Identification of human cathepsin G as a functional target of boswellic acids from the anti-inflammatory remedy frankincense.

Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 08/2009; 183(5):3433-42. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.0803574
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Frankincense preparations, used in folk medicine to cure inflammatory diseases, showed anti-inflammatory effectiveness in animal models and clinical trials. Boswellic acids (BAs) constitute major pharmacological principles of frankincense, but their targets and the underlying molecular modes of action are still unclear. Using a BA-affinity Sepharose matrix, a 26-kDa protein was selectively precipitated from human neutrophils and identified as the lysosomal protease cathepsin G (catG) by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) and by immunological analysis. In rigid automated molecular docking experiments BAs tightly bound to the active center of catG, occupying the same part of the binding site as the synthetic catG inhibitor JNJ-10311795 (2-[3-[methyl[1-(2-naphthoyl)piperidin-4-yl]amino]carbonyl)-2-naphthyl]-1-(1-naphthyl)-2-oxoethylphosphonic acid). BAs potently suppressed the proteolytic activity of catG (IC(50) of approximately 600 nM) in a competitive and reversible manner. Related serine proteases were significantly less sensitive against BAs (leukocyte elastase, chymotrypsin, proteinase-3) or not affected (tryptase, chymase). BAs inhibited chemoinvasion but not chemotaxis of challenged neutrophils, and they suppressed Ca(2+) mobilization in human platelets induced by isolated catG or by catG released from activated neutrophils. Finally, oral administration of defined frankincense extracts significantly reduced catG activities in human blood ex vivo vs placebo. In conclusion, we show that catG is a functional and pharmacologically relevant target of BAs, and interference with catG could explain some of the anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Interferon-gamma producing CD4(+) T (Th1) cells and IL-17-producing CD4(+) T (Th17) cells are involved in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis. Therefore, the development of treatment strategies controlling the generation and expansion of these effector cells is of high interest. Frankincense, the resin from trees of the genus Boswellia, and particularly its prominent bioactive compound acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we demonstrate that AKBA is able to reduce the differentiation of human CD4(+) T cells to Th17 cells, while slightly increasing Th2- and Treg-cell differentiation. Furthermore, AKBA reduces the IL-1β-triggered IL-17A release of memory Th17 cells. AKBA may affect IL-1β signaling by preventing IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) phosphorylation and subsequently decreasing STAT3 phosphorylation at Ser727, which is required for Th17-cell differentiation. The effects of AKBA on Th17 differentiation and IL-17A release make the compound a good candidate for potential treatment of Th17-driven diseases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    European Journal of Immunology 01/2014; · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Cathepsin G (CatG) is a neutral proteinase originating from human neutrophils. It displays a unique dual specificity (trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like); thus, its enzymatic activity is difficult to control. CatG is involved in the pathophysiology of several serious human diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis and other conditions clinically manifested by excessive inflammatory reactions. For mentioned reasons, CatG was considered as good molecular target for the development of novel drugs. However, none of them have yet entered the market as novel therapeutic agents. Areas covered: This article presents an in-depth and detailed analysis of the therapeutic potential of CatG inhibitors based on a review of patent applications and academic publishing disclosed in patents and patent applications (1991 - 2012), with several exceptions for inhibitors retrieved from academic articles. Expert opinion: Among the discussed inhibitors of CatG, examples corresponding to derivatives of β-ketophosphonic acids, aminoalkylphosphonic esters and boswellic acids (BAs) could be regarded as the most promising. The most promising one seems to be analogues of compounds of Nature's origin (peptidic and BA derivates). Nevertheless, nothing is currently known about the clinical disposition of any of the CatG inhibitors discovered so far. This latter point suggests that there is still a lot of work to do in the design of stable, pharmacologically active compounds able to specifically regulate the in vivo activity of cathepsin G.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents 09/2013; · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Huo Luo Xiao Ling Dan (HLXLD), a Chinese herbal formula composed of 11 different herbs, has been used traditionally for the treatment of arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. However, the pharmacokinetic profile of its anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds has not been elucidated. Boswellic acids are the bioactive compounds with potent anti-inflammatory activity isolated from Boswellia serrate which is one of the 11 herbs of HLXLD. The objective of the study was to compare the pharmacokinetics of the two bioactive bowsellic acids: 11-keto-β-boswellic acid and 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic following oral administration of HLXLD or Boswellia serrata extract alone in normal and arthritic rats. An LC-MS method was developed and validated for the determination of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid and 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic in the comparative pharmacokinetic study. The results showed that there were significant differences in pharmacokinetic parameters between normal and arthritic groups. Interestingly, the absorptions of two boswellic acids were significantly higher in HLXLD than Boswellia serrata extract alone, indicating the synergistic effect of other herbal ingredients in HLXLD. This comparative pharmacokinetic study provided direct evidence supporting the notion that the efficacy of a complex mixture such as HLXLD is better than that of single components in treating human diseases. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Biomedical Chromatography 05/2014; · 1.95 Impact Factor

Daniel Poeckel