Comparison of Responses of Human Melanoma Cell Lines to MEK and BRAF Inhibitors.

Comparison of responses of human melanoma cell lines to MEK and BRAF inhibitors.

Front Genet. 2013; 4: 66
Stones CJ, Kim JE, Joseph WR, Leung E, Marshall ES, Finlay GJ, Shelling AN, Baguley BC

The NRAS and BRAF genes are frequently mutated in melanoma, suggesting that the NRAS-BRAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathway is an important target for therapy. Two classes of drugs, one targeting activated BRAF and one targeting MEK, are currently undergoing clinical evaluation. We have analysed the NRAS and BRAF mutational status of a series of 44 early passage lines developed from New Zealand patients with metastatic melanoma. 41% of the lines analysed had BRAF mutations, 23% had NRAS mutations, and 36% had neither. We then determined IC50 values (drug concentrations for 50% growth inhibition) for CI-1040, a commonly used inhibitor of MEK kinase; trametinib, a clinical agent targeting MEK kinase; and vemurafenib, an inhibitor of mutant BRAF kinase. Cell lines with activating BRAF mutations were significantly more sensitive to vemurafenib than lines with NRAS mutations or lines lacking either mutation (p < 0.001). IC50 values for CI-1040 and trametinib were strongly correlated (r = 0.98) with trametinib showing ~100-fold greater potency. Cell lines sensitive to vemurafenib were also sensitive to CI-1040 and trametinib, but there was no relationship between IC50 values and NRAS mutation status. A small number of lines lacking a BRAF mutation were sensitive to CI-1040 but resistant to vemurafenib. We used western blotting to investigate the effect on ERK phosphorylation of CI-1040 in four lines, of vemurafenib in two lines and of trametinib in two lines. The results support the view that MEK inhibitors might be combined with BRAF inhibitors in the treatment of melanomas with activated BRAF. The high sensitivity to trametinib of some lines with wildtype BRAF status also suggests that MEK inhibitors could have a therapeutic effect against some melanomas as single agents. HubMed – drug


Consequences of the 118A>G polymorphism in the OPRM1 gene: translation from bench to bedside?

J Pain Res. 2013; 6: 331-53
Mura E, Govoni S, Racchi M, Carossa V, Ranzani GN, Allegri M, van Schaik RH

The 118A>G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the ?-opioid receptor (OPRM1) gene has been the most described variant in pharmacogenetic studies regarding opioid drugs. Despite evidence for an altered biological function encoded by this variant, this knowledge is not yet utilized clinically. The aim of the present review was to collect and discuss the available information on the 118A>G SNP in the OPRM1 gene, at the molecular level and in its clinical manifestations. In vitro biochemical and molecular assays have shown that the variant receptor has higher binding affinity for ?-endorphins, that it has altered signal transduction cascade, and that it has a lower expression compared with wild-type OPRM1. Studies using animal models for 118A>G have revealed a double effect of the variant receptor, with an apparent gain of function with respect to the response to endogenous opioids but a loss of function with exogenous administered opioid drugs. Although patients with this variant have shown a lower pain threshold and a higher drug consumption in order to achieve the analgesic effect, clinical experiences have demonstrated that patients carrying the variant allele are not affected by the increased opioid consumption in terms of side effects. HubMed – drug


Novel ionically crosslinked casein nanoparticles for flutamide delivery: formulation, characterization, and in vivo pharmacokinetics.

Int J Nanomedicine. 2013; 8: 1721-32
Elzoghby AO, Helmy MW, Samy WM, Elgindy NA

A novel particulate delivery matrix based on ionically crosslinked casein (CAS) nanoparticles was developed for controlled release of the poorly soluble anticancer drug flutamide (FLT). Nanoparticles were fabricated via oil-in-water emulsification then stabilized by ionic crosslinking of the positively charged CAS molecules below their isoelectric point, with the polyanionic crosslinker sodium tripolyphosphate. With the optimal preparation conditions, the drug loading and incorporation efficiency achieved were 8.73% and 64.55%, respectively. The nanoparticles exhibited a spherical shape with a size below 100 nm and a positive zeta potential (+7.54 to +17.3 mV). FLT was molecularly dispersed inside the nanoparticle protein matrix, as revealed by thermal analysis. The biodegradability of CAS nanoparticles in trypsin solution could be easily modulated by varying the sodium tripolyphosphate crosslinking density. A sustained release of FLT from CAS nanoparticles for up to 4 days was observed, depending on the crosslinking density. After intravenous administration of FLT-CAS nanoparticles into rats, CAS nanoparticles exhibited a longer circulation time and a markedly delayed blood clearance of FLT, with the half-life of FLT extended from 0.88 hours to 14.64 hours, compared with drug cosolvent. The results offer a promising method for tailoring biodegradable, drug-loaded CAS nanoparticles as controlled, long-circulating drug delivery systems of hydrophobic anticancer drugs in aqueous vehicles. HubMed – drug