Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(9), 954-989; doi:10.3390/ph7090954 - published 19 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: At the time of birth, humans experience an induced pro-inflammatory beneficial event. The mediators of this encouraged activity, is a fleet of bacteria that assault all mucosal surfaces as well as the skin. Thus initiating effects that eventually provide the infant with immune tissue maturation. These effects occur beneath an emergent immune system surveillance and antigenic tolerance capability radar. Over time, continuous and regulated interactions with environmental as well as commensal microbial, viral, and other antigens lead to an adapted and maintained symbiotic state of tolerance, especially in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) the organ site of the largest microbial biomass. However, the perplexing and much debated surprise has been that all microbes need not be targeted for destruction. The advent of sophisticated genomic techniques has led to microbiome studies that have begun to clarify the critical and important biochemical activities that commensal bacteria provide to ensure continued GIT homeostasis. Until recently, the GIT and its associated micro-biometabolome was a neglected factor in chronic disease development and end organ function. A systematic underestimation has been to undervalue the contribution of a persistent GIT dysbiotic (a gut barrier associated abnormality) state. Dysbiosis provides a plausible clue as to the origin of systemic metabolic disorders encountered in clinical practice that may explain the epidemic of chronic diseases. Here we further build a hypothesis that posits the role that subtle adverse responses by the GIT microbiome may have in chronic diseases. Environmentally/nutritionally/and gut derived triggers can maintain microbiome perturbations that drive an abnormal overload of dysbiosis. Live probiotic cultures with specific metabolic properties may assist the GIT microbiota and reduce the local metabolic dysfunctions. As such the effect may translate to a useful clinical treatment approach for patients diagnosed with a metabolic disease for end organs such as the kidney and liver. A profile emerges that shows that bacteria are diverse, abundant, and ubiquitous and have significantly influenced the evolution of the eukaryotic cell.
Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(9), 943-953; doi:10.3390/ph7090943 - published 17 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy has become a standard of care for patients with HER2+ breast cancer. The cost of therapy, however, can limit patient access to trastuzumab in areas with limited financial resources for treatment reimbursement. This study examined access to trastuzumab and identified potential barriers to its use in the United States, Mexico, Turkey, Russia and Brazil via physician survey. The study also investigated if the availability of a biosimilar to trastuzumab would improve access to and use of HER2 monoclonal antibody therapy. Across all countries, a subset of oncologists reported barriers to the use of trastuzumab in a neoadjuvant, adjuvant or metastatic setting. Common barriers to the use of trastuzumab included issues related to insurance coverage, drug availability and cost to the patient. Overall, nearly half of oncologists reported that they would increase the use of HER2 monoclonal antibody therapy across all treatment settings if a lower cost biosimilar to trastuzumab were available. We conclude that the introduction of a biosimilar to trastuzumab may alleviate cost-related barriers to treatment and could increase patient access to HER2-directed therapy in all countries examined.
Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(9), 913-942; doi:10.3390/ph7090913 - published 4 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mitochondria are crucially important for maintaining not only the energy homeostasis, but the proper cellular functions in a general sense. Impairment of mitochondrial functions is observed in a broad variety of pathological states such as neoplastic transformations and cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic disorders and chronic inflammation. Currently, in parallel to the classical drug design approaches, there is an increasing interest in the screening for natural bioactive substances, mainly phytochemicals, in order to develop new therapeutic solutions for the mentioned pathologies. Dietary phytochemicals such as resveratrol, curcumin and sulforaphane are very well tolerated and can effectively complement classical pharmacological therapeutic regimens. In this paper we disscuss the effect of the chosen phytochemicals (e.g., resveratrol, curcumin, sulforaphane) on various aspects of mitochondrial biology, namely mitochondrial biogenesis, membrane potential and reactive oxygen species production, signaling to and from the nucleus and unfolded protein response.
Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(8), 894-912; doi:10.3390/ph7080894 - published 22 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The mitochondrial targeted DNA repair enzyme, 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1, was previously reported to protect against mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and ventilator induced lung injury (VILI). In the present study we determined whether mitochondrial targeted endonuclease III (EndoIII) which cleaves oxidized pyrimidines rather than purines from damaged DNA would also protect the lung. Minimal injury from 1 h ventilation at 40 cmH2O peak inflation pressure (PIP) was reversed by EndoIII pretreatment. Moderate lung injury due to ventilation for 2 h at 40 cmH2O PIP produced a 25-fold increase in total extravascular albumin space, a 60% increase in W/D weight ratio, and marked increases in MIP-2 and IL-6. Oxidative mtDNA damage and decreases in the total tissue glutathione (GSH) and the GSH/GSSH ratio also occurred. All of these indices of injury were attenuated by mitochondrial targeted EndoIII. Massive lung injury caused by 2 h ventilation at 50 cmH2O PIP was not attenuated by EndoIII pretreatment, but all untreated mice died prior to completing the two hour ventilation protocol, whereas all EndoIII-treated mice lived for the duration of ventilation. Thus, mitochondrial targeted DNA repair enzymes were protective against mild and moderate lung damage and they enhanced survival in the most severely injured group.
Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(8), 881-893; doi:10.3390/ph7080881 - published 21 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mitochondrial gene therapy and diagnosis have the potential to provide substantial medical benefits. However, the utility of this approach has not yet been realized because the technology available for mitochondrial gene delivery continues to be a bottleneck. We previously reported on mitochondrial gene delivery in skeletal muscle using hydrodynamic limb vein (HLV) injection. HLV injection, a useful method for nuclear transgene expression, involves the rapid injection of a large volume of naked plasmid DNA (pDNA). Moreover, the use of a condensed form of pDNA enhances the nuclear transgene expression by the HLV injection. The purpose of this study was to compare naked pDNA and condensed pDNA for mitochondrial association in skeletal muscle, when used in conjunction with HLV injection. PCR analysis showed that the use of condensed pDNA rather than naked pDNA resulted in a more effective mitochondrial association with pDNA, suggesting that the physicochemical state of pDNA plays a key role. Moreover, no mitochondrial toxicities in skeletal muscle following the HLV injection of condensed pDNA were confirmed, as evidenced by cytochrome c oxidase activity and mitochondrial membrane potential. These findings have the potential to contribute to the development for in vivo mitochondrial gene delivery system.
Pharmaceuticals2014, 7(8), 866-880; doi:10.3390/ph7080866 - published 18 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Fungi are an emerging source of peptide antibiotics. With the availability of a large number of model fungal genome sequences, we can expect that more and more fungal defensin-like peptides (fDLPs) will be discovered by sequence similarity search. Here, we report a total of 69 new fDLPs encoded by 63 genes, in which a group of fDLPs derived from dermatophytes are defined as a new family (fDEF8) according to sequence and phylogenetic analyses. In the oleaginous fungus Mortierella alpine, fDLPs have undergone extensive gene expansion. Our work further enlarges the fungal defensin family and will help characterize new peptide antibiotics with therapeutic potential.