ABSTRACT: Global health is threatened by emerging viral infections, which largely lack effective vaccines or therapies. Targeting host pathways that are exploited by multiple viruses could offer broad-spectrum solutions. We previously reported that AAK1 and GAK, kinase regulators of the host adaptor proteins AP1 and AP2, are essential for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the underlying mechanism and relevance to other viruses or in vivo infections remained unknown. Here, we have discovered that AP1 and AP2 cotraffic with HCV particles in live cells. Moreover, we found that multiple viruses, including dengue and Ebola, exploit AAK1 and GAK during entry and infectious virus production. In cultured cells, treatment with sunitinib and erlotinib, approved anticancer drugs that inhibit AAK1 or GAK activity, or with more selective compounds inhibited intracellular trafficking of HCV and multiple unrelated RNA viruses with a high barrier to resistance. In murine models of dengue and Ebola infection, sunitinib/erlotinib combination protected against morbidity and mortality. We validated sunitinib- and erlotinib-mediated inhibition of AAK1 and GAK activity as an important mechanism of antiviral action. Additionally, we revealed potential roles for additional kinase targets. These findings advance our understanding of virus-host interactions and establish a proof of principle for a repurposed, host-targeted approach to combat emerging viruses.
Project description:There is an urgent need for strategies to combat dengue virus (DENV) infection; a major global threat. We reported that the cellular kinases AAK1 and GAK regulate intracellular trafficking of multiple viruses and that sunitinib and erlotinib, approved anticancer drugs with potent activity against these kinases, protect DENV-infected mice from mortality. Nevertheless, further characterization of the therapeutic potential and underlying mechanism of this approach is required prior to clinical evaluation. Here, we demonstrate that sunitinib/erlotinib combination achieves sustained suppression of systemic infection at approved dose in DENV-infected IFN-?/? and IFN-? receptor-deficient mice. Nevertheless, treatment with these blood-brain barrier impermeable drugs delays, yet does not prevent, late-onset paralysis; a common manifestation in this immunodeficient mouse model but not in humans. Sunitinib and erlotinib treatment also demonstrates efficacy in human primary monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Additionally, DENV infection induces expression of AAK1 transcripts, but not GAK, via single-cell transcriptomics, and these kinases are important molecular targets underlying the anti-DENV effect of sunitinib and erlotinib. Lastly, sunitinib/erlotinib combination alters inflammatory cytokine responses in DENV-infected mice. These findings support feasibility of repurposing sunitinib/erlotinib combination as a host-targeted antiviral approach and contribute to understanding its mechanism of antiviral action.
Project description:Novel therapies are urgently needed against hepatitis C virus infection (HCV), a major global health problem. The current model of infectious virus production suggests that HCV virions are assembled on or near the surface of lipid droplets, acquire their envelope at the ER, and egress through the secretory pathway. The mechanisms of HCV assembly and particularly the role of viral-host protein-protein interactions in mediating this process are, however, poorly understood. We identified a conserved heretofore unrecognized YXX? motif (? is a bulky hydrophobic residue) within the core protein. This motif is homologous to sorting signals within host cargo proteins known to mediate binding of AP2M1, the ? subunit of clathrin adaptor protein complex 2 (AP-2), and intracellular trafficking. Using microfluidics affinity analysis, protein-fragment complementation assays, and co-immunoprecipitations in infected cells, we show that this motif mediates core binding to AP2M1. YXX? mutations, silencing AP2M1 expression or overexpressing a dominant negative AP2M1 mutant had no effect on HCV RNA replication, however, they dramatically inhibited intra- and extracellular infectivity, consistent with a defect in viral assembly. Quantitative confocal immunofluorescence analysis revealed that core's YXX? motif mediates recruitment of AP2M1 to lipid droplets and that the observed defect in HCV assembly following disruption of core-AP2M1 binding correlates with accumulation of core on lipid droplets, reduced core colocalization with E2 and reduced core localization to trans-Golgi network (TGN), the presumed site of viral particles maturation. Furthermore, AAK1 and GAK, serine/threonine kinases known to stimulate binding of AP2M1 to host cargo proteins, regulate core-AP2M1 binding and are essential for HCV assembly. Last, approved anti-cancer drugs that inhibit AAK1 or GAK not only disrupt core-AP2M1 binding, but also significantly inhibit HCV assembly and infectious virus production. These results validate viral-host interactions essential for HCV assembly and yield compounds for pharmaceutical development.
Project description:There are currently no approved drugs for the treatment of emerging viral infections, such as dengue and Ebola. Adaptor-associated kinase 1 (AAK1) is a cellular serine-threonine protein kinase that functions as a key regulator of the clathrin-associated host adaptor proteins and regulates the intracellular trafficking of multiple unrelated RNA viruses. Moreover, AAK1 is overexpressed specifically in dengue virus-infected but not bystander cells. Because AAK1 is a promising antiviral drug target, we have embarked on an optimization campaign of a previously identified 7-azaindole analogue, yielding novel pyrrolo[2,3- b]pyridines with high AAK1 affinity. The optimized compounds demonstrate improved activity against dengue virus both in vitro and in human primary dendritic cells and the unrelated Ebola virus. These findings demonstrate that targeting cellular AAK1 may represent a promising broad-spectrum antiviral strategy.
Project description:There is an urgent need for strategies to combat dengue and other emerging viral infections. We reported that cyclin G-associated kinase (GAK), a cellular regulator of the clathrin-associated host adaptor proteins AP-1 and AP-2, regulates intracellular trafficking of multiple unrelated RNA viruses during early and late stages of the viral lifecycle. We also reported the discovery of potent, selective GAK inhibitors based on an isothiazolo[4,3- b]pyridine scaffold, albeit with moderate antiviral activity. Here, we describe our efforts leading to the discovery of novel isothiazolo[4,3- b]pyridines that maintain high GAK affinity and selectivity. These compounds demonstrate improved in vitro activity against dengue virus, including in human primary dendritic cells, and efficacy against the unrelated Ebola and chikungunya viruses. Moreover, inhibition of GAK activity was validated as an important mechanism of antiviral action of these compounds. These findings demonstrate the potential utility of a GAK-targeted broad-spectrum approach for combating currently untreatable emerging viral infections.
Project description:Rabies virus (RABV) causes a fatal neurological disease in both humans and animals. Understanding the mechanism of RABV infection is vital for prevention and therapy of virulent rabies infection. Our previous proteomics analysis based on isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation to identify factors revealed that RABV infection enhanced AP-2-associated protein kinase 1 (AAK1) in N2a cells. In this study, to further confirm the role of AAK1, we showed that RABV infection increased the transcription and expression of AAK1 in N2a cells. AAK1 knockdown significantly decreased RABV infection in both N2a and BHK-21 cells. AAK1 knockout inhibited RABV infection in N2a cells. Furthermore, inhibition of AAK1 kinase activity using sunitinib decreased RABV infection. However, AAK1 overexpression did not change RABV infection in vitro. Therapeutic administration of sunitinib did not significantly improve the survival rate of mice following lethal RABV challenge. In addition, AAK1 knockdown decreased infection in N2a cells by vesicular stomatitis virus, which is another rhabdovirus. These results indicate that rhabdovirus infection is dependent on AAK1 and inhibition of AAK1 is a potential strategy for the prevention and therapy of rabies.
Project description:The mu 2 subunit of the AP2 complex is known to be phosphorylated in vitro by a copurifying kinase, and it has been demonstrated recently that mu 2 phosphorylation is required for transferrin endocytosis (Olusanya, O., P.D. Andrews, J.R. Swedlow, and E. Smythe. 2001. Curr. Biol. 11:896-900). However, the identity of the endogenous kinase responsible for this phosphorylation is unknown. Here we identify and characterize a novel member of the Prk/Ark family of serine/threonine kinases, adaptor-associated kinase (AAK)1. We find that AAK1 copurifies with adaptor protein (AP)2 and that it directly binds the ear domain of alpha-adaptin in vivo and in vitro. In neuronal cells, AAK1 is enriched at presynaptic terminals, whereas in nonneuronal cells it colocalizes with clathrin and AP2 in clathrin-coated pits and at the leading edge of migrating cells. AAK1 specifically phosphorylates the mu subunit in vitro, and stage-specific assays for endocytosis show that mu phosphorylation by AAK1 results in a decrease in AP2-stimulated transferrin internalization. Together, these results provide strong evidence that AAK1 is the endogenous mu 2 kinase and plays a regulatory role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. These results also lend support to the idea that clathrin-mediated endocytosis is controlled by cycles of phosphorylation/desphosphorylation.
Project description:During receptor-mediated endocytosis, AP2 complexes act as a bridge between the cargo membrane proteins and the clathrin coat by binding to sorting signals via the mu 2 subunit and to clathrin via the beta subunit. Here we show that binding of AP2 to sorting signals in vitro is regulated by phosphorylation of the mu 2 subunit of AP2. Phosphorylation of mu 2 enhances the binding affinity of AP2 for sorting motifs as much as 25-fold compared with dephosphorylated AP2. The recognition of sorting signals was not affected by the phosphorylation status of the alpha or beta 2 subunit, suggesting that phosphorylation of mu 2 is critical for regulation of AP2 binding to sorting signals. Phosphorylation of mu 2 occurs at a single threonine residue (Thr-156) and is mediated by the newly discovered adaptor-associated kinase, AAK1, which copurifies with AP2. We propose that phosphorylation of the AP2 mu 2 subunit by AAK1 ensures high affinity binding of AP2 to sorting signals of cargo membrane proteins during the initial steps of receptor-mediated endocytosis.
Project description:β-Catenin-dependent WNT signal transduction governs development, tissue homeostasis, and a vast array of human diseases. Signal propagation through a WNT-Frizzled/LRP receptor complex requires proteins necessary for clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Paradoxically, CME also negatively regulates WNT signaling through internalization and degradation of the receptor complex. Here, using a gain-of-function screen of the human kinome, we report that the AP2 associated kinase 1 (AAK1), a known CME enhancer, inhibits WNT signaling. Reciprocally, AAK1 genetic silencing or its pharmacological inhibition using a potent and selective inhibitor activates WNT signaling. Mechanistically, we show that AAK1 promotes clearance of LRP6 from the plasma membrane to suppress the WNT pathway. Time-course experiments support a transcription-uncoupled, WNT-driven negative feedback loop; prolonged WNT treatment drives AAK1-dependent phosphorylation of AP2M1, clathrin-coated pit maturation, and endocytosis of LRP6. We propose that, following WNT receptor activation, increased AAK1 function and CME limits WNT signaling longevity.
Project description:Cyclin G associated kinase (GAK) emerged as a promising drug target for the treatment of viral infections. However, no potent and selective GAK inhibitors have been reported in the literature to date. This paper describes the discovery of isothiazolo[5,4-b]pyridines as selective GAK inhibitors, with the most potent congeners displaying low nanomolar binding affinity for GAK. Cocrystallization experiments revealed that these compounds behaved as classic type I ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors. In addition, we have demonstrated that these compounds exhibit a potent activity against hepatitis C virus (HCV) by inhibiting two temporally distinct steps in the HCV life cycle (i.e., viral entry and assembly). Hence, these GAK inhibitors represent chemical probes to study GAK function in different disease areas where GAK has been implicated (including viral infection, cancer, and Parkinson's disease).
Project description:Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus comprise two genera of negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses that cause severe hemorrhagic fevers in humans. Despite considerable research efforts, the molecular events following Ebola virus (EBOV) infection are poorly understood. With the view of identifying host factors that underpin EBOV pathogenesis, we compared the transcriptomes of EBOV-infected human, pig, and bat kidney cells using a transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) approach. Despite a significant difference in viral transcription/replication between the cell lines, all cells responded to EBOV infection through a robust induction of extracellular growth factors. Furthermore, a significant upregulation of activator protein 1 (AP1) transcription factor complex members FOS and JUN was observed in permissive cell lines. Functional studies focusing on human cells showed that EBOV infection induces protein expression, phosphorylation, and nuclear accumulation of JUN and, to a lesser degree, FOS. Using a luciferase-based reporter, we show that EBOV infection induces AP1 transactivation activity within human cells at 48 and 72 h postinfection. Finally, we show that JUN knockdown decreases the expression of EBOV-induced host gene expression. Taken together, our study highlights the role of AP1 in promoting the host gene expression profile that defines EBOV pathogenesis.IMPORTANCE Many questions remain about the molecular events that underpin filovirus pathophysiology. The rational design of new intervention strategies, such as postexposure therapeutics, will be significantly enhanced through an in-depth understanding of these molecular events. We believe that new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of EBOV may be possible by examining the transcriptomic response of taxonomically diverse cell lines (derived from human, pig, and bat). We first identified the responsive pathways using an RNA-seq-based transcriptomics approach. Further functional and computational analysis focusing on human cells highlighted an important role for the AP1 transcription factor in mediating the transcriptional response to EBOV infection. Our study sheds new light on how host transcription factors respond to and promote the transcriptional landscape that follows viral infection.