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Sample records for receptor potential therapeutic

  1. Targeting melanocortin receptors as potential novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Getting, Stephen J

    2006-07-01

    Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH(1-39)) and the melanocortins (alpha, beta and gamma-melanocyte-stimulating hormone [MSH]) are derived from a larger precursor molecule known as the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) protein. They exert their numerous biological effects by activating 7 transmembrane G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), leading to adenylyl cyclase activation and subsequent cAMP accumulation within the target cell. To date, 5 melanocortin receptors (MCR) have been identified and termed MC1R to MC5R, they have been shown to have a wide and varied distribution throughout the body, being found in the central nervous system (CNS), periphery and immune cells. Melanocortins have a multitude of actions including: (i) modulating disease pathologies including arthritis, asthma, obesity; (ii) affecting functions, for example erectile dysfunction, skin tanning; and (iii) organ systems, for example cardiovascular system. Recently a mechanistic approach has been identified with alpha-MSH preventing NF-kappaB activation via the preservation and expression of IkappaBalphaprotein. This leads to a reduction of pro-inflammatory mediators including cytokines and inhibition of adhesion molecule expression, with subsequent reduction in leukocyte emigration. Development of selective ligands with an appropriate pharmacokinetic profile will enable a pharmacological evaluation of the potential beneficial effects of the melanocortins. In this review I have discussed the potential mechanistic action for the melanocortins and some of the disease pathologies shown to be modulated. This review proposes targeting the MCR with the ultimate aim of controlling many of the diseases that we face today.

  2. Pharmacology and therapeutic potential of sigma(1) receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Cobos, E J; Entrena, J M; Nieto, F R; Cendán, C M; Del Pozo, E

    2008-12-01

    Sigma (sigma) receptors, initially described as a subtype of opioid receptors, are now considered unique receptors. Pharmacological studies have distinguished two types of sigma receptors, termed sigma(1) and sigma(2). Of these two subtypes, the sigma(1) receptor has been cloned in humans and rodents, and its amino acid sequence shows no homology with other mammalian proteins. Several psychoactive drugs show high to moderate affinity for sigma(1) receptors, including the antipsychotic haloperidol, the antidepressant drugs fluvoxamine and sertraline, and the psychostimulants cocaine and methamphetamine; in addition, the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin allosterically modulates sigma(1) receptors. Certain neurosteroids are known to interact with sigma(1) receptors, and have been proposed to be their endogenous ligands. These receptors are located in the plasma membrane and in subcellular membranes, particularly in the endoplasmic reticulum, where they play a modulatory role in intracellular Ca(2+) signaling. Sigma(1) receptors also play a modulatory role in the activity of some ion channels and in several neurotransmitter systems, mainly in glutamatergic neurotransmission. In accordance with their widespread modulatory role, sigma(1) receptor ligands have been proposed to be useful in several therapeutic fields such as amnesic and cognitive deficits, depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, analgesia, and against some effects of drugs of abuse (such as cocaine and methamphetamine). In this review we provide an overview of the present knowledge of sigma(1) receptors, focussing on sigma(1) ligand neuropharmacology and the role of sigma(1) receptors in behavioral animal studies, which have contributed greatly to the potential therapeutic applications of sigma(1) ligands.

  3. Therapeutic potential of endothelin receptor antagonism in kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Czopek, Alicja; Moorhouse, Rebecca; Webb, David J; Dhaun, Neeraj

    2016-03-01

    Our growing understanding of the role of the endothelin (ET) system in renal physiology and pathophysiology is from emerging studies of renal disease in animal models and humans. ET receptor antagonists reduce blood pressure and proteinuria in chronic kidney disease and cause regression of renal injury in animals. However, the therapeutic potential of ET receptor antagonism has not been fully explored and clinical studies have been largely limited to patients with diabetic nephropathy. There remains a need for more work in nondiabetic chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease (patients requiring maintenance dialysis and those with a functioning kidney transplant), ischemia reperfusion injury, and sickle cell disease. The current review summarizes the most recent advances in both preclinical and clinical studies of ET receptor antagonists in the field of kidney disease.

  4. Identification of potential glucocorticoid receptor therapeutic targets in multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Alexandra L.; Coarfa, Cristian; Qian, Jun; Wilkerson, Joseph J.; Rajapakshe, Kimal; Krett, Nancy L.; Gunaratne, Preethi H.; Rosen, Steven T.

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoids (GC) are a cornerstone of combination therapies for multiple myeloma. However, patients ultimately develop resistance to GCs frequently based on decreased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression. An understanding of the direct targets of GC actions, which induce cell death, is expected to culminate in potential therapeutic strategies for inducing cell death by regulating downstream targets in the absence of a functional GR. The specific goal of our research is to identify primary GR targets that contribute to GC-induced cell death, with the ultimate goal of developing novel therapeutics around these targets that can be used to overcome resistance to GCs in the absence of GR. Using the MM.1S glucocorticoid-sensitive human myeloma cell line, we began with the broad platform of gene expression profiling to identify glucocorticoid-regulated genes further refined by combination treatment with phosphatidylinositol-3’-kinase inhibition (PI3Ki). To further refine the search to distinguish direct and indirect targets of GR that respond to the combination GC and PI3Ki treatment of MM.1S cells, we integrated 1) gene expression profiles of combination GC treatment with PI3Ki, which induces synergistic cell death; 2) negative correlation between genes inhibited by combination treatment in MM.1S cells and genes over-expressed in myeloma patients to establish clinical relevance and 3) GR chromatin immunoprecipitation with massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) in myeloma cells to identify global chromatin binding for the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Using established bioinformatics platforms, we have integrated these data sets to identify a subset of candidate genes that may form the basis for a comprehensive picture of glucocorticoid actions in multiple myeloma. As a proof of principle, we have verified two targets, namely RRM2 and BCL2L1, as primary functional targets of GR involved in GC-induced cell death. PMID:26715915

  5. Identification of potential glucocorticoid receptor therapeutic targets in multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Alexandra L; Coarfa, Cristian; Qian, Jun; Wilkerson, Joseph J; Rajapakshe, Kimal; Krett, Nancy L; Gunaratne, Preethi H; Rosen, Steven T

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoids (GC) are a cornerstone of combination therapies for multiple myeloma. However, patients ultimately develop resistance to GCs frequently based on decreased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression. An understanding of the direct targets of GC actions, which induce cell death, is expected to culminate in potential therapeutic strategies for inducing cell death by regulating downstream targets in the absence of a functional GR. The specific goal of our research is to identify primary GR targets that contribute to GC-induced cell death, with the ultimate goal of developing novel therapeutics around these targets that can be used to overcome resistance to GCs in the absence of GR. Using the MM.1S glucocorticoid-sensitive human myeloma cell line, we began with the broad platform of gene expression profiling to identify glucocorticoid-regulated genes further refined by combination treatment with phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase inhibition (PI3Ki). To further refine the search to distinguish direct and indirect targets of GR that respond to the combination GC and PI3Ki treatment of MM.1S cells, we integrated 1) gene expression profiles of combination GC treatment with PI3Ki, which induces synergistic cell death; 2) negative correlation between genes inhibited by combination treatment in MM.1S cells and genes over-expressed in myeloma patients to establish clinical relevance and 3) GR chromatin immunoprecipitation with massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) in myeloma cells to identify global chromatin binding for the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Using established bioinformatics platforms, we have integrated these data sets to identify a subset of candidate genes that may form the basis for a comprehensive picture of glucocorticoid actions in multiple myeloma. As a proof of principle, we have verified two targets, namely RRM2 and BCL2L1, as primary functional targets of GR involved in GC-induced cell death.

  6. Human rhabdomyosarcoma cells express functional erythropoietin receptor: Potential therapeutic implications

    PubMed Central

    PONIEWIERSKA-BARAN, AGATA; SUSZYNSKA, MALWINA; SUN, WENYUE; ABDELBASET-ISMAIL, AHMED; SCHNEIDER, GABRIELA; BARR, FREDERIC G.; RATAJCZAK, MARIUSZ Z.

    2015-01-01

    The erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) is expressed by cells from the erythroid lineage; however, evidence has accumulated that it is also expressed by some solid tumors. This is an important observation, because recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) is employed in cancer patients to treat anemia related to chemo/radiotherapy. In our studies we employed eight rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cell lines (three alveolar-type RMS cell lines and five embrional-type RMS cell lines), and mRNA samples obtained from positive, PAX7-FOXO1-positive, and fusion-negative RMS patient samples. Expression of EpoR was evaluated by RT-PCR, gene array and FACS. The functionality of EpoR in RMS cell lines was evaluated by chemotaxis, adhesion, and direct cell proliferation assays. In some of the experiments, RMS cells were exposed to vincristine (VCR) in the presence or absence of EPO to test whether EPO may impair the therapeutic effect of VCR. We report for a first time that functional EpoR is expressed in human RMS cell lines as well as by primary tumors from RMS patients. Furthermore, EpoR is detectably expressed in both embryonal and alveolar RMS subtypes. At the functional level, several human RMS cell lines responded to EPO stimulation by enhanced proliferation, chemotaxis, cell adhesion, and phosphorylation of MAPKp42/44 and AKT. Moreover, RMS cells became more resistant to VCR treatment in the presence of EPO. Our findings have important potential clinical implications, indicating that EPO supplementation in RMS patients may have the unwanted side effect of tumor progression. PMID:26412593

  7. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor-2 Antagonists: Therapeutic Potential and Potential Risks

    PubMed Central

    Blankenbach, Kira V.; Schwalm, Stephanie; Pfeilschifter, Josef; Meyer zu Heringdorf, Dagmar

    2016-01-01

    The sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) signaling system with its specific G-protein-coupled S1P receptors, the enzymes of S1P metabolism and the S1P transporters, offers a multitude of promising targets for drug development. Until today, drug development in this area has nearly exclusively focused on (functional) antagonists at the S1P1 receptor, which cause a unique phenotype of immunomodulation. Accordingly, the first-in class S1P1 receptor modulator, fingolimod, has been approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and novel S1P1 receptor (functional) antagonists are being developed for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus erythematodes, or polymyositis. Besides the S1P1 receptor, also S1P2 and S1P3 are widely expressed and regulate many diverse functions throughout the body. The S1P2 receptor, in particular, often exerts cellular functions which are opposed to the functions of the S1P1 receptor. As a consequence, antagonists at the S1P2 receptor have the potential to be useful in a contrasting context and different areas of indication compared to S1P1 antagonists. The present review will focus on the therapeutic potential of S1P2 receptor antagonists and discuss their opportunities as well as their potential risks. Open questions and areas which require further investigations will be emphasized in particular. PMID:27445808

  8. Therapeutic potential of nuclear receptor agonists in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Moutinho, Miguel; Landreth, Gary E

    2017-03-06

    The Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by an extensive accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, which triggers a set of deleterious processes including synaptic dysfunction, inflammation and neuronal injury leading to neuronal loss and cognitive impairment. A large body of evidence supports that nuclear receptor (NR) activation could be a promising therapeutic approach for AD. NRs are ligand-activated transcription factors that regulate gene expression and have a cell type-specific effects. In this review we discuss the mechanisms that underlie the beneficial effects of NRs in AD. Moreover, we summarize studies reported in the last 10-15 years and their major outcomes arising from the pharmacological targeting of NRs in AD animal models. The dissection of the pathways regulated by NRs in the context of AD is of importance in identifying novel and effective therapeutic strategies.

  9. Pharmacology and therapeutic potential of pattern recognition receptors.

    PubMed

    Paul-Clark, M J; George, P M; Gatheral, T; Parzych, K; Wright, W R; Crawford, D; Bailey, L K; Reed, D M; Mitchell, J A

    2012-08-01

    Pharmacologists have used pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for decades as a stimulus for studying mediators involved in inflammation and for the screening of anti-inflammatory compounds. However, in the view of immunologists, LPS was too non-specific for studying the mechanisms of immune signalling in infection and inflammation, as no receptors had been identified. This changed in the late 1990s with the discovery of the Toll-like receptors. These 'pattern recognition receptors' (PRRs) were able to recognise highly conserved sequences, the so called pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) present in or on pathogens. This specificity of particular PAMPs and their newly defined receptors provided a common ground between pharmacologists and immunologists for the study of inflammation. PRRs also recognise endogenous agonists, the so called danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which can result in sterile inflammation. The signalling pathways and ligands of many PRRs have now been characterised and there is no doubt that this rich vein of research will aid the discovery of new therapeutics for infectious conditions and chronic inflammatory disease.

  10. Melatonin receptors in diabetes: a potential new therapeutical target?

    PubMed

    She, Meihua; Laudon, Moshe; Yin, Weidong

    2014-12-05

    Melatonin is synthesized and secreted mainly by the pineal gland in a circadian fashion, and it thus mediates endogenous circadian rhythms and influences other physiological functions. Both the G-protein coupled receptors MT1 (encoded by MTNR1A) and MT2 (encoded by MTNR1B) in mammals mediate the actions of melatonin. Evidence from in vivo and in vitro studies proved a key role of melatonin in the regulation of glucose metabolism and the pathogenesis of diabetes, as further confirmed by the recent studies of human genetic variants of MTNR1B. Remarkably, it was also suggested that genetic variations within MTNR1B disordered β-cells function directly, i.e. insulin secretion. This indicated the functional link between MT2 and T2D risk at the protein level, and it may represent the prevailing pathomechanism for how impaired melatonin signaling causes metabolic disorders and increases the T2D risk. It is speculated that melatonin and its receptors may be a new therapeutic avenue in diabetes.

  11. Metabotropic glutamate receptor ligands as potential therapeutics for addiction

    PubMed Central

    Olive, M. F.

    2009-01-01

    There is now compelling evidence that the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate plays a pivotal role in drug addiction and alcoholism. As a result, there has been increasing interest in developing glutamate-based therapies for the treatment of addictive disorders. Receptors for glutamate are primarily divided into two classes: ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) that mediate fast excitatory glutamate transmission, and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which are G-protein coupled receptors that mediate slower, modulatory glutamate transmission. Most iGluR antagonists, while showing some efficacy in animal models of addiction, exhibit serious side effects when tested in humans. mGluR ligands, on the other hand, which have been advanced to testing in clinical trials for various medical conditions, have demonstrated the ability to reduce drug reward, reinforcement, and relapse-like behaviors in animal studies. mGluR ligands that have been shown to be primarily effective are Group I (mGluR1 and mGluR5) negative allosteric modulators and Group II (mGluR2 and mGluR3) orthosteric presynaptic autoreceptor agonists. In this review, we will summarize findings from animal studies suggesting that these mGluR ligands may be of potential benefit in reducing on-going drug self-administration and may aid in the prevention of relapse. The neuroanatomical distribution of mGluR1, mGluR2/3, and mGluR5 receptors and the pharmacological properties of Group I negative allosteric modulators and Group II agonists will also be overviewed. Finally, we will discuss the current status of mGluR ligands in human clinical trials. PMID:19630739

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-09

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

  13. Androgen receptor in human health: a potential therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Siddique, Hifzur Rahman; Nanda, Sanjeev; Parray, Aijaz; Saleem, Mohammad

    2012-12-01

    Androgen is a key for the activation of Androgen Receptor (AR) in most of the disease conditions, however androgen-independent activation of AR is also found in aggressive type human malignancies. An intense search for the inhibitors of AR is underway to cure AR-dependent diseases. In addition to targeting various components of AR signaling pathway, compounds which directly target AR are under preclinical and clinical investigation. Various In vitro and preclinical animal studies suggest that different natural compounds have potential to act against AR. Some natural compounds have been found to be pharmacologically effective against AR irrespective of varying routs of administration viz; oral, intra-peritoneal and intravenous. This mini-review summarizes the studies conducted with different natural agents in determining their pharmacological utility against AR signaling.

  14. Sigma receptors as potential therapeutic targets for neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Linda; Kaushal, Nidhi; Robson, Matthew J; Matsumoto, Rae R

    2014-11-15

    Sigma receptors comprise a unique family of proteins that have been implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of many central nervous system disorders, consistent with their high level of expression in the brain and spinal cord. Mounting evidence indicate that targeting sigma receptors may be particularly beneficial in a number of neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer׳s disease, Parkinson׳s disease, stroke, methamphetamine neurotoxicity, Huntington׳s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and retinal degeneration. In this perspective, a brief overview is given on sigma receptors, followed by a focus on common mechanisms of neurodegeneration that appear amenable to modulation by sigma receptor ligands to convey neuroprotective effects and/or restorative functions. Within each of the major mechanisms discussed herein, the neuroprotective effects of sigma ligands are summarized, and when known, the specific sigma receptor subtype(s) involved are identified. Together, the literature suggests sigma receptors may provide a novel target for combatting neurodegenerative diseases through both neuronal and glial mechanisms.

  15. Central nicotinic receptors: structure, function, ligands, and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Romanelli, M Novella; Gratteri, Paola; Guandalini, Luca; Martini, Elisabetta; Bonaccini, Claudia; Gualtieri, Fulvio

    2007-06-01

    The growing interest in nicotinic receptors, because of their wide expression in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues and their involvement in several important CNS pathologies, has stimulated the synthesis of a high number of ligands able to modulate their function. These membrane proteins appear to be highly heterogeneous, and still only incomplete information is available on their structure, subunit composition, and stoichiometry. This is due to the lack of selective ligands to study the role of nAChR under physiological or pathological conditions; so far, only compounds showing selectivity between alpha4beta2 and alpha7 receptors have been obtained. The nicotinic receptor ligands have been designed starting from lead compounds from natural sources such as nicotine, cytisine, or epibatidine, and, more recently, through the high-throughput screening of chemical libraries. This review focuses on the structure of the new agonists, antagonists, and allosteric ligands of nicotinic receptors, it highlights the current knowledge on the binding site models as a molecular modeling approach to design new compounds, and it discusses the nAChR modulators which have entered clinical trials.

  16. P2X receptors in the cardiovascular system and their potential as therapeutic targets in disease.

    PubMed

    Ralevic, Vera

    2015-01-01

    This review considers the expression and roles of P2X receptors in the cardiovascular system in health and disease and their potential as therapeutic targets. P2X receptors are ligand gated ion channels which are activated by the endogenous ligand ATP. They are formed from the assembly of three P2X subunit proteins from the complement of seven (P2X1-7), which can associate to form homomeric or heteromeric P2X receptors. The P2X1 receptor is widely expressed in the cardiovascular system, being located in the heart, in the smooth muscle of the majority of blood vessels and in platelets. P2X1 receptors expressed in blood vessels can be activated by ATP coreleased with noradrenaline as a sympathetic neurotransmitter, leading to smooth muscle depolarisation and contraction. There is evidence that the purinergic component of sympathetic neurotransmission is increased in hypertension, identifying P2X1 receptors as a possible therapeutic target in this disorder. P2X3 and P2X2/3 receptors are expressed on cardiac sympathetic neurones and may, through positive feedback of neuronal ATP at this prejunctional site, amplify sympathetic neurotransmission. Activation of P2X receptors expressed in the heart increases cardiac myocyte contractility, and an important role of the P2X4 receptor in this has been identified. Deletion of P2X4 receptors in the heart depresses contractile performance in models of heart failure, while overexpression of P2X4 receptors has been shown to be cardioprotective, thus P2X4 receptors may be therapeutic targets in the treatment of heart disease. P2X receptors have been identified on endothelial cells. Although immunoreactivity for all P2X1-7 receptor proteins has been shown on the endothelium, relatively little is known about their function, with the exception of the endothelial P2X4 receptor, which has been shown to mediate endothelium-dependent vasodilatation to ATP released during shear stress. The potential of P2X receptors as therapeutic targets

  17. Sigma (σ) receptors as potential therapeutic targets to mitigate psychostimulant effects.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Rae R; Nguyen, Linda; Kaushal, Nidhi; Robson, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

    Many psychostimulants, including cocaine and methamphetamine, interact with sigma (σ) receptors at physiologically relevant concentrations. The potential therapeutic relevance of this interaction is underscored by the ability to selectively target σ receptors to mitigate many behavioral and physiological effects of psychostimulants in animal and cell-based model systems. This chapter begins with an overview of these enigmatic proteins. Provocative preclinical data showing that σ ligands modulate an array of cocaine and methamphetamine effects are summarized, along with emerging areas of research. Together, the literature suggests targeting of σ receptors as an innovative option for combating undesired actions of psychostimulants through both neuronal and glial mechanisms.

  18. P2Y Receptors in the Mammalian Nervous System: Pharmacology, Ligands and Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Weisman, Gary A.; Woods, Lucas T.; Erb, Laurie; Seye, Cheikh I.

    2015-01-01

    P2Y receptors for extracellular nucleotides are coupled to activation of a variety of G proteins and stimulate diverse intracellular signaling pathways that regulate functions of cell types that comprise the central nervous system (CNS). There are 8 different subtypes of P2Y receptor expressed in cells of the CNS that are activated by a select group of nucleotide agonists. Here, the agonist selectivity of these 8 P2Y receptor subtypes is reviewed with an emphasis on synthetic agonists with high potency and resistance to degradation by extracellular nucleotidases that have potential applications as therapeutic agents. In addition, the recent identification of a wide variety of subtype-selective antagonists is discussed, since these compounds are critical for discerning cellular responses mediated by activation of individual P2Y receptor subtypes. The functional expression of P2Y receptor subtypes in cells that comprise the CNS is also reviewed and the role of each subtype in the regulation of physiological and pathophysiological responses is considered. Other topics include the role of P2Y receptors in the regulation of blood-brain barrier integrity and potential interactions between different P2Y receptor subtypes that likely impact tissue responses to extracellular nucleotides in the CNS. Overall, current research suggests that P2Y receptors in the CNS regulate repair mechanisms that are triggered by tissue damage, inflammation and disease and thus P2Y receptors represent promising targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22963441

  19. The GABAA receptor is an FMRP target with therapeutic potential in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Braat, Sien; D'Hulst, Charlotte; Heulens, Inge; De Rubeis, Silvia; Mientjes, Edwin; Nelson, David L; Willemsen, Rob; Bagni, Claudia; Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter P; Kooy, R Frank

    2015-01-01

    Previous research indicates that the GABAAergic system is involved in the pathophysiology of the fragile X syndrome, a frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and associated with autism spectrum disorder. However, the molecular mechanism underlying GABAAergic deficits has remained largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate reduced mRNA expression of GABAA receptor subunits in the cortex and cerebellum of young Fmr1 knockout mice. In addition, we show that the previously reported underexpression of specific subunits of the GABAA receptor can be corrected in YAC transgenic rescue mice, containing the full-length human FMR1 gene in an Fmr1 knockout background. Moreover, we demonstrate that FMRP directly binds several GABAA receptor mRNAs. Finally, positive allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors with the neurosteroid ganaxolone can modulate specific behaviors in Fmr1 knockout mice, emphasizing the therapeutic potential of the receptor.

  20. The GABAA receptor is an FMRP target with therapeutic potential in fragile X syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Braat, Sien; D'Hulst, Charlotte; Heulens, Inge; De Rubeis, Silvia; Mientjes, Edwin; Nelson, David L; Willemsen, Rob; Bagni, Claudia; Van Dam, Debby; De Deyn, Peter P; Kooy, R Frank

    2015-01-01

    Previous research indicates that the GABAAergic system is involved in the pathophysiology of the fragile X syndrome, a frequent form of inherited intellectual disability and associated with autism spectrum disorder. However, the molecular mechanism underlying GABAAergic deficits has remained largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate reduced mRNA expression of GABAA receptor subunits in the cortex and cerebellum of young Fmr1 knockout mice. In addition, we show that the previously reported underexpression of specific subunits of the GABAA receptor can be corrected in YAC transgenic rescue mice, containing the full-length human FMR1 gene in an Fmr1 knockout background. Moreover, we demonstrate that FMRP directly binds several GABAA receptor mRNAs. Finally, positive allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors with the neurosteroid ganaxolone can modulate specific behaviors in Fmr1 knockout mice, emphasizing the therapeutic potential of the receptor. PMID:25790165

  1. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Guzman, Segundo J.; Gerevich, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states. PMID:27069691

  2. P2Y Receptors in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity: Therapeutic Potential in Cognitive Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Guzman, Segundo J; Gerevich, Zoltan

    2016-01-01

    ATP released from neurons and astrocytes during neuronal activity or under pathophysiological circumstances is able to influence information flow in neuronal circuits by activation of ionotropic P2X and metabotropic P2Y receptors and subsequent modulation of cellular excitability, synaptic strength, and plasticity. In the present paper we review cellular and network effects of P2Y receptors in the brain. We show that P2Y receptors inhibit the release of neurotransmitters, modulate voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, and differentially influence the induction of synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum. The findings discussed here may explain how P2Y1 receptor activation during brain injury, hypoxia, inflammation, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's disease leads to an impairment of cognitive processes. Hence, it is suggested that the blockade of P2Y1 receptors may have therapeutic potential against cognitive disturbances in these states.

  3. Role of angiotensin AT(2) receptors in natriuresis: Intrarenal mechanisms and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Carey, Robert M; Padia, Shetal H

    2013-08-01

    The renin-angiotensin system is a coordinated hormonal cascade critical for the regulation of blood pressure (BP) and kidney function. Angiotensin (Ang) II, the major angiotensin effector peptide, binds to two major receptors, namely AT1 and AT2 receptors. The AT1 receptors engender antinatriuresis and raise BP, whereas AT2 receptors oppose these effects, inducing natriuresis and reducing BP. There is high AT2 receptor expression in the adult kidney, especially in the proximal tubule. In AT2 receptor-null mice, long-term AngII infusion results in pressor and antinatriuretic hypersensivivity compared with responses in wild-type mice. The major endogenous receptor ligand for AT2 receptor-mediated natriuretic responses appears to be des-aspartyl(1) -AngII (AngIII) instead of AngII. Recent studies have demonstrated that AngII requires metabolism to AngIII by aminopeptidase A to induce natriuresis and that inhibition of aminopeptidase N increases intrarenal AngIII and augments AngIII-induced natriuresis. The renal dopaminergic system is another important natriuretic pathway. Renal proximal tubule the D1 and D5 receptor subtypes (D1 -like receptors (D1LIKE R)) control approximately 50% of basal sodium excretion. Recently, we have found that natriuresis induced by proximal tubule D1LIKE R requires AT2 receptor activation and that D1LIKE R stimulation induces recruitment of AT2 receptors to the apical plasma membrane via a cAMP-dependent mechanism. Initial studies using the potent AT2 receptor non-peptide agonist Compound 21 demonstrate natriuresis in both the presence and absence of AT1 receptor blockade, indicating the therapeutic potential of this compound in fluid-retaining states and hypertension.

  4. Role and therapeutic potential of G-protein coupled receptors in breast cancer progression and metastases.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anukriti; Nunes, Jessica J; Ateeq, Bushra

    2015-09-15

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise a large family of cell-surface receptors, which have recently emerged as key players in tumorigenesis, angiogenesis and metastasis. In this review, we discussed our current understanding of the many roles played by GPCRs in general, and particularly Angiotensin II type I receptor (AGTR1), a member of the seven-transmembrane-spanning G-protein coupled receptor superfamily, and its significance in breast cancer progression and metastasis. We have also discussed different strategies for targeting AGTR1, and its ligand Angiotension II (Ang II), which might unravel unique opportunities for breast cancer prevention and treatment. For example, AGTR1 blockers (ARBs) which are already in clinical use for treating hypertension, merit further investigation as a therapeutic strategy for AGTR1-positive cancer patients and may have the potential to prevent Ang II-AGTR1 signalling mediated cancer pathogenesis and metastases.

  5. Role and therapeutic potential of G-protein coupled receptors in breast cancer progression and metastases

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Anukriti; Nunes, Jessica J.; Ateeq, Bushra

    2015-01-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise a large family of cell-surface receptors, which have recently emerged as key players in tumorigenesis, angiogenesis and metastasis. In this review, we discussed our current understanding of the many roles played by GPCRs in general, and particularly Angiotensin II type I receptor (AGTR1), a member of the seven-transmembrane-spanning G-protein coupled receptor superfamily, and its significance in breast cancer progression and metastasis. We have also discussed different strategies for targeting AGTR1, and its ligand Angiotension II (Ang II), which might unravel unique opportunities for breast cancer prevention and treatment. For example, AGTR1 blockers (ARBs) which are already in clinical use for treating hypertension, merit further investigation as a therapeutic strategy for AGTR1-positive cancer patients and may have the potential to prevent Ang II-AGTR1 signalling mediated cancer pathogenesis and metastases. PMID:25981295

  6. Novel drugs that target the estrogen-related receptor alpha: their therapeutic potential in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    May, Felicity EB

    2014-01-01

    The incidence of breast cancer continues to rise: 1.7 million women were diagnosed with and 521,000 women died from breast cancer in 2012. This review considers first current treatment options: surgery; radiotherapy; and systemic endocrine, anti-biological, and cytotoxic therapies. Clinical management includes prevention, early detection by screening, treatment with curative intent, management of chronic disease, and palliative control of advanced breast cancer. Next, the potential of novel drugs that target DNA repair, growth factor dependence, intracellular and intercellular signal transduction, and cell cycle are considered. Estrogen-related receptor alpha has attracted attention as a therapeutic target in triple-negative breast cancers with de novo resistance to, and in breast cancers with acquired resistance to, endocrine therapies such as antiestrogens and aromatase inhibitors. Estrogen-related receptor alpha is an orphan receptor and transcription factor. Its activity is regulated by coregulator proteins and posttranslational modification. It is an energy sensor that controls adaptation to energy demand and may facilitate glycolytic metabolism and mitochondrial oxidative respiration in breast cancer cells. Estrogen-related receptor alpha increases breast cancer cell migration, proliferation, and tumor development. It is expressed at high levels in estrogen receptor-negative tumors, and is proposed to activate estrogen-responsive genes in endocrine-resistant tumors. The structures and functions of the ligand-binding domains of estrogen receptor alpha and estrogen-related receptor alpha, their ability to bind estrogens, phytoestrogens, and synthetic ligands, and the effects of ligand agonists, antagonists, and inverse agonists on biological activity, are evaluated. Synthetic ligands of estrogen-related receptor alpha have activity in preclinical models of metabolic disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, and oncology. The clinical settings in which these novel

  7. Serotonergic 5-HT6 Receptor Antagonists: Heterocyclic Chemistry and Potential Therapeutic Significance.

    PubMed

    Bali, Alka; Singh, Shalu

    2015-01-01

    The serotonin 5-HT(6) receptor (5- HT(6)R) is amongst the recently discovered serotonergic receptors with almost exclusive localization in the brain. Hence, this receptor is fast emerging as a promising target for cognition enhancement in central nervous system (CNS) diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (cognitive function), obesity, schizophrenia and anxiety. The last decade has seen a surge of literature reports on the functional role of this receptor in learning and memory processes and investigations related to the chemistry and pharmacology of 5-HT(6) receptor ligands, especially 5- HT(6) receptor antagonists. Studies show the involvement of multiple neurotransmitter systems in cognitive enhancement by 5-HT(6)R antagonists including cholinergic, glutamatergic, and GABAergic systems. Several of the 5-HT(6)R ligands are indole based agents bearing structural similarity to the endogenous neurotransmitter serotonin. Based on the pharmacophoric models proposed for these agents, drug designing has been carried out incorporating various heterocyclic replacements for the indole nucleus. In this review, we have broadly summarized the medicinal chemistry and current status of this fairly recent class of drugs along with their potential therapeutic applications.

  8. The therapeutic potential of G-protein coupled receptors in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Dowie, Megan J; Scotter, Emma L; Molinari, Emanuela; Glass, Michelle

    2010-11-01

    Huntington's disease is a late-onset autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease characterised by increased symptom severity over time and ultimately premature death. An expanded CAG repeat sequence in the huntingtin gene leads to a polyglutamine expansion in the expressed protein, resulting in complex dysfunctions including cellular excitotoxicity and transcriptional dysregulation. Symptoms include cognitive deficits, psychiatric changes and a movement disorder often referred to as Huntington's chorea, which involves characteristic involuntary dance-like writhing movements. Neuropathologically Huntington's disease is characterised by neuronal dysfunction and death in the striatum and cortex with an overall decrease in cerebral volume (Ho et al., 2001). Neuronal dysfunction begins prior to symptom presentation, and cells of particular vulnerability include the striatal medium spiny neurons. Huntington's is a devastating disease for patients and their families and there is currently no cure, or even an effective therapy for disease symptoms. G-protein coupled receptors are the most abundant receptor type in the central nervous system and are linked to complex downstream pathways, manipulation of which may have therapeutic application in many neurological diseases. This review will highlight the potential of G-protein coupled receptor drug targets as emerging therapies for Huntington's disease.

  9. Progress in developing cholecystokinin (CCK)/gastrin receptor ligands which have therapeutic potential

    PubMed Central

    Berna, Marc J.; Tapia, Jose A.; Sancho, Veronica; Jensen, Robert T.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Gastrin and CCK are two of the oldest hormones and within the last 15 years there has been an exponential increase in knowledge of their pharmacology, cell biology, receptors (CCK1R, CCK2R) and roles in physiology and pathological conditions. Despite these advances there is no approved disease indication for CCK receptor antagonists and only minor use of agonists. In this review the important factors determining this slow therapeutic development are reviewed. To assess this it is necessary to briefly review what is known about the roles of CCK receptors (CCK1R, CCK2R) in normal human physiology, their role in pathologic conditions, the selectivity of available potent CCKR agonists/antagonists as well as review their use in human conditions to date and the results. Despite extensive studies in animals and some in humans, recent studies suggest that monotherapy with CCK1R agonists will not be effective in obesity, nor CCK2R antagonists in panic disorders or CCK2R antagonists to inhibit growth of pancreatic cancer. Areas that require more study include the use of CCK2R agonists for imaging tumors and radiotherapy, CCK2R antagonists in hypergastrinemic states especially with long term PPI use and for potentiation of analgesia as well as use of CCK1R antagonists for a number of gastrointestinal disorders [motility disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, constipation) and pancreatitis (acute, chronic)]. PMID:17997137

  10. Modulation of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells Activity by Toll-Like Receptors: Implications on Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    DelaRosa, Olga; Lombardo, Eleuterio

    2010-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are of special interest as therapeutic agents in the settings of both chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Toll-like receptors (TLR) ligands have been linked with the perpetuation of inflammation in a number of chronic inflammatory diseases due to the permanent exposure of the immune system to TLR-specific stimuli. Therefore, MSCs employed in therapy can be potentially exposed to TLR ligands, which may modulate MSC therapeutic potential in vivo. Recent results demonstrate that MSCs are activated by TLR ligands leading to modulation of the differentiation, migration, proliferation, survival, and immunosuppression capacities. However inconsistent results among authors have been reported suggesting that the source of MSCs, TLR stimuli employed or culture conditions play a role. Notably, activation by TLR ligands has not been reported to modulate the “immunoprivileged” phenotype of MSCs which is of special relevance regarding the use of allogeneic MSC-based therapies. In this review, we discuss the available data on the modulation of MSCs activity through TLR signalling. PMID:20628526

  11. Therapeutic potential of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 antagonists as multifunctional agents.

    PubMed

    Tsutsumi, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Tomohiro; Ohashi, Nami; Masuno, Hiroyuki; Tamamura, Hirokazu; Hiramatsu, Kenichi; Araki, Takanobu; Ueda, Satoshi; Oishi, Shinya; Fujii, Nobutaka

    2007-01-01

    The chemokine receptor CXCR4 possesses multiple critical functions in normal and pathologic physiology. CXCR4 is a G-protein-coupled receptor that transduces signals of its endogenous ligand, the chemokine CXCL12 (stromal cell-derived factor-1, SDF-1). The interaction between CXCL12 and CXCR4 plays an important role in the migration of progenitors during embryologic development of the cardiovascular, hemopoietic, central nervous systems, and so on. This interaction is also known to be involved in several intractable disease processes, including HIV infection, cancer cell metastasis, leukemia cell progression, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and pulmonary fibrosis. It is conjectured that this interaction may be a critical therapeutic target in all of these diseases, and several CXCR4 antagonists have been proposed as potential drugs. Fourteen-mer peptides, T140 and its analogues, were previously developed in our laboratory as specific CXCR4 antagonists that were identified as HIV-entry inhibitors, anti-cancer-metastatic agents, anti-chronic lymphocytic/acute lymphoblastic leukemia agents, and anti-RA agents. Cyclic pentapeptides, such as FC131 [cyclo(D-Tyr-Arg-Arg-L-3-(2-naphthyl)alanine-Gly)], were also previously found as CXCR4 antagonist leads based on pharmacophores of T140. This review article describes the elucidation of multiple functions of CXCR4 antagonists and the development of a number of low-molecular weight CXCR4 antagonists involving FC131 analogues and other compounds with different scaffolds including linear-type structures.

  12. Therapeutic potential of histamine H3 receptor agonist for the treatment of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Yoshimoto, Ryo; Miyamoto, Yasuhisa; Shimamura, Ken; Ishihara, Akane; Takahashi, Kazuhiko; Kotani, Hidehito; Chen, Airu S; Chen, Howard Y; Macneil, Douglas J; Kanatani, Akio; Tokita, Shigeru

    2006-09-12

    Histamine H3 receptors (H3Rs) are located on the presynaptic membranes and cell soma of histamine neurons, where they negatively regulate the synthesis and release of histamine. In addition, H3Rs are also located on nonhistaminergic neurons, acting as heteroreceptors to regulate the releases of other amines such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The present study investigated the effects of H3R ligands on appetite and body-weight regulation by using WT and H3R-deficient mice (H3RKO), because brain histamine plays a pivotal role in energy homeostasis. The results showed that thioperamide, an H3R inverse agonist, increases, whereas imetit, an H3R agonist, decreases appetite and body weight in diet-induced obese (DiO) WT mice. Moreover, in DiO WT mice, but not in DiO H3RKO mice, imetit reduced fat mass, plasma concentrations of leptin and insulin, and hepatic triglyceride content. The anorexigenic effects of imetit were associated with a reduction in histamine release, but a comparable reduction in histamine release with alpha-fluoromethylhistidine, an inhibitor of histamine synthesis, increased appetite. Moreover, the anorexigenic effects of imetit were independent of the melanocortin system, because imetit comparably reduced appetite in melanocortin 3 and 4 receptor-deficient mice. The results provide roles of H3Rs in energy homeostasis and suggest a therapeutic potential for H3R agonists in the treatment of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

  13. ROLE OF ANGIOTENSIN AT2 RECEPTORS IN NATRIURESIS: INTRARENAL MECHANISMS AND THERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Robert M.; Padia, Shetal H.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The renin-angiotensin system is a coordinated hormonal cascade critical for the regulation of blood pressure (BP) and kidney function. Angiotensin II (Ang II), the major angiotensin effector peptide, binds to two major receptors, type-1 (AT1Rs) and type-2 (AT2Rs). AT1Rs engender antinatriuresis and raise BP, whereas AT2Rs oppose these effects, inducing natriuresis and reducing BPAT2Rs are highly expressed in the adult kidney, especially in the proximal tubule. In AT2R-null mice, long-term Ang II infusion results in pressor and antinatriuretic hypersensivivity compared to responses in wild-type animals.The major endogenous receptor ligand for AT2R-mediated natriuretic responses appears to be des-aspartyl1-Ang II (Ang III) instead of Ang II. Recent studies have demonstrated that Ang II requires metabolism to Ang III by aminopeptidase A in order to induce natriuresis and that inhibition of aminopeptidase N increases intrarenal Ang III and augments Ang III-induced natriuresis.The renal dopaminergic system is another important natriuretic pathway. Renal proximal tubule D1-like receptors (D1LIKERs) control approximately 50% of basal sodium (Na+) excretion. We have recently found that natriuresis induced by proximal tubule D1LIKERs requires AT2R activation and that D1LIKER stimulation induces recruitment of AT2Rs to the apical plasma membrane via a cyclic AMP-dependent mechanism.Initial studies employing potent AT2R non-peptide agonist Compound 21 demonstrate natriuresis in both the presence and absence of AT1R blockade indicating the therapeutic potential of this compound in fluid retaining states and hypertension. PMID:23336117

  14. Potential therapeutic relevance of adenosine A2B and A2A receptors in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Popoli, Patrizia; Pepponi, Rita

    2012-09-01

    Adenosine A2B and, much more importantly, adenosine A2A receptors modulate many physiological and pathological processes in the brain. In this review, the most recent evidence concerning the role of such receptors and their potential therapeutic relevance is discussed. The low affinity of A2B receptors for adenosine implies that they might represent a good therapeutic target, since they are activated only under pathological conditions (when adenosine levels raise up to micromolar concentrations). The availability of selective ligands for A2B receptors would allow exploration of such an hypothesis. Since adenosine A2A receptors mediate both potentially neuroprotective and potentially neurotoxic effects, their role in neurodegenerative diseases is highly controversial. Nevertheless, A2A receptor antagonists have shown clear antiparkinsonian effects, and a great interest exists on the role of A2A receptors in Alzheimer's disease, brain ischaemia, spinal cord injury, drug addiction and other conditions. In order to establish whether such receptors represent a target for CNS diseases, at least two conditions are needed: the full comprehension of A2A-dependent mechanisms and the availability of ligands capable of discriminating among the different receptor populations.

  15. Dopamine D3 Receptor Antagonists as Potential Therapeutics for the Treatment of Neurological Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Maramai, Samuele; Gemma, Sandra; Brogi, Simone; Campiani, Giuseppe; Butini, Stefania; Stark, Holger; Brindisi, Margherita

    2016-01-01

    D3 receptors represent a major focus of current drug design and development of therapeutics for dopamine-related pathological states. Their close homology with the D2 receptor subtype makes the development of D3 selective antagonists a challenging task. In this review, we explore the relevance and therapeutic utility of D3 antagonists or partial agonists endowed with multireceptor affinity profile in the field of central nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia and drug abuse. In fact, the peculiar distribution and low brain abundance of D3 receptors make them a valuable target for the development of drugs devoid of motor side effects classically elicited by D2 antagonists. Recent research efforts were devoted to the conception of chemical templates possibly endowed with a multi-target profile, especially with regards to other G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). A comprehensive overview of the recent literature in the field is herein provided. In particular, the evolution of the chemical templates has been tracked, according to the growing advancements in both the structural information and the refinement of the key pharmacophoric elements. The receptor/multireceptor affinity and functional profiles for the examined compounds have been covered, together with their most significant pharmacological applications. PMID:27761108

  16. Allosteric Modulation of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors: Structural Insights and Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Karen J.; Dong, Elizabeth N.; Meiler, Jens; Conn, P. Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    Allosteric modulation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represents a novel approach to the development of probes and therapeutics that is expected to enable subtype-specific regulation of central nervous system target receptors. The metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlus) are class C GPCRs that play important neuromodulatory roles throughout the brain, as such they are attractive targets for therapeutic intervention for a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders including anxiety, depression, Fragile X Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Over the last fifteen years, selective allosteric modulators have been identified for many members of the mGlu family. The vast majority of these allosteric modulators are thought to bind within the transmembrane-spanning domains of the receptors to enhance or inhibit functional responses. A combination of mutagenesis-based studies and pharmacological approaches are beginning to provide a better understanding of mGlu allosteric sites. Collectively, when mapped onto a homology model of the different mGlu subtypes based on the β2-adrenergic receptor, the previous mutagenesis studies suggest commonalities in the location of allosteric sites across different members of the mGlu family. In addition, there is evidence for multiple allosteric binding pockets within the transmembrane region that can interact to modulate one another. In the absence of a class C GPCR crystal structure, this approach has shown promise with respect to the interpretation of mutagenesis data and understanding structure-activity relationships of allosteric modulator pharmacophores. PMID:20637216

  17. Muscarinic receptors: their roles in disorders of the central nervous system and potential as therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Scarr, Elizabeth

    2012-05-01

    Phylogenetically, acetylcholine is an ancient neurochemical. Therefore, it is not surprising that cholinergic neurons project extensively throughout the central nervous system, innervating a wide range of structures within the brain. In fact, acetylcholine is involved in processes that underpin some of our most basic central functions. Both muscarinic and nicotinic receptor families, which mediate cholinergic transmission, have been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The question that remains to be definitively answered is whether or not these receptors are viable targets for the development of future therapeutic agents.

  18. Interleukin 6 Receptor Is an Independent Prognostic Factor and a Potential Therapeutic Target of Ovarian Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Isobe, Aki; Sawada, Kenjiro; Kinose, Yasuto; Ohyagi-Hara, Chifumi; Nakatsuka, Erika; Makino, Hiroshi; Ogura, Tomonori; Mizuno, Tomoko; Suzuki, Noriko; Morii, Eiichi; Nakamura, Koji; Sawada, Ikuko; Toda, Aska; Hashimoto, Kae; Mabuchi, Seiji; Ohta, Tsuyoshi; Morishige, Ken-ichirou; Kurachi, Hirohisa; Kimura, Tadashi

    2015-01-01

    Ovarian cancer remains the most lethal gynecologic cancer and new targeted molecular therapies against this miserable disease continue to be challenging. In this study, we analyzed the expressional patterns of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its receptor (IL-6R) expression in ovarian cancer tissues, evaluated the impact of these expressions on clinical outcomes of patients, and found that a high-level of IL-6R expression but not IL-6 expression in cancer cells is an independent prognostic factor. In in vitro analyses using ovarian cell lines, while six (RMUG-S, RMG-1, OVISE, A2780, SKOV3ip1 and OVCAR-3) of seven overexpressed IL-6R compared with a primary normal ovarian surface epithelium, only two (RMG-1, OVISE) of seven cell lines overexpressed IL-6, suggesting that IL-6/IL-6R signaling exerts in a paracrine manner in certain types of ovarian cancer cells. Ovarian cancer ascites were collected from patients, and we found that primary CD11b+CD14+ cells, which were predominantly M2-polarized macrophages, are the major source of IL-6 production in an ovarian cancer microenvironment. When CD11b+CD14+ cells were co-cultured with cancer cells, both the invasion and the proliferation of cancer cells were robustly promoted and these promotions were almost completely inhibited by pretreatment with anti-IL-6R antibody (tocilizumab). The data presented herein suggest a rationale for anti-IL-6/IL-6R therapy to suppress the peritoneal spread of ovarian cancer, and represent evidence of the therapeutic potential of anti-IL-6R therapy for ovarian cancer treatment. PMID:25658637

  19. DDR2 (discoidin domain receptor 2) suppresses osteoclastogenesis and is a potential therapeutic target in osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Su, Jin; Wu, Shufang; Teng, Yue; Yin, Zhanhai; Guo, Yan; Li, Jing; Li, Kun; Yao, Libo; Li, Xu

    2015-03-24

    Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by abnormal skeletal fragility due to an imbalance in bone homeostasis. Finding therapeutic targets that promote bone formation is valuable for treating osteoporosis. Discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that promotes the differentiation of bone-depositing cells, osteoblasts, and bone formation. We investigated the role of DDR2 in osteoclastogenesis, the formation of cells responsible for bone resorption. We found that, although differentiated osteoclasts had catalytically active DDR2, its abundance was decreased. Overexpression of DDR2 inhibited the expression of osteoclastic markers, osteoclast maturation, and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption in a culture model of bone matrix. Conversely, knocking down Ddr2 through RNA interference accelerated osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption in mice. Further, we identified the co-receptor Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) as a DDR2-interacting protein. DDR2 facilitated the binding of Nrp1 and the co-receptor PlexinA1 by forming a DDR2-Nrp1-PlexinA1 complex, which blocked PlexinA1-mediated stimulation of osteoclastogenesis. DDR2 prevented PlexinA1 from interacting with the receptor TREM2 and the adaptor DAP12. Moreover, knocking down Nrp1 rescued the expression of osteoclastic markers observed in DDR2-overexpressing cells, whereas ectopic expression of Nrp1 in DDR2-silenced cells inhibited the induction of osteoclastogenesis. Nrp1 enhanced the function of DDR2 in promoting osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in mice. In an ovariectomized mouse model of osteoporosis, adenovirus-mediated delivery of DDR2 to the femur bone alleviated osteopenic phenotypes. Our results revealed that DDR2 functions as an inhibitor of osteoclastogenesis, as well as a promoter of osteoblastogenesis, suggesting that enhancing DDR2 may be therapeutic for patients with osteoporosis.

  20. Serotonin 5-HT7 receptor agents: structure-activity relationships and potential therapeutic applications in central nervous system disorders

    PubMed Central

    Leopoldo, Marcello; Lacivita, Enza; Berardi, Francesco; Perrone, Roberto; Hedlund, Peter B.

    2010-01-01

    Since its discovery in the 1940s in serum, the mammalian intestinal mucosa, and in the central nervous system, serotonin (5-HT) has been shown to be involved in virtually all cognitive and behavioral human functions, and alterations in its neurochemistry have been implicated in the etiology of a plethora of neuropsychiatric disorders. The cloning of 5-HT receptor subtypes has been of importance in enabling them to be classified as specific protein molecules encoded by specific genes. The 5-HT7 receptor is the most recently classified member of the serotonin receptor family. Since its identification, it has been the subject of intense research efforts driven by its presence in functionally relevant regions of the brain. The availability of some selective antagonists and agonists, in combination with genetically modified mice lacking the 5-HT7 receptor, has allowed for a better understanding of the pathophysiological role of this receptor. This paper reviews data on localization and pharmacological properties of the 5-HT7 receptor, and summarizes the results of structure-activity relationship studies aimed at the discovery of selective 5-HT7 receptor ligands. Additionally, an overview of the potential therapeutic applications of 5-HT7 receptor agonists and antagonists in central nervous system disorders is presented. PMID:20923682

  1. GABA(B) receptors, schizophrenia and sleep dysfunction: a review of the relationship and its potential clinical and therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Kantrowitz, Joshua; Citrome, Leslie; Javitt, Daniel

    2009-08-01

    Evidence for an intrinsic relationship between sleep, cognition and the symptomatic manifestations of schizophrenia is accumulating. This review presents evidence for the possible utility of GABA(B) receptor agonists for the treatment of subjective and objective sleep abnormalities related to schizophrenia. At the phenotypic level, sleep disturbance occurs in 16-30% of patients with schizophrenia and is related to reduced quality of life and poor coping skills. On the neurophysiological level, studies suggest that sleep deficits reflect a core component of schizophrenia. Specifically, slow-wave sleep deficits, which are inversely correlated with cognition scores, are seen. Moreover, sleep plays an increasingly well documented role in memory consolidation in schizophrenia. Correlations of slow-wave sleep deficits with impaired reaction time and declarative memory have also been reported. Thus, both behavioural insomnia and sleep architecture are critical therapeutic targets in patients with schizophrenia. However, long-term treatment with antipsychotics often results in residual sleep dysfunction and does not improve slow-wave sleep, and adjunctive GABA(A) receptor modulators, such as benzodiazepines and zolpidem, can impair sleep architecture and cognition in schizophrenia. GABA(B) receptor agonists have therapeutic potential in schizophrenia. These agents have minimal effect on rapid eye movement sleep while increasing slow-wave sleep. Preclinical associations with increased expression of genes related to slow-wave sleep production and circadian rhythm function have also been reported. GABA(B) receptor deficits result in a sustained hyperdopaminergic state and can be reversed by a GABA(B) receptor agonist. Genetic, postmortem and electrophysiological studies also associate GABA(B) receptors with schizophrenia. While studies thus far have not shown significant effects, prior focus on the use of GABA(B) receptor agonists has been on the positive symptoms of

  2. α7 Nicotinic Receptor Agonists: Potential Therapeutic Drugs for Treatment of Cognitive Impairments in Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Toyohara, Jun; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that α7 nicotinic receptors (α7 nAChRs), a subtype of nAChRs, play a role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A number of psychopharmacological and genetic studies shown that α7 nAChRs play an important role in the deficits of P50 auditory evoked potential in patients with schizophrenia, and that (α nAChR agonists would be potential therapeutic drugs for cognitive impairments associated with P50 deficits in schizophrenia. Furthermore, some studies have demonstrated that α7 nAChRs might play a key role in the amyloid-β (Aβ)-mediated pathology of AD, and that α7 nAChR agonists would be potential therapeutic drugs for Aβ deposition in the brains of patients with AD. Interestingly, the altered expression of α7 nAChRs in the postmortem brain tissues from patients with schizophrenia and AD has been reported. Based on all these findings, selective α7 nAChR agonists can be considered potential therapeutic drugs for cognitive impairments in both schizophrenia and AD. In this article, we review the recent research into the role of α7 nAChRs in the pathophysiology of these diseases and into the potential use of novel α7 nAChR agonists as therapeutic drugs. PMID:21249164

  3. Therapeutic Potential of 5-HT2C Receptor Agonists for Addictive Disorders.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Guy A; Fletcher, Paul J

    2015-07-15

    The neurotransmitter 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) has long been associated with the control of a variety of motivated behaviors, including feeding. Much of the evidence linking 5-HT and feeding behavior was obtained from studies of the effects of the 5-HT releaser (dex)fenfluramine in laboratory animals and humans. Recently, the selective 5-HT2C receptor agonist lorcaserin received FDA approval for the treatment of obesity. This review examines evidence to support the use of selective 5-HT2C receptor agonists as treatments for conditions beyond obesity, including substance abuse (particularly nicotine, psychostimulant, and alcohol dependence), obsessive compulsive, and excessive gambling disorder. Following a brief survey of the early literature supporting a role for 5-HT in modulating food and drug reinforcement, we propose that intrinsic differences between SSRI and serotonin releasers may have underestimated the value of serotonin-based pharmacotherapeutics to treat clinical forms of addictive behavior beyond obesity. We then highlight the critical involvement of the 5-HT2C receptor in mediating the effect of (dex)fenfluramine on feeding and body weight gain and the evidence that 5-HT2C receptor agonists reduce measures of drug reward and impulsivity. A recent report of lorcaserin efficacy in a smoking cessation trial further strengthens the idea that 5-HT2C receptor agonists may have potential as a treatment for addiction. This review was prepared as a contribution to the proceedings of the 11th International Society for Serotonin Research Meeting held in Hermanus, South Africa, July 9-12, 2014.

  4. Interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase inhibitors: potential therapeutic agents for inflammatory- and immune-related disorders.

    PubMed

    Bahia, Malkeet Singh; Kaur, Maninder; Silakari, Pragati; Silakari, Om

    2015-06-01

    The various cells of innate immune system quickly counter-attack invading pathogens, and mount up "first line" defense through their trans-membrane receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and interleukin receptors (IL-Rs) that result in the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Albeit such inflammatory responses are beneficial in pathological conditions, their overstimulation may cause severe inflammatory damage; thus, make this defense system a "double edged sword". IRAK-4 has been evaluated as an indispensable element of IL-Rs and TLR pathways that can regulate the abnormal levels of cytokines, and therefore could be employed to manage immune- and inflammation-related disorders. Historically, the identification of selective and potent inhibitors has been challenging; thus, a limited number of small molecule IRAK-4 inhibitors are available in literature. Recently, IRAK-4 achieved great attention, when Ligand® pharmaceutical and Nimbus Discovery® reported the beneficial potentials of IRAK-4 inhibitors in the pre-clinical evaluation for various inflammatory- and immune-related disorders, but not limited to, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, gout, asthma and cancer.

  5. Calcitriol restores antiestrogen responsiveness in estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells: A potential new therapeutic approach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Approximately 30% of breast tumors do not express the estrogen receptor (ER) α, which is necessary for endocrine therapy approaches. Studies are ongoing in order to restore ERα expression in ERα-negative breast cancer. The aim of the present study was to determine if calcitriol induces ERα expression in ER-negative breast cancer cells, thus restoring antiestrogen responses. Methods Cultured cells derived from ERα-negative breast tumors and an ERα-negative breast cancer cell line (SUM-229PE) were treated with calcitriol and ERα expression was assessed by real time PCR and western blots. The ERα functionality was evaluated by prolactin gene expression analysis. In addition, the effects of antiestrogens were assessed by growth assay using the XTT method. Gene expression of cyclin D1 (CCND1), and Ether-à-go-go 1 (EAG1) was also evaluated in cells treated with calcitriol alone or in combination with estradiol or ICI-182,780. Statistical analyses were determined by one-way ANOVA. Results Calcitriol was able to induce the expression of a functional ERα in ER-negative breast cancer cells. This effect was mediated through the vitamin D receptor (VDR), since it was abrogated by a VDR antagonist. Interestingly, the calcitriol-induced ERα restored the response to antiestrogens by inhibiting cell proliferation. In addition, calcitriol-treated cells in the presence of ICI-182,780 resulted in a significant reduction of two important cell proliferation regulators CCND1 and EAG1. Conclusions Calcitriol induced the expression of ERα and restored the response to antiestrogens in ERα-negative breast cancer cells. The combined treatment with calcitriol and antiestrogens could represent a new therapeutic strategy in ERα-negative breast cancer patients. PMID:24678876

  6. G protein-coupled receptors: potential therapeutic targets for diabetic nephropathy.

    PubMed

    Ding, Hai-Hua; Ni, Wei-Jian; Tang, Li-Qin; Wei, Wei

    2015-12-16

    Diabetic nephropathy, a lethal microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus, is characterized by progressive albuminuria, excessive deposition of extracellular matrix, thickened glomerular basement membrane, podocyte abnormalities, and podocyte loss. The G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have attracted considerable attention in diabetic nephropathy, but the specific effects have not been elucidated yet. Likewise, abnormal signaling pathways are closely interrelated to the pathologic process of diabetic nephropathy, despite the fact that the mechanisms have not been explored clearly. Therefore, GPCRs and its mediated signaling pathways are essential for priority research, so that preventative strategies and potential targets might be developed for diabetic nephropathy. This article will give us comprehensive overview of predominant GPCR types, roles, and correlative signaling pathways in diabetic nephropathy.

  7. Temporal Expression of Apelin/Apelin Receptor in Ischemic Stroke and its Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yili; Wang, Xin; Zhou, Xuan; Cheng, Baohua; Li, Gongying; Bai, Bo

    2017-01-01

    Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, and ischemic stroke accounts for approximately 87% of cases. Improving post-stroke recovery is a major challenge in stroke treatment. Accumulated evidence indicates that the apelinergic system, consisting of apelin and apelin receptor (APLNR), is temporally dysregulated in ischemic stroke. Moreover, the apelinergic system plays a pivotal role in post-stroke recovery by inhibiting neuronal apoptosis and facilitating angiogenesis through various molecular pathways. In this review article, we summarize the temporal expression of apelin and APLNR in ischemic stroke and the mechanisms of their dysregulation. In addition, the protective role of the apelinergic system in ischemic stroke and the underlying mechanisms of its protective effects are discussed. Furthermore, critical issues in activating the apelinergic system as a potential therapy will also be discussed. The aim of this review article is to shed light on exploiting the activation of the apelinergic system to treat ischemic stroke. PMID:28167898

  8. Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor is a potential therapeutic target for gastrointestinal stromal tumors

    PubMed Central

    Tarn, Chi; Rink, Lori; Merkel, Erin; Flieder, Douglas; Pathak, Harsh; Koumbi, Daphne; Testa, Joseph R.; Eisenberg, Burton; von Mehren, Margaret; Godwin, Andrew K.

    2008-01-01

    A subset of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) lack gain-of-function mutations in c-KIT and PDGFRα. These so-called wild-type (WT) GISTs tend to be less responsive to imatinib-based therapies and have a poor prognosis. We identified amplification of IGF1R in a SNP analysis of GIST and thus studied its potential as a therapeutic target in WT and mutant GIST. Expression of IGF1R and downstream effectors in clinical GIST samples was examined by using immunoblots and immunohistochemistry. The roles of IGF1R signaling in GIST and viability were analyzed by using NVP-AEW541, an inhibitor of IGF1R, alone and in combination with imatinib, or via siRNA silencing of IGF1R. IGF1R was strongly overexpressed, and IGF1R amplification was detected at a significantly higher frequency in WT GISTs, including a pediatric WT GIST, compared with mutant GISTs (P = 0.0173 and P = 0.0163, respectively). Inhibition of IGF1R activity in vitro with NVP-AEW541 or down-regulation of expression with siIGF1R led to cytotoxicity and induced apoptosis in GIST cell lines via AKT and MAPK signaling. Combination of NVP-AEW541 and imatinib in GIST cell lines induced a strong cytotoxicity response. Our results reveal that IGF1R is amplified and the protein is overexpressed in WT and pediatric GISTs. We also demonstrate that the aberrant expression of IGF1R may be associated with oncogenesis in WT GISTs and suggest an alternative and/or complementary therapeutic regimen in the clinical management of all GISTs, especially in a subset of tumors that respond less favorably to imatinib-based therapy. PMID:18550829

  9. Potential therapeutic interest of adenosine A2A receptors in psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Rodrigo A; Ferré, Sergi; Vaugeois, Jean-Marie; Chen, Jiang-Fan

    2008-01-01

    The interest on targeting adenosine A(2A) receptors in the realm of psychiatric diseases first arose based on their tight physical and functional interaction with dopamine D(2) receptors. However, the role of central A(2A) receptors is now viewed as much broader than just controlling D(2) receptor function. Thus, there is currently a major interest in the ability of A(2A) receptors to control synaptic plasticity at glutamatergic synapses. This is due to a combined ability of A(2A) receptors to facilitate the release of glutamate and the activation of NMDA receptors. Therefore, A(2A) receptors are now conceived as a normalizing device promoting adequate adaptive responses in neuronal circuits, a role similar to that fulfilled, in essence, by dopamine. This makes A(2A) receptors particularly attractive targets to manage psychiatric disorders since adenosine may act as go-between glutamate and dopamine, two of the key players in mood processing. Furthermore, A(2A) receptors also control glia function and brain metabolic adaptation, two other emerging mechanisms to understand abnormal processing of mood, and A(2A) receptors are important players in controlling the demise of neurodegeneration, considered an amplificatory loop in psychiatric disorders. Current data only provide an indirect confirmation of this putative role of A(2A) receptors, based on the effects of caffeine (an antagonist of both A(1) and A(2A) receptors) in psychiatric disorders. However, the introduction of A(2A) receptors antagonists in clinics as anti-parkinsonian agents is hoped to bolster our knowledge on the role of A(2A) receptors in mood disorders in the near future.

  10. Transient receptor potential canonical 4 and 5 proteins as targets in cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Gaunt, Hannah J; Vasudev, Naveen S; Beech, David J

    2016-10-01

    Novel approaches towards cancer therapy are urgently needed. One approach might be to target ion channels mediating Ca(2+) entry because of the critical roles played by Ca(2+) in many cell types, including cancer cells. There are several types of these ion channels, but here we address those formed by assembly of transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) proteins, particularly those which involve two closely related members of the family: TRPC4 and TRPC5. We focus on these proteins because recent studies point to roles in important aspects of cancer: drug resistance, transmission of drug resistance through extracellular vesicles, tumour vascularisation, and evoked cancer cell death by the TRPC4/5 channel activator (-)-englerin A. We conclude that further research is both justified and necessary before these proteins can be considered as strong targets for anti-cancer cell drug discovery programmes. It is nevertheless already apparent that inhibitors of the channels would be unlikely to cause significant adverse effects, but, rather, have other effects which may be beneficial in the context of cancer and chemotherapy, potentially including suppression of innate fear, visceral pain and pathological cardiac remodelling.

  11. Receptor tyrosine kinase (c-Kit) inhibitors: a potential therapeutic target in cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Abbaspour Babaei, Maryam; Kamalidehghan, Behnam; Saleem, Mohammad; Huri, Hasniza Zaman; Ahmadipour, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    c-Kit, a receptor tyrosine kinase, is involved in intracellular signaling, and the mutated form of c-Kit plays a crucial role in occurrence of some cancers. The function of c-Kit has led to the concept that inhibiting c-Kit kinase activity can be a target for cancer therapy. The promising results of inhibition of c-Kit for treatment of cancers have been observed in some cancers such as gastrointestinal stromal tumor, acute myeloid leukemia, melanoma, and other tumors, and these results have encouraged attempts toward improvement of using c-Kit as a capable target for cancer therapy. This paper presents the findings of previous studies regarding c-Kit as a receptor tyrosine kinase and an oncogene, as well as its gene targets and signaling pathways in normal and cancer cells. The c-Kit gene location, protein structure, and the role of c-Kit in normal cell have been discussed. Comprehending the molecular mechanism underlying c-Kit-mediated tumorogenesis is consequently essential and may lead to the identification of future novel drug targets. The potential mechanisms by which c-Kit induces cellular transformation have been described. This study aims to elucidate the function of c-Kit for future cancer therapy. In addition, it has c-Kit inhibitor drug properties and their functions have been listed in tables and demonstrated in schematic pictures. This review also has collected previous studies that targeted c-Kit as a novel strategy for cancer therapy. This paper further emphasizes the advantages of this approach, as well as the limitations that must be addressed in the future. Finally, although c-Kit is an attractive target for cancer therapy, based on the outcomes of treatment of patients with c-Kit inhibitors, it is unlikely that Kit inhibitors alone can lead to cure. It seems that c-Kit mutations alone are not sufficient for tumorogenesis, but do play a crucial role in cancer occurrence. PMID:27536065

  12. Scavenger Receptors and Their Potential as Therapeutic Targets in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Stephen, Sam L.; Freestone, Katie; Dunn, Sarah; Twigg, Michael W.; Homer-Vanniasinkam, Shervanthi; Walker, John H.; Wheatcroft, Stephen B.; Ponnambalam, Sreenivasan

    2010-01-01

    Scavenger receptors act as membrane-bound and soluble proteins that bind to macromolecular complexes and pathogens. This diverse supergroup of proteins mediates binding to modified lipoprotein particles which regulate the initiation and progression of atherosclerotic plaques. In vascular tissues, scavenger receptors are implicated in regulating intracellular signaling, lipid accumulation, foam cell development, and cellular apoptosis or necrosis linked to the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. One approach is using gene therapy to modulate scavenger receptor function in atherosclerosis. Ectopic expression of membrane-bound scavenger receptors using viral vectors can modify lipid profiles and reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis. Alternatively, expression of soluble scavenger receptors can also block plaque initiation and progression. Inhibition of scavenger receptor expression using a combined gene therapy and RNA interference strategy also holds promise for long-term therapy. Here we review our current understanding of the gene delivery by viral vectors to cells and tissues in gene therapy strategies and its application to the modulation of scavenger receptor function in atherosclerosis. PMID:20981357

  13. The therapeutic potential of histamine receptor ligands in inflammatory bowel disease.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Detlef; Seifert, Roland

    2014-09-01

    In the intestine of patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease concentrations of histamine are increased compared to healthy controls. Genetic ablation of histamine production in mice ameliorates the course of experimentally induced colitis. These observations and first pharmacological studies indicate a function of histamine in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. However, a closer examination reveals that available data are highly heterogeneous, limiting the rational design of strategies addressing specific histamine receptor subtypes as possible target for pharmacological interaction. However, very recently first clinical data indicate that antagonism at the histamine receptor subtype H4 provides a beneficial effect in at least the skin. Here, we discuss the available data on histamine effects and histamine receptor subtype functions in inflammatory bowel disease with a special emphasis on the histamine H4-receptor.

  14. Drug addiction: targeting dynamic neuroimmune receptor interactions as a potential therapeutic strategy.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Jonathan Henry W; Hutchinson, Mark R; Mustafa, Sanam

    2016-02-01

    Drug addiction and dependence have proven to be difficult psychiatric disorders to treat. The limited efficacy of neuronally acting medications, such as acamprosate and naltrexone, highlights the need to identify novel targets. Recent research has underscored the importance of the neuroimmune system in many behavioural manifestations of drug addiction. In this review, we propose that our appreciation for complex phenotypes such as drug addiction and dependence will come with a greater understanding that these disorders are the result of intricate, interconnected signalling pathways that are, if only partially, determined at the receptor level. The idea of receptor heteromerisation and receptor mosaics will be introduced to explain cross talk between the receptors and signalling molecules implicated in neuroimmune signalling pathways.

  15. The therapeutic potential of nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor agonists as analgesics without abuse liability.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ann P; Ko, Mei-Chuan

    2013-02-20

    Although mu opioid (MOP) receptor agonists are the most commonly used analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain in the clinic, the side effects of MOP agonists such as abuse liability limit their value as a medication. Research to identify novel analgesics without adverse effects is pivotal to advance the health care of humans. The nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptor, the fourth opioid receptor subtype, mediates distinctive actions in nonhuman primates which suggests the possibility that activity at this receptor may result in strong analgesia in the absence of virtually all of the side effects associated with MOP agonists. The present review highlights the recent progress of pharmacological studies of NOP-related ligands in primates. Selective NOP agonists, either peptidic or nonpeptidic, produce full analgesia in various assays in primates, when delivered systemically or intrathecally. Yet small molecule NOP agonists do not serve as reinforcers, indicating a lack of abuse liability. Given that NOP agonists have low abuse liability and that coactivation of NOP and MOP receptors produces synergistic antinociception, it is worth developing bifunctional NOP/MOP ligands. The outcomes of these studies and recent developments provide new perspectives to establish a translational bridge for understanding the biobehavioral functions of NOP receptors in primates and for facilitating the development of NOP-related ligands as a new generation of analgesics without abuse liability in humans.

  16. Endocannabinoid control of glutamate NMDA receptors: the therapeutic potential and consequences of dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Muñoz, María; Sánchez-Blázquez, Pilar; Merlos, Manuel; Garzón-Niño, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Glutamate is probably the most important excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. The glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is a calcium-gated channel that coordinates with G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to establish the efficiency of the synaptic transmission. Cross-regulation between these receptors requires the concerted activity of the histidine triad nucleotide-binding protein 1 (HINT1) and of the sigma receptor type 1 (σ1R). Essential brain functions like learning, memory formation and consolidation, mood and behavioral responses to exogenous stimuli depend on the activity of NMDARs. In this biological context, endocannabinoids are released to retain NMDAR activity within physiological limits. The efficacy of such control depends on HINT1/σ1R assisting in the physical coupling between cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1Rs) and NMDARs to dampen their activity. Subsequently, the calcium-regulated HINT1/σ1R protein tandem uncouples CB1Rs to prevent NMDAR hypofunction. Thus, early recruitment or a disproportionate cannabinoid induced response can bring about excess dampening of NMDAR activity, impeding its adequate integration with GPCR signaling. Alternatively, this control circuit can apparently be overridden in situations where bursts of NMDAR overactivity provoke convulsive syndromes. In this review we will discuss the possible relevance of the HINT1/σ1R tandem and its use by endocannabinoids to diminish NMDAR activity and their implications in psychosis/schizophrenia, as well as in NMDAR-mediated convulsive episodes. PMID:27323834

  17. β-arrestins: regulatory role and therapeutic potential in opioid and cannabinoid receptor-mediated analgesia.

    PubMed

    Raehal, Kirsten M; Bohn, Laura M

    2014-01-01

    Pain is a complex disorder with neurochemical and psychological components contributing to the severity, the persistence, and the difficulty in adequately treating the condition. Opioid and cannabinoids are two classes of analgesics that have been used to treat pain for centuries and are arguably the oldest of "pharmacological" interventions used by man. Unfortunately, they also produce several adverse side effects that can complicate pain management. Opioids and cannabinoids act at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and much of their effects are mediated by the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R), respectively. These receptors couple to intracellular second messengers and regulatory proteins to impart their biological effects. In this chapter, we review the role of the intracellular regulatory proteins, β-arrestins, in modulating MOR and CB1R and how they influence the analgesic and side-effect profiles of opioid and cannabinoid drugs in vivo. This review of the literature suggests that the development of opioid and cannabinoid agonists that bias MOR and CB1R toward G protein signaling cascades and away from β-arrestin interactions may provide a novel mechanism by which to produce analgesia with less severe adverse effects.

  18. β-Arrestins: Regulatory Role and Therapeutic Potential in Opioid and Cannabinoid Receptor-Mediated Analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Bohn, Laura M.

    2016-01-01

    Pain is a complex disorder with neurochemical and psychological components contributing to the severity, the persistence, and the difficulty in adequately treating the condition. Opioid and cannabinoids are two classes of analgesics that have been used to treat pain for centuries and are arguably the oldest of “pharmacological” interventions used by man. Unfortunately, they also produce several adverse side effects that can complicate pain management. Opioids and cannabinoids act at G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and much of their effects are mediated by the mu-opioid receptor (MOR) and cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R), respectively. These receptors couple to intracellular second messengers and regulatory proteins to impart their biological effects. In this chapter, we review the role of the intracellular regulatory proteins, β-arrestins, in modulating MOR and CB1R and how they influence the analgesic and side-effect profiles of opioid and cannabinoid drugs in vivo. This review of the literature suggests that the development of opioid and cannabinoid agonists that bias MOR and CB1R toward G protein signaling cascades and away from β-arrestin interactions may provide a novel mechanism by which to produce analgesia with less severe adverse effects. PMID:24292843

  19. A novel GABA(A) alpha 5 receptor inhibitor with therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Ling, István; Mihalik, Balázs; Etherington, Lori-An; Kapus, Gábor; Pálvölgyi, Adrienn; Gigler, Gábor; Kertész, Szabolcs; Gaál, Attila; Pallagi, Katalin; Kiricsi, Péter; Szabó, Éva; Szénási, Gábor; Papp, Lilla; Hársing, László G; Lévay, György; Spedding, Michael; Lambert, Jeremy J; Belelli, Delia; Barkóczy, József; Volk, Balázs; Simig, Gyula; Gacsályi, István; Antoni, Ferenc A

    2015-10-05

    Novel 2,3-benzodiazepine and related isoquinoline derivatives, substituted at position 1 with a 2-benzothiophenyl moiety, were synthesized to produce compounds that potently inhibited the action of GABA on heterologously expressed GABAA receptors containing the alpha 5 subunit (GABAA α5), with no apparent affinity for the benzodiazepine site. Substitutions of the benzothiophene moiety at position 4 led to compounds with drug-like properties that were putative inhibitors of extra-synaptic GABAA α5 receptors and had substantial blood-brain barrier permeability. Initial characterization in vivo showed that 8-methyl-5-[4-(trifluoromethyl)-1-benzothiophen-2-yl]-1,9-dihydro-2H-[1,3]oxazolo[4,5-h][2,3]benzodiazepin-2-one was devoid of sedative, pro-convulsive or motor side-effects, and enhanced the performance of rats in the object recognition test. In summary, we have discovered a first-in-class GABA-site inhibitor of extra-synaptic GABAA α5 receptors that has promising drug-like properties and warrants further development.

  20. The Endothelin Type A Receptor as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Preeclampsia

    PubMed Central

    Bakrania, Bhavisha; Duncan, Jeremy; Warrington, Junie P.; Granger, Joey P.

    2017-01-01

    Preeclampsia (PE) is a disorder of pregnancy typically characterized by new onset hypertension after gestational week 20 and proteinuria. Although PE is one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and death worldwide, the mechanisms of the pathogenesis of the disease remain unclear and treatment options are limited. However, there is increasing evidence to suggest that endothelin-1 (ET-1) plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of PE. Multiple studies report that ET-1 is increased in PE and some studies report a positive correlation between ET-1 and the severity of symptoms. A number of experimental models of PE are also associated with elevated tissue levels of prepro ET-1 mRNA. Moreover, experimental models of PE (placental ischemia, sFlt-1 infusion, Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) -α infusion, and Angiotensin II type 1 receptor autoantibody (AT1-AA) infusion) have proven to be susceptible to Endothelin Type A (ETA) receptor antagonism. While the results are promising, further work is needed to determine whether ET antagonists could provide an effective therapy for the management of preeclampsia. PMID:28264495

  1. Histamine H4 receptor: insights into a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Martinel Lamas, Diego J; Rivera, Elena S; Medina, Vanina A

    2015-06-01

    Breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide, and the leading cause of cancer death in women. Several studies underlined the critical role of histamine in breast cancer development and progression. This review addresses the latest evidence regarding the involvement of histamine and histamine receptors in breast cancer, focusing particularly in the histamine H4 receptor (H4R). Histamine concentration in breast cancer tissues was found to be higher than that in normal tissues of healthy controls by means of an increase in the activity of histidine decarboxylase (HDC), the enzyme involved in histamine production. The expression of H4R in different experimental models and human biopsies, the associated biological responses, as well as the in vivo treatment of experimental tumors with H4R ligands is reviewed. Evidence demonstrates that the H4R exhibits a key role in histamine-mediated biological processes such as cell proliferation, senescence and apoptosis in breast cancer. The polymorphisms of the H4R and HDC genes and their association with breast cancer risk and malignancy reinforce the critical (patho)physiological role of H4R in breast cancer. In addition, H4R agonists display anti-tumor effects in vivo in a triple negative breast cancer model. The findings support the exploitation of the H4R as a molecular target for breast cancer drug development.

  2. Low-Dose Radiation Potentiates the Therapeutic Efficacy of Folate Receptor-Targeted Hapten Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Sega, Emanuela I.; Lu Yingjuan; Ringor, Michael; Leamon, Christopher P.; Low, Philip S.

    2008-06-01

    Purpose: Human cancers frequently overexpress a high-affinity cell-surface receptor for the vitamin folic acid. Highly immunogenic haptens can be targeted to folate receptor-expressing cell surfaces by administration of folate-hapten conjugates, rendering the decorated tumor cell surfaces more recognizable by the immune system. Treatment of antihapten-immunized mice with folate-hapten constructs results in elimination of moderately sized tumors by the immune system. However, when subcutaneous tumors exceed 300 mm{sup 3} before initiation of therapy, antitumor activity is significantly decreased. In an effort to enhance the efficacy of folate-targeted hapten immunotherapy (FTHI) against large tumors, we explored the combination of targeted hapten immunotherapy with low-dose radiotherapy. Methods and Materials: Mice bearing 300-mm{sup 3} subcutaneous tumors were treated concurrently with FTHI (500 nmol/kg of folate conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate, 20,000 U/dose of interleukin 2, and 25,000 U/dose of interferon {alpha}) and low-dose radiotherapy (3 Gy/dose focused directly on the desired tumor mass). The efficacy of therapy was evaluated by measuring tumor volume. Results: Tumor growth analyses show that radiotherapy synergizes with FTHI in antihapten-immunized mice, thereby allowing for cures of animals bearing tumors greater than 300 mm{sup 3}. More importantly, nonirradiated distal tumor masses in animals containing locally irradiated tumors also showed improved response to hapten immunotherapy, suggesting that not all tumor lesions must be identified and irradiated to benefit from the combination therapy. Conclusions: These results suggest that simultaneous treatment with FTHI and radiation therapy can enhance systemic antitumor activity in tumor-bearing mice.

  3. Properties and Therapeutic Potential of Transient Receptor Potential Channels with Putative Roles in Adversity: Focus on TRPC5, TRPM2 and TRPA1

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, L.H; Gamper, N; Beech, D.J

    2011-01-01

    Mammals contain 28 genes encoding Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) proteins. The proteins assemble into cationic channels, often with calcium permeability. Important roles in physiology and disease have emerged and so there is interest in whether the channels might be suitable therapeutic drug targets. Here we review selected members of three subfamilies of mammalian TRP channel (TRPC5, TRPM2 and TRPA1) that show relevance to sensing of adversity by cells and biological systems. Summarized are the cellular and tissue distributions, general properties, endogenous modulators, protein partners, cellular and tissue functions, therapeutic potential, and pharmacology. TRPC5 is stimulated by receptor agonists and other factors that include lipids and metal ions; it heteromultimerises with other TRPC proteins and is involved in cell movement and anxiety control. TRPM2 is activated by hydrogen peroxide; it is implicated in stress-related inflammatory, vascular and neurodegenerative conditions. TRPA1 is stimulated by a wide range of irritants including mustard oil and nicotine but also, controversially, noxious cold and mechanical pressure; it is implicated in pain and inflammatory responses, including in the airways. The channels have in common that they show polymodal stimulation, have activities that are enhanced by redox factors, are permeable to calcium, and are facilitated by elevations of intracellular calcium. Developing inhibitors of the channels could lead to new agents for a variety of conditions: for example, suppressing unwanted tissue remodeling, inflammation, pain and anxiety, and addressing problems relating to asthma and stroke. PMID:21291387

  4. Cannabinoid Receptors Are Overexpressed in CLL but of Limited Potential for Therapeutic Exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Le, Trang; Gruber, Michaela; Pausz, Clemens; Staber, Philipp; Jäger, Ulrich; Vanura, Katrina

    2016-01-01

    The cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CNR1&2) are overexpressed in a variety of malignant diseases and cannabinoids can have noteworthy impact on tumor cell viability and tumor growth. Patients diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) present with very heterogeneous disease characteristics translating into highly differential risk properties. To meet the urgent need for refinement in risk stratification at diagnosis and the search for novel therapies we studied CNR expression and response to cannabinoid treatment in CLL. Expression levels of CNR1&2 were determined in 107 CLL patients by real-time PCR and analyzed with regard to prognostic markers and survival. Cell viability of primary CLL cells was determined in suspension and co-culture after incubation in increasing cannabinoid concentrations under normal and reduced serum conditions and in combination with fludarabine. Impact of cannabinoids on migration of CLL cells towards CXCL12 was determined in transwell plates. We found CNR1&2 to be overexpressed in CLL compared to healthy B-cells. Discriminating between high and low expressing subgroups, only high CNR1 expression was associated with two established high risk markers and conferred significantly shorter overall and treatment free survival. Viability of CLL primary cells was reduced in a dose dependent fashion upon incubation with cannabinoids, however, healthy cells were similarly affected. Under serum reduced conditions, no significant differences were observed within suspension and co-culture, respectively, however, the feeder layer contributed significantly to the survival of CLL cells compared to suspension culture conditions. No significant differences were observed when treating CLL cells with cannabinoids in combination with fludarabine. Interestingly, biologic activity of cannabinoids was independent of both CNR1&2 expression. Finally, we did not observe an inhibition of CXCL12-induced migration by cannabinoids. In contrast to other tumor

  5. The potential therapeutic benefits of vitamin D in the treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Aruna V; Swami, Srilatha; Feldman, David

    2012-09-01

    Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3)), the hormonally active form of vitamin D, inhibits the growth of many malignant cells including breast cancer (BCa) cells. The mechanisms of calcitriol anticancer actions include cell cycle arrest, stimulation of apoptosis and inhibition of invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. In addition we have discovered new pathways of calcitriol action that are especially relevant in inhibiting the growth of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) BCa cells. Calcitriol suppresses COX-2 expression and increases that of 15-PGDH thereby reducing the levels of inflammatory prostaglandins (PGs). Our in vitro and in vivo studies show that calcitriol decreases the expression of aromatase, the enzyme that catalyzes estrogen synthesis selectively in BCa cells and in the mammary adipose tissue surrounding BCa, by a direct repression of aromatase transcription via promoter II as well as an indirect effect due to the reduction in the levels of PGs, which are major stimulator of aromatase transcription through promoter II. Calcitriol down-regulates the expression of ERα and thereby attenuates estrogen signaling in BCa cells including the proliferative stimulus provided by estrogens. Thus the inhibition of estrogen synthesis and signaling by calcitriol and its anti-inflammatory actions will play an important role in inhibiting ER+BCa. We hypothesize that dietary vitamin D would exhibit similar anticancer activity due to the presence of the enzyme 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1α-hydroxylase (CYP27B1) in breast cells ensuring conversion of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D to calcitriol locally within the breast micro-environment where it can act in a paracrine manner to inhibit BCa growth. Cell culture and in vivo data in mice strongly suggest that calcitriol and dietary vitamin D would play a beneficial role in the prevention and/or treatment of ER+BCa in women.

  6. FAS Death Receptor: A Breast Cancer Subtype-Specific Radiation Response Biomarker and Potential Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Janet K.; Siamakpour-Reihani, Sharareh; Lee, Chen-Ting; Zhou, Ying; Chen, Wei; Geradts, Joseph; Fels, Diane R.; Hoang, Peter; Ashcraft, Kathleen A.; Groth, Jeff; Kung, Hsiu-Ni; Dewhirst, Mark W.; Chi, Jen-Tsan A.

    2015-01-01

    Although a standardized approach to radiotherapy has been used to treat breast cancer, regardless of subtype (e.g., luminal, basal), recent clinical data suggest that radiation response may vary significantly among subtypes. We hypothesized that this clinical variability may be due, in part, to differences in cellular radiation response. In this study, we utilized RNA samples for microarray analysis from two sources: 1. Paired pre- and postirradiation breast tumor tissue from 32 early-stage breast cancer patients treated in our unique preoperative radiation Phase I trial; and 2. Sixteen biologically diverse breast tumor cell lines exposed to 0 and 5 Gy irradiation. The transcriptome response to radiation exposure was derived by comparing gene expression in samples before and after irradiation. Genes with the highest coefficient of variation were selected for further evaluation and validated at the RNA and protein level. Gene editing and agonistic antibody treatment were performed to assess the impact of gene modulation on radiation response. Gene expression in our cohort of luminal breast cancer patients was distinctly different before and after irradiation. Further, two distinct patterns of gene expression were observed in our biologically diverse group of breast cancer cell lines pre- versus postirradiation. Cell lines that showed significant change after irradiation were largely luminal subtype, while gene expression in the basal and HER2+ cell lines was minimally impacted. The 100 genes with the most significant response to radiation in patients were identified and analyzed for differential patterns of expression in the radiation-responsive versus nonresponsive cell lines. Fourteen genes were identified as significant, including FAS, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family known to play a critical role in programed cell death. Modulation of FAS in breast cancer cell lines altered radiation response phenotype and enhanced radiation sensitivity in

  7. Development of therapeutic antibodies to G protein-coupled receptors and ion channels: Opportunities, challenges and their therapeutic potential in respiratory diseases.

    PubMed

    Douthwaite, Julie A; Finch, Donna K; Mustelin, Tomas; Wilkinson, Trevor C I

    2017-01-01

    The development of recombinant antibody therapeutics continues to be a significant area of growth in the pharmaceutical industry with almost 50 approved monoclonal antibodies on the market in the US and Europe. Therapeutic drug targets such as soluble cytokines, growth factors and single transmembrane spanning receptors have been successfully targeted by recombinant monoclonal antibodies and the development of new product candidates continues. Despite this growth, however, certain classes of important disease targets have remained intractable to therapeutic antibodies due to the complexity of the target molecules. These complex target molecules include G protein-coupled receptors and ion channels which represent a large 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 important regulators of cell function. Given this opportunity, a significant effort has been applied to address the challenges of targeting these complex molecules and a number of targets are linked to the pathophysiology of respiratory diseases. In this review, we provide a summary of the importance of GPCRs and ion channels involved in respiratory disease and discuss advantages offered by antibodies as therapeutics at these targets. We highlight some recent GPCRs and ion channels linked to respiratory disease mechanisms and describe in detail recent progress made in the strategies for discovery of functional antibodies against challenging membrane protein targets such as GPCRs and ion channels.

  8. Functional selectivity in CB(2) cannabinoid receptor signaling and regulation: implications for the therapeutic potential of CB(2) ligands.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Brady K; Wager-Miller, James; Haskins, Christopher; Straiker, Alex; Mackie, Ken

    2012-02-01

    Receptor internalization increases the flexibility and scope of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling. CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptors undergo internalization after sustained exposure to agonists. However, it is not known whether different agonists internalize CB(2) to different extents. Because CB(2) is a promising therapeutic target, understanding its trafficking in response to different agonists is necessary for a complete understanding of its biology. Here we profile a number of cannabinoid receptor ligands and provide evidence for marked functional selectivity of cannabinoid receptor internalization. Classic, aminoalkylindole, bicyclic, cannabilactone, iminothiazole cannabinoid, and endocannabinoid ligands varied greatly in their effects on CB(1) and CB(2) trafficking. Our most striking finding was that (R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-(4-morpholinylmethyl) pyrrolo-[1,2,3-d,e]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl]-1-naphthalenyl-methanone (WIN55,212-2) (and other aminoalkylindoles) failed to promote CB(2) receptor internalization, whereas 5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-(5-hydroxy-2-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohexyl)phenol (CP55,940) robustly internalized CB(2) receptors. Furthermore, WIN55,212-2 competitively antagonized CP55,940-induced CB(2) internalization. Despite these differences in internalization, both compounds activated CB(2) receptors as measured by extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 phosphorylation and recruitment of β-arrestin(2) to the membrane. In contrast, whereas CP55,940 inhibited voltage-gated calcium channels via CB(2) receptor activation, WIN55,212-2 was ineffective on its own and antagonized the effects of CP55,940. On the basis of the differences we found between these two ligands, we also tested the effects of other cannabinoids on these signaling pathways and found additional evidence for functional selectivity of CB(2) ligands. These novel data highlight that WIN55,212-2 and other cannabinoids show strong functional selectivity at CB(2

  9. Potential use of G protein-coupled receptor-blocking monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic agents for cancers.

    PubMed

    Herr, Deron R

    2012-01-01

    The therapeutic use of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is the fastest growing area of pharmaceutical development and has enjoyed significant clinical success since approval of the first mAb drug in1984. However, despite significant effort, there are still no approved therapeutic mAbs directed against the largest and most attractive family of drug targets: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs regulate essentially all cellular processes, including those that are fundamental to cancer pathology, such as proliferation, survival/drug resistance, migration, differentiation, tissue invasion, and angiogenesis. Many different GPCR isoforms are enhanced or dysregulated in multiple tumor types, and several GPCRs have known oncogenic activity. With approximately 350 distinct GPCRs in the genome, these receptors provide a rich landscape for the design of effective, targeted therapies for cancer, a uniquely heterogeneous disease family. While the generation of selective, efficacious mAbs has been problematic for these structurally complex integral membrane proteins, progress in the development of immunotherapeutics has been made by several independent groups. This chapter provides an overview of the roles of GPCRs in cancer and describes the current state of the art of GPCR-targeted mAb drugs.

  10. Interleukin-6 is a potential therapeutic target in interleukin-6 dependent, estrogen receptor-α-positive breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Casneuf, Tineke; Axel, Amy E; King, Peter; Alvarez, John D; Werbeck, Jillian L; Verhulst, Tinne; Verstraeten, Karin; Hall, Brett M; Sasser, A Kate

    2016-01-01

    engraftment with siltuximab, fulvestrant, or combination therapy. Siltuximab alone was able to blunt MCF-7 engraftment. Similarly, siltuximab alone induced regressions in 90% (9/10) of tumors, which were established in the presence which were established in the presence of hMSC expressing human IL-6 and estrogen. Conclusion Given the established role for IL-6 in ERα-positive breast cancer, these data demonstrate the potential for anti-IL-6 therapeutics in breast cancer. PMID:26893580

  11. A Monoclonal Antibody TrkB Receptor Agonist as a Potential Therapeutic for Huntington’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Todd, Daniel; Gowers, Ian; Dowler, Simon J.; Wall, Michael D.; McAllister, George; Fischer, David F.; Dijkstra, Sipke; Fratantoni, Silvina A.; van de Bospoort, Rhea; Veenman-Koepke, Jessica; Flynn, Geraldine; Arjomand, Jamshid; Dominguez, Celia; Munoz-Sanjuan, Ignacio; Wityak, John; Bard, Jonathan A.

    2014-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating, genetic neurodegenerative disease caused by a tri-nucleotide expansion in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene. HD is clinically characterized by chorea, emotional and psychiatric disturbances and cognitive deficits with later symptoms including rigidity and dementia. Pathologically, the cortico-striatal pathway is severely dysfunctional as reflected by striatal and cortical atrophy in late-stage disease. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neuroprotective, secreted protein that binds with high affinity to the extracellular domain of the tropomyosin-receptor kinase B (TrkB) receptor promoting neuronal cell survival by activating the receptor and down-stream signaling proteins. Reduced cortical BDNF production and transport to the striatum have been implicated in HD pathogenesis; the ability to enhance TrkB signaling using a BDNF mimetic might be beneficial in disease progression, so we explored this as a therapeutic strategy for HD. Using recombinant and native assay formats, we report here the evaluation of TrkB antibodies and a panel of reported small molecule TrkB agonists, and identify the best candidate, from those tested, for in vivo proof of concept studies in transgenic HD models. PMID:24503862

  12. Conotoxins: Structure, Therapeutic Potential and Pharmacological Applications.

    PubMed

    Mir, Rafia; Karim, Sajjad; Kamal, Mohammad Amjad; Wilson, Cornelia M; Mirza, Zeenat

    2016-01-01

    Cone snails, also known as marine gastropods, from Conus genus produce in their venom a diverse range of small pharmacologically active structured peptides called conotoxins. The cone snail venoms are widely unexplored arsenal of toxins with therapeutic and pharmacological potential, making them a treasure trove of ligands and peptidic drug leads. Conotoxins are small disulfide bonded peptides, which act as remarkable selective inhibitors and modulators of ion channels (calcium, sodium, potassium), nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, noradrenaline transporters, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, and neurotensin receptors. They are highly potent and specific against several neuronal targets making them valuable as research tools, drug leads and even therapeutics. In this review, we discuss their gene superfamily classification, nomenclature, post-translational modification, structural framework, pharmacology and medical applications of the active conopeptides. We aim to give an overview of their structure and therapeutic potential. Understanding these aspects of conopeptides will help in designing more specific peptidic analogues.

  13. Antimicrobial peptides: therapeutic potentials.

    PubMed

    Kang, Su-Jin; Park, Sung Jean; Mishig-Ochir, Tsogbadrakh; Lee, Bong-Jin

    2014-12-01

    The increasing appearance of multidrug-resistant pathogens has created an urgent need for suitable alternatives to current antibiotics. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which act as defensive weapons against microbes, have received great attention because of broad-spectrum activities, unique action mechanisms and rare antibiotic-resistant variants. Despite desirable characteristics, they have shown limitations in pharmaceutical development due to toxicity, stability and manufacturing costs. Because of these drawbacks, only a few AMPs have been tested in Phase III clinical trials and no AMPs have been approved by the US FDA yet. However, these obstacles could be overcome by well-known methods such as changing physicochemical characteristics and introducing nonnatural amino acids, acetylation or amidation, as well as modern techniques like molecular targeted AMPs, liposomal formulations and drug delivery systems. Thus, the current challenge in this field is to develop therapeutic AMPs at a reasonable cost as well as to overcome the limitations.

  14. Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid medicines.

    PubMed

    Robson, P J

    2014-01-01

    Cannabis was extensively used as a medicine throughout the developed world in the nineteenth century but went into decline early in the twentieth century ahead of its emergence as the most widely used illicit recreational drug later that century. Recent advances in cannabinoid pharmacology alongside the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) have re-ignited interest in cannabis-based medicines. The ECS has emerged as an important physiological system and plausible target for new medicines. Its receptors and endogenous ligands play a vital modulatory role in diverse functions including immune response, food intake, cognition, emotion, perception, behavioural reinforcement, motor co-ordination, body temperature, wake/sleep cycle, bone formation and resorption, and various aspects of hormonal control. In disease it may act as part of the physiological response or as a component of the underlying pathology. In the forefront of clinical research are the cannabinoids delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, and their contrasting pharmacology will be briefly outlined. The therapeutic potential and possible risks of drugs that inhibit the ECS will also be considered. This paper will then go on to review clinical research exploring the potential of cannabinoid medicines in the following indications: symptomatic relief in multiple sclerosis, chronic neuropathic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and weight in the context of cancer or AIDS, psychosis, epilepsy, addiction, and metabolic disorders.

  15. Discoidin Domain Receptor 2 as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Development of Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs.

    PubMed

    Manning, Lauren B; Li, Yefu; Chickmagalur, Nithya S; Li, Xiaolong; Xu, Lin

    2016-11-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis disorders, but the identification of therapeutic targets to effectively prevent OA has been increasingly difficult. The goal of this investigation is to provide experimental evidence that discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) may be an ideal target for the development of disease-modifying OA drugs. Ddr2 was conditionally deleted from articular cartilage of adult mouse knee joints. Aggrecan-CreERT2;floxed Ddr2 mice, which were generated by crossing Aggrecan-CreERT2 mice with floxed Ddr2 mice, then received tamoxifen injections at the age of 8 weeks. The mice were then subjected to destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) surgery. At 8 and 16 weeks after DMM, mice were euthanized for the collection of knee joints. In a separate experiment, Aggrecan-CreERT2;floxed Ddr2 mice were subjected to DMM at the age of 10 weeks. The mice then received tamoxifen injections at 8 weeks after DMM. The mice were euthanized for the collection of knee joints at 16 weeks after DMM. The progressive process of articular cartilage degeneration was significantly delayed in the knee joints of Ddr2-deficient mice in comparison to their control littermates. Articular cartilage damage in the knee joints of the mice was associated with increased expression profiles of both Ddr2 and matrix metalloproteinase 13. These findings suggest that DDR2 may be an ideal target for the development of disease-modifying OA drugs.

  16. Laminin Receptor-Avid Nanotherapeutic EGCg-AuNPs as a Potential Alternative Therapeutic Approach to Prevent Restenosis

    PubMed Central

    Khoobchandani, Menka; Katti, Kavita; Maxwell, Adam; Fay, William P.; Katti, Kattesh V.

    2016-01-01

    In our efforts to develop new approaches to treat and prevent human vascular diseases, we report herein our results on the proliferation and migration of human smooth muscles cells (SMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) using epigallocatechin-3-gallate conjugated gold nanoparticles (EGCg-AuNPs) as possible alternatives to drug coated stents. Detailed in vitro stability studies of EGCg-AuNPs in various biological fluids, affinity and selectivity towards SMCs and ECs have been investigated. The EGCg-AuNPs showed selective inhibitory efficacy toward the migration of SMCs. However, the endothelial cells remained unaffected under similar experimental conditions. The cellular internalization studies have indicated that EGCg-AuNPs internalize into the SMCs and ECs within short periods of time through laminin receptor mediated endocytosis mode. Favorable toxicity profiles and selective affinity toward SMCs and ECs suggest that EGCg-AuNPs may provide attractive alternatives to drug coated stents and therefore offer new therapeutic approaches in treating cardiovascular diseases. PMID:26938531

  17. The nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB): A potential therapeutic target for estrogen receptor negative breast cancers

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Debajit K.; Dai, Sun-Chun; Cruz, Antonio; Weiser, Barbara; Graner, Edgard; Pardee, Arthur B.

    2001-01-01

    The effect of a kinase inhibitor Go6796 on growth of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated estrogen receptor negative (ER−) breast cancer cells in vivo and role of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) on tumorogenesis have been investigated. This was studied in an animal model by implanting ER− mouse mammary epithelial tumor cells (CSMLO) in syngeneic A-J mice. (i) Local administration of Go6976 an inhibitor of protein kinases C alpha and beta inhibited growth of tumors and caused extensive necrotic degeneration and regression of the tumors without causing any microscopically detectable damage to the vital organs liver and lung. (ii) Stable expression of dominant-negative mutants of the beta subunit (dnIkkβ) of the inhibitory kappa B (IκB) kinase (dnIkk) that selectively blocked activation of NF-κB caused loss of tumorigenic potential of CSMLO cells. Stable expression of dnIkkβ also blocked phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced activation of NF-κB and overexpression of cyclin D1, concomitantly with the loss or reduced tumorigenic potential of these cells. Thus, results from in vivo and in vitro experiments strongly suggest the involvement of NF-κB in ER− mammary epithelial cell-mediated tumorigenesis. We propose that blocking NF-κB activation not only inhibits cell proliferation, but also antagonizes the antiapoptotic role of this transcription factor in ER− breast cancer cells. Thus, NF-κB is a potential target for therapy of EGFR family receptor-overexpressing ER− breast cancers. PMID:11517301

  18. Acetylcholine and the alpha 7 nicotinic receptor: a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of periodontal disease?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The aim of this review is to examine the evidence for a functional cholinergic system operating within the periodontium and determine the evidence for its role in periodontal immunity. Introduction Acetylcholine can influence the immune system via the ‘cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway’. This pathway is mediated by the vagus nerve which releases acetylcholine to interact with the α7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) on proximate immuno-regulatory cells. Activation of the α7nAChR on these cells leads to down-regulated expression of pro-inflammatory mediators and thus regulates localised inflammatory responses. The role of the vagus nerve in periodontal pathophysiology is currently unknown. However, non-neuronal cells can also release acetylcholine and express the α7nAChR; these include keratinocytes, fibroblasts, T cells, B cells and macrophages. Therefore, by both autocrine and paracrine methods non-neuronal acetylcholine can also be hypothesised to modulate the localised immune response. Methods A Pubmed database search was performed for studies providing evidence for a functional cholinergic system operating in the periodontium. In addition, literature on the role of the ‘cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway’ in modulating the immune response was extrapolated to hypothesise that similar mechanisms of immune regulation occur within the periodontium. Conclusion The evidence suggests a functional nonneuronal ‘cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway’ may operate in the periodontium and that this may be targeted therapeutically to treat periodontal disease. PMID:22777144

  19. Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels as a therapeutic target for intervention of respiratory effects and lethality from phosgene.

    PubMed

    Andres, Devon; Keyser, Brian; Benton, Betty; Melber, Ashley; Olivera, Dorian; Holmes, Wesley; Paradiso, Danielle; Anderson, Dana; Ray, Radharaman

    2016-02-26

    Phosgene (CG), a toxic inhalation and industrial hazard, causes bronchoconstriction, vasoconstriction and associated pathological effects that could be life threatening. Ion channels of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family have been identified to act as specific chemosensory molecules in the respiratory tract in the detection, control of adaptive responses and initiation of detrimental signaling cascades upon exposure to various toxic inhalation hazards (TIH); their activation due to TIH exposure may result in broncho- and vasoconstriction. We studied changes in the regulation of intracellular free Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) in cultures of human bronchial smooth muscle cells (BSMC) and human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) exposed to CG (16ppm, 8min), using an air/liquid interface exposure system. CG increased [Ca(2+)]i (p<0.05) in both cell types, The CG-induced [Ca(2+)]i was blocked (p<0.05) by two types of TRP channel blockers, SKF-96365, a general TRP channel blocker, and RR, a general TRPV (vanilloid type) blocker, in both BSMC and HPMEC. These effects correlate with the in vivo efficacies of these compounds to protect against lung injury and 24h lethality from whole body CG inhalation exposure in mice (8-10ppm×20min). Thus the TRP channel mechanism appears to be a potential target for intervention in CG toxicity.

  20. The pathophysiology of endothelin in complications after solid organ transplantation: a potential novel therapeutic role for endothelin receptor antagonists.

    PubMed

    Raina, Amresh; Horn, Edward T; Benza, Raymond L

    2012-11-15

    Although short-term allograft survival after solid organ transplantation has improved during the past two decades, improvement in long-term graft survival has been less pronounced. Common complications after transplantation include chronic allograft rejection, nephrotoxicity from calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs), and systemic hypertension, which all impact posttransplantation morbidity and mortality. Endothelin (ET)-1, a potent endogenous vasoconstrictor, inducer of fibrosis, and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, may play a key role in both the development of CNI-induced nephrotoxicity and endothelial vasculopathy in chronic allograft rejection. ET-1 levels increase after isograft implantation, and ET-1 plays a key role in CNI-induced renal vasoconstriction, sodium retention, and hypertension. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that endothelin receptor antagonists (ERAs) can reduce or prevent CNI-induced hypertension after renal transplantation. In addition, ERAs can ameliorate CNI-induced renal vasoconstriction and improve proteinuria and preserve renal function in animal models of renal transplantation. ET-1 may also play a significant role in cardiac allograft vasculopathy, and in animal models, ERAs improve pulmonary function and ischemic-reperfusion injury in lung transplantation and hepatic function and structure in liver transplantation. Emerging pharmacokinetic data suggest that the selective ERA ambrisentan may be used safely in conjunction with the most commonly used immunosuppressive agents tacrolimus and mycophenolate, albeit with appropriate dose adjustment. The weight of available evidence pointing toward a potential beneficial role of ERAs in ameliorating common complications after solid organ transplantation must be balanced with potential toxicities of ERAs but suggests that a randomized clinical trial of ERAs in transplant patients is warranted.

  1. ADN-1184 a monoaminergic ligand with 5-HT6/7 receptor antagonist activity: pharmacological profile and potential therapeutic utility

    PubMed Central

    Kołaczkowski, M; Mierzejewski, P; Bieńkowski, P; Wesołowska, A; Newman-Tancredi, A

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose Many dementia patients exhibit behavioural and psychological symptoms (BPSD) that include psychosis, aggressivity, depression and anxiety. Antipsychotic drugs are frequently prescribed but fail to significantly attenuate mood deficits, may interfere with cognitive function and are associated with motor and cardiac side effects, which are problematic in elderly patients. A need therefore exists for drugs that are better suited for the treatment of BPSD. Experimental Approach We used in vitro cellular and in vivo behavioural tests to characterize ADN-1184, a novel arylsulfonamide ligand with potential utility for treatment of BPSD. Key Results ADN-1184 exhibits substantial 5-HT6/5-HT7/5-HT2A/D2 receptor affinity and antagonist properties in vitro. In tests of antipsychotic-like activity, it reversed MK-801-induced hyperactivity and stereotypies and inhibited conditioned avoidance response (MED = 3 mg·kg−1 i.p.). Remarkably, ADN-1184 also reduced immobility time in the forced swim test at low doses (0.3 and 1 mg·kg−1 i.p.; higher doses were not significantly active). Notably, up to 30 mg·kg−1 ADN-1184 did not impair memory performance in the passive avoidance test or elicit significant catalepsy and only modestly inhibited spontaneous locomotor activity (MED = 30 mg·kg−1 i.p.). Conclusions and Implications ADN-1184 combines antipsychotic-like with antidepressant-like properties without interfering with memory function or locomotion. This profile is better than that of commonly used atypical antipsychotics tested under the same conditions and suggests that it is feasible to identify drugs that improve BPSD, without exacerbating cognitive deficit or movement impairment, which are of particular concern in patients with dementia. PMID:24199650

  2. Potential therapeutic applications of biosurfactants.

    PubMed

    Gudiña, Eduardo J; Rangarajan, Vivek; Sen, Ramkrishna; Rodrigues, Lígia R

    2013-12-01

    Biosurfactants have recently emerged as promising molecules for their structural novelty, versatility, and diverse properties that are potentially useful for many therapeutic applications. Mainly due to their surface activity, these molecules interact with cell membranes of several organisms and/or with the surrounding environments, and thus can be viewed as potential cancer therapeutics or as constituents of drug delivery systems. Some types of microbial surfactants, such as lipopeptides and glycolipids, have been shown to selectively inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and to disrupt cell membranes causing their lysis through apoptosis pathways. Moreover, biosurfactants as drug delivery vehicles offer commercially attractive and scientifically novel applications. This review covers the current state-of-the-art in biosurfactant research for therapeutic purposes, providing new directions towards the discovery and development of molecules with novel structures and diverse functions for advanced applications.

  3. The immunopharmacologic potential of Semaxanib and new generation directed therapeutic drugs: Receptor tyrosine kinase regulation with anti-tumorigenensis/angiogenesis properties

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Molecular signaling of messages emanating from cellular membranes through receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) is a major mechanism for intercellular communication and transduction during development and metabolism, as well as in disease-associated processes. The phosphorylation status and signaling activity of RTKs are determined by a dynamic equilibrium of the activity of both RTKs and protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). RTKs are essentially a class of cell-surface receptors for growth factors and other extracellular ligands, the most conspicuous perhaps are members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene family, which plays a fundamental role in the growth and differentiation of vascular, as well as lymphatic endothelial cells. In particular, VEGF is a major regulator of normal (physiologic) and abnormal (cancerous) angiogenesis, including that associated with tumors and cancer. Blockers/inhibitors and regulators of RTKs are indeed promising cancer interventions, their specific mechanisms are yet to be unraveled. In this cutting-edge synopsis, I elaborate on breakthroughs/advances and current concepts of RTK regulation, further shedding light on exploring the role of potential regulators, particularly the RTK inhibitor Semaxanib, and the mechanisms associated with tumorigenesis in an effort to understand a potentially alleviating pharmacologic therapeutic intervention. This survey also tackles the loopholes and shortcomings of the aforementioned inhibitory role of Semaxanib, especially its inefficacy and ultimate discontinuation of relevant clinical trials. PMID:23960782

  4. Mirvetuximab Soravtansine (IMGN853), a Folate Receptor Alpha-Targeting Antibody-Drug Conjugate, Potentiates the Activity of Standard of Care Therapeutics in Ovarian Cancer Models.

    PubMed

    Ponte, Jose F; Ab, Olga; Lanieri, Leanne; Lee, Jenny; Coccia, Jennifer; Bartle, Laura M; Themeles, Marian; Zhou, Yinghui; Pinkas, Jan; Ruiz-Soto, Rodrigo

    2016-12-01

    Elevated folate receptor alpha (FRα) expression is characteristic of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), thus establishing this receptor as a candidate target for the development of novel therapeutics to treat this disease. Mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853) is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that targets FRα for tumor-directed delivery of the maytansinoid DM4, a potent agent that induces mitotic arrest by suppressing microtubule dynamics. Here, combinations of IMGN853 with approved therapeutics were evaluated in preclinical models of EOC. Combinations of IMGN853 with carboplatin or doxorubicin resulted in synergistic antiproliferative effects in the IGROV-1 ovarian cancer cell line in vitro. IMGN853 potentiated the cytotoxic activity of carboplatin via growth arrest and augmented DNA damage; cell cycle perturbations were also observed in cells treated with the IMGN853/doxorubicin combination. These benefits translated into improved antitumor activity in patient-derived xenograft models in vivo in both the platinum-sensitive (IMGN853/carboplatin) and platinum-resistant (IMGN853/pegylated liposomal doxorubicin) settings. IMGN853 co-treatment also improved the in vivo efficacy of bevacizumab in platinum-resistant EOC models, with combination regimens causing significant regressions and complete responses in the majority of tumor-bearing mice. Histological analysis of OV-90 ovarian xenograft tumors revealed that concurrent administration of IMGN853 and bevacizumab caused rapid disruption of tumor microvasculature and extensive necrosis, underscoring the superior bioactivity profile of the combination regimen. Overall, these demonstrations of combinatorial benefit conferred by the addition of the first FRα-targeting ADC to established therapies provide a compelling framework for the potential application of IMGN853 in the treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

  5. Role of androgen receptor polyQ chain elongation in Kennedy's disease and use of natural osmolytes as potential therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Raj

    2012-11-01

    Instability of CAG triplet repeat encoding polyglutamine (polyQ) stretches in the gene for target protein has been implicated as a putative mechanism in several inherited neurodegenerative diseases. Expansion of polyQ chain length in the androgen receptor (AR) causes spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) or Kennedy's disease. Although the mechanisms underlying gain-of-neurotoxic function are not completely understood, suggested pathological mechanisms of SBMA involve the formation of AR nuclear and cytoplasmic aggregates, a characteristic feature of patients with SBMA. The fact that certain AR coactivators are sequestered into the nuclear inclusions in SBMA possibly through protein-protein interactions supports the notion that AR transcriptional dysregulation may be a potential pathological mechanism leading to SBMA. AR conformational states associated with aberrant polyQ tract also modulate the interaction of AR with several coactivators. In many cases, such diseases can be treated through protein replacement therapy; however, because recombinant proteins do not cross the blood-brain barrier, the effectiveness of such therapies is limited in case of neurodegenerative diseases that warrant alternative therapeutic approaches. Among different approaches, inhibiting protein aggregation with small molecules that can stimulate protein folding and reverse aggregation are the most promising ones. Thus, naturally occurring osmolytes or "chemical chaperones" that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and stabilize the functional form of a mutated protein by shifting the folding equilibrium away from degradation and/or aggregation is a useful therapeutic approach. In this review, we discuss the role of polyQ chain length extension in the pathophysiology of SBMA and the use of osmolytes as potential therapeutic tool.

  6. Potential of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma antagonist compounds as therapeutic agents for a wide range of cancer types.

    PubMed

    Burton, Jack D; Goldenberg, David M; Blumenthal, Rosalyn D

    2008-01-01

    PPARgamma is a therapeutic target that has been exploited for treatment of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with agonist drugs. Since PPARgamma is expressed by many hematopoietic, mesodermal and epithelial cancers, agonist drugs were tested and shown to have both preclinical and clinical anticancer activities. While preclinical activity has been observed in many cancer types, clinical activity has been observed only in pilot and phase II trials in liposarcoma and prostate cancer. Most studies address agonist compounds, with substantially fewer reports on anticancer effects of PPARgamma antagonists. In cancer model systems, some effects of PPARgamma agonists were not inhibited by PPARgamma antagonists, suggesting noncanonical or PPARgamma-independent mechanisms. In addition, PPARgamma antagonists, such as T0070907 and GW9662, have exhibited antiproliferative effects on a broad range of hematopoietic and epithelial cell lines, usually with greater potency than agonists. Also, additive antiproliferative effects of combinations of agonist plus antagonist drugs were observed. Finally, there are preclinical in vivo data showing that antagonist compounds can be administered safely, with favorable metabolic effects as well as antitumor effects. Since PPARgamma antagonists represent a new drug class that holds promise as a broadly applicable therapeutic approach for cancer treatment, it is the subject of this review.

  7. Potential of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Antagonist Compounds as Therapeutic Agents for a Wide Range of Cancer Types

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Jack D.; Goldenberg, David M.; Blumenthal, Rosalyn D.

    2008-01-01

    PPARγ is a therapeutic target that has been exploited for treatment of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with agonist drugs. Since PPARγ is expressed by many hematopoietic, mesodermal and epithelial cancers, agonist drugs were tested and shown to have both preclinical and clinical anticancer activities. While preclinical activity has been observed in many cancer types, clinical activity has been observed only in pilot and phase II trials in liposarcoma and prostate cancer. Most studies address agonist compounds, with substantially fewer reports on anticancer effects of PPARγ antagonists. In cancer model systems, some effects of PPARγ agonists were not inhibited by PPARγ antagonists, suggesting noncanonical or PPARγ-independent mechanisms. In addition, PPARγ antagonists, such as T0070907 and GW9662, have exhibited antiproliferative effects on a broad range of hematopoietic and epithelial cell lines, usually with greater potency than agonists. Also, additive antiproliferative effects of combinations of agonist plus antagonist drugs were observed. Finally, there are preclinical in vivo data showing that antagonist compounds can be administered safely, with favorable metabolic effects as well as antitumor effects. Since PPARγ antagonists represent a new drug class that holds promise as a broadly applicable therapeutic approach for cancer treatment, it is the subject of this review. PMID:18779871

  8. Modulation of the activity of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors as a novel treatment option for depression: current clinical evidence and therapeutic potential of rapastinel (GLYX-13)

    PubMed Central

    Vasilescu, Andrei-Nicolae; Schweinfurth, Nina; Borgwardt, Stefan; Gass, Peter; Lang, Undine E; Inta, Dragos; Eckart, Sarah

    2017-01-01

    Classical monoaminergic antidepressants show several disadvantages, such as protracted onset of therapeutic action. Conversely, the fast and sustained antidepressant effect of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist ketamine raises vast interest in understanding the role of the glutamate system in mood disorders. Indeed, numerous data support the existence of glutamatergic dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD). Drawback to this short-latency therapy is its side effect profile, especially the psychotomimetic action, which seriously hampers the common and widespread clinical use of ketamine. Therefore, there is a substantial need for alternative glutamatergic antidepressants with milder side effects. In this article, we review evidence that implicates NMDARs in the prospective treatment of MDD with focus on rapastinel (formerly known as GLYX-13), a novel synthetic NMDAR modulator with fast antidepressant effect, which acts by enhancing NMDAR function as opposed to blocking it. We summarize and discuss current clinical and animal studies regarding the therapeutic potential of rapastinel not only in MDD but also in other psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive–compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Additionally, we discuss current data concerning the molecular mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effect of rapastinel, highlighting common aspects as well as differences to ketamine. In 2016, rapastinel received the Breakthrough Therapy designation for the treatment of MDD from the US Food and Drug Administration, representing one of the most promising alternative antidepressants under current investigation.

  9. Brain adaptation to stressful stimuli: a new perspective on potential therapeutic approaches based on BDNF and NMDA receptors.

    PubMed

    Marini, Ann M; Popolo, Margherita; Pan, Hongna; Blondeau, Nicolas; Lipsky, Robert H

    2008-10-01

    A variety of sublethal or stressful stimuli induce a phenomenon in the brain known as tolerance, an adaptive response that protects the brain against the same stress, or against a different stress (cross-tolerance). Understanding the molecular mechanisms of brain preconditioning holds promise in developing innovative therapies to prevent and treat neurodegenerative disorders, particularly ischemic stroke. Many of the detailed steps involved in tolerance and cross-tolerance are unknown. It is also likely that different stressors differentially regulate sets of genes, transcription factors, and signal transduction pathways that depend upon the molecules that are released in response to the stressor, activation of particular receptors, and the surrounding milieu. The focus of this review is to highlight a few examples of stimuli that induce tolerance: 1) cortical spreading depression; 2) 3-nitropropionic acid; and 3) 2-deoxy-D-glucose. We will summarize by discussing one pathway where intracellular mediators may converge to upregulate intrinsic neuronal survival pathways to promote survival by resisting damage. This mechanism, activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors and its integral relationship with brain-derived neurotrophic factor, may be a critical and general mechanism developed in brain to respond to stressful stimuli.

  10. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ Agonists: Potential Therapeutics for Neuropathology Associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Drew, Paul D.; Kane, Cynthia J.M.

    2017-01-01

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) result from fetal exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. These disorders present a variety of sequelae including involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) with lasting impact on cognitive function and behavior. FASD occur at an alarming rate and have significant personal and societal impact. There are currently no effective treatments for FASD. Recent studies demonstrate that ethanol induces potent neuroinflammation in many regions of the developing brain. Furthermore, anti-inflammatory agents such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ agonists suppress ethanol-induced neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. This suggests that anti-inflammatory agents may be effective in treatment of FASD. Future studies designed to determine the specific mechanisms by which alcohol induces neuroinflammation in the developing CNS may lead to targeted therapies for FASD. PMID:28203487

  11. Crosstalk of the Androgen Receptor with Transcriptional Collaborators: Potential Therapeutic Targets for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Obinata, Daisuke; Takayama, Kenichi; Takahashi, Satoru; Inoue, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer among males in Western countries. It is also the most commonly diagnosed male cancer in Japan. The progression of prostate cancer is mainly influenced by androgens and the androgen receptor (AR). Androgen deprivation therapy is an established therapy for advanced prostate cancer; however, prostate cancers frequently develop resistance to low testosterone levels and progress to the fatal stage called castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Surprisingly, AR and the AR signaling pathway are still activated in most CRPC cases. To overcome this problem, abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide were introduced for the treatment of CRPC. Despite the impact of these drugs on prolonged survival, CRPC acquires further resistance to keep the AR pathway activated. Functional molecular studies have shown that some of the AR collaborative transcription factors (TFs), including octamer transcription factor (OCT1), GATA binding protein 2 (GATA2) and forkhead box A1 (FOXA1), still stimulate AR activity in the castration-resistant state. Therefore, elucidating the crosstalk between the AR and collaborative TFs on the AR pathway is critical for developing new strategies for the treatment of CRPC. Recently, many compounds targeting this pathway have been developed for treating CRPC. In this review, we summarize the AR signaling pathway in terms of AR collaborators and focus on pyrrole-imidazole (PI) polyamide as a candidate compound for the treatment of prostate cancer. PMID:28264478

  12. AMPA Receptors as Therapeutic Targets for Neurological Disorders.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kevin; Goodman, Lucy; Fourie, Chantelle; Schenk, Susan; Leitch, Beulah; Montgomery, Johanna M

    2016-01-01

    Almost every neurological disease directly or indirectly affects synapse function in the brain. However, these diseases alter synapses through different mechanisms, ultimately resulting in altered synaptic transmission and/or plasticity. Glutamate is the major neurotransmitter that mediates excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain through activation of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA) receptors. These receptors have therefore been identified as a target for the development of therapeutic treatments for neurological disorders including epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, autism, and drug addiction. The fact that AMPA receptors play a dominant role throughout the brain raises the significant challenge of selectively targeting only those regions affected by disease, and clinical trials have raised doubt regarding the feasibility of specifically targeting AMPA receptors for new therapeutic options. Benzamide compounds that act as positive allosteric AMPA receptor modulators, known as AMPAkines, can act on specific brain regions and were initially proposed to revolutionize the treatment of cognitive deficits associated with neurological disorders. Their therapeutic potential has since declined due to inconsistent results in clinical trials. However, recent advances in basic biomedical research are significantly increasing our knowledge of AMPA receptor structure, binding sites, and interactions with auxiliary proteins. In particular, the large complex of postsynaptic proteins that interact with AMPA receptor subunits have been shown to control AMPA receptor insertion, location, pharmacology, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. These proteins are now being considered as alternative therapeutic target sites for modulating AMPA receptors in neurological disorders.

  13. Therapeutic promise and principles: metabotropic glutamate receptors.

    PubMed

    Maiese, Kenneth; Chong, Zhao Zhong; Shang, Yan Chen; Hou, Jinling

    2008-01-01

    For a number of disease entities, oxidative stress becomes a significant factor in the etiology and progression of cell dysfunction and injury. Therapeutic strategies that can identify novel signal transduction pathways to ameliorate the toxic effects of oxidative stress may lead to new avenues of treatment for a spectrum of disorders that include diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and immune system dysfunction. In this respect, metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) may offer exciting prospects for several disorders since these receptors can limit or prevent apoptotic cell injury as well as impact upon cellular development and function. Yet the role of mGluRs is complex in nature and may require specific mGluR modulation for a particular disease entity to maximize clinical efficacy and limit potential disability. Here we discuss the potential clinical translation of mGluRs and highlight the role of novel signal transduction pathways in the metabotropic glutamate system that may be vital for the clinical utility of mGluRs.

  14. Potential therapeutic interventions for fragile X syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Levenga, Josien; de Vrij, Femke M.S.; Oostra, Ben A.; Willemsen, Rob

    2010-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by a lack of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP); FMRP deficiency in neurons of patients with FXS causes intellectual disability (IQ<70) and several behavioural problems, including hyperactivity and autistic-like features. In the brain, no gross morphological malformations have been found, although subtle spine abnormalities have been reported. FXS has been linked to altered group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-dependent and independent forms of synaptic plasticity. Here, we discuss potential targeted therapeutic strategies developed to specifically correct disturbances in the excitatory mGluR and the inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) receptor pathways that have been tested in animal models and/or in clinical trials with patients with FXS. PMID:20864408

  15. A Small-Animal Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic PET Study of Central Serotonin 1A Receptor Occupancy by a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Overactive Bladder

    PubMed Central

    Nakatani, Yosuke; Suzuki, Michiyuki; Tokunaga, Masaki; Maeda, Jun; Sakai, Miyuki; Ishihara, Hiroki; Yoshinaga, Takashi; Takenaka, Osamu; Zhang, Ming-Rong; Suhara, Tetsuya; Higuchi, Makoto

    2013-01-01

    Serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptors have been mechanistically implicated in micturition control, and there has been a need for an appropriate biomarker surrogating the potency of a provisional drug acting on this receptor system for developing a new therapeutic approach to overactive bladder (OAB). Here, we analyzed the occupancy of 5-HT1A receptors in living Sprague-Dawley rat brains by a novel candidate drug for OAB, E2110, using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, and assessed the utility of a receptor occupancy (RO) assay to establish a pharmacodynamic index translatable between animals and humans. The plasma concentrations inducing 50% RO (EC50) estimated by both direct and effect compartment models were in good agreement. Dose-dependent therapeutic effects of E2110 on dysregulated micturition in different rat models of pollakiuria were also consistently explained by achievement of 5-HT1A RO by E2110 in a certain range (≥ 60%). Plasma drug concentrations inducing this RO range and EC50 would accordingly be objective indices in comparing pharmacokinetics-RO relationships between rats and humans. These findings support the utility of PET RO and plasma pharmacokinetic assays with the aid of adequate mathematical models in determining the in vivo characteristics of a drug acting on 5-HT1A receptors and thereby counteracting OAB. PMID:24086433

  16. Eph Receptors and Ephrins: Therapeutic Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Barquilla, Antonio; Pasquale, Elena B.

    2015-01-01

    The Eph receptor tyrosine kinase family plays important roles in developmental processes, adult tissue homeostasis and various diseases. Interaction with ephrin ligands on the surface of neighboring cells triggers Eph receptor kinase-dependent signaling. The ephrins can also transmit signals, leading to bidirectional cell contact-dependent communication. Moreover, Eph receptors and ephrins can function independently of each other, through interplay with other signaling systems. Given their involvement in many pathological conditions ranging from neurological disorders to cancer and viral infections, Eph receptors and ephrins are increasingly recognized as attractive therapeutic targets and a variety of strategies are being explored to modulate their expression and function. Eph receptor/ephrin upregulation in cancer cells, the angiogenic vasculature, and injured or diseased tissues also offers opportunities for Eph/ephrin-based targeted drug delivery and imaging. Thus, despite the challenges presented by the complex biology of the Eph receptor/ephrin system, exciting possibilities exist for therapies exploiting these molecules. PMID:25292427

  17. Fc gamma receptors: glycobiology and therapeutic prospects

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Jerrard M; Wormald, Mark R; Rudd, Pauline M; Davey, Gavin P

    2016-01-01

    Therapeutic antibodies hold great promise for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and developments in antibody–drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies continue to enhance treatment options for patients. Immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies are proteins with complex modifications, which have a significant impact on their function. The most important of these modifications is glycosylation, the addition of conserved glycans to the antibody Fc region, which is critical for its interaction with the immune system and induction of effector activities such as antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity, complement activation and phagocytosis. Communication of IgG antibodies with the immune system is controlled and mediated by Fc gamma receptors (FcγRs), membrane-bound proteins, which relay the information sensed and gathered by antibodies to the immune system. These receptors are also glycoproteins and provide a link between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Recent information suggests that this receptor glycan modification is also important for the interaction with antibodies and downstream immune response. In this study, the current knowledge on FcγR glycosylation is discussed, and some insight into its role and influence on the interaction properties with IgG, particularly in the context of biotherapeutics, is provided. For the purpose of this study, other Fc receptors such as FcαR, FcεR or FcRn are not discussed extensively, as IgG-based antibodies are currently the only therapeutic antibody-based products on the market. In addition, FcγRs as therapeutics and therapeutic targets are discussed, and insight into and comment on the therapeutic aspects of receptor glycosylation are provided. PMID:27895507

  18. The therapeutic potential of a C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR-4) antagonist on hypertrophic scarring in vivo.

    PubMed

    Ding, Jie; Ma, Zengshuan; Liu, Hongbin; Kwan, Peter; Iwashina, Takashi; Shankowsky, Heather A; Wong, Donald; Tredget, Edward E

    2014-01-01

    Effective prevention and treatment of hypertrophic scars (HTSs), a dermal form of fibrosis that frequently occurs following thermal injury to deep dermis, are unsolved significant clinical problems. Previously, we have found that stromal cell-derived factor 1/CXCR4 signaling is up-regulated during wound healing in burn patients and HTS tissue after thermal injury. We hypothesize that blood-borne mononuclear cells are recruited into wound sites after burn injury through the chemokine pathway of stromal cell-derived factor 1 and its receptor CXCR4. Deep dermal injuries to the skin are often accompanied by prolonged inflammation, which leads to chemotaxis of mononuclear cells into the wounds by chemokine signaling where fibroblast activation occurs and ultimately HTS are formed. Blocking mononuclear cell recruitment and fibroblast activation, CXCR4 antagonism is expected to reduce or minimize scar formation. In this study, the inhibitory effect of CXCR4 antagonist CTCE-9908 on dermal fibrosis was determined in vivo using a human HTS-like nude mouse model, in which split-thickness human skin is transplanted into full-thickness dorsal excisional wounds in athymic mice, where these wounds subsequently develop fibrotic scars that resemble human HTS as previously described. CTCE-9908 significantly attenuated scar formation and contraction, reduced the accumulation of macrophages and myofibroblasts, enhanced the remodeling of collagen fibers, and down-regulated the gene and protein expression of fibrotic growth factors in the human skin tissues. These findings support the potential therapeutic value of CXCR4 antagonist in dermal fibrosis and possibly other fibroproliferative disorders.

  19. Tumor therapeutics by design: targeting and activation of death receptors.

    PubMed

    Wajant, Harald; Gerspach, Jeannette; Pfizenmaier, Klaus

    2005-02-01

    Due to their strong apoptosis-inducing capacity, the death receptor ligands CD95L, TNF and TRAIL have been widely viewed as potential cancer therapeutics. While clinical data with CD95L and TRAIL are not yet available, TNF is a registered drug, albeit only for loco-regional application in a limited number of indications. The TNF experience has told us that specific delivery and restricted action is a major challenge in the development of multifunctional, pleiotropically acting cytokines into effective cancer therapeutics. Thus, gene-therapeutic approaches and new cytokine variants have been designed over the last 10 years with the aim of increasing anti-tumoral activity and reducing systemic side effects. Here, we present our current view of the therapeutic potential of the death receptor ligands TNF, CD95L and TRAIL and of the progress made towards improving their efficacy by tumor targeting, use of gene therapy and genetic engineering. Results generated with newly designed fusion proteins suggest that enhanced tumor-directed activity and prevention of undesirable actions of death receptor ligands is possible, thereby opening up a useful therapeutic window for all of the death receptor ligands, including CD95L.

  20. Ayahuasca: Pharmacology, neuroscience and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Domínguez-Clavé, Elisabet; Soler, Joaquim; Elices, Matilde; Pascual, Juan C; Álvarez, Enrique; de la Fuente Revenga, Mario; Friedlander, Pablo; Feilding, Amanda; Riba, Jordi

    2016-09-01

    Ayahuasca is the Quechua name for a tea obtained from the vine Banisteriopsis caapi, and used for ritual purposes by the indigenous populations of the Amazon. The use of a variation of the tea that combines B. caapi with the leaves of the shrub Psychotria viridis has experienced unprecedented expansion worldwide for its psychotropic properties. This preparation contains the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from P. viridis, plus β-carboline alkaloids with monoamine-oxidase-inhibiting properties from B. caapi. Acute administration induces a transient modified state of consciousness characterized by introspection, visions, enhanced emotions and recollection of personal memories. A growing body of evidence suggests that ayahuasca may be useful to treat substance use disorders, anxiety and depression. Here we review the pharmacology and neuroscience of ayahuasca, and the potential psychological mechanisms underlying its therapeutic potential. We discuss recent findings indicating that ayahuasca intake increases certain mindfulness facets related to acceptance and to the ability to take a detached view of one's own thoughts and emotions. Based on the available evidence, we conclude that ayahuasca shows promise as a therapeutic tool by enhancing self-acceptance and allowing safe exposure to emotional events. We postulate that ayahuasca could be of use in the treatment of impulse-related, personality and substance use disorders and also in the handling of trauma. More research is needed to assess the full potential of ayahuasca in the treatment of these disorders.

  1. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 is associated with invasion, metastasis, and could be a potential therapeutic target in human gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Xi, H Q; Cai, A Z; Wu, X S; Cui, J X; Shen, W S; Bian, S B; Wang, N; Li, J Y; Lu, C R; Song, Z; Wei, B; Chen, L

    2014-01-01

    Background: Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5), which is identified as a novel intestinal stem cell marker, is overexpressed in various tumours. In this study, we explore Lgr5 expression in gastric carcinoma and analyse its role in invasion, metastasis, and prognosis in carcinoma. Methods: A combination of immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction were used to detect mRNA and protein expression levels of Lgr5 and matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2). Small interfering RNA against Lgr5 was designed, synthesised, and transfected into AGS cells. The effects of Lgr5 siRNA on cell invasion were detected by transwell invasion chamber assay and wound healing assay. Results: Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 expression was significantly higher in gastric carcinomas than in normal mucosa. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 expression positively correlated with the depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, distance of metastasis, and MMP2 expression levels. Multivariate analysis showed that Lgr5 had an independent effect on survival, and that it positively correlated with MMP2. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 siRNAs inhibited Lgr5 mRNA and protein expression. Transwell assays indicated that these siRNAs resulted in significantly fewer cells migrating through the polycarbonate membrane, and wound healing assay also indicated that siRNAs decreased the migration of cells. Inhibition of Lgr5 resulted in a significant decrease in MMP2 and β-catenin levels compared with those in controls. Conclusions: Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 was correlated with invasion and metastasis. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 inhibition could serve as a novel therapeutic approach. PMID:24594994

  2. Effects of P-MAPA Immunomodulator on Toll-Like Receptors and p53: Potential Therapeutic Strategies for Infectious Diseases and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Compounds that can act as agonists for toll-like receptors (TLRs) may be promising candidates for the development of drugs against infectious diseases and cancer. The present study aimed to characterize the immunomodulatory effects of P-MAPA on TLRs in vitro and in vivo, as well as to investigate its potential as adjuvant therapy in infectious diseases and cancer. Methods For these purposes, the activity of P-MAPA on TLRs was assayed in vitro through NF-κB activation in HEK293 cells expressing a given TLR, and using an in vivo animal model for bladder cancer (BC). The antimicrobial activity of P-MAPA was tested against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) in vitro in an MIC assay, and in vivo using an aerosol infection model of murine tuberculosis. Antitumor effects of P-MAPA were tested in an animal model with experimentally induced BC. Moxifloxacin (MXF) and Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) were used as positive controls in the animal models. Results The results showed that P-MAPA, administered alone or in combination with MXF, induced significant responses in vivo against TB. In contrast, the compound did not show antimicrobial activity in vitro. P-MAPA showed a significant stimulatory effect on human TLR2 and TLR4 in vitro. In BC, TLR2, TLR4 and p53 protein levels were significantly higher in the P-MAPA group than in the BCG group. The most common histopathological changes in each group were papillary carcinoma in BC group, low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia in BCG group and simple hyperplasia in P-MAPA group. Concerning the toxicological analysis performed during BC treatment, P-MAPA did not show evidence for hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Conclusions In conclusion, P-MAPA acted as TLR ligand in vitro and improved the immunological status in BC, increasing TLR2 and TLR4 protein levels. P-MAPA immunotherapy was more effective in restoring p53 and TLRs reactivities and showed significantly greater antitumor activity than BCG. The activation of TLRs and

  3. The Pharmacology of TUG-891, a Potent and Selective Agonist of the Free Fatty Acid Receptor 4 (FFA4/GPR120), Demonstrates Both Potential Opportunity and Possible Challenges to Therapeutic Agonism

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Brian D.; Shimpukade, Bharat; Mackenzie, Amanda E.; Butcher, Adrian J.; Pediani, John D.; Christiansen, Elisabeth; Heathcote, Helen; Tobin, Andrew B.; Ulven, Trond

    2013-01-01

    TUG-891 [3-(4-((4-fluoro-4′-methyl-[1,1′-biphenyl]-2-yl)methoxy)phenyl)propanoic acid] was recently described as a potent and selective agonist for the long chain free fatty acid (LCFA) receptor 4 (FFA4; previously G protein–coupled receptor 120, or GPR120). Herein, we have used TUG-891 to further define the function of FFA4 and used this compound in proof of principle studies to indicate the therapeutic potential of this receptor. TUG-891 displayed similar signaling properties to the LCFA α-linolenic acid at human FFA4 across various assay end points, including stimulation of Ca2+ mobilization, β-arrestin-1 and β-arrestin-2 recruitment, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation. Activation of human FFA4 by TUG-891 also resulted in rapid phosphorylation and internalization of the receptor. While these latter events were associated with desensitization of the FFA4 signaling response, removal of TUG-891 allowed both rapid recycling of FFA4 back to the cell surface and resensitization of the FFA4 Ca2+ signaling response. TUG-891 was also a potent agonist of mouse FFA4, but it showed only limited selectivity over mouse FFA1, complicating its use in vivo in this species. Pharmacologic dissection of responses to TUG-891 in model murine cell systems indicated that activation of FFA4 was able to mimic many potentially beneficial therapeutic properties previously reported for LCFAs, including stimulating glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion from enteroendocrine cells, enhancing glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and inhibiting release of proinflammatory mediators from RAW264.7 macrophages, which suggests promise for FFA4 as a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes and obesity. Together, these results demonstrate both potential but also significant challenges that still need to be overcome to therapeutically target FFA4. PMID:23979972

  4. Short-chain free fatty acid receptors FFA2/GPR43 and FFA3/GPR41 as new potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Ulven, Trond

    2012-01-01

    The deorphanization of the free fatty acid (FFA) receptors FFA1 (GPR40), FFA2 (GPR43), FFA3 (GPR41), GPR84, and GPR120 has made clear that the body is capable of recognizing and responding directly to nonesterified fatty acid of virtually any chain length. Colonic fermentation of dietary fiber produces high concentrations of the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate, propionate and butyrate, a process which is important to health. The phylogenetically related 7-transmembrane (7TM) receptors free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFA2) and FFA3 are activated by these SCFAs, and several lines of evidence indicate that FFA2 and FFA3 mediate beneficial effects associated with a fiber-rich diet, and that they may be of interest as targets for treatment of inflammatory and metabolic diseases. FFA2 is highly expressed on immune cells, in particular neutrophils, and several studies suggest that the receptor plays a role in diseases involving a dysfunctional neutrophil response, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both FFA2 and FFA3 have been implicated in metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and in regulation of appetite. More research is however required to clarify the potential of the receptors as drug targets and establish if activation or inhibition would be the preferred mode of action. The availability of potent and selective receptor modulators is a prerequisite for these studies. The few modulators of FFA2 or FFA3 that have been published hitherto in the peer-reviewed literature in general have properties that make them less than ideal as such tools, but published patent applications indicate that better tool compounds might soon become available which should enable studies critical to validate the receptors as new drug targets. PMID:23060857

  5. The endocannabinoid system and rimonabant: a new drug with a novel mechanism of action involving cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism--or inverse agonism--as potential obesity treatment and other therapeutic use.

    PubMed

    Xie, S; Furjanic, M A; Ferrara, J J; McAndrew, N R; Ardino, E L; Ngondara, A; Bernstein, Y; Thomas, K J; Kim, E; Walker, J M; Nagar, S; Ward, S J; Raffa, R B

    2007-06-01

    There is considerable evidence that the endocannabinoid (endogenous cannabinoid) system plays a significant role in appetitive drive and associated behaviours. It is therefore reasonable to hypothesize that the attenuation of the activity of this system would have therapeutic benefit in treating disorders that might have a component of excess appetitive drive or over-activity of the endocannabinoid system, such as obesity, ethanol and other drug abuse, and a variety of central nervous system and other disorders. Towards this end, antagonists of cannabinoid receptors have been designed through rational drug discovery efforts. Devoid of the abuse concerns that confound and impede the use of cannabinoid receptor agonists for legitimate medical purposes, investigation of the use of cannabinoid receptor antagonists as possible pharmacotherapeutic agents is currently being actively investigated. The compound furthest along this pathway is rimonabant, a selective CB(1) (cannabinoid receptor subtype 1) antagonist, or inverse agonist, approved in the European Union and under regulatory review in the United States for the treatment of obesity. This article summarizes the basic science of the endocannabinoid system and the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptor antagonists, with emphasis on the treatment of obesity.

  6. Neuroinflammation: a potential therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Craft, Jeffrey M; Watterson, D Martin; Van Eldik, Linda J

    2005-10-01

    The increased appreciation of the importance of glial cell-propagated inflammation (termed 'neuroinflammation') in the progression of pathophysiology for diverse neurodegenerative diseases, has heightened interest in the rapid discovery of neuroinflammation-targeted therapeutics. Efforts include searches among existing drugs approved for other uses, as well as development of novel synthetic compounds that selectively downregulate neuroinflammatory responses. The use of existing drugs to target neuroinflammation has largely met with failure due to lack of efficacy or untoward side effects. However, the de novo development of new classes of therapeutics based on targeting selective aspects of glia activation pathways and glia-mediated pathophysiologies, versus targeting pathways of quantitative importance in non-CNS inflammatory responses, is yielding promising results in preclinical animal models. The authors briefly review selected clinical and preclinical data that reflect the prevailing approaches targeting neuroinflammation as a pathophysiological process contributing to onset or progression of neurodegenerative diseases. The authors conclude with opinions based on recent experimental proofs of concept using preclinical animal models of pathophysiology. The focus is on Alzheimer's disease, but the concepts are transferrable to other neurodegenerative disorders with an inflammatory component.

  7. TRAIL death receptors and cancer therapeutics

    SciTech Connect

    Huang Ying Sheikh, M. Saeed

    2007-11-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) also known as Apo2L is an apoptotic molecule that belongs to the tumor necrosis factor superfamily of cytokines. It mediates its apoptotic effects via its cognate death receptors including DR4 and DR5. Agonistic monoclonal antibodies have also been developed that selectively activate TRAIL death receptors to mediate apoptosis. Multiple clinically relevant agents also upregulate the expression of TRAIL death receptors, and cooperate with TRAIL as well as DR4 and DR5-specific agonistic antibodies to exhibit tumor cell killing. TRAIL is currently in phase I clinical trials, whereas DR4 and DR5-specific agonistic antibodies have been tested in phase I and II studies. Thus, TRAIL has clearly distinguished itself from the other family members including TNF-alpha and FasL both of which could not make it to the clinic due to their toxic nature. It is therefore, evident that the future of TRAIL-based therapeutic approaches looks brighter.

  8. Curcumin: therapeutical potential in ophthalmology.

    PubMed

    Pescosolido, Nicola; Giannotti, Rossella; Plateroti, Andrea Maria; Pascarella, Antonia; Nebbioso, Marcella

    2014-03-01

    Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is the main curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric (Curcuma longa). In the last 50 years, in vitro and in vivo experiments supported the main role of polyphenols and curcumin for the prevention and treatment of many different inflammatory diseases and tumors.The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor properties of curcumin are due to different cellular mechanisms: this compound, in fact, produces different responses in different cell types. Unfortunately, because of its low solubility and oral bioavailability, the biomedical potential of curcumin is not easy to exploit; for this reason more attention has been given to nanoparticles and liposomes, which are able to improve curcumin's bioavailability. Pharmacologically, curcumin does not show any dose-limiting toxicity when it is administered at doses of up to 8 g/day for three months. It has been demonstrated that curcumin has beneficial effects on several ocular diseases, such as chronic anterior uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome. The purpose of this review is to report what has so far been elucidated about curcumin properties and its potential use in ophthalmology.

  9. The Serotonin-6 Receptor as a Novel Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Hyung-Mun

    2011-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter that is found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. 5-HT mediates its diverse physiological responses through 7 different 5-HT receptor families: 5-HT1, 5-HT2, 5-HT3, 5-HT4, 5-HT5, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7 receptors. Among them, the 5-HT6 receptor (5-HT6R) is the most recently cloned serotonin receptor and plays important roles in the central nervous system (CNS) and in the etiology of neurological diseases. Compared to other 5-HT receptors, the 5-HT6R has been considered as an attractive CNS therapeutic target because it is expressed exclusively in the CNS and has no known isoforms. This review evaluates in detail the role of the 5-HT6R in the physiology and pathophysiology of the CNS and the potential usefulness of 5-HT6R ligands in the development of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of CNS disorders. Preclinical studies provide support for the use of 5-HT6R ligands as promising medications to treat the cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease, obesity, depression, and anxiety. PMID:22355260

  10. Exon skipping of FcεRIβ eliminates expression of the high-affinity IgE receptor in mast cells with therapeutic potential for allergy

    PubMed Central

    Cruse, Glenn; Yin, Yuzhi; Fukuyama, Tomoki; Desai, Avanti; Arthur, Greer K.; Bäumer, Wolfgang; Beaven, Michael A.; Metcalfe, Dean D.

    2016-01-01

    Allergic diseases are driven by activation of mast cells and release of mediators in response to IgE-directed antigens. However, there are no drugs currently available that can specifically down-regulate mast cell function in vivo when chronically administered. Here, we describe an innovative approach for targeting mast cells in vitro and in vivo using antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping of the β-subunit of the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRIβ) to eliminate surface high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) expression and function, rendering mast cells unresponsive to IgE-mediated activation. As FcεRIβ expression is restricted to mast cells and basophils, this approach would selectively target these cell types. Given the success of exon skipping in clinical trials to treat genetic diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, we propose that exon skipping of FcεRIβ is a potential approach for mast cell-specific treatment of allergic diseases. PMID:27872312

  11. Therapeutic Modulation of Glutamate Receptors in Major Depressive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Jaso, Brittany A; Niciu, Mark J; Iadarola, Nicolas D; Lally, Niall; Richards, Erica M; Park, Minkyung; Ballard, Elizabeth D; Nugent, Allison C; Machado-Vieira, Rodrigo; Zarate, Carlos A

    2017-01-01

    Current pharmacotherapies for major depressive disorder (MDD) have a distinct lag of onset that can prolong distress and impairment for patients, and realworld effectiveness trials further suggest that antidepressant efficacy is limited in many patients. All currently approved antidepressant medications for MDD act primarily through monoaminergic mechanisms, e.g., receptor/reuptake agonists or antagonists with varying affinities for serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and glutamate and its cognate receptors are implicated in the pathophysiology of MDD, as well as in the development of novel therapeutics for this disorder. Since the rapid and robust antidepressant effects of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist ketamine were first observed in 2000, other NMDA receptor antagonists have been studied in MDD. These have been associated with relatively modest antidepressant effects compared to ketamine, but some have shown more favorable characteristics with increased potential in clinical practice (for instance, oral administration, decreased dissociative and/or psychotomimetic effects, and reduced abuse/diversion liability). This article reviews the clinical evidence supporting the use of glutamate receptor modulators with direct affinity for cognate receptors: 1) non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonists (ketamine, memantine, dextromethorphan, AZD6765); 2) subunit (NR2B)-specific NMDA receptor antagonists (CP- 101,606/traxoprodil, MK-0657); 3) NMDA receptor glycine-site partial agonists (D-cycloserine, GLYX- 13); and 4) metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) modulators (AZD2066, RO4917523/basimglurant). Several other theoretical glutamate receptor targets with preclinical antidepressant-like efficacy, but that have yet to be studied clinically, are also briefly discussed; these include α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4- isoxazoleproprionic acid (AMPA) agonists, mGluR2/3 negative

  12. FGF receptors: cancer biology and therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Katoh, Masaru; Nakagama, Hitoshi

    2014-03-01

    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are involved in a variety of cellular processes, such as stemness, proliferation, anti-apoptosis, drug resistance, and angiogenesis. Here, FGF signaling network, cancer genetics/genomics of FGF receptors (FGFRs), and FGFR-targeted therapeutics will be reviewed. FGF signaling to RAS-MAPK branch and canonical WNT signaling cascade mutually regulate transcription programming. FGF signaling to PI3K-AKT branch and Hedgehog, Notch, TGFβ, and noncanonical WNT signaling cascades regulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion. Gene amplification of FGFR1 occurs in lung cancer and estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer, and that of FGFR2 in diffuse-type gastric cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. Chromosomal translocation of FGFR1 occurs in the 8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, as with FGFR3 in multiple myeloma and peripheral T-cell lymphoma. FGFR1 and FGFR3 genes are fused to neighboring TACC1 and TACC3 genes, respectively, due to interstitial deletions in glioblastoma multiforme. Missense mutations of FGFR2 are found in endometrial uterine cancer and melanoma, and similar FGFR3 mutations in invasive bladder tumors, and FGFR4 mutations in rhabdomyosarcoma. Dovitinib, Ki23057, ponatinib, and AZD4547 are orally bioavailable FGFR inhibitors, which have demonstrated striking effects in preclinical model experiments. Dovitinib, ponatinib, and AZD4547 are currently in clinical trial as anticancer drugs. Because there are multiple mechanisms of actions for FGFR inhibitors to overcome drug resistance, FGFR-targeted therapy is a promising strategy for the treatment of refractory cancer. Whole exome/transcriptome sequencing will be introduced to the clinical laboratory as the companion diagnostic platform facilitating patient selection for FGFR-targeted therapeutics in the era of personalized medicine.

  13. TRAIL induces pro-apoptotic crosstalk between the TRAIL-receptor signaling pathway and TrkAIII in SH-SY5Y cells, unveiling a potential therapeutic “Achilles heel” for the TrkAIII oncoprotein in neuroblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Cappabianca, Lucia; Farina, Antonietta Rosella; Ianni, Natalia Di; Mackay, Andrew Reay

    2016-01-01

    TrkAIII expression in neuroblastoma (NB) associates with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, post therapeutic relapse, and in NB models TrkAIII exhibits oncogenic activity and promotes chemotherapeutic-resistance. Here, we report a potential therapeutic “Achilles heel” for the TrkAIII oncoprotein in a SH-SY5Y NB model that is characterised by one-way TRAIL-induced, pro-apoptotic crosstalk between the TRAIL receptor signaling pathway and TrkAIII that results in the delayed induction of apoptosis. In TrkAIII SH-SY5Y cells, blocked in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway by elevated constitutive Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1 expression, TRAIL induced delayed caspase-dependent apoptosis via the extrinsic pathway and completely abrogated tumourigenic capacity in vitro. This effect was initiated by TRAIL-induced SHP-dependent c-Src activation, the induction of TrkAIII/SHP-1/c-Src complexing leading to SHP-mediated TrkAIII de-phosphorylation, subsequent induction of complexing between de-phosphorylated TrkAIII and cFLIP associated with a time-dependent increase the caspase-8 to cFLIP ratio at activated death receptors, resulting in delayed caspase cleavage and caspase-dependent apoptosis. We also confirm rate-limiting roles for c-FLIP and Mcl-1 in regulating the sensitivity of TrkAIII SH-SY5Y cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis via the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways, respectively. Our study unveils a novel mechanism for the TRAIL-induced apoptosis of TrkAIII expressing NB cells that depends upon SHP/Src-mediated crosstalk between the TRAIL-receptor signaling pathway and TrkAIII, and supports a novel potential pro-apoptotic therapeutic use for TRAIL in TrkAIII expressing NB. PMID:27821809

  14. AT(2) receptor and tissue injury: therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Namsolleck, Pawel; Recarti, Chiara; Foulquier, Sébastien; Steckelings, Ulrike Muscha; Unger, Thomas

    2014-02-01

    The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in the initiation and progression of tissue injuries in the cardiovascular and nervous systems. The detrimental actions of the AT1 receptor (AT1R) in hypertension and vascular injury, myocardial infarction and brain ischemia are well established. In the past twenty years, protective actions of the RAS, not only in the cardiovascular, but also in the nervous system, have been demonstrated. The so-called protective arm of the RAS includes AT2-receptors and Mas receptors (AT2R and MasR) and is characterized by effects different from and often opposing those of the AT1R. These include anti-inflammation, anti-fibrosis, anti-apoptosis and neuroregeneration that can counterbalance pathological processes and enable recovery from disease. The recent development of novel, small-molecule AT2R agonists offers a therapeutic potential in humans with a variety of clinical indications.

  15. Glycine transporter-1: a new potential therapeutic target for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Kenji

    2011-01-01

    The hypofunction hypothesis of glutamatergic neurotransmission via N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia suggests that increasing NMDA receptor function via pharmacological manipulation could provide a new therapeutic strategy for schizophrenia. The glycine modulatory site on NMDA receptor complex is the one of the most attractive therapeutic targets for schizophrenia. One means of enhancing NMDA receptor neurotransmission is to increase the availability of the obligatory co-agonist glycine at modulatory site on the NMDA receptors through the inhibition of glycine transporter-1 (GlyT-1) on glial cells. Some clinical studies have demonstrated that the GlyT-1 inhibitor sarcosine (N-methylglycine) shows antipsychotic activity in patients with schizophrenia. Currently, a number of pharmaceutical companies have been developing novel and selective GlyT-1 inhibitors for the treatment of schizophrenia. A recent double blind phase II study demonstrated that the novel GlyT-1 inhibitor RG1678 has a robust and clinically meaningful effect in patients with schizophrenia. In this article, the author reviews the recent findings on the GlyT-1 as a potential therapeutic target of schizophrenia.

  16. Therapeutic potential of monoacylglycerol lipase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Mulvihill, Melinda M; Nomura, Daniel K

    2013-03-19

    Marijuana and aspirin have been used for millennia to treat a wide range of maladies including pain and inflammation. Both cannabinoids, like marijuana, that exert anti-inflammatory action through stimulating cannabinoid receptors, and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors, like aspirin, that suppress pro-inflammatory eicosanoid production have shown beneficial outcomes in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Both cannabinoids and COX inhibitors, however, have untoward effects that discourage their chronic usage, including cognitive deficits and gastrointestinal toxicity, respectively. Recent studies have uncovered that the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) links the endocannabinoid and eicosanoid systems together through hydrolysis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) to provide the major arachidonic acid (AA) precursor pools for pro-inflammatory eicosanoid synthesis in specific tissues. Studies in recent years have shown that MAGL inhibitors elicit anti-nociceptive, anxiolytic, and anti-emetic responses and attenuate precipitated withdrawal symptoms in addiction paradigms through enhancing endocannabinoid signaling. MAGL inhibitors have also been shown to exert anti-inflammatory action in the brain and protect against neurodegeneration through lowering eicosanoid production. In cancer, MAGL inhibitors have been shown to have anti-cancer properties not only through modulating the endocannabinoid-eicosanoid network, but also by controlling fatty acid release for the synthesis of protumorigenic signaling lipids. Thus, MAGL serves as a critical node in simultaneously coordinating multiple lipid signaling pathways in both physiological and disease contexts. This review will discuss the diverse (patho)physiological roles of MAGL and the therapeutic potential of MAGL inhibitors in treating a vast array of complex human diseases.

  17. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in gastrointestinal diseases

    PubMed Central

    Rajasekaran, Sigrid A

    2011-01-01

    Curcumin, also known as diferuloylmethane, is derived from the plant Curcuma longa and is the active ingredient of the spice turmeric. The therapeutic activities of curcumin for a wide variety of diseases such as diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic and inflammatory diseases have been known for a long time. More recently, curcumin’s therapeutic potential for preventing and treating various cancers is being recognized. As curcumin’s therapeutic promise is being explored more systematically in various diseases, it has become clear that, due to its increased bioavailability in the gastrointestinal tract, curcumin may be particularly suited to be developed to treat gastrointestinal diseases. This review summarizes some of the current literature of curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer potential in inflammatory bowel diseases, hepatic fibrosis and gastrointestinal cancers. PMID:21607160

  18. Nanoceria: a Potential Therapeutic for Dry AMD.

    PubMed

    Cai, Xue; McGinnis, James F

    2016-01-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blinding diseases. The "dry" form of AMD is the most common form of AMD. In contrast to the treatable neovascular (wet) AMD, no effective treatment is available for dry AMD. In this review, we summarize the animal models and therapeutic strategies for dry AMD. The novel candidates as potential treatment targets and the potential effectiveness of nanoceria as a treatment of dry AMD are also discussed.

  19. Clinical potential of GABAB receptor modulators.

    PubMed

    Ong, Jennifer; Kerr, David I B

    2005-01-01

    Metabotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid(B) (GABAB) receptors for the major inhibitory transmitter GABA, together with metabotropic glutamate (mGLuRs) receptors, the extracellular calcium-sensing receptors (CaSRs), some V2R pheromone receptors and T1R taste receptors, belong to the family of 3 G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GABAB receptors are known to control neuronal excitability and modulate synaptic neurotransmission, playing a very important role in many physiological activities. These receptors are widely expressed and distributed in the nervous system and have been implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative and pathophysiological disorders including epilepsy, spasticity, chronic pain, depression, schizophrenia and drug addiction. To form a functional receptor entity, GABAB receptors must exist as a heterodimer consisting of GABAB1 and GABAB2 receptor subtypes with two 7-transmembrane proteins, and these subunits arise from distinct genes. The GABAB1 subunit binds the endogenous ligand within its extracellular N-terminus, whilst the GABAB2 subunit is not only essential for the correct trafficking of the GABAB1 subunit to the cell surface, but is also responsible for the interaction of the receptor with its cognate G-protein. Allosteric modulation has recently been recognized as an alternative pharmacological approach to gain selectivity in drug action. It is now generally accepted that modulators acting at the allosteric sites provide a novel perspective for the development of subtype-selective agents acting at GPCRs. These agents interact with allosteric binding sites quite separate from the highly conserved agonist binding region. In this review, we present a new class of phenylalkylamines, based on the lead compound fendiline, that are potent positive potentiators of GABAB receptor-mediated function and discuss their putative clinical applications. It is proposed that these new modulators may have therapeutic value in GABAB receptor pharmacology and

  20. Rapastinel (GLYX-13) has therapeutic potential for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: characterization of a NMDA receptor-mediated metaplasticity process in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats

    PubMed Central

    Burgdorf, Jeffrey; Kroes, Roger A.; Zhang, Xiao-lei; Gross, Amanda L.; Schmidt, Mary; Weiss, Craig; Disterhoft, John F.; Burch, Ronald M.; Stanton, Patric K.; Moskal, Joseph R.

    2015-01-01

    Rapastinel (GLYX-13) is a NMDA receptor modulator with glycine-site partial agonist properties. It is a robust cognitive enhancer and shows rapid and long-lasting antidepressant properties in both animal models and in humans. Contextual fear extinction (CFE) in rodents has been well characterized and used extensively as a model to study the neurobiological mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since CFE is NMDA receptor modulated and neural circuitry in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) regulates both depression and PTSD, studies were undertaken to examine the effects of rapastinel for its therapeutic potential in PTSD and to use rapastinel as a tool to study its underlying glutamatergic mechanisms. A 21-day chronic mild unpredictable stress (CUS) rat model was used to model depression and PTSD. The effects of CUS alone compared to No CUS controls, and the effects of rapastinel (3 mg/kg IV) on CUS-treated animals were examined. The effect of rapastinel was first assessed using CUS-treated rats in three depression models, Porsolt, sucrose preference, and novelty-induced hypophagia tests, and found to produce a complete reversal of the depressive-like state in each model. Rapastinel was then assessed in a MPFC-dependent positive emotional learning paradigm and in CFE and again a reversal of the impairments induced by CUS treatment was observed. Both synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity, as measured by the induction of long-term potentiation in rat MPFC slice preparations, was found to be markedly impaired in CUS-treated animals. This impairment was reversed when CUS-treated rats were administered rapastinel and tested 24 hrs later. Transcriptomic analysis of MPFC mRNA expression in CUS-treated rats corroborated the link between rapastinel’s behavioral effects and synaptic plasticity. A marked enrichment in both the LTP and LTD connectomes in rapastinel-treated CUS rats was observed compared to CUS-treated controls. The effects of rapastinel on

  1. The Pregnane X Receptor in Tuberculosis Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Shehu, Amina I.; Li, Guangming; Xie, Wen; Ma, Xiaochao

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Among the infectious diseases, tuberculosis (TB) remains the second cause of death after HIV. TB treatment requires the combination of multiple drugs including the rifamycin class. However, rifamycins are activators of human pregnane X receptor (PXR), a transcription factor that regulates drug metabolism, drug resistance, energy metabolism, and immune response. Rifamycin-mediated PXR activation may affect the outcome of TB therapy. Areas covered This review describes the role of PXR in modulating metabolism, efficacy, toxicity, and resistance to anti-TB drugs; as well as polymorphisms of PXR that potentially affect TB susceptibility. Expert opinion The wide range of PXR functions aside mediating drug metabolism and toxicity in TB therapy is underappreciated and thus understudied. Further studies are needed to determine the overall impact of PXR activation on the outcome of TB therapy. PMID:26592418

  2. Gaq proteins: molecular pharmacology and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Kamato, Danielle; Mitra, Partha; Davis, Felicity; Osman, Narin; Chaplin, Rebecca; Cabot, Peter J; Afroz, Rizwana; Thomas, Walter; Zheng, Wenhua; Kaur, Harveen; Brimble, Margaret; Little, Peter J

    2017-04-01

    Seven transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have gained much interest in recent years as it is the largest class among cell surface receptors. G proteins lie in the heart of GPCRs signalling and therefore can be therapeutically targeted to overcome complexities in GPCR responses and signalling. G proteins are classified into four families (Gi, Gs, G12/13 and Gq); Gq is further subdivided into four classes. Among them Gαq and Gαq/11 isoforms are most crucial and ubiquitously expressed; these isoforms are almost 88% similar at their amino acid sequence but may exhibit functional divergences. However, uncertainties often arise about Gαq and Gαq/11 inhibitors, these G proteins might also have suitability to the invention of novel-specific inhibitors for each isoforms. YM-254890 and UBO-QIC are discovered as potent inhibitors of Gαq functions and also investigated in thrombin protease-activated receptor (PAR)-1 inhibitors and platelet aggregation inhibition. The most likely G protein involved in PAR-1 stimulates responses is one of the Gαq family isoforms. In this review, we highlight the molecular structures and pharmacological responses of Gαq family which may reflect the biochemical and molecular role of Gαq and Gαq/11. The advanced understanding of Gαq and Gαq/11 role in GPCR signalling may shed light on our understanding on cell biology, cellular physiology and pathophysiology and also lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents for a number of diseases.

  3. Therapeutic Targeting of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors in Gastric Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Fujimori, Yoshitaka; Otsuki, Sho; Sato, Yuya; Nakagawa, Masatoshi

    2015-01-01

    Chemotherapy has become the global standard treatment for patients with metastatic or unresectable gastric cancer (GC), although outcomes remain unfavorable. Many molecular-targeted therapies inhibiting signaling pathways of various tyrosine kinase receptors have been developed, and monoclonal antibodies targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) have become standard therapy for HER2-positive GC. An inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 or MET has also produced promising results in patients with GC. Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR) play key roles in tumor growth via activated signaling pathways in GC. Genomic amplification of FGFR2 leads to the aberrant activation found in GC tumors and is related to survival in patients with GC. This review discusses the clinical relevance of FGFR in GC and examines FGFR as a potential therapeutic target in patients with GC. Preclinical studies in animal models suggest that multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), including FGFR inhibitor, suppress tumor cell proliferation and delay tumor progression. Several TKIs are now being evaluated in clinical trials as treatment for metastatic or unresectable GC harboring FGFR2 amplification. PMID:26000013

  4. Prostanoid receptor antagonists: development strategies and therapeutic applications

    PubMed Central

    Jones, RL; Giembycz, MA; Woodward, DF

    2009-01-01

    Identification of the primary products of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)/prostaglandin synthase(s), which occurred between 1958 and 1976, was followed by a classification system for prostanoid receptors (DP, EP1, EP2 …) based mainly on the pharmacological actions of natural and synthetic agonists and a few antagonists. The design of potent selective antagonists was rapid for certain prostanoid receptors (EP1, TP), slow for others (FP, IP) and has yet to be achieved in certain cases (EP2). While some antagonists are structurally related to the natural agonist, most recent compounds are ‘non-prostanoid’ (often acyl-sulphonamides) and have emerged from high-throughput screening of compound libraries, made possible by the development of (functional) assays involving single recombinant prostanoid receptors. Selective antagonists have been crucial to defining the roles of PGD2 (acting on DP1 and DP2 receptors) and PGE2 (on EP1 and EP4 receptors) in various inflammatory conditions; there are clear opportunities for therapeutic intervention. The vast endeavour on TP (thromboxane) antagonists is considered in relation to their limited pharmaceutical success in the cardiovascular area. Correspondingly, the clinical utility of IP (prostacyclin) antagonists is assessed in relation to the cloud hanging over the long-term safety of selective COX-2 inhibitors. Aspirin apart, COX inhibitors broadly suppress all prostanoid pathways, while high selectivity has been a major goal in receptor antagonist development; more targeted therapy may require an intermediate position with defined antagonist selectivity profiles. This review is intended to provide overviews of each antagonist class (including prostamide antagonists), covering major development strategies and current and potential clinical usage. PMID:19624532

  5. Brown adipose tissue and its therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Lidell, M E; Betz, M J; Enerbäck, S

    2014-10-01

    Obesity and related diseases are a major cause of human morbidity and mortality and constitute a substantial economic burden for society. Effective treatment regimens are scarce, and new therapeutic targets are needed. Brown adipose tissue, an energy-expending tissue that produces heat, represents a potential therapeutic target. Its presence is associated with low body mass index, low total adipose tissue content and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Knowledge about the development and function of thermogenic adipocytes in brown adipose tissue has increased substantially in the last decade. Important transcriptional regulators have been identified, and hormones able to modulate the thermogenic capacity of the tissue have been recognized. Intriguingly, it is now clear that humans, like rodents, possess two types of thermogenic adipocytes: the classical brown adipocytes found in the interscapular brown adipose organ and the so-called beige adipocytes primarily found in subcutaneous white adipose tissue after adrenergic stimulation. The presence of two distinct types of energy-expending adipocytes in humans is conceptually important because these cells might be stimulated and recruited by different signals, raising the possibility that they might be separate potential targets for therapeutic intervention. In this review, we will discuss important features of the energy-expending brown adipose tissue and highlight those that may serve as potential targets for pharmacological intervention aimed at expanding the tissue and/or enhancing its function to counteract obesity.

  6. Use of heteropolymeric monoclonal antibodies to attach antigens to the C3b receptor of human erythrocytes: A potential therapeutic treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, R.P.; Sutherland, W.M.; Reist, C.J.; Webb, D.J.; Wright, E.L.; Labuguen, R.H. )

    1991-04-15

    The authors prepared bispecific, cross-linked monoclonal antibodies (heteropolymers) with specificity for both targeted antigens and the human erythrocyte (RBC) complement receptor. These heteropolymers facilitate binding of target antigens (human IgG and dinitrophenylated bovine {gamma} globulin) to human RBCs under conditions that either allow or preclude complement activation. Radioimmuno-assay analyses of this binding agree well with the number of complement receptors per RBC. In vitro whole-blood model experiments indicate heteropolymer-facilitated binding of antigens to RBCs is rapid and stable at 37C. It may be possible to extend these prototype experiments to the in vivo situation and use heteropolymer-attached RBCs for the safe and rapid binding, neutralization, and removal from the circulation of pathogenic antigens associated with infectious disease.

  7. Use of Heteropolymeric Monoclonal Antibodies to Attach Antigens to the C3b Receptor of Human Erythrocytes: A Potential Therapeutic Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Ronald P.; Sutherland, William M.; Reist, Craig J.; Webb, Donna J.; Wright, Eleanor L.; Labuguen, Ronald H.

    1991-04-01

    We have prepared bispecific, cross-linked monoclonal antibodies (heteropolymers) with specificity for both targeted antigens and the human erythrocyte (RBC) complement receptor. These heteropolymers facilitate binding of target antigens (human IgG and dinitrophenylated bovine γ globulin) to human RBCs under conditions that either allow or preclude complement activation. Quantitative analyses of this binding agree well with the number of complement receptors per RBC. In vitro "whole-blood" model experiments indicate heteropolymer-facilitated binding of antigens to RBCs is rapid and stable at 37^circC. It may be possible to extend these prototype experiments to the in vivo situation and use heteropolymer-attached RBCs for the safe and rapid binding, neutralization, and removal from the circulation of pathogenic antigens associated with infectious disease.

  8. TRAF6 Activation in Multiple Myeloma: A Potential Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hong; Tamashiro, Samantha; Baritaki, Stavroula; Penichet, Manuel; Yu, Youhua; Chen, Haiming; Berenson, James; Bonavida, Benjamin

    2013-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable B-lymphocyte malignancy. New therapeutic options have become available during the past several years; however nearly all patients acquire resistance to currently available therapeutic agents. Mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis and chemoresistance of MM include genetic abnormalities, chromosomal translocations, gene mutations, the interaction between MM cells and the bone marrow microenvironment, and defects in the apoptotic signaling pathways. Survival signaling pathways associated with the pathogenesis of MM and bone marrow stromal cells play crucial roles in promoting growth, survival, adhesion, immortalization, angiogenesis, and drug resistance. The receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B/receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand/tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (RANK/RANKL-TRAF6) signal pathway mediates osteolytic bone lesions through the activation of the NF-κB and Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JNK) pathways in osteoclast precursor cells and thus contributes to the main clinical manifestations of bone disease. TRAF6 has also been identified as a ligase for Akt ubiquitination and membrane recruitment and its phosphorylation on growth factor stimulation. The inhibition of TRAF6 by silencing RNA or by decoy peptides decreases MM tumor cell proliferation and increases apoptosis as well as bone resorption. Some proteasome inhibitors and benzoxadiazole derivatives showed inhibitory effects on the activity and function of TRAF6. Overall, we propose that TRAF6 may be considered as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of MM. PMID:22440007

  9. Ubiquitylation of Nuclear Receptors: New Linkages and Therapeutic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Helzer, Kyle T.; Hooper, Christopher; Miyamoto, Shigeki; Alarid, Elaine T.

    2015-01-01

    The nuclear receptor superfamily is a group of transcriptional regulators that control multiple aspects of both physiology and pathology, and are broadly recognized as viable therapeutic targets. While receptor-modulating drugs have been successful in many cases, the discovery of new drug targets is still an active area of research, because resistance to nuclear receptor-targeting therapies remains a significant clinical challenge. Many successful targeted therapies have harnessed the control of receptor activity by targeting events within the nuclear receptor signaling pathway. In this review, we explore the role of nuclear receptor ubiquitylation and discuss how the expanding roles of ubiquitin might be leveraged to identify additional entry points to control receptor function for future therapeutic development. PMID:25943391

  10. Therapeutic potential of cannabis-related drugs.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Stephen P H

    2016-01-04

    In this review, I will consider the dual nature of Cannabis and cannabinoids. The duality arises from the potential and actuality of cannabinoids in the laboratory and clinic and the 'abuse' of Cannabis outside the clinic. The therapeutic areas currently best associated with exploitation of Cannabis-related medicines include pain, epilepsy, feeding disorders, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. As with every other medicinal drug of course, the 'trick' will be to maximise the benefit and minimise the cost. After millennia of proximity and exploitation of the Cannabis plant, we are still playing catch up with an understanding of its potential influence for medicinal benefit.

  11. Comparative expression study of the endo-G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) repertoire in human glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells, U87-MG cells and non malignant cells of neural origin unveils new potential therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Fève, Marie; Saliou, Jean-Michel; Zeniou, Maria; Lennon, Sarah; Carapito, Christine; Dong, Jihu; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Junier, Marie-Pierre; Chneiweiss, Hervé; Cianférani, Sarah; Haiech, Jacques; Kilhoffer, Marie-Claude

    2014-01-01

    Glioblastomas (GBMs) are highly aggressive, invasive brain tumors with bad prognosis and unmet medical need. These tumors are heterogeneous being constituted by a variety of cells in different states of differentiation. Among these, cells endowed with stem properties, tumor initiating/propagating properties and particularly resistant to chemo- and radiotherapies are designed as the real culprits for tumor maintenance and relapse after treatment. These cells, termed cancer stem-like cells, have been designed as prominent targets for new and more efficient cancer therapies. G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a family of membrane receptors, play a prominent role in cell signaling, cell communication and crosstalk with the microenvironment. Their role in cancer has been highlighted but remains largely unexplored. Here, we report a descriptive study of the differential expression of the endo-GPCR repertoire in human glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells (GSCs), U-87 MG cells, human astrocytes and fetal neural stem cells (f-NSCs). The endo-GPCR transcriptome has been studied using Taqman Low Density Arrays. Of the 356 GPCRs investigated, 138 were retained for comparative studies between the different cell types. At the transcriptomic level, eight GPCRs were specifically expressed/overexpressed in GSCs. Seventeen GPCRs appeared specifically expressed in cells with stem properties (GSCs and f-NSCs). Results of GPCR expression at the protein level using mass spectrometry and proteomic analysis are also presented. The comparative GPCR expression study presented here gives clues for new pathways specifically used by GSCs and unveils novel potential therapeutic targets.

  12. Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of new 5-HT4 receptor agonists: application as amyloid cascade modulators and potential therapeutic utility in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Russo, Olivier; Cachard-Chastel, Marthe; Rivière, Céline; Giner, Mireille; Soulier, Jean-Louis; Berthouze, Magali; Richard, Tristan; Monti, Jean-Pierre; Sicsic, Sames; Lezoualc'h, Frank; Berque-Bestel, Isabelle

    2009-04-23

    Serotonin 5-HT(4) receptor (5-HT(4)R) agonists are of particular interest for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease because of their ability to ameliorate cognitive deficits and to modulate production of amyloid beta-protein (Abeta). However, despite the range of 5-HT(4)R agonists synthesized to date, potent and selective 5-HT(4)R agonists are still lacking. In the present study, two libraries of molecules based on the scaffold of ML10302, a highly specific and partial 5-HT(4)R agonist, were efficiently prepared by parallel supported synthesis and their binding affinities and agonist activities evaluated. Furthermore, we showed that, in vivo, the two best candidates exhibited neuroprotective activity by increasing the level of the soluble form of the amyloid precursor protein (sAPPalpha) in the cortex and hippocampus of mice. Interestingly, one of these compounds could also inhibit Abeta fibril formation in vitro.

  13. Biopharmaceutics and Therapeutic Potential of Engineered Nanomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Xing-Jie; Chen, Chunying; Zhao, Yuliang; Jia, Lee; Wang, Paul C.

    2009-01-01

    Engineered nanomaterials are at the leading edge of the rapidly developing nanosciences and are founding an important class of new materials with specific physicochemical properties different from bulk materials with the same compositions. The potential for nanomaterials is rapidly expanding with novel applications constantly being explored in different areas. The unique size-dependent properties of nanomaterials make them very attractive for pharmaceutical applications. Investigations of physical, chemical and biological properties of engineered nanomaterials have yielded valuable information. Cytotoxic effects of certain engineered nanomaterials towards malignant cells form the basis for one aspect of nanomedicine. It is inferred that size, three dimensional shape, hydrophobicity and electronic configurations make them an appealing subject in medicinal chemistry. Their unique structure coupled with immense scope for derivatization forms a base for exciting developments in therapeutics. This review article addresses the fate of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of engineered nanoparticles in vitro and in vivo. It updates the distinctive methodology used for studying the biopharmaceutics of nanoparticles. This review addresses the future potential and safety concerns and genotoxicity of nanoparticle formulations in general. It particularly emphasizes the effects of nanoparticles on metabolic enzymes as well as the parenteral or inhalation administration routes of nanoparticle formulations. This paper illustrates the potential of nanomedicine by discussing biopharmaceutics of fullerene derivatives and their suitability for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Future direction is discussed as well. PMID:18855608

  14. Therapeutic Potential of α-Crystallin

    PubMed Central

    Nagaraj, Ram H.; Nahomi, Rooban B.; Mueller, Niklaus H.; Raghavan, Cibin T.; Ammar, David A.; Petrash, J. Mark

    2015-01-01

    Background The findings that α-crystallins are multi-functional proteins with diverse biological functions have generated considerable interest in understanding their role in health and disease. Recent studies have shown that chaperone peptides of α-crystallin could be delivered into cultured cells and in experimental animals with beneficial effects against protein aggregation, oxidation, inflammation and apoptosis. Scope of Review In this review, we will summarize the latest developments on the therapeutic potential of α-crystallins and their functional peptides. Major conclusions α-Crystallins and their functional peptides have shown significant favorable effects against several diseases. Their targeted delivery to tissues would be of great therapeutic benefit. However, α-crystallins can also function as disease-causing proteins. These seemingly contradictory functions must be carefully considered prior to their therapeutic use. General significance αA and αB-Crystallin are members of the small heat shock protein family. These proteins exhibit molecular chaperone and anti-apoptotic activities. The core crystallin domain within these proteins is largely responsible for these prosperities. Recent studies have identified peptides within the crystallin domain of both α- and αB-crystallins with remarkable chaperone and anti-apoptotic activities. Administration of α-crystallin or their functional peptides have shown substantial inhibition of pathologies in several diseases. However, α-crystallins have been shown to promote disease-causing pathways. These two sides of the proteins are discussed in this review. PMID:25840354

  15. Cannabidiol and epilepsy: Rationale and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Leo, Antonio; Russo, Emilio; Elia, Maurizio

    2016-05-01

    Despite the introduction of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), the quality of life and therapeutic response for patients with epilepsy remains still poor. Unfortunately, besides several advantages, these new AEDs have not satisfactorily reduced the number of refractory patients. Therefore, the need for different other therapeutic options to manage epilepsy is still a current issue. To this purpose, emphasis has been given to phytocannabinoids, which have been medicinally used since ancient time in the treatment of neurological disorders including epilepsy. In particular, the nonpsychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD) has shown anticonvulsant properties, both in preclinical and clinical studies, with a yet not completely clarified mechanism of action. However, it should be made clear that most phytocannabinoids do not act on the endocannabinoid system as in the case of CBD. In in vivo preclinical studies, CBD has shown significant anticonvulsant effects mainly in acute animal models of seizures, whereas restricted data exist in chronic models of epilepsy as well as in animal models of epileptogenesis. Likewise, clinical evidence seems to indicate that CBD is able to manage epilepsy both in adults and children affected by refractory seizures, with a favourable side effect profile. However, to date, clinical trials are both qualitatively and numerically limited, thus yet inconsistent. Therefore, further preclinical and clinical studies are undoubtedly needed to better evaluate the potential therapeutic profile of CBD in epilepsy, although the actually available data is promising.

  16. [Lactoferrin - a glycoprotein of great therapeutic potentials].

    PubMed

    Lauterbach, Ryszard; Kamińska, Ewa; Michalski, Piotr; Lauterbach, Jan Paweł

    2016-01-01

    Lactoferrin is an iron-binding glycoprotein, which is present in most biological fluids with particularly high levels in colostrum and in mammalian milk. Bovine lactoferrin is more than 70% homologous with human lactoferrin. Most of the clinical trials have used bovine lactoferrin for supplementation. This review summarizes the recent advances in explaining the mechanisms, which are responsible for the multifunctional roles of lactoferrin, and presents its potential prophylactic and therapeutic applications. On the ground of the results of preliminary clinical observations, authors suggest beneficial effect of lactoferrin supplementation on the prevalence of necrotizing enterocolitis in infants with birth weight below 1250 grams.

  17. Targeting nuclear transporters in cancer: Diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Stelma, Tamara; Chi, Alicia; van der Watt, Pauline J; Verrico, Annalisa; Lavia, Patrizia; Leaner, Virna D

    2016-04-01

    The Karyopherin superfamily is a major class of soluble transport receptors consisting of both import and export proteins. The trafficking of proteins involved in transcription, cell signalling and cell cycle regulation among other functions across the nuclear membrane is essential for normal cellular functioning. However, in cancer cells, the altered expression or localization of nuclear transporters as well as the disruption of endogenous nuclear transport inhibitors are some ways in which the Karyopherin proteins are dysregulated. The value of nuclear transporters in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer is currently being elucidated with recent studies highlighting their potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

  18. Recent advances in molecular pharmacology of the histamine systems: physiology and pharmacology of histamine H3 receptor: roles in feeding regulation and therapeutic potential for metabolic disorders.

    PubMed

    Tokita, Shigeru; Takahashi, Kazuhiko; Kotani, Hidehito

    2006-05-01

    Histamine H3 receptors (H3Rs) are autoreceptors that negatively regulate the release of histamine and other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and acetylcholine in the central nervous system (CNS). Consistent with the wide-spread projection of histaminergic neurons from the lateral hypothalamus, H3Rs are widely distributed in the CNS and are believed to play a variety of physiological roles, including regulation of feeding, arousal, cognition, pain, and endocrine systems. To further understand the physiological roles of H3Rs in vivo, we produced H3R knockout (H3R-/-) mice and found that H3R-/- mice displayed hyperphagia and late-onset obesity associated with hyperinsulinemia and leptinemia, the fundamental marks of metabolic syndromes. A series of non-imidazole H3R antagonists/inverse agonists with improved selectivity and potency have been developed and were found to regulate feeding and body weight gain in laboratory animals. Taken together, these observations suggest that H3Rs are involved in the regulation of feeding behavior and body weight. Several H3R inverse agonists targeting cognitive disorders and dementia have entered clinical trials. These trials will give critical information about the physiological functions of H3Rs in humans.

  19. Potential Therapeutic Uses of Mecamylamine and its Stereoisomers

    PubMed Central

    Nickell, Justin R.; Grinevich, Vladimir P.; Siripurapu, Kiran B.; Smith, Andrew M.; Dwoskin, Linda P.

    2013-01-01

    Mecamylamine (3-methylaminoisocamphane hydrochloride) is a nicotinic parasympathetic ganglionic blocker, originally utilized as a therapeutic agent to treat hypertension. Mecamylamine administration produces several deleterious side-effects at therapeutically relevant doses. As such, mecamylamine’s use as an antihypertensive agent was phased out, except in severe hypertension. Mecamylamine easily traverses the blood-brain barrier to reach the central nervous system (CNS), where it acts as a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) antagonist, inhibiting all known nAChR subtypes. Since nAChRs play a major role in numerous physiological and pathological processes, it is not surprising that mecamylamine has been evaluated for its potential therapeutic effects in a wide variety of CNS disorders, including addiction. Importantly, mecamylamine produces its therapeutic effects on the CNS at doses 3-fold lower than those used to treat hypertension, which diminishes the probability of peripheral side-effects. This review focuses on the pharmacological properties of mecamylamine, the differential effects of its stereoisomers, S(+)- and R(−)-mecamylamine, and the potential for effectiveness in treating CNS disorders, including nicotine and alcohol addiction, mood disorders, cognitive impairment and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. PMID:23603417

  20. Mediating effects of aryl-hydrocarbon receptor and RhoA in altering brain vascular integrity: the therapeutic potential of statins.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chih-Cheng; Lee, Pei-Shan; Chou, Ying; Hwang, Ling-Ling; Juan, Shu-Hui

    2012-07-01

    We have demonstrated previously that focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/RhoA alteration by the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonist 3-methylcholanthrene (3MC) is involved in the antimigratory effects of 3MC in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells. Here, we identified that signaling properties and molecular mechanisms of RhoA/β-catenin were both implicated in alterations to blood-brain barrier integrity. The mechanisms of action were the down-regulation of integrin, the extracellular matrix, and adherens junction stability. PTEN phosphorylation by 3MC-mediated AhR/RhoA activation increased the proteasomal degradation of β-catenin through PKCδ/pGSK3β-mediated β-catenin phosphorylation; the crucial roles of AhR/RhoA in this process were verified by using gain- or loss-of-function experiments. The decrease in β-catenin led to decreased expression of fibronectin and α5β1 integrin. Additionally, protein interactions among FAK, VE-cadherin, vinculin, and β-actin were simultaneously decreased, resulting in adherens junction instability. Novel functional TCF/LEF1 binding sites in the promoter regions of fibronectin and α5/β1 integrin were identified by electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. The results indicate that the binding activities of β-catenin decreased in mouse cerebrovascular endothelial cells treated with 3MC. In addition, simvastatin and pravastatin treatment reversed 3MC-mediated alterations in mouse cerebrovascular endothelial cells by RhoA inactivation, and the in vitro findings were substantiated by an in vivo blood-brain barrier assay. Thus, endothelial barrier dysfunction due to 3MC occurs through AhR/RhoA-mediated β-catenin down-regulation, which is reversed by simvastatin treatment in vivo.

  1. Potential therapeutic approaches for Angelman syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Xiaoning; Sun, Jiandong; Ji, Angela X.; Baudry, Michel

    2016-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by deficiency of maternally inherited UBE3A, an ubiquitin E3 ligase. Despite recent progress in understanding the mechanism underlying UBE3A imprinting, there is no effective treatment. Further investigation of the roles played by UBE3A in the central nervous system (CNS) is needed for developing effective therapies. AREA COVERED This review covers the literature related to genetic classifications of AS, recent discoveries regarding the regulation of UBE3A imprinting, alterations in cell signaling in various brain regions, and potential therapeutic approaches. Since a large proportion of AS patients exhibit comorbid autism spectrum disorder (ASD), potential common molecular bases are discussed. EXPERT OPINION Advances in understanding UBE3A imprinting provide a unique opportunity to induce paternal UBE3A expression, thus targeting the syndrome at its “root.” However, such efforts have yielded less-than-expected rescue effects in AS mouse models, raising the concern that activation of paternal UBE3A after a critical period cannot correct all the CNS defects that developed in a UBE3A-deficient environment. On the other hand, targeting abnormal downstream cell signaling pathways has provided promising rescue effects in preclinical research. Thus, combined reinstatement of paternal UBE3A expression with targeting abnormal signaling pathways should provide better therapeutic effects. PMID:26558806

  2. Bioconjugates: harnessing potential for effective therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Khare, Piush; Jain, Aviral; Gulbake, Arvind; Soni, Vandana; Jain, Nitin K; Jain, Sanjay K

    2009-01-01

    The accomplishment of selective delivery can be brought through efficient drug targeting in which the attack of drug moiety is visualized only by the diseased organ and not by the organs of the whole body. This, in turn, consequently minimizes the unwanted effects or side effects caused by the drug action on the other organs. Bioconjugation is a fascinating technique that explores new vistas of drug delivery, and at the same time opens new possibilities for safe and effective therapy. This review is dedicated to and describes the science of bioconjugation and its potential in the drug delivery field, including different bioconjugates and their use in various therapeutic strategies. These have been classified as polymer based, macromolecule based, carrier based, and novel bioconjugates. This review describes the utility of bioconjugates in major diseases like cancer and others, and discusses experiments and research on the same. Bioconjugates have immense potential and extend a promising future in the drug delivery field. The review can act as a quick reference for those actively engaged in drug delivery and drug research to help overcome the hurdles of therapeutics.

  3. Therapeutic potential of icatibant (HOE-140, JE-049).

    PubMed

    Cruden, Nicholas L M; Newby, David E

    2008-09-01

    There is now a substantial body of work implicating bradykinin, an endogenous peptide neurohormone, in the pathophysiology of a variety of inflammatory conditions in man. Icatibant (HOE-140, JE-049), a highly selective antagonist at the bradykinin B2 receptor, blocks the vasodilatation and increased vascular permeability associated with exogenous bradykinin administration both in experimental models and in vivo in man. Recent attention has focused on the therapeutic potential of icatibant in a number of human disease states. The most promising of these is hereditary angioedema in which Phase III clinical trials have recently been completed and regulatory approval is currently being sought in Europe and the USA. A therapeutic role for icatibant has also been proposed in several other human conditions including drug-induced angioedema, airways disease, thermal injury, refractory ascites in patients with liver cirrhosis, and acute pancreatitis, although this work remains largely experimental.

  4. Chaperones as potential therapeutics for Krabbe disease.

    PubMed

    Graziano, Adriana Carol Eleonora; Pannuzzo, Giovanna; Avola, Rosanna; Cardile, Venera

    2016-11-01

    Krabbe's disease (KD) is an autosomal recessive, neurodegenerative disorder. It is classified among the lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs). It was first described in , but the genetic defect for the galactocerebrosidase (GALC) gene was not discovered until the beginning of the 1970s, 20 years before the GALC cloning. Recently, in 2011, the crystal structures of the GALC enzyme and the GALC-product complex were obtained. For this, compared with other LSDs, the research on possible therapeutic interventions is much more recent. Thus, it is not surprising that some treatment options are still under preclinical investigation, whereas their relevance for other pathologies of the same group has already been tested in clinical studies. This is specifically the case for pharmacological chaperone therapy (PCT), a promising strategy for selectively correcting defective protein folding and trafficking and for enhancing enzyme activity by small molecules. These compounds bind directly to a partially folded biosynthetic intermediate, stabilize the protein, and allow completion of the folding process to yield a functional protein. Here, we review the chaperones that have demonstrated potential therapeutics during preclinical studies for KD, underscoring the requirement to invigorate research for KD-addressed PCT that will benefit from recent insights into the molecular understanding of GALC structure, drug design, and development in cellular models. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects

    PubMed Central

    Bayan, Leyla; Koulivand, Peir Hossain; Gorji, Ali

    2014-01-01

    Throughout history, many different cultures have recognized the potential use of garlic for prevention and treatment of different diseases. Recent studies support the effects of garlic and its extracts in a wide range of applications. These studies raised the possibility of revival of garlic therapeutic values in different diseases. Different compounds in garlic are thought to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, have anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects, and show benefit on high blood glucose concentration. However, the exact mechanism of all ingredients and their long-term effects are not fully understood. Further studies are needed to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms of action of garlic as well as its efficacy and safety in treatment of various diseases. PMID:25050296

  6. Antioxidants as Potential Therapeutics for Lung Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    DAY, BRIAN J.

    2009-01-01

    Interstitial lung disease encompasses a large group of chronic lung disorders associated with excessive tissue remodeling, scarring, and fibrosis. The evidence of a redox imbalance in lung fibrosis is substantial, and the rationale for testing antioxidants as potential new therapeutics for lung fibrosis is appealing. Current animal models of lung fibrosis have clear involvement of ROS in their pathogenesis. New classes of antioxidant agents divided into catalytic antioxidant mimetics and antioxidant scavengers are being developed. The catalytic antioxidant class is based on endogenous antioxidant enzymes and includes the manganese-containing macrocyclics, porphyrins, salens, and the non–metal-containing nitroxides. The antioxidant scavenging class is based on endogenous antioxidant molecules and includes the vitamin E analogues, thiols, lazaroids, and polyphenolic agents. Numerous studies have shown oxidative stress to be associated with many interstitial lung diseases and that these agents are effective in attenuating fibroproliferative responses in the lung of animals and humans. PMID:17999627

  7. Androgen Receptor: A Complex Therapeutic Target for Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Ramesh; Dalton, James T

    2016-12-02

    Molecular and histopathological profiling have classified breast cancer into multiple sub-types empowering precision treatment. Although estrogen receptor (ER) and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) are the mainstay therapeutic targets in breast cancer, the androgen receptor (AR) is evolving as a molecular target for cancers that have developed resistance to conventional treatments. The high expression of AR in breast cancer and recent discovery and development of new nonsteroidal drugs targeting the AR provide a strong rationale for exploring it again as a therapeutic target in this disease. Ironically, both nonsteroidal agonists and antagonists for the AR are undergoing clinical trials, making AR a complicated target to understand in breast cancer. This review provides a detailed account of AR's therapeutic role in breast cancer.

  8. Androgen Receptor: A Complex Therapeutic Target for Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Narayanan, Ramesh; Dalton, James T.

    2016-01-01

    Molecular and histopathological profiling have classified breast cancer into multiple sub-types empowering precision treatment. Although estrogen receptor (ER) and human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) are the mainstay therapeutic targets in breast cancer, the androgen receptor (AR) is evolving as a molecular target for cancers that have developed resistance to conventional treatments. The high expression of AR in breast cancer and recent discovery and development of new nonsteroidal drugs targeting the AR provide a strong rationale for exploring it again as a therapeutic target in this disease. Ironically, both nonsteroidal agonists and antagonists for the AR are undergoing clinical trials, making AR a complicated target to understand in breast cancer. This review provides a detailed account of AR’s therapeutic role in breast cancer. PMID:27918430

  9. Comparative Expression Study of the Endo–G Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) Repertoire in Human Glioblastoma Cancer Stem-like Cells, U87-MG Cells and Non Malignant Cells of Neural Origin Unveils New Potential Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Lennon, Sarah; Carapito, Christine; Dong, Jihu; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Junier, Marie-Pierre; Chneiweiss, Hervé; Cianférani, Sarah; Haiech, Jacques; Kilhoffer, Marie-Claude

    2014-01-01

    Glioblastomas (GBMs) are highly aggressive, invasive brain tumors with bad prognosis and unmet medical need. These tumors are heterogeneous being constituted by a variety of cells in different states of differentiation. Among these, cells endowed with stem properties, tumor initiating/propagating properties and particularly resistant to chemo- and radiotherapies are designed as the real culprits for tumor maintenance and relapse after treatment. These cells, termed cancer stem-like cells, have been designed as prominent targets for new and more efficient cancer therapies. G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), a family of membrane receptors, play a prominent role in cell signaling, cell communication and crosstalk with the microenvironment. Their role in cancer has been highlighted but remains largely unexplored. Here, we report a descriptive study of the differential expression of the endo-GPCR repertoire in human glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells (GSCs), U-87 MG cells, human astrocytes and fetal neural stem cells (f-NSCs). The endo-GPCR transcriptome has been studied using Taqman Low Density Arrays. Of the 356 GPCRs investigated, 138 were retained for comparative studies between the different cell types. At the transcriptomic level, eight GPCRs were specifically expressed/overexpressed in GSCs. Seventeen GPCRs appeared specifically expressed in cells with stem properties (GSCs and f-NSCs). Results of GPCR expression at the protein level using mass spectrometry and proteomic analysis are also presented. The comparative GPCR expression study presented here gives clues for new pathways specifically used by GSCs and unveils novel potential therapeutic targets. PMID:24662753

  10. Therapeutic potential of growth factors and their antagonists.

    PubMed Central

    Garner, A.

    1992-01-01

    This article describes studies with four peptides, epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha), gastrin-releasing peptide/bombesin (GRP), and gastrin. The mitogenic and anti-secretory activities of EGF/TGF alpha appear to be mediated by a single class of high-affinity membrane receptors but may involve different signal transducing mechanisms. Biological activity of EGF resides in the N-terminal 42 amino acid fragment with the C-terminal undecapeptide determining binding affinity. A parenteral depot formulation of an EGF-related peptide or a small molecule agonist of the EGF receptor could have utility in treating various ulcerative disorders of the gut. Although antagonism of EGF (and thus TGF alpha) receptors and/or transducing mechanisms is frequently cited as a potential therapeutic approach to hyperproliferative diseases, blocking the action of TGF alpha, GRP, or gastrin with neutralizing antibodies or receptor antagonists did not influence the growth of a wide range of solid tumors in nude mice. These findings suggest that, unless tumor growth displays absolute dependency on one particular mitogen, antagonism of a specific growth factor is unlikely to have great effect in cancer therapy. PMID:1341074

  11. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 and xenobiotics.

    PubMed

    Cuypers, E; Dabrowski, M; Horoszok, L; Terp, G E; Tytgat, J

    2008-04-01

    Over the last couple of years, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1(TRPV1) channels have been a hot topic in ion channel research. Since this research field is still rather new, there is not much known about the working mechanism of TRPV1 and its ligands. Nevertheless, the important physiological role and therapeutic potential are promising. Therefore, extensive research is going on and a lot of natural as well as synthetic compounds are already described. In this review, we briefly give an overview of capsaicin's history and the current knowledge of its working mechanism and physiological role. We discuss the best known plant molecules acting on TRPV1 and highlight the latest discovery in TRPV1 research: animal venoms and toxins acting on TRPV1 channels. In an effort to give the complete image of TRPV1 ligands known today, the most promising synthetic compounds are presented. Finally, we present a novel pharmacophore model describing putative ligand binding domains.

  12. Sigma receptor ligands: possible application as therapeutic drugs and as radiopharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Kenji; Ishiwata, Kiichi

    2006-01-01

    Sigma receptors are classified into sigma(1) and sigma(2) subtypes. These subtypes display a different tissue distribution and a distinct physiological and pharmacological profile in the central and peripheral nervous system. The characterization of these subtypes and the discovery of new specific sigma receptor ligands demonstrated that sigma receptors are novel targets for the therapeutic treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases (schizophrenia, depression, and cognition), brain ischemia, and cocaine addiction. Furthermore, imaging of sigma(1) receptors in the human brain using specific PET radioligands has started. In addition, the two sigma receptor subtypes are also expressed on tumor cells, where they could be of prognostic relevance. The ability of sigma(2) receptor agonists to inhibit tumor cell proliferation through mechanisms that might involve apoptosis, intracellular Ca(2+), and sphingolipids has promoted the development of sigma(2) receptor agonists as novel therapeutic drugs for treating cancer. Consequently, sigma(2) receptor ligands have been demonstrated to be potentially useful tumor imaging ligands. In this article, we focus on the sigma receptor ligands as therapeutic agents and as radiopharmaceuticals.

  13. Therapeutic potential of fecal microbiota transplantation.

    PubMed

    Smits, Loek P; Bouter, Kristien E C; de Vos, Willem M; Borody, Thomas J; Nieuwdorp, Max

    2013-11-01

    There has been growing interest in the use of fecal microbiota for the treatment of patients with chronic gastrointestinal infections and inflammatory bowel diseases. Lately, there has also been interest in its therapeutic potential for cardiometabolic, autoimmune, and other extraintestinal conditions that were not previously considered to be associated with the intestinal microbiota. Although it is not clear if changes in the microbiota cause these conditions, we review the most current and best methods for performing fecal microbiota transplantation and summarize clinical observations that have implicated the intestinal microbiota in various diseases. We also discuss case reports of fecal microbiota transplantations for different disorders, including Clostridium difficile infection, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, insulin resistance, multiple sclerosis, and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. There has been increasing focus on the interaction between the intestinal microbiome, obesity, and cardiometabolic diseases, and we explore these relationships and the potential roles of different microbial strains. We might someday be able to mine for intestinal bacterial strains that can be used in the diagnosis or treatment of these diseases.

  14. The hypocretin/orexin receptor: therapeutic prospective in sleep disorders.

    PubMed

    Nishino, Seiji

    2007-11-01

    The hypocretins (also known as orexins) and their receptors are the focus of many investigators as sites for therapeutic intervention in a number of endocrinologic, neurologic and sleep disorders. The interest for the hypocretin system is highlighted by a recent discovery that a human sleep disorder, narcolepsy, is tightly linked with the deficiency of hypocretin peptides. This finding suggests that hypocretin replacement is a promising new therapeutic intervention for human narcolepsy and related disorders, but this will only become possible when small-molecule (i.e., non-peptide) hypocretin receptor agonists become available. In contrast, high-throughput screening efforts in hypocretin receptor drug discovery programs by a number of pharmaceutical companies have already identified novel small-molecule hypocretin receptor antagonists and these antagonists may be used for the treatment of insomnia, especially for sleep-initiation problems. This is because hypocretin-deficient narcoleptic subjects show very short sleep latency and the blockade of the hypocretin receptor may induce a similar sleep symptom. At least two hypocretin receptor antagonists (ACT-078573 and GW-649868) are presently under development for the treatment of human insomnia and the promising aspects and limitations of these therapeutic interventions are discussed in this paper.

  15. Drug delivery to the testis: current status and potential pathways for the development of novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Snow-Lisy, Devon C; Samplaski, Mary K; Labhasetwar, Vinod; Sabanegh, Edmund S

    2011-10-01

    Nanotechnology has been increasingly utilized for the targeting and delivery of novel therapeutic agents to different tissues and cell types. The current therapeutic options for testicular disorders fall short in many instances due to difficulty traversing the blood-testis barrier, systemic toxicities, and complicated dosing regiments. For testicular tissue, potential targeting can be obtained either via anatomic methods or specific ligands such as luteinizing hormone or follicle-stimulating hormone analogs. Potential novel therapeutic agents include DNA, RNA, cytokines, peptide receptor antagonists, peptide receptor agonists, hormones, and enzymes. Nanotherapeutic treatment of testicular cancer, infertility, testicular torsion, orchalgia, hypogonadism, testicular infections, and cryptorchidism within the framework of potential target cells are an emerging area of research. While there are many potential applications of nanotechnology in drug delivery to the testis, this remains a relatively unexplored field. This review highlights the current status as well as potential future of nanotechnology in the development of novel therapeutics for testicular disorders.

  16. Potential Therapeutic Targets in Uterine Sarcomas

    PubMed Central

    Cuppens, Tine; Tuyaerts, Sandra; Amant, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Uterine sarcomas are rare tumors accounting for 3,4% of all uterine cancers. Even after radical hysterectomy, most patients relapse or present with distant metastases. The very limited clinical benefit of adjuvant cytotoxic treatments is reflected by high mortality rates, emphasizing the need for new treatment strategies. This review summarizes rising potential targets in four distinct subtypes of uterine sarcomas: leiomyosarcoma, low-grade and high-grade endometrial stromal sarcoma, and undifferentiated uterine sarcoma. Based on clinical reports, promising approaches for uterine leiomyosarcoma patients include inhibition of VEGF and mTOR signaling, preferably in combination with other targeted or cytotoxic compounds. Currently, the only targeted therapy approved in leiomyosarcoma patients is pazopanib, a multitargeted inhibitor blocking VEGFR, PDGFR, FGFR, and c-KIT. Additionally, preclinical evidence suggests effect of the inhibition of histone deacetylases, tyrosine kinase receptors, and the mitotic checkpoint protein aurora kinase A. In low-grade endometrial stromal sarcomas, antihormonal therapies including aromatase inhibitors and progestins have proven activity. Other potential targets are PDGFR, VEGFR, and histone deacetylases. In high-grade ESS that carry the YWHAE/FAM22A/B fusion gene, the generated 14-3-3 oncoprotein is a putative target, next to c-KIT and the Wnt pathway. The observation of heterogeneity within uterine sarcoma subtypes warrants a personalized treatment approach. PMID:26576131

  17. The epidermal growth factor receptor family: Biology driving targeted therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Wieduwilt, M. J.; Moasser, M. M.

    2011-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor family of receptor tyrosine kinases (ErbBs) plays essential roles in regulating cell proliferation, survival, differentiation and migration. The ErbB receptors carry out both redundant and restricted functions in mammalian development and in the maintenance of tissues in the adult mammal. Loss of regulation of the ErbB receptors underlies many human diseases, most notably cancer. Our understanding of the function and complex regulation of these receptors has fueled the development of targeted therapeutic agents for human malignancies in the last 15 years. Here we review the biology of ErbB receptors, including their structure, signaling, regulation, and roles in development and disease, then briefly touch on their increasing roles as targets for cancer therapy. PMID:18259690

  18. Therapeutic antibodies directed at G protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Hutchings, Catherine J; Koglin, Markus; Marshall, Fiona H

    2010-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the most important classes of targets for small molecule drug discovery, but many current GPCRs of interest are proving intractable to small molecule discovery and may be better approached with bio-therapeutics. GPCRs are implicated in a wide variety of diseases where antibody therapeutics are currently used. These include inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn disease, as well as metabolic disease and cancer. Raising antibodies to GPCRs has been difficult due to problems in obtaining suitable antigen because GPCRs are often expressed at low levels in cells and are very unstable when purified. A number of new developments in over-expressing receptors, as well as formulating stable pure protein, are contributing to the growing interest in targeting GPCRs with antibodies. This review discusses the opportunities for targeting GPCRs with antibodies using these approaches and describes the therapeutic antibodies that are currently in clinical development.

  19. Therapeutic antibodies directed at G protein-coupled receptors

    PubMed Central

    Hutchings, Catherine J; Koglin, Markus

    2010-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the most important classes of targets for small molecule drug discovery, but many current GPCRs of interest are proving intractable to small molecule discovery and may be better approached with bio-therapeutics. GPCRs are implicated in a wide variety of diseases where antibody therapeutics are currently used. These include inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn disease, as well as metabolic disease and cancer. Raising antibodies to GPCRs has been difficult due to problems in obtaining suitable antigen because GPCRs are often expressed at low levels in cells and are very unstable when purified. A number of new developments in overexpressing receptors, as well as formulating stable pure protein, are contributing to the growing interest in targeting GPCRs with antibodies. This review discusses the opportunities for targeting GPCRs with antibodies using these approaches and describes the therapeutic antibodies that are currently in clinical development. PMID:20864805

  20. TLRs, future potential therapeutic targets for RA.

    PubMed

    Elshabrawy, Hatem A; Essani, Abdul E; Szekanecz, Zoltán; Fox, David A; Shahrara, Shiva

    2017-02-01

    Toll like receptors (TLR)s have a central role in regulating innate immunity and in the last decade studies have begun to reveal their significance in potentiating autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Earlier investigations have highlighted the importance of TLR2 and TLR4 function in RA pathogenesis. In this review, we discuss the newer data that indicate roles for TLR5 and TLR7 in RA and its preclinical models. We evaluate the pathogenicity of TLRs in RA myeloid cells, synovial tissue fibroblasts, T cells, osteoclast progenitor cells and endothelial cells. These observations establish that ligation of TLRs can transform RA myeloid cells into M1 macrophages and that the inflammatory factors secreted from M1 and RA synovial tissue fibroblasts participate in TH-17 cell development. From the investigations conducted in RA preclinical models, we conclude that TLR-mediated inflammation can result in osteoclastic bone erosion by interconnecting the myeloid and TH-17 cell response to joint vascularization. In light of emerging unique aspects of TLR function, we summarize the novel approaches that are being tested to impair TLR activation in RA patients.

  1. Bile Acid Nuclear Receptor Farnesoid X Receptor: Therapeutic Target for Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sun-Gi; Kim, Byung-Kwon; Kim, Kyumin

    2016-01-01

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the causes of fatty liver, occurring when fat is accumulated in the liver without alcohol consumption. NAFLD is the most common liver disorder in advanced countries. NAFLD is a spectrum of pathology involving hepatic steatosis with/without inflammation and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis with accumulation of hepatocyte damage and hepatic fibrosis. Recent studies have revealed that NAFLD results in the progression of cryptogenic cirrhosis that leads to hepatocarcinoma and cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure. The main causes of NAFLD have not been revealed yet, metabolic syndromes including obesity and insulin resistance are widely accepted for the critical risk factors for the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Nuclear receptors (NRs) are transcriptional factors that sense environmental or hormonal signals and regulate expression of genes, involved in cellular growth, development, and metabolism. Several NRs have been reported to regulate genes involved in energy and xenobiotic metabolism and inflammation. Among various NRs, farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is abundantly expressed in the liver and a key regulator to control various metabolic processes in the liver. Recent studies have shown that NAFLD is associated with inappropriate function of FXR. The impact of FXR transcriptional activity in NAFLD is likely to be potential therapeutic strategy, but still requires to elucidate underlying potent therapeutic mechanisms of FXR for the treatment of NAFLD. This article will focus the physiological roles of FXR and establish the correlation between FXR transcriptional activity and the pathogenesis of NAFLD. PMID:28029021

  2. Vitamin D in Autoimmunity: Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Dankers, Wendy; Colin, Edgar M.; van Hamburg, Jan Piet; Lubberts, Erik

    2017-01-01

    Over the last three decades, it has become clear that the role of vitamin D goes beyond the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. An important extraskeletal effect of vitamin D is the modulation of the immune system. In the context of autoimmune diseases, this is illustrated by correlations of vitamin D status and genetic polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor with the incidence and severity of the disease. These correlations warrant investigation into the potential use of vitamin D in the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases. In recent years, several clinical trials have been performed to investigate the therapeutic value of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, type I diabetes, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Additionally, a second angle of investigation has focused on unraveling the molecular pathways used by vitamin D in order to find new potential therapeutic targets. This review will not only provide an overview of the clinical trials that have been performed but also discuss the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D and how these advances can be used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. PMID:28163705

  3. Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor 7: From Synaptic Function to Therapeutic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Palazzo, Enza; Marabese, Ida; de Novellis, Vito; Rossi, Francesco; Maione, Sabatino

    2016-01-01

    Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) is localized presynaptically at the active zone of neurotransmitter release. Unlike mGluR4 and mGluR8, which share mGluR7’s presynaptic location, mGluR7 shows low affinity for glutamate and is activated only by high glutamate concentrations. Its wide distribution in the central nervous system (CNS) and evolutionary conservation across species suggest that mGluR7 plays a primary role in controlling excitatory synapse function. High mGluR7 expression has been observed in several brain regions that are critical for CNS functioning and are involved in neurological and psychiatric disorder development. Until the recent discovery of selective ligands for mGluR7, techniques to elucidate its role in neural function were limited to the use of knockout mice and gene silencing. Studies using these two techniques have revealed that mGluR7 modulates emotionality, stress and fear responses. N,N'-dibenzhydrylethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082) was reported as the first selective mGluR7 allosteric agonist. Pharmacological effects of AMN082 have not completely confirmed the mGluR7-knockout mouse phenotype; this has been attributed to rapid receptor internalization after drug treatment and to the drug’s apparent lack of in vivo selectivity. Therefore, the more recently developed mGluR7 negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) are crucial for understanding mGluR7 function and for exploiting its potential as a target for therapeutic interventions. This review presents the main findings regarding mGluR7’s effect on modulation of synaptic function and its role in normal CNS function and in models of neurologic and psychiatric disorders. PMID:27306064

  4. Allosteric Modulators of GABAB Receptors: Mechanism of Action and Therapeutic Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Pin, Jean-Philippe; Prézeau, Laurent

    2007-01-01

    γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays important roles in the central nervous system, acting as a neurotransmitter on both ionotropic ligand-gated Cl--channels, and metabotropic G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). These two types of receptors called GABAA (and C) and GABAB are the targets of major therapeutic drugs such as the anxiolytic benzodiazepines, and antispastic drug baclofen (lioresal®), respectively. Although the multiplicity of GABAA receptors offer a number of possibilities to discover new and more selective drugs, the molecular characterization of the GABAB receptor revealed a unique, though complex, heterodimeric GPCR. High throughput screening strategies carried out in pharmaceutical industries, helped identifying new compounds positively modulating the activity of the GABAB receptor. These molecules, almost devoid of apparent activity when applied alone, greatly enhance both the potency and efficacy of GABAB agonists. As such, in contrast to baclofen that constantly activates the receptor everywhere in the brain, these positive allosteric modulators induce a large increase in GABAB-mediated responses only WHERE and WHEN physiologically needed. Such compounds are then well adapted to help GABA to activate its GABAB receptors, like benzodiazepines favor GABAA receptor activation. In this review, the way of action of these molecules will be presented in light of our actual knowledge of the activation mechanism of the GABAB receptor. We will then show that, as expected, these molecules have more pronounced in vivo responses and less side effects than pure agonists, offering new potential therapeutic applications for this new class of GABAB ligands. PMID:19305802

  5. The therapeutic promise of positive allosteric modulation of nicotinic receptors

    PubMed Central

    Uteshev, Victor V.

    2014-01-01

    In the central nervous system, deficits in cholinergic neurotransmission correlate with decreased attention and cognitive impairment, while stimulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors improves attention, cognitive performance and neuronal resistance to injury as well as produces robust analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The rational basis for the therapeutic use of orthosteric agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of nicotinic receptors arises from the finding that functional nicotinic receptors are ubiquitously expressed in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues including brain regions highly vulnerable to traumatic and ischemic types of injury (e.g., cortex and hippocampus). Moreover, functional nicotinic receptors do not vanish in age-, disease- and trauma-related neuropathologies, but their expression and/or activation levels decline in a subunit- and brain region-specific manner. Therefore, augmenting the endogenous cholinergic tone by nicotinic agents is possible and may offset neurological impairments associated with cholinergic hypofunction. Importantly, because neuronal damage elevates extracellular levels of choline (a selective agonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) near the site of injury, α7-PAM-based treatments may augment pathology-activated α7-dependent auto-therapies where and when they are most needed (i.e., in the penumbra, post-injury). Thus, the nicotinic-PAM-based treatments are expected to be highly efficacious with fewer side effects as compared to a more indiscriminate action of exogenous orthosteric agonists. In this review, I will summarize the existing trends in therapeutic applications of nicotinic PAMs. PMID:24530419

  6. AMPA receptors in the therapeutic management of depression.

    PubMed

    Bleakman, D; Alt, A; Witkin, J M

    2007-04-01

    There is an increasing body of evidence implicating a role for alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4 isoxazoleproprionic acid (AMPA) receptors in major depression and in the actions of antidepressant drugs. Alterations in AMPA receptors and other ionotropic glutamate receptors have been reported in depression, and following antidepressant treatment. Compounds which augment signaling through AMPA receptors (AMPA receptor potentiators) exhibit antidepressant-like behavioral effects in animal models, and produce neuronal effects similar to those produced by currently available antidepressants, including neurotrophin induction and increases in hippocampal progenitor cell proliferation. Additionally, the antidepressant fluoxetine has been found to alter AMPA receptor phosphorylation in a manner that is expected to increase AMPA receptor signaling. Data from mutant mice suggest that AMPA receptors may regulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a neurotrophin which has been implicated in the actions of antidepressant therapies. Combined, these data suggest that AMPA receptors may be in a key position to regulate mood disorders, and that compounds which target AMPA receptors may prove useful in the clinical management of depression.

  7. The Ghrelin Axis in Disease; Potential Therapeutic Indications

    PubMed Central

    Nass, Ralf; Gaylinn, Bruce D.; Thorner, Michael O.

    2011-01-01

    Ghrelin, the natural ligand for the growth hormone (GH)-secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), is produced predominantly in the stomach. It is present in the circulation in two major forms, an acylated and an unacylated form, both of which have reported activities. Some of the best understood main effects of acylated ghrelin administration include anorexic effects, increased appetite and the stimulation of GH secretion. Ghrelin also seems to plays a role in glucose homeostasis, lipid metabolism and immune function. Based on its orexigenic and metabolic effects, ghrelin and ghrelin mimetics have potential benefit in antagonizing protein breakdown and weight loss in catabolic conditions such as cancer cachexia, renal, cardiac and pulmonary disease, and age-related frailty. Ghrelin also has potentially useful positive effects on cardiac function and gastric motility. Ghrelin antagonists may be of benefit to increase insulin sensitivity and potentiate weight loss. The following chapter presents some background on ghrelin and ghrelin assays and discusses some of the potential therapeutic approaches for the use of ghrelin, ghrelin mimetic compounds and ghrelin antagonists in clinical disease. PMID:21356273

  8. Sigma-1 receptor agonists as therapeutic drugs for cognitive impairment in neuropsychiatric diseases.

    PubMed

    Niitsu, Tomihisa; Iyo, Masaomi; Hashimoto, Kenji

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is a core feature of patients with neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and psychotic depression. The drugs currently used to treat cognitive impairment have significant limitations, ensuring that the search for more effective therapies remains active. Endoplasmic reticulum protein sigma-1 receptors are unique binding sites in the brain that exert a potent effect on multiple neurotransmitter systems. Accumulating evidence suggests that sigma-1 receptors play a role in both the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases, and the mechanistic action of some therapeutic drugs, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), donepezil and neurosteroids. Among SSRIs, fluvoxamine, a potent sigma-1 receptor agonist, has the highest affinity at sigma-1 receptors. Sigma-1 receptor agonists greatly potentiate nerve-growth factor (NGF)-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells, an effect that is antagonized by treatment with the selective sigma-1 receptor antagonist NE-100. Furthermore, phencyclidine (PCP)-induced cognitive impairment, associated with animal models of schizophrenia is significantly improved by sub-chronic administration of sigma-1 receptor agonists such as fluvoxamine, SA4503 (cutamesine) and donepezil. This effect is antagonized by co-administration of NE-100. A positron emission tomography (PET) study using the specific sigma-1 receptor ligand [11C]SA4503 demonstrates that fluvoxamine and donepezil bind to sigma-1 receptors in the healthy human brain. In clinical studies, some sigma-1 receptor agonists, including fluvoxamine, donepezil and neurosteroids, improve cognitive impairment and clinical symptoms in neuropsychiatric diseases. In this article, we review the recent findings on sigma-1 receptor agonists as potential therapeutic drugs for the treatment of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and psychotic depression.

  9. Transferrin receptors and the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents against cancer

    PubMed Central

    Daniels, Tracy R.; Bernabeu, Ezequiel; Rodríguez, José A.; Patel, Shabnum; Kozman, Maggie; Chiappetta, Diego A.; Holler, Eggehard; Ljubimova, Julia Y.; Helguera, Gustavo; Penichet, Manuel L.

    2012-01-01

    Background Traditional cancer therapy can be successful in destroying tumors, but can also cause dangerous side effects. Therefore, many targeted therapies are in development. The transferrin receptor (TfR) functions in cellular iron uptake through its interaction with transferrin. This receptor is an attractive molecule for the targeted therapy of cancer since it is upregulated on the surface of many cancer types and is efficiently internalized. This receptor can be targeted in two ways: 1) for the delivery of therapeutic molecules into malignant cells or 2) to block the natural function of the receptor leading directly to cancer cell death. Scope of review In the present article we discuss the strategies used to target the TfR for the delivery of therapeutic agents into cancer cells. We provide a summary of the vast types of anti-cancer drugs that have been delivered into cancer cells employing a variety of receptor binding molecules including Tf, anti-TfR antibodies, or TfR-binding peptides alone or in combination with carrier molecules including nanoparticles and viruses. Major conclusions Targeting the TfR has been shown to be effective in delivering many different therapeutic agents and causing cytotoxic effects in cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. General significance The extensive use of TfR for targeted therapy attests to the versatility of targeting this receptor for therapeutic purposes against malignant cells. More advances in this area are expected to further improve the therapeutic potential of targeting the TfR for cancer therapy leading to an increase in the number of clinical trials of molecules targeting this receptor. PMID:21851850

  10. Maximizing the Therapeutic Potential of Hsp90 Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Lisa M.; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Armstrong, Heather K.; Centenera, Margaret M.; Workman, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Hsp90 is required for maintaining the stability and activity of a diverse group of client proteins, including protein kinases, transcription factors and steroid hormone receptors involved in cell signaling, proliferation, survival, oncogenesis and cancer progression. Inhibition of Hsp90 alters the Hsp90-client protein complex, leading to reduced activity, misfolding, ubiquitination and, ultimately, proteasomal degradation of client proteins. Hsp90 inhibitors have demonstrated significant antitumor activity in a wide variety of preclinical models with evidence of selectivity for cancer versus normal cells. In the clinic however, the efficacy of this class of therapeutic agents has been relatively limited to date, with promising responses mainly observed in breast and lung cancer, but no major activity seen in other tumor types. In addition, adverse events and some significant toxicities have been documented. Key to improving these clinical outcomes is a better understanding of the cellular consequences of inhibiting Hsp90 that may underlie treatment response or resistance. This review considers the recent progress that has been made in the study of Hsp90 and its inhibitors, and highlights new opportunities to maximize their therapeutic potential. PMID:26219697

  11. Assessment of therapeutic potential of amantadine in methamphetamine induced neurotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Thrash-Williams, Bessy; Ahuja, Manuj; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S; Uthayathas, Subramaniam; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Dhanasekaran, Muralikrishnan

    2013-10-01

    Methamphetamine epidemic has a broad impact on world's health care system. Its abusive potential and neurotoxic effects remain a challenge for the anti-addiction therapies. In addition to oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis, excitotoxicity is also involved in methamphetamine induced neurotoxicity. The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type of glutamate receptor is thought to be one of the predominant mediators of excitotoxicity. There is growing evidence that NMDA receptor antagonists could be one of the therapeutic options to manage excitotoxicity. Amantadine, a well-tolerated and modestly effective antiparkinsonian agent, was found to possess NMDA antagonistic properties and has shown to release dopamine from the nerve terminals. The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of amantadine pre-treatment against methamphetamine induced neurotoxicity. Results showed that methamphetamine treatment had depleted striatal dopamine, generated of reactive oxygen species and decreased activity of complex I in the mitochondria. Interestingly, amantadine, at high dose (10 mg/kg), did not prevent dopamine depletion moreover it exacerbated the behavioral manifestations of methamphetamine toxicity such as akinesia and catalepsy. Only lower dose of amantadine (1 mg/kg) produced significant scavenging of the reactive oxygen species induced by methamphetamine. Overall results from the present study suggest that amantadine should not be used concomitantly with methamphetamine as it may results in excessive neurotoxicity.

  12. Physiological effects and therapeutic potential of proinsulin C-peptide

    PubMed Central

    Maric-Bilkan, Christine; Luppi, Patrizia; Wahren, John

    2014-01-01

    Connecting Peptide, or C-peptide, is a product of the insulin prohormone, and is released with and in amounts equimolar to those of insulin. While it was once thought that C-peptide was biologically inert and had little biological significance beyond its role in the proper folding of insulin, it is now known that C-peptide binds specifically to the cell membranes of a variety of tissues and initiates specific intracellular signaling cascades that are pertussis toxin sensitive. Although it is now clear that C-peptide is a biologically active molecule, controversy still remains as to the physiological significance of the peptide. Interestingly, C-peptide appears to reverse the deleterious effects of high glucose in some tissues, including the kidney, the peripheral nerves, and the vasculature. C-peptide is thus a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of diabetes-associated long-term complications. This review addresses the possible physiologically relevant roles of C-peptide in both normal and disease states and discusses the effects of the peptide on sensory nerve, renal, and vascular function. Furthermore, we highlight the intracellular effects of the peptide and present novel strategies for the determination of the C-peptide receptor(s). Finally, a hypothesis is offered concerning the relationship between C-peptide and the development of microvascular complications of diabetes. PMID:25249503

  13. GABAB receptors as a therapeutic strategy in substance use disorders: focus on positive allosteric modulators.

    PubMed

    Filip, Małgorzata; Frankowska, Małgorzata; Sadakierska-Chudy, Anna; Suder, Agata; Szumiec, Lukasz; Mierzejewski, Paweł; Bienkowski, Przemyslaw; Przegaliński, Edmund; Cryan, John F

    2015-01-01

    γ-Aminobutyric acid B (GABAB) receptors and their ligands are postulated as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of several brain disorders, including drug dependence. Over the past fifteen years positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) have emerged that enhance the effects of GABA at GABAB receptors and which may have therapeutic effects similar to those of agonists but with superior side-effect profiles. This review summarizes current preclinical evidence supporting a role of GABAB receptor PAMs in drug addiction in several paradigms with relevance to reward processes and drug abuse liability. Extensive behavioral research in recent years has indicated that PAMs of GABAB receptors may have a therapeutic efficacy in cocaine, nicotine, amphetamine and alcohol dependence. The magnitude of the effects observed are similar to that of the clinically approved drug baclofen, an agonist at GABAB receptors. Moreover, given that anxiolytic effects are also reported with such ligands they may also benefit in mitigating the withdrawal from drugs of abuse. In summary, a wealth of data now supports the benefits of GABAB receptor PAMs and clinical validation is now warranted.

  14. GABA receptor agonists: pharmacological spectrum and therapeutic actions.

    PubMed

    Bartholini, G

    1985-01-01

    From the data discussed in this review it appears that GABA receptor agonists exhibit a variety of actions in the central nervous system, some of which are therapeutically useful (Table V). GABA receptor agonists, by changing the firing rate of the corresponding neurons accelerate noradrenaline turnover without changes in postsynaptic receptor density and diminish serotonin liberation with an up-regulation of 5HT2 receptors. These effects differ from those of tricyclic antidepressants which primarily block monoamine re-uptake and cause down-regulation of beta-adrenergic and 5HT2 receptors. The GABA receptor agonist progabide has been shown to exert an antidepressant action which is indistinguishable from that of imipramine in patients with major affective disorders. The fact that: (a) GABA receptor agonists and tricyclic antidepressants affect noradrenergic and serotonergic transmission differently; and (b) tricyclic antidepressants alter GABA-related parameters challenges the classical monoamine hypothesis of depression and suggests that GABA-mediated mechanisms play a role in mood disorders. Decreases in cellular excitability produced by GABAergic stimulation leads to control of seizures in practically all animal models of epilepsy. GABA receptor agonists have a wide spectrum as they antagonize not only seizures which are dependent on decreased GABA synaptic activity but also convulsant states which are apparently independent of alterations in GABA-mediated events. These results in animals are confirmed in a wide range of human epileptic syndromes. GABA receptor agonists decrease dopamine turnover in the basal ganglia and antagonize neuroleptic-induced increase in dopamine release. On repeated treatment, progabide prevents or reverses the neuroleptic-induced up-regulation of dopamine receptors in the rat striatum and antagonizes the concomitant supersensitivity to dopaminomimetics. Behaviorally, GABA receptor agonists diminish the stereotypies induced by

  15. MT1 and MT2 Melatonin Receptors: A Therapeutic Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jiabei; Clough, Shannon J.; Hutchinson, Anthony J.; Adamah-Biassi, Ekue B.; Popovska-Gorevski, Marina; Dubocovich, Margarita L.

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin, or 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is synthesized and released by the pineal gland and locally in the retina following a circadian rhythm, with low levels during the day and elevated levels at night. Melatonin activates two high-affinity G protein–coupled receptors, termed MT1 and MT2, to exert beneficial actions in sleep and circadian abnormality, mood disorders, learning and memory, neuroprotection, drug abuse, and cancer. Progress in understanding the role of melatonin receptors in the modulation of sleep and circadian rhythms has led to the discovery of a novel class of melatonin agonists for treating insomnia, circadian rhythms, mood disorders, and cancer. This review describes the pharmacological properties of a slow-release melatonin preparation (i.e., Circadin®) and synthetic ligands (i.e., agomelatine, ramelteon, tasimelteon), with emphasis on identifying specific therapeutic effects mediated through MT1 and MT2 receptor activation. Discovery of selective ligands targeting the MT1 or the MT2 melatonin receptors may promote the development of novel and more efficacious therapeutic agents. PMID:26514204

  16. MT1 and MT2 Melatonin Receptors: A Therapeutic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiabei; Clough, Shannon J; Hutchinson, Anthony J; Adamah-Biassi, Ekue B; Popovska-Gorevski, Marina; Dubocovich, Margarita L

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin, or 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is synthesized and released by the pineal gland and locally in the retina following a circadian rhythm, with low levels during the day and elevated levels at night. Melatonin activates two high-affinity G protein-coupled receptors, termed MT1 and MT2, to exert beneficial actions in sleep and circadian abnormality, mood disorders, learning and memory, neuroprotection, drug abuse, and cancer. Progress in understanding the role of melatonin receptors in the modulation of sleep and circadian rhythms has led to the discovery of a novel class of melatonin agonists for treating insomnia, circadian rhythms, mood disorders, and cancer. This review describes the pharmacological properties of a slow-release melatonin preparation (i.e., Circadin®) and synthetic ligands (i.e., agomelatine, ramelteon, tasimelteon), with emphasis on identifying specific therapeutic effects mediated through MT1 and MT2 receptor activation. Discovery of selective ligands targeting the MT1 or the MT2 melatonin receptors may promote the development of novel and more efficacious therapeutic agents.

  17. Prostaglandin E receptors as inflammatory therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Cui; Liu, Xiuxia; Cao, Qing; Liang, Qian; Qiu, Xiaohua

    2011-01-31

    Prostaglandin E receptors (EPs) are the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that respond to type E(2) prostaglandin (PGE(2)). Data has shown that PGE(2) may function as an endogenous anti-inflammatory mediator by suppressing the production of cytokines. However, other studies have demonstrated that PGE(2), a pro-inflammatory mediator produced by various cell types within the wounded vascular wall, plays a crucial role in early atherosclerotic development. These contradictory results may be due to the versatility of EPs. Experimental data suggest an individual role for each PGE(2) receptor, such as EP(1), EP(2), EP(3) and EP(4), in atherosclerosis. In this review, the roles of EPs in atherosclerosis are summarized, and the value of EPs as new therapeutic targets for atherosclerosis is explored.

  18. Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based drugs.

    PubMed

    Klein, Thomas W; Newton, Catherine A

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoid-based drugs modeled on cannabinoids originally isolated from marijuana are now known to significantly impact the functioning of the endocannabinoid system of mammals. This system operates not only in the brain but also in organs and tissues in the periphery including the immune system. Natural and synthetic cannabinoids are tricyclic terpenes, whereas the endogenous physiological ligands are eicosanoids. Several receptors for these compounds have been extensively described, CB1 and CB2, and are G protein-coupled receptors; however, cannabinoid-based drugs are also demonstrated to function independently of these receptors. Cannabinoids regulate many physiological functions and their impact on immunity is generally antiinflammatory as powerful modulators of the cytokine cascade. This anti-inflammatory potency has led to the testing of these drugs in chronic inflammatory laboratory paradigms and even in some human diseases. Psychoactive and nonpsychoactive cannabinoid-based drugs such as Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, HU-211, and ajulemic acid have been tested and found moderately effective in clinical trials of multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Furthermore, although clinical trials are not yet reported, preclinical data with cannabinoid-based drugs suggest efficacy in other inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis.

  19. Aspects of pericytes and their potential therapeutic use.

    PubMed

    Różycka, Justyna; Brzóska, Edyta; Skirecki, Tomasz

    2017-03-13

    Pericytes, which are multi-potential stem cells, co-create the walls of the microvessels: capillaries, terminal arterioles and postcapillary venules. These cells are localized under the basement membrane, tightly encircling the endothelium. The most frequently mentioned molecular markers of pericytes include NG2 (neural-glial antigen 2), β-type platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFRβ), smooth muscle α-actin (α-SMA), regulator of G protein signalling 5 (RGS5), the adhesion protein CD146 and nestin. Different functions in physiological processes are assigned to pericytes such as maintaining the integrity and senescence of endothelial cells, transregulation of vascular tone or the potential to differentiate into other cells. Probably they are also involved in pathological processes such as tissues fibrosis. In this review, we focus on the participation of pericytes in the process of blood vessel formation, the regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue and fibrosis. Strong evidence for pericytes' participation in endothelial homeostasis, as well as in pathological conditions such as fibrosis, reveals a broad potential for the therapeutic use of these cells. Targeted pharmacological modulation of pericytes, leading to blocking signalling pathways responsible for the differentiation of pericytes into myofibroblasts, seems to be a promising strategy for the treatment of fibrosis in the early stages.

  20. Nuclear hormone receptor signals as new therapeutic targets for urothelial carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, H; Zheng, Y; Izumi, K

    2012-01-01

    Unlike prostate and breast cancers, urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder is not yet considered as an endocrine-related neoplasm, and hormonal therapy for bladder cancer remains experimental. Nonetheless, there is increasing evidence indicating that nuclear hormone receptor signals are implicated in the development and progression of bladder cancer. Androgen-mediated androgen receptor (AR) signals have been convincingly shown to induce bladder tumorigenesis. Androgens also promote the growth of AR-positive bladder cancer cells, although it is controversial whether AR plays a dominant role in bladder cancer progression. Both stimulatory and inhibitory functions of estrogen receptor signals in bladder cancer have been reported. Various studies have also demonstrated the involvement of other nuclear receptors, including progesterone receptor, glucocorticoid receptor, vitamin D receptor, and retinoid receptors, as well as some orphan receptors, in bladder cancer. This review summarizes and discusses available data suggesting the modulation of bladder carcinogenesis and cancer progression via nuclear hormone receptor signaling pathways. These pathways have the potential to be an extremely important area of bladder cancer research, leading to the development of effective chemopreventive/therapeutic approaches, using hormonal manipulation. Considerable uncertainty remains regarding the selection of patients who are likely to benefit from hormonal therapy and optimal options for the treatment.

  1. Therapeutic Potential of Non-Psychotropic Cannabidiol in Ischemic Stroke.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Mishima, Kenichi; Fujiwara, Michihiro

    2010-07-08

    Cannabis contains the psychoactive component delta⁸-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta⁸-THC), and the non-psychoactive components cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol, and cannabigerol. It is well-known that delta⁸-THC and other cannabinoid CB₁ receptor agonists are neuroprotective during global and focal ischemic injury. Additionally, delta⁸-THC also mediates psychological effects through the activation of the CB₁ receptor in the central nervous system. In addition to the CB₁ receptor agonists, cannabis also contains therapeutically active components which are CB₁ receptor independent. Of the CB₁ receptor-independent cannabis, the most important is CBD. In the past five years, an increasing number of publications have focused on the discovery of the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and neuroprotective effects of CBD. In particular, CBD exerts positive pharmacological effects in ischemic stroke and other chronic diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. The cerebroprotective action of CBD is CB₁ receptor-independent, long-lasting, and has potent anti-oxidant activity. Importantly, CBD use does not lead to tolerance. In this review, we will discuss the therapeutic possibility of CBD as a cerebroprotective agent, highlighting recent pharmacological advances, novel mechanisms, and therapeutic time window of CBD in ischemic stroke.

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: from basic science to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Raymond; Rollema, Hans; Bertrand, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Substantial progress in the identification of genes encoding for a large number of proteins responsible for various aspects of neurotransmitter release, postsynaptic detection and downstream signaling, has advanced our understanding of the mechanisms by which neurons communicate and interact. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors represent a large and well-characterized family of ligand-gated ion channels that is expressed broadly throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, and in non-neuronal cells. With 16 mammalian genes identified that encode for nicotinic receptors and the ability of the subunits to form heteromeric or homomeric receptors, the repertoire of conceivable receptor subtype combinations is enormous and offers unique possibilities for the design and development of new therapeutics that target nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The aim of this review is to provide the reader with recent insights in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors from genes, structure and function to diseases, and with the latest findings on the pharmacology of these receptors. Although so far only a few nicotinic drugs have been marketed or are in late stage development, much progress has been made in the design of novel chemical entities that are being explored for the treatment of various diseases, including addiction, depression, ADHD, cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, pain and inflammation. A pharmacological analysis of these compounds, including those that were discontinued, can improve our understanding of the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic requirements for nicotinic 'drug-like' molecules and will reveal if hypotheses on therapies based on targeting specific nicotinic receptor subtypes have been adequately tested in the clinic.

  3. A novel glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)/glucagon hybrid peptide with triple-acting agonist activity at glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, GLP-1, and glucagon receptors and therapeutic potential in high fat-fed mice.

    PubMed

    Gault, Victor A; Bhat, Vikas K; Irwin, Nigel; Flatt, Peter R

    2013-12-06

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon bind to related members of the same receptor superfamily and exert important effects on glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion, and energy regulation. The present study assessed the biological actions and therapeutic utility of novel GIP/glucagon/GLP-1 hybrid peptides. Nine novel peptides were synthesized and exhibited complete DPP-IV resistance and enhanced in vitro insulin secretion. The most promising peptide, [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG, stimulated cAMP production in GIP, GLP-1, and glucagon receptor-transfected cells. Acute administration of [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG in combination with glucose significantly lowered plasma glucose and increased plasma insulin in normal and obese diabetic (ob/ob) mice. Furthermore, [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG elicited a protracted glucose-lowering and insulinotropic effect in high fat-fed mice. Twice daily administration of [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG for 21 days decreased body weight and nonfasting plasma glucose and increased circulating plasma insulin concentrations in high fat-fed mice. Furthermore, [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG significantly improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity by day 21. Interestingly, locomotor activity was increased in [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG mice, without appreciable changes in aspects of metabolic rate. Studies in knock-out mice confirmed the biological action of [dA(2)]GLP-1/GcG via multiple targets including GIP, GLP-1, and glucagon receptors. The data suggest significant promise for novel triple-acting hybrid peptides as therapeutic options for obesity and diabetes.

  4. Acyl-CoA synthetase-4, a new regulator of mTOR and a potential therapeutic target for enhanced estrogen receptor function in receptor-positive and -negative breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Dattilo, Melina A.; Solano, Angela R.; Maloberti, Paula M.; Podesta, Ernesto J.

    2015-01-01

    Although the role of acyl-CoA synthetase 4 (ACSL4) in mediating an aggressive phenotype is well accepted, there is little evidence as to the early steps through which ACSL4 increases tumor growth and progression. In this study, and by means of the stable transfection of MCF-7 cells with ACSL4 using the tetracycline Tet-Off system (MCF-7 Tet-Off/ACSL4), we identify the mTOR pathway as one of the main specific signatures of ACSL4 expression and demonstrate the partial involvement of the lipoxygenase pathway in the activation of mTOR. The specificity of ACSL4 action on mTOR signaling is also determined by doxycycline inhibition of ACSL4 expression in MCF-7 Tet-Off/ACSL4 cells, by the expression of ACSL4 in the non-aggressive T47D breast cancer cell line and by knocking down this enzyme expression in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, which constitutively express ACSL4. ACSL4 regulates components of the two complexes of the mTOR pathway (mTORC1/2), along with upstream regulators and substrates. We show that mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and ACSL4 inhibitor rosiglitazone can act in combination to inhibit cell growth. In addition, we demonstrate a synergistic effect on cell growth inhibition by the combination of rosiglitazone and tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor α (ERα) inhibitor. Remarkably, this synergistic effect is also evident in the triple negative MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that ACSL4 could be a target to restore tumor hormone dependence in tumors with poor prognosis for disease-free and overall survival, in which no effective specifically targeted therapy is readily available. PMID:26536660

  5. Acyl-CoA synthetase-4, a new regulator of mTOR and a potential therapeutic target for enhanced estrogen receptor function in receptor-positive and -negative breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Orlando, Ulises D; Castillo, Ana F; Dattilo, Melina A; Solano, Angela R; Maloberti, Paula M; Podesta, Ernesto J

    2015-12-15

    Although the role of acyl-CoA synthetase 4 (ACSL4) in mediating an aggressive phenotype is well accepted, there is little evidence as to the early steps through which ACSL4 increases tumor growth and progression. In this study, and by means of the stable transfection of MCF-7 cells with ACSL4 using the tetracycline Tet-Off system (MCF-7 Tet-Off/ACSL4), we identify the mTOR pathway as one of the main specific signatures of ACSL4 expression and demonstrate the partial involvement of the lipoxygenase pathway in the activation of mTOR. The specificity of ACSL4 action on mTOR signaling is also determined by doxycycline inhibition of ACSL4 expression in MCF-7 Tet-Off/ACSL4 cells, by the expression of ACSL4 in the non-aggressive T47D breast cancer cell line and by knocking down this enzyme expression in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, which constitutively express ACSL4. ACSL4 regulates components of the two complexes of the mTOR pathway (mTORC1/2), along with upstream regulators and substrates.We show that mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and ACSL4 inhibitor rosiglitazone can act in combination to inhibit cell growth. In addition, we demonstrate a synergistic effect on cell growth inhibition by the combination of rosiglitazone and tamoxifen, an estrogen receptor α (ERα) inhibitor. Remarkably, this synergistic effect is also evident in the triple negative MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro and in vivo.These results suggest that ACSL4 could be a target to restore tumor hormone dependence in tumors with poor prognosis for disease-free and overall survival, in which no effective specifically targeted therapy is readily available.

  6. [Potential therapeutic usefulness of cannabis and cannabinoids].

    PubMed

    Lorenzo Fernández, P

    2000-01-01

    Diseases in which Cannabis and cannabinoids have demonstrated some medicinal putative properties are: nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, muscle spasticity (multiple sclerosis, movement disorders), pain, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, bronchial asthma, neuroegenerative diseases, cancer, etc. Although some of the current data comes from clinical controlled essays, the majority are based on anecdotic reports. Basic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies and more extensive controlled clinical essays with higher number of patients and long term studies are necessary to consider these compounds useful since a therapeutical point of view.

  7. The potential therapeutic effects of THC on Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Cao, Chuanhai; Li, Yaqiong; Liu, Hui; Bai, Ge; Mayl, Jonathan; Lin, Xiaoyang; Sutherland, Kyle; Nabar, Neel; Cai, Jianfeng

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential therapeutic qualities of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with respect to slowing or halting the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer's disease. N2a-variant amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) cells were incubated with THC and assayed for amyloid-β (Aβ) levels at the 6-, 24-, and 48-hour time marks. THC was also tested for synergy with caffeine, in respect to the reduction of the Aβ level in N2a/AβPPswe cells. THC was also tested to determine if multiple treatments were beneficial. The MTT assay was performed to test the toxicity of THC. Thioflavin T assays and western blots were performed to test the direct anti-Aβ aggregation significance of THC. Lastly, THC was tested to determine its effects on glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and related signaling pathways. From the results, we have discovered THC to be effective at lowering Aβ levels in N2a/AβPPswe cells at extremely low concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. However, no additive effect was found by combining caffeine and THC together. We did discover that THC directly interacts with Aβ peptide, thereby inhibiting aggregation. Furthermore, THC was effective at lowering both total GSK-3β levels and phosphorylated GSK-3β in a dose-dependent manner at low concentrations. At the treatment concentrations, no toxicity was observed and the CB1 receptor was not significantly upregulated. Additionally, low doses of THC can enhance mitochondria function and does not inhibit melatonin's enhancement of mitochondria function. These sets of data strongly suggest that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer's disease through multiple functions and pathways.

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

    PubMed

    Kanazawa, Takeharu; Misawa, Kiyoshi; Misawa, Yuki; Uehara, Takayuki; Fukushima, Hirofumi; Kusaka, Gen; Maruta, Mikiko; Carey, Thomas E

    2015-08-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kanazawa, Takeharu; Misawa, Kiyoshi; Misawa, Yuki; Uehara, Takayuki; Fukushima, Hirofumi; Kusaka, Gen; Maruta, Mikiko; Carey, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Therapeutic outcome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is poor in most advanced cases. To improve therapeutic efficiency, novel therapeutic targets and prognostic factors must be discovered. Our studies have identified several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as promising candidates. Significant epigenetic silencing of GPCR expression occurs in HNSCC compared with normal tissue, and is significantly correlated with clinical behavior. Together with the finding that GPCR activity can suppress tumor cell growth, this indicates that GPCR expression has potential utility as a prognostic factor. In this review, we discuss the roles that galanin receptor type 1 (GALR1) and type 2 (GALR2), tachykinin receptor type 1 (TACR1), and somatostatin receptor type 1 (SST1) play in HNSCC. GALR1 inhibits proliferation of HNSCC cells though ERK1/2-mediated effects on cell cycle control proteins such as p27, p57, and cyclin D1, whereas GALR2 inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in HNSCC cells. Hypermethylation of GALR1, GALR2, TACR1, and SST1 is associated with significantly reduced disease-free survival and a higher recurrence rate. Although their overall activities varies, each of these GPCRs has value as both a prognostic factor and a therapeutic target. These data indicate that further study of GPCRs is a promising strategy that will enrich pharmacogenomics and prognostic research in HNSCC. PMID:26251921

  10. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor As Potential Target against Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Aso, Ester; Ferrer, Isidro

    2016-01-01

    The CB2 receptor is one of the components of the endogenous cannabinoid system, a complex network of signaling molecules and receptors involved in the homeostatic control of several physiological functions. Accumulated evidence suggests a role for CB2 receptors in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and indicates their potential as a therapeutic target against this neurodegenerative disease. Levels of CB2 receptors are significantly increased in post-mortem AD brains, mainly in microglia surrounding senile plaques, and their expression levels correlate with the amounts of Aβ42 and β-amyloid plaque deposition. Moreover, several studies on animal models of AD have demonstrated that specific CB2 receptor agonists, which are devoid of psychoactive effects, reduce AD-like pathology, resulting in attenuation of the inflammation associated with the disease but also modulating Aβ and tau aberrant processing, among other effects. CB2 receptor activation also improves cognitive impairment in animal models of AD. This review discusses available data regarding the role of CB2 receptors in AD and the potential usefulness of specific agonists of these receptors against AD. PMID:27303261

  11. G-protein-coupled receptors for free fatty acids: nutritional and therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Milligan, Graeme; Ulven, Trond; Murdoch, Hannah; Hudson, Brian D

    2014-06-01

    It is becoming evident that nutrients and metabolic intermediates derived from such nutrients regulate cellular function by activating a number of cell-surface G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Until now, members of the GPCR family have largely been considered as the molecular targets that communicate cellular signals initiated by hormones and neurotransmitters. Recently, based on tissue expression patterns of these receptors and the concept that they may elicit the production of a range of appetite- and hunger-regulating peptides, such nutrient sensing GPCRs are attracting considerable attention due to their potential to modulate satiety, improve glucose homeostasis and supress the production of various pro-inflammatory mediators. Despite the developing interests in these nutrients sensing GPCR both as sensors of nutritional status, and targets for limiting the development of metabolic diseases, major challenges remain to exploit their potential for therapeutic purposes. Mostly, this is due to limited characterisation and validation of these receptors because of paucity of selective and high-potency/affinity pharmacological agents to define the detailed function and regulation of these receptors. However, ongoing clinical trials of agonists of free fatty acid receptor 1 suggest that this receptor and other receptors for free fatty acids may provide a successful strategy for controlling hyperglycaemia and providing novel approaches to treat diabetes. Receptors responsive to free fatty acid have been of particular interest, and some aspects of these are considered herein.

  12. Harnessing the Therapeutic Potential of Th17 Cells.

    PubMed

    Bystrom, Jonas; Taher, Taher E; Muhyaddin, M Sherwan; Clanchy, Felix I; Mangat, Pamela; Jawad, Ali S; Williams, Richard O; Mageed, Rizgar A

    2015-01-01

    Th17 cells provide protective immunity to infections by fungi and extracellular bacteria as well as cancer but are also involved in chronic inflammation. The cells were first identified by their ability to produce interleukin 17A (IL-17A) and, subsequently, associated with chronic inflammation and autoimmunity. Th17 cells have some gene profile similarity with stem cells and can remain dormant in mucosal tissues for long periods. Indeed, recent studies suggest that functionally distinct subsets of pro- and anti-inflammatory Th17 cells can interchange phenotype and functions. For development, Th17 cells require activation of the transcription factors STAT3 and RORγt while RUNX1, c-Maf, and Aiolos are involved in changes of phenotype/functions. Attempts to harness Th17 cells against pathogens and cancer using vaccination strategies are being explored. The cells gain protective abilities when induced to produce interferon γ (IFNγ). In addition, treatment with antibodies to IL-17 is effective in treating patients with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and refectory rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, since RORγt is a nuclear receptor, it is likely to be a potential future drug target for modulating Th17 functions. This review explores pathways through which Th17 subsets are induced, the molecular basis of their plasticity, and potential therapeutic strategies for their modulation in diseases.

  13. Inhibiting subthalamic nucleus decreases cocaine demand and relapse: therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Bentzley, Brandon S; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2016-03-03

    Preclinical evidence indicates that inactivation of subthalamic nucleus (STN) may be effective for treating cocaine addiction, and therapies that target STN, e.g. deep brain stimulation, are available indicating that this may have clinical promise. Here, we assessed the therapeutic potential of STN inactivation using a translationally relevant economic approach that quantitatively describes drug-taking behavior, and tested these results with drug-seeking tasks. Economic demand for cocaine was assessed in rats (n = 11) using a within-session threshold procedure in which cocaine price (responses/mg cocaine) was sequentially increased throughout the session. Cocaine demand was assessed in this manner immediately after bilateral microinfusions into STN of either vehicle (artificial cerebrospinal fluid) or the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol. A separate group of animals (n = 8) was tested for changes in cocaine seeking either during extinction or in response to cocaine-associated cues. Muscimol-induced inhibition of STN significantly attenuated cocaine consumption at high prices, drug seeking during extinction and cued reinstatement of cocaine seeking. In contrast, STN inhibition did not reduce cocaine consumption at low prices or locomotor activity. Thus, STN inactivation reduced economic demand for cocaine and multiple measures of drug seeking during extinction. In view of the association between economic demand and addiction severity in both rat and human, these results indicate that STN inactivation has substantial clinical potential for treatment of cocaine addiction.

  14. AMPA receptor potentiators for the treatment of CNS disorders.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Michael J; Bleakman, David; Zimmerman, Dennis M; Nisenbaum, Eric S

    2004-06-01

    Glutamate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors mediate most of the excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian central nervous system and also participate in forms of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory and learning, and the formation of neural networks during development. Molecular cloning techniques have shown that the AMPA receptor family is composed of four different subunits named GluR1-4 or GluRA-D (newly termed as Glu(A1)-Glu(A4)) and native AMPA receptors are most likely tetramers generated by the assembly of one or more of these subunits, yielding homomeric or heteromeric receptors. Additional complexity among AMPA receptors is conferred by alternative splicing of RNA for each subunit giving rise to flip and flop variants. Clinical and experimental data have suggested that positive modulation of AMPA receptors may be therapeutically effective in the treatment of cognitive deficits. Several classes of AMPA receptor potentiators have been reported, including pyrroliddones (piracetam, aniracetam), benzothiazides (cyclothiazide), benzylpiperidines (CX-516, CX-546) and more recently biarylpropylsulfonamides (LY392098, LY404187 and LY503430). These molecules enhance cognitive function in rodents, which appears to correlate with increased hippocampal activity. In addition, clinical studies have suggested that AMPA receptor modulators enhance cognitive function in elderly subjects, as well as patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several independent studies have suggested that AMPA receptors can increase BDNF expression by both calcium-dependent and independent pathways. For example, recent studies have shown that AMPA receptors interact with the protein tyrosine kinase, Lyn. Activation of Lyn can recruit the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway and increase the expression of BDNF. Therefore, in addition to directly enhancing glutamatergic synaptic transmission, AMPA

  15. Engineering therapeutic antibodies targeting G-protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Jo, Migyeong; Jung, Sang Taek

    2016-02-05

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the most attractive therapeutic target classes because of their critical roles in intracellular signaling and their clinical relevance to a variety of diseases, including cancer, infection and inflammation. However, high conformational variability, the small exposed area of extracellular epitopes and difficulty in the preparation of GPCR antigens have delayed both the isolation of therapeutic anti-GPCR antibodies as well as studies on the structure, function and biochemical mechanisms of GPCRs. To overcome the challenges in generating highly specific anti-GPCR antibodies with enhanced efficacy and safety, various forms of antigens have been successfully designed and employed for screening with newly emerged systems based on laboratory animal immunization and high-throughput-directed evolution.

  16. Engineering therapeutic antibodies targeting G-protein–coupled receptors

    PubMed Central

    Jo, Migyeong; Jung, Sang Taek

    2016-01-01

    G-protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the most attractive therapeutic target classes because of their critical roles in intracellular signaling and their clinical relevance to a variety of diseases, including cancer, infection and inflammation. However, high conformational variability, the small exposed area of extracellular epitopes and difficulty in the preparation of GPCR antigens have delayed both the isolation of therapeutic anti-GPCR antibodies as well as studies on the structure, function and biochemical mechanisms of GPCRs. To overcome the challenges in generating highly specific anti-GPCR antibodies with enhanced efficacy and safety, various forms of antigens have been successfully designed and employed for screening with newly emerged systems based on laboratory animal immunization and high-throughput-directed evolution. PMID:26846450

  17. Toll-like receptors as therapeutic targets for cancer.

    PubMed

    Holldack, Johanna

    2014-04-01

    Stimulation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) to activate the innate immune system has been a legitimate therapeutic strategy for some years. TLRs 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 are all validated targets for cancer and a number of companies are developing agonists and vaccine adjuvants. TLR7 in particular has established proof-of-concept as a target in the topical treatment of bladder and skin cancers. However, the development of systemic treatments targeting TLR7 for most other cancers has proved difficult owing to cardiotoxicity or myelosuppression. Tantalisingly, recent animal data have demonstrated that a new class of modified TLR7 agonists can be administered systemically with a good toxicology profile, opening up this target in therapeutic interventions for systemic cancers.

  18. Protein tyrosine phosphatases as potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    He, Rong-jun; Yu, Zhi-hong; Zhang, Ruo-yu; Zhang, Zhong-yin

    2014-01-01

    Protein tyrosine phosphorylation is a key regulatory process in virtually all aspects of cellular functions. Dysregulation of protein tyrosine phosphorylation is a major cause of human diseases, such as cancers, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and neurological diseases. Indeed, protein tyrosine phosphorylation-mediated signaling events offer ample therapeutic targets, and drug discovery efforts to date have brought over two dozen kinase inhibitors to the clinic. Accordingly, protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) are considered next-generation drug targets. For instance, PTP1B is a well-known targets of type 2 diabetes and obesity, and recent studies indicate that it is also a promising target for breast cancer. SHP2 is a bona-fide oncoprotein, mutations of which cause juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and solid tumors. In addition, LYP is strongly associated with type 1 diabetes and many other autoimmune diseases. This review summarizes recent findings on several highly recognized PTP family drug targets, including PTP1B, Src homology phosphotyrosyl phosphatase 2(SHP2), lymphoid-specific tyrosine phosphatase (LYP), CD45, Fas associated phosphatase-1 (FAP-1), striatal enriched tyrosine phosphatases (STEP), mitogen-activated protein kinase/dual-specificity phosphatase 1 (MKP-1), phosphatases of regenerating liver-1 (PRL), low molecular weight PTPs (LMWPTP), and CDC25. Given that there are over 100 family members, we hope this review will serve as a road map for innovative drug discovery targeting PTPs. PMID:25220640

  19. HAMLET: functional properties and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Ho C S, James; Rydström, Anna; Trulsson, Maria; Bålfors, Johannes; Storm, Petter; Puthia, Manoj; Nadeem, Aftab; Svanborg, Catharina

    2012-10-01

    Human α-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells (HAMLET) is the first member in a new family of protein-lipid complexes that kills tumor cells with high selectivity. The protein component of HAMLET is α-lactalbumin, which in its native state acts as a substrate specifier in the lactose synthase complex, thereby defining a function essential for the survival of lactating mammals. In addition, α-lactalbumin acquires tumoricidal activity after partial unfolding and binding to oleic acid. The lipid cofactor serves the dual role as a stabilizer of the altered fold of the protein and a coactivator of specific steps in tumor cell death. HAMLET is broadly tumoricidal, suggesting that the complex identifies conserved death pathways suitable for targeting by novel therapies. Sensitivity to HAMLET is defined by oncogene expression including Ras and c-Myc and by glycolytic enzymes. Cellular targets are located in the cytoplasmic membrane, cytoskeleton, mitochondria, proteasomes, lysosomes and nuclei, and specific signaling pathways are rapidly activated, first by interactions of HAMLET with the cell membrane and subsequently after HAMLET internalization. Therapeutic effects of HAMLET have been demonstrated in human skin papillomas and bladder cancers, and HAMLET limits the progression of human glioblastomas, with no evidence of toxicity for normal brain or bladder tissue. These findings open up new avenues for cancer therapy and the understanding of conserved death responses in tumor cells.

  20. Therapeutic potential of resveratrol in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Vingtdeux, Valérie; Dreses-Werringloer, Ute; Zhao, Haitian; Davies, Peter; Marambaud, Philippe

    2008-12-03

    Several epidemiological studies indicate that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with a lower incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Red wine is enriched in antioxidant polyphenols with potential neuroprotective activities. Despite scepticism concerning the bioavailability of these polyphenols, in vivo data have clearly demonstrated the neuroprotective properties of the naturally occurring polyphenol resveratrol in rodent models for stress and diseases. Furthermore, recent work in cell cultures and animal models has shed light on the molecular mechanisms potentially involved in the beneficial effects of resveratrol intake against the neurodegenerative process in Alzheimer's disease.

  1. Therapeutic applications of TRAIL receptor agonists in cancer and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Amarante-Mendes, Gustavo P.; Griffith, Thomas S.

    2016-01-01

    TRAIL/Apo-2L is a member of the TNF superfamily first described as an apoptosis-inducing cytokine in 1995. Similar to TNF and Fas ligand, TRAIL induces apoptosis in caspase-dependent manner following TRAIL death receptor trimerization. Because tumor cells were shown to be particularly sensitive to this cytokine while normal cells/tissues proved to be resistant along with being able to synthesize and release TRAIL, it was rapidly appreciated that TRAIL likely served as one of our major physiologic weapons against cancer. In line with this, a number of research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies have attempted to exploit the ability of TRAIL to kill cancer cells by developing recombinant forms of TRAIL or TRAIL receptor agonists (e.g., receptor-specific mAb) for therapeutic purposes. In this review article we will describe the biochemical pathways used by TRAIL to induce different cell death programs. We will also summarize the clinical trials related to this pathway and discuss possible novel uses of TRAIL-related therapies. In recent years, the physiological importance of TRAIL has expanded beyond being a tumoricidal molecule to one critical for a number of clinical settings — ranging from infectious disease and autoimmunity to cardiovascular anomalies. We will also highlight some of these conditions where modulation of the TRAIL/TRAIL receptor system may be targeted in the future. PMID:26343199

  2. Combination therapy of potential gene to enhance oral cancer therapeutic effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeh, Chia-Hsien; Hsu, Yih-Chih

    2015-03-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) over-regulation related to uncontrolled cell division and promotes progression in tumor. Over-expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been detected in oral cancer cells. EGFR-targeting agents are potential therapeutic modalities for treating oral cancer based on our in vitro study. Liposome nanotechnology is used to encapsulate siRNA and were modified with target ligand to receptors on the surface of tumor cells. We used EGFR siRNA to treat oral cancer in vitro.

  3. Characterization of an IL-2 mimetic with therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Eckenberg, R; Rose, T; Moreau, J L; Weil, R; Gesbert, F; Dubois, S; Tello, D; Bossus, M; Gras, H; Tartar, A; Bertoglio, J; Chouaïb, S; Jacques, Y; Alzari, P M; Thèze, J

    2001-06-01

    Human interleukin-2 (IL-2) interacts with two types of functional receptors (IL-2R alpha betagamma and IL-2R betagamma) and acts on a broad range of target cells involved in inflammatory reactions and immune responses. IL-2 is also used in different clinical trials aimed at improving the treatment of some cancers and the recovery of CD4 lymphocytes by HIV patients. The therapeutic index of IL-2 is limited by various side effects dominated by the vascular leak syndrome. We have shown that a chemically synthesised fragment of the IL-2 sequence can fold into a helical tetramer likely mimicking the quatemary structure of an hemopoietin. Indeed, peptide p1-30 (containing amino acids 1 to 30, including the sequence corresponding to the entire alpha helix A of IL-2) spontaneously folds into an alpha-helical homotetramer and stimulates the growth of T-cell lines expressing human IL-2R beta, whereas shorter versions of the peptide lack helical structure and are inactive. At the cellular level, p1-30 induces lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells and preferentially activates CD8 low lymphocytes and natural killer cells, which constitutively express IL-2R beta. A significant IFN-gamma production is also detected following p1-30 stimulation. A mutant form of p1-30 (Asp20-->Lys) which is likely unable to induce vascular leak syndrome remains capable to generate LAK cells like the original p1-30 peptide. Altogether our data suggest that p1-30 has therapeutic potential.

  4. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors: a therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain

    PubMed Central

    Guindon, J; Hohmann, A G

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoids suppress behavioural responses to noxious stimulation and suppress nociceptive transmission through activation of CB1 and CB2 receptor subtypes. CB1 receptors are expressed at high levels in the central nervous system (CNS), whereas CB2 receptors are found predominantly, but not exclusively, outside the CNS. CB2 receptors are also upregulated in the CNS and dorsal root ganglia by pathological pain states. Here, we review behavioural, neurochemical and electrophysiological data, which identify cannabinoid CB2 receptors as a therapeutic target for treating pathological pain states with limited centrally, mediated side effects. The development of CB2-selective agonists (with minimal affinity for CB1) as well as mutant mice lacking CB2 receptors has provided pharmacological and genetic tools required to evaluate the effectiveness of CB2 agonists in suppressing persistent pain states. This review will examine the efficacy of cannabinoid CB2-selective agonists in suppressing acute, inflammatory and neuropathic nociception following systemic and local routes of administration. Data derived from behavioural, neurochemical and neurophysiological approaches are discussed to better understand the relationship between antinociceptive effects induced by CB2-selective agonists in behavioural studies and neural mechanisms of pain suppression. Finally, the therapeutic potential and possible limitations of CB2-based pharmacotherapies for pathological pain states induced by tissue and nerve injury are discussed. PMID:17994113

  5. 5-HT7 receptor signaling: improved therapeutic strategy in gut disorders.

    PubMed

    Kim, Janice J; Khan, Waliul I

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is most commonly known for its role as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). However, the majority of the body's 5-HT is produced in the gut by enterochromaffin (EC) cells. Alterations in 5-HT signaling have been associated with various gut disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and enteric infections. Recently, our studies have identified a key role for 5-HT in the pathogenesis of experimental colitis. 5-HT7 receptors are expressed in the gut and very recently, we have shown evidence of 5-HT7 receptor expression on intestinal immune cells and demonstrated a key role for 5-HT7 receptors in generation of experimental colitis. This review summarizes the key findings of these studies and provides a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge of the 5-HT7 receptor in terms of its pathophysiological relevance and therapeutic potential in intestinal inflammatory conditions, such as IBD.

  6. Hydrogen Peroxide: A Potential Wound Therapeutic Target.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Guanya; Wang, Qi; Lu, Shuliang; Niu, Yiwen

    2017-04-05

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a topical antiseptic used in wound cleaning which kills pathogens through oxidation burst and local oxygen production. Hydrogen peroxide had been reported to be a reactive biochemical molecule synthesized by various cells which influences biological behavior through multiple mechanisms: alterations of membrane potential, generation of new molecules and changing intracellular redox balance which results in activation or inactivation of different signaling transduction pathways. Contrary to the traditional viewpoint that H2O2 probably impairs tissue through its high oxidative property, however, a proper level of H2O2 is considered as an important requirement for normal wound healing. Although the present clinical use of H2O2 is still limited to the elimination of microbial contamination and sometimes hemostasis, better understanding towards the sterilization ability and cell behavior regulatory function of H2O2 within wound will enhance the potential to exogenously augment and manipulate healing.

  7. The Therapeutic Potential of Medicinal Foods

    PubMed Central

    Ramalingum, Nelvana; Mahomoodally, M. Fawzi

    2014-01-01

    Pharmaceutical and nutritional sciences have recently witnessed a bloom in the scientific literature geared towards the use of food plants for their diversified health benefits and potential clinical applications. Health professionals now recognize that a synergism of drug therapy and nutrition might confer optimum outcomes in the fight against diseases. The prophylactic benefits of food plants are being investigated for potential use as novel medicinal remedies due to the presence of pharmacologically active compounds. Although the availability of scientific data is rapidly growing, there is still a paucity of updated compilation of data and concerns about the rationale of these health-foods still persist in the literature. This paper attempts to congregate the nutritional value, phytochemical composition, traditional uses, in vitro and in vivo studies of 10 common medicinal food plants used against chronic noncommunicable and infectious diseases. Food plants included were based on the criteria that they are consumed as a common food in a typical diet as either fruit or vegetable for their nutritive value but have also other parts which are in common use in folk medicine. The potential challenges of incorporating these medicinal foods in the diet which offers prospective opportunities for future drug development are also discussed. PMID:24822061

  8. Targeting CBLB as a Potential Therapeutic Approach for Disseminated Candidiasis

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Yun; Tang, Juan; Guo, Hui; Zhao, Yixia; Tang, Rong; Ouyang, Song; Zeng, Qiuming; Rappleye, Chad; Rajaram, Murugesan V.S.; Schlesinger, Larry S.; Tao, Lijian; Brown, Gordon D.; Langdon, Wallace Y.; Li, Belinda T.; Zhang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Disseminated candidiasis has become one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired blood stream infections with high mobility and mortality. However, the molecular basis of host defense against disseminated candidiasis remains elusive, and treatment options are limited. Here, we report that the E3 ubiquitin ligase CBLB directs polyubiquitination of dectin-1 and -2, two key pattern recognition receptors for sensing Candida albicans, and their downstream kinase SYK, thus inhibiting dectin-1/2-mediated innate immune responses. CBLB deficiency or inactivation protects mice from systemic infection with a lethal dose of Candida albicans, and deficiency of dectin-1, -2, or both, in Cblb−/− mice abrogates this protection. Importantly, silencing the Cblb gene in vivo protects mice from lethal systemic Candida albicans infection. Our data reveal that CBLB is crucial for homeostatic control of innate immune responses mediated by dectin-1 and -2. Our data also indicate that CBLB represents a potential therapeutic target for protection from disseminated candidiasis. PMID:27428899

  9. GLP-1: physiological effects and potential therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Aaboe, Kasper; Krarup, Thure; Madsbad, Sten; Holst, Jens Juul

    2008-11-01

    Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a gut-derived incretin hormone with the potential to change diabetes. The physiological effects of GLP-1 are multiple, and many seem to ameliorate the different conditions defining the diverse physiopathology seen in type 2 diabetes. In animal studies, GLP-1 stimulates beta-cell proliferation and neogenesis and inhibits beta-cell apoptosis. In humans, GLP-1 stimulates insulin secretion and inhibits glucagon and gastrointestinal secretions and motility. It enhances satiety and reduces food intake and has beneficial effects on cardiovascular function and endothelial dysfunction. Enhancing incretin action for therapeutic use includes GLP-1 receptor agonists resistant to degradation (incretin mimetics) and dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP)-4 inhibitors. In clinical trials with type 2 diabetic patients on various oral antidiabetic regimes, both treatment modalities efficaciously improve glycaemic control and beta-cell function. Whereas the incretin mimetics induce weight loss, the DPP-4 inhibitors are considered weight neutral. In type 1 diabetes, treatment with GLP-1 shows promising effects. However, several areas need clinical confirmation: the durability of the weight loss, the ability to preserve functional beta-cell mass and the applicability in other than type 2 diabetes. As such, long-term studies and studies with cardiovascular end-points are needed to confirm the true benefits of these new classes of antidiabetic drugs in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

  10. The Therapeutic Potential of Milk Thistle in Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kazazis, Christos E.; Evangelopoulos, Angelos A.; Kollas, Aris; Vallianou, Natalia G.

    2014-01-01

    Milk thistle has been known for more than 2.000 years as a herbal remedy for a variety of disorders. It has mainly been used to treat liver and gallbladder diseases. Silibum marianum, the Latin term for the plant, and its seeds contain a whole family of natural compounds, called flavonolignans. Silimarin is a dry mixture of these compounds; it is extracted after processing with ethanol, methanol, and acetone. Silimarin contains mainly silibin A, silibin B, taxifolin, isosilibin A, isosilibin B, silichristin A, silidianin, and other compounds in smaller concentrations. Apart from its use in liver and gallbladder disorders, milk thistle has recently gained attention due to its hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties. Recently, a substance from milk thistle has been shown to possess peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonist properties. PPARγ is the molecular target of thiazolidinediones, which are used clinically as insulin sensitizers to lower blood glucose levels in diabetes type 2 patients. The thiazolidinedione type of PPARγ ligands is an agonist with a very high binding affinity. However, this ligand type demonstrates a range of undesirable side effects, thus necessitating the search for new effective PPARγ agonists. Interestingly, studies indicate that partial agonism of PPARγ induces promising activity patterns by retaining the positive effects attributed to the full agonists, with reduced side effects. In this review, the therapeutic potential of milk thistle in the management of diabetes and its complications are discussed. PMID:25396404

  11. Exploring the therapeutic potential of jellyfish venom.

    PubMed

    Daly, Norelle L; Seymour, Jamie; Wilson, David

    2014-10-01

    The venom of certain jellyfish has long been known to be potentially fatal to humans, but it is only recently that details of the proteomes of these fascinating creatures are emerging. The molecular contents of the nematocysts from several jellyfish species have now been analyzed using proteomic MS approaches and include the analysis of Chironex fleckeri, one of the most venomous jellyfish known. These studies suggest that some species contain toxins related to peptides and proteins found in other venomous creatures. The detailed characterization of jellyfish venom is likely to provide insight into the diversification of toxins and might be a valuable resource in drug design.

  12. Pharmacological properties and therapeutic possibilities for drugs acting upon endocannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Christopher J

    2005-12-01

    Clinical trial data are beginning to emerge with respect to the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis extracts for the treatment of chronic pain. Although there is some evidence of efficacy, a major issue concerns the narrow margin between doses producing therapeutic effects and those producing the "highs" associated with cannabis misuse. In addition, long-term use is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric illness. These negative aspects constrain the doses of cannabis extracts and psychoactive cannabinoids that can be given to patients, and raise the risk that properly conducted clinical trials with too low dosages will impact negatively on subsequent drug development in this field. However, recent research has opened up a number of avenues whereby compounds acting directly upon cannabinoid (CB) receptors may have therapeutic potential. In this review, two such areas are discussed, namely a) the possible use of peripherally acting CB agonists and CB2 receptor-selective agonists for the treatment of pain, and b) the possible utility of CB2 receptor agonists for the prevention of stress-induced exacerbations of skin disorders such as psoriasis. A second area of drug development at present is that of CB1 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists, spearheaded by rimonabant, for the treatment of obesity and as an aid for smoking cessation. An important aspect of these compounds is their efficacy and selectivity, and this is discussed in detail in the present review.

  13. Therapeutic Potential of Dietary Phenolic Acids

    PubMed Central

    Saibabu, Venkata; Fatima, Zeeshan; Khan, Luqman Ahmad; Hameed, Saif

    2015-01-01

    Although modern lifestyle has eased the quality of human life, this lifestyle's related patterns have imparted negative effects on health to acquire multiple diseases. Many synthetic drugs are invented during the last millennium but most if not all of them possess several side effects and proved to be costly. Convincing evidences have established the premise that the phytotherapeutic potential of natural compounds and need of search for novel drugs from natural sources are of high priority. Phenolic acids (PAs) are a class of secondary metabolites spread throughout the plant kingdom and generally involved in plethora of cellular processes involved in plant growth and reproduction and also produced as defense mechanism to sustain various environmental stresses. Extensive research on PAs strongly suggests that consumption of these compounds hold promise to offer protection against various ailments in humans. This paper focuses on the naturally derived PAs and summarizes the action mechanisms of these compounds during disease conditions. Based on the available information in the literature, it is suggested that use of PAs as drugs is very promising; however more research and clinical trials are necessary before these bioactive molecules can be made for treatment. Finally this review provides greater awareness of the promise that natural PAs hold for use in the disease prevention and therapy. PMID:26442119

  14. Phytochemicals as potential therapeutics for thrombocytopenia.

    PubMed

    Manasa, K; Soumya, R; Vani, R

    2016-04-01

    Medical knowledge has always relied on plants as the main sources of important beneficial compounds. Many species have been recognized to have medicinal properties and beneficial impact on health, e.g. antioxidant activity, digestive stimulation action, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic potential. This review focuses on the promising role of plants and their products in attenuating thrombocytopenia, a common and complex bleeding disorder. When the platelet count decreases below 150,000/µl, it causes thrombocytopenia. This bleeding disorder is observed in 2.5 % of the normal population. The risk of spontaneous muco-cutaneous bleeding and life threatening intracranial haemorrhage or gastrointestinal bleeding increases rapidly when the platelet count decreases below 10,000/µl. The inability to provide supportive treatment to increase the platelet counts often proves fatal to patients. Currently, treatment for thrombocytopenia includes use of drugs or splenectomy or platelet transfusions, in severe cases. Recently, studies have shown platelet augmenting activity of various plant extracts. The effectiveness, toxicity and side effects of the phytochemicals have to be critically evaluated in clinical trials. An in depth understanding of the role and mechanism of these phytochemicals would lead to their successful implementation in treatment and management of thrombocytopenia and other related bleeding disorders.

  15. Chaperoning G Protein-Coupled Receptors: From Cell Biology to Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Conn, P. Michael

    2014-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane proteins that traverse the plasma membrane seven times (hence, are also called 7TM receptors). The polytopic structure of GPCRs makes the folding of GPCRs difficult and complex. Indeed, many wild-type GPCRs are not folded optimally, and defects in folding are the most common cause of genetic diseases due to GPCR mutations. Both general and receptor-specific molecular chaperones aid the folding of GPCRs. Chemical chaperones have been shown to be able to correct the misfolding in mutant GPCRs, proving to be important tools for studying the structure-function relationship of GPCRs. However, their potential therapeutic value is very limited. Pharmacological chaperones (pharmacoperones) are potentially important novel therapeutics for treating genetic diseases caused by mutations in GPCR genes that resulted in misfolded mutant proteins. Pharmacoperones also increase cell surface expression of wild-type GPCRs; therefore, they could be used to treat diseases that do not harbor mutations in GPCRs. Recent studies have shown that indeed pharmacoperones work in both experimental animals and patients. High-throughput assays have been developed to identify new pharmacoperones that could be used as therapeutics for a number of endocrine and other genetic diseases. PMID:24661201

  16. Immunoactive effects of cannabinoids: considerations for the therapeutic use of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

    PubMed

    Greineisen, William E; Turner, Helen

    2010-05-01

    The active constituents of Cannabis sativa have been used for centuries as recreational drugs and medicinal agents. Today, marijuana is the most prevalent drug of abuse in the United States and, conversely, therapeutic use of marijuana constituents are gaining mainstream clinical and political acceptance. Given the documented contributions of endocannabinoid signaling to a range of physiological systems, including cognitive function, and the control of eating behaviors, it is unsurprising that cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are showing significant clinical potential. In addition to the neuroactive effects of cannabinoids, an emerging body of data suggests that both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids are potently immunoactive. The central premise of this review article is that the immunological effects of cannabinoids should be considered in the context of each prescribing decision. We present evidence that the immunological effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists are highly relevant to the spectrum of disorders for which cannabinoid therapeutics are currently offered.

  17. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptors as a Therapeutic Target—What Does the Future Hold?

    PubMed Central

    Dhopeshwarkar, Amey

    2014-01-01

    The past decades have seen an exponential rise in our understanding of the endocannabinoid system, comprising CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids. The primary focus of this review is the CB2 receptor. CB2 receptors have been the subject of considerable attention, primarily due to their promising therapeutic potential for treating various pathologies while avoiding the adverse psychotropic effects that can accompany CB1 receptor–based therapies. With the appreciation that CB2-selective ligands show marked functional selectivity, there is a renewed opportunity to explore this promising area of research from both a mechanistic as well as a therapeutic perspective. In this review, we summarize our present knowledge of CB2 receptor signaling, localization, and regulation. We discuss the availability of genetic tools (and their limitations) to study CB2 receptors and also provide an update on preclinical data on CB2 agonists in pain models. Finally, we suggest possible reasons for the failure of CB2 ligands in clinical pain trials and offer possible ways to move the field forward in a way that can help reconcile the inconsistencies between preclinical and clinical data. PMID:25106425

  18. G protein-coupled receptors as oncogenic signals in glioma: emerging therapeutic avenues

    PubMed Central

    Cherry, Allison E; Stella, Nephi

    2014-01-01

    Gliomas are the most common malignant intracranial tumors. Newly developed targeted therapies for these cancers aim to inhibit oncogenic signals, many of which emanate from receptor tyrosine kinases, including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). Unfortunately, the first generation treatments targeting these oncogenic signals provide little survival benefit in both mouse xenograft models and human patients. The search for new treatment options has uncovered several G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) candidates and generated a growing interest in this class of proteins as alternative therapeutic targets for the treatment of various cancers, including GBM. GPCRs constitute a large family of membrane receptors that influence oncogenic pathways through canonical and non-canonical signaling. Accordingly, evidence indicates that GPCRs display a unique ability to crosstalk with receptor tyrosine kinases, making them important molecular components controlling tumorigenesis. This review summarizes the current research on GPCR functionality in gliomas and explores the potential of modulating these receptors to treat this devastating disease. PMID:25158675

  19. Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities.

    PubMed

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2012-12-05

    Human tissues express cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptors that can be activated by endogenously released 'endocannabinoids' or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1)/CB(2) receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) and Sativex (Δ(9)-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive 'multi-targeting'.

  20. Targeting the endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptor agonists: pharmacological strategies and therapeutic possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, Roger G.

    2012-01-01

    Human tissues express cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors that can be activated by endogenously released ‘endocannabinoids’ or exogenously administered compounds in a manner that reduces the symptoms or opposes the underlying causes of several disorders in need of effective therapy. Three medicines that activate cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptors are now in the clinic: Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC)) and Sativex (Δ9-THC with cannabidiol). These can be prescribed for the amelioration of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Cesamet and Marinol), stimulation of appetite (Marinol) and symptomatic relief of cancer pain and/or management of neuropathic pain and spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis (Sativex). This review mentions several possible additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists. These include other kinds of pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, cancer, drug dependence, glaucoma, autoimmune uveitis, osteoporosis, sepsis, and hepatic, renal, intestinal and cardiovascular disorders. It also describes potential strategies for improving the efficacy and/or benefit-to-risk ratio of these agonists in the clinic. These are strategies that involve (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier, (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue, (iii) targeting upregulated cannabinoid receptors, (iv) selectively targeting cannabinoid CB2 receptors, and/or (v) adjunctive ‘multi-targeting’. PMID:23108552

  1. G protein-coupled receptors as oncogenic signals in glioma: emerging therapeutic avenues.

    PubMed

    Cherry, A E; Stella, N

    2014-10-10

    Gliomas are the most common malignant intracranial tumors. Newly developed targeted therapies for these cancers aim to inhibit oncogenic signals, many of which emanate from receptor tyrosine kinases, including the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). Unfortunately, the first-generation treatments targeting these oncogenic signals provide little survival benefit in both mouse xenograft models and human patients. The search for new treatment options has uncovered several G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) candidates and generated a growing interest in this class of proteins as alternative therapeutic targets for the treatment of various cancers, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GPCRs constitute a large family of membrane receptors that influence oncogenic pathways through canonical and non-canonical signaling. Accordingly, evidence indicates that GPCRs display a unique ability to crosstalk with receptor tyrosine kinases, making them important molecular components controlling tumorigenesis. This review summarizes the current research on GPCR functionality in gliomas and explores the potential of modulating these receptors to treat this devastating disease.

  2. PEI-g-PEG-RGD/Small Interference RNA Polyplex-Mediated Silencing of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor and Its Potential as an Anti-Angiogenic Tumor Therapeutic Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jihoon; Kim, Sung Wan

    2011-01-01

    Tumor angiogenesis appears to be achieved by the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) within solid tumors that stimulate host vascular endothelial cell mitogenesis and possibly chemotaxis. VEGF's angiogenic actions are mediated through its high-affinity binding to 2 endothelium-specific receptor tyrosine kinase, Flt-1 (VEGFR1), and Flk-1/KDR (VEGFR2). RNA interference-mediated knockdown of protein expression at the messenger RNA level provides a new therapeutic strategy to overcome various diseases. To achieve high efficacy in RNA interference-mediated therapy, it is critical to develop an efficient delivering system to deliver small interference RNA (siRNA) into tissues or cells site-specifically. We previously reported an angiogenic endothelial cell-targeted polymeric gene carrier, PEI-g-PEG-RGD. This targeted carrier was developed by the conjugation of the ανβ3/ανβ5 integrin-binding RGD peptide (ACDCRGDCFC) to the cationic polymer, branched polyethylenimine, with a hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) spacer. In this study, we used PEI-g-PEG-RGD to deliver siRNA against VEGFR1 into tumor site. The physicochemical properties of PEI-g-PEG-RGD/siRNA complexes was evaluated. Further, tumor growth profile was also investigated after systemic administration of PEI-g-PEG-RGD/siRNA complexes. PMID:21375397

  3. From Chemotherapy-Induced Emesis to Neuroprotection: Therapeutic Opportunities for 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Fakhfouri, Gohar; Mousavizadeh, Kazem; Mehr, Sharam Ejtemaei; Dehpour, Ahmad Reza; Zirak, Mohammad Reza; Ghia, Jean-Eric; Rahimian, Reza

    2015-12-01

    5-HT3 receptor antagonists are extensively used as efficacious agents in counteracting chemotherapy-induced emesis. Recent investigations have shed light on other potential effects (analgesic, anxiolytic, and anti-psychotic). Some studies have reported neuroprotective properties for the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists in vitro and in vivo. When administered to Aβ-challenged rat cortical neurons, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists substantially abated apoptosis, elevation of cytosolic Ca(2), glutamate release, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and caspase-3 activity. In addition, in vivo studies show that 5-HT3 receptor antagonists possess, alongside their anti-emetic effects, notable immunomodulatory properties in CNS. We found that pretreatment with tropisetron significantly improved neurological deficits and diminished leukocyte transmigration into the brain, TNF-α level, and brain infarction in a murine model of embolic stroke. Our recent investigation revealed that tropisetron protects against Aβ-induced neurotoxicity in vivo through both 5-HT3 receptor-dependent and -independent pathways. Tropisetron, in vitro, was found to be an efficacious inhibitor of the signaling pathway leading to the activation of pro-inflammatory NF-κB, a transcription factor pivotal to the upregulation of several neuroinflammatory mediators in brain. This mini review summarizes novel evidence concerning effects of 5-HT3 antagonists and their possible mechanisms of action in ameliorating neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Further, we discuss some newly synthesized 5-HT3 receptor antagonists with dual properties of 5-HT3 receptor blockade/alpha-7 nicotinic receptor activator and their potential in management of memory impairment. Since 5-HT3 receptor antagonists possess a large therapeutic window, they can constitute a scaffold for design and synthesis of new neuroprotective medications.

  4. Tyrosine Kinase Receptor Landscape in Lung Cancer: Therapeutical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Quintanal-Villalonga, A.; Paz-Ares, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease responsible for the most cases of cancer-related deaths. The majority of patients are clinically diagnosed at advanced stages, with a poor survival rate. For this reason, the identification of oncodrivers and novel biomarkers is decisive for the future clinical management of this pathology. The rise of high throughput technologies popularly referred to as “omics” has accelerated the discovery of new biomarkers and drivers for this pathology. Within them, tyrosine kinase receptors (TKRs) have proven to be of importance as diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tools and, due to their molecular nature, as therapeutic targets. Along this review, the role of TKRs in the different lung cancer histologies, research on improvement of anti-TKR therapy, and the current approaches to manage anti-TKR resistance will be discussed. PMID:27528792

  5. Heteromers of μ-δ opioid receptors: new pharmacology and novel therapeutic possibilities

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Wakako; Gomes, Ivone; Devi, Lakshmi A

    2015-01-01

    Several studies suggest that heteromerization between μ (MOP) and δ (DOP) opioid receptors modulates the signalling properties of the individual receptors. For example, whereas activation of MOP receptors by an agonist induces G protein-mediated signalling, the same agonist induces β-arrestin-mediated signalling in the context of the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer. Moreover, heteromer-mediated signalling is allosterically modulated by a combination of MOP and DOP receptor ligands. This has implications in analgesia given that morphine-induced antinociception can be potentiated by DOP receptor ligands. Recently reagents selectively targeting the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer such as bivalent ligands, antibodies or membrane permeable peptides have been generated; these reagents are enabling studies to elucidate the contribution of endogenously expressed heteromers to analgesia as well as to the development of side-effects associated with chronic opioid use. Recent advances in drug screening technology have led to the identification of a MOP-DOP receptor heteromer-biased agonist that activates both G protein-mediated and β-arrestin-mediated signalling. Moreover, this heteromer-biased agonist exhibits potent antinociceptive activity but with reduced side-effects, suggesting that ligands targeting the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer form a basis for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of pain. In this review, we summarize findings regarding the biological and functional characteristics of the MOP-DOP receptor heteromer and the in vitro and in vivo properties of heteromer-selective ligands. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2015.172.issue-2 PMID:24571499

  6. Folate Receptor-Targeted Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Inflammatory Diseases

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Inflammation, an innate immune response mediated by macrophages, forms the first line of defence to protect our body from the invasion of various pathogens. Although inflammation is a defensive response, chronic inflammation has been regarded as the major cause of many types of human diseases such as inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, cancers, neurological diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Folate receptor (FR) is a cell surface glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycoprotein, and its three isoforms, FR-α, FR-β, and FR-γ, are found in humans. Interestingly, FRs are highly expressed on a variety of cells, including cancer cells and activated macrophages, whereas their expression on normal cells is undetectable, indicating that FR-targeting could be a good selective strategy for the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of cancers and activated macrophage-mediated inflammatory diseases. Previous studies successfully showed FR-targeted imaging of many types of cancers in animal models as well as human patients. Recently, a number of emerging studies have found that activated macrophages, which are critical players for a variety of inflammatory diseases, highly express FRs, and selective targeting of these FR-positive activated macrophages is a good approach to diagnose and treat inflammatory diseases. In this review, we describe the characteristics and structure of FRs, and further discuss FR-targeted diagnostics and therapeutics of human diseases, in particular, activated macrophage-mediated inflammatory diseases. PMID:28035209

  7. Angiotensin receptor blockers & endothelial dysfunction: Possible correlation & therapeutic implications

    PubMed Central

    Radenković, Miroslav; Stojanović, Marko; Nešić, Ivana Milićević; Prostran, Milica

    2016-01-01

    The endothelium is one of the most important constituents of vascular homeostasis, which is achieved through continual and balanced production of different relaxing and contractile factors. When there is a pathological disturbance in release of these products, endothelial dysfunction (ED) will probably occur. ED is considered to be the initial step in the development of atherosclerosis. This pathological activation and inadequate functioning of endothelial cells was shown to be to some extent a reversible process, which all together resulted in increased interest in investigation of different beneficial treatment options. To this point, the pharmacological approach, including for example, the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or statins, was clearly shown to be effective in the improvement of ED. One of many critical issues underlying ED represents instability in the balance between nitric oxide and angiotensin II (Ang II) production. Considering that Ang II was confirmed to be important for the development of ED, the aim of this review article was to summarize the findings of up to date clinical studies associated with therapeutic application of angiotensin receptor blockers and improvement in ED. In addition, it was of interest to review the pleiotropic actions of angiotensin receptor blockers linked to the improvement of ED. The prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo or active-controlled clinical trials were identified and selected for the final evaluation. PMID:27934794

  8. Inhibitory Receptors of the Immune System: Functions and Therapeutic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Xiao, Xiang; Liu, Wentao; Demirci, Gulcin; Li, Xian C

    2009-01-01

    The immune system has a remarkable ability to respond to seemingly endless antigens. In essence, a productive immune response takes place along a well defined but treacherous line, that is to effectively eradicate pathogens, and at the same time avoid causing damage to self organs. This type of response is fine-tuned, at least in part, by a complex array of pathways that either promote or inhibit the activation of innate and adaptive immune cells. Much effort has been focused on pathways that can support immune activation. In this article, we review specifically pathways that can inhibit immune responses and maintain immune homeostasis, highlighting our recent understanding on the role of inhibitory receptors that selectively engage the self MHC class I molecules and the B7 superfamily members, we also discuss the inhibitory Fc receptors and inhibitory cytokines and how such pathways, either individually or collectively, regulate innate and adaptive immune responses. Finally, we summarize new emerging approaches on how such negative pathways can be therapeutically modulated in various disease settings. PMID:20003816

  9. Siglec-15 is a potential therapeutic target for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. The Emerging Role of HMGB1 in Neuropathic Pain: A Potential Therapeutic Target for Neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Wenbin; Cao, Lan; Khanabdali, Ramin; Kalionis, Bill; Tai, Xiantao; Xia, Shijin

    2016-01-01

    Neuropathic pain (NPP) is intolerable, persistent, and specific type of long-term pain. It is considered to be a direct consequence of pathological changes affecting the somatosensory system and can be debilitating for affected patients. Despite recent progress and growing interest in understanding the pathogenesis of the disease, NPP still presents a major diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) mediates inflammatory and immune reactions in nervous system and emerging evidence reveals that HMGB1 plays an essential role in neuroinflammation through receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLR), receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), C-X-X motif chemokines receptor 4 (CXCR4), and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. In this review, we present evidence from studies that address the role of HMGB1 in NPP. First, we review studies aimed at determining the role of HMGB1 in NPP and discuss the possible mechanisms underlying HMGB1-mediated NPP progression where receptors for HMGB1 are involved. Then we review studies that address HMGB1 as a potential therapeutic target for NPP. PMID:27294160

  11. Positive allosteric modulators as an approach to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-targeted therapeutics: advantages and limitations.

    PubMed

    Williams, Dustin K; Wang, Jingyi; Papke, Roger L

    2011-10-15

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR), recognized targets for drug development in cognitive and neuro-degenerative disorders, are allosteric proteins with dynamic interconversions between multiple functional states. Activation of the nAChR ion channel is primarily controlled by the binding of ligands (agonists, partial agonists, competitive antagonists) at conventional agonist binding sites, but is also regulated in either negative or positive ways by the binding of ligands to other modulatory sites. In this review, we discuss models for the activation and desensitization of nAChR, and the discovery of multiple types of ligands that influence those processes in both heteromeric nAChR, such as the high-affinity nicotine receptors of the brain, and homomeric α7-type receptors. In recent years, α7 nAChRs have been identified as a potential target for therapeutic indications leading to the development of α7-selective agonists and partial agonists. However, unique properties of α7 nAChR, including low probability of channel opening and rapid desensitization, may limit the therapeutic usefulness of ligands binding exclusively to conventional agonist binding sites. New enthusiasm for the therapeutic targeting of α7 has come from the identification of α7-selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) that work effectively on the intrinsic factors that limit α7 ion channel activation. While these new drugs appear promising for therapeutic development, we also consider potential caveats and possible limitations for their use, including PAM-insensitive forms of desensitization and cytotoxicity issues.

  12. 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

  13. Distinct phenotype and therapeutic potential of gingival fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Häkkinen, Lari; Larjava, Hannu; Fournier, Benjamin P J

    2014-09-01

    Gingiva of the oral mucosa provides a practical source to isolate fibroblasts for therapeutic purposes because the tissue is easily accessible, tissue discards are common during routine clinical procedures and wound healing after biopsy is fast and results in complete wound regeneration with very little morbidity or scarring. In addition, gingival fibroblasts have unique traits, including neural crest origin, distinct gene expression and synthetic properties and potent immunomodulatory functions. These characteristics may provide advantages for certain therapeutic approaches over other more commonly used cells, including skin fibroblasts, both in intraoral and extra-oral sites. However, identity and phenotype of gingival fibroblasts, like other fibroblasts, are still not completely understood. Gingival fibroblasts are phenotypically heterogeneous, and these…fibroblast subpopulations may play different roles in tissue maintenance, regeneration and pathologies. The purpose of this review is to summarize what is currently known about gingival fibroblasts, their distinct potential for tissue regeneration and their potential therapeutic uses in the future.

  14. Repurposing antipsychotics as glioblastoma therapeutics: Potentials and challenges

    PubMed Central

    LEE, JIN-KU; NAM, DO-HYUN; LEE, JEONGWU

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most lethal primary brain tumor, with tragically little therapeutic progress over the last 30 years. Surgery provides a modest benefit, and GBM cells are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. Despite significant development of the molecularly targeting strategies, the clinical outcome of GBM patients remains dismal. The challenges inherent in developing effective GBM treatments have become increasingly clear, and include resistance to standard treatments, the blood-brain barrier, resistance of GBM stem-like cells, and the genetic complexity and molecular adaptability of GBM. Recent studies have collectively suggested that certain antipsychotics harbor antitumor effects and have potential utilities as anti-GBM therapeutics. In the present review, the anti-tumorigenic effects and putative mechanisms of antipsychotics, and the challenges for the potential use of antipsychotic drugs as anti-GBM therapeutics are reviewed. PMID:26893731

  15. Arresting a Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) Channel

    PubMed Central

    Shukla, Arun K.; Kim, Jihee; Ahn, Seungkirl; Xiao, Kunhong; Shenoy, Sudha K.; Liedtke, Wolfgang; Lefkowitz, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    β-Arrestins, originally discovered to desensitize activated G protein-coupled receptors, (aka seven-transmembrane receptors, 7TMRs) also mediate 7TMR internalization and G protein-independent signaling via these receptors. More recently, several regulatory roles of β-arrestins for atypical 7TMRs and non-7TM receptors have emerged. Here, we uncover an entirely novel regulatory role of β-arrestins in cross-talk between the angiotensin receptor (AT1aR) and a member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel family, TRPV4. AT1aR and TRPV4 form a constitutive complex in the plasma membrane, and angiotensin stimulation leads to recruitment of β-arrestin 1 to this complex. Surprisingly, angiotensin stimulation results in ubiquitination of TRPV4, a process that requires β-arrestin 1, and subsequently to internalization and functional down-regulation of TRPV4. β-Arrestin 1 interacts with, and acts as an adaptor for AIP4, an E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for TRPV4 ubiquitination. Thus, our data provide the first evidence of a functional link between β-arrestins and TRPV4 and uncovers an entirely novel mechanism to maintain appropriate intracellular Ca2+ concentration to avoid excessive Ca2+ signaling. PMID:20650893

  16. Assessing the therapeutic potential of lab-made hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Rezvani, Milad; Grimm, Andrew A; Willenbring, Holger

    2016-07-01

    Hepatocyte transplantation has potential as a bridge or even alternative to whole-organ liver transplantation. Because donor livers are scarce, realizing this potential requires the development of alternative cell sources. To be therapeutically effective, surrogate hepatocytes must replicate the complex function and ability to proliferate of primary human hepatocytes. Ideally, they are also autologous to eliminate the need for immune suppression, which can have severe side effects and may not be sufficient to prevent rejection long term. In the past decade, several methods have been developed to generate hepatocytes from other readily and safely accessible somatic cells. These lab-made hepatocytes show promise in animal models of liver diseases, supporting the feasibility of autologous liver cell therapies. Here, we review recent preclinical studies exemplifying different types of lab-made hepatocytes that can potentially be used in autologous liver cell therapies. To define the therapeutic efficacy of current lab-made hepatocytes, we compare them to primary human hepatocytes, focusing on engraftment efficiency and posttransplant proliferation and function. In addition to summarizing published results, we discuss animal models and assays effective in assessing therapeutic efficacy. This analysis underscores the therapeutic potential of current lab-made hepatocytes, but also highlights deficiencies and uncertainties that need to be addressed in future studies aimed at developing liver cell therapies with lab-made hepatocytes. (Hepatology 2016;64:287-294).

  17. Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells Strategy for Cardiovascular Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chang Youn; Lee, Jihyun; Oh, Sekyung; Lee, Hojin; Lee, Minyoung; Kim, Jongmin

    2016-01-01

    Despite development of medicine, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are still the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Over the past 10 years, various stem cells have been utilized in therapeutic strategies for the treatment of CVDs. CVDs are characterized by a broad range of pathological reactions including inflammation, necrosis, hyperplasia, and hypertrophy. However, the causes of CVDs are still unclear. While there is a limit to the currently available target-dependent treatments, the therapeutic potential of stem cells is very attractive for the treatment of CVDs because of their paracrine effects, anti-inflammatory activity, and immunomodulatory capacity. Various studies have recently reported increased therapeutic potential of transplantation of microRNA- (miRNA-) overexpressing stem cells or small-molecule-treated cells. In addition to treatment with drugs or overexpressed miRNA in stem cells, stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles also have therapeutic potential because they can deliver the stem cell-specific RNA and protein into the host cell, thereby improving cell viability. Here, we reported the state of stem cell-based therapy for the treatment of CVDs and the potential for cell-free based therapy. PMID:27829839

  18. Differential Receptor Tyrosine Kinase PET Imaging for Therapeutic Guidance

    PubMed Central

    Wehrenberg-Klee, Eric; Turker, N. Selcan; Heidari, Pedram; Larimer, Benjamin; Juric, Dejan; Baselga, José; Scaltriti, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) pathway hold promise for the treatment of breast cancer, but resistance to these treatments can arise via feedback loops that increase surface expression of the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3), leading to persistent growth pathway signaling. We developed PET probes that provide a method of imaging this response in vivo, determining which tumors may use this escape pathway while avoiding the need for repeated biopsies. Methods: Anti-EGFR-F(ab′)2 and anti-HER3-F(ab′)2 were generated from monoclonal antibodies by enzymatic digestion, conjugated to DOTA, and labeled with 64Cu. A panel of breast cancer cell lines was treated with increasing concentrations of the AKT inhibitor GDC-0068 or the PI3K inhibitor GDC-0941. Pre- and posttreatment expression of EGFR and HER3 was compared using Western blot and correlated to probe accumulation with binding studies. Nude mice xenografts of HCC-70 or MDA-MB-468 were treated with either AKT inhibitor or PI3K inhibitor and imaged with either EGFR or HER3 PET probe. Results: Changes in HER3 and EGFR PET probe accumulation correlate to RTK expression change as assessed by Western blot (R2 of 0.85–0.98). EGFR PET probe PET/CT imaging of HCC70 tumors shows an SUV of 0.32 ± 0.03 for vehicle-, 0.50 ± 0.01 for GDC-0941–, and 0.62 ± 0.01 for GDC-0068–treated tumors, respectively (P < 0.01 for both comparisons to vehicle). HER3 PET probe PET/CT imaging of MDAMB468 tumors shows an SUV of 0.35 ± 0.02 for vehicle- and 0.73 ± 0.05 for GDC-0068–treated tumors (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Our imaging studies, using PET probes specific to EGFR and HER3, show that changes in RTK expression indicative of resistance to PI3K and AKT inhibitors can be seen within days of therapy initiation and are of sufficient magnitude as to allow reliable

  19. Therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptides (conopeptides).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails have evolved many 1000s of small, structurally stable venom peptides (conopeptides) for prey capture and defense. Whilst < 0.1% have been pharmacologically characterised, those with known function typically target membrane proteins of therapeutic importance, including ion channels, transporters and GPCRs. Several conopeptides reduce pain in animals models, with one in clinical development (χ-conopeptide analogue Xen2174) and one marketed (ω- conotoxin MVIIA or Prialt) for the treatment of severe pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, conopeptides have been valuable probes for studying the role of a number of key membrane proteins in normal and disease physiology.

  20. Insights into Orphan Nuclear Receptors as Prognostic Markers and Novel Therapeutic Targets for Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Aesoy, Reidun; Clyne, Colin D.; Chand, Ashwini L.

    2015-01-01

    There is emerging evidence asserting the importance of orphan nuclear receptors (ONRs) in cancer initiation and progression. In breast cancer, there is a lot unknown about ONRs in terms of their expression profile and their transcriptional targets in the various stages of tumor progression. With the classification of breast tumors into distinct molecular subtypes, we assess ONR expression in the different breast cancer subtypes and with patient outcomes. Complementing this, we review evidence implicating ONR-dependent molecular pathways in breast cancer progression to identify candidate ONRs as potential prognostic markers and/or as therapeutic targets. PMID:26300846

  1. Regulation of therapeutic resistance in cancers by receptor tyrosine kinases

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mei-Kuang; Hung, Mien-Chie

    2016-01-01

    In response to DNA damage lesions due to cellular stress, DNA damage response (DDR) pathways are activated to promote cell survival and genetic stability or unrepaired lesion-induced cell death. Current cancer treatments predominantly utilize DNA damaging agents, such as irradiation and chemotherapy drugs, to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and induce cell death through the activation of DDR. However, a portion of cancer patients is reported to develop therapeutic resistance to these DDR-inducing agents. One significant resistance mechanism in cancer cells is oncogenic kinase overexpression, which promotes cell survival by enhancing DNA damage repair pathways and evading cell cycle arrest. Among the oncogenic kinases, overexpression of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) is reported in many of solid tumors, and numerous clinical trials targeting RTKs are currently in progress. As the emerging trend in cancer treatment combines DNA damaging agents and RTK inhibitors, it is important to understand the substrates of RTKs relative to the DDR pathways. In addition, alteration of RTK expression and their phosphorylated substrates can serve as biomarkers to stratify patients for combination therapies. In this review, we summarize the deleterious effects of RTKs on the DDR pathways and the emerging biomarkers for personalized therapy. PMID:27186434

  2. Cotinine: a potential new therapeutic agent against Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Echeverria, Valentina; Zeitlin, Ross

    2012-07-01

    Tobacco smoking has been correlated with a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This negative correlation has been attributed to nicotine's properties. However, the undesired side-effects of nicotine and the absence of clear evidence of positive effects of this drug on the cognitive abilities of AD patients have decreased the enthusiasm for its therapeutic use. In this review, we discuss evidence showing that cotinine, the main metabolite of nicotine, has many of the beneficial effects but none of the negative side-effects of its precursor. Cotinine has been shown to be neuroprotective, to improve memory in primates as well as to prevent memory loss, and to lower amyloid-beta (Aβ)) burden in AD mice. In AD, cotinine's positive effect on memory is associated with the inhibition of Aβ aggregation, the stimulation of pro-survival factors such as Akt, and the inhibition of pro-apoptotic factors such as glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β). Because stimulation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) positively modulates these factors and memory, the involvement of these receptors in cotinine's effects are discussed. Because of its beneficial effects on brain function, good safety profile, and nonaddictive properties, cotinine may represent a new therapeutic agent against AD.

  3. Transgenic silkworms expressing human insulin receptors for evaluation of therapeutically active insulin receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yasuhiko; Ishii, Masaki; Ishii, Kenichi; Miyaguchi, Wataru; Horie, Ryo; Inagaki, Yoshinori; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Tatematsu, Ken-ichiro; Uchino, Keiro; Tamura, Toshiki; Sezutsu, Hideki; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-12-12

    We established a transgenic silkworm strain expressing the human insulin receptor (hIR) using the GAL4/UAS system. Administration of human insulin to transgenic silkworms expressing hIR decreased hemolymph sugar levels and facilitated Akt phosphorylation in the fat body. The decrease in hemolymph sugar levels induced by injection of human insulin in the transgenic silkworms expressing hIR was blocked by co-injection of wortmannin, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor. Administration of bovine insulin, an hIR ligand, also effectively decreased sugar levels in the transgenic silkworms. These findings indicate that functional hIRs that respond to human insulin were successfully induced in the transgenic silkworms. We propose that the humanized silkworm expressing hIR is useful for in vivo evaluation of the therapeutic activities of insulin receptor agonists.

  4. The NMDA receptor complex: a long and winding road to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Wood, Paul L

    2005-03-01

    Advances in our basic understanding of inhibitory and excitatory amino acid neurotransmission have provided the foundation for directed drug discovery programs to modulate inhibitory GABAergic and excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated synapses. Gamma-Amino butyric acid (GABA(A)) and NMDA receptors are complex ion channels formed by multiple protein subunits that act as binding sites for transmitter amino acids and as allosteric regulatory binding sites to regulate ion channel activity. In the case of the NMDA receptor complex, one such allosteric site binds the obligatory glycine and/or d-serine co-agonist. Historical data from preclinical and clinical studies of GABAergic agents have clearly demonstrated that direct receptor modulators lack sufficient therapeutic indices to warrant clinical utility. However, pharmacological modulation of allosteric sites of the GABA multimeric receptor has resulted in the clinical development of safe and efficacious agents, exemplified by the benzodiazepines. Research has also revealed a similar outcome for the NMDA receptor, with allosteric modulators demonstrating improved safety profiles in the modulation of excitatory amino acid (EAA) transmission compared with direct NMDA receptor antagonists. First-generation EAA drugs were low affinity channel blockers of the NMDA multimeric receptor complex and included the anesthetic agent ketamine and the Alzheimer's drug memantine. As predicted by preclinical studies, direct NMDA receptor antagonists (eg, selfotel (Novartis AG) and high-affinity channel blockers (eg, dizocilpine) failed in the clinic as a result of narrow therapeutic indices. More recent efforts have focused on glycine/d-serine co-agonist function. These approaches include partial glycine agonists, in their agonist dose-range, for cognitive improvement and for treating schizophrenia. Such partial glycine agonists are also being advanced for the treatment of neuropathic pain in the antagonist dose

  5. Heteroreceptors Modulating CGRP Release at Neurovascular Junction: Potential Therapeutic Implications on Some Vascular-Related Diseases.

    PubMed

    González-Hernández, Abimael; Marichal-Cancino, Bruno A; Lozano-Cuenca, Jair; López-Canales, Jorge S; Muñoz-Islas, Enriqueta; Ramírez-Rosas, Martha B; Villalón, Carlos M

    2016-01-01

    Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37-amino-acid neuropeptide belonging to the calcitonin gene peptide superfamily. CGRP is a potent vasodilator with potential therapeutic usefulness for treating vascular-related disease. This peptide is primarily located on C- and Aδ-fibers, which have extensive perivascular presence and a dual sensory-efferent function. Although CGRP has two major isoforms (α-CGRP and β-CGRP), the α-CGRP is the isoform related to vascular actions. Release of CGRP from afferent perivascular nerve terminals has been shown to result in vasodilatation, an effect mediated by at least one receptor (the CGRP receptor). This receptor is an atypical G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) composed of three functional proteins: (i) the calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR; a seven-transmembrane protein), (ii) the activity-modifying protein type 1 (RAMP1), and (iii) a receptor component protein (RCP). Although under physiological conditions, CGRP seems not to play an important role in vascular tone regulation, this peptide has been strongly related as a key player in migraine and other vascular-related disorders (e.g., hypertension and preeclampsia). The present review aims at providing an overview on the role of sensory fibers and CGRP release on the modulation of vascular tone.

  6. Heteroreceptors Modulating CGRP Release at Neurovascular Junction: Potential Therapeutic Implications on Some Vascular-Related Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Marichal-Cancino, Bruno A.; Lozano-Cuenca, Jair; López-Canales, Jorge S.; Muñoz-Islas, Enriqueta; Ramírez-Rosas, Martha B.; Villalón, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37-amino-acid neuropeptide belonging to the calcitonin gene peptide superfamily. CGRP is a potent vasodilator with potential therapeutic usefulness for treating vascular-related disease. This peptide is primarily located on C- and Aδ-fibers, which have extensive perivascular presence and a dual sensory-efferent function. Although CGRP has two major isoforms (α-CGRP and β-CGRP), the α-CGRP is the isoform related to vascular actions. Release of CGRP from afferent perivascular nerve terminals has been shown to result in vasodilatation, an effect mediated by at least one receptor (the CGRP receptor). This receptor is an atypical G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) composed of three functional proteins: (i) the calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR; a seven-transmembrane protein), (ii) the activity-modifying protein type 1 (RAMP1), and (iii) a receptor component protein (RCP). Although under physiological conditions, CGRP seems not to play an important role in vascular tone regulation, this peptide has been strongly related as a key player in migraine and other vascular-related disorders (e.g., hypertension and preeclampsia). The present review aims at providing an overview on the role of sensory fibers and CGRP release on the modulation of vascular tone. PMID:28116293

  7. Cardiovascular calcifications in chronic kidney disease: Potential therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Bover, Jordi; Ureña-Torres, Pablo; Górriz, José Luis; Lloret, María Jesús; da Silva, Iara; Ruiz-García, César; Chang, Pamela; Rodríguez, Mariano; Ballarín, José

    Cardiovascular (CV) calcification is a highly prevalent condition at all stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is directly associated with increased CV and global morbidity and mortality. In the first part of this review, we have shown that CV calcifications represent an important part of the CKD-MBD complex and are a superior predictor of clinical outcomes in our patients. However, it is also necessary to demonstrate that CV calcification is a modifiable risk factor including the possibility of decreasing (or at least not aggravating) its progression with iatrogenic manoeuvres. Although, strictly speaking, only circumstantial evidence is available, it is known that certain drugs may modify the progression of CV calcifications, even though a direct causal link with improved survival has not been demonstrated. For example, non-calcium-based phosphate binders demonstrated the ability to attenuate the progression of CV calcification compared with the liberal use of calcium-based phosphate binders in several randomised clinical trials. Moreover, although only in experimental conditions, selective activators of the vitamin D receptor seem to have a wider therapeutic margin against CV calcification. Finally, calcimimetics seem to attenuate the progression of CV calcification in dialysis patients. While new therapeutic strategies are being developed (i.e. vitamin K, SNF472, etc.), we suggest that the evaluation of CV calcifications could be a diagnostic tool used by nephrologists to personalise their therapeutic decisions.

  8. The neural androgen receptor: a therapeutic target for myelin repair in chronic demyelination.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Rashad; Ghoumari, Abdel M; Bielecki, Bartosz; Steibel, Jérôme; Boehm, Nelly; Liere, Philippe; Macklin, Wendy B; Kumar, Narender; Habert, René; Mhaouty-Kodja, Sakina; Tronche, François; Sitruk-Ware, Regine; Schumacher, Michael; Ghandour, M Said

    2013-01-01

    Myelin regeneration is a major therapeutic goal in demyelinating diseases, and the failure to remyelinate rapidly has profound consequences for the health of axons and for brain function. However, there is no efficient treatment for stimulating myelin repair, and current therapies are limited to anti-inflammatory agents. Males are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis than females, but often have a more severe disease course and reach disability milestones at an earlier age than females, and these observations have spurred interest in the potential protective effects of androgens. Here, we demonstrate that testosterone treatment efficiently stimulates the formation of new myelin and reverses myelin damage in chronic demyelinated brain lesions, resulting from the long-term administration of cuprizone, which is toxic for oligodendrocytes. In addition to the strong effect of testosterone on myelin repair, the number of activated astrocytes and microglial cells returned to low control levels, indicating a reduction of neuroinflammatory responses. We also identify the neural androgen receptor as a novel therapeutic target for myelin recovery. After the acute demyelination of cerebellar slices in organotypic culture, the remyelinating actions of testosterone could be mimicked by 5α-dihydrotestosterone, a metabolite that is not converted to oestrogens, and blocked by the androgen receptor antagonist flutamide. Testosterone treatment also failed to promote remyelination after chronic cuprizone-induced demyelination in mice with a non-functional androgen receptor. Importantly, testosterone did not stimulate the formation of new myelin sheaths after specific knockout of the androgen receptor in neurons and macroglial cells. Thus, the neural brain androgen receptor is required for the remyelination effect of testosterone, whereas the presence of the receptor in microglia and in peripheral tissues is not sufficient to enhance remyelination. The potent synthetic

  9. Cannabinoid receptor 2: potential role in immunomodulation and neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Rom, Slava; Persidsky, Yuri

    2013-06-01

    An accumulating body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB(1), CB(2)) play a significant role in physiologic and pathologic processes, including cognitive and immune functions. While the addictive properties of marijuana, an extract from the Cannabis plant, are well recognized, there is growing appreciation of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in multiple pathologic conditions involving chronic inflammation (inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, HIV-1 infection, stroke, Alzheimer's disease to name a few), mainly mediated by CB(2) activation. Development of CB(2) agonists as therapeutic agents has been hampered by the complexity of their intracellular signaling, relative paucity of highly selective compounds and insufficient data regarding end effects in the target cells and organs. This review attempts to summarize recent advances in studies of CB(2) activation in the setting of neuroinflammation, immunomodulation and HIV-1 infection.

  10. Orexin Receptor Antagonists: New Therapeutic Agents for the Treatment of Insomnia.

    PubMed

    Roecker, Anthony J; Cox, Christopher D; Coleman, Paul J

    2016-01-28

    Since its discovery in 1998, the orexin system, composed of two G-protein coupled receptors, orexins 1 and 2, and two neuropeptide agonists, orexins A and B, has captured the attention of the scientific community as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity, anxiety, and sleep/wake disorders. Genetic evidence in rodents, dogs, and humans was revealed between 1999 and 2000, demonstrating a causal link between dysfunction or deletion of the orexin system and narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by hypersomnolence during normal wakefulness. These findings encouraged efforts to discover agonists to treat narcolepsy and, alternatively, antagonists to treat insomnia. This perspective will focus on the discovery and development of structurally diverse orexin antagonists suitable for preclinical pharmacology studies and human clinical trials. The work described herein culminated in the 2014 FDA approval of suvorexant as a first-in-class dual orexin receptor antagonist for the treatment of insomnia.

  11. The Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids for Movement Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kluger, Benzi; Triolo, Piera; Jones, Wallace; Jankovic, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Background There is growing interest in the therapeutic potential of marijuana (cannabis) and cannabinoid-based chemicals within the medical community and particularly for neurologic conditions. This interest is driven both by changes in the legal status of cannabis in many areas and increasing research into the roles of endocannabinoids within the central nervous system and their potential as symptomatic and/or neuroprotective therapies. We review basic science, preclinical and clinical studies on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids specifically as it relates to movement disorders. Results The pharmacology of cannabis is complex with over 60 neuroactive chemicals identified to date. The endocannabinoid system modulates neurotransmission involved in motor function, particularly within the basal ganglia. Preclinical research in animal models of several movement disorders have shown variable evidence for symptomatic benefits but more consistently suggest potential neuroprotective effects in several animal models of Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). Clinical observations and clinical trials of cannabinoid-based therapies suggests a possible benefit of cannabinoids for tics and probably no benefit for tremor in multiple sclerosis or dyskinesias or motor symptoms in PD. Data are insufficient to draw conclusions regarding HD, dystonia or ataxia and nonexistent for myoclonus or restless legs syndrome. Conclusions Despite the widespread publicity about the medical benefits of cannabinoids, further preclinical and clinical research is needed to better characterize the pharmacological, physiological and therapeutic effects of this class of drugs in movement disorders. PMID:25649017

  12. The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for movement disorders.

    PubMed

    Kluger, Benzi; Triolo, Piera; Jones, Wallace; Jankovic, Joseph

    2015-03-01

    There is growing interest in the therapeutic potential of marijuana (cannabis) and cannabinoid-based chemicals within the medical community and, particularly, for neurological conditions. This interest is driven both by changes in the legal status of cannabis in many areas and increasing research into the roles of endocannabinoids within the central nervous system and their potential as symptomatic and/or neuroprotective therapies. We review basic science as well as preclinical and clinical studies on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids specifically as it relates to movement disorders. The pharmacology of cannabis is complex, with over 60 neuroactive chemicals identified to date. The endocannabinoid system modulates neurotransmission involved in motor function, particularly within the basal ganglia. Preclinical research in animal models of several movement disorders have shown variable evidence for symptomatic benefits, but more consistently suggest potential neuroprotective effects in several animal models of Parkinson's (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). Clinical observations and clinical trials of cannabinoid-based therapies suggests a possible benefit of cannabinoids for tics and probably no benefit for tremor in multiple sclerosis or dyskinesias or motor symptoms in PD. Data are insufficient to draw conclusions regarding HD, dystonia, or ataxia and nonexistent for myoclonus or RLS. Despite the widespread publicity about the medical benefits of cannabinoids, further preclinical and clinical research is needed to better characterize the pharmacological, physiological, and therapeutic effects of this class of drugs in movement disorders.

  13. Application potential of toll-like receptors in cancer immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Ming; Chen, Xi; Ye, Kangruo; Yao, Yuanfei; Li, Yu

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Toll-like receptors (TLRs), as the most important pattern recognition receptors in innate immunity, play a pivotal role in inducing immune response through recognition of microbial invaders or specific agonists. Recent studies have suggested that TLRs could serve as important regulators in the development of a variety of cancer. However, increasing evidences have shown that TLRs may display quite opposite outcomes in cancer development. Although several potential therapeutic Toll-like receptor ligands have been found, the mechanism and therapy prospect of TLRs in cancer development has to be further elucidated to accelerate the clinical application. By performing a systematic review of the present findings on TLRs in cancer immunology, we attempted to evaluate the therapeutic potential of TLRs in cancer therapy and elucidate the potential mechanism of cancer progress regulated by TLR signaling and the reported targets on TLRs for clinical application. An electronic databases search was conducted in PubMed, Chinese Scientific Journal Database, and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database from their inception to February 1, 2016. The following keywords were used to search the databases: Toll-like receptors, cancer therapy, therapeutic target, innate immunity. Of 244 studies that were identified, 97 nonrelevant studies were excluded. In total, 147 full-text articles were assessed, and from these, 54 were excluded as they did not provide complete key information. Thus, 93 studies were considered eligible and included in the analysis. According to the data from the included trials, 14 TLR ligands (77.8%) from 82 studies have been demonstrated to display antitumor property in various cancers, whereas 4 ligands (22.2%) from 11 studies promote tumors. Among them, only 3 TLR ligands have been approved for cancer therapy, and 9 ligands were in clinical trials. In addition, the potential mechanism of recently reported targets on TLRs for clinical application was also

  14. Mesenchymal stem cell subpopulations: phenotype, property and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Mo, Miaohua; Wang, Shan; Zhou, Ying; Li, Hong; Wu, Yaojiong

    2016-09-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are capable of differentiating into cells of multiple cell lineages and have potent paracrine effects. Due to their easy preparation and low immunogenicity, MSC have emerged as an extremely promising therapeutic agent in regenerative medicine for diverse diseases. However, MSC are heterogeneous with respect to phenotype and function in current isolation and cultivation regimes, which often lead to incomparable experimental results. In addition, there may be specific stem cell subpopulations with definite differentiation capacity toward certain lineages in addition to stem cells with multi-differentiation potential. Recent studies have identified several subsets of MSC which exhibit distinct features and biological activities, and enhanced therapeutic potentials for certain diseases. In this review, we give an overview of these subsets for their phenotypic, biological and functional properties.

  15. Therapeutic potential of selenium and tellurium compounds: opportunities yet unrealised.

    PubMed

    Tiekink, Edward R T

    2012-06-07

    Despite being disparaged for their malodorous and toxic demeanour, compounds of selenium, a bio-essential element, and tellurium, offer possibilities as therapeutic agents. Herein, their potential use as drugs, for example, as anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory agents, etc., will be surveyed along with a summary of the established biological functions of selenium. The natural biological functions of tellurium remain to be discovered.

  16. The pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (−)-huperzine A

    PubMed Central

    Tun, Maung Kyaw Moe; Herzon, Seth B

    2012-01-01

    (−)-Huperzine A (1) is an alkaloid isolated from a Chinese club moss. Due to its potent neuroprotective activities, it has been investigated as a candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. In this review, we will discuss the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of (−)-huperzine A (1). Synthetic studies of (−)-huperzine A (1) aimed at enabling its development as a pharmaceutical will be described. PMID:27186124

  17. Latest advances in novel cannabinoid CB(2) ligands for drug abuse and their therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Yang, Peng; Wang, Lirong; Xie, Xiang-Qun

    2012-02-01

    The field of cannabinoid (CB) drug research is experiencing a challenge as the CB(1) antagonist Rimonabant, launched in 2006 as an anorectic/anti-obesity drug, was withdrawn from the European market due to the complications of suicide and depression as side effects. There is interest in developing CB(2) drugs without CB(1) psychotropic side effects for drug-abuse treatment and therapeutic medication. The CB(1) receptor was discovered predominantly in the brain, whereas the CB(2) is mainly expressed in peripheral cells and tissues, and is involved in immune signal transduction. Conversely, the CB(2) receptor was recently detected in the CNS, for example, in the microglial cells and the neurons. While the CB(2) neurons activity remains controversial, the CB(2) receptor is an attractive therapeutic target for neuropathic pain, immune system, cancer and osteoporosis without psychoactivity. This review addresses CB drug abuse and therapeutic potential with a focus on the most recent advances on new CB(2) ligands from the literature as well as patents.

  18. Steroid hormone receptors in cancer development: a target for cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Nihal; Kumar, Raj

    2011-01-01

    The steroid hormone receptors (SHRs) are ligand-dependent intracellular transcription factors that are known to influence the development and growth of many human cancers. SHRs pass signals from a steroid/hormone to the target genes by interacting with specific response element DNA sequences and various coregulatory proteins that consists of activators and/or corepressors. Disruptions in physiological functions of SHRs leads to several types of malignancies such as breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer among others. Steroids/hormones/SHRs and their coregulators have opened up a unique window for novel steroid-based targeted therapies for cancer. Thus, dysregulation of SHR signaling in cancers compared with normal tissues can be exploited to target drugs that prevent and treat human cancers. In recent years, hormonal therapy has made a major contribution to the treatment of several cancers including reduced recurrence rates and longer survival rates. Development of various steroid receptor modulators and their potential therapeutic efficacies has provided us a great opportunity to effectively manage diseases like cancer in future. In this review article, we have summarized up-to-date knowledge of the role of SHRs in the development and progression of cancers, and potential endocrine-based therapeutic approaches to tackle these diseases.

  19. 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

  20. Potential therapeutic value of TRPV1 and TRPA1 in diabetes mellitus and obesity.

    PubMed

    Derbenev, Andrei V; Zsombok, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    Diabetes mellitus and obesity, which is a major risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, have reached epidemic proportions worldwide including the USA. The current statistics and forecasts, both short- and long-term, are alarming and predict severe problems in the near future. Therefore, there is a race for developing new compounds, discovering new receptors, or finding alternative solutions to prevent and/or treat the symptoms and complications related to obesity and diabetes mellitus. It is well demonstrated that members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily play a crucial role in a variety of biological functions both in health and disease. In the recent years, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) were shown to have beneficial effects on whole body metabolism including glucose homeostasis. TRPV1 and TRPA1 have been associated with control of weight, pancreatic function, hormone secretion, thermogenesis, and neuronal function, which suggest a potential therapeutic value of these channels. This review summarizes recent findings regarding TRPV1 and TRPA1 in association with whole body metabolism with emphasis on obese and diabetic conditions.

  1. Sigma-1 receptor ligands: potential in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Teruo; Su, Tsung-Ping

    2004-01-01

    The sigma receptor was originally proposed to be a subtype of the opioid receptor. However, it is now clear that sigma receptors are unique non-opioid, non-phencyclidine brain proteins. Two types of sigma receptor exist, the sigma-1 receptor and the sigma-2 receptor. sigma-1 receptors have been cloned and their distribution, physiological functions and roles in signal transduction were recently characterised. Certain sex hormones in the brain (neurosteroids) are known to interact with sigma-1 receptors. sigma-1 receptors regulate glutamate NMDA receptor function and the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. They are thus proposed to be involved in learning and memory as well as in certain neuropsychiatric disorders. Selective sigma-1 receptor ligands have been suggested to represent a new class of therapeutic agents for neuropsychiatric disorders, although none have yet been introduced into therapeutic use. Early studies showed that psychotomimetic benzomorphans, as well as several antipsychotics, can bind to sigma-1 receptors. As a result of these findings, sigma-1 receptor ligands have been proposed as being of potential use in the treatment of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, the relationship of sigma-1 receptors to the underlying pathogenesis of schizophrenia is still unclear. sigma-1 receptor ligands have failed to improve acute psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia in clinical trials, but, interestingly, a few studies have shown an improvement in negative symptoms in schizophrenic patients. A number of preclinical studies have shown that selective agonists of sigma-1 receptors affect higher-ordered brain functions such as learning and memory, cognition and mood. These studies indicate that sigma-1 receptor agonists may exert therapeutic effects in depression and senile dementia. Indeed, the sigma-1 receptor agonist igmesine, has been shown to improve depression in a clinical trial. The most distinctive feature of the action of sigma-1 receptor ligands is

  2. Identification of the Kappa-Opioid Receptor as a Therapeutic Target for Oligodendrocyte Remyelination

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Feng; Mayoral, Sonia R.; Nobuta, Hiroko; Wang, Fei; Desponts, Caroline; Lorrain, Daniel S.; Xiao, Lan; Green, Ari J.; Rowitch, David; Whistler, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Remyelinating therapies seek to promote restoration of function and normal cellular architecture following demyelination in diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Functional screening for small molecules or novel targets for remyelination is a major hurdle to the identification and development of rational therapeutics for MS. Recent findings and technical advances provide us with a unique opportunity to provide insight into the cell autonomous mechanisms for remyelination and address this unmet need. Upon screening a G-protein-coupled receptor small-molecule library, we report the identification of a cluster of κ-opioid receptor (KOR) agonists that significantly promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. KOR agonists were validated in purified rat oligodendroglial cultures, and the (±)U-50488 compound proved to be most effective for differentiation. (±)U-50488 treatment significantly enhances differentiation and myelination in purified oligodendroglial cocultures and greatly accelerates the kinetics of remyelination in vivo after focal demyelination with lysolecithin. The effect of (±)U-50488 is attenuated by KOR antagonists and completely abolished in KOR-null oligodendroglia. Conditional deletion of KOR in murine oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) greatly inhibits remyelination after focal demyelination lacking any response to (±)U-50488 treatment. To determine whether agonism of KOR represents a feasible therapeutic approach, human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived OPCs were treated with (±)U-50488. Consistent with findings, differentiation of human OPCs into mature oligodendrocytes was significantly enhanced. Together, KOR is a therapeutic target to consider for future remyelination therapy. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Remyelination represents a promising strategy to achieve functional recovery in demyelinating diseases, like MS. Thus, identification of potent compounds and targets that promote remyelination represents a critically

  3. The therapeutic potential of RORγ modulators in the treatment of human disease

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Mi Ra; Goswami, Devrishi; Mercer, Becky A; Griffin, Patrick R

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NR) are ligand-regulated transcription factors that bind DNA in proximity to their target genes and exert their effects as a result of binding by small molecule ligands such as sterols, lipids, fatty acids, retinoids, and steroid hormones. The retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptors or RORs (NR1F1–NR1F3) are nuclear receptors that regulate multiple cellular processes, including metabolism, cellular differentiation, and apoptosis, in a range of tissues and organs. These receptors bind as monomers to ROR response elements commonly called ROREs present in promoter regions of target genes and tether chromatin remodeling enzymes, facilitating recruitment of transcription machinery. Several recent reports have highlighted the potential role for RORs in human disease, and more importantly, studies have demonstrated that these receptors can be modulated by exogenous synthetic ligands, paving the way for development of novel therapeutics. Here we review the current status of synthetic ligand development as well as the structural aspects governing modulation of ROR signaling pathways as they relate to metabolic diseases and autoimmune disorders. PMID:27186126

  4. Cannabinoids in medicine: A review of their therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Ben Amar, Mohamed

    2006-04-21

    In order to assess the current knowledge on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, a meta-analysis was performed through Medline and PubMed up to July 1, 2005. The key words used were cannabis, marijuana, marihuana, hashish, hashich, haschich, cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, dronabinol, nabilone, levonantradol, randomised, randomized, double-blind, simple blind, placebo-controlled, and human. The research also included the reports and reviews published in English, French and Spanish. For the final selection, only properly controlled clinical trials were retained, thus open-label studies were excluded. Seventy-two controlled studies evaluating the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids were identified. For each clinical trial, the country where the project was held, the number of patients assessed, the type of study and comparisons done, the products and the dosages used, their efficacy and their adverse effects are described. Cannabinoids present an interesting therapeutic potential as antiemetics, appetite stimulants in debilitating diseases (cancer and AIDS), analgesics, and in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy and glaucoma.

  5. COGNITION AS A THERAPEUTIC TARGET IN LATE-LIFE DEPRESSION: POTENTIAL FOR NICOTINIC THERAPEUTICS

    PubMed Central

    Zurkovsky, Lilia; Taylor, Warren D.; Newhouse, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is associated with impairments to cognition and brain function at any age, but such impairments in the elderly are particularly problematic because of the additional burden of normal cognitive aging and in some cases, structural brain pathology. Individuals with late-life depression exhibit impairments in cognition and brain structural integrity, alongside mood dysfunction. Antidepressant treatment improves symptoms in some but not all patients, and those who benefit may not return to the cognitive and functional level of nondepressed elderly. Thus, for comprehensive treatment of late-life depression, it may be necessary to address both the affective and cognitive deficits. In this review, we propose a model for the treatment of late-life depression in which nicotinic stimulation is used to improve cognitive performance and improve the efficacy of an antidepressant treatment of the syndrome of late-life depression. The cholinergic system is well-established as important to cognition. Although muscarinic stimulation may exacerbate depressive symptoms, nicotinic stimulation may improve cognition and neural functioning without a detriment to mood. While some studies of nicotinic subtype specific receptor agonists have shown promise in improving cognitive performance, less is known regarding how nicotinic receptor stimulation affects cognition in depressed elderly patients. Late-life depression thus represents a new therapeutic target for the development of nicotinic agonist drugs and parallel treatment of cognitive dysfunction along with medical and psychological approaches to treating mood dysfunction may be necessary to ensure full resolution of depressive illness in aging. PMID:23933385

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

    PubMed Central

    El husseny, Mostafa Wanees Ahmed; Mamdouh, Mediana; Shaban, Sara; Zaki, Marwa Mostafa Mohamed; Ahmed, Osama M.

    2017-01-01

    Adipokines are bioactive molecules that regulate several physiological functions such as energy balance, insulin sensitization, appetite regulation, inflammatory response, and vascular homeostasis. They include proinflammatory cytokines such as adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (A-FABP) and anti-inflammatory cytokines such as adiponectin, as well as vasodilator and vasoconstrictor molecules. In obesity and type II diabetes mellitus (DM), insulin resistance causes impairment of the endocrine function of the perivascular adipose tissue, an imbalance in the secretion of vasoconstrictor and vasodilator molecules, and an increased production of reactive oxygen species. Recent studies have shown that targeting plasma levels of adipokines or the expression of their receptors can increase insulin sensitivity, improve vascular function, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Several reviews have discussed the potential of adipokines as therapeutic targets for type II DM and obesity; however, this review is the first to focus on their therapeutic potential for vascular dysfunction in type II DM and obesity. PMID:28286779

  7. Immunohistochemical detection of a potential molecular therapeutic target for canine hemangiosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    ADACHI, Mami; HOSHINO, Yuki; IZUMI, Yusuke; TAKAGI, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Canine hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a progressive malignant neoplasm of dogs for which there is currently no effective treatment. A recent study suggested that receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), the PI3K/Akt/m-TOR and MAPK pathways are all activated in canine and human HSA. The aim of the present study was to investigate the overexpression of these proteins by immunohistochemistry in canine splenic HSA to identify potential molecular therapeutic targets. A total of 10 splenic HSAs and two normal splenic samples surgically resected from dogs were sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histological diagnosis or analyzed using immunohistochemistry. The expression of RTKs, c-kit, VEGFR-2 and PDGFR-2, as well as PI3K/Akt/m-TOR and MEK was higher in canine splenic HSAs compared to normal spleens. These proteins may therefore be potential therapeutic targets in canine splenic HSA. PMID:26685984

  8. Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Campos, Alline Cristina; Moreira, Fabricio Araújo; Gomes, Felipe Villela; Del Bel, Elaine Aparecida; Guimarães, Francisco Silveira

    2012-12-05

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant. It lacks the psychotomimetic and other psychotropic effects that the main plant compound Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being able, on the contrary, to antagonize these effects. This property, together with its safety profile, was an initial stimulus for the investigation of CBD pharmacological properties. It is now clear that CBD has therapeutic potential over a wide range of non-psychiatric and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and psychosis. Although the pharmacological effects of CBD in different biological systems have been extensively investigated by in vitro studies, the mechanisms responsible for its therapeutic potential are still not clear. Here, we review recent in vivo studies indicating that these mechanisms are not unitary but rather depend on the behavioural response being measured. Acute anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects seem to rely mainly on facilitation of 5-HT1A-mediated neurotransmission in key brain areas related to defensive responses, including the dorsal periaqueductal grey, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and medial prefrontal cortex. Other effects, such as anti-compulsive, increased extinction and impaired reconsolidation of aversive memories, and facilitation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis could depend on potentiation of anandamide-mediated neurotransmission. Finally, activation of TRPV1 channels may help us to explain the antipsychotic effect and the bell-shaped dose-response curves commonly observed with CBD. Considering its safety profile and wide range of therapeutic potential, however, further studies are needed to investigate the involvement of other possible mechanisms (e.g. inhibition of adenosine uptake, inverse agonism at CB2 receptor, CB1 receptor antagonism, GPR55 antagonism, PPARγ receptors agonism, intracellular (Ca(2+)) increase, etc.), on CBD behavioural effects.

  9. miRNA therapeutics: a new class of drugs with potential therapeutic applications in the heart.

    PubMed

    Bernardo, Bianca C; Ooi, Jenny Y Y; Lin, Ruby C Y; McMullen, Julie R

    2015-01-01

    miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), which regulate gene expression. Here, the authors describe the contribution of miRNAs to cardiac biology and disease. They discuss various strategies for manipulating miRNA activity including antisense oligonucleotides (antimiRs, blockmiRs), mimics, miRNA sponges, Tough Decoys and miRNA mowers. They review developments in chemistries (e.g., locked nucleic acid) and modifications (sugar, 'ZEN', peptide nucleic acids) and miRNA delivery tools (viral vectors, liposomes, nanoparticles, pHLIP). They summarize potential miRNA therapeutic targets for heart disease based on preclinical studies. Finally, the authors review current progress of miRNA therapeutics in clinical development for HCV and cancer, and discuss challenges that will need to be overcome for similar therapies to enter the clinic for patients with cardiac disease.

  10. Phosphorylation events during viral infections provide potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Keating, Julie A.; Striker, Rob

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY For many medically relevant viruses, there is now considerable evidence that both viral and cellular kinases play important roles in viral infection. Ultimately, these kinases, and the cellular signaling pathways that they exploit, may serve as therapeutic targets for treating patients. Currently, small molecule inhibitors of kinases are under investigation as therapy for herpes viral infections. Additionally, a number of cellular or host-directed tyrosine kinase inhibitors that have been previously FDA-approved for cancer treatment are under study in animal models and clinical trials, as they have shown promise for the treatment of various viral infections as well. This review will highlight the wide range of viral proteins phosphorylated by viral and cellular kinases, and the potential for variability of kinase recognition sites within viral substrates to impact phosphorylation and kinase prediction. Research studying kinase-targeting prophylactic and therapeutic treatments for a number of viral infections will also be discussed. PMID:22113983

  11. Potential therapeutic applications of hyaluronan in the lung

    PubMed Central

    Cantor, Jerome O

    2007-01-01

    Hyaluronan (HA), a long-chain polysaccharide, is currently being evaluated as a potential therapeutic agent for a number of inflammatory disorders. The effect of HA on inflammation appears to be related to its molecular size, with larger polysaccharide chains having anti-inflammatory activity and smaller ones having proinflammatory properties. This dichotomous behavior is particularly relevant to the work of our laboratory on an aerosolized preparation of HA to treat pulmonary emphysema. The breakdown of inhaled HA into smaller fragments could possibly induce an inflammatory reaction in the lung that counteracts any beneficial effect. Consequently, the proposed therapeutic use of HA will require development of treatment strategies aimed at minimizing its proinflammatory activity. PMID:18229566

  12. Potential therapeutic benefits of strategies directed to mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Camara, Amadou K S; Lesnefsky, Edward J; Stowe, David F

    2010-08-01

    The mitochondrion is the most important organelle in determining continued cell survival and cell death. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to many human maladies, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. These mitochondria-related pathologies range from early infancy to senescence. The central premise of this review is that if mitochondrial abnormalities contribute to the pathological state, alleviating the mitochondrial dysfunction would contribute to attenuating the severity or progression of the disease. Therefore, this review will examine the role of mitochondria in the etiology and progression of several diseases and explore potential therapeutic benefits of targeting mitochondria in mitigating the disease processes. Indeed, recent advances in mitochondrial biology have led to selective targeting of drugs designed to modulate and manipulate mitochondrial function and genomics for therapeutic benefit. These approaches to treat mitochondrial dysfunction rationally could lead to selective protection of cells in different tissues and various disease states. However, most of these approaches are in their infancy.

  13. Therapeutic potential of mGluR5 targeting in Alzheimer's disease

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anil; Dhull, Dinesh K.; Mishra, Pooja S.

    2015-01-01

    Decades of research dedicated toward Alzheimer's disease (AD) has culminated in much of the current understanding of the neurodegeneration associated with disease. However, delineating the pathophysiology and finding a possible cure for the disease is still wanting. This is in part due to the lack of knowledge pertaining to the connecting link between neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory pathways. Consequently, the inefficacy and ill-effects of the drugs currently available for AD encourage the need for alternative and safe therapeutic intervention. In this review we highlight the potential of mGluR5, a metabotropic glutamatergic receptor, in understanding the mechanism underlying the neuronal death and neuroinflammation in AD. We also discuss the role of mGlu5 receptor in mediating the neuron-glia interaction in the disease. Finally, we discuss the potential of mGluR5 as target for treating AD. PMID:26106290

  14. P2Y nucleotide receptors: Promise of therapeutic applications

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Kenneth A.; Boeynaems, Jean-Marie

    2010-01-01

    Extracellular nucleotides, such as ATP and UTP, have distinct signaling roles through a class of G protein-coupled receptors, termed P2Y. However, the receptor ligands are typically charged molecules of low bioavailability and stability in vivo. Recent progress in the development of selective agonists and antagonists for P2Y receptors and study of knockout mice have led to new drug concepts based on these receptors. The rapidly accelerating progress in this field has already resulted in drug candidates for cystic fibrosis, dry eye disease, and thrombosis. On the horizon are novel treatments of cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegeneration. PMID:20594935

  15. Oxytocin and Vasopressin Agonists and Antagonists as Research Tools and Potential Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Manning, M; Misicka, A; Olma, A; Bankowski, K; Stoev, S; Chini, B; Durroux, T; Mouillac, B; Corbani, M; Guillon, G

    2012-01-01

    We recently reviewed the status of peptide and nonpeptide agonists and antagonists for the V1a, V1b and V2 receptors for arginine vasopressin (AVP) and the oxytocin receptor for oxytocin (OT). In the present review, we update the status of peptides and nonpeptides as: (i) research tools and (ii) therapeutic agents. We also present our recent findings on the design of fluorescent ligands for V1b receptor localisation and for OT receptor dimerisation. We note the exciting discoveries regarding two novel naturally occurring analogues of OT. Recent reports of a selective VP V1a agonist and a selective OT agonist point to the continued therapeutic potential of peptides in this field. To date, only two nonpeptides, the V2/V1a antagonist, conivaptan and the V2 antagonist tolvaptan have received Food and Drug Administration approval for clinical use. The development of nonpeptide AVP V1a, V1b and V2 antagonists and OT agonists and antagonists has recently been abandoned by Merck, Sanofi and Pfizer. A promising OT antagonist, Retosiban, developed at Glaxo SmithKline is currently in a Phase II clinical trial for the prevention of premature labour. A number of the nonpeptide ligands that were not successful in clinical trials are proving to be valuable as research tools. Peptide agonists and antagonists continue to be very widely used as research tools in this field. In this regard, we present receptor data on some of the most widely used peptide and nonpeptide ligands, as a guide for their use, especially with regard to receptor selectivity and species differences. PMID:22375852

  16. Electrophysiological perspectives on the therapeutic use of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Papke, Roger L; Trocmé-Thibierge, Caryn; Guendisch, Daniela; Al Rubaiy, Shehd Abdullah Abbas; Bloom, Stephen A

    2011-05-01

    Partial agonist therapies rely variously on two hypotheses: the partial agonists have their effects through chronic low-level receptor activation or the partial agonists work by decreasing the effects of endogenous or exogenous full agonists. The relative significance of these activities probably depends on whether acute or chronic effects are considered. We studied nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes to test a model for the acute interactions between acetylcholine (ACh) and weak partial agonists. Data were best-fit to a basic competition model that included an additional factor for noncompetitive inhibition. Partial agonist effects were compared with the nAChR antagonist bupropion in prolonged bath application experiments that were designed to mimic prolonged drug exposure typical of therapeutic drug delivery. A primary effect of prolonged application of nicotine was to decrease the response of all nAChR subtypes to acute applications of ACh. In addition, nicotine, cytisine, and varenicline produced detectable steady-state activation of α4β2* [(α4)(2)(β2)(3), (α4)(3)(β2)(2), and (α4)(2)(β2)(2)α5)] receptor subtypes that was not seen with other test compounds. Partial agonists produced no detectable steady-state activation of α7 nAChR, but seemed to show small potentiation of ACh-evoked responses; however, "run-up" of α7 ACh responses was also sometimes observed under control conditions. Potential off-target effects of the partial agonists therefore included the modulation of α7 responses by α4β2 partial agonists and decreases in α4β2* responses by α7-selective agonists. These data indicate the dual effects expected for α4β2* partial agonists and provide models and insights for utility of partial agonists in therapeutic development.

  17. Vitamin D receptor signaling and its therapeutic implications: Genome-wide and structural view.

    PubMed

    Carlberg, Carsten; Molnár, Ferdinand

    2015-05-01

    Vitamin D3 is one of the few natural compounds that has, via its metabolite 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) and the transcription factor vitamin D receptor (VDR), a direct effect on gene regulation. For efficiently applying the therapeutic and disease-preventing potential of 1,25(OH)2D3 and its synthetic analogs, the key steps in vitamin D signaling need to be understood. These are the different types of molecular interactions with the VDR, such as (i) the complex formation of VDR with genomic DNA, (ii) the interaction of VDR with its partner transcription factors, (iii) the binding of 1,25(OH)2D3 or its synthetic analogs within the ligand-binding pocket of the VDR, and (iv) the resulting conformational change on the surface of the VDR leading to a change of the protein-protein interaction profile of the receptor with other proteins. This review will present the latest genome-wide insight into vitamin D signaling, and will discuss its therapeutic implications.

  18. Alveolar bone loss: mechanisms, potential therapeutic targets, and interventions.

    PubMed

    Intini, G; Katsuragi, Y; Kirkwood, K L; Yang, S

    2014-05-01

    This article reviews recent research into mechanisms underlying bone resorption and highlights avenues of investigation that may generate new therapies to combat alveolar bone loss in periodontitis. Several proteins, signaling pathways, stem cells, and dietary supplements are discussed as they relate to periodontal bone loss and regeneration. RGS12 is a crucial protein that mediates osteoclastogenesis and bone destruction, and a potential therapeutic target. RGS12 likely regulates osteoclast differentiation through regulating calcium influx to control the calcium oscillation-NFATc1 pathway. A working model for RGS10 and RGS12 in the regulation of Ca(2+) oscillations during osteoclast differentiation is proposed. Initiation of inflammation depends on host cell-microbe interactions, including the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Oral p38 inhibitors reduced lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced bone destruction in a rat periodontitis model but showed unsatisfactory safety profiles. The p38 substrate MK2 is a more specific therapeutic target with potentially superior tolerability. Furthermore, MKP-1 shows anti-inflammatory activity, reducing inflammatory cytokine biosynthesis and bone resorption. Multipotent skeletal stem cell (SSC) populations exist within the bone marrow and periosteum of long bones. These bone-marrow-derived SSCs and periosteum-derived SSCs have shown therapeutic potential in several applications, including bone and periodontal regeneration. The existence of craniofacial bone-specific SSCs is suggested based on existing studies. The effects of calcium, vitamin D, and soy isoflavone supplementation on alveolar and skeletal bone loss in post-menopausal women were investigated. Supplementation resulted in stabilization of forearm bone mass density and a reduced rate of alveolar bone loss over 1 yr, compared with placebo. Periodontal attachment levels were also well-maintained and alveolar bone loss suppressed during 24 wk of

  19. Therapeutic Potential of Secreted Amyloid Precursor Protein APPsα

    PubMed Central

    Mockett, Bruce G.; Richter, Max; Abraham, Wickliffe C.; Müller, Ulrike C.

    2017-01-01

    Cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by α-secretase generates an extracellularly released fragment termed secreted APP-alpha (APPsα). Not only is this process of interest due to the cleavage of APP within the amyloid-beta sequence, but APPsα itself has many physiological properties that suggest its great potential as a therapeutic target. For example, APPsα is neurotrophic, neuroprotective, neurogenic, a stimulator of protein synthesis and gene expression, and enhances long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory. While most early studies have been conducted in vitro, effectiveness in animal models is now being confirmed. These studies have revealed that either upregulating α-secretase activity, acutely administering APPsα or chronic delivery of APPsα via a gene therapy approach can effectively treat mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other disorders such as traumatic head injury. Together these findings suggest the need for intensifying research efforts to harness the therapeutic potential of this multifunctional protein. PMID:28223920

  20. Genetic determinants and potential therapeutic targets for pancreatic adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Reznik, Robert; Hendifar, Andrew E.; Tuli, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States, carrying a 5-year survival rate of approximately 5%, which is the poorest prognosis of any solid tumor type. Given the dismal prognosis associated with PDAC, a more thorough understanding of risk factors and genetic predisposition has important implications not only for cancer prevention, but also for screening techniques and the development of personalized therapies. While screening of the general population is not recommended or practicable with current diagnostic methods, studies are ongoing to evaluate its usefulness in people with at least 5- to 10-fold increased risk of PDAC. In order to help identify high-risk populations who would be most likely to benefit from early detection screening tests for pancreatic cancer, discovery of additional pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes is crucial. Thus, specific gene-based, gene-product, and marker-based testing for the early detection of pancreatic cancer are currently being developed, with the potential for these to be useful as potential therapeutic targets as well. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the genetic basis for PDAC with a focus on germline and familial determinants. A discussion of potential therapeutic targets and future directions in screening and treatment is also provided. PMID:24624093

  1. Leveraging biodiversity knowledge for potential phyto-therapeutic applications

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Vivekanand; Sarkar, Indra Neil

    2013-01-01

    Objective To identify and highlight the feasibility, challenges, and advantages of providing a cross-domain pipeline that can link relevant biodiversity information for phyto-therapeutic assessment. Materials and methods A public repository of clinical trials information (ClinicalTrials.gov) was explored to determine the state of plant-based interventions under investigation. Results The results showed that ∼15% of drug interventions in ClinicalTrials.gov were potentially plant related, with about 60% of them clustered within 10 taxonomic families. Further analysis of these plant-based interventions identified ∼3.7% of associated plant species as endangered as determined from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. Discussion The diversity of the plant kingdom has provided human civilization with life-sustaining food and medicine for centuries. There has been renewed interest in the investigation of botanicals as sources of new drugs, building on traditional knowledge about plant-based medicines. However, data about the plant-based biodiversity potential for therapeutics (eg, based on genetic or chemical information) are generally scattered across a range of sources and isolated from contemporary pharmacological resources. This study explored the potential to bridge biodiversity and biomedical knowledge sources. Conclusions The findings from this feasibility study suggest that there is an opportunity for developing plant-based drugs and further highlight taxonomic relationships between plants that may be rich sources for bioprospecting. PMID:23518859

  2. Therapeutic Potential of Transcranial Focused Ultrasound for Rett Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Shih-Jen

    2016-10-27

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder occurring almost exclusively in females and is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the majority of cases. MeCP2 is essential for the normal function of nerve cells, including neuronal development, maturation, and synaptic activity. RTT is characterized by normal early development followed by autistic-like features, slowed brain and head growth, gait abnormalities, seizures, breathing irregularities, and cognitive disabilities. Medical management in RTT remains supportive and symptomatic. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of RTT. Recent studies have shown a phenotypic reversal by increasing BDNF expression in a RTT mouse model. Thus, manipulation of BDNF expression/signaling in the brain could be therapeutic for this disease. Transcranial focused ultrasound for (tFUS) can noninvasively focally modulate human cortical function, stimulate neurogenesis, and increase BDNF in animal studies. Consequently, tFUS may be of therapeutic potential for Rett syndrome. Further evaluation of the therapeutic effects of tFUS in Mecp2 deficient animal models is needed before clinical trials can begin.

  3. Therapeutic Potential of Transcranial Focused Ultrasound for Rett Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Shih-Jen

    2016-01-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder occurring almost exclusively in females and is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the majority of cases. MeCP2 is essential for the normal function of nerve cells, including neuronal development, maturation, and synaptic activity. RTT is characterized by normal early development followed by autistic-like features, slowed brain and head growth, gait abnormalities, seizures, breathing irregularities, and cognitive disabilities. Medical management in RTT remains supportive and symptomatic. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of RTT. Recent studies have shown a phenotypic reversal by increasing BDNF expression in a RTT mouse model. Thus, manipulation of BDNF expression/signaling in the brain could be therapeutic for this disease. Transcranial focused ultrasound for (tFUS) can noninvasively focally modulate human cortical function, stimulate neurogenesis, and increase BDNF in animal studies. Consequently, tFUS may be of therapeutic potential for Rett syndrome. Further evaluation of the therapeutic effects of tFUS in Mecp2 deficient animal models is needed before clinical trials can begin. PMID:27786169

  4. Commercially available interactive video games in burn rehabilitation: therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Parry, Ingrid S; Bagley, Anita; Kawada, Jason; Sen, Soman; Greenhalgh, David G; Palmieri, Tina L

    2012-06-01

    Commercially available interactive video games (IVG) like the Nintendo Wii™ (NW) and PlayStation™II Eye Toy (PE) are increasingly used in the rehabilitation of patients with burn. Such games have gained popularity in burn rehabilitation because they encourage range of motion (ROM) while distracting from pain. However, IVGs were not originally designed for rehabilitation purposes but rather for entertainment and may lack specificity for achieving rehabilitative goals. Objectively evaluating the specific demands of IVGs in relation to common burn therapy goals will determine their true therapeutic benefit and guide their use in burn rehabilitation. Upper extremity (UE) motion of 24 normal children was measured using 3D motion analysis during play with the two types of IVGs most commonly described for use after burn: NW and PE. Data was analyzed using t-tests and One-way Analysis of Variance. Active range of motion for shoulder flexion and abduction during play with both PE and NW was within functional range, thus supporting the idea that IVGs offer activities with therapeutic potential to improve ROM. PE resulted in higher demands and longer duration of UE motion than NW, and therefore may be the preferred tool when UE ROM or muscular endurance are the goals of rehabilitation. When choosing a suitable IVG for application in rehabilitation, the user's impairment together with the therapeutic attributes of the IVG should be considered to optimize outcome.

  5. Candidate genes and potential targets for therapeutics in Wilms' tumour.

    PubMed

    Blackmore, Christopher; Coppes, Max J; Narendran, Aru

    2010-09-01

    Wilms' tumour (WT) is the most common malignant renal tumour of childhood. During the past two decades or so, molecular studies carried out on biopsy specimens and tumour-derived cell lines have identified a multitude of chromosomal and epigenetic alterations in WT. In addition, a significant amount of evidence has been gathered to identify the genes and signalling pathways that play a defining role in its genesis, growth, survival and treatment responsiveness. As such, these molecules and mechanisms constitute potential targets for novel therapeutic strategies for refractory WT. In this report we aim to review some of the many candidate genes and intersecting pathways that underlie the complexities of WT biology.

  6. Ceruloplasmin dysfunction and therapeutic potential for Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Ayton, Scott; Lei, Peng; Duce, James A; Wong, Bruce X W; Sedjahtera, Amelia; Adlard, Paul A; Bush, Ashley I; Finkelstein, David I

    2013-04-01

    Ceruloplasmin is an iron-export ferroxidase that is abundant in plasma and also expressed in glia. We found a ∼80% loss of ceruloplasmin ferroxidase activity in the substantia nigra of idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) cases, which could contribute to the pro-oxidant iron accumulation that characterizes the pathology. Consistent with a role for ceruloplasmin in PD etiopathogenesis, ceruloplasmin knockout mice developed parkinsonism that was rescued by iron chelation. Additionally, peripheral infusion of ceruloplasmin attenuated neurodegeneration and nigral iron elevation in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model for PD. These findings show, in principle, that intravenous ceruloplasmin may have therapeutic potential in PD.

  7. Potential therapeutic strategy to treat substance abuse related disorders.

    PubMed

    Chang, Sulie L

    2013-12-01

    The "Potential Therapeutic Strategy to Treat Substance Abuse Related Disorders" session was chaired by Dr. Sulie Chang, director of NeuroImmune Phamacology at Seton University. The four presenters (and their topics) were: Dr. Wen-zhe Ho (Miniway to stop HIV/HCV), Dr. Ru-Band Lu (Low dose of memantine in the treatment of opioid dependence in human), Dr. Ping Zhang (Treatment of alcohol-related disorders-Learning from stem/progenitor cell), and Chia-Hsiang Chen (Treatment of methamphetamine abuse: an antibody-based immunotherapy approach).

  8. Designer receptors: therapeutic adjuncts to cell replacement therapy in Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Vazey, Elena M.; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Cell replacement for restoring neuronal populations in Parkinson’s disease has been demonstrated as a potential therapeutic strategy over several decades of studies; however, a number of issues regarding sources of replacement neurons and optimization of therapeutic efficacy in vivo have hampered clinical implementation. In this issue of the JCI, Dell’Anno and colleagues evaluated the use of induced dopaminergic (iDA) neurons that were generated by direct fibroblast reprogramming for transplantation and demonstrated that postmitotic iDA neurons stably and functionally integrate into host striatum to produce motor improvements in 6-OHDA rats, a Parkinson’s disease model. Furthermore, using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) in iDA grafts to noninvasively increase dopamine release from grafted neurons, the authors were able to remotely control transplanted neurons and enhance therapeutic efficacy. This initial proof-of-concept study is the first application of DREADD technology to treat neurodegenerative dysfunction, and by using DREADDs as an adjunct to iDA cell therapy, it presents a novel strategy to overcome some current caveats of cell replacement therapy. PMID:24937425

  9. Inhibitory G proteins and their receptors: emerging therapeutic targets for obesity and diabetes.

    PubMed

    Kimple, Michelle E; Neuman, Joshua C; Linnemann, Amelia K; Casey, Patrick J

    2014-06-20

    The worldwide prevalence of obesity is steadily increasing, nearly doubling between 1980 and 2008. Obesity is often associated with insulin resistance, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM): a costly chronic disease and serious public health problem. The underlying cause of T2DM is a failure of the beta cells of the pancreas to continue to produce enough insulin to counteract insulin resistance. Most current T2DM therapeutics do not prevent continued loss of insulin secretion capacity, and those that do have the potential to preserve beta cell mass and function are not effective in all patients. Therefore, developing new methods for preventing and treating obesity and T2DM is very timely and of great significance. There is now considerable literature demonstrating a link between inhibitory guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein) and G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling in insulin-responsive tissues and the pathogenesis of obesity and T2DM. These studies are suggesting new and emerging therapeutic targets for these conditions. In this review, we will discuss inhibitory G proteins and GPCRs that have primary actions in the beta cell and other peripheral sites as therapeutic targets for obesity and T2DM, improving satiety, insulin resistance and/or beta cell biology.

  10. Current and Potential Therapeutic Strategies for Hemodynamic Cardiorenal Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Obi, Yoshitsugu; Kim, Taehee; Kovesdy, Csaba P.; Amin, Alpesh N.; Kalantar-Zadeh, Kamyar

    2016-01-01

    Background Cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) encompasses conditions in which cardiac and renal disorders co-exist and are pathophysiologically related. The newest classification of CRS into seven etiologically and clinically distinct types for direct patient management purposes includes hemodynamic, uremic, vascular, neurohumoral, anemia- and/or iron metabolism-related, mineral metabolism-related and protein-energy wasting-related CRS. This classification also emphasizes the pathophysiologic pathways. The leading CRS category remains hemodynamic CRS, which is the most commonly encountered type in patient care settings and in which acute or chronic heart failure leads to renal impairment. Summary This review focuses on selected therapeutic strategies for the clinical management of hemodynamic CRS. This is often characterized by an exceptionally high ratio of serum urea to creatinine concentrations. Loop diuretics, positive inotropic agents including dopamine and dobutamine, vasopressin antagonists including vasopressin receptor antagonists such as tolvaptan, nesiritide and angiotensin-neprilysin inhibitors are among the pharmacologic agents used. Additional therapies include ultrafiltration (UF) via hemofiltration or dialysis. The beneficial versus unfavorable effects of these therapies on cardiac decongestion versus renal blood flow may act in opposite directions. Some of the most interesting options for the outpatient setting that deserve revisiting include portable continuous dobutamine infusion, peritoneal dialysis and outpatient UF via hemodialysis or hemofiltration. Key Messages The new clinically oriented CRS classification system is helpful in identifying therapeutic targets and offers a systematic approach to an optimal management algorithm with better understanding of etiologies. Most interventions including UF have not shown a favorable impact on outcomes. Outpatient portable dobutamine infusion is underutilized and not well studied. Revisiting traditional and

  11. THE TRPV1 RECEPTOR: TARGET OF TOXICANTS AND THERAPEUTICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding the structural and functional complexities of the TRPV1 is essential to the therapeutic modulation of inflammation and pain. Because of its central role in initiating inflammatory processes and integrating painful stimuli, there is an understandable interest...

  12. Naturally Occurring Anthraquinones: Chemistry and Therapeutic Potential in Autoimmune Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yueh-Chen

    2015-01-01

    Anthraquinones are a class of aromatic compounds with a 9,10-dioxoanthracene core. So far, 79 naturally occurring anthraquinones have been identified which include emodin, physcion, cascarin, catenarin, and rhein. A large body of literature has demonstrated that the naturally occurring anthraquinones possess a broad spectrum of bioactivities, such as cathartic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, diuretic, vasorelaxing, and phytoestrogen activities, suggesting their possible clinical application in many diseases. Despite the advances that have been made in understanding the chemistry and biology of the anthraquinones in recent years, research into their mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential in autoimmune disorders is still at an early stage. In this paper, we briefly introduce the etiology of autoimmune diabetes, an autoimmune disorder that affects as many as 10 million worldwide, and the role of chemotaxis in autoimmune diabetes. We then outline the chemical structure and biological properties of the naturally occurring anthraquinones and their derivatives with an emphasis on recent findings about their immune regulation. We discuss the structure and activity relationship, mode of action, and therapeutic potential of the anthraquinones in autoimmune diabetes, including a new strategy for the use of the anthraquinones in autoimmune diabetes. PMID:25866536

  13. Exosomes: Origins and Therapeutic Potential for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sarko, Diana K.; McKinney, Cindy E.

    2017-01-01

    Exosomes, small lipid bilayer vesicles, are part of the transportable cell secretome that can be taken up by nearby recipient cells or can travel through the bloodstream to cells in distant organs. Selected cellular cytoplasm containing proteins, RNAs, and other macromolecules is packaged into secreted exosomes. This cargo has the potential to affect cellular function in either healthy or pathological ways. Exosomal content has been increasingly shown to assist in promoting pathways of neurodegeneration such as β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) accumulation forming amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease, and pathological aggregates of proteins containing α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease transferred to the central nervous system via exosomes. In attempting to address such debilitating neuropathologies, one promising utility of exosomes lies in the development of methodology to use exosomes as natural delivery vehicles for therapeutics. Because exosomes are capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, they can be strategically engineered to carry drugs or other treatments, and possess a suitable half-life and stability for this purpose. Overall, analyses of the roles that exosomes play between diverse cellular sites will refine our understanding of how cells communicate. This mini-review introduces the origin and biogenesis of exosomes, their roles in neurodegenerative processes in the central nervous system, and their potential utility to deliver therapeutic drugs to cellular sites. PMID:28289371

  14. Therapeutic potential of a tumor-specific, MHC-unrestricted T-cell receptor expressed on effector cells of the innate and the adaptive immune system through bone marrow transduction and immune reconstitution

    PubMed Central

    Alajez, Nehad M.; Schmielau, Jan; Alter, Mark D.; Cascio, Michael; Finn, Olivera J.

    2005-01-01

    T-cell receptor (TCR) with unique major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-unrestricted antigen-binding properties was isolated from a human T-cell clone specific for the tumor antigen MUC1. This TCR binds its epitope on the MUC1 protein without the requirement of processing and presentation. A single-chain Vα/Vβ/Cβ (scTCR) was fused to a CD3 zeta (ζ) chain to allow expression on the surface of cells of the innate (granulocytes, macrophages, natural killer [NK] cells) as well as the adaptive (T and B cells) immune system. To test the ability of the cells of the innate immune system to reject a tumor when provided with a tumor antigen-specific TCR, we reconstituted severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice with bone marrow cells transduced with a retroviral vector encoding this receptor and challenged them with a MUC1-positive human tumor. These mice controlled the growth of the tumor significantly better than the control mice. We performed a similar experiment in immunocompetent mice transgenic for human MUC1. Expression of the TCR on large percentages of cells did not result in infiltration or destruction of tissues expressing MUC1. Reconstituted mice controlled the outgrowth of a MUC1-transfected but not the parental control tumor. scTCR expression appears lifelong, suggesting a successful transduction of the self-renewing stem cells. (Blood. 2005;105:4583-4589) PMID:15746083

  15. Estrogen receptor β in Alzheimer's disease: From mechanisms to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Liqin; Woody, Sarah K; Chhibber, Anindit

    2015-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) disproportionally affects women and men. The female susceptibility for AD has been largely associated with the loss of ovarian sex hormones during menopause. This review examines the current understanding of the role of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) in the regulation of neurological health and its implication in the development and intervention of AD. Since its discovery in 1996, research conducted over the last 15-20 years has documented a great deal of evidence indicating that ERβ plays a pivotal role in a broad spectrum of brain activities from development to aging. ERβ genetic polymorphisms have been associated with cognitive impairment and increased risk for AD predominantly in women. The role of ERβ in the intervention of AD has been demonstrated by the alteration of AD pathology in response to treatment with ERβ-selective modulators in transgenic models that display pronounced plaque and tangle histopathological presentations as well as learning and memory deficits. Future studies that explore the potential interactions between ERβ signaling and the genetic isoforms of human apolipoprotein E (APOE) in brain aging and development of AD-risk phenotype are critically needed. The current trend of lost-in-translation in AD drug development that has primarily been based on early-onset familial AD (FAD) models underscores the urgent need for novel models that recapitulate the etiology of late-onset sporadic AD (SAD), the most common form of AD representing more than 95% of the current human AD population. Combining the use of FAD-related models that generally have excellent face validity with SAD-related models that hold more reliable construct validity would together increase the predictive validity of preclinical findings for successful translation into humans.

  16. Marijuana, endocannabinoids, and epilepsy: potential and challenges for improved therapeutic intervention

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Mackenzie E.; Frazier, Charles J.

    2012-01-01

    Phytocannabinoids isolated from the cannabis plant have broad potential in medicine that has been well recognized for many centuries. It is presumed that these lipid soluble signaling molecules exert their effects in both the central and peripheral nervous system in large part through direct interaction with metabotropic cannabinoid receptors. These same receptors are also targeted by a variety of endogenous cannabinoids including 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide. Significant effort over the last decade has produced an enormous advance in our understanding of both the cellular and the synaptic physiology of endogenous lipid signaling systems. This increase in knowledge has left us better prepared to carefully evaluate the potential for both natural and synthetic cannabinoids in the treatment of a variety of neurological disorders. In the case of epilepsy, long standing interest in therapeutic approaches that target endogenous cannabinoid signaling systems are, for the most part, not well justified by available clinical data from human epileptics. Nevertheless, basic science experiments have clearly indicated a key role for endogenous cannabinoid signaling systems in moment to moment regulation of neuronal excitability. Further it has become clear that these systems can both alter and be altered by epileptiform activity in a wide range of in vitro and in vivo models of epilepsy. Collectively these observations suggest clear potential for effective therapeutic modulation of endogenous cannabinoid signaling systems in the treatment of human epilepsy, and in fact, further highlight key obstacles that would need to be addressed to reach that goal. PMID:22178327

  17. Griffithsin: An Antiviral Lectin with Outstanding Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Lusvarghi, Sabrina; Bewley, Carole A.

    2016-01-01

    Griffithsin (GRFT), an algae-derived lectin, is one of the most potent viral entry inhibitors discovered to date. It is currently being developed as a microbicide with broad-spectrum activity against several enveloped viruses. GRFT can inhibit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at picomolar concentrations, surpassing the ability of most anti-HIV agents. The potential to inhibit other viruses as well as parasites has also been demonstrated. Griffithsin’s antiviral activity stems from its ability to bind terminal mannoses present in high-mannose oligosaccharides and crosslink these glycans on the surface of the viral envelope glycoproteins. Here, we review structural and biochemical studies that established mode of action and facilitated construction of GRFT analogs, mechanisms that may lead to resistance, and in vitro and pre-clinical results that support the therapeutic potential of this lectin. PMID:27783038

  18. Macrophages associated with tumors as potential targets and therapeutic intermediates.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, Serguei; Warren, Galya; Wei, Xin

    2014-04-01

    Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) form approximately 50% of tumor mass. TAMs were shown to promote tumor growth by suppressing immunocompetent cells, inducing neovascularization and supporting cancer stem cells. TAMs retain mobility in tumor mass, which can potentially be employed for better intratumoral biodistribution of nanocarriers and effective tumor growth inhibition. Due to the importance of TAMs, they are increasingly becoming principal targets of novel therapeutic approaches. In this review, we compare features of macrophages and TAMs that are essential for TAM-directed therapies, and illustrate the advantages of nanomedicine that are related to the preferential capture of nanocarriers by Mϕ in the process of drug delivery. We discuss recent efforts in reprogramming or inhibiting tumor-protecting properties of TAMs, and potential strategies to increase efficacy of conventional chemotherapy by combining with macrophage-associated delivery of nanodrugs.

  19. Macrophages associated with tumors as potential targets and therapeutic intermediates

    PubMed Central

    Vinogradov, Serguei; Warren, Galya; Wei, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) form approximately 50% of tumor mass. TAMs were shown to promote tumor growth by suppressing immunocompetent cells, inducing neovascularization and supporting cancer stem cells. TAMs retain mobility in tumor mass, which can potentially be employed for better intratumoral biodistribution of nanocarriers and effective tumor growth inhibition. Due to the importance of TAMs, they are increasingly becoming principal targets of novel therapeutic approaches. In this review, we compare features of macrophages and TAMs that are essential for TAM-directed therapies, and illustrate the advantages of nanomedicine that are related to the preferential capture of nanocarriers by Mφ in the process of drug delivery. We discuss recent efforts in reprogramming or inhibiting tumor-protecting properties of TAMs, and potential strategies to increase efficacy of conventional chemotherapy by combining with macrophage-associated delivery of nanodrugs. PMID:24827844

  20. Therapeutic Potential of Curcumin for the Treatment of Brain Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Klinger, Neil V.

    2016-01-01

    Brain malignancies currently carry a poor prognosis despite the current multimodal standard of care that includes surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation. As new therapies are desperately needed, naturally occurring chemical compounds have been studied for their potential chemotherapeutic benefits and low toxicity profile. Curcumin, found in the rhizome of turmeric, has extensive therapeutic promise via its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative properties. Preclinical in vitro and in vivo data have shown it to be an effective treatment for brain tumors including glioblastoma multiforme. These effects are potentiated by curcumin's ability to induce G2/M cell cycle arrest, activation of apoptotic pathways, induction of autophagy, disruption of molecular signaling, inhibition of invasion, and metastasis and by increasing the efficacy of existing chemotherapeutics. Further, clinical data suggest that it has low toxicity in humans even at large doses. Curcumin is a promising nutraceutical compound that should be evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of human brain tumors. PMID:27807473

  1. Aptamer nanomedicine for cancer therapeutics: barriers and potential for translation.

    PubMed

    Lao, Yeh-Hsing; Phua, Kyle K L; Leong, Kam W

    2015-03-24

    Aptamer nanomedicine, including therapeutic aptamers and aptamer nanocomplexes, is beginning to fulfill its potential in both clinical trials and preclinical studies. Especially in oncology, aptamer nanomedicine may perform better than conventional or antibody-based chemotherapeutics due to specificity compared to the former and stability compared to the latter. Many proof-of-concept studies on applying aptamers to drug delivery, gene therapy, and cancer imaging have shown promising efficacy and impressive safety in vivo toward translation. Yet, there remains ample room for improvement and critical barriers to be addressed. In this review, we will first introduce the recent progress in clinical trials of aptamer nanomedicine, followed by a discussion of the barriers at the design and in vivo application stages. We will then highlight recent advances and engineering strategies proposed to tackle these barriers. Aptamer cancer nanomedicine has the potential to address one of the most important healthcare issues of the society.

  2. Therapeutic potential and health benefits of Sargassum species

    PubMed Central

    Yende, Subhash R.; Harle, Uday N.; Chaugule, Bhupal B.

    2014-01-01

    Sargassum species are tropical and sub-tropical brown macroalgae (seaweed) of shallow marine meadow. These are nutritious and rich source of bioactive compounds such as vitamins, carotenoids, dietary fibers, proteins, and minerals. Also, many biologically active compounds like terpenoids, flavonoids, sterols, sulfated polysaccharides, polyphenols, sargaquinoic acids, sargachromenol, pheophytine were isolated from different Sargassum species. These isolated compounds exhibit diverse biological activities like analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-microbial, anti-tumor, fibrinolytic, immune-modulatory, anti-coagulant, hepatoprotective, anti-viral activity etc., Hence, Sargassum species have great potential to be used in pharmaceutical and neutralceutical areas. This review paper explores the current knowledge of phytochemical, therapeutic potential, and health benefits of different species of genus Sargassum. PMID:24600190

  3. Therapeutic Potential of Steroidal Alkaloids in Cancer and Other Diseases.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qi-Wei; Chen, Mei-Wan; Cheng, Ke-Jun; Yu, Pei-Zhong; Wei, Xing; Shi, Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Steroidal alkaloids are a class of secondary metabolites isolated from plants, amphibians, and marine invertebrates. Evidence accumulated in the recent two decades demonstrates that steroidal alkaloids have a wide range of bioactivities including anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, etc., suggesting their great potential for application. It is therefore necessary to comprehensively summarize the bioactivities, especially anticancer activities and mechanisms of steroidal alkaloids. Here we systematically highlight the anticancer profiles both in vitro and in vivo of steroidal alkaloids such as dendrogenin, solanidine, solasodine, tomatidine, cyclopamine, and their derivatives. Furthermore, other bioactivities of steroidal alkaloids are also discussed. The integrated molecular mechanisms in this review can increase our understanding on the utilization of steroidal alkaloids and contribute to the development of new drug candidates. Although the therapeutic potentials of steroidal alkaloids look promising in the preclinical and clinical studies, further pharmacokinetic and clinical studies are mandated to define their efficacy and safety in cancer and other diseases.

  4. [GABAB receptor as therapeutic target for drug addiction: from baclofen to positive allosteric modulators].

    PubMed

    Agabio, Roberta; Colombo, Giancarlo

    2015-01-01

    The present paper summarizes experimental and clinical data indicating the therapeutic potential of the GABAB receptor agonist, baclofen, in the treatment of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Multiple preclinical studies have demonstrated the ability of baclofen to suppress alcohol drinking (including binge- and relapse-like drinking), oral alcohol self-administration, and intravenous self-administration of cocaine, nicotine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, and heroin in rodents. Some randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) and case reports support the efficacy of baclofen in suppressing alcohol consumption, craving for alcohol, and alcohol withdrawal symptomatology in alcohol-dependent patients. Data from RCTs and open studies investigating baclofen efficacy on SUD are currently less conclusive. Interest in testing high doses of baclofen in AUD and SUD treatment has recently emerged. Preclinical research has extended the anti-addictive properties of baclofen to positive allosteric modulators of the GABAB receptor (GABAB PAMs). In light of their more favourable side effect profile (compared to baclofen), GABAB PAMs may represent a major step forward in a GABAB receptor-based pharmacotherapy of AUD and SUD.

  5. Targeting luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone: A potential therapeutics to treat gynecological and other cancers.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-10

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

  6. Glutamatergic NMDA Receptor as Therapeutic Target for Depression.

    PubMed

    Réus, Gislaine Z; Abelaira, Helena M; Tuon, Talita; Titus, Stephanie E; Ignácio, Zuleide M; Rodrigues, Ana Lúcia S; Quevedo, João

    2016-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects approximately 121 million individuals globally and poses a significant burden to the healthcare system. Around 50-60% of patients with MDD respond adequately to existing treatments that are primarily based on a monoaminergic system. However, the neurobiology of MDD has not been fully elucidated; therefore, it is possible that other biochemical alterations are involved. The glutamatergic system and its associated receptors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of MDD. In fact, the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a glutamate receptor, is a binding or modulation site for both classical antidepressants and new fast-acting antidepressants. Thus, this review aims to present evidence describing the effect of antidepressants that modulate NMDA receptors and the mechanisms that contribute to the antidepressant response.

  7. Therapeutic Strategies for Neuropathic Pain: Potential Application of Pharmacosynthetics and Optogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Gum Hwa; Kim, Sang Seong

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain originating from neuronal damage remains an incurable symptom debilitating patients. Proposed molecular modalities in neuropathic pain include ion channel expressions, immune reactions, and inflammatory substrate diffusions. Recent advances in RNA sequence analysis have discovered specific ion channel expressions in nociceptors such as transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, voltage-gated potassium, and sodium channels. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) also play an important role in triggering surrounding immune cells. The multiple protein expressions complicate therapeutic development for neuropathic pain. Recent progress in optogenetics and pharmacogenetics may herald the development of novel therapeutics for the incurable pain. Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) facilitate the artificial manipulation of intracellular signaling through excitatory or inhibitory G protein subunits activated by biologically inert synthetic ligands. Expression of excitatory channelrhodopsins and inhibitory halorhodopsins on injured neurons or surrounding cells can attenuate neuropathic pain precisely controlled by light stimulation. To achieve the discrete treatment of injured neurons, we can exploit the transcriptome database obtained by RNA sequence analysis in specific neuropathies. This can recommend the suitable promoter information to target the injury sites circumventing intact neurons. Therefore, novel strategies benefiting from pharmacogenetics, optogenetics, and RNA sequencing might be promising for neuropathic pain treatment in future. PMID:26884648

  8. Discovery AND Therapeutic Promise OF Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiyun; Kim, Juhyun; Dalton, James T.

    2007-01-01

    Androgens are essential for male development and the maintenance of male secondary characteristics, such as bone mass, muscle mass, body composition, and spermatogenesis. The main disadvantages of steroidal androgens are their undesirable physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. The recent discovery of nonsteroidal selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) provides a promising alternative for testosterone replacement therapies with advantages including oral bioavailability, flexibility of structural modification, androgen receptor specificity, tissue selectivity, and the lack of steroid-related side effects. PMID:15994457

  9. A CCL chemokine-derived peptide (CDIP-2) exerts anti-inflammatory activity via CCR1, CCR2 and CCR3 chemokine receptors: Implications as a potential therapeutic treatment of asthma.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Enríquez, E; Medina-Tamayo, J; Soldevila, G; Fortoul, T I; Anton, B; Flores-Romo, L; García-Zepeda, E A

    2014-05-01

    Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the accumulation of eosinophils, Th2 cells and mononuclear cells in the airways, leading to changes in lung architecture and subsequently reduced respiratory function. We have previously demonstrated that CDIP-2, a chemokine derived peptide, reduced in vitro chemotaxis and decreased cellular infiltration in a murine model of allergic airway inflammation. However, the mechanisms involved in this process have not been identified yet. Now, we found that CDIP-2 reduces chemokine-mediated functions via interactions with CCR1, CCR2 and CCR3. Moreover, using bone marrow-derived eosinophils, we demonstrated that CDIP-2 modifies the calcium fluxes induced by CCL11 and down-modulated CCR3 expression. Finally, CDIP-2 treatment in a murine model of OVA-induced allergic airway inflammation reduced leukocyte recruitment and decreases production of cytokines. These data suggest that chemokine-derived peptides represent new therapeutic tools to generate more effective antiinflammatory drugs.

  10. Physiological mechanisms and therapeutic potential of bone mechanosensing

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Zhousheng

    2016-01-01

    Skeletal loading is an important physiological regulator of bone mass. Theoretically, mechanical forces or administration of drugs that activate bone mechanosensors would be a novel treatment for osteoporotic disorders, particularly age-related osteoporosis and other bone loss caused by skeletal unloading. Uncertainty regarding the identity of the molecular targets that sense and transduce mechanical forces in bone, however, has limited the therapeutic exploitation of mechanosesning pathways to control bone mass. Recently, two evolutionally conserved mechanosensing pathways have been shown to function as “physical environment” sensors in cells of the osteoblasts lineage. Indeed, polycystin–1 (Pkd1, or PC1) and polycystin–2 (Pkd2, or PC2, or TRPP2), which form a flow sensing receptor channel complex, and TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif, or WWTR1), which responds to the extracellular matrix microenvironment act in concert to reciprocally regulate osteoblastogenesis and adipogenesis through co-activating Runx2 and a co-repressing PPARγ activities. Interactions of polycystins and TAZ with other putative mechanosensing mechanism, such as primary cilia, integrins and hemichannels, may create multifaceted mechanosensing networks in bone. Moreover, modulation of polycystins and TAZ interactions identify novel molecular targets to develop small molecules that mimic the effects of mechanical loading on bone. PMID:26038304

  11. Guanosine: a Neuromodulator with Therapeutic Potential in Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Lanznaster, Débora; Dal-Cim, Tharine; Piermartiri, Tetsadê C. B.; Tasca, Carla I.

    2016-01-01

    Guanosine is a purine nucleoside with important functions in cell metabolism and a protective role in response to degenerative diseases or injury. The past decade has seen major advances in identifying the modulatory role of extracellular action of guanosine in the central nervous system (CNS). Evidence from rodent and cell models show a number of neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of guanosine preventing deleterious consequences of seizures, spinal cord injury, pain, mood disorders and aging-related diseases, such as ischemia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The present review describes the findings of in vivo and in vitro studies and offers an update of guanosine effects in the CNS. We address the protein targets for guanosine action and its interaction with glutamatergic and adenosinergic systems and with calcium-activated potassium channels. We also discuss the intracellular mechanisms modulated by guanosine preventing oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammatory burden and modulation of glutamate transport. New and exciting avenues for future investigation into the protective effects of guanosine include characterization of a selective guanosine receptor. A better understanding of the neuromodulatory action of guanosine will allow the development of therapeutic approach to brain diseases. PMID:27699087

  12. Transient Receptor Potential Channels in the Vasculature

    PubMed Central

    Earley, Scott; Brayden, Joseph E.

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian genome encodes 28 distinct members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily of cation channels, which exhibit varying degrees of selectivity for different ionic species. Multiple TRP channels are present in all cells and are involved in diverse aspects of cellular function, including sensory perception and signal transduction. Notably, TRP channels are involved in regulating vascular function and pathophysiology, the focus of this review. TRP channels in vascular smooth muscle cells participate in regulating contractility and proliferation, whereas endothelial TRP channel activity is an important contributor to endothelium-dependent vasodilation, vascular wall permeability, and angiogenesis. TRP channels are also present in perivascular sensory neurons and astrocytic endfeet proximal to cerebral arterioles, where they participate in the regulation of vascular tone. Almost all of these functions are mediated by changes in global intracellular Ca2+ levels or subcellular Ca2+ signaling events. In addition to directly mediating Ca2+ entry, TRP channels influence intracellular Ca2+ dynamics through membrane depolarization associated with the influx of cations or through receptor- or store-operated mechanisms. Dysregulation of TRP channels is associated with vascular-related pathologies, including hypertension, neointimal injury, ischemia-reperfusion injury, pulmonary edema, and neurogenic inflammation. In this review, we briefly consider general aspects of TRP channel biology and provide an in-depth discussion of the functions of TRP channels in vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and perivascular cells under normal and pathophysiological conditions. PMID:25834234

  13. Finding Potential Therapeutic Targets against Shigella flexneri through Proteome Exploration

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Mohammad Uzzal; Khan, Md. Arif; Hashem, Abu; Islam, Md. Monirul; Morshed, Mohammad Neaz; Keya, Chaman Ara; Salimullah, Md.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Shigella flexneri is a gram negative bacteria that causes the infectious disease “shigellosis.” S. flexneri is responsible for developing diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps in human. Antibiotics are mostly given to patients infected with shigella. Resistance to antibiotics can hinder its treatment significantly. Upon identification of essential therapeutic targets, vaccine and drug could be effective therapy for the treatment of shigellosis. Methods: The study was designed for the identification and qualitative characterization for potential drug targets from S. flexneri by using the subtractive proteome analysis. A set of computational tools were used to identify essential proteins those are required for the survival of S. flexneri. Total proteome (13,503 proteins) of S. flexneri was retrieved from NCBI and further analyzed by subtractive channel analysis. After identification of the metabolic proteins we have also performed its qualitative characterization to pave the way for the identification of promising drug targets. Results: Subtractive analysis revealed that a list of 53 targets of S. flexneri were human non-homologous essential metabolic proteins that might be used for potential drug targets. We have also found that 11 drug targets are involved in unique pathway. Most of these proteins are cytoplasmic, can be used as broad spectrum drug targets, can interact with other proteins and show the druggable properties. The functionality and drug binding site analysis suggest a promising effective way to design the new drugs against S. flexneri. Conclusion: Among the 53 therapeutic targets identified through this study, 13 were found highly potential as drug targets based on their physicochemical properties whilst only one was found as vaccine target against S. flexneri. The outcome might also be used as module as well as circuit design in systems biology. PMID:27920755

  14. Receptor Crosslinking: A General Method to Trigger Internalization and Lysosomal Targeting of Therapeutic Receptor:Ligand Complexes.

    PubMed

    Moody, Paul R; Sayers, Edward J; Magnusson, Johannes P; Alexander, Cameron; Borri, Paola; Watson, Peter; Jones, Arwyn T

    2015-12-01

    A major unmet clinical need is a universal method for subcellular targeting of bioactive molecules to lysosomes. Delivery to this organelle enables either degradation of oncogenic receptors that are overexpressed in cancers, or release of prodrugs from antibody-drug conjugates. Here, we describe a general method that uses receptor crosslinking to trigger endocytosis and subsequently redirect trafficking of receptor:cargo complexes from their expected route, to lysosomes. By incubation of plasma membrane receptors with biotinylated cargo and subsequent addition of streptavidin to crosslink receptor:cargo-biotin complexes, we achieved rapid and selective lysosomal targeting of transferrin, an anti-MHC class I antibody, and the clinically approved anti-Her2 antibody trastuzumab. These three protein ligands each target a receptor with a distinct cellular function and intracellular trafficking profile. Importantly, we confirmed that crosslinking of trastuzumab increased lysosomal degradation of its cognate oncogenic receptor Her2 in breast cancer cell lines SKBR3 and BT474. These data suggest that crosslinking could be exploited for a wide range of target receptors, for navigating therapeutics through the endolysosomal pathway, for significant therapeutic benefit.

  15. Receptor Crosslinking: A General Method to Trigger Internalization and Lysosomal Targeting of Therapeutic Receptor:Ligand Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Moody, Paul R; Sayers, Edward J; Magnusson, Johannes P; Alexander, Cameron; Borri, Paola; Watson, Peter; Jones, Arwyn T

    2015-01-01

    A major unmet clinical need is a universal method for subcellular targeting of bioactive molecules to lysosomes. Delivery to this organelle enables either degradation of oncogenic receptors that are overexpressed in cancers, or release of prodrugs from antibody–drug conjugates. Here, we describe a general method that uses receptor crosslinking to trigger endocytosis and subsequently redirect trafficking of receptor:cargo complexes from their expected route, to lysosomes. By incubation of plasma membrane receptors with biotinylated cargo and subsequent addition of streptavidin to crosslink receptor:cargo–biotin complexes, we achieved rapid and selective lysosomal targeting of transferrin, an anti-MHC class I antibody, and the clinically approved anti-Her2 antibody trastuzumab. These three protein ligands each target a receptor with a distinct cellular function and intracellular trafficking profile. Importantly, we confirmed that crosslinking of trastuzumab increased lysosomal degradation of its cognate oncogenic receptor Her2 in breast cancer cell lines SKBR3 and BT474. These data suggest that crosslinking could be exploited for a wide range of target receptors, for navigating therapeutics through the endolysosomal pathway, for significant therapeutic benefit. PMID:26412588

  16. Roles of β-adrenergic receptors in Alzheimer's disease: implications for novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jin-Tai; Wang, Nai-Dong; Ma, Teng; Jiang, Hong; Guan, Jun; Tan, Lan

    2011-02-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of age-related dementia, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with an enormous unmet medical need. In recent years, several unexpected longitudinal and cross-sectional epidemiological studies reveal that beta-blockers treatment reduces the prevalence of AD in patients suffering from hypertension. Now, a newly population-based study of individuals with incident AD demonstrates that beta-blockers are also associated with delay of functional decline. Furthermore, accumulated convincing evidences from cell culture experiments and animal studies have also suggested that β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) may involve in the AD pathogenesis through effects on amyloid-β (Aβ) production or inflammation. This review explores clinical and experimental studies that might help to explain the roles of β-ARs in the AD pathogenesis and the potential underlying mechanisms and whether treatment with β-ARs antagonists provides a new therapeutic option for AD.

  17. Nuclear Receptors as Therapeutic Targets in Liver Disease: Are We There Yet?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li

    2016-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NR) are ligand-modulated transcription factors that play diverse roles in cell differentiation, development, proliferation, and metabolism and are associated with numerous liver pathologies such as cancer, steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, cholestasis, and xenobiotic/drug-induced liver injury. The network of target proteins associated with NRs is extremely complex, comprising coregulators, small noncoding microRNAs, and long noncoding RNAs. The importance of NRs as targets of liver disease is exemplified by the number of NR ligands that are currently used in the clinics or in clinical trials with promising results. Understanding the regulation by NR during pathophysiological conditions, and identifying ligands for orphan NR, points to a potential therapeutic approach for patients with liver diseases. An overview of complex NR metabolic networks and their pharmacological implications in liver disease is presented here. PMID:26738480

  18. Therapeutic potential and outlook of alternative medicine for osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Liu, Qian; Tjhioe, William; Zhao, Jinmin; Lu, Aiping; Zhang, Ge; Tan, Renxiang; Zhou, Mengyu; Xu, Jiake; Feng, Haotian

    2017-03-21

    Osteoporosis, a bone disease resulting in loss of bone density and microstructure quality, is often associated with fragility fractures, and the latter imposes a great burden on the patient and society. Although there are several different treatments available for osteoporosis such as hormone replacement therapy, bisphosphonates, Denosumab, and parathyroid hormone some concern has been raised regarding the inherent side effects of their long term use. It would be of great relevance to search for alternative natural compounds, which could complementarily overcome the limitations of the currently available therapy. Herein, we review current literature on natural compounds that might have therapeutic values for osteoporosis. Search terms included bone resorption, bone density, osteoporosis, postmenopausal, osteoporosis or bone density conservation agents, and any of the terms related to traditional, herbal, natural therapy, natural health, diet, or phytoestrogens. All the compounds and herbs included in the review are naturally bioactive or are used in folk herbal medicine and have been reported to be capable of attenuating osteopenia or osteoporosis in vivo or in vitro, through various mechanisms - estrogen-like activity, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, or by modulating the key signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Through our assessment of the therapeutic potential and outlook of alternative medicine, we aim to provide an appealing perspective for the consideration of the application of a complementary anti-osteoporotic treatment option and prevention strategy for osteoporosis or osteolytic bone disorders.

  19. Wasp Venom Toxins as a Potential Therapeutic Agent.

    PubMed

    Dongol, Yashad; Dhananjaya, Bhadrapara L; Shrestha, Rakesh K; Aryal, Gopi

    2016-01-01

    It is high time now to discover novel drugs due to the increasing rate of drug resistance by the pathogen organisms and target cells as well as the dependence or tolerance of the body towards the drug. As it is obvious that significant numbers of the modern day pharmaceuticals are derived from natural products, it is equally astonishing to accept that venoms of various origins have therapeutic potentials. Wasp venoms are also a rich source of therapeutically important toxins which includes short cationic peptides, kinins, polyamines and polyDNA viruses, to name a few indentified. Wasp venom cationic peptides, namely mastoparan and its analogs, show a very important potency as an antimicrobial and anticancer agents of the future. They have proven to be the better candidates due to their lesser toxic effects and higher selectivity upon chemical modification and charge optimization. They also have superiority over the conventional chemical drugs as the target cells very rarely develop resistance against them because these peptides primarily imparts its effect through biophysical interaction with the target cell membrane which is dependent upon the net charge of the peptide, its hydrophobicity and anionicity and fluidity of the target cell membranes. Besides, the other components of wasp venom such as kinins, polyamines and polyDNA viruses show various pharmacological promise in the treatment of pain, inflammatory disease, and neurodegenerative diseases such as epilepsy and aversion.

  20. Biochemistry and therapeutic potential of hydrogen sulfide - reality or fantasy?

    PubMed

    Brodek, Paulina; Olas, Beata

    2016-08-11

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a signaling gasotransmitter, involved in different physiological and pathological processes. H2S regulates apoptosis, the cell cycle and oxidative stress. H2S exerts powerful effects on smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, inflammatory cells, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and nuclear transcription factors. H2S is known to be produced from L-cysteine, D-cysteine and L-homocysteine in the body. Four enzymes - cystathionine-b synthase (CBS), mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3-MST), cystathionine-γ lyase (CSE) and cysteine aminotransferase (CAT) - are involved in H2S synthesis. The biosynthetic pathway for the production of H2S from D-cysteine involves 3-MST and D-amino acid oxidase (DAO). The therapeutic potential of H2S is not clear. However, recently results have demonstrated that H2S has protective action for ischemic heart disease or hypertension, and protects against ischemia of the brain. This review summarizes the negative and the positive roles of H2S in various biological systems, for example the cardiovascular system and nervous system. We also discuss the function of classical, therapeutic and natural (for example garlic) donors of H2S in pre-clinical and clinical studies.

  1. Therapeutic potential of targeting acinar cell reprogramming in pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Wong, Chi-Hin; Li, You-Jia; Chen, Yang-Chao

    2016-08-21

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a common pancreatic cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Treating this life-threatening disease remains challenging due to the lack of effective prognosis, diagnosis and therapy. Apart from pancreatic duct cells, acinar cells may also be the origin of PDAC. During pancreatitis or combined with activating KRas(G12D) mutation, acinar cells lose their cellular identity and undergo a transdifferentiation process called acinar-to-ductal-metaplasia (ADM), forming duct cells which may then transform into pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) and eventually PDAC. During ADM, the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, Wnt, Notch and phosphatidylinositide 3-kinases/Akt signaling inhibits the transcription of acinar-specific genes, including Mist and amylase, but promotes the expression of ductal genes, such as cytokeratin-19. Inhibition of this transdifferentiation process hinders the development of PanIN and PDAC. In addition, the transdifferentiated cells regain acinar identity, indicating ADM may be a reversible process. This provides a new therapeutic direction in treating PDAC through cancer reprogramming. Many studies have already demonstrated the success of switching PanIN/PDAC back to normal cells through the use of PD325901, the expression of E47, and the knockdown of Dickkopf-3. In this review, we discuss the signaling pathways involved in ADM and the therapeutic potential of targeting reprogramming in order to treat PDAC.

  2. Dedifferentiation-reprogrammed mesenchymal stem cells with improved therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Jiang, Xiaohua; Zhang, Xiaohu; Chen, Rui; Sun, Tingting; Fok, Kin Lam; Dong, Jianda; Tsang, Lai Ling; Yi, Shaoqiong; Ruan, Yechun; Guo, Jinghui; Yu, Mei Kuen; Tian, Yuemin; Chung, Yiu Wa; Yang, Mo; Xu, Wenming; Chung, Chin Man; Li, Tingyu; Chan, Hsiao Chang

    2011-12-01

    Stem cell transplantation has been shown to improve functional outcome in degenerative and ischemic disorders. However, low in vivo survival and differentiation potential of the transplanted cells limits their overall effectiveness and thus clinical usage. Here we show that, after in vitro induction of neuronal differentiation and dedifferentiation, on withdrawal of extrinsic factors, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from bone marrow, which have already committed to neuronal lineage, revert to a primitive cell population (dedifferentiated MSCs) retaining stem cell characteristics but exhibiting a reprogrammed phenotype distinct from their original counterparts. Of therapeutic interest, the dedifferentiated MSCs exhibited enhanced cell survival and higher efficacy in neuronal differentiation compared to unmanipulated MSCs both in vitro and in vivo, with significantly improved cognition function in a neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage rat model. Increased expression of bcl-2 family proteins and microRNA-34a appears to be the important mechanism giving rise to this previously undefined stem cell population that may provide a novel treatment strategy with improved therapeutic efficacy.

  3. Gingiva as a source of stem cells with therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Benjamin P J; Larjava, Hannu; Häkkinen, Lari

    2013-12-15

    Postnatal connective tissues contain phenotypically heterogeneous cells populations that include distinct fibroblast subpopulations, pericytes, myofibroblasts, fibrocytes, and tissue-specific mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These cells play key roles in tissue development, maintenance, and repair and contribute to various pathologies. Depending on the origin of tissue, connective tissue cells, including MSCs, have different phenotypes. Understanding the identity and specific functions of these distinct tissue-specific cell populations may allow researchers to develop better treatment modalities for tissue regeneration and find novel approaches to prevent pathological conditions. Interestingly, MSCs from adult oral mucosal gingiva possess distinct characteristics, including neural crest origin, multipotent differentiation capacity, fetal-like phenotype, and potent immunomodulatory properties. These characteristics and an easy, relatively noninvasive access to gingival tissue, and fast tissue regeneration after tissue biopsy make gingiva an attractive target for cell isolation for therapeutic purposes aiming to promote tissue regeneration and fast, scar-free wound healing. The purpose of this review is to discuss the identity, phenotypical heterogeneity, and function of gingival MSCs and summarize what is currently known about their properties, role in scar-free healing, and their future therapeutic potential.

  4. Superoxide Dismutase Mimics: Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Rebouças, Júlio S.; Spasojević, Ivan

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Oxidative stress has become widely viewed as an underlying condition in a number of diseases, such as ischemia–reperfusion disorders, central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and diabetes. Thus, natural and synthetic antioxidants have been actively sought. Superoxide dismutase is a first line of defense against oxidative stress under physiological and pathological conditions. Therefore, the development of therapeutics aimed at mimicking superoxide dismutase was a natural maneuver. Metalloporphyrins, as well as Mn cyclic polyamines, Mn salen derivatives and nitroxides were all originally developed as SOD mimics. The same thermodynamic and electrostatic properties that make them potent SOD mimics may allow them to reduce other reactive species such as peroxynitrite, peroxynitrite-derived CO3·−, peroxyl radical, and less efficiently H2O2. By doing so SOD mimics can decrease both primary and secondary oxidative events, the latter arising from the inhibition of cellular transcriptional activity. To better judge the therapeutic potential and the advantage of one over the other type of compound, comparative studies of different classes of drugs in the same cellular and/or animal models are needed. We here provide a comprehensive overview of the chemical properties and some in vivo effects observed with various classes of compounds with a special emphasis on porphyrin-based compounds. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 877–918. PMID:20095865

  5. Zinc is a potential therapeutic for chemoresistant ovarian cancer.

    PubMed

    Bastow, Max; Kriedt, Christopher L; Baldassare, Joseph; Shah, Maulik; Klein, Claudette

    2011-01-01

    Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer. The high mortality rate reflets the lack of early diagnosis and limited treatment alternatives. We have observed a number of properties of zinc cytotoxicity that make it attractive from a therapeutic standpoint. Using SKOV3 and ES2 cells, ovarian cancer cell lines that demonstrate varied degrees of resistance to known therapeutics, we show that zinc killing is time and concentration dependent. Death is preceded by distinct changes in cell shape and size. The effects of zinc are additive with cisplatin or doxorubicin, whose morphological effects are distinct from those of zinc. Cytotoxicity of paclitaxel is minimal, making it difficult to determine additivity with zinc. Paclitaxel results in changes in cell shape and size similar to those of zinc but has different effects on cell cycle progression and cyclin expression. The data indicate that the means by which zinc kills ovarian cancer cells is distinct from currently used chemotherapeutics. Based on the properties reported here, zinc has the potential to be developed as either a primary treatment or as a second line of defense against cancers that have developed resistance to currently used chemotherapeutics.

  6. Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Strategies Directed to Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Lesnefsky, Edward J.; Stowe, David F.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The mitochondrion is the most important organelle in determining continued cell survival and cell death. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to many human maladies, including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer. These mitochondria-related pathologies range from early infancy to senescence. The central premise of this review is that if mitochondrial abnormalities contribute to the pathological state, alleviating the mitochondrial dysfunction would contribute to attenuating the severity or progression of the disease. Therefore, this review will examine the role of mitochondria in the etiology and progression of several diseases and explore potential therapeutic benefits of targeting mitochondria in mitigating the disease processes. Indeed, recent advances in mitochondrial biology have led to selective targeting of drugs designed to modulate and manipulate mitochondrial function and genomics for therapeutic benefit. These approaches to treat mitochondrial dysfunction rationally could lead to selective protection of cells in different tissues and various disease states. However, most of these approaches are in their infancy. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 13, 279–347. PMID:20001744

  7. Lipid-sensors, enigmatic-orphan and orphan nuclear receptors as therapeutic targets in breast-cancer.

    PubMed

    Garattini, Enrico; Bolis, Marco; Gianni', Maurizio; Paroni, Gabriela; Fratelli, Maddalena; Terao, Mineko

    2016-07-05

    Breast-cancer is heterogeneous and consists of various groups with different biological characteristics. Innovative pharmacological approaches accounting for this heterogeneity are needed. The forty eight human Nuclear-Hormone-Receptors are ligand-dependent transcription-factors and are classified into Endocrine-Receptors, Adopted-Orphan-Receptors (Lipid-sensors and Enigmatic-Orphans) and Orphan-receptors. Nuclear-Receptors represent ideal targets for the design/synthesis of pharmacological ligands. We provide an overview of the literature available on the expression and potential role played by Lipid-sensors, Enigmatic-Orphans and Orphan-Receptors in breast-cancer. The data are complemented by an analysis of the expression levels of each selected Nuclear-Receptor in the PAM50 breast-cancer groups, following re-elaboration of the data publicly available. The major aim is to support the idea that some of the Nuclear-Receptors represent largely unexploited therapeutic-targets in breast-cancer treatment/chemo-prevention. On the basis of our analysis, we conclude that the Lipid-Sensors, NR1C3, NR1H2 and NR1H3 are likely to be onco-suppressors in breast-cancer. The Enigmatic-Orphans, NR1F1 NR2A1 and NR3B3 as well as the Orphan-Receptors, NR0B1, NR0B2, NR1D1, NR2F1, NR2F2 and NR4A3 exert a similar action. These Nuclear-Receptors represent candidates for the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at increasing their expression or activating them in tumor cells. The group of Nuclear-Receptors endowed with potential oncogenic properties consists of the Lipid-Sensors, NR1C2 and NR1I2, the Enigmatic-Orphans, NR1F3, NR3B1 and NR5A2, as well as the Orphan-Receptors, NR2E1, NR2E3 and NR6A1. These oncogenic Nuclear-Receptors should be targeted with selective antagonists, reverse-agonists or agents/strategies capable of reducing their expression in breast-cancer cells.

  8. Lipid-sensors, enigmatic-orphan and orphan nuclear receptors as therapeutic targets in breast-cancer

    PubMed Central

    Garattini, Enrico; Bolis, Marco; Gianni', Maurizio; Paroni, Gabriela; Fratelli, Maddalena; Terao, Mineko

    2016-01-01

    Breast-cancer is heterogeneous and consists of various groups with different biological characteristics. Innovative pharmacological approaches accounting for this heterogeneity are needed. The forty eight human Nuclear-Hormone-Receptors are ligand-dependent transcription-factors and are classified into Endocrine-Receptors, Adopted-Orphan-Receptors (Lipid-sensors and Enigmatic-Orphans) and Orphan-receptors. Nuclear-Receptors represent ideal targets for the design/synthesis of pharmacological ligands. We provide an overview of the literature available on the expression and potential role played by Lipid-sensors, Enigmatic-Orphans and Orphan-Receptors in breast-cancer. The data are complemented by an analysis of the expression levels of each selected Nuclear-Receptor in the PAM50 breast-cancer groups, following re-elaboration of the data publicly available. The major aim is to support the idea that some of the Nuclear-Receptors represent largely unexploited therapeutic-targets in breast-cancer treatment/chemo-prevention. On the basis of our analysis, we conclude that the Lipid-Sensors, NR1C3, NR1H2 and NR1H3 are likely to be onco-suppressors in breast-cancer. The Enigmatic-Orphans, NR1F1 NR2A1 and NR3B3 as well as the Orphan-Receptors, NR0B1, NR0B2, NR1D1, NR2F1, NR2F2 and NR4A3 exert a similar action. These Nuclear-Receptors represent candidates for the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at increasing their expression or activating them in tumor cells. The group of Nuclear-Receptors endowed with potential oncogenic properties consists of the Lipid-Sensors, NR1C2 and NR1I2, the Enigmatic-Orphans, NR1F3, NR3B1 and NR5A2, as well as the Orphan-Receptors, NR2E1, NR2E3 and NR6A1. These oncogenic Nuclear-Receptors should be targeted with selective antagonists, reverse-agonists or agents/strategies capable of reducing their expression in breast-cancer cells. PMID:26894976

  9. The insulin-like growth factor system in multiple myeloma: diagnostic and therapeutic potential

    PubMed Central

    Bieghs, Liesbeth; Johnsen, Hans E.; Maes, Ken; Menu, Eline; Van Valckenborgh, Els; Overgaard, Michael T.; Nyegaard, Mette; Conover, Cheryl A.; Vanderkerken, Karin; De Bruyne, Elke

    2016-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is a highly heterogeneous plasma cell malignancy. The MM cells reside in the bone marrow (BM), where reciprocal interactions with the BM niche foster MM cell survival, proliferation, and drug resistance. As in most cancers, the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system has been demonstrated to play a key role in the pathogenesis of MM. The IGF system consists of IGF ligands, IGF receptors, IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), and IGFBP proteases and contributes not only to the survival, proliferation, and homing of MM cells, but also MM-associated angiogenesis and osteolysis. Furthermore, increased IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) expression on MM cells correlates with a poor prognosis in MM patients. Despite the prominent role of the IGF system in MM, strategies targeting the IGF-IR using blocking antibodies or small molecule inhibitors have failed to translate into the clinic. However, increasing preclinical evidence indicates that IGF-I is also involved in the development of drug resistance against current standard-of-care agents against MM, including proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, and corticoids. IGF-IR targeting has been able to overcome or revert this drug resistance in animal models, enhancing the efficacy of standard-of-care agents. This finding has generated renewed interest in the therapeutic potential of IGF-I targeting in MM. The present review provides an update of the impact of the different IGF system components in MM and discusses the diagnostic and therapeutic potentials. PMID:27129151

  10. Therapeutic Potential and Challenges of Natural Killer Cells in Treatment of Solid Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Gras Navarro, Andrea; Björklund, Andreas T.; Chekenya, Martha

    2015-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphoid cells that hold tremendous potential for effective immunotherapy for a broad range of cancers. Due to the mode of NK cell killing, requiring one-to-one target engagement and site-directed release of cytolytic granules, the therapeutic potential of NK cells has been most extensively explored in hematological malignancies. However, their ability to precisely kill antibody coated cells, cancer stem cells, and genotoxically altered cells, while maintaining tolerance to healthy cells makes them appealing therapeutic effectors for all cancer forms, including metastases. Due to their release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, NK cells may potently reverse the anti-inflammatory tumor microenvironment (TME) and augment adaptive immune responses by promoting differentiation, activation, and/or recruitment of accessory immune cells to sites of malignancy. Nevertheless, integrated and coordinated mechanisms of subversion of NK cell activity against the tumor and its microenvironment exist. Although our understanding of the receptor ligand interactions that regulate NK cell functionality has evolved remarkably, the diversity of ligands and receptors is complex, as is their mechanistic foundations in regulating NK cell function. In this article, we review the literature and highlight how the TME manipulates the NK cell phenotypes, genotypes, and tropism to evade tumor recognition and elimination. We discuss counter strategies that may be adopted to augment the efficacy of NK cell anti-tumor surveillance, the clinical trials that have been undertaken so far in solid malignancies, critically weighing the challenges and opportunities with this approach. PMID:25972872

  11. Human-derived natural antibodies: biomarkers and potential therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaohua; Ng, Sher May; Hassouna, Eamonn; Warrington, Arthur; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Rodriguez, Moses

    2015-01-01

    The immune system generates antibodies and antigen-specific T-cells as basic elements of the immune networks that differentiate self from non-self in a finely tuned manner. The antigen-specific nature of immune responses ensures that normal immune activation contains non-self when tolerating self. Here we review the B-1 subset of lymphocytes which produce self-reactive antibodies. By analyzing the IgM class of natural antibodies that recognize antigens from the nervous system, we emphasize that natural antibodies are biomarkers of how the immune system monitors the host. The immune response activated against self can be detrimental when triggered in an autoimmune genetic background. In contrast, tuning immune activity with natural antibodies is a potential therapeutic strategy. PMID:25678860

  12. Cathelicidin a potential therapeutic peptide for gastrointestinal inflammation and cancer.

    PubMed

    Chow, Jimmy Yip Chuen; Li, Zhi Jie; Wu, William Ka Kei; Cho, Chi Hin

    2013-05-14

    Cathelicidins, are host defense peptides synthesized and stored in circulating leukocytes and numerous types of epithelial tissues in particular the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and skin. They have been known for their antimicrobial activities against a variety of microbes. Recently it was discovered that they have other significant biological functions and produce appealing pharmacological actions against inflammation and cancer in the GI tract through defined mechanisms. Experimental evidence shows that these actions could be tissue and disease specific and concentration dependent. This article reviews some of the physiological functions of cathelicidins and also their therapeutic potential in the treatment of inflammation and cancer and also the delivery system for this peptide as targeted therapy for various disorders in the GI tract both in animals and humans.

  13. Hepatic macrophages in liver fibrosis: pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hai; You, Hong; Fan, Xu; Jia, Jidong

    2016-01-01

    Hepatic macrophages account for the largest non-parenchymal cell population in the liver. Recent studies have found that hepatic macrophages have different functions in different stages of experimental liver fibrosis. Some studies found that there are different types of hepatic macrophages in the liver, although others have suggested that hepatic macrophages could switch to different phenotypes in different environments. Many studies demonstrated that while hepatic macrophages promoted fibrosis through the recruitment of proinflammatory immune cells, and the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the early stages, these also promoted the resolution of hepatic fibrosis through the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases in the late stages. This article will review the current role played by hepatic macrophages in liver fibrosis and the potential therapeutic targets that modulate hepatic macrophages. PMID:27252881

  14. Vitamin D: Implications for ocular disease and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Reins, Rose Y; McDermott, Alison M

    2015-05-01

    Vitamin D is a multifunctional hormone that is now known to play a significant role in a variety of biological functions in addition to its traditional role in regulating calcium homeostasis. There are a large number of studies demonstrating that adequate vitamin D levels are important in maintaining health and show that vitamin D is able to be utilized at local tissue sites. In the eye, we have increasing evidence of the association between disease and vitamin D. In this narrative review, we summarize recent findings on vitamin D and its relationship to various ocular pathologies and the therapeutic potential for some of these, as well as examine the basic science studies that demonstrate that vitamin D is biologically relevant in the eye.

  15. Transcription factor-mediated reprogramming: epigenetics and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Firas, Jaber; Liu, Xiaodong; Lim, Sue Mei; Polo, Jose M

    2015-03-01

    Cellular reprogramming refers to the conversion of one cell type into another by altering its epigenetic marks. This can be achieved by three different methods: somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion and transcription factor (TF)-mediated reprogramming. TF-mediated reprogramming can occur through several means, either reverting backwards to a pluripotent state before redifferentiating to a new cell type (otherwise known as induced pluripotency), by transdifferentiating directly into a new cell type (bypassing the intermediate pluripotent stage), or, by using the induced pluripotency pathway without reaching the pluripotent state. The possibility of reprogramming any cell type of interest not only sheds new insights on cellular plasticity, but also provides a novel use of this technology across several platforms, most notably in cellular replacement therapies, disease modelling and drug screening. This review will focus on the different ways of implementing TF-mediated reprogramming, their associated epigenetic changes and its therapeutic potential.

  16. Therapeutic potential of Aegle marmelos (L.)-An overview

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Shahedur; Parvin, Rashida

    2014-01-01

    Medicinal plants are used in herbalism. They form the easily available source for healthcare purposes in rural and tribal areas. In the present review, an attempt has been made to congregate the phytochemical and pharmacological studies done on an important medicinal plant Aegle marmelos. Extensive experimental and clinical studies prove that Aegle marmelos possesses antidiarrhoeal, antimicrobial, antiviral, radioprotective, anticancer, chemopreventive, antipyretic, ulcer healing, antigenotoxic, diuretic, antifertility and anti-inflammatory properties, which help it to play role in prevention and treatment of many disease. Therefore, it is worthwhile to review its therapeutic properties to give an overview of its status to scientist both modern and ancient. This review also encompasses on the potential application of the above plant in the pharmaceutical field due to its wide pharmacological activities.

  17. Mitochondrial metals as a potential therapeutic target in neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Grubman, A; White, A R; Liddell, J R

    2014-01-01

    Transition metals are critical for enzyme function and protein folding, but in excess can mediate neurotoxic oxidative processes. As mitochondria are particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage due to radicals generated during ATP production, mitochondrial biometal homeostasis must therefore be tightly controlled to safely harness the redox potential of metal enzyme cofactors. Dysregulation of metal functions is evident in numerous neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Friedrich's ataxia. This review describes the mitochondrial metal defects in these disorders and highlights novel metal-based therapeutic approaches that target mitochondrial metal homeostasis in neurological disorders. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed issue on Mitochondrial Pharmacology: Energy, Injury & Beyond. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2014.171.issue-8 PMID:24206195

  18. High therapeutic potential of Spilanthes acmella: A review

    PubMed Central

    Prachayasittikul, Veda; Prachayasittikul, Supaluk; Ruchirawat, Somsak; Prachayasittikul, Virapong

    2013-01-01

    Spilanthes acmella, a well known antitoothache plant with high medicinal usages, has been recognized as an important medicinal plant and has an increasingly high demand worldwide. From its traditional uses in health care and food, extensive phytochemical studies have been reported. This review provides an overview and general description of the plant species, bioactive metabolites and important pharmacological activities including the preparation, purification and in vitro large-scale production. Structure-activity relationships of the bioactive compounds have been discussed. Considering data from the literature, it could be demonstrated that S. acmella possesses diverse bioactive properties and immense utilization in medicine, health care, cosmetics and as health supplements. As a health food, it is enriched with high therapeutic value with high potential for further development. PMID:27092032

  19. Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Neuronal Cell Death: Potential Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Ted M; Dawson, Valina L

    2017-01-06

    Mitochondria lie at the crossroads of neuronal survival and cell death. They play important roles in cellular bioenergetics, control intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis, and participate in key metabolic pathways. Mutations in genes involved in mitochondrial quality control cause a myriad of neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria have evolved strategies to kill cells when they are not able to continue their vital functions. This review provides an overview of the role of mitochondria in neurologic disease and the cell death pathways that are mediated through mitochondria, including their role in accidental cell death, the regulated cell death pathways of apoptosis and parthanatos, and programmed cell death. It details the current state of parthanatic cell death and discusses potential therapeutic strategies targeting initiators and effectors of mitochondrial-mediated cell death in neurologic disorders.

  20. Vitamin D: Implications for Ocular Disease and Therapeutic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Reins, Rose Y.; McDermott, Alison M.

    2015-01-01

    Vitamin D is a multifunctional hormone that is now known to play a significant role in a variety of biological functions in addition to its traditional role in regulating calcium homeostasis. There are a large number of studies demonstrating that adequate vitamin D levels are important in maintaining health and show that vitamin D is able to be utilized at local tissue sites. In the eye, we have increasing evidence of the association between disease and vitamin D. In this narrative review, we summarize recent findings on vitamin D and its relationship to various ocular pathologies and the therapeutic potential for some of these, as well as examine the basic science studies that demonstrate that vitamin D is biologically relevant in the eye. PMID:25724179

  1. The human gut microbiota and virome: Potential therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Scarpellini, Emidio; Ianiro, Gianluca; Attili, Fabia; Bassanelli, Chiara; De Santis, Adriano; Gasbarrini, Antonio

    2015-12-01

    Human gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem with several functions integrated in the host organism (metabolic, immune, nutrients absorption, etc.). Human microbiota is composed by bacteria, yeasts, fungi and, last but not least, viruses, whose composition has not been completely described. According to previous evidence on pathogenic viruses, the human gut harbours plant-derived viruses, giant viruses and, only recently, abundant bacteriophages. New metagenomic methods have allowed to reconstitute entire viral genomes from the genetic material spread in the human gut, opening new perspectives on the understanding of the gut virome composition, the importance of gut microbiome, and potential clinical applications. This review reports the latest evidence on human gut "virome" composition and its function, possible future therapeutic applications in human health in the context of the gut microbiota, and attempts to clarify the role of the gut "virome" in the larger microbial ecosystem.

  2. Cytokines: Roles in atherosclerosis disease progression and potential therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Therapeutic potential of HMGB1-targeting agents in sepsis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haichao; Zhu, Shu; Zhou, Rongrong; Li, Wei; Sama, Andrew E.

    2008-01-01

    Sepsis refers to a systemic inflammatory response syndrome resulting from a microbial infection. The inflammatory response is partly mediated by innate immune cells (such as macrophages, monocytes and neutrophils), which not only ingest and eliminate invading pathogens but also initiate an inflammatory response upon recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). The prevailing theories of sepsis as a dysregulated inflammatory response, as manifested by excessive release of inflammatory mediators such as tumour necrosis factor and high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), are supported by extensive studies employing animal models of sepsis. Here we review emerging evidence that support extracellular HMGB1 as a late mediator of experimental sepsis, and discuss the therapeutic potential of several HMGB1-targeting agents (including neutralising antibodies and steroid-like tanshinones) in experimental sepsis. PMID:18980707

  4. Ion Channels in Obesity: Pathophysiology and Potential Therapeutic Targets

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Luiz H. C.; Souza, Iara L. L.; Pinheiro, Lílian S.; Silva, Bagnólia A.

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disease related to metabolic disorders and associated with genetic determinants. Currently, ion channels activity has been linked to many of these disorders, in addition to the central regulation of food intake, energetic balance, hormone release and response, as well as the adipocyte cell proliferation. Therefore, the objective of this work is to review the current knowledge about the influence of ion channels in obesity development. This review used different sources of literature (Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) to assess the role of ion channels in the pathophysiology of obesity. Ion channels present diverse key functions, such as the maintenance of physiological homeostasis and cell proliferation. Cell biology and pharmacological experimental evidences demonstrate that proliferating cells exhibit ion channel expression, conductance, and electrical properties different from the resting cells. Thereby, a large variety of ion channels has been identified in the pathogenesis of obesity such as potassium, sodium, calcium and chloride channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and transient receptor potential channels. The fundamental involvement of these channels on the generation of obesity leads to the progress in the knowledge about the mechanisms responsible for the obesity pathophysiology, consequently emerging as new targets for pharmacological modulation. PMID:27065858

  5. Ion Channels in Obesity: Pathophysiology and Potential Therapeutic Targets.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Luiz H C; Souza, Iara L L; Pinheiro, Lílian S; Silva, Bagnólia A

    2016-01-01

    Obesity is a multifactorial disease related to metabolic disorders and associated with genetic determinants. Currently, ion channels activity has been linked to many of these disorders, in addition to the central regulation of food intake, energetic balance, hormone release and response, as well as the adipocyte cell proliferation. Therefore, the objective of this work is to review the current knowledge about the influence of ion channels in obesity development. This review used different sources of literature (Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) to assess the role of ion channels in the pathophysiology of obesity. Ion channels present diverse key functions, such as the maintenance of physiological homeostasis and cell proliferation. Cell biology and pharmacological experimental evidences demonstrate that proliferating cells exhibit ion channel expression, conductance, and electrical properties different from the resting cells. Thereby, a large variety of ion channels has been identified in the pathogenesis of obesity such as potassium, sodium, calcium and chloride channels, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and transient receptor potential channels. The fundamental involvement of these channels on the generation of obesity leads to the progress in the knowledge about the mechanisms responsible for the obesity pathophysiology, consequently emerging as new targets for pharmacological modulation.

  6. Therapeutic potential of intermittent hypoxia: a matter of dose

    PubMed Central

    Navarrete-Opazo, Angela

    2014-01-01

    Intermittent hypoxia (IH) has been the subject of considerable research in recent years, and triggers a bewildering array of both detrimental and beneficial effects in multiple physiological systems. Here, we review the extensive literature concerning IH and its impact on the respiratory, cardiovascular, immune, metabolic, bone, and nervous systems. One major goal is to define relevant IH characteristics leading to safe, protective, and/or therapeutic effects vs. pathogenesis. To understand the impact of IH, it is essential to define critical characteristics of the IH protocol under investigation, including potentially the severity of hypoxia within episodes, the duration of hypoxic episodes, the number of hypoxic episodes per day, the pattern of presentation across time (e.g., within vs. consecutive vs. alternating days), and the cumulative time of exposure. Not surprisingly, severe/chronic IH protocols tend to be pathogenic, whereas any beneficial effects are more likely to arise from modest/acute IH exposures. Features of the IH protocol most highly associated with beneficial vs. pathogenic outcomes include the level of hypoxemia within episodes and the number of episodes per day. Modest hypoxia (9–16% inspired O2) and low cycle numbers (3–15 episodes per day) most often lead to beneficial effects without pathology, whereas severe hypoxia (2–8% inspired O2) and more episodes per day (48–2,400 episodes/day) elicit progressively greater pathology. Accumulating evidence suggests that “low dose” IH (modest hypoxia, few episodes) may be a simple, safe, and effective treatment with considerable therapeutic potential for multiple clinical disorders. PMID:25231353

  7. Preclinical evaluation of potential therapeutic targets in dedifferentiated liposarcoma

    PubMed Central

    Hanes, Robert; Grad, Iwona; Lorenz, Susanne; Stratford, Eva W.; Munthe, Else; Reddy, Chilamakuri Chandra Sekhar; Meza-Zepeda, Leonardo A.; Myklebost, Ola

    2016-01-01

    Sarcomas are rare cancers with limited treatment options. Patients are generally treated by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in combination with surgery, and would benefit from new personalized approaches. In this study we demonstrate the potential of combining personal genomic characterization of patient tumors to identify targetable mutations with in vitro testing of specific drugs in patient-derived cell lines. We have analyzed three metastases from a patient with high-grade metastatic dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS) by exome and transcriptome sequencing as well as DNA copy number analysis. Genomic aberrations of several potentially targetable genes, including amplification of KITLG and FRS2, in addition to amplification of CDK4 and MDM2, characteristic of this disease, were identified. We evaluated the efficacy of drugs targeting these aberrations or the corresponding signaling pathways in a cell line derived from the patient. Interestingly, the pan-FGFR inhibitor NVP-BGJ398, which targets FGFR upstream of FRS2, strongly inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and induced an accumulation of cells into the G0 phase of the cell cycle. This study indicates that FGFR inhibitors have therapeutic potential in the treatment of DDLPS with amplified FRS2. PMID:27409346

  8. The therapeutic potential of genome editing for β-thalassemia

    PubMed Central

    Glaser, Astrid; McColl, Bradley; Vadolas, Jim

    2015-01-01

    The rapid advances in the field of genome editing using targeted endonucleases have called considerable attention to the potential of this technology for human gene therapy. Targeted correction of disease-causing mutations could ensure lifelong, tissue-specific expression of the relevant gene, thereby alleviating or resolving a specific disease phenotype. In this review, we aim to explore the potential of this technology for the therapy of β-thalassemia. This blood disorder is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the β-globin chain of hemoglobin, leading to severe anemia in affected patients. Curative allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is available only to a small subset of patients, leaving the majority of patients dependent on regular blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy. The transfer of gene-corrected autologous hematopoietic stem cells could provide a therapeutic alternative, as recent results from gene therapy trials using a lentiviral gene addition approach have demonstrated. Genome editing has the potential to further advance this approach as it eliminates the need for semi-randomly integrating viral vectors and their associated risk of insertional mutagenesis. In the following pages we will highlight the advantages and risks of genome editing compared to standard therapy for β-thalassemia and elaborate on lessons learned from recent gene therapy trials. PMID:26918126

  9. Fc receptors as potential targets for the treatment of allergy, autoimmune disease and cancer.

    PubMed

    Takai, Toshiyuki; Nakamura, Akira; Akiyama, Kenichi

    2003-09-01

    The activation threshold of various cells in the immune system is tuned by immune inhibitory receptors. The inhibitory Fc receptor, FcgammaRIIB, is one of the critical elements for keeping immune cells silent. Murine models for allergic responses and autoimmune diseases illustrate the indispensable roles of FcgammaRIIB in the suppression of these immune disorders. On the contrary, activating-type Fc receptors are crucial for the onset and exacerbation of such diseases. In addition, recent reports have revealed the pivotal roles of Fc receptors in enhancing antigen presentation by dendritic cells, which leads to efficient major histocompatibility complex class I- and class II-restricted T cell activation. In this context, anti-cancer immunopotentiation could be augmented by targeting the tumor antigens to Fc receptors on dendritic cells. This review summarizes recent advances in Fc receptor biomedicine in light of exploiting them as potential therapeutic targets for allergy, autoimmune disease and cancer.

  10. Endothelin receptor polymorphisms in the cardiovascular system: potential implications for therapy and screening.

    PubMed

    Holzhauser, Luise; Zolty, Ronald

    2014-11-01

    Since its discovery in 1988, the endothelin system has been employed in multiple physiological and pathological roles. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is not only a major regulator of vascular tone and cardiac contractility but also exerts mitogenic effects and is involved in inflammatory responses. ET-1 acts via two endothelin receptors located mainly on smooth muscle and endothelial cells through complex intracellular pathways differing between receptors and cell types. Polymorphisms of the endothelin receptor A have been associated not only with the risk in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), systolic heart failure and systemic hypertension but are also of prognostic significance in dilated cardiomyopathy. Polymorphisms of endothelin receptors might lead to altered endothelin signaling and influence the response to endothelin receptor antagonist therapy in PAH in light of pharmacogenetics. This review will summarize the role of ET-1 within major cardiovascular pathologies and discuss endothelin receptor polymorphisms with special emphasis on potential therapeutic and screening implications.

  11. Potential applications of RNA interference-based therapeutics in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Ali

    2006-06-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) in eukaryotes is a recently identified phenomenon in which small double stranded RNA molecules called short interfering RNA (siRNA) interact with messenger RNA (mRNA) containing homologous sequences in a sequence-specific manner. Ultimately, this interaction results in degradation of the target mRNA. Because of the high sequence specificity of the RNAi process, and the apparently ubiquitous expression of the endogenous protein components necessary for RNAi, there appears to be little limitation to the genes that can be targeted for silencing by RNAi. Thus, RNAi has enormous potential, both as a research tool and as a mode of therapy. Several recent patents have described advances in RNAi technology that are likely to lead to new treatments for cardiovascular disease. These patents have described methods for increased delivery of siRNA to cardiovascular target tissues, chemical modifications of siRNA that improve their pharmacokinetic characteristics, and expression vectors capable of expressing RNAi effectors in situ. Though RNAi has only recently been demonstrated to occur in mammalian tissues, work has advanced rapidly in the development of RNAi-based therapeutics. Recently, therapeutic silencing of apoliporotein B, the ligand for the low density lipoprotein receptor, has been demonstrated in adult mice by systemic administration of chemically modified siRNA. This demonstrates the potential for RNAi-based therapeutics, and suggests that the future for RNAi in the treatment of cardiovascular disease is bright.

  12. Prostanoid receptor EP2 as a therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Ganesh, Thota

    2014-06-12

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

  13. Prostanoid Receptor EP2 as a Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Ganesh, Thota

    2014-01-01

    Cycoloxygenase-2 (COX-2) induction is prevalent in a variety of (brain and peripheral) injury models where COX-2 levels correlate with disease progression. Thus, COX-2 has been widely explored for anti-inflammatory therapy with COX-2 inhibitors, which proved to be effective in reducing the pain and inflammation in patients with arthritis and menstrual cramps, but they have not provided any benefit to patients with chronic inflammatory neurodegenerative disease. Recently, two COX-2 drugs: rofecoxib and valdecoxib were withdrawn from the United States market due to cardiovascular side effects. Thus, future anti-inflammatory therapy could be targeted through a specific prostanoid receptor downstream of COX-2. The PGE2 receptor EP2 is emerging as a pro-inflammatory target in a variety of CNS and peripheral diseases. Here we highlight the latest developments on the role of EP2 in diseases, mechanism of activation and small molecule discovery targeted either to enhance or to block the function of this receptor. PMID:24279689

  14. Orexin receptor antagonists as therapeutic agents for insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Equihua, Ana C.; De La Herrán-Arita, Alberto K.; Drucker-Colin, Rene

    2013-01-01

    Insomnia is a common clinical condition characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or non-restorative sleep with impairment of daytime functioning. Currently, treatment for insomnia involves a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBTi) and pharmacological therapy. Among pharmacological interventions, the most evidence exists for benzodiazepine (BZD) receptor agonist drugs (GABAA receptor), although concerns persist regarding their safety and their limited efficacy. The use of these hypnotic medications must be carefully monitored for adverse effects. Orexin (hypocretin) neuropeptides have been shown to regulate transitions between wakefulness and sleep by promoting cholinergic/monoaminergic neural pathways. This has led to the development of a new class of pharmacological agents that antagonize the physiological effects of orexin. The development of these agents may lead to novel therapies for insomnia without the side effect profile of hypnotics (e.g., impaired cognition, disturbed arousal, and motor balance difficulties). However, antagonizing a system that regulates the sleep-wake cycle may create an entirely different side effect profile. In this review, we discuss the role of orexin and its receptors on the sleep-wake cycle and that of orexin antagonists in the treatment of insomnia. PMID:24416019

  15. Orexin receptor antagonists as therapeutic agents for insomnia.

    PubMed

    Equihua, Ana C; De La Herrán-Arita, Alberto K; Drucker-Colin, Rene

    2013-12-25

    Insomnia is a common clinical condition characterized by difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or non-restorative sleep with impairment of daytime functioning. Currently, treatment for insomnia involves a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBTi) and pharmacological therapy. Among pharmacological interventions, the most evidence exists for benzodiazepine (BZD) receptor agonist drugs (GABAA receptor), although concerns persist regarding their safety and their limited efficacy. The use of these hypnotic medications must be carefully monitored for adverse effects. Orexin (hypocretin) neuropeptides have been shown to regulate transitions between wakefulness and sleep by promoting cholinergic/monoaminergic neural pathways. This has led to the development of a new class of pharmacological agents that antagonize the physiological effects of orexin. The development of these agents may lead to novel therapies for insomnia without the side effect profile of hypnotics (e.g., impaired cognition, disturbed arousal, and motor balance difficulties). However, antagonizing a system that regulates the sleep-wake cycle may create an entirely different side effect profile. In this review, we discuss the role of orexin and its receptors on the sleep-wake cycle and that of orexin antagonists in the treatment of insomnia.

  16. Overview of the therapeutic potential of piplartine (piperlongumine).

    PubMed

    Bezerra, Daniel P; Pessoa, Claudia; de Moraes, Manoel O; Saker-Neto, Nicolau; Silveira, Edilberto R; Costa-Lotufo, Leticia V

    2013-02-14

    Piplartine (piperlongumine, 5,6-dihydro-1-[(2E)-1-oxo-3-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-2-propenyl]-2(1H)-pyridinone) is a biologically active alkaloid/amide from peppers, as from long pepper (Piper longum L. - Piperaceae). Long pepper is one of the most widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, which is used to treat many diseases, including tumors. The purpose of the current paper is to address to the chemical structure establishment and to systematically survey the published articles and highlight recent advances in the knowledge of the therapeutic potential of piplartine, establishing new goals for future research. The reported pharmacological activities of piplartine include cytotoxic, genotoxic, antitumor, antiangiogenic, antimetastatic, antiplatelet aggregation, antinociceptive, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anti-atherosclerotic, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, leishmanicidal, trypanocidal, and schistosomicidal activities. Among the multiple pharmacological effects of piplartine, its anticancer property is the most promising. Therefore, the preclinical anticancer potential of piplartine has been extensively investigated, which recently resulted in one patent. This compound is selectively cytotoxic against cancer cells by induction of oxidative stress, induces genotoxicity, as an alternative strategy to killing tumor cells, has excellent oral bioavailability in mice, inhibits tumor growth in mice, and presents only weak systemic toxicity. In summary, we conclude that piplartine is effective for use in cancer therapy and its safety using chronic toxicological studies should be addressed to support the viability of clinical trials.

  17. Therapeutic Potential of Temperate Forage Legumes: A Review.

    PubMed

    Cornara, Laura; Xiao, Jianbo; Burlando, Bruno

    2016-07-29

    The discovery of bioactive molecules from botanical sources is an expanding field, preferentially oriented to plants having a tradition of use in medicine and providing high yields and availability. Temperate forage legumes are Fabaceae species that include worldwide-important crops. These plants possess therapeutic virtues that have not only been used in veterinary and folk medicine, but have also attracted the interest of official medicine. We have examined here Medicago sativa (alfalfa), Trifolium pratense and T. repens (clovers), Melilotus albus and M. officinalis (sweet clovers), Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil), Onobrychis viciifolia (sainfoin), Lespedeza capitata (roundhead lespedeza), and Galega officinalis (goat's rue). The phytochemical complexes of these species contain secondary metabolites whose pharmacological potentials deserve investigation. Major classes of compounds include alkaloids and amines, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins, condensed tannins, and saponins. Some of these phytochemicals have been related to antihypercholesterolemia, antidiabetic, antimenopause, anti-inflammatory, antiedema, anthelmintic, and kidney protective effects. Two widely prescribed drugs have been developed starting from temperate forage legumes, namely, the antithrombotic warfarin, inspired from sweet clover's coumarin, and the antidiabetic metformin, a derivative of sainfoin's guanidine. Available evidence suggests that temperate forage legumes are a potentially important resource for the extraction of active principles to be used as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals.

  18. Evaluating the Cancer Therapeutic Potential of Cardiac Glycosides

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Montaño, José Manuel; Burgos-Morón, Estefanía; Orta, Manuel Luis; Maldonado-Navas, Dolores; García-Domínguez, Irene; López-Lázaro, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Cardiac glycosides, also known as cardiotonic steroids, are a group of natural products that share a steroid-like structure with an unsaturated lactone ring and the ability to induce cardiotonic effects mediated by a selective inhibition of the Na+/K+-ATPase. Cardiac glycosides have been used for many years in the treatment of cardiac congestion and some types of cardiac arrhythmias. Recent data suggest that cardiac glycosides may also be useful in the treatment of cancer. These compounds typically inhibit cancer cell proliferation at nanomolar concentrations, and recent high-throughput screenings of drug libraries have therefore identified cardiac glycosides as potent inhibitors of cancer cell growth. Cardiac glycosides can also block tumor growth in rodent models, which further supports the idea that they have potential for cancer therapy. Evidence also suggests, however, that cardiac glycosides may not inhibit cancer cell proliferation selectively and the potent inhibition of tumor growth induced by cardiac glycosides in mice xenografted with human cancer cells is probably an experimental artifact caused by their ability to selectively kill human cells versus rodent cells. This paper reviews such evidence and discusses experimental approaches that could be used to reveal the cancer therapeutic potential of cardiac glycosides in preclinical studies. PMID:24895612

  19. Cannabinoid Receptor 2 Signaling in Neurodegenerative Disorders: From Pathogenesis to a Promising Therapeutic Target

    PubMed Central

    Cassano, Tommaso; Calcagnini, Silvio; Pace, Lorenzo; De Marco, Federico; Romano, Adele; Gaetani, Silvana

    2017-01-01

    As a consequence of an increasingly aging population, the number of people affected by neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, is rapidly increasing. Although the etiology of these diseases has not been completely defined, common molecular mechanisms including neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction have been confirmed and can be targeted therapeutically. Moreover, recent studies have shown that endogenous cannabinoid signaling plays a number of modulatory roles throughout the central nervous system (CNS), including the neuroinflammation and neurogenesis. In particular, the up-regulation of type-2 cannabinoid (CB2) receptors has been found in a number of neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, the modulation of CB2 receptor signaling may represent a promising therapeutic target with minimal psychotropic effects that can be used to modulate endocannabinoid-based therapeutic approaches and to reduce neuronal degeneration. For these reasons this review will focus on the CB2 receptor as a promising pharmacological target in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:28210207

  20. Therapeutic implications of peptide interactions with G-protein-coupled receptors in diabetic vasculopathy.

    PubMed

    Carrillo-Sepulveda, M A; Matsumoto, T; Nunes, K P; Webb, R C

    2014-05-01

    The dramatic worldwide increase in the prevalence of diabetes has generated an attempt by the scientific community to identify strategies for its treatment and prevention. Vascular dysfunction is a hallmark of diabetes and frequently leads to the development of atherosclerosis, coronary disease-derived myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and diabetic 'triopathy' (retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy). These vascular complications, developing in an increasingly younger cohort of patients with diabetes, contribute to morbidity and mortality. Despite the development of new anti-diabetic or anti-hyperglycaemic drugs, vascular complications remain to be a problem. This warrants a need for new therapeutic strategies to tackle diabetic vasculopathy. There is a growing body of evidence showing that peptide-binding G-protein-coupled receptors (peptide-binding GPCRs) play an important role in the pathophysiology of vascular dysfunction during diabetes. Thus, in this review, we discuss some of the peptide-binding GPCRs involved in the regulation of vascular function that have potential to be a therapeutic target in the treatment of diabetic vasculopathy.

  1. Therapeutic Potential of Pterocarpus santalinus L.: An Update

    PubMed Central

    Bulle, Saradamma; Reddyvari, Hymavathi; Nallanchakravarthula, Varadacharyulu; Vaddi, Damodara Reddy

    2016-01-01

    Recently there has been increasing interest in plants and plant-derived compounds as raw food and medicinal agents. In Ayurveda, an Indian system of traditional medicine, a wide spectrum of medicinal properties of Pterocarpus santalinus is described. Many important bioactive phytocompounds have been extracted and identified from the heartwood of P. santalinus. Bioactive compounds typically occur in small amounts and have more subtle effects than nutrients. These bioactive compounds influence cellular activities that modify the risk of disease rather than prevent deficiency diseases. A wide array of biological activities and potential health benefits of P. santalinus have been reported, including antioxidative, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties, and protective effects on the liver, gastric mucosa, and nervous system. All these protective effects were attributed to bioactive compounds present in P. santalinus. The major bioactive compounds present in the heartwood of P. santalinus are santalin A and B, savinin, calocedrin, pterolinus K and L, and pterostilbenes. The bioactive compounds have potentially important health benefits: These compounds can act as antioxidants, enzyme inhibitors and inducers, inhibitors of receptor activities, and inducers and inhibitors of gene expression, among other actions. The present review aims to understand the pharmacological effects of P. santalinus on health and disease with “up-to-date” discussion. PMID:27041873

  2. Therapeutic potential of yeast killer toxin-like antibodies and mimotopes.

    PubMed

    Magliani, Walter; Conti, Stefania; Salati, Antonella; Vaccari, Simona; Ravanetti, Lara; Maffei, Domenico L; Polonelli, Luciano

    2004-10-01

    This review focuses on the potential of yeast killer toxin (KT)-like antibodies (KTAbs), that mimic a wide-spectrum KT through interaction with specific cell wall receptors (KTR) and their molecular derivatives (killer mimotopes), as putative new tools for transdisease anti-infective therapy. KTAbs are produced during the course of experimental and natural infections caused by KTR-bearing micro-organisms. They have been produced by idiotypic vaccination with a KT-neutralizing mAb, also in their monoclonal and recombinant formats. KTAbs and KTAbs-derived mimotopes may exert a strong therapeutic activity against mucosal and systemic infections caused by eukaryotic and prokaryotic pathogenic agents, thus representing new potential wide-spectrum antibiotics.

  3. Human rhabdomyosarcoma cells express functional pituitary and gonadal sex hormone receptors: Therapeutic implications

    PubMed Central

    PONIEWIERSKA-BARAN, AGATA; SCHNEIDER, GABRIELA; SUN, WENYUE; ABDELBASET-ISMAIL, AHMED; BARR, FREDERIC G.; RATAJCZAK, MARIUSZ Z.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence has accumulated that sex hormones play an important role in several types of cancer. Because they are also involved in skeletal muscle development and regeneration, we were therefore interested in their potential involvement in the pathogenesis of human rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a skeletal muscle tumor. In the present study, we employed eight RMS cell lines (three fusion positive and five fusion negative RMS cell lines) and mRNA samples obtained from RMS patients. The expression of sex hormone receptors was evaluated by RT-PCR and their functionality by chemotaxis, adhesion and direct cell proliferation assays. We report here for the first time that follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) receptors are expressed in established human RMS cell lines as well as in primary tumor samples isolated from RMS patients. We also report that human RMS cell lines responded both to pituitary and gonadal sex hormone stimulation by enhanced proliferation, chemotaxis, cell adhesion and phosphorylation of MAPKp42/44 and AKT. In summary, our results indicate that sex hormones are involved in the pathogenesis and progression of RMS, and therefore, their therapeutic application should be avoided in patients that have been diagnosed with RMS. PMID:26983595

  4. Chemokine and chemokine receptor structure and interactions: implications for therapeutic strategies

    PubMed Central

    Kufareva, Irina; Salanga, Catherina L.; Handel, Tracy M.

    2015-01-01

    The control of cell migration by chemokines involves interactions with two types of receptors: seven transmembrane chemokine-type G protein-coupled receptors and cell surface or extracellular matrix associated glycosaminoglycans. Coordinated interaction of chemokines with both types of receptors is required for directional migration of cells in numerous physiological and pathological processes. Accumulated structural information, culminating most recently in the structure of a chemokine receptor in complex with a chemokine, has led to a view where chemokine oligomers bind to glycosaminoglycans through epitopes formed when chemokine subunits come together, while chemokine monomers bind to receptors in a pseudo two-step mechanism of receptor activation. Exploitation of this structural knowledge has and will continue to provide important information for therapeutic strategies, as described in this review. PMID:25708536

  5. The therapeutic potential of skeletal muscle plasticity in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: phenotypic modifiers as pharmacologic targets.

    PubMed

    Ljubicic, Vladimir; Burt, Matthew; Jasmin, Bernard J

    2014-02-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a life-limiting, neuromuscular disorder that causes progressive, severe muscle wasting in boys and young men. Although there is no cure, scientists and clinicians can leverage the fact that slower, more oxidative skeletal muscle fibers possess an enhanced degree of resistance to the dystrophic pathology relative to their faster, more glycolytic counterparts, and can thus use this knowledge when investigating novel therapeutic avenues. Several factors have been identified as powerful regulators of muscle plasticity. Some proteins, such as calcineurin, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), PPARβ/δ, and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), when chronically stimulated in animal models, remodel skeletal muscle toward the slow, oxidative myogenic program, whereas others, such as receptor-interacting protein 140 (RIP140) and E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1), repress this phenotype. Recent studies demonstrating that pharmacologic and physiological activation of targets that shift dystrophic muscle toward the slow, oxidative myogenic program provide appreciable molecular and functional benefits. This review surveys the rationale behind, and evidence for, the study of skeletal muscle plasticity in preclinical models of DMD and highlights the potential therapeutic opportunities in advancing a strategy focused on remodeling skeletal muscle in patients with DMD toward the slow, oxidative phenotype.

  6. Receptor modification as a therapeutic approach against viral diseases

    PubMed Central

    Farid, Rabia; Khan, Mohammad Haroon; Rashid, Hamid

    2012-01-01

    Poliovirus causes flaccid paralysis through the destruction of motor neurons in the CNS. Susceptibility to its infection is mainly due to the interaction in between the surface capsid proteins and its receptors on the host cell surface, important for binding, penetration and other necessary events during early infection. Receptor modification is a new approach to treat viral diseases by the modification of target proteins structure. Binding domains are modified in an effective way to make it difficult for the virus to recognize it. In this study, tolerant and intolerant induced mutations in the poliovirus receptor, VP1 and VP2 were identified and substituted in the seed sequence to get the modified versions. Substitutions causing changes in initial folding were short listed and further analyzed for high level folding, physiochemical properties and interactions. Highest RMSD values were observed in between the seed and the mutant K90F (3.265 Å) and Q130W (3.270Å) respectively. The proposed substitutions were found to have low functional impact and thus can be further tested and validated by the experimental researchers. Interactions analyses proved most of the substitutions having decreased affinity for both the VP1 and VP2 and thus are of significant importance against poliovirus. This study will play an important role for bridging computational biology to other fields of applied biology and also will provide an insight to develop resistance against viral diseases. It is also expected that same approach can also be applicable against other viruses like HCV, HIV and other in near future. PMID:22553391

  7. Negative Allosteric Modulators of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors Subtype 5 in Addiction: a Therapeutic Window

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background: Abundant evidence at the anatomical, electrophysiological, and molecular levels implicates metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5) in addiction. Consistently, the effects of a wide range of doses of different mGluR5 negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) have been tested in various animal models of addiction. Here, these studies were subjected to a systematic review to find out if mGluR5 NAMs have a therapeutic potential that can be translated to the clinic. Methods: Literature on consumption/self-administration and reinstatement of drug seeking as outcomes of interest published up to April 2015 was retrieved via PubMed. The review focused on the effects of systemic (i.p., i.v., s.c.) administration of the mGluR5 NAMs 3-((2-Methyl-4-thiazolyl)ethynyl)pyridine (MTEP) and 2-Methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)pyridine (MPEP) on paradigms with cocaine, ethanol, nicotine, and food in rats. Results: MTEP and MPEP were found to reduce self-administration of cocaine, ethanol, and nicotine at doses ≥1mg/kg and 2.5mg/kg, respectively. Dose-response relationship resembled a sigmoidal curve, with low doses not reaching statistical significance and high doses reliably inhibiting self-administration of drugs of abuse. Importantly, self-administration of cocaine, ethanol, and nicotine, but not food, was reduced by MTEP and MPEP in the dose range of 1 to 2mg/kg and 2.5 to 3.2mg/kg, respectively. This dose range corresponds to approximately 50% to 80% mGluR5 occupancy. Interestingly, the limited data found in mice and monkeys showed a similar therapeutic window. Conclusion: Altogether, this review suggests a therapeutic window for mGluR5 NAMs that can be translated to the treatment of substance-related and addictive disorders. PMID:26802568

  8. Notch signaling: its roles and therapeutic potential in hematological malignancies.

    PubMed

    Gu, Yisu; Masiero, Massimo; Banham, Alison H

    2016-05-17

    Notch is a highly conserved signaling system that allows neighboring cells to communicate, thereby controlling their differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis, with the outcome of its activation being highly dependent on signal strength and cell type. As such, there is growing evidence that disturbances in physiological Notch signaling contribute to cancer development and growth through various mechanisms. Notch was first reported to contribute to tumorigenesis in the early 90s, through identification of the involvement of the Notch1 gene in the chromosomal translocation t(7;9)(q34;q34.3), found in a small subset of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since then, Notch mutations and aberrant Notch signaling have been reported in numerous other precursor and mature hematological malignancies, of both myeloid and lymphoid origin, as well as many epithelial tumor types. Of note, Notch has been reported to have both oncogenic and tumor suppressor roles, dependent on the cancer cell type. In this review, we will first give a general description of the Notch signaling pathway, and its physiologic role in hematopoiesis. Next, we will review the role of aberrant Notch signaling in several hematological malignancies. Finally, we will discuss current and potential future therapeutic approaches targeting this pathway.

  9. Parasitic infection as a potential therapeutic tool against rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Apaer, Shadike; Tuxun, Tuerhongjiang; Ma, Hai-Zhang; Zhang, Heng; Aierken, Amina; Aini, Abudusalamu; Li, Yu-Peng; Lin, Ren-Yong; Wen, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Parasites, which are a recently discovered yet ancient dweller in human hosts, remain a great public health burden in underdeveloped countries, despite preventative efforts. Rheumatoid arthritis is a predominantly cosmopolitan health problem with drastic morbidity rates, although encouraging progress has been achieved regarding treatment. However, although various types of methods and agents have been applied clinically, their broad usage has been limited by their adverse effects and/or high costs. Sustained efforts have been exerted on the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ since the 1870s. The immunosuppressive nature of parasitic infections may offer potential insight into therapeutic strategies for rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system is overactivated. An increasing number of published papers are focusing on the preventive and/or curative effect of various parasitic infection on rheumatoid arthritis from experimental studies to large-scale epidemiological studies and clinical trials. Therefore, the present review aimed to provide a general literature review on the possible beneficial role of parasitic infection on rheumatoid arthritis. PMID:27698735

  10. Extracellular Bacterial Proteases in Chronic Wounds: A Potential Therapeutic Target?

    PubMed Central

    Suleman, Louise

    2016-01-01

    Significance: Bacterial biofilms are considered to be responsible for over 80% of persistent infections, including chronic lung infections, osteomyelitis, periodontitis, endocarditis, and chronic wounds. Over 60% of chronic wounds are colonized with bacteria that reside within a biofilm. The exaggerated proteolytic environment of chronic wounds, more specifically elevated matrix metalloproteinases, is thought to be one of the possible reasons as to why chronic wounds fail to heal. However, the role of bacterial proteases within chronic wounds is not fully understood. Recent Advances: Recent research has shown that bacterial proteases can enable colonization and facilitate bacterial immune evasion. The inhibition of bacterial proteases such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase B (LasB) has resulted in the disruption of the bacterial biofilm in vitro. P. aeruginosa is thought to be a key pathogen in chronic wound infection, and therefore, the disruption of these biofilms, potentially through the targeting of P. aeruginosa bacterial proteases, is an attractive therapeutic endeavor. Critical Issues: Disrupting biofilm formation through the inhibition of bacterial proteases may lead to the dissemination of bacteria from the biofilm, allowing planktonic cells to colonize new sites within the wound. Future Directions: Despite a plethora of evidence supporting the role of bacterial proteases as virulence factors in infection, there remains a distinct lack of research into the effect of bacterial proteases in chronic wounds. To assess the viability of targeting bacterial proteases, future research should aim to understand the role of these proteases in a variety of chronic wound subtypes. PMID:27785379

  11. Metabolic isoenzyme shifts in cancer as potential novel therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Aldehyde dehydrogenases in cancer stem cells: potential as therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Clark, David W.

    2016-01-01

    Resistance to current chemotherapeutic or radiation-based cancer treatment strategies is a serious concern. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are typically able to evade treatment and establish a recurrent tumor or metastasis, and it is these that lead to the majority of cancer deaths. Therefore, a major current goal is to develop treatment strategies that eliminate the resistant CSCs as well as the bulk tumor cells in order to achieve complete disease clearance. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) are important for maintenance and differentiation of stem cells as well as normal development. There is expanding evidence that ALDH expression increases in response to therapy and promotes chemoresistance and survival mechanisms in CSCs. This perspective will discuss a paper by Cojoc and colleagues recently published in Cancer Research, that indicates ALDHs play a key role in resistance to radiation therapy and tumor recurrence in prostate cancer. The authors suggest that ALDHs are a potential therapeutic target for treatment prostate cancer patients to limit radiation resistance and disease recurrence. The findings are consistent with work from other cancers showing ALDHs are major contributors of CSC signaling and resistance to anti-cancer treatments. This perspective will address representative work concerning the validity of ALDH and the associated retinoic acid signaling pathway as chemotherapeutic targets for prostate as well as other cancers. PMID:28149880

  13. Sesamol: an efficient antioxidant with potential therapeutic benefits.

    PubMed

    Geetha, Thiraviam; Rohit, Bhandari; Pal, Kaur Indu

    2009-07-01

    Sesamol has been shown earlier to exhibit antimutagenic (reactive oxygen mediated) and antiageing activity in our lab and it has also been found to exert chemopreventive effect. Here we report the in vitro antioxidant activity of sesamol. As most of the antioxidants act due to their property to auto-oxidise and the pro- or antioxidant activity would depend on the concentration of the agent used and the free radical source, at least 6 dilutions in concentration range of 5-1000 nmoles of sesamol were selected for each test system. Further the antioxidant activity was compared with a water soluble antioxidant (ascorbic acid). Eventhough some preliminary studies on the antioxidant activity of sesamol have been reported in DPPH assay & inhibition of lipid peroxidation, it is not complete. We, here in report comprehensively (both in terms of the no. of doses and also a variety of test systems being employed) on the antioxidant activity of sesamol. Furthermore, since all the data has been generated by the same workers and under same laboratory conditions, hence is scientifically significant. Also the process of dose selection as discussed earlier is more scientific; and the data treatment, i.e. calculation of IC(50) values and comparisons with ascorbic acid has been statistically validated. In conclusion, sesamol was found to be an efficient scavenger of the entire range of ROS in several test systems pointing towards the potential of sesamol to be developed as a possible therapeutic.

  14. Pueraria tuberosa: a review on its phytochemical and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Maji, Amal K; Pandit, Subrata; Banerji, Pratim; Banerjee, Debdulal

    2014-01-01

    Pueraria tuberosa (Willd.) DC is a perennial herb commonly known as 'vidarikanda', distributed throughout south east Asia. The plant's tuber is widely used in ethanomedicine as well as in traditional systems of medicine, particularly in ayurveda. It has been used in various ayurvedic formulations as restorative tonic, antiaging, spermatogenic and immune booster and has been recommended for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, hepatosplenomegaly, fertility disorders, menopausal syndrome, sexual debility and spermatorrhoea. Numerous bioactive phytochemicals, mostly isoflavonoids such as puerarin, genistein, daidzein, tuberosin and so on have been identified in the tuber. In vivo and in vitro studies have provided the support against traditional demands of the tuber as spermatogenic, immune booster, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic and brain tonic. However, further studies are required to define the active phytochemical compositions and to validate its clinical utilisation in the herbal formulations for human uses. This review provides an overview of traditional applications, current knowledge on the phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of P. tuberosa. This review also provides plausible hypotheses about how various isoflavones particularly puerarin, genistein and daidzein, individually or collectively, may be responsible for the therapeutic potential against a wide range of ailments.

  15. Astaxanthin: a potential therapeutic agent in cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Fassett, Robert G; Coombes, Jeff S

    2011-03-21

    Astaxanthin is a xanthophyll carotenoid present in microalgae, fungi, complex plants, seafood, flamingos and quail. It is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and as such has potential as a therapeutic agent in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Synthetic forms of astaxanthin have been manufactured. The safety, bioavailability and effects of astaxanthin on oxidative stress and inflammation that have relevance to the pathophysiology of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, have been assessed in a small number of clinical studies. No adverse events have been reported and there is evidence of a reduction in biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation with astaxanthin administration. Experimental studies in several species using an ischaemia-reperfusion myocardial model demonstrated that astaxanthin protects the myocardium when administered both orally or intravenously prior to the induction of the ischaemic event. At this stage we do not know whether astaxanthin is of benefit when administered after a cardiovascular event and no clinical cardiovascular studies in humans have been completed and/or reported. Cardiovascular clinical trials are warranted based on the physicochemical and antioxidant properties, the safety profile and preliminary experimental cardiovascular studies of astaxanthin.

  16. Epigenetic targeting of histone deacetylase: therapeutic potential in Parkinson's disease?

    PubMed

    Harrison, Ian F; Dexter, David T

    2013-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common movement disorder affecting more than 4million people worldwide. The primary motor symptoms of the disease are due to degeneration of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons. Dopamine replacement therapies have therefore revolutionised disease management by partially controlling these symptoms. However these drugs can produce debilitating side effects when used long term and do not protect degenerating neurons against death. Recent evidence has highlighted a pathological imbalance in PD between the acetylation and deacetylation of the histone proteins around which deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is coiled, in favour of excessive histone deacetylation. This mechanism of adding/removing acetyl groups to histone lysine residues is one of many epigenetic regulatory processes which control the expression of genes, many of which will be essential for neuronal survival. Hence, such epigenetic modifications may have a pathogenic role in PD. It has therefore been hypothesised that if this pathological imbalance can be corrected with the use of histone deacetylase inhibiting agents then neurodegeneration observed in PD can be ameliorated. This article will review the current literature with regard to epigenetic changes in PD and the use of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) in PD: examining the evidence of the neuroprotective effects of numerous HDACIs in cellular and animal models of Parkinsonian cell death. Ultimately answering the question: does epigenetic targeting of histone deacetylases hold therapeutic potential in PD?

  17. MPS1 kinase as a potential therapeutic target in medulloblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Alimova, Irina; Ng, June; Harris, Peter; Birks, Diane; Donson, Andrew; Taylor, Michael D.; Foreman, Nicholas K.; Venkataraman, Sujatha; Vibhakar, Rajeev

    2016-01-01

    Medulloblastoma is the most common type of malignant brain tumor that affects children. Although recent advances in chemotherapy and radiation have improved outcomes, high-risk patients perform poorly with significant morbidity. Gene expression profiling has revealed that monopolar spindle 1 (MPS1) (TTK1) is highly expressed in medulloblastoma patient samples compared to that noted in normal cerebellum. MPS1 is a key regulator of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), a mitotic mechanism specifically required for proper chromosomal alignment and segregation. The SAC can be activated in aneuploid cancer cells and MPS1 is overexpressed in many types of cancers. A previous study has demonstrated the effectiveness of inhibiting MPS1 with small-molecule inhibitors, but the role of MPS1 in medulloblastoma is unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that MPS1 inhibition by shRNA or with a small-molecule drug, NMS-P715, resulted in decreased cell growth, inhibition of clonogenic potential and induction of apoptosis in cells belonging to both the Shh and group 3 medulloblastoma genomic signature. These findings highlight MPS1 as a rational therapeutic target for medulloblastoma. PMID:27633003

  18. Investigation of Stilbenoids as Potential Therapeutic Agents for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis.

    PubMed

    Ball, Judith M; Medina-Bolivar, Fabricio; Defrates, Katelyn; Hambleton, Emily; Hurlburt, Megan E; Fang, Lingling; Yang, Tianhong; Nopo-Olazabal, Luis; Atwill, Richard L; Ghai, Pooja; Parr, Rebecca D

    2015-01-01

    Rotavirus (RV) infections cause severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. Vaccines are available but cost prohibitive for many countries and only reduce severe symptoms. Vaccinated infants continue to shed infectious particles, and studies show decreased efficacy of the RV vaccines in tropical and subtropical countries where they are needed most. Continuing surveillance for new RV strains, assessment of vaccine efficacy, and development of cost effective antiviral drugs remain an important aspect of RV studies. This study was to determine the efficacy of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory stilbenoids to inhibit RV replication. Peanut (A. hypogaea) hairy root cultures were induced to produce stilbenoids, which were purified by high performance countercurrent chromatography (HPCCC) and analyzed by HPLC. HT29.f8 cells were infected with RV in the presence stilbenoids. Cell viability counts showed no cytotoxic effects on HT29.f8 cells. Viral infectivity titers were calculated and comparatively assessed to determine the effects of stilbenoid treatments. Two stilbenoids, trans-arachidin-1 and trans-arachidin-3, show a significant decrease in RV infectivity titers. Western blot analyses performed on the infected cell lysates complemented the infectivity titrations and indicated a significant decrease in viral replication. These studies show the therapeutic potential of the stilbenoids against RV replication.

  19. Chitosan oligosaccharide: Biological activities and potential therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Muanprasat, Chatchai; Chatsudthipong, Varanuj

    2017-02-01

    Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) is an oligomer of β-(1➔4)-linked d-glucosamine. COS can be prepared from the deacetylation and hydrolysis of chitin, which is commonly found in the exoskeletons of arthropods and insects and the cell walls of fungi. COS is water soluble, non-cytotoxic, readily absorbed through the intestine and mainly excreted in the urine. Of particular importance, COS and its derivatives have been demonstrated to possess several biological activities including anti-inflammation, immunostimulation, anti-tumor, anti-obesity, anti-hypertension, anti-Alzheimer's disease, tissue regeneration promotion, drug and DNA delivery enhancement, anti-microbial, anti-oxidation and calcium-absorption enhancement. The mechanisms of actions of COS have been found to involve the modulation of several important pathways including the suppression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This review summarizes the current knowledge of the preparation methods, pharmacokinetic profiles, biological activities, potential therapeutic applications and safety profiles of COS and its derivatives. In addition, future research directions are discussed.

  20. Extracellular Bacterial Proteases in Chronic Wounds: A Potential Therapeutic Target?

    PubMed

    Suleman, Louise

    2016-10-01

    Significance: Bacterial biofilms are considered to be responsible for over 80% of persistent infections, including chronic lung infections, osteomyelitis, periodontitis, endocarditis, and chronic wounds. Over 60% of chronic wounds are colonized with bacteria that reside within a biofilm. The exaggerated proteolytic environment of chronic wounds, more specifically elevated matrix metalloproteinases, is thought to be one of the possible reasons as to why chronic wounds fail to heal. However, the role of bacterial proteases within chronic wounds is not fully understood. Recent Advances: Recent research has shown that bacterial proteases can enable colonization and facilitate bacterial immune evasion. The inhibition of bacterial proteases such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase B (LasB) has resulted in the disruption of the bacterial biofilm in vitro. P. aeruginosa is thought to be a key pathogen in chronic wound infection, and therefore, the disruption of these biofilms, potentially through the targeting of P. aeruginosa bacterial proteases, is an attractive therapeutic endeavor. Critical Issues: Disrupting biofilm formation through the inhibition of bacterial proteases may lead to the dissemination of bacteria from the biofilm, allowing planktonic cells to colonize new sites within the wound. Future Directions: Despite a plethora of evidence supporting the role of bacterial proteases as virulence factors in infection, there remains a distinct lack of research into the effect of bacterial proteases in chronic wounds. To assess the viability of targeting bacterial proteases, future research should aim to understand the role of these proteases in a variety of chronic wound subtypes.

  1. Notch signaling: its roles and therapeutic potential in hematological malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Yisu

    2016-01-01

    Notch is a highly conserved signaling system that allows neighboring cells to communicate, thereby controlling their differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis, with the outcome of its activation being highly dependent on signal strength and cell type. As such, there is growing evidence that disturbances in physiological Notch signaling contribute to cancer development and growth through various mechanisms. Notch was first reported to contribute to tumorigenesis in the early 90s, through identification of the involvement of the Notch1 gene in the chromosomal translocation t(7;9)(q34;q34.3), found in a small subset of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since then, Notch mutations and aberrant Notch signaling have been reported in numerous other precursor and mature hematological malignancies, of both myeloid and lymphoid origin, as well as many epithelial tumor types. Of note, Notch has been reported to have both oncogenic and tumor suppressor roles, dependent on the cancer cell type. In this review, we will first give a general description of the Notch signaling pathway, and its physiologic role in hematopoiesis. Next, we will review the role of aberrant Notch signaling in several hematological malignancies. Finally, we will discuss current and potential future therapeutic approaches targeting this pathway. PMID:26934331

  2. Nrf2: a potential therapeutic target for diabetic neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anil; Mittal, Ruchika

    2017-03-28

    Different aspects involved in pathophysiology of diabetic neuropathy are related to inflammatory and apoptotic pathways. This article summarizes evidence that Nrf2 acts as a bridging link in various inflammatory and apoptotic pathways impacting progression of diabetic neuropathy. Nrf2 is involved in expression of various antioxidant proteins (such as detoxifying enzymes) via antioxidant response element (ARE) binding site. Under normal conditions, Nrf2 is inactive and remains in the cytosol. Hyperglycemia is a strong stimulus for oxidative stress and inflammation that downregulates the activity of Nrf2 through various neuroinflammatory pathways. Acute hyperglycemia increases the expression of Nrf2, but persistent hyperglycemia decreases its expression. This downregulation of Nrf2 causes various microvascular changes, which result in diabetic neuropathy. The key contribution of Nrf2 in progression of diabetic neuropathy has been summarized in the article. Despite involvement of Nrf2 in progression of diabetic neuropathy, targeting Nrf2 activators as a therapeutic potential will provide important new insights into the ways that influence treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

  3. The Therapeutic Potentials of Ayahuasca: Possible Effects against Various Diseases of Civilization.

    PubMed

    Frecska, Ede; Bokor, Petra; Winkelman, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychoactive brew of two main components. Its active agents are β-carboline and tryptamine derivatives. As a sacrament, ayahuasca is still a central element of many healing ceremonies in the Amazon Basin and its ritual consumption has become common among the mestizo populations of South America. Ayahuasca use amongst the indigenous people of the Amazon is a form of traditional medicine and cultural psychiatry. During the last two decades, the substance has become increasingly known among both scientists and laymen, and currently its use is spreading all over in the Western world. In the present paper we describe the chief characteristics of ayahuasca, discuss important questions raised about its use, and provide an overview of the scientific research supporting its potential therapeutic benefits. A growing number of studies indicate that the psychotherapeutic potential of ayahuasca is based mostly on the strong serotonergic effects, whereas the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) agonist effect of its active ingredient dimethyltryptamine raises the possibility that the ethnomedical observations on the diversity of treated conditions can be scientifically verified. Moreover, in the right therapeutic or ritual setting with proper preparation and mindset of the user, followed by subsequent integration of the experience, ayahuasca has proven effective in the treatment of substance dependence. This article has two important take-home messages: (1) the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca are best understood from a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model, and (2) on the biological level ayahuasca may act against chronic low grade inflammation and oxidative stress via the Sig-1R which can explain its widespread therapeutic indications.

  4. The Therapeutic Potentials of Ayahuasca: Possible Effects against Various Diseases of Civilization

    PubMed Central

    Frecska, Ede; Bokor, Petra; Winkelman, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychoactive brew of two main components. Its active agents are β-carboline and tryptamine derivatives. As a sacrament, ayahuasca is still a central element of many healing ceremonies in the Amazon Basin and its ritual consumption has become common among the mestizo populations of South America. Ayahuasca use amongst the indigenous people of the Amazon is a form of traditional medicine and cultural psychiatry. During the last two decades, the substance has become increasingly known among both scientists and laymen, and currently its use is spreading all over in the Western world. In the present paper we describe the chief characteristics of ayahuasca, discuss important questions raised about its use, and provide an overview of the scientific research supporting its potential therapeutic benefits. A growing number of studies indicate that the psychotherapeutic potential of ayahuasca is based mostly on the strong serotonergic effects, whereas the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) agonist effect of its active ingredient dimethyltryptamine raises the possibility that the ethnomedical observations on the diversity of treated conditions can be scientifically verified. Moreover, in the right therapeutic or ritual setting with proper preparation and mindset of the user, followed by subsequent integration of the experience, ayahuasca has proven effective in the treatment of substance dependence. This article has two important take-home messages: (1) the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca are best understood from a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model, and (2) on the biological level ayahuasca may act against chronic low grade inflammation and oxidative stress via the Sig-1R which can explain its widespread therapeutic indications. PMID:26973523

  5. Therapeutic potential and limitations of cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway in sepsis.

    PubMed

    Kanashiro, Alexandre; Sônego, Fabiane; Ferreira, Raphael G; Castanheira, Fernanda V S; Leite, Caio A; Borges, Vanessa F; Nascimento, Daniele C; Cólon, David F; Alves-Filho, José Carlos; Ulloa, Luis; Cunha, Fernando Q

    2017-03-01

    Sepsis is one of the main causes of mortality in hospitalized patients. Despite the recent technical advances and the development of novel generation of antibiotics, severe sepsis remains a major clinical and scientific challenge in modern medicine. Unsuccessful efforts have been dedicated to the search of therapeutic options to treat the deleterious inflammatory components of sepsis. Recent findings on neuronal networks controlling immunity raised expectations for novel therapeutic strategies to promote the regulation of sterile inflammation, such as autoimmune diseases. Interesting studies have dissected the anatomical constituents of the so-called "cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway", suggesting that electrical vagus nerve stimulation and pharmacological activation of beta-2 adrenergic and alpha-7 nicotinic receptors could be alternative strategies for improving inflammatory conditions. However, the literature on infectious diseases, such as sepsis, is still controversial and, therefore, the real therapeutic potential of this neuroimmune pathway is not well defined. In this review, we will discuss the beneficial and detrimental effects of neural manipulation in sepsis, which depend on the multiple variables of the immune system and the nature of the infection. These observations suggest future critical studies to validate the clinical implications of vagal parasympathetic signaling in sepsis treatment.

  6. RNAi: a potential new class of therapeutic for human genetic disease.

    PubMed

    Seyhan, Attila A

    2011-11-01

    Dominant negative genetic disorders, in which a mutant allele of a gene causes disease in the presence of a second, normal copy, have been challenging since there is no cure and treatments are only to alleviate the symptoms. Current therapies involving pharmacological and biological drugs are not suitable to target mutant genes selectively due to structural indifference of the normal variant of their targets from the disease-causing mutant ones. In instances when the target contains single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), whether it is an enzyme or structural or receptor protein are not ideal for treatment using conventional drugs due to their lack of selectivity. Therefore, there is a need to develop new approaches to accelerate targeting these previously inaccessible targets by classical therapeutics. Although there is a cooling trend by the pharmaceutical industry for the potential of RNA interference (RNAi), RNAi and other RNA targeting drugs (antisense, ribozyme, etc.) still hold their promise as the only drugs that provide an opportunity to target genes with SNP mutations found in dominant negative disorders, genes specific to pathogenic tumor cells, and genes that are critical for mediating the pathology of various other diseases. Because of its exquisite specificity and potency, RNAi has attracted a considerable interest as a new class of therapeutic for genetic diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease (HD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), spinocerebellar ataxia, dominant muscular dystrophies, and cancer. In this review, progress and challenges in developing RNAi therapeutics for genetic diseases will be discussed.

  7. Therapeutic Potential of Chinese Herbal Medicines in Alcoholic Liver Disease

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Kuan-Hung; Liu, Chun-Ting; Raghu, Rajasekaran; Sheen, Lee-Yan

    2012-01-01

    Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a complex chronic disease and is associated with a spectrum of liver injury ranging from steatosis and steatohepatitis to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Since effective therapies for ALD are still limited, Chinese herbal medicine is thought to be an important and alternative approach. This review focuses on the current scientific evidence of ALD by ten Chinese Materia Medica (中藥 zhōng yào), including Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix (丹參 dān shēn), Notoginseng Radix (三七 sān qī), Lycii Fructus (枸杞子 gǒu qǐ zǐ), Cnidii Fructus (蛇床子 shé chuáng zǐ), Gentianae Radix (龍膽 lóng dǎn), Puerariae Radix (葛根 gé gēn), Puerariae Flos (葛花 gé huā), Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex (厚朴 hòu pò), Platycodonis Radix (桔梗 jié gěng), and Trigonellae Semen (胡蘆巴 hú lú bā). Potential mechanisms of these herbal medicines in ALD are involved in amelioration of enhanced inflammation, reduction of hepatic oxidative stress and lipogenesis, and enhancement of intestinal permeability in alcohol-induced liver injury models in vitro and in vivo. Accordingly, the evidenced therapeutic potential suggests that these herbs are promising candidates for prevention and development of new drugs for ALD in the future. PMID:24716123

  8. Revolution in GPCR signalling: opioid receptor heteromers as novel therapeutic targets: IUPHAR review 10.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Wakako; Gomes, Ivone; Devi, Lakshmi A

    2014-09-01

    GPCRs can interact with each other to form homomers or heteromers. Homomers involve interactions with the same receptor type while heteromers involve interactions between two different GPCRs. These receptor-receptor interactions modulate not only the binding but also the signalling and trafficking properties of individual receptors. Opioid receptor heteromerization has been extensively investigated with the objective of identifying novel therapeutic targets that are as potent as morphine but without the side effects associated with chronic morphine use. In this context, studies have described heteromerization between the different types of opioid receptors and between opioid receptors and a wide range of GPCRs including adrenoceptors, cannabinoid, 5-HT, metabotropic glutamate and sensory neuron-specific receptors. Recent advances in the field involving the generation of heteromer-specific reagents (antibodies or ligands) or of membrane-permeable peptides that disrupt the heteromer interaction are helping to elucidate the physiological role of opioid receptor heteromers and the contribution of the partner receptor to the side effects associated with opioid use. For example, studies using membrane-permeable peptides targeting the heteromer interface have implicated μ and δ receptor heteromers in the development of tolerance to morphine, and heteromers of μ and gastrin-releasing peptide receptors in morphine-induced itch. In addition, a number of ligands that selectively target opioid receptor heteromers exhibit potent antinociception with a decrease in the side effects commonly associated with morphine use. In this review, we summarize the latest findings regarding the biological and functional characteristics of opioid receptor heteromers both in vitro and in vivo.

  9. Multi-Functional Diarylurea Small Molecule Inhibitors of TRPV1 with Therapeutic Potential for Neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Feng, Zhiwei; Pearce, Larry V; Zhang, Yu; Xing, Changrui; Herold, Brienna K A; Ma, Shifan; Hu, Ziheng; Turcios, Noe A; Yang, Peng; Tong, Qin; McCall, Anna K; Blumberg, Peter M; Xie, Xiang-Qun

    2016-07-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1), a heat-sensitive calcium channel protein, contributes to inflammation as well as to acute and persistent pain. Since TRPV1 occupies a central position in pathways of neuronal inflammatory signaling, it represents a highly attractive potential therapeutic target for neuroinflammation. In the present work, we have in silico identified a series of diarylurea analogues for hTRPV1, of which 11 compounds showed activity in the nanomolar to micromolar range as validated by in vitro biological assays. Then, we utilized molecular docking to explore the detailed interactions between TRPV1 and the compounds to understand the contributions of the different substituent groups. Tyr511, Leu518, Leu547, Thr550, Asn551, Arg557, and Leu670 were important for the recognition of the small molecules by TRPV1. A hydrophobic group in R2 or a polar/hydrophilic group in R1 contributed significantly to the activities of the antagonists at TRPV1. In addition, the subtle different binding pose of meta-chloro in place of para-fluoro in the R2 group converted antagonism into partial agonism, as was predicted by our short-term molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and validated by bioassay. Importantly, compound 15, one of our best TRPV1 inhibitors, also showed potential binding affinity (1.39 μM) at cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which is another attractive target for immuno-inflammation diseases. Furthermore, compound 1 and its diarylurea analogues were predicted to target the C-X-C chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2), although bioassay validation of CXCR2 with these compounds still needs to be performed. This prediction from the modeling is of interest, since CXCR2 is also a potential therapeutic target for chronic inflammatory diseases. Our findings provide novel strategies to develop a small molecule inhibitor to simultaneously target two or more inflammation-related proteins for the treatment of a wide range of inflammatory disorders including

  10. ERBB receptors: from oncogene discovery to basic science to mechanism-based cancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Arteaga, Carlos L; Engelman, Jeffrey A

    2014-03-17

    ERBB receptors were linked to human cancer pathogenesis approximately three decades ago. Biomedical investigators have since developed substantial understanding of the biology underlying the dependence of cancers on aberrant ERBB receptor signaling. An array of cancer-associated genetic alterations in ERBB receptors has also been identified. These findings have led to the discovery and development of mechanism-based therapies targeting ERBB receptors that have improved outcome for many cancer patients. In this Perspective, we discuss current paradigms of targeting ERBB receptors with cancer therapeutics and our understanding of mechanisms of action and resistance to these drugs. As current strategies still have limitations, we also discuss challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as basic scientists and clinical investigators work toward more breakthroughs.

  11. Nuclear receptor coregulators: modulators of pathology and therapeutic targets

    PubMed Central

    Lonard, David M.; O’Malley, Bert W.

    2013-01-01

    The nuclear receptor superfamily includes transcription factors that transduce steroid, thyroid and retinoid hormones and other ligands in conjunction with coregulators. To date, over 350 coregulators have been reported in the literature, and advances in proteomic analyses of coregulator protein complexes have revealed that a far greater number of coregulator-interacting proteins also exist. Coregulator dysfunction has been implicated in diverse pathological states, genetic syndromes and cancer. A hallmark of disease related to the disruption of normal coregulator function is the pleiotropic effect on animal physiology, which is frequently manifested as the dysregulation of metabolic and neurological systems. Coregulators have broad physiological and pathological functions that make them promising new drug targets for diseases such as hormone-dependent cancers. Advances in proteomics, genomics and transcriptomics have provided novel insights into the biology of coregulators at a system-wide level and will lead the way to a new understanding of how coregulators can be evaluated in the context of complex and multifaceted genetic factors, hormones, diet, the environment and stress. Ultimately, better knowledge of the associations that exist between coregulator function and human diseases is expected to expand the indications for the use of future coregulator-targeted drugs. PMID:22733267

  12. Adhesion receptors as therapeutic targets for circulating tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiahe; King, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    Metastasis contributes to >90% of cancer-associated mortality. Though primary tumors can be removed by surgical resection or chemo/radiotherapy, metastatic disease is a great challenge to treatment due to its systemic nature. As metastatic “seeds,” circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are believed to be responsible for dissemination from a primary tumor to anatomically distant organs. Despite the possibility of physical trapping of CTCs in microvessels, recent advances have provided insights into the involvement of a variety of adhesion molecules on CTCs. Such adhesion molecules facilitate direct interaction with the endothelium in specific tissues or indirectly through leukocytes. Importantly, significant progress has been made in understanding how these receptors confer enhanced invasion and survival advantage during hematogenous circulation of CTCs through recruitment of macrophages, neutrophils, platelets, and other cells. This review highlights the identification of novel adhesion molecules and how blocking their function can compromise successful seeding and colonization of CTCs in new microenvironment. Encouraged by existing diagnostic tools to identify and isolate CTCs, strategic targeting of these adhesion molecules to deliver conventional chemotherapeutics or novel apoptotic signals is discussed for the neutralization of CTCs in the circulation. PMID:22837985

  13. [Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and therapeutic strategies of cardiovascular damage].

    PubMed

    Verdugo, Fernando J; Montellano, Felipe A; Carreño, Juan E; Marusic, Elisa T

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, much attention has focused on the role of aldosterone and mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) in the pathophysiology of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Patients with primary aldosteronism, in whom angiotensin II levels are low, have a higher incidence of cardiovascular complications than patients with essential hypertension. The Randomized Aldactone Evaluation Study (RALES) demonstrated that adding a non-specific MR antagonist, spironolactone, to a standard therapy that included angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, loop diuretics, and digoxin, significantly reduced morbidity and mortality in patients with moderate to severe heart failure. Similarly, the Eplerenone Post-Acute Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure Efficacy and Survival Study (EPHESUS) showed that the addition of a selective MR antagonist (ARM), eplerenone, to an optimal medical therapy reduces morbidity and mortality among patients with acute myocardial infarction complicated by left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure. These data suggest that aldosterone induces cardiac injury through activation of MRs and support the notion that MR blockade has beneficial effects on aldosterone-dependent cardiac injury, through mechanisms that cannot be simply explained by hemodynamic changes. Although, MRA are highly effective in patients with heart failure, the risk of hyperkalemia should not be overlooked. Serious hyperkalemia events were reported in some MRA clinical trials; however these risks can be mitigated through appropriate patient selection, dose selection, patient education, monitoring, and follow-up.

  14. Potentiation of alpha7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by select albumins.

    PubMed

    Conroy, William G; Liu, Qing-Song; Nai, Qiang; Margiotta, Joseph F; Berg, Darwin K

    2003-02-01

    Nicotinic receptors containing alpha7 subunits are ligand-gated ion channels widely distributed in the nervous system; they influence a diverse array of events because of their high relative calcium permeability. We show here that nicotine-induced whole-cell responses generated by such receptors can be dramatically potentiated in a rapidly reversible manner by some but not all albumins. The potentiation involves increases both in potency and efficacy with no obvious differences in rise and fall times of the response. The potentiation is not reduced by removing absorbed components; it is abolished by proteolysis, suggesting that the albumin protein backbone is essential. The fact that some albumins are ineffective indicates that minor differences in amino acid sequence may be critical. Experiments with open channel blockers indicate that the potentiation involves increased responses from active receptors rather than recruitment of receptors from a previously silent pool. Single channel recordings reveal that the potentiation correlates with increased single channel opening probability, reflected in increased frequency of channel opening and increased mean channel open time. The potentiation can be exploited to overcome blockade by noncompetitive inhibitors such as beta-amyloid peptide. The results raise the possibility that endogenous compounds use the site to modulate receptor function in vivo, and suggest that the receptors may represent useful targets for therapeutic intervention in cases where they have been implicated in neuropathologies such as Alzheimer's disease.

  15. Therapeutic potential of ginseng in the management of cardiovascular disorders.

    PubMed

    Karmazyn, Morris; Moey, Melissa; Gan, Xiaohong Tracey

    2011-10-22

    Although employed in Asian societies for thousands of years, the use of ginseng as an herbal medication for a variety of disorders has increased tremendously worldwide in recent years. Ginseng belongs to the genus Panax, of which there exists a variety, generally reflecting their geographic origin. North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) are two such varieties possessing a plethora of pharmacological properties, which are attributed primarily to the presence of different ginsenosides that bestow these ginsengs with distinct pharmacodynamic profiles. The many cardiovascular benefits attributed to ginseng include cardioprotection, antihypertensive effects, and attenuation of myocardial hypertrophy and heart failure. Experimental studies have revealed a number of beneficial properties of ginseng, particularly in the area of cardiac protection, where ginseng and ginsenosides have been shown to protect the ischaemic and reperfused heart in a variety of experimental models. Emerging evidence also suggests that ginseng attenuates myocardial hypertrophy, thus blunting the remodelling and heart failure processes. However, clinical evidence of efficacy is not convincing, likely owing primarily to the paucity of well designed, randomized, controlled clinical trials. Adding to the complexity in understanding the cardiovascular effects of ginseng is the fact that each of the different ginseng varieties possesses distinct cardiovascular properties, as a result of their respective ginsenoside composition, rendering it difficult to assign a general, common cardiovascular effect to ginseng. Additional challenges include the identification of mechanisms (likely multifaceted) that account for the effects of ginseng and determining which ginsenoside(s) mediate these cardiovascular properties. These concerns notwithstanding, the potential cardiovascular benefit of ginseng is worthy of further studies in view of its possible development as a

  16. Llama Nanoantibodies with Therapeutic Potential against Human Norovirus Diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    Garaicoechea, Lorena; Aguilar, Andrea; Parra, Gabriel I.; Bok, Marina; Sosnovtsev, Stanislav V.; Canziani, Gabriela; Green, Kim Y.; Bok, Karin; Parreño, Viviana

    2015-01-01

    Noroviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis, but no vaccines or therapeutic drugs are available. Llama-derived single chain antibody fragments (also called VHH) are small, recombinant monoclonal antibodies of 15 kDa with several advantages over conventional antibodies. The aim of this study was to generate recombinant monoclonal VHH specific for the two major norovirus (NoV) genogroups (GI and GII) in order to investigate their potential as immunotherapy for the treatment of NoV diarrhea. To accomplish this objective, two llamas were immunized with either GI.1 (Norwalk-1968) or GII.4 (MD2004) VLPs. After immunization, peripheral blood lymphocytes were collected and used to generate two VHH libraries. Using phage display technology, 10 VHH clones specific for GI.1, and 8 specific for GII.4 were selected for further characterization. All VHH recognized conformational epitopes in the P domain of the immunizing VP1 capsid protein, with the exception of one GII.4 VHH that recognized a linear P domain epitope. The GI.1 VHHs were highly specific for the immunizing GI.1 genotype, with only one VHH cross-reacting with GI.3 genotype. The GII.4 VHHs reacted with the immunizing GII.4 strain and showed a varying reactivity profile among different GII genotypes. One VHH specific for GI.1 and three specific for GII.4 could block the binding of homologous VLPs to synthetic HBGA carbohydrates, saliva, and pig gastric mucin, and in addition, could inhibit the hemagglutination of red blood cells by homologous VLPs. The ability of Nov-specific VHHs to perform well in these surrogate neutralization assays supports their further development as immunotherapy for NoV treatment and immunoprophylaxis. PMID:26267898

  17. Therapeutic potential of thalidomide for gemcitabine-resistant bladder cancer.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yen Ta; Cheng, Chuan Chu; Chiu, Ted H; Lai, Pei Chun

    2015-11-01

    Controversial effects of thalidomide for solid malignancies have been reported. In the present study, we evaluate the effects of thalidomide for transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), the most common type of bladder cancer. Thalidomide precipitates were observed when its DMSO solution was added to the culture medium. No precipitation was found when thalidomide was dissolved in 45% γ-cyclodextrin, and this concentration of γ-cyclodextrin elicited slight cytotoxicity on TCC BFTC905 and primary human urothelial cells. Thalidomide-γ-cyclodextrin complex exerted a concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in TCC cells, but was relatively less cytotoxic (with IC50 of 200 µM) in BFTC905 cells than the other 3 TCC cell lines, possibly due to upregulation of Bcl-xL and HIF-1α mediated carbonic anhydrase IX, and promotion of quiescence. Gemcitabine-resistant BFTC905 cells were chosen for additional experiments. Thalidomide induced apoptosis through downregulation of survivin and securin. The secretion of VEGF and TNF-α was ameliorated by thalidomide, but they did not affect cell proliferation. Immune-modulating lenalidomide and pomalidomide did not elicit cytotoxicity. In addition, cereblon did not play a role in the thalidomide effect. Oxidative DNA damage was triggered by thalidomide, and anti-oxidants reversed the effect. Thalidomide also inhibited TNF-α induced invasion through inhibition of NF-κB, and downregulation of effectors, ICAM-1 and MMP-9. Thalidomide inhibited the growth of BFTC905 xenograft tumors in SCID mice via induction of DNA damage and suppression of angiogenesis. Higher average body weight, indicating less chachexia, was observed in thalidomide treated group. Sedative effect was observed within one-week of treatment. These pre-clinical results suggest therapeutic potential of thalidomide for gemcitabine-resistant bladder cancer.

  18. Llama nanoantibodies with therapeutic potential against human norovirus diarrhea.

    PubMed

    Garaicoechea, Lorena; Aguilar, Andrea; Parra, Gabriel I; Bok, Marina; Sosnovtsev, Stanislav V; Canziani, Gabriela; Green, Kim Y; Bok, Karin; Parreño, Viviana

    2015-01-01

    Noroviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis, but no vaccines or therapeutic drugs are available. Llama-derived single chain antibody fragments (also called VHH) are small, recombinant monoclonal antibodies of 15 kDa with several advantages over conventional antibodies. The aim of this study was to generate recombinant monoclonal VHH specific for the two major norovirus (NoV) genogroups (GI and GII) in order to investigate their potential as immunotherapy for the treatment of NoV diarrhea. To accomplish this objective, two llamas were immunized with either GI.1 (Norwalk-1968) or GII.4 (MD2004) VLPs. After immunization, peripheral blood lymphocytes were collected and used to generate two VHH libraries. Using phage display technology, 10 VHH clones specific for GI.1, and 8 specific for GII.4 were selected for further characterization. All VHH recognized conformational epitopes in the P domain of the immunizing VP1 capsid protein, with the exception of one GII.4 VHH that recognized a linear P domain epitope. The GI.1 VHHs were highly specific for the immunizing GI.1 genotype, with only one VHH cross-reacting with GI.3 genotype. The GII.4 VHHs reacted with the immunizing GII.4 strain and showed a varying reactivity profile among different GII genotypes. One VHH specific for GI.1 and three specific for GII.4 could block the binding of homologous VLPs to synthetic HBGA carbohydrates, saliva, and pig gastric mucin, and in addition, could inhibit the hemagglutination of red blood cells by homologous VLPs. The ability of Nov-specific VHHs to perform well in these surrogate neutralization assays supports their further development as immunotherapy for NoV treatment and immunoprophylaxis.

  19. Role of CXCR4 in HIV infection and its potential as a therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Tsutomu; Yamamoto, Naoki

    2010-07-01

    The chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 are the two major coreceptors for HIV entry. Numerous efforts have been made to develop a new class of anti-HIV agents that target these coreceptors as an additional or alternative therapy to standard HAART. Among the CCR5 inhibitors developed so far, maraviroc is the first drug that has been approved by the US FDA for treating patients with R5 HIV-1. Although many CXCR4 inhibitors, some of which are highly active and orally bioavailable, have also been studied, they are still at preclinical stages or have been suspended during development. Importantly, the interaction between CXCR4 and its ligand SDF-1 is involved in various disease conditions, such as cancer cell metastasis, leukemia cell proliferation, rheumatoid arthritis and pulmonary fibrosis. Therefore, CXCR4 inhibitors have potential as novel therapeutics for the treatment of these diseases as well as HIV infection.

  20. Alcohol Versus Cannabinoids: A Review of Their Opposite Neuro-Immunomodulatory Effects and Future Therapeutic Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Madhavan P.; Figueroa, Gloria; Casteleiro, Gianna; Muñoz, Karla; Agudelo, Marisela

    2015-01-01

    Due to the legalization of marijuana and the increased demand for cannabis and alcohol consumption, research efforts highlighting the biomedical consequences of the use of alcohol and cannabinoids are not only relevant to the substance abuse scientific field, but are also of public health interest. Moreover, an overview of the recent literature about alcohol and cannabinoids neuro-immunomodulatory effects highlighting their future therapeutic potentials will provide a significant contribution to science and medicine. Therefore, in the current review, we will first discuss briefly the prevalence of alcohol and marijuana abuse, followed by a discussion on the individual effects of alcohol and cannabinoids on the immune system; then, we will focus on the role of endocannabinoids on the alcohol-induced inflammatory effects. In addition, the review also incorporates cytokine array data obtained from human monocyte-derived dendritic cells, providing a different perspective on the alcohol and cannabinoid abuse divergent effects on cytokine production. The final section will highlight the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid receptors and the novel strategies to treat alcohol dependence as determined by in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies. PMID:26478902

  1. Molecular pharmacology of the mineralocorticoid receptor: prospects for novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Kolkhof, Peter; Borden, Steffen A

    2012-03-24

    The blockade of mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) has been shown to be an invaluable therapy in heart failure and hypertension. To date, only two steroidal antimineralocorticoids, spironolactone (and its active metabolite canrenone) and eplerenone, have been approved, whereas novel non-steroidal compounds are in preclinical and early development. The careful investigation of the efficacy and tolerance of spironolactone in essential hypertension initially supported the idea that a more selective second generation of MR antagonists is desired for chronic treatment of cardiovascular diseases. More than 40 years went by between the approval of the first MR antagonist spironolactone and the market introduction of its sole successor, eplerenone. The molecular pharmacology of MR antagonists may be addressed at different levels. Available preclinical and clinical data of the two approved steroidal antimineralocorticoids allow a good comparison of potency and selectivity of MR antagonists and their pharmacokinetic properties. The search for novel generations of MR antagonists with the ultimate goal of a more tissue selective mode of action may require novel compounds that are differentiated with respect to the binding mode to the MR. Other factors that may contribute to tissue selectivity as e.g. the physicochemical properties of a drug and how they influence the resulting pharmacology in the context of tissue selective co-factor expression are even less well understood. In the following we will review these aspects and demonstrate that the molecular pharmacology of current MR antagonists is on the one hand far from well understood and, on the other hand, still offers room for improvements.

  2. Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors as Targets for Tobacco Cessation Therapeutics: Cutting-Edge Methodologies to Understand Receptor Assembly and Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Fox-Loe, Ashley M; Dwoskin, Linda P; Richards, Christopher I

    2016-01-01

    Tobacco dependence is a chronic relapsing disorder and nicotine, the primary alkaloid in tobacco, acts at nicotinic receptors to stimulate dopamine release in brain, which is responsible for the reinforcing properties of nicotine, leading to addiction. Although the majority of tobacco users express the desire to quit, only a small percentage of those attempting to quit are successful using the currently available pharmacotherapies. Nicotine upregulates the number of specific nicotinic receptors on the neuronal cell surface. An increase in receptor trafficking or preferential stoichiometric assembly of receptor subunits involves changes in assembly, endoplasmic reticulum export, vesicle transport, decreased degradation, desensitization, enhanced maturation of functional pentamers, and pharmacological chaperoning. Understanding these changes on a mechanistic level is important to the development of nicotinic receptors as drug targets. For this reason, cutting-edge methodologies are being developed and employed to pinpoint distinct changes in localization, assembly, export, vesicle trafficking, and stoichiometry in order to further understand the physiology of these receptors and to evaluate the action of novel therapeutics for smoking cessation.

  3. Molecular actions and therapeutic potential of lithium in preclinical and clinical studies of CNS disorders

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Chi-Tso; Chuang, De-Maw

    2011-01-01

    Lithium has been used clinically to treat bipolar disorder for over half a century, and remains a fundamental pharmacological therapy for patients with this illness. Although lithium’s therapeutic mechanisms are not fully understood, substantial in vitro and in vivo evidence suggests that it has neuroprotective/neurotrophic properties against various insults, and considerable clinical potential for the treatment of several neurodegenerative conditions. Evidence from pharmacological and gene manipulation studies support the notion that glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibition and induction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated signaling are lithium’s main mechanisms of action, leading to enhanced cell survival pathways and alteration of a wide variety of downstream effectors. By inhibiting N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated calcium influx, lithium also contributes to calcium homeostasis and suppresses calcium-dependent activation of pro-apoptotic signaling pathways. In addition, lithium decreases inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate by inhibiting phosphoinositol phosphatases, a process recently identified as a novel mechanism for inducing autophagy. Through these mechanisms, therapeutic doses of lithium have been demonstrated to defend neuronal cells against diverse forms of death insults and to improve behavioral as well as cognitive deficits in various animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, including stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, fragile X syndrome, as well as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases, among others. Several clinical trials are also underway to assess the therapeutic effects of lithium for treating these disorders. This article reviews the most recent findings regarding the potential targets involved in lithium’s neuroprotective effects, and the implication of these findings for the treatment of a variety of diseases. PMID:20705090

  4. Targeting N-cadherin through fibroblast growth factor receptor-4: distinct pathogenetic and therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Ezzat, Shereen; Zheng, Lei; Winer, Daniel; Asa, Sylvia L

    2006-11-01

    Several molecular aberrations have been implicated in the pathogenesis of pituitary tumors, but few have proven thus far to be of therapeutic value. Pituitary tumor-derived fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (ptd-FGFR4) is an alternatively transcribed cytoplasmic isoform lacking most of the extracellular domain. This oncogene recapitulates the morphological features of human pituitary tumors in transgenic mice. To investigate the therapeutic potential of targeting ptd-FGFR4, we examined the impact of FGFR4 tyrosine kinase inhibition in xenografted mice. GH4 pituitary cells expressing ptd-FGFR4 develop into invasive tumors. Systemic treatment of mice bearing ptd-FGFR4 tumors with the FGFR-selective inhibitor PD173074 resulted in recovery of membranous N-cadherin staining and a significant reduction in tumor volume with less invasive growth behavior. Mutation of tyrosine Y754F in ptd-FGFR4 abrogated the effect of PD173074-mediated inhibition. The pivotal role of N-cadherin as a mediator of this pituitary cell growth was demonstrated by small interfering RNA mediated down-regulation, which promoted invasive growth in xenografted mice. To validate this model in primary human pituitary tumors, we examined the expression of ptd-FGFR4, N-cadherin, and clinical behavior. Loss of membranous N-cadherin correlated with cytoplasmic FGFR4 expression and with tumor invasiveness in surgically resected human pituitary tumors. Primary human pituitary tumor cells treated with PD173074 showed restoration of N-cadherin to the membrane with dephosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein. These data highlight the pathogenetic significance of N-cadherin misexpression and emphasize the importance of FGFR partnership in mediating its functions.

  5. Asparagus racemosus: a review on its phytochemical and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram

    2016-09-01

    Asparagus racemosus (Willd.) is a widely found medicinal plant in tropical and subtropical parts of India. The therapeutic applications of this plant have been reported in Indian and British Pharmacopoeias and in traditional system of medicine, such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. The crude, semi-purified and purified extracts obtained from different parts of this plant have been useful in therapeutic applications. Numerous bioactive phytochemicals mostly saponins and flavonoids have been isolated and identified from this plant which are responsible alone or in combination for various pharmacological activities. This review aims to give a comprehensive overview of traditional applications, current knowledge on the phytochemistry, pharmacology and overuse of A. racemosus.

  6. PI3K inhibitors as potential therapeutics for autoimmune disease.

    PubMed

    Ball, Jennifer; Archer, Sophie; Ward, Stephen

    2014-08-01

    Aberrant overactivation of the immune system can give rise to chronic and persistent self-attack, culminating in autoimmune disease. This is currently managed therapeutically using potent immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory drugs. Class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) have been identified as ideal therapeutic targets for autoimmune diseases given their wide-ranging roles in immunological processes. Recent studies into the function of selective PI3K inhibitors in vitro and in vivo have yielded encouraging results, allowing progression into the clinic. Here, we review their recent progress across a range of autoimmune diseases.

  7. Potentiation of the ionotropic GABA receptor response by whiskey fragrance.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Sheikh Julfikar; Aoshima, Hitoshi; Koda, Hirofumi; Kiso, Yoshinobu

    2002-11-06

    It is well-known that the target of most mood-defining compounds is an ionotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABA(A) receptor). The potentiation of the response of these inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors induces anxiolytic, sedative, and anesthetic activity in the human brain. To study the effects of whiskey fragrance on the GABA(A) receptor-mediated response, GABA(A) receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocyte by injecting rat whole brain mRNA or cRNA prepared from the cloned cDNA for the alpha(1) and beta(1) subunits of the bovine receptors. Most whiskey components such as phenol, ethoxy, and lactone derivatives potentiated the electrical responses of GABA(A) receptors, especially ethyl phenylpropanoate (EPP), which strongly potentiated the response. When this compound was applied to mice through respiration, the convulsions induced by pentetrazole were delayed, suggesting that EPP was absorbed by the brain, where it could potentiate the GABA(A) receptor responses. The extract of other alcoholic drinks such as wine, sake, brandy, and shochu also potentiated the responses to varying degrees. Although these fragrant components are present in alcoholic drinks at low concentrations (extremely small quantities compared with ethanol), they may also modulate the mood or consciousness of the human through the potentiation of the GABA(A) receptor response after absorption into the brain, because these hydrophobic fragrant compounds are easily absorbed into the brain through the blood-brain barrier and are several thousands times as potent as ethanol in the potentiation of the GABA(A) receptor-mediated response.

  8. Mineralocorticoid receptor as a therapeutic target in chronic kidney disease and hypertension.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Shigeru; Ishizawa, Kenichi; Uchida, Shunya

    2017-03-01

    The kidney has a central role in long-term control of blood pressure, and decreased kidney function is a common but difficult-to-treat cause of hypertension. Conversely, elevated blood pressure contributes to the progression of chronic kidney disease. Steroid hormone aldosterone and its receptor mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) contribute to hypertension by increasing renal salt reabsorption and promote kidney dysfunction through direct effects on renal parenchymal cells. Accumulating data indicate that various mechanisms affect aldosterone-MR signaling. Using a genetically engineered mouse model, we identified crosstalk between small GTPase Rac1 and MR. This crosstalk pathway promotes glomerular podocyte injury, and is also involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Notably, salt loading increases renal Rac1 activity in several models of salt-sensitive hypertension, which, in the presence of aldosterone, synergistically activates MR signaling, causing hypertension and kidney injury. There is also a mechanism regulating MR in a cell-selective manner. In the principal cells of the collecting duct, aldosterone directly binds and activate MR. In neighboring intercalated cells, however, binding of aldosterone to MR is regulated by phosphorylation at the ligand-binding domain. This mechanism serves as a switch to turn on electrolyte flux pathways in intercalated cells, allowing aldosterone to exert distinct effects in different physiological contexts. Given the potential benefit of MR blockade in hypertensive kidney disease, the delineation of these pathways may lead to the identification of alternative therapeutic targets. In this review, we discuss the roles of MR in mediating kidney disease and hypertension, with a focus on the crosstalk among related signaling pathways.

  9. Targeting of a common receptor shared by CXCL8 and N-Ac-PGP as a therapeutic strategy to alleviate chronic neutrophilic lung diseases.

    PubMed

    Snelgrove, Robert J

    2011-09-30

    Persistent neutrophilia is implicated in the pathology of several chronic lung diseases and consequently targeting the signals that drive the recruitment of these cells offers a plausible therapeutic strategy. The tripeptide Pro-Gly-Pro (PGP) is a neutrophil chemoattractant derived from extracellular matrix collagen and implicated in diseases such as COPD and cystic fibrosis. It was anticipated that PGP exerts its chemoatactic activity by mimicking key sequences found within classical neutrophil chemokines, such as CXCL8, and binding their receptors, CXCR1/2. Recently, however, the role of CXCR1/2 as the receptors for PGP has been questioned. In this issue of European Journal of Pharmacology, three studies address this controversy and demonstrate CXCR1/2 to be a common receptor for CXCL8 and PGP. Accordingly, these studies demonstrate the therapeutic potential of targeting this shared receptor to simultaneously alleviate neutrophilic inflammation driven by multiple neutrophil chemoattractants.

  10. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Transactivation: Mechanisms, Pathophysiology, and Potential Therapies in the Cardiovascular System.

    PubMed

    Forrester, Steven J; Kawai, Tatsuo; O'Brien, Shannon; Thomas, Walter; Harris, Raymond C; Eguchi, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation impacts the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, and inhibition of EGFR activity is emerging as a potential therapeutic strategy to treat diseases including hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, renal fibrosis, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. The capacity of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) agonists, such as angiotensin II (AngII), to promote EGFR signaling is called transactivation and is well described, yet delineating the molecular processes and functional relevance of this crosstalk has been challenging. Moreover, these critical findings are dispersed among many different fields. The aim of our review is to highlight recent advancements in defining the signaling cascades and downstream consequences of EGFR transactivation in the cardiovascular renal system. We also focus on studies that link EGFR transactivation to animal models of the disease, and we discuss potential therapeutic applications.

  11. Novel hepatocellular carcinoma molecules with prognostic and therapeutic potentials

    PubMed Central

    Scaggiante, Bruna; Kazemi, Maryam; Pozzato, Gabriele; Dapas, Barbara; Farra, Rosella; Grassi, Mario; Zanconati, Fabrizio; Grassi, Gabriele

    2014-01-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the predominant form of primary liver cancer, is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer-related death. The difficulty to diagnose early cancer stages, the aggressive behaviors of HCC, and the poor effectiveness of therapeutic treatments, represent the reasons for the quite similar deaths per year and incidence number. Considering the fact that the diagnosis of HCC typically occurs in the advanced stages of the disease when the therapeutic options have only modest efficacy, the possibility to identify early diagnostic markers could be of significant benefit. So far, a large number of biomarkers have been associated to HCC progression and aggressiveness, but many of them turned out not to be of practical utility. This is the reason why active investigations are ongoing in this field. Given the huge amount of published works aimed at the identification of HCC biomarkers, in this review we mainly focused on the data published in the last year, with particular attention to the role of (1) molecular and biochemical cellular markers; (2) micro-interfering RNAs; (3) epigenetic variations; and (4) tumor stroma. It is worth mentioning that a significant number of the HCC markers described in the present review may be utilized also as targets for novel therapeutic approaches, indicating the tight relation between diagnosis and therapy. In conclusion, we believe that integrated researches among the different lines of investigation indicated above should represent the winning strategies to identify effective HCC markers and therapeutic targets. PMID:24574801

  12. The sigma-2 receptor as a therapeutic target for drug delivery in triple negative breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Makvandi, Mehran; Tilahun, Estifanos D.; Lieberman, Brian P.; Anderson, Redmond-Craig; Zeng, Chenbo; Xu, Kuiying; Hou, Catherine; McDonald, Elizabeth S.; Pryma, Daniel A.; Mach, Robert H.

    2015-01-01

    Background Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with high relapse rates and increased mortality when compared with other breast cancer subtypes. In contrast to receptor positive breast cancers, there are no approved targeted therapies for TNBC. Identifying biomarkers for TNBC is of high importance for the advancement of patient care. The sigma-2 receptor has been shown to be overexpressed in triple negative breast cancer in vivo and has been characterized as a marker of proliferation. The aim of the present study was to define the sigma-2 receptor as a target for therapeutic drug delivery and biomarker in TNBC. Methods Three TNBC cell lines were evaluated: MDA-MB-231, HCC1937 and HCC1806. Sigma-2 compounds were tested for pharmacological properties specific to the sigma-2 receptor through competitive inhibition assays. Sigma-2 receptor expression was measured through radioligand receptor saturation studies. Drug sensitivity for taxol was compared to a sigma-2 targeting compound conjugated to a cytotoxic payload, SW IV-134. Cell viability was assessed after treatments for 2 or 48 hours. Sigma-2 blockade was assessed to define sigma-2 mediated cytotoxicity of SW IV-134. Caspase 3/7 activation induced by SW IV-134 was measured at corresponding treatment time points. Results: SW IV-134 was the most potent compound tested in two of the three cell lines and was similarly effective in all three. MDA-MB-231 displayed a statistically significant higher sigma-2 receptor expression and also was the most sensitive cell line evaluated to SW IV-134. Conclusion Targeting the sigma-2 receptor with a cytotoxic payload was effective in all the three cell lines evaluated and provides the proof of concept for future development of a therapeutic platform for the treatment of TNBC. PMID:26453012

  13. Peptides targeting Toll-like receptor signalling pathways for novel immune therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Gomariz, R P; Gutiérrez-Cañas, I; Arranz, A; Carrión, M; Juarranz, Y; Leceta, J; Martínez, C

    2010-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of key proteins that permit mammals to detect microbes and endogenous molecules, which are present in body fluids, cell membranes and cytoplasm. They confer mechanisms to the host for maintaining homeostasis, activating innate immunity and inducing signals that lead to the activation of adaptive immunity. TLR signalling induces the expression of pro-inflammatory and anti-viral genes through different and intricate pathways. However, persistent signalling can be dangerous and all members of the TLR family are involved in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, allergy, cancer and aging. The pharmaceutical industry has begun intensive work developing novel immunotherapeutic approaches based on both activation and inhibition of TLR triggering. Further, clinical trials are pending to evaluate TLR agonists as novel vaccine adjuvants and for the treatment of infectious diseases, allergic diseases and asthma. Since systemic, metabolic and neuroendocrine changes are elicited by inflammation, TLR activity is susceptible of regulation by hormones and neuroendocrine factors. Neuroendocrine mediators are important players in modulating different phases of TLR regulation contributing to the endogenous control of homeostasis through local, regional and systemic routes. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is an important signal molecule of the neuroendocrine-immune network that has recently emerged as a potential candidate for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders by controlling innate and adaptive immunity. This review shows current advances in the understanding of TLR modulation by VIP that could contribute to the use of this natural peptide as a therapeutic tool.

  14. Interactive role of trauma cytokines and erythropoietin and their therapeutic potential for acute and chronic wounds.

    PubMed

    Bader, Augustinus; Lorenz, Katrin; Richter, Anja; Scheffler, Katja; Kern, Larissa; Ebert, Sabine; Giri, Shibashish; Behrens, Maria; Dornseifer, Ulf; Macchiarini, Paolo; Machens, Hans-Günther

    2011-02-01

    If controllable, stem cell activation following injury has the therapeutic potential for supporting regeneration in acute or chronic wounds. Human dermally-derived stem cells (FmSCs) were exposed to the cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the presence of erythropoietin (EPO). Cells were cultured under ischemic conditions and phenotypically characterized using flow cytometry. Topical EPO application was performed in three independent clinical wound healing attempts. The FmSCs expressed the receptor for EPO. EPO had a strong inhibitory effect on FmSC growth in the absence of IL-6 and TNF-α. With IL-6, the EPO effects were reversed to that of growth stimulation. TNF-α had the strongest stimulatory effect. In contrast, IL-1β had an inhibitory effect. Topically applied EPO considerably enhanced wound healing and improved wound conditions of acute and chronic wounds. Site specificity of stem cell activation is mediated by IL-6 and TNF-α. In trauma, EPO ceases its inhibitory role and reverts to a clinically relevant boosting function. EPO may be an important therapeutic tool for the topical treatment of acute and chronic wounds.

  15. Potential therapeutic mechanism of extremely low-frequency high-voltage electric fields in cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ka-Eun; Park, Soon-Kwon; Nam, Sang-Yun; Han, Tae-Jong; Cho, Il-Young

    2016-05-18

    The aim of this survey was to provide background theory based on previous research to elucidate the potential pathway by which medical devices using extremely low-frequency high-voltage electric fields (ELF-HVEF) exert therapeutic effects on the human body, and to increase understanding of the AC high-voltage electrotherapeutic apparatus for consumers and suppliers of the relevant devices. Our review revealed that an ELF field as weak as 1-10 μ V/m can induce diverse alterations of membrane proteins such as transporters and channel proteins, including changes in Ca + + binding to a specific site of the cell surface, changes in ion (e.g., Ca + + ) influx or efflux, and alterations in the ligand-receptor interaction. These alterations then induce cytoplasmic responses within cells (Ca + + , cAMP, kinases, etc.) that can have impacts on cell growth, differentiation, and other functional properties by promoting the synthesis of macromolecules. Moreover, increased cytoplasmic Ca + + involves calmodulin-dependent signaling and consequent Ca + + /calmodulin-dependent stimulation of nitric oxide synthesis. This event in turn induces the nitric oxide-cGMP-protein kinase G pathway, which may be an essential factor in the observed physiological and therapeutic responses.

  16. Therapeutic Potential of Targeting TREM-1 in Inflammatory Diseases and Cancer.

    PubMed

    Bosco, Maria Carla; Raggi, Federica; Varesio, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM)-1 is a member of the Ig-like immunoregulatory receptor family and a major amplifier of innate immune responses. TREM- 1 has been implicated in the development and perpetuation of a number of inflammatory disorders, and soluble TREM-1 levels are a clinically valuable diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in patients with sepsis and other types of acute and chronic inflammation- associated diseases, easily detectable in biological fluids. High TREM-1 expression in macrophages infiltrating human tumors and increased concentrations of soluble TREM-1 also correlate with aggressive tumor behavior and recurrence and are a relevant independent predictor of poor patient survival. Pharmacological inhibition of TREM-1 has proven effective in preclinical mouse models of infectious and non-infectious inflammatory disorders and malignancies, conferring survival advantages and protecting from organ damage or tumor growth by attenuating inflammatory responses. This review aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the state of the art on TREM-1 research. We review the literature addressing TREM-1 role in the amplification of myeloid cell inflammatory responses at pathologic sites and its relevance in the development, severity, and progression of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Furthermore, we discuss recent advances in the pharmacological use of TREM-1 inhibitors in mouse preclinical models, emphasizing their potential in new strategies for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions and for therapeutic intervention in cancer. This information will be of value to investigators in the field of pharmacology, drawing attention to novel therapeutic opportunities to complement current treatment approaches.

  17. Estrogen Receptors Alpha (ERα) and Beta (ERβ): Subtype-Selective Ligands and Clinical Potential

    PubMed Central

    Paterni, Ilaria; Granchi, Carlotta; Katzenellenbogen, John A.; Minutolo, Filippo

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen receptors alpha (ERα) and beta (ERβ) are nuclear transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of many complex physiological processes in humans. Modulation of these receptors by prospective therapeutic agents is currently being considered for prevention and treatment of a wide variety of pathological conditions, such as, cancer, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, inflammation, and osteoporosis. This review provides an overview and update of compounds that have been recently reported as modulators of ERs, with a particular focus on their potential clinical applications. PMID:24971815

  18. Sigma-1 receptors: potential targets for the treatment of substance abuse.

    PubMed

    Robson, Matthew J; Noorbakhsh, Bahar; Seminerio, Michael J; Matsumoto, Rae R

    2012-01-01

    Drug abuse is currently a large economic and societal burden in countries around the globe. Many drugs of abuse currently lack adequate therapies aimed at treating both the addiction and negative complications often associated with their use. Sigma-1 receptors were discovered over 30 years ago and have recently become targets for the development of pharmacotherapies aimed at treating substance abuse and addiction. In vivo preclinical studies have revealed that sigma receptor ligands are able to ameliorate select behavioral effects of many drugs of abuse including cocaine, methamphetamine, ethanol and nicotine. In addition, recent studies have begun to elucidate the mechanisms by which sigma-1 receptors modulate the effects of these drugs on neurotransmission, gene regulation and neuroplasticity. Overall, these recent findings suggest that compounds targeting sigma-1 receptors may represent a potential new class of therapeutics aimed at treating drug abuse. Future studies involving clinical populations will be critical for validating the therapeutic potential of sigma-1 receptor ligands for the treatment of substance abuse.

  19. G protein coupled receptor 18: A potential role for endocannabinoid signaling in metabolic dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Rajaraman, Gayathri; Simcocks, Anna; Hryciw, Deanne H; Hutchinson, Dana S; McAinch, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Endocannabinoids are products of dietary fatty acids that are modulated by an alteration in food intake levels. Overweight and obese individuals have substantially higher circulating levels of the arachidonic acid derived endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, and show an altered pattern of cannabinoid receptor expression. These cannabinoid receptors are part of a large family of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are major therapeutic targets for various diseases within the cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems, as well as metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity is considered a state of chronic low-grade inflammation elicited by an immunological response. Interestingly, the newly deorphanized GPCR (GPR18), which is considered to be a putative cannabinoid receptor, is proposed to have an immunological function. In this review, the current scientific knowledge on GPR18 is explored including its localization, signaling pathways, and pharmacology. Importantly, the involvement of nutritional factors and potential dietary regulation of GPR18 and its (patho)physiological roles are described. Further research on this receptor and its regulation will enable a better understanding of the complex mechanisms of GPR18 and its potential as a novel therapeutic target for treating metabolic disorders.

  20. Stratification and therapeutic potential of PML in metastatic breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Martín, Natalia; Piva, Marco; Urosevic, Jelena; Aldaz, Paula; Sutherland, James D.; Fernández-Ruiz, Sonia; Arreal, Leire; Torrano, Verónica; Cortazar, Ana R.; Planet, Evarist; Guiu, Marc; Radosevic-Robin, Nina; Garcia, Stephane; Macías, Iratxe; Salvador, Fernando; Domenici, Giacomo; Rueda, Oscar M.; Zabala-Letona, Amaia; Arruabarrena-Aristorena, Amaia; Zúñiga-García, Patricia; Caro-Maldonado, Alfredo; Valcárcel-Jiménez, Lorea; Sánchez-Mosquera, Pilar; Varela-Rey, Marta; Martínez-Chantar, Maria Luz; Anguita, Juan; Ibrahim, Yasir H.; Scaltriti, Maurizio; Lawrie, Charles H.; Aransay, Ana M.; Iovanna, Juan L.; Baselga, Jose; Caldas, Carlos; Barrio, Rosa; Serra, Violeta; dM Vivanco, Maria; Matheu, Ander; Gomis, Roger R.; Carracedo, Arkaitz

    2016-01-01

    Patient stratification has been instrumental for the success of targeted therapies in breast cancer. However, the molecular basis of metastatic breast cancer and its therapeutic vulnerabilities remain poorly understood. Here we show that PML is a novel target in aggressive breast cancer. The acquisition of aggressiveness and metastatic features in breast tumours is accompanied by the elevated PML expression and enhanced sensitivity to its inhibition. Interestingly, we find that STAT3 is responsible, at least in part, for the transcriptional upregulation of PML in breast cancer. Moreover, PML targeting hampers breast cancer initiation and metastatic seeding. Mechanistically, this biological activity relies on the regulation of the stem cell gene SOX9 through interaction of PML with its promoter region. Altogether, we identify a novel pathway sustaining breast cancer aggressiveness that can be therapeutically exploited in combination with PML-based stratification. PMID:27553708

  1. The potential of prison-based democratic therapeutic communities.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Jamie; Shuker, Richard

    2017-03-13

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe the work of HMP Grendon, the only prison in the UK to operate entirely as a series of democratic therapeutic communities and to summarise the research of its effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach The paper is both descriptive, providing an overview of the work of a prison-based therapeutic community, and offers a literature review regarding evidence of effectiveness. Findings The work of HMP Grendon has a wide range of positive benefits including reduced levels of disruption in prison, reduced self-harm, improved well-being, an environment that is experienced as more humane and reduced levels of reoffending. Originality/value The work of HMP Grendon offers a well established and evidenced approach to managing men who have committed serious violent and sexually violent offences. It also promotes and embodies a progressive approach to managing prisons rooted in the welfare tradition.

  2. Potential Therapeutic Benefits of Maintaining Mitochondrial Health in Peripheral Neuropathies

    PubMed Central

    Areti, Aparna; Yerra, Veera Ganesh; Komirishetty, Prashanth; Kumar, Ashutosh

    2016-01-01

    Background: Peripheral neuropathies are a group of diseases characterized by malfunctioning of peripheral nervous system. Neuropathic pain, one of the core manifestations of peripheral neuropathy remains as the most severe disabling condition affecting the social and daily routine life of patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy. Method: The current review is aimed at unfolding the possible role of mitochondrial dysfunction in peripheral nerve damage and to discuss on the probable therapeutic strategies against neuronal mitotoxicity. The article also highlights the therapeutic significance of maintaining a healthy mitochondrial environment in neuronal cells via pharmacological management in context of peripheral neuropathies. Results: Aberrant cellular signaling coupled with changes in neurotransmission, peripheral and central sensitization are found to be responsible for the pathogenesis of variant toxic neuropathies. Current research reports have indicated the possible involvement of mitochondria mediated redox imbalance as one of the principal causes of neuropathy aetiologies. In addition to imbalance in redox homeostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction is also responsible for alterations in physiological bioenergetic metabolism, apoptosis and autophagy pathways. Conclusions: In spite of various etiological factors, mitochondrial dysfunction has been found to be a major pathomechanism underlying the neuronal dysfunction associated with peripheral neuropathies. Pharmacological modulation of mitochondria either directly or indirectly is expected to yield therapeutic relief from various primary and secondary mitochondrial diseases. PMID:26818748

  3. Protein-Remodeling Factors As Potential Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Meredith E.; Shorter, James

    2017-01-01

    Protein misfolding is implicated in numerous neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. A unifying feature of patients with these disorders is the accumulation of deposits comprised of misfolded protein. Aberrant protein folding can cause toxicity through a loss or gain of protein function, or both. An intriguing therapeutic approach to counter these disorders is the application of protein-remodeling factors to resolve these misfolded conformers and return the proteins to their native fold and function. Here, we describe the application of protein-remodeling factors to alleviate protein misfolding in neurodegenerative disease. We focus on Hsp104, Hsp110/Hsp70/Hsp40, NMNAT, and HtrA1, which can prevent and reverse protein aggregation. While many of these protein-remodeling systems are highly promising, their activity can be limited. Thus, engineering protein-remodeling factors to enhance their activity could be therapeutically valuable. Indeed, engineered Hsp104 variants suppress neurodegeneration in animal models, which opens the way to novel therapeutics and mechanistic probes to help understand neurodegenerative disease. PMID:28293166

  4. Metabotropic and ionotropic glutamate receptors as potential targets for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

    PubMed

    Goodwani, Sunil; Saternos, Hannah; Alasmari, Fawaz; Sari, Youssef

    2017-02-24

    Emerging evidence indicates that dysfunctional glutamate neurotransmission is critical in the initiation and development of alcohol and drug dependence. Alcohol consumption induced downregulation of glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) as reported in previous studies from our laboratory. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, which acts via interactions with several glutamate receptors. Alcohol consumption interferes with the glutamatergic signal transmission by altering the functions of these receptors. Among the glutamate receptors involved in alcohol-drinking behavior are the metabotropic receptors such as mGluR1/5, mGluR2/3, and mGluR7, as well as the ionotropic receptors, NMDA and AMPA. Preclinical studies using agonists and antagonists implicate these glutamatergic receptors in the development of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Therefore, the purpose of this review is to discuss the neurocircuitry involving glutamate transmission in animals exposed to alcohol and further outline the role of metabotropic and ionotropic receptors in the regulation of alcohol-drinking behavior. This review provides ample information about the potential therapeutic role of glutamatergic receptors for the treatment of AUD.

  5. Potentiation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channel contributes to pruritogenesis in a rat model of liver disease.

    PubMed

    Belghiti, Majedeline; Estévez-Herrera, Judith; Giménez-Garzó, Carla; González-Usano, Alba; Montoliu, Carmina; Ferrer-Montiel, Antonio; Felipo, Vicente; Planells-Cases, Rosa

    2013-04-05

    Persistent pruritus is a common disabling dermatologic symptom associated with different etiologic factors. These include primary skin conditions, as well as neuropathic, psychogenic, or systemic disorders like chronic liver disease. Defective clearance of potential pruritogenic substances that activate itch-specific neurons innervating the skin is thought to contribute to cholestatic pruritus. However, because the underlying disease-specific pruritogens and itch-specific neuronal pathways and mechanism(s) are unknown, symptomatic therapeutic intervention often leads to no or only limited success. In the current study, we aimed to first validate rats with bile duct ligation (BDL) as a model for hepatic pruritus and then to evaluate the contribution of inflammation, peripheral neuronal sensitization, and specific signaling pathways and subpopulations of itch-responsive neurons to scratching behavior and thermal hypersensitivity. Chronic BDL rats displayed enhanced scratching behavior and thermal hyperalgesia indicative of peripheral neuroinflammation. BDL-induced itch and hypersensitivity involved a minor contribution of histaminergic/serotonergic receptors, but significant activation of protein-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) receptors, prostaglandin PGE2 formation, and potentiation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel activity. The sensitization of dorsal root ganglion nociceptors in BDL rats was associated with increased surface expression of PAR2 and TRPV1 proteins and an increase in the number of PAR2- and TRPV1-expressing peptidergic neurons together with a shift of TRPV1 receptor expression to medium sized dorsal root ganglion neurons. These results suggest that pruritus and hyperalgesia in chronic cholestatic BDL rats are associated with neuroinflammation and involve PAR2-induced TRPV1 sensitization. Thus, pharmacological modulation of PAR2 and/or TRPV1 may be a valuable therapeutic approach for patients with chronic liver pruritus

  6. Steroid hormone receptors and prostate cancer: role of structural dynamics in therapeutic targeting

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Raj

    2016-01-01

    Steroid hormone receptors (SHRs) act in cell type- and gene-specific manner through interactions with coregulatory proteins to regulate numerous physiological and pathological processes at the level of gene regulation. Binding of steroid receptor modulator (SRM) ligand leads to allosteric changes in SHR to exert positive or negative effects on the expression of target genes. Due, in part, to the fact that current SRMs generally target ligand binding domain (LBD)/AF2 and neglect intrinsically disordered (ID) N-terminal domain (NTD)/AF1, clinically relevant SRMs lack selectivity and are also prone to the development of resistance over time. Therefore, to maximize the efficacy of SHR-based therapeutics, the possibility of developing unique modulators that act to control AF1 activity must be considered. Recent studies targeting androgen receptor's (AR's) ID AF1 domain for the castration-resistant prostate cancer has provided the possibility of therapeutically targeting ID NTD/AF1 surfaces by allosteric modulations to achieve desired effects. In this review article, we discuss how inter- and intra- molecular allosteric regulations controlled by AR's structural flexibility and dynamics particularly the ID NTD/AF1 is an emerging area of investigation, which could be exploited for drug development and therapeutic targeting of prostate cancer. PMID:27364545

  7. The evidence for natural therapeutics as potential anti-scarring agents in burn-related scarring.

    PubMed

    Mehta, M; Branford, O A; Rolfe, K J

    2016-01-01

    Though survival rate following severe thermal injuries has improved, the incidence and treatment of scarring have not improved at the same speed. This review discusses the formation of scars and in particular the formation of hypertrophic scars. Further, though there is as yet no gold standard treatment for the prevention or treatment of scarring, a brief overview is included. A number of natural therapeutics have shown beneficial effects both in vivo and in vitro with the potential of becoming clinical therapeutics in the future. These natural therapeutics include both plant-based products such as resveratrol, quercetin and epigallocatechin gallate as examples and includes the non-plant-based therapeutic honey. The review also includes potential mechanism of action for the therapeutics, any recorded adverse events and current administration of the therapeutics used. This review discusses a number of potential 'treatments' that may reduce or even prevent scarring particularly hypertrophic scarring, which is associated with thermal injuries without compromising wound repair.

  8. Metformin: A Potential Therapeutic Agent for Recurrent Colon Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Nangia-Makker, Pratima; Yu, Yingjie; Vasudevan, Anita; Farhana, Lulu; Rajendra, Sindhu G.; Levi, Edi; Majumdar, Adhip P. N.

    2014-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that metformin, a biguanide class of anti-diabetic drugs, possesses anti-cancer properties. However, most of the studies to evaluate therapeutic efficacy of metformin have been on primary cancer. No information is available whether metformin could be effectively used for recurrent cancer, specifically colorectal cancer (CRC) that affects up to 50% of patients treated by conventional chemotherapies. Although the reasons for recurrence are not fully understood, it is thought to be due to re-emergence of chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem/stem-like cells (CSCs/CSLCs). Therefore, development of non-toxic treatment strategies targeting CSCs would be of significant therapeutic benefit. In the current investigation, we have examined the effectiveness of metformin, in combination with 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin (FuOx), the mainstay of colon cancer therapeutics, on survival of chemo-resistant colon cancer cells that are highly enriched in CSCs/CSLCs. Our data show that metformin acts synergistically with FuOx to (a) induce cell death in chemo resistant (CR) HT-29 and HCT-116 colon cancer cells, (b) inhibit colonospheres formation and (c) enhance colonospheres disintegration. In vitro cell culture studies have further demonstrated that the combinatorial treatment inhibits migration of CR colon cancer cells. These changes were associated with increased miRNA 145 and reduction in miRNA 21. Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was also down-regulated indicating its pivotal role in regulating the growth of CR colon cancer cells. Data from SCID mice xenograft model of CR HCT-116 and CR HT-29 cells show that the combination of metformin and FuOX is highly effective in inhibiting the growth of colon tumors as evidenced by ∼50% inhibition in growth following 5 weeks of combination treatment, when compared with the vehicle treated controls. Our current data suggest that metformin together with conventional chemotherapy could be an effective treatment

  9. Therapeutic Potential of Adipose-Derived Therapeutic Factor Concentrate for Treating Critical Limb Ischemia.

    PubMed

    Procházka, Václav; Jurčíková, Jana; Laššák, Ondrej; Vítková, Kateřina; Pavliska, Lubomír; Porubová, Ludmila; Buszman, Piotr P; Krauze, Agata; Fernandez, Carlos; Jalůvka, František; Špačková, Iveta; Lochman, Ivo; Jana, Dvořáčková; Merfeld-Clauss, Stephanie; March, Keith L; Traktuev, Dmitry O; Johnstone, Brian H

    2016-01-01

    Transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) is an emerging therapeutic option for addressing intractable diseases such as critical limb ischemia (CLI). Evidence suggests that therapeutic effects of ADSCs are primarily mediated through paracrine mechanisms rather than transdifferentiation. These secreted factors can be captured in conditioned medium (CM) and concentrated to prepare a therapeutic factor concentrate (TFC) composed of a cocktail of beneficial growth factors and cytokines that individually and in combination demonstrate disease-modifying effects. The ability of a TFC to promote reperfusion in a rabbit model of CLI was evaluated. A total of 27 adult female rabbits underwent surgery to induce ischemia in the left hindlimb. An additional five rabbits served as sham controls. One week after surgery, the ischemic limbs received intramuscular injections of either (1) placebo (control medium), (2) a low dose of TFC, or (3) a high dose of TFC. Limb perfusion was serially assessed with a Doppler probe. Blood samples were analyzed for growth factors and cytokines. Tissue was harvested postmortem on day 35 and assessed for capillary density by immunohistochemistry. At 1 month after treatment, tissue perfusion in ischemic limbs treated with a high dose of TFC was almost double (p < 0.05) that of the placebo group [58.8 ± 23 relative perfusion units (RPU) vs. 30.7 ± 13.6 RPU; mean ± SD]. This effect was correlated with greater capillary density in the affected tissues and with transiently higher serum levels of the angiogenic and prosurvival factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). The conclusions from this study are that a single bolus administration of TFC demonstrated robust effects for promoting tissue reperfusion in a rabbit model of CLI and that a possible mechanism of revascularization was promotion of angiogenesis by TFC. Results of this study demonstrate that TFC represents a potent

  10. Melatonin and Nitrones As Potential Therapeutic Agents for Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Alejandro; Ramos, Eva; Patiño, Paloma; Oset-Gasque, Maria J.; López-Muñoz, Francisco; Marco-Contelles, José

    2016-01-01

    Stroke is a disease of aging affecting millions of people worldwide, and recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (r-tPA) is the only treatment approved. However, r-tPA has a low therapeutic window and secondary effects which limit its beneficial outcome, urging thus the search for new more efficient therapies. Among them, neuroprotection based on melatonin or nitrones, as free radical traps, have arisen as drug candidates due to their strong antioxidant power. In this Perspective article, an update on the specific results of the melatonin and several new nitrones are presented. PMID:27932976

  11. Therapeutic potential of growth factors in pulmonary emphysematous condition.

    PubMed

    Muyal, Jai Prakash; Muyal, Vandana; Kotnala, Sudhir; Kumar, Dhananjay; Bhardwaj, Harsh

    2013-04-01

    Pulmonary emphysema is a major manifestation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is characterized by progressive destruction of alveolar parenchyma with persistent inflammation of the small airways. Such destruction in the distal respiratory tract is irreversible and irreparable. All-trans-retinoic acid was suggested as a novel therapy for regeneration of lost alveoli in emphysema. However, profound discrepancies were evident between studies. At present, no effective therapeutic options are available that allow for the regeneration of lost alveoli in emphysematous human lungs. Recently, some reports on rodent's models have suggested the beneficial effects of various growth factors toward alveolar maintenance and repair processes.

  12. The endocrine system and sarcopenia: potential therapeutic benefits.

    PubMed

    McIntire, Kevin L; Hoffman, Andrew R

    2011-12-01

    Age related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, is a major factor in disability, loss of mobility and quality of life in the elderly. There are many proposed mechanisms of age-related muscle loss that include the endocrine system. A variety of hormones regulate growth, development and metabolism throughout the lifespan. Hormone activity may change with age as a result of reduced hormone secretion or decreased tissue responsiveness. This review will focus on the complex interplay between the endocrine system, aging and skeletal muscle and will present possible benefits of therapeutic interventions for sarcopenia.

  13. Autophagy modulation as a potential therapeutic target for diverse diseases

    PubMed Central

    Rubinsztein, David C.; Codogno, Patrice; Levine, Beth

    2012-01-01

    Autophagy is an essential, conserved lysosomal degradation pathway that controls the quality of the cytoplasm by eliminating protein aggregates and damaged organelles. It begins when double-membraned autophagosomes engulf portions of the cytoplasm, which is followed by fusion of these vesicles with lysosomes and degradation of the autophagic contents. In addition to its vital homeostatic role, this degradation pathway is involved in various human disorders, including metabolic conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, cancers and infectious diseases. This article provides an overview of the mechanisms and regulation of autophagy, the role of this pathway in disease and strategies for therapeutic modulation. PMID:22935804

  14. Biological targets for therapeutic interventions in COPD: clinical potential

    PubMed Central

    Pelaia, Girolamo; Vatrella, Alessandro; Gallelli, Luca; Renda, Teresa; Caputi, Mario; Maselli, Rosario; Marsico, Serafino A

    2006-01-01

    COPD is a widespread inflammatory respiratory disorder characterized by a progressive, poorly reversible airflow limitation. Currently available therapies are mostly based on those used to treat asthma. However, such compounds are not able to effectively reduce the gradual functional deterioration, as well as the ongoing airway and lung inflammation occurring in COPD patients. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve the efficacy of the existing drug classes and to develop new treatments, targeting the main cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis. These therapeutic strategies will be highlighted in the present review. PMID:18046869

  15. Transient Receptor Potential Channels in neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Basso, Lilian; Altier, Christophe

    2016-10-27

    Neuropathic pain caused by disease or dysfunction of the nervous system is one of the most difficult pain conditions to treat. Symptoms include a hypersensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimuli, processed by specialized nociceptors that constitute the first line of defence of the somatosensory system. The detection of these stimuli depends on the TRP ion channel family, which activates upon damaging pressure, extreme temperature, or toxic endogenous and exogenous chemicals. This review will summarize the current knowledge of the contribution of TRP channels, particularly the thermosensitive TRP, including TRPV1, TRPA1 and TRPM8 channels that play a central role in the sensitization of nociceptive transduction. We will discuss the pharmacology of these receptors and their relative success in preclinical and clinical studies.

  16. The Role of mGlu Receptors in Hippocampal Plasticity Deficits in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders: Implications for Allosteric Modulators as Novel Therapeutic Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Senter, Rebecca K.; Ghoshal, Ayan; Walker, Adam G.; Xiang, Zixiu; Niswender, Colleen M.; Conn, P. Jeffrey

    2016-01-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are two distinct forms of synaptic plasticity that have been extensively characterized at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 (SC-CA1) synapse and the mossy fiber (MF)-CA3 synapse within the hippocampus, and are postulated to be the molecular underpinning for several cognitive functions. Deficits in LTP and LTD have been implicated in the pathophysiology of several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Therefore, there has been a large effort focused on developing an understanding of the mechanisms underlying these forms of plasticity and novel therapeutic strategies that improve or rescue these plasticity deficits. Among many other targets, the metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors show promise as novel therapeutic candidates for the treatment of these disorders. Among the eight distinct mGlu receptor subtypes (mGlu1-8), the mGlu1,2,3,5,7 subtypes are expressed throughout the hippocampus and have been shown to play important roles in the regulation of synaptic plasticity in this brain area. However, development of therapeutic agents that target these mGlu receptors has been hampered by a lack of subtype-selective compounds. Recently, discovery of allosteric modulators of mGlu receptors has provided novel ligands that are highly selective for individual mGlu receptor subtypes. The mGlu receptors modulate the multiple forms of synaptic plasticity at both SC-CA1 and MF synapses and allosteric modulators of mGlu receptors have emerged as potential therapeutic agents that may rescue plasticity deficits and improve cognitive function in patients suffering from multiple neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:27296640

  17. Improvement of a potential anthrax therapeutic by computational protein design.

    PubMed

    Wu, Sean J; Eiben, Christopher B; Carra, John H; Huang, Ivan; Zong, David; Liu, Peixian; Wu, Cindy T; Nivala, Jeff; Dunbar, Josef; Huber, Tomas; Senft, Jeffrey; Schokman, Rowena; Smith, Matthew D; Mills, Jeremy H; Friedlander, Arthur M; Baker, David; Siegel, Justin B

    2011-09-16

    Past anthrax attacks in the United States have highlighted the need for improved measures against bioweapons. The virulence of anthrax stems from the shielding properties of the Bacillus anthracis poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule. In the presence of excess CapD, a B. anthracis γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, the protective capsule is degraded, and the immune system can successfully combat infection. Although CapD shows promise as a next generation protein therapeutic against anthrax, improvements in production, stability, and therapeutic formulation are needed. In this study, we addressed several of these problems through computational protein engineering techniques. We show that circular permutation of CapD improved production properties and dramatically increased kinetic thermostability. At 45 °C, CapD was completely inactive after 5 min, but circularly permuted CapD remained almost entirely active after 30 min. In addition, we identify an amino acid substitution that dramatically decreased transpeptidation activity but not hydrolysis. Subsequently, we show that this mutant had a diminished capsule degradation activity, suggesting that CapD catalyzes capsule degradation through a transpeptidation reaction with endogenous amino acids and peptides in serum rather than hydrolysis.

  18. Therapeutic potential of turmeric in Alzheimer's disease: curcumin or curcuminoids?

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Touqeer; Gilani, Anwarul-Hassan

    2014-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. There is limited choice in modern therapeutics, and drugs available have limited success with multiple side effects in addition to high cost. Hence, newer and alternate treatment options are being explored for effective and safer therapeutic targets to address AD. Turmeric possesses multiple medicinal uses including treatment for AD. Curcuminoids, a mixture of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin, are vital constituents of turmeric. It is generally believed that curcumin is the most important constituent of the curcuminoid mixture that contributes to the pharmacological profile of parent curcuminoid mixture or turmeric. A careful literature study reveals that the other two constituents of the curcuminoid mixture also contribute significantly to the effectiveness of curcuminoids in AD. Therefore, it is emphasized in this review that each component of the curcuminoid mixture plays a distinct role in making curcuminoid mixture useful in AD, and hence, the curcuminoid mixture represents turmeric in its medicinal value better than curcumin alone. The progress in understanding the disease etiology demands a multiple-site-targeted therapy, and the curcuminoid mixture of all components, each with different merits, makes this mixture more promising in combating the challenging disease.

  19. Brain: The Potential Diagnostic and Therapeutic Target for Glaucoma.

    PubMed

    Faiq, Muneeb A; Dada, Rima; Kumar, Ashutosh; Saluja, Daman; Dada, Tanuj

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma is a form of multifactorial ocular neurodegeneration with immensely complex etiology, pathogenesis and pathology. Though the mainstream therapeutic management of glaucoma is lowering of intraocular pressure, there is, as of now, no cure for the disease. New evidences ardently suggest brain involvement in all aspects of this malady. This consequently advocates the opinion that brain should be the spotlight of glaucoma research and may form the impending and promising target for glaucoma diagnosis and treatment. The present analysis endeavors at understanding glaucoma vis-à-vis brain structural and/or functional derangement and central nervous system (CNS) degeneration. Commencing with the premise of developing some understanding about the brain-nature of ocular structures; we discuss the nature of the cellular and molecular moieties involved in glaucoma and Alzheimer's disease. Substantial deal of literature implies that glaucoma may well be a disease of the brain, nevertheless, manifesting as progressive loss of vision. If that is the case, then targeting brain will be far more imperative in glaucoma therapeutics than any other remedial regimen currently being endorsed.

  20. Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine and A2A Receptor Antagonists in Retinal Diseases.

    PubMed

    Boia, Raquel; Ambrósio, António Francisco; Santiago, Ana Raquel

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine, the major component of coffee, is the most consumed psychostimulant in the world. Caffeine is an adenosine analog and acts as a nonselective adenosine receptor antagonist. The majority of the effects of caffeine are mainly mediated by the blockade of adenosine receptors, and the proved neuroprotective effects of caffeine in brain disorders have been mimicked by the blockade of adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR). A growing body of evidence demonstrates that microglia-mediated neuroinflammation plays a key role in the pathophysiology of brain and retinal diseases. Moreover, the control of microglia reactivity by blocking A2AR has been proposed to be the mechanism underlying the observed protective effects of caffeine. Hence, it is conceivable that caffeine and A2AR antagonists offer therapeutic value for the treatment of retinal diseases, mainly those involving microglia-mediated neuroinflammation.

  1. The sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor: A novel therapeutic target for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

    Mao-Draayer, Yang; Sarazin, Jeffrey; Fox, David; Schiopu, Elena

    2017-02-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a prototype autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Currently, there is no drug that provides a cure for MS. To date, all immunotherapeutic drugs target relapsing remitting MS (RR-MS); it remains a daunting medical challenge in MS to develop therapy for secondary progressive MS (SP-MS). Since the approval of the non-selective sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator FTY720 (fingolimod [Gilenya®]) for RR-MS in 2010, there have been many emerging studies with various selective S1P receptor modulators in other autoimmune conditions. In this article, we will review how S1P receptor may be a promising therapeutic target for SP-MS and other autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, polymyositis and lupus.

  2. In vivo neuronal co-expression of mu and delta opioid receptors uncovers new therapeutic perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Erbs, Eric; Faget, Lauren; Veinante, Pierre; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Massotte, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Opioid receptors belong to the G protein coupled receptor family. They modulate brain function at all levels of neural integration and therefore impact on autonomous, sensory, emotional and cognitive processing. In vivo functional interaction between mu and delta opioid receptors are known to take place though it is still debated whether interactions occur at circuitry, cellular or molecular level. Also, the notion of receptor crosstalk via mu-delta heteromers is well documented in vitro but in vivo evidence remains scarce. To identify neurons in which receptor interactions could take place, we designed a unique double mutant knock-in mouse line that expresses functional red-fluorescent mu receptors and green-fluorescent delta receptors. We mapped mu and delta receptor distribution and co-localization throughout the nervous system and created the first interactive brain atlas with concomitant mu-delta visualization at subcellular resolution (http://mordor.ics-mci.fr/). Mu and delta receptors co-localize in neurons from subcortical networks but are mainly detected in separate neurons in the forebrain. Also, co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicated physical proximity in the hippocampus, a prerequisite to mu-delta heteromerization. Altogether, data suggest that mu-delta functional interactions take place at systems level for high-order emotional and cognitive processing whereas mu-delta may interact at cellular level in brain networks essential for survival, which has potential implications for innovative drug design in pain control, drug addiction and eating disorders. PMID:25938125

  3. In vivo neuronal co-expression of mu and delta opioid receptors uncovers new therapeutic perspectives.

    PubMed

    Erbs, Eric; Faget, Lauren; Veinante, Pierre; Kieffer, Brigitte L; Massotte, Dominique

    2014-09-01

    Opioid receptors belong to the G protein coupled receptor family. They modulate brain function at all levels of neural integration and therefore impact on autonomous, sensory, emotional and cognitive processing. In vivo functional interaction between mu and delta opioid receptors are known to take place though it is still debated whether interactions occur at circuitry, cellular or molecular level. Also, the notion of receptor crosstalk via mu-delta heteromers is well documented in vitro but in vivo evidence remains scarce. To identify neurons in which receptor interactions could take place, we designed a unique double mutant knock-in mouse line that expresses functional red-fluorescent mu receptors and green-fluorescent delta receptors. We mapped mu and delta receptor distribution and co-localization throughout the nervous system and created the first interactive brain atlas with concomitant mu-delta visualization at subcellular resolution (http://mordor.ics-mci.fr/). Mu and delta receptors co-localize in neurons from subcortical networks but are mainly detected in separate neurons in the forebrain. Also, co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicated physical proximity in the hippocampus, a prerequisite to mu-delta heteromerization. Altogether, data suggest that mu-delta functional interactions take place at systems level for high-order emotional and cognitive processing whereas mu-delta may interact at cellular level in brain networks essential for survival, which has potential implications for innovative drug design in pain control, drug addiction and eating disorders.

  4. Identification of Ecdysone Hormone Receptor Agonists as a Therapeutic Approach for Treating Filarial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Mhashilkar, Amruta S.; Vankayala, Sai L.; Liu, Canhui; Kearns, Fiona; Mehrotra, Priyanka; Tzertzinis, George; Palli, Subba R.; Woodcock, H. Lee; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2016-01-01

    Background A homologue of the ecdysone receptor has previously been identified in human filarial parasites. As the ecdysone receptor is not found in vertebrates, it and the regulatory pathways it controls represent attractive potential chemotherapeutic targets. Methodology/ Principal Findings Administration of 20-hydroxyecdysone to gerbils infected with B. malayi infective larvae disrupted their development to adult stage parasites. A stable mammalian cell line was created incorporating the B. malayi ecdysone receptor ligand-binding domain, its heterodimer partner and a secreted luciferase reporter in HEK293 cells. This was employed to screen a series of ecdysone agonist, identifying seven agonists active at sub-micromolar concentrations. A B. malayi ecdysone receptor ligand-binding domain was developed and used to study the ligand-receptor interactions of these agonists. An excellent correlation between the virtual screening results and the screening assay was observed. Based on both of these approaches, steroidal ecdysone agonists and the diacylhydrazine family of compounds were identified as a fruitful source of potential receptor agonists. In further confirmation of the modeling and screening results, Ponasterone A and Muristerone A, two compounds predicted to be strong ecdysone agonists stimulated expulsion of microfilaria and immature stages from adult parasites. Conclusions The studies validate the potential of the B. malayi ecdysone receptor as a drug target and provide a means to rapidly evaluate compounds for development of a new class of drugs against the human filarial parasites. PMID:27300294

  5. Intracellular TCR-signaling pathway: novel markers for lymphoma diagnosis and potential therapeutic targets.

    PubMed

    Agostinelli, Claudio; Rizvi, Hasan; Paterson, Jennifer; Shende, Vishvesh; Akarca, Ayse U; Agostini, Elena; Fuligni, Fabio; Righi, Simona; Spagnolo, Sebastiano; Piccaluga, Pier Paolo; Clark, Edward A; Pileri, Stefano A; Marafioti, Teresa

    2014-10-01

    Despite the immunologic functions of T-cell receptor signaling molecules being extensively investigated, their potential as immunohistochemical markers has been poorly explored. With this background, we evaluated the expression of 5 intracellular proteins-GADS, DOK2, SKAP55, ITK, and PKCα-involved in T-cell receptor signaling in normal and neoplastic hematologic tissue samples, using antibodies raised against fixation-resistant epitopes of the 5 molecules. All 5 antibodies were associated with normal T-cell differentiation. GADS, DOK2, SKAP55, and ITK turned out to be T-cell lineage-specific markers in the setting of lymphoid and myeloid precursor neoplasms but showed differential expression in peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) subtypes, being detected in PTCL/not otherwise specified (NOS) and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma but negative in anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). Peripheral B-cell lymphomas were consistently negative for ITK, with occasional cases showing expression of DOK2 and SKAP55, and a proportion (47%) of hairy cell leukemias were GADS. Notably, PKCα highlighted a defective antigen in both PTCL/NOS (6%) and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (10%), mostly negative in ALCL, and was aberrantly expressed in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (65%), Burkitt lymphoma (48%), and plasma cell myeloma (48%). In conclusion, all five molecules evaluated play a role in T-cell differentiation in normal and neoplastic tissues. They can be applied confidently to routine sections contributing primarily to assignment of T-lineage differentiation in the setting of hematopoietic precursor neoplasms (GADS/DOK2/SKAP55/ITK) and for the differential diagnosis between ALCL and PTCL/NOS (GADS/DOK2/SKAP55/ITK) or classical Hodgkin lymphoma (PKCα). Finally, association with specific tumor subtypes may have therapeutic potential.

  6. Hyperglycaemia Induced by Novel Anticancer Agents: An Undesirable Complication or a Potential Therapeutic Opportunity?

    PubMed

    Shah, Rashmi R

    2017-03-01

    Signalling pathways involving protein kinase, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin receptors and the phosphoinositide 3 kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) system are critical in promoting oncogenesis. The use of anticancer agents that inhibit these pathways frequently results in hyperglycaemia, an on-target effect of these drugs. Hyperglycaemia induced by these agents denotes optimal inhibition of the desired pharmacological target. As hyperglycaemia can be treated successfully and effectively with metformin, managing this complication by reducing the dose of or discontinuing the anticancer drug may be counterproductive, especially if it is otherwise effective and clinically tolerated. The use of metformin to treat hyperglycaemia induced by anticancer drugs provides a valuable therapeutic opportunity of potentiating their clinical anticancer effects. Although evidence from randomised controlled trials is awaited, extensive preclinical evidence and clinical observational studies suggest that metformin has anticancer properties that improve overall survival in patients with diabetes and a variety of cancers. Metformin has also been reported to reverse resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-inhibiting tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This review summarises briefly the role of the above signalling pathways in oncogenesis, the causal association between inhibition of these pathways and hyperglycaemia, and the effect of metformin on clinical outcomes resulting from its anticancer properties. The evidence reviewed herein, albeit almost exclusively from observational studies, provides support for a greater use of metformin not only in patients with cancer and diabetes or drug-induced hyperglycaemia but also potentially as an anticancer drug. However, prospective randomised controlled studies are needed in all these settings to better assess the effect on clinical outcomes of adding metformin to ongoing anticancer therapy.

  7. Current perspectives on protective roles of erythropoietin in cardiovascular system: erythropoietin receptor as a novel therapeutic target.

    PubMed

    Kagaya, Yutaka; Asaumi, Yasuhide; Wang, Wanting; Takeda, Morihiko; Nakano, Makoto; Satoh, Kimio; Fukumoto, Yoshihiro; Shimokawa, Hiroaki

    2012-01-01

    Erythropoietin (EPO) is a principal regulator that promotes proliferation and terminal differentiation of erythroid progenitor cells. EPO receptors are expressed not only in hematopoietic lineage cells but also in the cardiovascular system. We performed animal experiments using transgene-rescued EPO receptor null mutant mice (EpoR-/- rescued) that express the EPO receptor exclusively in the hematopoietic cells. The results of these experiments suggest that endogenous EPO/EPO receptor system in the heart exerts cardioprotective effects against myocardial injury induced by ischemia followed by reperfusion and pressure-overload induced left ventricular dysfunction. Many animal experiments have shown that the administration of recombinant human EPO also elicits cardioprotective effects against myocardial injury induced by ischemia and reperfusion. In contrast to the promising results of these animal experiments, recent clinical trials failed to demonstrate the reduction in infarct size or improvement of cardiac function by the administration of recombinant human EPO in patients with acute myocardial infarction who underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention. It should be tested in future clinical studies whether a relatively low dose of recombinant human EPO or its derivatives that have no erythropoietic action reduces infarct size and ameliorates cardiac dysfunction in patients with acute myocardial infarction. In this article, we review implications of anemia associated with chronic heart failure, roles of the endogenous EPO/EPO receptor system, and the effects of the administration of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents in pathologic conditions of the heart by focusing on the EPO receptor as a potential candidate of novel therapeutic targets in cardiovascular diseases.

  8. Molecular and Therapeutic Potential and Toxicity of Valproic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Chateauvieux, Sébastien; Morceau, Franck; Dicato, Mario; Diederich, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a branched short-chain fatty acid, is widely used as an antiepileptic drug and a mood stabilizer. Antiepileptic properties have been attributed to inhibition of Gamma Amino Butyrate (GABA) transaminobutyrate and of ion channels. VPA was recently classified among the Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors, acting directly at the level of gene transcription by inhibiting histone deacetylation and making transcription sites more accessible. VPA is a widely used drug, particularly for children suffering from epilepsy. Due to the increasing number of clinical trials involving VPA, and interesting results obtained, this molecule will be implicated in an increasing number of therapies. However side effects of VPA are substantially described in the literature whereas they are poorly discussed in articles focusing on its therapeutic use. This paper aims to give an overview of the different clinical-trials involving VPA and its side effects encountered during treatment as well as its molecular properties. PMID:20798865

  9. Apoptotic cell clearance: basic biology and therapeutic potential

    PubMed Central

    Poon, Ivan K. H.; Lucas, Christopher D.

    2014-01-01

    Prompt removal of apoptotic cells by phagocytes is important for maintaining tissue homeostasis. The molecular and cellular events that underpin apoptotic cell recognition and uptake, and the subsequent biological responses are increasingly better defined. The detection and disposal of apoptotic cells generally promote an anti-inflammatory response at the tissue level, as well as immunological tolerance. Consequently, defects in apoptotic cell clearance have been linked with a variety of inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity. Conversely, under certain conditions such as killing tumour cells by specific cell death inducers, the recognition of apoptotic tumour cells can promote an immunogenic response and anti-tumour immunity. Here, we review the current understanding of the complex process of apoptotic cell clearance in physiology and pathology, and discuss how this knowledge could be harnessed for new therapeutic strategies. PMID:24481336

  10. Autophagy: Can it become a potential therapeutic target?

    PubMed

    Bao, Xiao Hong; Naomoto, Yoshio; Hao, Hui Fang; Watanabe, Nobuyuki; Sakurama, Kazufumi; Noma, Kazuhiro; Motoki, Takayuki; Tomono, Yasuko; Fukazawa, Takuya; Shirakawa, Yasuhiro; Yamatsuji, Tomoki; Matsuoka, Junji; Takaoka, Munenori

    2010-04-01

    Autophagy is a cellular lysosomal degradation pathway involved in proteins and organelles recycling for promoting cell survival, development and homeostasis. It is a multistep process and genetic studies have identified many proteins that participate in autophagosome formation and fusion with lysosomes, and various signaling factors that associate with the regulation of autophagy. In general, autophagy acts as a cell protector and its dysfunction is correlated with diverse pathologies, such as neurodegeneration, liver, heart and muscle diseases, cancer, inflammation and ageing. However, its role in cell death increases the complexity of the autophagic degradation system. A broad understanding of autophagy, ranging from detailed processes, including induction, formation and degradation, to function in physiology and pathology, revealed by accumulating studies, may be helpful for formulating therapeutic strategies for autophagy-associated human diseases.

  11. Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications

    PubMed Central

    Rathnavelu, Vidhya; Alitheen, Noorjahan Banu; Sohila, Subramaniam; Kanagesan, Samikannu; Ramesh, Rajendran

    2016-01-01

    Pineapple has been used as part of traditional folk medicine since ancient times and it continues to be present in various herbal preparations. Bromelain is a complex mixture of protease extracted from the fruit or stem of the pineapple plant. Although the complete molecular mechanism of action of bromelain has not been completely identified, bromelain gained universal acceptability as a phytotherapeutic agent due to its history of safe use and lack of side effects. Bromelain is widely administered for its well-recognized properties, such as its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and fibrinolytic affects, anticancer activity and immunomodulatory effects, in addition to being a wound healing and circulatory improvement agent. The current review describes the promising clinical applications and therapeutic properties of bromelain. PMID:27602208

  12. Biological Relevance and Therapeutic Potential of the Hypusine Modification System*

    PubMed Central

    Pällmann, Nora; Braig, Melanie; Sievert, Henning; Preukschas, Michael; Hermans-Borgmeyer, Irm; Schweizer, Michaela; Nagel, Claus Henning; Neumann, Melanie; Wild, Peter; Haralambieva, Eugenia; Hagel, Christian; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Hauber, Joachim; Balabanov, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Hypusine modification of the eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A) is emerging as a crucial regulator in cancer, infections, and inflammation. Although its contribution in translational regulation of proline repeat-rich proteins has been sufficiently demonstrated, its biological role in higher eukaryotes remains poorly understood. To establish the hypusine modification system as a novel platform for therapeutic strategies, we aimed to investigate its functional relevance in mammals by generating and using a range of new knock-out mouse models for the hypusine-modifying enzymes deoxyhypusine synthase and deoxyhypusine hydroxylase as well as for the cancer-related isoform eIF-5A2. We discovered that homozygous depletion of deoxyhypusine synthase and/or deoxyhypusine hydroxylase causes lethality in adult mice with different penetrance compared with haploinsufficiency. Network-based bioinformatic analysis of proline repeat-rich proteins, which are putative eIF-5A targets, revealed that these proteins are organized in highly connected protein-protein interaction networks. Hypusine-dependent translational control of essential proteins (hubs) and protein complexes inside these networks might explain the lethal phenotype observed after deletion of hypusine-modifying enzymes. Remarkably, our results also demonstrate that the cancer-associated isoform eIF-5A2 is dispensable for normal development and viability. Together, our results provide the first genetic evidence that the hypusine modification in eIF-5A is crucial for homeostasis in mammals. Moreover, these findings highlight functional diversity of the hypusine system compared with lower eukaryotes and indicate eIF-5A2 as a valuable and safe target for therapeutic intervention in cancer. PMID:26037925

  13. Potential Therapeutic Strategies of Regenerative Medicine for Renal Failure.

    PubMed

    Mata-Miranda, Monica Maribel; Delgado-Macuil, Raul Jacobo; Rojas-Lopez, Marlon; Martinez-Flores, Ricardo; Vazquez-Zapien, Gustavo Jesus

    2017-03-17

    Kidney diseases are a public health problem worldwide; the mortality rate is between 50 and 80%. Available therapies include replacement function by dialysis or transplant, associated with a high morbidity and mortality; kidney transplantation is limited by the shortage of donor organs, immune rejection and lifelong treatment with immunosuppressive. Likewise, none of these treatments compensates all kidney functions. There is a great concern in developing more effective therapies with the ability to replace the wide range of renal functions, so that, new researches on developing therapeutic strategies have focused on regenerative medicine, science that includes artificial creation of tissues and organs, in order to repair or replace a tissue or organ function. The aim of this paper is to review the new advances in regenerative medicine strategies for treatment of renal failure. Generally, regenerative medicine comprises two therapeutic strategies: cell therapy and tissue engineering. Cell therapy techniques depend on cell and tissue culture, with the aim to grow specific cells that will replace morphological structures, tissues and functions. In this area, some investigations that include the use of stem cells have been carried out. Tissue engineering complements cell therapy combining techniques of biological sciences and engineering to create structures and devices as scaffolds, matrices or biocompatible materials, which alone or in combination will give support and facilitate the repair of damaged tissue. Even though there is a great advance in regenerative medicine strategies, we are far from using any of its techniques on health institutions, due to it is necessary to evaluate side effects, biodistribution, dosage, type of administration, vehicle of cell therapy, as well as the evaluation of response time and long-term studies, among other studies.

  14. Potential immunological markers for diagnosis and therapeutic assessment of toxocariasis.

    PubMed

    Rubinsky-Elefant, Guita; Hoshino-Shimizu, Sumie; Jacob, Cristina Miuki Abe; Sanchez, Maria Carmen Arroyo; Ferreira, Antonio Walter

    2011-01-01

    In human toxocariasis, there are few approaches using immunological markers for diagnosis and therapeutic assessment. An immunoblot (IB) assay using excretory-secretory Toxocara canis antigen was standardized for monitoring IgG, IgE and IgA antibodies in 27 children with toxocariasis (23 visceral, three mixed visceral and ocular, and one ocular form) for 22-116 months after chemotherapy. IB sensitivity was 100% for IgG antibodies to bands of molecular weight 29-38, 48-54, 95-116, 121-162, >205 kDa, 80.8% for IgE to 29-38, 48-54, 95-121, > 205 kDa, and 65.4% for IgA to 29-38, 48-54, 81-93 kDa. Candidates for diagnostic markers should be IgG antibodies to bands of low molecular weight (29-38 and 48-54 kDa). One group of patients presented the same antibody reactivity to all bands throughout the follow-up study; in the other group, antibodies decayed partially or completely to some or all bands, but these changes were not correlated with time after chemotherapy. Candidates for monitoring patients after chemotherapy may be IgG antibodies to > 205 kDa fractions, IgA to 29-38, 48-54, 81-93 kDa and IgE to 95-121 kDa. Further identification of antigen epitopes related to these markers will allow the development of sensitive and specific immunoassays for the diagnosis and therapeutic assessment of toxocariasis.

  15. Modulation of neuroinflammation: Role and therapeutic potential of TRPV1 in the neuro-immune axis.

    PubMed

    Kong, Wei-Lin; Peng, Yuan-Yuan; Peng, Bi-Wen

    2017-03-22

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 channel (TRPV1), as a ligand-gated non-selective cation channel, has recently been demonstrated to have wide expression in the neuro-immune axis, where its multiple functions occur through regulation of both neuronal and non-neuronal activities. Growing evidence has suggested that TRPV1 is functionally expressed in glial cells, especially in the microglia and astrocytes. Glial cells perform immunological functions in response to pathophysiological challenges through pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammat