Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 504-511; doi:10.3390/ph8030504 - published 27 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This commentary highlights several avenues currently being pursued in research labs to the development of new anti-biofilm pharmaceuticals. There is a real need for alternative therapeutic modalities for treating the persistent infections that sometimes form on implanted medical devices or compromised niches within the body. Strategies being researched include discovering new antimicrobial agents that kill microorganisms in biofilms more effectively than do existing antibiotics, designing drugs that block microbial adhesion or interfere with intercellular communication, developing chemistries to disperse biofilms, and combining agents with different mechanisms of action. Though the need is great, the pathway to commercialization of new drugs is steep. One possible streamlined approach to navigating the regulatory approval process is to repurpose old drugs, a strategy that a few groups have shown can yield agents with anti-biofilm properties.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 483-503; doi:10.3390/ph8030483 - published 13 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Candida albicans is the most prevalent cause of fungal infections and treatment is further complicated by the formation of drug resistant biofilms, often on the surfaces of implanted medical devices. In recent years, the incidence of fungal infections by other pathogenic Candida species such as C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis has increased. Amphiphilic, helical β-peptide structural mimetics of natural antimicrobial α-peptides have been shown to exhibit specific planktonic antifungal and anti-biofilm formation activity against C. albicans in vitro. Here, we demonstrate that β-peptides are also active against clinically isolated and drug resistant strains of C. albicans and against other opportunistic Candida spp. Different Candida species were susceptible to β-peptides to varying degrees, with C. tropicalis being the most and C. glabrata being the least susceptible. β-peptide hydrophobicity directly correlated with antifungal activity against all the Candida clinical strains and species tested. While β-peptides were largely ineffective at disrupting existing Candida biofilms, hydrophobic β-peptides were able to prevent the formation of C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis biofilms. The broad-spectrum antifungal activity of β-peptides against planktonic cells and in preventing biofilm formation suggests the promise of this class of molecules as therapeutics.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 474-482; doi:10.3390/ph8030474 - published 4 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Introduction: Ruthenium 360 (Ru360) has been shown to induce cardioprotective mechanisms in perfused hearts. The agent is a specific blocker of the main cardiac mitochondrial uptake mechanism, the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). UCP2, a mitochondrial membrane protein, which influences cardiac ROS formation was reported to interact with the MCU. Methods: To prove whether Ru360 affects ischemic cell injury on the singular cell level, cell viability (CV) in isolated cardiomyocytes from wild type mice (WT) was measured in a model of pelleting hypoxia (PH). To explore a possible influence of UCP2 on cellular survival, as well as on Ru360 function, cardiomyocytes from UCP2−/− mice were investigated. Results: During PH, Ru360 significantly improved CV in WT cardiomyocytes (Control 26.32% ± 1.58% vs. PH 13.60% ± 1.20% vs. PH+Ru360 19.98% ± 0.98%, n = 6; p < 0.05). No differences in the rate of apoptosis were observed in UCP2−/− vs. WT. In UCP2−/− cardiomyocytes, Ru360 reduced the rate of cell death. However, the effect was less pronounced compared to WT cardiomyocytes. Conclusion: Ru360 significantly reduces hypoxic cell injury by preventing single cell apoptosis in WT cardiomyoctes. UCP2 does not affect cell survival in hypoxic cardiomyocytes, but it might modulate cardioprotective effects of Ru360 during ischemia.
Pharmaceuticals2015, 8(3), 455-473; doi:10.3390/ph8030455 - 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.