Browsing by Subject "DRUG"

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  • Zhou, Qi-Hang; Qin, Wei-Wei; Finel, Moshe; He, Qing-Qing; Tu, Dong-Zhu; Wang, Chao-Ran; Ge, Guang-Bo (2021)
    Strong inhibition of the human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes (UGTs) may lead to undesirable effects, including hyperbilirubinaemia and drugiherb-drug interactions. Currently, there is no good way to examine the inhibitory effects and specificities of compounds toward all the important human UGTs, side-by-side and under identical conditions. Herein, we report a new, broad-spectrum substrate for human UGTs and its uses in screening and characterizing of UGT inhibitors. Following screening a variety of phenolic compound(s), we have found that methylophiopogonanone A (MOA) can be readily O-glucuronidated by all tested human UGTs, including the typical N-glucuronidating enzymes UGT1A4 and UGT2B10. MOA-O-glucuronidation yielded a single mono-O-glucuronide that was biosynthesized and purified for structural characterization and for constructing an LC-UV based MOA-O-glucuronidation activity assay, which was then used for investigating MOA-O-glucuronidation kinetics in recombinant human UGTs. The derived K-m values were crucial for selecting the most suitable assay conditions for assessing inhibitory potentials and specificity of test compound(s). Furthermore, the inhibitory effects and specificities of four known UGT inhibitors were reinvestigated by using MOA as the substrate for all tested UGTs. Collectively, MOA is a broad-spectrum substrate for the human UGTs, which offers a new and practical tool for assessing inhibitory effects and specificities of UGT inhibitors. (C) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Karsten, Lennard; Janson, Nils; Le Joncour, Vadim; Alam, Sarfaraz; Müller, Benjamin; Tanjore Ramanathan, Jayendrakishore; Laakkonen, Pirjo; Sewald, Norbert; Mueller, Kristian M. (2022)
    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a validated tumor marker overexpressed in various cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma (SSC) of the head and neck and gliomas. We constructed protein-drug conjugates based on the anti-EGFR Designed Ankyrin Repeat Protein (DARPin) E01, and compared the bivalent DARPin dimer (DD1) and a DARPin-Fc (DFc) to the monomeric DARPin (DM) and the antibody derived scFv425-Fc (scFvFc) in cell culture and a mouse model. The modular conjugation system, which was successfully applied for the preparation of protein-drug and -dye conjugates, uses bio-orthogonal protein-aldehyde generation by the formylglycine-generating enzyme (FGE). The generated carbonyl moiety is addressed by a bifunctional linker with a pyrazolone for a tandem Knoevenagel reaction and an azide for strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition (SPAAC). The latter reaction with a PEGylated linker containing a dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO) for SPAAC and monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) as the toxin provided the stable conjugates DD1-MMAE (drug-antibody ratio, DAR = 2.0) and DFc-MMAE (DAR = 4.0) with sub-nanomolar cytotoxicity against the human squamous carcinoma derived A431 cells. In vivo imaging of Alexa Fluor 647-dye conjugates in A431-xenografted mice bearing subcutaneous tumors as the SCC model revealed unspecific binding of bivalent DARPins to the ubiquitously expressed EGFR. Tumor-targeting was verified 6 h post-injection solely for DD1 and scFvFc. The total of four administrations of 6.5 mg/kg DD1-MMAE or DFc-MMAE twice weekly did not cause any sequela in mice. MMAE conjugates showed no significant anti-tumor efficacy in vivo, but a trend towards increased necrotic areas (p = 0.2213) was observed for the DD1-MMAE (n = 5).
  • Pirhonen, Eero; Haapea, Marianne; Rautio, Nina; Nordstrom, Tanja; Turpeinen, Miia; Laatikainen, Outi; Koponen, Hannu; Silvan, Jenni; Miettunen, Jouko; Jääskeläinen, Erika (2022)
    Objective Increasing number of people have been prescribed antipsychotics (APs) off-label in recent decades. This study aimed to identify the characteristics and predictors of receiving prescription of antipsychotics off-label. Methods The study sample was part of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (n = 7071). Data included questionnaires and national register data. Information on prescribed medications was extracted from the national register. The sample was divided into three groups: Persons who had been prescribed APs off-label (n = 137), individuals with non-psychotic mental disorders without APs off label (n = 1478) and individuals who had been diagnosed with psychosis or bipolar disorder and who had been prescribed APs (n = 151). We compared sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical characteristics between the off-label and the comparison groups using logistic regression. Results The most common diagnoses in the off-label group were depression (n = 96, 70.1%) and anxiety (n = 55, 40.1%). Compared with individuals with non-psychotic mental disorders who were not prescribed APs off-label, individuals with prescribed off-label APs had a lower level of education, lower socioeconomic status, were less often married, had a higher level of somatic and psychiatric morbidity, were more often smokers and more often had a substance abuse disorder and heavy alcohol consumption. When comparing the off-label group to individuals with psychosis or bipolar disorder who used APs, there were less differences, though individuals with psychosis or bipolar disorder had more markers of morbidity and a lower level of education. Conclusion Individuals who had been prescribed APs off label had a higher level of mental and somatic morbidity and poorer socioeconomic status than individuals with non-psychotic mental disorders who did not use APs.
  • IDG-DREAM Drug-Kinase Binding; Cichonska, Anna; Ravikumar, Balaguru; Tanoli, Ziaurrehman; Aittokallio, Tero (2021)
    Despite decades of intensive search for compounds that modulate the activity of particular protein targets, a large proportion of the human kinome remains as yet undrugged. Effective approaches are therefore required to map the massive space of unexplored compound-kinase interactions for novel and potent activities. Here, we carry out a crowdsourced benchmarking of predictive algorithms for kinase inhibitor potencies across multiple kinase families tested on unpublished bioactivity data. We find the top-performing predictions are based on various models, including kernel learning, gradient boosting and deep learning, and their ensemble leads to a predictive accuracy exceeding that of single-dose kinase activity assays. We design experiments based on the model predictions and identify unexpected activities even for under-studied kinases, thereby accelerating experimental mapping efforts. The open-source prediction algorithms together with the bioactivities between 95 compounds and 295 kinases provide a resource for benchmarking prediction algorithms and for extending the druggable kinome. The IDG-DREAM Challenge carried out crowdsourced benchmarking of predictive algorithms for kinase inhibitor activities on unpublished data. This study provides a resource to compare emerging algorithms and prioritize new kinase activities to accelerate drug discovery and repurposing efforts.
  • Rautaniemi, Kaisa; Vuorimaa-Laukkanen, Elina; Strachan, Clare J.; Laaksonen, Timo (2018)
    Pharmaceutical scientists are increasingly interested in amorphous drug formulations especially because of their higher dissolution rates. Consequently, the thorough characterization and analysis of these formulations are becoming more and more important for the pharmaceutical industry. Here, fluorescence lifetime-imaging microscopy (FLIM) was used to monitor the crystallization of an amorphous pharmaceutical compound, indomethacin. Initially, we identified different solid indomethacin forms, amorphous and gamma- and alpha-crystalline, on the basis of their time-resolved fluorescence. All of the studied indomethacin forms showed biexponential decays with characteristic fluorescence lifetimes and amplitudes. Using this information, the crystallization of amorphous indomethacin upon storage in 60 degrees C was monitored for 10 days with FLIM. The progress of crystallization was detected as lifetime changes both in the FLIM images and in the fluorescence-decay curves extracted from the images. The fluorescence-lifetime amplitudes were used for quantitative analysis of the crystallization process. We also demonstrated that the fluorescence-lifetime distribution of the sample changed during crystallization, and when the sample was not moved between measuring times, the lifetime distribution could also be used for the analysis of the reaction kinetics. Our results clearly show that FLIM is a sensitive and nondestructive method for monitoring solid-state transformations on the surfaces of fluorescent samples.
  • Torrieri, Giulia; Fontana, Flavia; Figueiredo, Patricia; Liu, Zehua; Almeida Ferreira, Monica; Talman, Virpi; Martins, João Pedro; Fusciello, Manlio; Moslova, Karina; Teesalu, Tambet; Cerullo, Vincenzo; Hirvonen, Jouni; Ruskoaho, Heikki; Balasubramanian, Vimalkumar; Santos, Hélder A. (2020)
    The advent of nanomedicine has recently started to innovate the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, in particular myocardial infarction. Although current approaches are very promising, there is still an urgent need for advanced targeting strategies. In this work, the exploitation of macrophage recruitment is proposed as a novel and synergistic approach to improve the addressability of the infarcted myocardium achieved by current peptide-based heart targeting strategies. For this purpose, an acetalated dextran-based nanosystem is designed and successfully functionalized with two different peptides, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and linTT1, which target, respectively, cardiac cells and macrophages associated with atherosclerotic plaques. The biocompatibility of the nanocarrier is screened on both macrophage cell lines and primary macrophages, showing high safety, in particular after functionalization of the nanoparticles' surface. Furthermore, the system shows higher association versus uptake ratio towards M2-like macrophages (approximately 2-fold and 6-fold increase in murine and human primary M2-like macrophages, respectively, compared to M1-like). Overall, the results demonstrate that the nanosystem has potential to exploit the "hitchhike" effect on M2-like macrophages and potentially improve, in a dual targeting strategy, the ability of the ANP peptide to target infarcted heart.
  • Heikkinen, Emma M.; del Amo, Eva M.; Ranta, Veli-Pekka; Urtti, Arto; Vellonen, Kati-Sisko; Ruponen, Marika (2018)
    Corneal esterases are utilized in the activation of topically applied ester prodrugs. Esterases may also be involved in the metabolism of drugs in posterior eye tissues, but their physiological activity is unknown. Furthermore, extrapolation of the esterase activity from protein level to the tissues is missing. The aims of the current study were to determine esterase activities in porcine and albino rabbit ocular tissues, calculate the activities for whole tissues and compare esterase activity between the species. We conducted a hydrolysis study with ocular tissue homogenates using an esterase probe substrate 4-nitrophenyl acetate. The hydrolysis rates were first normalized to protein content and then scaled to whole tissues. The hydrolytic rate normalized to protein content was high in the cornea and iris-ciliary body and low in the lens and aqueous humor, and in general, the rabbit tissues had higher hydrolytic rates than the porcine ones. Esterase activity scaled to whole tissue was high in cornea and iris-ciliary body and low in aqueous humor and retinal pigment epithelium in both species. The current study revealed differences in esterase activities among the ocular tissues and the species. This basic knowledge on ocular esterases provides background information particularly for posterior segment drug development.
  • Sokka, Iris K.; Imlimthan, Surachet; Sarparanta, Mirkka; Maaheimo, Hannu; Johansson, Mikael P.; Ekholm, Filip S. (2021)
    Halogenation can be utilized for the purposes of labeling and molecular imaging, providing a means to, e.g., follow drug distribution in an organism through positron emission tomography (PET) or study the molecular recognition events unfolding by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. For cancer therapeutics, where often highly toxic substances are employed, it is of importance to be able to track the distribution of the drugs and their metabolites in order to ensure minimal side effects. Labeling should ideally have a negligible disruptive effect on the efficacy of a given drug. Using a combination of NMR spectroscopy and cytotoxicity assays, we identify a site susceptible to halogenation in monomethyl auristatin F (MMAF), a widely used cytotoxic agent in the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) family of cancer drugs, and study the effects of fluorination and chlorination on the physiological solution structure of the auristatins and their cytotoxicity. We find that the cytotoxicity of the parent drug is retained, while the conformational equilibrium is shifted significantly toward the biologically active trans isomer, simultaneously decreasing the concentration of the inactive and potentially disruptive cis isomer by up to 50%. Our results may serve as a base for the future assembly of a multifunctional toolkit for the assessment of linker technologies and exploring bystander effects from the warhead perspective in auristatin-derived ADCs.
  • He, Liye; Bulanova, Daria; Oikkonen, Jaana; Häkkinen, Antti; Zhang, Kaiyang; Zheng, Shuyu; Wang, Wenyu; Erkan, Erdogan Pekcan; Carpén, Olli; Joutsiniemi, Titta; Hietanen, Sakari; Hynninen, Johanna; Huhtinen, Kaisa; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Vähärautio, Anna; Tang, Jing; Wennerberg, Krister; Aittokallio, Tero (2021)
    Each patient’s cancer consists of multiple cell subpopulations that are inherently heterogeneous and may develop differing phenotypes such as drug sensitivity or resistance. A personalized treatment regimen should therefore target multiple oncoproteins in the cancer cell populations that are driving the treatment resistance or disease progression in a given patient to provide maximal therapeutic effect, while avoiding severe co-inhibition of non-malignant cells that would lead to toxic side effects. To address the intra- and inter-tumoral heterogeneity when designing combinatorial treatment regimens for cancer patients, we have implemented a machine learning-based platform to guide identification of safe and effective combinatorial treatments that selectively inhibit cancer-related dysfunctions or resistance mechanisms in individual patients. In this case study, we show how the platform enables prediction of cancer-selective drug combinations for patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer using single-cell imaging cytometry drug response assay, combined with genome-wide transcriptomic and genetic profiles. The platform makes use of drug-target interaction networks to prioritize those combinations that warrant further preclinical testing in scarce patient-derived primary cells. During the case study in ovarian cancer patients, we investigated (i) the relative performance of various ensemble learning algorithms for drug response prediction, (ii) the use of matched single-cell RNA-sequencing data to deconvolute cell population-specific transcriptome profiles from bulk RNA-seq data, (iii) and whether multi-patient or patient-specific predictive models lead to better predictive accuracy. The general platform and the comparison results are expected to become useful for future studies that use similar predictive approaches also in other cancer types.
  • Amaghnouje, Amal; Bohza, Serhii; Bohdan, Nathalie; Es-Safi, Imane; Kyrylchuk, Andrii; Achour, Sanae; El Fatemi, Hinde; Bousta, Dalila; Grafov, Andriy (2021)
    We report the design and synthesis of a new diazepine derivative, 4-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-2,3-benzodiazepin-1-one (VBZ102), and the evaluation of its anxiolytic-like profile, memory impairment effect, and toxicity in Swiss mice. VBZ102 was evaluated for central nervous system effects in an open field, light-dark box, and novel object recognition tests under oral administration for acute and sub-acute treatment. We tested the VBZ102 toxicity in mice through a determination of LD50 values and examination of the biochemical and histopathological parameters. The VBZ102 induced an anxiolytic effect at different doses both in the light-dark box and open field tests. Unlike other benzodiazepines (e.g., bromazepam), a sedative effect was noted only after administration of the VBZ102 at 10.0 mg/kg.
  • Ojala, Krista E M; Schilderink, Ronald; Nykänen, P; van Veen, Bert; Malmström, Chira; Juppo, Anne; Korjamo, Timo (2020)
    The prediction of absorption properties plays a key role in formulation development when the compound under development shows poor solubility and its absorption is therefore presumed to be solubility limited. In our work, we combined and compared data obtained from in vitro dissolution tests, transit intestinal model studies (TIM -1) and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling. Our aim was to determine the ability of these methods to predict performance of poorly soluble lipophilic weak base in vivo. The validity of the predictive methods was evaluated against the in vivo clinical pharmacokinetic (PK) data obtained after administration of the first test formulation, Tl. The aim of our study was to utilize the models in evaluating absorption properties of the second test formulation, T2, which has not yet been clinically administered. The compound in the studies was ODM-204, which is a novel, orally administered, investigational, nonsteroidal dual inhibitor of CYP17A1 and androgen receptor. Owing to its physicochemical properties ODM-204 is prone to low or variable bioavailability. The models examined provided congruent data on dose dependent absorption, food effect at a dose of 200 mg and on the effect of API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) particle size on absorption. Our study shows that the predictive tools of in vitro dissolution, TIM-1 system and the PBPK (physiologically based pharmacokinetic) simulation, showed predictive power of different mechanisms of bioavailability and together provided valuable information for decision making.
  • Wei, Ting; Najmi, Saman M.; Liu, Hester; Peltonen, Karita; Kucerova, Alena; Schneider, David A.; Laiho, Marikki (2018)
    Summary Inhibition of RNA polymerase I (Pol I) is a promising strategy for modern cancer therapy. BMH-21 is a first-in-class small molecule that inhibits Pol I transcription and induces degradation of the enzyme, but how this exceptional response is enforced is not known. Here, we define key elements requisite for the response. We show that Pol I preinitiation factors and polymerase subunits (e.g., RPA135) are required for BMH-21-mediated degradation of RPA194. We further find that Pol I inhibition and induced degradation by BMH-21 are conserved in yeast. Genetic analyses demonstrate that mutations that induce transcription elongation defects in Pol I result in hypersensitivity to BMH-21. Using a fully reconstituted Pol I transcription assay, we show that BMH-21 directly impairs transcription elongation by Pol I, resulting in long-lived polymerase pausing. These studies define a conserved regulatory checkpoint that monitors Pol I transcription and is activated by therapeutic intervention.
  • Ianevski, Aleksandr; Giri, Anil K.; Aittokallio, Tero (2022)
    SynergyFinder ( is a free web-application for interactive analysis and visualization of multi-drug combination response data. Since its first release in 2017, SynergyFinder has become a popular tool for multi-dose combination data analytics, partly because the development of its functionality and graphical interface has been driven by a diverse user community, including both chemical biologists and computational scientists. Here, we describe the latest upgrade of this community-effort, SynergyFinder release 3.0, introducing a number of novel features that support interactive multisample analysis of combination synergy, a novel consensus synergy score that combines multiple synergy scoring models, and an improved outlier detection functionality that eliminates false positive results, along with many other post-analysis options such as weighting of synergy by drug concentrations and distinguishing between different modes of synergy (potency and efficacy). Based on user requests, several additional improvements were also implemented, including new data visualizations and export options for multi-drug combinations. With these improvements, SynergyFinder 3.0 supports robust identification of consistent combinatorial synergies for multi-drug combinatorial discovery and clinical translation. [GRAPHICS] .
  • Kiander, Wilma; Vellonen, Kati-Sisko; Malinen, Melina M.; Gynther, Mikko; Hagström, Marja; Bhattacharya, Madhushree; Auriola, Seppo; Koenderink, Jan B.; Kidron, Heidi (2021)
    Purpose Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1) mediates hepatic influx and clearance of many drugs, including statins. The SLCO1B1 gene is highly polymorphic and its function-impairing variants can predispose patients to adverse effects. The effects of rare genetic variants of SLCO1B1 are mainly unexplored. We examined the impact of eight naturally occurring rare variants and the well-known SLCO1B1 c.521C > T (V174A) variant on in vitro transport activity, cellular localization and abundance. Methods Transport of rosuvastatin and 2,7-dichlorofluorescein (DCF) in OATP1B1 expressing HEK293 cells was measured to assess changes in activity of the variants. Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy determined the cellular localization of OATP1B1 and LC-MS/MS based quantitative targeted absolute proteomics analysis quantified the amount of OATP1B1 in crude membrane fractions. Results All studied variants, with the exception of P336R, reduced protein abundance to varying degree. V174A reduced protein abundance the most, over 90% compared to wild type. Transport function was lost in G76E, V174A, L193R and R580Q variants. R181C decreased activity significantly, while T345M and L543W retained most of wild type OATP1B1 activity. P336R showed increased activity and H575L decreased the transport of DCF significantly, but not of rosuvastatin. Decreased activity was interrelated with lower absolute protein abundance in the studied variants. Conclusions Transmembrane helices 2, 4 and 11 appear to be crucial for proper membrane localization and function of OATP1B1. Four of the studied variants were identified as loss-of-function variants and as such could make the individual harboring these variants susceptible to altered pharmacokinetics and adverse effects of substrate drugs.
  • Comandolli-Wyrepkowski, Claudia Dantas; Grafova, Iryna; Naiff, Maricleide de Farias; Avella, Maurizio; Gentile, Gennaro; Grafov, Andriy; Ramos Franco, Antonia Maria (2017)
    Current treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) relies mainly on pentavalent antimonials salts and second-line drugs include pentamidine and amphotericin B, but these therapies have side effects and require parenteral administration. The aim of this work was to evaluate the topical formulations containing pentamidine isethionate (PI) in the experimental treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were infected in the nose with Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis. Six treatment groups received different topical treatments of anhydrous or hydrating emulsions, for a maximum of 10 days, with an application of 50 mg day(-1). After treatment tissue samples of lesions were evaluated by histology, transmission electron microscopy and biopsy cultivation. Compared with untreated group, topical treatment with hydrating emulsion with 10% PI and usnic acid (ACE5AU) showed significantly decrease in volume lesion (P= 0.028) on 20th day after the end of the treatment with reduction of 27.37%. Topical treatment with anhydrous emulsion with 10% PI and usnic acid (ACPU) reduces parasite burden in Golden hamsters. This study demonstrated the potential of topical treatment to reduce the number of parasites that could be combined with others drugs and to have a faster and more effective treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis.
  • Perra, Emanuele; Lampsijarvi, Eetu; Barreto, Goncalo; Arif, Muhammad; Puranen, Tuomas; Haeggstrom, Edward; Pritzker, Kenneth P. H.; Nieminen, Heikki J. (2021)
    Despite the ubiquitous use over the past 150 years, the functions of the current medical needle are facilitated only by mechanical shear and cutting by the needle tip, i.e. the lancet. In this study, we demonstrate how nonlinear ultrasonics (NLU) extends the functionality of the medical needle far beyond its present capability. The NLU actions were found to be localized to the proximity of the needle tip, the SonoLancet, but the effects extend to several millimeters from the physical needle boundary. The observed nonlinear phenomena, transient cavitation, fluid streams, translation of micro- and nanoparticles and atomization, were quantitatively characterized. In the fine-needle biopsy application, the SonoLancet contributed to obtaining tissue cores with an increase in tissue yield by 3-6x in different tissue types compared to conventional needle biopsy technique using the same 21G needle. In conclusion, the SonoLancet could be of interest to several other medical applications, including drug or gene delivery, cell modulation, and minimally invasive surgical procedures.