Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is strikingly upregulated in many types of cancer and there is great interest in applying inhibitors of HIF as anti-cancer therapeutics. The most advanced of these are small molecules that target the HIF-2 isoform through binding the PAS-B domain of HIF-2α. These molecules are undergoing clinical trials with promising results in renal and other cancers where HIF-2 is considered to be driving growth. Nevertheless, a central question remains as to whether such inhibitors impact on physiological responses to hypoxia at relevant doses. Here we show that pharmacological HIF-2α inhibition with PT2385, at doses similar to those reported to inhibit tumour growth, rapidly impaired ventilatory responses to hypoxia, abrogating both ventilatory acclimatisation and carotid body cell proliferative responses to sustained hypoxia. Mice carrying a HIF-2α PAS-B S305M mutation that disrupts PT2385 binding, but not dimerisation with HIF-1β, did not respond to PT2385 indicating that these effects are on target. Furthermore, the finding of a hypomorphic ventilatory phenotype in untreated HIF-2α S305M mutant mice suggests a function for the HIF-2α PAS-B domain beyond heterodimerisation with HIF-1β. Although PT2385 was well-tolerated, the findings indicate the need for caution in patients who are dependent on hypoxic ventilatory drive.
Xiaotong Cheng, Maria Prange-Barczynska, James W. Fielding, Minghao Zhang, Alana L. Burrell, Joanna D.C.C. Lima, Luise Eckardt, Isobel L.A. Argles, Christopher W. Pugh, Keith J. Buckler, Peter A. Robbins, Emma J. Hodson, Richard K. Bruick, Lucy M. Collinson, Fraydoon Rastinejad, Tammie Bishop, Peter J. Ratcliffe
Muscle satellite cells promote regeneration and could potentially improve gene delivery for treating muscular dystrophies. Human satellite cells are scarce; therefore, clinical investigation has been limited. We obtained muscle fiber fragments from skeletal muscle biopsy specimens from adult donors aged 20 to 80 years. Fiber fragments were manually dissected, cultured, and evaluated for expression of myogenesis regulator PAX7. PAX7+ satellite cells were activated and proliferated efficiently in culture. Independent of donor age, as few as 2 to 4 PAX7+ satellite cells gave rise to several thousand myoblasts. Transplantation of human muscle fiber fragments into irradiated muscle of immunodeficient mice resulted in robust engraftment, muscle regeneration, and proper homing of human PAX7+ satellite cells to the stem cell niche. Further, we determined that subjecting the human muscle fiber fragments to hypothermic treatment successfully enriches the cultures for PAX7+ cells and improves the efficacy of the transplantation and muscle regeneration. Finally, we successfully altered gene expression in cultured human PAX7+ satellite cells with Sleeping Beauty transposon–mediated nonviral gene transfer, highlighting the potential of this system for use in gene therapy. Together, these results demonstrate the ability to culture and manipulate a rare population of human tissue-specific stem cells and suggest that these PAX7+ satellite cells have potential to restore gene function in muscular dystrophies.
Andreas Marg, Helena Escobar, Sina Gloy, Markus Kufeld, Joseph Zacher, Andreas Spuler, Carmen Birchmeier, Zsuzsanna Izsvák, Simone Spuler
Increased rates of locoregional recurrence are observed in patients with basal-like breast cancer (BC) despite the use of radiation therapy (RT); therefore, approaches that result in radiosensitization of basal-like BC are critically needed. Using patients’ tumor gene expression data from 4 independent data sets, we correlated gene expression with recurrence to find genes significantly correlated with early recurrence after RT. The highest-ranked gene, TTK, was most highly expressed in basal-like BC across multiple data sets. Inhibition of TTK by both genetic and pharmacologic methods enhanced radiosensitivity in multiple basal-like cell lines. Radiosensitivity was mediated, at least in part, through persistent DNA damage after treatment with TTK inhibition and RT. Inhibition of TTK impaired homologous recombination (HR) and repair efficiency, but not nonhomologous end-joining, and decreased the formation of Rad51 foci. Reintroduction of wild-type TTK rescued both radioresistance and HR repair efficiency after TTK knockdown, however, reintroduction of kinase-dead TTK did not. In vivo, TTK inhibition combined with RT led to a significant decrease in tumor growth in both heterotopic and orthotopic, including patient-derived xenograft, BC models. These data support the rationale for clinical development of TTK inhibition as a radiosensitizing strategy for patients with basal-like BC, and efforts toward this end are currently underway.
Benjamin C. Chandler, Leah Moubadder, Cassandra L. Ritter, Meilan Liu, Meleah Cameron, Kari Wilder-Romans, Amanda Zhang, Andrea M. Pesch, Anna R. Michmerhuizen, Nicole Hirsh, Marlie Androsiglio, Tanner Ward, Eric Olsen, Yashar S. Niknafs, Sofia Merajver, Dafydd G. Thomas, Powel H. Brown, Theodore S. Lawrence, Shyam Nyati, Lori J. Pierce, Arul Chinnaiyan, Corey Speers
The protein-protein interaction between menin and Mixed Lineage Leukemia 1 (MLL1) plays a critical role in acute leukemias with translocations of the MLL1 gene or with mutations in the Nucleophosmin 1 (NPM1) gene. As a step toward clinical translation of menin-MLL1 inhibitors, we report development of MI-3454, a highly potent and orally bioavailable inhibitor of the menin-MLL1 interaction. MI-3454 profoundly inhibited proliferation and induced differentiation in acute leukemia cells and primary patient samples with MLL1 translocations or NPM1 mutations. When applied as a single agent, MI-3454 induced complete remission or regression of leukemia in mouse models of MLL1-rearranged or NPM1-mutated leukemia, including patient-derived xenograft models, through downregulation of key genes involved in leukemogenesis. We also identified MEIS1 as a potential pharmacodynamic biomarker of treatment response with MI-3454 in leukemia, and demonstrated that this compound is well tolerated and did not impair normal hematopoiesis in mice. Overall, this study demonstrates for the first time profound activity of the menin-MLL1 inhibitor as a single agent in clinically relevant PDX models of leukemia. These data provide a strong rationale for clinical translation of MI-3454 or its analogs for leukemia patients with MLL1-rearrangements or NPM1 mutations
Szymon Klossowski, Hongzhi Miao, Katarzyna Kempinska, Tao Wu, Trupta Purohit, EunGi Kim, Brian M. Linhares, Dong Chen, Gloria Jih, Eric Perkey, Huang Huang, Miao He, Bo Wen, Yi Wang, Ke Yu, Stanley Chun-Wei Lee, Gwenn Danet-Desnoyers, Winifred Trotman, Malathi Kandarpa, Anitria Cotton, Omar Abdel-Wahab, Hongwei Lei, Yali Dou, Monica Guzman, Luke Peterson, Tanja A. Gruber, Sarah M. Choi, Duxin Sun, Pingda Ren, Lian-Sheng Li, Yi Liu, Francis J. Burrows, Ivan Maillard, Tomasz Cierpicki, Jolanta Grembecka
Both miRNAs and A-to-I RNA editing, a widespread nucleotide modification mechanism, have recently emerged as key players in cancer pathophysiology. However, the functional impact of RNA editing of miRNAs in cancer remains largely unexplored. Here, we focused on an ADAR2-catalyzed RNA editing site within the miR-379-5p seed region. This site was under-edited in tumors relative to normal tissues, with a high editing level being correlated with better patient survival times across cancer types. We demonstrated that in contrast to wild-type miRNA, edited miR-379-5p inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis in diverse tumor contexts in vitro, which was due to the ability of edited but not wild-type miR-379-5p to target CD97. Importantly, through nanoliposomal delivery, edited miR-379-5p mimics significantly inhibited tumor growth and extended survival of mice. Our study indicates a role of RNA editing in diversifying miRNA function during cancer progression and highlights the translational potential of edited miRNAs as a new class of cancer therapeutics.
Xiaoyan Xu, Yumeng Wang, Kamalika Mojumdar, Zhicheng Zhou, Kang Jin Jeong, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Shuangxing Yu, Yiu Huen Tsang, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Yiling Lu, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, Anil K. Sood, Gordon B. Mills, Han Liang
While the outcome of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) is typically correlated with the functionality of the inoculated T cells, the role of the endogenous T cells is unknown. The success of checkpoint blockade therapy has demonstrated the potentially curative value of preexisting tumor-primed T cells in cancer treatment. Given the results from checkpoint blockade therapy, we hypothesized that endogenous T cells contribute to long-term survival following ACT. Here, we describe a therapeutic approach combining ACT with an oncolytic vaccine that allows simultaneous analysis of antitumor immunity mediated by transferred and endogenous T cells. We found that, in addition to promoting the expansion and tumor infiltration of the transferred T cells, oncolytic vaccines boosted tumor-primed host T cells. We determined that transferred T cells contributed to rapid destruction of large tumor masses while endogenous T cells concurrently prevented the emergence of antigen-loss variants. Moreover, while transferred T cells disappeared shortly after tumor regression, endogenous T cells secured long-term memory with a broad repertoire of antigen specificity. Our findings suggest that this combination strategy may exploit the full potential of ACT and tumor-primed host T cells to eliminate the primary tumor, prevent immune escape, and provide long-term protective memory.
Scott R. Walsh, Boris Simovic, Lan Chen, Donald Bastin, Andrew Nguyen, Kyle Stephenson, Talveer S. Mandur, Jonathan L. Bramson, Brian D. Lichty, Yonghong Wan
Potentiating radiotherapy and chemotherapy by inhibiting DNA damage repair is proposed as a therapeutic strategy to improve outcomes for patients with solid tumors. However, this approach risks enhancing normal tissue toxicity as much as tumor toxicity, thereby limiting its translational impact. Using NU5455, a newly-identified highly-selective oral inhibitor of DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) activity, we found that it was indeed possible to preferentially augment the effect of targeted-radiotherapy on human orthotopic lung tumors without influencing acute DNA-damage or a late radiation-induced toxicity (fibrosis) to normal mouse lung. Furthermore, while NU5455 administration increased both the efficacy and toxicity of a parenterally-administered topoisomerase inhibitor, it enhanced the activity of doxorubicin released locally in liver tumor xenografts without inducing any adverse effect. This strategy is particularly relevant to hepatocellular cancer which is treated clinically with localized drug-eluting beads and for which DNA-PKcs activity is reported to confer resistance to treatment. We conclude that transient pharmacological inhibition of DNA-PKcs activity is effective and tolerable when combined with localized DNA-damaging therapies and thus has promising clinical potential.
Catherine E. Willoughby, Yanyan Jiang, Huw D. Thomas, Elaine Willmore, Suzanne Kyle, Anita Wittner, Nicole Phillips, Yan Zhao, Susan J. Tudhope, Lisa Prendergast, Gesa Junge, Luiza Madia Lourenco, M. Raymond V. Finlay, Paul Turner, Joanne M. Munck, Roger J. Griffin, Tommy Rennison, James Pickles, Celine Cano, David R. Newell, Helen L. Reeves, Anderson J. Ryan, Stephen R. Wedge
Membrane repair is essential to cell survival. In skeletal muscle, injury often associates with plasma membrane disruption. Additionally, muscular dystrophy is linked to mutations in genes that produce fragile membranes or reduce membrane repair. Methods to enhance repair and reduce susceptibility to injury could benefit muscle in both acute and chronic injury settings. Annexins are a family of membrane-associated Ca2+-binding proteins implicated in repair, and annexin A6 was previously identified as a genetic modifier of muscle injury and disease. Annexin A6 forms the repair cap over the site of membrane disruption. To elucidate how annexins facilitate repair, we visualized annexin cap formation during injury. We found that annexin cap size positively correlated with increasing Ca2+ concentrations. We also found that annexin overexpression promoted external blebs enriched in Ca2+ and correlated with a reduction of intracellular Ca2+ at the injury site. Annexin A6 overexpression reduced membrane injury, consistent with enhanced repair. Treatment with recombinant annexin A6 protected against acute muscle injury in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, administration of recombinant annexin A6 in a model of muscular dystrophy reduced serum creatinine kinase, a biomarker of disease. These data identify annexins as mediators of membrane-associated Ca2+ release during membrane repair and annexin A6 as a therapeutic target to enhance membrane repair capacity.
Alexis R. Demonbreun, Katherine S. Fallon, Claire C. Oosterbaan, Elena Bogdanovic, James L. Warner, Jordan J. Sell, Patrick G. Page, Mattia Quattrocelli, David Y. Barefield, Elizabeth M. McNally
Brain somatic mutations confer genomic diversity in the human brain and cause neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently, brain somatic activating mutations in MTOR have been identified as a major etiology of intractable epilepsy in patients with cortical malformations. However, the molecular genetic mechanism of how brain somatic mutations in MTOR cause intractable epilepsy has remained elusive. In this study, translational profiling of intractable epilepsy mouse models with brain somatic mutations and genome-edited cells revealed a novel translational dysregulation mechanism and mTOR activation–sensitive targets mediated by human MTOR mutations that lead to intractable epilepsy with cortical malformation. These mTOR targets were found to be regulated by novel mTOR-responsive 5′-UTR motifs, distinct from known mTOR inhibition–sensitive targets regulated by 5′ terminal oligopyrimidine motifs. Novel mTOR target genes were validated in patient brain tissues, and the mTOR downstream effector eIF4E was identified as a new therapeutic target in intractable epilepsy via pharmacological or genetic inhibition. We show that metformin, an FDA-approved eIF4E inhibitor, suppresses intractable epilepsy. Altogether, the present study describes translational dysregulation resulting from brain somatic mutations in MTOR, as well as the pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets of intractable epilepsy.
Jang Keun Kim, Jun Cho, Se Hoon Kim, Hoon-Chul Kang, Dong-Seok Kim, V. Narry Kim, Jeong Ho Lee
Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting pathologic RNAs have shown promising therapeutic corrections for many genetic diseases including myotonic dystrophy (DM1). Thus, ASO strategies for DM1 can abolish the toxic RNA gain-of-function mechanism caused by nuclear-retained mutant transcripts containing CUG expansions (CUGexp). However, systemic use of ASOs for this muscular disease remains challenging due to poor drug distribution to skeletal muscle. To overcome this limitation, we test an arginine-rich Pip6a cell–penetrating peptide and show that Pip6a-conjugated morpholino phosphorodiamidate oligomer (PMO) dramatically enhanced ASO delivery into striated muscles of DM1 mice following systemic administration in comparison with unconjugated PMO and other ASO strategies. Thus, low-dose treatment of Pip6a-PMO-CAG targeting pathologic expansions is sufficient to reverse both splicing defects and myotonia in DM1 mice and normalizes the overall disease transcriptome. Moreover, treated DM1 patient–derived muscle cells showed that Pip6a-PMO-CAG specifically targets mutant CUGexp-DMPK transcripts to abrogate the detrimental sequestration of MBNL1 splicing factor by nuclear RNA foci and consequently MBNL1 functional loss, responsible for splicing defects and muscle dysfunction. Our results demonstrate that Pip6a-PMO-CAG induces high efficacy and long-lasting correction of DM1-associated phenotypes at both molecular and functional levels, and strongly support the use of advanced peptide-conjugates for systemic corrective therapy in DM1.
Arnaud F. Klein, Miguel A. Varela, Ludovic Arandel, Ashling Holland, Naira Naouar, Andrey Arzumanov, David Seoane, Lucile Revillod, Guillaume Bassez, Arnaud Ferry, Dominic Jauvin, Geneviève Gourdon, Jack Puymirat, Michael J. Gait, Denis Furling, Matthew J. A. Wood
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