. With its noninvasive characteristics, exquisite spatial resolution and range of applications, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques have provided a wealth of functional and molecular information on tumor vasculature in applications spanning from “bench to bedside”. The integration of molecular biology and chemistry to design novel imaging probes ensures the continued evolution of the molecular capabilities of MRI. In this review, we have focused on developments in the characterization of tumor vasculature with functional and molecular MRI. PMID:20807600

  7. Potential molecular targets for Ewing's sarcoma therapy.

    PubMed

    Jully, Babu; Rajkumar, Thangarajan

    2012-10-01

    Ewing's sarcoma (ES) is a highly malignant tumor of children and young adults. Modern therapy for Ewing's sarcoma combines high-dose chemotherapy for systemic control of disease, with advanced surgical and/or radiation therapeutic approaches for local control. Despite optimal management, the cure rate for localized disease is only approximately 70%, whereas the cure rate for metastatic disease at presentation is less than 30%. Patients who experience long-term disease-free survival are at risk for significant side-effects of therapy, including infertility, limb dysfunction and an increased risk for second malignancies. The identification of new targets for innovative therapeutic approaches is, therefore, strongly needed for its treatment. Many new pharmaceutical agents have been tested in early phases of clinical trials in ES patients who have recurrent disease. While some agents led to partial response or stable disease, the percentages of drugs eliciting responses or causing an overall effect have been minimal. Furthermore, of the new pharmaceuticals being introduced to clinical practice, the most effective agents also have dose-limiting toxicities. Novel approaches are needed to minimize non-specific toxicity, both for patients with recurrence and at diagnosis. This report presents an overview of the potential molecular targets in ES and highlights the possibility that they may serve as therapeutic targets for the disease. Although additional investigations are required before most of these approaches can be assessed in the clinic, they provide a great deal of hope for patients with Ewing's sarcoma. PMID:23580819

  8. Non-linear molecular pattern classification using molecular beacons with multiple targets.

    PubMed

    Lee, In-Hee; Lee, Seung Hwan; Park, Tai Hyun; Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2013-12-01

    In vitro pattern classification has been highlighted as an important future application of DNA computing. Previous work has demonstrated the feasibility of linear classifiers using DNA-based molecular computing. However, complex tasks require non-linear classification capability. Here we design a molecular beacon that can interact with multiple targets and experimentally shows that its fluorescent signals form a complex radial-basis function, enabling it to be used as a building block for non-linear molecular classification in vitro. The proposed method was successfully applied to solving artificial and real-world classification problems: XOR and microRNA expression patterns.

  9. Molecular Targeted Viral Nanoparticles as Tools for Imaging Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Cho, C.F.; Sourabh, S.; Simpson, E.J.; Steinmetz, N.F.; Luyt, L.G.; Lewis, J.D.

    2015-01-01

    Viral nanoparticles (VNPs) are a novel class of bionanomaterials that harness the natural biocompatibility of viruses for the development of therapeutics, vaccines, and imaging tools. The plant virus, cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV), has been successfully engineered to create novel cancer-targeted imaging agents by incorporating fluorescent dyes, polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers, and targeting moieties. Using straightforward conjugation strategies, VNPs with high selectivity for cancer-specific molecular targets can be synthesized for in vivo imaging of tumors. Here we describe the synthesis and purification of CPMV-based VNPs, the functionalization of these VNPs using click chemistry, and their use for imaging xenograft tumors in animal models. VNPs decorated with fluorescent dyes, PEG, and targeting ligands can be synthesized in one day, and imaging studies can be performed over hours, days, or weeks, depending on the application. PMID:24243252

  10. Protein-targeted corona phase molecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Bisker, Gili; Dong, Juyao; Park, Hoyoung D; Iverson, Nicole M; Ahn, Jiyoung; Nelson, Justin T; Landry, Markita P; Kruss, Sebastian; Strano, Michael S

    2016-01-01

    Corona phase molecular recognition (CoPhMoRe) uses a heteropolymer adsorbed onto and templated by a nanoparticle surface to recognize a specific target analyte. This method has not yet been extended to macromolecular analytes, including proteins. Herein we develop a variant of a CoPhMoRe screening procedure of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and use it against a panel of human blood proteins, revealing a specific corona phase that recognizes fibrinogen with high selectivity. In response to fibrinogen binding, SWCNT fluorescence decreases by >80% at saturation. Sequential binding of the three fibrinogen nodules is suggested by selective fluorescence quenching by isolated sub-domains and validated by the quenching kinetics. The fibrinogen recognition also occurs in serum environment, at the clinically relevant fibrinogen concentrations in the human blood. These results open new avenues for synthetic, non-biological antibody analogues that recognize biological macromolecules, and hold great promise for medical and clinical applications. PMID:26742890

  11. Protein-targeted corona phase molecular recognition

    PubMed Central

    Bisker, Gili; Dong, Juyao; Park, Hoyoung D.; Iverson, Nicole M.; Ahn, Jiyoung; Nelson, Justin T.; Landry, Markita P.; Kruss, Sebastian; Strano, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    Corona phase molecular recognition (CoPhMoRe) uses a heteropolymer adsorbed onto and templated by a nanoparticle surface to recognize a specific target analyte. This method has not yet been extended to macromolecular analytes, including proteins. Herein we develop a variant of a CoPhMoRe screening procedure of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and use it against a panel of human blood proteins, revealing a specific corona phase that recognizes fibrinogen with high selectivity. In response to fibrinogen binding, SWCNT fluorescence decreases by >80% at saturation. Sequential binding of the three fibrinogen nodules is suggested by selective fluorescence quenching by isolated sub-domains and validated by the quenching kinetics. The fibrinogen recognition also occurs in serum environment, at the clinically relevant fibrinogen concentrations in the human blood. These results open new avenues for synthetic, non-biological antibody analogues that recognize biological macromolecules, and hold great promise for medical and clinical applications. PMID:26742890

  12. Escorts Take the Lead: Molecular Chaperones as Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Dumaine; Devi, Lakshmi A.

    2011-01-01

    The functional and physiological diversity of transmembrane receptors results from factors that influence the pharmacology, signaling, and trafficking of these receptors. Receptor mutations and other modifications may lead to misfolding, intracellular retention, and ineffective signaling of transmembrane receptors. The importance of such mutations is highlighted by the fact that various diseases have been linked to mutations that lead to ineffective signaling of these receptors, resulting from the retention of receptors in intracellular compartments. Studies focused on understanding the regulation of trafficking and cell surface expression of newly synthesized receptors have highlighted molecular chaperones as key regulators of receptor maturation and sorting. In this chapter, we discuss the functions of molecular chaperones in the regulation of seven-transmembrane-containing G-protein-coupled receptor function and trafficking and explore ways in which chaperones can serve as novel therapeutic targets. PMID:20691961

  13. Treatment planning for molecular targeted radionuclide therapy.

    PubMed

    Siantar, Christine Hartmann; Vetter, Kai; DeNardo, Gerald L; DeNardo, Sally J

    2002-06-01

    Molecular targeted radionuclide therapy promises to expand the usefulness of radiation to successfully treat widespread cancer. The unique properties of radioactive tags make it possible to plan treatments by predicting the radiation absorbed dose to both tumors and normal organs, using a pre-treatment test dose of radiopharmaceutical. This requires a combination of quantitative, high-resolution, radiation-detection hardware and computerized dose-estimation software, and would ideally include biological dose-response data in order to translate radiation absorbed dose into biological effects. Data derived from conventional (external beam) radiation therapy suggests that accurate assessment of the radiation absorbed dose in dose-limiting normal organs could substantially improve the observed clinical response for current agents used in a myeloablative regimen, enabling higher levels of tumor control at lower tumor-to-normal tissue therapeutic indices. Treatment planning based on current radiation detection and simulations technology is sufficient to impact on clinical response. The incorporation of new imaging methods, combined with patient-specific radiation transport simulations, promises to provide unprecedented levels of resolution and quantitative accuracy, which are likely to increase the impact of treatment planning in targeted radionuclide therapy. PMID:12136519

  14. Application of Monte Carlo Methods in Molecular Targeted Radionuclide Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Hartmann Siantar, C; Descalle, M-A; DeNardo, G L; Nigg, D W

    2002-02-19

    Targeted radionuclide therapy promises to expand the role of radiation beyond the treatment of localized tumors. This novel form of therapy targets metastatic cancers by combining radioactive isotopes with tumor-seeking molecules such as monoclonal antibodies and custom-designed synthetic agents. Ultimately, like conventional radiotherapy, the effectiveness of targeted radionuclide therapy is limited by the maximum dose that can be given to a critical, normal tissue, such as bone marrow, kidneys, and lungs. Because radionuclide therapy relies on biological delivery of radiation, its optimization and characterization are necessarily different than for conventional radiation therapy. We have initiated the development of a new, Monte Carlo transport-based treatment planning system for molecular targeted radiation therapy as part of the MINERVA treatment planning system. This system calculates patient-specific radiation dose estimates using a set of computed tomography scans to describe the 3D patient anatomy, combined with 2D (planar image) and 3D (SPECT, or single photon emission computed tomography) to describe the time-dependent radiation source. The accuracy of such a dose calculation is limited primarily by the accuracy of the initial radiation source distribution, overlaid on the patient's anatomy. This presentation provides an overview of MINERVA functionality for molecular targeted radiation therapy, and describes early validation and implementation results of Monte Carlo simulations.

  15. Molecular imaging and therapy targeting copper metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Wachsmann, Jason; Peng, Fangyu

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Significant efforts have been devoted to identify new biomarkers for molecular imaging and targeted therapy of HCC. Copper is a nutritional metal required for the function of numerous enzymatic molecules in the metabolic pathways of human cells. Emerging evidence suggests that copper plays a role in cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Increased accumulation of copper ions was detected in tissue samples of HCC and many other cancers in humans. Altered copper metabolism is a new biomarker for molecular cancer imaging with position emission tomography (PET) using radioactive copper as a tracer. It has been reported that extrahepatic mouse hepatoma or HCC xenografts can be localized with PET using copper-64 chloride as a tracer, suggesting that copper metabolism is a new biomarker for the detection of HCC metastasis in areas of low physiological copper uptake. In addition to copper modulation therapy with copper chelators, short-interference RNA specific for human copper transporter 1 (hCtr1) may be used to suppress growth of HCC by blocking increased copper uptake mediated by hCtr1. Furthermore, altered copper metabolism is a promising target for radionuclide therapy of HCC using therapeutic copper radionuclides. Copper metabolism has potential as a new theranostic biomarker for molecular imaging as well as targeted therapy of HCC. PMID:26755872

  16. Molecular imaging and therapy targeting copper metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Wachsmann, Jason; Peng, Fangyu

    2016-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Significant efforts have been devoted to identify new biomarkers for molecular imaging and targeted therapy of HCC. Copper is a nutritional metal required for the function of numerous enzymatic molecules in the metabolic pathways of human cells. Emerging evidence suggests that copper plays a role in cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Increased accumulation of copper ions was detected in tissue samples of HCC and many other cancers in humans. Altered copper metabolism is a new biomarker for molecular cancer imaging with position emission tomography (PET) using radioactive copper as a tracer. It has been reported that extrahepatic mouse hepatoma or HCC xenografts can be localized with PET using copper-64 chloride as a tracer, suggesting that copper metabolism is a new biomarker for the detection of HCC metastasis in areas of low physiological copper uptake. In addition to copper modulation therapy with copper chelators, short-interference RNA specific for human copper transporter 1 (hCtr1) may be used to suppress growth of HCC by blocking increased copper uptake mediated by hCtr1. Furthermore, altered copper metabolism is a promising target for radionuclide therapy of HCC using therapeutic copper radionuclides. Copper metabolism has potential as a new theranostic biomarker for molecular imaging as well as targeted therapy of HCC. PMID:26755872

  17. Molecular Chaperone Function for Myocilin

    PubMed Central

    Anderssohn, Ann Marie; Cox, Kalani; O'Malley, Kevin; Dees, Scott; Hosseini, Mojgan; Boren, Lacey; Wagner, Anthony; Bradley, John M.; Kelley, Mary J.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Myocilin is thought to be a stress response protein, but its exact molecular functions have not been established. Studies were conducted to see whether myocilin can act as a general molecular chaperone. Methods. Myocilin was isolated and purified from porcine trabecular meshwork (TM) cell culture media. Its ability to protect citrate synthase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and the restriction endonuclease DrdI from thermal inactivation was evaluated. Light scattering was used to evaluate thermally induced aggregation of citrate synthase. Myocilin induction was assessed after exposure of TM cells to several types of stress treatments. Results. Levels of extracellular myocilin expressed by TM cells were increased in response to mechanical stretch, heat shock, TNFα, or IL-1α. Myocilin protected citrate synthase activity against thermal inactivation for 5 minutes at 55°C in a concentration-dependent manner, with nearly full protection of 1.5 μM citrate synthase in the presence of 650 nM myocilin. Myocilin significantly reduced thermal aggregation of citrate synthase to levels 36% to 44% of control levels. Myocilin also protected GAPDH from thermal inactivation for 10 minutes at 45°C. Myocilin at 18 nM was more effective than 1 μM bovine serum albumin at protecting DrdI from thermal inactivation. Conclusions. Myocilin is induced in response to several cellular stresses and displays general molecular chaperone activity by protecting DrdI, citrate synthase, and GAPDH from thermal inactivation. Myocilin also suppresses the thermal aggregation of citrate synthase. One function of myocilin may be to serve as a molecular chaperone. PMID:21873671

  18. Review: Molecular pathology in adult high-grade gliomas: from molecular diagnostics to target therapies

    PubMed Central

    Masui, K.; Cloughesy, T. F.; Mischel, P. S.

    2014-01-01

    The classification of malignant gliomas is moving from a morphology-based guide to a system built on molecular criteria. The development of a genomic landscape for gliomas and a better understanding of its functional consequences have led to the development of internally consistent molecular classifiers. However, development of a biologically insightful classification to guide therapy is still a work in progress. Response to targeted treatments is based not only on the presence of drugable targets, but rather on the molecular circuitry of the cells. Further, tumours are heterogeneous and change and adapt in response to drugs. Therefore, the challenge of developing molecular classifiers that provide meaningful ways to stratify patients for therapy remains a major challenge for the field. In this review, we examine the potential role of MGMT methylation, IDH1/2 mutations, 1p/19q deletions, aberrant epidermal growth factor receptor and PI3K pathways, abnormal p53/Rb pathways, cancer stem-cell markers and microRNAs as prognostic and predictive molecular markers in the setting of adult high-grade gliomas and we outline the clinically relevant subtypes of glioblastoma with genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic integrated analyses. Furthermore, we describe how these advances, especially in epidermal growth factor receptor/PI3K/mTOR signalling pathway, affect our approaches towards targeted therapy, raising new challenges and identifying new leads. PMID:22098029

  19. Molecular biology of chromosome function

    SciTech Connect

    Adolph, K.W. )

    1989-01-01

    The structure and function of chromosomes are closely linked since chromosome organization profoundly influences the activity of the genome in replication and transcription. Many fundamental results originated from studies of bacterial and viral systems chosen for their less-complex cycles. However, the processes of replication and transcription show differences between the higher and simpler systems. Three important subjects are covered in this volume: DNA replication and recombination, gene transcription, and chromosome organization. Eukaryotic, prokaryotic, and viral systems are discussed. The information presented is derived from techniques of structural biology and biophysics, including computer graphics and X-ray crystallography, as well as biochemistry, molecular and cell biology.

  20. Molecular mechanisms for vascular complications of targeted cancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Gopal, Srila; Miller, Kenneth B; Jaffe, Iris Z

    2016-10-01

    Molecularly targeted anti-cancer therapies have revolutionized cancer treatment by improving both quality of life and survival in cancer patients. However, many of these drugs are associated with cardiovascular toxicities that are sometimes dose-limiting. Moreover, the long-term cardiovascular consequences of these drugs, some of which are used chronically, are not yet known. Although the scope and mechanisms of the cardiac toxicities are better defined, the mechanisms for vascular toxicities are only beginning to be elucidated. This review summarizes what is known about the vascular adverse events associated with three classes of novel anti-cancer therapies: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, breakpoint cluster-Abelson (BCR-ABL) kinase inhibitors used to treat chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) and immunomodulatory agents (IMiDs) used in myeloma therapeutics. Three of the best described vascular toxicities are reviewed including hypertension, increased risk of acute cardiovascular ischaemic events and arteriovenous thrombosis. The available data regarding the mechanism by which each therapy causes vascular complication are summarized. When data are limited, potential mechanisms are inferred from the known effects of inhibiting each target on vascular cell function and disease. Enhanced understanding of the molecular mechanisms of vascular side effects of targeted cancer therapy is necessary to effectively manage cancer patients and to design safer targeted cancer therapies for the future. PMID:27612952

  1. Evolving molecular targets in the treatment of nonmalignant gastrointestinal diseases.

    PubMed

    Katzka, D A; Loftus, E V; Camilleri, M

    2012-09-01

    Novel treatments for gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are based on molecular targets. Novel pharmacologic and biological agents with greater selectivity and specificity are being developed for a variety of epithelial diseases, including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), celiac disease, short bowel syndrome (SBS), and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs; Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). Motility and secretory agents are being developed for gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation, and diarrhea. Here we focus on data from clinical trials involving validated pharmacodynamic or patient response outcomes. PMID:22828717

  2. Molecular targets of aspirin and cancer prevention.

    PubMed

    Alfonso, L; Ai, G; Spitale, R C; Bhat, G J

    2014-07-01

    Salicylates from plant sources have been used for centuries by different cultures to treat a variety of ailments such as inflammation, fever and pain. A chemical derivative of salicylic acid, aspirin, was synthesised and mass produced by the end of the 19th century and is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. Its cardioprotective properties are well established; however, recent evidence shows that it can also act as a chemopreventive agent. Its antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory actions occur through the inhibition of cyclooxygenases. The precise mechanisms leading to its anticancer effects are not clearly established, although multiple mechanisms affecting enzyme activity, transcription factors, cellular signalling and mitochondrial functions have been proposed. This review presents a brief account of the major COX-dependent and independent pathways described in connection with aspirin's anticancer effects. Aspirin's unique ability to acetylate biomolecules besides COX has not been thoroughly investigated nor have all the targets of its primary metabolite, salicylic acid been identified. Recent reports on the ability of aspirin to acetylate multiple cellular proteins warrant a comprehensive study to investigate the role of this posttranslational modification in its anticancer effects. In this review, we also raise the intriguing possibility that aspirin may interact and acetylate cellular molecules such as RNA, and metabolites such as CoA, leading to a change in their function. Research in this area will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms of action of this drug. PMID:24874482

  3. Discovery of functional antibodies targeting ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Trevor C I; Gardener, Matthew J; Williams, Wendy A

    2015-04-01

    Ion channels play critical roles in physiology and disease by modulation of cellular functions such as electrical excitability, secretion, cell migration, and gene transcription. Ion channels represent an important target class for drug discovery that has been largely addressed, to date, using small-molecule approaches. A significant opportunity exists to target these channels with antibodies and alternative formats of biologics. Antibodies display high specificity and affinity for their target antigen, and they have the potential to target ion channels very selectively. Nevertheless, isolating antibodies to this target class is challenging due to the difficulties in expression and purification of ion channels in a format suitable for antibody drug discovery in addition to the complexity of screening for function. In this article, we will review the current state of ion channel biologics discovery and the progress that has been made. We will also highlight the challenges in isolating functional antibodies to these targets and how these challenges may be addressed. Finally, we also illustrate successful approaches to isolating functional monoclonal antibodies targeting ion channels by way of a number of case studies drawn from recent publications.

  4. Functional molecular markers for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kage, Udaykumar; Kumar, Arun; Dhokane, Dhananjay; Karre, Shailesh; Kushalappa, Ajjamada C

    2016-10-01

    A tremendous decline in cultivable land and resources and a huge increase in food demand calls for immediate attention to crop improvement. Though molecular plant breeding serves as a viable solution and is considered as "foundation for twenty-first century crop improvement", a major stumbling block for crop improvement is the availability of a limited functional gene pool for cereal crops. Advancement in the next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies integrated with tools like metabolomics, proteomics and association mapping studies have facilitated the identification of candidate genes, their allelic variants and opened new avenues to accelerate crop improvement through development and use of functional molecular markers (FMMs). The FMMs are developed from the sequence polymorphisms present within functional gene(s) which are associated with phenotypic trait variations. Since FMMs obviate the problems associated with random DNA markers, these are considered as "the holy grail" of plant breeders who employ targeted marker assisted selections (MAS) for crop improvement. This review article attempts to consider the current resources and novel methods such as metabolomics, proteomics and association studies for the identification of candidate genes and their validation through virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for the development of FMMs. A number of examples where the FMMs have been developed and used for the improvement of cereal crops for agronomic, food quality, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance traits have been considered. PMID:26171816

  5. Comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of molecularly targeted drugs in cancer for target pathway evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Mashima, Tetsuo; Ushijima, Masaru; Matsuura, Masaaki; Tsukahara, Satomi; Kunimasa, Kazuhiro; Furuno, Aki; Saito, Sakae; Kitamura, Masami; Soma-Nagae, Taeko; Seimiya, Hiroyuki; Dan, Shingo; Yamori, Takao; Tomida, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    Targeted therapy is a rational and promising strategy for the treatment of advanced cancer. For the development of clinical agents targeting oncogenic signaling pathways, it is important to define the specificity of compounds to the target molecular pathway. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis is an unbiased approach to evaluate the compound mode of action, but it is still unknown whether the analysis could be widely applicable to classify molecularly targeted anticancer agents. We comprehensively obtained and analyzed 129 transcriptomic datasets of cancer cells treated with 83 anticancer drugs or related agents, covering most clinically used, molecularly targeted drugs alongside promising inhibitors of molecular cancer targets. Hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis revealed that compounds targeting similar target molecules or pathways were clustered together. These results confirmed that the gene signatures of these drugs reflected their modes of action. Of note, inhibitors of oncogenic kinase pathways formed a large unique cluster, showing that these agents affect a shared molecular pathway distinct from classical antitumor agents and other classes of agents. The gene signature analysis further classified kinome-targeting agents depending on their target signaling pathways, and we identified target pathway-selective signature gene sets. The gene expression analysis was also valuable in uncovering unexpected target pathways of some anticancer agents. These results indicate that comprehensive transcriptomic analysis with our database (http://scads.jfcr.or.jp/db/cs/) is a powerful strategy to validate and re-evaluate the target pathways of anticancer compounds. PMID:25911996

  6. Molecular targeting of the lymphovascular system for imaging and therapy.

    PubMed

    Schöder, Heiko; Glass, Edwin C; Pecking, Alain P; Harness, Jay K; Wallace, Anne M; Hirnle, Peter; Alberini, Jean L; Vilain, Didier; Larson, Steven M; Hoh, Carl K; Vera, David R

    2006-06-01

    Progress toward targeting cancer cells is a multi-disciplinary endeavor. In addition to the surgical and oncology specialties, radiologists collaborate with mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists, in a constant effort to incrementally improve upon the current imaging modalities. Recently, radiologists have formed collaborations with molecular biologists and chemists in order to develop molecular agents that target cancer cells via receptor-substrate or specific physiochemical interactions. In this review, we summarize selected efforts toward molecular targeting of the lymphovascular system. Standard imaging modalities, positron emission tomography, single photon emission tomography, and ultrasound, are reviewed as well as, the targeted introduction of substances for endolymphatic therapy. We also review the current status of sentinel lymph node mapping with radiocolloids and the application of molecular targeting for the development of a radiopharmaceutical specifically designed for sentinel lymph node mapping.

  7. Molecular Motions as a Drug Target: Mechanistic Simulations of Anthrax Toxin Edema Factor Function Led to the Discovery of Novel Allosteric Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Laine, Élodie; Martínez, Leandro; Ladant, Daniel; Malliavin, Thérèse; Blondel, Arnaud

    2012-01-01

    Edema Factor (EF) is a component of Bacillus anthracis toxin essential for virulence. Its adenylyl cyclase activity is induced by complexation with the ubiquitous eukaryotic cellular protein, calmodulin (CaM). EF and its complexes with CaM, nucleotides and/or ions, have been extensively characterized by X-ray crystallography. Those structural data allowed molecular simulations analysis of various aspects of EF action mechanism, including the delineation of EF and CaM domains through their association energetics, the impact of calcium binding on CaM, and the role of catalytic site ions. Furthermore, a transition path connecting the free inactive form to the CaM-complexed active form of EF was built to model the activation mechanism in an attempt to define an inhibition strategy. The cavities at the surface of EF were determined for each path intermediate to identify potential sites where the binding of a ligand could block activation. A non-catalytic cavity (allosteric) was found to shrink rapidly at early stages of the path and was chosen to perform virtual screening. Amongst 18 compounds selected in silico and tested in an enzymatic assay, 6 thiophen ureidoacid derivatives formed a new family of EF allosteric inhibitors with IC50 as low as 2 micromolars. PMID:23012649

  8. Functionalized Nanosystems for Targeted Mitochondrial Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Durazo, Shelley A.; Kompella, Uday B.

    2011-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction including oxidative stress and DNA mutations underlies the pathology of various diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, necessitating the development of mitochondria targeted therapeutic agents. Nanotechnology offers unique tools and materials to target therapeutic agents to mitochondria. As discussed in this paper, a variety of functionalized nanosystems including polymeric and metallic nanoparticles as well as liposomes are more effective than plain drug and non-functionalized nanosystems in delivering therapeutic agents to mitochondria. Although the field is in its infancy, studies to date suggest the superior therapeutic activity of functionalized nanosystems for treating mitochondrial defects. PMID:22138492

  9. Target discrimination by surface-immobilized molecular beacons designed to detect Francisella tularensis.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Akhilesh; Flinchbaugh, James; Ayoubi, Patricia; Olah, Glenn A; Malayer, Jerry R

    2004-02-15

    A molecular beacon (MB) array was designed based on unique regions of the 16S rRNA of the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Nucleic acid molecular beacons undergo a spontaneous fluorogenic conformational change when they hybridize to specific complementary targets. The array was printed on aldehyde glass or hydrogel slides and evaluated for functioning in presence of complementary oligonucleotide sequences, single-nucleotide mismatch sequences and multiple nucleotide mismatch sequences. Discriminating true target from mismatched targets was found to be dependent on type, number, and location of mismatches within the beacon (i.e. located in the stem or loop regions). Optimal conditions for molecular beacon deposition, and target hybridization were determined for oligonucleotide target mismatch discrimination. The beacon array was stable upon recharging by exposure to an alkaline solution, and repeatedly used. In addition, performance of the beacon array biosensor was compared with molecular beacons in homogeneous solution.

  10. Molecular Pharming: future targets and aspirations.

    PubMed

    Paul, Mathew; van Dolleweerd, Craig; Drake, Pascal M W; Reljic, Rajko; Thangaraj, Harry; Barbi, Tommaso; Stylianou, Elena; Pepponi, Ilaria; Both, Leonard; Hehle, Verena; Madeira, Luisa; Inchakalody, Varghese; Ho, Sammy; Guerra, Thais; Ma, Julian K-C

    2011-03-01

    Molecular Pharming represents an unprecedented opportunity to manufacture affordable modern medicines and make these available at a global scale. The area of greatest potential is in the prevention of infectious diseases, particular in underdeveloped countries where access to medicines and vaccines has historically been limited. This is why, at St. George's, we focus on diseases such as HIV, TB and rabies, and aim to develop production strategies that are simple and potentially easy to transfer to developing countries.

  11. Molecular Pharming: future targets and aspirations.

    PubMed

    Paul, Mathew; van Dolleweerd, Craig; Drake, Pascal M W; Reljic, Rajko; Thangaraj, Harry; Barbi, Tommaso; Stylianou, Elena; Pepponi, Ilaria; Both, Leonard; Hehle, Verena; Madeira, Luisa; Inchakalody, Varghese; Ho, Sammy; Guerra, Thais; Ma, Julian K-C

    2011-03-01

    Molecular Pharming represents an unprecedented opportunity to manufacture affordable modern medicines and make these available at a global scale. The area of greatest potential is in the prevention of infectious diseases, particular in underdeveloped countries where access to medicines and vaccines has historically been limited. This is why, at St. George's, we focus on diseases such as HIV, TB and rabies, and aim to develop production strategies that are simple and potentially easy to transfer to developing countries. PMID:21368584

  12. Molecular Strategies for Targeting Antioxidants to Mitochondria: Therapeutic Implications

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. New Molecular Targets in Mantle Cell lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Samir; Weniger, Marc A.; Wiestner, Adrian

    2011-01-01

    Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a malignancy of mature B cells characterized by aberrant expression of cyclin D1 due to the translocation t(11;14). Epigenomic and genomic lesions in pathways regulating B-cell activation, cell cycle progression, protein homeostasis, DNA damage response, cell proliferation and apoptosis contribute to its pathogenesis. While patients typically respond to first-line chemotherapy, relapse is the rule resulting in a median survival of 5–7 years. The PI3K/AKT/mTOR appears as a key pathway in the pathogenesis and can be targeted with small molecules. Most experience is with mTOR inhibitors of the rapamycin class. Second-generation mTOR inhibitors and the PI3K inhibitor CAL-101 are novel options to more effectively target this pathway. Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibition by PCI-32765 has promising activity and indicates immunoreceptor signaling as a novel therapeutic target. Up to 50% of relapsed patients respond to the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib suggesting that MCL may be particularly sensitive to disruption of protein homeostasis and/or induction of oxidative stress. Recent work has focused on elucidating the mechanism of bortezomib-induced cytotoxicity and the development of second-generation proteasome inhibitors. DNA hypomethylating agents and histone deacetylase inhibitors effect epigenetic de-repression of aberrantly silenced genes. These epigenetic pharmaceuticals and HSP90 inhibitors can synergize with proteasome inhibitors. Finally, BH3 mimetics are emerging as tools to sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapy. Participation in clinical trials offers patients a chance to benefit from these advances and is essential to maintain the momentum of progress. Innovative trial designs may be needed to expedite the clinical development of these targeted agents. PMID:21945517

  14. Molecular mechanisms of membrane targeting antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Epand, Richard M; Walker, Chelsea; Epand, Raquel F; Magarvey, Nathan A

    2016-05-01

    The bacterial membrane provides a target for antimicrobial peptides. There are two groups of bacteria that have characteristically different surface membranes. One is the Gram-negative bacteria that have an outer membrane rich in lipopolysaccharide. Several antimicrobials have been found to inhibit the synthesis of this lipid, and it is expected that more will be developed. In addition, antimicrobial peptides can bind to the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and block passage of solutes between the periplasm and the cell exterior, resulting in bacterial toxicity. In Gram-positive bacteria, the major bacterial lipid component, phosphatidylglycerol can be chemically modified by bacterial enzymes to convert the lipid from anionic to cationic or zwitterionic form. This process leads to increased levels of resistance of the bacteria against polycationic antimicrobial agents. Inhibitors of this enzyme would provide protection against the development of bacterial resistance. There are antimicrobial agents that directly target a component of bacterial cytoplasmic membranes that can act on both Gram-negative as well as Gram-positive bacteria. Many of these are cyclic peptides with a rigid binding site capable of binding a lipid component. This binding targets antimicrobial agents to bacteria, rather than being toxic to host cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Antimicrobial peptides edited by Karl Lohner and Kai Hilpert.

  15. Identifying miRNAs, targets and functions

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bing; Li, Jiuyong

    2014-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous non-coding RNAs that function as the universal specificity factors in post-transcriptional gene silencing. Discovering miRNAs, identifying their targets and further inferring miRNA functions have been a critical strategy for understanding normal biological processes of miRNAs and their roles in the development of disease. In this review, we focus on computational methods of inferring miRNA functions, including miRNA functional annotation and inferring miRNA regulatory modules, by integrating heterogeneous data sources. We also briefly introduce the research in miRNA discovery and miRNA-target identification with an emphasis on the challenges to computational biology. PMID:23175680

  16. Molecular Targeted Approaches in Mantle Cell lymphoma.

    PubMed Central

    Weniger, Marc A.; Wiestner, Adrian

    2011-01-01

    Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a malignancy of mature B cells characterized by the translocation t(11;14) that leads to aberrant expression of cyclin D1. Response to first-line chemotherapy is good but most patients relapse resulting in a median survival of 5-7 years. The important PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway can be targeted with small molecules. mTOR inhibitors have clinical activity and temsirolimus has been approved in Europe. Second generation mTOR inhibitors and the PI3K inhibitor CAL-101 offer additional means to target the pathway. Promising results with the BTK inhibitor PCI-32765 suggest that B-cell receptor signaling could play a role. For unknown reasons, MCL appears to be particularly sensitive to disruption of protein homeostasis. The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib achieves responses in up to 50% of relapsed patients. Much work has been done in elucidating the mechanism of its cytotoxicity, its incorporation into combination therapies, and the development of second generation proteasome inhibitors. Deacetylase and HSP90 inhibitors are also promising classes of drugs that can synergize with proteasome inhibitors. Finally, BH3 mimetics are emerging as tools to sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapy. Participation in clinical trials offers patients an immediate chance to benefit from these advances and is essential to maintain the momentum of progress. PMID:21782064

  17. Twist: a molecular target in cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Khan, Md Asaduzzaman; Chen, Han-chun; Zhang, Dianzheng; Fu, Junjiang

    2013-10-01

    Twist, the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, is involved in the process of epithelial to mesenchymal transitions (EMTs), which play an essential role in cancer metastasis. Overexpression of Twist or its promoter methylation is a common scenario in metastatic carcinomas. Twist is activated by a variety of signal transduction pathways, including Akt, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, mitogen-activated protein kinase, Ras, and Wnt signaling. Activated Twist upregulates N-cadherin and downregulates E-cadherin, which are the hallmarks of EMT. Moreover, Twist plays an important role in some physiological processes involved in metastasis, like angiogenesis, invadopodia, extravasation, and chromosomal instability. Twist also protects cancer cells from apoptotic cell death. In addition, Twist is responsible for the stemness of cancer cells and the generation of drug resistance. Recently, targeting Twist has gained significant interests in cancer therapeutics. The inactivation of Twist by small RNA technology or chemotherapeutic approach has been proved successful. Moreover, several inhibitors which are antagonistic to the upstream or downstream molecules of Twist signaling pathways have also been identified. Development of potential treatment strategies by targeting Twist has a great promise in cancer therapeutics.

  18. Adipocyte transdifferentiation and its molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Sujith; Gupta, Abhishek; Beg, Muheeb; Shankar, Kripa; Srivastava, Ankita; Varshney, Salil; Kumar, Durgesh; Gaikwad, Anil Nilkanth

    2014-06-01

    According to the World Health Organization obesity is defined as the excessive accumulation of fat, which increases risk of other metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, etc. There are two types of adipose tissue, white and brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the latter has recently gathered interest of the scientific community. Discovery of BAT has opened avenues for a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic syndrome. BAT utilizes accumulated fatty acids for energy expenditure; hence it is seen as one of the possible alternates to the current treatment. Moreover, browning of white adipocyte on exposure to cold, as well as with some of the pharmacological agents presents exciting outcomes and indicates the feasibility of transdifferentiation. A better understanding of molecular pathways and differentiation factors, those that play a key role in transdifferentiation are of extreme importance in designing novel strategies for the treatment of obesity and associated metabolic disorders. PMID:25130315

  19. Molecular Targeted Therapies of Aggressive Thyroid Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Silvia Martina; Fallahi, Poupak; Politti, Ugo; Materazzi, Gabriele; Baldini, Enke; Ulisse, Salvatore; Miccoli, Paolo; Antonelli, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    Differentiated thyroid carcinomas (DTCs) that arise from follicular cells account >90% of thyroid cancer (TC) [papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) 90%, follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) 10%], while medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) accounts <5%. Complete total thyroidectomy is the treatment of choice for PTC, FTC, and MTC. Radioiodine is routinely recommended in high-risk patients and considered in intermediate risk DTC patients. DTC cancer cells, during tumor progression, may lose the iodide uptake ability, becoming resistant to radioiodine, with a significant worsening of the prognosis. The lack of specific and effective drugs for aggressive and metastatic DTC and MTC leads to additional efforts toward the development of new drugs. Several genetic alterations in different molecular pathways in TC have been shown in the past few decades, associated with TC development and progression. Rearranged during transfection (RET)/PTC gene rearrangements, RET mutations, BRAF mutations, RAS mutations, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 angiogenesis pathways are some of the known pathways determinant in the development of TC. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are small organic compounds inhibiting tyrosine kinases auto-phosphorylation and activation, most of them are multikinase inhibitors. TKIs act on the aforementioned molecular pathways involved in growth, angiogenesis, local, and distant spread of TC. TKIs are emerging as new therapies of aggressive TC, including DTC, MTC, and anaplastic thyroid cancer, being capable of inducing clinical responses and stabilization of disease. Vandetanib and cabozantinib have been approved for the treatment of MTC, while sorafenib and lenvatinib for DTC refractory to radioiodine. These drugs prolong median progression-free survival, but until now no significant increase has been observed on overall survival; side effects are common. New efforts are made to find new more effective and safe compounds and to personalize the therapy in

  20. Bone defects: molecular and cellular therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Desiderio, Vincenzo; Tirino, Virginia; Papaccio, Gianpaolo; Paino, Francesca

    2014-06-01

    Bone defects are one of the most serious pathologies that need tissue regeneration therapies. Studies on mesenchymal stem cells are changing the way we treat bone diseases. MSCs have been used for the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta, hypophosphatasia, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In this context, it is becoming ever more clear that the future of therapies will be based on the use of stem cells. In this concise review, we highlight the importance of the use of MSCs in bone diseases, focusing on the role of histone deacetylases and Wnt pathways involved in osteogenesis. A better understanding of MSC biology and osteogenesis is needed in order to develop new and targeted therapeutic strategies for the treatment of bone diseases/disorders.

  1. Adrenaline and noradrenaline: protectors against oxidative stress or molecular targets?

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Diduk, Ruslán; Galano, Annia

    2015-02-26

    Density functional theory was used to investigate the potential role of neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline regarding oxidative stress. It is predicted that they can be efficient as free radical scavengers both in lipid and aqueous media, with the main reaction mechanism being the hydrogen transfer and the sequential proton loss electron transfer, respectively. Despite the polarity of the environment, adrenaline and noradrenaline react with (•)OOH faster than Trolox, which suggests that they are better peroxyl radical scavengers than the reference compound. Both catecholamines are also proposed to be capable of efficiently inhibiting the oxidative stress induced by copper(II)-ascorbate mixtures, and the (•)OH production via Haber-Weiss reaction, albeit the effects on the later are only partial. They exert such beneficial effects by sequestering Cu(II) ions. In summary, these catecholamines can be capable of reducing oxidative stress, by scavenging free radicals and by sequestering metal ions. However, at the same time they might lose their functions in the process due to the associated structural modifications. Consequently, adrenaline and noradrenaline can be considered as both protectors and molecular targets of oxidative stress. Fortunately, under the proper conditions, both catecholamines can be regenerated to their original form so their functions are restored.

  2. Adrenaline and noradrenaline: protectors against oxidative stress or molecular targets?

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Diduk, Ruslán; Galano, Annia

    2015-02-26

    Density functional theory was used to investigate the potential role of neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline regarding oxidative stress. It is predicted that they can be efficient as free radical scavengers both in lipid and aqueous media, with the main reaction mechanism being the hydrogen transfer and the sequential proton loss electron transfer, respectively. Despite the polarity of the environment, adrenaline and noradrenaline react with (•)OOH faster than Trolox, which suggests that they are better peroxyl radical scavengers than the reference compound. Both catecholamines are also proposed to be capable of efficiently inhibiting the oxidative stress induced by copper(II)-ascorbate mixtures, and the (•)OH production via Haber-Weiss reaction, albeit the effects on the later are only partial. They exert such beneficial effects by sequestering Cu(II) ions. In summary, these catecholamines can be capable of reducing oxidative stress, by scavenging free radicals and by sequestering metal ions. However, at the same time they might lose their functions in the process due to the associated structural modifications. Consequently, adrenaline and noradrenaline can be considered as both protectors and molecular targets of oxidative stress. Fortunately, under the proper conditions, both catecholamines can be regenerated to their original form so their functions are restored. PMID:25646569

  3. Diverse Molecular Targets for Chalcones with Varied Bioactivities

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Bo; Xing, Chengguo

    2015-01-01

    Natural or synthetic chalcones with different substituents have revealed a variety of biological activities that may benefit human health. The underlying mechanisms of action, particularly with respect to the direct cellular targets and the modes of interaction with the targets, have not been rigorously characterized, which imposes challenges to structure-guided rational development of therapeutic agents or chemical probes with acceptable target-selectivity profile. This review summarizes literature evidence on chalcones’ direct molecular targets in the context of their biological activities. PMID:26798565

  4. MOLECULAR TARGETS AND MECHANISMS FOR ETHANOL ACTION IN GLYCINE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, Daya I.; Trudell, James R.; Crawford, Daniel K.; Alkana, Ronald L.; Davies, Daryl L.

    2010-01-01

    Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are recognized as the primary mediators of neuronal inhibition in the spinal cord, brain stem and higher brain regions known to be sensitive to ethanol. Building evidence supports the notion that ethanol acting on GlyRs causes at least a subset of its behavioral effects and may be involved in modulating ethanol intake. For over two decades, GlyRs have been studied at the molecular level as targets for ethanol action. Despite the advances in understanding the effects of ethanol in vivo and in vitro, the precise molecular sites and mechanisms of action for ethanol in ligand-gated ion channels in general, and in GlyRs specifically, are just now starting to become understood. The present review focuses on advances in our knowledge produced by using molecular biology, pressure antagonism, electrophysiology and molecular modeling strategies over the last two decades to probe, identify and model the initial molecular sites and mechanisms of ethanol action in GlyRs. The molecular targets on the GlyR are covered on a global perspective, which includes the intracellular, transmembrane and extracellular domains. The latter has received increasing attention in recent years. Recent molecular models of the sites of ethanol action in GlyRs and their implications to our understanding of possible mechanism of ethanol action and novel targets for drug development in GlyRs are discussed. PMID:20399807

  5. Molecular Pathways: Targeting PARP in Cancer Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Do, Khanh; Chen, Alice P.

    2013-01-01

    Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) are a family of nuclear protein enzymes involved in the DNA damage response. The role of PARP-1 in base excisional repair has been extensively characterized. More recent in vitro studies additionally implicate a role for PARP-1 in facilitating homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining. The more faithful process of homologous recombination repair of double-stranded DNA breaks, involves localization of BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 to sites of DNA damage, resection of the double-stranded break, and gap-filling DNA synthesis using the homologous sister chromatid as a template. Simultaneous dysfunction of both DNA repair pathways decreases the ability of cells to compensate, and forms the basis for the concept of synthetic lethality. Treatment strategies thus far have focused on two main principals: 1) exploitation of the concept of synthetic lethality in homologous recombination deficient tumors, primarily in breast and ovarian cancer patients with BRCA mutation, and 2) as radio-sensitizers and chemo-sensitizers. BRCA deficiency accounts for only a fraction of dysfunction in homologous recombination repair. Epigenetic alterations of BRCA function and defects within the Fanconi anemia pathway also result in defective DNA repair. Rational therapeutic combinations exploiting alternate mechanisms of defective DNA repair, abrogation of cell cycle checkpoints, and additional functions of PARP-1, present novel opportunities for further clinical development of PARP inhibitors. Based on the results of clinical studies of PARP inhibitors thus far, it is imperative that future development of PARP inhibitors take a more refined approach, identifying the unique subset of patients that would most benefit from these agents, determining the optimal time for use, and identifying the optimal combination partner in any particular setting. PMID:23269547

  6. Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Novel Molecular Targets in Carcinogenesis for Future Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Bertino, Gaetano; Demma, Shirin; Ardiri, Annalisa; Proiti, Maria; Gruttadauria, Salvatore; Toro, Adriana; Malaguarnera, Giulia; Bertino, Nicoletta; Malaguarnera, Michele; Malaguarnera, Mariano; Di Carlo, Isidoro

    2014-01-01

    Background. Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common and lethal malignant tumors worldwide. Over the past 15 years, the incidence of HCC has more than doubled. Due to late diagnosis and/or advanced underlying liver cirrhosis, only limited treatment options with marginal clinical benefit are available in up to 70% of patients. During the last decades, no effective conventional cytotoxic systemic therapy was available contributing to the dismal prognosis in patients with HCC. A better knowledge of molecular hepatocarcinogenesis provides today the opportunity for targeted therapy. Materials and Methods. A search of the literature was made using cancer literature, the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science (WOS) database for the following keywords: “hepatocellular carcinoma,” “molecular hepatocarcinogenesis,” “targeted therapy,” and “immunotherapy.” Discussion and Conclusion. Treatment decisions are complex and dependent upon tumor staging, presence of portal hypertension, and the underlying degree of liver dysfunction. The knowledge of molecular hepatocarcinogenesis broadened the horizon for patients with advanced HCC. During the last years, several molecular targeted agents have been evaluated in clinical trials in advanced HCC. In the future, new therapeutic options will be represented by a blend of immunotherapy-like vaccines and T-cell modulators, supplemented by molecularly targeted inhibitors of tumor signaling pathways. PMID:25089265

  7. [Molecular targeted drugs for soft tissue sarcoma and neuroendocrine tumor].

    PubMed

    Kato, Shunsuke

    2015-08-01

    Both the soft tissue sarcomas and the neuroendocrine tumors are rare diseases. Therefore the recruiting of these patients was more difficult than other cancer species, and the development of the new therapy for these diseases did not readily advance. However, the identification of driver molecules for each sub-type enabled us to the development of the molecular targeted drugs. As for the GIST, several TKIs are used, but in late years it is found that susceptibility of TKIs varies according to difference in second mutation. In this chapter, the molecular target drug for the soft tissue sarcoma and the neuroendocrine tumor is reviewed. PMID:26281696

  8. Molecular targeted agents for gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer.

    PubMed

    Oshima, Takashi; Masuda, Munetaka

    2012-04-01

    Despite recent improvements in surgical techniques and chemotherapy, advanced cancers of the stomach and gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) continue to have poor clinical outcomes. However, molecules intimately related to cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis have been studied as candidates for molecular targeted agents. Target molecules, such as the epidermal growth factor receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, and P13k/Akt/mTor pathway, as well as the insulin-like growth factor receptor, c-Met pathways, fibroblast growth factor receptor, and other pathways are considered to be promising candidates for molecular targeted therapy for gastric and GEJ cancer. In this review we focus on the recent developments in targeting relevant pathways in these types of cancer.

  9. Molecular Targeted α-Particle Therapy for Oncologic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Wadas, Thaddeus J.; Pandya, Darpan N.; Solingapuram Sai, Kiran Kumar; Mintz, Akiva

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE A significant challenge facing traditional cancer therapies is their propensity to significantly harm normal tissue. The recent clinical success of targeting therapies by attaching them to antibodies that are specific to tumor-restricted biomarkers marks a new era of cancer treatments. CONCLUSION In this article, we highlight the recent developments in α-particle therapy that have enabled investigators to exploit this highly potent form of therapy by targeting tumor-restricted molecular biomarkers. PMID:25055256

  10. Molecular genetics and targeted therapeutics in biliary tract carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Marks, Eric I; Yee, Nelson S

    2016-01-01

    The primary malignancies of the biliary tract, cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer, often present at an advanced stage and are marginally sensitive to radiation and chemotherapy. Accumulating evidence indicates that molecularly targeted agents may provide new hope for improving treatment response in biliary tract carcinoma (BTC). In this article, we provide a critical review of the pathogenesis and genetic abnormalities of biliary tract neoplasms, in addition to discussing the current and emerging targeted therapeutics in BTC. Genetic studies of biliary tumors have identified the growth factors and receptors as well as their downstream signaling pathways that control the growth and survival of biliary epithelia. Target-specific monoclonal antibodies and small molecules inhibitors directed against the signaling pathways that drive BTC growth and invasion have been developed. Numerous clinical trials designed to test these agents as either monotherapy or in combination with conventional chemotherapy have been completed or are currently underway. Research focusing on understanding the molecular basis of biliary tumorigenesis will continue to identify for targeted therapy the key mutations that drive growth and invasion of biliary neoplasms. Additional strategies that have emerged for treating this malignant disease include targeting the epigenetic alterations of BTC and immunotherapy. By integrating targeted therapy with molecular profiles of biliary tumor, we hope to provide precision treatment for patients with malignant diseases of the biliary tract. PMID:26819503

  11. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Qingpin; Hu, Xiaohui; Wei, Zhiyi; Tam, Kin Yip

    2016-01-01

    Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons. PMID:27570482

  12. Molecular targeting agents in cancer therapy: science and society.

    PubMed

    Shaikh, Asim Jamal

    2012-01-01

    The inception of targeted agents has revolutionized the cancer therapy paradigm, both for physicians and patients. A large number of molecular targeted agents for cancer therapy are currently available for clinical use today. Many more are in making, but there are issues that remain to be resolved for the scientific as well as social community before the recommendation of their widespread use in may clinical scenarios can be done, one such issue being cost and cost effectiveness, others being resistance and lack of sustained efficacy. With the current knowledge about available targeted agents, the growing knowledge of intricate molecular pathways and unfolding of wider spectrum of molecular targets that can really matter in the disease control, calls for only the just use of the agents available now, drug companies need to make a serious attempt to reduce the cost of the agents. Research should focus on agents that show sustained responses in preclinical data. More needs to be done in laboratories and by the pharmaceutical industries, before we can truly claim to have entered a new era of targeted therapy in cancer care.

  13. Molecular Targeted Approaches to Cancer Therapy and Prevention Using Chalcones

    PubMed Central

    Jandial, Danielle D.; Blair, Christopher A.; Zhang, Saiyang; Krill, Lauren S.; Zhang, Yan-Bing; Zi, Xiaolin

    2014-01-01

    There is an emerging paradigm shift in oncology that seeks to emphasize molecularly targeted approaches for cancer prevention and therapy. Chalcones (1,3-diphenyl-2-propen-1-ones), naturally-occurring compounds with widespread distribution in spices, tea, beer, fruits and vegetables, consist of open-chain flavonoids in which the two aromatic rings are joined by a three-carbon α, β-unsaturated carbonyl system. Due to their structural diversity, relative ease of chemical manipulation and reaction of α, β-unsaturated carbonyl moiety with cysteine residues in proteins, some lead chalcones from both natural products and synthesis have been identified in a variety of screening assays for modulating important pathways or molecular targets in cancers. These pathways and targets that are affected by chalcones include MDM2/p53, tubulin, proteasome, NF-kappa B, TRIAL/death receptors and mitochondria mediated apoptotic pathways, cell cycle, STAT3, AP-1, NRF2, AR, ER, PPAR-γ and β-catenin/Wnt. Compared to current cancer targeted therapeutic drugs, chalcones have the advantages of being inexpensive, easily available and less toxic; the ease of synthesis of chalcones from substituted benzaldehydes and acetophenones also makes them an attractive drug scaffold. Therefore, this review is focused on molecular targets of chalcones and their potential implications in cancer prevention and therapy. PMID:24467530

  14. [The development history and future perspective of molecularly targeted therapy].

    PubMed

    Mizuki, Masao; Kanakura, Yuzuru

    2014-06-01

    The origin of molecularly targeted drugs dates back to 'magic bullet' theory proposed by Paul Ehrlich. The success of Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor, imatinib for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia realized that small molecules inhibiting ATP binding can become specific inhibitors for the relevant kinases. Subsequently, a number of kinase inhibitors which targets various signal transduction molecules, are in the clinical field or under development. The clinical success of antibody therapeutics has been achieved by the genetic engineering which makes human-mouse chimeric, humanized or human antibody. To augment the therapeutic effects of antibody, radioisotope-conjugate antibody and antibody-drug conjugate have come to the clinical field. In the near future, we have to develop the combination therapy of molecularly targeted drugs and also inhibitors for epigenetic and transcriptional regulators.

  15. [Molecular targeting agents for advanced or recurrent gastric cancer patients].

    PubMed

    Fuse, Nozomu

    2012-10-01

    The combination of fluoropyrimidine and platinum with or without epirubicin or docetaxel has been regarded as standard chemotherapy for advanced or recurrent gastric cancer patients. Recently, trastuzumab with conventional chemotherapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor(HER)2 positive gastric cancer patients was proved to be effective in terms of survival benefit and has become one of standard treatment options. Other molecular target agents, such as HER1, HER2, vascular endothelial growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met, fibroblast growth factor and mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors were and are being evaluated in clinical trials. However, no agents other than trastuzumab have shown clear survival benefit. The predictive biomarker seems to be necessary for developing new molecular targeting agents for gastric cancer with heterogeneity.

  16. Factorization and recomposition of molecular wave functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefebvre, R.

    2016-09-01

    Some situations in the determination of molecular wave functions require to go beyond the Born-Oppenheimer (BO) approximation, with the wave function written as the product of an electronic wave function depending parametrically on the nuclear coordinates and a nuclear wave function. Such situations are usually treated by combining BO products. This form of the wave function leads to coupled equations which determine the nuclear factors of these products. There is another possibility: writing the exact molecular wave function as a single product having formally the same structure as a BO product. This approach has been at the origin of recent developments. We reconsider this problem with the aim of looking at the solutions of the coupled equations which determine the electronic factor of the factorization scheme. It is shown that these coupled equations can be reduced precisely to those encountered with the usual combination of diabatic BO products.

  17. Molecularly targeted therapies for malignant glioma: rationale for combinatorial strategies

    PubMed Central

    Thaker, Nikhil G; Pollack, Ian F

    2010-01-01

    Median survival of patients with malignant glioma (MG) from time of diagnosis is approximately 1 year, despite surgery, irradiation and conventional chemotherapy. Improving patient outcome relies on our ability to develop more effective therapies that are directed against the unique molecular aberrations within a patient’s tumor. Such molecularly targeted therapies may provide novel treatments that are more effective than conventional chemotherapeutics. Recently developed therapeutic strategies have focused on targeting several core glioma signaling pathways, including pathways mediated by growth-factors, PI3K/Akt/PTEN/mTOR, Ras/Raf/MEK/MAPK and other vital pathways. However, given the molecular diversity, heterogeneity and diverging and converging signaling pathways associated with MG, it is unlikely that any single agent will have efficacy in more than a subset of tumors. Overcoming these therapeutic barriers will require multiple agents that can simultaneously inhibit these processes, providing a rationale for combination therapies. This review summarizes the currently implemented single-agent and combination molecularly targeted therapies for MG. PMID:19951140

  18. Retinal proteins modified by 4-hydroxynonenal: identification of molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Kapphahn, Rebecca J; Giwa, Babatomiwa M; Berg, Kristin M; Roehrich, Heidi; Feng, Xiao; Olsen, Timothy W; Ferrington, Deborah A

    2006-07-01

    The reactive aldehyde, 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), is a product of lipid peroxidation that can covalently modify and inactivate proteins. Previously, we reported increased HNE modification of select retinal proteins resolved by one-dimensional gel electrophoresis in aged Fisher 344 x Brown Norway rats (Louie, J.L., Kapphahn, R.J., Ferrington, D.A., 2002. Proteasome function and protein oxidation in the aged retina. Exp. Eye Res. 75, 271-284). In the current study, quantitative assessment of HNE molar content using slot blot immunoassays showed HNE content is increased 30% in aged rat retina. In contrast, there was no age-related difference in HNE content in individual spots resolved by 2D gel electrophoresis suggesting the increased modification is likely on membrane proteins that are missing on 2D gels. The HNE-immunoreactive proteins resolved by 2D gel electrophoresis were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. These proteins are involved in metabolism, chaperone function, and fatty acid transport. Proteins that were frequently modified and had the highest molar content of HNE included triosephosphate isomerase, alpha enolase, heat shock cognate 70 and betaB2 crystallin. Immunochemical detection of HNE adducts on retinal sections showed greater immune reaction in ganglion cells, photoreceptor inner segment, and the inner plexiform layer. Identification of HNE modified proteins in two alternative model systems, human retinal pigment epithelial cells in culture (ARPE19) and human donor eyes, indicated that triosephosphate isomerase and alpha enolase are generally modified. These results identify a common subset of proteins that contain HNE adducts and suggest that select retinal proteins are molecular targets for HNE modification. PMID:16530755

  19. The Proteasome Is a Molecular Target of Environmental Toxic Organotins

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Guoqing; Chen, Di; Zhai, Guangshu; Chen, Marina S.; Cui, Qiuzhi Cindy; Zhou, Qunfang; He, Bin; Dou, Q. Ping; Jiang, Guibin

    2009-01-01

    Background Because of the vital importance of the proteasome pathway, chemicals affecting proteasome activity could disrupt essential cellular processes. Although the toxicity of organotins to both invertebrates and vertebrates is well known, the essential cellular target of organotins has not been well identified. We hypothesize that the proteasome is a molecular target of environmental toxic organotins. Objectives Our goal was to test the above hypothesis by investigating whether organotins could inhibit the activity of purified and cellular proteasomes and, if so, the involved molecular mechanisms and downstream events. Results We found that some toxic organotins [e.g., triphenyltin (TPT)] can potently and preferentially inhibit the chymotrypsin-like activity of purified 20S proteasomes and human breast cancer cellular 26S proteasomes. Direct binding of tin atoms to cellular proteasomes is responsible for the observed irreversible inhibition. Inhibition of cellular proteasomes by TPT in several human cell lines results in the accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins and natural proteasome target proteins, accompanied by induction of cell death. Conclusions The proteasome is one of the molecular targets of environmental toxic organotins in human cells, and proteasome inhibition by organotins contributes to their cellular toxicity. PMID:19337512

  20. Molecular motors and their functions in plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reddy, A. S.

    2001-01-01

    Molecular motors that hydrolyze ATP and use the derived energy to generate force are involved in a variety of diverse cellular functions. Genetic, biochemical, and cellular localization data have implicated motors in a variety of functions such as vesicle and organelle transport, cytoskeleton dynamics, morphogenesis, polarized growth, cell movements, spindle formation, chromosome movement, nuclear fusion, and signal transduction. In non-plant systems three families of molecular motors (kinesins, dyneins, and myosins) have been well characterized. These motors use microtubules (in the case of kinesines and dyneins) or actin filaments (in the case of myosins) as tracks to transport cargo materials intracellularly. During the last decade tremendous progress has been made in understanding the structure and function of various motors in animals. These studies are yielding interesting insights into the functions of molecular motors and the origin of different families of motors. Furthermore, the paradigm that motors bind cargo and move along cytoskeletal tracks does not explain the functions of some of the motors. Relatively little is known about the molecular motors and their roles in plants. In recent years, by using biochemical, cell biological, molecular, and genetic approaches a few molecular motors have been isolated and characterized from plants. These studies indicate that some of the motors in plants have novel features and regulatory mechanisms. The role of molecular motors in plant cell division, cell expansion, cytoplasmic streaming, cell-to-cell communication, membrane trafficking, and morphogenesis is beginning to be understood. Analyses of the Arabidopsis genome sequence database (51% of genome) with conserved motor domains of kinesin and myosin families indicates the presence of a large number (about 40) of molecular motors and the functions of many of these motors remain to be discovered. It is likely that many more motors with novel regulatory

  1. Molecular chaperones: functional mechanisms and nanotechnological applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosario Fernández-Fernández, M.; Sot, Begoña; María Valpuesta, José

    2016-08-01

    Molecular chaperones are a group of proteins that assist in protein homeostasis. They not only prevent protein misfolding and aggregation, but also target misfolded proteins for degradation. Despite differences in structure, all types of chaperones share a common general feature, a surface that recognizes and interacts with the misfolded protein. This and other, more specialized properties can be adapted for various nanotechnological purposes, by modification of the original biomolecules or by de novo design based on artificial structures.

  2. The Poly-cistronic miR-23-27-24 Complexes Target Endothelial Cell Junctions: Differential Functional and Molecular Effects of miR-23a and miR-23b

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jia; Zhao, Yang; Lu, Ying; Ritchie, William; Grau, Georges; Vadas, Mathew A; Gamble, Jennifer R

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of function of endothelial cell–cell junctions is fundamental in sustaining vascular integrity. The polycistronic microRNA (miR) complexes containing miR-23a-27a-24-2, and 23b-27b-24-1 are predicted to target the majority of major endothelial junctional proteins. We focus on miR-23a and miR-23b, and investigate the functional effects of these miRs on junctions. While miR-23a and 23b only differ by 1 nucleotide (g19) outside the seed region and thus are predicted to have the same targets, they function differently with miR-23a inhibiting permeability and miR-23b inhibiting angiogenesis. Both miRs target the junctional attractive molecule (tight junction protein 2) ZO-2 and the repulsive molecule junctional adhesion molecule C (JAM-C), although the inhibition of JAM-C by miR-23a is more profound than by miR-23b. The difference in potency is attributable to differences at g19 since a mutation of the t17, the g19 binding site of miR-23b in the 3′UTR of JAM-C restores identity. We also show that the pattern of expression of miR-23a and miR-23b and their targets are different. Thus, the paralogues miR-23a and miR-23b can have profoundly different effects on endothelial cell function due at least partially to selective effects on target proteins and differences in expression patterns of the miRs. This work exposes a hitherto unappreciated complexity in therapeutically targeting miRs. PMID:27741223

  3. The Poly-cistronic miR-23-27-24 Complexes Target Endothelial Cell Junctions: Differential Functional and Molecular Effects of miR-23a and miR-23b

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jia; Zhao, Yang; Lu, Ying; Ritchie, William; Grau, Georges; Vadas, Mathew A; Gamble, Jennifer R

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of function of endothelial cell–cell junctions is fundamental in sustaining vascular integrity. The polycistronic microRNA (miR) complexes containing miR-23a-27a-24-2, and 23b-27b-24-1 are predicted to target the majority of major endothelial junctional proteins. We focus on miR-23a and miR-23b, and investigate the functional effects of these miRs on junctions. While miR-23a and 23b only differ by 1 nucleotide (g19) outside the seed region and thus are predicted to have the same targets, they function differently with miR-23a inhibiting permeability and miR-23b inhibiting angiogenesis. Both miRs target the junctional attractive molecule (tight junction protein 2) ZO-2 and the repulsive molecule junctional adhesion molecule C (JAM-C), although the inhibition of JAM-C by miR-23a is more profound than by miR-23b. The difference in potency is attributable to differences at g19 since a mutation of the t17, the g19 binding site of miR-23b in the 3′UTR of JAM-C restores identity. We also show that the pattern of expression of miR-23a and miR-23b and their targets are different. Thus, the paralogues miR-23a and miR-23b can have profoundly different effects on endothelial cell function due at least partially to selective effects on target proteins and differences in expression patterns of the miRs. This work exposes a hitherto unappreciated complexity in therapeutically targeting miRs.

  4. The molecular targets of approved treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Humbert, Marc; Ghofrani, Hossein-Ardeschir

    2016-01-01

    Until recently, three classes of medical therapy were available for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)—prostanoids, endothelin receptor antagonists and phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. With the approval of the soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator riociguat, an additional drug class has become available targeting a distinct molecular target in the same pathway as PDE5 inhibitors. Treatment recommendations currently include the use of all four drug classes to treat PAH, but there is a lack of comparative data for these therapies. Therefore, an understanding of the mechanistic differences between these agents is critical when making treatment decisions. Combination therapy is often used to treat PAH and it is therefore important that physicians understand how the modes of action of these drugs may interact to work as complementary partners, or potentially with unwanted consequences. Furthermore, different patient phenotypes mean that patients respond differently to treatment; while a certain monotherapy may be adequate for some patients, for others it will be important to consider alternating or combining compounds with different molecular targets. This review describes how the four currently approved drug classes target the complex pathobiology of PAH and will consider the distinct target molecules of each drug class, their modes of action, and review the pivotal clinical trial data supporting their use. It will also discuss the rationale for combining drugs (or not) from the different classes, and review the clinical data from studies on combination therapy. PMID:26219978

  5. Targeting Functional Biomarkers in Schizophrenia with Neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Korey P; Smucny, Jason; Legget, Kristina T; Tregellas, Jason R

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most debilitating symptoms for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia remain poorly treated. As such, the development of novel treatments is urgently needed. Unfortunately, the costs associated with high failure rates for investigational compounds as they enter clinical trials has led to pharmaceutical companies downsizing or eliminating research programs needed to develop these drugs. One way of increasing the probability of success for investigational compounds is to incorporate alternative methods of identifying biological targets in order to more effectively screen new drugs. A promising method of accomplishing this goal for psychiatric drugs is to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI investigates neural circuits, shedding light on the biology that generates symptoms such as hallucinations. Once identified, relevant neural circuits can be targeted with pharmacologic interventions and the response to these drugs measured with fMRI. This review describes the early use of fMRI in this context, and discusses the alpha7 nicotinic receptor agonist 3-(2,4-dimethoxybenzylidene) anabaseine (DMXB-A), as an example of the potential value of fMRI for psychiatric drug development. PMID:26818860

  6. Molecular and Cellular Alterations in Down Syndrome: Toward the Identification of Targets for Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Créau, Nicole

    2012-01-01

    Down syndrome is a complex disease that has challenged molecular and cellular research for more than 50 years. Understanding the molecular bases of morphological, cellular, and functional alterations resulting from the presence of an additional complete chromosome 21 would aid in targeting specific genes and pathways for rescuing some phenotypes. Recently, progress has been made by characterization of brain alterations in mouse models of Down syndrome. This review will highlight the main molecular and cellular findings recently described for these models, particularly with respect to their relationship to Down syndrome phenotypes. PMID:22848846

  7. Molecular kinesis in cellular function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Tiedge, H; Bloom, F E; Richter, D

    2001-06-19

    Intracellular transport and localization of cellular components are essential for the functional organization and plasticity of eukaryotic cells. Although the elucidation of protein transport mechanisms has made impressive progress in recent years, intracellular transport of RNA remains less well understood. The National Academy of Sciences Colloquium on Molecular Kinesis in Cellular Function and Plasticity therefore was devised as an interdisciplinary platform for participants to discuss intracellular molecular transport from a variety of different perspectives. Topics covered at the meeting included RNA metabolism and transport, mechanisms of protein synthesis and localization, the formation of complex interactive protein ensembles, and the relevance of such mechanisms for activity-dependent regulation and synaptic plasticity in neurons. It was the overall objective of the colloquium to generate momentum and cohesion for the emerging research field of molecular kinesis.

  8. Molecular targeted therapy for the treatment of gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wenting; Yang, Zhen; Lu, Nonghua

    2016-01-04

    Despite the global decline in the incidence and mortality of gastric cancer, it remains one of the most common malignant tumors of the digestive system. Although surgical resection is the preferred treatment for gastric cancer, chemotherapy is the preferred treatment for recurrent and advanced gastric cancer patients who are not candidates for reoperation. The short overall survival and lack of a standard chemotherapy regimen make it important to identify novel treatment modalities for gastric cancer. Within the field of tumor biology, molecular targeted therapy has attracted substantial attention to improve the specificity of anti-cancer efficacy and significantly reduce non-selective resistance and toxicity. Multiple clinical studies have confirmed that molecular targeted therapy acts on various mechanisms of gastric cancer, such as the regulation of epidermal growth factor, angiogenesis, immuno-checkpoint blockade, the cell cycle, cell apoptosis, key enzymes, c-Met, mTOR signaling and insulin-like growth factor receptors, to exert a stronger anti-tumor effect. An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms that underlie molecular targeted therapies will provide new insights into gastric cancer treatment.

  9. Emerging Molecularly Targeted Therapies in Castration Refractory Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Jesal C.; Maughan, Benjamin L.; Agarwal, Archana M.; Batten, Julia A.; Zhang, Tian Y.; Agarwal, Neeraj

    2013-01-01

    Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) with medical or surgical castration is the mainstay of therapy in men with metastatic prostate cancer. However, despite initial responses, almost all men eventually develop castration refractory metastatic prostate cancer (CRPC) and die of their disease. Over the last decade, it has been recognized that despite the failure of ADT, most prostate cancers maintain some dependence on androgen and/or androgen receptor (AR) signaling for proliferation. Furthermore, androgen independent molecular pathways have been identified as drivers of continued progression of CRPC. Subsequently, drugs have been developed targeting these pathways, many of which have received regulatory approval. Agents such as abiraterone, enzalutamide, orteronel (TAK-700), and ARN-509 target androgen signaling. Sipuleucel-T, ipilimumab, and tasquinimod augment immune-mediated tumor killing. Agents targeting classic tumorogenesis pathways including vascular endothelial growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor, insulin like growth factor-1, tumor suppressor, and those which regulate apoptosis and cell cycles are currently being developed. This paper aims to focus on emerging molecular pathways underlying progression of CRPC, and the drugs targeting these pathways, which have recently been approved or have reached advanced stages of development in either phase II or phase III clinical trials. PMID:23819055

  10. Unmixing multiple adjacent fluorescent targets with multispectral excited fluorescence molecular tomography.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yuan; Guang, Huizhi; Pu, Huangsheng; Zhang, Jiulou; Luo, Jianwen

    2016-06-20

    Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) can visualize biological activities at cellular and molecular levels in vivo, and has been extensively used in drug delivery and tumor detection research of small animals. The ill-posedness of the FMT inverse problem makes it difficult to reconstruct and unmix multiple adjacent fluorescent targets that have different functional features but are labeled with the same fluorochrome. A method based on independent component analysis for multispectral excited FMT was proposed in our previous study. It showed that double fluorescent targets with certain edge-to-edge distance (EED) could be unmixed by the method. In this study, the situation is promoted to unmix multiple adjacent fluorescent targets (i.e., more than two fluorescent targets and EED=0). Phantom experiments on the resolving ability of the proposed algorithm demonstrate that the algorithm performs well in unmixing multiple adjacent fluorescent targets in both lateral and axial directions. And also, we recovered the locational information of each independent fluorescent target and described the variable trends of the corresponding fluorescent targets under the excitation spectrum. This method is capable of unmixing multiple fluorescent targets with small EED but labeled with the same fluorochrome, and may be used in imaging of nonspecific probe targeting and metabolism of drugs. PMID:27409108

  11. Central and Peripheral Molecular Targets for Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Valentino, Michael A.; Lin, Jieru E.; Waldman, Scott A.

    2011-01-01

    Obesity has emerged as one of the principle worldwide health concerns of the modern era, and there exists a tremendous unmet clinical need for safe and effective therapies to combat this global pandemic. The prevalence of obesity and its associated co-morbidities, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, has focused drug discovery and development on generating effective modalities for the treatment and prevention of obesity. Early efforts in the field of obesity pharmacotherapy centered on agents with indeterminate mechanisms of action producing treatment paradigms characterized by significant off-target effects. During the past two decades, new insights have been made into the physiologic regulation of energy balance and the subordinate central and peripheral circuits coordinating appetite, metabolism, and lipogenesis. These studies have revealed previously unrecognized molecular targets for controlling appetite and managing weight from which has emerged a new wave of targeted pharmacotherapies to prevent and control obesity. PMID:20445536

  12. Molecular Targets for Radiation Oncology in Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tao; Languino, Lucia R.; Lian, Jane; Stein, Gary; Blute, Michael; FitzGerald, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    Recent selected developments of the molecular science of prostate cancer (PrCa) biology and radiation oncology are reviewed. We present potential targets for molecular integration treatment strategies with radiation therapy (RT), and highlight potential strategies for molecular treatment in combination with RT for patient care. We provide a synopsis of the information to date regarding molecular biology of PrCa, and potential integrated research strategy for improved treatment of PrCa. Many patients with early-stage disease at presentation can be treated effectively with androgen ablation treatment, surgery, or RT. However, a significant portion of men are diagnosed with advanced stage/high-risk disease and these patients progress despite curative therapeutic intervention. Unfortunately, management options for these patients are limited and are not always successful including treatment for hormone refractory disease. In this review, we focus on molecules of extracellular matrix component, apoptosis, androgen receptor, RUNX, and DNA methylation. Expanding our knowledge of the molecular biology of PrCa will permit the development of novel treatment strategies integrated with RT to improve patient outcome PMID:22645712

  13. Molecular and functional imaging of internet addiction.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yunqi; Zhang, Hong; Tian, Mei

    2015-01-01

    Maladaptive use of the Internet results in Internet addiction (IA), which is associated with various negative consequences. Molecular and functional imaging techniques have been increasingly used for analysis of neurobiological changes and neurochemical correlates of IA. This review summarizes molecular and functional imaging findings on neurobiological mechanisms of IA, focusing on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear imaging modalities including positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). MRI studies demonstrate that structural changes in frontal cortex are associated with functional abnormalities in Internet addicted subjects. Nuclear imaging findings indicate that IA is associated with dysfunction of the brain dopaminergic systems. Abnormal dopamine regulation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) could underlie the enhanced motivational value and uncontrolled behavior over Internet overuse in addicted subjects. Further investigations are needed to determine specific changes in the Internet addictive brain, as well as their implications for behavior and cognition.

  14. Molecular and Functional Imaging of Internet Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yunqi; Zhang, Hong; Tian, Mei

    2015-01-01

    Maladaptive use of the Internet results in Internet addiction (IA), which is associated with various negative consequences. Molecular and functional imaging techniques have been increasingly used for analysis of neurobiological changes and neurochemical correlates of IA. This review summarizes molecular and functional imaging findings on neurobiological mechanisms of IA, focusing on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear imaging modalities including positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). MRI studies demonstrate that structural changes in frontal cortex are associated with functional abnormalities in Internet addicted subjects. Nuclear imaging findings indicate that IA is associated with dysfunction of the brain dopaminergic systems. Abnormal dopamine regulation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) could underlie the enhanced motivational value and uncontrolled behavior over Internet overuse in addicted subjects. Further investigations are needed to determine specific changes in the Internet addictive brain, as well as their implications for behavior and cognition. PMID:25879023

  15. Multiscale Modeling of Functionalized Nanocarriers in Targeted Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jin; Bradley, Ryan; Eckmann, David M.; Ayyaswamy, Portonovo S.; Radhakrishnan, Ravi

    2011-01-01

    Targeted drug delivery using functionalized nanocarriers (NCs) is a strategy in therapeutic and diagnostic applications. In this paper we review the recent development of models at multiple length and time scales and their applications to targeting of antibody functionalized nanocarriers to antigens (receptors) on the endothelial cell (EC) surface. Our mesoscale (100 nm-1 μm) model is based on phenomenological interaction potentials for receptor-ligand interactions, receptor-flexure and resistance offered by glycocalyx. All free parameters are either directly determined from independent biophysical and cell biology experiments or estimated using molecular dynamics simulations. We employ a Metropolis Monte Carlo (MC) strategy in conjunction with the weighted histogram analysis method (WHAM) to compute the free energy landscape (potential of mean force or PMF) associated with the multivalent antigen-antibody interactions mediating the NC binding to EC. The binding affinities (association constants) are then derived from the PMF by computing absolute binding free energy of binding of NC to EC, taking into account the relevant translational and rotational entropy losses of NC and the receptors. We validate our model predictions by comparing the computed binding affinities and PMF to a wide range of experimental measurements, including in vitro cell culture, in vivo endothelial targeting, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and flow chamber experiments. The model predictions agree closely and quantitatively with all types experimental measurements. On this basis, we conclude that our computational protocol represents a quantitative and predictive approach for model driven design and optimization of functionalized NCs in targeted vascular drug delivery. PMID:22116782

  16. Multispectral excitation based multiple fluorescent targets resolving in fluorescence molecular tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yuan; Guang, Huizhi; Pu, Huangsheng; Zhang, Jiulou; Bai, Jing; Luo, Jianwen

    2016-04-01

    Fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) can visualize biological activities at cellular and molecular levels in vivo, and has been extensively used in drug delivery and tumor detection research of small animals. The ill-posedness of the FMT inverse problem makes it difficult to reconstruct and resolve multiple adjacent fluorescent targets that have different functional features but are labeled with the same fluorochrome. An algorithm based on independent component analysis (ICA) for multispectral excited FMT is proposed to resolve multiple fluorescent targets in this study. Fluorescent targets are excited by multispectral excitation, and the three-dimensional distribution of fluorescent yields under the excitation spectrum is reconstructed by an iterative Tikhonov regularization algorithm. Subsequently, multiple fluorescent targets are resolved from mixed fluorescence signals by employing ICA. Simulations were performed and the results demonstrate that multiple adjacent fluorescent targets can be resolved if the number of excitation wavelengths is not smaller than that of fluorescent targets with different concentrations. The algorithm obtains both independent components that provide spatial information of different fluorescent targets and spectral courses that reflect variation trends of fluorescent yields along with the excitation spectrum. By using this method, it is possible to visualize the metabolism status of drugs in different structure organs, and quantitatively depict the variation trends of fluorescent yields of each functional organ under the excitation spectrum. This method may provide a pattern for tumor detection, drug delivery and treatment monitoring in vivo.

  17. Hitting the target: where do molecularly targeted therapies fit in the treatment scheduling of neuroendocrine tumours?

    PubMed

    Karpathakis, Anna; Caplin, Martyn; Thirlwell, Christina

    2012-06-01

    Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are a rare and heterogeneous group of tumours whose incidence is increasing and their prevalence is now greater than that of any other upper gastrointestinal tumour. Diagnosis can be challenging, and up to 25% of patients present with metastatic disease. Following the recent FDA approval of two new molecularly targeted therapies for the treatment of advanced pancreatic NETs (pNETs), the first in 25 years, we review all systemic therapies and suggest where these newer targeted therapies fit in the treatment schedule for these challenging tumours. Clinical trial data relating to the routine use of sunitinib and everolimus in low-intermediate-grade pNETs are summarised alongside newer molecularly targeted agents undergoing clinical assessment in NETs. We particularly focus on the challenge of optimal scheduling of molecularly targeted treatments around existing systemic and localised treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotargeted therapy. We also discuss application of current evidence to subgroups of patients who have not so far been directly addressed such as those with poorer performance status or patients receiving radical surgery who may benefit from adjuvant treatment.

  18. Confirming an integrated pathology of diabetes and its complications by molecular biomarker-target network analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zide; Zhang, Yingying; Gai, Fengchun; Wang, Ying

    2016-09-01

    Despite ongoing research into diabetes and its complications, the underlying molecular associations remain to be elucidated. The systematic identification of molecular interactions in associated diseases may be approached using a network analysis strategy. The biomarker-target interrelated molecules associated with diabetes and its complications were identified via the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD); the Search Tool for Recurring Instances of Neighboring Genes was utilized for network construction. Functional enrichment analysis was performed with Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery software to investigate connections between diabetes and its complications. A total of 142 (including 122 biomarkers, 10 therapeutic targets and 10 overlapping molecules) biomarker-target interrelated molecules associated with diabetes and its complications were identified via the CTD database, and analysis of the network yielded 1,087 biological processes and fifteen Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways with significant P‑values. Various critical aspects of the networks were examined in the present study: a) Intermolecular horizontal and vertical combinations in biomarkers and therapeutic targets associated with diabetes and its complicationb) network topology properties associated with molecular pathological responsec) contribution of key molecules to integrated regulation; and d) crosstalk between multiple pathways. Based on a multi-dimensional analysis, it was concluded that the integrated molecular pathological development of diabetes and its complications does not proceed randomly, which suggests a requirement for integrated, multi-target intervention. PMID:27430657

  19. XUV spectroscopy of laser plasma from molecular coated metal targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papanyan, Valeri O.; Nersisyan, Gagik T.; Tittel, Frank K.

    1999-12-01

    Metal targets covered by micrometer layers of metal- phthalocyanines or fullerenes are studied here. An increase in XUV yield due to the optimized absorption of the laser field is reported. Effects of high-temperature plasma rapid expansion (velocity about 106 cm/s) were observed. Moderate power nanosecond and picosecond neodymium lasers are used to produce an incident intensity of 1011 to 1013 W/cm2 on the targets. The plasma electron density was measured by fitting observed spectral profiles to the theoretical profiles. Collisional, Doppler, and Stark broadening mechanisms were considered in the calculations. Our measurement technique permits us to determine the electron density and temperature dependence on distances from the target surface from 1 mm (where Ne approximately equals 1018 cm-3 and Te approximately equals 14 eV are measured for aluminum plasma) up to approximately 5 mm (where Ne molecular coated targets is greater by a factor of approximately 1.5 than measured from bulk solid metal targets.

  20. XUV spectroscopy of laser plasma from molecular coated metal targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papanyan, Valeri O.; Nersisyan, Gagik T.; Tittel, Frank K.

    1999-10-01

    Metal targets covered by micrometer layers of metal- phthalocyanines are studied here. An increase in EUV yield due to optimized absorption of the laser field is reported. Effects of high-temperature plasma rapid expansion (velocity about 106 cm/s) were observed. Moderate power nanosecond and picosecond neodymium lasers are used to product an incident intensity of 1011 to 1013 W/cm2 on the targets. The plasma electron density was measured by fitting observed spectral profiles to theoretical profiles. Collisional, Doppler, and Stark broadening mechanisms were considered in the calculations. Our measurement technique makes it possible to determine the electron density and temperature dependence on distances from the target surface from 1 mm (where Ne equals 2.0 (+/- 0.5)1018 cm-3 and Te equals 14 eV are measured for aluminum plasma) up to approximately 5 mm (where Ne molecular coated targets is greater by a factor of approximately 1.5 than measured from bulk solid metal targets.

  1. Functionalizing Soft Matter for Molecular Communication

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The information age was enabled by advances in microfabrication and communication theory that allowed information to be processed by electrons and transmitted by electromagnetic radiation. Despite immense capabilities, microelectronics has limited abilities to access and participate in the molecular-based communication that characterizes our biological world. Here, we use biological materials and methods to create components and fabricate devices to perform simple molecular communication functions based on bacterial quorum sensing (QS). Components were created by protein engineering to generate a multidomain fusion protein capable of sending a molecular QS signal, and by synthetic biology to engineer E. coli to receive and report this QS signal. The device matrix was formed using stimuli-responsive hydrogel-forming biopolymers (alginate and gelatin). Assembly of the components within the device matrix was achieved by physically entrapping the cell-based components, and covalently conjugating the protein-based components using the enzyme microbial transglutaminase. We demonstrate simple devices that can send or receive a molecular QS signal to/from the surrounding medium, and a two-component device in which one component generates the signal (i.e., issues a command) that is acted upon by the second component. These studies illustrate the broad potential of biofabrication to generate molecular communication devices. PMID:26501127

  2. Molecular and Functional Aspects of Bacterial Chemotaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celani, A.; Shimizu, T. S.; Vergassola, M.

    2011-07-01

    We consider the dynamics of chemotaxis in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. We analyze both its molecular mechanisms and the functional causes governing the evolution of the observed behaviors. We review molecular models of the transduction network controlling the bacterial chemotaxis in response to chemoattractant binding to the receptors. In particular, recent progress stimulated by FRET experiments is presented for statistical physics allosteric models. The response function to a pulse of chemoattractant is expressed in terms of microscopic parameters of the allosteric models. The functional causes for the shape of the response function, as measured in experimental tethering assay, are then investigated. A hydrodynamic equation, valid for space-time scales larger than the microscopic running length and time, is derived for the position of a swimming bacterium. It is then shown how optimization over the microscopic parameters of the response function yields the curve observed experimentally. In particular, the observed property of adaptation to the background level of aspartate emerges as being produced by fluctuations in the space-time chemoattractant profiles sensed by bacteria along their trajectories. This functional cause is distinct from arguments based on the extension of the dynamical range. Future directions and experiments to probe the adaptation of E. coli chemotaxis to the environmental conditions and its response to realistic space-time chemoattractant stimuli are finally discussed.

  3. Target product selection - where can Molecular Pharming make the difference?

    PubMed

    Paul, Mathew J; Teh, Audrey Y H; Twyman, Richard M; Ma, Julian K-C

    2013-01-01

    Four major developments have taken place in the world of Molecular Pharming recently. In the USA, the DARPA initiative challenged plant biotechnology companies to develop strategies for the large-scale manufacture of influenza vaccines, resulting in a successful Phase I clinical trial; in Europe the Pharma-Planta academic consortium gained regulatory approval for a plant-derived monoclonal antibody and completed a first-in-human phase I clinical trial; the Dutch pharmaceutical company Synthon acquired the assets of Biolex Therapeutics, an established Molecular Pharming company with several clinical candidates produced in their proprietary LEX system based on aquatic plants; and finally, the Israeli biotechnology company Protalix Biotherapeutics won FDA approval for the commercial release of a recombinant form of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase produced in carrot cells, the first plant biotechnology-derived biopharmaceutical in the world approved for the market. Commercial momentum is gathering pace with additional candidates now undergoing or awaiting approval for phase III clinical trials. Filling the product pipeline is vital to establish commercial sustainability, and the selection of appropriate target products for Molecular Pharming will be a critical factor. An interesting feature of the four stories outlined above is that they span the use of very different platform technologies addressing different types of molecules which aim to satisfy distinct market demands. In each case, Molecular Pharming was an economically and technically suitable approach, but this decisionmaking process is not necessarily straightforward. Although the various technologies available to Molecular Pharming are broad ranging and flexible, competing technologies are better established, so there needs to be a compelling reason to move into plants. It is most unlikely that plant biotechnology will be the answer for the whole biologics field. In this article, we discuss the current plant

  4. Target product selection - where can Molecular Pharming make the difference?

    PubMed

    Paul, Mathew J; Teh, Audrey Y H; Twyman, Richard M; Ma, Julian K-C

    2013-01-01

    Four major developments have taken place in the world of Molecular Pharming recently. In the USA, the DARPA initiative challenged plant biotechnology companies to develop strategies for the large-scale manufacture of influenza vaccines, resulting in a successful Phase I clinical trial; in Europe the Pharma-Planta academic consortium gained regulatory approval for a plant-derived monoclonal antibody and completed a first-in-human phase I clinical trial; the Dutch pharmaceutical company Synthon acquired the assets of Biolex Therapeutics, an established Molecular Pharming company with several clinical candidates produced in their proprietary LEX system based on aquatic plants; and finally, the Israeli biotechnology company Protalix Biotherapeutics won FDA approval for the commercial release of a recombinant form of the enzyme glucocerebrosidase produced in carrot cells, the first plant biotechnology-derived biopharmaceutical in the world approved for the market. Commercial momentum is gathering pace with additional candidates now undergoing or awaiting approval for phase III clinical trials. Filling the product pipeline is vital to establish commercial sustainability, and the selection of appropriate target products for Molecular Pharming will be a critical factor. An interesting feature of the four stories outlined above is that they span the use of very different platform technologies addressing different types of molecules which aim to satisfy distinct market demands. In each case, Molecular Pharming was an economically and technically suitable approach, but this decisionmaking process is not necessarily straightforward. Although the various technologies available to Molecular Pharming are broad ranging and flexible, competing technologies are better established, so there needs to be a compelling reason to move into plants. It is most unlikely that plant biotechnology will be the answer for the whole biologics field. In this article, we discuss the current plant

  5. Cytoreductive surgery in the era of targeted molecular therapy

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Arun Z.; Adibi, Mehrad; Borregales, Leonardo D.; Karam, Jose A.

    2015-01-01

    Cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) was regarded standard of care for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) in the immunotherapy era. With the advent of targeted molecular therapy (TMT) for the treatment of mRCC, the routine use of CN has been questioned. Up to date evidence continues to suggest that CN remains an integral part of treatment in appropriately selected patients. This review details the original context in which the efficacy of CN was established and rationale for the continued use of cytoreductive surgery in the era of TMT. PMID:26815334

  6. Molecular Targets in Alzheimer's Disease: From Pathogenesis to Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xuan; Zhang, Lu; Lian, Ya-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline usually beginning with impairment in the ability to form recent memories. Nonavailability of definitive therapeutic strategy urges developing pharmacological targets based on cell signaling pathways. A great revival of interest in nutraceuticals and adjuvant therapy has been put forward. Tea polyphenols for their multiple health benefits have also attracted the attention of researchers. Tea catechins showed enough potentiality to be used in future as therapeutic targets to provide neuroprotection against AD. This review attempts to present a concise map of different receptor signaling pathways associated with AD with an insight into drug designing based on the proposed signaling pathways, molecular mechanistic details of AD pathogenesis, and a scientific rationale for using tea polyphenols as proposed therapeutic agents in AD. PMID:26665008

  7. Molecular Targets in Alzheimer's Disease: From Pathogenesis to Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xuan; Zhang, Lu; Lian, Ya-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline usually beginning with impairment in the ability to form recent memories. Nonavailability of definitive therapeutic strategy urges developing pharmacological targets based on cell signaling pathways. A great revival of interest in nutraceuticals and adjuvant therapy has been put forward. Tea polyphenols for their multiple health benefits have also attracted the attention of researchers. Tea catechins showed enough potentiality to be used in future as therapeutic targets to provide neuroprotection against AD. This review attempts to present a concise map of different receptor signaling pathways associated with AD with an insight into drug designing based on the proposed signaling pathways, molecular mechanistic details of AD pathogenesis, and a scientific rationale for using tea polyphenols as proposed therapeutic agents in AD.

  8. Molecular Targets in Alzheimer's Disease: From Pathogenesis to Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Xuan; Zhang, Lu; Lian, Ya-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline usually beginning with impairment in the ability to form recent memories. Nonavailability of definitive therapeutic strategy urges developing pharmacological targets based on cell signaling pathways. A great revival of interest in nutraceuticals and adjuvant therapy has been put forward. Tea polyphenols for their multiple health benefits have also attracted the attention of researchers. Tea catechins showed enough potentiality to be used in future as therapeutic targets to provide neuroprotection against AD. This review attempts to present a concise map of different receptor signaling pathways associated with AD with an insight into drug designing based on the proposed signaling pathways, molecular mechanistic details of AD pathogenesis, and a scientific rationale for using tea polyphenols as proposed therapeutic agents in AD. PMID:26665008

  9. Adiponectin signaling and function in insulin target tissues

    PubMed Central

    Ruan, Hong; Dong, Lily Q.

    2016-01-01

    Obesity-linked type 2 diabetes is one of the paramount causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, posing a major threat on human health, productivity, and quality of life. Despite great progress made towards a better understanding of the molecular basis of diabetes, the available clinical counter-measures against insulin resistance, a defect that is central to obesity-linked type 2 diabetes, remain inadequate. Adiponectin, an abundant adipocyte-secreted factor with a wide-range of biological activities, improves insulin sensitivity in major insulin target tissues, modulates inflammatory responses, and plays a crucial role in the regulation of energy metabolism. However, adiponectin as a promising therapeutic approach has not been thoroughly explored in the context of pharmacological intervention, and extensive efforts are being devoted to gain mechanistic understanding of adiponectin signaling and its regulation, and reveal therapeutic targets. Here, we discuss tissue- and cell-specific functions of adiponectin, with an emphasis on the regulation of adiponectin signaling pathways, and the potential crosstalk between the adiponectin and other signaling pathways involved in metabolic regulation. Understanding better just why and how adiponectin and its downstream effector molecules work will be essential, together with empirical trials, to guide us to therapies that target the root cause(s) of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. PMID:26993044

  10. Enhanced sensitivity carbon nanotubes as targeted photoacoustic molecular imaging agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Zerda, Adam; Liu, Zhuang; Zavaleta, Cristina; Bodapati, Sunil; Teed, Robert; Vaithilingam, Srikant; Ma, Te-Jen; Oralkan, Omer; Chen, Xiaoyuan; Khuri-Yakub, Butrus T.; Dai, Hongjie; Gambhir, Sanjiv S.

    2009-02-01

    Photoacoustic imaging of living subjects offers high spatial resolution at increased tissue depths compared to purely optical imaging techniques. We have recently shown that intravenously injected single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) can be used as targeted photoacoustic imaging agents in living mice using RGD peptides to target αvβ3 integrins. We have now developed a new targeted photoacoustic imaging agent based on SWNTs and Indocyanine Green (SWNT-ICG) with absorption peak at 780nm. The photoacoustic signal of the new imaging agent is enhanced by ~20 times as compared to plain SWNTs. The particles are synthesized from SWNT-RGD that noncovalently attach to multiple ICG molecules through pi-pi stacking interactions. Negative control particles had RAD peptide instead of RGD. We measured the serum stability of the particles and verified that the RGD/RAD conjugation did not alter the particle's absorbance spectrum. Finally, through cell uptake studies with U87MG cells we verified that the particles bind selectively to αvβ3 integrin. In conclusion, the extremely high absorption of the SWNT-ICG particles shows great promise for high sensitivity photoacoustic imaging of molecular targets in-vivo. This work lays the foundations for future in-vivo studies that will use the SWNT-ICG particles as imaging agents administered systemically.

  11. Molecular Targeted Therapies Using Botanicals for Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Nagi; Chornokur, Ganna

    2014-01-01

    In spite of the large number of botanicals demonstrating promise as potential cancer chemopreventive agents, most have failed to prove effectiveness in clinical trials. Critical requirements for moving botanical agents to recommendation for clinical use include adopting a systematic, molecular-target based approach and utilizing the same ethical and rigorous methods that are used to evaluate other pharmacological agents. Preliminary data on a mechanistic rationale for chemoprevention activity as observed from epidemiological, in vitro and preclinical studies, phase I data of safety in suitable cohorts, duration of intervention based on time to progression of pre-neoplastic disease to cancer and using a valid panel of biomarkers representing the hypothesized carcinogenesis pathway for measuring efficacy must inform the design of clinical trials. Botanicals have been shown to influence multiple biochemical and molecular cascades that inhibit mutagenesis, proliferation, induce apoptosis, suppress the formation and growth of human cancers, thus modulating several hallmarks of carcinogenesis. These agents appear promising in their potential to make a dramatic impact in cancer prevention and treatment, with a significantly superior safety profile than most agents evaluated to date. The goal of this paper is to provide models of translational research based on the current evidence of promising botanicals with a specific focus on targeted therapies for PCa chemoprevention. PMID:24527269

  12. [Bioinformatics of tumor molecular targets from big data].

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinyan; Yu, Yingyan

    2015-01-01

    The big data from high throughput research disclosed 4V features: volume of data, variety of data, value for deep mining, and velocity of processing speed. Regarding the whole genome sequencing for human sample, at average 30x of coverage, a total of 100 GB of original data (compression FASTQ format) could be produced. Replying to the binary BAM format, a total of 150 GB data could be produced. In the analysis of high throughput data, we need to combine both clinical information and pathological features. In addition, the data sources of medical research involved in ethical and privacy of patients. At present, the costs are gradually cheaper. For example, a whole genome sequencing by Illumina X Ten with 30x coverage costs about 10,000 RMB, and RNA-seq costs 5000 RMB for a single sample. Therefore, cancer genome research provides opportunities for discovery of molecular targets, but also brings enormous challenges on the data integration and utilization. This article introduces methodologies for high throughput data analysis and processing, and explains possible application on molecular target discovery. PMID:25656022

  13. Internal density functional theory of molecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalewajski, Roman F.

    1984-08-01

    A thermodynamiclike theory of internal equilibrium and constrained equilibrium states of individual molecular systems is formulated, based on the Legendre transformed density functional theory (LT DFT). The molecular system (nonrelativistic, field free, Born-Oppenheimer or non-Born-Oppenheimer) is treated as the closed composite thermodynamic system, consisting of very small, rigid (open) subsystems (simple systems) containing a multi-(m)-component charged fluid in the presence of an external field. The generalized Levy constrained search construction of various ``thermodynamic'' potentials of LT DFT is given and the local Maxwell relations are derived. The reduction of various second-order partial functional derivatives (system sensitivities) in terms of few independent, basic kernels is described, using the Jacobian determinants technique. The qualitative implications for the basic kernels of the theory, from the Maxwell relations and stability criteria (generalized Le Châtelier and Le Châtelier-Braun principles) are systematically examined. Finally, possible applications of the general formalism in the thermodynamic analysis of the chemical bond, molecular stability, and chemical reactivity are identified.

  14. Molecular Pathways: Targeted α-Particle Radiation Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Baidoo, Kwamena E.; Yong, Kwon; Brechbiel, Martin W.

    2012-01-01

    An α-particle, a 4He nucleus, is exquisitely cytotoxic, and indifferent to many limitations associated with conventional chemo- and radiotherapy. The exquisite cytotoxicity of α radiation, the result of its high mean energy deposition (high linear energy transfer, LET) and limited range in tissue, provides for a highly controlled therapeutic modality that can be targeted to selected malignant cells (targeted α-therapy (TAT)) with minimal normal tissue effects. There is a burgeoning interest in the development of TAT that is buoyed by the increasing number of ongoing clinical trials worldwide. The short path length renders α-emitters suitable for treatment and management of minimal disease such as micrometastases or residual tumor after surgical debulking, hematological cancers, infections, and compartmental cancers such as ovarian cancer or neoplastic meningitis. Yet, despite decades of study of high-LET radiation, the mechanistic pathways of the effects of this modality remain not well defined. The modality is effectively presumed to follow a simple therapeutic mechanism centered on catastrophic double strand (ds) DNA breaks without full examination of the actual molecular pathways and targets that are activated that directly impact cell survival or death. This Molecular Pathways article provides an overview of the mechanisms and pathways that are involved in the response to and repair of TAT induced DNA damage as currently understood. Finally, this article highlights the current state of clinical translation of TAT as well as other high-LET radionuclide radiation therapy using α-emitters such as 225Ac, 211At, 213Bi, 212Pb and 223Ra. PMID:23230321

  15. A targeted molecular probe for colorectal cancer imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Attramadal, T.; Bjerke, R.; Indrevoll, B.; Moestue, S.; Rogstad, A.; Bendiksen, R.; Healey, A.; Johannesen, E.

    2008-02-01

    Colorectal cancer is a major cause of cancer death. Morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs can be reduced if the disease can be detected at an early stage. Screening is a viable approach as there is a clear link to risk factors such as age. We have developed a fluorescent contrast agent for use during colonoscopy. The agent is administered intravenously and is targeted to an early stage molecular marker for colorectal cancer. The agent consists of a targeting section comprising a peptide, and a fluorescent reporter molecule. Clinical imaging of the agent is to be performed with a far red fluorescence imaging channel (635 nm excitation/660-700 nm emission) as an adjunct to white light colonoscopy. Preclinical proof of mechanism results are presented. The compound has a K d of ~3nM. Two human xenograft tumour models were used. Tumour cells were implanted and grown subcutaneously in nude mice. Imaging using a fluorescence reflectance imaging system and quantitative biodistribution studies were performed. Substances tested include the targeted agent, and a scrambled sequence of the peptide (no binding) used as a negative control. Competition studies were also performed by co-administration of 180 times excess unlabelled peptide. Positive imaging contrast was shown in the tumours, with a clear relationship to expression levels (confirmed with quantitative biodistribution data). There was a significant difference between the positive and negative control substances, and a significant reduction in contrast in the competition experiment.

  16. Targeting Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer: Molecular and Clinical Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Vlachostergios, Panagiotis J.; Papandreou, Christos N.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroendocrine prostate carcinoma, either co-present with the local adenocarcinoma disease or as a result of transdifferentiation later in time, was described as one major process of emerging resistance to androgen deprivation therapies, and at the clinical level it is consistent with the development of rapidly progressive visceral disease, often in the absence of elevated serum prostate-specific antigen level. Until present, platinum-based chemotherapy has been the only treatment modality, able to produce a fair amount of responses but of short duration. Recently, several efforts for molecular characterization of this lethal phenotype have resulted in identification of novel signaling factors involved in microenvironment interactions, mitosis, and neural reprograming as potential therapeutic targets. Ongoing clinical testing of specific inhibitors of these targets, for example, Aurora kinase A inhibitors, in carefully selected patients and exploitation of expression changes of the target before and after manipulation is anticipated to increase the existing data and facilitate therapeutic decision making at this late stage of the disease when hormonal manipulations, even with the newest androgen-directed therapies are no longer feasible. PMID:25699233

  17. Rational approaches to design of therapeutics targeting molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Klasa, R J; List, A F; Cheson, B D

    2001-01-01

    This paper introduces novel therapeutic strategies focusing on a molecular marker relevant to a particular hematologic malignancy. Four different approaches targeting specific molecules in unique pathways will be presented. The common theme will be rational target selection in a strategy that has reached the early phase of human clinical trial in one malignancy, but with a much broader potential applicability to the technology. In Section I Dr. Richard Klasa presents preclinical data on the use of antisense oligonucleotides directed at the bcl-2 gene message to specifically downregulate Bcl-2 protein expression in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and render the cells more susceptible to the induction of apoptosis. In Section II Dr. Alan List reviews the targeting of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor in anti-angiogenesis strategies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). In Section III Dr. Bruce Cheson describes recent progress in inhibiting cell cycle progression by selectively disrupting cyclin D1 with structurally unique compounds such as flavopiridol in mantle cell lymphoma as well as describing a new class of agents that affect proteasome degradation pathways.

  18. Identification of Molecular Targets for Predicting Colon Adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yansheng; Zhang, Jun; Li, Li; Xu, Xin; Zhang, Yong; Teng, Zhaowei; Wu, Feihu

    2016-01-01

    Background Colon adenocarcinoma mostly happens at the junction of the rectum and is a common gastrointestinal malignancy. Accumulated evidence has indicated that colon adenocarcinoma develops by genetic alterations and is a complicated disease. The aim of this study was to screen differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) and genes with diagnostic and prognostic potentials in colon adenocarcinoma. Material/Methods In this study we screened DEMs and their target genes (DEGs) between 100 colon adenocarcinoma and normal samples in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database by using the DEseq toolkit in Bioconductor. Then Go enrichment and KEGG pathway analysis were performed on the selected differential genes by use of the DAVID online tool. A regulation network of miRNA-gene was constructed and analyzed by Cytoscape. Finally, we performed ROC analysis of 8 miRNAs and ROC curves were drawn. Results A total of 159 DEMs and 1921 DEGs were screened, and 1881 pairs of miRNA-target genes with significant negative correlations were also obtained. A regulatory network of miRNA-gene, including 60 cancer-related genes and 47 miRNAs, was successfully constructed. In addition, 5 clusters with several miRNAs regulating a set of target genes simultaneously were identified through cluster analysis. There were 8 miRNAs involved in these 5 clusters, and these miRNAs could serve as molecular biomarkers to distinguish colon adenocarcinoma and normal samples indicated by ROC analysis. Conclusions The identified 8 miRNAs were closely associated with colon adenocarcinoma, which may have great clinical value as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and provide new ideas for targeted therapy. PMID:26868022

  19. Identifying Molecular Targets of Lifestyle Modifications in Colon Cancer Prevention

    PubMed Central

    Derry, Molly M.; Raina, Komal; Agarwal, Chapla; Agarwal, Rajesh

    2013-01-01

    One in four deaths in the United States is cancer-related, and colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. Screening strategies are utilized but have not reduced disease incidence or mortality. In this regard, there is an interest in cancer preventive strategies focusing on lifestyle intervention, where specific etiologic factors involved in cancer initiation, promotion, and progression could be targeted. For example, exposure to dietary carcinogens, such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons influences colon carcinogenesis. Furthermore, dietary deficiencies could alter sensitivity to genetic damage and influence carcinogen metabolism contributing to CRC. High alcohol consumption increases the risk of mutations including the fact that acetaldehyde, an ethanol metabolite, is classified as a group 1 carcinogen. Tobacco smoke exposure is also a risk factor for cancer development; approximately 20% of CRCs are associated with smoking. Additionally, obese patients have a higher risk of cancer development, which is further supported by the fact that physical activity decreases CRC risk by 55%. Similarly, chronic inflammatory conditions also increase the risk of CRC development. Moreover, the circadian clock alters digestion and regulates other biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes that could influence CRC. Taken together, colon carcinogenesis involves a number of etiological factors, and therefore, to create effective preventive strategies, molecular targets need to be identified and beleaguered prior to disease progression. With this in mind, the following is a comprehensive review identifying downstream target proteins of the above lifestyle risk factors, which are modulated during colon carcinogenesis and could be targeted for CRC prevention by novel agents including phytochemicals. PMID:23675573

  20. Molecular Approach to Targeted Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sherbet, Gajanan V

    2016-01-01

    The development and evolution of targeted therapy to any disease require the identification of targets amenable to treatment of patients. Here the pathogenetic signalling systems involved in multiple sclerosis are scrutinised to locate nodes of deregulation and dysfunction in order to devise strategies of drug development for targeted intervention. Oliogoclonal bands (OCB) are isoelectric focusing profiles of immunoglobulins synthesised in the central nervous system. OCBs enable the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis with high sensitivity and specificity and are related to the course of the disease and progression. The OCB patterns can be linked with the expression of angiogenic molecular species. Angiogenic signalling which has also been implicated in demyelination provides the option of using angiogenesis inhibitors in disease control. The PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase)/Akt axis has emerged with a key role in myelination with its demonstrable links with mTOR mediated transcription of downstream target genes. Inflammatory signals and innate and acquired immunity from the activation of NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) responsive genes are considered. NF-κB signalling could be implicated in myelination. The transcription factor STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) and the EBV (Epstein- Barr virus) transcription factor BZLF1 contributing significantly to the disease process are a major environmental factor linked to MS. EBV can activate TGF (transforming growth factor) and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) signalling. EBV microRNAs are reviewed as signalling mediators of pathogenesis. Stem cell transplantation therapy has lately gained much credence, so the current status of mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cell therapy is reviewed with emphasis on the differential expression immune-related genes and operation of signalling systems.

  1. Discovery of functional monoclonal antibodies targeting G-protein-coupled receptors and ion channels.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Trevor C I

    2016-06-15

    The development of recombinant antibody therapeutics is a significant area of growth in the pharmaceutical industry with almost 50 approved monoclonal antibodies on the market in the US and Europe. Despite this growth, however, certain classes of important molecular targets have remained intractable to therapeutic antibodies due to complexity of the target molecules. These complex target molecules include G-protein-coupled receptors and ion channels which represent a large potential target class for therapeutic intervention with monoclonal antibodies. Although these targets have typically been addressed by small molecule approaches, the exquisite specificity of antibodies provides a significant opportunity to provide selective modulation of these target proteins. Given this opportunity, substantial effort has been applied to address the technical challenges of targeting these complex membrane proteins with monoclonal antibodies. In this review recent progress made in the strategies for discovery of functional monoclonal antibodies for these challenging membrane protein targets is addressed. PMID:27284048

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy: Potential Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Coucha, Maha; Elshaer, Sally L.; Eldahshan, Wael S.; Mysona, Barbara A.; El-Remessy, Azza B.

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults in United States. Research indicates an association between oxidative stress and the development of diabetes complications. However, clinical trials with general antioxidants have failed to prove effective in diabetic patients. Mounting evidence from experimental studies that continue to elucidate the damaging effects of oxidative stress and inflammation in both vascular and neural retina suggest its critical role in the pathogenesis of DR. This review will outline the current management of DR as well as present potential experimental therapeutic interventions, focusing on molecules that link oxidative stress to inflammation to provide potential therapeutic targets for treatment or prevention of DR. Understanding the biochemical changes and the molecular events under diabetic conditions could provide new effective therapeutic tools to combat the disease. PMID:25949069

  3. Ultrapotent vinblastines in which added molecular complexity further disrupts the target tubulin dimer-dimer interface.

    PubMed

    Carney, Daniel W; Lukesh, John C; Brody, Daniel M; Brütsch, Manuela M; Boger, Dale L

    2016-08-30

    Approaches to improving the biological properties of natural products typically strive to modify their structures to identify the essential pharmacophore, or make functional group changes to improve biological target affinity or functional activity, change physical properties, enhance stability, or introduce conformational constraints. Aside from accessible semisynthetic modifications of existing functional groups, rarely does one consider using chemical synthesis to add molecular complexity to the natural product. In part, this may be attributed to the added challenge intrinsic in the synthesis of an even more complex compound. Herein, we report synthetically derived, structurally more complex vinblastines inaccessible from the natural product itself that are a stunning 100-fold more active (IC50 values, 50-75 pM vs. 7 nM; HCT116), and that are now accessible because of advances in the total synthesis of the natural product. The newly discovered ultrapotent vinblastines, which may look highly unusual upon first inspection, bind tubulin with much higher affinity and likely further disrupt the tubulin head-to-tail α/β dimer-dimer interaction by virtue of the strategic placement of an added conformationally well-defined, rigid, and extended C20' urea along the adjacent continuing protein-protein interface. In this case, the added molecular complexity was used to markedly enhance target binding and functional biological activity (100-fold), and likely represents a general approach to improving the properties of other natural products targeting a protein-protein interaction. PMID:27512044

  4. Recent advances in developing molecular tools for targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lim, Kwang-il

    2015-01-01

    Various biological molecules naturally existing in diversified species including fungi, bacteria, and bacteriophage have functionalities for DNA binding and processing. The biological molecules have been recently actively engineered for use in customized genome editing of mammalian cells as the molecule-encoding DNA sequence information and the underlying mechanisms how the molecules work are unveiled. Excitingly, multiple novel methods based on the newly constructed artificial molecular tools have enabled modifications of specific endogenous genetic elements in the genome context at efficiencies that are much higher than that of the conventional homologous recombination based methods. This minireview introduces the most recently spotlighted molecular genome engineering tools with their key features and ongoing modifications for better performance. Such ongoing efforts have mainly focused on the removal of the inherent DNA sequence recognition rigidity from the original molecular platforms, the addition of newly tailored targeting functions into the engineered molecules, and the enhancement of their targeting specificity. Effective targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells will enable not only sophisticated genetic studies in the context of the genome, but also widely-applicable universal therapeutics based on the pinpointing and correction of the disease-causing genetic elements within the genome in the near future.

  5. Recent advances in developing molecular tools for targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Lim, Kwang-il

    2015-01-01

    Various biological molecules naturally existing in diversified species including fungi, bacteria, and bacteriophage have functionalities for DNA binding and processing. The biological molecules have been recently actively engineered for use in customized genome editing of mammalian cells as the molecule-encoding DNA sequence information and the underlying mechanisms how the molecules work are unveiled. Excitingly, multiple novel methods based on the newly constructed artificial molecular tools have enabled modifications of specific endogenous genetic elements in the genome context at efficiencies that are much higher than that of the conventional homologous recombination based methods. This minireview introduces the most recently spotlighted molecular genome engineering tools with their key features and ongoing modifications for better performance. Such ongoing efforts have mainly focused on the removal of the inherent DNA sequence recognition rigidity from the original molecular platforms, the addition of newly tailored targeting functions into the engineered molecules, and the enhancement of their targeting specificity. Effective targeted genome engineering of mammalian cells will enable not only sophisticated genetic studies in the context of the genome, but also widely-applicable universal therapeutics based on the pinpointing and correction of the disease-causing genetic elements within the genome in the near future. PMID:25104401

  6. Nutraceuticals: Potential for Chondroprotection and Molecular Targeting of Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Leong, Daniel J.; Choudhury, Marwa; Hirsh, David M.; Hardin, John A.; Cobelli, Neil J.; Sun, Hui B.

    2013-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease and a leading cause of adult disability. There is no cure for OA, and no effective treatments which arrest or slow its progression. Current pharmacologic treatments such as analgesics may improve pain relief but do not alter OA disease progression. Prolonged consumption of these drugs can result in severe adverse effects. Given the nature of OA, life-long treatment will likely be required to arrest or slow its progression. Consequently, there is an urgent need for OA disease-modifying therapies which also improve symptoms and are safe for clinical use over long periods of time. Nutraceuticals—food or food products that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease—offer not only favorable safety profiles, but may exert disease- and symptom-modification effects in OA. Forty-seven percent of OA patients use alternative medications, including nutraceuticals. This review will overview the efficacy and mechanism of action of commonly used nutraceuticals, discuss recent experimental and clinical data on the effects of select nutraceuticals, such as phytoflavonoids, polyphenols, and bioflavonoids on OA, and highlight their known molecular actions and limitations of their current use. We will conclude with a proposed novel nutraceutical-based molecular targeting strategy for chondroprotection and OA treatment. PMID:24284399

  7. Nutraceuticals: potential for chondroprotection and molecular targeting of osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Leong, Daniel J; Choudhury, Marwa; Hirsh, David M; Hardin, John A; Cobelli, Neil J; Sun, Hui B

    2013-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease and a leading cause of adult disability. There is no cure for OA, and no effective treatments which arrest or slow its progression. Current pharmacologic treatments such as analgesics may improve pain relief but do not alter OA disease progression. Prolonged consumption of these drugs can result in severe adverse effects. Given the nature of OA, life-long treatment will likely be required to arrest or slow its progression. Consequently, there is an urgent need for OA disease-modifying therapies which also improve symptoms and are safe for clinical use over long periods of time. Nutraceuticals-food or food products that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease-offer not only favorable safety profiles, but may exert disease- and symptom-modification effects in OA. Forty-seven percent of OA patients use alternative medications, including nutraceuticals. This review will overview the efficacy and mechanism of action of commonly used nutraceuticals, discuss recent experimental and clinical data on the effects of select nutraceuticals, such as phytoflavonoids, polyphenols, and bioflavonoids on OA, and highlight their known molecular actions and limitations of their current use. We will conclude with a proposed novel nutraceutical-based molecular targeting strategy for chondroprotection and OA treatment. PMID:24284399

  8. Evolving molecularly targeted therapies for advanced-stage thyroid cancers.

    PubMed

    Bible, Keith C; Ryder, Mabel

    2016-07-01

    Increased understanding of disease-specific molecular targets of therapy has led to the regulatory approval of two drugs (vandetanib and cabozantinib) for the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), and two agents (sorafenib and lenvatinib) for the treatment of radioactive- iodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) in both the USA and in the EU. The effects of these and other therapies on overall survival and quality of life among patients with thyroid cancer, however, remain to be more-clearly defined. When applied early in the disease course, intensive multimodality therapy seems to improve the survival outcomes of patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), but salvage therapies for ATC are of uncertain benefit. Additional innovative, rationally designed therapeutic strategies are under active development both for patients with DTC and for patients with ATC, with multiple phase II and phase III randomized clinical trials currently ongoing. Continued effort is being made to identify further signalling pathways with potential therapeutic relevance in thyroid cancers, as well as to elaborate on the complex interactions between signalling pathways, with the intention of translating these discoveries into effective and personalized therapies. Herein, we summarize the progress made in molecular medicine for advanced-stage thyroid cancers of different histotypes, analyse how these developments have altered - and might further refine - patient care, and identify open questions for future research. PMID:26925962

  9. Molecular mechanisms and proposed targets for selected anticancer gold compounds.

    PubMed

    Casini, Angela; Messori, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Nowadays, gold compounds constitute a family of very promising experimental agents for cancer treatment. Indeed, several gold(I) and gold(III) compounds were shown to manifest outstanding antiproliferative properties in vitro against selected human tumor cell lines and some of them performed remarkably well even in tumor models in vivo. Notably, the peculiar chemical properties of the gold centre impart innovative pharmacological profiles to gold-based metallodrugs most likely in relation to novel molecular mechanisms. The precise mechanisms through which cytotoxic gold compounds produce their biological effects are still largely unknown. Within this frame, the major aim of this review is to define the possible modes of action and the most probable biomolecular targets for a few representative gold compounds on which extensive biochemical and cellular data have been gathered. In particular, we will focus on auranofin and analogues, on gold(III) porphyrins and gold(III) dithiocarbamates. For these three families markedly distinct molecular mechanisms were recently invoked: a direct mitochondrial mechanism involving thioredoxin reductase inhibition in the case of the gold(I) complexes, the influence on some apoptotic proteins--i.e. MAPKs and Bcl-2--for gold(III) porphyrins, and the proteasome inhibition for gold(III) dithiocarbamates. In a few cases the distinct mechanisms may overlap. The general perspectives for the development of new gold compounds as effective anticancer agents with innovative modes of action are critically discussed. PMID:22039866

  10. Molecular targets and pathways involved in liver metastasis of colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Weidle, Ulrich H; Birzele, Fabian; Krüger, Achim

    2015-08-01

    We here summarize the current view of molecular mechanisms involved in the dissemination process of colorectal cancer cells to the liver as deduced from preclinical models. We focus on molecular aspects of the current understanding of the biology of liver metastases formation and survival, both being crucial for identification and validation of possible therapeutic targets and review the latest findings elucidating some features of the liver as a metastatic niche. In more detail, we outline the role of proteases and of major pathways such asc-MET signaling and its modulation by factors such as MACC1 and TIMP1, as well as Notch and TGFβ signaling. The relevance of these signalling pathways during tumor-stroma interactions in this context will be addressed. In addition, the functional role and validation of targets such as PRL3, Trop-2, L1CAM, S100A4, S100P, CD133, LIPC, and APOBEC3G are summarized. PMID:26104118

  11. Molecular targets in arthritis and recent trends in nanotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Kislay; Kanwar, Rupinder Kaur; Kanwar, Jagat Rakesh

    2015-01-01

    Due to its severity and increasing epidemiology, arthritis needs no description. There are various forms of arthritis most of which are disabling, very painful, and common. In spite of breakthroughs in the field of drug discovery, there is no cure for arthritis that can eliminate the disease permanently and ease the pain. The present review focuses on some of the most successful drugs in arthritis therapy and their side effects. Potential new targets in arthritis therapy such as interleukin-1β, interleukin-17A, tumor necrosis factor alpha, osteopontin, and several others have been discussed here, which can lead to refinement of current therapeutic modalities. Mechanisms for different forms of arthritis have been discussed along with the molecules that act as potential biomarkers for arthritis. Due to the difficulty in monitoring the disease progression to detect the advanced manifestations of the diseases, drug-induced cytotoxicity, and problems with drug delivery; nanoparticle therapy has gained the attention of the researchers. The unique properties of nanoparticles make them highly attractive for the design of novel therapeutics or diagnostic agents for arthritis. The review also focuses on the recent trends in nanoformulation development used for arthritis therapy. This review is, therefore, important because it describes the relevance and need for more arthritis research, it brings forth a critical discussion of successful drugs in arthritis and analyses the key molecular targets. The review also identifies several knowledge gaps in the published research so far along with the proposal of new ideas and future directions in arthritis therapy. PMID:26345140

  12. Bacteria-mimicking nanoparticle surface functionalization with targeting motifs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Mei-Hsiu; Clay, Nicholas E.; Kim, Dong Hyun; Kong, Hyunjoon

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, surface modification of nanocarriers with targeting motifs has been explored to modulate delivery of various diagnostic, sensing and therapeutic molecular cargo to desired sites of interest in in vitro bioengineering platforms and in vivo pathologic tissue. However, most surface functionalization approaches are often plagued by complex chemical modifications and effortful purifications. To resolve such challenges, this study demonstrates a unique method to immobilize antibodies that can act as targeting motifs on the surfaces of nanocarriers, inspired by a process that bacteria use for immobilization of the host's antibodies. We hypothesized that alkylated Staphylococcus aureus protein A (SpA) would self-assemble with micelles and subsequently induce stable coupling of antibodies to the micelles. We examined this hypothesis by using poly(2-hydroxyethyl-co-octadecyl aspartamide) (PHEA-g-C18) as a model polymer to form micelles. The self-assembly between the micelles and alkylated SpA became more thermodynamically favorable by increasing the degree of substitution of octadecyl chains to PHEA-g-C18, due to a positive entropy change. Lastly, the mixing of SpA-PA-coupled micelles with antibodies resulted in the coating of micelles with antibodies, as confirmed with a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay. The micelles coated with antibodies to VCAM-1 or integrin αv displayed a higher binding affinity to substrates coated with VCAM-1 and integrin αvβ3, respectively, than other controls, as evaluated with surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy and a circulation-simulating flow chamber. We envisage that this bacteria-inspired protein immobilization approach will be useful to improve the quality of targeted delivery of nanoparticles, and can be extended to modify the surface of a wide array of nanocarriers.In recent years, surface modification of nanocarriers with targeting motifs has been explored to modulate delivery of various

  13. Targeting cancer with small-molecular-weight kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Fabbro, Doriano; Cowan-Jacob, Sandra W; Möbitz, Henrik; Martiny-Baron, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Protein and lipid kinases fulfill essential roles in many signaling pathways that regulate normal cell functions. Deregulation of these kinase activities lead to a variety of pathologies ranging from cancer to inflammatory diseases, diabetes, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disorders, cell growth and survival. 518 protein kinases and about 20 lipid-modifying kinases are encoded by the human genome, and a much larger proportion of additional kinases are present in parasite, bacterial, fungal, and viral genomes that are susceptible to exploitation as drug targets. Since many human diseases result from overactivation of protein and lipid kinases due to mutations and/or overexpression, this enzyme class represents an important target for the pharmaceutical industry. Approximately one third of all protein targets under investigation in the pharmaceutical industry are protein or lipid kinases.The kinase inhibitors that have been launched, thus far, are mainly in oncology indications and are directed against a handful of protein and lipid kinases. With one exception, all of these registered kinase inhibitors are directed toward the ATP-site and display different selectivities, potencies, and pharmacokinetic properties. At present, about 150 kinase-targeted drugs are in clinical development and many more in various stages of preclinical development. Kinase inhibitor drugs that are in clinical trials target all stages of signal transduction from the receptor protein tyrosine kinases that initiate intracellular signaling, through second-messenger-dependent lipid and protein kinases, and protein kinases that regulate the cell cycle.This review provides an insight into protein and lipid kinase drug discovery with respect to achievements, binding modes of inhibitors, and novel avenues for the generation of second-generation kinase inhibitors to treat cancers.

  14. Molecular Density Functional Theory of Water.

    PubMed

    Jeanmairet, Guillaume; Levesque, Maximilien; Vuilleumier, Rodolphe; Borgis, Daniel

    2013-02-21

    Three-dimensional implementations of liquid-state theories offer an efficient alternative to computer simulations for the atomic-level description of aqueous solutions in complex environments. In this context, we present a (classical) molecular density functional theory (MDFT) of water that is derived from first principles and is based on two classical density fields, a scalar one, the particle density, and a vectorial one, the multipolar polarization density. Its implementation requires as input the partial charge distribution of a water molecule and three measurable bulk properties, namely, the structure factor and the k-dependent longitudinal and transverse dielectric constants. It has to be complemented by a solute-solvent three-body term that reinforces tetrahedral order at short-range. The approach is shown to provide the correct 3-D microscopic solvation profile around various molecular solutes, possibly possessing H-bonding sites, at a computer cost two to three orders of magnitude lower than with explicit simulations. PMID:26281876

  15. Plant sex chromosomes: molecular structure and function.

    PubMed

    Jamilena, M; Mariotti, B; Manzano, S

    2008-01-01

    Recent molecular and genomic studies carried out in a number of model dioecious plant species, including Asparagus officinalis, Carica papaya, Silene latifolia, Rumex acetosa and Marchantia polymorpha, have shed light on the molecular structure of both homomorphic and heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and also on the gene functions they have maintained since their evolution from a pair of autosomes. The molecular structure of sex chromosomes in species from different plant families represents the evolutionary pathway followed by sex chromosomes during their evolution. The degree of Y chromosome degeneration that accompanies the suppression of recombination between the Xs and Ys differs among species. The primitive Ys of A. officinalis and C. papaya have only diverged from their homomorphic Xs in a short male-specific and non-recombining region (MSY), while the heteromorphic Ys of S. latifolia, R. acetosa and M. polymorpha have diverged from their respective Xs. As in the Y chromosomes of mammals and Drosophila, the accumulation of repetitive DNA, including both transposable elements and satellite DNA, has played an important role in the divergence and size enlargement of plant Ys, and consequently in reducing gene density. Nevertheless, the degeneration process in plants does not appear to have reached the Y-linked genes. Although a low gene density has been found in the sequenced Y chromosome of M. polymorpha, most of its genes are essential and are expressed in the vegetative and reproductive organs in both male and females. Similarly, most of the Y-linked genes that have been isolated and characterized up to now in S. latifolia are housekeeping genes that have X-linked homologues, and are therefore expressed in both males and females. Only one of them seems to be degenerate with respect to its homologous region in the X. Sequence analysis of larger regions in the homomorphic X and Y chromosomes of papaya and asparagus, and also in the heteromorphic sex chromosomes

  16. Scientometrics of drug discovery efforts: pain-related molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I-II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009-2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004-2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs (2009-2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics, when its

  17. Scientometrics of drug discovery efforts: pain-related molecular targets

    PubMed Central

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I–III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I–II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009–2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004–2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I–III trials of investigational drugs (2009–2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics

  18. Scientometrics of drug discovery efforts: pain-related molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Kissin, Igor

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to make a scientometric assessment of drug discovery efforts centered on pain-related molecular targets. The following scientometric indices were used: the popularity index, representing the share of articles (or patents) on a specific topic among all articles (or patents) on pain over the same 5-year period; the index of change, representing the change in the number of articles (or patents) on a topic from one 5-year period to the next; the index of expectations, representing the ratio of the number of all types of articles on a topic in the top 20 journals relative to the number of articles in all (>5,000) biomedical journals covered by PubMed over a 5-year period; the total number of articles representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs over a 5-year period; and the trial balance index, a ratio of Phase I-II publications to Phase III publications. Articles (PubMed database) and patents (US Patent and Trademark Office database) on 17 topics related to pain mechanisms were assessed during six 5-year periods from 1984 to 2013. During the most recent 5-year period (2009-2013), seven of 17 topics have demonstrated high research activity (purinergic receptors, serotonin, transient receptor potential channels, cytokines, gamma aminobutyric acid, glutamate, and protein kinases). However, even with these seven topics, the index of expectations decreased or did not change compared with the 2004-2008 period. In addition, publications representing Phase I-III trials of investigational drugs (2009-2013) did not indicate great enthusiasm on the part of the pharmaceutical industry regarding drugs specifically designed for treatment of pain. A promising development related to the new tool of molecular targeting, ie, monoclonal antibodies, for pain treatment has not yet resulted in real success. This approach has not yet demonstrated clinical effectiveness (at least with nerve growth factor) much beyond conventional analgesics, when its

  19. Biocompatible Nanocomplexes for Molecular Targeted MRI Contrast Agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhijin; Yu, Dexin; Wang, Shaojie; Zhang, Na; Ma, Chunhong; Lu, Zaijun

    2009-07-01

    Accurate diagnosis in early stage is vital for the treatment of Hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of poly lactic acid-polyethylene glycol/gadolinium-diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid (PLA-PEG/Gd-DTPA) nanocomplexes using as biocompatible molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent. The PLA-PEG/Gd-DTPA nanocomplexes were obtained using self-assembly nanotechnology by incubation of PLA-PEG nanoparticles and the commercial contrast agent, Gd-DTPA. The physicochemical properties of nanocomplexes were measured by atomic force microscopy and photon correlation spectroscopy. The T1-weighted MR images of the nanocomplexes were obtained in a 3.0 T clinical MR imager. The stability study was carried out in human plasma and the distribution in vivo was investigated in rats. The mean size of the PLA-PEG/Gd-DTPA nanocomplexes was 187.9 ± 2.30 nm, and the polydispersity index was 0.108, and the zeta potential was -12.36 ± 3.58 mV. The results of MRI test confirmed that the PLA-PEG/Gd-DTPA nanocomplexes possessed the ability of MRI, and the direct correlation between the MRI imaging intensities and the nano-complex concentrations was observed ( r = 0.987). The signal intensity was still stable within 2 h after incubation of the nanocomplexes in human plasma. The nanocomplexes gave much better image contrast effects and longer stagnation time than that of commercial contrast agent in rat liver. A dose of 0.04 mmol of gadolinium per kilogram of body weight was sufficient to increase the MRI imaging intensities in rat livers by five-fold compared with the commercial Gd-DTPA. PLA-PEG/Gd-DTPA nanocomplexes could be prepared easily with small particle sizes. The nanocomplexes had high plasma stability, better image contrast effect, and liver targeting property. These results indicated that the PLA-PEG/Gd-DTPA nanocomplexes might be potential as molecular targeted imaging contrast agent.

  20. Biomolecular computation with molecular beacons for quantitative analysis of target nucleic acids.

    PubMed

    Lim, Hee-Woong; Lee, Seung Hwan; Yang, Kyung-Ae; Yoo, Suk-In; Park, Tai Hyun; Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2013-01-01

    Molecular beacons are efficient and useful tools for quantitative detection of specific target nucleic acids. Thanks to their simple protocol, molecular beacons have great potential as substrates for biomolecular computing. Here we present a molecular beacon-based biomolecular computing method for quantitative detection and analysis of target nucleic acids. Whereas the conventional quantitative assays using fluorescent dyes have been designed for single target detection or multiplexed detection, the proposed method enables us not only to detect multiple targets but also to compute their quantitative information by weighted-sum of the targets. The detection and computation are performed on a molecular level simultaneously, and the outputs are detected as fluorescence signals. Experimental results show the feasibility and effectiveness of our weighted detection and linear combination method using molecular beacons. Our method can serve as a primitive operation of molecular pattern analysis, and we demonstrate successful binary classifications of molecular patterns made of synthetic oligonucleotide DNA molecules.

  1. Native functionality and therapeutic targeting of arenaviral glycoproteins.

    PubMed

    Crispin, Max; Zeltina, Antra; Zitzmann, Nicole; Bowden, Thomas A

    2016-06-01

    Surface glycoproteins direct cellular targeting, attachment, and membrane fusion of arenaviruses and are the primary target for neutralizing antibodies. Despite significant conservation of the glycoprotein architecture across the arenavirus family, there is considerable variation in the molecular recognition mechanisms used during host cell entry. We review recent progress in dissecting these infection events and describe how arenaviral glycoproteins can be targeted by small-molecule antivirals, the natural immune response, and immunoglobulin-based therapeutics. Arenaviral glycoprotein-mediated assembly and infection pathways present numerous opportunities and challenges for therapeutic intervention. PMID:27104809

  2. Targeting functional motifs of a protein family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhadola, Pradeep; Deo, Nivedita

    2016-10-01

    The structural organization of a protein family is investigated by devising a method based on the random matrix theory (RMT), which uses the physiochemical properties of the amino acid with multiple sequence alignment. A graphical method to represent protein sequences using physiochemical properties is devised that gives a fast, easy, and informative way of comparing the evolutionary distances between protein sequences. A correlation matrix associated with each property is calculated, where the noise reduction and information filtering is done using RMT involving an ensemble of Wishart matrices. The analysis of the eigenvalue statistics of the correlation matrix for the β -lactamase family shows the universal features as observed in the Gaussian orthogonal ensemble (GOE). The property-based approach captures the short- as well as the long-range correlation (approximately following GOE) between the eigenvalues, whereas the previous approach (treating amino acids as characters) gives the usual short-range correlations, while the long-range correlations are the same as that of an uncorrelated series. The distribution of the eigenvector components for the eigenvalues outside the bulk (RMT bound) deviates significantly from RMT observations and contains important information about the system. The information content of each eigenvector of the correlation matrix is quantified by introducing an entropic estimate, which shows that for the β -lactamase family the smallest eigenvectors (low eigenmodes) are highly localized as well as informative. These small eigenvectors when processed gives clusters involving positions that have well-defined biological and structural importance matching with experiments. The approach is crucial for the recognition of structural motifs as shown in β -lactamase (and other families) and selectively identifies the important positions for targets to deactivate (activate) the enzymatic actions.

  3. Efficient representations of continuum states for photoionization processes from atomic and molecular targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yip, Frank L.

    The investigation of single and double photoionization effects in small atoms and molecules provides a means to probe fundamental quantum mechanical phenomena concerning electron correlation and interference effects. To consider these concepts accurately from first principles requires the construction of the exact final continuum states of a many body problem in atomic double photoionization and of the complicated continuum states in molecular single photoionization. Methods designed for incorporating exterior complex scaling (ECS) have proven very successful towards accomplishing these goals, providing a rigorous framework for describing continuum states involving any number of outgoing electrons with numerical exactness. Furthermore, such methods render solutions that can be interrogated to extract the full richness of information about the photoionization process from the wave function. This work aims to demonstrate the use of exterior complex scaling by first exactly solving the three-body breakup problem of the atomic hydride anion. H-- is the simplest atomic system and is most sensitive to electron correlation effects. The application of ECS with an efficient finite-element discrete variable representation proves quite capable and well-suited for this atomic Coulomb breakup problem. The evolution of this framework to treat molecular problems efficiently with exactness is furthered by the design of a hybrid basis method. The incorporation of analytic Gaussian basis sets ubiquitous in bound state molecular descriptions seems natural for considering molecular continuum states. The hybrid method is described in full detail and applied to completely describe photoionization of molecular H+2 and Li+2 . Photoionization of simple molecular systems offers significantly more complexity in the resulting angular distributions of the ejected electron as the target geometry becomes less atomic-like, i.e., as the internuclear separation increases. In this regard

  4. Membrane Transporters: Structure, Function and Targets for Drug Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravna, Aina W.; Sager, Georg; Dahl, Svein G.; Sylte, Ingebrigt

    Current therapeutic drugs act on four main types of molecular targets: enzymes, receptors, ion channels and transporters, among which a major part (60-70%) are membrane proteins. This review discusses the molecular structures and potential impact of membrane transporter proteins on new drug discovery. The three-dimensional (3D) molecular structure of a protein contains information about the active site and possible ligand binding, and about evolutionary relationships within the protein family. Transporters have a recognition site for a particular substrate, which may be used as a target for drugs inhibiting the transporter or acting as a false substrate. Three groups of transporters have particular interest as drug targets: the major facilitator superfamily, which includes almost 4000 different proteins transporting sugars, polyols, drugs, neurotransmitters, metabolites, amino acids, peptides, organic and inorganic anions and many other substrates; the ATP-binding cassette superfamily, which plays an important role in multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy; and the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family, which includes the molecular targets for some of the most widely used psychotropic drugs. Recent technical advances have increased the number of known 3D structures of membrane transporters, and demonstrated that they form a divergent group of proteins with large conformational flexibility which facilitates transport of the substrate.

  5. Targeting KIT in Melanoma: A Paradigm of Molecular Medicine and Targeted Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Woodman, Scott E.; Davies, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Despite multiple clinical trials utilizing a spectrum of therapeutic modalities, melanoma remains a disease with dismal outcomes in patients with advanced disease. However, it is now clear that melanoma is not a single entity, but can be molecularly divided into subtypes that generally correspond to the anatomical location of the primary melanoma. Melanomas from acral lentiginous, mucosal, and chronic sun-damaged sites frequently harbor activating mutations and/or increased copy number in the KIT tyrosine kinase receptor gene, which are very rare in the more common cutaneous tumors. Multiple case reports and early observations from clinical trials suggest that targeting mutant KIT with tyrosine kinase inhibitors is efficacious in KIT mutant melanoma. This review recounts what is known about the role of KIT in melanocyte maturation, our current understanding of KIT genetic aberrations in melanoma, and how this knowledge is being translated into clinical oncology. PMID:20457136

  6. A comparative modeling and molecular docking study on Mycobacterium tuberculosis targets involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Fakhar, Zeynab; Naiker, Suhashni; Alves, Claudio N; Govender, Thavendran; Maguire, Glenn E M; Lameira, Jeronimo; Lamichhane, Gyanu; Kruger, Hendrik G; Honarparvar, Bahareh

    2016-11-01

    An alarming rise of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains and the continuous high global morbidity of tuberculosis have reinvigorated the need to identify novel targets to combat the disease. The enzymes that catalyze the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan in M. tuberculosis are essential and noteworthy therapeutic targets. In this study, the biochemical function and homology modeling of MurI, MurG, MraY, DapE, DapA, Alr, and Ddl enzymes of the CDC1551 M. tuberculosis strain involved in the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan cell wall are reported. Generation of the 3D structures was achieved with Modeller 9.13. To assess the structural quality of the obtained homology modeled targets, the models were validated using PROCHECK, PDBsum, QMEAN, and ERRAT scores. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to calculate root mean square deviation (RMSD) and radius of gyration (Rg) of MurI and MurG target proteins and their corresponding templates. For further model validation, RMSD and Rg for selected targets/templates were investigated to compare the close proximity of their dynamic behavior in terms of protein stability and average distances. To identify the potential binding mode required for molecular docking, binding site information of all modeled targets was obtained using two prediction algorithms. A docking study was performed for MurI to determine the potential mode of interaction between the inhibitor and the active site residues. This study presents the first accounts of the 3D structural information for the selected M. tuberculosis targets involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis.

  7. ROS1 Kinase Inhibitors for Molecular-Targeted Therapies.

    PubMed

    Al-Sanea, M M; Abdelazem, A Z; Park, B S; Yoo, K H; Sim, T; Kwon, Y J; Lee, S H

    2016-01-01

    ROS1 is a pivotal transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine kinase which regulates several cellular processes like apoptosis, survival, differentiation, proliferation, cell migration, and transformation. There is increasing evidence supporting that ROS1 plays an important role in different malignancies including glioblastoma, colorectal cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, ovarian cancer, angiosarcoma, and non small cell lung cancer; thus, ROS1 has become a potential drug discovery target. ROS1 shares about 49% sequence homology with ALK primary structure; therefore, wide range of ALK kinase inhibitors have shown in vitro inhibitory activity against ROS1 kinase. After Crizotinib approval by FDA for the management of ALK-rearranged lung cancer, ROS1-positive tumors have been focused. Although significant advancements have been achieved in understanding ROS1 function and its signaling pathways plus recent discovery of small molecules modulating ROS1 protein, a vital need of medicinal chemistry efforts is still required to produce selective and potent ROS1 inhibitors as an important therapeutic strategy for different human malignancies. This review focuses on the current knowledge about different scaffolds targeting ROS1 rearrangements, methods to synthesis, and some biological data about the most potent compounds that have delivered various scaffold structures. PMID:26438251

  8. Proteasome as a Molecular Target of Microcystin-LR

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Zhu; Zhang, Li; Shi, Guoqing

    2015-01-01

    Proteasome degrades proteins in eukaryotic cells. As such, the proteasome is crucial in cell cycle and function. This study proved that microcystin-LR (MC-LR), which is a toxic by-product of algal bloom, can target cellular proteasome and selectively inhibit proteasome trypsin-like (TL) activity. MC-LR at 1 nM can inhibit up to 54% of the purified 20S proteasome TL activity and 43% of the proteasome TL activity in the liver of the cyprinid rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus). Protein degradation was retarded in GFP-CL1-transfected PC-3 cells because MC-LR inhibited the proteasome TL activity. Docking studies indicated that MC-LR blocked the active site of the proteasome β2 subunit; thus, the proteasome TL activity was inhibited. In conclusion, MC-LR can target proteasome, selectively inhibit proteasome TL activity, and retard protein degradation. This study may be used as a reference of future research on the toxic mechanism of MC-LR. PMID:26090622

  9. Functional regions of the presynaptic cytomatrix protein bassoon: significance for synaptic targeting and cytomatrix anchoring.

    PubMed

    Dresbach, Thomas; Hempelmann, Anne; Spilker, Christina; tom Dieck, Susanne; Altrock, Wilko D; Zuschratter, Werner; Garner, Craig C; Gundelfinger, Eckart D

    2003-06-01

    Exocytosis of neurotransmitter from synaptic vesicles is restricted to specialized sites of the presynaptic plasma membrane called active zones. A complex cytomatrix of proteins exclusively assembled at active zones, the CAZ, is thought to form a molecular scaffold that organizes neurotransmitter release sites. Here, we have analyzed synaptic targeting and cytomatrix association of Bassoon, a major scaffolding protein of the CAZ. By combining immunocytochemistry and transfection of cultured hippocampal neurons, we show that the central portion of Bassoon is crucially involved in synaptic targeting and CAZ association. An N-terminal region harbors a distinct capacity for N-myristoylation-dependent targeting to synaptic vesicle clusters, but is not incorporated into the CAZ. Our data provide the first experimental evidence for the existence of distinct functional regions in Bassoon and suggest that a centrally located CAZ targeting function may be complemented by an N-terminal capacity for targeting to membrane-bounded synaptic organelles.

  10. Matricellular proteins: new molecular targets to prevent heart failure.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Hiroshi; Imanaka-Yoshida, Kyoko

    2012-08-01

    Matricellular proteins are highly expressed in reparative responses to pressure and volume overload, ischemia, oxidative stress after myocardial injury, and modulate the inflammatory and fibrotic process in ventricular remodeling, which leads to cardiac dysfunction and eventually overt heart failure. Generally, matricellular proteins loosen strong adhesion of cardiomyocytes to extracellular matrix, which would help cells to move for rearrangement and allow inflammatory cells and capillary vessels to spread during tissue remodeling. Among matricellular proteins, osteopontin (OPN) and tenascin-C (TN-C) are de-adhesion proteins and upregulate the expression and activity of matrix metalloproteinases. These matricellular proteins could be key molecules to diagnose cardiac remodeling and also might be targets for the prevention of adverse ventricular remodeling. This review provides an overview of the role of matricellular proteins such as OPN and TN-C in cardiac function and remodeling, as determined by both in basic and in clinical studies.

  11. Micromixer Based Preparation of Functionalized Liposomes and Targeting Drug Delivery.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiangqian; Wang, Weizhi; Han, Qiuju; Wang, Zihua; Jia, Yunhong; Hu, Zhiyuan

    2016-04-14

    We present here a specific targeting nanocarrier system by functionalization of liposomes with one new type of breast cancer targeting peptide (H6, YLFFVFER) by a micromixer with high efficiency. Antitumor drugs could be successfully delivered into human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer cells with high efficiency in both in vivo and ex vivo models. PMID:27096054

  12. Oncologist’s/haematologist’s view on the roles of pathologists for molecular targeted cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Ulrich; Von Bubnoff, Nikolas; Peschel, Christian; Duyster, Justus

    2010-01-01

    Abstract In the past two decades there has been a tremendous increase in the understanding of the molecular basis of human malignancies. In a variety of neoplasms, specific molecular markers became part of disease classifications and are now routinely used to define specific entities. Molecular analyses discriminate prognostic groups, guide differential treatment strategies and identify targets for molecular defined cancer therapy. A battery of new drugs has been developed to specifically inhibit oncogenic pathways. For an increasing number of solid and haematological malignancies, the availability of molecular targeted drugs has fundamentally changed treatment algorithms. However, the diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic impact of selected molecular markers is still limited in many cases. After all, the success of a molecular targeted therapy is clearly determined by the significance of the targeted structure for the biology of cancer and the ability of the malignant cell to evade specific inhibition. PMID:20158573

  13. Metastasis promoter S100A4 is a potentially valuable molecular target for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Sherbet, G V

    2009-07-18

    The growth, invasion and metastatic spread of cancer have been identified with the deregulation of cell proliferation, altered intercellular and cell-substratum adhesion and enhanced motility and the deposition of disseminated cancer cells at distant sites. The identification of therapeutic targets for cancer is crucial to human welfare. Drug development, molecular modelling and design of effective drugs greatly depend upon the identification of suitable therapeutic targets. Several genetic determinants relating to proliferation and growth, invasion and metastasis have been identified. S100A4 appears to be able to activate and integrate pathways to generate the phenotypic responses that are characteristic of cancer. S100A4 signalling can focus on factors associated with normal and aberrant proliferation, apoptosis and growth, and differentiation. It is able to activate signalling pathways leading to the remodelling of the cell membrane and the extracellular matrix; modulation of cytoskeletal dynamics, acquisition of invasiveness and induction of angiogenesis. Therefore S100A4 is arguably a molecular target of considerable potential possessing a wide ranging biological activity that can alter and regulate the major phenotypic features of cancer. The evolution of an appropriate strategy that permits the identification of therapeutic targets most likely to be effective in the disease process without unduly affecting normal biological processes and function is an incontrovertible imperative. By virtue of its ability to activate interacting and multi-functional signalling systems, S100A4 appears to offer suitable targets for developing new therapeutic procedures. Some effectors of the S100A4-activated pathways might also lend themselves as foci of therapeutic interest.

  14. Ranking of Molecular Biomarker Interaction with Targeted DNA Nucleobases via Full Atomistic Molecular Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wenjun; Wang, Ming L.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2016-01-01

    DNA-based sensors can detect disease biomarkers, including acetone and ethanol for diabetes and H2S for cardiovascular diseases. Before experimenting on thousands of potential DNA segments, we conduct full atomistic steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations to screen the interactions between different DNA sequences with targeted molecules to rank the nucleobase sensing performance. We study and rank the strength of interaction between four single DNA nucleotides (Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), and Thymine (T)) on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) with acetone, ethanol, H2S and HCl. By sampling forward and reverse interaction paths, we compute the free-energy profiles of eight systems for the four targeted molecules. We find that dsDNA react differently than ssDNA to the targeted molecules, requiring more energy to move the molecule close to DNA as indicated by the potential of mean force (PMF). Comparing the PMF values of different systems, we obtain a relative ranking of DNA base for the detection of each molecule. Via the same procedure, we could generate a library of DNA sequences for the detection of a wide range of chemicals. A DNA sensor array built with selected sequences differentiating many disease biomarkers can be used in disease diagnosis and monitoring. PMID:26750747

  15. Ranking of Molecular Biomarker Interaction with Targeted DNA Nucleobases via Full Atomistic Molecular Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wenjun; Wang, Ming L.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2016-01-01

    DNA-based sensors can detect disease biomarkers, including acetone and ethanol for diabetes and H2S for cardiovascular diseases. Before experimenting on thousands of potential DNA segments, we conduct full atomistic steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations to screen the interactions between different DNA sequences with targeted molecules to rank the nucleobase sensing performance. We study and rank the strength of interaction between four single DNA nucleotides (Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), and Thymine (T)) on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) with acetone, ethanol, H2S and HCl. By sampling forward and reverse interaction paths, we compute the free-energy profiles of eight systems for the four targeted molecules. We find that dsDNA react differently than ssDNA to the targeted molecules, requiring more energy to move the molecule close to DNA as indicated by the potential of mean force (PMF). Comparing the PMF values of different systems, we obtain a relative ranking of DNA base for the detection of each molecule. Via the same procedure, we could generate a library of DNA sequences for the detection of a wide range of chemicals. A DNA sensor array built with selected sequences differentiating many disease biomarkers can be used in disease diagnosis and monitoring.

  16. Five miRNAs Considered as Molecular Targets for Predicting Esophageal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jia-ying; Wang, Fei; Li, Yi; Zhang, Xing-bo; Yang, Lei; Wang, Wei; Xu, Hao; Liu, Da-zhong; Zhang, Lin-you

    2015-01-01

    Background Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most aggressive malignant gastrointestinal tumors; however the traditional therapies for EC are not effective enough. Great improvements are needed to explore new and valid treatments for EC. We aimed to screen the differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) in esophageal cancer and explore the pathogenesis of esophageal cancer along with functions and pathways of the target genes. Material/Methods miRNA high-throughput sequencing data were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), then the DEMs underwent principal component analysis (PCA) based on their expression value. Following that, TargetScan software was used to predict the target genes, and enrichment analysis and pathway annotation of these target genes were done by DAVID and KEGG, respectively. Finally, survival analysis between the DEMs and patient survival time was done, and the miRNAs with prediction potential were identified. Results A total of 140 DEMs were obtained, 113 miRNAs were up-regulated including hsa-mir-153-2, hsa-mir-92a-1 and hsa-mir-182; while 27 miRNAs were down-regulated including hsa-mir comprising 29a, hsa-mir-100 and hsa-mir-139 and so on. Five miRNAs (hsa-mir-103-1, hsa-mir-18a, hsa-mir-324, hsa-mir-369 and hsa-mir-320b-2) with diagnostic and preventive potential were significantly correlated with survival time. Conclusions The crucial molecular targets such as p53 may provide great clinical value in treatment, as well to provide new ideas for esophageal cancer therapy. The target genes of miRNA were found to play key roles in protein phosphorylation, and the functions of the target genes during protein phosphorylation should be further studied to explore novel treatment of EC. PMID:26498375

  17. Sampling Enrichment toward Target Structures Using Hybrid Molecular Dynamics-Monte Carlo Simulations

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Kecheng; Różycki, Bartosz; Cui, Fengchao; Shi, Ce; Chen, Wenduo; Li, Yunqi

    2016-01-01

    Sampling enrichment toward a target state, an analogue of the improvement of sampling efficiency (SE), is critical in both the refinement of protein structures and the generation of near-native structure ensembles for the exploration of structure-function relationships. We developed a hybrid molecular dynamics (MD)-Monte Carlo (MC) approach to enrich the sampling toward the target structures. In this approach, the higher SE is achieved by perturbing the conventional MD simulations with a MC structure-acceptance judgment, which is based on the coincidence degree of small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) intensity profiles between the simulation structures and the target structure. We found that the hybrid simulations could significantly improve SE by making the top-ranked models much closer to the target structures both in the secondary and tertiary structures. Specifically, for the 20 mono-residue peptides, when the initial structures had the root-mean-squared deviation (RMSD) from the target structure smaller than 7 Å, the hybrid MD-MC simulations afforded, on average, 0.83 Å and 1.73 Å in RMSD closer to the target than the parallel MD simulations at 310K and 370K, respectively. Meanwhile, the average SE values are also increased by 13.2% and 15.7%. The enrichment of sampling becomes more significant when the target states are gradually detectable in the MD-MC simulations in comparison with the parallel MD simulations, and provide >200% improvement in SE. We also performed a test of the hybrid MD-MC approach in the real protein system, the results showed that the SE for 3 out of 5 real proteins are improved. Overall, this work presents an efficient way of utilizing solution SAXS to improve protein structure prediction and refinement, as well as the generation of near native structures for function annotation. PMID:27227775

  18. Sampling Enrichment toward Target Structures Using Hybrid Molecular Dynamics-Monte Carlo Simulations.

    PubMed

    Yang, Kecheng; Różycki, Bartosz; Cui, Fengchao; Shi, Ce; Chen, Wenduo; Li, Yunqi

    2016-01-01

    Sampling enrichment toward a target state, an analogue of the improvement of sampling efficiency (SE), is critical in both the refinement of protein structures and the generation of near-native structure ensembles for the exploration of structure-function relationships. We developed a hybrid molecular dynamics (MD)-Monte Carlo (MC) approach to enrich the sampling toward the target structures. In this approach, the higher SE is achieved by perturbing the conventional MD simulations with a MC structure-acceptance judgment, which is based on the coincidence degree of small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) intensity profiles between the simulation structures and the target structure. We found that the hybrid simulations could significantly improve SE by making the top-ranked models much closer to the target structures both in the secondary and tertiary structures. Specifically, for the 20 mono-residue peptides, when the initial structures had the root-mean-squared deviation (RMSD) from the target structure smaller than 7 Å, the hybrid MD-MC simulations afforded, on average, 0.83 Å and 1.73 Å in RMSD closer to the target than the parallel MD simulations at 310K and 370K, respectively. Meanwhile, the average SE values are also increased by 13.2% and 15.7%. The enrichment of sampling becomes more significant when the target states are gradually detectable in the MD-MC simulations in comparison with the parallel MD simulations, and provide >200% improvement in SE. We also performed a test of the hybrid MD-MC approach in the real protein system, the results showed that the SE for 3 out of 5 real proteins are improved. Overall, this work presents an efficient way of utilizing solution SAXS to improve protein structure prediction and refinement, as well as the generation of near native structures for function annotation.

  19. Nanobody-functionalized polymersomes for tumor-vessel targeting.

    PubMed

    Debets, Marjoke F; Leenders, William P J; Verrijp, Kiek; Zonjee, Marleen; Meeuwissen, Silvie A; Otte-Höller, Irene; van Hest, Jan C M

    2013-07-01

    Targeted carrier systems (e.g., liposomes or nanoparticles) are used to specifically deliver drugs to a site of interest. Site-direction can be achieved by attachment of targeting molecules, such as peptides, DNA/RNA, or antibodies, to the surface of the carrier. Here, the formation of polymersomes with tumor-targeting potential is described. A single-domain antibody (A12) that specifically targets PlexinD1 (a transmembrane protein overexpressed in tumor vasculature) is equipped with an azide-functionality using expressed protein ligation. This azide-containing A12 can subsequently be attached to BCN-functionalized polymersomes using a strain-promoted azide alkyne cycloaddition, thereby forming polymersomes with tumor-targeting potential.

  20. Peptide targeted tripod macrocyclic Gd(III) chelates for cancer molecular MRI.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhuxian; Wu, Xueming; Kresak, Adam; Griswold, Mark; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2013-10-01

    Rational design and develop of targeted contrast agents binding to cancer-related proteins will achieve more accurate cancer diagnosis and prognosis by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. CREKA is a tumor-homing pentapeptide (Cys-Arg-Glu-Lys-Ala) specifically homes to fibrin-fibronectin complexes abundantly expressed in tumor microenvironment. In this study, we developed and evaluated a CREKA peptide targeted multiplexed Gd-MR probe (CREKA-Tris-Gd(DOTA)3) for MR imaging of breast tumors. CREKA and azide bearing Gd(III) was attached to a maleimide-functional trialkyne scaffold via thiol-maleimide and azide-alkyne click chemistry, respectively. CREKA-Tris-Gd(DOTA)3 has a well-defined structure with a molecular weight of 2914 Da. The T1 relaxivity of CREKA-Tris-Gd(DOTA)3 is 8.06 mM(-1) s(-1) per Gd (24.18 mM(-1) s(-1) per molecule) at room temperature and 3 T. Fluorescence imaging showed high binding specificity of CREKA to a 4T1 breast tumor model in mice while it was not found for the scrambled CREKA (CERAK). The CREKA peptide-targeted contrast agent resulted in greater contrast enhancement than the corresponding CERAK agent and the commercialized contrast agent ProHance(®) in tumor at a dose of 0.1 mmol Gd/kg in female athymic mice bearing 4T1 breast carcinoma xenograft. This small molecular contrast agent was easily excreted from body after imaging indicated low toxicity. The targeted MRI contrast agent has a potential for specific cancer molecular imaging with MRI.

  1. Peptide Targeted Tripod Macrocyclic Gd(III) Chelates for Cancer Molecular MRI

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhuxian; Wu, Xueming; Kresak, Adam; Griswold, Mark; Lu, Zheng-Rong

    2014-01-01

    Rational design and develop of targeted contrast agents binding to cancer-related proteins will achieve more accurate cancer diagnosis and prognosis by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. CREKA is a tumor-homing pentapeptide (Cys-Arg-Glu-Lys-Ala) specifically homes to fibrin-fibronectin complexes abundantly expressed in tumor microenvironment. In this study, we developed and evaluated a CREKA peptide targeted multiplexed Gd-MR probe (CREKA-Tris-Gd(DOTA)) for MR imaging of breast tumors. CREKA and azide bearing Gd(III) was attached to a maleimide-functional trialkyne scaffold via thiol-maleimide and azide-alkyne click chemistry, respectively. CREKA-Tris-Gd(DOTA) has a well-defined structure with a molecular weight of 2914 Da. The T1 relaxivity of CREKA-Tris-Gd(DOTA) is 8.06 mM-1s-1 per Gd (24.18 mM-1s-1 per molecule) at room temperature and 3 T. Fluorescence imaging showed high binding specificity of CREKA to a 4T1 breast tumor model in mice while it was not found for the scrambled CREKA (CERAK). The CREKA peptide-targeted contrast agent resulted in greater contrast enhancement than the corresponding CERAK agent and the commercialized contrast agent Prohance™ in tumor at a dose of 0.1 mmol Gd/kg in female athymic mice bearing 4T1 breast carcinoma xenograft. This small molecular contrast agent was easily excreted from body after imaging indicated low toxicity. The targeted MRI contrast agent has a potential for specific cancer molecular imaging with MRI. PMID:23863450

  2. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Davila, David; Thibault, Karine; Fiacco, Todd A.; Agulhon, Cendra

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes – with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling – in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions. PMID:24399932

  3. High-resolution crystal structure reveals molecular details of target recognition by bacitracin

    PubMed Central

    Economou, Nicoleta J.; Cocklin, Simon; Loll, Patrick J.

    2013-01-01

    Bacitracin is a metalloantibiotic agent that is widely used as a medicine and feed additive. It interferes with bacterial cell-wall biosynthesis by binding undecaprenyl-pyrophosphate, a lipid carrier that serves as a critical intermediate in cell wall production. Despite bacitracin’s broad use, the molecular details of its target recognition have not been elucidated. Here we report a crystal structure for the ternary complex of bacitracin A, zinc, and a geranyl-pyrophosphate ligand at a resolution of 1.1 Å. The antibiotic forms a compact structure that completely envelopes the ligand’s pyrophosphate group, together with flanking zinc and sodium ions. The complex adopts a highly amphipathic conformation that offers clues to antibiotic function in the context of bacterial membranes. Bacitracin’s efficient sequestration of its target represents a previously unseen mode for the recognition of lipid pyrophosphates, and suggests new directions for the design of next-generation antimicrobial agents. PMID:23940351

  4. Molecular pathways: targeting the kinase effectors of RHO-family GTPases.

    PubMed

    Prudnikova, Tatiana Y; Rawat, Sonali J; Chernoff, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    RHO GTPases, members of the RAS superfamily of small GTPases, are adhesion and growth factor-activated molecular switches that play important roles in tumor development and progression. When activated, RHO-family GTPases such as RAC1, CDC42, and RHOA, transmit signals by recruiting a variety of effector proteins, including the protein kinases PAK, ACK, MLK, MRCK, and ROCK. Genetically induced loss of RHO function impedes transformation by a number of oncogenic stimuli, leading to an interest in developing small-molecule inhibitors that either target RHO GTPases directly, or that target their downstream protein kinase effectors. Although inhibitors of RHO GTPases and their downstream signaling kinases have not yet been widely adopted for clinical use, their potential value as cancer therapeutics continues to facilitate pharmaceutical research and development and is a promising therapeutic strategy.

  5. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of a cell-permeable superoxide dismutase targeted to lung adenocarcinoma cells. Inhibition cell proliferation through the Akt/p27kip1 pathway.

    PubMed

    Lu, Min; Gong, Xingguo; Lu, Yuwen; Guo, Jianjun; Wang, Chenhui; Pan, Yuanjiang

    2006-05-12

    In clinical oncology, many trials with superoxide dismutase (SOD) have failed to demonstrate antitumor ability and in many cases even caused deleterious effects because of low tumor-targeting ability. In the current research, the Nostoc commune Fe-SOD coding sequence was amplified from genomic DNA. In addition, the single chain variable fragment (ScFv) was constructed from the cDNA of an LC-1 hybridoma cell line secreting anti-lung adenocarcinoma monoclonal antibody. After modification, the SOD and ScFv were fused and co-expressed, and the resulting fusion protein produced SOD and LC-1 antibody activity. Tracing SOD-ScFv by fluorescein isothiocyanate and superoxide anions (O2*-) in SPC-A-1 cells showed that the fusion protein could recognize and enter SPC-A-1 cells to eliminate O2*-. The lower oxidative stress resulting from the decrease in cellular O2*- delayed the cell cycle at G1 and significantly slowed SPC-A-1 cell growth in association with the dephosphorylation of the serine-threonine protein kinase Akt and expression of p27kip1. The tumor-targeting fusion protein resulting from this research overcomes two disadvantages of SODs previously used in the clinical setting, the inability to target tumor cells or permeate the cell membrane. These findings lay the groundwork for development of an efficient antitumor drug targeted by the ScFv. PMID:16551617

  6. The Challenges and the Promise of Molecular Targeted Therapy in Malignant Gliomas1

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongxiang; Xu, Tao; Jiang, Ying; Xu, Hanchong; Yan, Yong; Fu, Da; Chen, Juxiang

    2015-01-01

    Malignant gliomas are the most common malignant primary brain tumors and one of the most challenging forms of cancers to treat. Despite advances in conventional treatment, the outcome for patients remains almost universally fatal. This poor prognosis is due to therapeutic resistance and tumor recurrence after surgical removal. However, over the past decade, molecular targeted therapy has held the promise of transforming the care of malignant glioma patients. Significant progress in understanding the molecular pathology of gliomagenesis and maintenance of the malignant phenotypes will open opportunities to rationally develop new molecular targeted therapy options. Recently, therapeutic strategies have focused on targeting pro-growth signaling mediated by receptor tyrosine kinase/RAS/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway, proangiogenic pathways, and several other vital intracellular signaling networks, such as proteasome and histone deacetylase. However, several factors such as cross-talk between the altered pathways, intratumoral molecular heterogeneity, and therapeutic resistance of glioma stem cells (GSCs) have limited the activity of single agents. Efforts are ongoing to study in depth the complex molecular biology of glioma, develop novel regimens targeting GSCs, and identify biomarkers to stratify patients with the individualized molecular targeted therapy. Here, we review the molecular alterations relevant to the pathology of malignant glioma, review current advances in clinical targeted trials, and discuss the challenges, controversies, and future directions of molecular targeted therapy. PMID:25810009

  7. Genotoxicants Target Distinct Molecular Networks in Neonatal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kisby, Glen E.; Olivas, Antoinette; Standley, Melissa; Lu, Xinfang; Pattee, Patrick; O’Malley, Jean; Li, Xiaorong; Muniz, Juan; Nagalla, Srinavasa R.

    2006-01-01

    Background Exposure of the brain to environmental agents during critical periods of neuronal development is considered a key factor underlying many neurologic disorders. Objectives In this study we examined the influence of genotoxicants on cerebellar function during early development by measuring global gene expression changes. Methods We measured global gene expression in immature cerebellar neurons (i.e., granule cells) after treatment with two distinct alkylating agents, methylazoxymethanol (MAM) and nitrogen mustard (HN2). Granule cell cultures were treated for 24 hr with MAM (10–1,000 μM) or HN2 (0.1–20 μM) and examined for cell viability, DNA damage, and markers of apoptosis. Results Neuronal viability was significantly reduced (p < 0.01) at concentrations > 500 μM for MAM and > 1.0 μM for HN2; this correlated with an increase in both DNA damage and markers of apoptosis. Neuronal cultures treated with sublethal concentrations of MAM (100 μM) or HN2 (1.0 μM) were then examined for gene expression using large-scale mouse cDNA microarrays (27,648). Gene expression results revealed that a) global gene expression was predominantly up-regulated by both genotoxicants; b) the number of down-regulated genes was approximately 3-fold greater for HN2 than for MAM; and c) distinct classes of molecules were influenced by MAM (i.e, neuronal differentiation, the stress and immune response, and signal transduction) and HN2 (i.e, protein synthesis and apoptosis). Conclusions These studies demonstrate that individual genotoxicants induce distinct gene expression signatures. Further study of these molecular networks may explain the variable response of the developing brain to different types of environmental genotoxicants. PMID:17107856

  8. Formation of target-specific binding sites in enzymes: solid-phase molecular imprinting of HRP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czulak, J.; Guerreiro, A.; Metran, K.; Canfarotta, F.; Goddard, A.; Cowan, R. H.; Trochimczuk, A. W.; Piletsky, S.

    2016-05-01

    Here we introduce a new concept for synthesising molecularly imprinted nanoparticles by using proteins as macro-functional monomers. For a proof-of-concept, a model enzyme (HRP) was cross-linked using glutaraldehyde in the presence of glass beads (solid-phase) bearing immobilized templates such as vancomycin and ampicillin. The cross-linking process links together proteins and protein chains, which in the presence of templates leads to the formation of permanent target-specific recognition sites without adverse effects on the enzymatic activity. Unlike complex protein engineering approaches commonly employed to generate affinity proteins, the method proposed can be used to produce protein-based ligands in a short time period using native protein molecules. These affinity materials are potentially useful tools especially for assays since they combine the catalytic properties of enzymes (for signaling) and molecular recognition properties of antibodies. We demonstrate this concept in an ELISA-format assay where HRP imprinted with vancomycin and ampicillin replaced traditional enzyme-antibody conjugates for selective detection of templates at micromolar concentrations. This approach can potentially provide a fast alternative to raising antibodies for targets that do not require high assay sensitivities; it can also find uses as a biochemical research tool, as a possible replacement for immunoperoxidase-conjugates.Here we introduce a new concept for synthesising molecularly imprinted nanoparticles by using proteins as macro-functional monomers. For a proof-of-concept, a model enzyme (HRP) was cross-linked using glutaraldehyde in the presence of glass beads (solid-phase) bearing immobilized templates such as vancomycin and ampicillin. The cross-linking process links together proteins and protein chains, which in the presence of templates leads to the formation of permanent target-specific recognition sites without adverse effects on the enzymatic activity. Unlike

  9. Ultrasound Molecular Imaging of Tumor Angiogenesis with an Integrin Targeted Microbubble Contrast Agent

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Christopher R.; Hu, Xiaowen; Tlaxca, Jose; Decleves, Anne-Emilie; Houghtaling, Robert; Sharma, Kumar; Lawrence, Michael; Ferrara, Katherine; Rychak, Joshua J.

    2010-01-01

    relative to non-targeted MB and cRAD-MB controls. Similarly, cRGD-MB showed significantly greater adhesion to bEnd.3 EC compared to non-targeted MB and cRAD-MB. In addition, cRGD-MB, but not non-targeted MB or cRAD-MB, showed significantly enhanced contrast signals with a high tumor-to-background ratio. The adhesion of cRGD-MB to bEnd.3 was reduced by 80% after using anti-αv monoclonal antibody to treat bEnd.3. The normalized image intensity amplitude was ~0.8 seven minutes after the administration of cRGD-MB relative to the intensity amplitude at the time of injection, while the spatial variance in image intensity improved the detection of bound agents. The accumulation of cRGD- MB was blocked by pre-administration with an anti-αv blocking antibody. Conclusion The results demonstrate the functionality of a novel microbubble contrast agent covalently coupled to an RGD peptide for ultrasound molecular imaging of αvβ3 integrin and the feasibility of quantitative molecular ultrasound imaging with a low mechanical index. PMID:21343825

  10. Targeted Delivery Systems for Molecular Therapy in Skeletal Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Lei; Liu, Jin; Li, Fangfei; Wang, Luyao; Li, Defang; Guo, Baosheng; He, Xiaojuan; Jiang, Feng; Liang, Chao; Liu, Biao; Badshah, Shaikh Atik; He, Bing; Lu, Jun; Lu, Cheng; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Abnormalities in the integral components of bone, including bone matrix, bone mineral and bone cells, give rise to complex disturbances of skeletal development, growth and homeostasis. Non-specific drug delivery using high-dose systemic administration may decrease therapeutic efficacy of drugs and increase the risk of toxic effects in non-skeletal tissues, which remain clinical challenges in the treatment of skeletal disorders. Thus, targeted delivery systems are urgently needed to achieve higher drug delivery efficiency, improve therapeutic efficacy in the targeted cells/tissues, and minimize toxicities in non-targeted cells/tissues. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the application of different targeting moieties and nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery in skeletal disorders, and also discuss the advantages, challenges and perspectives in their clinical translation. PMID:27011176

  11. Molecular clock integration of brown adipose tissue formation and function.

    PubMed

    Nam, Deokhwa; Yechoor, Vijay K; Ma, Ke

    2016-01-01

    The circadian clock is an essential time-keeping mechanism that entrains internal physiology to environmental cues. Despite the well-established link between the molecular clock and metabolic homeostasis, an intimate interplay between the clock machinery and the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) is only emerging. Recently, we came to appreciate that the formation and metabolic functions of BAT, a key organ for body temperature maintenance, are under an orchestrated circadian clock regulation. Two complementary studies from our group uncover that the cell-intrinsic clock machinery exerts concerted control of brown adipogenesis with consequent impacts on adaptive thermogenesis, which adds a previously unappreciated temporal dimension to the regulatory mechanisms governing BAT development and function. The essential clock transcriptional activator, Bmal1, suppresses adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation, whereas the clock repressor, Rev-erbα, promotes these processes. This newly discovered temporal mechanism in fine-tuning BAT thermogenic capacity may enable energy utilization and body temperature regulation in accordance with external timing signals during development and functional recruitment. Given the important role of BAT in whole-body metabolic homeostasis, pharmacological interventions targeting the BAT-modulatory activities of the clock circuit may offer new avenues for the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysregulation. PMID:27385482

  12. Molecular clock integration of brown adipose tissue formation and function

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Deokhwa; Yechoor, Vijay K.; Ma, Ke

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The circadian clock is an essential time-keeping mechanism that entrains internal physiology to environmental cues. Despite the well-established link between the molecular clock and metabolic homeostasis, an intimate interplay between the clock machinery and the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) is only emerging. Recently, we came to appreciate that the formation and metabolic functions of BAT, a key organ for body temperature maintenance, are under an orchestrated circadian clock regulation. Two complementary studies from our group uncover that the cell-intrinsic clock machinery exerts concerted control of brown adipogenesis with consequent impacts on adaptive thermogenesis, which adds a previously unappreciated temporal dimension to the regulatory mechanisms governing BAT development and function. The essential clock transcriptional activator, Bmal1, suppresses adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation, whereas the clock repressor, Rev-erbα, promotes these processes. This newly discovered temporal mechanism in fine-tuning BAT thermogenic capacity may enable energy utilization and body temperature regulation in accordance with external timing signals during development and functional recruitment. Given the important role of BAT in whole-body metabolic homeostasis, pharmacological interventions targeting the BAT-modulatory activities of the clock circuit may offer new avenues for the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysregulation. PMID:27385482

  13. Neural Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: The Functional and Molecular Background

    PubMed Central

    Ksiazek-Winiarek, Dominika Justyna; Szpakowski, Piotr; Glabinski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor dysfunction and cognitive decline. The inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes seen in the brains of MS patients lead to progressive disability and increasing brain atrophy. The most common type of MS is characterized by episodes of clinical exacerbations and remissions. This suggests the presence of compensating mechanisms for accumulating damage. Apart from the widely known repair mechanisms like remyelination, another important phenomenon is neuronal plasticity. Initially, neuroplasticity was connected with the developmental stages of life; however, there is now growing evidence confirming that structural and functional reorganization occurs throughout our lifetime. Several functional studies, utilizing such techniques as fMRI, TBS, or MRS, have provided valuable data about the presence of neuronal plasticity in MS patients. CNS ability to compensate for neuronal damage is most evident in RR-MS; however it has been shown that brain plasticity is also preserved in patients with substantial brain damage. Regardless of the numerous studies, the molecular background of neuronal plasticity in MS is still not well understood. Several factors, like IL-1β, BDNF, PDGF, or CB1Rs, have been implicated in functional recovery from the acute phase of MS and are thus considered as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26229689

  14. Molecular clock integration of brown adipose tissue formation and function.

    PubMed

    Nam, Deokhwa; Yechoor, Vijay K; Ma, Ke

    2016-01-01

    The circadian clock is an essential time-keeping mechanism that entrains internal physiology to environmental cues. Despite the well-established link between the molecular clock and metabolic homeostasis, an intimate interplay between the clock machinery and the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) is only emerging. Recently, we came to appreciate that the formation and metabolic functions of BAT, a key organ for body temperature maintenance, are under an orchestrated circadian clock regulation. Two complementary studies from our group uncover that the cell-intrinsic clock machinery exerts concerted control of brown adipogenesis with consequent impacts on adaptive thermogenesis, which adds a previously unappreciated temporal dimension to the regulatory mechanisms governing BAT development and function. The essential clock transcriptional activator, Bmal1, suppresses adipocyte lineage commitment and differentiation, whereas the clock repressor, Rev-erbα, promotes these processes. This newly discovered temporal mechanism in fine-tuning BAT thermogenic capacity may enable energy utilization and body temperature regulation in accordance with external timing signals during development and functional recruitment. Given the important role of BAT in whole-body metabolic homeostasis, pharmacological interventions targeting the BAT-modulatory activities of the clock circuit may offer new avenues for the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders, particularly those associated with circadian dysregulation.

  15. Targeting heat-shock protein 90 with ganetespib for molecularly targeted therapy of gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, H; Lu, J; Hua, Y; Zhang, P; Liang, Z; Ruan, L; Lian, C; Shi, H; Chen, K; Tu, Z

    2015-01-01

    -dependent kinase 1 (pCDK1), EGFR and Ki-67 revealed significant differences in ganetespib-treated tumors. Collectively, our data suggest that ganetespib, as a new potent treatment option, can be used for the molecularly targeted therapy of GC patients according to their expression profiles of EGFR. PMID:25590805

  16. Molecular photoacoustic imaging of breast cancer using an actively targeted conjugated polymer

    PubMed Central

    Balasundaram, Ghayathri; Ho, Chris Jun Hui; Li, Kai; Driessen, Wouter; Dinish, US; Wong, Chi Lok; Ntziachristos, Vasilis; Liu, Bin; Olivo, Malini

    2015-01-01

    Conjugated polymers (CPs) are upcoming optical contrast agents in view of their unique optical properties and versatile synthetic chemistry. Biofunctionalization of these polymer-based nanoparticles enables molecular imaging of biological processes. In this work, we propose the concept of using a biofunctionalized CP for noninvasive photoacoustic (PA) molecular imaging of breast cancer. In particular, after verifying the PA activity of a CP nanoparticle (CP dots) in phantoms and the targeting efficacy of a folate-functionalized version of the same (folate-CP dots) in vitro, we systemically administered the probe into a folate receptor-positive (FR+ve) MCF-7 breast cancer xenograft model to demonstrate the possible application of folate-CP dots for imaging FR+ve breast cancers in comparison to CP dots with no folate moieties. We observed a strong PA signal at the tumor site of folate-CP dots-administered mice as early as 1 hour after administration as a result of the active targeting of the folate-CP dots to the FR+ve tumor cells but a weak PA signal at the tumor site of CP-dots-administered mice as a result of the passive accumulation of the probe by enhanced permeability and retention effect. We also observed that folate-CP dots produced ~4-fold enhancement in the PA signal in the tumor, when compared to CP dots. These observations demonstrate the great potential of this active-targeting CP to be used as a contrast agent for molecular PA diagnostic imaging in various biomedical applications. PMID:25609951

  17. Wnt signaling and hepatocarcinogenesis: molecular targets for the development of innovative anticancer drugs.

    PubMed

    Pez, Floriane; Lopez, Anaïs; Kim, Miran; Wands, Jack R; Caron de Fromentel, Claude; Merle, Philippe

    2013-11-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common causes of cancer death worldwide. HCC can be cured by radical therapies if early diagnosis is done while the tumor has remained of small size. Unfortunately, diagnosis is commonly late when the tumor has grown and spread. Thus, palliative approaches are usually applied such as transarterial intrahepatic chemoembolization and sorafenib, an anti-angiogenic agent and MAP kinase inhibitor. This latter is the only targeted therapy that has shown significant, although moderate, efficiency in some individuals with advanced HCC. This highlights the need to develop other targeted therapies, and to this goal, to identify more and more pathways as potential targets. The Wnt pathway is a key component of a physiological process involved in embryonic development and tissue homeostasis. Activation of this pathway occurs when a Wnt ligand binds to a Frizzled (FZD) receptor at the cell membrane. Two different Wnt signaling cascades have been identified, called non-canonical and canonical pathways, the latter involving the β-catenin protein. Deregulation of the Wnt pathway is an early event in hepatocarcinogenesis and has been associated with an aggressive HCC phenotype, since it is implicated both in cell survival, proliferation, migration and invasion. Thus, component proteins identified in this pathway are potential candidates of pharmacological intervention. This review focuses on the characteristics and functions of the molecular targets of the Wnt signaling cascade and how they may be manipulated to achieve anti-tumor effects. PMID:23835194

  18. Genome Engineering Using Targeted Oligonucleotide Libraries and Functional Selection

    PubMed Central

    Diner, Elie J.; Garza-Sánchez, Fernando; Hayes, Christopher S.

    2011-01-01

    The λ phage Red proteins greatly enhance homologous recombination in Escherichia coli. Red-mediated recombination or “recombineering” can be used to construct targeted gene deletions as well as to introduce point mutations into the genome. Here, we describe our method for scanning mutagenesis using recombineered oligonucleotide libraries. This approach entails randomization of specific codons within a target gene, followed by functional selection to isolate mutants. Oligonucleotide library mutagenesis has generated hundreds of novel antibiotic resistance mutations in genes encoding ribosomal proteins, and should be applicable to other systems for which functional selections exist. PMID:21815087

  19. Live imaging and modeling of inner nuclear membrane targeting reveals its molecular requirements in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Boni, Andrea; Politi, Antonio Z.; Strnad, Petr; Xiang, Wanqing; Hossain, M. Julius

    2015-01-01

    Targeting of inner nuclear membrane (INM) proteins is essential for nuclear architecture and function, yet its mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we established a new reporter that allows real-time imaging of membrane protein transport from the ER to the INM using Lamin B receptor and Lap2β as model INM proteins. These reporters allowed us to characterize the kinetics of INM targeting and establish a mathematical model of this process and enabled us to probe its molecular requirements in an RNA interference screen of 96 candidate genes. Modeling of the phenotypes of genes involved in transport of these INM proteins predicted that it critically depended on the number and permeability of nuclear pores and the availability of nuclear binding sites, but was unaffected by depletion of most transport receptors. These predictions were confirmed with targeted validation experiments on the functional requirements of nucleoporins and nuclear lamins. Collectively, our data support a diffusion retention model of INM protein transport in mammalian cells. PMID:26056140

  20. Hybridization of 2'-O-methyl and 2'-deoxy molecular beacons to RNA and DNA targets.

    PubMed

    Tsourkas, Andrew; Behlke, Mark A; Bao, Gang

    2002-12-01

    Molecular beacons are stem-loop hairpin oligonucleotide probes labeled with a fluorescent dye at one end and a fluorescence quencher at the other end; they can differentiate between bound and unbound probes in homogeneous hybridization assays with a high signal-to-background ratio and enhanced specificity compared with linear oligonucleotide probes. However, in performing cellular imaging and quantification of gene expression, degradation of unmodified molecular beacons by endogenous nucleases can significantly limit the detection sensitivity, and results in fluorescence signals unrelated to probe/target hybridization. To substantially reduce nuclease degradation of molecular beacons, it is possible to protect the probe by substituting 2'-O-methyl RNA for DNA. Here we report the analysis of the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of 2'-O-methyl and 2'-deoxy molecular beacons in the presence of RNA and DNA targets. We found that in terms of molecular beacon/target duplex stability, 2'-O-methyl/RNA > 2'-deoxy/RNA > 2'-deoxy/DNA > 2'-O-methyl/DNA. The improved stability of the 2'-O-methyl/RNA duplex was accompanied by a slightly reduced specificity compared with the duplex of 2'-deoxy molecular beacons and RNA targets. However, the 2'-O-methyl molecular beacons hybridized to RNA more quickly than 2'-deoxy molecular beacons. For the pairs tested, the 2'-deoxy-beacon/DNA-target duplex showed the fastest hybridization kinetics. These findings have significant implications for the design and application of molecular beacons.

  1. Hybridization of 2'-O-methyl and 2'-deoxy molecular beacons to RNA and DNA targets.

    PubMed

    Tsourkas, Andrew; Behlke, Mark A; Bao, Gang

    2003-03-15

    Molecular beacons are stem-loop hairpin oligonucleotide probes labeled with a fluorescent dye at one end and a fluorescence quencher at the other end; they can differentiate between bound and unbound probes in homogeneous hybridization assays with a high signal-to-background ratio and enhanced specificity compared with linear oligonucleotide probes. However, in performing cellular imaging and quantification of gene expression, degradation of unmodified molecular beacons by endogenous nucleases can significantly limit the detection sensitivity, and results in fluorescence signals unrelated to probe/target hybridization. To substantially reduce nuclease degradation of molecular beacons, it is possible to protect the probe by substituting 2'-O-methyl RNA for DNA. Here we report the analysis of the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of 2'-O-methyl and 2'-deoxy molecular beacons in the presence of RNA and DNA targets. We found that in terms of molecular beacon/target duplex stability, 2'-O-methyl/RNA > 2'-deoxy/RNA > 2'-deoxy/DNA > 2'-O-methyl/DNA. The improved stability of the 2'-O-methyl/RNA duplex was accompanied by a slightly reduced specificity compared with the duplex of 2'-deoxy molecular beacons and RNA targets. However, the 2'-O-methyl molecular beacons hybridized to RNA more quickly than 2'-deoxy molecular beacons. For the pairs tested, the 2'-deoxy-beacon/DNA-target duplex showed the fastest hybridization kinetics. These findings have significant implications for the design and application of molecular beacons.

  2. Feasibility of using molecular docking-based virtual screening for searching dual target kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shunye; Li, Youyong; Hou, Tingjun

    2013-04-22

    Multitarget agents have been extensively explored for solving limited efficacies, poor safety, and resistant profiles of an individual target. Theoretical approaches for searching and designing multitarget agents are critically useful. Here, the performance of molecular docking to search dual-target inhibitors for four kinase pairs (CDK2-GSK3B, EGFR-Src, Lck-Src, and Lck-VEGFR2) was assessed. First, the representative structures for each kinase target were chosen by structural clustering of available crystal structures. Next, the performance of molecular docking to distinguish inhibitors from noninhibitors for each individual kinase target was evaluated. The results show that molecular docking-based virtual screening illustrates good capability to find known inhibitors for individual targets, but the prediction accuracy is structurally dependent. Finally, the performance of molecular docking to identify the dual-target kinase inhibitors for four kinase pairs was evaluated. The analyses show that molecular docking successfully filters out most noninhibitors and achieves promising performance for identifying dual-kinase inhibitors for CDK2-GSK3B and Lck-VEGFR2. But a high false-positive rate leads to low enrichment of true dual-target inhibitors in the final list. This study suggests that molecular docking serves as a useful tool in searching inhibitors against dual or even multiple kinase targets, but integration with other virtual screening tools is necessary for achieving better predictions.

  3. Molecular target and projectile angular scattering effects in stopping power and charge exchange at low-to-intermediate projectile energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrera-Trujillo, R.; Öhrn, Y.; Sabin, John R.; Deumens, E.

    2002-02-01

    We analyze the implications of the molecular structure of a target and the angular scattering effects on projectile-target collisions within the Electron-Nuclear Dynamics (END) approach. We show the suitability of the END method for the analysis of molecular scattering processes such as differential cross sections, charge exchange, and energy loss as required for the study of the stopping cross section. As a consequence of these effects, we show that the rovibronic energy loss becomes of greatest importance at low projectile energies. Furthermore, we find that the Bragg additivity rule and the linear-velocity dependence of the stopping cross section are not fulfilled at low projectile energies. Finally, we analyze the differences in the scattering processes for molecular and atomic targets, and show that in a transmission experiment with small exit window, the acceptance angle corresponds to different impact parameter selection for molecular targets than for atomic ones. Thus, the measured stopping cross section becomes a function of the acceptance angle of the experimental setup. We present results for hydrogen beams on H2 and N2 gas targets.

  4. Engaging with Molecular Form to Understand Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Nicola C.; Stark, Louisa A.

    2014-01-01

    Cells are bustling factories with diverse and prolific arrays of molecular machinery. Remarkably, this machinery self-organizes to carry out the complex biochemical activities characteristic of life. When Watson and Crick published the structure of DNA, they noted that DNA base pairing creates a double-stranded form that provides a means of…

  5. Molecular Characterization of Monoclonal Antibodies that Inhibit Acetylcholinesterase by Targeting the Peripheral Site and Backdoor Region

    PubMed Central

    Essono, Sosthène; Mondielli, Grégoire; Lamourette, Patricia; Boquet, Didier; Grassi, Jacques; Marchot, Pascale

    2013-01-01

    The inhibition properties and target sites of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) Elec403, Elec408 and Elec410, generated against Electrophorus electricus acetylcholinesterase (AChE), have been defined previously using biochemical and mutagenesis approaches. Elec403 and Elec410, which bind competitively with each other and with the peptidic toxin inhibitor fasciculin, are directed toward distinctive albeit overlapping epitopes located at the AChE peripheral anionic site, which surrounds the entrance of the active site gorge. Elec408, which is not competitive with the other two mAbs nor fasciculin, targets a second epitope located in the backdoor region, distant from the gorge entrance. To characterize the molecular determinants dictating their binding site specificity, we cloned and sequenced the mAbs; generated antigen-binding fragments (Fab) retaining the parental inhibition properties; and explored their structure-function relationships using complementary x-ray crystallography, homology modeling and flexible docking approaches. Hypermutation of one Elec403 complementarity-determining region suggests occurrence of antigen-driven selection towards recognition of the AChE peripheral site. Comparative analysis of the 1.9Å-resolution structure of Fab408 and of theoretical models of its Fab403 and Fab410 congeners evidences distinctive surface topographies and anisotropic repartitions of charges, consistent with their respective target sites and inhibition properties. Finally, a validated, data-driven docking model of the Fab403-AChE complex suggests a mode of binding at the PAS that fully correlates with the functional data. This comprehensive study documents the molecular peculiarities of Fab403 and Fab410, as the largest peptidic inhibitors directed towards the peripheral site, and those of Fab408, as the first inhibitor directed toward the backdoor region of an AChE and a unique template for the design of new, specific modulators of AChE catalysis. PMID:24146971

  6. Molecular pathways: targeting ETS gene fusions in cancer.

    PubMed

    Feng, Felix Y; Brenner, J Chad; Hussain, Maha; Chinnaiyan, Arul M

    2014-09-01

    Rearrangements, or gene fusions, involving the ETS family of transcription factors are common driving events in both prostate cancer and Ewing sarcoma. These rearrangements result in pathogenic expression of the ETS genes and trigger activation of transcriptional programs enriched for invasion and other oncogenic features. Although ETS gene fusions represent intriguing therapeutic targets, transcription factors, such as those comprising the ETS family, have been notoriously difficult to target. Recently, preclinical studies have demonstrated an association between ETS gene fusions and components of the DNA damage response pathway, such as PARP1, the catalytic subunit of DNA protein kinase (DNAPK), and histone deactylase 1 (HDAC1), and have suggested that ETS fusions may confer sensitivity to inhibitors of these DNA repair proteins. In this review, we discuss the role of ETS fusions in cancer, the preclinical rationale for targeting ETS fusions with inhibitors of PARP1, DNAPK, and HDAC1, as well as ongoing clinical trials targeting ETS gene fusions.

  7. Nanomedicine strategies for molecular targets with MRI and optical imaging

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Dipanjan; Caruthers, Shelton D; Chen, Junjie; Winter, Patrick M; SenPan, Angana; Schmieder, Anne H; Wickline, Samuel A

    2010-01-01

    The science of ‘theranostics’ plays a crucial role in personalized medicine, which represents the future of patient management. Over the last decade an increasing research effort has focused on the development of nanoparticle-based molecular-imaging and drug-delivery approaches, emerging as a multidisciplinary field that shows promise in understanding the components, processes, dynamics and therapies of a disease at a molecular level. The potential of nanometer-sized agents for early detection, diagnosis and personalized treatment of diseases is extraordinary. They have found applications in almost all clinically relevant biomedical imaging modality. In this review, a number of these approaches will be presented with a particular emphasis on MRI and optical imaging-based techniques. We have discussed both established molecular-imaging approaches and recently developed innovative strategies, highlighting the seminal studies and a number of successful examples of theranostic nanomedicine, especially in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer therapy. PMID:20485473

  8. Formation of target-specific binding sites in enzymes: solid-phase molecular imprinting of HRP.

    PubMed

    Czulak, J; Guerreiro, A; Metran, K; Canfarotta, F; Goddard, A; Cowan, R H; Trochimczuk, A W; Piletsky, S

    2016-06-01

    Here we introduce a new concept for synthesising molecularly imprinted nanoparticles by using proteins as macro-functional monomers. For a proof-of-concept, a model enzyme (HRP) was cross-linked using glutaraldehyde in the presence of glass beads (solid-phase) bearing immobilized templates such as vancomycin and ampicillin. The cross-linking process links together proteins and protein chains, which in the presence of templates leads to the formation of permanent target-specific recognition sites without adverse effects on the enzymatic activity. Unlike complex protein engineering approaches commonly employed to generate affinity proteins, the method proposed can be used to produce protein-based ligands in a short time period using native protein molecules. These affinity materials are potentially useful tools especially for assays since they combine the catalytic properties of enzymes (for signaling) and molecular recognition properties of antibodies. We demonstrate this concept in an ELISA-format assay where HRP imprinted with vancomycin and ampicillin replaced traditional enzyme-antibody conjugates for selective detection of templates at micromolar concentrations. This approach can potentially provide a fast alternative to raising antibodies for targets that do not require high assay sensitivities; it can also find uses as a biochemical research tool, as a possible replacement for immunoperoxidase-conjugates. PMID:27174700

  9. ATP Synthase: A Molecular Therapeutic Drug Target for Antimicrobial and Antitumor Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Zulfiqar; Okafor, Florence; Azim, Sofiya; Laughlin, Thomas F.

    2015-01-01

    In this review we discuss the role of ATP synthase as a molecular drug target for natural and synthetic antimi-crobial/antitumor peptides. We start with an introduction of the universal nature of the ATP synthase enzyme and its role as a biological nanomotor. Significant structural features required for catalytic activity and motor functions of ATP synthase are described. Relevant details regarding the presence of ATP synthase on the surface of several animal cell types, where it is associated with multiple cellular processes making it a potential drug target with respect to antimicrobial peptides and other inhibitors such as dietary polyphenols, is also reviewed. ATP synthase is known to have about twelve discrete inhibitor binding sites including peptides and other inhibitors located at the interface of α/β subunits on the F1 sector of the enzyme. Molecular interaction of peptides at the β DEELSEED site on ATP synthase is discussed with specific examples. An inhibitory effect of other natural/synthetic inhibitors on ATP is highlighted to explore the therapeutic roles played by peptides and other inhibitors. Lastly, the effect of peptides on the inhibition of the Escherichia coli model system through their action on ATP synthase is presented. PMID:23432591

  10. High-throughput siRNA-based functional target validation.

    PubMed

    Xin, Hong; Bernal, Alejandro; Amato, Frank A; Pinhasov, Albert; Kauffman, Jack; Brenneman, Douglas E; Derian, Claudia K; Andrade-Gordon, Patricia; Plata-Salamán, Carlos R; Ilyin, Sergey E

    2004-06-01

    The drug discovery process pursued by major pharmaceutical companies for many years starts with target identification followed by high-throughput screening (HTS) with the goal of identifying lead compounds. To accomplish this goal, significant resources are invested into automation of the screening process or HTS. Robotic systems capable of handling thousands of data points per day are implemented across the pharmaceutical sector. Many of these systems are amenable to handling cell-based screening protocols as well. On the other hand, as companies strive to develop innovative products based on novel mechanisms of action(s), one of the current bottlenecks of the industry is the target validation process. Traditionally, bioinformatics and HTS groups operate separately at different stages of the drug discovery process. The authors describe the convergence and integration of HTS and bioinformatics to perform high-throughput target functional identification and validation. As an example of this approach, they initiated a project with a functional cell-based screen for a biological process of interest using libraries of small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules. In this protocol, siRNAs function as potent gene-specific inhibitors. siRNA-mediated knockdown of the target genes is confirmed by TaqMan analysis, and genes with impacts on biological functions of interest are selected for further analysis. Once the genes are confirmed and further validated, they may be used for HTS to yield lead compounds.

  11. Visualizing Functional Motions of Membrane Transporters with Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Computational modeling and molecular simulation techniques have become an integral part of modern molecular research. Various areas of molecular sciences continue to benefit from, indeed rely on, the unparalleled spatial and temporal resolutions offered by these technologies, to provide a more complete picture of the molecular problems at hand. Because of the continuous development of more efficient algorithms harvesting ever-expanding computational resources, and the emergence of more advanced and novel theories and methodologies, the scope of computational studies has expanded significantly over the past decade, now including much larger molecular systems and far more complex molecular phenomena. Among the various computer modeling techniques, the application of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and related techniques has particularly drawn attention in biomolecular research, because of the ability of the method to describe the dynamical nature of the molecular systems and thereby to provide a more realistic representation, which is often needed for understanding fundamental molecular properties. The method has proven to be remarkably successful in capturing molecular events and structural transitions highly relevant to the function and/or physicochemical properties of biomolecular systems. Herein, after a brief introduction to the method of MD, we use a number of membrane transport proteins studied in our laboratory as examples to showcase the scope and applicability of the method and its power in characterizing molecular motions of various magnitudes and time scales that are involved in the function of this important class of membrane proteins. PMID:23298176

  12. Cervical Cancer: Development of Targeted Therapies Beyond Molecular Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Knoff, Jayne; Yang, Benjamin; Hung, Chien-Fu; Wu, T.-C.

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that human papillomavirus (HPV) is the causative agent of cervical cancer. The integration of HPV genes into the host genome causes the upregulation of E6 and E7 oncogenes. E6 and E7 proteins inactivate and degrade tumor suppressors p53 and retinoblastoma, respectively, leading to malignant progression. HPV E6 and E7 antigens are ideal targets for the development of therapies for cervical cancer and precursor lesions because they are constitutively expressed in infected cells and malignant tumors but not in normal cells and they are essential for cell immortalization and transformation. Immunotherapies are being developed to target E6/E7 by eliciting antigen-specific immune responses. siRNA technologies target E6/E7 by modulating the expression of the oncoproteins. Proteasome inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors are being developed to indirectly target E6/E7 by interfering with their oncogenic activities. The ultimate goal for HPV-targeted therapies is the progression through clinical trials to commercialization. PMID:24533233

  13. RET-targeting molecular stratified non-small-cell lung cancers

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in lung cancer genomics have successfully characterized therapeutic targets of lung cancer. RET fusion gene products are among the newest target molecules for lung adenocarcinoma. Preclinical findings and preliminary reports regarding potential tumor control by RET-targeting multi-kinase inhibitors encourage further clinical trials. The infrequent prevalence of RET fusion gene-positive cases may be a major obstacle hindering the development of RET-targeted therapy. Thus, it is necessary to recruit appropriate participants for trials to develop an efficient RET fusion gene detection system to achieve targeted therapy for lung adenocarcinomas stratified by this molecular target. PMID:25806272

  14. Molecular/cell engineering approach to autocrine ligand control of cell function.

    PubMed

    Lauffenburger, D A; Forsten, K E; Will, B; Wiley, H S

    1995-01-01

    Tissue engineering, along with other modern cell- and tissue-based health care technologies, depends on successful regulation of cell function by molecular means, including pharmacological agents, materials, and genetics. This regulation is generally mediated by cell receptor/ligand interactions providing primary targets for molecular intervention. While regulatory ligands may often be exogenous in nature, in the categories of endocrine and paracrine hormone systems, they are being increasingly appreciated as crucial in local control of cell and tissue function. Improvements in design of health care technologies involving autocrine ligand interactions with cell receptors should benefit from increased qualitative and quantitative understanding of the kinetic and transport processes governing these interactions. In this symposium paper we offer a concise overview of our recent efforts combining molecular cell biology and engineering approaches to increase the understanding of how molecular and cellular parameters may be manipulated for improved control of cell and tissue function regulated by autocrine ligands.

  15. Atlas-based identification of targets for functional radiosurgery

    SciTech Connect

    Stancanello, Joseph; Romanelli, Pantaleo; Modugno, Nicola; Cerveri, Pietro; Ferrigno, Giancarlo; Uggeri, Fulvio; Cantore, Giampaolo

    2006-06-15

    Functional disorders of the brain, such as Parkinson's disease, dystonia, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain, may exhibit poor response to medical therapy. In such cases, surgical intervention may become necessary. Modern surgical approaches to such disorders include radio-frequency lesioning and deep brain stimulation (DBS). The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is one of the most useful stereotactic targets available: STN DBS is known to induce substantial improvement in patients with end-stage Parkinson's disease. Other targets include the Globus Pallidus pars interna (GPi) for dystonia and Parkinson's disease, and the centromedian nucleus of the thalamus (CMN) for neuropathic pain. Radiosurgery is an attractive noninvasive alternative to treat some functional brain disorders. The main technical limitation to radiosurgery is that the target can be selected only on the basis of magnetic resonance anatomy without electrophysiological confirmation. The aim of this work is to provide a method for the correct atlas-based identification of the target to be used in functional neurosurgery treatment planning. The coordinates of STN, CMN, and GPi were identified in the Talairach and Tournoux atlas and transformed to the corresponding regions of the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) electronic atlas. Binary masks describing the target nuclei were created. The MNI electronic atlas was deformed onto the patient magnetic resonance imaging-T1 scan by applying an affine transformation followed by a local nonrigid registration. The first transformation was based on normalized cross correlation and the second on optimization of a two-part objective function consisting of similarity criteria and weighted regularization. The obtained deformation field was then applied to the target masks. The minimum distance between the surface of an implanted electrode and the surface of the deformed mask was calculated. The validation of the method consisted of comparing the electrode-mask distance to

  16. Indium-111 labeled gold nanoparticles for in-vivo molecular targeting.

    PubMed

    Ng, Quinn K T; Olariu, Cristina I; Yaffee, Marcus; Taelman, Vincent F; Marincek, Nicolas; Krause, Thomas; Meier, Lorenz; Walter, Martin A

    2014-08-01

    The present report describes the synthesis and biological evaluation of a molecular imaging platform based on gold nanoparticles directly labeled with indium-111. The direct labeling approach facilitated radiolabeling with high activities while maintaining excellent stability within the biological environment. The resulting imaging platform exhibited low interference of the radiolabel with targeting molecules, which is highly desirable for in-vivo probe tracking and molecular targeted tumor imaging. The indium-111 labeled gold nanoparticles were synthesized using a simple procedure that allowed stable labeling of the nanoparticle core with various indium-111 activities. Subsequent surface modification of the particle cores with RGD-based ligands at various densities allowed for molecular targeting of the αvß3 integrin in-vitro and for molecular targeted imaging in human melanoma and glioblastoma models in-vivo. The results demonstrate the vast potential of direct labeling with radioisotopes for tracking gold nanoparticles within biological systems.

  17. Molecular-Scale Electronics: From Concept to Function.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Dong; Wang, Xiaolong; Jia, Chuancheng; Lee, Takhee; Guo, Xuefeng

    2016-04-13

    Creating functional electrical circuits using individual or ensemble molecules, often termed as "molecular-scale electronics", not only meets the increasing technical demands of the miniaturization of traditional Si-based electronic devices, but also provides an ideal window of exploring the intrinsic properties of materials at the molecular level. This Review covers the major advances with the most general applicability and emphasizes new insights into the development of efficient platform methodologies for building reliable molecular electronic devices with desired functionalities through the combination of programmed bottom-up self-assembly and sophisticated top-down device fabrication. First, we summarize a number of different approaches of forming molecular-scale junctions and discuss various experimental techniques for examining these nanoscale circuits in details. We then give a full introduction of characterization techniques and theoretical simulations for molecular electronics. Third, we highlight the major contributions and new concepts of integrating molecular functionalities into electrical circuits. Finally, we provide a critical discussion of limitations and main challenges that still exist for the development of molecular electronics. These analyses should be valuable for deeply understanding charge transport through molecular junctions, the device fabrication process, and the roadmap for future practical molecular electronics.

  18. Diverse Molecular Targets for Therapeutic Strategies in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Han, Sun-Ho

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia caused by neurodegenerative process and is tightly related to amyloid β (Aβ) and neurofibrillary tangles. The lack of early diagnostic biomarker and therapeutic remedy hinders the prevention of increasing population of AD patients every year. In spite of accumulated scientific information, numerous clinical trials for candidate drug targets have failed to be preceded into therapeutic development, therefore, AD-related sufferers including patients and caregivers, are desperate to seek the solution. Also, effective AD intervention is desperately needed to reduce AD-related societal threats to public health. In this review, we summarize various drug targets and strategies in recent preclinical studies and clinical trials for AD therapy: Allopathic treatment, immunotherapy, Aβ production/aggregation modulator, tau-targeting therapy and metabolic targeting. Some has already failed in their clinical trials and the others are still in various stages of investigations, both of which give us valuable information for future research in AD therapeutic development. PMID:25045220

  19. Orbit targeting specialist function: Level C formulation requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupont, A.; Mcadoo, S.; Jones, H.; Jones, A. K.; Pearson, D.

    1978-01-01

    A definition of the level C requirements for onboard maneuver targeting software is provided. Included are revisions of the level C software requirements delineated in JSC IN 78-FM-27, Proximity Operations Software; Level C Requirements, dated May 1978. The software supports the terminal phase midcourse (TPM) maneuver, braking and close-in operations as well as supporting computation of the rendezvous corrective combination maneuver (NCC), and the terminal phase initiation (TPI). Specific formulation is contained here for the orbit targeting specialist function including the processing logic, linkage, and data base definitions for all modules. The crew interface with the software is through the keyboard and the ORBIT-TGT display.

  20. Molecular Architecture and Function of Matrix Adhesions

    PubMed Central

    Geiger, Benjamin; Yamada, Kenneth M.

    2011-01-01

    Cell adhesions mediate important bidirectional interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix. They provide an interactive interface between the extracellular chemical and physical environment and the cellular scaffolding and signaling machinery. This dynamic, reciprocal regulation of intracellular processes and the matrix is mediated by membrane receptors such as the integrins, as well as many other components that comprise the adhesome. Adhesome constituents assemble themselves into different types of cell adhesion structures that vary in molecular complexity and change over time. These cell adhesions play crucial roles in cell migration, proliferation, and determination of cell fate. PMID:21441590

  1. Imaging of Isotopically Enhanced Molecular Targeting Agents Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Quong, J N

    2004-02-19

    The goal of this project is to develop experimental and computational protocols to use SIMS to image the chemical composition of biological samples, focusing on optimizing sample preparation protocols and developing multivariate data analysis methods. Our results on sample preparation, molecular imaging, and multivariate analysis have been presented at several meeting abstracts (UCRL151797ABS, UCRL151797ABSREV1, UCRL151426ABS, UCRL201277, UCRL154757). A refereed paper describing our results for sample preparation and molecular imaging of various endogenous biomolecules as well as the mutagen PhIP has been accepted for publication (UCRL-JC-151797). We are also preparing two additional papers describing our multivariate analysis methods to analyze spectral data. As these papers have not been submitted, their content is included in this final report.

  2. Pentameric models as alternative molecular targets for the design of new antiaggregant agents.

    PubMed

    Barrera Guisasola, Exequiel E; Gutierrez, Lucas J; Andujar, Sebastián A; Angelina, Emilio; Rodríguez, Ana M; Enriz, Ricardo D

    2016-01-01

    The structure-based drug design has been an extremely useful technique used for searching and developing of new therapeutic agents in various biological systems. In the case of AD, this approach has been difficult to implement. Among other several causes, the main problem might be the lack of a specific stable and reliable molecular target. In this paper the results obtained using a pentameric amyloid beta (Aβ) model as a molecular target are discussed. Our MD simulations have shown that this system is relatively structured and stable, displaying a lightly conformational flexibility during 2.0 μs of simulation time. This study allowed us to distinguish characteristic structural features in specific regions of the pentamer which should be taken into account when choosing this model as a molecular target. This represents a clear advantage compared to the monomer or dimer models which are highly flexible structures with large numbers of possible conformers. Using this pentameric model we performed two types of studies usually carried out on a molecular target: a virtual screening and the design on structural basis of new mimetic peptides with antiaggregant properties. Our results indicate that this pentameric model might be a good molecular target for these particular studies of molecular modeling. Details about the predictive power of our virtual screening as well as about the molecular interactions that stabilize the mimetic peptide-pentamer Aβ complexes are discussed in this paper.

  3. A novel immunomodulatory and molecularly targeted strategy for refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    McGuire, Mary F.; Buryanek, Jamie; Janku, Filip; Younes, Anas; Hong, David

    2014-01-01

    Although Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) was one of the first human cancers to be cured by chemotherapy, no new agents other than brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®, CD 30 directed antibody drug conjugate) have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for HL since 1977. Subsets of young adult patients with HL continue to relapse, even after stem cell transplantation, warranting new approaches. Against this background, we report a dramatic response in a young patient with advanced HL refractory to the standard treatment who responded to the combination of a pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor (vorinostat, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor therapy (sirolimus,rapamume). In-depth immunohistochemical and morphoproteomic analyses of this exceptional responder to targeted therapy have yielded potential insights into the biology of advanced HL. The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is a commonly activated pathway in multiple tumor types including HL. The patient was treated using therapy based on mechanistic in vitro data demonstrating that combined histone deacetylase (HDAC) and mTOR inhibition act together on this pathway, resulting in inhibition of reciprocal feedback networks, leading to better anti-proliferative activity. The in vivo response signature from this patient's tissue sample sheds light on immune dysregulation in HL. We describe the response signature achieved from targeting immune dysregulation in addition to targeting the key oncogenic PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. We also expand on the role of rapamycin analogs in oncology. This study supports a role for an immune-type pathogenesis that is amenable to immune modulating targeted therapy in refractory HL. Significance: We report an exceptional responder to molecularly targeted and immune modulator therapy in advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma. The morphoproteomic/morphometric findings in this “unusual responder” patient's relapsed HL that correlate best, as a response

  4. Rejuvenating cellular respiration for optimizing respiratory function: targeting mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Anurag; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan

    2016-01-15

    Altered bioenergetics with increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and degradation of epithelial function are key aspects of pathogenesis in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This motif is not unique to obstructive airway disease, reported in related airway diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia and parenchymal diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis. Similarly, mitochondrial dysfunction in vascular endothelium or skeletal muscles contributes to the development of pulmonary hypertension and systemic manifestations of lung disease. In experimental models of COPD or asthma, the use of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants, such as MitoQ, has substantially improved mitochondrial health and restored respiratory function. Modulation of noncoding RNA or protein regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics, or degradation has been found to be effective in models of fibrosis, emphysema, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension. Transfer of healthy mitochondria to epithelial cells has been associated with remarkable therapeutic efficacy in models of acute lung injury and asthma. Together, these form a 3R model--repair, reprogramming, and replacement--for mitochondria-targeted therapies in lung disease. This review highlights the key role of mitochondrial function in lung health and disease, with a focus on asthma and COPD, and provides an overview of mitochondria-targeted strategies for rejuvenating cellular respiration and optimizing respiratory function in lung diseases.

  5. Model-specific selection of molecular targets for heart failure gene therapy

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Michael G.; Fargnoli, Anthony S.; Tomasulo, Catherine E.; Pritchette, Louella A.; Bridges, Charles R.

    2013-01-01

    Heart failure (HF) is a complex multifaceted problem of abnormal ventricular function and structure. In recent years, new information has been accumulated allowing for a more detailed understanding of the cellular and molecular alterations that are the underpinnings of diverse causes of HF, including myocardial ischemia, pressure-overload, volume-overload or intrinsic cardiomyopathy. Modern pharmacological approaches to treat HF have had a significant impact on the course of the disease, although they do not reverse the underlying pathological state of the heart. Therefore gene-based therapy holds a great potential as a targeted treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Here, we survey the relative therapeutic efficacy of genetic modulation of β-adrenergic receptor signaling, Ca2+ handling proteins and angiogenesis in the most common extrinsic models of HF. PMID:21954055

  6. Model-specific selection of molecular targets for heart failure gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Katz, Michael G; Fargnoli, Anthony S; Tomasulo, Catherine E; Pritchette, Louella A; Bridges, Charles R

    2011-10-01

    Heart failure (HF) is a complex multifaceted problem of abnormal ventricular function and structure. In recent years, new information has been accumulated allowing for a more detailed understanding of the cellular and molecular alterations that are the underpinnings of diverse causes of HF, including myocardial ischemia, pressure-overload, volume-overload or intrinsic cardiomyopathy. Modern pharmacological approaches to treat HF have had a significant impact on the course of the disease, although they do not reverse the underlying pathological state of the heart. Therefore gene-based therapy holds a great potential as a targeted treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Here, we survey the relative therapeutic efficacy of genetic modulation of β-adrenergic receptor signaling, Ca(2+) handling proteins and angiogenesis in the most common extrinsic models of HF.

  7. Molecular characterisation of cutaneous melanoma: creating a framework for targeted and immune therapies

    PubMed Central

    Rajkumar, Shivshankari; Watson, Ian R

    2016-01-01

    Large-scale genomic analyses of cutaneous melanoma have revealed insights into the aetiology and heterogeneity of this disease, as well as opportunities to further personalise treatment for patients with targeted and immune therapies. Herein, we review the proposed genomic classification of cutaneous melanoma from large-scale next-generation sequencing studies, including the largest integrative analysis of melanoma from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Network. We examine studies that have identified molecular features of melanomas linked to immune checkpoint inhibitor response. In addition, we draw attention to low-frequency actionable mutations and highlight frequent non-coding mutations in melanoma where little is known about their biological function that may provide novel avenues for the development of treatment strategies for melanoma patients. PMID:27336610

  8. All-Atom Molecular Dynamics of Virus Capsids as Drug Targets

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Virus capsids are protein shells that package the viral genome. Although their morphology and biological functions can vary markedly, capsids often play critical roles in regulating viral infection pathways. A detailed knowledge of virus capsids, including their dynamic structure, interactions with cellular factors, and the specific roles that they play in the replication cycle, is imperative for the development of antiviral therapeutics. The following Perspective introduces an emerging area of computational biology that focuses on the dynamics of virus capsids and capsid–protein assemblies, with particular emphasis on the effects of small-molecule drug binding on capsid structure, stability, and allosteric pathways. When performed at chemical detail, molecular dynamics simulations can reveal subtle changes in virus capsids induced by drug molecules a fraction of their size. Here, the current challenges of performing all-atom capsid–drug simulations are discussed, along with an outlook on the applicability of virus capsid simulations to reveal novel drug targets. PMID:27128262

  9. A logic-gated nanorobot for targeted transport of molecular payloads.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Shawn M; Bachelet, Ido; Church, George M

    2012-02-17

    We describe an autonomous DNA nanorobot capable of transporting molecular payloads to cells, sensing cell surface inputs for conditional, triggered activation, and reconfiguring its structure for payload delivery. The device can be loaded with a variety of materials in a highly organized fashion and is controlled by an aptamer-encoded logic gate, enabling it to respond to a wide array of cues. We implemented several different logical AND gates and demonstrate their efficacy in selective regulation of nanorobot function. As a proof of principle, nanorobots loaded with combinations of antibody fragments were used in two different types of cell-signaling stimulation in tissue culture. Our prototype could inspire new designs with different selectivities and biologically active payloads for cell-targeting tasks.

  10. n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids exert immunomodulatory effects on lymphocytes by targeting plasma membrane molecular organization

    PubMed Central

    Shaikh, Saame Raza; Jolly, Christopher A.; Chapkin, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    Fish oil, enriched in bioactive n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), has therapeutic value for the treatment of inflammation-associated disorders. The effects of n-3 PUFAs are pleiotropic and complex; hence, an understanding of their cellular targets and molecular mechanisms of action remains incomplete. Here we focus on recent data indicating n-3 PUFAs exert immunosuppressive effects on the function of effector and regulatory CD4+ T cells. In addition, we also present emerging evidence that n-3 PUFAs have immunomodulatory effects on B cells. We then focus on one multifaceted mechanism of n-3 PUFAs, which is the alteration of the biophysical and biochemical organization of the plasma membrane. This mechanism is central for downstream signaling, eicosanoid production, transcriptional regulation and cytokine secretion. We highlight recent work demonstrating n-3 PUFA acyl chains in the plasma membrane target the lateral organization of membrane signaling assemblies (i.e. lipid rafts or signaling networks) and de novo phospholipid biosynthesis. We conclude by proposing new functional and mechanistic questions in this area of research that will aid in the development of fish oil as adjuvant therapy for treating unresolved chronic inflammation. PMID:22020145

  11. Novel molecular targets in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus

    PubMed Central

    Crispín, JoséC; Tsokos, George C.

    2009-01-01

    T cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) display a number of biochemical abnormalities which include altered expression of key signaling molecules, heightened calcium responses, and skewed expression of transcription factors. These defects are involved in the altered behavior of SLE T cells and are probably central in the disease pathogenesis. The aim of this communication is to review the defects that have been consistently documented in SLE T cells, highlighting molecules and pathways that represent therapeutic targets. PMID:18190888

  12. Advancing Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas through Targeted Molecular Therapies: The Acromegaly and Cushing Disease Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Michael A; Simon, Elias D; Little, Andrew S

    2016-01-01

    The current treatment of pituitary adenomas requires a balance of conservative management, surgical resection, and in select tumor types, molecular therapy. Acromegaly treatment is an evolving field where our understanding of molecular targets and drug therapies has improved treatment options for patients with excess growth hormone levels. We highlight the use of molecular therapies in this disease process and advances in this field, which may represent a paradigm shift for the future of pituitary adenoma treatment. PMID:27517036

  13. Advancing Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas through Targeted Molecular Therapies: The Acromegaly and Cushing Disease Paradigms

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Michael A.; Simon, Elias D.; Little, Andrew S.

    2016-01-01

    The current treatment of pituitary adenomas requires a balance of conservative management, surgical resection, and in select tumor types, molecular therapy. Acromegaly treatment is an evolving field where our understanding of molecular targets and drug therapies has improved treatment options for patients with excess growth hormone levels. We highlight the use of molecular therapies in this disease process and advances in this field, which may represent a paradigm shift for the future of pituitary adenoma treatment. PMID:27517036

  14. Peptide-functionalized nanoparticles for selective targeting of pancreatic tumor.

    PubMed

    Valetti, Sabrina; Maione, Federica; Mura, Simona; Stella, Barbara; Desmaële, Didier; Noiray, Magali; Vergnaud, Juliette; Vauthier, Christine; Cattel, Luigi; Giraudo, Enrico; Couvreur, Patrick

    2014-10-28

    Chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer is hampered by the tumor's physio-pathological complexity. Here we show a targeted nanomedicine using a new ligand, the CKAAKN peptide, which had been identified by phage display, as an efficient homing device within the pancreatic pathological microenvironment. Taking advantage of the squalenoylation platform, the CKAAKN peptide was conjugated to squalene (SQCKAAKN) and then co-nanoprecipitated with the squalenoyl prodrug of gemcitabine (SQdFdC) giving near monodisperse nanoparticles (NPs) for safe intravenous injection. By interacting with a novel target pathway, the Wnt-2, the CKAAKN functionalization enabled nanoparticles: (i) to specifically interact with both tumor cells and angiogenic vessels and (ii) to simultaneously promote pericyte coverage, thus leading to the normalization of the vasculature likely improving the tumor accessibility for therapy. All together, this approach represents a unique targeted nanoparticle design with remarkable selectivity towards pancreatic cancer and multiple mechanisms of action.

  15. Functional genomic and high-content screening for target discovery and deconvolution

    PubMed Central

    Heynen-Genel, Susanne; Pache, Lars; Chanda, Sumit K

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Functional genomic screens apply knowledge gained from the sequencing of the human genome toward rapid methods of identifying genes involved in cellular function based on a specific phenotype. This approach has been made possible through the use of advances in both molecular biology and automation. The utility of this approach has been further enhanced through the application of image-based high content screening, an automated microscopy and quantitative image analysis platform. These approaches can significantly enhance acquisition of novel targets for drug discovery. Areas covered Both the utility and potential issues associated with functional genomic screening approaches are discussed along with examples that illustrate both. The considerations for high content screening applied to functional genomics are also presented. Expert opinion Functional genomic and high content screening are extremely useful in the identification of new drug targets. However, the technical, experimental, and computational parameters have an enormous influence on the results. Thus, although new targets are identified, caution should be applied toward interpretation of screening data in isolation. Genomic screens should be viewed as an integral component of a target identification campaign that requires both the acquisition of orthogonal data, as well as a rigorous validation strategy. PMID:22860749

  16. A Rational Design Strategy for the Selective Activity Enhancement of a Molecular Chaperone toward a Target Substrate.

    PubMed

    Aprile, Francesco A; Sormanni, Pietro; Vendruscolo, Michele

    2015-08-18

    Molecular chaperones facilitate the folding and assembly of proteins and inhibit their aberrant aggregation. They thus offer several opportunities for biomedical and biotechnological applications, as for example they can often prevent protein aggregation more effectively than other therapeutic molecules, including small molecules and antibodies. Here we present a method of designing molecular chaperones with enhanced activity against specific amyloidogenic substrates while leaving unaltered their functions toward other substrates. The method consists of grafting onto a molecular chaperone a peptide designed to bind specifically an epitope in the target substrate. We illustrate this strategy by describing Hsp70 variants with increased affinities for α-synuclein and Aβ42 but otherwise unaltered affinities for other substrates. These designed variants inhibit protein aggregation and disaggregate preformed fibrils significantly more effectively than wild-type Hsp70 indicating that the strategy presented here provides a possible route for tailoring rationally molecular chaperones for specific purposes.

  17. Targeting molecular hydrogen to mitochondria: barriers and gateways.

    PubMed

    Ostojic, Sergej M

    2015-04-01

    Although the administration of molecular hydrogen (H2, dihydrogen) has been recognized as an effective innovative therapeutic procedure in biomedicine, H2 cellular kinetics and utilization seems to be less understood. In particular, mitochondrial barriers might impact on H2 use in mitochondria-related diseases and conditions. Double-membrane organization of mitochondria and large membrane potential are important elements of mitochondrial stability that control the transport of the molecule into and out of the organelle. In this perspective paper, we advanced possible obstacles and advantages for H2 delivery to mitochondria.

  18. Targeting molecular hydrogen to mitochondria: barriers and gateways.

    PubMed

    Ostojic, Sergej M

    2015-04-01

    Although the administration of molecular hydrogen (H2, dihydrogen) has been recognized as an effective innovative therapeutic procedure in biomedicine, H2 cellular kinetics and utilization seems to be less understood. In particular, mitochondrial barriers might impact on H2 use in mitochondria-related diseases and conditions. Double-membrane organization of mitochondria and large membrane potential are important elements of mitochondrial stability that control the transport of the molecule into and out of the organelle. In this perspective paper, we advanced possible obstacles and advantages for H2 delivery to mitochondria. PMID:25720951

  19. Molecular and Physiological Mechanisms of Membrane Receptor Systems Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Severin, E.S.; Savvateeva, M.V.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular physiology is a new interdisciplinary field of knowledge that looks into how complicated biological systems function. The living cell is a relatively simple, but at the same time very sophisticated biological system. After the sequencing of the human genome, molecular physiology has endeavored to investigate the systems of cellular interactions at a completely new level based on knowledge of the spatial organization and functions of receptors, their ligands, and protein-protein interactions. In recent years, the achievements in molecular physiology have centered on the study of sensor reception mechanisms and intercellular data transfer, as well as the immune system physiology, amongst other processes. PMID:22649671

  20. Targeting molecular interactions essential for Plasmodium sexual reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Vega-Rodriguez, Joel; Perez-Barreto, Davinia; Ruiz-Reyes, Antonio; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Summary Malaria remains one of the most devastating infectious diseases, killing up to a million people every year. Whereas much progress has been made in understanding the life cycle of the parasite in the human host and in the mosquito vector, significant gaps of knowledge remain. Fertilization of malaria parasites, a process that takes place in the lumen of the mosquito midgut, is poorly understood and the molecular interactions (receptor–ligand) required for Plasmodium fertilization remain elusive. By use of a phage display library, we identified FG1 (Female Gamete peptide 1), a peptide that binds specifically to the surface of female Plasmodium berghei gametes. Importantly, FG1 but not a scrambled version of the peptide, strongly reduces P. berghei oocyst formation by interfering with fertilization. In addition, FG1 also inhibits P. falciparum oocyst formation suggesting that the peptide binds to a molecule on the surface of the female gamete whose structure is conserved. Identification of the molecular interactions disrupted by the FG1 peptide may lead to the development of novel malaria transmission-blocking strategies. PMID:25944054

  1. Cellular and molecular basis of cholinergic function

    SciTech Connect

    Dowdall, M.J.; Hawthorne, J.N.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 105 selections. Some of the titles are: Functional correlates of brain nicotine receptors; Muscarinic receptor subclasses; Cholinergic innervation and levels of nerve growth factor and its mRNA in the central nervous system; Developmentally regulated neurontrophic activities of Torpedo electric organ tissue; and Association of a regulatory peptide with cholinergic neurons.

  2. A functional test of Neandertal and modern human mitochondrial targeting sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Gralle, Matthias; Schaefer, Ingo; Seibel, Peter; Paeaebo, Svante

    2010-11-26

    Research highlights: {yields} Two mutations in mitochondrial targeting peptides occurred during human evolution, possibly after Neandertals split off from modern human lineage. {yields} The ancestral and modern human versions of these two targeting peptides were tested functionally for their effects on localization and cleavage rate. {yields} In spite of recent evolution, and to the contrary of other mutations in targeting peptides, these mutations had no visible effects. -- Abstract: Targeting of nuclear-encoded proteins to different organelles, such as mitochondria, is a process that can result in the redeployment of proteins to new intracellular destinations during evolution. With the sequencing of the Neandertal genome, it has become possible to identify amino acid substitutions that occurred on the modern human lineage since its separation from the Neandertal lineage. Here we analyze the function of two substitutions in mitochondrial targeting sequences that occurred and rose to high frequency recently during recent human evolution. The ancestral and modern versions of the two targeting sequences do not differ in the efficiency with which they direct a protein to the mitochondria, an observation compatible with the neutral theory of molecular evolution.

  3. Selective targeting of Mycobacterium smegmatis with trehalose-functionalized nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Jayawardana, Kalana W; Jayawardena, H Surangi N; Wijesundera, Samurdhi A; De Zoysa, Thareendra; Sundhoro, Madanodaya; Yan, Mingdi

    2015-08-01

    Silica and iron oxide nanoparticles with sizes ranging from 6 to 40 nm were functionalized with trehalose. The trehalose-conjugated nanoparticles showed strong interactions with Mycobacterium smegmatis (M. smegmatis) and minimal interactions with macrophage (RAW 264.7) or A549 cells. In addition, trehalose-conjugated silica nanoparticles selectively interacted with M. smegmatis on M. smegmatis-treated A549 cells, demonstrating high potential of trehalose in developing targeted therapy for treating mycobacterial infection. PMID:26121049

  4. Are pharmaceuticals with evolutionary conserved molecular drug targets more potent to cause toxic effects in non-target organisms?

    PubMed

    Furuhagen, Sara; Fuchs, Anne; Lundström Belleza, Elin; Breitholtz, Magnus; Gorokhova, Elena

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitous use of pharmaceuticals has resulted in a continuous discharge into wastewater and pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are found in the environment. Due to their design towards specific drug targets, pharmaceuticals may be therapeutically active already at low environmental concentrations. Several human drug targets are evolutionary conserved in aquatic organisms, raising concerns about effects of these pharmaceuticals in non-target organisms. In this study, we hypothesized that the toxicity of a pharmaceutical towards a non-target invertebrate depends on the presence of the human drug target orthologs in this species. This was tested by assessing toxicity of pharmaceuticals with (miconazole and promethazine) and without (levonorgestrel) identified drug target orthologs in the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The toxicity was evaluated using general toxicity endpoints at individual (immobility, reproduction and development), biochemical (RNA and DNA content) and molecular (gene expression) levels. The results provide evidence for higher toxicity of miconazole and promethazine, i.e. the drugs with identified drug target orthologs. At the individual level, miconazole had the lowest effect concentrations for immobility and reproduction (0.3 and 0.022 mg L-1, respectively) followed by promethazine (1.6 and 0.18 mg L-1, respectively). At the biochemical level, individual RNA content was affected by miconazole and promethazine already at 0.0023 and 0.059 mg L-1, respectively. At the molecular level, gene expression for cuticle protein was significantly suppressed by exposure to both miconazole and promethazine; moreover, daphnids exposed to miconazole had significantly lower vitellogenin expression. Levonorgestrel did not have any effects on any endpoints in the concentrations tested. These results highlight the importance of considering drug target conservation in environmental risk assessments of pharmaceuticals.

  5. The molecular basis of targeting protein kinases in cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Chung-Jung; Nussinov, Ruth

    2013-08-01

    In this paper, we provide an overview of targeted anticancer therapies with small molecule kinase inhibitors. First, we discuss why a single constitutively active kinase emanating from a variety of aberrant genetic alterations is capable of transforming a normal cell, leading it to acquire the hallmarks of a cancer cell. To draw attention to the fact that kinase inhibition in targeted cancer therapeutics differs from conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy, we exploit a conceptual framework explaining why suppressed kinase activity will selectively kill only the so-called oncogene 'addicted' cancer cell, while sparing the healthy cell. Second, we introduce the protein kinase superfamily in light of its common active conformation with precisely positioned structural elements, and the diversified auto-inhibitory conformations among the kinase families. Understanding the detailed activation mechanism of individual kinases is essential to relate the observed oncogenic alterations to the elevated constitutively active state, to identify the mechanism of consequent drug resistance, and to guide the development of the next-generation inhibitors. To clarify the vital importance of structural guidelines in studies of oncogenesis, we explain how somatic mutations in EGFR result in kinase constitutive activation. Third, in addition to the common theme of secondary (acquired) mutations that prevent drug binding from blocking a signaling pathway which is hijacked by the aberrant activated kinase, we discuss scenarios of drug resistance and relapse by compensating lesions that bypass the inactivated pathway in a vertical or horizontal fashion. Collectively, these suggest that the future challenge of cancer therapy with small molecule kinase inhibitors will rely on the discovery of distinct combinations of optimized drugs to target individual subtypes of different cancers.

  6. Metastatic cancer stem cells: new molecular targets for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Leirós, G J; Balañá, M E

    2011-11-01

    The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis, predicts that a small subpopulation of cancer cells that possess "stem-like" characteristics, are responsible for initiating and maintaining cancer growth. According to the CSC model the many cell populations found in a tumour might represent diverse stages of differentiation. From the cellular point of view metastasis is considered a highly inefficient process and only a subset of tumour cells is capable of successfully traversing the entire metastatic cascade and eventually re-initiates tumour growth at distant sites. Some similar features of both normal and malignant stem cells suggest that CSCs are not only responsible for tumorigenesis, but also for metastases. The CSC theory proposes that the ability of a tumour to metastasize is an inherent property of a subset of CSCs. The similar biological characteristics shared by normal stem cells (NSCs) and CSCs mainly implicate self-renewal and differentiation potential, survival ability, niche-specific microenvironment requirements and specific homing to metastatic sites and may have important implications in terms of new approaches to cancer therapy in the metastatic setting. There are several agents targeting many of these CSC features that have shown to be effective both in vitro and in vivo. Although clinical trials results are still preliminary and continue under investigation, these new therapies are very promising. The identification of new therapeutic targets and drugs based on CSC model constitutes a great challenge. PMID:21470128

  7. Metastatic cancer stem cells: new molecular targets for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Leirós, G J; Balañá, M E

    2011-11-01

    The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis, predicts that a small subpopulation of cancer cells that possess "stem-like" characteristics, are responsible for initiating and maintaining cancer growth. According to the CSC model the many cell populations found in a tumour might represent diverse stages of differentiation. From the cellular point of view metastasis is considered a highly inefficient process and only a subset of tumour cells is capable of successfully traversing the entire metastatic cascade and eventually re-initiates tumour growth at distant sites. Some similar features of both normal and malignant stem cells suggest that CSCs are not only responsible for tumorigenesis, but also for metastases. The CSC theory proposes that the ability of a tumour to metastasize is an inherent property of a subset of CSCs. The similar biological characteristics shared by normal stem cells (NSCs) and CSCs mainly implicate self-renewal and differentiation potential, survival ability, niche-specific microenvironment requirements and specific homing to metastatic sites and may have important implications in terms of new approaches to cancer therapy in the metastatic setting. There are several agents targeting many of these CSC features that have shown to be effective both in vitro and in vivo. Although clinical trials results are still preliminary and continue under investigation, these new therapies are very promising. The identification of new therapeutic targets and drugs based on CSC model constitutes a great challenge.

  8. Molecular Pathways: Targeting Diacylglycerol Kinase Alpha in Cancer.

    PubMed

    Purow, Benjamin

    2015-11-15

    Lipid kinases have largely been neglected as targets in cancer, and an increasing number of reports suggest diacylglycerol kinase alpha (DGKα) may be one with promising therapeutic potential. DGKα is one of 10 DGK family members that convert diacylglycerol (DAG) to phosphatidic acid (PA), and both DAG and PA are critical lipid second messengers in the plasma membrane. A host of important oncogenic proteins and pathways affect cancer cells in part through DGKα, including the c-Met and VEGF receptors. Others partially mediate the effects of DGKα inhibition in cancer, such as mTOR and HIF-1α. DGKα inhibition can directly impair cancer cell viability, inhibits angiogenesis, and notably may also boost T-cell activation and enhance cancer immunotherapies. Although two structurally similar inhibitors of DGKα were established decades ago, they have seen minimal in vivo usage, and it is unlikely that either of these older DGKα inhibitors will have utility for cancer. An abandoned compound that also inhibits serotonin receptors may have more translational potential as a DGKα inhibitor, but more potent and specific DGKα inhibitors are sorely needed. Other DGK family members may also provide therapeutic targets in cancer, but require further investigation.

  9. Advances in molecular imaging: targeted optical contrast agents for cancer diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Hellebust, Anne; Richards-Kortum, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    Over the last three decades, our understanding of the molecular changes associated with cancer development and progression has advanced greatly. This has led to new cancer therapeutics targeted against specific molecular pathways; such therapies show great promise to reduce mortality, in part by enabling physicians to tailor therapy for patients based on a molecular profile of their tumor. Unfortunately, the tools for definitive cancer diagnosis – light microscopic examination of biopsied tissue stained with nonspecific dyes – remain focused on the analysis of tissue ex vivo. There is an important need for new clinical tools to support the molecular diagnosis of cancer. Optical molecular imaging is emerging as a technique to help meet this need. Targeted, optically active contrast agents can specifically label extra-and intracellular biomarkers of cancer. Optical images can be acquired in real time with high spatial resolution to image-specific molecular targets, while still providing morphologic context. This article reviews recent advances in optical molecular imaging, highlighting the advances in technology required to improve early cancer detection, guide selection of targeted therapy and rapidly evaluate therapeutic efficacy. PMID:22385200

  10. Molecular Targets and Emerging Therapeutic Options for Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Heather; Ike, Chiemeka; Parma, Jennifer; Masand, Ramya P.; Mach, Claire M.

    2016-01-01

    Uterine leiomyosarcoma (uLMS) is an aggressive malignancy characterized by its early metastasis, high rates of recurrence, and poor prognosis. Multiple obstacles complicate the clinical management of uLMS. These include the fact that most uLMS are typically identified only after a woman has undergone hysterectomy or myomectomy, the limited efficacy of adjuvant therapy for early stage disease, and the poor response of metastatic disease to current treatments. Here, we discuss recent insights into the molecular basis of uLMS and discuss emerging options for its clinical management. Particular attention is given to the biologic basis of these strategies with the goal of understanding the rationale motivating their use. PMID:27721667

  11. Molecular targets of epigenetic regulation and effectors of environmental influences

    SciTech Connect

    Choudhuri, Supratim; Cui Yue; Klaassen, Curtis D.

    2010-06-15

    The true understanding of what we currently define as epigenetics evolved over time as our knowledge on DNA methylation and chromatin modifications and their effects on gene expression increased. The current explosion of research on epigenetics and the increasing documentation of the effects of various environmental factors on DNA methylation, chromatin modification, as well as on the expression of small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have expanded the scope of research on the etiology of various diseases including cancer. The current review briefly discusses the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and expands the discussion with examples on the role of environment, such as the immediate environment during development, in inducing epigenetic changes and modulating gene expression.

  12. Cell-type-specific, Aptamer-functionalized Agents for Targeted Disease Therapy.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jiehua; Rossi, John J

    2014-06-17

    One hundred years ago, Dr. Paul Ehrlich popularized the "magic bullet" concept for cancer therapy in which an ideal therapeutic agent would only kill the specific tumor cells it targeted. Since then, "targeted therapy" that specifically targets the molecular defects responsible for a patient's condition has become a long-standing goal for treating human disease. However, safe and efficient drug delivery during the treatment of cancer and infectious disease remains a major challenge for clinical translation and the development of new therapies. The advent of SELEX technology has inspired many groundbreaking studies that successfully adapted cell-specific aptamers for targeted delivery of active drug substances in both in vitro and in vivo models. By covalently linking or physically functionalizing the cell-specific aptamers with therapeutic agents, such as siRNA, microRNA, chemotherapeutics or toxins, or delivery vehicles, such as organic or inorganic nanocarriers, the targeted cells and tissues can be specifically recognized and the therapeutic compounds internalized, thereby improving the local concentration of the drug and its therapeutic efficacy. Currently, many cell-type-specific aptamers have been developed that can target distinct diseases or tissues in a cell-type-specific manner. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the use of cell-specific aptamers for targeted disease therapy, as well as conjugation strategies and challenges.

  13. Cell-type-specific, Aptamer-functionalized Agents for Targeted Disease Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiehua; Rossi, John J.

    2014-01-01

    One hundred years ago, Dr. Paul Ehrlich popularized the “magic bullet” concept for cancer therapy in which an ideal therapeutic agent would only kill the specific tumor cells it targeted. Since then, “targeted therapy” that specifically targets the molecular defects responsible for a patient's condition has become a long-standing goal for treating human disease. However, safe and efficient drug delivery during the treatment of cancer and infectious disease remains a major challenge for clinical translation and the development of new therapies. The advent of SELEX technology has inspired many groundbreaking studies that successfully adapted cell-specific aptamers for targeted delivery of active drug substances in both in vitro and in vivo models. By covalently linking or physically functionalizing the cell-specific aptamers with therapeutic agents, such as siRNA, microRNA, chemotherapeutics or toxins, or delivery vehicles, such as organic or inorganic nanocarriers, the targeted cells and tissues can be specifically recognized and the therapeutic compounds internalized, thereby improving the local concentration of the drug and its therapeutic efficacy. Currently, many cell-type-specific aptamers have been developed that can target distinct diseases or tissues in a cell-type-specific manner. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the use of cell-specific aptamers for targeted disease therapy, as well as conjugation strategies and challenges. PMID:24936916

  14. Curcumin: a Polyphenol with Molecular Targets for Cancer Control.

    PubMed

    Qadir, Muhammad Imran; Naqvi, Syeda Tahira Qousain; Muhammad, Syed Aun

    2016-01-01

    Curcumin, is a polyphenol from Curcuma longa (turmeric plant), is a polyphenol that belongs to the ginger family which has long been used in Ayurveda medicines to treat various diseases such as asthma, anorexia, coughing, hepatic diseases, diabetes, heart diseases, wound healing and Alzheimer's. Various studies have shown that curcumin has anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, hepatoprotective, thrombosuppressive, cardio protective, anti-arthritic, chemo preventive and anti-carcinogenic activities. It may suppress both initiation and progression stages of cancer. Anticancer activity of curcumin is due to negative regulation of inflammatory cytokines, transcription factors, protein kinases, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oncogenes. This review focuses on the different targets of curcumin to treat cancer. PMID:27356682

  15. [Depression and addiction comorbidity: towards a common molecular target?].

    PubMed

    Arango-Lievano, Margarita; Kaplitt, Michael G

    2015-05-01

    The comorbidity of depression and cocaine addiction suggests shared mechanisms and anatomical pathways. Specifically, the limbic structures, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), play a crucial role in both disorders. P11 (S100A10) is a promising target for manipulating depression and addiction in mice. We summarized the recent genetic and viral strategies used to determine how the titration of p11 levels within the NAc affects hedonic behavior and cocaine reward learning in mice. In particular, p11 in the ChAT+ cells or DRD1+ MSN of the NAc, controls depressive-like behavior or cocaine reward, respectively. Treatments to counter maladaptation of p11 levels in the NAc could provide novel therapeutic opportunities for depression and cocaine addiction in humans.

  16. [Depression and addiction comorbidity: towards a common molecular target?].

    PubMed

    Arango-Lievano, Margarita; Kaplitt, Michael G

    2015-05-01

    The comorbidity of depression and cocaine addiction suggests shared mechanisms and anatomical pathways. Specifically, the limbic structures, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc), play a crucial role in both disorders. P11 (S100A10) is a promising target for manipulating depression and addiction in mice. We summarized the recent genetic and viral strategies used to determine how the titration of p11 levels within the NAc affects hedonic behavior and cocaine reward learning in mice. In particular, p11 in the ChAT+ cells or DRD1+ MSN of the NAc, controls depressive-like behavior or cocaine reward, respectively. Treatments to counter maladaptation of p11 levels in the NAc could provide novel therapeutic opportunities for depression and cocaine addiction in humans. PMID:26059306

  17. Promising Molecular Targets and Biomarkers for Male BPH and LUTS

    PubMed Central

    Gharaee-Kermani, Mehrnaz; Macoska, Jill A.

    2013-01-01

    Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a major health concern for aging men. BPH is associated with urinary voiding dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), which negatively affects quality of life. Surgical resection and medical approaches have proven effective for improving urinary flow and relieving LUTS, but are not effective for all men and can produce adverse effects that require termination of the therapeutic regimen. Thus, there is a need to explore other therapeutic targets to treat BPH/LUTS. Complicating the treatment of BPH/LUTS is the lack of biomarkers to effectively identify pathobiologies contributing to BPH/LUTS or to gauge successful response to therapy. This review will briefly discuss current knowledge and will highlight new studies that illuminate the pathobiologies contributing to BPH/LUTS; potential new therapeutic strategies for successfully treating BPH/LUTS; and new approaches for better defining these pathobiologies and response to therapeutics through the development of biomarkers and phenotyping strategies. PMID:23913202

  18. A Molecularly Targeted Theranostic Probe for Ovarian Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wenxue; Bardhan, Rizia; Bartels, Marc; Perez-Torres, Carlos; Pautler, Robia G.; Halas, Naomi J.; Joshi, Amit

    2014-01-01

    Overexpression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family has been implicated in ovarian cancer because of its participation in signaling pathway regulating cellular proliferation, differentiation, motility, and survival. Currently, effective diagnostic and therapeutic schemes are lacking for treating ovarian cancer and consequently ovarian cancer has a high mortality rate. While HER2 receptor expression does not usually affect the survival rates of ovarian cancer to the same extent as in breast cancer, it can be employed as a docking site for directed nanotherapies in cases with de novo or acquired chemotherapy resistance. In this study, we have exploited a novel gold nanoshell-based complex (nanocomplex) for targeting, dual modal imaging, and photothermal therapy of HER2 overexpressing and drug resistant ovarian cancer OVCAR3 cells in vitro. The nanocomplexes are engineered to simultaneously provide contrast as fluorescence optical imaging probe and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agent. Both immunofluorescence staining and MRI successfully demonstrate that nanocomplex-anti-HER2 conjugates specifically bind to OVCAR3 cells as opposed to the control, MDA-MB-231 cells, which have low HER2 expression. In addition, nanocomplexes targeted to OVCAR3 cells, when irradiated with near infrared (NIR) laser result in selective destruction of cancer cells through photothermal ablation. We also demonstrate that NIR light therapy and the nanocomplexes by themselves are non-cytotoxic in vitro. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a successful integration of dual modal bioimaging with photothermal cancer therapy for treatment of ovarian cancer. Based on their efficacy in vitro, these nanocomplexes are highly promising for image guided photo-thermal therapy of ovarian cancer as well as other HER2 overexpressing cancers. PMID:20371708

  19. Progress and Challenges in Developing Aptamer-Functionalized Targeted Drug Delivery Systems

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Feng; Liu, Biao; Lu, Jun; Li, Fangfei; Li, Defang; Liang, Chao; Dang, Lei; Liu, Jin; He, Bing; Atik Badshah, Shaikh; Lu, Cheng; He, Xiaojuan; Guo, Baosheng; Zhang, Xiao-Bing; Tan, Weihong; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2015-01-01

    Aptamers, which can be screened via systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), are superior ligands for molecular recognition due to their high selectivity and affinity. The interest in the use of aptamers as ligands for targeted drug delivery has been increasing due to their unique advantages. Based on their different compositions and preparation methods, aptamer-functionalized targeted drug delivery systems can be divided into two main categories: aptamer-small molecule conjugated systems and aptamer-nanomaterial conjugated systems. In this review, we not only summarize recent progress in aptamer selection and the application of aptamers in these targeted drug delivery systems but also discuss the advantages, challenges and new perspectives associated with these delivery systems. PMID:26473828

  20. Targeting PTPRK-RSPO3 colon tumours promotes differentiation and loss of stem-cell function.

    PubMed

    Storm, Elaine E; Durinck, Steffen; de Sousa e Melo, Felipe; Tremayne, Jarrod; Kljavin, Noelyn; Tan, Christine; Ye, Xiaofen; Chiu, Cecilia; Pham, Thinh; Hongo, Jo-Anne; Bainbridge, Travis; Firestein, Ron; Blackwood, Elizabeth; Metcalfe, Ciara; Stawiski, Eric W; Yauch, Robert L; Wu, Yan; de Sauvage, Frederic J

    2016-01-01

    Colorectal cancer remains a major unmet medical need, prompting large-scale genomics efforts in the field to identify molecular drivers for which targeted therapies might be developed. We previously reported the identification of recurrent translocations in R-spondin genes present in a subset of colorectal tumours. Here we show that targeting RSPO3 in PTPRK-RSPO3-fusion-positive human tumour xenografts inhibits tumour growth and promotes differentiation. Notably, genes expressed in the stem-cell compartment of the intestine were among those most sensitive to anti-RSPO3 treatment. This observation, combined with functional assays, suggests that a stem-cell compartment drives PTPRK-RSPO3 colorectal tumour growth and indicates that the therapeutic targeting of stem-cell properties within tumours may be a clinically relevant approach for the treatment of colorectal tumours.

  1. Progress and Challenges in Developing Aptamer-Functionalized Targeted Drug Delivery Systems.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Feng; Liu, Biao; Lu, Jun; Li, Fangfei; Li, Defang; Liang, Chao; Dang, Lei; Liu, Jin; He, Bing; Badshah, Shaikh Atik; Lu, Cheng; He, Xiaojuan; Guo, Baosheng; Zhang, Xiao-Bing; Tan, Weihong; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2015-01-01

    Aptamers, which can be screened via systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), are superior ligands for molecular recognition due to their high selectivity and affinity. The interest in the use of aptamers as ligands for targeted drug delivery has been increasing due to their unique advantages. Based on their different compositions and preparation methods, aptamer-functionalized targeted drug delivery systems can be divided into two main categories: aptamer-small molecule conjugated systems and aptamer-nanomaterial conjugated systems. In this review, we not only summarize recent progress in aptamer selection and the application of aptamers in these targeted drug delivery systems but also discuss the advantages, challenges and new perspectives associated with these delivery systems.

  2. Animal models and therapeutic molecular targets of cancer: utility and limitations.

    PubMed

    Cekanova, Maria; Rathore, Kusum

    2014-01-01

    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.

  3. Molecular Targets Underlying the Anticancer Effects of Quercetin: An Update.

    PubMed

    Khan, Fazlullah; Niaz, Kamal; Maqbool, Faheem; Ismail Hassan, Fatima; Abdollahi, Mohammad; Nagulapalli Venkata, Kalyan C; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad; Bishayee, Anupam

    2016-08-29

    Quercetin, a medicinally important member of the flavonoid family, is one of the most prominent dietary antioxidants. It is present in a variety of foods-including fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, as well as other dietary supplements-and is responsible for various health benefits. Numerous pharmacological effects of quercetin include protection against diseases, such as osteoporosis, certain forms of malignant tumors, and pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders. Quercetin has the special ability of scavenging highly reactive species, such as hydrogen peroxide, superoxide anion, and hydroxyl radicals. These oxygen radicals are called reactive oxygen species, which can cause oxidative damage to cellular components, such as proteins, lipids, and deoxyribonucleic acid. Various oxygen radicals play important roles in pathophysiological and degenerative processes, such as aging. Subsequently, several studies have been performed to evaluate possible advantageous health effects of quercetin and to collect scientific evidence for these beneficial health claims. These studies also gather data in order to evaluate the exact mechanism(s) of action and toxicological effects of quercetin. The purpose of this review is to present and critically analyze molecular pathways underlying the anticancer effects of quercetin. Current limitations and future directions of research on this bioactive dietary polyphenol are also critically discussed.

  4. Molecular Targets Underlying the Anticancer Effects of Quercetin: An Update.

    PubMed

    Khan, Fazlullah; Niaz, Kamal; Maqbool, Faheem; Ismail Hassan, Fatima; Abdollahi, Mohammad; Nagulapalli Venkata, Kalyan C; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad; Bishayee, Anupam

    2016-01-01

    Quercetin, a medicinally important member of the flavonoid family, is one of the most prominent dietary antioxidants. It is present in a variety of foods-including fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, as well as other dietary supplements-and is responsible for various health benefits. Numerous pharmacological effects of quercetin include protection against diseases, such as osteoporosis, certain forms of malignant tumors, and pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders. Quercetin has the special ability of scavenging highly reactive species, such as hydrogen peroxide, superoxide anion, and hydroxyl radicals. These oxygen radicals are called reactive oxygen species, which can cause oxidative damage to cellular components, such as proteins, lipids, and deoxyribonucleic acid. Various oxygen radicals play important roles in pathophysiological and degenerative processes, such as aging. Subsequently, several studies have been performed to evaluate possible advantageous health effects of quercetin and to collect scientific evidence for these beneficial health claims. These studies also gather data in order to evaluate the exact mechanism(s) of action and toxicological effects of quercetin. The purpose of this review is to present and critically analyze molecular pathways underlying the anticancer effects of quercetin. Current limitations and future directions of research on this bioactive dietary polyphenol are also critically discussed. PMID:27589790

  5. Molecular Targets Underlying the Anticancer Effects of Quercetin: An Update

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Fazlullah; Niaz, Kamal; Maqbool, Faheem; Ismail Hassan, Fatima; Abdollahi, Mohammad; Nagulapalli Venkata, Kalyan C.; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad; Bishayee, Anupam

    2016-01-01

    Quercetin, a medicinally important member of the flavonoid family, is one of the most prominent dietary antioxidants. It is present in a variety of foods—including fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, as well as other dietary supplements—and is responsible for various health benefits. Numerous pharmacological effects of quercetin include protection against diseases, such as osteoporosis, certain forms of malignant tumors, and pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders. Quercetin has the special ability of scavenging highly reactive species, such as hydrogen peroxide, superoxide anion, and hydroxyl radicals. These oxygen radicals are called reactive oxygen species, which can cause oxidative damage to cellular components, such as proteins, lipids, and deoxyribonucleic acid. Various oxygen radicals play important roles in pathophysiological and degenerative processes, such as aging. Subsequently, several studies have been performed to evaluate possible advantageous health effects of quercetin and to collect scientific evidence for these beneficial health claims. These studies also gather data in order to evaluate the exact mechanism(s) of action and toxicological effects of quercetin. The purpose of this review is to present and critically analyze molecular pathways underlying the anticancer effects of quercetin. Current limitations and future directions of research on this bioactive dietary polyphenol are also critically discussed. PMID:27589790

  6. [The quality practice of molecular-genetic testing in the era of molecular target therapy in chronic myelogenous leukemia].

    PubMed

    Miyachi, Hayato; Matsushita, Hiromichi; Masukawa, Atsuko; Asai, Satomi

    2012-10-01

    The advent of tyrosine kinase inhibitors as molecular target therapy has resulted in a marked change in the laboratory process for the diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of chronic myelogenous leukemia. This includes defining the molecular typing of BCR-ABL1 to establish the diagnosis, a quantitative and/or high quality assay for minimal residual disease to evaluate the molecular response, and mutation analysis and chromosomal examination to assess its resistance to inhibitors. These processes should be used where appropriate for each patient. In the ongoing development and clinical use of novel agents for treatment of the leukemia, the quality assurance of each process of molecular-genetic testing, such as specimen handling, measurement, and reporting, has become increasingly important in the quality care of patients.

  7. Therapeutic targeting of cancers with loss of PTEN function

    PubMed Central

    Dillon, Lloye M.; Miller, Todd W.

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. Molecular Communication Model for Targeted Drug Delivery in Multiple Disease Sites With Diversely Expressed Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Chude-Okonkwo, Uche A K; Malekian, Reza; Maharaj, B T Sunil

    2016-04-01

    Targeted drug delivery (TDD) for disease therapy using liposomes as nanocarriers has received extensive attention in the literature. The liposome's ability to incorporate capabilities such as long circulation, stimuli responsiveness, and targeting characteristics, makes it a versatile nanocarrier. Timely drug release at the targeted site requires that trigger stimuli such as pH, light, and enzymes be uniquely overexpressed at the targeted site. However, in some cases, the targeted sites may not express trigger stimuli significantly, hence, achieving effective TDD at those sites is challenging. In this paper, we present a molecular communication-based TDD model for the delivery of therapeutic drugs to multiple sites that may or may not express trigger stimuli. The nanotransmitter and nanoreceiver models for the molecular communication system are presented. Here, the nanotransmitter and nanoreceiver are injected into the targeted body system's blood network. The compartmental pharmacokinetics model is employed to model the transportation of these therapeutic nanocarriers to the targeted sites where they are meant to anchor before the delivery process commences. We also provide analytical expressions for the delivered drug concentration. The effectiveness of the proposed model is investigated for drug delivery on tissue surfaces. Results show that the effectiveness of the proposed molecular communication-based TDD depends on parameters such as the total transmitter volume capacity, the receiver radius, the diffusion characteristic of the microenvironment of the targeted sites, and the concentration of the enzymes associated with the nanotransmitter and the nanoreceiver designs.

  9. Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor as the molecular target of cadmium toxicity in human melanocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Chantarawong, Wipa; Takeda, Kazuhisa; Sangartit, Weerapon; Yoshizawa, Miki; Pradermwong, Kantimanee; Shibahara, Shigeki

    2014-11-28

    Highlights: • In human melanocytes, cadmium decreases the expression of MITF-M and tyrosinase and their mRNAs. • In human melanoma cells, cadmium decreases the expression of MITF-M protein and tyrosinase mRNA. • Expression of MITF-H is less sensitive to cadmium toxicity in melanocyte-linage cells. • Cadmium does not decrease the expression of MITF-H in retinal pigment epithelial cells. • MITF-M is the molecular target of cadmium toxicity in melanocytes. - Abstract: Dietary intake of cadmium is inevitable, causing age-related increase in cadmium accumulation in many organs, including hair, choroid and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Cadmium has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hearing loss and macular degeneration. The functions of cochlea and retina are maintained by melanocytes and RPE, respectively, and the differentiation of these pigment cells is regulated by microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). In the present study, we explored the potential toxicity of cadmium in the cochlea and retina by using cultured human melanocytes and human RPE cell lines. MITF consists of multiple isoforms, including melanocyte-specific MITF-M and widely expressed MITF-H. Levels of MITF-M protein and its mRNA in human epidermal melanocytes and HMV-II melanoma cells were decreased significantly by cadmium. In parallel with the MITF reduction, mRNA levels of tyrosinase, the key enzyme of melanin biosynthesis that is regulated by MITF-M, were also decreased. In RPE cells, however, the levels of total MITF protein, constituting mainly MITF-H, were not decreased by cadmium. We thus identify MITF-M as the molecular target of cadmium toxicity in melanocytes, thereby accounting for the increased risk of disability from melanocyte malfunction, such as hearing and vision loss among people with elevated cadmium exposure.

  10. Molecular targets of androgen signaling that characterize skeletal muscle recovery and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    MacKrell, James G.; Yaden, Benjamin C.; Bullock, Heather; Chen, Keyue; Shetler, Pamela; Bryant, Henry U.; Krishnan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    The high regenerative capacity of adult skeletal muscle relies on a self-renewing depot of adult stem cells, termed muscle satellite cells (MSCs). Androgens, known mediators of overall body composition and specifically skeletal muscle mass, have been shown to regulate MSCs. The possible overlapping function of androgen regulation of muscle growth and MSC activation has not been carefully investigated with regards to muscle regeneration.Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine coinciding androgen-mediated genetic changes in an in vitro MSC model and clinically relevant in vivo models. A gene signature was established via microarray analysis for androgen-mediated MSC engagement and highlighted several markers including follistatin (FST), IGF-1, C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). In an in vivo muscle atrophy model, androgen re-supplementation significantly increased muscle size and expression of IGF-1, FST, and HGF, while significantly decreasing expression of GR. Biphasic gene expression profiles over the 7-day re-supplementation period identifed temporal androgen regulation of molecular targets involved in satellite cell engagement into myogenesis. In a muscle injury model, removal of androgens resulted in delayed muscle recovery and regeneration. Modifications in the androgen signaling gene signature, along with reduced Pax7 and MyoD expression, suggested that limited MSC activation and increased inflammation contributed to the delayed regeneration. However, enhanced MSC activation in the androgen-deplete mouse injury model was driven by an androgen receptor (AR) agonist. These results provide novel in vitro and in vivo evidence describing molecular targets of androgen signaling, while also increasing support for translational use of AR agonists in skeletal muscle recovery and regeneration. PMID:26457071

  11. Molecular profiling of biliary tract cancer: a target rich disease

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Apurva

    2016-01-01

    Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) are relatively uncommon orphan tumors that have an aggressive disease course and a poor clinical outcome. Surgery is the only curative treatment, but most patients present with advanced disease and therefore have a limited survival. Gemcitabine and cisplatin based chemotherapy has been the only widely accepted standard systemic therapy regimen in these patients but these tumors can be chemoresistant, further complicating their management. In recent times, there has been considerable research in the genetics of BTC and with the advent of new, advanced technologies like next-generation sequencing (NGS) we are achieving a greater understanding of its disease biology. With the help of NGS, we have now been able to identify actionable mutations such as in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), FGFR2, BRAF and HER2/neu genes for targeted therapeutics and correlate the genetic variations with distinct clinical prognoses. This recent genetic information has the potential to make precision medicine a part of routine clinical practice for the management of BTC patients. PMID:27747093

  12. Topology of classical molecular optimal control landscapes for multi-target objectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joe-Wong, Carlee; Ho, Tak-San; Rabitz, Herschel; Wu, Rebing

    2015-04-01

    This paper considers laser-driven optimal control of an ensemble of non-interacting molecules whose dynamics lie in classical phase space. The molecules evolve independently under control to distinct final states. We consider a control landscape defined in terms of multi-target (MT) molecular states and analyze the landscape as a functional of the control field. The topology of the MT control landscape is assessed through its gradient and Hessian with respect to the control. Under particular assumptions, the MT control landscape is found to be free of traps that could hinder reaching the objective. The Hessian associated with an optimal control field is shown to have finite rank, indicating an inherent degree of robustness to control noise. Both the absence of traps and rank of the Hessian are shown to be analogous to the situation of specifying multiple targets for an ensemble of quantum states. Numerical simulations are presented to illustrate the classical landscape principles and further characterize the system behavior as the control field is optimized.

  13. Topology of classical molecular optimal control landscapes for multi-target objectives

    SciTech Connect

    Joe-Wong, Carlee; Ho, Tak-San; Rabitz, Herschel; Wu, Rebing

    2015-04-21

    This paper considers laser-driven optimal control of an ensemble of non-interacting molecules whose dynamics lie in classical phase space. The molecules evolve independently under control to distinct final states. We consider a control landscape defined in terms of multi-target (MT) molecular states and analyze the landscape as a functional of the control field. The topology of the MT control landscape is assessed through its gradient and Hessian with respect to the control. Under particular assumptions, the MT control landscape is found to be free of traps that could hinder reaching the objective. The Hessian associated with an optimal control field is shown to have finite rank, indicating an inherent degree of robustness to control noise. Both the absence of traps and rank of the Hessian are shown to be analogous to the situation of specifying multiple targets for an ensemble of quantum states. Numerical simulations are presented to illustrate the classical landscape principles and further characterize the system behavior as the control field is optimized.

  14. Topology of classical molecular optimal control landscapes for multi-target objectives.

    PubMed

    Joe-Wong, Carlee; Ho, Tak-San; Rabitz, Herschel; Wu, Rebing

    2015-04-21

    This paper considers laser-driven optimal control of an ensemble of non-interacting molecules whose dynamics lie in classical phase space. The molecules evolve independently under control to distinct final states. We consider a control landscape defined in terms of multi-target (MT) molecular states and analyze the landscape as a functional of the control field. The topology of the MT control landscape is assessed through its gradient and Hessian with respect to the control. Under particular assumptions, the MT control landscape is found to be free of traps that could hinder reaching the objective. The Hessian associated with an optimal control field is shown to have finite rank, indicating an inherent degree of robustness to control noise. Both the absence of traps and rank of the Hessian are shown to be analogous to the situation of specifying multiple targets for an ensemble of quantum states. Numerical simulations are presented to illustrate the classical landscape principles and further characterize the system behavior as the control field is optimized.

  15. Molecular targeting of CSN5 in human hepatocellular carcinoma: a mechanism of therapeutic response

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Y-H; Judge, AD; Seo, D; Kitade, M; Gómez-Quiroz, LE; Ishikawa, T; Andersen, JB; Kim, B-K; Marquardt, JU; Raggi, C; Avital, I; Conner, EA; MacLachlan, I; Factor, VM; Thorgeirsson, SS

    2011-01-01

    Development of targeted therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a major challenge. We have recently identified an elevated expression of the fifth subunit of COP9 signalosome (CSN5) in early HCC as compared to dysplastic stage. In the present study, we explored the possibility of CSN5 being a potential therapeutic target for HCC. Our results show that CSN5 knockdown by small interfering (si) RNA caused a strong induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cell cycle progression in HCC cells in vitro. The downregulation of CSN5 was sufficient to interfere with CSN function as evidenced by the accumulation of neddylated Cullin1 and changes in the protein levels of CSN controlled substrates SKP2, p53, p27 and NF-kB, albeit to a different degree depending on the HCC cell line, which could account for the CSN5 knockdown phenotype. The transcriptomic analysis of CSN5 knockdown signature showed that the anti-proliferative effect was driven by a common subset of molecular alterations including downregulation of CDK6 and ITGB1, which were functionally interconnected with key oncogenic regulators MYC and TGFβ1 involved in the control of proliferation, apoptotic cell death and HCC progression. Consistent with microarray analysis, western blotting revealed that CSN5 depletion increased phosphorylation of Smad 2/3, key mediators of TGFβ1 signaling, decreased the protein levels of ITGB1, CDK6, and cyclin D1 and caused reduced expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 while elevating the levels of pro-apoptotic Bak. A chemically modified variant of CSN5 siRNA was then selected for in vivo application based on the growth inhibitory effect and minimal induction of unwanted immune response. Systemic delivery of the CSN5 3/8 variant by stable-nucleic-acid-lipid-particles (SNALP) significantly suppressed the tumor growth in Huh7-luc+ orthotopic xenograft model. Taken together, these results indicate that CSN5 plays a pivotal role in HCC pathogenesis and maybe an attractive molecular

  16. DNA aptamers are functional molecular recognition sensors in protic ionic liquids.

    PubMed

    Machado, Isabel; Özalp, Veli Cengiz; Rezabal, Elixabete; Schäfer, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    The function and structural changes of an AMP molecular aptamer beacon and its molecular recognition capacity for its target, adenosine monophosphate (AMP), was systematically explored in solution with a protic ionic liquid, ethylammonium nitrate (EAN). It could be proven that up to 2 M of EAN in TBS buffer, the AMP molecular aptamer beacon was still capable of recognizing AMP while also maintaining its specificity. The specificity was proven by using the guanosine monophosphate (GMP) as target; GMP is structurally similar to AMP but was not recognized by the aptamer. We also found that in highly concentrated EAN solutions the overall amount of double stranded DNA formed, as well as its respective thermal stability, diminished gradually, but surprisingly the hybridization rate (kh ) of single stranded DNA was significantly accelerated in the presence of EAN. The latter may have important implications in DNA technology for the design of biosensing and DNA-based nanodevices in nonconventional solvents, such as ionic liquids.

  17. Targeting the latent reservoir to achieve functional HIV cure

    PubMed Central

    Cary, Daniele C.; Peterlin, B. Matija

    2016-01-01

    While highly active anti-retroviral therapy has greatly improved the lives of HIV-infected individuals, current treatments are unable to completely eradicate the virus. This is due to the presence of HIV latently infected cells which harbor transcriptionally silent HIV. Latent HIV does not replicate or produce viral proteins, thereby preventing efficient targeting by anti-retroviral drugs. Strategies to target the HIV latent reservoir include viral reactivation, enhancing host defense mechanisms, keeping latent HIV silent, and using gene therapy techniques to knock out or reactivate latent HIV. While research into each of these areas has yielded promising results, currently no one mechanism eradicates latent HIV. Instead, combinations of these approaches should be considered for a potential HIV functional cure. PMID:27303638

  18. Molecular Ordering in Functional Blends of Organic Semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, Jessica Brittany

    Organic semiconductors offer a convenient reason to study how blending materials affects molecular packing. For example, organic solar cells rely on phase separation between dissimilar compounds to produce the "bulk heterojunction" morphology requisite for efficient devices. X-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy reveal that functionalized pentacene acceptors, which are highly ordered in neat films, lose long-range correlation when blended with a donor. These same acceptors can form substitutionally disordered single crystals (molecular alloys) when blended with other functionalized pentacenes, which share a high degree of structural similarity. Single crystal diffraction, UV/vis spectroscopy and thin film x-ray scattering show that substitutional disorder does not lead to loss of long-range order, even with the presence of multiple polymorphs. Finally we show that blends of organic materials can also lead to stable molecular glasses. We show that these stable molecular glasses can be formed from solution casting rather than from the more commonly used vapor deposition.

  19. Present Advances and Future Perspectives of Molecular Targeted Therapy for Osteosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Shaikh, Atik Badshah; Li, Fangfei; Li, Min; He, Bing; He, Xiaojuan; Chen, Guofen; Guo, Baosheng; Li, Defang; Jiang, Feng; Dang, Lei; Zheng, Shaowei; Liang, Chao; Liu, Jin; Lu, Cheng; Liu, Biao; Lu, Jun; Wang, Luyao; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge

    2016-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS) is a bone cancer mostly occurring in pediatric population. Current treatment regime of surgery and intensive chemotherapy could cure about 60%–75% patients with primary osteosarcoma, however only 15% to 30% can be cured when pulmonary metastasis or relapse has taken place. Hence, novel precise OS-targeting therapies are being developed with the hope of addressing this issue. This review summarizes the current development of molecular mechanisms and targets for osteosarcoma. Therapies that target these mechanisms with updated information on clinical trials are also reviewed. Meanwhile, we further discuss novel therapeutic targets and OS-targeting drug delivery systems. In conclusion, a full insight in OS pathogenesis and OS-targeting strategies would help us explore novel targeted therapies for metastatic osteosarcoma. PMID:27058531

  20. Combining Molecular Dynamics and Density Functional Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaxiras, Efthimios

    2015-03-01

    The time evolution of a system consisting of electrons and ions is often treated in the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, with electrons in their instantaneous ground state. This approach cannot capture many interesting processes that involved excitation of electrons and its effects on the coupled electron-ion dynamics. The time scale needed to accurately resolve the evolution of electron dynamics is atto-seconds. This poses a challenge to the simulation of important chemical processes that typically take place on time scales of pico-seconds and beyond, such as reactions at surfaces and charge transport in macromolecules. We will present a methodology based on time-dependent density functional theory for electrons, and classical (Ehrenfest) dynamics for the ions, that successfully captures such processes. We will give a review of key features of the method and several applications. These illustrate how the atomic and electronic structure evolution unravels the elementary steps that constitute a chemical reaction. In collaboration with: G. Kolesov, D. Vinichenko, G. Tritsaris, C.M. Friend, Departments of Physics and of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

  1. [Molecular mechanisms of circadian clock functioning].

    PubMed

    Karbovskyĭ, L L; Minchenko, D O; Garmash, Ia A; Minchenko, O G

    2011-01-01

    Most physiological processes of all organisms are rhythmic with a period of about 24 h and are generated by an endogenous biological CLOCK present in all cells. However, there is also a central CLOCK--the primary circadian pacemaker which is localized in the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the mammalian hypothalamus. Factors of groups Period (PER1, PER2 and PER3), BMAL (BMAL1 and BMAL2), CRYptochromes (CRY1 and CRY2) as well as some other factors are the components of this circadian CLOCK system. Some of these genes contain E-box sequences and their expression is regulated by a transcription factor complex CLOCK-BMAL1. The enzymes responsible for the post-translational modification of circadian gene products are also the components of circadian CLOCK system. These enzymes define CLOCK's work and determine the duration of circadian biorhythm and functional state of the whole organism. The most important of these enzymes are casein kinase-1epsilon and -1delta. We have analysed data about the interconnection between the circadian CLOCK system, cell cycle, and cancerogenesis as well as about the sensitivity of circadian gene expression to the action of toxic agents and nanomaterials.

  2. Pan-Nematoda Transcriptomic Elucidation of Essential Intestinal Functions and Therapeutic Targets With Broad Potential.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Rosa, Bruce A; Jasmer, Douglas P; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2015-09-01

    The nematode intestine is continuous with the outside environment, making it easily accessible to anthelmintics for parasite control, but the development of new therapeutics is impeded by limited knowledge of nematode intestinal cell biology. We established the most comprehensive nematode intestinal functional database to date by generating transcriptional data from the dissected intestines of three parasitic nematodes spanning the phylum, and integrating the results with the whole proteomes of 10 nematodes (including 9 pathogens of humans or animals) and 3 host species and 2 outgroup species. We resolved 10,772 predicted nematode intestinal protein families (IntFams), and studied their presence and absence within the different lineages (births and deaths) among nematodes. Conserved intestinal cell functions representing ancestral functions of evolutionary importance were delineated, and molecular features useful for selective therapeutic targeting were identified. Molecular patterns conserved among IntFam proteins demonstrated large potential as therapeutic targets to inhibit intestinal cell functions with broad applications towards treatment and control of parasitic nematodes.

  3. Pan-Nematoda Transcriptomic Elucidation of Essential Intestinal Functions and Therapeutic Targets With Broad Potential.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Rosa, Bruce A; Jasmer, Douglas P; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2015-09-01

    The nematode intestine is continuous with the outside environment, making it easily accessible to anthelmintics for parasite control, but the development of new therapeutics is impeded by limited knowledge of nematode intestinal cell biology. We established the most comprehensive nematode intestinal functional database to date by generating transcriptional data from the dissected intestines of three parasitic nematodes spanning the phylum, and integrating the results with the whole proteomes of 10 nematodes (including 9 pathogens of humans or animals) and 3 host species and 2 outgroup species. We resolved 10,772 predicted nematode intestinal protein families (IntFams), and studied their presence and absence within the different lineages (births and deaths) among nematodes. Conserved intestinal cell functions representing ancestral functions of evolutionary importance were delineated, and molecular features useful for selective therapeutic targeting were identified. Molecular patterns conserved among IntFam proteins demonstrated large potential as therapeutic targets to inhibit intestinal cell functions with broad applications towards treatment and control of parasitic nematodes. PMID:26501106

  4. Molecular Characterization of Head and Neck Cancer: How Close to Personalized Targeted Therapy?

    PubMed Central

    Worsham, Maria J.; Ali, Haythem; Dragovic, Jadranka; Schweitzer, Vanessa P.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular targeted therapy in squamous head and neck cancer (HNSCC) continues to make strides and holds much promise. Cetuximab remains the sole FDA-approved molecular targeted therapy available for HNSCC, though there are several new biological agents targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and other pathways in the regulatory approval pipeline. While targeted therapies have the potential to be personalized, their current use in HNSCC is not personalized. This is illustrated for EGFR targeted drugs, where EGFR as a molecular target has yet to be individualized for HNSCC. Future research needs to identify factors that correlate with response (or lack of one) and the underlying genotype-phenotype relationship that dictates this response. Comprehensive exploration of genetic and epigenetic landscapes in HNSCC is opening new frontiers to further enlighten, mechanistically inform, and set a course for eventually translating these discoveries into therapies for patients. This opinion offers a snap shot of the evolution of molecular subytping in HNSCC, its current clinical applicability, as well as new emergent paradigms with implications for controlling this disease in the future. PMID:22873739

  5. Targeted therapies to improve CFTR function in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Brodlie, Malcolm; Haq, Iram J; Roberts, Katie; Elborn, J Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetically determined, life-limiting disorder in populations of European ancestry. The genetic basis of cystic fibrosis is well established to be mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene that codes for an apical membrane chloride channel principally expressed by epithelial cells. Conventional approaches to cystic fibrosis care involve a heavy daily burden of supportive treatments to combat lung infection, help clear airway secretions and maintain nutritional status. In 2012, a new era of precision medicine in cystic fibrosis therapeutics began with the licensing of a small molecule, ivacaftor, which successfully targets the underlying defect and improves CFTR function in a subgroup of patients in a genotype-specific manner. Here, we review the three main targeted approaches that have been adopted to improve CFTR function: potentiators, which recover the function of CFTR at the apical surface of epithelial cells that is disrupted in class III and IV genetic mutations; correctors, which improve intracellular processing of CFTR, increasing surface expression, in class II mutations; and production correctors or read-through agents, which promote transcription of CFTR in class I mutations. The further development of such approaches offers great promise for future therapeutic strategies in cystic fibrosis.

  6. Beyond Molecular Wires: Design Molecular Electronic Functions Based on Dipolar Effect.

    PubMed

    Lo, Wai-Yip; Zhang, Na; Cai, Zhengxu; Li, Lianwei; Yu, Luping

    2016-09-20

    As the semiconductor companies officially abandoned the pursuit of Moore's law, the limitation of silicone-based semiconductor electronic devices is approaching. Single molecular devices are considered as a potential solution to overcome the physical barriers caused by quantum interferences because the intermolecular interactions are mainly through weak van der Waals force between molecular building blocks. In this bottom-up approach, components are built from atoms up, allowing great control over the molecular properties. Moreover, single molecular devices are powerful tools to understand quantum physics, reaction mechanism, and electron and charge transfer processes in organic semiconductors and molecules. So far, a great deal of effort is focused on understanding charge transport through organic single-molecular wires. However, to control charge transport, molecular diodes, switches, transistors, and memories are crucial. Significant progress in these topics has been achieved in the past years. The introduction and advances of scanning tunneling microscope break-junction (STM-BJ) techniques have led to more detailed characterization of new molecular structures. The modern organic chemistry provides an efficient access to a variety of functional moieties in single molecular device. These moieties have the potential to be incorporated in miniature circuits or incorporated as parts in molecular machines, bioelectronics devices, and bottom-up molecular devices. In this Account, we discuss progress mainly made in our lab in designing and characterizing organic single-molecular electronic components beyond molecular wires and with varied functions. We have synthesized and demonstrated molecular diodes with p-n junction structures through various scanning probe microscopy techniques. The assembly of the molecular diodes was achieved by using Langmuir-Blodgett technique or thiol/gold self-assembly chemistry with orthogonal protecting groups. We have thoroughly

  7. Beyond Molecular Wires: Design Molecular Electronic Functions Based on Dipolar Effect.

    PubMed

    Lo, Wai-Yip; Zhang, Na; Cai, Zhengxu; Li, Lianwei; Yu, Luping

    2016-09-20

    As the semiconductor companies officially abandoned the pursuit of Moore's law, the limitation of silicone-based semiconductor electronic devices is approaching. Single molecular devices are considered as a potential solution to overcome the physical barriers caused by quantum interferences because the intermolecular interactions are mainly through weak van der Waals force between molecular building blocks. In this bottom-up approach, components are built from atoms up, allowing great control over the molecular properties. Moreover, single molecular devices are powerful tools to understand quantum physics, reaction mechanism, and electron and charge transfer processes in organic semiconductors and molecules. So far, a great deal of effort is focused on understanding charge transport through organic single-molecular wires. However, to control charge transport, molecular diodes, switches, transistors, and memories are crucial. Significant progress in these topics has been achieved in the past years. The introduction and advances of scanning tunneling microscope break-junction (STM-BJ) techniques have led to more detailed characterization of new molecular structures. The modern organic chemistry provides an efficient access to a variety of functional moieties in single molecular device. These moieties have the potential to be incorporated in miniature circuits or incorporated as parts in molecular machines, bioelectronics devices, and bottom-up molecular devices. In this Account, we discuss progress mainly made in our lab in designing and characterizing organic single-molecular electronic components beyond molecular wires and with varied functions. We have synthesized and demonstrated molecular diodes with p-n junction structures through various scanning probe microscopy techniques. The assembly of the molecular diodes was achieved by using Langmuir-Blodgett technique or thiol/gold self-assembly chemistry with orthogonal protecting groups. We have thoroughly

  8. Bitter melon juice targets molecular mechanisms underlying gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Somasagara, Ranganatha R; Deep, Gagan; Shrotriya, Sangeeta; Patel, Manisha; Agarwal, Chapla; Agarwal, Rajesh

    2015-04-01

    Pancreatic cancer (PanC) is one of the most lethal malignancies, and resistance towards gemcitabine, the front-line chemotherapy, is the main cause for dismal rate of survival in PanC patients; overcoming this resistance remains a major challenge to treat this deadly malignancy. Whereas several molecular mechanisms are known for gemcitabine resistance in PanC cells, altered metabolism and bioenergetics are not yet studied. Here, we compared metabolic and bioenergetic functions between gemcitabine-resistant (GR) and gemcitabine-sensitive (GS) PanC cells and underlying molecular mechanisms, together with efficacy of a natural agent bitter melon juice (BMJ). GR PanC cells showed distinct morphological features including spindle-shaped morphology and a decrease in E-cadherin expression. GR cells also showed higher ATP production with an increase in oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). Molecular studies showed higher expression of glucose transporters (GLUT1 and 4) suggesting an increase in glucose uptake by GR cells. Importantly, GR cells showed a significant increase in Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and their inhibition decreased cell viability, suggesting their role in survival and drug resistance of these cells. Recently, we reported strong efficacy of BMJ against a panel of GS cells in culture and nude mice, which we expanded here and found that BMJ was also effective in decreasing both Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and viability of GR PanC cells. Overall, we have identified novel mechanisms of gemcitabine resistance in PanC cells which are targeted by BMJ. Considering the short survival in PanC patients, our findings could have high translational potential in controlling this deadly malignancy. PMID:25672620

  9. Hole localization in molecular crystals from hybrid density functional theory.

    PubMed

    Sai, Na; Barbara, Paul F; Leung, Kevin

    2011-06-01

    We use first-principles computational methods to examine hole trapping in organic molecular crystals. We present a computational scheme based on the tuning of the fraction of exact exchange in hybrid density functional theory to eliminate the many-electron self-interaction error. With small organic molecules, we show that this scheme gives accurate descriptions of ionization and dimer dissociation. We demonstrate that the excess hole in perfect molecular crystals forms self-trapped molecular polarons. The predicted absolute ionization potentials of both localized and delocalized holes are consistent with experimental values.

  10. Functional genomics and its implications for molecular medicine.

    PubMed

    Broeckel, Ulrich; Maresso, Karen; Kugathasan, Subra

    2006-10-01

    Technological development in genetics and genomics provides unprecedented possibilities to identify the underlying molecular basic of many common diseases. With the availability of the human genome sequence and growing information on the most frequent DNA variations combined with the molecular analysis on the RNA expression and protein level, diseases might be characterized in the future at the molecular level. Describing gene function anf the specific role of DNA, RNA, and proteins in the disease process provides novel diagnosis tools and treatment. Ultimately how the unique genetic signature of an individual influences the risk and prognosis of disease will be the basis for individualized medicine in the years to come.

  11. Cellular and Molecular Targeting for Nanotherapeutics in Transplantation Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Hlavaty, Kelan A.; Luo, Xunrong; Shea, Lonnie D.; Miller, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    The induction of donor-specific tolerance to transplanted cells and organs, while preserving immune function as a whole, remains a highly sought after and elusive strategy for overcoming transplant rejection. Tolerance necessitates modulating a diverse array of cell types that recognize and respond to alloantigens, including antigen presenting cells and T lymphocytes. Nanotherapeutic strategies that employ cellular and biomaterial engineering represent an emerging technology geared towards the goal of inducing transplant tolerance. Nanocarriers offer a platform for delivering antigens of interest to specific cell types in order to achieve tolerogenic antigen presentation. Furthermore, the technologies also provide an opportunity for local immunomodulation at the graft site. Nanocarriers delivering a combination of antigens and immunomodulating agents, such as rapamycin, provide a unique technology platform with the potential to enhance outcomes for the induction of transplant tolerance. PMID:25805659

  12. Engineering and Assembly of Protein Modules into Functional Molecular Systems.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Stephan; Stauffer, Mirko; Harder, Daniel; Müller, Daniel J; Meier, Wolfgang; Fotiadis, Dimitrios

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology approaches range from the introduction of unique features into organisms to the assembly of isolated biomacromolecules or synthetic building blocks into artificial biological systems with biomimetic or completely novel functionalities. Simple molecular systems can be based on containers on the nanoscale that are equipped with tailored functional modules for various applications in healthcare, industry or biological and medical research. The concept, or vision, of assembling native or engineered proteins and/or synthetic components as functional modules into molecular systems is discussed. The main focus is laid on the engineering of energizing modules generating chemical energy, transport modules using this energy to translocate molecules between compartments of a molecular system, and catalytic modules (bio-)chemically processing the molecules. Further key aspects of this discourse are possible approaches for the assembly of simple nanofactories and their applications in biotechnology and medical health. PMID:27363367

  13. Proteome-wide prediction of targets for aspirin: new insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shao-Xing; Li, Wen-Xing

    2016-01-01

    Besides its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic properties, aspirin is used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. The multiple activities of aspirin likely involve several molecular targets and pathways rather than a single target. Therefore, systematic identification of these targets of aspirin can help us understand the underlying mechanisms of the activities. In this study, we identified 23 putative targets of aspirin in the human proteome by using binding pocket similarity detecting tool combination with molecular docking, free energy calculation and pathway analysis. These targets have diverse folds and are derived from different protein family. However, they have similar aspirin-binding pockets. The binding free energy with aspirin for newly identified targets is comparable to that for the primary targets. Pathway analysis revealed that the targets were enriched in several pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, Fc epsilon RI signaling and arachidonic acid metabolism, which are strongly involved in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, the predicted target profile of aspirin suggests a new explanation for the disease prevention ability of aspirin. Our findings provide a new insight of aspirin and its efficacy of disease prevention in a systematic and global view. PMID:26989626

  14. Proteome-wide prediction of targets for aspirin: new insight into the molecular mechanism of aspirin.

    PubMed

    Dai, Shao-Xing; Li, Wen-Xing; Li, Gong-Hua; Huang, Jing-Fei

    2016-01-01

    Besides its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-pyretic properties, aspirin is used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. The multiple activities of aspirin likely involve several molecular targets and pathways rather than a single target. Therefore, systematic identification of these targets of aspirin can help us understand the underlying mechanisms of the activities. In this study, we identified 23 putative targets of aspirin in the human proteome by using binding pocket similarity detecting tool combination with molecular docking, free energy calculation and pathway analysis. These targets have diverse folds and are derived from different protein family. However, they have similar aspirin-binding pockets. The binding free energy with aspirin for newly identified targets is comparable to that for the primary targets. Pathway analysis revealed that the targets were enriched in several pathways such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, Fc epsilon RI signaling and arachidonic acid metabolism, which are strongly involved in inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, the predicted target profile of aspirin suggests a new explanation for the disease prevention ability of aspirin. Our findings provide a new insight of aspirin and its efficacy of disease prevention in a systematic and global view. PMID:26989626

  15. DNAzyme molecular beacon probes for target-induced signal-amplifying colorimetric detection of nucleic acids.

    PubMed

    Fu, Rongzhan; Li, Taihua; Lee, Soo Suk; Park, Hyun Gyu

    2011-01-15

    A novel DNAzyme molecular beacon (DNAzymeMB) strategy was developed for target-induced signal-amplifying colorimetric detection of target nucleic acids. The DNAzymeMB, which exhibits peroxidase activity in its free hairpin structure, was engineered to form a catalytically inactive hybrid through hybridization with a blocker DNA. The presence of target DNA leads to dissociation of the DNAzymeMB from the inactive hybrid through hybridization with the blocker DNA. This process results in recovery of the catalytically active DNAzymeMB, which can catalyze a colorimetric reaction that signals the presence of the target DNA. In addition, a primer was rationally designed to anneal to the blocker DNA of the blocker/target DNA duplex and displace the bound target DNA during the extension reaction. The released target DNA triggers the next cycle involving hybridization with blocker DNA, DNAzymeMB dissociation, primer extension, and target displacement. This unique amplifying strategy leads to the generation of multiple numbers of active DNAzymeMB molecules from a single target molecule and gives a detection limit down to 1 pM, a value that is nearly 3 or 5 orders of magnitude lower than those of previously reported DNAzyme molecular beacon-based DNA detection methods.

  16. Molecular Target Approaches in Head and Neck Cancer: EGFR and Beyond

    PubMed Central

    Harari, Paul M.; Wheeler, Deric L.; Grandis, Jennifer R.

    2011-01-01

    Approximately 50,000 new cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) will be diagnosed in the United States (US) in 2009. Whereas the gradual decline in smoking rates in the US is a highly favorable trend, future global HNSCC incidence will likely reflect the increased marketing and penetration of tobacco products across several of our most populous countries. Although modern surgery, radiation and conventional chemotherapy strategies for HNSCC continue to provide gradual improvement in outcome, the first molecular targeting approach to demonstrate a survival advantage for HNSCC patients has recently emerged in the context of EGFR biology. The scientific background and current challenges accompanying this recent advance are described in this article as are several additional promising molecular targets for HNSCC. There is cautious anticipation that the logical advancement of molecular targeting agents in conjunction with radiation may afford increased cure rates and diminished normal tissue toxicity profiles for HNSCC patients over the years to come. PMID:19028347

  17. Molecular targets of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): specificity and interaction with membrane lipid rafts.

    PubMed

    Patra, S K; Rizzi, F; Silva, A; Rugina, D O; Bettuzzi, S

    2008-12-01

    Proteomic studies on anticancer activity of Green Tea Catechins (specifically EGCG) are suggesting a large set of protein targets that may directly interact with EGCG and alter the physiology of diseased cells, including cancer. Of notice, benign cells are usually left untouched. Lipid rafts have been recently recognized as signal processing hubs and suggested to be involved in drug uptake by means of endocytosis. These findings are suggesting new insights on the molecular mechanisms of anticancer drugs action. In the membrane, EGCG is hijacked by the laminin receptor (LamR), a lipid raft protein. Similar to aplidin and edelfosin, EGCG alters membrane domains composition also preventing EGF binding to EGFR, imerization of EGFR and relocation of phosphorylated EGFR to lipid rafts. In vitro studies have recently shown that EGCG also binds both DNA and RNA in GpC-rich regions. This event may importantly affect genes function. Moreover, EGCG was shown to inhibit telomerase, topoisomerase II and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), thus ultimately affecting chromatin maintenance and remodeling. But another important alternative pathway besides interaction with specific proteins may play an important role in EGCG action: direct targeting of bioactive membrane platforms, lipid rafts. Structural alteration of the platforms deeply impact (and often inactivates) important pathways involving MAP kinases. The key issue is that, important and specific differences in lipid rafts composition have been found in transformed versus benign cells and apoptotic versus non-apoptotic cells. We suggest here that the anticancer activity of Green Tea Catechins against different kind of cancers may find an explanation in direct targeting of lipid rafts by EGCG. PMID:19261982

  18. Erythrocyte-derived nano-probes functionalized with antibodies for targeted near infrared fluorescence imaging of cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Mac, Jenny T.; Nuñez, Vicente; Burns, Joshua M.; Guerrero, Yadir A.; Vullev, Valentine I.; Anvari, Bahman

    2016-01-01

    Constructs derived from mammalian cells are emerging as a new generation of nano-scale platforms for clinical imaging applications. Herein, we report successful engineering of hybrid nano-structures composed of erythrocyte-derived membranes doped with FDA-approved near infrared (NIR) chromophore, indocyanine green (ICG), and surface-functionalized with antibodies to achieve molecular targeting. We demonstrate that these constructs can be used for targeted imaging of cancer cells in vitro. These erythrocyte-derived optical nano-probes may provide a potential platform for clinical translation, and enable molecular imaging of cancer biomarkers. PMID:27446657

  19. Notch signaling deregulation in multiple myeloma: A rational molecular target

    PubMed Central

    Garavelli, Silvia; Platonova, Natalia; Paoli, Alessandro; Basile, Andrea; Taiana, Elisa; Neri, Antonino; Chiaramonte, Raffaella

    2015-01-01

    Despite recent therapeutic advances, multiple myeloma (MM) is still an incurable neoplasia due to intrinsic or acquired resistance to therapy. Myeloma cell localization in the bone marrow milieu allows direct interactions between tumor cells and non-tumor bone marrow cells which promote neoplastic cell growth, survival, bone disease, acquisition of drug resistance and consequent relapse. Twenty percent of MM patients are at high-risk of treatment failure as defined by tumor markers or presentation as plasma cell leukemia. Cumulative evidences indicate a key role of Notch signaling in multiple myeloma onset and progression. Unlike other Notch-related malignancies, where the majority of patients carry gain-of-function mutations in Notch pathway members, in MM cell Notch signaling is aberrantly activated due to an increased expression of Notch receptors and ligands; notably, this also results in the activation of Notch signaling in surrounding stromal cells which contributes to myeloma cell proliferation, survival and migration, as well as to bone disease and intrinsic and acquired pharmacological resistance. Here we review the last findings on the mechanisms and the effects of Notch signaling dysregulation in MM and provide a rationale for a therapeutic strategy aiming at inhibiting Notch signaling, along with a complete overview on the currently available Notch-directed approaches. PMID:26308486

  20. Molecular, Functional, and Structural Imaging of Major Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kai; Zhu, Yunqi; Zhu, Yuankai; Wu, Shuang; Liu, Hao; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Caiyun; Zhang, Hong; Hayashi, Takuya; Tian, Mei

    2016-06-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, correlating with genetic susceptibility and environmental risk factors. Molecular, functional, and structural imaging approaches have been increasingly used to detect neurobiological changes, analyze neurochemical correlates, and parse pathophysiological mechanisms underlying MDD. We reviewed recent neuroimaging publications on MDD in terms of molecular, functional, and structural alterations as detected mainly by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography. Altered structure and function of brain regions involved in the cognitive control of affective state have been demonstrated. An abnormal default mode network, as revealed by resting-state functional MRI, is likely associated with aberrant metabolic and serotonergic function revealed by radionuclide imaging. Further multi-modal investigations are essential to clarify the characteristics of the cortical network and serotonergic system associated with behavioral and genetic variations in MDD. PMID:27142698

  1. Redox Control of Microglial Function: Molecular Mechanisms and Functional Significance

    PubMed Central

    McBean, Gethin; Cindric, Marina; Egea, Javier; López, Manuela G.; Rada, Patricia; Zarkovic, Neven

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by chronic microglial over-activation and oxidative stress. It is now beginning to be recognized that reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by either microglia or the surrounding environment not only impact neurons but also modulate microglial activity. In this review, we first analyze the hallmarks of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory phenotypes of microglia and their regulation by ROS. Then, we consider the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by NADPH oxidases and nitric oxide synthases and the new findings that also indicate an essential role of glutathione (γ-glutamyl-l-cysteinylglycine) in redox homeostasis of microglia. The effect of oxidant modification of macromolecules on signaling is analyzed at the level of oxidized lipid by-products and sulfhydryl modification of microglial proteins. Redox signaling has a profound impact on two transcription factors that modulate microglial fate, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, master regulators of the pro-inflammatory and antioxidant responses of microglia, respectively. The relevance of these proteins in the modulation of microglial activity and the interplay between them will be evaluated. Finally, the relevance of ROS in altering blood brain barrier permeability is discussed. Recent examples of the importance of these findings in the onset or progression of neurodegenerative diseases are also discussed. This review should provide a profound insight into the role of redox homeostasis in microglial activity and help in the identification of new promising targets to control neuroinflammation through redox control of the brain. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 1766–1801. PMID:24597893

  2. Redox control of microglial function: molecular mechanisms and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Ana I; McBean, Gethin; Cindric, Marina; Egea, Javier; López, Manuela G; Rada, Patricia; Zarkovic, Neven; Cuadrado, Antonio

    2014-10-20

    Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by chronic microglial over-activation and oxidative stress. It is now beginning to be recognized that reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by either microglia or the surrounding environment not only impact neurons but also modulate microglial activity. In this review, we first analyze the hallmarks of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory phenotypes of microglia and their regulation by ROS. Then, we consider the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by NADPH oxidases and nitric oxide synthases and the new findings that also indicate an essential role of glutathione (γ-glutamyl-l-cysteinylglycine) in redox homeostasis of microglia. The effect of oxidant modification of macromolecules on signaling is analyzed at the level of oxidized lipid by-products and sulfhydryl modification of microglial proteins. Redox signaling has a profound impact on two transcription factors that modulate microglial fate, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, master regulators of the pro-inflammatory and antioxidant responses of microglia, respectively. The relevance of these proteins in the modulation of microglial activity and the interplay between them will be evaluated. Finally, the relevance of ROS in altering blood brain barrier permeability is discussed. Recent examples of the importance of these findings in the onset or progression of neurodegenerative diseases are also discussed. This review should provide a profound insight into the role of redox homeostasis in microglial activity and help in the identification of new promising targets to control neuroinflammation through redox control of the brain.

  3. Target-to-background enhancement in multispectral endoscopy with background autofluorescence mitigation for quantitative molecular imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Chenying; Hou, Vivian W.; Girard, Emily J.; Nelson, Leonard Y.; Seibel, Eric J.

    2014-07-01

    Fluorescence molecular imaging with exogenous probes improves specificity for the detection of diseased tissues by targeting unambiguous molecular signatures. Additionally, increased diagnostic sensitivity is expected with the application of multiple molecular probes. We developed a real-time multispectral fluorescence-reflectance scanning fiber endoscope (SFE) for wide-field molecular imaging of fluorescent dye-labeled molecular probes at nanomolar detection levels. Concurrent multichannel imaging with the wide-field SFE also allows for real-time mitigation of the background autofluorescence (AF) signal, especially when fluorescein, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dye, is used as the target fluorophore. Quantitative tissue AF was measured for the ex vivo porcine esophagus and murine brain tissues across the visible and near-infrared spectra. AF signals were then transferred to the unit of targeted fluorophore concentration to evaluate the SFE detection sensitivity for sodium fluorescein and cyanine. Next, we demonstrated a real-time AF mitigation algorithm on a tissue phantom, which featured molecular probe targeted cells of high-grade dysplasia on a substrate containing AF species. The target-to-background ratio was enhanced by more than one order of magnitude when applying the real-time AF mitigation algorithm. Furthermore, a quantitative estimate of the fluorescein photodegradation (photobleaching) rate was evaluated and shown to be insignificant under the illumination conditions of SFE. In summary, the multichannel laser-based flexible SFE has demonstrated the capability to provide sufficient detection sensitivity, image contrast, and quantitative target intensity information for detecting small precancerous lesions in vivo.

  4. Functionalized 2′-Amino-α-L-LNA - Directed Positioning of Intercalators for DNA Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, T. Santhosh; Madsen, Andreas S.; Østergaard, Michael E.; Sau, Sujay P.; Wengel, Jesper; Hrdlicka, Patrick J.

    2010-01-01

    Chemically modified oligonucleotides are increasingly applied in nucleic acid based therapeutics and diagnostics. LNA (Locked Nucleic Acid) and its diastereomer α-L-LNA are two promising examples hereof that exhibit increased thermal and enzymatic stability. Herein, the synthesis, biophysical characterization and molecular modeling of N2′-functionalized 2′-amino-α-L-LNA is described. Chemoselective N2′-functionalization of protected amino alcohol 1 followed by phosphitylation afforded a structurally varied set of target phosphoramidites, which were incorporated into oligodeoxyribonucleotides. Incorporation of pyrene-functionalized building blocks such as 2′-N-(pyren-1-yl)carbonyl-2′-amino-α-L-LNA (monomer X) led to extraordinary increases in thermal affinity of up to +19.5 °C per modification against DNA targets in particular. In contrast, incorporation of building blocks with small non-aromatic N2′-functionalities such as 2′-N-acetyl-2′-amino-α-L-LNA (monomer V) had detrimental effects on thermal affinity toward DNA/RNA complements with decreases of as much as −16.5 °C per modification. Extensive thermal DNA selectivity, favorable entropic contributions upon duplex formation, hybridization-induced bathochromic shifts of pyrene absorption maxima and increases of circular dichroism signals, and molecular modeling studies suggest that pyrene functionalized 2′-amino-α-L-LNA monomers W-Y having short linkers between the bicyclic skeleton and the pyrene moiety, allow high-affinity hybridization with DNA complements and precise positioning of intercalators in nucleic acid duplexes. This rigorous positional control has been utilized for the development probes for emerging therapeutic and diagnostic applications focusing on DNA-targeting. PMID:19108636

  5. Testicular connexin 43, a precocious molecular target for the effect of environmental toxicants on male fertility

    PubMed Central

    Gilleron, Jérôme; Carette, Diane; Segretain, Dominique

    2011-01-01

    Many recent epidemiological, clinical and experimental findings support the hypothesis that environmental toxicants are responsible for the increasing male reproductive disorders (congenital malformations, declining sperm counts and testicular cancer) over the past 20 years. It has also been reported that exposure to these toxicants, during critical periods of development (fetal and neonatal), represents a more considerable risk for animals and humans than exposure during adulthood. However, the molecular targets for these chemicals have not been clearly identified. Recent studies showed that a family of transmembranous proteins, named connexins, regulates numerous physiological processes involved in testicular development and function, such as Sertoli and germ cell proliferation, differentiation, germ cell migration and apoptosis. In the testis, knockout strategy revealed that connexin 43, the predominant connexin in this organ, is essential for spermatogenesis. In addition, there is evidence that many environmental toxicants could alter testicular connexin 43 by dysregulation of numerous mechanisms controlling its function. In the present work, we propose first to give an overview of connexin expression and intercellular gap junction coupling in the developing fetal and neonatal testes. Second, we underline the impact of maternally chemical exposure on connexin 43 expression in the perinatal developing testis. Lastly, we attempt to link this precocious effect to male offspring fertility. PMID:22332114

  6. Computational design of intrinsic molecular rectifiers based on asymmetric functionalization of N-phenylbenzamide

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; Koenigsmann, Christopher; Batra, Arunabh; Venkataraman, Latha; Negre, Christian F. A.; Brudvig, Gary W.; Crabtree, Robert H.; Schmuttenmaer, Charles A.; Batista, Victor S.

    2015-12-08

    Here, we report a systematic computational search of molecular frameworks for intrinsic rectification of electron transport. The screening of molecular rectifiers includes 52 molecules and conformers spanning over 9 series of structural motifs. N-Phenylbenzamide is found to be a promising framework with both suitable conductance and rectification properties. A targeted screening performed on 30 additional derivatives and conformers of N-phenylbenzamide yielded enhanced rectification based on asymmetric functionalization. We demonstrate that electron-donating substituent groups that maintain an asymmetric distribution of charge in the dominant transport channel (e.g., HOMO) enhance rectification by raising the channel closer to the Fermi level. These findings are particularly valuable for the design of molecular assemblies that could ensure directionality of electron transport in a wide range of applications, from molecular electronics to catalytic reactions.

  7. Computational design of intrinsic molecular rectifiers based on asymmetric functionalization of N-phenylbenzamide

    DOE PAGES

    Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; Koenigsmann, Christopher; Batra, Arunabh; Venkataraman, Latha; Negre, Christian F. A.; Brudvig, Gary W.; Crabtree, Robert H.; Schmuttenmaer, Charles A.; Batista, Victor S.

    2015-11-03

    Here, we report a systematic computational search of molecular frameworks for intrinsic rectification of electron transport. The screening of molecular rectifiers includes 52 molecules and conformers spanning over 9 series of structural motifs. N-Phenylbenzamide is found to be a promising framework with both suitable conductance and rectification properties. A targeted screening performed on 30 additional derivatives and conformers of N-phenylbenzamide yielded enhanced rectification based on asymmetric functionalization. We demonstrate that electron-donating substituent groups that maintain an asymmetric distribution of charge in the dominant transport channel (e.g., HOMO) enhance rectification by raising the channel closer to the Fermi level. These findingsmore » are particularly valuable for the design of molecular assemblies that could ensure directionality of electron transport in a wide range of applications, from molecular electronics to catalytic reactions.« less

  8. Computational design of intrinsic molecular rectifiers based on asymmetric functionalization of N-phenylbenzamide

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; Koenigsmann, Christopher; Batra, Arunabh; Venkataraman, Latha; Negre, Christian F. A.; Brudvig, Gary W.; Crabtree, Robert H.; Schmuttenmaer, Charles A.; Batista, Victor S.

    2015-11-03

    Here, we report a systematic computational search of molecular frameworks for intrinsic rectification of electron transport. The screening of molecular rectifiers includes 52 molecules and conformers spanning over 9 series of structural motifs. N-Phenylbenzamide is found to be a promising framework with both suitable conductance and rectification properties. A targeted screening performed on 30 additional derivatives and conformers of N-phenylbenzamide yielded enhanced rectification based on asymmetric functionalization. We demonstrate that electron-donating substituent groups that maintain an asymmetric distribution of charge in the dominant transport channel (e.g., HOMO) enhance rectification by raising the channel closer to the Fermi level. These findings are particularly valuable for the design of molecular assemblies that could ensure directionality of electron transport in a wide range of applications, from molecular electronics to catalytic reactions.

  9. Computational Design of Intrinsic Molecular Rectifiers Based on Asymmetric Functionalization of N-Phenylbenzamide.

    PubMed

    Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; Koenigsmann, Christopher; Batra, Arunabh; Venkataraman, Latha; Negre, Christian F A; Brudvig, Gary W; Crabtree, Robert H; Schmuttenmaer, Charles A; Batista, Victor S

    2015-12-01

    We report a systematic computational search of molecular frameworks for intrinsic rectification of electron transport. The screening of molecular rectifiers includes 52 molecules and conformers spanning over 9 series of structural motifs. N-Phenylbenzamide is found to be a promising framework with both suitable conductance and rectification properties. A targeted screening performed on 30 additional derivatives and conformers of N-phenylbenzamide yielded enhanced rectification based on asymmetric functionalization. We demonstrate that electron-donating substituent groups that maintain an asymmetric distribution of charge in the dominant transport channel (e.g., HOMO) enhance rectification by raising the channel closer to the Fermi level. These findings are particularly valuable for the design of molecular assemblies that could ensure directionality of electron transport in a wide range of applications, from molecular electronics to catalytic reactions.

  10. Quencher-free molecular beacon tethering 7-hydroxycoumarin detects targets through protonation/deprotonation.

    PubMed

    Kashida, Hiromu; Yamaguchi, Kyohei; Hara, Yuichi; Asanuma, Hiroyuki

    2012-07-15

    In this study, we synthesized a simple but efficient quencher-free molecular beacon tethering 7-hydroxycoumarin on D-threoninol based on its pK(a) change. The pK(a) of 7-hydroxycoumarin in a single strand was determined as 8.8, whereas that intercalated in the duplex was over 10. This large pK(a) shift (more than 1.2) upon hybridization could be attributed to the anionic and hydrophobic microenvironment inside the DNA duplex. Because 7-hydroxycoumarin quenches its fluorescence upon protonation, the emission intensity of the duplex at pH 8.5 was 1/15 that of the single strand. We applied this quenching mechanism to the preparation of a quencher-free molecular beacon by introducing the dye into the middle of the stem part. In the absence of the target, the stem region formed a duplex and fluorescence was quenched. However, when the target was added, the molecular beacon opened and the dye was deprotonated. As a result, the emission intensity of the molecular beacon with the target was 10 times higher than that without the target. Accordingly, a quencher-free molecular beacon utilizing the pK(a) change was successfully developed.

  11. Molecular targeted therapies in advanced gastric cancer: does tumor histology matter?

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Hilda

    2013-01-01

    It is increasingly recognized that gastric cancer is a heterogeneous disease which may be divided into subgroups based on histological, anatomical, epidemiological and molecular classifications. Distinct molecular drivers and tumor biology, and thus different treatment targets and predictive biomarkers, may be implicated in each subtype. However, there is little evidence in the literature regarding the correlation among these different classifications, and particularly the molecular aberrations present in each subtype. In this review, we approach advanced gastric cancer (AGC) by presenting aberrant molecular pathways and their potential therapeutic targets in gastric cancer according to histological and anatomical classification, dividing gastric cancer into proximal nondiffuse, distal nondiffuse and diffuse disease. Several pathways are involved predominantly, although not exclusively, in different subtypes. This may help to explain the disappointing results of many published AGC trials in which study populations were heterogeneous regardless of clinicopathological characteristics of the primary tumor. Histological and anatomical classification may provide insights into tumor biology and facilitate selection of an enriched patient population for targeted agents in future studies and in the clinic. However, some molecular pathways implicated in gastric cancer have not been studied in correlation with histological or anatomical subtypes. Further studies are necessary to confirm the suggestion that such classification may predict tumor biology and facilitate selection of an enriched patient population for targeted agents in future studies and in the clinic. PMID:23320047

  12. Clinical applications of perfluorocarbon nanoparticles for molecular imaging and targeted therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Trung D; Caruthers, Shelton D; Hughes, Michael; Marsh, John N; Cyrus, Tillmann; Winter, Patrick M; Neubauer, Anne M; Wickline, Samuel A; Lanza, Gregory M

    2007-01-01

    Molecular imaging is a novel tool that has allowed non-invasive diagnostic imaging to transition from gross anatomical description to identification of specific tissue epitopes and observation of biological processes at the cellular level. This technique has been confined to the field of nuclear imaging; however, recent advances in nanotechnology have extended this research to include ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The exploitation of nanotechnology for MR and US molecular imaging has generated several candidate contrast agents. One multimodality platform, targeted perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanoparticles, is useful for noninvasive detection with US and MR, targeted drug delivery, and quantification. PMID:18203420

  13. Molecular targets for the treatment of pancreatic cancer: Clinical and experimental studies

    PubMed Central

    Matsuoka, Tasuku; Yashiro, Masakazu

    2016-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Although recent therapeutic developments for patients with pancreatic cancer have provided survival benefits, the outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer remain unsatisfactory. Molecularly targeted cancer therapy has advanced in the past decade with the use of a number of pathways as candidates of therapeutic targets. This review summarizes the molecular features of this refractory disease while focusing on the recent clinical and experimental findings on pancreatic cancer. It also discusses the data supporting current standard clinical outcomes, and offers conclusions that may improve the management of pancreatic cancer in the future. PMID:26811624

  14. Molecularly Targeted Agents as Radiosensitizers in Cancer Therapy—Focus on Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Alcorn, Sara; Walker, Amanda J.; Gandhi, Nishant; Narang, Amol; Wild, Aaron T.; Hales, Russell K.; Herman, Joseph M.; Song, Danny Y.; DeWeese, Theodore L.; Antonarakis, Emmanuel S.; Tran, Phuoc T.

    2013-01-01

    As our understanding of the molecular pathways driving tumorigenesis improves and more druggable targets are identified, we have witnessed a concomitant increase in the development and production of novel molecularly targeted agents. Radiotherapy is commonly used in the treatment of various malignancies with a prominent role in the care of prostate cancer patients, and efforts to improve the therapeutic ratio of radiation by technologic and pharmacologic means have led to important advances in cancer care. One promising approach is to combine molecularly targeted systemic agents with radiotherapy to improve tumor response rates and likelihood of durable control. This review first explores the limitations of preclinical studies as well as barriers to successful implementation of clinical trials with radiosensitizers. Special considerations related to and recommendations for the design of preclinical studies and clinical trials involving molecularly targeted agents combined with radiotherapy are provided. We then apply these concepts by reviewing a representative set of targeted therapies that show promise as radiosensitizers in the treatment of prostate cancer. PMID:23863691

  15. Capillary electrophoresis and fluorescence studies on molecular beacon-based variable length oligonucleotide target discrimination.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Akhilesh; Zhang, Minquan; Goad, David; Olah, Glenn; Malayer, Jerry R; El-Rassi, Ziad

    2003-01-01

    Molecular beacons (MBs) are oligonucleotide probes having a compact hairpin structure, with a fluorophore attached to one end and a quencher molecule attached to the other end. In its native state, the fluorophore is quenched by virtue of its proximity to the quencher molecule. Upon hybridization with its complementary oligonucleotide target, fluorescence is elicited due to a conformational change that results in separation of the fluorophore and quencher molecule. The present study describes the hybridization interaction of an MB to various complementary target sequences. The effects of temperature and length of complementary target sequences on hybridization were investigated using capillary electrophoresis and solution-based fluorescence techniques. Hybridization efficiency was dependent on the ability of the target sequences to destabilize the stem region by binding directly to the stem region. Optimal hybridization occurred between 40 and 50 degrees C for all targets tested, with the true target forming a more stable hybrid complex.

  16. Functional and mechanistic analysis of telomerase: An antitumor drug target.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yinnan; Zhang, Yanmin

    2016-07-01

    The current research on anticancer drugs focuses on exploiting particular traits or hallmarks unique to cancer cells. Telomerase, a special reverse transcriptase, has been recognized as a common factor in most tumor cells, and in turn a distinctive characteristic with respect to non-malignant cells. This feature has made telomerase a preferred target for anticancer drug development and cancer therapy. This review aims to analyze the pharmacological function and mechanism and role of telomerase in oncogenesis; to provide fundamental knowledge for research on the structure, function, and working mechanism of telomerase; to expound the role that telomerase plays in the initiation and development of tumor and its relationship with tumor cell growth, proliferation, apoptosis, and related pathway molecules; and to display potential targets of antitumor drug for inhibiting the expression, reconstitution, and trafficking of the enzyme. We therefore summarize recent advances in potential telomerase inhibitors for antitumor including natural products, synthetic small molecules, peptides and proteins, which indicate that optimizing the delivery method and drug combination could be of help in a combinatorial drug treatment for tumor. More extensive understanding of the structure, biogenesis, and mechanism of telomerase will provide invaluable information for increasing the efficiency of rational antitumor drug design. PMID:27118336

  17. A Method of Targeted Cell Isolation via Glass Surface Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Ali; Patel, Reema; Schultheis, Kinsey; Naumovski, Vesna; Imoukhuede, P I

    2016-01-01

    One of the limiting factors to the adoption and advancement of personalized medicine is the inability to develop diagnostic tools to probe individual nuances in expression from patient to patient. Current methodologies that try to separate cells to fill this niche result in disruption of physiological expression, making the separation technique useless as a diagnostic tool. In this protocol, we describe the functionalization and optimization of a surface for the cellular capture and release. This functionalized surface integrates biotinylated antibodies with a glass surface functionalized with an aminosilane (APTES), desthiobiotin and streptavidin. Cell release is facilitated through the introduction of biotin, allowing the recollection and purification of cells captured by the surface. This release is done through the targeting of the secondary moiety desthiobiotin, which results in a much more gentle release paradigm. This reduction in harsh reagents and shear forces reduces changes in cellular expression. The functionalized surface captures up to 80% of cells in a single cell mixture and has demonstrated 50% capture in a dual-cell mixture. Applications of this technology to xenografts and cancer separation studies are investigated. Quantification techniques for surface verification such as plate reader and ImageJ analyses are described as well. PMID:27684992

  18. Astrocytes as new targets to improve cognitive functions.

    PubMed

    Dallérac, Glenn; Rouach, Nathalie

    2016-09-01

    Astrocytes are now viewed as key elements of brain wiring as well as neuronal communication. Indeed, they not only bridge the gap between metabolic supplies by blood vessels and neurons, but also allow fine control of neurotransmission by providing appropriate signaling molecules and insulation through a tight enwrapping of synapses. Recognition that astroglia is essential to neuronal communication is nevertheless fairly recent and the large body of evidence dissecting such role has focused on the synaptic level by identifying neuro- and gliotransmitters uptaken and released at synaptic or extrasynaptic sites. Yet, more integrated research deciphering the impact of astroglial functions on neuronal network activity have led to the reasonable assumption that the role of astrocytes in supervising synaptic activity translates in influencing neuronal processing and cognitive functions. Several investigations using recent genetic tools now support this notion by showing that inactivating or boosting astroglial function directly affects cognitive abilities. Accordingly, brain diseases resulting in impaired cognitive functions have seen their physiopathological mechanisms revisited in light of this primary protagonist of brain processing. We here provide a review of the current knowledge on the role of astrocytes in cognition and in several brain diseases including neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric illnesses, as well as other conditions such as epilepsy. Potential astroglial therapeutic targets are also discussed. PMID:26969413

  19. ER–endosome contact sites: molecular compositions and functions

    PubMed Central

    Raiborg, Camilla; Wenzel, Eva M; Stenmark, Harald

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed the existence of numerous contact sites between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and endosomes in mammalian cells. Such contacts increase during endosome maturation and play key roles in cholesterol transfer, endosome positioning, receptor dephosphorylation, and endosome fission. At least 7 distinct contact sites between the ER and endosomes have been identified to date, which have diverse molecular compositions. Common to these contact sites is that they impose a close apposition between the ER and endosome membranes, which excludes membrane fusion while allowing the flow of molecular signals between the two membranes, in the form of enzymatic modifications, or ion, lipid, or protein transfer. Thus, ER–endosome contact sites ensure coordination of molecular activities between the two compartments while keeping their general compositions intact. Here, we review the molecular architectures and cellular functions of known ER–endosome contact sites and discuss their implications for human health. PMID:26041457

  20. Origin of molecular conformational stability: perspectives from molecular orbital interactions and density functional reactivity theory.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shubin; Schauer, Cynthia K

    2015-02-01

    To have a quantitative understanding about the origin of conformation stability for molecular systems is still an unaccomplished task. Frontier orbital interactions from molecular orbital theory and energy partition schemes from density functional reactivity theory are the two approaches available in the literature that can be used for this purpose. In this work, we compare the performance of these approaches for a total of 48 simple molecules. We also conduct studies to flexibly bend bond angles for water, carbon dioxide, borane, and ammonia molecules to obtain energy profiles for these systems over a wide range of conformations. We find that results from molecular orbital interactions using frontier occupied orbitals such as the highest occupied molecular orbital and its neighbors are only qualitatively, at most semi-qualitatively, trustworthy. To obtain quantitative insights into relative stability of different conformations, the energy partition approach from density functional reactivity theory is much more reliable. We also find that the electrostatic interaction is the dominant descriptor for conformational stability, and steric and quantum effects are smaller in contribution but their contributions are indispensable. Stable molecular conformations prefer to have a strong electrostatic interaction, small molecular size, and large exchange-correlation effect. This work should shed new light towards establishing a general theoretical framework for molecular stability.

  1. Origin of molecular conformational stability: Perspectives from molecular orbital interactions and density functional reactivity theory

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Shubin E-mail: schauer@unc.edu; Schauer, Cynthia K. E-mail: schauer@unc.edu

    2015-02-07

    To have a quantitative understanding about the origin of conformation stability for molecular systems is still an unaccomplished task. Frontier orbital interactions from molecular orbital theory and energy partition schemes from density functional reactivity theory are the two approaches available in the literature that can be used for this purpose. In this work, we compare the performance of these approaches for a total of 48 simple molecules. We also conduct studies to flexibly bend bond angles for water, carbon dioxide, borane, and ammonia molecules to obtain energy profiles for these systems over a wide range of conformations. We find that results from molecular orbital interactions using frontier occupied orbitals such as the highest occupied molecular orbital and its neighbors are only qualitatively, at most semi-qualitatively, trustworthy. To obtain quantitative insights into relative stability of different conformations, the energy partition approach from density functional reactivity theory is much more reliable. We also find that the electrostatic interaction is the dominant descriptor for conformational stability, and steric and quantum effects are smaller in contribution but their contributions are indispensable. Stable molecular conformations prefer to have a strong electrostatic interaction, small molecular size, and large exchange-correlation effect. This work should shed new light towards establishing a general theoretical framework for molecular stability.

  2. Molecular targets in heart failure gene therapy: current controversies and translational perspectives.

    PubMed

    Kairouz, Victor; Lipskaia, Larissa; Hajjar, Roger J; Chemaly, Elie R

    2012-04-01

    Use of gene therapy for heart failure is gaining momentum as a result of the recent successful completion of phase II of the Calcium Upregulation by Percutaneous Administration of Gene Therapy in Cardiac Disease (CUPID) trial, which showed clinical safety and efficacy of an adeno-associated viral vector expressing sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA2a). Resorting to gene therapy allows the manipulation of molecular targets not presently amenable to pharmacologic modulation. This short review focuses on the molecular targets of heart failure gene therapy that have demonstrated translational potential. At present, most of these targets are related to calcium handling in the cardiomyocyte. They include SERCA2a, phospholamban, S100A1, ryanodine receptor, and the inhibitor of the protein phosphatase 1. Other targets related to cAMP signaling are reviewed, such as adenylyl cyclase. MicroRNAs are emerging as novel therapeutic targets and convenient vectors for gene therapy, particularly in heart disease. We propose a discussion of recent advances and controversies in key molecular targets of heart failure gene therapy.

  3. Effects of amine molecular structure on carbon nanotubes functionalization.

    PubMed

    Jimeno, A; Goyanes, S; Eceiza, A; Kortaberria, G; Mondragon, I; Corcuera, M A

    2009-10-01

    Three amines with different molecular structure, triethylenetetramine (TETA) and two polyetheramines (Jeffamine D-230 and Jeffamine T-403) were employed to functionalize multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) previously oxidized by acid treatment. The functionalized MWCNT were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy, UV-vis spectroscopy and the surface modification was investigated by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was employed to quantify the amount of amine groups anchored to MWCNTs. The results have shown that the efficiency of amine functionalization is in the order TETA > D-230 > T-403, thus showing that amine chemical structure and molecular weight are important parameters on functionalization of carbon nanotubes. PMID:19908518

  4. Estrogen Receptor-Targeted Contrast Agents for Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Breast Cancer Hormonal Status.

    PubMed

    Pais, Adi; Degani, Hadassa

    2016-01-01

    The estrogen receptor (ER) α is overexpressed in most breast cancers, and its level serves as a major prognostic factor. It is important to develop quantitative molecular imaging methods that specifically detect ER in vivo and assess its function throughout the entire primary breast cancer and in metastatic breast cancer lesions. This study presents the biochemical and molecular features, as well as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) effects of two novel ER-targeted contrast agents (CAs), based on pyridine-tetra-acetate-Gd(III) chelate conjugated to 17β-estradiol (EPTA-Gd) or to tamoxifen (TPTA-Gd). The experiments were conducted in solution, in human breast cancer cells, and in severe combined immunodeficient mice implanted with transfected ER-positive and ER-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer xenografts. Binding studies with ER in solution and in human breast cancer cells indicated affinities in the micromolar range of both CAs. Biochemical and molecular studies in breast cancer cell cultures showed that both CAs exhibit estrogen-like agonistic activity, enhancing cell proliferation, as well as upregulating cMyc oncogene and downregulating ER expression levels. The MRI longitudinal relaxivity was significantly augmented by EPTA-Gd in ER-positive cells as compared to ER-negative cells. Dynamic contrast-enhanced studies with EPTA-Gd in vivo indicated specific augmentation of the MRI water signal in the ER-positive versus ER-negative xenografts, confirming EPTA-Gd-specific interaction with ER. In contrast, TPTA-Gd did not show increased enhancement in ER-positive tumors and did not appear to interact in vivo with the tumors' ER. However, TPTA-Gd was found to interact strongly with muscle tissue, enhancing muscle signal intensity in a mechanism independent of the presence of ER. The specificity of EPTA-Gd interaction with ER in vivo was further verified by acute and chronic competition with tamoxifen. The chronic tamoxifen treatment also revealed that this

  5. Estrogen Receptor-Targeted Contrast Agents for Molecular Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Breast Cancer Hormonal Status

    PubMed Central

    Pais, Adi; Degani, Hadassa

    2016-01-01

    The estrogen receptor (ER) α is overexpressed in most breast cancers, and its level serves as a major prognostic factor. It is important to develop quantitative molecular imaging methods that specifically detect ER in vivo and assess its function throughout the entire primary breast cancer and in metastatic breast cancer lesions. This study presents the biochemical and molecular features, as well as the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) effects of two novel ER-targeted contrast agents (CAs), based on pyridine-tetra-acetate-Gd(III) chelate conjugated to 17β-estradiol (EPTA-Gd) or to tamoxifen (TPTA-Gd). The experiments were conducted in solution, in human breast cancer cells, and in severe combined immunodeficient mice implanted with transfected ER-positive and ER-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer xenografts. Binding studies with ER in solution and in human breast cancer cells indicated affinities in the micromolar range of both CAs. Biochemical and molecular studies in breast cancer cell cultures showed that both CAs exhibit estrogen-like agonistic activity, enhancing cell proliferation, as well as upregulating cMyc oncogene and downregulating ER expression levels. The MRI longitudinal relaxivity was significantly augmented by EPTA-Gd in ER-positive cells as compared to ER-negative cells. Dynamic contrast-enhanced studies with EPTA-Gd in vivo indicated specific augmentation of the MRI water signal in the ER-positive versus ER-negative xenografts, confirming EPTA-Gd-specific interaction with ER. In contrast, TPTA-Gd did not show increased enhancement in ER-positive tumors and did not appear to interact in vivo with the tumors’ ER. However, TPTA-Gd was found to interact strongly with muscle tissue, enhancing muscle signal intensity in a mechanism independent of the presence of ER. The specificity of EPTA-Gd interaction with ER in vivo was further verified by acute and chronic competition with tamoxifen. The chronic tamoxifen treatment also revealed that this

  6. Genome-wide analysis of Musashi-2 targets reveals novel functions in governing epithelial cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Christopher G.; Riemondy, Kent; Chapnick, Douglas A.; Bunker, Eric; Liu, Xuedong; Kuersten, Scott; Yi, Rui

    2016-01-01

    The Musashi-2 (Msi2) RNA-binding protein maintains stem cell self-renewal and promotes oncogenesis by enhancing cell proliferation in hematopoietic and gastrointestinal tissues. However, it is unclear how Msi2 recognizes and regulates mRNA targets in vivo and whether Msi2 primarily controls cell growth in all cell types. Here we identified Msi2 targets with HITS-CLIP and revealed that Msi2 primarily recognizes mRNA 3′UTRs at sites enriched in multiple copies of UAG motifs in epithelial progenitor cells. RNA-seq and ribosome profiling demonstrated that Msi2 promotes targeted mRNA decay without affecting translation efficiency. Unexpectedly, the most prominent Msi2 targets identified are key regulators that govern cell motility with a high enrichment in focal adhesion and extracellular matrix-receptor interaction, in addition to regulators of cell growth and survival. Loss of Msi2 stimulates epithelial cell migration, increases the number of focal adhesions and also compromises cell growth. These findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of Msi2's recognition and repression of targets and uncover a key function of Msi2 in restricting epithelial cell migration. PMID:27034466

  7. Genome-wide analysis of Musashi-2 targets reveals novel functions in governing epithelial cell migration.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Christopher G; Riemondy, Kent; Chapnick, Douglas A; Bunker, Eric; Liu, Xuedong; Kuersten, Scott; Yi, Rui

    2016-05-01

    The Musashi-2 (Msi2) RNA-binding protein maintains stem cell self-renewal and promotes oncogenesis by enhancing cell proliferation in hematopoietic and gastrointestinal tissues. However, it is unclear how Msi2 recognizes and regulates mRNA targets in vivo and whether Msi2 primarily controls cell growth in all cell types. Here we identified Msi2 targets with HITS-CLIP and revealed that Msi2 primarily recognizes mRNA 3'UTRs at sites enriched in multiple copies of UAG motifs in epithelial progenitor cells. RNA-seq and ribosome profiling demonstrated that Msi2 promotes targeted mRNA decay without affecting translation efficiency. Unexpectedly, the most prominent Msi2 targets identified are key regulators that govern cell motility with a high enrichment in focal adhesion and extracellular matrix-receptor interaction, in addition to regulators of cell growth and survival. Loss of Msi2 stimulates epithelial cell migration, increases the number of focal adhesions and also compromises cell growth. These findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of Msi2's recognition and repression of targets and uncover a key function of Msi2 in restricting epithelial cell migration. PMID:27034466

  8. Improving structure-based function prediction using molecular dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Glazer, Dariya S.; Radmer, Randall J.; Altman, Russ B.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The number of molecules with solved three-dimensional structure but unknown function is increasing rapidly. Particularly problematic are novel folds with little detectable similarity to molecules of known function. Experimental assays can determine the functions of such molecules, but are time-consuming and expensive. Computational approaches can identify potential functional sites; however, these approaches generally rely on single static structures and do not use information about dynamics. In fact, structural dynamics can enhance function prediction: we coupled molecular dynamics simulations with structure-based function prediction algorithms that identify Ca2+ binding sites. When applied to 11 challenging proteins, both methods showed substantial improvement in performance, revealing 22 more sites in one case and 12 more in the other, with a modest increase in apparent false positives. Thus, we show that treating molecules as dynamic entities improves the performance of structure-based function prediction methods. PMID:19604472

  9. The predictability of molecular evolution during functional innovation.

    PubMed

    Blank, Diana; Wolf, Luise; Ackermann, Martin; Silander, Olin K

    2014-02-25

    Determining the molecular changes that give rise to functional innovations is a major unresolved problem in biology. The paucity of examples has served as a significant hindrance in furthering our understanding of this process. Here we used experimental evolution with the bacterium Escherichia coli to quantify the molecular changes underlying functional innovation in 68 independent instances ranging over 22 different metabolic functions. Using whole-genome sequencing, we show that the relative contribution of regulatory and structural mutations depends on the cellular context of the metabolic function. In addition, we find that regulatory mutations affect genes that act in pathways relevant to the novel function, whereas structural mutations affect genes that act in unrelated pathways. Finally, we use population genetic modeling to show that the relative contributions of regulatory and structural mutations during functional innovation may be affected by population size. These results provide a predictive framework for the molecular basis of evolutionary innovation, which is essential for anticipating future evolutionary trajectories in the face of rapid environmental change.

  10. Investigating the correlations among the chemical structures, bioactivity profiles and molecular targets of small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Tiejun; Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H.

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: Most of the previous data mining studies based on the NCI-60 dataset, due to its intrinsic cell-based nature, can hardly provide insights into the molecular targets for screened compounds. On the other hand, the abundant information of the compound–target associations in PubChem can offer extensive experimental evidence of molecular targets for tested compounds. Therefore, by taking advantages of the data from both public repositories, one may investigate the correlations between the bioactivity profiles of small molecules from the NCI-60 dataset (cellular level) and their patterns of interactions with relevant protein targets from PubChem (molecular level) simultaneously. Results: We investigated a set of 37 small molecules by providing links among their bioactivity profiles, protein targets and chemical structures. Hierarchical clustering of compounds was carried out based on their bioactivity profiles. We found that compounds were clustered into groups with similar mode of actions, which strongly correlated with chemical structures. Furthermore, we observed that compounds similar in bioactivity profiles also shared similar patterns of interactions with relevant protein targets, especially when chemical structures were related. The current work presents a new strategy for combining and data mining the NCI-60 dataset and PubChem. This analysis shows that bioactivity profile comparison can provide insights into the mode of actions at the molecular level, thus will facilitate the knowledge-based discovery of novel compounds with desired pharmacological properties. Availability: The bioactivity profiling data and the target annotation information are publicly available in the PubChem BioAssay database (ftp://ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubchem/Bioassay/). Contact: ywang@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; bryant@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:20947527

  11. A combined molecular docking-based and pharmacophore-based target prediction strategy with a probabilistic fusion method for target ranking.

    PubMed

    Li, Guo-Bo; Yang, Ling-Ling; Xu, Yong; Wang, Wen-Jing; Li, Lin-Li; Yang, Sheng-Yong

    2013-07-01

    Herein, a combined molecular docking-based and pharmacophore-based target prediction strategy is presented, in which a probabilistic fusion method is suggested for target ranking. Establishment and validation of the combined strategy are described. A target database, termed TargetDB, was firstly constructed, which contains 1105 drug targets. Based on TargetDB, the molecular docking-based target prediction and pharmacophore-based target prediction protocols were established. A probabilistic fusion method was then developed by constructing probability assignment curves (PACs) against a set of selected targets. Finally the workflow for the combined molecular docking-based and pharmacophore-based target prediction strategy was established. Evaluations of the performance of the combined strategy were carried out against a set of structurally different single-target compounds and a well-known multi-target drug, 4H-tamoxifen, which results showed that the combined strategy consistently outperformed the sole use of docking-based and pharmacophore-based methods. Overall, this investigation provides a possible way for improving the accuracy of in silico target prediction and a method for target ranking.

  12. Molecular imaging of a cancer-targeting theragnostics probe using a nucleolin aptamer- and microRNA-221 molecular beacon-conjugated nanoparticle.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Kyeoung; Choi, Kyung-Ju; Lee, Minhyung; Jo, Mi-hee; Kim, Soonhag

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNA, miR) have been reported as cancer biomarkers that regulate tumor suppressor genes. Hence, simultaneous detecting and inhibiting of miRNA function will be useful as a cancer theragnostics probe to minimize side effects and invasiveness. In this study, we developed a cancer-targeting therangostics probe in a single system using an AS1411 aptamer - and miRNA-221 molecular beacon (miR-221 MB)-conjugated magnetic fluorescence (MF) nanoparticle (MFAS miR-221 MB) to simultaneously target to cancer tissue, image intracellularly expressed miRNA-221 and treat miRNA-221-involved carcinogenesis. AS1411 aptamer-conjugated MF (MFAS) nanoparticles displayed a great selectivity and delivery into various cancer cell lines. The miR-221 MB detached from the MFAS miR-221 MB in the cytoplasm of C6 cells clearly imaged miRNA-221 biogenesis and simultaneously resulted in antitumor therapeutic effects by inhibiting miRNA function, indicating a successful astrocytoma-targeting theragnostics. MFAS miRNA MB can be easily applied to other cancers by simply changing a targeted miRNA highly expressed in cancers.

  13. Size-Controlled Synthesis of Porphyrinic Metal-Organic Framework and Functionalization for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy.

    PubMed

    Park, Jihye; Jiang, Qin; Feng, Dawei; Mao, Lanqun; Zhou, Hong-Cai

    2016-03-16

    The understanding of nanomaterials for targeted cancer therapy is of great importance as physical parameters of nanomaterials have been shown to be strong determinants that can promote cellular responses. However, there have been rare platforms that can vastly tune the core of nanoparticles at a molecular level despite various nanomaterials employed in such studies. Here we show targeted photodynamic therapy (PDT) with Zr(IV)-based porphyrinic metal-organic framework (MOF) nanoparticles. Through a bottom-up approach, the size of MOF nanoparticles was precisely tuned in a broad range with a designed functional motif, built upon selection of building blocks of the MOF. In particular, molecular properties of the porphyrinic linker are maintained in the MOF nanoparticles regardless of their sizes. Therefore, size-dependent cellular uptake and ensuing PDT allowed for screening of the optimal size of MOF nanoparticles for PDT while MOF nanoparticle formulation of the photosensitizer showed better PDT efficacy than that of its small molecule. Additionally, Zr6 clusters in the MOF enabled an active targeting modality through postsynthetic modification, giving even more enhanced PDT efficacy. Together with our finding of size controllability covering a broad range in the nano regime, we envision that MOFs can be a promising nanoplatform by adopting advanced small molecule systems into the tunable framework with room for postsynthetic modification. PMID:26894555

  14. Functional differentiation of cytotoxic cancer drugs and targeted cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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.

  15. Targeting HIV transcription: the quest for a functional cure.

    PubMed

    Mousseau, Guillaume; Mediouni, Sonia; Valente, Susana T

    2015-01-01

    Antiretroviral therapy (ART) potently suppresses HIV-1 replication, but the virus persists in quiescent infected CD4(+)T cells as a latent integrated provirus, and patients must indefinitely remain on therapy. If ART is terminated, these integrated proviruses can reactivate, driving new rounds of infection. A functional cure for HIV requires eliminating low-level ongoing viral replication that persists in certain tissue sanctuaries and preventing viral reactivation. The HIV Tat protein plays an essential role in HIV transcription by recruiting the kinase activity of the P-TEFb complex to the viral mRNA's stem-bulge-loop structure, TAR, activating transcriptional elongation. Because the Tat-mediated transactivation cascade is critical for robust HIV replication, the Tat/TAR/P-TEFb complex is one of the most attractive targets for drug development. Importantly, compounds that interfere with transcription could impair viral reactivation, low-level ongoing replication, and replenishment of the latent reservoir, thereby reducing the size of the latent reservoir pool. Here, we discuss the potential importance of transcriptional inhibitors in the treatment of latent HIV-1 disease and review recent findings on targeting Tat, TAR, and P-TEFb individually or as part of a complex. Finally, we discuss the impact of extracellular Tat in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and cancers. PMID:25731772

  16. Molecular Basis of Acute Cystitis Reveals Susceptibility Genes and Immunotherapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Cafaro, Caterina; Nadeem, Aftab; Butler, Daniel S. C.; Rydström, Gustav; Filenko, Nina A.; Wullt, Björn; Miethke, Thomas; Svanborg, Catharina

    2016-01-01

    Tissue damage is usually regarded as a necessary price to pay for successful elimination of pathogens by the innate immune defense. Yet, it is possible to distinguish protective from destructive effects of innate immune activation and selectively attenuate molecular nodes that create pathology. Here, we identify acute cystitis as an Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β)-driven, hyper-inflammatory condition of the infected urinary bladder and IL-1 receptor blockade as a novel therapeutic strategy. Disease severity was controlled by the mechanism of IL-1β processing and mice with intact inflammasome function developed a moderate, self-limiting form of cystitis. The most severe form of acute cystitis was detected in mice lacking the inflammasome constituents ASC or NLRP-3. IL-1β processing was hyperactive in these mice, due to a new, non-canonical mechanism involving the matrix metalloproteinase 7- (MMP-7). ASC and NLRP-3 served as transcriptional repressors of MMP7 and as a result, Mmp7 was markedly overexpressed in the bladder epithelium of Asc-/- and Nlrp3-/- mice. The resulting IL-1β hyper-activation loop included a large number of IL-1β-dependent pro-inflammatory genes and the IL-1 receptor antagonist Anakinra inhibited their expression and rescued susceptible Asc-/- mice from bladder pathology. An MMP inhibitor had a similar therapeutic effect. Finally, elevated levels of IL-1β and MMP-7 were detected in patients with acute cystitis, suggesting a potential role as biomarkers and immunotherapeutic targets. The results reproduce important aspects of human acute cystitis in the murine model and provide a comprehensive molecular framework for the pathogenesis and immunotherapy of acute cystitis, one of the most common infections in man. Trial Registration The clinical studies were approved by the Human Ethics Committee at Lund University (approval numbers LU106-02, LU236-99 and Clinical Trial Registration RTP-A2003, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, www

  17. [Frontier researches for the development of molecular-targeted therapies for familial Parkinson disease].

    PubMed

    Imai, Yuzuru; Takahashi, Ryosuke

    2009-08-01

    Parkinson disease (PD), is a movement disorder pathologically characterized by the progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Although the inherited forms of PD account for only 5 to 10% of PD cases, the identification of gene mutations in the genes implicated in familial PD in the past 10 years, including the findings regarding the a-synuclein, Parkin, ubiquitin-C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1), PINK1, DJ-1 and the ATP13A2 genes, has advanced understanding of the molecular mechanisms in each case of genetic PD. Most familial forms of PD develop at an early onset. However, recent identification of the leucine-rich repeat kinase (LRRK) 2 gene for a late-onset PD, the clinicopathological feature of which closely resembles that of sporadic PD, is expected to enable the clarification of the underlying causes of general PD. Recent studies on the physiological and pathological functions of these identified gene products have revealed overlapping pathogenetic pathways. The common features of these aberrant pathways are impaired protein degradation/quality control, mitochondrial dysfunction, and altered vesicle transport. Several attempts have been made towards developing molecular-targeted therapies directed against mitochondria (e.g., antioxidants, permeability transition pore modulators, and mitochondrial biogenesis stimulators), protein quality control and vesicle transport (e.g., gene silencing, immunization of asynuclein, and protofibril-destabilizing reagents). To ensure the successful implementation of such strategies, it is important to understand the events occuring at an early stage of PD. Further, studies using mammalian PD models for pharmacological analysis combined with studies employing lower organisms for genetic analyses such as worm, fly, and yeast will be helpful to determine effective prevention and treatment strategies for PD, which will replace the conventional symptomatic treatments for PD. PMID:19697879

  18. Novel strategy for biofilm inhibition by using small molecules targeting molecular chaperone DnaK.

    PubMed

    Arita-Morioka, Ken-ichi; Yamanaka, Kunitoshi; Mizunoe, Yoshimitsu; Ogura, Teru; Sugimoto, Shinya

    2015-01-01

    Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms that attach to surfaces and are embedded in a self-produced extracellular matrix. Since these cells acquire increased tolerance against antimicrobial agents and host immune systems, biofilm-associated infectious diseases tend to become chronic. We show here that the molecular chaperone DnaK is important for biofilm formation and that chemical inhibition of DnaK cellular functions is effective in preventing biofilm development. Genetic, microbial, and microscopic analyses revealed that deletion of the dnaK gene markedly reduced the production of the extracellular functional amyloid curli, which contributes to the robustness of Escherichia coli biofilms. We tested the ability of DnaK inhibitors myricetin (Myr), telmisartan, pancuronium bromide, and zafirlukast to prevent biofilm formation of E. coli. Only Myr, a flavonol widely distributed in plants, inhibited biofilm formation in a concentration-dependent manner (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 46.2 μM); however, it did not affect growth. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that Myr inhibited the production of curli. Phenotypic analyses of thermosensitivity, cell division, intracellular level of RNA polymerase sigma factor RpoH, and vulnerability to vancomycin revealed that Myr altered the phenotype of E. coli wild-type cells to make them resemble those of the isogenic dnaK deletion mutant, indicating that Myr inhibits cellular functions of DnaK. These findings provide insights into the significance of DnaK in curli-dependent biofilm formation and indicate that DnaK is an ideal target for antibiofilm drugs. PMID:25403660

  19. Functions of astrocytes and their potential as therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Kimelberg, Harold K.; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2010-01-01

    Astrocytes are often referred to, and historically have been regarded as, support cells of the mammalian CNS. Work over the last decade suggests otherwise, that astrocytes may in fact play a more active role in higher neural processing than previously recognized. Because astrocytes can potentially serve as novel therapeutic targets, it is critical to understand how astrocytes execute their diverse supportive tasks while maintaining neuronal health. To that end, this review will focus on the supportive roles of astrocytes, a line of study relevant to essentially all acute and chronic neurological diseases. Furthermore, this review will critically re-evaluate our concepts of the functional properties of astrocytes and relate these tasks to their intricate morphology. PMID:20880499

  20. Functional RNA delivery targeted to dendritic cells by synthetic nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Kenneth C; Bassi, Isabelle; Démoulins, Thomas; Thomann-Harwood, Lisa J; Ruggli, Nicolas

    2012-09-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential to many aspects of immune defense development and regulation. They provide important targets for prophylactic and therapeutic delivery. While protein delivery has had considerable success, RNA delivery is still expanding. Delivering RNA molecules for RNAi has shown particular success and there are reports on successful delivery of mRNA. Central, therein, is the application of cationic entities. Following endocytosis of the delivery vehicle for the RNA, cationic entities should promote vesicular membrane perturbation, facilitating cytosolic release. The present review explains the diversity of DC function in immune response development and control. Promotion of delivered RNA cytosolic release is discussed, relating to immunoprophylactic and therapeutic potential, and DC endocytic machinery is reviewed, showing how DC endocytic pathways influence the handling of internalized material. The potential advantages for application of replicating RNA are presented and discussed, in consideration of their value and development in the near future.

  1. TNNI3K, a novel cardiac-specific kinase, emerging as a molecular target for the treatment of cardiac disease

    PubMed Central

    Lal, Hind; Ahmad, Firdos; Parikh, Shan; Force, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Coronary heart disease (AHD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. In patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), timely and effective myocardial reperfusion by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the primary treatment of choice to minimize the ischemic injury and limit MI size. However, reperfusion can itself promote cardiomyocyte death which leads to cardiac dysfunction via reperfusion injury. The molecular mechanisms of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury are not completely understood and new drug targets are needed. Recently we reported that cardiac troponin I-interacting protein kinase (TNNI3K), a cardiomyocyte-specific kinase, promotes I/R injury via profound oxidative stress, thereby promoting cardiomyocyte death. By using novel genetic animal models and newly developed small-molecule TNNI3K inhibitors, we demonstrate that TNNI3K-mediated I/R injury occurs through impaired mitochondrial function and is in part dependent on p38 MAPK. Herein we discuss the emerging role of TNNI3K as a promising new drug target to limit the I/R-induced myocardial injury. We will also examine the underlying mechanisms that drive the profoundly reduced infarct size in mice in which TNNI3K is specifically deleted in cardiomyocytes. Since TNNI3K is a cardiac-specific kinase, it could be an ideal molecular target since inhibiting it would have little or no effect on other organ systems, a serious problem associated with the use of kinase inhibitors targeting kinases that are more widely expressed. PMID:24899531

  2. Lead sulfide near-infrared quantum dot bioconjugates for targeted molecular imaging.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiantang; Zhu, Ming-Qiang; Fu, Kun; Lewinski, Nastassja; Drezek, Rebekah A

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we report the use of lead sulfide quantum dot (PbS QD) bioconjugates as near infrared (NIR) contrast agents for targeted molecular imaging with expanded emission wavelengths beyond 1000 nm. The red-shifted emission band, coupled with the small particle size, which will facilitate clearance, both afford PbS QDs unique properties for noninvasive, high resolution in vivo NIR imaging applications. We have performed imaging experiments at the molecular level using surface-modified PbS NIR QDs, together with our lab-built NIR imaging system. This novel instrumentation and fluorescent contrast agent have enabled us to study the relatively unexplored NIR biomedical imaging spectral region of 900-1200 nm. Preliminary experimental results indicate that PbS-QD/antibody bioconjugates are promising candidates for targeted NIR molecular imaging and future in vivo NIR tissue imaging applications.

  3. Regulating the Rate of Molecular Self-Assembly for Targeting Cancer Cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jie; Du, Xuewen; Xu, Bing

    2016-05-01

    Besides tight and specific ligand-receptor interactions, the rate regulation of the formation of molecular assemblies is one of fundamental features of cells. But the latter receives little exploration for developing anticancer therapeutics. Here we show that a simple molecular design of the substrates of phosphatases-tailoring the number of phosphates on peptidic substrates-is able to regulate the rate of molecular self-assembly of the enzyme reaction product. Such a rate regulation allows selective inhibition of osteosarcoma cells over hepatocytes, which promises to target cancer cells in a specific organ. Moreover, our result reveals that the direct measurement of the rate of the self-assembly in a cell-based assay provides precise assessment of the cell targeting capability of self-assembly. This work, as the first report establishing rate regulation of a multiple-step process to inhibit cells selectively, illustrates a fundamentally new approach for controlling the fate of cells.

  4. Cellular function of neuropathy target esterase in lysophosphatidylcholine action

    SciTech Connect

    Vose, Sarah C.; Fujioka, Kazutoshi; Gulevich, Alex G.; Lin, Amy Y.; Holland, Nina T.; Casida, John E.

    2008-11-01

    Neuropathy target esterase (NTE) plays critical roles in embryonic development and maintenance of peripheral axons. It is a secondary target of some organophosphorus toxicants including analogs of insecticides and chemical warfare agents. Although the mechanistic role of NTE in vivo is poorly defined, it is known to hydrolyze lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) in vitro and may protect cell membranes from cytotoxic accumulation of LPC. To determine the cellular function of NTE, Neuro-2a and COS-7 cells were transfected with a full-length human NTE-containing plasmid yielding recombinant NTE (rNTE). We find the same inhibitor sensitivity and specificity profiles for rNTE assayed with LPC or phenyl valerate (a standard NTE substrate) and that this correlation extends to the LPC hydrolases of human brain, lymphocytes and erythrocytes. All of these LPC hydrolases are therefore very similar to each other in respect to a conserved inhibitor binding site conformation. NTE is expressed in brain and lymphocytes and contributes to LPC hydrolase activities in these tissues. The enzyme or enzymes responsible for erythrocyte LPC hydrolase activity remain to be identified. We also show that rNTE protects Neuro-2a and COS-7 cells from exogenous LPC cytotoxicity. Expression of rNTE in Neuro-2a cells alters their phospholipid balance (analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with single ion monitoring) by lowering LPC-16:0 and LPC-18:0 and elevating glycerophosphocholine without a change in phosphatidylcholine-16:0/18:1 or 16:0/18:2. NTE therefore serves an important function in LPC homeostasis and action.

  5. atpE gene as a new useful specific molecular target to quantify Mycobacterium in environmental samples

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The environment is the likely source of many pathogenic mycobacterial species but detection of mycobacteria by bacteriological tools is generally difficult and time-consuming. Consequently, several molecular targets based on the sequences of housekeeping genes, non-functional RNA and structural ribosomal RNAs have been proposed for the detection and identification of mycobacteria in clinical or environmental samples. While certain of these targets were proposed as specific for this genus, most are prone to false positive results in complex environmental samples that include related, but distinct, bacterial genera. Nowadays the increased number of sequenced genomes and the availability of software for genomic comparison provide tools to develop novel, mycobacteria-specific targets, and the associated molecular probes and primers. Consequently, we conducted an in silico search for proteins exclusive to Mycobacterium spp. genomes in order to design sensitive and specific molecular targets. Results Among the 3989 predicted proteins from M. tuberculosis H37Rv, only 11 proteins showed 80% to 100% of similarity with Mycobacterium spp. genomes, and less than 50% of similarity with genomes of closely related Corynebacterium, Nocardia and Rhodococcus genera. Based on DNA sequence alignments, we designed primer pairs and a probe that specifically detect the atpE gene of mycobacteria, as verified by quantitative real-time PCR on a collection of mycobacteria and non-mycobacterial species. The real-time PCR method we developed was successfully used to detect mycobacteria in tap water and lake samples. Conclusions The results indicate that this real-time PCR method targeting the atpE gene can serve for highly specific detection and precise quantification of Mycobacterium spp. in environmental samples. PMID:24299240

  6. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M

    2016-01-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents. PMID:27147293

  7. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-05-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  8. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-05-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared – non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  9. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared – non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents. PMID:27147293

  10. Mechanistic and quantitative insight into cell surface targeted molecular imaging agent design.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Bhatnagar, Sumit; Deschenes, Emily; Thurber, Greg M

    2016-05-05

    Molecular imaging agent design involves simultaneously optimizing multiple probe properties. While several desired characteristics are straightforward, including high affinity and low non-specific background signal, in practice there are quantitative trade-offs between these properties. These include plasma clearance, where fast clearance lowers background signal but can reduce target uptake, and binding, where high affinity compounds sometimes suffer from lower stability or increased non-specific interactions. Further complicating probe development, many of the optimal parameters vary depending on both target tissue and imaging agent properties, making empirical approaches or previous experience difficult to translate. Here, we focus on low molecular weight compounds targeting extracellular receptors, which have some of the highest contrast values for imaging agents. We use a mechanistic approach to provide a quantitative framework for weighing trade-offs between molecules. Our results show that specific target uptake is well-described by quantitative simulations for a variety of targeting agents, whereas non-specific background signal is more difficult to predict. Two in vitro experimental methods for estimating background signal in vivo are compared - non-specific cellular uptake and plasma protein binding. Together, these data provide a quantitative method to guide probe design and focus animal work for more cost-effective and time-efficient development of molecular imaging agents.

  11. Identification of molecular targets associated with ethanol toxicity and implications in drug development.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lin-Lin; Yang, An-Kui; He, Shu-Ming; Liang, Jun; Zhou, Zhi-Wei; Li, Yong; Zhou, Shu-Feng

    2010-01-01

    Alcohol dependence is a major disease burden of adults in modern society worldwide. There is no cure for alcohol dependence. In this study, we have examined the molecular targets of ethanol-induced toxicity in humans based on a systematic review of literature data and then discussed current and potential therapeutic targets for alcohol abuse and dependence. Using human samples with ethanol exposure, microarray analyses of gene expression have shown that numerous genes are up- and/or down-regulated by alcohol exposure. The ethanol-responsive genes mainly encode functional proteins such as proteins involved in nucleic acid binding, transcription factors, selected regulatory molecules, and receptors. These genes are also correlated with important biological pathways, such as angiogenesis, integrin signalling pathway, inflammation, wnt signaling pathway, platelet-derived growth factor signaling pathway, p53 pathway, epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathway and apoptosis signaling pathway. Currently, only three medications were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence, including the aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor disulfiram, the micro-opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor inhibitor acamprosate (oral and injectable extended-release formulations). In addition, a number of agents are being investigated as novel treatments for alcohol abuse and dependence. These include selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitors (e.g. fluoxetine), 5-HT(1) receptor agonists (e.g. buspirone), 5-HT(2) receptor antagonists (e.g. ritanserin), 5-HT(3) receptor antagonists (e.g. ondansetron), dopamine receptor antagonists (e.g. aripiprazole and quetiapine), dopamine receptor agonists (e.g. bromocriptine), GABA(B) receptor agonists (e.g. baclofen), and cannabinoid-1 (CB(1)) receptor antagonists. Some of these agents have shown promising efficacy in initial clinical studies

  12. Factorized molecular wave functions: Analysis of the nuclear factor

    SciTech Connect

    Lefebvre, R.

    2015-06-07

    The exact factorization of molecular wave functions leads to nuclear factors which should be nodeless functions. We reconsider the case of vibrational perturbations in a diatomic species, a situation usually treated by combining Born-Oppenheimer products. It was shown [R. Lefebvre, J. Chem. Phys. 142, 074106 (2015)] that it is possible to derive, from the solutions of coupled equations, the form of the factorized function. By increasing artificially the interstate coupling in the usual approach, the adiabatic regime can be reached, whereby the wave function can be reduced to a single product. The nuclear factor of this product is determined by the lowest of the two potentials obtained by diagonalization of the potential matrix. By comparison with the nuclear wave function of the factorized scheme, it is shown that by a simple rectification, an agreement is obtained between the modified nodeless function and that of the adiabatic scheme.

  13. Fast molecular beacon hybridization in organic solvents with improved target specificity.

    PubMed

    Dave, Neeshma; Liu, Juewen

    2010-12-01

    DNA hybridization is of tremendous importance in biology, bionanotechnology, and biophysics. Molecular beacons are engineered DNA hairpins with a fluorophore and a quencher labeled on each of the two ends. A target DNA can open the hairpin to give an increased fluorescence signal. To date, the majority of molecular beacon detections have been performed only in aqueous buffers. We describe herein DNA detection in nine different organic solvents, methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetonitrile, formamide, dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol, and glycerol, varying each up to 75% (v/v). In comparison with detection in water, the detection in organic solvents showed several important features. First, the molecular beacon hybridizes to its target DNA in the presence of all nine solvents up to a certain percentage. Second, the rate of this hybridization was significantly faster in most organic solvents compared with water. For example, in 56% ethanol, the beacon showed a 70-fold rate enhancement. Third, the ability of the molecular beacon to discriminate single-base mismatch is still maintained. Lastly, the DNA melting temperature in the organic solvents showed a solvent concentration-dependent decrease. This study suggests that molecular beacons can be used for applications where organic solvents must be involved or organic solvents can be intentionally added to improve the molecular beacon performance.

  14. Optical spectroscopy of molecular junctions: Nonequilibrium Green's functions perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Yi; Galperin, Michael

    2016-05-01

    We consider optical spectroscopy of molecular junctions from the quantum transport perspective when radiation field is quantized and optical response of the system is simulated as photon flux. Using exact expressions for photon and electronic fluxes derived within the nonequilibrium Green function (NEGF) methodology and utilizing fourth order diagrammatic perturbation theory (PT) in molecular coupling to radiation field, we perform simulations employing realistic parameters. Results of the simulations are compared to the bare PT which is usually employed in studies on nonlinear optical spectroscopy to classify optical processes. We show that the bare PT violates conservation laws, while flux conserving NEGF formulation mixes optical processes.

  15. Optical spectroscopy of molecular junctions: Nonequilibrium Green's functions perspective.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yi; Galperin, Michael

    2016-05-01

    We consider optical spectroscopy of molecular junctions from the quantum transport perspective when radiation field is quantized and optical response of the system is simulated as photon flux. Using exact expressions for photon and electronic fluxes derived within the nonequilibrium Green function (NEGF) methodology and utilizing fourth order diagrammatic perturbation theory (PT) in molecular coupling to radiation field, we perform simulations employing realistic parameters. Results of the simulations are compared to the bare PT which is usually employed in studies on nonlinear optical spectroscopy to classify optical processes. We show that the bare PT violates conservation laws, while flux conserving NEGF formulation mixes optical processes. PMID:27155631

  16. Advanced Glycation End Products: A Molecular Target for Vascular Complications in Diabetes.

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Sho-Ichi; Nakamura, Nobutaka; Suematsu, Mika; Kaseda, Kuniyoshi; Matsui, Takanori

    2015-10-27

    A nonenzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and amino groups of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids contributes to the aging of macromolecules and subsequently alters their structural integrity and function. This process has been known to progress at an accelerated rate under hyperglycemic and/or oxidative stress conditions. Over a course of days to weeks, early glycation products undergo further reactions such as rearrangements and dehydration to become irreversibly cross-linked, fluorescent and senescent macroprotein derivatives termed advanced glycation end products (AGEs). There is a growing body of evidence indicating that interaction of AGEs with their receptor (RAGE) elicits oxidative stress generation and as a result evokes proliferative, inflammatory, thrombotic and fibrotic reactions in a variety of cells. This evidence supports AGEs' involvement in diabetes- and aging-associated disorders such as diabetic vascular complications, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis. Therefore, inhibition of AGE formation could be a novel molecular target for organ protection in diabetes. This report summarizes the pathophysiological role of AGEs in vascular complications in diabetes and discusses the potential clinical utility of measurement of serum levels of AGEs for evaluating organ damage in diabetes.

  17. The kinetic mechanism of Human Thymidine Phosphorylase - a molecular target for cancer drug development.

    PubMed

    Deves, Candida; Rostirolla, Diana Carolina; Martinelli, Leonardo Kras Borges; Bizarro, Cristiano Valim; Santos, Diogenes Santiago; Basso, Luiz Augusto

    2014-03-01

    Human Thymidine Phosphorylase (HTP), also known as the platelet-derived endothelial cell growth factor (PD-ECGF) or gliostatin, catalyzes the reversible phosphorolysis of thymidine (dThd) to thymine and 2-deoxy-α-d-ribose-1-phosphate (2dR1P). HTP is a key enzyme in the pyrimidine salvage pathway involved in dThd homeostasis in cells. HTP is a target for anticancer drug development as its enzymatic activity promotes angiogenesis. Here, we describe cloning, expression, and purification to homogeneity of recombinant TYMP-encoded HTP. Peptide fingerprinting and the molecular mass value of the homogenous protein confirmed its identity as HTP assessed by mass spectrometry. Size exclusion chromatography showed that HTP is a dimer in solution. Kinetic studies revealed that HTP displayed substrate inhibition for dThd. Initial velocity and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) studies suggest that HTP catalysis follows a rapid-equilibrium random bi-bi kinetic mechanism. ITC measurements also showed that dThd and Pi binding are favorable processes. The pH-rate profiles indicated that maximal enzyme activity was achieved at low pH values. Functional groups with apparent pK values of 5.2 and 9.0 are involved in dThd binding and groups with pK values of 6.1 and 7.8 are involved in phosphate binding. PMID:24407036

  18. Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor as the molecular target of cadmium toxicity in human melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Chantarawong, Wipa; Takeda, Kazuhisa; Sangartit, Weerapon; Yoshizawa, Miki; Pradermwong, Kantimanee; Shibahara, Shigeki

    2014-11-28

    Dietary intake of cadmium is inevitable, causing age-related increase in cadmium accumulation in many organs, including hair, choroid and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Cadmium has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hearing loss and macular degeneration. The functions of cochlea and retina are maintained by melanocytes and RPE, respectively, and the differentiation of these pigment cells is regulated by microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). In the present study, we explored the potential toxicity of cadmium in the cochlea and retina by using cultured human melanocytes and human RPE cell lines. MITF consists of multiple isoforms, including melanocyte-specific MITF-M and widely expressed MITF-H. Levels of MITF-M protein and its mRNA in human epidermal melanocytes and HMV-II melanoma cells were decreased significantly by cadmium. In parallel with the MITF reduction, mRNA levels of tyrosinase, the key enzyme of melanin biosynthesis that is regulated by MITF-M, were also decreased. In RPE cells, however, the levels of total MITF protein, constituting mainly MITF-H, were not decreased by cadmium. We thus identify MITF-M as the molecular target of cadmium toxicity in melanocytes, thereby accounting for the increased risk of disability from melanocyte malfunction, such as hearing and vision loss among people with elevated cadmium exposure. PMID:25449283

  19. Pharmacoinformatic and molecular docking studies reveal potential novel antidepressants against neurodegenerative disorders by targeting HSPB8

    PubMed Central

    Sehgal, Sheikh Arslan; Mannan, Shazia; Ali, Sannia

    2016-01-01

    Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral neuromuscular disorder characterized by length-dependent and progressive degeneration of peripheral nerves, leading to muscular weakness. Research has shown that mutated HSPB8 may be responsible for depression, neurodegenerative disorders, and improper functioning of peripheral nerves, resulting in neuromuscular disorders like CMT. In the current work, a hybrid approach of virtual screening and molecular docking studies was followed by homology modeling and pharmacophore identification. Detailed screening analyses were carried out by 2-D similarity search against prescribed antidepressant drugs with physicochemical properties. LigandScout was employed to ascertain novel molecules and pharmacophore properties. In this study, we report three novel compounds that showed maximum binding affinity with HSPB8. Docking analysis elucidated that Met37, Ser57, Ser58, Trp60, Thr63, Thr114, Lys115, Asp116, Gly117, Val152, Val154, Leu186, Asp189, Ser190, Gln191, and Glu192 are critical residues for ligand–receptor interactions. Our analyses suggested paroxetine as a potent compound for targeting HSPB8. Selected compounds have more effective energy scores than the selected drug analogs. Additionally, site-directed mutagenesis could be significant for further analysis of the binding pocket. The novel findings based on an in silico approach may be momentous for potent drug design against depression and CMT. PMID:27226709

  20. Advanced Glycation End Products: A Molecular Target for Vascular Complications in Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Yamagishi, Sho-ichi; Nakamura, Nobutaka; Suematsu, Mika; Kaseda, Kuniyoshi; Matsui, Takanori

    2015-01-01

    A nonenzymatic reaction between reducing sugars and amino groups of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids contributes to the aging of macromolecules and subsequently alters their structural integrity and function. This process has been known to progress at an accelerated rate under hyperglycemic and/or oxidative stress conditions. Over a course of days to weeks, early glycation products undergo further reactions such as rearrangements and dehydration to become irreversibly cross-linked, fluorescent and senescent macroprotein derivatives termed advanced glycation end products (AGEs). There is a growing body of evidence indicating that interaction of AGEs with their receptor (RAGE) elicits oxidative stress generation and as a result evokes proliferative, inflammatory, thrombotic and fibrotic reactions in a variety of cells. This evidence supports AGEs’ involvement in diabetes- and aging-associated disorders such as diabetic vascular complications, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. Therefore, inhibition of AGE formation could be a novel molecular target for organ protection in diabetes. This report summarizes the pathophysiological role of AGEs in vascular complications in diabetes and discusses the potential clinical utility of measurement of serum levels of AGEs for evaluating organ damage in diabetes. PMID:26605646

  1. Pharmacoinformatic and molecular docking studies reveal potential novel antidepressants against neurodegenerative disorders by targeting HSPB8.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Sheikh Arslan; Mannan, Shazia; Ali, Sannia

    2016-01-01

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral neuromuscular disorder characterized by length-dependent and progressive degeneration of peripheral nerves, leading to muscular weakness. Research has shown that mutated HSPB8 may be responsible for depression, neurodegenerative disorders, and improper functioning of peripheral nerves, resulting in neuromuscular disorders like CMT. In the current work, a hybrid approach of virtual screening and molecular docking studies was followed by homology modeling and pharmacophore identification. Detailed screening analyses were carried out by 2-D similarity search against prescribed antidepressant drugs with physicochemical properties. LigandScout was employed to ascertain novel molecules and pharmacophore properties. In this study, we report three novel compounds that showed maximum binding affinity with HSPB8. Docking analysis elucidated that Met37, Ser57, Ser58, Trp60, Thr63, Thr114, Lys115, Asp116, Gly117, Val152, Val154, Leu186, Asp189, Ser190, Gln191, and Glu192 are critical residues for ligand-receptor interactions. Our analyses suggested paroxetine as a potent compound for targeting HSPB8. Selected compounds have more effective energy scores than the selected drug analogs. Additionally, site-directed mutagenesis could be significant for further analysis of the binding pocket. The novel findings based on an in silico approach may be momentous for potent drug design against depression and CMT. PMID:27226709

  2. Control of CREB expression in tumors: from molecular mechanisms and signal transduction pathways to therapeutic target

    PubMed Central

    Steven, André; Seliger, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The cyclic AMP response element binding (CREB) protein has pleiotropic activities in physiologic processes. Due to its central position downstream of many growth signaling pathways CREB has the ability to influence cell survival, growth and differentiation of normal, but also of tumor cells suggesting an oncogenic potential of CREB. Indeed, increased CREB expression and activation is associated with tumor progression, chemotherapy resistance and reduced patients' survival. We summarize here the different cellular functions of CREB in tumors of distinct histology as well as its use as potential prognostic marker. In addition, the underlying molecular mechanisms to achieve constitutive activation of CREB including structural alterations, such as gene amplification and chromosomal translocation, and deregulation, which could occur at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational level, will be described. Since downregulation of CREB by different strategies resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation, invasion and induction of apoptosis, the role of CREB as a promising target for cancer therapy will be also discussed. PMID:26934558

  3. Protein complexes and functional modules in molecular networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spirin, Victor; Mirny, Leonid A.

    2003-10-01

    Proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules form a dense network of molecular interactions in a cell. Molecules are nodes of this network, and the interactions between them are edges. The architecture of molecular networks can reveal important principles of cellular organization and function, similarly to the way that protein structure tells us about the function and organization of a protein. Computational analysis of molecular networks has been primarily concerned with node degree [Wagner, A. & Fell, D. A. (2001) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 268, 1803-1810; Jeong, H., Tombor, B., Albert, R., Oltvai, Z. N. & Barabasi, A. L. (2000) Nature 407, 651-654] or degree correlation [Maslov, S. & Sneppen, K. (2002) Science 296, 910-913], and hence focused on single/two-body properties of these networks. Here, by analyzing the multibody structure of the network of protein-protein interactions, we discovered molecular modules that are densely connected within themselves but sparsely connected with the rest of the network. Comparison with experimental data and functional annotation of genes showed two types of modules: (i) protein complexes (splicing machinery, transcription factors, etc.) and (ii) dynamic functional units (signaling cascades, cell-cycle regulation, etc.). Discovered modules are highly statistically significant, as is evident from comparison with random graphs, and are robust to noise in the data. Our results provide strong support for the network modularity principle introduced by Hartwell et al. [Hartwell, L. H., Hopfield, J. J., Leibler, S. & Murray, A. W. (1999) Nature 402, C47-C52], suggesting that found modules constitute the "building blocks" of molecular networks.

  4. MicroRNA-147b Regulates Vascular Endothelial Barrier Function by Targeting ADAM15 Expression

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Victor; Beard, Richard S.; Reynolds, Jason J.; Haines, Ricci; Guo, Mingzhang; Rubin, Matthew; Guido, Jenny; Wu, Mack H.; Yuan, Sarah Y.

    2014-01-01

    A disintegrin and metalloproteinase15 (ADAM15) has been shown to be upregulated and mediate endothelial hyperpermeability during inflammation and sepsis. This molecule contains multiple functional domains with the ability to modulate diverse cellular processes including cell adhesion, extracellular matrix degradation, and ectodomain shedding of transmembrane proteins. These characteristics make ADAM15 an attractive therapeutic target in various diseases. The lack of pharmacological inhibitors specific to ADAM15 prompted our efforts to identify biological or molecular tools to alter its expression for further studying its function and therapeutic implications. The goal of this study was to determine if ADAM15-targeting microRNAs altered ADAM15-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction during septic challenge by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). An in silico analysis followed by luciferase reporter assay in human vascular endothelial cells identified miR-147b with the ability to target the 3′ UTR of ADAM15. Transfection with a miR-147b mimic led to decreased total, as well as cell surface expression of ADAM15 in endothelial cells, while miR-147b antagomir produced an opposite effect. Functionally, LPS-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction, evidenced by a reduction in transendothelial electric resistance and increase in albumin flux across endothelial monolayers, was attenuated in cells treated with miR-147b mimics. In contrast, miR-147b antagomir exerted a permeability-increasing effect in vascular endothelial cells similar to that caused by LPS. Taken together, these data suggest the potential role of miR147b in regulating endothelial barrier function by targeting ADAM15 expression. PMID:25333931

  5. Targeted Cancer Therapy: Vital Oncogenes and a New Molecular Genetic Paradigm for Cancer Initiation Progression and Treatment.

    PubMed

    Willis, Rudolph E

    2016-01-01

    It has been declared repeatedly that cancer is a result of molecular genetic abnormalities. However, there has been no working model describing the specific functional consequences of the deranged genomic processes that result in the initiation and propagation of the cancer process during carcinogenesis. We no longer need to question whether or not cancer arises as a result of a molecular genetic defect within the cancer cell. The legitimate questions are: how and why? This article reviews the preeminent data on cancer molecular genetics and subsequently proposes that the sentinel event in cancer initiation is the aberrant production of fused transcription activators with new molecular properties within normal tissue stem cells. This results in the production of vital oncogenes with dysfunctional gene activation transcription properties, which leads to dysfunctional gene regulation, the aberrant activation of transduction pathways, chromosomal breakage, activation of driver oncogenes, reactivation of stem cell transduction pathways and the activation of genes that result in the hallmarks of cancer. Furthermore, a novel holistic molecular genetic model of cancer initiation and progression is presented along with a new paradigm for the approach to personalized targeted cancer therapy, clinical monitoring and cancer diagnosis. PMID:27649156

  6. Targeted Cancer Therapy: Vital Oncogenes and a New Molecular Genetic Paradigm for Cancer Initiation Progression and Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Willis, Rudolph E.

    2016-01-01

    It has been declared repeatedly that cancer is a result of molecular genetic abnormalities. However, there has been no working model describing the specific functional consequences of the deranged genomic processes that result in the initiation and propagation of the cancer process during carcinogenesis. We no longer need to question whether or not cancer arises as a result of a molecular genetic defect within the cancer cell. The legitimate questions are: how and why? This article reviews the preeminent data on cancer molecular genetics and subsequently proposes that the sentinel event in cancer initiation is the aberrant production of fused transcription activators with new molecular properties within normal tissue stem cells. This results in the production of vital oncogenes with dysfunctional gene activation transcription properties, which leads to dysfunctional gene regulation, the aberrant activation of transduction pathways, chromosomal breakage, activation of driver oncogenes, reactivation of stem cell transduction pathways and the activation of genes that result in the hallmarks of cancer. Furthermore, a novel holistic molecular genetic model of cancer initiation and progression is presented along with a new paradigm for the approach to personalized targeted cancer therapy, clinical monitoring and cancer diagnosis. PMID:27649156

  7. The importance of molecular markers for diagnosis and selection of targeted treatments in patients with cancer.

    PubMed

    Tobin, N P; Foukakis, T; De Petris, L; Bergh, J

    2015-12-01

    The past 30 years have seen the introduction of a number of cancer therapies with the aim of restricting the growth and spread of primary and metastatic tumours. A shared commonality among these therapies is their targeting of various aspects of the cancer hallmarks, that is traits that are essential to successful tumour propagation and dissemination. The evolution of molecular-scale technology has been central to the identification of new cancer targets, and it is not a coincidence that improved therapies have emerged at the same time as gene expression arrays and DNA sequencing have enhanced our understanding of cancer genetics. Modern tumour pathology is now viewed at the molecular level ranging from IHC biomarkers, to gene signature classifiers and gene mutations, all of which provide crucial information about which patients will respond to targeted therapy regimens. In this review, we briefly discuss the general types of targeted therapies used in a clinical setting and provide a short background on immunohistochemical, gene expression and DNA sequencing technologies, before focusing on three tumour types: breast, lung and colorectal cancers. For each of these cancer types, we provide a background to the disease along with an overview of the current standard therapies and then focus on the relevant targeted therapies and the pathways they inhibit. Finally, we highlight several strategies that are pivotal to the successful development of targeted anti-cancer drugs.

  8. Targeting the age-related occurrence, removal, and accumulation of molecular damage by hormesis.

    PubMed

    Rattan, Suresh I S

    2010-06-01

    Strategies for testing and developing effective means of intervention, prevention, and modulation of aging incorporate means to minimize the occurrence and accumulation of molecular damage, to reduce molecular heterogeneity, and to evaluate the relevance of the type and extent of damage with respect to its role in aging and age-related diseases. One such approach is that of mild stress-induced hormesis, which stimulates maintenance and repair systems and strengthens the homeodynamic space of cells and organisms. Hormesis through mild heat shock, natural and synthetic hormetins, and other stressors brings about several antiaging effects in human fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and telomerase-immortalized bone marrow stem cells. Depending on the cell type, these antiaging hormetic effects include extension of replicative life span, enhanced proteasomal activities, increased chaperone levels, and improved wound healing, angiogenesis, and differentiation. The main molecular pathways for achieving such hormetic effects are through targeting the processes for the repair and removal of molecular damage, which can slow aging.

  9. High-throughput mutagenesis reveals functional determinants for DNA targeting by activation-induced deaminase

    PubMed Central

    Gajula, Kiran S.; Huwe, Peter J.; Mo, Charlie Y.; Crawford, Daniel J.; Stivers, James T.; Radhakrishnan, Ravi; Kohli, Rahul M.

    2014-01-01

    Antibody maturation is a critical immune process governed by the enzyme activation-induced deaminase (AID), a member of the AID/APOBEC DNA deaminase family. AID/APOBEC deaminases preferentially target cytosine within distinct preferred sequence motifs in DNA, with specificity largely conferred by a small 9–11 residue protein loop that differs among family members. Here, we aimed to determine the key functional characteristics of this protein loop in AID and to thereby inform our understanding of the mode of DNA engagement. To this end, we developed a methodology (Sat-Sel-Seq) that couples saturation mutagenesis at each position across the targeting loop, with iterative functional selection and next-generation sequencing. This high-throughput mutational analysis revealed dominant characteristics for residues within the loop and additionally yielded enzymatic variants that enhance deaminase activity. To rationalize these functional requirements, we performed molecular dynamics simulations that suggest that AID and its hyperactive variants can engage DNA in multiple specific modes. These findings align with AID's competing requirements for specificity and flexibility to efficiently drive antibody maturation. Beyond insights into the AID-DNA interface, our Sat-Sel-Seq approach also serves to further expand the repertoire of techniques for deep positional scanning and may find general utility for high-throughput analysis of protein function. PMID:25064858

  10. Septic acute kidney injury: molecular mechanisms and the importance of stratification and targeting therapy.

    PubMed

    Morrell, Eric D; Kellum, John A; Pastor-Soler, Núria M; Hallows, Kenneth R

    2014-01-01

    The most common cause of acute kidney injury (AKI) in hospitalized patients is sepsis. However, the molecular pathways and mechanisms that mediate septic AKI are not well defined. Experiments performed over the past 20 years suggest that there are profound differences in the pathogenesis between septic and ischemic AKI. Septic AKI often occurs independently of hypoperfusion, and is mediated by a concomitant pro- and anti-inflammatory state that is activated in response to various pathogen-associated molecular patterns, such as endotoxin, as well as damage-associated molecular patterns. These molecular patterns are recognized by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) found in the kidney, and effectuate downstream inflammatory pathways. Additionally, apoptosis has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of septic AKI. However, targeted therapies designed to mitigate the above aspects of the inflammatory state, TLR-related pathways, and apoptosis have failed to show significant clinical benefit. This failure is likely due to the protean nature of septic AKI, whereby different patients present at different points along the immunologic spectrum. While one patient may benefit from targeted therapy at one end of the spectrum, another patient at the other end may be harmed by the same therapy. We propose that a next important step in septic AKI research will be to identify where patients lie on the immunologic spectrum in order to appropriately target therapies at the inflammatory cascade, TLRs, and possibly apoptosis. PMID:25575158

  11. Molecular Approaches to Studying Microbial Communities: Targeting the 16S Ribosomal RNA Gene.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Kazumasa; Ogawa, Midori; Taniguchi, Hatsumi; Saito, Mitsumasa

    2016-09-01

    Culture-independent methods to detect microorganisms have been developed in parallel with traditional culture-based methods ever since the classification of bacteria based on 16S rRNA gene sequences was advocated in the 1970s. The development and the prevalence of culture-independent molecular technologies have provided revolutionary progress in microbial studies. The development of these technologies contributes significantly to the research of microorganisms that cannot be detected by traditional methods such as culture-dependent methods.Many molecular methods targeting the 16S rRNA gene, such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), clone library analysis, and next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technologies, have been applied to various microbial studies. Notably, the advent of NGS technologies enabled a large-scale research of the bacterial community. Many recent studies using the NGS technologies have revealed that a larger number of bacteria and taxa than previously thought inhabit various parts of the human body and various places on the earth. The principles and characteristics of each molecular method are different, and each method possesses individual advantages; for example target specificity, comprehensiveness, rapidness, and cost efficiency. Therefore it is important that the methods used in studies are suitable for the objective and materials. Herein, we highlights molecular approaches targeting the 16S rRNA gene in bacterial community analysis, and focuses on the advantages and limitations of each technology. PMID:27627970

  12. [Molecular biological foundation of targeted therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma].

    PubMed

    Lai, Chong; Teng, Xiaodong

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is increasing. Radical cure by surgery can only be achieved in patients with early stage tumors. How to precisely use antineoplastic agents after surgery is an important problem to be solved. Most metastatic RCCs are pathologically identified as clear cell RCC (ccRCC), thus to develop agents targeting ccRCC is critical. Most clinically available targeted therapies are based on targeting some spots in specific pathways; or based on targeting new anti-tumor mechanisms, such as programmed death-1(PD-1), antibody-drug conjugates (ADC) and stem cells. There is still no targeted therapy having definite effect to most RCC patients. Only von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) pathway so far has been confirmed to be related to ccRCC development and progression; the inactivation of VHL gene causes many significant downstream gene changes. The key proteins involved in VHL pathway may be potential therapeutic targets for ccRCC. In this article, we review the current progress of targeted therapy for RCC, focus on the molecular characteristics of ccRCC, its relation to VHL pathway, the potential therapeutic targets and future clinical application for metastatic ccRCC. PMID:27045248

  13. Solvation of complex surfaces via molecular density functional theory.

    PubMed

    Levesque, Maximilien; Marry, Virginie; Rotenberg, Benjamin; Jeanmairet, Guillaume; Vuilleumier, Rodolphe; Borgis, Daniel

    2012-12-14

    We show that classical molecular density functional theory, here in the homogeneous reference fluid approximation in which the functional is inferred from the properties of the bulk solvent, is a powerful new tool to study, at a fully molecular level, the solvation of complex surfaces and interfaces by polar solvents. This implicit solvent method allows for the determination of structural, orientational, and energetic solvation properties that are on a par with all-atom molecular simulations performed for the same system, while reducing the computer time by two orders of magnitude. This is illustrated by the study of an atomistically-resolved clay surface composed of over a thousand atoms wetted by a molecular dipolar solvent. The high numerical efficiency of the method is exploited to carry a systematic analysis of the electrostatic and non-electrostatic components of the surface-solvent interaction within the popular Clay Force Field (CLAYFF). Solvent energetics and structure are found to depend weakly upon the atomic charges distribution of the clay surface, even for a rather polar solvent. We conclude on the consequences of such findings for force-field development.

  14. Advance of Molecular Imaging Technology and Targeted Imaging Agent in Imaging and Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhi-Yi; Wang, Yi-Xiang; Lin, Yan; Zhang, Jin-Shan; Yang, Feng; Zhou, Qiu-Lan; Liao, Yang-Ying

    2014-01-01

    Molecular imaging is an emerging field that integrates advanced imaging technology with cellular and molecular biology. It can realize noninvasive and real time visualization, measurement of physiological or pathological process in the living organism at the cellular and molecular level, providing an effective method of information acquiring for diagnosis, therapy, and drug development and evaluating treatment of efficacy. Molecular imaging requires high resolution and high sensitive instruments and specific imaging agents that link the imaging signal with molecular event. Recently, the application of new emerging chemical technology and nanotechnology has stimulated the development of imaging agents. Nanoparticles modified with small molecule, peptide, antibody, and aptamer have been extensively applied for preclinical studies. Therapeutic drug or gene is incorporated into nanoparticles to construct multifunctional imaging agents which allow for theranostic applications. In this review, we will discuss the characteristics of molecular imaging, the novel imaging agent including targeted imaging agent and multifunctional imaging agent, as well as cite some examples of their application in molecular imaging and therapy. PMID:24689058

  15. Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes as Rationally Designed Vehicles for Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery

    SciTech Connect

    Chen,J.; Wong,S.; Chen, S.; Zhao, X.; Kuznetsova, L.V.; and Ojima, I.

    2008-11-14

    A novel single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)-based tumor-targeted drug delivery system (DDS) has been developed, which consists of a functionalized SWNT linked to tumor-targeting modules as well as prodrug modules. There are three key features of this nanoscale DDS: (a) use of functionalized SWNTs as a biocompatible platform for the delivery of therapeutic drugs or diagnostics, (b) conjugation of prodrug modules of an anticancer agent (taxoid with a cleavable linker) that is activated to its cytotoxic form inside the tumor cells upon internalization and in situ drug release, and (c) attachment of tumor-recognition modules (biotin and a spacer) to the nanotube surface. To prove the efficacy of this DDS, three fluorescent and fluorogenic molecular probes were designed, synthesized, characterized, and subjected to the analysis of the receptor-mediated endocytosis and drug release inside the cancer cells (L1210FR leukemia cell line) by means of confocal fluorescence microscopy. The specificity and cytotoxicity of the conjugate have also been assessed and compared with L1210 and human noncancerous cell lines. Then, it has unambiguously been proven that this tumor-targeting DDS works exactly as designed and shows high potency toward specific cancer cell lines, thereby forming a solid foundation for further development.

  16. Pharmacophore Modeling and Molecular Docking Studies on Pinus roxburghii as a Target for Diabetes Mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Kaushik, Pawan; Lal Khokra, Sukhbir; Rana, A. C.

    2014-01-01

    The present study attempts to establish a relationship between ethnopharmacological claims and bioactive constituents present in Pinus roxburghii against all possible targets for diabetes through molecular docking and to develop a pharmacophore model for the active target. The process of molecular docking involves study of different bonding modes of one ligand with active cavities of target receptors protein tyrosine phosphatase 1-beta (PTP-1β), dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV), aldose reductase (AR), and insulin receptor (IR) with help of docking software Molegro virtual docker (MVD). From the results of docking score values on different receptors for antidiabetic activity, it is observed that constituents, namely, secoisoresinol, pinoresinol, and cedeodarin, showed the best docking results on almost all the receptors, while the most significant results were observed on AR. Then, LigandScout was applied to develop a pharmacophore model for active target. LigandScout revealed that 2 hydrogen bond donors pointing towards Tyr 48 and His 110 are a major requirement of the pharmacophore generated. In our molecular docking studies, the active constituent, secoisoresinol, has also shown hydrogen bonding with His 110 residue which is a part of the pharmacophore. The docking results have given better insights into the development of better aldose reductase inhibitor so as to treat diabetes related secondary complications. PMID:25114678

  17. Pharmacophore Modeling and Molecular Docking Studies on Pinus roxburghii as a Target for Diabetes Mellitus.

    PubMed

    Kaushik, Pawan; Lal Khokra, Sukhbir; Rana, A C; Kaushik, Dhirender

    2014-01-01

    The present study attempts to establish a relationship between ethnopharmacological claims and bioactive constituents present in Pinus roxburghii against all possible targets for diabetes through molecular docking and to develop a pharmacophore model for the active target. The process of molecular docking involves study of different bonding modes of one ligand with active cavities of target receptors protein tyrosine phosphatase 1-beta (PTP-1β), dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV), aldose reductase (AR), and insulin receptor (IR) with help of docking software Molegro virtual docker (MVD). From the results of docking score values on different receptors for antidiabetic activity, it is observed that constituents, namely, secoisoresinol, pinoresinol, and cedeodarin, showed the best docking results on almost all the receptors, while the most significant results were observed on AR. Then, LigandScout was applied to develop a pharmacophore model for active target. LigandScout revealed that 2 hydrogen bond donors pointing towards Tyr 48 and His 110 are a major requirement of the pharmacophore generated. In our molecular docking studies, the active constituent, secoisoresinol, has also shown hydrogen bonding with His 110 residue which is a part of the pharmacophore. The docking results have given better insights into the development of better aldose reductase inhibitor so as to treat diabetes related secondary complications. PMID:25114678

  18. In vivo photoacoustic molecular imaging of breast carcinoma with folate receptor-targeted indocyanine green nanoprobes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huina; Liu, Chengbo; Gong, Xiaojing; Hu, Dehong; Lin, Riqiang; Sheng, Zonghai; Zheng, Cuifang; Yan, Meng; Chen, Jingqin; Cai, Lintao; Song, Liang

    2014-11-01

    As an optical-acoustic hybrid imaging technology, photoacoustic imaging uniquely combines the advantages of rich optical contrast with high ultrasonic resolution in depth, opening up many new possibilities not attainable with conventional pure optical imaging technologies. To perform photoacoustic molecular imaging, optically absorbing exogenous contrast agents are needed to enhance the signals from specifically targeted disease activity. In this work, we designed and developed folate receptor targeted, indocyanine green dye doped poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) lipid nanoparticles (FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs) for molecular photoacoustic imaging of tumor. The fabricated FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs exhibited good aqueous stability, a high folate-receptor targeting efficiency, and remarkable optical absorption in near-infrared wavelengths, providing excellent photoacoustic signals in vitro. Furthermore, after intravenous administration of FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs, mice bearing MCF-7 breast carcinomas showed significantly enhanced photoacoustic signals in vivo in the tumor regions, compared with those using non-targeted ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs. Given the existing wide clinical use of ICG and PLGA, the developed FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs, in conjunction with photoacoustic imaging technology, offer a great potential to be translated into the clinic for non-ionizing molecular imaging of breast cancer in vivo.

  19. In vivo photoacoustic molecular imaging of breast carcinoma with folate receptor-targeted indocyanine green nanoprobes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Huina; Liu, Chengbo; Gong, Xiaojing; Hu, Dehong; Lin, Riqiang; Sheng, Zonghai; Zheng, Cuifang; Yan, Meng; Chen, Jingqin; Cai, Lintao; Song, Liang

    2014-11-01

    As an optical-acoustic hybrid imaging technology, photoacoustic imaging uniquely combines the advantages of rich optical contrast with high ultrasonic resolution in depth, opening up many new possibilities not attainable with conventional pure optical imaging technologies. To perform photoacoustic molecular imaging, optically absorbing exogenous contrast agents are needed to enhance the signals from specifically targeted disease activity. In this work, we designed and developed folate receptor targeted, indocyanine green dye doped poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) lipid nanoparticles (FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs) for molecular photoacoustic imaging of tumor. The fabricated FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs exhibited good aqueous stability, a high folate-receptor targeting efficiency, and remarkable optical absorption in near-infrared wavelengths, providing excellent photoacoustic signals in vitro. Furthermore, after intravenous administration of FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs, mice bearing MCF-7 breast carcinomas showed significantly enhanced photoacoustic signals in vivo in the tumor regions, compared with those using non-targeted ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs. Given the existing wide clinical use of ICG and PLGA, the developed FA-ICG-PLGA-lipid NPs, in conjunction with photoacoustic imaging technology, offer a great potential to be translated into the clinic for non-ionizing molecular imaging of breast cancer in vivo.

  20. Systems Toxicology of Male Reproductive Development: Profiling 774 Chemicals for Molecular Targets and Adverse Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Maxwell C.K.; Phuong, Jimmy; Baker, Nancy C.; Sipes, Nisha S.; Klinefelter, Gary R.; Martin, Matthew T.; McLaurin, Keith W.; Setzer, R. Woodrow; Darney, Sally Perreault; Judson, Richard S.; Knudsen, Thomas B.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Trends in male reproductive health have been reported for increased rates of testicular germ cell tumors, low semen quality, cryptorchidism, and hypospadias, which have been associated with prenatal environmental chemical exposure based on human and animal studies. Objective: In the present study we aimed to identify significant correlations between environmental chemicals, molecular targets, and adverse outcomes across a broad chemical landscape with emphasis on developmental toxicity of the male reproductive system. Methods: We used U.S. EPA’s animal study database (ToxRefDB) and a comprehensive literature analysis to identify 774 chemicals that have been evaluated for adverse effects on male reproductive parameters, and then used U.S. EPA’s in vitro high-throughput screening (HTS) database (ToxCastDB) to profile their bioactivity across approximately 800 molecular and cellular features. Results: A phenotypic hierarchy of testicular atrophy, sperm effects, tumors, and malformations, a composite resembling the human testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS) hypothesis, was observed in 281 chemicals. A subset of 54 chemicals with male developmental consequences had in vitro bioactivity on molecular targets that could be condensed into 156 gene annotations in a bipartite network. Conclusion: Computational modeling of available in vivo and in vitro data for chemicals that produce adverse effects on male reproductive end points revealed a phenotypic hierarchy across animal studies consistent with the human TDS hypothesis. We confirmed the known role of estrogen and androgen signaling pathways in rodent TDS, and importantly, broadened the list of molecular targets to include retinoic acid signaling, vascular remodeling proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), and cytochrome P450s. Citation: Leung MC, Phuong J, Baker NC, Sipes NS, Klinefelter GR, Martin MT, McLaurin KW, Setzer RW, Darney SP, Judson RS, Knudsen TB. 2016. Systems toxicology of male

  1. Molecular and functional definition of the developing human striatum.

    PubMed

    Onorati, Marco; Castiglioni, Valentina; Biasci, Daniele; Cesana, Elisabetta; Menon, Ramesh; Vuono, Romina; Talpo, Francesca; Laguna Goya, Rocio; Lyons, Paul A; Bulfamante, Gaetano P; Muzio, Luca; Martino, Gianvito; Toselli, Mauro; Farina, Cinthia; Barker, Roger A; Biella, Gerardo; Cattaneo, Elena

    2014-12-01

    The complexity of the human brain derives from the intricate interplay of molecular instructions during development. Here we systematically investigated gene expression changes in the prenatal human striatum and cerebral cortex during development from post-conception weeks 2 to 20. We identified tissue-specific gene coexpression networks, differentially expressed genes and a minimal set of bimodal genes, including those encoding transcription factors, that distinguished striatal from neocortical identities. Unexpected differences from mouse striatal development were discovered. We monitored 36 determinants at the protein level, revealing regional domains of expression and their refinement, during striatal development. We electrophysiologically profiled human striatal neurons differentiated in vitro and determined their refined molecular and functional properties. These results provide a resource and opportunity to gain global understanding of how transcriptional and functional processes converge to specify human striatal and neocortical neurons during development.

  2. Exogenous Molecular Probes for Targeted Imaging in Cancer: Focus on Multi-modal Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Bishnu P.; Wang, Thomas D.

    2010-01-01

    Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in our healthcare system. Molecular imaging is an emerging methodology for the early detection of cancer, guidance of therapy, and monitoring of response. The development of new instruments and exogenous molecular probes that can be labeled for multi-modality imaging is critical to this process. Today, molecular imaging is at a crossroad, and new targeted imaging agents are expected to broadly expand our ability to detect and manage cancer. This integrated imaging strategy will permit clinicians to not only localize lesions within the body but also to manage their therapy by visualizing the expression and activity of specific molecules. This information is expected to have a major impact on drug development and understanding of basic cancer biology. At this time, a number of molecular probes have been developed by conjugating various labels to affinity ligands for targeting in different imaging modalities. This review will describe the current status of exogenous molecular probes for optical, scintigraphic, MRI and ultrasound imaging platforms. Furthermore, we will also shed light on how these techniques can be used synergistically in multi-modal platforms and how these techniques are being employed in current research. PMID:22180839

  3. Toxins and derivatives in molecular pharmaceutics: Drug delivery and targeted therapy.

    PubMed

    Zhan, Changyou; Li, Chong; Wei, Xiaoli; Lu, Wuyuan; Lu, Weiyue

    2015-08-01

    Protein and peptide toxins offer an invaluable source for the development of actively targeted drug delivery systems. They avidly bind to a variety of cognate receptors, some of which are expressed or even up-regulated in diseased tissues and biological barriers. Protein and peptide toxins or their derivatives can act as ligands to facilitate tissue- or organ-specific accumulation of therapeutics. Some toxins have evolved from a relatively small number of structural frameworks that are particularly suitable for addressing the crucial issues of potency and stability, making them an instrumental source of leads and templates for targeted therapy. The focus of this review is on protein and peptide toxins for the development of targeted drug delivery systems and molecular therapies. We summarize disease- and biological barrier-related toxin receptors, as well as targeted drug delivery strategies inspired by those receptors. The design of new therapeutics based on protein and peptide toxins is also discussed.

  4. Targeting protein function: the expanding toolkit for conditional disruption

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Amy E.; Bennett, Daimark

    2016-01-01

    A major objective in biological research is to understand spatial and temporal requirements for any given gene, especially in dynamic processes acting over short periods, such as catalytically driven reactions, subcellular transport, cell division, cell rearrangement and cell migration. The interrogation of such processes requires the use of rapid and flexible methods of interfering with gene function. However, many of the most widely used interventional approaches, such as RNAi or CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 (CRISPR-associated 9), operate at the level of the gene or its transcripts, meaning that the effects of gene perturbation are exhibited over longer time frames than the process under investigation. There has been much activity over the last few years to address this fundamental problem. In the present review, we describe recent advances in disruption technologies acting at the level of the expressed protein, involving inducible methods of protein cleavage, (in)activation, protein sequestration or degradation. Drawing on examples from model organisms we illustrate the utility of fast-acting techniques and discuss how different components of the molecular toolkit can be employed to dissect previously intractable biochemical processes and cellular behaviours. PMID:27574023

  5. Targeting protein function: the expanding toolkit for conditional disruption.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Amy E; Bennett, Daimark

    2016-09-01

    A major objective in biological research is to understand spatial and temporal requirements for any given gene, especially in dynamic processes acting over short periods, such as catalytically driven reactions, subcellular transport, cell division, cell rearrangement and cell migration. The interrogation of such processes requires the use of rapid and flexible methods of interfering with gene function. However, many of the most widely used interventional approaches, such as RNAi or CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 (CRISPR-associated 9), operate at the level of the gene or its transcripts, meaning that the effects of gene perturbation are exhibited over longer time frames than the process under investigation. There has been much activity over the last few years to address this fundamental problem. In the present review, we describe recent advances in disruption technologies acting at the level of the expressed protein, involving inducible methods of protein cleavage, (in)activation, protein sequestration or degradation. Drawing on examples from model organisms we illustrate the utility of fast-acting techniques and discuss how different components of the molecular toolkit can be employed to dissect previously intractable biochemical processes and cellular behaviours.

  6. Multi-scale Functional and Molecular Photoacoustic Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Junjie; Xia, Jun; Wang, Lihong V.

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) combines rich optical absorption contrast with the high spatial resolution of ultrasound at depths in tissue. The high scalability of PAT has enabled anatomical imaging of biological structures ranging from organelles to organs. The inherent functional and molecular imaging capabilities of PAT have further allowed it to measure important physiological parameters and track critical cellular activities. Integration of PAT with other imaging technologies provides complementary capabilities and can potentially accelerate the clinical translation of PAT. PMID:25933617

  7. Ion Channels in Plant Bioenergetic Organelles, Chloroplasts and Mitochondria: From Molecular Identification to Function.

    PubMed

    Carraretto, Luca; Teardo, Enrico; Checchetto, Vanessa; Finazzi, Giovanni; Uozumi, Nobuyuki; Szabo, Ildiko

    2016-03-01

    Recent technical advances in electrophysiological measurements, organelle-targeted fluorescence imaging, and organelle proteomics have pushed the research of ion transport a step forward in the case of the plant bioenergetic organelles, chloroplasts and mitochondria, leading to the molecular identification and functional characterization of several ion transport systems in recent years. Here we focus on channels that mediate relatively high-rate ion and water flux and summarize the current knowledge in this field, focusing on targeting mechanisms, proteomics, electrophysiology, and physiological function. In addition, since chloroplasts evolved from a cyanobacterial ancestor, we give an overview of the information available about cyanobacterial ion channels and discuss the evolutionary origin of chloroplast channels. The recent molecular identification of some of these ion channels allowed their physiological functions to be studied using genetically modified Arabidopsis plants and cyanobacteria. The view is emerging that alteration of chloroplast and mitochondrial ion homeostasis leads to organelle dysfunction, which in turn significantly affects the energy metabolism of the whole organism. Clear-cut identification of genes encoding for channels in these organelles, however, remains a major challenge in this rapidly developing field. Multiple strategies including bioinformatics, cell biology, electrophysiology, use of organelle-targeted ion-sensitive probes, genetics, and identification of signals eliciting specific ion fluxes across organelle membranes should provide a better understanding of the physiological role of organellar channels and their contribution to signaling pathways in plants in the future. PMID:26751960

  8. Targeted Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics: Elucidating double proton transfer in formic acid dimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markwick, Phineus R. L.; Doltsinis, Nikos L.; Marx, Dominik

    2005-02-01

    The targeted molecular dynamics method, making possible the study of rare events, has been assessed in the framework of Car-Parrinello ab initio molecular dynamics. As a test case, we have studied the staggered-eclipsed rotation of ethane. The technique has subsequently been applied to investigate the nature of double proton transfer in formic acid dimer. The latter is found to follow a concerted transfer mechanism involving an essentially planar transition state. A "funnel-like region" of the potential energy surface is identified, where floppy intermolecular modes stiffen upon approaching the transition state.

  9. MOLECULAR MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN PROGESTERONE RECEPTOR REGULATION OF UTERINE FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

    Lee, K.; Jeong, J.; Tsai, M.-J.; Tsai, S.; Lydon, J. P.; DeMayo, F. J.

    2007-01-01

    The ovarian steroid hormone progesterone is a major regulator of uterine function. The actions of this hormone is mediated through its cognate receptor, the progesterone receptor, Pgr. Ablation of the Pgr has shown that this receptor is critical for all female reproductive functions including the ability of the uterus to support and maintain the development of the implanting mouse embryo. High density DNA microarray analysis has identified direct and indirect targets of Pgr action. One of the targets of Pgr action is a member of the Hedgehog morphogen Indian hedgehog, Ihh. Ihh and members of the Hh signaling cascade show a coordinate expression pattern in the mouse uterus during the preimplantation period of pregnancy. The expression of Ihh and its receptor Patched-1, Ptc1, as well as, down stream targets of Ihh-Ptch1 signaling, such as the orphan nuclear receptor COUP-TF II show that this morphogen pathway mediates communication between the uterine epithelial and stromal compartments. The members of the Ihh signaling axis may function to coordinate the proliferation, vascularization and differentiation of the uterine stroma during pregnancy. This analysis demonstrates that progesterone regulates uterine function in the mouse by coordinating the signals from the uterine epithelium to stroma in the preimplantation mouse uterus. PMID:17067792

  10. Transport properties of water at functionalized molecular interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Jun; Wong, Ka-Yiu; Dyer, Kippi; Pettitt, B. Montgomery

    2009-09-01

    Understanding transport properties of solvent such as diffusion and viscosity at interfaces with biomacromolecules and hard materials is of fundamental importance to both biology and biotechnology. Our study utilizes equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations to calculate solvent transport properties at a model peptide and microarray surface. Both diffusion and selected components of viscosity are considered. Solvent diffusion is found to be affected near the peptide and surface. The stress-stress correlation function of solvent near the hard surface exhibits long time memory. Both diffusion and viscosity are shown to be closely correlated with the density distribution function of water along the microarray surface.

  11. Nanoparticle Probes for Structural and Functional Photoacoustic Molecular Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Haobin; Yuan, Zhen; Wu, Changfeng

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays, nanoparticle probes have received extensive attention largely due to its potential biomedical applications in structural, functional, and molecular imaging. In addition, photoacoustic tomography (PAT), a method based on the photoacoustic effect, is widely recognized as a robust modality to evaluate the structure and function of biological tissues with high optical contrast and high acoustic resolution. The combination of PAT with nanoparticle probes holds promises for detecting and imaging diseased tissues or monitoring their treatments with high sensitivity. This review will introduce the recent advances in the emerging field of nanoparticle probes and their preclinical applications in PAT, as well as relevant perspectives on future development. PMID:26609534

  12. Disease-specific target gene expression profiling of molecular imaging probes: database development and clinical validation.

    PubMed

    Chan, Lawrence Wing-Chi; Ngo, Connie Hiu-Ching; Wang, Fengfeng; Zhao, Moss Y; Zhao, Mengying; Law, Helen Ka-Wai; Wong, Sze Chuen Cesar; Yung, Benjamin Yat-Ming

    2014-01-01

    Molecular imaging probes can target abnormal gene expression patterns in patients and allow early diagnosis of disease. For selecting a suitable imaging probe, the current Molecular Imaging and Contrast Agent Database (MICAD) provides descriptive and qualitative information on imaging probe characteristics and properties. However, MICAD does not support linkage with the expression profiles of target genes. The proposed Disease-specific Imaging Probe Profiling (DIPP) database quantitatively archives and presents the gene expression profiles of targets across different diseases, anatomic regions, and subcellular locations, providing an objective reference for selecting imaging probes. The DIPP database was validated with a clinical positron emission tomography (PET) study on lung cancer and an in vitro study on neuroendocrine cancer. The retrieved records show that choline kinase beta and glucose transporters were positively and significantly associated with lung cancer among the targets of 11C-choline and [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-2-d-glucose (FDG), respectively. Their significant overexpressions corresponded to the findings that the uptake rate of FDG increased with tumor size but that of 11C-choline remained constant. Validated with the in vitro study, the expression profiles of disease-associated targets can indicate the eligibility of patients for clinical trials of the treatment probe. A Web search tool of the DIPP database is available at http://www.polyu.edu.hk/bmi/dipp/. PMID:25022454

  13. Molecular targeted therapies in advanced or metastatic chordoma patients: facts and hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Lebellec, Loïc; Aubert, Sébastien; Zaïri, Fahed; Ryckewaert, Thomas; Chauffert, Bruno; Penel, Nicolas

    2015-07-01

    Chordomas, derived from undifferentiated notochordal remnants, represent less than 4% of bone primary tumors. Despite surgery followed by radiotherapy, local and metastatic relapses are frequent. In case of locally advanced or metastatic chordomas, medical treatment is frequently discussed. While chemotherapy is ineffective, it would appear that some molecular targeted therapies, in particular imatinib, could slow down the tumor growth in case-reports, retrospective series, and phase I or II trials. Nineteen publications, between January 1990 and September 2014, have been found describing the activity of these targeted therapies. A systematic analysis of these publications shows that the best objective response with targeted therapies was stabilization in 52 to 69% of chordomas. Given the indolent course of advanced chordoma and because of the absence of randomized trial, the level of evidence to treat chordomas with molecular therapy is low (level III), whatever the drug. Furthermore, we could not draw firm conclusion on the activity of imatinib. Other putative targets have also been described. Therefore, further clinical trials are expected, especially with these targets. Nevertheless, it seems essential, in those future studies, to consider the naturally slow course of the disease.

  14. MOLECULARLY TARGETED THERAPIES IN NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER ANNUAL UPDATE 2014

    PubMed Central

    Morgensztern, Daniel; Campo, Meghan J.; Dahlberg, Suzanne E.; Doebele, Robert C.; Garon, Edward; Gerber, David E.; Goldberg, Sarah B.; Hammerman, Peter S.; Heist, Rebecca; Hensing, Thomas; Horn, Leora; Ramalingam, Suresh S.; Rudin, Charles M.; Salgia, Ravi; Sequist, Lecia; Shaw, Alice T.; Simon, George R.; Somaiah, Neeta; Spigel, David R.; Wrangle, John; Johnson, David; Herbst, Roy S.; Bunn, Paul; Govindan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    There have been significant advances in the understanding of the biology and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) over the past few years. A number of molecularly targeted agents are in the clinic or in development for patients with advanced NSCLC (Table 1). We are beginning to understand the mechanisms of acquired resistance following exposure to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with oncogene addicted NSCLC. The advent of next generation sequencing has enabled to study comprehensively genomic alterations in lung cancer. Finally, early results from immune checkpoint inhibitors are very encouraging. This review summarizes recent advances in the area of cancer genomics, targeted therapies and immunotherapy. PMID:25535693

  15. New molecular and cellular targets for chemoprevention and treatment of skin tumors by plant polyphenols: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Korkina, L G; Pastore, S; Dellambra, E; De Luca, C

    2013-01-01

    As the incidence of skin tumors has been steadily growing, there is an urgent need for the preventive measures as well as the improved therapeutic approaches. In the last two decades, natural plant derived polyphenols (PPs, resveratrol, silibinin, green tea polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, etc.) have been drawing particular interest as emerging active substances in dermatological/cosmeceutical compositions for the prevention, slowing, or reversion of skin tumorigenesis (chemoprevention). When chronically applied to the skin, they supposedly would not damage normal skin cells or negatively affect their functions while they would suppress tumorigenic cell transformation, inhibit tumor cell proliferation, and activate tumor cell apoptosis. PPs are also reported to synergize with conventional anti-cancer therapies. The major aim of this critical review is to provide recent updates on the molecular and cellular targets for the prevention and therapy of skin tumors with a special focus on the crossroad between inflammation and carcinogenesis as the most promising approach to chemoprevention. Novel therapeutic targets as different as epidermal stem cells, cellular senescence, epigenetic enzymes involved in carcinogenesis, epidermal growth factor and aryl hydrocarbon receptors, and metabolic CYP1 subfamily enzymes are highlighted. The mechanisms of PPs interaction with these molecular and cellular targets are reviewed. The feasibility of PPs to prevent/ cure specific cutaneous toxicity connected to anti-EGFR therapy and to reduce multidrug resistance of skin tumors is also discussed. PMID:23210776

  16. Molecular Basis of Klotho: From Gene to Function in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yuechi

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of the Klotho (KL) gene, which was originally identified as a putative aging-suppressor gene, has generated tremendous interest and has advanced understanding of the aging process. In mice, the overexpression of the KL gene extends the life span, whereas mutations to the KL gene shorten the life span. The human KL gene encodes the α-Klotho protein, which is a multifunctional protein that regulates the metabolism of phosphate, calcium, and vitamin D. α-Klotho also may function as a hormone, although the α-Klotho receptor(s) has not been found. Point mutations of the KL gene in humans are associated with hypertension and kidney disease, which suggests that α-Klotho may be essential to the maintenance of normal renal function. Three α-Klotho protein types with potentially different functions have been identified: a full-length transmembrane α-Klotho, a truncated soluble α-Klotho, and a secreted α-Klotho. Recent evidence suggests that α-Klotho suppresses the insulin and Wnt signaling pathways, inhibits oxidative stress, and regulates phosphatase and calcium absorption. In this review, we provide an update on recent advances in the understanding of the molecular, genetic, biochemical, and physiological properties of the KL gene. Specifically, this review focuses on the structure of the KL gene and the factors that regulate KL gene transcription, the key sites in the regulation of α-Klotho enzyme activity, the α-Klotho signaling pathways, and the molecular mechanisms that underlie α-Klotho function. This current understanding of the molecular biology of the α-Klotho protein may offer new insights into its function and role in aging. PMID:25695404

  17. Molecular Classification, Pathway Addiction, and Therapeutic Targeting in Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Puvvada, Soham; Kendrick, Samantha; Rimsza, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The rapid emergence of molecularly-based techniques to detect changes in the genetic landscape of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) including gene expression, DNA and RNA sequencing, and epigenetic profiling, has significantly impacted the understanding and therapeutic targeting of DLBCL. In this review, we will briefly discuss the new methods used in the study of DLBCL. We will describe the influence of the generated data on DLBCL classification and the identification of new entities and altered cell survival strategies with a focus on the renewed interest in some classic oncogenic pathways that are currently targeted for new therapy. Lastly, we will examine the molecular genomic studies that revealed the importance of the tumor microenvironment in the pathogenesis of DLBCL. PMID:24080457

  18. [International comparison and regulatory issues of the molecular targeted therapy development].

    PubMed

    Iwasaku, Masahiro; Kawakami, Koji

    2015-08-01

    In July 2013 from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan notified "Approval application for in vitro companion diagnostics and corresponding therapeutic products" (manager notification). They recommended concurrent development of molecular targeted therapies and companion diagnostics. However, there are specific difficulties; cooperation between diagnostic company and pharmaceutical company, indeterminacy of profitability outlook etc. Moreover, it is also a problem how to supervise and to secure the quality and safety of the examination. In the future, multiplex diagnostic examination, which detect multiple molecular targets abnormalities at once, is developed commercially. In this paper, we outline the issues as well as international comparison in the current state of the approval and application system. PMID:26281697

  19. NAC Transcription Factors in Senescence: From Molecular Structure to Function in Crops

    PubMed Central

    Podzimska-Sroka, Dagmara; O’Shea, Charlotte; Gregersen, Per L.; Skriver, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Within the last decade, NAC transcription factors have been shown to play essential roles in senescence, which is the focus of this review. Transcriptome analyses associate approximately one third of Arabidopsis NAC genes and many crop NAC genes with senescence, thereby implicating NAC genes as important regulators of the senescence process. The consensus DNA binding site of the NAC domain is used to predict NAC target genes, and protein interaction sites can be predicted for the intrinsically disordered transcription regulatory domains of NAC proteins. The molecular characteristics of these domains determine the interactions in gene regulatory networks. Emerging local NAC-centered gene regulatory networks reveal complex molecular mechanisms of stress- and hormone-regulated senescence and basic physiological steps of the senescence process. For example, through molecular interactions involving the hormone abscisic acid, ArabidopsisNAP promotes chlorophyll degradation, a hallmark of senescence. Furthermore, studies of the functional rice ortholog, OsNAP, suggest that NAC genes can be targeted to obtain specific changes in lifespan control and nutrient remobilization in crop plants. This is also exemplified by the wheat NAM1 genes which promote senescence and increase grain zinc, iron, and protein content. Thus, NAC genes are promising targets for fine-tuning senescence for increased yield and quality. PMID:27135336

  20. Molecularly-Targeted Gold-Based Nanoparticles for Cancer Imaging and Near-Infrared Photothermal Therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, Emily Shannon

    2011-12-01

    This thesis advances the use of nanoparticles as multifunctional agents for molecularly-targeted cancer imaging and photothermal therapy. Cancer mortality has remained relatively unchanged for several decades, indicating a significant need for improvements in care. Researchers are evaluating strategies incorporating nanoparticles as exogenous energy absorbers to deliver heat capable of inducing cell death selectively to tumors, sparing normal tissue. Molecular targeting of nanoparticles is predicted to improve photothermal therapy by enhancing tumor retention. This hypothesis is evaluated with two types of nanoparticles. The nanoparticles utilized, silica-gold nanoshells and gold-gold sulfide nanoparticles, can convert light energy into heat to damage cancerous cells. For in vivo applications nanoparticles are usually coated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to increase blood circulation time. Here, heterobifunctional PEG links nanoparticles to targeting agents (antibodies and growth factors) to provide cell-specific binding. This approach is evaluated through a series of experiments. In vitro, antibody-coated nanoparticles can bind breast carcinoma cells expressing the targeted receptor and act as contrast agents for multiphoton microscopy prior to inducing cell death via photoablation. Furthermore, antibody-coated nanoparticles can bind tissue ex vivo at levels corresponding to receptor expression, suggesting they should bind their target even in the complex biological milieu. This is evaluated by comparing the accumulation of antibody-coated and PEG-coated nanoparticles in subcutaneous glioma tumors in mice. Contrary to expectations, antibody targeting did not yield more nanoparticles within tumors. Nevertheless, these studies established the sensitivity of glioma to photothermal therapy; mice treated with PEG-coated nanoshells experienced 57% complete tumor regression versus no regression in control mice. Subsequent experiments employed intracranial tumors to

  1. NCCN Task Force Report: Optimizing Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma With Molecular Targeted Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Hudes, Gary R.; Carducci, Michael A.; Choueiri, Toni K.; Esper, Peg; Jonasch, Eric; Kumar, Rashmi; Margolin, Kim A.; Michaelson, M. Dror; Motzer, Robert J.; Pili, Roberto; Roethke, Susan; Srinivas, Sandy

    2015-01-01

    The outcome of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma has been substantially improved with administration of the currently available molecularly targeted therapies. However, proper selection of therapy and management of toxicities remain challenging. NCCN convened a multidisciplinary task force panel to address the clinical issues associated with these therapies in attempt to help practicing oncologists optimize patient outcomes. This report summarizes the background data presented at the task force meeting and the ensuing discussion. PMID:21335444

  2. Breast Cancer Detection by B7-H3 Targeted Ultrasound Molecular Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Bachawal, Sunitha V.; Jensen, Kristin C.; Wilson, Katheryne E.; Tian, Lu; Lutz, Amelie M.; Willmann, Jürgen K.

    2015-01-01

    Ultrasound complements mammography as an imaging modality for breast cancer detection, especially in patients with dense breast tissue, but its utility is limited by low diagnostic accuracy. One emerging molecular tool to address this limitation involves contrast-enhanced ultrasound using microbubbles targeted to molecular signatures on tumor neovasculature. In this study, we illustrate how tumor vascular expression of B7-H3 (CD276), a member of the B7 family of ligands for T cell co-regulatory receptors, can be incorporated into an ultrasound method that can distinguish normal, benign, precursor and malignant breast pathologies for diagnostic purposes. Through an immunohistochemical analysis of 248 human breast specimens, we found that vascular expression of B7-H3 was selectively and significantly higher in breast cancer tissues. B7-H3 immunostaining on blood vessels distinguished benign/precursors from malignant lesions with high diagnostic accuracy in human specimens. In a transgenic mouse model of cancer, the B7-H3-targeted ultrasound imaging signal was increased significantly in breast cancer tissues and highly correlated with ex vivo expression levels of B7-H3 on quantitative immunofluorescence. Our findings offer a preclinical proof of concept for the use of B7-H3-targeted ultrasound molecular imaging as a tool to improve the diagnostic accuracy of breast cancer detection in patients. PMID:25899053

  3. A potential molecular target for morphological defects of fetal alcohol syndrome: Kir2.1.

    PubMed

    Bates, Emily A

    2013-06-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a developmental disorder that affects up to 0.2% of births. FASD comprises severe cognitive and structural birth defects including cleft lip/palate, small jaw, wide-set eyes, dental abnormalities, digit abnormalities, small head, and short stature. Strict counseling guidelines stress abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy, but the prevalence of FASD persists. The lack of a convincing molecular target has hindered FASD research and treatment. Interestingly, mutations in an inwardly rectifying potassium channel, Kir2.1, cause a similar constellation of birth defects as in FASD. In other words, FASD phenocopies the traits conveyed by Kir2.1 mutations. Furthermore, alcohol directly binds to and modulates Kir2.1. Substantial evidence now suggests that alcohol targets Kir2.1 to cause the birth defects associated with FASD. This review compiles clinical, genetic, biochemical, electrophysiological, and molecular evidence that identifies Kir2.1 as a molecular target for FASD development and possibly therapeutic treatment.

  4. Role for the propofol hydroxyl in anesthetic protein target molecular recognition.

    PubMed

    Woll, Kellie A; Weiser, Brian P; Liang, Qiansheng; Meng, Tao; McKinstry-Wu, Andrew; Pinch, Benika; Dailey, William P; Gao, Wei Dong; Covarrubias, Manuel; Eckenhoff, Roderic G

    2015-06-17

    Propofol is a widely used intravenous general anesthetic. We synthesized 2-fluoro-1,3-diisopropylbenzene, a compound that we call "fropofol", to directly assess the significance of the propofol 1-hydroxyl for pharmacologically relevant molecular recognition in vitro and for anesthetic efficacy in vivo. Compared to propofol, fropofol had a similar molecular volume and only a small increase in hydrophobicity. Isothermal titration calorimetry and competition assays revealed that fropofol had higher affinity for a protein site governed largely by van der Waals interactions. Within another protein model containing hydrogen bond interactions, propofol demonstrated higher affinity. In vivo, fropofol demonstrated no anesthetic efficacy, but at high concentrations produced excitatory activity in tadpoles and mice; fropofol also antagonized propofol-induced hypnosis. In a propofol protein target that contributes to hypnosis, α1β2γ2L GABAA receptors, fropofol demonstrated no significant effect alone or on propofol positive allosteric modulation of the ion channel, suggesting an additional requirement for the 1-hydroxyl within synaptic GABAA receptor site(s). However, fropofol caused similar adverse cardiovascular effects as propofol by a dose-dependent depression of myocardial contractility. Our results directly implicate the propofol 1-hydroxyl as contributing to molecular recognition within protein targets leading to hypnosis, but not necessarily within protein targets leading to side effects of the drug.

  5. Creatinine Clearance Is Associated with Toxicity from Molecularly Targeted Agents in Phase I Trials

    PubMed Central

    Basu, B.; Vitfell-Pedersen, J.; Moreno Garcia, V.; Puglisi, M.; Tjokrowidjaja, A.; Shah, K.; Malvankar, S.; Anghan, B.; de Bono, J.S.; Kaye, S.B.; Molife, L.R.; Banerji, U.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives This study aimed to evaluate any correlations between baseline creatinine clearance and the development of grade 3/4 toxicities during treatment within oncology phase I trials of molecularly targeted agents where entry criteria mandate a serum creatinine of ≤1.5 × the upper limit of normal. Methods Documented toxicity and creatinine clearance (calculated by the Cockcroft-Gault formula) from all patients treated with molecularly targeted agents in the context of phase I trials within our centre over a 5-year period were analyzed. Results Data from 722 patients were analyzed; 116 (16%) developed at least one episode of grade 3/4 toxicity. Patients who developed a late-onset (>1 cycle) grade 3/4 toxicity had a lower creatinine clearance than those who did not (82.69 ml/min vs. 98.97 ml/min; p = < 0.001). Conclusion Creatinine clearance (even when within normal limits) should be studied as a potential factor influencing late toxicities in the clinical trials of molecularly targeted anti-cancer drugs. PMID:22889980

  6. Representing and analysing molecular and cellular function using the computer.

    PubMed

    van Helden, J; Naim, A; Mancuso, R; Eldridge, M; Wernisch, L; Gilbert, D; Wodak, S J

    2000-01-01

    Determining the biological function of a myriad of genes, and understanding how they interact to yield a living cell, is the major challenge of the post genome-sequencing era. The complexity of biological systems is such that this cannot be envisaged without the help of powerful computer systems capable of representing and analysing the intricate networks of physical and functional interactions between the different cellular components. In this review we try to provide the reader with an appreciation of where we stand in this regard. We discuss some of the inherent problems in describing the different facets of biological function, give an overview of how information on function is currently represented in the major biological databases, and describe different systems for organising and categorising the functions of gene products. In a second part, we present a new general data model, currently under development, which describes information on molecular function and cellular processes in a rigorous manner. The model is capable of representing a large variety of biochemical processes, including metabolic pathways, regulation of gene expression and signal transduction. It also incorporates taxonomies for categorising molecular entities, interactions and processes, and it offers means of viewing the information at different levels of resolution, and dealing with incomplete knowledge. The data model has been implemented in the database on protein function and cellular processes 'aMAZE' (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/research/pfbp/), which presently covers metabolic pathways and their regulation. Several tools for querying, displaying, and performing analyses on such pathways are briefly described in order to illustrate the practical applications enabled by the model.

  7. Evaluation of molecular docking using polynomial empirical scoring functions.

    PubMed

    Dias, Raquel; Timmers, Luis Fernando Saraiva Macedo; Caceres, Rafael Andrade; de Azevedo, Walter Filgueira

    2008-12-01

    Molecular docking simulations are of pivotal importance for analysis of protein-ligand interactions and also an essential resource for virtual-screening initiatives. In molecular docking simulations several possible docked structures are generated, which create an ensemble of structures representing binary complexes. Therefore, it is crucial to find the best solution for the simulation. One approach to this problem is to employ empirical scoring function to identify the best docked structure. It is expected that scoring functions show a descriptive funnel-shaped energy surface without many false minima to impair the efficiency of conformational sampling. We employed this methodology against a test set with 300 docked structures. Docking simulations of these ligands against enzyme binding pocket indicated a funnel-shaped behavior of the complexation for this system. This review compares a set of recently proposed polynomial empirical scoring functions, implemented in a program called POLSCORE, with two popular scoring function programs (XSCORE and DrugScore). Overall comparison indicated that POLSCORE works better to predict the correct docked position, for the ensemble of docked structures analyzed in the present work.

  8. Molecular Motions in Functional Self-Assembled Nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    Dhotel, Alexandre; Chen, Ziguang; Delbreilh, Laurent; Youssef, Boulos; Saiter, Jean-Marc; Tan, Li

    2013-01-01

    The construction of “smart” materials able to perform specific functions at the molecular scale through the application of various stimuli is highly attractive but still challenging. The most recent applications indicate that the outstanding flexibility of self-assembled architectures can be employed as a powerful tool for the development of innovative molecular devices, functional surfaces and smart nanomaterials. Structural flexibility of these materials is known to be conferred by weak intermolecular forces involved in self-assembly strategies. However, some fundamental mechanisms responsible for conformational lability remain unexplored. Furthermore, the role played by stronger bonds, such as coordination, ionic and covalent bonding, is sometimes neglected while they can be employed readily to produce mechanically robust but also chemically reversible structures. In this review, recent applications of structural flexibility and molecular motions in self-assembled nanostructures are discussed. Special focus is given to advanced materials exhibiting significant performance changes after an external stimulus is applied, such as light exposure, pH variation, heat treatment or electromagnetic field. The crucial role played by strong intra- and weak intermolecular interactions on structural lability and responsiveness is highlighted. PMID:23348927

  9. The potential role of aerobic exercise to modulate cardiotoxicity of molecularly targeted cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jessica M; Lakoski, Susan; Mackey, John R; Douglas, Pamela S; Haykowsky, Mark J; Jones, Lee W

    2013-01-01

    Molecularly targeted therapeutics (MTT) are the future of cancer systemic therapy. They have already moved from palliative therapy for advanced solid malignancies into the setting of curative-intent treatment for early-stage disease. Cardiotoxicity is a frequent and potentially serious adverse complication of some targeted therapies, leading to a broad range of potentially life-threatening complications, therapy discontinuation, and poor quality of life. Low-cost pleiotropic interventions are therefore urgently required to effectively prevent and/or treat MTT-induced cardiotoxicity. Aerobic exercise therapy has the unique capacity to modulate, without toxicity, multiple gene expression pathways in several organ systems, including a plethora of cardiac-specific molecular and cell-signaling pathways implicated in MTT-induced cardiac toxicity. In this review, we examine the molecular signaling of antiangiogenic and HER2-directed therapies that may underpin cardiac toxicity and the hypothesized molecular mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective properties of aerobic exercise. It is hoped that this knowledge can be used to maximize the benefits of small molecule inhibitors, while minimizing cardiac damage in patients with solid malignancies.

  10. From molecular classification to targeted therapeutics: the changing face of systemic therapy in metastatic gastroesophageal cancer.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Adrian; Kelly, Ronan J

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. From Molecular Classification to Targeted Therapeutics: The Changing Face of Systemic Therapy in Metastatic Gastroesophageal Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Ronan J.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25784931

  12. A Transcriptome-Targeting EcoChip for Assessing Functional Mycodiversity.

    PubMed

    Peršoh, Derek; Weig, Alfons R; Rambold, Gerhard

    2011-01-01

    A functional biodiversity microarray (EcoChip) prototype has been developed to facilitate the analysis of fungal communities in environmental samples with broad functional and phylogenetic coverage and to enable the incorporation of nucleic acid sequence data as they become available from large-scale (next generation) sequencing projects. A dual probe set (DPS) was designed to detect a) functional enzyme transcripts at conserved protein sites and b) phylogenetic barcoding transcripts at ITS regions present in precursor rRNA. Deviating from the concept of GeoChip-type microarrays, the presented EcoChip microarray phylogenetic information was obtained using a dedicated set of barcoding microarray probes, whereas functional gene expression was analyzed by conserved domain-specific probes. By unlinking these two target groups, the shortage of broad sequence information of functional enzyme-coding genes in environmental communities became less important. The novel EcoChip microarray could be successfully applied to identify specific degradation activities in environmental samples at considerably high phylogenetic resolution. Reproducible and unbiased microarray signals could be obtained with chemically labeled total RNA preparations, thus avoiding the use of enzymatic labeling steps. ITS precursor rRNA was detected for the first time in a microarray experiment, which confirms the applicability of the EcoChip concept to selectively quantify the transcriptionally active part of fungal communities at high phylogenetic resolution. In addition, the chosen microarray platform facilitates the conducting of experiments with high sample throughput in almost any molecular biology laboratory.

  13. A Transcriptome—Targeting EcoChip for Assessing Functional Mycodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Peršoh, Derek; Weig, Alfons R.; Rambold, Gerhard

    2011-01-01

    A functional biodiversity microarray (EcoChip) prototype has been developed to facilitate the analysis of fungal communities in environmental samples with broad functional and phylogenetic coverage and to enable the incorporation of nucleic acid sequence data as they become available from large-scale (next generation) sequencing projects. A dual probe set (DPS) was designed to detect a) functional enzyme transcripts at conserved protein sites and b) phylogenetic barcoding transcripts at ITS regions present in precursor rRNA. Deviating from the concept of GeoChip-type microarrays, the presented EcoChip microarray phylogenetic information was obtained using a dedicated set of barcoding microarray probes, whereas functional gene expression was analyzed by conserved domain-specific probes. By unlinking these two target groups, the shortage of broad sequence information of functional enzyme-coding genes in environmental communities became less important. The novel EcoChip microarray could be successfully applied to identify specific degradation activities in environmental samples at considerably high phylogenetic resolution. Reproducible and unbiased microarray signals could be obtained with chemically labeled total RNA preparations, thus avoiding the use of enzymatic labeling steps. ITS precursor rRNA was detected for the first time in a microarray experiment, which confirms the applicability of the EcoChip concept to selectively quantify the transcriptionally active part of fungal communities at high phylogenetic resolution. In addition, the chosen microarray platform facilitates the conducting of experiments with high sample throughput in almost any molecular biology laboratory.

  14. POEM: Parameter Optimization using Ensemble Methods: application to target specific scoring functions.

    PubMed

    Antes, Iris; Merkwirth, Christian; Lengauer, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    In computational biology processes such as docking, binding, and folding are often described by simplified, empirical models. These models are fitted to physical properties of the process by adjustable parameters. An appropriate choice of these parameters is crucial for the quality of the models. Locating the best choices for the parameters is often is a difficult task, depending on the complexity of the model. We describe a new method and program, POEM (Parameter Optimization using Ensemble Methods), for this task. In POEM we combine the DOE (Design Of Experiment) procedure with ensembles of different regression methods. We apply the method to the optimization of target specific scoring functions in molecular docking. The method consists of an iterative procedure that uses alternate evaluation and prediction steps. During each cycle of optimization we fit an approximate function to a defined loss function landscape and improve the quality of this fit from cycle to cycle by constantly augmenting our data set. As test applications we fitted the FlexX and Screenscore scoring functions to the kinase and ATPase protein classes. The results are promising: Starting from random parameters we are able to locate parameter sets which show superior performance compared to the original values. The POEM approach converges quickly and the approximated loss function landscapes are smooth, thus making the approach a suitable method for optimizations on rugged landscapes.

  15. FNDC5/irisin, a molecular target for boosting reward-related learning and motivation.

    PubMed

    Zsuga, Judit; Tajti, Gabor; Papp, Csaba; Juhasz, Bela; Gesztelyi, Rudolf

    2016-05-01

    Interventions focusing on the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases are on rise. In the current article, we propose that dysfunction of the mesocortico-limbic reward system contributes to the emergence of the WHO-identified risk behaviors (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol), behaviors that underlie the evolution of major non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases). Given that dopaminergic neurons of the mesocortico-limbic system are tightly associated with reward-related processes and motivation, their dysfunction may fundamentally influence behavior. While nicotine and alcohol alter dopamine neuron function by influencing some receptors, mesocortico-limbic system dysfunction was associated with elevation of metabolic set-point leading to hedonic over-eating. Although there is some empirical evidence, precise molecular mechanism for linking physical inactivity and mesocortico-limbic dysfunction per se seems to be missing; identification of which may contribute to higher success rates for interventions targeting lifestyle changes pertaining to physical activity. In the current article, we compile evidence in support of a link between exercise and the mesocortico-limbic system by elucidating interactions on the axis of muscle - irisin - brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - and dopaminergic function of the midbrain. Irisin is a contraction-regulated myokine formed primarily in skeletal muscle but also in the brain. Irisin stirred considerable interest, when its ability to induce browning of white adipose tissue parallel to increasing thermogenesis was discovered. Furthermore, it may also play a role in the regulation of behavior given it readily enters the central nervous system, where it induces BDNF expression in several brain areas linked to reward processing, e.g. the ventral tegmental area and the hippocampus. BDNF is a

  16. FNDC5/irisin, a molecular target for boosting reward-related learning and motivation.

    PubMed

    Zsuga, Judit; Tajti, Gabor; Papp, Csaba; Juhasz, Bela; Gesztelyi, Rudolf

    2016-05-01

    Interventions focusing on the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases are on rise. In the current article, we propose that dysfunction of the mesocortico-limbic reward system contributes to the emergence of the WHO-identified risk behaviors (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol), behaviors that underlie the evolution of major non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases). Given that dopaminergic neurons of the mesocortico-limbic system are tightly associated with reward-related processes and motivation, their dysfunction may fundamentally influence behavior. While nicotine and alcohol alter dopamine neuron function by influencing some receptors, mesocortico-limbic system dysfunction was associated with elevation of metabolic set-point leading to hedonic over-eating. Although there is some empirical evidence, precise molecular mechanism for linking physical inactivity and mesocortico-limbic dysfunction per se seems to be missing; identification of which may contribute to higher success rates for interventions targeting lifestyle changes pertaining to physical activity. In the current article, we compile evidence in support of a link between exercise and the mesocortico-limbic system by elucidating interactions on the axis of muscle - irisin - brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - and dopaminergic function of the midbrain. Irisin is a contraction-regulated myokine formed primarily in skeletal muscle but also in the brain. Irisin stirred considerable interest, when its ability to induce browning of white adipose tissue parallel to increasing thermogenesis was discovered. Furthermore, it may also play a role in the regulation of behavior given it readily enters the central nervous system, where it induces BDNF expression in several brain areas linked to reward processing, e.g. the ventral tegmental area and the hippocampus. BDNF is a

  17. Delivery of Molecularly Targeted Therapy to Malignant Glioma, a Disease of the Whole Brain

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Sagar; Sane, Ramola; Oberoi, Rajneet; Ohlfest, John R.; Elmquist, William

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme, due to its invasive nature, can be considered a disease of the entire brain. Despite recent advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, current treatment regimens have only a marginal impact on patient survival. A crucial challenge faced by cancer researchers is to effectively deliver drugs to invasive glioma cells residing in a sanctuary within the central nervous system. The blood–brain barrier (BBB) restricts delivery of many small and large molecules into the brain. Drug delivery to the brain is further restricted by active efflux transporters present at the BBB, which transport drugs out of the brain back into the blood. Current clinical assessment of drug delivery and hence efficacy is based on the measured drug levels in the bulk tumor mass that is usually removed by surgery. Mounting evidence suggests that the inevitable relapse and lethality of glioblastoma multiforme is due to a failure to effectively treat invasive glioma cells. These invasive cells hide in areas of the brain that are shielded by an intact BBB where they continue to grow and give rise to the recurrent tumor. Effective delivery of chemotherapeutics to the invasive glioma cells is therefore critical, and long-term efficacy will depend upon the ability of a molecularly targeted agent to penetrate an intact and functional BBB throughout the entire brain. This review highlights the various aspects of the BBB, and also the brain–tumor-cell barrier, a barrier due to expression of efflux transporters in tumor cells, that together can significantly influence drug response. It then discusses the special challenge of glioma as a disease of the whole brain, which lends particular emphasis to the need to effectively deliver drugs across the BBB to reach both the central tumor and the invasive glioma cells. PMID:21676290

  18. Investigations on nanoconfinement of low-molecular antineoplastic agents into biocompatible magnetic matrices for drug targeting.

    PubMed

    Tomoiaga, Alina Maria; Cioroiu, Bogdan Ionel; Nica, Valentin; Vasile, Aurelia

    2013-11-01

    Magnetic mesoporous silica nanoparticles are employed as biocompatible matrices to host low-molecular antineoplastic drugs. 5-Fluorouracil is a well-known antimetabolite drug used to treat many malignancies: colon, rectal, breast, head and neck, pancreatic, gastric, esophageal, liver and G-U (bladder, penile, vulva, prostate), skin cancers (basal cell and keratosis). Unfortunately severe gastrointestinal, hematological, neural, cardiac and dermatological toxic effects are often registered due to its cytotoxicity. Thus, this work focuses on development of a magnetic silica nanosystem, capable of hosting high amounts of 5-fluorouracil and delivers it in a targeted manner, under the influence of external magnetic field. There are few reports on nanoconfinement of this particular small molecule antimetabolite on mesoporous silica hosts. Therefore we have investigated different ways to confine high amounts of 5-FU within amino-modified and non-modified mesopores of the silica shell, from water and ethanol, under magnetic stirring and ultrasound irradiation. Also, we have studied the adsorption process from water as a function of pH in order to rationalize drug-support interactions. It is shown that nature of the solvent has great influence on diffusion of small molecules into mesopores, which is slower from alcoholic solutions. More importantly, sonication is proven as an excellent alternative to long adsorption tests, since the time necessary to reach equilibrium is drastically reduced to 1h and higher amounts of drug may be immobilized within the mesopores of amino-modified magnetic silica nanoparticles. These results are highly important for optimization of drug immobilization process in order to attain desired release profile. PMID:23777792

  19. CAM and cell fate targeting: molecular and energetic insights into cell growth and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Ventura, Carlo

    2005-09-01

    Evidence-based medicine is switching from the analysis of single diseases at a time toward an integrated assessment of a diseased person. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers multiple holistic approaches, including osteopathy, homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, herbal and energy medicine and meditation, all potentially impacting on major human diseases. It is now becoming evident that acupuncture can modify the expression of different endorphin genes and the expression of genes encoding for crucial transcription factors in cellular homeostasis. Extremely low frequency magnetic fields have been found to prime the commitment to a myocardial lineage in mouse embryonic stem cells, suggesting that magnetic energy may direct stem cell differentiation into specific cellular phenotypes without the aid of gene transfer technologies. This finding may pave the way to novel approaches in tissue engineering and regeneration. Different ginseng extracts have been shown to modulate growth and differentiation in pluripotent cells and to exert wound-healing and antitumor effects through opposing activities on the vascular system, prompting the hypothesis that ancient compounds may be the target for new logics in cell therapy. These observations and the subtle entanglement among different CAM systems suggest that CAM modalities may deeply affect both the signaling and transcriptional level of cellular homeostasis. Such a perception holds promises for a new era in CAM, prompting reproducible documentation of biological responses to CAM-related strategies and compounds. To this end, functional genomics and proteomics and the comprehension of the cell signaling networks may substantially contribute to the development of a molecular evidence-based CAM.

  20. Magnetic trapping with simultaneous photoacoustic detection of molecularly targeted rare circulating tumor cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Chen-Wei; Xia, Jinjun; Pelivanov, Ivan M.; Hu, Xiaoge; Gao, Xiaohu; O'Donnell, Matthew

    2013-03-01

    Photoacoustic (PA) imaging has been widely used in molecular imaging to detect diseased cells by targeting them with nanoparticle-based contrast agents. However, the sensitivity and specificity are easily degraded because contrast agent signals can be masked by the background. Magnetomotive photoacoustic imaging uses a new type of multifunctional composite particle combining an optically absorptive gold nanorod core and magnetic nanospheres, which can potentially accumulate and concentrate targeted cells while simultaneously enhancing their specific contrast compared to background signals. In this study, HeLa cells molecularly targeted using nanocomposites with folic acid mimicking targeted rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were circulated at a 6 ml/min flow rate for trapping and imaging studies. Preliminary results show that the cells accumulate rapidly in the presence of an externally applied magnetic field produced by a dual magnet system. The sensitivity of the current system can reach up to 1 cell/ml in clear water. By manipulating the trapped cells magnetically, the specificity of detecting cells in highly absorptive ink solution can be enhanced with 16.98 dB background suppression by applying motion filtering on PA signals to remove unwanted background signals insensitive to the magnetic field. The results appear promising for future preclinical studies on a small animal model and ultimate clinical detection of rare CTCs in the vasculature.

  1. Molecular Targeted Therapies for the Treatment of Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis: Current Evidence and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dae-Won; Lee, Kyung-Hun; Kim, Jin Wook; Keam, Bhumsuk

    2016-01-01

    Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC) is the multifocal seeding of cerebrospinal fluid and leptomeninges by malignant cells. The incidence of LMC is approximately 5% in patients with malignant tumors overall and the rate is increasing due to increasing survival time of cancer patients. Eradication of the disease is not yet possible, so the treatment goals of LMC are to improve neurologic symptoms and to prolong survival. A standard treatment for LMC has not been established due to low incidences of LMC, the rapidly progressing nature of the disease, heterogeneous populations with LMC, and a lack of randomized clinical trial results. Treatment options for LMC include intrathecal chemotherapy, systemic chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, but the prognoses remain poor with a median survival of <3 months. Recently, molecular targeted agents have been applied in the clinic and have shown groundbreaking results in specific patient groups epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapy or an anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor in lung cancer, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-directed therapy in breast cancer, and CD20-targeted therapy in B cell lymphoma). Moreover, there are results indicating that the use of these agents under proper dose and administration routes can be effective for managing LMC. In this article, we review molecular targeted agents for managing LMC. PMID:27399673

  2. Molecular and functional asymmetry at a vertebrate electrical synapse

    PubMed Central

    Rash, John R.; Curti, Sebastian; Vanderpool, Kimberly G. V.; Kamasawa, Naomi; Nannapaneni, Srikant; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Flores, Carmen E.; Yasumura, Thomas; O’Brien, John; Lynn, Bruce D.; Bukauskas, Feliksas; Nagy, James I.; Pereda, Alberto E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Electrical synapses are abundant in the vertebrate brain, but their functional and molecular complexity are still poorly understood. We report here that electrical synapses between auditory afferents and goldfish Mauthner cells are constructed by apposition of hemichannels formed by two homologs of mammalian connexin36 (Cx36), and that while Cx35 is restricted to presynaptic hemiplaques, Cx34.7 is restricted to postsynaptic hemiplaques, forming heterotypic junctions. This molecular asymmetry is associated with rectification of electrical transmission that may act to promote cooperativity between auditory afferents. Our data suggest that in similarity to pre- and postsynaptic sites at chemical synapses, one side in electrical synapses should not necessarily be considered the mirror image of the other. While asymmetry based on the presence of two Cx36 homologs is restricted to teleost fish, it might also be based on differences in posttranslational modifications of individual connexins or in the complement of gap junction-associated proteins. PMID:24012008

  3. Biomarkers of Aging: From Function to Molecular Biology

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Karl-Heinz; Cameron-Smith, David; Wessner, Barbara; Franzke, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Aging is a major risk factor for most chronic diseases and functional impairments. Within a homogeneous age sample there is a considerable variation in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, revealing a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. The identification of biomarkers is further complicated by the diversity of biological living situations, lifestyle activities and medical treatments. Thus, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can monitor successful or healthy aging. Within this short review the current knowledge of putative biomarkers is presented, focusing on their application to the major physiological mechanisms affected by the aging process including physical capability, nutritional status, body composition, endocrine and immune function. This review emphasizes molecular and DNA-based biomarkers, as well as recent advances in other biomarkers such as microRNAs, bilirubin or advanced glycation end products. PMID:27271660

  4. Correlational cuing as a function of target complexity and target-flanker similarity.

    PubMed

    Cohen, A; Fuchs, A; Bar-Sela, A; Brumberg, Y; Magen, H

    1999-02-01

    It is generally assumed that the correlational cuing effect (CE) between targets and correlated flankers is due to learning association between the flankers and their correlated responses. The present study challenges this view. Experiment 1 shows that the CE for targets composed of color is eliminated as soon as the correlation is removed. Experiment 2 shows that the CE during training is not due to association of the flankers with responses. Experiment 3 shows that at least some of the CE during training with the correlation is due to repetition priming of the display. Experiment 4 replicates the results of Experiment 1 for orientation targets. In Experiments 5-7, more typical tasks with letter targets are examined, and it is demonstrated that preexperimental similarity between targets and correlated flankers is crucial. The CE for correlated but dissimilar target-flanker pairs, similar to that for color and orientation targets, is confined to on-line processes that occur during training. The CE is transferred, however, for correlated and similar target-flanker pairs. We propose that, at least for the simple stimulus to response mapping used in our study, the CE is not due to learning at all. Instead it is due to (1) on-line processes, such as repetition priming, that occur during training with the correlation and (2) a regular flanker effect (see, e.g., B. A. Eriksen & C. W. Eriksen, 1974) that occurs for similar target-flanker pairs.

  5. Functions of multiple instances for sub-pixel target characterization in hyperspectral imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zare, Alina; Jiao, Changzhe

    2015-05-01

    In this paper, the Multi-target Extended Function of Multiple Instances (Multi-target eFUMI) method is developed and described. The method is capable of learning multiple target spectral signatures from weakly- and inaccurately-labeled hyperspectral imagery. Multi-target eFUMI is a generalization of the Function of Multiple Instances approach (FUMI). The FUMI approach differs significantly from standard Multiple Instance Learning (MIL) approach in that it assumes each data is a function of target and non-target "concepts." In this paper, data points which are convex combinations of multiple target and several non-target "concepts" are considered. Moreover, it allows both "proportion-level" and "bag-level" uncertainties in training data. Training data needs only binary labels indicating whether some spatial area contains or does not contain some proportion of target; the specific target proportions for the training data are not needed. Multi-target eFUMI learns the target and non-target concepts, the number of non-target concepts, and the proportions of all the concepts for each data point. After learning the target concepts using the binary "bag-level" labeled training data, target detection can be performed on test data. Results for sub-pixel target detection on simulated and real airborne hyperspectral data are shown.

  6. Stopping cancer in its tracks: using small molecular inhibitors to target glioblastoma migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Mattox, Austin K; Li, Jing; Adamson, David C

    2012-12-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) represents one of the most common aggressive types of primary brain tumors. Despite advances in surgical resection, novel neuroimaging procedures, and the most recent adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the median survival after diagnosis is about 12-14 months. Targeting migrating GBM cells is a key research strategy in the fight against this devastating cancer. Though the vast majority of the primary tumor focus can be surgically resected, these migrating cells are responsible for its universal recurrence. Numerous strategies and technologies are being explored to target migrating glioma cells, with small molecular inhibitors as one of the most commonly studied. Small molecule inhibitors, such as protein kinase inhibitors, phosphorylation site inhibitors, protease inhibitors, and antisense oligonucleotides show promise in slowing the progression of this disease. A better understanding of these small molecule inhibitors and how they target various extra- and intracellular signaling pathways may eventually lead to a cure for GBM.

  7. EPR characterization of molecular targets for NO · in mammalian cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guissani, A.; Henry, Y. A.

    1997-02-01

    First some elementary properties of nitric oxide NO · are presented: NO · is synthesized in mammalian cells from L-arginine, the reaction being catalyzed by the enzyme NO-synthase. The EPR spectroscopy of NO-complexes is shown; the formation of paramagnetic complexes with some metalloproteins including haemoglobin enables the EPR detection of such complexes. EPR-detectable targets for NO · in mammalian cells are then (rapidly) described, including first their detection (after induction of NO-synthases) through interaction of NO · with specific metalloenzymes, then NO · localization, the fact that the induction of NO-synthases in a generator cell such as a macrophage gives the same metabolic effects in target cells, and finally the implication of NO · in pathological states, where the inducible L-arginine-NO pathway plays an important role. It is concluded that EPR spectroscopy enables the unambiguous detection of such specific molecular targets for NO ·; in mammalian cells.

  8. The development of molecularly targeted anticancer therapies: an Eli Lilly and Company perspective.

    PubMed

    Perry, William L; Weitzman, Aaron

    2005-03-01

    The ability to identify activated pathways that drive the growth and progression of cancer and to develop specific and potent inhibitors of key proteins in these pathways promises to dramatically change the treatment of cancer: A patient's cancer could be characterized at the molecular level and the information used to select the best treatment options. The development of successful therapies not only requires extensive target validation, but also new approaches to evaluating drug efficacy in animal models and in the clinic compared to the development of traditional cytotoxic agents. This article highlights Eli Lilly and Company's approach to developing targeted therapies, from target identification and validation through evaluation in the clinic. A selection of drugs in the Lilly Oncology pipeline is also discussed.

  9. A comparative analysis of different molecular targets using PCR for diagnosis of old world leishmaniasis.

    PubMed

    Koltas, Ismail S; Eroglu, Fadime; Uzun, Soner; Alabaz, Derya

    2016-05-01

    The different sensitivity values were obtained in each study conducted for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). However, a standardized PCR target for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis does not exist. The aim of the current study, the most ideal PCR target was determined for diagnosis of leishmaniasis. A total of 72 smear and 48 bone marrow samples were analyzed with six different molecular targets to determine their potential as a tool for the specific molecular diagnosis of leishmaniasis using PCR. The positivity-negativity value and the sensitivity-specificity of each PCR targets were calculated. The positivity value of PCR targets were sequenced in different levels in the diagnosis of leishmaniasis from highest to lowest in the order of kDNA-PCR > SSU rRNA-PCR > ITS2-PCR > ITS1-PCR > ME-PCR > HSP70-PCR. The sensitivities of PCR targets except ITS1-PCR, ME-PCR and HSP70-PCR were found to be 100% in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and visceral leishmaniasis (VL) cases as compared to microscopic examination accepted as a gold standard. The sensitivities of ITS1-PCR, ME-PCR and HSP70-PCR were found 96.6%, 90.0% and 86.6%, respectively, in CL-cases. In addition, the sensitivities of ITS1-PCR, ME-PCR and HSP70-PCR were found 90.0%, 70.0% and 60.0%, respectively, in VL-cases. The kDNA genomic region was the most sensitive for routine diagnosis of leishmaniasis. ITS1-PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism, the alternative method for the identification of Old World Leishmania species, did not require culturing of the parasites.

  10. Low molecular weight heparin mediating targeting of lymph node metastasis based on nanoliposome and enzyme-substrate interaction.

    PubMed

    Ye, Tiantian; Jiang, Xuewei; Li, Jing; Yang, Rui; Mao, Yuling; Li, Kai; Li, Liang; Chen, Fen; Yao, Jianhua; Wu, Yingliang; Yang, Xinggang; Wang, Shujun; Pan, Weisan

    2015-05-20

    The aim of our study is to develop a new function of low molecular weight heparin (LMWHEP) for targeting tumor metastatic lymph node based on LMWHEP-modified nanoliposome and LMWHEP-heparanase (HPA) interaction (LMWHEP-HPA). At First, LMWHEP-modified nanoliposomes (LMWHEP-LPs) were prepared by the electrostatic attraction and the physiochemical properties were evaluated. Then the effects of LMWHEP-HPA on the stability and drug release were investigated. In addition, the cellular uptake of LMWHEP-LPs was studied by using Hela, MCF-7, L929 and RAW264.7 cells. Finally, the targeting ability as well as the tissue distribution was examined in the mice model bearing Hela tumor lymph node metastasis. LMWHEP-LPs prepared had suitable physicochemical properties. The effect results of LMWHEP-HPA showed that LMWHEP coated on the surface of nanoliposome could be degraded by HPA. Compared with the unmodified-nanoliposome, the LMWHEP modification could improve the cellular uptake and increase the targeting ability to the metastatic lymph nodes according to LMWHEP-HPA. This study demonstrates LMWHEP is a highly promising polymer material for the targeting of tumor lymph node metastasis.

  11. Characterizing EPR-Mediated Passive Drug Targeting using Contrast-Enhanced Functional Ultrasound Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Theek, Benjamin; Gremse, Felix; Kunjachan, Sijumon; Fokong, Stanley; Pola, Robert; Pechar, Michal; Deckers, Roel; Storm, Gert; Ehling, Josef; Kiessling, Fabian; Lammers, Twan

    2014-01-01

    The Enhanced Permeability and Retention (EPR) effect is extensively used in drug delivery research. Taking into account that EPR is a highly variable phenomenon, we have here set out to evaluate if contrast-enhanced functional ultrasound (ceUS) imaging can be employed to characterize EPR-mediated passive drug targeting to tumors. Using standard fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) and two different protocols for hybrid computed tomography-fluorescence molecular tomography (CT-FMT), the tumor accumulation of a ~10 nm-sized near-infrared-fluorophore-labeled polymeric drug carrier (pHPMA-Dy750) was evaluated in CT26 tumor-bearing mice. In the same set of animals, two different ceUS techniques (2D MIOT and 3D B-mode imaging) were employed to assess tumor vascularization. Subsequently, the degree of tumor vascularization was correlated with the degree of EPR-mediated drug targeting. Depending on the optical imaging protocol used, the tumor accumulation of the polymeric drug carrier ranged from 5-12% of the injected dose. The degree of tumor vascularization, determined using ceUS, varied from 4-11%. For both hybrid CT-FMT protocols, a good correlation between the degree of tumor vascularization and the degree of tumor accumulation was observed, with in the case of reconstructed CT-FMT, correlation coefficients of ~0.8 and p-values of <0.02. These findings indicate that ceUS can be used to characterize and predict EPR, and potentially also to pre-selecting patients likely to respond to passively tumor-targeted nanomedicine treatments. PMID:24631862

  12. PREFACE: International Symposium on Molecular Conductors: Novel Functions of Molecular Conductors under Extreme Conditions (ISMC 2008)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Toshihiro; Suzumura, Yoshikazu

    2008-02-01

    The International Symposium on Molecular Conductors 2008 (ISMC2008) was held as the second international symposium of the project entitled `Novel Functions of Molecular Conductors under Extreme Conditions', which was supported by the Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan. The project lasted from September 2003 to March 2008, and was completed by this symposium held at Okazaki Conference Center, Institute for Molecular Science, Okazaki, Japan (23-25 July 2008), which about 100 scientists attended. During the symposium, five project teams gave summary talks and exciting talks were given on the topics developed recently not only by the members of the project but also by other scientists including invited speakers from abroad, who are doing active research on molecular conductors. It is expected that papers presented in the symposium will give valuable hints for the next step in the research of this field. Therefore the organizers of this symposium decided to publish this proceedings in order to demonstrate these activities, not only for the local community of the project, but also for the broad society of international scientists who are interested in molecular conductors. The editors, who are also the organizers of this symposium, believe that this proceedings provides a significant and relevant contribution to the field of molecular conductors since it is the first time we have published such a proceedings as an electronic journal. We note that all papers published in this volume of Journal of Physics: Conference Series have been peer reviewed by expert referees. Editors made every effort to satisfy the criterion of a proceedings journal published by IOP Publishing. Toshihiro Takahashi and Yoshikazu Suzumura Editors: Toshihiro Takahashi (Gakushuin University) (Chairman) Kazushi Kanoda (University of Tokyo) Seiichi Kagoshima (University of Tokyo) Takehiko Mori (Tokyo

  13. A miRNA Signature of Chemoresistant Mesenchymal Phenotype Identifies Novel Molecular Targets Associated with Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bera, Alakesh; VenkataSubbaRao, Kolaparthi; Manoharan, Muthu Saravanan; Hill, Ping; Freeman, James W.

    2014-01-01

    In this study a microRNA (miRNA) signature was identified in a gemcitabine resistant pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell line model (BxPC3-GZR) and this signature was further examined in advanced PDAC tumor specimens from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. BxPC3-GZR showed a mesenchymal phenotype, expressed high levels of CD44 and showed a highly significant deregulation of 17 miRNAs. Based on relevance to cancer, a seven-miRNA signature (miR-100, miR-125b, miR-155, miR-21, miR-205, miR-27b and miR-455-3p) was selected for further studies. A strong correlation was observed for six of the seven miRNAs in 43 advanced tumor specimens compared to normal pancreas tissue. To assess the functional relevance we initially focused on miRNA-125b, which is over-expressed in both the BxPC3-GZR model and advanced PDAC tumor specimens. Knockdown of miRNA-125b in BxPC3-GZR and Panc-1 cells caused a partial reversal of the mesenchymal phenotype and enhanced response to gemcitabine. Moreover, RNA-seq data from each of 40 advanced PDAC tumor specimens from the TCGA data base indicate a negative correlation between expression of miRNA-125b and five of six potential target genes (BAP1, BBC3, NEU1, BCL2, STARD13). Thus far, two of these target genes, BBC3 and NEU1, that are tumor suppressor genes but not yet studied in PDAC, appear to be functional targets of miR-125b since knockdown of miR125b caused their up regulation. These miRNAs and their molecular targets may serve as targets to enhance sensitivity to chemotherapy and reduce metastatic spread. PMID:25184537

  14. Structure-function relationships of shared-stem and conventional molecular beacons.

    PubMed

    Tsourkas, Andrew; Behlke, Mark A; Bao, Gang

    2002-10-01

    Molecular beacons are oligonucleotide probes capable of forming a stem-loop hairpin structure with a reporter dye at one end and a quencher at the other end. Conventional molecular beacons are designed with a target-binding domain flanked by two complementary short arm sequences that are independent of the target sequence. Here we report the design of shared-stem molecular beacons with one arm participating in both stem formation when the beacon is closed and target hybridization when it is open. We performed a systematic study to compare the behavior of conventional and shared-stem molecular beacons by conducting thermodynamic and kinetic analyses. Shared-stem molecular beacons form more stable duplexes with target molecules than conventional molecular beacons; however, conventional molecular beacons may discriminate between targets with a higher specificity. For both conventional and shared-stem molecular beacons, increasing stem length enhanced the ability to differentiate between wild-type and mutant targets over a wider range of temperatures. Interestingly, probe-target hybridization kinetics were similar for both classes of molecular beacons and were influenced primarily by the length and sequence of the stem. These findings should enable better design of molecular beacons for various applications.

  15. Mammaglobin as a potential molecular target for breast cancer drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Lian; Li, Ly; Wang, Qian; Fleming, Timothy P; You, Shaojin

    2009-01-01

    Background Mammaglobin (MAM) has been used as a specific molecular marker for breast cancer diagnosis. Recently, several groups of researchers proposed a number of therapeutic strategies targeting this molecule. Some of the strategies are based upon an essential but not demonstrated hypothesis – mammaglobin is associated with the surface of breast cancer cells, which strongly disputes the therapeutic strategies. Results We conducted a computer-based predictive analysis and identified a small fragment at the N-end of MAM as a potential transmembrane domain. We provided several evidences to demonstrate the presence of the membrane-associated MAM. We isolated the membrane protein components from known MAM positive breast cancer cells (MDA-MB361 and MDA-MB415). We showed that about 22–64% of MAM proteins, depending upon the types of the cancer cells, directly attached on the membrane of breast cancer cells, by Western blotting assays. To directly visualize the presence of the membrane-bound MAM protein, we incubated the MAM positive cancer cells with FITC labeled anti-MAM antibody, and observed clear fluorescent signals on the surface of the cells. In studying the MAM protein distribution in human breast cancer tissues, we first identified two immunostain patterns that are associated with the membrane-bound MAM: the membrane stain pattern and luminary surface stain pattern. To test whether the membrane-associated MAM can serve as a molecular target for drug delivery, we conjugated anti-MAM antibody to human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and loaded doxorubicin (Dox) in the core of LDL. Specific binding and cytotoxicity of the MAM targeted and Dox loaded LDL was tested in the MAM positive breast cancer cells in vitro. Conclusion We first showed that some of MAM protein directly associated with the surface of breast cancer cells. The membrane-associated MAM protein may be utilized as a useful molecular marker for breast cancer targeted drug delivery. PMID:19309500

  16. Technological Advances in Bifidobacterial Molecular Genetics: Application to Functional Genomics and Medical Treatments

    PubMed Central

    FUKIYA, Satoru; HIRAYAMA, Yosuke; SAKANAKA, Mikiyasu; KANO, Yasunobu; YOKOTA, Atsushi

    2012-01-01

    Bifidobacteria are well known as beneficial intestinal bacteria that exert health-promoting effects in humans. In addition to physiological and immunological investigations, molecular genetic technologies have been developed and have recently started to be applied to clarify the molecular bases of host-Bifidobacterium interactions. These technologies include transformation technologies and Escherichia coli-Bifidobacterium shuttle vectors that enable heterologous gene expression. In this context, a plasmid artificial modification method that protects the introduced plasmid from the restriction system in host bifidobacteria has recently been developed to increase transformation efficiency. On the other hand, targeted gene inactivation systems, which are vital for functional genomics, seemed far from being practically applicable in bifidobacteria. However, remarkable progress in this technology has recently been achieved, enabling functional genomics in bifidobacteria. Integrated use of these molecular genetic technologies with omics-based analyses will surely boost characterization of the molecular basis underlying beneficial effects of bifidobacteria. Applications of recombinant bifidobacteria to medical treatments have also progressed. PMID:24936345

  17. Action of GH on skeletal muscle function: molecular and metabolic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Chikani, Viral; Ho, Ken K Y

    2014-02-01

    Skeletal muscle is a target tissue of GH. Based on its anabolic properties, it is widely accepted that GH enhances muscle performance in sports and muscle function in the elderly. This paper critically reviews information on the effects of GH on muscle function covering structure, protein metabolism, the role of IGF1 mediation, bioenergetics and performance drawn from molecular, cellular and physiological studies on animals and humans. GH increases muscle strength by enhancing muscle mass without affecting contractile force or fibre composition type. GH stimulates whole-body protein accretion with protein synthesis occurring in muscular and extra-muscular sites. The energy required to power muscle function is derived from a continuum of anaerobic and aerobic sources. Molecular and functional studies provide evidence that GH stimulates the anaerobic and suppresses the aerobic energy system, in turn affecting power-based functional measures in a time-dependent manner. GH exerts complex multi-system effects on skeletal muscle function in part mediated by the IGF system.

  18. The combination of novel targeted molecular agents and radiation in the treatment of pediatric gliomas.

    PubMed

    Dasgupta, Tina; Haas-Kogan, Daphne A

    2013-01-01

    Brain tumors are the most common solid pediatric malignancy. For high-grade, recurrent, or refractory pediatric brain tumors, radiation therapy (XRT) is an integral treatment modality. In the era of personalized cancer therapy, molecularly targeted agents have been designed to inhibit pathways critical to tumorigenesis. Our evolving knowledge of genetic aberrations in pediatric gliomas is being exploited with the use of specific targeted inhibitors. These agents are additionally being combined with XRT to increase the efficacy and duration of local control. In this review, we discuss novel agents targeting three different pathways in gliomas, and their potential combination with XRT. BRAF is a serine/threonine kinase in the RAS/RAF/MAPK kinase pathway, which is integral to cellular division, survival, and metabolism. Two-thirds of pilocytic astrocytomas, a low-grade pediatric glioma, contain a translocation within the BRAF gene called KIAA1549:BRAF that causes an overactivation of the MEK/MAPK signaling cascade. In vitro and in vivo data support the use of MEK or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors in low-grade gliomas expressing this translocation. Additionally, 15-20% of high-grade pediatric gliomas express BRAF V600E, an activating mutation of the BRAF gene. Pre-clinical in vivo and in vitro data in BRAF V600E gliomas demonstrate dramatic cooperation between XRT and small molecule inhibitors of BRAF V600E. Another major signaling cascade that plays a role in pediatric glioma pathogenesis is the PI3-kinase (PI3K)/mTOR pathway, known to be upregulated in the majority of high- and low-grade pediatric gliomas. Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors are in clinical trials for adult high-grade gliomas and are poised to enter studies of pediatric tumors. Finally, many brain tumors express potent stimulators of angiogenesis that render them refractory to treatment. An analog of thalidomide, CC-5103 increases the secretion of critical cytokines of the tumor

  19. From Molecular Meccano to Nano-Functional Materials for Molecular Electronics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sue, Chi-Hau

    resulting MOF-1001 and MOF-1002, which adopt the primitive cubic structure, are capable of docking paraquat cation guests within the crown ethers inside in a stereoelectronically controlled fashion, a behavior similar to enzymes binding incoming substrates. And MOF-1030, which is synthesized from an exceptionally long [2]catenane organic strut, is a three-dimensional MOF structure with vast openness, allowing MIMs-based prototypical molecular switches to be anchored at precise locations and with uniform relative orientations throughout the framework as a whole. These studies not only represent efficient approaches to the preparation of MOFs with complex functionalities, but also set the stage for the development of next-generation nano-functional materials for molecular electronics applications.

  20. Molecular stripping, targets and decoys as modulators of oscillations in the NF-κB/IκBα/DNA genetic network

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhipeng; Wolynes, Peter G.

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic transcription factors in the NF-κB family are central components of an extensive genetic network that activates cellular responses to inflammation and to a host of other external stressors. This network consists of feedback loops that involve the inhibitor IκBα, numerous downstream functional targets, and still more numerous binding sites that do not appear to be directly functional. Under steady stimulation, the regulatory network of NF-κB becomes oscillatory, and temporal patterns of NF-κB pulses appear to govern the patterns of downstream gene expression needed for immune response. Understanding how the information from external stress passes to oscillatory signals and is then ultimately relayed to gene expression is a general issue in systems biology. Recently, in vitro kinetic experiments as well as molecular simulations suggest that active stripping of NF-κB by IκBα from its binding sites can modify the traditional systems biology view of NF-κB/IκBα gene circuits. In this work, we revise the commonly adopted minimal model of the NF-κB regulatory network to account for the presence of the large number of binding sites for NF-κB along with dissociation from these sites that may proceed either by passive unbinding or by active molecular stripping. We identify regimes where the kinetics of target and decoy unbinding and molecular stripping enter a dynamic tug of war that may either compensate each other or amplify nuclear NF-κB activity, leading to distinct oscillatory patterns. Our finding that decoys and stripping play a key role in shaping the NF-κB oscillations suggests strategies to control NF-κB responses by introducing artificial decoys therapeutically. PMID:27683001

  1. Specific binding of molecularly targeted agents to pancreas tumors and impact on observed optical contrast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samkoe, Kimberley S.; Hextrum, Shannon K.; Pardesi, Omar; O'Hara, Julia A.; Hasan, Tayyaba; Pogue, Brian W.

    2010-02-01

    In optical imaging it is thought that optimum tumor contrast can be achieved with the use of small-labeled molecular tracers that have high affinity to their targets and fast clearance rates from the blood stream and healthy tissues. An example of this is fluorescently tagged EGF to monitor the molecular activity of tumors, such as pancreatic cancer. Extensive fluorescence contrast analysis for fluorescence molecular tomography has been performed on the AsPC-1 pancreas tumor, grown orthotopically in mice; yet, the binding dynamics of the EGF-fluorescent agent in vivo is not completely known. The bulk pancreatic tumor displays 3:1 contrast relative to the normal pancreas at long times after injection; however, even higher levels of fluorescence in the liver, kidney and intestine suggest that molecular specificity for the tumor may be low. Mice were administered a fluorescently labeled EGF agent and were sacrificed at various time points post-injection. To analyze the amount of specific binding at each time point frozen tissue samples were fluorescently imaged, washed with saline to remove the interstitially distributed contrast agent, and then imaged again. This technique demonstrated that approximately ~10% of the molecular target was firmly bound to the cell, while 90% was mobile or unbound. This low binding ratio suggests that the contrast observed is from inherent properties of the tumor (i.e. enhanced permeability and retention effect) and not from specific bound contrast as previously anticipated. The use of EGF contrast agents in MRI-guided fluorescence tomography and the impact of low binding specificity are discussed.

  2. Site-targeted acoustic contrast agent detects molecular expression of tissue factor after balloon angioplasty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Christopher S.; Abendschein, Dana R.; Scherrer, David E.; Scott, Michael J.; Marsh, Jon N.; Wickline, Samuel A.; Lanza, Gregory M.

    2000-04-01

    Complex molecular signaling heralds the early stages of pathologies such as angiogenesis, inflammation, and cellular responses to mechanically damaged coronary arteries after balloon angioplasty. In previous studies, we have demonstrated acoustic enhancement of blood clot morphology with the use of a nongaseous, ligand-targeted acoustic nanoparticle emulsion delivered to areas of thrombosis both in vitro and in vivo. In this paper, we characterize the early expression of tissue factor which contributes to subsequent arterial restenosis. Tissue factor is a 42kd glycoprotein responsible for blood coagulation but also plays a well-described role in cancer metastasis, angiogenesis, and vascular restenosis. This study was designed to determine whether the targeted contrast agent could localize tissue factor expressed within the wall of balloon-injured arteries. Both carotid arteries of five pigs (20 kg) were injured using an 8 X 20 mm angioplasty balloon. The carotids were treated in situ with a perfluorocarbon nanoparticle emulsion covalently complexed to either specific anti-tissue factor polyclonal F(ab) fragments (treatment) or non-specific IgG F(ab) fragments (control). Intravascular ultrasound (30 MHz) images of the arteries were obtained before and after exposure to the emulsions. Tissue- factor targeted ultrasonic contrast agent acoustically enhanced the subintima and media at the site of balloon- induced injury compared with control contrast arteries (p less than 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining confirmed the presence of increased tissue factor at the sites of acoustic enhancement. Binding of the targeted agents was demonstrated in vitro by scanning electron microscope images of cultured smooth muscle cells that constitutively express tissue factor. This study demonstrates the concept of molecular imaging and localization of carotid arteries' tissue factor in vivo using a new, nanoparticulate emulsion. Enhancement of the visualization of the molecular

  3. The Molecular Phenotype of Endocapillary Proliferation: Novel Therapeutic Targets for IgA Nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    John, Rohan; Grone, Elisabeth; Porubsky, Stefan; Gröne, Hermann-Josef; Herzenberg, Andrew M.; Scholey, James W.; Hladunewich, Michelle; Cattran, Daniel C.

    2014-01-01

    IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is a clinically and pathologically heterogeneous disease. Endocapillary proliferation is associated with higher risk of progressive disease, and clinical studies suggest that corticosteroids mitigate this risk. However, corticosteroids are associated with protean cellular effects and significant toxicity. Furthermore the precise mechanism by which they modulate kidney injury in IgAN is not well delineated. To better understand molecular pathways involved in the development of endocapillary proliferation and to identify novel specific therapeutic targets, we evaluated the glomerular transcriptome of microdissected kidney biopsies from 22 patients with IgAN. Endocapillary proliferation was defined according to the Oxford scoring system independently by 3 nephropathologists. We analyzed mRNA expression using microarrays and identified transcripts differentially expressed in patients with endocapillary proliferation compared to IgAN without endocapillary lesions. Next, we employed both transcription factor analysis and in silico drug screening and confirmed that the endocapillary proliferation transcriptome is significantly enriched with pathways that can be impacted by corticosteroids. With this approach we also identified novel therapeutic targets and bioactive small molecules that may be considered for therapeutic trials for the treatment of IgAN, including resveratrol and hydroquinine. In summary, we have defined the distinct molecular profile of a pathologic phenotype associated with progressive renal insufficiency in IgAN. Exploration of the pathways associated with endocapillary proliferation confirms a molecular basis for the clinical effectiveness of corticosteroids in this subgroup of IgAN, and elucidates new therapeutic strategies for IgAN. PMID:25133636

  4. Target Product Profile of a Molecular Drug-Susceptibility Test for Use in Microscopy Centers

    PubMed Central

    Denkinger, Claudia M.; Dolinger, David; Schito, Marco; Wells, William; Cobelens, Frank; Pai, Madhukar; Zignol, Matteo; Cirillo, Daniela Maria; Alland, David; Casenghi, Martina; Gallarda, Jim; Boehme, Catharina C.; Perkins, Mark D.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Current phenotypic testing for drug resistance in patients with tuberculosis is inadequate primarily with respect to turnaround time. Molecular tests hold the promise of an improved time to diagnosis. Methods. A target product profile for a molecular drug-susceptibility test (DST) was developed on the basis of a collaborative effort that included opinions gathered from researchers, clinicians, policy makers, and test developers on optimal clinical and operational characteristics in settings of intended use. In addition, the current diagnostic ecosystem and the diagnostic development landscape were mapped. Results. Molecular DSTs for detecting tuberculosis in microscopy centers should ideally evaluate for resistance to rifampin, fluoroquinolones, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide and enable the selection of the most appropriate treatment regimen. Performance characteristics of DSTs need to be optimized, but compromises can be made that depend on the trade-off between a false-positive result and a false-negative result. The operational requirements of a test will vary depending on the site of implementation. However, the most-important considerations pertain to quality control, maintenance and calibration, and the ability to export data. Conclusion. This target product profile defines the needs as perceived by the tuberculosis stakeholder community and attempts to provide a means of communication with test developers to ensure that fit-for-purpose DSTs are being developed. PMID:25765105

  5. Cell signalling in insulin secretion: the molecular targets of ATP, cAMP and sulfonylurea.

    PubMed

    Seino, S

    2012-08-01

    Clarification of the molecular mechanisms of insulin secretion is crucial for understanding the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetes and for development of novel therapeutic strategies for the disease. Insulin secretion is regulated by various intracellular signals generated by nutrients and hormonal and neural inputs. In addition, a variety of glucose-lowering drugs including sulfonylureas, glinide-derivatives, and incretin-related drugs such as dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are used for glycaemic control by targeting beta cell signalling for improved insulin secretion. There has been a remarkable increase in our understanding of the basis of beta cell signalling over the past two decades following the application of molecular biology, gene technology, electrophysiology and bioimaging to beta cell research. This review discusses cell signalling in insulin secretion, focusing on the molecular targets of ATP, cAMP and sulfonylurea, an essential metabolic signal in glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS), a critical signal in the potentiation of GIIS, and the commonly used glucose-lowering drug, respectively.

  6. Searching for life on Mars: selection of molecular targets for ESA's aurora ExoMars mission.

    PubMed

    Parnell, John; Cullen, David; Sims, Mark R; Bowden, Stephen; Cockell, Charles S; Court, Richard; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Gaubert, Francois; Grant, William; Parro, Victor; Rohmer, Michel; Sephton, Mark; Stan-Lotter, Helga; Steele, Andrew; Toporski, Jan; Vago, Jorge

    2007-08-01

    The European Space Agency's ExoMars mission will seek evidence of organic compounds of biological and non-biological origin at the martian surface. One of the instruments in the Pasteur payload may be a Life Marker Chip that utilizes an immunoassay approach to detect specific organic molecules or classes of molecules. Therefore, it is necessary to define and prioritize specific molecular targets for antibody development. Target compounds have been selected to represent meteoritic input, fossil organic matter, extant (living, recently dead) organic matter, and contamination. Once organic molecules are detected on Mars, further information is likely to derive from the detailed distribution of compounds rather than from single molecular identification. This will include concentration gradients beneath the surface and gradients from generic to specific compounds. The choice of biomarkers is informed by terrestrial biology but is wide ranging, and nonterrestrial biology may be evident from unexpected molecular distributions. One of the most important requirements is to sample where irradiation and oxidation are minimized, either by drilling or by using naturally excavated exposures. Analyzing regolith samples will allow for the search of both extant and fossil biomarkers, but sequential extraction would be required to optimize the analysis of each of these in turn. PMID:17723091

  7. Molecular Design for Tuning Work Functions of Transparent Conducting Electrodes.

    PubMed

    Koldemir, Unsal; Braid, Jennifer L; Morgenstern, Amanda; Eberhart, Mark; Collins, Reuben T; Olson, Dana C; Sellinger, Alan

    2015-06-18

    In this Perspective, we provide a brief background on the use of aromatic phosphonic acid modifiers for tuning work functions of transparent conducting oxides, for example, zinc oxide (ZnO) and indium tin oxide (ITO). We then introduce our preliminary results in this area using conjugated phosphonic acid molecules, having a substantially larger range of dipole moments than their unconjugated analogues, leading to the tuning of ZnO and ITO electrodes over a 2 eV range as derived from Kelvin probe measurements. We have found that these work function changes are directly correlated to the magnitude and the direction of the computationally derived molecular dipole of the conjugated phosphonic acids, leading to the predictive power of computation to drive the synthesis of new and improved phosphonic acid ligands. PMID:26266603

  8. Widespread functional and molecular imaging in drug development.

    PubMed

    Ashton, Edward A

    2007-11-01

    The numbers of both large- and small-molecule drug candidates have increased substantially over the past decade, while overall and late-stage failure rates have hovered around 80 and 50% respectively. The corresponding rise in research and development expenditures relative to numbers of approved drugs has made it increasingly apparent that new methods are needed to assess potential efficacy in the earliest stages of drug development. It is generally not possible to power early-phase trials sufficiently to demonstrate efficacy using clinical end points. However, functional imaging techniques can often provide both the sensitivity to treatment effects and high reproducibility necessary to obtain statistically supportable evidence of treatment effect, even in relatively small Phase I trials. This article examines both the benefits and potential pitfalls associated with the inclusion of functional and molecular imaging in the drug development process.

  9. Molecular electric moments calculated by using natural orbital functional theory.

    PubMed

    Mitxelena, Ion; Piris, Mario

    2016-05-28

    The molecular electric dipole, quadrupole, and octupole moments of a selected set of 21 spin-compensated molecules are determined employing the extended version of the Piris natural orbital functional 6 (PNOF6), using the triple-ζ Gaussian basis set with polarization functions developed by Sadlej, at the experimental geometries. The performance of the PNOF6 is established by carrying out a statistical analysis of the mean absolute errors with respect to the experiment. The calculated PNOF6 electric moments agree satisfactorily with the corresponding experimental data and are in good agreement with the values obtained by accurate ab initio methods, namely, the coupled-cluster single and doubles and multi-reference single and double excitation configuration interaction methods.

  10. Soluble, High Molecular Weight Polysilsesquioxanes with Carboxylate Functionalities

    SciTech Connect

    RAHIMIAN,KAMYAR; LOY,DOUGLAS A.; WHEELER,DAVID R.

    2000-07-14

    Trialkoxysilyl-containing monomers of the type (RO){sub 3}Si(CH{sub 2}){sub 3}C(O)OtBu (R = Me, Et) were prepared by hydrosilation of the corresponding vinylic tert-butyl esters CH{sub 3}CHCH{sub 2}C(O)OtBu. Acid- or base-catalyzed polymerization of the monomers leads to very high molecular weight polymers with relatively narrow polydispersities. The polymerization results in complete condensation of the alkoxy groups while the tert-butyl ester functionality remains fully intact. Partial or full deprotection of the tert-butyl group can easily be achieved to yield the corresponding carboxylic acid polymers. The ester and carboxylic acid functionalities of these new materials allow for their potential use in a variety of applications such as scavenging of heavy metals.

  11. Molecular electric moments calculated by using natural orbital functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitxelena, Ion; Piris, Mario

    2016-05-01

    The molecular electric dipole, quadrupole, and octupole moments of a selected set of 21 spin-compensated molecules are determined employing the extended version of the Piris natural orbital functional 6 (PNOF6), using the triple-ζ Gaussian basis set with polarization functions developed by Sadlej, at the experimental geometries. The performance of the PNOF6 is established by carrying out a statistical analysis of the mean absolute errors with respect to the experiment. The calculated PNOF6 electric moments agree satisfactorily with the corresponding experimental data and are in good agreement with the values obtained by accurate ab initio methods, namely, the coupled-cluster single and doubles and multi-reference single and double excitation configuration interaction methods.

  12. Implementation of Green's function molecular dynamics: An extension to LAMMPS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Ling Ti; Bartels, Guido; Campañá, Carlos; Denniston, Colin; Müser, Martin H.

    2009-06-01

    The Green's function molecular dynamics method, which enables one to study the elastic response of a three-dimensional solid to an external stress field by taking into consideration only the surface atoms, was implemented as an extension to an open source classical molecular dynamics simulation code LAMMPS. This was done in the style of fixes. The first fix, FixGFC, measures the elastic stiffness coefficients for a (small) solid block of a given material by making use of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. With the help of the second fix, FixGFMD, the coefficients obtained from FixGFC can then be used to compute the elastic forces for a (large) block of the same material. Both fixes are designed to be run in parallel and to exploit the functions provided by LAMMPS. Program summaryProgram title: FixGFC/FixGFMD Catalogue identifier: AECW_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AECW_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: yes No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 33 469 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 1 383 631 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: C++ Computer: All Operating system: Linux Has the code been vectorized or parallelized?: Parallelized via MPI RAM: Depends on the problem Classification: 7.7 External routines: MPI, FFTW 2.1.5 ( http://www.fftw.org/), LAMMPS version May 21, 2008 ( http://lammps.sandia.gov/) Nature of problem: Using molecular dynamics to study elastically deforming solids imposes very high computational costs because portions of the solid far away from the interface or contact points need to be included in the simulation to reproduce the effects of long-range elastic deformations. Green's function molecular dynamics (GFMD) incorporates the full elastic response of semi-infinite solids so that only surface atoms have to be considered in molecular dynamics simulations, thus

  13. Nanobubble-Affibody: Novel ultrasound contrast agents for targeted molecular ultrasound imaging of tumor.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hengli; Cai, Wenbin; Xu, Lei; Lv, Xiuhua; Qiao, Youbei; Li, Pan; Wu, Hong; Yang, Yilin; Zhang, Li; Duan, Yunyou

    2015-01-01

    Nanobubbles (NBs), as novel ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs), have attracted increasing attention in the field of molecular ultrasound imaging for tumors. However, the preparation of uniform-sized NBs is considered to be controversial, and poor tumor selectivity in in vivo imaging has been reported. In this study, we fabricated uniform nano-sized NBs (478.2 ± 29.7 nm with polydispersity index of 0.164 ± 0.044, n = 3) using a thin-film hydration method by controlling the thickness of phospholipid films; we then conjugated the NBs with Affibody molecules to produce nano-sized UCAs referred to as NB-Affibody with specific affinity to human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-overexpressing tumors. NB-Affibody presented good ultrasound enhancement, demonstrating a peak intensity of 104.5 ± 2.1 dB under ultrasound contrast scanning. Ex vivo experiments further confirmed that the NB-Affibody conjugates were capable of targeting HER2-expressing tumor cells in vivo with high affinity. The newly prepared nano-sized NB-Affibody conjugates were observed to be novel targeted UCAs for efficient and safe specific molecular imaging and may have potential applications in early cancer quantitative diagnosis and targeted therapy in the future.

  14. Molecular targeted therapy in enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: from biology to clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Fazio, N; Scarpa, A; Falconi, M

    2014-01-01

    Advanced enteropancreatic (EP) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) can be treated with several different therapies, including chemotherapy, biotherapy, and locoregional treatments. Over the last few decades, impressive progress has been made in the biotherapy field. Three main druggable molecular targets have been studied and developed in terms of therapy: somatostatin receptor (sstr), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and angiogenic factors. In particular, research has moved from the old somatostatin analogs (SSAs), such as octreotide (OCT) and lanreotide (LAN), specifically binding to the sstr-2, to the newer pasireotide (PAS), which presents a wider sstr spectrum. Over the last ten years, several molecular targeted agents (MTAs) have been studied in phase II trials, and very few of them have reached phase III. The mTOR inhibitor everolimus and the multitargeted inhibitor sunitinib have been approved for clinical use by the FDA and EMA in advanced well/moderately-differentiated (WD, MD) progressive pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs), on the basis of the positive results of two international large randomized phase III trials vs. placebo. Bevacizumab has been studied in a large US phase III trial vs. interferon (IFN)-alfa2b, and results are pending. In this review, the biological and clinical aspects of MTAs introduced into clinical practice or which are currently in an advanced phase of clinical investigation are addressed.

  15. Targeted next-generation sequencing for the detection of ciprofloxacin resistance markers using molecular inversion probes

    PubMed Central

    Stefan, Christopher P.; Koehler, Jeffrey W.; Minogue, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is an epidemic of increasing magnitude requiring rapid identification and profiling for appropriate and timely therapeutic measures and containment strategies. In this context, ciprofloxacin is part of the first-line of countermeasures against numerous high consequence bacteria. Significant resistance can occur via single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and deletions within ciprofloxacin targeted genes. Ideally, use of ciprofloxacin would be prefaced with AR determination to avoid overuse or misuse of the antibiotic. Here, we describe the development and evaluation of a panel of 44 single-stranded molecular inversion probes (MIPs) coupled to next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the detection of genetic variants known to confer ciprofloxacin resistance in Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis. Sequencing results demonstrate MIPs capture and amplify targeted regions of interest at significant levels of coverage. Depending on the genetic variant, limits of detection (LOD) for high-throughput pooled sequencing ranged from approximately 300–1800 input genome copies. LODs increased 10-fold in the presence of contaminating human genome DNA. In addition, we show that MIPs can be used as an enrichment step with high resolution melt (HRM) real-time PCR which is a sensitive assay with a rapid time-to-answer. Overall, this technology is a multiplexable upfront enrichment applicable with multiple downstream molecular assays for the detection of targeted genetic regions. PMID:27174456

  16. Fluorescent-Guided Surgical Resection of Glioma with Targeted Molecular Imaging Agents: A Literature Review.

    PubMed

    Craig, Sonya E L; Wright, James; Sloan, Andrew E; Brady-Kalnay, Susann M

    2016-06-01

    The median life expectancy after a diagnosis of glioblastoma is 15 months. Although chemotherapeutics may someday cure glioblastoma by killing the highly dispersive malignant cells, the most important contribution that clinicians can currently offer to improve survival is by maximizing the extent of resection and providing concurrent chemo-radiation, which has become standard. Strides have been made in this area with the advent and implementation of methods of improved intraoperative tumor visualization. One of these techniques, optical fluorescent imaging with targeted molecular imaging agents, allows the surgeon to view fluorescently labeled tumor tissue during surgery with the use of special microscopy, thereby highlighting where to resect and indicating when tumor-free margins have been obtained. This advantage is especially important at the difficult-to-observe margins where tumor cells infiltrate normal tissue. Targeted fluorescent agents also may be valuable for identifying tumor versus nontumor tissue. In this review, we briefly summarize nontargeted fluorescent tumor imaging agents before discussing several novel targeted fluorescent agents being developed for glioma imaging in the context of fluorescent-guided surgery or live molecular navigation. Many of these agents are currently undergoing preclinical testing. As the agents become available, however, it is necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each. PMID:26915698

  17. Target Definition in Salvage Radiotherapy for Recurrent Prostate Cancer: The Role of Advanced Molecular Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Amzalag, Gaël; Rager, Olivier; Tabouret-Viaud, Claire; Wissmeyer, Michael; Sfakianaki, Electra; de Perrot, Thomas; Ratib, Osman; Miralbell, Raymond; Giovacchini, Giampiero; Garibotto, Valentina; Zilli, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Salvage radiotherapy (SRT) represents the main treatment option for relapsing prostate cancer in patients after radical prostatectomy. Several open questions remain unanswered in terms of target volumes definition and delivered doses for SRT: the effective dose necessary to achieve biochemical control in the SRT setting may be different if the tumor recurrence is micro- or macroscopic. At the same time, irradiation of only the prostatic bed or of the whole pelvis will depend on the localization of the recurrence, local or locoregional. In the “theragnostic imaging” era, molecular imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) constitutes a useful tool for clinicians to define the site of the recurrence, the extent of disease, and individualize salvage treatments. The best option currently available in clinical routine is the combination of radiolabeled choline PET imaging and multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), associating the nodal and distant metastases identification based on PET with the local assessment by MRI. A new generation of targeted tracers, namely, prostate-specific membrane antigen, show promising results, with a contrast superior to choline imaging and a higher detection rate even for low prostate-specific antigen levels; validation studies are ongoing. Finally, imaging targeting bone remodeling, using whole-body SPECT–CT, is a relevant complement to molecular/metabolic PET imaging when bone involvement is suspected. PMID:27065024

  18. Oncogenic miR-544 is an important molecular target in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhi, Qiaoming; Guo, Xiaobo; Guo, Lei; Zhang, Rongjuan; Jiang, Jinling; Ji, Jun; Zhang, Jianian; Zhang, Jun; Chen, Xuehua; Cai, Qu; Li, Jianfang; Liu, Bingya; Zhu, Zhenggang; Yu, Yingyan

    2013-02-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and promoter hypermethylation are vital epigenetic mechanisms for transcriptional inactivation of tumor suppressor. IRX1 is a newly identified tumor suppressor gene and hypermethylation involves the decreased expression in gastric cancer. However, the microRNA regulatory mechanism on IRX1 expression is still unclear. In this study, we report an IRX1-targeting miRNA-544, which directly targets 3'-UTR of IRX1 gene by luciferase reporter assay. miR-544 suppresses the protein expression of IRX1 gene by Western blot and immunocytochemistry. Ectopic expression of miR-544 promotes cell proliferation and cell cycle progression significantly in vitro on gastric cancer cells. The study suggests that miR-544 is an oncogenic microRNA in gastric cancer. Over expression of miR-544 contributes to the inactivation and low-expression of IRX1 in gastric cancer. These findings are helpful for clarifying the molecular mechanisms involved in gastric carcinogenesis and indicate that miR-544 is a key regulator in switching cell cycle on or off. miR-544 may be a potential molecular target in miRNA-based strategy on gastric cancer.

  19. Trypanosoma cruzi Invasion into Host Cells: A Complex Molecular Targets Interplay.

    PubMed

    Campo, Vanessa Leiria; Martins-Teixeira, Maristela Braga; Carvalho, Ivone

    2016-01-01

    Chagas' disease is still a worldwide threat, with estimated from 6 to 7 million infected people, mainly in Latin America. Despite all efforts, especially from international consortia (DNDi, NMTrypI), to develop an innovative therapeutic strategy against this disease, no candidate has achieved full requirements for clinical use yet. In this review, we point out the general molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in T. cruzi cell invasion and elucidate the roles of specific parasite and host targets in the progress of Chagas' disease. Among these molecular targets are Gp85/transsialidase, mucins, cruzipain and oligopeptidase B, found in parasite cell surface, and Galectin-3 and Toll-like receptors present in host cells. Thus, the deep understanding of their interplay and involvement on T. cruzi host cell adhesion, invasion and evasion from host immune may expand the chances for discovering new therapeutic agents against this neglected disease. Additionally, these targets may represent a remarkable strategy to block parasite invasion in the early stages of infection. PMID:27281167

  20. Molecular signature of pancreatic adenocarcinoma: an insight from genotype to phenotype and challenges for targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sahin, Ibrahim H; Iacobuzio-Donahue, Christine A; O’Reilly, Eileen M

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains one of the most clinically challenging cancers despite an in-depth characterization of the molecular underpinnings and biology of this disease. Recent whole-genome-wide studies have elucidated the diverse and complex genetic alterations which generate a unique oncogenic signature for an individual pancreatic cancer patient and which may explain diverse disease behavior in a clinical setting. Areas covered In this review article, we discuss the key oncogenic pathways of pancreatic cancer including RAS-MAPK, PI3KCA and TGF-β signaling, as well as the impact of these pathways on the disease behavior and their potential targetability. The role of tumor suppressors particularly BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and their role in pancreatic cancer treatment are elaborated upon. We further review recent genomic studies and their impact on future pancreatic cancer treatment. Expert opinion Targeted therapies inhibiting pro-survival pathways have limited impact on pancreatic cancer outcomes. Activation of pro-apoptotic pathways along with suppression of cancer-stem-related pathways may reverse treatment resistance in pancreatic cancer. While targeted therapy or a ‘precision medicine’ approach in pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains an elusive challenge for the majority of patients, there is a real sense of optimism that the strides made in understanding the molecular underpinnings of this disease will translate into improved outcomes. PMID:26439702

  1. Targeted next-generation sequencing for the detection of ciprofloxacin resistance markers using molecular inversion probes.

    PubMed

    Stefan, Christopher P; Koehler, Jeffrey W; Minogue, Timothy D

    2016-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance (AR) is an epidemic of increasing magnitude requiring rapid identification and profiling for appropriate and timely therapeutic measures and containment strategies. In this context, ciprofloxacin is part of the first-line of countermeasures against numerous high consequence bacteria. Significant resistance can occur via single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and deletions within ciprofloxacin targeted genes. Ideally, use of ciprofloxacin would be prefaced with AR determination to avoid overuse or misuse of the antibiotic. Here, we describe the development and evaluation of a panel of 44 single-stranded molecular inversion probes (MIPs) coupled to next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the detection of genetic variants known to confer ciprofloxacin resistance in Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, and Francisella tularensis. Sequencing results demonstrate MIPs capture and amplify targeted regions of interest at significant levels of coverage. Depending on the genetic variant, limits of detection (LOD) for high-throughput pooled sequencing ranged from approximately 300-1800 input genome copies. LODs increased 10-fold in the presence of contaminating human genome DNA. In addition, we show that MIPs can be used as an enrichment step with high resolution melt (HRM) real-time PCR which is a sensitive assay with a rapid time-to-answer. Overall, this technology is a multiplexable upfront enrichment applicable with multiple downstream molecular assays for the detection of targeted genetic regions. PMID:27174456

  2. The structural, functional, and molecular organization of the brainstem.

    PubMed

    Nieuwenhuys, Rudolf

    2011-01-01

    According to His (1891, 1893) the brainstem consists of two longitudinal zones, the dorsal alar plate (sensory in nature) and the ventral basal plate (motor in nature). Johnston and Herrick indicated that both plates can be subdivided into separate somatic and visceral zones, distinguishing somatosensory and viscerosensory zones within the alar plate, and visceromotor and somatomotor zones within the basal plate. To test the validity of this "four-functional-zones" concept, I developed a topological procedure, surveying the spatial relationships of the various cell masses in the brainstem in a single figure. Brainstems of 16 different anamniote species were analyzed, and revealed that the brainstems are clearly divisible into four morphological zones, which correspond largely with the functional zones of Johnston and Herrick. Exceptions include (1) the magnocellular vestibular nucleus situated in the viscerosensory zone; (2) the basal plate containing a number of evidently non-motor centers (superior and inferior olives). Nevertheless the "functional zonal model" has explanatory value. Thus, it is possible to interpret certain brain specializations related to particular behavioral profiles, as "local hypertrophies" of one or two functional columns. Recent developmental molecular studies on brains of birds and mammals confirmed the presence of longitudinal zones, and also showed molecularly defined transverse bands or neuromeres throughout development. The intersecting boundaries of the longitudinal zones and the transverse bands appeared to delimit radially arranged histogenetic domains. Because neuromeres have been observed in embryonic and larval stages of numerous anamniote species, it may be hypothesized that the brainstems of all vertebrates share a basic organizational plan, in which intersecting longitudinal and transverse zones form fundamental histogenetic and genoarchitectonic units. PMID:21738499

  3. The Structural, Functional, and Molecular Organization of the Brainstem

    PubMed Central

    Nieuwenhuys, Rudolf

    2011-01-01

    According to His (1891, 1893) the brainstem consists of two longitudinal zones, the dorsal alar plate (sensory in nature) and the ventral basal plate (motor in nature). Johnston and Herrick indicated that both plates can be subdivided into separate somatic and visceral zones, distinguishing somatosensory and viscerosensory zones within the alar plate, and visceromotor and somatomotor zones within the basal plate. To test the validity of this “four-functional-zones” concept, I developed a topological procedure, surveying the spatial relationships of the various cell masses in the brainstem in a single figure. Brainstems of 16 different anamniote species were analyzed, and revealed that the brainstems are clearly divisible into four morphological zones, which correspond largely with the functional zones of Johnston and Herrick. Exceptions include (1) the magnocellular vestibular nucleus situated in the viscerosensory zone; (2) the basal plate containing a number of evidently non-motor centers (superior and inferior olives). Nevertheless the “functional zonal model” has explanatory value. Thus, it is possible to interpret certain brain specializations related to particular behavioral profiles, as “local hypertrophies” of one or two functional columns. Recent developmental molecular studies on brains of birds and mammals confirmed the presence of longitudinal zones, and also showed molecularly defined transverse bands or neuromeres throughout development. The intersecting boundaries of the longitudinal zones and the transverse bands appeared to delimit radially arranged histogenetic domains. Because neuromeres have been observed in embryonic and larval stages of numerous anamniote species, it may be hypothesized that the brainstems of all vertebrates share a basic organizational plan, in which intersecting longitudinal and transverse zones form fundamental histogenetic and genoarchitectonic units. PMID:21738499

  4. STAT3 Inhibition by Microtubule-Targeted Drugs: Dual Molecular Effects of Chemotherapeutic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Sarah R.; Chaudhury, Mousumi; Frank, David A.

    2011-01-01

    To improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies, it is necessary to identify molecular targets that are essential to a tumor cell but dispensable in a normal cell. Increasing evidence indicates that the transcription factor STAT3, which regulates the expression of genes controlling proliferation, survival, and self-renewal, constitutes such a target. Recently it has been found that STAT3 can associate with the cytoskeleton. Since many of the tumors in which STAT3 is activated, such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer, are responsive to drugs that target microtubules, we examined the effect of these compounds on STAT3. We found that microtubule stabilizers, such as paclitaxel, or microtubule inhibitors, such as vinorelbine, decrease the activating tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 in tumor cells and inhibit the expression of STAT3 target genes. Paclitaxel decreases the association between STAT3 and microtubules, and appears to decrease STAT3 phosphorylation through induction of a negative feedback regulator. The cytotoxic activity of paclitaxel in breast cancer cell lines correlates with its ability to decrease STAT3 phosphorylation. However, consistent with the necessity for expression of a negative regulator, treatment of resistant MDA-MB-231 cells with the DNA demethylating agent 5-azacytidine restores the ability of paclitaxel to block STAT3-dependent gene expression. Finally, the combination of paclitaxel and agents that directly target STAT3 has beneficial effects in killing STAT3-dependent cell lines. Thus, microtubule-targeted agents may exert some of their effects by inhibiting STAT3, and understanding this interaction may be important for optimizing rational targeted cancer therapies. PMID:21949561

  5. Using RNA as Molecular Code for Programming Cellular Function.

    PubMed

    Kushwaha, Manish; Rostain, William; Prakash, Satya; Duncan, John N; Jaramillo, Alfonso

    2016-08-19

    RNA is involved in a wide-range of important molecular processes in the cell, serving diverse functions: regulatory, enzymatic, and structural. Together with its ease and predictability of design, these properties can lead RNA to become a useful handle for biological engineers with which to control the cellular machinery. By modifying the many RNA links in cellular processes, it is possible to reprogram cells toward specific design goals. We propose that RNA can be viewed as a molecular programming language that, together with protein-based execution platforms, can be used to rewrite wide ranging aspects of cellular function. In this review, we catalogue developments in the use of RNA parts, methods, and associated computational models that have contributed to the programmability of biology. We discuss how RNA part repertoires have been combined to build complex genetic circuits, and review recent applications of RNA-based parts and circuitry. We explore the future potential of RNA engineering and posit that RNA programmability is an important resource for firmly establishing an era of rationally designed synthetic biology. PMID:26999422

  6. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Broccoli EMBRYONIC FLOWER 2 Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Long-Fang O.; Lin, Chun-Hung; Lai, Ying-Mi; Huang, Jia-Yuan; Sung, Zinmay Renee

    2012-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins regulate major developmental processes in Arabidopsis. EMBRYONIC FLOWER 2 (EMF2), the VEFS domain-containing PcG gene, regulates diverse genetic pathways and is required for vegetative development and plant survival. Despite widespread EMF2-like sequences in plants, little is known about their function other than in Arabidopsis and rice. To study the role of EMF2 in broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica cv. Elegance) development, we identified two broccoli EMF2 (BoEMF2) genes with sequence homology to and a similar gene expression pattern to that in Arabidopsis (AtEMF2). Reducing their expression in broccoli resulted in aberrant phenotypes and gene expression patterns. BoEMF2 regulates genes involved in diverse developmental and stress programs similar to AtEMF2 in Arabidopsis. However, BoEMF2 differs from AtEMF2 in the regulation of flower organ identity, cell proliferation and elongation, and death-related genes, which may explain the distinct phenotypes. The expression of BoEMF2.1 in the Arabidopsis emf2 mutant (Rescued emf2) partially rescued the mutant phenotype and restored the gene expression pattern to that of the wild type. Many EMF2-mediated molecular and developmental functions are conserved in broccoli and Arabidopsis. Furthermore, the restored gene expression pattern in Rescued emf2 provides insights into the molecular basis of PcG-mediated growth and development. PMID:22537758

  7. PNA Molecular Beacons Assembled by Post-Synthetic Click Chemistry Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoxiao; Hudson, Robert H E

    2015-10-12

    To avoid the tedious synthesis of functionalized peptide nucleic acid (PNA) monomers for probe development, we proposed a simple approach to modify PNA oligomers by post-synthetic on-resin click chemistry. PNA molecular beacons (MBs) were prepared by incorporation of azide-containing monomers into the oligomer by automatic solid-phase peptide synthesis and subsequent derivatization with pyrene moieties by copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition. Two pyrene-based quencher-free PNA molecular beacons, a stemless MB and one possessing a stem-loop structure, targeting a portion of the cystic fibrosis gene, were successfully synthesized by using this method. Fluorescence studies showed that the stem-loop MB exhibited better discrimination of changes in excimer/monomer ratios as compared to the stemless MB construct.

  8. Investigation of apoptotic events at molecular level induced by SERS guided targeted theranostic nanoprobe.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Nisha; Nair, Lakshmi V; Karunakaran, Varsha; Joseph, Manu M; Nair, Jyothi B; N, Ramya A; Jayasree, Ramapurath S; Maiti, Kaustabh Kumar

    2016-06-01

    Herein, we have examined distinctive structural and functional variations of cellular components during apoptotic cell death induced by a targeted theranostic nanoprobe, MMP-SQ@GNR@LAH-DOX, which acted as a SERS "on/off" probe in the presence of a MMP protease and executed synergistic photothermal chemotherapy, as reflected by the SERS fingerprinting, corresponding to the phosphodiester backbone of DNA. PMID:27211810

  9. Nanoparticle-facilitated functional and molecular imaging for the early detection of cancer

    PubMed Central

    Sivasubramanian, Maharajan; Hsia, Yu; Lo, Leu-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Cancer detection in its early stages is imperative for effective cancer treatment and patient survival. In recent years, biomedical imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and ultrasound have been greatly developed and have served pivotal roles in clinical cancer management. Molecular imaging (MI) is a non-invasive imaging technique that monitors biological processes at the cellular and sub-cellular levels. To achieve these goals, MI uses targeted imaging agents that can bind targets of interest with high specificity and report on associated abnormalities, a task that cannot be performed by conventional imaging techniques. In this respect, MI holds great promise as a potential therapeutic tool for the early diagnosis of cancer. Nevertheless, the clinical applications of targeted imaging agents are limited due to their inability to overcome biological barriers inside the body. The use of nanoparticles has made it possible to overcome these limitations. Hence, nanoparticles have been the subject of a great deal of recent studies. Therefore, developing nanoparticle-based imaging agents that can target tumors via active or passive targeting mechanisms is desirable. This review focuses on the applications of various functionalized nanoparticle-based imaging agents used in MI for the early detection of cancer. PMID:25988156

  10. Nanoparticle-facilitated functional and molecular imaging for the early detection of cancer.

    PubMed

    Sivasubramanian, Maharajan; Hsia, Yu; Lo, Leu-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Cancer detection in its early stages is imperative for effective cancer treatment and patient survival. In recent years, biomedical imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and ultrasound have been greatly developed and have served pivotal roles in clinical cancer management. Molecular imaging (MI) is a non-invasive imaging technique that monitors biological processes at the cellular and sub-cellular levels. To achieve these goals, MI uses targeted imaging agents that can bind targets of interest with high specificity and report on associated abnormalities, a task that cannot be performed by conventional imaging techniques. In this respect, MI holds great promise as a potential therapeutic tool for the early diagnosis of cancer. Nevertheless, the clinical applications of targeted imaging agents are limited due to their inability to overcome biological barriers inside the body. The use of nanoparticles has made it possible to overcome these limitations. Hence, nanoparticles have been the subject of a great deal of recent studies. Therefore, developing nanoparticle-based imaging agents that can target tumors via active or passive targeting mechanisms is desirable. This review focuses on the applications of various functionalized nanoparticle-based imaging agents used in MI for the early detection of cancer.

  11. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7

    PubMed Central

    Ismail, Hanafy M.; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H. L.; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; O’Neill, Paul M.; Ward, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography–MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  12. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Hanafy M; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H L; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A; O'Neill, Paul M; Ward, Stephen A

    2016-02-23

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography-MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  13. EDITORIAL: Design and function of molecular and bioelectronics devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krstic, Predrag; Forzani, Erica; Tao, Nongjian; Korkin, Anatoli

    2007-10-01

    Further rapid progress of electronics, in particular the increase of computer power and breakthroughs in sensor technology for industrial, medical diagnostics and environmental applications, strongly depends on the scaling of electronic devices, ultimately to the size of molecules. Design of controllable molecular-scale devices may resolve the problem of energy dissipation at the nanoscale and take advantage of molecular self-assembly in the so-called bottom-up approach. This special issue of Nanotechnology is devoted to a better understanding of the function and design of molecular-scale devices that are relevant to future electronics and sensor technology. Papers contained in this special issue are selected from the symposium Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics and Photonics: From Atoms to Materials to Devices to System Architecture (12-16 March, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona, USA), as well as from original and novel scientific contributions of invited world-renown researchers. It addresses both theoretical and experimental achievements in the fields of molecular and bioelectronics, chemical and biosensors at the molecular level, including carbon nanotubes, novel nanostructures, as well as related research areas and industrial applications. The conference series Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics and Photonics was launched as a truly interdisciplinary forum to bridge scientists and engineers to work across boundaries in the design of future information technologies, from atoms to materials to devices to system architecture. Following the first two successful meetings in Moscow, Russia (NGCM2002) and Krakow, Poland (NGCM2004), the third Nano and Giga Forum (NGC2007) was held in 2007 hosted by Arizona State University. Besides this special issue of Nanotechnology, two other collections (in the journal Solid State Electronics and the tutorial book in the series Nanostructure Science and Technology Springer) have published additional selected and invited papers

  14. Design and function of molecular and bioelectronics devices.

    PubMed

    Krstic, Predrag; Forzani, Erica; Tao, Nongjian; Korkin, Anatoli

    2007-10-24

    Further rapid progress of electronics, in particular the increase of computer power and breakthroughs in sensor technology for industrial, medical diagnostics and environmental applications, strongly depends on the scaling of electronic devices, ultimately to the size of molecules. Design of controllable molecular-scale devices may resolve the problem of energy dissipation at the nanoscale and take advantage of molecular self-assembly in the so-called bottom-up approach. This special issue of Nanotechnology is devoted to a better understanding of the function and design of molecular-scale devices that are relevant to future electronics and sensor technology. Papers contained in this special issue are selected from the symposium Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics and Photonics: From Atoms to Materials to Devices to System Architecture (12-16 March, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona, USA), as well as from original and novel scientific contributions of invited world-renown researchers. It addresses both theoretical and experimental achievements in the fields of molecular and bioelectronics, chemical and biosensors at the molecular level, including carbon nanotubes, novel nanostructures, as well as related research areas and industrial applications. The conference series Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics and Photonics was launched as a truly interdisciplinary forum to bridge scientists and engineers to work across boundaries in the design of future information technologies, from atoms to materials to devices to system architecture. Following the first two successful meetings in Moscow, Russia (NGCM2002) and Krakow, Poland (NGCM2004), the third Nano and Giga Forum (NGC2007) was held in 2007 hosted by Arizona State University. Besides this special issue of Nanotechnology, two other collections (in the journal Solid State Electronics and the tutorial book in the series Nanostructure Science and Technology Springer) have published additional selected and invited papers

  15. Design and function of molecular and bioelectronics devices.

    PubMed

    Krstic, Predrag; Forzani, Erica; Tao, Nongjian; Korkin, Anatoli

    2007-10-24

    Further rapid progress of electronics, in particular the increase of computer power and breakthroughs in sensor technology for industrial, medical diagnostics and environmental applications, strongly depends on the scaling of electronic devices, ultimately to the size of molecules. Design of controllable molecular-scale devices may resolve the problem of energy dissipation at the nanoscale and take advantage of molecular self-assembly in the so-called bottom-up approach. This special issue of Nanotechnology is devoted to a better understanding of the function and design of molecular-scale devices that are relevant to future electronics and sensor technology. Papers contained in this special issue are selected from the symposium Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics and Photonics: From Atoms to Materials to Devices to System Architecture (12-16 March, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona, USA), as well as from original and novel scientific contributions of invited world-renown researchers. It addresses both theoretical and experimental achievements in the fields of molecular and bioelectronics, chemical and biosensors at the molecular level, including carbon nanotubes, novel nanostructures, as well as related research areas and industrial applications. The conference series Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics and Photonics was launched as a truly interdisciplinary forum to bridge scientists and engineers to work across boundaries in the design of future information technologies, from atoms to materials to devices to system architecture. Following the first two successful meetings in Moscow, Russia (NGCM2002) and Krakow, Poland (NGCM2004), the third Nano and Giga Forum (NGC2007) was held in 2007 hosted by Arizona State University. Besides this special issue of Nanotechnology, two other collections (in the journal Solid State Electronics and the tutorial book in the series Nanostructure Science and Technology Springer) have published additional selected and invited papers

  16. Small Molecular-Sized Artesunate Attenuates Ocular Neovascularization via VEGFR2, PKCα, and PDGFR Targets.

    PubMed

    Zong, Yao; Yuan, Yongguang; Qian, Xiaobing; Huang, Zhen; Yang, Wei; Lin, Leilei; Zheng, Qishan; Li, Yujie; He, Huining; Gao, Qianying

    2016-08-02

    Ocular neovascularizatio