Continual low-level MEK inhibition ameliorates cardio-facio-cutaneous phenotypes in zebrafish.
ABSTRACT Cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome is caused by germline mutations in KRAS, BRAF and MEK1/2. The highly selective and potent MEK inhibitors that have been developed as anti-cancer agents hold potential as therapeutics for CFC syndrome. We have previously shown that the effects of CFC mutations on zebrafish gastrulation can be prevented by a 1-hour treatment with MEK inhibitors within a specific developmental time-window. However, MEK activity is essential for normal development and PD0325901 treatment outside this treatment window leads to additional developmental defects in MEK-dependent tissues. We now test ten different doses of PD0325901 at six developmental time points and assess the effects on body axis length, heart development and craniofacial structures in zebrafish embryos. Notably, we find that a continuous low-level dose of PD0325901 that has only minor inhibition of MEK activity can prevent the action of both the common CFC BRAF(Q257R) kinase-active allele and the BRAF(G596V) kinase-impaired mutant allele through the first 5 days of development. These results provide a detailed study of the effects of PD0325901 in development and show that, unlike in cancer, which requires robust inhibition of MAPK signalling, a partial reduction in phospho-ERK1/2 activity is sufficient to moderate the developmental effects of BRAF(CFC) mutations.
SourceAvailable from: Csaba Sőti[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Ras/mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway has key importance in development, cell differentiation and senescence, tumorigenesis, learning and memory. The clinical manifestations associated with this highly conserved pathway are called RASopathies. Phenotypic features are diverse and overlapping, but cognitive impairment is a common symptom. Here, we propose an approach based on molecular networks that link learning, memory and forgetting to the RASopathies and various neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and autism spectrum disorders. We demonstrate the cross-talks of the molecular pathways in RASopathies and memory and the role of compartmentalization in these processes. The approved drugs are also overviewed, and C. elegans is proposed as a viable model system for experimental exploration and compound target prediction.Mini Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 02/2015; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Proper neural crest development and migration is critical during embryonic development, but the molecular mechanisms regulating this process remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that the protein kinase Erk, which plays a central role in a number of key developmental processes in vertebrates, is regulated in the developing neural crest by p21-activated protein kinase 1 (Pak1). Furthermore, we show that activated Erk signals by phosphorylating the transcription factor Gata6 on a conserved serine residue to promote neural crest migration and proper formation of craniofacial structures, pigment cells, and the outflow tract of the heart. Our data suggest an essential role for Pak1 as an Erk activator, and Gata6 as an Erk target, during neural crest development.Developmental Cell 05/2014; 29(3):350-9. DOI:10.1016/j.devcel.2014.04.003 · 10.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RASopathies are syndromes caused by gain-of-function mutations in the Ras signaling pathway. One of these conditions, Costello syndrome (CS), is typically caused by an activating de novo germline mutation in HRAS and is characterized by a wide range of cardiac, musculoskeletal, dermatological, and developmental abnormalities. We report that a majority of individuals with CS have hypo-mineralization of enamel, the outer covering of teeth, and that similar defects are present in a CS mouse model. Comprehensive analysis of the mouse model revealed that ameloblasts, the cells that generate enamel, lacked polarity, and the ameloblast progenitor cells were hyperproliferative. Ras signals through two main effector cascades, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways. To determine through which pathway Ras affects enamel formation, inhibitors targeting either PI3K or MEK1/2, a kinase in the MAPK pathway, were utilized. MEK1/2 inhibition rescued the hypo-mineralized enamel, normalized the ameloblast polarity defect, and restored normal progenitor cell proliferation. In contrast, PI3K inhibition only corrected the progenitor cell proliferation phenotype. We demonstrate for the first time the central role of Ras signaling in enamel formation in CS individuals, and we present the mouse incisor as a model system to dissect the roles of the Ras effector pathways in vivo.Human Molecular Genetics 09/2013; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddt455 · 6.68 Impact Factor