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#28855357   2017/08/31 Save this To Up

Chemogenomic Landscape of RUNX1-mutated AML Reveals Importance of RUNX1 Allele Dosage in Genetics and Glucocorticoid Sensitivity.

Purpose:RUNX1-mutated (RUNX1(mut)) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with adverse outcome, highlighting the urgent need for a better genetic characterization of this AML subgroup and for the design of efficient therapeutic strategies for this disease. Toward this goal, we further dissected the mutational spectrum and gene expression profile of RUNX1(mut) AML and correlated these results to drug sensitivity to identify novel compounds targeting this AML subgroup.Experimental Design: RNA-sequencing of 47 RUNX1(mut) primary AML specimens was performed and sequencing results were compared to those of RUNX1 wild-type samples. Chemical screens were also conducted using RUNX1(mut) specimens to identify compounds selectively affecting the viability of RUNX1(mut) AML.Results: We show that samples with no remaining RUNX1 wild-type allele are clinically and genetically distinct and display a more homogeneous gene expression profile. Chemical screening revealed that most RUNX1(mut) specimens are sensitive to glucocorticoids (GCs) and we confirmed that GCs inhibit AML cell proliferation through their interaction with the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). We observed that specimens harboring RUNX1 mutations expected to result in low residual RUNX1 activity are most sensitive to GCs, and that coassociating mutations as well as GR levels contribute to GC sensitivity. Accordingly, acquired glucocorticoid sensitivity was achieved by negatively regulating RUNX1 expression in human AML cells.Conclusions: Our findings show the profound impact of RUNX1 allele dosage on gene expression profile and glucocorticoid sensitivity in AML, thereby opening opportunities for preclinical testing which may lead to drug repurposing and improved disease characterization. Clin Cancer Res; 1-13. ©2017 AACR.

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#28797028   2017/08/10 Save this To Up

Characterisation of the cancer-associated glucocorticoid system: key role of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2.

Recent studies have shown that production of cortisol not only takes place in several non-adrenal peripheral tissues such as epithelial cells but, also, the local inter-conversion between cortisone and cortisol is regulated by the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11β-HSDs). However, little is known about the activity of this non-adrenal glucocorticoid system in cancers.

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#28528695   2017/05/22 Save this To Up

Protein phosphatase 5 promotes hepatocarcinogenesis through interaction with AMP-activated protein kinase.

The serine-threonine protein phosphatase family members are known as critical regulators of various cellular functions, such as survival and transformation. Growing evidence suggests that pharmacological manipulation of phosphatase activity exhibits therapeutic benefits. Ser/Thr protein phosphatase 5 (PP5) is known to participate in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and stress-induced signaling cascades that regulate cell growth and apoptosis, and has been shown to be overexpressed in various human malignant diseases. However, the role of PP5 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and whether PP5 may be a viable therapeutic target for HCC treatment are unknown. Here, by analyzing HCC clinical samples obtained from 215 patients, we found that overexpression of PP5 is tumor specific and associated with worse clinical outcomes. We further characterized the oncogenic properties of PP5 in HCC cells. Importantly, both silencing of PP5 with lentiviral-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and chemical inhibition of PP5 phosphatase activity using the natural compound cantharidin/norcantharidin markedly suppressed the growth of HCC cells and tumors in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we identified AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) as a novel downstream target of oncogenic PP5 and demonstrated that the antitumor mechanisms underlying PP5 inhibition involve activation of AMPK signaling. Overall, our results establish a pathological function of PP5 in hepatocarcinogenesis via affecting AMPK signaling and suggest that PP5 inhibition is an attractive therapeutic approach for HCC.

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#28504720   2017/05/15 Save this To Up

A clinical drug library screen identifies clobetasol propionate as an NRF2 inhibitor with potential therapeutic efficacy in KEAP1 mutant lung cancer.

The Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1)-nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (NRF2)pathway has a central role in cellular antioxidant defense. NRF2 activation due to KEAP1 or NRF2 mutations occurs frequently in many cancers, suggesting that NRF2 inhibition could be a promising therapeutic strategy. However, no potent NRF2 inhibitors are clinically available to date. To develop potent NRF2 inhibitors for therapeutic purpose, we screened ~4000 clinical compounds and determined clobetasol propionate (CP) as the most potent NRF2 inhibitor. Mechanistically, CP prevented nuclear accumulation and promoted β-TrCP-dependent degradation of NRF2 in a glucocorticoid receptor- and a glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)-dependent manner. As a result, CP induced oxidative stress and strongly suppressed the anchorage-independent growth of tumors with KEAP1 mutation, but not with the wild-type KEAP1. Further, CP alone or in combination with rapamycin strongly inhibited the in vitro and in vivo growth of tumors harboring mutations in KEAP1 or both KEAP1 and LKB1 that are frequently observed in lung cancer. Thus, CP could be a repurposed therapeutic agent for cancers with high NRF2 activity. We also proposed that the use CP and rapamycin in combination could be a potential therapeutic strategy for tumors harboring both KEAP1 and LKB1 mutations.

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#28408351   2017/04/14 Save this To Up

Inhibition of heat shock protein 90 rescues glucocorticoid-induced bone loss through enhancing bone formation.

Endogenous glucocorticoids (GCs) support normal bone development and bone mass maintenance, whereas long-term exposure to pharmacological dosages of GCs uncouples bone formation and resorption, resulting in GC-induced osteoporosis (GIOP). Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) chaperoning glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling prompts us to speculate that HSP90 plays critical roles in GC-mediated bone formation and GIOP. In the present study, inhibition of HSP90 activity by 17-Demethoxy-17-allyaminogeldanmycin (17-AAG) or knockdown of HSP90 expression by siRNAs attenuated dexamethasone(Dex)-induced GR nuclear accumulation and transcriptional output of GR signaling, whereas overexpression of HSP90α or HSP90β enhanced GR transactivity in C3H10T1/2 cells. Though 17-AAG itself enhanced osteoblastic differentiation, it restored the Dex(10(-8)M)-induced and Dex(10(-6)M)-negated osteoblastic differentiation in C3H10T1/2 cells and primary calvarial osteoblasts. Moreover, systemic administration of 17-AAG to mice induced not only osteoclastogenesis but also osteoblastogenesis, whereas bone formation possibly exceeded bone resorption, eventually leading to the increased bone masses. Likewise, systemic administration of 17-AAG to mice restored GC-negated osteoblastogenesis and enhanced GC-induced osteoclastogenesis, similarly, 17-AAG-induced bone formation possibly exceeded both 17-AAG- and GC-induced bone resorption, eventually resulting in rescue of GIOP. Together, the present study has revealed that inhibition of HSP90 restores GIOP through enhancing bone formation, and our findings may help to shed light on the pathogenesis of GIOP and provide targets for the therapeutic intervention of the disease.

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#28403937   2017/04/13 Save this To Up

Glucocorticoids modulate human brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in vivo.

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a thermogenic organ with substantial metabolic capacity and has important roles in the maintenance of body weight and metabolism. Regulation of BAT is primarily mediated through the β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) pathway. The in vivo endocrine regulation of this pathway in humans is unknown. The objective of our study was to assess the in vivo BAT temperature responses to acute glucocorticoid administration.

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#28078274   2017/01/12 Save this To Up

Outside the brain: an inside view on transgenic animal and stem cell-based models to examine neuronal serotonin-dependent regulation of HPA axis-controlled events during development and adult stages.

Recently, Trista North and colleagues showed that neuronal synthesis of serotonin is an essential key process for embryonic hematopoietic stem (HPS) cell production in zebrafish. Using their experimental design, they were able to show that neuronal serotonin activates the stress-responsive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and glucocorticoid receptor activity which in turn induces HPS cell formation. In our perspective, we give a short overview on established experimental approaches for serotonergic neurotransmission in vivo and in vitro and their potential to address putative contributions of serotonergic neurotransmission to physiological processes beyond the central nervous systems (CNS). We briefly introduce common features of brain serotonin-depleted, tryptophan hydroxylase-2 knockout mice, which can be applied to investigate the contribution of brain-derived serotonin to developmental and adult physiological processes outside the CNS. These models allow to analyzing gender-specific, HPA axis-dependent processes in female and male knockout mice during developmental and adult stages. We also highlight the application of human and mouse stem cell-derived serotonergic neurons as an independent research model as well as complementary experimental approach to transgenic animal models. In case of human serotonergic neurotransmission, human in vitro-generated neurons present a very promising and highly valuable experimental approach to address characteristics of human neuronal serotonin signaling on a molecular and cellular level. The combination of transgenic animal models and newly established stem cell technologies will provide powerful research platforms, which will help to answer yet unsolved mysteries of serotonergic neurotransmission.

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#27941203   2016/12/12 Save this To Up

[Diagnosis and therapy of steroid-induced hyperglycemia based on literature reports].

The increase of the incidence of autoimmune diseases leads to a growing number of patients treated with immunosuppressants. One of the main group of drugs used in immunosuppression are glucocorticoids, which are connected with a significant risk of glucose tolerance disorders. It seems that a decisive role in the hyperglycemic activity plays a reduction of peripheral glucose uptake at the level of skeletal muscle, but in case of higher doses of glucocorticosteroids, stimulation of hepatic glucose production can be dominant. The diagnosis of glucocorticoid-induced diabetes is not different from the generally accepted criteria. There are not commonly accepted diagnostic and therapeutic rules in this area. The majority of hyperglycaemia cases in patients treated with high doses of glucocorticosteroids occur within the first 48 hours after start of glucocorticoids therapy. The closely monitoring of glucose profile should be performed in this time period. In the case of prolonged glucocorticoids treatment, regularly assessment of postprandial glucose and periodically performed oral glucose tolerance test is recommended. The diagnostic significance of glycated hemoglobin in this area has been not yet determined. The therapeutic targets are adequate as for type 2 diabetes. Pharmacological treatment should be implemented when glucose values reach up above 12mmol/l (216mg/dl) twice a day. The therapeutic hopes are connected with the use of new classes of drugs, in particular with incretin-drugs, especially with glucagon-like peptide (GLP) -1 receptor agonists. When the therapy goals are not able to achieve, the insulin treatment should be implemented.

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#27660999   2016/09/23 Save this To Up

A Tri-Nucleotide Pattern in a 3' UTR Segment Affects The Activity of a Human Glucocorticoid Receptor Isoform.

We previously identified a truncated human glucocorticoid receptor (hGR) isoform of 118 amino acids, hGR-S1(-349A), that despite lacking the major functional domains, was more hyperactive after glucocorticoid treatment than the full-length receptor. Furthermore, its 3' untranslated region (UTR) was required. To dissect the underlying mechanisms for hyperactivity, a series of hGR isoforms with consecutive deletions in the 3' UTR were created to test their transactivation potential using reporter assays. The hGR-S1(-349A) isoform retaining 1303 bp of 3' UTR displayed unusually high activity with or without glucocorticoid stimulation. Unexpectedly, a complete loss of significant activity was observed with isoforms retaining 1293 bp or 1263 bp of 3' UTR. Analysis of the 20 bp region neighboring the 1293 bp site showed a pattern: 3'UTR termination at every third base pair in this region resulted in a loss of transactivation potential while the other sites retained hyperactivity with or without glucocorticoid stimulation. Variations in the activity of an hGR isoform, due to changes in the 3' UTR sequence configuration, may provide an important link in explaining inconsistent responses to glucocorticoid treatment in individuals and ultimately enable tailored, patient-specific care. Furthermore, understanding the mechanisms underlying the cyclic hyperactivity/loss of activity phenomenon may be a step toward identifying a novel mechanism of gene regulation.

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#27325244   2016/07/28 Save this To Up

Stressing diabetes? The hidden links between insulinotropic peptides and the HPA axis.

Diabetes mellitus exerts metabolic stress on cells and it provokes a chronic increase in the long-term activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, perhaps thereby contributing to insulin resistance. GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists are pleiotropic hormones that not only affect glycaemic and metabolic control, but they also produce many other effects including activation of the HPA axis. In fact, several of the most relevant effects of GLP-1 might involve, at least in part, the modulation of the HPA axis. Thus, the anorectic activity of GLP-1 could be mediated by increasing CRF at the hypothalamic level, while its lipolytic effects could imply a local increase in glucocorticoids and glucocorticoid receptor (GC-R) expression in adipose tissue. Indeed, the potent activation of the HPA axis by GLP-1R agonists occurs within the range of therapeutic doses and with a short latency. Interestingly, the interactions of GLP-1 with the HPA axis may underlie most of the effects of GLP-1 on food intake control, glycaemic metabolism, adipose tissue biology and the responses to stress. Moreover, such activity has been observed in animal models (mice and rats), as well as in normal humans and in type I or type II diabetic patients. Accordingly, better understanding of how GLP-1R agonists modulate the activity of the HPA axis in diabetic subjects, especially obese individuals, will be crucial to design new and more efficient therapies for these patients.

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