Efforts to develop selective agonists for dopamine D1-like receptors led to the discovery of dihydrexidine and doxanthrine, two bioisosteric β-phenyldopamine-type full agonist ligands that display selectivity and potency at D1-like receptors. We report herein an improved methodology for the synthesis of substituted chromanoisoquinolines (doxanthrine derivatives) and the evaluation of several new compounds for their ability to bind to D1- and D2-like receptors. Identical pendant phenyl ring substitutions on the dihydrexidine and doxanthrine templates surprisingly led to different effects on D1-like receptor binding, suggesting important differences between the interactions of these ligands with the D1 receptor. We propose, based on the biological results and molecular modeling studies, that slight conformational differences between the tetralin and chroman-based compounds lead to a shift in the location of the pendant ring substituents within the receptor.
dopamine D1receptor; agonist; dihydrexidine; doxanthrine
Interaction of the urokinase receptor (uPAR) with its binding partners including the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) at the cell surface triggers a series of proteolytic and signaling events that promote invasion and metastasis. Here, we report the discovery of a small molecule (IPR-456) and its derivatives that inhibit the tight uPAR·uPA protein-protein interaction. IPR-456 was discovered by virtual screening against multiple conformations of uPAR sampled from explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations. Biochemical characterization reveal that the compound binds to uPAR with sub-micromolar affinity (Kd = 310 nM) and inhibits the tight protein-protein interaction with an IC50 of 10 μM. Free energy calculations based on explicit-solvent molecular dynamics simulations suggested the importance of a carboxylate moiety on IPR-456, which was confirmed by the activity of several derivatives including IPR-803. Immunofluorescence imaging showed that IPR-456 inhibited uPA binding to uPAR of breast MDA-MB-231 tumor cells with an IC50 of 8 μM. The compounds blocked MDA-MB-231 cell invasion, but IPR-456 showed little effect on MDA-MB-231 migration, and no effect on adhesion, suggesting that uPAR mediates these processes through its other binding partners.
Virtual screening; small molecule; protein-protein interaction; inhibitor; urokinase receptor; invasion; migration; metastasis; MDA-MB-231; cancer; breast cancer; urokinase-type plasminogen activator; uPAR; uPA; docking; scoring; flexible docking
The urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) plays a critical role in urokinase-mediated plasminogen activation and thereby in the process leading to invasion and metastasis. Soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) is released from tumours, and in cancer patients the blood level of soluble receptor is increased. Using an enzyme-linked, immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-specific for the human urokinase receptor, release of soluble receptor was measured in cultures of human breast carcinoma cells, in tumour extracts and in plasma from mice with xenografted human tumours. Soluble human urokinase receptor (shuPAR) was released into culture supernatant during the growth of the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 BAG, and the level of shuPAR in conditioned medium determined by ELISA was a linear function of both viable cell number and time of incubation. Western blotting showed that the form of shuPAR measured by ELISA in conditioned medium consisted virtually exclusively of the three-domain full-length protein, while uPAR in cell lysates consisted of full-length uPAR as well as the domains (2+3) cleavage product. shuPAR was also released into the plasma of nude mice during growth of MDA-MB-231 BAG, MDA-MB-435 BAG and HCT 116 cells as subcutaneously xenografted tumours. Western blotting demonstrated that the shuPAR released from the xenografted human tumours into plasma consisted of the three-domain full-length protein, despite the finding of some cleaved uPAR in detergent extracts of tumour tissue. The levels of shuPAR determined by ELISA in the plasma of host mice during the growth of xenografted cell lines were highly correlated with tumour volume. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
uPAR; soluble receptor; human cancer xenografts
A wide variety of tumor cells exhibit overexpression of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR). In breast cancer, expression of uPA and uPAR is essential for tumor cell invasion and metastasis. It is also known that uPA binds to uPAR and activates the RAS extra-cellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway. In our study, we have introduced small interfering RNA (siRNA) to downregulate the expression of uPA and uPAR in two breast cancer cell lines (MDA MB 231 and ZR 75 1). uPA and uPAR were downregulated individually using single constructs, and in combination using a bicistronic construct driven by a CMV promoter in a pcDNA-3 mammalian expression vector. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and Western blot analyses indicated downregulation at both the mRNA and protein levels. In vitro angiogenesis studies using conditioned medium in HMEC-1 cells indicated a decrease in the angiogenic potential of conditioned media from treated cells when compared to the controls. This decrease in angiogenic potential was remarkably higher with the bicistronic construct. Similarly, the invasive potential of these cells decreased dramatically when treated with the bicistronic construct, thereby suggesting a synergistic effect from the downregulation of both uPA and uPAR. Furthermore, when uPA and uPAR were downregulated simultaneously, the apoptotic cascade was triggered as indicated by the upregulation of both initiator and effector caspases as well as other pro-apoptotic molecules. A mitochondrial permeability assay and FACS analysis revealed an increase in apoptotic cells in the uPA/uPAR treatment as compared to the other treatments. This overexpression of pro-apoptotic caspases in relation to the RNAi-induced downregulation of uPA and uPAR clearly suggests the involvement of the uPA-uPAR system in cell survival and proliferation in addition to their role in tumor progression.
breast cancer cells; invasion; angiogenesis; uPA; uPAR
The serine protease urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) plays a significant role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis when bound to its specific receptor, uPAR (also known as CD87). In addition to the uPA-uPAR system, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in tumor cell invasion and metastasis. In this study, we achieved specific inhibition of uPAR and MMP-9 using RNAi technology. We introduced small interfering RNA (siRNA) to downregulate the expression of uPAR and MMP-9 (pUM) in breast cancer cell lines (MDA MB 231 and ZR 75 1). In vitro angiogenesis studies indicated a decrease in the angiogenic potential of the treated cells; in particular, a remarkable decrease was observed in the cells treated with bicistronic construct (pUM) in comparision to the controls. Additionally, bicistronic construct inhibited the formation of capillary-like structures in in vivo models of angiogenesis. Similarly, the invasive potential and migration decreased dramatically when treated with the bicistronic construct as shown by matrigel invasion and migration assays. These results suggest a synergistic effect from the simultaneous downregulation of uPAR and MMP-9. We also assessed the levels of phosphorylated forms of MAPK, ERK, and AKT signaling pathway molecules and found reduction in the levels of these molecules in cells treated with the bicistronic construct as compared to the control cells. Furthermore, targeting both uPAR and MMP-9 totally regressed orthotopic breast tumors in nude mice. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that the simultaneous downregulation of uPAR and MMP-9 using RNAi technology may provide an effective tool for breast cancer therapy.
RNAi; uPAR; MMP-9; Invasion; Angiogenesis; Tumor growth
Maspin, a unique serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin), plays a key role in mammary gland development and is silenced during breast cancer progression. Maspin has been shown to inhibit tumor cell motility and invasion in cell culture, as well as growth and metastasis in animal models. In this study, we investigated the effect of maspin on the regulation of hypoxia-induced expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor (uPAR), with respect to invasive potential in metastatic breast cells MDA-MB-231. We hypothesized that maspin can neutralize or mitigate hypoxia- induced expression of uPA/uPAR in metastatic breast cancer cells, resulting in suppression of their invasive potential. To test our hypothesis, we employed the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells that are devoid of maspin, and transfected them with the maspin gene, and then determined the effect of hypoxia on uPA/uPAR expression. Normal mammary epithelial cells 1436N1 were used as a control. Our findings demonstrate that maspin downregulated the basal and hypoxia-induced uPA/uPAR expression and reduced the stimulatory effect of hypoxia on the in vitro invasive ability of MDA-MB-231-cells. In addition, maspin also inhibited the enzymatic activity of secreted and cell associated uPA in MDA-MB-231 cells. These results indicate that maspin inhibits hypoxia-induced invasion of metastatic breast cancer cells by blocking the uPA system, thus illuminating an important molecular pathway for therapeutic consideration.
uPA/uPAR; hypoxia; invasion; maspin; breast cancer
In the title compound, C18H14O4, the cyclohexene ring adopts a sofa conformation. In the crystalline state, the molecules are linked into a chain by weak intermolecular C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
In the title compound, C25H25NO3, the dihydropyran ring adopts a half-chair conformation, whereas the pyrrolidine ring is in a twist conformation. The tolyl group is oriented at an angle of 82.92 (7)° with respect to the napthalene ring system. In the crystal structure, molecules are linked into centrosymmetric dimers by C—H⋯π interactions involving the benzene ring of the tolyl group.
In the title compound, C24H22BrNO3, the dihydropyran ring adopts a half-chair conformation, whereas the pyrrolidine ring is in an envelope conformation. The bromophenyl group is oriented at an angle of 66.44 (4)° with respect to the naphthalene ring system. In the crystal structure, molecules are linked into centrosymmetric dimers by C—H⋯π interactions and the dimers are connected via C—H⋯Br hydrogen bonds. The crystal structure is further stabilized by π–π interactions [centroid–centroid distance = 3.453 (1) Å].
In the title compound, C24H23NO3, the dihedral angle between the naphthalene ring system and the phenyl ring is 76.82 (6)°. The pyrrolidine ring adopts an envelope conformation. In the crystal, weak intermolecular C—H⋯O and C—H⋯π interactions are observed.
In the title compound, C24H22ClNO3, the dihedral angle between the naphthalene ring system and the chlorophenyl ring is 67.44 (4)°. The pyrrolidine and dihydropyran rings exhibit envelope and half chair conformations, respectively. In the crystal structure, weak C—H⋯π interactions are observed.
In the title compound, C25H25NO4, the pyrrolidine ring exhibits an envelope conformation and the tetrahydropyran ring exhibits a half-chair conformation. The crystal structure is stabilized by intermolecular C–H⋯π interactions.
In the title compound, C21H18BrNO, both heterocyclic rings, viz. the hydropyridine ring and the adjacent hydrofuran ring, adopt envelope conformations. These two heterocycles make a dihedral angle of 37.3 (1)°. The dihedral angle between the hydropyridine and benzene rings is 69.6 (1)°. In the crystal, adjacent molecules are linked by pairs of intermolecular C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, forming centrosymmetric dimers.
In the title compound, C17H19NO5, the cyclohexene ring is in a half-chair conformation and the isoxazole ring in an envelope conformation with the N atom as the flap. The C atoms in the 4- and 6-positions are of the same absolute configuration, whereas the C atom in the 5-position is of the opposite configuration, i.e. (4S*,5R*,6S*). The methyl fragment of the ethoxycarbonyl group at position 5 is disordered over two sets of sites in a 0.60:0.40 ratio. The crystal packing displays intermolecular N—H⋯O and O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
In the title compound, C20H18ClN3, the cyclooctene ring exhibits conformational disorder of two methylene groups with a site-occupation factor of 0.859 (6) for the major occupied site. In the crystal, molecules are connected into inversion dimers via pairs of weak N—H⋯N hydrogen bonds, forming an R
2(12) graph-set motif. These dimers are further connected via weak N—H⋯Cl interactions into chains running along . There are also C—H⋯N interactions present in the crystal.
Isoproterenol (IPR), a beta-adrenergic agonist, induces division of acinar cells in the parotid and submandibular glands of adult rodents and produces hyperplastic and hypertrophic enlargements of these organs. We analyzed the effects of IPR on thymidine incorporation, c-fos mRNA levels, and the immunocytochemical localization of c-fos protein in the submandibular glands of adult and of 5- and 14-day-old mice. In the glands of untreated mice c-fos transcripts were not detectable. In all experimental groups, administration of IPR led to a rapid, transient increase in the c-fos mRNA level. Propranolol blocked the IPR effect, while treatment with IPR and cycloheximide led to superinduction. We observed no correlation between the effect of IPR on cell replication or organ growth and stimulation of c-fos expression, and conclude that the latter is the result of beta-adrenergic receptor-IPR interaction. The c-fos protein was localized immunocytochemically in both the cytoplasm and the nuclei of acinar cells and in the nuclei of duct cells.
The urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) mediates cell motility and tissue remodeling. Although uPAR may be expressed transiently in many tissues during development and wound healing, its constitutive expression appears to be associated with several pathological conditions, including cancer. uPAR expression has been demonstrated in most solid tumors and several hematologic malignancies including multiple myeloma and acute leukemias. Unlike many tumor antigens, uPAR is present not only in tumor cells but also in a number of tumor-associated cells including angiogenic endothelial cells and macrophages. The expression of uPAR has been shown to be fairly high in tumor compared to normal, quiescent tissues, which has led to uPAR being proposed as a therapeutic target, as well as a targeting agent, for the treatment of cancer. The majority of therapeutic approaches that have been investigated to date have focused on inhibiting the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)-uPAR interaction but these have not led to the development of a viable uPAR targeted clinical candidate. Genetic knockdown approaches e.g. siRNA, shRNA focused on decreasing uPAR expression have demonstrated robust antitumor activity in pre-clinical studies but have been hampered by the obstacles of stability and drug delivery that have limited the field of RNA nucleic acid based therapeutics. More recently, novel approaches that target interactions of uPAR that are downstream of uPA binding e.g. with integrins or that exploit observations describing the biology of uPAR such as mediating uPA internalization and signaling have generated novel uPAR targeted candidates that are now advancing towards clinic evaluation. This review will discuss some of the pitfalls that have delayed progress on uPAR-targeted interventions and will summarize recent progress in the development of uPAR-targeted therapeutics.
Urokinase plasminogen activator; uPAR targeting; cancer therapeutics; metastasis
Synthetic compounds for controlling or creating human immunity have the potential to revolutionize disease treatment. Motivated by challenges in this arena, we report herein a strategy to target metastatic cancer cells for immune-mediated destruction by targeting the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR). Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and uPAR are overexpressed on the surfaces of a wide range of invasive cancer cells and are believed to contribute substantially to the migratory propensities of these cells. The key component of our approach is an antibody-recruiting molecule that targets the urokinase receptor (ARM-U). This bifunctional construct is formed by selectively, covalently attaching an antibody-binding small molecule to the active site of the urokinase enzyme. We demonstrate that ARM-U is capable of directing antibodies to the surfaces of target cancer cells and mediating both antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) against multiple human cancer cell lines. We believe that the reported strategy has the potential to inform novel treatment options for a variety of deadly, invasive cancers.
Signaling by urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) can cause epithelial-mesenchymal
transition (EMT) in cultured breast cancer cells. In this report, we show that uPAR signaling can also induce cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties. Ectopic overexpression of uPAR in human MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells promoted emergence of a CD24-/CD44+ phenotype, characteristic of CSCs, while increasing the cell surface abundance of integrin subunits β1/CD29 and α6/CD49f that represent putative mammary gland stem cell biomarkers. uPAR overexpression increased mammosphere formation in vitro and tumor formation in an immunocompromised SCID mouse model of orthotopic breast cancer. Hypoxic conditions that are known to induce EMT in MDA-MB-468 cells also increased cell surface β1/CD29, mimicking the effects of uPAR overexpression. Antagonizing uPAR effector signaling pathways reversed the increase in cell surface integrin expression. While uPAR overexpression did not induce EMT in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, CSC-like properties were nevertheless still induced along with an increase in tumor initiation and growth in the orthotopic setting in SCID mice. Notably, in MCF-7 cell mammospheres, which display a well-defined acinus-like structure with polarized expression of E-cadherin and β1-integrin, cell collapse into the central cavity was decreased by uPAR overexpression, suggesting that uPAR signaling may stabilize epithelial morphology. In summary, our findings demonstrate that uPAR signaling can induce CSC-like properties in breast cancer cells, either concomitantly with or separately from EMT.
urokinase-type plasminogen activator; uPAR; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; cancer stem cell; integrin; cell-signaling
To understand the hormonal regulation of the components of the plasminogen-plasmin system in human breast cancer, we examined the oestradiol (E2) regulation of plasminogen activators (PAs), namely urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) and uPA receptor (uPAR), in our model system. We used stable transfectants of the MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells that express either the wild-type (S30 cells) or the mutant 351asp-->tyr oestrogen receptor (ER) (BC-2 cells). Northern blot analysis showed that there was a concentration-dependent down-regulation of uPA, tPA and PAI-1 mRNAs by E2. In contrast, uPAR mRNA was not modulated by E2. The pure anti-oestrogen ICI 182,780 was able to block E2 action, indicating that the regulation of these genes is ER mediated. The E2 also inhibited the expression and secretion of uPA, tPA and PAI-1 proteins as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in cell extracts (CEs) and conditioned media (CM). Zymography of the CM confirmed the inhibitory effect of E2 on uPA activity. Thus, we now report the regulation of uPA, PAI-1 and tPA by E2 in both mRNA and protein levels in ER transfectants. The association between down-regulation of the uPA by E2 and known E2-mediated growth inhibition of these cells was also explored. Our findings indicate that down-regulation of uPA by E2 is an upstream event of inhibitory effects of E2 on growth of these cells as the addition of exogenous uPA did not block the growth inhibition by E2.
Urokinase receptor (uPAR) is a widely recognized target for potential treatment of cancer. The development of uPAR inhibitors has been going on for over a decade. Despite the identification and validation of many highly potent hits using screening or medicinal approaches, none of them has been moved further along the drug discovery pipeline. The development of uPAR inhibitors exemplifies several challenges now faced by drug discovery. These include 1) hydrophobicity and thus poor bioavailability of the inhibitors from screening approaches; 2) specificity of the inhibitor, where a peptidyl inhibitor causes conformational change of the receptor; 3) species specificity, where some inhibitors developed based on the human receptor do not inhibit the murine receptor and thus cannot be validated in mouse models. The recently determined crystal structures of uPAR in complex with its ligand or inhibitor not only provide the structural insight to understand these challenges but also offer a potential solution for further inhibitor development and thus illustrate the importance of structural information in facilitating drug discovery.
The mRNAs of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor, uPAR, contain instability-determining AU-rich elements (AREs) in their 3′ untranslated regions. The cellular proteins binding to these RNA sequences (AREuPA/uPAR) are not known. We show here that the mRNA-stabilizing factor HuR functionally interacts with these sequences. HuR stabilized an AREuPA-containing RNA substrate in vitro and stabilized in HeLa Tet-off cells both endogenous uPA and uPAR mRNAs and a β-globin reporter mRNA containing the AREuPA. RNAi-mediated depletion of HuR in BT-549 and MDA-MB-231 cells significantly reduced the steady-state levels of endogenous uPA and uPAR mRNAs. Furthermore, we show that a constitutively active form of mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MK2), MK2-EE, has an ARE-mRNA-stabilizing effect that correlates with its ability to enhance the cytoplasmic accumulation of endogenous HuR, but not in cells cotransfected with a dominant negative version of MK2, MK2-K76R. These effects were mimicked by hydrogen peroxide treatment (oxidative stress), which resulted in the phosphorylation of endogenous MK2. In addition, hydrogen peroxide treatment enhanced the cytoplasmic binding of HuR to the AREuPA, which was abrogated in cells transfected with MK2-K76R. These results indicate a role for HuR and MK2 in regulating the expression of uPA and uPAR genes at the posttranscriptional level.
Cell surface receptor-targeted magnetic iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles provide molecular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents for improving specificity of the detection of human cancer.
The present study reports the development of a novel targeted IO nanoparticle using a recombinant peptide containing the amino-terminal fragment (ATF) of urokinase plasminogen activator conjugated to IO nanoparticles (ATF-IO). This nanoparticle targets urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), which is overexpressed in breast cancer tissues.
ATF-IO nanoparticles are able to specifically bind to and be internalized by uPAR-expressing tumor cells. Systemic delivery of ATF-IO nanoparticles into mice bearing subcutaneous and intraperitoneal mammary tumors leads to the accumulation of the particles in tumors, generating a strong MRI contrast detectable by a clinical MRI scanner at a field strength of 3 Tesla. Target specificity of ATF-IO nanoparticles demonstrated by in vivo MRI is further confirmed by near infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging of the mammary tumors using NIR dye-labeled ATF peptides conjugated to IO nanoparticles. Furthermore, mice administered ATF-IO nanoparticles exhibit lower uptake of the particles in the liver and spleen compared to those receiving non-targeted IO nanoparticles.
Our results suggest that uPAR-targeted ATF-IO nanoparticles have potential as molecularly-targeted, dual modality imaging agents for in vivo imaging of breast cancer.
magnetic resonance imaging; near infrared optical imaging; molecular imaging; magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle; urokinase plasminogen receptor; breast cancer
In the title compound, 2C4H12N+·C10H6O6S2
2−, the anion lies on an inversion center, so the asymmetric unit contains half an anion and one cation which are linked by a strong N—H⋯O hydrogen bond. The crystal structure comprises discrete ions, which are linked into centrosymmetric R
4(12) loops by N—H⋯O interactions.
In the crystal of the title compound, (C4H12N)[FeCl4]·C12H24O6, the butan-1-aminium cation and the tetrachloridoferrate(III) anion have m symmetry: in the cation, the non-H atoms are located on the mirror plane and in the anion, the FeIII atom and two Cl atoms are located on the mirror plane. The 18-crown-6 molecule also has m symmetry, with two O atoms located on the mirror plane. The butan-1-amine cation and the 18-crown-6 molecule are connected by N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.