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BACKGROUND - Our aim was to evaluate lipid trafficking and inflammatory response of macrophages exposed to lipoproteins from subjects with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (CKD), and to investigate the potential benefits of activating cellular cholesterol transporters via liver X receptor (LXR) agonism.
METHODS - LDL and HDL were isolated by sequential density gradient ultracentrifugation of plasma from patients with stage 3-4 CKD and individuals without kidney disease (HDL and HDL, respectively). Uptake of LDL, cholesterol efflux to HDL, and cellular inflammatory responses were assessed in human THP-1 cells. HDL effects on inflammatory markers (MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-1β), Toll-like receptors-2 (TLR-2) and - 4 (TLR-4), ATP-binding cassette class A transporter (ABCA1), NF-κB, extracellular signal regulated protein kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) were assessed by RT-PCR and western blot before and after in vitro treatment with an LXR agonist.
RESULTS - There was no difference in macrophage uptake of LDL isolated from CKD versus controls. By contrast, HD was significantly less effective than HDL in accepting cholesterol from cholesterol-enriched macrophages (median 20.8% [IQR 16.1-23.7] vs control (26.5% [IQR 19.6-28.5]; p = 0.008). LXR agonist upregulated ABCA1 expression and increased cholesterol efflux to HDL of both normal and CKD subjects, although the latter continued to show lower efflux capacity. HDL increased macrophage cytokine response (TNF-α, MCP-1, IL-1β, and NF-κB) versus HDL. The heightened cytokine response to HDL was further amplified in cells treated with LXR agonist. The LXR-augmentation of inflammation was associated with increased TLR-2 and TLR-4 and ERK1/2.
CONCLUSIONS - Moderate to severe impairment in kidney function promotes foam cell formation that reflects impairment in cholesterol acceptor function of HDL. Activation of cellular cholesterol transporters by LXR agonism improves but does not normalize efflux to HDL. However, LXR agonism actually increases the pro-inflammatory effects of HDL through activation of TLRs and ERK1/2 pathways.
Estrogen receptor-α positive (ERα+) breast cancer accounts for approximately 70-80% of the nearly 25,0000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the US each year. Endocrine-targeted therapies (those that block ERα activity) serve as the first line of treatment in most cases. Despite the proven benefit of endocrine therapies, however, ERα+ breast tumors can develop resistance to endocrine therapy, causing disease progression or relapse, particularly in the metastatic setting. Anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins enhance breast tumor cell survival, often promoting resistance to targeted therapies, including endocrine therapies. Herein, we investigated whether blockade of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins could sensitize luminal breast cancers to anti-estrogen treatment. We used long-term estrogen deprivation (LTED) of human ERα+ breast cancer cell lines, an established model of sustained treatment with and acquired resistance to aromatase inhibitors (AIs), in combination with Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition (ABT-263), finding that ABT-263 induced only limited tumor cell killing in LTED-selected cells in culture and in vivo. Interestingly, expression and activity of the Bcl-2-related factor Mcl-1 was increased in LTED cells. Genetic Mcl-1 ablation induced apoptosis in LTED-selected cells, and potently increased their sensitivity to ABT-263. Increased expression and activity of Mcl-1 was similarly seen in clinical breast tumor specimens treated with AI + the selective estrogen receptor downregulator fulvestrant. Delivery of Mcl-1 siRNA loaded into polymeric nanoparticles (MCL1 si-NPs) decreased Mcl-1 expression in LTED-selected and fulvestrant-treated cells, increasing tumor cell death and blocking tumor cell growth. These findings suggest that Mcl-1 upregulation in response to anti-estrogen treatment enhances tumor cell survival, decreasing response to therapeutic treatments. Therefore, strategies blocking Mcl-1 expression or activity used in combination with endocrine therapies would enhance tumor cell death.
The choroid plexus epithelium (CPE) secretes higher volumes of fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, CSF) than any other epithelium and simultaneously functions as the blood-CSF barrier to gate immune cell entry into the central nervous system. Posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH), an expansion of the cerebral ventricles due to CSF accumulation following intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), is a common disease usually treated by suboptimal CSF shunting techniques. PHH is classically attributed to primary impairments in CSF reabsorption, but little experimental evidence supports this concept. In contrast, the potential contribution of CSF secretion to PHH has received little attention. In a rat model of PHH, we demonstrate that IVH causes a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)- and NF-κB-dependent inflammatory response in the CPE that is associated with a ∼3-fold increase in bumetanide-sensitive CSF secretion. IVH-induced hypersecretion of CSF is mediated by TLR4-dependent activation of the Ste20-type stress kinase SPAK, which binds, phosphorylates, and stimulates the NKCC1 co-transporter at the CPE apical membrane. Genetic depletion of TLR4 or SPAK normalizes hyperactive CSF secretion rates and reduces PHH symptoms, as does treatment with drugs that antagonize TLR4-NF-κB signaling or the SPAK-NKCC1 co-transporter complex. These data uncover a previously unrecognized contribution of CSF hypersecretion to the pathogenesis of PHH, demonstrate a new role for TLRs in regulation of the internal brain milieu, and identify a kinase-regulated mechanism of CSF secretion that could be targeted by repurposed US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs to treat hydrocephalus.
Activated fibroblasts are deemed the main executors of organ fibrosis. However, regulation of the pathologic functions of these cells is poorly understood. PDGF receptor (PDGFR) is highly expressed in activated pericytes, a main source of fibroblasts. Studies using a PDGFR promoter-driven Cre system to delete v integrins in activated fibroblasts identified these integrins as core regulators of fibroblast activity across solid organs, including the kidneys. Here, we used the same PDGFR-Cre line to isolate and study renal fibroblasts We found that renal fibroblasts express three v integrins, namely v1, v3, and v5. Blockade of v1 prevented direct binding of fibroblasts to the latency-associated peptide of TGF-1 and prevented activation of the latent TGF- complex. Continuous administration of a recently described potent small molecule inhibitor of v1, compound 8, starting the day of unilateral ureteral obstruction operation, inhibited collagen deposition in the kidneys of mice 14 days later. Compound 8 also effectively attenuated renal failure, as measured by BUN levels in mice fed an adenine diet known to cause renal injury followed by fibrosis. Inhibition of v1 integrin could thus hold promise as a therapeutic intervention in CKD characterized by renal fibrosis.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Dysregulated metabolism can broadly affect therapy resistance by influencing compensatory signaling and expanding proliferation. Given many BRAF-mutated melanoma patients experience disease progression with targeted BRAF inhibitors, we hypothesized therapeutic response is related to tumor metabolic phenotype, and that altering tumor metabolism could change therapeutic outcome. We demonstrated the proliferative kinetics of BRAF-mutated melanoma cells treated with the BRAF inhibitor PLX4720 fall along a spectrum of sensitivity, providing a model system to study the interplay of metabolism and drug sensitivity. We discovered an inverse relationship between glucose availability and sensitivity to BRAF inhibition through characterization of metabolic phenotypes using nearly a dozen metabolic parameters in Principle Component Analysis. Subsequently, we generated rho0 variants that lacked functional mitochondrial respiration and increased glycolytic metabolism. The rho0 cell lines exhibited increased sensitivity to PLX4720 compared to the respiration-competent parental lines. Finally, we utilized the FDA-approved antiretroviral drug zalcitabine to suppress mitochondrial respiration and to force glycolysis in our cell line panel, resulting in increased PLX4720 sensitivity via shifts in EC50 and Hill slope metrics. Our data suggest that forcing tumor glycolysis in melanoma using zalcitabine or other similar approaches may be an adjunct to increase the efficacy of targeted BRAF therapy.
An estimated 40,000 deaths will be attributed to breast cancer in 2016, underscoring the need for improved therapies. Evading cell death is a major hallmark of cancer, driving tumor progression and therapeutic resistance. To evade apoptosis, cancers use antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins to bind to and neutralize apoptotic activators, such as Bim. Investigation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family members in clinical breast cancer datasets revealed greater expression and more frequent gene amplification of as compared with or (Bcl-xL) across three major molecular breast cancer subtypes, Luminal (A and B), HER2-enriched, and Basal-like. While Mcl-1 protein expression was elevated in estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive and ERα-negative tumors as compared with normal breast, Mcl-1 staining was higher in ERα tumors. Targeted Mcl-1 blockade using RNAi increased caspase-mediated cell death in ERα breast cancer cells, resulting in sustained growth inhibition. In contrast, combined blockade of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL only transiently induced apoptosis, as cells rapidly acclimated through Mcl-1 upregulation and enhanced Mcl-1 activity, as measured using Mcl-1/Bim proximity ligation assays. Importantly, gene expression levels correlated inversely with sensitivity to pharmacologic Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition in luminal breast cancer cells, whereas no relationship was seen between the gene expression of or and sensitivity to Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibition. These results demonstrate that breast cancers rapidly deploy Mcl-1 to promote cell survival, particularly when challenged with blockade of other Bcl-2 family members, warranting the continued development of Mcl-1-selective inhibitors for targeted tumor cell killing. Mcl-1 levels predict breast cancer response to inhibitors targeting other Bcl-2 family members, and demonstrate the key role played by Mcl-1 in resistance to this drug class. .
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.
Herein we report the synthesis and characterization of a novel series of N-phenylsulfonyl-1H-pyrrole picolinamides as novel positive allosteric modulators of mGlu4. We detail our work towards finding phenyl replacements for the core scaffold of previously reported phenyl sulfonamides and phenyl sulfone compounds. Our efforts culminated in the identification of N-(1-((3,4-dimethylphenyl)sulfonyl)-1H-pyrrol-3-yl)picolinamide as a potent PAM of mGlu4.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
IMPORTANCE - The PIK3CA mutation is one of the most common mutations in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Through this research we attempt to elicit the role of oncogene dependence and effects of targeted therapy on this PIK3CA mutation.
OBJECTIVES - (1) To determine the role of oncogene dependence on PIK3CA-one of the more common and targetable oncogenes in HNSCC, and (2) to evaluate the consequence of this oncogene on the effectiveness of newly developed targeted therapies.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - This was a cell culture-based, in vitro study performed at an academic research laboratory assessing the viability of PIK3CA-mutated head and neck cell lines when treated with targeted therapy.
EXPOSURES - PIK3CA-mutated head and neck cell lines were treated with 17-AAG, GDC-0941, trametinib, and BEZ-235.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Assessment of cell viability of HNSCC cell lines characterized for PIK3CA mutations or SCC25 cells engineered to express the PIK3CA hotspot mutations E545K or H1047R.
RESULTS - Surprisingly, in engineered cell lines, the hotspot E545K and H1047R mutations conferred increased, rather than reduced, IC50 assay measurements when treated with the respective HSP90, PI3K, and MEK inhibitors, 17-AAG, GDC-0941, and trametinib, compared with the SCC25 control cell lines. When treated with BEZ-235, H1047R-expressing cell lines showed increased sensitivity to inhibition compared with control, whereas those expressing E545K showed slightly increased sensitivity of unclear significance.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - (1) The PIK3CA mutations within our engineered cell model did not lead to enhanced oncogene-dependent cell death when treated with direct inhibition of the PI3K enzyme yet did show increased sensitivity compared with control with dual PI3K/mTOR inhibition. (2) Oncogene addiction to PIK3CA hotspot mutations, if it occurs, is likely to evolve in vivo in the context of additional molecular changes that remain to be identified. Additional study is required to develop new model systems and approaches to determine the role of targeted therapy in the treatment of PI3K-overactive HNSCC tumors.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is commonly associated with chronic hypoxemia in disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Prostacyclin analogs are widely used in the management of PAH patients; however, clinical efficacy and long-term tolerability of some prostacyclin analogs may be compromised by concomitant activation of the E-prostanoid 3 (EP3) receptor. Here, we found that EP3 expression is upregulated in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and human distal pulmonary arteries (PAs) in response to hypoxia. Either pharmacological inhibition of EP3 or Ep3 deletion attenuated both hypoxia and monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension and restrained extracellular matrix accumulation in PAs in rodent models. In a murine PAH model, Ep3 deletion in SMCs, but not endothelial cells, retarded PA medial thickness. Knockdown of EP3α and EP3β, but not EP3γ, isoforms diminished hypoxia-induced TGF-β1 activation. Expression of either EP3α or EP3β in EP3-deficient PASMCs restored TGF-β1 activation in response to hypoxia. EP3α/β activation in PASMCs increased RhoA-dependent membrane type 1 extracellular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) translocation to the cell surface, subsequently activating pro-MMP-2 and promoting TGF-β1 signaling. Activation or disruption of EP3 did not influence PASMC proliferation. Together, our results indicate that EP3 activation facilitates hypoxia-induced vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension in mice and suggest EP3 inhibition as a potential therapeutic strategy for pulmonary hypertension.