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Current Protocols in Pharmacology

James A L Brown
Acetylation is a core cellular process involved in maintaining genomic integrity, gene regulation, and metabolism. Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are an enzyme family that regulates these processes by catalyzing the transfer of an acetyl moiety onto target proteins. Perturbations of cellular acetylation profiles have been associated with a variety of disease states, including cancer. Changes in acetylation profiles can be achieved by mechanisms associated with acetyltransferases, such as gene down-regulation or alterations in the activity of key acetyltransferase enzymes...
December 20, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Shaili Aggarwal, Ole V Mortensen
The dopamine (DAT), serotonin (SERT), and norepinephrine (NET) transporters, which are collectively referred to as monoamine transporters (MATs), play significant roles in regulating the neuronal response to these neurotransmitters. MATs terminate the action of these neurotransmitters by translocating them from the synaptic space into the presynaptic neurons. These three transmitters are responsible for controlling a number of physiological, emotional, and behavioral functions, with their transporters being the site of action of drugs employed for the treatment of a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, schizophrenia, and psychostimulant abuse...
December 20, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Sujay Ramanathan, Botros B Shenoda, Seena K Ajit
MicroRNA(miRNA)-mediated gene regulation underlies cellular processes, playing an important role in homeostasis and diseases. The expression and function of miRNAs are altered by various pharmacological agents, with differences in the endogenous levels of miRNAs influencing drug efficacy and toxicity. Thus, miRNA levels could be a biomarker for predicting treatment response, efficacy, and safety. In addition, elucidating the mechanistic significance of miRNA alterations can aid in the identification of therapeutic targets and patient selection, and guide personalized therapy...
December 20, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Shaili Aggarwal, Ole V Mortensen
Detailed in this unit are protocols for studying the in vitro uptake of dopamine (DA) as a means for defining the functional characteristics of dopamine transporters. All assays are performed using commercially available cell lines that transiently express the transporter under investigation. The three main assays provided are: a kinetic assay to calculate the affinity (KM ) and maximal velocity (Vmax ) of radiolabeled DA uptake into cells; concentration-response assays to measure the potencies (IC50 /Ki values) of test compounds as transport inhibitors; and an efflux assay to assess the ability and potency (EC50 ) of a ligand to elicit reverse transport of DA accumulated in the cell...
December 20, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Botros B Shenoda, Sujay Ramanathan, Seena K Ajit
Pharmacogenomic approaches used to investigate how genes affect drug responses are critical for designing personalized therapies aimed at maximizing efficacy and minimizing adverse effects. Drug efficacy is often dependent on the sequence and expression levels of drug target genes or those involved in the metabolism and transport of the therapeutic agent. Expression of these genes, in turn, is negatively regulated by small noncoding miRNAs. The levels of miRNAs in bodily fluids have been studied extensively as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers...
December 20, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Matthew C Stubbs, Andrei V Krivtsov
MLL-rearranged leukemia represents approximately 5% to 10% of adult acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and nearly half of all infant/pediatric acute leukemia cases. These leukemias have a poor prognosis, and there are no approved therapeutic options. The rearrangement in the MLL gene leads to aberrant expression of MLL-fusion proteins. These are transforming in murine bone marrow and, in particular, on stem cells and myeloid progenitors derived from bone marrow or fetal liver. The commonality of the MLL fusions is the in-frame fusion of 8 to 11 N-terminal exons of MLL1 (KMT2a) with the C-terminus of a partner fusion gene...
September 11, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Christopher A Werley, Ted Brookings, Hansini Upadhyay, Luis A Williams, Owen B McManus, Graham T Dempsey
A key challenge for establishing a phenotypic screen for neuronal excitability is measurement of membrane potential changes with high throughput and accuracy. Most approaches for probing excitability rely on low-throughput, invasive methods or lack cell-specific information. These limitations stimulated the development of novel strategies for characterizing the electrical properties of cultured neurons. Among these was the development of optogenetic technologies (Optopatch) that allow for stimulation and recording of membrane voltage signals from cultured neurons with single-cell sensitivity and millisecond temporal resolution...
September 11, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Bhavna Verma, Michael Ritchie, Maria Mancini
With the recent approval of four novel immune oncology agents for the treatment of various cancers, the emerging power of this drug class has been substantiated. However, the full potential of such agents is yet to be realized, with only a fraction of the patient population responding to these drugs. A more advanced pre-clinical and translational research platform may increase our understanding of the mechanisms associated with immune-mediated cancer cell death, thereby facilitating the design and development of more generally efficacious agents and drug regimens...
September 11, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Guy A Higgins, Leo B Silenieks
The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is employed extensively to measure attention in rodents. The assay involves animals trained to respond to a brief, unpredictable visual stimulus presented in one of five locations. The effects of experimental manipulations on response speed and choice accuracy are measured, and each related to attentional performance. The 5-CSRTT is also used to measure motor impulsivity. Adapted from a human task, the 5-CSRTT can be employed with rodents or primates, highlighting its translational value...
September 11, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Beatrice Kisser, Eva Mangelsen, Caroline Wingolf, Lars Ivo Partecke, Claus-Dieter Heidecke, Christer Tannergren, Stefan Oswald, Markus Keiser
The Ussing chamber is an old but still powerful technique originally designed to study the vectorial transport of ions through frog skin. This technique is also used to investigate the transport of chemical agents through the intestinal barrier as well as drug metabolism in enterocytes, both of which are key determinants for the bioavailability of orally administered drugs. More contemporary model systems, such as Caco-2 cell monolayers or stably transfected cells, are more limited in their use compared to the Ussing chamber because of differences in expression rates of transporter proteins and/or metabolizing enzymes...
June 22, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Andrew Dunbar, Abbas Nazir, Ross Levine
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a class of hematologic diseases characterized by aberrant proliferation of one or more myeloid lineages and progressive bone marrow fibrosis. In 2005, seminal work by multiple groups identified the JAK2V617F mutation in a significant fraction of MPN patients. Since that time, murine models of JAK2V617F have greatly enhanced the understanding of the role of aberrant JAK-STAT signaling in MPN pathogenesis and have provided an in vivo pre-clinical platform that can be used to develop novel therapies...
June 22, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Manuel Grundmann
Label-free biosensors are increasingly employed in drug discovery. Cell-based biosensors provide valuable insights into the biological consequences of exposing cells and tissues to chemical agents and the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with these effects. Optical biosensors based on the detection of dynamic mass redistribution (DMR) and impedance biosensors using cellular dielectric spectroscopy (CDS) capture changes of the cytoskeleton of living cells in real time. Because signal transduction correlates with changes in cell morphology, DMR and CDS biosensors are exquisitely suited for recording integrated cell responses in an unbiased, yet pathway-specific manner without the use of labels that may interfere with cell function...
June 22, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Daniel J Holder, Michael J Marino
Lack of reproducibility has been highlighted as a significant problem in biomedical research. The present unit is devoted to describing ways to help ensure that research findings can be replicated by others, with a focus on the design and execution of laboratory experiments. Essential components for this include clearly defining the question being asked, using available information or information from pilot studies to aid in the design the experiment, and choosing manipulations under a logical framework based on Mill's "methods of knowing" to build confidence in putative causal links...
March 17, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Gary N Y Chan, Ronald E Cannon
The blood-brain barrier plays an important role in neuroprotection; however, it can be a major obstacle for drug delivery to the brain. This barrier primarily resides in the brain capillaries and functions as an interface between the brain and peripheral blood circulation. Several anatomical and biochemical elements of the blood-brain barrier are essential to regulate the permeability of nutrients, ions, hormones, toxic metabolites, and xenobiotics into and out of the brain. In particular, high expression of ATP-driven efflux transporters at the blood-brain barrier is a major obstacle in the delivery of CNS pharmacotherapeutics to the brain...
March 17, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Terry Kenakin
Seven-transmembrane receptors (7TMRs or GPCRs [G protein-coupled receptors]) are nature's prototypic allosteric proteins in that they mediate the interaction between ligand binding to the receptor and the receptor interacting with another cell signaling protein. A growing class of potential drugs acting through 7TMRs are allosteric in nature in that they bind to a separate site on the receptor protein to modify the interactions between the receptor, natural binding/orthosteric ligand, and signaling proteins...
March 17, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Jeffrey K Aronson, Robin E Ferner
A biomarker is a biological observation that substitutes for and ideally predicts a clinically relevant endpoint or intermediate outcome that is more difficult to observe. The use of clinical biomarkers is easier and less expensive than direct measurement of the final clinical endpoint, and biomarkers are usually measured over a shorter time span. They can be used in disease screening, diagnosis, characterization, and monitoring; as prognostic indicators; for developing individualized therapeutic interventions; for predicting and treating adverse drug reactions; for identifying cell types; and for pharmacodynamic and dose-response studies...
March 17, 2017: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Daniel Bertrand, Bruno Biton, Thomas Licher, Jean-Marie Chambard, Christophe Lanneau, Michel Partiseti, Isabel A Lefevre
Over the last six decades, voltage-gated sodium (Nav ) channels have attracted a great deal of scientific and pharmaceutical interest, driving fundamental advances in both biology and technology. The structure and physiological function of these channels have been extensively studied; clinical and genetic data have uncovered their implication in diseases such as epilepsy, arrhythmias, and pain, bringing them into focus as current and future drug targets. While different techniques have been established to record the activity of Nav channels, proper determination of their properties still presents serious challenges, depending upon the experimental conditions and the desired subtype of channel to be characterized...
December 13, 2016: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Ivone Gomes, Salvador Sierra, Lakshmi A Devi
Although G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteromerization has been extensively demonstrated in vitro using heterologous cells that overexpress epitope-tagged receptors, their presence in endogenous systems is less well established. This is because a criterion to identify receptor heteromerization is the demonstration that the two interacting receptors are present not only in the same cell but also in the same subcellular compartment in close enough proximity to allow for direct receptor-receptor interaction...
December 13, 2016: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Gregory A Reed
Determination of drug or drug metabolite concentrations in biological samples, particularly in serum or plasma, is fundamental to describing the relationships between administered dose, route of administration, and time after dose for achieving the optimal clinical response. While a well-characterized, accurate analytical method is needed to define these parameters, it must also be established that the analyte concentration in the sample at the time of analysis is identical to the concentration at sample acquisition...
December 13, 2016: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
Chris Towne, Kimberly R Thompson
Optogenetics is a method that uses light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been modified to express light-sensitive ion channels and pumps. The approach facilitates neuromodulation in brain preparations and freely moving animals with unmatched spatial and temporal resolution. This optogenetics overview describes the vast array of light-sensitive proteins available and the methods used to deliver them to tissue and modulate them with light. How these methods have so far enhanced our knowledge of fundamental neuroscience and psychiatric disease will be discussed as well as how they may contribute to drug discovery in the future...
December 13, 2016: Current Protocols in Pharmacology
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