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Small molecule epigenetics

Sara Hernández-Castellano, Geovanny I Nic-Can, Clelia De-la-Peña
Among the epigenetic mechanisms studied with a greater interest in the last decade are the microRNAs (miRNAs). These small noncoding RNA sequences that are approximately 17-22 nucleotides in length play an essential role in many biological processes of various organisms, including plants. The analysis of spatiotemporal expression of miRNAs provides a better understanding of the role of these small molecules in plant development, cell differentiation, and other processes; but such analysis is also an important method for the validation of biological functions...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Wylie S Palmer
The entry of small molecule inhibitors of the bromodomain and extra C-terminal domain (BET) family of bromodomains into the clinic has demonstrated the therapeutic potential for this class of epigenetic acetyl-lysine reader proteins. Within the past two years, the development of potent inhibitors for the bromodomain and PHD finger containing protein (BRPF) family and the tripartite motif containing protein 24 (TRIM24) have been reported and are the subject of this review. Both proteins contain other domains with diverse functions and can also be part of a complex of proteins which have implications in epigenetic signaling and disease...
March 2016: Drug Discovery Today. Technologies
Kazuki Sasaki, Minoru Yoshida
Bromodomain-containing proteins are epigenetic readers of histone codes, which recognize acetylated histones and are involved in transcription, nucleosome remodeling and DNA repair. Chromosomal translocations of bromodomain-containing proteins have been implicated in many diseases. In this regard, small molecules that inhibit bromodomains are promising as therapeutic agents. A fluorescence microscopy-based approach provides information on bromodomain inhibitors that abrogate the interaction between acetylated histones and bromodomains in living cells...
March 2016: Drug Discovery Today. Technologies
Nina Holland
Environmental research and public health in the 21st century face serious challenges such as increased air pollution and global warming, widespread use of potentially harmful chemicals including pesticides, plasticizers, and other endocrine disruptors, and radical changes in nutrition and lifestyle typical of modern societies. In particular, exposure to environmental and occupational toxicants may contribute to the occurrence of adverse birth outcomes, neurodevelopmental deficits, and increased risk of cancer and other multifactorial diseases such as diabetes and asthma...
October 21, 2016: Reviews on Environmental Health
David F Tough, Paul P Tak, Alexander Tarakhovsky, Rab K Prinjha
Immune-mediated diseases are clinically heterogeneous but they share genetic and pathogenic mechanisms. These diseases may develop from the interplay of genetic factors and environmental or lifestyle factors. Exposure to such factors, including infectious agents, is associated with coordinated changes in gene transcription owing to epigenetic alterations. A growing understanding of how epigenetic mechanisms control gene expression patterns and cell function has been aided by the development of small-molecule inhibitors that target these processes...
October 21, 2016: Nature Reviews. Drug Discovery
Wilson Kc Leung, L Gao, Parco M Siu, Christopher Wk Lai
An explosion in global epidemic of type 2 diabetes mellitus poses major rise in cases with vascular endothelial dysfunction ranging from micro- (retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy) to macro-vascular (atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy) conditions. Functional destruction of endothelium is regarded as an early event that lays the groundwork for the development of renal microangiopathy and subsequent clinical manifestation of nephropathic symptoms. Recent research has shed some light on the molecular mechanisms of type 2 diabetes-associated comorbidity of endothelial dysfunction and nephropathy...
October 17, 2016: Life Sciences
Walter H Moos, Carl A Pinkert, Michael H Irwin, Douglas V Faller, Krishna Kodukula, Ioannis P Glavas, Kosta Steliou
Preclinical Research Approximately 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates used the word herpes as a medical term to describe lesions that appeared to creep or crawl on the skin, advocating heat as a possible treatment. During the last 50 years, pharmaceutical research has made great strides, and therapeutic options have expanded to include small molecule antiviral agents, protease inhibitors, preventive vaccines for a handful of the papillomaviruses, and even cures for hepatitis C virus infections. However, effective treatments for persistent and recurrent viral infections, particularly the highly prevalent herpesviruses, continue to represent a significant unmet medical need, affecting the majority of the world's population...
October 20, 2016: Drug Development Research
Stephen Harrap
Genetic discovery in blood pressure is generally referenced in relation to protein-coding genes, despite the fact that genes less than 2% of the genome. Recent exploration of the DNA sequences between genes, once called "junk" DNA, has revealed a wealth of transcripts for RNA species that do not encode protein. These non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as dynamic managers of the business of the genome, able to coordinate the expression of genes in time and space to achieve the complexities of normal development and growth...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
E Rizos, N Siafakas, E Skourti, C Papageorgiou, J Tsoporis, T H Parker, D I Christodoulou, D A Spandidos, E Katsantoni, V Zoumpourlis
Schizophrenia (SZ) and cancer (Ca) have a broad spectrum of clinical phenotypes and a complex biological background, implicating a large number of genetic and epigenetic factors. SZ is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder signified by an increase in the expression of apoptotic molecular signals, whereas Ca is conversely characterized by an increase in appropriate molecular signaling that stimulates uncontrolled cell proliferation. The rather low risk of developing Ca in patients suffering from SZ is a hypothesis that is still under debate...
October 14, 2016: Molecular Medicine Reports
Jay B Hollick
Paramutation describes a process that results in heritable epigenetic changes of gene regulation and trans-homologue interactions. Recent discoveries in model organisms have highlighted roles for the respective nuclear systems that regulate transposons via small RNA molecules both for paramutation and for defining transgenerational inheritance. Differences between plants and animals may influence specific transmission behaviours but the involvement of small RNA-based mechanisms identifies a unifying eukaryotic theme...
October 17, 2016: Nature Reviews. Genetics
Prashant S Kota, Mostafa R Naguib, Vivekkumar Patel, Todd K Rosengart
The prospect of genetically reprogramming cardiac fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes by using cardio-differentiating transcription factors represents a significant advantage over previous strategies involving stem cell implantation or the delivery of angiogenic factors. Remarkably, intramyocardial administration of cardio-differentiating factors consistently results in 20% to 30% improvements in postinfarct ejection fraction and nearly a 50% reduction in myocardial fibrosis in murine models. Despite these encouraging observations, few breakthroughs have been made in the reprogramming of human cells, which have more rigorous epigenetic constraints and gene regulatory networks that oppose reprogramming...
August 31, 2016: Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Xiong Xiao, Nan Li, Dapeng Zhang, Bo Yang, Hongmei Guo, Yuemin Li
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share many characteristics with embryonic stem cells, but lack ethical controversy. They provide vast opportunities for disease modeling, pathogenesis understanding, therapeutic drug development, toxicology, organ synthesis, and treatment of degenerative disease. However, this procedure also has many potential challenges, including a slow generation time, low efficiency, partially reprogrammed colonies, as well as somatic coding mutations in the genome. Pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka's team in 2006, iPSCs were first generated by introducing four transcription factors: Oct 4, Sox 2, Klf 4, and c-Myc (OSKM)...
October 2016: Cellular Reprogramming
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
Guillaume Andrieu, Anna H Tran, Katherine J Strissel, Gerald V Denis
The Bromodomain and ExtraTerminal (BET) proteins are epigenetic 'readers' of acetylated histones in chromatin and have been identified as promising therapeutic targets in diverse cancers. However, it remains unclear how individual family members participate in cancer progression, and small molecule inhibitors such as JQ1 can target functionally independent BET proteins. Here we report a signaling pathway involving BRD4 and the ligand/receptor pair Jagged1/Notch1 that sustains triple-negative breast cancer migration and invasion...
September 20, 2016: Cancer Research
Hyun-Jin Kang, Yunxi Cui, Holly Yin, Amy Scheid, William P D Hendricks, Jessica Schmidt, Aleksandar Sekulic, Deming Kong, Jeffrey M Trent, Vijay Gokhale, Hanbin Mao, Laurence H Hurley
Activation of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) is necessary for limitless replication in tumorigenesis. Whereas hTERT is transcriptionally silenced in normal cells, most tumor cells reactivate hTERT expression by alleviating transcriptional repression through diverse genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Transcription-activating hTERT promoter mutations have been found to occur at high frequencies in multiple cancer types. These mutations have been shown to form new transcription factor binding sites that drive hTERT expression, but this model cannot fully account for differences in wild-type (WT) and mutant promoter activation and has not yet enabled a selective therapeutic strategy...
October 5, 2016: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Yanli Jin, Jingfeng Zhou, Fang Xu, Bei Jin, Lijing Cui, Yun Wang, Xin Du, Juan Li, Peng Li, Ruibao Ren, Jingxuan Pan
Imatinib-insensitive leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are believed to be responsible for resistance to BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors and relapse of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Identifying therapeutic targets to eradicate CML LSCs may be a strategy to cure CML. In the present study, we discovered a positive feedback loop between BCR-ABL and protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) in CML cells. Overexpression of PRMT5 was observed in human CML LSCs. Silencing PRMT5 with shRNA or blocking PRMT5 methyltransferase activity with the small-molecule inhibitor PJ-68 reduced survival, serial replating capacity, and long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs) in LSCs from CML patients...
October 3, 2016: Journal of Clinical Investigation
Stephen Harrap
Genetic discovery in blood pressure is generally referenced in relation to protein-coding genes, despite the fact that genes less than 2% of the genome. Recent exploration of the DNA sequences between genes, once called "junk" DNA, has revealed a wealth of transcripts for RNA species that do not encode protein. These non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as dynamic managers of the business of the genome, able to coordinate the expression of genes in time and space to achieve the complexities of normal development and growth...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Hannah Choe, Jia Ruan
Advances in our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of B-cell lymphoma have guided the development of targeted therapies that disrupt aberrant signaling pathways important for communication within lymphoma cells and for their interactions with the tumor microenvironment. This has led to unprecedented therapeutic progress, with biologic agents that have begun to transform the care of patients with lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This review discusses the mechanisms of action, clinical development, and emerging applications of small-molecule inhibitors that target B-cell receptor signaling pathways, B-cell lymphoma-2 inhibitors, selective inhibitors of nuclear export, and epigenetic modifiers...
September 15, 2016: Oncology (Williston Park, NY)
Andrew K Urick, Luis Pablo Calle, Juan F Espinosa, Haitao Hu, William C K Pomerantz
To evaluate its potential as a ligand discovery tool, we compare a newly developed 1D protein-observed fluorine NMR (PrOF NMR) screening method with the well-characterized ligand-observed (1)H CPMG NMR screen. We selected the first bromodomain of Brd4 as a model system to benchmark PrOF NMR because of the high ligandability of Brd4 and the need for small molecule inhibitors of related epigenetic regulatory proteins. We compare the two methods' hit sensitivity, triaging ability, experiment speed, material consumption, and the potential for false positives and negatives...
October 5, 2016: ACS Chemical Biology
Salma Jamal, Sonam Arora, Vinod Scaria
BACKGROUND: The dynamic and differential regulation and expression of genes is majorly governed by the complex interactions of a subset of biomolecules in the cell operating at multiple levels starting from genome organisation to protein post-translational regulation. The regulatory layer contributed by the epigenetic layer has been one of the favourite areas of interest recently. This layer of regulation as we know today largely comprises of DNA modifications, histone modifications and noncoding RNA regulation and the interplay between each of these major components...
2016: PloS One
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