The PERK Inhibitor GSK2606414 Enhances Reovirus Infection in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma via an ATF4-Dependent Mechanism.
ABSTRACT: Reovirus type 3 Dearing (reovirus) is a tumor-selective oncolytic virus currently under evaluation in clinical trials. Here, we report that the therapeutic efficacy of reovirus in head and neck squamous cell cancer can be enhanced by targeting the unfolded protein response (UPR) kinase, protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK). PERK inhibition by GSK2606414 increased reovirus efficacy in both 2D and 3D models in vitro, while perturbing the normal host cell response to reovirus-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. UPR reporter constructs were used for live-cell 3D spheroid imaging. Profiling of eIF2a-ATF4, IRE1a-XBP1, and ATF6 pathway activity revealed a context-dependent increase in eIF2a-ATF4 signaling due to GSK2606414. GSK2606414 blocked eIF2a-ATF4 signaling because of the canonical ER stress agent thapsigargin. In the context of reovirus infection, GSK2606414 induced eIF2a-ATF4 signaling. Knockdown of eIF2a kinases PERK, GCN2, and PKR revealed eIF2a-ATF4 reporter activity was dependent on either PERK or GCN2. Knockdown of ATF4 abrogated the GSK2606414-induced increase in reovirus protein levels, confirming eIF2a-ATF signaling as key to the observed phenotype. Our work identifies a novel approach to enhance the efficacy and replication of reovirus in a therapeutic setting.
Project description:Loss of protein folding homeostasis features many of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders. As coping mechanism to folding stress within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the unfolded protein response (UPR) comprises a set of signaling mechanisms that initiate a gene expression program to restore proteostasis, or when stress is chronic or overwhelming promote neuronal death. This fate-defining capacity of the UPR has been proposed to play a key role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, the several genetic or pharmacological attempts to explore the therapeutic potential of UPR modulation have produced conflicting observations. In order to establish the precise relationship between UPR signaling and neuronal death in ALS, we have developed a neuronal model where the toxicity of a familial ALS-causing allele (mutant G93A SOD1) and UPR activation can be longitudinally monitored in single neurons over the process of neurodegeneration by automated microscopy. Using fluorescent UPR reporters we established the temporal and causal relationship between UPR and neuronal death by Cox regression models. Pharmacological inhibition of discrete UPR processes allowed us to establish the contribution of PERK (PKR-like ER kinase) and IRE1 (inositol-requiring enzyme-1) mechanisms to neuronal fate. Importantly, inhibition of PERK signaling with its downstream inhibitor ISRIB, but not with the direct PERK kinase inhibitor GSK2606414, significantly enhanced the survival of G93A SOD1-expressing neurons. Characterization of the inhibitory properties of both drugs under ER stress revealed that in neurons (but not in glial cells) ISRIB overruled only part of the translational program imposed by PERK, relieving the general inhibition of translation, but maintaining the privileged translation of ATF4 (activating transcription factor 4) messenger RNA. Surprisingly, the fine-tuning of the PERK output in G93A SOD1-expressing neurons led to a reduction of IRE1-dependent signaling. Together, our findings identify ISRIB-mediated translational reprogramming as a new potential ALS therapy.
Project description:Due to increased immunoglobulin production and uncontrolled proliferation, multiple myeloma (MM) plasma cells develop a phenotype of deregulated unfolded protein response (UPR). The eIF2-alpha kinase 3 [EIF2?K3, protein kinase R (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK)], the third known sensor of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, is a serine-threonine kinase and, like the other two UPR-related proteins, i.e., IRE1 and ATF6, it is bound to the ER membrane. MM, like other tumors showing uncontrolled protein secretion, is highly dependent to UPR for survival; thus, inhibition of PERK can be an effective strategy to suppress growth of malignant plasma cells. Here, we have used GSK2606414, an ATP-competitive potent PERK inhibitor, and found significant anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects in a panel of MM cell lines. These effects were accompanied by the downregulation of key components of the PERK pathway as well as of other UPR elements. Consistently, PERK gene expression silencing significantly increased cell death in MM cells, highlighting the importance of PERK signaling in MM biology. Moreover, GSK2606414, in combination with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, exerted an additive toxic effect in MM cells. Overall, our data suggest that PERK inhibition could represent a novel combinatorial therapeutic approach in MM.
Project description:Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection induces autophagy and apoptosis. These cellular responses could be connected with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. It remains unknown if PCV2 induces ER stress and if autophagy or apoptosis is primary to PCV2 infection or secondary responses following ER stress. Here, we demonstrate that PCV2 triggered unfolded protein response (UPR) in PK-15 cells by activating the PERK/eIF2? pathway without concomitant activation of IRE1 or ATF6. Since ATF4 and CHOP were induced later than PERK/eIF2?, it is clear that persistent PCV2 infection could lead to selective activation of PERK via the PERK-eIF2?-ATF4-CHOP axis. Therefore, PERK activation could be part of the pro-apoptotic signaling via induced expression of CHOP by PCV2. Since PERK inhibition by GSK2606414 or RNA silencing or suppression of eIF2? dephosphorylation by salubrinal limited viral replication, we suppose that PCV2 deploys UPR to enhance its replication. Over-expression of GRP78 or treatment with tauroursodeoxycholic acid could enhance viral capsid expression and/or viral titers, indicating that these chaperones, endogenous or exogenous, could help correct folding of viral proteins. Our findings provide the first evidence that ER stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of PCV2 infection probably as part of autophagic and apoptotic responses.
Project description:Characterization of the molecular signaling pathways underlying protein synthesis-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity, such as late long-term potentiation (L-LTP), can provide insights not only into memory expression/maintenance under physiological conditions but also potential mechanisms associated with the pathogenesis of memory disorders. Here, we report in mice that L-LTP failure induced by the mammalian (mechanistic) target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor rapamycin is reversed by brain-specific genetic deletion of PKR-like ER kinase, PERK (PERK KO), a kinase for eukaryotic initiation factor 2? (eIF2?). In contrast, genetic removal of general control non-derepressible-2, GCN2 (GCN2 KO), another eIF2? kinase, or treatment of hippocampal slices with the PERK inhibitor GSK2606414, does not rescue rapamycin-induced L-LTP failure, suggesting mechanisms independent of eIF2? phosphorylation. Moreover, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) is significantly decreased in PERK KO mice but unaltered in GCN2 KO mice or slices treated with the PERK inhibitor. Reduction in eEF2 phosphorylation results in increased general protein synthesis, and thus could contribute to the mTORC1-independent L-LTP in PERK KO mice. We further performed experiments on mutant mice with genetic removal of eEF2K (eEF2K KO), the only known kinase for eEF2, and found that L-LTP in eEF2K KO mice is insensitive to rapamycin. These data, for the first time, connect reduction in PERK activity with the regulation of translation elongation in enabling L-LTP independent of mTORC1. Thus, our findings indicate previously unrecognized levels of complexity in the regulation of protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity. Read the Editorial Highlight for this article on page 119. Cover Image for this issue: doi: 10.1111/jnc.14185.
Project description:IRE1, PERK, and ATF6 are the three transducers of the mammalian canonical unfolded protein response (UPR). GSK2606414 is a potent inhibitor of PERK, while KIRA6 inhibits the kinase activity of IRE1. Both molecules are frequently used to probe the biological roles of the UPR in mammalian cells. In a direct binding assay, GSK2606414 bound to the cytoplasmic domain of KIT with dissociation constants (Kd) value of 664?±?294?nM whereas KIRA6 showed a Kd value of 10.8?±?2.9?µM. In silico docking studies confirmed a compact interaction of GSK2606414 and KIRA6 with KIT ATP binding pocket. In cultured cells, GSK2606414 inhibited KIT tyrosine kinase activity at nanomolar concentrations and in a PERK-independent manner. Moreover, in contrast to other KIT inhibitors, GSK2606414 enhanced KIT endocytosis and its lysosomal degradation. Although KIRA6 also inhibited KIT at nanomolar concentrations, it did not prompt KIT degradation, and rescued KIT from GSK2606414-mediated degradation. Consistent with KIT inhibition, nanomolar concentrations of GSK2606414 and KIRA6 were sufficient to induce cell death in a KIT signaling-dependent mast cell leukemia cell line. Our data show for the first time that KIT is a shared target for two seemingly unrelated UPR inhibitors at concentrations that overlap with PERK and IRE1 inhibition. Furthermore, these data underscore discrepancies between in vitro binding measurements of kinase inhibitors and inhibition of the tyrosine kinase receptors in living cells.
Project description:Under ER stress, PKR-like ER-resident kinase (PERK) phosphorylates translation initiation factor eIF2?, resulting in repression of global protein synthesis and concomitant upregulation of the translation of specific mRNAs such as activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4). This PERK function is important for cell survival under ER stress and poor nutrient conditions. However, mechanisms of the PERK signaling pathway are not thoroughly understood. Here we identify transducin (beta)-like 2 (TBL2) as a novel PERK-binding protein. We found that TBL2 is an ER-localized type-I transmembrane protein and preferentially binds to the phosphorylated form of PERK, but not another eIF2? kinase GCN2 or ER-resident kinase IRE1, under ER stress. Immunoprecipitation analysis using various deletion mutants revealed that TBL2 interacts with PERK via the N-terminus proximal region and also associates with eIF2? via the WD40 domain. In addition, TBL2 knockdown can lead to impaired ATF4 induction under ER stress or poor nutrient conditions such as glucose and oxygen deprivation. Consistently, TBL2 knockdown rendered cells vulnerable to stresses similarly to PERK knockdown. Thus, TBL2 serves as a potential regulator of the PERK pathway.
Project description:Obesity increases risk for liver toxicity by the anti-leukemic agent asparaginase, but the mechanism is unknown. Asparaginase activates the integrated stress response (ISR) via sensing amino acid depletion by the eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2) kinase GCN2. The goal of this work was to discern the impact of obesity, alone versus alongside genetic disruption of the ISR, on mechanisms of liver protection during chronic asparaginase exposure in mice. Following diet-induced obesity, biochemical analysis of livers revealed that asparaginase provoked hepatic steatosis that coincided with activation of another eIF2 kinase PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), a major ISR transducer to ER stress. Genetic loss of Gcn2 intensified hepatic PERK activation to asparaginase, yet surprisingly, mRNA levels of key ISR gene targets such as Atf5 and Trib3 failed to increase. Instead, mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signal transduction was unleashed, and this coincided with liver dysfunction reflected by a failure to maintain hydrogen sulfide production or apolipoprotein B100 (ApoB100) expression. In contrast, obese mice lacking hepatic activating transcription factor 4 (Atf4) showed an exaggerated ISR and greater loss of endogenous hydrogen sulfide but normal inhibition of mTORC1 and maintenance of ApoB100 during asparaginase exposure. In both genetic mouse models, expression and phosphorylation of Sestrin2, an ATF4 gene target, was increased by asparaginase, suggesting mTORC1 inhibition during asparaginase exposure is not driven via eIF2-ATF4-Sestrin2. In conclusion, obesity promotes a maladaptive ISR during asparaginase exposure. GCN2 functions to repress mTORC1 activity and maintain ApoB100 protein levels independently of Atf4 expression, whereas hydrogen sulfide production is promoted via GCN2-ATF4 pathway.
Project description:The Unfolded Protein Response pathway is a conserved signaling mechanism having important roles in cellular physiology and is perturbed accompanying disease. We previously identified the novel UPR target gene CHAC1, a direct target of ATF4, downstream of PERK-EIF2A and activated by the UPR pathway. CHAC1 enzyme directs catalysis of ?-linked glutamate bonds within specific molecular targets. CHAC1 is the first enzyme characterized that can catalyze intracellular glutathione degradation in eukaryotes, having implications for regulation of oxidative stress. DDIT3 (CHOP) is a terminal UPR transcription factor, regulated by ATF4 and an output promoting cell death signaling. Herein we examine the relationship of CHOP controlling CHAC1 transcription in humans and mice. We note parallel induction of CHOP and CHAC1 in human cells after agonist induced UPR. Expanding upon previous reports, we define transcriptional induction of CHAC1 in humans and mice driven by ATF4 through a synergistic relationship with conserved ATF/CRE and CARE DNA sequences of the CHAC1 promoter. Using this system, we also tested effects of CHOP on CHAC1 transcription, and binding at the CHAC1 ATF/CRE using IM-EMSA. These data indicate a novel inhibitory effect of CHOP on CHAC1 transcription, which was ablated in the absence of the ATF/CRE control element. While direct binding of ATF4 to CHAC1 promoter sequences was confirmed, binding of CHOP to the CHAC1 ATF/CRE was not evident at baseline or after UPR induction. These data reveal CHAC1 as a novel CHOP inhibited target gene, acting through an upstream ATF/CRE motif via an indirect mechanism.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein misfolding activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to help cells cope with ER stress. If ER homeostasis is not restored, UPR promotes cell death. The mechanisms of UPR-mediated cell death are poorly understood. The PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) arm of the UPR is implicated in ER stress-induced cell death, in part through up-regulation of proapoptotic CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP). Chop((-)/(-)) cells are partially resistant to ER stress-induced cell death, and CHOP overexpression alone does not induce cell death. These findings suggest that additional mechanisms regulate cell death downstream of PERK. Here we find dramatic suppression of antiapoptosis XIAP proteins in response to chronic ER stress. We find that PERK down-regulates XIAP synthesis through eIF2? and promotes XIAP degradation through ATF4. Of interest, PERK's down-regulation of XIAP occurs independently of CHOP activity. Loss of XIAP leads to increased cell death, whereas XIAP overexpression significantly enhances resistance to ER stress-induced cell death, even in the absence of CHOP. Our findings define a novel signaling circuit between PERK and XIAP that operates in parallel with PERK to CHOP induction to influence cell survival during ER stress. We propose a "two-hit" model of ER stress-induced cell death involving concomitant CHOP up-regulation and XIAP down-regulation both induced by PERK.
Project description:The hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 pathway can stimulate tumor cell migration and metastasis. Furthermore, hypoxic tumors are associated with a poor prognosis. Besides the HIF-1 pathway, the unfolded protein response (UPR) is also induced by hypoxic conditions. The PKR-like ER kinase (PERK)/activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4)-arm of the UPR induces expression of lysosomal-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3), a factor that has been linked to metastasis and poor prognosis in solid tumors. In this study the role of UPR-induced LAMP3 in hypoxia-mediated migration of breast cancer cells was examined.A number of in vitro metastasis models were used to study the migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells under hypoxic conditions. PERK, ATF4 and their downstream factor LAMP3 were knocked down to examine their role in cell migration. In addition, multicellular tumor spheroids were used to study the involvement of the tumor microenvironment in invasion.Using transwell assays, migration of different breast cancer cell lines was assessed. A direct correlation was found between cell migration and baseline LAMP3 expression. Furthermore, moderate hypoxia (1% O2) was found to be optimal in stimulating migration of MDA-MB-231 cells. siRNA mediated knockdown of PERK, ATF4 and LAMP3 reduced migration of cells under these conditions. Using gap closure assays, similar results were found. In a three-dimensional invasion assay into collagen, LAMP3 knockdown cells showed a diminished capacity to invade compared to control cells when collectively grown in multicellular spheroids.Thus, the PERK/ATF4/LAMP3-arm of the UPR is an additional pathway mediating hypoxia-induced breast cancer cell migration.