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Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Danielle Gulick, Joshua J Gamsby
Although potent effects of psychoactive drugs on circadian rhythms were first described over 30 years ago, research into the reciprocal relationship between the reward system and the circadian system - and the impact of this relationship on addiction - has only become a focus in the last decade. Nonetheless, great progress has been made in that short time toward understanding how drugs of abuse impact the molecular and physiological circadian clocks, as well as how disruption of normal circadian rhythm biology may contribute to addiction and ameliorate the efficacy of treatments for addiction...
March 15, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Michael J Hurley, Robert M J Deacon, Katrin Beyer, Elena Ioannou, Agustin Ibáñez, Jessica L Teeling, Patricia Cogram
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial progressive neurodegenerative disease. Despite decades of research, no disease modifying therapy is available and a change of research objectives and/or development of novel research tools may be required. Much AD research has been based on experimental models using animals with a short lifespan that have been extensively genetically manipulated and do not represent the full spectrum of late-onset AD, which make up the majority of cases. The aetiology of AD is heterogeneous and involves multiple factors associated with the late-onset of the disease like disturbances in brain insulin, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, metabolic syndrome, retinal degeneration and sleep disturbances which are all progressive abnormalities that could account for many molecular, biochemical and histopathological lesions found in brain from patients dying from AD...
March 4, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Bridget Shafit-Zagardo, Ross C Gruber, Juwen C DuBois
Tyro3, Axl, and Mertk, referred to as the TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases, are instrumental in maintaining cell survival and homeostasis in mammals. TAM receptors interact with multiple signaling molecules to regulate cell migration, survival, phagocytosis and clearance of metabolic products and cell debris called efferocytosis. The TAMs also function as rheostats to reduce the expression of proinflammatory molecules and prevent autoimmunity. All three TAM receptors are activated in a concentration-dependent manner by the vitamin K-dependent growth arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6)...
March 4, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Angela Wang, Daniel J Leong, Luis Cardoso, Hui B Sun
Arthritis is a chronic disease of joints. It is highly prevalent, particularly in the elderly, and is commonly associated with pain that interferes with quality of life. Because of its chronic nature, pharmacological approaches to pain relief and joint repair must be safe for long term use, a quality many current therapies lack. Nutraceuticals refer to compounds or materials that can function as nutrition and exert a potential therapeutic effect, including the relief of pain, such as pain related to arthritis, of which osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form...
February 24, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Kevin Bourcier, Antoine Italiano
Metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma (STS), a devastating disease, has a median overall survival of only 12-18 months. Until recently, therapeutic options were limited and relied primarily on the use of anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Over the past two decades, improvement in the knowledge of the biology of STS has allowed the investigation of new therapeutic strategies including new cytotoxic agents, epigenetic drugs, specific targeted therapies, and immunotherapeutic treatments.
February 24, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Maarten P Bebelman, Martine J Smit, D Michiel Pegtel, S Rubina Baglio
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are heterogeneous multi-signal messengers that support cancer growth and dissemination by mediating the tumor-stroma crosstalk. Exosomes are a subtype of EVs that originate from the limiting membrane of late endosomes, and as such contain information linked to both the intrinsic cell 'state' and the extracellular signals cells received from their environment. Resolving the signals affecting exosome biogenesis, cargo sorting and release will increase our understanding of tumorigenesis...
February 21, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Fawaz Awad, Eman Assrawi, Camille Louvrier, Claire Jumeau, Sophie Georgin-Lavialle, Gilles Grateau, Serge Amselem, Irina Giurgea, Sonia-Athina Karabina
Inflammasomes are intracellular multiprotein signaling complexes, mainly present in myeloid cells. They commonly assemble around a cytoplasmic receptor of the nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat containing receptor (NLR) family, although other cytoplasmic receptors like pyrin have been shown to form inflammasomes. The nucleation of the multiprotein scaffolding platform occurs upon detection of a microbial, a danger or a homeostasis pattern by the receptor that will, most commonly, associate with the adaptor protein ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD) through homotypic domain interactions resulting in recruitment of procaspase-1...
February 18, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Philippe Lachapelle, Meina Li, Jo Douglass, Alastair Stewart
The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β cytokines play a central role in development and progression of chronic respiratory diseases. TGF-β overexpression in chronic inflammation, remodeling, fibrotic process and susceptibility to viral infection is established in the most prevalent chronic respiratory diseases including asthma, COPD, lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Despite the overwhelming burden of respiratory diseases in the world, new pharmacological therapies have been limited in impact...
February 17, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Melina Mescher, Thomas Haarmann-Stemmann
The human cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1 gene encodes a monooxygenase that metabolizes multiple exogenous and endogenous substrates. CYP1A1 has become infamous for its oxidative metabolism of benzo[a]pyrene and related polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, converting these chemicals into very potent human carcinogens. CYP1A1 expression is mainly controlled by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), a transcription factor whose activation is induced by binding of persistent organic pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dioxins...
February 17, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Wioletta Skronska-Wasek, Reinoud Gosens, Melanie Königshoff, Hoeke Abele Baarsma
The WNT signalling cascades have emerged as critical regulators of a wide variety of biological aspects involved in lung development as well as in physiological and pathophysiological processes in the adult lung. WNTs (secreted glycoproteins) interact with various transmembrane receptors and co-receptors to activate signalling pathways that regulate transcriptional as well as non-transcriptional responses within cells. In physiological conditions, the majority of WNT receptors and co-receptors can be detected in the adult lung...
February 17, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Ross A D Bathgate, Martina Kocan, Daniel J Scott, M Akhter Hossain, Sara V Good, Sergey Yegorov, Jan Bogerd, Paul Gooley
The peptide relaxin was first identified as an important circulating hormone during pregnancy over 90 years ago. Research over many years defined the numerous biological roles that relaxin plays throughout pregnancy in many mammalian species. These important biological actions have led to the testing of relaxin as a therapeutic agent for a number of indications. The discovery of the relaxin receptor, RXFP1, in 2002 facilitated the better understanding of the cellular targets of relaxin, its mechanism of action and enabled the development of relaxin mimetics and screening for small molecule agonists...
February 16, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Khushboo Agrawal, Viswanath Das, Pankhuri Vyas, Marián Hajdúch
DNA methylation plays a pivotal role in the etiology of cancer by mediating epigenetic silencing of cancer-related genes. Since the relationship between aberrant DNA methylation and cancer has been understood, there has been an explosion of research at developing anti-cancer therapies that work by inhibiting DNA methylation. From the discovery of first DNA hypomethylating drugs in the 1980s to recently discovered second generation pro-drugs, exceedingly large number of studies have been published that describe the DNA hypomethylation-based anti-neoplastic action of these drugs in various stages of the pre-clinical investigation and advanced stages of clinical development...
February 15, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Rizwana Afroz, Yingnan Cao, Muhamad Ashraf Rostam, Hang Ta, Suowen Xu, Wenhua Zheng, Narin Osman, Danielle Kamato, Peter J Little
Atherosclerosis commences with the trapping of low density lipoproteins (LDLs) in blood vessels by modified proteoglycans (PGs) with hyperelongated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains. GAG chain synthesis and growth factor mediated hyperelongation regulates the composition and size of PGs in a manner that would cause low density lipoprotein (LDLs) retention in vessel wall. Galactosaminoglycans are a class of GAGs, commonly observed on PGs. Multiple enzymes are involved in galactosaminoglycan biosynthesis. Galactosaminoglycan synthesis is regulated by various signalling pathways which are amenable to pharmacological manipulation to treat atherosclerosis...
February 15, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Andrew M Kidger, James Sipthorp, Simon J Cook
The RAS-regulated RAF-MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signalling pathway is de-regulated in a variety of cancers due to mutations in receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), negative regulators of RAS (such as NF1) and core pathway components themselves (RAS, BRAF, CRAF, MEK1 or MEK2). This has driven the development of a variety of pharmaceutical agents to inhibit RAF-MEK1/2-ERK1/2 signalling in cancer and both RAF and MEK inhibitors are now approved and used in the clinic. There is now much interest in targeting at the level of ERK1/2 for a variety of reasons...
February 15, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Bing Han, Jie Chao, Honghong Yao
The emerging recognition of the functional roles of circular RNAs (circRNAs) has given rise to a new perspective regarding our understanding of cellular physiology and disease pathogenesis. Unlike linear RNAs, circRNAs are covalently closed continuous loops that act as gene regulators in mammals, and their sequence composition determines the mode of circRNA biogenesis. The availability and integrated use of advanced genome analysis platforms have allowed the identification of a large number of these molecules...
February 14, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Maggie Lam, Simon G Royce, Chrishan S Samuel, Jane E Bourke
The most common therapies for asthma and other chronic lung diseases are anti-inflammatory agents and bronchodilators. While these drugs oppose disease symptoms, they do not reverse established structural changes in the airways and their therapeutic efficacy is reduced with increasing disease severity. The peptide hormone, relaxin, is a Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor 1 (RXFP1) receptor agonist with unique combined effects in the lung that differentiates it from these existing therapies. Relaxin has previously been reported to have cardioprotective effects in acute heart failure as well anti-fibrotic actions in several organs...
February 12, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Amir Tajbakhsh, Mehdi Rezaee, Petri T Kovanen, Amirhossein Sahebkar
Atherosclerosis is a dynamic and progressive inflammatory process in the intimal layer of large and medium-sized arteries, and it is the major contributor to the atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD), the leading cause of death worldwide. In an atherosclerotic plaque, phagocytosis of apoptotic cells occurs through an intricate process designated efferocytosis. Defective efferocytosis has emerged as a causal factor in the etiopathogenesis of atherosclerosis and its progression into overt ACVD. Both specialized phagocytes (macrophages and dendritic cells) and non-specialized cells with phagocytic capabilities (smooth muscle and endothelial cells) are involved in the efferocytotic process...
February 11, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Yan-Yun Liu, Gregory A Brent
Thyroid hormone (TH) is essential for normal brain development and may also promote recovery and neuronal regeneration after brain injury. TH acts predominantly through the nuclear receptors, TH receptor alpha (THRA) and beta (THRB). Additional factors that impact TH action in the brain include metabolism, activation of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3) by the enzyme 5'-deiodinase Type 2 (Dio2), inactivation by the enzyme 5-deiodinase Type 3 (Dio3) to reverse T3 (rT3), which occurs in glial cells, and uptake by the Mct8 transporter in neurons...
February 8, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Stephanie Annett, Tracy Robson
Resistance to chemotherapy and cancer relapse are major clinical challenges attributed to a sub population of cancer stem cells (CSCs). The concept of CSCs has been the subject of intense research by the oncology community since evidence for their existence was first published over twenty years ago. Emerging data indicates that they are also able to evade novel therapies such as targeted agents, immunotherapies and anti-angiogenics. The inability to appropriately identify and isolate CSCs is a major hindrance to the field and novel technologies are now being utilized...
February 5, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Ankita Solanki, Lokesh Kumar Bhatt, Thomas P Johnston
Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease of large arteries and a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Chronic inflammation, aberrant immune response, and disturbances to key enzymes involved with lipid metabolism are characteristic features of atherosclerosis. Apart from targeting the derangements in lipid metabolism, therapeutic modulation to regulate chronic inflammation and the immune system response may prove to be very promising strategies in the management of atherosclerosis. In recent years, various targets have been studied for the treatment of atherosclerosis...
February 4, 2018: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
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