Current Medicinal Chemistry (v.23, #33)

Meet Our Editorial Board Member by Holger Stark (3753-3753).

Osteoimmunology and Beyond by Lia Ginaldi, Massimo De Martinis (3754-3774).
Objective: Osteoimmunology investigates interactions between skeleton and immune system. In the light of recent discoveries in this field, a new reading register of osteoporosis is actually emerging, in which bone and immune cells are strictly interconnected. Osteoporosis could therefore be considered a chronic immune mediated disease which shares with other age related disorders a common inflammatory background. Here, we highlight these recent discoveries and the new landscape that is emerging.
Method: Extensive literature search in PubMed central.
Results: While the inflammatory nature of osteoporosis has been clearly recognized, other interesting aspects of osteoimmunology are currently emerging. In addition, mounting evidence indicates that the immunoskeletal interface is involved in the regulation of important body functions beyond bone remodeling. Bone cells take part with cells of the immune system in various immunological functions, configuring a real expanded immune system, and are therefore variously involved not only as target but also as main actors in various pathological conditions affecting primarily the immune system, such as autoimmunity and immune deficiencies, as well as in aging, menopause and other diseases sharing an inflammatory background.
Conclusion: The review highlights the complexity of interwoven pathways and shared mechanisms of the crosstalk between the immune and bone systems. More interestingly, the interdisciplinary field of osteoimmunology is now expanding beyond bone and immune cells, defining new homeostatic networks in which other organs and systems are functionally interconnected. Therefore, the correct skeletal integrity maintenance may be also relevant to other functions outside its involvement in bone mineral homeostasis, hemopoiesis and immunity.

Inflammation: A Multidimensional Insight on Natural Anti-Inflammatory Therapeutic Compounds by Khalid Bashir Dar, Aashiq Hussain Bhat, Shajrul Amin, Akbar Masood, Mohammad Afzal Zargar, Showkat Ahmad Ganie (3775-3800).
Derailed inflammation causes severe damage to the normal tissues resulting in various pathological conditions such as auto-inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Cure of inflammatory diseases is a big challenge. Medicinal herbs used traditionally represent the best option for obtaining effective anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Present review provides a thorough insight about various pathways, consequences and therapeutic strategies of inflammation with prime focus to expose indigenous anti-inflammatory herbal compounds along with their structures and diverse range of mechanisms of action. Over hundred medicinal plants with scientifically reported anti-inflammatory properties were reviewed. Different parts of the plants like roots, stem, bark, leaves, flowers and seeds contain active compounds with potential anti-inflammatory properties. Such compounds act at multiple targets in the inflammatory response pathways and regulate multitude of chemical mediators, enzymes, genes or cellular functions to alleviate inflammation. Although a large number of antiinflammatory herbal compounds have been isolated but the mechanism of action of bulk of compounds has not been elucidated comprehensively. Besides there is need for conducting well designed clinical trials so that the promising compounds could be used as effective antiinflammatory therapeutic agents in future.

Leucine-zipper and Sterile-? Motif Kinase (ZAK): A Potential Target for Drug Discovery by Yu Chang, Qingwen Zhang, Zhengqiu Li, Ke Ding, Xiaoyun Lu (3801-3812).
Leucine-zipper and sterile-? motif kinase (ZAK) is a member of mixed-lineage kinase family (MLKs), which is considered as a new potential target for different physiological disorders, including myocardial hypertrophy and cardiac fibrosis, inflammation and cancer. However, the progress on its biological functions and small molecule inhibitors is limited. Only several multi-kinases inhibitors are reported to non-selectively bind with ZAK with various potencies. Herein, we provide an updated overview on the biological functions and small molecular inhibitors of ZAKs.

New and Old Hot Drug Targets in Tuberculosis by Laurent Roberto Chiarelli, Giorgia Mori, Marta Esposito, Beatrice Silvia Orena, Maria Rosalia Pasca (3813-3846).
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The World Health Organization publishes global tuberculosis reports annually in order to provide the latest information in the surveillance of drug resistance. Given the alarming rise of resistance to antitubercular drugs worldwide, finding new cellular targets and developing new analogues or new compounds with greater potency against already known targets are both important aspects in fighting drug-sensitive and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains. In this context, the introduction of the phenotypic screens as an efficient tool for the identification of active compounds for tuberculosis drug discovery has improved the possibility to find new effective targets.
With this review we describe the state of art of the currently well validated antitubercular drug targets as well as the advances in discovery of new ones. The main targets will be discussed starting from the oldest such as the enoyl reductase InhA which is constantly repurposed with new inhibitors, through the well assessed targets like the gyrase, the ATP synthetase or the RNA polymerase, up to the hot promiscuous targets decaprenylphosphoryl-Dribose oxidase DprE1 and the mycolic acid transporter MmpL3, or the newly validated and promising targets like the CTP synthetase.

Mannose Binding Lectin: A Potential Biomarker for Many Human Diseases by Senjam Sunil Singh, Randy Chi Fai Cheung, Jack Ho Wong, Tzi Bun Ng (3847-3860).
The innate immune system plays a modulatory role in producing an inflammatory response during microbial infection and tissue regeneration. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) is a predominant constituent of the innate immune system which initiates one of the complement activation, the lectin pathway. The activation of the complement system is also associated with many human diseases. We, therefore, try to summarize herewith the prognostic value of early detection of serum mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and measurement of its levels. The variant alleles and single nucleotide substitutions in MBL2 gene associated with MBL polymorphism are responsible for an increased risk of infection. Based on the currently available evidence, the role of MBL in humans is a double facet; sometimes its presence is associated with deterioration of the pathological condition while in other cases it is an important part of the body defense system. The importance of the determination of serum MBL as a diagnostic biomarker is duly addressed and then substitution of plasma-purified or recombinant MBL which can be a potential therapeutic for the treatment of human diseases is also highlighted. We have summarized in this article the pivotal roles of MBL in the early pathophysiology of various diseases and shown that MBL serves as a novel therapeutic target.