Current Medicinal Chemistry (v.23, #20)

Meet our Editorial Board Member by Nicholas S. Bodor (2085-2086).

Advances Towards The Discovery of GPR55 Ligands by Paula Morales, Nadine Jagerovic (2087-2100).
The G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) was identified in 1999. It was proposed as a novel member of the endocannabinoid system due to the fact that some endogenous, plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoid ligands act on GPR55. However, the complexity of the cellular downstream signaling pathways related to GPR55 activation delayed the discovery of selective GPR55 ligands. It was only a few years ago that the high throughput screening of libraries of pharmaceutical companies and governmental organizations allowed to identify selective GPR55 agonists and antagonists. Since then, several GPR55 modulator scaffolds have been reported. The relevance of GPR55 has been explored in diverse physiological and pathological processes revealing its role in inflammation, neuropathic pain, bone physiology, diabetes and cancer. Considering GPR55 as a new promising therapeutic target, there is a clear need for new selective and potent GPR55 modulators. This review will address a current structural update of GPR55 ligands.

The last five years have seen a renaissance of semiempirical quantum mechanical (SQM) methods in the field of virtual drug design, largely due to the increased accuracy of so-called enhanced SQM approaches. These methods make use of additional terms for treating dispersion (D) and hydrogen bond (H) interactions with an accuracy comparable to dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D). DFT-D in turn was shown to provide an accuracy comparable to the most sophisticated QM approaches when it comes to non-covalent intermolecular forces, which usually dominate the protein/ligand interactions that are central to virtual drug design. Enhanced SQM methods thus offer a very promising way to improve upon the current state of the art in the field of virtual drug design.

A Compendium of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Released By Human Cell Lines by Wojciech Filipiak, Pawel Mochalski, Anna Filipiak, Clemens Ager, Raquel Cumeras, Cristina E. Davis, Agapios Agapiou, Karl Unterkofler, Jakob Troppmair (2112-2131).
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) offer unique insights into ongoing biochemical processes in healthy and diseased humans. Yet, their diagnostic use is hampered by the limited understanding of their biochemical or cellular origin and their frequently unclear link to the underlying diseases. Major advancements are expected from the analyses of human primary cells, cell lines and cultures of microorganisms. In this review, a database of 125 reliably identified VOCs previously reported for human healthy and diseased cells was assembled and their potential origin is discussed. The majority of them have also been observed in studies with other human matrices (breath, urine, saliva, feces, blood, skin emanations). Moreover, continuing improvements of qualitative and quantitative analyses, based on the recommendations of the ISO-11843 guidelines, are suggested for the necessary standardization of analytical procedures and better comparability of results. The data provided contribute to arriving at a more complete human volatilome and suggest potential volatile biomarkers for future validation.
Dedication:This review is dedicated to the memory of Prof. Dr. Anton Amann, who sadly passed away on January 6, 2015. He was motivator and motor for the field of breath research.

Non-cholesterol Sterols in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dyslipidemias: A Review by Lucía Baila-Rueda, Ana Cenarro, Fernando Civeira (2132-2145).
Non-cholesterol sterols have been used as markers of cholesterol intestinal absorption and hepatic synthesis, leading to a better understanding of cholesterol homeostasis in humans. This review discusses the main noncholesterol sterols that are clinically useful, different methods to quantify the factors associated with blood concentration, and the potential role of non-cholesterol sterols in the diagnosis and treatment of different types of dyslipidemia. The main indication is the use of non-cholesterol sterols for the diagnosis of rare diseases associated with defects in cholesterol synthesis or anomalies in the absorption and/or elimination of phytosterols. However, other potential uses, including the diagnosis of certain hypercholesterolemias and the individualization of lipid-lowering therapies, are promising as they could help treat a wider population.

The Importance of Melatonin and Mitochondria Interaction in Mood Disorders and Schizophrenia: A Current Assessment by Abdülhadi Cihangir Uguz, Kadir Demirci, Javier Espino (2146-2158).
Mitochondria play a critical role in regulating cellular functions, such as redox signaling, calcium homeostasis, and apoptosis. Also, mitochondria are crucial for neurogenesis and neuronal functions. Melatonin is an indole analog hormone, which is generally produced by the pineal gland. It plays a vital role in circadian rhythm and act as a powerful antioxidant by scavenging free radicals, immunomodulators, and anticancer agents. Schizophrenia and mood disorders are the two major psychiatric disorders. Disturbances of sleep and circadian rhythms are well-known symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders (bipolar disorder, major depression). Since melatonin has a regulator effect on circadian rhythm and sleep quality, it has a close interaction with schizophrenia and mood disorders. Herein, we aimed to summarize the effects of melatonin on mitochondrial activity in schizophrenia and mood disorders.

Advances in Nanocarriers for Anticancer Drugs Delivery by Imran Ali, Mohammad Nadeem Lone, Mohammad Suhail, Sofi Danish Mukhtar, Leonid Asnin (2159-2187).
Cancer is the most dangerous disease to haunt the mankind in the world today. Generally, the overall cancer mortality rates are similar in both the sexes. The reasons for most of these deaths are inefficacy and failure of the current methods of treatments or the unavailability of treatment options. The researchers of the world are actively integrating nanotechnology of treating of various cancers. The development of smart nanocarriers is one of the most important innovations in this direction. The nanocarriers of the different materials are being developed to improve the efficacy of current treatments. The present article describes the role of nanotechnology in cancer treatment emphasizing cancer nanotherapy, nanocarriers for drug delivery, types and the mechanisms of the nanocarriers. Besides, the efforts are made to discuss the recent advances in the nanocarriers, current challenges and the future prospective.