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Scharf S.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin | Zahlten J.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin | Szymanski K.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin | Hippenstiel S.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin | And 2 more authors.
Experimental Lung Research | Year: 2012

Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important causative agent of pneumonia in humans. Pulmonary epithelial surfaces constitutes not only a mechanical barrier against invading pathogens but also essentially contribute to innate immunity by producing antimicrobial peptides such as human β-defensin-2 (hBD-2) and-3 (hBD-3). In this study the authors demonstrated that pneumococci induced hBD-2 and hBD-3 expression in human pulmonary epithelial cells. Further analysis indicated an essential role of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) for the expression of both peptides in infected pulmonary epithelial cells. Whereas the hBD-2 release was controlled by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and the transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), hBD-3 was triggered via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)activator protein 1 (AP-1) pathway. Additionally, the authors showed that exogenous hBD-2 as well as hBD-3 elicited a strong antimicrobial effect on S. pneumoniae. Thus, differential regulation of the expression of hBD-2 and hBD-3 might play an important role in pneumococci pneumonia. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Kim T.D.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin | Frick M.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin | Le Coutre P.,ChariteUniversittsmedizin Berlin
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2011

Introduction: Omacetaxine mepesuccinate, formerly known as homoharringtonine, is a first-in-class cephalotaxine that has experienced phases of increasing and waning interest since its first use in traditional Chinese medicine. With activity being reported in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) resistant to currently available tyrosine kinase inhibitors, renewed interest has recently been generated. Areas covered: The development of omacetaxine mepesuccinate, with emphasis on synthesis and mode of administration, is addressed. An overview on current clinical results as a single agent or within combination regimens in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and CML is given. Expert opinion: Omacetaxine mepesuccinate has a unique mode of action and appreciable activity in AML and CML with generally mild nonhematologic toxicity. In patients with AML, results indicate a role within combination regimens in selected, possibly elderly patient populations. In CML, patients with resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, especially due to the T315I mutation, are the most intensively studied. Despite successful results in some patients, single-agent therapy with omacetaxine mepesuccinate has resulted in modest results. However, upfront combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitor represents an attractive option due their differing mechanisms of action. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.

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