Phosphorylation of uridine and cytidine nucleoside analogs by two human uridine-cytidine kinases.
ABSTRACT Uridine-cytidine kinases (UCK) have important roles for the phosphorylation of nucleoside analogs that are being investigated for possible use in chemotherapy of cancer. We have cloned the cDNA of two human UCKs. The approximately 30-kDa proteins, named UCK1 and UCK2, were expressed in Escherichia coli and shown to catalyze the phosphorylation of Urd and Cyd. The enzymes did not phosphorylate deoxyribonucleosides or purine ribonucleosides. UCK1 mRNA was detected as two isoforms of approximately 1.8 and approximately 2.7 kb. The 2.7-kb band was ubiquitously expressed in the investigated tissues. The band of approximately 1.8 kb was present in skeletal muscle, heart, liver, and kidney. The two isoforms of UCK2 mRNA of 1.2 and 2.0 kb were only detected in placenta among the investigated tissues. The genes encoding UCK1 and UCK2 were mapped to chromosome 9q34.2-9q34.3 and 1q22-1q23.2, respectively. We tested 28 cytidine and uridine nucleoside analogs as possible substrates of the enzymes. The enzymes phosphorylated several of the analogs, such as 6-azauridine, 5-fluorouridine, 4-thiouridine, 5-bromouridine, N(4)-acetylcytidine, N(4)-benzoylcytidine, 5-fluorocytidine, 2-thiocytidine, 5-methylcytidine, and N(4)-anisoylcytidine. The cloning and recombinant expression of the two human UCKs will be important for development of novel pyrimidine ribonucleoside analogs and the characterization of their pharmacological activation.
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ABSTRACT: Germ cell tumors (GCTs) represent a diverse group of tumors presumably originating from (early fetal) developing germ cells. Most frequent are the testicular germ cell cancers (TGCC). Overall, TGCC is the most frequent malignancy in Caucasian males (20-40yr) and remains an important cause of (treatment related) mortality in these young men. The strong association between the phenotype of TGCC stem cell components and their totipotent ancestor (fetal primordial germ cell or gonocyte) makes these tumors highly relevant from an onco-fetal point of view. This review subsequently discusses the evidence for the early embryonic origin of TGCCs, followed by an overview of the crucial association between TGCC pathogenesis, genetics, environmental exposure and the (fetal) testicular micro-environment (genvironment). This culminates in an evaluation of three genvironmentally modulated hallmarks of TGCC directly related to the oncofetal pathogenesis of TGCC: (1) maintenance of pluripotency, (2) cell cycle control/cisplatin sensitivity and (3) regulation of proliferation/migration/apoptosis by KIT-KITL mediated receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. Briefly, TGCC exhibit identifiable stem cell components (seminoma and embryonal carcinoma) and progenitors that show large and consistent similarities to primordial/embryonic germ cells, their presumed totipotent cells of origin. TGCC pathogenesis depends crucially on a complex interaction of genetic and (micro-)environmental, i.e. genvironmental risk factors that have only been partly elucidated despite significant effort. TGCC stem cell components also show a high degree of similarity with embryonic stem/germ cells (ES) in the regulation of pluripotency and cell cycle control, directly related to their exquisite sensitivity to DNA damaging agents (e.g. cisplatin). Of note, (ES specific) micro-RNAs play a pivotal role in the crossover between cell cycle control, pluripotency and chemosensitivity. Moreover, multiple consistent observations reported TGCC to be associated with KIT-KITL mediated receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, a pathway crucially implicated in proliferation, migration and survival during embryogenesis including germ cell development. In conclusion, TGCCs are a fascinating model for onco-fetal developmental processes especially with regard to studying cell cycle control, pluripotency maintenance and KIT-KITL signaling. The knowledge presented here contributes to better understanding of the molecular characteristics of TGCC pathogenesis, translating to identification of at risk individuals and enhanced quality of care for TGCC patients (diagnosis, treatment and follow-up).Seminars in Cancer Biology 07/2014; 29. DOI:10.1016/j.semcancer.2014.07.003 · 9.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Uridine-based nucleoside analogues have often been found to have relatively poor antiviral activity. Enzymatic assays, evaluating inhibition of influenza virus RNA polymerase, revealed that some uridine triphosphate derivatives displayed inhibitory activity on UTP incorporation into viral RNA. Here we report the synthesis, antiviral activity and enzymatic evaluation of novel ProTides designed to deliver the activated (monophosphorylated) uridine analogues inside the influenza virus-infected cells. After evaluation of the activation profile we identified two ProTides with moderate antiviral activity in MDCK cells (23a, EC(99)=49 ± 38 μM and 23b, EC(99)≥81 μM) while the corresponding nucleoside analogue (2'-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine) was inactive. Thus, at least in these cases the poor antiviral activity of the uridine analogues may be ascribed to poor phosphorylation.Antiviral research 01/2012; 94(1):35-43. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2012.01.007 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Balanced pools of deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs), the building blocks of DNA, and ribonucleoside triphosphates (NTPs), the precursors of RNA, are crucial for a controlled cell proliferation. The dNTPs and NTPs are synthesized de novo via energy-consuming reactions involving low-weight molecules, and through a salvage pathway by recycling (deoxy)ribonucleosides originating from food and degraded DNA and RNA. The enzymes described in this thesis catalyze the first reaction in the salvage biosynthesis of dNTPs and NTPs. The crystal structures of three bacterial thymidine kinases (TKs) are described and the enzymes are investigated as potential targets for antibacterial therapies. TK is a deoxyribonucleoside kinase (dNK) with specificity for thymidine. In addition to the natural substrates, TK can also phosphorylate a number of nucleoside analogs used in antiviral and anticancer therapies. This thesis presents the structures of TKs from three pathogenic microorganisms: Ureaplasma urealyticum (parvum), Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus, and compares them to the human thymidine kinase 1 (hTK1). The bacterial TKs and the hTK1 are structurally very similar and have a highly conserved active site architecture, which may complicate structure-based drug design. However, the different complex structures presented in this work provide information regarding the conformational changes of TK1-like enzymes during the time of reaction. The structure of human uridine-cytidine kinase 1 (UCK1) is also presented. Humans possess two uridine-cytidine kinases, UCK1 and UCK2. The expression pattern of these enzymes is tissue dependent, and despite high sequence as well as structural similarities they possess somewhat diverse substrate specificity. In addition to the natural substrates, uridine and cytidine, UCKs are able to phosphorylate a number of nucleoside analogs. The monomeric structure of UCK comprises four domains: a CORE domain, an NMP-binding domain, a LID domain and a β-hairpin domain, which upon substrate binding undergo dramatic conformational changes. In the structure described in this thesis the enzyme has been trapped in an intermediate conformation between a fully opened and fully closed form, which may represent a sequential mode of substrate binding.