Browsing by Subject "cancer therapeutics"

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  • Matovic, Jelena; Järvinen, Juulia; Bland, Helena C.; Sokka, Iris K.; Imlimthan, Surachet; Ferrando, Ruth Mateu; Huttunen, Kristiina M.; Timonen, Juri; Peräniemi, Sirpa; Aitio, Olli; Airaksinen, Anu J.; Sarparanta, Mirkka; Johansson, Mikael P.; Rautio, Jarkko; Ekholm, Filip S. (2020)
    Boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) for cancer is on the rise worldwide due to recent developments of in-hospital neutron accelerators which are expected to revolutionize patient treatments. There is an urgent need for improved boron delivery agents, and herein we have focused on studying the biochemical foundations upon which a successful GLUT1-targeting strategy to BNCT could be based. By combining synthesis and molecular modeling with affinity and cytotoxicity studies, we unravel the mechanisms behind the considerable potential of appropriately designed glucoconjugates as boron delivery agents for BNCT. In addition to addressing the biochemical premises of the approach in detail, we report on a hit glucoconjugate which displays good cytocompatibility, aqueous solubility, high transporter affinity, and, crucially, an exceptional boron delivery capacity in the in vitro assessment thereby pointing toward the significant potential embedded in this approach.
  • 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.
  • 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.