Next Issue
Volume 16, August
Previous Issue
Volume 16, June
 
 

Pharmaceuticals, Volume 16, Issue 7 (July 2023) – 147 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cyclic peptides are molecules that are already used as drugs in therapies approved for various pharmacological activities, for example, as antibiotics, antifungals, anticancer, and immunosuppressants. Interest in these molecules has been growing due to the improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of the cyclic structure over linear peptides and by the evolution of chemical synthesis, computational, and in vitro methods. To date, 53 cyclic peptides have been approved by different regulatory authorities, and many others are in clinical trials for a wide diversity of conditions. In this review, the potential of cyclic peptides is presented, and general aspects of their synthesis and development are discussed. Furthermore, an overview of already approved cyclic peptides is also given, and the cyclic peptides in clinical trials are summarized. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
32 pages, 2470 KiB  
Review
Peptide Vaccines as Therapeutic and Prophylactic Agents for Female-Specific Cancers: The Current Landscape
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071054 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2509
Abstract
Breast and gynecologic cancers are significant global threats to women’s health and those living with the disease require lifelong physical, financial, and social support from their families, healthcare providers, and society as a whole. Cancer vaccines offer a promising means of inducing long-lasting [...] Read more.
Breast and gynecologic cancers are significant global threats to women’s health and those living with the disease require lifelong physical, financial, and social support from their families, healthcare providers, and society as a whole. Cancer vaccines offer a promising means of inducing long-lasting immune response against the disease. Among various types of cancer vaccines available, peptide vaccines offer an effective strategy to elicit specific anti-tumor immune responses. Peptide vaccines have been developed based on tumor associated antigens (TAAs) and tumor specific neoantigens which can also be of viral origin. Molecular alterations in HER2 and non-HER2 genes are established to be involved in the pathogenesis of female-specific cancers and hence were exploited for the development of peptide vaccines against these diseases, most of which are in the latter stages of clinical trials. However, prophylactic vaccines for viral induced cancers, especially those against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection are well established. This review discusses therapeutic and prophylactic approaches for various types of female-specific cancers such as breast cancer and gynecologic cancers with special emphasis on peptide vaccines. We also present a pipeline for the design and evaluation of a multiepitope peptide vaccine that can be active against female-specific cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Peptoids and Peptide Based Drugs)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2624 KiB  
Article
Anti-Obesity Effect of Chlorin e6-Mediated Photodynamic Therapy on Mice with High-Fat-Diet-Induced Obesity
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071053 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1308
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Chlorin e6 (Ce6)-based photodynamic therapy (PDT) for anti-obesity activities in high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity mouse models. We induced obesity in C57BL/6 mice by HFD and administered Ce6 (2.5 or 5 mg/kg) orally with 3 h of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Chlorin e6 (Ce6)-based photodynamic therapy (PDT) for anti-obesity activities in high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity mouse models. We induced obesity in C57BL/6 mice by HFD and administered Ce6 (2.5 or 5 mg/kg) orally with 3 h of incubation. The mice were then exposed to light of high fluence rate (4.96 mW/cm2) or low fluence rate (2.56 mW/cm2) in the designed LED mouse chamber 2–3 days a week for up to 8 weeks. The study also analyzed the pharmacokinetics and optimization of the drug by evaluating the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of Ce6 in the rat models. Both low doses (2.5 mg/kg) and high doses (5 mg/kg) of Ce6 with high irradiation dose showed better anti-obesity effects than other groups with decreased body weight. The lipid accumulation in the liver and adipocyte size in epididymal adipose tissues were found to be decreased by Ce6-PDT in comparison to vehicle-treated HFD groups. We also observed increased levels of the lipidomic biomarkers, such as leptin and LDL cholesterol, while observing decreasing levels of total cholesterol and adiponectin in the Ce6-PDT-treated mice. These findings may provide valuable insight into Ce6-PDT as an alternative and non-invasive therapeutic methodology for obesity and obesity-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmaceutical Technology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

31 pages, 68931 KiB  
Review
Stable Gastric Pentadecapeptide BPC 157—Possible Novel Therapy of Glaucoma and Other Ocular Conditions
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071052 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Recently, stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 therapy by activation of collateral pathways counteracted various occlusion/occlusion-like syndromes, vascular, and multiorgan failure, and blood pressure disturbances in rats with permanent major vessel occlusion and similar procedures disabling endothelium function. Thereby, we revealed BPC 157 cytoprotective [...] Read more.
Recently, stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 therapy by activation of collateral pathways counteracted various occlusion/occlusion-like syndromes, vascular, and multiorgan failure, and blood pressure disturbances in rats with permanent major vessel occlusion and similar procedures disabling endothelium function. Thereby, we revealed BPC 157 cytoprotective therapy with strong vascular rescuing capabilities in glaucoma therapy. With these capabilities, BPC 157 therapy can recover glaucomatous rats, normalize intraocular pressure, maintain retinal integrity, recover pupil function, recover retinal ischemia, and corneal injuries (i.e., maintained transparency after complete corneal abrasion, corneal ulceration, and counteracted dry eye after lacrimal gland removal or corneal insensitivity). The most important point is that in glaucomatous rats (three of four episcleral veins cauterized) with high intraocular pressure, all BPC 157 regimens immediately normalized intraocular pressure. BPC 157-treated rats exhibited normal pupil diameter, microscopically well-preserved ganglion cells and optic nerve presentation, normal fundus presentation, nor- mal retinal and choroidal blood vessel presentation, and normal optic nerve presentation. The one episcleral vein rapidly upgraded to accomplish all functions in glaucomatous rats may correspond with occlusion/occlusion-like syndromes of the activated rescuing collateral pathway (azygos vein direct blood flow delivery). Normalized intraocular pressure in glaucomatous rats corresponded to the counteracted intra-cranial (superior sagittal sinus), portal, and caval hypertension, and aortal hypotension in occlusion/occlusion-like syndromes, were all attenuated/eliminated by BPC 157 therapy. Furthermore, given in other eye disturbances (i.e., retinal ischemia), BPC 157 instantly breaks a noxious chain of events, both at an early stage and an already advanced stage. Thus, we further advocate BPC 157 as a therapeutic agent in ocular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biopharmaceuticals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 2686 KiB  
Article
On the Road towards Small-Molecule Programmed Cell Death 1 Ligand 1 Positron Emission Tomography Tracers: A Ligand-Based Drug Design Approach
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071051 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade for cancer therapy showed promising results in clinical studies. Further endeavors are required to enhance patient stratification, as, at present, only a small portion of patients with PD-L1-positive tumors (as determined by PD-L1 targeted immunohistochemistry; IHC) benefit from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 [...] Read more.
PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade for cancer therapy showed promising results in clinical studies. Further endeavors are required to enhance patient stratification, as, at present, only a small portion of patients with PD-L1-positive tumors (as determined by PD-L1 targeted immunohistochemistry; IHC) benefit from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy. This can be explained by the heterogeneity of tumor lesions and the intrinsic limitation of multiple biopsies. Consequently, non-invasive in vivo quantification of PD-L1 on tumors and metastases throughout the entire body using positron emission tomography (PET) imaging holds the potential to augment patient stratification. Within the scope of this work, six new small molecules were synthesized by following a ligand-based drug design approach supported by computational docking utilizing lead structures based on the (2-methyl-[1,1′-biphenyl]-3-yl)methanol scaffold and evaluated in vitro for potential future use as PD-L1 PET tracers. The results demonstrated binding affinities in the nanomolar to micromolar range for lead structures and newly prepared molecules, respectively. Carbon-11 labeling was successfully and selectively established and optimized with very good radiochemical conversions of up to 57%. The obtained insights into the significance of polar intermolecular interactions, along with the successful radiosyntheses, could contribute substantially to the future development of small-molecule PD-L1 PET tracers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor-Targeting Radioligands for Molecular Imaging and Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2663 KiB  
Review
Advances in the Applications of Bioinformatics and Chemoinformatics
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071050 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3468
Abstract
Chemoinformatics involves integrating the principles of physical chemistry with computer-based and information science methodologies, commonly referred to as “in silico techniques”, in order to address a wide range of descriptive and prescriptive chemistry issues, including applications to biology, drug discovery, and related molecular [...] Read more.
Chemoinformatics involves integrating the principles of physical chemistry with computer-based and information science methodologies, commonly referred to as “in silico techniques”, in order to address a wide range of descriptive and prescriptive chemistry issues, including applications to biology, drug discovery, and related molecular areas. On the other hand, the incorporation of machine learning has been considered of high importance in the field of drug design, enabling the extraction of chemical data from enormous compound databases to develop drugs endowed with significant biological features. The present review discusses the field of cheminformatics and proposes the use of virtual chemical libraries in virtual screening methods to increase the probability of discovering novel hit chemicals. The virtual libraries address the need to increase the quality of the compounds as well as discover promising ones. On the other hand, various applications of bioinformatics in disease classification, diagnosis, and identification of multidrug-resistant organisms were discussed. The use of ensemble models and brute-force feature selection methodology has resulted in high accuracy rates for heart disease and COVID-19 diagnosis, along with the role of special formulations for targeting meningitis and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the correlation between genomic variations and disease states such as obesity and chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia, the investigation of the antibacterial activity of pyrazole and benzimidazole-based compounds against resistant microorganisms, and its applications in chemoinformatics for the prediction of drug properties and toxicity—all the previously mentioned—were presented in the current review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Chemoinformatics and Drug Design)
Show Figures

Figure 1

35 pages, 5304 KiB  
Review
The Skin and Natural Cannabinoids–Topical and Transdermal Applications
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071049 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3639
Abstract
The chemical constituents of the Cannabis plant known as cannabinoids have been extensively researched for their potential therapeutic benefits. The use of cannabinoids applied to the skin as a potential method for both skin-related benefits and systemic administration has attracted increasing interest in [...] Read more.
The chemical constituents of the Cannabis plant known as cannabinoids have been extensively researched for their potential therapeutic benefits. The use of cannabinoids applied to the skin as a potential method for both skin-related benefits and systemic administration has attracted increasing interest in recent years. This review aims to present an overview of the most recent scientific research on cannabinoids used topically, including their potential advantages for treating a number of skin conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and acne. Additionally, with a focus on the pharmacokinetics and security of this route of administration, we investigate the potential of the transdermal delivery of cannabinoids as a method of systemic administration. The review also discusses the restrictions and difficulties related to the application of cannabinoids on the skin, emphasizing the potential of topical cannabinoids as a promising route for both localized and systemic administration. More studies are required to fully comprehend the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids in various settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Therapeutic Potential for Cannabinoids and Their Receptors)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 5215 KiB  
Article
Renoprotective Effect of Chrysanthemum coronarium L. Extract on Adenine-Induced Chronic Kidney Disease in Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071048 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) gradually leads to loss of renal function and is associated with inflammation and fibrosis. Chrysanthemum coronarium L., a leafy vegetable, possesses various beneficial properties, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative effects. In this study, we investigated the renoprotective effect of [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) gradually leads to loss of renal function and is associated with inflammation and fibrosis. Chrysanthemum coronarium L., a leafy vegetable, possesses various beneficial properties, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative effects. In this study, we investigated the renoprotective effect of Chrysanthemum coronarium L. extract (CC) on adenine (AD)-induced CKD in mice. CKD was induced by feeding mice with an AD diet (0.25% w/w) for 4 weeks. Changes in renal function, histopathology, inflammation, and renal interstitial fibrosis were analyzed. The adenine-fed mice were characterized by increased blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, and histological changes, including inflammation and fibrosis; however, these changes were significantly restored by treatment with CC. Additionally, CC inhibited the expression of the inflammatory markers, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukins-6 and -1β, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and cyclooxygenase 2. Moreover, CC suppressed the expression of the fibrotic markers, type IV collagen, and fibronectin. Furthermore, CC attenuated the expression of profibrotic genes (tumor growth factor-β and α-smooth muscle actin) in AD-induced renal injury mice. Thus, our results suggest that CC has the potential to attenuate AD-induced renal injury and might offer a new option as a renoprotective agent or functional food supplement to manage CKD. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

34 pages, 4895 KiB  
Article
Global Research Trends and Hotspots Analysis of the Scientific Production of Amitriptyline: A Bibliometric Approach
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071047 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1448
Abstract
Amitriptyline was first introduced as a medication to treat depression. Over time, this substance has been used to treat other conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and analgesia, among others. However, there are no published studies that provide a broad view [...] Read more.
Amitriptyline was first introduced as a medication to treat depression. Over time, this substance has been used to treat other conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and analgesia, among others. However, there are no published studies that provide a broad view of the possible motivations that have led to changes in the use of amitriptyline. In this study, we have identified the landscape of use for amitriptyline based on knowledge mapping of the 100 most-cited articles about this drug. We searched Web of Science Core Collection without time and language restrictions. We obtained 14,446 results, but we only used the 100 most-cited articles that had amitriptyline as the object of study. We collected the following information from each article: authors, country of the corresponding authors, year of publication, citation count, citation density (number of citations per year), and keywords. In addition, we seek to map in the chosen articles study design and research findings. We found that since 1980, the use of amitriptyline has expanded beyond depression, moving to off-label use to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, including post-herpetic neuralgia, neuropathic pain, primary fibrosis, fibromyalgia, and migraine, can be considered a drug with more clinical applicability than its original clinical indication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

39 pages, 12684 KiB  
Article
Novel Lipophilic Hydroxamates Based on Spirocarbocyclic Hydantoin Scaffolds with Potent Antiviral and Trypanocidal Activity
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071046 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Flaviviridae infections, such as those caused by hepatitis C (HCV) and dengue viruses (DENVs), represent global health risks. Infected people are in danger of developing chronic liver failure or hemorrhagic fever, both of which can be fatal if not treated. The tropical parasites [...] Read more.
Flaviviridae infections, such as those caused by hepatitis C (HCV) and dengue viruses (DENVs), represent global health risks. Infected people are in danger of developing chronic liver failure or hemorrhagic fever, both of which can be fatal if not treated. The tropical parasites Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma cruzi cause enormous socioeconomic burdens in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Anti-HCV chemotherapy has severe adverse effects and is expensive, whereas dengue has no clinically authorized treatment. Antiparasitic medicines are often toxic and difficult to administer, and treatment failures are widely reported. There is an urgent need for new chemotherapies. Based on our previous research, we have undertaken structural modification of lead compound V with the goal of producing derivatives with both antiviral and trypanocidal activity. The novel spirocarbocyclic-substituted hydantoin analogs were designed, synthesized, and tested for antiviral activity against three HCV genotypes (1b, 3a, 4a), DENV, yellow fever virus (YFV), and two trypanosome species (T. brucei, T. cruzi). The optimization was successful and led to compounds with significant antiviral and trypanocidal activity and exceptional selectivity. Several modifications were made to further investigate the structure–activity relationships (SARs) and confirm the critical role of lipophilicity and conformational degrees of freedom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Drugs 2021)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 2727 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Computational Studies, Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Bio-Evaluation of 2,5-Disubstituted-1,3,4-Oxadiazole Derivatives
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071045 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1245
Abstract
The 1,3,4-oxadiazole derivatives Ox-6a-f have been synthesized by incorporating flurbiprofen moiety with the aim to explore the potential of target molecules to decrease the oxidative stress. The title compounds Ox-6a-f were prepared by simple reactions in which a flurbiprofen –COOH group was esterified [...] Read more.
The 1,3,4-oxadiazole derivatives Ox-6a-f have been synthesized by incorporating flurbiprofen moiety with the aim to explore the potential of target molecules to decrease the oxidative stress. The title compounds Ox-6a-f were prepared by simple reactions in which a flurbiprofen –COOH group was esterified with methanol in an acid-catalyzed medium, which was then reacted with hydrazine to afford the corresponding hydrazide. The acid hydrazide was then cyclized into 1,3,4-oxadiazole-2-thiol by reacting with CS2 in the presence of KOH. The title compounds Ox-6a-f were synthesized by the reaction of an –SH group with various alkyl/aryl chlorides, which involves an S-alkylation reaction. The structures of the synthesized Ox-6a-f derivatives were ascertained by spectroscopic data. The in silico molecular docking was performed against target proteins cyclooxygenase-2 COX-2 (PDBID 5KIR) and cyclooxygenase-1 COX-1 (PDBID 6Y3C) to determine the binding affinity of the synthesized compounds with these structures. It has been inferred that most of the synthesized compounds bind well with an active binding site of 5KIR compared to 6Y3C, and especially compound Ox-6f showed excellent binding affinity (7.70 kcal/mol) among all synthesized compounds Ox-6a-f. The molecular dynamic (MD) simulation has also been performed to check the stability of docking complexes of ligands with COX-2 by determining their root mean square deviation and root mean square fluctuation. Little fluctuation was observed in case of Ox-6f, which forms the most stable complex with COX-2. The comprehensive antioxidant potential of the synthesized compounds has been evaluated by determining their free radical scavenging activity, including DPPH, OH, nitric oxide (NO), and iron chelation assay. The derivative Ox-6f showed promising results with 80.23% radical scavenging potential at a dose of 100 µg/mL while ascorbic acid exhibited 87.72% inhibition at the same dose. The anti-inflammatory activity of the final products has also been performed, and inflammatory markers were assayed, such as a thiobarbituric acid-reducing substance, nitric oxide, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and COX-2. The derivatives Ox-6d and Ox-6f displayed higher anti-inflammatory activity, exhibiting 70.56% and 74.16% activity, respectively. The results were compared with standard ibuprofen, which showed 84.31% activity at the same dose, 200 µg/mL. The anti-inflammatory potential has been performed by following the carrageen-induced hind paw edema model, and results showed that derivative Ox-6f exhibited 79.83% reduction in edema volume compared to standard ibuprofen, which reduced 84.31% edema volume. As dry lab and wet lab results confirm each other, it has been deduced that derivative Ox-6f may serve as the lead structure to design potent compounds to address oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

30 pages, 1071 KiB  
Review
Drug Delivery Strategies and Nanozyme Technologies to Overcome Limitations for Targeting Oxidative Stress in Osteoarthritis
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071044 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
Oxidative stress is an important, but elusive, therapeutic target for osteoarthritis (OA). Antioxidant strategies that target oxidative stress through the elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been widely evaluated for OA but are limited by the physiological characteristics of the joint. Current [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is an important, but elusive, therapeutic target for osteoarthritis (OA). Antioxidant strategies that target oxidative stress through the elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been widely evaluated for OA but are limited by the physiological characteristics of the joint. Current hallmarks in antioxidant treatment strategies include poor bioavailability, poor stability, and poor retention in the joint. For example, oral intake of exogenous antioxidants has limited access to the joint space, and intra-articular injections require frequent dosing to provide therapeutic effects. Advancements in ROS-scavenging nanomaterials, also known as nanozymes, leverage bioactive material properties to improve delivery and retention. Material properties of nanozymes can be tuned to overcome physiological barriers in the knee. However, the clinical application of these nanozymes is still limited, and studies to understand their utility in treating OA are still in their infancy. The objective of this review is to evaluate current antioxidant treatment strategies and the development of nanozymes as a potential alternative to conventional small molecules and enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Reviews in Pharmaceutical Technology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 18868 KiB  
Review
Chemical Constituents and Their Biological Activities from Genus Styrax
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071043 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Plants from the genus Styrax have been extensively used in folk medicines to treat diseases such as skin diseases and peptic ulcers and as an antiseptic and analgesic. Most Styrax species, especially Styrax tonkinensis, which is used as an expectorant, antiseptic, and [...] Read more.
Plants from the genus Styrax have been extensively used in folk medicines to treat diseases such as skin diseases and peptic ulcers and as an antiseptic and analgesic. Most Styrax species, especially Styrax tonkinensis, which is used as an expectorant, antiseptic, and analgesic in Chinese traditional medicine, could screen resin after external injury. Styrax is also used in folk medicines in Korea to treat sore throat, bronchitis, cough, expectoration, paralysis, laryngitis, and inflammation. Different parts of various Styrax species can be widely employed for ethnopharmacological applications. Moreover, for ethnopharmacological use, these parts of Styrax species can be applied in combination with other folk medicines. Styrax species consist of versatile natural compounds, with some of them exhibiting particularly excellent pharmacological activities, such as cytotoxic, acetylcholinesterase inhibitory, antioxidant, and antifungal activities. Altogether, these exciting results indicate that a comprehensive review of plants belonging to this genus is essential for helping researchers to continuously conduct an in-depth investigation. In this review, the traditional uses, phytochemistry, corresponding pharmacological activities, and structure–activity relationships of different Styrax species are clarified and critically discussed. More insights into potential opportunities for future research are carefully assessed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 1301 KiB  
Review
Smart Sensors and Microtechnologies in the Precision Medicine Approach against Lung Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071042 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Background and rationale. The therapeutic interventions against lung cancer are currently based on a fully personalized approach to the disease with considerable improvement of patients’ outcome. Alongside continuous scientific progresses and research investments, massive technologic efforts, innovative challenges, and consolidated achievements together with [...] Read more.
Background and rationale. The therapeutic interventions against lung cancer are currently based on a fully personalized approach to the disease with considerable improvement of patients’ outcome. Alongside continuous scientific progresses and research investments, massive technologic efforts, innovative challenges, and consolidated achievements together with research investments are at the bases of the engineering and manufacturing revolution that allows a significant gain in clinical setting. Aim and methods. The scope of this review is thus to focus, rather than on the biologic traits, on the analysis of the precision sensors and novel generation materials, as semiconductors, which are below the clinical development of personalized diagnosis and treatment. In this perspective, a careful revision and analysis of the state of the art of the literature and experimental knowledge is presented. Results. Novel materials are being used in the development of personalized diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer. Among them, semiconductors are used to analyze volatile cancer compounds and allow early disease diagnosis. Moreover, they can be used to generate MEMS which have found an application in advanced imaging techniques as well as in drug delivery devices. Conclusions. Overall, these issues represent critical issues only partially known and generally underestimated by the clinical community. These novel micro-technology-based biosensing devices, based on the use of molecules at atomic concentrations, are crucial for clinical innovation since they have allowed the recent significant advances in cancer biology deciphering as well as in disease detection and therapy. There is an urgent need to create a stronger dialogue between technologists, basic researchers, and clinicians to address all scientific and manufacturing efforts towards a real improvement in patients’ outcome. Here, great attention is focused on their application against lung cancer, from their exploitations in translational research to their application in diagnosis and treatment development, to ensure early diagnosis and better clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 9221 KiB  
Article
Probiotic Formulations Containing Fixed and Essential Oils Ameliorates SIBO-Induced Gut Dysbiosis in Rats
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071041 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2407
Abstract
Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota is associated with the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and metabolic disease states such as allergies, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. SIBO is a condition [...] Read more.
Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota is associated with the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and metabolic disease states such as allergies, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. SIBO is a condition characterized by an increased number (>1 × 103 CFU) of abnormal bacterial species in the small intestine. Interest in SIBO has gained importance due to increased awareness of the human microbiome and its potential relationships with human health and disease, which has encouraged new work in this area. In recent years, standard antibiotic regimens (rifaximin and metronidazole) have been used to treat SIBO, but solo antibiotics or their derivatives are insufficient. In this study, the therapeutic effects of the probiotic form, which contains coconut oil and traces of peppermint-lemon-patchouli essential oil, were evaluated on the Dysbiosis-Based Rat SIBO Model. There are significant differences between sick and healthy rats (p = 0.014), between sick rats and rats treated with the oil mix plus probiotic mix protocol (p = 0.026), and between rats treated with only the probiotic and only oil protocols (p = 0.030) in the evaluation of TNF-α levels. Histologically, villi distortion and loss of crypts, epithelial shedding and necrotic changes in the apical regions of the villi, and inflammatory cell infiltrations extending to the lamina propria and submucosa were observed in sick rats. Mitotic figures in villus epithelium and crypts were observed in rats treated with 9.2 × 109 CFU/1000 mg/coconut oil + trace amounts of peppermint-lemon-patchouli essential oil and a probiotic mixture (oil + probiotic mix protocol). A regression of inflammatory reactions and an increase in goblet cells were observed. A decrease was observed in inflammation markers in sick rats. On the other hand, the oil plus probiotic mix protocol recovered digestive system defects in the animals caused by dysbiosis. In the future, these treatment approaches can be effective in the treatment of SIBO. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2943 KiB  
Article
Small Molecules Incorporating Privileged Amidine Moiety as Potential Hits Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071040 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
The continuing need for the discovery of potent antibacterial agents against antibiotic-resistant pathogens is the driving force for many researchers to design and develop such agents. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of amidine derivatives as new antibacterial agents. Compound [...] Read more.
The continuing need for the discovery of potent antibacterial agents against antibiotic-resistant pathogens is the driving force for many researchers to design and develop such agents. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of amidine derivatives as new antibacterial agents. Compound 13d was the most active in this study against a wide range of antibiotic-resistant, and susceptible, Gram-positive, and Gram-negative bacterial strains. Time–kill assay experiments indicated that compound 13d was an effective bactericidal compound against the tested organisms at the log-phase of bacterial growth. Docking simulations were performed to assess in silico its mode of action regarding UPPS, KARI, and DNA as potential bacterial targets. Results unveiled the importance of structural features of compound 13d in its biological activity including central thiophene ring equipped with left and right pyrrolo[2,3-b]pyridine and phenyl moieties and two terminal amidines cyclized into 4,5-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl functionalities. Collectively, compound 13d represents a possible hit for future development of potent antibacterial agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hit to Lead Design of New Anti-Infective Drugs)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 3292 KiB  
Article
Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Indole-2-carboxamides as Potential Multi-Target Antiproliferative Agents
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071039 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
A small set of indole-based derivatives, IV and VaI, was designed and synthesized. Compounds Vai demonstrated promising antiproliferative activity, with GI50 values ranging from 26 nM to 86 nM compared to erlotinib’s 33 nM. The most potent [...] Read more.
A small set of indole-based derivatives, IV and VaI, was designed and synthesized. Compounds Vai demonstrated promising antiproliferative activity, with GI50 values ranging from 26 nM to 86 nM compared to erlotinib’s 33 nM. The most potent antiproliferative derivatives—Va, Ve, Vf, Vg, and Vh—were tested for EGFR inhibitory activity. Compound Va demonstrated the highest inhibitory activity against EGFR with an IC50 value of 71 ± 06 nM, which is higher than the reference erlotinib (IC50 = 80 ± 05 nM). Compounds Va, Ve, Vf, Vg, and Vh were further tested for BRAFV600E inhibitory activity. The tested compounds inhibited BRAFV600E with IC50 values ranging from 77 nM to 107 nM compared to erlotinib’s IC50 value of 60 nM. The inhibitory activity of compounds Va, Ve, Vf, Vg, and Vh against VEGFR-2 was also determined. Finally, in silico docking experiments attempted to investigate the binding mode of compounds within the active sites of EGFR, BRAFV600E, and VEGFR-2. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

38 pages, 7648 KiB  
Review
Innovative Delivery and Release Systems for Antioxidants and Other Active Substances in the Treatment of Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071038 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Cancer is one of the major diseases leading to death worldwide, and the fight against the disease is still challenging. Cancer diseases are usually associated with increased oxidative stress and the accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species as a result of metabolic [...] Read more.
Cancer is one of the major diseases leading to death worldwide, and the fight against the disease is still challenging. Cancer diseases are usually associated with increased oxidative stress and the accumulation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species as a result of metabolic alterations or signaling aberrations. While numerous antioxidants exhibit potential therapeutic properties, their clinical efficiency against cancer is limited and even unproven. Conventional anticancer antioxidants and drugs have, among others, the great disadvantage of low bioavailability, poor targeting efficiency, and serious side effects, constraining their use in the fight against diseases. Here, we review the rationale for and recent advances in potential delivery systems that could eventually be employed in clinical research on antioxidant therapy in cancer. We also review some of the various strategies aimed at enhancing the solubility of poorly water-soluble active drugs, including engineered delivery systems such as lipid-based, polymeric, and inorganic formulations. The use of cyclodextrins, micro- and nanoemulsions, and thermosensitive smart liposomes as useful systems for the delivery and release of poorly aqueous-soluble drugs, improving their bioactivity and stability, is also addressed. We also provide some details on their formulation processes and their use in a variety of medical applications. Finally, we briefly cover a case study specifically focused on the use of delivery systems to minimize oral cancer and associated dental problems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2392 KiB  
Article
A Novel Acetylation-Immune Subtyping for the Identification of a BET Inhibitor-Sensitive Subgroup in Melanoma
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071037 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 860
Abstract
Background: There have been significant advancements in melanoma therapies. BET inhibitors (BETis) show promise in impairing melanoma growth. However, identifying BETi-sensitive melanoma subtypes is challenging. Methods and Results: We analyzed 48 melanoma cell lines and 104 patients and identified two acetylation-immune subtypes (ALISs) [...] Read more.
Background: There have been significant advancements in melanoma therapies. BET inhibitors (BETis) show promise in impairing melanoma growth. However, identifying BETi-sensitive melanoma subtypes is challenging. Methods and Results: We analyzed 48 melanoma cell lines and 104 patients and identified two acetylation-immune subtypes (ALISs) in the cell lines and three ALISs in the patients. ALIS I, with high HAT1 and low KAT2A expression, showed a higher sensitivity to the BETi JQ-1 than ALIS II. ALIS III had low HAT1 expression. The TAD2B expression was low in ALIS I and II. KAT2A and HAT1 expressions were negatively correlated with the methylation levels of their CG sites (p = 0.0004 and 0.0003). Immunological gene sets, including B cell metagenes, activated stroma-related genes, fibroblast TGF response signatures (TBRS), and T cell TBRS-related genes, were up-regulated in ALIS I. Furthermore, KAT2A played a key role in regulating BETi sensitivity. Conclusions: The sensitivity of ALIS I to the BETi JQ-1 may be due to the inhibition of BETi resistance pathways and genes by low KAT2A expression and the dysregulation of the immune microenvironment by high HAT1 expression resulting from the absence of immune cells. ALIS I had the worst progression but showed sensitivity to BETi and B-cell-related immunotherapy, despite not responding to BRAF inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacological Treatments for Melanoma)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1531 KiB  
Review
Pomegranate: A Source of Multifunctional Bioactive Compounds Potentially Beneficial in Alzheimer’s Disease
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071036 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
Pomegranate fruit (PF) is a fruit rich in nutraceuticals. Nonedible parts of the fruit, especially peels, contain high amounts of bioactive components that have been largely used in traditional medicine, such as the Chinese, Unani, and Ayurvedic ones, for treating several diseases. Polyphenols [...] Read more.
Pomegranate fruit (PF) is a fruit rich in nutraceuticals. Nonedible parts of the fruit, especially peels, contain high amounts of bioactive components that have been largely used in traditional medicine, such as the Chinese, Unani, and Ayurvedic ones, for treating several diseases. Polyphenols such as anthocyanins, tannins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and lignans are the major bioactive molecules present in PF. Therefore, PF is considered a source of natural multifunctional agents that exert simultaneously antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antidiabetic, cardiovascular, and neuroprotective activities. Recently, several studies have reported that the nutraceuticals contained in PF (seed, peel, and juice) have a potential beneficial role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Research suggests that the neuroprotective effect of PF is mostly due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities which contribute to attenuate the neuroinflammation associated with AD. Despite the numerous works conducted on PF, to date the mechanism by which PF acts in combatting AD is not completely known. Here, we summarize all the recent findings (in vitro and in vivo studies) related to the positive effects that PF and its bioactive components can have in the neurodegeneration processes occurring during AD. Moreover, considering the high biotransformation characteristics of the nutraceuticals present in PF, we propose to consider the chemical structure of its active metabolites as a source of inspiration to design new molecules with the same beneficial effects but less prone to be affected by the metabolic degradation process. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

11 pages, 509 KiB  
Article
Interactive Associations between PPARγ and PPARGC1A and Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw in Patients with Osteoporosis
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071035 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) is a rare but severe adverse effect that can occur as a result of bisphosphonate treatment. This study aimed to examine the relationship between PPARγ and PPARGC1A polymorphisms and the BRONJ development in female osteoporosis patients undergoing [...] Read more.
Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) is a rare but severe adverse effect that can occur as a result of bisphosphonate treatment. This study aimed to examine the relationship between PPARγ and PPARGC1A polymorphisms and the BRONJ development in female osteoporosis patients undergoing bisphosphonate treatment. We prospectively conducted this nested case–control study at the Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital between 2014 and 2018. We assessed five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of PPARγ and six SNPs of PPARGC1A and performed a multivariable logistic regression analysis to determine the independent risk factors for developing BRONJ. There were a total of 123 patients included in this study and 56 patients (45.5%) developed BRONJ. In the univariate analysis, PPARGC1A rs2946385 and rs10020457 polymorphisms were significantly associated with BRONJ (p = 0.034, p = 0.020, respectively), although the results were not statistically significant in the multivariable analysis. Patients with the combined genotypes of GG in both PPARγ rs1151999 and PPARGC1A rs2946385 showed a 3.03-fold higher risk of BRONJ compared to individuals with other genotype combinations after adjusting for confounders (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–9.11). Old age (≥70 years) and duration of bisphosphonate use (≥60 months) increased the risk of BRONJ. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the predicted probability was 0.78 (95% CI: 0.69–0.87, p < 0.001), demonstrating a satisfactory level of discriminatory power. Our study elucidated that PPARγ and PPARGC1A polymorphisms were interactively associated with BRONJ development. These results have potential implications for tailoring personalized treatments for females undergoing bisphosphonate therapy for osteoporosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacogenomics - A Genetic Approach to Drug Therapy and Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2999 KiB  
Article
Amlexanox: Readthrough Induction and Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay Inhibition in a Charcot–Marie–Tooth Model of hiPSCs-Derived Neuronal Cells Harboring a Nonsense Mutation in GDAP1 Gene
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071034 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Nonsense mutations are involved in multiple peripheral neuropathies. These mutations induce the presence of a premature termination codon (PTC) at the mRNA level. As a result, a dysfunctional or truncated protein is synthesized, or even absent linked to nonsense-mediated mRNA degradation (NMD) system [...] Read more.
Nonsense mutations are involved in multiple peripheral neuropathies. These mutations induce the presence of a premature termination codon (PTC) at the mRNA level. As a result, a dysfunctional or truncated protein is synthesized, or even absent linked to nonsense-mediated mRNA degradation (NMD) system activation. Readthrough molecules or NMD inhibitors could be innovative therapies in these hereditary neuropathies, particularly molecules harboring the dual activity as amlexanox. Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) is the most common inherited pathology of the peripheral nervous system, affecting 1 in 2500 people worldwide. Nonsense mutations in the GDAP1 gene have been associated with a severe form of CMT, prompting us to investigate the effect of readthrough and NMD inhibitor molecules. Although not clearly defined, GDAP1 could be involved in mitochondrial functions, such as mitophagy. We focused on the homozygous c.581C>G (p.Ser194*) mutation inducing CMT2H using patient human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neuronal cells. Treatment during 20 h with 100 µM of amlexanox on this cell model stabilized GDAP1 mRNAs carrying UGA-PTC and induced a restoration of the mitochondrial morphology. These results highlight the potential of readthrough molecules associated to NMD inhibitors for the treatment of genetic alterations in CMT, opening the way for future investigations and a potential therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Pharmacology of Peripheral Neuropathy)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 5130 KiB  
Article
EYE-503: A Novel Retinoic Acid Drug for Treating Retinal Neurodegeneration
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071033 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 846
Abstract
Retinal neurodegeneration is a major cause of vision loss. Retinoic acid signaling is critical for the maintenance of retinal function, and its dysfunction can cause retinal neurodegeneration. However, the therapeutic effects of retinoic acid drugs on retinal neurodegeneration remain unclear. In this study, [...] Read more.
Retinal neurodegeneration is a major cause of vision loss. Retinoic acid signaling is critical for the maintenance of retinal function, and its dysfunction can cause retinal neurodegeneration. However, the therapeutic effects of retinoic acid drugs on retinal neurodegeneration remain unclear. In this study, we designed a novel retinoic acid drug called EYE-503 and investigated its therapeutic effects of EYE-503 on retinal neurodegeneration. The optic nerve crush (ONC) model was selected for the retinal neurodegeneration study. H&E staining, TUNEL staining, immunofluorescence staining, and visual electrophysiology assays were performed to determine the role of EYE-503 in retinal neurodegeneration in vivo. The CCK-8 assay, EdU incorporation assay, PI staining, and flow cytometry assays were performed to investigate the effects of EYE-503 administration on retinal neurodegeneration in vitro. The potential mechanism of EYE-503 in retinal neurodegeneration was investigated by network pharmacology and Western blots. The results showed that EYE-503 administration had no detectable cytotoxicity and tissue toxicity. EYE-503 administration alleviated ONC-induced retinal injury and optic nerve injury in vivo. EYE-503 administration attenuated retinal ganglion cell apoptosis, inhibited reactive gliosis, and retarded the progression of retinal neurodegeneration. Mechanistically, EYE-503 regulated retinal neurodegeneration by targeting the JNK/p38 signaling pathway. This study suggests that EYE-503 is a promising therapeutic agent for retinal neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biopharmaceuticals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2216 KiB  
Article
Isolated Fraction of Gastric-Digested Camel Milk Yogurt with Carao (Cassia grandis) Pulp Fortification Enhances the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of HT-29 Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071032 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1213
Abstract
Functional foods have recently generated a lot of attention among consumers looking for healthy options. Studies have examined yogurt with carao to increase health benefits and probiotic characteristics. It has been determined that carao fruit and camel milk have high phenolic compound and [...] Read more.
Functional foods have recently generated a lot of attention among consumers looking for healthy options. Studies have examined yogurt with carao to increase health benefits and probiotic characteristics. It has been determined that carao fruit and camel milk have high phenolic compound and antioxidant activity concentrations. The objective of this study was to examine if carao (0, 1.3, 2.65, and 5.3 g/L) incorporated into yogurt enhances anti-inflammatory stimulus and antioxidant activity and impacts the physio-chemical and sensory properties of camel milk yogurt. HT-29 cells were used as a model of anti-inflammatory response, including cytokine responses of IL-8 and mRNA production of IL-1β and TNF-α in gastric digested isolated fraction. In addition, pH, titratable acidity, Streptococcus thermophilus counts and Lactobacillus bulgaricus counts of camel yogurts were examined during the fermentation process in 0, 2.5, 5, and 7 h whereas viscosity, syneresis, and radical scavenging assay evaluations were determined at hour 7. Furthermore, a consumer study was performed. Compared to control samples, the incorporation of carao into yogurts did not lead to a significant (ρ > 0.05) difference in the pH. In contrast, titratable acidity (TA), viscosity, syneresis, and antioxidant capacity significantly increased with the inclusion of 2.65 and 5.3 g/L carao, while 5.3 g/L carao significantly (ρ < 0.05) increased the counts of both bacteria. The inflammatory response of IL-8 and the level of mRNA production of IL-1β and TNF-α was significantly (ρ < 0.05) lower with 2.65 and 5.3 g/L carao yogurt compared to control camel yogurt. Sensory attributes were not impacted by the addition of 1.3 and 2.65 g/L carao. Carao could be a possible ingredient to consider when improving the nutrition value of yogurt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 2647 KiB  
Review
Lower Urinary Tract Disorders as Adverse Drug Reactions—A Literature Review
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071031 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2551
Abstract
A potential complication of pharmacotherapy for a given patient is the possibility of various side effects of drugs, which are manifested in many ways and constitute iatrogenic causes of diseases. Among the systemic side effects of drugs, there are also those involving the [...] Read more.
A potential complication of pharmacotherapy for a given patient is the possibility of various side effects of drugs, which are manifested in many ways and constitute iatrogenic causes of diseases. Among the systemic side effects of drugs, there are also those involving the urinary tract, although these are less reported in the literature. The use of numerous drugs—especially of anticholinergics or drugs with anticholinergic potential, opioid analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, first-generation antipsychotics (classic neuroleptics) and selected cardiovascular drugs (beta-blockers, thiazides potassium-sparing diuretics, statins), as well as others—may increase the risk of developing urological disorders, such as urinary retention or incontinence, urinary tract infections, urolithiasis, erectile dysfunction in men and retroperitoneal fibrosis. The purpose of this paper is to characterise the abovementioned drug-induced disorders of the lower urinary tract on the basis of a non-systematic literature review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 667 KiB  
Article
Asthma and COPD: Comparison with International Guidelines and Medication Adherence in Belgium
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071030 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are major chronic conditions. It is possible to limit their impact by controlling symptoms, which limits exacerbations and worsening of the disease, by choosing the appropriate treatment and ensuring that the patient adheres to it. The [...] Read more.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are major chronic conditions. It is possible to limit their impact by controlling symptoms, which limits exacerbations and worsening of the disease, by choosing the appropriate treatment and ensuring that the patient adheres to it. The main purpose of this study was to assess medication adherence and persistence with inhaled medications for chronic treatment of asthma and COPD, as well as to evaluate the factors influencing this adherence. Medication adherence was measured from January 2013 to December 2016 using continuous multiple-interval measures of medication availability (CMA). Persistence was evaluated by treatment episodes (TE). We analyzed the influence of different factors on CMA such as sex, age, type of device, and the realization of the “new medicines service” (NMS), introduced in Belgium in October 2013 to support patients in adhering to their treatment. We also analyzed the consumption of these inhaled medications within the Belgian population and compared them with the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recommendations. Medication adherence varied greatly between the different pharmacological classes: inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) alone or in combination with long-acting beta agonists (LABA) had the lowest medication adherence and persistence, while adherence was highest for the long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) and LABA/LAMA associations. The NMS seemed to have a positive impact on medication adherence, although few patients completed the two guidance interviews offered by the service. In addition, only a minority of the targeted patients took advantage of this new service. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 4454 KiB  
Article
Gellan Gum/Alginate Microparticles as Drug Delivery Vehicles: DOE Production Optimization and Drug Delivery
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071029 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
Gellan gum is a biocompatible and easily accessible polysaccharide with excellent properties to produce microparticles as drug delivery systems. However, the production methods often fail in reproducibility, compromising the translational potential of such systems. In this work, the production of gellan gum-based microparticles [...] Read more.
Gellan gum is a biocompatible and easily accessible polysaccharide with excellent properties to produce microparticles as drug delivery systems. However, the production methods often fail in reproducibility, compromising the translational potential of such systems. In this work, the production of gellan gum-based microparticles was optimized using the coaxial air flow method, and an inexpensive and reproducible production method. A design of experiments was used to identify the main parameters that affect microparticle production and optimization, focusing on diameter and dispersibility. Airflow was the most significant factor for both parameters. Pump flow affected the diameter, while the gellan gum/alginate ratio affected dispersibility. Microparticles were revealed to be sensitive to pH with swelling, degradation, and encapsulation efficiency affected by pH. Using methylene blue as a model drug, higher encapsulation, and swelling indexes were obtained at pH 7.4, while a more pronounced release occurred at pH 6.5. Within PBs solutions, the microparticles endured up to two months. The microparticle release profiles were studied using well-known models, showing a Fickian-type release, but with no alteration by pH. The developed microparticles showed promising results as drug-delivery vehicles sensitive to pH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogels for Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

40 pages, 14013 KiB  
Review
Covalent Inhibitors for Neglected Diseases: An Exploration of Novel Therapeutic Options
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071028 - 19 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1518
Abstract
Neglected diseases, primarily found in tropical regions of the world, present a significant challenge for impoverished populations. Currently, there are 20 diseases considered neglected, which greatly impact the health of affected populations and result in difficult-to-control social and economic consequences. Unfortunately, for the [...] Read more.
Neglected diseases, primarily found in tropical regions of the world, present a significant challenge for impoverished populations. Currently, there are 20 diseases considered neglected, which greatly impact the health of affected populations and result in difficult-to-control social and economic consequences. Unfortunately, for the majority of these diseases, there are few or no drugs available for patient treatment, and the few drugs that do exist often lack adequate safety and efficacy. As a result, there is a pressing need to discover and design new drugs to address these neglected diseases. This requires the identification of different targets and interactions to be studied. In recent years, there has been a growing focus on studying enzyme covalent inhibitors as a potential treatment for neglected diseases. In this review, we will explore examples of how these inhibitors have been used to target Human African Trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease, and Malaria, highlighting some of the most promising results so far. Ultimately, this review aims to inspire medicinal chemists to pursue the development of new drug candidates for these neglected diseases, and to encourage greater investment in research in this area. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1606 KiB  
Article
Quaternary Ammonium Palmitoyl Glycol Chitosan (GCPQ) Loaded with Platinum-Based Anticancer Agents—A Novel Polymer Formulation for Anticancer Therapy
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071027 - 19 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Quaternary ammonium palmitoyl glycol chitosan (GCPQ) has already shown beneficial drug delivery properties and has been studied as a carrier for anticancer agents. Consequently, we synthesised cytotoxic platinum(IV) conjugates of cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin by coupling via amide bonds to five GCPQ polymers [...] Read more.
Quaternary ammonium palmitoyl glycol chitosan (GCPQ) has already shown beneficial drug delivery properties and has been studied as a carrier for anticancer agents. Consequently, we synthesised cytotoxic platinum(IV) conjugates of cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin by coupling via amide bonds to five GCPQ polymers differing in their degree of palmitoylation and quaternisation. The conjugates were characterised by 1H and 195Pt NMR spectroscopy as well as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), the latter to determine the amount of platinum(IV) units per GCPQ polymer. Cytotoxicity was evaluated by the MTT assay in three human cancer cell lines (A549, non-small-cell lung carcinoma; CH1/PA-1, ovarian teratocarcinoma; SW480, colon adenocarcinoma). All conjugates displayed a high increase in their cytotoxic activity by factors of up to 286 times compared to their corresponding platinum(IV) complexes and mostly outperformed the respective platinum(II) counterparts by factors of up to 20 times, also taking into account the respective loading of platinum(IV) units per GCPQ polymer. Finally, a biodistribution experiment was performed with an oxaliplatin-based GCPQ conjugate in non-tumour-bearing BALB/c mice revealing an increased accumulation in lung tissue. These findings open promising opportunities for further tumouricidal activity studies especially focusing on lung tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 4678 KiB  
Article
Cryptolepine Suppresses Colorectal Cancer Cell Proliferation, Stemness, and Metastatic Processes by Inhibiting WNT/β-Catenin Signaling
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071026 - 19 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1353
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most frequent cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Evidence shows that over 90% of CRC cases are initiated by a deregulated Wingless Integrated Type-1 (WNT)/β-catenin signaling pathway. The WNT/β-catenin pathway also promotes CRC [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most frequent cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Evidence shows that over 90% of CRC cases are initiated by a deregulated Wingless Integrated Type-1 (WNT)/β-catenin signaling pathway. The WNT/β-catenin pathway also promotes CRC cell proliferation, stemness, and metastasis. Therefore, modulators of the WNT/β-catenin pathway may serve as promising regimens for CRC. This study investigated the effect of cryptolepine—a plant-derived compound—on the WNT/β-catenin pathway in CRC. Two CRC cell lines, COLO205 and DLD1, were treated with cryptolepine or XAV 939 (a WNT inhibitor) in the presence or absence of WNT3a (a WNT activator). Using a tetrazolium-based assay, cryptolepine was found to reduce cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner and was a more potent inhibitor of viability than XAV 939. RT-qPCR analyses showed that cryptolepine reverses WNT3a-induced expression of β-catenin, c-MYC, and WISP1, suggesting that cryptolepine inhibits WNT3a-mediated activation of WNT/β-catenin signaling. Cryptolepine also repressed WNT3a-induced OCT4 and CD133 expression and suppressed colony formation of the cells, indicating that cryptolepine inhibits the stemness of CRC cells. Additionally, cryptolepine inhibited WNT3a-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by reducing the expression of SNAI1 and TWIST1 genes. In a wound healing assay, cryptolepine was found to suppress cell migration under unstimulated and WNT3a-stimulated conditions. Moreover, cryptolepine downregulated WNT3a-induced expression of MMP2 and MMP9 genes, which are involved in cancer cell invasion. Altogether, cryptolepine suppresses CRC cell proliferation, stemness, and metastatic properties by inhibiting WNT3a-mediated activation of the WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway. These findings provide a rationale for considering cryptolepine as a potential WNT inhibitor in CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting the β-Catenin/Wnt Signaling for Cancer Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 4232 KiB  
Article
In Vitro and In Silico Evaluation of Antiproliferative Activity of New Isoxazolidine Derivatives Targeting EGFR: Design, Synthesis, Cell Cycle Analysis, and Apoptotic Inducers
Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16(7), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16071025 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1488
Abstract
A series of novel enantiopure isoxazolidine derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their anticancer activities against three human cancer cell lines such as human breast carcinoma (MCF-7), human lung adenocarcinoma (A-549), and human ovarian carcinoma (SKOV3) by employing MTT assay. The synthesized compounds [...] Read more.
A series of novel enantiopure isoxazolidine derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for their anticancer activities against three human cancer cell lines such as human breast carcinoma (MCF-7), human lung adenocarcinoma (A-549), and human ovarian carcinoma (SKOV3) by employing MTT assay. The synthesized compounds were characterized by NMR and elemental analysis. Results revealed that all the synthesized compounds displayed significant inhibition towards the tested cell lines. Among them, 2g and 2f, which differ only by the presence of an ester group at the C-3 position and small EDG (methyl) at the C-5 position of the phenyl ring (2g), were the most active derivatives in attenuating the growth of the three cells in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 for 2g were 17.7 ± 1 µM (MCF-7), 12.1 ± 1.1 µM (A-549), and 13.9 ± 0.7 µM (SKOV3), and for 2f were 9.7 ± 1.3µM (MCF-7), 9.7 ± 0.7µM (A-549), and 6.5 ± 0.9µM (SKOV3), respectively, which were comparable to the standard drug, doxorubicin. The enzymatic inhibition of 2f and 2g against EGFR afforded good inhibitory activity with IC50 of 0.298 ± 0.007 μM and 0.484 ± 0.01 µM, respectively, close to the positive control, Afatinib. Compound 2f arrested the cell cycle in the S phase in MCF-7 and SKOV3 cells, and in the G2/M phase in the A549 cell; however, 2g induced G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest, and inhibited the progression of the three cancer cells, together with significant apoptotic effects. The docking study of compounds 2f and 2g into EGFR ATP-active site revealed that it fits nicely with good binding affinity. The pharmacokinetic and drug-likeness scores revealed notable lead-like properties. At 100 ns, the dynamic simulation investigation revealed high conformational stability in the EGFR binding cavity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Heterocyclic Compounds for Drug Discovery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop