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Publications (7)40.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Histone deacetylases (HDACs) play a critical role in the maintenance of genome stability. Class I HDACs, histone deacetylase 1 and 2 (Hdac1 and Hdac2) are recruited to the replication fork by virtue of their interactions with the replication machinery. However, functions for Hdac1 and Hdac2 (Hdacs1,2) in DNA replication are not fully understood. Using genetic knockdown systems and novel Hdacs1,2-selective inhibitors, we found that loss of Hdacs1,2 leads to a reduction in the replication fork velocity, and an increase in replication stress response culminating in DNA damage. These observed defects are due to a direct role for Hdacs1,2 in DNA replication, as transcription of genes involved in replication was not affected in the absence of Hdacs1,2. We found that loss of Hdacs1,2 functions increases histone acetylation (ac) on chromatin in S-phase cells and affects nascent chromatin structure, as evidenced by the altered sensitivity of newly synthesized DNA to nuclease digestion. Specifically, H4K16ac, a histone modification involved in chromatin decompaction, is increased on nascent chromatin upon abolishing Hdacs1,2 activities. It was previously shown that H4K16ac interferes with the functions of SMARCA5, an ATP-dependent ISWI family chromatin remodeler. We found SMARCA5 also associates with nascent DNA and loss of SMARCA5 decreases replication fork velocity similar to the loss or inhibition of Hdacs1,2. Our studies reveal important roles for Hdacs1,2 in nascent chromatin structure maintenance and regulation of SMARCA5 chromatin-remodeler function, which together are required for proper replication fork progression and genome stability in S-phase.
    Epigenetics & Chromatin 08/2013; 6(1):27. · 4.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein due to the functional loss of the SMN1 gene and the inability of its paralog, SMN2, to fully compensate due to reduced exon 7 splicing efficiency. Since SMA patients have at least one copy of SMN2, drug discovery campaigns have sought to identify SMN2 inducers. C5-substituted quinazolines increase SMN2 promoter activity in cell based assays and a derivative, RG3039, has progressed to clinical testing. It is orally bioavailable, brain-penetrant and has been shown to be an inhibitor of the mRNA decapping enzyme, DcpS. Our pharmacological characterization of RG3039, reported here, demonstrates RG3039 can extend survival and improve function in two SMA mouse models of varying disease severity (Taiwanese 5058 Hemi and 2B/- SMA mice), and positively impacts neuromuscular pathologies. In 2B/- SMA mice, RG3039 provides >600% survival benefit (median 18 days to >112 days) when dosing began at P4, highlighting the importance of early intervention. We determined the minimum effective dose and the associated pharmacokinetic (PK) and exposure relationship of RG3039 and DcpS inhibition ex-vivo. These data support the long PK half-life with extended pharmacodynamic outcome of RG3039 in 2B/- SMA mice. In motor neurons, RG3039 significantly increased the number of gems and cells with gems, which is used as an indirect measure of SMN levels. These studies contribute to dose selection and exposure estimates for the first studies with RG3039 in human subjects.
    Human Molecular Genetics 06/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, retention of the survival motor neuron 2 (SMN2) gene, and insufficient expression of full-length survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Quinazolines increase SMN2 promoter activity and inhibit the ribonucleic acid scavenger enzyme DcpS. The quinazoline derivative RG3039 has advanced to early phase clinical trials. In preparation for efficacy studies in SMA patients, we investigated the effects of RG3039 in severe SMA mice. Here, we show that RG3039 distributed to central nervous system tissues where it robustly inhibited DcpS enzyme activity, but minimally activated SMN expression or the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins. Nonetheless, treated SMA mice showed a dose-dependent increase in survival, weight, and motor function. This was associated with improved motor neuron somal and neuromuscular junction synaptic innervation and function and increased muscle size. RG3039 also enhanced survival of conditional SMA mice in which SMN had been genetically-restored to motor neurons. As this systemically delivered drug may have therapeutic benefits that extend beyond motor neurons, it could act additively with SMN-restoring therapies delivered directly to the central nervous system such as antisense oligonucleotides or gene therapy.
    Human Molecular Genetics 05/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonspecific histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition has been shown to facilitate the extinction of drug-seeking behavior in a manner resistant to reinstatement. A key open question is which specific HDAC is involved in the extinction of drug-seeking behavior. Using the selective HDAC3 inhibitor RGFP966, we investigated the role of HDAC3 in extinction and found that systemic treatment with RGFP966 facilitates extinction in mice in a manner resistant to reinstatement. We also investigated whether the facilitated extinction is related to the enhancement of extinction consolidation during extinction learning or to negative effects on performance or reconsolidation. These are key distinctions with regard to any compound being used to modulate extinction, because a more rapid decrease in a defined behavior is interpreted as facilitated extinction. Using an innovative combination of behavioral paradigms, we found that a single treatment of RGFP966 enhances extinction of a previously established cocaine-conditioned place preference, while simultaneously enhancing long-term object-location memory within subjects. During extinction consolidation, HDAC3 inhibition promotes a distinct pattern of histone acetylation linked to gene expression within the infralimbic cortex, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens. Thus, the facilitated extinction of drug-seeking cannot be explained by adverse effects on performance. These results demonstrate that HDAC3 inhibition enhances the memory processes involved in extinction of drug-seeking behavior.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given the fundamental roles of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the regulation of DNA repair, replication, transcription and chromatin structure, it is fitting that therapies targeting HDAC activities are now being explored as anti-cancer agents. In fact, two histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs), SAHA and Depsipeptide, are FDA approved for single-agent treatment of refractory cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). An important target of these HDIs, histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3), regulates processes such as DNA repair, metabolism, and tumorigenesis through the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Here we show that HDAC3 inhibition using a first in class selective inhibitor, RGFP966, resulted in decreased cell growth in CTCL cell lines due to increased apoptosis that was associated with DNA damage and impaired S phase progression. Through isolation of proteins on nascent DNA (iPOND), we found that HDAC3 was associated with chromatin and is present at and around DNA replication forks. DNA fiber labeling analysis showed that inhibition of HDAC3 resulted in a significant reduction in DNA replication fork velocity within the first hour of drug treatment. These results suggest that selective inhibition of HDAC3 could be useful in treatment of CTCL by disrupting DNA replication of the rapidly cycling tumor cells, ultimately leading to cell death.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68915. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have pointed to histone deacetylase inhibitors as potential therapeutics for various neurodegenerative diseases, and clinical trials with several histone deacetylase inhibitors have been performed or are under way. However, histone deacetylase inhibitors tested to date either are highly cytotoxic or have very low specificities for different histone deacetylase enzymes. The authors' laboratories have identified a novel class of histone deacetylase inhibitors (2-aminobenzamides) that reverses heterochromatin-mediated silencing of the frataxin (FXN) gene in Friedreich ataxia. The authors have identified the histone deacetylase enzyme isotype target of these compounds and present evidence that compounds that target this enzyme selectively increase FXN expression from pathogenic alleles. Studies with model compounds show that these histone deacetylase inhibitors increase FXN messenger RNA levels in the brain in mouse models for Friedreich ataxia and relieve neurological symptoms observed in mouse models and support the notion that this class of molecules may serve as therapeutics for the human disease.
    Journal of child neurology 07/2012; 27(9):1164-73. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated amelioration of Huntington's disease (HD)-related phenotypes in R6/2 transgenic mice in response to treatment with the novel histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor 4b. Here we have measured the selectivity profiles of 4b and related compounds against class I and class II HDACs and have tested their ability to restore altered expression of genes related to HD pathology in mice and to rescue disease effects in cell culture and Drosophila models of HD. R6/2 transgenic and wild-type (wt) mice received daily injections of HDAC inhibitors for 3 days followed by real-time PCR analysis to detect expression differences for 13 HD-related genes. We find that HDACi 4b and 136, two compounds showing high potency for inhibiting HDAC3 were most effective in reversing the expression of genes relevant to HD, including Ppp1r1b, which encodes DARPP-32, a marker for medium spiny striatal neurons. In contrast, compounds targeting HDAC1 were less effective at correcting gene expression abnormalities in R6/2 transgenic mice, but did cause significant increases in the expression of selected genes. An additional panel of 4b-related compounds was tested in a Drosophila model of HD and in STHdhQ111 striatal cells to further distinguish HDAC selectivity. Significant improvement in huntingtin-elicited Drosophila eye neurodegeneration in the fly was observed in response to treatment with compounds targeting human HDAC1 and/or HDAC3. In STHdhQ111 striatal cells, the ability of HDAC inhibitors to improve huntingtin-elicited metabolic deficits correlated with the potency at inhibiting HDAC1 and HDAC3, although the IC50 values for HDAC1 inhibition were typically 10-fold higher than for inhibition of HDAC3. Assessment of HDAC protein localization in brain tissue by Western blot analysis revealed accumulation of HDAC1 and HDAC3 in the nucleus of HD transgenic mice compared to wt mice, with a concurrent decrease in cytoplasmic localization, suggesting that these HDACs contribute to a repressive chromatin environment in HD. No differences were detected in the localization of HDAC2, HDAC4 or HDAC7. These results suggest that inhibition of HDACs 1 and 3 can relieve HD-like phenotypes in model systems and that HDAC inhibitors targeting these isotypes might show therapeutic benefit in human HD.
    Neurobiology of Disease 05/2012; 46(2):351-61. · 5.62 Impact Factor