Rapid Countermeasure Discovery Against Francisella Tularensis Based on a Metabolic Network Reconstruction.

Rapid Countermeasure Discovery against Francisella tularensis Based on a Metabolic Network Reconstruction.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e63369
Chaudhury S, Abdulhameed MD, Singh N, Tawa GJ, D’haeseleer PM, Zemla AT, Navid A, Zhou CE, Franklin MC, Cheung J, Rudolph MJ, Love J, Graf JF, Rozak DA, Dankmeyer JL, Amemiya K, Daefler S, Wallqvist A

In the future, we may be faced with the need to provide treatment for an emergent biological threat against which existing vaccines and drugs have limited efficacy or availability. To prepare for this eventuality, our objective was to use a metabolic network-based approach to rapidly identify potential drug targets and prospectively screen and validate novel small-molecule antimicrobials. Our target organism was the fully virulent Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis Schu S4 strain, a highly infectious intracellular pathogen that is the causative agent of tularemia and is classified as a category A biological agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We proceeded with a staggered computational and experimental workflow that used a strain-specific metabolic network model, homology modeling and X-ray crystallography of protein targets, and ligand- and structure-based drug design. Selected compounds were subsequently filtered based on physiological-based pharmacokinetic modeling, and we selected a final set of 40 compounds for experimental validation of antimicrobial activity. We began screening these compounds in whole bacterial cell-based assays in biosafety level 3 facilities in the 20th week of the study and completed the screens within 12 weeks. Six compounds showed significant growth inhibition of F. tularensis, and we determined their respective minimum inhibitory concentrations and mammalian cell cytotoxicities. The most promising compound had a low molecular weight, was non-toxic, and abolished bacterial growth at 13 µM, with putative activity against pantetheine-phosphate adenylyltransferase, an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, encoded by gene coaD. The novel antimicrobial compounds identified in this study serve as starting points for lead optimization, animal testing, and drug development against tularemia. Our integrated in silico/in vitro approach had an overall 15% success rate in terms of active versus tested compounds over an elapsed time period of 32 weeks, from pathogen strain identification to selection and validation of novel antimicrobial compounds. HubMed – drug


Influence of Free Radicals Signal from Dental Resins on the Radio-Induced Signal in Teeth in EPR Retrospective Dosimetry.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e62225
Levêque P, Desmet C, Dos Santos-Goncalvez AM, Beun S, Leprince JG, Leloup G, Gallez B

In case of radiological accident, retrospective dosimetry is needed to reconstruct the absorbed dose of overexposed individuals not wearing personal dosimeters at the onset of the incident. In such a situation, emergency mass triage will be required. In this context, it has been shown that Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy would be a rapid and sensitive method, on the field deployable system, allowing dose evaluation of a great number of people in a short time period. This methodology uses tooth enamel as a natural dosimeter. Ionising radiations create stable free radicals in the enamel, in a dose dependent manner, which can be detected by EPR directly in the mouth with an appropriate resonator. Teeth are often subject to restorations, currently made of synthetic dimethacrylate-based photopolymerizable composites. It is known that some dental composites give an EPR signal which is likely to interfere with the dosimetric signal from the enamel. So far, no information was available about the occurrence of this signal in the various composites available on the market, the magnitude of the signal compared to the dosimetric signal, nor its evolution with time. In this study, we conducted a systematic characterization of the signal (intensity, kinetics, interference with dosimetric signal) on 19 most widely used composites for tooth restoration, and on 14 experimental resins made with the most characteristic monomers found in commercial composites. Although a strong EPR signal was observed in every material, a rapid decay of the signal was noted. Six months after the polymerization, the signal was negligible in most composites compared to a 3 Gy dosimetric signal in a tooth. In some cases, a stable atypical signal was observed, which was still interfering with the dosimetric signal. HubMed – drug


Glioma Initiating Cells Form a Differentiation Niche Via the Induction of Extracellular Matrices and Integrin ?V.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e59558
Niibori-Nambu A, Midorikawa U, Mizuguchi S, Hide T, Nagai M, Komohara Y, Nagayama M, Hirayama M, Kobayashi D, Tsubota N, Takezaki T, Makino K, Nakamura H, Takeya M, Kuratsu J, Araki N

Glioma initiating cells (GICs) are considered responsible for the therapeutic resistance and recurrence of malignant glioma. To clarify the molecular mechanism of GIC maintenance/differentiation, we established GIC clones having the potential to differentiate into malignant gliomas, and subjected to DNA microarray/iTRAQ based integrated proteomics. 21,857 mRNAs and 8,471 proteins were identified and integrated into a gene/protein expression analysis chart. Gene Ontology analysis revealed that the expression of cell adhesion molecules, including integrin subfamilies, such as ?2 and ?V, and extracellular matrices (ECMs), such as collagen IV (COL4), laminin ?2 (LAMA2), and fibronectin 1 (FN), was significantly upregulated during serum-induced GIC differentiation. This differentiation process, accompanied by the upregulation of MAPK as well as glioma specific proteins in GICs, was dramatically accelerated in these ECM (especially FN)-coated dishes. Integrin ?V blocking antibody and RGD peptide significantly suppressed early events in GIC differentiation, suggesting that the coupling of ECMs to integrin ?V is necessary for GIC differentiation. In addition, the expression of integrin ?V and its strong ligand FN was prominently increased in glioblastomas developed from mouse intracranial GIC xenografts. Interestingly, during the initial phase of GIC differentiation, the RGD treatment significantly inhibited GIC proliferation and raised their sensitivity against anti-cancer drug temozolomide (TMZ). We also found that combination treatments of TMZ and RGD inhibit glioma progression and lead the longer survival of mouse intracranial GIC xenograft model. These results indicate that GICs induce/secrete ECMs to develop microenvironments with serum factors, namely differentiation niches that further stimulate GIC differentiation and proliferation via the integrin recognition motif RGD. A combination of RGD treatment with TMZ could have the higher inhibitory potential against the glioma recurrence that may be regulated by the GICs in the differentiation niche. This study provides a new perspective for developing therapeutic strategies against the early onset of GIC-associated glioma. HubMed – drug


Single-site access robot-assisted epicardial mapping with a snake robot: preparation and first clinical experience.

J Robot Surg. 2013 Jun; 7(2): 103-111
Neuzil P, Cerny S, Kralovec S, Svanidze O, Bohuslavek J, Plasil P, Jehlicka P, Holy F, Petru J, Kuenzler R, Sediva L

CardioARM, a highly flexible “snakelike” medical robotic system (Medrobotics, Raynham, MA), has been developed to allow physicians to view, access, and perform complex procedures intrapericardially on the beating heart through a single-access port. Transthoracic epicardial catheter mapping and ablation has emerged as a strategy to treat arrhythmias, particularly ventricular arrhythmias, originating from the epicardial surface. The aim of our investigation was to determine whether the CardioARM could be used to diagnose and treat ventricular tachycardia (VT) of epicardial origin. Animal and clinical studies of the CardioARM flexible robot were performed in hybrid surgical-electrophysiology settings. In a porcine model study, single-port pericardial access, navigation, mapping, and ablation were performed in nine animals. The device was then used in a small, single-center feasibility clinical study. Three patients, all with drug-refractory VT and multiple failed endocardial ablation attempts, underwent epicardial mapping with the flexible robot. In all nine animals, navigation, mapping, and ablation were successful without hemodynamic compromise. In the human study, all three patients demonstrated a favorable safety profile, with no major adverse events through a 30-day follow-up. Two cases achieved technical success, in which an electroanatomic map of the epicardial ventricle surface was created; in the third case, blood obscured visualization. These results, although based on a limited number of experimental animals and patients, show promise and suggest that further clinical investigation on the use of the flexible robot in patients requiring epicardial mapping of VT is warranted. HubMed – drug