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Concept: Antimetabolite


Pancreatic adenocarcinomas (PAs) have very poor prognoses even when surgery is possible. Currently, there are no tissular biomarkers to predict long-term survival in patients with PA. The aims of this study were to (1) describe the metabolome of pancreatic parenchyma (PP) and PA, (2) determine the impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on PP and PA, and (3) find tissue metabolic biomarkers associated with long-term survivors, using metabolomics analysis.

Concepts: Metabolism, Enzyme, Adenocarcinoma, Pancreatic cancer, Digestion, Metabolomics, Metabolome, Antimetabolite


To block the metabolically labile sites of novel tubulin inhibitors targeting the colchicine binding site based on SMART, ABI, and PAT templates, we have designed, synthesized, and biologically tested three focused sets of new derivatives with modifications at the carbonyl linker, the para-position in the C ring of SMART template, and modification of A ring of the PAT template. Structure-activity relationships of these compounds led to the identification of new benzimidazole and imidazo[4,5-c]pyridine -fused ring templates, represented by compounds 4 and 7, respectively, which showed enhanced antitumor activity and substantially improved the metabolic stability in liver microsomes compared to SMART. MOM group replaced TMP C ring generated a potent analogue 15, which showed comparable potency to the parent SMART compound. Further modification of PAT template yielded another potent analogue 33 with 5-indolyl substituent at A ring.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Cell cycle, Vincristine, Antimetabolite


Fluoropyrimidines are frequently prescribed anticancer drugs. A polymorphism in the fluoropyrimidine metabolizing enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD; ie, DPYD*2A) is strongly associated with fluoropyrimidine-induced severe and life-threatening toxicity. This study determined the feasibility, safety, and cost of DPYD*2A genotype-guided dosing.

Concepts: Oncology, Cure, Chemotherapy, Cost-benefit analysis, Antimetabolite


A complex interplay of environmental factors impacts the metabolism of human cells, but neither traditional culture media nor mouse plasma mimic the metabolite composition of human plasma. Here, we developed a culture medium with polar metabolite concentrations comparable to those of human plasma (human plasma-like medium [HPLM]). Culture in HPLM, relative to that in traditional media, had widespread effects on cellular metabolism, including on the metabolome, redox state, and glucose utilization. Among the most prominent was an inhibition of de novo pyrimidine synthesis-an effect traced to uric acid, which is 10-fold higher in the blood of humans than of mice and other non-primates. We find that uric acid directly inhibits uridine monophosphate synthase (UMPS) and consequently reduces the sensitivity of cancer cells to the chemotherapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil. Thus, media that better recapitulates the composition of human plasma reveals unforeseen metabolic wiring and regulation, suggesting that HPLM should be of broad utility.

Concepts: Protein, Bacteria, Ammonia, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Nitrogen, Enzyme inhibitor, Antimetabolite


The identification of phenotype-driven network modules in complex, multifluid metabolomics data poses a considerable challenge for statistical analysis and result interpretation. This is the case for phenotypes with only few associations (‘sparse’ effects), but, in particular, for phenotypes with a large number of metabolite associations (‘dense’ effects). Herein, we postulate that examining the data at different layers of resolution, from metabolites to pathways, will facilitate the interpretation of modules for both the sparse and the dense cases. We propose an approach for the phenotype-driven identification of modules on multifluid networks based on untargeted metabolomics data of plasma, urine, and saliva samples from the German Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-TREND) study. We generated a hierarchical, multifluid map of metabolism covering both metabolite and pathway associations using Gaussian graphical models. First, this map facilitates a fundamental understanding of metabolism within and across fluids for our study, and can serve as a valuable and downloadable resource. Second, based on this map, we then present an algorithm to identify regulated modules that associate with factors such as gender and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) as examples of traits with dense and sparse associations, respectively. We found IGF-I to associate at the rather fine-grained metabolite level, while gender shows well-interpretable associations at pathway level. Our results confirm that a holistic and interpretable view of metabolic changes associated with a phenotype can only be obtained if different layers of metabolic resolution from multiple body fluids are considered.

Concepts: Evolution, Statistics, Metabolism, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Metabolite, Metabolomics, Metabolome, Antimetabolite


Drug metabolites have been monitored with various types of newly developed techniques and/or combination of common analytical methods, which could provide a great deal of information on metabolite profiling. Because it is not easy to analyze whole drug metabolites qualitatively and quantitatively, a single solution of analytical techniques is combined in a multilateral manner to cover the widest range of drug metabolites. Mass-based spectroscopic analysis of drug metabolites has been expanded with the help of other parameter-based methods. The current development of metabolism studies through contemporary pharmaceutical research are reviewed with an overview on conventionally used spectroscopic methods. Several technical approaches for conducting drug metabolic profiling through spectroscopic methods are discussed in depth.

Concepts: Scientific method, Spectroscopy, Metabolism, Analytical chemistry, Metabolomics, Near infrared spectroscopy, Metabolome, Antimetabolite


Interest in the modulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) metabolome is gaining great momentum because of its therapeutic potential in different human disorders. Suppression of nicotinamide salvage by nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase (NAMPT) inhibitors, however, gave inconclusive results in neoplastic patients because several metabolic routes circumvent the enzymatic block converging directly on nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferases (NMNATs) for NAD synthesis. Unfortunately, NMNAT inhibitors have not been identified. Here, we report the identification of Vacor as a substrate metabolized by the consecutive action of NAMPT and NMNAT2 into the NAD analog Vacor adenine dinucleotide (VAD). This leads to inhibition of both enzymes, as well as NAD-dependent dehydrogenases, thereby causing unprecedented rapid NAD depletion, glycolytic block, energy failure, and necrotic death of NMNAT2-proficient cancer cells. Conversely, lack of NMNAT2 expression confers complete resistance to Vacor. Remarkably, Vacor prompts VAD formation and growth suppression in NMNAT2-positive neuroblastoma and melanoma xenografts. Our data show the first evidence of harnessing the entire nicotinamide salvage pathway for antimetabolic strategies.

Concepts: Cancer, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Enzyme, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Enzyme inhibitor, Nucleotide, Antimetabolite


Trabeculectomy is considered the standard for glaucoma surgery. Postoperative scarring is one the factors associated with surgery failure. Different antimetabolites have been used in order to reduce this risk, particularly 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C. Although both are considered effective, it is not clear if they are different in terms of success of trabeculectomy and adverse effects.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Ophthalmology, Trabeculectomy, Antimetabolite


Microalgae and plankton can be a rich source of bioactivity. However, induction of secondary metabolite production in lab conditions can be difficult. One simple way of bypassing this issue is to collect biomass in the field and screen for bioactivity. Therefore, bulk net samples from three areas along the coast of northern Norway and Spitsbergen were collected, extracted and fractionated. Biomass samples from a strain of a mass-cultivated diatom Porosira glacialis were used as a reference for comparison to field samples. Screening for bioactivity was performed with 13 assays within four therapeutic areas: antibacterial, anticancer, antidiabetes and antioxidation. We analysed the metabolic profiles of the samples using high resolution - mass spectroscopy (HR-MS). Principal component analysis showed a marked difference in metabolite profiles between the field samples and the photobioreactor culture; furthermore, the number of active fractions and extent of bioactivity was different in the field compared to the photobioreactor samples. We found varying levels of bioactivity in all samples, indicating that complex marine field samples could be used to investigate bioactivities from otherwise inaccessible sources. Furthermore, we hypothesize that metabolic pathways that would otherwise been silent under controlled growth in monocultures, might have been activated in the field samples.

Concepts: Algae, Metabolism, Principal component analysis, Complex number, Phytoplankton, Plankton, Planktology, Antimetabolite


AZD8055 is an ATP-competitive specific dual mTOR inhibitor and exhibited potent antitumor activity on several types of solid tumors. However, the metabolism of AZD8055 in the body still remains unknown. In this study, metabolite identification of AZD8055 was performed using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry (UHPLC-IT-MS) through both in vitro and in vivo approaches using rat liver microsomes (RLMs) and rat plasma, urine and feces, respectively. A total of eight putative metabolites (five phase I and three phase II) were identified, and a tentative metabolic pathway was suggested for the first time. Considering the accurate mass and mass fragmentations of the detected metabolites, their plausible structures were suggested. Demethylation, hydroxylation, oxidation and morpholine ring opening were the major biotransformation processes for the phase-I metabolism, while phase-II metabolites were merely generated by the glucuronide conjugation reaction. The cumulative excretion of AZD8055 in urine and feces was 0.13% and 1.11% of the dose, respectively. When the semi-quantitative analysis of the metabolites was performed using UHPLC-MS/MS (ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry) to evaluate the overall trend of metabolites formation and excretion, AZD8055 was excreted more in the form of the metabolites than itself and their formation was very fast. Therefore it was presumed that biotransformation was playing a crucial role in its elimination. Ultimately, this study provides novel insights regarding the in vitro and in vivo biotransformations of AZD8055. Further investigations of metabolites of this potent anti-cancer compound could be beneficial for the antitumor drug design and development process.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Metabolism, Mass spectrometry, Chemotherapy, Chromatography, In vitro, Antimetabolite