Growth inhibition of breast cancer cells by Grb2 downregulation is correlated with inactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase in EGFR, but not in ErbB2, cells.
Increased breast cancer growth has been associated with increased expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Upon activation, RTKs may transmit their oncogenic signals by binding to the growth factor receptor bound protein-2 (Grb2), which in turn binds to SOS and activates the Ras/Raf/MEK/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. Grb2 is important for the transformation of fibroblasts by EGFR and ErbB2; however, whether Grb2 is also important for the proliferation of breast cancer cells expressing these RTKs is unclear. We have used liposomes to deliver nuclease-resistant antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (oligos) specific for the GRB2 mRNA to breast cancer cells. Grb2 protein downregulation could inhibit breast cancer cell growth; the degree of growth inhibition was dependent upon the activation and/or endogenous levels of the RTKs. Grb2 inhibition led to MAP kinase inactivation in EGFR, but not in ErbB2, breast cancer cells, suggesting that different pathways might be used by EGFR and ErbB2 to regulate breast cancer growth. (+info
Astrocyte-specific expression of tyrosine hydroxylase after intracerebral gene transfer induces behavioral recovery in experimental parkinsonism.
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the depletion of dopamine in the caudate putamen. Dopamine replacement with levodopa, a precursor of the neurotransmitter, is presently the most common treatment for this disease. However, in an effort to obtain better therapeutic results, tissue or cells that synthesize catecholamines have been grafted into experimental animals and human patients. In this paper, we present a novel technique to express tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the host's own astrocytes. This procedure uses a transgene in which the expression of a TH cDNA is under the control of a glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter, which confers astrocyte-specific expression and also increases its activity in response to brain injury. The method was tested in a rat model of Parkinson's disease produced by lesioning the striatum with 6-hydroxydopamine. Following microinjection of the transgene into the denervated striatum as a DNA-liposome complex, expression of the transgene was detected by RT-PCR and TH protein was observed specifically in astrocytes by using double-labeling immunofluorescence for GFAP and TH coupled with laser confocal microscopy. Efficacy was demonstrated by significant behavioral recovery, as assessed by a decrease in the pharmacologically induced turning behavior generated by the unilateral denervation of the rat striatum. These results suggest this is a valuable technique to express molecules of therapeutic interest in the brain. (+info
Gating connexin 43 channels reconstituted in lipid vesicles by mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation.
The regulation of gap junctional permeability by phosphorylation was examined in a model system in which connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junction hemichannels were reconstituted in lipid vesicles. Cx43 was immunoaffinity-purified from rat brain, and Cx43 channels were reconstituted into unilamellar phospholipid liposomes. The activities of the reconstituted channels were measured by monitoring liposome permeability. Liposomes containing the Cx43 protein were fractionated on the basis of permeability to sucrose using sedimentation in an iso-osmolar density gradient. The gradient allowed separation of the sucrose-permeable and -impermeable liposomes. Liposomes that were permeable to sucrose were also permeable to the communicating dye molecule lucifer yellow. Permeability, and therefore activity of the reconstituted Cx43 channels, were directly dependent on the state of Cx43 phosphorylation. The permeability of liposomes containing Cx43 channels was increased by treatment of liposomes with calf intestinal phosphatase. Moreover, liposomes formed with Cx43 that had been dephosphorylated by calf intestinal phosphatase treatment showed increased permeability to sucrose. The role of phosphorylation in the gating mechanism of Cx43 channels was supported further by the observation that phosphorylation of Cx43 by mitogen-activated protein kinase reversibly reduced the permeability of liposomes containing dephosphorylated Cx43. Our results show a direct correlation between gap junctional permeability and the phosphorylation state of Cx43. (+info
U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of AmBisome (liposomal amphotericin B) for treatment of visceral leishmaniasis.
In August 1997, AmBisome (liposomal amphotericin B, Nexstar, San Dimas, CA) was the first drug approved for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The growing recognition of emerging and reemerging infections warrants that safe and effective agents to treat such infections be readily available in the United States. The following discussion of the data submitted in support of the New Drug Application for AmBisome for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis shows the breadth of data from clinical trials that can be appropriate to support approval for drugs to treat tropical diseases. (+info
Systemic candidiasis with candida vasculitis due to Candida kruzei in a patient with acute myeloid leukaemia.
Candida kruzei-related systemic infections are increasing in frequency, particularly in patients receiving prophylaxis with antifungal triazoles. A Caucasian male with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML M1) developed severe and persistent fever associated with a micropustular eruption scattered over the trunk and limbs during induction chemotherapy. Blood cultures grew Candida kruzei, and biopsies of the skin lesions revealed a candida vasculitis. He responded to high doses of liposomal amphotericin B and was discharged well from hospital. (+info
Pharmacokinetics and urinary excretion of amikacin in low-clearance unilamellar liposomes after a single or repeated intravenous administration in the rhesus monkey.
Liposomal aminoglycosides have been shown to have activity against intracellular infections, such as those caused by Mycobacterium avium. Amikacin in small, low-clearance liposomes (MiKasome) also has curative and prophylactic efficacies against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. To develop appropriate dosing regimens for low-clearance liposomal amikacin, we studied the pharmacokinetics of liposomal amikacin in plasma, the level of exposure of plasma to free amikacin, and urinary excretion of amikacin after the administration of single-dose (20 mg/kg of body weight) and repeated-dose (20 mg/kg eight times at 48-h intervals) regimens in rhesus monkeys. The clearance of liposomal amikacin (single-dose regimen, 0.023 +/- 0.003 ml min-1 kg-1; repeated-dose regimen, 0.014 +/- 0.001 ml min-1 kg-1) was over 100-fold lower than the creatinine clearance (an estimate of conventional amikacin clearance). Half-lives in plasma were longer than those reported for other amikacin formulations and declined during the elimination phase following administration of the last dose (from 81.7 +/- 27 to 30.5 +/- 5 h). Peak and trough (48 h) levels after repeated dosing reached 728 +/- 72 and 418 +/- 60 micrograms/ml, respectively. The levels in plasma remained > 180 micrograms/ml for 6 days after the administration of the last dose. The free amikacin concentration in plasma never exceeded 17.4 +/- 1 micrograms/ml and fell rapidly (half-life, 1.47 to 1.85 h) after the administration of each dose of liposomal amikacin. This and the low volume of distribution (45 ml/kg) indicate that the amikacin in plasma largely remained sequestered in long-circulating liposomes. Less than half the amikacin was recovered in the urine, suggesting that the level of renal exposure to filtered free amikacin was reduced, possibly as a result of intracellular uptake or the metabolism of liposomal amikacin. Thus, low-clearance liposomal amikacin could be administered at prolonged (2- to 7-day) intervals to achieve high levels of exposure to liposomal amikacin with minimal exposure to free amikacin. (+info
Morphological behavior of acidic and neutral liposomes induced by basic amphiphilic alpha-helical peptides with systematically varied hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance.
Lipid-peptide interaction has been investigated using cationic amphiphilic alpha-helical peptides and systematically varying their hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance (HHB). The influence of the peptides on neutral and acidic liposomes was examined by 1) Trp fluorescence quenched by brominated phospholipid, 2) membrane-clearing ability, 3) size determination of liposomes by dynamic light scattering, 4) morphological observation by electron microscopy, and 5) ability to form planar lipid bilayers from channels. The peptides examined consist of hydrophobic Leu and hydrophilic Lys residues with ratios 13:5, 11:7, 9:9, 7:11, and 5:13 (abbreviated as Hels 13-5, 11-7, 9-9, 7-11, and 5-13, respectively; Kiyota, T., S. Lee, and G. Sugihara. 1996. Biochemistry. 35:13196-13204). The most hydrophobic peptide (Hel 13-5) induced a twisted ribbon-like fibril structure for egg PC liposomes. In a 3/1 (egg PC/egg PG) lipid mixture, Hel 13-5 addition caused fusion of the liposomes. Hel 13-5 formed ion channels in neutral lipid bilayer (egg PE/egg PC = 7/3) at low peptide concentrations, but not in an acidic bilayer (egg PE/brain PS = 7/3). The peptides with hydrophobicity less than Hel 13-5 (Hels 11-7 and Hel 9-9) were able to partially immerse their hydrophobic part of the amphiphilic helix in lipid bilayers and fragment liposome to small bicelles or micelles, and then the bicelles aggregated to form a larger assembly. Peptides Hel 11-7 and Hel 9-9 each formed strong ion channels. Peptides (Hel 7-11 and Hel 5-13) with a more hydrophilic HHB interacted with an acidic lipid bilayer by charge interaction, in which the former immerses the hydrophobic part in lipid bilayer, and the latter did not immerse, and formed large assemblies by aggregation of original liposomes. The present study clearly showed that hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance of a peptide is a crucial factor in understanding lipid-peptide interactions. (+info
Identification of mechanosensitive ion channels in the cytoplasmic membrane of Corynebacterium glutamicum.
Patch-clamp experiments performed on membrane fragments of Corynebacterium glutamicum fused into giant liposomes revealed the presence of two different stretch-activated conductances, 600 to 700 pS and 1,200 to 1,400 pS in 0.1 M KCl, that exhibited the same characteristics in terms of kinetics, ion selectivity, and voltage dependence. (+info