An orally bioavailable and blood-brain barrier penetrating analog of the kinase inhibitor K252a was able to prevent the typical motor deficits in the tau (P301L) transgenic mouse model (JNPL3) and markedly reduce soluble aggregated hyperphosphorylated tau. However, neurofibrillary tangle counts were not reduced in the successfully treated cohort, suggesting that the main cytotoxic effects of tau are not exerted by neurofibrillary tangles but by lower molecular mass aggregates of tau. Our findings strongly suggest that abnormal tau hyperphosphorylation plays a critical role in the development of tauopathy and suggest a previously undescribed treatment strategy for neurodegenerative diseases involving tau pathology.Alzheimer's disease ͉ extracellular signal-regulated kinase inhibitor ͉ paired helical filament ͉ tangles
The Human antigen R protein (HuR) is an RNA-binding protein that recognizes U/AU-rich elements in diverse RNAs through two RNA-recognition motifs, RRM1 and RRM2, and post-transcriptionally regulates the fate of target RNAs. The natural product dihydrotanshinone-I (DHTS) prevents the association of HuR and target RNAs in vitro and in cultured cells by interfering with the binding of HuR to RNA. Here, we report the structural determinants of the interaction between DHTS and HuR and the impact of DHTS on HuR binding to target mRNAs transcriptome-wide. NMR titration and Molecular Dynamics simulation identified the residues within RRM1 and RRM2 responsible for the interaction between DHTS and HuR. RNA Electromobility Shifts and Alpha Screen Assays showed that DHTS interacts with HuR through the same binding regions as target RNAs, stabilizing HuR in a locked conformation that hampers RNA binding competitively. HuR ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation followed by microarray (RIP-chip) analysis showed that DHTS treatment of HeLa cells paradoxically enriched HuR binding to mRNAs with longer 3′UTR and with higher density of U/AU-rich elements, suggesting that DHTS inhibits the association of HuR to weaker target mRNAs. In vivo, DHTS potently inhibited xenograft tumor growth in a HuR-dependent model without systemic toxicity.
Post-transcriptional regulation is an essential determinant of gene expression programs in physiological and pathological conditions. HuR is a RNA-binding protein that orchestrates the stabilization and translation of mRNAs, critical in inflammation and tumor progression, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF). We identified the low molecular weight compound 15,16-dihydrotanshinone-I (DHTS), well known in traditional Chinese medicine practice, through a validated high throughput screening on a set of anti-inflammatory agents for its ability to prevent HuR:RNA complex formation. We found that DHTS interferes with the association step between HuR and the RNA with an equilibrium dissociation constant in the nanomolar range in vitro (Ki = 3.74 ± 1.63 nM). In breast cancer cell lines, short term exposure to DHTS influences mRNA stability and translational efficiency of TNF in a HuR-dependent manner and also other functional readouts of its post-transcriptional control, such as the stability of selected pre-mRNAs. Importantly, we show that migration and sensitivity of breast cancer cells to DHTS are modulated by HuR expression, indicating that HuR is among the preferential intracellular targets of DHTS. Here, we disclose a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism exerted by DHTS, opening new perspectives to therapeutically target the HuR mediated, post-transcriptional control in inflammation and cancer cells.
A small library of integrin ligand-paclitaxel conjugates 10-13 was synthesized with the aim of using the tumor-homing cyclo[DKP-RGD] peptidomimetics for site-directed delivery of the cytotoxic drug. All the paclitaxel-RGD constructs 10-13 inhibited biotinylated vitronectin binding to the purified αVβ3 integrin receptor at low nanomolar concentration and showed in vitro cytotoxic activity against a panel of human tumor cell lines similar to that of paclitaxel. Among the cell lines, the cisplatin-resistant IGROV-1/Pt1 cells expressed high levels of integrin αVβ3, making them attractive to be tested in in vivo models. cyclo[DKP-f3-RGD]-PTX 11 displayed sufficient stability in physiological solution and in both human and murine plasma to be a good candidate for in vivo testing. In tumor-targeting experiments against the IGROV-1/Pt1 human ovarian carcinoma xenotransplanted in nude mice, compound 11 exhibited a superior activity compared with paclitaxel, despite the lower (about half) molar dosage used.
On the basis of a previously discovered anti-αβ integrin peptidomimetic (c(AmpRGD)) and the clinically approved antiangiogenic kinase inhibitor sunitinib, three novel dual conjugates were synthesized (compounds 1-3), featuring the covalent and robust linkage between these two active modules. In all conjugates, the ligand binding competence toward αβ (using both isolated receptors and αβ-overexpressing endothelial progenitor EP cells) and the kinase inhibitory activity (toward both isolated kinases and EPCs) remained almost untouched and comparable to the activity of the single active units. Compounds 1-3 showed interesting antiangiogenesis properties in an in vitro tubulogenic assay; furthermore, dimeric-RGD conjugate 3 strongly inhibited in vivo angiogenesis in Matrigel plug assays in FVB mice. These results offer proof-of-concept of how the covalent conjugation of two angiogenesis-related small modules may result in novel and stable molecules, which impair tumor-related angiogenesis with equal or even superior ability as compared to the single modules or their simple combinations.
The synthesis of eight bifunctional diketopiperazine (DKP) scaffolds is described; these were formally derived from 2,3-diaminopropionic acid and aspartic acid (DKP-1-DKP-7) or glutamic acid (DKP-8) and feature an amine and a carboxylic acid functional group. The scaffolds differ in the configuration at the two stereocenters and the substitution at the diketopiperazinic nitrogen atoms. The bifunctional diketopiperazines were introduced into eight cyclic peptidomimetics containing the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence. The resulting RGD peptidomimetics were screened for their ability to inhibit biotinylated vitronectin binding to the purified integrins α(v)β(3) and α(v)β(5), which are involved in tumor angiogenesis. Nanomolar IC(50) values were obtained for the RGD peptidomimetics derived from trans DKP scaffolds (DKP-2-DKP-8). Conformational studies of the cyclic RGD peptidomimetics by (1)H NMR spectroscopy experiments (VT-NMR and NOESY spectroscopy) in aqueous solution and Monte Carlo/Stochastic Dynamics (MC/SD) simulations revealed that the highest affinity ligands display well-defined preferred conformations featuring intramolecular hydrogen-bonded turn motifs and an extended arrangement of the RGD sequence [Cβ(Arg)-Cβ(Asp) average distance ≥8.8 Å]. Docking studies were performed, starting from the representative conformations obtained from the MC/SD simulations and taking as a reference model the crystal structure of the extracellular segment of integrin α(v)β(3) complexed with the cyclic pentapeptide, Cilengitide. The highest affinity ligands produced top-ranked poses conserving all the important interactions of the X-ray complex.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.