Publications by authors named "Paola Magnaghi"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Molecular Dynamics Simulations of p97 Including Covalent, Allosteric and ATP-competitive Inhibitors.

Acta Chim Slov 2019 Jun;66(2):395-401

Binary (nucleotide-protein dimer and hexamer complexes) and ternary (nucleotide-protein-inhibitor complexes) p97 complexes were subjected to molecular dynamics simulations in an attempt to further our understanding of the p97 protein oligomer domain stability and, more importantly, of the recently reported diverse molecular mechanisms of inhibition including allosteric, ATP-competitive and covalent inhibitors. Analysis of stable states following equilibration phases indicated a higher intrinsic stability of the homohexamer as opposed to the dimer, and of N-D1 domains as opposed to the D2 domain. The molecular dynamics of the proposed allosteric binding model reproduced important molecular interactions identified experimentally with high frequency throughout the trajectory. Observed conformational changes occurring in the D2 nucleotide binding site provided a novel bind-rearrange-react hypothesis of stepwise molecular events involved in the specific covalent inhibitor mode of action.
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June 2019

A fast and straightforward procedure for vault nanoparticle purification and the characterization of its endocytic uptake.

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj 2018 10 20;1862(10):2254-2260. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Department of Biotechnologies and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, I-20126 Milano, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Vaults are eukaryotic ribonucleoprotein particles composed of up 78 copies of the 97 kDa major vault protein that assembles into a barrel-like, "nanocapsule" enclosing poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, telomerase-associated protein-1 and small untranslated RNAs. Overall, the molecular mass of vault particles amounts to about 13 MDa. Although it has been implicated in several cellular functions, its physiological roles remain poorly understood. Also, the possibility to exploit it as a nanovector for drug delivery is currently being explored in several laboratories.

Methods: Using the baculovirus expression system, vaults were expressed and purified by a dialysis step using a 1 MDa molecular weight cutoff membrane and a subsequent size exclusion chromatography. Purity was assessed by SDS-PAGE, transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. Particle's endocytic uptake was monitored by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.

Results: The purification protocol here reported is far simpler and faster than those currently available and lead to the production of authentic vault. We then demonstrated its clathrin-mediated endocytic uptake by normal fibroblast and glioblastoma, but not carcinoma cell lines. In contrast, no significant caveolin-mediated endocytosis was detected.

Conclusions: These results provide the first evidence for an intrinsic propensity of the vault complex to undergo endocytic uptake cultured eukaryotic cells.

General Significance: The newly developed purification procedure will greatly facilitate any investigation based on the use of the vault particle as a natural nanocarrier. Its clathrin-mediated endocytic uptake observed in normal and in some tumor cell lines sheds light on its physiological role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.07.018DOI Listing
October 2018

Afatinib Is a New Therapeutic Approach in Chordoma with a Unique Ability to Target EGFR and Brachyury.

Mol Cancer Ther 2018 03 13;17(3):603-613. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Nerviano, Milan, Italy.

Chordomas are rare bone tumors with no approved therapy. These tumors express several activated tyrosine kinase receptors, which prompted attempts to treat patients with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Although clinical benefit was observed in phase II clinical trials with imatinib and sorafenib, and sporadically also with EGFR inhibitors, therapies evaluated to date have shown modest activity. With the goal of identifying new drugs with immediate therapeutic potential for chordoma patients, we collected clinically approved drugs and other advanced inhibitors of MET, PDGFRβ, and EGFR tyrosine kinases, and assessed their antiproliferative activity against a panel of chordoma cell lines. Chordoma cell lines were not responsive to MET and PDGFRβ inhibitors. U-CH1 and UM-Chor1 were sensitive to all EGFR inhibitors, whereas the remaining cell lines were generally insensitive to these drugs. Afatinib was the only EGFR inhibitor with activity across the chordoma panel. We then investigated the molecular mechanisms behind the responses observed and found that the antiproliferative ICs correlate with the unique ability of afatinib to promote degradation of EGFR and brachyury, an embryonic transcription factor considered a key driver of chordoma. Afatinib displayed potent antitumor efficacy in U-CH1, SF8894, CF322, and CF365 chordoma tumor models In the panel analyzed, high EGFR phosphorylation and low AXL and STK33 expression correlated with higher sensitivity to afatinib and deserve further investigation as potential biomarkers of response. These data support the use of afatinib in clinical trials and provide the rationale for the upcoming European phase II study on afatinib in advanced chordoma. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0324DOI Listing
March 2018

Establishment and genomic characterization of the new chordoma cell line Chor-IN-1.

Sci Rep 2017 08 23;7(1):9226. Epub 2017 Aug 23.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Nerviano, (MI), Italy.

Chordomas are rare, slowly growing tumors with high medical need, arising in the axial skeleton from notochord remnants. The transcription factor "brachyury" represents a distinctive molecular marker and a key oncogenic driver of chordomas. Tyrosine kinase receptors are also expressed, but so far kinase inhibitors have not shown clear clinical efficacy in chordoma patients. The need for effective therapies is extremely high, but the paucity of established chordoma cell lines has limited preclinical research. Here we describe the isolation of the new Chor-IN-1 cell line from a recurrent sacral chordoma and its characterization as compared to other chordoma cell lines. Chor-IN-1 displays genomic identity to the tumor of origin and has morphological features, growth characteristics and chromosomal abnormalities typical of chordoma, with expression of brachyury and other relevant biomarkers. Chor-IN-1 gene variants, copy number alterations and kinome gene expression were analyzed in comparison to other four chordoma cell lines, generating large scale DNA and mRNA genomic data that can be exploited for the identification of novel pharmacological targets and candidate predictive biomarkers of drug sensitivity in chordoma. The establishment of this new, well characterized chordoma cell line provides a useful tool for the identification of drugs active in chordoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10044-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569021PMC
August 2017

Discovery of Entrectinib: A New 3-Aminoindazole As a Potent Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK), c-ros Oncogene 1 Kinase (ROS1), and Pan-Tropomyosin Receptor Kinases (Pan-TRKs) inhibitor.

J Med Chem 2016 Apr 30;59(7):3392-408. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences Srl , Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano, Milan, Italy.

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is a receptor tyrosine kinase responsible for the development of different tumor types. Despite the remarkable clinical activity of crizotinib (Xalkori), the first ALK inhibitor approved in 2011, the emergence of resistance mutations and of brain metastases frequently causes relapse in patients. Within our ALK drug discovery program, we identified compound 1, a novel 3-aminoindazole active on ALK in biochemical and in cellular assays. Its optimization led to compound 2 (entrectinib), a potent orally available ALK inhibitor active on ALK-dependent cell lines, efficiently penetrant the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in different animal species and highly efficacious in in vivo xenograft models. Moreover, entrectinib resulted to be strictly potent on the closely related tyrosine kinases ROS1 and TRKs recently found constitutively activated in several tumor types. Entrectinib is currently undergoing phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of patients affected by ALK-, ROS1-, and TRK-positive tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00064DOI Listing
April 2016

Entrectinib, a Pan-TRK, ROS1, and ALK Inhibitor with Activity in Multiple Molecularly Defined Cancer Indications.

Mol Cancer Ther 2016 04 3;15(4):628-39. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Nerviano Medical Sciences srl, Nerviano, Milan, Italy.

Activated ALK and ROS1 tyrosine kinases, resulting from chromosomal rearrangements, occur in a subset of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) as well as other tumor types and their oncogenic relevance as actionable targets has been demonstrated by the efficacy of selective kinase inhibitors such as crizotinib, ceritinib, and alectinib. More recently, low-frequency rearrangements of TRK kinases have been described in NSCLC, colorectal carcinoma, glioblastoma, and Spitzoid melanoma. Entrectinib, whose discovery and preclinical characterization are reported herein, is a novel, potent inhibitor of ALK, ROS1, and, importantly, of TRK family kinases, which shows promise for therapy of tumors bearing oncogenic forms of these proteins. Proliferation profiling against over 200 human tumor cell lines revealed that entrectinib is exquisitely potent in vitro against lines that are dependent on the drug's pharmacologic targets. Oral administration of entrectinib to tumor-bearing mice induced regression in relevant human xenograft tumors, including the TRKA-dependent colorectal carcinoma KM12, ROS1-driven tumors, and several ALK-dependent models of different tissue origins, including a model of brain-localized lung cancer metastasis. Entrectinib is currently showing great promise in phase I/II clinical trials, including the first documented objective responses to a TRK inhibitor in colorectal carcinoma and in NSCLC. The drug is, thus, potentially suited to the therapy of several molecularly defined cancer settings, especially that of TRK-dependent tumors, for which no approved drugs are currently available. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(4); 628-39. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0758DOI Listing
April 2016

Discovery of 2-(cyclohexylmethylamino)pyrimidines as a new class of reversible valosine containing protein inhibitors.

J Med Chem 2014 Dec 12;57(24):10443-54. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. , Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano, Milan, Italy.

Valosine-containing protein (VCP), also known as p97 or cdc48 in yeast, is a highly abundant protein belonging to the AAA ATPase family involved in a number of essential cellular functions, including ubiquitin-proteasome mediated protein degradation, Golgi reassembly, transcription activation, and cell cycle control. Altered expression of VCP has been detected in many cancer types sometimes associated with poor prognosis. Furthermore, VCP mutations are causative of some neurodegenerative disorders. In this paper we report the discovery, synthesis, and structure-activity relationships of substituted 2-aminopyrimidines, representing a new class of reversible VCP inhibitors. This class of compounds, identified in a HTS campaign against recombinant VCP, has been progressively expanded and manipulated to increase biochemical potency and gain cellular activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm501313xDOI Listing
December 2014

The TPM3-NTRK1 rearrangement is a recurring event in colorectal carcinoma and is associated with tumor sensitivity to TRKA kinase inhibition.

Mol Oncol 2014 Dec 12;8(8):1495-507. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l., Nerviano (Milan), Italy.

The NTRK1 gene encodes Tropomyosin-related kinase A (TRKA), the high-affinity Nerve Growth Factor Receptor. NTRK1 was originally isolated from a colorectal carcinoma (CRC) sample as component of a somatic rearrangement (TPM3-NTRK1) resulting in expression of the oncogenic chimeric protein TPM3-TRKA, but there has been no subsequent report regarding the relevance of this oncogene in CRC. The KM12 human CRC cell line expresses the chimeric TPM3-TRKA protein and is hypersensitive to TRKA kinase inhibition. We report the detailed characterization of the TPM3-NTRK1 genomic rearrangement in KM12 cells and through a cellular screening approach, the identification of NMS-P626, a novel highly potent and selective TRKA inhibitor. NMS-P626 suppressed TPM3-TRKA phosphorylation and downstream signaling in KM12 cells and showed remarkable antitumor activity in mice bearing KM12 tumors. Finally, using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) we identified the TPM3-NTRK1 rearrangement in a CRC clinical sample, therefore suggesting that this chromosomal translocation is indeed a low frequency recurring event in CRC and that such patients might benefit from therapy with TRKA kinase inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molonc.2014.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5528583PMC
December 2014

Covalent and allosteric inhibitors of the ATPase VCP/p97 induce cancer cell death.

Nat Chem Biol 2013 Sep 28;9(9):548-56. Epub 2013 Jul 28.

Business Unit Oncology, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Nerviano, Italy.

VCP (also known as p97 or Cdc48p in yeast) is an AAA(+) ATPase regulating endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. After high-throughput screening, we developed compounds that inhibit VCP via different mechanisms, including covalent modification of an active site cysteine and a new allosteric mechanism. Using photoaffinity labeling, structural analysis and mutagenesis, we mapped the binding site of allosteric inhibitors to a region spanning the D1 and D2 domains of adjacent protomers encompassing elements important for nucleotide-state sensing and ATP hydrolysis. These compounds induced an increased affinity for nucleotides. Interference with nucleotide turnover in individual subunits and distortion of interprotomer communication cooperated to impair VCP enzymatic activity. Chemical expansion of this allosteric class identified NMS-873, the most potent and specific VCP inhibitor described to date, which activated the unfolded protein response, interfered with autophagy and induced cancer cell death. The consistent pattern of cancer cell killing by covalent and allosteric inhibitors provided critical validation of VCP as a cancer target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.1313DOI Listing
September 2013

Alkylsulfanyl-1,2,4-triazoles, a new class of allosteric valosine containing protein inhibitors. Synthesis and structure-activity relationships.

J Med Chem 2013 Jan 4;56(2):437-50. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l., Oncology, Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Valosine containing protein (VCP), also known as p97, is a member of AAA ATPase family that is involved in several biological processes and plays a central role in the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of misfolded proteins. VCP is an ubiquitously expressed, highly abundant protein and has been found overexpressed in many tumor types, sometimes associated with poor prognosis. In this respect, VCP has recently received a great deal of attention as a potential new target for cancer therapy. In this paper, the discovery and structure-activity relationships of alkylsulfanyl-1,2,4-triazoles, a new class of potent, allosteric VCP inhibitors, are described. Medicinal chemistry manipulation of compound 1, identified via HTS, led to the discovery of potent and selective inhibitors with submicromolar activity in cells and clear mechanism of action at consistent doses. This represents a first step toward a new class of potential anticancer agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jm3013213DOI Listing
January 2013

Development of biochemical assays for the identification of eIF4E-specific inhibitors.

J Biomol Screen 2012 Jun 5;17(5):581-92. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Biotechnology Department, Nerviano Medical Sciences, Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Control of mRNA translation plays a critical role in cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation and is tightly regulated by AKT and RAS oncogenic pathways. A key player in the regulation of this process is the mRNA 5' cap-binding protein, eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E). eIF4E contributes to malignancy by selectively enabling the translation of a limited pool of mRNAs that generally encode key proteins involved in cell cycle progression, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Several data indicate that the inhibition of eIF4E in tumor cell lines and xenograft models impairs tumor growth and induces apoptosis; eIF4E, therefore, can be considered a valuable target for cancer therapy. Targeting the cap-binding pocket of eIF4E should represent a way to inhibit all the eIF4E cellular functions. We present here the development and validation of different biochemical assays based on fluorescence polarization and surface plasmon resonance techniques. These assays could support high-throughput screening, further refinement, and characterization of eIF4E inhibitors, as well as selectivity assessment against CBP80/CBP20, the other major cap-binding complex of eukaryotic cells, overall providing a robust roadmap for development of eIF4E-specific inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087057112438554DOI Listing
June 2012

Crystal structures of anaplastic lymphoma kinase in complex with ATP competitive inhibitors.

Biochemistry 2010 Aug;49(32):6813-25

Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l., Viale Pasteur 10, 20014 Nerviano (MI), Italy.

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) is a receptor tyrosine kinase involved in the development of several human cancers and, as a result, is a recognized target for the development of small-molecule inhibitors for the treatment of ALK-positive malignancies. Here, we present the crystal structures of the unphosphorylated human ALK kinase domain in complex with the ATP competitive ligands PHA-E429 and NVP-TAE684. Analysis of these structures provides valuable information concerning the specific characteristics of the ALK active site as well as giving indications about how to obtain selective ALK inhibitors. In addition, the ALK-KD-PHA-E429 structure led to the identification of a potential regulatory mechanism involving a link made between a short helical segment immediately following the DFG motif and an N-terminal two-stranded beta-sheet. Finally, mapping of the activating mutations associated with neuroblastoma onto our structures may explain the roles these residues have in the activation process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi1005514DOI Listing
August 2010