Curtis J Henrich

National Cancer Institute (USA), Maryland, United States

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Publications (28)100.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Deregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-70kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (p70(S6K)) pathway is commonly observed in many tumors. This pathway controls proliferation, survival, and translation, and its overactivation is associated with poor prognosis for tumor-associated survival. Current efforts focus on the development of novel inhibitors of this pathway. In a cell-based high-throughput screening assay of 15 272 pure natural compounds, we identified pomiferin triacetate as a potent stabilizer of the tumor suppressor programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4). Mechanistically, pomiferin triacetate appeared as a general inhibitor of the PI3K-Akt-mTOR-p70(S6K) cascade. Interference with this pathway occurred downstream of Akt but upstream of p70(S6K). Specifically, mTOR kinase emerged as the molecular target of pomiferin triacetate, with similar activities against mTOR complexes 1 and 2. In an in vitro mTOR kinase assay pomiferin triacetate dose-dependently inhibited mTOR with an IC50 of 6.2 μM. Molecular docking studies supported the interaction of the inhibitor with the catalytic site of mTOR. Importantly, pomiferin triacetate appeared to be highly selective for mTOR compared to a panel of 17 lipid and 50 protein kinases tested. As a consequence of the mTOR inhibition, pomiferin triacetate efficiently attenuated translation. In summary, pomiferin triacetate emerged as a novel and highly specific mTOR inhibitor with strong translation inhibitory effects. Thus, it might be an interesting lead structure for the development of mTOR- and translation-targeted anti-tumor therapies.
    Biochemical pharmacology 02/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) based bioassay-guided phytochemical investigation on Simarouba berteroana led to the isolation of one new canthin-6-one-9-methoxy-5-O-β-d-glucopyranoside (1), seven known canthine alkaloids (2–8), two known quassinoids (9–10) and a known neo-lignan (11). The structures of all compounds were established by HRMS, 1D- and 2D NMR analysis and comparison with previously reported data. Most of the compounds inhibited the proliferation of an Nf1- and p53-deficient mouse glioma cell line at non-cytotoxic concentrations.
    Phytochemistry Letters 01/2014; 7:42–45. · 1.18 Impact Factor
  • Curtis J Henrich, John A Beutler
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    ABSTRACT: Covering: up to 2013Application of high throughput screening technologies to natural product samples demands alterations in assay design as well as sample preparation in order to yield meaningful hit structures at the end of the campaign.
    Natural Product Reports 08/2013; · 10.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell marker, EpCAM, is an important indicator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling activation and a functional component of hepatocellular tumor-initiating cells. A high-throughput screening assay was developed to identify inhibitors of EpCAM-dependent growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. EpCAM(+) and EpCAM(-) HCC cell lines were assessed for differential sensitivity to a Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibitor. Libraries comprising 22 668 pure compounds and 107 741 crude or partially purified natural product extracts were tested, and 12 pure compounds and 67 natural product extracts were identified for further study. Three active compounds and the positive control were further characterized in terms of effects on EpCAM expression. Treatment of EpCAM(+) Hep3B cells resulted in loss of EpCAM expression as assessed by flow cytometry. This reduction was incomplete (most cells continued to express EpCAM), but resulted in generation of cell populations expressing lower levels of EpCAM. Sublethal concentrations (~IC50 ) reduced median EpCAM expression to 28% of control after 1 day and 19% of control after 2 days. Reduction in EpCAM expression preceded growth inhibition suggesting that a threshold of EpCAM expression may be required for growth of EpCAM-dependent cells. The identification of compounds with a variety of possible molecular targets suggests a likelihood of multiple mechanisms for modulation of EpCAM-dependent cell growth.
    Chemical Biology &amp Drug Design 08/2013; 82(2):131-9. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-based bioassay-guided phytochemical investigation on Zanthoxylum armatum collected in Nepal led to the isolation of new timuramides A-D (1-4) and six known sanshools (5-10). The structures of all compounds were established by using modern spectroscopic techniques, including 1D and 2D NMR analysis and comparison with previously reported data. Most of the compounds inhibited growth of an Nf1- and p53-deficient mouse glioma cell line at noncytotoxic concentrations.
    Journal of Natural Products 12/2012; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two new sesterterpenoids named flabelliferins A (1) and B (2) were isolated from the lipophilic extract of the sponge Cateriospongia flabellifera, collected in the South Pacific near Vanuatu. The structure and absolute configuration of these two compounds were assigned by a combination of one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and by Mosher's ester analysis. Flabelliferin A (1) has a rare 25-homocheilanthane carbon skeleton, while flabelliferin B (2) is a 24-nor-25-homoscalarane sesterterpenoid.
    Journal of Natural Products 07/2012; 75(8):1490-4. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Barleria alluaudii and Diospyros maritima were both investigated as part of an ongoing search for synergistic TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) sensitizers. As a result of this study, two naphthoquinone epoxides, 2,3-epoxy-2,3-dihydrolapachol (1) and 2,3-epoxy-2,3-dihydro-8-hydroxylapachol (2), both not previously isolated from natural sources, and the known 2-methylanthraquinone (3) were identified from B. alluaudii. Time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations of electronic circular dichroism (ECD) spectra were utilized to establish the absolute configuration of 1 and 2. Additionally, five known naphthoquinone derivatives, maritinone (4), elliptinone (5), plumbagin (6), (+)-cis-isoshinanolone (7), and ethylidene-6,6'-biplumbagin (8), were isolated from D. maritima. Compounds 1, 2, and 4-6 showed varying levels of synergy with TRAIL. Maritinone (4) and elliptinone (5) showed the highest synergistic effect, with more than a 3-fold increase in activity observed with TRAIL than with compound alone.
    Journal of Natural Products 02/2012; 75(3):394-9. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4 was reported for various tumor entities and proposed as a prognostic marker in tumorigenesis. We previously characterized decreased Pdcd4 protein stability in response to mitogenic stimuli, which resulted from p70(S6K1)-dependent protein phosphorylation, β-TrCP1-mediated ubiquitination, and proteasomal destruction. Following high-throughput screening of natural product extract libraries using a luciferase-based reporter assay to monitor phosphorylation-dependent proteasomal degradation of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4, we succeeded in showing that a crude extract from Eriophyllum lanatum stabilized Pdcd4 from TPA-induced degradation. Erioflorin was identified as the active component and inhibited not only degradation of the Pdcd4-luciferase-based reporter but also of endogenous Pdcd4 at low micromolar concentrations. Mechanistically, erioflorin interfered with the interaction between the E3-ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1 and Pdcd4 in cell culture and in in vitro binding assays, consequently decreasing ubiquitination and degradation of Pdcd4. Interestingly, while erioflorin stabilized additional β-TrCP-targets (such as IκBα and β-catenin), it did not prevent the degradation of targets of other E3-ubiquitin ligases such as p21 (a Skp2-target) and HIF-1α (a pVHL-target), implying selectivity for β-TrCP. Moreover, erioflorin inhibited the tumor-associated activity of known Pdcd4- and IκBα-regulated αtranscription factors, that is, AP-1 and NF-κB, altered cell cycle progression and suppressed proliferation of various cancer cell lines. Our studies succeeded in identifying erioflorin as a novel Pdcd4 stabilizer that inhibits the interaction of Pdcd4 with the E3-ubiquitin ligase β-TrCP1. Inhibition of E3-ligase/target-protein interactions may offer the possibility to target degradation of specific proteins only as compared to general proteasome inhibition.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e46567. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have accomplished a parallel screen of cycloaddition partners for o-quinols utilizing a plate-based microwave system. Microwave irradiation improves the efficiency of retro-Diels-Alder/Diels-Alder cascades of o-quinol dimers which generally proceed in a diastereoselective fashion. Computational studies indicate that asynchronous transition states are favored in Diels-Alder cycloadditions of o-quinols. Subsequent biological evaluation of a collection of cycloadducts has identified an inhibitor of activator protein-1 (AP-1), an oncogenic transcription factor.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 09/2011; 76(21):8944-54. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cucurbitacins B and D were among the compounds identified as sensitizers of cancer cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in a high-throughput screen. Therefore a series of cucurbitacins was further investigated for TRAIL sensitization and possible mechanisms of action. A total of six cucurbitacins promoted TRAIL-induced apoptosis (B, I, E, C, D, and K) and one (P) was inactive. Sensitization of renal adenocarcinoma cells to TRAIL was apparent after as little as 1-4 h pretreatment and did not require continued presence of cucurbitacin. Active cucurbitacins induced caspase-8 activation only after subsequent TRAIL addition and caspase activation was required for apoptosis suggesting amplified proximal signaling from TRAIL death receptors. Cucurbitacin-sensitized TRAIL-induced cytotoxicity was inhibited by N-acetyl cysteine. Structure-activity relationship analysis in comparison to published studies suggests that TRAIL-sensitizing and general cytotoxic activities of cucurbitacins may be decoupled. Cucurbitacins are reported to be inhibitors of STAT3 activation. However, their TRAIL-sensitizing activity is STAT3-independent. Treatment of renal carcinoma cells with active cucurbitacins produced rapid and dramatic changes in cell morphology and cytoskeletal organization (also prevented by NAC). Therefore, cucurbitacins may be useful as tools for investigating the molecular mechanism(s) of action of TRAIL sensitizers, particularly with regard to temporal aspects of sensitization and modulation of TRAIL signaling by cell morphology, and could form the basis for future therapeutic development in combination with TRAIL death receptor agonists.
    Apoptosis 09/2011; 17(1):79-89. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our current natural product program utilizes new actinomycetes originating from unexplored and underexplored ecological niches, employing cytotoxicity against a selected panel of cancer cell lines as the preliminary screen to identify hit strains for natural product dereplication, followed by mechanism-based assays of the purified natural products to discover potential anticancer drug leads. Three new linear polyketides, actinopolysporins A (1), B (2), and C (3), along with the known antineoplastic antibiotic tubercidin (4), were isolated from the halophilic actinomycete Actinopolyspora erythraea YIM 90600, and the structures of the new compounds were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic data interpretation. All four compounds were assayed for their ability to stabilize the tumor suppressor programmed cell death protein 4 (Pdcd4), which is known to antagonize critical events in oncogenic pathways. Only 4 significantly inhibited proteasomal degradation of a model Pdcd4-luciferase fusion protein, with an IC50 of 0.88±0.09 μM, unveiling a novel biological activity for this well-studied natural product.
    Journal of Natural Products 08/2011; 74(9):1990-5. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high throughput screen for inhibitors of the oncogenic transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1) was applied to the NCI repository of natural product extracts. The liphophilic extract of the plant Nothospondias staudtii (Simaroubaceae) displayed significant AP-1 inhibition. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract lead to a new quassinoid named nothospondin (1), and the known compound glaucarubinone (2). The structure of 1 was elucidated by spectroscopic methods. Compounds 1 and 2 showed potent, dose-dependent AP-1 inhibition at noncytotoxic concentrations.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 08/2011; 21(15):4397-9. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Grassypeptolides F (1) and G (2), bis-thiazoline-containing cyclic depsipeptides with a rare β-amino acid, extensive N-methylation, and a large number of d-amino acids, are reported from an extract of the Palauan cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. Both 1 and 2 were found to have moderate inhibitory activity against the transcription factor AP-1 (IC₅₀ = 5.2 and 6.0 μM, respectively).
    Journal of Natural Products 08/2011; 74(8):1686-91. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high-throughput cell-based reporter assay designed to identify small-molecule stabilizers of the tumor suppressor Pdcd4 was used to screen extracts in the NCI Natural Products Repository. Bioassay-guided fractionation of an extract from a Papua New Guinea collection of the tropical tree Cryptocarya sp. provided a series of new 5,6-dihydro-α-pyrone-containing 1,3-polyols (1-8), named cryptocaryols A-H. Their structures were assigned from a combination of NMR, MS, and CD studies in conjunction with NMR database comparisons. Compounds 1-8 were found to rescue Pdcd4 from TPA-induced degradation with EC50 concentrations that ranged from 1.3 to 4.9 μM.
    Journal of Natural Products 05/2011; 74(5):1015-20. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An activator protein-1 (AP-1) based bioassay-guided phytochemical investigation on Podocarpus latifolius led to the isolation of three new sempervirol-type diterpenes, cycloinumakiol (1), inumakal (2), and inumakoic acid (3), along with three known norditerpenes (4-6). Compounds 4 and 6 were responsible for the observed bioactivity.
    Journal of Natural Products 02/2011; 74(3):374-7. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overexpression of ABCG2, a membrane-bound multi-drug transporter, can make tumor cells resistant to treatment with conventional chemotherapeutic agents. A high-throughput screening effort with the NCI repository of natural product extracts revealed that eight tropical plant extracts significantly inhibited the function of ABCG2. This activity was tracked throughout the extract fractionation process to a series of ABCG2 inhibitory flavonoids (1-13). Their structures were identified by a combination of NMR, mass spectrometry, and circular dichroism studies, and this resulted in the elucidation of (2S)-5,7,3'-trihydroxy-4'-methoxy-8-(3''-methylbut-2''-enyl)-flavonone (1), (2S)-5,7,3',5'-tetrahydroxy-8-[3'',8''-dimethylocta-2''(E),7''-dienyl]flavonone (3), and 5,7,3'-trihydroxy-3,5'-dimethoxy-2'-(3'-methylbut-2-enyl)flavone (12) as new compounds.
    Journal of Natural Products 01/2011; 74(2):262-6. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Casearia arguta was investigated as part of the ongoing search for synergistic TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-α-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) sensitizers. As a result of this study, argutins A-H, eight new highly oxygenated clerodane diterpenes, were isolated from the plant Casearia arguta collected in Guatemala. The modified Mosher ester method was utilized to establish the absolute configuration of argutins A and F. Each of the argutins showed varying levels of synergy with TRAIL. Argutin B showed the highest TRAIL sensitization; the synergistic effect of argutin B and TRAIL together was 3-fold greater than argutin B alone.
    Journal of Natural Products 11/2010; 73(12):2013-8. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Five new naphthopyrones (1-5) along with the known compounds TMC-256A1, 5,8-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-2-propyl-4H-naphtho[2,3-b]pyran-4-one, TMC-256C1, comaparvin, 6-methoxycomaparvin, and 6-methoxycomaparvin 5-methyl ether (6-11) were isolated from crinoids of the family Comasteridae. All compounds were tested for their ability to inhibit the multidrug transporter ABCG2, which plays a role in drug resistance. Six of the seven angular naphthopyrones showed moderate activity with <60% inhibition of ABCG2-mediated transport as compared to the positive control fumitremorgin C. None of the linear naphthopyrones inhibited ABCG2-mediated efflux.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 07/2010; 20(13):3848-50. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In previous work, botryllamides discovered from the marine ascidian Botryllus tyreus were characterized as selective inhibitors of the ABCG2 multidrug transporter. However, the structural basis for this activity could not be established. In this study, botryllamide F, the core botryllamide structure, and botryllamide G, the most potent botryllamide ABCG2 inhibitor, were synthesized along with a series of structural variants for evaluation of structure-activity relationships. The biological activity of synthetic botryllamide analogs implied that the 2-methoxy-p-coumaric acid portion, and the degree of double bond conjugation within this group, were critical for inhibition of ABCG2. However, variations in the substituents on the two aryl groups did not appear to significantly impact the potency or degree of inhibition.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 02/2010; 20(4):1330-3. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The novel tumor suppressor Pdcd4 affects tumorigenesis by inhibiting translation. Pdcd4 is phosphorylated and subsequently lost by proteasomal degradation in response to tumor-promoting conditions. Here, the authors describe the development of a reporter cell system to monitor the stability of Pdcd4. The phosphorylation-dependent degradation domain ("target") or an adjacent ("off-target") region of Pdcd4 was cloned into a luciferase expression system. The target constructs were responsive to Pdcd4 degrading conditions (e.g., TPA, p70(S6K1) overactivation), whereas the off-target constructs remained stable. The system was optimized for and shown to be reliable in a high-throughput compatible 384-well format. Screening of 15,275 pure compounds resulted in a hit rate of 0.30% (>50% inhibition of TPA-induced loss of signal, confirmed by reassay). Among the hits were inhibitors of previously identified critical signaling events for TPA-induced Pdcd4 degradation. One compound was identified to be nonspecific using the off-target control cell line. Screening of 135,678 natural product extracts yielded 42 confirmed, specific hits. Z' averaged 0.58 across 446 plates. Further characterization of active natural products and synthetic compounds is expected to identify novel Pdcd4 stabilizers that may be useful in targeting translation to prevent or treat cancers.
    Journal of Biomolecular Screening 11/2009; 15(1):21-9. · 2.21 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

139 Citations
231 Downloads
2k Views
100.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • • Molecular Targets Laboratory
      • • Center for Cancer Research
      • • Laboratory of Cancer Prevention
      Maryland, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Molecular Targets Laboratory
      Maryland, United States
  • 2006–2011
    • NCI-Frederick
      Maryland, United States
  • 2010
    • Ritsumeikan University
      • College of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      Kyoto, Kyoto-fu, Japan
  • 2009
    • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
      • Institut für Biochemie
      Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany