Brian L West

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (51)410.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cancer immunotherapy generally offers limited clinical benefit without coordinated strategies to mitigate the immunosuppressive nature of the tumor microenvironment. Critical drivers of immune escape in the tumor microenvironment include tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), which not only mediate immune suppression but also promote metastatic dissemination and impart resistance to cytotoxic therapies. Thus, strategies to ablate the effects of these myeloid cell populations may offer great therapeutic potential. In this report, we demonstrate in a mouse model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) that inhibiting signaling by the myeloid growth factor receptor CSF1R can functionally reprogram macrophage responses that enhance antigen presentation and productive anti-tumor T cell responses. Investigations of this response revealed that CSF1R blockade also upregulated T cell checkpoint molecules, including PDL1 and CTLA4, thereby restraining beneficial therapeutic effects. We found that PD1 and CTLA4 antagonists showed limited efficacy as single agents to restrain PDAC growth, but that that combining these agents with CSF1R blockade potently elicited tumor regressions, even in larger established tumors. Taken together, our findings provide a rationale to reprogram immunosuppressive myeloid cell populations in the tumor microenvironment under conditions that can significantly empower the therapeutic effects of checkpoint-based immunotherapeutics.
    Cancer research. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) is a key regulator of myeloid lineage cells. Genetic loss of the CSF1R blocks the normal population of resident microglia in the brain that originates from the yolk sac during early development. However, the role of CSF1R signaling in microglial homeostasis in the adult brain is largely unknown. To this end, we tested the effects of selective CSF1R inhibitors on microglia in adult mice. Surprisingly, extensive treatment results in elimination of ∼99% of all microglia brain-wide, showing that microglia in the adult brain are physiologically dependent upon CSF1R signaling. Mice depleted of microglia show no behavioral or cognitive abnormalities, revealing that microglia are not necessary for these tasks. Finally, we discovered that the microglia-depleted brain completely repopulates with new microglia within 1 week of inhibitor cessation. Microglial repopulation throughout the CNS occurs through proliferation of nestin-positive cells that then differentiate into microglia.
    Neuron 04/2014; 82(2):380-97. · 15.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) recruits tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells (TIMs) that suppress tumor immunity, including M2 macrophages and myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC). The CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) is a tyrosine kinase that is targetable by small molecule inhibitors such as PLX3397. In this study, we used a syngeneic mouse model of BRAFV600E-driven melanoma to evaluate the ability of PLX3397 to improve the efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT). In this model, we found that combined treatment produced superior anti-tumor responses compared with single treatments. In mice receiving the combined treatment, a dramatic reduction of TIMs and a skewing of MHCIIlow to MHCIIhi macrophages was observed. Further, mice receiving the combined treatment exhibited an increase in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and T cells, as revealed by real-time imaging in vivo. In support of these observations, TILs from these mice released higher levels of IFN-γ. In conclusion, CSF-1R blockade with PLX3397 improved the efficacy of ACT immunotherapy by inhibiting the intratumoral accumulation of immune suppressive macrophages.
    Cancer Research 11/2013; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation and cancer, two therapeutic areas historically addressed by separate drug discovery efforts, are now coupled in treatment approaches by a growing understanding of the dynamic molecular dialogues between immune and cancer cells. Agents that target specific compartments of the immune system, therefore, not only bring new disease modifying modalities to inflammatory diseases, but also offer a new avenue to cancer therapy by disrupting immune components of the microenvironment that foster tumor growth, progression, immune evasion, and treatment resistance. McDonough feline sarcoma viral (v-fms) oncogene homolog (FMS) and v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT) are two hematopoietic cell surface receptors that regulate the development and function of macrophages and mast cells, respectively. We disclose a highly specific dual FMS and KIT kinase inhibitor developed from a multifaceted chemical scaffold. As expected, this inhibitor blocks the activation of macrophages, osteoclasts, and mast cells controlled by these two receptors. More importantly, the dual FMS and KIT inhibition profile has translated into a combination of benefits in preclinical disease models of inflammation and cancer.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy is a major frontline treatment for prostate cancer patients, yet, a large portion of these patients suffer from local tumor recurrence. Tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells (TIMs), including CD11b+F4/80+ tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and CD11b+Gr-1+ myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), play critical roles in promoting tumor angiogenesis, tissue remodeling and immunosuppression. Here, we show enhanced recruitment of TAMs and MDSCs after local irradiation. Although treatment is directed to the tumor sites, the impact of irradiation is systemic as dramatic increases of MDSCs were observed in the spleen, lung, lymph nodes and peripheral blood. Of the cytokines examined, we found that macrophage colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) increased by 2 fold in irradiated tumors. Enhanced macrophage migration induced by conditioned media from irradiated tumor cells was completely blocked by the selective CSF1R inhibitor, GW2580. Importantly, increased CSF1 levels were also observed in the serum of prostate cancer patients after radiotherapy. ABL1 (c-Abl), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, known to mediate apoptosis and signal transduction under stress, is activated by irradiation. Activated ABL1 translocates to the nucleus, binds to the CSF1 promoter region and enhances CSF1 transcription. Combination therapy using a CSF1R inhibitor currently in clinical trials, PLX3397, with radiation suppressed tumor growth more effectively than radiation alone. This study highlights the importance of CSF1/CSF1R signaling in the recruitment of TIMs in response to radiotherapy and suggests their significant role in promoting tumor recurrence. Furthermore, our data supports co-targeting TIMs in conjunction with radiotherapy to achieve a more effective and durable treatment strategy for prostate cancer patients.
    Cancer Research 02/2013; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor-infiltrating immune cells can promote chemoresistance and metastatic spread in aggressive tumors. Consequently, the type and quality of immune responses present in the neoplastic stroma are highly predictive of patient outcome in several cancer types. In addition to host immune responses, intrinsic tumor cell activities that mimic stem cell properties have been linked to chemoresistance, metastatic dissemination and the induction of immune suppression. Cancer stem cells are far from a static cell population; rather, their presence appears to be controlled by highly dynamic processes that are dependent on cues from the tumor stroma. However, the impact immune responses have on tumor stem cell differentiation or expansion is not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that targeting tumor-infiltrating macrophages and inflammatory monocytes by inhibiting either the myeloid cell receptors CSF1R or CCR2 decreases the number of tumor-initiating cells in pancreatic tumors. Targeting CCR2 or CSF1R improves chemotherapeutic efficacy, inhibits metastasis and increases antitumor T-cell responses. Tumor-educated macrophages also directly enhanced the tumor-initiating capacity of pancreatic tumor cells by activating the transcription factor STAT3, thereby facilitating macrophage-mediated suppression of CD8+ T lymphocytes. Together, our findings show how targeting tumor-infiltrating macrophages can effectively overcome therapeutic resistance mediated by tumor-initiating cells.
    Cancer Research 12/2012; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disease that predisposes 30-50 % of affected individuals to develop plexiform neurofibromas. We found that macrophage infiltration of both mouse and human neurofibromas correlates with disease progression. Macrophages accounted for almost half of neurofibroma cells, leading us to hypothesize that nerve macrophages are inflammatory effectors in neurofibroma development and/or growth. We tested the effects of PLX3397, a dual kit/fms kinase inhibitor that blocks macrophage infiltration, in the Dhh-Cre; Nf1 ( flox/flox ) mouse model of GEM grade I neurofibroma. In mice aged 1-4 months, prior to development of nerve pathology and neurofibroma formation, PLX3397 did not impair tumor initiation and increased tumor volume compared to controls. However, in mice aged 7-9 months, after tumor establishment, a subset of mice demonstrating the largest reductions in macrophages after PLX3397 exhibited cell death and tumor volume regression. Macrophages are likely to provide an initial line of defense against developing tumors. Once tumors are established, they become tumor permissive. Macrophage depletion may result in impaired tumor maintenance and represent a therapeutic strategy for neurofibroma therapy.
    Acta Neuropathologica 10/2012; · 9.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced human thyroid cancers, particularly those that are refractory to treatment with radioiodine (RAI), have a high prevalence of BRAF (v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1) mutations. However, the degree to which these cancers are dependent on BRAF expression is still unclear. To address this question, we generated mice expressing one of the most commonly detected BRAF mutations in human papillary thyroid carcinomas (BRAF(V600E)) in thyroid follicular cells in a doxycycline-inducible (dox-inducible) manner. Upon dox induction of BRAF(V600E), the mice developed highly penetrant and poorly differentiated thyroid tumors. Discontinuation of dox extinguished BRAF(V600E) expression and reestablished thyroid follicular architecture and normal thyroid histology. Switching on BRAF(V600E) rapidly induced hypothyroidism and virtually abolished thyroid-specific gene expression and RAI incorporation, all of which were restored to near basal levels upon discontinuation of dox. Treatment of mice with these cancers with small molecule inhibitors of either MEK or mutant BRAF reduced their proliferative index and partially restored thyroid-specific gene expression. Strikingly, treatment with the MAPK pathway inhibitors rendered the tumor cells susceptible to a therapeutic dose of RAI. Our data show that thyroid tumors carrying BRAF(V600E) mutations are exquisitely dependent on the oncoprotein for viability and that genetic or pharmacological inhibition of its expression or activity is associated with tumor regression and restoration of RAI uptake in vivo in mice. These findings have potentially significant clinical ramifications.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 11/2011; 121(12):4700-11. · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune-regulated pathways influence multiple aspects of cancer development. In this article we demonstrate that both macrophage abundance and T-cell abundance in breast cancer represent prognostic indicators for recurrence-free and overall survival. We provide evidence that response to chemotherapy is in part regulated by these leukocytes; cytotoxic therapies induce mammary epithelial cells to produce monocyte/macrophage recruitment factors, including colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) and interleukin-34, which together enhance CSF1 receptor (CSF1R)-dependent macrophage infiltration. Blockade of macrophage recruitment with CSF1R-signaling antagonists, in combination with paclitaxel, improved survival of mammary tumor-bearing mice by slowing primary tumor development and reducing pulmonary metastasis. These improved aspects of mammary carcinogenesis were accompanied by decreased vessel density and appearance of antitumor immune programs fostering tumor suppression in a CD8+ T-cell-dependent manner. These data provide a rationale for targeting macrophage recruitment/response pathways, notably CSF1R, in combination with cytotoxic therapy, and identification of a breast cancer population likely to benefit from this novel therapeutic approach. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings reveal that response to chemotherapy is in part regulated by the tumor immune microenvironment and that common cytotoxic drugs induce neoplastic cells to produce monocyte/macrophage recruitment factors, which in turn enhance macrophage infiltration into mammary adenocarcinomas. Blockade of pathways mediating macrophage recruitment, in combination with chemotherapy, significantly decreases primary tumor progression, reduces metastasis, and improves survival by CD8+ T-cell-dependent mechanisms, thus indicating that the immune microenvironment of tumors can be reprogrammed to instead foster antitumor immunity and improve response to cytotoxic therapy.
    Cancer Discovery 06/2011; 1(1):54-67. · 15.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-RAF is the most frequently mutated protein kinase in human cancers. The finding that oncogenic mutations in BRAF are common in melanoma, followed by the demonstration that these tumours are dependent on the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, offered hope that inhibition of B-RAF kinase activity could benefit melanoma patients. Herein, we describe the structure-guided discovery of PLX4032 (RG7204), a potent inhibitor of oncogenic B-RAF kinase activity. Preclinical experiments demonstrated that PLX4032 selectively blocked the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway in BRAF mutant cells and caused regression of BRAF mutant xenografts. Toxicology studies confirmed a wide safety margin consistent with the high degree of selectivity, enabling Phase 1 clinical trials using a crystalline formulation of PLX4032 (ref. 5). In a subset of melanoma patients, pathway inhibition was monitored in paired biopsy specimens collected before treatment initiation and following two weeks of treatment. This analysis revealed substantial inhibition of ERK phosphorylation, yet clinical evaluation did not show tumour regressions. At higher drug exposures afforded by a new amorphous drug formulation, greater than 80% inhibition of ERK phosphorylation in the tumours of patients correlated with clinical response. Indeed, the Phase 1 clinical data revealed a remarkably high 81% response rate in metastatic melanoma patients treated at an oral dose of 960 mg twice daily. These data demonstrate that BRAF-mutant melanomas are highly dependent on B-RAF kinase activity.
    Nature 09/2010; 467(7315):596-9. · 38.60 Impact Factor
  • Alzheimers & Dementia - ALZHEIMERS DEMENT. 01/2010; 6(4).
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    ABSTRACT: In a search for more effective anti-diabetic treatment, we used a process coupling low-affinity biochemical screening with high-throughput co-crystallography in the design of a series of compounds that selectively modulate the activities of all three peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), PPARalpha, PPARgamma, and PPARdelta. Transcriptional transactivation assays were used to select compounds from this chemical series with a bias toward partial agonism toward PPARgamma, to circumvent the clinically observed side effects of full PPARgamma agonists. Co-crystallographic characterization of the lead molecule, indeglitazar, in complex with each of the 3 PPARs revealed the structural basis for its PPAR pan-activity and its partial agonistic response toward PPARgamma. Compared with full PPARgamma-agonists, indeglitazar is less potent in promoting adipocyte differentiation and only partially effective in stimulating adiponectin gene expression. Evaluation of the compound in vivo confirmed the reduced adiponectin response in animal models of obesity and diabetes while revealing strong beneficial effects on glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, body weight, and other metabolic parameters. Indeglitazar has now progressed to Phase II clinical evaluations for Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 106(1):262-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BRAF(V600E) is the most frequent oncogenic protein kinase mutation known. Furthermore, inhibitors targeting "active" protein kinases have demonstrated significant utility in the therapeutic repertoire against cancer. Therefore, we pursued the development of specific kinase inhibitors targeting B-Raf, and the V600E allele in particular. By using a structure-guided discovery approach, a potent and selective inhibitor of active B-Raf has been discovered. PLX4720, a 7-azaindole derivative that inhibits B-Raf(V600E) with an IC(50) of 13 nM, defines a class of kinase inhibitor with marked selectivity in both biochemical and cellular assays. PLX4720 preferentially inhibits the active B-Raf(V600E) kinase compared with a broad spectrum of other kinases, and potent cytotoxic effects are also exclusive to cells bearing the V600E allele. Consistent with the high degree of selectivity, ERK phosphorylation is potently inhibited by PLX4720 in B-Raf(V600E)-bearing tumor cell lines but not in cells lacking oncogenic B-Raf. In melanoma models, PLX4720 induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis exclusively in B-Raf(V600E)-positive cells. In B-Raf(V600E)-dependent tumor xenograft models, orally dosed PLX4720 causes significant tumor growth delays, including tumor regressions, without evidence of toxicity. The work described here represents the entire discovery process, from initial identification through structural and biological studies in animal models to a promising therapeutic for testing in cancer patients bearing B-Raf(V600E)-driven tumors.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2008; 105(8):3041-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SUMMARY1. Thyroid hormone receptors (TR) are expressed from two separate genes (α and β) and belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily, which also contains receptors for steroids, vitamins and prostaglandins.2. Unliganded TR are bound to DNA thyroid hormone response elements (TRE) predominantly as homodimers, or as heterodimers with retinoid X-receptors (RXR), and are associated with a complex of proteins containing corepressor proteins. Ligand binding promotes corepressor dissociation and binding of a coactivator.3. Recent studies from our group have focused on the acquisition and use of X-ray crystallographic structures of ligand-binding domains (LBD) of both the rat (r) TRα and the human (h) TRβ bound to several different ligands. We have also developed ligands that bind selectively to the TRβ, which may provide ways to explore the differential functions of TRα compared with TRβ isoforms.4. The LBD is comprised mostly of α-helices. The ligand is completely buried in the receptor and forms part of its hydrophobic core. Kinetic studies suggest that the limiting step in formation of high-affinity ligand-receptor complexes is the rate of folding of the receptor around the ligand. Ligands can be fitted tightly in the ligand-binding pocket and small differences in this fitting may explain many structure-activity relationships. Interestingly, analysis of the structures of antagonists suggests that they have chemical groups, ‘extensions', that could impair receptor folding around them and, thus, prevent the agonist-induced conformation changes in the receptor.5. The TR structures allowed us to see that the mutations that occur in the syndrome of generalized resistance to thyroid hormone are located in the vicinity of the ligand-binding pocket.6. X-ray structure of the TR has also been used to guide construction of mutations in the TR surface that block binding of various proteins important for receptor function. Studies with these TR mutants reveal that the interfaces for homo- and heterodimerization map to similar residues in helix 10 and 11 and also allow the definition of the surface for binding of coactivators, which appears to be general for nuclear receptors. Formation of this surface, which involves packing of helix 12 of the TR into a scaffold formed by helices 3 and 5, appears to be the major change in the receptor structure induced by hormone occupancy.
    Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 06/2007; 25(S1):S2 - S11. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinases are a large family of cell signaling mediators undergoing intensive research to identify inhibitors or modulators useful for medicine. As one strategy, small-molecule compounds that bind the active site with high affinity can be used to inhibit the enzyme activity. X-ray crystallography is a powerful method to reveal the structures of the kinase active sites, and thus aid in the design of high-affinity, selective inhibitors. However, a limitation still exists in the ability to produce purified kinases in amounts sufficient for crystallography. Furthermore, kinases exist in different conformation states as part of their normal regulation, and the ability to prepare crystals of kinases in these various states also remains a limitation. In this study, the c-Abl, c-Src, and c-Met kinases are produced in high yields in Escherichia coli by using a bicistronic vector encoding the PTP1B tyrosine phosphatase. A 100-fold lower dose of the inhibitor, Imatinib, was observed to inhibit the unphosphorylated form of c-Abl kinase prepared by using this vector, compared to the phosphorylated form produced without PTP1B, consistent with the known selectivity of this inhibitor for the unactivated conformation of the enzyme. Unphosphorylated c-Met kinase produced with this vector was used to obtain the crystal structure, at 2.15-A resolution, of the autoinhibited form of the kinase domain, revealing an intricate network of interactions involving c-Met residues documented previously to cause dysregulation when mutated in several cancers.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2006; 103(10):3563-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Noonan syndrome (MIM 163950) is characterized by short stature, facial dysmorphism and cardiac defects. Heterozygous mutations in PTPN11, which encodes SHP-2, cause approximately 50% of cases of Noonan syndrome. The SHP-2 phosphatase relays signals from activated receptor complexes to downstream effectors, including Ras. We discovered de novo germline KRAS mutations that introduce V14I, T58I or D153V amino acid substitutions in five individuals with Noonan syndrome and a P34R alteration in a individual with cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome (MIM 115150), which has overlapping features with Noonan syndrome. Recombinant V14I and T58I K-Ras proteins show defective intrinsic GTP hydrolysis and impaired responsiveness to GTPase activating proteins, render primary hematopoietic progenitors hypersensitive to growth factors and deregulate signal transduction in a cell lineage-specific manner. These studies establish germline KRAS mutations as a cause of human disease and infer that the constellation of developmental abnormalities seen in Noonan syndrome spectrum is, in large part, due to hyperactive Ras.
    Nature Genetics 04/2006; 38(3):331-6. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) and liver receptor homologue-1 (LRH-1) belong to the fushi tarazu factor 1 subfamily of nuclear receptors. SF-1 is an essential factor for sex determination during development and regulates adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis in the adult, whereas LRH-1 is a critical factor for development of endodermal tissues and regulates cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis. Regulatory ligands are unknown for SF-1 and LRH-1. A reported mouse LRH-1 structure revealed an empty pocket in a region commonly occupied by ligands in the structures of other nuclear receptors, and pocket-filling mutations did not alter the constitutive activity observed. Here we report the crystal structures of the putative ligand-binding domains of human SF-1 at 2.1-A resolution and human LRH-1 at 2.5-A resolution. Both structures bind a coactivator-derived peptide at the canonical activation-function surface, thus adopting the transcriptionally activating conformation. In human LRH-1, coactivator peptide binding also occurs to a second site. We discovered in both structures a phospholipid molecule bound in a pocket of the putative ligand-binding domain. MS analysis of the protein samples used for crystallization indicated that the two proteins associate with a range of phospholipids. Mutations of the pocket-lining residues reduced the transcriptional activities of SF-1 and LRH-1 in mammalian cell transfection assays without affecting their expression levels. These results suggest that human SF-1 and LRH-1 may be ligand-binding receptors, although it remains to be seen if phospholipids or possibly other molecules regulate SF-1 or LRH-1 under physiological conditions.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2005; 102(21):7505-10. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) comprise a family of enzymes that modulate the immune response, inflammation, and memory, among many other functions. There are three types of PDEs: cAMP-specific, cGMP-specific, and dual-specific. Here we describe the mechanism of nucleotide selectivity on the basis of high-resolution co-crystal structures of the cAMP-specific PDE4B and PDE4D with AMP, the cGMP-specific PDE5A with GMP, and the apo-structure of the dual-specific PDE1B. These structures show that an invariant glutamine functions as the key specificity determinant by a "glutamine switch" mechanism for recognizing the purine moiety in cAMP or cGMP. The surrounding residues anchor the glutamine residue in different orientations for cAMP and for cGMP. The PDE1B structure shows that in dual-specific PDEs a key histidine residue may enable the invariant glutamine to toggle between cAMP and cGMP. The structural understanding of nucleotide binding enables the design of new PDE inhibitors that may treat diseases in which cyclic nucleotides play a critical role.
    Molecular Cell 08/2004; 15(2):279-86. · 15.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear receptors (NRs) usually bind the corepressors N-CoR and SMRT in the absence of ligand or in the presence of antagonists. Agonist binding leads to corepressor release and recruitment of coactivators. Here, we report that estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta) binds N-CoR and SMRT in the presence of agonists, but not antagonists, in vitro and in vivo. This ligand preference differs from that of ERalpha interactions with corepressors, which are inhibited by estradiol, and resembles that of ERbeta interactions with coactivators. ERbeta /N-CoR interactions involve ERbeta AF-2, which also mediates coactivator recognition. Moreover, ERbeta recognizes a sequence (PLTIRML) in the N-CoR C-terminus that resembles coactivator LXXLL motifs. Inhibition of histone deacetylase activity specifically potentiates ERbeta LBD activity, suggesting that corepressors restrict the activity of AF-2. We conclude that the ER isoforms show completely distinct modes of interaction with a physiologically important corepressor and discuss our results in terms of ER isoform specificity in vivo.
    Nuclear Receptor 07/2003; 1(1):4.
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    ABSTRACT: Resistance to hormones is commonly due to mutations in genes encoding receptors. Resistance to thyroid hormone is due mostly to mutations of the beta-form of the human (h) thyroid hormone receptor (hTRbeta). We determined x-ray crystal structures of two hTRbeta ligand-binding domains (LBDs), Ala 317 Thr and Arg 316 His. Amino acids 316 and 317 form part of the hormone-binding pocket. The methyl of Ala 317, contacting iodine, sculpts the T3 hormone-binding pocket. Arg 316 is not in direct contact with T3 and has an unknown role in function. Remarkably, the Arg forms part of an unusual buried polar cluster in hTRbeta. Although the identity of the amino acids changes, the polar cluster appears in all nuclear receptors. In spite of the differing roles of 316 and 317, both resistance to thyroid hormone mutants display decreased T3 affinity and weakened transcriptional activation. The two mutants differ in that the Arg 316 His receptor does not form TR-TR homodimers on DNA. 3,5,3'-Triiodothyroacetic acid is bound to both receptors. Thr 317 repositions 3,5,3'-triiodothyroacetic acid distending the face of the receptor that binds coregulators. Arg 316 forms two hydrogen bonds with helix 1. Both are lost with mutation to His displacing helix 1 of the LBD and disordering the loop after helix 1. The stability of the helix 1, deriving in part from the buried polar cluster, is important for hormone binding and formation of TR dimers. The observation that the Arg 316 His mutation affects these functions implies a role for helix 1 in linking hormone binding to the DNA-binding domain-LBD configuration.
    Molecular Endocrinology 05/2003; 17(4):643-52. · 4.75 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
410.71 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2010
    • Yale University
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 1986–2007
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
      • • Division of Hospital Medicine
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • • Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1997
    • University of Oslo
      • Biotechnology Centre of Oslo (Biotek)
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway