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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


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


Actinomycete secondary metabolites are a renowned source of antibacterial chemical scaffolds. Herein, we present a target-specific approach that increases the detection of antimetabolites from natural sources by screening actinomycete-derived extracts against nutrient transporter deletion strains. Based on the growth rescue patterns of a collection of 22 E. coli auxotrophic deletion strains representative of the major nutrient biosynthetic pathways, we demonstrate that antimetabolite detection from actinomycete-derived extracts prepared using traditional extraction platforms is masked by nutrient supplementation. In particular, we find poor sensitivity for the detection of antimetabolites targeting vitamin biosynthesis. To circumvent this and as a proof of principle, we exploit the differential activity of actinomycete extracts against E. coli ΔyigM, a biotin transporter deletion strain versus wildtype E. coli. We achieve more than a 100-fold increase in antimetabolite sensitivity using this method, and demonstrate a successful bioassay-guided purification of the known biotin antimetabolite, amiclenomycin. Our findings provide a unique solution to uncover the full potential of naturally derived antibiotics.

Concepts: Bacteria, Metabolism, Vitamin, Metabolite, Exploitation, Biosynthesis, Proof of concept, Antimetabolite


Anthracycline antitumor cytorhodins X and Y feature a rare 9α-glycoside and 7-dexoy-aglycone. Characterization of the cytorhodin gene cluster from Streptomyces sp. SCSIO 1666 through gene inactivations and metabolite analyses reveals three glycosyltransferases (GTs) involved in the sugar tailoring steps. The duo of CytG1 and CytL effects C-7 glycosylation with l-rhodosamine whereas the iterative GT CytG3 and CytW similarly modifies both C-9 and C-10 positions. CytG2 also acts iteratively by incorporating the second and third sugar moiety into the trisaccharide chains at the C-7 or C-10 position.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Bacteria, Amino acid, Metabolism, Chemotherapy, Streptomyces, Antimetabolite


Antimetabolite chemotherapeutic agents that target cellular metabolism are widely used in the clinic and are thought to exert their anti-cancer effects mainly through non-specific cytotoxic effects. However, patients vary dramatically with respect to treatment outcome, and the sources of heterogeneity remain largely unknown.

Concepts: DNA, Oncology, Metabolism, Chemotherapy, Chemotherapy regimens, Antimetabolite


In order to characterize the metabolic transformation of thiamethoxam (TMX) to clothianidin (CLO) in Helicoverpa armigera larvae and clarify its relationship with the insecticidal toxicity of TMX, method for determination of TMX and its metabolite clothianidin (CLO) residues in H. armigera larvae by solid phase extraction (SPE) combined UPLC-MS/MS was established. Following acetonitrile extraction and purification by SPE on florisil cartridge and C18 cartridge sequently, and cleanup by PSA adsorption, TMX and CLO residues in H. armigera larvae were successfully determined by UPLC-MS/MS. By using the established method, the concentration-time curves of TMX and its metabolite CLO in H. armigera larvae in vivo and metabolism of TMX by microsome of H. armigera larvae midguts in vitro were studied. TMX was quickly eliminated from H. armigera larvae with the elimination half-life as 4.2h. Meanwhile, only a small amount of CLO was formed from TMX metabolism, with the maximum CLO level in H. armigera larvae only accounts for the metabolic transformation of 7.99% of TMX, at 10h after intravenous TMX administration. Our results suggested that the low insecticidal efficacy of TMX against H. armigera larvae was related with the rapidly elimination of TMX from H. armigera larvae, meanwhile, CLO as TMX metabolite at a very low level in vivo didn’t contribute to TMX toxicity to H. armigera larvae. In H. armigera larvae, TMX didn’t act as proinsecticide for CLO in insecticidal efficacy of TMX.

Concepts: Metabolism, In vivo, In vitro, Metabolomics, Half-life, Metabolome, Helicoverpa armigera, Antimetabolite