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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.
Human saphenous vein (HSV) is harvested and prepared prior to implantation as an arterial bypass graft. Injury and the response to injury from surgical harvest and preparation trigger cascades of molecular events and contribute to graft remodeling and intimal hyperplasia. Apoptosis is an early response after implantation that contributes the development of neointimal lesions. Here, we showed that surgical harvest and preparation of HSV leads to vasomotor dysfunction, increased apoptosis and downregulation of the phosphorylation of the anti-apoptotic protein, Niban. A model of subfailure overstretch injury in rat aorta (RA) was used to demonstrate impaired vasomotor function, increased extracellular ATP (eATP) release, and increased apoptosis following pathological vascular injury. The subfailure overstretch injury was associated with activation of p38 MAPK stress pathway and decreases in the phosphorylation of the anti-apoptotic protein Niban. Treatment of RA after overstretch injury with antagonists to purinergic P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) antagonists or P2X7R/pannexin (PanX1) complex, but not PanX1 alone, restored vasomotor function. Inhibitors to P2X7R and PanX1 reduced stretch-induced eATP release. P2X7R/PanX1 antagonism led to decrease in p38 MAPK phosphorylation, restoration of Niban phosphorylation and increases in the phosphorylation of the anti-apoptotic protein Akt in RA and reduced TNFα-stimulated caspase 3/7 activity in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells. In conclusion, inhibition of P2X7R after overstretch injury restored vasomotor function and inhibited apoptosis. Treatment with P2X7R/PanX1 complex inhibitors after harvest and preparation injury of blood vessels used for bypass conduits may prevent the subsequent response to injury that lead to apoptosis and represents a novel therapeutic approach to prevent graft failure.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Apoptosis-inducing factor mitochondrion-associated-1 (AIFM1) in mitochondria has captured a great deal of attention due to its well-described function in apoptosis. Mutations in AIFM1 have resulted in multiple clinical phenotypes, including X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4. These syndromes usually involve multiple locations within the nervous system and/or multiple organs. This study describes a novel missense mutation in AIFM1 and its associated peripheral nerve disease.
METHODS - Patients with AIFM1 mutation were characterized clinically, electrophysiologically, genetically and by magnetic resonance imaging. The fibroblasts were isolated from the patients to study mitochondrial OXPHOS complexes.
RESULTS - We identified a family with a novel missense mutation (Phe210Leu) in AIFM1 who developed an isolated late-onset axonal polyneuropathy in which the central nervous system and other organs were spared. Interestingly, this Phe210Leu mutation resulted in abnormal assembly of mitochondrial complex I and III, and failed to disrupt AIFM1 binding with mitochondrial intermembrane space import and assembly protein 40 (MIA40) in the patients' cells. Deficiency of either AIFM1 or MIA40 is known to impair the assembly of mitochondrial complex I and IV. However, levels of both AIFM1 and MIA40 were unchanged.
CONCLUSIONS - Phe210Leu mutation in AIFM1 induces an axonal polyneuropathy that might be contributed by the misassembly of mitochondrial complex I and III. This misassembly appears to be independent of the traditional mechanism via AIFM1/MIA40 deficiency.
© 2017 EAN.
Ewing sarcomas are rare mesenchymal-derived bone and soft tissue tumors in children. Afflicted children with distant metastases have poor survival despite aggressive therapeutics. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in epithelial carcinomas is associated with loss of E-cadherin and resistance to apoptosis. ML327 is a novel small molecule that we have previously shown to reverse epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition features in both epithelial and neural crest-derived cancers. Herein, we sought to evaluate the effects of ML327 on mesenchymal-derived Ewing sarcoma cells, hypothesizing that ML327 initiates growth arrest and sensitizes to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand. ML327 induced protein expression changes, increased E-cadherin and decreased vimentin, consistent with partial induction of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition in multiple Ewing Sarcoma cell lines (SK-N-MC, TC71, and ES-5838). Induction of epithelial features was associated with apoptosis, as demonstrated by PARP and Caspase 3 cleavage by immunoblotting. Cell cycle analysis validated these findings by marked induction of the subG cell population. In vitro combination treatment with TRAIL demonstrated additive induction of apoptotic markers. Taken together, these findings establish a rationale for further in vivo trials of ML327 in cells of mesenchymal origin both alone and in combination with TRAIL.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Remyelination of CNS axons by Schwann cells (SCs) is not efficient, in part due to the poor migration of SCs into the adult CNS. Although it is known that migrating SCs avoid white matter tracts, the molecular mechanisms underlying this exclusion have never been elucidated. We now demonstrate that myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), a well known inhibitor of neurite outgrowth, inhibits rat SC migration and induces their death via γ-secretase-dependent regulated intramembrane proteolysis of the p75 neurotrophin receptor (also known as p75 cleavage). Blocking p75 cleavage using inhibitor X (Inh X), a compound that inhibits γ-secretase activity before exposing to MAG or CNS myelin improves SC migration and survival Furthermore, mouse SCs pretreated with Inh X migrate extensively in the demyelinated mouse spinal cord and remyelinate axons. These results suggest a novel role for MAG/myelin in poor SC-myelin interaction and identify p75 cleavage as a mechanism that can be therapeutically targeted to enhance SC-mediated axon remyelination in the adult CNS. Numerous studies have used Schwann cells, the myelin-making cells of the peripheral nervous system to remyelinate adult CNS axons. Indeed, these transplanted cells successfully remyelinate axons, but unfortunately they do not migrate far and so remyelinate only a few axons in the vicinity of the transplant site. It is believed that if Schwann cells could be induced to migrate further and survive better, they may represent a valid therapy for remyelination. We show that myelin-associated glycoprotein or CNS myelin, in general, inhibit rodent Schwann cell migration and induce their death via cleavage of the neurotrophin receptor p75. Blockade of p75 cleavage using a specific inhibitor significantly improves migration and survival of the transplanted Schwann cells .
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/375885-15$15.00/0.
Monoclonal antibodies targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cetuximab and panitumumab, are a mainstay of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treatment. However, a significant number of patients suffer from primary or acquired resistance. RAS mutations are negative predictors of clinical efficacy of anti-EGFR antibodies in patients with mCRC. Oncogenic RAS activates the MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways, which are considered the main effectors of resistance. However, the relative impact of these pathways in RAS-mutant CRC is less defined. A better mechanistic understanding of RAS-mediated resistance may guide development of rational intervention strategies. To this end we developed cancer models for functional dissection of resistance to anti-EGFR therapy in vitro and in vivo. To selectively activate MAPK- or AKT-signaling we expressed conditionally activatable RAF-1 and AKT in cancer cells. We found that either pathway independently protected sensitive cancer models against anti-EGFR antibody treatment in vitro and in vivo. RAF-1- and AKT-mediated resistance was associated with increased expression of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins. Biomarkers of MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathway activation correlated with inferior outcome in a cohort of mCRC patients receiving cetuximab-based therapy. Dual pharmacologic inhibition of PI3K and MEK successfully sensitized primary resistant CRC models to anti-EGFR therapy. In conclusion, combined targeting of MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling, but not single pathways, may be required to enhance the efficacy of anti-EGFR antibody therapy in patients with RAS-mutated CRC as well as in RAS wild type tumors with clinical resistance.
Clinical evidence has indicated an increased myocardial infarction (MI) morbidity and mortality after exposure to air pollution (particulate matter<2.5 μm, PM2.5). However, the mechanisms by which PM2.5 aggravates MI remain unknown. Present study was to explore the adverse effect of PM2.5 on myocardium after MI and the potential mechanisms. Male mice with MI surgery were treated with PM2.5 by intranasal instillation. Neonatal mice ventricular myocytes (NMVMs) subjected to hypoxia were also incubated with PM2.5 to determine the role of PM2.5 in vitro. Exposure to PM2.5 significantly impaired the cardiac function and increased the infarct size in MI mice. TUNEL assay, flow cytometry and western blotting of Caspase 3, Bax and BCl-2 indicated that PM2.5 exposure could cause cellular apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. Besides, PM2.5 activated NFκB pathway and increased gene expression of IL-1β and IL-6 in NMVMs with hypoxia, which could be effectively reversed by SN-50-induced blockade of NFκB translocation to the nucleus. In summary, air pollution induces myocardium apoptosis and then impairs cardiac function and aggravates MI via NFκB activation.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Purpose - Vocal fold diseases affecting the epithelium have a detrimental impact on vocal function. This review article provides an overview of apoptosis, the most commonly studied type of programmed cell death. Because apoptosis can damage epithelial cells, this article examines the implications of apoptosis on diseases affecting the vocal fold cover.
Method - A review of the extant literature was performed. We summarized the topics of epithelial tissue properties and apoptotic cell death, described what is currently understood about apoptosis in the vocal fold, and proposed several possible explanations for how the role of abnormal apoptosis during wound healing may be involved in vocal pathology.
Results and Conclusions - Apoptosis plays an important role in maintaining normal epithelial tissue function. The biological mechanisms responsible for vocal fold diseases of epithelial origin are only beginning to emerge. This article discusses speculations to explain the potential role of deficient versus excessive rates of apoptosis and how disorganized apoptosis may contribute to the development of common diseases of the vocal folds.
The goal of this study is to validate fluorescence intensity and lifetime imaging of metabolic co-enzymes NAD(P)H and FAD (optical metabolic imaging, or OMI) as a method to quantify cell-cycle status of tumor cells. Heterogeneity in tumor cell-cycle status (e. g. proliferation, quiescence, apoptosis) increases drug resistance and tumor recurrence. Cell-cycle status is closely linked to cellular metabolism. Thus, this study applies cell-level metabolic imaging to distinguish proliferating, quiescent, and apoptotic populations. Two-photon microscopy and time-correlated single photon counting are used to measure optical redox ratio (NAD(P)H fluorescence intensity divided by FAD intensity), NAD(P)H and FAD fluorescence lifetime parameters. Redox ratio, NAD(P)H and FAD lifetime parameters alone exhibit significant differences (p<0.05) between population means. To improve separation between populations, linear combination models derived from partial least squares - discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) are used to exploit all measurements together. Leave-one-out cross validation of the model yielded high classification accuracies (92.4 and 90.1 % for two and three populations, respectively). OMI and PLS-DA also identifies each sub-population within heterogeneous samples. These results establish single-cell analysis with OMI and PLS-DA as a label-free method to distinguish cell-cycle status within intact samples. This approach could be used to incorporate cell-level tumor heterogeneity in cancer drug development.
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Emerging evidence indicates that even subtle changes in the expression of key genes of signalling pathways can have profound effects. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are masters of subtlety and generally have only mild effects on their target genes. The microRNA miR-31 is one of the major microRNAs in many cutaneous conditions associated with activated keratinocytes, such as the hyperproliferative diseases psoriasis, non-melanoma skin cancer and hair follicle growth. miR-31 is a marker of the hair growth phase, and in our miR-31 transgenic mouse model it impairs the function of keratinocytes. This leads to aberrant proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation that results in altered hair growth, while the loss of miR-31 leads to increased hair growth. Through in vitro and in vivo studies, we have defined a set of conserved miR-31 target genes, including LATS2 and STK40, which serve as new players in the regulation of keratinocyte growth and hair follicle biology. LATS2 can regulate growth of keratinocytes and we have identified a function of STK40 that can promote the expression of key hair follicle programme regulators such as HR, DLX3 and HOXC13.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.