Background: Redox dysregulation originating from metabolic alterations in cancer cells contributes to their proliferation, invasion, and resistance to therapy. Conversely, these features represent a specific vulnerability of malignant cells that can be selectively targeted by redox chemotherapeutics. Amongst them, Vitamin K (VitK), carries the potential against cancer stem cells, in addition to the rest of tumor mass.
Objectives: To assess the possible benefits and safety of VitK for cancer treatment using a systematic review and metaanalysis with a mixed-methods approach.
Methods: We performed a systematic search on several electronic databases for studies comparing VitK treatment with and without combination versus control groups. For quantitative studies, fully or partially reported clinical outcomes such as recurrence rates, survival, overall response, and adverse reactions were assessed. For qualitative studies, a narrative synthesis was accomplished.
Results: Our analysis suggested the clinical outcome of efficacy, the pooled hazard ratio for progression-free survival, and the pooled relative risk for overall survival, and overall response, were significantly higher in VitK therapy group compared to the placebo group (p<0.05). We did not observe any significant difference in the occurrence of adverse events between groups. Among qualitative studies, VitK treatment targeting myelodysplastic syndrome and advanced solid tumors resulted in 24.1% and 10% of clinical response, respectively.
Conclusion: VitK does not only exert antitumor effects against a wide range of tumor types, but it also has excellent synergism with other therapeutic agents.
In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), excessive amounts of quinolinic acid (QUIN) accumulate within the brain parenchyma and dystrophic neurons. QUIN also regulates glutamate uptake into neurons, which may be due to modulation of Na+-dependent excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs). To determine the biological relationships between QUIN and glutamate dysfunction, we first quantified the functionality and kinetics of [3H]QUIN uptake in primary human neurons using liquid scintillation. We then measured changes in the protein expression of the glutamate transporter EAAT3 and EAAT1b in primary neurons treated with QUIN and the EAAT inhibitor L-trans-pyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid (2,4-PDC) using western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Immunohistochemistry was further used to elucidate intracellular transport of exogenous QUIN and the lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2 (LAMP2). Structural insights into the binding between QUIN and EAAT3 were further investigated using molecular docking techniques. We report significant temperature-dependent high-affinity transport leading to neuronal uptake of [3H]QUIN with a Km of 42.2 μM, and a Vmax of 9.492 pmol/2 min/mg protein, comparable with the uptake of glutamate. We also found that QUIN increases expression of the EAAT3 monomer while decreasing the functional trimer. QUIN uptake into primary neurons was shown to involve EAAT3 as uptake was significantly attenuated following EAAT inhibition. We also demonstrated that QUIN increases the expression of aberrant EAAT1b protein in neurons further implicating QUIN-induced glutamate dysfunction. Furthermore, we demonstrated that QUIN is metabolised exclusively in lysosomes. The involvement of EAAT3 as a modulator for QUIN uptake was further confirmed using molecular docking. This study is the first to characterise a mechanism for QUIN uptake into primary human neurons involving EAAT3, opening potential targets to attenuate QUIN-induced excitotoxicity in neuroinflammatory diseases.
While only a subset of Vibrio cholerae strains are human diarrheal pathogens, all are aquatic organisms. In this environment, they often persist in close association with arthropods. In the intestinal lumen of the model arthropod Drosophila melanogaster, methionine and methionine sulfoxide decrease susceptibility to V. cholerae infection. In addition to its structural role in proteins, methionine participates in the methionine cycle, which carries out synthetic and regulatory methylation reactions. It is, therefore, essential for the growth of both animals and bacteria. Methionine is scarce in some environments, and the facile conversion of free methionine to methionine sulfoxide in oxidizing environments interferes with its utilization. To ensure an adequate supply of methionine, the genomes of most organisms encode multiple high-affinity uptake pathways for methionine as well as multiple methionine sulfoxide reductases, which reduce free and protein-associated methionine sulfoxide to methionine. To explore the role of methionine uptake and reduction in V. cholerae colonization of the arthropod intestine, we mutagenized the two high-affinity methionine transporters and five methionine sulfoxide reductases encoded in the V. cholerae genome. We show that MsrC is the sole methionine sulfoxide reductase active on free methionine sulfoxide. Furthermore, in the absence of methionine synthesis, high-affinity methionine uptake but not reduction is essential for V. cholerae colonization of the Drosophila intestine. These findings allow us to place a lower limit of 0.05 mM and an upper limit of 0.5 mM on the methionine concentration in the Drosophila intestine.
A community of commensal microbes, known as the intestinal microbiota, resides within the gastrointestinal tract of animals and plays a role in maintenance of host metabolic homeostasis and resistance to pathogen invasion. Enteroendocrine cells, which are relatively rare in the intestinal epithelium, have evolved to sense and respond to these commensal microbes. Specifically, they express G-protein-coupled receptors and functional innate immune signaling pathways that recognize products of microbial metabolism and microbe-associated molecular patterns, respectively. Here we review recent evidence from Drosophila melanogaster that microbial cues recruit antimicrobial, mechanical, and metabolic branches of the enteroendocrine innate immune system and argue that this response may play a role not only in maintaining host metabolic homeostasis but also in intestinal resistance to invasion by bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens.