[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many oncogenic signals originate from abnormal protein-protein interactions that are potential targets for small molecule inhibitors. However, the therapeutic disruption of these interactions has proved elusive. We report here that the naturally-occurring triterpenoid celastrol is an inhibitor of the c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein, which is over-expressed in many human cancers. Most Myc inhibitors prevent the association between Myc and its obligate heterodimerization partner Max via their respective bHLH-ZIP domains. In contrast, we show that celastrol binds to and alters the quaternary structure of the pre-formed dimer and abrogates its DNA binding. Celastrol contains a reactive quinone methide group that promiscuously forms Michael adducts with numerous target proteins and other free sulfhydryl-containing molecules. Interestingly, triterpenoid derivatives lacking the quinone methide showed enhanced specificity and potency against Myc. As with other Myc inhibitors, these analogs rapidly reduced the abundance of Myc protein and provoked a global energy crisis marked by ATP depletion, neutral lipid accumulation, AMP-activated protein kinase activation, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. They also inhibited the proliferation of numerous established human cancer cell lines as well as primary myeloma explants that were otherwise resistant to JQ1, a potent indirect Myc inhibitor. N-Myc amplified neuroblastoma cells showed similar responses and, in additional, underwent neuronal differentiation. These studies indicate that certain pharmacologically undesirable properties of celastrol such as Michael adduct formation can be eliminated while increasing selectivity and potency toward Myc and N-Myc. This, together with their low in vivo toxicity, provides a strong rationale for pursuing the development of additional Myc-specific triterpenoid derivatives.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 5-Fluoro-2'-deoxycytidine (FdCyd; NSC48006), a fluoropyrimidine nucleoside inhibitor of DNA methylation, is degraded by cytidine deaminase (CD). Pharmacokinetic evaluation was carried out in cynomolgus monkeys in support of an ongoing phase I study of the PO combination of FdCyd and the CD inhibitor tetrahydrouridine (THU; NSC112907).
Animals were dosed intravenously (IV) or per os (PO). Plasma samples were analyzed by LC-MS/MS for FdCyd, metabolites, and THU. Clinical chemistry and hematology were performed at various times after dosing. A pilot pharmacokinetic study was performed in humans to assess FdCyd bioavailability.
After IV FdCyd and THU administration, FdCyd C max and AUC increased with dose. FdCyd half-life ranged between 22 and 56 min, and clearance was approximately 15 mL/min/kg. FdCyd PO bioavailability after THU ranged between 9 and 25 % and increased with increasing THU dose. PO bioavailability of THU was less than 5 %, but did result in plasma concentrations associated with inhibition of its target CD. Human pilot studies showed comparable bioavailability for FdCyd (10 %) and THU (4.1 %).
Administration of THU with FdCyd increased the exposure to FdCyd and improved PO FdCyd bioavailability from <1 to 24 %. Concentrations of THU and FdCyd achieved after PO administration are associated with CD inhibition and hypomethylation, respectively. The schedule currently studied in phase I studies of PO FdCyd and THU is daily times three at the beginning of the first and second weeks of a 28-day cycle.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Benzaldehyde dimethane sulfonate (BEN, DMS612, NSC281612) is a bifunctional alkylating agent currently in clinical trials. We previously characterized the degradation products of BEN in plasma and blood. The conversion of BEN to its carboxylic acid analogue (BA) in whole blood, but not plasma, suggests that an enzyme in RBCs may be responsible for this conversion. BEN conversion to BA was observed in renal carcinoma cells and appeared to correlate with IC50. To better understand the pharmacology of BEN, we aimed to evaluate the metabolism and enzymes potentially responsible for the conversion of BEN to BA.
Human red blood cells (RBC) were used to characterize kinetics and susceptibility to enzyme-specific inhibitors. Recombinant enzymes were used to confirm metabolism of BEN to BA. Analytes were quantitated with established LC-MS/MS methods.
Average apparent Vmax and Km were 68 ng/mL min(-1) [10 % RBC](-1) and 373 ng/mL, respectively. The conversion of BEN to BA in RBC was not inhibited by carbon monoxide, nitrogen gas, or menadione, an inhibitor of aldehyde oxidase. The conversion was inhibited by disulfiram, an inhibitor of ALDH. Of available ALDH isoforms ALDH1A1, ALDH3A1, ALDH2, and ALDH5A1, only ALDH1A1 converted BEN to BA.
The activating conversion of BEN to BA is mediated not by CYP450 enzymes or aldehyde oxidase, but by ALDH1A1. This enzyme, a potential stem cell marker, may be a candidate biomarker for clinical activity of BEN.
No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interaction of p53 with its negative regulators Mdm2/4 has been widely studied (Khoury and Domling in Curr Pharm Des 18(30):4668-4678, 2012). In p53(+/+) cells, expression of Mdm2/4 leads to p53 turnover, inhibition of downstream transcription, decreasing cell cycle arrest, or apoptosis. We report in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and metabolism of YH264, YH263, and WW751, three proposed small molecule inhibitors of the Mdm2/4-p53 interaction.
MTT cytotoxicity assays were performed, and alterations in proteins were examined using western blots. Mice were dosed 150 mg/kg YH264 or YH263 IV or PO QDx5. Mice were IV dosed 88, 57, or 39 mg/kg WW751 for 3, 5, or 5 days. YH264, YH263, and WW751 and metabolites were quantitated by LC-MS/MS.
IC50 values for YH264, YH263, and WW751 against p53 wild-type HCT 116 cells after 72 h of incubation were 18.3 ± 2.3, 8.9 ± 0.6, and 3.1 ± 0.2 μM, respectively. Only YH264 appeared to affect p53 expression in vitro. None of the compounds affected the growth of HCT 116 xenografts in C.B-17 SCID mice. YH264 plasma half-life was 147 min; YH263 plasma half-life was 263 min; and WW751 plasma half-life was less than 120 min.
Despite dosing the mice at the maximum soluble doses, we could not achieve tumor concentrations equivalent to the intracellular concentrations required to inhibit cell growth in vitro. YH263 and WW751 do not appear to affect p53/Mdm2, and none of the three were active in a subcutaneous HCT 116 p53(+/+) xenograft model.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NSC 743400 is a novel synthetic indenoisoquinoline analog under development as an anticancer agent. It is a potent topoisomerase I inhibitor with potential therapeutic advantages over FDA-approved camptothecin derivatives. In preparation for clinical development of NSC 743400, we determined the pharmacokinetics after administration to rats and dogs.
NSC 743400 was administered intravenously at a dose of 12 or 24 mg/m(2) to rats (single bolus) or 10, 50, 100, 215, 430, or 646 mg/m(2) (intravenous infusion) or 860 or 1720 mg/m(2) (orally) to dogs.
Intravenously administered NSC 743400 was eliminated from both species with an estimated t 1/2 of 2-5 h in rat and 6-14 h in dog. Elimination t 1/2 increased with dose in dog. Area under the plasma concentration-versus-time curve (AUC) was comparable in both species, at about 300-400 h ng/mL for the approximately 10 mg/m(2) dose groups. Overall, AUC values increased proportionally with dose for both species but had evidence of more than proportional exposure at the highest doses. Oral dosing resulted in variable drug absorption.
The pharmacokinetic data were used to plan first-in-human clinical trials.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Inhibitors of DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferases (DNMT) are active antineoplastic agents. We conducted the first-in-human phase I trial of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxycytidine (FdCyd), a DNMT inhibitor stable in aqueous solution, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Objectives were to establish the safety, maximum tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of FdCyd + tetrahydrouridine (THU).
FdCyd + THU were administered by 3 h IV infusion on days 1-5 every 3 weeks, or days 1-5 and 8-12 every 4 weeks. FdCyd was administered IV with a fixed 350 mg/m(2)/day dose of THU to inhibit deamination of FdCyd. Pharmacokinetics of FdCyd, downstream metabolites and THU were assessed by LC-MS/MS. RBC γ-globin expression was evaluated as a pharmacodynamics biomarker.
Patients were enrolled on the 3-week schedule at doses up to 80 mg/m(2)/day without dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) prior to transitioning to the 4-week schedule, which resulted in an MTD of 134 mg/m(2)/day; one of six patients had a first-cycle DLT (grade 3 colitis). FdCyd ≥40 mg/m(2)/day produced peak plasma concentrations >1 µM. Although there was inter-patient variability, γ-globin mRNA increased during the first two treatment cycles. One refractory breast cancer patient experienced a partial response (PR) of >90 % decrease in tumor size, lasting over a year.
The MTD was established at 134 mg/m(2) FdCyd + 350 mg/m(2) THU days 1-5 and 8-12 every 4 weeks. Based on toxicities observed over multiple cycles, good plasma exposures, and the sustained PR observed at 67 mg/m(2)/day, the phase II dose for our ongoing multi-histology trial is 100 mg/m(2)/day FdCyd with 350 mg/m(2)/day THU.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Cisplatin induces nausea and emesis, even with antiemetic supportive care. To assess platinum exposure, which could activate nausea and emesis, we quantitated platinum in the brain and various organs, and hindbrain and spinal cord substance P, a key neuropeptide for the neuronal signaling of nausea and emesis.
Musk shrews, a model species for nausea and emesis research, were dosed intraperitoneally with 20 mg/kg cisplatin and euthanized at up to 72 h after injection. Concentrations of platinum were quantitated in plasma ultrafiltrate, plasma, lung, kidney, combined forebrain and midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord by flameless atomic absorption spectrometry. Hindbrains and spinal cords were analyzed for substance P by immunohistochemistry after injection of 20 or 30 mg/kg.
Plasma ultrafilterable platinum concentrations decreased rapidly till 60 min after dosing and then more slowly by 24 h. The concentrations of total platinum in both the fore- and midbrain and the hindbrain were similar at all time points and were at least 20-fold lower than plasma total platinum concentrations. There were no significant changes in substance P immunoreactivity after cisplatin dosing. Histology revealed damage to the renal cortex by 72 h after injection of cisplatin.
This is the first study to examine platinum concentrations in musk shrews after administration of cisplatin and delineate substance P immunohistochemical staining in the hindbrain and spinal cord of this species. The platinum concentrations detected in the brain could potentially contribute to the neurological side effects of cisplatin, such as nausea and emesis.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperactivation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) has been linked to tumorigenesis in most malignancies, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Intravenous delivery of a chemically modified cyclic STAT3 decoy oligonucleotide with improved serum and thermal stability demonstrated antitumor efficacy in conjunction with downmodulation of STAT3 target gene expression such as cyclin D1 and Bcl-XL in a mouse model of HNSCC. The purpose of the present study was to determine the toxicity and dose-dependent antitumor efficacy of the cyclic STAT3 decoy after multiple intravenous doses in Foxn1 nu mice in anticipation of clinical translation. The two doses (5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg) of cyclic STAT3 decoy demonstrated a significant decrease in tumor volume compared to the control groups (mutant cyclic STAT3 decoy or saline) in conjunction with downmodulation of STAT3 target gene expression. There was no dose-dependent effect of cyclic STAT3 decoy on tumor volume or STAT3 target gene expression. There were no significant changes in body weights between the groups during the dosing period, after the dosing interval, or on the day of euthanasia. No hematology or clinical chemistry parameters suggested toxicity of the cyclic STAT3 decoy compared to saline control. No gross or histologic pathologic abnormalities were noted at necropsy in any of the animals. These findings suggest a lack of toxicity of intravenous administration of a cyclic STAT3 decoy oligonucleotide. In addition, comparable antitumor effects indicate a lack of dose response at the two dose levels investigated.
No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Molecular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Benzaldehyde dimethane sulfonate (DMS612, NSC281612, BEN) is an alkylator with activity against renal cell carcinoma, currently in phase I trials. In blood, BEN is rapidly metabolized into its highly reactive carboxylic acid (BA), presumably the predominant alkylating species. We hypothesized that BEN is metabolized to BA by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and aimed to increase BEN exposure in blood and tissues by inhibiting ALDH with disulfiram, thereby shifting BA production from blood to tissues.
Female CD2F1 mice were dosed with 20 mg/kg BEN iv alone or 24 h after 300 mg/kg disulfiram ip. BEN, BA, and metabolites were quantitated in plasma and urine, and toxicities were assessed.
BEN had a plasma t½ <5 min and produced at least 12 products. The metabolite half-lives were <136 min. Disulfiram increased BEN plasma exposure 368-fold (AUC0-inf from 0.11 to 40.5 mg/L min), while plasma levels of BA remained similar. Urinary BEN excretion increased (1.0-1.5 % of dose), while BA excretion was unchanged. Hematocrit, white blood cell counts, and percentage lymphocytes decreased after BEN administration. Coadministration of disulfiram appeared to enhance these effects. Profound liver pathology was observed in mice treated with disulfiram and BEN.
BEN plasma concentrations increased after administration of disulfiram, suggesting that ALDH mediates the rapid metabolism of BEN in vivo, which may explain the increased toxicity seen with BEN after administration of disulfiram. Our results suggest that the coadministration of BEN with drugs that inhibit ALDH to patients that are ALDH deficient may cause liver damage.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) holds great promise for the treatment of head and neck (H&N) carcinomas where repeated loco-regional therapy often becomes necessary due to the highly aggressive and recurrent nature of the cancers. While interstitial light delivery technologies are being refined for PDT of H&N and other cancers, a parallel clinically relevant research area is the formulation of photosensitizers in nanovehicles that allow systemic administration yet preferential enhanced uptake in the tumor. This approach can render dual-selectivity of PDT, by harnessing both the drug and the light delivery within the tumor. To this end, we report on a cell-targeted nanomedicine approach for the photosensitizer silicon phthalocyanine-4 (Pc 4), by packaging it within polymeric micelles that are surface-decorated with GE11-peptides to promote enhanced cell-selective binding and receptor-mediated internalization in EGFR-overexpressing H&N cancer cells. Using fluorescence spectroscopy and confocal microscopy, we demonstrate in vitro that the EGFR-targeted Pc 4-nanoformulation undergoes faster and higher uptake in EGFR-overexpressing H&N SCC-15 cells. We further demonstrate that this enhanced Pc 4 uptake results in significant cell-killing and drastically reduced post-PDT clonogenicity. Building on this in vitro data, we demonstrate that the EGFR-targeted Pc 4-nanoformulation results in significant intra-tumoral drug uptake and subsequent enhanced PDT response, in vivo, in SCC-15 xenografts in mice. Altogether our results show significant promise towards a cell-targeted photodynamic nanomedicine for effective treatment of H&N carcinomas.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Molecular Pharmaceutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Protein kinase D (PKD) mediates diverse biological responses including cell growth and survival. Therefore, PKD inhibitors may have therapeutic potential. We evaluated the in vitro cytotoxicity of two PKD inhibitors, kb-NB142-70 and its methoxy analogue, kb-NB165-09, and examined their in vivo efficacy and pharmacokinetics.
The in vitro cytotoxicities of kb-NB142-70 and kb-NB165-09 were evaluated by MTT assay against PC-3, androgen-independent prostate cancer cells, and CFPAC-1 and PANC-1, pancreatic cancer cells. Efficacy studies were conducted in mice bearing either PC-3 or CPFAC-1 xenografts. Tumor-bearing mice were euthanized between 5 and 1,440 min after iv dosing, and plasma and tissue concentrations were measured by HPLC-UV. Metabolites were characterized by LC-MS/MS.
kb-NB142-70 and kb-NB165-09 inhibited cellular growth in the low-mid μM range. The compounds were inactive when administered to tumor-bearing mice. In mice treated with kb-NB142-70, the plasma C (max) was 36.9 nmol/mL, and the PC-3 tumor C (max) was 11.8 nmol/g. In mice dosed with kb-NB165-09, the plasma C (max) was 61.9 nmol/mL, while the PANC-1 tumor C (max) was 8.0 nmol/g. The plasma half-lives of kb-NB142-70 and kb-NB165-09 were 6 and 14 min, respectively. Both compounds underwent oxidation and glucuronidation.
kb-NB142-70 and kb-NB165-09 were rapidly metabolized, and concentrations in tumor were lower than those required for in vitro cytotoxicity. Replacement of the phenolic hydroxyl group with a methoxy group increased the plasma half-life of kb-NB165-09 2.3-fold over that of kb-NB142-70. Rapid metabolism in mice suggests that next-generation compounds will require further structural modifications to increase potency and/or metabolic stability.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Benzaldehyde dimethane sulfonate (BEN, DMS612, NSC281612) is an alkylating agent with activity against renal cell carcinoma and is being evaluated clinically. To support clinical trials, we developed an LC-MS/MS assay to detect and quantitate BEN and its metabolites/decomposition products. We tested the stability and products of BEN and benzoic acid dimethane sulfonate (BA) in plasma, blood and five renal carcinoma cell lines in vitro. Further, we determined the IC(50) of BEN, BA and four of their products in these cell lines. Low temperature and pH stabilized the analytes, and utilizing this resulted in an accurate, precise and reproducible assay. The half-lives of BEN and BA added to plasma in vitro were 220 and 5 min, while the half-life of BEN in whole blood was 18 min. The generation and degradation of up to 12 analytes were monitored, and structures confirmed with available authentic standards. The IC(50) for BEN was 5- to 500-fold lower than that of any of its products, while the cellular metabolic activity toward BEN correlated with ALDH activity and IC(50) values. We detected six of the in vitro products and their respective glucuronides in murine plasma after dosing BEN. The information gained from these experiments will be instrumental in the evaluation of the pharmacology of BEN in ongoing human trials.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology