Open AccessReview
Research Progress on Rolling Circle Amplification (RCA)-Based Biomedical Sensing
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 35; doi:10.3390/ph11020035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Enhancing the limit of detection (LOD) is significant for crucial diseases. Cancer development could take more than 10 years, from one mutant cell to a visible tumor. Early diagnosis facilitates more effective treatment and leads to higher survival rate for cancer patients. Rolling
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Enhancing the limit of detection (LOD) is significant for crucial diseases. Cancer development could take more than 10 years, from one mutant cell to a visible tumor. Early diagnosis facilitates more effective treatment and leads to higher survival rate for cancer patients. Rolling circle amplification (RCA) is a simple and efficient isothermal enzymatic process that utilizes nuclease to generate long single stranded DNA (ssDNA) or RNA. The functional nucleic acid unit (aptamer, DNAzyme) could be replicated hundreds of times in a short period, and a lower LOD could be achieved if those units are combined with an enzymatic reaction, Surface Plasmon Resonance, electrochemical, or fluorescence detection, and other different kinds of biosensor. Multifarious RCA-based platforms have been developed to detect a variety of targets including DNA, RNA, SNP, proteins, pathogens, cytokines, micromolecules, and diseased cells. In this review, improvements in using the RCA technique for medical biosensors and biomedical applications were summarized and future trends in related research fields described. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Enhancing Whole Phage Therapy and Their Derived Antimicrobial Enzymes through Complex Formulation
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 34; doi:10.3390/ph11020034 -
Abstract
The resurgence of research into phage biology and therapy is, in part, due to the increasing need for novel agents to treat multidrug-resistant infections. Despite a long clinical history in Eastern Europe and initial success within the food industry, commercialized phage products have
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The resurgence of research into phage biology and therapy is, in part, due to the increasing need for novel agents to treat multidrug-resistant infections. Despite a long clinical history in Eastern Europe and initial success within the food industry, commercialized phage products have yet to enter other sectors. This relative lack of success is, in part, due to the inherent biological limitations of whole phages. These include (but are not limited to) reaching target sites at sufficiently high concentrations to establish an infection which produces enough progeny phages to reduce the bacterial population in a clinically meaningful manner and the limited host range of some phages. Conversely, parallels can be drawn between antimicrobial enzymes derived from phages and conventional antibiotics. In the current article the biological limitations of whole phage-based therapeutics and their derived antimicrobial enzymes will be discussed. In addition, the ability of more complex formulations to address these issues, in the context of medical and non-medical applications, will also be included. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Phytochemical Study of the Ecuadorian Species Lepechinia mutica (Benth.) Epling and High Antifungal Activity of Carnosol against Pyricularia oryzae
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 33; doi:10.3390/ph11020033 -
Abstract
The plant Lepechinia mutica (Benth.) Epling (family Lamiaceae) is endemic to Ecuador. In the present study, we report some major non-volatile secondary metabolites from the leaves and the chemistry of the essential oil distilled from the flowers. The main identified compounds were carnosol,
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The plant Lepechinia mutica (Benth.) Epling (family Lamiaceae) is endemic to Ecuador. In the present study, we report some major non-volatile secondary metabolites from the leaves and the chemistry of the essential oil distilled from the flowers. The main identified compounds were carnosol, viridiflorol, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, chrysothol, and 5-hydroxy-4′,7-dimethoxy flavone. Their structures were determined by X-ray diffraction and NMR and MS techniques. The essential oil showed a chemical composition similar to that distilled from the leaves, but with some qualitative and quantitative differences regarding several minor compounds. The main constituents (>4%) were: δ-3-carene (24.23%), eudesm-7(11)-en-4-ol (13.02%), thujopsan-2-α-ol (11.90%), β-pinene (7.96%), valerianol (5.19%), and co-eluting limonene and β-phellandrene (4.47%). The volatile fraction was also submitted to enantioselective analysis on a β-cyclodextrin column, obtaining the separation and identification of the enantiomers for α-thujene, β-pinene, sabinene, α-phellandrene, limonene and β-phellandrene. Furthermore, the anti-fungal activity of non-volatile secondary metabolites was tested in vitro, with carnosol resulting in being very active against the “blast disease” caused by the fungus Pyricularia oryzae. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Cancer Therapy: Chemistry to Clinical Implications
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 32; doi:10.3390/ph11020032 -
Abstract
Chemotherapy is one of the major therapeutic options for cancer treatment. Chemotherapy is often associated with a low therapeutic window due to its poor specificity towards tumor cells/tissues. Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology may provide a potentially new therapeutic solution for cancer treatment. ADC
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Chemotherapy is one of the major therapeutic options for cancer treatment. Chemotherapy is often associated with a low therapeutic window due to its poor specificity towards tumor cells/tissues. Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology may provide a potentially new therapeutic solution for cancer treatment. ADC technology uses an antibody-mediated delivery of cytotoxic drugs to the tumors in a targeted manner, while sparing normal cells. Such a targeted approach can improve the tumor-to-normal tissue selectivity and specificity in chemotherapy. Considering its importance in cancer treatment, we aim to review recent efforts for the design and development of ADCs. ADCs are mainly composed of an antibody, a cytotoxic payload, and a linker, which can offer selectivity against tumors, anti-cancer activity, and stability in systemic circulation. Therefore, we have reviewed recent updates and principal considerations behind ADC designs, which are not only based on the identification of target antigen, cytotoxic drug, and linker, but also on the drug-linker chemistry and conjugation site at the antibody. Our review focuses on site-specific conjugation methods for producing homogenous ADCs with constant drug-antibody ratio (DAR) in order to tackle several drawbacks that exists in conventional conjugation methods. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Computational Modelling of Large Scale Phage Production Using a Two-Stage Batch Process
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 31; doi:10.3390/ph11020031 -
Abstract
Cost effective and scalable methods for phage production are required to meet an increasing demand for phage, as an alternative to antibiotics. Computational models can assist the optimization of such production processes. A model is developed here that can simulate the dynamics of
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Cost effective and scalable methods for phage production are required to meet an increasing demand for phage, as an alternative to antibiotics. Computational models can assist the optimization of such production processes. A model is developed here that can simulate the dynamics of phage population growth and production in a two-stage, self-cycling process. The model incorporates variable infection parameters as a function of bacterial growth rate and employs ordinary differential equations, allowing application to a setup with multiple reactors. The model provides simple cost estimates as a function of key operational parameters including substrate concentration, feed volume and cycling times. For the phage and bacteria pairing examined, costs and productivity varied by three orders of magnitude, with the lowest cost found to be most sensitive to the influent substrate concentration and low level setting in the first vessel. An example case study of phage production is also presented, showing how parameter values affect the production costs and estimating production times. The approach presented is flexible and can be used to optimize phage production at laboratory or factory scale by minimizing costs or maximizing productivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison Study of Two Differently Clicked 18F-Folates—Lipophilicity Plays a Key Role
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 30; doi:10.3390/ph11010030 -
Abstract
Within the last decade, several folate-based radiopharmaceuticals for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) have been evaluated; however, there is still a lack of suitable 18F-folates for clinical PET imaging. Herein, we report the synthesis and evaluation
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Within the last decade, several folate-based radiopharmaceuticals for Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) have been evaluated; however, there is still a lack of suitable 18F-folates for clinical PET imaging. Herein, we report the synthesis and evaluation of two novel 18F-folates employing strain-promoted and copper-catalyzed click chemistry. Furthermore, the influence of both click-methods on lipophilicity and pharmacokinetics of the 18F-folates was investigated. 18F-Ala-folate and 18F-DBCO-folate were both stable in human serum albumin. In vitro studies proved their high affinity to the folate receptor (FR). The lipophilic character of the strain-promoted clicked 18F-DBCO-folate (logD = 0.6) contributed to a higher non-specific binding in cell internalization studies. In the following in vivo PET imaging studies, FR-positive tumors could not be visualized in a maximum intensity projection images. Compared with 18F-DBCO-folate, 18F-Ala-folate (logD = −1.4), synthesized by the copper-catalyzed click reaction, exhibited reduced lipophilicity, and as a result an improved in vivo performance and a clear-cut visualization of FR-positive tumors. In view of high radiochemical yield, radiochemical purity and favorable pharmacokinetics, 18F-Ala-folate is expected to be a promising candidate for FR-PET imaging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heterodimer Binding Scaffolds Recognition via the Analysis of Kinetically Hot Residues
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 29; doi:10.3390/ph11010029 -
Abstract
Physical interactions between proteins are often difficult to decipher. The aim of this paper is to present an algorithm that is designed to recognize binding patches and supporting structural scaffolds of interacting heterodimer proteins using the Gaussian Network Model (GNM). The recognition is
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Physical interactions between proteins are often difficult to decipher. The aim of this paper is to present an algorithm that is designed to recognize binding patches and supporting structural scaffolds of interacting heterodimer proteins using the Gaussian Network Model (GNM). The recognition is based on the (self) adjustable identification of kinetically hot residues and their connection to possible binding scaffolds. The kinetically hot residues are residues with the lowest entropy, i.e., the highest contribution to the weighted sum of the fastest modes per chain extracted via GNM. The algorithm adjusts the number of fast modes in the GNM’s weighted sum calculation using the ratio of predicted and expected numbers of target residues (contact and the neighboring first-layer residues). This approach produces very good results when applied to dimers with high protein sequence length ratios. The protocol’s ability to recognize near native decoys was compared to the ability of the residue-level statistical potential of Lu and Skolnick using the Sternberg and Vakser decoy dimers sets. The statistical potential produced better overall results, but in a number of cases its predicting ability was comparable, or even inferior, to the prediction ability of the adjustable GNM approach. The results presented in this paper suggest that in heterodimers at least one protein has interacting scaffold determined by the immovable, kinetically hot residues. In many cases, interacting proteins (especially if being of noticeably different sizes) either behave as a rigid lock and key or, presumably, exhibit the opposite dynamic behavior. While the binding surface of one protein is rigid and stable, its partner’s interacting scaffold is more flexible and adaptable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Low Molecular Weight Chitosan-Coated PLGA Nanoparticles for Pulmonary Delivery of Tobramycin for Cystic Fibrosis
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 28; doi:10.3390/ph11010028 -
Abstract
(1) Background: Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with Tobramycin were prepared using a solvent-evaporation method. (2) Methods: The NPs were coated with low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) to enhance the mucoadhesiveness of PLGA-NPs. The following w/w ratios of tobramycin to
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(1) Background: Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with Tobramycin were prepared using a solvent-evaporation method. (2) Methods: The NPs were coated with low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) to enhance the mucoadhesiveness of PLGA-NPs. The following w/w ratios of tobramycin to LMWC were prepared: control (0:0.50), F0 (1:0.25), F0.5 (1:0.5), and F1 (1:1). (3) Results: The results showed that the size of the particles increased from 220.7 nm to 575.77 nm as the concentration of LMWC used in the formulation increased. The surface charge was also affected by the amount of LMWC, where uncoated-PLGA nanoparticles had negative charges (−2.8 mV), while coated-PLGA NPs had positive charges (+33.47 to +50.13 mV). SEM confirmed the size and the spherical homogeneous morphology of the NPs. Coating the NPs with LMWC enhanced the mucoadhesive properties of the NPs and sustained the tobramycin release over two days. Finally, all NPs had antimicrobial activity that increased as the amount of LMWC increased. (4) Conclusion: In conclusion, the formulation of mucoadhesive, controlled-release, tobramycin-LMWC-PLGA nanoparticles for the treatment of P. aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients is possible, and their properties could be controlled by controlling the concentration of LMWC. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 27; doi:10.3390/ph11010027 -
Abstract
In this editorial to MDPI Pharmaceuticals special issue “Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans” we describe in outline the common structural features of glycosaminoglycans and the characteristics of proteoglycans, including the intracellular proteoglycan, serglycin, cell-surface proteoglycans, like syndecans and glypicans, and the extracellular matrix
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In this editorial to MDPI Pharmaceuticals special issue “Glycosaminoglycans and Proteoglycans” we describe in outline the common structural features of glycosaminoglycans and the characteristics of proteoglycans, including the intracellular proteoglycan, serglycin, cell-surface proteoglycans, like syndecans and glypicans, and the extracellular matrix proteoglycans, like aggrecan, perlecan, and small leucine-rich proteoglycans. The context in which the pharmaceutical uses of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans are presented in this special issue is given at the very end. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Semi-Solid and Solid Dosage Forms for the Delivery of Phage Therapy to Epithelia
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 26; doi:10.3390/ph11010026 -
Abstract
The delivery of phages to epithelial surfaces for therapeutic outcomes is a realistic proposal, and indeed one which is being currently tested in clinical trials. This paper reviews some of the known research on formulation of phages into semi-solid dosage forms such as
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The delivery of phages to epithelial surfaces for therapeutic outcomes is a realistic proposal, and indeed one which is being currently tested in clinical trials. This paper reviews some of the known research on formulation of phages into semi-solid dosage forms such as creams, ointments and pastes, as well as solid dosage forms such as troches (or lozenges and pastilles) and suppositories/pessaries, for delivery to the epithelia. The efficacy and stability of these phage formulations is discussed, with a focus on selection of optimal semi-solid bases for phage delivery. Issues such as the need for standardisation of techniques for formulation as well as for assessment of efficacy are highlighted. These are important when trying to compare results from a range of experiments and across different delivery bases. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Characterization of the Lytic Capability of a LysK-Like Endolysin, Lys-phiSA012, Derived from a Polyvalent Staphylococcus aureus Bacteriophage
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 25; doi:10.3390/ph11010025 -
Abstract
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) have spread widely and rapidly, with their increased occurrence corresponding with the increased use of antibiotics. Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus have a considerable negative impact on human and livestock health. Bacteriophages and their peptidoglycan hydrolytic enzymes (endolysins) have received
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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) have spread widely and rapidly, with their increased occurrence corresponding with the increased use of antibiotics. Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus have a considerable negative impact on human and livestock health. Bacteriophages and their peptidoglycan hydrolytic enzymes (endolysins) have received significant attention as novel approaches against ARB, including S. aureus. In the present study, we purified an endolysin, Lys-phiSA012, which harbors a cysteine/histidine-dependent amidohydrolase/peptidase (CHAP) domain, an amidase domain, and a SH3b cell wall binding domain, derived from a polyvalent S. aureus bacteriophage which we reported previously. We demonstrate that Lys-phiSA012 exhibits high lytic activity towards staphylococcal strains, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Analysis of deletion mutants showed that only mutants possessing the CHAP and SH3b domains could lyse S. aureus, indicating that lytic activity of the CHAP domain depended on the SH3b domain. The presence of at least 1 mM Ca2+ and 100 µM Zn2+ enhanced the lytic activity of Lys-phiSA012 in a turbidity reduction assay. Furthermore, a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay showed that the addition of Lys-phiSA012 decreased the MIC of oxacillin. Our results suggest that endolysins are a promising approach for replacing current antimicrobial agents and may contribute to the proper use of antibiotics, leading to the reduction of ARB. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Syntheses of the mGlu5 Antagonists MMPEP and MTEP Using Sonogashira Cross-Coupling
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 24; doi:10.3390/ph11010024 -
Abstract
The Sonogashira cross-coupling, a key step in the syntheses of the mGlu5 antagonists MMPEP and MTEP, provided an improved three-step method for the preparation of MMPEP in 62% overall yield. Using Spartan molecular modeling kit an explanation for the failure to employ
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The Sonogashira cross-coupling, a key step in the syntheses of the mGlu5 antagonists MMPEP and MTEP, provided an improved three-step method for the preparation of MMPEP in 62% overall yield. Using Spartan molecular modeling kit an explanation for the failure to employ analogues method in the synthesis of MTEP was sought. The DFT calculations indicated that meaningful isolated yields were obtained when the HOMO energy of the aryl halide was lower than the HOMO energy of the respective alkyne. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A π-Halogen Bond of Dibenzofuranones with the Gatekeeper Phe113 in Human Protein Kinase CK2 Leads to Potent Tight Binding Inhibitors
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 23; doi:10.3390/ph11010023 -
Abstract
Human protein kinase CK2 is an emerging target for neoplastic diseases. Potent lead structures for human CK2 inhibitors are derived from dibenzofuranones. Two new derivatives, 7,9-dichloro-1,2-dihydro-8-hydroxy-4-[(4-methoxyphenylamino)-methylene]dibenzo[b,d]furan-3(2H)-one (4a) and (E)-1,3-dichloro-6-[(4-methoxyphenylimino)-methyl]dibenzo[b,d]furan-2,7-diol
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Human protein kinase CK2 is an emerging target for neoplastic diseases. Potent lead structures for human CK2 inhibitors are derived from dibenzofuranones. Two new derivatives, 7,9-dichloro-1,2-dihydro-8-hydroxy-4-[(4-methoxyphenylamino)-methylene]dibenzo[b,d]furan-3(2H)-one (4a) and (E)-1,3-dichloro-6-[(4-methoxyphenylimino)-methyl]dibenzo[b,d]furan-2,7-diol (5) were tested for inhibition of CK2 and induction of apoptosis in LNCaP cells. Both turned out to be tight binding inhibitors, with IC50 values of 7 nM (4a) and 5 nM (5) and an apparent Ki value of 0.4 nM for both. Compounds 4a and 5 reduced cellular CK2 activity, indicating cell permeability. Cell viability was substantially impaired in LNCaP cells, as well as apoptosis was induced, which was not appearing in non-neoplastic ARPE-19 cells. Co-crystallization of 4a and 5 revealed an unexpected π-halogen bond of the chloro substituent at C9 with the gatekeeper amino acid Phe113, leading to an inverted binding mode in comparison to parent compound 4b, with the Cl at C6 instead, which was co-crystallized as a control. This indicates that the position of the chloro substituent on ring A of the dibenzofuran scaffold is responsible for an inversion of the binding mode that enhances potency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Interaction Between the TLR7 and a Colchicine Derivative Revealed Through a Computational and Experimental Study
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 22; doi:10.3390/ph11010022 -
Abstract
The Toll-Like Receptor 7 (TLR7) is an endosomal membrane receptor involved in the innate immune system response. Its best-known small molecule activators are imidazoquinoline derivatives such as imiquimod (R-837) and resiquimod (R-848). Recently, an interaction between R-837 and the colchicine binding site of
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The Toll-Like Receptor 7 (TLR7) is an endosomal membrane receptor involved in the innate immune system response. Its best-known small molecule activators are imidazoquinoline derivatives such as imiquimod (R-837) and resiquimod (R-848). Recently, an interaction between R-837 and the colchicine binding site of tubulin was reported. To investigate the possibility of an interaction between structural analogues of colchicine and the TLR7, a recent computational model for the dimeric form of the TLR7 receptor was used to determine a possible interaction with a colchicine derivative called CR42-24, active as a tubulin polymerization inhibitor. The estimated values of the binding energy of this molecule with respect to the TLR7 receptor were comparable to the energies of known binders as reported in a previous study. The binding to the TLR7 was further assessed by introducing genetic transformations in the TLR7 gene in cancer cell lines and exposing them to the compound. A negative shift of the IC50 value in terms of cell growth was observed in cell lines carrying the mutated TLR7 gene. The reported study suggests a possible interaction between TLR7 and a colchicine derivative, which can be explored for rational design of new drugs acting on this receptor by using a colchicine scaffold for additional modifications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus Is Associated with P-Glycoprotein Induction in Cardiomyocytes, Electrocardiographic Changes, and Sudden Death
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 21; doi:10.3390/ph11010021 -
Abstract
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the major cause of death in those patients suffering from refractory epilepsy (RE), with a 24-fold higher risk relative to the normal population. SUDEP risk increases with seizure frequency and/or seizure-duration as in RE and Status
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Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the major cause of death in those patients suffering from refractory epilepsy (RE), with a 24-fold higher risk relative to the normal population. SUDEP risk increases with seizure frequency and/or seizure-duration as in RE and Status Epilepticus (SE). P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the product of the multidrug resistant ABCB1-MDR-1 gene, is a detoxifying pump that extrudes drugs out of the cells and can confer pharmacoresistance to the expressing cells. Neurons and cardiomyocytes normally do not express P-gp, however, it is overexpressed in the brain of patients or in experimental models of RE and SE. P-gp was also detected after brain or cardiac hypoxia. We have previously demonstrated that repetitive pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced seizures increase P-gp expression in the brain, which is associated with membrane depolarization in the hippocampus, and in the heart, which is associated with fatal SE. SE can produce hypoxic-ischemic altered cardiac rhythm (HIACR) and severe arrhythmias, and both are related with SUDEP. Here, we investigate whether SE induces the expression of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor (HIF)-1α and P-gp in cardiomyocytes, which is associated with altered heart rhythm, and if these changes are related with the spontaneous death rate. SE was induced in Wistar rats once a week for 3 weeks, by lithium-pilocarpine-paradigm. Electrocardiograms, HIF-1α, and P-gp expression in cardiomyocytes, were evaluated in basal conditions and 72 h after SE. All spontaneous deaths occurred 48 h after each SE was registered. We observed that repeated SE induced HIF-1α and P-gp expression in cardiomyocytes, electrocardiographic (ECG) changes, and a high rate of spontaneous death. Our results suggest that the highly accumulated burden of convulsive stress results in a hypoxic heart insult, where P-gp expression may play a depolarizing role in cardiomyocyte membranes and in the development of the ECG changes, such as QT interval prolongation, that could be related with SUDEP. We postulate that this mechanism could explain, in part, the higher SUDEP risk in patients with RE or SE. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Peptides for Topical Treatment of Osteomyelitis and Implant-Related Infections: Study in the Spongy Bone
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 20; doi:10.3390/ph11010020 -
Abstract
We examined the benefits of short linear α-helical antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) invented in our laboratory for treating bone infection and preventing microbial biofilm formation on model implants due to causative microorganisms of osteomyelitis. For this purpose, we introduced a model of induced osteomyelitis
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We examined the benefits of short linear α-helical antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) invented in our laboratory for treating bone infection and preventing microbial biofilm formation on model implants due to causative microorganisms of osteomyelitis. For this purpose, we introduced a model of induced osteomyelitis that utilizes human femur heads obtained from the hospital after their replacement with artificial prostheses. We found that the focus of the infection set up in the spongy part of this bone treated with AMP-loaded calcium phosphate cement was eradicated much more effectively than was the focus treated with antibiotics such as vancomycin or gentamicin loaded into the same cement. This contradicts the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) values of AMPs and antibiotics against some bacterial strains obtained in standard in vitro assays. The formation of microbial biofilm on implants made from poly(methylmethacrylate)-based bone cement loaded with AMP was evaluated after the implants’ removal from the infected bone sample. AMPs loaded in such model implants prevented microbial adhesion and subsequent formation of bacterial biofilm on their surface. Biofilms did form, on the other hand, on control implants made from the plain cement when these were implanted into the same infected bone sample. These results of the experiments performed in human bone tissue highlight the clinical potential of antimicrobial peptides for use in treating and preventing osteomyelitis caused by resistant pathogens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Nanoparticle Technology to Reduce the Anti-Microbial Resistance through β-Lactam Antibiotic-Polymer Inclusion Nano-Complex
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 19; doi:10.3390/ph11010019 -
Abstract
Biocompatible polymeric materials with potential to form functional structures in association with different therapeutic molecules have a high potential for biological, medical and pharmaceutical applications. Therefore, the capability of the inclusion of nano-Complex formed between the sodium salt of poly(maleic acid-alt-octadecene)
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Biocompatible polymeric materials with potential to form functional structures in association with different therapeutic molecules have a high potential for biological, medical and pharmaceutical applications. Therefore, the capability of the inclusion of nano-Complex formed between the sodium salt of poly(maleic acid-alt-octadecene) and a β-lactam drug (ampicillin trihydrate) to avoid the chemical and enzymatic degradation and enhance the biological activity were evaluated. PAM-18Na was produced and characterized, as reported previously. The formation of polymeric hydrophobic aggregates in aqueous solution was determined, using pyrene as a fluorescent probe. Furthermore, the formation of polymer-drug nano-complexes was characterized by Differential Scanning Calorimetry-DSC, viscometric, ultrafiltration/centrifugation assays, zeta potential and size measurements were determined by dynamic light scattering-DLS. The PAM-18Na capacity to avoid the chemical degradation was studied through stress stability tests. The enzymatic degradation was evaluated from a pure β-lactamase, while the biological degradation was determined by different β-lactamase producing Staphylococcus aureus strains. When ampicillin was associated with PAM-18Na, the half-life time in acidic conditions increased, whereas both the enzymatic degradation and the minimum inhibitory concentration decreased to a 90 and 75%, respectively. These results suggest a promissory capability of this polymer to protect the β-lactam drugs against chemical, enzymatic and biological degradation. Full article
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Open AccessMeeting Report
Third International Electronic Conference on Medicinal Chemistry (ECMC-3)
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 18; doi:10.3390/ph11010018 -
Abstract
The third International Electronic Conference on Medicinal Chemistry, organized and sponsored by MDPI AG, publisher, and the journal Pharmaceuticals, took place in November 2017 on the SciForum website (www.sciforum.net/conference/ecmc-3). Around 300 authors from 34 different countries participated at the event, which hosted
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The third International Electronic Conference on Medicinal Chemistry, organized and sponsored by MDPI AG, publisher, and the journal Pharmaceuticals, took place in November 2017 on the SciForum website (www.sciforum.net/conference/ecmc-3). Around 300 authors from 34 different countries participated at the event, which hosted more than 70 presentations, keynotes, videos, and posters. A short description of some works presented during that scientific meeting is disclosed in this report. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Interactions Between Epilepsy and Plasticity
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 17; doi:10.3390/ph11010017 -
Abstract
Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting topics in the field of neuroscience is the ability of the central nervous system to respond to different stimuli (normal or pathological) by modifying its structure and function, either transiently or permanently, by generating neural cells and
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Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting topics in the field of neuroscience is the ability of the central nervous system to respond to different stimuli (normal or pathological) by modifying its structure and function, either transiently or permanently, by generating neural cells and new connections in a process known as neuroplasticity. According to the large amount of evidence reported in the literature, many stimuli, such as environmental pressures, changes in the internal dynamic steady state of the organism and even injuries or illnesses (e.g., epilepsy) may induce neuroplasticity. Epilepsy and neuroplasticity seem to be closely related, as the two processes could positively affect one another. Thus, in this review, we analysed some neuroplastic changes triggered in the hippocampus in response to seizure-induced neuronal damage and how these changes could lead to the establishment of temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common type of focal human epilepsy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vitamin E Phosphate Nucleoside Prodrugs: A Platform for Intracellular Delivery of Monophosphorylated Nucleosides
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(1), 16; doi:10.3390/ph11010016 -
Abstract
Vitamin E phosphate (VEP) nucleoside prodrugs are designed to bypass two mechanisms of tumor resistance to therapeutic nucleosides: nucleoside transport and kinase downregulation. Certain isoforms of vitamin E (VE) have shown activity against solid and hematologic tumors and result in chemosensitization. Because gemcitabine
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Vitamin E phosphate (VEP) nucleoside prodrugs are designed to bypass two mechanisms of tumor resistance to therapeutic nucleosides: nucleoside transport and kinase downregulation. Certain isoforms of vitamin E (VE) have shown activity against solid and hematologic tumors and result in chemosensitization. Because gemcitabine is one of the most common chemotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer, it was used to demonstrate the constructs utility. Four different VE isoforms were conjugated with gemcitabine at the 5′ position. Two of these were δ-tocopherol-monophosphate (MP) gemcitabine (NUC050) and δ-tocotrienol-MP gemcitabine (NUC052). NUC050 was shown to be able to deliver gemcitabine-MP intracellularly by a nucleoside transport independent mechanism. Its half-life administered IV in mice was 3.9 h. In a mouse xenograft model of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) NCI-H460, NUC050 at a dose of 40 mg/kg IV qwk × 4 resulted in significant inhibition to tumor growth on days 11–31 (p < 0.05) compared to saline control (SC). Median survival was 33 days (NUC050) vs. 25.5 days (SC) ((hazard ratio) HR = 0.24, p = 0.017). Further, NUC050 significantly inhibited tumor growth compared to historic data with gemcitabine at 135 mg/kg IV q5d × 3 on days 14–41 (p < 0.05). NUC052 was administered at a dose of 40 mg/kg IV qwk × 2 followed by 50 mg/kg qwk × 2. NUC052 resulted in inhibition to tumor growth on days 14–27 (p < 0.05) and median survival was 34 days (HR = 0.27, p = 0.033). NUC050 and NUC052 have been shown to be safe and effective in a mouse xenograft of NSCLC. Full article
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