Research on multidrug resistance (MDR) has spread widely, with the emphasis on the development of therapeutic approaches. This line of research began in the early 1970s. In 1981 and 1982, calcium channel blockers such as verapamil and calmodulin inhibitors were found to enhance the intracellular levels of vincristine (VCR) and adriamycin (ADM) in resistant tumor cells by inhibiting their outward transport and to circumvent MDR in animal experiments. Since these results were noted for verapamil, various other compounds have been investigated to overcome drug resistance. Among these compounds, two compounds were evaluated in our laboratory. The non-immunosuppressive cyclosporin derivative SDZ PSC833 (PSC) has been shown to reverse MDR completely in vitro and in vivo. The second compound is MS-209, a novel quinoline derivative. MS209 completely reversed the resistance against VCR and ADM in vitro. MS209 enhanced the chemotherapeutic effects of VCR and ADM in P388/VCR-and P388/ADM-bearing mice. MS-209 has now started clinical trials in Japan. In addition to these chemical agents, monoclonal antibodies (moAb) against P-glycoprotein such as MRK16 could be useful tools for selective killing of MDR tumor cells. Furthermore another moAb MRK17 can be used against human MDR cells transfected with macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) gene. M-CSF can act as an enhancer of antibody dependent cellular cytotoxity (ADCC) in therapy of human MDR cancer with the anti-P-glycoprotein antibody.
The synthesis of natural products involves the following two fundamental procedures : the synthesis of a key intermediate (which will be synthesized in a convergent way) and transformation of the key intermediate to various natural products (which should be synthesized in a divergent process). Either of these procedures requires new generally applicable synthetic ideas or methods for the efficient synthesis of the natural products. On the basis of this concept, the total syntheses of spiro-type alkaloids in Amaryllidaceae, erythrinan, and homoerythrinan group are described, and the application of several new synthetic methods which were developed during the syntheses is abso discussed.
The first total synthesis of the antitumor macrolide rhizoxin in a highly stereocontrolled manner was described. The construction of the key building fragments required for the total synthesis of the antitumor macrolide rhizoxin, that arose from our retrosynthetic analysis of rhizoxin in an optically pure form by concise and efficient sequence analyses, was described. Synthesis of the right-wing was started from the chiral half-ester generated by asymmetric hydrolysis of the corresponding meso-diester using pig liver esterase. The remaining chiral centers of the fragment was constracted by cyclic hydroboration. Synthesis of the left-wing was also accomplished starting from (S)-methyl 3-hydroxy-2-methylpropionate which had been prepared by enzyme mediated transformation. Coupling of the right-wing and the left-wing was accomplished by Julia coupling, and the macrocyclic lactone was constructed by the intramolecular Horner-Emmons reaction. The control of the stereoselective epoxidations was well achieved after the formation of an unsaturated 16-membered macrocyclic lactone. Chromophore-side-chain moiety was constructed at the final stage by the reaction of the phosphineoxide in 80% yield with high selectivity (E/Z=>20/1). The present methodology will be useful for the synthesis of the homologues and man-made rhizoxin.
A novel prostaglandin I2 (PGI2) analogue, beraprost sodium, is the first launched drug as an orally active PGI2. PGI2 was discovered in 1976, and has attracted much attention as a medicine for cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks because of its potent antiplatelet and vasodilating effect. However, PGI2 is extremely unstable for the use as practical medicines. Thus, stable PGI2 analogues have been explored by a large number of researchers in the world. Just after the discovery of PGI2, we started a research on chemically and metabolically stable PGI2 derivatives with longer duration of action and less adverse reaction. We invented a novel class of stable PGI2, 5, 6, 7-trinor-4, 8-infer-m-phenylenePGI2 analogues that have the phenol moiety instead of the enolether moiety of PGI2. Further efforts were devoted to enhance the efficacy of the PGI2. analogues and to eliminate their side effects, and an orally active analogue, beraprost sodium, was obtained. In order to establish the synthetic route of beraprost sodium, various novel processes were invented, including ortho-selective metalation of bromoanisoles by means of Grignard reagents, copper-catalyzed SN2' cyclization to prepare cyclopenta [b] benzofuran, and stereo-selective elongation of the omega-side chain by Prins reaction. Beraprost sodium inhibited platelet aggregation induced by adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP), collagen and arachidonic acid. It was shown that the drug
Intestinal absorption and renal tubular secretion are transport processes determining the availability and the disposition of drugs in the body. In this review, our studies on the molecular and cell biological analyses of intestinal absorption and renal secretion of drugs are described. We evaluated the transepithelial transport and the cellular accumulation of peptide-like drugs such as β-lactam antibiotics and bestatin (a dipeptide-like antineoplastic agent) in the human adenocarcinoma colon cell line, Caco-2, as an in vitro model for studying absorption mechanisms of these drugs. We have found that the transcellular transport of these peptide-like drugs is mediated by both the apically- and basolaterally-localized peptide transporters. To characterize molecular aspects of absorption of the peptide-like drugs, we studied cDNA cloning of H+/peptide cotransporters, PEPT1 and PEPT2, expressed in rats. The rat PEPT1 has been shown to mediate the H+-coupled uphill transport of β-lactam antibiotics across the brush-border membranes of the intestinal and renal epithelia. The rat PEPT2 is expressed predominantly in the kidney, but not in the intestine, mediating tubular reabsorption of the peptide-like drugs. We examined the transcellular transport of organic cations across monolayers of the kidney epithelial cell line, LLC-PK1. We have found that LLC-PK1 cells possess the H+/organic cation antiporter and the membrane potential-sensitive organic cation transporter in the apical and basolateral membranes, respectively, thereby tetraethylammonium (TEA) being transported unidirectionally from the basolateral to the apical side of the monolayers. We have isolated a cDNA encoding a rat kidney-specific organic cation transporter, OCT 2, which transports TEA in a H+-gradient independent manner, suggesting that OCT2 is localized to the basolateral membranes of renal tubular cells. In addition, a cDNA encoding a novel rat organic anion transporter, OAT-K1, has been cloned. OAT-K1 is expressed exclusively in the renal proximal tubules, and mediates the transport of methotrexate. Analyses of the molecular and cell biological mechanisms for drug absorption and secretion will provide information for the understanding of organspecific drug transport systems and for the development of drug design and/or drug delivery system.
Tacrolimus hydrate (FK506), a novel 23-membered macrolide, is an immunosuppressant isolated from Streptomyces tsukubaensis using extensive screening of fermentation products to identify a compound inhibiting the mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). The in vitro and in vivo immunosuppressive activities of FK506 were found to be more potent than those of cyclosporine (CyA). The superior immunosuppression with FK506 treatment was also confirmed in the skin allograft model in rats and liver transplantation in dogs. Clinical studies were initiated by Prof. Starzl at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, and he demonstrated that FK506 surpassed CyA in the incidence of graft survival and the frequency of graft rejection. Multicenter randomized clinical studies, comparing FK506 to CyA corroborated the efficacy of FK506 on the survival of patients and of grafts, and especially on the appearance of severe refractory graft rejection. FK506 was marketed in 1993 in Japan, and was followed in 1994 in the U.S.A., U.K, and Germany. The mechanism of action of this compound was clarified by the endeavors of Prof. Schreiber, who demonstrated the existence of a binding protein for FK506 called FKBP, similar to cyclophilin for CyA. The FK506/FKBP complex binds with calcineurin, a serine/threonine phosphatase to inhibit the translocation of NFAT into the nucleus, resulting in inhibition of transcription of IL-2 mRNA. FK506 displays potent immunosuppressant activity, and contributes not only to the progress of transplantation therapy for clinical studies, but also to the clarification of signal transduction in T cell activation for basic science.
A so-called "fumarizine" isomer, (R )-1-(6-methoxy-2, 3-methylenedioxybenzyl)-2-methyl-6, 7-methylenedioxy-1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydroisoquinoline was asymmetrically synthesized via the stereoselective reduction of the corresponding iminium ion possessing a chiral auxiliary, which was obtained by the Bischler-Napieralski cyclization of N-[(R)-1-phenylethyl]-N-[2-(3, 4-methylenedioxyphenylethyl)] -2-(6-methoxy-2, 3-methylenedioxyphenyl) acetamide. Since the spectral data for the synthetic compound were different from those reported for the natural product, the structure of fumarizine must be reexamined.