Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by the occurrence of translocations between chromosomes 15 and 17, resulting in generation of a fusion protein of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) and retinoid A receptor (RAR) α. APL cells are unable to differentiate into mature granulocytes since PML-RARα functions as a strong transcriptional repressor for a gene involved in granulocyte differentiation. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is the first agent that has been developed to target specific disease-causing molecules, i.e., ATRA suppresses abnormal functions of oncogenic proteins. Moreover, ATRA facilitates the differentiation of APL cells toward mature granulocytes by changing epigenetic modifiers from corepressor complexes to co-activator complexes on target genes after binding to the ligand-binding domain at the RARα moiety of the PML-RARα oncoprotein. On the other hand, arsenic trioxide (ATO), another promising agent used to treat APL, directly binds to the PML moiety of the PML-RARα protein, causing oxidation and multimerization. ATO enhances the conjugation of small ubiquitin-like modifiers to PML-RARα, followed by ubiquitination and degradation, relieving the genes associated with granulocytic differentiation from suppressive restraint by the oncoprotein. Recent clinical studies have demonstrated that combination therapy with both ATRA and ATO is useful to achieve remission.
Phosphoinositides(4,5)-bisphosphates [PI(4,5)P2] critically controls membrane excitability, the disruption of which leads to pathophysiological states. PI(4,5)P2 plays a primary role in regulating the conduction and gating properties of ion channels/transporters, through electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions that allow direct associations. In recent years, the development of many molecular tools have brought deep insights into the mechanisms underlying PI(4,5)P2-mediated regulation. This review summarizes the methods currently available to manipulate the cell membrane PI(4,5)P2 level including pharmacological interventions as well as newly designed molecular tools. We concisely introduce materials and experimental designs suitable for the study of PI(4,5)P2-mediated regulation of ion-conducting molecules, in order to assist researchers who are interested in this area. It is our further hope that the knowledge introduced in this review will help to promote our understanding about the pathology of diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias, bipolar disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease which are somehow associated with a disruption of PI(4,5)P2 metabolism.
SKLB-M8, a derivative of millepachine, showed significant anti-proliferative effects in melanoma cell lines. In this study, we investigated the anti-melanoma and anti-angiogenic activity of SKLB-M8 on three melanoma cell lines (A2058, CHL-1, and B16F10) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In vitro, SKLB-M8 showed anti-proliferative activity with IC50 values of 0.07, 0.25, and 0.88 μM in A2058, CHL-1, and B16F10 cell lines, respectively. Flow cytometory analysis showed that SKLB-M8 induced G2/M arrest in three melanoma cell lines, and western blotting demonstrated that SKLB-M8 down-regulated the expression of cdc2, up-regulated p53 in A2058 and CHL-1 cells, and triggered cell apoptosis through down-regulating AKT and phosphorylated mTOR (p-mTOR). SKLB-M8 also inhibited HUVEC proliferation, migration, invasion, and tube formation in vitro with the inhibition of phosphorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2). In vivo, alginate-encapsulated tumor cell assay revealed that SKLB-M8 suppressed B16F10 tumor angiogenesis. In CHL-1- and B16F10-tumor–bearing mouse models, SKLB-M8 inhibited tumor growth by oral treatment with less toxicity. CD31 immunofluoresence staining and caspase-3 immunohistochemistry indicated that SKLB-M8 inhibited melanoma tumor growth by targeting angiogenesis and inducing caspase3-dependent apoptosis. SKLB-M8 might be a potential anti-melanoma drug candidate.
A novel codrug, α-DDB-FNCG, was synthesized through coupling of α-biphenyl dimethyl dicarboxylate (α-DDB) and the nucleoside analogue FNCG, via an ester bond. The anti-HBV activity and hepatoprotective effects of this compound were investigated both in vitro and in vivo. In HBV-transfected HepG2.2.15 cell line, the secretion of HBsAg and HBeAg as well as the levels of extracellular and intracellular viral DNA were determined by ELISA and real-time fluorescent quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (FQ-PCR), respectively. In DHBV-infected ducks, the viral DNA levels in serum and liver were determined by FQ-PCR. In addition, the levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in both serum and liver were also examined. The improvement of ducks’ livers was evaluated by histopathological analysis. It has been demonstrated that α-DDB-FNCG could suppress the levels of HBV antigens and viral DNA in a time- and dose-dependent manner in the HepG2.2.15 cell line. Furthermore, this codrug could also significantly inhibit the viral DNA replication and reduce the ALT and AST levels in both serum and liver of DHBV-infected ducks, with improved hepatocellular architecture in drug-treated ducks. In short, these results suggest that α-DDB-FNCG could be a promising candidate for further development of new anti-HBV agents with hepatoprotective effects.
Among the various cancer cell lines, HeLa cells were found to be sensitive to pterostilbene (Pte), a compound that is enriched in small fruits such as grapes and berries. However, the mechanism involved in the cytotoxicity of Pte has not been fully characterized. Using biochemical and free radical biological experiments in vitro, we identified the pro-apoptotic profiles of Pte and evaluated the level of redox stress–triggered ER stress during HeLa cell apoptosis. The data showed a strong dose–response relationship between Pte exposure and the characteristics of HeLa apoptosis in terms of changes in apoptotic morphology, DNA fragmentation, and activated caspases in the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. During drug exposure, alterations in the intracellular redox homeostasis that favor oxidation were necessary to cause ER stress–related apoptosis, as demonstrated by enzymatic and non-enzymatic redox modulators. A statistically significant and dose-dependent increase (P < 0.05) was found with regard to the unique expression levels of Nrf2/ARE downstream target genes in HeLa cells undergoing late apoptosis, levels that were restored with anti-oxidant application with the Pte treatment. Our research demonstrated that Pte trigged ER stress by redox homeostasis imbalance, which was negatively regulated by a following activation of Nrf2.
Intracranial aneurysm (IA) and aortic dissection are both complications of hypertension and characterized by degeneration of the media. Given the involvement of prostaglandin F2α and its receptor, FP, in extracellular matrix remodeling in a mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis, here we induced hypertension and IA in rats by salt loading and hemi-lateral ligation of renal and carotid arteries and examined effects of a selective FP antagonist, AS604872, on these vascular events. AS604872 significantly accelerated degeneration of the media in both cerebral artery and aorta as evidenced by thinning of the media and disruption of the elastic lamina and promoted IA and aortic dissection. Notably, AS604872 induced expression of pro-inflammatory genes such as E-selectin in lesions and significantly enhanced macrophage infiltration. Suppression of surface expression of E-selectin with cimetidine prevented macrophage infiltration and aortic dissection. Thus, AS604872 exacerbates vascular inflammation in hypertensive rats and facilitates IA and aortic dissection. These results demonstrate that both IA and aortic dissection are caused by chronic inflammation of the arterial wall, which is worsened by AS604872, cautioning that other FP antagonists may share such deleterious actions in vascular homeostasis and suggesting that AS604872 can be used to make models of these vascular diseases with extensive degeneration.
Akebia saponin D (ASD) is a typical bioactive triterpenoid saponin obtained from the rhizome of Dipsacus asper Wall. Previous studies have found that ASD has a hepatoprotective effect in a mouse model. The purpose of this paper was to explore the molecular mechanism of the hepatoprotective effects of ASD on BRL cells and isolated rat liver mitochondria. We investigated the effects of ASD on rotenone-induced toxicity in BRL cells. The results showed that ASD inhibited the accumulation of reactive oxidant species, ATP deficiency, and mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation; ameliorates mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction, and improved the activity of complex I in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating that ASD likely improved mitochondrial function. ASD suppressed rotenone-induced BRL cell apoptosis and increased Bcl-2/Bax ratio. These results suggest that ASD may exert hepatoprotective effects against rotenone-induced toxicity through mitochondria. This study supports our previous research that ASD possesses hepatoprotective activity in vivo and it is worthy of further study.
G-protein–activated inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels are expressed in many tissues and activated by several Gi/o protein–coupled receptors, such as opioid and dopamine receptors, and thus are known to be involved in the modulation of opioid-induced analgesia, pain, and reward. We focused on a GIRK-channel subunit that plays a pivotal role in the brain, GIRK2, and investigated the contribution of genetic variations of the GIRK2 (KCNJ6) gene to individual differences in the sensitivity to opioid analgesia. In our initial linkage disequilibrium analysis, a total of 27 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected within and around the regions of the KCNJ6 gene. Among them, the rs2835859 SNP, for which associations with analgesia and pain have not been previously reported, was selected in the exploratory study as a potent candidate SNP associated with opioid analgesic sensitivity. The results were corroborated in further confirmatory study. Interestingly, this SNP was also found to be associated with sensitivity to both cold and mechanical pain, susceptibility to nicotine dependence, and successful smoking cessation. The results indicate that this SNP could serve as a marker that predicts sensitivity to analgesic and pain and susceptibility to nicotine dependence.
Oxaliplatin is a chemotherapeutic agent that induces chronic refractory neuropathy. To determine whether opioids effectively relieve this chronic neuropathy, we investigated the efficacies of morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl, and the mechanisms underlying opioid antinociception, in oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy in rats. Rats exhibited significant mechanical allodynia following 2 weeks of chronic oxaliplatin administration. Within the range of doses that did not induce sedation and/or muscle rigidity, morphine (3 mg/kg, subcutaneously, s.c.) and oxycodone (0.3 – 0.56 mg/kg, s.c.) completely reversed oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia, whereas fentanyl (0.017 – 0.03 mg/kg, s.c.) showed partial antinociception. The antinociception of the optimal doses of morphine and oxycodone were completely inhibited by pertussis toxin (PTX; 0.5 μg/rat, i.c.v.), a Gi/o protein inhibitor, while the partial effect of fentanyl was not affected in the oxaliplatin model. In the [35S]-GTPγS binding assay, activation of μ-opioid receptor by fentanyl, but not by morphine or oxycodone, in the mediodorsal thalamus was significantly reduced in oxaliplatin-treated rats. These results indicate that the lower antinociceptive potency of fentanyl in the oxaliplatin model might in part result from the loss of PTX-sensitive Gi/o protein activation, and the degree of Gi/o protein activation might be related to the potency of antinociception by opioids in this model.
We previously reported that serofendic acid, a lipophilic extract of fetal calf serum, protects against oxidative stress in primary culture of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. However, the effect of serofendic acid on myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury in vivo is yet to be determined. In the present study, we investigated the effect of intravenous administration of serofendic acid on ischemia–reperfusion injury induced by transient occlusion of the left coronary artery in rats. The rat heart was subjected to 25-min ischemia followed by 2-h reperfusion. Bolus intravenous administration of serofendic acid (1 – 10 mg/kg) given twice reduced the infarct volume in a dose-dependent manner. The protective effect of serofendic acid was abolished by pretreatment with 5-hydroxydecanoate, a blocker of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels. For further testing of the protective effect of serofendic acid at the subcellular level, we monitored mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in individual cells using real-time two-photon imaging of Langendorff-perfused rat heart. A 25-min no-flow ischemia, followed by reperfusion caused progressive MMP loss. Serofendic acid significantly reduced the number of cells undergoing MMP loss. These results suggest that serofendic acid protected cardiac myocytes against myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury by preserving the functional integrity of mitochondria.
T-705 (favipiravir) is a potent inhibitor of RNA polymerases of influenza viruses. Susceptibility variants were isolated during passages in the presence of T-705. Nine variants with 0.4 to 2.1 times the 50% inhibitory concentration for plaque formation of the parent A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) strain had amino acid variations in the PB1, PB2, and PA genes of the RNA polymerase complex. However, the variation patterns in the RNA polymerase complex indicated that T-705 does not work as a mutagen, and resistant mutants were not isolated, possibly because a mutation leading to resistance would be lethal to the RNA polymerase function.
The present study investigated the effect of ryanodine receptors (RyRs) in the development and expression of morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). Type 2 RyRs (RyRs-2) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) significantly increased in morphine-conditioned mice, whereas type 1, 2, and 3 RyRs in the frontal cortex and ventral tegmental area showed no changes. Intracerebroventricular pretreatment with dantrolene, a RyRs antagonist, during the conditioning phase of CPP, dose-dependently inhibited morphine-induced CPP. The expression of morphine-induced CPP was abolished by dantrolene administration before the post-conditioning test. These findings suggest that RyRs-2 in the NAcc participate in the development and expression of morphine-induced CPP.