Publications by authors named "Laura Abriola"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Increased numbers of nucleoli in a genome-wide RNAi screen reveal proteins that link the cell cycle to RNA polymerase I transcription.

Mol Biol Cell 2021 Apr 10;32(9):956-973. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520.

Nucleoli are dynamic nuclear condensates in eukaryotic cells that originate through ribosome biogenesis at loci that harbor the ribosomal DNA. These loci are known as nucleolar organizer regions (NORs), and there are 10 in a human diploid genome. While there are 10 NORs, however, the number of nucleoli observed in cells is variable. Furthermore, changes in number are associated with disease, with increased numbers and size common in aggressive cancers. In the near-diploid human breast epithelial cell line, MCF10A, the most frequently observed number of nucleoli is two to three per cell. Here, to identify novel regulators of ribosome biogenesis we used high-throughput quantitative imaging of MCF10A cells to identify proteins that, when depleted, increase the percentage of nuclei with ≥5 nucleoli. Unexpectedly, this unique screening approach led to identification of proteins associated with the cell cycle. Functional analysis on a subset of hits further revealed not only proteins required for progression through the S and G2/M phase, but also proteins required explicitly for the regulation of RNA polymerase I transcription and protein synthesis. Thus, results from this screen for increased nucleolar number highlight the significance of the nucleolus in human cell cycle regulation, linking RNA polymerase I transcription to cell cycle progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E20-10-0670DOI Listing
April 2021

Genome-wide CRISPR Screens Reveal Host Factors Critical for SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Cell 2021 01 20;184(1):76-91.e13. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address:

Identification of host genes essential for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may reveal novel therapeutic targets and inform our understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. Here we performed genome-wide CRISPR screens in Vero-E6 cells with SARS-CoV-2, Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), bat CoV HKU5 expressing the SARS-CoV-1 spike, and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike. We identified known SARS-CoV-2 host factors, including the receptor ACE2 and protease Cathepsin L. We additionally discovered pro-viral genes and pathways, including HMGB1 and the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, that are SARS lineage and pan-coronavirus specific, respectively. We show that HMGB1 regulates ACE2 expression and is critical for entry of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and NL63. We also show that small-molecule antagonists of identified gene products inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in monkey and human cells, demonstrating the conserved role of these genetic hits across species. This identifies potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and reveals SARS lineage-specific and pan-CoV host factors that regulate susceptibility to highly pathogenic CoVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7574718PMC
January 2021

Restriction of SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Targeting Programmed -1 Ribosomal Frameshifting In Vitro.

bioRxiv 2020 Oct 21. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Translation of open reading frame 1b (ORF1b) in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) promoted by an RNA pseudoknot. The extent to which SARS-CoV-2 replication may be sensitive to changes in -1 PRF efficiency is currently unknown. Through an unbiased, reporter-based high-throughput compound screen, we identified merafloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibacterial, as a -1 PRF inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2. Frameshift inhibition by merafloxacin is robust to mutations within the pseudoknot region and is similarly effective on -1 PRF of other beta coronaviruses. Importantly, frameshift inhibition by merafloxacin substantially impedes SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero E6 cells, thereby providing the proof of principle of targeting -1 PRF as an effective antiviral strategy for SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.21.349225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7587830PMC
October 2020

Genome-wide CRISPR screen reveals host genes that regulate SARS-CoV-2 infection.

bioRxiv 2020 Jun 17. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Identification of host genes essential for SARS-CoV-2 infection may reveal novel therapeutic targets and inform our understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis. Here we performed a genome-wide CRISPR screen with SARS-CoV-2 and identified known SARS-CoV-2 host factors including the receptor ACE2 and protease Cathepsin L. We additionally discovered novel pro-viral genes and pathways including the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex and key components of the TGF-β signaling pathway. Small molecule inhibitors of these pathways prevented SARS-CoV-2-induced cell death. We also revealed that the alarmin HMGB1 is critical for SARS-CoV-2 replication. In contrast, loss of the histone H3.3 chaperone complex sensitized cells to virus-induced death. Together this study reveals potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and highlights host genes that may regulate COVID-19 pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.16.155101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7457610PMC
June 2020

An allosteric site on MKP5 reveals a strategy for small-molecule inhibition.

Sci Signal 2020 08 25;13(646). Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases (MKPs) have been considered "undruggable," but their position as regulators of the MAPKs makes them promising therapeutic targets. MKP5 has been suggested as a potential target for the treatment of dystrophic muscle disease. Here, we identified an inhibitor of MKP5 using a p38α MAPK-derived, phosphopeptide-based small-molecule screen. We solved the structure of MKP5 in complex with this inhibitor, which revealed a previously undescribed allosteric binding pocket. Binding of the inhibitor to this pocket collapsed the MKP5 active site and was predicted to limit MAPK binding. Treatment with the inhibitor recapitulated the phenotype of MKP5 deficiency, resulting in activation of p38 MAPK and JNK. We demonstrated that MKP5 was required for TGF-β1 signaling in muscle and that the inhibitor blocked TGF-β1-mediated Smad2 phosphorylation. TGF-β1 pathway antagonism has been proposed for the treatment of dystrophic muscle disease. Thus, allosteric inhibition of MKP5 represents a therapeutic strategy against dystrophic muscle disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aba3043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7569488PMC
August 2020

Development and optimization of a high-throughput screening method utilizing Ancylostoma ceylanicum egg hatching to identify novel anthelmintics.

PLoS One 2019 3;14(6):e0217019. Epub 2019 Jun 3.

Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

Hookworms remain a major health burden in the developing world, with hundreds of millions currently afflicted by these blood-feeding parasites. There exists a vital need for the discovery of novel drugs and identification of parasite drug targets for the development of chemotherapies. New drug development requires the identification of compounds that target molecules essential to parasite survival and preclinical testing in robust, standardized animal models of human disease. This process can prove costly and time consuming using conventional, low-throughput methods. We have developed a novel high-throughput screen (HTS) to identify anthelmintics for the treatment of soil-transmitted helminths. Our high-throughput, plate reader-based assay was used to rapidly assess compound toxicity to Ancylostoma ceylanicum L1 larva. Using this method, we screened 39,568 compounds from several small molecule screening libraries at 10 μM and identified 830 bioactive compounds that inhibit egg hatching of the human hookworm A. ceylanicum by >50%. Of these, 132 compounds inhibited hookworm egg hatching by >90% compared to controls. The nematicidal activities of 268 compounds were verified by retesting in the egg hatching assay and were also tested for toxicity against the human HeLa cell line at 10 μM. Fifty-nine compounds were verified to inhibit A. ceylanicum egg hatching by >80% and were <20% toxic to HeLa cells. Half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values were determined for the 59 hit compounds and ranged from 0.05-8.94 μM. This stringent advancement of compounds was designed to 1) systematically assess the nematicidal activity of novel compounds against the egg stage of A. ceylanicum hookworms in culture and 2) define their chemotherapeutic potential in vivo by evaluating their toxicity to human cells. Information gained from these experiments may directly contribute to the development of new drugs for the treatment of human hookworm disease.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217019PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6546214PMC
February 2020

High-throughput screening identifies compounds that protect RPE cells from physiological stressors present in AMD.

Exp Eye Res 2019 08 11;185:107641. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale School of Medicine, 300 George St., Suite 8100, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA. Electronic address:

Dysfunction and eventual loss of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is a hallmark of atrophic age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and linked to oxidative and nitrosative damage. Herein, we use a high-throughput screen (HTS) to identify compounds that protect human RPE cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death and elucidate the possible mechanism of action. HTS was used to identify compounds that protect RPE cells from oxidative damage. We tested the identified compound(s) in models of RPE stress, including tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) exposure, ultraviolet-B (UV-B)-mediated light damage and nitrosative stress to the basement membrane using ARPE-19 cells, primary human RPE cells and induced-pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived RPE cells from patients with AMD. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to detect gene expression of oxidative stress- and apoptosis-related genes and mitochondrial function was measured using a Seahorse XF96 analyzer to elucidate possible mechanisms of action. Five thousand and sixty-five compounds were screened, and of these, 12 compounds were active based on their ability to improve cell viability after exposure to TBHP. After chemical structure review, we identified ciclopirox olamine as a potent inhibitor of oxidative damage to RPE cells. Ciclopirox olamine increased cell viability in ARPE-19 cells treated with TBHP, UV-B light or on nitrite-modified extracellular matrix (ECM) by 1.68-fold, 1.54-fold and 4.3-fold, respectively (p < 0.01). Treatment with TBHP altered expression of genes related to oxidative stress and apoptosis, which was reversed by pretreatment with ciclopirox olamine. Ciclopirox olamine improved mitochondrial function in TBHP-exposed ARPE-19 cells and iPSC-derived RPE cells. Ciclopirox olamine protected primary human RPE cells and iPSC-derived RPE cells from the oxidative stress or damaged basement membrane. HTS of bioactive Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved libraries and follow-up studies can be used to identify small molecules (including ciclopirox olamine) that protect RPE cells exposed to various stressors associated with disease progression of AMD. This strategy can be used to identify potential compounds for treatment and prevention of AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exer.2019.04.009DOI Listing
August 2019

Macrolides selectively inhibit mutant KCNJ5 potassium channels that cause aldosterone-producing adenoma.

J Clin Invest 2017 Jun 12;127(7):2739-2750. Epub 2017 Jun 12.

Department of Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) are benign tumors of the adrenal gland that constitutively produce the salt-retaining steroid hormone aldosterone and cause millions of cases of severe hypertension worldwide. Either of 2 somatic mutations in the potassium channel KCNJ5 (G151R and L168R, hereafter referred to as KCNJ5MUT) in adrenocortical cells account for half of APAs worldwide. These mutations alter channel selectivity to allow abnormal Na+ conductance, resulting in membrane depolarization, calcium influx, aldosterone production, and cell proliferation. Because APA diagnosis requires a difficult invasive procedure, patients often remain undiagnosed and inadequately treated. Inhibitors of KCNJ5MUT could allow noninvasive diagnosis and therapy of APAs carrying KCNJ5 mutations. Here, we developed a high-throughput screen for rescue of KCNJ5MUT-induced lethality and identified a series of macrolide antibiotics, including roxithromycin, that potently inhibit KCNJ5MUT, but not KCNJ5WT. Electrophysiology demonstrated direct KCNJ5MUT inhibition. In human aldosterone-producing adrenocortical cancer cell lines, roxithromycin inhibited KCNJ5MUT-induced induction of CYP11B2 (encoding aldosterone synthase) expression and aldosterone production. Further exploration of macrolides showed that KCNJ5MUT was similarly selectively inhibited by idremcinal, a macrolide motilin receptor agonist, and by synthesized macrolide derivatives lacking antibiotic or motilide activity. Macrolide-derived selective KCNJ5MUT inhibitors thus have the potential to advance the diagnosis and treatment of APAs harboring KCNJ5MUT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI91733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5490757PMC
June 2017

DNA Polymerase Beta Germline Variant Confers Cellular Response to Cisplatin Therapy.

Mol Cancer Res 2017 03 10;15(3):269-280. Epub 2017 Jan 10.

Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Resistance to cancer chemotherapies leads to deadly consequences, yet current research focuses only on the roles of somatically acquired mutations in this resistance. The mutational status of the germline is also likely to play a role in the way cells respond to chemotherapy. The carrier status for the rs3136797 germline mutation encoding P242R DNA polymerase beta (Pol β) is associated with poor prognosis for lung cancer, specifically in response to treatment with cisplatin. Here, it is revealed that the P242R mutation is sufficient to promote resistance to cisplatin in human cells and in mouse xenografts. Mechanistically, P242R Pol β acts as a translesion polymerase and prefers to insert the correct nucleotide opposite cisplatin intrastrand cross-links, leading to the activation of the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway, removal of crosslinks, and resistance to cisplatin. In contrast, wild-type (WT) Pol β preferentially inserts the incorrect nucleotide initiating mismatch repair and cell death. Importantly, in a mouse xenograft model, tumors derived from lung cancer cells expressing WT Pol β displayed a slower rate of growth when treated with cisplatin, whereas tumors expressing P242R Pol β had no response to cisplatin. Pol β is critical for mediating crosstalk in response to cisplatin. The current data strongly suggest that the status of Pol β influences cellular responses to crosslinking agents and that Pol β is a promising biomarker to predict responses to specific chemotherapies. Finally, these results highlight that the genetic status of the germline is a critical factor in the response to cancer treatment. Pol β has prognostic biomarker potential in the treatment of cancer with cisplatin and perhaps other intrastrand crosslinking agents. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-16-0227-TDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5334281PMC
March 2017

A novel small molecule that disrupts a key event during the oocyte-to-embryo transition in C. elegans.

Development 2016 10 10;143(19):3540-3548. Epub 2016 Aug 10.

Dept. of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

The complex cellular events that occur in response to fertilization are essential for mediating the oocyte-to-embryo transition. Here, we describe a comprehensive small-molecule screen focused on identifying compounds that affect early embryonic events in Caenorhabditis elegans We identify a single novel compound that disrupts early embryogenesis with remarkable stage and species specificity. The compound, named C22, primarily impairs eggshell integrity, leading to osmotic sensitivity and embryonic lethality. The C22-induced phenotype is dependent upon the upregulation of the LET-607/CREBH transcription factor and its candidate target genes, which primarily encode factors involved in diverse aspects of protein trafficking. Together, our data suggest that in the presence of C22, one or more key components of the eggshell are inappropriately processed, leading to permeable, inviable embryos. The remarkable specificity and reversibility of this compound will facilitate further investigation into the role and regulation of protein trafficking in the early embryo, as well as serve as a tool for manipulating the life cycle for other studies such as those involving aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.140046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5087616PMC
October 2016

YU238259 Is a Novel Inhibitor of Homology-Dependent DNA Repair That Exhibits Synthetic Lethality and Radiosensitization in Repair-Deficient Tumors.

Mol Cancer Res 2015 Oct 26;13(10):1389-97. Epub 2015 Jun 26.

Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Department of Genetics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Unlabelled: Radiotherapy and DNA-damaging chemotherapy are frequently utilized in the treatment of solid tumors. Innate or acquired resistance to these therapies remains a major clinical challenge in oncology. The development of small molecules that sensitize cancers to established therapies represents an attractive approach to extending survival and quality of life in patients. Here, we demonstrate that YU238259, a member of a novel class of DNA double-strand break repair inhibitors, exhibits potent synthetic lethality in the setting of DNA damage response and DNA repair defects. YU238259 specifically inhibits homology-dependent DNA repair, but not non-homologous end-joining, in cell-based GFP reporter assays. Treatment with YU238259 is not only synergistic with ionizing radiation, etoposide, and PARP inhibition, but this synergism is heightened by BRCA2 deficiency. Further, growth of BRCA2-deficient human tumor xenografts in nude mice is significantly delayed by YU238259 treatment even in the absence of concomitant DNA-damaging therapy. The cytotoxicity of these small molecules in repair-deficient cells results from an accumulation of unresolved DNA double-strand breaks. These findings suggest that YU238259 or related small molecules may have clinical benefit to patients with advanced BRCA2-negative tumors, either as a monotherapy or as an adjuvant to radiotherapy and certain chemotherapies.

Implications: We have identified a novel series of compounds that demonstrate synthetic lethality in DNA repair-deficient cell and animal models and have strong potential for clinical translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4618103PMC
October 2015

Identification of inhibitors of inositol 5-phosphatases through multiple screening strategies.

ACS Chem Biol 2014 Jun 1;9(6):1359-68. Epub 2014 May 1.

Department of Cell Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair, Yale University School of Medicine , New Haven Connecticut 06510, United States.

Phosphoinositides are low abundance membrane phospholipids that have key roles in signaling, membrane trafficking, and cytoskeletal dynamics in all cells. Until recently, strategies for robust and quantitative development of pharmacological tools for manipulating phosphoinositide levels have focused selectively on PI(3,4,5)P3 due to the importance of this lipid in growth factor signaling and cell proliferation. However, drugs that affect levels of other phosphoinositides have potential therapeutic applications and will be powerful research tools. Here, we describe methodology for the high-throughput screening of small molecule modulators of the inositol 5-phosphatases, which dephosphorylate PI(4,5)P2 (the precursor for PI(3,4,5)P3) and PI(3,4,5)P3). We developed three complementary in vitro activity assays, tested hit compounds on a panel of 5-phosphatases, and monitored efficacy toward various substrates. Two prominent chemical scaffolds were identified with high nanomolar/low micromolar activity, with one class showing inhibitory activity toward all 5-phosphatases tested and the other selective activity toward OCRL and INPP5B, which are closely related to each other. One highly soluble OCRL/INPP5B-specific inhibitor shows a direct interaction with the catalytic domain of INPP5B. The efficacy of this compound in living cells was validated through its property to enhance actin nucleation at the cell cortex, a PI(4,5)P2 dependent process, and to inhibit PI(4,5)P2 dephosphorylation by OCRL (both overexpressed and endogenous enzyme). The assays and screening strategies described here are applicable to other phosphoinositide-metabolizing enzymes, at least several of which have major clinical relevance. Most importantly, this study identifies the first OCRL/INPP5B specific inhibitor and provides a platform for the design of more potent inhibitors of this family of enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cb500161zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076014PMC
June 2014

Electrochemiluminescence. A technology evaluation and assay reformatting of the Stat6/P578 protein-peptide interaction.

Methods Mol Biol 2002 ;190:87-106

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Summit, NJ, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1385/1-59259-180-9:087DOI Listing
December 2002