The Maxi-K (BK) Channel Antagonist Penitrem A as a Novel Breast Cancer-Targeted Therapeutic.
ABSTRACT: Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease with different molecular subtypes. The high conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (BK, Maxi-K channels) play an important role in the survival of some BC phenotypes, via membrane hyperpolarization and regulation of cell cycle. BK channels have been implicated in BC cell proliferation and invasion. Penitrems are indole diterpene alkaloids produced by various terrestrial and marine Penicillium species. Penitrem A (1) is a selective BK channel antagonist with reported antiproliferative and anti-invasive activities against multiple malignancies, including BC. This study reports the high expression of BK channel in different BC subtypes. In silico BK channel binding affinity correlates with the antiproliferative activities of selected penitrem analogs. 1 showed the best binding fitting at multiple BK channel crystal structures, targeting the calcium-sensing aspartic acid moieties at the calcium bowel and calcium binding sites. Further, 1 reduced the levels of BK channel expression and increased expression of TNF-α in different BC cell types. Penitrem A (1) induced G1 cell cycle arrest of BC cells, and induced upregulation of the arrest protein p27. Combination treatment of 1 with targeted anti-HER drugs resulted in synergistic antiproliferative activity, which was associated with reduced EGFR and HER2 receptor activation, as well as reduced active forms of AKT and STAT3. Collectively, the BK channel antagonists represented by penitrem A can be novel sensitizing, chemotherapeutics synergizing, and therapeutic agents for targeted BC therapy.
Project description:Penitrems are indole diterpene alkaloids best known for their BK channel inhibition and tremorgenic effects in mammals. In a previous study, penitrems A-F (1-5), their biosynthetic precursors, paspaline (6) and emindole SB (7), and two brominated penitrem analogs 8 and 9 demonstrated promising in vitro antiproliferative, antimigratory, and anti-invasive effects in the MTT (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231), wound-healing, and Cultrex BME cell invasion (MDA-MB-231) assays, respectively. The study herein reports the novel ability of penitrem A to suppress total ?-catenin levels in MDA-MB-231 mammary cancer cells. Nine new penitrem analogs (10-18) were semisynthetically prepared, in an attempt to identify pharmacophores correlated with BK channel inhibition and tremorgenicity of penitrems and decrease their toxicity. The degree of BK channel inhibition was assessed using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and in vivo tremorgenic EC?? was calculated using CD-1 male mice following an Up-and-Down Procedure (UDP). Although new analogs were generally less active than parent compound 1, some showed no BK channel inhibition or tremorgenicity and retained the ability of penitrem A (1) to suppress total ?-catenin levels in MDA-MB-231 cells. Paspaline (6) and emindole SB (7), both lacking BK channel inhibition and tremorgenicity, represent the simplest indole diterpene skeleton that retains the antiproliferative, antimigratory and total ?-catenin suppressing effects shown by the more complex penitrem A (1).
Project description:Marine-derived fungi have proven to be important sources of bioactive natural organohalides. The genus Penicillium is recognized as a rich source of chemically diverse bioactive secondary metabolites. This study reports the fermentation, isolation and identification of a marine-derived Penicillium species. Bioassay-guided fractionation afforded the indole diterpene alkaloids penitrems A, B, D, E and F as well as paspaline and emnidole SB (1-7). Supplementing the fermentation broth of the growing fungus with KBr afforded the new 6-bromopenitrem B (8) and the known 6-bromopenitrem E (9). These compounds showed good antiproliferative, antimigratory and anti-invasive properties against human breast cancer cells. Penitrem B also showed a good activity profile in the NCI-60 DTP human tumor cell line screen. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was used to assess the BK channel inhibitory activity and toxicity of select compounds. A pharmacophore model was generated to explain the structural relationships of 1-9 with respect to their antiproliferative activity against the breast cancer MCF-7 cells. The structurally less complex biosynthetic precursors, paspaline (6) and emindole SB (7), were identified as potential hits suitable for future studies.
Project description:Gliomas are morbid brain tumors that are extremely resistant to available chemotherapy and radiology treatments. Some studies have suggested that calcium-activated potassium channels contribute to the high proliferative potential of tumor cells, including gliomas. However, other publications demonstrated no role for these channels or even assigned them antitumorogenic properties. In this work we characterized the expression and functional contribution to proliferation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels in human glioblastoma cells. Quantitative RT-PCR detected transcripts for the big conductance (BK), intermediate conductance (IK1), and small conductance (SK2) K(+) channels in two glioblastoma-derived cell lines and a surgical sample of glioblastoma multiforme. Functional expression of BK and IK1 in U251 and U87 glioma cell lines and primary glioma cultures was verified using whole-cell electrophysiological recordings. Inhibitors of BK (paxilline and penitrem A) and IK1 channels (clotrimazole and TRAM-34) reduced U251 and U87 proliferation in an additive fashion, while the selective blocker of SK channels UCL1848 had no effect. However, the antiproliferative properties of BK and IK1 inhibitors were seen at concentrations that were higher than those necessary to inhibit channel activity. To verify specificity of pharmacological agents, we downregulated BK and IK1 channels in U251 cells using gene-specific siRNAs. Although siRNA knockdowns caused strong reductions in the BK and IK1 current densities, neither single nor double gene silencing significantly affected rates of proliferation. Taken together, these results suggest that Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels do not play a critical role in proliferation of glioma cells and that the effects of pharmacological inhibitors occur through their off-target actions.
Project description:Penitrem A (PA) is a food mycotoxin produced by several terrestrial and few marine <i>Penicillium</i> species. PA is a potent tremorgen through selective antagonism of the calcium-dependent potassium BK (Maxi-K) channels. Discovery of natural products that can prevent the toxic effects of PA is important for food safety. Astaxanthin (AST) is a marine natural xanthophyll carotenoid with documented antioxidant activity. Unlike other common antioxidants, AST can cross blood brain barriers (BBBs), inducing neuroprotective effects. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is polyunsaturated ?-3 fatty acid naturally occurring in fish and algae. DHA is essential for normal neurological and cellular development. This study evaluated the protective activity of AST and DHA against PA-induced toxicity, in vitro on Schwann cells CRL-2765 and in vivo in the worm <i>Caenorhbitidis elegans</i> and Sprague Dawley rat models. PA inhibited the viability of Schwann cells, with an IC<sub>50</sub> of 22.6 ?M. Dose-dependent treatments with 10-100 ?M DHA significantly reversed the PA toxicity at its IC<sub>50</sub> dose, and improved the survival of Schwann cells to 70.5%-98.8%. Similarly, dose-dependent treatments with 10-20 ?M AST reversed the PA toxicity at its IC<sub>50</sub> dose and raised these cells' survival to 61.7%-70.5%. BK channel inhibition in the nematode <i>C. elegans</i> is associated with abnormal reversal locomotion. DHA and AST counteracted the in vivo PA BK channel antagonistic activity in the <i>C. elegans</i> model. Rats fed a PA-contaminated diet showed high levels of glutamate (GLU), aspartate (ASP), and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), with observed necrosis or absence of Purkinjie neurons, typical of PA-induced neurotoxicity. Dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and norepinephrine (NE) levels were abnormal, Nitric Oxide (NO) and Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly increased, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) level in serum and brain homogenates was significantly decreased in PA-treated rats. DHA and AST treatments effectively counteracted the toxic effects of PA and normalized most biochemical parameters in rats. DHA and AST can be useful food additives to prevent and reverse PA food-induced toxicity.
Project description:Large conductance, Ca(2+)/voltage-sensitive K(+) channels (BK channels) are well characterized, but their physiological roles, often determined through pharmacological manipulation, are less clear. Iberiotoxin is considered the "gold standard" antagonist, but cost and membrane-impermeability limit its usefulness. Economical and membrane-permeable alternatives could facilitate the study of BK channels. Thus, we characterized the effect of penitrem A, a tremorigenic mycotoxin, on BK channels and demonstrate its utility for studying vascular function in vitro and in vivo. Whole-cell currents from human embryonic kidney 293 cells transfected with hSlo ? or ? + ?1 were blocked >95% by penitrem A (IC(50) 6.4 versus 64.4 nM; p < 0.05). Furthermore, penitrem A inhibited BK channels in inside-out and cell-attached patches, whereas iberiotoxin could not. Inhibitory effects of penitrem A on whole-cell K(+) currents were equivalent to iberiotoxin in canine coronary smooth muscle cells. As for specificity, penitrem A had no effect on native delayed rectifier K(+) currents, cloned voltage-dependent Kv1.5 channels, or native ATP-dependent K(ATP) current. Penitrem A enhanced the sensitivity to K(+)-induced contraction in canine coronary arteries by 23 ± 5% (p < 0.05) and increased the blood pressure response to phenylephrine in anesthetized mice by 36 ± 11% (p < 0.05). Our data indicate that penitrem A is a useful tool for studying the role of BK channels in vascular function and is practical for cell and tissue (in vitro) studies as well as anesthetized animal (in vivo) experiments.
Project description:Large conductance, Ca<sup>2+</sup>-activated K<sup>+</sup> (BK) channels control cerebrovascular tone; however, the regulatory processes influencing these channels remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying the enhancement of BK current in rat cerebral arteries by nitric oxide (NO) signaling. In isolated cerebral myocytes, BK current magnitude was reversibly increased by sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 100??M) and sensitive to the BK channel inhibitor, penitrem-A (100?nM). Fostriecin (30?nM), a protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) inhibitor, significantly prolonged the SNP-induced augmentation of BK current and a similar effect was produced by sildenafil (30?nM), a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. Using proximity ligation assay (PLA)-based co-immunostaining, BK channels were observed to co-localize with PP2A, PDE5, and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGKI) (spatial restriction?<?40?nm); cGKI co-localization increased following SNP exposure. SNP (10??M) reversibly inhibited myogenic tone in cannulated cerebral arteries, which was augmented by either fostriecin or sildenafil and inhibited by penitrem-A. Collectively, these data suggest that (1) cGKI, PDE5, and PP2A are compartmentalized with cerebrovascular BK channels and determine the extent of BK current augmentation by NO/cGMP signaling, and (2) the dynamic regulation of BK activity by co-localized signaling enzymes modulates NO-evoked dilation of cerebral resistance arteries.
Project description:Retinal vasoconstriction and reduced retinal blood flow precede the onset of diabetic retinopathy. The pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie increased retinal arteriolar tone during diabetes remain unclear. Normally, local Ca(2+) release events (Ca(2+)-sparks), trigger the activation of large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+)(BK)-channels which hyperpolarize and relax vascular smooth muscle cells, thereby causing vasodilatation. In the present study, we examined BK channel function in retinal vascular smooth muscle cells from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The BK channel inhibitor, Penitrem A, constricted nondiabetic retinal arterioles (pressurized to 70mmHg) by 28%. The BK current evoked by caffeine was dramatically reduced in retinal arterioles from diabetic animals even though caffeine-evoked [Ca(2+)](i) release was unaffected. Spontaneous BK currents were smaller in diabetic cells, but the amplitude of Ca(2+)-sparks was larger. The amplitudes of BK currents elicited by depolarizing voltage steps were similar in control and diabetic arterioles and mRNA expression of the pore-forming BKalpha subunit was unchanged. The Ca(2+)-sensitivity of single BK channels from diabetic retinal vascular smooth muscle cells was markedly reduced. The BKbeta1 subunit confers Ca(2+)-sensitivity to BK channel complexes and both transcript and protein levels for BKbeta1 were appreciably lower in diabetic retinal arterioles. The mean open times and the sensitivity of BK channels to tamoxifen were decreased in diabetic cells, consistent with a downregulation of BKbeta1 subunits. The potency of blockade by Pen A was lower for BK channels from diabetic animals. Thus, changes in the molecular composition of BK channels could account for retinal hypoperfusion in early diabetes, an idea having wider implications for the pathogenesis of diabetic hypertension.
Project description:Large-conductance voltage- and calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels are large-conductance calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels critical for neuronal excitability. Some neurons express so called fast-gated, type I BK channels. Other neurons express BK channels assembled with the accessory ?4 subunit conferring slow gating of type II BK channels. However, it is not clear how protein phosphorylation modulates these two distinct BK channel types. Using ?4-knockout mice, we compared fast- or slow-gated BK channels in response to changes in phosphorylation status of hippocampus dentate gyrus granule neurons. We utilized the selective PP2A/PP4 phosphatase inhibitor Fostriecin to study changes in action potential shape and firing properties of the neurons. In ?4-knockout neurons, Fostriecin increases BK current, speeds up BK channel activation and reduces action potential amplitudes. Fostriecin increases spiking during early components of an action potential train. In contrast, inhibition of BK channels through ?4 in wild-type neurons or by the BK channel inhibitor Paxilline opposes Fostriecin effects. Voltage clamp recordings of neurons reveal that Fostriecin increases both calcium and BK currents. However, Fostriecin does not activate BK ? channels in transfected HEK293 cells lacking calcium channels. In summary, these results suggest that fast-gating, type I BK channels lacking ?4 can increase neuronal excitability in response to reduced phosphatase activity and activation of calcium channels. By opposing BK channel activation, the ?4 subunit plays an important role in moderating firing frequency regardless of changes in phosphorylation status.
Project description:Glioma cells prominently express a unique splice variant of a large conductance, calcium-activated potassium channel (BK channel). These channels transduce changes in intracellular calcium to changes of K(+) conductance in the cells and have been implicated in growth control of normal and malignant cells. The Ca(2+) increase that facilitates channel activation is thought to occur via activation of intracellular calcium release pathways or influx of calcium through Ca(2+)-permeable ion channels. We show here that BK channel activation involves the activation of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IP(3)R), which localize near BK channels in specialized membrane domains called lipid rafts. Disruption of lipid rafts with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin disrupts the functional association of BK channel and calcium source resulting in a >50% reduction in K(+) conductance mediated by BK channels. The reduction of BK current by lipid raft disruption was overcome by the global elevation of intracellular calcium through inclusion of 750 nm Ca(2+) in the pipette solution, indicating that neither the calcium sensitivity of the channel nor their overall number was altered. Additionally, pretreatment of glioma cells with 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate to inhibit IP(3)Rs negated the effect of methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, providing further support that IP(3)Rs are the calcium source for BK channels. Taken together, these data suggest a privileged association of BK channels in lipid raft domains and provide evidence for a novel coupling of these Ca(2+)-sensitive channels to their second messenger source.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to manufacture plastics, including containers for food into which it may leach. High levels of exposure to this oestrogenic endocrine disruptor are associated with diabetes and heart disease. Oestrogen and oestrogen receptor modulators increase the activity of large conductance Ca(2+)/voltage-sensitive K(+) (Maxi-K; K(Ca)1.1) channels, but the effects of BPA on Maxi-K channels are unknown. We tested the hypothesis that BPA activates Maxi-K channels through a mechanism that depends upon the regulatory beta1 subunit.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>Patch-clamp recordings of Maxi-K channels were made in human and canine coronary smooth muscle cells as well as in AD-293 cells expressing pore-forming alpha or alpha plus beta1 subunits.<h4>Key results</h4>BPA (10 microM) activated an outward current in smooth muscle cells that was inhibited by penitrem A (1 microM), a Maxi-K blocker. BPA increased Maxi-K activity in inside-out patches from coronary smooth muscle, but had no effect on single channel conductance. In AD-293 cells with Maxi-K channels composed of alpha subunits alone, 10 microM BPA did not affect channel activity. When channels in AD-293 cells contained beta1 subunits, 10 microM BPA increased channel activity. Effects of BPA were rapid (<1 min) and reversible. A higher concentration of BPA (100 microM) increased Maxi-K current independent of the beta1 subunit.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>Our data indicate that BPA increased the activity of Maxi-K channels and may represent a basis for some potential toxicological effects.