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Trends in Pharmacological Sciences

B Vijayalakshmi Ayyar, Sushrut Arora, Richard O'Kennedy
Antibody-based therapies have garnered considerable success in recent years. This is due to the availability of strategies to successfully engineer antibodies into humanized forms, better understanding of the biological processes involved in cancer development, the availability of novel recombinant antibody formats, better antibody selection platforms, and improved antibody conjugation methodologies. Such achievements have led to an explosion in the generation of antibodies and antibody-associated constructs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases...
October 10, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Jin Xiang, Eugene Chun, Chang Liu, Liang Jing, Zina Al-Sahouri, Lan Zhu, Wei Liu
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the largest class of drug targets in the human genome, which highlights the importance of understanding the molecular basis of their activation, downstream signaling, and regulation. Since 2007, great progress has been made in the field of GPCR structure determination and their signaling complexes at the molecular level. Here, we summarize the high-resolution structures of over 30 different GPCRs with their co-crystallized ligands, and outline the successful strategies involved, including construct design, expression systems, and lipidic cubic phase (LCP) composition, and the many key technical parameters of the crystallization methods...
October 7, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
E-E Ke, Yi-Long Wu
Targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is highly effective in terms of tumor response rate, survival, and quality of life. However, acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs is inevitable. Ongoing clinical trials will provide evidence for optimal strategies for patients with EGFR mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the near future. Numerous new agents are specifically addressing resistance mechanisms; mature data are related to the T790M mutation and MET pathway activation...
October 4, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Jeff Sanders, Charles Nemeroff
The major neuropsychiatric disorders are devastating illnesses that are only modestly responsive to treatment. Improving the treatment of these conditions will require innovative new strategies that depart from previously focused-on pharmacological mechanisms. Considerable preclinical and clinical data indicate corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling as a target for new psychotropic drug development. Here we review alterations in the CRF system reported in several psychiatric conditions. We also examine the preclinical work that has dissected the distinctive roles of CRF receptors in specific circuits relevant to these disorders...
October 4, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Meghan J Chenoweth, Rachel F Tyndale
Worldwide, approximately one billion people smoke cigarettes. Cigarette smoking persists in part because long-term smoking cessation rates are modest on existing treatments. Smoking cessation outcomes are influenced by genetic factors, including genetic variation in enzymes that metabolize nicotine and smoking cessation medications, as well as in receptor targets for nicotine and treatment medications. For example, smokers with genetically slow nicotine metabolism have higher cessation success on behavioural counseling and nicotine patches compared with smokers with genetically fast nicotine metabolism...
October 3, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Kristin Ingolfsdottir
Recent developments confirm predictions by the IEEE that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will have extensive impact on the future landscape of higher education. New degree structures are being introduced and awarding of verified MOOC credentials is becoming more widespread, as is recognition of MOOC credits by universities and employers. The question is whether this disruptive influence is being sufficiently used as an incentive for re-evaluation of standard practices and for driving strategic change in higher education...
September 29, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Jacob P R Jacobsen, Andrew D Krystal, K Ranga R Krishnan, Marc G Caron
Serotonin transporter (SERT) inhibitors treat depression by elevating brain extracellular 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTExt). However, only one-third of patients respond adequately. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a major unmet need. Interestingly, elevating 5-HTExt beyond what is achieved by a SERT inhibitor appears to treat TRD. Adjunctive administration of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) safely elevates 5-HTExt beyond the SERT inhibitor effect in humans; however, 5-HTP cannot be a clinically viable drug because of its poor pharmacokinetics...
September 28, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Catherine M Cahill, Wendy Walwyn, Anna M W Taylor, Amynah A A Pradhan, Christopher J Evans
Mechanisms of opioid tolerance have focused on adaptive modifications within cells containing opioid receptors, defined here as cellular allostasis, emphasizing regulation of the opioid receptor signalosome. We review additional regulatory and opponent processes involved in behavioral tolerance, and include mechanistic differences both between agonists (agonist bias), and between μ- and δ-opioid receptors. In a process we will refer to as pass-forward allostasis, cells modified directly by opioid drugs impute allostatic changes to downstream circuitry...
September 23, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Amit Mogha, Mitchell D'Rozario, Kelly R Monk
The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily represents the largest class of functionally selective drug targets for disease modulation and therapy. GPCRs have been studied in great detail in central nervous system (CNS) neurons, but these important molecules have been relatively understudied in glia. In recent years, however, exciting new roles for GPCRs in glial cell biology have emerged. We focus here on the key roles of GPCRs in a specialized subset of glia, myelinating glia. We highlight recent work firmly establishing GPCRs as regulators of myelinating glial cell development and myelin repair...
September 23, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Feng-Chi Chen, Kuo-Liang Yeh
Pfizer's atorvastatin (Lipitor) is a blockbuster drug for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In China, a critical polymorph patent of this drug has been recently invalidated by the Supreme People's Court for insufficiency of disclosure. Here, we discuss the particularities in patent litigation in China worth attention from the community.
September 19, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Claudia Neul, Elke Schaeffeler, Alex Sparreboom, Stefan Laufer, Matthias Schwab, Anne T Nies
Small-molecule inhibitors of tyrosine kinases (TKIs) are the mainstay of treatment for many malignancies and represent novel treatment options for other diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Twenty-five TKIs are currently FDA-approved and >130 are being evaluated in clinical trials. Increasing evidence suggests that drug exposure of TKIs may significantly contribute to drug resistance, independently from somatic variation of TKI target genes. Membrane transport proteins may limit the amount of TKI reaching the target cells...
September 19, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Mikhail Romashko, Joseph Schragenheim, Nader G Abraham, John A McClung
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide. Among many potential targets for pharmacological intervention, a promising strategy involves epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (EET) and soluble epoxide hydroxylase (sEH) inhibition. sEH is the enzyme that converts EET to its less potent metabolite; therefore, EET is upregulated by its inhibitor. EET has pleotropic effects that collectively reduce inflammation, while increasing vasodilation and insulin sensitivity. Recent reports indicate that EET agonists and sEH inhibitors are capable of not only reversing endothelial dysfunction and hypertension, but also of reversing cardiac remodeling, which is a hallmark of cardiomyopathy and the metabolic syndrome...
September 12, 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Yehui Duan, Fengna Li, Yulong Yin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
P Zaratin, G Comi, T Coetzee, K Ramsey, K Smith, A Thompson, M Panzara
The Progressive MS Alliance Industry Forum describes a new approach to address barriers to developing treatments for progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). This innovative model promises to facilitate robust collaboration between industry, academia, and patient organizations and accelerate research towards the overarching goal of developing safe and effective treatments for progressive MS.
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Taku Nagai, Junichiro Yoshimoto, Takayuki Kannon, Keisuke Kuroda, Kozo Kaibuchi
Dopamine signaling in the brain is a complex phenomenon that strongly contributes to emotional behaviors. Medium spiny neurons (MSNs) play a major role in dopamine signaling through dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs) or dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) in the striatum. cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA) regulates phosphorylation signals downstream of D1Rs, which affects the excitability of MSNs, leading to reward-associated emotional expression and memory formation. A combination of phosphoproteomic approaches and the curated KANPHOS database can be used to elucidate the physiological and pathophysiological functions of dopamine signaling and other monoamines...
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Sonika Patial, Perry J Blackshear
Members of the tristetraprolin (TTP) family of RNA-binding proteins are found in all major eukaryotic groups. TTP family members, from plants through humans, can bind adenosine-uridine rich elements in target mRNAs with high affinity. In mammalian cells, these proteins then promote deadenylation and decay of target transcripts. Four such proteins are found in mice, of which the best studied is TTP. When the gene encoding TTP is disrupted in mice, the animals develop a severe syndrome of arthritis, autoimmunity, cachexia, dermatitis, and myeloid hyperplasia...
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Zhichao Liu, Hong Fang, William Slikker, Weida Tong
Cancer research has made remarkable progress with the help of advancing genomics techniques, resulting in more precise clinical application and many new anticancer drugs on the market. By contrast, very few treatment options are available for rare diseases that are often progressive, severe, and life-threatening. In this opinion we elaborate on the possible association between cancers and rare diseases across three different levels including clinical observation, crosstalk between germline mutation and somatic mutation, and shared biological pathways...
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Josephine Kugler, Andreas Luch, Michael Oelgeschläger
Despite our increasing understanding of molecular mechanisms controlling embryogenesis, the identification and characterization of teratogenic substances still heavily relies on animal testing. Embryonic development depends on cell-autonomous and non-autonomous processes including spatiotemporally regulated extracellular signaling activities. These have been elucidated in transgenic mouse models harboring easily detectable reporter genes under the control of evolutionarily conserved signaling cascades. We propose combining these transgenic mouse models and cells derived thereof with existing alternative toxicological testing strategies...
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Christopher J Matheson, Donald S Backos, Philip Reigan
WEE1 kinase plays a crucial role in the G2-M cell-cycle checkpoint arrest for DNA repair before mitotic entry. Normal cells repair damaged DNA during G1 arrest; however, cancer cells often have a deficient G1-S checkpoint and depend on a functional G2-M checkpoint for DNA repair. WEE1 is expressed at high levels in various cancer types including breast cancers, leukemia, melanoma, and adult and pediatric brain tumors. Many of these cancers are treated with DNA-damaging agents; therefore, targeting WEE1 for inhibition and compromising the G2-M checkpoint presents an opportunity to potentiate therapy...
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Wilhelmus E A de Witte, Meindert Danhof, Piet H van der Graaf, Elizabeth C M de Lange
It is generally accepted that, in conjunction with pharmacokinetics, the first-order rate constant of target dissociation is a major determinant of the time course and duration of in vivo target occupancy. Here we show that the second-order rate constant of target association can be equally important. On the basis of the commonly used mathematical models for drug-target binding, it is shown that a high target association rate constant can increase the (local) concentration of the drug, which decreases the rate of decline of target occupancy...
October 2016: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
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