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Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 February 2022) | Viewed by 31575

Special Issue Editor

Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wroclaw, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: fungi; yeast; cell lines; cell cycle; cellular response to stress (plants, prokaryotic, and eukaryotic organisms); environmental research; mitochondria; genomics; proteome; genetic adaptations to interactions in the environment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

An aging population, the appearance of new viral, bacterial, fungal or cancer diseases, and insufficiently effective methods of treating existing diseases make it necessary to discover new drugs and to refine those that are already in use. Investigations into new drugs include research on both newly synthesized, novel compounds and those isolated from plants or secreted by microorganisms. Discovering the full molecular mechanisms of drugs or potential drugs is extremely important in terms of improving the quality of treatment and predicting the side effects of long-term treatment. The many years that have been spent searching for the molecular activity of drugs make sense in the context of extending their application. It is also important to look for drugs that will work synergistically. In research on the molecular activity of drugs and potential drugs, both model organisms and cell lines are applied, which helps to obtain many valuable results in a relatively short time.

The new Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences will be devoted to advances in the molecular activity of potential drugs. We invite papers that are related to the broadly understood progress in the field of investigating new compounds, potential drugs, and drugs that are already used in therapies. We encourage you to submit works carried out on model organisms, cell lines, animals, and as part of clinical trials. Research showing new molecular activities of already used drugs, as well as on compounds, that are potential drugs are welcome. It is also important for this field of research to search for synergisms to find compounds that, when used together, act strongly and more efficiently in the therapy. Review articles summarizing published works are also very valuable for drawing conclusions and searching for further ways of research.

We look forward to your contributions and thank you for them in advance.

Dr. Magdalena Cal
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • potential drugs
  • drugs
  • molecular mechanism of action
  • cell cycle
  • stress response
  • cell lines
  • model organisms
  • clinical tests
  • diseases

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 1285 KiB  
Article
Application of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARSplines) for Predicting Antitumor Activity of Anthrapyrazole Derivatives
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 5132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23095132 - 04 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
An approach using multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARSplines) was applied for quantitative structure–activity relationship studies of the antitumor activity of anthrapyrazoles. At the first stage, the structures of anthrapyrazole derivatives were subjected to geometrical optimization by the AM1 method using the Polak–Ribiere algorithm. [...] Read more.
An approach using multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARSplines) was applied for quantitative structure–activity relationship studies of the antitumor activity of anthrapyrazoles. At the first stage, the structures of anthrapyrazole derivatives were subjected to geometrical optimization by the AM1 method using the Polak–Ribiere algorithm. In the next step, a data set of 73 compounds was coded over 2500 calculated molecular descriptors. It was shown that fourteen independent variables appearing in the statistically significant MARS model (i.e., descriptors belonging to 3D-MoRSE, 2D autocorrelations, GETAWAY, burden eigenvalues and RDF descriptors), significantly affect the antitumor activity of anthrapyrazole compounds. The study confirmed the benefit of using a modern machine learning algorithm, since the high predictive power of the obtained model had proven to be useful for the prediction of antitumor activity against murine leukemia L1210. It could certainly be considered as a tool for predicting activity against other cancer cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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14 pages, 4214 KiB  
Article
Suppressing Effect of Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger (NCX) Inhibitors on the Growth of Melanoma Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(2), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23020901 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1838
Abstract
The role of calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling in tumorigenicity has received increasing attention in melanoma research. Previous Ca2+ signaling studies focused on Ca2+ entry routes, but rarely explored the role of Ca2+ extrusion. Functioning of the Na+ [...] Read more.
The role of calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling in tumorigenicity has received increasing attention in melanoma research. Previous Ca2+ signaling studies focused on Ca2+ entry routes, but rarely explored the role of Ca2+ extrusion. Functioning of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) on the plasma membrane is the major way of Ca2+ extrusion, but very few associations between NCX and melanoma have been reported. Here, we explored whether pharmacological modulation of the NCX could suppress melanoma and promise new therapeutic strategies. Methods included cell viability assay, Ca2+ imaging, immunoblotting, and cell death analysis. The NCX inhibitors SN-6 and YM-244769 were used to selectively block reverse operation of the NCX. Bepridil, KB-R7943, and CB-DMB blocked either reverse or forward NCX operation. We found that blocking the reverse NCX with SN-6 or YM-244769 (5–100 μM) did not affect melanoma cells or increase cytosolic Ca2+. Bepridil, KB-R7943, and CB-DMB all significantly suppressed melanoma cells with IC50 values of 3–20 μM. Bepridil and KB-R7943 elevated intracellular Ca2+ level of melanoma. Bepridil-induced melanoma cell death came from cell cycle arrest and enhanced apoptosis, which were all attenuated by the Ca2+ chelator BAPTA-AM. As compared with melanoma, normal melanocytes had lower NCX1 expression and were less sensitive to the cytotoxicity of bepridil. In conclusion, blockade of the forward but not the reverse NCX leads to Ca2+-related cell death in melanoma and the NCX is a potential drug target for cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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18 pages, 5498 KiB  
Article
AS1411 Nucleolin-Specific Binding Aptamers Reduce Pathological Angiogenesis through Inhibition of Nucleolin Phosphorylation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(23), 13150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222313150 - 05 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2354
Abstract
Proliferative retinopathies produces an irreversible type of blindness affecting working age and pediatric population of industrialized countries. Despite the good results of anti-VEGF therapy, intraocular and systemic complications are often associated after its intravitreal use, hence novel therapeutic approaches are needed. The aim [...] Read more.
Proliferative retinopathies produces an irreversible type of blindness affecting working age and pediatric population of industrialized countries. Despite the good results of anti-VEGF therapy, intraocular and systemic complications are often associated after its intravitreal use, hence novel therapeutic approaches are needed. The aim of the present study is to test the effect of the AS1411, an antiangiogenic nucleolin-binding aptamer, using in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro models of angiogenesis and propose a mechanistic insight. Our results showed that AS1411 significantly inhibited retinal neovascularization in the oxygen induced retinopathy (OIR) in vivo model, as well as inhibited branch formation in the rat aortic ex vivo assay, and, significantly reduced proliferation, cell migration and tube formation in the HUVEC in vitro model. Importantly, phosphorylated NCL protein was significantly abolished in HUVEC in the presence of AS1411 without affecting NFκB phosphorylation and -21 and 221-angiomiRs, suggesting that the antiangiogenic properties of this molecule are partially mediated by a down regulation in NCL phosphorylation. In sum, this new research further supports the NCL role in the molecular etiology of pathological angiogenesis and identifies AS1411 as a novel anti-angiogenic treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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20 pages, 3856 KiB  
Article
The Effectiveness in Activating M-Type K+ Current Produced by Solifenacin ([(3R)-1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octan-3-yl] (1S)-1-phenyl-3,4-dihydro-1H-isoquinoline-2-carboxylate): Independent of Its Antimuscarinic Action
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(22), 12399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222212399 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1432
Abstract
Solifenacin (Vesicare®, SOL), known to be a member of isoquinolines, is a muscarinic antagonist that has anticholinergic effect, and it has been beneficial in treating urinary incontinence and neurogenic detrusor overactivity. However, the information regarding the effects of SOL on membrane [...] Read more.
Solifenacin (Vesicare®, SOL), known to be a member of isoquinolines, is a muscarinic antagonist that has anticholinergic effect, and it has been beneficial in treating urinary incontinence and neurogenic detrusor overactivity. However, the information regarding the effects of SOL on membrane ionic currents is largely uncertain, despite its clinically wide use in patients with those disorders. In this study, the whole-cell current recordings revealed that upon membrane depolarization in pituitary GH3 cells, the exposure to SOL concentration-dependently increased the amplitude of M-type K+ current (IK(M)) with effective EC50 value of 0.34 μM. The activation time constant of IK(M) was concurrently shortened in the SOL presence, hence yielding the KD value of 0.55 μM based on minimal reaction scheme. As cells were exposed to SOL, the steady-state activation curve of IK(M) was shifted along the voltage axis to the left with no change in the gating charge of the current. Upon an isosceles-triangular ramp pulse, the hysteretic area of IK(M) was increased by adding SOL. As cells were continually exposed to SOL, further application of acetylcholine (1 μM) failed to modify SOL-stimulated IK(M); however, subsequent addition of thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH, 1 μM) was able to counteract SOL-induced increase in IK(M) amplitude. In cell-attached single-channel current recordings, bath addition of SOL led to an increase in the activity of M-type K+ (KM) channels with no change in the single channel conductance; the mean open time of the channel became lengthened. In whole-cell current-clamp recordings, the SOL application reduced the firing of action potentials (APs) in GH3 cells; however, either subsequent addition of TRH or linopirdine was able to reverse SOL-mediated decrease in AP firing. In hippocampal mHippoE-14 neurons, the IK(M) was also stimulated by adding SOL. Altogether, findings from this study disclosed for the first time the effectiveness of SOL in interacting with KM channels and hence in stimulating IK(M) in electrically excitable cells, and this noticeable action appears to be independent of its antagonistic activity on the canonical binding to muscarinic receptors expressed in GH3 or mHippoE-14 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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15 pages, 4332 KiB  
Article
Ketoprofen Combined with UVA Irradiation Exerts Higher Selectivity in the Mode of Action against Melanotic Melanoma Cells than against Normal Human Melanocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111966 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Malignant melanoma is responsible for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths. The methods of cancer treatment include surgical removal, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. However, neither of these methods gives satisfactory results. Therefore, the development of new anticancer therapeutic strategies is very important [...] Read more.
Malignant melanoma is responsible for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths. The methods of cancer treatment include surgical removal, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. However, neither of these methods gives satisfactory results. Therefore, the development of new anticancer therapeutic strategies is very important and may extend the life span of people suffering from melanoma. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of ketoprofen (KTP) and UVA radiation (UVAR) therapy on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle distribution in both melanotic melanoma cells (COLO829) and human melanocytes (HEMn-DP) in relation to its supportive effect in the treatment of melanoma. The therapy combining the use of pre-incubation with KTP and UVAR causes a significant increase in the anti-proliferative properties of ketoprofen towards melanoma cells and the co-exposure of melanotic melanoma cells induced apoptosis shown as the mitochondrial membrane breakdown, cell-cycle deregulation, and DNA fragmentation. Moreover, co-treatment led to GSH depletion showing its pro-apoptotic effect dependent on ROS overproduction. The treatment did not show a significant effect on normal cells—melanocytes—which indicates its high selectivity. The results suggest a possible benefit from the use of the ketoprofen and ultraviolet A irradiation as a new concept of melanotic melanoma therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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20 pages, 2129 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Biological Application of Isosteviol-Based 1,3-Aminoalcohols
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222011232 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1764
Abstract
Starting from isosteviol, a series of diterpenoid 1,3-aminoalcohol derivatives were stereoselectively synthesised. The acid-catalysed hydrolysis and rearrangement of natural stevioside gave isosteviol, which was transformed to the key intermediate methyl ester. In the next step, Mannich condensation of diterpenoid ketone, paraformaldehyde, and secondary [...] Read more.
Starting from isosteviol, a series of diterpenoid 1,3-aminoalcohol derivatives were stereoselectively synthesised. The acid-catalysed hydrolysis and rearrangement of natural stevioside gave isosteviol, which was transformed to the key intermediate methyl ester. In the next step, Mannich condensation of diterpenoid ketone, paraformaldehyde, and secondary amines resulted in the formation of 1,3-aminoketones with different stereoselectivities. During the Mannich condensation with dibenzylamine, an interesting N-benzyl → N-methyl substituent exchange was observed. Reduction of 1,3-aminoketones produced diastereoisomeric 1,3-aminoalcohols. Alternatively, aminoalcohols were obtained via stereoselective hydroxy-formylation, followed by oxime preparation, reduction, and finally, reductive alkylation of the obtained primary aminoalcohols. An alternative 1,3-aminoalcohol library was prepared by reductive amination of the intermediate 3-hydroxyaldehyde obtained from isosteviol in two-step synthesis. Cytotoxic activity of compounds against human tumour cell lines (A2780, SiHa, HeLa, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) was investigated. In our preliminary study, the 1,3-aminoalcohol function and N-benzyl substitution seemed to be essential for the reliable antiproliferative activity. To extend their application, a diterpenoid condensed with 2-phenylimino-1,3-thiazine and -1,3-oxazine was also attempted to prepare, but only formation of thioether intermediate was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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15 pages, 5485 KiB  
Article
Quest for the Molecular Basis of Improved Selective Toxicity of All-Trans Isomers of Aromatic Heptaene Macrolide Antifungal Antibiotics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 10108; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221810108 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1846
Abstract
Three aromatic heptaene macrolide antifungal antibiotics, Candicidin D, Partricin A (Gedamycin) and Partricin B (Vacidin) were subjected to controlled cis-trans→ all trans photochemical isomerization. The obtained all-trans isomers demonstrated substantially improved in vitro selective toxicity in the Candida albicans cells: human erythrocytes [...] Read more.
Three aromatic heptaene macrolide antifungal antibiotics, Candicidin D, Partricin A (Gedamycin) and Partricin B (Vacidin) were subjected to controlled cis-trans→ all trans photochemical isomerization. The obtained all-trans isomers demonstrated substantially improved in vitro selective toxicity in the Candida albicans cells: human erythrocytes model. This effect was mainly due to the diminished hemotoxicity. The molecular modeling studies on interactions between original antibiotics and their photoisomers with ergosterol and cholesterol revealed some difference in free energy profiles of formation of binary antibiotic/sterol complexes in respective membrane environments. Moreover, different geometries of heptaene: sterol complexes and variations in polyene macrolide molecule alignment in cholesterol-and ergosterol-containing membranes were found. None of these effects are of the crucial importance for the observed improvement of selective toxicity of aromatic heptaene antifungals but each seems to provide a partial contribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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29 pages, 6069 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Interactions of Selected Olivacine Derivatives with DNA and Topoisomerase II
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22168492 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Olivacine and ellipticine are model anticancer drugs acting as topoisomerase II inhibitors. Here, we present investigations performed on four olivacine derivatives in light of their antitumor activity. The aim of this study was to identify the best antitumor compound among the four tested [...] Read more.
Olivacine and ellipticine are model anticancer drugs acting as topoisomerase II inhibitors. Here, we present investigations performed on four olivacine derivatives in light of their antitumor activity. The aim of this study was to identify the best antitumor compound among the four tested olivacine derivatives. The study was performed using CCRF/CEM and MCF-7 cell lines. Comet assay, polarography, inhibition of topoisomerase II activity, histone acetylation, and molecular docking studies were performed. Each tested compound displayed interaction with DNA and topoisomerase II, but did not cause histone acetylation. Compound 2 (9-methoxy-5,6-dimethyl-1-({[1-hydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)butan-2-yl]amino}methyl)-6H-pyrido[4,3-b]carbazole) was found to be the best candidate as an anticancer drug because it had the highest affinity for topoisomerase II and caused the least genotoxic damage in cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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15 pages, 3882 KiB  
Article
Mitochondrial Function Are Disturbed in the Presence of the Anticancer Drug, 3-Bromopyruvate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(12), 6640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22126640 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2640
Abstract
3-bromopuryvate (3-BP) is a compound with unique antitumor activity. It has a selective action against tumor cells that exhibit the Warburg effect. It has been proven that the action of 3-BP is pleiotropic: it acts on proteins, glycolytic enzymes, reduces the amount of [...] Read more.
3-bromopuryvate (3-BP) is a compound with unique antitumor activity. It has a selective action against tumor cells that exhibit the Warburg effect. It has been proven that the action of 3-BP is pleiotropic: it acts on proteins, glycolytic enzymes, reduces the amount of ATP, induces the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species), and induces nuclear DNA damage. Mitochondria are important organelles for the proper functioning of the cell. The production of cellular energy (ATP), the proper functioning of the respiratory chain, or participation in the production of amino acids are one of the many functions of mitochondria. Here, for the first time, we show on the yeast model that 3-BP acts in the eukaryotic cell also by influence on mitochondria and that agents inhibiting mitochondrial function can potentially be used in cancer therapy with 3-BP. We show that cells with functional mitochondria are more resistant to 3-BP than rho0 cells. Using an MTT assay (a colorimetric assay for assessing cell metabolic activity), we demonstrated that 3-BP decreased mitochondrial activity in yeast in a dose-dependent manner. 3-BP induces mitochondrial-dependent ROS generation which results in ∆sod2, ∆por1, or ∆gpx1 mutant sensitivity to 3-BP. Probably due to ROS mtDNA lesions rise during 3-BP treatment. Our findings may have a significant impact on the therapy with 3-BP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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22 pages, 7553 KiB  
Article
Cyclovirobuxine D Induced-Mitophagy through the p65/BNIP3/LC3 Axis Potentiates Its Apoptosis-Inducing Effects in Lung Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115820 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2744
Abstract
Mitophagy plays a pro-survival or pro-death role that is cellular-context- and stress-condition-dependent. In this study, we revealed that cyclovirobuxine D (CVB-D), a natural compound derived from Buxus microphylla, was able to provoke mitophagy in lung cancer cells. CVB-D-induced mitophagy potentiates apoptosis by [...] Read more.
Mitophagy plays a pro-survival or pro-death role that is cellular-context- and stress-condition-dependent. In this study, we revealed that cyclovirobuxine D (CVB-D), a natural compound derived from Buxus microphylla, was able to provoke mitophagy in lung cancer cells. CVB-D-induced mitophagy potentiates apoptosis by promoting mitochondrial dysfunction. Mechanistically, CVB-D initiates mitophagy by enhancing the expression of the mitophagy receptor BNIP3 and strengthening its interaction with LC3 to provoke mitophagy. Our results further showed that p65, a transcriptional suppressor of BNIP3, is downregulated upon CVB-D treatment. The ectopic expression of p65 inhibits BNIP3 expression, while its knockdown significantly abolishes its transcriptional repression on BNIP3 upon CVB-D treatment. Importantly, nude mice bearing subcutaneous xenograft tumors presented retarded growth upon CVB-D treatment. Overall, we demonstrated that CVB-D treatment can provoke mitophagy and further revealed that the p65/BNIP3/LC3 axis is one potential mechanism involved in CVB-D-induced mitophagy in lung cancer cells, thus providing an effective antitumor therapeutic strategy for the treatment of lung cancer patients Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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Review

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27 pages, 2507 KiB  
Review
Research Progress in Chinese Herbal Medicines for Treatment of Sepsis: Pharmacological Action, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacokinetics
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(20), 11078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222011078 - 14 Oct 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3351
Abstract
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection; the pathophysiology of sepsis is complex. The incidence of sepsis is steadily increasing, with worldwide mortality ranging between 30% and 50%. Current treatment approaches mainly rely on the timely [...] Read more.
Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection; the pathophysiology of sepsis is complex. The incidence of sepsis is steadily increasing, with worldwide mortality ranging between 30% and 50%. Current treatment approaches mainly rely on the timely and appropriate administration of antimicrobials and supportive therapies, but the search for pharmacotherapies modulating the host response has been unsuccessful. Chinese herbal medicines, i.e., Chinese patent medicines, Chinese herbal prescriptions, and single Chinese herbs, play an important role in the treatment of sepsis through multicomponent, multipathway, and multitargeting abilities and have been officially recommended for the management of COVID-19. Chinese herbal medicines have therapeutic actions promising for the treatment of sepsis; basic scientific research on these medicines is increasing. However, the material bases of most Chinese herbal medicines and their underlying mechanisms of action have not yet been fully elucidated. This review summarizes the current studies of Chinese herbal medicines used for the treatment of sepsis in terms of clinical efficacy and safety, pharmacological activity, phytochemistry, bioactive constituents, mechanisms of action, and pharmacokinetics, to provide an important foundation for clarifying the pathogenesis of sepsis and developing novel antisepsis drugs based on Chinese herbal medicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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27 pages, 21745 KiB  
Review
Inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 for Neovascular Eye Diseases: From Biology to Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(19), 10279; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221910279 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4503
Abstract
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other eye diseases are characterized by retinal and/or choroidal neovascularization, ultimately causing vision loss in millions of people worldwide. nvAMD and PDR are associated with aging and the number [...] Read more.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other eye diseases are characterized by retinal and/or choroidal neovascularization, ultimately causing vision loss in millions of people worldwide. nvAMD and PDR are associated with aging and the number of those affected is expected to increase as the global median age and life expectancy continue to rise. With this increase in prevalence, the development of novel, orally bioavailable therapies for neovascular eye diseases that target multiple pathways is critical, since current anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatments, delivered by intravitreal injection, are accompanied with tachyphylaxis, a high treatment burden and risk of complications. One potential target is apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1/reduction-oxidation factor 1 (APE1/Ref-1). The multifunctional protein APE1/Ref-1 may be targeted via inhibitors of its redox-regulating transcription factor activation activity to modulate angiogenesis, inflammation, oxidative stress response and cell cycle in neovascular eye disease; these inhibitors also have neuroprotective effects in other tissues. An APE1/Ref-1 small molecule inhibitor is already in clinical trials for cancer, PDR and diabetic macular edema. Efforts to develop further inhibitors are underway. APE1/Ref-1 is a novel candidate for therapeutically targeting neovascular eye diseases and alleviating the burden associated with anti-VEGF intravitreal injections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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Other

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16 pages, 2347 KiB  
Brief Report
Effect of NK-5962 on Gene Expression Profiling of Retina in a Rat Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(24), 13276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413276 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3261
Abstract
Purpose: NK-5962 is a key component of photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film, designated Okayama University type-retinal prosthesis (OUReP™). Previously, we found that NK-5962 solution could reduce the number of apoptotic photoreceptors in the eyes of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats by intravitreal [...] Read more.
Purpose: NK-5962 is a key component of photoelectric dye-coupled polyethylene film, designated Okayama University type-retinal prosthesis (OUReP™). Previously, we found that NK-5962 solution could reduce the number of apoptotic photoreceptors in the eyes of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats by intravitreal injection under a 12 h light/dark cycle. This study aimed to explore possible molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-apoptotic effect of NK-5962 in the retina of RCS rats. Methods: RCS rats received intravitreal injections of NK-5962 solution in the left eye at the age of 3 and 4 weeks, before the age of 5 weeks when the speed in the apoptotic degeneration of photoreceptors reaches its peak. The vehicle-treated right eyes served as controls. All rats were housed under a 12 h light/dark cycle, and the retinas were dissected out at the age of 5 weeks for RNA sequence (RNA-seq) analysis. For the functional annotation of differentially expressed genes (DEGs), the Metascape and DAVID databases were used. Results: In total, 55 up-regulated DEGs, and one down-regulated gene (LYVE1) were found to be common among samples treated with NK-5962. These DEGs were analyzed using Gene Ontology (GO) term enrichment, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), and Reactome pathway analyses. We focused on the up-regulated DEGs that were enriched in extracellular matrix organization, extracellular exosome, and PI3K–Akt signaling pathways. These terms and pathways may relate to mechanisms to protect photoreceptor cells. Moreover, our analyses suggest that SERPINF1, which encodes pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), is one of the key regulatory genes involved in the anti-apoptotic effect of NK-5962 in RCS rat retinas. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that photoelectric dye NK-5962 may delay apoptotic death of photoreceptor cells in RCS rats by up-regulating genes related to extracellular matrix organization, extracellular exosome, and PI3K–Akt signaling pathways. Overall, our RNA-seq and bioinformatics analyses provide insights in the transcriptome responses in the dystrophic RCS rat retinas that were induced by NK-5962 intravitreal injection and offer potential target genes for developing new therapeutic strategies for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Activity of Potential Drugs)
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