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1.  HSP90 Inhibition Enhances Antimitotic Drug-Induced Mitotic Arrest and Cell Death in Preclinical Models of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115228.
HSP90 inhibitors are currently undergoing clinical evaluation in combination with antimitotic drugs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but little is known about the cellular effects of this novel drug combination. Therefore, we investigated the molecular mechanism of action of IPI-504 (retaspimycin HCl), a potent and selective inhibitor of HSP90, in combination with the microtubule targeting agent (MTA) docetaxel, in preclinical models of NSCLC. We identified a subset of NSCLC cell lines in which these drugs act in synergy to enhance cell death. Xenograft models of NSCLC demonstrated tumor growth inhibition, and in some cases, regression in response to combination treatment. Treatment with IPI-504 enhanced the antimitotic effects of docetaxel leading to the hypothesis that the mitotic checkpoint is required for the response to drug combination. Supporting this hypothesis, overriding the checkpoint with an Aurora kinase inhibitor diminished the cell death synergy of IPI-504 and docetaxel. To investigate the molecular basis of synergy, an unbiased stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) proteomic approach was employed. Several mitotic regulators, including components of the ubiquitin ligase, anaphase promoting complex (APC/C), were specifically down-regulated in response to combination treatment. Loss of APC/C by RNAi sensitized cells to docetaxel and enhanced its antimitotic effects. Treatment with a PLK1 inhibitor (BI2536) also sensitized cells to IPI-504, indicating that combination effects may be broadly applicable to other classes of mitotic inhibitors. Our data provide a preclinical rationale for testing the combination of IPI-504 and docetaxel in NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC4277299  PMID: 25542032
2.  Jakinibs: A New Class of Kinase Inhibitors in Cancer and Autoimmune Disease 
Current opinion in pharmacology  2012;12(4):464-470.
Cytokines are critical for normal cell growth and immunoregulation but also contribute to growth of malignant cells and drive immune-mediated disease. A major subset of immunoregulatory cytokines, roughly 60, use the type I and type II cytokine receptors and pharmacological targeting of these cytokines/cytokines receptors has proven to be efficacious in treating immune and inflammatory diseases. These receptors rely on Janus family of kinases (Jaks) for signal transduction and recently the first Jak inhibitor has been approved by the FDA. Many other Jakinibs are likely to follow and in this brief review, we will discuss the state-of-the art of this new class of pharmacological agents.
PMCID: PMC3419278  PMID: 22819198
3.  Ecto-5′-Nucleotidase (CD73) Attenuates Allograft Airway Rejection through Adenosine 2A Receptor Stimulation 
There are multiple drivers of leukocyte recruitment in lung allografts that contribute to lymphocytic bronchitis (LB) and bronchiolitis obliterans (BO). The innate mechanisms driving (or inhibiting) leukocyte trafficking to allografts remain incompletely understood. This study tested the hypothesis that CD73 (ecto-5′ nucleotidase), an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of AMP to adenosine, is a critical negative regulator of LB and BO. Implantation of tracheal allografts from wild type (WT) mice into CD73−/− recipients revealed a striking increase in airway luminal obliteration at 7 d (62 ± 4% and 47 ± 5% for CD73−/− and WT allograft recipients, respectively; p = 0.046). There was also a concordant increase in CD3+ lymphocytic infiltration (523 ± 41 cells and 313 ± 43 cells for CD73−/− and WT allograft recipients, respectively; p = 0.013). Because real-time PCR revealed a 43-fold upregulation of mRNA for the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) in WT allografts compared with WT isografts (p = 0.032), additional experiments were performed to determine whether the protective effect of CD73 was due to generation of adenosine and its stimulation of the A2AR. Treatment of WT recipients with an A2AR agonist significantly reduced CD3+ lymphocyte infiltration and airway luminal obliteration; similar treatment of CD73−/− recipients rescued them from LB and airway obliteration. These data implicate CD73 acting through adenosine generation and its stimulation of the A2AR as a critical negative modulator of lymphocyte recruitment into airway allografts. The CD73/adenosine axis might be a new therapeutic target to prevent BO.
PMCID: PMC3014992  PMID: 20548026
4.  Cartilage preservation by inhibition of Janus kinase 3 in two rodent models of rheumatoid arthritis 
CP-690550 is a small molecule inhibitor of Janus kinase 3 (JAK3), a critical enzyme in the signaling pathway of multiple cytokines (interleukin (IL)-2, -7, -15 and -21) that are important in various T cell functions including development, activation and homeostasis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate CP-690550 in murine collagen-induced (CIA) and rat adjuvant-induced (AA) models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
CIA and AA were induced using standard protocols and animals received the JAK3 inhibitor via osmotic mini-pump infusion at doses ranging from 1.5–15 mg/kg/day following disease induction. Arthritis was assessed by clinical scores in the CIA models and paw swelling monitored using a plethysmometer in the AA model until study conclusion, at which time animals were killed and evaluated histologically.
CP-690550 dose-dependently decreased endpoints of disease in both RA models with greater than 90% reduction observed at the highest administered dose. An approximate ED50 of approximately 1.5 mg/kg/day was determined for the compound based upon disease endpoints in both RA models examined and corresponds to CP-690550 serum levels of 5.8 ng/ml in mice (day 28) and 24 ng/ml in rats (day 24). The compound also reduced inflammatory cell influx and joint damage as measured histologically. Animals receiving a CP-690550 dose of 15 mg/k/d showed no histological evidence of disease.
The efficacy observed with CP-690550 in CIA and AA suggests JAK3 inhibition may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of RA.
PMCID: PMC2374467  PMID: 18234077
5.  Hierarchy of Protein Tyrosine Kinases in Interleukin-2 (IL-2) Signaling: Activation of Syk Depends on Jak3; However, Neither Syk nor Lck Is Required for IL-2-Mediated STAT Activation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(12):4371-4380.
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) activates several different families of tyrosine kinases, but precisely how these kinases interact is not completely understood. We therefore investigated the functional relationships among Jak3, Lck, and Syk in IL-2 signaling. We first observed that in the absence of Jak3, both Lck and Syk had the capacity to phosphorylate Stat3 and Stat5a. However, neither supported IL-2-induced STAT activation, nor did dominant negative alleles of these kinases inhibit. Moreover, pharmacological abrogation of Lck activity did not inhibit IL-2-mediated phosphorylation of Jak3 and Stat5a. Importantly, ligand-dependent Syk activation was dependent on the presence of catalytically active Jak3, whereas Lck activation was not. Interestingly, Syk functioned as a direct substrate of Jak1 but not Jak3. Additionally, Jak3 phosphorylated Jak1, whereas the reverse was not the case. Taken together, our data support a model in which Lck functions in parallel with Jak3, while Syk functions as a downstream element of Jaks in IL-2 signaling. Jak3 may regulate Syk catalytic activity indirectly via Jak1. However, IL-2-mediated Jak3/Stat activation is not dependent on Lck or Syk. While the essential roles of Jak1 and Jak3 in signaling by γc-utilizing cytokines are clear, it will be important to dissect the exact contributions of Lck and Syk in mediating the effects of IL-2 and related cytokines.
PMCID: PMC85804  PMID: 10825200
6.  Proline Residues in Cd28 and the Src Homology (Sh)3 Domain of Lck Are Required for T Cell Costimulation 
The Src family tyrosine kinases Lck and Fyn are critical for signaling via the T cell receptor. However, the exact mechanism of their activation is unknown. Recent crystal structures of Src kinases suggest that an important mechanism of kinase activation is via engagement of the Src homology (SH)3 domain by proline-containing sequences. To test this hypothesis, we identified several T cell membrane proteins that contain potential SH3 ligands. Here we demonstrate that Lck and Fyn can be activated by proline motifs in the CD28 and CD2 proteins, respectively. Supporting a role for Lck in CD28 signaling, we demonstrate that CD28 signaling in both transformed and primary T cells requires Lck as well as proline residues in CD28. These data suggest that Lck plays an essential role in CD28 costimulation.
PMCID: PMC2195584  PMID: 10430626
Lck; CD28; costimulation; tyrosine kinase; SH3 domain

Results 1-6 (6)