NPY1R-targeted peptide-mediated delivery of a dual PPAR?/? agonist to adipocytes enhances adipogenesis and prevents diabetes progression.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:PPAR?/? dual agonists have been in clinical development for the treatment of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. However, severe adverse side effects led to complications in clinical trials. As most of the beneficial effects rely on the compound activity in adipocytes, the selective targeting of this cell type is a cutting-edge strategy to develop safe anti-diabetic drugs. The goal of this study was to strengthen the adipocyte-specific uptake of the PPAR?/? agonist tesaglitazar via NPY1R-mediated internalization. METHODS:NPY1R-preferring peptide tesaglitazar-[F7, P34]-NPY (tesa-NPY) was synthesized by a combination of automated SPPS and manual couplings. Following molecular and functional analyses for proof of concept, cell culture experiments were conducted to monitor the effects on adipogenesis. Mice treated with peptide drug conjugates or vehicle either by gavage or intraperitoneal injection were characterized phenotypically and metabolically. Histological analysis and transcriptional profiling of the adipose tissue were performed. RESULTS:In vitro studies revealed that the tesaglitazar-[F7, P34]-NPY conjugate selectively activates PPAR? in NPY1R-expressing cells and enhances adipocyte differentiation and adiponectin expression in adipocyte precursor cells. In vivo studies using db/db mice demonstrated that the anti-diabetic activity of the peptide conjugate is as efficient as that of systemically administered tesaglitazar. Additionally, tesa-NPY induces adipocyte differentiation in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:The use of the tesaglitazar-[F7, P34]-NPY conjugate is a promising strategy to apply the beneficial PPAR?/? effects in adipocytes while potentially omitting adverse effects in other tissues.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Targeting G protein-coupled receptors on the surface of cancer cells with peptide ligands is a promising concept for the selective tumor delivery of therapeutically active cargos, including radiometals for targeted radionuclide therapy (TRT). Recently, the radiolanthanide terbium-161 (161Tb) gained significant interest for TRT application, since it decays with medium-energy β-radiation but also emits a significant amount of conversion and Auger electrons with short tissue penetration range. The therapeutic efficiency of radiometals emitting Auger electrons, like 161Tb, can therefore be highly boosted by an additional subcellular delivery into the nucleus, in order to facilitate maximum dose deposition to the DNA. In this study, we describe the design of a multifunctional, radiolabeled neuropeptide-Y (NPY) conjugate, to address radiolanthanides to the nucleus of cells naturally overexpressing the human Y1 receptor (hY1R). By using solid-phase peptide synthesis, the hY1R-preferring [F7,P34]-NPY was modified with a fatty acid, a cathepsin B-cleavable linker, followed by a nuclear localization sequence (NLS), and a DOTA chelator (compound pb12). In this proof-of-concept study, labeling was performed with either native terbium-159 (natTb), as surrogate for 161Tb, or with indium-111 (111In). RESULTS:[natTb]Tb-pb12 showed a preserved high binding affinity to endogenous hY1R on MCF-7 cells and was able to induce receptor activation and internalization similar to the hY1R-preferring [F7,P34]-NPY. Specific internalization of the 111In-labeled conjugate into MCF-7 cells was observed, and importantly, time-dependent nuclear uptake of 111In was demonstrated. Study of metabolic stability showed that the peptide is insufficiently stable in human plasma. This was confirmed by injection of [111In]In-pb12 in nude mice bearing MCF-7 xenograft which showed specific uptake only at very early time point. CONCLUSION:The multifunctional NPY conjugate with a releasable DOTA-NLS unit represents a promising concept for enhanced TRT with Auger electron-emitting radiolanthanides. Our research is now focusing on improving the reported concept with respect to the poor plasmatic stability of this promising radiopeptide.
Project description:Tubugi-1 is a small cytotoxic peptide with picomolar cytotoxicity. To improve its cancer cell targeting, it was conjugated using a universal, modular disulfide derivative. This allowed conjugation to a neuropeptide-Y (NPY)-inspired peptide [K4(C-?A-),F7,L17,P34]-hNPY, acting as NPY Y1 receptor (hY1R)-targeting peptide, to form a tubugi-1-SS-NPY disulfide-linked conjugate. The cytotoxic impacts of the novel tubugi-1-NPY peptide-toxin conjugate, as well as of free tubugi-1, and tubugi-1 bearing the thiol spacer (liberated from tubugi-1-NPY conjugate), and native tubulysin A as reference were investigated by in vitro cell viability and proliferation screenings. The tumor cell lines HT-29, Colo320 (both colon cancer), PC-3 (prostate cancer), and in conjunction with RT-qPCR analyses of the hY1R expression, the cell lines SK-N-MC (Ewing`s sarcoma), MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-231 (both breast cancer) and 184B5 (normal breast; chemically transformed) were investigated. As hoped, the toxicity of tubugi-1 was masked, with IC50 values decreased by ca. 1,000-fold compared to the free toxin. Due to intracellular linker cleavage, the cytotoxic potency of the liberated tubugi-1 that, however, still bears the thiol spacer (tubugi-1-SH) was restored and up to 10-fold higher compared to the entire peptide-toxin conjugate. The conjugate shows toxic selectivity to tumor cell lines overexpressing the hY1R receptor subtype like, e.g., the hard to treat triple-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-468 cells.
Project description:Several peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists reduce voluntary alcohol consumption in rodent models, and evidence suggests that PPAR? and ? subunits play an important role in this effect. To define the subunit dependence of this action, we tested selective PPAR? and ?/? agonists and antagonists in addition to null mutant mice lacking PPAR?.The effects of fenofibrate (PPAR? agonist) and tesaglitazar (PPAR?/? agonist) on continuous and intermittent 2-bottle choice drinking tests were examined in male and female wild-type mice and in male mice lacking PPAR?. We compared the ability of MK886 (PPAR? antagonist) and GW9662 (PPAR? antagonist) to inhibit the effects of fenofibrate and tesaglitazar in wild-type mice. The estrogen receptor antagonist, tamoxifen, can inhibit PPAR?-dependent transcription and was also studied in male and female mice.Fenofibrate and tesaglitazar reduced ethanol (EtOH) consumption and preference in wild-type mice, but these effects were not observed in mice lacking PPAR?. MK886 inhibited the action of fenofibrate, but not tesaglitazer, while GW9662 did not inhibit either agonist. The PPAR agonists were more effective in male mice compared to females, and drinking in the continuous 2-bottle choice test was more sensitive to fenofibrate and tesaglitazar compared to drinking in the intermittent access test. Tamoxifen also reduced EtOH consumption in male mice and this action was inhibited by GW9662, but not MK886, suggesting that it acts by activation of PPAR?.Our study using selective PPAR agonists, antagonists, and null mutant mice indicates a key role for PPAR? in mediating reduced EtOH consumption by fenofibrate and tesaglitazar.
Project description:The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha and gamma (PPAR?/?) play important roles in the regulation of energy, lipid and glucose metabolism. Drugs targeting these proteins such as Fibrates and TZDs have both shown beneficial cardiovascular effects in clinical trials, which together with their complementary action on glucose and lipid metabolism spurred the development of PPAR?/? dual-agonists (Glitazars) for the treatment of type-2 diabetes (T2D) and dyslipidemia. While effectively improving glucose and lipid metabolism in clinical trials, the development of many Glitazars was terminated due to unfavorable effects on the cardiovascular and/or renal system. Here we evaluate a single molecule conjugate of the PPAR?/? dual-agonist Tesaglitazar covalently attached to the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA). We hypothesized that GLP-1-mediated delivery of Tesaglitazar as well as synergism between the two agents would lead to overal beneficial effects and decrease the TZD risk profile.
Project description:Neuropeptide Y (NPY) signaling via limbic NPY1 and 2 receptors (NPY1R and NPY2R, respectively) is known to modulate binge-like ethanol consumption in rodents. However, the role of NPY signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which provides top-down modulation of the limbic system, is unknown. Here, we used "drinking-in-the-dark" (DID) procedures in C57BL/6J mice to address this gap in the literature. First, the impact of DID on NPY immunoreactivity (IR) was assessed in the mPFC. Next, the role of NPY1R and NPY2R signaling in the mPFC on ethanol consumption was evaluated through site-directed pharmacology. Chemogenetic inhibition of NPY1R+ neurons in the mPFC was performed to further evaluate the role of this population. To determine the potential role of NPY1R+ neurons projecting from the mPFC to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) this efferent population was selectively silenced. Three, 4-day cycles of DID reduced NPY IR in the mPFC. Intra-mPFC activation of NPY1R and antagonism of NPY2R resulted in decreased binge-like ethanol intake. Silencing of mPFC NPY1R+ neurons overall, and specifically NPY1R+ neurons projecting to the BLA, significantly reduced binge-like ethanol intake. We provide novel evidence that (1) binge-like ethanol intake reduces NPY levels in the mPFC; (2) activation of NPY1R or blockade of NPY2R reduces binge-like ethanol intake; and (3) chemogenetic inhibition of NPY1R+ neurons in the mPFC and NPY1R+ mPFC neurons projecting to the BLA blunts binge-like drinking. These observations provide the first direct evidence that NPY signaling in the mPFC modulates binge-like ethanol consumption.
Project description:Neuropeptide Y (NPY) plays an important role in stress, anxiety, obesity, and energy homeostasis via activation of NPY-Y1 receptors (Y1Rs) in the brain. However, global knockout of the Npy1r gene has low or no impact on anxiety and body weight. To uncover the role of limbic Y1Rs, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the inactivation of the Npy1r gene was restricted to excitatory neurons of the forebrain, starting from juvenile stages (Npy1r(rfb)). Npy1r(rfb) mice exhibited increased anxiety and reduced body weight, less adipose tissue, and lower serum leptin levels. Npy1r(rfb) mutants also had a hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, as indicated by higher peripheral corticosterone and higher density of NPY immunoreactive fibers and corticotropin releasing hormone immunoreactive cell bodies in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Importantly, through fostering experiments, we determined that differences in phenotype between Npy1r(rfb) and Npy1r(2lox) mice became apparent when both genotypes were raised by FVB/J but not by C57BL/6J dams, suggesting that limbic Y1Rs are key targets of maternal care-induced programming of anxiety and energy homeostasis.
Project description:In the accompanying article, we showed that activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR?) signaling by fenofibrate and tesaglitazar decreases ethanol (EtOH) consumption in mice. In this study, we determined the role of these PPAR agonists in EtOH-related behaviors and other actions that may be important in regulating EtOH consumption.The effects of fenofibrate (150 mg/kg) and tesaglitazar (1.5 mg/kg) were examined on the following responses in male and female C57BL/6J (B6) and B6 × 129S4 mice: preference for saccharin, EtOH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP), conditioned taste aversion (CTA), loss of righting reflex, and withdrawal, acoustic startle reflex, response to novelty, and EtOH clearance. Because the B6 inbred strain usually displays weak EtOH-induced CPP and weak EtOH-induced acute withdrawal, B6 × 129S4 mice were also studied.Fenofibrate and tesaglitazar decreased the novelty response and increased acute EtOH withdrawal severity, and fenofibrate increased EtOH-induced CTA. Two important factors for EtOH consumption (saccharin preference and EtOH-induced CPP) were not altered by fenofibrate or tesaglitazar. EtOH clearance was increased by both fenofibrate and tesaglitazar. Response to novelty, acute withdrawal, and EtOH clearance show sex differences and could contribute to the reduced EtOH consumption following fenofibrate administration.These studies indicate the complexity of EtOH-dependent and EtOH-independent behaviors that are altered by PPAR agonists and provide evidence for novel behavioral actions of these drugs that may contribute to PPAR-mediated effects on alcohol drinking.
Project description:Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an abundant neuropeptide in the mammalian central and peripheral nervous systems. Transgenic mice overexpressing NPY in noradrenergic neurons have increased level of hepatic triglycerides, fatty acids and cholesterol, which contributed to the development of hepatosteatosis. However, the roles of NPY in the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the expression and secretion of NPY in human immortalized HSC LX-2 cells and the regulatory function of NPY on the fibrogenic response in LX-2 cells, to explore the potential association between NPY and LX-2 activation. The results showed an increase in the expression and secretion of NPY(1-36) in activated LX-2 cells. Both endogenous and exogenous NPY(1-36) induced the phosphorylation of mTOR, p70S6K, and 4EBP1 and promoted the fibrogenic response via NPY Y1 receptor subtype (NPY1R), as these responses were blocked by either an NPY1R antagonist (BIBP3226) or NPY1R knockdown. Moreover, NPY(1-36) serum levels were increased in patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and presented a positive relationship with MELD scores in LC patients. These findings suggest that immortalized HSCs LX-2 have the potential to produce NPY(1-36). High serum levels of NPY(1-36) is correlated with hepatic dysfunction in cirrhotic patients.
Project description:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear hormone receptors that act as ligand-activated transcription factors. Although prescribed for dyslipidemia and type-II diabetes, PPAR agonists have demonstrated therapeutic properties for several brain disorders, including alcohol dependence. PPAR agonists decrease ethanol consumption and reduce withdrawal severity and susceptibility to stress-induced relapse in rodents. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms facilitating these properties have yet to be investigated and little is known about their effects in the brain. We tested three PPAR agonists in a continuous access two-bottle choice (2BC) drinking paradigm and found that tesaglitazar and fenofibrate decreased ethanol consumption in male C57BL/6J mice while bezafibrate did not. Hypothesizing that fenofibrate and tesaglitazar are causing brain gene expression changes that precipitate the reduction in ethanol drinking, we gave daily oral injections of fenofibrate, tesaglitazar and bezafibrate to mice for eight consecutive days and collected liver, prefrontal cortex and amygdala 24 hours after last injection. RNA was isolated and purified using MagMAX-96 Total RNA Isolation Kit. Biotinylated, amplified cRNA was generated using Illumina TotalPrep RNA Amplification Kit and hybridized to Illumina MouseWG-6 v2.0 Expression microarrays. Mice were divided into four groups (N=10 per group): fenofibrate, tesaglitazar, bezafibrate and saline. See summary and protocols for details.
Project description:Childhood malnutrition is a risk factor for mental disorders, such as major depression and anxiety. Evidence shows that similar early life adversities induce sex-dependent epigenetic reprogramming. However, little is known about how genes are specifically affected by early malnutrition and the implications for males and females respectively. One relevant target is neuropeptide Y (NPY), which regulates both stress and food-intake. We studied maternal low protein diet (LPD) during pregnancy/lactation in mice. Male, but not female, offspring of LPD mothers consistently displayed anxiety- and depression-like behaviors under acute stress. Transcriptome-wide analysis of the effects of acute stress in the amygdala, revealed a list of transcription factors affected by either sex or perinatal LPD. Among these immediate early genes (IEG), members of the Early growth response family (Egr1/2/4) were consistently upregulated by perinatal LPD in both sexes. EGR1 also bound the NPY receptor Y1 gene (Npy1r), which co-occurred with sex-specific effects of perinatal LPD on both Npy1r DNA-methylation and gene transcription. Our proposed pathway connecting early malnutrition, sex-independent regulatory changes in Egr1, and sex-specific epigenetic reprogramming of its effector gene, Npy1r, represents the first molecular evidence of how early life risk factors may generate sex-specific epigenetic effects relevant for mental disorders.