Blue drugs GmbH

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Blue drugs GmbH

Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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Michaelis M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Michaelis M.,University of Kent | Barth S.,Blue drugs GmbH | Breitling R.,University of Glasgow | And 10 more authors.
Oncogenesis | Year: 2012

The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is suspected to increase tumour malignancy by infection of cancer and/or stroma cells (oncomodulation). So far, oncomodulatory mechanisms have been attributed to the presence of HCMV and direct action of its gene products on cancer cells. Here, we investigated whether the prolonged presence of HCMV can result in the irreversible selection of a cancer cell population with increased malignancy. The neuroblastoma cell line UKF-NB-4 was long-term (200 passages) infected with the HCMV strain Hi91 (UKF-NB-4Hi) before virus eradication using ganciclovir (UKF-NB-4HiGCV). Global gene expression profiling of UKF-NB-4, UKF-NB-4Hi and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells and subsequent bioinformatic signal transduction pathway analysis revealed clear differences between UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4Hi, as well as between UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells, but only minor differences between UKF-NB-4 Hi and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells. Investigation of the expression of a subset of five genes in different chronically HCMV-infected cell lines before and after virus eradication suggested that long-term HCMV infection reproducibly causes specific changes. Array comparative genomic hybridisation showed virtually the same genomic differences for the comparisons UKF-NB-4Hi/UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4HiGCV/UKF-NB-4. UKF-NB-4Hi cells are characterised by an increased invasive potential compared with UKF-NB-4 cells. This phenotype was completely retained in UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells. Moreover, there was a substantial overlap in the signal transduction pathways that differed significantly between UKF-NB-4 Hi/UKF-NB-4HiGCV and UKF-NB-4 cells and those differentially regulated between tumour tissues from neuroblastoma patients with favourable or poor outcome. In conclusion, we present the first experimental evidence that long-term HCMV infection can result in the selection of tumour cell populations with enhanced malignancy. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Michaelis M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Michaelis M.,University of Kent | Rothweiler F.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Barth S.,Blue drugs GmbH | And 17 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2011

Six p53 wild-type cancer cell lines from infrequently p53-mutated entities (neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and melanoma) were continuously exposed to increasing concentrations of the murine double minute 2 inhibitor nutlin-3, resulting in the emergence of nutlin-3-resistant, p53-mutated sublines displaying a multi-drug resistance phenotype. Only 2 out of 28 sublines adapted to various cytotoxic drugs harboured p53 mutations. Nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 cells (UKF-NB-3rNutlin 10 μM, harbouring a G245C mutation) were also radiation resistant. Analysis of UKF-NB-3 and UKF-NB-3rNutlin 10 μM cells by RNA interference experiments and lentiviral transduction of wild-type p53 into p53-mutated UKF-NB-3rNutlin 10 μM cells revealed that the loss of p53 function contributes to the multi-drug resistance of UKF-NB-3rNutlin 10 μM cells. Bioinformatics PANTHER pathway analysis based on microarray measurements of mRNA abundance indicated a substantial overlap in the signalling pathways differentially regulated between UKF-NB-3rNutlin 10 μM and UKF-NB-3 and between UKF-NB-3 and its cisplatin-, doxorubicin-, or vincristineresistant sublines. Repeated nutlin-3 adaptation of neuroblastoma cells resulted in sublines harbouring various p53 mutations with high frequency. A p53 wild-type single cell-derived UKF-NB-3 clone was adapted to nutlin-3 in independent experiments. Eight out of ten resulting sublines were p53-mutated harbouring six different p53 mutations. This indicates that nutlin-3 induces de novo p53 mutations not initially present in the original cell population. Therefore, nutlin-3-treated cancer patients should be carefully monitored for the emergence of p53-mutated, multi-drug-resistant cells. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Michaelis M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Kleinschmidt M.C.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Barth S.,blue drugs GmbH | Rothweiler F.,Goethe University Frankfurt | And 9 more authors.
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2010

Artemisinin derivatives are well-tolerated anti-malaria drugs that also exert anti-cancer activity. Here, we investigated artemisinin and its derivatives dihydroartemisinin and artesunate in a panel of chemosensitive and chemoresistant human neuroblastoma cells as well as in primary neuroblastoma cultures. Only dihydroartemisinin and artesunate affected neuroblastoma cell viability with artesunate being more active. Artesunate-induced apoptosis and reactive oxygen species in neuroblastoma cells. Of 16 cell lines and two primary cultures, only UKF-NB-3rCDDP1000 showed low sensitivity to artesunate. Characteristic gene expression signatures based on a previous analysis of artesunate resistance in the NCI60 cell line panel clearly separated UKF-NB-3rCDDP1000 from the other cell lines. l-Buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine, an inhibitor of GCL (glutamate-cysteine ligase), resensitised in part UKF-NB-3rCDDP1000 cells to artesunate. This finding together with bioinformatic analysis of expression of genes involved in glutathione metabolism showed that this pathway is involved in artesunate resistance. These data indicate that neuroblastoma represents an artesunate-sensitive cancer entity and that artesunate is also effective in chemoresistant neuroblastoma cells. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Michaelis M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Michaelis M.,University of Kent | Rothweiler F.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Agha B.,Goethe University Frankfurt | And 13 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2012

Adaptation of wild-type p53 expressing UKF-NB-3 cancer cells to the murine double minute 2 inhibitor nutlin-3 causes de novo p53 mutations at high frequency (13/20) and multi-drug resistance. Here, we show that the same cells respond very differently when adapted to RITA, a drug that, like nutlin-3, also disrupts the p53/Mdm2 interaction. All of the 11 UKF-NB-3 sub-lines adapted to RITA that we established retained functional wild-type p53 although RITA induced a substantial p53 response. Moreover, all RITA-adapted cell lines remained sensitive to nutlin-3, whereas only five out of 10 nutlin-3-adapted cell lines retained their sensitivity to RITA. In addition, repeated adaptation of the RITA-adapted sub-line UKF-NB-3rRITA10 lM to nutlin-3 resulted in p53 mutations. The RITA-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines displayed no or less pronounced resistance to vincristine, cisplatin, and irradiation than nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines. Furthermore, adaptation to RITA was associated with fewer changes at the expression level of antiapoptotic factors than observed with adaptation to nutlin-3. Transcriptomic analyses indicated the RITAadapted sub-lines to be more similar at the gene expression level to the parental UKF-NB-3 cells than nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines, which correlates with the observed chemotherapy and irradiation sensitivity phenotypes. In conclusion, RITA-adapted cells retain functional p53, remain sensitive to nutlin-3, and display a less pronounced resistance phenotype than nutlin-3- adapted cells. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Juengel E.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Bhasin M.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Libermann T.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Barth S.,Blue drugs GmbH | And 7 more authors.
World Journal of Urology | Year: 2011

Purpose: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is highly resistant to chemotherapy and unresponsive to radio- and immunotherapy. Recently, we have documented that the histone deacetylase (HDAC)-inhibitor valproic acid (VPA) in combination with low-dosed interferon (IFN)-alpha significantly inhibits RCC proliferation and adhesion in vitro and in vivo. The current study investigated the effects of these compounds on gene transcription of metastatic RCC cell line Caki-1 after 3 and 5 days exposure. Methods: To evaluate the gene expression profiles of the RCC cells, we performed microarray analysis using Affymetrix GeneChip. Selected significant genes were further validated by Real Time PCR. Results: Microarray revealed that VPA altered genes that are involved in cell growth, cell survival, immune response, cell motility and cell adhesion. Combination of VPA with IFN-alpha not only enhanced the effects on gene transcription but also resulted in the expression of novel genes, which were not induced by either VPA or IFN-alpha alone. Among the up-regulated genes were chemokines (CXCL10, CXCL11, CXCL16) and integrins (ITGA2, ITGA4, ITGA5, ITGA6, ITGA7). Genes encoding for adhesion molecules (NCAM1, ICAM1, VCAM1) were also modulated. Real Time PCR approved these findings. Conclusion: This data provides insight into the molecular mechanism of action of the combined treatment of VPA and IFN-alpha in RCC. Implications are that the combined application of VPA and IFN-alpha may represent a more efficient alternative to existing therapy options for RCC. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Stumpf U.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Michaelis M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Michaelis M.,Blue drugs GmbH | Klassert D.,Blue drugs GmbH | And 6 more authors.
Wound Repair and Regeneration | Year: 2011

The pathophysiology leading to delayed wound healing is complex and efficient therapeutic approaches for accelerated wound healing currently do not exist. We developed a novel drug-eluting platform for the potential use in wound dressings. Here, we report on the potential of eluting ascorbic acid-2-phosphate (ASC-2P), a highly stable variant of ascorbic acid, to induce angiogenesis and to promote collagen synthesis by fibroblasts. The drug-eluting platform device (DEPD) consists of biocompatible polymeric layers comprising polyethylene terephtalate, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and polyurethane with PVA as the solvent for ASC-2P. The angiogenic potential of ASC-2P was evaluated in the endothelial cell tube formation assay (TFA) and in the chorion allantoic membrane (CAM) model. Collagen synthesis by ASC-2P-stimulated fibroblasts was determined by Sirius Red staining. ASC-2P significantly induced angiogenesis in five independent TFA and CAM assays and induced collagen synthesis in two different fibroblast cell lines. The eluting kinetics of ASC-2P was determined by the ultraviolet NanoDrop method and the functional 2,2′-Azinobis-(3- ethylbenzthiazolin-6-sulfonic acid) method. Eluting profiles showed a continuous release in the range of biologically effective concentrations >10 days. This is the first report showing the proangiogenic- and collagen-promoting features of ASC-2P. DEPD loaded with ASC-2P ought to be further evaluated as wound dressings or as supplementary pads for topical treatment of delayed wound healing in preclinical studies. © 2011 by the Wound Healing Society.


Fechete R.,Emergentec Biodevelopment GmbH | Barth S.,Blue Drugs GmbH | Olender T.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Munteanu A.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | And 9 more authors.
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2011

Chemotherapy of cancer experiences a number of shortcomings including development of drug resistance. This fact also holds true for neuroblastoma utilizing chemotherapeutics as vincristine. We performed a comparative analysis of molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with vincristine resistance utilizing cell line as well as human tissue data. Differential gene expression analysis revealed molecular features, processes and pathways afflicted with drug resistance mechanisms in general, and specifically with vincristine significantly involving actin associated features. However, specific mode of resistance as well as underlying genotype of parental, vincristine sensitive cells apparently exhibited significant heterogeneity. No consensus profile for vincristine resistance could be derived, but resistance-associated changes on the level of individual neuroblastoma cell lines as well as individual patient profiles became clearly evident. Based on these prerequisites we utilized the concept of synthetic lethality aimed at identifying hub proteins which when inhibited promise to induce cell death due to a synthetic lethal interaction with down-regulated, chemoresistance associated features. Our screening procedure identified synthetic lethal hub proteins afflicted with actin associated processes holding synthetic lethal interactions to down-regulated features individually found in all chemoresistant cell lines tested, therefore promising an improved therapeutic window. Verification of such synthetic lethal hub candidates in human neuroblastoma tissue expression profiles indicated the feasibility of this screening approach for addressing vincristine resistance in neuroblastoma. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.

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