In vivo molecular imaging is the visualization, characterization, and measurement of biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels in humans and other living systems. Among the methodologies used in in vivo molecular imaging, two methodologies are of great interest from the view of high sensitivity. One is nuclear medical imaging, and distribution and kinetics of a radiolabeled molecular probe are measured using positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The other is optical molecular imaging, and distribution and kinetics of a fluorescent probe are measured using a fluorescent imaging instrument. In this review, the development of imaging probes for these two methodologies is briefly discussed. In nuclear medical molecular imaging, based on structure–activity–biodistribution relationship studies for small molecule and the concept of “functional unit-binding multifunctional molecular probe” containing 3 functional units (target recognition unit, signal-releasing unit, linker unit) for peptides and proteins, we developed radiolabeled probes with high and specific accumulation to the target for neuroreceptors, β-amyloid plaques, and tau aggregates in the brain, tumors, atherosclerotic plaques, pancreatic β-cell, myocardial sympathetic nerves, and so on. We also discuss the progression of molecular imaging toward therapy (radiotheranotics). In in vivo optical molecular imaging, taking into account the characteristics of optical imaging, we designed tumor-specific optical imaging probes with characteristic imaging mechanism, including near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes and activatable probes. Furthermore, we developed a photoacoustic imaging probe, which enables highly sensitive and high-resolution imaging in deep tissues.
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular receptor A2 (EphA2) receptor tyrosine kinase controls multiple physiological processes to maintain homeostasis in normal cells. In many types of solid tumors, it has been reported that EphA2 is overexpressed and plays a critical role in oncogenic signaling. However, in recent years, the opposing functions of EphA2 have been explained by the canonical and noncanonical signaling pathways. Ligand- and tyrosine kinase-dependent EphA2 activation (the canonical pathway) inhibits cancer cell proliferation and motility. In contrast, ligand- and tyrosine kinase-independent EphA2 signaling (the noncanonical pathway) promotes tumor survival and metastasis and controls acquired drug resistance and maintenance of cancer stem cell-like properties. Evidence has accumulated showing that the EphA2 noncanonical pathway is mainly regulated by inflammatory cytokines and growth factors via phosphorylation at Ser-897 in the intracellular C-tail region via some serine/threonine kinases, including p90 ribosomal S6 kinase. In this review, we focus on the regulation of Ser-897 phosphorylation and its functional importance in tumor malignancy and discuss future therapeutic targeting.
Plant lectin, a class of highly diverse non-immune origin and carbohydrate-binding proteins, has been reported to specially induce cancer cell through programmed cell death (PCD) pathways (apoptosis and/or autophagy), shedding lights on screening promising anti-cancer candidate agent for further therapeutic trials. However, the complicated molecular mechanisms by which plant lectins induced the programmed death of tumor cells, have not yet been fully clarified. Here, we summarized a novel model, based on vast amount of research, by which plant lectins eliminate various types of cancer cells via three major pathways, including a) direct ribosome inactivating, b) endocytosis-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction and c) sugar-containing receptors binding. A better understanding of the role of plant lectins played and further elucidation of the strategies targeting PCD would provide a new clue for the applications and modifications of plant lectin as a potential anti-cancer agent from bench to clinic.
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of ginsenoside Rg1 on the migration of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) in vitro, and its influence on the therapeutic efficacy of OECs transplanted in vivo for the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI). Primary cultured and purified OECs (prepared from rats) were treated with ginsenoside Rg1. The wound healing test indicated that ginsenoside Rg1 promoted the migration of OECs. Real-time RT-PCR demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg1 upregulated the expression of migration-related factors of OECs, including matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, and neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1). Moreover, Western blot analysis indicated that ginsenoside Rg1 significantly promoted the migration of OECs via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. An SCI rat model was induced in vivo using a revised Allen’s method. The Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scores and histological analysis demonstrated that OECs, which were treated with ginsenoside Rg1, exhibited significant improvement in SCI compared with both the control group and the OEC group. Thus, ginsenoside Rg1 may represent a novel treatment target for SCI.
Curcumae Longae Rhizoma (Curcuma longa L.) is an important traditional Chinese medicine with multiple beneficial effects. To elucidate the genetic and chemical differences among Curcumae Longae Rhizoma samples, three DNA barcoding markers (rbcL, matK, and ITS-LSU D1/D3) and HPLC fingerprinting were employed in this study. The discriminatory power of rbcL and matK was low, as they only detected one sequence type that showed 100% similarity with more than 20 congeneric species in the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) database. In contrast, ITS-LSU D1/D3 showed sufficient discriminatory power to precisely identify all of the market samples as C. longa L. in a BLAST search as well as differentiate each sample based on 2–10 ITS-LSU D1/D3 haplotypes with intragenomic variability (mean p-distance: 0.7%, range: 0–2.6%; mean number of differences: 9.6 sites, range: 0–38 sites). HPLC fingerprinting of 13 commercial samples showed a similarity that ranged from 0.769 to 0.996, indicating that the sample quality varied. A cluster analysis based on 5 common peak areas from the HPLC chromatogram resulted in two groups. Group I included 9 samples with a relatively high chemical content, and group II contained 4 samples with a low chemical content. A Mantel test revealed a low correlation (r=0.1721, p=0.047) between genetic and chemical differences. Our findings suggest that the integrated approach of ITS-LSU D1/D3 DNA barcoding and HPLC fingerprinting provides a comprehensive, precise, and convenient method to clarify the genetic and chemical differences in Curcumae Longae Rhizoma.
The cross-linking of elastin by lysyl oxidase (LOX) family members is essential for the integrity and elasticity of elastic fibers, which play an important role in the characteristic resilience of various tissues. However, the temporal sequence of oxidation by LOX during elastic fiber formation is still incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that the cross-linking of tropoelastin molecules by LOX occurs concurrent with elastin deposition. Our data show that LOX deficiency or the inhibition of LOX enzyme activity leads to the loss of elastin deposition in skin fibroblast. Moreover, overexpression of LOX promotes the deposition and alignment of tropoelastin, whereas the addition of recombinant active-form of LOX in culture medium caused abnormal elastic fiber assembly. Immunoblotting and immunofluorescence show that LOX and tropoelastin are present together with fibronectin on the cell surface of preconfluent cultures. Further, fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis for the localization of LOX on the cell surface reveals that the transfer of LOX to the extracellular space occurs in association with elastic fiber formation. In conclusion, our results support the view that LOX and tropoelastin are present on the cell surface and suggests the possibility that lysine oxidation by LOX precedes tropoelastin deposition onto microfibrils.
OTC drugs have an important role in self-medication. However, the pharmacokinetic properties of some OTC drugs have not been fully investigated and reports concerning their drug interactions are insufficient. Several gastrointestinal drugs are available as OTC drugs. Because of their pharmacological properties, these drugs are often used concomitantly with other drugs. Therefore, it is important to predict the possible drug interactions among these drugs. In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of five gastrointestinal drugs, namely loperamide, oxethazaine, papaverine, pirenzepine, and trimebutine, on CYP activities in human liver microsomes. Furthermore, we calculated the ratio of the intrinsic clearance of each CYP substrate in the presence or absence of the gastrointestinal drugs. The possibility of drug interactions in vivo was predicted by cut-off criteria. CYP3A4 activity was markedly inhibited by trimebutine, papaverine, and oxethazaine. Their inhibitory properties were competitive and the Ki values were 6.56, 12.8, and 3.08 µM, respectively. Alternative R values of CYP3A4 exceeded the cut-off level. These results suggested that drug interactions mediated by CYP3A4 may occur during treatment with these gastrointestinal drugs, necessitating the confirmation of the clinical significance of these drug interactions to prevent unexpected adverse effects.
Tumor angiogenesis plays an important role in tumor growth and metastasis, with tumor cells requiring nutrients and oxygen via blood flow for their proliferation. In comparison, angiogenesis also occurs under normal physiological conditions, such as wound healing and in the formation of the corpus luteum. Herein, we report on the development of a novel dendritic cell (DC) vaccine therapy using tumor endothelial cells (TECs) derived from tumor vessels as tumor antigens. After density gradient centrifugation and the detection of angiotensin-converting enzyme activities, a TEC-rich fraction was separated from solid tumor tissues. Prophylactic or therapeutic immunization using DCs pulsed with TECs as vaccine antigens significantly suppressed solid tumor growth in a Colon-26 colorectal adenocarcinoma tumor-bearing mouse model, compared with the use of tumor cells as DC vaccine antigens. Tumor tissues showed reduced angiogenesis. However, vaccination using DCs pulsed with TECs did not inhibit physiological angiogenesis as evidenced by a wound healing assay. Additionally, in a B16/BL6 mouse melanoma lung metastasis model, DC vaccination using TECs derived not only from the same tumor tissue but from a different type of tumor also suppressed metastasis. These results thus show that cancer vaccine therapy targeting TECs is an effective therapy against angiogenesis in several types of cancer, but does not affect normal blood vessel growth.
The transcription factor nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) regulates various biological processes, including inflammatory responses. We previously reported that eudesmane-type sesquiterpene lactones inhibited multiple steps in the canonical NF-κB signaling pathway induced by tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1α. In contrast, the biological activities of eudesmane-type sesquiterpene lactones on the non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathway remain unclear. In the present study, we found that (11S)-2α-bromo-3-oxoeudesmano-12,6α-lactone, designated santonin-related compound 2 (SRC2), inhibited NF-κB luciferase reporter activity induced by lymphotoxin β (LTβ) in human lung carcinoma A549 cells. Although SRC2 did not prevent the processing of the NF-κB subunit p100 induced by LTβ, it inhibited the nuclear translocation of RelB and p52 in response to the LTβ stimulation. In contrast to (−)-dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin, SRC2 inhibited the LTβ-induced nuclear translocation of the RelB (C144S) mutant in a manner similar to wild-type RelB. While eudesmane derivatives possessing an α-bromoketone moiety or α,β-unsaturated carbonyl moieties inhibited LTβ-induced NF-κB luciferase reporter activity, eudesmane derivatives possessing an α-bromoketone moiety exhibited stronger inhibitory activity on the LTβ-induced nuclear translocation of RelB than those possessing a single α-methylene-γ-lactone moiety. The results of the present study revealed that SRC2 inhibits the nuclear translocation of RelB in the non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathway induced by LTβ.
α-Cyperone, a sesquiterpene compound represents 25.23% of the total oil and is the most abundant compound in Cyperus rotundus oil. Endothelial cell protein C receptor (EPCR) is a main member in protein C (PC) anti-coagulation system. EPCR could be shed from cell surface, and is mediated by tumor necrosis factor-α converting enzyme (TACE). Nothing that EPCR is a marker of vascular barrier integrity in vascular inflammatory disease and takes part in systemic inflammatory disease. In this study, we investigated whether α-cyperone could inhibit EPCR shedding. To observe the effect, we investigated this issue by detection the effect of α-cyperone on phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced EPCR shedding in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The cells were pretreated with α-cyperone for 12 h, and then stimulated by PMA for 1 h. The solute EPCR (sEPCR) and expression of membrane EPCR (mEPCR) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot. The mRNA, protein level and activity of TACE were tested by quantitative (q)RT-PCR, Western blot and InnoZyme TACE activity assay kit. Furthermore, we measured the protein level of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and protein kinase C (PKC) pathway under this condition by Western blot. The results showed that α-cyperone could suppress PMA-induced EPCR shedding through inhibiting the expression and activity of TACE. In addition, α-cyperone could inhibit PKC translocation, but not have an effect on phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 and extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK) 1/2. Given these results, α-cyperone inhibits PMA-induced EPCR shedding through PKC pathway, which will provide an experimental basis for further research on α-cyperone.
Morphine is widely used for relieving cancer pain in patients with advanced cancer. However, whether morphine can suppress or promote the progression of cancer in breast cancer patients receiving morphine analgesia remains unclear. Therefore, we used an in vitro model treated with morphine and naloxone to investigate the effects of morphine on breast cancer cell line MCF-7. MCF-7 cells were cultured with different concentrations (0.01 to 10 µM) of morphine at 12th, 24th, 36th, 48th, 60th and 72nd hours. Then, cell viability was measured through the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and cell cycle and apoptosis assays were detected by flow cytometry (FCM). In addition, cell proliferation was conducted by colony formation assay. In this study, we have found that morphine (0.01 to 10 µM) could significantly reduce the cell vitality, growth and colony formation rate of MCF-7 cells, which has a certain relationship with cell cycle progression arrested at the G0/G1 and G2/M phase and MCF-7 cells apoptosis. Moreover, naloxone along with morphine could not reverse these effects, which indicates that the inhibition of MCF-7 breast cancer cell growth and proliferation by morphine could be its independent effect, not associated with opioid receptors. Morphine can inhibit cell growth by blocking the cell cycle and promote apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Hence, morphine may be unable to promote the progression of cancer in breast cancer patients receiving morphine analgesia.
Cynanchi Wilfordii Radix (CWR) is used in Korea as a substitute for Polygoni Multiflori Radix (PMR), which is a crude drug traditionally used in East Asian countries. Recently, the use of Cynanchi Auriculati Radix (CAR) in place of PMR and CWR has emerged a major concern in the Korean market. In Japan, PMR is permitted to be distributed as a pharmaceutical regulated by the Japanese Pharmacopoeia 17th edition (JP17). Although CWR and CAR have not traditionally been used as medicines, CWR was recently introduced as a health food. The distribution of unfamiliar CWR-containing products could lead to the misuse of original species for PMR and CWR like in Korea. To prevent this situation, the original species of plant products distributed as PMR, CWR, and CAR in the Korean and Chinese markets were surveyed and identified by their genes and components. The results revealed that all two PMR in the Korean market were misapplied as CAR, and that CAR was incorrectly used in eight of thirteen products distributed as CWR in both markets. As PMR is strictly controlled by JP17, the risk of mistaking PMR for CWR and CAR would be low in Japan. In contrast, the less stringent regulation of health food products and the present situation of misidentification of CWR in the Korean and Chinese markets could lead to unexpected health hazards. To ensure the quality and safety of crude drugs, it is important to use the information about the genes and components of these crude drugs.
Minerals are essential for life, as they are a vital part of protein constituents, enzyme cofactors, and other components in living organisms. Deep sea water is characterized by its cleanliness and stable low temperature, and its possible health- and medical benefits are being studied. However, no study has yet evaluated the physical properties of the numerous commercially available deep sea water products, which have varying water sources and production methods. We analyzed these products’ mineral content and investigated their effect on living organism, focusing on immune functions, and investigated the relation between physiological immunoactivities and mineral intake. We qualitatively analyzed the mineral compositions of the deep sea water drinks and evaluated the drinks’ physical properties using principal component analysis, a type of multivariate analysis, of their mineral content. We create an iron and copper-deficient rat model and administered deep sea water drinks for 8 weeks. We then measured their fecal immunoglobulin A (IgA) to evaluate immune function. Principal component analysis suggested that physical properties of deep sea water drinks could be determined by their sources. Administration of deep sea water drinks increased fecal IgA, thus tending to stimulate immune function, but the extent of this effect varied by drink. Of the minerals contained in deep sea water, iron showed positive correlations with the fecal IgA. The principal component analysis used in this study is suitable for evaluating deep sea water containing many minerals, and our results form a useful basis for comparative evaluations of deep sea water’s bioactivity.
Liver cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. Due to treatments failures from drug resistance and cancer metastasis, discovering more effective treatments is imperative. As an angiogenesis inhibitor extracted from the Chinese herb-Safflower, hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) inhibits the tumor growth in H22-bearing mice. Poorly differentiated hepatoma cells showed the ability to invade and metastasize, which are dependent on the angiogenesis. Accordingly, we hypothesized that HSYA could inhibit the metastasis of liver cancer cells. We investigated the metastasizing potential of human hepatic carcinoma SMMC-7721 cells treated with HSYA. A pulmonary metastatic model of mouse hepatoma H22 cells was established to evaluate the effect and possible mechanism of HSYA on lung metastasis from liver cancer. The results showed that HSYA inhibited the proliferation, invasion and migration of SMMC-7721 cells and reduced its adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). In H22 mice treated with HSYA, the formation of E-cadherin/β-catenin complex resulted in the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2. As a result, the degradation of ECM was reduced and epithelial-mesenchymal transition was prevented. The present findings indicate that HSYA can prevent pulmonary metastasis in liver cancer, which provides strong evidence for the application of HSYA in treatments.
β-Adrenergic receptor (β-AR)-induction of collagen-I synthesis is partially mediated by the cardiac mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) system. However, it remains unclear whether the selective MR antagonist, eplerenone, inhibits collagen-I synthesis induced by β-AR stimulation. We investigated the effects of eplerenone on the responses to a non-selective β-AR agonist, isoproterenol, which induced collagen-I synthesis in primary cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) and the left ventricle. mRNAs encoding the MR and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type I (11β-HSD1) were evident in the left ventricle and primary CFs. mRNAs encoding the CYP family 11 subfamily B member 2 (CYP11-B2) were not detected, even after isoproterenol treatment. In vivo, isoproterenol induced collagenous fiber accumulation in the left ventricle. The phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), 11β-HSD1 levels, and mRNA/protein levels of collagen-I increased upon exposure to isoproterenol, but these increases were inhibited by eplerenone co-treatment. In primary CFs, isoproterenol increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and the expression levels of both 11β-HSD1 and collagen-I; these isoproterenol-attributable effects were inhibited by co-treatment with eplerenone and PD98059, a specific inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase activity. The results suggest that 11β-HSD1 but not CYP11-B2 is expressed in primary CFs. Eplerenone inhibited isoproterenol-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and expression of 11β-HSD1 and collagen-I in primary CFs, as well as the progression of cardiac fibrosis in the left ventricle. Therefore, eplerenone inhibited the isoproterenol-induced increases in 11β-HSD1 and collagen-I expression in primary CFs, and progression of cardiac fibrosis in the left ventricle.
Aging leads to functional changes in the brain and decreases ability of learning and memory. Neurite outgrowth is important in learning and memory, therefore regulation of neurite outgrowth might be a candidate for treating aged brain. Echinocystic acid (EA), a pentacyclic triterpene, has shown to exert various neurological effects. However, the effect of EA on neurite outgrowth has not been studied. In this study, we examined if EA is effective on neurite outgrowth and memory in aged mice. The effect of EA on neurite outgrowth was observed by examining neurite processes of Neuro2a cells treated with EA. Western blot analysis was conducted to examine possible mechanisms. Morris water maze test was used to examine the effect of EA on learning and memory in aged mice. Immunohistochemistry was conducted to observe the effect of EA on neurite outgrowth in the hippocampus. EA was shown to induce neurite outgrowth in a concentration dependent manner without affecting cell viability. Moreover, EA treatment increased phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and JNK inhibitor, SP600125, blocked the effect of EA on neurite outgrowth. These results demonstrated that EA treatment promotes neurite outgrowth through the JNK signaling pathway. In in vivo experiments, EA treatment increased neurite outgrowth in aged mouse hippocampus. Moreover, EA treatment enhanced spatial learning and memory in aged mice. These results suggest that EA can be developed as a new, naturally occurring drug to treat ageing-related neurological diseases.
Kakkonto (KK), a traditional Japanese Kampo formulation for cold and flu, is generally sold as an OTC pharmaceuticals used for self-medication. Kampo formulations should be used according to the Sho-symptoms of Kampo medicine. These symptoms refer to the subjective symptoms themselves. Although with OTC pharmaceuticals, this is often not the case. We surveyed the relationship of agreement of Sho with the benefit feeling rate (BFR) of patients who took KK (n=555), cold remedies with KK (CK, n=315), and general cold remedies (GC, n=539) using internet research. BFR of a faster recovery was greater in participants who took the medication early and who had confidence in their physical strength in all treatment groups. BFR was significantly higher in the GC group than in the KK group for patients with headache, runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing, and cough. BFR was also significantly higher in the GC group than in the CK group for headache (males) and cough (females). BFR was the highest in the KK group for stiff shoulders. All cold remedies were more effective when taken early, and the larger the number of Sho that a patient had, the greater the BFR increased. Therefore, a cold remedy is expected to be most effective when there are many cold symptoms and when it is taken at an early stage of the common cold.
To elucidate the mechanism whereby distigmine, an underactive bladder remedy, potentiates urinary bladder contractions long-lastingly, the inhibition of recombinant human acetylcholinesterase (rhAChE) by distigmine was investigated. A centrifugal ultrafiltration device, Nanosep® 10K, was used to separate rhAChE and a bound inhibitor from an unbound inhibitor, reaction substrate, and reaction product. This allowed the same aliquot of rhAChE to be repeatedly assayed for up to 48 h to confirm the long-lasting binding of an inhibitor. Cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitors, distigmine, pyridostigmine, neostigmine, and ambenonium, were tested. The dissociation rate constant (kdiss) and dissociation half-life (t1/2) of each inhibitor were determined based on the changes in rhAChE activity. Within 2–4 h after removing pyridostigmine, neostigmine, or ambenonium, the rhAChE activity was restored to the control levels. The kdiss values for pyridostigmine, neostigmine, and ambenonium were calculated to be 0.51±0.05, 0.66±0.03, and 1.41±0.08 h−1, and the t1/2 values were calculated to be 1.36, 1.05, and 0.49 h, respectively. With distigmine, the rhAChE activity initially dropped to 17% of that in the control and then slowly recovered to only 50% by 48 h after drug removal. The kdiss and t1/2 values of distigmine were calculated to be 0.012±0.001 h−1 and 57.8 h, respectively. Based on the t1/2 values, distigmine was judged to dissociate from acetylcholinesterase (AChE) 40–120-fold slower than the other ChE inhibitors did. This may explain the long-lasting potentiation of urinary bladder contractions and motility by distigmine as a treatment for an underactive bladder.
Background: Epigenome-targeting drugs, for example, histone decetylases (HDACs) inhibitors, have been recently shown to induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells, which could potentially be used as anticancer therapy. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been widely used in clinical trials of various cancers. HDAC inhibitor vorinostat, TKIs dasatinib have been tested in pivotal phase 2 clinical trials in patients with breast cancer. The combination treatment of vorinostat with dasatinib is expected to have synergistic effect on inhibiting breast cancer cell growth. Materials and Methods: Antiproliferation effects of the combined drugs on MCF-7 cells were designed according to Chou–Talalay method and analyzed with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cell-cycle perturbation and cell apoptosis induction of the combination drugs were examined by Flow cytometry. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and the expression of Bcl-2 were determined by Western blot. Results: Our results revealed that the combination treatment had synergistic effects on anti-MCF7 cells, enhanced G2/M cell arrest, the generation of ROS, the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and cell apoptosis in MCF-7 cells in synergy. Moreover, the combination treatment decreased Bcl-2 expression. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that the combination of vorinostat with dasatinib exerted synergistic anticancer effects on MCF-7 cells by inducing cell cycle arrest, ROS production, and apoptosis through the mitochondria-mediated intrinsic pathway.
Uridine 5′-diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) is expressed in the liver and extrahepatic tissues. One of the major metabolic pathways of β-estradiol (E2) is glucuronidation at the 17-hydroxy position by UGTs. This study was performed to determine E2 17-glucuronidation kinetics in human and rodent liver, small intestine, and kidney microsomes and to clarify the species and tissue differences. In the human liver and small intestine, Eadie–Hofstee plots exhibited biphasic kinetics, suggesting that E2 17-glucuronide (E17G) formation was catalyzed by more than two UGT isoforms in both tissues. The Km values for E17G formation by the high-affinity enzymes in the human liver and small intestine were 1.79 and 1.12 µM, respectively, and corresponding values for the low-affinity enzymes were 3.72 and 11.36 µM, respectively. Meanwhile, E17G formation in the human kidney was fitted to the Hill equation (S50=1.73 µM, n=1.63), implying that the UGT isoform catalyzing E17G formation in the kidney differed from that in the liver and small intestine. The maximum clearance for E17G formation in the human kidney was higher than the intrinsic clearance in the liver. E17G formation in the rat liver and kidney exhibited biphasic kinetics, whereas that in the small intestine was fitted to the Hill equation. In mice, all 3 tissues exhibited biphasic kinetics. In conclusion, we reported species and tissue differences in E2 17-glucuronidation, which occurred not only in the human liver but also in the extrahepatic tissues particularly the kidney.
A significant reduction of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been identified in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Thus, clarification of the mechanism of GDNF production, and modulating brain GDNF levels could be a novel therapeutic approach. A previous study demonstrated that antidepressant amitriptyline-induced GDNF production was significantly inhibited by pertussis toxin (PTX), a Gi/o protein inhibitor in astrocytes, the main source of GDNF in the brain. However, it is not known whether direct activation of Gi/o protein might induce GDNF expression, and what mechanisms might be involved after Gi/o protein activation. The current study investigated Gi/o protein-initiated GDNF production in rat cortical astrocytes using activators that directly activate Gi/o protein, mastoparan and compound48/80. Treatment of astrocytes with either mastoparan or compound48/80 increased GDNF mRNA expression at 3 and 6 h, and GDNF protein release at 24 h. Treatment of astrocyte with either mastoparan or compound48/80 increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression as well as GDNF. Mastoparan and compound48/80-induced GDNF mRNA expression were significantly inhibited by not only PTX, but also fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitors, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK) inhibitor. In fact, both FGFR substrate2α (FRS2α) and ERK phosphorylation were increased by treatment with either mastoparan or compound48/80, and these were significantly blocked by PTX. Thus, direct, receptor-independent Gi/o protein activation increases GDNF production through FGFR/ERK signaling pathway. The current results indicate a critical role of Gi/o signaling in the regulation of GDNF expression in astrocytes.
Due to the highly specific binding between an antibody and its target, superior analytical performances was obtained by immunoassays for phytochemical analysis over conventional chromatographic techniques. Here, we describe a simple method for producing a functional single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody against ganoderic acid A (GAA), a pharmacologically active metabolite from Ganoderma lingzhi. The Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) strain produced a large amount of anti-GAA scFv. However, in vitro refolding steps, which partially recovered the reactivity of the scFv, were required. Interestingly, the functional scFv was expressed as a soluble and active form in the cytoplasm of an engineered E. coli SHuffle® strain. Purified anti-GAA scFv, which yielded 2.56 mg from 1 L of culture medium, was obtained from simple and inexpensive procedures for expression and purification. The anti-GAA scFv-based indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (icELISA) exhibited high sensitivity (linearity: 0.078–1.25 µg/mL) with precision (CV: ≤6.20%) and reliability (recovery: 100.1–101.8%) for GAA determination. In summary, the approach described here is an inexpensive, simple, and efficient expression system that extends the application of anti-GAA scFv-based immunoassays. In addition, when in vitro refolding steps can be skipped, the cost and complexity of scFv antibody production can be minimized.
Treatment with antipsychotic drugs has been associated with hyperprolactinemia. The same antipsychotic drugs have also been associated with side effects such as menstruation disorders. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of hyperprolactinemia and menstruation disorders in women undergoing antipsychotic treatment. We performed a retrospective chart review study of psychiatric patients who underwent laboratory testing for serum prolactin (PRL) level between March 2011 and March 2015 in Ehime University Hospital. Patients presenting with and without menstruation disorders were evaluated to determine if they presented concomitant hyperprolactinemia. Patients with menstrual disorders had a significant increase in serum PRL level with a mean of approximately 90 ng/mL. Those with menstrual disorders presented increased PRL levels by 2-fold that of patients without menstrual disorder. However, there was no significant difference in the equivalent dose of chlorpromazine between these two groups. Additionally, about 70% of patients with menstrual disorders received risperidone treatment. The receiver operating characteristic curve showed that the optimal cutoff point of serum PRL level associated with the development of menstrual disorders was 60 ng/mL. Based on these results, we concluded that patients with menstrual disorders presented increased serum PRL, and that most of them underwent treatment with risperidone.
Persistent inhalation of mitragynine (MG), a major alkaloid in the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, causes various systemic adverse effects such as seizure, diarrhea and arthralgias, but its toxicity to endothelial cells and effects on barrier function of the cells are poorly understood. In this study, we compared toxicities of MG and mitraphylline, another constituent of the leaves, against human aortic endothelial (HAE), bronchial BEAS-2B, neuronal SK-N-SH, hepatic HepG2, kidney HEK293, gastric MKN45, colon DLD1, lung A549, breast MCF7 and prostate LNCaP cells, and found that MG, but not mitraphylline, shows higher toxicity to HAE cells compared to the other cells. Forty-eight-hours incubation of HAE cells with a high concentration of MG (60 µM) provoked apoptotic cell death, which was probably due to signaling through enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and resultant caspase activation. Treatment of the cells with MG at sublethal concentrations less than 20 µM significantly lowered transendothelial electrical resistance and elevated paracellular permeability, without affecting the cell viability. In addition, the MG-elicited lowering of the resistance was abolished by a ROS inhibitor N-acetyl-L-cysteine and augmented by H2O2 and 9,10-phenanthrenequinone, which generates ROS through its redox cycle. These results suggest the contribution of ROS generation to the increase in endothelial barrier permeability.
Neurotrophins play an important role in the control of the hair growth cycle. Therefore, neurotrophin receptor antagonists have therapeutic potential for the treatment of hair growth disorders. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of Panax ginseng, a medicinal plant commonly used to treat alopecia, on the binding of neurotrophins to their receptors. In addition, we isolated and characterized the bioactive compounds of P. ginseng extracts. P. ginseng hexane extracts strongly inhibited brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-TrkB and β-nerve growth factor (β-NGF)-p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) binding. Furthermore, we identified the following 6 polyacetylene compounds as the bioactive components in P. ginseng hexane extract: panaxynol (1), panaxydol (2), panaxydol chlorohydrin (3), 1,8-heptadecadiene-4,6-diyne-3,10-diol (4), panaxytriol (5), and dihydropanaxacol (6). In particular, compounds 4, 5, and 6 significantly inhibited BDNF-TrkB binding in a dose-dependent manner. To identify the structural component mediating the inhibitory effect, we investigated the effects of the hydroxyl moiety in these compounds. We found that the inhibitory effect of panaxytriol (5) was strong, whereas the inhibitory effect of Ac-panaxytriol (7) was relatively weak. Our findings suggest that P. ginseng-derived polyacetylenes with a hydroxyl moiety might provide therapeutic benefits to patients with hair growth disorders such as alopecia by inhibiting the binding of neurotrophins to their receptors. Although saponins have been proposed to be the primary mediators of the effects of P. ginseng on hair growth, this study revealed that polyacetylene compounds exert similar effects.
Galectins comprise a group of animal lectins characterized by their specificity for β-galactosides. Galectin-2 (Gal-2) is predominantly expressed in the gastrointestinal tract and has been identified as one of the main gastric mucosal proteins that are proposed to have a protective role in the stomach. As Gal-2 is known to form homodimers in solution, this may result in crosslinking of macromolecules with the sugar structures recognized by Gal-2. In this study, we report that Gal-2 could interact with mucin, an important component of gastric mucosa, in a β-galactoside-dependent manner. Furthermore, Gal-2 and mucin could form an insoluble precipitate, potentially through the crosslinking of mucins via Gal-2 and the formation of a lattice, resulting in a large insoluble complex. Therefore, we suggest that Gal-2 plays a role in the gastric mucosa by strengthening the barrier structure through crosslinking the mucins on the mucosal surface.
Duloxetine is an antidepressant which has showed valuable results, particularly in patients with major depression. This type of drugs is known to require genotoxic studies as part of their preclinical safety evaluation. In the case of duloxetine, however, there have been controversial results. Therefore, we considered it worthwhile to extend studies on the matter in an attempt to reach a conclusion. The present assay was made in mouse bone marrow to evaluate the capacity of the drug to induce sister chromatid exchanges (SCE), as well as to modify the proliferation kinetics and the mitotic index. Three doses of the antidepressant were tested (2, 20, and 200 mg/kg), besides the control mice were administered with purified water, and the positive treated animals administered with 1 mg/kg of doxorubicin. The results indicated a moderate but significant increase of SCE with the three tested doses, no effect regarding the mitotic index and a small reduction in the proliferation kinetics. Although in our assay the drug showed a lower effect, the present study agreed with a previous report that analyzed the amount of micronuclei in mouse peripheral blood, and it confirmed the relevance of evaluating the genotoxic effect of antidepressants, specifically duloxetine by applying diverse tests.
CD4+ T cells play a critical role in the development of allergic inflammation in several target organs. Various adhesion molecules are involved in the local recruitment of T cells and other inflammatory cells. We investigated the differential contribution of adhesion molecules to T helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 cell-mediated allergic lung and bowel inflammation by employing their neutralizing antibodies. BALB/c mice transferred with in vitro-differentiated antigen-specific Th1 and Th2 cells were intratracheally or intrarectally challenged with a relevant antigen. Infiltration of infused T cells occurred, along with the accumulation of neutrophils and eosinophils in the lungs of Th1 and Th2 cell-transferred recipients, respectively. Th1-mediated neutrophil and Th2-mediated eosinophil accumulation in the large intestine, which occurred after intrarectal challenge with the antigen, was indicated by the significant elevation of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) activity. Blocking experiments with neutralizing antibodies indicated that intercellular cell adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1; vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1; and αL, β2, and β7 integrins participate in the accumulation of Th2 cells and eosinophils in the lungs. In contrast, the migration of Th1 cells and neutrophils was diminished by blockage of αL/β2-integrin and ICAM-1, respectively. Mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule (MadCAM)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, α4, β1, and β7 contributed to Th1-mediated neutrophilic inflammation in the bowel, though only MadCAM-1, α4, αL, and β2 were involved in Th2-mediated eosinophilic inflammation. We conclude that distinct sets of adhesion molecules are involved in Th1- and Th2-mediated allergic lung and bowel inflammation.
Increases in the expression of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) are widely known to be involved in aberrant growth in the early stage of colon cancer development. We herein demonstrated that the novel indole compound MW-03 reduced PGE2-induced cAMP formation by catalization to an inactive metabolite by inducing 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase through the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ. MW-03 also inhibited colon cancer cell growth by arresting the cell cycle at the S phase. Although the target of MW-03 for cell cycle inhibition has not yet been identified, these dual anti-cancer effects of MW-03 itself and/or its leading compound(s) on colon cancer cells may reduce colon cancer development and, thus, have potential as a novel treatment for the early stage of this disease.
Human serum albumin (HSA), the most abundant protein in serum, functions as carrier of drugs and contributes to maintaining serum colloid osmotic pressure. We report herein on the preparation of a genetic recombinant HSA, in which domains II and III were changed to domain I (triple domain I; TDI). Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) results indicated that the purity of the TDI was equivalent to that of the wild type (WT). Both far- and near-UV circular dichroism (CD) spectra of the TDI showed that its structural characteristics were similar to the WT. Ligand binding capacity was examined by an ultrafiltration method using 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid (CMPF) and ketoprofen as markers for site I and site II, respectively. The binding capacity of TDI for both ligands was lower than that for the wild type. TDI significantly suppressed the oxidation of dihydrorhodamine 123 (DRD) by H2O2 compared to the WT. Our current results suggest that TDI has great potential for further development as HSA a product having antioxidative functions.