ResearchPad - kinase-inhibitors https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Staurosporine and NEM mainly impair WNK-SPAK/OSR1 mediated phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14752 The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of a class of isatinoids identified from a high-throughput screen of human kinase inhibitors as anti-Sleeping Sickness agents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730afd5eed0c484f37eca

New treatments are needed for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), Chagas disease, and schistosomiasis. Through a whole organism high-throughput screening campaign, we previously identified 797 human kinase inhibitors that grouped into 59 structural clusters and showed activity against T. brucei, the causative agent of HAT. We herein report the results of further investigation of one of these clusters consisting of substituted isatin derivatives, focusing on establishing structure-activity and -property relationship scope. We also describe their in vitro absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) properties. For one isatin, NEU-4391, which offered the best activity-property profile, pharmacokinetic parameters were measured in mice.

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<![CDATA[LRRK2 kinase plays a critical role in manganese-induced inflammation and apoptosis in microglia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478ca0d5eed0c484bd3865

Long-term exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) causes manganism, a neurodegenerative disorder with Parkinson’s disease (PD)-like symptoms. Increasing evidence suggests that leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), which is highly expressed in microglia and macrophages, contributes to the inflammation and neurotoxicity seen in autosomal dominant and sporadic PD. As gene-environment interactions have emerged as important modulators of PD-associated toxicity, LRRK2 may also mediate Mn-induced inflammation and pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the role of LRRK2 in Mn-induced toxicity using human microglial cells (HMC3), LRRK2-wild-type (WT) and LRRK2-knockout (KO) RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Results showed that Mn activated LRRK2 kinase by phosphorylation of its serine residue at the 1292 position (S1292) as a marker of its kinase activity in macrophage and microglia, while inhibition with GSK2578215A (GSK) and MLi-2 abolished Mn-induced LRRK2 activation. LRRK2 deletion and its pharmacological inhibition attenuated Mn-induced apoptosis in macrophages and microglia, along with concomitant decreases in the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2-associated X (Bax) protein. LRRK2 deletion also attenuated Mn-induced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. Mn-induced phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 and ERK signaling proteins was significantly attenuated in LRRK2 KO cells and GSK-treated cells. Moreover, inhibition of MAPK p38 and ERK as well as LRRK2 attenuated Mn-induced oxidative stress and cytotoxicity. These findings suggest that LRRK2 kinase activity plays a critical role in Mn-induced toxicity via downstream activation of MAPK signaling in macrophage and microglia. Collectively, these results suggest that LRRK2 could be a potential molecular target for developing therapeutics to treat Mn-related neurodegenerative disorders.

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<![CDATA[Real-world management of patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive non–small-cell lung cancer in the USA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bfcd5eed0c48491f430

Background

Randomized phase III trials have established the efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors as first-line treatment for EGFR mutation-positive advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (EGFR Mut+ NSCLC). This retrospective cohort study examined the management patterns and outcomes of patients with EGFR Mut+ NSCLC in a real-world setting.

Materials and methods

Data were extracted from the US Flatiron Electronic Health Record-derived database. Adult patients with stage IIIB/IV EGFR Mut+ NSCLC (exon 19 deletion or exon 21 L858R mutation) who had received first-line systemic therapy between 2011 and 2016 were included. Demographic and clinical characteristics were analyzed. Outcomes evaluated were time to next treatment (a surrogate for progression-free survival) and overall survival.

Results

Of the 22,258 patients with advanced NSCLC in the database, 961 met the inclusion criteria. Median age was 69.0 years (range: 61–78) and the majority were female (68.0%), with stage IV (93.9%), non-squamous cell carcinoma (97.4%). EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors were the most widely prescribed first-line therapy (72.8%). The likelihood of receiving an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor or chemotherapy was unaffected by the type of medical insurance patients had. Patients treated with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor had significantly longer time to next treatment than those given other first-line systemic therapies (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in overall survival according to treatment type.

Conclusion

Results from this large US cohort study reflect those obtained in randomized trials of patients with advanced EGFR Mut+ NSCLC and demonstrate their transferability into a real-world setting.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of gastric smooth muscle contraction via Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent actin polymerization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254570d5eed0c48442c760

In gastrointestinal smooth muscle, acetylcholine induced muscle contraction is biphasic, initial peak followed by sustained contraction. Contraction is regulated by phosphorylation of 20 kDa myosin light chain (MLC) at Ser19, interaction of actin and myosin, and actin polymerization. The present study characterized the signaling mechanisms involved in actin polymerization during initial and sustained muscle contraction in response to muscarinic M3 receptor activation in gastric smooth muscle cells by targeting the effectors of initial (phospholipase C (PLC)-β/Ca2+ pathway) and sustained (RhoA/focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/Rho kinase pathway) contraction. The initial Ca2+ dependent contraction and actin polymerization is mediated by sequential activation of PLC-β1 via Gαq, IP3 formation, Ca2+ release and Ca2+ dependent phosphorylation of proline-rich-tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) at Tyr402. The sustained Ca2+ independent contraction and actin polymerization is mediated by activation of RhoA, and phosphorylation of FAK at Tyr397. Both phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK leads to phosphorylation of paxillin at Tyr118 and association of phosphorylated paxillin with the GEF proteins p21-activated kinase (PAK) interacting exchange factor α, β (α and β PIX) and DOCK 180. These GEF proteins stimulate Cdc42 leading to the activation of nucleation promoting factor N-WASP (neuronal Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein), which interacts with actin related protein complex 2/3 (Arp2/3) to induce actin polymerization and muscle contraction. Acetylcholine induced muscle contraction is inhibited by actin polymerization inhibitors. Thus, our results suggest that a novel mechanism for the regulation of smooth muscle contraction is mediated by actin polymerization in gastrointestinal smooth muscle which is independent of MLC20 phosphorylation.

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<![CDATA[Multiple configurations of EGFR exon 20 resistance mutations after first- and third-generation EGFR TKI treatment affect treatment options in NSCLC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f036d5eed0c484c6d3c8

After sequential treatment with first- and third-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancers frequently harbor multiple resistance mutations in exon 20 of EGFR including T790M, mediating resistance to first-generation TKIs, and at codons 792, 796, or 797 mediating resistance to third-generation TKIs. However, whether these resistance mutations are in cis or trans has therapeutic implications for patients. We analyzed a cohort of 29 patients with NSCLC harboring EGFR mutations at codons 792, 796, or 797 to establish the configuration of these mutations. We performed hybrid capture-based, next-generation sequencing on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded biopsy tissue or liquid biopsy. 27 samples had both a T790M mutation and a mutation at codons 792, 796, or 797. In all of these cases, the mutations were found in the cis configuration; the trans configuration was not observed. Two patients’ samples harbored a mutation at codon 797 but no T790M mutation. In these two cases, longitudinal analysis showed earlier biopsies harbored EGFR T790M, which was undetectable following osimertinib treatment. Treatment of one these patients with both first- and third-generation EGFR TKIs resulted in a mixed response. Here we describe multiple configurations of EGFR T790M and third-generation TKI resistance mutations at codons 792, 796, and 797. These mutations are most commonly found in cis, which confers resistance to all current EGFR TKIs. We also describe two patients that exhibited T790M loss with acquisition of a mutation at codon 797. In addition, one of these patients, with an EGFR C797S in a lung biopsy was subsequently found to have EGFR C797N in a later biopsy of pleural fluid, highlighting the dynamic multiclonal nature of advanced NSCLC.

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<![CDATA[ABCB1 Overexpression Is a Key Initiator of Resistance to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in CML Cell Lines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1bab0ee8fa60bce146

The tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib has resulted in excellent responses in the majority of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) patients; however, resistance is observed in 20–30% of patients. More recently, resistance to the second generation TKIs, nilotinib and dasatinib, has also been observed albeit at a lower incidence. ABCB1 has previously been implicated in TKI export and its overexpression linked to TKI resistance. In this study the dynamics of nilotinib resistance was studied in CML cell lines with particular focus on ABCB1 expression levels during development of resistance. Results revealed ABCB1 overexpression is likely an important initiator of nilotinib resistance in vitro. ABCB1 overexpression was also observed in cell lines as an intermediate step during development of resistance to imatinib and dasatinib in vitro. We conclude that ABCB1 overexpression may provide an initial platform to facilitate development of additional mechanisms for resistance to TKIs. This provides a rationale for investigating this phenomenon in patients undergoing TKI therapy.

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<![CDATA[Combined Efficacy of Cediranib and Quinacrine in Glioma Is Enhanced by Hypoxia and Causally Linked to Autophagic Vacuole Accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da11ab0ee8fa60b79bbc

We have previously reported that the in vivo anti-glioma efficacy of the anti-angiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib is substantially enhanced via combination with the late-stage autophagy inhibitor quinacrine. The current study investigates the role of hypoxia and autophagy in combined cediranib/quinacrine efficacy. EF5 immunostaining revealed a prevalence of hypoxia in mouse intracranial 4C8 glioma, consistent with high-grade glioma. MTS cell viability assays using 4C8 glioma cells revealed that hypoxia potentiated the efficacy of combined cediranib/quinacrine: cell viability reductions induced by 1 µM cediranib +2.5 µM quinacrine were 78±7% (hypoxia) vs. 31±3% (normoxia), p<0.05. Apoptosis was markedly increased for cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia versus all other groups. Autophagic vacuole biomarker LC3-II increased robustly in response to cediranib, quinacrine, or hypoxia. Combined cediranib/quinacrine increased LC3-II further, with the largest increases occurring with combined cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia. Early stage autophagy inhibitor 3-MA prevented LC3-II accumulation with combined cediranib/quinacrine/hypoxia and substantially attenuated the associated reduction in cell viability. Combined efficacy of cediranib with bafilomycin A1, another late-stage autophagy inhibitor, was additive but lacked substantial potentiation by hypoxia. Substantially lower LC3-II accumulation was observed with bafilomycin A1 in comparison to quinacrine. Cediranib and quinacrine each strongly inhibited Akt phosphoryation, while bafilomycin A1 had no effect. Our results provide compelling evidence that autophagic vacuole accumulation plays a causal role in the anti-glioma cytotoxic efficacy of combined cediranib/quinacrine. Such accumulation is likely related to stimulation of autophagosome induction by hypoxia, which is prevalent in the glioma tumor microenvironment, as well as Akt signaling inhibition from both cediranib and quinacrine. Quinacrine's unique ability to inhibit both Akt and autophagic vacuole degradation may enhance its ability to drive cytotoxic autophagic vacuole accumulation. These findings provide a rationale for a clinical evaluation of combined cediranib/quinacrine therapy for malignant glioma.

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<![CDATA[OTSSP167 Abrogates Mitotic Checkpoint through Inhibiting Multiple Mitotic Kinases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5dab0ee8fa60b9055c

OTSSP167 was recently characterized as a potent inhibitor for maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK) and is currently tested in Phase I clinical trials for solid tumors that have not responded to other treatment. Here we report that OTSSP167 abrogates the mitotic checkpoint at concentrations used to inhibit MELK. The abrogation is not recapitulated by RNAi mediated silencing of MELK in cells. Although OTSSP167 indeed inhibits MELK, it exhibits off-target activity against Aurora B kinase in vitro and in cells. Furthermore, OTSSP167 inhibits BUB1 and Haspin kinases, reducing phosphorylation at histones H2AT120 and H3T3 and causing mislocalization of Aurora B and associated chromosomal passenger complex from the centromere/kinetochore. The results suggest that OTSSP167 may have additional mechanisms of action for cancer cell killing and caution the use of OTSSP167 as a MELK specific kinase inhibitor in biochemical and cellular assays.

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<![CDATA[Efficacy of targeted drugs in germ cell cancer cell lines with differential cisplatin sensitivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be044b

Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common malignancies in men between the age of 15 and 35. Although cisplatin-based chemotherapy is highly effective in advanced disease, approximately 20% of patients have an unfavorable prognosis due to primary or acquired cisplatin resistance. For these patients, new therapeutic options are urgently needed. In numerous tumor entities, combinations of monoclonal antibodies or kinase inhibitors with chemotherapy exerted promising preclinical or clinical results, which have led to new treatment concepts. This prompted us to investigate the activity of different targeted agents alone or in combination with cisplatin in a panel of TGCT cell lines.

Methods

The in vitro activity of kinase inhibitors targeting mTOR (RAD001), EGFR, HER2/neu, VEGFR (AEE788) and IGF-1R (AEW541) alone or in combination with cisplatin was tested in the cisplatin sensitive TGCT cell lines H12.1 and GCT72 as well as in the resistant cell lines H12.1RA, H12.1D, 1411HP and 1777NRpmet using the sulforhodamin-B-(SRB)-cytotoxicity-assay. To evaluate the activity of the kinase inhibitors, western blot analysis of the targeted receptors and their phosphorylated state was performed before and after exposure to each substance.

Results

The different kinase inhibitors demonstrated significant cell growth inhibition in both cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines. The examined cell lines showed different protein expression levels of the targeted receptors. However there was no correlation between the targeted receptor expression and phosphorylation level and the antiproliferative effect of the respective agent. Furthermore, the combination of cisplatin and the kinase inhibitors exerted both additive and antagonistic effects in the studied cell lines.

Conclusion

Our data suggest potential activity of the investigated kinase inhibitors in both cisplatin sensitive and resistant TGCT cell lines as a single agent. However, when combined with cisplatin they did not demonstrate any promising ability to overcome cisplatin resistance in TGCTs.

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<![CDATA[Suppression of Vimentin Phosphorylation by the Avian Reovirus p17 through Inhibition of CDK1 and Plk1 Impacting the G2/M Phase of the Cell Cycle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bac78a

The p17 protein of avian reovirus (ARV) causes cell cycle retardation in a variety of cell lines; however, the underlying mechanism(s) by which p17 regulates the cell cycle remains largely unknown. We demonstrate for the first time that p17 interacts with CDK1 and vimentin as revealed by reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation and GST pull-down assays. Both in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that direct interaction of p17 and CDK1/vimentin was mapped within the amino terminus (aa 1–60) of p17 and central region (aa 27–118) of CDK1/vimentin. Furthermore, p17 was found to occupy the Plk1-binding site within the vimentin, thereby blocking Plk1 recruitment to CDK1-induced vimentin phosphorylation at Ser 56. Interaction of p17 to CDK1 or vimentin interferes with CDK1-catalyzed phosphorylation of vimentin at Ser 56 and subsequently vimentin phosphorylation at Ser 82 by Plk1. Furthermore, we have identified upstream signaling pathways and cellular factor(s) targeted by p17 and found that p17 regulates inhibitory phosphorylation of CDK1 and blocks vimentin phosphorylation at Ser 56 and Ser 82. The p17-mediated inactivation of CDK1 is dependent on several mechanisms, which include direct interaction with CDK1, p17-mediated suppression of Plk1 by activating the Tpr/p53 and ATM/Chk1/PP2A pathways, and p17-mediated cdc25C degradation via an ubiquitin- proteasome pathway. Additionally, depletion of p53 with a shRNA as well as inhibition of ATM and vimentin by inhibitors diminished virus yield while Tpr and CDK1 knockdown increased virus yield. Taken together, results demonstrate that p17 suppresses both CDK1 and Plk1functions, disrupts vimentin phosphorylation, causes G2/M cell cycle arrest and thus benefits virus replication.

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<![CDATA[The Curcumin Analog C-150, Influencing NF-κB, UPR and Akt/Notch Pathways Has Potent Anticancer Activity In Vitro and In Vivo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db42ab0ee8fa60bd7301

C-150 a Mannich-type curcumin derivative, exhibited pronounced cytotoxic effects against eight glioma cell lines at micromolar concentrations. Inhibition of cell proliferation by C-150 was mediated by affecting multiple targets as confirmed at transcription and protein level. C-150 effectively reduced the transcription activation of NFkB, inhibited PKC-alpha which are constitutively over-expressed in glioblastoma. The effects of C-150 on the Akt/ Notch signaling were also demonstrated in a Drosophila tumorigenesis model. C-150 reduced the number of tumors in Drosophila with similar efficacy to mitoxantrone. In an in vivo orthotopic glioma model, C-150 significantly increased the median survival of treated nude rats compared to control animals. The multi-target action of C-150, and its preliminary in vivo efficacy would render this curcumin analogue as a potent clinical candidate against glioblastoma.

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<![CDATA[The effects of substance P and acetylcholine on human tenocyte proliferation converge mechanistically via TGF-β1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbedb

Previous in vitro studies on human tendon cells (tenocytes) have demonstrated that the exogenous administration of substance P (SP) and acetylcholine (ACh) independently result in tenocyte proliferation, which is a prominent feature of tendinosis. Interestingly, the possible link between SP and ACh has not yet been explored in human tenocytes. Recent studies in other cell types demonstrate that both SP and ACh independently upregulate TGF-β1 expression via their respective receptors, the neurokinin 1 receptor (NK-1R) and muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChRs). Furthermore, TGF-β1 has been shown to downregulate NK-1R expression in human keratocytes. The aim of this study was to examine if TGF-β1 is the intermediary player involved in mediating the proliferative pathway shared by SP and ACh in human tenocytes. The results showed that exogenous administration of SP and ACh both caused significant upregulation of TGF-β1 at the mRNA and protein levels. Exposing cells to TGF-β1 resulted in increased cell viability of tenocytes, which was blocked in the presence of the TGFβRI/II kinase inhibitor. In addition, the proliferative effects of SP and ACh on tenocytes were reduced by the TGFβRI/II kinase inhibitor; this supports the hypothesis that the proliferative effects of these signal substances are mediated via the TGF-β axis. Furthermore, exogenous TGF-β1 downregulated NK-1R and mAChRs expression at both the mRNA and protein levels, and these effects were negated by simultaneous exposure to the TGFβRI/II kinase inhibitor, suggesting a negative feedback loop. In conclusion, the results indicate that TGF-β1 is the intermediary player through which the proliferative actions of both SP and ACh converge mechanistically.

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<![CDATA[Kinase Inhibition Leads to Hormesis in a Dual Phosphorylation-Dephosphorylation Cycle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da76ab0ee8fa60b96bf6

Many antimicrobial and anti-tumour drugs elicit hormetic responses characterised by low-dose stimulation and high-dose inhibition. While this can have profound consequences for human health, with low drug concentrations actually stimulating pathogen or tumour growth, the mechanistic understanding behind such responses is still lacking. We propose a novel, simple but general mechanism that could give rise to hormesis in systems where an inhibitor acts on an enzyme. At its core is one of the basic building blocks in intracellular signalling, the dual phosphorylation-dephosphorylation motif, found in diverse regulatory processes including control of cell proliferation and programmed cell death. Our analytically-derived conditions for observing hormesis provide clues as to why this mechanism has not been previously identified. Current mathematical models regularly make simplifying assumptions that lack empirical support but inadvertently preclude the observation of hormesis. In addition, due to the inherent population heterogeneities, the presence of hormesis is likely to be masked in empirical population-level studies. Therefore, examining hormetic responses at single-cell level coupled with improved mathematical models could substantially enhance detection and mechanistic understanding of hormesis.

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<![CDATA[Extracellular Release of CD11b by TLR9 Stimulation in Macrophages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da27ab0ee8fa60b81054

CpG-DNA upregulates the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and cell surface markers. Investigators have shown that CD11b (integrin αM) regulates TLR-triggered inflammatory responses in the macrophages and dendritic cells. Therefore, we aimed to identify the effects of CpG-DNA on the expression of CD11b in macrophages. There was no significant change in surface expression of CD11b after CpG-DNA stimulation. However, CD11b was released into culture supernatants after stimulation with phosphorothioate-backbone modified CpG-DNA such as PS-ODN CpG-DNA 1826(S). In contrast, MB-ODN 4531 and non-CpG-DNA control (regardless of backbone type and liposome-encapsulation) failed to induce release of CD11b. Therefore, the context of the CpG-DNA sequence and phosphorothioate backbone modification may regulate the effects of CpG-DNA on CD11b release. Based on inhibitor studies, CD11b release is mediated by p38 MAP kinase activation, but not by the PI3K and NF-κB activation. CD11b release is mediated by lysosomal degradation and by vacuolar acidification in response to CpG-DNA stimulation. The amount of CD11b in the exosome precipitant was significantly increased by CpG-DNA stimulation in vivo and in vitro depending on TLR9. Our observations perhaps give more insight into understanding of the mechanisms involved in CpG-DNA-induced immunomodulation in the innate immunity.

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<![CDATA[MET-EGFR dimerization in lung adenocarcinoma is dependent on EGFR mtations and altered by MET kinase inhibition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcbe5

Advanced lung cancer has poor survival with few therapies. EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have high response rates in patients with activating EGFR mutations, but acquired resistance is inevitable. Acquisition of the EGFR T790M mutation causes over 50% of resistance; MET amplification is also common. Preclinical data suggest synergy between MET and EGFR inhibitors. We hypothesized that EGFR-MET dimerization determines response to MET inhibition, depending on EGFR mutation status, independently of MET copy number. We tested this hypothesis by generating isogenic cell lines from NCI-H1975 cells, which co-express L858R and T790M EGFR mutations, namely H1975L858R/T790M (EGFR TKI resistant); H1975L858R (sensitized) and H1975WT (wild-type). We assessed cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth/stroma formation in derived xenograft models in response to a MET TKI (SGX523) and correlated with EGFR-MET dimerization assessed by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). SGX523 significantly reduced H1975L858R/T790M cell proliferation, xenograft tumor growth and decreased ERK phosphorylation. The same was not seen in H1975L858R or H1975WT cells. SGX523 only reduced stroma formation in H1975L858R. SGX523 reduced EGFR-MET dimerization in H1975L858R/T790M but induced dimer formation in H1975L858R with no effect in H1975WT. Our data suggests that MET inhibition by SGX523 and EGFR-MET heterodimerisation are determined by EGFR genotype. As tumor behaviour is modulated by this interaction, this could determine treatment efficacy.

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<![CDATA[A BCR-ABL1 cutoff of 1.5% at 3 months, determined by the GeneXpert system, predicts an optimal response in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc521

In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients, 3-month BCR-ABL1 levels have consistently been correlated with further outcomes. Monitoring molecular responses in CML using the GeneXpert (Cepheid) platform has shown an optimal correlation with standardized RQ-PCR (IS) when measuring BCR-ABL1 levels lower than 10%, as it is not accurate for values over 10%. The aim of the present study was to determine the predictive molecular value at three months on different outcome variables using the Xpert BCR-ABL1 MonitorTM assay (Xpert BCR-ABL1). We monitored 125 newly diagnosed consecutive CML patients in the chronic phase (CML-CP) using an automated method: Xpert BCR-ABL1. Only 5% of patients did not achieve an optimal response at 3 months, and the 10% BCR-ABL1 cutoff defined by RQ-PCR (IS) methods was unable to identify significant differences in the probabilities of achieving a complete cytogenetic response (CCyR) (50% vs. 87%, p = 0.1) or a major molecular response (MMR) (60% vs. 80%, p = 0.29) by 12 months. In contrast, a cutoff of 1.5% more accurately identified differences in the probabilities of achieving CCyR (98% vs. 54%, p<0.001) and MMR (88% vs. 56%, p<0.001) by 12 months, as well as probabilities of treatment changes (p = 0.005). Therefore, when using the Xpert BCR-ABL1 assay, a cutoff of 1.5% at 3 months could with high probability identify patients able to achieve an optimal response at 12 months.

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<![CDATA[Inhibition of IKKα by BAY61-3606 Reveals IKKα-Dependent Histone H3 Phosphorylation in Human Cytomegalovirus Infected Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbe026

Protein kinase inhibitors can be used as tools to identify proteins and pathways required for virus replication. Using virus replication assays and western blotting we found that the widely used protein kinase inhibitor BAY61-3606 inhibits replication of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) strain AD169 and the accumulation of HCMV immediate-early proteins in AD169 infected cells, but has no effect on replication of HCMV strain Merlin. Using in vitro kinase assays we found that BAY61-3606 is a potent inhibitor of the cellular kinase IKKα. Infection of cells treated with siRNA targeting IKKα indicated IKKα was required for efficient AD169 replication and immediate-early protein production. We hypothesized that IKKα was required for AD169 immediate-early protein production as part of the canonical NF-κB signaling pathway. However, although BAY61-3606 inhibited phosphorylation of the IKKα substrate IκBα, we found no canonical or non-canonical NF-κB signaling in AD169 infected cells. Rather, we observed that treatment of cells with BAY61-3606 or siRNA targeting IKKα decreased phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 (H3S10p) in western blotting assays. Furthermore, we found treatment of cells with BAY61-3606, but not siRNA targeting IKKα, inhibited the accumulation of histone H3 acetylation (H3K9ac, H3K18ac and H3K27ac) and tri-methylation (H3K27me3 and H3K36me3) modifications. Therefore, the requirement for IKKα in HCMV replication was strain-dependent and during replication of an HCMV strain requiring IKKα, IKKα-dependent H3S10 phosphorylation was associated with efficient HCMV replication and immediate-early protein production. Plus, inhibition of HCMV replication by BAY61-3606 is associated with acetylation and tri-methylation modifications of histone H3 that do not involve IKKα.

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<![CDATA[Chemical Screens Identify Drugs that Enhance or Mitigate Cellular Responses to Antibody-Toxin Fusion Proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da36ab0ee8fa60b863a8

The intersection of small molecular weight drugs and antibody-based therapeutics is rarely studied in large scale. Both types of agents are currently part of the cancer armamentarium. However, very little is known about how to combine them in optimal ways. Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin gene fusion proteins engineered to target cancer cells via antibody binding to surface antigens. For fusion proteins derived from Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE), potency relies on the enzymatic domain of the toxin which catalyzes the ADP-ribosylation of EF2 causing inhibition of protein synthesis leading to cell death. Candidate immunotoxins have demonstrated clear value in clinical trials but generally have not been curative as single agents. Therefore we undertook three screens to discover effective combinations that could act synergistically. From the MIPE-3 library of compounds we identified various enhancers of immunotoxin action and at least one major class of inhibitor. Follow-up experiments confirmed the screening data and suggested that immunotoxins when administered with everolimus or nilotinib exhibit favorable combinatory activity and would be candidates for preclinical development. Mechanistic studies revealed that everolimus-immunotoxin combinations acted synergistically on elements of the protein synthetic machinery, including S61 kinase and 4E-BP1 of the mTORC1 pathway. Conversely, PARP inhibitors antagonized immunotoxins and also blocked the toxicity due to native ADP-ribosylating toxins. Thus, our goal of investigating a chemical library was justified based on the identification of several approved compounds that could be developed preclinically as ‘enhancers’ and at least one class of mitigator to be avoided.

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<![CDATA[Biochemical Screening of Five Protein Kinases from Plasmodium falciparum against 14,000 Cell-Active Compounds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db09ab0ee8fa60bc96d9

In 2010 the identities of thousands of anti-Plasmodium compounds were released publicly to facilitate malaria drug development. Understanding these compounds’ mechanisms of action—i.e., the specific molecular targets by which they kill the parasite—would further facilitate the drug development process. Given that kinases are promising anti-malaria targets, we screened ~14,000 cell-active compounds for activity against five different protein kinases. Collections of cell-active compounds from GlaxoSmithKline (the ~13,000-compound Tres Cantos Antimalarial Set, or TCAMS), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (260 compounds), and the Medicines for Malaria Venture (the 400-compound Malaria Box) were screened in biochemical assays of Plasmodium falciparum calcium-dependent protein kinases 1 and 4 (CDPK1 and CDPK4), mitogen-associated protein kinase 2 (MAPK2/MAP2), protein kinase 6 (PK6), and protein kinase 7 (PK7). Novel potent inhibitors (IC50 < 1 μM) were discovered for three of the kinases: CDPK1, CDPK4, and PK6. The PK6 inhibitors are the most potent yet discovered for this enzyme and deserve further scrutiny. Additionally, kinome-wide competition assays revealed a compound that inhibits CDPK4 with few effects on ~150 human kinases, and several related compounds that inhibit CDPK1 and CDPK4 yet have limited cytotoxicity to human (HepG2) cells. Our data suggest that inhibiting multiple Plasmodium kinase targets without harming human cells is challenging but feasible.

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