Narra S Devi

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Publications (13)86.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the TP53 tumor suppressor gene are required for the development of many malignancies, including brain tumors. Yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying p53's anti-tumor effects remain incompletely understood. In the present study we demonstrate the existence of a novel cell-extrinsic mechanism whereby p53 can antagonize tumor growth.
    Neuro-oncology. 07/2014; 16 Suppl 3:iii19.
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) is crucial for glucose homeostasis in mammalian cells. The current understanding of PDC regulation involves inhibitory serine phosphorylation of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) by PDH kinase (PDK), whereas dephosphorylation of PDH by PDH phosphatase (PDP) activates PDC. Here, we report that lysine acetylation of PDHA1 and PDP1 is common in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated cells and diverse human cancer cells. K321 acetylation inhibits PDHA1 by recruiting PDK1, and K202 acetylation inhibits PDP1 by dissociating its substrate PDHA1, both of which are important in promoting glycolysis in cancer cells and consequent tumor growth. Moreover, we identified mitochondrial ACAT1 and SIRT3 as the upstream acetyltransferase and deacetylase, respectively, of PDHA1 and PDP1, while knockdown of ACAT1 attenuates tumor growth. Furthermore, Y381 phosphorylation of PDP1 dissociates SIRT3 and recruits ACAT1 to PDC. Together, hierarchical, distinct posttranslational modifications act in concert to control molecular composition of PDC and contribute to the Warburg effect.
    Molecular cell 01/2014; · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) plays a critical role in tumor adaptation to hypoxia, and its elevated expression correlates with poor prognosis and treatment failure in cancer patients. In this study, we determined whether 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[(2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]-N-phenylbenzenesulfonamide, KCN1, the lead inhibitor in a novel class of arylsulfonamide inhibitors of the HIF-1 pathway, had anti-tumorigenic properties in vivo and further defined its mechanism of action. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We studied the inhibitory effect of systemic KCN1 delivery on the growth of human brain tumors in mice. To define mechanisms of KCN1 anti-HIF activities, we examined its influence on the assembly of a functional HIF1α/HIF1β/p300 transcription complex. RESULTS: KCN1 specifically inhibited HIF reporter gene activity in several glioma cell lines at the nanomolar level. KCN1 also downregulated transcription of endogenous HIF-1 target genes, such as VEGF, Glut-1 and carbonic anhydrase 9, in an HRE-dependent manner. KCN1 potently inhibited the growth of subcutaneous malignant glioma tumor xenografts with minimal adverse effects on the host. It also induced a temporary survival benefit in an intracranial model of glioma but had no effect in a model of melanoma metastasis to the brain. Mechanistically, KCN1 did not down-regulate levels of HIF-1α or other components of the HIF transcriptional complex; rather, it antagonized hypoxia-inducible transcription by disrupting the interaction of HIF-1α with transcriptional co-activators p300/CBP. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the new HIF pathway inhibitor KCN1 has antitumor activity in mouse models, supporting its further translation for the treatment of human tumors displaying hypoxia or HIF overexpression.
    Clinical Cancer Research 08/2012; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) are transcription factors that activate expression of multiple gene products and promote tumor adaptation to a hypoxic environment. To become transcriptionally active, HIFs associate with cofactors p300 or CBP. Previously, we found that arylsulfonamides can antagonize HIF transcription in a bioassay, block the p300/HIF-1α interaction, and exert potent anticancer activity in several animal models. In the present work, KCN1-bead affinity pull down, (14)C-labeled KCN1 binding, and KCN1-surface plasmon resonance measurements provide initial support for a mechanism in which KCN1 can bind to the CH1 domain of p300 and likely prevent the p300/HIF-1α assembly. Using a previously reported NMR structure of the p300/HIF-1α complex, we have identified potential binding sites in the p300-CH1 domain. A two-site binding model coupled with IC50 values has allowed establishment of a modest ROC-based enrichment and creation of a guide for future analogue synthesis.
    ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 08/2012; 3(8):620-5. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway is an attractive target for cancer, as it controls tumor adaptation to growth under hypoxia and mediates chemotherapy and radiation resistance. We previously discovered 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[(2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]-N-phenylbenzenesulfonamide as a novel, small-molecule HIF-1 pathway inhibitor in a high-throughput cell-based assay, but its in vivo delivery is hampered by poor aqueous solubility (0.009 μM in water; log P(7.4) = 3.7). Here we describe the synthesis of 12 N-alkyl-N-[(8-R-2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]heteroarylsulfonamides, which were designed to possess optimal lipophilicities and aqueous solubilities by in silico calculations. Experimental log P(7.4) values of 8 of the 12 new analogs ranged from 1.2-3.1. Aqueous solubilities of three analogs were measured, among which the most soluble N-[(8-methoxy-2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]-N-(propan-2-yl)pyridine-2-sulfonamide had an aqueous solubility of 80 μM, e.g., a solubility improvement of ∼9000-fold. The pharmacological optimization had limited impact on drug efficacy as the compounds retained IC(50) values at or below 5 μM in our HIF-dependent reporter assay.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2012; 55(15):6738-50. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have discovered that 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[(2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]-N-phenylbenzenesulfonamide, a novel small molecule HIF-1 pathway inhibitor, can antagonize tumor growth in animal models of cancer, but the treatment necessitates its delivery in a formulation, due to poor water solubility (<15 μg/mL; pH 7.4), evidencing that the chemotype needs further exploration of its amenability to additional chemical modifications for ultimate optimization of function and pharmacology. As a first step towards this goal we investigated the structure-activity relationships of 15 lipophilic 2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromene based arylsulfonamide analogs of 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[(2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]-N-phenylbenzenesulfonamide to find out strategies of modification. A 3,4-dimethoxybenzenesulfonyl group in region 1 showed the strongest inhibition among five arylsulfonyl groups tested. The presence of propan-2-amine in region 2 conferred the strongest inhibitory effect of the compound on HIF-1 activated transcription in a reporter assay. These findings are important as they help define the structural motifs where the 3,4-dimethoxy-N-[(2,2-dimethyl-2H-chromen-6-yl)methyl]-N-phenylbenzenesulfonamide can be chemically modified to improve its pharmacological properties towards development as a cancer therapeutic.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 05/2012; 20(14):4590-7. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia, a reduction in partial oxygen pressure, is a salient property of solid tumors. Hypoxia drives malignant progression and metastasis in tumors and participates in tumor resistance to radio- and chemotherapies. Hypoxia activates the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) family of transcription factors, which induce target genes that regulate adaptive biological processes such as anaerobic metabolism, cell motility, and angiogenesis. Clinical evidence has demonstrated that expression of HIF-1 is strongly associated with poor patient prognosis and activation of HIF-1 contributes to malignant behavior and therapeutic resistance. Consequently, HIF-1 has become an important therapeutic target for inhibition by small molecules. Herein, we describe the design and synthesis of small molecules that inhibit the HIF-1 signaling pathway. Many of these compounds exhibit inhibitory activity in the nanomolar range. Separate mechanistic studies indicate that these inhibitors do not alter HIF-1 levels but interfere with the ability of HIF-1α/HIF-1β to interact with cofactors p300/CBP to form an active transcriptional complex.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 12/2011; 54(24):8471-89. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Solid tumors generally grow under hypoxic conditions, a pathophysiological change, which activates the expression of genes responsible for malignant, aggressive, and treatment-refractory properties. Hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) is the chief transcription factor regulating hypoxia-driven gene expression. Therefore, the HIF pathway has become a critical target for cancer therapeutics development. We screened a privileged library of about 10,000 natural-product-like compounds using a cell-based assay for HIF-dependent transcriptional activity and identified several arylsulfonamide HIF pathway inhibitors. Among these compounds, the most potent ones showed an IC(50) of ∼0.5 μM in the hypoxia-responsive element (HRE)-luciferase reporter system. Further studies are needed to fully elucidate the mechanism of action of this class of compounds and their structure-activity relationship.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters 09/2011; 21(18):5528-32. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is a critical physiologic process that is appropriated during tumorigenesis. Little is known about how this process is specifically regulated in the brain. Brain angiogenesis inhibitor-1 (BAI1) is a brain-predominant seven-transmembrane protein that contains five antiangiogenic thrombospondin type-1 repeats (TSR). We recently showed that BAI1 is cleaved at a conserved proteolytic cleavage site releasing a soluble, 120 kDa antiangiogenic factor called vasculostatin (Vstat120). Vstat120 has been shown to inhibit in vitro angiogenesis and suppress subcutaneous tumor growth. Here, we examine its effect on the intracranial growth of malignant gliomas and further study its antitumor mechanism. First, we show that expression of Vstat120 strongly suppresses the intracranial growth of malignant gliomas, even in the presence of the strong proangiogenic stimulus mediated by the oncoprotein epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII). This tumor-suppressive effect is accompanied by a decrease in tumor vascular density, suggesting a potent antiangiogenic effect in the brain. Second, and consistent with this interpretation, we find that treatment with Vstat120 reduces the migration of cultured microvascular endothelial cells in vitro and inhibits corneal angiogenesis in vivo. Third, we show that these antivascular effects critically depend on the presence of the cell surface receptor CD36 on endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo, supporting the role of Vstat120 TSRs in mediating these effects. These results advance the understanding of brain-specific angiogenic regulation, and suggest that Vstat120 has therapeutic potential in the treatment of brain tumors and other intracerebral vasculopathies.
    Cancer Research 02/2009; 69(3):1212-20. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BRCA1-associated protein-1 (BAP1), a deubiquitinating enzyme of unknown cellular function, is mutated in breast and lung cancers. In this study, we have shown for the first time that BAP1 has tumor suppressor activity in vivo by showing that BAP1 can suppress tumorigenicity of lung cancer cells in athymic nude mice. We show that BAP1 fulfills another criterion of a genuine tumor suppressor because cancer-associated BAP1 mutants are deficient in deubiquitinating activity. We show for the first time that one of the two predicted nuclear targeting motifs is required for nuclear localization of BAP1 and that a truncation mutant found in a lung cancer cell line results in BAP1 that fails to localize to the nucleus. Furthermore, we show that deubiquitinating activity and nuclear localization are both required for BAP1-mediated tumor suppression in nude mice. We show that BAP1 exerts its tumor suppressor functions by affecting the cell cycle, speeding the progression through the G(1)-S checkpoint, and inducing cell death via a process that has characteristics of both apoptosis and necrosis. Surprisingly, BAP1-mediated growth suppression is independent of wild-type BRCA1. Because deubiquitinating enzymes are components of the ubiquitin proteasome system, this pathway has emerged as an important target for anticancer drugs. The identification of the deubiquitinating enzyme BAP1 as a tumor suppressor may lead to further understanding of how the ubiquitin proteasome system contributes to cancer and aid in the identification of new targets for cancer therapy.
    Cancer Research 10/2008; 68(17):6953-62. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a need for novel therapies targeting hypoxic cells in tumors. These cells are associated with tumor resistance to therapy and express hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), a transcription factor that mediates metabolic adaptation to hypoxia and activates tumor angiogenesis. We previously developed an oncolytic adenovirus (HYPR-Ad) for the specific killing of hypoxic/HIF-active tumor cells, which we now armed with an interleukin-4 gene (HYPR-Ad-IL4). We designed HYPR-Ad-IL4 by cloning the Ad E1A viral replication and IL-4 genes under the regulation of a bidirectional hypoxia/HIF-responsive promoter. The IL-4 cytokine was chosen for its ability to induce a strong host antitumor immune response and its potential antiangiogenic activity. HYPR-Ad-IL4 induced hypoxia-dependent IL-4 expression, viral replication, and conditional cytolysis of hypoxic, but not normoxic cells. The treatment of established human tumor xenografts with HYPR-Ad-IL4 resulted in rapid and maintained tumor regression with the same potency as that of wild-type dl309-Ad. HYPR-Ad-IL4-treated tumors displayed extensive necrosis, fibrosis, and widespread viral replication. Additionally, these tumors contained a distinctive leukocyte infiltrate and prominent hypoxia. The use of an oncolytic Ad that locally delivers IL-4 to tumors is novel, and we expect that HYPR-Ad-IL4 will have broad therapeutic use for all solid tumors that have hypoxia or active HIF, regardless of tissue origin or genetic alterations.
    Cancer Research 08/2007; 67(14):6872-81. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brain angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1) is a transmembrane protein with unknown function expressed primarily in normal but not tumoral brain. The finding of thrombospondin type 1 repeats in its extracellular domain suggested an antiangiogenic function, but the mechanisms by which a transmembrane receptor could inhibit angiogenesis remained unexplained. Here we demonstrate that BAI1 is proteolytically cleaved at a conserved G-protein-coupled receptor proteolytic cleavage site (GPS), releasing its 120 kDa extracellular domain. We named this secreted fragment Vasculostatin as it inhibited migration of endothelial cells in vitro and dramatically reduced in vivo angiogenesis. Both constitutive and doxycycline-induced expression of Vasculostatin elicited dose-dependent suppression of tumor growth and vascular density in mice, implicating Vasculostatin in the regulation of vascular homeostasis and tumor prevention. Generation of a soluble antiangiogenic factor by cleavage of a pre-existing transmembrane protein represents a novel mechanism for regulating vascular homeostasis and preventing tumorigenesis. Modulation of this cleavage or delivery of Vasculostatin may constitute novel treatment modalities for cancer and other diseases of aberrant angiogenesis, especially in the brain.
    Oncogene 06/2005; 24(22):3632-42. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia plays a critical role in driving tumor malignancy and is associated with poor patient survival in many human cancers. Novel therapies targeting hypoxic tumor cells are urgently needed, because these cells hinder tumor eradication. Here we demonstrate than an anticancer strategy based on intratumoral delivery of a novel type of oncolytic adenovirus targeting tumor hypoxia is therapeutically efficient and can augment standard chemotherapy. We used a conditionally replicative adenovirus (HYPR-Ad) to specifically kill hypoxic tumor cells. Viral infection and conditional replication occurred efficiently in hypoxic/hypoxia-inducible factor-active cells in culture and in vivo, prevented tumor formation, and reduced the growth of established tumors. Combining HYPR-Ad with chemotherapy effective against normoxic cells resulted in strongly enhanced antitumor efficacy. These studies demonstrate that targeting the hypoxic microenvironment of tumors rather than an intrinsic gene expression defect is a viable and novel antitumor therapeutic strategy that can be used in combination with existing treatment regimens. The replication and oncolytic potential of this virus was made dependent on hypoxic/hypoxia-inducible factor, a transcription factor activated in the tumor hypoxic microenvironment, broadening its therapeutic use to solid tumors of any genetic make-up or tissue of origin.
    Clinical Cancer Research 01/2005; 10(24):8603-12. · 7.84 Impact Factor