ResearchPad - chloroquine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Single-cell transcription analysis of <i>Plasmodium vivax</i> blood-stage parasites identifies stage- and species-specific profiles of expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14651 Analysis of individual Plasmodium vivax parasites reveals the tight control of the expression of most genes during the intra-erythrocytic cycle and the differentiation of male and female gametocytes, and highlights differences between the development of P. vivax and P. falciparum.

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<![CDATA[Therapeutic potential of CPI-613 for targeting tumorous mitochondrial energy metabolism and inhibiting autophagy in clear cell sarcoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b8b3463d7e14181b1865

Clear cell sarcoma (CCS) is an aggressive type of soft tissue tumor that is associated with high rates of metastasis. In the present study, we found that CPI-613, which targets tumorous mitochondrial energy metabolism, induced autophagosome formation followed by lysosome fusion in HS-MM CCS cells in vitro. Interestingly, CPI-613 along with chloroquine, which inhibits the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes, significantly induced necrosis of HS-MM CCS cell growth in vitro. Subsequently, we established a murine orthotropic metastatic model of CCS and evaluated the putative suppressive effect of a combination of CPI-613 and chloroquine on CCS progression. Injection of HS-MM into the aponeuroses of the thigh, the most frequently affected site in CCS, resulted in massive metastasis in SCID-beige mice. By contrast, intraperitoneal administration of CPI-613 (25 mg/kg) and chloroquine (50 mg/kg), two days a week for two weeks, significantly decreased tumor growth at the injection site and abolished metastasis. The present results imply the inhibitory effects of a combination of CPI-613 and chloroquine on the progression of CCS.

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<![CDATA[Hyperspectral Imaging Using Intracellular Spies: Quantitative Real-Time Measurement of Intracellular Parameters In Vivo during Interaction of the Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus with Human Monocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e1ab0ee8fa60b69b1f

Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a technique based on the combination of classical spectroscopy and conventional digital image processing. It is also well suited for the biological assays and quantitative real-time analysis since it provides spectral and spatial data of samples. The method grants detailed information about a sample by recording the entire spectrum in each pixel of the whole image. We applied HSI to quantify the constituent pH variation in a single infected apoptotic monocyte as a model system. Previously, we showed that the human-pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus conidia interfere with the acidification of phagolysosomes. Here, we extended this finding to monocytes and gained a more detailed analysis of this process. Our data indicate that melanised A. fumigatus conidia have the ability to interfere with apoptosis in human monocytes as they enable the apoptotic cell to recover from mitochondrial acidification and to continue with the cell cycle. We also showed that this ability of A. fumigatus is dependent on the presence of melanin, since a non-pigmented mutant did not stop the progression of apoptosis and consequently, the cell did not recover from the acidic pH. By conducting the current research based on the HSI, we could measure the intracellular pH in an apoptotic infected human monocyte and show the pattern of pH variation during 35 h of measurements. As a conclusion, we showed the importance of melanin for determining the fate of intracellular pH in a single apoptotic cell.

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<![CDATA[Continuous treatment with FTS confers resistance to apoptosis and affects autophagy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc547

High percentage of human cancers involves alteration or mutation in Ras proteins, including the most aggressive malignancies, such as lung, colon and pancreatic cancers. FTS (Salirasib) is a farnesylcysteine mimetic, which acts as a functional Ras inhibitor, and was shown to exert anti-tumorigenic effects in vitro and in vivo. Previously, we have demonstrated that short-term treatment with FTS also induces protective autophagy in several cancer cell lines. Drug resistance is frequently observed in cancer cells exposed to prolonged treatment, and is considered a major cause for therapy inefficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effect of a prolonged treatment with FTS on drug resistance of HCT-116 human colon cancer cells, and the involvement of autophagy in this process. We found that cells grown in the presence of FTS for 6 months have become resistant to FTS-induced cell growth inhibition and cell death. Furthermore, we discovered that the resistant cells exhibit altered autophagy, reduced apoptosis and changes in Ras-related signaling pathways following treatment with FTS. Moreover we found that while FTS induces an apoptosis-related cleavage of p62, the FTS-resistant cells were more resistant to apoptosis and p62 cleavage.

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<![CDATA[The BH3 Mimetic Obatoclax Accumulates in Lysosomes and Causes Their Alkalinization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da90ab0ee8fa60b9fa87

Obatoclax belongs to a class of compounds known as BH3 mimetics which function as antagonists of Bcl-2 family apoptosis regulators. It has undergone extensive preclinical and clinical evaluation as a cancer therapeutic. Despite this, it is clear that obatoclax has additional pharmacological effects that contribute to its cytotoxic activity. It has been claimed that obatoclax, either alone or in combination with other molecularly targeted therapeutics, induces an autophagic form of cell death. In addition, obatoclax has been shown to inhibit lysosomal function, but the mechanism of this has not been elucidated. We have evaluated the mechanism of action of obatoclax in eight ovarian cancer cell lines. Consistent with its function as a BH3 mimetic, obatoclax induced apoptosis in three cell lines. However, in the remaining cell lines another form of cell death was evident because caspase activation and PARP cleavage were not observed. Obatoclax also failed to show synergy with carboplatin and paclitaxel, chemotherapeutic agents which we have previously shown to be synergistic with authentic Bcl-2 family antagonists. Obatoclax induced a profound accumulation of LC-3 but knockdown of Atg-5 or beclin had only minor effects on the activity of obatoclax in cell growth assays suggesting that the inhibition of lysosomal function rather than stimulation of autophagy may play a more prominent role in these cells. To evaluate how obatoclax inhibits lysosomal function, confocal microscopy studies were conducted which demonstrated that obatoclax, which contains two basic pyrrole groups, accumulates in lysosomes. Studies using pH sensitive dyes demonstrated that obatoclax induced lysosomal alkalinization. Furthermore, obatoclax was synergistic in cell growth/survival assays with bafilomycin and chloroquine, two other drugs which cause lysosomal alkalinization. These studies explain, for the first time, how obatoclax inhibits lysosomal function and suggest that lysosomal alkalinization contributes to the cytotoxic activity of obatoclax.

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<![CDATA[Supercoiling Effects on Short-Range DNA Looping in E. coli]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daaaab0ee8fa60ba90db

DNA-protein loops can be essential for gene regulation. The Escherichia coli lactose (lac) operon is controlled by DNA-protein loops that have been studied for decades. Here we adapt this model to test the hypothesis that negative superhelical strain facilitates the formation of short-range (6–8 DNA turns) repression loops in E. coli. The natural negative superhelicity of E. coli DNA is regulated by the interplay of gyrase and topoisomerase enzymes, adding or removing negative supercoils, respectively. Here, we measured quantitatively DNA looping in three different E. coli strains characterized by different levels of global supercoiling: wild type, gyrase mutant (gyrB226), and topoisomerase mutant (ΔtopA10). DNA looping in each strain was measured by assaying repression of the endogenous lac operon, and repression of ten reporter constructs with DNA loop sizes between 70–85 base pairs. Our data are most simply interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that negative supercoiling facilitates gene repression by small DNA-protein loops in living bacteria.

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<![CDATA[Autophagy Is Involved in the Sevoflurane Anesthesia-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction of Aged Rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabbab0ee8fa60baea6b

Autophagy is associated with regulation of both the survival and death of neurons, and has been linked to many neurodegenerative diseases. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction is commonly observed in elderly patients following anesthesia, but the pathophysiological mechanisms are largely unexplored. Similar effects have been found in aged rats under sevoflurane anesthesia; however, the role of autophagy in sevoflurane anesthesia-induced hippocampal neuron apoptosis of older rats remains elusive. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of autophagy on the sevoflurane-induced cognitive dysfunction in aged rats, and to identify the role of autophagy in sevoflurane-induced neuron apoptosis. We used 20-month-old rats under sevoflurane anesthesia to study memory performance, neuron apoptosis, and autophagy. The results demonstrated that sevoflurane anesthesia significantly impaired memory performance and induced hippocampal neuron apoptosis. Interestingly, treatment of rapamycin, an autophagy inducer, improved the cognitive deficit observed in the aged rats under sevoflurane anesthesia by improving autophagic flux. Rapamycin treatment led to the rapid accumulation of autophagic bodies and autophagy lysosomes, decreased p62 protein levels, and increased the ratio of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 II (LC3-II) to LC3-I in hippocampal neurons through the mTOR signaling pathway. However, administration of an autophagy inhibitor (chloroquine) attenuated the autophagic flux and increased the severity of sevoflurane anesthesia-induced neuronal apoptosis and memory impairment. These findings suggest that impaired autophagy in the hippocampal neurons of aged rats after sevoflurane anesthesia may contribute to cognitive impairment. Therefore, our findings represent a potential novel target for pro-autophagy treatments in patients with sevoflurane anesthesia-induced neurodegeneration.

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<![CDATA[Fluorogenic Substrates for Visualizing Acidic Organelle Enzyme Activities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da38ab0ee8fa60b86f9a

Lysosomes are acidic cytoplasmic organelles that are present in all nucleated mammalian cells and are involved in a variety of cellular processes including repair of the plasma membrane, defense against pathogens, cholesterol homeostasis, bone remodeling, metabolism, apoptosis and cell signaling. Defects in lysosomal enzyme activity have been associated with a variety of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s Disease, Lysosomal Storage Diseases, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. Fluorogenic lysosomal staining probes were synthesized for labeling lysosomes and other acidic organelles in a live-cell format and were shown to be capable of monitoring lysosomal metabolic activity. The new targeted substrates were prepared from fluorescent dyes having a low pKa value for optimum fluorescence at the lower physiological pH found in lysosomes. They were modified to contain targeting groups to direct their accumulation in lysosomes as well as enzyme-cleavable functions for monitoring specific enzyme activities using a live-cell staining format. Application to the staining of cells derived from blood and skin samples of patients with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, Krabbe and Gaucher Diseases as well as healthy human fibroblast and leukocyte control cells exhibited localization to the lysosome when compared with known lysosomal stain LysoTracker® Red DND-99 as well as with anti-LAMP1 Antibody staining. When cell metabolism was inhibited with chloroquine, staining with an esterase substrate was reduced, demonstrating that the substrates can be used to measure cell metabolism. When applied to diseased cells, the intensity of staining was reflective of lysosomal enzyme levels found in diseased cells. Substrates specific to the enzyme deficiencies in Gaucher or Krabbe disease patient cell lines exhibited reduced staining compared to that in non-diseased cells. The new lysosome-targeted fluorogenic substrates should be useful for research, diagnostics and monitoring the effect of secondary therapeutic agents on lysosomal enzyme activity in drug development for the lysosomal storage disorders and allied diseases.

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<![CDATA[Mannose 6-Phosphate Receptor Is Reduced in -Synuclein Overexpressing Models of Parkinsons Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4bab0ee8fa60b8ccdf

Increasing evidence points to defects in autophagy as a common denominator in most neurodegenerative conditions. Progressive functional decline in the autophagy-lysosomal pathway (ALP) occurs with age, and the consequent impairment in protein processing capacity has been associated with a higher risk of neurodegeneration. Defects in cathepsin D (CD) processing and α-synuclein degradation causing its accumulation in lysosomes are particularly relevant for the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the mechanism by which alterations in CD maturation and α-synuclein degradation leads to autophagy defects in PD neurons is still uncertain. Here we demonstrate that MPR300 shuttling between endosomes and the trans Golgi network is altered in α-synuclein overexpressing neurons. Consequently, CD is not correctly trafficked to lysosomes and cannot be processed to generate its mature active form, leading to a reduced CD-mediated α-synuclein degradation and α-synuclein accumulation in neurons. MPR300 is downregulated in brain from α-synuclein overexpressing animal models and in PD patients with early diagnosis. These data indicate MPR300 as crucial player in the autophagy-lysosomal dysfunctions reported in PD and pinpoint MRP300 as a potential biomarker for PD.

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<![CDATA[Chloroquine Sensitizes Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells but Not Nasoepithelial Cells to Irradiation by Blocking Autophagy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da49ab0ee8fa60b8c735

Background

Treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma requires the application of high dosages of radiation, leading to severe long-term complications in the majority of patients. Sensitizing tumor cells to radiation could be a means to increase the therapeutic window of radiation. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells display alterations in autophagy and blockade of autophagy has been shown to sensitize them against chemotherapy.

Methods

We investigated the effect of chloroquine, a known inhibitor of autophagy, on sensitization against radiation-induced apoptosis in a panel of five nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines and a SV40-transformed nasoepithelial cell line. Autophagy was measured by immunoblot of autophagy-related proteins, immunofluorescence of autophagosomic microvesicles and electron microscopy. Autophagy was blocked by siRNA against autophagy-related proteins 3, 5, 6 and 7 (ATG3, ATG5, ATG6 and ATG7).

Results

Chloroquine sensitized four out of five nasopharyngeal cancer cell lines towards radiation-induced apoptosis. The sensitizing effect was based on the blockade of autophagy as inhibition of ATG3, ATG5, ATG6 and ATG7 by specific siRNA could substitute for the effect of chloroquine. No sensitization was seen in nasoepithelial cells.

Conclusion

Chloroquine sensitizes nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells but not nasoepithelial cells towards radiation-induced apoptosis by blocking autophagy. Further studies in a mouse-xenograft model are warranted to substantiate this effect in vivo.

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<![CDATA[Dysregulation of Autophagy Contributes to Anal Carcinogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf3ab0ee8fa60bc1cc7

Introduction

Autophagy is an intracellular catabolic process that removes and recycles unnecessary/dysfunctional cellular components, contributing to cellular health and survival. Autophagy is a highly regulated cellular process that responds to several intracellular signals, many of which are deregulated by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection through the expression of HPV-encoded oncoproteins. This adaptive inhibitory response helps prevent viral clearance. A strong correlation remains between HPV infection and the development of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the anus, particularly in HIV positive and other immunosuppressed patients. We hypothesize that autophagy is inhibited by HPV–encoded oncoproteins thereby promoting anal carcinogenesis (Fig 1).

Materials and Methods

HPV16 transgenic mice (K14E6/E7) and non-transgenic mice (FVB/N), both of which do not spontaneously develop anal tumors, were treated topically with the chemical carcinogen, 7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), to induce anal cancer. The anuses at different time points of treatment (5, 10, 15 and 20 weeks) were analyzed using immunofluorescence (IF) for two key autophagy marker proteins (LC3β and p62) in addition to histological grading. The anuses from the K14E6/E7 mice were also analyzed for visual evidence of autophagic activity by electron microscopy (EM). To see if there was a correlation to humans, archival anal specimens were assessed histologically for grade of dysplasia and then analyzed for LC3β and p62 protein content. To more directly examine the effect of autophagic inhibition on anal carcinogenesis, nontransgenic mice that do not develop anal cancer with DMBA treatment were treated with a known pharmacologic inhibitor of autophagy, chloroquine, and examined for tumor development and analyzed by IF for autophagic proteins.

Results

Histologically, we observed the progression of normal anoderm to invasive SCC with DMBA treatment in K14E6/E7 mice but not in nontransgenic, syngeneic FVB/N background control mice. With the development of low-grade dysplasia in the K14E6/E7 mice, there was an increase in both punctate LC3β and p62 expression while EM revealed increased autophagosomes without evidence of autophagolysosomes. These observations are consistent with autophagy being inhibited at a later stage in the autophagic process. In contrast, in high-grade dysplasia and SCC in the DMBA-treated K14E6/E7 mice, there were decreased levels of p62 with a continued increase in punctate LC3β expression by IF, while autophagolysosomes were seen on EM, consistent with the process of autophagy proceeded to completion. Similar findings, including histological grade dependent changes in LC3β and p62 expression, were noted with human samples upon analysis of IF. Finally, with pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy in DMBA-treated, nontrangenic FVB/N mice, there was a significant increase in anal cancer development similar to that observed in DMBA- treated K14E6/E7 mice.

Conclusion

Autophagic dysregulation is noted early on in HPV-associated anal carcinogenesis (low-grade dysplasia), with normalization of the autophagic process arising in late stages of HPV-associated anal carcinogenesis (high-grade dysplasia and invasive carcinoma).

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<![CDATA[Inhibition of Influenza Virus Replication by Targeting Broad Host Cell Pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6dba8

Antivirals that are currently used to treat influenza virus infections target components of the virus which can mutate rapidly. Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of resistant strains to one or many antivirals in recent years. Here we compared the antiviral effects of lysosomotropic alkalinizing agents (LAAs) and calcium modulators (CMs), which interfere with crucial events in the influenza virus replication cycle, against avian, swine, and human viruses of different subtypes in MDCK cells. We observed that treatment with LAAs, CMs, or a combination of both, significantly inhibited viral replication. Moreover, the drugs were effective even when they were administered 8 h after infection. Finally, analysis of the expression of viral acidic polymerase (PA) revealed that both drugs classes interfered with early events in the viral replication cycle. This study demonstrates that targeting broad host cellular pathways can be an efficient strategy to inhibit influenza replication. Furthermore, it provides an interesting avenue for drug development where resistance by the virus might be reduced since the virus is not targeted directly.

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<![CDATA[Investigating antimalarial drug interactions of emetine dihydrochloride hydrate using CalcuSyn-based interactivity calculations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbdde

The widespread introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy has contributed to recent reductions in malaria mortality. Combination therapies have a range of advantages, including synergism, toxicity reduction, and delaying the onset of resistance acquisition. Unfortunately, antimalarial combination therapy is limited by the depleting repertoire of effective drugs with distinct target pathways. To fast-track antimalarial drug discovery, we have previously employed drug-repositioning to identify the anti-amoebic drug, emetine dihydrochloride hydrate, as a potential candidate for repositioned use against malaria. Despite its 1000-fold increase in in vitro antimalarial potency (ED50 47 nM) compared with its anti-amoebic potency (ED50 26–32 uM), practical use of the compound has been limited by dose-dependent toxicity (emesis and cardiotoxicity). Identification of a synergistic partner drug would present an opportunity for dose-reduction, thus increasing the therapeutic window. The lack of reliable and standardised methodology to enable the in vitro definition of synergistic potential for antimalarials is a major drawback. Here we use isobologram and combination-index data generated by CalcuSyn software analyses (Biosoft v2.1) to define drug interactivity in an objective, automated manner. The method, based on the median effect principle proposed by Chou and Talalay, was initially validated for antimalarial application using the known synergistic combination (atovaquone-proguanil). The combination was used to further understand the relationship between SYBR Green viability and cytocidal versus cytostatic effects of drugs at higher levels of inhibition. We report here the use of the optimised Chou Talalay method to define synergistic antimalarial drug interactivity between emetine dihydrochloride hydrate and atovaquone. The novel findings present a potential route to harness the nanomolar antimalarial efficacy of this affordable natural product.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of artemether-lumefantrine and chloroquine with and without primaquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax infection in Ethiopia: A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be01dd

Background

Recent efforts in malaria control have resulted in great gains in reducing the burden of Plasmodium falciparum, but P. vivax has been more refractory. Its ability to form dormant liver stages confounds control and elimination efforts. To compare the efficacy and safety of primaquine regimens for radical cure, we undertook a randomized controlled trial in Ethiopia.

Methods and findings

Patients with normal glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase status with symptomatic P. vivax mono-infection were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive either chloroquine (CQ) or artemether-lumefantrine (AL), alone or in combination with 14 d of semi-supervised primaquine (PQ) (3.5 mg/kg total). A total of 398 patients (n = 104 in the CQ arm, n = 100 in the AL arm, n = 102 in the CQ+PQ arm, and n = 92 in the AL+PQ arm) were followed for 1 y, and recurrent episodes were treated with the same treatment allocated at enrolment. The primary endpoints were the risk of P. vivax recurrence at day 28 and at day 42.

The risk of recurrent P. vivax infection at day 28 was 4.0% (95% CI 1.5%–10.4%) after CQ treatment and 0% (95% CI 0%–4.0%) after CQ+PQ. The corresponding risks were 12.0% (95% CI 6.8%–20.6%) following AL alone and 2.3% (95% CI 0.6%–9.0%) following AL+PQ. On day 42, the risk was 18.7% (95% CI 12.2%–28.0%) after CQ, 1.2% (95% CI 0.2%–8.0%) after CQ+PQ, 29.9% (95% CI 21.6%–40.5%) after AL, and 5.9% (95% CI 2.4%–13.5%) after AL+PQ (overall p < 0.001). In those not prescribed PQ, the risk of recurrence by day 42 appeared greater following AL treatment than CQ treatment (HR = 1.8 [95% CI 1.0–3.2]; p = 0.059). At the end of follow-up, the incidence rate of P. vivax was 2.2 episodes/person-year for patients treated with CQ compared to 0.4 for patients treated with CQ+PQ (rate ratio: 5.1 [95% CI 2.9–9.1]; p < 0.001) and 2.3 episodes/person-year for AL compared to 0.5 for AL+PQ (rate ratio: 6.4 [95% CI 3.6–11.3]; p < 0.001). There was no difference in the occurrence of adverse events between treatment arms.

The main limitations of the study were the early termination of the trial and the omission of haemoglobin measurement after day 42, resulting in an inability to estimate the cumulative risk of anaemia.

Conclusions

Despite evidence of CQ-resistant P. vivax, the risk of recurrence in this study was greater following treatment with AL unless it was combined with a supervised course of PQ. PQ combined with either CQ or AL was well tolerated and reduced recurrence of vivax malaria by 5-fold at 1 y.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01680406

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<![CDATA[Co-Targeting of JNK and HUNK in Resistant HER2-Positive Breast Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad5ab0ee8fa60bb788c

Strategies for successful primary treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer include use of the HER2 inhibitors trastuzumab or lapatinib in combination with standard chemotherapy. While successful, many patients develop resistance to these HER2 inhibitors indicating an unmet need. Consequently, current research efforts are geared toward understanding mechanisms of resistance and the signaling modalities that regulate these mechanisms. We have undertaken a study to examine whether signaling molecules downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor, which often act as compensatory signaling outlets to circumvent HER2 inhibition, can be co-targeted to overcome resistance. We identified JNK signaling as a potential area of intervention and now show that inhibiting JNK using the pan-JNK inhibitor, SP600125, is effective in the HER2-positive, resistant JIMT-1 xenograft mammary tumor model. We also investigate potential combination strategies to bolster the effects of JNK inhibition and find that co-targeting of JNK and the protein kinase HUNK can prohibit tumor growth of resistant HER2-positive mammary tumors in vivo.

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<![CDATA[Chloroquine triggers Epstein-Barr virus replication through phosphorylation of KAP1/TRIM28 in Burkitt lymphoma cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd059

Trials to reintroduce chloroquine into regions of Africa where P. falciparum has regained susceptibility to chloroquine are underway. However, there are long-standing concerns about whether chloroquine increases lytic-replication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), thereby contributing to the development of endemic Burkitt lymphoma. We report that chloroquine indeed drives EBV replication by linking the DNA repair machinery to chromatin remodeling-mediated transcriptional repression. Specifically, chloroquine utilizes ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) to phosphorylate the universal transcriptional corepressor Krüppel-associated Box-associated protein 1/tripartite motif-containing protein 28 (KAP1/TRIM28) at serine 824 –a mechanism that typically facilitates repair of double-strand breaks in heterochromatin, to instead activate EBV. Notably, activation of ATM occurs in the absence of detectable DNA damage. These findings i) clarify chloroquine’s effect on EBV replication, ii) should energize field investigations into the connection between chloroquine and endemic Burkitt lymphoma and iii) provide a unique context in which ATM modifies KAP1 to regulate persistence of a herpesvirus in humans.

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<![CDATA[Underreporting and Missed Opportunities for Uptake of Intermittent Preventative Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy (IPTp) in Mali]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db34ab0ee8fa60bd2a1a

Objectives

To identify factors contributing to low uptake of intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTp-SP) in rural Mali.

Methods

We conducted secondary data analysis on Mali’s 2012–2013 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) to determine the proportion of women who failed to take IPTp-SP due to ineligibility or non-attendance at antenatal care (ANC). We also identified the proportion who reported taking other or unknown medications to prevent malaria in pregnancy and those who did not know if they took any medication to prevent malaria in pregnancy. We conducted qualitative interviews, focus groups and ANC observations in six rural sites in Mali’s Sikasso and Koulikoro regions to identify reasons for missed opportunities.

Results

Our secondary data analysis found that reported IPTp-SP coverage estimates are misleading due to their dependence on a variable (“source of IPTp”) that is missing 62% of its data points. Among all women who gave birth in the two years prior to the survey, 56.2% reported taking at least one dose of IPTp-SP. Another 5.2% reported taking chloroquine, 1.9% taking another drug to prevent malaria in pregnancy, 4.4% not knowing what drug they took to prevent malaria, and 1.1% not knowing if they took any drug to prevent malaria. The majority of women who did not receive IPTp-SP were women who also did not attend ANC. Our qualitative data revealed that many health centers neither administer IPTp-SP by directly observed therapy, nor give IPTp-SP at one month intervals through the second and third trimesters, nor provide IPTp-SP free of charge. Women generally reported IPTp-SP as available and tolerable, but frequently could not identify its name or purpose, potentially affecting accuracy of responses in household surveys.

Conclusion

We estimate IPTp-SP uptake to be significantly higher than stated in Mali’s 2012–13 DHS report. Increasing ANC attendance should be the first priority for increasing IPTp-SP coverage. Reducing cost and access barriers, ensuring that providers follow up-to-date guidelines, and improving patient counseling on IPTp-SP would also facilitate optimal uptake.

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<![CDATA[Myogenic differentiation of VCP disease-induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel platform for drug discovery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be02c5

Valosin Containing Protein (VCP) disease is an autosomal dominant multisystem proteinopathy caused by mutations in the VCP gene, and is primarily associated with progressive muscle weakness, including atrophy of the pelvic and shoulder girdle muscles. Currently, no treatments are available and cardiac and respiratory failures can lead to mortality at an early age. VCP is an AAA ATPase multifunction complex protein and mutations in the VCP gene resulting in disrupted autophagic clearance. Due to the rarity of the disease, the myopathic nature of the disorder, ethical and practical considerations, VCP disease muscle biopsies are difficult to obtain. Thus, disease-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) now provide a valuable resource for the research owing to their renewable and pluripotent nature. In the present study, we report the differentiation and characterization of a VCP disease-specific hiPSCs into precursors expressing myogenic markers including desmin, myogenic factor 5 (MYF5), myosin and heavy chain 2 (MYH2). VCP disease phenotype is characterized by high expression of TAR DNA Binding Protein-43 (TDP-43), ubiquitin (Ub), Light Chain 3-I/II protein (LC3-I/II), and p62/SQSTM1 (p62) protein indicating disruption of the autophagy cascade. Treatment of hiPSC precursors with autophagy stimulators Rapamycin, Perifosine, or AT101 showed reduction in VCP pathology markers TDP-43, LC3-I/II and p62/SQSTM1. Conversely, autophagy inhibitors chloroquine had no beneficial effect, and Spautin-1 or MHY1485 had modest effects. Our results illustrate that hiPSC technology provide a useful platform for a rapid drug discovery and hence constitutes a bridge between clinical and bench research in VCP and related diseases.

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<![CDATA[Muscadine Grape Skin Extract Induces an Unfolded Protein Response-Mediated Autophagy in Prostate Cancer Cells: A TMT-Based Quantitative Proteomic Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba580a

Muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE) is derived from muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia), a common red grape used to produce red wine. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) that serves as a survival mechanism to relieve ER stress and restore ER homeostasis. However, when persistent, ER stress can alter the cytoprotective functions of the UPR to promote autophagy and cell death. Although MSKE has been documented to induce apoptosis, it has not been linked to ER stress/UPR/autophagy. We hypothesized that MSKE may induce a severe ER stress response-mediated autophagy leading to apoptosis. As a model, we treated C4-2 prostate cancer cells with MSKE and performed a quantitative Tandem Mass Tag Isobaric Labeling proteomic analysis. ER stress response, autophagy and apoptosis were analyzed by western blot, acridine orange and TUNEL/Annexin V staining, respectively. Quantitative proteomics analysis indicated that ER stress response proteins, such as GRP78 were greatly elevated following treatment with MSKE. The up-regulation of pro-apoptotic markers PARP, caspase-12, cleaved caspase-3, -7, BAX and down-regulation of anti-apoptotic marker BCL2 was confirmed by Western blot analysis and apoptosis was visualized by increased TUNEL/Annexin V staining upon MSKE treatment. Moreover, increased acridine orange, and LC3B staining was detected in MSKE-treated cells, suggesting an ER stress/autophagy response. Finally, MSKE-mediated autophagy and apoptosis was antagonized by co-treatment with chloroquine, an autophagy inhibitor. Our results indicate that MSKE can elicit an UPR that can eventually lead to apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

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<![CDATA[D-Alanylation of Teichoic Acids and Loss of Poly-N-Acetyl Glucosamine in Staphylococcus aureus during Exponential Growth Phase Enhance IL-12 Production in Murine Dendritic Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7ce2c

Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen that has evolved very efficient immune evading strategies leading to persistent colonization. During different stages of growth, S. aureus express various surface molecules, which may affect the immune stimulating properties, but very little is known about their role in immune stimulation and evasion. Depending on the growth phase, S. aureus may affect antigen presenting cells differently. Here, the impact of growth phases and the surface molecules lipoteichoic acid, peptidoglycan and poly-N-acetyl glucosamine on the induction of IL-12 imperative for an efficient clearance of S. aureus was studied in dendritic cells (DCs). Exponential phase (EP) S. aureus was superior to stationary phase (SP) bacteria in induction of IL-12, which required actin-mediated endocytosis and endosomal acidification. Moreover, addition of staphylococcal cell wall derived peptidoglycan to EP S. aureus stimulated cells increased bacterial uptake but abrogated IL-12 induction, while addition of lipoteichoic acid increased IL-12 production but had no effect on the bacterial uptake. Depletion of the capability to produce poly-N-acetyl glucosamine increased the IL-12 inducing activity of EP bacteria. Furthermore, the mutant dltA unable to produce D-alanylated teichoic acids failed to induce IL-12 but like peptidoglycan and the toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands LPS and Pam3CSK4 the mutant stimulated increased macropinocytosis. In conclusion, the IL-12 response by DCs against S. aureus is highly growth phase dependent, relies on cell wall D-alanylation, endocytosis and subsequent endosomal degradation, and is abrogated by receptor induced macropinocytosis.

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