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Hari S.B.,University of Washington | Perera B.G.K.,University of Washington | Ranjitkar P.,University of Washington | Seeliger M.A.,Stony Brook University Medical School | Maly D.J.,University of Washington
ACS Chemical Biology | Year: 2013

Over the past decade, an increasingly diverse array of potent and selective inhibitors that target the ATP-binding sites of protein kinases have been developed. Many of these inhibitors, like the clinically approved drug imatinib (Gleevec), stabilize a specific catalytically inactive ATP-binding site conformation of their kinases targets. Imatinib is notable in that it is highly selective for its kinase target, Abl, over other closely related tyrosine kinases, such as Src. In addition, imatinib is highly sensitive to the phosphorylation state of Abl's activation loop, which is believed to be a general characteristic of all inhibitors that stabilize a similar inactive ATP-binding site conformation. In this report, we perform a systematic analysis of a diverse series of ATP-competitive inhibitors that stabilize a similar inactive ATP-binding site conformation as imatinib with the tyrosine kinases Src and Abl. In contrast to imatinib, many of these inhibitors have very similar potencies against Src and Abl. Furthermore, only a subset of this class of inhibitors is sensitive to the phosphorylation state of the activation loop of these kinases. In attempting to explain this observation, we have uncovered an unexpected correlation between Abl's activation loop and another flexible active site feature, called the phosphate-binding loop (p-loop). These studies shed light on how imatinib is able to obtain its high target selectivity and reveal how the conformational preference of flexible active site regions can vary between closely related kinases. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Wang L.,University of California at San Francisco | Perera B.G.K.,University of Washington | Hari S.B.,University of Washington | Bhhatarai B.,University of Miami | And 6 more authors.
Nature Chemical Biology | Year: 2012

Under endoplasmic reticulum stress, unfolded protein accumulation leads to activation of the endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane kinase/endoRNase (RNase) IRE1α. IRE1α oligomerizes, autophosphorylates and initiates splicing of XBP1 mRNA, thus triggering the unfolded protein response (UPR). Here we show that IRE1α's kinase-controlled RNase can be regulated in two distinct modes with kinase inhibitors: one class of ligands occupies IRE1α's kinase ATP-binding site to activate RNase-mediated XBP1 mRNA splicing even without upstream endoplasmic reticulum stress, whereas a second class can inhibit the RNase through the same ATP-binding site, even under endoplasmic reticulum stress. Thus, alternative kinase conformations stabilized by distinct classes of ATP-competitive inhibitors can cause allosteric switching of IRE1α's RNase - either on or off. As dysregulation of the UPR has been implicated in a variety of cell degenerative and neoplastic disorders, small-molecule control over IRE1α should advance efforts to understand the UPR's role in pathophysiology and to develop drugs for endoplasmic reticulum stress-related diseases. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lee S.-W.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Lee S.-W.,University of Houston | Li C.-F.,Chi Mei Foundational Medical Center | Li C.-F.,National Health Research Institute | And 16 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2015

LKB1 is activated by forming a heterotrimeric complex with STRAD and MO25. Recent studies suggest that LKB1 has pro-oncogenic functions, besides acting as a tumor suppressor. How the LKB1 activity is maintained and how LKB1 regulates cancer development are largely unclear. Here we show that K63-linked LKB1 polyubiquitination by Skp2-SCF ubiquitin ligase is critical for LKB1 activation by maintaining LKB1-STRAD-MO25 complex integrity. We further demonstrate that oncogenic Ras acts upstream of Skp2 to promote LKB1 polyubiquitination by activating Skp2-SCF ubiquitin ligase. Moreover, Skp2-mediated LKB1 polyubiquitination is required for energy-stress-induced cell survival. We also detected overexpression of Skp2 and LKB1 in late-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and their overexpression predicts poor survival outcomes. Finally, we show that Skp2-mediated LKB1 polyubiquitination is important for HCC tumor growth invivo. Our study provides new insights into the upstream regulation of LKB1 activation and suggests a potential target, the Ras/Skp2/LKB1 axis, for cancer therapy. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Fung H.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Demple B.,Stony Brook University Medical School
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2011

Ionizing radiation (IR) and bleomycin (BLM) are used to treat various types of cancers. Both agents generate cytotoxic double strand breaks (DSB) and abasic (apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP)) sites in DNA. The human AP endonuclease Ape1 acts on abasic or 3′-blocking DNA lesions such as those generated by IR or BLM. We examined the effect of siRNA-mediated Ape1 suppression on DNA repair and cellular resistance to IR or BLM in human B-lymphoblastoid TK6 cells and HCT116 colon tumor cells. Partial Ape1 deficiency (∼30% of normal levels) sensitized cells more dramatically to BLM than to IR cytotoxicity. In both cases, expression of the unrelated yeast AP endonuclease, Apn1, largely restored resistance. Ape1 deficiency increased DNA AP site accumulation due to IR treatment but reduced the number of DSB. In contrast, for BLM, there were more DSB under Ape1 deficiency, with little change in the accumulation of AP sites. Although the role of Ape1 in generating DSB was greater for IR, the enzyme facilitated removal of AP sites, which may mitigate the cytotoxic effects of IR. In contrast, BLM generates scattered AP sites, and the DSB have 3′-phosphoglycolate termini that require Ape1 processing. These DSB persist under Ape1 deficiency. Apoptosis induced by BLM (but not by IR) under Ape1 deficiency was partially p53-dependent, more dramatically in TK6 than HCT116 cells. Thus, Ape1 suppression or inhibition may be a more efficacious adjuvant for BLM than for IR cancer therapy, particularly for tumors with a functional p53 pathway. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Salmoirago-Blotcher E.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Fitchett G.,Rush University Medical Center | Hovey K.M.,The New School | Schnall E.,Yeshiva University | And 7 more authors.
Annals of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Purpose: Spirituality has been associated with better cardiac autonomic balance, but its association with cardiovascular risk is not well studied. We examined whether more frequent private spiritual activity was associated with reduced cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Methods: Frequency of private spiritual activity (prayer, Bible reading, and meditation) was self-reported at year 5 of follow-up. Cardiovascular outcomes were centrally adjudicated, and cardiovascular risk was estimated from proportional hazards models. Results: Final models included 43,708 women (mean age, 68.9 ± 7.3 years; median follow-up, 7.0 years) free of cardiac disease through year 5 of follow-up. In age-adjusted models, private spiritual activity was associated with increased cardiovascular risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.31 for weekly vs. never; HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.11-1.40 for daily vs. never). In multivariate models adjusted for demographics, lifestyle, risk factors, and psychosocial factors, such association remained significant only in the group with daily activity (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.03-1.30). Subgroup analyses indicate this association may be driven by the presence of severe chronic diseases. Conclusions: Among aging women, higher frequency of private spiritual activity was associated with increased cardiovascular risk, likely reflecting a mobilization of spiritual resources to cope with aging and illness. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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