Molecules2015, 20(9), 15910-15928; doi:10.3390/molecules200915910 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Due to its expression profile, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is refractory to the most effective targeted therapies available for breast cancer treatment. Thus, cytotoxic chemotherapy represents the mainstay of treatment for early and metastatic TNBC. Therefore, it would be greatly beneficial to develop therapeutic approaches that cause TNBC cells to increase their sensitivity to cytotoxic drugs. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is emerging as an important signaling molecule in many cell types. Interestingly, it has been shown that Pi greatly enhances the sensitivity of human osteosarcoma cell line (U2OS) to doxorubicin. We investigated the effects of Pi on the sensitivity of TNBC cells to doxorubicin and the underlying molecular mechanisms, carrying out flow cytometry-based assays of cell-cycle progression and cell death, MTT assays, direct cell number counting and immunoblotting experiments. We report that Pi inhibits the proliferation of triple-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells mainly by slowing down cell cycle progression. Interestingly, we found that Pi strongly increases doxorubicin-induced cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 cells by apoptosis induction, as revealed by a marked increase of sub-G1 population, Bcl-2 downregulation, caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage. Remarkably, Pi/doxorubicin combination-induced cytotoxicity was dynamically accompanied by profound changes in Erk1/2 and Stat3 protein and phosphorylation levels. Altogether, our data enforce the evidence of Pi acting as a signaling molecule in MDA-MB-231 cells, capable of inhibiting Erk and Stat3 pathways and inducing sensitization to doxorubicin of TNBC cells, and suggest that targeting Pi levels at local sites might represent the rationale for developing effective and inexpensive strategies for improving triple-negative breast cancer therapy.
Molecules2015, 20(9), 15893-15909; doi:10.3390/molecules200915893 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Despite palliative treatments, glioblastoma (GBM) remains a devastating malignancy with a mean survival of about 15 months after diagnosis. Programmed cell-death is de-regulated in almost all GBM and the re-activation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway through exogenous bioactive proteins may represent a powerful therapeutic tool to treat multidrug resistant GBM. We have reported that human Bak protein integrated in Liposomes (LB) was able, in vitro, to activate the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in colon cancer cells. To evaluate the anti-tumor effects of LB on GBM, MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assays and Western blot analysis were performed on GL26 murine cell line. LB treatment shows a dose-dependent inhibition of cell viability, followed by an up-regulation of Bax and a down-modulation of JNK1 proteins. In GL26-bearing mice, two different routes of administration were tested: intra-tumor and intravenous. Biodistribution, tumor growth and animal survival rates were followed. LB show long-lasting tumor accumulation. Moreover, the intra-tumor administration of LB induces tumor growth delay and total tumor regression in about 40% of treated mice, while the intravenous injection leads to a significant increased life span of mice paralleled by an increased tumor cells apoptosis. Our findings are functional to the design of LB with potentiated therapeutic efficacy for GBM.
Molecules2015, 20(9), 15881-15892; doi:10.3390/molecules200915881 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: N-hydroxyphthalimide (NHPI) is an organocatalyst for free-radical processes able to promote the aerobic oxidation of a wide range of organic substrates. In particular, NHPI can catalyze the hydroperoxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). This property could be of interest for biological applications. This work reports the synthesis of two β-cyclodextrin derivatives (CD5 and CD6) having a different degree of methylation and bearing a NHPI moiety. These compounds, having different solubility in water, have been successfully tested for the hydroperoxidation of methyl linoleate, chosen as the PUFA model molecule.
Molecules2015, 20(9), 15862-15880; doi:10.3390/molecules200915862 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Trapping of arynes with various nucleophiles provides a range of heteroatom-functionalized arene derivatives, but the corresponding reaction with water does not provide phenol derivatives. Silver trifluroacetate (AgO2CCF3) can nicely solve this problem. It was found that in typical organic solvent, AgO2CCF3 readily reacts with arynes to generate trifluoroacetoxy organosilver arene intermediate, which, upon treating with silica gel, provides phenolic products. This protocol can be extended to the synthesis of α-halofunctionalized phenol derivatives by simply adding NBS (N-bromosuccinimides) or NIS (N-iodosuccinimides) to the reaction along with silver trifluroacetate, which provided α-bromo or α-iodophenol derivatives in good yield. However, the similar reactions with NCS (N-chlorosuccinimides) afforded only the protonated product instead of the expected α-chlorophenols derivatives. Interestingly, substrates containing silyl substituents on 1,3-diynes resulted in α-halotrifluoroacetates rather than their hydrolyzed product. Additionally, trapping the same arynes with other oxygen-based nucleophiles containing silver counter cation, along with NXS (N-halosuccinimides), generated α-halooxyfunctionalized products.
Molecules2015, 20(9), 15842-15861; doi:10.3390/molecules200915842 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mitogen-activated protein kinase p38α plays an essential role in the regulation of pro-inflammatory signaling, and selective blockade of this kinase could be efficacious in many pathological processes. Despite considerable research efforts focused on the discovery and development of p38α MAPK inhibitors, no drug targeting this protein has been approved for clinical use so far. We herein analyze the available crystal structures of p38α MAPK in complex with ATP competitive type I inhibitors, getting insights into ATP binding site conformation and its influence on automated molecular docking results. The use of target ensembles, rather than single conformations, resulted in a performance improvement in both the ability to reproduce experimental bound conformations and the capability of mining active molecules from compound libraries. The information gathered from this study can be exploited in structure-based drug discovery programs having as the ultimate aim the identification of novel p38α MAPK type I inhibitors.
Molecules2015, 20(9), 15827-15841; doi:10.3390/molecules200915827 (registering DOI) - published 31 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Glucosinolate (GSL) profiles and concentrations in various tissues (seeds, sprouts, mature root, and shoot) were determined and compared across nine Brassica species, including cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, radish, baemuchae, pakchoi, Chinese cabbage, leaf mustard, and kale. The compositions and concentrations of individual GSLs varied among crops, tissues, and growth stages. Seeds had highest total GSL concentrations in most of crops, whereas shoots had the lowest GSL concentrations. Aliphatic GSL concentrations were the highest in seeds, followed by that in sprouts, shoots, and roots. Indole GSL concentration was the highest in the root or shoot tissues in most of the crops. In contrast, aromatic GSL concentrations were highest in roots. Of the nine crops examined, broccoli exhibited the highest total GSL concentration in seeds (110.76 µmol·g−1) and sprouts (162.19 µmol·g−1), whereas leaf mustard exhibited the highest total GSL concentration in shoots (61.76 µmol·g−1) and roots (73.61 µmol·g−1). The lowest GSL concentrations were observed in radish across all tissues examined.