Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(1), 62-106; doi:10.3390/ph8010062 - published 13 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tumor metastases that impede the function of vital organs are a major cause of cancer related mortality. Mitochondrial oxidative stress induced by hypoxia, low nutrient levels, or other stresses, such as genotoxic events, act as key drivers of the malignant changes in primary tumors to enhance their progression to metastasis. Emerging evidence now indicates that mitochondrial modifications and mutations resulting from oxidative stress, and leading to OxPhos stimulation and/or enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, are essential for promoting and sustaining the highly metastatic phenotype. Moreover, the modified mitochondria in emerging or existing metastatic cancer cells, by their irreversible differences, provide opportunities for selectively targeting their mitochondrial functions with a one-two punch. The first blow would block their anti-oxidative defense, followed by the knockout blow—promoting production of excess ROS, capitulating the terminal stage—activation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), specifically killing metastatic cancer cells or their precursors. This review links a wide area of research relevant to cellular mechanisms that affect mitochondria activity as a major source of ROS production driving the pro-oxidative state in metastatic cancer cells. Each of the important aspects affecting mitochondrial function are discussed including: hypoxia, HIFs and PGC1 induced metabolic changes, increased ROS production to induce a more pro-oxidative state with reduced antioxidant defenses. It then focuses on how the mitochondria, as a major source of ROS in metastatic cancer cells driving the pro-oxidative state of malignancy enables targeting drugs affecting many of these altered processes and why the NSAIDs are an excellent example of mitochondria-targeted agents that provide a one-two knockout activating the mPTP and their efficacy as selective anticancer metastasis drugs.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(1), 40-61; doi:10.3390/ph8010040 - published 12 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cancer immunotherapy utilizing Vγ9Vδ2 T cells has been developed over the past decade. A large number of clinical trials have been conducted on various types of solid tumors as well as hematological malignancies. Vγ9Vδ2 T cell-based immunotherapy can be classified into two categories based on the methods of activation and expansion of these cells. Although the in vivo expansion of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells by phosphoantigens or nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-bis) has been translated to early-phase clinical trials, in which the safety of the treatment was confirmed, problems such as activation-induced Vγ9Vδ2 T cell anergy and a decrease in the number of peripheral blood Vγ9Vδ2 T cells after infusion of these stimulants have not yet been solved. In addition, it is difficult to ex vivo expand Vγ9Vδ2 T cells from advanced cancer patients with decreased initial numbers of peripheral blood Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. In this article, we review the clinical studies and reports targeting Vγ9Vδ2 T cells and discuss the development and improvement of Vγ9Vδ2 T cell-based cancer immunotherapy.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(1), 21-37; doi:10.3390/ph8010021 - published 29 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that etomidate and ketamine produce residual effects that modify functional mobility (measured by the balance beam test) and adrenal function (adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation) immediately following recovery from loss of righting reflex in rats. Intravenous etomidate or ketamine was administered in a randomized, crossover fashion (2 or 4 mg/kg and 20 or 40 mg/kg, respectively) on eight consecutive days. Following recovery of righting reflex, animals were assessed for residual effects on functional mobility on the balance beam, motor behavior in the open field and adrenal function through ACTH stimulation. We evaluated the consequences of the effects of the anesthetic agent-induced motor behavior on functional mobility. On the balance beam, etomidate-treated rats maintained their grip longer than ketamine-treated rats, indicating greater balance abilities (mean ± SD, 21.5 ± 25.1 s vs. 3.0 ± 4.3 s respectively, p < 0.021). In the open field test, both dosages of etomidate and ketamine had opposite effects on travel behavior, showing ketamine-induced hyperlocomotion and etomidate-induced hypolocomotion. There was a significant interaction between anesthetic agent and motor behavior effects for functional mobility effects (p < 0.001). Corticosterone levels were lower after both 40 mg/kg ketamine and 4 mg/kg etomidate anesthesia compared to placebo, an effect stronger with etomidate than ketamine (p < 0.001). Following recovery from anesthesia, etomidate and ketamine have substantial side effects. Ketamine-induced hyperlocomotion with 20 and 40 mg/kg has stronger effects on functional mobility than etomidate-induced hypolocomotion with 2 and 4 mg/kg. Etomidate (4 mg/kg) has stronger adrenal suppression effects than ketamine (40 mg/kg).
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/ph8010001 - published 24 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable hematological malignancy characterized by the clonal proliferation of neoplastic plasma cells. The use of proteasome inhibitors in the treatment of MM has led to significant improvements in outcomes. This article reviews data on the use of the two approved proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carlfilzomib), as well as newer agents under development. Emphasis is placed on the clinical use of proteasome inhibitors, including management of side effects and combination with other agents.
Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(12), 1069-1090; doi:10.3390/ph7121069 - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In an ongoing effort to identify novel drugs that can be used as neurotherapeutic compounds, we have focused on anilino enaminones as potential anticonvulsant agents. Enaminones are organic compounds containing a conjugated system of an amine, an alkene and a ketone. Here, we review the effects of a small library of anilino enaminones on neuronal activity. Our experimental approach employs an olfactory bulb brain slice preparation using whole-cell patch-clamp recording from mitral cells in the main olfactory bulb. The main olfactory bulb is a key integrative center in the olfactory pathway. Mitral cells are the principal output neurons of the main olfactory bulb, receiving olfactory receptor neuron input at their dendrites within glomeruli, and projecting glutamatergic axons through the lateral olfactory tract to the olfactory cortex. The compounds tested are known to be effective in attenuating pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) induced convulsions in rodent models. One compound in particular, KRS-5Me-4-OCF3, evokes potent inhibition of mitral cell activity. Experiments aimed at understanding the cellular mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect revealed that KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 shifts the concentration-response curve for GABA to the left. KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 enhances GABA affinity and acts as a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors. Application of a benzodiazepine site antagonist blocks the effect of KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 indicating that KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 binds at the classical benzodiazepine site to exert its pharmacological action. This anilino enaminone KRS-5Me-4-OCF3 emerges as a candidate for clinical use as an anticonvulsant agent in the battle against epileptic seizures.