Ligand-dependent genomic function of glucocorticoid receptor in triple-negative breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: Glucocorticoids (GCs) have been widely used as coadjuvants in the treatment of solid tumours, but GC treatment may be associated with poor pharmacotherapeutic response or prognosis. The genomic action of GC in these tumours is largely unknown. Here we find that dexamethasone (Dex, a synthetic GC)-regulated genes in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells are associated with drug resistance. Importantly, these GC-regulated genes are aberrantly expressed in TNBC patients and are associated with unfavourable clinical outcomes. Interestingly, in TNBC cells, Compound A (CpdA, a selective GR modulator) only regulates a small number of genes not involved in carcinogenesis and therapy resistance. Mechanistic studies using a ChIP-exo approach reveal that Dex- but not CpdA-liganded glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binds to a single glucocorticoid response element (GRE), which drives the expression of pro-tumorigenic genes. Our data suggest that development of safe coadjuvant therapy should consider the distinct genomic function between Dex- and CpdA-liganded GR.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GC) have been widely used as coadjuvants in the treatment of solid tumors, but GC treatment may be associated with poor pharmacotherapeutic response and/or prognosis. The genomic action of GC in these tumors is largely unknown. Here we find that dexamethasone (Dex, a synthetic GC) regulated genes in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells are associated with drug resistance. Importantly, these GC-regulated genes are aberrantly expressed in TNBC patients and associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes. Interestingly, in TNBC cells, Compound A (CpdA, a selective GR modulator) only regulates a small number of genes not involved in carcinogenesis and therapy resistance. Mechanistic studies using a ChIP-exo approach reveal that Dex- but not CpdA-liganded glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binds to a single glucocorticoid response element (GRE), which drives the expression of pro-tumorigenic genes. Our data suggest that development of safe coadjuvant therapy should consider the distinct genomic function between Dex- and CpdA-liganded GR. To study GR-regulated genes and define GRE in human genome, RNA-seq and GR ChIP-exo are performed in MDA-MB-231 cells before/after dex and CpdA stimulation. Each experiment includes two replicates.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GCs) are a cornerstone in the treatment of lymphoid malignancies such as multiple myeloma (MM) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Yet, prolonged GC use is hampered by deleterious GC-related side effects and the emergence of GC resistance. To tackle and overcome these GC-related problems, the applicability of selective glucocorticoid receptor agonists and modulators was studied, in search of fewer side-effects and at least equal therapeutic efficacy as classic GCs. Compound A (CpdA) is a prototypical example of such a selective glucocorticoid receptor modulator and does not support GR-mediated transactivation. Here, we examined whether the combination of CpdA with the classic GC dexamethasone (Dex) may improve GC responsiveness of MM and ALL cell lines. We find that the combination of Dex and CpdA does not substantially enhance GC-mediated cell killing. In line, several apoptosis hallmarks, such as caspase 3/7 activity, PARP cleavage and the levels of cleaved-caspase 3 remain unchanged upon combining Dex with CpdA. Moreover, we monitor no additional inhibition of cell proliferation and the homologous downregulation of GR is not counteracted by the combination of Dex and CpdA. In addition, CpdA is unable to modulate Dex-liganded GR transactivation and transrepression, yet, Dex-mediated transrepression is also aberrant in these lymphoid cell lines. Together, transrepression-favoring compounds, alone or combined with GCs, do not seem a valid strategy in the treatment of lymphoid malignancies.
Project description:Compound A (CpdA), a dissociated glucocorticoid receptor modulator, decreases corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and luteneinizing hormone levels in rats. Whether this is due to transcriptional regulation by CpdA is not known. Using promoter reporter assays we show that CpdA, like dexamethasone (Dex), directly transrepresses these genes. Results using a rat Cbg proximal-promoter reporter construct in BWTG3 and HepG2 cell lines support a glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-dependent transrepression mechanism for CpdA. However, CpdA, unlike Dex, does not result in transactivation via glucocorticoid-responsive elements within a promoter reporter construct even when GR is co-transfected. The inability of CpdA to result in transactivation via glucocorticoid-responsive elements is confirmed on the endogenous tyrosine aminotransferase gene, whereas transrepression ability is confirmed on the endogenous CBG gene. Consistent with a role for CpdA in modulating GR activity, whole cell binding assays revealed that CpdA binds reversibly to the GR, but with lower affinity than Dex, and influences association of [(3)H]Dex, but has no effect on dissociation. In addition, like Dex, CpdA causes nuclear translocation of the GR, albeit to a lesser degree. Several lines of evidence, including fluorescence resonance energy transfer, co-immunoprecipitation, and nuclear immunofluorescence studies of nuclear localization-deficient GR show that CpdA, unlike Dex, does not elicit ligand-induced GR dimerization. Comparison of the behavior of CpdA in the presence of wild type GR to that of Dex with a dimerization-deficient GR mutant (GR(dim)) strongly supports the conclusion that loss of dimerization is responsible for the dissociated behavior of CpdA.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GCs) block inflammation via interference of the liganded glucocorticoid receptor (GR) with the activity of pro-inflammatory transcription factors NF-?B and AP-1, a mechanism known as transrepression. This mechanism is believed to involve the activity of GR monomers. Here, we explored how the GR monomer-favoring Compound A (CpdA) affects AP-1 activation and activity. Our results demonstrate that non-steroidal CpdA, unlike classic steroidal GCs, blocks NF-?B- but not AP-1-driven gene expression. CpdA rather sustains AP-1-driven gene expression, a result which could mechanistically be explained by the failure of CpdA to block upstream JNK kinase activation and concomitantly also phosphorylation of c-Jun. In concordance and in contrast to DEX, CpdA maintained the expression of the activated AP-1 target gene c-jun, as well as the production of the c-Jun protein. As for the underlying mechanism, GR is a necessary intermediate in the CpdA-mediated gene expression of AP-1-regulated genes, but seems to be superfluous to CpdA-mediated JNK phosphorylation prolongation. The latter phenomenon concurs with the inability of CpdA to stimulate DUSP1 gene expression. ChIP analysis demonstrates that DEX-activated GR, but not CpdA-activated GR, is recruited to AP-1-driven promoters. Furthermore, in mice we observed that CpdA instigates a strong enhancement of TNF-induced AP-1-driven gene expression. Finally, we demonstrate that this phenomenon coincides with an increased sensitivity towards TNF lethality, and implicate again a role for JNK2. In conclusion, our data support the hypothesis that a ligand-induced differential conformation of GR yields a different transcription factor cross-talk profile.
Project description:Glucocorticoids (GCs), acting via the glucocorticoid receptor (GR?), remain the mainstay therapeutic choice for the treatment of inflammation. However, chronic GC use, aside from generating undesirable side-effects, results in GR? down-regulation, often coupled to a decrease in GC-responsiveness, which may culminate in acquired GC resistance. The current study presents evidence for a novel role of the dimerization state of the GR? in mediating GC-mediated GR? turnover. Through comparing the effects of dimerization promoting GCs on down-regulation of a transfected human wild type GR? (hGRwt) or a dimerization deficient GR? mutant (hGRdim), we established that a loss of receptor dimerization restricts GR? turnover, which was supported by the use of the dimerization abrogating Compound A (CpdA), in cells containing endogenous GR?. Moreover, we showed that the dimerization state of the GR? influenced the post-translational processing of the receptor, specifically hyper-phosphorylation at Ser404, which influenced the interaction of GR? with the E3 ligase, FBXW7?, thus hampering receptor turnover via the proteasome. Lastly, the restorative effects of CpdA on the GR? pool, in the presence of Dex, were demonstrated in a combinatorial treatment protocol. These results expand our understanding of factors that contribute to GC-resistance and may be exploited clinically.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Dexamethasone (Dex), a glucocorticoid (GC), is used as a pretreatment drug in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Dex functions by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) to prevent allergic reactions and severe chemotherapeutic side effects such as nausea and vomiting. However, the mechanisms by which Dex causes chemoresistance remain unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>We used docetaxel and cisplatin to treat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells with or without Dex and assessed cell proliferation using a sulforhodamine B colorimetric (SRB) assay. Additionally, Western blotting was employed to measure Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5), GR and several apoptosis-related proteins. To determine how the GR regulates KLF5, we used qRT-PCR, luciferase reporter assays and ChIP assays. Finally, we detected the involvement of Dex in TNBC chemotherapeutic resistance using HCC1806 xenograft model in vivo.<h4>Results</h4>In this study, we demonstrated that Dex induces docetaxel and cisplatin resistance in TNBC cells in vitro and in vivo. Dex up-regulates pro-survival transcription factor KLF5 expression at both mRNA and protein levels dependent on GR. Importantly, Dex failed to promote cancer cell survival and tumor growth when KLF5 induction was blocked.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We conclude that KLF5 is a Dex-induced gene that contributes to Dex-mediated drug chemoresistance, providing a potential novel target for TNBC treatment.
Project description:The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a transcription factor of which the underlying gene regulatory mechanisms are complex and incompletely understood. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Compound A (CpdA), a selective GR modulating compound in various cell models, has been shown to favour GR-mediated gene repression but not GR-mediated gene activation. Shifting balances towards only a particular subset of GR gene regulatory events may be of benefit in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. We present evidence to support that the combination of CpdA with Dexamethasone (DEX), a classic steroidal GR ligand, can shape GR function towards a unique gene regulatory profile in a cell type-dependent manner. The molecular basis hereof is a changed GR phosphorylation status concomitant with a change in the GR cofactor recruitment profile. We subsequently identified and confirmed the orphan nuclear receptor SHP as a coregulator that is specifically enriched at GR when CpdA and DEX are combined. Combining CpdA with DEX not only leads to stronger suppression of pro-inflammatory gene expression, but also enhanced anti-inflammatory GR target gene expression in epithelial cells, making ligand combination strategies in future a potentially attractive alternative manner of skewing and fine-tuning GR effects towards an improved therapeutic benefit.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Despite the excellent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive action of glucocorticoids (GCs), their use for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) still carries significant risks in terms of frequently occurring severe side effects, such as the impairment of intestinal tissue repair. The recently-introduced selective glucocorticoid receptor (GR) agonists (SEGRAs) offer anti-inflammatory action comparable to that of common GCs, but with a reduced side effect profile. METHODS: The in vitro effects of the non-steroidal SEGRAs Compound A (CpdA) and ZK216348, were investigated in intestinal epithelial cells and compared to those of Dexamethasone (Dex). GR translocation was shown by immunfluorescence and Western blot analysis. Trans-repressive effects were studied by means of NF-?B/p65 activity and IL-8 levels, trans-activation potency by reporter gene assay. Flow cytometry was used to assess apoptosis of cells exposed to SEGRAs. The effects on IEC-6 and HaCaT cell restitution were determined using an in vitro wound healing model, cell proliferation by BrdU assay. In addition, influences on the TGF-?- or EGF/ERK1/2/MAPK-pathway were evaluated by reporter gene assay, Western blot and qPCR analysis. RESULTS: Dex, CpdA and ZK216348 were found to be functional GR agonists. In terms of trans-repression, CpdA and ZK216348 effectively inhibited NF-?B activity and IL-8 secretion, but showed less trans-activation potency. Furthermore, unlike SEGRAs, Dex caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cell restitution with no effect on cell proliferation. These differences in epithelial restitution were TGF-?-independent but Dex inhibited the EGF/ERK1/2/MAPK-pathway important for intestinal epithelial wound healing by induction of MKP-1 and Annexin-1 which was not affected by CpdA or ZK216348. CONCLUSION: Collectively, our results indicate that, while their anti-inflammatory activity is comparable to Dex, SEGRAs show fewer side effects with respect to wound healing. The fact that SEGRAs did not have a similar effect on cell restitution might be due to a different modulation of EGF/ERK1/2 MAPK signalling.
Project description:Glucocorticoids are widely used to treat inflammatory disorders. Prolonged use results in side effects including osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity. The selective glucocorticoid receptor (GR) modulator Compound A (CpdA) exhibits an inflammation-suppressive effect, largely in absence of detrimental side effects. To understand the mechanistic differences between the classic glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX) and CpdA, we looked for proteins oppositely regulated using an unbiased proteomics approach. We found that the autophagy receptor p62 but not GR mediates the anti-inflammatory action of CpdA in macrophages. CpdA drives the upregulation of p62 by recruiting the NRF2 transcription factor to its promoter. Contrarily, the classic GR ligand dexamethasone recruits GR to p62 and other NRF2 controlled gene promoters, resulting in gene downregulation. Both DEX and CpdA are able to induce autophagy, albeit in a cell-type and time-dependent manner. Suppression of LPS-induced IL-6 and MCP1 genes in bone marrow-derived macrophages by CpdA is hampered upon p62 silencing, confirming that p62 is essential for the anti-inflammatory capacity of CpdA. Together, these results demonstrate how off-target mechanisms of selective GR ligands may establish a more efficient anti-inflammatory therapy
Project description:Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis is a frequent complication of systemic glucocorticoid (GC) therapy and mainly characterized by suppressed osteoblast activity. Wnt16 derived from osteogenic cells is a key determinant of bone mass. Here, we assessed whether GC suppress bone formation via inhibiting Wnt16 expression. GC treatment with dexamethasone (DEX) decreased Wnt16 mRNA levels in murine bone marrow stromal cells (mBMSCs) time- and dose-dependently. Similarly, Wnt16 expression was also suppressed after DEX treatment in calvarial organ cultures. Consistently, mice receiving GC-containing slow-release prednisolone pellets showed lower skeletal Wnt16 mRNA levels and bone mineral density than placebo-treated mice. The suppression of Wnt16 by GCs was GC-receptor-dependent as co-treatment of mBMSCs with DEX and the GR antagonist RU-486 abrogated the GC-mediated suppression of Wnt16. Likewise, DEX failed to suppress Wnt16 expression in GR knockout-mBMSCs. In addition, Wnt16 mRNA levels were unaltered in bone tissue of GC-treated GR dimerization-defective GR <sup>dim</sup> mice, suggesting that GCs suppress Wnt16 via direct DNA-binding mechanisms. Consistently, DEX treatment reduced Wnt16 promoter activity in MC3T3-E1 cells. Finally, recombinant Wnt16 restored DEX-induced suppression of bone formation in mouse calvaria. Thus, this study identifies Wnt16 as a novel target of GC action in GC-induced suppression of bone formation.