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  • DKFZ Publication Database  (2)
  • 1
    Abstract: The impact of the incorporation of a non-natural amino acid (NNAA) on protein structure, dynamics, and ligand binding has not been studied rigorously so far. NNAAs are regularly used to modify proteins post-translationally in vivo and in vitro through click chemistry. Herein, structural characterisation of the impact of the incorporation of azidohomoalanine (AZH) into the model protein domain PDZ3 is examined by means of NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. The structure and dynamics of the apo state of AZH-modified PDZ3 remain mostly unperturbed. Furthermore, the binding of two PDZ3 binding peptides are unchanged upon incorporation of AZH. The interface of the AZH-modified PDZ3 and an azulene-linked peptide for vibrational energy transfer studies has been mapped by means of chemical shift perturbations and NOEs between the unlabelled azulene-linked peptide and the isotopically labelled protein. Co-crystallisation and soaking failed for the peptide-bound holo complex. NMR spectroscopy, however, allowed determination of the protein-ligand interface. Although the incorporation of AZH was minimally invasive for PDZ3, structural analysis of NNAA-modified proteins through the methodology presented herein should be performed to ensure structural integrity of the studied target.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28950050
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  • 2
    Abstract: PURPOSE: Small molecule inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, such as sorafenib, represent novel treatment options for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of our study was to identify downstream targets as biomarker candidates that are directly linked to the oncogenic MAPK pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma and correlate with inhibition of this pathway by multikinase inhibitors. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines and fresh tumor and tumor-free liver tissues from patients with hepatocellular carcinoma were incubated with different BRaf or MEK inhibitors and analyzed for kinase phosphorylation, proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and chemokine secretion. RESULTS: Hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines responded differentially to these inhibitors in a dose-dependent manner, even those targeting the same kinase. Sorafenib inhibited both MEK1 and ERK1/2 phosphorylation at high but increased signaling at low concentrations. Similarly, PLX4720 increased MEK/ERK signaling independently from mutations in BRaf or NRas. MEK inhibitors decreased ERK1/2 phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. These signaling characteristics correlated with inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and chemokine secretion. Fresh tissues derived from patients diagnosed with primary hepatocellular carcinoma responded to these inhibitors with changes in their microenvironment following the patterns observed in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. CONCLUSIONS: Oncogenic signaling of the MAPK pathway influences hepatocellular carcinoma sensitivity to treatment with BRaf and MEK inhibitors about cell fate independently from mutations in BRaf and NRas. MAPK inhibitors have a strong impact on chemokine secretion as a consequence of interference with oncogenic signaling. Therefore, novel biomarker candidates associated with the hepatocellular carcinoma microenvironment may be developed for prediction and monitoring of treatment response to small molecule inhibitors.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24573550
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