BGP-15 Protects Mitochondria in Acute, Acetaminophen Overdose Induced Liver Injury

Authors: Sarnyai F, Szekerczés T, Csala M, Sümegi B, Szarka A, Schaff Zs, Mandl J
Publisher: Pathology oncology research, 2020 Jul;26(3):1797-1803. doi: 10.1007/s12253-019-00721-1. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Acetaminophen (APAP) induced hepatotoxicity involves activation of c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK), mitochondrial damage and ER stress. BGP-15, a hydroximic acid derivative, has been reported to have hepatoprotective effects in APAP overdose induced liver damage. Effect of BGP-15 was further investigated on mitochondria in APAP-overdose induced acute liver injury in mice. We found that BGP-15 efficiently preserved mitochondrial morphology, and it caused a marked decrease in the number of damaged mitochondria. Attenuation of mitochondrial damage by BGP-15 is supported by immunohistochemistry as the TOMM20 label and the co-localized autophagy markers detected in the livers of APAP-treated mice were markedly reduced upon BGP-15 administration. This effect, along with the observed prevention of JNK activation likely contribute to the mitochondrial protective action of BGP-15.

Chaperone co-inducer BGP-15 mitigates early contractile dysfunction of the soleus muscle in a rat ICU model

Authors: Cacciani N, Salah H, Li M, Akkad H, Backeus A, Hedstrom Y, Jena B P, Bergquist J, Larsson L
Publisher: Acta Physiologica (Oxford, England), 2020 May;229(1):e13425. doi: 10.1111/apha.13425. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Aim: Critical illness myopathy (CIM) represents a common consequence of modern intensive care, negatively impacting patient health and significantly increasing health care costs; however, there is no treatment available apart from symptomatic and supportive interventions. The chaperone co-inducer BGP-15 has previously been shown to have a positive effect on the diaphragm in rats exposed to the intensive care unit (ICU) condition. In this study, we aim to explore the effects of BGP-15 on a limb muscle (soleus muscle) in response to the ICU condition.

Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to the ICU condition for 5, 8 and 10 days and compared with untreated sham-operated controls.

Results: BGP-15 significantly improved soleus muscle fibre force after 5 days exposure to the ICU condition. This improvement was associated with the protection of myosin from post-translational myosin modifications, improved mitochondrial structure/biogenesis and reduced the expression of MuRF1 and Fbxo31 E3 ligases. At longer durations (8 and 10 days), BGP-15 had no protective effect when the hallmark of CIM had become manifest, that is, preferential loss of myosin. Unrelated to the effects on skeletal muscle, BGP-15 had a strong positive effect on survival compared with untreated animals.

Conclusions: BGP-15 treatment improved soleus muscle fibre and motor protein function after 5 days exposure to the ICU condition, but not at longer durations (8 and 10 days) when the preferential loss of myosin was manifest. Thus, long-term CIM interventions targeting limb muscle fibre/myosin force generation capacity need to consider both the post-translational modifications and the loss of myosin.

BGP-15: A potential therapeutic agent for critical illness myopathy

Authors: Yamada T
Publisher: Acta Physiologica (Oxford, England), 2020 May;229(1):e13441. doi: 10.1111/apha.13441.

Pharmacological Overview of the BGP-15 Chemical Agent as a New Drug Candidate for the Treatment of Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Pető Á, Kósa D, Fehér P, Ujhelyi Z, Sinka D, Vecsernyés M, Szilvássy Z, Juhász B, Csanádi Z, Vígh L, Bácskay I
Publisher: Molecules, 2020 Jan 20;25(2):429. doi: 10.3390/molecules25020429.

BGP-15 is a new insulin sensitizer drug candidate, which was developed by Hungarian researchers. In recent years, numerous research groups have studied its beneficial effects. It is effective in the treatment of insulin resistance and it has protective effects in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, diastolic dysfunction, tachycardia, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation, and it can alleviate cardiotoxicity. BGP-15 exhibits chemoprotective properties in different cytostatic therapies, and has also proven to be photoprotective. It can additionally have advantageous effects in mitochondrial-stress-related diseases. Although the precise mechanism of the effect is still unknown to us, we know that the molecule is a PARP inhibitor, chaperone co-inducer, reduces ROS production, and is able to remodel the organization of cholesterol-rich membrane domains. In the following review, our aim was to summarize the investigated molecular mechanisms and pharmacological effects of this potential API. The main objective was to present the wide pharmacological potentials of this chemical agent.

Retinoprotection by BGP-15, a Hydroximic Acid Derivative, in a Type II Diabetic Rat Model Compared to Glibenclamide, Metformin, and Pioglitazone

Authors: Wachal Z, Bombicz M, Priksz D, Hegedűs Cs, Kovács D, Szabó A M, Kiss R, Németh J, Juhász B, Szilvássy Z, Varga B
Publisher: Intenational journal of molecular sciences, 2020 Mar 19;21(6):2124. doi: 10.3390/ijms21062124.

High blood glucose and the consequential ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury damage vessels of the retina, deteriorating its function, which can be clearly visualized by electroretinography (ERG). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible retinoprotective effects of systemic BGP-15, an emerging drug candidate, in an insulin resistant animal model, the Goto-Kakizaki rat, and compare these results with well-known anti-diabetics such as glibenclamide, metformin, and pioglitazone, which even led to some novel conclusions about these well-known agents. Experiments were carried out on diseased animal model (Goto-Kakizaki rats). The used methods include weight measurement, glucose-related measurements-like fasting blood sugar analysis, oral glucose tolerance test, hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamp (HEGC), and calculations of different indices from HEGC results-electroretinography and Western Blot. Beside its apparent insulin sensitization, BGP-15 was also able to counteract the retina-damaging effect of Type II diabetes comparable to the aforementioned anti-diabetics. The mechanism of retinoprotective action may include sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) enzymes, as BGP-15 was able to elevate SIRT1 and decrease MMP9 expression in the eye. Based on our results, this emerging hydroximic acid derivative might be a future target of pharmacological developments as a potential drug against the harmful consequences of diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy.

Negative Inotropic Effect of BGP-15 on the Human Right Atrial Myocardium

Authors: Lampé N, Priksz D, Erdei T, Bombicz M, Kiss R, Varga B, Zsuga J, Szerafin T, Csanádi Z, Balla Gy, Balla J, Szilvássy Z, Gesztelyi R, Juhász B
Publisher: Journal of clinical medicine, 2020 May 12;9(5):1434. doi: 10.3390/jcm9051434.

Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality carry great socioeconomic burden worldwide that mandates the development of new, efficacious therapeutic agents with limited adverse effects. O-(3-piperidino-2-hydroxy-1-propyl) nicotinic acid amidoxime (BGP-15) is a known, well-tolerable drug candidate that exerts beneficial effects in several disease models. As BGP-15 has a significant structural similarity with propranolol, it arose that BGP-15 might also have a direct effect on the heart. Thus, in the present work, we investigated the effect of BGP-15 and propranolol on the contractility of isolated, paced, human right atrial samples (obtained from patients undergone open-heart surgery), with or without previous isoproterenol (ISO) stimulation (evoking an indirect or direct effect, respectively). We found that both BGP-15 and propranolol exerted direct as well as indirect negative inotropic effects on the atrial myocardium, reaching similar maximal response. However, BGP-15 had considerably smaller potency than propranolol regarding both types of negative inotropy. In addition, BGP-15, in contrast to propranolol, had a significantly greater indirect negative inotropic effect on samples exhibiting strong response to ISO. Moreover, the indirect negative inotropic effect of BGP-15 was significantly greater on samples derived from diabetic patients than on samples obtained from non-diabetic ones. Our results suggest that the enhanced ISO sensitivity is associated with the diabetic state, and BGP-15 exerts greater negative inotropic effect on the human atrial myocardium in both conditions (as compared to the atrial tissue that is not ISO oversensitive and/or diabetic). Additionally, the negative inotropic effects of BGP-15 and propranolol seem to be mediated by in part different molecular pathways in the atrial myocardium.

Andersen-Tawil Syndrome Is Associated With Impaired PIP2 Regulation of the Potassium Channel Kir2.1

Authors: Handklo-Jamal R, Meisel E, Yakubovich D, Vysochek L, Beinart R, Glikson M, McMullen J R, Dascal N, Nof E, Oz S
Publisher: Frontiers in pharmacology, 2020 May 15;11:672. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.00672. eCollection 2020.

Andersen-Tawil syndrome (ATS) type-1 is associated with loss-of-function mutations in KCNJ2 gene. KCNJ2 encodes the tetrameric inward-rectifier potassium channel Kir2.1, important to the resting phase of the cardiac action potential. Kir-channels' activity requires interaction with the agonist phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). Two mutations were identified in ATS patients, V77E in the cytosolic N-terminal "slide helix" and M307V in the C-terminal cytoplasmic gate structure "G-loop." Current recordings in Kir2.1-expressing HEK cells showed that each of the two mutations caused Kir2.1 loss-of-function. Biotinylation and immunostaining showed that protein expression and trafficking of Kir2.1 to the plasma membrane were not affected by the mutations. To test the functional effect of the mutants in a heterozygote set, Kir2.1 dimers were prepared. Each dimer was composed of two Kir2.1 subunits joined with a flexible linker (i.e. WT-WT, WT dimer; WT-V77E and WT-M307V, mutant dimer). A tetrameric assembly of Kir2.1 is expected to include two dimers. The protein expression and the current density of WT dimer were equally reduced to ~25% of the WT monomer. Measurements from HEK cells and Xenopus oocytes showed that the expression of either WT-V77E or WT-M307V yielded currents of only about 20% compared to the WT dimer, supporting a dominant-negative effect of the mutants. Kir2.1 sensitivity to PIP2 was examined by activating the PIP2 specific voltage-sensitive phosphatase (VSP) that induced PIP2 depletion during current recordings, in HEK cells and Xenopus oocytes. PIP2 depletion induced a stronger and faster decay in Kir2.1 mutant dimers current compared to the WT dimer. BGP-15, a drug that has been demonstrated to have an anti-arrhythmic effect in mice, stabilized the Kir2.1 current amplitude following VSP-induced PIP2 depletion in cells expressing WT or mutant dimers. This study underlines the implication of mutations in cytoplasmic regions of Kir2.1. A newly developed calibrated VSP activation protocol enabled a quantitative assessment of changes in PIP2 regulation caused by the mutations. The results suggest an impaired function and a dominant-negative effect of the Kir2.1 variants that involve an impaired regulation by PIP2. This study also demonstrates that BGP-15 may be beneficial in restoring impaired Kir2.1 function and possibly in treating ATS symptoms.

The Paradoxical Effect of PARP Inhibitor BGP-15 on Irinotecan-Induced Cachexia and Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction

Authors: Campelj D G, Timpani C A, Petersen A C, Hayes A, Goodman C A, Rybalka E
Publisher: Cancers, 2020 Dec 17;12(12):3810. doi: 10.3390/cancers12123810.

Chemotherapy-induced muscle wasting and dysfunction is a contributing factor to cachexia alongside cancer and increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. Here, we investigate the effects of the chemotherapeutic agent irinotecan (IRI) on skeletal muscle mass and function and whether BGP-15 (a poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) inhibitor and heat shock protein co-inducer) adjuvant therapy could protect against IRI-induced skeletal myopathy. Healthy 6-week-old male Balb/C mice (n = 24; 8/group) were treated with six intraperitoneal injections of either vehicle, IRI (30 mg/kg) or BGP-15 adjuvant therapy (IRI+BGP; 15 mg/kg) over two weeks. IRI reduced lean and tibialis anterior mass, which were attenuated by IRI+BGP treatment. Remarkably, IRI reduced muscle protein synthesis, while IRI+BGP reduced protein synthesis further. These changes occurred in the absence of a change in crude markers of mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) Complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling and protein degradation. Interestingly, the cytoskeletal protein dystrophin was reduced in both IRI- and IRI+BGP-treated mice, while IRI+BGP treatment also decreased β-dystroglycan, suggesting significant remodeling of the cytoskeleton. IRI reduced absolute force production of the soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles, while IRI+BGP rescued absolute force production of the soleus and strongly trended to rescue force output of the EDL (p = 0.06), which was associated with improvements in mass. During the fatiguing stimulation, IRI+BGP-treated EDL muscles were somewhat susceptible to rupture at the musculotendinous junction, likely due to BGP-15's capacity to maintain the rate of force development within a weakened environment characterized by significant structural remodeling. Our paradoxical data highlight that BGP-15 has some therapeutic advantage by attenuating IRI-induced skeletal myopathy; however, its effects on the remodeling of the cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix, which appear to make fast-twitch muscles more prone to tearing during contraction, could suggest the induction of muscular dystrophy and, thus, require further characterization.

Mitochondria-targeted therapeutics, MitoQ and BGP-15, reverse aging-associated meiotic spindle defects in mouse and human oocytes

Authors: Al-Zubaidi U, Adhikari D, Cinar O, Zhang Q, Yuen W S, Murphy M P, Rombauts L, Robker R L, Carroll J
Publisher: Human Reproduction, 2021 Feb 18;36(3):771-784. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deaa300.

Study question: Do mitochondria-targeted therapies reverse ageing- and oxidative stress-induced spindle defects in oocytes from mice and humans?

Summary answer: Exposure to MitoQ or BGP-15 during IVM protected against spindle and chromosomal defects in mouse oocytes exposed to oxidative stress or derived from reproductively aged mice whilst MitoQ promoted nuclear maturation and protected against chromosomal misalignments in human oocytes.

What is known already: Spindle and chromosomal abnormalities in oocytes are more prevalent with maternal aging, increasing the risk of aneuploidy, miscarriage and genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome. The origin of compromised oocyte function may be founded in mitochondrial dysfunction and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Study design, size, duration: Oocytes from young and old mice were treated with MitoQ and/or BGP-15 during IVM. To directly induce mitochondrial dysfunction, oocytes were treated with H2O2, and then treated the MitoQ and/or BGP-15. Immature human oocytes were cultured with or without MitoQ. Each experiment was repeated at least three times, and data were analyzed by unpaired-sample t-test or chi-square test.

Participants/materials, setting, methods: Immature germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes from 1-, 12- and 18-month-old mice were obtained from preovulatory ovarian follicles. Oocytes were treated with MitoQ and/or BGP-15 during IVM. GV-stage human oocytes were cultured with or without MitoQ. Mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial ROS were measured by live-cell imaging. Meiotic spindle and chromosome alignments were visualized by immunofluorescent labeling of fixed oocytes and the 3-dimensional images were analyzed by Imaris.

Main results and the role of chance: MitoQ or BGP-15 during IVM protects against spindle and chromosomal defects in oocytes exposed to oxidative stress and in oocytes from aged mice (P < 0.001). In human oocytes, the presence of MitoQ during IVM promoted nuclear maturation and had a similar positive effect in protecting against chromosomal misalignments (P < 0.001).

Limitations, reasons for caution: Our study identifies two excellent candidates that may help to improve fertility in older women. However, these potential therapies must be tested for efficacy in clinical IVM systems, and undergo thorough examination of resultant offspring in preclinical models before utilization.

Wider implications of the findings: Our results using in-vitro systems for oocyte maturation in both mouse and human provide proof of principle that mitochondrially targeted molecules such as MitoQ and BGP-15 may represent a novel therapeutic approach against maternal aging-related spindle and chromosomal abnormalities.

Study funding/competing interest(s): The project was financially supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council, Australia. U.A.-Z. was supported by the Iraqi Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry PhD scholarship and O.C. was supported by TUBITAK-1059B191601275. M.P.M. consults for MitoQ Inc. and holds patents in mitochondria-targeted therapies. R.L.R. is an inventor on patents relating to the use of BGP-15 to improve gamete quality.

BGP-15 Protects against Heart Failure by Enhanced Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Decreased Fibrotic Remodelling in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

Authors: Horváth O, Ördög K, Bruszt K, Deres L, Gallyas F, Sümegi B, Tóth K, Halmosi R
Publisher: Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2021 Jan 30;2021:1250858. doi: 10.1155/2021/1250858.

Heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome with poor clinical outcomes despite the growing number of therapeutic approaches. It is characterized by interstitial fibrosis, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, activation of various intracellular signalling pathways, and damage of the mitochondrial network. Mitochondria are responsible for supplying the energy demand of cardiomyocytes; therefore, the damage of the mitochondrial network causes cellular dysfunction and finally leads to cell death. BGP-15, a hydroxylamine derivative, is an insulin-sensitizer molecule and has a wide range of cytoprotective effects in animal as well as in human studies. Our recent work was aimed at examining the effects of BGP-15 in a chronic hypertension-induced heart failure model. 15-month-old male SHRs were used in our experiment. The SHR-Baseline group represented the starting point (n = 7). Animals received BGP-15 (SHR-B, n = 7) or placebo (SHR-C, n = 7) for 18 weeks. WKY rats were used as age-matched normotensive controls (n = 7). The heart function was monitored by echocardiography. Histological preparations were made from cardiac tissue. The levels of signalling proteins were determined by Western blot. At the end of the study, systolic and diastolic cardiac function was preserved in the BGP-treated animals. BGP-15 decreased the interstitial collagen deposition via decreasing the activity of TGFβ/Smad signalling factors and prevented the cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in hypertensive animals. BGP-15 enhanced the prosurvival signalling pathways (Akt/Gsk3β). The treatment increased the activity of MKP1 and decreased the activity of p38 and JNK signalling routes. The mitochondrial mass of cardiomyocytes was also increased in BGP-15-treated SHR animals due to the activation of mitochondrial biogenesis. The mitigation of remodelling processes and the preserved systolic cardiac function in hypertension-induced heart failure can be a result-at least partly-of the enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis caused by BGP-15.