[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: N-terminal tags on the catalytic (p110) sub-unit of PI 3-kinase have previously been shown to increase cell signaling and oncogenic transformation. Here we test the impact of an N-terminal His-tag on in vitro lipid and protein kinase activity of all class-1 PI 3-kinase isoforms and two representative oncogenic mutant forms (E545K and H1047R), in order to elucidate the mechanisms behind this elevated signaling and transformation observed in vivo. Our results show that an N-terminal His-tag has no impact on lipid kinase activity as measured by enzyme titration, kinetics and inhibitor susceptibility. Conversely the N-terminal His-tag did result in a differential effect on protein kinase activity, further potentiating the elevated protein kinase activity of both the helical domain and catalytic domain oncogenic mutants with relation to p110 phosphorylation. All other isoforms also showed elevated p110 phosphorylation (although not statistically significant). We conclude that the previously reported increase in cell signaling and oncogenic-like transformation in response to p110 N-terminal tags is not mediated via an increase in the lipid kinase activity of PI 3-kinase, but may be mediated by increased p110 autophosphorylation and/or other, as yet unidentified, intracellular protein/protein interactions. We further observe that tagged recombinant protein is suitable for use in in vitro lipid kinase screens to identify PI 3-kinase inhibitors, however we recommend that in vivo (including intracellular) experiments and investigations into the protein kinase activity of PI 3-K should be conducted with untagged constructs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peptide hormones that modulate insulin secretion have been recognized to have therapeutic potential, with peptides such as amylin (pramlintide acetate, Symlin) and exendin-4 (exenatide, Byetta) now commercially available. Preptin is a peptide that has been shown to increase insulin secretion in vitro and in vivo. Here we describe the first chemical synthesis and analysis of a short series of preptin analogues based on the rat preptin sequence. Phe 21 in the preptin sequence was substituted with the non-protein amino acids D-Phe, D-Hphe, 3-aminobenzoic acid, and 1-aminocyclooctane-1-carboxylic acid, which rendered the preptin analogues resistant to chymotryptic protease hydrolysis at this position. Substitution of Phe 21 with these non-protein amino acids did not abrogate the insulin-secretory effect of preptin, with analogues showing a similar dose-dependent effect on insulin secretion from βTC6-F7 mouse β-cells in both the presence and absence of glucose as unmodified rat preptin. Further studies on the stability of the preptin analogues and their effect on insulin secretion are in progress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Chemical Biology & Drug Design 06/2013; · 2.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A range of 4-substituted derivatives of the pan class I PI 3-kinase inhibitor 2-(difluoromethyl)-1-[4,6-di-(4-morpholinyl)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]-1H-benzimidazole (ZSTK474) were prepared in a search for more soluble analogs. 4-Aminoalkoxy substituents provided the most potent derivatives, with the 4-O(CH2)3NMe2 analog (compound 14) being identified as displaying the best overall activity in combination with good aqueous solubility (25 mg/mL for the hydrochloride salt). This compound was tested in a U87MG xenograft model, but displayed less potency than ZSTK474 as a result of an unfavorable pharmacokinetic profile.
European journal of medicinal chemistry 04/2013; 64C:137-147. · 3.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to lipid kinase activity, the class-I PI 3-kinases also function as protein kinases targeting regulatory autophosphorylation sites and exogenous substrates. The latter include a recently identified regulatory phosphorylation of the GM-CSF/IL-3 βc receptor contributing to survival of acute myeloid leukaemia cells. Previous studies suggested differences in the protein kinase activity of the 4 isoforms of class-I PI 3-kinase so we compared the ability of all class-I PI 3-kinases and 2 common oncogenic mutants to autophosphorylate, and to phosphorylate an intracellular fragment of the GM-CSF/IL-3 βc receptor (βic). We find p110α, p110β and p110γ all phosphorylate βic but p110δ is much less effective. The two most common oncogenic mutants of p110α, H1047R and E545K have stronger protein kinase activity than wildtype p110α, both in terms of autophosphorylation and towards βic. Importantly, the lipid kinase activity of the oncogenic mutants is still inhibited by autophosphorylation to a similar extent as wildtype p110α. Previous evidence indicates the protein kinase activity of p110α is Mn(2+) dependent, casting doubt over its role in vivo. However, we show that the oncogenic mutants of p110α plus p110β and p110γ all display significant activity in the presence of Mg(2+). Furthermore we demonstrate that some small molecule inhibitors of p110α lipid kinase activity (PIK-75 and A66) are equally effective against the protein kinase activity, but other inhibitors (e.g. wortmannin and TGX221) show different patterns of inhibition against the lipid and protein kinases activities. These findings have implications for the function of PI 3-kinase, especially in tumours carrying p110α mutations.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e71337. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The flavone acetic acid derivative DMXAA [5,6-dimethylXAA (xanthenone-4-acetic acid), Vadimezan, ASA404] is a drug that displayed vascular-disrupting activity and induced haemorrhagic necrosis and tumour regression in pre-clinical animal models. Both immune-mediated and non-immune-mediated effects contributed to the tumour regression. The vascular disruption was less in human tumours, with immune-mediated effects being less prominent, but nonetheless DMXAA showed promising effects in Phase II clinical trials in non-small-cell lung cancer. However, these effects were not replicated in Phase III clinical trials. It has been difficult to understand the differences between the pre-clinical findings and the later clinical trials as the molecular targets for the agent have never been clearly established. To investigate the mechanism of action, we sought to determine whether DMXAA might target protein kinases. We found that, at concentrations achieved in blood during clinical trials, DMXAA has inhibitory effects against several kinases, with most potent effects being on members of the VEGFR (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor) tyrosine kinase family. Some analogues of DMXAA were even more effective inhibitors of these kinases, in particular 2-MeXAA (2-methylXAA) and 6-MeXAA (6-methylXAA). The inhibitory effects were greatest against VEGFR2 and, consistent with this, we found that DMXAA, 2-MeXAA and 6-MeXAA were able to block angiogenesis in zebrafish embryos and also inhibit VEGFR2 signalling in HUVECs (human umbilical vein endothelial cells). Taken together, these results indicate that at least part of the effects of DMXAA are due to it acting as a multi-kinase inhibitor and that the anti-VEGFR activity in particular may contribute to the non-immune-mediated effects of DMXAA on the vasculature.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Structure-activity relationship studies of the pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine class of PI3 kinase inhibitors show that substitution off the hydrazone nitrogen and replacement of the sulfonyl both gave a loss of p110α selectivity, with the exception of an N-hydroxyethyl analogue. Limited substitutions were tolerated around the phenyl ring; in particular the 2,5-substitution pattern was important for PI3 kinase activity. The N-hydroxyethyl compound also showed good inhibition of cell proliferation and inhibition of phosphorylation of Akt/PKB, a downstream marker of PI3 kinase activity. It had suitable pharmacokinetics for evaluation in vivo, and showed tumour growth inhibition in two human tumour cell lines in xenograft studies. This work has provided suggestions for the design of more soluble analogues.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have made a novel series of pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridines as PI3 kinase inhibitors, and demonstrated their selectivity for the p110α isoform over the other Class Ia PI3 kinases. We investigated the SAR around the pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine ring system, and found compound 5x to be a particularly potent example (p110α IC(50) 0.9nM). This compound inhibits cell proliferation and phosphorylation of Akt/PKB, a downstream marker of PI3 kinase activity, and showed in vivo activity in an HCT-116 human xenograft model.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A structure-activity relationship (SAR) study of the pan class I PI 3-kinase inhibitor 2-(difluoromethyl)-1-[4,6-di(4-morpholinyl)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]-1H-benzimidazole (ZSTK474) identified substitution at the 4 and 6 positions of the benzimidazole ring as having significant effects on the potency of substituted derivatives. The 6-amino-4-methoxy analogue displayed a greater than 1000-fold potency enhancement over the corresponding 6-aza-4-methoxy analogue against all three class Ia PI 3-kinase enzymes (p110α, p110β, and p110δ) and also displayed significant potency against two mutant forms of the p110α isoform (H1047R and E545K). This compound was also evaluated in vivo against a U87MG human glioblastoma tumor xenograft model in Rag1(-/-) mice, and at a dose of 50 mg/kg given by ip injection at a qd × 10 dosing schedule it dramatically reduced cancer growth by 81% compared to untreated controls.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2011; 54(20):7105-26. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychological stress has been shown to impair wound healing, but experimental research in surgical patients is lacking. This study investigated whether a brief psychological intervention could reduce stress and improve wound healing in surgical patients. This randomised controlled trial was conducted at a surgical centre. Inclusion criteria were English-speaking patients over 18 years booked to undergo elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy; exclusion criteria were cancellation of surgery, medical complications, and refusal of consent. Seventy five patients were randomised and 15 patients were excluded; 60 patients completed the study (15 male, 45 female). Participants were randomised to receive standard care or standard care plus a 45-min psychological intervention that included relaxation and guided imagery with take-home relaxation CDs for listening to for 3 days before and 7 days after surgery. In both groups ePTFE tubes were inserted during surgery and removed at 7 days after surgery and analysed for hydroxyproline as a measure of collagen deposition and wound healing. Change in perceived stress from before surgery to 7-day follow-up was assessed using questionnaires. Intervention group patients showed a reduction in perceived stress compared with the control group, controlling for age. Patients in the intervention group had higher hydroxyproline deposition in the wound than did control group patients (difference in means 0.35, 95% CI 0.66-0.03; t(43)=2.23, p=0.03). Changes in perceived stress were not associated with hydroxyproline deposition. A brief relaxation intervention prior to surgery can reduce stress and improve the wound healing response in surgical patients. The intervention may have particular clinical application for those at risk of poor healing following surgery.
Brain Behavior and Immunity 06/2011; 26(2):212-7. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic alterations in PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) signalling are common in cancer and include deletions in PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10), amplifications of PIK3CA and mutations in two distinct regions of the PIK3CA gene. This suggests drugs targeting PI3K, and p110α in particular, might be useful in treating cancers. Broad-spectrum inhibition of PI3K is effective in preventing growth factor signalling and tumour growth, but suitable inhibitors of p110α have not been available to study the effects of inhibiting this isoform alone. In the present study we characterize a novel small molecule, A66, showing the S-enantiomer to be a highly specific and selective p110α inhibitor. Using molecular modelling and biochemical studies, we explain the basis of this selectivity. Using a panel of isoform-selective inhibitors, we show that insulin signalling to Akt/PKB (protein kinase B) is attenuated by the additive effects of inhibiting p110α/p110β/p110δ in all cell lines tested. However, inhibition of p110α alone was sufficient to block insulin signalling to Akt/PKB in certain cell lines. The responsive cell lines all harboured H1047R mutations in PIK3CA and have high levels of p110α and class-Ia PI3K activity. This may explain the increased sensitivity of these cells to p110α inhibitors. We assessed the activation of Akt/PKB and tumour growth in xenograft models and found that tumours derived from two of the responsive cell lines were also responsive to A66 in vivo. These results show that inhibition of p110α alone has the potential to block growth factor signalling and reduce growth in a subset of tumours.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Misfolding of the islet β-cell peptide hA (human amylin) into β-sheet-containing oligomers is linked to β-cell apoptosis and the pathogenesis of T2DM (Type 2 diabetes mellitus). In the present study, we have investigated the possible effects on hA misfolding of the chaperones HSP (heat-shock protein) 70, GRP78/BiP (glucose-regulated protein of 78 kDa/immunoglobulin heavy-chain-binding protein) and HSP40/DnaJ. We demonstrate that hA underwent spontaneous time-dependent β-sheet formation and aggregation by thioflavin-T fluorescence in solution, whereas rA (rat amylin) did not. HSP70, GRP78/BiP and HSP40/DnaJ each independently suppressed hA misfolding. Maximal molar protein/hA ratios at which chaperone activity was detected were 1:200 (HSP70, HSP40/DnaJ and GRP78/BiP). By contrast, none of the chaperones modified the secondary structure of rA. hA, but not rA, was co-precipitated independently with HSP70 and GRP78/BiP by anti-amylin antibodies. As these effects occur at molar ratios consistent with chaperone binding to relatively rare misfolded hA species, we conclude that HSP70 and GRP78/BiP can detect and bind misfolded hA oligomers, thereby effectively protecting hA against bulk misfolding and irreversible aggregation. Defective β-cell chaperone biology could contribute to hA misfolding and initiation of apoptosis in T2DM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) is a potent mitogen that regulates prenatal growth and development in both humans and rodents. Its role in post-natal life is less clear although immunohistochemical studies have observed IGF-II-like immunoreactivity (IGF-II-LI) associated with insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells. Here we isolated secretory granules from a β-cell line, βTC6-F7, and characterized the nature of the IGF-II-LI located therein.
Secretory granules were isolated from cultured mouse βTC6-F7 cells by ultracentrifugation. Granule protein content was separated by reversed-phase HPLC, and assayed for IGF-II (radioimmunoassay) prior to identification by gas-phase NH(2)-terminal sequencing and MALDI-TOF MS. Effects of glucose incorporation into muscle glycogen were determined by incubating with isolated rat soleus muscle strips.
βTC6-F7 cells contained 60 ± 8 pmol of IGF-II-LI per 10⁶ cells compared to 340 ± 44 pmol insulin-LI per 10⁶ cells. IGF-II immunoreactive fractions were found to contain an IGF-II-like molecule with a molecular mass of 6847.6 Da. The protein was found to be a two-chain insulin-like product of Igf2 that corresponds to mouse des(37-40)IGF-II, which we termed 'vesiculin'. This molecule was also detectable in βTC6-F7 cells by intact-cell mass spectrometry. Mouse vesiculin evoked concentration-dependent stimulation of muscle glycogen synthesis ex vivo with an EC(50) value of 131 nM ± 1.35.
Vesiculin, des(37-40)IGF-II, is a novel two-chain insulin-like hormone and the major "IGF-II-like" peptide found in purified mouse βTC6-F7 secretory granules. It stimulated ex vivo muscle glycogen synthesis with an efficacy greater than or equal to the intrinsic potency of IGF-II when compared to insulin derived from the same species.
Growth hormone & IGF research: official journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society 10/2010; 20(5):360-6. · 2.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: beta-Cell granules contain proteins involved in fuel regulation, which when altered, contribute to metabolic disorders including diabetes mellitus. We analyzed proteins present in purified granules from the INS-1E beta-cell model. Fifty-one component proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS including hormones, granins, protein processing components, cellular trafficking components, enzymes implicated in cellular metabolism and chaperone proteins. These findings may increase understanding of granule secretion and the processes leading to protein aggregation and beta-cell death in type-2 diabetes.
Journal of Proteome Research 01/2009; 8(1):178-86. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenteric lymph contributes to normal homeostasis and has an emerging role in the pathogenesis of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. The aim of this study was to define the proteome of normal rodent mesenteric lymph in the fasted and fed states. Eight male Wistar rats fed a standard rodent diet were randomized to two groups. Group 1 (fasted, n = 4) were fasted for 24 h before anesthetized collection of mesenteric lymph. Group 2 (fed, n = 4) were allowed ad libitum access to food before lymph collection. Mesenteric lymph was subjected to proteomic analysis using iTRAQ and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). One hundred fifty proteins, including 26 hypothetical proteins, were identified in this study. All proteins were identified in lymph from both the fasted and fed states. The relative distribution profiles of protein functional classes in the mesenteric lymph differed significantly from that reported for plasma. The most abundant classes identified in lymph were protease inhibitors (16%) and proteins related to innate immunity (12%). In conclusion, this study provides the first detailed description of the normal mesenteric lymph proteome in the fed and fasted states using iTRAQ and LC-MS/MS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Proteinuria is a characteristic feature of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) that may allow unique insights into AP pathophysiology. This study used a proteomic approach to differentiate the abundant urinary proteins in AP patients. Materials and methods. Urine samples were prospectively collected from 4 groups (5 SAP, 10 mild gallstone AP, 7 mild alcohol AP, 7 controls). Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC MALDI) were used to identify urinary proteins and determine any differences between the groups. Results. There were 17 RP-HPLC major peaks in SAP groups of significantly greater absorbance magnitude than the corresponding ones in mild and control groups. Various mass spectrometry methods were used to identify 21 different parent proteins from these SAP peaks. They included fibrinogen, serum amyloid A, insulin and calcitonin gene-related peptides. There were no identifiable protein peaks at the corresponding elution times in the mild pancreatitis and controls samples. Discussion. Proteomic techniques offer a unique unexplored window into AP pathophysiology. The utility of these proteins as markers of pancreatitis severity now need to be further investigated and the identification extended to the full urinary proteome as technology permits.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The application of intact-cell mass spectrometry (ICM) by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry to achieve direct protein-profiling of bacterial species is now well established. However, this methodology has not to our knowledge been applied to the analysis of mammalian cells in routine culture. Here, we describe a novel application of ICM by which we have identified proteins in intact cells from two lines representative of pancreatic islet alpha- and beta-cells. Adherent alphaTC1 clone 9 and betaTC6 F7 cells were harvested into phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) using enzyme-free dissociation buffer before 1 microL of cell suspension was spotted onto MALDI plates. Cells were overlaid with sinapinic acid then washed with pure water before application of a final coat of sinapinic acid. Data in the 2000-20,000 m/z range were acquired in linear mode on a Voyager DE-Pro mass spectrometer. The proteins which ionised were composed in large part of peptide hormones (e.g. insulin and glucagon) known to be packaged into the secretory granules of the beta- and alpha-cells respectively. However, in addition to visualising the peptides expected to be associated with these cells, a mass consistent with oxyntomodulin was identified in the cultured alpha-cells, a finding not previously reported to our knowledge. In summary, this paper describes, for the first time, a rapid and direct method useful for identifying secretory products in intact endocrine cells.
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 02/2007; 21(21):3452-8. · 2.51 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatic islet beta-cells secrete the hormones insulin, amylin and pancreastatin. To search for further beta-cell hormones, we purified peptides from secretory granules isolated from cultured murine beta TC6-F7 beta-cells. We identified a 34-amino-acid peptide (3948 Da), corresponding to Asp(69)-Leu(102) of the proinsulin-like growth factor II E-peptide, which we have termed 'preptin'. Preptin, is present in islet beta-cells and undergoes glucose-mediated co-secretion with insulin. Synthetic preptin increases insulin secretion from glucose-stimulated beta TC6-F7 cells in a concentration-dependent and saturable manner. Preptin infusion into the isolated, perfused rat pancreas increases the second phase of glucose-mediated insulin secretion by 30%, while anti-preptin immunoglobulin infusion decreases the first and second phases of insulin secretion by 29 and 26% respectively. These findings suggest that preptin is a physiological amplifier of glucose-mediated insulin secretion.