Improving outcomes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains a major clinical challenge. Overexpression of pro-survival BCL-2 family members rendering transformed cells resistant to cytotoxic drugs is a common theme in cancer. Targeting BCL-2 with the BH3-mimetic venetoclax is active in AML when combined with low-dose chemotherapy or hypomethylating agents. We now report the pre-clinical anti-leukemic efficacy of a novel BCL-2 inhibitor S55746, which demonstrates synergistic pro-apoptotic activity in combination with the MCL1 inhibitor S63845. Activity of the combination was caspase and BAX/BAK dependent, superior to combination with standard cytotoxic AML drugs and active against a broad spectrum of poor risk genotypes, including primary samples from patients with chemoresistant AML. Co-targeting BCL-2 and MCL1 was more effective against leukemic, compared to normal hematopoietic progenitors, suggesting a therapeutic window of activity. Finally, S55746 combined with S63845 prolonged survival in xenograft models of AML and suppressed patient-derived leukemia but not normal hematopoietic cells in bone marrow of engrafted mice. In conclusion, a dual BH3-mimetic approach is feasible, highly synergistic, and active in diverse models of human AML. This approach has strong clinical potential to rapidly suppress leukemia, with reduced toxicity to normal hematopoietic precursors compared to chemotherapy.
Certain BH3-only proteins transiently bind and activate Bak and Bax, initiating their oligomerization and the permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane, a pivotal step in the mitochondrial pathway to apoptosis. Here we describe the first crystal structures of an activator BH3 peptide bound to Bak and illustrate their use in the design of BH3 derivatives capable of inhibiting human Bak on mitochondria. These BH3 derivatives compete for the activation site at the canonical groove, are the first engineered inhibitors of Bak activation, and support the role of key conformational transitions associated with Bak activation.
Total syntheses of the structures, 1, 2, and 4, assigned to the biologically active natural products ribisins A, B, and D, respectively, have been achieved using the microbially derived and enantiomerically pure cis-1,2-dihydrocatechol 5 as starting material. Key steps include Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling, intramolecular Mitsunobu, and tandem epoxidation/rearrangement reactions. As a result of these studies, the structures of ribisins A and D have been confirmed while that of congener B was shown to be represented by 31 rather than 2.
Betulinic acid (BA) and its derivatives are a class of high-profile drug candidates, but their anticancer effects on resistant cancer have rarely been reported. Although a few studies indicated mitophagy is related with drug resistance, its role in different cancer types and anticancer agents treatment remains largely unclear. Here, we find that B5G1, a new derivative of BA, induces cell death in multidrug resistant cancer cells HepG2/ADM and MCF-7/ADR through mitochondrial-apoptosis pathway. B5G1 also triggers mitophagy independent on Atg5/Beclin 1. Further mechanistic study indicates that B5G1 upregulates PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) to recruit Parkin to mitochondria followed by ubiquitination of Mfn2 to initiate mitophagy. Inhibition of mitophagy by PINK1 siRNA, mdivi-1, or bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1) promotes B5G1-induced cell death. In addition, ROS production and mitochondrial damage in B5G1-treated HepG2/ADM cells cause mitochondrial apoptosis and mitophagy. In vivo study shown that B5G1 dramatically inhibits HepG2/ADM xenograft growth accompanied by apoptosis and mitophagy induction. Together, our results provide the first demonstration that B5G1, as a novel mitophagy inducer, has the potential to be developed into a drug candidate for treating multidrug resistant cancer.
23-O-(1,4'-Bipiperidine-1-carbonyl)betulinic acid (BBA), a synthetic derivative of 23-hydroxybetulinic acid (23-HBA), shows a reversal effect on multidrug resistance (MDR) in our preliminary screening. Overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters such as ABCB1, ABCG2, and ABCC1 has been reported in recent studies to be a major factor contributing to MDR. Our study results showed that BBA enhanced the cytotoxicity of ABCB1 substrates and increased the accumulation of doxorubicin or rhodamine123 in ABCB1 overexpressing cells, but had no effect on non ABCB1 substrate, such as cisplatin; what's more, BBA slightly reversed ABCG2-mediated resistance to SN-38, but did not affect the ABCC1-mediated MDR. Further studies on the mechanism indicated that BBA did not alter the expression of ABCB1 at mRNA or protein levels, but affected the ABCB1 ATPase activity by stimulating the basal activity at lower concentrations and inhibiting the activity at higher concentrations. In addition, BBA inhibited the verapamil-stimulated ABCB1 ATPase activity and the photolabeling of ABCB1 with [(125)I] iodoarylazidoprazosin in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating that BBA directly interacts with ABCB1. The docking study confirmed this notion that BBA could bind to the drug binding site(s) on ABCB1, but its binding position was only partially overlapping with that of verapamil or iodoarylazidoprazosin. Importantly, BBA increased the inhibitory effect of paclitaxel in ABCB1 overexpressing KB-C2 cell xenografts in nude mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that BBA can reverse ABCB1-mediated MDR by inhibiting its efflux function of ABCB1, which supports the development of BBA as a novel potential MDR reversal agent used in the clinic.
Lactose fatty acid esters are high-value-added derivatives of lactose and represent a class of biodegradable, nonionic, low-molecular-weight surfactants (emulsifiers) that have considerable potential in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Certain lactose esters have also garnered attention for their biological activities. In this work, we detail syntheses of a homologous series of 6′-O-acyllactose esters of varying alkyl chain length (from 6 to 18 carbons) and report on their activities as surfactants as well as their antimicrobial and cytotoxic properties. The structure−property profiles established in this work revealed that while the medium-chain esters displayed excellent emulsifying properties and moderate antimicrobial activities, their longer chain congeners exhibited the highest cytotoxicities. As such, we have established that certain 6′-O-acyllactose esters are superior to their sucrose-derived and commercially exploited counterparts. These results will serve as a useful guide for the development of lactose esters as, inter alia, emulsifiers in the food industry.
Adducts of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)-amino acids are formed during food processing and digestion; the elimination capacity of in vitro intestinal digests of biscuits, instant noodles, and potato crisps for HMF is 652, 727, and 540 μg/g, respectively. However, the safety of these adducts is unknown. In this study, an HMF-cysteine adduct named 1-dicysteinethioacetal-5-hydroxymehtylfurfural (DCH), which was found to be produced in the gastrointestinal tract after HMF intake, was prepared to test its effect toward Caco-2 cells. Compared with HMF, the adduct displayed lower cytotoxicity against Caco-2 cells with an IC value of 31.26 mM versus 14.95 mM (HMF). The DCH did not induce cell apoptosis, whereas HMF significantly increased the apoptosis rate after incubation at concentrations of 16, 32, and 48 mM for 72 h. DCH showed an absorption rate considerably lower than that of HMF by Caco-2 cells. Lower absorption of DCH may result in lower toxicity compared with HMF against Caco-2 cells. Intracellular transformation of DCH has been observed.
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