Paraskevi Giannakakou

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (99)660.16 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in platelet-associated genes partly explain inherent variability in platelet counts. Patients with monoallelic Bernard Soulier syndrome due to the Bolzano mutation (GPIBA A156V) have variable platelet counts despite a common mutation for unknown reasons.Objectives We investigated the effect of the most common SNP (R307H) in the hematopoietic-specific tubulin isotype β-1 in these Bernard Soulier patients and potential microtubule-based mechanisms of worsened thrombocytopenia.Patients/Methods Ninety-four monoallelic Bolzano mutation patients were evaluated for the R307H β-1 SNP and had platelet counts measured by three methods; the Q43P SNP was also evaluated. To investigate possible mechanisms underlying this association, we used molecular modeling of β-1 tubulin with and without the R307H SNP. We transfected SNP or non-SNP β-1 tubulin into MCF-7 and CMK cell lines and measured microtubule regrowth after nocodazole-induced depolymerization.ResultsWe found that patients with at least one R307H SNP allele had significantly worse thrombocytopenia; manual platelet counting revealed a median platelet count of 124 in non-SNP and 76 in SNP patients (both x 109/L; p<0.01). The Q43P SNP had no significant association with platelet count. Molecular modeling suggested a structural relationship between the R307H SNP and microtubule stability via alterations in the M-loop of β tubulin; in vitro microtubule recovery assays revealed cells transfected with R307H SNP β-1 had significantly impaired microtubule recovery.Conclusions Our data show that the R307H SNP is significantly associated with the degree of thrombocytopenia in congenital and acquired platelet disorders, and may affect platelets by altering microtubule behavior.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 12/2014; · 6.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) is an endogenous enzyme cofactor and cosubstrate that has effects on diverse cellular and physiologic processes, including reactive oxygen species generation, mitochondrial function, apoptosis, and axonal degeneration. A major goal is to identify the NAD(+)-regulated cellular pathways that may mediate these effects. Here we show that the dynamic assembly and disassembly of microtubules is markedly altered by NAD(+). Furthermore, we show that the disassembly of microtubule polymers elicited by microtubule depolymerizing agents is blocked by increasing intracellular NAD(+) levels. We find that these effects of NAD(+) are mediated by the activation of the mitochondrial sirtuin sirtuin-3 (SIRT3). Overexpression of SIRT3 prevents microtubule disassembly and apoptosis elicited by antimicrotubule agents and knockdown of SIRT3 prevents the protective effects of NAD(+) on microtubule polymers. Taken together, these data demonstrate that NAD(+) and SIRT3 regulate microtubule polymerization and the efficacy of antimicrotubule agents.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2014; 111(24):E2443-52. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have emerged as a viable solution to the lack of tumor tissue availability for patients with a variety of solid tumors, including prostate cancer. Different approaches have been used to capture this tumor cell population and several of these techniques have been used to assess the potential role of CTCs as a biological marker to predict treatment efficacy and clinical outcome. CTCs are now considered a strong tool to understand the molecular characteristics of prostate cancer, and to be used and analyzed as a 'liquid biopsy' in the attempt to grasp the biological portrait of the disease in the individual patient.
    Molecular diagnosis & therapy. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer growth depends on androgen receptor (AR) signaling. Androgen ablation therapy induces expression of constitutively active AR splice variants which drive disease progression. Taxanes are a standard of care therapy in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), however, mechanisms underlying the clinical activity of taxanes are poorly understood. Recent work suggests that the microtubule network of prostate cells is critical for AR nuclear translocation and activity. In this study, we employed a set of AR deletion mutants to identify the microtubule-binding domain of AR, which encompasses the DNA binding domain plus hinge region. We report that two clinically relevant AR splice variants, ARv567 and ARv7, differentially associate with microtubules and dynein motor protein, thereby resulting in differential taxane sensitivity in vitro and in vivo. ARv7, which lacks the hinge region, did not co-sediment with microtubules or co-precipitate with dynein motor protein, unlike ARv567. Mechanistic investigations revealed that the nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activity of ARv7 was unaffected by taxane treatment. In contrast, the microtubule-interacting splice variant ARv567 was sensitive to taxane-induced microtubule stabilization. In ARv567-expressing LuCap86.2 tumor xenografts, docetaxel treatment was highly efficacious, whereas ARv7-expressing LuCap23.1 tumors xenografts displayed docetaxel resistance. Our results suggest that AR variants which accumulate in CRPC cells utilize distinct pathways of nuclear import that affect the antitumor efficacy of taxanes, suggesting a mechanistic rationale to customize treatments for CRPC patients which might improve outcomes.
    Cancer Research 02/2014; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Taxanes are the only chemotherapies used to treat patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Despite the initial efficacy of taxanes in treating CRPC, all patients ultimately fail due to the development of drug resistance. In this study, we show that ERG overexpression in in vitro and in vivo models of CRPC is associated with decreased sensitivity to taxanes. ERG affects several parameters of microtubule dynamics and inhibits effective drug-target engagement of docetaxel or cabazitaxel with tubulin. Finally, analysis of a cohort of 34 men with metastatic CRPC treated with docetaxel chemotherapy reveals that ERG-overexpressing prostate cancers have twice the chance of docetaxel resistance than ERG-negative cancers. Our data suggest that ERG plays a role beyond regulating gene expression and functions outside the nucleus to cooperate with tubulin towards taxane insensitivity. Determining ERG rearrangement status may aid in patient selection for docetaxel or cabazitaxel therapy and/or influence co-targeting approaches.
    Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:5548. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have emerged as a reliable source of tumor cells, and their concentration has prognostic implications. CTC capture offers real-time access to cancer tissue without the need of an invasive biopsy, while their phenotypic and molecular interrogation can provide insight into the biological changes of the tumor that occur during treatment. The majority of the CTC capture methods are based on EpCAM expression as a surface marker of tumor-derived cells. However, EpCAM protein expression levels can be significantly down regulated during cancer progression as a consequence of the process of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. In this paper, we describe a novel HER2 (Human Epidermal Receptor 2)-based microfluidic device for the isolation of CTCs from peripheral blood of patients with HER2-expressing solid tumors. We selected HER2 as an alternative to EpCAM as the receptor is biologically and therapeutically relevant in several solid tumors, like breast cancer (BC), where it is overexpressed in 30% of the patients and expressed in 90%, and gastric cancer (GC), in which HER2 presence is identified in more than 60% of the cases. We tested the performance of various anti HER2 antibodies in a panel of nine different BC cell lines with varying HER2 protein expression levels, using immunoblotting, confocal microscopy, live cells imaging and flow cytometry analyses. The antibody associated with the highest capture efficiency and sensitivity for HER2 expressing cells on the microfluidic device was the one that performed best in live cells imaging and flow cytometry assays as opposed to the fixed cell analyses, suggesting that recognition of the native conformation of the HER2 extracellular epitope on living cells was essential for specificity and sensitivity of CTC capture. Next, we tested the performance of the HER2 microfluidic device using blood from metastatic breast and gastric cancer patients. The HER2 microfluidic device exhibited CTC capture in 9/9 blood samples. Thus, the described HER2-based microfluidic device can be considered as a valid clinically relevant method for CTC capture in HER2 expressing solid cancers.
    Lab on a Chip 11/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • M Sung, P Giannakakou
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    ABSTRACT: The taxanes are effective microtubule-stabilizing chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of various solid tumors. However, the emergence of drug resistance hampers their clinical efficacy. The molecular basis of clinical taxane resistance remains poorly understood. Breast cancer 1, early onset gene, BRCA1, is a tumor-suppressor gene, whose expression has been correlated with taxane sensitivity in many solid tumors including non-small cell lung cancer. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the relationship between BRCA1 (B1) expression and taxane activity remains unclear. To this end, we created a stable B1 knockdown A549 cell line (B1-KD) to investigate B1's role in microtubule biology and response to taxane treatment. We show that B1-KD rendered A549 cells resistant to paclitaxel (PTX), phenocopying clinical studies showing that low B1 expression correlated with taxane resistance. As previously reported, we show that loss of B1 enhanced centrosomal γ-tubulin localization and microtubule nucleation. Interestingly, we found that the B1-KD cells exhibited increased microtubule dynamics as compared with parental A549 cells, as assessed by live-cell confocal microscopy using enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged α-tubulin or EB1 protein. In addition, we showed that loss of B1 impairs the ability of PTX to induce microtubule polymerization using immunofluorescence microscopy and a cell-based tubulin polymerization assay. Furthermore, B1-KD cells exhibited significantly lower intracellular binding of a fluorescently labeled PTX to microtubules. Recent studies have shown that PTX-stabilized microtubules serves as a scaffold for pro-caspase-8 binding and induction of apoptosis downstream of induced-proximity activation of caspase-8. Here we show that loss of B1 reduces the association of pro-caspase-8 with microtubules and subsequently leads to impaired PTX-induced activation of apoptosis. Taken together, our data show that B1 regulates indirectly endogenous microtubule dynamics and stability while its loss leads to microtubules that are more dynamic and less susceptible to PTX-induced stabilization conferring taxane resistance.Oncogene advance online publication, 25 March 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.85.
    Oncogene 03/2013; · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hematogenous metastasis accounts for the majority of cancer-related deaths, yet the mechanism remains unclear. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood may employ different pathways to cross blood endothelial barrier and establish a metastatic niche. Several studies provide evidence that prostate cancer (PCa) cell tethering and rolling on microvascular endothelium via E-selectin/E-selectin ligand interactions under shear flow theoretically promote extravasation and contribute to the development of metastases. However, it is unknown if CTCs from PCa patients interact with E-selectin expressed on endothelium, initiating a route for tumor metastases. Here we report that CTCs derived from PCa patients showed interactions with E-selectin and E-selectin expressing endothelial cells. To examine E-selectin-mediated interactions of PCa cell lines and CTCs derived from metastatic PCa patients, we used fluorescently-labeled anti-prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) monoclonal antibody J591-488 which is internalized following cell-surface binding. We employed a microscale flow device consisting of E-selectin-coated microtubes and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on parallel-plate flow chamber simulating vascular endothelium. We observed that J591-488 did not significantly alter the rolling behavior in PCa cells at shear stresses below 3 dyn/cm(2). CTCs obtained from 31 PCa patient samples showed that CTCs tether and stably interact with E-selectin and E-selectin expressing HUVECs at physiological shear stress. Interestingly, samples collected during disease progression demonstrated significantly more CTC/E-selectin interactions than samples during times of therapeutic response (p=0.016). Analysis of the expression of sialyl Lewis X (sLe(x)) in patient samples showed that a small subset comprising 1.9-18.8% of CTCs possess high sLe(x) expression. Furthermore, E-selectin-mediated interactions between prostate CTCs and HUVECs were diminished in the presence of anti-E-selectin neutralizing antibody. CTC-Endothelial interactions provide a novel insight into potential adhesive mechanisms of prostate CTCs as a means to initiate metastasis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e85143. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Predictive biomarkers are needed in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in beta 1 tubulin are potential candidates, as beta 1 tubulin is integral for platelet production and function, and SNPs in beta 1 tubulin have been associated with distinct phenotypes in platelets. We investigated the most prevalent beta 1 tubulin SNP (R307H) as a biomarker in patients with ITP via a retrospective chart review. Allelic frequencies between a group of 191 ITP patients and a healthy control group showed no difference, suggesting no direct aetiological role for the SNP in ITP. However, over similar periods of follow-up, both heterozygote and homozygote minor allele ITP patients were treated with significantly more treatment modalities and had significantly higher risk of failure to immune-modulatory therapies [relative risk (RR) = 1·5, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1·1-2·1; P = 0·01]; with rituximab, in particular, ITP patients with the SNP experienced a 58% failure rate (RR = 1·6, 95%CI = 1·03-2·5; P = 0·04). Analysis of the absolute immature platelet fraction (A-IPF) as a marker of platelet production showed that SNP patients had significantly higher median A-IPFs compared to non-SNP patients when complete responses were achieved using immune modulatory therapies. The data suggest that the beta 1 tubulin R307H SNP has potential for use as a biomarker in ITP and may affect platelet turnover.
    British Journal of Haematology 11/2012; · 4.94 Impact Factor
  • Maria Thadani-Mulero, David M Nanus, Paraskevi Giannakakou
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that the microtubule-stabilizing drug paclitaxel, which is commonly used for the treatment of prostate cancer, inhibits signaling from the androgen receptor by inhibiting its nuclear accumulation downstream of microtubule stabilization. This mechanism is independent of paclitaxel-induced mitotic arrest and could provide an alternative mechanism of drug action that can explain its clinical activity. In this review, we highlight the importance of signaling and trafficking pathways that depend on intact and dynamic microtubules, and, as such, they represent downstream targets of microtubule inhibitors. We showcase prostate cancer, which is driven by the activity of the androgen receptor, as recent reports have revealed a connection between the microtubule-dependent trafficking of the androgen receptor and the clinical efficacy of taxanes. Identification and further elucidation of microtubule-dependent tumor-specific pathways will help us better understand the molecular basis of clinical taxane resistance as well as to identify individual patients more likely to respond to treatment. Cancer Res; 72(18); 4611-5. ©2012 AACR.
    Cancer Research 09/2012; 72(18):4611-5. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer metastasis accounts for the majority of cancer-related deaths owing to poor response to anticancer therapies. Molecular understanding of metastasis-associated drug resistance remains elusive due to the scarcity of available tumor tissue. Isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the peripheral blood of patients has emerged as a valid alternative source of tumor tissue that can be subjected to molecular characterization. However, issues with low purity and sensitivity have impeded adoption to clinical practice. Here we report a novel method to capture and molecularly characterize CTCs isolated from castrate-resistant prostate cancer patients (CRPC) receiving taxane chemotherapy. We have developed a geometrically enhanced differential immunocapture (GEDI) microfluidic device that combines an anti-prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) antibody with a 3D geometry that captures CTCs while minimizing nonspecific leukocyte adhesion. Enumeration of GEDI-captured CTCs (defined as intact, nucleated PSMA+/CD45- cells) revealed a median of 54 cells per ml identified in CRPC patients versus 3 in healthy donors. Direct comparison with the commercially available CellSearch® revealed a 2-400 fold higher sensitivity achieved with the GEDI device. Confocal microscopy of patient-derived GEDI-captured CTCs identified the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion protein, while sequencing identified specific androgen receptor point mutation (T868A) in blood samples spiked with only 50 PC C4-2 cells. On-chip treatment of patient-derived CTCs with docetaxel and paclitaxel allowed monitoring of drug-target engagement by means of microtubule bundling. CTCs isolated from docetaxel-resistant CRPC patients did not show any evidence of drug activity. These measurements constitute the first functional assays of drug-target engagement in living circulating tumor cells and therefore have the potential to enable longitudinal monitoring of target response and inform the development of new anticancer agents.
    PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(4):e35976. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Disruption of the microtubule cytoskeleton impairs tumor angiogenesis by inhibiting the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α) pathway. However, the signaling cascade linking microtubule disruption to HIF-1α inactivation has not been elucidated. Here, we show that microtubule-targeting drug (MTD) treatment impaired HIF-1α protein nuclear translocation, which significantly down-regulated HIF transcriptional activity. We provide strong evidence that HIF-1α protein associates with polymerized microtubules and traffics to the nucleus, with the aid of the dynein motor protein. Together, these data suggest that microtubules are critically involved in the nuclear trafficking and transcriptional activity of HIF-1α. We also show that the connection between the microtubule cytoskeleton and HIF-1α regulation is lost in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), where HIF-1α is overexpressed because of mutations in the von Hippel Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor protein. Specifically, we show that MTD treatment of RCC cells did not impair HIF-1α nuclear accumulation or transcriptional activity, and had no effect on the polysome association profile of HIF-1α. Interestingly, we found that HIF-1α protein did not bind microtubules in RCC. Moreover, restoration of VHL function failed to restore the ability of MTDs to inhibit HIF-1α, suggesting that VHL does not contribute to this phenotype. Together, these results suggest that HIF-1α regulation is microtubule-independent, and likely contributes to the chemoresistant nature of RCCs. Further understanding of the microtubule-dependent HIF-1α regulation, and lack thereof in RCC, is essential given the importance of HIF-1α in tumor biology, and the widespread use of MTDs in clinical oncology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2012; 287(15):11859-69. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are tumor cells found in the peripheral blood that putatively originate from established sites of malignancy and likely have metastatic potential. Analysis of CTCs has demonstrated promise as a prognostic marker as well as a source of identifying potential targets for novel therapeutics. Isolation and characterization of these cells for study, however, remain challenging owing to their rarity in comparison with other cellular components of the peripheral blood. Several techniques that exploit the unique biochemical properties of CTCs have been developed to facilitate their isolation. Positive selection of CTCs has been achieved using microfluidic surfaces coated with antibodies against epithelial cell markers or tumor-specific antigens such as EpCAM or prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). Following isolation, characterization of CTCs may help guide clinical decision making. For instance, molecular and genetic characterization may shed light on the development of chemotherapy resistance and mechanisms of metastasis without the need for a tissue biopsy. This paper will review novel isolation techniques to capture CTCs from patients with advanced prostate cancer, as well as efforts to characterize the CTCs. We will also review how these analyzes can assist in clinical decision making. Conclusion: The study of CTCs provides insight into the molecular biology of tumors of prostate origin that will eventually guide the development of tailored therapeutics. These advances are predicated on high yield and accurate isolation techniques that exploit the unique biochemical features of these cells.
    Frontiers in Oncology 01/2012; 2:131.
  • Koon Yin Kong, Adam I Marcus, Paraskevi Giannakakou, May Dongmei Wang
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    ABSTRACT: We present improvements to a web interface and an integrated computational tracking algorithm for quantitative analysis of microtubule dynamics in live-cell microscopy images. Based on a previously implemented system, more new functionalities have been added to the interface. The system also integrates a computational tracking algorithm to aid the analysis. The analysis workflow of the proposed interface is made similar to the current manual analysis workflow in order to make the interface intuitive to use. We show the workflow of the computer analysis algorithm and how it is used to aid the existing analysis workflow. We also demonstrate how to re-evaluate existing data in a case study using real imaging data. Lastly, we show the added functionalities of the interface including how to share image data and analysis results.
    International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design 01/2012; 5(3-4):298-313.
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    ABSTRACT: Docetaxel is considered first-line chemotherapy for patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Carboplatin and paclitaxel have demonstrated activity in CRPC but published data are limited regarding use after docetaxel. A retrospective, bi-institutional review was conducted of patients with advanced CRPC treated with carboplatin plus paclitaxel after docetaxel. Therapy was evaluated for tolerability, response, and survival. Endpoints used modified Prostate Cancer Working Group 2 criteria. Twenty-five patients were identified from February 2000 to March 2008. Median pretreatment PSA was 130.2 ng/ml [range 0.1-2100]. Sites of metastases included bone (88%), lymph nodes (52%), pelvis (32%), lung (28%), and liver (20%). A median 4.5 cycles of docetaxel [range 1-22] were given with a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 12 weeks [range 2-68]. Eighty-eight percent of patients (22/25) were docetaxel-refractory at the initiation of therapy with carboplatin (AUC 4-6) day 1 plus paclitaxel 60-80 mg/m(2) days 1, 8, and 21 recycled every 28 days. Patients received a median of 3.5 cycles [range 1-8] of carboplatin/paclitaxel with a median PFS of 12 weeks [range 2-35]. Sixty-four percent of patients (16/25) achieved ≥ 30% reduction in PSA with a median overall survival of 42 weeks [95% CI 30.6-53.5 weeks]. Grade 3 or 4 adverse hematologic events occurred in 11/25 (44%) patients, with no neutropenic fever or grade 3/4 non-hematologic toxicity. Carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy following docetaxel in metastatic CRPC is well tolerated with favorable PSA response rates and survival. This combination is a viable option after progression on docetaxel-based therapy.
    Urologic Oncology 11/2011; 29(6):676-81. · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Resistance to chemotherapy is a major obstacle in cancer therapy. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential of a folate receptor-targeting nanoparticle to overcome/minimize drug resistance and to explore the underlying mechanisms. This is accomplished with enhanced cellular accumulation and retention of paclitaxel (one of the most effective anticancer drugs in use today and a well-known P-glycoprotein (P-gp) substrate) in a P-gp-overexpressing cancer model. The folate receptor-targeted nanoparticle, HFT-T, consists of a heparin-folate-paclitaxel (HFT) backbone with an additional paclitaxel (T) loaded in its hydrophobic core. In vitro analyses demonstrated that the HFT-T nanoparticle was superior to free paclitaxel or nontargeted nanoparticle (HT-T) in inhibiting proliferation of P-gp-overexpressing cancer cells (KB-8-5), partially due to its enhanced uptake and prolonged intracellular retention. In a subcutaneous KB-8-5 xenograft model, HFT-T administration enhanced the specific delivery of paclitaxel into tumor tissues and remarkably prolonged retention within tumor tissues. Importantly, HFT-T treatment markedly retarded tumor growth in a xenograft model of resistant human squamous cancer. Immunohistochemical analysis further indicated that increased in vivo efficacy of HFT-T nanoparticles was associated with a higher degree of microtubule stabilization, mitotic arrest, antiangiogenic activity, and inhibition of cell proliferation. These findings suggest that when the paclitaxel was delivered as an HFT-T nanoparticle, the drug is better retained within the P-gp-overexpressing cells than the free form of paclitaxel. These results indicated that the targeted HFT-T nanoparticle may be promising in minimizing P-gp related drug resistance and enhancing therapeutic efficacy compared with the free form of paclitaxel.
    ACS Nano 08/2011; 5(8):6184-94. · 12.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer progression requires active androgen receptor (AR) signaling which occurs following translocation of AR from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Chemotherapy with taxanes improves survival in patients with castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Taxanes induce microtubule stabilization, mitotic arrest, and apoptotic cell death, but recent data suggest that taxanes can also affect AR signaling. Here, we report that taxanes inhibit ligand-induced AR nuclear translocation and downstream transcriptional activation of AR target genes such as prostate-specific antigen. AR nuclear translocation was not inhibited in cells with acquired β-tubulin mutations that prevent taxane-induced microtubule stabilization, confirming a role for microtubules in AR trafficking. Upon ligand activation, AR associated with the minus-end-microtubule motor dynein, thereby trafficking on microtubules to translocate to the nucleus. Analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTC) isolated from the peripheral blood of CRPC patients receiving taxane chemotherapy revealed a significant correlation between AR cytoplasmic sequestration and clinical response to therapy. These results indicate that taxanes act in CRPC patients at least in part by inhibiting AR nuclear transport and signaling. Further, they suggest that monitoring AR subcellular localization in the CTCs of CRPC patients might predict clinical responses to taxane chemotherapy.
    Cancer Research 07/2011; 71(18):6019-29. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peloruside A and laulimalide are potent microtubule-stabilizing natural products with a mechanism of action similar to that of paclitaxel. However, the binding site of peloruside A and laulimalide on tubulin remains poorly understood. Drug resistance in anticancer treatment is a serious problem. We developed peloruside A- and laulimalide-resistant cell lines by selecting 1A9 human ovarian carcinoma cells that were able to grow in the presence of one of these agents. The 1A9-laulimalide resistant cells (L4) were 39-fold resistant to the selecting agent and 39-fold cross-resistant to peloruside A, whereas the 1A9-peloruside A resistant cells (R1) were 6-fold resistant to the selecting agent while they remained sensitive to laulimalide. Neither cell line showed resistance to paclitaxel or other drugs that bind to the taxoid site on β-tubulin nor was there resistance to microtubule-destabilizing drugs. The resistant cells exhibited impaired peloruside A/laulimalide-induced tubulin polymerization and impaired mitotic arrest. Tubulin mutations were found in the βI-tubulin isotype, R306H or R306C for L4 and A296T for R1 cells. This is the first cell-based evidence to support a β-tubulin-binding site for peloruside A and laulimalide. To determine whether the different resistance phenotypes of the cells were attributable to any other tubulin alterations, the β-tubulin isotype composition of the cells was examined. Increased expression of βII- and βIII-tubulin was observed in L4 cells only. These results provide insight into how alterations in tubulin lead to unique resistance profiles for two drugs, peloruside A and laulimalide, that have a similar mode of action.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 06/2011; 10(8):1419-29. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lonafarnib (LNF) is a protein farnesyl transferase (FTase) inhibitor that has shown synergistic activity with taxanes in preclinical models and early stage clinical trials. Preclinical findings suggested tubulin acetylation and FTase expression levels may be important determinants of drug sensitivity that would help identify patient populations more likely to benefit from this regimen. This pilot study evaluated the biological effects of LNF and docetaxel (DTX) combination therapy in refractory solid tumors by comparing pretreatment and post-treatment tumor biopsies. Patients with histologically confirmed locally advanced or metastatic solid malignancies refractory to standard therapies or with no effective therapies available were eligible. Patients were randomized to 1 of 4 dosing cohorts: 1) 30 mg/m², 100 mg; 2) 36 mg/m², 100 mg; 3) 30 mg/m², 150 mg; or 4) 36 mg/m², 150 mg of DTX intravenously weekly, LNF orally twice daily, respectively. Of the 38 patients enrolled, 36 were treated, and 29 were evaluable for toxicity and response assessment. The combination of LNF and DTX was tolerated in all cohorts with the exception of a 28% incidence of grade 3/4 diarrhea, which was manageable with aggressive antidiarrheal regimens. Seven patients derived clinically meaningful benefit from this combination treatment; these patients had significantly lower basal FTase-beta mRNA expression levels than the mean study population level (P < .05). Correlation of clinical benefit with tubulin acetylation content as well as basal acetyl-tubulin content were evaluated. However, no significant correlation was found. Despite the small number of patients, these findings support our preclinical mechanistic studies and warrant further clinical investigations using FTase-beta mRNA expression as a potential predictive biomarker to select for an enriched patient population to study the effects of taxane and FTase inhibitor combination therapies.
    Cancer 03/2011; 117(17):4049-59. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    Marisa Carbonaro, Aurora O'Brate, Paraskevi Giannakakou
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    ABSTRACT: The hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) is overexpressed in solid tumors, driving tumor angiogenesis and survival. However, the mechanisms regulating HIF-1α expression in solid tumors are not fully understood. In this study, we find that microtubule integrity and dynamics are intricately involved in orchestrating HIF-1α translation. HIF-1α messenger RNA (mRNA) traffics on dynamic microtubules when it is actively translated. Microtubule perturbation by taxol (TX) and other microtubule-targeting drugs stalls HIF-1α mRNA transport and releases it from polysomes, suppressing its translation. Immunoprecipitation of the P-body component Argonaute 2 (Ago2) after microtubule disruption shows significant enrichment of HIF-1α mRNAs and HIF-targeting microRNAs (miRNAs). Inhibition of HIF-repressing miRNAs or Ago2 knockdown abrogates TX's ability to suppress HIF-1α translation. Interestingly, microtubule repolymerization after nocodazole washout allows HIF-1α mRNA to reenter active translation, suggesting that microtubule dynamics exert tight yet reversible control over HIF-1α translation. Collectively, we provide evidence for a new mechanism of microtubule-dependent HIF-1α translation with important implications for cell biology.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 01/2011; 192(1):83-99. · 10.82 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
660.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2013
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      • • Division of Hospital Medicine
      • • Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Medicine
      Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 2002–2009
    • Emory University
      • Winship Cancer Institute
      Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
      • School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
      Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 1997–2006
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      • • Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology
      • • Department of Chemistry
      La Jolla, CA, United States
    • NCI-Frederick
      Maryland, United States
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 1998–2002
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Branch of Medical Genetics
      • • Program of Developmental Therapeutics
      Maryland, United States
  • 2001
    • Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research
      • Department of Oncology
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 1997–2000
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • Developmental Therapeutics Program
      Maryland, United States