Involvement of angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) signaling in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC): a novel AT2R agonist effectively attenuates growth of PDAC grafts in mice.
ABSTRACT: We have recently discovered the potential involvement of angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) signaling in pancreatic cancer using AT2R deficient mice. To examine the involvement of AT2R expression in human PDAC, expressions of AT2R as well as the major angiotensin II receptor (type 1 receptor, AT1R) in human PDAC and adjacent normal tissue was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and real time PCR using surgically dissected human PDAC specimens. In immunohistochemical analysis, relatively strong AT1R expression was detected consistently in both normal pancreas and PDAC areas, whereas moderate AT2R expression was detected in 78.5% of PDAC specimens and 100% of normal area of the pancreas. AT1R, but not AT2R, mRNA levels were significantly higher in the PDAC area than in the normal pancreas. AT2R mRNA levels showed a negative correlation trend with overall survival. In cell cultures, treatment with a novel AT2R agonist significantly attenuated both murine and human PDAC cell growth with negligible cytotoxicity in normal epithelial cells. In a mouse study, administrations of the AT2R agonist in tumor surrounding connective tissue markedly attenuated growth of only AT2R expressing PAN02 murine PDAC grafts in syngeneic mice. The AT2R agonist treatment induced apoptosis primarily in tumor cells but not in stromal cells. Taken together, our findings offer clinical and preclinical evidence for the involvement of AT2R signaling in PDAC development and pinpoint that the novel AT2R agonist could serve as an effective therapeutic for PDAC treatment.
Project description:Objective- Pharmacological inhibition of the AT1R (angiotensin II type 1 receptor) with losartan can attenuate ascending aortic remodeling induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). In this study, we investigated the role of the AT2R (angiotensin II type 2 receptor) and MasR (Mas receptor) in TAC-induced ascending aortic dilation and remodeling. Approach and Results- Wild-type C57BL/6J mice were subjected to sham or TAC surgeries in the presence and absence of various drugs. Aortic diameters were assessed by echocardiography, central blood pressure was measured in the ascending aorta 2 weeks post-operation, and histology and gene expression analyses completed. An angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, captopril, decreased systolic blood pressure to the same level as losartan but did not attenuate aortic dilation, adventitial inflammation, medial collagen deposition, elastin breakage, or Mmp9 (matrix metalloproteinase-9) expression when compared with TAC mice. In contrast, co-administration of captopril with an AT2R agonist, compound 21, attenuated aortic dilation, medial collagen content, elastin breaks, and Mmp9 expression, whereas co-administration of captopril with a MasR agonist (AVE0991) did not reverse aortic dilation and led to aberrant aortic remodeling. An AT2R antagonist, PD123319, reversed the protective effects of losartan in TAC mice. Treatment with compound 21 alone showed no effect on TAC-induced aortic enlargement, blood pressure, elastin breakage, or Mmp9 expression. Conclusions- Our data indicate that when AT1R signaling is blocked, AT2R activation is a key modulator to prevent aortic dilation that occurs with TAC. These data suggest that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor may not be as effective as losartan for slowing aneurysm growth because losartan requires intact AT2R signaling to prevent aortic enlargement.
Project description:The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a vital role in cardiovascular physiology and body homeostasis. In addition to circulating RAS, a local RAS exists in the retina. Dysfunction of local RAS, resulting in increased levels of Angiotensin II (Ang II) and activation of AT1R-mediated signaling pathways, contributes to tissue pathophysiology and end-organ damage. Activation of AT2R on other hand is known to counteract the effects of AT1R activation and produce anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. We examined the expression of angiotensin receptors in the retina by using transgenic dual reporter mice and by real-time RT-PCR. We further evaluated the effects of C21, a selective agonist of AT2R, in reducing Ang II, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and hydrogen peroxide induced oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in cultured human ARPE-19?cells. We showed that both AT1Ra and AT2R positive cells are detected in different cell types of the eye, including the RPE/choroid complex, ciliary body/iris, and neural retina. AT1Ra is more abundantly expressed than AT2R in mouse retina, consistent with previous reports. In the neural retina, AT1Ra are also detected in photoreceptors whereas AT2R are mostly expressed in the inner retinal neurons and RGCs. In cultured human RPE cells, activation of AT2R with C21 significantly blocked Ang II, LPS and hydrogen peroxide -induced NF-?B activation and inflammatory cytokine expression; Ang II and hydrogen peroxide-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and MG132-induced apoptosis, comparable to the effects of Angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)), another protective component of the RAS, although C21 is more potent in reducing some of the effects induced by Ang II, whereas Ang-(1-7) is more effective in reducing some of the LPS and hydrogen peroxide-induced effects. These results suggest that activation of AT2R may represent a new therapeutic approach for retinal diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recombinant human relaxin-2 (serelaxin), which has organ-protective actions mediated via its cognate G protein-coupled receptor relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1), has emerged as a potential agent to treat fibrosis. Studies have shown that serelaxin requires the angiotensin II (AngII) type 2 receptor (AT2R) to ameliorate renal fibrogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Whether its antifibrotic actions are affected by modulation of the AngII type 1 receptor (AT1R), which is expressed on myofibroblasts along with RXFP1 and AT2R, is unknown. METHODS:We examined the signal transduction mechanisms of serelaxin when applied to primary rat renal and human cardiac myofibroblasts in vitro, and in three models of renal- or cardiomyopathy-induced fibrosis in vivo. RESULTS:The AT1R blockers irbesartan and candesartan abrogated antifibrotic signal transduction of serelaxin via RXFP1 in vitro and in vivo. Candesartan also ameliorated serelaxin's antifibrotic actions in the left ventricle of mice with cardiomyopathy, indicating that candesartan's inhibitory effects were not confined to the kidney. We also demonstrated in a transfected cell system that serelaxin did not directly bind to AT1Rs but that constitutive AT1R-RXFP1 interactions could form. To potentially explain these findings, we also demonstrated that renal and cardiac myofibroblasts expressed all three receptors and that antagonists acting at each receptor directly or allosterically blocked the antifibrotic effects of either serelaxin or an AT2R agonist (compound 21). CONCLUSIONS:These findings have significant implications for the concomitant use of RXFP1 or AT2R agonists with AT1R blockers, and suggest that functional interactions between the three receptors on myofibroblasts may represent new targets for controlling fibrosis progression.
Project description:In the current experiment, we determined angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R) and angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) protein expression by western blot analysis in developing normal mice. The results indicate that: (1) in all detected brain regions and in the spinal cord, adult mice exhibited significantly higher AT2R expression and lower AT1R expression in total protein extracts compared to fetuses and neonates; (2) other major organs, including heart, lung, liver and kidney, exhibited the same expression pattern as the brain and spinal cord; (3) reciprocal changes in AT2R and AT1R expression were found in the total protein extracts from the brainstems of mice from one-day prenatal to six weeks of age, and there was a negative correlation between AT2R and AT1R protein expression; (4) in both membrane and cytosolic fractions from the brainstem, adult mice exhibited higher AT2R and lower AT1R expression than did fetuses and neonates; and (5) in the brainstem, there were no significant differences in AT2R and AT1R messenger RNA (mRNA) levels among fetal, neonatal and adult mice. The above results reconfirmed our previous finding in rats that adult animals have higher AT2R and lower AT1R expression compared to fetuses and neonates. These data imply an involvement of AT1R in fetal development and of AT2R in adult function.
Project description:Vascular remodeling can be caused by angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) autoantibody (AT1-AA), although the related mechanism remains unknown. Angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) plays multiple roles in vascular remodeling through cross-talk with AT1R in the cytoplasm. Here, we aimed to explore the role and mechanism of AT2R in AT1-AA-induced vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration, which is a key event in vascular remodeling. In vitro and in vivo, we found that AT2R can promote VSMC migration in AT1-AA-induced vascular remodeling. Moreover, AT2R expression was upregulated via Klf-5/IRF-1-mediated transcriptional and circErbB4/miR-29a-5p-mediated posttranscriptional mechanisms in response to AT1-AA. Our data provide a molecular basis for AT1-AA-induced AT2R expression by transcription factors, namely, a circular RNA and a microRNA, and showed that AT2R participated in AT1-AA-induced VSMC migration during the development of vascular remodeling. AT2R may be a potential target for the treatment of AT1-AA-induced vascular diseases.
Project description:In the present study, we evaluated the relative abundance of angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R) protein in various tissues of adult rats. We found that pancreatic islets expressed the highest AT2R protein compared with all other tissues. Accordingly, we then determined the functional significance of AT2R in the endocrine pancreas in in vivo and in vitro experiments by using angiotensin II (ANG II) alone, losartan (Los; AT1R antagonist), compound 21 (C21; AT2R agonist), and PD-123319 (PD; AT2R antagonist). Experiments carried out in rats indicated that, 1) ANG II treatment significantly increased plasma insulin concentration (1.51 ± 0.20 vs. 0.82 ± 0.14 ng/ml, n = 7, P < 0.05) in the fed state. This insulinotropic effect was further augmented by combined treatment with ANG II + Los (2.31 ± 0.25 ng/ml, n = 7, P < 0.01). C21 also elevated insulin levels (2.13 ± 0.20 ng/ml, n = 7, P < 0.01), which was completely abolished by PD. 2) ANG II impaired glucose tolerance, whereas ANG II + Los or C21 improved this function. 3) All treated rats displayed an enhanced insulin secretory response to a glucose challenge. 4) All treated rats displayed upregulated proinsulin 2 mRNA and insulin protein expression in the pancreas. In in vitro experiments using INS-1E cells and isolated rat islets, we found that AT2R activation significantly improved insulin biosynthesis and secretion. These results suggest that the AT2R functions as an insulinotropic mediator. AT2R and its downstream signaling pathways may be potential therapeutic targets for diabetes.
Project description:GPCR subtypes possess distinct functional and pharmacological profiles, and thus development of subtype-selective ligands has immense therapeutic potential. This is especially the case for the angiotensin receptor subtypes AT1R and AT2R, where a functional negative control has been described and AT2R activation highlighted as an important cancer drug target. We describe a strategy to fine-tune ligand selectivity for the AT2R/AT1R subtypes through electronic control of ligand aromatic-prolyl interactions. Through this strategy an AT2R high affinity (Ki = 3 nM) agonist analogue that exerted 18,000-fold higher selectivity for AT2R versus AT1R was obtained. We show that this compound is a negative regulator of AT1R signaling since it is able to inhibit MCF-7 breast carcinoma cellular proliferation in the low nanomolar range.
Project description:Myocardial infarction (MI) is a major condition causing heart failure (HF). After MI, the renin angiotensin system (RAS) and its signalling octapeptide angiotensin II (Ang II) interferes with cardiac injury/repair via the AT1 and AT2 receptors (AT1R, AT2R). Our study aimed at deciphering the mechanisms underlying the link between RAS and cellular components of the immune response relying on a rodent model of HF as well as HF patients. Flow cytometric analyses showed an increase in the expression of CD4(+) AT2R(+) cells in the rat heart and spleen post-infarction, but a reduction in the peripheral blood. The latter was also observed in HF patients. The frequency of rat CD4(+) AT2R(+) T cells in circulating blood, post-infarcted heart and spleen represented 3.8 ± 0.4%, 23.2 ± 2.7% and 22.6 ± 2.6% of the CD4(+) cells. CD4(+) AT2R(+) T cells within blood CD4(+) T cells were reduced from 2.6 ± 0.2% in healthy controls to 1.7 ± 0.4% in patients. Moreover, we characterized CD4(+) AT2R(+) T cells which expressed regulatory FoxP3, secreted interleukin-10 and other inflammatory-related cytokines. Furthermore, intramyocardial injection of MI-induced splenic CD4(+) AT2R(+) T cells into recipient rats with MI led to reduced infarct size and improved cardiac performance. We defined CD4(+) AT2R(+) cells as a T cell subset improving heart function post-MI corresponding with reduced infarction size in a rat MI-model. Our results indicate CD4(+) AT2R(+) cells as a promising population for regenerative therapy, via myocardial transplantation, pharmacological AT2R activation or a combination thereof.
Project description:The renin angiotensin system (RAS) is intricately involved in normal cardiovascular homeostasis. Excessive stimulation by the octapeptide angiotensin II contributes to a range of cardiovascular pathologies and diseases via angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) activation. On the other hand, tElsevier Inc.he angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R) is thought to counter-regulate AT1R function. In this review, we describe the enhanced expression and function of AT2R in various cardiovascular disease settings. In addition, we illustrate that the RAS consists of a family of angiotensin peptides that exert cardiovascular effects that are often distinct from those of Ang II. During cardiovascular disease, there is likely to be an increased functional importance of AT2R, stimulated by Ang II, or even shorter angiotensin peptide fragments, to limit AT1R-mediated overactivity and cardiovascular pathologies.
Project description:Angiotensin II receptor type 1 and 2 (AT1R and AT2R) are two G-protein coupled receptors that mediate most biological functions of the octapeptide Angiotensin II (Ang II). AT2R is upregulated upon tissue damage and its activation by selective AT2R agonists has become a promising approach in the search for new classes of pharmaceutical agents. We herein analyzed the chemical evolution of AT2R agonists starting from octapeptides, through shorter peptides and peptidomimetics to the first drug-like AT2R-selective agonist, C21, which is in Phase II clinical trials and aimed for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Based on the recent crystal structures of AT1R and AT2R in complex with sarile, we identified a common binding model for a series of 11 selected AT2R agonists, consisting of peptides and peptidomimetics of different length, affinity towards AT2R and selectivity versus AT1R. Subsequent molecular dynamics simulations and free energy perturbation (FEP) calculations of binding affinities allowed the identification of the bioactive conformation and common pharmacophoric points, responsible for the key interactions with the receptor, which are maintained by the drug-like agonists. The results of this study should be helpful and facilitate the search for improved and even more potent AT2R-selective drug-like agonists.