Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are emerging as attractive drug targets by virtue of their prevalence in various diseases including cancer. Drug development targeting IDPs is challenging because they have dynamical structure features and conventional drug design is not applicable. NUPR1 is an IDP playing an important role in pancreatic cancer. We previously reported that Trifluoperazine (TFP), an antipsychotic agent, was capable of binding to NUPR1 and inhibiting tumors growth. Unfortunately, TFP showed strong central nervous system side-effects. In this work, we undertook a multidisciplinary approach to optimize TFP, based on the synergy of computer modeling, chemical synthesis, and a variety of biophysical, biochemical and biological evaluations. A family of TFP-derived compounds was produced and the most active one, named ZZW-115, showed a dose-dependent tumor regression with no neurological effects and induced cell death mainly by necroptosis. This study opens a new perspective for drug development against IDPs, demonstrating the possibility of successful ligand-based drug design for such challenging targets.
Patricia Santofimia-Castaño, Yi Xia, Wenjun Lan, Zhengwei Zhou, Can Huang, Ling Peng, Philippe Soubeyran, Adrian Velazquez-Campoy, Olga Abian, Bruno Rizzuti, Jose L. Neira, Juan Iovanna
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) that affects multiple organs. GVHD-associated intestinal damage can be separated into two distinct phases, initiation and propagation, which correspond to conditioning-induced damage and effector T cell activation and infiltration, respectively. Substantial evidence indicates that intestinal damage induced by pretransplant conditioning is a key driver of GVHD initiation. Here, we aimed to determine the impact of dysregulated intestinal permeability on the subsequent GVHD propagation phase. The initiation phase of GVHD was unchanged in mice lacking long MLCK (MLCK210), an established regulator of epithelial tight junction permeability. However, MLCK210-deficient mice were protected from sustained barrier loss and exhibited limited GVHD propagation, as indicated by reduced histopathology, fewer CD8+ effector T cells in the gut, and improved overall survival. Consistent with these findings, intestinal epithelial MLCK210 expression and enzymatic activity were similarly increased in human and mouse GVHD biopsies. Intestinal epithelial barrier loss mediated by MLCK210 is therefore a key driver of the GVHD propagation. These data suggest that inhibition of MLCK210-dependent barrier regulation may be an effective approach to limiting GVHD progression.
Sam C. Nalle, Li Zuo, Ma. Lora Drizella M. Ong, Gurminder Singh, Alicia M. Worthylake, Wangsun Choi, Mario Cabrero Manresa, Anna P. Southworth, Karen L. Edelblum, Gregory J. Baker, Nora E. Joseph, Peter A. Savage, Jerrold R. Turner
In the stomach, chronic inflammation causes metaplasia and creates a favorable environment for the evolution of gastric cancer. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that repress proinflammatory stimuli but their role in the stomach is unknown. In this study, we show that endogenous glucocorticoids are required to maintain gastric homeostasis. Removal of circulating glucocorticoids in mice by adrenalectomy resulted in the rapid onset of spontaneous gastric inflammation, oxyntic atrophy, and spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM), a precursor of gastric cancer. SPEM and oxyntic atrophy occurred independently of lymphocytes. However, depletion of monocytes and macrophages by clodronate treatment or inhibition of gastric monocyte infiltration using the Cx3cr1 knockout mouse model prevented SPEM development. Our results highlight the requirement for endogenous glucocorticoid signaling within the stomach to prevent spontaneous gastric inflammation and metaplasia and suggest that glucocorticoid deficiency may lead to gastric cancer development.
Jonathan T. Busada, Sivapriya Ramamoorthy, Derek W. Cain, Xiaojiang Xu, Donald N. Cook, John A. Cidlowski
Neutrophil (PMN) infiltration of the intestinal mucosa is a hallmark of tissue injury associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). The pathological effects of PMNs are largely attributed to the release of soluble mediators and reactive oxygen species (ROS). We identified what we believe is a new, ROS-independent mechanism whereby activated tissue-infiltrating PMNs release microparticles armed with proinflammatory microRNAs (miR-23a and miR-155). Using IBD clinical samples, and in vitro and in vivo injury models, we show that PMN-derived miR-23a and miR-155 promote accumulation of double-strand breaks (DSBs) by inducing lamin B1–dependent replication fork collapse and inhibition of homologous recombination (HR) by targeting HR-regulator RAD51. DSB accumulation in injured epithelium led to impaired colonic healing and genomic instability. Targeted inhibition of miR-23a and miR-155 in cultured intestinal epithelial cells and in acutely injured mucosa decreased the detrimental effects of PMNs and enhanced tissue healing responses, suggesting that this approach can be used in therapies aimed at resolution of inflammation, in wound healing, and potentially to prevent neoplasia.
Veronika Butin-Israeli, Triet M. Bui, Hannah L. Wiesolek, Lorraine Mascarenhas, Joseph J. Lee, Lindsey C. Mehl, Kaitlyn R. Knutson, Stephen A. Adam, Robert D. Goldman, Arthur Beyder, Lisa Wiesmuller, Stephen B. Hanauer, Ronen Sumagin
The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of colorectal carcinoma (CRC), but remains a challenge for drug development. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are invaluable in identifying cancer pathologies, and providing therapeutic options for cancer patients. Here, we identified a lncRNA (lncRNA-APC1) activated by APC through lncRNA microarray screening, and examined its expression among a large cohort of CRC tissues. A decrease in lncRNA-APC1 expression was positively associated with lymph node and/or distant metastasis, a more advanced clinical stage, as well as a poor prognosis of CRC patients. Additionally, APC can enhance lncRNA-APC1 expression by suppressing the enrichment of PPARα on the lncRNA-APC1 promoter. Furthermore, enforced lncRNA-APC1 expression was sufficient to inhibit CRC cell growth, metastasis and tumor angiogenesis by suppressing exosome production through directly binding Rab5b mRNA and reducing its stability. Importantly, exosomes derived from lncRNA-APC1-silenced CRC cells promoted angiogenesis by activating the MAPK pathway in endothelial cells, and moreover, exosomal Wnt1 largely enhanced CRC cell proliferation and migration through non-canonicial Wnt signaling. Collectively, lncRNA-APC1 is a critical lncRNA regulated by APC in the pathogenesis of CRC. Our findings suggest an APC-regulated lncRNA-APC1 program as an exploitable therapeutic maneuver for CRC patients.
Feng-Wei Wang, Chen-Hui Cao, Kai Han, Yong-Xiang Zhao, Mu-Yan Cai, Zhi-Cheng Xiang, Jia-Xing Zhang, Jie-Wei Chen, Li-Ping Zhong, Yong Huang, Su-Fang Zhou, Xiao-Han Jin, Xin-Yuan Guan, Rui-Hua Xu, Dan Xie
Iron-related disorders are among the most prevalent diseases worldwide. Systemic iron homeostasis requires hepcidin, a hepatic-derived hormone that controls iron mobilization through its molecular target, ferroportin (FPN), the only known mammalian iron exporter. This pathway is perturbed in diseases that cause iron overload. Additionally, intestinal HIF-2α is essential for the local absorptive response to systemic iron deficiency and iron overload. Our data demonstrate a hetero-tissue crosstalk mechanism, where liver hepcidin regulated intestinal HIF-2α in iron deficiency, anemia, and iron overload. We show that FPN controlled cell autonomous iron efflux to regulate the activity of iron-dependent, intestinal prolyl hydroxylase domain enzymes to stabilize HIF-2α. Pharmacological blockade of HIF-2α using a clinically relevant and highly specific inhibitor successfully treated iron overload in a mouse model. These findings demonstrate a molecular link between liver hepcidin and intestinal HIF-2α that controls physiological iron uptake and drives iron hyperabsorption during iron overload.
Andrew J. Schwartz, Nupur K. Das, Sadeesh K. Ramakrishnan, Chesta Jain, Mladen Jurkovic, Jun Wu, Elizabeta Nemeth, Samira Lakhal-Littleton, Justin A. Colacino, Yatrik M. Shah
Dysregulated intestinal epithelial apoptosis initiates gut injury, alters the intestinal barrier, and can facilitate bacterial translocation leading to a systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and/or multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). A variety of gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, have been linked to intestinal apoptosis. Similarly, intestinal hyperpermeability and gut failure occur in critically ill patients, putting the gut at the center of SIRS pathology. Regulation of apoptosis and immune-modulatory functions have been ascribed to Thirty-eight-negative kinase 1 (TNK1), whose activity is regulated merely by expression. We investigated the effect of TNK1 on intestinal integrity and its role in MODS. TNK1 expression induced crypt-specific apoptosis, leading to bacterial translocation, subsequent septic shock, and early death. Mechanistically, TNK1 expression in vivo resulted in STAT3 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation of p65, and release of IL-6 and TNF-α. A TNF-α neutralizing antibody partially blocked development of intestinal damage. Conversely, gut-specific deletion of TNK1 protected the intestinal mucosa from experimental colitis and prevented cytokine release in the gut. Finally, TNK1 was found to be deregulated in the gut in murine and porcine trauma models and human inflammatory bowel disease. Thus, TNK1 might be a target during MODS to prevent damage in several organs, notably the gut.
Milena Armacki, Anna Katharina Trugenberger, Ann K. Ellwanger, Tim Eiseler, Christiane Schwerdt, Lucas Bettac, Dominik Langgartner, Ninel Azoitei, Rebecca Halbgebauer, Rüdiger Groß, Tabea Barth, André Lechel, Benjamin M. Walter, Johann M. Kraus, Christoph Wiegreffe, Johannes Grimm, Annika Scheffold, Marlon R. Schneider, Kenneth Peuker, Sebastian Zeißig, Stefan Britsch, Stefan Rose-John, Sabine Vettorazzi, Eckhart Wolf, Andrea Tannapfel, Konrad Steinestel, Stefan O. Reber, Paul Walther, Hans A. Kestler, Peter Radermacher, Thomas F.E. Barth, Markus Huber-Lang, Alexander Kleger, Thomas Seufferlein
Lysyl-tRNA synthetase (KRS) functions canonically in cytosolic translational processes. However, KRS is highly expressed in colon cancer, and localizes to distinct cellular compartments upon phosphorylations (i.e., the plasma membranes after T52-phosphorylation and the nucleus after S207-phosphorylation), leading to probably alternative non-canonical functions. It is unknown how other subcellular KRSs crosstalk with environmental cues during cancer progression. Here, we demonstrate that the KRS-dependent metastatic behavior of colon cancer spheroids within three-dimensional gels requires communication between cellular molecules and extracellular soluble factors and neighboring cells. Membranous and nuclear KRS were found to participate in invasive cell dissemination of colon cancer spheroids in three dimensional gels. Cancer spheroids secreted GAS6 via a KRS-dependent mechanism and caused the M2 polarization of macrophages, which activated the neighboring cells via secretion of FGF2/GROα/M-CSF to promote cancer dissemination under environmental remodeling via fibroblast-mediated laminins production. Analyses of tissues from clinical colon cancer patients and Krs–/+ animal models for cancer metastasis supported the roles of KRS, GAS6, and M2 macrophages in KRS-dependent positive feedback between tumors and environmental factors. Altogether, KRS in colon cancer cells remodels the microenvironment to promote metastasis, which can thus be therapeutically targeted at these bidirectional KRS-dependent communications of cancer spheroids with environmental cues.
Seo Hee Nam, Doyeun Kim, Doohyung Lee, Hye-Mi Lee, Dae-Geun Song, Jae Woo Jung, Ji Eon Kim, Hye-Jin Kim, Nam Hoon Kwon, Eun-Kyeong Jo, Sunghoon Kim, Jung Weon Lee
It is suggested that subtyping of complex inflammatory diseases can be based on genetic susceptibility and relevant environmental exposure (G+E). We propose that using matched cellular phenotypes in human subjects and corresponding pre-clinical models with the same G+E combinations are useful to this end. As an example, defective Paneth cells can subtype Crohn's disease (CD) subjects; Paneth cell defects have been linked to multiple CD susceptibility genes and are associated with poor outcome. We hypothesized that CD susceptibility genes interact with cigarette smoking, a major CD environmental risk factor, to trigger Paneth cell defects. We found that both CD subjects and mice with ATG16L1T300A (T300A; a prevalent CD susceptibility allele) developed Paneth cell defects triggered by tobacco smoke. Transcriptional analysis of full thickness ileum and Paneth cell-enriched crypt base cells showed the T300A-smoking combination altered distinct pathways, including pro-apoptosis, metabolic dysregulation, and selective down-regulation of the PPARγ pathway. Pharmacologic intervention by either apoptosis inhibitor or PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone prevented smoking-induced crypt apoptosis and Paneth cell defects in T300A mice and mice with conditional Paneth cell-specific knockout of Atg16l1. This study demonstrates how explicit G+E can drive disease relevant phenotype, and provides rational strategies to identify actionable targets.
Ta-Chiang Liu, Justin T. Kern, Kelli L. VanDussen, Shanshan Xiong, Gerard E. Kaiko, Craig B. Wilen, Michael W. Rajala, Roberta Caruso, Michael J. Holtzman, Feng Gao, Dermot P.B. McGovern, Gabriel Nunez, Richard D. Head, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck
Neutrophil influx into the intestinal lumen is a critical response to infectious agents, but is also associated with severe intestinal damage observed in idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. The chemoattractant hepoxilin A3, an eicosanoid secreted from intestinal epithelial cells by the apically restricted efflux pump multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2), mediates this neutrophil influx. Information about a possible counterbalance pathway that could signal the lack of or resolution of an apical inflammatory signal, however, has yet to be described. We now report a system with such hallmarks. Specifically, we identify endocannabinoids as the first known endogenous substrates of the apically restricted multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and reveal a mechanism, which we believe is novel, for endocannabinoid secretion into the intestinal lumen. Knockdown or inhibition of P-gp reduced luminal secretion levels of N-acyl ethanolamine–type endocannabinoids, which correlated with increased neutrophil transmigration in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, loss of CB2, the peripheral cannabinoid receptor, led to increased pathology and neutrophil influx in models of acute intestinal inflammation. These results define a key role for epithelial cells in balancing the constitutive secretion of antiinflammatory lipids with the stimulated secretion of proinflammatory lipids via surface efflux pumps in order to control neutrophil infiltration into the intestinal lumen and maintain homeostasis in the healthy intestine.
Rose L. Szabady, Christopher Louissaint, Anneke Lubben, Bailu Xie, Shaun Reeksting, Christine Tuohy, Zachary Demma, Sage E. Foley, Christina S. Faherty, Alejandro Llanos-Chea, Andrew J. Olive, Randall J. Mrsny, Beth A. McCormick