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Pharmaceuticals, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2015) – 11 articles , Pages 664-883

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Hormesis: Decoding Two Sides of the Same Coin
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 865-883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040865 - 16 Dec 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2749
Abstract
In the paradigm of drug administration, determining the correct dosage of a therapeutic is often a challenge. Several drugs have been noted to demonstrate contradictory effects per se at high and low doses. This duality in function of a drug at different concentrations [...] Read more.
In the paradigm of drug administration, determining the correct dosage of a therapeutic is often a challenge. Several drugs have been noted to demonstrate contradictory effects per se at high and low doses. This duality in function of a drug at different concentrations is known as hormesis. Therefore, it becomes necessary to study these biphasic functions in order to understand the mechanistic basis of their effects. In this article, we focus on different molecules and pathways associated with diseases that possess a duality in their function and thus prove to be the seat of hormesis. In particular, we have highlighted the pathways and factors involved in the progression of cancer and how the biphasic behavior of the molecules involved can alter the manifestations of cancer. Because of the pragmatic role that it exhibits, the imminent need is to draw attention to the concept of hormesis. Herein, we also discuss different stressors that trigger hormesis and how stress-mediated responses increase the overall adaptive response of an individual to stress stimulus. We talk about common pathways through which cancer progresses (such as nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2-Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Nrf2-Keap1), sirtuin-forkhead box O (SIRT-FOXO) and others), analyzing how diverse molecules associated with these pathways conform to hormesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Choices of the Journal)
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Open AccessReview
Marine Non-Glycosaminoglycan Sulfated Glycans as Potential Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 848-864; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040848 - 10 Dec 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2645
Abstract
Sulfated fucans (SFs) and sulfated galactans (SGs) are currently the marine non-glycosaminoglycan (GAG) sulfated glycans most studied in glycomics. These compounds exhibit therapeutic effects in several pathophysiological systems such as blood coagulation, thrombosis, neovascularization, cancer, inflammation, and microbial infections. As analogs of the [...] Read more.
Sulfated fucans (SFs) and sulfated galactans (SGs) are currently the marine non-glycosaminoglycan (GAG) sulfated glycans most studied in glycomics. These compounds exhibit therapeutic effects in several pathophysiological systems such as blood coagulation, thrombosis, neovascularization, cancer, inflammation, and microbial infections. As analogs of the largely employed GAGs and due to some limitations of the GAG-based therapies, SFs and SGs comprise new carbohydrate-based therapeutics available for clinical studies. Here, the principal structural features and the major mechanisms of action of the SFs and SGs in the above-mentioned pathophysiological systems are presented. Discussion is also given on the current challenges and the future perspectives in drug development of these marine glycans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grand Celebration: 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Heparin)
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Open AccessReview
The Type I IFN-Induced miRNA, miR-21
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 836-847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040836 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
The interferon (IFN) family of cytokines not only has antiviral properties at various steps in the viral replication cycle, but also anticancer activity through multiple pathways that include inhibiting cell proliferation, regulating cellular responses to inducers of apoptosis and modulating angiogenesis and the [...] Read more.
The interferon (IFN) family of cytokines not only has antiviral properties at various steps in the viral replication cycle, but also anticancer activity through multiple pathways that include inhibiting cell proliferation, regulating cellular responses to inducers of apoptosis and modulating angiogenesis and the immune system. IFNs are known to induce their biological activity through the induction of protein encoding IFN-stimulated genes. However, recent studies have established that IFNs also induce the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are small endogenous non-coding RNAs that suppress gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. MiRNAs play critical roles in tumorigenesis and have been implicated to act as either oncogenes or tumor suppressors in various human cancers. Therefore, IFN-induced miRNAs play an important role, not only in the host response to innate immune response to cancer, but also in the tumorigenic process itself. Furthermore, IFN-induced miRNAs may participate in and/or orchestrate antiviral defense in certain viral infections. In this review, we describe our recent studies on the induction of miR-21 by type I IFN, the role of the STAT3 and NFκB signaling pathways in IFN-induced miR-21 expression, the role of miR-21 in different cancers and the role of miR-21 in regulating the antiviral response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interferons 2015)
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Open AccessReview
Control of Biofilms with the Fatty Acid Signaling Molecule cis-2-Decenoic Acid
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 816-835; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040816 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2625
Abstract
Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms in organized structures attached to surfaces. Importantly, biofilms are a major cause of bacterial infections in humans, and remain one of the most significant challenges to modern medical practice. Unfortunately, conventional therapies have shown to be inadequate [...] Read more.
Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms in organized structures attached to surfaces. Importantly, biofilms are a major cause of bacterial infections in humans, and remain one of the most significant challenges to modern medical practice. Unfortunately, conventional therapies have shown to be inadequate in the treatment of most chronic biofilm infections based on the extraordinary innate tolerance of biofilms to antibiotics. Antagonists of quorum sensing signaling molecules have been used as means to control biofilms. QS and other cell-cell communication molecules are able to revert biofilm tolerance, prevent biofilm formation and disrupt fully developed biofilms, albeit with restricted effectiveness. Recently however, it has been demonstrated that Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a small messenger molecule cis-2-decenoic acid (cis-DA) that shows significant promise as an effective adjunctive to antimicrobial treatment of biofilms. This molecule is responsible for induction of the native biofilm dispersion response in a range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and in yeast, and has been shown to reverse persistence, increase microbial metabolic activity and significantly enhance the cidal effects of conventional antimicrobial agents. In this manuscript, the use of cis-2-decenoic acid as a novel agent for biofilm control is discussed. Stimulating the biofilm dispersion response as a novel antimicrobial strategy holds significant promise for enhanced treatment of infections and in the prevention of biofilm formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biofilms)
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Open AccessReview
Therapeutic Potential of Interferon-γ and Its Antagonists in Autoinflammation: Lessons from Murine Models of Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Macrophage Activation Syndrome
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 793-815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040793 - 25 Nov 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2530
Abstract
Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) affects immune responses in a complex fashion. Its immunostimulatory actions, such as macrophage activation and induction of T helper 1-type responsiveness, are widely acknowledged, however, as documented by a large body of literature, IFN-γ has also the potential to temper inflammatory [...] Read more.
Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) affects immune responses in a complex fashion. Its immunostimulatory actions, such as macrophage activation and induction of T helper 1-type responsiveness, are widely acknowledged, however, as documented by a large body of literature, IFN-γ has also the potential to temper inflammatory processes via other pathways. In autoimmune and autoinflammatory disorders, IFN-γ can either play a disease-enforcing role or act as protective agent, depending on the nature of the disease. In animal models of any particular autoimmune disease, certain changes in the induction procedure can reverse the net outcome of introduction or ablation of IFN-γ. Here, we review the role of endogenous IFN-γ in inflammatory disorders and related murine models, with a focus on systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). In particular, we discuss our recent findings in a mouse model of sJIA, in which endogenous IFN-γ acts as a regulatory agent, and compare with results from mouse models of MAS. Also, we elaborate on the complexity in the activity of IFN-γ and the resulting difficulty of predicting its value or that of its antagonists as treatment option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interferons 2015)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Monotonic Survival of Staphylococcus aureus with Respect to Ciprofloxacin Concentration Arises from Prophage-Dependent Killing of Persisters
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 778-792; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040778 - 17 Nov 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2462
Abstract
Staphylococcus aureus is a notorious pathogen with a propensity to cause chronic, non-healing wounds. Bacterial persisters have been implicated in the recalcitrance of S. aureus infections, and this motivated us to examine the persistence of S. aureus to ciprofloxacin, a quinolone antibiotic. Upon [...] Read more.
Staphylococcus aureus is a notorious pathogen with a propensity to cause chronic, non-healing wounds. Bacterial persisters have been implicated in the recalcitrance of S. aureus infections, and this motivated us to examine the persistence of S. aureus to ciprofloxacin, a quinolone antibiotic. Upon treatment of exponential phase S. aureus with ciprofloxacin, we observed that survival was a non-monotonic function of ciprofloxacin concentration. Maximal killing occurred at 1 µg/mL ciprofloxacin, which corresponded to survival that was up to ~40-fold lower than that obtained with concentrations ≥ 5 µg/mL. Investigation of this phenomenon revealed that the non-monotonic response was associated with prophage induction, which facilitated killing of S. aureus persisters. Elimination of prophage induction with tetracycline was found to prevent cell lysis and persister killing. We anticipate that these findings may be useful for the design of quinolone treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biofilms)
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Open AccessMeeting Report
29ièmes Journées Franco-Belges de Pharmacochimie: Meeting Report
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 758-777; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040758 - 17 Nov 2015
Viewed by 2025
Abstract
The “Journées Franco-Belges de Pharmacochimie” is a recognized two-day annual meeting on Medicinal Chemistry that is renowned for the advanced science presented, conviviality, and outstanding opportunities for senior and young scientists to exchange knowledge. Abstracts of plenary lectures, oral communications, and posters presented [...] Read more.
The “Journées Franco-Belges de Pharmacochimie” is a recognized two-day annual meeting on Medicinal Chemistry that is renowned for the advanced science presented, conviviality, and outstanding opportunities for senior and young scientists to exchange knowledge. Abstracts of plenary lectures, oral communications, and posters presented during the meeting are collected in this report. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Choices of the Journal)
Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial Peptides from Plants
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 711-757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040711 - 16 Nov 2015
Cited by 117 | Viewed by 7862
Abstract
Plant antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have evolved differently from AMPs from other life forms. They are generally rich in cysteine residues which form multiple disulfides. In turn, the disulfides cross-braced plant AMPs as cystine-rich peptides to confer them with extraordinary high chemical, thermal and [...] Read more.
Plant antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have evolved differently from AMPs from other life forms. They are generally rich in cysteine residues which form multiple disulfides. In turn, the disulfides cross-braced plant AMPs as cystine-rich peptides to confer them with extraordinary high chemical, thermal and proteolytic stability. The cystine-rich or commonly known as cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) of plant AMPs are classified into families based on their sequence similarity, cysteine motifs that determine their distinctive disulfide bond patterns and tertiary structure fold. Cystine-rich plant AMP families include thionins, defensins, hevein-like peptides, knottin-type peptides (linear and cyclic), lipid transfer proteins, α-hairpinin and snakins family. In addition, there are AMPs which are rich in other amino acids. The ability of plant AMPs to organize into specific families with conserved structural folds that enable sequence variation of non-Cys residues encased in the same scaffold within a particular family to play multiple functions. Furthermore, the ability of plant AMPs to tolerate hypervariable sequences using a conserved scaffold provides diversity to recognize different targets by varying the sequence of the non-cysteine residues. These properties bode well for developing plant AMPs as potential therapeutics and for protection of crops through transgenic methods. This review provides an overview of the major families of plant AMPs, including their structures, functions, and putative mechanisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Controlling Persister and Biofilm Cells of Gram-Negative Bacteria with a New 1,3,5-Triazine Derivative
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 696-710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040696 - 10 Oct 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2707
Abstract
Infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria have been on the rise. This important issue presents a great challenge to the healthcare system and creates an urgent need for alternative therapeutic agents. As a potential solution to this problem, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted increasing [...] Read more.
Infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria have been on the rise. This important issue presents a great challenge to the healthcare system and creates an urgent need for alternative therapeutic agents. As a potential solution to this problem, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have attracted increasing attention due to their broad spectrum of targeted microbes. However, most AMPs are expensive to synthesize, have relatively high cytotoxicity to mammalian cells, and are susceptible to proteolytic degradation. In order to overcome these limitations, novel synthetic AMPs are desired. Using 1,3,5-triazine (TN) as a template, several combinatorial libraries with varying cationic charge and lipophilicity were designed and screened by the Kallenbach lab. From this screening, TN-5 was identified as a potent lead. In the present study, this compound was tested for its antimicrobial activities on Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition to regular planktonic cells, the effects on biofilms and persister cells (metabolically inactive and antibiotic tolerant subpopulation) were also investigated. TN-5 was found to have a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 12.8 μM for both species and kill regular planktonic cells of both species dose dependently. TN-5 is also effective against persister cells of both E. coli and P. aeruginosa. The killing of biofilm cells of the mucoid P. aeruginosa PDO300 was enhanced by alginate lyase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biofilms)
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Disturbed Coherence: Gate to Cancer
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 675-695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040675 - 30 Sep 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2968
Abstract
Continuous energy supply, a necessary condition for life, excites a state far from thermodynamic equilibrium, in particular coherent electric polar vibrations depending on water ordering in the cell. Disturbances in oxidative metabolism and coherence are a central issue in cancer development. Oxidative metabolism [...] Read more.
Continuous energy supply, a necessary condition for life, excites a state far from thermodynamic equilibrium, in particular coherent electric polar vibrations depending on water ordering in the cell. Disturbances in oxidative metabolism and coherence are a central issue in cancer development. Oxidative metabolism may be impaired by decreased pyruvate transfer to the mitochondrial matrix, either by parasitic consumption and/or mitochondrial dysfunction. This can in turn lead to disturbance in water molecules’ ordering, diminished power, and coherence of the electromagnetic field. In tumors with the Warburg (reverse Warburg) effect, mitochondrial dysfunction affects cancer cells (fibroblasts associated with cancer cells), and the electromagnetic field generated by microtubules in cancer cells has low power (high power due to transport of energy-rich metabolites from fibroblasts), disturbed coherence, and a shifted frequency spectrum according to changed power. Therapeutic strategies restoring mitochondrial function may trigger apoptosis in treated cells; yet, before this step is performed, induction (inhibition) of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (phosphatases) may restore the cancer state. In tumor tissues with the reverse Warburg effect, Caveolin-1 levels should be restored and the transport of energy-rich metabolites interrupted to cancer cells. In both cancer phenotypes, achieving permanently reversed mitochondrial dysfunction with metabolic-modulating drugs may be an effective, specific anti-cancer strategy. Full article
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Opioid Facilitation of β-Adrenergic Blockade: A New Pharmacological Condition?
Pharmaceuticals 2015, 8(4), 664-674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph8040664 - 25 Sep 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2448
Abstract
Recently, propranolol was suggested to prevent hyperlactatemia in a child with hypovolemic shock through β-adrenergic blockade. Though it is a known inhibitor of glycolysis, propranolol, outside this observation, has never been reported to fully protect against lactate overproduction. On the other hand, literature [...] Read more.
Recently, propranolol was suggested to prevent hyperlactatemia in a child with hypovolemic shock through β-adrenergic blockade. Though it is a known inhibitor of glycolysis, propranolol, outside this observation, has never been reported to fully protect against lactate overproduction. On the other hand, literature evidence exists for a cross-talk between β-adrenergic receptors (protein targets of propranolol) and δ-opioid receptor. In this literature context, it is hypothesized here that anti-diarrheic racecadotril (a pro-drug of thiorphan, an inhibitor of enkephalinases), which, in the cited observation, was co-administered with propranolol, might have facilitated the β-blocker-driven inhibition of glycolysis and resulting lactate production. The opioid-facilitated β-adrenergic blockade would be essentially additivity or even synergism putatively existing between antagonism of β-adrenergic receptors and agonism of δ-opioid receptor in lowering cellular cAMP and dependent functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Choices of the Journal)
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