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Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology

Raye Z Litten, Daniel E Falk, Megan L Ryan, Joanne Fertig, Lorenzo Leggio
For more than 25 years, researchers have made advances in developing medications to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD), highlighted by the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) approval of disulfiram, naltrexone (oral and long-acting), and acamprosate. These medications are also approved in Europe, where the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently added a fourth medication, nalmefene, for AUD. Despite these advances, today's medications have a small effect size, showing efficacy for only a limited number of individuals with AUD...
January 3, 2018: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Deborah A Finn, Vanessa A Jimenez
The term neurosteroid refers to rapid membrane actions of steroid hormones and their derivatives that can modulate physiological functions and behavior via their interactions with ligand-gated ion channels. This chapter will highlight recent advances pertaining to the modulatory effects of a select group of neurosteroids that are primarily potent positive allosteric modulators of γ-aminobutyric acidA receptors (GABAARs). Nanomolar concentrations of neurosteroids, which occur in vivo, potentiate phasic and tonic forms of GABAAR-mediated inhibition, indicating that both synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAARs possess sensitivity to neurosteroids and contribute to the overall ability of neurosteroids to modulate central nervous system excitability...
December 15, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Federico Lussana, Tamara Intermesoli, Paola Stefanoni, Alessandro Rambaldi
Patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) usually received as first-line treatment a first- or second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Although initial responses are high, therapy fails in up to 40% of patients and initial response is lost within 2 years in approximately 25% of patients. In the last few years, intensive efforts have been spent to explain treatment failure, and different mechanisms of resistance have been identified, ranging from BCR-ABL1 kinase domain mutations to lack of adherence to therapy...
December 15, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Marisa Roberto, Reesha R Patel, Michal Bajo
The innate immune system plays a critical role in the ethanol-induced neuroimmune response in the brain. Ethanol initiates the innate immune response via activation of the innate immune receptors Toll-like receptors (TLRs, e.g., TLR4, TLR3, TLR7) and NOD-like receptors (inflammasome NLRs) leading to a release of a plethora of chemokines and cytokines and development of the innate immune response. Cytokines and chemokines can have pro- or anti-inflammatory properties through which they regulate the immune response...
December 14, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Cassie M Chandler, John S Overton, Daniela Rüedi-Bettschen, Donna M Platt
Ethanol's reinforcing and subjective effects, as well as its ability to induce relapse, are powerful factors contributing to its widespread use and abuse. A significant mediator of these behavioral effects is the GABAA receptor system. GABAA receptors are the target for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS. Structurally, they are pentameric, transmembrane chloride ion channels comprised of subunits from at least eight different families of distinct proteins. The contribution of different GABAA subunits to ethanol's diverse abuse-related effects is not clear and remains an area of research focus...
December 5, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
David M Lovinger
Ethanol produces intoxication through actions on numerous molecular and cellular targets. Adaptations involving these and other targets contribute to chronic drug actions that underlie continued and problematic drinking. Among the mechanisms involved in these ethanol actions are alterations in presynaptic mechanisms of synaptic transmission, including presynaptic protein function and excitation-secretion coupling. At synapses in the central nervous system (CNS), excitation-secretion coupling involves ion channel activation followed by vesicle fusion and neurotransmitter release...
December 5, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Alex M Dopico, Anna N Bukiya, Jill C Bettinger
Among all members of the voltage-gated, TM6 ion channel superfamily, the proteins that constitute calcium- and voltage-gated potassium channels of large conductance (BK) and their coding genes are unique for their involvement in ethanol-induced disruption of normal physiology and behavior. Moreover, in vitro studies document that BK activity is modified by ethanol with an EC50~23 mM, which is near blood alcohol levels considered legal intoxication in most states of the USA (0.08 g/dL = 17.4 mM). Following a succinct introduction to our current understanding of BK structure and function in central neurons, with a focus on neural circuits that contribute to the neurobiology of alcohol use disorders (AUD), we review the modifications in organ physiology by alcohol exposure via BK and the different molecular elements that determine the ethanol response of BK in alcohol-naïve systems, including the role of an ethanol-recognizing site in the BK-forming slo1 protein, modulation of accessory BK subunits, and their coding genes...
December 5, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
E Tamborini
Imatinib has revolutionized the treatment of GIST since this drug is able to inhibit tumoral growth by blocking the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases, KIT or PDGFRA, that in these tumors are constitutively activated because of the presence of mutations that alters their catalytic activity. However, despite this enormous improvement in the RFS and OS and in the quality of life of GIST patients, imatinib is not able to eradicate the disease: recurrences occur and acquired resistance is a common event which develops during targeted treatments...
November 17, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
M E O'Leary, M Chahine
Voltage-gated sodium (Na(+)) channels are expressed in virtually all electrically excitable tissues and are essential for muscle contraction and the conduction of impulses within the peripheral and central nervous systems. Genetic disorders that disrupt the function of these channels produce an array of Na(+) channelopathies resulting in neuronal impairment, chronic pain, neuromuscular pathologies, and cardiac arrhythmias. Because of their importance to the conduction of electrical signals, Na(+) channels are the target of a wide variety of local anesthetic, antiarrhythmic, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant drugs...
November 15, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Tomas Majtan, Angel L Pey, Paula Gimenez-Mascarell, Luis Alfonso Martínez-Cruz, Csaba Szabo, Viktor Kožich, Jan P Kraus
Classical homocystinuria (HCU) is the most common loss-of-function inborn error of sulfur amino acid metabolism. HCU is caused by a deficiency in enzymatic degradation of homocysteine, a toxic intermediate of methionine transformation to cysteine, chiefly due to missense mutations in the cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) gene. As with many other inherited disorders, the pathogenic mutations do not target key catalytic residues, but rather introduce structural perturbations leading to an enhanced tendency of the mutant CBS to misfold and either to form nonfunctional aggregates or to undergo proteasome-dependent degradation...
November 10, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Atsuo Nishino, Yasushi Okamura
Every cell within living organisms actively maintains an intracellular Na(+) concentration that is 10-12 times lower than the extracellular concentration. The cells then utilize this transmembrane Na(+) concentration gradient as a driving force to produce electrical signals, sometimes in the form of action potentials. The protein family comprising voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) is essential for such signaling and enables cells to change their status in a regenerative manner and to rapidly communicate with one another...
November 2, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Michael Freissmuth, Thomas Stockner, Sonja Sucic
The human genome encodes 19 genes of the solute carrier 6 (SLC6) family; non-synonymous changes in the coding sequence give rise to mutated transporters, which are misfolded and thus cause diseases in the affected individuals. Prominent examples include mutations in the transporters for dopamine (DAT, SLC6A3), for creatine (CT1, SLC6A8), and for glycine (GlyT2, SLC6A5), which result in infantile dystonia, mental retardation, and hyperekplexia, respectively. Thus, there is an obvious unmet medical need to identify compounds, which can remedy the folding deficit...
October 31, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Elisa Oppici, Mirco Dindo, Carolina Conter, Carla Borri Voltattorni, Barbara Cellini
Protein misfolding is becoming one of the main mechanisms underlying inherited enzymatic deficits. This review is focused on primary hyperoxalurias, a group of disorders of glyoxylate detoxification associated with massive calcium oxalate deposition mainly in the kidneys. The most common and severe form, primary hyperoxaluria Type I, is due to the deficit of liver peroxisomal alanine/glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT). Various studies performed in the last decade clearly evidence that many pathogenic missense mutations prevent the AGT correct folding, leading to various downstream effects including aggregation, increased degradation or mistargeting to mitochondria...
October 26, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Meritxell B Cutrona, Niamh E Morgan, Jeremy C Simpson
Rare bone disorders are a heterogeneous group of diseases, initially associated with mutations in type I procollagen (PC) genes. Recent developments from dissection at the molecular and cellular level have expanded the list of disease-causing proteins, revealing that disruption of the machinery that handles protein secretion can lead to failure in PC secretion and in several cases result in skeletal dysplasia. In parallel, cell-based in vitro studies of PC trafficking pathways offer clues to the identification of new disease candidate genes...
October 26, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Yonghua Ji
Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are critical in generation and conduction of electrical signals in multiple excitable tissues. Natural toxins, produced by animal, plant, and microorganisms, target VGSCs through diverse strategies developed over millions of years of evolutions. Studying of the diverse interaction between VGSC and VGSC-targeting toxins has been contributing to the increasing understanding of molecular structure and function, pharmacology, and drug development potential of VGSCs. This chapter aims to summarize some of the current views on the VGSC-toxin interaction based on the established receptor sites of VGSC for natural toxins...
October 26, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Nancy J Leidenheimer
Pharmacological chaperones (PCs) are small molecules that bind to nascent protein targets to facilitate their biogenesis. The ability of PCs to assist in the folding and subsequent forward trafficking of disease-causative protein misfolding mutants has opened new avenues for the treatment of conformational diseases such as cystic fibrosis and lysosomal storage disorders. In this chapter, an overview of the use of PCs for the treatment of conformational disorders is provided. Beyond the therapeutic application of PCs for the treatment of these disorders, pharmacological chaperoning of wild-type integral membrane proteins is discussed...
October 26, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Zifan Pei, Yanling Pan, Theodore R Cummins
Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are critical determinants of excitability. The properties of VGSCs are thought to be tightly controlled. However, VGSCs are also subjected to extensive modifications. Multiple posttranslational modifications that covalently modify VGSCs in neurons and muscle have been identified. These include, but are not limited to, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, palmitoylation, nitrosylation, glycosylation, and SUMOylation. Posttranslational modifications of VGSCs can have profound impact on cellular excitability, contributing to normal and abnormal physiology...
October 26, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Leslie K Climer, Rachel D Hendrix, Vladimir V Lupashin
The conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex is an evolutionary conserved multi-subunit vesicle tethering complex essential for the majority of Golgi apparatus functions: protein and lipid glycosylation and protein sorting. COG is present in neuronal cells, but the repertoire of COG function in different Golgi-like compartments is an enigma. Defects in COG subunits cause alteration of Golgi morphology, protein trafficking, and glycosylation resulting in human congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) type II...
October 21, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Tamer M Gamal El-Din, Michael J Lenaeus, William A Catterall
Voltage-gated sodium channels initiate and propagate action potentials in excitable cells. They respond to membrane depolarization through opening, followed by fast inactivation that terminates the sodium current. This ON-OFF behavior of voltage-gated sodium channels underlays the coding of information and its transmission from one location in the nervous system to another. In this review, we explore and compare structural and functional data from prokaryotic and eukaryotic channels to infer the effects of evolution on sodium channel structure and function...
October 18, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Diti Chatterjee Bhowmick, Sanghamitra Singh, Saurabh Trikha, Aleksandar M Jeremic
Human islet amyloid polypeptide or amylin (hA) is a 37-amino acid peptide hormone produced and co-secreted with insulin by pancreatic β-cells. Under physiological conditions, hA regulates a broad range of biological processes including insulin release and slowing of gastric emptying, thereby maintaining glucose homeostasis. However, under the pathological conditions associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hA undergoes a conformational transition from soluble random coil monomers to alpha-helical oligomers and insoluble β-sheet amyloid fibrils or amyloid plaques...
October 18, 2017: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
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