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Angiogenesis ; 24(3): 677-693, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549443


Endothelial barrier disruption and vascular leak importantly contribute to organ dysfunction and mortality during inflammatory conditions like sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. We identified the kinase Arg/Abl2 as a mediator of endothelial barrier disruption, but the role of Arg in endothelial monolayer regulation and its relevance in vivo remain poorly understood. Here we show that depletion of Arg in endothelial cells results in the activation of both RhoA and Rac1, increased cell spreading and elongation, redistribution of integrin-dependent cell-matrix adhesions to the cell periphery, and improved adhesion to the extracellular matrix. We further show that Arg is activated in the endothelium during inflammation, both in murine lungs exposed to barrier-disruptive agents, and in pulmonary microvessels of septic patients. Importantly, Arg-depleted endothelial cells were less sensitive to barrier-disruptive agents. Despite the formation of F-actin stress fibers and myosin light chain phosphorylation, Arg depletion diminished adherens junction disruption and intercellular gap formation, by reducing the disassembly of cell-matrix adhesions and cell retraction. In vivo, genetic deletion of Arg diminished vascular leak in the skin and lungs, in the presence of a normal immune response. Together, our data indicate that Arg is a central and non-redundant regulator of endothelial barrier integrity, which contributes to cell retraction and gap formation by increasing the dynamics of adherens junctions and cell-matrix adhesions in a Rho GTPase-dependent fashion. Therapeutic inhibition of Arg may provide a suitable strategy for the treatment of a variety of clinical conditions characterized by vascular leak.

Extracellular Matrix/metabolism , Gap Junctions/enzymology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/enzymology , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/enzymology , Animals , Cell Adhesion/genetics , Enzyme Activation , Extracellular Matrix/genetics , Gap Junctions/genetics , Humans , Inflammation/enzymology , Inflammation/genetics , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics
J Biol Chem ; 296: 100449, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091794


Hck, a Src family nonreceptor tyrosine kinase (SFK), has recently been established as an attractive pharmacological target to improve pulmonary function in COVID-19 patients. Hck inhibitors are also well known for their regulatory role in various malignancies and autoimmune diseases. Curcumin has been previously identified as an excellent DYRK-2 inhibitor, but curcumin's fate is tainted by its instability in the cellular environment. Besides, small molecules targeting the inactive states of a kinase are desirable to reduce promiscuity. Here, we show that functionalization of the 4-arylidene position of the fluorescent curcumin scaffold with an aryl nitrogen mustard provides a stable Hck inhibitor (Kd = 50 ± 10 nM). The mustard curcumin derivative preferentially interacts with the inactive conformation of Hck, similar to type-II kinase inhibitors that are less promiscuous. Moreover, the lead compound showed no inhibitory effect on three other kinases (DYRK2, Src, and Abl). We demonstrate that the cytotoxicity may be mediated via inhibition of the SFK signaling pathway in triple-negative breast cancer and murine macrophage cells. Our data suggest that curcumin is a modifiable fluorescent scaffold to develop selective kinase inhibitors by remodeling its target affinity and cellular stability.

Curcumin/pharmacology , Drug Design , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-hck/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Cloning, Molecular , Curcumin/analogs & derivatives , Curcumin/chemical synthesis , Drug Stability , Epithelial Cells/enzymology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Gene Expression Regulation , Genetic Vectors/chemistry , Genetic Vectors/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , HT29 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/genetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/metabolism , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/genetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/metabolism , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , /metabolism , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl/genetics , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-hck/chemistry , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-hck/genetics , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-hck/metabolism , RAW 264.7 Cells , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , src-Family Kinases/genetics , src-Family Kinases/metabolism
Molecules ; 25(11)2020 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-981163


Flavonoids are widely used as phytomedicines. Here, we report on flavonoid phytomedicines with potential for development into prophylactics or therapeutics against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These flavonoid-based phytomedicines include: caflanone, Equivir, hesperetin, myricetin, and Linebacker. Our in silico studies show that these flavonoid-based molecules can bind with high affinity to the spike protein, helicase, and protease sites on the ACE2 receptor used by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 to infect cells and cause COVID-19. Meanwhile, in vitro studies show potential of caflanone to inhibit virus entry factors including, ABL-2, cathepsin L, cytokines (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, Mip-1α, TNF-α), and PI4Kiiiß as well as AXL-2, which facilitates mother-to-fetus transmission of coronavirus. The potential for the use of smart drug delivery technologies like nanoparticle drones loaded with these phytomedicines to overcome bioavailability limitations and improve therapeutic efficacy are discussed.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/growth & development , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Chloroquine/chemistry , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/chemistry , Coronavirus OC43, Human/growth & development , Drug Carriers/administration & dosage , Drug Carriers/chemistry , Flavonoids/chemistry , Humans , Interleukins/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukins/chemistry , Interleukins/genetics , Interleukins/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/drug effects , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Phytotherapy/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Primary Cell Culture , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/chemistry , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics , Virus Internalization/drug effects