EphB4 is a member of the large Eph receptor tyrosine kinase family. By interacting with its preferred ligand ephrin-B2, which is also a transmembrane protein, EphB4 plays a role in a variety of physiological and pathological processes ranging from bone remodeling to cancer malignancy. EphB4-ephrin-B2 binding occurs at sites of contact between cells. Ephrin-B2 causes EphB4 clustering and increased kinase activity to generate downstream signals that affect cell behavior. Previous work identified a high-affinity antagonistic peptide that targets EphB4, named TNYL-RAW. This peptide is 15 amino acid long, has a molecular weight of ~1,700 Da and binds to the ephrin-binding pocket of EphB4. Here we report the structure-based design and chemical synthesis of two novel small molecules of ~600–700 Da, which were designed starting from the small and functionally critical C-terminal portion of the TNYL-RAW peptide. These compounds inhibit ephrin-B2 binding to EphB4 at low micromolar concentrations. Additionally, although the ephrin-B2 ligand can interact with multiple other Eph receptors besides EphB4, the two compounds retain the high selectivity of the TNYL-RAW peptide in targeting EphB4. TNYL-RAW peptide displacement experiments using the more potent of the two compounds, compound 5, suggest a competitive mode of inhibition. These EphB4 antagonistic compounds can serve as promising templates for the further development of small molecule drugs targeting EphB4.
Small molecular inhibitors; Eph receptors; structure-based drug design; tumor angiogenesis; protein-protein interactions
Overexpression of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) drug efflux proteins P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2) on malignant cells is associated with inferior chemotherapy outcomes. Both, ABCB1 and ABCG2, are substrates of the serine/threonine kinase Pim-1; Pim-1 knockdown decreases their cell surface expression, but SGI-1776, the first clinically tested Pim inhibitor, was shown to reverse drug resistance by directly inhibiting ABCB1-mediated transport. We sought to characterize Pim-1-dependent and -independent effects of SGI-1776 on drug resistance. SGI-1776 at the Pim-1-inhibitory and non-cytotoxic concentration of 1 μM decreased the IC50s of the ABCG2 and ABCB1 substrate drugs in cytotoxicity assays in resistant cells, with no effect on the IC50 of non-substrate drug, nor in parental cells. SGI-1776 also increased apoptosis of cells overexpressing ABCG2 or ABCB1 exposed to substrate chemotherapy drugs and decreased their colony formation in the presence of substrate, but not non-substrate, drugs, with no effect on parental cells. SGI-1776 decreased ABCB1 and ABCG2 surface expression on K562/ABCB1 and K562/ABCG2 cells, respectively, with Pim-1 overexpression, but not HL60/VCR and 8226/MR20 cells, with lower-level Pim-1 expression. Finally, SGI-1776 inhibited uptake of ABCG2 and ABCB1 substrates in a concentration-dependent manner irrespective of Pim-1 expression, inhibited ABCB1 and ABCG2 photoaffinity labeling with the transport substrate [125I]iodoarylazidoprazosin ([125I]IAAP) and stimulated ABCB1 and ABCG2 ATPase activity. Thus SGI-1776 decreases cell surface expression of ABCB1 and ABCG2 and inhibits drug transport by Pim-1-dependent and -independent mechanisms, respectively. Decrease in ABCB1 and ABCG2 cell surface expression mediated by Pim-1 inhibition represents a novel mechanism of chemosensitization.
SGI-1776; Pim-1 kinase; ABCG2; ABCB1; multidrug resistance; leukemia
Resveratrol (trans-3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a natural antioxidant with cardiovascular and cancer preventive properties, that is currently at the stage of pre-clinical studies for human cancer prevention. Beside its known effects on protein coding genes, one possible mechanism for resveratrol protective activities is by modulating the levels of non-coding RNAs. Here, we analyzed the effects of resveratrol on microRNA populations in human SW480 colon cancer cells. We establish that resveratrol treatment decreases the levels of several oncogenic microRNAs targeting genes encoding Dicer1, a cytoplasmic RNase III producing mature microRNAs from their immediate precursors, tumor suppressor factors such as PDCD4 or PTEN, as well as key effectors of the TGFβ signaling pathway, while increasing the levels of miR-663, a tumor-suppressor microRNA targeting TGFβ1 transcripts. We also show that, while upregulating several components of the TGFβ signaling pathway such as TGFβ receptors type I (TGFβR1) and type II (TGFβR2), resveratrol decreases the transcriptional activity of SMADs, the main effectors of the canonical TGFβ pathway. Our results establish that protective properties of resveratrol may arise at least in part from its capability to modify the composition of microRNA populations in cells, and suggest that the manipulation of the levels of key microRNAs, such as miR-663, may help to potentiate the anti-cancer and anti-metastatic effects of resveratrol.
Colon cancer; microRNAs; miR-663; resveratrol; SW480 cells; TGFβ
The adenylyl cyclase (AC) toxin CyaA from Bordetella pertussis constitutes an important virulence factor for the pathogenesis of whooping cough. CyaA is activated by calmodulin (CaM) and compromises host defense by excessive cAMP production. Hence, pharmacological modulation of the CyaA/CaM interaction could constitute a promising approach to treat whooping cough, provided that interactions of endogenous effector proteins with CaM are not affected. As a first step toward this ambitious goal we examined the interactions of CyaA with wild-type CaM and four CaM mutants in which most methionine residues were replaced by leucine residues and studied the effects of the CaM antagonists calmidazolium, trifluoperazine and N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide (W-7). CyaA/CaM interaction was monitored by CaM-dependent fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between tryptophan residues in CyaA and 2′-(N-methylanthraniloyl)-3′-deoxy-adenosine 5′-triphosphate and catalytic activity. Comparison of the concentration/response curves of CaM and CaM mutants for FRET and catalysis revealed differences, suggesting a two-step activation mechanism of CyaA by CaM. Even in the absence of CaM, calmidazolium inhibited catalysis, and it did so according to a biphasic function. Trifluoperazine and W-7 did not inhibit FRET or catalysis. In contrast to CyaA, some CaM mutants were more efficacious than CaM at activating membranous AC isoform 1. The slope of CyaA activation by CaM was much steeper than of AC1 activation. Collectively, the two-step activation mechanism of CyaA by CaM offers opportunities for pharmacological intervention. The failure of classic CaM inhibitors to interfere with CyaA/CaM interactions and the different interactions of CaM mutants with CyaA and AC1 point to unique CyaA/CaM interactions.
Bordetella pertussis; Adenylyl cyclase; Calmodulin; Fluorescence spectroscopy; Calmodulin antagonists
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer with a high potential for metastasis and very low survival rates. The discovery of constitutive activation of the BRAF kinase caused by activating BRAF(V600E) kinase mutation in most melanoma patients led to the discovery of the first potent BRAF(V600E) signaling inhibitor, vemurafenib. Vemurafenib was effective in treating advanced melanoma patients and was proposed for the treatment of other BRAF(V600E) mutant cancers as well. Unfortunately, the success of vemurafenib was hampered by the rapid development of acquired resistance in different types of BRAF(V600E) mutant cancer cells. It becomes important to identify and evaluate all of the potential mechanisms of cellular resistance to vemurafenib. In this study, we characterized the interactions of vemurafenib with three major ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2. We found that vemurafenib stimulated the ATPase activity and potently inhibited drug efflux mediated by ABCB1 and ABCG2. Vemurafenib also restored drug sensitivity in ABCG2-overexpressing cells. Moreover, we revealed that in the presence of functional ABCG2, BRAF kinase inhibition by vemurafenib is reduced in BRAF(V600E) mutant A375 cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that ABCG2 confers resistance to vemurafenib in A375 cells, suggesting involvement of this transporter in acquired resistance to vemurafenib. Thus, combination chemotherapy targeting multiple pathways could be an effective therapeutic strategy to overcome acquired resistance to vemurafenib for cancers harboring the BRAF(V600E) mutation.
ABC proteins; ABCG2; multidrug resistance; BRAF(V600E) mutant; vemurafenib
Bryostatin 1, like the phorbol esters, binds to and activates protein kinase C (PKC) but paradoxically antagonizes many but not all phorbol ester responses. Previously, we have compared patterns of biological response to bryostatin 1, phorbol ester, and the bryostatin 1 derivative Merle 23 in two human cancer cell lines, LNCaP and U937. Bryostatin 1 fails to induce a typical phorbol ester biological response in either cell line, whereas Merle 23 resembles phorbol ester in the U937 cells and bryostatin 1 in the LNCaP cells. Here, we have compared the pattern of their transcriptional response in both cell lines. We examined by qPCR the transcriptional response as a function of dose and time for a series of genes regulated by PKCs. In both cell lines bryostatin 1 differed primarily from phorbol ester in having a shorter duration of transcriptional modulation. This was not due to bryostatin 1 instability, since bryostatin 1 suppressed the phorbol ester response. In both cell lines Merle 23 induced a pattern of transcription largely like that of phorbol ester although with a modest reduction at later times in the LNCaP cells, suggesting that the difference in biological response of the two cell lines to Merle 23 lies downstream of this transcriptional regulation. For a series of bryostatins and analogues which ranged from bryostatin 1-like to phorbol ester-like in activity on the U937 cells, the duration of transcriptional response correlated with the pattern of biological activity, suggesting that this may provide a robust platform for structure activity analysis.
PMA; human prostate cancer; therapeutic; human leukemia; Merle 23
N-formyl peptide receptors (FPRs) are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that play critical roles in inflammatory reactions, and FPR-specific interactions can possibly be used to facilitate the resolution of pathological inflammatory reactions. Recent studies indicated that FPRs have stereo-selective preference for chiral ligands. Here, we investigated the structure-activity relationship of 24 chiral ureidopropanamides, including previously reported compounds PD168368/PD176252 and their close analogs, and used molecular modeling to define chiral recognition by FPR2. Unlike previously reported 6-methyl-2,4-disubstituted pyridazin-3(2H)-ones, whose R-forms preferentially activated FPR1/FPR2, we found that four S-enantiomers in the seven ureidopropanamide pairs tested preferentially activated intracellular Ca2+ flux in FPR2-transfected cells, while the R-counterpart was more active in two enantiomer pairs. Thus, active enantiomers of FPR2 agonists can be in either R- or S- configurations, depending on the molecular scaffold and specific substituents at the chiral center. Using molecular modeling approaches, including field point methodology, homology modeling, and docking studies, we propose a model that can explain stereoselective activity of chiral FPR2 agonists. Importantly, our docking studies of FPR2 chiral agonists correlated well with the FPR2 pharmacophore model derived previously. We conclude that the ability of FPR2 to discriminate between the enantiomers is the consequence of the arrangement of the three asymmetric hydrophobic subpockets at the main orthosteric FPR2 binding site with specific orientation of charged regions in the subpockets.
Enantiomer; N-formyl peptide receptor; G protein-coupled receptor; agonist; chiral recognition
Differential expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) plays critical roles in hepatocarcinogenesis. Considerable attention has focused on the antitumor effect of histone deacetylase inhibitor (Trichostatin A, TSA) as well as the coding gene expression-induced apoptosis of cancer cells. However, it is not known whether lncRNA has a role in TSA-induced apoptosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. The global expression of lncRNAs and coding genes was analyzed with the Human LncRNA Array V2.0 after 24 h treatment. Expression was verified in cell lines and tissues by quantitative real-time PCR. The data showed that 4.8% (959) of lncRNA and 6.1% (1849) of protein coding gene were significantly differentially expressed. The differential expressions of lncRNA and protein coding genes had distinguishable hierarchical clustering expression profiling pattern. Among these differentially expressed lncRNAs, the greatest change was noted for uc002mbe.2, which had more than 300 folds induction upon TSA treatment. TSA selectively induced uc002mbe.2 in four studied HCC cell lines. Compared with normal human hepatocytes and adjacent noncancerous tissues, uc002mbe.2 expression level was significantly lower in the HCC cell lines and liver cancer tissues. The TSA-induced uc002mbe.2 expression was positively correlated with the apoptotic effect of TSA in HCC cells. In addition, knockdown the expression of uc002mbe.2 significantly reduced TSA-induced apoptosis of Huh7cells. Therefore, TSA-induced apoptosis of HCC cells is uc002mbe.2 dependent and reduced expression of uc002mbe.2 may be associated with liver carcinogenesis.
Long noncoding RNA; Histone deacetylase inhibitor; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liver; Liver cancer
Reactive species oxidatively modify numerous proteins including ion channels. Oxidative sensitivity of ion channels is often conferred by amino acids containing sulfur atoms, such as cysteine and methionine. Functional consequences of oxidative modification of methionine in hERG1 (human ether à go-go related gene 1), which encodes cardiac IKr channels, are unknown. Here we used chloramine-T (ChT), which preferentially oxidizes methionine, to examine the functional consequences of methionine oxidation of hERG channels stably expressed in a human embryonic kidney cell line (HEK 293) and native hERG channels in a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y). ChT (300 µM) significantly decreased whole-cell hERG current in both HEK 293 and SH-SY5Y cells. In HEK 293 cells, the effects of ChT on hERG current were time- and concentration-dependent, and were markedly attenuated in the presence of enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase A that specifically repairs oxidized methionine. After treatment with ChT, the channel deactivation upon repolarization to −60 or −100 mV was significantly accelerated. The effect of ChT on channel activation kinetics was voltage-dependent; activation slowed during depolarization to +30 mV but accelerated during depolarization to 0 or −10 mV. In contrast, the reversal potential, inactivation kinetics, and voltage-dependence of steady-state inactivation remained unaltered. Our results demonstrate that the redox status of methionine is an important modulator of hERG channel.
hERG; K-channel; chloramine-T; methionine; oxidation; methionine sulfoxide reductase
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been used for decades as tools to probe the biology and pharmacology of receptors in cells and tissues. They are also increasingly being developed for clinical purposes against a broad range of targets, albeit to a lesser extent for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) relative to other therapeutic targets. Recent pharmacological, structural and biophysical data have provided a great deal of new insight into the molecular details, complexity and regulation of GPCR function. Whereas GPCRs used to be viewed as having either “on” or “off” conformational states, it is now recognized that their structures may be finely tuned by ligands and other interacting proteins, leading to the selective activation of specific signaling pathways. This information coupled with new technologies for the selection of mAbs targeting GPCRs will be increasingly deployed for the development of highly selective mAbs that recognize conformational determinants leading to novel therapeutics.
GPCR; ligand induced conformation; biased signaling; monoclonal antibody; therapeutic antibody
5-ASA induces membranous retention of E-cadherin through remodeling of N-glycans. Stabilization of E-cadherin at cell, contacts results in increased intercellular adhesion restricting tumor progression or restoring epithelial integrity in IBD.
Genome wide association studies have implicated intestinal barrier function genes in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis. One of such loci CDH1, encoding E-cadherin, a transmembrane glycoprotein with known tumor suppressor functions, is also linked to the susceptibility to colorectal cancer. Loss of membranous E-cadherin expression is common in both colitis and cancer. We have recently demonstrated that mesalamine (5-ASA); the anti-inflammatory drug used to treat ulcerative colitis, induces membranous expression of E-cadherin and increases intercellular adhesion. Using colorectal cancer epithelial cells with aberrant E-cadherin expression, we investigated the mechanism underlying such an effect of 5-ASA. Post-translational modification of E-cadherin glycosylation was analyzed by biotin/streptavidin detection of sialylated glycoproteins. GnT-III (N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase III) expression was assessed by qRT-PCR, Western blot and immunofluorescence. GnT-III activity was analyzed by reactivity with E-4/L-4-PHA. Expression, localization and interaction of E-cadherin and β-catenin were analyzed by Western blot, immunocytochemistry and RNA interference. 5-ASA activity modulated E-cadherin glycosylation and increased both mRNA and protein levels of GnT-III and its activity as detected by increased E4-lectin reactivity. Intestinal APCMin polyps in mice showed low expression of GnT-III and 5-ASA was effective in increasing its expression. The data demonstrated that remodeling of glycans by GnT-III mediated bisect glycosylation, contributes to the membranous retention of E-cadherin by 5-ASA; facilitating intercellular adhesion. Induction of membranous expression of E-cadherin by 5-ASA is a novel mechanism for mucosal healing in colitis that might impede tumor progression by modulation of GnT-III expression.
CRC, colorectal cancer; IBD, inflammatory bowel diseases; UC, ulcerative colitis; GnT-III, N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-III; AJ, adherens junction; PAK1, p21 activated kinase 1; E-cadherin; GnT-III; 5-ASA; Glycosylation; Ulcerative colitis
Phagocyte-like NADPH oxidase (Nox2) has been shown to play regulatory roles in the metabolic dysfunction of the islet β-cell under the duress of glucolipotoxic conditions and exposure to proinflammatory cytokines. However, the precise mechanisms underlying Nox2 activation by these stimuli remain less understood. To this end, we report a time-dependent phosphorylation of p47phox, a cytosolic subunit of Nox2, by cytomix (IL-1β+TNFα+IFNγ) in insulin-secreting INS-1 832/13 cells. Furthermore, cytomix induced the expression of gp91phox, a membrane component of Nox2. 2-Bromopalmitate (2-BP), a known inhibitor of protein palmitoylation, markedly attenuated cytokine-induced, Nox2-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and inducible nitric oxide synthase-mediated nitric oxide (NO) generation. However, 2-BP failed to exert any significant effects on cytomix-induced CHOP expression, a marker for endoplasmic reticulum stress. Together, our findings identify palmitoyltransferase as a target for inhibition of cytomix-induced oxidative (ROS generation) and nitrosative (NO generation) stress in the pancreatic β-cell.
Pancreatic β-cell; NADPH-oxidase; 2-Bromopalmitate; Cytokines; Oxidative stress; Nitrosative stress
20-Hydroxyvitamin D3 (20(OH)D3), the major product of CYP11A1 action on vitamin D3, is biologically active and is produced in vivo. As well as potentially having important physiological actions, it is of interest as a therapeutic agent due to its lack of calcemic activity. In the current study we have examined the ability of CYP24A1, the enzyme that inactivates 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), to metabolize 20(OH)D3. Rat CYP24A1 was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified by Ni-affinity chromatography and assayed with substrates incorporated into phospholipid vesicles which served as a model of the inner mitochondrial membrane. In this system CYP24A1 metabolized 1,25(OH)2D3 with a catalytic efficiency 1.4-fold higher than that seen for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3). CYP24A1 hydroxylated 20(OH)D3 to several dihydroxy-derivatives with the major two identified by NMR as 20,24-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (20,24(OH)2D3) and 20,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (20,25(OH)2D3). The catalytic efficiency of CYP24A1 for 20(OH)D3 metabolism was more than 10-fold lower than for either 25(OH)D3 or 1,25(OH)2D3 and no secondary metabolites were produced. The two major products, 20,24(OH)2D3 and 20,25(OH)2D3, caused significantly greater inhibition of colony formation by SKMEL-188 melanoma cells than either 1,25(OH)2D3 or the parent 20(OH)D3, showing that CYP24A1 plays an activating, rather than an inactivating role on 20(OH)D3.
CYP24A1; vitamin D metabolism; 20-hydroxyvitamin D; phospholipid vesicles; melanoma
Dovitinib (TKI258/CHIR258) is a multi-kinase inhibitor in phase III development for the treatment of several cancers. Dovitinib is a benzimidazole-quinolinone compound that structurally resembles the bisbenzimidazole minor groove binding dye Hoechst 33258. Dovitinib bound to DNA as shown by its ability to increase the DNA melting temperature and by increases in its fluorescence spectrum that occurred upon the addition of DNA. Molecular modeling studies of the docking of dovitinib into an X-ray structure of a Hoechst 33258-DNA complex showed that dovitinib could reasonably be accommodated in the DNA minor groove. Because DNA binders are often topoisomerase I (EC 188.8.131.52) and topoisomerase II (EC 184.108.40.206) inhibitors, the ability of dovitinib to inhibit these DNA processing enzymes was also investigated. Dovitinib inhibited the catalytic decatenation activity of topoisomerase IIα. It also inhibited the DNA-independent ATPase activity of yeast topoisomerase II which suggested that it interacted with the ATP binding site. Using isolated human topoisomerase IIα, dovitinib stabilized the enzyme-cleavage complex and acted as a topoisomerase IIα poison. Dovitinib was also found to be a cellular topoisomerase II poison in human leukemia K562 cells and induced double-strand DNA breaks in K562 cells as evidenced by increased phosphorylation of H2AX. Finally, dovitinib inhibited the topoisomerase I-catalyzed relaxation of plasmid DNA and acted as a cellular topoisomerase I poison. In conclusion, the cell growth inhibitory activity and the anticancer activity of dovitinib may result not only from its ability to inhibit multiple kinases, but also, in part, from its ability to target topoisomerase I and topoisomerase II.
Dovitinib; Anticancer; DNA; Topoisomerase II; Topoisomerase I
Our seminal discovery of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) as a late mediator of lethal systemic inflammation has prompted a new field of investigation for the development of experimental therapeutics. We previously reported that a major Danshen ingredient, tanshinone IIA sodium sulfonate (TSN-SS), selectively inhibited endotoxin-induced HMGB1 release and conferred protection against lethal endotoxemia and sepsis. To investigate the underlying mechanisms by which TSN-SS effectively inhibits HMGB1 release, we examined whether TSN-SS stimulates HMGB1 uptake by macrophages and whether genetic depletion of HMGB1 receptors [e.g., toll-like receptors (TLR)2, TLR4, or the receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE)] or pharmacological inhibition of endocytosis impairs TSN-SS-facilitated HMGB1 cellular uptake. TSN-SS stimulated internalization of exogenous HMGB1 protein into macrophage cytoplasmic vesicles that subsequently co-localized with microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3)-positive punctate structures (likely amphisomes). Meanwhile, it time-dependently elevated cellular levels of internalized HMGB1, leading to elevated LC3-II production and aggregation. Although genetic depletion of TLR2, TLR4, and/or RAGE did not impair TSN-SS-mediated HMGB1 uptake, specific inhibitors of the clathrin- and caveolin-dependent endocytosis significantly impaired TSN-SS-mediated HMGB1 uptake. Co-treatment with a lysosomal inhibitor, bafilomycin A1, led to enhanced accumulation of endogenous LC3-II and internalized exogenous HMGB1 in TSN-SS/rHMGB1-treated macrophages. Taken together, these findings suggest that TSN-SS may facilitate HMGB1 endocytic uptake, and subsequently delivered it to LC3-positive vacuoles (possibly amphisomes) for degradation via a lysosome-dependent pathway.
The current clinical interventions in malignant melanomas are met with poor response to therapy due to dynamic regulation of multiple melanoma signaling pathways consequent to administration of single target agents. In this context of limited response to single target agents, novel candidate molecules capable of effectively inducing tumor inhibition along with targeting multiple critical nodes of melanoma signaling assume translational significance. In this regard, we investigated the anti-cancer effects of a novel dichlorophenyl urea compound called COH-SR4 in melanoma. The SR4 treatment decreased the survival and inhibited the clonogenic potential of melanomas along with inducing apoptosis in vitro cultures. SR4 treatments lead to inhibition of GST activity along with causing G2/M phase cell cycle arrest. Oral administration of 4mg/kg SR4 leads to effective inhibition of tumor burdens in both syngeneic and nude mouse models of melanoma. The SR4 treatment was well tolerated and no overt toxicity was observed. The histopathological examination of resected tumor sections revealed decreased blood vessels, decrease in the levels of angiogenesis marker, CD31, and proliferation marker, Ki67, along with an increase in pAMPK levels. Western blot analyses of resected tumor lysates revealed increased PARP cleavage, Bim, pAMPK along with decreased pAkt, vimentin, fibronectin, CDK4 and cyclin B1. Thus, SR4 represents a novel candidate for the further development of mono and combinatorial therapies to effectively target aggressive and therapeutically refractory melanomas.
Melanoma; SR4; syngeneic model; tumor xenografts
The dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) has been investigated as a potential target for medication development to treat substance use disorders (SUDs) with a particular focus on cocaine and methamphetamine. Currently, there are no approved medications to treat cocaine and methamphetamine addiction and thus developing pharmacotherapeutics to compliment existing behavioral strategies is a fundamental goal. Novel compounds with high affinity and D3R selectivity have been evaluated in numerous animal models of drug abuse and favorable outcomes in nonhuman primate models of self-administration and relapse have provided compelling evidence to advance these agents into the clinic. One approach is to repurpose drugs that share the D3R mechanism and already have clinical utility, and to this end buspirone has been identified as a viable candidate for clinical trials. A second, but substantially more resource intensive and risky approach involves the development of compounds that exclusively target D3R, such as GSK598809 and PG 619. Clinical investigation of these drugs or other novel D3R-selective agents will provide a better understanding of the role D3R plays in addiction and whether or not antagonists or partial agonists that are D3R selective are effective in achieving abstinence in this patient population.
cocaine; methamphetamine; buspirone; psychostimulant abuse; medication development
SIRT1, a type III protein deacetylase, is considered as a novel anti-aging protein involved in regulation of cellular senescence/aging and inflammation. SIRT1 level and activity are decreased during lung inflammaging caused by oxidative stress. The mechanism of SIRT1-mediated protection against inflammaging is associated with the regulation of inflammation, premature senescence, telomere attrition, senescence associated secretory phenotype, and DNA damage response. A variety of dietary polyphenols and pharmacological activators are shown to regulate SIRT1 so as to intervene the progression of type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associated with inflammaging. However, recent studies have shown the non-specific regulation of SIRT1 by the aforementioned pharmacological activators and polyphenols. In this perspective, we have briefly discussed the role of SIRT1 in regulation of cellular senescence and its associated secretory phenotype, DNA damage response, particularly in lung inflammaging and during the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. We have also discussed the potential directions for future translational therapeutic avenues for SIRT1 in modulating lung inflammaging associated with senescence in chronic lung diseases associated with increased oxidative stress.
SIRT1; inflammation; cellular senescence; telomere attrition; senescence associated secretory phenotype; DNA damage and repair
Epidemiologic and case control population based studies over the past few decades have identified diet as an important determinant of cancer risk. This evidence has kindled an interest into research on bioactive food components and has till date resulted in the identification of many compounds with cancer preventive and therapeutic potential. Among such compounds has been fisetin (3,7,3’,4’-tetrahydroxyflavone), a flavonol and a member of the flavonoid polyphenols that also include quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol. Fisetin is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, persimmons, grapes, kiwis, strawberries, onions and cucumbers. We evaluated the effects of fisetin against melanoma and cancers of the prostate, pancreas and the lungs. Using prostate and lung adenocarcinoma cells, we observed that fisetin acts as a dual inhibitor of the PI3K/Akt and the mTOR pathways. This is a significant finding considering the fact that mTOR is phosphorylated and its activation is more frequent in tumors with overexpression of PI3K/Akt. Dual inhibitors of PI3K/Akt and mTOR signaling have been suggested as valuable agents for treating such cancers. Here, we summarize our findings on the dietary flavonoid fisetin and its effects on cancer with particular focus on prostate cancer. Our observations and findings from other laboratories suggest that fisetin could be a useful chemotherapeutic agent that could be used either alone or as an adjuvant with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs for the management of prostate and other cancers.
Tobacco smoking during adolescence has become a prominent preventable health problem faced in the United States. Addictive properties of smoking are thought to have a pronounced effect at a young age, thereby increasing vulnerability to a life-long addiction and decreasing the likelihood of smoking cessation during adulthood. Learning and memory involvement in nicotine reward was assessed in early adolescent (PND 28–34) and adult (PND 70+) male ICR mice by conducting conditioning sessions of nicotine (0.5 mg/kg) acquisition at varying time-spans, and evaluating extinction and reinstatement of nicotine preference using Conditioned Place Preference. Acquisition studies resulted in a significant preference for nicotine after 3 days of conditioning for both age groups, but not after only 1 or 2 conditioning days. In the extinction study, adolescent mice exhibited preference for nicotine 72 h after the last conditioning session, whereas preference for nicotine was extinct in adult mice by 72 h. Reinstatement studies showed adolescent mice, but not adult mice, recovering nicotine preference after a priming injection of 0.1 mg/kg nicotine on day 9 after the mice underwent extinction. No significant differences were found when nAChRs were quantified in both early adolescent and adult mice using binding techniques including cytisine sensitive, α-conotoxin-MII sensitive, and α-bungarotoxin sensitive nAChRs. Levels of striatal dopamine release were measured in both age groups using a dopamine release assay over a range of nicotine doses, which also resulted in no significant differences. More sensitive assays may facilitate in understanding the mechanisms of nicotine reward in adolescent mice.
Nicotine; Adolescence; Reward; Conditioned place preference; Mice
Carboxylesterase type 1 (CES1) and CES2 are serine hydrolases located in the liver and small intestine. CES1 and CES2 actively participate in the metabolism of several pharmaceuticals. Recently, carbamate compounds were developed to inhibit members of the serine hydrolase family via covalent modification of the active site serine. URB597 and JZL184 inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively; however, carboxylesterases in liver have been identified as a major off-target. We report the kinetic rate constants for inhibition of human recombinant CES1 and CES2 by URB597 and JZL184. Bimolecular rate constants (kinact/Ki) for inhibition of CES1 by JZL184 and URB597 were similar [3.9 (±0.2) × 103 M-1 s-1 and 4.5 (±1.3) × 103 M-1 s-1, respectively]. However, kinact/Ki for inhibition of CES2 by JZL184 and URB597 were significantly different [2.3 (±1.3) × 102 M-1 s-1 and 3.9 (±1.0) × 103 M-1 s-1, respectively]. Rates of inhibition of CES1 and CES2 by URB597 were similar; however, CES1 and MAGL were more potently inhibited by JZL184 than CES2. We also determined kinetic constants for spontaneous reactivation of CES1 carbamoylated by either JZL184 or URB597 and CES1 diethylphosphorylated by paraoxon. The reactivation rate was significantly slower (4.5x) for CES1 inhibited by JZL184 than CES1 inhibited by URB597. Half life of reactivation for CES1 carbamoylated by JZL184 was 49 ± 15 h, which is faster than carboxylesterase turnover in HepG2 cells. Together, the results define the kinetics of inhibition for a class of drugs that target hydrolytic enzymes involved in drug and lipid metabolism.
carboxylesterase; monoacylglycerol lipase; carbamate; bimolecular rate constant; reactivation; drug-drug interactions
Catecholic drugs had been reported to be metabolized through conjugation reactions, particularly methylation and sulfation. Whether and how these two Phase II conjugation reactions may occur in a concerted manner, however, remained unclear. The current study was designed to investigate the methylation and/or sulfation of five catecholic drugs. Analysis of the spent media of HepG2 cells metabolically labeled with [35S]sulfate in the presence of individual catecholic drugs revealed the presence of two [35S]sulfated metabolites for dopamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, and isoetharine, but only one [35S]sulfated metabolite for apomorphine. Further analyses using tropolone, a catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor, indicated that one of the two [35S]sulfated metabolites of dopamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, and isoetharine was a doubly conjugated (methylated and sulfated) product, since its level decreased proportionately with increasing concentrations of tropolone added to the labeling media. Moreover, while the inhibition of methylation resulted in a decrease of the total amount of [35S]sulfated metabolites, sulfation appeared to be capable of compensating the suppressed methylation in the metabolism of these four catecholic drugs. A two-stage enzymatic assay showed the sequential methylation and sulfation of dopamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, and isoetharine mediated by, respectively, the COMT and the cytosolic sulfotransferase SULT1A3. Collectively, the results from the present study implied the concerted actions of the COMT and SULT1A3 in the metabolism of catecholic drugs.
Methylation; Sulfation; COMTs; SULTs; Catecholic drugs
CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) peptides (CART 55-102 and CART 62-102) are peptidergic neurotransmitters that are widely but specifically distributed throughout the brain, gut and other parts of the body. They are found in many brain regions associated with drug addiction including the nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area and ventral pallidum. Injections of CART 55-102 into the nucleus accumbens have no effect on basal locomotor activity. However, an injection of CART just before an i.p. injection of cocaine reduces the locomotor activating effects of cocaine. These and other data suggest that CART in the accumbens blunts the effects of cocaine. A hypothesis is that CART is homeostatic in the accumbens and tends to oppose large increases in dopamine signaling. These actions would therefore be able to regulate the effects of some abused drugs such as the psychostimulants.
Copper transporter 1 (CTR1) is the major copper (Cu) influx transporter in mammalian cells. We report here that CTR1 is required for the activation of signaling to the MAPK pathway by the ligands of three major receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) including FGF, PDGF and EGF. Induction of Erk1/2 phosphorylation was compared in isogenic wild type CTR1+/+ and CTR1−/− cells. Whereas all three ligands increased pErk1/2 in the CTR1+/+ cells, they failed to do this in CTR1−/− cells. While FGF did not enhance the phosphorylation of AKT in the CTR1+/+ cells, both PDGF and EGF increased pAKT in the CTR1+/+ but not CTR1−/− cells. The deficit in Erk1/2 phosphorylation in the CTR1−/− cells was rescued by adding Cu to the medium, and it was induced in CTR1+/+ cells by treatment with a Cu chelator. Intracellular Cu availability was reduced in the CTR1−/− cells as reflected by increased expression of the Cu chaperone CCS. The failure of RTK-induced signaling to both Erk1/2 and AKT suggested the presence of a Cu-dependent step upstream of Ras. The Cu-dependent enzyme SOD1 is responsible for generating the hydrogen peroxide in response to RTK activation that serves to inhibit phosphatases that normally limit RTK signaling. SOD1 activity was reduced by a factor of 17-fold in the CTR1−/− cells, and addition of hydrogen peroxide restored signaling. We conclude that Cu acquired from CTR1 is required for signaling in pathways regulated by RTKs that play major roles in development and cancer.
CTR1; SOD1; copper; receptor tyrosine kinase
Sildenafil is a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor that augments cGMP accumulation following the activation of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC). In this study, we investigated whether sildenafil promotes the production of the sGC-stimulatory gases, carbon monoxide and nitric oxide, by stimulating the expression of the inducible isoforms of heme oxygenase (HO-1) and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Sildenafil increased HO-1 expression and potentiated cytokine-mediated expression of iNOS and NO synthesis by SMCs. The induction of HO-1 was unaffected by the sGC inhibitor 1H-(1,2,4)oxadiazolo[4,3-α]quinozalin-1-one (ODQ) or the (9S,10R,12R)-2,3,9,10,11,12-hexahydro-10-methoxy-2,9-dimethyl-1-oxo-9,12-epoxy-1H-diindol91,2,3-fg:3′,2′,1′-kl)pyrrolo(3,4-i)benzodiazocine-10-carboxylic acid, methyl ester (KT 5823). However, the sildenafil-mediated increase in HO-1 promoter activity was abolished by mutating the antioxidant responsive elements in the promoter or by overexpressing a dominant-negative mutant of NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). Furthermore, the induction of HO-1 by sildenafil was accompanied by an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and blocked by N-acetyl-L-cysteine and rotenone. In contrast, the enhancement of cytokine-stimulated NO synthesis by sildenafil was prevented by ODQ and the protein kinase A inhibitor (9S,10S,12R)-2,3,9,10,11,12-hexahydro-10-hydroxy-9-methyl-1-oxo-9,12-epoxy-1H-diindolo(1,2,3-fg:3′,2′,1′-kl)pyrrolo(3,4-i)(1,6)benzodiazocine-10-carboxylic acid hexyl ester (KT 5720) and duplicated by lipophilic analogues of cGMP. In conclusion, these studies demonstrate that sildenafil stimulates the expression of HO-1 and iNOS via the ROS-Nrf2 and sGC-cGMP pathway, respectively. The ability of sildenafil to block the catabolism of cGMP while stimulating the synthesis of sGC-stimulatory gaseous monoxides through the induction of HO-1 and iNOS provides a potent mechanism by which cGMP-dependent vascular actions of this drug are amplified.
heme oxygenase; inducible nitric oxide synthase; vascular smooth muscle cells