[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurotrophins and glucocorticoids are robust synaptic modifiers, and deregulation of their activities is a risk factor for developing stress-related disorders. Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) increase the desensitization of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and vulnerability to stress, whereas higher levels of BDNF facilitate GR-mediated signaling and the response to antidepressants. However, the molecular mechanism underlying neurotrophic-priming of GR function is poorly understood. Here we provide evidence that activation of a TrkB-MAPK pathway, when paired with the deactivation of a GR-protein phosphatase 5 pathway, resulted in sustained GR phosphorylation at BDNF-sensitive sites that is essential for the transcription of neuronal plasticity genes. Genetic strategies that disrupted GR phosphorylation or TrkB signaling in vivo impaired the neuroplasticity to chronic stress and the effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine. Our findings reveal that the coordinated actions of BDNF and glucocorticoids promote neuronal plasticity and that disruption in either pathway could set the stage for the development of stress-induced psychiatric diseases.
Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uterine carcinosarcoma (UCS) is a rare type of cancer and accounts for 5% of uterine malignancies. However, UCS patients suffer a high prevalence of chemo-resistance and a very poor prognosis compared to uterine cancer patients. URI is a chaperone with functions in transcription. We analyzed the somatic URI1 copy number variation in 57 post-menopausal non-metastatic UCS patients in comparison to 363 uterine corpus endometrial carcinomas. URI1 amplification was detected in 40% (23/57) of primary UCS and 5.5% (20/363) of uterine carcinomas. UCS patients with URI1 amplification exhibited 13% (3/23) tumor-free survival compared to 41% (14/34) in the absence of URI amplification (P=0.023). URI1 amplification (OR=6.54, P=0.027), weight (OR=1.068, P=0.024), hypertension (OR=3.35, P=0.044), and tumor stage (OR=2.358, P=0.018) associated with poor survival. Patients treated with hormone replacement therapy (OR=15.87, P=0.011) displayed enhanced overall survival. Combined radiation and chemotherapy improved patient survival (median survival=2043 days) compared to single (median survival=597 days) or no treatment (median survival=317 days, P=0.0016). Importantly, patients with URI1 amplification had poor response to adjuvant treatment compared to control group (P=0.013). Tumors with URI1 amplification displayed decreased transcription of genes encoding tumor suppressor and apoptotic regulators and increased expression of genes regulating oncogenesis, survival and metastasis. Overexpression of URI1 in a cultured cell model induced ATM expression and resistance to cisplatin. Our findings suggest that high prevalence in UCS may associate with poor prognosis and worse response to adjuvant treatment.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · American Journal of Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High cholesterol and diabetes are major risk factors for atherosclerosis. Regression of atherosclerosis is mediated in part by the Liver X Receptor (LXR) through the induction of genes involved in cholesterol transport and efflux. In the context of diabetes, regression of atherosclerosis is impaired. We proposed that changes in glucose levels modulate LXR-dependent gene expression. Using a mouse macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7) and primary bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs) cultured in normal or diabetes relevant high glucose conditions we found that high glucose inhibits the LXR-dependent expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1), but not ABCG1. To probe for this mechanism, we surveyed the expression of a host of chromatin-modifying enzymes and found that Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 2 (PRMT2) was reduced in high compared to normal glucose conditions. Importantly, ABCA1 expression and ABCA1-mediated cholesterol efflux were reduced in Prmt2-/- compared to wild type BMDMs. Monocytes from diabetic mice also showed decreased expression of Prmt2 compared to non-diabetic counterparts. Thus, PRMT2 represents a glucose-sensitive factor that plays a role in LXR-mediated ABCA1-dependent cholesterol efflux and lends insight to the presence of increased atherosclerosis in diabetic patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mouse models of atherosclerosis, normalization of hyperlipidemia promotes macrophage emigration and regression of atherosclerotic plaques in part by the Liver X Receptor (LXR)-mediated induction of the chemokine receptor CCR7. Here we report that LXRα serine 198 (S198) phosphorylation modulates CCR7 expression. Low levels of S198 phosphorylation are observed in plaque macrophages in the regression environment where high levels of CCR7 expression are observed. Consistent with these findings, CCR7 gene expression in human and mouse macrophages cell lines is induced when LXRα at S198 is non-phosphorylated. In bone marrow derived-macrophages (BMDMs) we also observe induction of CCR7 by ligands that promote non-phosphorylated LXRα S198 and this is lost in LXR deficient BMDMs. LXRα occupancy at the CCR7 promoter is enhanced and histone modifications associated with gene repression are reduced in RAW264.7 cells expressing non-phosphorylated (RAW-LXRαS198A) compared to phosphorylated LXRα (RAW-LXRαWT). Expression profiling from ligand treated RAW-LXRαS198A compared to RAW-LXRαWT cells revealed induction of cell migratory and anti-inflammatory genes, and repression of pro-inflammatory genes. Modeling of LXRα S198 in non-phosphorylated and phosphorylated states identified phosphorylation-dependent conformational changes in the hinge region commensurate with sites for protein interaction. Therefore, gene transcription is regulated by LXRα S198 phosphorylation including anti-atherogenic genes like CCR7.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To provide the otolaryngologist an evidence-based sound review of glucocorticoid use for laryngeal pathology. Data Sources. Contemporary peer-reviewed literature as well as review articles. Review Methods. A review of the literature regarding glucocorticoids as a therapeutic intervention for the treatment of benign laryngeal pathology, as well as laryngeal manifestations of systemic disease was performed. Review includes both systemic administration as well as local injection. Results. Glucocorticoids, administered in the critical care setting for planned extubation, markedly reducing the risk of re-intubation and remain a rudimentary pharmacologic adjunct in laryngeal manifestations of common autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Intralesional injection has significantly reduced the rate of surgical intervention for benign inflammatory primary laryngeal pathology. Conclusions. Glucocorticoids are effective in the treatment of a number of laryngeal pathologies, through both systemic and intralesional administration. However, a clear consensus for utilization of glucocorticoids in treatment of specific laryngeal disorders has yet to be published.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Androgen Receptor (AR) is a major therapeutic target in prostate cancer pharmacology. Progression of prostate cancer has been linked to elevated expression of AR in malignant tissue, suggesting that AR plays a central role in prostate cancer cell biology. Potent therapeutic agents can be precisely crafted to specifically target AR, potentially averting systemic toxicities associated with non-specific chemotherapies. In this review, we describe various strategies to generate steroid conjugates that can selectively engage AR with high potency. Analogies to recent developments in non-steroidal conjugates targeting AR are also evaluated. Particular focus is placed on potential applications in AR pharmacology. The review culminates with a description of future prospects for targeting AR.
Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although great advances have been made in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, up to one of five patients
will relapse, and their prognosis thereafter is dismal. We have previously identified recurrent deletions in TBL1XR1, which encodes for an F-box like protein responsible for regulating the nuclear hormone repressor complex stability. Here
we model TBL1XR1 deletions in B-precursor ALL cell lines and show that TBL1XR1 knockdown results in reduced glucocorticoid receptor recruitment to glucocorticoid responsive genes and ultimately decreased
glucocorticoid signaling caused by increased levels of nuclear hormone repressor 1 and HDAC3. Reduction in glucocorticoid
signaling in TBL1XR1-depleted lines resulted in resistance to glucocorticoid agonists, but not to other chemotherapeutic agents. Importantly,
we show that treatment with the HDAC inhibitor SAHA restores sensitivity to prednisolone in TBL1XR1-depleted cells. Altogether, our data indicate that loss of TBL1XR1 is a novel driver of glucocorticoid resistance in ALL and that epigenetic therapy may have future application in restoring
drug sensitivity at relapse.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While glucocorticoids (GCs) are used clinically to treat many conditions, their neonatal and prenatal usage is increasingly
controversial due to reports of delayed adverse outcomes, especially their effects on brain development. Such alterations
may reflect the impact of GCs on neural progenitor/stem cell (NPSC) function. We previously demonstrated that the lipid raft
protein caveolin-1 (Cav-1) was required for rapid GC signaling in embryonic mouse NPSCs operating through plasma membrane-bound
glucocorticoid receptors (GRs). We show here that genomic GR signaling in NPSCs requires Cav-1. Loss of Cav-1 impacts the
transcriptional response of many GR target genes (e.g., the serum- and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 gene) that are likely
to mediate the antiproliferative effects of GCs. Microarray analysis of wild-type C57 or Cav-1-deficient NPSCs identified
approximately 100 genes that are differentially regulated by GC treatment. These changes in hormone responsiveness in Cav-1
knockout NPSCs are associated with the loss of GC-regulated phosphorylation of GR at serine 211 but not at serine 226. Chromatin
recruitment of total GR to regulatory regions of target genes such as Fkbp-5, RhoJ, and Sgk-1, as well as p211-GR recruitment to Sgk-1, are compromised in Cav-1 knockout NPSCs. Cav-1 is therefore a multifunctional regulator of GR in NPSCs influencing both
rapid and genomic action of the receptor to impact cell proliferation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Androgen receptor (AR) is the major therapeutic target in aggressive prostate cancer. However, targeting AR alone can result in drug resistance and disease recurrence. Therefore, simultaneous targeting of multiple pathways could in principle be an effective approach to treating prostate cancer. Here we provide proof-of-concept that a small-molecule inhibitor of nuclear β-catenin activity (called C3) can inhibit both the AR and β-catenin-signaling pathways that are often misregulated in prostate cancer. Treatment with C3 ablated prostate cancer cell growth by disruption of both β-catenin/T-cell factor and β-catenin/AR protein interaction, reflecting the fact that T-cell factor and AR have overlapping binding sites on β-catenin. Given that AR interacts with, and is transcriptionally regulated by β-catenin, C3 treatment also resulted in decreased occupancy of β-catenin on the AR promoter and diminished AR and AR/β-catenin target gene expression. Interestingly, C3 treatment resulted in decreased AR binding to target genes accompanied by decreased recruitment of an AR and β-catenin cofactor, coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), providing insight into the unrecognized function of β-catenin in prostate cancer. Importantly, C3 inhibited tumor growth in an in vivo xenograft model and blocked renewal of bicalutamide-resistant sphere-forming cells, indicating the therapeutic potential of this approach.
Preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal glucocorticoid and neurotrophin signaling have been implicated in numerous psychiatric disorders. However, the impact of neurotrophic signaling on glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-dependent gene expression is not understood. We therefore examined the impact of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling on GR transcriptional regulatory function by gene expression profiling in primary rat cortical neurons stimulated with the selective GR agonist dexamethasone (Dex) and BDNF, alone or in combination. Simultaneous treatment with BDNF and Dex elicited a unique set of GR-responsive genes associated with neuronal growth and differentiation and also enhanced the induction of a large number of Dex-sensitive genes. BDNF via its receptor TrkB enhanced the transcriptional activity of a synthetic GR reporter, suggesting a direct effect of BDNF signaling on GR function. Indeed, BDNF treatment induces the phosphorylation of GR at serine 155 (S155) and serine 287 (S287). Expression of a non-phosphorylatable mutant (GR S155A/S287A) impaired the induction of a subset of BDNF and Dex regulated genes. Mechanistically, BDNF-induced GR phosphorylation increased GR occupancy and cofactor recruitment at the promoter of a BDNF-enhanced gene. GR phosphorylation in vivo is sensitive to changes in the levels BDNF and TrkB as well as stress. Therefore, BDNF signaling specifies and amplifies the GR transcriptome through a coordinated GR phosphorylation-dependent detection mechanism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Androgen receptor (AR) expression in breast cancers may serve as a prognostic and predictive marker. We examined the expression pattern of AR and its phosphorylated forms, Ser-213 (AR-Ser[P]-213) and Ser-650 (AR-Ser[P]-650), in breast cancer and evaluated their association with clinicopathological parameters.
Immunohistochemistry was performed on primary and distant metastatic breast cancers and benign breast tissue using antibodies against AR, AR-Ser(P)-213, and AR-Ser(P)-650. The levels of cytoplasmic and nuclear expression were scored semiquantitatively using a histoscore.
Nuclear staining of AR was observed in all benign breast tissue and 67% of cancer cases. Nuclear and cytoplasmic AR-Ser(P)-213 was increased in breast cancers 2-fold (P = .0014) and 1.7-fold (P = .05), respectively, compared with benign controls, whereas nuclear and cytoplasmic AR-Ser(P)-650 expression was decreased in tumors by 1.9-fold and 1.7-fold (both P < .0001), respectively. Increased expression of nuclear or cytoplasmic AR-Ser(P)-213 was observed in metastatic breast cancers (1.3-fold, P = .05), ER-negative (2.6-fold, P = .001), and invasive ductal carcinoma (6.8-fold, P = .04). AR-Ser(P)-650 expression was downregulated in lymph node-positive breast cancers (1.4-fold, P = .02) but was upregulated in invasive ductal carcinomas (3.2-fold, P < .0001) and metastases (1.5-fold, P = .003). Moreover, in ER-negative breast cancers, nuclear AR-Ser(P)-650 was decreased (1.4-fold, P = .005), and cytoplasmic AR-Ser(P)-650 was increased (1.4-fold, P = .003).
AR and its phosphorylation at serines 213 and 650 are differentially expressed in breast cancer tumorigenesis and progression. Phosphorylation of AR at serines 213 and 650 is increased in ER-negative breast cancers, ductal carcinomas, and metastases and may have predictive value in breast cancer prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The androgen receptor (AR) is a mediator of both androgen-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancers. Identification of cellular factors affecting AR transcriptional activity could in principle yield new targets that reduce AR activity and combat prostate cancer, yet a comprehensive analysis of the genes required for AR-dependent transcriptional activity has not been determined. Using an unbiased genetic approach that takes advantage of the evolutionary conservation of AR signaling, we have conducted a genome-wide RNAi screen in Drosophila cells for genes required for AR transcriptional activity and applied the results to human prostate cancer cells. We identified 45 AR-regulators, which include known pathway components and genes with functions not previously linked to AR regulation, such as HIPK2 (a protein kinase) and MED19 (a subunit of the Mediator complex). Depletion of HIPK2 and MED19 in human prostate cancer cells decreased AR target gene expression and, importantly, reduced the proliferation of androgen-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. We also systematically analyzed additional Mediator subunits and uncovered a small subset of Mediator subunits that interpret AR signaling and affect AR-dependent transcription and prostate cancer cell proliferation. Importantly, targeting of HIPK2 by an FDA-approved kinase inhibitor phenocopied the effect of depletion by RNAi and reduced the growth of AR-positive, but not AR-negative, treatment-resistant prostate cancer cells. Thus, our screen has yielded new AR regulators including drugable targets that reduce the proliferation of castration-resistant prostate cancer cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endogenous estrogens that are synthesized in the body impact gene regulation by activating estrogen receptors in diverse cell types. Exogenous compounds that have estrogenic properties can also be found circulating in the blood in both children and adults. The genome-wide impact of these environmental estrogens on gene regulation is unclear. To obtain an integrated view of gene regulation in response to environmental and endogenous estrogens on a genome-wide scale, we performed ChIP-seq to identify estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1; previously estrogen receptor α) binding sites, and RNA-seq in endometrial cancer cells exposed to bisphenol A (BPA; found in plastics), genistein (GEN; found in soybean), or 17β-estradiol (E2; an endogenous estrogen). GEN and BPA treatment induces thousands of ESR1 binding sites and >50 gene expression changes, representing a subset of E2-induced gene regulation changes. Genes affected by E2 were highly enriched for ribosome-associated proteins; however, GEN and BPA failed to regulate most ribosome-associated proteins and instead enriched for transporters of carboxylic acids. Treatment-dependent changes in gene expression were associated with treatment-dependent ESR1 binding sites, with the exception that many genes up-regulated by E2 harbored a BPA-induced ESR1 binding site but failed to show any expression change after BPA treatment. GEN and BPA exhibited a similar relationship to E2 in the breast cancer line T-47D, where cell type specificity played a much larger role than treatment specificity. Overall, both environmental estrogens clearly regulate gene expression through ESR1 on a genome-wide scale, although with lower potency resulting in less ESR1 binding sites and less gene expression changes compared to the endogenous estrogen, E2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integration of cellular signaling pathways with androgen receptor (AR) signaling can be achieved through phosphorylation of AR by cellular kinases. However, the kinases responsible for phosphorylating the androgen receptor at numerous sites and the functional consequences of AR phosphorylation are only partially understood. Bioinformatic analysis revealed AR serine 213 (S213) as a putative substrate for PIM1, a kinase overexpressed in prostate cancer. Therefore, phosphorylation of AR serine 213 by PIM1 was examined using a phosphorylation site-specific antibody. Wild type PIM1, but not catalytically inactive PIM1, specifically phosphorylated AR but not an AR serine to alanine mutant (S213A). In vitro kinase assays confirmed that PIM1 can phosphorylate AR S213 in a ligand independent manner and cell type specific phosphorylation was observed in prostate cancer cell lines. Upon PIM1 overexpression AR phosphorylation was observed in the absence of hormone and was further increased in the presence of hormone in LNCaP, LNCaP-abl, and VCaP cells. Moreover, phosphorylation of AR was reduced in the presence of PIM kinase inhibitors. An examination of AR mediated transcription showed that reporter gene activity was reduced in the presence of PIM1 and wild type AR, but not S213A mutant AR. Androgen mediated transcription of endogenous PSA, Nkx3.1, and IGFBP5 was also decreased in the presence of PIM1 whereas IL6, cyclin A1, and caveolin 2 were increased. Immunohistochemical analysis of prostate cancer tissue microarrays showed significant P-AR S213 expression that was associated with hormone refractory prostate cancers, likely identifying cells with catalytically active PIM1. In addition, prostate cancers expressing a high level of P-AR S213 were twice as likely to be from biochemically recurrent cancers. Thus, AR phosphorylation by PIM1 at S213 impacts gene transcription and is highly prevalent in aggressive prostate cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sustained treatment of prostate cancer with androgen receptor (AR) antagonists can evoke drug resistance, leading to castrate-resistant disease. Elevated activity of the AR is often associated with this highly aggressive disease state. Therefore, new therapeutic regimens that target and modulate AR activity could prove beneficial. We previously introduced a versatile chemical platform to generate competitive and non-competitive multivalent peptoid oligomer conjugates that modulate AR activity. In particular, we identified a linear and a cyclic divalent ethisterone conjugate that exhibit potent anti-proliferative properties in LNCaP-abl cells, a model of castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Here, we characterize the mechanism of action of these compounds utilizing confocal microscopy, time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer, chromatin immunoprecipitation, flow cytometry, and microarray analysis. The linear conjugate competitively blocks AR action by inhibiting DNA binding. In addition, the linear conjugate does not promote AR nuclear localization or co-activator binding. In contrast, the cyclic conjugate promotes AR nuclear localization and induces cell-cycle arrest, despite its inability to compete against endogenous ligand for binding to AR in vitro. Genome-wide expression analysis reveals that gene transcripts are differentially affected by treatment with the linear or cyclic conjugate. Although the divalent ethisterone conjugates share extensive chemical similarities, we illustrate that they can antagonize the AR via distinct mechanisms of action, establishing new therapeutic strategies for potential applications in AR pharmacology.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · ACS Chemical Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The GR gene produces GRα and GRβ isoforms by alternative splicing of a C-terminal exon. GRα binds glucocorticoids, modulates transcription in a glucocorticoid dependent manner and has a growth inhibitory role in prostate cells. Due to this role glucocorticoids are often used to treat androgen independent prostate cancer. In contrast, GRβ has intrinsic transcriptional activity and binds mifepristone (RU486) but not glucocorticoids to control gene expression. To our knowledge the role of GRβ in prostate cell proliferation is unknown.
We determined GRβ levels in various prostate cancer cell lines by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. The effect of GRβ on the kinetics of prostate cancer cell growth was determined by cell counting and flow cytometry upon mifepristone and dexamethasone treatment. Cell proliferation was also examined after siRNA mediated knockdown and over expression of GRβ.
GRβ mRNA and protein were up-regulated in LNCaP cells that over expressed the androgen receptor co-factor ARA70β. Treatment of LNCaP-ARA70β with mifepristone or siRNA targeting GRβ inhibited proliferation compared to that of parental LNCaP cells. The immortal but nontumorigenic RC165 prostate cell line and the tumorigenic DU145 prostate cell line with endogenous GRβ also showed partial growth reduction upon GRβ depletion but to a lesser extent than LNCaP-ARA70β cells. The growth stimulatory effect of ARA70β on LNCaP cells was partly GRβ dependent, as was the proliferation of RC165 cells and to a lesser extent of DU145 cells.
Results suggest that patients with a primary tumor that expresses GRβ and ARA70β may benefit from mifepristone.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · The Journal of urology