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Homminga I.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | Zwaan C.M.,Erasmus MC Rotterdam Sophia Childrens Hospital | Manz C.Y.,Mundipharma International Ltd | Parker C.,Biological Science Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

Forodesine and nelarabine (the pro-drug of ara-G) are 2 nucleoside analogues with promising anti-leukemic activity. To better understand which pediatric patients might benefit from forodesine or nelarabine (ara-G) therapy, we investigated the in vitro sensitivity to these drugs in 96 diagnostic pediatric leukemia patient samples and the mRNA expression levels of different enzymes involved in nucleoside metabolism. Forodesine and ara-G cytotoxicities were higher in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) samples than in B-cell precursor (BCP)-ALL and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples. Resistance to forodesine did not preclude ara-G sensitivity and vice versa, indicating that both drugs rely on different resistance mechanisms. Differences in sensitivity could be partly explained by significantly higher accumulation of intra-cellular dGTP in forodesine-sensitive samples compared with resistant samples, and higher mRNA levels of dGK but not dCK. The mRNA levels of the transporters ENT1 and ENT2 were higher in ara-G-sensitive than -resistant samples. We conclude that especially T-ALL, but also BCP-ALL, pediatric patients may benefit from forodesine or nelarabine (ara-G) treatment. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.


Konishi N.,Takeda Pharmaceutical | Hiroe K.,Takeda Pharmaceutical | Kawamura M.,Biological Science Inc.
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology | Year: 2011

Endothelial damage triggers platelet adhesion and platelet-associated prothrombinase formation at the point of injury, resulting in the progression of thrombus formation. The present study compared the inhibitory effects of fondaparinux, an indirect factor Xa (FXa) inhibitor, and TAK-442, a direct FXa inhibitor, on platelet-associated prothrombinase activity in the balloon-injured rat artery. TAK-442 and fondaparinux inhibited endogenous FXa activity in platelet-poor human [half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC 50): 53 nM, TAK-442; 11 nM, fondaparinux] and rat (IC 50: 32 nM, TAK-442; 19 nM, fondaparinux) plasma. TAK-442 inhibited in vitro reconstituted human prothrombinase (system included FXa, calcium, and washed platelets) with an IC 50 value of 51 nM, whereas fondaparinux exhibited only weak inhibition (IC 50: 1700 nM). In a rat model of balloon injury, thrombin activity on the surface of injured vessels increased to 3.2-, 22-, and 5.8-fold the activity on the surface of the intact aorta at 5 minutes, 1 hour, and 24 hours after the injury, respectively. At approximately 1 hour after the injury, TAK-442 blocked platelet-associated thrombin generation on the surface of injured aortas with an IC 50 value of 19 nM, whereas fondaparinux showed no significant inhibition at the highest concentration tested (IC 50: >300 nM). These results suggest a possible limitation of fondaparinux in inhibiting platelet-associated prothrombinase activity and resultant thrombus formation as compared with TAK-442. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Chen J.,Biological Science Inc. | Runyan S.A.,Biological Science Inc. | Robinson M.R.,Allergan, Inc.
Clinical Ophthalmology | Year: 2011

Introduction: Glaucoma is a multiflactorial disease characterized by progressive optic nerve injury and visual field defects. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the most widely recognized risk factor for the onset and progression of open-angle glaucoma, and IOP-lowering medications comprise the primary treatment strategy. IOP elevation in glaucoma is associated with diminished or obstructed aqueous humor outflow. Pharmacotherapy reduces IOP by suppressing aqueous inflow and/or increasing aqueous outflow. Purpose: This review focuses on novel non-FDA approved ocular antihypertensive compounds being investigated for IOP reduction in ocular hypertensive and glaucoma patients in active clinical trials within approximately the past 2 years. Methods: The mode of IOP reduction, pharmacology, efficacy, and safety of these new agents were assessed. Relevant drug efficacy and safety trials were identified from searches of various scientific literature databases and clinical trial registries. Compounds with no specified drug class, insufficient background information, reformulations, and fixed-combinations of marketed drugs were not considered. Results: The investigational agents identified comprise those that act on the same targets of established drug classes approved by the FDA (ie, prostaglandin analogs and β-adrenergic blockers) as well as agents belonging to novel drug classes with unique mechanisms of action. Novel targets and compounds evaluated in clinical trials include an action polymerization inhibitor (ie, latrunculin), Rho-associated protein kinase inhibitors, adenosine receptor analogs, an angiotension II type 1 receptor antagonist, cannabinoid receptor agonists, and a serotonin receptor antagonist. Conclusion: The clinical value of novel compounds for the treatment of glaucoma will depend ultimately on demonstrating favorable efficacy and benefit-to-risk ratios relative to currently approved prostaglandin analogs and β-blockers and/or having complementary modes of action. © 2011 Chen et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


Woodward D.F.,Biological Science Inc. | Tang E.S.-H.,Biological Science Inc. | Attar M.,Allergan, Inc. | Wang J.W.,Biological Science Inc.
Experimental Dermatology | Year: 2013

Studies on bimatoprost were performed with two objectives: (i) to determine whether bimatoprost possesses hair growth-stimulating properties beyond eyelash hypertrichosis and (ii) to investigate the biodisposition of bimatoprost in skin for the first time. Bimatoprost, at the dose used clinically for eyelash growth (0.03%) and given once daily for 14 days, increased pelage hair growth in C57/black 6 mice. This occurred as a much earlier onset of new hair growth in shaved mice and the time taken to achieve complete hair regrowth, according to photographic documentation and visual assessment. Bimatoprost biodisposition in the skin was determined at three concentrations: 0.01%, 0.03% and 0.06%. Dose-dependent Cmax values were obtained (3.41, 6.74, 12.3 μg/g tissue), and cutaneous bimatoprost was well maintained for 24 h following a single dose. Bimatoprost was recovered from the skin only as the intact molecule, with no detectable levels of metabolites. Thus, bimatoprost produces hypertrichosis as the intact molecule. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Ji R.,University of Arizona | Chou C.-L.,University of Arizona | Xu W.,University of Arizona | Chen X.-B.,University of Arizona | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Pharmacology | Year: 2010

The EP1 prostanoid receptor is one of four subtypes whose cognate physiological ligand is prostaglandin-E2 (PGE2). It is in the family of G-protein-coupled receptors and is known to activate Ca2+ signaling, although relatively little is known about other aspects of E-type prostanoid receptor (EP) 1 receptor signaling. In human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells expressing human EP1 receptors, we now show that PGE2 stimulation of the EP1 receptor up-regulates the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), which can be completely blocked by pertussis toxin, indicating coupling to Gi/o. This up-regulation of HIF-1α occurs under normoxic conditions and could be inhibited with wortmannin, Akt inhibitor, and rapamycin, consistent with the activation of a phosphoinositide-3 kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway, respectively. In contrast to the hypoxia-induced up-regulation of HIF-1α, which involves decreased protein degradation, the up-regulation of HIF-1α by the EP1 receptor was associated with the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6), suggesting activation of the ribosomal S6 kinases and increased translation. Stimulation of endogenous EP1 receptors in human HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells recapitulated the normoxic up-regulation of HIF-1α observed in HEK cells, was sensitive to pertussis toxin, and involved the activation of mTOR signaling and phosphorylation of rpS6. In addition, treatment of HepG2 cells with sulprostone, an EP1-selective agonist, up-regulated the mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-C, a HIF-regulated gene. HIF-1α is known to promote tumor growth and metastasis and is often up-regulated in cancer. Our findings provide a potential mechanism by which increased PGE2 biosynthesis could up-regulate the expression of HIF-1α and promote tumorigenesis. Copyright © 2010 The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.


Wang J.W.,Biological Science Inc. | Woodward D.F.,Biological Science Inc. | Stamer W.D.,Duke University
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2013

PURPOSE. The goal of this study was to functionally compare prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)-sensitive receptors in human primary cells involved in conventional outflow. METHODS. The expression profile of prostaglandin (PG) receptors in primary cultures of human trabecular meshwork (TM) and Schlemm's canal (SC) cells were determined by quantitative-PCR. The functional activities of endogenous PGE2-sensitive receptors were evaluated using subtype-selective agonists and antagonists with cell impedance technology. RESULTS. Agonist-sensitive EP1, EP2, and EP4 receptors were present in TM cells, all increasing cell stiffness (or contractility) in a dose-dependent manner. Rank order of efficacy (Emax) for agonists in TM cells were EP1 greater than EP2 greater than EP4 with EC50 1.1 μM, 0.56 μM, and 0.1 μM, respectively, and no functional EP3 receptors were found. Of the four EP receptor subtypes active in SC cells, EP1 and EP3 receptor activation increased cell stiffness, while EP2 and EP4 agonists dose-dependently decreased cell stiffness 47% and 23% with EC50 values of 170 nM and 69 nM, respectively. Consistent with these observations, the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632 decreased cell impedance (stiffness) of TM and SC cells (~60%), while Rho GTPase activator thrombin caused cell impedance to increase in both cell types (168%-190%). CONCLUSIONS. Cell impedance positively correlates with cellular stiffness/contractility. Because EP2/4 receptors caused decreased cell stiffness in SC, but not in TM cells, both receptors appear to mediate IOP lowering via changes in SC cell stiffness in the conventional outflow pathway. © 2013 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.


Atassi M.Z.,Baylor College of Medicine | Dolimbek B.Z.,Baylor College of Medicine | Jankovic J.,Baylor College of Medicine | Steward L.E.,Biological Science Inc. | Aoki K.R.,Biological Science Inc.
Immunobiology | Year: 2011

This work was aimed at determining the BoNT/A L-chain antigenic regions recognized by blocking antibodies in human antisera from cervical dystonia patients who had become immunoresistant to BoNT/A treatment. Antisera from 28 immunoresistant patients were analyzed for binding to each of 32 overlapping synthetic peptides that spanned the entire L-chain. A mixture of the antisera showed that antibodies bound to three peptides, L11 (residues 141-159), L14 (183-201) and L18 (239-257). When mapped separately, the antibodies were bound only by a limited set of peptides. No peptide bound antibodies from all the patients and amounts of antibodies bound to a given peptide varied with the patient. Peptides L11, L14 and L18 were recognized predominantly. A small but significant number of patients had antibodies to peptides L27 (365-383) and L29 (379-397). Other peptides were recognized at very low and perhaps insignificant antibody levels by a minority (15% or less) of patients or had no detectable antibody with any of the sera. In the 3-dimensional structure, antibody-binding regions L11, L14 and L18 of the L-chain occupy surface areas and did not correlate with electrostatic potential, hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity, or temperature factor. These three antigenic regions reside in close proximity to the belt of the heavy chain. The regions L11 and L18 are accessible in both the free light chain and the holotoxin forms, while L14 appears to be less accessible in the holotoxin. Antibodies against these regions could prevent delivery of the L-chain into the neurons by inhibition of the translocation. © 2011 Elsevier GmbH.


Dolimbek B.Z.,Baylor College of Medicine | Steward L.E.,Biological Science Inc. | Aoki K.R.,Biological Science Inc. | Atassi M.Z.,Baylor College of Medicine
Biochemistry | Year: 2012

The regions of botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) involved in binding to mouse brain synaptosomes (snps) were localized. Sixty 19-residue overlapping peptides (peptide C31 consisted of 24 residues) encompassing BoNT/ B H chain (residues 442-1291) were synthesized and used to inhibit binding of 125I- labeled BoNT/B to snps. Synaptosomebinding regions were noncompeting and existed on both H N and H C domains of neurotoxin. At 37 °C, inhibitory activities on HN resided, in decreasing order, in peptides 638-656 (26.7%), 596-614 (18.2%), 512-530 (13.9%), 778-796 (13.8%), and 526-544 (11.6%). On H C, activity resided in decreasing order in peptides 1170-1188 (44.6%), 1128-1146 (21.6%), 1184-1202 (18.6%), 1156-1174 (13.0%), 946-964 (11.8%), 1114-1132 (11.2%), 1100-1118 (6.2%), 876-894 (6.1%), 1268-1291 (4.6%), and 1226-1244 (4.3%). The 45 remaining H N and H C peptides had no activity. At 4 °C, peptide C24 (1170-1188) remained quite active (inhibiting, 31.2%), while activities of peptides N15, C21, and C25 were little under 10%. The snp-binding regions contained sites that bind synaptotagmin II and gangliosides. Despite the low degree of sequence homology, BoNT/B and BoNT/A display significant structural homology and appeared to bind in part to the same snp-binding regions. Binding of each labeled toxin to snps was inhibited ∼50% by the other toxin, 70-72% by its correlate H C, and by the H C of the other toxin [29% (BoNT/A by H C of B) or 32% (BoNT/B by H C of A)]. In the three-dimensional structure of BoNT/B, the greater part of H C, one H N face, and part of the belt on the same side interact with snps. Thus, BoNT/B binds to snps through the H C head and employs regions on one H N face and the belt, reserving flexibility for the belt's unbound part to release the light chain. Most snp-binding regions coincide or overlap with blocking antibody (Ab)-binding regions explaining how such Abs prevent BoNT/B toxicity. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Gao J.,Biological Science Inc. | Sana R.,Biological Science Inc. | Calder V.,University College London | Calonge M.,University of Valladolid | And 3 more authors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2013

PURPOSE. To investigate the role of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) and effect of cyclosporin A (CsA) on inflammatory apoptosis of human conjunctival epithelial cells (IOBA-NHC) and T cells. METHODS. IOBA-NHC and Jurkat cells were stimulated with IFNγ, TNFα, αFas, or PMA/αCD3, in the presence or absence of CsA. MPTP was determined using the calcein-cobalt technique. Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) was measured with JC-1. Apoptosis was quantified by Annexin V/PI staining. Apoptosis mediators were evaluated by flow cytometry or Western blot. RESULTS. In IOBA-NHC, TNFα, and IFNγ induced MPTP opening, ΔΨm loss, and increased cell apoptosis. This was accompanied by upregulation of Fas/FasL; Bax; and caspase-3, -8, and -9 activation. Addition of CsA prevented IOBA-NHC from cell death by blocking MPTP opening, ΔΨm loss, Fas/FasL, and caspase activation. In PMA/α,CD3-activated Jurkat T cells, MPTP opening and ΔΨm loss were increased along with cell apoptosis and upregulated Fas/FasL/ caspase expressions. CsA further promoted T-cell apoptosis, ΔΨ loss, and upregulation of Fas/FasL/caspase. CONCLUSIONS. Inflammation induces aberrant MPTP opening, resulting in an increased apoptosis in conjunctival epithelial cells. CsA protected IOBA-NHC from cell death by blocking both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways. CsA promoted T-cell apoptosis via upregulating Fas/FasL and caspase activities with a minimal effect on MPTP. The findings suggest that the differential effect of CsA on T cells versus ocular surface resident epithelial cells may contribute to its therapeutic efficacy in treating ocular inflammation such as dry eye disease. © 2013 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.


Stern M.E.,Biological Science Inc.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to determine if autoantibodies play a role in the immunopathogenesis of experimental dry eye disease. Dry eye was induced by exposing female C57BL/6 wild-type mice or hen egg lysozyme B-cell receptor transgenic mice to desiccating stress (subcutaneous scopolamine [0.5 mg/0.2 mL] 3 times a day, humidity < 40%, and sustained airflow) for 3 weeks, allowing sufficient time for a humoral immune response. Serum or purified IgG isolated from dry-eye mice or untreated controls was passively transferred to nude recipient mice, which were evaluated for ocular surface inflammation 3 days after transfer. To determine if complement activation contributed to serum-induced dry eye disease, cobra venom factor was used to deplete complement activity. Autoantibodies against kallikrein 13 were identified in serum from dry-eye mice, but were undetectable in untreated controls. Autoantibody-containing serum or purified IgG from dry-eye mice was sufficient to mediate complement-dependent ocular surface inflammation. Serum or purified IgG caused marked inflammatory burden and tissue damage within the ocular surface tissues, including elevated Gr1+ neutrophil infiltration and proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines associated with goblet cell loss. Moreover, complement C3b deposition was found within the ocular surface tissues of mice receiving dry-eye serum, but not in recipients of control serum. Functionally, complement depletion attenuated the ability to transfer dry-eye-specific serum or IgG-mediated disease. These data demonstrate for the first time a complement-dependent pathogenic role of dry-eye-specific autoantibodies, and suggest autoantibody deposition within the ocular surface tissues contributes to the predominantly T-cell-mediated immunopathogenesis of dry eye disease.

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