Magnesium: The overlooked electrolyte in blood cancers?
Authors: Gile, Jennifer; Ruan, Gordon; Abeykoon, Jithma; McMahon, M. Molly; Witzig, Thomas
Magnesium is an important element that has essential roles in the regulation of cell growth, division, and differentiation. Mounting evidence in the literature suggests an association between hypomagnesemia and all-cause mortality. In addition, epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that a diet poor in magnesium increases the risk of developing cancer, highlighting its importance in the field of hematology and oncology. In solid malignancies, hypomagnesemia at diagnosis portends a worse prognosis. However, little is known about prognosis in patients with hypomagnesemia and blood cancers in general; lymphoma more specifically. Hypomagnesemia has been associated with a higher viral load of the Epstein Barr virus, a virus associated with a multitude of hematologic malignancies. The role of magnesium in the immune system has been further elucidated in studies of patients with a rare primary immunodeficiency known as XMEN disease (X-linked immunodeficiency with Magnesium defect, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and Neoplasia disease). These patients have a mutation in the MAGT1 gene, which codes for a magnesium transporter. The mutation leads to impaired T cell activation and an increased risk of developing hematologic malignancies. In this review we discuss the relevance of magnesium as an electrolyte, current measurement techniques, and the known data related to cause and prognosis of blood cancers. The goal is to use these data to stimulate additional high-quality and well powered studies to further investigate the role of magnesium in preventing cancer and improving outcomes of patients with malignancy and concomitant magnesium deficiency.
Tenofovir prodrugs potently inhibit Epstein-Barr virus lytic DNA replication by targeting the viral DNA polymerase
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Authors: Drosu, Natalia C.; Edelman, Elazer R.; Housman, David E.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human.-herpesvirus that establishes life-long infection and increases the risk for the development of several cancers and autoimmune diseases. The mechanisms by which chronic EBV infection leads to subsequent disease remain incompletely understood. Lytic reactivation plays a central role in the development of EBV-driven cancers and may contribute to other EBV-associated diseases. Thus, the clinical use of antivirals as suppressive therapy for EBV lytic reactivation may aid efforts aimed at disease prevention. Current antivirals for EBV have shown limited clinical utility due to low potency or high toxicity, leaving open the need for potent antivirals suitable for long-term prophylaxis. In the present study, we show that tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), drugs with excellent safety profiles used clinically for HIV prevention, inhibit EBV lytic DNA replication, with respective IC50 values of 0.30 mu M and 84 nM. In a cell-based assay, TAF was 35- and 24-fold and TDF was 10- and 7-fold more potent than acyclovir and penciclovir, respectively, and TAF was also twice as potent as ganciclovir. The active metabolite of tenofovir prodrugs, tenofovir-diphosphate, inhibited the incorporation of dATP into a primed DNA template by the EBV DNA polymerase in vitro. In contrast to acyclovir, treatment of cells during latency for 24 h with TAF still inhibited EBV lytic DNA replication at 72 h after drug was removed. Our results suggest that tenofovir prodrugs may be particularly effective as inhibitors of EBV lytic reactivation, and that clinical studies to address critical questions about disease prevention are warranted.