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Medicinal Research Reviews

Wei-Lin Jin, Xiao-Yuan Mao, Guan-Zhong Qiu
Glioblastoma (GBM) is regarded as the most common primary intracranial neoplasm. Despite standard treatment with tumor resection and radiochemotherapy, the outcome remains gloomy. It is evident that a combination of oncogenic gain of function and tumor-suppressive loss of function has been attributed to glioma initiation and progression. The ubiquitin-proteasome system is a well-orchestrated system that controls the fate of most proteins by striking a dynamic balance between ubiquitination and deubiquitination of substrates, having a profound influence on the modulation of oncoproteins, tumor suppressors, and cellular signaling pathways...
October 24, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Peter M Fischer
Kinase inhibitor research is a comparatively recent branch of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology and the first small-molecule kinase inhibitor, imatinib, was approved for clinical use only 15 years ago. Since then, 33 more kinase inhibitor drugs have received regulatory approval for the treatment of a variety of cancers and the volume of reports on the discovery and development of kinase inhibitors has increased to an extent where it is now difficult-even for those working in the field-easily to keep an overview of the compounds that are being developed, as currently there are 231 such compounds, targeting 38 different protein and lipid kinases (not counting isoforms), in clinical use or under clinical investigation...
October 24, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Sandhya Bansal, Priyanka Bajaj, Stuti Pandey, Vibha Tandon
DNA topoisomerases are ubiquitously present remarkable molecular machines that help in altering topology of DNA in living cells. The crucial role played by these nucleases during DNA replication, transcription, and recombination vis-à-vis less sequence similarity among different species makes topoisomerases unique and attractive targets for different anticancer and antibacterial drugs. However, druggability of topoisomerases by the existing class of molecules is increasingly becoming questationable due to resistance development predominated by mutations in the corresponding genes...
September 30, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Rémi Szabo, Danielle Skropeta
Hypersialylation of tumor cell surface proteins along with a marked upregulation of sialyltransferase (ST) activity is a well-established hallmark of cancer. Due to the critical role of STs in tumor growth and progression, ST inhibition has emerged as a potential new antimetastatic strategy for a range of cancers including pancreatic and ovarian. Human STs are divided into subtypes based on their linkage and acceptor molecule, with each subtype controlling the synthesis of specific sialylated structures with unique biological roles...
September 28, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Paulo Matafome, Tiago Rodrigues, Cristina Sena, Raquel Seiça
Glucose and fructose metabolism originates the highly reactive byproduct methylglyoxal (MG), which is a strong precursor of advanced glycation end products (AGE). The MG has been implicated in classical diabetic complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy, but has also been recently associated with cardiovascular diseases and central nervous system disorders such as cerebrovascular diseases and dementia. Recent studies even suggested its involvement in insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction, contributing to the early development of type 2 diabetes and creating a vicious circle between glycation and hyperglycemia...
September 16, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Isabele C Iser, Mariana B Pereira, Guido Lenz, Márcia R Wink
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive form of brain cancer due to its highly invasive nature that impedes the surgical removal of all tumor cells, making relapse inevitable. However, the mechanisms used by glioma cells to invade the surrounding tissue are still unclear. In this context, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has emerged as a key regulator of this invasive state and although the real relevance of this program in malignant glioma is still controversial, it has been strongly associated with GBM malignancy...
September 12, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Mayassa J Bou-Dargham, Zahraa I Khamis, Armand B Cognetta, Qing-Xiang Amy Sang
Inflammation plays a major role in the induction and progression of several skin diseases. Overexpression of the major epidermal proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL) 1 alpha (IL-1α) and 1 beta (IL-1β) is positively correlated with symptom exacerbation and disease progression in psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, neutrophilic dermatoses, skin phototoxicity, and skin cancer. IL-1β and the interleukin-1 receptor I (IL-1RI) have been used as a therapeutic target for some autoinflammatory skin diseases; yet, their system-wide effects limit their clinical usage...
September 8, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Antoine Millet, Anthony R Martin, Cyril Ronco, Stéphane Rocchi, Rachid Benhida
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. While associated survival prognosis is good when diagnosed early, it dramatically drops when melanoma progresses into its metastatic form. Prior to 2011, the favored therapies include interleukin-2 and chemotherapies, regardless of their low efficiency and their toxicity. Following key biological findings, two new types of therapy have been approved. First, there are the targeted therapies, which rely on small molecule B-Raf and MEK inhibitors and allow the treatment of patients with B-Raf mutated melanoma...
August 29, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Annelies Stevaert, Lieve Naesens
Influenza viruses cause seasonal epidemics and pandemic outbreaks associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and a huge cost. Since resistance to the existing anti-influenza drugs is rising, innovative inhibitors with a different mode of action are urgently needed. The influenza polymerase complex is widely recognized as a key drug target, given its critical role in virus replication and high degree of conservation among influenza A (of human or zoonotic origin) and B viruses. We here review the major progress that has been made in recent years in unravelling the structure and functions of this protein complex, enabling structure-aided drug design toward the core regions of the PA endonuclease, PB1 polymerase, or cap-binding PB2 subunit...
August 29, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Daniel Sepúlveda-Crespo, Rafael Ceña-Díez, José Luis Jiménez, Ma Ángeles Muñoz-Fernández
This review provides an overview of the development of different dendrimers, mainly polyanionic, against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and genital herpes (HSV-2) as topical microbicides targeting the viral entry process. Vaginal topical microbicides to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and HSV-2 are urgently needed. To inhibit HIV/HSV-2 entry processes, new preventive targets have been established to maximize the current therapies against wild-type and drug-resistant viruses. The entry of HIV/HSV-2 into target cells is a multistep process that triggers a cascade of molecular interactions between viral envelope proteins and cell surface receptors...
August 12, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Nir Debotton, Arik Dahan
Over the last few decades, polymers have been extensively used as pharmaceutical excipients in drug delivery systems. Pharmaceutical polymers evolved from being simply used as gelatin shells comprising capsule to offering great formulation advantages including enabling controlled/slow release and specific targeting of drugs to the site(s) of action (the "magic bullets" concept), hence hold a significant clinical promise. Oral administration of solid dosage forms (e.g., tablets and capsules) is the most common and convenient route of drug administration...
August 9, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Dominik Vogt, Holger Stark
During the last two decades the study of the sphingolipid anabolic, catabolic, and signaling pathways has attracted enormous interest. Especially the introduction of fingolimod into market as first p.o. therapeutic for the treatment of multiple sclerosis has boosted this effect. Although the complex regulation of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and other catabolic and anabolic sphingosine-related compounds is not fully understood, the influence on different (patho)physiological states from inflammation to cytotoxicity as well as the availability of versatile pharmacological tools that represent new approaches to study these states are described...
August 2, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Agostinho Lemos, Mariana Leão, Joana Soares, Andreia Palmeira, Madalena Pinto, Lucília Saraiva, Maria Emília Sousa
The growth inhibitory activity of p53 tumor suppressor is tightly regulated by interaction with two negative regulatory proteins, murine double minute 2 (MDM2) and X (MDMX), which are overexpressed in about half of all human tumors. The elucidation of crystallographic structures of MDM2/MDMX complexes with p53 has been pivotal for the identification of several classes of inhibitors of the p53-MDM2/MDMX interaction. The present review provides in silico strategies and screening approaches used in drug discovery as well as an overview of the most relevant classes of small-molecule inhibitors of the p53-MDM2/MDMX interaction, their progress in pipeline, and highlights particularities of each class of inhibitors...
September 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Da Xu, Haoxun Wang, Guofeng You
Organic anion transporters (OATs) encoded by solute carrier 22 family are localized in the epithelia of multiple organs, where they mediate the absorption, distribution, and excretion of a diverse array of negatively charged environmental toxins and clinically important drugs. Alterations in the expression and function of OATs play important roles in intra- and interindividual variability of the therapeutic efficacy and the toxicity of many drugs. As a result, the activity of OATs must be under tight regulation so as to carry out their normal functions...
September 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Leonid N Maslov, Igor Khaliulin, Peter R Oeltgen, Natalia V Naryzhnaya, Jian-Ming Pei, Stephen A Brown, Yury B Lishmanov, James M Downey
It has now been demonstrated that the μ, δ1 , δ2 , and κ1 opioid receptor (OR) agonists represent the most promising group of opioids for the creation of drugs enhancing cardiac tolerance to the detrimental effects of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). Opioids are able to prevent necrosis and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes during I/R and improve cardiac contractility in the reperfusion period. The OR agonists exert an infarct-reducing effect with prophylactic administration and prevent reperfusion-induced cardiomyocyte death when ischemic injury of heart has already occurred; that is, opioids can mimic preconditioning and postconditioning phenomena...
September 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Meng-Chen Lu, Jian-Ai Ji, Zheng-Yu Jiang, Qi-Dong You
The Keap1-Nrf2-ARE ((Kelch-like ECH-Associating protein 1) nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2-antioxidant response element) pathway is one of the most important defense mechanisms against oxidative and/or electrophilic stresses, and it is closely associated with inflammatory diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and aging. In recent years, progress has been made in strategies aimed at modulating the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway. The Nrf2 activator DMF (Dimethylfumarates) has been approved by the FDA as a new first-line oral drug to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, while a phase 3 study of another promising candidate, CDDO-Me, was terminated for safety reasons...
September 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Chiara Vidoni, Carlo Follo, Miriam Savino, Mariarosa A B Melone, Ciro Isidoro
In familial neurodegenerative disorders, protein aggregates form continuously because of genetic mutations that drive the synthesis of truncated or unfolded proteins. The oxidative stress imposed by neurotransmitters and environmental neurotoxins constitutes an additional threat to the folding of the proteins and the integrity of organelle membranes in neurons. Failure in degrading such altered materials compromises the function of neurons and eventually leads to neurodegeneration. The lysosomal proteolytic enzyme Cathepsin D is the only aspartic-type protease ubiquitously expressed in all the cells of the human body, and it is expressed at high level in the brain...
September 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Pascal Gervois, Esther Wolfs, Jessica Ratajczak, Yörg Dillen, Tim Vangansewinkel, Petra Hilkens, Annelies Bronckaers, Ivo Lambrichts, Tom Struys
Stroke is the second most common cause of death and is a major cause of permanent disability. Given the current demographic trend of an ageing population and associated increased risk, the prevalence of and socioeconomic burden caused by stroke will continue to rise. Current therapies are unable to sufficiently ameliorate the disease outcome and are not applicable to all patients. Therefore, strategies such as cell-based therapies with mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) or induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) pave the way for new treatment options for stroke...
July 21, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Min Yan, Chunli Wang, Bin He, Mengying Yang, Mengying Tong, Zijie Long, Bing Liu, Fei Peng, Lingzhi Xu, Yan Zhang, Dapeng Liang, Haixin Lei, Sen Subrata, Keith W Kelley, Eric W-F Lam, Bilian Jin, Quentin Liu
The Aurora kinase family is comprised of three serine/threonine kinases, Aurora-A, Aurora-B, and Aurora-C. Among these, Aurora-A and Aurora-B play central roles in mitosis, whereas Aurora-C executes unique roles in meiosis. Overexpression or gene amplification of Aurora kinases has been reported in a broad range of human malignancies, pointing to their role as potent oncogenes in tumorigenesis. Aurora kinases therefore represent promising targets for anticancer therapeutics. A number of Aurora kinase inhibitors (AKIs) have been generated; some of which are currently undergoing clinical evaluation...
July 13, 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
Zaid Amso, Jillian Cornish, Margaret A Brimble
Loss of bone occurs in the age-related skeletal disorder, osteoporosis, leading to bone fragility and increased incidence of fractures, which are associated with enormous costs and substantial morbidity and mortality. Recent data indicate that osteoporotic fractures are more common than other diseases, which usually attract public attention (e.g., heart attack and breast cancer). The prevention and treatment of this skeletal disorder are therefore of paramount importance. Majority of osteoporosis medications restore skeletal balance by reducing osteoclastic activity, thereby reducing bone resorption...
July 2016: Medicinal Research Reviews
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