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Mol Cancer Res ; 20(3): 446-455, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518187


AXL, a receptor tyrosine kinase from the TAM (TYRO3 AXL and MER) subfamily, and its ligand growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6) are implicated in pathogenesis of a wide array of cancers, acquisition of resistance to diverse anticancer therapies and cellular entry of viruses. The continuous development of AXL inhibitors for treatment of patients with cancer and COVID-19 underscores the need to better characterize the cellular effects of AXL targeting.In the present study, we compared the cellular phenotypes of CRISPR-Cas9-induced depletion of AXL and its pharmacological inhibition with bemcentinib, LDC1267 and gilteritinib. Specifically, we evaluated GAS6-AXL signaling, cell viability and invasion, the endo-lysosomal system and autophagy in glioblastoma cells. We showed that depletion of AXL but not of TYRO3 inhibited GAS6-induced phosphorylation of downstream signaling effectors, AKT and ERK1/2, indicating that AXL is a primary receptor for GAS6. AXL was also specifically required for GAS6-dependent increase in cell viability but was dispensable for viability of cells grown without exogenous addition of GAS6. Furthermore, we revealed that LDC1267 is the most potent and specific inhibitor of AXL activation among the tested compounds. Finally, we found that, in contrast to AXL depletion and its inhibition with LDC1267, cell treatment with bemcentinib and gilteritinib impaired the endo-lysosomal and autophagy systems in an AXL-independent manner. IMPLICATIONS: Altogether, our findings are of high clinical importance as we discovered that two clinically advanced AXL inhibitors, bemcentinib and gilteritinib, may display AXL-independent cellular effects and toxicity.

Aniline Compounds/therapeutic use , Benzocycloheptenes/therapeutic use , Lysosomes/drug effects , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Triazoles/therapeutic use , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Autophagy , Benzocycloheptenes/pharmacology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Proliferation , Humans , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrazines/pharmacology , Signal Transduction , Transfection , Triazoles/pharmacology
Nature ; 599(7884): 283-289, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404888


Derailed cytokine and immune cell networks account for the organ damage and the clinical severity of COVID-19 (refs. 1-4). Here we show that SARS-CoV-2, like other viruses, evokes cellular senescence as a primary stress response in infected cells. Virus-induced senescence (VIS) is indistinguishable from other forms of cellular senescence and is accompanied by a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which comprises pro-inflammatory cytokines, extracellular-matrix-active factors and pro-coagulatory mediators5-7. Patients with COVID-19 displayed markers of senescence in their airway mucosa in situ and increased serum levels of SASP factors. In vitro assays demonstrated macrophage activation with SASP-reminiscent secretion, complement lysis and SASP-amplifying secondary senescence of endothelial cells, which mirrored hallmark features of COVID-19 such as macrophage and neutrophil infiltration, endothelial damage and widespread thrombosis in affected lung tissue1,8,9. Moreover, supernatant from VIS cells, including SARS-CoV-2-induced senescence, induced neutrophil extracellular trap formation and activation of platelets and the clotting cascade. Senolytics such as navitoclax and a combination of dasatinib plus quercetin selectively eliminated VIS cells, mitigated COVID-19-reminiscent lung disease and reduced inflammation in SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters and mice. Our findings mark VIS as a pathogenic trigger of COVID-19-related cytokine escalation and organ damage, and suggest that senolytic targeting of virus-infected cells is a treatment option against SARS-CoV-2 and perhaps other viral infections.

COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cellular Senescence/drug effects , Molecular Targeted Therapy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Aniline Compounds/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Dasatinib/pharmacology , Dasatinib/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Quercetin/pharmacology , Quercetin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/metabolism