Uptake of glucose-conjugated MGMT inhibitors in cancer cells: role of flippases and type IV P-type ATPases.
ABSTRACT: The DNA repair protein O 6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) is a key determinant of cancer resistance. The MGMT inhibitors O 6-benzylguanine (O6BG) and O 6-(4-bromothenyl)guanine (O6BTG) failed to enhance the therapeutic response due to toxic side effects when applied in combination with alkylating chemotherapeutics, indicating a need of inhibitor targeting. We assessed MGMT targeting that relies on conjugating the inhibitors O6BG and O6BTG to ß-D-glucose, resulting in O6BG-Glu and O6BTG-Glu, respectively. This targeting strategy was selected by taking advantage of high demand of glucose in cancers. Contrary to our expectation, the uptake of O6BG-Glu and O6BTG-Glu was not dependent on glucose transporters. Instead, it seems that after membrane binding the conjugates are taken up via flippases, which normally transport phospholipids. This membrane binding is the consequence of the amphiphilic character of the conjugates, which at higher concentrations lead to the formation of micelle-like particles in aqueous solution. The unusual uptake mechanism of the conjugates highlights the importance of proper linker selection for a successful ligand-based drug delivery strategy. We also demonstrate that proteins of the P4-Type ATPase family are involved in the transport of the glucose conjugates. The findings are not only important for MGMT inhibitor targeting, but also for other amphiphilic drugs.
Project description:Via extensive analyses of genetic databases, we have characterized the DNA-repair capacity of glioblastoma with respect to patient survival. In addition to elevation of O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), down-regulation of three DNA repair pathways; canonical mismatch repair (MMR), Non-Homologous End-Joining (NHEJ), and Homologous Recombination (HR) are correlated with poor patient outcome. We have designed and tested both in vitro and in vivo, a monoamine oxidase B (MAOB) specific prodrug, PAM-OBG, that is converted by glioma MAOB into the MGMT inhibitor O6-benzylguanine (O6BG) and the DNA crosslinking agent acrolein. In cultured glioma cells, we show that PAM-OBG is converted to O6BG, inhibiting MGMT and sensitizing cells to DNA alkylating agents such as BCNU, CCNU, and Temozolomide (TMZ). In addition, we demonstrate that the acrolein generated is highly toxic in glioma treated with an inhibitor of Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER). In mouse intracranial models of primary human glioma, we show that PAM-OBG increases survival of mice treated with either BCNU or CCNU by a factor of six and that in a chemoradiation model utilizing six rounds of TMZ/2Gy radiation, pre-treatment with PAM-OBG more than doubled survival time.
Project description:Temozolomide (TMZ) is one of the most potent chemotherapy agents for the treatment of glioblastoma. Unfortunately, almost half of glioblastoma tumors are TMZ resistant due to overexpression of methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT(hi)). Coadministration of O6-benzylguanine (O6BG) can restore TMZ sensitivity, but causes off-target myelosuppression. Here, we conducted a prospective clinical trial to test whether gene therapy to confer O6BG resistance in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) improves chemotherapy tolerance and outcome.We enrolled 7 newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients with MGMT(hi) tumors. Patients received autologous gene-modified HSCs following single-agent carmustine administration. After hematopoietic recovery, patients underwent O6BG/TMZ chemotherapy in 28-day cycles. Serial blood samples and tumor images were collected throughout the study. Chemotherapy tolerance was determined by the observed myelosuppression and recovery following each cycle. Patient-specific biomathematical modeling of tumor growth was performed. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were also evaluated.Gene therapy permitted a significant increase in the mean number of tolerated O6BG/TMZ cycles (4.4 cycles per patient, P < 0.05) compared with historical controls without gene therapy (n = 7 patients, 1.7 cycles per patient). One patient tolerated an unprecedented 9 cycles and demonstrated long-term PFS without additional therapy. Overall, we observed a median PFS of 9 (range 3.5-57+) months and OS of 20 (range 13-57+) months. Furthermore, biomathematical modeling revealed markedly delayed tumor growth at lower cumulative TMZ doses in study patients compared with patients that received standard TMZ regimens without O6BG.These data support further development of chemoprotective gene therapy in combination with O6BG and TMZ for the treatment of glioblastoma and potentially other tumors with overexpression of MGMT.Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00669669.R01CA114218, R01AI080326, R01HL098489, P30DK056465, K01DK076973, R01HL074162, R01CA164371, R01NS060752, U54CA143970.
Project description:AIMS:To determine the efficacy of methylguanine methyltransferase (MGMT) depletion + BCNU [1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1- nitrosourea: carmustine] therapy and the impact of methylation status in adults with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and gliosarcoma. METHODS:Methylation analysis was performed on GBM patients with adequate tissue samples. Patients with newly diagnosed GBM or gliosarcoma were eligible for this Phase III open-label clinical trial. At registration, patients were randomized to Arm 1, which consisted of therapy with O(6)-benzylguanine (O(6)-BG) + BCNU 40 mg/m(2) (reduced dose) + radiation therapy (RT) (O6BG + BCNU arm), or Arm 2, which consisted of therapy with BCNU 200 mg/m(2) + RT (BCNU arm). RESULTS:A total of 183 patients with newly diagnosed GBM or gliosarcoma from 42 U.S. institutions were enrolled in this study. Of these, 90 eligible patients received O(6)-BG + BCNU + RT and 89 received BCNU + RT. The trial was halted at the first interim analysis in accordance with the guidelines for stopping the study due to futility (<40 % improvement among patients on the O6BG + BCNU arm). Following adjustment for stratification factors, there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) or progression-free survival (PFS) between the two groups (one sided p = 0.94 and p = 0.88, respectively). Median OS was 11 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 8-13] months for patients in the O6BG + BCNU arm and 10 (95 % CI 8-12) months for those in the BCNU arm. PFS was 4 months for patients in each arm. Adverse events were reported in both arms, with significantly more grade 4 and 5 events in the experimental arm. CONCLUSIONS:The addition of O(6)-BG to the standard regimen of radiation and BCNU for the treatment patients with newly diagnosed GBM and gliosarcoma did not provide added benefit and in fact caused additional toxicity.
Project description:The alcohol aversion drug disulfiram (DSF) reacts and conjugates with the protein-bound nucleophilic cysteines and is known to elicit anticancer effects alone or improve the efficacy of many cancer drugs. We investigated the effects of DSF on human O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a DNA repair protein and chemotherapy target that removes the mutagenic O(6)-akyl groups from guanines, and thus confers resistance to alkylating agents in brain tumors. We used DSF, copper-chelated DSF or CuCl2-DSF combination and found that all treatments inhibited the MGMT activity in two brain tumor cell lines in a rapid and dose-dependent manner. The drug treatments resulted in the loss of MGMT protein from tumor cells through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Evidence showed that Cys145, a reactive cysteine, critical for DNA repair was the sole site of DSF modification in the MGMT protein. DSF was a weaker inhibitor of MGMT, compared with the established O(6)-benzylguanine; nevertheless, the 24-36h suppression of MGMT activity in cell cultures vastly increased the alkylation-induced DNA interstrand cross-linking, G2/M cell cycle blockade, cytotoxicity and the levels of apoptotic markers. Normal mice treated with DSF showed significantly attenuated levels of MGMT activity and protein in the liver and brain tissues. In nude mice bearing T98 glioblastoma xenografts, there was a preferential inhibition of tumor MGMT. Our studies demonstrate a strong and direct inhibition of MGMT by DSF and support the repurposing of this brain penetrating drug for glioma therapy. The findings also imply an increased risk for alkylation damage in alcoholic patients taking DSF.
Project description:Endocrine therapy using estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) antagonists for attenuating horm2one-driven cell proliferation is a major treatment modality for breast cancers. To exploit any DNA repair deficiencies associated with endocrine therapy, we investigated the functional and physical interactions of ER-α with O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a unique DNA repair protein that confers tumor resistance to various anticancer alkylating agents. The ER-α -positive breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, T47D) and ER- negative cell lines (MDAMB-468, MDAMB-231), and established inhibitors of ER-α and MGMT, namely, ICI-182,780 (Faslodex) and O6-benzylguanine, respectively, were used to study MGMT- ER interactions. The MGMT gene promoter was found to harbor one full and two half estrogen-responsive elements (EREs) and two antioxidant-responsive elements (AREs). MGMT expression was upregulated by estrogen, downregulated by tamoxifen in Western blot and promoter-linked reporter assays. Similarly, both transient and stable transfections of Nrf-2 (nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2) increased the levels of MGMT protein and activity 3 to 4-fold reflecting novel regulatory nodes for this drug-resistance determinant. Of the different ER-α antagonists tested, the pure anti-estrogen fulvestrant was most potent in inhibiting the MGMT activity in a dose, time and ER-α dependent manner, similar to O6-benzylguanine. Interestingly, fulvestrant exposure led to a degradation of both ER-α and MGMT proteins and O6-benzylguanine also induced a specific loss of ER-α and MGMT proteins in MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cells with similar kinetics. Immunoprecipitation revealed a specific association of ER-α and MGMT proteins in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, silencing of MGMT gene expression triggered a decrease in the levels of both MGMT and ER-α proteins. The involvement of proteasome in the drug-induced degradation of both proteins was also demonstrated. Fulvestrant enhanced the cytotoxicity of MGMT-targeted alkylating agents, namely, temozolomide and BCNU by 3 to 4-fold in ER-α positive cells, but not in ER-negative cells. We conclude that MGMT and ER-α proteins exist as a complex and are co-targeted for ubiquitin-conjugation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. The findings offer a clear rationale for combining alkylating agents with endocrine therapy.
Project description:Germ-line mutations in BRCA2 have been linked to early-onset familial breast cancer. BRCA2 is known to play a key role in repairing double-strand breaks. Here, we describe the involvement of BRCA2 in O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase (AGT)-mediated repair of O6-methylguanine adducts. We show that BRCA2 physically associates and undergoes repair-mediated degradation with AGT. In contrast, BRCA2 with a 29-amino-acid deletion in an evolutionarily conserved domain does not bind to alkylated AGT; the two proteins are not degraded; and mouse embryonic fibroblasts are specifically sensitive to alkylating agents that result in O6-methylguanine adducts. We show that O6-benzylguanine (O6BG), a nontoxic inhibitor of AGT, can also induce BRCA2 degradation. BRCA2 is a viable target for cancer therapy because BRCA2-deficient cells are hypersensitive to chemotherapeutic DNA-damaging agents. We show a marked effect of O6BG pretreatment on cell sensitivity to cisplatin. We also show the efficacy of this approach on a wide range of human tumor cell lines, which suggests that chemosensitization of tumors by targeted degradation of BRCA2 may be an important consideration when devising cancer therapeutics.
Project description:Retroviral-mediated delivery of the P140K mutant O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT(P140K)) into hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) has been proposed as a means to protect against dose-limiting myelosuppressive toxicity ensuing from chemotherapy combining O(6)-alkylating agents (e.g., temozolomide) with pseudosubstrate inhibitors (such as O(6)-benzylguanine) of endogenous MGMT. Because detoxification of O(6)-alkylguanine adducts by MGMT is stoichiometric, it has been suggested that higher levels of MGMT will afford better protection to gene-modified HSC. However, accomplishing this goal would potentially be in conflict with current efforts in the gene therapy field, which aim to incorporate weaker enhancer elements to avoid insertional mutagenesis. Using a panel of self-inactivating gamma-retroviral vectors that express a range of MGMT(P140K) activity, we show that MGMT(P140K) expression by weaker cellular promoter/enhancers is sufficient for in vivo protection/selection following treatment with O(6)-benzylguanine/temozolomide. Conversely, the highest level of MGMT(P140K) activity did not promote efficient in vivo protection despite mediating detoxification of O(6)-alkylguanine adducts. Moreover, very high expression of MGMT(P140K) was associated with a competitive repopulation defect in HSC. Mechanistically, we show a defect in cellular proliferation associated with elevated expression of MGMT(P140K), but not wild-type MGMT. This proliferation defect correlated with increased localization of MGMT(P140K) to the nucleus/chromatin. These data show that very high expression of MGMT(P140K) has a deleterious effect on cellular proliferation, engraftment, and chemoprotection. These studies have direct translational relevance to ongoing clinical gene therapy studies using MGMT(P140K), whereas the novel mechanistic findings are relevant to the basic understanding of DNA repair by MGMT.
Project description:The membrane trafficking system is important for compartmentalization of the biosynthesis pathway and secretion of deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxin (a virulence factor) in Fusarium graminearum. Flippases are transmembrane lipid transporters and mediate a number of essential physiological steps of membrane trafficking, including vesicle budding, charging, and protein diffusion within the membrane. However, the roles of flippases in secondary metabolism remain unknown in filamentous fungi. Herein, we identified five flippases (FgDnfA, FgDnfB, FgDnfC1, FgDnfC2, and FgDnfD) in F. graminearum and established their specific and redundant functions in the development and pathogenicity of this phytopathogenic fungus. Our results demonstrate that FgDnfA is critical for normal vegetative growth while the other flippases are dispensable. FgDnfA and FgDnfD were found crucial for the fungal pathogenesis, and a remarkable reduction in DON production was observed in ?FgDNFA and ?FgDNFD. Deletion of the FgDNFB gene increased DON production to about 30 times that produced by the wild type. Further analysis showed that FgDnfA and FgDnfD have positive roles in the regulation of trichothecene (TRI) genes (TRI1, TRI4, TRI5, TRI6, TRI12, and TRI101) expression and toxisome reorganization, while FgDnfB acts as a negative regulator of DON synthesis. In addition, FgDnfB and FgDnfD have redundant functions in the regulation of phosphatidylcholine transport, and double deletion of FgDNFB and FgDNFD showed serious defects in fungal development, DON synthesis, and virulence. Collectively, our findings reveal the distinct and specific functions of flippase family members in F. graminearum and principally demonstrate that FgDnfA, FgDnfD, and FgDnfB have specific spatiotemporal roles during toxisome biogenesis.
Project description:P4-ATPases are lipid flippases that catalyze the transport of phospholipids to create membrane phospholipid asymmetry and to initiate the biogenesis of transport vesicles. Here we show, for the first time, that lipid flippases are essential to dampen the inflammatory response and to mediate the endotoxin-induced endocytic retrieval of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in human macrophages. Depletion of CDC50A, the ?-subunit that is crucial for the activity of multiple P4-ATPases, resulted in endotoxin-induced hypersecretion of proinflammatory cytokines, enhanced MAP kinase signaling and constitutive NF-?B activation. In addition, CDC50A-depleted THP-1 macrophages displayed reduced tolerance to endotoxin. Moreover, endotoxin-induced internalization of TLR4 was strongly reduced and coincided with impaired endosomal MyD88-independent signaling. The phenotype of CDC50A-depleted cells was also induced by separate knockdown of two P4-ATPases, namely ATP8B1 and ATP11A. We conclude that lipid flippases are novel elements of the innate immune response that are essential to attenuate the inflammatory response, possibly by mediating endotoxin-induced internalization of TLR4.
Project description:Limited exposure of aminophospholipids on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane is a fundamental feature of eukaryotic cells and is maintained by the action of inward-directed P-type ATPases ("flippases"). Yeast S. cerevisiae has five flippases (Dnf1, Dnf2, Dnf3, Drs2, and Neo1), but their regulation is poorly understood. Two paralogous plasma membrane-associated protein kinases, Pkh1 and Pkh2 (orthologs of mammalian PDK1), are required for viability of S. cerevisiae cells because they activate several essential downstream protein kinases by phosphorylating a critical Thr in their activation loops. Two such targets are related protein kinases Ypk1 and Ypk2 (orthologs of mammalian SGK1), which have been implicated in multiple processes, including endocytosis and coupling of membrane expansion to cell wall remodeling, but the downstream effector(s) of these kinases have been elusive. Here we show that a physiologically relevant substrate of Ypk1 is another protein kinase, Fpk1, a known flippase activator. We show that Ypk1 phosphorylates and thereby down-regulates Fpk1, and further that a complex sphingolipid counteracts the down-regulation of Fpk1 by Ypk1. Our findings delineate a unique regulatory mechanism for imposing a balance between sphingolipid content and aminophospholipid asymmetry in eukaryotic plasma membranes.