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San Diego, CA, United States

Schafer P.H.,Celgene | Parton A.,Celgene | Capone L.,Celgene | Cedzik D.,Celgene | And 6 more authors.
Cellular Signalling

Apremilast, an oral small molecule inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), is in development for chronic inflammatory disorders, and has shown efficacy in psoriasis, psoriatic arthropathies, and Behçet's syndrome. In March 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration approved apremilast for the treatment of adult patients with active psoriatic arthritis. The properties of apremilast were evaluated to determine its specificity, effects on intracellular signaling, gene and protein expression, and in vivo pharmacology using models of innate and adaptive immunity. Apremilast inhibited PDE4 isoforms from all four sub-families (A1A, B1, B2, C1, and D2), with IC50 values in the range of 10 to 100nM. Apremilast did not significantly inhibit other PDEs, kinases, enzymes, or receptors. While both apremilast and thalidomide share a phthalimide ring structure, apremilast lacks the glutarimide ring and thus fails to bind to cereblon, the target of thalidomide action. In monocytes and T cells, apremilast elevated intracellular cAMP and induced phosphorylation of the protein kinase A substrates CREB and activating transcription factor-1 while inhibiting NF-κB transcriptional activity, resulting in both up- and down-regulation of several genes induced via TLR4. Apremilast reduced interferon-α production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells and inhibited T-cell cytokine production, but had little effect on B-cell immunoglobulin secretion. In a transgenic T-cell and B-cell transfer murine model, apremilast (5mg/kg/day p.o.) did not affect clonal expansion of either T or B cells and had little or no effect on their expression of activation markers. The effect of apremilast on innate immunity was tested in the ferret lung neutrophilia model, which allows monitoring of the known PDE4 inhibitor gastrointestinal side effects (nausea and vomiting). Apremilast significantly inhibited lung neutrophilia at 1mg/kg, but did not induce significant emetic reflexes at doses <30mg/kg. Overall, the pharmacological effects of apremilast are consistent with those of a targeted PDE4 inhibitor, with selective effects on innate immune responses and a wide therapeutic index compared to its gastrointestinal side effects. © 2014 . Source

Stein A.J.,Cayman Chemical Co. | Bain G.,PharmAkea | Prodanovich P.,PharmAkea | Santini A.M.,PharmAkea | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Pharmacology

Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted enzyme that hydrolyzes lysophosphatidylcholine to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA is a bioactive phospholipid that regulates diverse biological processes, including cell proliferation, migration, and survival/apoptosis, through the activation of a family of Gprotein-coupled receptors. The ATXLPA pathway has been implicated in many pathologic conditions, including cancer, fibrosis, inflammation, cholestatic pruritus, and pain. Therefore, ATX inhibitors represent an attractive strategy for the development of therapeutics to treat a variety of diseases. Mouse and rat ATX have been crystallized previously with LPA or small-molecule inhibitors bound. Here, we present the crystal structures of human ATX in complex with four previously unpublished, structurally distinct ATX inhibitors. We demonstrate that the mechanism of inhibition of each compound reflects its unique interactions with human ATX. Our studies may provide a basis for the rational design of novel ATX inhibitors. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Source

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