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- SourceAvailable from: Petra Minder[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many malignant characteristics of cancer cells are regulated through pathways induced by the tyrosine kinase activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Herein, we show that besides directly affecting the biology of cancer cells per se, EGFR also regulates the primary tumor microenvironment. Specifically, our findings demonstrate that both the expression and signaling activity of EGFR are required for the induction of a distinct intratumoral vasculature capable of sustaining tumor cell intravasation, a critical rate-limiting step in the metastatic cascade. An intravasation-sustaining mode of intratumoral angiogenic vessels depends on high levels of tumor cell EGFR and the interplay between EGFR-regulated production of interleukin 8 by tumor cells, interleukin-8–induced influx of tumor-infiltrating neutrophils delivering their unique matrix metalloproteinase-9, and neutrophil matrix metalloproteinase-9–dependent release of the vascular permeability and endothelial growth factor, VEGF. Our data indicate that through VEGF-mediated disruption of endothelial layer integrity and increase of intratumoral vasculature permeability, EGFR activity significantly facilitates active intravasation of cancer cells. Therefore, this study unraveled an important but overlooked function of EGFR in cancer, namely, its ability to create an intravasation-sustaining microenvironment within the developing primary tumor by orchestrating several interrelated processes required for the initial steps of cancer metastasis through vascular routes. Our findings also suggest that EGFR-targeted therapies might be more effective when implemented in cancer patients with early-staged primary tumors containing a VEGF-dependent angiogenic vasculature. Accordingly, early EGFR inhibition combined with various anti-VEGF approaches could synergistically suppress tumor cell intravasation through inhibiting the highly permeable angiogenic vasculature induced by EGFR-overexpressing aggressive cancer cells.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large combinatorial libraries of macrocyclic peptides are a useful source of bioactive compounds. However, peptides are not generally cell permeable, so there is great interest in the development of methods to create large libraries of modified peptides. In particular, N-alkylation of peptides is known to improve their bioavailability significantly. Incorporation of some level of N-methylated amino acids into peptide libraries has been accomplished with ribosome display or related methods, but the modest efficiency and the inability to employ more diverse N-alkylated amino acids in this type of system argue for the development of synthetic libraries. Here we present optimized procedures for synthesizing macrocyclic peptides containing multiple N-alkylated units and show that this chemistry is efficient enough for the creation of high quality combinatorial libraries by split and pool solid-phase synthesis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteasome is a multi-subunit complex responsible for most non-lysosomal turnover of proteins in eukaryotic cells. Proteasome inhibitors are of great interest clinically, particularly for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). Unfortunately, resistance arises almost inevitably to these active site-targeted drugs. One strategy to overcome this resistance is to inhibit other steps in the protein turnover cascade mediated by the proteasome. Previously, Anchoori et al. identified Rpn13 as the target of an electrophilic compound (RA-190) that was selectively toxic to MM cells (Cancer Cell 24, 791-805 (2013)), suggesting that this sub-unit of the proteasome is also a viable cancer drug target. Here we describe the discovery of the first highly selective, reversible Rpn13 ligands and show that they are selectively toxic to MM cells. These data strongly support the hypothesis that Rpn13 is a viable target for the development of drugs to treat MM and other cancers.
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