ABSTRACT: Tissue fibrosis is the primary cause of long-term graft failure after organ transplantation. In lung allografts, progressive terminal airway fibrosis leads to an irreversible decline in lung function termed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Here, we have identified an autocrine pathway linking nuclear factor of activated T cells 2 (NFAT1), autotaxin (ATX), lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), and ?-catenin that contributes to progression of fibrosis in lung allografts. Mesenchymal cells (MCs) derived from fibrotic lung allografts (BOS MCs) demonstrated constitutive nuclear ?-catenin expression that was dependent on autocrine ATX secretion and LPA signaling. We found that NFAT1 upstream of ATX regulated expression of ATX as well as ?-catenin. Silencing NFAT1 in BOS MCs suppressed ATX expression, and sustained overexpression of NFAT1 increased ATX expression and activity in non-fibrotic MCs. LPA signaling induced NFAT1 nuclear translocation, suggesting that autocrine LPA synthesis promotes NFAT1 transcriptional activation and ATX secretion in a positive feedback loop. In an in vivo mouse orthotopic lung transplant model of BOS, antagonism of the LPA receptor (LPA1) or ATX inhibition decreased allograft fibrosis and was associated with lower active ?-catenin and dephosphorylated NFAT1 expression. Lung allografts from ?-catenin reporter mice demonstrated reduced ?-catenin transcriptional activation in the presence of LPA1 antagonist, confirming an in vivo role for LPA signaling in ?-catenin activation.
Project description:Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted lysophospholipase D catalyzing the extracellular production of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a growth factor-like signaling lysophospholipid. ATX and LPA signaling have been incriminated in the pathogenesis of different chronic inflammatory diseases and various types of cancer. In this report, deregulated ATX and LPA levels were detected in the spinal cord and plasma of mice during the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Among the different sources of ATX expression in the inflamed spinal cord, F4/80+ CD11b+ cells, mostly activated macrophages and microglia, were found to express ATX, further suggesting an autocrine role for ATX/LPA in their activation, an EAE hallmark. Accordingly, ATX genetic deletion from CD11b+ cells attenuated the severity of EAE, thus proposing a pathogenic role for the ATX/LPA axis in neuroinflammatory disorders.
Project description:We previously implicated the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) as having a role in dermal fibrosis in systemic sclerosis (SSc). The aim of this study was to identify the role of the LPA-producing enzyme autotaxin (ATX), and to connect the ATX/LPA and interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathways in SSc.We evaluated the effect of a novel ATX inhibitor, PAT-048, on fibrosis and IL-6 expression in the mouse model of bleomycin-induced dermal fibrosis. We used dermal fibroblasts from SSc patients and control subjects to evaluate LPA-induced expression of IL-6, and IL-6-induced expression of ATX. We next evaluated whether LPA-induced ATX expression is dependent on IL-6, and whether baseline IL-6 expression in fibroblasts from SSc patients is dependent on ATX. Finally, we compared ATX and IL-6 expression in the skin of patients with SSc and healthy control subjects.PAT-048 markedly attenuated bleomycin-induced dermal fibrosis when treatment was initiated before or after the development of fibrosis. LPA stimulated expression of IL-6 in human dermal fibroblasts, and IL-6 stimulated fibroblast expression of ATX, connecting the ATX/LPA and IL-6 pathways in an amplification loop. IL-6 knockdown abrogated LPA-induced ATX expression in fibroblasts, and ATX inhibition attenuated IL-6 expression in fibroblasts and the skin of bleomycin-challenged mice. Expression of both ATX and IL-6 was increased in SSc skin, and LPA-induced IL-6 levels and IL-6-induced ATX levels were increased in fibroblasts from SSc patients compared with controls.ATX is required for the development and maintenance of dermal fibrosis in a mouse model of bleomycin-induced SSc and enables 2 major mediators of SSc fibrogenesis, LPA and IL-6, to amplify the production of each other. Our results suggest that concurrent inhibition of these 2 pathways may be an effective therapeutic strategy for dermal fibrosis in SSc.
Project description:Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is an important phospholipid mediator in inflammation and immunity. However, the mechanism of LPA regulation during inflammatory response is largely unknown. Autotaxin (ATX) is the key enzyme to produce extracellular LPA from lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). In this study, we found that ATX was induced in monocytic THP-1 cells by TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS), TLR9 ligand CpG oligonucleotide, and TLR3 ligand poly(I:C), respectively. The ATX induction by TLR ligand was abolished by the neutralizing antibody against IFN-? or the knockdown of IFNAR1, indicating that type I IFN autocrine loop is responsible for the ATX induction upon TLR activation. Both IFN-? and IFN-? were able to induce ATX expression via the JAK-STAT and PI3K-AKT pathways but with different time-dependent manners. The ATX induction by IFN-? was dramatically enhanced by IFN-?, which had no significant effect on ATX expression alone, suggesting a synergy effect between type I and type II IFNs in ATX induction. Extracellular LPA levels were significantly increased when THP-1 cells were treated with IFN-?/? or TLR ligands. In addition, the type I IFN-mediated ATX induction was identified in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) stimulated with LPS or poly(I:C), and IFN-?/? could induce ATX expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and monocytes isolated form blood samples. These results suggest that, in response to TLR activation, ATX is induced through a type I INF autocrine-paracrine loop to enhance LPA generation.
Project description:Autotaxin (ATX), an autocrine motility factor that is highly upregulated in metastatic cancer, is a lysophospholipase D enzyme that produces the lipid second messenger lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) from lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC). Dysregulation of the lysolipid signaling pathway is central to the pathophysiology of numerous cancers, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases. Consequently, the ATX/LPA pathway has emerged as an important source of biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Herein we describe development and validation of a fluorogenic analog of LPC (AR-2) that enables visualization of ATX activity in vivo. AR-2 exhibits minimal fluorescence until it is activated by ATX, which substantially increases fluorescence in the near-infrared (NIR) region, the optimal spectral window for in vivo imaging. In mice with orthotopic ATX-expressing breast cancer tumors, ATX activated AR-2 fluorescence. Administration of AR-2 to tumor-bearing mice showed high fluorescence in the tumor and low fluorescence in most healthy tissues with tumor fluorescence correlated with ATX levels. Pretreatment of mice with an ATX inhibitor selectively decreased fluorescence in the tumor. Together these data suggest that fluorescence directly correlates with ATX activity and its tissue expression. The data show that AR-2 is a non-invasive and selective tool that enables visualization and quantitation of ATX-expressing tumors and monitoring ATX activity in vivo.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Autotaxin (ATX) is a secreted phospholipase which hydrolyses lysophosphatidylcholine to generate lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). The extracellular signalling molecule LPA exerts its biological actions through activation of six GPCRs expressed in various cell types including fibroblasts. Multiple preclinical studies using knockout animals, LPA receptor antagonists or ATX inhibitors have provided evidence for a potential role of the ATX/LPA axis in tissue fibrosis. Despite growing evidence for a correlation between ATX levels and the degree of fibrosis in chronic liver diseases, including viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma, the role of ATX in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remains unclear. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:The relevance of ATX in the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis was investigated by oral administration of Ex_31, a selective ATX inhibitor, in a 10 week model of carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury and in a 14 week model of choline-deficient amino acid-defined diet-induced liver injury in rats. KEY RESULTS:Oral administration of Ex_31, a selective ATX inhibitor, at 15 mg·kg-1 twice daily in therapeutic intervention mode resulted in efficient ATX inhibition and more than 95% reduction in plasma LPA levels in both studies. Treatment with Ex_31 had no effect on biomarkers of liver function, inflammation, or fibrosis and did not result in histological improvements in diseased animals. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Our findings question the role of ATX in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis and the potential of small molecule ATX inhibitors for the treatment of patients with NASH and advanced stages of liver fibrosis.
Project description:Autotaxin (ATX, nucleotide pyrophosphate/phosphodiesterase-2) is an autocrine motility factor initially characterized from A2058 melanoma cell-conditioned medium. ATX is known to contribute to cancer cell survival, growth, and invasion. Recently ATX was shown to be responsible for the lysophospholipase D activity that generates lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). Production of LPA is sufficient to explain the effects of ATX on tumor cells. Cyclic phosphatidic acid (cPA) is a naturally occurring analog of LPA in which the sn-2 hydroxy group forms a 5-membered ring with the sn-3 phosphate. Cellular responses to cPA generally oppose those of LPA despite activation of apparently overlapping receptor populations, suggesting that cPA also activates cellular targets distinct from LPA receptors. cPA has previously been shown to inhibit tumor cell invasion in vitro and cancer cell metastasis in vivo. However, the mechanism governing this effect remains unresolved. Here we show that 3-carba analogs of cPA lack significant agonist activity at LPA receptors yet are potent inhibitors of ATX activity, LPA production, and A2058 melanoma cell invasion in vitro and B16F10 melanoma cell metastasis in vivo.
Project description:Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide due to late diagnosis and scarcity of treatment options. The major risk factor for liver cancer is cirrhosis with the underlying causes of cirrhosis being viral infection (hepatitis B or C), metabolic deregulation (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the presence of obesity and diabetes), alcohol or cholestatic disorders. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive phospholipid with numerous effects, most of them compatible with the hallmarks of cancer (proliferation, migration, invasion, survival, evasion of apoptosis, deregulated metabolism, neoangiogenesis, etc.). Autotaxin (ATX) is the enzyme responsible for the bulk of extracellular LPA production, and together with LPA signaling is involved in chronic inflammatory diseases, fibrosis and cancer. This review discusses the most important findings and the mechanisms related to ATX/LPA/LPAR involvement on metabolic, viral and cholestatic liver disorders and their progression to liver cancer in the context of human patients and mouse models. It focuses on the role of ATX/LPA in NAFLD development and its progression to liver cancer as NAFLD has an increasing incidence which is associated with the increasing incidence of liver cancer. Bearing in mind that adipose tissue accounts for the largest amount of LPA production, many studies have implicated LPA in adipose tissue metabolism and inflammation, liver steatosis, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and lipogenesis. At the same time, LPA and ATX play crucial roles in fibrotic diseases. Given that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is usually developed on the background of liver fibrosis, therapies that both delay the progression of fibrosis and prevent its development to malignancy would be very promising. Therefore, ATX/LPA signaling appears as an attractive therapeutic target as evidenced by the fact that it is involved in both liver fibrosis progression and liver cancer development.
Project description:Autotaxin (ATX) generates the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). ATX-LPA signalling is involved in multiple biological and pathophysiological processes, including vasculogenesis, fibrosis, cholestatic pruritus and tumour progression. ATX has a tripartite active site, combining a hydrophilic groove, a hydrophobic lipid-binding pocket and a tunnel of unclear function. We present crystal structures of rat ATX bound to 7?-hydroxycholesterol and the bile salt tauroursodeoxycholate (TUDCA), showing how the tunnel selectively binds steroids. A structure of ATX simultaneously harbouring TUDCA in the tunnel and LPA in the pocket, together with kinetic analysis, reveals that bile salts act as partial non-competitive inhibitors of ATX, thereby attenuating LPA receptor activation. This unexpected interplay between ATX-LPA signalling and select steroids, notably natural bile salts, provides a molecular basis for the emerging association of ATX with disorders associated with increased circulating levels of bile salts. Furthermore, our findings suggest potential clinical implications in the use of steroid drugs.
Project description:Autotaxin (ATX) is a tumor cell motility-stimulating factor, originally isolated from melanoma cell supernatants. ATX had been proposed to mediate its effects through 5'-nucleotide pyrophosphatase and phosphodiesterase activities. However, the ATX substrate mediating the increase in cellular motility remains to be identified. Here, we demonstrated that lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) purified from fetal bovine serum, which catalyzes the production of the bioactive phospholipid mediator, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), from lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), is identical to ATX. The Km value of ATX for LPC was 25-fold lower than that for the synthetic nucleoside substrate, p-nitrophenyl-tri-monophosphate. LPA mediates multiple biological functions including cytoskeletal reorganization, chemotaxis, and cell growth through activation of specific G protein-coupled receptors. Recombinant ATX, particularly in the presence of LPC, dramatically increased chemotaxis and proliferation of multiple different cell lines. Moreover, we demonstrate that several cancer cell lines release significant amounts of LPC, a substrate for ATX, into the culture medium. The demonstration that ATX and lysoPLD are identical suggests that autocrine or paracrine production of LPA contributes to tumor cell motility, survival, and proliferation. It also provides potential novel targets for therapy of pathophysiological states including cancer.