Rudolf Lucas

Rudolf Lucas
Medical College of Georgia · Pharmacology and Toxicology, Vascular Biology Center

Engineer Biotechnology

About

195
Publications
18,400
Reads
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Introduction
Our research activities focus on the identification of novel therapeutic candidates blunting pulmonary barrier dysfunction induced by bacterial and viral compounds. The recently discovered TNF-derived TIP peptide is currently in clinical trials as a candidate drug for treating pulmonary permeability edema. Moreover, in collaboration with Nobel laureate Dr Andrew V. Schally, Univ. Miami, Dr. Chakraborty, JLU, Germany and Dr Matthay, UCSF, we are evaluating GHRH agonists in pneumonia models.
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - present
Medical College of Georgia
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • research, teaching, institutional service
September 2004 - August 2007
University of Applied Sciences, Krems, Austria
Position
  • Professor
September 2000 - August 2004
Universität Konstanz
Position
  • vice chair

Publications

Publications (195)
Article
Full-text available
Pneumolysin (PLY) is a bacterial pore forming toxin and primary virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumonia, a major cause of pneumonia. PLY binds cholesterol-rich domains of the endothelial cell (EC) plasma membrane resulting in pore assembly and increased intracellular (IC) Ca2+ levels that compromise endothelial barrier integrity. Caveolae are s...
Article
Background: Periorbital necrotizing fasciitis (PNF) is a rare complication of bacterial infection, associated with irreversible inflammatory destruction of soft tissues like subcutaneous tissue and superficial fascia. PNF can cause visual loss, septic shock and death within hours to days. Since the infection progresses rapidly from a local disease...
Article
Background In May 2018, the first patient was enrolled in the phase-IIb clinical trial “Safety and Preliminary Efficacy of Sequential Multiple Ascending Doses of Solnatide to Treat Pulmonary Permeability Edema in Patients with Moderate to Severe ARDS.” With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the continuation and successful execution...
Article
Full-text available
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a homotrimer that has two spatially distinct binding regions, three lectin-like domains (LLD) at the TIP of the protein and three basolaterally located receptor-binding sites, the latter of which are responsible for the inflammatory and cell death-inducing properties of the cytokine. Solnatide (a.k.a. TIP peptide, AP3...
Preprint
Background: In May 2018 the first patient was enrolled in the phase-IIb clinical trial “Safety and Preliminary Efficacy of Sequential Multiple Ascending Doses of Solnatide to Treat Pulmonary Permeability Edema in Patients with Moderate to Severe ARDS” With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the continuation and successful execution o...
Article
Full-text available
Alveolar-capillary leak is a hallmark of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a potentially lethal complication of severe sepsis, trauma and pneumonia, including COVID-19. Apart from barrier dysfunction, ARDS is characterized by hyper-inflammation and impaired alveolar fluid clearance (AFC), which foster the development of pulmonary perm...
Article
Full-text available
Background Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a complex clinical diagnosis with various possible etiologies. One common feature, however, is pulmonary permeability edema, which leads to an increased alveolar diffusion pathway and, subsequently, impaired oxygenation and decarboxylation. A novel inhaled peptide agent (AP301, solnatide) was...
Article
Full-text available
Sepsis, a pathology resulting from excessive inflammatory response that leads to multiple organ failure, is a major cause of mortality in intensive care units. Macrophages play an important role in the pathophysiology of sepsis. Accumulating evidence has suggested an upregulated rate of aerobic glycolysis as a key common feature of activated proinf...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a complex clinical diagnosis with various possible etiologies. One common feature, however, is pulmonary permeability edema, which leads to an increased alveolar diffusion pathway and, subsequently, impaired oxygenation and decarboxylation. A novel inhaled peptide agent (AP301, solnatide) was...
Article
Full-text available
Dendritic cell (DC)-derived exosomes (DC EXO), natural nanoparticles of endosomal origin, are under intense scrutiny in clinical trials for various inflammatory diseases. DC EXO are eobiotic, meaning they are well-tolerated by the host; moreover, they can be custom-tailored for immune-regulatory or -stimulatory functions, thus presenting attractive...
Article
Full-text available
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common autosomal recessive disorders in the world. Due to functional asplenia, a dysfunctional antibody response, antibiotic drug resistance and poor response to immunization, SCD patients have impaired immunity. A leading cause of hospitalization and death in SCD patients is the acute chest syndrome (AC...
Article
Background and purpose: Macrophage infiltration into lungs is one of hallmarks of pulmonary hypertension (PH). Glycolysis is the main metabolic pathway for macrophage activation. However, the effect of macrophage glycolysis on the development of PH remains unknown. We investigated the effect of PFKFB3, a critical glycolytic regulator that mediates...
Article
Full-text available
The 6-minute walk test is generally considered a standard test for the evaluation of short-term maximal physical performance. It has not been evaluated whether psychological factors, such as anxiety or depression, affect the performance or the results of the test. The main aim of this study was to investigate whether a correlation exists between ps...
Article
Significance: Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn), a facultative anaerobic Gram-positive human pathogen with increasing rates of penicillin and macrolide resistance, is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections worldwide. Pneumococci are a primary agent of severe pneumonia in children younger than 5 years and of community-acquired pneumonia in...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial toxins play a key role in the pathogenesis of lung disease. Based on their structural and functional properties, they employ various strategies to modulate lung barrier function and to impair host defense in order to promote infection. Although in general, these toxins target common cellular signaling pathways and host compartments, toxin...
Article
Aims: Airway and pulmonary vascular remodeling is an important pathological feature in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Tobacco smoke (TS) induces the production of large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in COPD lungs. We investigated how ROS lead to airway and pulmonary vascular remodeling in COPD. Results...
Article
In mice, the initial stage of nephrotoxic serum-induced nephritis (NTN) mimics antibody-mediated human glomerulonephritis. Local immune deposits generate tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which activates pro-inflammatory pathways in glomerular endothelial cells (GECs) and podocytes. Because TNF receptors mediate antibacterial defense, existing anti-TNF...
Article
Full-text available
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a severe progressive disorder that arises from a wide range of causes such as toxins or inflammation, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. There are no effective therapeutic options apart from mechanical ventilation strategies. While the mechanisms that govern the clinically relevant process of increased EC p...
Article
Full-text available
Pneumonia is a leading cause of death in children and the elderly worldwide, accounting for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common and aggressive cause of pneumonia and can also contribute to meningitis and sepsis. Despite the widespread use of antibiotics, mortality rates for pneumonia remain unaccept...
Article
To investigate the role of protein kinase C-α (PKC-α) in glomerulonephritis, the capacity of PKC-α inhibition to reverse the course of established nephrotoxic nephritis (NTN) was evaluated. Nephritis was induced by a single injection of nephrotoxic serum and after its onset, a PKC-α inhibitor was administered either systemically or by targeted glom...
Article
Full-text available
High-fat meal (HFM) consumption can produce acute lipemia and trigger myocardial infarction in patients with atherosclerosis, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. Erythrocytes (red blood cells, RBCs) intimately interact with inflammatory cells and blood vessels and play a complex role in regulating vascular function. Chronic high-fat feeding i...
Article
Full-text available
Pulmonary permeability edema is characterized by reduced alveolar Na+ uptake capacity and capillary barrier dysfunction and is a potentially lethal complication of listeriosis. Apical Na+ uptake is mainly mediated by the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and initiates alveolar liquid clearance. Here we examine how listeriolysin O (LLO), the pore-for...
Article
Full-text available
The lungs conceptually represent a sponge that is interposed in series in the bodies’ systemic circulation to take up oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide. As such, it matches the huge surface areas of the alveolar epithelium to the pulmonary blood capillaries. The lung’s constant exposure to the exterior necessitates a competent immune system, as e...
Article
Full-text available
Background: High-permeability pulmonary edema is a hallmark of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and is frequently accompanied by impaired alveolar fluid clearance (AFC). AP301 enhances AFC by activating epithelial sodium channels (ENaCs) on alveolar epithelial cells, and we investigated its effect on extravascular lung water index (EVLWI...
Article
Aims: Elevation of arginase activity has been linked to vascular dysfunction in diabetes and hypertension by a mechanism involving decreased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability due to L-arginine depletion. Excessive arginase activity also can drive L-arginine metabolism towards the production of ornithine, polyamines, and proline, promoting prolifer...
Article
Full-text available
Autophagy, a well-established defense mechanism, enables the elimination of intracellular pathogens including Listeria monocytogenes. Host cell recognition results in ubiquitination of L. monocytogenes and interaction with autophagy adaptors p62/SQSTM1 and NDP52, which target bacteria to autophagosomes by binding to microtubule-associated protein 1...
Article
Obesity-induced vascular dysfunction involves pathological remodeling of the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and increased inflammation. Our previous studies showed that arginase 1 (A1) in endothelial cells (EC) is critically involved in obesity-induced vascular dysfunction. We tested the hypothesis that EC A1 activity also drives obesity-related VAT...
Article
Full-text available
Background Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major etiologic agent of bacterial pneumonia. Autolysis and antibiotic-mediated lysis of pneumococci induce release of the pore-forming toxin, pneumolysin (PLY), their major virulence factor, which is a prominent cause of acute lung injury. PLY inhibits alveolar liquid clearance and severely compromises alve...
Article
Full-text available
Previous in vitro studies have indicated that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) activates amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) current through its lectin-like (TIP) domain, since cyclic peptides mimicking the TIP domain (e.g., solnatide), showed ENaC-activating properties. In the current study, the effects of TNF and solnatide on individu...
Article
Objective: A disintegrin and metalloproteinase ADAM17 (tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF]-converting enzyme) regulates soluble TNF levels. We tested the hypothesis that aging-induced activation in adipose tissue (AT)-expressed ADAM17 contributes to the development of remote coronary microvascular dysfunction in obesity. Approach and results: Coronary...
Article
Full-text available
The synthetically produced cyclic peptides solnatide (a.k.a. TIP or AP301) and its congener AP318, whose molecular structures mimic the lectin-like domain of human tumor necrosis factor (TNF), have been shown to activate the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in various cell- and animal-based studies. Loss-of-ENaC-function leads to a rare, life-threa...
Article
Disruption of the endothelial barrier in response to Gram positive (G⁺) bacterial toxins is a major complication of acute lung injury (ALI) and can be further aggravated by antibiotics which stimulate toxin release. The integrity of the pulmonary endothelial barrier is mediated by the balance of disruptive forces such as the small GTPase RhoA, and...
Article
Full-text available
Regulation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), which regulates fluid homeostasis and blood pressure, is complex and remains incompletely understood. The TIP peptide, a mimic of the lectin-like domain of TNF, activates ENaC by binding to glycosylated residues in the extracellular loop of ENaC-α as well as to a hitherto uncharacterized internal...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The synthetic peptide solnatide is a novel pharmacological agent that reduces extravascular lung water, blunts reactive oxygen species production and improves lung function due to its ability to directly activate the epithelial sodium channel ENaC. We aimed to investigate the effect of solnatide in pulmonary edema induced by acute hypo...
Poster
Full-text available
Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) have a 400-fold greater risk in succumbing to pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease compared to their healthy peers or patients with other hemolytic anemias. This increased risk has been explained on the basis of defects in antibody production, opsonophagocytosis and splenic function, mecha...
Article
Retinal vascular injury is a major cause of vision impairment in ischemic retinopathies. Insults such as hyperoxia, oxidative stress and inflammation contribute to this pathology. Previously, we showed that hyperoxia-induced retinal neurodegeneration is associated with increased polyamine oxidation. Here, we are studying the involvement of polyamin...
Article
Dyslipidemia associated with triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) represents an important residual risk factor for cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Levels of growth hormone (GH) are elevated in T1D, which aggravates both hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia. The hypothalamic growth hormone-releasing hormo...
Article
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a severe lung inflammatory disorder with a 30-50% mortality. Sepsis and pneumonia are the leading causes of ARDS. On the cellular level there is pulmonary capillary endothelial cell permeability and fluid leakage into the pulmonary parenchyma, followed by neutrophils, cytokines and an acute inflammatory...
Article
Full-text available
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) derived from the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria induces acute lung injury (ALI) in mice. This injury is associated with lung edema, inflammation, diffuse alveolar damage, and severe respiratory insufficiency. We have previously reported that LPS-mediated nitric oxide synthase (NOS) uncoupling, through increases in...
Article
The type 1 angiotensin II (AngII) receptor (AT1R) undergoes internalization following stimulation by AngII. Internalization reduces cell surface AT1Rs and it is required for AT1R re-sensitization. In this process AT1R may interact with caveolin-1 (Cav1), the main scaffolding protein of caveolae. We hypothesized that the interaction between Cav1 and...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial infections can induce aberrant responses in cellular stress pathways, leading to translational attenuation, metabolic restriction, and activation of oxidative stress, with detrimental effects on cell survival. Here we show that infection of human airway epithelial cells with Streptococcus pneumoniae leads to induction of endoplasmic retic...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Alveolar liquid clearance is regulated by Na 1 uptake through the apically expressed epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and basolaterally localized Na 1-K 1-ATPase in type II alveolar epithelial cells. Dysfunction of these Na 1 transporters during pulmonary inflammation can contribute to pulmonary edema. Objectives: In this study, we sough...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Alveolar liquid clearance is regulated by Na(+) uptake through the apically expressed epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) and basolaterally localized Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase in type II alveolar epithelial cells. Dysfunction of these Na(+) transporters during pulmonary inflammation can contribute to pulmonary edema. Objectives: In this study, w...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Antibiotic treatment of patients infected with G(-) or G(+) bacteria promotes release of the toxins lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and pneumolysin (PLY) in their lungs. Growth Hormone-releasing Hormone (GHRH) agonist JI-34 protects human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HL-MVEC), expressing splice variant 1 (SV-1) of the receptor, from P...
Article
Full-text available
Gram positive (G+) infections make up ∼50% of all acute lung injury cases which are characterized by extensive permeability edema secondary to disruption of endothelial cell (EC) barrier integrity. A primary cause of increased permeability are cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) of G+-bacteria, such as pneumolysin (PLY) and listeriolysin-O (LLO...
Article
AP301 is an activator of ENaC-mediated Na(+) uptake for the treatment of pulmonary permeability edema in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The purpose of this "first-in-man" study was to examine local and systemic safety and systemic exposure of ascending single doses of AP301, when inhaled by healthy male subjects. In a double-blind, pla...
Article
Full-text available
NADPH oxidase5 (Nox5) is a novel Nox isoform which has recently been recognized as having important roles in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease, acute myocardial infarction, fetal ventricular septal defect and cancer. The activity of Nox5 and production of reactive oxygen species is regulated by intracellular calcium levels and phosphoryla...
Article
Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) affect 200,000 people a year in the USA. Pulmonary vascular endothelial (EC) barrier compromise is a hallmark of these diseases. We have recently shown that extracellular adenosine enhances human pulmonary (EC) barrier via activation of adenosine receptors (ARs) in cell cultures....