Nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery systems targeting tumor angiogenic vessels have been studied for antineovascular cancer therapy achieved by induction of apoptosis of angiogenic endothelial cells. Nanoparticles such as liposomes are considered to accumulate in tumors due to the enhanced permeability and retention effect. The delivery efficiency of this system appears to be affected by the density of tumor angiogenic vessels regardless of modification with tumor-targeting ligands on the surface of nanoparticles. It remains a challenging problem to deliver sufficient amounts of anticancer drugs to hypovascular tumors using nanoparticles. On the other hand, the strategy of angiogenic vessel-targeting is theoretically different from that of tumor cell-targeting since target angiogenic endothelial cells face the circulating blood. In addition, this strategy is expected to cause indirect tumor regression by disrupting angiogenic vessels. In this review, our recent studies are summarized to show the actual efficacy of angiogenic vessel-targeting delivery. We have developed various angiogenic vessel-targeted liposomes and evaluated them in experimental cancer models such as drug-resistant and hypovascular tumors. Our data indicate that increased apoptosis of angiogenic endothelial cells can be achieved by the targeted liposomes encapsulating cytotoxic drugs, resulting in enhanced anticancer effects. The advantages of angiogenic vessel-targeting are discussed based on our recent findings to provide an insight into why angiogenic vessels are a promising target for advanced cancer therapy.
Selenium (Se) belongs to the same group as sulfur in the periodic table but possesses certain chemical properties characteristic of a metal. It is an essential element in animals but becomes severely toxic when the amount ingested exceeds the required level. On the other hand, Se is not essential in plants although some plants are Se hyperaccumulators. Se changes into several chemical forms when metabolized. Thus, the identification of selenometabolites would enable us to formulate a metabolic chart of Se. Recently, speciation analysis by hyphenated techniques has contributed immensely to the study of selenometabolomes, i.e., the entirety of selenometabolites. Indeed, speciation has unveiled some unique selenometabolites in biological samples. The aim of this review is to present newly identified selenometabolites in animals and plants by speciation using hyphenated techniques and to delineate the perspectives of Se biology and toxicology from the viewpoint of speciation.
The metabolism of arsenicals, including their reduction and methylation has been extensively studied, and both classical and novel pathways of arsenic methylation are proposed. Arsenic methylation has been considered to be a detoxification process of inorganic arsenicals, although recent studies have indicated that trivalent methylated arsenicals, the intermediate products of arsenic methylation, are more toxic than inorganic arsenicals. In 2002, arsenite (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (As3MT) was discovered to be an enzyme responsible for arsenic methylation. This review focuses on current information on the function, genetic polymorphism, and alternative splicing of As3MT, all of which contribute to arsenic metabolism and toxicity.
Organotins such as tributyltin are suspected of having multiple toxic effects in mammals, in addition to their endocrine-disrupting function. Endogenous organotin concentrations in human blood range from a few to a few hundred nM. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the mechanisms of toxicity of environmental organotins such as tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT) in mammals. TBT and TPT are potent inhibitors of mitochondrial ATP synthase, and a recent study suggests that TBT binds directly to ATP synthase. Organotins disturb steroid biosynthesis and degradation. TBT and TPT are dual agonists of retinoid X receptor (RXR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ); they also induce the differentiation of adipocytes in vitro and in vivo, probably through PPARγ activation, suggesting that they may work as obesogens. Environmental organotins are also neurotoxic; they induce behavioral abnormality and are toxic to the developing central nervous system. In vitro studies have shown that organotins induce intracellular Ca2+ elevation and glutamate excitotoxicity. Recently, it was reported that endogenous levels of TBT decrease expression of 2-amino-3-(5-methyl-3-oxo-1,2-oxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit GluR2, leading to neuronal vulnerability. Most of the experimental studies have employed organotins at concentrations of µM order, and it remains important to clarify the molecular mechanisms of events induced by endogenous levels of environmental organotins.
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a causative agent of Minamata disease and an environmental pollutant that comprises a large portion of organically occurring mercury. Many aspects of the biological defense mechanisms against MeHg toxicity remain unclear. Recently, nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), heat shock factor protein 1 (Hsf1), and hydrogen sulfide were identified as intracellular defense factors against MeHg toxicity. These findings suggest that novel biological defense mechanisms against MeHg toxicity exist in the living organism. In addition, the expression of downstream genes that mediate activation of the transcription factors Nrf2 and Hsf1 was markedly induced by MeHg treatment, suggesting that this action is involved in the reduction of MeHg toxicity. On the other hand, when the gaseous form of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) binds directly to MeHg, bismethylmercury sulfide (MeHg-S-HgMe) as a low toxicity metabolite is formed. This suggests the involvement of the gaseous form of H2S in the reduction of MeHg toxicity. In this topic, we summarize the roles of factors involved in novel biological defense mechanisms against MeHg toxicity.
Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause a range of health problems. In this context, the vascular system is a particular target of the deleterious effects of lead. Lead exerts its toxicity through substitution of other divalent cations such as calcium and zinc, resulting in disruption of homeostasis. Based on the evidence that lead up-regulates endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and/or antioxidant proteins such as hemeoxygenase-1, it is believed that the heavy metal is able to induce ER and/or oxidative stress in cells. These events also suggest that the unfolded protein response (UPR) system and the antioxidant defense system Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1–nuclear factor (NF)-E2-related factor 2 (Keap1–Nrf2) play a critical role in adaptive response to lead. In this review, we summarize recent progress in lead toxicity in terms of cellular defense systems, including stress proteins and transcription factors involved in the vascular system.
Cadmium is a nonessential heavy metal and ubiquitous potential environmental pollutant. Although the kidney proximal tubule is an important target for cadmium, the underlying cellular mechanisms of cadmium-induced renal toxicity remain elusive. Numerous studies have demonstrated that cadmium induces apoptotic cell death in various cell types via several apoptotic pathways, including mitochondria-mediated apoptotic cell death. In the epithelial cells of renal proximal tubules, cadmium can also induce apoptotic cell death in vivo and in vitro, which suggests that cell death of the epithelial cells through the apoptotic pathways is one of the key events in cadmium-induced renal toxicity. In this review, based upon the major findings of previous reports related to cadmium and apoptotic cell death, especially in the kidney and kidney proximal tubular cells, we present evidence for the current mechanisms of cadmium-induced renal toxicity via apoptotic cell death.
The goal of this project was to prepare long-acting lanreotide acetate poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres and to analyze the in vivo and in vitro release, safety and toxicology of these preparations. Long-acting lanreotide acetate PLGA microspheres that exhibited a 5-week slow-release period were prepared by a multiple-emulsion solvent evaporation method. Physical characterization, as well as the analysis of the in vivo and in vitro release, safety, acute toxicity and chronic toxicity of the lanreotide microspheres, were conducted in animal models in rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and beagle dogs. The lanreotide acetate PLGA microspheres prepared by multiple-emulsion solvent evaporation had smooth surfaces, uniform particle size and stable lanreotide loading. In vivo and in vitro experiments showed that the lanreotide acetate PLGA microspheres could continuously release lanreotide for 5 weeks. The safety of these long acting lanreotide microspheres was good in the following animal models: active systemic anaphylaxis test in guinea pigs, passive cutaneous anaphylaxis test in rats, hemolytic test in rabbits, local skin irritation test after subcutaneous administration in rabbits and muscle stimulation test in rabbits. Furthermore, no significant acute toxicity or chronic toxicity was observed after administration of lanreotide acetate PLGA microspheres in beagle dogs at dosages up to 22 mg/kg. The lanreotide acetate PLGA microspheres that were prepared in this study exhibited beneficial characteristics in apparent property and structural stability, as well as in release trends in vivo and in vitro.
Hyperlipidemia is a major contributor for atherosclerosis and hypolipidemic drugs such as statin are highly prescribed to treat elevated lipid level in plasma. Rubus coreanus, which is widely cultivated in south eastern Asia, have been reported to show significant cholesterol lowering action in hyperlipidemic subjects. Our objective was to determine the cellular effect of Rubus coreanus extract (RCE) on cholesterol biosynthesis in human hepatic cells (HepG2) and to elucidate the molecular mechanism by which it causes change in cholesterol metabolism. RCE treatment lowered cholesterol biosynthesis as well as secretion from HepG2 cells. This effect was associated with lowering the release of apolipoproteins from hepatic cells. RCE treatment also showed an increase in phosphorylation of foxhead box protein 01 (FoXo-1) and 5-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), thus lowering expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and G6Pase, which might be a major pathway for cholesterol biosynthesis inhibition. Apart from this; RCE also lowered sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1) expression in HepG2 cells, showing a long term regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis activity. These results indicate that one of the anti-hyperlipidemic actions of RCE is due to inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis in hepatic cells and provides first documentation of a hypolipidemic bio-molecular action of Rubus coreanus.
Cell cycle arrest is closely linked to apoptosis. Isomorellin—a caged xanthone isolated from Garcinia hanburyi—induced apoptosis in cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cell lines. To elucidate potential anticancer mechanisms, we investigated the effects of isomorellin on the growth, cell cycle progression, cell cycle regulated protein expression and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation of KKU-100 and KKU-M156 CCA cell lines; using sulforhodamine B assay, flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. The growth of both CCA cell lines was significantly inhibited by isomorellin treatment in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The respective IC50 value of isomorellin for KKU-100 cells was 6.2±0.13, 5.1±0.11 and 3.5±0.25 µM at 24, 48 and 72 h. By comparison, the respective IC50 value for KKU-M156 cells was 1.9±0.22, 1.7±0.14 and 1.5±0.14 µM at 24, 48 and 72 h. The growth inhibition of CCA cells by isomorellin was through the G0/G1 phase arrest mediated by inhibition of NF-κB activation, up-regulation of p53, p21 and p27 and down-regulation of cyclin D1, cyclin E, Cdk4 and Cdk2 protein levels. Our research suggests that isomorellin induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in CCA cell lines through p53 and the NF-κB-signaling pathway. The growth inhibitory potential of isomorellin was comparable to that of gambogic acid. Isomorellin shows potential as a therapeutic agent against human cholangiocarcinoma.
Production of drug nanoparticles is an effective strategy to enhance solubility and oral absorption of water-insoluble drugs. The handling of drug nanoparticles has been an important issue in drug formulation because nanoparticles easily aggregate each other and redispersion of these particles is very difficult. In the present study, we developed a unique two-solution mixing type spray nozzle that can prepare drug nanoparticles in microparticles in one step without any common solvent and surfactant, and then, the prepared formulation were evaluated. Ethylcellulose (EC) and mannitol (MAN) were used as a model polymer of water-insoluble compound and a water-soluble carrier, respectively. We characterized the EC/MAN microparticles produced by the novel spray nozzle when customizing the nozzle parts to mix EC and MAN solution. Relatively smaller EC nanoparticles (<110 nm) in MAN microparticles (approximately 3 µm) were obtained by changing the customizable parts in the nozzle. In addition, the core of EC nanoparticles (<50 nm) was also observed by atomic force microscopy. We also found that the mixing time in the nozzle parts affected the size and the standard deviation of EC nanoparticles. These results suggest that the size of EC nanoparticles in MAN microparticles is controllable by using this unique nozzle. After all, we could prepare MAN microparticles containing EC nanoparticles in one step by using the novel nozzle. The drug/MAN microparticles formulation produced by the nozzle may be useful for the handling of drug nanoparticles.
This study demonstrated gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity in the insulinoma cell line INS-1. Gemcitabine inhibited INS-1 cell proliferation and maintained consistent cell number for 24 h, and then caused apoptosis within 48 h of incubation. Since gemcitabine activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/Akt pathway, which is involved in the resistance of pancreatic exocrine cancer to gemcitabine, we investigated the participation of this pathway in gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity in INS-1 cells. LY294002 and wortmannin, two PI3-K inhibitors, significantly prevented gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity in INS-1 cells, indicating that the PI3-K/Akt pathway is involved in gemcitabine-induced cytotoxicity. Gemcitabine-induced Akt phosphorylation in INS-1 cells was prevented by LY294002. Although gemcitabine induced cell cycle arrest at the G1 and early S phases, LY294002 did not inhibit the cell cycle. These data suggest that PI3-K activation does not influence gemcitabine-induced cell cycle arrest. In gemcitabine-treated cells, nuclear fragmentation and DNA ladder formation were observed. These findings suggest that gemcitabine induced apoptotic cell death in INS-1 cells through the activation of the PI3-K/Akt pathway.
Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat accumulates due to lipids producing adipocytes and an increased number of differentiated mature cells. Recently, new findings have shown that macrophages infiltrate into adipose tissues and produce various pro-inflammatory cytokines in obese subjects. The inflammatory changes induced by the cross-talk between adipocytes and macrophages are critical for the pathophysiology of obesity and thus of metabolic syndrome. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) is known to have many functions, including antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, but there is no evidence of its effect on the inflammatory responses in hypertrophic adipocytes through stimulation by macrophages. We investigated the effect of CAPE on macrophages and hypertrophic adipocytes in this study. CAPE significantly suppressed the levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced interleukin (IL)-1-beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 from a macrophage cell line, RAW264.7. Supernatants of stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages drastically increased mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, MCP-1 and TNF-alpha in 3T3-L1 hypertrophic adipocytes. CAPE also significantly and dose-dependently reduced the gene expression of these cytokines. Our findings indicate that CAPE has inhibitory effects on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines from LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. In addition, CAPE suppressed gene expressions of cytokines under inflammatory conditions of hypertrophic adipocytes, suggesting that it may have the potential to suppress inflammation by macrophage infiltration into adipose tissue in obese patients.
Antioxidant action is critical for maintaining the normal cardiovascular function and vascular endothelial cell is an important target of estrogen action through estrogen receptor (ER) pathway. This study is carried out to explore the antioxidant effect of carnosol in bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) via ER pathway. The ER subtype specific estrogenic effect of carnosol was further demonstrated by luciferase reporter gene assay in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. Carnosol was extracted from Chinese medicine Rosmarinus officinalis. ER positive BAECs were employed in cell proliferation assay and cell apoptosis tests. Oxidative stress by intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured via 2′7′-dichlorofluorescein (DCF) production. ERα and ERβ specific antagonists 1,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methyl-5-[4-(2-piperidinylethoxy)phenol]-1H-pyrazole (MPP) and 4-[2-phenyl-5,7-bis(trifluoromethyl)pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine-3-yl]phenol (PHTPP) were employed as tools in the experiment. ER negative HEK 293 cells were employed in luciferase reporter gene assay. The results indicate that carnosol can effectively attenuate H2O2 induced slowing down of cell growth and increasing of cell apoptosis. At the meantime, carnosol pretreating can also effectively reduce the H2O2 induced intracellular ROS elevation in BAECs. ERα and ERβ antagonist, especially ERα antagonist, can effectively decrease the above antioxidant effects of carnosol. The reporter gene analysis further demonstrates that the action of carnosol on inducing ERE dependent luciferase expression is realized via ER pathway. The conclusion is that carnosol can exert antioxidant effects towards oxidative stress induced by H2O2 in BAECs. And such effects are realized via ER, especially ERα pathway. The results contribute to explain the mechanism of cardiovascular protective function of carnosol in postmenopausal women.
Our study showed that Shikonin (SK) could provide an action against almost all Candida albicans isolates tested. More importantly, to some Fluconazole (FCZ)-resistant Candida albicans, the action of SK (MIC80 value 4 µg/mL) was shown to be >16 times higher than that of FCZ (MIC80 >64 µg/mL). To clarify the mechanism underlying this action, we performed a comparative study in untreated control C. albicans and C. albicans treated with SK. In this study, we found that SK treatment increased generation of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, anti-oxidants N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and glutathione (GSH) could reduce the antifungal activity of SK significantly in C. albicans. Our analyses also identified 9 differentially expressed genes, which were related to glycolysis-related genes (CDC19 and HXK2), fermentation-related genes (ALD5 and ADH1), antioxidant defense-related genes (SOD2 and SOD5), thioredoxin reductase-related gene (TRR1), mitochondrial respiratory electron transport chain-related gene (MRF1) and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidoreductase-related gene (EBP1). These results suggest that mitochondrial aerobic respiration shift and endogenous ROS augmentation contribute to the action of SK against C. albicans.
Wentilactone B (EN-48-57) is one of the six derivatives separated from Aspergillus wentii (EN-48). Of these derivatives, Wentilactone B exerted a more significant antibacterial and cytotoxic activity in several tumor cell lines. The present study demonstrates that Wentilactone B could efficiently induce SMMC-7721 cells apoptosis, but not normal hepatic cells, as measured by an inverted microscope, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining and flow cytometry. In addition, Wentilactone B could inhibit the metastasis of SMMC-7721 cells, which was detected by colony formation, scratch migration and a transwell assay, and could induce a series of intracellular events, including the down-regulation of CD44 and epidermal growth factor receptor proteins. In conclusion, Wentilactone B inhibited the growth of SMMC-7721 cells by triggering apoptosis and inhibiting metastasis.
Very long chain fatty acid (VLCFA) metabolism in astrocytes is important for the maintenance of myelin structure in central nervous system. To analyze the contribution of the ABCD1-dependent and -independent pathways to VLCFA metabolism in astrocytes, we prepared human glioblastoma U87 cells with a silencing of ABCD1 and primary astrocytes from abcd1-deficient mice, and measured fatty acid β-oxidation in the presence or absence of a potent inhibitor of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I, 2-[5-(4-chlorophenyl)pentyl]oxirane-2-carboxylate (POCA). In U87 cells, C24:0 β-oxidation was decreased to ca. 70% of the control in the presence of POCA, and the activity was further decreased to ca. 20% by the silencing of ABCD1. In mouse primary astrocytes, C24:0 β-oxidation was also decreased to ca. 70% of the control in the presence of POCA. The C24:0 β-oxidation in Abcd1-deficient primary astrocytes was ca. 60% of the wild-type cells and the activity was further decreased to ca. 25% in the presence of POCA. Compared to human skin fibroblasts, in which VLCFA β-oxidation is not significantly inhibited by POCA, approximately one-third of the overall VLCFA β-oxidation was inhibited in both types of astrocytic cells. These results suggest that VLCFA is indeed β-oxidized in ABCD1-dependent pathway, but the ABCD1-independent peroxisomal and mitochondrial β-oxidation pathways significantly contribute to VLCFA β-oxidation in astrocytic cells.
Acetoacetyl-CoA synthetase (AACS) is a ketone body-utilizing enzyme that converts acetoacetate to acetoacetyl-CoA in the cytosol and consequently provides acetyl units as the precursors for lipogenesis. To clarify the role of AACS in adipogenesis, we investigated the expression and localization of the AACS protein and the effect of AACS knockdown on 3T3-L1 differentiation. The protein expression of AACS is dramatically induced during 3T3-L1 differentiation and is localized in the cytoplasm of differentiated 3T3-L1 cells. Moreover, knockdown of AACS inhibits differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells and suppresses expression of the adipocyte markers, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα). These results suggest that AACS has a crucial role in the mechanism of 3T3-L1 differentiation.
Genistein (GEN) has potential advantages for topical skin delivery, but no literature data are available for its quantitation in different skin layers, such as the stratum corneum (SC). Therefore, a simple, rapid, selective and sensitive bioanalytical method was developed and validated for GEN quantitation in porcine skin samples following in vitro permeation studies. GEN was assayed by HPLC with UV-Vis detection (270 nm) using 0.5% acetic acid in water–n-propanol–acetonitrile (50 : 2 : 48, v/v/v) as mobile phase (flow-rate of 1.0 mL/min). Specificity was demonstrated since endogenous skin components did not interfere with GEN peak. Standard analytical curve was linear over the concentration range (0.1–60 µg/mL) and the lower limit of quantitation was determined for different skin layers (100 ng/mL). GEN recovery from skin layers ranged from 95.57 to 97.57%. Permeation studies were carried out using an automated vertical diffusion cell apparatus. No fluctuation on the amount of GEN retained in the SC was observed over time, but increasing amounts of the drug were found in deeper layers of the skin. The method was reliable and reproducible for the quantitation GEN in skin samples enabling the determination of the cutaneous penetration profile of this drug in permeation experiments.
Qingkailing injection is a well-known composite formula of traditional Chinese medicine and is commonly used in clinical practice, which could offer immunomodulatory effect from our clinical experience on uveitis treatment by Qingkailing. We did the experiment in order to investigate the curative effect and mechanism of Qingkailing injection to rat experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). EAU was induced in Lewis rats by immunization IRBP1177–1191 in complete Freund’s adjuvant in multi-point. We found that Qingkailing injection can alleviate autoimmune uveitis in rats, inhibit the differentiation toward Th1 and Th17 effector cells and the relevant cytokines secretion. The therapeutic effect may also be regulated through increased secretion of interleukin (IL)-10.
Gomisin A, a dibenzocyclooctadiene lignan isolated from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis, has been reported as an anti-cancer substance. In this study, we investigated the effects of gomisin A on cancer cell proliferation and cell cycle arrest in HeLa cells. Gomisin A significantly inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner after 72 h treatment, especially in the presence of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), due to cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase with the downregulation of cyclin D1 expression and Retinoblastoma (RB) phosphorylation. In addition, gomisin A in combination with TNF-α strongly suppressed the expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). Inhibition of STAT1 pathways by a small-interfering RNA against STAT1 and AG490 Janus kinase (JAK) kinase inhibitor AG490 reduced the cyclin D1 expression and RB phosphorylation, indicating that JAK-mediated STAT1 activation is involved in gomisin A-induced G1 cell cycle arrest.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries and the most important cause of acquired adult disability. Many evidences suggest that inflammation accounts for the progression of cerebral ischemic injury. Arctigenin, a phenylpropanoid dibenzylbutyrolactone lignin isolated from certain plants, has shown anti-inflammatory activity against diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, we tested whether arctigenin can protect middle cerebral artery occluded (MCAO) rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were pretreated with arctigenin or vehicle for 7 d before being subjected to transient occlusion of middle cerebral artery and reperfusion. Rats were evaluated at 24 h after MCAO for neurological deficit scoring. Furthermore, the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory effect of arctigenin was investigated with a focus on inflammatory cells, proinflammatory cytokines, and transcriptional factors. Arctigenin significantly reduced cerebral infarction and improved neurological outcome. Arctigenin suppressed the activation of microglia and decreased the expression of interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. These results revealed that arctigenin has a promising therapeutic effect in ischemic stroke treatment through an anti-inflammatory mechanism.
Oligopeptidase B (OPB; EC 18.104.22.168) from 2 Gram-negative bacteria, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (Stm) and Serratia marcescens (Sem), and the Gram-positive bacterium Rhodococcus erythropolis (Re) were cloned and characterized to clarify their activities and substrate specificities using peptidyl-MCA substrates containing Arg or Lys. The cloned enzymes, Stm, Sem and ReOPBs, in addition to Escherichia coli OPB (EcOPB) were expressed using a pET expression system. Although the Stm and SemOPBs share 45% sequence identity to each other and up to 60% identity with respect to their catalytic domains, their activities towards MCA substrates were quite different. StmOPB is approximately 100–500 times more active than SemOPB and 3–30 times more active than EcOPB. The activity of ReOPB is comparable to that of StmOPB and it shares 40% and 36% identity to StmOPB and SemOPB, respectively. Some features of Stm, Re and EcOPBs are similar to those of previously cloned OPBs, which were also strongly inhibited by substrates, but SemOPB differs from all other OPBs in that it is not inhibited by substrates; even substrates containing double arginine at 35 µM did not inhibit SemOPB. On the other hand, the same substrates at only 5 µM inhibited the activity of the Stm, Re, and EcOPB. This phenomenon was not observed with substrates containing single or double lysine.
RecQ5 is a member of the RecQ family of DNA helicases. There are 5 RecQ members in humans. Defects in 3 of them, i.e., BLM, WRN, and RTS, cause Bloom, Werner, and Rothmund–Thomson syndromes, respectively. RECQL1 and RECQL5 have not been associated with any human disease, and their precise roles are unknown. Our previous study suggests that the lack of RecQ5, which is the Drosophila homolog of RECQL5, leads to the accumulation of DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs). It is possible that RecQ5 is involved in DSB repair. However, little is known about this possible function of RecQ5 in DSB repair. Here, we report that Rad51 protein, which plays a critical role in DSB repair, interacted with RecQ5 in vitro and in vivo in Drosophila. The Rad51 protein interacted with the C-terminal region of RecQ5, as shown by the yeast two-hybrid method. Moreover, the C-terminal region of the RecQ5 protein and the central region of Rad51 interacted directly and specifically when examined by the glutathione-S-transferase pull-down method. Consistent with these results, when RecQ5 and Rad51 were co-expressed in Drosophila cells in culture, they became co-localized in nuclei and could be co-immunoprecipitated. Furthermore, RecQ5-deficient flies (recq5) were more sensitive to the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin compared with wild-type ones. Also, Rad51 mutants (rad51) were more sensitive to cisplatin, with sensitivity similar to that of recq5 rad51 double mutants. These data suggest that RecQ5 and Rad51 in Drosophila functioned for survival after the flies had been treated with cisplatin.
Hyperin and quercetin are phenolic compounds present in fruits and vegetables that have been reported to possess strong anti-oxidative properties. Although increasing evidence strongly suggests that antioxidants suppress the melanin synthesis that is causally associated with oxidative stress, the protective actions of hyperin and quercetin against oxidative stress-induced melanogenesis have not been fully explored. To elucidate the suppressive effects of hyperin and quercetin on oxidative stress and melanin synthesis, peroxynitrite (ONOO−) scavenging activity was measured in vitro as were quantifications of melanin content, intracellular total RS, ONOO−, superoxide (•O2), nitric oxide (NO•), catalase activity and the reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio. Results showed that in vitro, hyperin and quercetin reduced ONOO−. Additionally, hyperin and quercetin suppressed total RS, ONOO−, •O2, and NO•, catalase activity, and melanin synthesis, while they boosted the GSH/GSSG ratio in B16F10 melanoma cells (B16 cells). Therefore, I propose that hyperin and quercetin have a powerful capacity to modulate oxidative stress-induced melanogenesis.
Fcγ receptors I and III are thought to be involved in the development of lupus nephritis. Expression of Fc receptor common gamma chain (FcRγ) is necessary for the stable expression of Fcγ receptors I and III. The aim of this study was to develop a novel agent for the treatment of immune complex related renal disease using a gene regulator, pyrrole(Py)–imidazole(Im) (PI) polyamide, targeting the mouse FcRγ gene promoter. Two PI polyamides targeting FcRγ promoters were designed and synthesized. The effect of the PI polyamides on FcRγ mRNA expression was evaluated in J774.A cells by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and CD16/32 protein expression was determined by immunocytochemical analysis and flow cytometry. The effects of these polyamides on FcRγ gene expression and CD16/32 protein expression were evaluated in mouse peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). One milligram per kilogram body weight of PI polyamide was injected via the tail vein every 2 d for 1 week and PBMCs were collected and analyzed. PI polyamide showed a specific binding to the target DNA in a gel mobility shift assay. Treatment of J774.A cells with 1.0 µM PI polyamide 1 significantly reduced FcRγ mRNA expression and CD16/32 surface protein expression in J774.A cells. Similarly, PI polyamide significantly decreased expression of FcRγ mRNA and CD16/32 in the PBMCs of C57B6 mice. PI polyamide designed to bind the FcRγ promoter decreased FcRγ gene and CD16/32 protein expression. PI polyamide targeting the FcRγ gene may be a novel gene regulator for the prevention of lupus nephritis or other immune complex-related disease.
The papain-like protease (PLpro), which controls replication of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), has been identified as a potential drug target for the treatment of SARS. An intensive hunt for effective anti-SARS drugs has been undertaken by screening for natural product inhibitors that target SARS-CoV PLpro. In this study, diarylheptanoids 1–9 were isolated from Alnus japonica, and the inhibitory activities of these compounds against PLpro were determined. Of the isolated diarylheptanoids, hirsutenone (2) showed the most potent PLpro inhibitory activity, with an inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 4.1 µM. Structure–activity analysis showed that catechol and α,β-unsaturated carbonyl moiety in the molecule were the key requirement for SARS-CoV cysteine protease inhibition.
Contamination of the external surface of anticancer drug vials supplied to hospital pharmacies has been recognized as a potential health hazard. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of contamination on the exterior surface of vials containing platinum anticancer drugs in Japan. Platinum contamination on the exterior surface of vials containing cisplatin or carboplatin was examined using products commercially available in Japan. Cisplatin vials from 42 batches (2 drug contents, 10 products and 5 manufacturers) and carboplatin vials from 28 batches (3 drug contents, 7 products and 3 manufacturers) were used. Five vials were randomly sampled from each batch. Exterior contamination levels of 0.070–144 ng/vial as cisplatin and 0.21–1630 ng/vial as carboplatin were detected. Significant differences in the levels of contamination among the batch numbers were observed in 6 of 10 cisplatin products and 6 of 7 carboplatin products. Significant differences in the levels of contamination were observed in 3 cisplatin products with different contents of drug within the vials and 1 carboplatin product with different contents of drug within the vials. Significant differences in the contamination levels among the cisplatin manufacturers but not carboplatin manufacturers were observed. The degree of contamination of the carboplatin products was significantly higher than that of the cisplatin products. In conclusion, external contamination was confirmed in all cisplatin and carboplatin vials tested. The degree of contamination was different among different batch numbers, drug contents, manufacturers, and platinum anticancer drug.
To investigate the inhibitory effects of hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) on the protein glycation in vitro. Using bovine serum albumin (BSA)-glucose assay, BSA-methylglyoxal (MGO) assay, and N-acetylglycyl-lysine methyl ester (G.K.) peptide-ribose assay, inhibitory effects of HSYA were investigated. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) production was assessed by AGEs-specific fluorescence and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). In BSA-glucose assay, HSYA concentration dependently decreased AGEs formation, with maximum inhibitory effects at 1 mM by 95%. Further more, HSYA also showed significant inhibitory effects on MGO-medicated protein modification and subsequent cross-linking of proteins. Finally, when co-incubated with G.K. peptide and ribose, HSYA exhibited its antiglycation effects, and the maximum inhibitory effects of HSYA at 1 mM were 84%. Overall, our present study provides the first evidence of the antiglycation effects of HSYA on AGEs formation in vitro.
Endogenous sulfatide, such as 3-sulfated galactosylceramide (3-sulfatide) has been reported to be involved in neuronal development and regulation of tumor cell metastasis. Recently, a new 6-sulfated glucosylceramide (6-sulfatide) has been isolated from the ascidian, Ciona intestinalis. To determine the antitumor function of the new sulfatide, we examined the effects of synthetic 6-sulfatide and 3-sulfatide on the metastatic features of a murine melanoma cell line, B16F10. Both sulfatides significantly inhibited the adhesion of melanoma cells onto fibronectin-coated tissue plates and, the motility and invasion of the cells, with 6-sulfatide showing stronger inhibitory activities. In addition, both sulfatides inhibited α5-, and β1- but not αv- or β3-integrin expression. Furthermore, these sulfatides inhibited the activation of focal adhesion kinase, Akt, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathways, which are thought to be important for cell migration and invasion. Therefore, these sulfatides may serve as promising drug candidates for the treatment of cancer metastasis.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of fasting on in vivo plasma levels of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a physiologically important lysophospholipid mediator. We assayed to measure activities of an LPA-producing enzyme (lysophospholipase D) and LPA-degrading enzyme activities (lysophspholipase A, lipid phosphate phosphatase) in rat plasma or blood, by measuring choline, fatty acid and inorganic phosphate, respectively. Both LPA and its precursor lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Fasting of rats for 24 h decreased plasma concentrations of oleoyl-, linoleoyl-, arachidonoyl- and docosahexaenoyl-LPAs, but not palmitoyl- and stearoyl-LPAs, possibly due to decreased levels of corresponding LPCs in the plasma and elevated lipid phosphate phosphatase activity for LPAs in the blood. Our results indicate that the in vivo circulating levels of LPAs in rats are affected by fasting.
The bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family is a group of chromatin-binding proteins characterized by two bromodomains, an extraterminal (ET) domain, and several other conserved regions of unknown function. In humans, the BET family consists of four members, BRD2, BRD3, BRD4 and BRDT, that all normally localize to the nucleus. We identified a 12-amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region that is perfectly conserved among the BET family members. We deleted these residues and expressed the mutant proteins in HEK293T cells to investigate the function of this motif. We found that the deletion of this motif alters the localization of BET proteins. Mutated BRD3 and BRD4 were excluded from the nucleus, and BRDT was found to be diffused throughout the nucleus and cytoplasm. Although the mutant BRD2 remained predominantly in the nucleus, a punctate distribution was also observed in the cytosol. It has been reported that a conserved motif between the second bromodomain and the ET domain serves as a nuclear localization signal for BRD2. Nevertheless, BET mutants lacking the reported nuclear localization signal motif but retaining the 12-amino acid stretch resided in the nucleus. Furthermore, these mutants were diffused throughout the cytoplasm when the 12 residues were removed. These results indicate that the conserved amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region of the BET family functions as a nuclear localization signal.
C–C chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2)/its receptor (CCR2) axis is considered as an important signaling pathway in inflammatory diseases. TLK-19705 is a novel CCR2 antagonist, (1-(1,3-dimethyl-1-H-pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridine-5-carbonyl)-3-(4-fluoro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)urea), and the inhibitory activity was antagonized by the third extracellular loop peptide of CCR2. We examined in this study the effects of TLK-19705 on diabetic nephropathy and atherosclerosis in mouse models. Treatment with TLK-19705 (30 mg/kg/d) for 8 weeks ameliorated urinary albumin–creatinine ratio in db/db mice. In addition, TLK-19705, given at 10 mg/kg/d for 8 weeks, significantly reduced the areas of atherosclerotic lesion in apolipoprotein E knockout mice. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate not only considerable therapeutic potential of CCR2 antagonists for diabetic nephropathy and atherosclerosis, but also that TLK-19705 would serve as a powerful tool in mechanistic investigation of these inflammatory diseases.
A human member of the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily, AKR1B10, was recently identified as both diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in the treatment of several types of cancer. In this study, we have examined AKR1B10 inhibition by five xanthone derivatives, components of pericarps of mangosteen, of which α- and γ-mangostins show potential anti-cancer properties. Among the five xanthones, γ-mangostin was found to be the most potent competitive inhibitor (inhibition constant, 5.6 nM), but its 7-methoxy derivative, α-mangostin, was the second potent inhibitor (inhibition constant, 80 nM). Molecular docking of the two mangostins in AKR1B10 and site-directed mutagenesis of the putative binding residues revealed that Phe123, Trp220, Val301 and Gln303 are important for the tight binding of γ-mangostin, and suggested that the 7-methoxy group of α-mangostin impairs the inhibitory potency by altering the orientation of the inhibitor molecule in the substrate-binding site of the enzyme.
Liposomes are of great interest as drug delivery vehicles, and studies have focused on understanding how the physical and chemical characteristics of liposomes can be modified to improve their in vivo behavior. In a previous study, we found that the slightly negatively-charged liposomes aggregate only in the culture medium of human umbilical vein endothelial cells, whereas the liposomes modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG) (PEGylated) did not aggregate. In the present study, we investigated the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon. Firstly, it was found that heparin in the culture medium is one of the factors that cause aggregation of the non-PEGylated liposomes. Since the addition of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) prevented the aggregation, metal ions, such as Ca2+ and Mg2+, in the culture medium could also be important in driving the aggregation. In the presence of heparin, higher concentrations of Ca2+ or Mg2+ increased the particle size of the non-PEGylated liposomes, although no change in the particle size of PEGylated liposomes was observed. Under conditions in which aggregation occurred, we measured the binding and uptake of liposomes by macrophages in vitro. The binding and uptake of non-PEGylated liposomes were significantly increased with increasing Ca2+ concentrations, whereas those of PEGylated liposomes were unchanged. While the formation of aggregations of cationic or anionic liposomes has been reported previously, there are few reports addressing the aggregation of slightly negatively-charged or neutral liposomes. Thus, our data provide useful insights on the effect of PEGylation on liposomal aggregation and in vivo behavior.
Recently, we have found that pressure-induced hemolysis is enhanced by inhibiting water transport via aquaporin-1 (AQP1), as seen in p-chloromercuribenzoate (pCMB)-treated erythrocytes. So, using this method we reinvestigated the functions as AQP1 inhibitors of drugs and chemicals such as acetazolamide, sodium nitroprusside, tetraethylammonium ions (TEA+), and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). The values of hemolysis at 200 MPa were almost unaffected by acetazolamide or sodium nitroprusside, decreased by TEA+, and increased significantly by DMSO. Furthermore, the erythrocytes were exposed to pCMB in the presence of TEA+ or DMSO. The enhancement effect of pCMB on pressure-induced hemolysis was unaffected by TEA+ but attenuated by DMSO. Taken together, these results suggest that, of drugs and chemicals examined here, DMSO only is an AQP1 inhibitor, but the effect of DMSO is small compared with pCMB.
In order to isolate a cholesterol-lowering compound from Alpinia katsumadai, an inhibitor for acyl-CoA : cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), an enzyme responsible for the cholesterol ester formation in liver, was purified, its chemical structure was determined, and in vivo and in vitro inhibition activities were performed. In a high fat diet mouse model, we discovered that the ethanol extract of Alpinia katsumadai reduced plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. An acyclic triterpenoid showing ACAT inhibitory activity was isolated from the extract of seeds of A. katsumadai. By NMR spectroscopic analysis of its 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, 1H–1H correlation spectroscopy, heteronuclear multiple bond connectivity (HMBC), hetero multiquantum coherence (HMQC) and nuclear Overhauser effect, chemical structure of 2,3,22,23-tetrahydroxyl-2,6,10,15,19,23-hexamethyl-6,10,14,18-tetracosatetraene (1), were elucidated. The acyclic triterpenoid was found to be responsible for the ACAT inhibition activities of rat liver microsomes with IC50 values of 47.9 µM. It also decreased cholesteryl ester formation with IC50 values of 26 µM in human hepatocyte HepG2 cell. The experimental study revealed that the ethanol extract of A. katsumadai has a hypolipemic effect in high fat diet mice, and the isolated acyclic triterpenoid has ACAT inhibition activity, showing a potential novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.
New-type three-component cationic hybrid liposomes (HLs) composed of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC), polyoxyethylene(21)dodecyl ether (C12(EO)21) and O,O′-ditetradecanoyl-N-(α-trimethylammonioacetyl) diethanolamine chloride (2C14ECl) were produced. Cationic HLs were smaller and more stable than pure DMPC liposomes. It is noteworthy that cationic HLs could remarkably inhibit the growth of human colon cancer (HCT116) cells along with apoptosis in vitro for the first time in this study.