Investigators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered compounds that have potential as novel anti-androgen therapeutics. The immunophilin protein FKBP52 is part of a protein complex that helps fold the androgen receptor (AR) protein, a target for treating prostate cancer, and enhances its activity. Disruption of the FKPB52-AR interaction greatly reduces the activity of the AR.
Treatment of GPR101-Related, Growth Hormone-Related Disorders Such as Gigantism, Dwarfism or Acromegaly
Microduplications of the GPR101 gene (located on chromosome Xq26.3 and encodes a G-protein coupled receptor) can result in an excess of growth hormone causing gigantism, that has an onset in early childhood. It is also associated with the growth of sporadic growth hormone producing adenomas in some patients with acromegaly.
Steroid hormones have been implicated to play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. Polymorphisms in the genes that code for enzymes, or hormones involved in androgen regulatory pathway, reportedly influence risk for developing prostate cancer. Since many membrane transporters are modulators of steroid hormones absorption and tissue distribution, genetic polymorphisms in genes encoding these transporters may account for the risk of prostate cancer and the predicting of survival.
Biological nanoparticles, like extracellular vesicles (EVs), possess unique biological characteristics making them attractive therapeutic agents, targets, or disease biomarkers. However, their use is hindered by the lack of tools available to accurately detect, sort, and analyze. Flow cytometers are used to sort and study individual cells. But, they are unable to detect and sort nanomaterials smaller than 200 nanometers with single epitope sensitivity.
Extracellular Vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, are nanometer-sized membranous vesicles that can carry different types of cargos, such as proteins, nucleic acids and metabolites. EVs are produced and released by most cell types. They act as biological mediators for intercellular communication via delivery of their cargos. This unique ability spurred translational research interest for targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules to treat a wide range of diseases. EVs also contain interesting information of their specific cellular origin.
The baculovirus-based protein expression system has gained increased prominence as a method for expressing recombinant proteins that are used in a wide range of biomedical applications. An important step in the use of this system is the ability to determine the virus infectious titer, i.e., the number of active baculovirus particles produced during an infection of the insect host cell.
In collaboration with surgery specialists from Johns Hopkins University, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed novel hydrogel compositions and methods of using them in the microsurgical suturing of blood vessels, which is particularly beneficial for surgeons in whole tissue transplant procedures. The lead candidate electropositive hydrogels, called APC1, was demonstrated in anastomosis mice models to be well tolerated, biocompatible, and non-toxic.
Englerin A, a natural product, has shown growth-inhibiting activity against renal cancer cell lines. The compound is an agonist of protein kinase C (PCK) theta, which results in cell cytotoxicity, insulin inhibition, and selective activation of viral replication in T cells. Englerin A derivatives are promising treatment strategies for any diseases associated with PKC theta and/or ion channel proteins.
Aryl Hydantoin Heterocycle Compounds that Target the Androgen Receptor for Prostate Cancer Treatment
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among all men in the United States (US). It is also the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US among men, largely due to the progressively treatment resistant nature of the disease. Treatment options for early stage prostate cancer include watchful waiting, radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, and importantly androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT). Prostate cancer is dependent on androgen hormones, such as testosterone, for sustaining and promoting growth.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by several factors including 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), an environmental contaminant. TCDD causes lipid accumulation in humans by inducing the Solute Carrier Family 46 Member 3 (SLC46A3) gene expression. To effectively study TCDD-mediated lipid accumulation, research tools such as SLC46A3 knockout cells and animal models are required.