Publications by authors named "Jason T C Lee"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Carbamazepine, a beta-cell protecting drug, reduces type 1 diabetes incidence in NOD mice.

Sci Rep 2018 03 15;8(1):4588. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Diabetes Research Group, UBC Life Sciences Institute, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Pancreatic beta-cells are selectively destroyed by the host immune system in type 1 diabetes. Thus, drugs that preserve beta-cell mass and/or function have the potential to prevent or slow the progression of this disease. We recently reported that the use-dependent sodium channel blocker, carbamazepine, protects beta-cells from inflammatory cytokines in vitro. Here, we tested the effects of carbamazepine treatment in female non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice by supplementing LabDiet 5053 with 0.5% w/w carbamazepine to achieve serum carbamazepine levels of 14.98 ± 3.19 µM. Remarkably, diabetes incidence over 25 weeks, as determined by fasting blood glucose, was ~50% lower in carbamazepine treated animals. Partial protection from diabetes in carbamazepine-fed NOD mice was also associated with improved glucose tolerance at 6 weeks of age, prior to the onset of diabetes in our colony. Less insulitis was detected in carbamazepine treated NOD mice at 6 weeks of age, but we did not observe differences in CD4 and CD8 T cell composition in the pancreatic lymph node, as well as circulating markers of inflammation. Taken together, our results demonstrate that carbamazepine reduces the development of type 1 diabetes in NOD mice by maintaining functional beta-cell mass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23026-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5854601PMC
March 2018

Biguanides sensitize leukemia cells to ABT-737-induced apoptosis by inhibiting mitochondrial electron transport.

Oncotarget 2016 Aug;7(32):51435-51449

Grupo de Terapia Celular y Molecular, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.

Metformin displays antileukemic effects partly due to activation of AMPK and subsequent inhibition of mTOR signaling. Nevertheless, Metformin also inhibits mitochondrial electron transport at complex I in an AMPK-independent manner, Here we report that Metformin and rotenone inhibit mitochondrial electron transport and increase triglyceride levels in leukemia cell lines, suggesting impairment of fatty acid oxidation (FAO). We also report that, like other FAO inhibitors, both agents and the related biguanide, Phenformin, increase sensitivity to apoptosis induction by the bcl-2 inhibitor ABT-737 supporting the notion that electron transport antagonizes activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway in leukemia cells. Both biguanides and rotenone induce superoxide generation in leukemia cells, indicating that oxidative damage may sensitize toABT-737 induced apoptosis. In addition, we demonstrate that Metformin sensitizes leukemia cells to the oligomerization of Bak, suggesting that the observed synergy with ABT-737 is mediated, at least in part, by enhanced outer mitochondrial membrane permeabilization. Notably, Phenformin was at least 10-fold more potent than Metformin in abrogating electron transport and increasing sensitivity to ABT-737, suggesting that this agent may be better suited for targeting hematological malignancies. Taken together, our results suggest that inhibition of mitochondrial metabolism by Metformin or Phenformin is associated with increased leukemia cell susceptibility to induction of intrinsic apoptosis, and provide a rationale for clinical studies exploring the efficacy of combining biguanides with the orally bioavailable derivative of ABT-737, Venetoclax.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9843DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5239486PMC
August 2016

High-content screening identifies a role for Na(+) channels in insulin production.

R Soc Open Sci 2015 Dec 2;2(12):150306. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences University of British Columbia Life Sciences Centre, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3.

Insulin production is the central feature of functionally mature and differentiated pancreatic β-cells. Reduced insulin transcription and dedifferentiation have been implicated in type 2 diabetes, making drugs that could reverse these processes potentially useful. We have previously established ratiometric live-cell imaging tools to identify factors that increase insulin promoter activity and promote β-cell differentiation. Here, we present a single vector imaging tool with eGFP and mRFP, driven by the Pdx1 and Ins1 promoters, respectively, targeted to the nucleus to enhance identification of individual cells in a high-throughput manner. Using this new approach, we screened 1120 off-patent drugs for factors that regulate Ins1 and Pdx1 promoter activity in MIN6 β-cells. We identified a number of compounds that positively modulate Ins1 promoter activity, including several drugs known to modulate ion channels. Carbamazepine was selected for extended follow-up, as our previous screen also identified this use-dependent sodium channel inhibitor as a positive modulator of β-cell survival. Indeed, carbamazepine increased Ins1 and Ins2 mRNA in primary mouse islets at lower doses than were required to protect β-cells. We validated the role of sodium channels in insulin production by examining Nav1.7 (Scn9a) knockout mice and remarkably islets from these animals had dramatically elevated insulin content relative to wild-type controls. Collectively, our experiments provide a starting point for additional studies aimed to identify drugs and molecular pathways that control insulin production and β-cell differentiation status. In particular, our unbiased screen identified a novel role for a β-cell sodium channel gene in insulin production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.150306DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4807443PMC
December 2015

UV-inactivated HSV-1 potently activates NK cell killing of leukemic cells.

Blood 2016 05 3;127(21):2575-86. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada;

Herein we demonstrate that oncolytic herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) potently activates human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to lyse leukemic cell lines and primary acute myeloid leukemia samples, but not healthy allogeneic lymphocytes. Intriguingly, we found that UV light-inactivated HSV-1 (UV-HSV-1) is equally effective in promoting PBMC cytolysis of leukemic cells and is 1000- to 10 000-fold more potent at stimulating innate antileukemic responses than UV-inactivated cytomegalovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, reovirus, or adenovirus. Mechanistically, UV-HSV-1 stimulates PBMC cytolysis of leukemic cells, partly via Toll-like receptor-2/protein kinase C/nuclear factor-κB signaling, and potently stimulates expression of CD69, degranulation, migration, and cytokine production in natural killer (NK) cells, suggesting that surface components of UV-HSV-1 directly activate NK cells. Importantly, UV-HSV-1 synergizes with interleukin-15 (IL-15) and IL-2 in inducing activation and cytolytic activity of NK cells. Additionally, UV-HSV-1 stimulates glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation-dependent oxygen consumption in NK cells, but only glycolysis is required for their enhanced antileukemic activity. Last, we demonstrate that T cell-depleted human PBMCs exposed to UV-HSV-1 provide a survival benefit in a murine xenograft model of human acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Taken together, our results support the preclinical development of UV-HSV-1 as an adjuvant, alone or in combination with IL-15, for allogeneic donor mononuclear cell infusions to treat AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2015-04-639088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4892253PMC
May 2016

Reduced Insulin Production Relieves Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Induces β Cell Proliferation.

Cell Metab 2016 Jan 25;23(1):179-93. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, Diabetes Research Group, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, BC V6T1Z3, Canada. Electronic address:

Pancreatic β cells are mostly post-mitotic, but it is unclear what locks them in this state. Perturbations including uncontrolled hyperglycemia can drive β cells into more pliable states with reduced cellular insulin levels, increased β cell proliferation, and hormone mis-expression, but it is unknown whether reduced insulin production itself plays a role. Here, we define the effects of ∼50% reduced insulin production in Ins1(-/-):Ins2(f/f):Pdx1Cre(ERT):mTmG mice prior to robust hyperglycemia. Transcriptome, proteome, and network analysis revealed alleviation of chronic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, indicated by reduced Ddit3, Trib3, and Atf4 expression; reduced Xbp1 splicing; and reduced phospho-eIF2α. This state was associated with hyper-phosphorylation of Akt, which is negatively regulated by Trib3, and with cyclinD1 upregulation. Remarkably, β cell proliferation was increased 2-fold after reduced insulin production independently of hyperglycemia. Eventually, recombined cells mis-expressed glucagon in the hyperglycemic state. We conclude that the normally high rate of insulin production suppresses β cell proliferation in a cell-autonomous manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2015.10.016DOI Listing
January 2016

14-3-3ζ coordinates adipogenesis of visceral fat.

Nat Commun 2015 Jul 29;6:7671. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3.

The proteins that coordinate complex adipogenic transcriptional networks are poorly understood. 14-3-3ζ is a molecular adaptor protein that regulates insulin signalling and transcription factor networks. Here we report that 14-3-3ζ-knockout mice are strikingly lean from birth with specific reductions in visceral fat depots. Conversely, transgenic 14-3-3ζ overexpression potentiates obesity, without exacerbating metabolic complications. Only the 14-3-3ζ isoform is essential for adipogenesis based on isoform-specific RNAi. Mechanistic studies show that 14-3-3ζ depletion promotes autophagy-dependent degradation of C/EBP-δ, preventing induction of the master adipogenic factors, Pparγ and C/EBP-α. Transcriptomic data indicate that 14-3-3ζ acts upstream of hedgehog signalling-dependent upregulation of Cdkn1b/p27(Kip1). Indeed, concomitant knockdown of p27(Kip1) or Gli3 rescues the early block in adipogenesis induced by 14-3-3ζ knockdown in vitro. Adipocyte precursors in 14-3-3ζKO embryos also appear to have greater Gli3 and p27(Kip1) abundance. Together, our in vivo and in vitro findings demonstrate that 14-3-3ζ is a critical upstream driver of adipogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532800PMC
July 2015