[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chemokine receptor CXCR2 is vital for inflammation, wound healing, angiogenesis, cancer progression, and metastasis. Adaptor protein 2 (AP2), a clathrin binding heterotetrameric protein comprised of α, β2, μ2, and σ2 subunits, facilitates clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Mutation of the LLKIL motif in the CXCR2 carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) results in loss of AP2 binding to the receptor and loss of ligand mediated receptor internalization and chemotaxis. AP2 knockdown also results in diminished ligand-mediated CXCR2 internalization, polarization and chemotaxis. Using knockdown/rescue approaches with AP2-μ2 mutants, the binding domains were characterized in reference to CXCR2 internalization and chemotaxis. When in an open conformation, μ2 Patch 1 and Patch 2 domains bind tightly to membrane PIP2 phospholipids. When AP2-μ2 is replaced with μ2 mutated in Patch 1 and/or Patch 2 domains, ligand-mediated receptor binding and internalization are not lost. However chemotaxis requires AP2-μ2 Patch 1, but not Patch 2. AP2-σ2 has been demonstrated to bind dileucine motifs to facilitate internalization. Expression of AP2-σ2 V88D and V98S dominant negative mutants resulted in loss of CXCR2 mediated chemotaxis. Thus, AP2 binding to both membrane phosphatidylinositol phospholipids and dileucine motifs is crucial for directional migration or chemotaxis. Moreover, AP2-mediated receptor internalization can be dissociated from AP2-mediated chemotaxis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant expression of CXCR4 in human breast cancer correlates with metastasis to tissues secreting CXCL12. To understand the mechanism by which CXCR4 mediates breast cancer metastasis, MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells were transduced to express wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4WT) or constitutively active CXCR4 (CXCR4ΔCTD), and analyzed in two-dimensional cultures (2D), three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane (3D rBM) cultures, and in mice using intravital imaging. Two-dimensional cultures of MCF-7 CXCR4ΔCTD cells, but not CXCR4WT, exhibited an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) characterized by up-regulation of ZEB-1, loss of E-cadherin, up-regulation of cadherin 11, p120 isoform switching, activation of ERK1/2 and MMP-2. In contrast to the 2D environment, MCF-7 CXCR4WT cells cultured in 3D rBM exhibited an EMT phenotype, accompanied by expression of CXCR2, CXCR7, CXCL1, CXCL8, CCL2, IL-6, and GM-CSF. Dual inhibition of CXCR2 with CXCR4, or inhibition of either receptor with inhibitors of MEK1 or PI3K, reversed the aggressive phenotype of MCF-7 CXCR4 expressing or MDA-MB-231 cells in 3D rBM. Intravital imaging of CXCR4 expressing MCF-7 cells revealed that tumor cells migrate toward blood vessels and metastasize to lymph nodes. Thus, CXCR4 can drive EMT along with an up-regulation of chemokine receptors and cytokines important in cell migration, lymphatic invasion and tumor metastasis.
Molecular biology of the cell 01/2014; · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chiral nonracemic cis-4,5-bis(aryl)imidazolines have emerged as a powerful platform for the development of cancer chemotherapeutics, stimulated by the Hoffmann-La Roche discovery that Nutlin-3 can restore apoptosis in cells with wild-type p53. The lack of efficient methods for the enantioselective synthesis of cis-imidazolines, however, has limited their more general use. Our disclosure of the first enantioselective synthesis of (-)-Nutlin-3 provided a basis to prepare larger amounts of this tool used widely in cancer biology. Key to the decagram-scale synthesis described here was the discovery of a novel bis(amidine) organocatalyst that provides high enantioselectivity at warmer reaction temperature (-20 °C) and low catalyst loadings. Further refinements to the procedure led to the synthesis of (-)-Nutlin-3 in a 17 g batch and elimination of all but three chromatographic purifications.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry 10/2013; · 4.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) either promote or inhibit cancer progression, depending on factors that heretofore have been undefined. Here we have utilized extreme hypoxia (0.5% O2) and concurrent treatment with metal carcinogen (nickel) to evaluate the passage-dependent response of hMSCs toward cancerous transformation. Effects of hypoxia and nickel treatment on hMSC proliferation, apoptosis, gene and protein expression, replicative senescence, reactive oxygen species (ROS), redox mechanisms, and in vivo tumor growth were analyzed. The behavior of late passage hMSCs in a carcinogenic hypoxia environment follows a profile similar to that of transformed cancer cells (i.e., increased expression of oncogenic proteins, decreased expression of tumor suppressor protein, increased proliferation, decreased apoptosis, and aberrant redox mechanisms), but this effect was not observed in earlier passage control cells. These events resulted in accumulated intracellular ROS in vitro and excessive proliferation in vivo. We suggest a mechanism by which carcinogenic hypoxia modulates the activity of three critical transcription factors (c-MYC, p53, and HIF1), resulting in accumulated ROS and causing hMSCs to undergo cancer-like behavioral changes. This is the first study to utilize carcinogenic hypoxia as an environmentally relevant experimental model for studying the age-dependent cancerous transformation of hMSCs.-Crowder, S. W., Horton, L. W., Lee, H. H., McClain, C. M., Hawkins, O. E., Palmer, A. M. Bae, H., Richmond, A., Sung, H.-J. Passage-dependent cancerous transformation of human mesenchymal stem cells under carcinogenic hypoxia.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncogene-induced senescence can provide a protective mechanism against tumour progression. However, production of cytokines and growth factors by senescent cells may contribute to tumour development. Thus, it is unclear whether induction of senescence represents a viable therapeutic approach. Here, using a mouse model with orthotopic implantation of metastatic melanoma tumours taken from 19 patients, we observed that targeting aurora kinases with MLN8054/MLN8237 impaired mitosis, induced senescence and markedly blocked proliferation in patient tumour implants. Importantly, when a subset of tumour-bearing mice were monitored for tumour progression after pausing MLN8054 treatment, 50% of the tumours did not progress over a 12-month period. Mechanistic analyses revealed that inhibition of aurora kinases induced polyploidy and the ATM/Chk2 DNA damage response, which mediated senescence and a NF-κB-related, senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Blockade of IKKβ/NF-κB led to reversal of MLN8237-induced senescence and SASP. Results demonstrate that removal of senescent tumour cells by infiltrating myeloid cells is crucial for inhibition of tumour re-growth. Altogether, these data demonstrate that induction of senescence, coupled with immune surveillance, can limit melanoma growth.
EMBO Molecular Medicine 11/2012; · 7.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chemokine receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2, couple to Gαi to induce leukocyte recruitment and activation at sites of inflammation. Upon activation by CXCL8, these receptors become phosphorylated, desensitized, and internalized. In this study, we investigated the role of different G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) in CXCR1- and CXCR2-mediated cellular functions. To that end, short hairpin RNA was used to inhibit GRK2, 3, 5, and 6 in RBL-2H3 cells stably expressing CXCR1 or CXCR2, and CXCL8-mediated receptor activation and regulation were assessed. Inhibition of GRK2 and GRK6 increased CXCR1 and CXCR2 resistance to phosphorylation, desensitization, and internalization, respectively, and enhanced CXCL8-induced phosphoinositide hydrolysis and exocytosis in vitro. GRK2 depletion diminished CXCR1-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation but had no effect on CXCR2-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. GRK6 depletion had no significant effect on CXCR1 function. However, peritoneal neutrophils from mice deficient in GRK6 (GRK6(-/-)) displayed an increase in CXCR2-mediated G protein activation but in vitro exhibited a decrease in chemotaxis, receptor desensitization, and internalization relative to wild-type (GRK6(+/+)) cells. In contrast, neutrophil recruitment in vivo in GRK6(-/-) mice was increased in response to delivery of CXCL1 through the air pouch model. In a wound-closure assay, GRK6(-/-) mice showed enhanced myeloperoxidase activity, suggesting enhanced neutrophil recruitment, and faster wound closure compared with GRK6(+/+) animals. Taken together, the results indicate that CXCR1 and CXCR2 couple to distinct GRK isoforms to mediate and regulate inflammatory responses. CXCR1 predominantly couples to GRK2, whereas CXCR2 interacts with GRK6 to negatively regulate receptor sensitization and trafficking, thus affecting cell signaling and angiogenesis.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2012; 189(6):2824-32. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this preclinical study was to determine the effectiveness of RAF265, a multikinase inhibitor, for treatment of human metastatic melanoma and to characterize traits associated with drug response.
Advanced metastatic melanoma tumors from 34 patients were orthotopically implanted to nude mice. Tumors that grew in mice (17 of 34) were evaluated for response to RAF265 (40 mg/kg, every day) over 30 days. The relation between patient characteristics, gene mutation profile, global gene expression profile, and RAF265 effects on tumor growth, mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, proliferation, and apoptosis markers was evaluated.
Nine of the 17 tumors that successfully implanted (53%) were mutant BRAF (BRAF(V600E/K)), whereas eight of 17 (47%) tumors were BRAF wild type (BRAF(WT)). Tumor implants from 7 of 17 patients (41%) responded to RAF265 treatment with more than 50% reduction in tumor growth. Five of the 7 (71%) responders were BRAF(WT), of which 1 carried c-KIT(L576P) and another N-RAS(Q61R) mutation, while only 2 (29%) of the responding tumors were BRAF(V600E/K). Gene expression microarray data from nonimplanted tumors revealed that responders exhibited enriched expression of genes involved in cell growth, proliferation, development, cell signaling, gene expression, and cancer pathways. Although response to RAF265 did not correlate with pERK1/2 reduction, RAF265 responders did exhibit reduced pMEK1, reduced proliferation based upon reduced Ki-67, cyclin D1 and polo-like kinase1 levels, and induction of the apoptosis mediator BCL2-like 11.
Orthotopic implants of patient tumors in mice may predict prognosis and treatment response for melanoma patients. A subpopulation of human melanoma tumors responds to RAF265 and can be characterized by gene mutation and gene expression profiles.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2012; 18(8):2184-98. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contribution of CXCR7 to the tumor microenvironment has introduced a new level of complexity to CXCL12 signaling in breast cancer. In the previous issue of Breast Cancer Research, Hernandez and colleagues delineate the roles of CXCR4 and CXCR7 in tumor invasion and metastasis. The authors demonstrate that co-expression of CXCR7 and CXCR4 results in inhibition of CXCL12-mediated invasion, reduced intravasation of tumor cells into the vasculature, and fewer lung metastases compared with parental tumors. The results of this study suggest the combination of small molecule inhibitors of CXCR4 and CXCR7 could dramatically reduce invasion, intravasation, and metastasis and could be highly beneficial for the treatment of invasive breast cancer.
Breast cancer research: BCR 01/2012; 14(1):103. · 5.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowledge of tumor mutation status is becoming increasingly important for the treatment of cancer, as mutation-specific inhibitors are being developed for clinical use that target only sub-populations of patients with particular tumor genotypes. Melanoma provides a recent example of this paradigm. We report here development, validation, and implementation of an assay designed to simultaneously detect 43 common somatic point mutations in 6 genes (BRAF, NRAS, KIT, GNAQ, GNA11, and CTNNB1) potentially relevant to existing and emerging targeted therapies specifically in melanoma.
The test utilizes the SNaPshot method (multiplex PCR, multiplex primer extension, and capillary electrophoresis) and can be performed rapidly with high sensitivity (requiring 5-10% mutant allele frequency) and minimal amounts of DNA (10-20 nanograms). The assay was validated using cell lines, fresh-frozen tissue, and formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue. Clinical characteristics and the impact on clinical trial enrollment were then assessed for the first 150 melanoma patients whose tumors were genotyped in the Vanderbilt molecular diagnostics lab.
Directing this test to a single disease, 90 of 150 (60%) melanomas from sites throughout the body harbored a mutation tested, including 57, 23, 6, 3, and 2 mutations in BRAF, NRAS, GNAQ, KIT, and CTNNB1, respectively. Among BRAF V600 mutations, 79%, 12%, 5%, and 4% were V600E, V600K, V600R, and V600M, respectively. 23 of 54 (43%) patients with mutation harboring metastatic disease were subsequently enrolled in genotype-driven trials.
We present development of a simple mutational profiling screen for clinically relevant mutations in melanoma. Adoption of this genetically-informed approach to the treatment of melanoma has already had an impact on clinical trial enrollment and prioritization of therapy for patients with the disease.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35309. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) inducing kinase (NIK) is a MAP3K that regulates the activation of NF-κB. NIK is often highly expressed in tumor cells, including melanoma, but the significance of this in melanoma progression has been unclear. Tissue microarray analysis of NIK expression reveals that dysplastic nevi (n=22), primary (n=15) and metastatic melanoma (n=13) lesions showed a statistically significant elevation in NIK expression when compared with benign nevi (n=30). Moreover, when short hairpin RNA techniques were used to knock-down NIK, the resultant NIK-depleted melanoma cell lines exhibited decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, delayed cell cycle progression and reduced tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model. As expected, when NIK was depleted there was decreased activation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway, whereas canonical NF-κB activation remained intact. NIK depletion also resulted in reduced expression of genes that contribute to tumor growth, including CXCR4, c-MYC and c-MET, and pro-survival factors such as BCL2 and survivin. These changes in gene expression are not fully explained by the attenuation of the non-canonical NF-κB pathway. Shown here for the first time is the demonstration that NIK modulates β-catenin-mediated transcription to promote expression of survivin. NIK-depleted melanoma cells exhibited downregulation of survivin as well as other β-catenin regulated genes including c-MYC, c-MET and CCND2. These data indicate that NIK mediates both β-catenin and NF-κB regulated transcription to modulate melanoma survival and growth. Thus, NIK may be a promising therapeutic target for melanoma.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by a progressive cognitive decline and accumulation of neurotoxic oligomeric peptides amyloid-β (Aβ). Although the molecular events are not entirely known, it has become evident that inflammation, environmental and other risk factors may play a causal, disruptive and/or protective role in the development of AD. The present study investigated the ability of the chemokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) and stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α), the respective ligands for chemokine receptors CXCR2 and CXCR4, to suppress Aβ-induced neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Pretreatment with MIP-2 or SDF-1α significantly protected neurons from Aβ-induced dendritic regression and apoptosis in vitro through activation of Akt, ERK1/2 and maintenance of metalloproteinase ADAM17 especially with SDF-1α. Intra-cerebroventricular (ICV) injection of Aβ led to reduction in dendritic length and spine density of pyramidal neurons in the CA1 area of the hippocampus and increased oxidative damage 24h following the exposure. The Aβ-induced morphometric changes of neurons and increase in biomarkers of oxidative damage, F(2)-isoprostanes, were significantly inhibited by pretreatment with the chemokines MIP-2 or SDF-1α. Additionally, MIP-2 or SDF-1α was able to suppress the aberrant mislocalization of p21-activated kinase (PAK), one of the proteins involved in the maintenance of dendritic spines. Furthermore, MIP-2 also protected neurons against Aβ neurotoxicity in CXCR2-/- mice, potentially through observed up regulation of CXCR1 mRNA. Understanding the neuroprotective potential of chemokines is crucial in defining the role for their employment during the early stages of neurodegeneration.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 06/2011; 256(3):300-13. · 3.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen independence and progression to a metastatic phenotype are hallmarks of therapeutic resistance and mortality in breast cancer patients. Metastasis has been associated with chemokine signaling through the SDF-1-CXCR4 axis. Thus, the development of estrogen independence and endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer patients may be driven by SDF-1-CXCR4 signaling. Here we report that CXCR4 overexpression is indeed correlated with worse prognosis and decreased patient survival irrespective of the status of the estrogen receptor (ER). Constitutive activation of CXCR4 in poorly metastatic MCF-7 cells led to enhanced tumor growth and metastases that could be reversed by CXCR4 inhibition. CXCR4 overexpression in MCF-7 cells promoted estrogen independence in vivo, whereas exogenous SDF-1 treatment negated the inhibitory effects of treatment with the anti-estrogen ICI 182,780 on CXCR4-mediated tumor growth. The effects of CXCR4 overexpression were correlated with SDF-1-mediated activation of downstream signaling via ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK (mitogen activated protein kinase) and with an enhancement of ER-mediated gene expression. Together, these results show that enhanced CXCR4 signaling is sufficient to drive ER-positive breast cancers to a metastatic and endocrine therapy-resistant phenotype via increased MAPK signaling. Our findings highlight CXCR4 signaling as a rational therapeutic target for the treatment of ER-positive, estrogen-independent breast carcinomas needing improved clinical management.
Cancer Research 01/2011; 71(2):603-13. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemokines and their receptors play a key role in development and homeostasis as well as in the pathogenesis of tumors and autoimmune diseases. Chemokines are involved in the implantation of the early conceptus, the migration of subsets of cells during embryonic development, and the overall growth of the embryo. Chemokines also have an important role in the development and maintenance of innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, they play a significant role in wound healing and angiogenesis. When the physiological role of chemokines is subverted or chronically amplified, disease often follows. Chemokines are involved in the pathobiology of chronic inflammation, tumorigenesis and metastasis, as well as autoimmune diseases. This article reviews the role of chemokines and their receptors in normal and disease processes and the potential for using chemokine antagonists for appropriate targeted therapy.
Experimental Cell Research 01/2011; 317(5):575-89. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemotaxis is essential for a number of physiological processes including leukocyte recruitment. Chemokines initiate intracellular signaling pathways necessary for chemotaxis through binding seven transmembrane G protein-couple receptors. Little is known about the proteins that interact with the intracellular domains of chemokine receptors to initiate cellular signaling upon ligand binding. CXCR2 is a major chemokine receptor expressed on several cell types, including endothelial cells and neutrophils. We hypothesize that multiple proteins interact with the intracellular domains of CXCR2 upon ligand stimulation and these interactions comprise a "chemosynapse", and play important roles in transducing CXCR2 mediated signaling processes.
In an effort to define the complex of proteins that assemble upon CXCR2 activation to relay signals from activated chemokine receptors, a proteomics approach was employed to identify proteins that co-associate with CXCR2 with or without ligand stimulation. The components of the CXCR2 "chemosynapse" are involved in processes ranging from intracellular trafficking to cytoskeletal modification. IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) was among the novel proteins identified to interact directly with CXCR2. Herein, we demonstrate that CXCR2 co-localizes with IQGAP1 at the leading edge of polarized human neutrophils and CXCR2 expressing differentiated HL-60 cells. Moreover, amino acids 1-160 of IQGAP1 directly interact with the carboxyl-terminal domain of CXCR2 and stimulation with CXCL8 enhances IQGAP1 association with Cdc42.
Our studies indicate that IQGAP1 is a novel essential component of the CXCR2 "chemosynapse".
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e23813. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NF-κB inducing kinase (NIK) is a kinase that activates the canonical and non-canonical NF-κB pathways to control transcriptional expression of certain proteins such as cytokines, chemokines and NF-κB signaling molecules. Many advances have been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which the stability of NIK is regulated to affect downstream signaling. Genetic mouse models suggest that NIK plays an essential role in the regulation of the immune system as well as in the bone microenvironment. Increasing evidence links NIK to the tumorigenesis of hematological cancers, such as multiple myeloma, and solid tumors, such as pancreatic carcinoma and melanoma. Understanding the mechanism by which NIK is de-regulated will potentially provide therapeutic options for certain diseases such as autoimmunity and cancer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell motility is a fundamental process with relevance to embryonic development, immune response, and metastasis. Cells move either spontaneously, in a nondirected fashion, or in response to chemotactic signals, in a directed fashion. Even though they are often studied separately, both forms of motility share many complex processes at the molecular and subcellular scale, e.g., orchestrated cytoskeletal rearrangements and polarization. In addition, at the cellular level both types of motility include persistent runs interspersed with reorientation pauses. Because there is a great range of variability in motility among different cell types, a key challenge in the field is to integrate these multiscale processes into a coherent framework. We analyzed the motility of Dictyostelium cells with bimodal analysis, a method that compares time spent in persistent versus reorientation mode. Unexpectedly, we found that reorientation time is coupled with persistent time in an inverse correlation and, surprisingly, the inverse correlation holds for both nondirected and chemotactic motility, so that the full range of Dictyostelium motility can be described by a single scaling relationship. Additionally, we found an identical scaling relationship for three human cell lines, indicating that the coupling of reorientation and persistence holds across species and making it possible to describe the complexity of cell motility in a surprisingly general and simple manner. With this new perspective, we analyzed the motility of Dictyostelium mutants, and found four in which the coupling between two modes was altered. Our results point to a fundamental underlying principle, described by a simple scaling law, unifying mechanisms of eukaryotic cell motility at several scales.