Di-μ-bromido-bis-[(diethyl ether-κO)(2,4,6-tri-methyl-phen-yl)magnesium]: the mesityl Grignard reagent
- The crystal structure of the title compound, [Mg2Br2(C9H11)2(C4H10O)2], features a centrosymmetric two-centre magnesium complex with half a mol-ecule in the asymmetric unit. The Mg atom is in a considerably distorted Br2CO coordination. Bond lengths and angles are comparable with already published values. The crystal packing is stabilized by C-H⋯π inter-actions linking the complexes into sheets parallel to (0-11).
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T-cell-specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma depletion inhibits T-cell apoptosis and improves survival of septic mice via an IL-2-dependent mechanism
Martina V. Schmidt
Andreas von Knethen
- Poster presentation: from Sepsis 2009 Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 11-14 November 2009 Introduction Immune paralysis with massive T-cell apoptosis is a central pathogenic event during sepsis and correlates with septic patient mortality. Previous observations implied a crucial role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) during T-cell apoptosis. Methods To elucidate mechanisms of PPARgamma-induced T-cell depletion, we used an endotoxin model as well as the caecal ligation and puncture sepsis model to imitate septic conditions in wild-type versus conditional PPARgamma knockout (KO) mice. Results PPARgamma KO mice showed a marked survival advantage compared with control mice. Their T cells were substantially protected against sepsis-induced death and showed a significantly higher expression of the pro-survival factor IL-2. Since PPARgamma is described to repress nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transactivation and concomitant IL-2 expression, we propose inhibition of NFAT as the underlying mechanism allowing T-cell apoptosis. Corroborating our hypothesis, we observed up-regulation of the pro-apoptotic protein BIM and downregulation of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in control mice, which are downstream effector proteins of IL-2 receptor signaling. Application of a neutralizing anti-IL-2 antibody reversed the pro-survival effect of PPARgamma-deficient T cells and confirmed IL-2-dependent apoptosis during sepsis. Conclusion Apparently antagonizing PPARgamma in T cells might improve their survival during sepsis, which concomitantly enhances defence mechanisms and possibly provokes an increased survival of septic patients.
The C-terminus of p63 contains multiple regulatory elements with different functions
Wesley E. Straub
Tobias Alexander Weber
Horng Der Ou
- The transcription factor p63 is expressed as at least six different isoforms, of which two have been assigned critical biological roles within ectodermal development and skin stem cell biology on the one hand and supervision of the genetic stability of oocytes on the other hand. These two isoforms contain a C-terminal inhibitory domain that negatively regulates their transcriptional activity. This inhibitory domain contains two individual components: one that uses an internal binding mechanism to interact with and mask the transactivation domain and one that is based on sumoylation. We have carried out an extensive alanine scanning study to identify critical regions within the inhibitory domain. These experiments show that a stretch of ~13 amino acids is crucial for the binding function. Further, investigation of transcriptional activity and the intracellular level of mutants that cannot be sumoylated suggests that sumoylation reduces the concentration of p63. We therefore propose that the inhibitory function of the C-terminal domain is in part due to direct inhibition of the transcriptional activity of the protein and in part due to indirect inhibition by controlling the concentration of p63. Keywords: p63, transcriptional regulation, auto-inhibition, sumoylation
A large-scale chemical modification screen identifies design rules to generate siRNAs with high activity, high stability and low toxicity
Jesper B. Bramsen
Maria B. Laursen
Anne F. Nielsen
Thomas B. Hansen
B. Ravindra Babu
Arthur Van Aerschot
Georgii V. Bobkov
Sergey N. Mikhailov
Thomas F. Meyer
Joachim W. Engels
- The use of chemically synthesized short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) is currently the method of choice to manipulate gene expression in mammalian cell culture, yet improvements of siRNA design is expectably required for successful application in vivo. Several studies have aimed at improving siRNA performance through the introduction of chemical modifications but a direct comparison of these results is difficult. We have directly compared the effect of 21 types of chemical modifications on siRNA activity and toxicity in a total of 2160 siRNA duplexes. We demonstrate that siRNA activity is primarily enhanced by favouring the incorporation of the intended antisense strand during RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) loading by modulation of siRNA thermodynamic asymmetry and engineering of siRNA 3-overhangs. Collectively, our results provide unique insights into the tolerance for chemical modifications and provide a simple guide to successful chemical modification of siRNAs with improved activity, stability and low toxicity.
SBE13, a newly identified inhibitor of inactive polo-like kinase 1
- Poster presentation at 5th German Conference on Cheminformatics: 23. CIC-Workshop Goslar, Germany. 8-10 November 2009 Protein kinases are important targets for drug development. The almost identical protein folding of kinases and the common co-substrate ATP leads to the problem of inhibitor selectivity. Type II inhibitors, targeting the inactive conformation of kinases, occupy a hydrophobic pocket with less conserved surrounding amino acids . Human polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) represents a promising target for approaches to identify new therapeutic agents. Plk1 belongs to a family of highly conserved serine/threonine kinases, and is a key player in mitosis, where it modulates the spindle checkpoint at metaphase/anaphase transition. Plk1 is over-expressed in all today analyzed human tumors of different origin and serves as a negative prognostic marker in cancer patients. The newly identified inhibitor, SBE13, a vanillin derivative, targets Plk1 in its inactive conformation . This leads to selectivity within the Plk family and towards Aurora A. This selectivity can be explained by docking studies of SBE13 into the binding pocket of homology models of Plk1, Plk2 and Plk3 in their inactive conformation. SBE13 showed anti-proliferative effects in cancer cell lines of different origins with EC50 values between 5 microM and 39 microM and induced apoptosis. Increasing concentrations of SBE13 result in increasing amounts of cells in G2/M phase 13 hours after double thymidin block of HeLa cells. The kinase activity of Plk1 was inhibited with an IC50 of 200 pM. Taken together, we could show that carefully designed structure-based virtual screening is well-suited to identify selective type II kinase inhibitors targeting Plk1 as potential anti-cancer therapeutics.
Aromatic N versus aromatic F: bioisosterism discovered in RNA base pairing interactions leads to a novel class of universal base analogs
Alrun N. Koller
Joachim W. Engels
- The thermodynamics of base pairing is of fundamental importance. Fluorinated base analogs are valuable tools for investigating pairing interactions. To understand the influence of direct base–base interactions in relation to the role of water, pairing free energies between natural nucleobases and fluorinated analogs are estimated by potential of mean force calculations. Compared to pairing of AU and GC, pairing involving fluorinated analogs is unfavorable by 0.5–1.0 kcal mol -1. Decomposing the pairing free energies into enthalpic and entropic contributions reveals fundamental differences for Watson–Crick pairs compared to pairs involving fluorinated analogs. These differences originate from direct base–base interactions and contributions of water. Pairing free energies of fluorinated base analogs with natural bases are less unfavorable by 0.5–1.0 kcal mol -1 compared to non-fluorinated analogs. This is attributed to stabilizing C–F…H–N dipolar interactions and stronger N…H–C hydrogen bonds, demonstrating direct and indirect influences of fluorine. 7-methyl-7H-purine and its 9-deaza analog (Z) have been suggested as members of a new class of non-fluorinated base analogs. Z is found to be the least destabilizing universal base in the context of RNA known to date. This is the first experimental evidence for nitrogen-containing heterocylces as bioisosteres of aromatic rings bearing fluorine atoms.
A screen of chemical modifications identifies position-specific modification by UNA to most potently reduce siRNA off-target effects
Jesper B. Bramsen
Malgorzata M. Pakula
Thomas B. Hansen
Suzy L. Wengel
Joachim W. Engels
- Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are now established as the preferred tool to inhibit gene function in mammalian cells yet trigger unintended gene silencing due to their inherent miRNA-like behavior. Such off-target effects are primarily mediated by the sequence-specific interaction between the siRNA seed regions (position 2–8 of either siRNA strand counting from the 5'-end) and complementary sequences in the 3'UTR of (off-) targets. It was previously shown that chemical modification of siRNAs can reduce off-targeting but only very few modifications have been tested leaving more to be identified. Here we developed a luciferase reporter-based assay suitable to monitor siRNA off-targeting in a high throughput manner using stable cell lines. We investigated the impact of chemically modifying single nucleotide positions within the siRNA seed on siRNA function and off-targeting using 10 different types of chemical modifications, three different target sequences and three siRNA concentrations. We found several differently modified siRNAs to exercise reduced off-targeting yet incorporation of the strongly destabilizing unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) modification into position 7 of the siRNA most potently reduced off-targeting for all tested sequences. Notably, such position-specific destabilization of siRNA–target interactions did not significantly reduce siRNA potency and is therefore well suited for future siRNA designs especially for applications in vivo where siRNA concentrations, expectedly, will be low.
Role for caspase-2 during pore-forming toxin-mediated apoptosis
IAP-IAP complexes required for apoptosis resistance of C. trachomatis-infected cells
- Host cells infected with obligate intracellular bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis are profoundly resistant to diverse apoptotic stimuli. The molecular mechanisms underlying the block in apoptotic signaling of infected cells is not well understood. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism by which apoptosis induced via the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor is prevented in infected epithelial cells. Infection with C. trachomatis leads to the up-regulation of cellular inhibitor of apoptosis (cIAP)-2, and interfering with cIAP-2 up-regulation sensitized infected cells for TNF-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, besides cIAP-2, cIAP-1 and X-linked IAP, although not differentially regulated by infection, are required to maintain apoptosis resistance in infected cells. We detected that IAPs are constitutively organized in heteromeric complexes and small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of one of these IAPs affects the stability of another IAP. In particular, the stability of cIAP-2 is modulated by the presence of X-linked IAP and their interaction is stabilized in infected cells. Our observations suggest that IAPs are functional and stable as heteromers, a thus far undiscovered mechanism of IAP regulation and its role in modulation of apoptosis.