Towards precision medicine for pain: diagnostic biomarkers and repurposed drugs.
ABSTRACT: We endeavored to identify objective blood biomarkers for pain, a subjective sensation with a biological basis, using a stepwise discovery, prioritization, validation, and testing in independent cohorts design. We studied psychiatric patients, a high risk group for co-morbid pain disorders and increased perception of pain. For discovery, we used a powerful within-subject longitudinal design. We were successful in identifying blood gene expression biomarkers that were predictive of pain state, and of future emergency department (ED) visits for pain, more so when personalized by gender and diagnosis. MFAP3, which had no prior evidence in the literature for involvement in pain, had the most robust empirical evidence from our discovery and validation steps, and was a strong predictor for pain in the independent cohorts, particularly in females and males with PTSD. Other biomarkers with best overall convergent functional evidence for involvement in pain were GNG7, CNTN1, LY9, CCDC144B, and GBP1. Some of the individual biomarkers identified are targets of existing drugs. Moreover, the biomarker gene expression signatures were used for bioinformatic drug repurposing analyses, yielding leads for possible new drug candidates such as SC-560 (an NSAID), and amoxapine (an antidepressant), as well as natural compounds such as pyridoxine (vitamin B6), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), and apigenin (a plant flavonoid). Our work may help mitigate the diagnostic and treatment dilemmas that have contributed to the current opioid epidemic.
Project description:We endeavored to identify objective blood biomarkers for pain, a subjective sensation with a biological basis, using a stepwise discovery, prioritization, validation, and testing in independent cohorts design. We studied psychiatric patients, a high risk group for co-morbid pain disorders and increased perception of pain. For discovery, we used a powerful withinsubject longitudinal design. We were successful in identifying blood gene expression biomarkers that were predictive of pain state, and of future emergency department (ED) visits for pain, more so when personalized by gender and diagnosis. Overall design: First, we used a powerful longitudinal within-subject design in individuals with psychiatric disorders to discover blood gene expression changes between self-reported low pain and high pain states. Second, we prioritized the list of candidate biomarkers with a Bayesian-like Convergent Functional Genomics approach, comprehensively integrating previous published human and animal model evidence in the field for involvement in pain, and directly citing it. Third, we validated our top biomarkers from discovery and prioritization in an independent cohort of psychiatric subjects with a clinical diagnosis of a pain disorder and with high scores on pain severity and functional impact ratings. Fourth, we tested if the candidate biomarkers from the first three steps are able to predict high pain state, and future emergency department (ED) visits for pain, in another independent cohort of psychiatric subjects. We tested the biomarkers in all subjects in the independent test cohort, as well as in a more personalized fashion by gender and psychiatric diagnosis, showing increased accuracy with the personalized approach. Fifth, we assessed if our biomarkers have evidence for involvement in other psychiatric and related disorders, as well as analyzed the biological pathways and networks they are involved in. Sixth, we bioinformatically identified which of our individual biomarkers are modulated by existing drugs and thus can be used for pharmacogenomic population stratification and measuring of response to treatment, as well as used the gene expression signatures of the top predictive biomarkers to interrogate the Connectivity Map database from Broad/MIT to identify drugs and natural compounds that could be repurposed for treating pain.
Project description:PURPOSE:To investigate the absorption of synthetic cyanocobalamin and natural occurring hydroxocobalamin in populations with low and normal cobalamin (vitamin B12) status. METHODS:We included adults with low (n?=?59) and normal (n?=?42) cobalamin status and measured the change in serum holotranscobalamin (?holoTC) before and after 2 day administration of different doses of cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin (CobaSorb test). In the low status group, the test was performed using a cross-over design with identical doses of both cobalamin forms (1.5, 3, and 6 µg, respectively). In the normal status group, the test was performed with either 3, 6, and 9 µg cyanocobalamin (n?=?28), or with 9 µg cyanocobalamin and 9 µg hydroxocobalamin (n?=?14). RESULTS:In both groups, median ?holoTC (pmol/L) was higher after intake of cyanocobalamin compared to (hydroxocobalamin) [low status: 1.5 µg: 19 (6); 3 µg: 23 (7); 6 µg: 30 (14); normal status: 9 µg: 30 (13) pmol/L]. Independent of B12 form, no difference was observed in ?holoTC between those receiving 1.5 and 3 µg in the low status group or 6 and 9 µg cyanocobalamin in the normal status group. However, in both groups, administration of 6 µg cobalamin resulted in a significant higher ?holoTC than did 3 µg [low status: p?=?0.02 (0.009) for cyanocobalamin (hydroxocobalamin); normal status: p?=?0.03 for cyanocobalamin]. CONCLUSIONS:Administration of cyanocobalamin resulted in a more than twofold increase in holoTC in comparison with hydroxocobalamin. The absorptive capacity was reached only by doses above 3 µg cobalamin. Our results underscore the importance of using the same form of cobalamin when comparing uptake under different conditions. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY NUMBER:NCT02832726 at https://clinicaltrials.gov and 2016/09/012147 at Clinical Trials Registry India.
Project description:Contactin 1 (CNTN1) is a new oncogenic protein of prostate cancer (PC); its impact on PC remains incompletely understood. We observed CNTN1 upregulation in LNCaP cell-derived castration-resistant PCs (CRPC) and CNTN1-mediated enhancement of LNCaP cell proliferation. CNTN1 overexpression in LNCaP cells resulted in enrichment of the CREIGHTON_ENDOCRINE_THERAPY_RESISTANCE_3 gene set that facilitates endocrine resistance in breast cancer. The leading-edge (LE) genes (<i>n</i> = 10) of this enrichment consist of four genes with limited knowledge on PC and six genes novel to PC. These LE genes display differential expression during PC initiation, metastatic progression, and CRPC development, and they predict PC relapse following curative therapies at hazard ratio (HR) 2.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.96-3.77, and <i>p</i> = 1.77 × 10<sup>-9</sup> in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) PanCancer cohort (<i>n</i> = 492) and HR 2.72, 95% CI 1.84-4.01, and <i>p</i> = 4.99 × 10<sup>-7</sup> in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) cohort (<i>n</i> = 140). The LE gene panel classifies high-, moderate-, and low-risk of PC relapse in both cohorts. Additionally, the gene panel robustly predicts poor overall survival in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC, <i>p</i> = 1.13 × 10<sup>-11</sup>), consistent with ccRCC and PC both being urogenital cancers. Collectively, we report multiple CNTN1-related genes relevant to PC and their biomarker values in predicting PC relapse.
Project description:GNG7 (G protein ? subunit 7), a subunit of heterotrimeric G protein, is ubiquitously expressed in multiple tissues but is down-regulated in various cancers. Its expression could reduce tumor volume in mice but the mechanism was not clear. Here we show that GNG7 overexpression inhibits cell proliferation and increases cell death. GNG7 level is cell cycle-dependent and it regulates actin cytoskeleton and cell division. In addition, GNG7 is an autophagy inducer, which is the first reported G? protein involved in autophagy. GNG7 knockdown reduces Rapamycin and starvation-induced autophagy. Further analysis reveals that GNG7 inhibits MTOR in cells, a central regulator for autophagy and cell proliferation. In conclusion, GNG7 inhibits MTOR pathway to induce autophagy and cell death, inhibits cell division by regulating actin cytoskeleton. These combined effects lead to the antitumor capacity of GNG7.
Project description:1. The disturbance in 2-methylmalonate metabolism resulting in its increased urinary excretion observed in vitamin E deficiency is not caused by increased formation of methylmalonate from propionate as is evident from the activity of the enzyme propionyl-CoA carboxylase (EC 188.8.131.52), but can be traced to an impairment in the conversion of methylmalonate into succinate by the vitamin B12-requiring enzyme, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (EC 184.108.40.206) in rat liver. 2. It is shown that the decrease in the activity of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase in vitamin E deficiency is not a consequence of a secondary vitamin B12 deficiency. Peroxidative destruction of the coenzyme in vitamin E deficiency was also ruled out. The results suggest a defect in the conversion of cyanocobalamin into its coenzyme form.
Project description:Marginal zone (MZ) and B1 B cells have the capacity to respond to foreign Ags more rapidly than conventional B cells, providing early immune responses to blood-borne pathogens. Ly9 (CD229, SLAMF3), a member of the signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family receptors, has been implicated in the development and function of innate T lymphocytes. In this article, we provide evidence that in Ly9-deficient mice splenic transitional 1, MZ, and B1a B cells are markedly expanded, whereas development of B lymphocytes in bone marrow is unaltered. Consistent with an increased number of these B cell subsets, we detected elevated levels of IgG3 natural Abs and a striking increase of T-independent type II Abs after immunization with 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl-Ficoll in the serum of Ly9-deficient mice. The notion that Ly9 could be a negative regulator of innate-like B cell responses was supported by the observation that administering an mAb directed against Ly9 to wild-type mice selectively eliminated splenic MZ B cells and significantly reduced the numbers of B1 and transitional 1 B cells. In addition, Ly9 mAb dramatically diminished in vivo humoral responses and caused a selective downregulation of the CD19/CD21/CD81 complex on B cells and concomitantly an impaired B cell survival and activation in an Fc-independent manner. We conclude that altered signaling caused by the absence of Ly9 or induced by anti-Ly9 may negatively regulate development and function of innate-like B cells by modulating B cell activation thresholds. The results suggest that Ly9 could serve as a novel target for the treatment of B cell-related diseases.
Project description:Irinotecan (CPT-11) induced diarrhea occurs frequently in patients with cancer and limits its usage. Bacteria ?-glucuronidase (GUS) enzymes in intestines convert the nontoxic metabolite of CPT-11, SN-38G, to toxic SN-38, and finally lead to damage of intestinal epithelial cells and diarrhea. We previously reported amoxapine as a potent GUS inhibitor in vitro. To further understand the molecular mechanism of amoxapine and its potential for treatment of CPT-11-induced diarrhea, we studied the binding modes of amoxapine and its metabolites by docking and molecular dynamics simulation, and tested the in vivo efficacy on mice in combination with CPT-11.The binding of amoxapine, its metabolites, 7-hydroxyamoxapine and 8-hydroxyamoxapine, and a control drug loxapine with GUS was explored by computational protocols. The in vitro potencies of metabolites were measured by Escherichia coli GUS enzyme and cell-based assay. Low-dosage daily oral administration was designed to use along with CPT-11 to treat tumor-bearing mice.Computational modeling results indicated that amoxapine and its metabolites bound in the active site of GUS and satisfied critical pharmacophore features: aromatic features near bacterial loop residue F365' and hydrogen bond toward E413. Amoxapine and its metabolites were demonstrated as potent in vitro. Administration of low dosages of amoxapine with CPT-11 in mice achieved significant suppression of diarrhea and reduced tumor growth.Amoxapine has great clinical potential to be rapidly translated to human subjects for irinotecan-induced diarrhea.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Vitamin D is crucial for maintenance of musculoskeletal health, and might also have a role in extraskeletal tissues. Determinants of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations include sun exposure and diet, but high heritability suggests that genetic factors could also play a part. We aimed to identify common genetic variants affecting vitamin D concentrations and risk of insufficiency. METHODS:We undertook a genome-wide association study of 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in 33 996 individuals of European descent from 15 cohorts. Five epidemiological cohorts were designated as discovery cohorts (n=16 125), five as in-silico replication cohorts (n=9367), and five as de-novo replication cohorts (n=8504). 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were measured by radioimmunoassay, chemiluminescent assay, ELISA, or mass spectrometry. Vitamin D insufficiency was defined as concentrations lower than 75 nmol/L or 50 nmol/L. We combined results of genome-wide analyses across cohorts using Z-score-weighted meta-analysis. Genotype scores were constructed for confirmed variants. FINDINGS:Variants at three loci reached genome-wide significance in discovery cohorts for association with 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and were confirmed in replication cohorts: 4p12 (overall p=1.9x10(-109) for rs2282679, in GC); 11q12 (p=2.1x10(-27) for rs12785878, near DHCR7); and 11p15 (p=3.3x10(-20) for rs10741657, near CYP2R1). Variants at an additional locus (20q13, CYP24A1) were genome-wide significant in the pooled sample (p=6.0x10(-10) for rs6013897). Participants with a genotype score (combining the three confirmed variants) in the highest quartile were at increased risk of having 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations lower than 75 nmol/L (OR 2.47, 95% CI 2.20-2.78, p=2.3x10(-48)) or lower than 50 nmol/L (1.92, 1.70-2.16, p=1.0x10(-26)) compared with those in the lowest quartile. INTERPRETATION:Variants near genes involved in cholesterol synthesis, hydroxylation, and vitamin D transport affect vitamin D status. Genetic variation at these loci identifies individuals who have substantially raised risk of vitamin D insufficiency. FUNDING:Full funding sources listed at end of paper (see Acknowledgments).
Project description:Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is a common urinary neoplasm, looking for useful candidates to establish scientific foundation for the therapy of ccRCC is urgent. We downloaded genomic profiles of GSE781, GSE6244, GSE53757, and GSE66271 from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. GEO2R was used to analyze the derivative genes, while hub genes were screened by protein-protein interactions and cytoscape. Further, overall survival, gene methylation, gene mutation, and gene expression were all analyzed using bioinformatics tools. Colony formation and cell-cycle assay were used to detect the biological function of GNG7 in vitro. We found that GNG7 was downregulated in ccRCC tissues and negatively associated with overall survival in ccRCC patients. We also found that promoter methylation and frequent gene mutation were responsible for GNG7 gene suppression. GNG7 low expression was related to upregulation of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 and downregulation of disabled homolog 2-interacting protein. Further, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis results showed that mTOR1, E2F, G2M, and MYC pathways were all significantly altered in response to GNG7 low expression. In vitro, A498 and 786-O cells in which GNG7 expression was silenced, exhibited a lower G1 phase when compared to the negative control cells. Taken together, our findings suggest that GNG7 is a tumor suppressor gene in ccRCC progression and represents a novel candidate for ccRCC treatment.
Project description:Signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family receptors and the specific adapter signaling lymphocytic activation molecule-associated protein modulate the development of innate-like lymphocytes. In this study, we show that the thymus of Ly9-deficient mice contains an expanded population of CD8 single-positive cells with the characteristic phenotype of innate memory-like CD8(+) T cells. Moreover, the proportion of these innate CD8(+) T cells increased dramatically postinfection with mouse CMV. Gene expression profiling of Ly9-deficient mice thymi showed a significant upregulation of IL-4 and promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger. Analyses of Ly9(-/-)IL4ra(-/-) double-deficient mice revealed that IL-4 was needed to generate the thymic innate CD8(+) T cell subset. Furthermore, increased numbers of invariant NKT cells were detected in Ly9-deficient thymi. In wild-type mice, IL-4 levels induced by ?-galactosylceramide injection could be inhibited by a mAb against Ly9. Thus, Ly9 plays a unique role as an inhibitory cell surface receptor regulating the size of the thymic innate CD8(+) T cell pool and the development of invariant NKT cells.