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The bacterial thiopeptide thiostrepton (TS) is used as a veterinary medicine to treat bacterial infections. TS is a protein translation inhibitor, essentially active against Gram-positive bacteria and some Gram-negative bacteria. In procaryotes, TS abrogates binding of GTPase elongation factors to the 70S ribosome, by altering the structure of rRNA-L11 protein complexes. TS exerts also antimalarial effects by disrupting protein synthesis in the apicoplast genome of Plasmodium falciparum. Interestingly, the drug targets both the infectious pathogen (bacteria or parasite) and host cell, by inducing endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated autophagy which contributes to enhance the host cell defense. In addition, TS has been characterized as a potent chemical inhibitor of the oncogenic transcription factor FoxM1, frequently overexpressed in cancers or other diseases. The capacity of TS to crosslink FoxM1, and a few other proteins such as peroxiredoxin 3 (PRX3) and the 19S proteasome, contributes to the anticancer effects of the thiopeptide. The anticancer activities of TS evidenced using diverse tumor cell lines, in vivo models and drug combinations are reviewed here, together with the implicated targets and mechanisms. The difficulty to formulate TS is a drag on the pharmaceutical development of the natural product. However, the design of hemisynthetic analogues and the use of micellar drug delivery systems should facilitate a broader utilization of the compound in human and veterinary medicines. This review shed light on the many pharmacological properties of TS, with the objective to promote its use as a pharmacological tool and medicinal product. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Christian Bailly. The bacterial thiopeptide thiostrepton. An update of its mode of action, pharmacological properties and applications. European journal of pharmacology. 2022 Jan 05;914:174661

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PMID: 34863996

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