[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histamine H1 receptor (H1R) antagonists and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) agonists are used to treat inflammatory conditions such as allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and asthma. Consistent with the high morbidity levels of such inflammatory conditions, these receptors are the targets of a vast number of approved drugs, and in many situations their ligands are co-administered. However, this drug association has no clear rationale and has arisen from clinical practice. We hypothesized that H1R signaling could affect GR-mediated activity, impacting on its transcriptional outcome. Indeed, our results show a dual regulation of GR activity by the H1R: a potentiation mediated by G-protein βγ subunits and a parallel inhibitory effect mediated by Gαq-PLC pathway. Activation of the H1R by its full agonists resulted in a composite potentiating effect. Intriguingly, inactivation of the Gαq-PLC pathway by H1R inverse agonists resulted also in a potentiation of GR activity. Moreover, histamine and clinically relevant antihistamines synergized with the GR agonist dexamethasone to induce gene transactivation and transrepression in a gene-specific manner. Our work provides a delineation of molecular mechanisms underlying the widespread clinical association of antihistamines and GR agonists, which may contribute to future dosage optimization and reduction of well-described side effects associated with glucocorticoid administration.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been suggested to play a key role in the maintenance of epithelial cell survival during lactation. Previously, we demonstrated that EGF dependent activation of PI3K pathway prevents apoptosis in confluent murine HC11 cells cultured under low nutrient conditions. The EGF protective effect is associated with increased levels of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-XL. Here, we identify the EGF-dependent mechanism involved in cell survival that converges in the regulation of bcl-X expression by activated CREB. EGF induces Bcl-XL expression through activation of a unique bcl-X promoter, the P1; being not only the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway but also the increase in cAMP levels and the concomitant PKA/CREB activation necessary for both bcl-XL upregulation and apoptosis avoidance. Results presented in this work suggest the existence of a novel connection between the EGF receptor and the adenylate cyclase that would have an impact in preventing apoptosis under low nutrient conditions.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-mitotic therapies have been considered a hallmark in strategies against abnormally proliferating cells. Focusing on the extensively studied family of thiosemicarbazone (TSC) compounds, we have previously identified 4,4'-dimethoxybenzophenone thiosemicarbazone (T44Bf) as a promising pharmacological compound in a panel of human leukemia cell lines (HL60, U937, KG1a and Jurkat). Present findings indicate that T44Bf-mediated antiproliferative effects are associated with a reversible chronic mitotic arrest caused by defects in chromosome alignment, followed by induced programmed cell death. Furthermore, T44Bf selectively induces apoptosis in leukemia cell lines when compared to normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The underlying mechanism of action involves the activation of the mitochondria signaling pathway, with loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and sustained phosphorylation of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-xL as well as increased Bcl-2 (enhanced phosphorylated fraction) and pro-apoptotic protein Bad levels. In addition, ERK signaling pathway activation was found to be a requisite for T44Bf apoptotic activity. Our findings further describe a novel activity for a benzophenone thiosemicarbazone and propose T44Bf as a promising anti-mitotic prototype to develop chemotherapeutic agents to treat acute leukemia malignancies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclic AMP represents one of the most studied signaling molecules and its role in proliferation and differentiation processes has been well established. Intracellular cAMP levels are tightly regulated where the MRP4 transporter plays a major role. In the present study, we sought to establish whether cAMP modulated MRP4 expression in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines. Quantitative PCR and western blot studies showed that cAMP-increasing agents enhanced MRP4 transcripts and protein levels in PANC-1 cells. Reporter luciferase experiments carried out in pancreatic AR42J cells showed that intracellular cAMP up-regulates MRP4 through an Epac2- and Rap1- mediated mechanism whereas extracellular cAMP reduced MRP4 promoter activity by a MEK/ERK-mediated pathway. Present results show that cAMP regulates MRP4 promoter activity, and further indicate that the balance between intracellular and extracellular cAMP levels determines MRP4 expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histamine mediates numerous functions acting through its four receptor subtypes all belonging to the large family of seven transmembrane G-protein coupled receptors. In particular, histamine H2 receptor (H2R) is mainly involved in gastric acid production, becoming a classic pharmacological target to treat Zollinger-Ellison disease and gastric and duodenal ulcers. H2 ligands rank among the most widely prescribed and over the counter-sold drugs in the world. Recent evidence indicate that some H2R ligands display biased agonism, selecting and triggering some, but not all, of the signaling pathways associated to the H2R. The aim of the present work is to study whether famotidine, clinically widespread used ligand acting at H2R, exerts biased signaling. Our findings indicate that while famotidine acts as inverse agonist diminishing cAMP basal levels, it mimics the effects of histamine and the agonist amthamine concerning receptor desensitization and internalization. Moreover, the treatment of HEK293T transfected cells with any of the three ligands lead to a concentration dependent pERK increment. Similarly in AGS gastric epithelial cells, famotidine treatment led to both, the reduction in cAMP levels as well as the increment in ERK phosphorylation, suggesting that this behavior could have pharmacological relevant implications. Based on that, histidine decarboxylase expression was studied by quantitative PCR in AGS cells and its levels were increased by famotidine as well as by histamine and amthamine. In all cases, the positive regulation was impeded by the MEK inhibitor PD98059, indicating that biased signaling toward ERK1/2 pathway is the responsible of such enzyme regulation. These results support that ligand bias is not only a pharmacological curiosity but has physiological and pharmacological implications on cell metabolism.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Frontiers in Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) stimulates secretin-evoked cAMP efflux through multidrug resistance-associated protein 4 (MRP4) in the exocrine pancreas. Here we sought to establish in vivo whether this mechanism was involved in acute pancreatitis onset in the rat. Rats pretreated with or without probenecid (MRPs general inhibitor) were infused with secretin alone or with ANF. A set of these animals were given repetitive caerulein injections to induce acute pancreatitis. Plasma amylase and intrapancreatic trypsin activities were measured and histological examination of the pancreas performed. Secretin alone activated trypsinogen but induced no pancreatic histological changes. Blockade by probenecid in secretin-treated rats increased trypsin and also induced vacuolization, a hallmark of acute pancreatitis. ANF prevented the secretin response but in the absence of probenecid. In rats with acute pancreatitis, pre-treatment with secretin aggravated the disease but ANF prevented secretin-induced changes. Blockade of MRPs in rats with acute pancreatitis induced trypsinogen activation and larger cytoplasmic vacuoles as well as larger areas of necrosis and edema that were aggravated by secretin but not prevented by ANF. The temporal resolution of intracellular cAMP levels seems critical in the onset of acute pancreatitis since secretin-evoked cAMP in a context of MRPs inhibition makes the pancreas prone to injury in normal rats and aggravates the onset of acute pancreatitis. Present findings support a protective role for ANF mediated by cAMP extrusion through MRP4 and further suggest that the regulation of MRP4 by ANF would be relevant to maintain pancreatic acinar cell homeostasis.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Molecular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy in women. Several reports demonstrated that adrenergic receptors (ARs) are involved in breast cancer. Here we observed that epinephrine (Epi), an endogenous AR agonist, caused opposite effects in non-tumorigenic (MCF-10A and HBL-100) and tumor cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231). Thus, Epi, in non-tumor breast cells, as well as isoproterenol (β-agonist), in all cell lines, maintained a benign phenotype, decreasing cell proliferation and migration, and stimulating cell adhesion. β-AR expression and cAMP levels were higher in MCF-10A than in MCF-7 cells. β2-AR knock-down caused a significant increase of cell proliferation and migration, and a decrease of cell adhesion both in basal and in Iso-stimulated conditions. Coincidently, β2-AR over-expression induced a significant decrease of cell proliferation and migration, and an increase of cell adhesion. Therefore, β2-AR is implied in cell phenotype and its agonists or antagonists could eventually complement cancer therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Less than a third of adults patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are cured by current treatments, emphasizing the need for new approaches to therapy. We previously demonstrated that besides playing a role in drug-resistant leukemia cell lines, multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4/ABCC4) regulates leukemia cell proliferation and differentiation through the endogenous MRP4/ABCC4 substrate, cAMP. Here, we studied the role of MRP4/ABCC4 in tumor progression in a mouse xenograft model and in leukemic stem cells (LSCs) differentiation. We found a decrease in the mitotic index and an increase in the apoptotic index associated with the inhibition of tumor growth when mice were treated with rolipram (PDE4 inhibitor) and/or probenecid (MRPs inhibitor). Genetic silencing and pharmacologic inhibition of MRP4 reduced tumor growth. Furthermore, MRP4 knockdown induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in vivo. Interestingly, when LSC population was isolated, we observed that increased cAMP levels and MRP4/ABCC4 blockade resulted in LSCs differentiation. Taken together, our findings show that MRP4/ABCC4 has a relevant role in tumor growth and apoptosis and in the eradication of LSCs, providing the basis for a novel promising target in AML therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Estradiol-17ß-D-glucuronide (E17G) activates different signaling pathways (e.g., Ca(2+) -dependent protein kinase C, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B, mitogen-activated protein kinases [MAPKs] p38 and extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2, and estrogen receptor alpha) that lead to acute cholestasis in rat liver with retrieval of the canalicular transporters, bile salt export pump (Abcb11) and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Abcc2). E17G shares with nonconjugated estradiol the capacity to activate these pathways. G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) is a receptor implicated in nongenomic effects of estradiol, and the aim of this study was to analyze the potential role of this receptor and its downstream effectors in E17G-induced cholestasis. In vitro, GPR30 inhibition by G15 or its knockdown with small interfering RNA strongly prevented E17G-induced impairment of canalicular transporter function and localization. E17G increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, and this increase was blocked by G15, linking GPR30 to adenylyl cyclase (AC). Moreover, AC inhibition totally prevented E17G insult. E17G also increased protein kinase A (PKA) activity, which was blocked by G15 and AC inhibitors, connecting the links of the pathway, GPR30-AC-PKA. PKA inhibition prevented E17G-induced cholestasis, whereas exchange protein activated directly by cyclic nucleotide/MAPK kinase, another cAMP downstream effector, was not implicated in cAMP cholestatic action. In the perfused rat liver model, inhibition of the GPR30-AC-PKA pathway totally prevented E17G-induced alteration in Abcb11 and Abcc2 function and localization.
Activation of GPR30-AC-PKA is a key factor in the alteration of canalicular transporter function and localization induced by E17G. Interaction of E17G with GPR30 may be the first event in the cascade of signaling activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 7TMR exists as conformational collections in which different conformations would lead to differential downstream behaviors such as receptor phosphorylation, G-protein activation and receptor internalization among others. In this context, a ligand may cause differential activation of some, but not all, of the signaling events, which are associated to a particular receptor, and it would lead to biased agonism. The aim of the present work is to study if histamine H2 receptor (H2R) ligands -described as inverse agonists because of their negative efficacy at modulating adenylyl cyclase- could display some positive efficacy concerning receptor desensitization, internalization or even signaling through an adenylyl cyclase independent pathway. Our present findings indicate that treatment with H2R inverse agonists leads to receptor internalization in HEK293T transfected cells, by a mechanism mediated by arrestin and dynamin but being independent of GRK2-mediated phosphorylation. On the other hand we prove that two of the H2R inverse agonists tested, ranitidine and tiotidine, also induce receptor desensitization. Finally, we show that these ligands are able to display positive efficacy towards ERK1/2 pathway by a mechanism that involves Gβγ and PI3K mediated signaling in both HEK293T transfected cells and human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. These results point to the aspect of pluridimensional efficacy of H2R as a phenomenon that could be extended to naïve cells, and challenge previous classification of pharmacologically relevant histaminergic ligands.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Biochemical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sperm capacitation has been largely associated with an increase in cAMP, although its relevance in the underlying mechanisms of this maturation process remains elusive. Increasing evidence shows that the extrusion of cAMP through multidrug resistance associated protein 4 (MRP4), regulates cell homeostasis not only in physiological but also in pathophysiological situations and studies from our laboratory strongly support this assumption. In the present work we sought to establish the role of cAMP efflux in the regulation of sperm capacitation. Sperm capacitation was performed in vitro by exposing bovine spermatozoa to bicarbonate 40 and 70 mM; cAMP; probenecid (a MRPs general inhibitor) and an adenosine type 1 receptor (A1 adenosine receptor) selective antagonist (DPCPX). Capacitation was assessed by chlortetracycline assay and lysophosphatidylcholine-induced acrosome reaction assessed by PSA-FITC staining. Intracellular and extracellular cAMP was measured by radiobinding the regulatory subunit of PKA under the same experimental conditions. MRP4 was detected by Western blot and immunohistochemistry assays. Results showed that the inhibition of soluble adenylyl cyclase significantly inhibited bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation. Furthermore, in the presence of 40 and 70 mM bicarbonate bovine spermatozoa synthesized and extruded cAMP. Interestingly, in the absence of IBMX (a PDEs inhibitor) cAMP efflux still operated in sperm cells, suggesting that cAMP extrusion would be a physiological process in the spermatozoa complementary to the action of PDE. Blockade of MRPs by probenecid abolished the efflux of the cyclic nucleotide resulting not only in the accumulation of intracellular cAMP but also in the inhibition of bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation. The effect of probenecid was abolished by exposing sperm cells to cAMP. The high affinity efflux pump for cAMP, MRP4 was expressed in bovine spermatozoa and localized to the mid-piece of the tail as previously reported for soluble adenylyl cyclase and A1 adenosine receptor. Additionally, blockade of A1 adenosine receptor abolished not only bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation but also that stimulated by cAMP. Present findings strongly support that cAMP efflux, presumably through MRP4, and the activation of A1 adenosine receptor regulate some events associated to bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation, and further suggest a paracrine and/or autocrine role for cAMP.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Molecular Human Reproduction
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accurate characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved in the action of receptor ligands is important for their appropriate therapeutic use and safety. It is well established that ligands acting at the histamine system currently used in the clinic exert their actions by specifically antagonizing G-protein coupled H1 and H2 receptors. However, most of these ligands, assumed to be neutral antagonists, behave as inverse agonists displaying negative efficacy in experimental systems. This suggests that their therapeutic actions may involve not only receptor blockade, but also the decrease of spontaneous receptor activity. The mechanisms whereby inverse agonists achieve negative efficacy are diverse. Theoretical models predict at least three possible mechanisms, all of which are supported by experimental observations. Depending on the mechanism of action engaged, the inverse agonist could interfere specifically with signaling events triggered by unrelated receptors. This possibility opens up new venues to explain the therapeutic actions of inverse agonists of the histamine receptor and perhaps new therapeutic applications.
No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · European journal of pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of tumor-selective drugs with low systemic toxicity has always been a major challenge in cancer treatment. Our group previously identified the 7,8-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin (DHMC) as a potential chemotherapeutic agent due to its potent, selective anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing effects on several cancer cell lines over peripheral blood mononuclear cells. However, there are still no published reports that can explain such selectivity of action. Herein, we addressed this question by using the U-937 promonocytic leukemia cell line, which can be forced to differentiate into a monocyte-like phenotype in vitro. U-937 cells differentiation is dependent on the nuclear expression of p21(Cip1/WAF1), a protein that is absent in immature U-937 cells but present in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of normal DHMC-resistant monocytes. Considering that induction of differentiation rendered U-937 cells resistant to DHMC, we evaluated the possible causal role of cytoplasmic p21(Cip1/WAF1) in the onset of such resistance by employing U-937 cells stably transfected with a ZnCl2-inducible p21(Cip1/WAF1) variant lacking the nuclear localization signal (U-937/CB6-ΔNLS-p21 cells). Expression of cytoplasmic p21(Cip1/WAF1) did not induce differentiation of the cells but turned them resistant to DHMC through inhibition of JNK, a crucial mediator of DHMC-induced apoptosis in U-937 cells. Sub-acute toxicity evaluation of DHMC in Balb/c mice indicated that DHMC administered intraperitoneally at doses up to 100mg/kg induced no systemic damage. Collectively, our results explain for the first time the selective cytotoxicity of DHMC for tumor cells over normal monocytes, and encourage further in vivo studies on this compound as potential anti-leukemic agent.
No preview · Article · May 2013 · Biochemical pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypotonicity triggered in human hepatoma cells (Huh-7) the release of ATP and cell swelling, followed by volume regulatory decrease (RVD). We analyzed how the interaction between those processes modulates cell volume. Cells exposed to hypotonic medium swelled 1.5 times their basal volume. Swelling was followed by 41% RVD40 (extent of RVD after 40 min of maximum), whereas the concentration of extracellular ATP (ATPe) increased 10 times to a maximum value at 15 min. Exogenous apyrase (which removes di- and trinucleotides) did not alter RVD, whereas exogenous Na(+)-K(+) ATPase (which converts ATP to ADP in the extracellular medium) enhanced RVD40 by 2.6 times, suggesting that hypotonic treatment alone produced a basal RVD, whereas extracellular ADP activated RVD to achieve complete volume regulation (i.e., RVD40≈100%). Under hypotonicity, addition of 2MetSADP (ADP analog) increased RVD to the same extent as exposure to Na(+)-K(+) ATPase and the same analog did not stimulate RVD when co-incubated with MRS2211, a blocker of ADP receptor P2Y13. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of P2Y13. Cells exhibited significant ectoATPase activity, which according to RT-PCR analysis can be assigned to ENTPDase2. Both carbenoxolone, a blocker of conductive ATP release, and Brefeldin A, an inhibitor of exocytosis, were able to partially decrease ATPe accumulation, pointing to the presence of at least two mechanisms for ATP release. Thus, in Huh-7 cells, hypotonic treatment triggered the release of ATP. Conversion of ATPe to ADPe by ENTPDase 2 activity facilitates the accumulated ADPe to activate P2Y13 receptors, which mediate complete RVD.
Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · AJP Cell Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling does not result from sequential activation of a linear pathway of proteins/enzymes, but rather from complex interactions of multiple, branched signaling routes, ie, signaling networks. In this work we present an exhaustive study of the crosstalk between H1 and H2 histamine receptors (H1R and H2R) in U937 cells and CHO transfected cells. By desensitization assays we demonstrated the existence of a cross-desensitization between both receptors independent of protein kinase A (PKA) or C (PKC). H1R agonist stimulation inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in U937 cells following treatment for 48h. H1R-induced antiproliferative and apoptotic response was inhibited by an H2R agonist suggesting that the crosstalk between both receptors modifies their function. Binding and confocal microscopy studies revealed cointernalization of both receptors upon treatment with the agonists. In order to evaluate potential heterodimerization of the receptors, sensitized emission FRET experiments were performed in HEK293T cells using H1R-CFP and H2R-YFP. To our knowledge these findings may represent the first demonstration of agonist-induced heterodimerization of the H1R and H2R. In addition, we also show that the inhibition of the internalization process did not prevent receptor cross-desensitization which was mediated by GRK2. Our study provides new insights into the complex signaling network mediated by histamine and further knowledge for the rational use of its ligands.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Molecular pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seminal plasma is not just a carrier for spermatozoa. It contains high concentrations of cytokines, chemokines, and other biological compounds that are able to exert potent effects on the immune system of the receptive partner. Previous studies have shown that semen induces an acute inflammatory response at the female genital mucosa after coitus. Moreover, it induces regulatory mechanisms that allow the fetus (a semiallograft) to grow and develop in the uterus. The mechanisms underlying these regulatory mechanisms, however, are poorly understood. In this study, we show that seminal plasma redirects the differentiation of human dendritic cells (DCs) toward a regulatory profile. DCs differentiated from human monocytes in the presence of high dilutions of seminal plasma did not express CD1a but showed high levels of CD14. They were unable to develop a fully mature phenotype in response to LPS, TNF-α, CD40L, Pam2CSK4 (TLR2/6 agonist), or Pam3CSK4 (TLR1/2 agonist). Upon activation, they produced low amounts of the inflammatory cytokines IL-12p70, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6, but expressed a high ability to produce IL-10 and TGF-β. Inhibition of the PG receptors E-prostanoid receptors 2 and 4 prevented the tolerogenic effect induced by seminal plasma on the phenotype and function of DCs, suggesting that E-series PGs play a major role. By promoting a tolerogenic profile in DCs, seminal plasma might favor fertility, but might also compromise the capacity of the receptive partner to mount an effective immune response against sexually transmitted pathogens.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies indicated the need of at least one phenolic hydroxyl group in the coumarin core for induction of cytotoxicity in different cell lines. Herein, we present an exhaustive structure-activity relationship study including ortho-dihydroxycoumarins (o-DHC) derivatives, cinnamic acid derivatives (as open-chain coumarin analogues) and 1,2-pyrones (representative of the δ-lactone ring of the coumarin core), carried out to further identify the structural features of o-DHC required to induce leukemic cell differentiation and apoptosis in U-937 cells. Our results show for the first time that the δ-lactone ring positively influences the aforementioned biological effects, by conferring greater potency to compounds with an intact coumarin nucleus. Most tellingly, we reveal herein the crucial role of this molecular portion in determining the selective toxicity that o-DHC show for leukemic cells over normal blood cells. From a pharmacological perspective, our findings point out that o-DHC may be useful prototypes for the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The differentiation of myelin-forming Schwann cells (SC) is completed with the appearance of myelin proteins MBP and P(0) and a concomitant downregulation of markers GFAP and p75NTR, which are expressed by immature and adult non-myelin-forming SC. We have previously demonstrated that holotransferrin (hTf) can prevent SC dedifferentiation in culture (Salis et al., 2002), while apotransferrin (aTf) cannot. As a consequence, we used pure cultured SC and submitted them to serum deprivation in order to promote dedifferentiation and evaluate the prodifferentiating ability of ferric ammonium citrate (FAC) through the expression of MBP, P(0), p75NTR and c-myc. The levels of cAMP, CREB and p-CREB were also measured. Results show that Fe(3+), either in its free form or as hTf, can prevent the dedifferentiation promoted by serum withdrawal. Both FAC and hTf were proven to promote differentiation, probably through the increase in cAMP levels and CREB phosphorylation, as well as levels of reactive oxygen species. This effect was inhibited by deferroxamine (Dfx, an iron chelator), H9 (a cAMP-PKA antagonist) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC, a powerful antioxidant).
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Neurochemistry International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemotherapeutics represent the main approach for the treatment of leukemia. However, the occurrence of adverse side effects and the complete lack of effectiveness in some cases make it necessary to develop new drugs. As part of our screening program to evaluate the potential chemotherapeutic effect of natural coumarins, we investigated the anti-leukemic activities of a series of six prenylated coumarins isolated from the stem bark of Toddalia asiatica (Rutaceae). Among these, 6-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)-5,7-dimethoxycoumarin (toddaculin) displayed the most potent cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects in U-937 cells. To determine whether these effects resulted from induction of cell death or differentiation, we further evaluated the expression of several apoptosis and maturation markers. Interestingly, while toddaculin at 250 μM was able to induce apoptosis in U-937 cells, involving decreased phosphorylation levels of ERK and Akt, 50 μM toddaculin exerted differentiating effects, inducing both the capacity of U-937 cells to reduce NBT and the expression of differentiation markers CD88 and CD11b, but no change in p-Akt or p-ERK levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that toddaculin displays a dual effect as a cell differentiating agent and apoptosis inducer in U-937 cells, suggesting it may serve as a pharmacological prototype for the development of novel anti-leukemic agents.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology