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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 11, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Over the past few years, drug repositioning has become a relevant strategy for drug discovery, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Parallel Evolution of Host-Attachment Proteins in Phage PP01 Populations Adapting to Escherichia coli O157:H7
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020060
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
The emergence of antibiotic resistance has sparked interest in phage therapy, which uses virulent phages as antibacterial agents. Bacteriophage PP01 has been studied for potential bio-control of Escherichia coli O157:H7, its natural host, but in the laboratory, PP01 can be inefficient at killing
[...] Read more.
The emergence of antibiotic resistance has sparked interest in phage therapy, which uses virulent phages as antibacterial agents. Bacteriophage PP01 has been studied for potential bio-control of Escherichia coli O157:H7, its natural host, but in the laboratory, PP01 can be inefficient at killing this bacterium. Thus, the goal of this study was to improve the therapeutic potential of PP01 through short-term experimental evolution. Four replicate populations of PP01 were serially passaged 21 times on non-evolving E. coli O157:H7 with the prediction that the evolved phage populations would adsorb faster and more efficiently kill the host bacteria. Dead-cell adsorption assays and in vitro killing assays confirmed that evolved viruses improved their adsorption ability on E. coli O157:H7, and adapted to kill host bacteria faster than the wildtype ancestor. Sequencing of candidate tail-fiber genes revealed that the phage populations evolved in parallel; the lineages shared two point mutations in gp38 that encodes a host recognition protein, and surprisingly shared a ~600 bp deletion in gp37 that encodes the distal tail fibers. In contrast, no mutations were observed in the gp12 gene encoding PP01’s short tail fibers. We discuss the functional role of the observed mutations, including the possible adaptive role of the evolved deletions. This study demonstrates how experimental evolution can be used to select for viral traits that improve phage attack of an important bacterial pathogen, and that the molecular targets of selection include loci contributing to cell attachment and phage virulence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Therapy and Phage-Mediated Biological Control)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis, Evaluation of Cytotoxicity and Molecular Docking Studies of the 7-Acetamido Substituted 2-Aryl-5-bromo-3-trifluoroacetylindoles as Potential Inhibitors of Tubulin Polymerization
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020059
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
The 3-trifluoroacetyl–substituted 7-acetamido-2-aryl-5-bromoindoles 5ah were prepared and evaluated for potential antigrowth effect in vitro against human lung cancer (A549) and cervical cancer (HeLa) cells and for the potential to inhibit tubulin polymerization. The corresponding intermediates, namely, the 3-unsubstituted 7-acetyl-2-aryl-5-bromoindole 2a
[...] Read more.
The 3-trifluoroacetyl–substituted 7-acetamido-2-aryl-5-bromoindoles 5ah were prepared and evaluated for potential antigrowth effect in vitro against human lung cancer (A549) and cervical cancer (HeLa) cells and for the potential to inhibit tubulin polymerization. The corresponding intermediates, namely, the 3-unsubstituted 7-acetyl-2-aryl-5-bromoindole 2ad and 7-acetamido-2-aryl-5-bromoindole 4ad were included in the assays in order to correlate both structural variations and cytotoxicity. No cytotoxicity was observed for compounds 2ad and their 3-trifluoroacetyl–substituted derivatives 5ad against both cell lines. The 7-acetamido derivatives 4d exhibited modest cytotoxicity against both cell lines. All of the 3-trifluoroacetyl–substituted 7-acetamido-2-aryl-5-bromoindoles 5eh were found to be more active against both cell lines when compared to the chemotherapeutic drug, Melphalan. The most active compound, 5g, induced programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a caspase-dependent manner for both A549 and HeLa cells. Compounds 5eh were found to significantly inhibit tubulin polymerization against indole-3-carbinol and colchicine as reference standards. Molecular docking of 5g into the colchicine-binding site suggests that the compounds bind to tubulin by different type of interactions including pi-alkyl, amide-pi stacked and alkyl interactions as well as hydrogen bonding with the protein residues to elicit anticancer activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterocyclic Chemistry for Cancer and CNS Diseases)
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Open AccessReview TRPM Family Channels in Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020058
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
Members of the TRPM (“Melastatin”) family fall into the subclass of the TRP channels having varying permeability to Ca2+ and Mg2+, with three members of the TRPM family being chanzymes, which contain C-terminal enzyme domains. The role of different TRPM
[...] Read more.
Members of the TRPM (“Melastatin”) family fall into the subclass of the TRP channels having varying permeability to Ca2+ and Mg2+, with three members of the TRPM family being chanzymes, which contain C-terminal enzyme domains. The role of different TRPM members has been shown in various cancers such as prostate cancer for mostly TRPM8 and TRPM2, breast cancer for mostly TRPM2 and TRPM7, and pancreatic cancer for TRPM2/7/8 channels. The role of TRPM5 channels has been shown in lung cancer, TRPM1 in melanoma, and TRPM4 channel in prostate cancer as well. Thus, the TRPM family of channels may represent an appealing target for the anticancer therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview Changing Trends in Computational Drug Repositioning
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020057
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
Efforts to maximize the indications potential and revenue from drugs that are already marketed are largely motivated by what Sir James Black, a Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist advocated—“The most fruitful basis for the discovery of a new drug is to start with an old
[...] Read more.
Efforts to maximize the indications potential and revenue from drugs that are already marketed are largely motivated by what Sir James Black, a Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist advocated—“The most fruitful basis for the discovery of a new drug is to start with an old drug”. However, rational design of drug mixtures poses formidable challenges because of the lack of or limited information about in vivo cell regulation, mechanisms of genetic pathway activation, and in vivo pathway interactions. Hence, most of the successfully repositioned drugs are the result of “serendipity”, discovered during late phase clinical studies of unexpected but beneficial findings. The connections between drug candidates and their potential adverse drug reactions or new applications are often difficult to foresee because the underlying mechanism associating them is largely unknown, complex, or dispersed and buried in silos of information. Discovery of such multi-domain pharmacomodules—pharmacologically relevant sub-networks of biomolecules and/or pathways—from collection of databases by independent/simultaneous mining of multiple datasets is an active area of research. Here, while presenting some of the promising bioinformatics approaches and pipelines, we summarize and discuss the current and evolving landscape of computational drug repositioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Pharmaceuticals with New Applications)
Open AccessReview Inflammation and Neuro-Immune Dysregulations in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020056
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction and restricted-repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Strong inflammation states are associated with ASD. This inflammatory condition is often linked to immune system dysfunction. Several cell types are
[...] Read more.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction and restricted-repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Strong inflammation states are associated with ASD. This inflammatory condition is often linked to immune system dysfunction. Several cell types are enrolled to trigger and sustain these processes. Neuro-inflammation and neuro-immune abnormalities have now been established in ASD as key factors in its development and maintenance. In this review, we will explore inflammatory conditions, dysfunctions in neuro-immune cross-talk, and immune system treatments in ASD management. Full article
Open AccessReview Endocannabinoids in Body Weight Control
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020055
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Maintenance of body weight is fundamental to maintain one’s health and to promote longevity. Nevertheless, it appears that the global obesity epidemic is still constantly increasing. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are lipid messengers that are involved in overall body weight control by interfering with manifold
[...] Read more.
Maintenance of body weight is fundamental to maintain one’s health and to promote longevity. Nevertheless, it appears that the global obesity epidemic is still constantly increasing. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are lipid messengers that are involved in overall body weight control by interfering with manifold central and peripheral regulatory circuits that orchestrate energy homeostasis. Initially, blocking of eCB signaling by first generation cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists such as rimonabant revealed body weight-reducing effects in laboratory animals and men. Unfortunately, rimonabant also induced severe psychiatric side effects. At this point, it became clear that future cannabinoid research has to decipher more precisely the underlying central and peripheral mechanisms behind eCB-driven control of feeding behavior and whole body energy metabolism. Here, we will summarize the most recent advances in understanding how central eCBs interfere with circuits in the brain that control food intake and energy expenditure. Next, we will focus on how peripheral eCBs affect food digestion, nutrient transformation and energy expenditure by interfering with signaling cascades in the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, fat depots and endocrine glands. To finally outline the safe future potential of cannabinoids as medicines, our overall goal is to address the molecular, cellular and pharmacological logic behind central and peripheral eCB-mediated body weight control, and to figure out how these precise mechanistic insights are currently transferred into the development of next generation cannabinoid medicines displaying clearly improved safety profiles, such as significantly reduced side effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids as Medicines)
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Open AccessReview Multidirectional Efficacy of Biologically Active Nitro Compounds Included in Medicines
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020054
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
The current concept in searching for new bioactive products, including mainly original active substances with potential application in pharmacy and medicine, is based on compounds with a previously determined structure, well-known properties, and biological activity profile. Nowadays, many commonly used drugs originated from
[...] Read more.
The current concept in searching for new bioactive products, including mainly original active substances with potential application in pharmacy and medicine, is based on compounds with a previously determined structure, well-known properties, and biological activity profile. Nowadays, many commonly used drugs originated from natural sources. Moreover, some natural materials have become the source of leading structures for processing further chemical modifications. Many organic compounds with great therapeutic significance have the nitro group in their structure. Very often, nitro compounds are active substances in many well-known preparations belonging to different groups of medicines that are classified according to their pharmacological potencies. Moreover, the nitro group is part of the chemical structure of veterinary drugs. In this review, we describe many bioactive substances with the nitro group, divided into ten categories, including substances with exciting activity and that are currently undergoing clinical trials. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Phenytoin Cream for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain: Case Series
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020053
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
BACKGROUND: Neuropathic pain can be disabling, and is often difficult to treat. Within a year, over half of all patients stop taking their prescribed neuropathic pain medication, which is most probably due to side effects or disappointing analgesic results. Therefore, new therapies are
[...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: Neuropathic pain can be disabling, and is often difficult to treat. Within a year, over half of all patients stop taking their prescribed neuropathic pain medication, which is most probably due to side effects or disappointing analgesic results. Therefore, new therapies are needed to alleviate neuropathic pain. As such, topical analgesics could be a new inroad in the treatment of neuropathic pain. In 2014, we developed a new topical formulation containing either phenytoin or sodium phenytoin. After optimization of the formulation, we were able to reach a 10% concentration and combine phenytoin with other co-analgesics in the same base cream. OBJECTIVE: To describe a series of 70 neuropathic pain patients who were treated with phenytoin cream. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cases treated with phenytoin 5% or 10% creams were gathered. The mean onset of pain relief, the duration of effect, and reduction in pain intensity measured on the 11-point numerical rating scale (NRS) were all studied. A single-blind response test with phenytoin 10% and placebo creams was conducted on 12 patients in order to select responders prior to prescribing the active cream. Plasma phenytoin concentrations were measured in 16 patients. RESULTS: Nine patients applied phenytoin 5% cream, and 61 patients used phenytoin 10% cream. After grouping the effects of all of the patients, the mean onset of pain relief was 16.3 min (SD: 14.8), the mean duration of analgesia was 8.1 h (SD: 9.1), and the mean pain reduction on the NRS was 61.2% (SD: 25.0). The mean pain reduction on the NRS while using phenytoin cream was statistically significant compared with the baseline, with a reduction of 4.5 (CI: 4.0 to 5.0, p < 0.01). The 12 patients on whom a single-blind response test was performed experienced a statistically significant reduction in pain in the area where the phenytoin 10% cream was applied in comparison to the area where the placebo cream was applied (p < 0.01). Thirty minutes after the test application, the mean pain reduction on the NRS in the areas where the phenytoin 10% cream and the placebo cream were applied was 3.3 (CI: 2.3 to 4.4, p < 0.01) and 1.1 (CI: 0.4 to 1.9, p < 0.05), respectively. In all 16 patients, the phenytoin plasma levels were below the limit of detection. So far, no systemic side effects were reported. Two patients only reported local side effects: a transient burning aggravation and skin rash. CONCLUSION: In this case series, the phenytoin cream had reduced neuropathic pain considerably, with a fast onset of analgesic effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Pharmacological Targets for Pain)
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Open AccessArticle Development and Validation of a Rapid High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometric Method for Determination of Folic Acid in Human Plasma
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020052
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 23 May 2018 / Published: 27 May 2018
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Abstract
There are health concerns associated with increased folic acid intake from fortified food and supplements. Existing analytical methods, however, which can be employed to carry out epidemiological and bioavailability studies for folic acid involve laborious sample preparation and/or lengthy chromatographic analysis. In this
[...] Read more.
There are health concerns associated with increased folic acid intake from fortified food and supplements. Existing analytical methods, however, which can be employed to carry out epidemiological and bioavailability studies for folic acid involve laborious sample preparation and/or lengthy chromatographic analysis. In this paper we describe a simple, rapid, and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionisation-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–ESI-MS/MS) method for determination of unmetabolised folic acid in human plasma using folic acid-d4 as an internal standard. The method required only a simple sample preparation step of protein precipitation and had a total run time of 3.5 min, which is the shortest run time reported to date for HPLC–MS/MS method employed for quantifying folic acid in plasma. The analytes were separated on a C18 column (3 µm; 50 × 3.00 mm) using an isocratic mobile phase consisting of ammonium acetate (1 mM)-acetic acid-acetonitrile (9.9:0.1:90, v/v/v). The method was fully validated in terms of accuracy, precision, linearity, selectivity, recovery, matrix effect, and stability. The short run time and the minimal sample preparation makes the method a valuable tool for performing high-throughput analyses. To demonstrate the applicability of the method in real conditions, it was applied successfully in a bioavailability study for the determination of unmetabolised folic acid levels in vivo in human plasma after oral administration of folic acid. Full article
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Open AccessReview Side Effects and Interactions of the Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitor Febuxostat
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020051
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
The paper addresses the safety of febuxostat and summarizes reports on side effects and interactions of febuxostat published by the cut-off date (last day of literature search) of 20 March 2018. Publications on side effects and the interactions of febuxostat were considered. Information
[...] Read more.
The paper addresses the safety of febuxostat and summarizes reports on side effects and interactions of febuxostat published by the cut-off date (last day of literature search) of 20 March 2018. Publications on side effects and the interactions of febuxostat were considered. Information concerning the occurrence of side effects and interactions in association with the treatment with febuxostat was collected and summarized in the review. The incidence of severe side effects was much less frequent than mild side effects (1.2–3.8% to 20.1–38.7%). The rate and range of febuxostat side effects are low at doses of up to 120 mg and only increase with a daily dose of over 120 mg. The publications reveal no age-dependent increase in side effects for febuxostat. In patients with impaired renal function, no increase in adverse events is described with a dose of up to 120 mg of febuxostat per day. Patients with impaired liver function had no elevated risk for severe side effects. A known allopurinol intolerance increases the risk of skin reactions during treatment with febuxostat by a factor of 3.6. No correlation between treatment with febuxostat and agranulocytosis has been confirmed. Possible interactions with very few medications (principally azathioprine) are known for febuxostat. Febuxostat is well tolerated and a modern and safe alternative to allopurinol therapy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Controlled-Deactivation CB1 Receptor Ligands as a Novel Strategy to Lower Intraocular Pressure
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020050
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
Nearly half a century has passed since the demonstration that cannabis and its chief psychoactive component Δ9-THC lowers intraocular pressure (IOP). Elevated IOP remains the chief hallmark and therapeutic target for glaucoma, a condition that places millions at risk of blindness.
[...] Read more.
Nearly half a century has passed since the demonstration that cannabis and its chief psychoactive component Δ9-THC lowers intraocular pressure (IOP). Elevated IOP remains the chief hallmark and therapeutic target for glaucoma, a condition that places millions at risk of blindness. It is likely that Δ9-THC exerts much of its IOP-lowering effects via the activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors. However, the initial promise of CB1 as a target for treating glaucoma has not thus far translated into a credible therapeutic strategy. We have recently shown that blocking monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), an enzyme that breaks the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), substantially lowers IOP. Another strategy is to develop cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists that are optimized for topical application to the eye. Recently we have reported on a controlled-deactivation approach where the “soft” drug concept of enzymatic deactivation was combined with a “depot effect” that is commonly observed with Δ9-THC and other lipophilic cannabinoids. This approach allowed us to develop novel cannabinoids with a predictable duration of action and is particularly attractive for the design of CB1 activators for ophthalmic use with limited or no psychoactive effects. We have tested a novel class of compounds using a combination of electrophysiology in autaptic hippocampal neurons, a well-characterized model of endogenous cannabinoid signaling, and measurements of IOP in a mouse model. We now report that AM7410 is a reasonably potent and efficacious agonist at CB1 in neurons and that it substantially (30%) lowers IOP for as long as 5 h after a single topical treatment. This effect is absent in CB1 knockout mice. Our results indicate that the direct targeting of CB1 receptors with controlled-deactivation ligands is a viable approach to lower IOP in a murine model and merits further study in other model systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabinoids as Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle A Short Peptide Inhibitor as an Activity-Based Probe for Matriptase-2
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020049
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Matriptase-2 is a type II transmembrane serine protease and a key regulator of systemic iron homeostasis. Since the activation mechanism and several features of the physiological role of matriptase-2 are not fully understood, there is strong need for analytical tools to perform tasks
[...] Read more.
Matriptase-2 is a type II transmembrane serine protease and a key regulator of systemic iron homeostasis. Since the activation mechanism and several features of the physiological role of matriptase-2 are not fully understood, there is strong need for analytical tools to perform tasks such as distinguishing active and inactive matriptase-2. For this purpose we present a short biotinylated peptide derivative with a chloromethyl ketone group, biotin-RQRR-CMK, as an activity-based probe for matriptase-2. Biotin-RQRR-CMK was kinetically characterized and exhibited a second-order rate constant of inactivation (kinac/Ki) of 10,800 M−1 s−1 towards the matriptase-2 activity in the supernatant of transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells. Biotin-RQRR-CMK was able to label active matriptase-2, as visualized in western blot experiments. Pretreatment with aprotinin, an active-site directed inhibitor of serine proteases, protected matriptase-2 from the reaction with biotin-RQRR-CMK. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Role of TRP Channels in the Metastatic Cascade
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020048
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
A dysregulated cellular Ca2+ homeostasis is involved in multiple pathologies including cancer. Changes in Ca2+ signaling caused by altered fluxes through ion channels and transporters (the transportome) are involved in all steps of the metastatic cascade. Cancer cells thereby “re-program” and
[...] Read more.
A dysregulated cellular Ca2+ homeostasis is involved in multiple pathologies including cancer. Changes in Ca2+ signaling caused by altered fluxes through ion channels and transporters (the transportome) are involved in all steps of the metastatic cascade. Cancer cells thereby “re-program” and “misuse” the cellular transportome to regulate proliferation, apoptosis, metabolism, growth factor signaling, migration and invasion. Cancer cells use their transportome to cope with diverse environmental challenges during the metastatic cascade, like hypoxic, acidic and mechanical cues. Hence, ion channels and transporters are key modulators of cancer progression. This review focuses on the role of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the metastatic cascade. After briefly introducing the role of the transportome in cancer, we discuss TRP channel functions in cancer cell migration. We highlight the role of TRP channels in sensing and transmitting cues from the tumor microenvironment and discuss their role in cancer cell invasion. We identify open questions concerning the role of TRP channels in circulating tumor cells and in the processes of intra- and extravasation of tumor cells. We emphasize the importance of TRP channels in different steps of cancer metastasis and propose cancer-specific TRP channel blockade as a therapeutic option in cancer treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High Concentrations of Sodium Chloride Improve Microbicidal Activity of Ibuprofen against Common Cystic Fibrosis Pathogens
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020047
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Ibuprofen (IBU-H), a widely used anti-inflammatory, also shows a marked antimicrobial effect against several bacterial species, including those involved in cystic fibrosis such as Pseudomona aeruginosa, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Burkholderia cepacia complex. Additionally, our results show significant synergy between water
[...] Read more.
Ibuprofen (IBU-H), a widely used anti-inflammatory, also shows a marked antimicrobial effect against several bacterial species, including those involved in cystic fibrosis such as Pseudomona aeruginosa, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Burkholderia cepacia complex. Additionally, our results show significant synergy between water soluble Na-ibuprofen (IBU-Na) and ionic strength. Salt concentrations above 0.5 M modify the zeta potential promoting the action of Na-IBU; thus, with 1 M sodium chloride, IBU-Na is ten times more efficient than in the absence of ionic strength, and the minimum effective contact time is reduced from hours to minutes. In short time periods, where neither IBU-Na nor controls with 1 M NaCl show activity, the combination of both leads to a reduction in the bacterial load. We also analyzed whether the changes caused by salt on the bacterial membrane also promoted the activity of other microbicide compounds used in cystic fibrosis like gentamicin, tobramycin and phosphomycin. The results show that the presence of ionic strength only enhanced the bactericidal activity of the amphipathic molecule of IBU-Na. In this respect, the effect of saline concentration was also reflected in the surface properties of IBU-Na, where, in addition to the clear differences observed between 145 mM and 1 M, singular behaviors were also found, different in each condition. The combination of anti-inflammatory activity and this improved bactericidal effect of Na-IBU in hypertonic solution provides a new alternative for the treatment of respiratory infections of fibrotic patients based on known and widely used compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Dabigatran and Rivaroxaban on Markers of Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte Activation
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020046
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
Dabigatran is an oral direct thrombin inhibitor, and rivaroxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor. Dabigatran has been implicated in the etiology of acute coronary syndromes and as these occur following inflammatory changes in the endothelium, we investigated the inflammatory potential of these agents in
[...] Read more.
Dabigatran is an oral direct thrombin inhibitor, and rivaroxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor. Dabigatran has been implicated in the etiology of acute coronary syndromes and as these occur following inflammatory changes in the endothelium, we investigated the inflammatory potential of these agents in vitro. In order to do so, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) were isolated from heparinized venous blood from non-smoking, healthy adults and exposed to dabigatran or rivaroxaban (0.5–10 µM). Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), elastase release, cytosolic Ca2+ fluxes, neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and cell viability were measured using chemiluminescence, spectrophotometric and flow cytometric procedures respectively. However, with the exception of modest inhibitory effects on elastase release, neither agent at concentrations of up to 10 µM affected these markers of PMNL activation. Although no pro-inflammatory effects of dabigatran nor any difference between the two test agents were detected in vitro, the existence of a pro-inflammatory mechanism involving the generation of thrombin during dabigatran therapy cannot be fully excluded. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Novel N4-Like Bacteriophages of Pectobacterium atrosepticum
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020045
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (19514 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Pectobacterium atrosepticum is an economically important phytopathogen that is responsible for potato blackleg and soft rot, and for which current control strategies are limited. In this study, stem samples of potato crops exhibiting blackleg were taken from three farms in Co. Cork, Ireland,
[...] Read more.
Pectobacterium atrosepticum is an economically important phytopathogen that is responsible for potato blackleg and soft rot, and for which current control strategies are limited. In this study, stem samples of potato crops exhibiting blackleg were taken from three farms in Co. Cork, Ireland, and they were found to be infected with P. atrosepticum. Three closely related bacteriophages (phages) that are specific to this phytopathogen were isolated and characterized, namely vB_PatP_CB1, vB_PatP_CB3, and vB_PatP_CB4 (abbreviated as CB1, CB3, and CB4). Both CB1 and CB3 were determined to infect 12 strains and CB4 10 strains of the 19 strains of P. atrosepticum tested. Morphology, latent periods, burst sizes, and their stability at various temperatures and pHs were also examined. Genome sequencing of the three phages revealed that they shared a minimum nucleotide identity of 93% with each other. Their genomes exhibited an Enquartavirinae genome organization, possessing several conserved proteins that were associated with phages of this group, like the type species Escherichia virus N4. Tandem electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) allowed for the identification of ten structural proteins that form the virion of CB1, six that are conserved in phage N4. Biocontrol experiments demonstrated that the phages suppress soft rot formation upon co-inoculation with P. atrosepticum on whole tubers. The results of this study indicate that CB1 related phages could be good candidates for phage-based control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Therapy and Phage-Mediated Biological Control)
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Open AccessReview Old Drugs as New Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020044
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases are increasing in number, given that the general global population is becoming older. They manifest themselves through mechanisms that are not fully understood, in many cases, and impair memory, cognition and movement. Currently, no neurodegenerative disease is curable, and the treatments
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Neurodegenerative diseases are increasing in number, given that the general global population is becoming older. They manifest themselves through mechanisms that are not fully understood, in many cases, and impair memory, cognition and movement. Currently, no neurodegenerative disease is curable, and the treatments available only manage the symptoms or halt the progression of the disease. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new treatments for this kind of disease, since the World Health Organization has predicted that neurodegenerative diseases affecting motor function will become the second-most prevalent cause of death in the next 20 years. New therapies can come from three main sources: synthesis, natural products, and existing drugs. This last source is known as drug repurposing, which is the most advantageous, since the drug’s pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles are already established, and the investment put into this strategy is not as significant as for the classic development of new drugs. There have been several studies on the potential of old drugs for the most relevant neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Pharmaceuticals with New Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Anti-Toxoplasma gondii Effect of Ursolic Acid as a Novel Toxoplasmosis Inhibitor
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020043
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
This study was carried out to evaluate the anti-parasitic effect of ursolic acid against Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) that induces toxoplasmosis, particularly in humans. The anti-parasitic effects of ursolic acid against T. gondii-infected cells and T. gondii were evaluated through
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This study was carried out to evaluate the anti-parasitic effect of ursolic acid against Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) that induces toxoplasmosis, particularly in humans. The anti-parasitic effects of ursolic acid against T. gondii-infected cells and T. gondii were evaluated through different specific assays, including immunofluorescence staining and animal testing. Ursolic acid effectively inhibited the proliferation of T. gondii when compared with sulfadiazine, and consistently induced anti-T. gondii activity/effect. In particular, the formation of parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) in host cells was markedly decreased after treating ursolic acid, which was effectively suppressed. Moreover, the survival rate of T. gondii was strongly inhibited in T. gondii group treated with ursolic acid, and then 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) against T. gondii was measured as 94.62 μg/mL. The T. gondii-infected mice treated with ursolic acid indicated the same survival rates and activity as the normal group. These results demonstrate that ursolic acid causes anti-T. gondii action and effect by strongly blocking the proliferation of T. gondii through the direct and the selective T. gondii-inhibitory ability as well as increases the survival of T. gondii-infected mice. This study shows that ursolic acid has the potential to be used as a promising anti-T. gondii candidate substance for developing effective anti-parasitic drugs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview 2017 FDA Peptide Harvest
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020042
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
2017 was an excellent year in terms of new drugs (chemical entities and biologics) approved by the FDA, with a total of 46. In turn, one of the highlights was the number of peptides (six) included in this list. Here, the six peptides
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2017 was an excellent year in terms of new drugs (chemical entities and biologics) approved by the FDA, with a total of 46. In turn, one of the highlights was the number of peptides (six) included in this list. Here, the six peptides are analyzed in terms of chemical structure, synthetic strategy used for their production, source, therapeutic use, and mode of action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mitoxantrone is More Toxic than Doxorubicin in SH-SY5Y Human Cells: A ‘Chemobrain’ In Vitro Study
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020041
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 29 April 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
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Abstract
The potential neurotoxic effects of anticancer drugs, like doxorubicin (DOX) and mitoxantrone (MTX; also used in multiple sclerosis), are presently important reasons for concern, following epidemiological data indicating that cancer survivors submitted to chemotherapy may suffer cognitive deficits. We evaluated the in vitro
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The potential neurotoxic effects of anticancer drugs, like doxorubicin (DOX) and mitoxantrone (MTX; also used in multiple sclerosis), are presently important reasons for concern, following epidemiological data indicating that cancer survivors submitted to chemotherapy may suffer cognitive deficits. We evaluated the in vitro neurotoxicity of two commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs, DOX and MTX, and study their underlying mechanisms in the SH-SY5Y human neuronal cell model. Undifferentiated human SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to DOX or MTX (0.13, 0.2 and 0.5 μM) for 48 h and two cytotoxicity assays were performed, the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) reduction and the neutral red (NR) incorporation assays. Phase contrast microphotographs, Hoechst, and acridine orange/ethidium bromide stains were performed. Mitochondrial membrane potential was also assessed. Moreover, putative protective drugs, namely the antioxidants N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC; 1 mM) and 100 μM tiron, the inhibitor of caspase-3/7, Ac-DEVD-CHO (100 μM), and a protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide (CHX; 10 nM), were tested to prevent DOX- or MTX-induced toxicity. The MTT reduction assay was also done in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells following exposure to 0.2 μM DOX or MTX. MTX was more toxic than DOX in both cytotoxicity assays and according to the morphological analyses. MTX also evoked a higher number of apoptotic nuclei than DOX. Both drugs, at the 0.13 μM concentration, caused mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization after a 48-h exposure. Regarding the putative neuroprotectors, 1 mM NAC was not able to prevent the cytotoxicity caused by either drug. Notwithstanding, 100 μM tiron was capable of partially reverting MTX-induced cytotoxicity in the NR uptake assay. One hundred μM Ac-DEVD-CHO and 10 nM cycloheximide (CHX) also partially prevented the toxicity induced by DOX in the NR uptake assay. MTX was more toxic than DOX in differentiated SH-SY5Y cells, while MTX had similar toxicity in differentiated and undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells. In fact, MTX was the most neurotoxic drug tested and the mechanisms involved seem dissimilar among drugs. Thus, its toxicity mechanisms need to be further investigated as to determine the putative neurotoxicity for multiple sclerosis and cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Old Pharmaceuticals with New Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationships of (−)-cis-N-Normetazocine-Based LP1 Derivatives
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020040
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
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Abstract
(−)-cis-N-Normetazocine represents a rigid scaffold able to mimic the tyramine moiety of endogenous opioid peptides, and the introduction of different N-substituents influences affinity and efficacy of respective ligands at MOR (mu opioid receptor), DOR (delta opioid receptor), and
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(−)-cis-N-Normetazocine represents a rigid scaffold able to mimic the tyramine moiety of endogenous opioid peptides, and the introduction of different N-substituents influences affinity and efficacy of respective ligands at MOR (mu opioid receptor), DOR (delta opioid receptor), and KOR (kappa opioid receptor). We have previously identified LP1, a MOR/DOR multitarget opioid ligand, with an N-phenylpropanamido substituent linked to (−)-cis-N-Normetazocine scaffold. Herein, we report the synthesis, competition binding and calcium mobilization assays of new compounds 1016 that differ from LP1 by the nature of the N-substituent. In radioligand binding experiments, the compounds 1013, featured by an electron-withdrawing or electron-donating group in the para position of phenyl ring, displayed improved affinity for KOR (Ki = 0.85–4.80 μM) in comparison to LP1 (7.5 μM). On the contrary, their MOR and DOR affinities were worse (Ki = 0.18–0.28 μM and Ki = 0.38–1.10 μM, respectively) with respect to LP1 values (Ki = 0.049 and 0.033 μM). Analogous trends was recorded for the compounds 1416, featured by indoline, tetrahydroquinoline, and diphenylamine functionalities in the N-substituent. In calcium mobilization assays, the compound 10 with a p-fluorophenyl in the N-substituent shared the functional profile of LP1 (pEC50MOR = 7.01), although it was less active. Moreover, the p-methyl- (11) and p-cyano- (12) substituted compounds resulted in MOR partial agonists and DOR/KOR antagonists. By contrast, the derivatives 1315 resulted as MOR antagonists, and the derivative 16 as a MOR/KOR antagonist (pKBMOR = 6.12 and pKBKOR = 6.11). Collectively, these data corroborated the critical role of the N-substituent in (−)-cis-N-Normetazocine scaffold. Thus, the new synthesized compounds could represent a template to achieve a specific agonist, antagonist, or mixed agonist/antagonist functional profile. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Iron Release from Soybean Seed Ferritin Induced by Cinnamic Acid Derivatives
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020039
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Plant ferritin represents a novel class of iron supplement, which widely co-exists with phenolic acids in a plant diet. However, there are few reports on the effect of these phenolic acids on function of ferritin. In this study, we demonstrated that cinnamic acid
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Plant ferritin represents a novel class of iron supplement, which widely co-exists with phenolic acids in a plant diet. However, there are few reports on the effect of these phenolic acids on function of ferritin. In this study, we demonstrated that cinnamic acid derivatives, as widely occurring phenolic acids, can induce iron release from holo soybean seed ferritin (SSF) in a structure-dependent manner. The ability of the iron release from SSF by five cinnamic acids follows the sequence of Cinnamic acid > Chlorogenic acid > Ferulic acid > p-Coumaric acid > Trans-Cinnamic acid. Fluorescence titration in conjunction with dialysis results showed that all of these five compounds have a similar, weak ability to bind with protein, suggesting that their protein-binding ability is not related to their iron release activity. In contrast, both Fe2+-chelating activity and reducibility of these cinnamic acid derivatives are in good agreement with their ability to induce iron release from ferritin. These studies indicate that cinnamic acid and its derivatives could have a negative effect on iron stability of holo soybean seed ferritin in diet, and the Fe2+-chelating activity and reducibility of cinnamic acid and its derivatives have strong relations to the iron release of soybean seed ferritin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron as Therapeutic Targets in Human Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnostic Accuracy of Protein Glycation Sites in Long-Term Controlled Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Their Prognostic Potential for Early Diagnosis
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020038
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
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Abstract
Current screening tests for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) identify less than 50% of undiagnosed T2DM patients and provide no information about how the disease will develop in prediabetic patients. Here, twenty-nine protein glycation sites were quantified after tryptic digestion of plasma samples
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Current screening tests for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) identify less than 50% of undiagnosed T2DM patients and provide no information about how the disease will develop in prediabetic patients. Here, twenty-nine protein glycation sites were quantified after tryptic digestion of plasma samples at the peptide level using tandem mass spectrometry and isotope-labelled peptides as internal standard. The glycation degrees were determined in three groups, i.e., 48 patients with a duration of T2DM exceeding ten years, 48 non-diabetic individuals matched for gender, BMI, and age, and 20 prediabetic men. In long-term controlled diabetic patients, 27 glycated peptides were detected at significantly higher levels, providing moderate diagnostic accuracies (ACCs) from 61 to 79%, allowing a subgrouping of patients in three distinct clusters. Moreover, a feature set of one glycated peptides and six established clinical parameters provided an ACC of 95%. The same number of clusters was identified in prediabetic males (ACC of 95%) using a set of eight glycation sites (mostly from serum albumin). All patients present in one cluster showed progression of prediabetic state or advanced towards diabetes in the following five years. Overall, the studied glycation sites appear to be promising biomarkers for subgrouping prediabetic patients to estimate their risk for the development of T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanism of the Dual Activities of Human CYP17A1 and Binding to Anti-Prostate Cancer Drug Abiraterone Revealed by a Novel V366M Mutation Causing 17,20 Lyase Deficiency
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020037
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 29 April 2018
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Abstract
The CYP17A1 gene regulates sex steroid biosynthesis in humans through 17α-hydroxylase/17,20 lyase activities and is a target of anti-prostate cancer drug abiraterone. In a 46, XY patient with female external genitalia, together with a loss of function mutation S441P, we identified a novel
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The CYP17A1 gene regulates sex steroid biosynthesis in humans through 17α-hydroxylase/17,20 lyase activities and is a target of anti-prostate cancer drug abiraterone. In a 46, XY patient with female external genitalia, together with a loss of function mutation S441P, we identified a novel missense mutation V366M at the catalytic center of CYP17A1 which preferentially impaired 17,20 lyase activity. Kinetic experiments with bacterially expressed proteins revealed that V366M mutant enzyme can bind and metabolize pregnenolone to 17OH-pregnenolone, but 17OH-pregnenolone binding and conversion to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) was impaired, explaining the patient’s steroid profile. Abiraterone could not bind and inhibit the 17α-hydroxylase activity of the CYP17A1-V366M mutant. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that V366M creates a “one-way valve” and suggests a mechanism for dual activities of human CYP17A1 where, after the conversion of pregnenolone to 17OH-pregnenolone, the product exits the active site and re-enters for conversion to dehydroepiandrosterone. The V366M mutant also explained the effectiveness of the anti-prostate cancer drug abiraterone as a potent inhibitor of CYP17A1 by binding tightly at the active site in the WT enzyme. The V366M is the first human mutation to be described at the active site of CYP17A1 that causes isolated 17,20 lyase deficiency. Knowledge about the specificity of CYP17A1 activities is of importance for the development of treatments for polycystic ovary syndrome and inhibitors for prostate cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle NUC041, a Prodrug of the DNA Methytransferase Inhibitor 5-aza-2′,2′-Difluorodeoxycytidine (NUC013), Leads to Tumor Regression in a Model of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020036
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
5-aza-2′,2′-difluorodeoxycytidine (NUC013) has been shown to be significantly safer and more effective than decitabine in xenograft models of human leukemia and colon cancer. However, it suffers from a similar short half-life as other DNA methyltransferase inhibitors with a 5-azacytosine base, which is problematic
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5-aza-2′,2′-difluorodeoxycytidine (NUC013) has been shown to be significantly safer and more effective than decitabine in xenograft models of human leukemia and colon cancer. However, it suffers from a similar short half-life as other DNA methyltransferase inhibitors with a 5-azacytosine base, which is problematic for nucleosides that primarily target tumor cells in S phase. Because of the relative instability of 5-azanucleosides, a prodrug approach was developed to improve the pharmacology of NUC013. NUC013 was conjugated with trimethylsilanol (TMS) at the 3′ and 5′ position of the sugar, rendering the molecule hydrophobic and producing 3′,5′-di-trimethylsilyl-2′,2′-difluoro-5-azadeoxycytidine (NUC041). NUC041 was designed to be formulated in a hydrophobic vehicle, protecting it from deamination and hydrolysis. In contact with blood, the TMS moieties are readily hydrolyzed to release NUC013. The half-life of NUC013 administered intravenously in mice is 20.1 min, while that of NUC013 derived from intramuscular NUC041 formulated in a pegylated-phospholipid depot is 3.4 h. In a NCI-H460 xenograft of non-small cell lung cancer, NUC013 was shown to significantly inhibit tumor growth and improve survival. Treatment with NUC041 also led to significant tumor growth inhibition. However, NUC041-treated mice had significantly more tumors ulcerate than either NUC013 treated mice or saline control mice, and such ulceration occurred at significantly lower tumor volumes. In these nude mice, tumor regression was likely mediated by the derepression of the tumor suppressor gene p53 and resultant activation of natural killer (NK) cells. Full article
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Open AccessReview Research Progress on Rolling Circle Amplification (RCA)-Based Biomedical Sensing
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020035
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Diagnostics and Therapeutics)
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Open AccessReview Enhancing Whole Phage Therapy and Their Derived Antimicrobial Enzymes through Complex Formulation
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020034
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Therapy and Phage-Mediated Biological Control)
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020033
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020032
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Drugs)
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Open AccessCommunication Computational Modelling of Large Scale Phage Production Using a Two-Stage Batch Process
Pharmaceuticals 2018, 11(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph11020031
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
PDF Full-text (3690 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Therapy and Phage-Mediated Biological Control)
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