Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 455-473; doi:10.3390/ph8030455 (registering DOI) - published 31 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes, 15 KDa (PEA-15), a ubiquitously expressed small protein in all mammals, is known for decades for its potent interactions with various protein partners along distinct biological pathways. Most notable interacting partners of PEA-15 include extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) in the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, the Fas-associated death domain (FADD) protein involving in the formation of the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC), and the phospholipase D1 (PLD1) affecting the insulin sensitivity. However, the actual cellular functions of PEA-15 are still mysterious, and the question why this protein is expressed in almost all cell and tissue types remains unanswered. Here we synthesize the most recent structural, biological, and clinical studies on PEA-15 with emphases on its anti-apoptotic, anti-proliferative, and anti-inflammative properties, and propose a converged protective role of PEA-15 that maintains the balance of death and survival in different cell types. Under conditions that this delicate balance is unsustainable, PEA-15 may become pathological and lead to various diseases, including cancers and diabetes. Targeting PEA-15 interactions, or the use of PEA-15 protein as therapeutics, may provide a wider window of opportunities to treat these diseases.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 435-454; doi:10.3390/ph8030435 - published 29 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The first-in-human phase 1 clinical radioimmunotherapy (RIT) trial with 212Pb-1,4,7,10-tetraaza-1,4,7,10-tetra-(2-carbamoylmethyl)-cyclododecane-trastuzumab (212Pb-TCMC-trastuzumab) was completed in October 2014 as a joint effort at the University of Alabama (UAB) and the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center. The preliminary reports indicate that after five dose-levels of intraperitoneally administered 212Pb-TCMC-trastuzumab, patients with carcinomatosis experienced minimal agent-related toxicity. This report presents the data accumulated to date on the stability of the clinical grade, produced according to current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), TCMC-trastuzumab conducted in support of that clinical trial. Of the eleven tests performed with the cGMP TCMC-trastuzumab all but one remained within specifications throughout the 5 year testing period. The protein concentration varied by 0.01 mg/mL at 48 months. Two other assays, ion-exchange high performance liquid chromatography (IEX-HPLC) and a competitive radioimmunoassay (RIA) indicated that the cGMP TCMC-trastuzumab integrity may be changing, although the change thus far is within specifications. Subsequent stability testing will confirm if a trend has truly developed. The cGMP TCMC-trastuzumab was also evaluated for tolerance to higher temperatures and the potential of storage at −80 °C. The immunoconjugate proved stable when subjected to the lower temperatures and to multiple freeze-thaw cycles. The size exclusion (SE) HPLC analysis of the 203Pb-TCMC-trastuzumab was the only indicator that cGMP TCMC-trastuzumab may be sensitive to storage at 37 °C for 3 months.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 416-434; doi:10.3390/ph8030416 - published 24 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Faced with the novelty of a 212Pb-labeled monoclonal antibody (mAb) for clinical translation, concerns were expressed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding 212Pb prematurely released from the mAb-chelate conjugate. The objective of this study was to simulate the worst case scenario of such a failure. Groups of Balb/c mice (n = 9–20) were administered 212Pb by intraperitoneal (0.0925–1.85 MBq) or intravenous (0.0925–1.11 MBq) injection and then euthanized at 7 or 90 days to assess acute or chronic effects. Weights were recorded prior to injection of the 212Pb and at the end of the observation periods. Blood samples were collected for clinical chemistry and blood cell analysis. Thirty tissues were harvested and formalin fixed for histopathological examination. Treatment related effects of the 212Pb were observed in the bone marrow, spleen, kidneys and the liver. Histological alterations in these organs were considered mild to moderate, indicating low grade toxicity, and not considered severe enough to affect function. This data was presented to the FDA and determined to be acceptable. The clinical trial with 212Pb-TCMC-trastuzumab was approved in January 2011 and the trial opened at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in July.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 366-415; doi:10.3390/ph8030366 - published 13 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to introduce and highlight a few classes of traditional antimicrobial peptides with a focus on structure-activity relationship studies. After first dissecting the important physiochemical properties that influence the antimicrobial and toxic properties of antimicrobial peptides, the contributions of individual amino acids with respect to the peptides antibacterial properties are presented. A brief discussion of the mechanisms of action of different antimicrobials as well as the development of bacterial resistance towards antimicrobial peptides follows. Finally, current efforts on novel design strategies and peptidomimetics are introduced to illustrate the importance of antimicrobial peptide research in the development of future antibiotics.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 351-365; doi:10.3390/ph8020351 - published 18 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We investigated the effect of a formula containing two different prebiotics (bifidogenic growth stimulator and galacto-oligosaccharide) and fermented milk products on intestinal microbiota and antibody responses to an influenza vaccine in enterally fed elderly in-patients. Patients were administered either formula containing prebiotics and fermented milk products (group F: n = 12, 79.9 ± 9.5 years old) or standard formula (group C: n = 12, 80.7 ± 10.1 years old) via percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy during a 14-week intervention period. Subjects were immunized with an influenza vaccine (A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B) at week 4 of the intervention. Blood biochemical indices, intestinal bacteria populations and antibody titers were analyzed. Bifidobacterium counts increased significantly in group F compared with group C. The enhanced antibody titers against A/H1N1 were maintained in group F for a longer period compared with group C. The titers against A/H3N2 were unchanged between both groups, and those against B were significantly lower in group F than in group C, although few subjects had seroprotective titers against A/H3N2 and B. These results suggest that administration of the formula containing prebiotics and fermented milk products may maintain antibody titers for longer periods through the improvement of intestinal microbiota.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(2), 337-350; doi:10.3390/ph8020337 - published 18 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Until recently, the standard treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was a combination therapy with PEG-IFN-α plus ribavirin. Previous studies have proven that several markers predict the outcome of such therapy, e.g., pretreatment plasma levels of interferon inducible protein IP-10, HCV RNA and IL28B-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). Altered activity of tryptophan metabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) has been also shown in patients suffering from HCV infection. In this study, we investigated whether IL28B SNP in patients infected with HCV is related to the tryptophan breakdown rate. Before therapy, serum tryptophan and kynurenine concentrations were determined in 25 patients with established HCV infection and the kynurenine to tryptophan ratio (KYN/TRP) was calculated as an estimate of the tryptophan breakdown rate. In parallel, neopterin and nitrite concentrations were determined. A significant difference of serum KYN/TRP existed between the three IL28B polymorphism groups: C/C genotype had the highest and T/T genotype had the lowest KYN/TRP (p < 0.05). Likewise, C/C genotype was associated with higher KYN/TRP than non-C/C genotype (p = 0.01). There was a smaller difference between the three groups regarding the absolute kynurenine concentrations, the C/C genotype being associated with higher kynurenine concentrations. None of the other comparisons revealed any statistical significance. In conclusion, patients with C/C genotype presented with the highest tryptophan breakdown rate already before antiretroviral therapy with IFN-α/ribavirin. The differences in tryptophan metabolism might relate to HCV clearance and also to side effects of IFN-α therapy.