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Concept: Tyrosine kinase


Background Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a mediator of the B-cell-receptor signaling pathway implicated in the pathogenesis of B-cell cancers. In a phase 1 study, ibrutinib, a BTK inhibitor, showed antitumor activity in several types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including mantle-cell lymphoma. Methods In this phase 2 study, we investigated oral ibrutinib, at a daily dose of 560 mg, in 111 patients with relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma. Patients were enrolled into two groups: those who had previously received at least 2 cycles of bortezomib therapy and those who had received less than 2 complete cycles of bortezomib or had received no prior bortezomib therapy. The primary end point was the overall response rate. Secondary end points were duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety. Results The median age was 68 years, and 86% of patients had intermediate-risk or high-risk mantle-cell lymphoma according to clinical prognostic factors. Patients had received a median of three prior therapies. The most common treatment-related adverse events were mild or moderate diarrhea, fatigue, and nausea. Grade 3 or higher hematologic events were infrequent and included neutropenia (in 16% of patients), thrombocytopenia (in 11%), and anemia (in 10%). A response rate of 68% (75 patients) was observed, with a complete response rate of 21% and a partial response rate of 47%; prior treatment with bortezomib had no effect on the response rate. With an estimated median follow-up of 15.3 months, the estimated median response duration was 17.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.8 to not reached), the estimated median progression-free survival was 13.9 months (95% CI, 7.0 to not reached), and the median overall survival was not reached. The estimated rate of overall survival was 58% at 18 months. Conclusions Ibrutinib shows durable single-agent efficacy in relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma. (Funded by Pharmacyclics and others; number, NCT01236391 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Signal transduction, Response rate, Chemotherapy, Protein kinase, Tyrosine kinase, Lymphoma, Blood disorders


Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) inhibits Abl1, c-Kit, and related protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and serves as a therapeutic for chronic myelogenous leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Imatinib also has efficacy against various pathogens, including pathogenic mycobacteria, where it decreases bacterial load in mice, albeit at doses below those used for treating cancer. We report that imatinib at such low doses unexpectedly induces differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors in the bone marrow, augments myelopoiesis but not lymphopoiesis, and increases numbers of myeloid cells in blood and spleen. Whereas progenitor differentiation relies on partial inhibition of c-Kit by imatinib, lineage commitment depends upon inhibition of other PTKs. Thus, imatinib mimics “emergency hematopoiesis,” a physiological innate immune response to infection. Increasing neutrophil numbers by adoptive transfer sufficed to reduce mycobacterial load, and imatinib reduced bacterial load of Franciscella spp., which do not utilize imatinib-sensitive PTKs for pathogenesis. Thus, potentiation of the immune response by imatinib at low doses may facilitate clearance of diverse microbial pathogens.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Bacteria, Bone marrow, Innate immune system, Tyrosine kinase, Imatinib, Gastrointestinal stromal tumor


PTP1B is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) anchored enzyme whose access to substrates is partly dependent on the ER distribution and dynamics. One of these substrates, the protein tyrosine kinase Src, has been found in the cytosol, endosomes, and plasma membrane. Here we analyzed where PTP1B and Src physically interact in intact cells, by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) in combination with temporal and high resolution microscopy. We also determined the structural basis of this interaction. We found that BiFC signal is displayed as puncta scattered throughout the ER network, a feature that was enhanced when the substrate trapping mutant PTP1B-D181A was used. Time-lapse and co-localization analyses revealed that BiFC puncta did not correspond to vesicular carriers; instead they localized at the tip of dynamic ER tubules. BiFC puncta were retained in ventral membrane preparations after cell unroofing and were also detected within the evanescent field of total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRFM) associated to the ventral membranes of whole cells. Furthermore, BiFC puncta often colocalized with dark spots seen by surface reflection interference contrast (SRIC). Removal of Src myristoylation and polybasic motifs abolished BiFC. In addition, PTP1B active site and negative regulatory tyrosine 529 on Src were primary determinants of BiFC occurrence, although the SH3 binding motif on PTP1B also played a role. Our results suggest that ER-bound PTP1B dynamically interacts with the negative regulatory site at the C-terminus of Src at random puncta in the plasma membrane/substrate interface, likely leading to Src activation and recruitment to adhesion complexes. We postulate that this functional ER/plasma membrane crosstalk could apply to a wide array of protein partners, opening an exciting field of research.

Concepts: Protein, Signal transduction, Enzyme, Total internal reflection fluorescence microscope, Tyrosine kinase, Total internal reflection, Evanescent wave, Protein tyrosine phosphatase


Consequences of expression of the protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor 22 (PTPN22) gain-of-function variant were evaluated in leukocytes from patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA) disease. The frequency of the gain-of-function allele within the Caucasian patient cohort was 22% (OR 1.45), compared to general American Caucasian population (16.5%, p = 0.03). Examination of the basal phosphatase activity of PTPN22 gain-of-function protein indicated persistently elevated activity in un-stimulated peripheral leukocytes, while basal activity was undetectable in leukocytes from patients without the gain-of-function variant. To examine consequences of persistently high PTPN22 activity, the activation status of ERK and p38 MAPK were analyzed. While moderate levels of activated ERK were observed in controls, it was undetectable in leukocytes expressing PTPN22 gain-of-function protein and instead p38MAPK was up-regulated. IL-10 transcription, reliant on the ERK pathway, was negatively affected. Over the course of disease, patients expressing variant PTPN22 did not show a spike in IL-10 transcription as they entered remission in contrast to controls, implying that environmentally triggered signals were blunted. Sustained activity of PTPN22, due to the gain-of-function mutation, acts as a dominant negative regulator of ERK activity leading to blunted cellular responsiveness to environmental stimuli and expression of protective cytokines.

Concepts: Immune system, DNA, Gene, Mutation, Tyrosine kinase, Caucasian race, Protein tyrosine phosphatase, PTEN


In LEOPARD Syndrome (LS) patients, mutations in the protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2 cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The pro-hypertrophic effects of mutant Shp2 are mediated downstream by hyperactivation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Our goal was to further define the signaling cascade that is essential for the underlying pathomechanism, thus expanding the list of potential future therapeutic targets. Using cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCM) with adenoviral gene delivery and pharmacological inhibitors, we found that hypertrophy induced by a particularly aggressive LS mutation in Shp2 depends on hyperactivation of Akt and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) as well as mTOR. Dissecting domain-specific functions of Shp2 using double and truncation mutants, we determined that the hypertrophic effects of mutant Shp2 depend on the two SH2 domains and on an intact catalytic center. The latter finding prompted us to test the efficacy of a Shp2 inhibitor targeted directly at the catalytic pocket. This compound, PHPS1, effectively prevented mutant Shp2-induced hypertrophy. In summary, we identified three novel targets for pharmacological therapy of LS-associated cardiac hypertrophy. Of particular importance is the finding that intervention directly at the mutant Shp2 protein is effective, since this would facilitate custom-tailored therapeutic approaches for patients carrying LS mutations in Shp2.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Enzyme, Mutant, Tyrosine kinase, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Focal adhesion, PTEN, EC 3.1.3


We analyzed the cost-effectiveness of treating incident chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP) with generic imatinib when it becomes available in United States in 2016. In the year following generic entry, imatinib’s price is expected to drop 70% to 90%. We hypothesized that initiating treatment with generic imatinib in these patients and then switching to the other tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs), dasatinib or nilotinib, because of intolerance or lack of effectiveness (“imatinib-first”) would be cost-effective compared with the current standard of care: “physicians' choice” of initiating treatment with any one of the three TKIs.

Concepts: Signal transduction, United States, Protein kinase, Tyrosine kinase, Leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia, Imatinib, Philadelphia chromosome


The introduction of imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), has greatly increased survival for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Conversely, nonadherence to imatinib and other TKIs undoubtedly results in disease progression and treatment resistance. We examined trends in imatinib expenditures from 2002 to 2011 and assessed the association between copayment requirements for imatinib and TKI adherence.

Concepts: Cancer, Signal transduction, Protein kinase, Tyrosine kinase, Leukemia, Chronic myelogenous leukemia, Imatinib, Protein kinase inhibitor


A critical early step in drug discovery is the screening of a chemical library. Typically, promising compounds are identified in a primary screen and then more fully characterized in a dose-response analysis with 7-10 data points per compound. Here, we describe a robust microfluidic approach that increases the number of data points to approximately 10,000 per compound. The system exploits Taylor-Aris dispersion to create concentration gradients, which are then segmented into picoliter microreactors by droplet-based microfluidics. The large number of data points results in IC(50) values that are highly precise (± 2.40% at 95% confidence) and highly reproducible (CV = 2.45%, n = 16). In addition, the high resolution of the data reveals complex dose-response relationships unambiguously. We used this system to screen a chemical library of 704 compounds against protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B, a diabetes, obesity, and cancer target. We identified a number of novel inhibitors, the most potent being sodium cefsulodine, which has an IC(50) of 27 ± 0.83 μM.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Cancer, Chemistry, Tyrosine kinase, Chemical compound, Microfluidics, Protein tyrosine phosphatase, PTEN


Recent advances in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) across autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases have augmented our understanding of pathogenic mechanisms underlying these diseases. This has further highlighted their heterogeneous nature, both within and between diseases. Furthermore, varying responses to therapy have also served to underline the importance of this heterogeneity in the manner in which these diseases are diagnosed and treated. Here we discuss our current understanding of the shared pathways of autoimmunity, including the tumor necrosis factor (TNF), major histocompatibility complex (MHC), interleukin 23 receptor (IL23R) and protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) pathways. In addition, we summarize effective specific therapies tested across major autoimmune diseases, highlighting the insight they have provided into disease mechanisms and their implications for potential future improvements.

Concepts: Immune system, Tyrosine kinase, Major histocompatibility complex, Genome-wide association study, Autoimmunity, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Protein tyrosine phosphatase, PTEN


SHP-1, encoded by the PTPN6 gene, is a protein tyrosine phosphatase with two src-homology-2 (SH2) domains that is implicated as providing suppression of hematopoietic malignancies. A number of reports have shown protein-protein interactions between SHP-1 SH2 domains and tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins. However, despite its having three proline-rich, potential SH3-binding motifs, no reports of protein-protein interactions through src-homology-3 (SH3)-binding domains with SHP-1 have been described. Herein we show that the SH3 domain-containing CT10 regulator of kinase-like (CrkL) adaptor protein associates with SHP-1. We also provide results that suggest this association is due to CrkL binding to PxxP domains located at amino acid residues 158-161 within the SHP-1 C-terminal SH2 domain, and amino acid residues 363-366 within its phosphatase domain. This study is the first to identify and define an interaction between SHP-1 and an SH3 domain-containing protein. Our findings provide an alternative way that SHP-1 can be linked to potential substrates.

Concepts: Protein, Protein structure, Amino acid, Acid, Signal transduction, Enzyme, Tyrosine kinase, Syk