Identification and characterization of cholest-4-en-3-one, oxime (TRO19622), a novel drug candidate for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
ABSTRACT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive death of cortical and spinal motor neurons, for which there is no effective treatment. Using a cell-based assay for compounds capable of preventing motor neuron cell death in vitro, a collection of approximately 40,000 low-molecular-weight compounds was screened to identify potential small-molecule therapeutics. We report the identification of cholest-4-en-3-one, oxime (TRO19622) as a potential drug candidate for the treatment of ALS. In vitro, TRO19622 promoted motor neuron survival in the absence of trophic support in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, TRO19622 rescued motor neurons from axotomy-induced cell death in neonatal rats and promoted nerve regeneration following sciatic nerve crush in mice. In SOD1(G93A) transgenic mice, a model of familial ALS, TRO19622 treatment improved motor performance, delayed the onset of the clinical disease, and extended survival. TRO19622 bound directly to two components of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore: the voltage-dependent anion channel and the translocator protein 18 kDa (or peripheral benzodiazepine receptor), suggesting a potential mechanism for its neuroprotective activity. TRO19622 may have therapeutic potential for ALS and other motor neuron and neurodegenerative diseases.
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ABSTRACT: Background Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A) is the most common inherited sensory and motor peripheral neuropathy. It is caused by PMP22 overexpression which leads to defects of peripheral myelination, loss of long axons, and progressive impairment then disability. There is no treatment available despite observations that monotherapeutic interventions slow progression in rodent models. We thus hypothesized that a polytherapeutic approach using several drugs, previously approved for other diseases, could be beneficial by simultaneously targeting PMP22 and pathways important for myelination and axonal integrity.MethodsA combination of drugs for CMT1A polytherapy was chosen from a group of authorised drugs for unrelated diseases using a systems biology approach, followed by pharmacological safety considerations. Testing and proof of synergism of these drugs were performed in a co-culture model of DRG neurons and Schwann cells derived from a Pmp22 transgenic rat model of CMT1A. Their ability to lower Pmp22 mRNA in Schwann cells relative to house-keeping genes or to a second myelin transcript (Mpz) was assessed in a clonal cell line expressing these genes. Finally in vivo efficacy of the combination was tested in two models: CMT1A transgenic rats, and mice that recover from a nerve crush injury, a model to assess neuroprotection and regeneration.ResultsCombination of (RS)-baclofen, naltrexone hydrochloride and D-sorbitol, termed PXT3003, improved myelination in the Pmp22 transgenic co-culture cellular model, and moderately down-regulated Pmp22 mRNA expression in Schwannoma cells. In both in vitro systems, the combination of drugs was revealed to possess synergistic effects, which provided the rationale for in vivo clinical testing of rodent models. In Pmp22 transgenic CMT1A rats, PXT3003 down-regulated the Pmp22 to Mpz mRNA ratio, improved myelination of small fibres, increased nerve conduction and ameliorated the clinical phenotype. PXT3003 also improved axonal regeneration and remyelination in the murine nerve crush model.Conclusions Based on these observations in preclinical models, a clinical trial of PTX3003 in CMT1A, a neglected orphan disease, is warranted. If the efficacy of PTX3003 is confirmed, rational polytherapy based on novel combinations of existing non-toxic drugs with pleiotropic effects may represent a promising approach for rapid drug development.Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 12/2014; 9(1):201. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurological disorder in humans characterized by progressive degeneration of skeletal muscle and motor neurons in spinal cord, brainstem, and cerebral cortex causing skeletal muscle paralysis, respiratory insufficiency, and death. There are no cures or effective treatments for ALS. ALS can be inherited, but most cases are not associated with a family history of the disease. Mitochondria have been implicated in the pathogenesis but definitive proof of causal mechanisms is lacking. Identification of new clinically translatable disease mechanism-based molecular targets and small molecule drug candidates are needed for ALS patients. We tested the hypothesis in an animal model that drug modulation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is therapeutic in ALS. A prospective randomized placebo-controlled drug trial was done in a transgenic (tg) mouse model of ALS. We explored GNX-4728 as a therapeutic drug. GNX-4728 inhibits mPTP opening as evidenced by increased mitochondrial calcium retention capacity (CRC) both in vitro and in vivo. Chronic systemic treatment of G37R-human mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (hSOD1) tg mice with GNX-4728 resulted in major therapeutic benefits. GNX-4728 slowed disease progression and significantly improved motor function. The survival of ALS mice was increased significantly by GNX-4728 treatment as evidence by a nearly 2-fold extension of lifespan (360 days-750 days). GNX-4728 protected against motor neuron degeneration and mitochondrial degeneration, attenuated spinal cord inflammation, and preserved neuromuscular junction (NMJ) innervation in the diaphragm in ALS mice. This work demonstrates that a mPTP-acting drug has major disease-modifying efficacy in a preclinical mouse model of ALS and establishes mitochondrial calcium retention, and indirectly the mPTP, as targets for ALS drug development.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 12/2014; 8:433. · 4.18 Impact Factor