Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare and intractable disease characterized by extraskeletal bone formation through endochondral ossification. Patients with FOP harbor point mutations in ACVR1, a type I receptor for BMPs. Although mutated ACVR1 (FOP-ACVR1) has been shown to render hyperactivity in BMP signaling, we and others have uncovered a mechanism by which FOP-ACVR1 mistransduces BMP signaling in response to Activin-A, a molecule that normally transduces TGF-β signaling. Although Activin-A evokes enhanced chondrogenesis in vitro and heterotopic ossification (HO) in vivo, the underlying mechanisms have yet to be revealed. To this end, we developed a high-throughput screening (HTS) system using FOP patient–derived induced pluripotent stem cells (FOP-iPSCs) to identify pivotal pathways in enhanced chondrogenesis that are initiated by Activin-A. In a screen of 6,809 small-molecule compounds, we identified mTOR signaling as a critical pathway for the aberrant chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stromal cells derived from FOP-iPSCs (FOP-iMSCs). Two different HO mouse models, an FOP model mouse expressing FOP-ACVR1 and an FOP-iPSC–based HO model mouse, revealed critical roles for mTOR signaling in vivo. Moreover, we identified ENPP2, an enzyme that generates lysophosphatidic acid, as a linker of FOP-ACVR1 and mTOR signaling in chondrogenesis. These results uncovered the crucial role of the Activin-A/FOP-ACVR1/ENPP2/mTOR axis in FOP pathogenesis.
Kyosuke Hino, Kazuhiko Horigome, Megumi Nishio, Shingo Komura, Sanae Nagata, Chengzhu Zhao, Yonghui Jin, Koichi Kawakami, Yasuhiro Yamada, Akira Ohta, Junya Toguchida, Makoto Ikeya
Preferentially expressed antigen in melanoma (PRAME) is a cancer-testis antigen that is expressed in many cancers and leukemias. In healthy tissue, PRAME expression is limited to the testes and ovaries, making it a highly attractive cancer target. PRAME is an intracellular protein that cannot currently be drugged. After proteasomal processing, the PRAME300–309 peptide ALYVDSLFFL (ALY) is presented in the context of human leukocyte antigen HLA-A*02:01 molecules for recognition by the T cell receptor (TCR) of cytotoxic T cells. Here, we have described Pr20, a TCR mimic (TCRm) human IgG1 antibody that recognizes the cell-surface ALY peptide/HLA-A2 complex. Pr20 is an immunological tool and potential therapeutic agent. Pr20 bound to PRAME+HLA-A2+ cancers. An afucosylated Fc form (Pr20M) directed antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity against PRAME+HLA-A2+ leukemia cells and was therapeutically effective against mouse xenograft models of human leukemia. In some tumors, Pr20 binding markedly increased upon IFN-γ treatment, mediated by induction of the immunoproteasome catalytic subunit β5i. The immunoproteasome reduced internal destructive cleavages within the ALY epitope compared with the constitutive proteasome. The data provide rationale for developing TCRm antibodies as therapeutic agents for cancer, offer mechanistic insight on proteasomal regulation of tumor-associated peptide/HLA antigen complexes, and yield possible therapeutic solutions to target antigens with ultra-low surface presentation.
Aaron Y. Chang, Tao Dao, Ron S. Gejman, Casey A. Jarvis, Andrew Scott, Leonid Dubrovsky, Melissa D. Mathias, Tatyana Korontsvit, Victoriya Zakhaleva, Michael Curcio, Ronald C. Hendrickson, Cheng Liu, David A. Scheinberg
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a largely incurable malignancy of B cell origin with plasmacytic differentiation. Here, we report the identification of a highly effective inhibitor of PEL. This compound, 6-ethylthioinosine (6-ETI), is a nucleoside analog with toxicity to PEL in vitro and in vivo, but not to other lymphoma cell lines tested. We developed and performed resistome analysis, an unbiased approach based on RNA sequencing of resistant subclones, to discover the molecular mechanisms of sensitivity. We found different adenosine kinase–inactivating (ADK-inactivating) alterations in all resistant clones and determined that ADK is required to phosphorylate and activate 6-ETI. Further, we observed that 6-ETI induces ATP depletion and cell death accompanied by S phase arrest and DNA damage only in ADK-expressing cells. Immunohistochemistry for ADK served as a biomarker approach to identify 6-ETI–sensitive tumors, which we documented for other lymphoid malignancies with plasmacytic features. Notably, multiple myeloma (MM) expresses high levels of ADK, and 6-ETI was toxic to MM cell lines and primary specimens and had a robust antitumor effect in a disseminated MM mouse model. Several nucleoside analogs are effective in treating leukemias and T cell lymphomas, and 6-ETI may fill this niche for the treatment of PEL, plasmablastic lymphoma, MM, and other ADK-expressing cancers.
Utthara Nayar, Jouliana Sadek, Jonathan Reichel, Denise Hernandez-Hopkins, Gunkut Akar, Peter J. Barelli, Michelle A. Sahai, Hufeng Zhou, Jennifer Totonchy, David Jayabalan, Ruben Niesvizky, Ilaria Guasparri, Duane Hassane, Yifang Liu, Shizuko Sei, Robert H. Shoemaker, J. David Warren, Olivier Elemento, Kenneth M. Kaye, Ethel Cesarman
Quiescent and proliferating leukemia cells accumulate highly lethal DNA double-strand breaks that are repaired by 2 major mechanisms: BRCA-dependent homologous recombination and DNA-dependent protein kinase–mediated (DNA-PK–mediated) nonhomologous end-joining, whereas DNA repair pathways mediated by poly(ADP)ribose polymerase 1 (PARP1) serve as backups. Here we have designed a personalized medicine approach called gene expression and mutation analysis (GEMA) to identify BRCA- and DNA-PK–deficient leukemias either directly, using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR, microarrays, and flow cytometry, or indirectly, by the presence of oncogenes such as BCR-ABL1. DNA-PK–deficient quiescent leukemia cells and BRCA/DNA-PK–deficient proliferating leukemia cells were sensitive to PARP1 inhibitors that were administered alone or in combination with current antileukemic drugs. In conclusion, GEMA-guided targeting of PARP1 resulted in dual cellular synthetic lethality in quiescent and proliferating immature leukemia cells, and is thus a potential approach to eradicate leukemia stem and progenitor cells that are responsible for initiation and manifestation of the disease. Further, an analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas database indicated that this personalized medicine approach could also be applied to treat numerous solid tumors from individual patients.
Margaret Nieborowska-Skorska, Katherine Sullivan, Yashodhara Dasgupta, Paulina Podszywalow-Bartnicka, Grazyna Hoser, Silvia Maifrede, Esteban Martinez, Daniela Di Marcantonio, Elisabeth Bolton-Gillespie, Kimberly Cramer-Morales, Jaewong Lee, Min Li, Artur Slupianek, Daniel Gritsyuk, Sabine Cerny-Reiterer, Ilona Seferynska, Tomasz Stoklosa, Lars Bullinger, Huaqing Zhao, Vera Gorbunova, Katarzyna Piwocka, Peter Valent, Curt I. Civin, Markus Muschen, John E. Dick, Jean C.Y. Wang, Smita Bhatia, Ravi Bhatia, Kolia Eppert, Mark D. Minden, Stephen M. Sykes, Tomasz Skorski
The clinical utility of inhibiting cytochrome P450 17A1 (CYP17), a cytochrome p450 enzyme that is required for the production of androgens, has been exemplified by the approval of abiraterone for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Recently, however, it has been reported that CYP17 inhibitors can interact directly with the androgen receptor (AR). A phase I study recently reported that seviteronel, a CYP17 lyase–selective inhibitor, demonstrated a sustained reduction in prostate-specific antigen in a patient with CRPC, and another study showed seviteronel’s direct effects on AR function. This suggested that seviteronel may have therapeutically relevant activities in addition to its ability to inhibit androgen production. Here, we have demonstrated that CYP17 inhibitors, with the exception of orteronel, can function as competitive AR antagonists. Conformational profiling revealed that the CYP17 inhibitor–bound AR adopted a conformation that resembled the unliganded AR (apo-AR), precluding nuclear localization and DNA binding. Further, we observed that seviteronel and abiraterone inhibited the growth of tumor xenografts expressing the clinically relevant mutation AR-F876L and that this activity could be attributed entirely to competitive AR antagonism. The results of this study suggest that the ability of CYP17 inhibitors to directly antagonize the AR may contribute to their clinical efficacy in CRPC.
John D. Norris, Stephanie J. Ellison, Jennifer G. Baker, David B. Stagg, Suzanne E. Wardell, Sunghee Park, Holly M. Alley, Robert M. Baldi, Alexander Yllanes, Kaitlyn J. Andreano, James P. Stice, Scott A. Lawrence, Joel R. Eisner, Douglas K. Price, William R. Moore, William D. Figg, Donald P. McDonnell
Therapies using T cells that are programmed to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR T cells) consistently produce positive results in patients with hematologic malignancies. However, CAR T cell treatments are less effective in solid tumors for several reasons. First, lymphocytes do not efficiently target CAR T cells; second, solid tumors create an immunosuppressive microenvironment that inactivates T cell responses; and third, solid cancers are typified by phenotypic diversity and thus include cells that do not express proteins targeted by the engineered receptors, enabling the formation of escape variants that elude CAR T cell targeting. Here, we have tested implantable biopolymer devices that deliver CAR T cells directly to the surfaces of solid tumors, thereby exposing them to high concentrations of immune cells for a substantial time period. In immunocompetent orthotopic mouse models of pancreatic cancer and melanoma, we found that CAR T cells can migrate from biopolymer scaffolds and eradicate tumors more effectively than does systemic delivery of the same cells. We have also demonstrated that codelivery of stimulator of IFN genes (STING) agonists stimulates immune responses to eliminate tumor cells that are not recognized by the adoptively transferred lymphocytes. Thus, these devices may improve the effectiveness of CAR T cell therapy in solid tumors and help protect against the emergence of escape variants.
Tyrel T. Smith, Howell F. Moffett, Sirkka B. Stephan, Cary F. Opel, Amy G. Dumigan, Xiuyun Jiang, Venu G. Pillarisetty, Smitha P. S. Pillai, K. Dane Wittrup, Matthias T. Stephan
Global health is threatened by emerging viral infections, which largely lack effective vaccines or therapies. Targeting host pathways that are exploited by multiple viruses could offer broad-spectrum solutions. We previously reported that AAK1 and GAK, kinase regulators of the host adaptor proteins AP1 and AP2, are essential for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the underlying mechanism and relevance to other viruses or in vivo infections remained unknown. Here, we have discovered that AP1 and AP2 cotraffic with HCV particles in live cells. Moreover, we found that multiple viruses, including dengue and Ebola, exploit AAK1 and GAK during entry and infectious virus production. In cultured cells, treatment with sunitinib and erlotinib, approved anticancer drugs that inhibit AAK1 or GAK activity, or with more selective compounds inhibited intracellular trafficking of HCV and multiple unrelated RNA viruses with a high barrier to resistance. In murine models of dengue and Ebola infection, sunitinib/erlotinib combination protected against morbidity and mortality. We validated sunitinib- and erlotinib-mediated inhibition of AAK1 and GAK activity as an important mechanism of antiviral action. Additionally, we revealed potential roles for additional kinase targets. These findings advance our understanding of virus-host interactions and establish a proof of principle for a repurposed, host-targeted approach to combat emerging viruses.
Elena Bekerman, Gregory Neveu, Ana Shulla, Jennifer Brannan, Szu-Yuan Pu, Stanley Wang, Fei Xiao, Rina Barouch-Bentov, Russell R. Bakken, Roberto Mateo, Jennifer Govero, Claude M. Nagamine, Michael S. Diamond, Steven De Jonghe, Piet Herdewijn, John M. Dye, Glenn Randall, Shirit Einav
Aminoglycosides (AGs) are broad-spectrum antibiotics that are associated with kidney damage, balance disorders, and permanent hearing loss. This damage occurs primarily by killing of proximal tubule kidney cells and mechanosensory hair cells, though the mechanisms underlying cell death are not clear. Imaging molecules of interest in living cells can elucidate how molecules enter cells, traverse intracellular compartments, and interact with sites of activity. Here, we have imaged fluorescently labeled AGs in live zebrafish mechanosensory hair cells. We determined that AGs enter hair cells via both nonendocytic and endocytic pathways. Both routes deliver AGs from the extracellular space to lysosomes, and structural differences between AGs alter the efficiency of this delivery. AGs with slower delivery to lysosomes were immediately toxic to hair cells, and impeding lysosome delivery increased AG-induced death. Therefore, pro-death cascades induced at early time points of AG exposure do not appear to derive from the lysosome. Our findings help clarify how AGs induce hair cell death and reveal properties that predict toxicity. Establishing signatures for AG toxicity may enable more efficient evaluation of AG treatment paradigms and structural modifications to reduce hair cell damage. Further, this work demonstrates how following fluorescently labeled drugs at high resolution in living cells can reveal important details about how drugs of interest behave.
Dale W. Hailey, Robert Esterberg, Tor H. Linbo, Edwin W. Rubel, David W. Raible
The AXL receptor and its activating ligand, growth arrest–specific 6 (GAS6), are important drivers of metastasis and therapeutic resistance in human cancers. Given the critical roles that GAS6 and AXL play in refractory disease, this signaling axis represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, the strong picomolar binding affinity between GAS6 and AXL and the promiscuity of small molecule inhibitors represent important challenges faced by current anti-AXL therapeutics. Here, we have addressed these obstacles by engineering a second-generation, high-affinity AXL decoy receptor with an apparent affinity of 93 femtomolar to GAS6. Our decoy receptor, MYD1-72, profoundly inhibited disease progression in aggressive preclinical models of human cancers and induced cell killing in leukemia cells. When directly compared with the most advanced anti-AXL small molecules in the clinic, MYD1-72 achieved superior antitumor efficacy while displaying no toxicity. Moreover, we uncovered a relationship between AXL and the cellular response to DNA damage whereby abrogation of AXL signaling leads to accumulation of the DNA-damage markers γH2AX, 53BP1, and RAD51. MYD1-72 exploited this relationship, leading to improvements upon the therapeutic index of current standard-of-care chemotherapies in preclinical models of advanced pancreatic and ovarian cancer.
Mihalis S. Kariolis, Yu Rebecca Miao, Anh Diep, Shannon E. Nash, Monica M. Olcina, Dadi Jiang, Douglas S. Jones II, Shiven Kapur, Irimpan I. Mathews, Albert C. Koong, Erinn B. Rankin, Jennifer R. Cochran, Amato J. Giaccia
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) encompasses a diverse group of Mendelian disorders leading to progressive degeneration of rods and then cones. For reasons that remain unclear, diseased RP photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to cell death and, consequently, loss of vision. Here, we have hypothesized that RP associated with mutations in phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6) provokes a metabolic aberration in rod cells that promotes the pathological consequences of elevated cGMP and Ca2+, which are induced by the
Lijuan Zhang, Jianhai Du, Sally Justus, Chun-Wei Hsu, Luis Bonet-Ponce, Wen-Hsuan Wu, Yi-Ting Tsai, Wei-Pu Wu, Yading Jia, Jimmy K. Duong, Vinit B. Mahajan, Chyuan-Sheng Lin, Shuang Wang, James B. Hurley, Stephen H. Tsang
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