The breast cancer-associated gene 1 (BRCA1) is the most frequently mutated tumor suppressor gene in familial breast cancers. Mutations in BRCA1 also predispose to other types of cancers, pointing to a fundamental role of this pathway in tumor suppression and emphasizing the need for effective chemoprevention in these high-risk patients. Because the methyl ester of the synthetic triterpenoid 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO-Me) is a potent chemopreventive agent, we tested its efficacy in a highly relevant mouse model of BRCA1-mutated breast cancer. Beginning at 12 weeks of age, Brca1Co/Co;MMTV-Cre;p53+/- mice were fed powdered control diet or diet containing CDDO-Me (50 mg/kg diet). CDDO-Me significantly (P < 0.05) delayed tumor development in the BRCA1-mutated mice by an average of 5.2 weeks. We also observed that levels of ErbB2, pErbB2, and cyclin D1 increased in a time-dependent manner in the mammary glands in BRCA1-deficient mice, and CDDO-Me inhibited the constitutive phosphorylation of ErbB2 in tumor tissues from these mice. In BRCA1-deficient cell lines, the triterpenoids directly interacted with ErbB2, decreased constitutive phosphorylation of ErbB2, inhibited proliferation, and induced G0/G1 arrest. These results suggest that CDDO-Me has the potential to prevent BRCA1-mutated breast cancer.
2-Cyano-3,10-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid anhydride (CDDO anhydride) has been synthesized, which is the first example of an oleanane triterpenoid anhydride. CDDO anhydride shows potency similar to or higher than the corresponding acid (CDDO) in various in vitro and in vivo assays related to inflammation and carcinogenesis. Notably, preliminary phamacokinetics studies show that CDDO anhydride levels are higher than CDDO levels in mouse tissues and blood. Further evaluation of CDDO anhydride is in progress.
Triterpene; Oleanolic acid; Acid anhydride; Inhibitors of nitric oxide production; Inducers of heme oxygenase-1
Breast cancer-associated gene 1 (BRCA1) protein plays important roles in DNA damage and repair, homologous recombination, cell-cycle regulation, and apoptosis. The synthetic triterpenoid 1-[2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole (CDDO-Imidazolide, CDDO-Im) is a promising anticancer and chemopreventive agent with potent anti-proliferative and apoptotic activities against a wide variety of cancer types. However the mechanisms responsible for the selective apoptotic effects of CDDO-Im in cancer cells remain elusive. In the present work, CDDO-Im induced G2/M arrest and apoptosis in BRCA1-mutated mammary tumor cell lines. Prior to the induction of apoptosis, CDDO-Im induced DNA damage and the phosphorylation of H2AX followed by activation of the DNA damage response. Moreover, CDDO-Im also induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which is associated with the induction of DNA damage, in both mouse and human tumor cells containing a BRCA1 mutation. The inhibition of ROS generation by uric acid prevented the induction of DNA damage by CDDO-Im. Furthermore, treatment with CDDO-Im did not induce ROS in non-malignant MCF-10A breast epithelial cells or in E18-14C-27 breast cancer cells with wild-type BRCA1 genes and was not cytotoxic to normal mouse 3T3 fibroblasts, highlighting a selective therapeutic potential of CDDO-Im for BRCA1-associated breast cancer cells. Altogether, our results demonstrate that CDDO-Im induces ROS and subsequent DNA damage, thereby facilitating the activation of the DNA damage checkpoint, G2/M arrest and finally apoptosis in BRCA1-mutated cancer cells. The particular relevance of these findings to the chemoprevention of cancer is discussed.
Recent animal and human studies implicate chronic activation of microglia in the progressive loss of CNS neurons. The inflammatory mechanisms that have neurotoxic effects and contribute to neurodegeneration need to be elucidated and specifically targeted without interfering with the neuroprotective effects of glial activities. Synthetic triterpenoid analogs of oleanolic acid, such as methyl-2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oate (CDDO-Me, RTA 402) have potent anti-proliferative and differentiating effects on tumor cells, and anti-inflammatory activities on activated macrophages. We hypothesized that CDDO-Me may be able to suppress neurotoxic microglial activities while enhancing those that promote neuronal survival. Therefore, the aims of our study were to identify specific microglial activities modulated by CDDO-Me in vitro, and to determine the extent to which this modulation affords neuroprotection against inflammatory stimuli.
We tested the synthetic triterpenoid methyl-2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oate (CDDO-Me, RTA 402) in various in vitro assays using the murine BV2 microglia cell line, mouse primary microglia, or mouse primary peritoneal macrophages to investigate its effects on proliferation, inflammatory gene expression, cytokine secretion, and phagocytosis. The antioxidant and neuroprotective effects of CDDO-Me were also investigated in primary neuron/glia cultures from rat basal forebrain or ventral midbrain.
We found that at low nanomolar concentrations, treatment of rat primary mesencephalon neuron/glia cultures with CDDO-Me resulted in attenuated LPS-, TNF- or fibrillar amyloid beta 1–42 (Aβ1–42) peptide-induced increases in reactive microglia and inflammatory gene expression without an overall effect on cell viability. In functional assays CDDO-Me blocked death in the dopaminergic neuron-like cell line MN9D induced by conditioned media (CM) of LPS-stimulated BV2 microglia, but did not block cell death induced by addition of TNF to MN9D cells, suggesting that dopaminergic neuroprotection by CDDO-Me involved inhibition of microglial-derived cytokine production and not direct inhibition of TNF-dependent pro-apoptotic pathways. Multiplexed immunoassays of CM from LPS-stimulated microglia confirmed that CDDO-Me-treated BV2 cells produced decreased levels of specific subsets of cytokines, in particular TNF. Lastly, CDDO-Me enhanced phagocytic activity of BV2 cells in a stimulus-specific manner but inhibited generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mixed neuron/glia basal forebrain cultures and dopaminergic cells.
The neuroimmune modulatory properties of CDDO-Me indicate that this potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound may have therapeutic potential to modify the course of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by chronic neuroinflammation and amyloid deposition. The extent to which synthetic triterpenoids afford therapeutic benefit in animal models of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease deserves further investigation.
Inflammatory cytokines and endogenous anti-oxidants are variables affecting disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we demonstrate the dual capacity of triterpenoids to simultaneously repress production of IL-17 and other pro-inflammatory mediators while exerting neuroprotective effects directly through Nrf2-dependent induction of anti-oxidant genes. Derivatives of the natural triterpene oleanolic acid, namely CDDO-trifluoroethyl-amide (CDDO-TFEA), completely suppressed disease in a murine model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), by inhibiting Th1 and Th17 mRNA and cytokine production. Encephalitogenic T cells recovered from treated mice were hypo-responsive to myelin antigen and failed to adoptively transfer the disease. Microarray analyses showed significant suppression of pro-inflammatory transcripts with concomitant induction of anti-inflammatory genes including Ptgds and Hsd11b1. Finally, triterpenoids induced oligodendrocyte maturation in vitro and enhanced myelin repair in an LPC-induced non-inflammatory model of demyelination in vivo. These results demonstrate the unique potential of triterpenoid derivatives for the treatment of neuroinflammatory disorders such as MS.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and is nearly always fatal. While early detection offers the most promising approach for reducing the mortality of this disease, there is still a need to develop effective drugs for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer. We tested two promising classes of non-cytotoxic drugs, synthetic oleanane triterpenoids and rexinoids, for the prevention of carcinogenesis in the highly relevant LSL-KrasG12D/+;LSL-Trp53R127H/+;Pdx-1-Cre (KPC) mouse model of pancreatic cancer. KPC transgenic mice closely recapitulate the genetic mutations, clinical symptoms, and histopathology found in human pancreatic cancer. Beginning at 4 wks of age, mice were fed powdered control diet or a diet containing the triterpenoids CDDO-methyl ester (CDDO-Me) or CDDO-ethyl amide (CDDO-EA), the rexinoid LG100268 (LG268), or the combination, until the mice displayed overt symptoms of pancreatic cancer. CDDO-Me, LG268, the combination of CDDO-Me and LG268, and the combination of CDDO-EA and LG268 all significantly (P < 0.05) increased survival in the KPC mice by 3–4 wks. Recent studies have shown that gemcitabine, the current standard of care for human pancreatic cancer, does not extend survival in KPC mice. In cell lines developed from the KPC mice, the triterpenoids directly interact with both STAT3 and IKK to decrease constitutive IL-6 secretion, inhibit constitutive STAT3 phosphorylation, and block the degradation of IKBα when challenged with TNFα. These results suggest that oleanane triterpenoids and rexinoids have the potential to prevent pancreatic cancer.
Triterpenoid; CDDO-Me; CDDO-EA; rexinoid; LG100268; combination therapy; pancreatic cancer; prevention; KPC mice
A novel acetylenic tricyclic bis-(cyano enone), TBE-31, is a lead compound in a series of tricyclic compounds with enone functionalities in rings A and C. Nanomolar concentrations of this potent multifunctional molecule suppress the induction of the inflammatory protein, iNOS; activate phase 2 cytoprotective enzymes in vitro and in vivo; block cell proliferation; and induce differentiation and apoptosis of leukemia cells. Oral administration of TBE-31 also significantly reduces formation of aflatoxin-DNA adducts and decreases size and number of aflatoxin-induced pre-neoplastic hepatic lesions in rats by more than 90%. Because of the two cyano enones in rings A and C, TBE-31 may directly interact with dithiothreitol and protein targets such as Keap1 that contain reactive cysteine residues. The above findings suggest that TBE-31 should also be tested for chemoprevention and chemotherapy in relevant models of cancer and against other chronic, degenerative diseases in which inflammation and oxidative stress contribute to disease pathogenesis.
Chemoprevention; aflatoxin; Nrf2; triterpenoid; tricyclic bis-enone; TBE-31
Cancer immunotherapeutic approaches induce tumor-specific immune responses, in particular CTL responses, in many patients treated. However, such approaches are clinically beneficial to only a few patients. We set out to investigate one possible explanation for the failure of CTLs to eliminate tumors, specifically, the concept that this failure is not dependent on inhibition of T cell function. In a previous study, we found that in mice, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a source of the free radical peroxynitrite (PNT). Here, we show that pre-treatment of mouse and human tumor cells with PNT or with MDSCs inhibits binding of processed peptides to tumor cell–associated MHC, and as a result, tumor cells become resistant to antigen-specific CTLs. This effect was abrogated in MDSCs treated with a PNT inhibitor. In a mouse model of tumor-associated inflammation in which the antitumor effects of antigen-specific CTLs are eradicated by expression of IL-1β in the tumor cells, we determined that therapeutic failure was not caused by more profound suppression of CTLs by IL-1β–expressing tumors than tumors not expressing this proinflammatory cytokine. Rather, therapeutic failure was a result of the presence of PNT. Clinical relevance for these data was suggested by the observation that myeloid cells were the predominant source of PNT in human lung, pancreatic, and breast cancer samples. Our data therefore suggest what we believe to be a novel mechanism of MDSC-mediated tumor cell resistance to CTLs.
New multifunctional drugs that target multiple disease-relevant networks offer a novel approach to the prevention and treatment of many diseases. New synthetic oleanane triterpenoids (SO), such as CDDO (2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid) and its derivatives, are multifunctional compounds originally developed for the prevention and treatment of inflammation and oxidative stress. However, the protein binding partners and mechanisms of action of these SO are not yet fully understood. Here we characterize the putative target profile of one SO, CDDO-Imidazolide (CDDO-Im), by combining affinity purification with mass spectroscopic proteomic analysis to identify 577 candidate binding proteins in whole cells. This SO pharmaco-interactome consists of a diverse but interconnected set of signaling networks; bioinformatic analysis of the protein interactome identified canonical signaling pathways targeted by the SO, including retinoic acid receptor (RAR), estrogen receptor (ER), insulin receptor (IR), janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN). Pull-down studies then further validated a subset of the putative targets. In addition, we now show for the first time that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a direct target of CDDO-Im. We also show that CDDO-Im blocks insulin-induced activation of this pathway by binding to mTOR and inhibiting its kinase activity. Our basic studies confirm that the SO, CDDO-Im, acts on a protein network to elicit its pharmacological activity.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are one of the major factors responsible for immune suppression in cancer. Therefore it would be important to identify effective therapeutic means to modulate these cells.
We evaluated the effect of the synthetic triterpenoid C-28 methyl ester of 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9,-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO-Me; bardoxolone methyl) in MC38 colon carcinoma, Lewis lung carcinoma, and EL-4 thymoma mouse tumor models as well as blood samples from patients with renal cell cancer and soft tissue sarcoma. Samples were also analyzed from patients with pancreatic cancer treated with CDDO-Me in combination with gemcitabine.
CDDO-Me at concentrations of 25-100 nM completely abrogated immune suppressive activity of MDSC in vitro. CDDO-Me reduced reactive oxygen species in MDSC but did not affect their viability or the levels of nitric oxide and arginase. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with CDDO-Me did not affect the proportion of MDSC in the spleens but eliminated their suppressive activity. This effect was independent of antitumor activity. CDDO-Me treatment decreased tumor growth in mice. Experiments with immune-deficient SCID-beige mice indicated that this effect was largely mediated by the immune system. CDDO-Me substantially enhanced the antitumor effect of a cancer vaccines. Treatment of pancreatic cancer patients with CDDO-Me did not affect the number of MDSC in peripheral blood but significantly improved the immune response.
CDDO-Me abrogated the immune suppressive effect of MDSC and improved immune responses in tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients. It may represent an attractive therapeutic option by enhancing the effect of cancer immunotherapy.
Tumor immunology; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; triterpenoid
Fifteen new betulinic acid analogues were designed, synthesized, and tested for anti-inflammatory activity. Many of these analogues effectively suppress nitric oxide (NO) production in RAW cells stimulated with interferon-γ. Analogue 10 is highly and orally active in vivo for induction of the anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective enzyme, heme oxygenase-1.
triterpene; betulinic acid; inhibitors of nitric oxide production; RAW 264.7 cells; inducer of heme oxygenase-1
We tested members of two non-cytotoxic classes of drugs, synthetic oleanane triterpenoids and rexinoids, both as individual agents and in combination, for the prevention and treatment of carcinogenesis in a highly relevant animal model of lung cancer. Lung adenocarcinomas were induced in A/J mice by injection of the carcinogen vinyl carbamate. Mice were fed drugs in diet, beginning 1 week after the carcinogen challenge for prevention or 8 weeks later for treatment. The number, size and severity of tumors in the lungs were then evaluated. In the prevention studies, the triterpenoids CDDO-ethyl amide (CDDO-EA) and CDDO-methyl ester (CDDO-Me) reduced the average tumor burden (ATB) in the lungs 86–92%, respectively, compared to the controls, and the rexinoid LG100268 (268) reduced ATB by 50%. The combination of CDDO-EA and 268 reduced ATB by 93%. We show for the first time that these drugs also were highly effective for treatment of experimental lung cancer, and all triterpenoid and rexinoid combinations reduced ATB 85–87% compared to the control group. The triterpenoids also potently inhibited proliferation of VC1 mouse lung carcinoma cells and directly interacted with key regulatory proteins in these cells. In contrast, the rexinoids had little anti-proliferative activity in VC1 cells but were potent inhibitors of the toll-like receptor pathway in macrophage-like cells. Triterpenoids and rexinoids are multifunctional, well-tolerated drugs that target different signaling pathways and are thus highly effective for prevention and treatment of experimental lung cancer.
Triterpenoid; CDDO-ME; CDDO-EA; rexinoid; LG100268; NRX194204; combination therapy; lung cancer; prevention; treatment; A/J mice; inflammation
Rationale: Oxygen supplementation (e.g., hyperoxia) is used to support critically ill patients with noninfectious and infectious acute lung injury (ALI); however, hyperoxia exposure can potentially further contribute to and/or perpetuate preexisting ALI. Thus, developing novel therapeutic agents to minimize the side effects of hyperoxia is essential to improve the health of patients with severe ALI and respiratory dysfunction. We have previously shown that mice with a genetic disruption of the Nrf2 transcription factor, which squelches cellular stress by up-regulating the induction of several antioxidant enzymes and proteins, have greater susceptibility to hyperoxic lung injury. Moreover, we have recently demonstrated that Nrf2-deficiency impairs the resolution of lung injury and inflammation after nonlethal hyperoxia exposure.
Objectives: To test the hypothesis that amplification of endogenous Nrf2 activity would prevent or dampen ALI induced by hyperoxia.
Methods: Here, we tested our hypothesis using a synthetic triterpenoid compound CDDO-imidazole (CDDO-Im) (1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl] imidazole) in Nrf2-sufficient and Nrf2-deficient mice subjected to hyperoxia-induced ALI.
Measurements and Main Results: We demonstrate that oral administration of CDDO-Im at a dose of 30 μmol/kg body weight during the hyperoxic exposure is sufficient to markedly attenuate hyperoxia-induced ALI in Nrf2-sufficient but not Nrf2-deficient mice. This protection by the CDDO-Im against hyperoxic insult was accompanied by increased levels of Nrf2-regulated cytoprotective gene expression and reduced levels of DNA damage in the lung.
Conclusions: These results suggest that up-regulation of Nrf2 signaling by CDDO-Im or its analogs may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to minimize the adverse effects of hyperoxia.
Nrf2; Keap1; antioxidants; stress response
The synthetic oleanolic triterpenoid 1-[2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole (CDDO-Imidazolide or CDDO-Im) is an extremely potent activator of Nrf2 signaling. In cells undergoing adipogenesis, CDDO-Im prevents lipid accumulation in an Nrf2-dependent manner. However, in vivo evidence for effects of CDDO-Im on obesity is lacking. The goals of these studies were to determine if CDDO-Im can prevent high-fat diet-induced obesogenesis in the mouse, and to elucidate the molecular target of drug action. Wild-type and Nrf2-disrupted C57BL/6J female mice were dosed 3 times per week with 30 μmol/kg CDDO-Im or vehicle by oral gavage, during 95 days of access to a control diet or a high-fat diet. Body weights, organ weights, hepatic fat accumulation and gene expression were measured. Treatment with CDDO-Im effectively prevented high-fat diet-induced increases in body weight, adipose mass, and hepatic lipid accumulation in wild-type mice but not in Nrf2-disrupted mice. Wild-type mice on a high-fat diet and treated with CDDO-Im exhibited higher oxygen consumption and energy expenditure than vehicle-treated mice, while food intake was lower in CDDO-Im-treated than vehicle-treated mice. Levels of gene transcripts for fatty acid synthesis enzymes were downregulated after CDDO-Im treatment in the liver of wild-type mice. This inhibitory effect of CDDO-Im on lipogenic gene expression was significantly reduced in Nrf2-disrupted mice. The results indicate that CDDO-Im is an exceedingly potent agent for preventing obesity, and identify the Nrf2 pathway as a novel target for management of obesogenesis.
Nrf2; Diet-induced obesity; Fatty acid synthase; Triterpenoid
Uveitis is an inflammatory condition that can lead to blindness. It is therefore, important to understand the pathophysiology on which to develop targeted therapy. Herein, we tested whether the oxidant-responsive transcription factor Nrf2 is involved in regulating the innate immune response and oxidative damage in the LPS uveitis model. With Dihydroethidium staining, intraperitoneally injected LPS increased reactive oxygen species in the retina and iris-ciliary body of Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2−/− mice. After LPS injection, ICAM-1, IL-6, TNF-α, COX-2, iNOS, and MCP-1 mRNA were increased more in the retina and iris-ciliary body of Nrf2−/− than Nrf2+/+ mice. NQO-1 and GCLM, two Nrf2 responsive anti-oxidant enzymes, had reduced expression in Nrf2+/+ retinas after LPS injection, but no change in expression in Nrf2−/− mice. The number of FITC-con A labeled leukocytes adherent to the retinal vascular endothelium increased after LPS treatment in both Nrf2+/+ and Nrf2−/− mice compared to control injections, with the more adherent leukocytes in Nrf2−/− than Nrf2+/+ mice. Pretreatment with the Nrf2 activator 1-(2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl)imidazole, increased antioxidant gene expression in the retina, reduced inflammatory mediator expression, and reduced leukocyte adherence to retinal vasculature after LPS treatment in Nrf2+/+ mice, but had no effect on Nrf2−/− mice. Treatment targeting the Nrf2 pathway may be new therapy for uveitis.
Adhesion molecules; Cytokines; Lipopolysaccharide (LPS); Nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2); Rodent; Transcription factors; Transgenic/knockout mice; triterpenoids; uveitis
Synthetic analogues of naturally occurring triterpenoids; glycyrrhetinic acid, arjunolic acid and boswellic acids, by modification of A-ring with a cyano- and enone- functionalities, have been reported. A novel method of synthesis of α-cyanoenones from isoxazoles is reported. Bio-assays using primary mouse macrophages and tumor cell lines indicate potent anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities associated with cyanoenones of boswellic acid and glycyrrhetinic acid.
Loss of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling increases susceptibility to acute toxicity, inflammation and carcinogenesis in mice due to the inability to mount adaptive responses. In contrast, disruption of Keap1 (a cytoplasmic modifier of Nrf2 turnover) protects against these stresses in mice, although inactivating mutations in Keap1 have been identified recently in some human cancers. Global characterization of Nrf2 activation is important to exploit this pathway for chemoprevention in healthy, yet at-risk individuals and also to elucidate the consequences of hijacking the pathway in Keap1-mutant human cancers. Liver-targeted conditional Keap1-null, Albumin-Cre:Keap1(flox/−) (CKO) mice provide a model of genetic activation of Nrf2 signaling. By coupling global gene expression analysis of CKO mice with analysis of pharmacologic activation using the synthetic oleanane triterpenoid 1-[2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole (CDDO-Im), we are able to gain insight into pathways affected by Nrf2 activation. CDDO-Im is an extremely potent activator of Nrf2 signaling. CKO mice were used to identify genes modulated by genetic activation of Nrf2 signaling. The CKO response was compared with hepatic global gene expression changes in wild-type mice treated with CDDO-Im at a maximal Nrf2 activating dose. The results show that genetic and pharmacologic activation of Nrf2 signaling modulates pathways beyond detoxication and cytoprotection, with the largest cluster of genes associated with lipid metabolism. Genetic activation of Nrf2 results in much larger numbers of detoxication and lipid metabolism gene changes. Additionally, analysis of pharmacologic activation suggests that Nrf2 is the primary mediator of CDDO-Im activity, though other cell-signaling targets are also modulated following an oral dose of 30 μmol/kg.
“Two-cysteine” peroxiredoxins are antioxidant enzymes that exert a cytoprotective effect in many models of oxidative stress. However, under highly oxidizing conditions they can be inactivated through hyperoxidation of their peroxidatic active site cysteine residue. Sulfiredoxin can reverse this hyperoxidation, thus, reactivating peroxiredoxins. Here we review recent investigations that have shed further light on sulfiredoxin’s role and regulation. Studies have revealed sulfiredoxin to be a dynamically regulated gene whose transcription is induced by a variety of signals and stimuli. Sulfiredoxin expression is regulated by the transcription factor AP-1, which mediates its up-regulation by synaptic activity in neurons, resulting in protection against oxidative stress. Furthermore, sulfiredoxin has been identified as a new member of the family of genes regulated by Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) via a conserved cis-acting antioxidant response element (ARE). As such, sulfiredoxin is likely to contribute to the net antioxidative effect of small molecule activators of Nrf2. As discussed here. the proximal AP-1 site of the sulfiredoxin promoter is embedded within the ARE, as is common with Nrf2 target genes. Other recent studies have shown that sulfiredoxin induction via Nrf2 may form an important part of the protective response to oxidative stress in the lung, preventing peroxiredoxin hyperoxidation and, in certain cases, subsequent degradation. We illustrate here that sulfiredoxin can be rapidly induced in vivo by administration of CDDO-TFEA, a synthetic triterpenoid inducer of endogenous Nrf2, which may offer a way of reversing peroxiredoxin hyperoxidation in vivo following chronic or acute oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress-mediated destruction of normal parenchymal cells during hepatic inflammatory responses contributes to the pathogenesis of immune-mediated hepatitis and is implicated in the progression of acute inflammatory liver injury to chronic inflammatory liver disease. The transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) regulates the expression of a battery of antioxidative enzymes and Nrf2 signaling can be activated by small-molecule drugs that disrupt Keap1-mediated repression of Nrf2 signaling. Therefore, genetic and pharmacologic approaches were used to activate Nrf2 signaling to assess protection against inflammatory liver injury. Profound increases in ind of cell death were observed in both Nrf2 wild-type (Nrf2-WT) mice and Nrf2-disrupted (Nrf2-KO) mice 24-hr following intravenous injection of concanavalin A (12.5 mg/kg, ConA), a model for T cell-mediated acute inflammatory liver injury. However, hepatocyte-specific conditional Keap1 null (Alb-Cre:Keap1flox/−, cKeap1-KO) mice with constitutively enhanced expression of Nrf2-regulated antioxidative genes as well as Nrf2-WT mice but not Nrf2-KO mice pretreated with three daily doses of a triterpenoid that potently activates Nrf2 (30 µmole/kg, CDDO-Im) were highly resistant to ConA-mediated inflammatory liver injury. CDDO-Im pretreatment of both Nrf2-WT and Nrf2-KO mice resulted in equivalent suppression of serum pro-inflammatory soluble proteins suggesting that the hepatoprotection afforded by CDDO-Im pretreatment of Nrf2-WT mice but not Nrf2-KO mice was not due to suppression of systemic pro-inflammatory signaling, but instead was due to activation of Nrf2 signaling in the liver. Enhanced hepatic expression of Nrf2-regulated antioxidative genes inhibited inflammation-mediated oxidative stress, thereby preventing hepatocyte necrosis. Attenuation of hepatocyte death in cKeap1-KO mice and CDDO-Im pretreated Nrf2-WT mice resulted in decreased late-phase pro-inflammatory gene expression in the liver thereby diminishing the sustained influx of inflammatory cells initially stimulated by the ConA challenge. Taken together, these results clearly illustrate that targeted cytoprotection of hepatocytes through Nrf2 signaling during inflammation prevents the amplification of inflammatory responses in the liver.
Liver inflammation; Nrf2; Keap1; antioxidative enzymes; cytoprotection; triterpenoid
We recently described the ability of retinoid X receptor (RXR) ligand LG100268 (LG268) to inhibit interleukin-1-beta (IL-1-β)-driven matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and MMP-13 gene expression in SW-1353 chondrosarcoma cells. Other investigators have demonstrated similar effects in chondrocytes treated with rosiglitazone, a ligand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ), for which RXR is an obligate dimerization partner. The goals of this study were to evaluate the inhibition of IL-1-β-induced expression of MMP-1 and MMP-13 by combinatorial treatment with RXR and PPARγ ligands and to investigate the molecular mechanisms of this inhibition.
We used real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to measure LG268- and rosiglitazone-mediated inhibition of MMP gene transcription in IL-1-β-treated SW-1353 chondrosarcoma cells. An in vitro collagen destruction assay was a functional readout of MMP collagenolytic activity. Luciferase reporter assays tested the function of a putative regulatory element in the promoters of MMP-1 and MMP-13, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays detected PPARγ and changes in histone acetylation at this site. Post-translational modification of RXR and PPARγ by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) was assayed with immunoprecipitation and Western blot.
Rosiglitazone inhibited MMP-1 and MMP-13 expression in IL-1-β-treated SW-1353 cells at the mRNA and heterogeneous nuclear RNA levels and blunted IL-1-β-induced collagen destruction in vitro. Combining LG268 and rosiglitazone had an additive inhibitory effect on MMP-1 and MMP-13 transcription and collagenolysis. IL-1-β inhibited luciferase expression in the MMP reporter assay, but rosiglitazone and LG268 had no effect. ChIP indicated that treatment with IL-1-β, but not LG268 and rosiglitazone, increased PPARγ at the proximal promoters of both MMPs. Finally, rosiglitazone or LG268 induced 'cross-SUMOylation' of both the target receptor and its binding partner, and IL-1-β-alone had no effect on SUMOylation of RXR and PPARγ but antagonized the ligand-induced SUMOylation of both receptors.
The PPARγ and RXR ligands rosiglitazone and LG268 may act through similar mechanisms, inhibiting MMP-1 and MMP-13 transcription. Combinatorial treatment activates each partner of the RXR:PPARγ heterodimer and inhibits IL-1-β-induced expression of MMP-1 and MMP-13 more effectively than either compound alone. We conclude that the efficacy of combined treatment with lower doses of each drug may minimize potential side effects of treatment with these compounds.
Novel C-8a functionalized tricyclic compounds having cyano enones in rings A and C have been synthesized and biologically evaluated. Amongst them, compounds with acetylene groups at C-8a show extremely high potency in in vitro and in vivo bioassays for anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective activities. Both in vitro and in vivo potencies are markedly higher than CDDO, which is being evaluated as an anti-cancer drug in phase I clinical trials.
Sepsis is characterized by an inappropriate host immune-inflammatory response and sustained oxidative damage. Nrf2, a bZIP oxidant-responsive transcription factor, regulates a battery of cytoprotective genes including antioxidants and maintains cellular redox homeostasis. Mouse studies have demonstrated a critical role of Nrf2 in improving survival during sepsis. This preclinical ex vivo study using neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as a surrogate cells evaluates the efficacy of CDDO-Im and CDDO-Me [imidazole and methyl ester derivative of 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO)] to activate the Nrf2 pathway and protect from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response in humans. CDDO-Im treatment significantly induced Nrf2–dependent antioxidative genes (HO-1, GCLC, GCLM, and NQO1) in PBMCs isolated from six normal subjects. CDDO-Im increased nuclear accumulation of Nrf2 protein. Pretreatment of PBMC by CDDO-Im significantly attenuated LPS-induced cytokine expression. Similar increases in levels of antioxidant genes and suppression of LPS-induced cytokine expression was observed after CDDO-Me pretreatment. CDDO-Im also greatly inhibited LPS, fMLP, TNF-α, and TPA-induced ROS generation in neutrophils. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that activation of the Nrf2-dependent antioxidative pathway by CDDO-Im or CDDO-Me protects against the LPS-induced inflammatory response and suggest that they can be potential therapeutic candidates for intervening sepsis syndrome.
Sepsis induced lethality is characterized by amplified host innate immune response. Nrf2, a bZIP transcription factor regulates a battery of cellular antioxidative genes and maintains cellular redox homeostasis. This study demonstrates that increasing Nrf2 activity by a potent small molecule activator, CDDO-Im (1-[2-cyano-3-,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oyl]imidazole), protects from deregulation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced innate immune response. In response to LPS stimuli, nrf2-deficient (nrf2 −/−) peritoneal neutrophils showed increased NADPH oxidase dependent ROS generation, proinflammatory cytokines (Tnf-α and Il-6) and chemokines (Mip2 and Mcp-1) relative to wild-type (nrf2 +/+) cells. Pretreatment of peritoneal neturophils with CDDO-Im induced antioxidative genes (Ho-1, Gclc, Gclm and Nqo1) and attenuated LPS induced ROS generation as well as expression of proinflammatory cytokines exclusively in nrf2 +/+ neutrophils but not in nrf2 −/− cells. In corroboration with in vitro studies, pretreatment with CDDO-Im induced Nrf2 dependent antioxidative genes, attenuated LPS induced proinflammatory cytokine expression and decreased septic shock induced mortality specifically in the nrf2 +/+ mice. In conclusion, the results suggest that Nrf2 is associated with oxidative regulation of LPS induced innate immune response in neutrophils. Activation of Nrf2 dependent compensatory antioxidative pathways by CDDO-Im protects from LPS induced inflammatory response and mortality due to septic shock.
Nrf2; CDDO-im; neutrophils; macrophages; innate immune response; antioxidant; ROS; LPS; Septic shock
Background and Purpose
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is an inducible phase-2 enzyme that degrades toxic heme; its role in cerebral ischemia is not fully understood. We hypothesize that chemically induced HO-1 upregulation with the novel triterpenoid CDDO-Im (2-cyano-3,12 dioxooleana-1,9 dien-28-oyl imidazolide), a robust inducer of phase-2 genes, protects neurons against ischemic injury.
Using three different models of ischemia, including oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in neuronal cultures, global ischemia in rats and focal ischemia in mice, we determined 1) whether CDDO-Im induces HO-1 expression and protect against ischemic injury, and 2) whether HO-1 inhibition disrupts the neuroprotective effect of CDDO-Im.
CDDO-Im treatment (50–300 nmol/L) resulted in 8-fold HO-1 upregulation in cultured neurons and protected against OGD. The protection was abolished when the cultures were transfected with Nrf2-shRNA or co-incubated with tin protoporphyrin IX (Sn-PPIX), a specific HO-1 inhibitor. In the rat model of global ischemia, intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of CDDO-Im (0.5–1.5 μg) augmented HO-1 expression in hippocampal neurons and resulted in significant increases in CA1 neuronal survival after global ischemia. To further strengthen the clinical relevance of the CDDO-Im treatment, we tested its effects in the mouse model of temporary focal ischemia (60 min). Post-ischemic intraperitoneal injection of CDDO-Im (10–100 μg) enhanced HO-1 expression and significantly reduced neurological dysfunction and infarct volume. ICV infusion of Sn-PPIX reduced the neuroprotective effect of CDDO-Im against global and focal ischemia.
CDDO-Im confers neuroprotection against ischemic injury by upregulating HO-1, suggesting that enhance of HO-1 expression may be a legitimate strategy for therapeutic intervention of stroke.
stroke; cytoprotective; CDDO; Nrf2
Gene-targeted iMycEμ mice that carry a His6-tagged mouse Myc(c-myc)cDNA, MycHis, just 5' of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain enhancer, Eμ, are prone to B cell and plasma cell neoplasms, such as lymphoblastic B-cell lymphoma (LBL) and plasmacytoma (PCT). Cell lines derived from Myc-induced neoplasms of this sort may provide a good model system for the design and testing of new approaches to prevent and treat MYC-driven B cell and plasma cell neoplasms in human beings. To test this hypothesis, we used the LBL-derived cell line, iMycEμ-1, and the newly established PCT-derived cell line, iMycEμ-2, to evaluate the growth inhibitory and death inducing potency of the cancer drug candidate, CDDO-imidazolide (CDDO-Im).
Morphological features and surface marker expression of iMycEμ-2 cells were evaluated using cytological methods and FACS, respectively. mRNA expression levels of the inserted MycHis and normal Myc genes were determined by allele-specific RT-PCR and qPCR. Myc protein was detected by immunoblotting. Cell cycle progression and apoptosis were analyzed by FACS. The expression of 384 "pathway" genes was assessed with the help of Superarray© cDNA macroarrays and verified, in part, by RT-PCR.
Sub-micromolar concentrations of CDDO-Im caused growth arrest and apoptosis in iMycEμ-1 and iMycEμ-2 cells. CDDO-Im-dependent growth inhibition and apoptosis were associated in both cell lines with the up-regulation of 30 genes involved in apoptosis, cell cycling, NFκB signaling, and stress and toxicity responses. Strongly induced (≥10 fold) were genes encoding caspase 14, heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1), flavin-containing monooxygenase 4 (Fmo4), and three members of the cytochrome P450 subfamily 2 of mixed-function oxygenases (Cyp2a4, Cyp2b9, Cyp2c29). CDDO-Im-dependent gene induction coincided with a decrease in Myc protein.
Growth arrest and killing of neoplastic mouse B cells and plasma cells by CDDO-Im, a closely related derivative of the synthetic triterpenoid 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid, appears to be caused, in part, by drug-induced stress responses and reduction of Myc.