[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sperm capacitation has been largely associated with an increase in cAMP, although its relevance in the underlying mechanisms of this maturation process remains elusive. Increasing evidence shows that the extrusion of cAMP through multidrug resistance associated protein 4 (MRP4), regulates cell homeostasis not only in physiological but also in pathophysiological situations and studies from our laboratory strongly support this assumption. In the present work we sought to establish the role of cAMP efflux in the regulation of sperm capacitation. Sperm capacitation was performed in vitro by exposing bovine spermatozoa to bicarbonate 40 and 70 mM; cAMP; probenecid (a MRPs general inhibitor) and an adenosine type 1 receptor (A1 adenosine receptor) selective antagonist (DPCPX). Capacitation was assessed by chlortetracycline assay and lysophosphatidylcholine-induced acrosome reaction assessed by PSA-FITC staining. Intracellular and extracellular cAMP was measured by radiobinding the regulatory subunit of PKA under the same experimental conditions. MRP4 was detected by Western blot and immunohistochemistry assays. Results showed that the inhibition of soluble adenylyl cyclase significantly inhibited bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation. Furthermore, in the presence of 40 and 70 mM bicarbonate bovine spermatozoa synthesized and extruded cAMP. Interestingly, in the absence of IBMX (a PDEs inhibitor) cAMP efflux still operated in sperm cells, suggesting that cAMP extrusion would be a physiological process in the spermatozoa complementary to the action of PDE. Blockade of MRPs by probenecid abolished the efflux of the cyclic nucleotide resulting not only in the accumulation of intracellular cAMP but also in the inhibition of bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation. The effect of probenecid was abolished by exposing sperm cells to cAMP. The high affinity efflux pump for cAMP, MRP4 was expressed in bovine spermatozoa and localized to the mid-piece of the tail as previously reported for soluble adenylyl cyclase and A1 adenosine receptor. Additionally, blockade of A1 adenosine receptor abolished not only bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation but also that stimulated by cAMP. Present findings strongly support that cAMP efflux, presumably through MRP4, and the activation of A1 adenosine receptor regulate some events associated to bicarbonate-induced sperm capacitation, and further suggest a paracrine and/or autocrine role for cAMP.
Molecular Human Reproduction 08/2013; · 4.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The accurate characterization of the molecular mechanisms involved in the action of receptor ligands is important for their appropriate therapeutic use and safety. It is well established that ligands acting at the histamine system currently used in the clinic exert their actions by specifically antagonizing G-protein coupled H1 and H2 receptors. However, most of these ligands, assumed to be neutral antagonists, behave as inverse agonists displaying negative efficacy in experimental systems. This suggests that their therapeutic actions may involve not only receptor blockade, but also the decrease of spontaneous receptor activity. The mechanisms whereby inverse agonists achieve negative efficacy are diverse. Theoretical models predict at least three possible mechanisms, all of which are supported by experimental observations. Depending on the mechanism of action engaged, the inverse agonist could interfere specifically with signaling events triggered by unrelated receptors. This possibility opens up new venues to explain the therapeutic actions of inverse agonists of the histamine receptor and perhaps new therapeutic applications.
European journal of pharmacology 07/2013; · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of tumor-selective drugs with low systemic toxicity has always been a major challenge in cancer treatment. Our group previously identified the 7,8-dihydroxy-4-methylcoumarin (DHMC) as a potential chemotherapeutic agent due to its potent, selective anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing effects on several cancer cell lines over peripheral blood mononuclear cells. However, there are still no published reports that can explain such selectivity of action. Herein, we addressed this question by using the U-937 promonocytic leukemia cell line, which can be forced to differentiate into a monocyte-like phenotype in vitro. U-937 cells differentiation is dependent on the nuclear expression of p21(Cip1/WAF1), a protein that is absent in immature U-937 cells but present in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of normal DHMC-resistant monocytes. Considering that induction of differentiation rendered U-937 cells resistant to DHMC, we evaluated the possible causal role of cytoplasmic p21(Cip1/WAF1) in the onset of such resistance by employing U-937 cells stably transfected with a ZnCl2-inducible p21(Cip1/WAF1) variant lacking the nuclear localization signal (U-937/CB6-ΔNLS-p21 cells). Expression of cytoplasmic p21(Cip1/WAF1) did not induce differentiation of the cells but turned them resistant to DHMC through inhibition of JNK, a crucial mediator of DHMC-induced apoptosis in U-937 cells. Sub-acute toxicity evaluation of DHMC in Balb/c mice indicated that DHMC administered intraperitoneally at doses up to 100mg/kg induced no systemic damage. Collectively, our results explain for the first time the selective cytotoxicity of DHMC for tumor cells over normal monocytes, and encourage further in vivo studies on this compound as potential anti-leukemic agent.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypotonicity triggered in human hepatoma cells (Huh-7) the release of ATP and cell swelling, followed by volume regulatory decrease (RVD). We analyzed how the interaction between those processes modulates cell volume. Cells exposed to hypotonic medium swelled 1.5 times their basal volume. Swelling was followed by 41% RVD40 (extent of RVD after 40 min of maximum), whereas the concentration of extracellular ATP (ATPe) increased 10 times to a maximum value at 15 min. Exogenous apyrase (which removes di- and trinucleotides) did not alter RVD, whereas exogenous Na(+)-K(+) ATPase (which converts ATP to ADP in the extracellular medium) enhanced RVD40 by 2.6 times, suggesting that hypotonic treatment alone produced a basal RVD, whereas extracellular ADP activated RVD to achieve complete volume regulation (i.e., RVD40≈100%). Under hypotonicity, addition of 2MetSADP (ADP analog) increased RVD to the same extent as exposure to Na(+)-K(+) ATPase and the same analog did not stimulate RVD when co-incubated with MRS2211, a blocker of ADP receptor P2Y13. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of P2Y13. Cells exhibited significant ectoATPase activity, which according to RT-PCR analysis can be assigned to ENTPDase2. Both carbenoxolone, a blocker of conductive ATP release, and Brefeldin A, an inhibitor of exocytosis, were able to partially decrease ATPe accumulation, pointing to the presence of at least two mechanisms for ATP release. Thus, in Huh-7 cells, hypotonic treatment triggered the release of ATP. Conversion of ATPe to ADPe by ENTPDase 2 activity facilitates the accumulated ADPe to activate P2Y13 receptors, which mediate complete RVD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling does not result from sequential activation of a linear pathway of proteins/enzymes, but rather from complex interactions of multiple, branched signaling routes, ie, signaling networks. In this work we present an exhaustive study of the crosstalk between H1 and H2 histamine receptors (H1R and H2R) in U937 cells and CHO transfected cells. By desensitization assays we demonstrated the existence of a cross-desensitization between both receptors independent of protein kinase A (PKA) or C (PKC). H1R agonist stimulation inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in U937 cells following treatment for 48h. H1R-induced antiproliferative and apoptotic response was inhibited by an H2R agonist suggesting that the crosstalk between both receptors modifies their function. Binding and confocal microscopy studies revealed cointernalization of both receptors upon treatment with the agonists. In order to evaluate potential heterodimerization of the receptors, sensitized emission FRET experiments were performed in HEK293T cells using H1R-CFP and H2R-YFP. To our knowledge these findings may represent the first demonstration of agonist-induced heterodimerization of the H1R and H2R. In addition, we also show that the inhibition of the internalization process did not prevent receptor cross-desensitization which was mediated by GRK2. Our study provides new insights into the complex signaling network mediated by histamine and further knowledge for the rational use of its ligands.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seminal plasma is not just a carrier for spermatozoa. It contains high concentrations of cytokines, chemokines, and other biological compounds that are able to exert potent effects on the immune system of the receptive partner. Previous studies have shown that semen induces an acute inflammatory response at the female genital mucosa after coitus. Moreover, it induces regulatory mechanisms that allow the fetus (a semiallograft) to grow and develop in the uterus. The mechanisms underlying these regulatory mechanisms, however, are poorly understood. In this study, we show that seminal plasma redirects the differentiation of human dendritic cells (DCs) toward a regulatory profile. DCs differentiated from human monocytes in the presence of high dilutions of seminal plasma did not express CD1a but showed high levels of CD14. They were unable to develop a fully mature phenotype in response to LPS, TNF-α, CD40L, Pam2CSK4 (TLR2/6 agonist), or Pam3CSK4 (TLR1/2 agonist). Upon activation, they produced low amounts of the inflammatory cytokines IL-12p70, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6, but expressed a high ability to produce IL-10 and TGF-β. Inhibition of the PG receptors E-prostanoid receptors 2 and 4 prevented the tolerogenic effect induced by seminal plasma on the phenotype and function of DCs, suggesting that E-series PGs play a major role. By promoting a tolerogenic profile in DCs, seminal plasma might favor fertility, but might also compromise the capacity of the receptive partner to mount an effective immune response against sexually transmitted pathogens.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2012; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies indicated the need of at least one phenolic hydroxyl group in the coumarin core for induction of cytotoxicity in different cell lines. Herein, we present an exhaustive structure-activity relationship study including ortho-dihydroxycoumarins (o-DHC) derivatives, cinnamic acid derivatives (as open-chain coumarin analogues) and 1,2-pyrones (representative of the δ-lactone ring of the coumarin core), carried out to further identify the structural features of o-DHC required to induce leukemic cell differentiation and apoptosis in U-937 cells. Our results show for the first time that the δ-lactone ring positively influences the aforementioned biological effects, by conferring greater potency to compounds with an intact coumarin nucleus. Most tellingly, we reveal herein the crucial role of this molecular portion in determining the selective toxicity that o-DHC show for leukemic cells over normal blood cells. From a pharmacological perspective, our findings point out that o-DHC may be useful prototypes for the development of novel chemotherapeutic agents.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemotherapeutics represent the main approach for the treatment of leukemia. However, the occurrence of adverse side effects and the complete lack of effectiveness in some cases make it necessary to develop new drugs. As part of our screening program to evaluate the potential chemotherapeutic effect of natural coumarins, we investigated the anti-leukemic activities of a series of six prenylated coumarins isolated from the stem bark of Toddalia asiatica (Rutaceae). Among these, 6-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)-5,7-dimethoxycoumarin (toddaculin) displayed the most potent cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects in U-937 cells. To determine whether these effects resulted from induction of cell death or differentiation, we further evaluated the expression of several apoptosis and maturation markers. Interestingly, while toddaculin at 250 μM was able to induce apoptosis in U-937 cells, involving decreased phosphorylation levels of ERK and Akt, 50 μM toddaculin exerted differentiating effects, inducing both the capacity of U-937 cells to reduce NBT and the expression of differentiation markers CD88 and CD11b, but no change in p-Akt or p-ERK levels. Taken together, these findings indicate that toddaculin displays a dual effect as a cell differentiating agent and apoptosis inducer in U-937 cells, suggesting it may serve as a pharmacological prototype for the development of novel anti-leukemic agents.
Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 04/2012; 19(8-9):737-46. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Porphyrias are diseases caused by partial deficiencies of haem biosynthesis enzymes. Acute porphyrias are characterized by a neuropsychiatric syndrome with intermittent induction of hepatic ALAS1 (δ-aminolaevulinate synthase 1), the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the haem pathway. Acute porphyria attacks are usually treated by the administration of glucose; its effect is apparently related to its ability to inhibit ALAS1 by modulating insulin plasma levels. It has been shown that insulin blunts hepatocyte ALAS1 induction, by disrupting the interaction of FOXO1 (forkhead box O1) and PGC-1α (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator 1α). We evaluated the expression of ALAS1 in a murine model of diabetes and determined the effects of the insulinomimetic vanadate on the enzyme regulation to evaluate its potential for the treatment of acute porphyria attacks. Both ALAS1 mRNA and protein content were induced in diabetic animals, accompanied by decreased Akt phosphorylation and increased nuclear FOXO1, PGC-1α and FOXO1-PGC-1α complex levels. Vanadate reversed ALAS1 induction, with a concomitant PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase)/Akt pathway activation and subsequent reduction of nuclear FOXO1, PGC-1α and FOXO1-PGC-1α complex levels. These findings support the notion that the FOXO1-PGC-1α complex is involved in the control of ALAS1 expression and suggest further that a vanadate-based therapy could be beneficial for the treatment of acute porphyria attacks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is widely assumed that G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2)-mediated specific inhibition of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) response involves GRK-mediated receptor phosphorylation followed by β-arrestin binding and subsequent uncoupling from the heterotrimeric G protein. It has recently become evident that GRK2-mediated GPCRs regulation also involves phosphorylation-independent mechanisms. In the present study we investigated whether the histamine H2 receptor (H2R), a Gα(s)-coupled GPCR known to be desensitized by GRK2, needs to be phosphorylated for its desensitization and/or internalization and resensitization. For this purpose we evaluated the effect of the phosphorylating-deficient GRK2K220R mutant on H2R signaling in U937, COS7, and HEK293T cells. We found that although this mutant functioned as dominant negative concerning receptor internalization and resensitization, it desensitized H2R signaling in the same degree as the GRK2 wild type. To identify the domains responsible for the kinase-independent receptor desensitization, we co-transfected the receptor with constructions encoding the GRK2 RGS-homology domain (RH) and the RH or the kinase domain fused to the pleckstrin-homology domain. Results demonstrated that the RH domain of GRK2 was sufficient to desensitize the H2R. Moreover, disruption of RGS functions by the use of GRK2D110A/K220R double mutant, although coimmunoprecipitating with the H2R, reversed GRK2K220R-mediated H2R desensitization. Overall, these results indicate that GRK2 induces desensitization of H2R through a phosphorylation-independent and RGS-dependent mechanism and extends the GRK2 RH domain-mediated regulation of GPCRs beyond Gα(q)-coupled receptors. On the other hand, GRK2 kinase activity proved to be necessary for receptor internalization and the resulting resensitization.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(33):28697-706. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the search for alternative chemotherapeutic strategies against leukemia, various 1-indanone thiosemicarbazones, as well as eight novel platinum(II) and palladium(II) complexes, with the formula [MCl₂(HL)] and [M(HL)(L)]Cl, derived from two 1-indanone thiosemicarbazones were synthesized and tested for antiproliferative activity against the human leukemia U937 cell line. The crystal structure of [Pt(HL1)(L1)]Cl·2MeOH, where L1=1-indanone thiosemicarbazone, was solved by X-ray diffraction. Free thiosemicarbazone ligands showed no antiproliferative effect, but the corresponding platinum(II) and palladium(II) complexes inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. Platinum(II) complexes also displayed selective apoptotic activity in U937 cells but not in peripheral blood monocytes or the human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cell line used to screen for potential hepatotoxicity. Present findings show that, in U937 cells, 1-indanone thiosemicarbazones coordinated to palladium(II) were more cytotoxic than those complexed with platinum(II), although the latter were found to be more selective for leukemic cells suggesting that they are promising compounds with potential therapeutic application against hematological malignancies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased intracellular cAMP concentration plays a well established role in leukemic cell maturation. We previously reported that U937 cells stimulated by H2 receptor agonists, despite a robust increase in cAMP, fail to mature because of rapid H2 receptor desensitization and phosphodiesterase (PDE) activation. Here we show that intracellular cAMP levels not only in U937 cells but also in other acute myeloid leukemia cell lines are also regulated by multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs), particularly MRP4. U937, HL-60, and KG-1a cells, exposed to amthamine (H2-receptor agonist), augmented intracellular cAMP concentration with a concomitant increase in the efflux. Extrusion of cAMP was ATP-dependent and probenecid-sensitive, supporting that the transport was MRP-mediated. Cells exposed to amthamine and the PDE4 inhibitor showed enhanced cAMP extrusion, but this response was inhibited by MRP blockade. Amthamine stimulation, combined with PDE4 and MRP inhibition, induced maximal cell arrest proliferation. Knockdown strategy by shRNA revealed that this process was mediated by MRP4. Furthermore, blockade by probenecid or MRP4 knockdown showed that increased intracellular cAMP levels induce maturation in U937 cells. These findings confirm the key role of intracellular cAMP levels in leukemic cell maturation and provide the first evidence that MRP4 may represent a new potential target for leukemia differentiation therapy.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2011; 286(9):6979-88. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) prevents increases in intracellular levels of cAMP that are induced by secretin in the exocrine pancreas. We investigated the contribution of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) efflux to ANF inhibition of secretin signaling.
Intracellular and extracellular cAMP were measured by radio-binding assays in isolated pancreatic acini exposed to secretin and other secretagogues, alone or with ANF. Levels of messenger RNA for multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP)4, MRP5, and MRP8 were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. MRP4 was knocked down in AR42J cells by small interfering RNA. In vivo studies were performed in rats.
Pancreatic secretagogues increased levels of intracellular cAMP, but only secretin and vasoactive intestinal peptide promoted cAMP efflux; efflux was increased by ANF, through signaling via natriuretic peptide receptor-C and phospholipase C-protein kinase C. In time-course studies with active phosphodiesterases, levels of intracellular and extracellular cAMP increased earlier after the addition of secretin and ANF (1 min) than after the addition of secretin alone (3 min). Similar kinetic patterns occurred with a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. A probenecid-sensitive transporter mediated cAMP egression. The main cAMP transporter, MRP4, was expressed in AR42J cells and pancreas. cAMP egression occurred in AR42J cells exposed to secretin, but this response was reduced in cells that expressed MRP4 small interfering RNA. In rats, levels of cAMP in plasma and pancreatic juice increased after infusion with secretin alone or secretin plus ANF.
ANF signals via natriuretic peptide receptor-C coupled to the phospholipase C-protein kinase C pathway to increase secretin-induced efflux of cAMP, probably through MPR-4. Cyclic AMP extrusion might be a mechanism, in addition to phosphodiesterase action, to regulate intracellular cAMP levels in pancreatic acinar cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that endothelins (ETs) are involved in the rat central and peripheral regulation of bile secretion. In this study we sought to establish whether ET-1 and ET-3 modulated submandibular gland secretion when locally or centrally applied. Animals were prepared with gland duct cannulation to collect saliva samples and jugular cannulation to administer sialogogues. ETs were given either into the submandibular gland or brain lateral ventricle. Intraglandularly administered ETs failed to elicit salivation per se. However, ET-1, but not ET-3, potentiated both cholinergic- and adrenergic-evoked salivation through ET(A) receptors. ET-1 decreased cAMP content but increased phosphoinositide hydrolysis, whereas ET-3 attenuated both intracellular pathways. The expression of ET(A) and ET(B) receptor mRNAs as well as that of ETs was revealed in the submandibular gland by RT-PCR. Immunohistochemical studies showed that ET(A) receptor staining was localized around the interlobular ducts and acini, compatible with the myoepithelial cells' location, whereas ET(B) receptor staining was restricted to small blood vessels. When applied to the brain, both ETs induced no salivation but enhanced cholinergic- and adrenergic-evoked salivary secretion through parasympathetic pathways. ET-1 response was mediated by brain ET(A) receptors, whereas that of ET-3 was presumably through nonconventional ET receptors. Present findings show that ETs are involved in the brain regulation of cholinergic- and adrenergic-stimulated submandibular gland secretion through the activation of distinct brain ET receptors and parasympathetic pathways. However, when ETs were administered into the gland, only ET-1 enhanced cholinergic and adrenergic salivation likely through myopithelial cell contraction by activating ET(A) receptors coupled to phospholipase C. The presence of ETs and ET receptors suggests the existence of an endothelinergic system in the submandibular gland.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The idea of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) coupling to G protein solely in their active form was abolished when it was
found that certain ligands induce a G protein-coupled but inactive receptor form. This receptor form interferes with signaling
of other receptors by sequestering G protein. However, the spontaneous existence of this receptor species has never been established.
The aim of the present work was to evaluate the existence of the spontaneous conformation of the receptor inactively coupled
to G protein able to interfere with the response of other GPCRs. According to the law of mass action, receptor overexpression
should lead to increased amounts of all spontaneously occurring species. Based on this, we generated Chinese hamster ovary
(CHO-K1)-derived cell lines expressing various amounts of the human histamine H2 receptor. In these systems, the signaling
of other endogenously and transiently expressed GPCRs was attenuated proportionally to human H2 receptor expression levels.
G protein transfection specifically reverted this attenuation, strongly suggesting hijacking of the G protein from a common
pool. Similar attenuation effects were observed when the β2- adrenergic receptor was overexpressed, suggesting that this is a more general phenomenon. Moreover, in human mammary MDA-MB-231
cells, a consistent increase in the response of other GPCRs was observed when endogenous expression of β2-adrenergic receptor was knocked down using specific small interfering RNAs. Our findings show that GPCRs may interact with
the signaling of other receptors by modulating the availability of the G protein and suggest the existence of GPCR spontaneous
coupling to G proteins in an inactive form.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2010; 285(20):14990-14998. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The idea of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) coupling to G protein solely in their active form was abolished when it was found that certain ligands induce a G protein-coupled but inactive receptor form. This receptor form interferes with signaling of other receptors by sequestering G protein. However, the spontaneous existence of this receptor species has never been established. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the existence of the spontaneous conformation of the receptor inactively coupled to G protein able to interfere with the response of other GPCRs. According to the law of mass action, receptor overexpression should lead to increased amounts of all spontaneously occurring species. Based on this, we generated Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1)-derived cell lines expressing various amounts of the human histamine H2 receptor. In these systems, the signaling of other endogenously and transiently expressed GPCRs was attenuated proportionally to human H2 receptor expression levels. G protein transfection specifically reverted this attenuation, strongly suggesting hijacking of the G protein from a common pool. Similar attenuation effects were observed when the beta(2)- adrenergic receptor was overexpressed, suggesting that this is a more general phenomenon. Moreover, in human mammary MDA-MB-231 cells, a consistent increase in the response of other GPCRs was observed when endogenous expression of beta(2)-adrenergic receptor was knocked down using specific small interfering RNAs. Our findings show that GPCRs may interact with the signaling of other receptors by modulating the availability of the G protein and suggest the existence of GPCR spontaneous coupling to G proteins in an inactive form.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2010; 285(20):14990-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural as well as synthetic coumarins have recently drawn much attention due to its broad pharmacological activities. Many coumarins and their derivatives exert anti-coagulant, anti-tumor, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, as well as anti-microbial and enzyme inhibition properties. The recognition of key structural features within coumarin family is crucial for the design and development of new analogues with improved activity and for the characterization of their mechanism of action and potential side effects. The different substituents in the coumarin nucleus strongly influence the biological activity of the resulting derivatives. Although some coumarins have been already characterized to evoke a particular biological activity, the challenge would be the design and synthesis of new derivatives with high specific activity for other pharmacological targets and define their mechanism of action to achieve new therapeutic drugs. The present review highlights the current progress in the development of coumarin scaffolds for drug discovery as novel anti-cancer agents. The major challenges about coumarins include the translation of current knowledge into new potential lead compounds and the repositioning of known compounds for the treatment of cancer.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 02/2010; 17(13):1325-38. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well established that histamine modulates cell proliferation through the activation of the histamine H1 receptor (H1R), a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is known to couple to phospholipase C (PLC) activation via Gq. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether H1R activation modulates Rho GTPases, well-known effectors of Gq/G(11)-coupled receptors, and whether such modulation influences cell proliferation. Experiments were carried out in CHO cells stably expressing H1R (CHO-H1R). By using pull-down assays, we found that both histamine and a selective H1R agonist activated Rac and RhoA in a time- and dose-dependent manner without significant changes in the activation of Cdc42. Histamine response was abolished by the H1R antagonist mepyramine, RGS2 and the PLC inhibitor U73122, suggesting that Rac and RhoA activation is mediated by H1R via Gq coupling to PLC stimulation. Histamine caused a marked activation of serum response factor activity via the H1R, as determined with a serum-responsive element (SRE) luciferase reporter, and this response was inhibited by RhoA inactivation with C3 toxin. Histamine also caused a significant activation of JNK which was inhibited by expression of the Rac-GAP beta2-chimaerin. On the other hand, H1R-induced ERK1/2 activation was inhibited by U73122 but not affected by C3 or beta2-chimaerin, suggesting that ERK1/2 activation was dependent on PLC and independent of RhoA or Rac. [(3)H]-Thymidine incorporation assays showed that both histamine and the H1R agonist inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner and that the effect was independent of RhoA but partially dependent on JNK and Rac. Our results reveal that functional coupling of the H1R to Gq-PLC leads to the activation of RhoA and Rac small GTPases and suggest distinct roles for Rho GTPases in the control of cell proliferation by histamine.
Experimental Cell Research 11/2009; 316(3):401-11. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presumption that some coumarins might be lead compounds in the search for new differentiation agents against leukemia is based on the fact that natural coumarins, 5-(3-methyl-2-butenyloxy)-6,7-methylenedioxycoumarin (C-2) and 5-methoxy-6,7-methylenedioxycoumarin (C-1) inhibit proliferation and induce differentiation in U-937 cells [Riveiro, M. E.; Shayo, C.; Monczor, F.; Fernandez, N.; Baldi, A.; De Kimpe, N.; Rossi, J.; Debenedetti, S.; Davio, C. Cancer Lett.2004, 210, 179-188]. These promising findings prompted us to investigate the anti-leukemia activity of a broader range of related polyoxygenated coumarins. Twenty related natural or synthetically prepared coumarins, including a range of 5-substituted ayapin derivatives which have become easy accessible via newly developed synthesis methods, were evaluated, where treatments with 5-(2,3-dihydroxy-3-methylbutoxy)-6,7-methylenedioxycoumarin (D-3) and 5-(2-hydroxy-3-methoxy-3-methylbutoxy)-6,7-methylenedioxycoumarin (D-2) were able to inhibit the cell growth and induce the differentiation of U-937 cells after 48 h treatment. These results provide insight into the correlation between some structural properties of polyoxygenated coumarins and their in vitro leukemic differentiation activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Agonist-induced internalization of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has been implicated in receptor desensitization, resensitization, and down-regulation. In the present study, we sought to establish whether the histamine H2 receptor (H2r) agonist amthamine, besides promoting receptor desensitization, induced H2r internalization. We further studied the mechanisms involved and its potential role in receptor resensitization. In COS7 transfected cells, amthamine induced H2r time-dependent internalization, showing 70% of receptor endocytosis after 60-min exposure to amthamine. Agonist removal led to the rapid recovery of resensitized receptors to the cell surface. Similar results were obtained in the presence of cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis. Treatment with okadaic acid, an inhibitor of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) family of phosphatases, reduced the recovery of both H2r membrane sites and cAMP response. Arrestin 3 but not arrestin 2 overexpression reduced both H2r membrane sites and H2r-evoked cAMP response. Receptor cotransfection with dominant-negative mutants for arrestin, dynamin, Eps15 (a component of the clathrin-mediated endocytosis machinery), or RNA interference against arrestin 3 abolished both H2r internalization and resensitization. Similar results were obtained in U937 cells endogenously expressing H2r. Our findings suggest that amthamine-induced H2r internalization is crucial for H2r resensitization, processes independent of H2r de novo synthesis but dependent on PP2A-mediated dephosphorylation. Although we do not provide direct evidence for H2r interaction with beta-arrestin, dynamin, and/or clathrin, our results support their involvement in H2r endocytosis. The rapid receptor recycling to the cell surface and the specific involvement of arrestin 3 in receptor internalization further suggest that the H2r belongs to class A GPCRs.