Cytotoxicities of alkaloids from processed and unprocessed seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica. (1/1029)

AIM: To examine the cytotoxicities of 6 crude Strychnos alkaloid fractions from the seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica unprocessed or processed with various traditional processing methods and 13 pure Strychnos alkaloids from the fractions. METHODS: Using cell culture, their inhibitory effects on Vero cell growth-inhibition assay, and host cell DNA synthesis by [3H]thymidine ([3H]TdR) uptake assay. RESULTS: The IC50 of processed seeds were 155% and 212% of unprocessed ones in cell growth-inhibition assay and in [3H]TdR uptake assay, respectively. The IC50 of 13 compounds were 0.45-0.80 mmol.L-1 and 0.50-12 mmol.L-1, respectively. The processing method with sand bath exhibited a wide safety margin compared with other traditional processing methods or no processing. The isomers of Strychnos alkaloids and their N-oxides showed much lower cytotoxicities among these alkaloids. Isobrucine N-oxide showed the lowest cytotoxicity. The contents of isomers and N-oxides of Strychnos alkaloids were the highest in the sand processing. CONCLUSION: Processing of nux vomica plays a critical role in its toxicity.  (+info)

The SHAPES strategy: an NMR-based approach for lead generation in drug discovery. (2/1029)

BACKGROUND: Recently, it has been shown that nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) may be used to identify ligands that bind to low molecular weight protein drug targets. Recognizing the utility of NMR as a very sensitive method for detecting binding, we have focused on developing alternative approaches that are applicable to larger molecular weight drug targets and do not require isotopic labeling. RESULTS: A new method for lead generation (SHAPES) is described that uses NMR to detect binding of a limited but diverse library of small molecules to a potential drug target. The compound scaffolds are derived from shapes most commonly found in known therapeutic agents. NMR detection of low (microM-mM) affinity binding is achieved using either differential line broadening or transferred NOE (nuclear Overhauser effect) NMR techniques. CONCLUSIONS: The SHAPES method for lead generation by NMR is useful for identifying potential lead classes of drugs early in a drug design program, and is easily integrated with other discovery tools such as virtual screening, high-throughput screening and combinatorial chemistry.  (+info)

The newer, 'atypical' antipsychotic drugs--their development and current therapeutic use. (3/1029)

General practitioners (GPs) need to become more aware of a new generation of antipsychotic drugs that are 'atypical' in that, unlike traditional neuroleptics, they do not cause extrapyramidal side-effects; they may also be more effective against both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia by their actions on various neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. This is a non-systematic review of the development of these new drugs and outlines how they are currently being used. It includes information found from an electronic search of the databases MEDLINE (from 1966 to June 1998) and EMBASE (from 1980 to January 1998) using the combined search terms 'antipsychotic agents', 'atypical', and 'schizophrenia'.  (+info)

Identification of potential vaccine and drug target candidates by expressed sequence tag analysis and immunoscreening of Onchocerca volvulus larval cDNA libraries. (4/1029)

The search for appropriate vaccine candidates and drug targets against onchocerciasis has so far been confronted with several limitations due to the unavailability of biological material, appropriate molecular resources, and knowledge of the parasite biology. To identify targets for vaccine or chemotherapy development we have undertaken two approaches. First, cDNA expression libraries were constructed from life cycle stages that are critical for establishment of Onchocerca volvulus infection, the third-stage larvae (L3) and the molting L3. A gene discovery effort was then initiated by random expressed sequence tag analysis of 5,506 cDNA clones. Cluster analyses showed that many of the transcripts were up-regulated and/or stage specific in either one or both of the cDNA libraries when compared to the microfilariae, L2, and both adult stages of the parasite. Homology searches against the GenBank database facilitated the identification of several genes of interest, such as proteinases, proteinase inhibitors, antioxidant or detoxification enzymes, and neurotransmitter receptors, as well as structural and housekeeping genes. Other O. volvulus genes showed homology only to predicted genes from the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans or were entirely novel. Some of the novel proteins contain potential secretory leaders. Secondly, by immunoscreening the molting L3 cDNA library with a pool of human sera from putatively immune individuals, we identified six novel immunogenic proteins that otherwise would not have been identified as potential vaccinogens using the gene discovery effort. This study lays a solid foundation for a better understanding of the biology of O. volvulus as well as for the identification of novel targets for filaricidal agents and/or vaccines against onchocerciasis based on immunological and rational hypothesis-driven research.  (+info)

Validation of a high-performance liquid chromatography method for the assay of and determination of related organic impurities in nevirapine drug substance. (5/1029)

Nevirapine (Viramune), a dipyridiodiazepinone, is a potent and highly specific nonnucleoside inhibitor of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. This paper describes the validation of a specific, sensitive, and stability-indicating high-performance liquid chromatography method for the assay and determination of related organic impurities in nevirapine drug substance. This method uses a Supelcosil LC-ABZ column, a mobile phase of 20:80 (v/v) acetonitrile-25mM NH4H2PO4 (pH 5.0), and ultraviolet detection at a wavelength of 220 nm. This method was validated for specificity, linearity, accuracy, repeatability, detection limit, quantitation limit, stability of analyte solutions, robustness, and intermediate precision. Nevirapine is completely separated from all impurities. The method is shown to be linear with coefficients of determination r2 greater than 0.999. Average accuracy is 100.4% with a relative standard deviation of 0.7% for the assay. Accuracy ranges from 100.1 to 102.6% for related organic impurities. Repeatability is good, with relative standard deviations not more than 1.4%. The detection limit and the quantitation limit are determined to be 0.001 and 0.003%, respectively. Relative response factors of known organic impurities are determined, permitting the use of nevirapine at the 0.1% level as an external standard for the quantitation of these impurities. Analyte solutions are shown to be stable for at least 2 days at ambient temperature. The method is validated as robust, and intermediate precision is high. A system suitability test is developed and validated, and requirements are set.  (+info)

Biological considerations in the development of a human immunodeficiency virus vaccine. (6/1029)

Over the last 12 years, many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine candidates have been tried in humans, with disappointing results. In particular, recombinant envelope proteins have failed to elicit strong cellular immune responses or neutralizing antibody against many wild-type isolates of HIV-1. Attenuated strains of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), although capable of protecting against virulent strains of SIV, often retain residual pathogenicity. These difficulties suggest that it will be necessary to address a number of biological questions that underpin the rational development of an AIDS vaccine: (1) Will natural infection with HIV protect against superinfection? (2) Is partial protection induced by an HIV vaccine adequate to prevent AIDS? (3) What are the immune correlates of protection for an AIDS vaccine? (4) Will a monotypic HIV-1 vaccine confer cross-clade immunity? (5) Is mucosal immunity important for an effective AIDS vaccine? (6) Is there a rationale for therapeutic immunization? Ongoing research that is addressing these questions should lead to the formulation of a safe and effective AIDS vaccine.  (+info)

The putative beta4-adrenergic receptor is a novel state of the beta1-adrenergic receptor. (7/1029)

The atypical beta3-adrenergic receptor (AR) agonist CGP-12177 has been used to define a novel atypical beta-AR subtype, the putative beta4-AR. Recent evaluation of recombinant beta-AR subtypes and beta-AR-deficient mice, however, has established the identity of the pharmacological beta4-AR as a novel state of the beta1-AR protein. The ability of aryloxypropanolamine ligands like CGP-12177 to independently interact with agonist and antagonist states of the beta1-AR has important implications regarding receptor classification and the potential development of tissue-specific beta-AR agonists.  (+info)

Efficacy of two alternate vaccines based on Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 in an Aotus challenge trial. (8/1029)

In an attempt to produce a more defined, clinical-grade version of a vaccine based on Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1), we evaluated the efficacy of two recombinant forms of MSP1 in an Aotus nancymai challenge model system. One recombinant vaccine, bvMSP1(42), based on the 42-kDa C-terminal portion of MSP1, was expressed as a secreted protein in baculovirus-infected insect cells. A highly pure baculovirus product could be reproducibly expressed and purified at yields in excess of 8 mg of pure protein per liter of culture. This protein, when tested for efficacy in the Aotus challenge model, gave significant protection, with only one of seven monkeys requiring treatment for uncontrolled parasitemia after challenge with P. falciparum. The second recombinant protein, P30P2MSP1(19), has been used in previous studies and is based on the smaller, C-terminal 19-kDa portion of MSP1 expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Substantial changes were made in its production process to optimize expression. The optimum form of this vaccine antigen (as judged by in vitro and in vivo indicators) was then evaluated, along with bvMSP1(42), for efficacy in the A. nancymai system. The new formulation of P30P3MSP1(19) performed significantly worse than bvMSP1(42) and appeared to be less efficacious than we have found in the past, with four of seven monkeys in the vaccinated group requiring treatment for uncontrolled parasitemia. With both antigens, protection was seen only when high antibody levels were obtained by formulation of the vaccines in Freund's adjuvant. Vaccine formulation in an alternate adjuvant, MF59, resulted in significantly lower antibody titers and no protection.  (+info)