Transferrin (Tf) conjugated lipopolyplexes (LPs) carrying G3139, an antisense oligonucleotide for Bcl-2, were synthesized and evaluated in Tf receptor positive K562 erythroleukemia cells and then in a murine K562 xenograft model.
Materials and Methods
Particle size and Zeta potentials of transferrin conjugated lipopolyplexs containing G3139 (Tf-LP-G3139) were measured by Dynamic Light Scattering and ZetaPALS. In vitro and in vivo sample’s Bcl-2 downregulation was analyzed using Western blot and tumor tissue samples also exhibited by immunohistochemistry method. For athymic mice bearing with K562 xenograft tumors, tumor growth inhibition and survival rate were investigated. Nanoparticle distribution in 3-D cell cluster was observed by Laser scan confocal microscopy. IL-12 production in the plasma was measured by ELISA kit.
In vitro, Tf-LP-G3139 was more effective in inducing down regulation of Bcl-2 in K562 cells than non-targeted LP-G3139, free G3139 and mismatched control ODN-G4126 in the same formulation. In vivo Tf-LP-G3139 was less effective than free G3139 in Bcl-2 down regulation. 3-D cell cluster model diffusion results indeed indicated limited penetration of the LPs into the cell cluster. Finally, the therapeutic efficacies of Tf-LP-G3139 and free G3139 were determined in the K562 xenograft model. Tf-LP-G3139 showed slower plasma clearance, higher AUC, and greater accumulation in the tumor compared to free G3139. In addition, Tf-LP-G3139 was found to be more effective in tumor growth inhibition and prolonging mouse survival than free G3139. This was associated with increased spleen weight and IL-12 production in the plasma.
The role of the immune system in the therapeutic response obtained with the Tf-LPs is necessary and in vitro 3-D cell cluster model can be a potential tool to evaluate the nanoparticle distribution.
Bcl-2; leukemia; lipopolyplexs; targeted drug delivery; transferrin receptor
Recurrence of colon cancer, which affects nearly 50% of patients treated by conventional therapeutics, is thought to be due to re-emergence of chemotherapyresistant cancer stem/stem-like cells (CSCs). Therefore, development of therapeutic strategies for targeted elimination of CSCs would be a novel strategy. The current study examines whether diflourinated-curcumin (CDF), a novel analog of the dietary ingredient of curcumin, in combination with 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin (5-FU + Ox), the mainstay of colon cancer chemotherapeutic, would be effective in eliminating colon CSCs.
Multiple methodologies that include real-time RT-PCR, Western blot, MTT assay, caspase-3 activity, colono-sphere formation, Hoechst-33342 dye exclusion and NF-κB-ELISA were used.
We observed that CDF together with 5-FU + Ox were more potent than curcumin in reducing CD44 and CD166 in chemo-resistant colon cancer cells, accompanied by inhibition of growth, induction of apoptosis and disintegration of colonospheres. These changes were associated with downregulation of the membrane transporter ABCG2 and attenuation of EGFR, IGF-1R, and NF-κB signaling consistent with inactivation of β-catenin, COX-2, c-Myc and Bcl-xL and activation of the pro-apoptotic Bax.
Our results suggest that CDF together with the conventional chemotherapeutics could be an effective treatment strategy for preventing the emergence of chemoresistant colon cancer cells by eliminating CSCs.
β-catenin; chemo-resistance; NF-κB; oxaliplatin; 5-fluorouracil
Emerging evidence clearly suggests the potential chemopreventive and anti-tumor activity of a well known “natural agent” curcumin. However, studies have shown that curcumin is not readily bioavailable, and thus the tissue bioavailability of curcumin is also poor except for gastrointestinal track. Because of the potential biological activity of curcumin, many studies have attempted for making a better analog of cucumin that is equally effective or better with increased bioavailability, which was the purpose of our current study.
We have designed and synthesized new difluoro Knoevenagel condensates of curcumin and Schiff bases along with their copper (II) complexes and evaluated their biological activities with respect to the inhibitory effects on purified rabbit 26S proteasome, and growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis in colon and pancreatic cancer cell lines.
All copper complexes possess distorted square planar geometries with 1:1 metal to ligand stoichiometry with reversible copper redox couple. The difluoro compound CDF exhibited inhibitory effects on purified rabbit 20S proteasome or cellular 26S proteasome, and caused both growth inhibition of cancer cell lines and induced apoptotic cell death in our preliminary assessment.
Our results suggest that our newly synthesized classes of curcumin analogs could be useful as chemopreventive and/or therapeutic agents against cancers.
apoptosis; cancer cells; cell growth; curcumin; difluoro Knoevenagel condensates of curcumin
Camptothecin (CPT), a potent topoisomerase I inhibitor, was originally discovered as an anticancer agent to induce programmed cell death of cancer cells. Recent evidence suggests that, similar to cancer, alterations in apoptosis and over-proliferation of key effector cells in the arthritic joint result in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis. Initial in vitro studies have suggested that camptothecin inhibits synoviocyte proliferation, matrix metalloproteinases expression in chrondrocytes and angiogenesis. This study is one of the first to test, in vivo, RA as a new indication for CPT.
To circumvent insolubility, instability and toxicity of CPT, we used biocompatible, biodegradable and targeted sterically stabilized micelles (SSM) as nanocarriers for CPT (CPT-SSM). We also surface-modified CPT-SSM with vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) for active targeting. We then determined whether this nanomedicine abrogated collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice.
Based on our findings, this is the first study to report that CPT was found to be efficacious against CIA at concentrations significantly lower than usual anti-cancer dose. Furthermore, a single subcutaneous injection of CPT-SSM-VIP (0.1 mg/kg) administered to CIA mice mitigated joint inflammation for at least 32 days thereafter without systemic toxicity. CPT alone needed at least 10-fold higher dose to achieve the same effect, albeit with some vacuolization in liver histology.
We propose that CPT-SSM-VIP is a promising targeted nanomedicine and should be further developed as a safe, long-acting, disease-modifying pharmaceutical product for RA.
camptothecin; phospholipid micelles; rheumatoid arthritis; targeted drug delivery; vasoactive intestinal peptide
Treatment of acute lung injury (ALI) observed in Gram-negative sepsis represents an unmet medical need due to a high mortality rate and lack of effective treatment. Accordingly, we developed and characterized a novel nanomedicine against ALI. We showed that when human glucagon-like peptide 1(7–36) (GLP-1) self-associated with PEGylated phospholipid micelles (SSM), the resulting GLP1-SSM (hydrodynamic size, ~15 nm) exerted effective anti-inflammatory protection against lipopoly-saccharide (LPS)-induced ALI in mice.
GLP1-SSM was prepared by incubating GLP-1 with SSM dispersion in saline and characterized using fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism. Bioactivity was tested by in vitro cAMP induction, while in vivo anti-inflammatory effects were determined by lung neutrophil cell count, myeloperoxidase activity and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in LPS-induced ALI mice.
Amphipathic GLP-1 interacted spontaneously with SSM as indicated by increased α-helicity and fluorescence emission. This association elicited increased bioactivity as determined by in vitro cAMP production. Correspondingly, subcutaneous GLP1-SSM (5–30 nmol/mouse) manifested dose-dependent decrease in lung neutrophil influx, myeloperoxidase activity and interleukin-6 in ALI mice. By contrast, GLP-1 in saline showed no significant anti-inflammatory effects against LPS-induced lung hyper-inflammatory responses.
GLP1-SSM is a promising novel anti-inflammatory nanomedicine against ALI and should be further developed for its transition to clinics.
acute lung injury; anti-inflammation; GLP-1; gram-negative sepsis; PEGylated phospholipid micelles
Cancer chemoprevention is defined as the use of natural, synthetic, or biological agents to suppress, reverse or prevent the carcinogenic process from turning into aggressive cancer. Prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) is a unique pro-apoptotic protein that selectively induces apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. However, its role in other malignancies has not been fully explored. This study tries to identify the functional significance of Par-4 in pancreatic cancer.
Multiple molecular techniques such as Western blot analysis, trypan blue assay for cell viability, MTT assay for cell growth inhibition and Histone/DNA ELISA for apoptosis were used.
Western blot analysis revealed that 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) a chemopreventive agent, specifically its more bioavailable formulation, B-DIM, at low doses (20 μmol/L) induces Par-4, in L3.6pl and Colo-357 pancreatic cancer cells. At similar doses, DIM reduced cell viability and caused cell growth inhibition and apoptosis. Moreover, DIM pre-treatment sensitized the cells to cytotoxic action of chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine through up-regulation of Par-4.
The induction of Par-4 is indirectly related to increased sensitivity and cell death through apoptosis. To our knowledge the results reported here showed, for the first time, the induction of Par-4 by chemopreventive agents, in general, and DIM, in particular, in pancreatic cancer cells in vitro.
apoptosis; B-DIM; chemoprevention; pancreatic cancer; Par-4
The lack of an in vivo diagnostic test for AD has prompted the targeting of amyloid plaques with diagnostic imaging probes. We describe the development of a contrast agent (CA) for magnetic resonance microimaging that utilizes the F(ab′)2 fragment of a monoclonal antibody raised against fibrillar human Aβ42
This fragment is polyamine modified to enhance its BBB permeability and its ability to bind to amyloid plaques. It is also conjugated with a chelator and gadolinium for subsequent imaging of individual amyloid plaques
Pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated this 125I-CA has higher BBB permeability and lower accumulation in the liver and kidney than F(ab′)2 in WT mice. The CA retains its ability to bind Aβ40/42 monomers/fibrils and also binds to amyloid plaques in sections of AD mouse brain. Intravenous injection of 125I-CA into the AD mouse demonstrates targeting of amyloid plaques throughout the cortex/hippocampus as detected by emulsion autoradiography. Incubation of AD mouse brain slices in vitro with this CA resulted in selective enhancement on T1-weighted spin-echo images, which co-register with individual plaques observed on spatially matched T2-weighted spin-echo image
Development of such a molecular probe is expected to open new avenues for the diagnosis of AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid plaques; antibody fragments; contrast agent; magnetic resonance imaging
To design a smart nano-vehicle (SNV) capable of permeating the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to target cerebrovascular amyloid formed in both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebrovascular amyloid angiopathy (CAA).
SNV consists of a chitosan polymeric core prepared through ionic gelation with tripolyphosphate. A polyamine modified F(ab') portion of IgG4.1, an anti-amyloid antibody, was coated as a biosensor on the SNV surface. A similar polymeric core coated with bovine serum albumin (BSA) served as a control nano-vehicle (CNV). The BBB uptake of 125I-SNVs and 125I-CNVs was evaluated in mice. The uptake and transcytosis of SNVs and CNVs across bovine brain microvascular endothelial cells (BBMECs) was evaluated using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.
Plasma clearance of 125I-SNVs was nine times higher than that of the 125I-CNVs. However, the uptake of 125I-SNVs in various brain regions was about 8 to 11 times higher than that of 125I-CNVs. The uptake of FITC-BSA loaded SNVs in BBMECs was twice the uptake of FITC-BSA loaded CNVs. Confocal micrographs demonstrated the uptake and transcytosis of Alexa Fluor 647 labeled SNVs, but not CNVs, across the BBMEC monolayer.
SNVs are capable of carrying a payload of model protein across the BBB to target cerebral amyloid.
Alzheimer's disease; blood brain barrier; brain delivery; cerebral amyloid angiopathy; chitosan nanoparticles
To explore whether miR-19 is involved in the regulation of multidrug resistance (MDR), one of the main causes of breast cancer mortality, and modulates sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents.
We analyzed miRNA expression levels in three MDR cell lines in comparison with their parent cell line, MCF-7, using a miRNA microarray. We investigated whether inhibitor of miR-19 sensitized MDR cells to chemotherapeutic agents in vitro and in vivo.
MiR-19 was overexpressed in all three MDR cell lines compared to their parental cell line, MCF-7. Expression levels of miR-19 in MDR cells were inversely consistent with those of PTEN. Inhibitor of miR-19a restored sensitivity of MDR cells to cytotoxic agents; administration of LNA-antimiR-19a, a chemo-modified miR-19a inhibitor, sensitized MDR cells to chemotherapeutic agents in vivo.
Our findings demonstrate, for the first time, involvement of miR-19 in multidrug resistance through modulation of PTEN and suggest that miR-19 may be a potential target for preventing and reversing MDR in tumor cells.
breast cancer; microRNA; multidrug resistance; PTEN
The purpose of the current study was to assess the effect of newly synthesized Curcumin analogs on COX-2 protein by molecular docking studies and by assessments of the effect of one such analog (CDF) on nuclear factor NF-κB and PGE2. In addition, we have determined the pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of CDF in mice compared to Curcumin.
Molecular docking on COX-2 protein was assessed by standard computer modeling studies. PGE2 assay in conditioned media was done utilizing high sensitivity immunoassay kit following manufacturer’s instructions, while NF-κB was done by routine EMSA. Serum pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution studies were carried out using the validated high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods.
The molecular docking showed that fluorocurcumin analogs do not introduce any major steric changes compared to the parent Curcumin molecule, which was consistent with down-regulation of NF-κB and reduced PGE2 levels in cells treated with CDF. Pharmacokinetic parameters revealed that CDF had better retention and bioavailability and that the concentration of CDF in the pancreas tissue was 10-fold higher compared to Curcumin.
Our observations clearly suggest that the bioavailability of CDF is much superior compared to Curcumin, suggesting that CDF would be clinically useful.
COX-2; curcumin; fluorocurcumin; pharmacokinetics
analytical methodology; biomarkers; limit of quantitation; pharmacokinetics
The central objective of the current study was to evaluate the skin pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution of cell penetrating peptides (CPP) modified nano-structured lipid carrier (NLC) using an in vivo dermal microdialysis (MD) technique.
Celecoxib (Cxb) encapsulated NLCs (CXBN), CPP modified CXBN (CXBN-CPP) and Cxb-Solution (CXBS) formulations were prepared and tested for in vitro skin distribution. MD was used to assess pharmacokinetic parameters of Cxb after topical application of Cxb formulations. The effect of pre-treatment with Cxb formulations was evaluated for expression of prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) after exposure of xylene using MD. Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) model was used to confirm in vivo therapeutic response of Cxb formulations.
The cumulative permeation of Cxb in MD dialysate after 24 h for CXBN-CPP was significantly higher (p<0.001) than CXBN and CXBS. Further, pre-treatment with CXBN-CPP significantly inhibited PGE2 and IL-6 expression compared to CXBS and CXBN (p<0.001). In ACD model, CXBN-CPP showed significant reduction (p<0.001) in ear thickness compared to controls.
Surface modification of NLC with CPPs can enhance the skin permeation of Cxb and MD can be used to investigate pharmacokinetics of Cxb nanoparticles in the skin.
Nanoparticles; Dermal Pharmacokinetics; Cell Penetrating Peptides; Microdialysis; Polyarginine peptide
To investigate the influence of nanocarrier molecular size and shape on breast duct retention in normal rats using a non-invasive optical imaging method.
Fluorescein-labeled PEG nanocarriers of different molecular weights and shapes (linear, two-arm, four-arm, and eight-arm) were intraductally administered (50 nmol) to female Sprague-Dawley rats. Whole body images were obtained non-invasively. Fluorescence intensities (i.e., amount remaining in duct) were plotted against time to estimate the nanocarrier ductal retention half-lives (t1/2). Plasma samples were taken and the pharmacokinetics (Tmax, Cmax) of absorbed nanocarriers was also assessed.
The t1/2 of linear 12, 20, 30, 40, and two-arm 60 kDa nanocarriers were 6.7 ± 0.9, 16.1 ± 4.1, 16.6 ± 3.4, 21.5 ± 2.7, and 19.5 ± 6.1 h, whereas the four-arm 20, 40, and eight-arm 20 kDa had t1/2 of 9.0 ± 0.5, 11.5 ± 1.9, and 12.6 ± 3.0 h. The t1/2 of unconjugated fluorescein was significantly lower (14.5 ± 1.4 min). The Tmax for 12, 40, 60 kDa nanocarriers were 1, 24, and 32 h, respectively, and only 30 min for fluorescein.
Since normal breast ducts are highly permeable, the use of nanocarriers may be helpful in prolonging ductal retention of diagnostic and/or therapeutic agents.
ductal retention; ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS); intraductal drug delivery; non-invasive imaging; PEG nanocarriers
Nanotechnology is evolving as a new field that has a potentially high research and clinical impact. Medicine, in particular, could benefit from nanotechnology, due to emerging applications for noninvasive imaging and therapy. One important nanotechnological platform that has shown promise includes the so-called iron oxide nanoparticles. With specific relevance to cancer therapy, iron oxide nanoparticle-based therapy represents an important alternative to conventional chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Iron oxide nanoparticles are usually composed of three main components: an iron core, a polymer coating, and functional moieties. The biodegradable iron core can be designed to be superparamagnetic. This is particularly important, if the nanoparticles are to be used as a contrast agent for noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Surrounding the iron core is generally a polymer coating, which not only serves as a protective layer but also is a very important component for transforming nanoparticles into biomedical nanotools for in vivo applications. Finally, different moieties attached to the coating serve as targeting macromolecules, therapeutics payloads, or additional imaging tags. Despite the development of several nanoparticles for biomedical applications, we believe that iron oxide nanoparticles are still the most promising platform that can transform nanotechnology into a conventional medical discipline.
cancer; diagnosis; drug delivery; gene delivery; iron oxide nanoparticle; magnetic nanoparticle; molecular imaging; MRI; nanomedicine; siRNA; therapy
The tyrosine kinase c-Abl localizes to the mitochondria under cell stress conditions and promotes apoptosis. However, c-Abl has not been directly targeted to the mitochondria. Fusing c-Abl to a mitochondrial translocation signal (MTS) that is activated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) will selectively target the mitochondria of cancer cells exhibiting an elevated ROS phenotype. Mitochondrially targeted c-Abl will thereby induce malignant cell death.
Confocal microscopy was used to determine mitochondrial colocalization of ectopically expressed c-Abl-EGFP/cMTS fusion across three cell lines (K562, Cos-7, and 1471.1) with varying levels of basal (and pharmacologically modulated) ROS. ROS were quantified by indicator dye assay. The functional consequences of mitochondrial c-Abl were assessed by DNA accessibility to 7-AAD using flow cytometry.
The cMTS and cMTS/c-Abl fusions colocalized to the mitochondria in leukemic (K562) and breast (1471.1) cancer phenotypes (but not Cos-7 fibroblasts) in a ROS and PKC dependent manner.
We confirm and extend oxidative stress activated translocation of the cMTS by demonstrating that the cMTS and Abl/cMTS fusion selectively target the mitochondria of K562 leukemia and mammary adenocarcinoma 1471.1 cells. c-Abl induced K562 leukemia cell death when targeted to the matrix but not the outer membrane of the mitochondria.
cryptic MTS; reactive oxygen species; mitochondria; translocation; c-Abl
Increased expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) resulting in nitric oxide elevation represents an important component of inflammatory responses. We assess the effects of methylprednisolone (MPL) on these processes during endotoxin-induced acute inflammation and provide a mechanism-based model to quantitatively describe them.
Male Lewis rats were dosed with lipopolysaccharide (50 μg/kg LPS) alone or with methylprednisolone (10 and 50 mg/kg) and sacrificed at different time points. Plasma MPL, lung iNOS mRNA expression, plasma nitric oxide (NO) and other physiological factors were measured. Sodium nitrate (750 μmole/kg) was given to a separate cohort of rats to assess NO disposition kinetics. PK-PD modeling was performed with ADAPT 5.
Disposition kinetics of plasma MPL and NO showed bi-exponential decline and were described by two-compartment models. LPS increased expression of iNOS mRNA in lung and increased plasma NO, while MPL dosing palliated this increase in a dose-dependent manner. These effects were well captured using tandem indirect response and precursor-pool models.
The model provides a quantitative assessment of the suppression of NO production by MPL and shows that the major effects are at the transcriptional level by reducing expression of iNOS mRNA.
corticosteroids; inflammation; iNOS; nitric oxide; PK-PD modeling
This comparison employs mathematical disease progression models to identify a rat model of arthritis with the least inter-animal variability and features lending to better study designs.
Arthritis was induced with either collagen (CIA) or mycobacterium (AIA) in either Lewis or Dark Agouti (DA) rats. Disease progression was monitored by paw edema and body weight. Models with production, loss, and feedback components were constructed and population analysis using NONMEM software was employed to identify inter-animal variability in the various disease progression parameters.
Onset time was the only parameter different within all four groups (DA–AIA 11.5 days, DA–CIA 16.5 days, Lewis–AIA 11.9 days, Lewis–CIA 13.9 days). The loss-of-edema rate constant was 20% slower in DA (0.362 h−1) than Lewis (0.466 h−1) rats. Most models exhibited peak paw edema 20 days post-induction. Edema in CIA returned to 150% of the initial value after the disease peaked. DA rats displayed more severe overall responses.
No statistical differences between groups were observed for inter-animal variation in disease onset, progression and severity parameters. Onset time varies and should be noted in the design of future studies. DA rats may offer a more dynamic range of edema response than Lewis rats.
arthritis; disease; model; progression; rat
To investigate whether conjunctival epithelial cells express transport processes for opioid peptides.
We monitored the uptake of [3H]deltorphin II and [3H]DADLE, two hydrolysis-resistant synthetic opioid peptides, in the rabbit conjunctival epithelial cell line CJVE and elucidated the characteristics of the uptake process.
CJVE cells express robust uptake activity for deltorphin II and DADLE. Both opioid peptides compete with each other for transport. Several endogenous and synthetic opioid peptides, but not non-peptide opioid antagonists, are recognized by the transport process. Though various peptides inhibit the uptake of deltorphin II and DADLE in a similar manner, the uptake of deltorphin II is partly Na+-dependent whereas that of DADLE mostly Na+-independent. The transport process shows high affinity for many endogenous/synthetic opioid peptides. Functional features reveal that this transport process may be distinct from the opioid peptide transport system described in the retinal pigment epithelial cell line ARPE-19 and also from the organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs), which are known to transport opioid peptides.
CJVE cells express a novel, hitherto unknown transport process for endogenous/synthetic opioid peptides. This new transport process may offer an effective delivery route for opioid peptide drugs to the posterior segment of the eye.
conjunctival epithelial cell; opioid peptides; transport process; organic anion transporting polypeptides; non-peptide opioid antagonists
To develop a pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic disease progression (PK/PD/DIS) model to characterize the effect of etanercept in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression.
The CIA rats received either 5 mg/kg intravenous (IV), 1 mg/kg IV, or 5 mg/kg subcutaneous (SC) etanercept at day 21 post-disease induction. Effect on disease progression was measured by paw swelling. Plasma concentrations of etanercept were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). PK profiles were fitted first; parameter estimates were applied to fit paw edema data for PD and DIS-related parameter estimation using ADAPT 5 software.
The model contained a two-compartment PK model with Michaelis-Menten elimination. For SC administration, two additional mathematical functions for absorption were added. The disease progression component was an indirect response model with a time-dependent change in paw edema production rate constant (kin) assumed to be inhibited by etanercept.
Etanercept has modest effects on paw swelling in CIA rats. The PK and PD profiles were well described by the developed PK/PD/DIS model, which may be used for other anti-cytokine biologic agents for RA.
arthritis; etanercept; model; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics
The estrogen receptor forms insoluble aggregates in the insoluble cytoskeletal subcellular fraction when bound to the antagonist fulvestrant. The ligand-binding domain was isolated and fused to signal sequences to target subcellular compartments. Sequestering a pro-apoptotic peptide tested the utility of a protein targeted to the insoluble fraction.
The ligand-binding domain of the estrogen receptor was isolated and fused with signal sequences, either a nuclear localization signal or nuclear export signal. The subcellular localization when bound to drug fulvestrant was examined, specifically its interaction with cytokeratins 8 and 18. The ability to target a therapeutic peptide to the insoluble fraction was tested by fusing a therapeutic coiled-coil from Bcr-Abl in K562 cells.
The estrogen receptor ligand-binding domain responds to fulvestrant by translocating to the insoluble fraction. Adding a signal sequence significantly limited the translocation to either the nucleus or cytoplasm. The cytokeratin 8/18 status of the cell did not alter this response. The therapeutic coiled-coil fused to ERLBD was inactivated upon ligand induction.
Isolating the ligand-binding domain of the estrogen receptor creates a ligand-controllable protein capable of translocation to the insoluble fraction. This can be used to sequester an active peptide to alter its function.
cytokeratins; estrogen receptor; ligand binding domain; protein translocation; subcellular targeting
The objective of this investigation was to assess whether common pharmaceutical excipients regulate the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes in human colon and liver cells.
Nineteen commonly used excipients were evaluated using a panel of experiments including cell-based human PXR activation assays, real-time RT-PCR assays for CYP3A4 mRNA expression, and immunoblot analysis of CYP3A4 protein expression in immortalized human liver cells (HepG2 and Fa2N4), human primary hepatocytes, and the intestinal LS174T cell models.
No excipient activated human PXR or practically induced CYP3A4. However, three excipients (polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose) tended to decrease mRNA and protein expression across experimental models.
This study represents the first investigation of the potential role of excipients in the expression of drug-metabolizing enzymes. Findings imply that some excipients may hold potential for excipient-drug interactions by repression of CYP3A4 expression.
Excipients; CYP3A4; PXR; Induction; Repression
The objective of this study was to investigate the roles of the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) in cyclophosphamide (CPA)- and ifosfamide (IFO)-mediated induction of hepatic drug-metabolizing enzymes (DME).
Induction of DMEs was evaluated using real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis in human primary hepatocyte (HPH) cultures. Activation of CAR, pregnane X receptor (PXR), and aryl hydrocarbon receptor by CPA and IFO was assessed in cell-based reporter assays in HepG2 cells and/or nuclear translocation assays in HPHs.
CYP2B6 reporter activity was significantly enhanced by CPA and IFO in HepG2 cells co-transfected with CYP2B6 reporter plasmid and a chemical-responsive human CAR variant (CAR1+A) construct. Real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting analysis in HPHs showed that both CPA and IFO induced the expressions of CYP2B6 and CYP3A4. Notably, treatment of HPHs with CPA but not IFO resulted in significant nuclear accumulation of CAR, which represents the initial step of CAR activation. Further studies in HPHs demonstrated that selective inhibition of PXR by sulforaphane preferentially repressed IFO- over CPA-mediated induction of CYP2B6.
These results provide novel insights into the differential roles of CAR in the regulation of CPA- and IFO-induced DME expression and potential drug-drug interactions.
Cyclophosphamide; Ifosfamide; CYP2B6; CAR; Induction
Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) has important glucoregulatory functions and thereby holds significance in the treatment of diabetes and obesity. However, short plasma half-life and aggregation propensity of PP in aqueous solution, limits its therapeutic application. To address these issues, we prepared and characterized a formulation of PP in sterically stabilized micelles (SSM) that protects and stabilizes PP in its active conformation.
PP-SSM was prepared by incubating PP with SSM dispersion in buffer. Peptide-micelle association and freeze-drying efficacy of the formulation was characterized in phosphate buffers with or without sodium chloride using dynamic light scattering, fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism. The degradation kinetics of PP-SSM in presence of proteolytic enzyme was determined using HPLC and bioactivity of the formulation was evaluated by in vitro cAMP inhibition.
PP self-associated with SSM and this interaction was influenced by presence/absence of sodium chloride in the buffer. The formulation was effectively lyophilized, demonstrating feasibility for its long-term storage. The stability of peptide against proteolytic degradation was significantly improved and PP in SSM retained its bioactivity in vitro.
Self-association of PP with phospholipid micelles addressed the delivery issues of the peptide. This PP nanomedicine should be further developed for the treatment of diabetes.
Chronic Pancreatitis; Pancreatic Polypeptide; Pancreatogenic Diabetes; Peptide nanomedicine; Sterically Stabilized Micelles
The catalytic selectivity of human UGT1A9, an important membrane-bound enzyme catalyzing glucuronidation of xenobiotics were determined experimentally using 145 phenolics, and analyzed by 3D-QSAR methods.
The catalytic efficiency of UGT1A9 was determined by kinetic profiling. Quantitative structure activity relationships were analyzed using the CoMFA and CoMSIA techniques. Molecular alignment of the substrate structures was made by superimposing the glucuronidation site and its adjacent aromatic ring to achieve maximal steric overlap. For a substrate with multiple active glucuronidation sites, each site was considered as a separate substrate.
The 3D-QSAR analyses produced statistically reliable models with good predictive power (CoMFA: q2 = 0.548, r2= 0.949, r2pred = 0.775; CoMSIA: q2 = 0.579, r2= 0.876, r2pred = 0.700). The contour coefficient maps were applied to elucidate structural features among substrates that are responsible for the selectivity differences. Furthermore, the contour coefficient maps were overlaid in the catalytic pocket of a homology model of UGT1A9; this enabled us to identify the UGT1A9 catalytic pocket with a high degree of confidence.
The CoMFA/CoMSIA models can predict the substrate selectivity and in vitro clearance of UGT1A9. Our findings also provide a possible molecular basis for understanding UGT1A9 functions and its substrate selectivity.
UGT1A9; Glucuronidation; CoMFA; CoMSIA; Homology modeling
To verify the robustness and fundamental value of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and AFM-based assays to rapidly examine the molecular homogeneity and physical stability of amorphous solid dispersions on Hot-Melt-Extrudates.
Amorphous solid dispersions were prepared with a Hot-Melt Extruder (HME) and profiled by Raman Microscopy and AFM following a sequential analytical routine (Multi-Scale-Imaging-of-Miscibiliy (MIMix)). Extrudates were analyzed before and after incubation at elevated temperature and humidity. The data were compared with published results as collected on miniaturized melt models. The value of molecular phase separation rates for long term stability prediction was assessed.
Data recorded on the extrudates are consistent with those published, and they can be compared side by side. Such direct data comparisons allow the identification of possible sources of extrudate heterogeneities. The surface roughness analysis of fracture-exposed interfaces is a novel quantitative way to trace on the nanometer scale the efficiencies of differently conducted HME-processes. Molecular phase separation rates are shown to be relevant for long term stability predictions.
The AFM-based assessment of API:excipient combinations is a robust method to rapidly identify miscible and stable solid dispersions in a routine manner. It provides a novel analytical tool for the optimization of HME processes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11095-013-1045-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
amorphous solid dispersion; atomic force microscopy; hot melt extrusion; process optimization; stability prediction