Escherichia coli Dihydrofolate reductase is an important enzyme that is essential for the survival of the Gram‐negative microorganism. Inhibitors designed against this enzyme have demonstrated application as antibiotics. However, either because of poor bioavailability of the small‐molecules resulting from their inability to cross the double membrane in Gram‐negative bacteria or because the microorganism develops resistance to the antibiotics by mutating the DHFR target, discovery of new antibiotics against the enzyme is mandatory to overcome drug‐resistance. This review summarizes the field of DHFR inhibition with special focus on recent efforts to effectively interface computational and experimental efforts to discover novel classes of inhibitors that target allosteric and active‐sites in drug‐resistant variants of EcDHFR.
Many studies have been carried out for early diagnosis of complex diseases by finding accurate and robust biomarkers specific to respective diseases. In particular, recent rapid advance of high‐throughput technologies provides unprecedented rich information to characterize various disease genotypes and phenotypes in a global and also dynamical manner, which significantly accelerates the study of biomarkers from both theoretical and clinical perspectives. Traditionally, molecular biomarkers that distinguish disease samples from normal samples are widely adopted in clinical practices due to their ease of data measurement. However, many of them suffer from low coverage and high false‐positive rates or high false‐negative rates, which seriously limit their further clinical applications. To overcome those difficulties, network biomarkers (or module biomarkers) attract much attention and also achieve better performance because a network (or subnetwork) is considered to be a more robust form to characterize diseases than individual molecules. But, both molecular biomarkers and network biomarkers mainly distinguish disease samples from normal samples, and they generally cannot ensure to identify predisease samples due to their static nature, thereby lacking ability to early diagnosis. Based on nonlinear dynamical theory and complex network theory, a new concept of dynamical network biomarkers (DNBs, or a dynamical network of biomarkers) has been developed, which is different from traditional static approaches, and the DNB is able to distinguish a predisease state from normal and disease states by even a small number of samples, and therefore has great potential to achieve “real” early diagnosis of complex diseases. In this paper, we comprehensively review the recent advances and developments on molecular biomarkers, network biomarkers, and DNBs in particular, focusing on the biomarkers for early diagnosis of complex diseases considering a small number of samples and high‐throughput data (or big data). Detailed comparisons of various types of biomarkers as well as their applications are also discussed.
Over the past decades, a multitude of experimental drugs have been shown to delay disease progression in preclinical animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) but failed to show efficacy in human clinical trials or are still waiting for approval under Phase I–III trials. Riluzole, a glutamatergic neurotransmission inhibitor, is the only drug approved by the USA Food and Drug Administration for ALS treatment with modest benefits on survival. Recently, an antioxidant drug, edaravone, developed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma was found to be effective in halting ALS progression during early stages. The newly approved drug edaravone is a force multiplier for ALS treatment. This short report provides an overview of the two drugs that have been approved for ALS treatment and highlights an update on the timeline of drug development, how clinical trials were done, the outcome of these trials, primary endpoint, mechanism of actions, dosing information, administration, side effects, and storage procedures. Moreover, we also discussed the pressing issues and challenges of ALS clinical trials and drug developments as well as future outlook.
Oleoyl‐estrone (OE) is a powerful slimming agent that is also present in plasma and adipose tissue, where it is synthesized. It acts through the formation of a derivative W. OE effects (and W levels) are proportional to the dose. OE reduces food intake but maintains energy expenditure (thermogenesis). The energy gap is fulfilled with adipose tissue fat, sparing body protein and maintaining glycemia (and glycogen) with lower insulin and leptin levels. OE (in fact W) acts through specific receptors, different from those of estrogen. OE increases cholesterol catabolism, reducing hypercholesterolemia in obese rats. The main metabolic effect on adipose tissue is lowering of lipid synthesis, maintaining unchanged the intracellular lipolytic processes; the imbalance favors the progressive loss of fat, which is largely used by the muscle. OE administration induces additive effects with other antiobesity agents, such as β3‐adrenergic agonists, forcing a massive loss of lipid. Corticosteroids markedly limit OE action by altering the liver control of lipogenesis. OE also inhibits the action of 17β‐hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, decreasing the synthesis of β‐estradiol and testosterone. Discontinuous treatment allows for maximal efficacy both in rats and humans. OE has the advantage that the loss of fat is maintained and does not require additional dietary limitations.
Due to the widespread emergence of resistant bacterial strains, an urgent need for the development of new antibacterial agents with novel modes of action has emerged. The discovery of naturally occurring monocyclic β‐lactams in the late 1970s, mainly active against aerobic Gram‐negative bacteria, has introduced a new approach in the design and development of novel antibacterial β‐lactam agents. The main goal was the derivatization of the azetidin‐2‐one core in order to improve their antibacterial potency, broaden their spectrum of activity, and enhance their β‐lactamase stability. In that respect, our review covers the updates in the field of monocyclic β‐lactam antibiotics during the last three decades, taking into account an extensive collection of references. An overview of the relationships between the structural features of these monocyclic β‐lactams, classified according to their N‐substituent, and the associated antibacterial or β‐lactamase inhibitory activities is provided. The different paragraphs disclose a number of well‐established classes of compounds, such as monobactams, monosulfactams, monocarbams, monophosphams, nocardicins, as well as other known representative classes. Moreover, this review draws attention to some less common but, nevertheless, possibly important types of monocyclic β‐lactams and concludes by highlighting the recent developments on siderophore‐conjugated classes of monocyclic β‐lactams.
The time and cost of developing new drugs have led many groups to limit their search for therapeutics to compounds that have previously been approved for human use. Many “repurposed” drugs, such as derivatives of thalidomide, antibiotics, and antivirals have had clinical success in treatment areas well beyond their original approved use. These include applications in treating antibiotic‐resistant organisms, viruses, cancers and to prevent burn scarring. The major theoretical justification for reusing approved drugs is that they have known modes of action and controllable side effects. Coadministering antibiotics with inhibitors of bacterial toxins or enzymes that mediate multidrug resistance can greatly enhance their activity. Drugs that control host cell pathways, including inflammation, tumor necrosis factor, interferons, and autophagy, can reduce the “cytokine storm” response to injury, control infection, and aid in cancer therapy. An active compound, even if previously approved for human use, will be a poor clinical candidate if it lacks specificity for the new target, has poor solubility or can cause serious side effects. Synergistic combinations can reduce the dosages of the individual components to lower reactivity. Preclinical analysis should take into account that severely ill patients with comorbidities will be more sensitive to side effects than healthy trial subjects. Once an active, approved drug has been identified, collaboration with medicinal chemists can aid in finding derivatives with better physicochemical properties, specificity, and efficacy, to provide novel therapies for cancers, emerging and rare diseases.
Resistance to β-lactam antibacterials is commonly associated with the production of the serine β-lactamases (SBLs) and/or metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs). Although clinically useful inhibitors for the SBLs have been developed, no equivalent inhibitors are available for the MBLs, which can hydrolyze almost all β-lactam antibiotics, including the so-called "last resort" carbapenems. It is still a challenging task to develop a clinically useful inhibitor that should be broad-spectrum targeting multiple clinically relevant MBL enzymes that differ in their active site features. This review provides a detailed description of interaction modes of substrates and small-molecule inhibitors with various MBL enzymes and highlights the importance of metal- and "anchor residue"-binding features to achieve broad-spectrum MBL inhibition. Recently emerging active site interference strategies include metal ion deprivation, metal ion replacement, and cysteine modification as challenging, but worth experimenting directions for inhibitor development. The metalloenzyme selectivity, metal-binding pharmacophore, and cellular permeability and accumulation should be properly considered in the further development of clinically useful inhibitors to combat MBL-mediated antibacterial resistance.
The fluorine atom plays an important role in medicinal chemistry because fluorine substitution has a strong impact on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of bioactive compounds. Such fluorine modifications have also been extensively studied among the pharmaceutically important class of nucleoside phosphonates, nucleotide analogues in which the phosphate group is replaced by the enzymatically and chemically stable phosphonate moiety. The fluorinated nucleoside phosphonates abound with antiviral, antiparasitic, and anticancer properties because they are able to act as inhibitors of important enzymes of nucleoside/nucleotide metabolism. In this paper, we review the biological properties of cyclic and acyclic nucleoside phosphonates modified by the attachment of one or more fluorine atoms to various parts of the molecule, namely to nucleobases, alkylphosphonate groups, cyclic or acyclic linkers, or to prodrug moieties.
Interest in adenosine deaminase (ADA) in the context of medicine has mainly focused on its enzymatic activity. This is justified by the importance of the reaction catalyzed by ADA not only for the intracellular purine metabolism, but also for the extracellular purine metabolism as well, because of its capacity as a regulator of the concentration of extracellular adenosine that is able to activate adenosine receptors (ARs). In recent years, other important roles have been described for ADA. One of these, with special relevance in immunology, is the capacity of ADA to act as a costimulator, promoting T‐cell proliferation and differentiation mainly by interacting with the differentiation cluster CD26. Another role is the ability of ADA to act as an allosteric modulator of ARs. These receptors have very general physiological implications, particularly in the neurological system where they play an important role. Thus, ADA, being a single chain protein, performs more than one function, consistent with the definition of a moonlighting protein. Although ADA has never been associated with moonlighting proteins, here we consider ADA as an example of this family of multifunctional proteins. In this review, we discuss the different roles of ADA and their pathological implications. We propose a mechanism by which some of their moonlighting functions can be coordinated. We also suggest that drugs modulating ADA properties may act as modulators of the moonlighting functions of ADA, giving them additional potential medical interest.
Through positive selection, double‐positive cells in the thymus differentiate into CD4+ or CD8+ T single‐positive cells that subsequently develop into different types of effective T cells, such as T‐helper and cytotoxic T lymphocyte cells, that play distinctive roles in the immune system. Development, differentiation, and function of thymocytes and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are controlled by a multitude of secreted and intracellular factors, ranging from cytokine signaling modules to transcription factors and epigenetic modifiers. Members of the E26 transformation specific (Ets) family of transcription factors, in particular, are potent regulators of these CD4+ or CD8+ T‐cell processes. In this review, we summarize and discuss the functions and underlying mechanisms of the Ets family members that have been characterized as involved in these processes. Ongoing research of these factors is expected to identify practical applications for the Ets family members as novel therapeutic targets for inflammation‐related diseases.