Transcriptional Profiles of the Response of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus to Pentacyclic Triterpenoids.

Transcriptional Profiles of the Response of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to Pentacyclic Triterpenoids.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e56687
Chung PY, Chung LY, Navaratnam P

Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen in both hospital and the community that has demonstrated resistance to all currently available antibiotics over the last two decades. Multidrug-resistant isolates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) exhibiting decreased susceptibilities to glycopeptides has also emerged, representing a crucial challenge for antimicrobial therapy and infection control. The availability of complete whole-genome nucleotide sequence data of various strains of S. aureus presents an opportunity to explore novel compounds and their targets to address the challenges presented by antimicrobial drug resistance in this organism. Study compounds ?-amyrin [3?-hydroxy-urs-12-en-3-ol (AM)], betulinic acid [3?-hydroxy-20(29)-lupaene-28-oic acid (BA)] and betulinaldehyde [3?-hydroxy-20(29)-lupen-28-al (BE)] belong to pentacyclic triterpenoids and were reported to exhibit antimicrobial activities against bacteria and fungi, including S. aureus. The MIC values of these compounds against a reference strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (ATCC 43300) ranged from 64 µg/ml to 512 µg/ml. However, the response mechanisms of S. aureus to these compounds are still poorly understood. The transcription profile of reference strain of MRSA treated with sub-inhibitory concentrations of the three compounds was determined using Affymetrix GeneChips. The findings showed that these compounds regulate multiple desirable targets in cell division, two-component system, ABC transporters, fatty acid biosynthesis, peptidoglycan biosynthesis, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, ribosome and ?-lactam resistance pathways which could be further explored in the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of S. aureus infections. HubMed – drug


Significance and Suppression of Redundant IL17 Responses in Acute Allograft Rejection by Bioinformatics Based Drug Repositioning of Fenofibrate.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e56657
Roedder S, Kimura N, Okamura H, Hsieh SC, Gong Y, Sarwal MM

Despite advanced immunosuppression, redundancy in the molecular diversity of acute rejection (AR) often results in incomplete resolution of the injury response. We present a bioinformatics based approach for identification of these redundant molecular pathways in AR and a drug repositioning approach to suppress these using FDA approved drugs currently available for non-transplant indications. Two independent microarray data-sets from human renal allograft biopsies (n?=?101) from patients on majorly Th1/IFN-y immune response targeted immunosuppression, with and without AR, were profiled. Using gene-set analysis across 3305 biological pathways, significant enrichment was found for the IL17 pathway in AR in both data-sets. Recent evidence suggests IL17 pathway as an important escape mechanism when Th1/IFN-y mediated responses are suppressed. As current immunosuppressions do not specifically target the IL17 axis, 7200 molecular compounds were interrogated for FDA approved drugs with specific inhibition of this axis. A combined IL17/IFN-y suppressive role was predicted for the antilipidemic drug Fenofibrate. To assess the immunregulatory action of Fenofibrate, we conducted in-vitro treatment of anti-CD3/CD28 stimulated human peripheral blood cells (PBMC), and, as predicted, Fenofibrate reduced IL17 and IFN-? gene expression in stimulated PMBC. In-vivo Fenofibrate treatment of an experimental rodent model of cardiac AR reduced infiltration of total leukocytes, reduced expression of IL17/IFN-y and their pathway related genes in allografts and recipients’ spleens, and extended graft survival by 21 days (p<0.007). In conclusion, this study provides important proof of concept that meta-analyses of genomic data and drug databases can provide new insights into the redundancy of the rejection response and presents an economic methodology to reposition FDA approved drugs in organ transplantation. HubMed – drug


Induction of Apoptosis in Human Breast Cancer Cells via Caspase Pathway by Vernodalin Isolated from Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) Seeds.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e56643
Looi CY, Arya A, Cheah FK, Muharram B, Leong KH, Mohamad K, Wong WF, Rai N, Mustafa MR

Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds (CA) is a well known medicinal herb in Indian sub-continent. We recently reported anti-oxidant property of chloroform fraction of Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds (CACF) by inhibiting tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?)-induced growth of human breast cancer cells. However, the active compounds in CACF have not been investigated previously.In this study, we showed that CACF inhibited growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. CACF induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells as marked by cell size shrinkage, deformed cytoskeletal structure and DNA fragmentation. To identify the cytotoxic compound, CACF was subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation which yielded 6 fractions. CACF fraction A and B (CACF-A, -B) demonstrated highest activity among all the fractions. Further HPLC isolation, NMR and LC-MS analysis of CACF-A led to identification of vernodalin as the cytotoxic agent in CACF-A, and -B. 12,13-dihydroxyoleic acid, another major compound in CACF-C fraction was isolated for the first time from Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds but showed no cytotoxic effect against MCF-7 cells. Vernodalin inhibited cell growth of human breast cancer cells MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 by induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Increased of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, coupled with downregulation of anti-apoptotic molecules (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL) led to reduction of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and release of cytochrome c in both human breast cancer cells treated with vernodalin. Release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol triggered activation of caspase cascade, PARP cleavage, DNA damage and eventually cell death.To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study on cytotoxic and apoptotic mechanism of vernodalin isolated from the Centratherum anthelminticum (L.) seeds in human breast cancer cells. Overall, our data suggest a potential therapeutic value of vernodalin to be further developed as new anti-cancer drug. HubMed – drug


A Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) Method to Detect Bcr-Abl Kinase Activity in CML Using a Peptide Biosensor.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e56627
Yang TY, Eissler CL, Hall MC, Parker LL

The protein kinase Bcr-Abl plays a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and is the target of the breakthrough drug imatinib (Gleevec™). While most patients respond well to imatinib, approximately 30% never achieve remission or develop resistance within 1-5 years of starting imatinib treatment. Evidence from clinical studies suggests that achieving at least 50% inhibition of a patient’s Bcr-Abl kinase activity (relative to their level at diagnosis) is associated with improved patient outcomes, including reduced occurrence of resistance and longer maintenance of remission. Accordingly, sensitive assays for detecting Bcr-Abl kinase activity compatible with small amounts of patient material are desirable as potential companion diagnostics for imatinib. Here we report the detection of Bcr-Abl activity and inhibition by imatinib in the human CML cell line K562 using a cell-penetrating peptide biosensor and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. MRM enabled reproducible, selective detection of the peptide biosensor at fmol levels from aliquots of cell lysate equivalent to ?15,000 cells. This degree of sensitivity will facilitate the miniaturization of the entire assay procedure down to cell numbers approaching 15,000, making it practical for translational applications in patient cells in which the limited amount of available patient material often presents a major challenge. HubMed – drug