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San Diego, CA, United States

Fortelny N.,University of British Columbia | Cox J.H.,University of British Columbia | Cox J.H.,Inception Sciences | Kappelhoff R.,University of British Columbia | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Biology

Proteolytic processing is an irreversible posttranslational modification affecting a large portion of the proteome. Protease-cleaved mediators frequently exhibit altered activity, and biological pathways are often regulated by proteolytic processing. Many of these mechanisms have not been appreciated as being protease-dependent, and the potential in unraveling a complex new dimension of biological control is increasingly recognized. Proteases are currently believed to act individually or in isolated cascades. However, conclusive but scattered biochemical evidence indicates broader regulation of proteases by protease and inhibitor interactions. Therefore, to systematically study such interactions, we assembled curated protease cleavage and inhibition data into a global, computational representation, termed the protease web. This revealed that proteases pervasively influence the activity of other proteases directly or by cleaving intermediate proteases or protease inhibitors. The protease web spans four classes of proteases and inhibitors and so links both recently and classically described protease groups and cascades, which can no longer be viewed as operating in isolation in vivo. We demonstrated that this observation, termed reachability, is robust to alterations in the data and will only increase in the future as additional data are added. We further show how subnetworks of the web are operational in 23 different tissues reflecting different phenotypes. We applied our network to develop novel insights into biologically relevant protease interactions using cell-specific proteases of the polymorphonuclear leukocyte as a system. Predictions from the protease web on the activity of matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP8) and neutrophil elastase being linked by an inactivating cleavage of serpinA1 by MMP8 were validated and explain perplexing Mmp8-/- versus wild-type polymorphonuclear chemokine cleavages in vivo. Our findings supply systematically derived and validated evidence for the existence of the protease web, a network that affects the activity of most proteases and thereby influences the functional state of the proteome and cell activity. © 2014 Fortelny et al. Source

Fecteau J.-F.,University of California at San Diego | Corral L.G.,Celgene | Ghia E.M.,University of California at San Diego | Gaidarova S.,Celgene | And 10 more authors.

Lenalidomide has demonstrated clinical activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), even though it is not cytotoxic for primary CLL cells in vitro. We examined the direct effect of lenalidomide on CLL-cell proliferation induced by CD154-expressing accessory cells in media containing interleukin-4 and -10. Treatment with lenalidomide significantly inhibited CLL-cell proliferation, an effect that was associated with the p53-independent upregulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21WAF1/Cip1(p21). Silencing p21 with small interfering RNA impaired the capacity of lenalidomide to inhibit CLL-cell proliferation. Silencing cereblon, a known molecular target of lenalidomide, impaired the capacity of lenalidomide to induce expression of p21, inhibit CD154-induced CLL-cell proliferation, or enhance the degradation of Ikaros family zinc finger proteins 1 and 3. We isolated CLL cells from the blood of patients before and after short-term treatment with low-dose lenalidomide (5 mg per day) and found the leukemia cells were also induced to express p21 in vivo. These results indicate that lenalidomide can directly inhibit proliferation of CLL cells in a cereblon/p21-dependent but p53-independent manner, at concentrations achievable in vivo, potentially contributing to the capacity of this drug to inhibit disease-progression in patients with CLL. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Zhuo Y.,Merck And Co. | Gauthier J.-Y.,Pharmascience | Black W.C.,Kaneq Pharma Inc. | Percival M.D.,Inception Sciences | Duong L.T.,Merck And Co.

The cathepsin K (CatK) inhibitor odanacatib (ODN) is currently being developed for the treatment of osteoporosis. In clinical trials, efficacy and resolution of effect of ODN treatment on bone turnover biomarkers and accrued bone mass have been demonstrated. Here, we examine the effects of continuing treatment and discontinuation of ODN versus alendronate (ALN) on osteoclast (OC) function. First, accessibility and reversible engagement of active CatK in intracellular vesicles and resorption lacunae of actively resorbing OCs were demonstrated by the selective and reversible CatK inhibitors, BODIPY-L-226 (IC50=39nM) and L-873,724 (IC50=0.5nM). Next, mature human OCs on bone slices were treated with vehicle, ODN, or ALN for 2days, followed by either continuing with the same treatment, or replacement of the inhibitors by vehicle for additional times as specified per experimental conditions. Maintaining OCs on ODN or ALN significantly reduced CTx-I release compared to vehicle controls. However, only the treatment of OCs with ODN resulted in the formation of small shallow discrete resorption pits, retention of intracellular vesicles enriched with CatK and other lysosomal enzymes, increase in 1-CTP release and number of TRAP(+) OCs. Upon discontinuation of ODN treatment, OCs rapidly resumed bone resorption activity, as demonstrated by a return of OC functional markers (CTx-I, 1-CTP), cell number and size, morphology and number of resorption pits, and vesicular secretion of CatK toward the respective vehicle levels. As expected, discontinuation of ALN did not reverse the treatment-related inhibition of OC activity in the time frame of the experiment. In summary, this study demonstrated rapid kinetics of inhibition and reversibility of the effects of ODN on OC bone resorption, that differentiated the cellular mechanism of CatK inhibition from that of the bisphosphate antiresorptive ALN. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.. Source

Campbell D.F.,University of California at San Diego | Saenz R.,University of California at San Diego | Bharati I.S.,University of California at San Diego | Seible D.,University of California at San Diego | And 6 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research

Introduction: Cancer vaccines have the potential to induce curative anti-tumor immune responses and better adjuvants may improve vaccine efficacy. We have previously shown that Hp91, a peptide derived from the B box domain in high-mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1), acts as a potent immune adjuvant. Method: In this study, Hp91 was tested as part of a therapeutic vaccine against human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. Results: Free peptide did not significantly augment immune responses but, when delivered in poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic) acid nanoparticles (PLGA-NPs), robust activation of dendritic cells (DCs) and increased activation of HER2-specific T cells was observed in vitro. Vaccination of HER2/neu transgenic mice, a mouse breast cancer model that closely mimics the immune modulation and tolerance in some breast cancer patients, with Hp91-loaded PLGA-NPs enhanced the activation of HER2-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses, delayed tumor development, and prolonged survival. Conclusions: Taken together these findings demonstrate that the delivery of the immunostimulatory peptide Hp91 inside PLGA-NPs enhances the potency of the peptide and efficacy of a breast cancer vaccine. © Campbell et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

Lyn R.K.,National Research Council Canada | Lyn R.K.,University of Ottawa | Singaravelu R.,National Research Council Canada | Singaravelu R.,University of Ottawa | And 14 more authors.
Scientific Reports

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication is dependent on the formation of specialized membrane structures; however, the host factor requirements for the formation of these HCV complexes remain unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that inhibition of stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD-1) halts the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid, and negatively modulates HCV replication. Unsaturated fatty acids play key roles in membrane curvature and fluidity. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that SCD-1 inhibition disrupts the integrity of membranous HCV replication complexes and renders HCV RNA susceptible to nuclease-mediated degradation. Our work establishes a novel function for unsaturated fatty acids in HCV replication. Source

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