Cutting back on pro-protein convertases: the latest approaches to pharmacological inhibition.
ABSTRACT The secretory pathway in cells possesses an elaborate set of endoproteolytic enzymes that carry out a crucial step in protein precursor maturation. This step is proteolytic activation by cleavage at specific pairs of basic residues. These enzymes, named pro-protein convertases (PCs), are responsible for generating bioactive peptides and activating several enzymes and growth factors that are implicated in many important physiological events. PCs have roles in several pathologies including viral infections and cancers and, thus, are promising targets for therapeutic applications. Recent structural and homology-modeling studies demonstrate more similarity than expected at the catalytic site of the seven PCs, which makes the development of selective drugs to target individual PCs frustrating. Based on this information, we review the latest strategies to inhibit PCs, which might lead to the development of specific compounds.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During angiogenesis, endothelial cells (ECs(1)) initiate new blood vessel growth and invade into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) facilitates this process and translocates to the plasma membrane following activation to promote ECM cleavage. The N-terminal pro-domain within MT1-MMP must be processed for complete activity of the proteinase. This study investigated whether MT1-MMP activation was altered by sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and wall shear stress (WSS), which combine to stimulate EC invasion in three dimensional (3D) collagen matrices. MT1-MMP was activated rapidly and completely by WSS but not S1P. Proprotein convertases (PCs) promoted MT1-MMP processing, prompting us to test whether WSS or S1P treatments increased PC activity. Like MT1-MMP, PC activity increased with WSS, while S1P had no effect. A pharmacological PC inhibitor completely blocked S1P- and WSS-induced EC invasion and MT1-MMP translocation to the plasma membrane. Further, a recombinant PC inhibitor reduced MT1-MMP activation and decreased lumen formation in invading ECs, a process known to be controlled by MT1-MMP. Thus, we conclude that PC and MT1-MMP activation are mechanosensitive events that are required for EC invasion into 3D collagen matrices. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.03.075 · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The potential of PACE4 as a pharmacological target in prostate cancer has been demonstrated as this proprotein convertase is strongly overexpressed in human prostate cancer tissues and its inhibition, using molecular or pharmacological approaches, results in reduced cell proliferation and tumor progression in mouse tumor xenograft models. We developed a PACE4 high-affinity peptide inhibitor, namely, the multi-leucine (ML), and sought to determine whether this peptide could be exploited for the targeting of prostate cancer for diagnostic or molecular imaging purposes. We conjugated a bifunctional chelator 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7- triacetic acid (NOTA) to the ML peptide for copper-64 (64Cu) labeling and positron emission tomography (PET)– based prostate cancer detection. Enzyme kinetic assays against recombinant PACE4 showed that the NOTA-modified ML peptide displays identical inhibitory properties compared to the unmodified peptide. In vivo biodistribution of the 64Cu/NOTA-ML peptide evaluated in athymic nude mice bearing xenografts of two human prostate carcinoma cell lines showed a rapid and high uptake in PACE4-expressing LNCaP tumor at an early time point and in PACE4-rich organs. Co-injection of unlabeled peptide confirmed that tumor uptake was target-specific. PACE4-negative tumors displayed no tracer uptake 15 minutes after injection, while the kidneys, demonstrated high uptake due to rapid renal clearance of the peptide. The present study supports the feasibility of using a 64Cu/NOTA-ML peptide for PACE4-targeted prostate cancer detection and PACE4 status determination by PET imaging but also provides evidence that ML inhibitor–based drugs would readily reach tumor sites under in vivo conditions for pharmacological intervention or targeted radiation therapy.Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 08/2014; 16(8):634–643. DOI:10.1016/j.neo.2014.07.010 · 5.40 Impact Factor
01/2012; 1(1):1-112. DOI:10.4199/C00050ED1V01Y201112NPE001