Current Medicinal Chemistry

Published by Bentham Science Publishers
Online ISSN: 0929-8673
Publications
The effects of MK-0626 treatment on blood flow recovery after hind limb ischemia in C57CL/B6 mice. (A) Representative results of laser Doppler measurements before operation (control) and 1 day after hind limb ischemia surgery. (B) Representative results of laser Doppler measurements 3 and 5 weeks after hind limb ischemia surgery in mice treated with 0, 0.3, 3 or 30 mg/kg BW MK-0626. The color scale illustrates the blood flow variation from minimal (dark blue) to maximal (red) values. The arrows indicate ischemic (right) limb after hind limb ischemia surgery. (C) Doppler perfusion ratios (ischemic:non-ischemic hind limb) over time in the different groups. Administration of 30 mg/kg BW MK-0626 () and 3 mg/kg BW MK-0626 () for 5 weeks enhanced beneficial blood flow recovery compared with the nonadministered group () at 5 weeks after hind limb ischemia surgery. There was no significant difference in blood flow in the limb in the 0.3 mg/kg BW MK-0626-treated group (compared with the untreated group. (D) Five weeks after ischemia surgery, the ischemia:normal perfusion ratios in the 3 and 30 mg/kg BW MK-0626-treated groups were higher than those in the untreated group. The results are expressed as the mean ± SEM (n=6; *p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant). 
Article
Current treatment modalities for critical limb ischemia (CLI) are of limited benefit; therefore, advances in therapeutic vasculogenesis may open an important new avenue for the treatment of CLI. This study examines the therapeutic potential of the DPP-4 inhibitor MK-0626 as a regulator of vasculogenesis in vivo. MK-0626 was administered daily to C57CL/B6 mice and eGFP-labeled bone marrow-transplanted ICR mice that had undergone hind limb ischemia surgery. Laser Doppler imaging and flow cytometry were used to evaluate the degree of neo-vasculogenesis and the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), respectively. Cell surface markers of EPCs and the level of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were studied in the vessels. Mice that received MK-0626 had an elevated level of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and a decreased level of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) in their plasma, in addition to an ischemia-induced increase in the level of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1). In C57CL/B6 mice, blood flow in the ischemic limb was significantly improved by treatment with MK-0626. The number of circulating EPCs and both the synthesis and phosphorylation of eNOS were also increased in ischemic thigh muscle after MK-0626 treatment. In contrast, similar effects of MK-0626 were not observed in B6.129P2-Nos3tm1Unc/J mice (an eNOS knockout mouse). Additionally, MK-0626 treatment promoted the mobilization and homing of EPCs to ischemic tissue in eGFP transgenic mouse bone marrow-transplanted ICR mice. We conclude that both the number of circulating EPCs and neo-vasculogenesis are increased in response to DPP-4 inhibitor treatment and that this occurs via an eNOS-dependent mechanism. The results highlight the therapeutic vasculogenesis potential of the DPP-4 inhibitor MK-0626 using a hind limb ischemia mouse model.
 
Article
The inbuilt 2-N-hydroxy-1-oxo-3-carboxylic acid of isoquinolone was designed as pyrophosphate mimic for hepatitis C NS5B polymerase. Various 2-hydroxy-1-oxo-1,2-dihydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid derivatives 11a-p were synthesized and evaluated as HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitors. Compound 11c exhibited moderate inhibitory potency based on the inorganic pyrophosphate generation (IC₅₀ = 9.5 μM) and based on NTP incorporation by NS5B enzyme (IC₅₀ = 5.9 μM). Compound 11c demonstrated antiviral activity (EC₅₀ = 15.7 μM) and good selectivity in HCV genotype 1b replicon Ava.5 cells. Compound 11c reduced the interaction of NTP to NS5B polymerase. Docking model showed that 11c situated in similar orientation to the bound uridine triphosphate in the active site of NS5B polymerase. As a result, 2-hydroxy-1-oxo-1,2-dihydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid was disclosed as a novel inbuilt β-N-Hydroxy-γ-keto-acid pharmacophore for HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitors.
 
Article
The concept of click chemistry represented by the formation of the 1,2,3-triazole core has found wide application in drug discovery, particularly in the early discovery phases and the lead optimization process. 1,2,3-Triazoles have attracted considerable attention in recent years because of their wide range of biological activities against various viruses, malignant cells, microorganisms and their inhibitory activities against several enzymes. This review emphasizes the recent advances on diverse and potent biological profiles of 1,2,3-triazolo-nucleosides, along with emerging application of click chemistry in their synthesis, and their perspective in the development of new bioactive chemical entities in the future. The work is primarily addressed to antiviral, antimicrobial and anticancer potency of this important structural motifs in which the 1,2,3-triazole ring acts as a nucleobase surrogate or is linked to a nucleobase or a sugar/sugar mimic moiety.
 
Article
The delta(2)- 1,2,3- triazoline anticonvulsants (TRs) may be considered as representing a unique class of "built-in" heterocyclic prodrugs where the active "structure element" is an integral part of the ring system and can be identified only by a knowledge of their chemical reactivity and metabolism. Investigations on the metabolism and pharmacology of a lead triazoline, ADD17014 suggest that the triazolines function as "prodrugs" and exert their anticonvulsant activity by impairing excitatory amino acid (EAA) L-Glutamate (L-Glu) neurotransmission via a unique "dual-action" mechanism. While an active primary beta-amino alcohol metabolite from the parent prodrug acts as an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/MK -801 receptor antagonist, the parent triazoline impairs the presynaptic release of L-Glu. Various pieces of theoretical reasoning and experimental evidence have led to the clucidation of the dual-action mechanism. Based on the unique chemistry of the triazolines, and their metabolic pathways, biotransformation products of TRs were predicted to be the beta-amino alcohols V and VA, the alpha-amino acid VI, the triazole VII, the aziridine VIII and the ketimine IX. In vivo and in vitro pharmacological studies of the TR and potential metabolites, along with a full quantitative urinary metabolic profiling of TR indicated the primary beta-amino alcohol V as the active species. It was the only compound that inhibited the specific binding of [3H]MK-801 to the MK-801 site, 56% at 10 micro M drug concentration, but itself had no anticonvulsant activity, suggesting TR acted as a prodrug. Three metabolites were identified; V was the most predominant (45.7 +/- 7.6) % of administered drug, with lesser amounts of VA, (17.3 +/- 5.1) % and very minor amounts of aziridine VIII (4.0 +/- 0.02)%. Since only VIII can yield VA, its formation indicated that the biotransformation of TR occurred, at least in part, through aziridine. No amino acid metabolite was detected, which implied that no in vivo oxidation of V or oxidative biotransformation of TR or aziridine by hydroxylation at the methylene group occurred. While triazoline significantly decreased Ca(2+) -dependent, k(+)-evoked L-Glu release (83% at 100 micro M drug concentration ), some triazolines showed an augmentation of 50-63%, in the Cl(-) channel activity, a useful membrane action that reduces the excessive L-Glu release that occurs during epileptic seizures. The high anticonvulsant activity of TRs in a variety of seizure models including their effectiveness in the kindling model of complex partial seizures may be due to their unique dual-action mechanism whereby the TR and V together effectively impair both pre- and postsynaptic aspects of EAA neurotransmission; thus the TRs have clinical potential in the treatment of complex partial epilepsy which is refractory to currently available drugs. Since there is strong evidence that L-Glu plays an important role in human epilepsy as well as in brain ischemia/stroke, and since the TRs act by inhibiting EAA neurotransmission, it was logical to expect that the anticonvulsant TRs may evince beneficial therapeutic potential in cerebral ischemia resulting from stroke as well. And indeed, several TRs, when tested in the standard gerbil model of global ischemia did evince remarkable ability to prevent neuronal death.
 
Article
The three-dimensional structures of active derivatives of N-(substitutedphenylcarbonylamino)-4-(1-hydroxymethylphenyl)-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyri-dines, which have previously been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activities, were built using BIOMEDCAche 5.0 software program. In addition, the three dimensional structures of some of the inactive ones were similarly generated. The conformational analysis, molecular and electronic structures were examined by molecular mechanics and quantum mechanics calculations. The primary objective was to clarify the effects of physicochemical properties of substituents on activity, since the exact role of the substitution pattern on the phenyl ring is uncertain. In addition, the experimental log P values did not appear to have any influence on the anti-inflammatory potencies of these compounds, since compounds having differing lipid solubilities are equiactive. We found that strongly electron-donating group, such as the para-substituted methoxy group, detracts from activity. The conformational analysis indicated that the 4-ethyl derivative had the lowest energy conformation. Except for compound 1, which showed the lowest surface volume, compounds 2-9 had nearly similar surface volumes.
 
Article
Although several constitutive proteasome inhibitors have been reported these recent years, potent organic, non-covalent and readily available inhibitors are still poorly documented. Here we used a structure- and ligand-based in silico approach to identify commercially available 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivatives as non-covalent human 20S proteasome inhibitors. Their optimization led to the newly synthesized compound 4h that is a mixed proteasomal inhibitor of the chymotrypsin-like activity (Ki of 26,1 nM and K'i of 7.5 nM) which is in addition selective versus the challenging cathepsin B and calpain proteases. Molecular modeling studies corroborated the mechanism of inhibition and suggest an unusual binding of the inhibitor within the S5 binding pocket (β6 subunit). The cellular effects of our compounds validate their utility as potential pharmacological agents for anti-cancer pre-clinical studies.
 
Article
Increased concentrations of extracellular adenosine are reached in ischemic or inflamed tissues but have also been detected inside tumoral masses. If this finding may account for an important role of adenosine in the pathogenesis of tumors remains to be determined in view of its contradictory effects on cell survival and proliferation. In particular, adenosine was found to exert its effects on proliferation and on cell death mainly through the A(3) adenosine receptor. Therefore, a complete pharmacological characterization of the subtype and number of the expressed A(3) adenosine receptors is necessary for the elucidation of the role of adenosine via A(3) receptors in a specific cell subtype. The lack of potent and selective radiolabelled A(3) receptor antagonists has been, in the past, the major obstacle in the characterization of structure, function and regulation of this adenosine receptor subtype. Recently, our group has identified a series of substituted pyrazolotriazo-lopyrimidine derivatives as potent and selective antagonists to human A(3) adenosine receptors. The most recent results obtained in this field will be summarized in the present review. Furthermore, the review will report the results of the biochemical and pharmacological characterization of A(3) receptors in different human tumor cell lines and the multiple A(3) receptor-sustained ways that could prime tumor development.
 
Article
Synthetic compounds with a tri- and tetra-substituted imidazole scaffold are known as selective inhibitors of the p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase responsible for proinflammatory cytokine release. The scope is to review the literature describing their design, synthesis and activity studies. To date a great plethora of crystal structures of p38 in complex with small organic ligands have been published. Cocrystallized ligand information is of particular interest to our review study, i.e. ATP itself, the reference inhibitor SB203580 with its aryl-pyridinyl-imidazoles and related imidazole and pyrimidine-based derivatives. The selective inhibitors bind to the pocket of adenosine 5'-triphoshate (ATP) replacing the latter. The hydrophobic region II, however, is not occupied by the natural binder ATP, but accommodates the pyridine substituents preserving the 4-fluorophenyl ring occupation in pocket I as a prerequisite to gain higher binding selectivity and potency than the reference compound SB203580 (4-[5-(4-fluoro-phenyl)-2-(4-methanesulfinyl-phenyl)-3himidazol-4-yl]-pyridine). Experimental and computed work is reviewed which evidence that the 2 position of the pyrimidine ring is amenable to the introduction of a side chain and the replacement of pyridine in SB203580 by a pyrimidine ring improves both inhibitory activity and selectivity for p38 over other kinases. All ligands with a pyridyl C2 side chain occupy the hydrophobic pocket II and in some cases a double hydrogen bond is reported between methionine 109 and glycine 110 of the hinge region, following an observed backbone shift. The substituted pyridine ring binds stronger than the two other side chains on the imidazole scaffold.
 
Article
The plethora of biological activities of 1,25(OH)2D3 and its analogs suggests an enormous potential for vitamin D therapy in the treatment of hyperproliferative diseases (cancer, psoriasis), endocrine dysfunction (hyperparathyroidism), immune disorders (autoimmune diseases, transplant rejection), bone disorders (osteoporosis, Paget's bone disease). However, the therapeutic limitation of 1,25(OH)2D3 is its calcemic and phosphatemic activities, since it can cause serious side effects such as hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia at super physiological levels. Therefore, numerous efforts have been made to find the new vitamin D analogs, that retain the therapeutically important properties of 1,25(OH)2D3, but with greater selectivity, which allows more effective intervention with fewer toxic side effects. This review will focus on the biological activities of the 2-substituted analogs of 1,25(OH)2D3. They were classified as 2α-, 2β-, 2,2-disubstituted analogs, and those with modifications in both the A-ring at the 2-position and the side chains. Their structure-activity relationships and binding features with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) were discussed.
 
Linear structure of ERp57/GRp58/1,25D3-MARRS showing different sites.  
Relative competition of vitamin D metabolites and analogs with [ 3 H]1,25(OH) 2 D 3 for binding to the 1,25D 3 -MARRS recep- tor/ERp57/GRp58. Structures are provided in Fig. 2.  
Article
ERp57/GRp58 is a thiol-protein disulphide oxidoreductase and has been studied in many clinically relevant systems, both as a chaperone protein and as a membrane receptor for the steroid hormone, 1,25(OH)2D3. Our laboratory investigates phenomena associated with rapid, membrane-initiated signaling by steroid hormones synthesized from vitamin D (cholecalciferol). We have recently reported that the cell surface receptor for the metabolite 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], which we have termed the 1,25D3-MARRS (Membrane Associated, Rapid Response Steroid binding) receptor, is in fact identical to ERp57/GRp58. Here we review the dynamic role ERp57/GRp58/1,25D3-MARRS receptor plays in a variety of cellular processes. Starting with its structure at the DNA and protein levels, we review the available literature about its role as a chaperone protein, in immune function through the assembly of MHC class I molecules, DNA binding, and its function as the 1,25D3-MARRS receptor. Finally, we present the role it may play in relation to important disease states. While ERp57/GR58/1,25D3-MARRS receptor is a pivotal protein in many cell functions, it has yet to be determined whether-and to what extent-these phenomena are regulated by the vitamin D endocrine system. However, 1,25(OH)2D3 is involved in differentiation of certain cancer cells and in muscle function, and ERp57/1,25D3-MARRS protein has been reported to be involved in such processes. Thus, medicinal chemistry aimed at the 1,25D3-MARRS receptor in lymphocytes, cancer cells, bone, intestinal epithelia, and kidney may add to the current therapeutic regimens for various disease states.
 
Article
Systemic fungal infections of humans and economically important animals are increasingly common throughout the world. These infections are severe and often hard to treat with existing safe, oral medications. Thus there has been increasing research on alternatives resulting in study of natural and synthetic inhibitors of 1,3-β-Glucan synthase (GS) and chitin synthase (CS)-enzymes important in the biosynthesis of fungal cell walls that are not utilized in human biochemistry. Some such agents have recently been introduced into parenteral clinical use. There is hope that safe agents of this type with oral activity may yet emerge. This active area of research and its historic context with alternative agents is reviewed herein.
 
Article
Derived from the structure of 1H,3H-thiazolo[3,4-a]benzimidazoles (TBZs), 2,3-diaryl-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one derivatives became a novel class of HIV-1 non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Under the guidance of continuous structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis and molecular modeling, various structural modifications were carried out on nearly all the positions of the thiazolidin-4-one nucleus. Some of the derivatives proved to be highly effective against HIV-1 replication at 10-40 nanomolar concentration ranges with minimal cytotoxicities. In this article, the whole development of 2,3-diaryl-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one series from the discoveries to recent advances, their panoramic SAR studies and binding modes based on molecular modeling were reviewed, and also some enlightenments for further investigation were presented.
 
Article
A large number of indolyl-4-azaindolyl thiazoles, nortopsentin analogues, were conveniently synthesized. The antiproliferative activity of the new derivatives was examined against four human tumor cell lines with different histologic origin. Seven derivatives consistently reduced the growth of the experimental models independently of TP53 gene status and exhibited the highest activity against the malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (STO) cell line. The most active compound of this series acts as a CDK1 inhibitor, and was found to cause cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase, to induce apoptosis by preventing the phosphorylation of survivin in Thr34 and to increase the cytotoxic activity of paclitaxel in STO cells.
 
Article
The present report provides a extended study of the chemistry, the inhibitory activity against monoamino oxidases (MAO), and molecular modeling including the 3D-QSAR hypothesis of 1,3,5-trisubstituted-4,5-dihydro-(1H)-pyrazole derivatives. Four series of about eighty novel pyrazoline derivatives were prepared and investigated for their ability to inhibit the activity of the A and B isoforms of MAO selectively. Most of the new synthesized compounds proved more reversible, potent, and selective inhibitors of MAO-A than of MAO-B, and could be taken into account to develop the search further in this field, knowing that reversible and selective MAO-A inhibitors are used as antidepressant and antianxiety drug. The 30 most active compounds show inhibitory activity on MAO-A in the 8.6 x 10(-8) - 9.0 x 10(-9)M range. Moreover, it should be pointed out that for most of them a high IC(50) > or = 10(-9)M value is associated with a high A-selectivity (Selectivity Index MAO-B/MAO-A in the 10,000-16,250 range). Furthermore, due to the presence of a chiral centre at the C5 position of the pyrazole moiety, we performed the semi-preparative chromatographic enantioseparation of the most potent, selective, and chiral compounds. The separated enantiomers were then submitted to in vitro biological evaluation, and from the results of these experiments it has been possible to point out a difference in inhibiting the two isoforms selectively between the racemic mixture and the single enantiomers. The molecular modeling work was carried out combining the Glide docking approach with CoMFA with the aim to rationalize the structure-activity relationships of each pyrazoline inhibitor toward MAO-A and MAO-B isoforms and to derive a suitable selectivity model.
 
Article
Since 1940s, Quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides (QdNO's) are known as potent antibacterial agents, and subtherapeutic levels have been used to promote growth and improve efficiency of feed conversion in animal feed. They have also shown a selective cytotoxicity against hypoxic cells present in solid tumours. Furthermore, recent studies have put in evidence that QdNO's are endowed with antitubercular, antiprotozoal and anticandida activities. On the other hand, several authors have reported about photoallergic and mutagenic effects of some derivatives. QdNO's may also cause the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and influence the horizontal transfer of virulence genes between bacteria. In this review article we report the biological properties, the mode of action and Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) studies of the QdNO derivatives. Furthermore, some cytogenetic and genotoxic effects, classical and more recent method of synthesis, the quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides, and some of their most important reactions, were also reported.
 
Article
1,4-Dihydropyridines were introduced in the last century for the treatment of coronary diseases. Then medicinal chemists decorated the 1,4-DHP nucleus, the most studied scaffold among L-type calcium channel blockers, achieving diverse activities at several receptors, channels and enzymes. We already described (Ioan et al. Curr. Med. Chem. 2011, 18, 4901-4922) the effects of 1,4-DHPs at ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors. In this paper we continue the analysis of the wide range of biological effects exerted by compounds belonging to this chemical class. In particular, focus is given to the ability of 1,4-DHPs to revert multi drug resistance that, after over 20 years of research, continues to be of great interest. We also describe activities on other targets and the action of 1,4-DHPs against several diseases. Finally, we report and review the interaction of 1,4-DHPs with the hERG channel, transporters and phase I metabolizing enzymes. This work is a starting point for further exploration of the 1,4-DHP core activities on targets, off-targets and antitargets.
 
Article
2,3-dihydrobenzo[b][1,4]oxathiine represents a valuable pharmacophoric heterocyclic nucleus known since very long time. Initially, together with some patents reporting the use of these compounds as herbicides or lipogenesis inhibitors, several papers reported their ability as melatonin, histamine and serotonin receptor ligands, alpha-adrenoreceptor blockers as well as non-glycoside sweeteners. This wide range of biological activities has been recently further improved by studies stating their activity as antimycotics, multi-defense antioxidants and estrogen receptor ligands. The last insights regarding the preparation, the biological activity and the structure activity relationship (SAR) of derivatives containing the dihydrobenzoxathiine skeleton will be discussed in this review.
 
Article
A number of organic molecules which contain the 1,5-diaryl-3-oxo-1,4-pentadienyl group, referred to hereafter as the dienone moiety, have antineoplastic properties. Emphasis is made on the attachment of this structural moiety to several molecular scaffolds, namely piperidines, N-acylpiperidines, cycloalkanes and 3,4-dihydro-1H-napthalenes. Many of these compounds are potent cytotoxins having micromolar and nanomolar IC(50) values towards a wide range of neoplastic and transformed cells. On occasions, greater toxicity towards neoplasms than normal cells has been demonstrated. A number of these compounds have in vivo anticancer properties and in general excellent tolerability in rodents is demonstrated. The way in which a number of physicochemical properties such as redox potentials, torsion angles, atomic charges and logP values govern cytotoxic potencies are presented. The importance of the shapes of different compounds as determined by molecular modeling in contributing to antineoplastic properties is outlined. Arguments are presented in favour of designing antineoplastics which have multiple sites of action in contrast to those bioactive molecules which have only one molecular target. A number of compounds which possess the dienone group have different modes of action some of which are chronicled in this review, such as inducing apoptosis, affecting respiration in mitochondria, inhibiting macromolecular biosynthesis and both inhibiting and stimulating certain enzymes. Other important properties of these compounds are discussed including their anti-angiogenic, MDR-revertant and antioxidant properties. It is hoped that this eulogy of the importance of the dienone group will encourage researchers to consider incorporating this structural unit into candidate cytotoxins in the future.
 
Article
Since the pioneering studies of Fleckenstein and co-workers, L-Type Calcium Channel (LTCC) blockers have attracted large interest due to their effectiveness in treating several cardiovascular diseases. Medicinal chemists achieved high potency and tissue selectivity by decorating the 1-4-DHP nucleus, the most studied scaffold among LTCC blockers. Nowadays it is clear that the 1,4-DHP nucleus is a privileged scaffold since, when appropriately substituted, it can selectively modulate diverse receptors, channels and enzymes. Therefore, the 1,4-DHP scaffold could be used to treat various diseases by a single-ligand multi-target approach. In this review, we describe the structure-activity relationships of 1,4-DHPs at ion channels, G-protein coupled receptors, and outline the potential for future therapeutic applications.
 
Antiproliferative Activities Against the MCF-7 Cell Line for the N-9' (23-31) and N-7' (32-41) Purine Compounds 
Conditions Studied for the Reaction Between 22 and Several Pyrimidine Bases 
Comparison of the Products Obtained in the Condensation Reaction Between 22 and 49 with 6-Chloropurine 
Antiproliferative Activities Against Several Cancerous and Normal Cell Lines for 5-FU, 50, 52 and 53 
Reagents and conditions: a) 6-Chloropurine, Ph 3 P, DIAD, anhydrous THF, 45 ºC.  
Article
Having previously reported the synthesis and anticancer activities of cyclic 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) O,N-acetalic compounds, the decision was made to change 5-FU for uracil (U), with the prospect of finding an antiproliferative agent endowed with a new mechanism of action. The use of a reverse transcription-PCR-based assay decreased cyclin D1 mRNA, suggesting that this cyclic U O,N-acetalic compound exerts its regulatory action on cyclin D1 at the level of transcription. Following the ongoing Anticancer Drug Programme we planned the synthesis of compounds bearing a natural pyrimidine base and also, the oxygen atom at position 1 of the seven-membered cycle was replaced by its isosteric sulfur atom, and its oxidized states. Next, the pyrimidine base was substituted for the purine one, with the objective of increasing both the lipophilicity and the structural diversity of the target molecules. If the previously described compounds were not prodrugs, it would not be necessary to maintain the O,N-acetalic characteristic. Therefore, molecules were designed in which both structural entities (such as the benzoheterocyclic ring and the purine base) were linked by a heteroatom-C-C-N bond. A series of (RS)-9-(2,3-dihydro-1,4-benzoxathiin-3-ylmethyl)-9H-purine derivatives was obtained and the anticancer activity for the most active compounds was correlated with their capability to induce apoptosis. Finally, completing a SAR study, a series of (RS)-6-substituted-7- or 9-(1,2,3,5-tetrahydro-4,1-benzoxazepine-3-yl)-7H- or 9H-purines was prepared. The studies by microarray technology showed that the main molecular targets of some of these compounds are pro-apoptotic genes with protein kinase activity such as GP132, ERN1 or RAC1, which prevent the metastatic progression.
 
Article
Cardiomyocytes contain secretory granules in which chromogranins and several types of natriuretic peptides and growth factors are stored in addition to high Ca2+ concentrations. Yet the expression and serum levels of chromogranins and natriuretic peptides have been closely correlated with pathological cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Moreover, in distinction from the physiological cardiac hypertrophy that appears not to involve inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) production as the primary signaling step, accumulating evidence underscores the central role of IP3-induced intracellular Ca2+ releases in cardiomyocytes in the development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Consistent with this observation, chronic treatment of cardiomyocytes with G-protein coupled receptor agonists endothelin-1, angiotensin II, or phenylephrine, agents that are known to produce intracellular IP3, leads to cardiomyopathy and heart failure. In particular, the IP3-induced Ca2+ release inside the nucleus has been suggested to initiate a series of nuclear activities, including 1) Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) mediated protein kinase II (CaMKII) activation, 2) activation of transcription factors such as myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF-2) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and 3) increased production of chromogranins, natriuretic peptides, and growth factors, which eventually lead to pathological hypertrophy. Although secretory granules function as the major IP3-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ store and the IP3-mediated Ca2+ release from secretory granules in cardiomyocytes contributes to secretion of chromogranins and natriuretic peptides, the direct cause of pathological hypertrophy appears to be due to the IP3-induced Ca2+ release from the small nucleoplasmic IP3-sensitive Ca2+ store vesicles, thereby initiating the Ca2+-activated nuclear activities that lead to formation of more secretory granules, pathologic enlargement of cardiomyocytes, and heart failure.
 
Article
The development of the coxib family has represented a stimulating approach in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, and for the management of acute pains, in relation to the well-known traditional Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (t-NSAIDs). Prompted by the pursuit for new cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, endowed with fine tuned selectivity and high potency, in the past years we have identified novel classes of ether, ester and acid molecules characterized by the 1,5-diarylpyrrole scaffold as potentially powerful anti-inflammatory molecules (12-66). All compounds proved to exert an in vitro inhibition profile as good as that shown by reference compounds. Compounds bearing a p-methylsulfonylphenyl substituent at C5 displayed the best issues. In particular, ester derivatives proved to perform the best in vitro profile in terms of selectivity and activity toward COX-2. The cell-based assay data showed that an increase of hindrance at the C3 side chain of compounds could translate to activity enhancement. The human whole blood (HWB) test let to highlight that submitted compounds displayed 5-10 fold higher selectivity for COX-2 vs COX-1 which should translate clinically to an acceptable gastrointestinal safety and mitigate the cardiovascular effects highlighted by highly selective COX-2 inhibitors. Finally, to assess in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity three different tests (rat paw pressure, rat paw oedema and abdominal constriction) were performed. Results showed good in vivo anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. The issues gained with these classes of compounds represent, nowadays, a potent stimulus for a further enlargement of the NSAIDs family. In this review we describe the results obtained by our research group on this topic.
 
Article
K(V)10.1 has recently become generally accepted as a promising cancer target, as it is ectopically expressed in the majority of solid tumors. Due to its cell-surface accessibility, K(V)10.1 has a strong potential for tumor treatment and diagnosis. Given that its mode of action is likely independent of conventional cancer pathways such as tyrosine kinases, K(V)10.1 opens a novel window for treating cancer. In this review we will give an overview of the current status of data linking K(V)10.1 to cancer, and propose techniques that could exploit K(V)10.1's properties for the management of cancer.
 
Article
S-100 protein, described initially by Moore, constitutes a large family of at least 20 proteins with calcium binding ability. It is found as homo- or hetero-dimers of two different subunits (A and B). Types S-100AB and S-100BB are described as S-100B protein and are shown to be highly specific for nervous tissue. It is present in the cytosol of glial and Schwann cells, and also in adipocytes and chondrocytes, although in very low concentrations in the latter two. The role of protein S-100B is not yet fully understood. It is suggested that it has intracellular and extracellular neurotropic as well as neurotoxic function. At nanomolar levels, S-100B stimulates neurite outgrowth and enhances survival of neurons. However, at micromolar levels it stimulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines and induces apoptosis. Recently, serum S-100B protein has been proved to be an attractive surrogate marker of primary severe brain injury and secondary insults. It can be measured in the arterial and venous serum; it is not affected by haemolysis and remains stable for several hours without the need for immediate analysis. Its short half-life makes measurements crucial in the emergency and intensive care settings. This review summarises published findings on S-100B regarding its role as a serum biochemical marker of brain injury, i.e., after severe, moderate or mild neuro-trauma, subarachnoid haemorrhage, thrombo-embolic stroke, cerebral ischaemia and brain tumours, as well as extracranial trauma, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.
 
Article
The assessment of S-100B in acute neurological disorders such as global hypoxia, ischaemic or haemorrhagic stroke and traumatic brain injury reflects severity of symptoms and outcome. However, the temporal profile of S-100B release depends on topography, intensity and pathophysiology of the damage e.g. immediate release after traumatic brain injury following the acute destruction of neuronal tissue or delayed release after ischaemic stroke in which gradual breakdown of the blood-brain barrier plays a crucial role. In chronic brain diseases, knowledge about the clinical value of quantification of S-100B is scarce and further evaluations are needed. This review considers both conditions for S-100B measurement and illustrates advantages and limitations in comparison with clinical and neuroimaging data.
 
Article
Beta-endorphin (beta-EP) is generally classified as a mu and delta opioid receptor agonist but is also an agonist of the epsilon opioid receptor. Although several selective agonists and antagonists for mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors are known, selective epsilon receptor agonists or antagonists have not been reported for some time. Recently, we designed and synthesized the selective epsilon receptor agonist, 17-(cyclopropylmethyl)-4,5alpha-epoxy-3,6beta-dihydroxy-6,14-endoethenomorphinan-7alpha-[N-methyl-N-phenethyl]carboxamide (TAN-821), and the selective epsilon receptor antagonist, 17-(cyclopropylmethyl)-4,5alpha-epoxy-6beta,21-epoxymethano-3-hydroxy-6,14-endoe-thenomorphinan-7alpha-(N-phenethyl)carboxamide (TAN-1014). TAN-821 stimulated binding of the non-hydrolyzable guanosine 5'-triphosphate analogue, guanosine 5'-(gamma-thio)-triphosphate (GTPgammaS), to the mouse pons/medulla membrane via activation of the epsilon receptor. Moreover, TAN-821 given intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) produced marked, long-lasting, and dose-dependent antinociception in tail-flick and hot-plate tests. This antinociception induced by i.c.v. administered TAN-821 was blocked by i.c.v. pretreatment with the epsilon opioid receptor partial agonist beta-EP (1-27), but not the mu opioid receptor antagonist beta-FNA, the delta opioid receptor antagonist NTI, or the kappa opioid receptor antagonist nor-BNI. On the other hand, i.c.v. injection of TAN-1014 alone produced no antinociception, and i.c.v. pretreatment with TAN-1014 attenuated the antinociception induced by i.c.v beta-EP. These results suggest that TAN-821 and TAN-1014 are respectively a selective epsilon receptor agonist and antagonist and that they may be useful tools for investigating the pharmacological properties of the epsilon opioid receptor.
 
Article
Glucocorticoids play an essential role in the regulation of multiple physiological processes, including energy metabolism, maintenance of blood pressure and stress responses, as well as cognitive functions. On a tissue-specific level, glucocorticoid action is controlled by 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes. The type 1 enzyme (11beta-HSD1) is a NADP(H)-dependent bidirectional enzyme in vitro and reduces cortisone to active cortisol in vivo. 11beta-HSD1 is expressed in many tissues including the liver, adipose and skeletal muscles. Chronically elevated local glucocorticoid action as a result of increased 11beta-HSD1 activity has been associated with the metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Recent studies indicate that the inhibition of 11beta-HSD1 mitigates the adverse effects of excessive glucocorticoid levels on metabolic parameters and provides promising opportunities for the development of therapeutic interventions. This review discusses recently disclosed 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors and their potential for the treatment of metabolic disorders.
 
Article
Glucocorticoids (GC) play a fundamental role in controlling physiologic homeostasis and, when present in excess, can have a detrimental impact on glucose control, blood pressure and lipid levels. The oxidoreductase 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) mainly catalyzes the intracellular regeneration of active GCs (cortisol, corticosterone) from inert inactive 11-keto forms (cortisone) in liver, adipose tissue and brain, amplifying local GC action. Multiple lines of evidence have indicated that 11beta-HSD1-mediated intracellular cortisol production may have a pathogenic role in type 2 diabetes and its co-morbidities. The 11beta-HSD1 becomes a novel target for anti-type 2 diabetes drug developments, and inhibition of 11beta-HSD1 offers a potential therapy to attenuate the type 2 diabetes. In the past several years, a lot of 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors have been designed, synthesized, screened and discovered. Lowering intracellular glucocorticoid concentrations through administration of small molecule 11beta-HSD1 selective inhibitors, significantly attenuates the signs and symptoms of disease in preclinical animal models and clinical trials of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Among published inhibitors, DIO-902 from DiObex Inc. and INCB13739 from Incyte Inc. are now being investigated under Phase 2B clinical trials. However, the selectivity of current selective 11beta-HSD1 inhibitors has been just focused on the difference between 11beta-HSD1 and 11beta-HSD2. They inhibit the bi-directional activities of 11beta-HSD1, both 11beta-HSD1 reductase (major) and oxidase (minor). In our lab, we have recently found novel chemicals that not only inhibit 11beta-HSD1 reductase activity but also increase its oxidase activity without inhibition against 11beta-HSD2. We propose that this dual modulation on 11beta-HSD1 may provide a better therapeutic strategy for type 2 diabetes.
 
Synthesis of [ 11 C]organo-isocyanates by reaction of N-sulfinylamines (A) or N,N'-substituted ureas (B) with [ 11 C]COCl2. 
Radiosynthesis of [ 11 C]Zofenoprilat. 
Radiosynthesis of [ 11 C]Benazoline.
Radiosynthesis of [ 11 C] L-[-11 C]-DOPA using a Ni-complex as chiral inductor.
Article
Positron Emission Tomography has become a powerful scientific and clinical tool probing biochemical processes in the human body. Their clinical applications have proven to be vital in the evaluation and diagnosis of diseases. This is due, in large part, to advances in instrumentation and synthetic chemistry. Carbon-11 is a valuable radionuclide in PET as it virtually permits the synthesis of radiolabelled versions of any compound of interest. The syntheses with carbon-11 present several features: limited number of labelled precursors, sub-micromolar amounts of the starting materials, and a need for the introduction of the radioisotope as late as possible in the synthesis. All of these reasons have restricted complex radiosyntheses. The short half-life of carbon-11 (20.4 min) requires the rapid preparation and purification of carbon-11 labelled molecules. Those have to be carried out immediately before use from cyclotron produced precursors ([11C]CO2, [11C]CO, [11C]CH4) or reagents rapidly prepared from them ([11C]CH3I, [11C]COCl2, [11C]HCN). As a consequence carbon-11 has been underused compared to fluorine-18. However, because of the increasing molecular complexity and diversity of biologically active compounds, there is a need for new methodologies giving access in short time and high yield to radioactive (11)C-probes. The aim of this review is to emphasize the methodologies used in this field and to give a comprehensive overview of the numerous advances, which occurred over the past decade. In addition, for each labelling technique or reaction reported, a special attention has been brought to classify the applications in function of the targeted medical domain.
 
Article
Fetal growth is a complex process depending on the genetics of the fetus, the availability of nutrients to the fetus, maternal nutrition and various growth factors and hormones of maternal, fetal and placental origin. The IGF system, and more particularly IGF2, is one of the most important endocrine and paracrine growth systems regulating fetal and placental growth (reviewed in [1]). The IGF2 gene is regulated by genomic imprinting and is expressed only from the paternally-inherited allele in most tissues during fetal development and after birth. Imprinted genes are tightly regulated and are therefore particularly susceptible to changes, including environmental and nutritional changes. Dysregulation of a cluster of imprinted genes, including the IGF2 gene within the 11p15 region, results in two fetal growth disorders (Silver-Russell and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndromes) with opposite growth phenotypes. Those two syndromes are model imprinting disorders to decipher the regulation of genomic imprinting.
 
Comparison Between Nucleic Acid-Analog and Small Molecule Strategies to Regulate miRNA Function
miR-122 Specific Regulation by Novel Probes Shows Promising Therapeutic Potential
Adapted from “FEBS Letters, 584, Bung, C.; Bochkaeva, Z.; Terenin, I.; Zinovkin, R.; Shatsky, I. N.; Niepmann, Influence of the hepatitis C virus 3'- untranslated region on IRES-dependent and cap-dependent translation initiation, 837-842, 2010, with permission from Elsevier” 
Adapted from “Lanford, R. E.; Hildebrandt-Eriksen, E. S.; Petri, A.; Persson, R.; Lindow, M.; Munk, M. E.; Kauppinen, S.; Orum, H. Therapeutic Silencing of MicroRNA-122 in Primates with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection. Science, 2010, 327, 198-201. Reprinted with permission from AAAS." 
Article
The most abundant microRNA (miRNA) in the liver, miR-122, is regulated by specific, liver-enriched transcription factors and is responsible for proper proliferation and differentiation of hepatocytes and for the regulation of lipid and cholesterol metabolisms. miR-122 is also involved in several hepatic disorders, as down-regulation of miR-122 is often associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and miR-122 is a required component for the replication and proliferation of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Various probes have been developed to promote a better understanding of the involvement of miR-122 in liver diseases, including modified antisense agents and small molecule inhibitors. These agents, capable of specifically modifying miR-122 activity, provide excellent tools to investigate the function and regulation of miR-122 and offer potential new lead compounds for drug discovery. Especially small molecule modifiers possess a good drug-like profile and display numerous advantages over nucleotide analogs, as discussed in this review.
 
Inhibitory Effects (IC 50 (µ µ µ µM)) of N-Substituted Valienamine, Validamine and Valiolamine Derivatives on Porcine Maltase and Sucrase 
Article
The number of people with diabetes is expected to rise from the current estimated 150 million to 220 million in 2010 and 300 million in 2025, and 90% is Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Voglibose, one of the most important alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, delays the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, thereby inhibiting postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, and is the aid in the treatment of diabetes. In this paper, properties and the preparation of voglibose are reviewed.
 
The List of IL-13 Antagonists 
Schematic model of the signal pathways of IL-13. IL-13 transduces its signals via the IL-13 receptor composed of the IL-13Rα1 chain and the IL-4Rα chain, as well as the IL-13Rα2 chain.  
Single nucleotide polymorphisms on the IL13 gene and their correlation with allergic diseases. Single nucleotide polymorphisms on the IL13 gene are depicted. Boxes show the phenotypes that have been reported to be correlated with these polymorphisms.  
Schematic model of the molecular mechanism of subepithelial fibrosis in bronchial asthma by IL-13. IL-13 induces subepithelial fibrosis of bronchial asthma via both TGF-β–dependent and –independent pathways.  
Article
The incidence of allergic diseases has dramatically increased in recent decades, especially in urban and industrialized areas. It is important socially as well as medically to establish more useful strategies to overcome allergic disorders. Bronchial asthma is a complex disease characterized by airway inflammation involving a Th2-cytokine, interleukin (IL)-13. A substantial body of evidence has accumulated pointing to the pivotal role of IL-13 in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma, based on mainly analyses of mouse models. In addition to such analyses, the high expression of IL-13 in lesions and genetic association of several genes coding IL-13 signaling molecules with bronchial asthma have raised the possibility that IL-13 plays a pivotal role in the onset or exacerbation of human bronchial asthma. Therefore, IL-13 and its signal pathway are thought to be promising targets to develop a therapeutic agent for bronchial asthma. In this article, we describe how IL-13 is involved in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma and then how therapeutic agents to block IL-13 signals are developed for bronchial asthma.
 
Article
Cutaneous wound healing is a complex process involving interactions of various cell types. Skin, in addition to certain other organs, is dependent on estrogen; and estrogen-deficiency is associated with impaired wound healing. Wound healing involves the action of collagenolytic matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We investigated the expression and localization of collagenolytic MMPs -8 and -13 by collagenase activity assay, Western immunoblot analysis, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical staining as well as type I collagen by hydroxyproline content analysis and immunohistochemical staining in cutaneous wounds from aged Sham and ovarioectomized (OVX) rats. After wounding, OVX rats were treated with either placebo, chemically modified tetracycline-8 (CMT-8) or estrogen. We found that MMP-8 and MMP-13 mRNA were expressed in wound epithelium of all samples examined as evidenced by in situ hybridization. Type I collagen, which was abundant in all groups examined, was decreased in OVX rats, but was increased by both CMT-8 and estrogen treatments to the level of Sham group. Hydroxyproline analysis revealed similar results. Western blot data showed that all forms of MMP-8 and MMP-13 were clearly reduced in the CMT-8 treated group compared to OVX. Analysis of collagenolytic activity confirmed the decreased collagenolysis in skin wound extracts from CMT-treated rats when compared with skin wound extracts from OVX rats. Our results show for the first time that MMP-8 mRNA and protein are expressed in rat wound epithelium. We further show that CMT-8 and estrogen have a beneficial effect on skin wound healing in OVX rats by increasing the collagen content and reducing the MMP-mediated collagenolysis.
 
Article
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the leading cause of joint pain and disability in middle-aged and elderly patients, and is characterized by progressive loss of articular cartilage that eventually leads to a complex process involving degradation of various components of the cartilage matrix, chief among them are the cartilage-specific type II collagen (CII) and aggrecan. While the loss of aggrecan is thought to be an early and reversible process, degradation of CII is considered to be irreversible and a key step in the loss of structural and functional integrity of cartilage. Among the various matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), MMP-13 is specifically expressed in the cartilage of human OA patients and is not present in normal adult cartilage. It is the major collagenase in OA cartilage and has the highest activity against CII. However, the clinical utility of broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors developed for treatment of OA has been restricted by dose- and duration-dependent musculoskeletal side effects in humans. Consequently, selectively inhibiting the MMP-13 would seem to be an attractive therapeutic objective. This review mainly focuses on selective MMP-13 inhibitors development in terms of OA since the late 90s, in terms of synthetic compounds of low molecular mass incorporating specific zinc-binding groups, non-zinc-binding groups. In addition, dual inhibitors of MMP-13 and aggrecanase are also reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on logistic concerns for lead compound search as well as the structure-activity relationship (SAR) in this field. Through these methods, new hope is emerging for the treatment of OA through selective inhibition of MMP-13.
 
Article
Diabetes Mellitus is an increasing concern, worldwide in terms of health. Long-term diabetes often leads to secondary diseases such as cataract, retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular diseases. The enzyme aldose reductase (AR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of some of these diseases and inhibitors of AR (ARIs) were effective in preventing some of the diabetic complications in animal models. However, clinical trials of these drugs were disappointing, casting doubt on the role of AR in these diseases. This review focuses on the recent studies using transgenic and gene knockout mice to analyze the role of AR in diabetic cataract and neuropathy. These studies clearly demonstrated that AR is crucial to the pathogenesis of these diseases, and that the mechanism leading to diabetic cataract may be different from that which causes diabetic neuropathy. A number of studies showed that there is a correlation between AR gene markers and susceptibility to develop complications among diabetic patients, suggesting that AR is also involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications in human. Together, these genetic studies strongly indicate that AR is an important target for the prevention of diabetic complications in human. This may provide impetus to develop more effective ARIs and to conduct better-designed clinical trials for ARIs in the prevention and treatment of these diseases.
 
Mechanistic path on how forced exercise, cholinergic neurons, glial cells, endogenous NGF/ p75 NTR and cytokines could interplay to help enhance the process of learning/ memory and neuroprotection in rats.  
Article
Exercise is a well-recognized facet of modern living; however, the threat of sedentary lifestyle is ever increasing with the arrival of the technological period. Although the beneficial effects of exercise to the health and function of the brain have been accepted by the scientific and medical community, much remains to be achieved to understand its mechanisms of action. With the advent of modern investigative tools, several more key molecular and cellular players have been implicated in the above process. Such include the family of neurotrophins (e.g. NGF and BDNF) and their receptors, some pro-inflammatory cytokines (L-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma), microglia and astrocytes, and the cholinergic neuronal cells in the forebrain. While experiments based on the voluntary exercise paradigm has been the preferred approach to studying the brain, less is known about the forced paradigm. We will discuss in this review how molecular players may feature differently in the context of exercise and more importantly how their actions converged to impact the structure, and function (learning and memory) of the CNS.
 
Antinociceptive Versus Constipative Activitiy of Oxymorphone Analogues. 
SAR Study on 14-Phenylpropoxy Substituted Derivatives of Cyprodime. 
Article
Morphine and other opioid morphinans produce analgesia primarily through μ opioid receptors (MORs), which mediate beneficial but also non-beneficial actions. There is a continued search for efficacious opioid analgesics with reduced complications. The cornerstone in the development of 14-alkoxymorphinans as novel analgesic drugs was the synthesis of the highly potent MOR agonist 14-O-methyloxymorphone. This opioid showed high antinociceptive potency but also the adverse effects associated with morphine type compounds. Further developments represent the introduction of a methyl and benzyl group at position 5 of 14-O-methyloxymorphone leading to the strong opioid analgesics 14-methoxymetopon and its 5-benzyl analogue, which exhibited less pronounced side effects than morphine although interacting selectively with MORs. Introduction of arylalkyl substituents such as phenylpropoxy in position 14 led to a series of extremely potent antinociceptive agents with enhanced affinities at all three opioid receptor types. During the past years, medicinal chemistry and opioid research focused increasingly on exploring the therapeutic potential of peripheral opioid receptors by peripheralization of opioids in order to minimize the occurrence of centrally-mediated side effects. Strategies to reduce penetration to the central nervous system (CNS) include chemical modifications that increase hydrophilicity. Zwitterionic 6-amino acid conjugates of 14-Oalkyloxymorphones were developed in an effort to obtain opioid agonists that have limited access to the CNS. These compounds show high antinociceptive potency by interacting with peripheral MORs. Opioid drugs with peripheral site of action represent an important target for the treatment of severe and chronic pain without the adverse actions of centrally acting opioids.
 
Article
Retinoids exert pleiotropic effects in various biological processes by binding to their nuclear receptors, the retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs), to regulate gene transcription. Apo-RARs and RXRs repress target gene expression by recruiting corepressors to the target DNA, triggering chromatin condensation by the action of histone deacetylases present in the corepressor complexes. In contrast, holo-RARs and RXRs recruit coactivators, some known to encode histone acetyl transferases, which trigger histone hyperacetylation, chromatin decondensation, and ultimately gene activation. Receptor interacting protein 140 (RIP140) represents a novel RAR/RXR coregulator that suppresses vitamin A-regulated gene expression in a retinoid- dependent manner. This review addresses the action of different retinoid ligands on gene expression, the molecular mechanisms underlying RAR/RXR-mediated gene regulation, and the unique properties of RIP140 as a novel retinoid hormone-dependent negative coregulator for RAR- and RXR-mediated gene regulation.
 
Article
A series of benzylamino inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) have been designed based on a working hypothesis of the enzyme s active site. These compounds were tested for their inhibitory activities on AChE and potent inhibitors were further evaluated in terms of central selectivity. These studies led to a discovery of 3-[1-(phenylmethyl)-4-piperidinyl]-1-(2,3,4, 5-tetrahydro-1H-1-benzazepin-8-yl)-1-propanone fumarate (TAK-147). Pharmacokinetic study has shown that the compound has high central selectivity, as demonstrated by rapid elimination from plasma and long-term existence in the brain. As a consequence, TAK-147 ameliorates impairments of learning and memory in various animal models without producing peripheral side effects. TAK-147 also activates the monoaminergic systems and energy metabolism. Furthermore, TAK-147 was revealed to have NGF-like neurotrophic activity on central cholinergic neurons at concentrations where it inhibits AChE activity. Therefore, TAK-147 is expected not only to ameliorate the clinical symptoms in Alzheimer s disease via AChE inhibition but to prevent or slow the progression of the disease via its neurotrophic action. TAK-147 is now under clinical trial as a therapeutic drug for Alzheimer s disease. This article reviews design and structure-activity relationships of TAK-147 and related compounds. Preclinical pharmacology of TAK-147 is also summarized.
 
Article
Non-toxic doses of tetrakis-mu-3,5-diisopropylsalicylatodicopper(II) [Cu(II)2(3,5-DIPS)4] have been found to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-ulcer, anti-colitis, anti-convulsant, anti-cancer, anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-diabetic activities and, in addition, facilitates recovery from lethal irradiation and ischemia-reperfusion injuries. The goal of this research was to determine the time-dependent tissue distribution and persistence of 67Cu and the 14C labeled salicylate ligand, carboxy-14C-3, 5-diisopropylsalicylate [3,5-DIP(carboxy-14C)S], following subcutaneous administration of a 50 micromole per kilogram of body mass dose of double labeled tetrakis-mu-3,5-diisopropyl[carboxy-14C]salicylatodiaquo [67Cu]dicopper(II) 67Cu(II)4[3,5-DIP(carboxy-14C)S]4. This compound was administered to nine groups of six 20 gram female C57BL/6 mice and blood, liver, kidney, intestine, lung, thymus, femur, muscle, spleen, and brain tissues removed and analyzed for 67Cu and 14C at 0.5, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after treatment. These data were then analyzed using a pharmacokinetic model simulation program. Both 67Cu and 14C were found in all tissues as well as urine and feces at 0.5 hour after administration. As anticipated, 67Cu entered the liver storage pool; it was conserved by the kidneys, and subsequently underwent release in maintaining 67Cu levels in all other tissues. While the presence of 67Cu correlated with the presence of the salicylate ligand, 3,5-DIP (carboxy-14C)S, early in the course of this experiment, the ligand was lost via ligand exchange and could not be measured in blood, kidney, intestine, lung, thymus, spleen, and brain after 24 hours following administration. However, 3,5-DIP(carboxy-14C)S persisted in liver, femur, and muscle throughout the 5-day period of study. It is suggested that marked lipophilicity accounts for its very rapid distribution to all tissues wherein it undergoes ligand exchange as 67Cu is incorporated into Cu-dependent enzymes and proteins and persists in tissues based upon physiological demand for Cu in meeting normal biochemical requirements.
 
Article
Stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157 (GEPPPGKPADDAGLV, M.W. 1419) may be the new drug stable in human gastric juice, effective both in the upper and lower GI tract, and free of side effects. BPC 157, in addition to an antiulcer effect efficient in therapy of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (PL 14736) so far only tested in clinical phase II, has a very safe profile, and exhibited a particular wound healing effect. It also has shown to interact with the NO-system, providing endothelium protection and angiogenic effect, even in severely impaired conditions (i.e., it stimulated expression of early growth response 1 gene responsible for cytokine and growth factor generation and early extracellular matrix (collagen) formation (but also its repressor nerve growth factor 1-A binding protein-2)), important to counteract severe complications of advanced and poorly controlled IBD. Hopefully, the lessons from animal studies, particularly advanced intestinal anastomosis healing, reversed short bowel syndrome and fistula healing indicate BPC 157's high significance in further IBD therapy. Also, this supportive evidence (i.e., no toxic effect, limit test negative, LD1 not achieved, no side effect in trials) may counteract the problems commonly exercised in the use of peptidergic agents, particularly those used on a long-term basis.
 
Article
The Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NF-kappaB) is a lymphoid-specific transcription factor, which is sequestered in the cytoplasm by the protein IkappaB. NF-kappaB plays a major role in the regulation of HIV-1 gene expression. Upon activation, NF-kappaB is released from IkappaB, moves to the nucleus, and binds to its sites on the HIV long terminal repeat to start transcription of integrated HIV genome. The present review focuses on the NF-kappaB as a potential target for the development of chemotherapy against HIV-1. Beginning from the viral-binding to reverse transcription, integration, and gene expression, to the virion maturation, the life cycle of HIV presents drug-targets at all the stages. As a result, many drugs have been developed and have entered clinical trials. Some of the most important of these are reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors, which have been used mostly in clinical studies in the form of combined therapy. But, this combined therapy has presented the problem of resistance, due to mutations in the virus. However, targeting NF-kappaB for the suppression of virus does not present the problem of resistance, as NF-kappaB is a normal part of the human T-4 cell, and is not subject to mutations, as is the virus. An overview of the NF-kappaB system and its role in HIV-1 is presented, followed by a critical review of its current and potential synthetic inhibitors. The drugs studied against NF-kappaB fall mainly into three categories: (1) Antioxidants, against oxidative stress conditions, which aid in NF-kappaB activation, (2) IkappaB phosphorylation and degradation inhibitors (the phosphorylation and degradation of IkappaB is necessary to make NF-kappaB free and move to the nucleus), and (3) NF-kappaB DNA binding inhibitors. The antioxidants include N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), alpha-Lipoic acid, glutathione monoester, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate, and tepoxalin, of which NAC is the best studied. The IkappaB phosphorylation and degradation inhibitors, which have been studied in the context of HIV-1 include the salicylates (sodium salicylate, and acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin)). Finally, the NF-kappaB DNA binding inhibitors, which have received attention only recently, are reviewed. These include the most potential, aurine tricarboxylic acid (ATA), a chelating agent, which has been found to inhibit NF-kappaB DNA binding at a low concentration of 30 micro M. The probable mechanism of action of these drugs is discussed alongwith relevant suggestions and conclusions.
 
Article
The cellular electrophysiologic effect of GYKI 16638, a new antiarrhythmic compound was studied and compared with that of sotalol and mexiletine in undiseased human right ventricular muscle preparation by applying the conventional microelectrode technique. GYKI 16638 (5 microM), at stimulation cycle length of 1000 ms, lengthened action potential duration (APD(90)) from 338.9 +/- 28.6 ms to 385.4 +/- 24 ms (n = 9, p > 0.05). This APD lengthening effect, unlike that of sotalol (30 microM), was rate-independent. GYKI 16638, contrary to sotalol and like mexiletine (10 microM), exerted a use-dependent depression of the maximal rate of depolarization (V(max)) which amounted to 36.4 +/- 11.7% at cycle length of 400 ms (n = 5, p < 0.05) and was characterised with an offset kinetical time constant of 298.6 +/- 70.2 ms. It was concluded that GYKI 16638 in human ventricular muscle shows combined Class IB and Class III antiarrhythmic properties, resembling the electrophysiological manifestation seen after chronic amiodarone treatment.
 
Article
In many different species, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) constitutes a major checkpoint of anaerobic glycolysis, by catalyzing the reduction of pyruvate into lactate. This enzyme has recently received a great deal of attention since it may constitute a valid therapeutic target for diseases so different as malaria and cancer. In fact, the isoform expressed by Plasmodium falciparum (pfLDH) is a key enzyme for energy generation of malarial parasites. These species mostly depend on anaerobic glycolysis for energy production, since they lack a citric acid cycle for ATP formation. Therefore, inhibitors of pfLDH would potentially cause mortality of P. falciparum and, to this purpose, several small organic molecules have been recently designed and developed with the aim of blocking this new potential antimalarial chemotherapeutic target. Moreover, most invasive tumour phenotypes show a metabolic switch (Warburg effect) from oxidative phosphorylation to an increased anaerobic glycolysis, by promoting an upregulation of the human isoform-5 of lactate dehydrogenase (hLDH-5 or LDH-A), which is normally present in muscles and in the liver. Hence, inhibition of hLDH-5 may constitute an efficient way to interfere with tumour growth and invasiveness. This review provides an overview of the LDH inhibitors that have been developed up to now, an analysis of their possible isoform-selectivity, and their therapeutic potentials.
 
Article
The long quest for a missing mechanistic rationale accounting for the correlation between plasma cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been focused on various possible modifications of low density lipoprotein (LDL), turning this physiological cholesterol carrier into a damaging agent able to trigger atherogenesis and later the onset of the disease. In addition to the debated oxidized LDL (oxLDL), a modified LDL with a misfolded apoprotein B-100, called electronegative LDL (-) for its negative charge due to an increased amount of free fatty acids, is commonly present in plasma. LDL(-) is generated by the action of secretory calcium dependent phospholipase A2 LDL(-) primes LDL aggregation and amyloid formation according to mechanisms very similar to those observed in other misfolding diseases. The LDL particle aggregates recall the structure and size of the subendothelial lipid droplets described in early atherogenesisand elicit a powerful inflammatory response. The use of 17-betaestradiol (E2) confirmed that the suggested atherogenicity of LDL (-) is mostly dependent on the misfolded character of itsapoprotein. Indeed, E2 binding, to the apoprotein of native LDL, through a specific and saturable receptor inhibits misfolding phenomenon despite an unaffected production of LDL (-) by phospholipase A2, ultimately preventing LDL aggregation. The apoprotein misfolding in LDL(-) emerges as possible significant trigger mechanism of atherogenesis. Potential implications for the development of novel therapeutic approaches might be hypothesized in perspective. The existing evidence is discussed and reported in this review.
 
Article
The 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (17beta-HSDs) play an important role in the regulation of steroid hormones, such as estrogens and androgens, by catalysing the reduction of 17-ketosteroids or the oxidation of 17beta-hydroxysteroids using NAD(P)H or NAD(P)(+) as cofactor. The enzyme activities associated with the different 17beta-HSD isoforms are widespread in human tissues, not only in classic steroidogenic tissues, such as the testis, ovary, and placenta, but also in a large series of peripheral intracrine tissues. In the nineties, several new types of 17beta-HSD were reported, indicating that a fine regulation is carried out. More importantly, each type of 17beta-HSD has a selective substrate affinity, directional (reductive or oxidative) activity in intact cells, and a particular tissue distribution. These findings are important for understanding the mode of action of the 17beta-HSD family. From a therapeutic point of view, this means that selectivity of drug action could be achieved by targeting a particular 17beta-HSD isozyme. Consequently, each study that leads to better knowledge of the inhibition of 17beta-HSDs deserves attention from scientists working in this and related fields. Being involved in the last step of the biosynthesis of sex steroids from cholesterol, the 17beta-HSD family constitutes an interesting target for controlling the concentration of estrogens and androgens. Thus, inhibitors of 17beta-HSDs are useful tools to elucidate the role of these enzymes in particular biological systems or for a therapeutic purpose, especially to block the formation of active hydroxysteroids that stimulate estrogeno-sensitive pathologies (breast, ovarian, and endometrium cancers) and androgeno-sensitive pathologies (prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, acne, hirsutism, etc). Few review articles have however focussed on 17beta-HSD inhibitors although this family of steroidogenic enzymes includes interesting therapeutic targets for the control of several diseases. Furthermore, inhibitors of 17beta-HSDs constitute a growing field in biomedical research and there is a need for an exhaustive review on this topic. In addition to giving an up-to-date description of inhibitors of all 17beta-HSD isoforms (types 1-8), the present review will also address, when possible, the isoform selectivity and residual estrogenic or androgenic activity often associated with steroidal inhibitors.
 
Article
T lymphocytes bearing the gammadelta T cell receptor are known to play an important role in the first-line defense against viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens. Two main subsets of gammadelta T cells are known, showing distinct functional behaviour: Vdelta2 T lymphocytes, circulating in the peripheral blood, are involved in the response to mycobacterial infections and certain viruses, including coxsakie virus B3 and herpes simplex virus type 2. Vdelta1 T cells are resident in the mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue and are reported to participate in the immunity against Listeria monocytogenes and cytomegalovirus. Vdelta2 T lymphocytes recognize non-peptidic phosphorylated metabolites of isoprenoid biosynthesis, expressed by mycobacteria, while Vdelta1 T cells mainly interact with MHC-related antigens (MIC-A and MIC-B) and with receptors, called UL-16 binding proteins, for the UL-16 protein produced by cytomegalovirus-infected cells. Both Vdelta1 and Vdelta2 T cells can produce interferon-gamma in response to MIC-A(+) cells or non-peptide antigens, respectively. Moreover, production of TNF-alpha by human Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cells has been demonstrated in response to bacterial products and non-peptidic molecules. Recently, it has been reported that gammadelta T lymphocytes can produce IL-17 during Escherichia coli or Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections in mice. This is of interest as IL-17 is emerging as a cytokine crucial in the control of intracellular pathogens and fungi. In this review, we will discuss the possible role of IL-17 producing gammadelta T cells in the regulation of acute and chronic inflammation, focusing on the different response of the two subsets to mycobacterial, viral or fungal antigens.
 
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The cytochrome P450 monooxygenase enzyme system is involved in the synthesis and/or degradation of a large number of endogenous compounds and in the biotransformation of drugs and other xenobiotics. 17alpha-Hydroxylase-C17,20-lyase (P450 17, CYP 17) is the key enzyme of the androgen biosynthesis. As androgens have been implicated in the development and progression of prostate cancer, this enzyme has become a promising therapeutic target. This paper will review the possible approaches dealing with P450 17 inhibition as a chemotherapeutic strategy in the struggle against prostate cancer.
 
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Carcinogenesis of hormone-related cancers involves hormone-stimulated cell proliferation, which increases the number of cell divisions and the opportunity for random genetic errors. In target tissues, steroid hormones are interconverted between their potent, high affinity forms for their respective receptors and their inactive, low affinity forms. One group of enzymes responsible for these interconversions are the hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases, which regulate ligand access to steroid receptors and thus act at a pre-receptor level. As part of this group, the 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases catalyze either oxidation of hydroxyl groups or reduction of keto groups at steroid position C17. The thoroughly characterized 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 activates the less active estrone to estradiol, a potent ligand for estrogen receptors. This isoform is expressed in gonads, where it affects circulating levels of estradiol, and in peripheral tissue, where it regulates ligand occupancy of estrogen receptors. Inhibitors of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 are thus highly interesting potential therapeutic agents for the control of estrogen-dependent diseases such as endometriosis, as well as breast and ovarian cancers. Here, we present the review on the recent development of inhibitors of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 published and patented since the previous review of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibitors of Poirier (Curr. Med. Chem., 2003, 10, 453). These inhibitors are divided into two separate groups according to their chemical structures: steroidal and non-steroidal 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibitors. Their estrogenic/ proliferative activities and selectivities over other 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases that are involved in local regulation of estrogen action (types 2, 7 and 12) are also presented.
 
Top-cited authors
Marian Valko
  • Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava
Kalemba Danuta
  • Lodz University of Technology
Alina Kunicka-Styczyńska
  • Lodz University of Technology
Fernanda Borges
  • University of Porto
Fernanda M F Roleira
  • University of Coimbra