[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant signaling by oncogenic mutant rat sarcoma (Ras) proteins occurs in ∼15% of all human tumors, yet direct inhibition of Ras by small molecules has remained elusive. Recently, several small-molecule ligands have been discovered that directly bind Ras and inhibit its function by interfering with exchange factor binding. However, it is unclear whether, or how, these ligands could lead to drugs that act against constitutively active oncogenic mutant Ras. Using a dynamics-based pocket identification scheme, ensemble docking, and innovative cell-based assays, here we show that andrographolide (AGP)-a bicyclic diterpenoid lactone isolated from Andrographis paniculata-and its benzylidene derivatives bind to transient pockets on Kirsten-Ras (K-Ras) and inhibit GDP-GTP exchange. As expected for inhibitors of exchange factor binding, AGP derivatives reduced GTP loading of wild-type K-Ras in response to acute EGF stimulation with a concomitant reduction in MAPK activation. Remarkably, however, prolonged treatment with AGP derivatives also reduced GTP loading of, and signal transmission by, oncogenic mutant K-RasG12V. In sum, the combined analysis of our computational and cell biology results show that AGP derivatives directly bind Ras, block GDP-GTP exchange, and inhibit both wild-type and oncogenic K-Ras signaling. Importantly, our findings not only show that nucleotide exchange factors are required for oncogenic Ras signaling but also demonstrate that inhibiting nucleotide exchange is a valid approach to abrogating the function of oncogenic mutant Ras.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thromboxane A synthase (TXAS) metabolizes the cyclooxygenase product prostaglandin (PG) H2 into thromboxane H2 (TXA2), a potent inducer of blood vessel constriction and platelet aggregation. Nonsynonymous polymorphisms in the TXAS gene have the potential to alter TXAS activity and affect TXA2 generation.
The aim of this study was to assess the functional effects of genetic variants in the TXAS protein, including K258E, L357V, Q417E, E450K, and T451N.
Wild-type TXAS and the variant proteins were expressed in a bacterial system and purified by affinity and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The two characteristic catalytic activities of TXAS were assayed in each of the purified recombinant proteins: isomerization of PGH2 to TXA2 and fragmentation of PGH2 to 12-hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid and malondialdehyde.
All of the variants showed both isomerization and fragmentation activities. The Km values of the variants ranged from 27 to 52 µmol/l PGH2 (wild-type value: 32 μmol/l PGH2); the Vmax values of the variants ranged from 18 to 40 U/mg (wild-type value: 41 U/mg). The kinetic differences were largest for the L357V variant, whose Vmax/Km ratio was just 27% of the wild-type value.
The increased Km and decreased Vmax values observed with L357V suggest that this variant may generate less TXA2 at the low levels of PGH2 expected in vivo, raising the possibility of attenuated signaling through the thromboxane pathway.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Pharmacogenetics and Genomics