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See detailCooperative effects of Janus and Aurora kinase inhibition by CEP701 in cells expressing Jak2V617F
Gäbler, Karoline UL; Rolvering, Catherine UL; Kaczor, Jakub UL et al

in Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine (2013), 17(2), 265-276

The Janus kinase 2 mutant V617F occurs with high frequency in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Further mutations affecting the Janus kinase family have been discovered mostly in leukaemias and in ... [more ▼]

The Janus kinase 2 mutant V617F occurs with high frequency in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Further mutations affecting the Janus kinase family have been discovered mostly in leukaemias and in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Owing to their involvement in neoplasia, inflammatory diseases and in the immune response, Janus kinases are promising targets for kinase inhibitor therapy in these disease settings. Various quantitative assays including two newly developed screening assays were used to characterize the function of different small-molecule compounds in cells expressing Jak2V617F. A detailed comparative analysis of different Janus kinase inhibitors in our quantitative assays and the subsequent characterization of additional activities demonstrated for the first time that the most potent Jak2 inhibitor in our study, CEP701, also targets Aurora kinases. CEP701 shows a unique combination of both activities which is not found in other compounds also targeting Jak2. Furthermore, colony forming cell assays showed that Janus kinase 2 inhibitors preferentially suppressed the growth of erythroid colonies, whereas inhibitors of Aurora kinases preferentially blocked myeloid colony growth. CEP701 demonstrated a combined suppression of both colony types. Moreover, we show that combined application of a Janus and an Aurora kinase inhibitor recapitulated the effect observed for CEP701 but might allow for more flexibility in combining both activities in clinical settings, e.g. in the treatment of myeloproliferative neoplasms. The newly developed screening assays are high throughput compatible and allow an easy detection of new compounds with Janus kinase 2 inhibitory activity. © 2012 The Authors. Published by Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailPerspectives for the use of structural information and chemical genetics to develop inhibitors of Janus kinases.
Haan, Claude UL; Behrmann, Iris UL; Haan, Serge UL

in Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine (2010), 14(3), 504-27

Gain-of-function mutations in the genes encoding Janus kinases have been discovered in various haematologic diseases. Jaks are composed of a FERM domain, an SH2 domain, a pseudokinase domain and a kinase ... [more ▼]

Gain-of-function mutations in the genes encoding Janus kinases have been discovered in various haematologic diseases. Jaks are composed of a FERM domain, an SH2 domain, a pseudokinase domain and a kinase domain, and a complex interplay of the Jak domains is involved in regulation of catalytic activity and association to cytokine receptors. Most activating mutations are found in the pseudokinase domain. Here we present recently discovered mutations in the context of our structural models of the respective domains. We describe two structural hotspots in the pseudokinase domain of Jak2 that seem to be associated either to myeloproliferation or to lymphoblastic leukaemia, pointing at the involvement of distinct signalling complexes in these disease settings. The different domains of Jaks are discussed as potential drug targets. We present currently available inhibitors targeting Jaks and indicate structural differences in the kinase domains of the different Jaks that may be exploited in the development of specific inhibitors. Moreover, we discuss recent chemical genetic approaches which can be applied to Jaks to better understand the role of these kinases in their biological settings and as drug targets. [less ▲]

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See detailThe actin filament cross-linker L-plastin confers resistance to TNF-alpha in MCF-7 breast cancer cells in a phosphorylation-dependent manner.
Janji, Bassam; Vallar, Laurent; Al Tanoury, Ziad et al

in Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine (2010), 14(6A), 1264-75

We used a tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha resistant breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cell line to investigate the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton in the mechanism of cell resistance to this cytokine ... [more ▼]

We used a tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha resistant breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cell line to investigate the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton in the mechanism of cell resistance to this cytokine. We found that TNF resistance correlates with the loss of cell epithelial properties and the gain of a mesenchymal phenotype, reminiscent of an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Morphological changes were associated with a profound reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and with a change in the repertoire of expressed actin cytoskeleton genes and EMT markers, as revealed by DNA microarray-based expression profiling. L-plastin, an F-actin cross-linking and stabilizing protein, was identified as one of the most significantly up-regulated genes in TNF-resistant cells. Knockdown of L-plastin in these cells revealed its crucial role in conferring TNF resistance. Importantly, overexpression of wild-type L-plastin in TNF-sensitive MCF-7 cells was sufficient to protect them against TNF-mediated cell death. Furthermore, we found that this effect is dependent on serine-5 phosphorylation of L-plastin and that non-conventional protein kinase C isoforms and the ceramide pathway may regulate its phosphorylation state. The protective role of L-plastin was not restricted to TNF-alpha resistant MCF-7 cells because a correlation between the expression of L-plastin and the resistance to TNF-alpha was observed in other breast cancer cell lines. Together, our study discloses a novel unexpected role of the actin bundling protein L-plastin as a cell protective protein against TNF-cytotoxicity. [less ▲]

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See detailGARP: a key receptor controlling FOXP3 in human regulatory T cells
Probst-Kepper, M.; Geffers, R.; Kröger, A. et al

in Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine (2009), 13(9B), 3343-57

Recent evidence suggests that regulatory pathways might control sustained high levels of FOXP3 in regulatory CD4(+)CD25(hi) T (T(reg)) cells. Based on transcriptional profiling of ex vivo activated T(reg ... [more ▼]

Recent evidence suggests that regulatory pathways might control sustained high levels of FOXP3 in regulatory CD4(+)CD25(hi) T (T(reg)) cells. Based on transcriptional profiling of ex vivo activated T(reg) and helper CD4(+)CD25(-) T (T(h)) cells we have identified GARP (glycoprotein-A repetitions predominant), LGALS3 (lectin, galactoside-binding, soluble, 3) and LGMN (legumain) as novel genes implicated in human T(reg) cell function, which are induced upon T-cell receptor stimulation. Retroviral overexpression of GARP in antigen-specific T(h) cells leads to an efficient and stable re-programming of an effector T cell towards a regulatory T cell, which involves up-regulation of FOXP3, LGALS3, LGMN and other T(reg)-associated markers. In contrast, overexpression of LGALS3 and LGMN enhance FOXP3 and GARP expression, but only partially induced a regulatory phenotype. Lentiviral down-regulation of GARP in T(reg) cells significantly impaired the suppressor function and was associated with down-regulation of FOXP3. Moreover, down-regulation of FOXP3 resulted in similar phenotypic changes and down-regulation of GARP. This provides compelling evidence for a GARP-FOXP3 positive feedback loop and provides a rational molecular basis for the known difference between natural and transforming growth factor-beta induced T(reg) cells as we show here that the latter do not up-regulate GARP. In summary, we have identified GARP as a key receptor controlling FOXP3 in T(reg) cells following T-cell activation in a positive feedback loop assisted by LGALS3 and LGMN, which represents a promising new system for the therapeutic manipulation of T cells in human disease. [less ▲]

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See detailIL-24: a classic cytokine and/or a potential cure for cancer?
Kreis, Stephanie UL; Philippidou, Demetra UL; Margue, Christiane UL et al

in Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine (2008), 12(6A), 2505-2510

IL-24, a member of the IL-10 family of cytokines, is produced by monocytes and Th2 cells. Interestingly, immune cells do not appear to express specific IL-24 receptor chains (IL-20R1/IL-20R2 and IL-22R/IL ... [more ▼]

IL-24, a member of the IL-10 family of cytokines, is produced by monocytes and Th2 cells. Interestingly, immune cells do not appear to express specific IL-24 receptor chains (IL-20R1/IL-20R2 and IL-22R/IL-20R2), it is therefore unlikely that IL-24 has classical immune-modulating properties. Skin, on the other hand, seems to represent a major target tissue for IL-24 and related cytokines such as IL-19, -20, and -22. However, the initial interest in IL-24 did not arise from its physiological signalling properties through its cognate receptors but rather because of its tentative ability to selectively kill different cancer cells. In an attempt to further investigate the signalling events underlying the IL-24-induced cancer cell death, we found that melanoma cell lines did not react in the expected and previously described way. Using several different forms and delivery modes of IL-24, we were unable to detect any apoptosis-inducing properties of this cytokine in melanoma cells. In the present "Point of view" we will briefly summarise these findings and put them in context of published reports stating that IL-24 might be a long sought after treatment for several types of cancer. [less ▲]

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