Redox cycling compounds (RCCs) generate µM concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the presence of strong reducing agents, common buffer components used to maintain the catalytic activity and/or folding of target proteins for high throughput screening (HTS) assays. H2O2 generated by RCCs can indirectly inhibit the catalytic activity of proteins by oxidizing accessible cysteine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine or selenocysteine residues, and indeed several important classes of protein targets are susceptible to H2O2-mediated inactivation; protein tyrosine phosphatases, cysteine proteases, and metalloenzymes. The main sources of H2O2 in cells are the Nox enzyme/SOD systems, peroxisome metabolism, and the autoxidation of reactive chemicals by enzyme mediated redox cycling at both the microsomal and mitochondrial sites of electron transport. Given the role of H2O2 as a second messenger involved in the regulation of many signaling pathways it is hardly surprising that compounds which can generate intracellular H2O2 by enzyme mediated redox cycling would have pleiotropic effects. RCCs can therefore have serious negative consequences for the probe and/or lead generation process: primary HTS assay hit rates may be inflated by RCC false positives; critical resources will be diverted to develop and implement follow up assays to distinguish RCCs from real hits; and screening databases will become annotated with the promiscuous activity of RCCs. In an attempt to mitigate the serious impact of RCCs on probe and lead generation, two groups have independently developed assays to indentify RCCs.
Quinones are widely distributed compounds in nature. Of these, ortho-quinones are found to be involved in the pathogenic mechanism of Parkinson’s disease, in oxidative deaminations to free-radical redox reactions, and as intermediates in the pathways implicated in the carcinogenicity of 2,3- and 3,4-catechol estrogens. Addition of MgCl2 to solutions of the hydrophobic ortho-quinones, 1,10-phenanthroquinone (PHQ) and beta-lapachone (LQ) enhances ascorbate oxidation in the absence or presence of large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) of the neutral lipid dimyristoylphos-phatidylcholine (DMPC), although initial rates of ascorbate oxidation are smaller in the presence of lipid as compared to its absence. Addition of this salt to solutions of the para-quinone 1,4-naphthoquinone (NQ) did not affect the ascorbate rate of oxidation in the absence or presence of DMPC. Addition of MgCl2 to semiquinone solutions of PHQ or LQ in the presence or absence of DMPC increases semiquinone stability, as detected from the semiquinone disproportionation equilibrium displacement to semiquinone formation. Furthermore, MgCl2 increases the partition of the ortho-semiquinones into the aqueous phase, although no such effect is observed for the semiquinone of NQ. For all the quinones under study, smaller rates of ascorbate oxidation and of semiquinone equilibrium concentration occur in the presence of negatively charged LUVs composed of an equimolar mixture of DMPC and dimyristoylphosphatidic acid DMPA. Ascorbate oxidation rate enhancements correlate with an increase in semiquinone concentration with addition of MgCl2, in the absence or presence of neutral lipid. This observation favors the proposition that ascorbate oxidation rate increases are caused by semiquinone thermodynamic stabilization. Thus, the ascorbate oxidation rate enhancement by MgCl2 in solutions containing hydrophobic ortho-quinones is still possible in systems with hydrophobic environments analogous to that of DMPC.
Ortho-quinone; semiquinone; magnesium; DMPC; membrane; ascorbate; DMPA; beta-lapachone; phenanthroquinone; naphthoquinone
We report here the development and optimization of a simple 384-well colorimetric assay to measure H2O2 generated by the redox cycling of compounds incubated with reducing agents in high-throughput screening (HTS) assay buffers. The phenol red-horseradish peroxidase (HRP) assay readily detected H2O2 either added exogenously or generated by the redox cycling of compounds in dithiothreitol (DTT). The generation of H2O2 was dependent on the concentration of both the compound and DTT and was abolished by catalase. Although both DTT and tris(2-carboxyethyl)-phosphine sustain the redox cycling generation of H2O2 by a model quinolinedione, 6-chloro-7-(2-morpholin-4-yl-ethylamino)-quinoline-5,8-dione (NSC 663284; DA3003-1), other reducing agents such as β-mercaptoethanol, glutathione, and cysteine do not. The assay is compatible with HTS. Once terminated, the assay signal was stable for at least 5 h, allowing for a reasonable throughput. The assay tolerated up to 20% dimethyl sulfoxide, allowing a wide range of compound concentrations to be tested. The assay signal window was robust and reproducible with average Z-factors of ≥0.8, and the redox cycling generation of H2O2 by DA3003-1 in DTT exhibited an average 50% effective concentration of 0.830 ± 0.068 μM. Five of the mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase (MKP) 1 inhibitors identified in an HTS were shown to generate H2O2 in the presence of DTT, and their inhibition of MKP-1 activity was shown to be time dependent and was abolished or significantly reduced by either 100 U of catalase or by higher DTT levels. A cross-target query of the PubChem database with three structurally related pyrimidotriazinediones revealed active flags in 36–39% of the primary screening assays. Activity was confirmed against a number of targets containing active site cysteines, including protein tyrosine phosphatases, cathepsins, and caspases, as well as a number of cellular cytotoxicity assays. Rather than utilize resources to conduct a hit characterization effort involving several secondary assays, the phenol red-HRP assay provides a simple, rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive method to identify compounds that redox cycle in DTT or tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine to produce H2O2 that may indirectly modulate target activity and represent promiscuous false-positives from a primary screen.
We report here the development and optimization of a simple 384-well colorimetric assay to measure H2O2 generated by the redox cycling of compounds incubated with reducing agents in high-throughput screening (HTS) assay buffers. The phenol red-horseradish peroxidase (HRP) assay readily detected H2O2 either added exogenously or generated by the redox cycling of compounds in dithiothreitol (DTT). The generation of H2O2 was dependent on the concentration of both the compound and DTT and was abolished by catalase. Although both DTT and tris(2-carboxyethyl)-phosphine sustain the redox cycling generation of H2O2 by a model quinolinedione, 6-chloro-7-(2-morpholin-4-yl-ethylamino)-quinoline-5,8-dione (NSC 663284; DA3003-1), other reducing agents such as β-mercaptoethanol, glutathione, and cysteine do not. The assay is compatible with HTS. Once terminated, the assay signal was stable for at least 5 h, allowing for a reasonable throughput. The assay tolerated up to 20% dimethyl sulfoxide, allowing a wide range of compound concentrations to be tested. The assay signal window was robust and reproducible with average Z-factors of ≥0.8, and the redox cycling generation of H2O2 by DA3003-1 in DTT exhibited an average 50% effective concentration of 0.830 μ 0.068 μM. Five of the mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase (MKP) 1 inhibitors identified in an HTS were shown to generate H2O2 in the presence of DTT, and their inhibition of MKP-1 activity was shown to be time dependent and was abolished or significantly reduced by either 100 U of catalase or by higher DTT levels. A cross-target query of the PubChem database with three structurally related pyrimidotriazinediones revealed active flags in 36–39% of the primary screening assays. Activity was confirmed against a number of targets containing active site cysteines, including protein tyrosine phosphatases, cathepsins, and caspases, as well as a number of cellular cytotoxicity assays. Rather than utilize resources to conduct a hit characterization effort involving several secondary assays, the phenol red-HRP assay provides a simple, rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive method to identify compounds that redox cycle in DTT or tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine to produce H2O2 that may indirectly modulate target activity and represent promiscuous false-positives from a primary screen.
With the advent of second-generation sequencing, the expression of gene transcripts can be digitally measured with high accuracy. The purpose of this study was to systematically profile the expression of both mRNA and miRNA genes in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) using massively parallel sequencing technology.
The expression of mRNAs and miRNAs were analyzed in tumor tissues and matched normal adjacent tissues obtained from 10 ccRCC patients without distant metastases. In a prevalence screen, some of the most interesting results were validated in a large cohort of ccRCC patients.
A total of 404 miRNAs and 9,799 mRNAs were detected to be differentially expressed in the 10 ccRCC patients. We also identified 56 novel miRNA candidates in at least two samples. In addition to confirming that canonical cancer genes and miRNAs (including VEGFA, DUSP9 and ERBB4; miR-210, miR-184 and miR-206) play pivotal roles in ccRCC development, promising novel candidates (such as PNCK and miR-122) without previous annotation in ccRCC carcinogenesis were also discovered in this study. Pathways controlling cell fates (e.g., cell cycle and apoptosis pathways) and cell communication (e.g., focal adhesion and ECM-receptor interaction) were found to be significantly more likely to be disrupted in ccRCC. Additionally, the results of the prevalence screen revealed that the expression of a miRNA gene cluster located on Xq27.3 was consistently downregulated in at least 76.7% of ∼50 ccRCC patients.
Our study provided a two-dimensional map of the mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of ccRCC using deep sequencing technology. Our results indicate that the phenotypic status of ccRCC is characterized by a loss of normal renal function, downregulation of metabolic genes, and upregulation of many signal transduction genes in key pathways. Furthermore, it can be concluded that downregulation of miRNA genes clustered on Xq27.3 is associated with ccRCC.
Ortho-quinones formed from catechol estrogens are considered prooxidants due to the production of superoxide radical anions through redox cycling via semiquinones. Para-quinols have been identified as novel metabolites of and as the major products of hydroxyl-radical scavenging by estrogens. Cycling of these compounds has also been discovered, because they are converted back to the parent estrogen via reductive aromatization in vitro and in vivo. We hypothesized that, unlike ortho-quinones, para-quinols do not induce oxidative stress due to this cycling. Like the estrogen itself, the 17β-estradiol-derived para-quinol (10β,17β-dihydroxyestra-1,4-diene-3-one) did not induce oxidative stress, as the rate of hydrogen peroxide production during the incubations of the compounds in various tissue homogenates was not significantly different from that of the control experiments performed without the addition of a test compound. We also confirmed that the estrogen metabolite estra-1,5(10)-dien-3,4,17-trione (estrone 3,4-quinone) was a profound prooxidant due to redox cycling, especially in uterine tissue. Therefore, we concluded that para-quinols do not induce oxidative stress.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the sixth leading cause of cancer death and is responsible for 11,000 deaths per year in the US. Approximately one-third of patients present with disease which is already metastatic and for which there is currently no adequate treatment, and no biofluid screening tests exist for RCC. In this study, we have undertaken a comprehensive proteomic analysis and subsequently a pathway and network approach to identify biological processes involved in clear cell RCC (ccRCC). We have used these data to investigate urinary markers of RCC which could be applied to high-risk patients, or to those being followed for recurrence, for early diagnosis and treatment, thereby substantially reducing mortality of this disease.
Using 2-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometric analysis, we identified 31 proteins which were differentially expressed with a high degree of significance in ccRCC as compared to adjacent non-malignant tissue, and we confirmed some of these by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and comparison to published transcriptomic data. When evaluated by several pathway and biological process analysis programs, these proteins are demonstrated to be involved with a high degree of confidence (p values < 2.0 E-05) in glycolysis, propanoate metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, urea cycle and arginine/proline metabolism, as well as in the non-metabolic p53 and FAS pathways. In a pilot study using random urine samples from both ccRCC and control patients, we performed metabolic profiling and found that only sorbitol, a component of an alternative glycolysis pathway, is significantly elevated at 5.4-fold in RCC patients as compared to controls.
Extensive pathway and network analysis allowed for the discovery of highly significant pathways from a set of clear cell RCC samples. Knowledge of activation of these processes will lead to novel assays identifying their proteomic and/or metabolomic signatures in biofluids of patient at high risk for this disease; we provide pilot data for such a urinary bioassay. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the knowledge of networks, processes, and pathways altered in kidney cancer may be used to influence the choice of optimal therapy.
Activation of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1/nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 and heat-shock protein 90/heat-shock factor-1 signal-transduction pathways plays a central role in combatting cellular oxidative damage and related endoplasmic reticulum stress. Electrophilic compounds have been shown to be activators of these transcription-mediated responses through S-alkylation of specific regulatory proteins. Previously, we reported that a prototype compound (D1, a small molecule representing a proelectrophilic, para-hydroquinone species) exhibited neuroprotective action by activating both of these pathways. We hypothesized that the para-hydroquinone moiety was critical for this activation because it enhanced transcription of these neuroprotective pathways to a greater degree than that of the corresponding ortho-hydroquinone isomer. This notion was based on the differential oxidation potentials of the isomers for the transformation of the hydroquinone to the active, electrophilic quinone species. Here, to further test this hypothesis, we synthesized a pair of para- and ortho-hydroquinone-based proelectrophilic compounds and measured their redox potentials using analytical cyclic voltammetry. The redox potential was then compared with functional biological activity, and the para-hydroquinones demonstrated a superior neuroprotective profile.
Nrf2; HSF-1; heat-shock proteins; phase 2 antioxidant enzymes
Recent evidence suggests that metabolic changes play a pivotal role in the biology of cancer and in particular renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Here, a global metabolite profiling approach was applied to characterize the metabolite pool of RCC and normal renal tissue. Advanced decision tree models were applied to characterize the metabolic signature of RCC and to explore features of metastasized tumours. The findings were validated in a second independent dataset. Vitamin E derivates and metabolites of glucose, fatty acid, and inositol phosphate metabolism determined the metabolic profile of RCC. α-tocopherol, hippuric acid, myoinositol, fructose-1-phosphate and glucose-1-phosphate contributed most to the tumour/normal discrimination and all showed pronounced concentration changes in RCC. The identified metabolic profile was characterized by a low recognition error of only 5% for tumour versus normal samples. Data on metastasized tumours suggested a key role for metabolic pathways involving arachidonic acid, free fatty acids, proline, uracil and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. These results illustrate the potential of mass spectroscopy based metabolomics in conjunction with sophisticated data analysis methods to uncover the metabolic phenotype of cancer. Differentially regulated metabolites, such as vitamin E compounds, hippuric acid and myoinositol, provide leads for the characterization of novel pathways in RCC.
kidney cancer; metabolism; metabolomics; metastasis
Malaria is a global health problem that causes significant mortality and morbidity, with more than 1 million deaths per year caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Most antimalarial drugs face decreased efficacy due to the emergence of resistant parasites, which necessitates the discovery of new drugs. To identify new antimalarials, we developed an automated 384-well plate screening assay using P. falciparum parasites that stably express cytoplasmic firefly luciferase. After initial optimization, we tested two different types of compound libraries: known bioactive collections (Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds [LOPAC] and the library from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke [NINDS]) and a library of uncharacterized compounds (ChemBridge). A total of 12,320 compounds were screened at 5.5 μM. Selecting only compounds that reduced parasite growth by 85% resulted in 33 hits from the combined bioactive collection and 130 hits from the ChemBridge library. Fifteen novel drug-like compounds from the bioactive collection were found to be active against P. falciparum. Twelve new chemical scaffolds were found from the ChemBridge hits, the most potent of which was a series based on the 1,4-naphthoquinone scaffold, which is structurally similar to the FDA-approved antimalarial atovaquone. However, in contrast to atovaquone, which acts to inhibit the bc1 complex and block the electron transport chain in parasite mitochondria, we have determined that our new 1,4-napthoquinones act in a novel, non-bc1-dependent mechanism and remain potent against atovaquone- and chloroquine-resistant parasites. Ultimately, this study may provide new probes to understand the molecular details of the malaria life cycle and to identify new antimalarials.
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common pathological subtype of kidney cancer. Here, we integrated an unbiased genome-wide RNA interference screen for ccRCC survival regulators with an analysis of recurrently overexpressed genes in ccRCC to identify new therapeutic targets in this disease. One of the most potent survival regulators, the monocarboxylate transporter MCT4 (SLC16A3), impaired ccRCC viability in all eight ccRCC lines tested and was the seventh most overexpressed gene in a meta-analysis of five ccRCC expression datasets. MCT4 silencing impaired secretion of lactate generated through glycolysis and induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Silencing MCT4 resulted in intracellular acidosis, and reduction in intracellular ATP production together with partial reversion of the Warburg effect in ccRCC cell lines. Intra-tumoural heterogeneity in the intensity of MCT4 protein expression was observed in primary ccRCCs. MCT4 protein expression analysis based on the highest intensity of expression in primary ccRCCs was associated with poorer relapse-free survival, whereas modal intensity correlated with Fuhrman nuclear grade. Consistent with the potential selection of subclones enriched for MCT4 expression during disease progression, MCT4 expression was greater at sites of metastatic disease. These data suggest that MCT4 may serve as a novel metabolic target to reverse the Warburg effect and limit disease progression in ccRCC.
Copyright © 2012 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
renal cell carcinoma; lactate transport; MCT4; SLC16A3; cancer metabolism; Warburg effect; survival regulator; therapeutic target
Carboxyl-terminal binding protein (CtBP) is a transcriptional co-repressor that suppresses multiple pro-apoptotic and epithelial genes. CtBP is overexpressed in many human cancers and its overexpression increases stem cell-like features, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and cancer cell survival. Knockdown of CtBP increases apoptosis independent of p53 and dramatically inhibits tumorigenesis in mouse models. Therefore, targeting CtBP with small molecules that disrupt its interaction with transcription factor partners may be an effective cancer therapy. To elicit its co-repressing effect, CtBP binds to a conserved peptide motif in each transcription factor partner. We developed an AlphaScreen high throughput screening assay to monitor the interaction between CtBP and E1A (which mimics the interaction between CtBP and its transcriptional partners). We screened the LOPAC library of 1280 bioactive compounds and identified NSC95397, which inhibits the CtBP-E1A interaction (IC50 = 2.9 μM). The inhibitory activity of NSC95397 was confirmed using two secondary assays and a counterscreen. NSC95397 also behaved as a weak substrate of CtBP dehydrogenase activity and did not inhibit another dehydrogenase, LDH. Finally, NSC95397 was able to disrupt CtBP-mediated transcriptional repression of a target gene. These studies present a new possibility for the development of a therapeutic agent targeting tumors through disrupting the CtBP transcriptional complex.
CtBP1; NSC95397; E1A; AlphaScreen; Protein-Protein Interaction
Living cells maintain a balance between oxidation and reduction, and
perturbations of this redox balance are thought to contribute to various
diseases. Recent attempts to regulate redox state have focused on electrophiles
(EPs), which activate potent cellular defense systems against oxidative stress.
One example of this approach is exemplified by carnosic acid (CA) and carnosol
(CS), compounds that are found in the herb rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).
Importantly, CA and CS themselves are not electrophilic, but in response to
oxidation, become electrophilic, and then activate the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE
(antioxidant response element) transcription pathway to synthesize endogenous
anti-oxidant ‘phase 2’ enzymes. As a result of our efforts to
develop these compounds as therapeutics for brain health, we have formulated two
innovative criteria for drug development: the first concept is the use of
Pro-Electrophilic Drugs (PEDs) that are innocuous in and of themselves; and the
second concept involves the use of compounds that are Pathologically-Activated
Therapeutics (PATs), i.e., these small molecules are chemically converted to
their active form by the very oxidative stress that they are designed to then
combat. The chemical basis for PED and PAT drugs is embodied in the
ortho- and para-hydroquinone electrophilic
cores of the molecules, which are oxidized by the Cu2+/Cu+
cycling system (or potentially by other transition metals). Importantly, this
cycling pathway is under stringent regulation by the cell redox state. We
propose that redox-dependent quinone-formation is the predominant mechanism for
formation of PED and PAT drugs from their precursor compounds. In fact,
redox-dependent generation of the active form of drug from the
“pro-form” distinguishes this therapeutic approach from
traditional EPs such as curcumin, and results in a decrease in clinical side
effects at therapeutic concentrations, e.g., lack of reaction with other thiols
such as glutathione (GSH), which can result in lowering GSH and inducing
oxidative stress in normal cells. We consider this pro-drug quality of PED/PAT
compounds to be a key factor for generating drugs to be used to combat
neurodegenerative diseases that will be clinically tolerated. Given the
contribution of oxidative stress to the pathology of multiple neurodegenerative
diseases, the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE pathway represents a promising drug target for
these PED/PAT agents.
Glutathione; Electrophile; Keap1; Pathologically-Activated Therapeutic; Electrophilic Counterattack
Dysregulated β-catenin signaling is intricately involved in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) carcinogenesis and progression. Determining potential β-catenin signaling inhibitors would be helpful in ameliorating drug resistance in advanced or metastatic RCC. Screening for β-catenin signaling inhibitors involved in silico inquiry of the PubChem Bioactivity database followed by TCF/LEF reporter assay. The biological effects of ovatodiolide were evaluated in 4 RCC cell lines in vitro and 2 RCC cell lines in a mouse xenograft model. The synergistic effects of ovatodiolide and sorafenib or sunitinib were examined in 2 TKI-resistant RCC cell lines. Ovatodiolide, a pure compound of Anisomeles indica, inhibited β-catenin signaling and reduced RCC cell viability, survival, migration/invasion, and in vitro cell or in vivo mouse tumorigenicity. Cytotoxicity was significantly reduced in a normal kidney epithelial cell line with the treatment. Ovatodiolide reduced phosphorylated β-catenin (S552) that inhibited β-catenin nuclear translocation. Moreover, ovatodiolide decreased β-catenin stability and impaired the association of β-catenin and transcription factor 4. Ovatodiolide combined with sorafenib or sunitinib overcame drug resistance in TKI-resistant RCC cells. Ovatodiolide may be a potent β-catenin signaling inhibitor, with synergistic effects with sorafenib or sunitinib, and therefore, a useful candidate for improving RCC therapy.
Bis(hydroxy)salen.Fe complexes were designed as self-activated chemical nucleases. The presence of a hy-droxyl group on the two salicylidene moieties serve to form a hydroquinone system cooperating with the iron redox system to facilitate spontaneous formation of free radicals. We compared the DNA binding and cleaving properties of the ortho -, meta- and para -(bishydroxy) salen.Fe complexes with that of the corresponding chelate lacking the hydroxyl groups. DNA melting temperature studies indicated that the para complex exhibits the highest affinity for DNA. In addition, this para compound was considerably more potent at cleaving supercoiled plasmid DNA than the regio-isomeric ortho - and meta -hydroxy-salen.Fe complexes, even in the absence of a reducing agent, such as dithiothreitol used to activate the metal complex. The DNA cleaving activity of the para isomer is both time and concentration dependent and the complexed iron atom is absolutely essential for the sequence uniform cleavage of DNA. From a mechanistic point of view, electron spin resonance measurements suggest that DNA contributes positively to the activation of the semi-quinone system and the production of ligand radical species responsible for subsequent strand scission in the absence of a reducing agent. The para -hydroxy-salen.Fe complex has been used for detecting sequence-specific drug-DNA interactions. Specific binding of Hoechst 33258 to AT sequences and chromomycin to GC sequences were shown. The para -bis(hydroxy)salen.Fe derivative complements the tool box of footprinting reagents which can be utilised to produce efficient cleavage of DNA.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is histopathologically heterogeneous with clear cell and papillary the most common subtypes. The most frequent molecular abnormality in clear cell RCC is VHL inactivation but promoter methylation of tumour suppressor genes is common in both subtypes of RCC. To investigate whether RCC CpG methylation status was influenced by histopathology and VHL status we performed high-throughput epigenetic profiling using the Illumina Goldengate Methylation Array in 62 RCC (29 RCC from von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease patients, 20 sporadic clear cell RCC with wild type VHL and 13 sporadic papillary RCC).
43 genes were methylated in >20% of primary RCC (range 20–45%) and most (37/43) of these had not been reported previously to be methylated in RCC. The distribution of the number of methylated CpGs in individual tumours differed from the expected Poisson distribution (p < 0.00001; log-likelihood G test) suggesting that a subset of RCC displayed a CpG Island Methylator Phenotype. Comparison of RCC subtypes revealed that, on average, tumour specific CpG methylation was most prevalent in papillary RCC and least in VHL RCC. Many of the genes preferentially methylated in pRCC were linked to TGFβ or ERK/Akt signalling.
These findings demonstrate differing patterns of tumour-specific CpG methylation in VHL and non VHL clear cell RCC and papillary RCC, and identify multiple novel potential CpG methylation biomarkers for RCC.
The epidermal growth factor (EGF) is responsible for the activation of intracellular signal transducers that act on cell-cycle progression, cell motility, angiogenesis and inhibition of apoptosis. However, cells can block these effects activating opposite signaling pathways, such as the transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) pathway. Thus changes in expression levels of EGF and TGFB1 in renal cells might modulate the renal cell carcinoma (RCC) development, in consequence of changes in regulatory elements of signaling networks such as the microRNAs (miRNAs). Our purpose was to investigate the synergic role of EGF+61G>A and TGFB1+869T>C polymorphisms in RCC development. Genetic polymorphisms were studied by allelic discrimination using real-time PCR in 133 RCC patients vs. 443 healthy individuals. The circulating EGF/EGFR-MAPK-related miR-7, miR-221 and miR-222 expression was analyzed by a quantitative real-time PCR in plasma from 22 RCC patients vs. 27 healthy individuals. The intermediate/high genetic proliferation profile patients carriers present a significantly reduced time-to-progression and a higher risk of an early relapse compared with the low genetic proliferation profile carriers (HR = 8.8, P = 0.038) with impact in a lower overall survival (Log rank test, P = 0.047). The RCC patients presented higher circulating expression levels of miR-7 than healthy individuals (6.1-fold increase, P<0.001). Moreover, the intermediate/high genetic proliferation profile carriers present an increase in expression levels of miR-7, miR-221 and miR-222 during the RCC development and this increase is not observed in low genetic proliferation profile (P<0.001, P = 0.004, P<0.001, respectively). The stimulus to angiogenesis, cell-cycle progression and tumoral cells invasion, through activation of EGFR/MAPK signaling pathway in intermediate/high proliferation profile carriers is associated with an early disease progression, resulting in a poor overall survival. We also demonstrated that the intermediate/high proliferation profile is an unfavorable prognostic factor of RCC and miR-7, miR-221 and miR-222 expressions may be useful phenotype biomarkers of EGFR/MAPK activation.
1,4-Benzoquinone is cytotoxic in V79 Chinese hamster cells and induces gene mutations and micronuclei. The cell-damaging effects of quinones are usually attributed to thiol depletion, oxidation of NAD(P)H, and redox-cycling involving the formation of semiquinone radicals and reactive oxygen species. To elucidate the role of these mechanisms in the genotoxicity of 1,4-benzoquinone, we measured various genotoxic effects, cytotoxicity, and the levels of glutathione, NADPH, NADH, and their oxidized forms all in the same experiment. 1,4-Naphthoquinone, which does not induce gene mutations in V79 cells, was investigated for comparative reasons. The quinones had a similar effect on the levels of cofactors. Total glutathione was depleted, but levels of oxidized glutathione were slightly increased. The levels of NADPH and NADH were reduced at high concentrations of the quinones with a simultaneous increase in the levels of NADP+ and NAD+. Both compounds induced micronuclei, but neither increased the frequency of sister chromatid exchange. Only 1,4-benzoquinone induced gene mutations. This effect was observed at low concentrations, where none of the other parameters studied was affected. When the cells were depleted of glutathione prior to treatment with the quinones, the induction of gene mutations and micronuclei remained virtually unchanged. We conclude that a) induction of micronuclei and glutathione depletion by the two quinones are not linked causally, b) 1,4-benzoquinone induces gene mutations by a mechanism different from oxidative stress and glutathione depletion, and c) glutathione does not fully protect the cells against the genotoxicity of quinones.
Xp11 translocation renal cell carcinoma (RCC) harbor various TFE3 gene fusions, and are known to underexpress epithelial immunohistochemical (IHC) markers such as cytokeratin and EMA relative to usual adult type RCC; however, their profile in reference to other IHC markers that are differentially expressed in other subtypes of RCC has not been systematically assessed. Few therapeutic targets have been identified in these aggressive cancers. We created 2 tissue microarrays (TMA) containing five 1.4-mm cores from each of 21 Xp11 translocation RCC (all confirmed by TFE3 IHC, 6 further confirmed by genetics), 7 clear cell RCC (CCRCC), and 6 papillary RCC (PRCC). These TMA were labeled for a panel of IHC markers. In contrast to earlier published data, Xp11 translocation RCC frequently expressed renal transcription factors PAX8 (16/21 cases) and PAX2 (14/21 cases), whereas only 1 of 21 cases focally expressed MiTF and only 5 of 21 overexpressed p21. Although experimental data suggest otherwise, Xp11 translocation RCC did not express WT-1 (0/21 cases). Although 24% of Xp11 translocation RCC expressed HIF-1α (like CCRCC), unlike CCRCC CA IX expression was characteristically only focal (mean 6% cell labeling) in Xp11 translocation RCC. Other markers preferentially expressed in CCRCC or PRCC, such as HIG-2, claudin 7, and EpCAM, yielded inconsistent results in Xp11 translocation RCC. Xp11 translocation RCC infrequently expressed Ksp-cadherin (3/21 cases) and c-kit (0/21 cases), markers frequently expressed in chromophobe RCC. Using an H-score that is the product of intensity and percentage labeling, Xp11 translocation RCC expressed higher levels of phosphorylated S6, a measure of mTOR pathway activation (mean H score = 88), than did CCRCC (mean H score = 54) or PRCC (mean H score = 44). In conclusion, in contrast to prior reports, Xp11 translocation RCC usually express PAX2 and PAX8 but do not usually express MiTF. Although they may express HIF-1α, they only focally express the downstream target CA IX. They inconsistently express markers associated with other RCC subtypes, further highlighting the lack of specificity of the latter markers. TFE3 and Cathepsin K remain the most sensitive and specific markers of these neoplasms. Elevated expression of phosphorylated S6 in Xp11 translocation RCC suggests the mTOR pathway as an attractive potential therapeutic target for these neoplasms.
TFE3; renal cell carcinoma; biomarker
Variant microRNA (miRNA) expression is a character of many cancer types. The combined analysis of miRNA and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profiles is crucial to identifying links between deregulated miRNAs and oncogenic pathways. The aim of this study was to screen several novel genes associated with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and analyze the gene functions and signal pathways which were critical to RCCs with DNA microarray. The gene expression profile of GSE6344 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including 10 RCC samples and 10 healthy controls. Compared with the control samples, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of RCC was identified. The selected DEGs were further analyzed using bioinformatics methods. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis was performed using Gene Set Analysis Toolkit and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed with prePPI. Then, pathway enrichment analysis to PPI network was performed using WebGestalt software. We found that a total of 521 DEGs were down-regulated and 473 DEGs were up-regulated in RCC samples compared to healthy controls. A total of 15 remarkable enhanced functions and 17 suppressed functions were identified. PPI nodes of high degrees, such as RHCG, RALYL, SLC4A1, UMOD and CA9, were obtained. The DEGs were classified and significantly enriched in cytokine and cytokine receptor pathway. The hub genes we find from RCC samples are not only biomarkers, but also may provide the groundwork for a combination therapy approach for RCCs.
Microarray profiling; oncogenes; potential biomarkers; critical pathways; renal cell carcinoma
Therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has advanced with the recent approval of direct-acting antivirals in combination with peginterferon and ribavirin. New antivirals with novel targets are still needed to further improve the treatment of hepatitis C. Previously reported screening methods for HCV inhibitors either are limited to a virus-specific function or apply a screening method at a single dose, which usually leads to high false-positive or -negative rates. We developed a quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS) assay platform with a cell-based HCV infection system. This highly sensitive assay can be miniaturized to a 1,536-well format for screening of large chemical libraries. All candidates are screened over a 7-concentration dose range to give EC50s (compound concentrations at 50% efficacy) and dose-response curves. Using this assay format, we screened a library of pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC). Based on the profile of dose-dependent curves of HCV inhibition and cytotoxicity, 22 compounds with adequate curves and EC50s of <10 μM were selected for validation. In two additional independent assays, 17 of them demonstrated specific inhibition of HCV infection. Ten potential candidates with efficacies of >70% and CC50s (compound concentrations at 50% cytotoxicity) of <30 μM from these validated hits were characterized for their target stages in the HCV replication cycle. In this screen, we identified both known and novel hits with diverse structural and functional features targeting various stages of the HCV replication cycle. The pilot screen demonstrates that this assay system is highly robust and effective in identifying novel HCV inhibitors and that it can be readily applied to large-scale screening of small-molecule libraries.
Cytotoxicity of 1,4-naphthoquinones has been attributed to intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through one-electron-reductase-mediated redox cycling and to arylation of cellular nucleophiles. Here, however, we report that in a subclone of lung epithelial A549 cells (A549-S previously called A549-G4S (Watanabe, et al., Am. J. Physiol. 283 (2002) L726–736), the mechanism of ROS generation by menadione and by 2,3-dimethoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (DMNQ), and therefore that of cytotoxicity, differs from the paradigm. Ninety percent of H2O2 generation by both the quinones can be prevented by dicumarol, an inhibitor of NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1), at the submicromolar level, regardless of the quinone concentrations. Exogenous SOD also inhibits H2O2 production at low but not high concentrations of the quinones, especially DMNQ. Thus, at low quinone concentrations, superoxide-driven hydroquinone autoxidation accounts for more than half of H2O2 generation by both quinones, whereas at high quinone concentrations, especially for DMNQ, comproportionation-driven hydroquinone autoxidation becomes the predominant mechanism. Hydroquinone autoxidation appears to occur predominantly in the extracellular environment than in the cytosol as extracellular catalase can dramatically attenuate quinone-induced cytotoxicity throughout the range of quinone concentrations, whereas complete inactivation of endogenous catalase or complete depletion of intracellular glutathione has only a marginal effect on their cytotoxicity. Finally, we show evidence that ROS production is a consequence of the compensatory defensive role of NQO1 against quinone arylation.
DT-diaphorase; A549; Oxidative stress; Quinone; Catalase; Superoxide dismutase
TFE3 translocation renal cell carcinoma (tRCC) is defined by chromosomal translocations involving the TFE3 transcription factor at chromosome Xp11.2. Genetically proven TFE3 tRCCs have a broad histologic spectrum with overlapping features to other renal tumor subtypes. In this study, we aimed for characterizing RCC with TFE3 protein expression. Using next-generation whole transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) as a discovery tool, we analyzed fusion transcripts, gene expression profile, and somatic mutations in frozen tissue of one TFE3 tRCC. By applying a computational analysis developed to call chimeric RNA molecules from paired-end RNA-Seq data, we confirmed the known TFE3 translocation. Its fusion partner SFPQ has already been described as fusion partner in tRCCs. In addition, an RNA read-through chimera between TMED6 and COG8 as well as MET and KDR (VEGFR2) point mutations were identified. An EGFR mutation, but no chromosomal rearrangements, was identified in a control group of five clear cell RCCs (ccRCCs). The TFE3 tRCC could be clearly distinguished from the ccRCCs by RNA-Seq gene expression measurements using a previously reported tRCC gene signature. In validation experiments using reverse transcription-PCR, TMED6-COG8 chimera expression was significantly higher in nine TFE3 translocated and six TFE3-expressing/non-translocated RCCs than in 24 ccRCCs (P < .001) and 22 papillary RCCs (P < .05–.07). Immunohistochemical analysis of selected genes from the tRCC gene signature showed significantly higher eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 alpha 2 (EEF1A2) and Contactin 3 (CNTN3) expression in 16 TFE3 translocated and six TFE3-expressing/non-translocated RCCs than in over 200 ccRCCs (P < .0001, both).
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common subtype of RCC, is characterized by high metastasis potential and strong resistance to traditional therapies, resulting in a poor five-year survival rate of patients. Several therapies targeted to VEGF pathway for advanced RCC have been developed, however, it still needs to discover new therapeutic targets for treating RCC. Genome-wide gene expression analyses have been broadly used to identify unknown molecular mechanisms of cancer progression. Recently, we applied the oligo-capping method to construct the full-length cDNA libraries of ccRCC and adjacent normal kidney, and analyzed the gene expression profiles by high-throughput sequencing. This paper presents a review for recent findings on therapeutic potential of MYC pathway and nicotinamide N-methyltransferase for the treatment of RCC.
To formally study the prevalence and histological classification of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in a series of patients with PTEN Hamartoma Tumor syndrome (PHTS).
We evaluated prevalence of RCC within a prospectively-accrued series of 219 patients found to have pathogenic germline PTEN mutations. Clinical data including pathology reports were requested for all participants. Slides and tumor blocks were requested for central pathology re-review and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis.
Nine patients were identified with RCC. Based on SEER data 0.28 RCC cases were expected for the group, giving an overall age-adjusted Standardized Incidence Ratio (SIR) of 31.7 (95% CI 15.4–58.1, p<0.001) with a higher sex-adjusted SIR for females (46.7 vs. 21.6 for males). Reported histology of each mutation positive patient’s RCC was variable. However, on central pathology re-review of 8 patients, six examined lesions were determined to be of papillary subhistology (pRCC), with the other two patients’ tumors consistent with the initial report of chromophobe RCC (chRCC). IHC demonstrated complete loss of PTEN protein in all PTEN mutation positive patients’ pRCCs and patchy positivity in one chRCC.
PHTS is a hereditary syndrome newly associated with pRCC, and PTEN IHC may be a helpful screening tool to identify pRCC patients with PHTS. Physicians caring for PHTS patients should note the >31-fold increased risk for RCC and have a low threshold for investigating possible RCC in patients with relevant complaints. Renal ultrasound is not sensitive for detecting pRCC and so PHTS patients should have alternate renal imaging (CT or MRI).
PTEN germline mutations; Cowden syndrome; Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome; Carcinoma, Kidney