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Sample records for molecular functions targeted

  1. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Nuclear Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor is a Functional Molecular Target in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Toni M.; Iida, Mari; Luthar, Neha; Kostopoulos, Kellie T.; Corrigan, Kelsey L.; Wleklinski, Matthew J.; Yang, David; Wisinski, Kari B.; Salgia, Ravi; Wheeler, Deric L.

    2014-01-01

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subclass of breast cancers (i.e. estrogen receptor negative, progesterone receptor negative, and HER2 negative) that have poor prognosis and very few identified molecular targets. Strikingly, a high percentage of TNBC’s overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), yet EGFR inhibition has yielded little clinical benefit. Over the last decade, advances in EGFR biology have established that EGFR functions in two distinct signaling pathways: 1) classical membrane-bound signaling, and 2) nuclear signaling. Previous studies have demonstrated that nuclear EGFR (nEGFR) can enhance resistance to anti-EGFR therapies and is correlated with poor overall survival in breast cancer. Based on these findings we hypothesized that nEGFR may promote intrinsic resistance to cetuximab in TNBC. To examine this question, a battery of TNBC cell lines and human tumors were screened and found to express nEGFR. Knockdown of EGFR expression demonstrated that TNBC cell lines retained dependency on EGFR for proliferation, yet all cell lines were resistant to cetuximab. Further, Src Family Kinases (SFKs) influenced nEGFR translocation in TNBC cell lines and in vivo tumor models, where inhibition of SFK activity led to potent reductions in nEGFR expression. Inhibition of nEGFR translocation led to a subsequent accumulation of EGFR on the plasma membrane, which greatly enhanced sensitivity of TNBC cells to cetuximab. Collectively, these data suggest that targeting both the nEGFR signaling pathway, through the inhibition of its nuclear transport, and the classical EGFR signaling pathway with cetuximab may be a viable approach for the treatment of TNBC patients. PMID:24634415

  3. Cardiotoxicity of Molecularly Targeted Agents

    PubMed Central

    Hedhli, Nadia; Russell, Kerry S

    2011-01-01

    Cardiac toxicity of molecularly targeted cancer agents is increasingly recognized as a significant side effect of chemotherapy. These new potent therapies may not only affect the survival of cancer cells, but have the potential to adversely impact normal cardiac and vascular function. Unraveling the mechanisms by which these therapies affect the heart and vasculature is crucial for improving drug design and finding alternative therapies to protect patients predisposed to cardiovascular disease. In this review, we summarize the classification and side effects of currently approved molecularly targeted chemotherapeutics. PMID:22758623

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. An overview on the marine neurotoxin, saxitoxin: genetics, molecular targets, methods of detection and ecological functions.

    PubMed

    Cusick, Kathleen D; Sayler, Gary S

    2013-03-27

    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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Staquicini, Fernanda I.; Qian, Ming D.; Salameh, Ahmad; ...

    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

  9. 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.

  10. Targeting and molecular imaging of HepG2 cells using surface-functionalized gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rathinaraj, Pierson; Lee, Kyubae; Choi, Yuri; Park, Soo-Young; Kwon, Oh Hyeong; Kang, Inn-Kyu

    2015-07-01

    Mercaptosuccinic acid (M)-conjugated gold nanoparticles (GM) were prepared and characterized by transmission electron microscope and dynamic light scattering. M was used to improve the monodispersity and non-specific intracellular uptake of nanoparticles. Lactobionic acid (L) was subsequently conjugated to the GM to target preferentially HepG2 cells (liver cancer cells) that express asialoglycoprotein receptors (ASGPR) on their membrane surfaces and facilitate the transit of nanoparticles across the cell membrane. The mean size of lactobionic acid-conjugated gold nanoparticle (GL) was approximately 10 ± 0.2 nm. Finally, the Atto 680 dye (A6) was coupled to the nanoparticles to visualize their internalization into HepG2 cells. The interaction of surface-modified gold nanoparticles with HepG2 cells was studied after culturing cells in media containing the GM or L-conjugated GM (GL).

  11. Bivalent Ligands Targeting Chemokine Receptor Dimerization: Molecular Design and Functional Studies

    PubMed Central

    Arnatt, Christopher Kent; Zhang, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence has shown that chemokine receptors may form functional dimers with unique pharmacological profiles. A common practice to characterize such G protein-coupled receptor dimerization processes is to apply bivalent ligands as chemical probes which can interact with both receptors simultaneously. Currently, two chemokine receptor dimers have been studied by applying bivalent compounds: the CXCR4-CXCR4 homodimer and the CCR5-MOR heterodimer. These bivalent compounds have revealed how dimerization influences receptor function and may lead to novel therapeutics. Future design of bivalent ligands for chemokine receptor dimers may be aided with the recently available CXCR4 homodimer, and CCR5 monomer crystal structures by more accurately simulating chemokine receptors and their dimers. PMID:25159160

  12. Targeted Molecular Therapies for SBMA.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Carlo; Malik, Bilal; Greensmith, Linda

    2016-03-01

    Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is a late-onset neuromuscular disease caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the androgen receptor gene which results in progressive spinal and bulbar motor neuron degeneration, and muscle atrophy. Although the causative genetic defect is known, until recently, the molecular pathogenesis of the disease was unclear, resulting in few, if any, targets for therapy development. However, over the past decade, our understanding of the pathomechanisms that play a role in SBMA has increased dramatically, and several of these pathways and mechanisms have now been investigated as possible therapeutic targets. In this review, we discuss some of the key pathomechanisms implicated in SBMA and describe some of the therapeutic strategies that have been tested in SBMA to date, which fall into four main categories: (i) gene silencing; (ii) protein quality control and/or increased protein degradation; (iii) androgen deprivation; and (iv) modulation of AR function. Finally, it is also now clear that in addition to a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease, the development of an effective disease modifying therapy for SBMA will require the coordinated, collaborative effort of research teams with diverse areas of expertise, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies as well as patient groups.

  13. [Molecular targets in colon cancer].

    PubMed

    Borner, M M

    2006-04-01

    Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Switzerland. The nihilism that dominated the treatment of these patients for decades has been replaced by a measure of enthusiasm, given recent therapeutic advances. New anticancer drugs such as irinotecan and oxaliplatin have changed the standard chemotherapy treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. However, the real hype has come from molecular targeted therapy. Identification of cellular processes characteristic of colon cancer has permitted therapeutic targeting with favorable therapeutic index. Inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor in the clinic has provided proof of principle that interruption of signal transduction cascades in patients has therapeutic potential. Angiogenesis, especially the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway, has been proven to be another highly successful molecular target. In this article, we will review molecular targets, which are under active clinical investigation in colon cancer.

  14. Tumor suppressive microRNA-1285 regulates novel molecular targets: Aberrant expression and functional significance in renal cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Hirofumi; Yamasaki, Takeshi; Yamada, Yasutoshi; Nohata, Nijiro; Fuse, Miki; Nakagawa, Masayuki; Enokida, Hideki

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNA) are non-coding RNAs, approximately 22 nucleotides in length, which function as post-transcriptional regulators. A large body of evidence indicates that miRNAs regulate the expression of cancer-related genes involved in proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis. The aim of this study was to identify novel cancer networks in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) based on miRNA expression signatures obtained from RCC clinical specimens. Expression signatures revealed that 103 miRNAs were significantly downregulated (< 0.5-fold change) in RCC specimens. Functional screening (cell proliferation assays) was performed to identify tumor suppressive activities of 20 downregulated miRNAs. Restoration of mature miRNAs in cancer cells showed that 14 miRNAs (miR-1285, miR-206, miR-1, miR-135a, miR-429, miR-200c, miR-1291, miR-133b, miR-508-3p, miR-360-3p, miR-509-5p, miR-218, miR-335, miR-1255b and miR-1285) markedly inhibited cancer cell proliferation, suggesting that these miRNAs were candidate tumor suppressive miRNAs in RCC. We focused on miR-1285 because it significantly inhibited cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and migration following its transfection. We addressed miR-1285-regulated cancer networks by using genome-wide gene expression analysis and bioinformatics. The data showed that transglutaminase 2 (TGM2) was directly regulated by miR-1285. Silencing of the target gene demonstrated significant inhibition of cell proliferation and invasion in the RCC cells. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry showed that TGM2 expression levels in RCC specimens were significantly higher than those in normal renal tissues. Downregulation of tumor suppressive miR-1285, which targets oncogenic genes including TGM2, might contribute to RCC development. Thus, miR-1285 modulates a novel molecular target and provides new insights into potential mechanisms of RCC oncogenesis. PMID:22294552

  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

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

    2016-05-10

    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.

  17. 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

  18. [Anti-angiogenesis and molecular targeted therapies].

    PubMed

    Miyanaga, Akihiko; Gemma, Akihiko

    2015-08-01

    Tumor angiogenesis contributes to the development of tumor progression. Several vascular endothelial growth factor(VEGF)-targeted agents, administered either as single agents or in combination with chemotherapy, have been shown to benefit patients with advanced-stage malignancies. In particular, bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically targets VEGF, inhibiting angiogenesis, thereby impeding tumor growth and survival. It is also possible that combined VEGF and the epidermal growth factor (EGFR) pathway blockade could further enhance antitumor efficacy and help prevent resistance to therapy. Preclinical and clinical studies have shown new various molecular targets and the functional characteristics of tumor angiogenesis, which may provide strategies for improving the therapeutic benefit.

  19. 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

  20. Phylogenetic molecular function annotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelhardt, Barbara E.; Jordan, Michael I.; Repo, Susanna T.; Brenner, Steven E.

    2009-07-01

    It is now easier to discover thousands of protein sequences in a new microbial genome than it is to biochemically characterize the specific activity of a single protein of unknown function. The molecular functions of protein sequences have typically been predicted using homology-based computational methods, which rely on the principle that homologous proteins share a similar function. However, some protein families include groups of proteins with different molecular functions. A phylogenetic approach for predicting molecular function (sometimes called "phylogenomics") is an effective means to predict protein molecular function. These methods incorporate functional evidence from all members of a family that have functional characterizations using the evolutionary history of the protein family to make robust predictions for the uncharacterized proteins. However, they are often difficult to apply on a genome-wide scale because of the time-consuming step of reconstructing the phylogenies of each protein to be annotated. Our automated approach for function annotation using phylogeny, the SIFTER (Statistical Inference of Function Through Evolutionary Relationships) methodology, uses a statistical graphical model to compute the probabilities of molecular functions for unannotated proteins. Our benchmark tests showed that SIFTER provides accurate functional predictions on various protein families, outperforming other available methods.

  1. Functional Genomic mRNA Profiling of Colorectal Adenomas: Identification and in vivo Validation of CD44 and Splice Variant CD44v6 as Molecular Imaging Targets.

    PubMed

    Hartmans, Elmire; Orian-Rousseau, Veronique; Matzke-Ogi, Alexandra; Karrenbeld, Arend; de Groot, Derk Jan A; de Jong, Steven; van Dam, Gooitzen M; Fehrmann, Rudolf S N; Nagengast, Wouter B

    2017-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. High adenoma miss rates, especially seen in high-risk patients, demand for better endoscopic detection. By fluorescently 'highlighting' specific molecular characteristics, endoscopic molecular imaging has great potential to fulfill this need. To implement this technique effectively, target proteins that distinguish adenomas from normal tissue must be identified. In this study we applied in silico Functional Genomic mRNA (FGmRNA) profiling, which is a recently developed method that results in an enhanced view on the downstream effects of genomic alterations occurring in adenomas on gene expression levels. FGmRNA profiles of sporadic adenomas were compared to normal colon tissue to identify overexpressed genes. We validated the protein expression of the top identified genes, AXIN2, CEMIP, CD44 and JUN, in sporadic adenoma patient samples via immunohistochemistry (IHC). CD44 was identified as the most attractive target protein for imaging purposes and we proved its relevance in high-risk patients by demonstrating CD44 protein overexpression in Lynch lesions. Subsequently, we show that the epithelial splice variant CD44V6 is highly overexpressed in our patient samples and we demonstrated the feasibility of visualizing adenomas in Apc(Min/+) mice in vivo by using a fluorescently labeled CD44v6 targeting peptide. In conclusion, via in silico functional genomics and ex vivo protein validation, this study identified CD44 as an attractive molecular target for both sporadic and high-risk Lynch adenomas, and demonstrates the in vivo applicability of a small peptide drug directed against splice variant CD44v6 for adenoma imaging.

  2. Functional Genomic mRNA Profiling of Colorectal Adenomas: Identification and in vivo Validation of CD44 and Splice Variant CD44v6 as Molecular Imaging Targets

    PubMed Central

    Hartmans, Elmire; Orian-Rousseau, Veronique; Matzke-Ogi, Alexandra; Karrenbeld, Arend; de Groot, Derk Jan A.; de Jong, Steven; van Dam, Gooitzen M.; Fehrmann, Rudolf S.N.; Nagengast, Wouter B.

    2017-01-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. High adenoma miss rates, especially seen in high-risk patients, demand for better endoscopic detection. By fluorescently 'highlighting' specific molecular characteristics, endoscopic molecular imaging has great potential to fulfill this need. To implement this technique effectively, target proteins that distinguish adenomas from normal tissue must be identified. In this study we applied in silico Functional Genomic mRNA (FGmRNA) profiling, which is a recently developed method that results in an enhanced view on the downstream effects of genomic alterations occurring in adenomas on gene expression levels. FGmRNA profiles of sporadic adenomas were compared to normal colon tissue to identify overexpressed genes. We validated the protein expression of the top identified genes, AXIN2, CEMIP, CD44 and JUN, in sporadic adenoma patient samples via immunohistochemistry (IHC). CD44 was identified as the most attractive target protein for imaging purposes and we proved its relevance in high-risk patients by demonstrating CD44 protein overexpression in Lynch lesions. Subsequently, we show that the epithelial splice variant CD44V6 is highly overexpressed in our patient samples and we demonstrated the feasibility of visualizing adenomas in ApcMin/+ mice in vivo by using a fluorescently labeled CD44v6 targeting peptide. In conclusion, via in silico functional genomics and ex vivo protein validation, this study identified CD44 as an attractive molecular target for both sporadic and high-risk Lynch adenomas, and demonstrates the in vivo applicability of a small peptide drug directed against splice variant CD44v6 for adenoma imaging. PMID:28255344

  3. 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

  4. Tamoxifen Resistance: Emerging Molecular Targets.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-19

    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.

  5. Molecularly imprinted polymers with multi-functionality.

    PubMed

    Ye, Lei

    2016-03-01

    Molecular imprinting is a very powerful synthetic method for preparation of robust materials with pre-designed molecular selectivity. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) are attractive substitutes for antibodies in many analytical and bioanalytical applications, e.g. for development of biosensors and for drug assays. In addition to selective molecular binding, new functions are being added to MIPs to make the synthetic materials responsive to different environmental conditions, making it possible to modulate the binding and release of different molecular targets and to simplify affinity separation. Introduction of signal-transduction functionality into MIPs also brings in new, more easily operated chemical sensors for detection and quantification of important analytical targets.

  6. 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

  7. Molecular functions of the iron-regulated metastasis suppressor, NDRG1, and its potential as a molecular target for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Fang, Bernard A; Kovačević, Žaklina; Park, Kyung Chan; Kalinowski, Danuta S; Jansson, Patric J; Lane, Darius J R; Sahni, Sumit; Richardson, Des R

    2014-01-01

    N-myc down-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is a known metastasis suppressor in multiple cancers, being also involved in embryogenesis and development, cell growth and differentiation, lipid biosynthesis and myelination, stress responses and immunity. In addition to its primary role as a metastasis suppressor, NDRG1 can also influence other stages of carcinogenesis, namely angiogenesis and primary tumour growth. NDRG1 is regulated by multiple effectors in normal and neoplastic cells, including N-myc, histone acetylation, hypoxia, cellular iron levels and intracellular calcium. Further, studies have found that NDRG1 is up-regulated in neoplastic cells after treatment with novel iron chelators, which are a promising therapy for effective cancer management. Although the pathways by which NDRG1 exerts its functions in cancers have been documented, the relationship between the molecular structure of this protein and its functions remains unclear. In fact, recent studies suggest that, in certain cancers, NDRG1 is post-translationally modified, possibly by the activity of endogenous trypsins, leading to a subsequent alteration in its metastasis suppressor activity. This review describes the role of this important metastasis suppressor and discusses interesting unresolved issues regarding this protein.

  8. [Functional targets of Chinese herbal medicine].

    PubMed

    Xiao, Bin; Wang, Yun

    2010-12-01

    In order to elucidate the mechanisms of Chinese herbal medicine, much work has been done based on chemical constituent-target in the molecular system. It cannot comply with the holistic efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine. Thus, the authors of this paper proposed to study the functional target adopted from Western medicine. The data of Chinese herbal function were collected from 2005 edition of The People's Republic of China Pharmacopoeia. A total of 135 functional targets were found, and a network about functional target and mode of action was built. The authors also explored the applications of functional target and the network combined with Sijunzi Decoction and Mahuang Decoction. The results, reflecting the feature of Chinese herbal medicine, will not only be helpful to elucidate the holistic mechanisms of Chinese herbal medicine, but also beneficial to studying the theory of Chinese formulas and developing new formulas.

  9. Functionalized polymeric nanoparticles loaded with indocyanine green as theranostic materials for targeted molecular near infrared fluorescence imaging and photothermal destruction of ovarian cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Bahmani, Baharak; Guerrero, Yadir; Bacon, Danielle; Kundra, Vikas; Vullev, Valentine I; Anvari, Bahman

    2014-09-01

    Ovarian cancer remains the deadliest malignancy of the female reproductive system. The ability to identify and destroy all ovarian tumor nodules may have a termendous impact on preventing tumor recurrence, and patient survival. The objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a nano-structured system for combined near infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) over-expression, as a biomarker of ovarian cancer cells, and photothermal destruction of these cells in vitro. The nano-structured system consists of the near infrared dye, indocyanine green (ICG), encapsulated within poly(allylamine) hydrochloride chains cross-linked ionically with sodium phosphate. The surface of the construct is functionalized by covalently attached polyethylene glycol, and monoclonal antibodies against HER2 using reducitve amination methods. We use dynamic light scattering, and absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy for phyiscal characterization of the constructs. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy are used to investigate molecular targeting and imaging capabilities of the constructs against SKOV3 and OVCAR3 ovarian cancer cell lines, which have relatively high and low expression levels of the HER2 receptor, respectively. Continuous NIR laser irradiation at 808 nm is used to investigating the utility of the constructs in mediating photothermal destruction of SKOV3 cells. Flow cytometry results indicate that the functionalized nano-constructs are more effective in targeting the HER2 receptor than non-encapsulated ICG and non-functionlaized constructs (P < 0.005). Fluorescence microscopic images show the capaiblity of the functionalized constructs in NIR imaging of HER2 overexpression. The functionalized nano-constructs are also capable of inducing a significantly greater increase in photothermal destruction of SKOV3 cells than free ICG and non-functionalized constructs (P < 0.005). We have demonstrated the

  10. Novel molecular targets for antimalarial chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Jana, Snehasis; Paliwal, Jyoti

    2007-07-01

    The emergence and spread of drug-resistant malaria parasites is a serious public health problem in the tropical world. Malaria control has relied upon the traditional quinoline, antifolate and artemisinin compounds. Very few new antimalarials were developed in the last quarter of the 20th century. An alarming increase in drug-resistant strains of the malaria parasite poses a significant problem for effective control. Recent advances in our knowledge of parasite biology as well as the availability of the genome sequence provide a wide range of novel targets for drug design. Gene products involved in controlling vital aspects of parasite metabolism and organelle function could be attractive targets. It is expected that the application of functional genomic tools in combination with modern approaches such as structure-based drug design and combinatorial chemistry will lead to the development of effective new drugs against drug-resistant malaria strains. This review discusses novel molecular targets of the malaria parasite available to the drug discovery scientist.

  11. Ion channels: molecular targets of neuroactive insecticides.

    PubMed

    Raymond-Delpech, Valérie; Matsuda, Kazuhiko; Sattelle, Benedict M; Rauh, James J; Sattelle, David B

    2005-11-01

    Many of the insecticides in current use act on molecular targets in the insect nervous system. Recently, our understanding of these targets has improved as a result of the complete sequencing of an insect genome, i.e., Drosophila melanogaster. Here we examine the recent work, drawing on genetics, genomics and physiology, which has provided evidence that specific receptors and ion channels are targeted by distinct chemical classes of insect control agents. The examples discussed include, sodium channels (pyrethroids, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), dihydropyrazoles and oxadiazines); nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (cartap, spinosad, imidacloprid and related nitromethylenes/nitroguanidines); gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (cyclodienes, gamma-BHC and fipronil) and L-glutamate receptors (avermectins). Finally, we have examined the molecular basis of resistance to these molecules, which in some cases involves mutations in the molecular target, and we also consider the future impact of molecular genetic technologies in our understanding of the actions of neuroactive insecticides.

  12. Molecularly Targeted Therapies for Malignant Gliomas

    PubMed Central

    Argyriou, Andreas A; Kalofonos, Haralabos P

    2009-01-01

    This review critically evaluates current knowledge of molecularly targeted therapies of malignant gliomas. Various molecularly targeted single-agent therapies, including targeted therapies of growth and survival, have been evaluated in clinical trials but have failed to demonstrate a significant survival benefit compared with standard treatment regimens. The efficacy of multi-targeted kinase inhibitors or combinations of single-targeted kinase inhibitors is a promising strategy, but requires additional clinical evaluation before definitive conclusions can be made. Important areas for further research include the assessment of serum or tissue biomarkers, the elucidation of prognostic molecular markers, and the determination of whether the mechanism of action of a drug is appropriate to the genetic alterations observed within individual tumors. PMID:19148300

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. [Molecular targeted therapy in lymphoid leukemias].

    PubMed

    Kojima, Kensuke; Ando, Toshihiko; Kimura, Shinya

    2014-06-01

    Recent advances in the treatment of lymphoid leukemias have incorporated molecular targeted drugs (CD20-targeting rituximab and BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors) into the traditional chemotherapeutic agents. This article reviews novel molecular targeted therapies for patients with lymphoid leukemias including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, hairly cell leukemia and HTLV-I-related adult T-cell leukemia. Investigational agents that will be discussed in this review include inotuzumab, blinatumomab, alemtuzumab, ofatumumab, ibrutinib, idelalisib, bafetinib, lenalidomide, ABT-199 and mogamulizumab. Novel approaches warrant continued research to improve outcomes for patients with lymphoid leukemias.

  16. Molecular targeting for malignant gliomas (Review).

    PubMed

    Kondo, Yasuko; Hollingsworth, Emporia F; Kondo, Seiji

    2004-05-01

    With tendency to invade rapidly in the brain, malignant gliomas are very resistant to conventional therapies including radiation and chemotherapy. Recent advances in genetic and molecular techniques have made it possible to define characteristic molecular profiles of malignant gliomas. Based on the list of the molecules closely related to glioblastoma tissues, we reviewed strategies targeting them. Target molecules extensively studied include EGFR, PTEN, telomerase and signal pathway modulators for Ras/Raf/MAPK and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways. Therapies targeting specific molecules may result in killing tumor cells effectively while keeping normal cells intact.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. [Non oncologic applications of molecular targeted therapies].

    PubMed

    Khaled, Wassef; de la Motte Rouge, Thibault; Amirault, Jean-Christophe; Vignot, Stéphane

    2012-10-01

    Significant improvements in the knowledge of cancer biology have permitted the development of new molecular targeted therapies. Meanwhile, a better understanding of the physiology of various non-cancerous diseases has allowed developing these agents in other areas. This review intends to illustrate these perspectives through examples corresponding to different strategies of molecular-targeted therapies : use of a monoclonal antibody binding a receptor (rituximab and rheumatoid arthritis) or a ligand (bevacizumab and age-related macular degeneration), tyrosine kinase inhibitor (imatinib and systemic sclerosis) or inhibitor of cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways (immunosuppressive and antiproliferative effects of mammalian target of rapamycin [mTOR] inhibitors). Clinical results can draw today what could become molecular medicine of tomorrow.

  2. Pharmacological differentiation of opioid receptor antagonists by molecular and functional imaging of target occupancy and food reward-related brain activation in humans.

    PubMed

    Rabiner, E A; Beaver, J; Makwana, A; Searle, G; Long, C; Nathan, P J; Newbould, R D; Howard, J; Miller, S R; Bush, M A; Hill, S; Reiley, R; Passchier, J; Gunn, R N; Matthews, P M; Bullmore, E T

    2011-08-01

    Opioid neurotransmission has a key role in mediating reward-related behaviours. Opioid receptor (OR) antagonists, such as naltrexone (NTX), can attenuate the behaviour-reinforcing effects of primary (food) and secondary rewards. GSK1521498 is a novel OR ligand, which behaves as an inverse agonist at the μ-OR sub-type. In a sample of healthy volunteers, we used [(11)C]-carfentanil positron emission tomography to measure the OR occupancy and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure activation of brain reward centres by palatable food stimuli before and after single oral doses of GSK1521498 (range, 0.4-100 mg) or NTX (range, 2-50 mg). GSK1521498 had high affinity for human brain ORs (GSK1521498 effective concentration 50 = 7.10 ng ml(-1)) and there was a direct relationship between receptor occupancy (RO) and plasma concentrations of GSK1521498. However, for both NTX and its principal active metabolite in humans, 6-β-NTX, this relationship was indirect. GSK1521498, but not NTX, significantly attenuated the fMRI activation of the amygdala by a palatable food stimulus. We thus have shown how the pharmacological properties of OR antagonists can be characterised directly in humans by a novel integration of molecular and functional neuroimaging techniques. GSK1521498 was differentiated from NTX in terms of its pharmacokinetics, target affinity, plasma concentration-RO relationships and pharmacodynamic effects on food reward processing in the brain. Pharmacological differentiation of these molecules suggests that they may have different therapeutic profiles for treatment of overeating and other disorders of compulsive consumption.

  3. Pharmacological differentiation of opioid receptor antagonists by molecular and functional imaging of target occupancy and food reward-related brain activation in humans

    PubMed Central

    Rabiner, E A; Beaver, J; Makwana, A; Searle, G; Long, C; Nathan, P J; Newbould, R D; Howard, J; Miller, S R; Bush, M A; Hill, S; Reiley, R; Passchier, J; Gunn, R N; Matthews, P M; Bullmore, E T

    2011-01-01

    Opioid neurotransmission has a key role in mediating reward-related behaviours. Opioid receptor (OR) antagonists, such as naltrexone (NTX), can attenuate the behaviour-reinforcing effects of primary (food) and secondary rewards. GSK1521498 is a novel OR ligand, which behaves as an inverse agonist at the μ-OR sub-type. In a sample of healthy volunteers, we used [11C]-carfentanil positron emission tomography to measure the OR occupancy and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure activation of brain reward centres by palatable food stimuli before and after single oral doses of GSK1521498 (range, 0.4–100 mg) or NTX (range, 2–50 mg). GSK1521498 had high affinity for human brain ORs (GSK1521498 effective concentration 50=7.10 ng ml−1) and there was a direct relationship between receptor occupancy (RO) and plasma concentrations of GSK1521498. However, for both NTX and its principal active metabolite in humans, 6-β-NTX, this relationship was indirect. GSK1521498, but not NTX, significantly attenuated the fMRI activation of the amygdala by a palatable food stimulus. We thus have shown how the pharmacological properties of OR antagonists can be characterised directly in humans by a novel integration of molecular and functional neuroimaging techniques. GSK1521498 was differentiated from NTX in terms of its pharmacokinetics, target affinity, plasma concentration–RO relationships and pharmacodynamic effects on food reward processing in the brain. Pharmacological differentiation of these molecules suggests that they may have different therapeutic profiles for treatment of overeating and other disorders of compulsive consumption. PMID:21502953

  4. Molecularly targeted therapies for acute myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Stein, Eytan M

    2015-01-01

    The past 15 years have seen major leaps in our understanding of the molecular genetic mutations that act as drivers of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Clinical trials of agents against specific mutant proteins, such as FLT3-internal tandem duplications (ITDs) and isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations (IDHs) are ongoing. This review discusses agents in clinical trials that target specific gene mutations and/or epigenetic targets. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Molecular sonography with targeted microbubbles: current investigations and potential applications.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Misun; Lyshchik, Andrej; Fleischer, Arthur C

    2010-06-01

    Sonography using targeted microbubbles affords a variety of diagnostic and potentially therapeutic clinical applications. It provides a whole new world of functional information at the cellular and molecular level. This information can then be used to diagnose and possibly prevent diseases at early stages as well as devise therapeutic strategies at the molecular level. It is also useful in monitoring tumor response to therapy and devising treatment timing and plans based on the molecular state of an individual's health. Moreover, targeted microbubble-enhanced sonography has several advantages over other imaging modalities, including widespread availability, low cost, fast acquisition times, and lack of radiation risk. These traits are likely to advance it as one of the imaging methods of choice in future clinical trials examining the impact of molecular imaging on treatment outcome. This review describes the fundamental concepts of targeted microbubble-enhanced sonography as well as its potential clinical applications.

  7. Promising molecular targeted therapies in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Munagala, Radha; Aqil, Farrukh; Gupta, Ramesh C.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, there has been a significant improvement in the understanding of molecular events and critical pathways involved in breast cancer. This has led to the identification of novel targets and development of anticancer therapies referred to as targeted therapy. Targeted therapy has high specificity for the molecules involved in key molecular events that are responsible for cancer phenotype such as cell growth, survival, migration, invasion, metastasis, apoptosis, cell-cycle progression, and angiogenesis. Targeted agents that have been approved for breast cancer include trastuzumab and lapatinib, directed against human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and bevacizumab, directed against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Several other targeted agents currently under evaluation in preclinical and clinical trials include inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), dual EGFR and HER2 inhibitors, VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors, and agents that interfere with crucial signaling pathways such as PI3K/AKT/mTOR and RAS/MEK/ERK; agents against other tyrosine kinases such as Src, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)/IGF-receptor (IGFR); agents that promote apoptosis such as Poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors; agents that target invasion and metastasis such as matrix metalloproteinases inhibitors and others. In this review, we highlight the most promising targeted agents and their combination with mainstream chemotherapeutic drugs in clinical trials. PMID:21713084

  8. Promising molecular targeted therapies in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Munagala, Radha; Aqil, Farrukh; Gupta, Ramesh C

    2011-05-01

    In recent years, there has been a significant improvement in the understanding of molecular events and critical pathways involved in breast cancer. This has led to the identification of novel targets and development of anticancer therapies referred to as targeted therapy. Targeted therapy has high specificity for the molecules involved in key molecular events that are responsible for cancer phenotype such as cell growth, survival, migration, invasion, metastasis, apoptosis, cell-cycle progression, and angiogenesis. Targeted agents that have been approved for breast cancer include trastuzumab and lapatinib, directed against human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and bevacizumab, directed against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Several other targeted agents currently under evaluation in preclinical and clinical trials include inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), dual EGFR and HER2 inhibitors, VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors, and agents that interfere with crucial signaling pathways such as PI3K/AKT/mTOR and RAS/MEK/ERK; agents against other tyrosine kinases such as Src, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)/IGF-receptor (IGFR); agents that promote apoptosis such as Poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors; agents that target invasion and metastasis such as matrix metalloproteinases inhibitors and others. In this review, we highlight the most promising targeted agents and their combination with mainstream chemotherapeutic drugs in clinical trials.

  9. 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

  10. Liposarcoma: molecular targets and therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Bill, Kate Lynn J; Casadei, Lucia; Prudner, Bethany C; Iwenofu, Hans; Strohecker, Anne M; Pollock, Raphael E

    2016-10-01

    Liposarcoma (LPS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma and accounts for approximately 20 % of all adult sarcomas. Current treatment modalities (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy) all have limitations; therefore, molecularly driven studies are needed to improve the identification and increased understanding of genetic and epigenetic deregulations in LPS if we are to successfully target specific tumorigenic drivers. It can be anticipated that such biology-driven therapeutics will improve treatments by selectively deleting cancer cells while sparing normal tissues. This review will focus on several therapeutically actionable molecular markers identified in well-differentiated LPS and dedifferentiated LPS, highlighting their potential clinical applicability.

  11. New molecularly targeted therapies for lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Sun, Sophie; Schiller, Joan H; Spinola, Monica; Minna, John D

    2007-10-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. The disease is particularly difficult to detect, and patients often present at an advanced stage. Current treatments have limited effectiveness, and unfortunately, the prognosis remains poor. Recent insights into the molecular pathogenesis and biologic behavior of lung cancer have led to the development of rationally designed methods of early detection, prevention, and treatment of this disease. This article will review the important clinical implications of these advances, with a focus on new molecularly targeted therapies currently in development.

  12. New molecularly targeted therapies for lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Sophie; Schiller, Joan H.; Spinola, Monica; Minna, John D.

    2007-01-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. The disease is particularly difficult to detect, and patients often present at an advanced stage. Current treatments have limited effectiveness, and unfortunately, the prognosis remains poor. Recent insights into the molecular pathogenesis and biologic behavior of lung cancer have led to the development of rationally designed methods of early detection, prevention, and treatment of this disease. This article will review the important clinical implications of these advances, with a focus on new molecularly targeted therapies currently in development. PMID:17909619

  13. Molecular imaging with targeted contrast ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Piedra, Mark; Allroggen, Achim; Lindner, Jonathan R

    2009-01-01

    Molecular imaging with contrast-enhanced ultrasound uses targeted microbubbles that are retained in diseased tissue. The resonant properties of these microbubbles produce acoustic signals in an ultrasound field. The microbubbles are targeted to diseased tissue by using certain chemical constituents in the microbubble shell or by attaching disease-specific ligands such as antibodies to the microbubble. In this review, we discuss the applications of this technique to pathological states in the cerebrovascular system including atherosclerosis, tumor angiogenesis, ischemia, intravascular thrombus, and inflammation.

  14. New Molecular Targets of Anticancer Therapy - Current Status and Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Zajac, Marianna; Muszalska, Izabela; Jelinska, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Molecularly targeted anticancer therapy involves the use of drugs or other substances affecting specific molecular targets that play a part in the development, progression and spread of a given neoplasm. By contrast, the majority of classical chemotherapeutics act on all rapidly proliferating cells, both healthy and cancerous ones. Target anticancer drugs are designed to achieve a particular aim and they usually act cytostatically, not cytotoxically like classical chemotherapeutics. At present, more than 300 biological molecular targets have been identified. The proteins involved in cellular metabolism include (among others) receptor proteins, signal transduction proteins, mRNA thread matrix synthesis proteins participating in neoplastic transformation, cell cycle control proteins, functional and structural proteins. The receptor proteins that are targeted by currently used anticancer drugs comprise the epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor(VEGFR). Target anticancer drugs may affect extracellular receptor domains (antibodies) or intracellular receptor domains (tyrosine kinase inhibitors). The blocking of the mRNA thread containing information about the structure of oncogenes (signal transduction proteins) is another molecular target of anticancer drugs. That type of treatment, referred to as antisense therapy, is in clinical trials. When the synthesis of genetic material is disturbed, in most cases the passage to the next cycle phase is blocked. The key proteins responsible for the blockage are cyclines and cycline- dependent kinases (CDK). Clinical trials are focused on natural and synthetic substances capable of blocking various CDKs. The paper discusses the molecular targets and chemical structure of target anticancer drugs that have been approved for and currently applied in antineoplastic therapy together with indications and contraindications for their

  15. Mitochondrial-Targeted Molecular Imaging in Cardiac Disease

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jinhui

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed to discuss the role of mitochondrion in cardiac function and disease. The mitochondrion plays a fundamental role in cellular processes ranging from metabolism to apoptosis. The mitochondrial-targeted molecular imaging could potentially illustrate changes in global and regional cardiac dysfunction. The collective changes that occur in mitochondrial-targeted molecular imaging probes have been widely explored and developed. As probes currently used in the preclinical setting still have a lot of shortcomings, the development of myocardial metabolic activity, viability, perfusion, and blood flow molecular imaging probes holds great potential for accurately evaluating the myocardial viability and functional reserve. The advantages of molecular imaging provide a perspective on investigating the mitochondrial function of the myocardium in vivo noninvasively and quantitatively. The molecular imaging tracers of single-photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography could give more detailed information on myocardial metabolism and restoration. In this study, series mitochondrial-targeted 99mTc-, 123I-, and 18F-labeled tracers displayed broad applications because they could provide a direct link between mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiac disease. PMID:28638829

  16. High efficiency diffusion molecular retention tumor targeting.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yanyan; Yuan, Hushan; Cho, Hoonsung; Kuruppu, Darshini; Jokivarsi, Kimmo; Agarwal, Aayush; Shah, Khalid; Josephson, Lee

    2013-01-01

    Here we introduce diffusion molecular retention (DMR) tumor targeting, a technique that employs PEG-fluorochrome shielded probes that, after a peritumoral (PT) injection, undergo slow vascular uptake and extensive interstitial diffusion, with tumor retention only through integrin molecular recognition. To demonstrate DMR, RGD (integrin binding) and RAD (control) probes were synthesized bearing DOTA (for (111) In(3+)), a NIR fluorochrome, and 5 kDa PEG that endows probes with a protein-like volume of 25 kDa and decreases non-specific interactions. With a GFP-BT-20 breast carcinoma model, tumor targeting by the DMR or i.v. methods was assessed by surface fluorescence, biodistribution of [(111)In] RGD and [(111)In] RAD probes, and whole animal SPECT. After a PT injection, both probes rapidly diffused through the normal and tumor interstitium, with retention of the RGD probe due to integrin interactions. With PT injection and the [(111)In] RGD probe, SPECT indicated a highly tumor specific uptake at 24 h post injection, with 352%ID/g tumor obtained by DMR (vs 4.14%ID/g by i.v.). The high efficiency molecular targeting of DMR employed low probe doses (e.g. 25 ng as RGD peptide), which minimizes toxicity risks and facilitates clinical translation. DMR applications include the delivery of fluorochromes for intraoperative tumor margin delineation, the delivery of radioisotopes (e.g. toxic, short range alpha emitters) for radiotherapy, or the delivery of photosensitizers to tumors accessible to light.

  17. 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

  18. Molecular Composition Analysis of Distant Targets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, Gary B.; Lubin, Philip

    2017-01-01

    This document is the Final Report for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I Grant 15-NIAC16A-0145, titled Molecular Composition Analysis of Distant Targets. The research was focused on developing a system concept for probing the molecular composition of cold solar system targets, such as Asteroids, Comets, Planets and Moons from a distant vantage, for example from a spacecraft that is orbiting the target (Hughes et al., 2015). The orbiting spacecraft is equipped with a high-power laser, which is run by electricity from photovoltaic panels. The laser is directed at a spot on the target. Materials on the surface of the target are heated by the laser beam, and begin to melt and then evaporate, forming a plume of asteroid molecules in front of the heated spot. The heated spot glows, producing blackbody illumination that is visible from the spacecraft, via a path through the evaporated plume. As the blackbody radiation from the heated spot passes through the plume of evaporated material, molecules in the plume absorb radiation in a manner that is specific to the rotational and vibrational characteristics of the specific molecules. A spectrometer aboard the spacecraft is used to observe absorption lines in the blackbody signal. The pattern of absorption can be used to estimate the molecular composition of materials in the plume, which originated on the target. Focusing on a single spot produces a borehole, and shallow subsurface profiling of the targets bulk composition is possible. At the beginning of the Phase I research, the estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the system was TRL-1. During the Phase I research, an end-to-end theoretical model of the sensor system was developed from first principles. The model includes laser energy and optical propagation, target heating, melting and evaporation of target material, plume density, thermal radiation from the heated spot, molecular cross section of likely asteroid materials, and estimation of the

  19. New molecular targets in bone metastases.

    PubMed

    Santini, D; Galluzzo, S; Zoccoli, A; Pantano, F; Fratto, M E; Vincenzi, B; Lombardi, L; Gucciardino, C; Silvestris, N; Riva, E; Rizzo, S; Russo, A; Maiello, E; Colucci, G; Tonini, G

    2010-11-01

    Bone metastases have a major impact on morbidity and on mortality in cancer patients. Despite its clinical relevance, metastasis remains the most poorly elucidated aspect of carcinogenesis. The biological mechanisms leading to bone metastasis establishment have been referred as "vicious circle," a complex network between cancer cells and the bone microenvironment. This review is aimed to underline the new molecular targets in bone metastases management other than bisphosphonates. Different pathways or molecules such as RANK/RANKL/OPG, cathepsin K, endothelin-1, Wnt/DKK1, Src have recently emerged as potential targets and nowadays preclinical and clinical trials are underway. The results from those in the advanced clinical phases are encouraging and underlined the need to design large randomised clinical trials to validate these results in the next future. Targeting the bone by preventing skeletal related events (SREs) and bone metastases has major clinical impact in improving survival in bone metastatic patients and in preventing disease relapse in adjuvant setting.

  20. Molecularly Targeted Therapies in Multiple Myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Azab, Feda

    2014-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy that remains incurable because most patients will eventually relapse or become refractory to the treatments. Although the treatments have improved, the major problem in MM is the resistance to therapy. Novel agents are currently in development for the treatment of relapsed/refractory MM, including immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, cell signaling targeted therapies, and strategies targeting the tumor microenvironment. We have previously reviewed in detail the contemporary immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, and monoclonal antibodies therapies for MM. Therefore, in this review, we focused on the role of molecular targeted therapies in the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including cell signaling targeted therapies (HDAC, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, p38 MAPK, Hsp90, Wnt, Notch, Hedgehog, and cell cycle) and strategies targeting the tumor microenvironment (hypoxia, angiogenesis, integrins, CD44, CXCR4, and selectins). Although these novel agents have improved the therapeutic outcomes for MM patients, further development of new therapeutic agents is warranted. PMID:24829804

  1. Molecularly targeted therapies in multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    de la Puente, Pilar; Muz, Barbara; Azab, Feda; Luderer, Micah; Azab, Abdel Kareem

    2014-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy that remains incurable because most patients will eventually relapse or become refractory to the treatments. Although the treatments have improved, the major problem in MM is the resistance to therapy. Novel agents are currently in development for the treatment of relapsed/refractory MM, including immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, cell signaling targeted therapies, and strategies targeting the tumor microenvironment. We have previously reviewed in detail the contemporary immunomodulatory drugs, proteasome inhibitors, and monoclonal antibodies therapies for MM. Therefore, in this review, we focused on the role of molecular targeted therapies in the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, including cell signaling targeted therapies (HDAC, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, p38 MAPK, Hsp90, Wnt, Notch, Hedgehog, and cell cycle) and strategies targeting the tumor microenvironment (hypoxia, angiogenesis, integrins, CD44, CXCR4, and selectins). Although these novel agents have improved the therapeutic outcomes for MM patients, further development of new therapeutic agents is warranted.

  2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Updates on Molecular Targets for Biologics.

    PubMed

    Katsanos, Konstantinos H; Papadakis, Konstantinos A

    2017-07-15

    Therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has changed, with several new agents being evaluated. The era of anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) antibody therapy saw remarkable progress in IBD therapy. Some patients, however, do not respond to anti-TNF treatment, or their response decreases over time. This phenomenon highlights the need to identify new molecular targets for therapy in IBD. The targets of new therapeutic molecules in IBD must aim to restore immune dysregulation by the inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, interleukin [IL]-6, IL-13, IL-17, IL-18, and IL-21) and augmentation of the effect of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, IL-11, and transforming growth factor β) and to pursue new anti-inflammatory targets, such as regulatory T-cell therapy, Smad7 antisense, Janus-activated kinase inhibition, Toll-like receptor stimulation, leukocyte adhesion, and blockade of T-cell homing via integrins and mucosal addressin cellular adhesion molecule-1. In addition, potential molecular targets could restore mucosal barrier function and stimulate mucosal healing. Despite these potential targets, the value and clinical significance of most new molecules remain unclear, and clinical efficacy and safety must be better defined before their implementation in clinical practice. This article aims to review the promising and emerging molecular targets that could be clinically meaningful for novel therapeutic approaches.

  3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Updates on Molecular Targets for Biologics

    PubMed Central

    Katsanos, Konstantinos H.; Papadakis, Konstantinos A.

    2017-01-01

    Therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has changed, with several new agents being evaluated. The era of anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) antibody therapy saw remarkable progress in IBD therapy. Some patients, however, do not respond to anti-TNF treatment, or their response decreases over time. This phenomenon highlights the need to identify new molecular targets for therapy in IBD. The targets of new therapeutic molecules in IBD must aim to restore immune dysregulation by the inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, interleukin [IL]-6, IL-13, IL-17, IL-18, and IL-21) and augmentation of the effect of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, IL-11, and transforming growth factor β) and to pursue new anti-inflammatory targets, such as regulatory T-cell therapy, Smad7 antisense, Janus-activated kinase inhibition, Toll-like receptor stimulation, leukocyte adhesion, and blockade of T-cell homing via integrins and mucosal addressin cellular adhesion molecule-1. In addition, potential molecular targets could restore mucosal barrier function and stimulate mucosal healing. Despite these potential targets, the value and clinical significance of most new molecules remain unclear, and clinical efficacy and safety must be better defined before their implementation in clinical practice. This article aims to review the promising and emerging molecular targets that could be clinically meaningful for novel therapeutic approaches. PMID:28486793

  4. Molecular dynamics simulations and statistical coupling analysis of GPI12 in L. major: functional co-evolution and conservedness reveals potential drug-target sites.

    PubMed

    Singh, Shailza; Mandlik, Vineetha; Shinde, Sonali

    2015-03-01

    GPI12 represents an important enzyme in the GPI biosynthetic pathway of several parasites like 'Leishmania'. GPI activity is generally regulated through either the hindrance in GPI complex assembly formation or the modulation of the lipophosphoglycan (LPG) flux to either reduce or enhance the pathogenicity in an organism. Of the various GPI molecules known, GPI12 is an important enzyme in the GPI biosynthetic pathway which can be exploited as a target due to the substrate specificity difference in parasites and humans. In the present study, the functional importance of the co-evolving residues of the GPI12 protein of Leishmania has been highlighted using the GPI proteins belonging to the GlcNAC-deacetylase family. Exploring the active site of the GPI12 protein and designing inhibitors against the functional residues provide ways and means to change the efficiency of deacetylation activity of the enzyme. The activity of de-N-acetylase is low in the absence of metal ions like zinc. Hence we designed eight small molecules in order to modulate the activity of GPI12. Compound 8 was found to be an appropriate choice to target the agonist (GPI12) active site thereby targeting the residues which were essential in the Zn binding and chelation activity. Inhibition of these sites offered a strong constraint to block the protein activity and in turn GPI biosynthesis.

  5. Molecular Imaging of Immunotherapy Targets in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ehlerding, Emily B.; England, Christopher G.; McNeel, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Immunotherapy has emerged as a promising alternative in the arsenal against cancer by harnessing the power of the immune system to specifically target malignant tissues. As the field of immunotherapy continues to expand, researchers will require newer methods for studying the interactions between the immune system, tumor cells, and immunotherapy agents. Recently, several noninvasive imaging strategies have been used to map the biodistribution of immune checkpoint molecules, monitor the efficacy and potential toxicities of the treatments, and identify patients who are likely to benefit from immunotherapies. In this review, we outline the current applications of noninvasive techniques for the preclinical imaging of immunotherapy targets and suggest future pathways for molecular imaging to contribute to this developing field. PMID:27469363

  6. 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.

  7. Molecularly targeted agents in oculoplastic surgery.

    PubMed

    Allen, Richard C

    2017-09-01

    Significant advances have been made in oncology and rheumatology with the introduction of molecularly targeted agents (MTAs). MTAs consist of monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the recent applications of MTAs to orbital, lacrimal, and eyelid disease. The use of monoclonal antibodies has been described in the treatment of orbital vascular lesions, lymphoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Inflammatory conditions treated with monoclonal antibodies include thyroid eye disease, IgG4 disease, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors has also found applications to orbital disease. Use of small molecule inhibitors has been described in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and Erdheim-Chester disease. There are many orbital, lacrimal, and eyelid side effects of MTAs with which the oculoplastic surgeon should be familiar, including hypertrichosis, edema, and orbital and eyelid inflammation. MTAs represent the future of treatment of oncologic and inflammatory conditions. Application of these agents to orbital, lacrimal, and eyelid disease will continue to expand. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of oculoplastic disorders will facilitate additional potential pathways that could be targeted for therapy.

  8. Molecular Targets for Treating Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Gray, John A.; Roth, Bryan L.

    2007-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia as deficits are present in the majority of patients, frequently precede the onset of other positive symptoms, persist even with successful treatment of positive symptoms, and account for a significant portion of functional impairment in schizophrenia. While the atypical antipsychotics have produced incremental improvements in the cognitive function of patients with schizophrenia, overall treatment remains inadequate. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in developing novel strategies for treating the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, focusing on ameliorating impairments in working memory, attention, and social cognition. Here we review various molecular targets that are actively being explored for potential drug discovery efforts in schizophrenia and cognition. These molecular targets include dopamine receptors in the prefrontal cortex, nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, the glutamatergic excitatory synapse, various serotonin receptors, and the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system. PMID:17617664

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Vascular targeting of nanoparticles for molecular imaging of diseased endothelium.

    PubMed

    Atukorale, Prabhani U; Covarrubias, Gil; Bauer, Lisa; Karathanasis, Efstathios

    2016-09-15

    This review seeks to highlight the enormous potential of targeted nanoparticles for molecular imaging applications. Being the closest point-of-contact, circulating nanoparticles can gain direct access to targetable molecular markers of disease that appear on the endothelium. Further, nanoparticles are ideally suitable to vascular targeting due to geometrically enhanced multivalent attachment on the vascular target. This natural synergy between nanoparticles, vascular targeting and molecular imaging can provide new avenues for diagnosis and prognosis of disease with quantitative precision. In addition to the obvious applications of targeting molecular signatures of vascular diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis), deep-tissue diseases often manifest themselves by continuously altering and remodeling their neighboring blood vessels (e.g., cancer). Thus, the remodeled endothelium provides a wide range of targets for nanoparticles and molecular imaging. To demonstrate the potential of molecular imaging, we present a variety of nanoparticles designed for molecular imaging of cancer or atherosclerosis using different imaging modalities.

  14. 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

    2016-01-08

    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.

  15. Protein-targeted corona phase molecular recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): Molecular insights lead to targeted therapies

    PubMed Central

    Glasgow, Connie G.; Steagall, Wendy K.; Taveira-DaSilva, Angelo; Pacheco-Rodriguez, Gustavo; Cai, Xiong; El-Chemaly, Souheil; Moses, Marsha; Darling, Thomas; Moss, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Summary LAM is a rare lung disease, found primarily in women of childbearing age, characterized by cystic lung destruction and abdominal tumors (e.g., renal angiomyolipoma, lymphangioleiomyoma). The disease results from proliferation of a neoplastic cell, termed the LAM cell, which has mutations in either of the tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) 1 or TSC2 genes. Molecular phenotyping of LAM patients resulted in the identification of therapeutic targets for drug trials. Loss of TSC gene function leads to activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and thereby, effects on cell size and number. The involvement of mTOR in LAM pathogenesis is the basis for initiation of therapeutic trials of mTOR inhibitors (e.g., sirolimus). Occurrence of LAM essentially entirely in women is consistent with the hypothesis that anti-estrogen agents might prevent disease progression (e.g., gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues). Levels of urinary matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were elevated in LAM patients, and MMPs were found in LAM lung nodules. In part because of these observations, effects of doxycycline, an anti-MMP, and anti-angiogenic agent, are under investigation. The metastatic properties of LAM cells offer additional potential for targets. Thus, insights into the molecular and biological properties of LAM cells and molecular phenotyping of patients with LAM have led to clinical trials of targeted therapies. Funded by the Intramural Research Program, NIH/NHLBI PMID:20630348

  19. Apoptosis and Molecular Targeting Therapy in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Mohamed; Watari, Hidemichi; AbuAlmaaty, Ali; Ohba, Yusuke; Sakuragi, Noriaki

    2014-01-01

    Apoptosis is the programmed cell death which maintains the healthy survival/death balance in metazoan cells. Defect in apoptosis can cause cancer or autoimmunity, while enhanced apoptosis may cause degenerative diseases. The apoptotic signals contribute into safeguarding the genomic integrity while defective apoptosis may promote carcinogenesis. The apoptotic signals are complicated and they are regulated at several levels. The signals of carcinogenesis modulate the central control points of the apoptotic pathways, including inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins and FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP). The tumor cells may use some of several molecular mechanisms to suppress apoptosis and acquire resistance to apoptotic agents, for example, by the expression of antiapoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2 or by the downregulation or mutation of proapoptotic proteins such as BAX. In this review, we provide the main regulatory molecules that govern the main basic mechanisms, extrinsic and intrinsic, of apoptosis in normal cells. We discuss how carcinogenesis could be developed via defective apoptotic pathways or their convergence. We listed some molecules which could be targeted to stimulate apoptosis in different cancers. Together, we briefly discuss the development of some promising cancer treatment strategies which target apoptotic inhibitors including Bcl-2 family proteins, IAPs, and c-FLIP for apoptosis induction. PMID:25013758

  20. Molecular-Targeted Antitumor Agents 19

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yang; Liu, Rui; Mao, Shui-Chun; Morgan, J. Brian; Jekabsons, Mika B.; Zhou, Yu-Dong; Nagle, Dale G.

    2009-01-01

    A natural product chemistry-based approach was employed to discover small molecule inhibitors of the important tumor-selective molecular target hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). Bioassay-guided isolation of an active lipid extract of a Saipan collection of the marine sponge Lendenfeldia sp. afforded the terpene-derived furanolipid furospongolide as the primary inhibitor of hypoxia-induced HIF-1 activation (IC50 2.9 μM, T47D breast tumor cells). The active component of the extract also contained one new cytotoxic scalarane sesterterpene and two previously reported scalaranes. Furospongolide blocked the induction of the downstream HIF-1 target secreted vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and was shown to suppress HIF-1 activation by inhibiting the hypoxic induction of HIF-1α protein. Mechanistic studies indicate that furospongolide inhibits HIF-1 activity primarily by suppressing tumor cell respiration via the blockade of NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I)-mediated mitochondrial electron transfer. PMID:18989978

  1. Drugs That Target Dynamic Microtubules: A New Molecular Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Stanton, Richard A.; Gernert, Kim M.; Nettles, James H.; Aneja, Ritu

    2011-01-01

    Microtubules have long been considered an ideal target for anticancer drugs because of the essential role they play in mitosis, forming the dynamic spindle apparatus. As such, there is a wide variety of compounds currently in clinical use and in development that act as antimitotic agents by altering microtubule dynamics. Although these diverse molecules are known to affect microtubule dynamics upon binding to one of the three established drug domains (taxane, vinca alkaloid, or colchicine site), the exact mechanism by which each drug works is still an area of intense speculation and research. In this study, we review the effects of microtubule-binding chemotherapeutic agents from a new perspective, considering how their mode of binding induces conformational changes and alters biological function relative to the molecular vectors of microtubule assembly or disassembly. These “biological vectors” can thus be used as a spatiotemporal context to describe molecular mechanisms by which microtubule-targeting drugs work. PMID:21381049

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular targets for small-molecule modulators of circadian clocks

    PubMed Central

    He, Baokun; Chen, Zheng

    2016-01-01

    Background Circadian clocks are endogenous timing systems that regulate various aspects of mammalian metabolism, physiology and behavior. Traditional chronotherapy refers to the administration of drugs in a defined circadian time window to achieve optimal pharmacokinetic and therapeutic efficacies. In recent years, substantial efforts have been dedicated to developing novel small-molecule modulators of circadian clocks. Methods Here, we review the recent progress in the identification of molecular targets of small-molecule clock modulators and their efficacies in clock-related disorders. Specifically, we examine the clock components and regulatory factors as possible molecular targets of small molecules, and we review several key clock-related disorders as promising venues for testing the preventive/therapeutic efficacies of these small molecules. Finally, we also discuss circadian regulation of drug metabolism. Results Small molecules can modulate the period, phase and/or amplitude of the circadian cycle. Core clock proteins, nuclear hormone receptors, and clock-related kinases and other epigenetic regulators are promising molecular targets for small molecules. Through these targets small molecules exert protective effects against clock-related disorders including the metabolic syndrome, immune disorders, sleep disorders and cancer. Small molecules can also modulate circadian drug metabolism and response to existing therapeutics. Conclusion Small-molecule clock modulators target clock components or diverse cellular pathways that functionally impinge upon the clock. Target identification of new small-molecule modulators will deepen our understanding of key regulatory nodes in the circadian network. Studies of clock modulators will facilitate their therapeutic applications, alone or in combination, for clock-related diseases. PMID:26750111

  4. Immunological and Functional Characterization of RhoGDI3 and Its Molecular Targets RhoG and RhoB in Human Pancreatic Cancerous and Normal Cells.

    PubMed

    de León-Bautista, Mercedes Piedad; Cardenas-Aguayo, Maria Del Carmen; Casique-Aguirre, Diana; Almaraz-Salinas, Manuel; Parraguirre-Martinez, Sara; Olivo-Diaz, Angelica; Thompson-Bonilla, María Del Rocío; Vargas, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    RhoGDI proteins have been implicated in several human cancers; changes in their expression levels have shown pro- or anti-tumorigenic effects. Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a complex pathology, with poor prognosis, and most patients die shortly after diagnosis. Efforts have been focused on understanding the role of RhoGDI's in PDAC, specially, RhoGDI1 and RhoGDI2. However, the role of RhoGDI3 has not been studied in relation to cancer or to PDAC. Here, we characterized the expression and functionality of RhoGDI3 and its target GTPases, RhoG and RhoB in pancreatic cell lines from both normal pancreatic tissue and tissue in late stages of PDAC, and compared them to human biopsies. Through immunofluorescences, pulldown assays and subcellular fractionation, we found a reduction in RhoGDI3 expression in the late stages of PDAC, and this reduction correlates with tumor progression and aggressiveness. Despite the reduction in the expression of RhoGDI3 in PDAC, we found that RhoB was underexpressed while RhoG was overexpressed, suggesting that cancerous cells preserve their capacity to activate this pathway, thus these cells may be more eager to response to the stimuli needed to proliferate and become invasive unlike normal cells. Surprisingly, we found nuclear localization of RhoGDI3 in non-cancerous pancreatic cell line and normal pancreatic tissue biopsies, which could open the possibility of novel nuclear functions for this protein, impacting gene expression regulation and cellular homeostasis.

  5. Immunological and Functional Characterization of RhoGDI3 and Its Molecular Targets RhoG and RhoB in Human Pancreatic Cancerous and Normal Cells

    PubMed Central

    de León-Bautista, Mercedes Piedad; Cardenas-Aguayo, Maria del Carmen; Casique-Aguirre, Diana; Almaraz-Salinas, Manuel; Parraguirre-Martinez, Sara; Olivo-Diaz, Angelica; Thompson-Bonilla, María del Rocío

    2016-01-01

    RhoGDI proteins have been implicated in several human cancers; changes in their expression levels have shown pro- or anti-tumorigenic effects. Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a complex pathology, with poor prognosis, and most patients die shortly after diagnosis. Efforts have been focused on understanding the role of RhoGDI's in PDAC, specially, RhoGDI1 and RhoGDI2. However, the role of RhoGDI3 has not been studied in relation to cancer or to PDAC. Here, we characterized the expression and functionality of RhoGDI3 and its target GTPases, RhoG and RhoB in pancreatic cell lines from both normal pancreatic tissue and tissue in late stages of PDAC, and compared them to human biopsies. Through immunofluorescences, pulldown assays and subcellular fractionation, we found a reduction in RhoGDI3 expression in the late stages of PDAC, and this reduction correlates with tumor progression and aggressiveness. Despite the reduction in the expression of RhoGDI3 in PDAC, we found that RhoB was underexpressed while RhoG was overexpressed, suggesting that cancerous cells preserve their capacity to activate this pathway, thus these cells may be more eager to response to the stimuli needed to proliferate and become invasive unlike normal cells. Surprisingly, we found nuclear localization of RhoGDI3 in non-cancerous pancreatic cell line and normal pancreatic tissue biopsies, which could open the possibility of novel nuclear functions for this protein, impacting gene expression regulation and cellular homeostasis. PMID:27832197

  6. Molecular targeting of obesity pathways in cancer.

    PubMed

    Surmacz, Eva; Otvos, Laszlo

    2015-05-01

    Obesity is a significant risk factor for the development of different cancer types and has been associated with poorer response to oncotherapies and linked to earlier recurrence of the neoplastic disease. While molecular mechanisms of these associations are still under investigation, functional dysregulation of two major fat tissue-derived adipokines, leptin and adiponectin, appears to play an important role. Leptin is known to activate carcinogenic pathways, while adiponectin appears to exert antineoplastic activities and interfere with leptin-induced processes. Because excess body fat is associated with increased leptin expression and adiponectin downregulation, therapeutic rebalancing of these pathways may benefit cancer patients, especially the obese subpopulations. This review focuses on our novel leptin receptor antagonists and adiponectin receptor agonists designed for therapeutic modulation of obesity-associated pathways in cancer.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wachsmann, Jason; Peng, Fangyu

    2016-01-07

    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.

  9. Asialoglycoprotein receptor-targeted radiopharmaceuticals for measurement of liver function.

    PubMed

    Yang, W; Zhang, X; Liu, Y

    2014-01-01

    The number of Asialoglycoprotein (ASGP) receptors on the hepatocytes of patients with liver disease is reduced and is thus considered a good indicator for the evaluation of liver function. ASGP receptor-targeted radiopharmaceuticals permit a non-invasive way to evaluate total and regional hepatic function and hepatic functional reserve visually and quantitatively. Over the past three decades, a variety of ASGP receptor-targeted probes have been developed with different molecular backbones (albumin, polymer, small-molecular-weight ligand), different glycol-residues (galactose, lactose, N-acetyl-galactosamine) and different chelating systems suitable for radiolabeling with SPECT isotopes ((99m)Tc, (111)In, (67)Ga, (131/125)I, (153)Sm) and PET isotopes ((68)Ga, (18)F). In this review, we present an overview of ASGP receptor-targeted radiopharmaceuticals, discuss their chemistry, biodistribution, catabolism and challenge as well as application for measurement of liver function.

  10. Molecular targets of aspirin and cancer prevention

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  11. Intravascular Targets for Molecular Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Moestue, Siver A.; Gribbestad, Ingrid S.; Hansen, Rune

    2012-01-01

    Molecular targeting of contrast agents for ultrasound imaging is emerging as a new medical imaging modality. It combines advances in ultrasound technology with principles of molecular imaging, thereby allowing non-invasive assessment of biological processes in vivo. Preclinical studies have shown that microbubbles, which provide contrast during ultrasound imaging, can be targeted to specific molecular markers. These microbubbles accumulate in tissue with target (over) expression, thereby significantly increasing the ultrasound signal. This concept offers safe and low-cost imaging with high spatial resolution and sensitivity. It is therefore considered to have great potential in cancer imaging, and early-phase clinical trials are ongoing. In this review, we summarize the current literature on targets that have been successfully imaged in preclinical models using molecularly targeted ultrasound contrast agents. Based on preclinical experience, we discuss the potential clinical utility of targeted microbubbles. PMID:22837657

  12. High-Yield Functional Molecular Electronic Devices.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hyunhak; Kim, Dongku; Xiang, Dong; Lee, Takhee

    2017-07-25

    An ultimate goal of molecular electronics, which seeks to incorporate molecular components into electronic circuit units, is to generate functional molecular electronic devices using individual or ensemble molecules to fulfill the increasing technical demands of the miniaturization of traditional silicon-based electronics. This review article presents a summary of recent efforts to pursue this ultimate aim, covering the development of reliable device platforms for high-yield ensemble molecular junctions and their utilization in functional molecular electronic devices, in which distinctive electronic functionalities are observed due to the functional molecules. In addition, other aspects pertaining to the practical application of molecular devices such as manufacturing compatibility with existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor technology, their integration, and flexible device applications are also discussed. These advances may contribute to a deeper understanding of charge transport characteristics through functional molecular junctions and provide a desirable roadmap for future practical molecular electronics applications.

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular analyses of the functional microbial community in composting by PCR-DGGE targeting the genes of the β-glucosidase.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongtao; Xu, Xiuhong; Chen, Huihai; Zhang, Ying; Xu, Jie; Wang, Jing; Lu, Xinying

    2013-04-01

    The study investigated the β-glucosidase-producing microbial communities and the enzymatic dynamics of CMCase and β-glucosidase during the process of cattle manure-rice straw composting. In order to analyze the succession of functional community by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGEs), three sets of PCR primers were designed to amplify the family 1 and 3 β-glucosidase genes from both bacteria and fungi. The results showed in general that the stable functional community composition as well as for the high level enzymatic activities of both cellulase and β-glucosidase occurred during the last phase (days 14-31) of composting. In the process of composting, that functional groups were determined by the stable bands (GH1-F, GH1-H, GH1-G, GH3E-D and GH3E-E) may significantly contribute to the increase of β-glucosidase activities in the later phase. Especially, the bands from the family 1 β-glucosidase genes were appeared before that from the family 3 β-glucosidase genes from fungi, then the former was substituted for the latter gradually in the cooling phase. We found significant correlations between the β-glucosidase activity and the communities of the functional bacteria and fungi. The results indicated that different β-glucosidase-producing microbe release different amounts or activities of β-glucosidase, and that the composition of microbial communities may play a major role in determining overall β-glucosidase activity during the composting process.

  15. Functional and molecular effects of mercury compounds on the human OCTN1 cation transporter: C50 and C136 are the targets for potent inhibition.

    PubMed

    Galluccio, Michele; Pochini, Lorena; Peta, Valentina; Iannì, Maria; Scalise, Mariafrancesca; Indiveri, Cesare

    2015-03-01

    The effect of mercury compounds has been tested on the organic cation transporter, hOCTN1. MeHg(+), Hg(2+), or Cd(2+) caused strong inhibition of transport. 1,4-Dithioerythritol (DTE), cysteine (Cys), and N-acetyl-l-cysteine reversed (NAC) the inhibition at different extents. 2-Aminoethyl methanethiosulfonate hydrobromide (MTSEA), a prototype SH reagent, exerted inhibition of transport similar to that observed for the mercurial agents. To investigate the mechanism of action of mercurials, mutants of hOCTN1 in which each of the Cys residues was substituted by Ala have been constructed, over-expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified. Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA) uptake mediated by each mutant in proteoliposomes was comparable to that of wild type (WT). IC50 values of the WT and mutants for the mercury compounds were derived from dose-response analyses. The mutants C50A and C136A showed significant increase of IC50 indicating that the 2 Cys residues were involved in the interaction with the mercury compounds and inhibition of the transporter. The double mutant C50A/C136A was constructed; the lack of inhibition confirmed that the 2 Cys residues are the targets of mercury compounds. MTSEA showed similar behavior with respect to the mercurial reagents with the difference that increased IC50 was observed also in the C81A mutant. Similar results were obtained when transport was measured as acetylcholine uptake. Ethyl mercury (Thimerosal) inhibited hOCTN1 as well. C50A, C50A/C136A and, at very lower extent, C136A showed increased IC50 indicating that C50 was the major target of this mercury compound. The homology model of hOCTN1 was built using as template PiPT and validated by the experimental data on mutant proteins.

  16. 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. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

  17. 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

  18. Targeting melanoma cells with human high molecular weight-melanoma associated antigen-specific antibodies elicited by a peptide mimotope: functional effects.

    PubMed

    Luo, Wei; Ko, Eric; Hsu, Jeff Chi-feng; Wang, Xinhui; Ferrone, Soldano

    2006-05-15

    Human high molecular weight-melanoma associated Ag (HMW-MAA) mimics have been shown to elicit HMW-MAA-specific humoral immune responses that appear to be clinically beneficial. This finding has stimulated interest in characterizing the mechanism(s) underlying the ability of the elicited Abs to exert an anti-tumor effect. To address this question, in the present study, we have generated HMW-MAA-specific Abs by sequentially immunizing rabbits with the peptide P763.74, which mimics the HMW-MAA determinant recognized by mAb 763.74, and with HMW-MAA(+) melanoma cells. HMW-MAA-specific Abs isolated from immunized rabbits mediated cell-dependent cytotoxicity but did not mediate complement-dependent cytotoxicity of HMW-MAA(+) melanoma cells. These Abs also effectively inhibited spreading, migration and Matrigel invasion of HMW-MAA(+) melanoma cells. Besides contributing to our understanding of the role of HMW-MAA in the biology of melanoma cells, these results suggest that both immunological and nonimmunological mechanisms underlie the beneficial clinical effects associated with the induction of HMW-MAA-specific Abs in melanoma patients immunized with a HMW-MAA mimic.

  19. Predicting new molecular targets for known drugs

    PubMed Central

    Keiser, Michael J.; Setola, Vincent; Irwin, John J.; Laggner, Christian; Abbas, Atheir; Hufeisen, Sandra J.; Jensen, Niels H.; Kuijer, Michael B.; Matos, Roberto C.; Tran, Thuy B.; Whaley, Ryan; Glennon, Richard A.; Hert, Jérôme; Thomas, Kelan L.H.; Edwards, Douglas D.; Shoichet, Brian K.; Roth, Bryan L.

    2009-01-01

    Whereas drugs are intended to be selective, at least some bind to several physiologic targets, explaining both side effects and efficacy. As many drug-target combinations exist, it would be useful to explore possible interactions computationally. Here, we compared 3,665 FDA-approved and investigational drugs against hundreds of targets, defining each target by its ligands. Chemical similarities between drugs and ligand sets predicted thousands of unanticipated associations. Thirty were tested experimentally, including the antagonism of the β1 receptor by the transporter inhibitor Prozac, the inhibition of the 5-HT transporter by the ion channel drug Vadilex, and antagonism of the histamine H4 receptor by the enzyme inhibitor Rescriptor. Overall, 23 new drug-target associations were confirmed, five of which were potent (< 100 nM). The physiological relevance of one such, the drug DMT on serotonergic receptors, was confirmed in a knock-out mouse. The chemical similarity approach is systematic and comprehensive, and may suggest side-effects and new indications for many drugs. PMID:19881490

  20. 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

  1. Targeting chk2 kinase: molecular interaction maps and therapeutic rationale.

    PubMed

    Pommier, Yves; Sordet, Olivier; Rao, V Ashutosh; Zhang, Hongliang; Kohn, Kurt W

    2005-01-01

    Most anticancer drugs presently used clinically target genomic DNA. The selectivity of these anticancer drugs for tumor tissues is probably due to tumor-specific defects suppressing cell cycle checkpoints and DNA repair, and enhancing apoptotic response in the tumor. We will review the molecular interactions within the ATM-Chk2 pathway implicating the DNA damage sensor kinases (ATM, ATR and DNA-PK), the adaptor BRCT proteins (Nbs1, Brca1, 53BP1, MDC1) and the effector kinases (Chk2, Chk1, Plk3, JNK, p38). The molecular interaction map convention (MIM) will be used for presenting this molecular network (http://discover.nci.nih.gov/mim/). A characteristic of the ATM-Chk2 pathway is its redundancy. First, ATM and Chk2 phosphorylate common substrates including p53, E2F1, BRCA1, and Chk2 itself, which suggests that Chk2 (also known as CHECK2, Cds1 in fission yeast, and Dmchk2 or Dmnk or Loki in the fruit fly) acts as a relay for ATM and/or as a salvage pathway when ATM is inactivated. Secondly, redundancy is apparent for the substrates, which can be phosphorylated/activated at similar residues by Chk2, Chk1, and the polo kinases (Plk's). Functionally, Chk2 can activate both apoptosis (via p53, E2F1 and PML) and cell cycle checkpoint (via Cdc25A and Cdc25C, p53, and BRCA1). We will review the short list of published Chk2 inhibitors. We will also propose a novel paradigm for screening interfacial inhibitors of Chk2. Chk2 inhibitors might be used to enhance the tumor selectivity of DNA targeted agents in p53-deficient tumors, and for the treatment of tumors whose growth depends on enhanced Chk2 activity.

  2. 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.

  3. Acoustic Molecular Imaging and Targeted Drug Delivery with Perfluorocarbon Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanza, Gregory M.; Hughes, Michael. S.; Marsh, Jon N.; Scott, Michael J.; Zhang, Huiying; Lacy, Elizabeth K.; Allen, John S.; Wickline, Samuel A.

    2005-03-01

    Advances in molecular biology and cellular biochemistry are providing new opportunities for diagnostic medical imaging to "see" beyond the anatomical manifestations of disease to the earliest biochemical signatures of disease. Liquid perfluorocarbon nanoparticles provide inherent acoustic contrast when bound to targets, e.g., fibrin deposits in a thrombus, but unbound nanoparticles are undetectable. This nanoparticle platform may be further functionalized with paramagnetic metals, such as gadolinium, or radionuclides, with homing ligands, like anti-αvβ3-integrins, and therapeutic agents. Acoustic imaging of densely distributed biomarkers, e.g., fibrin epitopes, is readily accommodated with fundamental imaging, but for sparse biomarkers, e.g., integrins, we have developed and implemented novel, nonlinear imaging techniques based upon information-theoretic receivers (i.e., thermodynamic receivers). These novel receivers allow sensitive direct imaging of contrast development.

  4. RNA stabilizing proteins as molecular targets in cardiovascular pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Babu, Sahana Suresh; Joladarashi, Darukeshwara; Jeyabal, Prince; Thandavarayan, Rajarajan Amirthalingam; Krishnamurthy, Prasanna

    2015-01-01

    The stability of mRNA has emerged as a key step in the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression and function. RNA stabilizing proteins (RSPs) contain several RNA recognition motifs, and selectively bind to Adenylate- and uridylate- Rich Elements in the 3′ untranslated region of several mRNAs leading to altered processing, stability and translation. These post-transcriptional gene regulations play a critical role in cellular homeostasis; therefore act as molecular switch between ‘normal cell’ and ‘disease state’. Many mRNA binding proteins have been discovered to date, which either stabilize (HuR/HuA, HuB, HuC, HuD) or destabilize (AUF1, Tristetraprolin, KSRP) the target transcripts. Although the function of RSPs has been widely studied in cancer biology, its role in cardiovascular pathologies is only beginning to evolve. The current review provides an overall understanding of the potential role of RSP, specifically HuR-mediated mRNA stability in myocardial infarction, hypertension and hypertrophy. Also, the effect of RSPs on various cellular processes including inflammation, fibrosis, angiogenesis, cell-death and proliferation and its relevance to cardiovascular pathophysiological processes is presented. We also discuss the potential clinical implications of RSPs as therapeutic targets in cardiovascular diseases. PMID:25801788

  5. 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

  6. Molecular targeting in childhood malignancies using nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satake, Noriko; Barisone, Gustavo; Diaz, Elva; Nitin, Nitin; Nolta, Jan; Lam, Kit

    2012-06-01

    The goal of our project is to develop a new therapy for childhood malignancies using nanoformulated siRNA targeting Mxd3, a molecule in the Sonic Hedgehog signaling pathway, which we believe is important for cell survival. We plan to use cancer-specific ligands and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIO NPs) to carry siRNA. This delivery system will be tested in mouse xenograft models that we developed with primary cancer tissues. Our current focus is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children. We report our progress to date.

  7. Nanoparticle Functionalization and Its Potentials for Molecular Imaging.

    PubMed

    Thiruppathi, Rukmani; Mishra, Sachin; Ganapathy, Mathangi; Padmanabhan, Parasuraman; Gulyás, Balázs

    2017-03-01

    Functionalization enhances the properties and characteristics of nanoparticles through surface modification, and enables them to play a major role in the field of medicine. In molecular imaging, quality functional images are required with proper differentiation which can be seen with high contrast to obtain viable information. This review article discusses how functionalization enhances molecular imaging and enables multimodal imaging by which images with combination of functions particular to each modality can be obtained. This also explains how nanoparticles interacting at molecular level, when functionalized with molecules can target the cells of interest or substances with high specificity, reducing background signal and allowing simultaneous therapies to be carried out while imaging. Functionalization allows imaging for a prolonged period and enables to track the cells over a period of time. Recent researches and progress in functionalizing the nanoparticles to specifically enhance bioimaging with different modalities and their applications are reviewed in this article.

  8. Nanoparticle Functionalization and Its Potentials for Molecular Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Thiruppathi, Rukmani; Mishra, Sachin; Ganapathy, Mathangi

    2016-01-01

    Functionalization enhances the properties and characteristics of nanoparticles through surface modification, and enables them to play a major role in the field of medicine. In molecular imaging, quality functional images are required with proper differentiation which can be seen with high contrast to obtain viable information. This review article discusses how functionalization enhances molecular imaging and enables multimodal imaging by which images with combination of functions particular to each modality can be obtained. This also explains how nanoparticles interacting at molecular level, when functionalized with molecules can target the cells of interest or substances with high specificity, reducing background signal and allowing simultaneous therapies to be carried out while imaging. Functionalization allows imaging for a prolonged period and enables to track the cells over a period of time. Recent researches and progress in functionalizing the nanoparticles to specifically enhance bioimaging with different modalities and their applications are reviewed in this article. PMID:28331783

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Molecular pathways and therapeutic targets in lung cancer

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Molecularly targeted therapy for gastrointestinal cancer.

    PubMed

    Wiedmann, Marcus W; Caca, Karel

    2005-05-01

    Receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases (TKs) have emerged as clinically useful drug target molecules for treating gastrointestinal cancer. Imatinib mesilate (STI-571, Gleevec(TM)), an inhibitior of bcr-abl TK, which was primarily designed to treat chronic myeloid leukemia is also an inhibitor of c-kit receptor TK, and is currently the drug of choice for the therapy of metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), which frequently express constitutively activated forms of the c-kit-receptor. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is involved in cell proliferation, metastasis and angiogenesis, is another important target. The two main classes of EGFR inhibitors are the TK inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Gefitinib (ZD1839, Iressa(TM)) has been on trial for esophageal and colorectal cancer (CRC) and erlotinib (OSI-774, Tarceva(TM)) on trial for esophageal, colorectal, hepatocellular, and biliary carcinoma. In addition, erlotinib has been evaluated in a Phase III study for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Cetuximab (IMC-C225, Erbitux(TM)), a monoclonal EGFR antibody, has been FDA approved for the therapy of irinotecan resistant colorectal cancer and has been tested for pancreatic cancer. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor (VEGFR) are critical regulators of tumor angiogenesis. Bevacizumab (Avastin(TM)), a monoclonal antibody against VEGF, was efficient in two randomized clinical trials investigating the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. It is also currently investigated for the therapy of pancreatic cancer in combination with gemcitabine. Other promising new drugs currently under preclinical and clinical evaluation, are VEGFR2 inhibitor PTK787/ZK 222584, thalidomide, farnesyl transferase inhibitor R115777 (tipifarnib, Zarnestra(TM)), matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors, proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (Velcade(TM)), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors

  13. 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

  14. Molecular pathways and targets in prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Shtivelman, Emma; Beer, Tomasz M.; Evans, Christopher P.

    2014-01-01

    Prostate cancer co-opts a unique set of cellular pathways in its initiation and progression. The heterogeneity of prostate cancers is evident at earlier stages, and has led to rigorous efforts to stratify the localized prostate cancers, so that progression to advanced stages could be predicted based upon salient features of the early disease. The deregulated androgen receptor signaling is undeniably most important in the progression of the majority of prostate tumors. It is perhaps because of the primacy of the androgen receptor governed transcriptional program in prostate epithelium cells that once this program is corrupted, the consequences of the ensuing changes in activity are pleotropic and could contribute to malignancy in multiple ways. Following localized surgical and radiation therapies, 20-40% of patients will relapse and progress, and will be treated with androgen deprivation therapies. The successful development of the new agents that inhibit androgen signaling has changed the progression free survival in hormone resistant disease, but this has not changed the almost ubiquitous development of truly resistant phenotypes in advanced prostate cancer. This review summarizes the current understanding of the molecular pathways involved in localized and metastatic prostate cancer, with an emphasis on the clinical implications of the new knowledge. PMID:25277175

  15. VEGFR2 Functions As an H2S-Targeting Receptor Protein Kinase with Its Novel Cys1045–Cys1024 Disulfide Bond Serving As a Specific Molecular Switch for Hydrogen Sulfide Actions in Vascular Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Bei-Bei; Liu, Shu-Yuan; Zhang, Cai-Cai; Fu, Wei; Cai, Wen-Jie; Wang, Yi; Shen, Qing; Wang, Ming-Jie; Chen, Ying; Zhang, Li-Jia; Zhu, Yi-Zhun

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Aims: The potential receptor for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) remains unknown. Results: H2S could directly activate vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and that a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of VEGFR2 inhibited H2S-induced migration of human vascular endothelial cells. H2S promoted angiogenesis in Matrigel plug assay in mice and this effect was attenuated by a VEGF receptor inhibitor. Using tandem mass spectrometry (MS), we identified a new disulfide complex located between Cys1045 and Cys1024 within VEGFR2 that was labile to H2S-mediated modification. Kinase activity of the mutant VEGFR2 (C1045A) devoid of the Cys1045–Cys1024 disulfide bond was significantly higher than wild-type VEGFR2. Transfection with vectors expressing VEGFR2 (C1045A) caused a significant increase in cell migration, while the migration-promoting effect of H2S disappeared in the cells transfected with VEGFR2 (C1045A). Therefore, the Cys1045–Cys1024 disulfide bond serves as an intrinsic inhibitory motif and functions as a molecular switch for H2S. The formation of the Cys1045–Cys1024 disulfide bond disrupted the integrity of the active conformation of VEGFR2. Breaking the Cys1045–Cys1024 disulfide bond recovered the active conformation of VEGFR2. This motif was prone to a nucleophilic attack by H2S via an interaction of their frontier molecular orbitals. siRNA-mediated knockdown of cystathionine γ-lyase attenuated migration of vascular endothelial cells induced by VEGF or moderate hypoxia. Innovation and Conclusion: The study provides the first piece of evidence of a molecular switch in H2S-targeting receptor protein kinase in H2S-induced angiogenesis and that may be applicable to additional kinases containing functionally important disulfide bonds in mediating various H2S actions. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 448–464. PMID:23199280

  16. Current status of DILD in molecular targeted therapies.

    PubMed

    Saito, Yoshinobu; Gemma, Akihiko

    2012-12-01

    Molecular targeted drugs have become the mainstream for cancer therapy, and they have contributed to improving the outcome for cancer patients. On the other hand, molecular targeted drugs are associated with a variety of adverse drug reactions. Drug-induced interstitial lung disease (DILD) is a typical adverse drug reaction that has been an important problem with regard to safety management during cancer treatment. In the past, there was a lack of detailed and accurate epidemiological data about DILD. However, most of the molecular targeted drugs have been subject to all-case post-marketing surveillance since gefitinib-induced ILD became a concern. These surveillance data present useful information about DILD, such as frequency of adverse events, mortality, and risk factors, and as a result, the epidemiological profile of DILD associated with molecular targeted drugs has become apparent during the past decade. Further, it has been considered that the principal management for DILD is early detection and cessation of the suspected cause. However, ILD associated with everolimus and temsirolimus requires unusual management; i.e., patients with asymptomatic ILD are allowed to continue treatment with everolimus or temsirolimus, and even after symptomatic ILD, both everolimus and temsirolimus are allowed to be readministered after the resolution of ILD. As a result of the collected data, a change has begun in the field of DILD associated with molecular targeted drugs. The features of DILD can differ for each drug, and clinicians should thus keep this information about DILD in mind while treating patients.

  17. Biologic Therapy and Novel Molecular Targets of Severe Asthma.

    PubMed

    Pepper, Amber N; Renz, Harald; Casale, Thomas B; Garn, Holger

    Treatment options for severe or uncontrolled asthma are increasing, especially pertaining to novel biologic therapies. The 2 primary asthma endotypes, T2 high and T2 low, are defined by the level of type 2 T helper and innate lymphoid cell activity and mediators. Most therapies for severe asthma target T2 high asthma, including the 3 biologics approved for use in the United States and Europe: omalizumb, mepolizumb, and reslizumab. Other biologics, with various molecular targets, are under investigation. Unfortunately, treatment options for T2 low asthma are limited. Although these therapies may improve asthma symptoms, exacerbation rates, and lung function parameters, they have not been shown to modify the disease process or provide lasting benefits after discontinuation. Biomarkers identified thus far to help guide individualized therapy in severe asthma are helpful, but imperfect discriminators for picking the best option for individual patients. This review will discuss the mechanisms of action, indications, and therapeutic effects of currently available and emerging biologics for the treatment of severe or uncontrolled asthma. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Pathway inhibition: emerging molecular targets for treating glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Wick, Wolfgang; Weller, Michael; Weiler, Markus; Batchelor, Tracy; Yung, Alfred W.K.; Platten, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Insights into the molecular pathogenesis of glioblastoma have not yet resulted in relevant clinical improvement. With standard therapy, which consists of surgical resection with concomitant temozolomide in addition to radiotherapy followed by adjuvant temozolomide, the median duration of survival is 12–14 months. Therefore, the identification of novel molecular targets and inhibitory agents has become a focus of research for glioblastoma treatment. Recent results of bevacizumab may represent a proof of principle that treatment with targeted agents can result in clinical benefits for patients with glioblastoma. This review discusses limitations in the existing therapy for glioblastoma and provides an overview of current efforts to identify molecular targets using large-scale screening of glioblastoma cell lines and tumor samples. We discuss preclinical and clinical data for several novel molecular targets, including growth factor receptors, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, SRC-family kinases, integrins, and CD95 ligand and agents that inhibit these targets, including erlotinib, enzastaurin, dasatinib, sorafenib, cilengitide, AMG102, and APG101. By combining advances in tumor screening with novel targeted therapies, it is hoped that new treatment options will emerge for this challenging tumor type. PMID:21636705

  19. 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

  20. Targeting mitochondrial function to treat optic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Gueven, Nuri; Nadikudi, Monila; Daniel, Abraham; Chhetri, Jamuna

    2016-07-28

    Many reports have illustrated a tight connection between vision and mitochondrial function. Not only are most mitochondrial diseases associated with some form of vision impairment, many ophthalmological disorders such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy also show signs of mitochondrial dysfunction. Despite a vast amount of evidence, vision loss is still only treated symptomatically, which is only partially a consequence of resistance to acknowledge that mitochondria could be the common denominator and hence a promising therapeutic target. More importantly, clinical support of this concept is only emerging. Moreover, only a few drug candidates and treatment strategies are in development or approved that selectively aim to restore mitochondrial function. This review rationalizes the currently developed therapeutic approaches that target mitochondrial function by discussing their proposed mode(s) of action and provides an overview on their development status with regards to optic neuropathies.

  1. Molecular Methods for Identification of Clostridium tetani by Targeting Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Nagoba, Basavraj; Dharne, Mahesh; Gohil, Kushal N

    2017-01-01

    Tetanus is a potentially fatal muscle spasm disease. It is an important public health problem, especially in rural/tribal areas of developing countries. Tetanus toxin, a neurotoxin (tetanospasmin ), is the most important virulence factor that plays a key role in the pathogenicity of tetanus . Confirmation of virulence by confirming the production of tetanospasmin by infecting species forms the most important part in the diagnosis of tetanus . Various molecular methods have been devised for confirmation of diagnosis by targeting different genes. The most common molecular methods are tetanospasmin producing (TetX) gene-targeted methods using TetX-specific primers. Here, we describe various molecular methods targeting TetX gene such as polymerase chain reaction, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, Southern blotting, loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay, etc. to confirm the virulence of Cl. tetani.

  2. Contact dermatitis: in pursuit of sensitizer's molecular targets through proteomics.

    PubMed

    Guedes, Sofia; Neves, Bruno; Vitorino, Rui; Domingues, Rosário; Cruz, Maria Teresa; Domingues, Pedro

    2017-02-01

    Protein haptenation, i.e., the modification of proteins by small reactive chemicals, is the key step in the sensitization phase of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD). Despite the research effort in past decades, the identification of immunogenic hapten-protein complexes that trigger a relevant pathogenic immune response in ACD, as well as the haptenation reaction molecular site, and the elements of a potentially conditioning environment during each of these stages, remain poorly understood. These questions led us to employ a proteomics-based approach to identify modified proteins in the dendritic-like cell line THP-1 sensitized with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), through a combination of 2D-gel electrophoresis, nano-LC and mass spectrometry. A specific set of 39 targeted proteins was identified and comprised proteins from various cellular locations and biological functions. One of FITC targets was identified as MLK, a member of the mixed-lineage kinase family known to act as a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase and to control the activity of specific mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, namely p38 and JNK pathways. Haptenated in the vicinity of its active site, our results point to MLK being a relevant target due to a consistent non-activation at early time points of these pathways upon FITC sensitization in THP-1 cells. Moreover, FITC pre-treatment significantly decrease phospho-p38 and phospho-JNK levels induced upon exposure to a classical activator such as lipopolysaccharide or to the sensitizer 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene. Overall, our data point to specific amino acid residues haptenation within critical proteins as the key step in the subsequent signaling pathways modulation responsible for DC activation and maturation events.

  3. Molecular targets that link dioxin exposure to toxicity phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Yoshioka, Wataru; Peterson, Richard E; Tohyama, Chiharu

    2011-10-01

    Many toxicology studies have elucidated health effects associated with exposure to various chemicals, but few have identified the molecular targets that cause specific endpoints of toxicity. Our understanding of the toxicity of dioxins, a group of chemicals capable of causing toxicity at environmentally relevant levels of exposure, is no exception. Dioxins are unique compared to most chemicals that we are exposed to in the environment because they activate a high affinity receptor, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), that was identified more than three decades ago. In recent years, several lines of experimental evidence have provided clues for opening the "black box" that contains the molecular mechanisms of dioxin action. These clues have emerged by toxicologists beginning to identify the molecular targets that link AhR signaling to tissue-specific toxicity phenotypes. Endpoints of dioxin toxicity for which downstream molecular targets have begun to be elucidated are observed in developmental or tissue regeneration processes, and include impaired prostate development and hydronephrosis in mouse fetuses and pups, reduced midbrain blood flow and jaw malformation in zebrafish embryos, and impaired fin regeneration in larval and adult zebrafish. Significant progress in identifying molecular targets for dioxin-induced hepatotoxicity in adult mice also has occurred. Misregulation of AhR downstream pathways, such as conversion of arachidonic acid to prostanoids via cyclooxygenase-2, and altered Wnt/β-catenin signaling downregulating Sox9, and signaling by receptors for inflammatory cytokines have been implicated in tissue-specific endpoints of dioxin toxicity. These findings may not only begin to clarify the molecular targets of dioxin action but shed light on new molecular events associated with development and disease.

  4. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) for molecular targeted therapies of tumours.

    PubMed

    Youns, Mahmoud; Hoheisel, Jörg D; Efferth, Thomas

    2010-03-01

    Scientific progress in genetics, cell and molecular biology has greatly ameliorated our comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neoplastic transformation and progression. The rapidly advancing identification of molecular targets in human cancers during the last decade has provided an excellent starting point for the development of novel therapeutics. A huge variety of potential molecular targets have been identified, many of which are already in the market for therapeutic purposes. It is now becoming possible to target pathways and/or molecules that are crucial in maintaining the malignant phenotype. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is often considered as alternative or complementary medicine. TCM represents a holistic approach and lacks high-quality scientific evidence on its effectiveness. Therefore, it is frequently regarded with some scepticism by western academic medicine. In this review, we report that application of modern technologies allowed identification of novel molecular targets modulating the anti-tumour activity of natural products derived from TCM. Moreover, we tried to cross the bridge between TCM and Western modern medicine to be able to implement them for the sake of cancer patients.

  5. Mitochondrial function as a therapeutic target in heart failure

    PubMed Central

    Brown, David A.; Perry, Justin B.; Allen, Mitchell E.; Sabbah, Hani N.; Stauffer, Brian L.; Shaikh, Saame Raza; Cleland, John G. F.; Colucci, Wilson S.; Butler, Javed; Voors, Adriaan A.; Anker, Stefan D.; Pitt, Bertram; Pieske, Burkert; Filippatos, Gerasimos; Greene, Stephen J.; Gheorghiade, Mihai

    2017-01-01

    Heart failure is a pressing worldwide public-health problem with millions of patients having worsening heart failure. Despite all the available therapies, the condition carries a very poor prognosis. Existing therapies provide symptomatic and clinical benefit, but do not fully address molecular abnormalities that occur in cardiomyocytes. This shortcoming is particularly important given that most patients with heart failure have viable dysfunctional myocardium, in which an improvement or normalization of function might be possible. Although the pathophysiology of heart failure is complex, mitochondrial dysfunction seems to be an important target for therapy to improve cardiac function directly. Mitochondrial abnormalities include impaired mitochondrial electron transport chain activity, increased formation of reactive oxygen species, shifted metabolic substrate utilization, aberrant mitochondrial dynamics, and altered ion homeostasis. In this Consensus Statement, insights into the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure are presented, along with an overview of emerging treatments with the potential to improve the function of the failing heart by targeting mitochondria. PMID:28004807

  6. Discovering Molecular Targets in Cancer with Multiscale Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhihui; Bordas, Veronika; Deisboeck, Thomas S.

    2011-01-01

    Multiscale modeling is increasingly being recognized as a promising research area in computational cancer systems biology. Here, exemplified by two pioneering studies, we attempt to explain why and how such a multiscale approach paired with an innovative cross-scale analytical technique can be useful in identifying high-value molecular therapeutic targets. This novel, integrated approach has the potential to offer a more effective in silico framework for target discovery and represents an important technical step towards systems medicine. PMID:21572568

  7. 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

  8. Dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles: a versatile platform for targeted molecular imaging, molecular diagnostics, and therapy.

    PubMed

    Tassa, Carlos; Shaw, Stanley Y; Weissleder, Ralph

    2011-10-18

    Advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of disease susceptibility coupled with prominent successes for molecular targeted therapies have resulted in an emerging strategy of personalized medicine. This approach envisions risk stratification and therapeutic selection based on an individual's genetic makeup and physiologic state (the latter assessed through cellular or molecular phenotypes). Molecularly targeted nanoparticles can play a key role in this vision through noninvasive assessments of molecular processes and specific cell populations in vivo, sensitive molecular diagnostics, and targeted delivery of therapeutics. A superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle with a cross-linked dextran coating, or CLIO, is a powerful and illustrative nanoparticle platform for these applications. These structures and their derivatives support diagnostic imaging by magnetic resonance (MRI), optical, and positron emission tomography (PET) modalities and constitute a versatile platform for conjugation to targeting ligands. A variety of conjugation methods exist to couple the dextran surface to different functional groups; in addition, a robust bioorthogonal [4 + 2] cycloaddition reaction between 1,2,4,5-tetrazene (Tz) and trans-cyclooctene (TCO) can conjugate nanoparticles to targeting ligands or label pretargeted cells. The ready availability of conjugation methods has given rise to the synthesis of libraries of small molecule modified nanoparticles, which can then be screened for nanoparticles with specificity for a specific cell type. Since most nanoparticles display their targeting ligands in a multivalent manner, a detailed understanding of the kinetics and affinity of a nanoparticle's interaction with its target (as determined by surface plasmon resonance) can yield functionally important insights into nanoparticle design. In this Account, we review applications of the CLIO platform in several areas relevant to the mission of personalized medicine. We demonstrate

  9. Combining molecular targeted agents with radiation therapy for malignant gliomas

    PubMed Central

    Scaringi, Claudia; Enrici, Riccardo Maurizi; Minniti, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The expansion in understanding the molecular biology that characterizes cancer cells has led to the rapid development of new agents to target important molecular pathways associated with aberrant activation or suppression of cellular signal transduction pathways involved in gliomagenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, mammalian target of rapamycin, and integrins signaling pathways. The use of antiangiogenic agent bevacizumab, epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors temsirolimus and everolimus, and integrin inhibitor cilengitide, in combination with radiation therapy, has been supported by encouraging preclinical data, resulting in a rapid translation into clinical trials. Currently, the majority of published clinical studies on the use of these agents in combination with radiation and cytotoxic therapies have shown only modest survival benefits at best. Tumor heterogeneity and genetic instability may, at least in part, explain the poor results observed with a single-target approach. Much remains to be learned regarding the optimal combination of targeted agents with conventional chemoradiation, including the use of multipathways-targeted therapies, the selection of patients who may benefit from combined treatments based on molecular biomarkers, and the verification of effective blockade of signaling pathways. PMID:23966794

  10. Molecular genetics and targeted therapeutics in biliary tract carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Marks, Eric I; Yee, Nelson S

    2016-01-28

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Potential nanotechnologies and molecular targets in the quest for efficient chemotherapy in ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Rhoda, Khadija; Choonara, Yahya E; Kumar, Pradeep; Bijukumar, Divya; du Toit, Lisa C; Pillay, Viness

    2015-04-01

    Ovarian cancer, considered one of the most fatal gynecological cancers, goes largely undiagnosed until metastasis presents itself, usually once the patient is in the final stages and thus, too late for worthwhile therapy. Targeting this elusive disease in its early stages would improve the outcome for most patients, while the information generated thereof would increase the possibility of preventative mechanisms of therapy. This review discusses various molecular targets as possible moieties to be incorporated in a holistic drug delivery system or the more aptly termed 'theranostic' system. These molecular targets can be used for targeting, visualizing, diagnosing, and ultimately, treating ovarian cancer in its entirety. Currently implemented nanoframeworks, such as nanomicelles and nanoliposomes, are described and the effectiveness of nanostructures in tumor targeting, treatment functions, and overcoming the drug resistance challenge is discussed. Novel nanotechnology strategies such as the development of nanoframeworks decorated with targeted ligands of a molecular nature may provide an efficient chemotherapy, especially when instituted in combination with imaging, diagnostic, and ultimately, therapeutic moieties. An imperative aspect of utilizing nanotechnology in the treatment of ovarian cancer is the flexibility of the drug delivery system and its ability to overcome standard obstacles such as: i) successfully treating the desired cells through direct targeting; ii) reducing toxicity levels of treatment by achieving direct targeting; and iii) delivery of targeted therapy using an efficient vehicle that is exceptionally degradable in response to a particular stimulus. The targeting of ovarian cancer in its early stages using imaging and diagnostic nanotechnology is an area that can be improved upon by combining therapeutic moieties with molecular biomarkers. The nanotechnology and molecular markers mentioned in this review have generally been used for either

  13. Molecular targets and cancer therapeutics: discovery, development and clinical validation.

    PubMed

    Teicher, Beverly A.

    2000-04-01

    The AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics held in Washington, DC on 16-19 November 1999 provided a forum for cancer research clearly showing evolution of a target and mechanism-driven science. The notion of the tumor as a tissue composed of heterogeneous populations of normal and abnormal cells as viable targets is coming to the fore with the advent of agents directed toward non-malignant cell targets. Growth control rather than eradication as a treatment strategy for malignant disease is being tested preclinically and clinically. Among targets, kinases are in the lead with nuclear, cytoplasmic and membrane kinases being selectively inhibited by small molecules and macromolecules. First generation tumor vasculature-directed agents are progressing through early clinical studies. The interest in tumor vasculature as a target has renewed interest in imaging technology to discern biological effect and in tumor hypoxia. This has resulted in elucidation of molecular responses triggered by a low oxygen environment. Challenges remain in the areas of cellular and immune therapies. Dendritic cell-based vaccines are being tested preclinically in many systems. Interleukin-12 is proceeding through clinical trials. Apoptosis-protective molecules such as bcl-2, and apoptosis-stimulating molecules such as bax, are being pursued as targets for inhibition and activation, respectively. Finally, methods and technology to aid in the identification of new targets were highlighted. This perspective, while it is by no means an exhaustive review of the presentations, brings forward some of the main topics and interests that are current in cancer research. Targets were the topic but methods of target identification and the need for increased chemical diversity to selectively focus agents to targets with small differences were also major topics of discussion. Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  14. Elastin: molecular description and function.

    PubMed

    Debelle, L; Tamburro, A M

    1999-02-01

    Elastin, the protein responsible for the elastic properties of vertebrate tissues, has been thought to be solely restricted to that role. As a consequence, elastin was conventionally described as an amorphous polymer. Recent results in the biomedical, biochemical and biophysical fields have lead to the conclusion that the presence of elastin in the extracellular space has very complex implications involving many other molecules. The present review describes the current state of knowledge concerning elastin as an elastic macromolecule. First, the genetic, biological, biochemical and biophysical processes leading to a functional polymer are described. Second, the elastic function of elastin is discussed. The controversy on elastin structure and elasticity is discussed and a novel dynamic mechanism of elasticity proposed. Finally, pathologies where the elastin molecule is involved are considered. This updated description of functional elastin provides the required background for the understanding of its pathologies and defines clearly the properties a substance should possess to be qualified as a good elastic biomaterial.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Clinical Challenges to Current Molecularly Targeted Therapies in Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Chhabra, Gagan; Eggert, Ashley; Puri, Neelu

    Lung cancer is difficult to treat with a poor prognosis and a five year survival of 15%. Current molecularly targeted therapies are initially effective in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients; however, they are plagued with difficulties including induced resistance and small therapeutically responsive populations. This mini review describes the mechanism of resistance to several molecularly targeted therapies which are currently being used to treat NSCLC. The major targets discussed are c-Met, EGFR, HER2, ALK, VEGFR, and BRAF. The first generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) resulted in resistance; however, second and third generation TKIs are being developed, which are generally more efficacious and have potential to treat NSCLC patients with resistance to first generation TKIs. Combination therapies could also be effective in preventing TKI resistance in NSCLC patients.

  20. Principles of Unconventional Myosin Function and Targeting

    PubMed Central

    Hartman, M. Amanda; Finan, Dina; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj; Spudich, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Unconventional myosins are a superfamily of actin-based motors implicated in diverse cellular processes. In recent years, much progress has been made in describing their biophysical properties, and headway has been made into analyzing their cellular functions. Here, we focus on the principles that guide in vivo motor function and targeting to specific cellular locations. Rather than describe each motor comprehensively, we outline the major themes that emerge from research across the superfamily and use specific examples to illustrate each. In presenting the data in this format, we seek to identify open questions in each field as well as to point out commonalities between them. To advance our understanding of myosins’ roles in vivo, clearly we must identify their cellular cargoes and the protein complexes that regulate motor attachment to fully appreciate their functions on the cellular and developmental levels. PMID:21639800

  1. Functional silver coated colloidosomes as targeted carriers for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qian; Du, Yao; Zhao, Ziyan; Hall, Elizabeth Anne Howlett; Gao, Hui; Sukhorukov, Gleb B; Routh, Alexander Francis

    2017-03-30

    Colloidosomes have attracted great interest in recent years because of their capability for storage and delivery of small molecules for medical and pharmaceutical applications. However, traditional polymer shell colloidosomes leak low molecular weight drugs due to their intrinsic shell permeability. Here, we report aqueous core colloidosomes with a silver shell, which seals the core and makes the shell impermeable. The silver coated colloidosomes were prepared by reacting L-Ascorbic acid in the microcapsule core with silver nitrate in the wash solution. The silver shell colloidosomes were then modified by using 4,4'-dithiodibutyric acid and linked with rabbit Immunoglobulin G (IgG). Label-free Surface Plasmon Resonance was used to test the specific targeting of the functional silver shell with rabbit antigen. To break the shells, ultrasound treatment was used. The results demonstrate that a new type of functional silver coated colloidosome with immunoassay targeting, non-permeability, and ultrasound sensitivity could be applied to many medical applications.

  2. Emerging molecular biomarker targets for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Costa, Júlia; de Carvalho, Mamede

    2016-04-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects upper (UMN) and lower motor (LMN) neurons. It is associated with a short survival and there is no effective treatment, in spite of a large number of clinical trials. Strong efforts have been made to identify novel disease biomarkers to support diagnosis, provide information on prognosis, to measure disease progression in trials and increase our knowledge on disease pathogenesis. Electromyography by testing the function of the LMN can be used as a biomarker of its dysfunction. A number of electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods have been explored to identify a reliable marker of UMN degeneration. Recently, strong evidence from independent groups, large cohorts of patients and multicenter studies indicate that neurofilaments are very promising diagnostic biomarkers, in particular cerebrospinal fluid and blood levels of phosphoneurofilament heavy chain and neurofilament light chain. Furthermore, their increased levels are associated with poor prognosis. Additional studies have been performed aiming to identify other biomarkers, which alone or in combination with neurofilaments could increase the sensitivity and the specificity of the assays. Emerging molecular marker targets are being discovered, but more studies with standardized methods are required in larger cohorts of ALS patients.

  3. The human glucocorticoid receptor: molecular basis of biologic function.

    PubMed

    Nicolaides, Nicolas C; Galata, Zoi; Kino, Tomoshige; Chrousos, George P; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2010-01-01

    The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA-polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and actions of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic functions.

  4. The Human Glucocorticoid Receptor: Molecular Basis of Biologic Function

    PubMed Central

    Nicolaides, Nicolas C.; Galata, Zoi; Kino, Tomoshige; Chrousos, George P.; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2009-01-01

    The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticopid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic function. PMID:19818358

  5. Drug-Target Binding Investigated by Quantum Mechanical/Molecular Mechanical (QM/MM) Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothlisberger, U.; Carloni, P.

    Many important drugs, also used in the clinics, exert their function by binding covalently to their targets. Understanding their action requires quantum mechanical simulations. Here, after briefly reviewing few basic concepts of thermodynamics and kinetics of drug-target binding, we summarize principles and applications of Car-Parrinello quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulations. From this discussion, this approach emerges as a computational methodology particularly well suited to investigate covalent binding in systems of pharmacological relevance.

  6. 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.

  7. Fault diagnosis engineering in molecular signaling networks: an overview and applications in target discovery.

    PubMed

    Abdi, Ali; Emamian, Effat S

    2010-05-01

    Fault diagnosis engineering is a key component of modern industrial facilities and complex systems, and has gone through considerable developments in the past few decades. In this paper, the principles and concepts of molecular fault diagnosis engineering are reviewed. In this area, molecular intracellular networks are considered as complex systems that may fail to function, due to the presence of some faulty molecules. Dysfunction of the system due to the presence of a single or multiple molecules can ultimately lead to the transition from the normal state to the disease state. It is the goal of molecular fault diagnosis engineering to identify the critical components of molecular networks, i.e., those whose dysfunction can interrupt the function of the entire network. The results of the fault analysis of several signaling networks are discussed, and possible connections of the findings with some complex human diseases are examined. Implications of molecular fault diagnosis engineering for target discovery and drug development are outlined as well.

  8. Molecular neuroimaging in rodents: assessing receptor expression and function.

    PubMed

    Mueggler, Thomas; Baltes, Christof; Rudin, Markus

    2009-11-01

    Multimodal non-invasive neuroimaging in rodents constitutes an attractive tool for studying neurobiological processes in vivo. At present, imaging studies of brain anatomy and function as well as the investigation of structure-function relationships belong to the standard repertoire of neuroscientists. Molecular imaging adds a new perspective. The mapping of the receptor distribution and receptor occupancy can nowadays be complemented by specific readouts of receptor function either by visualizing the activity of signaling pathways or mapping the physiological consequences of receptor stimulation. Molecular information is obtained through the use of imaging probes that combine a target-specific ligand with a reporter moiety that generates a signal that can be detected from outside the body. For imaging probes targeting the central nervous system, penetration of the intact blood-brain barrier constitutes a major hurdle. Molecular imaging generates specific information and therefore has a large potential for disease phenotyping (diagnostics), therapy development and monitoring of treatment response. Molecular imaging is still in its infancy and major developments in imaging technology, probe design and data analysis are required in order to make an impact. Rodent molecular neuroimaging will play an important role in the development of these tools.

  9. Magnetomotive molecular probes for targeted contrast enhancement and therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boppart, Stephen A.

    2011-03-01

    The diagnostic, interrogational, and therapeutic potential of molecular probes is rapidly being investigated and exploited across virtually every biomedical imaging modality. While many types of probes enhance contrast or delivery therapy by static localization to targeted sites, significant potential exists for utilizing dynamic molecular probes. Recent examples include molecular beacons, photoactivatable probes, or controlled switchable drug-releasing particles, to name a few. In this review, we describe a novel class of dynamic molecular probes that rely on the application and control of localized external magnetic fields. These magnetomotive molecular probes can provide optical image contrast through a modulated scattering signal, can interrogate the biomechanical properties of their viscoelastic microenvironment by tracking their underdamped oscillatory step-response to applied fields, and can potentially delivery therapy through nanometer-to-micrometer mechanical displacement or local hyperthermia. This class of magnetomotive agents includes not only magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles, but also new magnetomotive microspheres or nanostructures with embedded iron-oxide agents. In vitro three-dimensional cell assays and in vivo targeting studies in animal tumor models have demonstrated the potential for multimodal detection and imaging, using magnetic resonance imaging for whole-body localization, and magnetomotive optical coherence tomography for high-resolution localization and imaging.

  10. Targeted Molecular Imaging in Oncology: Focus on Radiation Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Nimmagadda, Sridhar; Ford, Eric C.; Wong, John W.; Pomper, Martin G.

    2008-01-01

    Anatomically based technologies (CT, MR, etc.) are in routine use in radiotherapy for planning and assessment purposes. Even with improvements in imaging, however, radiotherapy is still limited in efficacy and toxicity in certain applications. Further advances may be provided by technologies that image the molecular activities of tumors and normal tissues. Possible uses for molecular imaging include better localization of tumor regions and early assay for the radiation response of tumors and normal tissues. Critical to the success of this approach is the identification and validation of molecular probes that are suitable in the radiotherapy context. Recent developments in molecular imaging probes and integration of functional imaging with radiotherapy are promising. This review focuses on recent advances in molecular imaging strategies and probes that may aid in improving the efficacy of radiotherapy. PMID:18314068

  11. 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.

  12. Computational molecular biology approaches to ligand-target interactions

    PubMed Central

    Lupieri, Paola; Nguyen, Chuong Ha Hung; Bafghi, Zhaleh Ghaemi; Giorgetti, Alejandro; Carloni, Paolo

    2009-01-01

    Binding of small molecules to their targets triggers complex pathways. Computational approaches are keys for predictions of the molecular events involved in such cascades. Here we review current efforts at characterizing the molecular determinants in the largest membrane-bound receptor family, the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We focus on odorant receptors, which constitute more than half GPCRs. The work presented in this review uncovers structural and energetic aspects of components of the cellular cascade. Finally, a computational approach in the context of radioactive boron-based antitumoral therapies is briefly described. PMID:20119480

  13. Molecular Targets of Omega 3 and Conjugated Linoleic Fatty Acids – “Micromanaging” Cellular Response

    PubMed Central

    Visioli, Francesco; Giordano, Elena; Nicod, Nathalie Marie; Dávalos, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    Essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized de novo by mammals and need to be ingested either with the diet or through the use of supplements/functional foods to ameliorate cardiovascular prognosis. This review focus on the molecular targets of omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, as paradigmatic molecules that can be exploited both as nutrients and as pharmacological agents, especially as related to cardioprotection. In addition, we indicate novel molecular targets, namely microRNAs that might contribute to the observed biological activities of such essential fatty acids. PMID:22393325

  14. 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

  15. [Advances of molecular targeted therapy in squamous cell lung cancer].

    PubMed

    Ma, Li; Zhang, Shucai

    2013-12-01

    Squamous cell lung cancer (SQCLC) is one of the most prevalent subtypes of lung cancer worldwide, about 400,000 persons die from squamous-cell lung cancer around the world, and its pathogenesis is closely linked with tobacco exposure. Unfortunately, squamous-cell lung cancer patients do not benefit from major advances in the development of targeted therapeutics such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors that show exquisite activity in lung adenocarcinomas with EGFR mutations or echinoderm microtubule associated protein like-4 (EML4)-ALK fusions, respectively. Major efforts have been launched to characterize the genomes of squamous-cell lung cancers. Among the new results emanating from these efforts are amplifications of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) gene, the discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) gene mutation as potential novel targets for the treatment of SQCLCs. Researchers find that there are many specific molecular targeted genes in the genome of squamous-cell lung cancer patients. These changes play a vital role in cell cycle regulation, oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, squamous epithelium differentiation, may be the candidate targeted moleculars in SQCLCs. Here, we provide a review on these discoveries and their implications for clinical trials in squamous-cell lung cancer assessing the value of novel therapeutics addressing these targets.

  16. 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

  17. Molecular mechanisms of acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, tyrosine kinases (TKs) have been recognized as central players and regulators of cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis, and are therefore considered suitable potential targets for anti-cancer therapies. Several strategies for targeting TKs have been developed, the most successful being monoclonal antibodies and small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors. However, increasing evidence of acquired resistance to these drugs has been documented, and extensive preclinical studies are ongoing to try to understand the molecular mechanisms by which cancer cells are able to bypass their inhibitory activity. This review intends to present the most recently identified molecular mechanisms that mediate acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, identified through the use of in vitro models or the analysis of patient samples. The knowledge obtained from these studies will help to design better therapies that prevent and overcome resistance to treatment in cancer patients. PMID:20385023

  18. Molecular and cellular alterations in Down syndrome: toward the identification of targets for therapeutics.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Heat Shock Protein 70s as Potential Molecular Targets for Colon Cancer Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Black, Jennifer D; Rezvani, Khosrow

    2016-01-01

    Targeted drugs modulate selective pathways activated or repressed only in cancer cells, resulting in a higher response to chemotherapy with less severe side effects. The use of a selected member of the heat shock protein 70 family (HSP70) as an effective therapeutic target in the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) will be the focus of this review. We generated two main questions for this study: 1) What are the current and potential future molecular therapies in CRC? 2) Can selective members of the HSP70 family advance drug design and drug discovery for treatment of CRC patients? We discuss related articles based on their significance and translational contributions to the existing literature. The first part of this review discusses molecularly targeted agents that are currently used successfully in the clinic for the treatment of patients with CRC and highlights several novel targeted agents that are being investigated in ongoing trials. The second part of this review focuses on the unique tumorigenic functions of heat shock proteins, particularly mortalin-2, an essential heat shock protein for mitochondrial biogenesis in normal cells and a dominant oncoprotein in colon cancer cells. Basic and clinical studies have justified mortalin-2 as a potential molecular target, and its inhibition could dramatically improve patients' responses to standard chemotherapies. Further understanding of the contributions of HSP70 family members to CRC at the molecular level, combined with translation of new concepts into effective targeted therapies, are anticipated to improve clinical outcomes and increase the therapeutic synergy with combination treatment with cytotoxic agents.

  2. Multimodality molecular imaging--from target description to clinical studies.

    PubMed

    Schober, O; Rahbar, K; Riemann, B

    2009-02-01

    This highlight lecture was presented at the closing session of the Annual Congress of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) in Munich on 15 October 2008. The Congress was a great success: there were more than 4,000 participants, and 1,597 abstracts were submitted. Of these, 1,387 were accepted for oral or poster presentation, with a rejection rate of 14%. In this article a choice was made from 100 of the 500 lectures which received the highest scores by the scientific review panel. This article outlines the major findings and trends at the EANM 2008, and is only a brief summary of the large number of outstanding abstracts presented. Among the great number of oral and poster presentations covering nearly all fields of nuclear medicine some headlines have to be defined highlighting the development of nuclear medicine in the 21st century. This review focuses on the increasing impact of molecular and multimodality imaging in the field of nuclear medicine. In addition, the question may be asked as to whether the whole spectrum of nuclear medicine is nothing other than molecular imaging and therapy. Furthermore, molecular imaging will and has to go ahead to multimodality imaging. In view of this background the review was structured according to the single steps of molecular imaging, i.e. from target description to clinical studies. The following topics are addressed: targets, radiochemistry and radiopharmacy, devices and computer science, animals and preclinical evaluations, and patients and clinical evaluations.

  3. Improving the embryo implantation via novel molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Li, Jingjie; Liang, Xiaoyan; Chen, Zijiang

    2013-07-01

    With the development of modern assisted reproductive technology(ART), the treatment of infertility and the pregnant outcome by ART have been significantly improved. However, implantation failure, particularly the unexplained repeated implantation failure (RIF), is still the unsolved and principal problem to affect the outcome of ART. The completed embryo, the receptive uterus and a series of precisely controlled molecular events between the blastocyst and endometrium are all indispensable for the success of implantation. Thus, deep insight into the molecular mechanisms that impact the endometrial receptivity and embryo implantation is an effective way to improve the implantation rate. Here the novel molecular targets and biomarkers have been reviewed that are reported and proved during more recent years in the aspects of ion channels, aquaporins, long noncoding RNAs and microRNAs, kruppel like factors, metabolism related molecules and the endogenous retroviruses. Evaluation of implantation markers may help clinicians to predict pregnancy outcome and detect occult implantation deficiency. Moreover, these novel molecular targets are expected to apply to the clinical practice from bench to bedside and improve the implantation efficiency in ART and natural conception.

  4. MicroRNAs: Processing, Maturation, Target Recognition and Regulatory Functions

    PubMed Central

    Shukla, Girish C.; Singh, Jagjit; Barik, Sailen

    2012-01-01

    The remarkable discovery of small noncoding microRNAs (miRNAs) and their role in posttranscriptional gene regulation have revealed another fine-tuning step in the expression of genetic information. A large number of cellular pathways, which act in organismal development and are important in health and disease, appear to be modulated by miRNAs. At the molecular level, miRNAs restrain the production of proteins by affecting the stability of their target mRNA and/or by down-regulating their translation. This review attempts to offer a snapshot of aspects of miRNA coding, processing, target recognition and function in animals. Our goal here is to provide the readers with a thought-provoking and mechanistic introduction to the miRNA world rather than with a detailed encyclopedia. PMID:22468167

  5. Antiepileptic drug effects on mood and behavior: molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Perucca, Piero; Mula, Marco

    2013-03-01

    With almost 100 years of clinical experience, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) remain the mainstay of epilepsy treatment. They suppress epileptic seizures by acting on a variety of mechanisms and molecular targets involved in the regulation of neuronal excitability. These include inhibitory-GABAergic and excitatory-glutamatergic neurotransmission, as well as ion (sodium and calcium) conductance through voltage-gated channels. On the other hand, accruing evidence indicates that these mechanisms and targets are also implicated in the regulation of mood and behavior, which may explain why each AED is associated with specific psychotropic effects. These effects, however, cannot be explained solely on the basis of the known mode of action of each AED, and other mechanisms or targets are likely to be implicated. In this article, we review positive and negative effects of AEDs on mood and behavior, discuss putative underlying mechanisms, and highlight knowledge gaps which should be addressed in future studies.

  6. 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

  7. Central and peripheral molecular targets for antiobesity pharmacotherapy.

    PubMed

    Valentino, M A; Lin, J E; Waldman, S A

    2010-06-01

    Obesity has emerged as one of the principal 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 comorbidities, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, has focused the attention of those in 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 the development of agents with indeterminate mechanisms of action. This led to treatment paradigms characterized by significant off-target effects. In 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Signal Transduction and Molecular Targets of Selected Flavonoids

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Ann M.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Diet exerts a major influence on the risk for developing cancer and heart disease. Food factors such as flavonoids are alleged to protect cells from premature aging and disease by shielding DNA, proteins, and lipids from oxidative damage. Recent Advances: Our work has focused on clarifying the effects of dietary components on cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth, discovering mechanisms to explain the effects, and identifying the specific molecular targets of these compounds. Our strategy for identifying specific molecular targets of phytochemicals involves the use of supercomputer technology combined with protein crystallography, molecular biology, and experimental laboratory verification. Critical Issues: One of the greatest challenges for scientists is to reduce the accumulation of distortion and half truths reported in the popular media regarding the health benefits of certain foods or food supplements. The use of these is not new, but interest has increased dramatically because of perceived health benefits that are presumably acquired without unpleasant side effects. Flavonoids are touted to exert many beneficial effects in vitro. However, whether they can produce these effects in vivo is disputed. Future Directions: The World Health Organization indicates that one third of all cancer deaths are preventable and that diet is closely linked to prevention. Based on this idea and epidemiological findings, attention has centered on dietary phytochemicals as an effective intervention in cancer development. However, an unequivocal link between diet and cancer has not been established. Thus, identifying cancer preventive dietary agents with specific molecular targets is essential to move forward toward successful cancer prevention. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 163–180. PMID:23458437

  10. Molecular Analysis of Sarcoidosis Granulomas Reveals Antimicrobial Targets.

    PubMed

    Rotsinger, Joseph E; Celada, Lindsay J; Polosukhin, Vasiliy V; Atkinson, James B; Drake, Wonder P

    2016-07-01

    Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous disease of unknown cause. Prior molecular and immunologic studies have confirmed the presence of mycobacterial virulence factors, such as catalase peroxidase and superoxide dismutase A, within sarcoidosis granulomas. Molecular analysis of granulomas can identify targets of known antibiotics classes. Currently, major antibiotics are directed against DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, and cell wall formation. We conducted molecular analysis of 40 sarcoidosis diagnostic specimens and compared them with 33 disease control specimens for the presence of mycobacterial genes that encode antibiotic targets. We assessed for genes involved in DNA synthesis (DNA gyrase A [gyrA] and DNA gyrase B), protein synthesis (RNA polymerase subunit β), cell wall synthesis (embCAB operon and enoyl reductase), and catalase peroxidase. Immunohistochemical analysis was conducted to investigate the locale of mycobacterial genes such as gyrA within 12 sarcoidosis specimens and 12 disease controls. Mycobacterial DNA was detected in 33 of 39 sarcoidosis specimens by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction compared with 2 of 30 disease control specimens (P < 0.001, two-tailed Fisher's test). Twenty of 39 were positive for three or more mycobacterial genes, compared with 1 of 30 control specimens (P < 0.001, two-tailed Fisher's test). Immunohistochemistry analysis localized mycobacterial gyrA nucleic acids to sites of granuloma formation in 9 of 12 sarcoidosis specimens compared with 1 of 12 disease controls (P < 0.01). Microbial genes encoding enzymes that can be targeted by currently available antimycobacterial antibiotics are present in sarcoidosis specimens and localize to sites of granulomatous inflammation. Use of antimicrobials directed against target enzymes may be an innovative treatment alternative.

  11. Chemotherapy and molecular targeting therapy for recurrent cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Tsuda, Naotake; Watari, Hidemichi; Ushijima, Kimio

    2016-01-01

    For patients with primary stage ⅣB, persistent, or recurrent cervical cancer, chemotherapy remains the standard treatment, although it is neither curative nor associated with long-term disease control. In this review, we summarized the history of treatment of recurrent cervical cancer, and the current recommendation for chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapy. Eligible articles were identified by a search of the MEDLINE bibliographical database for the period up to November 30, 2014. The search strategy included the following any or all of the keywords: “uterine cervical cancer”, “chemotherapy”, and “targeted therapies”. Since cisplatin every 21 days was considered as the historical standard treatment for recurrent cervical cancer, subsequent trials have evaluated and demonstrated activity for other agents including paclitaxel, gemcitabine, topotecan and vinorelbine among others. Accordingly, promising agents were incorporated into phase Ⅲ trials. To examine the best agent to combine with cisplatin, several landmark phase Ⅲ clinical trials were conducted by Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG). Through, GOG204 and JCOG0505, paclitaxel/cisplatin (TP) and paclitaxel/carboplatin (TC) are now considered to be the recommended therapies for recurrent cervical cancer patients. However, the prognosis of patients who are already resistant to chemotherapy, are very poor. Therefore new therapeutic strategies are urgently required. Molecular targeted therapy will be the most hopeful candidate of these strategies. From the results of GOG240, bevacizumab combined with TP reached its primary endpoint of improving overall survival (OS). Although, the prognosis for recurrent cervical cancer patients is still poor, the results of GOG240 shed light on the usefulness of molecular target agents to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Recurrent cervical cancer is generally considered incurable and current chemotherapy regiments

  12. Chemotherapy and molecular targeting therapy for recurrent cervical cancer.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, Naotake; Watari, Hidemichi; Ushijima, Kimio

    2016-04-01

    For patients with primary stage ⅣB, persistent, or recurrent cervical cancer, chemotherapy remains the standard treatment, although it is neither curative nor associated with long-term disease control. In this review, we summarized the history of treatment of recurrent cervical cancer, and the current recommendation for chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapy. Eligible articles were identified by a search of the MEDLINE bibliographical database for the period up to November 30, 2014. The search strategy included the following any or all of the keywords: "uterine cervical cancer", "chemotherapy", and "targeted therapies". Since cisplatin every 21 days was considered as the historical standard treatment for recurrent cervical cancer, subsequent trials have evaluated and demonstrated activity for other agents including paclitaxel, gemcitabine, topotecan and vinorelbine among others. Accordingly, promising agents were incorporated into phase Ⅲ trials. To examine the best agent to combine with cisplatin, several landmark phase Ⅲ clinical trials were conducted by Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG). Through, GOG204 and JCOG0505, paclitaxel/cisplatin (TP) and paclitaxel/carboplatin (TC) are now considered to be the recommended therapies for recurrent cervical cancer patients. However, the prognosis of patients who are already resistant to chemotherapy, are very poor. Therefore new therapeutic strategies are urgently required. Molecular targeted therapy will be the most hopeful candidate of these strategies. From the results of GOG240, bevacizumab combined with TP reached its primary endpoint of improving overall survival (OS). Although, the prognosis for recurrent cervical cancer patients is still poor, the results of GOG240 shed light on the usefulness of molecular target agents to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Recurrent cervical cancer is generally considered incurable and current chemotherapy regiments offer only

  13. 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.

  14. Anti-cancer chalcones: Structural and molecular target perspectives.

    PubMed

    Mahapatra, Debarshi Kar; Bharti, Sanjay Kumar; Asati, Vivek

    2015-06-15

    Chalcone or (E)-1,3-diphenyl-2-propene-1-one scaffold remained a fascination among researchers in the 21st century due to its simple chemistry, ease of synthesis and a wide variety of promising biological activities. Several natural and (semi) synthetic chalcones have shown anti-cancer activity due to their inhibitory potential against various targets namely ABCG2/P-gp/BCRP, 5α-reductase, aromatase, 17-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, HDAC/Situin-1, proteasome, VEGF, VEGFR-2 kinase, MMP-2/9, JAK/STAT signaling pathways, CDC25B, tubulin, cathepsin-K, topoisomerase-II, Wnt, NF-κB, B-Raf and mTOR etc. In this review, a comprehensive study on molecular targets/pathways involved in carcinogenesis, mechanism of actions (MOAs), structure activity relationships (SARs) and patents granted have been highlighted. With the knowledge of molecular targets, structural insights and SARs, this review may be helpful for (medicinal) chemists to design more potent, safe, selective and cost effective anti-cancer chalcones.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of protein and lipid targeting to ciliary membranes

    PubMed Central

    Emmer, Brian T.; Maric, Danijela; Engman, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Cilia are specialized surface regions of eukaryotic cells that serve a variety of functions, ranging from motility to sensation and to regulation of cell growth and differentiation. The discovery that a number of human diseases, collectively known as ciliopathies, result from defective cilium function has expanded interest in these structures. Among the many properties of cilia, motility and intraflagellar transport have been most extensively studied. The latter is the process by which multiprotein complexes associate with microtubule motors to transport structural subunits along the axoneme to and from the ciliary tip. By contrast, the mechanisms by which membrane proteins and lipids are specifically targeted to the cilium are still largely unknown. In this Commentary, we review the current knowledge of protein and lipid targeting to ciliary membranes and outline important issues for future study. We also integrate this information into a proposed model of how the cell specifically targets proteins and lipids to the specialized membrane of this unique organelle. PMID:20145001

  17. 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

  18. FUNCTIONAL NANOPARTICLES FOR MOLECULAR IMAGING GUIDED GENE DELIVERY

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Gang; Swierczewska, Magdalena; Lee, Seulki; Chen, Xiaoyuan

    2010-01-01

    Gene therapy has great potential to bring tremendous changes in treatment of various diseases and disorders. However, one of the impediments to successful gene therapy is the inefficient delivery of genes to target tissues and the inability to monitor delivery of genes and therapeutic responses at the targeted site. The emergence of molecular imaging strategies has been pivotal in optimizing gene therapy; since it can allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of gene delivery noninvasively and spatiotemporally. Due to the unique physiochemical properties of nanomaterials, numerous functional nanoparticles show promise in accomplishing gene delivery with the necessary feature of visualizing the delivery. In this review, recent developments of nanoparticles for molecular imaging guided gene delivery are summarized. PMID:22473061

  19. 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

  20. Targeting CYP51 for drug design by the contributions of molecular modeling.

    PubMed

    Rabelo, Vitor W; Santos, Taísa F; Terra, Luciana; Santana, Marcos V; Castro, Helena C; Rodrigues, Carlos R; Abreu, Paula A

    2017-02-01

    CYP51 is an enzyme of sterol biosynthesis pathway present in animals, plants, protozoa and fungi. This enzyme is described as an important drug target that is still of interest. Therefore, in this work, we reviewed the structure and function of CYP51 and explored the molecular modeling approaches for the development of new antifungal and antiprotozoans that target this enzyme. Crystallographic structures of CYP51 of some organisms have already been described in the literature, which enable the construction of homology models of other organisms' enzymes and molecular docking studies of new ligands. The binding mode and interactions of some new series of azoles with antifungal or antiprotozoan activities has been studied and showed important residues of the active site. Molecular modeling is an important tool to be explored for the discovery and optimization of CYP51 inhibitors with better activities, pharmacokinetics, and toxicological profiles.

  1. Targeting the molecular chaperone SlyD to inhibit bacterial growth with a small molecule

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Amit; Balbach, Jochen

    2017-01-01

    Molecular chaperones are essential molecules for cell growth, whereby they maintain protein homeostasis. Because of their central cellular function, bacterial chaperones might be potential candidates for drug targets. Antimicrobial resistance is currently one of the greatest threats to human health, with gram-negative bacteria being of major concern. We found that a Cu2+ complex readily crosses the bacterial cell wall and inhibits SlyD, which is a molecular chaperone, cis/trans peptidyl prolyl isomerise (PPIase) and involved in various other metabolic pathways. The Cu2+ complex binds to the active sites of SlyD, which suppresses its PPIase and chaperone activities. Significant cell growth retardation could be observed for pathogenic bacteria (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). We anticipate that rational development of drugs targeting molecular chaperones might help in future control of pathogenic bacterial growth, in an era of rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance. PMID:28176839

  2. 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.

  3. Functionalizing Soft Matter for Molecular Communication.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Wu, Hsuan-Chen; Chhuan, Melanie; Terrell, Jessica L; Tsao, Chen-Yu; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2015-05-11

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Ultrasound molecular imaging of ovarian cancer with CA-125 targeted nanobubble contrast agents.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yong; Hernandez, Christopher; Yuan, Hai-Xia; Lilly, Jacob; Kota, Pavan; Zhou, Haoyan; Wu, Hanping; Exner, Agata A

    2017-06-09

    Ultrasound is frequently utilized in diagnosis of gynecologic malignancies such as ovarian cancer. Because epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is often characterized by overexpression of cancer antigen 125 (CA-125), ultrasound contrast agents able to target this molecular signature could be a promising complementary strategy. In this work, we demonstrate application of CA-125-targeted echogenic lipid and surfactant-stabilized nanobubbles imaged with standard clinical contrast harmonic ultrasound for imaging of CA-125 positive OVCAR-3 tumors in mice. Surface functionalization of the nanobubbles with a CA-125 antibody achieved rapid significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced tumor accumulation, higher peak ultrasound signal intensity and slower wash out rates in OVCAR-3 tumors compared to CA-125 negative SKOV-3 tumors. Targeted nanobubbles also exhibited increased tumor retention and prolonged echogenicity compared to untargeted nanobubbles. Data suggest that ultrasound molecular imaging using CA-125 antibody-conjugated nanobubbles may contribute to improved diagnosis of EOC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Multiscale Functional and Molecular Photoacoustic Tomography.

    PubMed

    Yao, Junjie; Xia, Jun; Wang, Lihong V

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Molecular pathogenesis and targeted therapy of sporadic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

    PubMed

    Capurso, Gabriele; Archibugi, Livia; Delle Fave, Gianfranco

    2015-08-01

    Over the past few years, knowledge regarding the molecular pathology of sporadic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) has increased substantially, and a number of targeted agents have been tested in clinical trials in this tumor type. For some of these agents there is a strong biological rationale. Among them, the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor Everolimus and the antiangiogenic agent Sunitinib have both been approved for the treatment of PNETs. However, there is lack of knowledge regarding biomarkers able to predict their efficacy, and mechanisms of resistance. Other angiogenesis inhibitors, such as Pazopanib, inhibitors of Src, Hedgehog or of PI3K might all be useful in association or sequence with approved agents. On the other hand, the clinical significance, and potential for treatment of the most common mutations occurring in sporadic PNETs, in the MEN-1 gene and in ATRX and DAXX, remains uncertain. The present paper reviews the main molecular changes occurring in PNETs and how they might be linked with treatment options.

  8. [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.

  9. Molecular basis of PCSK9 function.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Gilles; Charlton, Francesca; Rye, Kerry-Anne; Piper, Derek E

    2009-03-01

    The LDL receptor (LDLr) inhibitor Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) has emerged as a genetically validated target for lowering plasma LDL cholesterol levels. In 2007, PCSK9 was found to act as a chaperone that binds the LDLr, thereby targeting it for lysosomal degradation. The enzymatic activity of PCSK9 is not involved in that process, but rather permits proper intramolecular processing of PCSK9. This was demonstrated by both site directed mutagenesis and independent reports of the PCSK9 crystal structure. These reports also elucidated the mode of action of several naturally occurring mutants of PCSK9 associated with hyper- or hypocholesterolemia. The present review summarizes studies published or in print before May 2008 investigating the functional significance of PCSK9 and its promising aspects as a prognostic tool and a drug target.

  10. 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

  11. Ab initio molecular dynamics using hybrid density functionals.

    PubMed

    Guidon, Manuel; Schiffmann, Florian; Hutter, Jürg; VandeVondele, Joost

    2008-06-07

    Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations with hybrid density functionals have so far found little application due to their computational cost. In this work, an implementation of the Hartree-Fock exchange is presented that is specifically targeted at ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of medium sized systems. We demonstrate that our implementation, which is available as part of the CP2K/Quickstep program, is robust and efficient. Several prescreening techniques lead to a linear scaling cost for integral evaluation and storage. Integral compression techniques allow for in-core calculations on systems containing several thousand basis functions. The massively parallel implementation respects integral symmetry and scales up to hundreds of CPUs using a dynamic load balancing scheme. A time-reversible multiple time step scheme, exploiting the difference in computational efficiency between hybrid and local functionals, brings further time savings. With extensive simulations of liquid water, we demonstrate the ability to perform, for several tens of picoseconds, ab initio molecular dynamics based on hybrid functionals of systems in the condensed phase containing a few thousand Gaussian basis functions.

  12. Ab initio molecular dynamics using hybrid density functionals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidon, Manuel; Schiffmann, Florian; Hutter, Jürg; Vandevondele, Joost

    2008-06-01

    Ab initio molecular dynamics simulations with hybrid density functionals have so far found little application due to their computational cost. In this work, an implementation of the Hartree-Fock exchange is presented that is specifically targeted at ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of medium sized systems. We demonstrate that our implementation, which is available as part of the CP2K/Quickstep program, is robust and efficient. Several prescreening techniques lead to a linear scaling cost for integral evaluation and storage. Integral compression techniques allow for in-core calculations on systems containing several thousand basis functions. The massively parallel implementation respects integral symmetry and scales up to hundreds of CPUs using a dynamic load balancing scheme. A time-reversible multiple time step scheme, exploiting the difference in computational efficiency between hybrid and local functionals, brings further time savings. With extensive simulations of liquid water, we demonstrate the ability to perform, for several tens of picoseconds, ab initio molecular dynamics based on hybrid functionals of systems in the condensed phase containing a few thousand Gaussian basis functions.

  13. A Bayesian Target Predictor Method based on Molecular Pairing Energies estimation

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Antoni; Canals, Vincent; Rosselló, Josep L.

    2017-01-01

    Virtual screening (VS) is applied in the early drug discovery phases for the quick inspection of huge molecular databases to identify those compounds that most likely bind to a given drug target. In this context, there is the necessity of the use of compact molecular models for database screening and precise target prediction in reasonable times. In this work we present a new compact energy-based model that is tested for its application to Virtual Screening and target prediction. The model can be used to quickly identify active compounds in huge databases based on the estimation of the molecule’s pairing energies. The greatest molecular polar regions along with its geometrical distribution are considered by using a short set of smart energy vectors. The model is tested using similarity searches within the Directory of Useful Decoys (DUD) database. The results obtained are considerably better than previously published models. As a Target prediction methodology we propose the use of a Bayesian Classifier that uses a combination of different active compounds to build an energy-dependent probability distribution function for each target. PMID:28263323

  14. A Bayesian Target Predictor Method based on Molecular Pairing Energies estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliver, Antoni; Canals, Vincent; Rosselló, Josep L.

    2017-03-01

    Virtual screening (VS) is applied in the early drug discovery phases for the quick inspection of huge molecular databases to identify those compounds that most likely bind to a given drug target. In this context, there is the necessity of the use of compact molecular models for database screening and precise target prediction in reasonable times. In this work we present a new compact energy-based model that is tested for its application to Virtual Screening and target prediction. The model can be used to quickly identify active compounds in huge databases based on the estimation of the molecule’s pairing energies. The greatest molecular polar regions along with its geometrical distribution are considered by using a short set of smart energy vectors. The model is tested using similarity searches within the Directory of Useful Decoys (DUD) database. The results obtained are considerably better than previously published models. As a Target prediction methodology we propose the use of a Bayesian Classifier that uses a combination of different active compounds to build an energy-dependent probability distribution function for each target.

  15. A Bayesian Target Predictor Method based on Molecular Pairing Energies estimation.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Antoni; Canals, Vincent; Rosselló, Josep L

    2017-03-06

    Virtual screening (VS) is applied in the early drug discovery phases for the quick inspection of huge molecular databases to identify those compounds that most likely bind to a given drug target. In this context, there is the necessity of the use of compact molecular models for database screening and precise target prediction in reasonable times. In this work we present a new compact energy-based model that is tested for its application to Virtual Screening and target prediction. The model can be used to quickly identify active compounds in huge databases based on the estimation of the molecule's pairing energies. The greatest molecular polar regions along with its geometrical distribution are considered by using a short set of smart energy vectors. The model is tested using similarity searches within the Directory of Useful Decoys (DUD) database. The results obtained are considerably better than previously published models. As a Target prediction methodology we propose the use of a Bayesian Classifier that uses a combination of different active compounds to build an energy-dependent probability distribution function for each target.

  16. CD19 as a molecular target in CNS autoimmunity

    PubMed Central

    Stüve, Olaf; Warnke, Clemens; Deason, Krystin; Stangel, Martin; Kieseier, Bernd C.; Hartung, Hans-Peter; von Büdingen, Hans-Christian; Centonze, Diego; Forsthuber, Thomas G.; Kappertz, Volker

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO) are the most prevalent neuroinflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). The immunological cascade of these disorders is complex, and the exact spatial and temporal role of different immune cells is not fully understood. Although MS has been considered for many years to be primarily T cell driven, it is well established that B cells and the humoral immune response play an important role in its pathogenesis. This has long been evident from laboratory findings that include the presence of oligoclonal bands in the CSF. In NMO the importance of the humoral immune system appears even more obvious as evidenced by pathogenic antibodies against aquaporin 4 (AQP4). Besides their capacity to mature into antibody-producing plasma cells, B cells are potent antigen presenting cells to T lymphocytes and they can provide soluble factors for cell activation and differentiation to other immune-competent cells. In MS and NMO, there are substantial data from clinical trials that B cell depletion with CD20-directed agents is effective and relatively safe. Plasma cells, which produce antibodies against molecular targets expressed by the host, but which also provide humeral immune responses against pathogens, are not targeted by anti-CD20 therapies. Therefore the depletion of CD19-expressing cells would offer potential advantages with regard to efficacy, but potentially higher risks with regard to infectious complications. This review will outline the rationale for CD19 as a molecular target in CNS autoimmunity. The current stage of drug development is illustrated. Potential safety concerns will be discussed. PMID:24993505

  17. Molecular pathways: targeted α-particle radiation therapy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    An α-particle, a (4)He 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. A burgeoning interest in the development of TAT 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, hematologic 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 DNA breaks without full examination of the actual molecular pathways and targets that are activated that directly affect 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 (225)Ac, (211)At, (213)Bi, (212)Pb, and (223)Ra.

  18. 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

  19. Molecular Pathways: The Necrosome-A Target for Cancer Therapy.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Lena; Miller, George

    2017-03-01

    Necroptosis is a caspase-8-independent cell death that requires coactivation of receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) and receptor-interacting protein 3 (RIP3) kinases. The necrosome is a complex consisting of RIP1, RIP3, and Fas-associated protein with death domain leading to activation of the pseudokinase mixed lineage kinase like followed by a rapid plasma membrane rupture and inflammatory response through the release of damage-associated molecular patterns and cytokines. The necrosome has been shown to be relevant in multiple tumor types, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, melanoma, and several hematologic malignancies. Preclinical data suggest that targeting this complex can have differential impact on tumor progression and that the effect of necroptosis on oncogenesis is cell-type and context dependent. The emerging data suggest that targeting the necrosome may lead to immunogenic reprogramming in the tumor microenvironment in multiple tumors and that combining therapies targeting the necrosome with either conventional chemotherapy or immunotherapy may have beneficial effects. Thus, understanding the interplay of necroptotic cell death, transformed cells, and the immune system may enable the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Clin Cancer Res; 23(5); 1132-6. ©2016 AACR.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Identifying molecular targets of lifestyle modifications in colon cancer prevention.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Breast Cancer: Current Molecular Therapeutic Targets and New Players.

    PubMed

    Nagini, Siddavaram

    2017-01-01

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the most frequent cause of cancer death among women worldwide. Breast cancer is a complex, heterogeneous disease classified into hormone-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 overexpressing (HER2+) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) based on histological features. Endocrine therapy, the mainstay of treatment for hormone-responsive breast cancer involves use of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), selective estrogen receptor downregulators (SERDs) and aromatase inhibitors (AIs). Agents that target estrogen receptor (ER) and HER2 such as tamoxifen and trastuzumab have been the most extensively used therapeutics for breast cancer. Crosstalk between ER and other signalling networks as well as epigenetic mechanisms have been envisaged to contribute to endocrine therapy resistance. TNBC, a complex, heterogeneous, aggressive form of breast cancer in which the cells do not express ER, progesterone receptor or HER2 is refractory to therapy. Several molecular targets are being explored to target TNBC including androgen receptor, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Receptors, protein tyrosine kinases, phosphatases, proteases, PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, microRNAs (miRs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are potential therapeutic targets. miR-based therapeutic approaches include inhibition of oncomiRs by antisense oligonucleotides, restoration of tumour suppressors using miR mimics, and chemical modification of miRs. The lnRNAs HOTAIR, SPRY4-IT1, GAS5, and PANDAR, new players in tumour development and prognosis may have theranostic applications in breast cancer. Several novel classes of mechanism-based drugs have been designed and synthesised for treatment of breast cancer. Integration of nucleic acid sequencing studies with mass spectrometry-based peptide sequencing and posttranslational modifications as

  5. 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

  6. Stroma-directed molecular targeted therapy in gastric cancer.

    PubMed

    Kitadai, Yasuhiko; Kodama, Michiyo; Shinagawa, Kei

    2011-12-08

    Recent studies in molecular and cellular biology have shown that tumor growth and metastasis are not determined by cancer cells alone, but also by a variety of stromal cells. Tumor stroma contains abundant extracellular matrix and several types of cells, including carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), endothelial cells, pericytes and inflammatory cells including macrophages. In gastric cancer tissues, tumor cells express platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-B. Stromal cells, including CAFs, pericytes and lymphatic endothelial cells, express PDGF receptor (PDGFR)-β. Administration of PDGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor significantly decreases stromal reaction, lymphatic vessel area and pericyte coverage of tumor microvessels. Administration of PDGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drug(s) impairs the progressive growth and metastasis of gastric cancer. Activated stroma might serve as a novel therapeutic target in cases of gastric cancer.

  7. Prostate cancer heterogeneity: Discovering novel molecular targets for therapy.

    PubMed

    Ciccarese, Chiara; Massari, Francesco; Iacovelli, Roberto; Fiorentino, Michelangelo; Montironi, Rodolfo; Di Nunno, Vincenzo; Giunchi, Francesca; Brunelli, Matteo; Tortora, Giampaolo

    2017-03-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) shows a broad spectrum of biological and clinical behavior, which represents the epiphenomenon of an extreme genetic heterogeneity. Recent genomic profiling studies have deeply improved the knowledge of the genomic landscape of localized and metastatic PCa. The AR and PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathways are the two most frequently altered, representing therefore interestingly targets for therapy. Moreover, somatic or germline aberrations of DNA repair genes (DRGs) have been observed at high frequency, supporting the potential role of platinum derivatives and PARP inhibitors as effective therapeutic strategies. In the future, the identification of driver mutations present at a specific stage of the disease, the classification PCa based on specific molecular alterations, and the selection of the most appropriate therapy based on biomarkers predictors of response represent the foundations for an increasingly more accurate personalized medicine.

  8. Hepatitis B virus receptors and molecular drug targets.

    PubMed

    Verrier, Eloi R; Colpitts, Che C; Sureau, Camille; Baumert, Thomas F

    2016-07-01

    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease worldwide. Virus-induced diseases include cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. Current therapeutic strategies may at best control infection without reaching cure. Complementary antiviral strategies aimed at viral cure are therefore urgently needed. HBV entry is the first step of the infection cycle, which leads to the formation of cccDNA and the establishment of chronic infection. Viral entry may thus represent an attractive target for antiviral therapy. This review summarizes the molecular virology and cell biology of HBV entry, including the discovery and development of new HBV entry inhibitors, and discusses their potential in future treatment of HBV infection.

  9. DNA ligase IV as a new molecular target for temozolomide

    SciTech Connect

    Kondo, Natsuko; Takahashi, Akihisa; Mori, Eiichiro; Ohnishi, Ken; McKinnon, Peter J.; Sakaki, Toshisuke; Nakase, Hiroyuki; Ohnishi, Takeo

    2009-10-02

    Temozolomide (TMZ) is a methylating agent used in chemotherapy against glioblastoma. This work was designed to clarify details in repair pathways acting to remove DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by TMZ. Cultured mouse embryonic fibroblasts were used which were deficient in DSB repair genes such as homologous recombination repair-related genes X-ray repair cross-complementing group 2 (XRCC2)and radiation sensitive mutant54 (Rad54), non-homologous end joining repair-related gene DNAligase IV (Lig4). Cell sensitivity to drug treatments was assessed using colony forming assays. The most effective molecular target which was correlated with TMZ cell sensitivity was Lig4. In addition, it was found that small interference RNAs (siRNA) for Lig4 efficiently enhanced cell lethality induced by TMZ in human glioblastoma A172 cells. These findings suggest that down regulation of Lig4 might provide a useful tool for cell sensitization during TMZ chemotherapy.

  10. Affibody molecules: new protein domains for molecular imaging and targeted tumor therapy.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Fredrik Y; Tolmachev, Vladimir

    2007-03-01

    Molecular imaging shows promise as a useful tool to aid drug discovery and development and also to provide important prognostic and predictive diagnostic information affecting patient management in the clinic. However, the use of molecular imaging diagnostically is not widely adopted, in part due to the lack of suitable targeting agents. Affibody molecules are a class of small and very stable protein domains, which can be used to selectively address a wide range of protein targets. Their small size enables high contrast radionuclide imaging and they can be produced by conventional peptide synthesis methods. Their potential utility in molecular imaging is highlighted in a large number of animal studies using anti-HER2 Affibody tracers and has recently been validated in breast cancer patients with HER2-expressing metastases. The therapeutic efficacy of the Affibody molecules in this indication was demonstrated in preclinical models using a targeted radionuclide as the effector function. This review will focus on the recent use of Affibody molecules for molecular imaging and their application for radioimmunotherapy.

  11. 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

  12. Molecular chaperones as rational drug targets for Parkinson's disease therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Kalia, S K; Kalia, L V; McLean, P J

    2010-12-01

    Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder that is caused, in part, by the loss of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta of the basal ganglia. The presence of intracellular protein aggregates, known as Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, within the surviving nigral neurons is the defining neuropathological feature of the disease. Accordingly, the identification of specific genes mutated in families with Parkinson's disease and of genetic susceptibility variants for idiopathic Parkinson's disease has implicated abnormalities in proteostasis, or the handling and elimination of misfolded proteins, in the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative disorder. Protein folding and the refolding of misfolded proteins are regulated by a network of interactive molecules, known as the chaperone system, which is composed of molecular chaperones and co-chaperones. The chaperone system is intimately associated with the ubiquitin-proteasome system and the autophagy-lysosomal pathway which are responsible for elimination of misfolded proteins and protein quality control. In addition to their role in proteostasis, some chaperone molecules are involved in the regulation of cell death pathways. Here we review the role of the molecular chaperones Hsp70 and Hsp90, and the cochaperones Hsp40, BAG family members such as BAG5, CHIP and Hip in modulating neuronal death with a focus on dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. We also review current progress in preclinical studies aimed at targetting the chaperone system to prevent neurodegeneration. Finally, we discuss potential future chaperone-based therapeutics for the symptomatic treatment and possible disease modification of Parkinson's disease.

  13. 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.

  14. TLR4-directed Molecular Strategies Targeting Skin Photodamage and Carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Sally E; Wondrak, Georg T

    2017-08-28

    Exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a causative factor in skin photodamage and carcinogenesis, and inflammatory dysregulation is a key mechanism underlying detrimental effects of acute and chronic UV exposure. The health and economic burden of skin cancer treatment is substantial, creating an increasingly urgent need for the development of improved molecular strategies for photoprotection and photochemoprevention. The role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) as a key regulator of skin anti-microbial defense, wound healing, and cutaneous tumorigenic inflammation has now been recognized, and recently published evidence suggests that TLR4 represents a novel molecular target for skin photoprotection and cancer photochemoprevention. Specifically, it has been shown that pharmacological and genetic antagonism of TLR4 suppresses UV-induced inflammatory signaling involving the attenuation of cutaneous NF-κB and AP-1 stress signaling observable in vitro and in vivo. A number of TLR4-directed small molecule pharmacological antagonists [including eritoran, (+)-naloxone, ST2825, and resatorvid] have now been identified and are at various stages of preclinical and clinical development for the modulation of dysregulated TLR4-dependent inflammatory signaling. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  15. Ultrapotent vinblastines in which added molecular complexity further disrupts the target tubulin dimer–dimer interface

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular targets of curcumin for cancer therapy: an updated review.

    PubMed

    Kasi, Pandima Devi; Tamilselvam, Rajavel; Skalicka-Woźniak, Krystyna; Nabavi, Seyed Fazel; Daglia, Maria; Bishayee, Anupam; Pazoki-Toroudi, Hamidreza; Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, natural edible products have been found to be important therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegeneration. Curcumin is a well-known diarylheptanoid constituent of turmeric which possesses anticancer effects under both pre-clinical and clinical conditions. Moreover, it is well known that the anticancer effects of curcumin are primarily due to the activation of apoptotic pathways in the cancer cells as well as inhibition of tumor microenvironments like inflammation, angiogenesis, and tumor metastasis. In particular, extensive studies have demonstrated that curcumin targets numerous therapeutically important cancer signaling pathways such as p53, Ras, PI3K, AKT, Wnt-β catenin, mTOR and so on. Clinical studies also suggested that either curcumin alone or as combination with other drugs possess promising anticancer effect in cancer patients without causing any adverse effects. In this article, we critically review the available scientific evidence on the molecular targets of curcumin for the treatment of different types of cancer. In addition, we also discuss its chemistry, sources, bioavailability, and future research directions.

  18. Molecular targets in arthritis and recent trends in nanotherapy.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Pancreatic Cancer Gene Therapy: From Molecular Targets to Delivery Systems

    PubMed Central

    Fillat, Cristina; Jose, Anabel; Ros, Xavier Bofill-De; Mato-Berciano, Ana; Maliandi, Maria Victoria; Sobrevals, Luciano

    2011-01-01

    The continuous identification of molecular changes deregulating critical pathways in pancreatic tumor cells provides us with a large number of novel candidates to engineer gene-targeted approaches for pancreatic cancer treatment. Targets—both protein coding and non-coding—are being exploited in gene therapy to influence the deregulated pathways to facilitate cytotoxicity, enhance the immune response or sensitize to current treatments. Delivery vehicles based on viral or non-viral systems as well as cellular vectors with tumor homing characteristics are a critical part of the design of gene therapy strategies. The different behavior of tumoral versus non-tumoral cells inspires vector engineering with the generation of tumor selective products that can prevent potential toxic-associated effects. In the current review, a detailed analysis of the different targets, the delivery vectors, the preclinical approaches and a descriptive update on the conducted clinical trials are presented. Moreover, future possibilities in pancreatic cancer treatment by gene therapy strategies are discussed. PMID:24212620

  1. 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.

  2. Alopecia in patients treated with molecularly targeted anticancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Belum, V R; Marulanda, K; Ensslin, C; Gorcey, L; Parikh, T; Wu, S; Busam, K J; Gerber, P A; Lacouture, M E

    2015-12-01

    The introduction of molecularly targeted anticancer therapies presents new challenges, among which dermatologic adverse events are noteworthy. Alopecia in particular is frequently reported, but the true incidence is not known. We sought to ascertain the incidence and risk of developing alopecia during treatment with approved inhibitors of oncogenic pathways and molecules [anaplastic lymphoma kinase, breakpoint cluster region-abelson, B-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma, Bruton's tyrosine kinase, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4, epidermal growth factor receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, Janus kinase, MAPK/ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) Kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin, smoothened, vascular endothelial growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet derived growth factor receptor; proteasomes; CD20, CD30, CD52]. Electronic database (PubMed, Web of Science) and ASCO meeting abstract searches were conducted to identify clinical trials reporting alopecia. Meta-analysis was conducted utilizing fixed- or random-effects models. The calculated overall incidence of all-grade alopecia was 14.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 12.6% to 17.2%]-lowest with bortezomib, 2.2% (95% CI 0.4% to 10.9%), and highest with vismodegib, 56.9% (95% CI 50.5% to 63.1%). There was an increased risk of all-grade alopecia [relative risk (RR), 7.9 (95% CI 6.2-10.09, P ≤ 0.01)] compared with placebo, but when compared with chemotherapy, the risk was lower [RR, 0.32 (95% CI 0.2-0.55, P ≤ 0.01)]. Targeted therapies are associated with an increased risk of alopecia. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Alopecia in patients treated with molecularly targeted anticancer therapies

    PubMed Central

    Belum, V. R.; Marulanda, K.; Ensslin, C.; Gorcey, L.; Parikh, T.; Wu, S.; Busam, K. J.; Gerber, P. A.; Lacouture, M. E.

    2015-01-01

    Background The introduction of molecularly targeted anticancer therapies presents new challenges, among which dermatologic adverse events are noteworthy. Alopecia in particular is frequently reported, but the true incidence is not known. Patients and methods We sought to ascertain the incidence and risk of developing alopecia during treatment with approved inhibitors of oncogenic pathways and molecules [anaplastic lymphoma kinase, breakpoint cluster region-abelson, B-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma, Bruton's tyrosine kinase, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4, epidermal growth factor receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, Janus kinase, MAPK/ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) Kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin, smoothened, vascular endothelial growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet derived growth factor receptor; proteasomes; CD20, CD30, CD52]. Electronic database (PubMed, Web of Science) and ASCO meeting abstract searches were conducted to identify clinical trials reporting alopecia. Meta-analysis was conducted utilizing fixed- or random-effects models. Results The calculated overall incidence of all-grade alopecia was 14.7% [95% confidence interval (CI) 12.6% to 17.2%]—lowest with bortezomib, 2.2% (95% CI 0.4% to 10.9%), and highest with vismodegib, 56.9% (95% CI 50.5% to 63.1%). There was an increased risk of all-grade alopecia [relative risk (RR), 7.9 (95% CI 6.2–10.09, P ≤ 0.01)] compared with placebo, but when compared with chemotherapy, the risk was lower [RR, 0.32 (95% CI 0.2–0.55, P ≤ 0.01)]. Conclusions Targeted therapies are associated with an increased risk of alopecia. PMID:26387145

  4. Molecular Structure of a Functional Drosophila Centromere

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiaoping; Wahlstrom, Janice

    2011-01-01

    Summary Centromeres play a critical role in chromosome inheritance but are among the most difficult genomic components to analyze in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a highly detailed molecular structure of a functional centromere in a multicellular organism. The centromere of the Drosophila minichromosome Dp1187 is contained within a 420 kb region of centric heterochromatin. We have used a new approach to characterize the detailed structure of this centromere and found that it is primarily composed of satellites and single, complete transposable elements. In the rest of the Drosophila genome, these satellites and transposable elements are neither unique to the centromeres nor present at all centromeres. We discuss the impact of these results on our understanding of heterochromatin structure and on the determinants of centromere identity and function. PMID:9428523

  5. 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.

  6. Targeting MicroRNA Function in Acute Pancreatitis.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Hong; Tao, Xufeng; Xia, Shilin; Qu, Jialin; Song, Huiyi; Liu, Jianjun; Shang, Dong

    2017-01-01

    Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that featured by acute inflammatory responses leading to systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or multiple organ failure. A worldwide increase in annual incidence has been observed during the past decade with high acute hospitalization and mortality. Lack of any specific treatment for AP, even to this day, is a reminder that there is much to be learned about the exact pathogenesis of AP. Fortunately, the discovery of microRNA (miRNA) has started an entirely new thought process regarding the molecular mechanism associated with the disease processes. Given the extensive effort made on miRNA research, certain types of miRNA have been identified across a variety of biological processes, including cell differentiation, apoptosis, metabolism, and inflammatory responses. Mutations in miRNA sequences or deregulation of miRNA expression may contribute to the alteration of a pivotal physiological function leading to AP. Designing miRNA-related tools for AP diagnosis and treatment presents a novel and potential research frontier. In this mini-review, we summarize the current knowledge of various miRNAs closely interacting with AP and the possible development of targeted miRNA therapies in this disease, which may benefit the development of potential disease biomarkers and novel treatment targets for future medical implications.

  7. Quantitative ultrasound molecular imaging by modeling the binding kinetics of targeted contrast agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turco, Simona; Tardy, Isabelle; Frinking, Peter; Wijkstra, Hessel; Mischi, Massimo

    2017-03-01

    Ultrasound molecular imaging (USMI) is an emerging technique to monitor diseases at the molecular level by the use of novel targeted ultrasound contrast agents (tUCA). These consist of microbubbles functionalized with targeting ligands with high-affinity for molecular markers of specific disease processes, such as cancer-related angiogenesis. Among the molecular markers of angiogenesis, the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is recognized to play a major role. In response, the clinical-grade tUCA BR55 was recently developed, consisting of VEGFR2-targeting microbubbles which can flow through the entire circulation and accumulate where VEGFR2 is over-expressed, thus causing selective enhancement in areas of active angiogenesis. Discrimination between bound and free microbubbles is crucial to assess cancer angiogenesis. Currently, this is done non-quantitatively by looking at the late enhancement, about 10 min after injection, or by calculation of the differential targeted enhancement, requiring the application of a high-pressure ultrasound (US) burst to destroy all the microbubbles in the acoustic field and isolate the signal coming only from bound microbubbles. In this work, we propose a novel method based on mathematical modeling of the binding kinetics during the tUCA first pass, thus reducing the acquisition time and with no need for a destructive US burst. Fitting time-intensity curves measured with USMI by the proposed model enables the assessment of cancer angiogenesis at both the vascular and molecular levels. This is achieved by estimation of quantitative parameters related to the microvascular architecture and microbubble binding. The proposed method was tested in 11 prostate-tumor bearing rats by performing USMI after injection of BR55, and showed good agreement with current USMI methods. The novel information provided by the proposed method, possibly combined with the current non-quantitative methods, may bring deeper insight into

  8. Quantitative ultrasound molecular imaging by modeling the binding kinetics of targeted contrast agent.

    PubMed

    Turco, Simona; Tardy, Isabelle; Frinking, Peter; Wijkstra, Hessel; Mischi, Massimo

    2017-03-21

    Ultrasound molecular imaging (USMI) is an emerging technique to monitor diseases at the molecular level by the use of novel targeted ultrasound contrast agents (tUCA). These consist of microbubbles functionalized with targeting ligands with high-affinity for molecular markers of specific disease processes, such as cancer-related angiogenesis. Among the molecular markers of angiogenesis, the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is recognized to play a major role. In response, the clinical-grade tUCA BR55 was recently developed, consisting of VEGFR2-targeting microbubbles which can flow through the entire circulation and accumulate where VEGFR2 is over-expressed, thus causing selective enhancement in areas of active angiogenesis. Discrimination between bound and free microbubbles is crucial to assess cancer angiogenesis. Currently, this is done non-quantitatively by looking at the late enhancement, about 10 min after injection, or by calculation of the differential targeted enhancement, requiring the application of a high-pressure ultrasound (US) burst to destroy all the microbubbles in the acoustic field and isolate the signal coming only from bound microbubbles. In this work, we propose a novel method based on mathematical modeling of the binding kinetics during the tUCA first pass, thus reducing the acquisition time and with no need for a destructive US burst. Fitting time-intensity curves measured with USMI by the proposed model enables the assessment of cancer angiogenesis at both the vascular and molecular levels. This is achieved by estimation of quantitative parameters related to the microvascular architecture and microbubble binding. The proposed method was tested in 11 prostate-tumor bearing rats by performing USMI after injection of BR55, and showed good agreement with current USMI methods. The novel information provided by the proposed method, possibly combined with the current non-quantitative methods, may bring deeper insight into

  9. Using natural product inhibitors to validate Hsp90 as a molecular target in cancer.

    PubMed

    Neckers, Len

    2006-01-01

    Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a molecular chaperone whose association is required for stability and function of multiple mutated, chimeric, and over-expressed signaling proteins that promote cancer cell growth and/or survival. Hsp90 client proteins include telomerase, mutated p53, Bcr-Abl, Raf-1, Akt, HER2/Neu (ErbB2), mutated B-Raf, mutated EGF receptor, and HIF-1alpha. Hsp90 inhibitors, by interacting specifically with a single molecular target, cause inactivation, destabilization and eventual degradation of Hsp90 client proteins, and they have shown promising anti-tumor activity in various preclinical tumor models. One Hsp90 inhibitor, 17-AAG, is currently in Phase II clinical trial and other inhibitors will shortly be entering the clinic. Hsp90 inhibitors are unique in that, although they are directed towards a specific molecular target, they simultaneously inhibit multiple signaling pathways on which cancer cells depend for growth and survival. Identification of benzoquinone ansamycins as the first Hsp90 inhibitors allowed investigators to determine the biologic effects, at first in vitro and then in vivo, of pharmacologic inhibition of Hsp90. These studies rapidly enhanced our understanding of Hsp90 function and led to the identification of radicicol as a structurally distinct Hsp90 inhibitor. Additional target-based screening uncovered novobiocin as a third structurally distinct small molecule with Hsp90 inhibitory properties. Use of novobiocin, in turn, led to identification of a previously uncharacterized C-terminal ATP binding site in the chaperone. Small molecule inhibitors of Hsp90 have been very useful in understanding Hsp90 biology and in validating this protein as a molecular target for anti-cancer drug development.

  10. Thermoacoustic molecular tomography with magnetic nanoparticle contrast agents for targeted tumor detection.

    PubMed

    Nie, Liming; Ou, Zhongmin; Yang, Sihua; Xing, Da

    2010-08-01

    The primary feasibility steps of demonstrating the ability of microwave-induced thermoacoustic (TA) in phantoms have been previously reported. However, none were shown to target a diseased site in living subjects in thermoacoustic tomography (TAT) field so far. To determine the expressions of oncogenic surface molecules, it is quite necessary to image tumor lesions and acquire pathogenic status on them via TAT. Compared to biological tissues, iron oxide nanoparticles have a much higher microwave absorbance. Fe3O4/polyaniline (PANI) nanoparticles were prepared via polymerization of aniline in the Fe304 superparamagnetic fluids. Then Fe3O4/PANI was conjugated to folic acid (FA), which can bind specifically to the surface of the folate receptor used as a tumor marker. FA-Fe3O4/PANI targeted tumor was irradiated by pulsed microwave at 6 GHz for thermoacoustic detection and imaging. The effect of the Fe3O4/PANI superparamagnetic nanoparticles for enhancing TAT images was successfully investigated in ex vivo human blood and in vivo mouse tail. Intravenous administration of the targeted nanoparticles to mice bearing tumors showed fivefold greater thermoacoustic signal and much longer elimination time than that of mice injected with nontargeted nanoparticles in the tumor. The specific targeting ability of FA-Fe3O4/PANI to tumor was also verified on fluorescence microscopy. Fabricated iron oxide nanoparticles conjugated with tumor ligands for targeted TAT tumor detection at the molecular level was reported for the first time. The results indicate that thermoacoustic molecular imaging with functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles may contribute to targeted and functional early cancer imaging. Also, the modified iron oxide nanoparticles combined with suitable tumor markers may also be used as novel nanomaterials for targeted and guided cancer thermal therapy.

  11. Self-assembled nanoplatform for targeted delivery of chemotherapy agents via affinity-regulated molecular interactions.

    PubMed

    Park, Spencer; Kang, Sungkwon; Veach, Alexander J; Vedvyas, Yogindra; Zarnegar, Rasa; Kim, Ju-Young; Jin, Moonsoo M

    2010-10-01

    Site-specific delivery of drugs while minimizing unwanted distribution has been one of the pursued goals in cancer therapy. In this endeavor, we have developed targeted polymeric nanoparticles called amphiphilic urethane acrylate nonionomer (UAN) for encapsulation of diverse water-insoluble drugs and diagnostic agents, as well as for simple and reproducible surface conjugation of targeting ligands. Using monoclonal antibodies or lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) I domain engineered for varying affinities to intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, we were able to deliver UAN nanoparticles to human cancer cells with the efficiency dependent on the strength of the molecular interactions and the degree of ICAM-1 expression on cell surface. Compared to non-specific uptake of free drugs, targeted delivery of UAN nanoparticles carrying equal amount of drugs produced more potent cytotoxicity. Notably, without the targeting ligands attached, UAN nanoparticles were largely precluded from non-specific uptake by the cells, resulting in much lower toxicity. The versatility of our UAN nanoparticles in both payload encapsulation and presentation of targeting ligands may facilitate developing a robust platform for evaluating various combinations of cancer drugs and molecular interactions toward developing effective cancer therapy formulations.

  12. Biocompatible magnetic and molecular dual-targeting polyelectrolyte hybrid hollow microspheres for controlled drug release.

    PubMed

    Du, Pengcheng; Zeng, Jin; Mu, Bin; Liu, Peng

    2013-05-06

    Well-defined biocompatible magnetic and molecular dual-targeting polyelectrolyte hybrid hollow microspheres have been accomplished via the layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly technique. The hybrid shell was fabricated by the electrostatic interaction between the polyelectrolyte cation, chitosan (CS), and the hybrid anion, citrate modified ferroferric oxide nanoparticles (Fe3O4-CA), onto the uniform polystyrene sulfonate microsphere templates. Then the magnetic hybrid core/shell composite particles were modified with a linear, functional poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) monoterminated with a biotargeting molecule (folic acid (FA)). Afterward the dual targeting hybrid hollow microspheres were obtained after etching the templates by dialysis. The dual targeting hybrid hollow microspheres exhibit exciting pH response and stability in high salt-concentration media. Their pH-dependent controlled release of the drug molecule (anticancer drug, doxorubicin (DOX)) was also investigated in different human body fluids. As expected, the cell viability of the HepG2 cells which decreased more rapidly was treated by the FA modified hybrid hollow microspheres rather than the unmodified one in the in vitro study. The dual-targeting hybrid hollow microspheres demonstrate selective killing of the tumor cells. The precise magnetic and molecular targeting properties and pH-dependent controlled release offers promise for cancer treatment.

  13. 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

  14. Analysis of molecular networks and targets mining of Chinese herbal medicines on anti-aging.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qi-Yu; Zheng, Mei-Si; Yang, Xiao-Jing; Sun, Xiao-Sheng

    2016-12-28

    Many kidney-tonifying Chinese herbal medicines exert effects on anti-aging by comprehensive interactions of multiple targets. However, the interactions of multi-targets targeted by effective ingredients of kidney-tonifying Chinese herbal medicines are unknown. In this study, to explore the systems pharmacology mechanisms of kidney-tonifying Chinese medicines on anti-aging, we establish the molecular networks with the interactions of multi-targets, analyze bio-functions and pathways with IPA, and calculated the mutual interaction pairs of targets (target pairs) with data mining, respectively. Kidney-tonifying Chinese medicines with anti-aging effects were screened from the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and the literatures. Target proteins of these herbal medicines were obtained from bioinformatics databases. Comparisons of molecular networks, bio-functions and pathways given by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis system showed the similarities and the differences between kidney Yin-tonifying herbal medicines and kidney Yang-tonifying herbal medicines. Target pairs with high correlation related to anti-aging were also discovered by data mining algorithm. And regulatory networks of targets were built based on the target pairs. Twenty-eight kidney-tonifying herbal medicines with anti-aging effects and 717 related target proteins were collected. The main bio-functions that all targets enriched in were "Cell Death and Survival", "Free Radical Scavenging" and "Cellular Movement", etc. The results of comparison analysis showed that kidney Yin-tonifying herbal medicines focused more on "Cancer related signaling", "Apoptosis related signaling" and "Cardiovascular related signaling". And kidney Yang-tonifying herbal medicines focused more on "Cellular stress and injury related signaling" and "Cellular growth, proliferation and development related signaling". Moreover, the results of regulatory network showed that the anti-aging related target pairs with high correlated degrees of Kidney Yin

  15. Molecular pathways: targeting MALT1 paracaspase activity in lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Fontán, Lorena; Melnick, Ari

    2013-12-15

    MALT1 mediates the activation of NF-κB in response to antigen receptor signaling. MALT1, in association with BCL10 and CARD11, functions as a scaffolding protein to activate the inhibitor of IκB kinase (IKK) complex. In addition, MALT1 is a paracaspase that targets key proteins in a feedback loop mediating termination of the NF-κB response, thus promoting activation of NF-κB signaling. Activated B-cell subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (ABC-DLBCL), which tend to be more resistant to chemotherapy, are often biologically dependent on MALT1 activity. Newly developed MALT1 small-molecule inhibitors suppress the growth of ABC-DLBCLs in vitro and in vivo. This review highlights the recent advances in the normal and disease-related functions of MALT1. Furthermore, recent progress targeting MALT1 proteolytic activity raises the possibility of deploying MALT1 inhibitors for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and perhaps autoimmune diseases that involve increased B- or T-cell receptor signaling.

  16. Bench to bedside molecular functional imaging in translational cancer medicine: to image or to imagine?

    PubMed

    Mahajan, A; Goh, V; Basu, S; Vaish, R; Weeks, A J; Thakur, M H; Cook, G J

    2015-10-01

    Ongoing research on malignant and normal cell biology has substantially enhanced the understanding of the biology of cancer and carcinogenesis. This has led to the development of methods to image the evolution of cancer, target specific biological molecules, and study the anti-tumour effects of novel therapeutic agents. At the same time, there has been a paradigm shift in the field of oncological imaging from purely structural or functional imaging to combined multimodal structure-function approaches that enable the assessment of malignancy from all aspects (including molecular and functional level) in a single examination. The evolving molecular functional imaging using specific molecular targets (especially with combined positron-emission tomography [PET] computed tomography [CT] using 2- [(18)F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose [FDG] and other novel PET tracers) has great potential in translational research, giving specific quantitative information with regard to tumour activity, and has been of pivotal importance in diagnoses and therapy tailoring. Furthermore, molecular functional imaging has taken a key place in the present era of translational cancer research, producing an important tool to study and evolve newer receptor-targeted therapies, gene therapies, and in cancer stem cell research, which could form the basis to translate these agents into clinical practice, popularly termed "theranostics". Targeted molecular imaging needs to be developed in close association with biotechnology, information technology, and basic translational scientists for its best utility. This article reviews the current role of molecular functional imaging as one of the main pillars of translational research.

  17. Tea polyphenols, their biological effects and potential molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Chen, D; Milacic, V; Chen, M S; Wan, S B; Lam, W H; Huo, C; Landis-Piwowar, K R; Cui, Q C; Wali, A; Chan, T H; Dou, Q P

    2008-04-01

    Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, second only to water. Tea contains an infusion of the leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant rich in polyphenolic compounds known as catechins, the most abundant of which is (-)-EGCG. Although tea has been consumed for centuries, it has only recently been studied extensively as a health-promoting beverage that may act to prevent a number of chronic diseases and cancers. The results of several investigations indicate that green tea consumption may be of modest benefit in reducing the plasma concentration of cholesterol and preventing atherosclerosis. Additionally, the cancer-preventive effects of green tea are widely supported by results from epidemiological, cell culture, animal and clinical studies. In vitro cell culture studies show that tea polyphenols potently induce apoptotic cell death and cell cycle arrest in tumor cells but not in their normal cell counterparts. Green tea polyphenols were shown to affect several biological pathways, including growth factor-mediated pathway, the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase-dependent pathway, and ubiquitin/proteasome degradation pathways. Various animal studies have revealed that treatment with green tea inhibits tumor incidence and multiplicity in different organ sites such as skin, lung, liver, stomach, mammary gland and colon. Recently, phase I and II clinical trials have been conducted to explore the anticancer effects of green tea in humans. A major challenge of cancer prevention is to integrate new molecular findings into clinical practice. Therefore, identification of more molecular targets and biomarkers for tea polyphenols is essential for improving the design of green tea trials and will greatly assist in a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying its anti-cancer activity.

  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. 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

  20. Novel molecular and cellular therapeutic targets in acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoproliferative disease

    PubMed Central

    Seif, Alix E.; Reid, Gregor S. D.; Teachey, David T.; Grupp, Stephan A.

    2010-01-01

    While the outcome for pediatric patients with lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) or lymphoid malignancies, such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), has improved dramatically, patients often suffer from therapeutic sequelae. Additionally, despite intensified treatment, the prognosis remains dismal for patients with refractory or relapsed disease. Thus, novel biologically targeted treatment approaches are needed. These targets can be identified by understanding how a loss of lymphocyte homeostasis can result in LPD or ALL. Herein, we review potential molecular and cellular therapeutic strategies that (i) target key signaling networks (e.g., PI3K/AKT/mTOR, JAK/STAT, Notch1, and SRC kinase family-containing pathways) which regulate lymphocyte growth, survival, and function; (ii) block the interaction of ALL cells with stromal cells or lymphoid growth factors secreted by the bone marrow microenvironment; or (iii) stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses. PMID:18716718

  1. PPARgamma: a novel molecular target in lung disease.

    PubMed

    Hart, C Michael; Roman, Jesse; Reddy, Raju; Sime, Patricia J

    2008-02-01

    Interest in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) has steadily increased over the past 15 years. The recognition that subclasses of this receptor played critical roles in regulation of metabolism led to the development of synthetic ligands and their widespread application in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. At the same time, emerging evidence demonstrated that the influence of PPARs extends well beyond metabolism and diabetes. A salient example of this can be seen in studies that explore the role of PPARs in lung cell biology. In fact, current literature suggests that PPAR receptors may well represent exciting new targets for treatment in a variety of lung disorders. In an attempt to keep the scientific and medical communities abreast of these developments, a symposium sponsored by the American Federation for Medical Research entitled "PPARgamma: A Novel Molecular Target in Lung Disease" was convened on April 29, 2007, at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Washington, DC. During that symposium, 4 speakers reviewed the latest developments in basic and translational research as they relate to specific lung diseases. Jesse Roman, MD, professor and director of the Emory University Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, reviewed the role of PPARgamma in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and its implications for therapy. Raju Reddy, MD, assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan, presented data regarding the immunomodulatory role of PPARgamma in alveolar macrophages. Patricia J. Sime, MD, associate professor of Medicine, Environmental Medicine, and Oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, discussed the antifibrogenic potential of PPARgamma ligands in pulmonary fibrosis. Finally, C. Michael Hart, MD, professor of Medicine at Emory University and chief of the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center Pulmonary Section, reviewed the role of PPARgamma in pulmonary vascular disease. This brief introduction

  2. PPARγ: A Novel Molecular Target in Lung Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hart, C. Michael; Roman, Jesse; Reddy, Raju; Sime, Patricia J.

    2015-01-01

    Interest in peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors (PPARs) has steadily increased over the past 15 years. The recognition that subclasses of this receptor played critical roles in regulation of metabolism led to the development of synthetic ligands and their widespread application in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. At the same time, emerging evidence demonstrated that the influence of PPARs extends well beyond metabolism and diabetes. A salient example of this can be seen in studies that explore the role of PPARs in lung cell biology. In fact, current literature suggests that PPAR receptors may well represent exciting new targets for treatment in a variety of lung disorders. In an attempt to keep the scientific and medical communities abreast of these developments, a symposium sponsored by the American Federation for Medical Research entitled “PPARγ: A Novel Molecular Target in Lung Disease” was convened on April 29, 2007, at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Washington, DC. During that symposium, 4 speakers reviewed the latest developments in basic and translational research as they relate to specific lung diseases. Jesse Roman, MD, professor and director of the Emory University Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, reviewed the role of PPARγ in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and its implications for therapy. Raju Reddy, MD, assistant professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan, presented data regarding the immunomodula-tory role of PPARγ in alveolar macrophages. Patricia J. Sime, MD, associate professor of Medicine, Environmental Medicine, and Oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, discussed the antifibrogenic potential of PPARγ ligands in pulmonary fibrosis. Finally, C. Michael Hart, MD, professor of Medicine at Emory University and chief of the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center Pulmonary Section, reviewed the role of PPARγ in pulmonary vascular disease. This brief introduction to the

  3. MRP3: a molecular target for human glioblastoma multiforme immunotherapy.

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is refractory to conventional therapies. To overcome the problem of heterogeneity, more brain tumor markers are required for prognosis and targeted therapy. We have identified and validated a promising molecular therapeutic target that is expressed by GBM: human multidrug-resistance protein 3 (MRP3). Methods We investigated MRP3 by genetic and immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of human gliomas to determine the incidence, distribution, and localization of MRP3 antigens in GBM and their potential correlation with survival. To determine MRP3 mRNA transcript and protein expression levels, we performed quantitative RT-PCR, raising MRP3-specific antibodies, and IHC analysis with biopsies of newly diagnosed GBM patients. We used univariate and multivariate analyses to assess the correlation of RNA expression and IHC of MRP3 with patient survival, with and without adjustment for age, extent of resection, and KPS. Results Real-time PCR results from 67 GBM biopsies indicated that 59/67 (88%) samples highly expressed MRP3 mRNA transcripts, in contrast with minimal expression in normal brain samples. Rabbit polyvalent and murine monoclonal antibodies generated against an extracellular span of MRP3 protein demonstrated reactivity with defined MRP3-expressing cell lines and GBM patient biopsies by Western blotting and FACS analyses, the latter establishing cell surface MRP3 protein expression. IHC evaluation of 46 GBM biopsy samples with anti-MRP3 IgG revealed MRP3 in a primarily membranous and cytoplasmic pattern in 42 (91%) of the 46 samples. Relative RNA expression was a strong predictor of survival for newly diagnosed GBM patients. Hazard of death for GBM patients with high levels of MRP3 RNA expression was 2.71 (95% CI: 1.54-4.80) times that of patients with low/moderate levels (p = 0.002). Conclusions Human GBMs overexpress MRP3 at both mRNA and protein levels, and elevated MRP3 mRNA levels in GBM biopsy samples correlated with a

  4. Intravascular photoacoustic imaging of macrophages using molecularly targeted gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bo; Joshi, Pratixa; Sapozhnikova, Veronika; Amirian, James; Litovsky, Silvio H.; Smalling, Richard; Sokolov, Konstantin; Emelianov, Stanislav

    2010-02-01

    Using contrast agents with desired targeting moiety and optical absorption, intravascular photoacoustic imaging may be used to identify various biomarkers expressed during the progression of atherosclerotic lesions. In this paper, we present intravascular photoacoustic imaging of macrophages in the atherosclerotic lesions using bio-conjugated gold nanoparticles as the contrast agent. Atherosclerotic lesions were created in the aorta of a New Zealand white rabbit subjected to a high cholesterol diet and balloon injury. The rabbit was injected with 20 nm spherical gold nanoparticles conjugated with antibodies. The macrophages with internalized gold nanoparticles were imaged by intravascular photoacoustic imaging in the near infrared range; this was possible because of plasmon resonance coupling between closely spaced gold nanoparticles internalized by macrophages. The multi-wavelength intravascular photoacoustic images of the diseased aorta were analyzed to identify the presence and location of macrophages labeled with gold nanoparticles. Spectroscopic intravascular photoacoustic image showing the distribution of gold nanoparticles was further confirmed by the gold-specific silver staining of the tissue crosssection. The results of our study suggest that molecular intravascular photoacoustic imaging can be used to image macrophages in atherosclerosis.

  5. Chemokine receptors as new molecular targets for antiviral therapy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, F; Vassena, L; Lusso, P

    2004-04-01

    Extraordinary advancements have been made over the past decade in our understanding of the molecular mechanism of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry into cells. The external HIV envelope glycoprotein, gp120, sequentially interacts with two cellular receptor molecules, the CD4 glycoprotein and a chemokine receptor, such as CCR5 or CXCR4, leading to the activation of the fusogenic domain of the transmembrane viral glycoprotein, gp41, which changes its conformation to create a hairpin structure that eventually triggers fusion between the viral and cellular membranes. Each of these discrete steps in the viral entry process represents a potential target for new antiviral agents. Current efforts to develop safe and effective HlV entry inhibitors are focused on naturally occurring proteins (e.g., chemokines, antibodies), engineered or modified derivatives of natural proteins (e.g., multimerized soluble CD4, gp41--or chemokine--derived synthetic peptides), as well as small synthetic compounds obtained either by high-throughput screening of large compound libraries or by structure-guided rational design. The recent introduction in therapy of the first fusion inhibitor, the gp41-derived synthetic peptide T20, heralds a new era in the treatment of AIDS, which will hopefully lead to more effective multi-drug regimens with reduced adverse effects for the patients.

  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. 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

  8. Nuclear EGFR as a molecular target in cancer.

    PubMed

    Brand, Toni M; Iida, Mari; Luthar, Neha; Starr, Megan M; Huppert, Evan J; Wheeler, Deric L

    2013-09-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been one of the most targeted receptors in the field of oncology. While anti-EGFR inhibitors have demonstrated clinical success in specific cancers, most patients demonstrate either intrinsic or acquired resistance within one year of treatment. Many mechanisms of resistance to EGFR inhibitors have been identified, one of these being attributed to alternatively localized EGFR from the cell membrane into the cell's nucleus. Inside the nucleus, EGFR functions as a co-transcription factor for several genes involved in cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and as a tyrosine kinase to activate and stabilize proliferating cell nuclear antigen and DNA dependent protein kinase. Nuclear localized EGFR is highly associated with disease progression, worse overall survival in numerous cancers, and enhanced resistance to radiation, chemotherapy, and the anti-EGFR therapies gefitinib and cetuximab. In this review the current knowledge of how nuclear EGFR enhances resistance to cancer therapeutics is discussed, in addition to highlighting ways to target nuclear EGFR as an anti-cancer strategy in the future.

  9. Revealing potential molecular targets bridging colitis and colorectal cancer based on multidimensional integration strategy

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yongfei; Li, Xiaobo; Wang, Xishan; Fan, Huihui; Wang, Guiyu; Wang, Dong

    2015-01-01

    Chronic inflammation may play a vital role in the pathogenesis of inflammation-associated tumors. However, the underlying mechanisms bridging ulcerative colitis (UC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unclear. Here, we integrated multidimensional interaction resources, including gene expression profiling, protein-protein interactions (PPIs), transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation data, and virus-host interactions, to tentatively explore potential molecular targets that functionally link UC and CRC at a systematic level. In this work, by deciphering the overlapping genes, crosstalking genes and pivotal regulators of both UC- and CRC-associated functional module pairs, we revealed a variety of genes (including FOS and DUSP1, etc.), transcription factors (including SMAD3 and ETS1, etc.) and miRNAs (including miR-155 and miR-196b, etc.) that may have the potential to complete the connections between UC and CRC. Interestingly, further analyses of the virus-host interaction network demonstrated that several virus proteins (including EBNA-LP of EBV and protein E7 of HPV) frequently inter-connected to UC- and CRC-associated module pairs with their validated targets significantly enriched in both modules of the host. Together, our results suggested that multidimensional integration strategy provides a novel approach to discover potential molecular targets that bridge the connections between UC and CRC, which could also be extensively applied to studies on other inflammation-related cancers. PMID:26461477

  10. Successful application of virtual screening and molecular dynamics simulations against antimalarial molecular targets

    PubMed Central

    Nunes, Renata Rachide; Costa, Marina dos Santos; Santos, Bianca dos Reis; da Fonseca, Amanda Luisa; Ferreira, Lorena Sales; Chagas, Rafael Cesar Russo; da Silva, Alisson Marques; Varotti, Fernando de Pilla; Taranto, Alex Gutterres

    2016-01-01

    The main challenge in the control of malaria has been the emergence of drug-resistant parasites. The presence of drug-resistant Plasmodium sp. has raised the need for new antimalarial drugs. Molecular modelling techniques have been used as tools to develop new drugs. In this study, we employed virtual screening of a pyrazol derivative (Tx001) against four malaria targets: plasmepsin-IV, plasmepsin-II, falcipain-II, and PfATP6. The receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve (AUC) were established for each molecular target. The AUC values obtained for plasmepsin-IV, plasmepsin-II, and falcipain-II were 0.64, 0.92, and 0.94, respectively. All docking simulations were carried out using AutoDock Vina software. The ligand Tx001 exhibited a better interaction with PfATP6 than with the reference compound (-12.2 versus -6.8 Kcal/mol). The Tx001-PfATP6 complex was submitted to molecular dynamics simulations in vacuum implemented on an NAMD program. The ligand Tx001 docked at the same binding site as thapsigargin, which is a natural inhibitor of PfATP6. Compound TX001 was evaluated in vitro with a P. falciparum strain (W2) and a human cell line (WI-26VA4). Tx001 was discovered to be active against P. falciparum (IC50 = 8.2 µM) and inactive against WI-26VA4 (IC50 > 200 µM). Further ligand optimisation cycles generated new prospects for docking and biological assays. PMID:27982302

  11. Successful application of virtual screening and molecular dynamics simulations against antimalarial molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Renata Rachide; Costa, Marina Dos Santos; Santos, Bianca Dos Reis; Fonseca, Amanda Luisa da; Ferreira, Lorena Sales; Chagas, Rafael Cesar Russo; Silva, Alisson Marques da; Varotti, Fernando de Pilla; Taranto, Alex Gutterres

    2016-12-01

    The main challenge in the control of malaria has been the emergence of drug-resistant parasites. The presence of drug-resistant Plasmodium sp. has raised the need for new antimalarial drugs. Molecular modelling techniques have been used as tools to develop new drugs. In this study, we employed virtual screening of a pyrazol derivative (Tx001) against four malaria targets: plasmepsin-IV, plasmepsin-II, falcipain-II, and PfATP6. The receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve (AUC) were established for each molecular target. The AUC values obtained for plasmepsin-IV, plasmepsin-II, and falcipain-II were 0.64, 0.92, and 0.94, respectively. All docking simulations were carried out using AutoDock Vina software. The ligand Tx001 exhibited a better interaction with PfATP6 than with the reference compound (-12.2 versus -6.8 Kcal/mol). The Tx001-PfATP6 complex was submitted to molecular dynamics simulations in vacuum implemented on an NAMD program. The ligand Tx001 docked at the same binding site as thapsigargin, which is a natural inhibitor of PfATP6. Compound TX001 was evaluated in vitro with a P. falciparum strain (W2) and a human cell line (WI-26VA4). Tx001 was discovered to be active against P. falciparum (IC50 = 8.2 µM) and inactive against WI-26VA4 (IC50 > 200 µM). Further ligand optimisation cycles generated new prospects for docking and biological assays.

  12. Targeting functional motifs of a protein family.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Vimentin as a potential molecular target in cancer therapy Or Vimentin, an overview and its potential as a molecular target for cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Satelli, Arun; Li, Shulin

    2011-01-01

    Vimentin, a major constituent of the intermediate filament (IF) family of proteins, is ubiquitously expressed in normal mesenchymal cells and is known to maintain cellular integrity and provide resistance against stress. Increased vimentin expression has been reported in various epithelial cancers including prostate cancer, gastrointestinal tumors, CNS tumors, breast cancer, malignant melanoma, lung cancer and other types of cancers. Vimentin's over-expression in cancer correlates well with increased tumor growth, invasion and poor prognosis; however, the role of vimentin in cancer progression remains obscure. In the recent years, vimentin has gained much importance as a marker for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although EMT is associated with a number of tumorigenic events, the role of vimentin in the underlying events mediating these processes remains unknown. Though majority of the literature findings indicate a future significance of vimentin as a biomarker for different cancers with clinical relevance, more research in to the molecular aspects will be crucial to particularly evaluate the function of vimentin in the process of tumorigenesis. By virtue of its over-expression in a large number of cancers and its role in mediating various tumorigenic events, vimentin serves as an attractive target for cancer therapy. Further, research directed toward elucidating the role of vimentin in various signaling pathways would open up new approaches for the development of promising therapeutic agents. This review summarizes the expression and functions of vimentin in cancers and also suggests some directions toward future cancer therapy utilizing vimentin as a potential target. PMID:21637948

  18. Noninvasive structural, functional, and molecular imaging in drug development.

    PubMed

    Rudin, Markus

    2009-06-01

    Modern drug research is mechanism-based and the development of disease modifying therapies involves the identification of molecular key players in the pathological cascade. Today, noninvasive imaging tools enable the visualization and quantitative assessment of the expression of molecular targets, of their interaction with potential ligands, as well as of the functional consequence of this interaction at a molecular (e.g. activation of signaling cascades), cellular, metabolic, physiological, and morphological level in a temporo-spatially resolved manner. The ability to gather such information from the intact organism with all regulatory processes in place renders imaging highly attractive for the biomedical researcher and for the drug developer in particular. Molecular imaging is potentially capable of providing this information. Today, proof-of-principle has been established that imaging is in fact adding value to the drug discovery and development processes. Numerous studies have used structural and functional imaging readouts to document therapy efficacy, mainly during lead optimization. Similarly, major efforts have been devoted to the development and evaluation of imaging biomarkers that might serve as early readouts for therapy response with the potential of being used in the clinical drug evaluation thereby facilitating translational research. In this contribution, we illustrate the role and potential of imaging in modern drug discovery and development with selected examples. Yet, despite its huge potential the impact of imaging on drug discovery has been modest in the past; potential reasons will be discussed. Nevertheless, noninvasive imaging methods are rapidly evolving and it is beyond doubt that their importance for biomedical research will increase.

  19. 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

  20. [Preparation and in vitro study of a high molecular weight contrast agent targeting hepatoma cells].

    PubMed

    Yang, Jing; Zeng, Yan; Guo, Da-Jing; Fang, Zheng; Zhao, Jian-Nong; Wang, Zhi-Gang

    2013-01-01

    To prepare a specific high molecular weight polymer contrast agent capable of specifically targeting hepatocarcinoma cells (HCC) and to investigate its affinity in vitro using HepG2 cells. The high molecular weight polymer polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLAG)-COOH was prepared by the double emulsion technique. PLAG-COOH microbubbles were combined with glypican-3 (GPC3) antibody to generate HCC targeting high molecular polymer ultrasound contrast agents by the carbodiimide method. The affinity for HCC cells was confirmed by measuring attachment to cultured HepG2 cells by flow cytometry and comparing the results with the properties observed for non-targeted high molecular weight polymer ultrasound contrast agents. The average diameter of the targeted high molecular weight polymer ultrasound contrast agents was (800+/-10) nm. In vitro targeting of HepG2 cells showed that many of the targeted high molecular weight polymer ultrasound contrast agents attached tightly to the cell surface and that the GPC3-PLGA has a particularly strong targeting ability. A HCC-specific high molecular contrast agent, GPC3-PLGA, was synthesized and evidenced a strong targeting ability towards HepG2 cells in vitro. This new agent may be exploited to improve diagnosis of liver cancer at the molecular level.

  1. Molecular Targeted Therapy in Modern Oncology: Imaging Assessment of Treatment Response and Toxicities

    PubMed Central

    Braschi-Amirfarzan, Marta; DiPiro, Pamela J.; Jagannathan, Jyothi P.; Shinagare, Atul B.

    2017-01-01

    Oncology is a rapidly evolving field with a shift toward personalized cancer treatment. The use of therapies targeted to the molecular features of individual tumors and the tumor microenvironment has become much more common. In this review, anti-angiogenic and other molecular targeted therapies are discussed, with a focus on typical and atypical response patterns and imaging manifestations of drug toxicities. PMID:28096716

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Communication: Understanding molecular representations in machine learning: The role of uniqueness and target similarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Bing; von Lilienfeld, O. Anatole

    2016-10-01

    The predictive accuracy of Machine Learning (ML) models of molecular properties depends on the choice of the molecular representation. Inspired by the postulates of quantum mechanics, we introduce a hierarchy of representations which meet uniqueness and target similarity criteria. To systematically control target similarity, we simply rely on interatomic many body expansions, as implemented in universal force-fields, including Bonding, Angular (BA), and higher order terms. Addition of higher order contributions systematically increases similarity to the true potential energy and predictive accuracy of the resulting ML models. We report numerical evidence for the performance of BAML models trained on molecular properties pre-calculated at electron-correlated and density functional theory level of theory for thousands of small organic molecules. Properties studied include enthalpies and free energies of atomization, heat capacity, zero-point vibrational energies, dipole-moment, polarizability, HOMO/LUMO energies and gap, ionization potential, electron affinity, and electronic excitations. After training, BAML predicts energies or electronic properties of out-of-sample molecules with unprecedented accuracy and speed.

  5. Molecular mechanisms of diabetic retinopathy, general preventive strategies, and novel therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Safi, Sher Zaman; Qvist, Rajes; Kumar, Selva; Batumalaie, Kalaivani; Ismail, Ikram Shah Bin

    2014-01-01

    The growing number of people with diabetes worldwide suggests that diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) will continue to be sight threatening factors. The pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy is a widespread cause of visual impairment in the world and a range of hyperglycemia-linked pathways have been implicated in the initiation and progression of this condition. Despite understanding the polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C (KPC) isoforms, increased hexosamine pathway flux, and increased advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes induced vision loss are not fully understood. The purpose of this paper is to review molecular mechanisms that regulate cell survival and apoptosis of retinal cells and discuss new and exciting therapeutic targets with comparison to the old and inefficient preventive strategies. This review highlights the recent advancements in understanding hyperglycemia-induced biochemical and molecular alterations, systemic metabolic factors, and aberrant activation of signaling cascades that ultimately lead to activation of a number of transcription factors causing functional and structural damage to retinal cells. It also reviews the established interventions and emerging molecular targets to avert diabetic retinopathy and its associated risk factors.

  6. Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy, General Preventive Strategies, and Novel Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Safi, Sher Zaman; Kumar, Selva; Ismail, Ikram Shah Bin

    2014-01-01

    The growing number of people with diabetes worldwide suggests that diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) will continue to be sight threatening factors. The pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy is a widespread cause of visual impairment in the world and a range of hyperglycemia-linked pathways have been implicated in the initiation and progression of this condition. Despite understanding the polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C (KPC) isoforms, increased hexosamine pathway flux, and increased advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes induced vision loss are not fully understood. The purpose of this paper is to review molecular mechanisms that regulate cell survival and apoptosis of retinal cells and discuss new and exciting therapeutic targets with comparison to the old and inefficient preventive strategies. This review highlights the recent advancements in understanding hyperglycemia-induced biochemical and molecular alterations, systemic metabolic factors, and aberrant activation of signaling cascades that ultimately lead to activation of a number of transcription factors causing functional and structural damage to retinal cells. It also reviews the established interventions and emerging molecular targets to avert diabetic retinopathy and its associated risk factors. PMID:25105142

  7. Communication: Understanding molecular representations in machine learning: The role of uniqueness and target similarity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Bing; von Lilienfeld, O Anatole

    2016-10-28

    The predictive accuracy of Machine Learning (ML) models of molecular properties depends on the choice of the molecular representation. Inspired by the postulates of quantum mechanics, we introduce a hierarchy of representations which meet uniqueness and target similarity criteria. To systematically control target similarity, we simply rely on interatomic many body expansions, as implemented in universal force-fields, including Bonding, Angular (BA), and higher order terms. Addition of higher order contributions systematically increases similarity to the true potential energy and predictive accuracy of the resulting ML models. We report numerical evidence for the performance of BAML models trained on molecular properties pre-calculated at electron-correlated and density functional theory level of theory for thousands of small organic molecules. Properties studied include enthalpies and free energies of atomization, heat capacity, zero-point vibrational energies, dipole-moment, polarizability, HOMO/LUMO energies and gap, ionization potential, electron affinity, and electronic excitations. After training, BAML predicts energies or electronic properties of out-of-sample molecules with unprecedented accuracy and speed.

  8. 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

  9. Molecular Targets of Honokiol: A Promising Phytochemical for Effective Cancer Management.

    PubMed

    Averett, Courey; Arora, Sumit; Zubair, Haseeb; Singh, Seema; Bhardwaj, Arun; Singh, Ajay P

    2014-01-01

    Honokiol is a bioactive, biphenolic phytochemical, present in the aerial parts of plants classified under the genus Magnolia. It has been an important constituent of Asian traditional medicine and is used against many ailments. Honokiol possesses potent antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, and anticancer activities by targeting a variety of signaling molecules. Consequently, there has been immense interest in exploring its utility as a novel chemopreventive and therapeutic agent against several malignancies. In this chapter, we review the structure-function relationship of honokiol and its derivative compounds, the impact of honokiol on various phenotypes associated with cancer progression and metastasis, and its prominent molecular targets and pharmacokinetics. Clearly, the available data generate significant interest in this novel phytochemical and emerging information continues to provide strong support for its potential applicability in cancer management. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Documentation of 9-PAC Beacon Target Detector processing function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gertz, Jeffrey L.; Elkin, Gabriel R.

    1994-07-01

    This project report documents the algorithms and flow of the beacon target detector (BTD) processing function incorporated as part of the ASR-9 processor augmentation card (9-PAC). The BTD function combines replies that arise from the same aircraft to form beacon targets, and sends these beacon targets to the 9-PAC merge process where they are combined with primary radar reports. The 9-PAC BTD process was designed to solve two problems with the ASR-9 array signal processor (ASP) BTD: identifying and removing false beacon targets due to reflections and preventing merging or splitting of targets due to reply overlap and garble. The BTD reflection processing algorithm marks each beacon target as either real or false, and provides this information to the 9-PAC merge process. Discrete Mode A reflection false targets are identified when duplicate code reports satisfying stringent conditions are located. In order to find nondiscrete Mode A code reflection false targets, the BTD builds an automated, dynamic reflector database based on the geography of pairs of discrete real and false targets.

  12. Herbal bioactivation, molecular targets and the toxicity relevance.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-Wu; Serag, Erini S; Sneed, Kevin B; Zhou, Shu-Feng

    2011-07-15

    There have been increasing reports on the adverse reactions associated with herbal consumption. For many of these adverse reactions, the underlying biochemical mechanisms are unknown, but bioactivation of herbal compounds to generate reactive intermediates have been implicated. This minireview updates our knowledge on metabolic activation of herbal compounds, molecular targets and the toxicity relevance. A number of studies have documented that some herbal compounds can be converted to toxic or even carcinogenic metabolites by Phase I [e.g. cytochrome P450s (CYPs)] and less frequently by Phase II enzymes. For example, aristolochic acids (AAs) in Aristolochia spp, which undergo reduction of the nitro group by hepatic CYP1A1/2 or peroxidases in extrahepatic tissues to generate highly reactive cyclic nitrenium ions. The latter can react with macromolecules (DNA and protein), resulting in activation of H-ras and myc oncogenes and gene mutation in renal cells and finally carcinogenesis of the kidneys. Teucrin A and teuchamaedryn A, two diterpenoids found in germander (Teuchrium chamaedrys) used as an adjuvant to slimming herbal supplements that caused severe hepatotoxicity, are converted by CYP3A4 to reactive epoxide which reacts with proteins such as CYP3A and epoxide hydrolase and inactivate them. Some naturally occurring alkenylbenzenes (e.g. safrole, methyleugenol and estragole) and flavonoids (e.g. quercetin) can undergo bioactivation by sequential 1-hydroxylation and sulfation, resulting in reactive intermediates capable of forming DNA adducts. Extensive pulegone metabolism generated p-cresol that is a glutathione depletory. The hepatotoxicity of kava is possibly due to intracellular glutathione depletion and/or quinone formation. Moreover, several herbal compounds including capsaicin from chili peppers, dially sulfone in garlic, methysticin and dihydromethysticin in kava, oleuropein in olive oil, and resveratrol found in grape seeds are mechanism-based (suicide

  13. Identification of disease-relevant genes for molecularly-targeted drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Kauselmann, G; Dopazo, A; Link, W

    2012-01-01

    The current paradigm for cancer therapy is undergoing a change from non-specific cytotoxic agents to more specific approaches based on unique molecular features of cancer cells. The identification and validation of disease relevant targets are crucial for the development of molecularly targeted anticancer therapies. Advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer together with novel approaches to interfere with signal transduction pathways have opened new horizons for anticancer target discovery. In particular, the image-based large scale analysis of cellular phenotypes that arise from genetic or chemical perturbations paved the way for the identification and validation of disease relevant molecular targets independent of preconceived notions of mechanistic relationships. In addition, novel and sophisticated techniques of genome manipulation allow for the use of mouse models that faithfully recapitulate critical elements of human cancer for target validation in vivo. We believe that these advances will translate into more and better validated drug targets.

  14. 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

  15. Molecular targets of diabetic vascular complications and potential new drugs.

    PubMed

    Da Ros, Roberto; Assaloni, Roberta; Ceriello, Antonio

    2005-06-01

    In diabetes, oxidative stress plays a key role in the pathogenesis of vascular complications, and an early step of such damage is considered to be the development of an endothelial dysfunction. Hyperglycemia directly promotes an endothelial dysfunction inducing process of overproduction of superoxide and consequently peroxynitrite, that damages DNA and activates the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. This process, depleting NAD+, slowing glycolsis, ATP formation and electron transport, results in acute endothelial dysfunction in diabetic blood vessels and contributes to the development of diabetic complications. These new findings may explain why classical antioxidants, like vitamin E, that work scavenging already formed toxic oxidation products, have failed to show beneficial effects on diabetic complications, and suggest new and attractive "causal" antioxidant therapy. New, low molecular mass compounds that act as SOD or catalase mimetics or L-propionyl-carnitine and lipoic acid, that work as intracellular superoxide scavengers, improving mitochondrial function and reducing DNA damage, may be good candidates for such strategy, and preliminary studies support this hypothesis. This "causal" therapy would also be associated with other promising tools such as LY 333531, PJ34 and FP15, which block protein kinase beta isoform, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and peroxynitrite, respectively. It is now evident that, statins, ACE inhibitors, AT-1 blockers, calcium channel blockers and thiazolidinediones have a strong intracellular antioxidant activity, and it has been suggested that many of their beneficial ancillary effects are due to this property. This preventive activity against oxidative stress generation can justify a large utilization and association of this compounds for preventing complications in diabetic patients where antioxidant defences have been shown to be defective.

  16. Structure Functions at Low Q^2: Target Mass Corrections

    SciTech Connect

    Wally Melnitchouk

    2007-05-30

    We discuss recent developments in the study of structure functions at low Q^2, focusing in particular on the issue of target mass corrections (TMC) to nucleon structure functions. We summarize the standard TMC implementation, and contrast this with a new formulation which has the correct kinematic threshold behavior at finite Q^2 in the x -> 1 limit.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Protein sequence conservation and stable molecular evolution reveals influenza virus nucleoprotein as a universal druggable target.

    PubMed

    Babar, Mustafeez Mujtaba; Zaidi, Najam-us-Sahar Sadaf

    2015-08-01

    The high mutation rate in influenza virus genome and appearance of drug resistance calls for a constant effort to identify alternate drug targets and develop new antiviral strategies. The internal proteins of the virus can be exploited as a potential target for therapeutic interventions. Among these, the nucleoprotein (NP) is the most abundant protein that provides structural and functional support to the viral replication machinery. The current study aims at analysis of protein sequence polymorphism patterns, degree of molecular evolution and sequence conservation as a function of potential druggability of nucleoprotein. We analyzed a universal set of amino acid sequences, (n=22,000) and, in order to identify and correlate the functionally conserved, druggable regions across different parameters, classified them on the basis of host organism, strain type and continental region of sample isolation. The results indicated that around 95% of the sequence length was conserved, with at least 7 regions conserved across the protein among various classes. Moreover, the highly variable regions, though very limited in number, were found to be positively selected indicating, thereby, the high degree of protein stability against various hosts and spatio-temporal references. Furthermore, on mapping the conserved regions on the protein, 7 drug binding pockets in the functionally important regions of the protein were revealed. The results, therefore, collectively indicate that nucleoprotein is a highly conserved and stable viral protein that can potentially be exploited for development of broadly effective antiviral strategies.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. A molecular receptor targeted, hydroxyapatite nanocrystal based multi-modal contrast agent.

    PubMed

    Ashokan, Anusha; Menon, Deepthy; Nair, Shantikumar; Koyakutty, Manzoor

    2010-03-01

    upto relatively higher doses of 500 microg/mL and 48 h of incubation. Flow-cytometry based reactive oxygen species (ROS) analysis also showed no significant levels of ROS generation in the nHAp treated cells. The tri-modal contrast imaging functionality together with molecular receptor targeting capability and biocompatibility makes MF-nHAp a promising biomineral contrast agent for combinatorial molecular imaging.

  4. Molecular platform for design and synthesis of targeted dual-modality imaging probes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Amit; Zhang, Shanrong; Hao, Guiyang; Hassan, Gedaa; Ramezani, Saleh; Sagiyama, Koji; Lo, Su-Tang; Takahashi, Masaya; Sherry, A Dean; Öz, Orhan K; Kovacs, Zoltan; Sun, Xiankai

    2015-03-18

    We report a versatile dendritic structure based platform for construction of targeted dual-modality imaging probes. The platform contains multiple copies of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) branching out from a 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-N,N',N″-triacetic acid (NOTA) core. The specific coordination chemistries of the NOTA and DOTA moieties offer specific loading of (68/67)Ga(3+) and Gd(3+), respectively, into a common molecular scaffold. The platform also contains three amino groups which can potentiate targeted dual-modality imaging of PET/MRI or SPECT/MRI (PET: positron emission tomography; SPECT: single photon emission computed tomography; MRI: magnetic resonance imaging) when further functionalized by targeting vectors of interest. To validate this design concept, a bimetallic complex was synthesized with six peripheral Gd-DOTA units and one Ga-NOTA core at the center, whose ion T1 relaxivity per gadolinium atom was measured to be 15.99 mM(-1) s(-1) at 20 MHz. Further, the bimetallic agent demonstrated its anticipated in vivo stability, tissue distribution, and pharmacokinetic profile when labeled with (67)Ga. When conjugated with a model targeting peptide sequence, the trivalent construct was able to visualize tumors in a mouse xenograft model by both PET and MRI via a single dose injection.

  5. Molecular Platform for Design and Synthesis of Targeted Dual-Modality Imaging Probes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We report a versatile dendritic structure based platform for construction of targeted dual-modality imaging probes. The platform contains multiple copies of 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) branching out from a 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-N,N′,N″-triacetic acid (NOTA) core. The specific coordination chemistries of the NOTA and DOTA moieties offer specific loading of 68/67Ga3+ and Gd3+, respectively, into a common molecular scaffold. The platform also contains three amino groups which can potentiate targeted dual-modality imaging of PET/MRI or SPECT/MRI (PET: positron emission tomography; SPECT: single photon emission computed tomography; MRI: magnetic resonance imaging) when further functionalized by targeting vectors of interest. To validate this design concept, a bimetallic complex was synthesized with six peripheral Gd-DOTA units and one Ga-NOTA core at the center, whose ion T1 relaxivity per gadolinium atom was measured to be 15.99 mM–1 s–1 at 20 MHz. Further, the bimetallic agent demonstrated its anticipated in vivo stability, tissue distribution, and pharmacokinetic profile when labeled with 67Ga. When conjugated with a model targeting peptide sequence, the trivalent construct was able to visualize tumors in a mouse xenograft model by both PET and MRI via a single dose injection. PMID:25615011

  6. miRNAs target databases: developmental methods and target identification techniques with functional annotations.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nagendra Kumar

    2017-06-01

    microRNA (miRNA) regulates diverse biological mechanisms and metabolisms in plants and animals. Thus, the discoveries of miRNA has revolutionized the life sciences and medical research.The miRNA represses and cleaves the targeted mRNA by binding perfect or near perfect or imperfect complementary base pairs by RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) formation during biogenesis process. One miRNA interacts with one or more mRNA genes and vice versa, hence takes part in causing various diseases. In this paper, the different microRNA target databases and their functional annotations developed by various researchers have been reviewed. The concurrent research review aims at comprehending the significance of miRNA and presenting the existing status of annotated miRNA target resources built by researchers henceforth discovering the knowledge for diagnosis and prognosis. This review discusses the applications and developmental methodologies for constructing target database as well as the utility of user interface design. An integrated architecture is drawn and a graphically comparative study of present status of miRNA targets in diverse diseases and various biological processes is performed. These databases comprise of information such as miRNA target-associated disease, transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) in miRNA genomic locations, polymorphism in miRNA target, A-to-I edited target, Gene Ontology (GO), genome annotations, KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways, target expression analysis, TF-miRNA and miRNA-mRNA interaction networks, drugs-targets interactions, etc. miRNA target databases contain diverse experimentally and computationally predicted target through various algorithms. The comparison of various miRNA target database has been performed on various parameters. The computationally predicted target databases suffer from false positive information as there is no common theory for prediction of miRNA targets. The review conclusion emphasizes

  7. 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

  8. Probing Molecular Mechanisms of the Hsp90 Chaperone: Biophysical Modeling Identifies Key Regulators of Functional Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Dixit, Anshuman; Verkhivker, Gennady M.

    2012-01-01

    Deciphering functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone machinery is an important objective in cancer biology aiming to facilitate discovery of targeted anti-cancer therapies. Despite significant advances in understanding structure and function of molecular chaperones, organizing molecular principles that control the relationship between conformational diversity and functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 activity lack a sufficient quantitative characterization. We combined molecular dynamics simulations, principal component analysis, the energy landscape model and structure-functional analysis of Hsp90 regulatory interactions to systematically investigate functional dynamics of the molecular chaperone. This approach has identified a network of conserved regions common to the Hsp90 chaperones that could play a universal role in coordinating functional dynamics, principal collective motions and allosteric signaling of Hsp90. We have found that these functional motifs may be utilized by the molecular chaperone machinery to act collectively as central regulators of Hsp90 dynamics and activity, including the inter-domain communications, control of ATP hydrolysis, and protein client binding. These findings have provided support to a long-standing assertion that allosteric regulation and catalysis may have emerged via common evolutionary routes. The interaction networks regulating functional motions of Hsp90 may be determined by the inherent structural architecture of the molecular chaperone. At the same time, the thermodynamics-based “conformational selection” of functional states is likely to be activated based on the nature of the binding partner. This mechanistic model of Hsp90 dynamics and function is consistent with the notion that allosteric networks orchestrating cooperative protein motions can be formed by evolutionary conserved and sparsely connected residue clusters. Hence, allosteric signaling through a small network of distantly connected residue clusters

  9. 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.

  10. Mapping social target detection with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Dichter, Gabriel S; Felder, Jennifer N; Bodfish, James W; Sikich, Linmarie; Belger, Aysenil

    2009-03-01

    The neural correlates of cognitive control and social processing functions, as well as the characteristic patterns of anomalous brain activation patterns in psychiatric conditions associated with impairment in these functions, have been well characterized. However, these domains have primarily been examined in isolation. The present study used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to map brain areas recruited during a target-detection task designed to evaluate responses to both non-social (i.e. shape) and social (i.e. face) target stimuli. Both shape and face targets activated a similar brain network, including the postcentral gyrus, the anterior and posterior cingulate gyri and the right midfrontal gyrus, whereas face targets additionally activated the thalamus, fusiform and temporooccipital cortex, lingual gyrus and paracingulate gyrus. Comparison of activations to social and non-social target events revealed that a small portion of the dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus (Brodmann's area 32) and the supracalcarine cortex were preferentially activated to face targets. These findings indicate that non-social and social stimuli embedded within a cognitive control task activate overlapping and distinct brain regions. Clinical cognitive neuroscience research of disorders characterized by cognitive dysfunction and impaired social processing would benefit from the use of tasks that evaluate the combined effects of deficits in these two domains.

  11. Membrane Lipid Screen to Identify Molecular Targets of Biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Jimah, John R; Schlesinger, Paul H; Tolia, Niraj H

    2017-08-05

    Proteins that bind to and disrupt cell membranes may target specific phospholipids. Here we describe a protocol to identify the lipid targets of proteins and biomolecules. First, we describe a screen to identify lipids in membranes that are specifically bound by the biomolecule of interest. Second, we describe a method for determining if the presence of these lipids within membranes is necessary for membrane disruption. The methods described here were used to determine that the malaria vaccine candidate CelTOS disrupts cell membranes by specifically targeting phosphatidic acid (Jimah et al., 2016). This protocol has a companion protocol: 'Liposome disruption assay to examine lytic properties of biomolecules' which can be applied to examine the ability of the biomolecule to disrupt membranes composed of the lipid target identified by following this protocol (Jimah et al., 2017).

  12. Robust optimization of scoring functions for a target class.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Markus H J

    2009-09-01

    Target-specific optimization of scoring functions for protein-ligand docking is an effective method for significantly improving the discrimination of active and inactive molecules in virtual screening applications. Its applicability, however, is limited due to the narrow focus on, e.g., single protein structures. Using an ensemble of protein kinase structures, the publically available directory of useful decoys ligand dataset, and a novel multi-factorial optimization procedure, it is shown here that scoring functions can be tuned to multiple targets of a target class simultaneously. This leads to an improved robustness of the resulting scoring function parameters. Extensive validation experiments clearly demonstrate that (1) virtual screening performance for kinases improves significantly; (2) variations in database content affect this kind of machine-learning strategy to a lesser extent than binary QSAR models, and (3) the reweighting of interaction types is of particular importance for improved screening performance.

  13. Robust optimization of scoring functions for a target class

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seifert, Markus H. J.

    2009-09-01

    Target-specific optimization of scoring functions for protein-ligand docking is an effective method for significantly improving the discrimination of active and inactive molecules in virtual screening applications. Its applicability, however, is limited due to the narrow focus on, e.g., single protein structures. Using an ensemble of protein kinase structures, the publically available directory of useful decoys ligand dataset, and a novel multi-factorial optimization procedure, it is shown here that scoring functions can be tuned to multiple targets of a target class simultaneously. This leads to an improved robustness of the resulting scoring function parameters. Extensive validation experiments clearly demonstrate that (1) virtual screening performance for kinases improves significantly; (2) variations in database content affect this kind of machine-learning strategy to a lesser extent than binary QSAR models, and (3) the reweighting of interaction types is of particular importance for improved screening performance.

  14. 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.

  15. Melanoma: the intersection of molecular targeted therapy and immune checkpoint inhibition.

    PubMed

    Lau, Peter Kar Han; Ascierto, Paolo A; McArthur, Grant

    2016-04-01

    Melanoma is at the forefront of development of systemic therapeutics with both molecular targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors as cornerstones of treatment. Although responses to molecularly targeted therapy is largely from blockade of oncogenic pathways, evidence is emerging of the immunomodulatory effects from BRAF inhibition. Additionally programmed-death-1 (PD-1) inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of melanoma and are set to pave future improvements in other solid tumors. Combinations of PD-1 inhibitors with novel immune checkpoints or with molecularly targeted therapies are under investigation and may improve on the considerable progress made. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Functional Molecular Junctions Derived from Double Self-Assembled Monolayers.

    PubMed

    Seo, Sohyeon; Hwang, Eunhee; Cho, Yunhee; Lee, Junghyun; Lee, Hyoyoung

    2017-09-25

    Information processing using molecular junctions is becoming more important as devices are miniaturized to the nanoscale. Herein, we report functional molecular junctions derived from double self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) intercalated between soft graphene electrodes. Newly assembled molecular junctions are fabricated by placing a molecular SAM/(top) electrode on another molecular SAM/(bottom) electrode by using a contact-assembly technique. Double SAMs can provide tunneling conjugation across the van der Waals gap between the terminals of each monolayer and exhibit new electrical functions. Robust contact-assembled molecular junctions can act as platforms for the development of equivalent contact molecular junctions between top and bottom electrodes, which can be applied independently to different kinds of molecules to enhance either the structural complexity or the assembly properties of molecules. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. 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

  1. Incorporating Target Priorities in the Sensor Tasking Reward Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehly, S.; Bennett, J.

    2016-09-01

    Orbital debris tracking poses many challenges, most fundamentally the need to track a large number of objects from a limited number of sensors. The use of information theoretic sensor allocation provides a means to efficiently collect data on the multitarget system. An additional need of the community is the ability to specify target priorities, driven both by user needs and environmental factors such as collision warnings. This research develops a method to incorporate target priorities in the sensor tasking reward function, allowing for several applications in different tasking modes such as catalog maintenance, calibration, and collision monitoring. A set of numerical studies is included to demonstrate the functionality of the method.

  2. Molecular Targeted Approaches for Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Z.Q.; Saluja, A.K.; Dudeja, V.; Vickers, S.M.; Buchsbaum, D.J.

    2012-01-01

    Human pancreatic cancer remains a highly malignant disease with almost similar incidence and mortality despite extensive research. Many targeted therapies are under development. However, clinical investigation showed that single targeted therapies and most combined therapies were not able to improve the prognosis of this disease, even though some of these therapies had excellent anti-tumor effects in pre-clinical models. Cross-talk between cell proliferation signaling pathways may be an important phenomenon in pancreatic cancer, which may result in cancer cell survival even though some pathways are blocked by targeted therapy. Pancreatic cancer may possess different characteristics and targets in different stages of pathogenesis, maintenance and metastasis. Sensitivity to therapy may also vary for cancer cells at different stages. The unique pancreatic cancer structure with abundant stroma creates a tumor microenvironment with hypoxia and low blood perfusion rate, which prevents drug delivery to cancer cells. In this review, the most commonly investigated targeted therapies in pancreatic cancer treatment are discussed. However, how to combine these targeted therapies and/or combine them with chemotherapy to improve the survival rate of pancreatic cancer is still a challenge. Genomic and proteomic studies using pancreatic cancer samples obtained from either biopsy or surgery are recommended to individualize tumor characters and to perform drug sensitivity study in order to design a tailored therapy with minimal side effects. These studies may help to further investigate tumor pathogenesis, maintenance and metastasis to create cellular expression profiles at different stages. Integration of the information obtained needs to be performed from multiple levels and dimensions in order to develop a successful targeted therapy. PMID:21777178

  3. Integrated network analysis reveals potentially novel molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets of refractory epilepsies

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guangming; Wang, Yiwei; Zhao, Pengyao; Zhu, Yizhun; Yang, Xiaohan; Zheng, Tiezheng; Zhou, Xuezhong; Jin, Weilin; Sun, Changkai

    2017-01-01

    Epilepsy is a complex neurological disorder and a significant health problem. The pathogenesis of epilepsy remains obscure in a significant number of patients and the current treatment options are not adequate in about a third of individuals which were known as refractory epilepsies (RE). Network medicine provides an effective approach for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying complex diseases. Here we integrated 1876 disease-gene associations of RE and located those genes to human protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to obtain 42 significant RE-associated disease modules. The functional analysis of these disease modules showed novel molecular pathological mechanisms of RE, such as the novel enriched pathways (e.g., “presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors”, “signaling by insulin receptor”). Further analysis on the relationships between current drug targets and the RE-related disease genes showed the rational mechanisms of most antiepileptic drugs. In addition, we detected ten potential novel drug targets (e.g., KCNA1, KCNA4-6, KCNC3, KCND2, KCNMA1, CAMK2G, CACNB4 and GRM1) located in three RE related disease modules, which might provide novel insights into the new drug discovery for RE therapy. PMID:28388656

  4. Development of molecularly targeted agents and immunotherapies in small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Adam; Bhosle, Jaishree; Abdelraouf, Fatma; Popat, Sanjay; O'Brien, Mary; Yap, Timothy A

    2016-06-01

    Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a smoking-induced malignancy with multiple toxin-associated mutations, which accounts for 15% of all lung cancers. It remains a clinical challenge with a rapid doubling time, early dissemination and poor prognosis. Despite multiple clinical trials in SCLC, platinum-based chemotherapy remains the mainstay of treatment in the first line advanced disease setting; good initial responses are nevertheless inevitably followed by disease relapse and survival ultimately remains poor. There are currently no molecularly targeted agents licenced for use in SCLC. Advances in sequencing the cancer genome and other high-throughput profiling technologies have identified aberrant pathways and mechanisms implicated in SCLC development and progression. Novel anti-tumour therapeutics that impact these putative targets are now being developed and investigated in SCLC. In this review, we discuss novel anti-tumour agents assessed in SCLC with reference to the complex molecular mechanisms implicated in SCLC development and progression. We focus on novel DNA damage response inhibitors, immune checkpoint modulators and antibody-drug conjugates that have shown promise in SCLC, and which may potentially transform treatment strategies in this disease. Finally, we envision the future management of SCLC and propose a biomarker-driven translational treatment paradigm for SCLC that incorporates next generation sequencing studies with patient tumours, circulating plasma DNA and functional imaging. Such modern strategies have the potential to transform the management and improve patient outcomes in SCLC.

  5. ATP synthase: a molecular therapeutic drug target for antimicrobial and antitumor peptides.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    In this review we discuss the role of ATP synthase as a molecular drug target for natural and synthetic antimicrobial/ 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 F(1) 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.

  6. 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

    2016-06-07

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Targeted molecular trait stacking in cotton through targeted double-strand break induction

    PubMed Central

    D'Halluin, Kathleen; Vanderstraeten, Chantal; Van Hulle, Jolien; Rosolowska, Joanna; Van Den Brande, Ilse; Pennewaert, Anouk; D'Hont, Kristel; Bossut, Martine; Jantz, Derek; Ruiter, Rene; Broadhvest, Jean

    2013-01-01

    Recent developments of tools for targeted genome modification have led to new concepts in how multiple traits can be combined. Targeted genome modification is based on the use of nucleases with tailor-made specificities to introduce a DNA double-strand break (DSB) at specific target loci. A re-engineered meganuclease was designed for specific cleavage of an endogenous target sequence adjacent to a transgenic insect control locus in cotton. The combination of targeted DNA cleavage and homologous recombination–mediated repair made precise targeted insertion of additional trait genes (hppd, epsps) feasible in cotton. Targeted insertion events were recovered at a frequency of about 2% of the independently transformed embryogenic callus lines. We further demonstrated that all trait genes were inherited as a single genetic unit, which will simplify future multiple-trait introgression. PMID:23777410

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Technology Insight: novel imaging of molecular targets is an emerging area crucial to the development of targeted drugs

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Wolfgang A; Czernin, Johannes; Phelps, Michael E; Herschman, Harvey R

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Targeted drugs hold great promise for the treatment of malignant tumors; however, there are several challenges for efficient evaluation of these drugs in preclinical and clinical studies. These challenges include identifying the ‘correct’, biologically active concentration and dose schedule, selecting the patients likely to benefit from treatment, monitoring inhibition of the target protein or pathway, and assessing the response of the tumor to therapy. Although anatomic imaging will remain important, molecular imaging provides several new opportunities to make the process of drug development more efficient. Various techniques for molecular imaging that enable noninvasive and quantitative imaging are now available in the preclinical and clinical settings, to aid development and evaluation of new drugs for the treatment of cancer. In this Review, we discuss the integration of molecular imaging into the process of drug development and how molecular imaging can address key questions in the preclinical and clinical evaluation of new targeted drugs. Examples include imaging of the expression and inhibition of drug targets, noninvasive tissue pharmacokinetics, and early assessment of the tumor response. PMID:18097456

  13. Science to Practice: Molecularly Targeted US of Inflammation-Important Steps toward Clinical Translation.

    PubMed

    Kiessling, Fabian

    2015-09-01

    Dual P- and E-selectin-targeted microbubbles (MBs) have previously been used for ultrasonography (US) of acute inflammatory bowel disease in mice. In the study by Wang and colleagues, such dual-targeted MBs were evaluated in pigs. After induction of ileitis by means of 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)/ethanol installation, early inflammation, as well as mild and severe disease stages, could be distinguished. The molecularly targeted US method was characterized by high reproducibility and matched with histologic findings. This work is considered an important intermediate step in translating molecularly targeted US of inflammation from preclinical toward clinical application.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. 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. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

  17. 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

  18. Diverse molecular targets for therapeutic strategies in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Han, Sun-Ho; Mook-Jung, Inhee

    2014-07-01

    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.

  19. Target-based drug discovery for human African trypanosomiasis: selection of molecular target and chemical matter.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Ian H

    2014-01-01

    Target-based approaches for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and related parasites can be a valuable route for drug discovery for these diseases. However, care needs to be taken in selection of both the actual drug target and the chemical matter that is developed. In this article, potential criteria to aid target selection are described. Then the physiochemical properties of typical oral drugs are discussed and compared to those of known anti-parasitics.

  20. Molecular-Targeted Immunotherapeutic Strategy for Melanoma via Dual-Targeting Nanoparticles Delivering Small Interfering RNA to Tumor-Associated Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yuan; Qiao, Sha; Dai, Yanfeng; Xu, Guoqiang; Dai, Bolei; Lu, Lisen; Yu, Xiang; Luo, Qingming; Zhang, Zhihong

    2017-09-06

    Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are a promising therapeutic target for cancer immunotherapy. Targeted delivery of therapeutic drugs to the tumor-promoting M2-like TAMs is challenging. Here, we developed M2-like TAM dual-targeting nanoparticles (M2NPs), whose structure and function were controlled by α-peptide (a scavenger receptor B type 1 (SR-B1) targeting peptide) linked with M2pep (an M2 macrophage binding peptide). By loading anti-colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (anti-CSF-1R) small interfering RNA (siRNA) on the M2NPs, we developed a molecular-targeted immunotherapeutic approach to specifically block the survival signal of M2-like TAMs and deplete them from melanoma tumors. We confirmed the validity of SR-B1 for M2-like TAM targeting and demonstrated the synergistic effect of the two targeting units (α-peptide and M2pep) in the fusion peptide (α-M2pep). After being administered to tumor-bearing mice, M2NPs had higher affinity to M2-like TAMs than to tissue-resident macrophages in liver, spleen, and lung. Compared with control treatment groups, M2NP-based siRNA delivery resulted in a dramatic elimination of M2-like TAMs (52%), decreased tumor size (87%), and prolonged survival. Additionally, this molecular-targeted strategy inhibited immunosuppressive IL-10 and TGF-β production and increased immunostimulatory cytokines (IL-12 and IFN-γ) expression and CD8(+) T cell infiltration (2.9-fold) in the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, the siRNA-carrying M2NPs down-regulated expression of the exhaustion markers (PD-1 and Tim-3) on the infiltrating CD8(+) T cells and stimulated their IFN-γ secretion (6.2-fold), indicating the restoration of T cell immune function. Thus, the dual-targeting property of M2NPs combined with RNA interference provides a potential strategy of molecular-targeted cancer immunotherapy for clinical application.

  1. Molecular approaches to target discovery:--evaluating targets for anti-tuberculosis drug discovery programmes.

    PubMed

    Balganesh, T S; Furr, B J A

    2007-06-01

    Selection of appropriate targets for launching antituberculosis drug discovery programmes is challenging. This challenge is magnified by the limited repertoire of 'validated targets' and the paucity of clinically successful drugs. However, continued understanding of the biology of the microbe and its interaction with the host has enabled detailed evaluation of several interesting pathways and novel targets. The value of a target that is suitable for antituberculosis drug discovery needs to be defined not only in the context of its 'essentiality' for survival in vitro but also against a variety of properties relevant to activities in the drug discovery process, e.g.; selectivity, vulnerability, suitability for structural studies, ability to monitor inhibition in whole cells etc. It is also rarely feasible to obtain all the relevant information on the target prior to the launch of a discovery programme. Thus, there is a continuous confidence-building exercise on the validity of a target. Several novel approaches have enabled exploitation of the mycobacterial genome and prioritisation of putative targets; the concept of 'sterilisation' is now being evaluated not only through the availability of structurally diverse probe compounds but also by the ability to characterise metabolic pathways in vivo. The impact of the current knowledge base on the different facets of 'target validation' relevant to antituberculosis drug discovery is discussed in this article with emphasis on developing appropriate matrix systems to prioritise them. The article also discusses the influence of lead generation approaches with specific reference to antibacterial drug discovery.

  2. Neutralizing nanobodies targeting diverse chemokines effectively inhibit chemokine function.

    PubMed

    Blanchetot, Christophe; Verzijl, Dennis; Mujić-Delić, Azra; Bosch, Leontien; Rem, Louise; Leurs, Rob; Verrips, C Theo; Saunders, Michael; de Haard, Hans; Smit, Martine J

    2013-08-30

    Chemokine receptors and their ligands play a prominent role in immune regulation but many have also been implicated in inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, allograft rejection after transplantation, and also in cancer metastasis. Most approaches to therapeutically target the chemokine system involve targeting of chemokine receptors with low molecular weight antagonists. Here we describe the selection and characterization of an unprecedented large and diverse panel of neutralizing Nanobodies (single domain camelid antibodies fragment) directed against several chemokines. We show that the Nanobodies directed against CCL2 (MCP-1), CCL5 (RANTES), CXCL11 (I-TAC), and CXCL12 (SDF-1α) bind the chemokines with high affinity (at nanomolar concentration), thereby blocking receptor binding, inhibiting chemokine-induced receptor activation as well as chemotaxis. Together, we show that neutralizing Nanobodies can be selected efficiently for effective and specific therapeutic treatment against a wide range of immune and inflammatory diseases.

  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. New molecular targets for the treatment of sarcoidosis.

    PubMed

    Chiarchiaro, Jared; Chen, Bill B; Gibson, Kevin F

    2016-09-01

    Sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease typically affecting the lung, lymph nodes, and other organ systems. Evidence suggests that the morbidity and mortality rates for sarcoidosis in the USA are rising, despite widespread use of anti-inflammatory therapies. In this review, we survey new therapies that target specific inflammatory pathways in other diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and psoriasis) that are similar to pathways relevant to sarcoidosis immunopathogenesis, and therefore, represent potentially new sarcoidosis therapies. Immunopathogenesis of sarcoidosis has been well elucidated over the past few years. There is abundant evidence for T-cell activation in sarcoidosis leading to activation of both Th1 and Th17 inflammatory cascades. Therapies targeting T-cell activation, Th1 pathways (such as the interleukin-6 inhibitors), Th17 pathway mediators, and others have been Food and Drug Administration approved or under investigation to treat a variety of autoimmune inflammatory diseases, but have not been studied in sarcoidosis. Targeting the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and the ubiquitine proteasome system with new agents may also represent a novel therapeutic option for patients with sarcoidosis. Rising morbidity and mortality rates for patients with sarcoidosis strongly support the need to develop more effective anti-inflammatory therapies to treat chronic disease.

  5. New molecular targets for the treatment of sarcoidosis

    PubMed Central

    Chiarchiaro, Jared; Chen, Bill B.; Gibson, Kevin F.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose of review Sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease typically affecting the lung, lymph nodes, and other organ systems. Evidence suggests that the morbidity and mortality rates for sarcoidosis in the USA are rising, despite widespread use of anti-inflammatory therapies. In this review, we survey new therapies that target specific inflammatory pathways in other diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis) that are similar to pathways relevant to sarcoidosis immunopathogenesis, and therefore, represent potentially new sarcoidosis therapies. Recent findings Immunopathogenesis of sarcoidosis has been well elucidated over the past few years. There is abundant evidence for T-cell activation in sarcoidosis leading to activation of both Th1 and Th17 inflammatory cascades. Therapies targeting T-cell activation, Th1 pathways (such as the interleukin-6 inhibitors), Th17 pathway mediators, and others have been Food and Drug Administration approved or under investigation to treat a variety of autoimmune inflammatory diseases, but have not been studied in sarcoidosis. Targeting the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases and the ubiquitine proteasome system with new agents may also represent a novel therapeutic option for patients with sarcoidosis. Summary Rising morbidity and mortality rates for patients with sarcoidosis strongly support the need to develop more effective anti-inflammatory therapies to treat chronic disease. PMID:27454074

  6. Molecular targeting of liposomal nanoparticles to tumor microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Gang; Rodriguez, B Leticia

    2013-01-01

    Liposomes are biodegradable and can be used to deliver drugs at a much higher concentration in tumor tissues than in normal tissues. Both passive and active drug delivery by liposomal nanoparticles can significantly reduce the toxic side effects of anticancer drugs and enhance the therapeutic efficacy of the drugs delivered. Active liposomal targeting to tumors is achieved by recognizing specific tumor receptors through tumor-specific ligands or antibodies coupled onto the surface of the liposomes, or by stimulus-sensitive drug carriers such as acid-triggered release or enzyme-triggered drug release. Tumors are often composed of tumor cells and nontumor cells, which include endothelial cells, pericytes, fibroblasts, stromal, mesenchymal cells, innate, and adaptive immune cells. These nontumor cells thus form the tumor microenvironment, which could be targeted and modified so that it is unfavorable for tumor cells to grow. In this review, we briefly summarized articles that had taken advantage of liposomal nanoparticles as a carrier to deliver anticancer drugs to the tumor microenvironment, and how they overcame obstacles such as nonspecific uptake, interaction with components in blood, and toxicity. Special attention is devoted to the liposomal targeting of anticancer drugs to the endothelium of tumor neovasculature, tumor associated macrophages, fibroblasts, and pericytes within the tumor microenvironment. PMID:23293520

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Metabolic Signatures Uncover Distinct Targets in Molecular Subsets of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Caro, Pilar; Kishan, Amar U.; Norberg, Erik; Stanley, Illana; Chapuy, Bjoern; Ficarro, Scott B.; Polak, Klaudia; Tondera, Daniel; Gounarides, John; Yin, Hong; Zhou, Feng; Green, Michael R.; Chen, Linfeng; Monti, Stefano; Marto, Jarrod A.; Shipp, Margaret A.; Danial, Nika N.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Molecular signatures have identified several subsets of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) and rational targets within the B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling axis. The OxPhos-DLBCL subset, which harbors the signature of genes involved in mitochondrial metabolism, is insensitive to inhibition of BCR survival signaling, but is functionally undefined. We show that compared with BCR-DLBCLs, OxPhos-DLBCLs display enhanced mitochondrial energy transduction, greater incorporation of nutrient-derived carbons into the TCA cycle and increased glutathione levels. Importantly, perturbation of the fatty acid oxidation program and glutathione synthesis proved selectively toxic to this tumor subset. Our analysis provides evidence for distinct metabolic fingerprints and associated survival mechanisms in DLBCL and may have therapeutic implications. PMID:23079663

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Targeting G protein coupled receptor-related pathways as emerging molecular therapies

    PubMed Central

    Ghanemi, Abdelaziz

    2013-01-01

    G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the most important targets in modern pharmacology because of the different functions they mediate, especially within brain and peripheral nervous system, and also because of their functional and stereochemical properties. In this paper, we illustrate, via a variety of examples, novel advances about the GPCR-related molecules that have been shown to play diverse roles in GPCR pathways and in pathophysiological phenomena. We have exemplified how those GPCRs’ pathways are, or might constitute, potential targets for different drugs either to stimulate, modify, regulate or inhibit the cellular mechanisms that are hypothesized to govern some pathologic, physiologic, biologic and cellular or molecular aspects both in vivo and in vitro. Therefore, influencing such pathways will, undoubtedly, lead to different therapeutical applications based on the related pharmacological implications. Furthermore, such new properties can be applied in different fields. In addition to offering fruitful directions for future researches, we hope the reviewed data, together with the elements found within the cited references, will inspire clinicians and researchers devoted to the studies on GPCR’s properties. PMID:25972730

  19. Targeted Gene Capture by Hybridization to Illuminate Ecosystem Functioning.

    PubMed

    Ribière, Céline; Beugnot, Réjane; Parisot, Nicolas; Gasc, Cyrielle; Defois, Clémence; Denonfoux, Jérémie; Boucher, Delphine; Peyretaillade, Eric; Peyret, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Microbial communities are extremely abundant and diverse on earth surface and play key role in the ecosystem functioning. Thus, although next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have greatly improved knowledge on microbial diversity, it is necessary to reduce the biological complexity to better understand the microorganism functions. To achieve this goal, we describe a promising approach, based on the solution hybrid selection (SHS) method for the selective enrichment in a target-specific biomarker from metagenomic and metatranscriptomic samples. The success of this method strongly depends on the determination of sensitive, specific, and explorative probes to assess the complete targeted gene repertoire. Indeed, in this method, RNA probes were used to capture large DNA or RNA fragments harboring biomarkers of interest that potentially allow to link structure and function of communities of interest.

  20. RNA editing in Drosophila melanogaster: New targets and functional consequences

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Joseph W.; Celniker, Susan E.

    2006-01-01

    Adenosine deaminases that act on RNA [adenosine deaminase, RNA specific (ADAR)] catalyze the site-specific conversion of adenosine to inosine in primary mRNA transcripts. These re-coding events affect coding potential, splice sites, and stability of mature mRNAs. ADAR is an essential gene, and studies in mouse, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila suggest that its primary function is to modify adult behavior by altering signaling components in the nervous system. By comparing the sequence of isogenic cDNAs to genomic DNA, we have identified and experimentally verified 27 new targets of Drosophila ADAR. Our analyses led us to identify new classes of genes whose transcripts are targets of ADAR, including components of the actin cytoskeleton and genes involved in ion homeostasis and signal transduction. Our results indicate that editing in Drosophila increases the diversity of the proteome, and does so in a manner that has direct functional consequences on protein function. PMID:17018572

  1. From Guide to Target: Molecular Insights into Eukaryotic RNAi Machinery

    PubMed Central

    Ipsaro, Jonathan J.; Joshua-Tor, Leemor

    2015-01-01

    Since its relatively recent discovery, RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a potent, specific, and ubiquitous means of gene regulation. Through a number of pathways that are conserved from yeast to humans, small non-coding RNAs direct molecular machinery to silence gene expression. In this review, we focus on mechanisms and structures that govern RNA silencing in higher organisms. In addition to highlighting recent advances, parallels and differences between RNAi pathways are discussed. Together, the studies reviewed herein reveal the versatility and programmability of RNA-induced Silencing Complexes (RISCs) and emphasize the importance of both upstream biogenesis and downstream silencing factors. PMID:25565029

  2. 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.

  3. Functionalized Gold Nanorods for Tumor Imaging and Targeted Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Gui, Chen; Cui, Da-xiang

    2012-01-01

    Gold nanorods, as an emerging noble metal nanomaterial with unique properties, have become the new exciting focus of theoretical and experimental studies in the past few years. The structure and function of gold nanorods, especially their biocompatibility, optical property, and photothermal effects, have been attracting more and more attention. Gold nanorods exhibit great potential in applications such as tumor molecular imaging and photothermal therapy. In this article, we review some of the main advances made over the past few years in the application of gold nanorods in surface functionalization, molecular imaging, and photothermal therapy. We also explore other prospective applications and discuss the corresponding concepts, issues, approaches, and challenges, with the aim of stimulating broader interest in gold nanorod-based nanotechnology and improving its practical application. PMID:23691482

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Crystalline molecular machines: function, phase order, dimensionality, and composition.

    PubMed

    Vogelsberg, Cortnie S; Garcia-Garibay, Miguel A

    2012-03-07

    The design of molecular machines is stimulated by the possibility of developing new materials with complex physicochemical and mechanical properties that are responsive to external stimuli. Condensed-phase matter with anisotropic molecular order and controlled dynamics, also defined as amphidynamic crystals, offers a promising platform for the design of bulk materials capable of performing such functions. Recent studies have shown that it is possible to engineer molecular crystals and extended solids with Brownian rotation about specific axes that can be interfaced with external fields, which may ultimately be used to design novel optoelectronic materials. Structure/function relationships of amphidynamic materials have been characterized, establishing the blueprints to further engineer sophisticated function. However, the synthesis of amphidynamic molecular machines composed of multiple "parts" is essential to realize increasingly complex behavior. Recent progress in amphidynamic multicomponent systems suggests that sophisticated functions similar to those of simple biomolecular machines may eventually be within reach.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular Chaperones in Pathogen Virulence: Emerging New Targets for Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Neckers, Len; Tatu, Utpal

    2009-01-01

    Summary Infectious organisms have to cope with demanding and rapidly changing environments during establishment in the host. This is particularly relevant for pathogens which utilize different hosts to complete their life cycle. In addition to homeotic environmental challenges, other stressful factors, such as oxidative bursts, are often triggered in response to infection. It is not surprising that many successful pathogens have developed robust chaperone systems to conquer the stressful environments in the host. In addition to discussing ingenious ways by which pathogens have utilized chaperones, the potential of exploiting pathogen chaperones as drug targets is also discussed. PMID:19064253

  9. [Molecular target therapy: a milestone on the road for curing cancer].

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yi-Xin; Zhang, Xiao-Shi; Liu, Quentin

    2008-08-01

    Molecular target therapy (MTT), using chemicals of low molecular weight, monoclonal antibodies, and/or polypeptides to interfere with specific signal pathways in cancer cells, causes inhibition of tumor progression. Clinical evidence has demonstrated that MTT has promising potential in not only killing tumors but also inducing tumor cells differentiate into normal cells, leading to cure of the patients. Furthermore, MTT leads to potent inhibition of oncogenic signals. The delay of tumor progression makes the patients "survival with tumor". Thus, in the future it is possible that cancer become a chronic disease much like diabetes and hypertension. This article reviewed the theory on molecular target therapy, its features and future direction.

  10. Are Pharmaceuticals with Evolutionary Conserved Molecular Drug Targets More Potent to Cause Toxic Effects in Non-Target Organisms?

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25140792

  11. Targeted drug delivery and enhanced intracellular release using functionalized liposomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garg, Ashish

    The ability to target cancer cells using an appropriate drug delivery system can significantly reduce the associated side effects from cancer therapies and can help in improving the overall quality of life, post cancer survival. Integrin alpha5beta1 is expressed on several types of cancer cells, including colon cancer and plays an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Thus, the ability to target the integrin alpha 5beta1 using an appropriate drug delivery nano-vector can significantly help in inhibiting tumor growth and reducing tumor metastasis. The work in this thesis focuses on designing and optimizing, functionalized stealth liposomes (liposomes covered with polyethylene glycol (PEG)) that specifically target the integrin alpha5beta1. The PEG provides a steric barrier allowing the liposomes to circulate in the blood for longer duration and the functionalizing moiety, PR_b peptide specifically recognizes and binds to integrin alpha5beta1 expressing cells. The work demonstrates that by optimizing the amount of PEG and PR_b on the liposomal interface, nano-vectors can be engineered that bind to CT26.WT colon cancer cells in a specific manner and internalize through alpha 5beta1-mediated endocytosis. To further improve the efficacy of the system, PR_b functionalized pH-sensitive stealth liposomes that exhibit triggered release under mild acidic conditions present in endocytotic vesicles were designed. The study showed that PR_b functionalized pH-sensitive stealth liposomes, undergo destabilization under mildly acidic conditions and incorporation of the PR_b peptide does not significantly affect the pH-sensitivity of the liposomes. PR_b functionalized pH-sensitive stealth liposomes bind to CT26.WT colon carcinoma cells that express integrin alpha5beta 1, undergo cellular internalization, and release their load intracellularly in a short period of time as compared to other formulations. PR_b-targeted pH-sensitive stealth liposomes encapsulating 5

  12. 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. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Radiosensitizers in Pancreatic Cancer – Preclinical and Clinical Exploits with Molecularly Targeted Agents

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Amanda J.; Alcorn, Sara; Narang, Amol; Nugent, Katriana; Wild, Aaron T.; Herman, Joseph M.; Tran, Phuoc T.

    2013-01-01

    There has been an explosion in the number of molecularly targeted agents engineered to inhibit specific molecular pathways driving the tumorigenic phenotype in cancer cells. Some of these molecularly targeted agents have demonstrated robust clinical effects, but few result in meaningful durable responses. Therapeutic radiation is used to treat a majority of cancer patients with recent technologic and pharmacologic enhancements, leading to improvements in the therapeutic ratio for cancer care. Radiotherapy has a very specific role in select cases of postoperative and locally advanced pancreatic cancer patients, but control of metastatic disease still appears to be the major limiting factor behind improvements in cure. Recent rapid autopsy pathologic findings suggest a sub-group of advanced pancreatic cancer patients where death is caused from local disease progression and who would thus benefit from improved local control. One promising approach is to combine molecularly targeted agents with radiotherapy to improve tumor response rates and likelihood of durable local control. We review suggested recommendations on the investigation of molecularly targeted agents as radiosensitizers from preclinical studies to implementation in phase I–II clinical trials. We then discuss a select set of molecularly targeted therapies that we believe show promise as radiosensitizers in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. PMID:24331186

  14. [Targeted molecular therapy based on advanced cancer stem cell model].

    PubMed

    Hirao, Atsushi

    2015-08-01

    Improvement of cell purification and transplantation techniques have contributed to the identification of cell populations known as tumor-initiating cells (TICs). Although it was hypothesized that tumors are organized as hierarchies of tumor cells that are sustained by rare TICs, like normal tissue stem cells, there are several controversies towards such cancer stem cell model, e.g. reversible change of stem cell like population based on epigenetic changes, clonal genetic evolution and problems in xenotransplantation system. Despite complexity in cancer stem cell models, studies in cancer stem cell field have revealed that there are close relationship between cancer malignancy and stem cell properties, called "stemness". Understanding molecular mechanisms for controlling stemness would contribute to establishment of novel diagnostics or therapeutics for cancer.

  15. 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.

  16. MOLECULAR ALTERATIONS IN GLIOBLASTOMA: POTENTIAL TARGETS FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY

    PubMed Central

    Haque, Azizul; Banik, Naren L.; Ray, Swapan K.

    2015-01-01

    Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly brain tumor, possibly arising from genetic and epigenetic alterations in normal astroglial cells. Multiple cytogenetic, chromosomal, and genetic alterations have been identified in glioblastoma, with distinct expression of antigens (Ags) and biomarkers that may alter therapeutic potential of this aggressive cancer. Current therapy consists of surgical resection, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In spite of these treatments, the prognosis for glioblastoma patients is poor. Although recent studies have focused on the development of novel immunotherapeutics against glioblastoma, little is known about glioblastoma specific immune responses. A better understanding of the molecular interactions among glioblastoma tumors, host immune cells, and the tumor microenvironment may give rise to novel integrated approaches for the simultaneous control of tumor escape pathways and the activation of antitumor immune responses. This review provides a detailed overview concerning genetic alterations in glioblastoma, their effects on Ag and biomarker expression and the future design of chemoimmunotherapeutics against glioblastoma. PMID:21199773

  17. Molecular targeted therapy in the treatment of advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

    PubMed

    Kumarakulasinghe, Nesaretnam Barr; van Zanwijk, Nico; Soo, Ross A

    2015-04-01

    Historically, patients with advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were treated with chemotherapy alone, but a therapeutic plateau has been reached. Advances in the understanding of molecular genetics have led to the recognition of multiple molecularly distinct subsets of NSCLC. This in turn has led to the development of rationally directed molecular targeted therapy, leading to improved clinical outcomes. Tumour genotyping for EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangement has meant chemotherapy is no longer given automatically as first-line treatment but reserved for when patients do not have a 'druggable' driver oncogene. In this review, we will address the current status of clinically relevant driver mutations and emerging new molecular subsets in lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and the role of targeted therapy and mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted therapy.

  18. Molecularly imprinted polymeric micro- and nano-particles for the targeted delivery of active molecules.

    PubMed

    Gagliardi, Mariacristina; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Molecular imprinting (MI) represents a strategy to introduce a 'molecular memory' in a polymeric system obtaining materials with specific recognition properties. MI particles can be used as drug delivery systems providing a targeted release and thus reducing the side effects. The introduction of molecular recognition properties on a polymeric drug carrier represents a challenge in the development of targeted delivery systems to increase their efficiency. This review will summarize the limited number of drug delivery MI particles described in the literature along with an overview of potential solutions for a larger exploitation of MI particles as targeted drug delivery carriers. Molecularly imprinted drug carriers can be considered interesting candidates to significantly improve the efficiency of a controlled drug treatment.

  19. 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

  20. Tyrosine kinase receptors as molecular targets In pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas

    PubMed Central

    Cassol, Clarissa A.; Winer, Daniel; Liu, Wei; Guo, Miao; Ezzat, Shereen; Asa, Sylvia L.

    2016-01-01

    Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are neuroendocrine tumors shown to be responsive to multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. Despite growing knowledge regarding their genetic basis, the ability to predict behavior in these tumors remains challenging. There is also limited knowledge of their tyrosine kinase receptor expression and whether the clinical response observed to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor Sunitinib relates only to its anti-angiogenic properties or also due to a direct effect on tumor cells. To answer these questions, an in vitro model of sunitinib treatment of a pheochromocytoma cell line was created. Sunitinib targets (VEGFRs, PDGFRs, C-KIT), FGFRs and cell cycle regulatory proteins were investigated in human tissue microarrays. SDHB immunohistochemistry was used as a surrogate marker for the presence of succinate dehydrogenase mutations. The FGFR4 G388R SNP was also investigated. Sunitinib treatment in vitro decreases cell proliferation mainly by targeting cell cycle, DNA metabolism, and cell organization genes. FGFR1, -2 and -4, VEGFR2, PDGFRα and p16 were overexpressed in primary human pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. Discordant results were observed for VEGFR1, p27 and p21 (overexpressed in paragangliomas but underexpressed in pheochromoctyomas); PDGFRβ, Rb and Cyclin D1 (overexpressed in paragangliomas only) and FGFR3 (overexpressed in pheochromocytomas and underexpressed in paragangliomas). Low expression of C-KIT, p53, Aurora Kinase A and B was observed. Nuclear FGFR2 expression was associated with increased risk of metastasis (odds ratio [OR]=7.61; p=0.008), as was membranous PDGFRα (OR= 13.71, p=0.015), membranous VEGFR1 (OR=8.01; p=0.037), nuclear MIB1 (OR=1.26, p=0.008) and cytoplasmic p27 (OR=1.037, p=0.030). FGFR3, VEGFR2 and C-KIT levels were associated with decreased risk of metastasis. We provide new insights into the mechanistic actions of sunitinib in pheochromoctyomas and paragangliomas and support current

  1. Targeted molecular-genetic imaging and ligand-directed therapy in aggressive variant prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ferrara, Fortunato; Staquicini, Daniela I; Driessen, Wouter H P; D'Angelo, Sara; Dobroff, Andrey S; Barry, Marc; Lomo, Lesley C; Staquicini, Fernanda I; Cardó-Vila, Marina; Soghomonyan, Suren; Alauddin, Mian M; Flores, Leo G; Arap, Marco A; Lauer, Richard C; Mathew, Paul; Efstathiou, Eleni; Aparicio, Ana M; Troncoso, Patricia; Navone, Nora M; Logothetis, Christopher J; Marchiò, Serena; Gelovani, Juri G; Sidman, Richard L; Pasqualini, Renata; Arap, Wadih

    2016-10-24

    Aggressive variant prostate cancers (AVPC) are a clinically defined group of tumors of heterogeneous morphologies, characterized by poor patient survival and for which limited diagnostic and treatment options are currently available. We show that the cell surface 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), a receptor that binds to phage-display-selected ligands, such as the SNTRVAP motif, is a candidate target in AVPC. We report the presence and accessibility of this receptor in clinical specimens from index patients. We also demonstrate that human AVPC cells displaying GRP78 on their surface could be effectively targeted both in vitro and in vivo by SNTRVAP, which also enabled specific delivery of siRNA species to tumor xenografts in mice. Finally, we evaluated ligand-directed strategies based on SNTRVAP-displaying adeno-associated virus/phage (AAVP) particles in mice bearing MDA-PCa-118b, a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) of castration-resistant prostate cancer bone metastasis that we exploited as a model of AVPC. For theranostic (a merging of the terms therapeutic and diagnostic) studies, GRP78-targeting AAVP particles served to deliver the human Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase type-1 (HSVtk) gene, which has a dual function as a molecular-genetic sensor/reporter and a cell suicide-inducing transgene. We observed specific and simultaneous PET imaging and treatment of tumors in this preclinical model of AVPC. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of GPR78-targeting, ligand-directed theranostics for translational applications in AVPC.

  2. Targeted molecular-genetic imaging and ligand-directed therapy in aggressive variant prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ferrara, Fortunato; Staquicini, Daniela I.; Driessen, Wouter H. P.; D’Angelo, Sara; Dobroff, Andrey S.; Barry, Marc; Lomo, Lesley C.; Staquicini, Fernanda I.; Cardó-Vila, Marina; Soghomonyan, Suren; Alauddin, Mian M.; Flores, Leo G.; Arap, Marco A.; Lauer, Richard C.; Mathew, Paul; Efstathiou, Eleni; Aparicio, Ana M.; Troncoso, Patricia; Navone, Nora M.; Logothetis, Christopher J.; Marchiò, Serena; Gelovani, Juri G.; Sidman, Richard L.; Pasqualini, Renata; Arap, Wadih

    2016-01-01

    Aggressive variant prostate cancers (AVPC) are a clinically defined group of tumors of heterogeneous morphologies, characterized by poor patient survival and for which limited diagnostic and treatment options are currently available. We show that the cell surface 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), a receptor that binds to phage-display-selected ligands, such as the SNTRVAP motif, is a candidate target in AVPC. We report the presence and accessibility of this receptor in clinical specimens from index patients. We also demonstrate that human AVPC cells displaying GRP78 on their surface could be effectively targeted both in vitro and in vivo by SNTRVAP, which also enabled specific delivery of siRNA species to tumor xenografts in mice. Finally, we evaluated ligand-directed strategies based on SNTRVAP-displaying adeno-associated virus/phage (AAVP) particles in mice bearing MDA-PCa-118b, a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) of castration-resistant prostate cancer bone metastasis that we exploited as a model of AVPC. For theranostic (a merging of the terms therapeutic and diagnostic) studies, GRP78-targeting AAVP particles served to deliver the human Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase type-1 (HSVtk) gene, which has a dual function as a molecular-genetic sensor/reporter and a cell suicide-inducing transgene. We observed specific and simultaneous PET imaging and treatment of tumors in this preclinical model of AVPC. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of GPR78-targeting, ligand-directed theranostics for translational applications in AVPC. PMID:27791181

  3. Protoporphyrinogen oxidase as a molecular target for diphenyl ether herbicides.

    PubMed Central

    Matringe, M; Camadro, J M; Labbe, P; Scalla, R

    1989-01-01

    Diphenyl ether herbicides induce an accumulation of protoporphyrin IX in plant tissues. By analogy to human porphyria, the accumulation could be attributed to decreased (Mg or Fe)-chelatase or protoporphyrinogen oxidase activities. Possible effects of acifluorfen-methyl on these enzymes were investigated in isolated corn (maize, Zea mays) etioplasts, potato (Solanum tuberosum) and mouse mitochondria, and yeast mitochondrial membranes. Acifluorfen-methyl was strongly inhibitory to protoporphyrinogen oxidase activities whatever their origins [concn. causing 50% inhibition (IC50) = 4 nM for the corn etioplast enzyme]. By contrast, it was roughly 100,000 times less active on (Mg or Fe)-chelatase activities (IC50 = 80-100 microM). Our results lead us to propose protoporphyrinogen oxidase as a cellular target for diphenyl ether herbicides. PMID:2775186

  4. [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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Target selection and determination of function in structural genomics.

    PubMed

    Watson, James D; Todd, Annabel E; Bray, James; Laskowski, Roman A; Edwards, Aled; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Orengo, Christine A; Thornton, Janet M

    2003-01-01

    The first crucial step in any structural genomics project is the selection and prioritization of target proteins for structure determination. There may be a number of selection criteria to be satisfied, including that the proteins have novel folds, that they be representatives of large families for which no structure is known, and so on. The better the selection at this stage, the greater is the value of the structures obtained at the end of the experimental process. This value can be further enhanced once the protein structures have been solved if the functions of the given proteins can also be determined. Here we describe the methods used at either end of the experimental process: firstly, sensitive sequence comparison techniques for selecting a high-quality list of target proteins, and secondly the various computational methods that can be applied to the eventual 3D structures to determine the most likely biochemical function of the proteins in question.

  8. 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.

  9. Selective targeting of Mycobacterium smegmatis with trehalose-functionalized nanoparticles†

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular targets in pulmonary fibrosis: the myofibroblast in focus.

    PubMed

    Scotton, Chris J; Chambers, Rachel C

    2007-10-01

    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one of a group of interstitial lung diseases that are characterized by excessive matrix deposition and destruction of the normal lung architecture. Long-term survival of IPF patients is poor, with a 5-year survival rate of only 20%. Despite a lack of evidence-based benefit, IPF has historically been treated with corticosteroids and/or cytotoxic agents such as prednisone. Given the poor efficacy of these drugs, novel therapeutic strategies are required for the management of IPF. This demands a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis and progression of this disease. The primary effector cell in fibrosis is the myofibroblast; these cells are highly synthetic for collagen, have a contractile phenotype, and are characterized by the presence of alpha-smooth muscle actin stress fibers. They may be derived by activation/proliferation of resident lung fibroblasts, epithelial-mesenchymal differentiation, or recruitment of circulating fibroblastic stem cells (fibrocytes). From a therapeutic viewpoint, interfering with the pathways that lead to myofibroblast expansion should be of considerable benefit in the treatment of IPF. This review will highlight some of the key molecules involved in this process and the clinical trials that have ensued.

  12. 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

  13. Exploring the molecular targets of dietary flavonoid fisetin in cancer.

    PubMed

    Syed, Deeba N; Adhami, Vaqar Mustafa; Khan, Naghma; Khan, Mohammad Imran; Mukhtar, Hasan

    2016-10-01

    The last few decades have seen a resurgence of interest among the scientific community in exploring the efficacy of natural compounds against various human cancers. Compounds of plant origin belonging to different groups such as alkaloids, flavonoids and polyphenols evaluated for their cancer preventive effects have yielded promising data, thereby offering a potential therapeutic alternative against this deadly disease. The flavonol fisetin (3,3',4',7-tetrahydroxyflavone), present in fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, apple, cucumber, persimmon, grape and onion, was shown to possess anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and more significantly anti-carcinogenic activity when assessed in diverse cell culture and animal model systems. The purpose of this review is to update and discuss key findings obtained till date from in vitro and in vivo studies on fisetin, with special focus on its anti-cancer role. The molecular mechanism(s) described in the observed growth inhibitory effects of fisetin in different cancer cell types is also summarized. Moreover, an attempt is made to delineate the direction of future studies that could lead to the development of fisetin as a potent chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent against cancer. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Protein mechanics: how force regulates molecular function.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Christian; Gräter, Frauke

    2013-10-01

    Regulation of proteins is ubiquitous and vital for any organism. Protein activity can be altered chemically, by covalent modifications or non-covalent binding of co-factors. Mechanical forces are emerging as an additional way of regulating proteins, by inducing a conformational change or by partial unfolding. We review some advances in experimental and theoretical techniques to study protein allostery driven by mechanical forces, as opposed to the more conventional ligand driven allostery. In this respect, we discuss recent single molecule pulling experiments as they have substantially augmented our view on the protein allostery by mechanical signals in recent years. Finally, we present a computational analysis technique, Force Distribution Analysis, that we developed to reveal allosteric pathways in proteins. Any kind of external perturbation, being it ligand binding or mechanical stretching, can be viewed as an external force acting on the macromolecule, rendering force-based experimental or computational techniques, a very general approach to the mechanics involved in protein allostery. This unifying view might aid to decipher how complex allosteric protein machineries are regulated on the single molecular level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Identifying Molecular Targets for PTSD Treatment Using Single Prolonged Stress

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    proposed that in our first two years of funding, we would examine whether SPS disrupts extinction retention by disrupting consolidation and/or retrieval of... extinction memory, and/or enhancing fear memory reconsolidation or by disrupting contextual modulation of extinction retrieval. Data collection and...brain GR and β-AR expression alters glutamatergic and GABAergic function in neural circuits that mediate SPS-induced deficits in extinction retention

  16. [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.

  17. Molecular targeted therapy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma: A review of completed and ongoing late phase clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Mosquera, Catalina; Maglic, Dino; Zervos, Emmanuel E

    2016-12-01

    Molecular targeted therapy is widely utilized and effective in a number of solid tumors. In pancreatic adenocarcinoma, targeted therapy has been extensively evaluated; however, survival improvement of this aggressive disease using a targeted strategy has been minimal. The purpose of this study is to review therapeutic molecular targets in completed and ongoing later phase (II and III) clinical trials to have a better understanding of the rationale and progress towards targeted molecular therapies for pancreatic cancer. The PubMed database and the NCDI clinical trial website (www.clinicaltrials.gov) were queried to identify phase II and III completed and published (PubMed) and ongoing (clinicaltrials.gov) trials using the keywords: pancreatic cancer and molecular targeted therapy. The search engines were further limited by adding Phase II or III, active enrollment and North American. A total of 14 completed and published phase II/III clinical trials and 17 ongoing trials were identified. Evaluated strategies included inhibition of growth factor receptors (EGFR, PDGFR, VGFR, IGF-1R), tyrosine kinase inhibitors, MEK1/2, mTOR blockade and PI3K and HER2-neu pathway inhibitors. Only one trial conducted by the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the PANTAR trial have demonstrated a survival improvement from EGFR inhibition using erlotinib. These trials ultimately led to FDA approval of erlotinib/Tarceva in advanced stage disease. It remains unclear whether new combinations of cytotoxic chemotherapy or immunotherapy plus molecular targeted therapy will be beneficial in management of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Despite a number of phase II and III trials, to date, only erlotinib has emerged as an approved targeted therapy in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. There are several ongoing late phase trials evaluating a number of targets, the results of which will become available over the next 1 to 2 years. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular Targets of Opiate Drug Abuse in NeuroAIDS

    PubMed Central

    Hauser, Kurt F.; El-Hage, Nazira; Buch, Shreya; Berger, Joseph R.; Tyor, William R.; Nath, Avindra; Bruce-Keller, Annadora J.; Knapp, Pamela E.

    2015-01-01

    Opiate drug abuse, through selective actions at μ opioid receptors (MOR), exacerbates the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) in the CNS by disrupting glial homeostasis, increasing inflammation, and decreasing the threshold for pro-apoptotic events in neurons. Neurons are affected directly and indirectly by opiate-HIV interactions. Although most opiate drugs have some affinity for κ (KOR) and/or δ (DOR) opioid receptors, their neurotoxic effects are largely mediated through MOR. Besides direct actions on the neurons themselves, opiates directly affect MOR-expressing astrocytes and microglia. Because of their broad-reaching actions in glia, opiate abuse causes widespread metabolic derangement, inflammation, and the disruption of neuron-glial relationships, which likely contribute to neuronal dysfunction, death, and HIV encephalitis. In addition to direct actions on neural cells, opioids modulate inflammation and disrupt normal intercellular interactions among immunocytes (macrophages and lymphocytes), which on balance further promote neuronal dysfunction and death. The neural pathways involved in opiate enhancement of HIV-induced inflammation and cell death, appear to involve MOR activation with downstream effects through PI3-kinase/Akt and/or MAPK signaling, which suggests possible targets for therapeutic intervention in neuroAIDS. PMID:16260386

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Tumor targeting with RGD peptide ligands-design of new molecular conjugates for imaging and therapy of cancers.

    PubMed

    Garanger, Elisabeth; Boturyn, Didier; Dumy, Pascal

    2007-09-01

    Development of molecular devices endowed with tumor-targeting functions and carrying cytotoxic components should enable the specific delivery of chemotherapeutics to malignant tissues, thus increasing their local efficacy while limiting their peripheral toxicity. Such molecular vectors can pave the way for the development of new classes of therapeutics, fighting against protagonists of neoplastic development. In line with this concept, peptide ligands containing the Arginine-Glycine-Aspartate (RGD) triad, which display a strong affinity and selectivity to the alpha(V)beta(3) integrin, have been developed to target the tumor-associated cells expressing the alpha (V)beta (3) receptors. Among the validated ligands, the leader compound is the cyclic pentapeptide c[-RGDf(NMe)V-] (Cilengitide) developed by kessler et al. (J. Med. Chem., 1999, 42, 3033-3040). This compound has entered phase II clinical trials as an anti-angiogenic agent. Further studies have been directed to develop molecular conjugates of the parent c[-RGDfK-] with conventional chemotherapeutics or with labels for non-invasive imaging technologies. More recently, multimeric RGD containing compounds have been exploited to improve the targeting potential as well as cell-membrane breaching, through receptor-mediated endocytosis. The latter have been constructed on various scaffolds (polylysines or polyglutamates, liposomes, nanoparticles...). Our group has developed a chemical system combining all these properties where multivalent RGD targeting functions are associated with functional molecules through a cyclopeptide template. The latter represents a relevant non-viral vector for tumor targeting, imaging and therapy. This review describes the considerations for the design of the diverse RGD ligands developed so far and reports an overview of the main applications of these structures in cancer research.

  3. [Targeted magnetic nanoparticles used as probe for magnetic resonance molecular imaging of tumor].

    PubMed

    Lu, Jing-Jing; Wang, Fang; Jin, Zheng-Yu; Zhong, Ding-Rong

    2009-04-01

    To investigate the feasibility of in vivo tumor detection using magnetic resonance (MR) molecular imaging with targeted magnetic nanoparticles as imaging probe. Targeted probe was synthesized by covalently linking the recombinant human gonadotropin releasing hormone analog (the targeting portion) with the ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (the imaging portion). The imaging portion served as the control material. The in vitro tumor cell experiment and the in vivo experiment using nude mice bearing tumors were carried out to test the targeting ability of the probe. In the in vitro experiment, the targeting probe and control materials were incubated separately with A549 cells which had high affinity to gonadotropin releasing hormone. Then the cells were taken out and lysed. The resultant solution was then subjected to MR imaging. The T2 value of the solutions was measured and compared. In the in vivo experiment, the targeting probe was administered into nude mice bearing A549 tumors. Dynamic MR imaging was carried out to measure the signal and T2 value of the tumor. The control material was also administered into control group of nude mice, and dynamic magnetic resonance imaging was performed. The T2 value of the tumor in both groups were recorded and compared. Both the in vitro and in vivo experiments proved the targeting ability of targeted probe. Compared with control material, the targeting probe had higher combining ability with tumor cells. MR molecular imaging of tumor can be realized by using targeting magnetic nanoparticles.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Accurate molecular diagnosis of phenylketonuria and tetrahydrobiopterin-deficient hyperphenylalaninemias using high-throughput targeted sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Trujillano, Daniel; Perez, Belén; González, Justo; Tornador, Cristian; Navarrete, Rosa; Escaramis, Georgia; Ossowski, Stephan; Armengol, Lluís; Cornejo, Verónica; Desviat, Lourdes R; Ugarte, Magdalena; Estivill, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Genetic diagnostics of phenylketonuria (PKU) and tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) deficient hyperphenylalaninemia (BH4DH) rely on methods that scan for known mutations or on laborious molecular tools that use Sanger sequencing. We have implemented a novel and much more efficient strategy based on high-throughput multiplex-targeted resequencing of four genes (PAH, GCH1, PTS, and QDPR) that, when affected by loss-of-function mutations, cause PKU and BH4DH. We have validated this approach in a cohort of 95 samples with the previously known PAH, GCH1, PTS, and QDPR mutations and one control sample. Pooled barcoded DNA libraries were enriched using a custom NimbleGen SeqCap EZ Choice array and sequenced using a HiSeq2000 sequencer. The combination of several robust bioinformatics tools allowed us to detect all known pathogenic mutations (point mutations, short insertions/deletions, and large genomic rearrangements) in the 95 samples, without detecting spurious calls in these genes in the control sample. We then used the same capture assay in a discovery cohort of 11 uncharacterized HPA patients using a MiSeq sequencer. In addition, we report the precise characterization of the breakpoints of four genomic rearrangements in PAH, including a novel deletion of 899 bp in intron 3. Our study is a proof-of-principle that high-throughput-targeted resequencing is ready to substitute classical molecular methods to perform differential genetic diagnosis of hyperphenylalaninemias, allowing the establishment of specifically tailored treatments a few days after birth. PMID:23942198

  7. The natural flavonoid pinocembrin: molecular targets and potential therapeutic applications

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Xi; Wang, Wenzhu; Li, Qiang; Wang, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Pinocembrin is a natural flavonoid compound extracted from honey, propolis, ginger roots, wild marjoram, and other plants. In preclinical studies, it has shown anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects as well as the ability to reduce reactive oxygen species, protect the blood-brain barrier, modulate mitochondrial function, and regulate apoptosis. Considering these pharmaceutical characteristics, pinocembrin has potential as a drug to treat ischemic stroke and other clinical conditions. In this review, we summarize its pharmacologic characteristics and discuss its mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic applications. PMID:25744566

  8. 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.

  9. [Molecular model of anthrax toxin translocation into target-cells].

    PubMed

    Noskov, A N

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is formed from three components: protective antigen (PA), lethal (LF) and edema (EF) factors. PA83 is cleaved by cell surface protease furin to produce a 63-kDa fragment (PA63). PA63 and LF/EF molecules are assembled to anthrax toxin complexes: oligomer PA63 x 7 + LF/EF x 3. Assembly is occurred during of binding with cellular receptor or near surface of target-cell. This toxin complex forms pore and induces receptor-mediated endocytosis. Formed endosome consists extracellular liquid with LF/EF and membrane-associated ferments (H+ and K+/Na+-ATPases) and proteins (receptors and others). H+ concentration is increased into endosome as result of K/Na-ATPase-dependent- activity of H+-ATPase. Difference of potentials (between endosome and intracellular liquid) is increased and LF/EF molecules are moved to pore and bound with PA63-oligomer to PA63 x 7 + LF/EF x 7 and full block pore (ion-selective channel). Endosome is increased in volume and induces increasing of PA63-oligomer pore to.size of effector complex: LF/EF x 7 + PAl7 x 7 = 750 kDa. Effector complex is translocated from endosome to cytosol by means high difference of potentials (H+) and dissociates from PA47 x 7 complex after cleavage of FFD315-sait by intracellular chymotrypsin-like proteases in all 7 molecules PA63. PA47 x 7 complex (strongly fixed in membrane with debris of hydrophobic loops) return into endosome and pore is destroyed. Endosome pH is decreased rapidly and PA47 x 7 complex is destroyed by endosomal/lysosomal proteases. Receptor-mediated endocytosis is ended by endosome recycling in cell-membrane.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-04-06

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Targeted Capture and High-Throughput Sequencing Using Molecular Inversion Probes (MIPs).

    PubMed

    Cantsilieris, Stuart; Stessman, Holly A; Shendure, Jay; Eichler, Evan E

    2017-01-01

    Molecular inversion probes (MIPs) in combination with massively parallel DNA sequencing represent a versatile, yet economical tool for targeted sequencing of genomic DNA. Several thousand genomic targets can be selectively captured using long oligonucleotides containing unique targeting arms and universal linkers. The ability to append sequencing adaptors and sample-specific barcodes allows large-scale pooling and subsequent high-throughput sequencing at relatively low cost per sample. Here, we describe a "wet bench" protocol detailing the capture and subsequent sequencing of >2000 genomic targets from 192 samples, representative of a single lane on the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform.

  15. 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

  16. Functionalized mesoporous silicon for targeted-drug-delivery.

    PubMed

    Tabasi, Ozra; Falamaki, Cavus; Khalaj, Zahra

    2012-10-01

    The present work concerns a preliminary step in the production of anticancer drug loaded porous silicon (PSi) for targeted-drug-delivery applications. A successful procedure for the covalent attachment of folic acid, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and doxorubicin to hydrophilic mesoporous silicon layers is presented. A systematic approach has been followed to obtain the optimal composition of the N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC)/N-hydroxysuccimide (NHS) in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) solution for the surface activation process of the undecylenic acid (UD) grafted molecules to take place with minimal undesired byproduct formation. The effect of reactant concentration and kind of solvent (aqueous or DMSO) on the attachment of folic acid to the activated PSi layer has been investigated. The covalent attachment of the doxorubicin molecules to the PSi layer functionalized with folic acid and PEG is discussed. The drug release kinetics as a function of pH has been studied. The functionalized PSi particles show a high cytotoxicity compared to the equivalent amount of free drug. Cell toxicity tests show clearly that the incorporation of folate molecules increases substantially the toxicity of the loaded PSi particles. Accordingly this new functionalized PSi may be considered a proper candidate for targeted drug delivery.

  17. Alkylation damage by lipid electrophiles targets functional protein systems.

    PubMed

    Codreanu, Simona G; Ullery, Jody C; Zhu, Jing; Tallman, Keri A; Beavers, William N; Porter, Ned A; Marnett, Lawrence J; Zhang, Bing; Liebler, Daniel C

    2014-03-01

    Protein alkylation by reactive electrophiles contributes to chemical toxicities and oxidative stress, but the functional impact of alkylation damage across proteomes is poorly understood. We used Click chemistry and shotgun proteomics to profile the accumulation of proteome damage in human cells treated with lipid electrophile probes. Protein target profiles revealed three damage susceptibility classes, as well as proteins that were highly resistant to alkylation. Damage occurred selectively across functional protein interaction networks, with the most highly alkylation-susceptible proteins mapping to networks involved in cytoskeletal regulation. Proteins with lower damage susceptibility mapped to networks involved in protein synthesis and turnover and were alkylated only at electrophile concentrations that caused significant toxicity. Hierarchical susceptibility of proteome systems to alkylation may allow cells to survive sublethal damage while protecting critical cell functions.

  18. Alkylation Damage by Lipid Electrophiles Targets Functional Protein Systems*

    PubMed Central

    Codreanu, Simona G.; Ullery, Jody C.; Zhu, Jing; Tallman, Keri A.; Beavers, William N.; Porter, Ned A.; Marnett, Lawrence J.; Zhang, Bing; Liebler, Daniel C.

    2014-01-01

    Protein alkylation by reactive electrophiles contributes to chemical toxicities and oxidative stress, but the functional impact of alkylation damage across proteomes is poorly understood. We used Click chemistry and shotgun proteomics to profile the accumulation of proteome damage in human cells treated with lipid electrophile probes. Protein target profiles revealed three damage susceptibility classes, as well as proteins that were highly resistant to alkylation. Damage occurred selectively across functional protein interaction networks, with the most highly alkylation-susceptible proteins mapping to networks involved in cytoskeletal regulation. Proteins with lower damage susceptibility mapped to networks involved in protein synthesis and turnover and were alkylated only at electrophile concentrations that caused significant toxicity. Hierarchical susceptibility of proteome systems to alkylation may allow cells to survive sublethal damage while protecting critical cell functions. PMID:24429493

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Radiation Oncology In Vitro: Trends to Improve Radiotherapy through Molecular Targets

    PubMed Central

    Feofanova, Natália; Geraldo, Jony Marques; de Andrade, Lídia Maria

    2014-01-01

    Much has been investigated to improve the beneficial effects of radiotherapy especially in that case where radioresistant behavior is observed. Beyond simple identification of resistant phenotype the discovery and development of specific molecular targets have demonstrated therapeutic potential in cancer treatment including radiotherapy. Alterations on transduction signaling pathway related with MAPK cascade are the main axis in cancer cellular proliferation even as cell migration and invasiveness in irradiated tumor cell lines; then, for that reason, more studies are in course focusing on, among others, DNA damage enhancement, apoptosis stimulation, and growth factors receptor blockages, showing promising in vitro results highlighting molecular targets associated with ionizing radiation as a new radiotherapy strategy to improve clinical outcome. In this review we discuss some of the main molecular targets related with tumor cell proliferation and migration as well as their potential contributions to radiation oncology improvements. PMID:25302298

  2. Radiation oncology in vitro: trends to improve radiotherapy through molecular targets.

    PubMed

    Feofanova, Natália; Geraldo, Jony Marques; de Andrade, Lídia Maria

    2014-01-01

    Much has been investigated to improve the beneficial effects of radiotherapy especially in that case where radioresistant behavior is observed. Beyond simple identification of resistant phenotype the discovery and development of specific molecular targets have demonstrated therapeutic potential in cancer treatment including radiotherapy. Alterations on transduction signaling pathway related with MAPK cascade are the main axis in cancer cellular proliferation even as cell migration and invasiveness in irradiated tumor cell lines; then, for that reason, more studies are in course focusing on, among others, DNA damage enhancement, apoptosis stimulation, and growth factors receptor blockages, showing promising in vitro results highlighting molecular targets associated with ionizing radiation as a new radiotherapy strategy to improve clinical outcome. In this review we discuss some of the main molecular targets related with tumor cell proliferation and migration as well as their potential contributions to radiation oncology improvements.

  3. 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

  4. Insights into the molecular pathogenesis and targeted treatment of lymphedema.

    PubMed

    Saaristo, Anne; Karkkainen, Marika J; Alitalo, Kari

    2002-12-01

    Abnormal function of the lymphatic vessels is associated with a variety of diseases, such as tumor metastasis and lymphedema. The development of strategies for local and controlled induction or inhibition of lymphangiogenesis would thus be of major importance for the treatment of such diseases. Two growth factors, vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and D (VEGF-D), have been found to be important in the proper formation and maintenance of the lymphatic network, through their receptor VEGFR-3. In patients with lymphedema, heterozygous inactivation of VEGFR-3 leads to primary lymphedema due to defective lymphatic drainage in the limbs. We have shown that VEGF-C gene transfer to the skin of mice with lymphedema induces regeneration of the cutaneous lymphatic vessel network. However, as is the case with VEGF, high levels of VEGF-C cause blood vessel growth and leakiness, resulting in tissue edema. Strategies to avoid these side-effects have also been developed. This new field of reseach has important implications for the development of new therapies for human lymphedema.

  5. Molecular Evolution, Structure, and Function of Peroxidasins

    PubMed Central

    Soudi, Monika; Zamocky, Marcel; Jakopitsch, Christa; Furtmüller, Paul G; Obinger, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Peroxidasins represent the subfamily 2 of the peroxidase-cyclooxygenase superfamily and are closely related to chordata peroxidases (subfamily 1) and peroxinectins (subfamily 3). They are multidomain proteins containing a heme peroxidase domain with high homology to human lactoperoxidase that mediates one- and two-electron oxidation reactions. Additional domains of the secreted and glycosylated metalloproteins are type C-like immunoglobulin domains, typical leucine-rich repeats, as well as a von Willebrand factor C module. These are typical motifs of extracellular proteins that mediate protein–protein interactions. We have reconstructed the phylogeny of this new family of oxidoreductases and show the presence of four invertebrate clades as well as one vertebrate clade that includes also two different human representatives. The variability of domain assembly in the various clades was analyzed, as was the occurrence of relevant catalytic residues in the peroxidase domain based on the knowledge of catalysis of the mammalian homologues. Finally, the few reports on expression, localization, enzymatic activity, and physiological roles in the model organisms Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Homo sapiens are critically reviewed. Roles attributed to peroxidasins include antimicrobial defense, extracellular matrix formation, and consolidation at various developmental stages. Many research questions need to be solved in future, including detailed biochemical/physical studies and elucidation of the three dimensional structure of a model peroxidasin as well as the relation and interplay of the domains and the in vivo functions in various organisms including man. PMID:22976969

  6. Functional chromatography reveals three natural products that target the same protein with distinct mechanisms of action

    PubMed Central

    Kang, MinJin; Wu, Tongde; Wijeratne, E. M. Kithsiri; Lau, Eric C.; Mason, Damian J.; Mesa, Celestina; Tillotson, Joseph; Zhang, Donna D.; Gunatilaka, A. A. Leslie; La Clair, James J.

    2014-01-01

    Access to lead compounds with defined molecular targets continues to be a barrier to the translation of natural product resources. As a solution, we have developed a system that uses discreet, recombinant proteins as the vehicles for natural product isolation. Here, we describe the use of this functional chromatographic method to identify natural products that bind to the AAA+ chaperone, p97, a promising cancer target. Application of this method to a panel of fungal and plant extracts identified rheoemodin, 1-hydroxydehydroherbarin and phomapyrrolidone A as distinct p97 modulators. Excitingly, each of these molecules displayed a unique mechanism of p97 modulation. This discovery provides strong support for the application of functional chromatography to the discovery of protein modulators that would likely escape traditional high-throughput or phenotypic screening platforms. PMID:25125376

  7. Functional chromatography reveals three natural products that target the same protein with distinct mechanisms of action.

    PubMed

    Kang, Min Jin; Wu, Tongde; Wijeratne, E M Kithsiri; Lau, Eric C; Mason, Damian J; Mesa, Celestina; Tillotson, Joseph; Zhang, Donna D; Gunatilaka, A A Leslie; La Clair, James J; Chapman, Eli

    2014-09-22

    Access to lead compounds with defined molecular targets continues to be a barrier to the translation of natural product resources. As a solution, we developed a system that uses discrete, recombinant proteins as the vehicles for natural product isolation. Here, we describe the use of this functional chromatographic method to identify natural products that bind to the AAA+ chaperone, p97, a promising cancer target. Application of this method to a panel of fungal and plant extracts identified rheoemodin, 1-hydroxydehydroherbarin, and phomapyrrolidone A as distinct p97 modulators. Excitingly, each of these molecules displayed a unique mechanism of p97 modulation. This discovery provides strong support for the application of functional chromatography to the discovery of protein modulators that would likely escape traditional high-throughput or phenotypic screening platforms. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. DNA damage sensor protein hRad9, a novel molecular target for lung cancer treatment.

    PubMed

    Yuki, Takeshi; Maniwa, Yoshimasa; Doi, Takefumi; Okada, Kenji; Nishio, Wataru; Hayashi, Yoshitake; Okita, Yutaka

    2008-11-01

    DNA damage sensor proteins are recognized as upstream components of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling pathway and are required for cell cycle control and the induction of apoptosis. hRad9 plays an important role as an upstream regulator of checkpoint signaling. In our previous studies, we confirmed the significant accumulation of hRad9 in the nuclei of tumor cells in surgically-resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens. We also found that the capacity to produce a functional hRad9 protein was intact in lung cancer cells, a finding which suggests that hRad9 would be a vital component in the pathways that lead to the survival and progression of NSCLC. Small interfering RNA targeting hRad9 was transfected into human lung adenocarcinoma A549 and PC3 cells. After the hRad9 knockdown, the cytotoxicity of the transfected cells was measured by a neutral red uptake test, and the G2-M arrest of irradiated cells was examined by flow cytometry. Significant cytotoxicity was observed in the cancer cells in which hRad9 expression was down-regulated. We also detected the inhibition of Chk1 phosphorylation by Western blot analysis. This suggested that hRad9 silencing leads to the impairment of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling pathway in tumor cells. Flow cytometry indicated a reduced population of cells in the G2-M phase, an observation consistent with the findings of several studies that indicated that hRad9 is necessary for G2-M arrest. In conclusion, the current study demonstrated that RNA interference targeting hRad9 in cancer cells leads to the impairment of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling pathway, which appears to be essential for maintaining tumor cell proliferation, and induces cell death. Therefore, hRad9 may be a novel molecular target for lung cancer treatment.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. 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. PMID:25027002

  12. Principles of cellular-molecular mechanisms underlying neuron functions.

    PubMed

    Ratushnyak, Alexander S; Zapara, Tatiana A

    2009-12-01

    In the present work, it was experimentally shown that a neuron in vitro was capable of responding in a manner similar to habituation, Pavlov's reflex and avoidance of the reinforcements. The locality of plastic property modifications and molecular morphology, as well as the connection between functional activity and cytoskeleton have been revealed. A hypothesis is formulated that the neuron is a molecular system which may exercise the control, forecast, recognition, and classification. The basic principles of the molecular mechanisms of the responses underlying integrative activity, learning and memory at the neuronal level are discussed.

  13. Average protein density is a molecular-weight-dependent function.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Hannes; Polikarpov, Igor; Craievich, Aldo F

    2004-10-01

    The mass density of proteins is a relevant basic biophysical quantity. It is also a useful input parameter, for example, for three-dimensional structure determination by protein crystallography and studies of protein oligomers in solution by analytic ultracentrifugation. We have performed a critical analysis of published, theoretical, and experimental investigations about this issue and concluded that the average density of proteins is not a constant as often assumed. For proteins with a molecular weight below 20 kDa, the average density exhibits a positive deviation that increases for decreasing molecular weight. A simple molecular-weight-depending function is proposed that provides a more accurate estimate of the average protein density.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. New Molecular Targets for Antiepileptic Drugs: α2δ, SV2A, and Kv7/KCNQ/M Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Rogawski, Michael A.; Bazil, Carl W.

    2008-01-01

    Many currently prescribed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) act via voltage-gated sodium channels, through effects on γ-aminobutyric acid–mediated inhibition, or via voltage-gated calcium channels. Some newer AEDs do not act via these traditional mechanisms. The molecular targets for several of these nontraditional AEDs have been defined using cellular electrophysiology and molecular approaches. Here, we describe three of these targets: α2δ, auxiliary subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels through which the gabapentinoids gabapentin and pregabalin exert their anticonvulsant and analgesic actions; SV2A, a ubiquitous synaptic vesicle glycoprotein that may prepare vesicles for fusion and serves as the target for levetiracetam and its analog brivaracetam (which is currently in late-stage clinical development); and Kv7/KCNQ/M potassium channels that mediate the M-current, which acts a brake on repetitive firing and burst generation and serves as the target for the investigational AEDs retigabine and ICA-105665. Functionally, all of the new targets modulate neurotransmitter output at synapses, focusing attention on presynaptic terminals as critical sites of action for AEDs. PMID:18590620

  17. Targeting Sirtuin-1 prolongs murine renal allograft survival and function.

    PubMed

    Levine, Matthew H; Wang, Zhonglin; Xiao, Haiyan; Jiao, Jing; Wang, Liqing; Bhatti, Tricia R; Hancock, Wayne W; Beier, Ulf H

    2016-05-01

    Current immunosuppressive medications used after transplantation have significant toxicities. Foxp3(+) T-regulatory cells can prevent allograft rejection without compromising protective host immunity. Interestingly, inhibiting the class III histone/protein deacetylase Sirtuin-1 can augment Foxp3(+) T-regulatory suppressive function through increasing Foxp3 acetylation. Here we determined whether Sirtuin-1 targeting can stabilize biological allograft function. BALB/c kidney allografts were transplanted into C57BL/6 recipients with a CD4-conditional deletion of Sirtuin-1 (Sirt1(fl/fl)CD4(cre)) or mice treated with a Sirtuin-1-specific inhibitor (EX-527), and the native kidneys removed. Blood chemistries and hematocrit were followed weekly. Sirt1(fl/fl)CD4(cre) recipients showed markedly longer survival and improved kidney function. Sirt1(fl/fl)CD4(cre) recipients exhibited donor-specific tolerance, accepted BALB/c, but rejected third-party C3H cardiac allografts. C57BL/6 recipients of BALB/c renal allografts that were treated with EX-527 showed improved survival and renal function at 1, but not 10 mg/kg/day. Pharmacologic inhibition of Sirtuin-1 also improved renal allograft survival and function with dosing effects having relevance to outcome. Thus, inhibiting Sirtuin-1 can be a useful asset in controlling T-cell-mediated rejection. However, effects on non-T cells that could adversely affect allograft survival and function merit consideration.

  18. Model-based HSF using by target point control function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Seongjin; Do, Munhoe; An, Yongbae; Choi, Jaeseung; Yang, Hyunjo; Yim, Donggyu

    2015-03-01

    As the technology node shrinks, ArF Immersion reaches the limitation of wafer patterning, furthermore weak point during the mask processing is generated easily. In order to make strong patterning result, the design house conducts lithography rule checking (LRC). Despite LRC processing, we found the weak point at the verification stage of optical proximity correction (OPC). It is called the hot spot point (HSP). In order to fix the HSP, many studies have been performed. One of the most general hot spot fixing (HSF) methods is that the modification bias which consists of "Line-Resizing" and "Space-Resizing". In addition to the general rule biasing method, resolution enhancement techniques (RET) which includes the inverse lithography technology (ILT) and model based assist feature (MBAF) have been adapted to remove the hot spot and to maximize the process window. If HSP is found during OPC verification stage, various HSF methods can be applied. However, HSF process added on regular OPC procedure makes OPC turn-around time (TAT) increased. In this paper, we introduce a new HSF method that is able to make OPC TAT shorter than the common HSF method. The new HSF method consists of two concepts. The first one is that OPC target point is controlled to fix HSP. Here, the target point should be moved to optimum position at where the edge placement error (EPE) can be 0 at critical points. Many parameters such as a model accuracy or an OPC recipe become the cause of larger EPE. The second one includes controlling of model offset error through target point adjustment. Figure 1 shows the case EPE is not 0. It means that the simulation contour was not targeted well after OPC process. On the other hand, Figure 2 shows the target point is moved -2.5nm by using target point control function. As a result, simulation contour is matched to the original layout. This function can be powerfully adapted to OPC procedure of memory and logic devices.

  19. Molecular Biomarkers for Prediction of Targeted Therapy Response in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Trick or Treat?

    PubMed

    Toss, Angela; Venturelli, Marta; Peterle, Chiara; Piacentini, Federico; Cascinu, Stefano; Cortesi, Laura

    2017-01-04

    In recent years, the study of genomic alterations and protein expression involved in the pathways of breast cancer carcinogenesis has provided an increasing number of targets for drugs development in the setting of metastatic breast cancer (i.e., trastuzumab, everolimus, palbociclib, etc.) significantly improving the prognosis of this disease. These drugs target specific molecular abnormalities that confer a survival advantage to cancer cells. On these bases, emerging evidence from clinical trials provided increasing proof that the genetic landscape of any tumor may dictate its sensitivity or resistance profile to specific agents and some studies have already showed that tumors treated with therapies matched with their molecular alterations obtain higher objective response rates and longer survival. Predictive molecular biomarkers may optimize the selection of effective therapies, thus reducing treatment costs and side effects. This review offers an overview of the main molecular pathways involved in breast carcinogenesis, the targeted therapies developed to inhibit these pathways, the principal mechanisms of resistance and, finally, the molecular biomarkers that, to date, are demonstrated in clinical trials to predict response/resistance to targeted treatments in metastatic breast cancer.

  20. Molecular Biomarkers for Prediction of Targeted Therapy Response in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Trick or Treat?

    PubMed Central

    Toss, Angela; Venturelli, Marta; Peterle, Chiara; Piacentini, Federico; Cascinu, Stefano; Cortesi, Laura

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, the study of genomic alterations and protein expression involved in the pathways of breast cancer carcinogenesis has provided an increasing number of targets for drugs development in the setting of metastatic breast cancer (i.e., trastuzumab, everolimus, palbociclib, etc.) significantly improving the prognosis of this disease. These drugs target specific molecular abnormalities that confer a survival advantage to cancer cells. On these bases, emerging evidence from clinical trials provided increasing proof that the genetic landscape of any tumor may dictate its sensitivity or resistance profile to specific agents and some studies have already showed that tumors treated with therapies matched with their molecular alterations obtain higher objective response rates and longer survival. Predictive molecular biomarkers may optimize the selection of effective therapies, thus reducing treatment costs and side effects. This review offers an overview of the main molecular pathways involved in breast carcinogenesis, the targeted therapies developed to inhibit these pathways, the principal mechanisms of resistance and, finally, the molecular biomarkers that, to date, are demonstrated in clinical trials to predict response/resistance to targeted treatments in metastatic breast cancer. PMID:28054957

  1. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Novel Molecular Strategies and Targets for Opioid Drug Discovery for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Keith M.; Lei, Wei; Keresztes, Attila; LaVigne, Justin; Streicher, John M.

    2017-01-01

    Opioid drugs like morphine and fentanyl are the gold standard for treating moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. However, opioid drug use can be limited by serious side effects, including constipation, tolerance, respiratory suppression, and addiction. For more than 100 years, we have tried to develop opioids that decrease or eliminate these liabilities, with little success. Recent advances in understanding opioid receptor signal transduction have suggested new possibilities to activate the opioid receptors to cause analgesia, while reducing or eliminating unwanted side effects. These new approaches include designing functionally selective ligands, which activate desired signaling cascades while avoiding signaling cascades that are thought to provoke side effects. It may also be possible to directly modulate downstream signaling through the use of selective activators and inhibitors. Separate from downstream signal transduction, it has also been found that when the opioid system is stimulated, various negative feedback systems are upregulated to compensate, which can drive side effects. This has led to the development of multi-functional molecules that simultaneously activate the opioid receptor while blocking various negative feedback receptor systems including cholecystokinin and neurokinin-1. Other novel approaches include targeting heterodimers of the opioid and other receptor systems which may drive side effects, and making endogenous opioid peptides druggable, which may also reduce opioid mediated side effects. Taken together, these advances in our molecular understanding provide a path forward to break the barrier in producing an opioid with reduced or eliminated side effects, especially addiction, which may provide relief for millions of patients. PMID:28356897

  3. Targeting Molecular Chaperones for the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis: Is It a Viable Approach?

    PubMed

    Heard, Ashley; Thompson, Jake; Carver, Jessica; Bakey, Michelle; Wang, X Robert

    2015-01-01

    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is largely caused by protein misfolding and the loss of function of a plasma membrane anion channel known as the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The most common CF-causing mutation, F508del, leads to severe conformational defect in CFTR. The cellular chaperone machinery plays an important role in CFTR biogenesis and quality control. Multiple attempts have been made to improve the cell surface functional expression of the mutant CFTR by modulating the expression of components of the cellular chaperone machinery. The efficacy of such an approach has been low largely due to the severe intrinsic folding defects of the F508del CFTR. Moreover, the impact of chaperone perturbation on the chaperone machinery itself and on other physiologically important proteins might lead to potentially severe side effects. Approaches aimed at disrupting chaperone-CFTR interactions show greater efficacy, and are compatible with small-molecule drug discovery and gene therapy. Combination between chaperone modulators and F508del correctors might further enhance potency and specificity. As molecular chaperones play important roles in regulating inflammation and immunity, they can be potential targets for controlling airway infection and inflammation in patients. If such effects can be synergized with chaperone-mediated regulation of CFTR biogenesis and quality control, more efficacious therapeutics will be developed to combat CF lung disease.

  4. Structural signatures of DRD4 mutants revealed using molecular dynamics simulations: Implications for drug targeting.

    PubMed

    Jatana, Nidhi; Thukral, Lipi; Latha, N

    2016-01-01

    Human Dopamine Receptor D4 (DRD4) orchestrates several neurological functions and represents a target for many psychological disorders. Here, we examined two rare variants in DRD4; V194G and R237L, which elicit functional alterations leading to disruption of ligand binding and G protein coupling, respectively. Using atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we provide in-depth analysis to reveal structural signatures of wild and mutant complexes with their bound agonist and antagonist ligands. We constructed intra-protein network graphs to discriminate the global conformational changes induced by mutations. The simulations also allowed us to elucidate the local side-chain dynamical variations in ligand-bound mutant receptors. The data suggest that the mutation in transmembrane V (V194G) drastically disrupts the organization of ligand binding site and causes disorder in the native helical arrangement. Interestingly, the R237L mutation leads to significant rewiring of side-chain contacts in the intracellular loop 3 (site of mutation) and also affects the distant transmembrane topology. Additionally, these mutations lead to compact ICL3 region compared to the wild type, indicating that the receptor would be inaccessible for G protein coupling. Our findings thus reveal unreported structural determinants of the mutated DRD4 receptor and provide a robust framework for design of effective novel drugs.

  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. Aberrant Expression of Histone Deacetylases 4 in Cognitive Disorders: Molecular Mechanisms and a Potential Target

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yili; Hou, Fei; Wang, Xin; Kong, Qingsheng; Han, Xiaolin; Bai, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Histone acetylation is a major mechanism of chromatin remodeling, contributing to epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are involved in both physiological and pathological conditions by regulating the status of histone acetylation. Although histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4), a member of the HDAC family, may lack HDAC activity, it is actively involved in regulating the transcription of genes involved in synaptic plasticity, neuronal survival, and neurodevelopment by interacting with transcription factors, signal transduction molecules and HDAC3, another member of the HDAC family. HDAC4 is highly expressed in brain and its homeostasis is crucial for the maintenance of cognitive function. Accumulated evidence shows that HDAC4 expression is dysregulated in several brain disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases and mental disorders. Moreover, cognitive impairment is a characteristic feature of these diseases. It indicates that aberrant HDAC4 expression plays a pivotal role in cognitive impairment of these disorders. This review aims to describe the current understanding of HDAC4’s role in the maintenance of cognitive function and its dysregulation in neurodegenerative diseases and mental disorders, discuss underlying molecular mechanisms, and provide an outlook into targeting HDAC4 as a potential therapeutic approach to rescue cognitive impairment in these diseases. PMID:27847464

  7. A Targeted "Capture" and "Removal" Scavenger toward Multiple Pollutants for Water Remediation based on Molecular Recognition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jie; Shen, Haijing; Hu, Xiaoxia; Li, Yan; Li, Zhihao; Xu, Jinfan; Song, Xiufeng; Zeng, Haibo; Yuan, Quan

    2016-03-01

    For the water remediation techniques based on adsorption, the long-standing contradictories between selectivity and multiple adsorbability, as well as between affinity and recyclability, have put it on weak defense amid more and more severe environment crisis. Here, a pollutant-targeting hydrogel scavenger is reported for water remediation with both high selectivity and multiple adsorbability for several pollutants, and with strong affinity and good recyclability through rationally integrating the advantages of multiple functional materials. In the scavenger, aptamers fold into binding pockets to accommodate the molecular structure of pollutants to afford perfect selectivity, and Janus nanoparticles with antibacterial function as well as anisotropic surfaces to immobilize multiple aptamers allow for simultaneously handling different kinds of pollutants. The scavenger exhibits high efficiencies in removing pollutants from water and it can be easily recycled for many times without significant loss of loading capacities. Moreover, the residual concentrations of each contaminant are well below the drinking water standards. Thermodynamic behavior of the adsorption process is investigated and the rate-controlling process is determined. Furthermore, a point of use device is constructed and it displays high efficiency in removing pollutants from environmental water. The scavenger exhibits great promise to be applied in the next generation of water purification systems.

  8. 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

  9. Targeted Genome-Wide Enrichment of Functional Regions

    PubMed Central

    Senapathy, Periannan; Bhasi, Ashwini; Mattox, Jeffrey; Dhandapany, Perundurai S.; Sadayappan, Sakthivel

    2010-01-01

    Only a small fraction of large genomes such as that of the human contains the functional regions such as the exons, promoters, and polyA sites. A platform technique for selective enrichment of functional genomic regions will enable several next-generation sequencing applications that include the discovery of causal mutations for disease and drug response. Here, we describe a powerful platform technique, termed “functional genomic fingerprinting” (FGF), for the multiplexed genomewide isolation and analysis of targeted regions such as the exome, promoterome, or exon splice enhancers. The technique employs a fixed part of a uniquely designed Fixed-Randomized primer, while the randomized part contains all the possible sequence permutations. The Fixed-Randomized primers bind with full sequence complementarity at multiple sites where the fixed sequence (such as the splice signals) occurs within the genome, and multiplex amplify many regions bounded by the fixed sequences (e.g., exons). Notably, validation of this technique using cardiac myosin binding protein-C (MYBPC3) gene as an example strongly supports the application and efficacy of this method. Further, assisted by genomewide computational analyses of such sequences, the FGF technique may provide a unique platform for high-throughput sample production and analysis of targeted genomic regions by the next-generation sequencing techniques, with powerful applications in discovering disease and drug response genes. PMID:20585402

  10. Data Mining FAERS to Analyze Molecular Targets of Drugs Highly Associated with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Burkhart, Keith K; Abernethy, Darrell; Jackson, David

    2015-06-01

    Drug features that are associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) have not been fully characterized. A molecular target analysis of the drugs associated with SJS in the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) may contribute to mechanistic insights into SJS pathophysiology. The publicly available version of FAERS was analyzed to identify disproportionality among the molecular targets, metabolizing enzymes, and transporters for drugs associated with SJS. The FAERS in-house version was also analyzed for an internal comparison of the drugs most highly associated with SJS. Cyclooxygenases 1 and 2, carbonic anhydrase 2, and sodium channel 2 alpha were identified as disproportionately associated with SJS. Cytochrome P450 (CYPs) 3A4 and 2C9 are disproportionately represented as metabolizing enzymes of the drugs associated with SJS adverse event reports. Multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP-1), organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1), and PEPT2 were also identified and are highly associated with the transport of these drugs. A detailed review of the molecular targets identifies important roles for these targets in immune response. The association with CYP metabolizing enzymes suggests that reactive metabolites and oxidative stress may have a contributory role. Drug transporters may enhance intracellular tissue concentrations and also have vital physiologic roles that impact keratinocyte proliferation and survival. Data mining FAERS may be used to hypothesize mechanisms for adverse drug events by identifying molecular targets that are highly associated with drug-induced adverse events. The information gained may contribute to systems biology disease models.

  11. 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

  12. Melanoma patients in a phase I clinic: molecular aberrations, targeted therapy and outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Henary, H.; Hong, D. S.; Falchook, G. S.; Tsimberidou, A.; George, G. C.; Wen, S.; Wheler, J.; Fu, S.; Naing, A.; Piha-Paul, S.; Janku, F.; Kim, K. B.; Hwu, P.; Kurzrock, R.

    2013-01-01

    Background The purpose of the study was to assess the outcome of patients with advanced melanoma treated with matched molecularly targeted therapy. Patients and methods We reviewed 160 consecutive patients with metastatic melanoma treated in the phase I program (N = 35 protocols). Treatment was considered to be ‘matched’ (N = 84) if at least one drug in the regimen was known to inhibit the functional activity of at least one of the patient's mutations. Results Of 160 patients, 134 (83.7%) had adequate tissue for molecular analysis; 69% (110 of 160) had ≥1 mutation: 61.2% (82 of 134), BRAF; 20.7% (23 of 111), NRAS; 2.6% (2 of 77), KIT; 2.3% (1 of 44), KRAS; 20% (1 of 5), GNAQ; 11.1% (1 of 9), P53 and 2.6% (1 of 39), coexisting mutations in BRAF and PIK3CA. Eighty-four patients (52.4%) were treated with matched-targeted agents, most of whom had BRAF mutations (N = 74). Twenty-six percent of patients (41 of 160) achieved a complete or partial remission (CR/PR) [40% (34 of 84)) on a matched phase I protocol versus 9.2% (7 of 76) for those on a non-matched study (P ≤ 0.0001)]. The median progression-free survival (PFS) (95% CI) was longer for patients treated on a matched phase I trial than on their prior first standard treatment [5.27 (4.10, 6.44) versus 3.10 (1.92, 4.28) months, P = 0.023], but not on non-matched phase I treatment. Multivariable analysis showed that matched therapy was an independent predictor of higher CR/PR rates, prolonged PFS and survival. Conclusions For melanoma patients, especially those with BRAF mutations, administering molecularly matched agents can be associated with better outcomes, including longer PFS compared with their first-line systemic therapy. PMID:23576709

  13. [Molecular-Genetic Diagnosis and Molecular-Targeted Therapy in Cancer: Challenges in the Era of Precision Medicine].

    PubMed

    Miyachi, Hayato

    2015-10-01

    Elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis of neoplasms and application of emerging technologies for testing and therapy have resulted in a series of paradigm shifts in patient care, from conventional to personalized medicine. This has been promoted by companion diagnostics and molecular targeted therapy, tailoring the treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. Precision oncology has been accelerated by integrating the enhanced resolution of molecular analysis, mechanism clarity, and therapeutic relevance through genomic knowledge. In its clinical implementation, there are laboratory challenges concerning accurate measurement using stored samples, differentiation between driver and passenger mutations as well as between germline and somatic mutations, bioinformatics availability, practical decision-making algorithms, and ethical issues regarding incidental findings. The medical laboratory has a new role in providing not only testing services but also an instructive approach to users to ensure the sample quality and privacy protection of personal genome information, supporting the quality of patient practice based on laboratory diagnosis.

  14. Molecular dynamics simulation of liquid water: Hybrid density functionals

    SciTech Connect

    Todorova, T; Seitsonen, A; Hutter, J; Kuo, W; Mundy, C

    2005-09-12

    The structure, dynamical and electronic properties of liquid water utilizing different hybrid density functionals were tested within the plane wave framework of first principles molecular dynamics simulations. The computational approach, which employs modified functionals with short-ranged Hartree-Fock exchange, was first tested in calculations of the structural and bonding properties of the water dimer and cyclic water trimer. Liquid water simulations were performed at the state point of 350 K at the experimental density. Simulations included three different hybrid functionals, a meta functional, four gradient corrected functionals, the local density and Hartree-Fock approximation. It is found that hybrid functionals are superior in reproducing the experimental structure and dynamical properties as measured by the radial distribution function and self diffusion constant when compared to the pure density functionals. The local density and Hartree-Fock approximations show strongly over- and under-structured liquids, respectively. Hydrogen bond analysis shows that the hybrid functionals give slightly smaller averaged numbers of hydrogen bonds and similar hydrogen bond populations as pure density functionals. The average molecular dipole moments in the liquid from the three hybrid functionals are lower than from the corresponding pure density functionals.

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular Determinants of BK Channel Functional Diversity and Functioning.

    PubMed

    Latorre, Ramon; Castillo, Karen; Carrasquel-Ursulaez, Willy; Sepulveda, Romina V; Gonzalez-Nilo, Fernando; Gonzalez, Carlos; Alvarez, Osvaldo

    2017-01-01

    Large-conductance Ca(2+)- and voltage-activated K(+) (BK) channels play many physiological roles ranging from the maintenance of smooth muscle tone to hearing and neurosecretion. BK channels are tetramers in which the pore-forming α subunit is coded by a single gene (Slowpoke, KCNMA1). In this review, we first highlight the physiological importance of this ubiquitous channel, emphasizing the role that BK channels play in different channelopathies. We next discuss the modular nature of BK channel-forming protein, in which the different modules (the voltage sensor and the Ca(2+) binding sites) communicate with the pore gates allosterically. In this regard, we review in detail the allosteric models proposed to explain channel activation and how the models are related to channel structure. Considering their extremely large conductance and unique selectivity to K(+), we also offer an account of how these two apparently paradoxical characteristics can be understood consistently in unison, and what we have learned about the conduction system and the activation gates using ions, blockers, and toxins. Attention is paid here to the molecular nature of the voltage sensor and the Ca(2+) binding sites that are located in a gating ring of known crystal structure and constituted by four COOH termini. Despite the fact that BK channels are coded by a single gene, diversity is obtained by means of alternative splicing and modulatory β and γ subunits. We finish this review by describing how the association of the α subunit with β or with γ subunits can change the BK channel phenotype and pharmacology.

  17. Function of a thermophilic archaeal chaperonin is enhanced by electrostatic interactions with its targets.

    PubMed

    Gao, Le; Hidese, Ryota; Fujiwara, Shinsuke

    2017-09-01

    Molecular chaperonin CpkB from Thermococcus kodakarensis possesses a unique negatively charged carboxy-terminal region that functions in target protein recognition. In the present study, green fluorescent protein (GFP), 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase (4OTA) and glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase (GFAT) were fused with a positively charged tag, selected using docking simulation in silico, to enhance their electrostatic interactions with CpkB. Target proteins were heated at 75°C in the presence or absence of CpkB, and the remaining enzymatic activity was measured. The half-life (t1/2) of the positively charged tagged targets was significantly longer than that of their tagless counterparts. Escherichia coli cell extracts containing heterologously expressed targets (GFP, 4OTA and GFAT and their tagged variants) were incubated at 75°C in the presence or absence of CpkB, and the proportion remaining in the soluble fraction was evaluated by SDS-PAGE. Only positively charged tagged targets remained predominantly in the soluble fraction in the presence of CpkB but not in the absence of CpkB. When tagless or negatively charged tagged targets were employed, the targets were barely detected in the soluble fraction, suggesting that CpkB protected positively charged tagged proteins more efficiently than tagless targets. Attachment of a positively charged tag may be a generally applicable method for enhancing target recognition by chaperonins carrying negatively charged carboxy-terminal regions, such as the archaeal chaperonin CpkB. Copyright © 2017 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. Endothelial cell targeted molecular imaging in tumor angiogenesis: strategies and current status.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ye; Zeng, Yun; Liu, Yanhong; Liu, Gang; Ai, Hua

    2013-01-01

    Angiogenesis plays crucial roles in tumor growth, progression and metastasis. Non-invasive in vivo imaging of tumor neovasculature is a fundamental prerequisite for effective therapeutic intervention, particularly anti-angiogenic treatment regimens. Emerging molecular imaging techniques now allow recognition of cellular/molecular processes before gross pathological changes, leading to better understanding of fundamental biological processes of tumor angiogenesis. In this review, we will summarize recent progresses on molecular imaging of attractive biochemical epitopes in tumor angiogenesis, especially the endothelial cell targets-based imaging probes.

  20. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Ding, Wendu; Koepf, Matthieu; Koenigsmann, Christopher; ...

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Chemically activatable viral capsid functionalized for cancer targeting

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Chieh; Xing, Li; Stark, Marie; Ou, Tingwei; Holla, Prasida; Xiao, Kai; Kamita, Shizuo G; Hammock, Bruce D; Lam, Kit; Cheng, R Holland

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To design a theranostic capsule using the virus-like nanoparticle of the hepatitis E virus modified to display breast cancer cell targeting functional group (LXY30). Methods: Five surface-exposed residues were mutated to cysteine to allow conjugation to maleimide-linked chemical groups via thiol-selective linkages. Engineered virus-like nanoparticles were then covalently conjugated to a breast cancer recognized ligand, LXY30 and an amine-coupled near-infrared fluorescence dye. Results: LXY30-HEV VLP was checked for its binding and entry to a breast cancer cell line and for tumor targeting in vivo to breast cancer tissue in mice. The engineered virus-like nanoparticle not only targeted cancer cells, but also appeared immune silent to native hepatitis E virus antibodies due to epitope disruption at the antibody-binding site. Conclusion: These results demonstrate the production of a theranostic capsule suitable for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics based on surface modification of a highly stable virus-like nanoparticle. PMID:26786134

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. SANTA: quantifying the functional content of molecular networks.

    PubMed

    Cornish, Alex J; Markowetz, Florian

    2014-09-01

    Linking networks of molecular interactions to cellular functions and phenotypes is a key goal in systems biology. Here, we adapt concepts of spatial statistics to assess the functional content of molecular networks. Based on the guilt-by-association principle, our approach (called SANTA) quantifies the strength of association between a gene set and a network, and functionally annotates molecular networks like other enrichment methods annotate lists of genes. As a general association measure, SANTA can (i) functionally annotate experimentally derived networks using a collection of curated gene sets and (ii) annotate experimentally derived gene sets using a collection of curated networks, as well as (iii) prioritize genes for follow-up analyses. We exemplify the efficacy of SANTA in several case studies using the S. cerevisiae genetic interaction network and genome-wide RNAi screens in cancer cell lines. Our theory, simulations, and applications show that SANTA provides a principled statistical way to quantify the association between molecular networks and cellular functions and phenotypes. SANTA is available from http://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/SANTA.html.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Shubin; Schauer, Cynthia K

    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.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular approach to find target(s) for oligoclonal bands in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Rand, K.; Houck, H.; Denslow, N.; Heilman, K.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVES—Oligoclonal bands are a characteristic finding in the CSF of patients with multiple sclerosis, yet their target antigen(s) remain unknown. The objective was to determine whether a filamentous phage peptide library could be employed to allow the oligoclonal bands to select their own target epitopes.
METHODS—CSF IgG antibody from 14 patients with multiple sclerosis and 14 controls was used to select individual phage clones from a bacteriophage library containing≈4 × 107 different hexamers expressed on its surface pIII protein. The amino acid sequence selected was deduced by sequencing the DNA of the genetically engineered insert.
RESULTS—In general, after three rounds of selection, CSF from both patients with multiple sclerosis and controls selected one to two consistent peptide motifs. Five out of 14 patients with multiple sclerosis, and one control, selected the amino acid sequence motif, RRPFF. Given 20 possible amino acids per position, the likelihood of five patients selecting the same linear five amino acid sequence is at most 1.6 × 10-13, corrected for the number of clones sequenced. A GenBank computer search showed that this sequence is found in the Epstein-Barr Virus nuclear antigen (EBNA-1), and a heat shock protein αB crystallin. Human serum antibodies to a synthetic peptide containing RRPFF were virtually exclusively found in patients with prior infection by Epstein-Barr virus. Other studies have suggested a relation between Epstein-Barr virus infection and multiple sclerosis, including nearly 100% Epstein-Barr virus seropositivity among patients with multiple sclerosis and increased concentrations of antibody to EBNA in CSF of patients with multiple sclerosis. By antigen specific immunoblotting, antibodies to the RRPFF motif in the CSF were shown to correspond to a subset of oligoclonal bands in the CSF from the same patient.
CONCLUSION—This study shows that phage epitope display libraries may be used to select amino acid

  12. Inhibiting plant microRNA activity: molecular SPONGEs, target MIMICs and STTMs all display variable efficacies against target microRNAs.

    PubMed

    Reichel, Marlene; Li, Yanjiao; Li, Junyan; Millar, Anthony A

    2015-09-01

    Elucidation of microRNA (miRNA) function through a loss-of-function approach has proven difficult due to extensive genetic redundancy among most plant and animal miRNA families. Consequently, miRNA decoy technologies such as target MIMICs (MIMs) and short tandem target MIMICs (STTMs) in plants or molecular SPONGEs (SPs) in animals have been developed to generate loss-of-function phenotypes by perturbing endogenous miRNA activity. To test whether SPs can inhibit plant miRNA activity, synthetic SP transgenes containing multiple miRNA binding sites targeting different Arabidopsis miRNA families were generated. Additionally, their silencing efficacies were compared to the corresponding MIM and STTM transgenes via scoring the frequency and severity of phenotypic abnormalities elicited by each transgene. While SPs with wild-type miRNA binding sites have no apparent impact, SPs containing miRNA binding sites with two central mismatches (cmSPs) can generate strong loss-of-function phenotypes. However, their efficacy varied dramatically, from inducing strong loss-of-function phenotypes to failing to produce any phenotypic impact. Variability was also observed when MIMs and STTMs were compared to cmSPs. While cmSP165/166 and STTM165/166 showed a stronger efficacy than MIM165/166, MIM159 was stronger than cmSP159 and STTM159. Although increasing the number of miRNA binding sites or strengthening the free energy of the miRNA binding site interaction can improve decoy efficacy, clearly additional unknown overriding factors are at play. In conclusion, we demonstrate that no one approach guarantees the strongest miRNA inhibition, but rather distinct miRNA families respond differently to the various approaches, suggesting that multiple approaches may need to be taken to generate the desired loss-of-function outcome.

  13. Efficient molecular density functional theory using generalized spherical harmonics expansions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Lu; Levesque, Maximilien; Borgis, Daniel; Belloni, Luc

    2017-09-01

    We show that generalized spherical harmonics are well suited for representing the space and orientation molecular density in the resolution of the molecular density functional theory. We consider the common system made of a rigid solute of arbitrary complexity immersed in a molecular solvent, both represented by molecules with interacting atomic sites and classical force fields. The molecular solvent density ρ (r, Ω) around the solute is a function of the position r ≡(x ,y ,z ) and of the three Euler angles Ω≡(θ ,ϕ ,ψ ) describing the solvent orientation. The standard density functional, equivalent to the hypernetted-chain closure for the solute-solvent correlations in the liquid theory, is minimized with respect to ρ (r, Ω). The up-to-now very expensive angular convolution products are advantageously replaced by simple products between projections onto generalized spherical harmonics. The dramatic gain in speed of resolution enables to explore in a systematic way molecular solutes of up to nanometric sizes in arbitrary solvents and to calculate their solvation free energy and associated microscopic solvent structure in at most a few minutes. We finally illustrate the formalism by tackling the solvation of molecules of various complexities in water.

  14. Porphyrins as Molecular Electronic Components of Functional Devices

    PubMed Central

    Jurow, Matthew; Schuckman, Amanda E.; Batteas, James D.; Drain, Charles Michael

    2010-01-01

    The proposal that molecules can perform electronic functions in devices such as diodes, rectifiers, wires, capacitors, or serve as functional materials for electronic or magnetic memory, has stimulated intense research across physics, chemistry, and engineering for over 35 years. Because biology uses porphyrins and metalloporphyrins as catalysts, small molecule transporters, electrical conduits, and energy transducers in photosynthesis, porphyrins are an obvious class of molecules to investigate for molecular electronic functions. Of the numerous kinds of molecules under investigation for molecular electronics applications, porphyrins and their related macrocycles are of particular interest because they are robust and their electronic properties can be tuned by chelation of a metal ion and substitution on the macrocycle. The other porphyrinoids have equally variable and adjustable photophysical properties, thus photonic applications are potentiated. At least in the near term, realistic architectures for molecular electronics will require self-organization or nanoprinting on surfaces. This review concentrates on self-organized porphyrinoids as components of working electronic devices on electronically active substrates with particular emphasis on the effect of surface, molecular design, molecular orientation and matrix on the detailed electronic properties of single molecules. PMID:20936084

  15. Innovative molecular targeted agents in hepatocellular carcinoma: new gladiators on the arena.

    PubMed

    Ferri, Jose; Dockx, Yanina; Vonghia, Luisa; Papadimitriou, Konstantinos; Rasschaert, Marika; Francque, Sven; Peeters, Marc; Rolfo, Christian

    2017-02-14

    Treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma remains a challenge, with discouraging results in terms of survival. Following the approval of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib, a large number of molecular targeted agents have been tested, but many have failed to demonstrate significant efficacy in clinical trials. However, the deeper knowledge in HCC pathogenesis achieved through the years has enabled us to explore new targetable pathways as well as biomarkers that could lead to treatment personalization. In this review, we provide a comprehensive update of the most recent data regarding new drugs under investigation -some like regorafenib, very close to its approval- and new possible targets for future treatments.

  16. Exploration of Molecular Targets in the Development of New Therapeutics Aimed at Overcoming Multidrug Resistance.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Shozo; Tsubaki, Masanobu

    2017-01-01

     Multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer is a major problem in clinical settings: MDR correlates with a patient's poor prognosis and decreased quality of life. Recently, MDR was found to be involved in various signal pathways, so the inhibition of signal molecules by molecular targeting drugs may help overcome MDR. In addition, the acquisition of MDR is shown to be associated with the overexpression of drug efflux pumps such as P-glycoprotein (MDR1), which in turn affects the regulation of the expression of cell survival factors, B-cell leukemia protein 2 (Bcl-2) family proteins, etc. We analyzed the mechanisms of MDR in hematopoietic malignancies, and showed that the activation of signaling molecules regulated the expression of drug efflux pumps and cell survival factors, thus suggesting that molecular targeting drugs are potentially useful as anti-MDR agents. In this review, I focus on recent advancements in understanding the mechanisms of MDR with respect to hematopoietic malignancies: (1) exploration of molecular targets for overcoming MDR in anti-cancer drug-resistant cell lines, (2) the mechanism of drug resistance through the cytokine autocrine loop, and (3) cell-cell interaction with bone marrow stromal cells, along with the application of molecular targeting drugs for overcoming MDR.

  17. Targeting Cell Surface Proteins in Molecular Photoacoustic Imaging to Detect Ovarian Cancer Early

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-01

    resolution required to detect ovarian cancer in an early curable stage, specific imaging probes are not currently available and are urgently needed...resolution required to detect ovarian cancer in an early, curable stage, specific imaging probes are not currently available and are urgently needed...10-1-0422 TITLE: Targeting Cell Surface Proteins in Molecular Photoacoustic Imaging to Detect Ovarian Cancer Early PRINCIPAL

  18. RYP1 gene as a target for molecular diagnosis of histoplasmosis.

    PubMed

    Brilhante, Raimunda Sâmia Nogueira; Guedes, Glaucia Morgana de Melo; Riello, Giovanna Barbosa; Ribeiro, Joyce Fonteles; Alencar, Lucas Pereira; Bandeira, Silviane Praciano; Castelo-Branco, Débora Souza Collares Maia; Oliveira, Jonathas Sales; Freire, Janaína Maria Maia; Mesquita, Jacó Ricarte Lima de; Camargo, Zoilo Pires de; Cordeiro, Rossana de Aguiar; Rocha, Marcos Fábio Gadelha; Sidrim, José Júlio Costa

    2016-11-01

    This study analyzed the RYP1 gene as a target for the molecular diagnosis of histoplasmosis. This assay detected fungal DNA in 13/13 blood samples from HIV/AIDS-patients with histoplasmosis. Therefore, the detection of RYP1 gene in whole blood sample is a quick and sensitive test to diagnose histoplasmosis.

  19. Preparation of actinide targets by molecular plating for Coulomb excitation studies at ATLAS.

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, J. P.

    1998-11-18

    Molecular plating is now routinely used to prepare sources and targets of actinide elements. Although the technique is simple and fairly reproducible, because of the radioactive nature of the target it is very useful to record various parameters in the preparation of such targets. At Argonne, {approximately}200 {micro}g/cm{sup 2} thick targets of Pu and Cm were required for Coulomb Excitation (COULEX) Studies with the Argonne-Notre Dame BGO gamma ray facility and later with the GAMMASPHERE. These targets were plated on 50 mg/cm{sup 2} Au backing and were covered with 150 {micro}g/cm{sup 2} Au foil. Targets of {sup 239}Pu, {sup 240}Pu, {sup 242}Pu, {sup 244}Pu and {sup 248}Cm were prepared by dissolving the material in isopropyl alcohol and electroplating the actinide ions by applying 600 volts. The amount of these materials on the target was determined by alpha particle counting and gamma ray counting. Details of the molecular plating and counting will be discussed.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25342884

  2. 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

  3. Investigations on the usefulness of CEACAMs as potential imaging targets for molecular imaging purposes.

    PubMed

    Heine, Markus; Nollau, Peter; Masslo, Christoph; Nielsen, Peter; Freund, Barbara; Bruns, Oliver T; Reimer, Rudolph; Hohenberg, Heinrich; Peldschus, Kersten; Ittrich, Harald; Schumacher, Udo

    2011-01-01

    Members of the carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs) family are the prototype of tumour markers. Classically they are used as serum markers, however, CEACAMs could serve as targets for molecular imaging as well.In order to test the anti CEACAM monoclonal antibody T84.1 for imaging purposes, CEACAM expression was analysed using this antibody. Twelve human cancer cell lines from different entities were screened for their CEACAM expression using qPCR, Western Blot and FACS analysis. In addition, CEACAM expression was analyzed in primary tumour xenografts of these cells. Nine of 12 tumour cell lines expressed CEACAM mRNA and protein when grown in vitro. Pancreatic and colon cancer cell lines showed the highest expression levels with good correlation of mRNA and protein level. However, when grown in vivo, the CEACAM expression was generally downregulated except for the melanoma cell lines. As the CEACAM expression showed pronounced expression in FemX-1 primary tumours, this model system was used for further experiments. As the accessibility of the antibody after i.v. application is critical for its use in molecular imaging, the binding of the T84.1 monoclonal antibody was assessed after i.v. injection into SCID mice harbouring a FemX-1 primary tumour. When applied i.v., the CEACAM specific T84.1 antibody bound to tumour cells in the vicinity of blood vessels. This binding pattern was particularly pronounced in the periphery of the tumour xenograft, however, some antibody binding was also observed in the central areas of the tumour around blood vessels. Still, a general penetration of the tumour by i.v. application of the anti CEACAM antibody could not be achieved despite homogenous CEACAM expression of all melanoma cells when analysed in tissue sections. This lack of penetration is probably due to the increased interstitial fluid pressure in tumours caused by the absence of functional lymphatic vessels.

  4. Molecular Mechanism of hTERT Function in Mitochondria

    <