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#28945228   2017/09/25 Save this To Up

ERK-dependent IL-6 autocrine signaling mediates adaptive resistance to pan-PI3K inhibitor BKM120 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Hyperactivation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway occurs frequently in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, clinical outcomes of targeting the PI3K pathway have been underwhelming. In present study, we investigated the resistant mechanisms and potential combination therapeutic strategy to overcome adaptive resistance to PI3K inhibitor in HNSCC. Treatment of NVP-BKM120, a pan-PI3K inhibitor, led to upregulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and subsequent activation of either extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) or signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3), causing modest antitumor effects on the growth of HNSCC cells. Blockade of autocrine IL-6 signaling with siRNA or neutralizing antibody for IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) completely abolished NVP-BKM120-induced activation of ERK and STAT3 as well as expression of c-Myc oncogene, which resulted in enhanced sensitivity to NVP-BKM120. Moreover, when compared with a pharmacologic inhibitor or silencing of STAT3, trametinib, a MEK inhibitor, in combination with NVP-BKM120 yielded more potent anti-proliferative effects by inhibiting S phase transition, arresting cells at G0/G1 phase, and downregulating IL-6 and c-Myc expression. Furthermore, as compared with either agent alone, combination of NVP-BKM120 with trametinib or tocilizumab, a humanized anti-IL-6R antibody, significantly suppressed tumor growth in NVP-BKM120-resistant patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDTX) models, which was also confirmed in PDTX-derived cell lines. Collectively, these results suggested that IL-6/ERK signaling is closely involved in adaptive resistance of NVP-BKM120 in HNSCC cells, providing a rationale for a novel combination therapy to overcome resistance to PI3K inhibitors.Oncogene advance online publication, 25 September 2017; doi:10.1038/onc.2017.339.

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#28866730   2017/09/03 Save this To Up

EGFR-targeted therapies in the post-genomic era.

Over 90% of head and neck cancers overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). In diverse tumor types, EGFR overexpression has been associated with poorer prognosis and outcomes. Therapies targeting EGFR include monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors, and antisense gene therapy. Few EGFR-targeted therapeutics are approved for clinical use. The monoclonal antibody cetuximab is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved EGFR-targeted therapy, yet has exhibited modest benefit in clinical trials. The humanized monoclonal antibody nimotuzumab is also approved for head and neck cancers in Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, India, Ukraine, Ivory Coast, and Gabon in addition to nasopharyngeal cancers in China. Few other EGFR-targeted therapeutics for head and neck cancers have led to as significant responses as seen in lung carcinomas, for instance. Recent genome sequencing of head and neck tumors has helped identify patient subgroups with improved response to EGFR inhibitors, for example, cetuximab in patients with the KRAS-variant and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib for tumors harboring MAPK1(E322K) mutations. Genome sequencing has furthermore broadened our understanding of dysregulated pathways, holding the potential to enhance the benefit derived from therapies targeting EGFR.

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#28848717   2017/08/29 Save this To Up

Porphyromonas gingivalis Stimulates TLR2-PI3K Signaling to Escape Immune Clearance and Induce Bone Resorption Independently of MyD88.

Porphyromonas gingivalis is a gram-negative anaerobic periodontal pathogen that persists in dysbiotic mixed-species biofilms alongside a dense inflammatory infiltrate of neutrophils and other leukocytes in the subgingival areas of the periodontium. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) mediates the inflammatory response to P. gingivalis and TLR2-deficient mice resist alveolar bone resorption following oral challenge with this organism. Although, MyD88 is an adaptor protein considered necessary for TLR2-induced inflammation, we now report for the first time that oral challenge with P. gingivalis leads to alveolar bone resorption in the absence of MyD88. Indeed, in contrast to prototypical TLR2 agonists, such as the lipopeptide Pam3CSK4 that activates TLR2 in a strictly MyD88-dependent manner, P. gingivalis strikingly induced TLR2 signaling in neutrophils and macrophages regardless of the presence or absence of MyD88. Moreover, genetic or antibody-mediated inactivation of TLR2 completely reduced cytokine production in P. gingivalis-stimulated neutrophils or macrophages, suggesting that TLR2 plays a non-redundant role in the host response to P. gingivalis. In the absence of MyD88, inflammatory TLR2 signaling in P. gingivalis-stimulated neutrophils or macrophages depended upon PI3K. Intriguingly, TLR2-PI3K signaling was also critical to P. gingivalis evasion of killing by macrophages, since their ability to phagocytose this pathogen was reduced in a TLR2 and PI3K-dependent manner. Moreover, within those cells that did phagocytose bacteria, TLR2-PI3K signaling blocked phago-lysosomal maturation, thereby revealing a novel mechanism whereby P. gingivalis can enhance its intracellular survival. Therefore, P. gingivalis uncouples inflammation from bactericidal activity by substituting TLR2-PI3K in place of TLR2-MyD88 signaling. These findings further support the role of P. gingivalis as a keystone pathogen, which manipulates the host inflammatory response in a way that promotes bone loss but not bacterial clearance. Modulation of these host response factors may lead to novel therapeutic approaches to improve outcomes in disease conditions associated with P. gingivalis.

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#28716954   2017/07/18 Save this To Up

Synaptically driven phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 is differentially regulated at active synapses versus dendrites and cell bodies by MAPK and PI3K/mTOR signaling pathways.

High-frequency stimulation of the medial perforant path triggers robust phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) in activated dendritic domains and granule cell bodies. Here we dissect the signaling pathways responsible for synaptically driven rpS6 phosphorylation in the dentate gyrus using pharmacological agents to inhibit PI3-kinase/mTOR and MAPK/ERK-dependent kinases. Using phospho-specific antibodies for rpS6 at different sites (ser235/236 versus ser240/244), we show that delivery of the PI3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, decreased rpS6 phosphorylation throughout the somatodendritic compartment (granule cell layer, inner molecular layer, outer molecular layer), especially in granule cell bodies while sparing phosphorylation at activated synapses (middle molecular layer). In contrast, delivery of U0126, an MEK inhibitor, attenuated rpS6 phosphorylation specifically in the dendritic laminae leaving phosphorylation in the granule cell bodies intact. Delivery of the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, abolished activation of rpS6 phosphorylation in granule cell bodies and dendrites, whereas delivery of a selective S6K1 inhibitor, PF4708671, or RSK inhibitor, SL0101-1, attenuated rpS6 phosphorylation throughout the postsynaptic cell. These results reveal that MAPK/ERK-dependent signaling is predominately responsible for the selective induction of rpS6 phosphorylation at active synapses. In contrast, PI3-kinase/mTOR-dependent signaling induces rpS6 phosphorylation throughout the somatodendritic compartment but plays a minimal role at active synapses. Collectively, these results suggest a potential mechanism by which PI3-kinase/mTOR and MAPK/ERK pathways regulate translation at specific subcellular compartments in response to synaptic activity.

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#28606962   2017/06/13 Save this To Up

Endothelin-1 promotes vascular smooth muscle cell migration across the artery wall: a mechanism contributing to vascular remodelling and intimal hyperplasia in giant-cell arteritis.

Giant-cell arteritis (GCA) is an inflammatory disease of large/medium-sized arteries, frequently involving the temporal arteries (TA). Inflammation-induced vascular remodelling leads to vaso-occlusive events. Circulating endothelin-1 (ET-1) is increased in patients with GCA with ischaemic complications suggesting a role for ET-1 in vascular occlusion beyond its vasoactive function.

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#28574599   2017/06/02 Save this To Up

Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) suppresses the progression of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by modifying STAT3 activity.

Although GSK3β has been reported to have contrasting effects on the progression of different tumors, it's possible functions in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and the related molecular mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigated the expression, function, and molecular mechanism of GSK3β in the development of ESCC in vitro and in vivo. Though the expression of total GSK3β was significantly increased, the phosphorylated (inactivated) form of GSK3β (Ser9) was concurrently decreased in the cancerous tissues of patients with ESCC compared with controls, suggesting that GSK3β activity was enhanced in cancerous tissues. Further pathological data analysis revealed that higher GSK3β expression was associated with poorer differentiation, higher metastasis rates, and worse prognosis of ESCC. These results were confirmed in different ESCC cell lines using a pharmacological inhibitor and specific siRNA to block GSK3β. Using a cancer phospho-antibody array, we found that STAT3 is a target of GSK3β. GSK3 inhibition reduced STAT3 phosphorylation, and overexpression of constitutively active GSK3β had the opposite effect. Moreover, STAT3 inhibition mimicked the effects of GSK3β inhibition on ESCC cell migration and viability, while overexpression of a plasmid encoding mutant STAT3 (Y705F) abrogated these effects, and these results were further substantiated by clinicopathological data. In addition, a GSK3 inhibitor (LiCl) and/or STAT3 inhibitor (WP-1066) efficiently suppressed the growth of ESCC cells in a xenograft tumor model. Altogether, these results reveal that higher GSK3β expression promotes ESCC progression through STAT3 in vitro and in vivo, and GSK3β-STAT3 signaling could be a potential therapeutic target for ESCC treatment.

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#28561652   2017/05/31 Save this To Up

Evolving Treatment Paradigm in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

The treatment paradigm for advanced and metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has evolved rapidly since the arrival of targeted therapies and novel immunotherapies. mRCC was previously treated only with cytokines. However, discoveries of mutations affecting the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene (leading to increased expression of VEGF and hypoxia inducible factor/HIF-1) and of deregulations in the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/AKT/mTOR pathway (resulting in tumor angiogenesis, cell proliferation, and tumor growth) have led to the development of numerous targeted therapies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has thus approved a total of nine targeted therapies since 2005, including VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitors (sunitinib, pazopanib, axitinib, sorafenib, and lenvatinib), a monoclonal antibody targeting VEGF (bevacizumab), mTOR inhibitors (temsirolimus and everolimus), and a multityrosine kinase inhibitor (cabozantinib). Furthermore, the development of immune checkpoint inhibitors has again shifted the mRCC therapeutic landscape with the FDA's approval of nivolumab. Herein, we discuss the unprecedented changes in the field of clear cell histology mRCC in both the first-line and salvage settings, and we also discuss future therapies and recommend a treatment paradigm on sequencing of these agents.

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#28543695   2017/05/25 Save this To Up

Mechanisms and strategies to overcome resistance to molecularly targeted therapy for melanoma.

The identification of driver mutations in melanoma has changed the field of cancer treatment. BRAF and NRAS mutations are predominant in melanoma and lead to overactivation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathways. Selective inhibitors targeting key effectors of the MAPK pathway have revolutionized the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic BRAF-mutant melanoma. However, resistance to therapy is almost universal and remains a major challenge in clinical care, with the majority of patients progressing within 1 year. Dissecting the mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies may offer new insights into strategies for overcoming resistance. This review describes the efficacy of therapies targeting the MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways in melanoma, details the mechanisms contributing to drug resistance, and discusses current approaches to improving outcomes further. Cancer 2017;123:2118-29. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

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#28495385   2017/05/12 Save this To Up

Derivatives of caffeic acid, a natural antioxidant, as the basis for the discovery of novel nonpeptidic neurotrophic agents.

Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, threaten the lives of millions of people and the number of affected patients is constantly growing with the increase of the aging population. Small molecule neurotrophic agents represent promising therapeutics for the pharmacological management of neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, a series of caffeic acid amide analogues with variable alkyl chain lengths, including ACAF3 (C3), ACAF4 (C4), ACAF6 (C6), ACAF8 (C8) and ACAF12 (C12) were synthesized and their neurotrophic activity was examined by different methods in PC12 neuronal cells. We found that all caffeic acid amide derivatives significantly increased survival in PC12 neuronal cells in serum-deprived conditions at 25μM, as measured by the MTT assay. ACAF4, ACAF6 and ACAF8 at 5µM also significantly enhanced the effect of nerve growth factor (NGF) in inducing neurite outgrowth, a sign of neuronal differentiation. The neurotrophic effects of amide derivatives did not seem to be mediated by direct activation of tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) receptor, since K252a, a potent TrkA antagonist, did not block the neuronal survival enhancement effect. Similarly, the active compounds did not activate TrkA as measured by immunoblotting with anti-phosphoTrkA antibody. We also examined the effect of amide derivatives on signaling pathways involved in survival and differentiation by immunoblotting. ACAF4 and ACAF12 induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation in PC12 cells at 5 and 25µM, while ACAF12 was also able to significantly increase AKT phosphorylation at 5 and 25µM. Molecular docking studies indicated that compared to the parental compound caffeic acid, ACAF12 exhibited higher binding energy with phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) as a putative molecular target. Based on Lipinski's rule of five, all of the compounds obeyed three molecular descriptors (HBD, HBA and MM) in drug-likeness test. Taken together, these findings show for the first time that caffeic amides possess strong neurotrophic effects exerted via modulation of ERK1/2 and AKT signaling pathways presumably by activation of PI3K and thus represent promising agents for the discovery of neurotrophic compounds for management of neurodegenerative diseases.

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#28477122   2017/05/06 Save this To Up

Mass Spectrometry-Based Proteomics for Quantifying DNA Damage-Induced Phosphorylation.

Protein phosphorylation plays central regulatory roles in DNA damage repair and signaling. Protein kinases of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-related kinase family ATM, ATR, and DNA-PKcs mediate phosphorylation of hundreds of substrates after DNA damage and thereby orchestrate the cellular response to DNA damage. Protein phosphorylation can be studied using antibodies that specifically recognize phosphorylated protein species; however, this approach is limited by existing antibodies and does not permit unbiased discovery of phosphorylation sites or analyzing phosphorylation sites in a high-throughput manner. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics has emerged as a powerful method for identification of phosphorylation sites on individual proteins and proteome-wide. To identify phosphorylation sites, proteins are digested into peptides and phosphopeptides are enriched using titanium dioxide (TiO2)-based chromatography followed by the identification by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Quantitative proteomics approaches, such as stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), enable relative quantification of phosphopeptide abundance in different conditions. Here, we describe a streamlined protocol for enrichment of phosphopeptides using TiO2-based chromatography, and outline the application of quantitative phosphoproteomics for the identification of DNA damage-induced phosphorylation and substrates of kinases functioning after DNA damage.

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