Project description:Hsp90a's vital role in tumour survival and progression, together with its highly inducible expression profile in gliomas and its absence in normal tissue and cell lines validates it as a therapeutic target for glioma. Hsp90a was downregulated using the post-transcriptional RNAi strategy (sihsp90a) and a post-translational inhibitor, the benzoquinone antibiotic 17-AAG. Glioblastoma U87-MG and normal human astrocyte SVGp12 were treated with sihsp90a, 17-AAG and concurrent sihsp90a/17-AAG (combined treatment). Both Hsp90a gene silencing and the protein inhibitor approaches resulted in a dramatic reduction in cell viability. Results showed that sihsp90a, 17-AAG and a combination of sihsp90a/17-AAG, reduced cell viability by 27%, 75% and 88% (p < 0.001), respectively, after 72 h. hsp90a mRNA copy numbers were downregulated by 65%, 90% and 99% after 72 h treatment with sihsp90a, 17-AAG and sihsp90a/17-AAG, respectively. The relationship between Hsp90a protein expression and its client Akt kinase activity levels were monitored following treatment with sihsp90a, 17-AAG and sihsp90a/17-AAG. Akt kinase activity was downregulated as a direct consequence of Hsp90a inhibition. Both Hsp90a and Akt kinase levels were significantly downregulated after 72 h. Although, 17-AAG when used as a single agent reduces the Hsp90a protein and the Akt kinase levels, the efficacy demonstrated by combinatorial treatment was found to be far more effective. Combination treatment reduced the Hsp90a protein and Akt kinase levels to 4.3% and 43%, respectively, after 72 h. hsp90a mRNA expression detected in SVGp12 was negligible compared to U87-MG, also, the combination treatment did not compromise the normal cell viability. Taking into account the role of Hsp90a in tumour progression and the involvement of Akt kinase in cell signalling and the anti-apoptotic pathways in tumours, this double targets treatment infers a novel therapeutic strategy.
Project description:Chemical tools to monitor drug-target engagement of endogenously expressed protein kinases are highly desirable for preclinical target validation in drug discovery. Here, we describe a chemical genetics strategy to selectively study target engagement of endogenous kinases. By substituting a serine residue into cysteine at the DFG-1 position in the ATP-binding pocket, we sensitize the non-receptor tyrosine kinase FES towards covalent labeling by a complementary fluorescent chemical probe. This mutation is introduced in the endogenous FES gene of HL-60 cells using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing. Leveraging the temporal and acute control offered by our strategy, we show that FES activity is dispensable for differentiation of HL-60 cells towards macrophages. Instead, FES plays a key role in neutrophil phagocytosis via SYK kinase activation. This chemical genetics strategy holds promise as a target validation method for kinases.
Project description:Mutations in the IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase gene have recently been shown to cause an autosomal recessive fatal Epstein Barr virus (EBV) associated lymphoproliferation. We report 3 cases from a single family who presented with EBV-positive B-cell proliferation diagnosed as Hodgkin's lymphoma. Single nucleotide polymorphism array-based genome-wide linkage analysis revealed IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase as a candidate gene for this disorder. All 3 patients harbored the same novel homozygous nonsense mutation C1764G which causes a premature stop-codon in the kinase domain. All cases were initially treated with chemotherapy. One patient remains in durable remission, the second patient subsequently developed severe hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis with multi-organ failure and died, and the third patient underwent a successful allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase deficiency underlies a new primary immune deficiency which may account for part of the spectrum of Epstein Barr virus related lymphoproliferative disorders which can be successfully corrected by bone marrow transplantation.
Project description:The conserved nature of the ATP-binding site of the > 500 human kinases renders the development of specific inhibitors a challenging task. A widely used chemical genetic strategy to overcome the specificity challenge exploits a large-to-small mutation of the gatekeeper residue (a conserved hydrophobic amino acid) and the use of a bulky inhibitor to achieve specificity via shape complementarity. However, in a number of cases, introduction of a glycine or alanine gatekeeper results in diminished kinase activity and ATP affinity. A new chemical genetic approach based on covalent complementarity between an engineered gatekeeper cysteine and an electrophilic inhibitor was developed to address these challenges. This strategy was evaluated with Src, a proto-oncogenic tyrosine kinase known to lose some enzymatic activity using the shape complementarity chemical genetic strategy. We found that Src with a cysteine gatekeeper recapitulates wild type activity and can be irreversibly inhibited both in vitro and in cells. A cocrystal structure of T338C c-Src with a vinylsulfonamide-derivatized pyrazolopyrimidine inhibitor was solved to elucidate the inhibitor binding mode. A panel of electrophilic inhibitors was analyzed against 307 kinases and MOK (MAPK/MAK/MRK overlapping kinase), one of only two human kinases known to have an endogenous cysteine gatekeeper. This analysis revealed remarkably few off-targets, making these compounds the most selective chemical genetic inhibitors reported to date. Protein engineering studies demonstrated that it is possible to increase inhibitor potency through secondary-site mutations. These results suggest that chemical genetic strategies based on covalent complementarity should be widely applicable to the study of protein kinases.