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Cambridge, MA, United States

Korpal M.,H3 Biomedicine | Feala J.,H3 Biomedicine | Puyang X.,H3 Biomedicine | Zou J.,H3 Biomedicine | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Visualized Experiments

Although targeted therapies are initially effective, resistance inevitably emerges. Several methods, such as genetic analysis of resistant clinical specimens, have been applied to uncover these resistance mechanisms to facilitate follow-up care. Although these approaches have led to clinically relevant discoveries, difficulties in attaining the relevant patient material or in deconvoluting the genomic data collected from these specimens have severely hampered the path towards a cure. To this end, we here describe a tool for expeditious discovery that may guide improvement in first-line therapies and alternative clinical management strategies. By coupling preclinical in vitro or in vivo drug selection with next-generation sequencing, it is possible to identify genomic structural variations and/or gene expression alterations that may serve as functional drivers of resistance. This approach facilitates the spontaneous emergence of alterations, enhancing the probability that these mechanisms may be observed in the patients. In this protocol we provide guidelines to maximize the potential for uncovering single nucleotide variants that drive resistance using adherent lines. © 2015 Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Source

Taylor S.J.,Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals | Padyana A.K.,Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals | Abeywardane A.,Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals | Liang S.,Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Chymase plays an important and diverse role in the homeostasis of a number of cardiovascular processes. Herein, we describe the identification of potent, selective chymase inhibitors, developed using fragment-based, structure-guided linking and optimization techniques. High-concentration biophysical screening methods followed by high-throughput crystallography identified an oxindole fragment bound to the S1 pocket of the protein exhibiting a novel interaction pattern hitherto not observed in chymase inhibitors. X-ray crystallographic structures were used to guide the elaboration/linking of the fragment, ultimately leading to a potent inhibitor that was >100-fold selective over cathepsin G and that mitigated a number of liabilities associated with poor physicochemical properties of the series it was derived from. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

Weir H.M.,Astrazeneca | Bradbury R.H.,Astrazeneca | Rabow A.A.,Astrazeneca | Buttar D.,Astrazeneca | And 25 more authors.
Cancer Research

Fulvestrant is an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist administered to breast cancer patients by monthly intramuscular injection. Given its present limitations of dosing and route of administration, a more flexible orally available compound has been sought to pursue the potential benefits of this drug in patients with advanced metastatic disease. Here we report the identification and characterization of AZD9496, a nonsteroidal small-molecule inhibitor of ERα, which is a potent and selective antagonist and downregulator of ERα in vitro and in vivo in ER-positive models of breast cancer. Significant tumor growth inhibition was observed as low as 0.5 mg/kg dose in the estrogen-dependent MCF-7 xenograft model, where this effect was accompanied by a dose-dependent decrease in PR protein levels, demonstrating potent antagonist activity. Combining AZD9496 with PI3K pathway and CDK4/6 inhibitors led to further growth-inhibitory effects compared with monotherapy alone. Tumor regressions were also seen in a long-term estrogen-deprived breast model, where significant downregulation of ERα protein was observed. AZD9496 bound and downregulated clinically relevant ESR1 mutants in vitro and inhibited tumor growth in an ESR1-mutant patient-derived xenograft model that included a D538G mutation. Collectively, the pharmacologic evidence showed that AZD9496 is an oral, nonsteroidal, selective estrogen receptor antagonist and downregulator in ER+ breast cells that could provide meaningful benefit to ER+ breast cancer patients. AZD9496 is currently being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial. ©2016 AACR. Source

Decker S.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Zirlik K.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Djebatchie L.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Hartmann D.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 8 more authors.

Hedgehog (HH) signaling is activated in various lymphoid malignancies, but conflicting results exist about its role in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we demonstrate that the expression of essential HH pathway components like GLI1, PTCH1, and the HH ligands is highly diverse in CLL. A subset of 36.7% of 60 tested CLL samples responded to all 3 SMOOTHENED (SMO) inhibitors, whereas 40% were completely resistant. Responsiveness correlated with elevated GLI1 and PTCH1 transcript levels and the presence of trisomy 12, whereas no other karyotype correlated with responsiveness. All trisomy 12 CLLs displayed constitutive HH pathway activation driven by autocrine DESERT HH (DHH) ligand secretion, which could be blocked by the HH-blocking Ab 5E1. Cocultures with DHH-expressing BM stromal cells reduced sensitivity of CLLs to SMO-inhibitor treatment by activation of noncanonical ERK phosphorylation directly downstream of the PTCH1 receptor without involvement of SMO and could be overcome by the HH-blocking Ab 5E1 or a combination of SMO and ERK inhibitors. Our results demonstrate that the HH-signaling pathway is an interesting therapeutic target for a subset of patients with CLL, characterized by high GLI1 and PTCH1 transcript levels, and all patients with trisomy 12 and indicate HH-blocking Abs to be favorable over SMO inhibitors in overcoming stroma-mediated protective effects. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Micel L.N.,Aurora University | Tentler J.J.,Aurora University | Smith P.G.,H3 Biomedicine | Eckhardt S.G.,Aurora University
Journal of Clinical Oncology

The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) regulates the ubiquitination, and thus degradation and turnover, of many proteins vital to cellular regulation and function. The UPS comprises a sequential series of enzymatic processes using four key enzyme families: E1 (ubiquitin-activating enzymes), E2 (ubiquitin-carrier proteins), E3 (ubiquitin-protein ligases), and E4 (ubiquitin chain assembly factors). Because the UPS is a crucial regulator of the cell cycle, and abnormal cell-cycle control can lead to oncogenesis, aberrancies within the UPS pathway can result in a malignant cellular phenotype and thus has become an attractive target for novel anticancer agents. This article will provide an overall review of the mechanics of the UPS, describe aberrancies leading to cancer, and give an overview of current drug therapies selectively targeting the UPS. © 2013 by American Society of Clinical Oncology. Source

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