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Turku, Finland

Arentsen H.C.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Jansen C.F.J.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Hulsbergen-Van De Kaa C.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Laihia J.K.,BioCis Pharma Ltd | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Urology | Year: 2012

Purpose: We determined the effect of protodynamic therapy against bladder cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. We investigated cis-urocanic acid in rat bladder cancer cell cultures and in an orthotopic rat urothelial carcinoma model to assess its safety and antiproliferative activity. Materials and Methods: The rat bladder cancer cell line AY-27 was exposed to cis-urocanic acid (BioCis Pharma, Turku, Finland) at pH 6.5 or 7.4 for 2 hours. Cell viability was measured by colorimetric assay at 24 and 48 hours. For in vivo experiments AY-27 cells were instilled into the acid treated bladder of 17 rats. After 4, 7 and 10 days 14 rats were treated intravesically with cis-urocanic acid 6% (weight per volume) or vehicle. Rats were sacrificed on day 12 and the bladders were dissected. Immunohistochemical staining was done to assess apoptosis (caspase-3) and cell proliferation (Ki-67) in vivo. Results: Cis-urocanic acid caused dose dependent, pH dependent inhibition of AY-27 cell proliferation, showing the protodynamic action at concentrations of 0.5% and 1%. At higher cis-urocanic acid doses complete cell death was observed. All tumors detected in animals treated with vehicle were muscle invasive (stage T2 or greater) but only 43% of tumors were muscle invasive in the cis-urocanic acid treated group (p = 0.049). There was no difference in the percent of apoptotic or proliferating tumor cells between treatment groups. No signs of toxicity were observed. Conclusions: Cis-urocanic acid showed direct antiproliferative activity against rat bladder cancer cells in vitro and antitumor effects in vivo. It may have therapeutic potential as an intravesical agent for nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer. © 2012 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Source

Koulu L.M.,University of Turku | Laihia J.K.,University of Turku | Laihia J.K.,BioCis Pharma Ltd | Peltoniemi H.-H.,University of Turku | Jansen C.T.,University of Turku
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2010

Polymorphic light eruption (PLE) is a common skin disorder provoked by exposure to UVR. Its clinical symptoms resemble those of a contact allergic reaction. PLE is generally considered a T-cell-mediated autoimmune reaction toward a yet unidentified antigen formed in UVR-exposed skin. Predisposition to such an immune reaction may result from aberrant epitope formation, increased immune reactivity to a universal epitope, or diminished propensity to UVR-induced immunosuppression or to the induction of tolerance. In a study comprising a total of 24 PLE patients and 24 healthy sex- and age-matched controls, we found that both groups demonstrated similar immunosuppression of contact sensitization to diphenylcyclopropenone by earlier exposure to solar-simulating UVR. However, only 1 out of 13 PLE patients (8%) versus 6 out of 11 controls (55%) that had been immunosuppressed by UVR exhibited a state of immunotolerance toward the same allergen after 10-24 months (P=0.023). We conclude that the impaired propensity to UVR-induced allergen-specific immunotolerance may promote recurrent PLE. © 2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology. Source

Pelttonen J.M.,Clinical Research Services Turku | Pelttonen J.M.,University of Turku | Pylkkanen L.,BioCis Pharma Ltd | Jansen C.T.,University of Turku | And 4 more authors.
Acta Dermato-Venereologica | Year: 2014

New treatment modalities are needed in atopic dermatitis. We evaluated the pharmacokinetics, safety, tolerability, and efficacy of topical cis-urocanic acid (cis-UCA) cream in randomised vehicle-controlled double-blinded clinical trials. The subjects received 5% cis-UCA emulsion cream and control vehicle on volar forearms after right-left randomisation. Study 1: 16 healthy subjects received one dose on the skin and, a week later, on DMSO- irritated skin. Study 2: 16 healthy subjects received 2 daily doses for 10 days. Study 3: 13 patients with mild to moderate disease were treated on selected skin lesions twice daily for 28 days. Study treatments were well tolerated. cis-UCA remained close to endogenous levels in plasma and urine. cis-UCA reduced transepidermal water loss (TEWL) both in healthy subjects and in the patients. Eczema area severity index and physician's global assessment improved from baseline with both treatments. cis-UCA cream improved skin barrier function and suppressed inflammation in the human skin. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Laihia J.K.,BioCis Pharma Ltd | Kallio J.P.,University of Turku | Taimen P.,University of Turku | Kujari H.,University of Turku | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2010

The extracellular tumor microenvironment is acidified, whereas the intracellular pH of tumor and stromal cells is neutral. cis-Urocanic acid (cis-UCA), an endogenous compound of the skin, can acidify the cytosol by transporting protons into the cells. This phenomenon, termed the protodynamic concept, was studied here in human cancer cells. cis-UCA dose-dependently reduced the number of viable human melanoma, cervical carcinoma, and fibrosarcoma cells at weakly acidic extracellular pH. The intracellular pH decreased by up to 0.5 pH units in a concentration-dependent manner with 0.3-30 m cis-UCA at extracellular pH 6.5 but not at pH 7.4. Under the same conditions, 30 mM cis-UCA induced annexin-V binding and activation of caspase-3 in A2058 melanoma cells as signs of apoptotic cell death. Finally, growth of human melanoma xenografts in SCID mice was suppressed by 60% following intratumoral injection of cis-UCA. Accordingly, the percentage of tumor necrosis and active caspase-3-immunopositive cells increased, whereas proliferation activity decreased. These results identify cis-UCA as an anticancer agent inhibiting melanoma growth by immediate intracellular acidification followed by apoptotic cell death in vivo. © 2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology. Source

Peuhu E.,Abo Akademi University | Kaunisto A.,Abo Akademi University | Laihia J.K.,BioCis Pharma Ltd | Leino L.,BioCis Pharma Ltd | Eriksson J.E.,Abo Akademi University
BMC Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: cis-urocanic acid (cis-UCA) is an endogenous amino acid metabolite capable of transporting protons from the mildly acidic extracellular medium into the cell cytosol. The resulting intracellular acidification suppresses many cellular activities. The current study was aimed at characterizing the molecular mechanisms underlying cis-UCA-mediated cytotoxicity in cultured cancer cells.Methods: 5367 bladder carcinoma cells were left untreated or treated with cis-UCA. Cell death was assessed by measuring caspase-3 activity, mitochondrial membrane polarization, formation and release of cytoplasmic histone-associated DNA fragments, and cellular permeabilization. Cell viability and metabolic activity were monitored by colorimetric assays. Nuclear labelling was used to quantify the effects of cis-UCA on cell cycle. The activity of the ERK and JNK signalling pathways was studied by immunoblotting with specific antibodies. Phosphatase activity in cis-UCA-treated cells was determined by assay kits measuring absorbance resulting from the dephosphorylation of an artificial substrate. All statistical analyses were performed using the two-way Student's t-test (p < 0.05).Results: Here we report that treatment of the 5637 human bladder carcinoma cells with 2% cis-UCA induces both apoptotic and necrotic cell death. In addition, metabolic activity of the 5637 cells is rapidly impaired, and the cells arrest in cell cycle in response to cis-UCA. Importantly, we show that cis-UCA promotes the ERK and JNK signalling pathways by efficiently inhibiting the activity of serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphatases.Conclusions: Our studies elucidate how cis-UCA modulates several cellular processes, thereby inhibiting the proliferation and survival of bladder carcinoma cells. These anti-cancer effects make cis-UCA a potential candidate for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder carcinoma. © 2010 Peuhu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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