[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germline deletion of Jak2 in mice results in embryonic lethality at E12.5 due to impaired hematopoiesis. However, the role that Jak2 might play in late gestation and postnatal life is unknown. To understand this, we utilized a conditional knockout approach that allowed for the deletion of Jak2 at various stages of prenatal and postnatal life. Specifically, Jak2 was deleted beginning at either mid/late gestation (E12.5), at postnatal day 4 (PN4), or at ∼2 months of age. Deletion of Jak2 beginning at E12.5 resulted in embryonic death characterized by a lack of hematopoiesis. Deletion beginning at PN4 was also lethal due to a lack of erythropoiesis. Deletion of Jak2 in young adults was characterized by blood cytopenias, abnormal erythrocyte morphology, decreased marrow hematopoietic potential, and splenic atrophy. However, death was observed in only 20% of the mutants. Further analysis of these mice suggested that the increased survivability was due to an incomplete deletion of Jak2 and subsequent re-population of Jak2 expressing cells, as conditional deletion in mice having one floxed Jak2 allele and one null allele resulted in a more severe phenotype and subsequent death of all animals. We found that the deletion of Jak2 in the young adults had a differential effect on hematopoietic lineages; specifically, conditional Jak2 deletion in young adults severely impaired erythropoiesis and thrombopoiesis, modestly affected granulopoiesis and monocytopoiesis, and had no effect on lymphopoiesis. Interestingly, while the hematopoietic organs of these mutant animals were severely affected by the deletion of Jak2, we found that the hearts, kidneys, lungs, and brains of these same mice were histologically normal. From this, we conclude that Jak2 plays an essential and non-redundant role in hematopoiesis during both prenatal and postnatal life and this has direct implications regarding the inhibition of Jak2 in humans.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59675. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms, including polycythemia vera, essential thrombocytosis, and myelofibrosis, are disorders characterized by abnormal hematopoiesis. Among these myeloproliferative neoplasms, myelofibrosis has the most unfavorable prognosis. Furthermore, currently available therapies for myelofibrosis have little to no efficacy in the bone marrow and hence, are palliative. We recently developed a Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) small molecule inhibitor called G6 and found that it exhibits marked efficacy in a xenograft model of Jak2-V617F-mediated hyperplasia and a transgenic mouse model of Jak2-V617F-mediated polycythemia vera/essential thrombocytosis. However, its efficacy in Jak2-mediated myelofibrosis has not previously been examined. Here, we hypothesized that G6 would be efficacious in Jak2-V617F-mediated myelofibrosis. To test this, mice expressing the human Jak2-V617F cDNA under the control of the vav promoter were administered G6 or vehicle control solution, and efficacy was determined by measuring parameters within the peripheral blood, liver, spleen, and bone marrow. We found that G6 significantly reduced extramedullary hematopoiesis in the liver and splenomegaly. In the bone marrow, G6 significantly reduced pathogenic Jak/STAT signaling by 53%, megakaryocytic hyperplasia by 70%, and the Jak2 mutant burden by 68%. Furthermore, G6 significantly improved the myeloid to erythroid ratio and significantly reversed the myelofibrosis. Collectively, these results indicate that G6 is efficacious in Jak2-V617F-mediated myelofibrosis, and given its bone marrow efficacy, it may alter the natural history of this disease.
American Journal Of Pathology 07/2012; 181(3):858-65. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we analyzed the structure-activity relationship properties of the small molecule Jak2 inhibitor G6. We synthesized a set of derivatives containing the native para-hydroxyl structure or an alternative meta-hydroxyl structure and examined their Jak2 inhibitory properties. We found that the para-hydroxyl derivative known as NB15 had excellent Jak2 inhibitory properties in silico, in vitro, and ex vivo when compared with meta-hydroxyl derivatives. These results indicate that NB15 is a potent derivative of the Jak2 inhibitor G6, and that maintaining the para-hydroxyl orientation of G6 is critical for its Jak2 inhibitory potential.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperkinetic Jak2 tyrosine kinase signaling has been implicated in several hematological disorders, including myeloproliferative neoplasms. Effective Jak2 inhibitors can have significant therapeutic potential. Here, using structure-based virtual screening, we identified a benzothiophene-derived Jak2 inhibitor named A46. We hypothesized that this compound would inhibit Jak2-V617F-mediated pathologic cell growth. To test this, A46 was analyzed for its ability to inhibit recombinant Jak2 protein catalysis; suppress Jak2-mediated pathogenic cell growth in vitro; inhibit the aberrant ex vivo growth of Jak2-V617F-expressing primary human bone marrow cells; and inhibit Jak2-mediated pathogenesis in vivo. To this end, we found that A46 selectively inhibited Jak2-V617F protein when compared to wild-type Jak2 protein. The drug also selectively inhibited the proliferation of Jak2-V617F-expressing cells in both a time- and dose-dependent manner, and this correlated with decreased Jak2 and signal transducers and activators of transcription 5 phosphorylation within treated cells. The Jak2-V617F cell growth inhibition correlated with an induction of cell cycle arrest and promotion of apoptosis. A46 also inhibited the pathologic growth of primary Jak2-V617F-expressing bone marrow cells ex vivo. Lastly, using a mouse model of Jak2-V617F-mediated myeloproliferative neoplasia. A46 significantly reduced the splenomegaly and megakaryocytic hyperplasia in the spleens of treated mice and the levels of interleukin-6 in the plasma. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the benzothiophene-based compound, A46, suppresses Jak2-mediated pathogenesis, thereby making it a potential candidate drug against Jak2-mediated disorders.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently developed a Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) small-molecule inhibitor called G6 and found that it inhibits Jak2-V617F-mediated pathologic cell growth in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. However, its ability to inhibit Jak2-V617F-mediated myeloproliferative neoplasia, with particular emphasis in the bone marrow, has not previously been examined. Here, we investigated the efficacy of G6 in a transgenic mouse model of Jak2-V617F-mediated myeloproliferative neoplasia. We found that G6 provided therapeutic benefit to the peripheral blood as determined by elimination of leukocytosis, thrombocytosis, and erythrocytosis. G6 normalized the pathologically high plasma concentrations of interleukin 6 (IL-6). In the liver, G6 eliminated Jak2-V617F-driven extramedullary hematopoiesis. With respect to the spleen, G6 significantly reduced both the splenomegaly and megakaryocytic hyperplasia. In the critically important bone marrow, G6 normalized the pathologically high levels of phospho-Jak2 and phospho-signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5). It significantly reduced the megakaryocytic hyperplasia in the marrow and completely normalized the M/E ratio. Most importantly, G6 selectively reduced the mutant Jak2 burden by 67%on average, with virtual elimination of mutant Jak2 cells in one third of all treated mice. Lastly, clonogenic assays using marrow stem cells from the myeloproliferative neoplasm mice revealed a time-dependent elimination of the clonogenic growth potential of these cells by G6. Collectively, these data indicate that G6 exhibits exceptional efficacy in the peripheral blood, liver, spleen, and, most importantly, in the bone marrow, thereby raising the possibility that this compound may alter the natural history of Jak2-V617F-mediated myeloproliferative neoplasia.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 11/2011; 13(11):1058-68. · 5.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ALK1 belongs to the type I receptor family for transforming growth factor-beta family ligands. Heterozygous ALK1 mutations cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 2 (HHT2), a multisystemic vascular disorder. Based largely on in vitro studies, TGF-beta1 has been considered as the most likely ALK1 ligand related to HHT, yet the identity of the physiologic ALK1 ligand remains controversial. In cultured endothelial cells, ALK1 and another TGF-beta type I receptor, ALK5, regulate angiogenesis by controlling TGF-beta signal transduction, and ALK5 is required for ALK1 signaling. However, the extent to which such interactions between these 2 receptors play a role in pathogenesis of HHT is unknown. We directly addressed these issues in vivo by comparing the phenotypes of mice in which the Alk1, Alk5, or Tgfbr2 gene was conditionally deleted in restricted vascular endothelia using a novel endothelial Cre transgenic line. Alk1-conditional deletion resulted in severe vascular malformations mimicking all pathologic features of HHT. Yet Alk5- or Tgfbr2-conditional deletion in mice, or Alk5 inhibition in zebrafish, did not affect vessel morphogenesis. These data indicate that neither ALK5 nor TGFBR2 is required for ALK1 signaling pertinent to the pathogenesis of HHT and suggest that HHT might not be a TGF-beta subfamily disease.