Chemical and enzymatic reductive activation of acylfulvene to isomeric cytotoxic reactive intermediates.
ABSTRACT: Acylfulvenes (AFs), a class of semisynthetic analogues of the sesquiterpene natural product illudin S, are cytotoxic toward cancer cells. The minor structural changes between illudin S and AFs translate to an improved therapeutic window in preclinical cell-based assays and xenograft models. AFs are, therefore, unique tools for addressing the chemical and biochemical basis of cytotoxic selectivity. AFs elicit cytotoxic responses by alkylation of biological targets, including DNA. While AFs are capable of direct alkylation, cytosolic reductive bioactivation to an electrophilic intermediate is correlated with enhanced cytotoxicity. Data obtained in this study illustrate chemical aspects of the process of AF activation. By tracking reaction mechanisms with stable isotope-labeled reagents, enzymatic versus chemical activation pathways for AF were compared for reactions involving the NADPH-dependent enzyme prostaglandin reductase 1 (PTGR1) or sodium borohydride, respectively. These two processes resulted in isomeric products that appear to give rise to similar patterns of DNA modification. The chemically activated isomer has been newly isolated and chemically characterized in this study, including an assessment of its relative stereochemistry and stability at varying pH and under bioassay conditions. In mammalian cancer cells, this chemically activated analogue was shown to not rely on further cellular activation to significantly enhance cytotoxic potency, in contrast to the requirements of AF. On the basis of this study, we anticipate that the chemically activated form of AF will serve as a useful chemical probe for evaluating biomolecular interactions independent of enzyme-mediated activation.
Project description:Selenium, in the form of selenocysteine, is a critical component of some major redox-regulating enzymes, including thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx). TrxR has emerged as an anticancer target for drug development due to its elevated expression level in many aggressive human tumors. Acylfulvenes (AFs) are semisynthetic derivatives of the natural product illudin S and display improved cytotoxic selectivity profiles. AF and illudin S alkylate cellular macromolecules. Compared to AFs, illudin S more readily reacts with thiol-containing small molecules such as cysteine, glutathione, and cysteine-containing peptides. However, a previous study indicates that the reactivity of AFs and illudin S with glutathione reductase, a thiol-containing enzyme, is inversely correlated with the reactivity toward small molecule thiols. In this study, we investigate mechanistic aspects underlying the enzymatic and cellular effects of the AFs and illudin S on thioredoxin reductase. Both AF and HMAF were found to inhibit mammalian TrxR in the low- to submicromolar range, but illudin S was significantly less potent. TrxR inhibition by AFs was shown to be irreversible, concentration- and time-dependent, and mediated by alkylation of C-terminus active site Sec/Cys residues. In contrast, neither AFs nor illudin S inhibits Gpx, demonstrating that enzyme structure-specific small molecule interactions have a significant influence over the inherent reactivity of the Sec residue. In human cancer cells, TrxR activity can be inhibited by low micromolar concentrations of all three drugs. Finally, it was demonstrated that preconditioning cells by the addition of selenite to the cell culture media results in an enhancement in cell sensitivity toward AFs. These data suggest potential strategies for increasing drug activity by combination treatments that promote selenium enzyme activity.
Project description:Illudin S and its semisynthetic analogue acylfulvene (AF) are structurally similar but elicit different biological responses. AF is a bioreductive alkylating anticancer agent with a favorable therapeutic index, while illudin S is in general highly toxic. AF toxicity is dependent on the reductase enzyme prostaglandin reductase 1 (PTGR1) for activation to a cytotoxic reactive intermediate. While illudin S can be metabolized by PTGR1, available data suggest that its toxicity does not correspond with PTGR1 function. The goal of this study was to understand how drug cytotoxicity relates to cellular bioactivation capacity and the identity and quantity of AF- or illudin S-DNA adducts. The strategy involved identification of novel illudin S-DNA adducts and their quantitation in a newly engineered SW-480 colon cancer cell line that stably overexpresses PTGR1 (PTGR1-480). These data were compared with cytotoxicity data for both compounds in PTGR1-480 versus normal SW-480 cells, demonstrating that AF forms more DNA adducts and is more cytotoxic in cells with higher levels of PTGR1, whereas illudin S cytotoxicity and adduct formation are not influenced by PTGR1 levels. Results are discussed in the context of an overall model for how changes in relative propensities of these compounds to undergo cellular processes, such as bioactivation, contributes to DNA damage, and cytotoxicity.
Project description:Acylfulvenes (AFs) are a class of antitumor agents with favorable cytotoxic selectivity profiles compared to their natural product precursor, illudin S. Like many alkylating agents, illudin S and AFs readily react with thiol-containing small molecules such as cysteine, glutathione and cysteine-containing peptides; reduced cellular glutathione levels can affect illudin S toxicity. Glutathione reductase (GR) is a critical cellular antioxidant enzyme that regulates the intracellular ratio of reduced-oxidized glutathione. In this study, we found that acylfulvene analogues are GR inhibitors, and evaluated aspects of the drug-enzyme interactions as compared with the structurally related natural product illudin S and the known irreversible GR inhibitor, carmustine. Acylfulvene analogues exhibited concentration-dependent GR inhibitory activity with micromolar IC(50)s; however, up to 2 mM illudin S did not inhibit GR activity. The absence of NADPH attenuates GR inhibition by AFs and the presence of glutathione disulfide (GSSG), the natural GR substrate, which binds to the enzyme active site, has a minimal effect in protecting GR from AFs. Furthermore, each compound can induce GR conformation changes independent of the presence of NADPH or GSSG. These results, together with gel-filtration analysis results and mass spectrometry data, indicate AF is a reversible inhibitor and HMAF an irreversible inhibitor that can form a bis-adduct with GR by reacting with active site cysteines. Finally in a cell-based assay, illudin S and HMAF were found to inhibit GR activity, but this inhibition was not associated with the reduction of GR levels in the cell. A model accounting for differences in mechanisms of GR inhibition by the series of compounds is discussed.
Project description:Prostaglandin reductase 1 (PTGR1) is a highly inducible enzyme with enone reductase activity. Previous studies demonstrated the role of rat PTGR1 in the activation of acylfulvene analogs, a class of antitumor natural product derivatives. Of these, hydroxymethylacylfulvene (HMAF) was in advanced clinical development for the treatment of advanced solid tumors, including prostate, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. However, the efficiency of human PTGR1 in activating acylfulvenes and its potential to enhance therapeutic efficacy have remained uncharacterized. In this study, human PTGR1 was polymerase chain reaction-cloned and purified. Conversion of HMAF to its cellular metabolite by the purified enzyme proceeded at a 20-fold higher rate than with the rat variant of the enzyme. The Km was 4.9 ?M, which was 40-fold lower than for the rat variant and similar to the therapeutic dose. Human cell lines, including colon cancer lines, were transfected with a vector containing rat PTGR1 or human PTGR1, and cell viability was examined after dosing with HMAF. New data obtained in this study suggest that transfection with human PTGR1, or its induction in colon and liver cancer cell lines with 1,2-dithiol-3-thione, enhances susceptibility to the cytotoxic influences of HMAF by 2- to 10-fold. Furthermore, similar or enhanced enzyme induction and HMAF toxicity results from preconditioning cancer cells with the bioactive food components curcumin and resveratrol. The functional impact of PTGR1 induction in human cells and chemical-based strategies for its activation can provide important knowledge for the design of clinical strategies involving reductively activated cytotoxic chemotherapeutics.
Project description:Influenza A virus (IAV) binds its host cell using the major viral surface protein hemagglutinin (HA). HA recognizes sialic acid, a plasma membrane glycan that functions as the specific primary attachment factor (AF). Since sialic acid alone cannot fulfill a signaling function, the virus needs to activate downstream factors to trigger endocytic uptake. Recently, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a member of the receptor-tyrosine kinase family, was shown to be activated by IAV and transmit cell entry signals. However, how IAV's binding to sialic acid leads to engagement and activation of EGFR remains largely unclear. We used multicolor super-resolution microscopy to study the lateral organization of both IAV's AFs and its functional receptor EGFR at the scale of the IAV particle. Intriguingly, quantitative cluster analysis revealed that AFs and EGFR are organized in partially overlapping submicrometer clusters in the plasma membrane of A549 cells. Within AF domains, the local AF concentration reaches on average 10-fold the background concentration and tends to increase towards the cluster center, thereby representing a multivalent virus-binding platform. Using our experimentally measured cluster characteristics, we simulated virus diffusion on a flat membrane. The results predict that the local AF concentration strongly influences the distinct mobility pattern of IAVs, in a manner consistent with live-cell single-virus tracking data. In contrast to AFs, EGFR resides in smaller clusters. Virus binding activates EGFR, but interestingly, this process occurs without a major lateral EGFR redistribution, indicating the activation of pre-formed clusters, which we show are long-lived. Taken together, our results provide a quantitative understanding of the initial steps of influenza virus infection. Co-clustering of AF and EGFR permit a cooperative effect of binding and signaling at specific platforms, thus linking their spatial organization to their functional role during virus-cell binding and receptor activation.
Project description:The beneficial metabolic actions of estrogen-based therapies are mainly mediated by estrogen receptor ? (ER?), a nuclear receptor that regulates gene transcription through two activation functions (AFs): AF-1 and AF-2. Using mouse models deleted electively for ER?AF-1 (ER?AF-1°) or ER?AF-2 (ER?AF-2°), we determined their respective roles in the actions of estrogens on body composition and glucose homeostasis in response to either a normal diet or a high-fat diet (HFD). ER?AF-2° males and females developed accelerated weight gain, massive adiposity, severe insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance--quite reminiscent of the phenotype observed in mice deleted for the entire ER? protein (ER?(-/-)). In striking contrast, ER?AF-1° and wild-type (wt) mice shared a similar metabolic phenotype. Accordingly, 17?-estradiol administration regulated key metabolic genes in insulin-sensitive tissues and conferred a strong protection against HFD-induced metabolic disturbances in wt and ER?AF-1° ovariectomized mice, whereas these actions were totally abrogated in ER?AF-2° and ER?(-/-) mice. Thus, whereas both AFs have been previously shown to contribute to endometrial and breast cancer cell proliferation, the protective effect of estrogens against obesity and insulin resistance depends on ER?AF-2 but not ER?AF-1, thereby delineating new options for selective modulation of ER?.
Project description:Dynamic tubular extensions from chloroplasts called stromules have recently been shown to connect with nuclei and function during innate immunity. We demonstrate that stromules extend along microtubules (MTs) and MT organization directly affects stromule dynamics since stabilization of MTs chemically or genetically increases stromule numbers and length. Although actin filaments (AFs) are not required for stromule extension, they provide anchor points for stromules. Interestingly, there is a strong correlation between the direction of stromules from chloroplasts and the direction of chloroplast movement. Stromule-directed chloroplast movement was observed in steady-state conditions without immune induction, suggesting it is a general function of stromules in epidermal cells. Our results show that MTs and AFs may facilitate perinuclear clustering of chloroplasts during an innate immune response. We propose a model in which stromules extend along MTs and connect to AF anchor points surrounding nuclei, facilitating stromule-directed movement of chloroplasts to nuclei during innate immunity.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Attributable fractions (AF) assess the proportion of cases in a population attributable to certain risk factors but are infrequently reported and mostly calculated without considering potential confounders. While logistic regression for adjusted individual estimates of odds ratios (OR) is widely used, similar approaches for AFs are rarely applied. METHODS: Different methods for calculating adjusted AFs to risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were applied using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We compared AFs from the unadjusted approach using Levin's formula, from Levin's formula using adjusted OR estimates, from logistic regression according to Bruzzi's approach, from logistic regression with sequential removal of risk factors ('sequential AF') and from logistic regression with all possible removal sequences and subsequent averaging ('average AF'). RESULTS: AFs following the unadjusted and adjusted (using adjusted ORs) Levin's approach yielded clearly higher estimates with a total sum of more than 100% compared to adjusted approaches with sums < 100%. Since AFs from logistic regression were related to the removal sequence of risk factors, all possible sequences were considered and estimates were averaged. These average AFs yielded plausible estimates of the population impact of considered risk factors on CVD with a total sum of 90%. The average AFs for total and HDL cholesterol levels were 17%, for hypertension 16%, for smoking 11%, and for diabetes 5%. CONCLUSION: Average AFs provide plausible estimates of population attributable risks and should therefore be reported at least to supplement unadjusted estimates. We provide functions/macros for commonly used statistical programs to encourage other researchers to calculate and report average AFs.
Project description:As the number of genes identified for linkage to hearing loss has been increasing and more public databases have become available, we aimed to systematically evaluate all variants reported for nonsyndromic hearing loss (NSHL) based on their allele frequencies (AFs) in the general population. Among the 3,549 variants in 97 NSHL genes reported as pathogenic/likely pathogenic in ClinVar and HGMD, 1,618 were found in public databases (gnomAD, ExAC, EVS, and 1000G). To evaluate the pathogenicity of these variants, we employed AF thresholds and NSHL-optimized ACMG guidelines. AF thresholds were determined using a high-resolution variant frequency framework and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium calculation: 0.6% and 0.1% for recessive and dominant genes, respectively. Filtering AFs of variants linked to NSHL were obtained based on AFs reported in gnomAD and ExAC. We found that 48 variants in 23 genes had filtering AFs above the suggested thresholds and assumed that these variants might be benign based on their filtering AFs. 47 variants, except for one notorious high-frequency GJB2 mutation (c.109G?>?A; p.Val37Ile), were confirmed to be benign/likely benign by the NSHL-optimized ACMG guidelines. The proposed systematic approach will aid in precise evaluation of NSHL variant pathogenicity in the context of filtering AFs, AF thresholds, and NSHL-specific ACMG guidelines, thus improving NSHL diagnostics.
Project description:Adventitial fibroblasts (AFs) are critical mediators of vascular remodeling. However, the contributions of AFs towards development of vasculature and the specific mechanisms by which these cells regulate physiological expansion of the vasa vasorum, the specialized microvasculature that supplies nutrients to the vascular wall, are not well understood. To determine the regulatory role of AFs in microvascular endothelial cell (MVEC) neovasculogenesis and to investigate the regulatory pathways utilized for communication between the two cell types, AFs and MVECs were cultured together in poly(ethylene glycol)-based hydrogels. Following preliminary evaluation of a set of cell adhesion peptides (AG10, AG73, A2G78, YIGSR, RGD), 7.5wt% hydrogels containing 3 mM RGD were selected as these substrates did not initiate primitive tubule structures in 3D MVEC monocultures, thus providing a passive platform to study AF-MVEC interaction. The addition of AFs to hydrogels promoted MVEC viability; however, increasing AF density within hydrogels stimulated MVEC proliferation, increased microvessel density and size, and enhanced deposition of basement membrane proteins, collagen IV and laminin. Importantly, AF-MVEC communication through the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?)/activin receptor-like kinase 5 (ALK5) signaling pathway was observed to mediate microvessel formation, as inhibition of ALK5 significantly decreased MVEC proliferation, microvessel formation, mural cell recruitment, and basement membrane production. These data indicate that AFs regulate MVEC neovasculogenesis and suggest that therapeutics targeting the TGF-?/ALK5 pathway may be useful for regulation of vasculogenic and anti-vasculogenic responses.