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Inhibition of protein-protein interactions by small molecules offers tremendous opportunities for basic research and drug development. One of the fundamental challenges of this research field is the broad lack of available lead structures from nature. Here, we demonstrate that modifications of a chromone-based inhibitor of the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain of the transcription factor STAT5 confer inhibitory activity against STAT3. The binding mode of the most potent STAT3 inhibitor Erasin was analyzed by the investigation of structure-activity relationships, which was facilitated by chemical synthesis and biochemical activity analysis, in combination with molecular docking studies. Erasin inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 with selectivity over STAT5 and STAT1 in cell-based assays, and increases the apoptotic rate of cultured NSCLC cells in a STAT3-dependent manner. This ability of Erasin also extends to HCC-827 cells with acquired resistance against Erlotinib, a clinically used inhibitor of the EGF receptor. Our work validates chromone-based acylhydrazones as privileged structures for antagonizing STAT SH2 domains, and demonstrates that apoptosis can be induced in NSCLC cells with acquired Erlotinib resistance by direct inhibition of STAT3.
Kinases downstream of B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) represent attractive targets for therapy in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). As clinical responses vary, improved knowledge regarding activation and regulation of BCR signaling in individual patients is needed. Here, using phosphospecific flow cytometry to obtain malignant B-cell signaling profiles from 95 patients representing 4 types of NHL revealed a striking contrast between chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) tumors. Lymphoma cells from diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients had high basal phosphorylation levels of most measured signaling nodes, whereas follicular lymphoma cells represented the opposite pattern with no or very low basal levels. MCL showed large interpatient variability in basal levels, and elevated levels for the phosphorylated forms of AKT, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, p38, STAT1, and STAT5 were associated with poor outcome. CLL tumors had elevated basal levels for the phosphorylated forms of BCR-signaling nodes (Src family tyrosine kinase, spleen tyrosine kinase [SYK], phospholipase Cγ), but had low α-BCR-induced signaling. This contrasted MCL tumors, where α-BCR-induced signaling was variable, but significantly potentiated as compared with the other types. Overexpression of CD79B, combined with a gating strategy whereby signaling output was directly quantified per cell as a function of CD79B levels, confirmed a direct relationship between surface CD79B, immunoglobulin M (IgM), and IgM-induced signaling levels. Furthermore, α-BCR-induced signaling strength was variable across patient samples and correlated with BCR subunit CD79B expression, but was inversely correlated with susceptibility to Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) and SYK inhibitors in MCL. These individual differences in BCR levels and signaling might relate to differences in therapy responses to BCR-pathway inhibitors.
© 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.
Despite the global impact of macrophage activation in vascular disease, the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. Here we show, with global proteomic analysis of macrophage cell lines treated with either IFNγ or IL-4, that PARP9 and PARP14 regulate macrophage activation. In primary macrophages, PARP9 and PARP14 have opposing roles in macrophage activation. PARP14 silencing induces pro-inflammatory genes and STAT1 phosphorylation in M(IFNγ) cells, whereas it suppresses anti-inflammatory gene expression and STAT6 phosphorylation in M(IL-4) cells. PARP9 silencing suppresses pro-inflammatory genes and STAT1 phosphorylation in M(IFNγ) cells. PARP14 induces ADP-ribosylation of STAT1, which is suppressed by PARP9. Mutations at these ADP-ribosylation sites lead to increased phosphorylation. Network analysis links PARP9-PARP14 with human coronary artery disease. PARP14 deficiency in haematopoietic cells accelerates the development and inflammatory burden of acute and chronic arterial lesions in mice. These findings suggest that PARP9 and PARP14 cross-regulate macrophage activation.
AIMS - To investigate the hypothesis that alteration in histone acetylation/deacetylation triggers aberrant STAT1/MyD88 expression in macrophages from diabetics. Increased STAT1/MyD88 expression is correlated with sterile inflammation in type 1 diabetic (T1D) mice.
METHODS - To induce diabetes, we injected low-doses of streptozotocin in C57BL/6 mice. Peritoneal or bone marrow-differentiated macrophages were cultured in 5mM (low) or 25mM (high glucose). ChIP analysis of macrophages from nondiabetic or diabetic mice was performed to determine acetylation of lysine 9 in histone H3 in MyD88 and STAT1 promoter regions. Macrophages from diabetic mice were treated with the histone acetyltransferase inhibitor anacardic acid (AA), followed by determination of mRNA expression by qPCR.
RESULTS - Increased STAT1 and MyD88 expression in macrophages from diabetic but not naive mice cultured in low glucose persisted for up to 6days. Macrophages from diabetic mice exhibited increased activity of histone acetyltransferases (HAT) and decreased histone deacetylases (HDAC) activity. We detected increased H3K9Ac binding to Stat1/Myd88 promoters in macrophages from T1D mice and AA in vitro treatment reduced STAT1 and MyD88 mRNA expression.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION - These results indicate that histone acetylation drives elevated Stat1/Myd88 expression in macrophages from diabetic mice, and this mechanism may be involved in sterile inflammation and diabetes comorbidities.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Oncostatin M (OSM) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) are IL-6 family members with a wide range of biological functions. Human OSM (hOSM) and murine LIF (mLIF) act in mouse cells via a LIF receptor (LIFR)-glycoprotein 130 (gp130) heterodimer. In contrast, murine OSM (mOSM) signals mainly via an OSM receptor (OSMR)-gp130 heterodimer and binds with only very low affinity to mLIFR. hOSM and mLIF stimulate bone remodeling by both reducing osteocytic sclerostin and up-regulating the pro-osteoclastic factor receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) in osteoblasts. In the absence of OSMR, mOSM still strongly suppressed sclerostin and stimulated bone formation but did not induce RANKL, suggesting that intracellular signaling activated by the low affinity interaction of mOSM with mLIFR is different from the downstream effects when mLIF or hOSM interacts with the same receptor. Both STAT1 and STAT3 were activated by mOSM in wild type cells or by mLIF/hOSM in wild type and Osmr cells. In contrast, in Osmr primary osteocyte-like cells stimulated with mOSM (therefore acting through mLIFR), microarray expression profiling and Western blotting analysis identified preferential phosphorylation of STAT3 and induction of its target genes but not of STAT1 and its target genes; this correlated with reduced phosphorylation of both gp130 and LIFR. In a mouse model of spontaneous osteopenia caused by hyperactivation of STAT1/3 signaling downstream of gp130 (gp130), STAT1 deletion rescued the osteopenic phenotype, indicating a beneficial effect of promoting STAT3 signaling over STAT1 downstream of gp130 in this low bone mass condition, and this may have therapeutic value.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is associated with chronic systemic inflammation and enhanced susceptibility to systemic bacterial infection (sepsis). We hypothesized that low insulin concentrations in T1DM trigger the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) to produce the lipid mediator leukotriene B4 (LTB4), which triggers systemic inflammation that may increase susceptibility to polymicrobial sepsis. Consistent with chronic inflammation, peritoneal macrophages from two mouse models of T1DM had greater abundance of the adaptor MyD88 (myeloid differentiation factor 88) and its direct transcriptional effector STAT-1 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 1) than macrophages from nondiabetic mice. Expression of Alox5, which encodes 5-LO, and the concentration of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were also increased in peritoneal macrophages and serum from T1DM mice. Insulin treatment reduced LTB4 concentrations in the circulation and Myd88 and Stat1 expression in the macrophages from T1DM mice. T1DM mice treated with a 5-LO inhibitor had reduced Myd88 mRNA in macrophages and increased abundance of IL-1 receptor antagonist and reduced production of IL-β in the circulation. T1DM mice lacking 5-LO or the receptor for LTB4 also produced less proinflammatory cytokines. Compared to wild-type or untreated diabetic mice, T1DM mice lacking the receptor for LTB4 or treated with a 5-LO inhibitor survived polymicrobial sepsis, had reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines, and had decreased bacterial counts. These results uncover a role for LTB4 in promoting sterile inflammation in diabetes and the enhanced susceptibility to sepsis in T1DM.
Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The development of gastritis during Helicobacter pylori infection is dependent on an activated adaptive immune response orchestrated by T helper (Th) cells. However, the relative contributions of the Th1 and Th17 subsets to gastritis and control of infection are still under investigation. To investigate the role of interleukin-21 (IL-21) in the gastric mucosa during H. pylori infection, we combined mathematical modeling of CD4(+) T cell differentiation with in vivo mechanistic studies. We infected IL-21-deficient and wild-type mice with H. pylori strain SS1 and assessed colonization, gastric inflammation, cellular infiltration, and cytokine profiles. Chronically H. pylori-infected IL-21-deficient mice had higher H. pylori colonization, significantly less gastritis, and reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines compared to these parameters in infected wild-type littermates. These in vivo data were used to calibrate an H. pylori infection-dependent, CD4(+) T cell-specific computational model, which then described the mechanism by which IL-21 activates the production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and IL-17 during chronic H. pylori infection. The model predicted activated expression of T-bet and RORγt and the phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT1 and suggested a potential role of IL-21 in the modulation of IL-10. Driven by our modeling-derived predictions, we found reduced levels of CD4(+) splenocyte-specific tbx21 and rorc expression, reduced phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3, and an increase in CD4(+) T cell-specific IL-10 expression in H. pylori-infected IL-21-deficient mice. Our results indicate that IL-21 regulates Th1 and Th17 effector responses during chronic H. pylori infection in a STAT1- and STAT3-dependent manner, therefore playing a major role controlling H. pylori infection and gastritis. Importance: Helicobacter pylori is the dominant member of the gastric microbiota in more than 50% of the world's population. H. pylori colonization has been implicated in gastritis and gastric cancer, as infection with H. pylori is the single most common risk factor for gastric cancer. Current data suggest that, in addition to bacterial virulence factors, the magnitude and types of immune responses influence the outcome of colonization and chronic infection. This study uses a combined computational and experimental approach to investigate how IL-21, a proinflammatory T cell-derived cytokine, maintains the chronic proinflammatory T cell immune response driving chronic gastritis during H. pylori infection. This research will also provide insight into a myriad of other infectious and immune disorders in which IL-21 is increasingly recognized to play a central role. The use of IL-21-related therapies may provide treatment options for individuals chronically colonized with H. pylori as an alternative to aggressive antibiotics.
Copyright © 2014 Carbo et al.
Polymicrobial sepsis induces organ failure and is accompanied by overwhelming inflammatory response and impairment of microbial killing. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ is a nuclear receptor with pleiotropic effects on lipid metabolism, inflammation, and cell proliferation. The insulin-sensitizing drugs thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are specific PPAR-γ agonists. TZDs exert anti-inflammatory actions in different disease models, including polymicrobial sepsis. The TZD pioglitazone, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, improves sepsis outcome; however, the molecular programs that mediate its effect have not been determined. In a murine model of sepsis, we now show that pioglitazone treatment improves microbial clearance and enhances neutrophil recruitment to the site of infection. We also observed reduced proinflammatory cytokine production and high IL-10 levels in pioglitazone-treated mice. These effects were associated with a decrease in STAT-1-dependent expression of MyD88 in vivo and in vitro. IL-10R blockage abolished PPAR-γ-mediated inhibition of MyD88 expression. These data demonstrate that the primary mechanism by which pioglitazone protects against polymicrobial sepsis is through the impairment of MyD88 responses. This appears to represent a novel regulatory program. In this regard, pioglitazone provides advantages as a therapeutic tool, because it improves different aspects of host defense during sepsis, ultimately enhancing survival.
Mucous cell metaplasia is a hallmark of asthma, and may be mediated by signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)-6 signaling. IL-17A is increased in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of patients with severe asthma, and IL-17A also increases mucus production in airway epithelial cells. Asthma therapeutics are being developed that inhibit STAT6 signaling, but the role of IL-17A in inducing mucus production in the absence of STAT6 remains unknown. We hypothesized that IL-17A induces mucous cell metaplasia independent of STAT6, and we tested this hypothesis in two murine models in which increased IL-17A protein expression is evident. In the first model, ovalbumin (OVA)-specific D011.10 Th17 cells were adoptively transferred into wild-type (WT) or STAT6 knockout (KO) mice, and the mice were challenged with OVA or PBS. WT-OVA and STAT6 KO-OVA mice demonstrated increased airway IL-17A and IL-13 protein expression and mucous cell metaplasia, compared with WT-PBS or STAT6 KO-PBS mice. In the second model, WT, STAT1 KO, STAT1/STAT6 double KO (DKO), or STAT1/STAT6/IL-17 receptor A (RA) triple KO (TKO) mice were challenged with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or mock viral preparation, and the mucous cells were assessed. STAT1 KO-RSV mice demonstrated increased airway mucous cell metaplasia compared with WT-RSV mice. STAT1 KO-RSV and STAT1/STAT6 DKO-RSV mice also demonstrated increased mucous cell metaplasia, compared with STAT1/STAT6/IL17RA TKO-RSV mice. We also treated primary murine tracheal epithelial cells (mTECs) from WT and STAT6 KO mice. STAT6 KO mTECs showed increased periodic acid-Schiff staining with IL-17A but not with IL-13. Thus, asthma therapies targeting STAT6 may increase IL-17A protein expression, without preventing IL-17A-induced mucus production.
Constitutive activation of Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling is frequently detected in breast and pancreatic cancer. Inhibiting constitutive STAT3 signaling represents a promising molecular target for therapeutic approach. Using structure-based design, we developed a non-peptide cell-permeable, small molecule, termed as XZH-5, which targeted STAT3 phosphorylation. XZH-5 was found to inhibit STAT3 phosphorylation (Tyr705) and induce apoptosis in human breast and pancreatic cancer cell lines expressing elevated levels of phosphorylated STAT3. XZH-5 could also inhibit interleukin-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation in cancer cell lines expressing low phosphorylated STAT3. Inhibition of STAT3 signaling by XZH-5 was confirmed by the down-regulation of downstream targets of STAT3, such as Cyclin D1, Bcl-2, and Survivin at mRNA level. In addition, XZH-5 inhibited colony formation, cell migration, and enhanced the cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs when combined with Doxorubicin or Gemcitabine. Our results indicate that XZH-5 may be a potential therapeutic agent for breast and pancreatic cancers with constitutive STAT3 signaling.