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Worcester, MA, United States

Wang Y.,Harvard University | Wang Y.,Morgridge Institute for Research | Arvanites A.C.,Harvard University | Arvanites A.C.,Harvard Stem Cell Institute | And 15 more authors.
ACS Chemical Biology | Year: 2012

Hedgehog (Hh) signaling promotes tumorigenesis. The accumulation of the membrane protein Smoothened (Smo) within the primary cilium (PC) is a key event in Hh signal transduction, and many pharmacological inhibitors identified to date target Smos actions. Smo ciliary translocation is inhibited by some pathway antagonists, while others promote ciliary accumulation, an outcome that can lead to a hypersensitive state on renewal of Hh signaling. To identify novel inhibitory compounds acting on the critical mechanistic transition of Smo accumulation, we established a high content screen to directly analyze Smo ciliary translocation. Screening thousands of compounds from annotated libraries of approved drugs and other agents, we identified several new classes of compounds that block Sonic hedgehog-driven Smo localization within the PC. Selective analysis was conducted on two classes of Smo antagonists. One of these, DY131, appears to inhibit Smo signaling through a common binding site shared by previously reported Smo agonists and antagonists. Antagonism by this class of compound is competed by high doses of Smo-binding agonists such as SAG and impaired by a mutation that generates a ligand-independent, oncogenic form of Smo (SmoM2). In contrast, a second antagonist of Smo accumulation within the PC, SMANT, was less sensitive to SAG-mediated competition and inhibited SmoM2 at concentrations similar to those that inhibit wild-type Smo. Our observations identify important differences among Hh antagonists and the potential for development of novel therapeutic approaches against mutant forms of Smo that are resistant to current therapeutic strategies. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source


Wang Y.,Harvard University | Wang Y.,Morgridge Institute for Research | Davidow L.,Harvard University | Davidow L.,Harvard Stem Cell Institute | And 20 more authors.
Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2012

The Hedgehog signaling pathway is linked to a variety of diseases, notably a range of cancers. The first generation of drug screens identified Smoothened (Smo), a membrane protein essential for signaling, as an attractive drug target. Smo localizes to the primary cilium upon pathway activation, and this transition is critical for the response to Hedgehog ligands. In a high content screen directly monitoring Smo distribution in Hedgehog-responsive cells, we identified different glucocorticoids as specific modulators of Smo ciliary accumulation. One class promoted Smo accumulation, conferring cellular hypersensitivity to Hedgehog stimulation. In contrast, a second class inhibited Smo ciliary localization and signaling activity by both wild-type Smo, and mutant forms of Smo, SmoM2, and SmoD473H, that are refractory to previously identified Smo antagonists. These findings point to the potential for developing glucocorticoid-based pharmacological modulation of Smo signaling to treat mutated drug-resistant forms of Smo, an emerging problem in long-term cancer therapy. They also raise a concern about potential crosstalk of glucocorticoid drugs in the Hedgehog pathway, if therapeutic administration exceeds levels associated with on-target transcriptional mechanisms of glucocorticoid action. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Kablaoui N.,Pfizer | Patel S.,Genentech | Shao J.,Pfizer | Demian D.,Blue Sky Biotech Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2013

A novel series of potent benzoxazole mPGES-1 inhibitors has been derived from a hit from a high throughput screen. Compound 37 displays mPGES-1 inhibition in an enzyme assay (0.018 μM) and PGE-2 inhibition in a cell-based assay (0.034 μM). It demonstrates 500- and 2500-fold selectivity for mPGES-1 over COX-2 and 6-keto PGF-1α, respectively. In vivo PK studies in dogs demonstrate 55% oral bioavailability and an 7 h half-life. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Iwai L.K.,Institute of Cancer Research | Payne L.S.,Institute of Cancer Research | Luczynski M.T.,Institute of Cancer Research | Chang F.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 8 more authors.
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2013

Collagen is an important extracellular matrix component that directs many fundamental cellular processes including differentiation, proliferation and motility. The signalling networks driving these processes are propagated by collagen receptors such as the β1 integrins and the DDRs (discoidin domain receptors). To gain an insight into the molecular mechanisms of collagen receptor signalling, we have performed a quantitative analysis of the phosphorylation networks downstream of collagen activation of integrins and DDR2. Temporal analysis over seven time points identified 424 phosphorylated proteins. Distinct DDR2 tyrosine phosphorylation sites displayed unique temporal activation profiles in agreement with in vitro kinase data.Multiple clustering analysis of the phosphoproteomic data revealed several DDR2 candidate downstream signalling nodes, including SHP-2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2), NCK1 (non-catalytic region of tyrosine kinase adaptor protein 1), LYN, SHIP-2 [SH2 (Src homology 2)-domain-containing inositol phosphatase 2], PIK3C2A (phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit type 2α) and PLCL2 (phospholipase C-like 2). Biochemical validation showed that SHP-2 tyrosine phosphorylation is dependent on DDR2 kinase activity. Targeted proteomic profiling of a panel of lung SCC (squamous cell carcinoma) DDR2 mutants demonstrated that SHP-2 is tyrosine-phosphorylated by the L63V and G505S mutants. In contrast, the I638F kinase domain mutant exhibited diminished DDR2 and SHP-2 tyrosine phosphorylation levels which have an inverse relationship with clonogenic potential. Taken together, the results of the present study indicate that SHP-2 is a key signalling node downstream of the DDR2 receptor which may have therapeutic implications in a subset of DDR2 mutations recently uncovered in genome-wide lung SCC sequencing screens. © 2013 The Author(s). Source


Low L.Y.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Low L.Y.,Blue Sky Biotech Inc. | Yang C.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Perego M.,Scripps Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

The recombinant lysins of lytic phages, when applied externally to Gram-positive bacteria, can be efficient bactericidal agents, typically retaining high specificity. Their development as novel antibacterial agents offers many potential advantages over conventional antibiotics. Protein engineering could exploit this potential further by generating novel lysins fit for distinct target populations and environments. However, access to the peptidoglycan layer is controlled by a variety of secondary cell wall polymers, chemical modifications, and (in some cases) S-layers and capsules. Classical lysins require a cell wall-binding domain (CBD) that targets the catalytic domain to the peptidoglycan layer via binding to a secondary cell wall polymer component. The cell walls of Gram-positive bacteria generally have a negative charge, and we noticed a correlation between (positive) charge on the catalytic domain and bacteriolytic activity in the absence of the CBD (nonclassical behavior). We investigated a physical basis for this correlation by comparing the structures and activities of pairs of lysins where the lytic activity of one of each pair was CBD-independent. We found that by engineering a reversal of sign of the net charge of the catalytic domain, we could either eliminate or create CBD dependence. We also provide evidence that the S-layer of Bacillus anthracis acts as a molecular sieve that is chiefly size-dependent, favoring catalytic domains over full-length lysins. Our work suggests a number of facile approaches for fine-tuning lysin activity, either to enhance or reduce specificity/host range and/or bactericidal potential, as required. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source

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