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Wang L.,Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research
Nature communications | Year: 2013

The pharmacological inhibition of general transcriptional regulators has the potential to block growth through targeting multiple tumorigenic signalling pathways simultaneously. Here, using an innovative cell-based screen, we identify a structurally unique small molecule (named JIB-04) that specifically inhibits the activity of the Jumonji family of histone demethylases in vitro, in cancer cells, and in tumours in vivo. Unlike known inhibitors, JIB-04 is not a competitive inhibitor of α-ketoglutarate. In cancer, but not in patient-matched normal cells, JIB-04 alters a subset of transcriptional pathways and blocks viability. In mice, JIB-04 reduces tumour burden and prolongs survival. Importantly, we find that patients with breast tumours that overexpress Jumonji demethylases have significantly lower survival. Thus, JIB-04, a novel inhibitor of Jumonji demethylases in vitro and in vivo, constitutes a unique potential therapeutic and research tool against cancer, and validates the use of unbiased cellular screens to discover chemical modulators with disease relevance.

Yang L.,Mayo Medical School | Kwon J.,Mayo Medical School | Popov Y.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Gajdos G.B.,Mayo Medical School | And 7 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

Background & Aims Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis is implicated in fibrogenesis and portal hypertension. However, the function of VEGF in fibrosis resolution has not been explored. Methods We developed a cholecystojejunostomy procedure to reconstruct biliary flow after bile duct ligation in C57BL/6 mice to generate a model of fibrosis resolution. These mice were then given injections of VEGF-neutralizing (mcr84) or control antibodies, and other mice received an adenovirus that expressed mouse VEGF or a control vector. The procedure was also performed on macrophage fas-induced apoptosis mice, in which macrophages can be selectively depleted. Liver and blood samples were collected and analyzed in immunohistochemical, morphometric, vascular permeability, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and flow cytometry assays. Results VEGF-neutralizing antibodies prevented development of fibrosis but also disrupted hepatic tissue repair and fibrosis resolution. During fibrosis resolution, VEGF inhibition impaired liver sinusoidal permeability, which was associated with reduced monocyte migration, adhesion, and infiltration of fibrotic liver. Scar-associated macrophages contributed to this process by producing the chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 9 (CXCL9) and matrix metalloproteinase 13. Resolution of fibrosis was impaired in macrophage fas-induced apoptosis mice but increased after overexpression of CXCL9. Conclusions In a mouse model of liver fibrosis resolution, VEGF promoted fibrogenesis, but was also required for hepatic tissue repair and fibrosis resolution. We observed that VEGF regulates vascular permeability, monocyte infiltration, and scar-associated macrophages function.

Sullivan J.P.,Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research | Sullivan J.P.,Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center | Minna J.D.,Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research | Minna J.D.,Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center | And 3 more authors.
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews | Year: 2010

The discovery of rare tumor cells with stem cell features first in leukemia and later in solid tumors has emerged as an important area in cancer research. It has been determined that these stem-like tumor cells, termed cancer stem cells, are the primary cellular component within a tumor that drives disease progression and metastasis. In addition to their stem-like ability to self-renew and differentiate, cancer stem cells are also enriched in cells resistant to conventional radiation therapy and to chemotherapy. The immediate implications of this new tumor growth paradigm not only require a re-evaluation of how tumors are initiated, but also on how tumors should be monitored and treated. However, despite the relatively rapid pace of cancer stem cell research in solid tumors such as breast, brain, and colon cancers, similar progress in lung cancer remains hampered in part due to an incomplete understanding of lung epithelial stem cell hierarchy and the complex heterogeneity of the disease. In this review, we provide a critical summary of what is known about the role of normal and malignant lung stem cells in tumor development, the progress in characterizing lung cancer stem cells and the potential for therapeutically targeting pathways of lung cancer stem cell self-renewal. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Rivera L.B.,Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research | Bradshaw A.D.,Medical University of South Carolina | Brekken R.A.,Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2011

SPARC is a matricellular protein, able to modulate cell/ECM interactions and influence cell responses to growth factors, and therefore is particularly attuned to contribute to physiological processes involving changes in ECM and cell mobilization. Indeed, the list of biological processes affected by SPARC includes wound healing, tumor progression, bone formation, fibrosis, and angiogenesis. The process of angiogenesis is complex and involves a number of cellular processes such as endothelial cell proliferation, migration, ECM degradation, and synthesis, as well as pericyte recruitment to stabilize nascent vessels. In this review, we will summarize current results that explore the function of SPARC in the regulation of angiogenic events with a particular emphasis on the modulation of growth factor activity by SPARC in the context of blood vessel formation. The primary function of SPARC in angiogenesis remains unclear, as SPARC activity in some circumstances promotes angiogenesis and in others is more consistent with an anti-angiogenic activity. Undoubtedly, the mercurial nature of SPARC belies a redundancy of functional proteins in angiogenesis as well as cell-type-specific activities that alter signal transduction events in response to unique cellular milieus. Nonetheless, the investigation of cellular mechanisms that define functional activities of SPARC continue to contribute novel and exciting paradigms to vascular biology. © 2011 Springer Basel AG.

Ou Y.-H.,Southwestern Medical Center | Torres M.,Southwestern Medical Center | Ram R.,Southwestern Medical Center | Formstecher E.,Hybrigenics | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2011

The innate immune-signaling kinase, TBK1, couples pathogen surveillance to induction of host defense mechanisms. Pathological activation of TBK1 in cancer can overcome programmed cell death cues, enabling cells to survive oncogenic stress. The mechanistic basis of TBK1 prosurvival signaling, however, has been enigmatic. Here, we show that TBK1 directly activates AKT by phosphorylation of the canonical activation loop and hydrophobic motif sites independently of PDK1 and mTORC2. Upon mitogen stimulation, triggering of the innate immune response, re-exposure to glucose, or oncogene activation, TBK1 is recruited to the exocyst, where it activates AKT. In cells lacking TBK1, insulin activates AKT normally, but AKT activation by exocyst-dependent mechanisms is impaired. Discovery and characterization of a 6-aminopyrazolopyrimidine derivative, as a selective low-nanomolar TBK1 inhibitor, indicates that this regulatory arm can be pharmacologically perturbed independently of canonical PI3K/PDK1 signaling. Thus, AKT is a direct TBK1 substrate that connects TBK1 to prosurvival signaling. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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