Department of Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutics (DPP)

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Research activities

Véronique’s research activity is mainly focused on deciphering the mechanisms of action of potential anti-cancer compounds from natural origin. Indeed, Nature remains the first source of novel drug leads for anti-cancer purposes with ~60% of the drugs currently available actually inspired by Nature (Cragg and Newman, JNP 2016).

The evaluation and understanding of the cellular and molecular effects of such compounds is carried out in Véronique’s team, notably thanks to the use of different imaging tools such as live cell imaging.

Véronique is also developing this approach to evaluate the toxicity of compounds for other medical or nutraceutical applications. She leads a group in the frame of the ULB Cancer Research Centre (U-CRC)

Top ten recent articles

Articles dans des revues avec comité de lecture

2023

Cancer patients' behaviors and attitudes toward natural health products.

Schils, A., Lechon, A.-S., Rondeaux, S., Souard, F., Van Laethem, J.-L., Pochet, S., Mathieu, V., & De Vriese, C. (2023). Cancer patients' behaviors and attitudes toward natural health products. BMC complementary medicine and therapies, 23(1), 442, 1-14. doi:10.1186/s12906-023-04278-0  

Natural health products (NHPs), including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements, are the most common complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients. Our survey determined the attitudes and behaviors of cancer patients toward natural complementary therapies that should be considered to implement an integrative approach in the future.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/365983/1/doi_349627.pdf

 

2022

Herb-anticancer drug interactions in real life based on VigiBase, the WHO global database

Pochet, S., Lechon, A.-S., Lescrainier, C., De Vriese, C., Mathieu, V., Hamdani, J., & Souard, F. (2022). Herb-anticancer drug interactions in real life based on VigiBase, the WHO global database. Scientific reports, 12(1), 14178. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-17704-z  

Cancer patients could combine herbal treatments with their chemotherapy. We consulted VigiBase, a WHO database of individual case safety reports (ICSRs) which archives reports of suspected Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) when herbal products are used in conjunction with anti-cancer treatment. We focused on the possible interactions between antineoplastic (L01 ATC class) or hormone antagonists (L02B ATC class) with 10 commonly used herbs (pineapple, green tea, cannabis, black cohosh, turmeric, echinacea, St John's wort, milk thistle and ginger) to compare ADRs described in ICSRs with the literature. A total of 1057 ICSRs were extracted from the database but only 134 were complete enough (or did not concern too many therapeutic lines) to keep them for analysis. Finally, 51 rationalizable ICSRs could be explained, which led us to propose a pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction mechanism. Reports concerned more frequently women and half of the rationalizable ICSRs involved Viscum album and Silybum marianum. 5% of the ADRs described could have been avoided if clinicians had had access to the published information. It is also important to note that in 8% of the cases, the ADRs observed were life threatening. Phytovigilance should thus be considered more by health care professionals to best treat cancer patients and for better integrative care.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/350415/1/doi_334059.pdf

 

Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids Decrease the Proliferation, Invasion, and Secretion of Clinically Relevant Cytokines by Cultured Human Colon Cancer Cells

Mathieu, V., Laguera, B., Masi, M., Dulanto, S. A., Bingham, T., Hernandez, L. W., Sarlah, D., Evidente, A., Lafontaine, D., Kornienko, A., & Lane, M. A. (2022). Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids Decrease the Proliferation, Invasion, and Secretion of Clinically Relevant Cytokines by Cultured Human Colon Cancer Cells. Biomolecules, 12(9), 1267. doi:10.3390/biom12091267  

Alkaloids isolated from members of the Amaryllidaceae plant family are promising anticancer agents. The purpose of the current study was to determine if the isocarbostyrils narciclasine, pancratistatin, lycorane, lycorine, crinane, and haemanthamine inhibit phenomena related to cancer progression in vitro. To achieve this, we examined the proliferation, adhesion, and invasion of cultured human colon cancer cells via MTT assay and Matrigel-coated Boyden chambers. In addition, Luminex assays were used to quantify the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and cytokines associated with poor clinical outcomes. We found that all alkaloids decreased cell proliferation regardless of TP53 status, with narciclasine exhibiting the greatest potency. The effects on cell proliferation also appear to be specific to cancer cells. Narciclasine, lycorine, and haemanthamine decrease both adhesion and invasion but with various potencies depending on the cell line. In addition, narciclasine, lycorine, and haemanthamine decreased the secretion of MMP-1, -2, and -7, as well as the secretion of the cytokines pentraxin 3 and vascular endothelial growth factor. In conclusion, the present study shows that Amaryllidaceae alkaloids decrease phenomena and cytokines associated with colorectal cancer progression, supporting future investigations regarding their potential as multifaceted drug candidates.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/355249/1/doi_338893.pdf

 

In Vitro Effects of Fungal Phytotoxins on Cancer Cell Viability: First Insight into Structure Activity Relationship of a Potent Metabolite of Cochliobolus australiensis Radicinin

Mathieu, V., Superchi, S., Masi, M., Scafato, P., Kornienko, A., & Evidente, A. (2022). In Vitro Effects of Fungal Phytotoxins on Cancer Cell Viability: First Insight into Structure Activity Relationship of a Potent Metabolite of Cochliobolus australiensis Radicinin. Toxins, 14(8), 517. doi:10.3390/toxins14080517  

Natural compounds have always represented an important source for new drugs. Although fungi represent one such viable source, to date, no fungal metabolite has been marketed as an anticancer drug. Based on our work with phytotoxins as potential chemical scaffolds and our recent findings involving three phytopathogenic fungi, i.e., Cochliobolus australiensis, Kalmusia variispora and Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, herein, we evaluate the in vitro anti-cancer activity of the metabolites of these fungi by MTT assays on three cancer cell models harboring various resistance levels to chemotherapeutic drugs. Radicinin, a phytotoxic dihydropyranopyran-4,5-dione produced by Cochliobolus australiensis, with great potential for the biocontrol of the invasive weed buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris), showed significant anticancer activity in the micromolar range. Furthermore, a SAR study was carried out using radicinin, some natural analogues and hemisynthetic derivatives prepared by synthetic methods developed as part of work aimed at the potential application of these molecules as bioherbicides. This investigation opens new avenues for the design and synthesis of novel radicinin analogues as potential anticancer agents.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/350477/1/doi_334121.pdf

 

Self-assembled ruthenium and osmium nanosystems display a potent anticancer profile by interfering with metabolic activity

Marloye, M., Inam, H., Moore, C. J., Mertens, T. R., Ingels, A., Koch, M., Nowicki, M. O., Mathieu, V., Pritchard, J. R., Awuah, S. G., Lawler, S. E., Meyer, F., Dufrasne, F., & Berger, G. (2022). Self-assembled ruthenium and osmium nanosystems display a potent anticancer profile by interfering with metabolic activity. Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers. doi:10.1039/D2QI00423B  

We disclose novel amphiphilic ruthenium and osmium complexes that auto-assemble into nanomedicines with potent antiproliferative activity by inhibition of mitochondrial respiration. The self-assembling units were rationally designed from the [M(p-cymene)(1,10-phenanthroline)Cl]PF6 motif (where M is either RuII or OsII) with an appended C16 fatty chain to achieve high cellular activity, nano-assembling and mitochondrial targeting. These amphiphilic complexes block cell proliferation at the sub-micromolar range and are particularly potent towards glioblastoma neurospheres made from patient-derived cancer stem cells. A subcutaneous mouse model using these glioblastoma stem cells highlights one of our C16 OsII nanomedicines as highly successful in vivo. Mechanistically, we show that they act as metabolic poisons, strongly impairing mitochondrial respiration, corroborated by morphological changes and damage to the mitochondria. A genetic strategy based on RNAi gave further insight on the potential involvement of microtubules as part of the induced cell death. In parallel, we examined the structural properties of these new amphiphilic metal-based constructs, their reactivity and mechanism.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/343823/3/FRONTINORGCHEM_XX_XXX.pdf

 

Article In Vitro Antioxidant and Anticancer Properties of Various E. senegalensis Extracts

Fofana, S., Delporte, C., Calvo Esposito, R., Ouédraogo, M., Van Antwerpen, P., Guissou, I., Semdé, R., & Mathieu, V. (2022). Article In Vitro Antioxidant and Anticancer Properties of Various E. senegalensis Extracts. Molecules, 27(8), 2583. doi:10.3390/molecules27082583  

Although Erythrina senegalensis is a plant widely used in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, its biological properties have been poorly investigated to date. We first characterized by conventional reactions the composition of several stem bark extracts and evaluated in acellular and cellular assays their pro-or antioxidant properties supported by their high phenolic and flavonoid content, particularly with the methanolic extract. The pro-or antioxidant effects observed did not correlate with their IC50 concentrations against five cancer cell lines determined by MTT assay. Indeed, the CH2 Cl2 extract and its ethyl acetate (EtOAc) subfraction appeared more potent although they harbored lower pro-or antioxidant effects. Nevertheless, at equipotent concentration, both extracts induced ER-and mitochondria-derived vacuoles observed by fluorescent microscopy that further led to non-apoptotic cell death. LC coupled to high resolution MS investigations have been performed to identify chemical compounds of the extracts. These investigations highlighted the presence of compounds formerly isolated from E. senegalensis including senegalensein that could be retrieved only in the EtOAc subfraction but also thirteen other compounds, such as 16:3-Glc-stigmasterol and hexadecanoic acid, whose anticancer properties have been previously reported. Nineteen other compounds remain to be identified. In conclusion, E. senegalensis appeared rich in compounds with antioxidant and anticancer properties, supporting its use in traditional practice and its status as a species of interest for further investigations in anticancer drug research.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/344309/1/doi_327953.pdf

 

2021

Polygodial and ophiobolin a analogues for covalent crosslinking of anticancer targets

Maslivetc, V., Laguera, B., Chandra, S., Dasari, R., Olivier, W. W., Smith, J., Bissember, A. A., Masi, M., Evidente, A., Mathieu, V., & Kornienko, A. (2021). Polygodial and ophiobolin a analogues for covalent crosslinking of anticancer targets. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(20), 11256. doi:10.3390/ijms222011256  

In a search of small molecules active against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells, including glioma, melanoma, and non-small cell lung cancer, we previously prepared α,β-and γ,δ-unsatu-rated ester analogues of polygodial and ophiobolin A, compounds capable of pyrrolylation of primary amines and demonstrating double-digit micromolar antiproliferative potencies in cancer cells. In the current work, we synthesized dimeric and trimeric variants of such compounds in an effort to discover compounds that could crosslink biological primary amine containing targets. We showed that such compounds retain the pyrrolylation ability and possess enhanced single-digit mi-cromolar potencies toward apoptosis-resistant cancer cells. Target identification studies of these in-teresting compounds are underway.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/333607/1/doi_317251.pdf

 

Antibacterial Activities of Homemade Matrices Miming Essential Oils Compared to Commercial Ones

Oliveira Ribeiro, S., Fontaine, V., Mathieu, V., Abdesselam, Z., Dominique, B., Caroline, S., & Souard, F. (2021). Antibacterial Activities of Homemade Matrices Miming Essential Oils Compared to Commercial Ones. Antibiotics, 10(5), 584. doi:10.3390/antibiotics10050584  

The increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a worldwide concern. Essential oils are known to possess remarkable antibacterial properties, but their high chemical variability complicates their development into new antibacterial agents. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to standardize their chemical composition. Several commercial essential oils of ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi L.) and thyme (chemotype thymol) (Thymus vulgaris L.) were bought on the market. GC-MS analysis revealed that thyme essential oils have a chemical composition far more consistent than ajowan essential oils. Sometimes thymol was not even the major compound. The most abundant compounds and the homemade mixtures were tested against two Staphylococcus aureus strains. The antibacterial property of β-caryophyllene presented no direct activity against S. aureus LMG 15975, but in association with thymol or carvacrol at equal percentages an MIC of 125 μg/mL was observed. The mixture of those three compounds at equivalent percentages also decreased by 16-fold the MIC of the penicillin V. Against S. aureus LMG 21674, β-caryophyllene presented an MIC of 31.3 μg/mL and decreased by 267-fold the MIC of the penicillin V. These observations led us to question the benefits of using a complex chemical mixture instead of one active compound to fight bacterial resistance.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/323917/1/doi_307561.pdf

 

Priming of mesenchymal stem cells with a hydrosoluble form of curcumin allows keeping their mesenchymal properties for cell‐based therapy development

Colin, M., Dechêne, L., Ceusters, J., Niesten, A., Demazy, C., Lagneaux, L., Zouaoui Boudjeltia, K., Franck, T., Van Antwerpen, P., Renard, P., Mathieu, V., & Serteyn, D. (2021). Priming of mesenchymal stem cells with a hydrosoluble form of curcumin allows keeping their mesenchymal properties for cell‐based therapy development. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. doi:10.1111/jcmm.16403  
https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/320956/3/ColinDechene2021.pdf

 

2020

Antibacterial and Cytotoxic Activities of Ten Commercially Available Essential Oils

Oliveira Ribeiro, S., Fontaine, V., Mathieu, V., Stévigny, C., Souard, F., et al. (2020). Antibacterial and Cytotoxic Activities of Ten Commercially Available Essential Oils. Antibiotics, 9, 0717.  
https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/313491/3/antibiotics-09-00717.pdf

 

Deciphering the chemical instability of sphaeropsidin A under physiological conditions-degradation studies and structural elucidation of the major metabolite

Van Der Westhuyzen, A. A., Ingels, A., Rosiere, R., Amighi, K., Oberer, L., Gustafson, K. K., Wang, D., Evidente, A., Maddau, L., Masi, M., De Villiers, A., Green, I. R., Berger, W., Kornienko, A., Mathieu, V., & Van Otterlo, W. W. (2020). Deciphering the chemical instability of sphaeropsidin A under physiological conditions-degradation studies and structural elucidation of the major metabolite. Organic & biomolecular chemistry, 18(40), 8147-8160. doi:10.1039/d0ob01586e  

The fungal metabolite sphaeropsidin A (SphA) has been recognised for its promising cytotoxicity, particularly towards apoptosis- and multidrug-resistant cancers. Owing to its intriguing activity, the development of SphA as a potential anticancer agent has been pursued. However, this endeavour is compromised since SphA exhibits poor physicochemical stability under physiological conditions. Herein, SphA's instability in biological media was explored utilizing LC-MS. Notably, the degradation tendency was found to be markedly enhanced in the presence of amino acids in the cell medium utilized. Furthermore, the study investigated the presence of degradation adducts, including the identification, isolation and structural elucidation of a major degradation metabolite, (4R)-4,4′,4′-trimethyl-3′-oxo-4-vinyl-4′,5′,6′,7′-tetrahydro-3′H-spiro[cyclohexane-1,1′-isobenzofuran]-2-ene-2-carboxylic acid. Considering the reduced cytotoxic potency of aged SphA solutions, as well as that of the isolated degradation metabolite, the reported antiproliferative activity has been attributed primarily to the parent compound (SphA) and not its degradation species. The fact that SphA continues to exhibit remarkable bioactivity, despite being susceptible to degradation, motivates future research efforts to address the challenges associated with this instability impediment.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/315357/3/Van_der_Westhuyzen_et_al_OBC_2020.pdf

 

Antiproliferative activity of naphthoquinones and indane carboxylic acids from lapachol against a panel of human cancer cell lines

Eyong, K. O., Ketsemen, H. H., Zhao, Z., Du, L., Ingels, A., Mathieu, V., Kornienko, A., Hull, K. K., Folefoc, G. N., Baskaran, S., & Romo, D. (2020). Antiproliferative activity of naphthoquinones and indane carboxylic acids from lapachol against a panel of human cancer cell lines. Medicinal chemistry research, 29(6), 1058-1066. doi:10.1007/s00044-020-02545-0  

Lapachol (1) is a well-studied natural product isolated from plants of the Bignoniaceae family and demonstrates diverse biological effects. Historically, chemical transformation of the lapachol scaffold has yielded new derivatives with impressive biological activity and rich chemical diversity. β-lapachone (2), α-lapachone (3), and 2-acetylfuronaphthoquinone (4) are examples of analogs derived from lapachol that show superior antitumor activity compared with the natural product. In the present study, novel indane carboxylic acid: 2,2-dimethyl-2,3-dihydroindeno[1,2-b]pyran-4,5-dione (9) and methyl 5-hydroxy-2,2-dimethyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydroindeno[1,2-b]pyran-5-carboxylate (10) and naphthoquinone derivatives were synthesized from lapachol with structural similarities to the antitumor lapachol derivatives. The synthesized compounds were evaluated for antiproliferative activities against a panel of human cancer cell lines including in vitro models for neuroblastoma, melanoma, glioblastoma, and non-small cell lung cancer. As expected, the most potent derivatives were those incorporating β-naphthoquinone and α-naphthoquinono[2,3-b]furan skeletons. Many of these compounds possessed nanomolar to single digit micromolar antiproliferative potency. However, the most interesting analog evaluated was the dione 9 with an indeno[1,2-b]pyran skeleton, which demonstrated potent cytotoxic activity. The current investigation identified several new lead compounds that could be used as starting points for anticancer drug discovery.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/307454/3/Eyong_et_al_Med_chem_Res_2020_lapachol_AK.pdfhttps://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/307454/4/Eyong_et_al_Med_chem_Res_2020_lapachol_AK.pdf

 

A new potential anti‐cancer beta‐carboline derivative decreases the expression levels of key proteins involved in glioma aggressiveness: A proteomic investigation

De Carvalho, A., Viaene, J., Vandenbussche, G., De Braekeleer, K., Masereel, B., Wouters, J., Souard, F., Vander Heyden, Y., Van Antwerpen, P., Delporte, C., & Mathieu, V. (2020). A new potential anti‐cancer beta‐carboline derivative decreases the expression levels of key proteins involved in glioma aggressiveness: A proteomic investigation. Drug development research, 8(1), 32-42. doi:10.1002/ddr.21600  
https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/300476/3/submitted_manuscript.pdf

 

Halogenated diterpenes with in vitro antitumor activity from the red alga sphaerococcus coronopifolius

Smyrniotopoulos, V., De Andrade Tomaz, A. C., De Fátima Vanderlei De Souza, M., Da Cunha, E. V. L., Kiss, R., Mathieu, V., Ioannou, E., & Roussis, V. (2020). Halogenated diterpenes with in vitro antitumor activity from the red alga sphaerococcus coronopifolius. Marine drugs, 18(1), 29. doi:10.3390/md18010029  

Eight new (1-8) structurally diverse diterpenes featuring five different carbocycles were isolated from the organic extracts of the red alga Sphaerococcus coronopifolius collected from the coastline of the Ionian Sea in Greece. The structures of the new natural products, seven of which were halogenated, and the relative configuration of their stereocenters were determined on the basis of comprehensive spectroscopic analyses, including NMR and HRMS data. Compounds 5 and 8 were found to possess in vitro antitumor activity against one murine and five human cancer cell lines with mean IC50 values 15 and 16 μM, respectively.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/301731/1/doi_285375.pdf

 

2019

Oxygenated C17 polyacetylene metabolites from Algerian Eryngium tricuspidatum L. roots: Structure and biological activity

Djebara, A., Ciavatta, M. L., Mathieu, V., Colin, M., Bitam, F., Carbone, M., & Gavagnin, M. (2019). Oxygenated C17 polyacetylene metabolites from Algerian Eryngium tricuspidatum L. roots: Structure and biological activity. Fitoterapia, 138, 104355. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2019.104355  

The secondary metabolite pattern of Eryngium tricuspidatum has been found to be dominated by C17 acetylene oxylipins, according to the chemistry reported in the literature for the genus Eryngium. Two new oxylipins, 11-acetoxy-falcarindiol (4) and 1,2-dihydro-11-acetoxy-falcarindiol (5) have been isolated, along with main related polyacetylenes 1-3 and the already known monoterpene aldehydes 6-10, from the petroleum ether extract of roots. The structure and the absolute configuration of compounds 4 and 5 have been determined by spectroscopic methods as well as by comparison with related known compounds. Polyacetylenes 1-4 inhibited significantly the in vitro growth of a series of cancer cell lines, ranging from 0.3 to 29 μM, whereas 5 was inactive.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/296632/3/Djebara_et_al_Fitoterapia_2019_ciavatta.pdf

 

Tumor Targeting by Peptide-Decorated Gold Nanoparticles.

Albertini, B., Mathieu, V., Iraci, N., Van Woensel, M., Schoubben, A., Donnadio, A., Greco, S., Ricci, M., Temperini, A., Blasi, P., & Wauthoz, N. (2019). Tumor Targeting by Peptide-Decorated Gold Nanoparticles. Molecular pharmaceutics, 16(6), 2430-2444. doi:10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.9b00047  

Cancer remains one of the most important challenges in biomedical sciences. Chemotherapeutic agents are very potent molecules that exhibit a significant level of toxicity in numerous tissues of the body, particularly in those characterized by high proliferative activity, such as the bone marrow. The scenario is even more complex in the case of the central nervous system, and in particular brain tumors, where the blood brain barrier limits the efficacy of drug therapies. Integrins, transmembrane proteins widely expressed in different types of cancer (glioblastoma, melanoma, and breast cancer), regulate the angiogenic process and play a pivotal role in tumor growth and invasion. Here, we report a nanotechnology strategy based on the use of AuNPs decorated with an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-like peptide for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Two hours after administration in mice, the accumulation of the peptide-decorated NPs in the subcutaneous tumor was ∼4-fold higher than that of uncoated particles and ∼1.4-fold higher than that of PEGylated particles. Also, in the case of the intracranial tumor model, interesting results were obtained. Indeed, 2 h after administration, the amount of peptide-decorated particles in the brain was 1.5-fold that of undecorated particles and 5-fold that of PEGylated particles. In conclusion, this preliminary study demonstrates the high potential of this carrier developed for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/288792/4/AlbertiniMolPharm.pdf

 

Dysregulation of Macropinocytosis Processes in Glioblastomas May Be Exploited to Increase Intracellular Anti-Cancer Drug Levels: The Example of Temozolomide

Colin, M., Delporte, C., Janky, R., Lechon, A.-S., Renard, G. G., Van Antwerpen, P., Maltese, W., & Mathieu, V. (2019). Dysregulation of Macropinocytosis Processes in Glioblastomas May Be Exploited to Increase Intracellular Anti-Cancer Drug Levels: The Example of Temozolomide. Cancers (Basel), 11(3), 411.  
https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/285704/3/cancers-11-00411-v2.pdf

 

Chemistry and biology of ophiobolin A and its congeners

Masi, M., Dasari, R., Evidente, A., Mathieu, V., & Kornienko, A. (2019). Chemistry and biology of ophiobolin A and its congeners. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2019.02.007  

Ophiobolin A is a fungal secondary metabolite that was found to have significant activity against apoptosis-resistant glioblastoma cells through the induction of a non-apoptotic cell death, offering an innovative strategy to combat this aggressive cancer. The current article aims to make the bridge between the anti-cancer effects of ophiobolin A and its unique reaction with primary amines and suggests that pyrrolylation of lysine residues on its intracellular target protein(s) and/or phosphatidylethanolamine lipid is responsible for its biological effects. The article also discusses chemical derivatization of ophiobolin A to establish first synthetically generated structure-activity relationship. Finally, the reported total synthesis efforts toward the ophiobolin class of sesterterpenes are discussed and identified as a fertile area for improvement in pursuit of these molecules as anticancer agents.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/284960/5/Masi_et_al_BMCL_digest_2019.pdf

 

2018

New Folate-Grafted Chitosan Derivative To Improve Delivery of Paclitaxel-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticles for Lung Tumor Therapy by Inhalation.

Rosiere, R., Van Woensel, M., Gelbcke, M., Mathieu, V., Hecq, J., Mathivet, T., Vermeersch, M., Van Antwerpen, P., Amighi, K., & Wauthoz, N. (2018). New Folate-Grafted Chitosan Derivative To Improve Delivery of Paclitaxel-Loaded Solid Lipid Nanoparticles for Lung Tumor Therapy by Inhalation. Molecular pharmaceutics, 15(3), 899-910. doi:10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00846  

Inhaled chemotherapy for the treatment of lung tumors requires that drug delivery systems improve selectivity for cancer cells and tumor penetration and allow sufficient lung residence. To this end, we developed solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) with modified surface properties. We successfully synthesized a new folate-grafted copolymer of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and chitosan, F-PEG-HTCC, with a PEG-graft ratio of 7% and a molecular weight range of 211-250 kDa. F-PEG-HTCC-coated, paclitaxel-loaded SLN were prepared with an encapsulation efficiency, mean diameter, and zeta potential of about 100%, 250 nm, and +32 mV, respectively. The coated SLN entered folate receptor (FR)-expressing HeLa and M109-HiFR cells in vitro and M109 tumors in vivo after pulmonary delivery. The coated SLN significantly decreased the in vitro half-maximum inhibitory concentrations of paclitaxel in M109-HiFR cells (60 vs 340 nM, respectively). We demonstrated that FR was involved in these improvements, especially in M109-HiFR cells. After pulmonary delivery in vivo, the coated SLN had a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, with pulmonary exposure to paclitaxel prolonged to up to 6 h and limited systemic distribution. Our preclinical findings therefore demonstrated the positive impact of the coated SLN on the delivery of paclitaxel by inhalation.

 

Synthetic analogues of the montanine-type alkaloids with activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells

Govindaraju, K., Ingels, A., Hasan, M. N., Sun, D., Mathieu, V., Masi, M., Evidente, A., & Kornienko, A. (2018). Synthetic analogues of the montanine-type alkaloids with activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 28(4), 589-593. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2018.01.041  

In a search of small molecules active against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells, a skeletal rearrangement of alkaloid haemanthamine was utilized to generate a series of compounds possessing the alkaloid montanine ring system. The synthesized compounds were found to inhibit proliferation of cancer cells resistant to apoptosis at micromolar concentrations. Selected compounds were also active against patient-derived glioblastoma cells expressing stem-cell markers. This is the first report describing the preparation of synthetic analogues of the montanine-type alkaloids with antiproliferative activity. The compounds prepared in the current investigation appear to be a useful starting point for the development of agents to fight cancers with apoptosis resistance, and thus, associated with poor prognoses.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/268440/1/Elsevier_252067.pdf

 

The Amaryllidaceae Alkaloid Haemanthamine Binds the Eukaryotic Ribosome to Repress Cancer Cell Growth.

Pellegrino, S., Meyer, M., Zorbas, C., Aoulad Bouchta, S., Saraf, K., Pelly, S. C., Yusupova, G., Evidente, A., Mathieu, V., Kornienko, A., Lafontaine, D., & Yusupov, M. (2018). The Amaryllidaceae Alkaloid Haemanthamine Binds the Eukaryotic Ribosome to Repress Cancer Cell Growth. Structure. doi:10.1016/j.str.2018.01.009  

Alkaloids isolated from the Amaryllidaceae plants have potential as therapeutics for treating human diseases. Haemanthamine has been studied as a novel anticancer agent due to its ability to overcome cancer cell resistance to apoptosis. Biochemical experiments have suggested that hemanthamine targets the ribosome. However, a structural characterization of its mechanism has been missing. Here we present the 3.1 Å resolution X-ray structure of haemanthamine bound to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae 80S ribosome. This structure reveals that haemanthamine targets the A-site cleft on the large ribosomal subunit rearranging rRNA to halt the elongation phase of translation. Furthermore, we provide evidence that haemanthamine and other Amaryllidaceae alkaloids also inhibit specifically ribosome biogenesis, triggering nucleolar stress response and leading to p53 stabilization in cancer cells. Together with a computer-aided interpretation of existing structure-activity relationships of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids congeners, we provide a rationale for designing molecules with enhanced potencies and reduced toxicities.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/267559/1/Elsevier_251186.pdf

 

Novel topologically complex scaffold derived from alkaloid haemanthamine

Govindaraju, K., Masi, M., Colin, M., Mathieu, V., Evidente, A., Hudnall, T. T., & Kornienko, A. (2018). Novel topologically complex scaffold derived from alkaloid haemanthamine. Molecules, 23(2), 255. doi:10.3390/molecules23020255  

The generation of natural product-like compound collections has become an important area of research due to low hit rates found with synthetic high-throughput libraries. One method of generating compounds occupying the areas of chemical space not accessible to synthetic planar heterocyclic structures is the utilization of natural products as starting materials. In the current work, using a ring-closing iodoalkoxylation reaction, alkaloid haemanthamine was transformed into a unique structural framework possessing an intricate ring system and a large number of stereocenters. The structure of the new compound was confirmed with an X-ray analysis. A small number of derivatives of this new compound were synthesized as a demonstration of the possibility of generating a large natural product-like compound collection based on the new structural framework.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/268378/1/doi_252005.pdf

 

The fungal metabolite eurochevalierine, a sequiterpene alkaloid, displays anti-cancer properties through selective sirtuin 1/2 inhibition

Schnekenburger, M., Dicato, M.-A., Han, B. W., Diederich, M., Mathieu, V., Lefranc, F., Jang, J. Y., Masi, M., Kijjoa, A., Evidente, A., Kim, H. J., & Kiss, R. (2018). The fungal metabolite eurochevalierine, a sequiterpene alkaloid, displays anti-cancer properties through selective sirtuin 1/2 inhibition. Molecules, 23(2), 333. doi:10.3390/molecules23020333  

NAD+-dependent histone deacetylases (sirtuins) are implicated in cellular processes such as proliferation, DNA repair, and apoptosis by regulating gene expression and the functions of numerous proteins. Due to their key role in cells, the discovery of small molecule sirtuin modulators has been of significant interest for diverse therapeutic applications. In particular, it has been shown that inhibition of sirtuin 1 and 2 activities is beneficial for cancer treatment. Here, we demonstrate that the fungal metabolite eurochevalierine from the fungus Neosartorya pseudofischeri inhibits sirtuin 1 and 2 activities (IC50 about 10 µM) without affecting sirtuin 3 activity. The binding modes of the eurochevalierine for sirtuin 1 and 2 have been identified through computational docking analyses. Accordingly, this sequiterpene alkaloid induces histone H4 and α-tubulin acetylation in various cancer cell models in which it induces strong cytostatic effects without affecting significantly the viability of healthy PBMCs. Importantly, eurochevalierine targets preferentially cancer cell proliferation (selectivity factor 7), as normal human primary CD34+ stem/progenitor cells were less affected by the treatment. Finally, eurochevalierine displays suitable drug-likeness parameters and therefore represent a promising scaffold for lead molecule optimization to study the mechanism and biological roles of sirtuins and potentially a basis for development into therapeutics.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/268493/1/doi_252120.pdf

 

A nitroalkane-based approach to one-pot three-component synthesis of isocryptolepine and its analogs with potent anti-cancer activities

Aksenov, N. N., Aksenov, A. A., Kornienko, A., De Carvalho, A., Mathieu, V., Aksenov, D. D., Ovcharov, S. S., Griaznov, G. G., & Rubin, M. (2018). A nitroalkane-based approach to one-pot three-component synthesis of isocryptolepine and its analogs with potent anti-cancer activities. RSC advances, 8(64), 36980-36986. doi:10.1039/C8RA08155G  

A second generation polyphosphoric acid-mediated one-pot three-component synthesis of indoloquinoline scaffold is developed. This improved version of the process involves electrophilically activated nitroalkanes for the installation of strategic C-C and C-N bonds and ring C assembly. This modification allows the elimination of unnecessary solvent change operations and all steps are carried out in a true, uninterrupted one-pot manner. A further improvement involves the possibility to install an ortho-amino group in situ. A synthetic application of this method is showcased by the concise synthesis of an isocryptolepine alkaloid and its synthetic analogs with potent anticancer activities.

 

2017

Discovery of Novel Potent Reversible and Irreversible Myeloperoxidase Inhibitors Using Virtual Screening Procedure

Soubhye, J., Chikh Alard, I., Aldib, I., Prévost, M., Gelbcke, M., De Carvalho, A., Furtmüller, P. G., Obinger, C., Flemmig, J., Tadrent, S., Meyer, F., Rousseau, A., Neve, J., Mathieu, V., Zouaoui Boudjeltia, K., Dufrasne, F., & Van Antwerpen, P. (2017). Discovery of Novel Potent Reversible and Irreversible Myeloperoxidase Inhibitors Using Virtual Screening Procedure. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 60(15), 6563-6586. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00285  

The heme enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) participates in innate immune defense mechanism through formation of microbicidal reactive oxidants. However, evidence has emerged that MPO-derived oxidants contribute to propagation of inflammatory diseases. Because of the deleterious effects of circulating MPO, there is a great interest in the development of new efficient and specific inhibitors. Here, we have performed a novel virtual screening procedure, depending on ligand-based pharmacophore modeling followed by structure-based virtual screening. Starting from a set of 727842 compounds, 28 molecules were selected by this virtual method and tested on MPO in vitro. Twelve out of 28 compounds were found to have an IC50 less than 5 μM. The best inhibitors were 2-(7-methoxy-4-methylquinazolin-2-yl)guanidine (28) and (R)-2-(1-((2,3-dihydro-1H-imidazol-2-yl)methyl)pyrrolidin-3-yl)-5-fluoro-1H-benzo[d]imidazole (42) with IC50 values of 44 and 50 nM, respectively. Studies on the mechanism of inhibition suggest that 28 is the first potent mechanism-based inhibitor and inhibits irreversibly MPO at nanomolar concentration.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/259616/5/acs.jmedchem.7b00285.pdfhttps://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/259616/4/_system_appendPDF_proof_hi.pdf

 

A harmine-derived beta-carboline displays anti-cancer effects in vitro by targeting protein synthesis

De Carvalho, A., Chu, J., Meinguet, C., Kiss, R., Vandenbussche, G., Masereel, B., Wouters, J., Kornienko, A., Pelletier, J., & Mathieu, V. (2017). A harmine-derived beta-carboline displays anti-cancer effects in vitro by targeting protein synthesis. European journal of pharmacology, 805, 25-35. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2017.03.034  

Growing evidence indicates that protein synthesis is deregulated in cancer onset and progression and targeting this process might be a selective way to combat cancers. While harmine is known to inhibit DYRK1A and intercalate into the DNA, tri-substitution was shown previously to modify its activity profile in favor of protein synthesis inhibition. In this study, we thus evaluated the optimized derivative CM16 in vitro anti-cancer effects unfolding its protein synthesis inhibition activity. Indeed, the growth inhibitory profile of CM16 in the NCI 60-cancer-cell-line-panel correlated with those of other compounds described as protein synthesis inhibitors. Accordingly, CM16 decreased in a time- and concentration-dependent manner the translation of neosynthesized proteins in vitro while it did not affect mRNA transcription. CM16 rapidly penetrated into the cell in the perinuclear region of the endoplasmic reticulum where it appears to target translation initiation as highlighted by ribosomal disorganization. More precisely, we found that the mRNA expression levels of the initiation factors EIF1AX, EIF3E and EIF3H differ when comparing resistant or sensitive cell models to CM16. Additionally, CM16 induced eIF2α phosphorylation. Those effects could explain, at least partly, the CM16 cytostatic anti-cancer effects observed in vitro while neither cell cycle arrest nor DNA intercalation could be demonstrated. Therefore, targeting protein synthesis initiation with CM16 could represent a new promising alternative to current cancer therapies due to the specific alterations of the translation machinery in cancer cells as recently evidenced with respect to EIF1AX and eIF3 complex, the potential targets identified in this present study.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/254230/1/Elsevier_237857.pdf

 

Data in support of a harmine-derived beta-carboline in vitro effects in cancer cells through protein synthesis

De Carvalho, A., Mathieu, V., Chu, J., Meinguet, C., Kiss, R., Vandenbussche, G., Masereel, B., Wouters, J., Kornienko, A., & Pelletier, J. (2017). Data in support of a harmine-derived beta-carboline in vitro effects in cancer cells through protein synthesis. Data in Brief, 12, 546-551. doi:10.1016/j.dib.2017.05.006  

A harmine-derived beta-carboline, CM16, inhibits cancer cells growth through its effects on protein synthesis, as described in “A harmine-derived beta-carboline displays anti-cancer effects in vitro by targeting protein synthesis” (Carvalho et al., 2017)[1]. This data article provides accompanying data on CM16 cytostatic evaluation in cancer cells as well as data related to its effects on transcription and translation. After confirming the cytostatic effect of CM16, we investigated its ability to arrest the cell cycle in the glioma Hs683 and SKMEL-28 melanoma cell lines but no modification was evidenced. According to the global protein synthesis inhibition induced by CM16 [1], transcription phase, a step prior to mRNA translation, evaluated by labelled nucleotide incorporation assay was not shown to be affected under CM16 treatment in the two cell lines. By contrast, mRNA translation and particularly the initiation step were shown to be targeted by CM16 in [1]. To further decipher those effects, we established herein a list of main actors in the protein synthesis process according to literature survey for comparative analysis of cell lines displaying different sensitivity levels to CM16. Finally, one of these proteins, PERK, a kinase regulating eIF2-α phosphorylation and thereby activity, was evaluated under treatment with CM16 in a cell-free system.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/254767/4/doi_238394.pdf

 

Discovery and Characterization of R/S-N-3-Cyanophenyl-N′-(6-tert-butoxycarbonylamino-3,4-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-2H-1-benzopyran-4-yl)urea, a New Histone Deacetylase Class III Inhibitor Exerting Antiproliferative Activity against Cancer Cell Lines

Schnekenburger, M., Miklos, W., Mathieu, V., de Tullio, P., Kim, K. W., Dicato, M.-A., Berger, W., Han, B. W., Kiss, R., Pirotte, B., Diederich, M., Goffin, E., Lee, J. Y., Jang, J. Y., Mazumder, A., Ji, S., Rogister, B., Bouider, N., & Lefranc, F. (2017). Discovery and Characterization of R/S-N-3-Cyanophenyl-N′-(6-tert-butoxycarbonylamino-3,4-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-2H-1-benzopyran-4-yl)urea, a New Histone Deacetylase Class III Inhibitor Exerting Antiproliferative Activity against Cancer Cell Lines. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 60(11), 4714-4733. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00533  

A new series of N-aryl-N′-3,4-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-2H-1-benzopyran-4-yl)ureas bearing an alkoxycarbonylamino group at the 6-position were synthesized and examined as putative anticancer agents targeting sirtuins in glioma cells. On the basis of computational docking combined to in vitro sirtuin 1/2 inhibition assays, we selected compound 18 [R/S-N-3-cyanophenyl-N′-(6-tert-butoxycarbonylamino-3,4-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-2H-1-benzopyran-4-yl)urea] which displays a potent antiproliferative activity on various glioma cell types, assessed by quantitative videomicroscopy, eventually triggering senescence. The impact on normal glial cells was lower with a selectivity index of >10. Furthermore, human U373 and Hs683 glioblastoma cell lines served to demonstrate the inhibitory activity of 18 against histone deacetylase (HDAC) class III sirtuins 1 and 2 (SIRT1/2) by quantifying acetylation levels of histone and non-histone proteins. The translational potential of 18 was validated by an NCI-60 cell line screen and validation of growth inhibition of drug resistant cancer cell models. Eventually, the anticancer potential of 18 was validated in 3D glioblastoma spheroids and in vivo by zebrafish xenografts. In summary, compound 18 is the first representative of a new class of SIRT inhibitors opening new perspectives in the medicinal chemistry of HDAC inhibitors.

 

Computed determination of the in vitro optimal chemocombinations of sphaeropsidin A with chemotherapeutic agents to combat melanomas

Ingels, A., Dinhof, C., Garg, A. A., Maddau, L., Masi, M., Evidente, A., Berger, W., Dejaegher, B., & Mathieu, V. (2017). Computed determination of the in vitro optimal chemocombinations of sphaeropsidin A with chemotherapeutic agents to combat melanomas. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology, 79(5), 971-983. doi:10.1007/s00280-017-3293-x  

Purpose: Evasion to new treatments of advanced melanoma is still associated with a poor prognosis. Choosing the best combination of agents that can bypass resistance mechanisms remains a challenge. Sphaeropsidin A (Sph A) is a fungal bioactive secondary metabolite previously shown to force melanoma cells to undergo apoptosis via cell volume dysregulation. This work studied its in vitro combination with cytotoxic chemotherapeutics in a rational manner. Methods: Four melanoma cell lines harboring different sensitivity levels to pro-apoptotic stimuli were used to build a predictive response surface model allowing the determination of the optimal in vitro combinations of Sph A with two drugs, i.e., cisplatin or temozolomide, owing to a limited set of experimentations. Results: Testing 12 experimental combinations allowed us to build an accurate predictive model that considers the complexity of the drug interaction and determines the optimal combinations according to the endpoint chosen, i.e., the maximal cytotoxic effects. Therefore, combining 4 µM Sph A with 75 µM cisplatin concomitantly for 72 h improved its cytotoxic effects on melanoma cells in a synergistic manner. An optimal in vitro treatment schedule was also obtained for temozolomide. Conclusions: The use of a response surface model offers the possibility of reducing the experiments while determining accurately the optimal combinations. We herein highlighted that combining the Na+/K+/2Cl− cotransporter and/or anion exchanger inhibitor Sph A with chemotherapeutic agents could improve the therapeutic benefits of conventional chemotherapies against advanced melanomas, particularly because Sph A exerts cytotoxic effects regardless of the genetic BRAF and NRAS status.

 

Marine Terpenoid Diacylguanidines: Structure, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Naturally Occurring Actinofide and Synthetic Analogues

Carbone, M., Gavagnin, M., Letizia Ciavatta, M., Mathieu, V., Ingels, A., Kiss, R., Pascale, P., Mollo, E., Ungur, N., & Guo, Y.-W. (2017). Marine Terpenoid Diacylguanidines: Structure, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Naturally Occurring Actinofide and Synthetic Analogues. Journal of natural products, 80(5), 1339-1346. doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00941  

A new diacylguanidine, actinofide (1), has been isolated from the marine mollusk Actinocyclus papillatus. The structure, exhibiting a guanidine moiety acylated by two terpenoid acid units, has been established by spectroscopic methods and secured by synthesis. Following this, a series of structural analogues have been synthesized using the same procedure. All of the compounds have been evaluated in vitro for the growth inhibitory activity against a variety of cancer cell lines.

 

Sensitization of glioblastoma tumor micro-environment to chemo- and immunotherapy by Galectin-1 intranasal knock-down strategy

Van Woensel, M., Mathivet, T., Wauthoz, N., Rosiere, R., Garg, A. D., Agostinis, P., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Lefranc, F., Boon, L., Belmans, J., Van Gool, S. W., Gerhardt, H., Amighi, K., & De Vleeschouwer, S. (2017). Sensitization of glioblastoma tumor micro-environment to chemo- and immunotherapy by Galectin-1 intranasal knock-down strategy. Scientific Reports, 27(1), 1217. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01279-1  

In this study, we evaluated the consequences of reducing Galectin-1 (Gal-1) in the tumor micro-environment (TME) of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), via nose-to-brain transport. Gal-1 is overexpressed in GBM and drives chemo- and immunotherapy resistance. To promote nose-to-brain transport, we designed siRNA targeting Gal-1 (siGal-1) loaded chitosan nanoparticles that silence Gal-1 in the TME. Intranasal siGal-1 delivery induces a remarkable switch in the TME composition, with reduced myeloid suppressor cells and regulatory T cells, and increased CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Gal-1 knock-down reduces macrophages' polarization switch from M1 (pro-inflammatory) to M2 (anti-inflammatory) during GBM progression. These changes are accompanied by normalization of the tumor vasculature and increased survival for tumor bearing mice. The combination of siGal-1 treatment with temozolomide or immunotherapy (dendritic cell vaccination and PD-1 blocking) displays synergistic effects, increasing the survival of tumor bearing mice. Moreover, we could confirm the role of Gal-1 on lymphocytes in GBM patients by matching the Gal-1 expression and their T cell signatures. These findings indicate that intranasal siGal-1 nanoparticle delivery could be a valuable adjuvant treatment to increase the efficiency of immune-checkpoint blockade and chemotherapy.

 

HTS-FTIR spectroscopy allows the classification of polyphenols according to their differential effects on the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line

Mignolet, A., Mathieu, V., & Goormaghtigh, E. (2017). HTS-FTIR spectroscopy allows the classification of polyphenols according to their differential effects on the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line. Analyst, 142(8), 1244-1257. doi:10.1039/c6an02135b  

Breast cancer is a major public health issue among women in the world. Meanwhile new anticancer treatments struggle more and more to be accepted in the pharmaceutical market and research costs still increase. There is therefore a need to find new treatments and new screening methods to test them more quickly and efficiently. Among natural compounds, an increasing interest has been given to polyphenols as they can take action at the different stages of carcinogenesis, from tumour initiation to metastasis formation, by disturbing multiple cellular signalling pathways. They constitute one of the largest groups of plant metabolites and more than 8000 compounds have already been identified based on their chemical structure. Traditionally in pharmacology, new anticancer drugs are first evaluated for their potential to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cell lines. Numerous potential drugs are discarded at this stage even though they could show interesting modes of action. In turn, there is an increasing demand for more systemic approaches in order to obtain a global and accurate insight into the biochemical processes mediated by drugs. Recently, FTIR spectroscopy was demonstrated to be an innovative tool to obtain a unique fingerprint of the effects of anticancer drugs on cells in culture. While this spectral technique appears to have a definite potential to sort drugs according to their spectral fingerprints, characteristic of the metabolic modifications induced, the present challenge remains to evaluate the drug-induced spectral changes in cancer cells on a larger scale. This article presents the results obtained for a 24 h-exposure of the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 to 15 compounds belonging to different classes of polyphenols using FTIR spectroscopy connected to a high throughput screening extension. Through unsupervised and supervised statistical analyses (PCA, MANOVA, Student's t-tests and HCA), a distinction between polyphenol treatments and controls could be well established.

 

Investigation of the Lignan Content in Extracts from Linum, Callitris and Juniperus Species in Relation to Their In Vitro Antiproliferative Activities

Doussot, J., Dupré, P., Maunit, B., Kiss, R., Hanon, C., Lainé, E., Mathieu, V., Colas, C., Molinié, R., Corbin, C., Montguillon, J., Moreno Y Banuls, L., Renouard, S., & Lamblin, F. (2017). Investigation of the Lignan Content in Extracts from Linum, Callitris and Juniperus Species in Relation to Their In Vitro Antiproliferative Activities. Planta medica, 83(6), 574-581. doi:10.1055/s-0042-118650  

Podophyllotoxin, a lignan still extracted from the rhizomes of Podophyllum hexandrum (Berberidaceae), is the starting molecule for the semisynthesis of widely used anticancer drugs such as etoposide. However, this source is threatened by the over-collection of P. hexandrum. Plants belonging to the Linaceae and Cupressaceae families could be attractive alternative sources with species that contain the lignan podophyllotoxin or its precursors and derivatives. Wild flax species, such as Linum flavum, as well as some Juniperus and Callitris species were investigated for their lignan content, and the in vitro antiproliferative capacity of their extracts was assayed on four tumor cell lines. Some of the lignans were detected by LC-HRMS for the first time in these extracts. In addition, lignans purified from these plants and compounds semisynthesized from commercially available podophyllotoxin were tested in terms of their in vitro antiproliferative activity. The genus Juniperus was the most promising given its in vitro antiproliferative effects, which were also observed with extracts from L. flavum and Callitris species. The in vitro antiproliferative effect of the plant extracts studied here appears to correlate well with the contents of the aryltetralin lignan podophyllotoxin and its glycoside as well as with deoxypodophyllotoxin and 6-methoxypodophyllotoxin. The strongest correlation between the lignan content of the extracts and the antiproliferative activity was observed for 6-methoxypodophyllotoxin. Regarding the possibility of producing large renewable amounts of 6-methoxypodophyllotoxin, this molecule could be of interest to produce new anticancer drugs and to bypass the resistance mechanisms against podophyllotoxin-derived drugs.

 

One-Pot, Three-Component Assembly of Indoloquinolines: Total Synthesis of Isocryptolepine

Aksenov, A. A., Rubin, M., Aksenov, D. D., Orazova, N. N., Aksenov, N. N., Griaznov, G. G., De Carvalho, A., Kiss, R., Mathieu, V., & Kornienko, A. (2017). One-Pot, Three-Component Assembly of Indoloquinolines: Total Synthesis of Isocryptolepine. Journal of organic chemistry, 82(6), 3011-3018. doi:10.1021/acs.joc.6b03084  

Indolo[3,2-c]quinolones have been efficiently synthesized via an acid-mediated, one-pot, three-component condensation of arylhydrazines, o-aminoacetophenones, and triazines or nitriles. The synthetic application of this method is showcased by the concise synthesis of isocryptolepine alkaloid and a series of its synthetic analogues with demonstrated cancer cell antiproliferative activities.

 

2016

5,10b-Ethanophenanthridine amaryllidaceae alkaloids inspire the discovery of novel bicyclic ring systems with activity against drug resistant cancer cells

Henry, S., Yu, X., Ma, X., Pertsemlidis, A., Cencic, R., Pelletier, J., Cavazos, D. D., Brenner, A. J., Aksenov, A. A., Rogelj, S., Kornienko, A., Kidner, R., Frolova, L. V., Reisenauer, M. R., Magedov, I. I., Kiss, R., Mathieu, V., Lefranc, F., Dasari, R., & Evidente, A. (2016). 5,10b-Ethanophenanthridine amaryllidaceae alkaloids inspire the discovery of novel bicyclic ring systems with activity against drug resistant cancer cells. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 120, 313-328. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2016.05.004  

Plants of the Amaryllidaceae family produce a large variety of alkaloids and non-basic secondary metabolites, many of which are investigated for their promising anticancer activities. Of these, crinine-type alkaloids based on the 5,10b-ethanophenanthridine ring system were recently shown to be effective at inhibiting proliferation of cancer cells resistant to various pro-apoptotic stimuli and representing tumors with dismal prognoses refractory to current chemotherapy, such as glioma, melanoma, non-small-cell lung, esophageal, head and neck cancers, among others. Using this discovery as a starting point and taking advantage of a concise biomimetic route to the crinine skeleton, a collection of crinine analogues were synthetically prepared and evaluated against cancer cells. The compounds exhibited single-digit micromolar activities and retained this activity in a variety of drug-resistant cancer cell cultures. This investigation resulted in the discovery of new bicyclic ring systems with significant potential in the development of effective clinical cancer drugs capable of overcoming cancer chemotherapy resistance.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/230963/4/doi_214590.pdf

 

Synthesis and in vitro growth inhibitory activity of novel silyl- and trityl-modified nucleosides

Panayides, J. L., Pelly, S. C., Kiss, R., Kornienko, A., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Mathieu, V., Banuls, L. M. Y., Apostolellis, H., Dahan-Farkas, N., Davids, H., Harmse, L., Reynaert, C., & Green, I. R. (2016). Synthesis and in vitro growth inhibitory activity of novel silyl- and trityl-modified nucleosides. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 24(12), 2716-2724. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2016.04.036  

Seventeen silyl- and trityl-modified (5′-O- and 3′,5′-di-O-) nucleosides were synthesized with the aim of investigating the in vitro antiproliferative activities of these nucleoside derivatives. A subset of the compounds was evaluated at a fixed concentration of 100 μM against a small panel of tumor cell lines (HL-60, K-562, Jurkat, Caco-2 and HT-29). The entire set was also tested at varying concentrations against two human glioma lines (U373 and Hs683) to obtain GI50 values, with the best results being values of ∼25 μM.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/231983/1/Elsevier_215610.pdf

 

Development of siRNA-loaded chitosan nanoparticles targeting Galectin-1 for the treatment of gliobmastoma multiforme via intranasal administration

Van Woensel, M., Wauthoz, N., Rosiere, R., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Lefranc, F., Steelant, B., Van Gool, S. W., Mathivet, T., Gerhardt, H., Amighi, K., & De Vleeschouwer, S. (2016). Development of siRNA-loaded chitosan nanoparticles targeting Galectin-1 for the treatment of gliobmastoma multiforme via intranasal administration. Journal of controlled release, 227, 71-81. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.02.032  

Galectin-1 (Gal-1) is a naturally occurring galactose-binding lectin, which is overexpressed in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Gal-1 is associated with tumor progression, and is a potent immune suppressor in the tumor micro-environment. To inhibit Gal-1 in GBM, an effective therapy is required that reaches the central nervous system tumor, with limited systemic effects. In this study, we report for the first time that concentrated chitosan nanoparticle suspensions can deliver small interfering RNA (siRNA) into the central nervous system tumor within hours after intranasal administration. These nanoparticles are able to complex siRNA targeting Gal-1 to a high percentage, and protect them from RNAse degradation. Moreover, a successful intracellular delivery of anti-Gal-1 siRNA resulted in a decreased expression of Gal-1 in both murine and human GBM cells. Sequence specific RNAinterference, resulted in more than 50% Gal-1 reduction in tumor bearing mice. This study indicates that the intranasal pathway is an underexplored transport route for delivering siRNA-based therapies targeting Gal-1 in the treatment of GBM.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/220572/3/VanWoenseletalJCR.pdf

 

Glanduliferins A and B, two new glucosylated steroids from Impatiens glandulifera, with in vitro growth inhibitory activity in human cancer cells

Cimmino, A., Mathieu, V., Evidente, M., Ferdérin, M., Moreno Y Banuls, L., Masi, M., De Carvalho, A., Kiss, R., & Evidente, A. (2016). Glanduliferins A and B, two new glucosylated steroids from Impatiens glandulifera, with in vitro growth inhibitory activity in human cancer cells. Fitoterapia, 109, 138-145. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2015.12.016  

Impatiens glandulifera has been imported from Himalaya in Europe and is considered as an invasive alien plant whose spreading arouses increasing interest among scientific literature. Via anti-cancer bioguiding, two new glucosylated steroids, named glanduliferins A and B, were isolated from the dried stem of I. glandulifera plants, together with the well-known α-spinasterol and 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, which are also isolated from roots and leaves. They were characterized as 17-(2-hydroxy-2-pentamethylcyclopropyl-ethyl)-10,13-dimethyl-2,3,4,5,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17-tetradecahydro-1H-cyclopents[a]phenathren-3-O-(4-O-acetyl)-α-d-glucopyranoside and 17-(4-ethyl-1,5-dimethyl-hex-2-enyl)-10,13-dimethyl-2,3,4,5,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17-tetradecahydro-1H-cyclopents[a]phenathren-3-O-(6-O-acetyl)-β-D-glucopyranoside using various NMR and HRESIMS techniques and chemical methods. In vitro determination of the growth inhibitory activity of the four isolated compounds using the MTT colorimetric assay revealed mean IC50 growth inhibitory value of ∼ 30 μM for glanduliferin A while glanduliferin B and α-spinasterol were poorly active till 100 μM. 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone revealed to be active in the single micromolar digit range as previously described. Quantitative videomicroscopy analyses of the effects of glanduliferins A and B suggested cytostatic rather than cytotoxic activity in U373 glioblastoma (GBM) cells.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/229127/1/Elsevier_212754.pdf

 

Kahalalide F analogues from the mucous secretion of Indian sacoglossan mollusc Elysia ornata

Ciavatta, M. L., Devi, P., Carbone, M., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Casapullo, A., & Gavagnin, M. (2016). Kahalalide F analogues from the mucous secretion of Indian sacoglossan mollusc Elysia ornata. Tetrahedron, 72(5), 625-631. doi:10.1016/j.tet.2015.12.003  

Bioassay-guided fractionation of the CHCl3/MeOH extract of Elysia ornata mucus showing antifungal activity led us to isolate kahalalide F (KF) along with two unprecedented related peptides. The structures of kahalalide Z1 (1) and kahalalide Z2 (2), were established by combination of NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometry data, also including Marfey amino acid analysis. Compounds 1 and 2 displayed significant antimicrobial properties against several fungal pathogens infesting economically important plants, food, and fish, and were also found to inhibit the in vitro growth of a series of cancer cell lines in a comparable fashion with KF.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/226524/1/Elsevier_210151.pdf

 

Infrared spectra of primary melanomas can predict response to chemotherapy: The example of dacarbazine

Wald, N., Le Corre, Y., Martin, L., Mathieu, V., & Goormaghtigh, E. (2016). Infrared spectra of primary melanomas can predict response to chemotherapy: The example of dacarbazine. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease, 1862(2), 174-181. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2015.10.030  

Metastatic melanomas are highly aggressive and median survival is 6-9. months for stage IV patients in the absence of treatment with anti-tumor activity. Dacarbazine is an alkylating agent that has been widely used in the treatment of metastatic melanomas and that could be still used in combination with targeted or immune therapies. Indeed, therapeutic benefits of these treatments in monotherapy are poor and one option to improve them is to combine drugs and/or to better anticipate the individual response to a defined treatment. To our best knowledge and to date, there is no test available to predict the response of a patient to dacarbazine. We show here that examination of melanoma histological sections by infrared micro-spectroscopy reveals the sensitivity of the cancer to dacarbazine. Unsupervised analysis of the FTIR spectra evidences spontaneous and significant clustering of infrared spectra into two groups that match the clinical responsiveness of the patients to dacarbazine used as a first-line treatment. A supervised model resulted in 83% of the patient status (responder/non-responder) being correctly identified. The spectra revealed a key modification in the nature and quantity of lipids in the cells of both groups.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/226534/1/Elsevier_210161.pdf

 

Development and evaluation of well-tolerated and tumor-penetrating polymeric micelle-based dry powders for inhaled anti-cancer chemotherapy.

Rosiere, R., Van Woensel, M., Mathieu, V., Langer, I., Mathivet, T., Vermeersch, M., Amighi, K., & Wauthoz, N. (2016). Development and evaluation of well-tolerated and tumor-penetrating polymeric micelle-based dry powders for inhaled anti-cancer chemotherapy. International journal of pharmaceutics. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.01.073  

Despite the direct access to the lung offered by the inhalation route, drug penetration into lung tumors could remain an important issue. In this study, folate-polyethylene glycol-hydrophobically-modified dextran (F-PEG-HMD) micelles were developed as an effective pulmonary drug delivery system to reach and penetrate lung tumors and cancer cells. The F-PEG-HMD micelles were able to enter HeLa and M109-HiFR, two folate receptor-expressing cancer cell lines, in vitro, and in vivo after administration by inhalation to orthotopic M109-HiFR lung tumor grafted mice. Paclitaxel-loaded F-PEG-HMD micelles characterized in PBS by a Z-average diameter of ∼50nm and a zeta potential of ∼-4mV were prepared with an encapsulation efficiency of ∼100%. The loaded micelles reduced HeLa and M109-HiFR cell growth, with half maximal inhibitory concentrations of 37 and 150nM, respectively. Dry powders embedding the paclitaxel-loaded F-PEG-HMD micelles were developed by spray-drying. In vitro, good deposition profiles were obtained, with a fine particle fraction of up to 50% and good ability to re-disperse the micelles in physiological buffer. A polymeric micelle-based dry powder without paclitaxel was well-tolerated in vivo, as assessed in healthy mice by determination of total protein content, cell count, and cytokine IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/226441/1/Elsevier_210068.pdf

 

In Vitro Growth Inhibitory Activities of Natural Products from Irciniid Sponges against Cancer Cells: A Comparative Study

Benredjem Romdhane, Y., Boudabous, A., Kiss, R., Mollo, E., Elbour, M., Carbone, M., Ciavatta, M. L., Gavagnin, M., Mathieu, V., Lefranc, F., Ktari, L., & Ben Mustapha, K. (2016). In Vitro Growth Inhibitory Activities of Natural Products from Irciniid Sponges against Cancer Cells: A Comparative Study. BioMed Research International, 2016, 5318176. doi:10.1155/2016/5318176  

Marine sponges of the Irciniidae family contain both bioactive furanosesterterpene tetronic acids (FTAs) and prenylated hydroquinones (PHQs). Both classes of compounds are known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties and known to display growth inhibitory effects against various human tumor cell lines. However, the different experimental conditions of the reported in vitro bioassays, carried out on different cancer cell lines within separate studies, prevent realistic actual discrimination between the two classes of compounds from being carried out in terms of growth inhibitory effects. In the present work, a chemical investigation of irciniid sponges from Tunisian coasts led to the purification of three known FTAs and three known PHQs. The in vitro growth inhibitory properties of the six purified compounds have been evaluated in the same experiment in a panel of five human and one murine cancer cell lines displaying various levels of sensitivity to proapoptotic stimuli. Surprisingly, FTAs and PHQs elicited distinct profiles of growth inhibitory-responses, differing by one to two orders of magnitude in favor of the PHQs in all cell lines. The obtained comparative results are discussed in the light of a better selection of drug candidates from natural sources.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/236901/3/doi_220528.pdf

 

Higginsianins A and B, Two Diterpenoid α-Pyrones Produced by Colletotrichum higginsianum, with in Vitro Cytostatic Activity

Cimmino, A., Tuzi, A., Zonno, M. C., Kornienko, A., Kiss, R., Evidente, A., Mathieu, V., Masi, M., Baroncelli, R., Boari, A., Pescitelli, G., Ferdérin, M., Lisy, R., & Evidente, M. (2016). Higginsianins A and B, Two Diterpenoid α-Pyrones Produced by Colletotrichum higginsianum, with in Vitro Cytostatic Activity. Journal of natural products, 79(1), 116-125. doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00779  

Two new diterpenoid α-pyrones, named higginsianins A (1) and B (2), were isolated from the mycelium of the fungus Colletotrichum higginsianum grown in liquid culture. They were characterized as 3-[5a,9b-dimethyl-7-methylene-2-(2-methylpropenyl)dodecahydronaphtho[2,1-b]furan-6-ylmethyl]-4-hydroxy-5,6-dimethylpyran-2-one and 4-hydroxy-3-[6-hydroxy-5,8a-dimethyl-2-methylene-5-(4-methylpent-3-enyl)decahydronaphthalen-1-ylmethyl]-5,6-dimethylpyran-2-one, respectively, by using NMR, HRESIMS, and chemical methods. The structure and relative configuration of higginsianin A (1) were confirmed by X-ray diffractometric analysis, while its absolute configuration was assigned by electronic circular dichroism (ECD) experiments and calculations using a solid-state ECD/TDDFT method. The relative and absolute configuration of higginsianin B (2), which did not afford crystals suitable for X-ray analysis, were determined by NMR analysis and by ECD in comparison with higginsianin A. 1 and 2 were the C-8 epimers of subglutinol A and diterpenoid BR-050, respectively. The evaluation of 1 and 2 for antiproliferative activity against a panel of six cancer cell lines revealed that the IC50 values, obtained with cells reported to be sensitive to pro-apoptotic stimuli, are by more than 1 order of magnitude lower than their apoptosis-resistant counterparts (1 vs >80 μM). Finally, three hemisynthetic derivatives of 1 were prepared and evaluated for antiproliferative activity. Two of these possessed IC50 values and differential sensitivity profiles similar to those of 1.

 

Cytotoxic activity of lomatiol and 7-(3'-Hydroxymethyl-3'-methylallyloxy) coumarin

Fiorito, S., Genovese, S., Epifano, F., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., & Taddeo, V. A. (2016). Cytotoxic activity of lomatiol and 7-(3'-Hydroxymethyl-3'-methylallyloxy) coumarin. Natural Product Communications, 11(3), 407-408.  

7-(3'-Hydroxymethyl-3'-methylallyloxy)coumarin, bearing a 3'-hydroxy-3'-methylallyl group as the O-side chain, and lomatiol, a lapachol derivative sharing the same structural feature, were tested for their in vitro growth inhibitory activities on six cancer cell lines using the MTT colorimetric assay, along with the respective 3',3'-dimethylallyl derivatives and unprenylated products used for comparison. Data revealed that lomatiol displayed the strongest growth inhibitory activities in vitro although not as efficient as the parent compound lapachol. The oxidized O-prenylcoumarin recorded better growth inhibitory capacities than the prenylated and unprenylated parent products.

 

2015

Synthetic and Biological Studies of Sesquiterpene Polygodial: Activity of 9-Epipolygodial against Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells

Dasari, R., Dybdal-Hargreaves, N. F., Pillai, A., Mathieu, V., Rogelj, S., Gonzales, C. B., Calixto, J. B., Evidente, A., Gautier, M., Munirathinam, G., Glass, R., De Carvalho, A., Burth, P., Pelly, S. C., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Kiss, R., Kornienko, A., Medellin, D. D., Middleton, K. K., Hague, F., Volmar, M. N. M., Frolova, L. V., Rossato, M. M., & De La Chapa, J. J. (2015). Synthetic and Biological Studies of Sesquiterpene Polygodial: Activity of 9-Epipolygodial against Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells. ChemMedChem, 10(12), 2014-2026. doi:10.1002/cmdc.201500360  

Polygodial, a terpenoid dialdehyde isolated from Polygonum hydropiper L., is a known agonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). In this investigation a series of polygodial analogues were prepared and investigated for TRPV1-agonist and anticancer activities. These experiments led to the identification of 9-epipolygodial, which has antiproliferative potency significantly exceeding that of polygodial. 9-Epipolygodial was found to maintain potency against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells as well as those displaying the multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype. In addition, the chemical feasibility for the previously proposed mechanism of action of polygodial, involving the formation of a Paal-Knorr pyrrole with a lysine residue on the target protein, was demonstrated by the synthesis of a stable polygodial pyrrole derivative. These studies reveal rich chemical and biological properties associated with polygodial and its direct derivatives. These compounds should inspire further work in this area aimed at the development of new pharmacological agents, or the exploration of novel mechanisms of covalent modification of biological molecules with natural products.

 

Sesterterpenoids with anticancer activity

Evidente, A., Kornienko, A., Lefranc, F., Cimmino, A., Dasari, R., Evidente, M., Mathieu, V., & Kiss, R. (2015). Sesterterpenoids with anticancer activity. Current medicinal chemistry, 22(30), 3502-3522.  

Terpenes have received a great deal of attention in the scientific literature due to complex, synthetically challenging structures and diverse biological activities associated with this class of natural products. Based on the number of C5 isoprene units they are generated from, terpenes are classified as hemi- (C5), mono- (C10), sesqui- (C15), di- (C20), sester- (C25), tri (C30), and tetraterpenes (C40). Among these, sesterterpenes and their derivatives known as sesterterpenoids, are ubiquitous secondary metabolites in fungi, marine organisms, and plants. Their structural diversity encompasses carbotricyclic ophiobolanes, polycyclic anthracenones, polycyclic furan-2-ones, polycyclic hydroquinones, among many other carbon skeletons. Furthermore, many of them possess promising biological activities including cytotoxicity and the associated potential as anticancer agents. This review discusses the natural sources that produce sesterterpenoids, provides sesterterpenoid names and their chemical structures, biological properties with the focus on anticancer activities and literature references associated with these metabolites. A critical summary of the potential of various sesterterpenoids as anticancer agents concludes the review.

 

Wittig derivatization of sesquiterpenoid polygodial leads to cytostatic agents with activity against drug resistant cancer cells and capable of pyrrolylation of primary amines

Dasari, R., Dybdal-Hargreaves, N. F., Pillai, A., Kälin, R. R., Mathieu, V., Rogelj, S., Gonzales, C. B., Calixto, J. B., Evidente, A., Gautier, M., Munirathinam, G., De Carvalho, A., Glass, R., Burth, P., Pelly, S. C., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Kiss, R., Kornienko, A., Medellin, D. D., Middleton, K. K., Hague, F., Volmar, M. N. M., Frolova, L. V., Rossato, M. M., & De La Chapa, J. J. (2015). Wittig derivatization of sesquiterpenoid polygodial leads to cytostatic agents with activity against drug resistant cancer cells and capable of pyrrolylation of primary amines. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 103, 8083, 226-237. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2015.08.047  

Many types of cancer, including glioma, melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), among others, are resistant to proapoptotic stimuli and thus poorly responsive to current therapies based on the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells. The current investigation describes the synthesis and anticancer evaluation of unique C12-Wittig derivatives of polygodial, a sesquiterpenoid dialdehyde isolated from Persicaria hydropiper (L.) Delabre. These compounds were found to undergo an unprecedented pyrrole formation with primary amines in a chemical model system, a reaction that could be relevant in the biological environment and lead to the pyrrolation of lysine residues in the target proteins. The anticancer evaluation of these compounds revealed their promising activity against cancer cells displaying various forms of drug resistance, including resistance to proapoptotic agents. Mechanistic studies indicated that compared to the parent polygodial, which displays fixative general cytotoxic action against human cells, the C12-Wittig derivatives exerted their antiproliferative action mainly through cytostatic effects explaining their activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells. The possibility for an intriguing covalent modification of proteins through a novel pyrrole formation reaction, as well as useful activities against drug resistant cancer cells, make the described polygodial-derived chemical scaffold an interesting new chemotype warranting thorough investigation.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/218092/4/doi_201719.pdf

 

Semisynthesis and in Vitro Photodynamic Activity Evaluations of Halogenated and Glycosylated Derivatives of Pheophorbide a

Cieckiewicz, E., Mathieu, V., Angenot, L., Gras, T., Dejaegher, B., de Tullio, P., Pirotte, B., & Frédérich, M. (2015). Semisynthesis and in Vitro Photodynamic Activity Evaluations of Halogenated and Glycosylated Derivatives of Pheophorbide a. European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2015(27). doi:10.1002/ejoc.201500387  

The present work focuses on the semisynthesis of halogenated and glycosylated derivatives of pheophorbide a (Pha). Because of the low reaction yields enocuntered en route to halogenated derivatives, we then focused only on the semisynthesis of glycosylated derivatives of Pha with the aim at enhancing the Pha specificity for cancer cells by introducing β-galactose moieties expected to bind gal-1. We applied LC-SPE-NMR/MS, to facilitate the direct identification of glycosylated derivatives. The transposition of these analytical methods to a preparative scale facilitated the isolation of glycosylated compounds in quantities sufficient to evaluate in vitro photodynamic efficacies. The in vitro growth inhibitory activity of semisynthesized compounds was then evaluated using the MTT colorimetric assay in the presence and absence of light. However, this pharmacological evaluation method seems to be unable to efficiently yield information about carbohydrate effects in relation to possible compound specificities for gal-1 overexpressed by B16F10 cancer cells.

 

Fungal metabolite ophiobolin A as a promising anti-glioma agent: In vivo evaluation, structure-activity relationship and unique pyrrolylation of primary amines

Dasari, R., Masi, M., Lisy, R., Ferdérin, M., English, L. L., Cimmino, A., Mathieu, V., Brenner, A. J., Kuhn, J. J., Whitten, S. S., Evidente, A., Kiss, R., & Kornienko, A. (2015). Fungal metabolite ophiobolin A as a promising anti-glioma agent: In vivo evaluation, structure-activity relationship and unique pyrrolylation of primary amines. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 25(20), 4544-4548. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.08.066  

Glioblastoma, the most common form of malignant primary brain tumor, is characterized by resistance to apoptosis, which is largely responsible for the low effectiveness of the classical chemotherapeutic approaches based on apoptosis induction in cancer cells. Previously, a fungal secondary metabolite ophiobolin A was found to have significant activity against apoptosis-resistant glioblastoma cells through the induction of a non-apoptotic cell death, thus, offering an innovative strategy to combat this type of cancer. The current work describes the results of a preliminary evaluation of ophiobolin A in an in vivo glioblastoma model and its chemical derivatization to establish first synthetically generated structure-activity relationship. The synthetic work has also led to the discovery of a unique reaction of ophiobolin A with primary amines suggesting the possibility of pyrrolylation of lysine residues on its intracellular target protein(s).

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/227371/4/doi_210998.pdf

 

New dry powders for inhalation containing temozolomide-based nanomicelles for improved lung cancer therapy.

Rosiere, R., Gelbcke, M., Mathieu, V., Van Antwerpen, P., Amighi, K., & Wauthoz, N. (2015). New dry powders for inhalation containing temozolomide-based nanomicelles for improved lung cancer therapy. International journal of oncology, 47(3), 1131. doi:10.3892/ijo.2015.3092  

Besides the numerous advantages of a chemotherapy administered by the inhalation route for lung cancer therapy, dry powder for inhalation (DPI) offers many advantages compared to other techniques and seems to be a technique that is well-adapted to an anticancer treatment. DPI formulations were developed using the cytotoxic drug temozolomide and a new folate-grafted self-assembling copolymer, a conjugate of three components, folate-polyethylene glycol-hydrophobically-modified dextran (F-PEG-HMD). F-PEG-HMD was synthesized using carbodiimide-mediated coupling chemistry in three main steps. F-PEG-HMD was characterized by 1H-NMR, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis. F-PEG-HMD presented a critical micellar concentration in water of 4x10-7 M. F-PEG-HMD nanomicelles were characterized by a trimodal particle size distribution with Z-average diameter of 83±1 nm in water. Temozolomide-loaded nanomicelles were prepared by solubilization of F-PEG-HMD in the presence of temozolomide. Temozolomide solubility in water was increased in the presence of F-PEG-HMD (2-fold increase in molar solubility) which could potentially lead to increased local concentrations in the tumor site. The temozolomide-loaded F-PEG-HMD nanomicelles were characterized by a Z-average diameter of ~50 to ~60 nm, depending on the F-PEG-HMD concentration used. The nanomicelles were then spray-dried to produce dry powders. Temozolomide remained stable during all the formulation steps, confirmed by similar in vitro anticancer properties for the DPI formulations and a raw temozolomide solution. Two of the developed DPI formulations were characterized by good aerodynamic properties (with a fine particle fraction of up to 50%) and were able to release the F-PEG-HMD nanomicelles quickly in aqueous media. Moreover, in vitro, the two DPI formulations showed wide pulmonary deposition in the lower respiratory tract where adenocarcinomas are more often found. The present study, therefore, shows that F-PEG-HMD-based dry powders for inhalation could constitute an interesting drug delivery system able to release nanomicelles that are useful in adenocarcinomas that overexpress folate receptors.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/207035/3/IntJOncol2015.pdf

 

Diterpenes with Unprecedented Skeletons from the Red Alga Sphaerococcus coronopifolius

Smyrniotopoulos, V., Kiss, R., Mathieu, V., Vagias, C., & Roussis, V. (2015). Diterpenes with Unprecedented Skeletons from the Red Alga Sphaerococcus coronopifolius. European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2015(13), 2848-2853. doi:10.1002/ejoc.201500133  

Three previously unknown diterpenes - spirosphaerol (1), anthrasphaerol (2) and corfusphaeroxide (3) - have been isolated from the red alga Sphaerococcus coronopifolius. Their structures were elucidated by spectral analysis, including NMR and MS. The isolated metabolites were evaluated for their in vitro antitumour activities against one murine and five human cancer cell lines.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/205390/3/205390.pdf

 

3D-QSAR, design, synthesis and characterization of trisubstituted harmine derivatives with in vitro antiproliferative properties

Meinguet, C., Vancraeynest, C., Pochet, L., Laloy, J., Masereel, B., Wouters, J., Bruyère, C., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Frederick, R., Mortier, J., & Wolber, G. (2015). 3D-QSAR, design, synthesis and characterization of trisubstituted harmine derivatives with in vitro antiproliferative properties. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 94, 7726, 45-55. doi:10.1021/jm2006782  

Apolar trisubstituted derivatives of harmine show high antiproliferative activity on diverse cancer cell lines. However, these molecules present a poor solubility making these compounds poorly bioavailable. Here, new compounds were synthesized in order to improve solubility while retaining antiproliferative activity. First, polar substituents have shown a higher solubility but a loss of antiproliferative activity. Second, a Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) model was developed, guiding the design and synthesis of eight new compounds. Characterization has underlined the in vitro antiproliferative character of these compounds on five cancerous cell lines, combining with a high solubility at physiological pH, making these molecules druggable. Moreover, targeting glioma treatment, human intestinal absorption and blood brain penetration have been calculated, showing high absorption and penetration properties.

 

Toward a Cancer Drug of Fungal Origin.

Kornienko, A., Evidente, A., Vurro, M., Mathieu, V., Cimmino, A., Evidente, M., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Dasari, R., Lefranc, F., & Kiss, R. (2015). Toward a Cancer Drug of Fungal Origin. Medicinal research reviews, 35(5), 937-967. doi:10.1002/med.21348  

Although fungi produce highly structurally diverse metabolites, many of which have served as excellent sources of pharmaceuticals, no fungi-derived agent has been approved as a cancer drug so far. This is despite a tremendous amount of research being aimed at the identification of fungal metabolites with promising anticancer activities. This review discusses the results of clinical testing of fungal metabolites and their synthetic derivatives, with the goal to evaluate how far we are from an approved cancer drug of fungal origin. Also, because in vivo studies in animal models are predictive of the efficacy and toxicity of a given compound in a clinical situation, literature describing animal cancer testing of compounds of fungal origin is reviewed as well. Agents showing the potential to advance to clinical trials are also identified. Finally, the technological challenges involved in the exploitation of fungal biodiversity and procurement of sufficient quantities of clinical candidates are discussed, and potential solutions that could be pursued by researchers are highlighted.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/205108/3/205108.pdf

 

Sphaeropsidin A shows promising activity against drug-resistant cancer cells by targeting regulatory volume increase.

Mathieu, V., Chantôme, A., Lefranc, F., Cimmino, A., Miklos, W., Paulitschke, V., Mohr, T., Maddau, L., Kornienko, A., Berger, W., Vandier, C., Evidente, A., Delpire, E., & Kiss, R. (2015). Sphaeropsidin A shows promising activity against drug-resistant cancer cells by targeting regulatory volume increase. Cellular and molecular life sciences. doi:10.1007/s00018-015-1902-6  

Despite the recent advances in the treatment of tumors with intrinsic chemotherapy resistance, such as melanoma and renal cancers, their prognosis remains poor and new chemical agents with promising activity against these cancers are urgently needed. Sphaeropsidin A, a fungal metabolite whose anticancer potential had previously received little attention, was isolated from Diplodia cupressi and found to display specific anticancer activity in vitro against melanoma and kidney cancer subpanels in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) 60-cell line screen. The NCI data revealed a mean LC50 of ca. 10 µM and a cellular sensitivity profile that did not match that of any other agent in the 765,000 compound database. Subsequent mechanistic studies in melanoma and other multidrug-resistant in vitro cancer models showed that sphaeropsidin A can overcome apoptosis as well as multidrug resistance by inducing a marked and rapid cellular shrinkage related to the loss of intracellular Cl(-) and the decreased HCO3 (-) concentration in the culture supernatant. These changes in ion homeostasis and the absence of effects on the plasma membrane potential were attributed to the sphaeropsidin A-induced impairment of regulatory volume increase (RVI). Preliminary results also indicate that depending on the type of cancer, the sphaeropsidin A effects on RVI could be related to Na-K-2Cl electroneutral cotransporter or Cl(-)/HCO3 (-) anion exchanger(s) targeting. This study underscores the modulation of ion-transporter activity as a promising therapeutic strategy to combat drug-resistant cancers and identifies the fungal metabolite, sphaeropsidin A, as a lead to develop anticancer agents targeting RVI in cancer cells.

 

2014

New imidazo[1,2-b]pyrazoles as anticancer agents: Synthesis, biological evaluation and structure activity relationship analysis

Grosse, S., Guillaumet, G., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Pillard, C., Bernard, P., Massip, S., Marchivie, M., & Jarry, C. (2014). New imidazo[1,2-b]pyrazoles as anticancer agents: Synthesis, biological evaluation and structure activity relationship analysis. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 84, 718-730. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2014.07.057  

Synthesis and functionalization strategies of the imidazo[1,2-b]pyrazole core were developed giving a rapid access to three series of novel imidazo[1,2-b]pyrazole type derivatives: C-2/C-6/C-7 trisubstituted, C-2/C-3/C-6 tri(hetero)arylated and C-2/C-3/C-6/C-7 tetrasubstituted imidazo[1,2-b] pyrazoles. 39 of the synthetized products were evaluated for in vitro anticancer activity using the MTT colorimetric assay against 5 human and 1 murine cancer cell lines. Promising in vitro growth inhibitory activities were exhibited by some of the target compounds. Of the 39 evaluated products, 4 displayed an IC50 ≤ 10 μM in the 6 cell lines analyzed (compounds 4d, 4g, 9a, 11a). A structure activity relationship analysis is also reported in this paper. © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/183909/1/Elsevier_167536.pdf

 

Synthesis and biological evaluation of 9α- and 9β-hydroxyamino- parthenolides as novel anticancer agents

Moumou, M., El Bouakher, A., El Hakmaoui, A., Akssira, M., Allouchi, H., Benharref, A., Mathieu, V., & Guillaumet, G. (2014). Synthesis and biological evaluation of 9α- and 9β-hydroxyamino- parthenolides as novel anticancer agents. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 24(16), 4014-4018. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.06.019  

A series of 9α-hydroxyamino-parthenolides 3-10, 9β-hydroxyamino- parthenolides 11-13 and 9α-hydroxy-1β,10α-epoxyamino- parthenolides 15-19 were efficiently synthesized starting from 9α-hydroxyparthenolide 1 and 9β-hydroxyparthenolide 2, which were isolated from Anvillea radiata. Compounds 1-13 and 15-19 were evaluated for their in vitro anticancer activity by the MTT colorimetric assay against one murine and six human cancer cell lines. This work provides new details about the structural requisites for anticancer activity. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/184050/1/Elsevier_167677.pdf

 

Synthesis and in vitro characterization of platinum(II) anticancer coordinates using FTIR spectroscopy and NCI COMPARE: A fast method for new compound discovery.

Berger, G., Leclercqz, H., Derenne, A., Gelbcke, M., Goormaghtigh, E., Neve, J., Mathieu, V., & Dufrasne, F. (2014). Synthesis and in vitro characterization of platinum(II) anticancer coordinates using FTIR spectroscopy and NCI COMPARE: A fast method for new compound discovery. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 22(13), 3527-3536. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2014.04.017  

Platinum-based drugs have been used for several decades to treat various cancers successfully. Cisplatin is the original compound in this class; it cross-links DNA, resulting in cell cycle arrest and cell death via apoptosis. Cisplatin is effective against several tumor types but exhibits toxic side effects; in addition, tumors often develop resistance. An original in vitro approach is proposed to determine whether platinum-based research compounds are good candidates for further study by comparing them to marketed drugs using FTIR spectroscopy and the COMPARE analysis from the NCI. Both methods can produce fingerprints and highlight differences between the compounds, classifying the candidates and revealing promising derivatives.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/179462/1/Elsevier_163089.pdf

 

Sequestered fulvinol-related polyacetylenes in Peltodoris atromaculata

Ciavatta, M. L., Nuzzo, G., Villani, G., Gavagnin, M., Takada, K., Mathieu, V., & Kiss, R. (2014). Sequestered fulvinol-related polyacetylenes in Peltodoris atromaculata. Journal of natural products, 77(7), 1678-1684. doi:10.1021/np500298h  

The Mediterranean dorid nudibranch Peltodoris atromaculata that had been collected while feeding on Haliclona fulva was shown to sequester long-chain fulvinol-like polyacetylene metabolites (compounds 2-5) from the prey. They were isolated along with previously reported bromorenierins from the diethyl ether extracts of both the mollusk and the sponge. Their structures were elucidated by NMR spectroscopy and tandem FABMS analysis. Compound 5 exhibited in vitro growth inhibitory effects against the SKMEL-28 melanoma cell line. © 2014 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.

 

Synthesis and antiproliferative studies of 5-aryl-2-(3-thienylamino)-1,3,4- thiadiazoles

Revelant, G., Gadais, C., Kirsch, G., Hesse, S., & Mathieu, V. (2014). Synthesis and antiproliferative studies of 5-aryl-2-(3-thienylamino)-1,3,4- thiadiazoles. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 24(12), 2724-2727. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.04.043  

A series of 5-aryl-2-(3-thienylamino)-1,3,4-thiadiazoles 3a-m were synthesized in good yields in two steps starting from thiophen-3- isothiocyanates. Those compounds as well as the thiosemicarbazide intermediates 2a-m were screened for their antiproliferative activity against a panel of six cancer cell lines. Among them, two 5-aryl-2-(3-thienylamino)-1,3,4-thiadiazoles (3f and 3i) have shown very interesting results with IC50 <10 μM on three cell lines. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/183619/1/Elsevier_167246.pdf

 

C1,C2-ether derivatives of the Amaryllidaceae alkaloid lycorine: retention of activity of highly lipophilic analogues against cancer cells.

Dasari, R., Banuls, L. M. Y., Masi, M., Pelly, S. C., Mathieu, V., Green, I. R., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Evidente, A., Kiss, R., & Kornienko, A. (2014). C1,C2-ether derivatives of the Amaryllidaceae alkaloid lycorine: retention of activity of highly lipophilic analogues against cancer cells. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 24(3), 923-927. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.12.073  

As a continuation of the studies aimed at the development of new anticancer agents derived from the Amaryllidaceae alkaloid lycorine, 35 C1,C2-ether analogues of this natural product were synthesized. The compounds were evaluated for antiproliferative activities in vitro in a panel of tumor cell lines with varied levels of apoptosis resistance. A strong correlation between the compound lipophilicity and anticancer activity was observed, indicating that cell permeability properties must be an important determinant in the design of lycorine-based anticancer agents. A theoretical docking model, consistent with the experimental observations, is presented.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/158283/1/Elsevier_143423.pdf

 

Glioma-derived galectin-1 regulates innate and adaptive antitumor immunity.

Verschuere, T., Toelen, J., Maes, W., Poirier, F., Boon, L., Tousseyn, T., Mathivet, T., Gerhardt, H., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Lefranc, F., Van Gool, S. W., & De Vleeschouwer, S. (2014). Glioma-derived galectin-1 regulates innate and adaptive antitumor immunity. International journal of cancer, 134(4), 873-884. doi:10.1002/ijc.28426  

Galectin-1 is a glycan-binding protein, which is involved in the aggressiveness of glioblastoma (GBM) in part by stimulating angiogenesis. In different cancer models, galectin-1 has also been demonstrated to play a pivotal role in tumor-mediated immune evasion especially by modulating cells of the adaptive immune system. It is yet unknown whether the absence or presence of galectin-1 within the glioma microenvironment also causes qualitative or quantitative differences in innate and/or adaptive antitumor immune responses. All experiments were performed in the orthotopic GL261 mouse high-grade glioma model. Stable galectin-1 knockdown was achieved via transduction of parental GL261 tumor cells with a lentiviral vector encoding a galectin-1-targeting miRNA. We demonstrated that the absence of tumor-derived but not of host-derived galectin-1 significantly prolonged the survival of glioma-bearing mice as such and in combination with dendritic cell (DC)-based immunotherapy. Both flow cytometric and pathological analysis revealed that the silencing of glioma-derived galectin-1 significantly decreased the amount of brain-infiltrating macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) in tumor-bearing mice. Additionally, we revealed a pro-angiogenic role for galectin-1 within the glioma microenvironment. The data provided in this study reveal a pivotal role for glioma-derived galectin-1 in the regulation of myeloid cell accumulation within the glioma microenvironment, the most abundant immune cell population in high-grade gliomas. Furthermore, the prolonged survival observed in untreated and DC-vaccinated glioma-bearing mice upon the silencing of tumor-derived galectin-1 strongly suggest that the in vivo targeting of tumor-derived galectin-1 might offer a promising and realistic adjuvant treatment modality in patients diagnosed with GBM.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/158287/3/158287.pdf

 

Fungal metabolites with anticancer activity

Evidente, A., Kornienko, A., Cimmino, A., Andolfi, A., Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., & Kiss, R. (2014). Fungal metabolites with anticancer activity. Natural product reports, 31(5), 617-627. doi:10.1039/c3np70078j  

Natural products from bacteria and plants have played a leading role in cancer drug discovery resulting in a large number of clinically useful agents. In contrast, the investigations of fungal metabolites and their derivatives have not led to a clinical cancer drug in spite of significant research efforts revealing a large number of fungi-derived natural products with promising anticancer activity. Many of these natural products have displayed notable in vitro growth-inhibitory properties in human cancer cell lines and select compounds have been demonstrated to provide therapeutic benefits in mouse models of human cancer. Many of these compounds are expected to enter human clinical trials in the near future. The present review discusses the reported sources, structures and biochemical studies aimed at the elucidation of the anticancer potential of these promising fungal metabolites. © 2014 the Partner Organisations.

 

Ferrocifen derivatives that induce senescence in cancer cells: Selected examples

Bruyère, C., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Pigeon, P., Jaouen, G., Vessières, A., & Top, S. (2014). Ferrocifen derivatives that induce senescence in cancer cells: Selected examples. Journal of inorganic biochemistry, 141, 144-151. doi:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2014.08.015  

Platinum coordination complexes represent an important class of anti-tumor agents. Due to recognized drawbacks, research into other types of metallodrugs has been diversified with the aim of finding new chemical entities with alternative mechanisms of action to overcome classical chemoresistance. P5 and DP1, two closely related ferrocenyl complexes bearing a similar ferrocenyl-ene-phenyl motif and displaying marked differences in their conformations and oxidation state versatility, were assayed in cancer cell models characterized by various sensitivities to pro-apoptotic stimuli. P5 and DP1 exert growth inhibitory effects between 0.5 and 10 μM against glioma and melanoma cells including pluripotent stem-like cells. These effects are due, at least partly, to senescence induction with typical SA-β-galactosidase staining and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) as measured by the secretion of IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α. Regulation of these cytokines' secretion may be related to AP-1 and other transcription factors unrelated to senescence. An in vivo graft of B16F10 cells after in vitro pre-incubation with DP1 or P5 led to increased survival in mice. In conclusion, P5 and DP1 ferrocenyl complexes induce senescence in various cancer cell models associated with distinct sensitivity to pro-apoptotic stimuli.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/186938/1/Elsevier_170565.pdf

 

Lapachol and its congeners as anticancer agents: A review

Epifano, F., Genovese, S., Fiorito, S., Mathieu, V., & Kiss, R. (2014). Lapachol and its congeners as anticancer agents: A review. Phytochemistry reviews, 13(1), 37-49. doi:10.1007/s11101-013-9289-1  

Lapachol is a naturally occurring 1,4-naphthoquinone originally isolated by the Italian phytochemist E. Paterno from Tabebuia avellanedae (Bignoniaceae) in 1882 and subsequently found in several other genera belonging to the families of Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Plumbaginaceae, Lamiaceae, Arecaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Verbenaceae, Celastraceae, Avicenniaceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Rubiaceae, and Proteaceae. A wide range of pharmacological activities have been observed for lapachol and its semi-synthetic derivatives in the literature, such as antileishmanial, anticarcinomic, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antiseptic, antitumor, antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, insectifugal, pesticidal, schistosomicidal, termiticidal, and viricidal effects. The aim of this review is to discuss in detail the phytochemical properties and pharmacological effects of the title compound that have been reported thus far, highlighting its potential therapeutic benefits for the future. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media.

 

2013

Extending the record of bis-γ-pyrone polypropionates from marine pulmonate mollusks.

Carbone, M., Ciavatta, M. L., Wang, J.-R., Cirillo, I., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Mollo, E., Guo, Y.-W., & Gavagnin, M. (2013). Extending the record of bis-γ-pyrone polypropionates from marine pulmonate mollusks. Journal of natural products, 76(11), 2065-2073. doi:10.1021/np400483c  

The isolation and structure elucidation of 10 unreported polypropionate metabolites (compounds 6-15), structurally related to either ilikonapyrone (1) or onchidione (3), from two onchidiid pulmonate mollusk species are discussed. Structure elucidation was achieved by NMR spectroscopy and chemical correlation with model compounds. Evaluation of in vitro growth-inhibitory properties in human cancer cells was also carried out on some of the isolated polypropionates including previously reported onchidione metabolites.

 

Altered galectin-1 serum levels in patients diagnosed with high-grade glioma.

Verschuere, T., Van Woensel, M., Fieuws, S., Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., Van Gool, S. W., & De Vleeschouwer, S. (2013). Altered galectin-1 serum levels in patients diagnosed with high-grade glioma. Journal of neuro-oncology, 115(1), 9-17. doi:10.1007/s11060-013-1201-8  

High-grade gliomas (HGG) are the most common and most aggressive intrinsic human brain tumors in adults. Galectin-1, a glycan-binding protein that is overexpressed in HGG, has been shown to contribute significantly to the aggressive nature of HGG. It is unknown whether increased galectin-1 expression levels are exclusively found at the tumor site or whether galectin-1 can also be detected in the serum of HGG patients. Galectin-1 serum levels were analyzed in a prospective dataset of 43 healthy controls and 125 patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent HGG. Samples were taken at the moment of surgical resection and/or 2-3 weeks after surgery. Galectin-1 serum levels were determined using an ELISA for galectin-1. Galectin-1 serum levels depended significantly on age and sex in the control group. Age- and sex-adjusted galectin-1 serum levels were significantly higher in all patient subgroups compared to healthy controls with a high discriminative ability that increased with age. We did not observe a significant decrease in the galectin-1 serum levels upon surgical resection of the tumor. Collectively, the data presented here may represent a first step to establish galectin-1 as a biomarker in HGG disease monitoring. Further longitudinal evaluation is required and ongoing to investigate the value of galectin-1 serum levels in HGG patients as an additional diagnostic marker, but more importantly as a predictor of treatment response and prognosis. Furthermore, galectin-1 serum levels could also provide an important tool for the identification of HGG patients that could benefit from galectin-1 directed therapies that are currently under development.

 

A review of the current status of siRNA nanomedicines in the treatment of cancer

Resnier, P., Montier, T., Mathieu, V., Benoit, J.-P., & Passirani, C. (2013). A review of the current status of siRNA nanomedicines in the treatment of cancer. Biomaterials, 34(27), 6429-6443. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.04.060  

RNA interference currently offers new opportunities for gene therapy by the specific extinction of targeted gene(s) in cancer diseases. However, the main challenge for nucleic acid delivery still remains its efficacy through intravenous administration. Over the last decade, many delivery systems have been developed and optimized to encapsulate siRNA and to specifically promote their delivery into tumor cells and improve their pharmacokinetics for anti-cancer purposes. This review aims to sum up the potential targets in numerous pathways and the properties of recently optimized siRNA synthetic nanomedicines with their preclinical applications and efficacy. Future perspectives in cancer treatment are discussed including promising concomitant treatment with chemotherapies or other siRNA. The outcomes in human clinical trials are also presented. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/168354/1/Elsevier_151984.pdf

 

Fischerindoline, a pyrroloindole sesquiterpenoid isolated from Neosartorya pseudofischeri, with in vitro growth inhibitory activity in human cancer cell lines

Masi, M., Evidente, A., Andolfi, A., Mathieu, V., Boari, A., Cimmino, A., Moreno Y Banuls, L., Vurro, M., Kornienko, A., & Kiss, R. (2013). Fischerindoline, a pyrroloindole sesquiterpenoid isolated from Neosartorya pseudofischeri, with in vitro growth inhibitory activity in human cancer cell lines. Tetrahedron, 69(35), 7466-7470. doi:10.1016/j.tet.2013.06.031  

A novel pyrroloindole terpenoid, named fischerindoline (1), was isolated together with the known metabolites eurochevalierine, pyripyropenes A and E, sequiterpene, gliotoxin, and bis(dethio)bis(methylthio)gliotoxin from solid and liquid cultures of Neosartorya pseudofischeri. Fischerindoline was characterized as 3a-hydroxy-8-methyl-1,2,3,3a,8,8a-hexahydro-pyrrolo[2,3-b]indole-2- carboxylic acid, 2-acetoxy-8a-hydroxy-5-isopropenyl-3,8-dimethyl-1,2,4a,5,6,7,8, 8a-octahydronaphthalen-1-yl ester by spectroscopic and chemical methods. Fischerindoline displays in vitro growth inhibitory activity in six human and mouse cancer cell lines. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/205587/1/Elsevier_189214.pdf

 

In vitro pharmacological and toxicological effects of norterpene peroxides isolated from the Red Sea sponge Diacarnus erythraeanus on normal and cancer cells.

Lefranc, F., Nuzzo, G., Hamdy, N. A., Fakhr, I., Moreno Y Banuls, L., Van Goietsenoven, G., Villani, G., Mathieu, V., van Soest, R., Kiss, R., & Ciavatta, M. L. (2013). In vitro pharmacological and toxicological effects of norterpene peroxides isolated from the Red Sea sponge Diacarnus erythraeanus on normal and cancer cells. Journal of natural products, 76(9), 1541-1547. doi:10.1021/np400107t  

Eight cyclic peroxide norterpenoids, compounds 1-8, have been isolated and characterized from the Red Sea sponge Diacarnus erythraeanus, including two new norsesterterpene derivatives (3, 4). Among these metabolites, (-)-muqubilin A (5) (nine cell lines analyzed) and the new compounds 3 and 4 (seven cell lines analyzed) displayed mean IC₅₀ growth inhibitory concentrations in vitro of <10 μM, while the remaining compounds (1, 6-8) were inactive in these cancer cell lines. Compound 5 displayed no selectivity between normal and cancer cells in terms of in vitro growth inhibition. Quantitative video microscopy analysis carried out on (-)-muqubilin A-treated cells validated the data obtained by means of the MTT colorimetric assay, while flow cytometry analysis revealed ROS production but no induction of apoptosis in cancer cells.

 

New 5-Aryl-1H-imidazoles display in vitro antitumor activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer models, including melanomas, through mitochondrial targeting.

Mathieu, V., Van Den Berge, E., Ceusters, J., Konopka, T., Cops, A., Bruyère, C., Pirker, C., Berger, W., Trieu-Van, T., Serteyn, D., Kiss, R., & Robiette, R. (2013). New 5-Aryl-1H-imidazoles display in vitro antitumor activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer models, including melanomas, through mitochondrial targeting. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 56(17), 6626-6637. doi:10.1021/jm400287v  

We designed and synthesized 48 aryl-1H-imidazole derivatives and investigated their in vitro growth inhibitory activity in cancer cell lines known to present various levels of resistance to proapoptotic stimuli. The IC50 in vitro growth inhibitory concentration of these compounds ranged from >100 μM to single digit μM. Among the most active compounds, 2i displayed similar in vitro growth inhibition in cancer cells independent of the cells' levels of resistance to proapoptotic stimuli and was found to be cytostatic in melanoma cell lines. Compound 2i was then tested by the National Cancer Institute Human Tumor Cell Line Anti-Cancer Drug Screen, and the NCI COMPARE algorithm did not reveal any correlation between its growth inhibition profiles with the NCI database compound profiles. The use of transcriptomically characterized melanoma models then enabled us to highlight mitochondrial targeting by 2i. This hypothesis was further confirmed by reactive oxygen production measurement and oxygen consumption analysis.

 

Antiproliferative activity of 2,3-disubstituted indoles toward apoptosis-resistant cancers cells.

Magedov, I. V., Lefranc, F., Frolova, L. V., Banuls, L. M. Y., Peretti, A. S., Rogelj, S., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., & Kornienko, A. (2013). Antiproliferative activity of 2,3-disubstituted indoles toward apoptosis-resistant cancers cells. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 23(11), 3277-3282. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.03.110  

Many types of cancer, including glioma, melanoma, NSCLC, among others, are resistant to apoptosis induction and poorly responsive to current therapies with propaptotic agents. We describe a series of 2,3-disubstituted indoles, which display cytostatic rather than cytotoxic effects in cancer cells, and serve as a new chemical scaffold to develop anticancer agents capable of combating apoptosis-resistant cancers associated with dismal prognoses.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/144281/1/Elsevier_128007.pdf

 

4-Bromo-2-(piperidin-1-yl)thiazol-5-yl-phenyl methanone (12b) inhibits Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Ras oncogene activity in cancer cells.

Lefranc, F., Xu, Z., Burth, P., Mathieu, V., Revelant, G., Velho de Castro Faria, M., Noyon, C., Garcia, D. G., Dufour, D., Bruyère, C., Gonçalves-de-Albuquerque, C. F., Van Antwerpen, P., Rogister, B., Hesse, S., Kirsch, G., & Kiss, R. (2013). 4-Bromo-2-(piperidin-1-yl)thiazol-5-yl-phenyl methanone (12b) inhibits Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Ras oncogene activity in cancer cells. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 63, 213-223. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2013.01.046  

The in vitro growth inhibitory activity of 26 thiazoles (including 4-halogeno-2,5-disubtituted-1,3-thiazoles) and 5 thienothiazoles was assessed on a panel of 6 human cancer cell lines, including glioma cell lines. (4-Chloro-2-(piperidin-1-yl)thiazol-5-yl)(phenyl)methanone (12a) and (4-bromo-2-(piperidin-1-yl)thiazol-5-yl)(phenyl)methanone (12b) displayed ∼10 times greater in vitro growth inhibitory activity than perillyl alcohol (POH), which therapeutically benefits glioma patients through the inhibition of both alpha-1 Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase (NAK) and Ras oncogene activity. The in vitro cytostatic activities (as revealed by quantitative videomicroscopy) displayed by 12a and 12b were independent of the intrinsic resistance to pro-apoptotic stimuli associated with cancer cells. Compounds 12a and 12b displayed relatively similar inhibitory activities on purified guinea pig brain preparations that mainly express NAK alpha-2 and alpha-3 subunits, whereas only compound 12b was efficacious against purified guinea pig kidney preparations that mainly express the NAK alpha-1 subunit, which is also expressed in gliomas, melanomas and non-small-cell lung cancers NSCLCs.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/144286/1/Elsevier_128012.pdf

 

Therapeutic Agents Triggering Nonapoptotic Cancer Cell Death.

Kornienko, A., Mathieu, V., Rastogi, S. K., Lefranc, F., & Kiss, R. (2013). Therapeutic Agents Triggering Nonapoptotic Cancer Cell Death. Journal of medicinal chemistry. doi:10.1021/jm400136m  

It is widely recognized that the evasion of apoptotic cell death is one of the hallmarks of cancer. For many years cytotoxic agents have been developed to target apoptotic cell death as a main method of treating cancer. However, the occurrence of cellular defects involving the apoptotic machinery in many cancers has resulted in an acquired resistance to apoptotic cell death, undermining the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents. Over the past decade, research has revealed a growing number of cell death pathways that are not dependent on apoptosis. In addition, compounds specifically triggering these alternative cell death pathways have been identified and explored as novel cancer treatment options. These novel anticancer agents are critically discussed by the authors, and therefore, the current Perspective represents a resource for a practicing medicinal chemist looking for new opportunities to combat cancers resistant to the established proapoptotic therapeutic agents.

 

Fusicoccin a, a phytotoxic carbotricyclic diterpene glucoside of fungal origin, reduces proliferation and invasion of glioblastoma cells by targeting multiple tyrosine kinases.

Bury, M., Andolfi, A., Rogister, B., Cimmino, A., Megalizzi, V., Mathieu, V., Feron, O., Evidente, A., & Kiss, R. (2013). Fusicoccin a, a phytotoxic carbotricyclic diterpene glucoside of fungal origin, reduces proliferation and invasion of glioblastoma cells by targeting multiple tyrosine kinases. Translational Oncology, 6(2), 112-123.  

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a deadly cancer that possesses an intrinsic resistance to pro-apoptotic insults, such as conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and diffusely invades the brain parenchyma, which renders it elusive to total surgical resection. We found that fusicoccin A, a fungal metabolite from Fusicoccum amygdali, decreased the proliferation and migration of human GBM cell lines in vitro, including several cell lines that exhibit varying degrees of resistance to pro-apoptotic stimuli. The data demonstrate that fusicoccin A inhibits GBM cell proliferation by decreasing growth rates and increasing the duration of cell division and also decreases two-dimensional (measured by quantitative video microscopy) and three-dimensional (measured by Boyden chamber assays) migration. These effects of fusicoccin A treatment translated into structural changes in actin cytoskeletal organization and a loss of GBM cell adhesion. Therefore, fusicoccin A exerts cytostatic effects but low cytotoxic effects (as demonstrated by flow cytometry). These cytostatic effects can partly be explained by the fact that fusicoccin inhibits the activities of a dozen kinases, including focal adhesion kinase (FAK), that have been implicated in cell proliferation and migration. Overexpression of FAK, a nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase, directly correlates with the invasive phenotype of aggressive human gliomas because FAK promotes cell proliferation and migration. Fusicoccin A led to the down-regulation of FAK tyrosine phosphorylation, which occurred in both normoxic and hypoxic GBM cell culture conditions. In conclusion, the current study identifies a novel compound that could be used as a chemical template for generating cytostatic compounds designed to combat GBM.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/158273/4/PMC3610549.pdf

 

2012

Determination of the absolute configuration and evaluation of the in vitro antitumor activity of dilospirane B

Genta-Jouve, G., Ioannou, E., Mathieu, V., Bruyère, C., Lefranc, F., Thomas, O. O., Kiss, R., & Roussis, V. (2012). Determination of the absolute configuration and evaluation of the in vitro antitumor activity of dilospirane B. Phytochemistry Letters, 5(4), 747-751. doi:10.1016/j.phytol.2012.08.005  

The absolute configuration of dilospirane B (1), a diterpene featuring a novel carbon framework recently isolated from the brown alga Dilophus spiralis, was established on the basis of theoretical calculations of its electronic circular dichroism spectra applying the time-dependent density functional theory method. Metabolite 1, evaluated for its in vitro antitumor activity against six human cancer cell lines displaying various levels of sensitivity to pro-apoptotic stimuli, exhibited growth inhibitory activity with a mean IC 50 value of 66 μM. Quantitative videomicroscopy analyses indicated that 1 initially displays cytostatic effects which later become cytotoxic. © 2012 Phytochemical Society of Europe.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/167872/1/Elsevier_151502.pdf

 

Evaluation of in vitro anticancer activity of sphaeropsidins A-C, fungal rearranged pimarane diterpenes, and semisynthetic derivatives

Lallemand, B., Masi, M., Maddau, L., De Lorenzi, M., Dam, R., Cimmino, A., Moreno Y Banuls, L., Andolfi, A., Kiss, R., Mathieu, V., & Evidente, A. (2012). Evaluation of in vitro anticancer activity of sphaeropsidins A-C, fungal rearranged pimarane diterpenes, and semisynthetic derivatives. Phytochemistry Letters, 5(4), 770-775. doi:10.1016/j.phytol.2012.08.011  

Sphaeropsidins A (1), B (7) and C (10), three fungal phytotoxins, unrearranged pimarane diterpenes produced by Diplodia cupressi and 10 semisynthetic derivatives were evaluated for their in vitro anticancer activities. Among these 13 compounds, sphaeropsidin A and two derivatives (2 and 6) thereof display 50% growth-inhibitory concentration in the low micromolar range for all cell lines analyzed. Structure activity relationship paralleled the phytopathogenic and antimicrobial ones except regarding the vinyl group at C-13 that does not seems to be required as it is for their antipathogenic activity. © 2012 Phytochemical Society of Europe.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/191109/1/Elsevier_174736.pdf

 

Galectin-1 in melanoma biology and related neo-angiogenesis processes.

Mathieu, V., de Lassalle, E. M., Toelen, J., Mohr, T., Bellahcene, A., Van Goietsenoven, G., Verschuere, T., Bouzin, C., Debyser, Z., De Vleeschouwer, S., Van Gool, S. W., Poirier, F., Castronovo, V., Kiss, R., & Feron, O. (2012). Galectin-1 in melanoma biology and related neo-angiogenesis processes. Journal of investigative dermatology, 132(9), 2245-2254. doi:10.1038/jid.2012.142  

Aggressiveness of advanced melanomas relates in part to their marked propensity to develop neoangiogenesis and metastases. Among its numerous pro-cancer roles, galectin (gal)-1 expressed and/or secreted by both cancer and endothelial cells stimulates proliferation and angiogenesis. This study first shows that gal-1 is more highly expressed at both mRNA and protein levels than its congeners in melanomas and particularly in advanced lesions. The roles of gal-1 were further investigated in vivo in the highly proliferating and vascularized pseudometastatic B16F10 mouse melanoma model using stable knockdown B16F10 cells and wild-type versus gal-1 knockout mice, and then in vitro in B16F10 tumoral and lung microvascular cells. Gal-1 depletion in the B16F10 tumor cells but not in the tumor-bearing mice significantly increased melanoma-bearing mice survival. Tumor-derived gal-1 thus seems to have more critical roles than the host-derived one. In fact, gal-1 displays distinct effects on the H-Ras-dependent p53/p21 pathways: in primary lung microvessel endothelial cells, gal-1 seems to be involved in the maintenance of senescent status through the induction of both p53 and p21 while it stimulates B16F10 cancer cell proliferation through a p53/p21 decrease. Altogether, these data point to gal-1 as a potential target to combat melanomas.

 

Secondary Metabolites from a Culture of the Fungus Neosartorya pseudofischeri and Their In Vitro Cytostatic Activity in Human Cancer Cells.

Eamvijarn, A., Kijjoa, A., Bruyère, C., Mathieu, V., Manoch, L., Lefranc, F., Silva, A., Kiss, R., & Herz, W. (2012). Secondary Metabolites from a Culture of the Fungus Neosartorya pseudofischeri and Their In Vitro Cytostatic Activity in Human Cancer Cells. Planta medica. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1315301  

Four known (1, 2, 3, and 6) and three new compounds including a 1,4-diacetyl-2,5-dibenzylpiperazine derivative (4), a quinazolinone-containing indole derivative (5), and a new ester of 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methylbenzoic acid (7) were isolated from the fungus Neosartorya pseudofischeri S. W. Peterson. Compound 2 displayed in vitro growth inhibitory activity that ranged between the activities of etoposide and carboplatin, chosen as reference compounds, in six distinct cancer cell lines. Compound 1 displayed less activity than 2. Computer-assisted phase-contrast microscopy-related analysis revealed that 2 displayed cytostatic, not cytotoxic, effects in human U373 glioblastoma and A549 non-small cell lung cancer apoptosis-resistant cells with marked inhibition of mitotic rates. Cancer cells in the remaining phases of the cell cycle were unchanged. Flow cytometry analysis further confirmed that 2 does not induce apoptotic features in U373 or A549 cancer cells. Thus, 2 represents a novel chemical scaffold from which derivatives for anticancer cytostatic compounds can be derived.

 

Ceramide, cerebroside and triterpenoid saponin from the bark of aerial roots of Ficus elastica (Moraceae).

Mbosso, E. J. T., Nguedia, J. C. A., Meyer, F., Lenta, B. N., Ngouela, S., Lallemand, B., Mathieu, V., Van Antwerpen, P., Njunda, A. L., Adiogo, D. D., Tsamo, E., Looze, Y., Kiss, R., & Wintjens, R. (2012). Ceramide, cerebroside and triterpenoid saponin from the bark of aerial roots of Ficus elastica (Moraceae). Phytochemistry, 83, 95-103. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2012.07.010  

Three compounds, ficusamide (1), ficusoside (2) and elasticoside (3), were isolated from the bark of aerial roots of Ficus elastica (Moraceae), together with nine known compounds, including four triterpenes, three steroids and two aliphatic linear alcohols. The chemical structures of the three compounds were established by extensive 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and by comparison with published data. The growth inhibitory effect of the crude extract and isolated compounds was evaluated against several microorganisms and fungi. The cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines was also assessed. Ficusamide (1) displayed a moderate in vitro growth inhibitory activity against the human A549 lung cancer cell line and a strong activity against Staphylococcus saprophyticus, while elasticoside (3) showed a potent activity on Enterococcus faecalis.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/128999/1/Phytochemistry.pdf

 

Trivanillic polyphenols with anticancer cytostatic effects through the targeting of multiple kinases and intracellular Ca 2+ release

Lamoral-Theys, D., Wauthoz, N., Heffeter, P., Mathieu, V., Jungwirth, U., Lefranc, F., Neve, J., Dubois, J., Dufrasne, F., Amighi, K., Berger, W., Gailly, P., & Kiss, R. (2012). Trivanillic polyphenols with anticancer cytostatic effects through the targeting of multiple kinases and intracellular Ca 2+ release. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 16(7), 1421-1434. doi:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01403.x.  
https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/126042/1/JCMM_16_1421.pdf

 

Bulbispermine: a crinine-type Amaryllidaceae alkaloid exhibiting cytostatic activity toward apoptosis-resistant glioma cells.

Luchetti, G., Johnston, R., Mathieu, V., Lefranc, F., Hayden, K., Andolfi, A., Lamoral-Theys, D., Reisenauer, M. R., Champion, C., Pelly, S. C., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Magedov, I. V., Kiss, R., Evidente, A., Rogelj, S., & Kornienko, A. (2012). Bulbispermine: a crinine-type Amaryllidaceae alkaloid exhibiting cytostatic activity toward apoptosis-resistant glioma cells. ChemMedChem, 7(5), 815-822. doi:10.1002/cmdc.201100608  

The Amaryllidaceae alkaloid bulbispermine was derivatized to produce a small group of synthetic analogues. These, together with bulbispermine's natural crinine-type congeners, were evaluated in vitro against a panel of cancer cell lines with various levels of resistance to pro-apoptotic stimuli. Bulbispermine, haemanthamine, and haemanthidine showed the most potent antiproliferative activities as determined by the MTT colorimetric assay. Among the synthetic bulbispermine analogues, only the C1,C2-dicarbamate derivative exhibited notable growth inhibitory properties. All active compounds were found not to discriminate between the cancer cell lines based on the apoptosis sensitivity criterion; they displayed similar potencies in both cell types, indicating that the induction of apoptosis is not the primary mechanism responsible for antiproliferative activity in this series of compounds. It was also found that bulbispermine inhibits the proliferation of glioblastoma cells through cytostatic effects, possibly arising from rigidification of the actin cytoskeleton. These findings lead us to argue that crinine-type alkaloids are potentially useful drug leads for the treatment of apoptosis-resistant cancers and glioblastoma in particular.

 

Aggressiveness of human melanoma xenograft models is promoted by aneuploidy-driven gene expression deregulation.

Mathieu, V., Pirker, C., Schmidt, W. M., Spiegl-Kreinecker, S., Lötsch, D., Heffeter, P., Hegedus, B., Grusch, M., Kiss, R., & Berger, W. (2012). Aggressiveness of human melanoma xenograft models is promoted by aneuploidy-driven gene expression deregulation. Oncotarget, 3(4), 399-413.  

Melanoma is a devastating skin cancer characterized by distinct biological subtypes. Besides frequent mutations in growth- and survival-promoting genes like BRAF and NRAS, melanomas additionally harbor complex non-random genomic alterations. Using an integrative approach, we have analysed genomic and gene expression changes in human melanoma cell lines (N=32) derived from primary tumors and various metastatic sites and investigated the relation to local growth aggressiveness as xenografts in immuno-compromised mice (N=22). Although the vast majority >90% of melanoma models harbored mutations in either BRAF or NRAS, significant differences in subcutaneous growth aggressiveness became obvious. Unsupervised clustering revealed that genomic alterations rather than gene expression data reflected this aggressive phenotype, while no association with histology, stage or metastatic site of the original melanoma was found. Genomic clustering allowed separation of melanoma models into two subgroups with differing local growth aggressiveness in vivo. Regarding genes expressed at significantly altered levels between these subgroups, a surprising correlation with the respective gene doses (>85% accordance) was found. Genes deregulated at the DNA and mRNA level included well-known cancer genes partly already linked to melanoma (RAS genes, PTEN, AURKA, MAPK inhibitors Sprouty/Spred), but also novel candidates like SIPA1 (a Rap1GAP). Pathway mining further supported deregulation of Rap1 signaling in the aggressive subgroup e.g. by additional repression of two Rap1GEFs. Accordingly, siRNA-mediated down-regulation of SIPA1 exerted significant effects on clonogenicity, adherence and migration in aggressive melanoma models. Together our data suggest that an aneuploidy-driven gene expression deregulation drives local aggressiveness in human melanoma.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/129000/4/PMC3380575.pdf

 

Narciclasine as well as other Amaryllidaceae Isocarbostyrils are Promising GTP-ase Targeting Agents against Brain Cancers.

Van Goietsenoven, G., Mathieu, V., Lefranc, F., Kornienko, A., Evidente, A., & Kiss, R. (2012). Narciclasine as well as other Amaryllidaceae Isocarbostyrils are Promising GTP-ase Targeting Agents against Brain Cancers. Medicinal research reviews, 33(2), 439-455. doi:10.1002/med.21253  

The anticancer activity of Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyrils is well documented. At pharmacological concentrations, that is, approximately 1 μM in vitro and approximately 10 mg/kg in vivo, narciclasine displays marked proapoptotic and cytotoxic activity, as does pancratistatin, and significant in vivo anticancer effects in various experimental models, but it is also associated with severe toxic side effects. At physiological doses, that is, approximately 50 nM in vitro and approximately 1 mg/kg in vivo, narciclasine is not cytotoxic but cytostatic and displays marked anticancer activity in vivo in experimental models of brain cancer (including gliomas and brain metastases), but it is not associated with toxic side effects. The cytostatic activity of narciclasine involves the impairment of actin cytoskeleton organization by targeting GTPases, including RhoA and the elongation factor eEF1A. We have demonstrated that chronic treatments of narciclasine (1 mg/kg) significantly increased the survival of immunodeficient mice orthotopically xenografted with highly invasive human glioblastomas and apoptosis-resistant brain metastases, including melanoma- and non-small-cell-lung cancer- (NSCLC) related brain metastases. Thus, narciclasine is a potentially promising agent for the treatment of primary brain cancers and various brain metastases. To date, efforts to develop synthetic analogs with anticancer properties superior to those of narciclasine have failed; thus, research efforts are now focused on narciclasine prodrugs.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/129001/3/129001.pdf

 

Chemistry of the nudibranch Aldisa andersoni: structure and biological activity of phorbazole metabolites.

Nuzzo, G., Ciavatta, M., Kiss, R., Mathieu, V., Leclercqz, H., Manzo, E., Villani, G., Mollo, E., Lefranc, F., D'Souza, L., Gavagnin, M., & Cimino, G. (2012). Chemistry of the nudibranch Aldisa andersoni: structure and biological activity of phorbazole metabolites. Marine drugs, 10, 1799-1811. doi:10.3390/md10081799  

The first chemical study of the Indo-Pacific dorid nudibranch Aldisa andersoni resulted in the isolation of five chlorinated phenyl-pyrrolyloxazoles belonging to the phorbazole series. Two new molecules, 9-chloro-phorbazole D and N1-methyl-phorbazole A, co-occurring with known phorbazoles A, B and D, have been characterized. Phorbazoles were found to be present mainly in the external part of the mollusc. The structures of the new compounds were determined by interpretation of spectroscopic data, mainly NMR and mass spectrometry and by comparison with the literature data. Evaluation of feeding-deterrence activity as well as in vitro growth inhibitory properties in human cancer cells was also carried out. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/138590/3/doi_121578.pdf

 

2011

Galectin-1 as an oncotarget in gliomas and melanomas.

Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., & Kiss, R. (2011). Galectin-1 as an oncotarget in gliomas and melanomas. Oncotarget, 2(12), 892-893.  

Altogether, these findings clearly point to the fact that decreasing galectin-1 expression ( e.g., using monoclonal antibodies or siRNAs ) in melanomas and gliomas may weaken the defenses of these two types of cancers against radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy/vaccine therapy; may reinforce antiangiogenic therapies; and may weaken both the invasive capacities of these cancers towards neighboring tissues (such as the brain parenchyma for gliomas) and (in the case of melanomas) their metastatic rates.

 

In search of a cytostatic agent derived from the alkaloid lycorine: synthesis and growth inhibitory properties of lycorine derivatives.

Evdokimov, N. M., Lamoral-Theys, D., Mathieu, V., Andolfi, A., Frolova, L. V., Pelly, S. C., van Otterlo, W. A. L., Magedov, I. V., Kiss, R., Evidente, A., & Kornienko, A. (2011). In search of a cytostatic agent derived from the alkaloid lycorine: synthesis and growth inhibitory properties of lycorine derivatives. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 19(23), 7252-7261. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2011.09.051  

As a continuation of our studies aimed at the development of a new cytostatic agent derived from an Amaryllidaceae alkaloid lycorine, we synthesized 32 analogues of this natural product. This set of synthetic analogues included compounds incorporating selective derivatization of the C1 versus C2 hydroxyl groups, aromatized ring C, lactamized N6 nitrogen, dihydroxylated C3-C3a olefin functionality, transposed olefin from C3-C3a to C2-C3 or C3a-C4, and C1 long-chain fatty esters. All synthesized compounds were evaluated for antiproliferative activities in vitro in a panel of tumor cell lines including those exhibiting resistance to proapoptotic stimuli and representing solid cancers associated with dismal prognoses, such as melanoma, glioblastoma, and non-small-cell lung cancer. Most active analogues were not discriminatory between cancer cells displaying resistance or sensitivity to apoptosis, indicating that these compounds are thus able to overcome the intrinsic resistance of cancer cells to pro-apoptotic stimuli. 1,2-Di-O-allyllycorine was identified as a lycorine analogue, which is 100 times more potent against a U373 human glioblastoma model than the parent natural product. Furthermore, a number of synthetic analogues were identified as promising for the forthcoming in vivo studies.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/110125/1/Elsevier_90304.pdf

 

Galectin-1-mediated biochemical controls of melanoma and glioma aggressive behavior.

Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., & Kiss, R. (2011). Galectin-1-mediated biochemical controls of melanoma and glioma aggressive behavior. World journal of biological chemistry, 2(9), 193-201. doi:10.4331/wjbc.v2.i9.193  

Gliomas and melanomas are associated with dismal prognosis because of their marked intrinsic resistance to proapoptotic stimuli, such as conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as their ability to escape immune cell attacks. In addition, gliomas and melanomas display pronounced neoangiogenesis. Galectin-1 is a hypoxia-sensitive protein, which is abundantly secreted by glioma and melanoma cells, which displays marked proangiogenic effects. It also provides immune tolerogenic environments to melanoma and glioma cells through the killing of activated T cells that attack these tumor cells. Galectin-1 protects glioma and melanoma cells against cytotoxic insults (including chemotherapy and radiotherapy) through a direct role in the unfolded protein response. Altogether, these facts clearly point to galectin-1 as an important target to be combated in gliomas and melanomas in order to: (1) weaken the defenses of these two types of cancers against radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy/vaccine therapy; and (2) reinforce antiangiogenic therapies. In the present article, we review the biochemical and molecular biology-related pathways controlled by galectin-1, which are actually beneficial for melanoma and glioma cells, and therefore detrimental for melanoma and glioma patients.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/110128/4/doi_90307.pdf

 

In vitro anticancer activity, toxicity and structure-activity relationships of phyllostictine A, a natural oxazatricycloalkenone produced by the fungus Phyllosticta cirsii.

Le Calve, B., Lallemand, B., Perrone, C., Lenglet, G., Depauw, S., Van Goietsenoven, G., Bury, M., Vurro, M., Herphelin, F., Andolfi, A., Zonno, M. C., Mathieu, V., Dufrasne, F., Van Antwerpen, P., Poumay, Y., David-Cordonnier, M.-H., Evidente, A., & Kiss, R. (2011). In vitro anticancer activity, toxicity and structure-activity relationships of phyllostictine A, a natural oxazatricycloalkenone produced by the fungus Phyllosticta cirsii. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 254(1), 8-17. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2011.03.027  

The in vitro anticancer activity and toxicity of phyllostictine A, a novel oxazatricycloalkenone recently isolated from a plant-pathogenic fungus (Phyllosticta cirsii) was characterized in six normal and five cancer cell lines. Phyllostictine A displays in vitro growth-inhibitory activity both in normal and cancer cells without actual bioselectivity, while proliferating cells appear significantly more sensitive to phyllostictine A than non-proliferating ones. The main mechanism of action by which phyllostictine displays cytotoxic effects in cancer cells does not seem to relate to a direct activation of apoptosis. In the same manner, phyllostictine A seems not to bind or bond with DNA as part of its mechanism of action. In contrast, phyllostictine A strongly reacts with GSH, which is a bionucleophile. The experimental data from the present study are in favor of a bonding process between GSH and phyllostictine A to form a complex though Michael attack at C=C bond at the acrylamide-like system. Considering the data obtained, two new hemisynthesized phyllostictine A derivatives together with three other natural phyllostictines (B, C and D) were also tested in vitro in five cancer cell lines. Compared to phyllostictine A, the two derivatives displayed a higher, phyllostictines B and D a lower, and phyllostictine C an almost equal, growth-inhibitory activity, respectively. These results led us to propose preliminary conclusions in terms of the structure-activity relationship (SAR) analyses for the anticancer activity of phyllostictine A and its related compounds, at least in vitro.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/98234/1/Elsevier_77297.pdf

 

JLK1486, a Bis 8-Hydroxyquinoline-Substituted Benzylamine, Displays Cytostatic Effects in Experimental Gliomas through MyT1 and STAT1 Activation and, to a Lesser Extent, PPARγ Activation.

Bruyère, C., Madonna, S., Van Goietsenoven, G., Mathieu, V., Dessolin, J., Kraus, J.-L., Lefranc, F., & Kiss, R. (2011). JLK1486, a Bis 8-Hydroxyquinoline-Substituted Benzylamine, Displays Cytostatic Effects in Experimental Gliomas through MyT1 and STAT1 Activation and, to a Lesser Extent, PPARγ Activation. Translational Oncology, 4(3), 126-137. doi:10.1593/tlo.10253  

Gliomas account for 5% to 7% of all solid cancers in adults and up to 30% of solid cancers in children; glioblastomas are the most malignant type of glioma and often have dismal prognoses. The alkylating agent temozolomide provides the greatest chemotherapeutic benefits currently available; however, glioblastoma patients cannot be cured. Novel drugs that efficiently combat glioblastomas are therefore of great interest. We report here that JLK1486, an 8-hydroxyquinoline-substituted benzylamine, could represent a novel chemical scaffold to reach this goal. Indeed, JLK1486 mediated anticancer activity in vivo (through intravenous as well as oral routes of administrations) in an orthotopic xenograft model and displayed efficiency similar to that of temozolomide. The therapeutic benefits of JLK1486 seem to relate to its ability to activate various transcription factors (including Myt1, STAT1, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ) in glioma cells. These transcription factors are implicated in the control of glioma cell proliferation, and the resultant global effect of their activation by JLK1486 was cytostatic, not cytotoxic. Thus, the current study opens the door for the development of novel compounds to combat glioblastoma using 8-hydroxyquinoline benzylamine analogs.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/93547/4/doi_72211.pdf

 

N-(2-{3-[3,5-Bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ureido}ethyl)-glycyrrhetinamide (6b): A Novel Anticancer Glycyrrhetinic Acid Derivative that Targets the Proteasome and Displays Anti-Kinase Activity.

Lallemand, B., Chaix, F., Bury, M., Bruyère, C., Ghostin, J., Becker, J.-P., Delporte, C., Gelbcke, M., Mathieu, V., Dubois, J., Prévost, M., Jabin, I., & Kiss, R. (2011). N-(2-{3-[3,5-Bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ureido}ethyl)-glycyrrhetinamide (6b): A Novel Anticancer Glycyrrhetinic Acid Derivative that Targets the Proteasome and Displays Anti-Kinase Activity. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 54, 6501-6513. doi:10.1021/jm200285z  

18-β-Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA; 1) and many of its derivatives are cytotoxic in cancer cells. The current study aims to characterize the anticancer effects of 17 novel 1 derivatives. On the basis of these studies, N-(2-{3-[3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ureido}ethyl)-glycyrrhetinamide (6b) appeared to be the most potent compound, with IC(50)in vitro growth inhibitory concentrations in single-digit micromolarity in a panel of 8 cancer cell lines. Compound 6b is cytostatic and displays similar efficiency in apoptosis-sensitive versus apoptosis-resistant cancer cell lines through, at least partly, the inhibition of the activity of a cluster of a dozen kinases that are implicated in cancer cell proliferation and in the control of the actin cytoskeleton organization. Compound 6b also inhibits the activity of the 3 proteolytic units of the proteasome. Compound 6b thus represents an interesting hit from which future compounds could be derived to improve chemotherapeutic regimens that aim to combat cancers associated with poor prognoses.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/98235/1/Glycyrrhetinamidederivative_cancer-proteasome-kinase.pdf

 

Evaluation of the anticancer activities of two fungal polycyclic ethanones, alternethanoxins A and B, and two of their derivatives.

Bury, M., Punzo, B., Berestetskiy, A., Lallemand, B., Dubois, J., Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., Andolfi, A., Kiss, R., & Evidente, A. (2011). Evaluation of the anticancer activities of two fungal polycyclic ethanones, alternethanoxins A and B, and two of their derivatives. International journal of oncology, 38(1), 227-232. doi:10.3892/ijo-00000842  

Alternethanoxins A (1) and B (2) are fungal phytotoxins that are produced by Alternaria sonchi and have been recently characterized as new polycyclic ethanones. Triacetyl (3) and dimethyl (4) derivatives of compound 1 were evaluated together with alternethanoxins for their in vitro growth inhibitory activities in five human and one mouse cancer cell lines in comparison to the reference compound temozolomide (TMZ). Compounds 1-4 and TMZ displayed similar growth inhibitory activities, and these anticancer activities were equivalent in cancer cell lines that display certain levels of resistance to pro-apoptotic stimuli and those that are sensitive to pro-apoptotic stimuli. Of the six cancer cell lines under study, the human esophageal cancer cell line OE21 was the most sensitive to the four polycyclic ethanones. Computer-assisted phase-contrast microscopy (quantitative videomicroscopy) revealed that compounds 1, 2 and 4 displayed cytostatic rather than cytotoxic growth inhibitory effects, while compound 3 appeared to have cytotoxic effects. Thus, this study creates a stimulus for further structure-activity investigations with respect to the anticancer activities of compounds belonging to the alternethanoxin group. The observed toxicity does not seem to be affected by the stereochemistry of C-6 of the B ring, the presence of a hydroxy group at C-1 or the presence of a furan ring joining rings A and C in alternethanoxin B. The anticancer activity (cytostatic versus cytotoxic) of this type of compound could be affected by the chemical moieties present at the hydroxy groups at C-4 and C-6, as was observed for the cytostatic and cytotoxic activities of derivatives 4 and 3, respectively.

 

In Vitro Growth Inhibitory Effects of Cytochalasins and Derivatives in Cancer Cells.

Van Goietsenoven, G., Mathieu, V., Andolfi, A., Cimmino, A., Lefranc, F., Kiss, R., & Evidente, A. (2011). In Vitro Growth Inhibitory Effects of Cytochalasins and Derivatives in Cancer Cells. Planta medica, 77, 711-717. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1250523  

The IN VITRO anticancer activity of eight natural cytochalasins and three hemisynthetic derivatives of cytochalasin B on six cancer cell lines was evaluated. The IC (50) IN VITRO growth inhibitory concentrations, as determined by an MTT colorimetric assay, ranged between 3 and 90 µM and did not relate to the intrinsic sensitivity of the cancer cell lines to proapoptotic stimuli. Structure activity relationship (SAR) analyses revealed that the presence of an unmodified hydroxyl group at C-7 of the perhydroisoinsolyl-1-one residue as well as the functionalities and the conformational freedom of the macrocycle are all important features for cytochalasin-mediated anticancer activities IN VITRO. Computer-assisted phase-contrast microscopy revealed two groups of cytochalasins, i.e., cytotoxic versus cytostatic ones. Our data open new possibilities for tuning cytochalasin targets and developing nontoxic, cytostatic cytochalasins to combat cancers associated with poor prognoses, such as those that display intrinsic resistance to proapoptotic stimuli.

 

Temozolomide modifies caveolin-1 expression in experimental malignant gliomas in vitro and in vivo

Bruyère, C., Abeloos, L., Lamoral-Theys, D., Senetta, R., Mathieu, V., Le Mercier, M., Kast, R. E., Cassoni, P., Vandenbussche, G., Kiss, R., & Lefranc, F. (2011). Temozolomide modifies caveolin-1 expression in experimental malignant gliomas in vitro and in vivo. Translational Oncology, 4, 92-100.  

 

2010

Targeting of eEF1A with Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyrils as a strategy to combat melanomas.

Van Goietsenoven, G., Hutton, J., Becker, J.-P., Lallemand, B., Robert, F., Lefranc, F., Pirker, C., Vandenbussche, G., Van Antwerpen, P., Evidente, A., Berger, W., Prévost, M., Pelletier, J., Kiss, R., Kinzy, T. G., Kornienko, A., & Mathieu, V. (2010). Targeting of eEF1A with Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyrils as a strategy to combat melanomas. The FASEB journal, 24(11), 4575-4584. doi:10.1096/fj.10-162263  

Melanomas display poor response rates to adjuvant therapies because of their intrinsic resistance to proapoptotic stimuli. This study indicates that such resistance can be overcome, at least partly, through the targeting of eEF1A elongation factor with narciclasine, an Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyril controlling plant growth. Narciclasine displays IC(50) growth inhibitory values between 30-100 nM in melanoma cell lines, irrespective of their levels of resistance to proapoptotic stimuli. Normal noncancerous cell lines are much less affected. At nontoxic doses, narciclasine also significantly improves (P=0.004) the survival of mice bearing metastatic apoptosis-resistant melanoma xenografts in their brain. The eEF1A targeting with narciclasine (50 nM) leads to 1) marked actin cytoskeleton disorganization, resulting in cytokinesis impairment, and 2) protein synthesis impairment (elongation and initiation steps), whereas apoptosis is induced at higher doses only (≥200 nM). In addition to molecular docking validation and identification of potential binding sites, we biochemically confirmed that narciclasine directly binds to human recombinant and yeast-purified eEF1A in a nanomolar range, but not to actin or elongation factor 2, and that 5 nM narciclasine is sufficient to impair eEF1A-related actin bundling activity. eEF1A is thus a potential target to combat melanomas regardless of their apoptosis-sensitivity, and this finding reconciles the pleiotropic cytostatic of narciclasine. -

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/67950/1/Targeting-eFE1A-melanoma.pdf

 

Tumor cells secrete galectin-1 to enhance endothelial cell activity.

Thijssen, V. L., Barkan, B., Shoji, H., Aries, I. M., Mathieu, V., Deltour, L., Hackeng, T. M., Kiss, R., Kloog, Y., Poirier, F., & Griffioen, A. W. (2010). Tumor cells secrete galectin-1 to enhance endothelial cell activity. Cancer research, 70(15), 6216-6224. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-4150  

Tumor angiogenesis is a key event in cancer progression. Here, we report that tumors can stimulate tumor angiogenesis by secretion of galectin-1. Tumor growth and tumor angiogenesis of different tumor models are hampered in galectin-1-null (gal-1(-/-)) mice. However, tumor angiogenesis is less affected when tumor cells express and secrete high levels of galectin-1. Furthermore, tumor endothelial cells in gal-1(-/-) mice take up galectin-1 that is secreted by tumor cells. Uptake of galectin-1 by cultured endothelial cells specifically promotes H-Ras signaling to the Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) kinase (Mek)/Erk cascade and stimulates endothelial cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, the activation can be blocked by galectin-1 inhibition as evidenced by hampered membrane translocation of H-Ras.GTP and impaired Raf/Mek/Erk phosphorylation after treatment with the galectin-1-targeting angiogenesis inhibitor anginex. Altogether, these data identify galectin-1 as a proangiogenic factor. These findings have direct implications for current efforts on galectin-1-targeted cancer therapies.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/70291/3/doi_47419.pdf

 

Amaryllidaceae alkaloids belonging to different structural subgroups display activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells.

Van Goietsenoven, G., Andolfi, A., Lallemand, B., Cimmino, A., Lamoral-Theys, D., Gras, T., Abou-Donia, A., Dubois, J., Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., Kornienko, A., Kiss, R., & Evidente, A. (2010). Amaryllidaceae alkaloids belonging to different structural subgroups display activity against apoptosis-resistant cancer cells. Journal of natural products, 73(7), 1223-1227. doi:10.1021/np9008255  

Fifteen Amaryllidaceae alkaloids (1-15) were evaluated for their antiproliferative activities against six distinct cancer cell lines. Several of these natural products were found to have low micromolar antiproliferative potencies. The log P values of these compounds did not influence their observed activity. When active, the compounds displayed cytostatic, not cytotoxic activity, with the exception of pseudolycorine (3), which exhibited cytotoxic profiles. The active compounds showed similar efficacies toward cancer cells irrespective of whether the cell lines were responsive or resistant to proapoptotic stimuli. Altogether, the data from the present study revealed that lycorine (1), amarbellisine (6), haemanthamine (14), and haemanthidine (15) are potentially useful chemical scaffolds to generate further compounds to combat cancers associated with poor prognoses, especially those naturally resistant to apoptosis, such as glioblastoma, melanoma, non-small-cell lung, and metastatic cancers.

 

Investigations of fungal secondary metabolites with potential anticancer activity.

Balde, E. S., Andolfi, A., Bruyère, C., Cimmino, A., Lamoral-Theys, D., Vurro, M., Van Damme, M., Altomare, C., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., & Evidente, A. (2010). Investigations of fungal secondary metabolites with potential anticancer activity. Journal of natural products, 73(5), 969-971. doi:10.1021/np900731p  

Fourteen metabolites, isolated from phytopathogenic and toxigenic fungi, were evaluated for their in vitro antigrowth activity for six distinct cancer cell lines, using the MTT colorimetric assay. Bislongiquinolide (1) and dihydrotrichodimerol (5), which belong to the bisorbicillinoid structural class, displayed significant growth inhibitory activity against the six cancer cell lines studied, while the remaining compounds displayed weak or no activity. The data show that 1 and 5 have similar growth inhibitory activities with respect to those cancer cell lines that display certain levels of resistance to pro-apoptotic stimuli or those that are sensitive to apoptosis. Quantitative videomicroscopy analysis revealed that 1 and 5 exert their antiproliferative effect through cytostatic and not cytotoxic activity. The preliminary results from the current study have stimulated further structure-activity investigations with respect to the growth inhibitory activity of compounds belonging to the bisorbicillinoid group.

 

Galectins and gliomas.

Le Mercier, M., Fortin, S., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., & Lefranc, F. (2010). Galectins and gliomas. Brain pathology, 20(1), 17-27. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3639.2009.00270.x  

Malignant gliomas, especially glioblastomas, are associated with a dismal prognosis. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, glioblastoma patients still have a median survival expectancy of only 14 months. This poor prognosis can be at least partly explained by the fact that glioma cells diffusely infiltrate the brain parenchyma and exhibit decreased levels of apoptosis, and thus resistance to cytotoxic drugs. Galectins are a family of mammalian beta-galactoside-binding proteins characterized by a shared characteristic amino acid sequence. They are expressed differentially in normal vs. neoplastic tissues and are known to play important roles in several biological processes such as cell proliferation, death and migration. This review focuses on the role played by galectins, especially galectin-1 and galectin-3, in glioma biology. The involvement of these galectins in different steps of glioma malignant progression such as migration, angiogenesis or chemoresistance makes them potentially good targets for the development of new drugs to combat these malignant tumors.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/70283/6/PMC2805916.pdf

 

In vivo assessment of temozolomide local delivery for lung cancer inhalation therapy.

Wauthoz, N., Deleuze, P., Hecq, J., Roland, I., Saussez, S., Adanja, I., Debeir, O., Decaestecker, C., Mathieu, V., Kiss, R., & Amighi, K. (2010). In vivo assessment of temozolomide local delivery for lung cancer inhalation therapy. European journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 39, 402-411. doi:10.1016/j.ejps.2010.01.010  

The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of local drug delivery by inhalation to intravenous delivery in a B16F10 melanoma metastatic lung model. Temozolomide was formulated as a suspension, which was elaborated and evaluated in terms of particle size, shape and agglomeration. An endotracheal administration device was used to aerosolise the suspension. This mode of delivery was evaluated at different temozolomide concentrations and was optimized for the uniformity of delivered dose, the droplet size distribution and the distribution of droplets in vivo. Of the particles in the stabilised suspension, 79% were compatible with the human respirable size range, and this formulation retained 100% in vitro anticancer activity as compared to temozolomide alone in three distinct cancer cell lines. The pulmonary delivery device provided good reproducibility in terms of both the dose delivered and the droplet size distribution. Most of the lung tissues that were exposed to aerosol droplets contained the particles, as revealed by fluorescent microscopy techniques. The global in vivo antitumour activity of the inhaled temozolomide provided a median survival period similar to that for intravenous temozolomide delivery, and three out of 27 mice (11%) survived with almost complete eradication of the lung tumours. The present study thus shows that inhalation of a simple liquid formulation is well tolerated and active against a very biologically aggressive mouse melanoma pulmonary pseudo-metastatic model. This inhalation delivery could be used to deliver other types of anticancer drugs.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/51846/13/2010Wauthozpreprintok.pdf

 

2009

Lycorine, the main phenanthridine Amaryllidaceae alkaloid, exhibits significant antitumor activity in cancer cells that display resistance to proapoptotic stimuli: an investigation of structure-activity relationship and mechanistic insight.

Lamoral-Theys, D., Andolfi, A., Van Goietsenoven, G., Cimmino, A., Le Calve, B., Wauthoz, N., Megalizzi, V., Gras, T., Bruyère, C., Dubois, J., Mathieu, V., Kornienko, A., Kiss, R., & Evidente, A. (2009). Lycorine, the main phenanthridine Amaryllidaceae alkaloid, exhibits significant antitumor activity in cancer cells that display resistance to proapoptotic stimuli: an investigation of structure-activity relationship and mechanistic insight. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 52(20), 6244-6256. doi:10.1021/jm901031h  

Twenty-two lycorine-related compounds were investigated for in vitro antitumor activity using four cancer cell lines displaying different levels of resistance to proapoptotic stimuli and two cancer cell lines sensitive to proapoptotic stimuli. Lycorine and six of its congeners exhibited potency in the single-digit micromolar range, while no compound appeared more active than lycorine. Lycorine also displayed the highest potential (in vitro) therapeutic ratio, being at least 15 times more active against cancer than normal cells. Our studies also showed that lycorine exerts its in vitro antitumor activity through cytostatic rather than cytotoxic effects. Furthermore, lycorine provided significant therapeutic benefit in mice bearing brain grafts of the B16F10 melanoma model at nontoxic doses. Thus, the results of the current study make lycorine an excellent lead for the generation of compounds able to combat cancers, which are naturally resistant to proapoptotic stimuli, such as glioblastoma, melanoma, non-small-cell-lung cancers, and metastatic cancers, among others.

 

Narciclasine, a plant growth modulator, activates Rho and stress fibers in glioblastoma cells.

Lefranc, F., Sauvage, S., Van Goietsenoven, G., Megalizzi, V., Lamoral-Theys, D., Debeir, O., Spiegl-Kreinecker, S., Berger, W., Mathieu, V., Decaestecker, C., & Kiss, R. (2009). Narciclasine, a plant growth modulator, activates Rho and stress fibers in glioblastoma cells. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 8(7), 1739-1750. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0932  

Cell motility and resistance to apoptosis characterize glioblastoma multiforme growth and malignancy. Narciclasine, a plant growth modulator, could represent a powerful new weapon targeting the Achilles' heel of glioblastoma multiforme and may offer the potential to better combat these devastating malignancies. The in vitro effects of narciclasine on cell proliferation, morphology, actin cytoskeleton organization, and the Rho/Rho kinase/LIM kinase/cofilin pathway and its antitumor activity in vivo have been determined in models of human glioblastoma multiforme. Narciclasine impairs glioblastoma multiforme growth by markedly decreasing mitotic rates without inducing apoptosis. The compound also modulates the Rho/Rho kinase/LIM kinase/cofilin signaling pathway, greatly increasing GTPase RhoA activity as well as inducing actin stress fiber formation in a RhoA-dependent manner. Lastly, the treatment of human glioblastoma multiforme orthotopic xenograft- bearing mice with nontoxic doses of narciclasine significantly increased their survival. Narciclasine antitumor effects were of the same magnitude as those of temozolomide, the drug associated with the highest therapeutic benefits in treating glioblastoma multiforme patients. Our results show for the first time that narciclasine, a plant growth modulator, activates Rho and stress fibers in glioblastoma multiforme cells and significantly increases the survival of human glioblastoma multiforme preclinical models. This statement is made despite the recognition that to date, irrespective of treatment, no single glioblastoma multiforme patient has been cured.

 

Galectin 1 proangiogenic and promigratory effects in the Hs683 oligodendroglioma model are partly mediated through the control of BEX2 expression.

Le Mercier, M., Fortin, S., Mathieu, V., Roland, I., Spiegl-Kreinecker, S., Haibe-Kains, B., Bontempi, G., Decaestecker, C., Berger, W., Lefranc, F., & Kiss, R. (2009). Galectin 1 proangiogenic and promigratory effects in the Hs683 oligodendroglioma model are partly mediated through the control of BEX2 expression. Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 11(5), 485-496.  

We have previously reported that galectin 1 (Gal-1) plays important biological roles in astroglial as well as in oligodendroglial cancer cells. As an oligodendroglioma model, we make use of the Hs683 cell line that has been previously extensively characterized at cell biology, molecular biology, and genetic levels. Galectin 1 has been shown to be involved in Hs683 oligodendroglioma chemoresistance, neoangiogenesis, and migration. Down-regulating Gal-1 expression in Hs683 cells through targeted small interfering RNA provokes a marked decrease in the expression of the brain-expressed X-linked gene: BEX2. Accordingly, the potential role of BEX2 in Hs683 oligodendroglioma cell biology has been investigated. The data presented here reveal that decreasing BEX2 expression in Hs683 cells increases the survival of Hs683 orthotopic xenograft-bearing mice. Furthermore, this decrease in BEX2 expression impairs vasculogenic mimicry channel formation in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo, and modulates glioma cell adhesion and invasive features through the modification of several genes previously reported to play a role in cancer cell migration, including MAP2, plexin C1, SWAP70, and integrin beta(6). We thus conclude that BEX2 is implicated in oligodendroglioma biology.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/51190/4/PMC2671859.pdf

 

Structure-activity relationship analysis of novel derivatives of narciclasine (an Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyril derivative) as potential anticancer agents.

Ingrassia, L., Lefranc, F., Dewelle, J., Pottier, L., Mathieu, V., Spiegl-Kreinecker, S., Sauvage, S., El Yazidi, M., Dehoux, M., Berger, W., Van Quaquebeke, E., & Kiss, R. (2009). Structure-activity relationship analysis of novel derivatives of narciclasine (an Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyril derivative) as potential anticancer agents. Journal of medicinal chemistry, 52(4), 1100-1114. doi:10.1021/jm8013585  

Narciclasine (1) is a plant growth regulator that has been previously demonstrated to be proapoptotic to cancer cells at high concentrations (> or = 1 microM). Data generated in the present study show that narciclasine displays potent antitumor effects in apoptosis-resistant as well as in apoptosis-sensitive cancer cells by impairing the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in cancer cells at concentrations that are not cytotoxic (IC(50) values of 30-90 nM). The current study further revealed that any chemical modification to the narciclasine backbone generally led to compounds of variable stability, weaker activity, or even the complete loss of antiproliferative effects in vitro. However, one hemisynthetic derivative of narciclasine, compound 7k, demonstrated by both the intravenous and oral routes higher in vivo antitumor activity in human orthotopic glioma models in mice when compared to narciclasine at nontoxic doses. Narciclasine and compound 7k may therefore be of potential use to combat brain tumors.

 

The Sodium Pump alpha1 Subunit: a Disease Progression-Related Target for Metastatic Melanoma Treatment.

Mathieu, V., Pirker, C., de Lassalle, E. M., Vernier, M., Mijatovic, T., Deneve, N., Gaussin, J.-F., Dehoux, M., Lefranc, F., Berger, W., & Kiss, R. (2009). The Sodium Pump alpha1 Subunit: a Disease Progression-Related Target for Metastatic Melanoma Treatment. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, 13(9B), 3960-3972. doi:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2009.00708.x  

Abstract Background: Melanomas remain associated with dismal prognosis because they are naturally resistant to apoptosis and they markedly metastasize. Up-regulated expression of sodium pump alpha subunits has previously been demonstrated when comparing metastatic to non-metastatic melanomas. Our previous data revealed that impairing sodium pump alpha1 activity by means of selective ligands i.e. cardenolides, markedly impairs cell migration and kills apoptosis-resistant cancer cells. Objectives: To determine the expression levels of sodium pump alpha subunits in melanoma clinical samples and cell lines, and to characterize the role of alpha1 subunits in melanoma cell biology. Methods: Quantitative RT-PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to determine the expression levels of sodium pump alpha subunits. In vitro cytotoxicity of various cardenolides and of an anti-alpha1 siRNA were evaluated by means of MTT assay, quantitative videomicroscopy and through apoptosis assays. The in vivo activity of a novel cardenolide UNBS1450 was evaluated in a melanoma brain metastasis model. Results: Our data show that all investigated human melanoma cell lines expressed high levels of the alpha1 subunit and 33% of human melanomas displayed significant alpha1 subunit expression in correlation with the Breslow index. Furthermore, cardenolides (notably UNBS1450; currently in Phase I clinical trials) displayed marked anti-tumor effects against melanomas in vitro. This activity was closely paralleled by decreases in cMyc expression and by increases in apoptotic features. UNBS1450 also displayed marked anti-tumor activity in the aggressive human metastatic brain melanoma model in vivo. Conclusion: The alpha1 sodium pump subunit could represent a potential novel target for combating melanoma.

 

The extracellular matrix regulates cancer progression and therapy response: Implications for prognosis and treatment

Denys, H., Braems, G., Lambein, K., Pauwels, P., Hendrix, A., De Boeck, A., Mathieu, V., Bracke, M. E., & De Wever, O. (2009). The extracellular matrix regulates cancer progression and therapy response: Implications for prognosis and treatment. Current pharmaceutical design, 15(12), 1373-1384. doi:10.2174/138161209787846711  

Emerging evidence points towards a key role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) during tumor progression and therapy resistance. Paradoxically, in today's routine of cancer management the ECM is not taken into account. It is the aim of the present review to broaden our understanding of the mechanisms of therapy resistance, taking the ECM as a presumptive central regulator. The stromal ecosystem drives the accumulation of ECM at the invasion front. Therefore, we address the question whether the detection of ECM signatures in histopathology and biofluids may help predicting therapy resistance and determining the prognosis of cancer. Since the ECM is an attractive target for tumor therapy, current therapeutic strategies in preclinical or clinical development will be discussed. © 2009 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

 

2008

Combining bevacizumab with temozolomide increases the antitumor efficacy of temozolomide in a human glioblastoma orthotopic xenograft model.

Mathieu, V., De Nève, N., Le Mercier, M., Dewelle, J., Gaussin, J.-F., Dehoux, M., Kiss, R., & Lefranc, F. (2008). Combining bevacizumab with temozolomide increases the antitumor efficacy of temozolomide in a human glioblastoma orthotopic xenograft model. Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 10(12), 1383-1392.  

PURPOSE: The aims of the present work were to investigate the in vitro and in vivo antiangiogenic effects of chronic temozolomide treatment on various glioma models and to demonstrate whether bevacizumab (Avastin) increased the therapeutic benefits contributed by temozolomide in glioma. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The expression levels of various antiangiogenic factors in four glioma cell lines were evaluated after chronic in vitro treatment with temozolomide by Western blot. Proliferation and migration assays were performed on human endothelial cells incubated with supernatants of glioma cells treated with and without temozolomide. Orthotopic glioma models were used to evaluate the antiangiogenic effects of temozolomide in vivo and the therapeutic benefits of different temozolomide treatment schedules used alone or in combination with bevacizumab. RESULTS: Temozolomide, a proautophagic and proapoptotic drug, decreased the expression levels of HIF-1alpha, ID-1, ID-2, and cMyc in the glioma models investigated, all of which playing major roles in angiogenesis and the switch to hypoxic metabolism. These changes could be, at least partly, responsible for the impairment of angiogenesis observed in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, combining bevacizumab with temozolomide increased the survival of glioma-bearing mice in comparison to each compound administered alone. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the numerous mechanisms of action already identified for temozolomide, we report here that it also exerts antitumor effects by impairing angiogenic processes. We further emphasize that bevacizumab, which is an antiangiogenic drug with a different mechanism of action, could be useful in combination with temozolomide to increase the latter's therapeutic benefit in glioma patients.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/51201/4/PMC2586689.pdf

 

Evidence of galectin-1 involvement in glioma chemoresistance.

Le Mercier, M., Lefranc, F., Mijatovic, T., Debeir, O., Haibe-Kains, B., Bontempi, G., Decaestecker, C., Kiss, R., & Mathieu, V. (2008). Evidence of galectin-1 involvement in glioma chemoresistance. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 229(2), 172-183. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2008.01.009  

Glioblastomas (GBMs) are resistant to apoptosis but less so to autophagy; a fact that may at least partly explain the therapeutic benefits of the pro-autophagic drug temozolomide in the treatment of GBM patients. Galectin-1 (Gal1) whose expression is stimulated by hypoxia is a potent modulator of GBM cell migration and a pro-angiogenic molecule. Hypoxia is also known to confer cancer cells with resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and to modulate the unfolded protein response (UPR) during endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. The present study investigates whether decreasing Gal1 expression (by means of a siRNA approach) in human Hs683 GBM cells increases their sensitivity to pro-autophagic or pro-apoptotic drugs. The data reveal that temozolomide, the standard treatment for glioma patients, increases Gal1 expression in Hs683 cells both in vitro and in vivo. However, reducing Gal1 expression in these cells by siRNA increases the anti-tumor effects of various chemotherapeutic agents, in particular temozolomide both in vitro and in vivo. This decrease in Gal1 expression in Hs683 cells does not induce apoptotic or autophagic features, but is found to modulate p53 transcriptional activity and decrease p53-targeted gene expression including DDIT3/GADD153/CHOP, DUSP5 ATF3 and GADD45A. The decrease in Gal1 expression also impairs the expression levels of seven other genes implicated in chemoresistance: ORP150, HERP, GRP78/Bip, TRA1, BNIP3L, GADD45B and CYR61, some of which are located in the ER and whose expression is also known to be modified by hypoxia. This novel facet of Gal1 involvement in glioblastoma biology may be amenable to therapeutic manipulation.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/51198/3/Elsevier_26264.pdf

 

Knocking down galectin 1 in human hs683 glioblastoma cells impairs both angiogenesis and endoplasmic reticulum stress responses.

Le Mercier, M., Mathieu, V., Haibe-Kains, B., Bontempi, G., Mijatovic, T., Decaestecker, C., Kiss, R., & Lefranc, F. (2008). Knocking down galectin 1 in human hs683 glioblastoma cells impairs both angiogenesis and endoplasmic reticulum stress responses. Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology, 67(5), 456-469. doi:10.1097/NEN.0b013e318170f892  

Galectin (Gal) 1 is a hypoxia-regulated proangiogenic factor that also directly participates in glioblastoma cell migration. To determine how Gal-1 exerts its proangiogenic effects, we investigated Gal-1 signaling in the human Hs683 glioblastoma cell line. Galectin 1 signals through the endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane kinase/ribonuclease inositol-requiring 1alpha, which regulates the expression of oxygen-regulated protein 150. Oxygen-regulated protein 150 controls vascular endothelial growth factor maturation. Galectin 1 also modulates the expression of 7 other hypoxia-related genes (i.e. CTGF, ATF3, PPP1R15A, HSPA5, TRA1, and CYR61) that are implicated in angiogenesis. Decreasing Gal-1 expression in Hs683 orthotopic xenografts in mouse brains by siRNA administration impaired endoplasmic reticulum stress and enhanced the therapeutic benefits of the proautophagic drug temozolomide. These results suggest that decreasing Gal-1 expression (e.g. through brain delivery of nonviral infusions of anti-Gal-1 siRNA in patients) can represent an additional therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma.

 

Nucleolus and c-Myc: potential targets of cardenolide-mediated antitumor activity.

Mijatovic, T., De Nève, N., Gailly, P., Mathieu, V., Haibe-Kains, B., Bontempi, G., Lapeira, J., Decaestecker, C., Facchini, V., & Kiss, R. (2008). Nucleolus and c-Myc: potential targets of cardenolide-mediated antitumor activity. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 7(5), 1285-1296. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-2241  

The use of cardenolides like ouabain, digitoxin, or oleandrin has been reported previously many times as a means of potentially combating human refractory prostate cancer by inducing apoptosis through an increase in intracellular calcium concentrations. The aims of the current study were to investigate if part of the antitumor effects mediated by cardenolides concerned disorganization of nucleolar structure and whether this was further associated with a marked decrease in c-Myc expression. Accordingly, the antitumor activity of a novel hemisynthetic cardenolide [1R,3aS,3bR,5aS,6aR,7aS,9R,12aR,13aR,15aR]-3a,11a-dihydroxy-13a-(hydroxymethyl)-9,15a-dimethyl-1-(5-oxo-2,5-dihydrofuran-3-yl)icosahydro-1H,4'H-spiro[cyclopenta [7,8]phenanthro[2,3-b]pyrano[3,2-e][1,4]dioxine-11,2'-[1,3]thiazolidin]-4'-one (UNBS1450)] was compared with that of classic cardenolides and reference anticancer agents in prostate cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo following s.c. and orthotopic prostate cancer cell grafting into mice. The present study indicates that UNBS1450 markedly decreases the in vitro viability/proliferation of human prostate cancer cell lines but not of normal cells. The induced effects are not linked to an increase in intracellular calcium concentrations and subsequent induction of apoptosis. Rather, they appear to relate to the compound's capacity to disorganize nucleolar structure and function (through an impairment of cyclin-dependent kinase and c-Myc expression and related signaling pathways; paralleled by the disorganization of cancer cell-specific perinucleolar bodies as revealed by disruption of Sam68). This nonapoptotic cancer cell death mediated by severe nucleolar targeting and down-regulation of c-Myc expression is a completely new cardenolide-induced mechanism of antitumor action.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/52071/3/doi_27240.pdf

 

Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyril alkaloids and their derivatives as promising antitumor agents.

Ingrassia, L., Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., Darro, F., & Kiss, R. (2008). Amaryllidaceae isocarbostyril alkaloids and their derivatives as promising antitumor agents. Translational Oncology, 1(1), 1-13. doi:10.1593/tlo.08100  

This review covers the isolation, total synthesis, biologic activity, and more particularly the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activities of naturally occurring isocarbostyril alkaloids from the Amaryllidaceae family. Starting from these natural products, new derivatives have been synthesized to explore structure-activity relationships within the chemical class and to obtain potential candidates for preclinical development. This approach appears to be capable of providing novel promising anticancer agents.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/51167/4/doi_26230.pdf

 

Galectin-1 as potential therapeutic target for cancer progression

Camby, I., Le Mercier, M., Mathieu, V., Ingrassia, L., Lefranc, F., & Kiss, R. (2008). Galectin-1 as potential therapeutic target for cancer progression. Drugs of the future, 33, 1057-1069.  

 

2007

Galectin-1 knockdown increases sensitivity to temozolomide in a B16F10 mouse metastatic melanoma model.

Mathieu, V., Le Mercier, M., De Nève, N., Sauvage, S., Gras, T., Roland, I., Lefranc, F., & Kiss, R. (2007). Galectin-1 knockdown increases sensitivity to temozolomide in a B16F10 mouse metastatic melanoma model. Journal of investigative dermatology, 127(10), 2399-2410. doi:10.1038/sj.jid.5700869  

The rapid increase in the incidence of malignant melanomas has not been associated with improved therapeutic options over the years. Indeed melanomas have proven resistant to apoptosis (type I programmed cell death (PCD)) and consequently to most chemotherapy and immunotherapy. It is believed that this resistance can be partly overcome by proautophagic drugs inducing type II (autophagy) PCD. Change at the genomic, transcriptional, and post-translational level of G-proteins and protein kinases, including Ras, plays an important role in the ability of melanomas to resist apoptosis. Ras transformation itself requires membrane anchorage and the overexpression of galectin-1 increases membrane-associated Ras. In this study, it has been found that decreasing galectin-1 expression in B16F10 mouse melanoma cells in vitro by means of an anti-galectin-1 small interfering RNA approach does not modify their sensitivity to type I and type II PCD. However, it does induce heat shock protein 70-mediated lysosomal membrane permeabilization, a process associated with cathepsin B release into the cytosol, which in turn is believed to sensitize the cells to the proautophagic effects of temozolomide when grafted in vivo. Furthermore, temozolomide when compared to the proapoptotic drug cisplatin, significantly increased the survival times of mice in the B16F10 melanoma model.

 

4-IBP, a sigma1 receptor agonist, decreases the migration of human cancer cells, including glioblastoma cells, in vitro and sensitizes them in vitro and in vivo to cytotoxic insults of proapoptotic and proautophagic drugs.

Megalizzi, V., Mathieu, V., Mijatovic, T., Gailly, P., Debeir, O., De Nève, N., Van Damme, M., Bontempi, G., Haibe-Kains, B., Decaestecker, C., Kondo, Y., Kiss, R., & Lefranc, F. (2007). 4-IBP, a sigma1 receptor agonist, decreases the migration of human cancer cells, including glioblastoma cells, in vitro and sensitizes them in vitro and in vivo to cytotoxic insults of proapoptotic and proautophagic drugs. Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 9(5), 358-369.  

Although the molecular function of sigma receptors has not been fully defined and the natural ligand(s) is still not known, there is increasing evidence that these receptors and their ligands might play a significant role in cancer biology. 4-(N-benzylpiperidin-4-yl)-4-iodobenzamide (4-IBP), a selective sigma1 agonist, has been used to investigate whether this compound is able to modify: 1) in vitro the migration and proliferation of human cancer cells; 2) in vitro the sensitivity of human glioblastoma cells to cytotoxic drugs; and 3) in vivo in orthotopic glioblastoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) models the survival of mice co-administered cytotoxic agents. 4-IBP has revealed weak antiproliferative effects on human U373-MG glioblastoma and C32 melanoma cells but induced marked concentration-dependent decreases in the growth of human A549 NSCLC and PC3 prostate cancer cells. The compound was also significantly antimigratory in all four cancer cell lines. This may result, at least in U373-MG cells, from modifications to the actin cytoskeleton. 4-IBP modified the sensitivity of U373-MG cells in vitro to proapoptotic lomustin and proautophagic temozolomide, and markedly decreased the expression of two proteins involved in drug resistance: glucosylceramide synthase and Rho guanine nucleotide dissociation inhibitor. In vivo, 4-IBP increased the antitumor effects of temozolomide and irinotecan in immunodeficient mice that were orthotopically grafted with invasive cancer cells.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/51212/4/PMC1877975.pdf

 

Neurotensin is a versatile modulator of in vitro human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell (PDAC) migration.

Mijatovic, T., Gailly, P., Mathieu, V., De Nève, N., Yeaton, P., Kiss, R., & Decaestecker, C. (2007). Neurotensin is a versatile modulator of in vitro human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell (PDAC) migration. Cellular oncology, 29(4), 315-326.  

BACKGROUND: While the neurotensin (NT) roles in pancreatic cancer growth are well documented, its effects on pancreatic cancer cell migration have not been described. METHODS: The NT-induced effects on the migration process of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells (PDACs) were characterized by means of various assays including computer-assisted video-microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, ELISA-based, small GTPase pull-down and phosphorylation assays. RESULTS: The NT-induced modifications on in vitro PDACs migration largely depended on the extra-cellular matrix environment and cell propensity to migrate collectively or individually. While NT significantly reduced the level of migration of collectively migrating PDACs on vitronectin, it significantly increased the level of individually migrating PDACs. These effects were mainly mediated through the sortilin/NTR3 receptor. Neurotensin both induced altered expression of alphaV and beta5 integrin subunits in PDACs cultured on vitronectin resulting in modified adhesion abilities, and caused modifications to the organization of the actin cytoskeleton through the NT-mediated activation of small Rho GTPases. While the NT effects on individually migrating PDACs were mediated at least through the EGFR/ERK signaling pathways, those on collectively migrating PDACs appeared highly dependent on the PI 3-kinase pathway. CONCLUSION: This study strongly suggests the involvement of neurotensin in the modulation of human PDAC migration.

 

2006

Cardenolide-induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization demonstrates therapeutic benefits in experimental human non-small cell lung cancers.

Mijatovic, T., Mathieu, V., Gaussin, J.-F., De Nève, N., Ribaucour, F., Van Quaquebeke, E., Dumont, P., Darro, F., & Kiss, R. (2006). Cardenolide-induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization demonstrates therapeutic benefits in experimental human non-small cell lung cancers. Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 8(5), 402-412. doi:10.1593/neo.05850  

Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) are the leading cause of cancer deaths in most developed countries. Targeting heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression and function, together with the induction of lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), could overcome the multiple anti-cell death mechanisms evidenced in NSCLCs that are responsible for the failure of currently used chemotherapeutic drugs. Because cardenolides bind to the sodium pump, they affect multiple signaling pathways and thus have a number of marked effects on tumor cell behavior. The aim of the present study was to characterize in vitro and in vivo the antitumor effects of a new cardenolide (UNBS1450) on experimental human NSCLCs. UNBS1450 is a potent source of in vivo antitumor activity in the case of paclitaxel-and oxaliplatin-resistant subcutaneous human NCI-H727 and orthotopic A549 xenografts in nude mice. In vitro UNBS1450-mediated antitumor activity results from the induction of nonapoptotic cell death. UNBS1450 mediates the decrease of Hsp70 at both mRNA and protein levels, and this is at least partly due to UNBS1450-induced downregulation of NFAT5/TonEBP (a factor responsible for the transcriptional control of Hsp70). These effects were paralleled by the induction of LMP, as evidenced by acridine orange staining and immunofluorescence analysis for cathepsin B accumulation.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/52098/4/doi_27266.pdf

 

Anti-galectin compounds as potential anti-cancer drugs.

Ingrassia, L., Camby, I., Lefranc, F., Mathieu, V., Nshimyumukiza, P., Darro, F., & Kiss, R. (2006). Anti-galectin compounds as potential anti-cancer drugs. Current medicinal chemistry, 13(29), 3513-3527.  

Galectins form a family of carbohydrate-binding proteins defined by their affinity for beta-galactosides containing glycoconjugates. The carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) is responsible for the specificity of galectins for saccharides. This binding may result in modulated cell proliferation, cell death and cell migration, three processes that are intimately involved in cancer initiation and progression. Galectins can also display protein-protein types of interactions with their binding partners. Certain galectins directly involved in cancer progression seem to be promising targets for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to combat cancer. Indeed, migrating cancer cells resistant to apoptosis still constitute the principal target for the cytotoxic drugs used to treat cancer patients. Reducing the levels of migration in apoptosis-resistant cancer cells can restore certain levels of sensitivity to apoptosis (and so to pro-apoptotic drugs) in restricted-migration cancer cells. Anti-galectin agents can restrict the levels of migration of several types of cancer cell and should therefore be used in association with cytotoxic drugs to combat metastatic cancer. We provide experimental proof in support of this concept. While the present review focuses on various experimental strategies to impair cancer progression by targeting certain types of galectins, it pays particular attention to glioblastomas, which constitute the ultimate level of malignancy in primary brain tumors. Glioblastomas form the most common type of malignant brain tumor in children and adults, and no glioblastoma patient has been cured to date.

 

2005

Gastrin exerts pleiotropic effects on human melanoma cell biology.

Mathieu, V., Mijatovic, T., Van Damme, M., & Kiss, R. (2005). Gastrin exerts pleiotropic effects on human melanoma cell biology. Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.), 7(10), 930-943.  

The effects of gastrin (G17) on the growth and migration factors of four human melanoma cell lines (HT-144, C32, G-361, and SKMEL-28) were investigated. The expression patterns of cholecystokinin (CCK)(A), CCK(B), and CCK(C) gastrin receptors were investigated in these cells and in seven clinical samples by means of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Melanoma cells appear to express mRNA for CCK(C) receptors, but not for CCK(A) or CCK(B) receptors. Although gastrin does not significantly modify the growth characteristics of the cell lines under study, it significantly modifies their cell migration characteristics. These modifications occur at adhesion level by modifying the expression levels of alpha(v) and beta3 integrins, at motility level by modifying the organization of the actin cytoskeleton, and at invasion level by modifying the expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase 14. We recently demonstrated the presence of CCK(B) receptors in mouse endothelial cells involved in glioblastoma neoangiogenesis. Chronic in vivo administration of a selective CCK(B) receptor antagonist to mice bearing xenografts of human C32 melanoma cells significantly decreased levels of neoangiogenesis, resulting in considerable delays in the growth of these C32 xenografts. In conclusion, our study identifies the pleiotropic effects of gastrin on melanoma cell biology.

https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/52105/4/PMC1502029.pdf

 

2004

Characterization of gastrin-induced proangiogenic effects in vivo in orthotopic U373 experimental human glioblastomas and in vitro in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

Lefranc, F., Mijatovic, T., Mathieu, V., Rorive, S., Decaestecker, C., Debeir, O., Brotchi, J., Van Ham, P., Salmon, I., & Kiss, R. (2004). Characterization of gastrin-induced proangiogenic effects in vivo in orthotopic U373 experimental human glioblastomas and in vitro in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Clinical cancer research, 10(24), 8250-8265. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-0343  

PURPOSE: This study aims to investigate the role of gastrin-17 (G17) on angiogenesis features in gliomas both in vitro and in vivo. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The influences of G17 and G17 receptor antagonists were characterized in vitro in terms of angiogenesis on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tubulogenesis processes on Matrigel and in vivo with respect to U373 orthotopic glioma xenografts. The influence of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase, protein kinase C, and nuclear factor-kappaB inhibitors was characterized in vitro on G17-mediated HUVEC tubulogenesis. G17-mediated release of interleukin (IL)-8 from HUVECs and G17-induced modifications in nuclear factor-kappaB DNA binding activity were characterized by means of specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The influence of G17 on E- and P-selectin expression was determined by means of computer-assisted microscopy, whereas the influence of E- and P-selectin on HUVEC migration was approached by means of antisense oligonucleotides. The chemotactic influence of G17 and IL-8 on HUVEC migration was characterized by means of computer-assisted videomicroscopy with Dunn chambers. RESULTS: Messenger RNAs for cholecystokinin (CCK)A, CCKB, and CCKC receptors were present in HUVECs and microvessels dissected from a human glioblastoma. Whereas G17 significantly increased the levels of angiogenesis in vivo in the U373 experimental glioma model and in vitro in the HUVECs, the CCKB receptor antagonist L365,260 significantly counteracted the G17-mediated proangiogenic effects. G17 chemoattracted HUVECs, whereas IL-8 failed to do so. IL-8 receptor alpha (CXCR1) and IL-8 receptor beta (CXCR2) mRNAs were not detected in these endothelial cells. Gastrin significantly (but only transiently) decreased the level of expression of E-selectin, but not P-selectin, whereas IL-8 increased the expression of E-selectin. Specific antisense oligonucleotides against E- and P-selectin significantly decreased HUVEC tubulogenesis processes in vitro on Matrigel. CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that gastrin has marked proangiogenic effects in vivo on experimental gliomas and in vitro on HUVECs. This effect depends in part on the level of E-selectin activation, but not on IL-8 expression/release by HUVECs.