Andreas Billich

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The discovery of fingolimod (FTY720/Gilenya; Novartis), an orally active immunomodulatory drug, has opened up new approaches to the treatment of multiple sclerosis, the most common inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system. Elucidation of the effects of fingolimod--mediated by the modulation of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptors--has(More)
FTY720 [2-amino-2-[2-(4-octylphenyl) ethyl]propane-1,3-diol hydrochloride] is an oral sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator under development for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug is phosphorylated in vivo by sphingosine kinase 2 to its bioactive form, FTY720-P. Although treatment with FTY720 is accompanied by a reduction of the(More)
The immunomodulatory drug FTY720 is phosphorylated in vivo, and the resulting FTY720 phosphate as a ligand for sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors is responsible for the unique biological effects of the compound. So far, phosphorylation of FTY720 by murine sphingosine kinase (SPHK) 1a had been documented. We found that, while FTY720 is also phosphorylated by(More)
Targeting sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors with the oral immunomodulator drug FTY720 (fingolimod) has demonstrated substantial efficacy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The drug is phosphorylated in vivo, and most of the clinical effects of FTY720-phosphate (FTY720P) are thought to be mediated via S1P1 receptors on lymphocytes and endothelial cells,(More)
Sphingosine-1-phosphate, a lipid mediator produced by sphingosine kinases, regulates diverse cellular processes, ranging from cell growth and survival to effector functions, such as proinflammatory mediator synthesis. Using human A549 epithelial lung carcinoma cells as a model system, we observed transient upregulation of sphingosine kinase type 1 (SPHK1)(More)
Ceramide is a key player governing cell fate, and its conversion to ceramide-1-phosphate by ceramide kinase (CERK) is emerging as an important mean to regulate apoptosis and inflammatory processes. We identified a new ceramide kinase homolog, designated CERK-like protein (CERKL) and we compared it to the known CERK. Real time-PCR analysis of human tissues(More)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system (CNS) through demyelination and neurodegeneration. Until recently, major therapeutic treatments have relied on agents requiring injection delivery. In September 2010, fingolimod/FTY720 (Gilenya, Novartis) was approved as the first oral treatment for relapsing forms(More)
Millions of platelets are produced each hour by bone marrow (BM) megakaryocytes (MKs). MKs extend transendothelial proplatelet (PP) extensions into BM sinusoids and shed new platelets into the blood. The mechanisms that control platelet generation remain incompletely understood. Using conditional mutants and intravital multiphoton microscopy, we show here(More)
FTY720, a potent immunomodulatory drug in phase 2/3 clinical trials, induces rapid and reversible sequestration of lymphocytes into secondary lymphoid organs, thereby preventing their migration to sites of inflammation. As prerequisite for its function, phosphorylation of FTY720 to yield a potent agonist of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor S1P(1) is(More)
Steroid sulfatase (STS) regulates the local production of estrogens and androgens from systemic precursors in several tissues. The enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of the sulfate esters of 3-hydroxy steroids, which are inactive transport or precursor forms of the active 3-hydroxy steroids. STS inhibitors are expected to block the local production and,(More)