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Novel therapeutic regulators of uterine contractility are needed to manage preterm labor, induce labor and control postpartum hemorrhage. Therefore, we previously developed a high-throughput assay for large-scale screening of small molecular compounds to regulate calcium-mobilization in primary mouse uterine myometrial cells. The goal of this study was to select the optimal myometrial cells for our high-throughput drug discovery assay, as well as determine the similarity or differences of myometrial cells to vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs)-the most common off-target of current myometrial therapeutics. Molecular and pharmacological assays were used to compare myometrial cells from four sources: primary cells isolated from term pregnant human and murine myometrium, immortalized pregnant human myometrial (PHM-1) cells and immortalized non-pregnant human myometrial (hTERT-HM) cells. In addition, myometrial cells were compared to vascular SMCs. We found that the transcriptome profiles of hTERT-HM and PHM1 cells were most similar (r = 0.93 and 0.90, respectively) to human primary myometrial cells. Comparative transcriptome profiling of primary human myometrial transcriptome and VSMCs revealed 498 upregulated (p ≤ 0.01, log2FC≥1) genes, of which 142 can serve as uterine-selective druggable targets. In the high-throughput Ca-assay, PHM1 cells had the most similar response to primary human myometrial cells in OT-induced Ca-release (E = 195% and 143%, EC = 30 nM and 120 nM, respectively), while all sources of myometrial cells showed excellent and similar robustness and reproducibility (Z' = 0.52 to 0.77). After testing a panel of 61 compounds, we found that the stimulatory and inhibitory responses of hTERT-HM cells were highly-correlated (r = 0.94 and 0.95, respectively) to human primary cells. Moreover, ten compounds were identified that displayed uterine-selectivity (≥5-fold E or EC compared to VSMCs). Collectively, this study found that hTERT-HM cells exhibited the most similarity to primary human myometrial cells and, therefore, is an optimal substitute for large-scale screening to identify novel therapeutic regulators of myometrial contractility. Moreover, VSMCs can serve as an important counter-screening tool to assess uterine-selectivity of targets and drugs given the similarity observed in the transcriptome and response to compounds.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Endolysosome entrapment is one of the key barriers to the therapeutic use of biologic drugs that act intracellularly. The screening of prospective nanoscale endosome-disrupting delivery technologies is currently limited by methods that are indirect and cumbersome. Here, we statistically validate Galectin 8 (Gal8) intracellular tracking as a superior approach that is direct, quantitative, and predictive of therapeutic cargo intracellular bioactivity through in vitro high-throughput screening and in vivo validation. Gal8 is a cytosolically dispersed protein that, when endosomes are disrupted, redistributes by binding to glycosylation moieties selectively located on the inner face of endosomal membranes. The quantitative redistribution of a Gal8 fluorescent fusion protein from the cytosol into endosomes is demonstrated as a real-time, live-cell assessment of endosomal integrity that does not require labeling or modification of either the carrier or the biologic drug and that allows quantitative distinction between closely related, endosome-disruptive drug carriers. Through screening two families of siRNA polymeric carrier compositions at varying dosages, we show that Gal8 endosomal recruitment correlates strongly ( r = 0.95 and p < 10) with intracellular siRNA bioactivity. Through this screen, we gathered insights into how composition and molecular weight affect endosome disruption activity of poly[(ethylene glycol)- b-[(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)- co-(butyl methacrylate)]] [PEG-(DMAEMA- co-BMA)] siRNA delivery systems. Additional studies showed that Gal8 recruitment predicts intracellular bioactivity better than current standard methods such as Lysotracker colocalization ( r = 0.35, not significant), pH-dependent hemolysis (not significant), or cellular uptake ( r = 0.73 and p < 10). Importantly, the Gal8 recruitment method is also amenable to fully objective high-throughput screening using automated image acquisition and quantitative image analysis, with a robust estimated Z' of 0.6 (whereas assays with Z' > 0 have high-throughput screening utility). Finally, we also provide measurements of in vivo endosomal disruption based on Gal8 visualization ( p < 0.03) of a nanocarrier formulation confirmed to produce significant cytosolic delivery and bioactivity of siRNA within tumors ( p < 0.02). In sum, this report establishes the utility of Gal8 subcellular tracking for the rapid optimization and high-throughput screening of the endosome disruption potency of intracellular delivery technologies.
State-of-the-art strategies for proteomics are not able to rapidly interrogate complex peptide mixtures in an untargeted manner with sensitive peptide and protein identification rates. We describe a data-independent acquisition (DIA) approach, microDIA (μDIA), that applies a novel tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) mass spectral deconvolution method to increase the specificity of tandem mass spectra acquired during proteomics experiments. Using the μDIA approach with a 10 min liquid chromatography gradient allowed detection of 3.1-fold more HeLa proteins than the results obtained from data-dependent acquisition (DDA) of the same samples. Additionally, we found the μDIA MS/MS deconvolution procedure is critical for resolving modified peptides with relatively small precursor mass shifts that cause the same peptide sequence in modified and unmodified forms to theoretically cofragment in the same raw MS/MS spectra. The μDIA workflow is implemented in the PROTALIZER software tool which fully automates tandem mass spectral deconvolution, queries every peptide with a library-free search algorithm against a user-defined protein database, and confidently identifies multiple peptides in a single tandem mass spectrum. We also benchmarked μDIA against DDA using a 90 min gradient analysis of HeLa and Escherichia coli peptides that were mixed in predefined quantitative ratios, and our results showed μDIA provided 24% more true positives at the same false positive rate.
Cyclooxygenase-2 catalyses the biosynthesis of prostaglandins from arachidonic acid but also the biosynthesis of prostaglandin glycerol esters (PG-Gs) from 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Previous studies identified PG-Gs as signalling molecules involved in inflammation. Thus, the glyceryl ester of prostaglandin E, PGE-G, mobilizes Ca and activates protein kinase C and ERK, suggesting the involvement of a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). To identify the endogenous receptor for PGE-G, we performed a subtractive screening approach where mRNA from PGE-G response-positive and -negative cell lines was subjected to transcriptome-wide RNA sequencing analysis. We found several GPCRs that are only expressed in the PGE-G responder cell lines. Using a set of functional readouts in heterologous and endogenous expression systems, we identified the UDP receptor P2Y as the specific target of PGE-G. We show that PGE-G and UDP are both agonists at P2Y, but they activate the receptor with extremely different EC values of ~1 pM and ~50 nM, respectively. The identification of the PGE-G/P2Y pair uncovers the signalling mode of PG-Gs as previously under-appreciated products of cyclooxygenase-2.
Preclinical evidence in support of the potential utility of mGlu NAMs for the treatment of a variety of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders is extensive, and multiple such molecules have entered clinical trials. Despite some promising results from clinical studies, no small molecule mGlu NAM has yet to reach market. Here we present the discovery and evaluation of N-(5-fluoropyridin-2-yl)-6-methyl-4-(pyrimidin-5-yloxy)picolinamide (27, VU0424238), a compound selected for clinical evaluation. Compound 27 is more than 900-fold selective for mGlu versus the other mGlu receptors, and binding studies established a K value of 4.4 nM at a known allosteric binding site. Compound 27 had a clearance of 19.3 and 15.5 mL/min/kg in rats and cynomolgus monkeys, respectively. Imaging studies using a known mGlu PET ligand demonstrated 50% receptor occupancy at an oral dose of 0.8 mg/kg in rats and an intravenous dose of 0.06 mg/kg in baboons.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), despite their efficacy as anticancer therapeutics, are associated with cardiovascular side effects ranging from induced arrhythmias to heart failure. We used human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), generated from 11 healthy individuals and 2 patients receiving cancer treatment, to screen U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved TKIs for cardiotoxicities by measuring alterations in cardiomyocyte viability, contractility, electrophysiology, calcium handling, and signaling. With these data, we generated a "cardiac safety index" to reflect the cardiotoxicities of existing TKIs. TKIs with low cardiac safety indices exhibit cardiotoxicity in patients. We also derived endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs) and cardiac fibroblasts (hiPSC-CFs) to examine cell type-specific cardiotoxicities. Using high-throughput screening, we determined that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2)/platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)-inhibiting TKIs caused cardiotoxicity in hiPSC-CMs, hiPSC-ECs, and hiPSC-CFs. With phosphoprotein analysis, we determined that VEGFR2/PDGFR-inhibiting TKIs led to a compensatory increase in cardioprotective insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling in hiPSC-CMs. Up-regulating cardioprotective signaling with exogenous insulin or IGF1 improved hiPSC-CM viability during cotreatment with cardiotoxic VEGFR2/PDGFR-inhibiting TKIs. Thus, hiPSC-CMs can be used to screen for cardiovascular toxicities associated with anticancer TKIs, and the results correlate with clinical phenotypes. This approach provides unexpected insights, as illustrated by our finding that toxicity can be alleviated via cardioprotective insulin/IGF signaling.
Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
An understanding of how cells respond to perturbation is essential for biological applications; however, most approaches for profiling cellular response are limited in scope to pre-established targets. Global analysis of molecular mechanism will advance our understanding of the complex networks constituting cellular perturbation and lead to advancements in areas, such as infectious disease pathogenesis, developmental biology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and toxicology. We have developed a high-throughput multiomics platform for comprehensive, de novo characterization of cellular mechanisms of action. Platform validation using cisplatin as a test compound demonstrates quantification of over 10 000 unique, significant molecular changes in less than 30 days. These data provide excellent coverage of known cisplatin-induced molecular changes and previously unrecognized insights into cisplatin resistance. This proof-of-principle study demonstrates the value of this platform as a resource to understand complex cellular responses in a high-throughput manner.
Shared VH1-46 gene usage has been described in B cells reacting to desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) in the autoimmune disease pemphigus vulgaris (PV), as well as B cells responding to rotavirus capsid protein VP6. In both diseases, VH1-46 B cells bearing few to no somatic mutations can recognize the disease Ag. This intriguing connection between an autoimmune response to self-antigen and an immune response to foreign Ag prompted us to investigate whether VH1-46 B cells may be predisposed to Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity. Focused testing of VH1-46 mAbs previously isolated from PV and rotavirus-exposed individuals indicates that cross-reactivity is rare, found in only one of seven VH1-46 IgG clonotypes. High-throughput screening of IgG B cell repertoires from two PV patients identified no additional cross-reactive clonotypes. Screening of IgM B cell repertoires from one non-PV and three PV patients identified specific cross-reactive Abs in one PV patient, but notably all six cross-reactive clonotypes used VH1-46. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicate that amino acid residues predisposing VH1-46 Abs to Dsg3 reactivity reside in CDR2. However, somatic mutations only rarely promote Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity; most mutations abolish VP6 and/or Dsg3 reactivity. Nevertheless, functional testing identified two cross-reactive VH1-46 Abs that both disrupt keratinocyte adhesion and inhibit rotavirus replication, indicating the potential for VH1-46 Abs to have both pathologic autoimmune and protective immune functions. Taken together, these studies suggest that certain VH1-46 B cell populations may be predisposed to Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity, but multiple mechanisms prevent the onset of autoimmunity after rotavirus exposure.
Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
The development of new anti-cancer therapeutic agents is necessary to improve antitumor efficacy and reduce toxicities. Here we report using a systematic anticancer drug screening approach we developed previously, to concurrently screen colon and glioma cancer cell lines for 2000 compounds with known bioactivity and 1920 compounds with unknown activity. The hits specific to each tumor cell line were then selected, and further tested with the same cells transfected with EGFP (Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein) alone. By comparing the percentage of signal reduction from the same cells transfected with the sensor-conjugated reporter system; hits preferably causing apoptosis were identified. Among the known lead compounds, many cardiac glycosides used as cardiotonic drugs were found to effectively and specifically kill colon cancer cells, while statins (hypolipidemic agents) used as cholesterol lowering drugs were relatively more effective in killing glioma cells.
Replication protein A (RPA) is an essential single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein that initiates the DNA damage response pathway through protein-protein interactions (PPIs) mediated by its 70N domain. The identification and use of chemical probes that can specifically disrupt these interactions is important for validating RPA as a cancer target. A high-throughput screen (HTS) to identify new chemical entities was conducted, and 90 hit compounds were identified. From these initial hits, an anthranilic acid based series was optimized by using a structure-guided iterative medicinal chemistry approach to yield a cell-penetrant compound that binds to RPA70N with an affinity of 812 nm. This compound, 2-(3- (N-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)sulfamoyl)-4-methylbenzamido)benzoic acid (20 c), is capable of inhibiting PPIs mediated by this domain.
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.