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RATIONALE - Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a deadly disease of the pulmonary vasculature for which no disease-modifying therapies exist. Small-vessel stiffening and remodeling are fundamental pathological features of pulmonary arterial hypertension that occur early and drive further endovascular cell dysfunction. Bone marrow (BM)-derived proangiogenic cells (PACs), a specialized heterogeneous subpopulation of myeloid lineage cells, are thought to play an important role in pathogenesis.
OBJECTIVE - To determine whether BM-derived PACs directly contributed to experimental pulmonary hypertension (PH) by promoting small-vessel stiffening through 5-HT (serotonin 2B receptor)-mediated signaling.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We performed BM transplants using transgenic donor animals expressing diphtheria toxin secondary to activation of an endothelial-specific tamoxifen-inducible Cre and induced experimental PH using hypoxia with SU5416 to enhance endovascular injury and ablated BM-derived PACs, after which we measured right ventricular systolic pressures in a closed-chest procedure. BM-derived PAC lineage tracing was accomplished by transplanting BM from transgenic donor animals with fluorescently labeled hematopoietic cells and treating mice with a 5-HT antagonist. BM-derived PAC ablation both prevented and reversed experimental PH with SU5416-enhanced endovascular injury, reducing the number of muscularized pulmonary arterioles and normalizing arteriole stiffness as measured by atomic force microscopy. Similarly, treatment with a pharmacological antagonist of 5-HT also prevented experimental PH, reducing the number and stiffness of muscularized pulmonary arterioles. PACs accelerated pulmonary microvascular endothelial cell injury response in vitro, and the presence of BM-derived PACs significantly correlated with stiffer pulmonary arterioles in pulmonary arterial hypertension patients and mice with experimental PH. RNA sequencing of BM-derived PACs showed that 5-HT antagonism significantly altered biologic pathways regulating cell proliferation, locomotion and migration, and cytokine production and response to cytokine stimulus.
CONCLUSIONS - Together, our findings illustrate that BM-derived PACs directly contribute to experimental PH with SU5416-enhanced endovascular injury by mediating small-vessel stiffening and remodeling in a 5-HT signaling-dependent manner.
Yatakemycin (YTM) is an extraordinarily toxic DNA alkylating agent with potent antimicrobial and antitumor properties and is the most recent addition to the CC-1065 and duocarmycin family of natural products. Though bulky DNA lesions the size of those produced by YTM are normally removed from the genome by the nucleotide-excision repair (NER) pathway, YTM adducts are also a substrate for the bacterial DNA glycosylases AlkD and YtkR2, unexpectedly implicating base-excision repair (BER) in their elimination. The reason for the extreme toxicity of these lesions and the molecular basis for the way they are eliminated by BER have been unclear. Here, we describe the structural and biochemical properties of YTM adducts that are responsible for their toxicity, and define the mechanism by which they are excised by AlkD. These findings delineate an alternative strategy for repair of bulky DNA damage and establish the cellular utility of this pathway relative to that of NER.
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.
This Letter describes the continued chemical optimization of the VU0453595 series of M1 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). By surveying alternative 5,6- and 6,6-heterobicylic cores for the 6,7-dihydro-5H-pyrrolo[3,4-b]pyridine-5-one core of VU453595, we found new cores that engendered not only comparable or improved M1 PAM potency, but significantly improved CNS distribution (Kps 0.3-3.1). Moreover, this campaign provided fundamentally distinct M1 PAM chemotypes, greatly expanding the available structural diversity for this valuable CNS target, devoid of hydrogen-bond donors.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Threats to genomic integrity arising from DNA damage are mitigated by DNA glycosylases, which initiate the base excision repair pathway by locating and excising aberrant nucleobases. How these enzymes find small modifications within the genome is a current area of intensive research. A hallmark of these and other DNA repair enzymes is their use of base flipping to sequester modified nucleotides from the DNA helix and into an active site pocket. Consequently, base flipping is generally regarded as an essential aspect of lesion recognition and a necessary precursor to base excision. Here we present the first, to our knowledge, DNA glycosylase mechanism that does not require base flipping for either binding or catalysis. Using the DNA glycosylase AlkD from Bacillus cereus, we crystallographically monitored excision of an alkylpurine substrate as a function of time, and reconstructed the steps along the reaction coordinate through structures representing substrate, intermediate and product complexes. Instead of directly interacting with the damaged nucleobase, AlkD recognizes aberrant base pairs through interactions with the phosphoribose backbone, while the lesion remains stacked in the DNA duplex. Quantum mechanical calculations revealed that these contacts include catalytic charge-dipole and CH-π interactions that preferentially stabilize the transition state. We show in vitro and in vivo how this unique means of recognition and catalysis enables AlkD to repair large adducts formed by yatakemycin, a member of the duocarmycin family of antimicrobial natural products exploited in bacterial warfare and chemotherapeutic trials. Bulky adducts of this or any type are not excised by DNA glycosylases that use a traditional base-flipping mechanism. Hence, these findings represent a new model for DNA repair and provide insights into catalysis of base excision.
Calcium signaling regulates synaptic plasticity and many other functions in striatal medium spiny neurons to modulate basal ganglia function. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a major calcium-dependent signaling protein that couples calcium entry to diverse cellular changes. CaMKII activation results in autophosphorylation at Thr286 and sustained calcium-independent CaMKII activity after calcium signals dissipate. However, little is known about the mechanisms regulating striatal CaMKII. To address this, mouse brain slices were treated with pharmacological modulators of calcium channels and punches of dorsal striatum were immunoblotted for CaMKII Thr286 autophosphorylation as an index of CaMKII activation. KCl depolarization increased levels of CaMKII autophosphorylation ~2-fold; this increase was blocked by an LTCC antagonist and was mimicked by treatment with pharmacological LTCC activators. The chelation of extracellular calcium robustly decreased basal CaMKII autophosphorylation within 5min and increased levels of total CaMKII in cytosolic fractions, in addition to decreasing the phosphorylation of CaMKII sites in the GluN2B subunit of NMDA receptors and the GluA1 subunit of AMPA receptors. We also found that the maintenance of basal levels of CaMKII autophosphorylation requires low-voltage gated T-type calcium channels, but not LTCCs or R-type calcium channels. Our findings indicate that CaMKII activity is dynamically regulated by multiple calcium channels in the striatum thus coupling calcium entry to key downstream substrates.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Schizophrenia patients exhibit deficits in signaling of the M1 subtype of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and also display impaired cortical long-term depression (LTD). We report that selective activation of the M1 mAChR subtype induces LTD in PFC and that this response is completely lost after repeated administration of phencyclidine (PCP), a mouse model of schizophrenia. Furthermore, discovery of a novel, systemically active M1 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), VU0453595, allowed us to evaluate the impact of selective potentiation of M1 on induction of LTD and behavioral deficits in PCP-treated mice. Interestingly, VU0453595 fully restored impaired LTD as well as deficits in cognitive function and social interaction in these mice. These results provide critical new insights into synaptic changes that may contribute to behavioral deficits in this mouse model and support a role for selective M1 PAMs as a novel approach for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Recent efforts to identify the molecules that are involved in the maintenance of long-term memories in mammals have focused attention on atypical isoforms of protein kinase C (PKC). Inhibition of these kinases by either the general PKC inhibitor, chelerythrine, or the more specific inhibitor, zeta inhibitory peptide (ZIP), can abolish both long-term potentiation in the hippocampus and as well as spatial, fear, appetitive, and sensorimotor memories. These inhibitors can also abolish long-term facilitation and long-term sensitization in the mollusk Aplysia californica. We have extended these results to an insect, the cockroach Leucophaea maderae. We show that systemic injections of either chelerythrine or ZIP erase long-term olfactory memories in the cockroach, but have no effect on memory acquisition during conditioning. We also show that inhibition of either protein kinase A (PKA) or protein synthesis can block memory acquisition but neither has an effect on the memory once it is formed. The results suggest that sustaining memories in insects requires the persistent activity of one or more isoforms of PKC and point to a strong evolutionary conservation of the molecular mechanisms that underlie the persistence of long-term memories in the central nervous system.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGlu7) is a member of the group III mGlu receptors (mGlus), encompassed by mGlu4, mGlu6, mGlu7, and mGlu8. mGlu7 is highly expressed in the presynaptic active zones of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and activation of the receptor regulates the release of both glutamate and GABA. mGlu7 is thought to be a relevant therapeutic target for a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and polymorphisms in the GRM7 gene have been linked to autism, depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia. Here we report two new pan-group III mGlu positive allosteric modulators, VU0155094 and VU0422288, which show differential activity at the various group III mGlus. Additionally, both compounds show probe dependence when assessed in the presence of distinct orthosteric agonists. By pairing studies of these nonselective compounds with a synapse in the hippocampus that expresses only mGlu7, we have validated activity of these compounds in a native tissue setting. These studies provide proof-of-concept evidence that mGlu7 activity can be modulated by positive allosteric modulation, paving the way for future therapeutics development.
Efforts to define the genetic architecture underlying variable statin response have met with limited success, possibly because previous studies were limited to effect based on a single dose. We leveraged electronic medical records (EMRs) to extract potency (ED50) and efficacy (Emax) of statin dose-response curves and tested them for association with 144 preselected variants. Two large biobanks were used to construct dose-response curves for 2,026 and 2,252 subjects on simvastatin and atorvastatin, respectively. Atorvastatin was more efficacious, was more potent, and demonstrated less interindividual variability than simvastatin. A pharmacodynamic variant emerging from randomized trials (PRDM16) was associated with Emax for both. For atorvastatin, Emax was 51.7 mg/dl in subjects homozygous for the minor allele vs. 75.0 mg/dl for those homozygous for the major allele. We also identified several loci associated with ED50. The extraction of rigorously defined traits from EMRs for pharmacogenetic studies represents a promising approach to further understand the genetic factors contributing to drug response.