[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dose response curve is the gold standard for measuring the effect of a drug treatment, but is rarely used in genomic scale transcriptional profiling due to perceived obstacles of cost and analysis. One barrier to examining transcriptional dose responses is that existing methods for microarray data analysis can identify patterns, but provide no quantitative pharmacological information. We developed analytical methods that identify transcripts responsive to dose, calculate classical pharmacological parameters such as the EC50, and enable an in-depth analysis of coordinated dose-dependent treatment effects. The approach was applied to a transcriptional profiling study that evaluated four kinase inhibitors (imatinib, nilotinib, dasatinib and PD0325901) across a six-logarithm dose range, using 12 arrays per compound. The transcript responses proved a powerful means to characterize and compare the compounds: the distribution of EC50 values for the transcriptome was linked to specific targets, dose-dependent effects on cellular processes were identified using automated pathway analysis, and a connection was seen between EC50s in standard cellular assays and transcriptional EC50s. Our approach greatly enriches the information that can be obtained from standard transcriptional profiling technology. Moreover, these methods are automated, robust to non-optimized assays, and could be applied to other sources of quantitative data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report here on a chemical genetic screen designed to address the mechanism of action of a small molecule. Small molecules that were active in models of urinary incontinence were tested on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and the resulting phenotypes were used as readouts in a genetic screen to identify possible molecular targets. The mutations giving resistance to compound were found to affect members of the RGS protein/G-protein complex. Studies in mammalian systems confirmed that the small molecules inhibit muscarinic G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling involving G-alphaq (G-protein alpha subunit). Our studies suggest that the small molecules act at the level of the RGS/G-alphaq signaling complex, and define new mutations in both RGS and G-alphaq, including a unique hypo-adapation allele of G-alphaq. These findings suggest that therapeutics targeted to downstream components of GPCR signaling may be effective for treatment of diseases involving inappropriate receptor activation.