Publications by authors named "Stephen Fitter"

25 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

CKLF and IL1B transcript levels at diagnosis are predictive of relapse in children with pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Br J Haematol 2021 Apr 23;193(1):171-175. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Science, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Disease relapse is the greatest cause of treatment failure in paediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL). Current risk stratifications fail to capture all patients at risk of relapse. Herein, we used a machine-learning approach to identify B-ALL blast-secreted factors that are associated with poor survival outcomes. Using this approach, we identified a two-gene expression signature (CKLF and IL1B) that allowed identification of high-risk patients at diagnosis. This two-gene expression signature enhances the predictive value of current at diagnosis or end-of-induction risk stratification suggesting the model can be applied continuously to help guide implementation of risk-adapted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17161DOI Listing
April 2021

The mTORC1 complex in pre-osteoblasts regulates whole-body energy metabolism independently of osteocalcin.

Bone Res 2021 Feb 8;9(1):10. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Science, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5005, SA, Australia.

Overnutrition causes hyperactivation of mTORC1-dependent negative feedback loops leading to the downregulation of insulin signaling and development of insulin resistance. In osteoblasts (OBs), insulin signaling plays a crucial role in the control of systemic glucose homeostasis. We utilized mice with conditional deletion of Rptor to investigate how the loss of mTORC1 function in OB affects glucose metabolism under normal and overnutrition dietary states. Compared to the controls, chow-fed Rptor mice had substantially less fat mass and exhibited adipocyte hyperplasia. Remarkably, upon feeding with high-fat diet, mice with pre- and post-natal deletion of Rptor in OBs were protected from diet-induced obesity and exhibited improved glucose metabolism with lower fasting glucose and insulin levels, increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. This leanness and resistance to weight gain was not attributable to changes in food intake, physical activity or lipid absorption but instead was due to increased energy expenditure and greater whole-body substrate flexibility. RNA-seq revealed an increase in glycolysis and skeletal insulin signaling pathways, which correlated with the potentiation of insulin signaling and increased insulin-dependent glucose uptake in Rptor-knockout osteoblasts. Collectively, these findings point to a critical role for the mTORC1 complex in the skeletal regulation of whole-body glucose metabolism and the skeletal development of insulin resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41413-020-00123-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868369PMC
February 2021

Characterization of the role of Samsn1 loss in multiple myeloma development.

FASEB Bioadv 2020 Sep 5;2(9):554-572. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Myeloma Research Laboratory Adelaide Medical School Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Adelaide Adelaide Australia.

The protein SAMSN1 was recently identified as a putative tumor suppressor in multiple myeloma, with re-expression of Samsn1 in the 5TGM1/KaLwRij murine model of myeloma leading to a near complete abrogation of intramedullary tumor growth. Here, we sought to clarify the mechanism underlying this finding. Intratibial administration of 5TGM1 myeloma cells into KaLwRij mice revealed that Samsn1 had no effect on primary tumor growth, but that its expression significantly inhibited the metastasis of these primary tumors. Notably, neither in vitro nor in vivo migration was affected by Samsn1 expression. Both knocking-out SAMSN1 in the RPMI-8226 and JJN3 human myeloma cell lines, and retrovirally expressing SAMSN1 in the LP-1 and OPM2 human myeloma cell lines had no effect on either cell proliferation or migration in vitro. Altering SAMSN1 expression in these human myeloma cells did not affect the capacity of the cells to establish either primary or metastatic intramedullary tumors when administered intratibially into immune deficient NSG mice. Unexpectedly, the tumor suppressive and anti-metastatic activity of Samsn1 in 5TGM1 cells were not evidenced following cell administration either intratibially or intravenously to NSG mice. Crucially, the growth of Samsn1-expressing 5TGM1 cells was limited in C57BL/6/Samsn1 mice but not in C57BL/6 Samsn1 mice. We conclude that the reported potent in vivo tumor suppressor activity of Samsn1 can be attributed, in large part, to graft-rejection from Samsn1 recipient mice. This has broad implications for the design and interpretation of experiments that utilize cancer cells and knockout mice that are mismatched for expression of specific proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fba.2020-00027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7475304PMC
September 2020

Reciprocal signaling between mTORC1 and MNK2 controls cell growth and oncogenesis.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2021 Jan 13;78(1):249-270. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Lifelong Health Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.

eIF4E plays key roles in protein synthesis and tumorigenesis. It is phosphorylated by the kinases MNK1 and MNK2. Binding of MNKs to eIF4G enhances their ability to phosphorylate eIF4E. Here, we show that mTORC1, a key regulator of mRNA translation and oncogenesis, directly phosphorylates MNK2 on Ser74. This suppresses MNK2 activity and impairs binding of MNK2 to eIF4G. These effects provide a novel mechanism by which mTORC1 signaling impairs the function of MNK2 and thereby decreases eIF4E phosphorylation. MNK2[S74A] knock-in cells show enhanced phosphorylation of eIF4E and S6K1 (i.e., increased mTORC1 signaling), enlarged cell size, and increased invasive and transformative capacities. MNK2[Ser74] phosphorylation was inversely correlated with disease progression in human prostate tumors. MNK inhibition exerted anti-proliferative effects in prostate cancer cells in vitro. These findings define a novel feedback loop whereby mTORC1 represses MNK2 activity and oncogenic signaling through eIF4E phosphorylation, allowing reciprocal regulation of these two oncogenic pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-020-03491-1DOI Listing
January 2021

mTORC1 plays an important role in osteoblastic regulation of B-lymphopoiesis.

Sci Rep 2018 09 28;8(1):14501. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

Skeletal osteoblasts are important regulators of B-lymphopoiesis, serving as a rich source of factors such as CXCL12 and IL-7 which are crucial for B-cell development. Recent studies from our laboratory and others have shown that deletion of Rptor, a unique component of the mTORC1 nutrient-sensing complex, early in the osteoblast lineage development results in defective bone development in mice. In this study, we now demonstrate that mTORC1 signalling in pre-osteoblasts is required for normal B-lymphocyte development in mice. Targeted deletion of Rptor in osterix-expressing pre-osteoblasts (Rptor) leads to a significant reduction in the number of B-cells in the bone marrow, peripheral blood and spleen at 4 and 12 weeks of age. Rptor mice also exhibit a significant reduction in pre-B and immature B-cells in the BM, indicative of a block in B-cell development from the pro-B to pre-B cell stage. Circulating levels of IL-7 and CXCL12 are also significantly reduced in Rptor mice. Importantly, whilst Rptor-deficient osteoblasts are unable to support HSC differentiation to B-cells in co-culture, this can be rescued by the addition of exogenous IL-7 and CXCL12. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that mTORC1 plays an important role in extrinsic osteoblastic regulation of B-cell development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-32858-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6162303PMC
September 2018

Osteopontin in the pathophysiology of obesity: Is Opn a fat cell foe?

Obes Res Clin Pract 2018 May - Jun;12(3):249-250

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide and the Cancer Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2018.06.004DOI Listing
April 2019

Osteocalcin-dependent regulation of glucose metabolism and fertility: Skeletal implications for the development of insulin resistance.

J Cell Physiol 2018 05 18;233(5):3769-3783. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Faculty of Health and Medical Science, Myeloma Research Laboratory, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

The skeleton has recently emerged as a critical insulin target tissue that regulates whole body glucose metabolism and male reproductive function. While our understanding of these new regulatory axes remains in its infancy, the bone-specific protein, osteocalcin, has been shown to be centrally involved. Undercarboxylated osteocalcin acts as a secretagogue in a feed-forward loop to stimulate pancreatic β-cell proliferation and insulin secretion, improve insulin sensitivity, and promote testosterone production. Importantly, dysregulation of insulin signaling in bone causes a reduction in serum osteocalcin levels that is associated with elevated blood glucose and reduced serum insulin levels, suggesting that the skeleton may play a significant role in the development of diet-induced insulin resistance. Insulin signaling is negatively regulated by the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) which becomes hyper-activated in response to nutrient overload. Loss- and gain-of function models suggest that mTORC1 function in bone is essential for normal skeletal development; however, the role of this complex in the regulation of glucose metabolism remains to be determined. This review highlights our current understanding of the role played by osteocalcin in the skeletal regulation of glucose metabolism and fertility. In particular, it examines data emerging from transgenic mouse models which have revealed a pancreas-bone-testis regulatory axis and discusses recent human studies which seek to corroborate findings from mouse models with clinical observations. Moreover, we review recent studies which suggest dysregulation of insulin signaling in bone leads to the development of insulin resistance and discuss the potential role of mTORC1 signaling in this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.26163DOI Listing
May 2018

mTORC1 Plays an Important Role in Skeletal Development by Controlling Preosteoblast Differentiation.

Mol Cell Biol 2017 04 17;37(7). Epub 2017 Mar 17.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Science, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is activated by extracellular factors that control bone accrual. However, the direct role of this complex in osteoblast biology remains to be determined. To investigate this question, we disrupted mTORC1 function in preosteoblasts by targeted deletion of () in -expressing cells. Deletion of resulted in reduced limb length that was associated with smaller epiphyseal growth plates in the postnatal skeleton. deletion caused a marked reduction in pre- and postnatal bone accrual, which was evident in skeletal elements derived from both intramembranous and endochondrial ossification. The decrease in bone accrual, as well as the associated increase in skeletal fragility, was due to a reduction in osteoblast function. , osteoblasts derived from knockout mice display a reduced osteogenic potential, and an assessment of bone-developmental markers in knockout osteoblasts revealed a transcriptional profile consistent with an immature osteoblast phenotype suggesting that osteoblast differentiation was stalled early in osteogenesis. Metabolic labeling and an assessment of cell size of knockout osteoblasts revealed a significant decrease in protein synthesis, a major driver of cell growth. These findings demonstrate that mTORC1 plays an important role in skeletal development by regulating mRNA translation during preosteoblast differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00668-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359426PMC
April 2017

The Mesenchymal Precursor Cell Marker Antibody STRO-1 Binds to Cell Surface Heat Shock Cognate 70.

Stem Cells 2017 04 23;35(4):940-951. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Faculty of Health and Medical Science, Adelaide Medical School.

Since its discovery more than 25 years ago, the STRO-1 antibody has played a fundamental role in defining the hierarchical nature of mesenchymal precursor cells (MPC) and their progeny. STRO-1 antibody binding remains a hallmark of immature pluripotent MPC. Despite the significance of STRO-1 in the MPC field, the identity of the antigen has remained elusive. Using a combination of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, coupled with Western blotting and Tandem mass spectroscopy, we have identified the STRO-1 antigen as heat shock cognate 70 (HSC70;HSPA8). STRO-1 binds to immune-precipitated HSC70 and siRNA-mediated knock down of HSPA8 reduced STRO-1 binding. STRO-1 surface binding does not correlate with HSC70 expression and sequestration of cholesterol reduces STRO-1 surface binding, suggesting that the plasma membrane lipid composition may be an important determinant in the presentation of HSC70 on the cell surface. HSC70 is present on the surface of STRO-1 but not STRO-1 cell lines as assessed by cell surface biotinylation and recombinant HSC70 blocks STRO-1 binding to the cell surface. The STRO-1 epitope on HSC70 was mapped to the ATPase domain using a series of deletion mutants in combination with peptide arrays. Deletion of the first four amino acids of the consensus epitope negated STRO-1 binding. Notably, in addition to HSC70, STRO-1 cross-reacts with heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), however all the clonogenic cell activity is restricted to the STRO-1 /HSP70 fraction. These results provide important insight into the properties that define multipotent MPC and provide the impetus to explore the role of cell surface HSC70 in MPC biology. Stem Cells 2017;35:940-951.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.2560DOI Listing
April 2017

Tetraspanin 7 (TSPAN7) expression is upregulated in multiple myeloma patients and inhibits myeloma tumour development in vivo.

Exp Cell Res 2015 Mar 28;332(1):24-38. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide 5000, SA, Australia; Department of Haematology, SA Pathology, Adelaide 5000, SA, Australia; School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, SA, Australia. Electronic address:

Background: Increased expression of the tetraspanin TSPAN7 has been observed in a number of cancers; however, it is unclear how TSPAN7 plays a role in cancer progression.

Methods: We investigated the expression of TSPAN7 in the haematological malignancy multiple myleoma (MM) and assessed the consequences of TSPAN7 expression in the adhesion, migration and growth of MM plasma cells (PC) in vitro and in bone marrow (BM) homing and tumour growth in vivo. Finally, we characterised the association of TSPAN7 with cell surface partner molecules in vitro.

Results: TSPAN7 was found to be highly expressed at the RNA and protein level in CD138(+) MM PC from approximately 50% of MM patients. TSPAN7 overexpression in the murine myeloma cell line 5TGM1 significantly reduced tumour burden in 5TGM1/KaLwRij mice 4 weeks after intravenous adminstration of 5TGM1 cells. While TSPAN7 overexpression did not affect cell proliferation in vitro, TSPAN7 increased 5TGM1 cell adhesion to BM stromal cells and transendothelial migration. In addition, TSPAN7 was found to associate with the molecular chaperone calnexin on the cell surface.

Conclusion: These results suggest that elevated TSPAN7 may be associated with better outcomes for up to 50% of MM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2015.01.006DOI Listing
March 2015

The effect of the PI3K inhibitor BKM120 on tumour growth and osteolytic bone disease in multiple myeloma.

Leuk Res 2015 Mar 7;39(3):380-7. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health Science, University of Adelaide, Australia; Centre for Cancer Biology and Hanson Centre for Cancer Research, SA Pathology, Australia; Centre for Stem Cell Research and Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine, University of Adelaide, Australia; The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide, Australia.

The plasma cell malignancy multiple myeloma (MM) is unique amongst haematological malignancies in its capacity to cause osteoclast-mediated skeletal destruction. The PI3K/Akt pathway mediates proliferation, survival and drug resistance in MM plasma cells and is also involved in regulating the formation and activity of bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. NVP-BKM120 (Buparlisib, Novartis) is a PI3K inhibitor that is currently undergoing clinical evaluation in several tumour settings. In this study, we have examined the anti-tumorigenic effects of BKM120 in an immunocompetent mouse model of MM and its effects on osteoblast and osteoclast formation and function. BKM120 treatment (40 mg/kg) resulted in a significant decrease in serum paraprotein and tumour burden, and μCT analysis of the proximal tibia revealed a significant reduction in the number of osteolytic bone lesions in BKM120-treated animals. BKM120 also mediated a significant increase in serum levels of the osteoblast marker P1NP, and a significant decrease in serum levels of the osteoclast marker TRAcP5. In vitro, BKM120 decreased MM plasma cell proliferation, osteoclast formation and function, and promoted osteoblast formation and function. These findings suggest that, in addition to its anti-tumour properties, BKM120 could be used to treat osteolytic bone disease in MM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2014.12.015DOI Listing
March 2015

Brief report: the differential roles of mTORC1 and mTORC2 in mesenchymal stem cell differentiation.

Stem Cells 2015 Apr;33(4):1359-65

Myeloma Research Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Adipocytes (AdCs) and osteoblasts (OBs) are derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and differentiation toward either lineage is both mutually exclusive and transcriptionally controlled. Recent studies implicate the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway as important in determining MSC fate, with inhibition of mTOR promoting OB differentiation and suppressing AdC differentiation. mTOR functions within two distinct multiprotein complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, each of which contains the unique adaptor protein, raptor or rictor, respectively. While compounds used to study mTOR signaling, such as rapamycin and related analogs, primarily inhibit mTORC1, prolonged exposure can also disrupt mTORC2 function, confounding interpretation of inhibitor studies. As a result, the relative contribution of mTORC1 and mTORC2 to MSC fate determination remains unclear. In this study, we generated primary mouse MSCs deficient in either Rptor (RapKO) or Rictor (RicKO) using the Cre/loxP system. Cre-mediated deletion of Rptor or Rictor resulted in impaired mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling, respectively. Under lineage-inductive culture conditions, RapKO MSCs displayed a reduced capacity to form lipid-laden AdCs and an increased capacity to form a mineralized matrix. In contrast, RicKO MSCs displayed reduced osteogenic differentiation capacity and enhanced adipogenic differentiation potential. Taken together, our findings reveal distinct roles for mTORC1 and mTORC2 in MSC lineage commitment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.1931DOI Listing
April 2015

The effect of the dual PI3K and mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 on tumour growth and osteolytic bone disease in multiple myeloma.

Eur J Haematol 2015 Apr 17;94(4):343-54. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, School of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA; Centre for Stem Cell Research, Robinson Institute and Centre for Personalised Cancer Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA; School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.

The plasma cell malignancy multiple myeloma (MM) is unique among haematological malignancies in its capacity to cause osteoclast-mediated skeletal destruction. The PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway mediates proliferation, survival and drug resistance in MM plasma cells and is also involved in regulating the formation and activity of bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. NVP-BEZ235 is a dual pan class I PI3K and mTOR inhibitor that is currently undergoing clinical evaluation in several tumour settings. In this study, we examined the anti-tumorigenic effects of BEZ235 in an immunocompetent mouse model of MM and assessed the effects of BEZ235 on osteoblast and osteoclast formation and function. BEZ235 treatment (50 mg/kg) resulted in a significant decrease in serum paraprotein and tumour burden, and μCT analysis of the proximal tibia revealed a significant reduction in the number of osteolytic bone lesions in BEZ235-treated animals. Levels of the serum osteoblast marker P1NP were significantly higher in BEZ235-treated animals, while levels of the osteoclast marker TRAcP5 were reduced. In vitro, BEZ235 decreased MM plasma cell proliferation, osteoclast formation and function and promoted osteoblast formation and function. These findings suggest that, in addition to its anti-tumour properties, BEZ235 could be useful in treating osteolytic bone disease in MM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.12436DOI Listing
April 2015

Protein kinase activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinase regulates cytokine-dependent cell survival.

PLoS Biol 2013 19;11(3):e1001515. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Cell Growth and Differentiation Laboratory, Division of Human Immunology, Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, Adelaide, Australia.

The dual specificity protein/lipid kinase, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), promotes growth factor-mediated cell survival and is frequently deregulated in cancer. However, in contrast to canonical lipid-kinase functions, the role of PI3K protein kinase activity in regulating cell survival is unknown. We have employed a novel approach to purify and pharmacologically profile protein kinases from primary human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells that phosphorylate serine residues in the cytoplasmic portion of cytokine receptors to promote hemopoietic cell survival. We have isolated a kinase activity that is able to directly phosphorylate Ser585 in the cytoplasmic domain of the interleukin 3 (IL-3) and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptors and shown it to be PI3K. Physiological concentrations of cytokine in the picomolar range were sufficient for activating the protein kinase activity of PI3K leading to Ser585 phosphorylation and hemopoietic cell survival but did not activate PI3K lipid kinase signaling or promote proliferation. Blockade of PI3K lipid signaling by expression of the pleckstrin homology of Akt1 had no significant impact on the ability of picomolar concentrations of cytokine to promote hemopoietic cell survival. Furthermore, inducible expression of a mutant form of PI3K that is defective in lipid kinase activity but retains protein kinase activity was able to promote Ser585 phosphorylation and hemopoietic cell survival in the absence of cytokine. Blockade of p110α by RNA interference or multiple independent PI3K inhibitors not only blocked Ser585 phosphorylation in cytokine-dependent cells and primary human AML blasts, but also resulted in a block in survival signaling and cell death. Our findings demonstrate a new role for the protein kinase activity of PI3K in phosphorylating the cytoplasmic tail of the GM-CSF and IL-3 receptors to selectively regulate cell survival highlighting the importance of targeting such pathways in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001515DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601961PMC
September 2013

Prospective histomorphometric and DXA evaluation of bone remodeling in imatinib-treated CML patients: evidence for site-specific skeletal effects.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2013 Jan 8;98(1):67-76. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Division of Hematology, Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, GPO Box 14, Adelaide, SA, Australia 5000.

Context: Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has been successfully used to treat Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Kit(+) gastrointestinal stromal tumors. We have previously shown that imatinib therapy is associated with an increase in trabecular bone volume.

Objective: In the present study, we performed a prospective analysis of bone indices in imatinib-treated CML patients to determine the mechanism responsible for this altered bone remodeling. DESIGN, PATIENTS, AND INTERVENTION: This study assessed the effects of high-dose (600 mg/d) imatinib on bone parameters in newly diagnosed chronic-phase Philadelphia chromosome-positive CML patients (n = 11) enrolled in the TIDEL II study. At baseline and after 6, 12, and 24 months of treatment, serum markers of bone remodeling were quantitated, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry analysis of bone mineral density (BMD) was carried out, and a bone biopsy was collected for histological and micro-computed tomography analysis.

Results: Our studies show that the increase in trabecular bone volume and trabecular thickness after imatinib treatment was associated with a significant decrease in osteoclast numbers, accompanied by a significant decrease in serum levels of a marker of osteoclast activity. In contrast, osteoblast numbers were not altered by up to 24 months of imatinib treatment. Notably, we also found that imatinib caused a site-specific decrease in BMD at the femoral neck.

Conclusions: These data suggest that imatinib therapy dysregulates bone remodeling, causing a generalized decrease in osteoclast number and activity that is not counterbalanced by a decrease in osteoblast activity, leading to increased trabecular bone volume. Further long-term investigations are required to determine the causes and consequences of the site-specific decrease in BMD at the femoral neck.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2012-2426DOI Listing
January 2013

Suppression of PDGF-induced PI3 kinase activity by imatinib promotes adipogenesis and adiponectin secretion.

J Mol Endocrinol 2012 Jun 8;48(3):229-40. Epub 2012 May 8.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Bone and Cancer Research Laboratories, Department of Haematology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, GPO Box 14, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia.

Improved glucose and lipid metabolism is a unique side effect of imatinib therapy in some chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) patients. We recently reported that plasma levels of adiponectin, an important regulator of insulin sensitivity, are elevated following imatinib therapy in CML patients, which could account for these improved metabolic outcomes. Adiponectin is secreted exclusively from adipocytes, suggesting that imatinib modulates adiponectin levels directly, by transcriptional upregulation of adiponectin in pre-existing adipocytes, and/or indirectly, by stimulating adipogenesis. In this report, we have demonstrated that imatinib promotes adipogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), which in turn secrete high-molecular-weight adiponectin. Conversely, imatinib does not stimulate adiponectin secretion from mature adipocytes. We hypothesise that inhibition of PDGFRα (PDGFRA) and PDGFRβ (PDGFRB) is the mechanism by which imatinib promotes adipogenesis. Supporting this, functional blocking antibodies to PDGFR promote adipogenesis and adiponectin secretion in MSC cultures. We have shown that imatinib is a potent inhibitor of PDGF-induced PI3 kinase activation and, using a PI3 kinase p110α-specific inhibitor (PIK-75), we have demonstrated that suppression of this pathway recapitulates the effects of imatinib on MSC differentiation. Furthermore, using mitogens that activate the PI3 kinase pathway, or MSCs expressing constitutively activated Akt, we have shown that activation of the PI3 kinase pathway negates the pro-adipogenic effects of imatinib. Taken together, our results suggest that imatinib increases plasma adiponectin levels by promoting adipogenesis through the suppression of PI3 kinase signalling downstream of PDGFR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JME-12-0003DOI Listing
June 2012

NVP-BEZ235, a dual pan class I PI3 kinase and mTOR inhibitor, promotes osteogenic differentiation in human mesenchymal stromal cells.

J Bone Miner Res 2010 Oct;25(10):2126-37

Myeloma Research Program, Division of Haematology, Centre for Cancer Biology, SA Pathology, and University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

Osteoblasts are bone-forming cells derived from mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) that reside within the bone marrow. In response to a variety of factors, MSCs proliferate and differentiate into mature, functional osteoblasts. Several studies have shown previously that suppression of the PI3K and mTOR signaling pathways in these cells strongly promotes osteogenic differentiation, which suggests that inhibitors of these pathways may be useful as anabolic bone agents. In this study we examined the effect of BEZ235, a newly developed dual PI3K and mTOR inhibitor currently in phase I-II clinical trials for advanced solid tumors, on osteogenic differentiation and function using primary MSC cultures. Under osteoinductive conditions, BEZ235 strongly promotes osteogenic differentiation, as evidenced by an increase in mineralized matrix production, an upregulation of genes involved in osteogenesis, including bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP2, -4, and -6) and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) superfamily members (TGFB1, TGFB2, and INHBE), and increased activation of SMAD signaling molecules. In addition, BEZ235 enhances de novo bone formation in calvarial organotypic cultures. Using pharmacologic inhibitors to delineate mechanism, our studies reveal that suppression of mTOR and, to a much lesser extent PI3K p110α, mediates the osteogenic effects of BEZ235. As confirmation, shRNA-mediated knockdown of mTOR enhances osteogenic differentiation and function in SAOS-2 osteoblast-like cells. Taken together, our findings suggest that BEZ235 may be useful in treating PI3K/mTOR-dependent tumors associated with bone loss, such as the hematologic malignancy multiple myeloma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.114DOI Listing
October 2010

Plasma adiponectin levels are markedly elevated in imatinib-treated chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients: a mechanism for improved insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic CML patients?

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010 Aug 13;95(8):3763-7. Epub 2010 May 13.

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Department of Hematology, Centre for Cancer Biology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, G.P.O. Box 14, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia.

Context: The mechanism(s) by which imatinib improves glycemic control in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients with type 2 diabetes remains unclear.

Objective: Adiponectin is an important regulator of insulin sensitivity that is secreted exclusively by adipocytes. We previously reported that imatinib promotes adipocytic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells. We therefore hypothesized that imatinib therapy would be associated with an increase in peripheral and intramedullary adiposity and elevated plasma adiponectin levels.

Research Design And Methods: Adiponectin levels in CML patient plasma, at diagnosis and then during imatinib mesylate therapy, was measured using an ELISA. Adiponectin multimers in plasma were analyzed using nondenaturing PAGE and immunoblotting. Intramedullary adiposity and adipose tissue mass was determined using histomorphometry and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively.

Results: In CML patients, an increase in intramedullary and peripheral adiposity was observed after 6 months of imatinib therapy and plasma adiponectin levels, in the form of high- and low-molecular-weight complexes, were elevated 3-fold, compared with pretreatment levels, after 3, 6, and 12 months of therapy.

Conclusions: Elevated adiponectin levels in imatinib-treated CML patients provide a possible mechanism for improved glucose and lipid metabolism reported for some imatinib-treated patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2010-0086DOI Listing
August 2010

The tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib dysregulates bone remodeling through inhibition of osteoclasts in vivo.

J Bone Miner Res 2010 Aug;25(8):1759-70

Myeloma Research Laboratory, Department of Haematology, Centre for Cancer Biology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia.

Dasatinib is a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia in patients resistant or intolerant to imatinib mesylate. While designed to inhibit Abl and Src kinases, dasatinib shows multitarget effects, including inhibition of the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) receptor c-fms. We have shown previously that dasatinib abrogates osteoclast formation and activity in vitro owing, in part, to its specificity for c-fms. In this study we examined whether dasatinib could significantly alter bone volume in a model of physiologic bone turnover. Sprague-Dawley rats were administered dasatinib (5 mg/kg/day) or vehicle by gavage or zoledronic acid (ZOL; 100 microg/kg/6 weeks) subcutaneously. Following 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment, serum biochemical, bone morphometric, and histologic analyses were performed. Whole-body bone mineral density and tibial cortical thickness where unchanged in the dasatinib- or ZOL-treated animals relative to controls. However, micro-computed tomographic (microCT) analysis of cancellous bone at the proximal tibias showed that trabecular volume (BV/TV) and thickness (Tb.Th) were increased in dasatinib-treated animals at levels comparable with those of the ZOL-treated group. These changes were associated with a decrease in osteoclast numbers (N.Oc/B.Pm) and surface (Oc.S/BS) and decreased serum levels of the osteoclast marker c-terminal collagen crosslinks (CTX-1). Mineral apposition rate (MAR), bone-formation rate (BFR), and levels of the serum osteoblast markers osteocalcin and N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (P1NP) were not altered significantly in the dasatinib-treated animals relative to controls. These studies show that dasatinib increases trabecular bone volume at least in part by inhibiting osteoclast activity, suggesting that dasatinib therapy may result in dysregulated bone remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.85DOI Listing
August 2010

Dysregulation of bone remodeling by imatinib mesylate.

Blood 2010 Jan 4;115(4):766-74. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

Myeloma and Mesenchymal Research Laboratory, Division of Haematology, Centre for Cancer Biology, Hanson Institute, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia.

Imatinib mesylate is a rationally designed tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Although the efficacy and tolerability of imatinib are a vast improvement over conventional chemotherapies, the drug exhibits off-target effects. An unanticipated side effect of imatinib therapy is hypophosphatemia and hypocalcemia, which in part has been attributed to drug-mediated changes to renal and gastrointestinal handling of phosphate and calcium. However, emerging data suggest that imatinib also targets cells of the skeleton, stimulating the retention and sequestration of calcium and phosphate to bone, leading to decreased circulating levels of these minerals. The aim of this review is to highlight our current understanding of the mechanisms surrounding the effects of imatinib on the skeleton. In particular, it examines recent studies suggesting that imatinib has direct effects on bone-resorbing osteoclasts and bone-forming osteoblasts through inhibition of c-fms, c-kit, carbonic anhydrase II, and the platelet-derived growth factor receptor. The potential application of imatinib in the treatment of cancer-induced osteolysis will also be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-08-237404DOI Listing
January 2010

Heat shock protein-90 beta is expressed at the surface of multipotential mesenchymal precursor cells: generation of a novel monoclonal antibody, STRO-4, with specificity for mesenchymal precursor cells from human and ovine tissues.

Stem Cells Dev 2009 Nov;18(9):1253-62

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Group, University of Adelaide, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and their precursor cells (MPCs) can proliferate and differentiate into multiple mesodermal and some ectodermal and endodermal tissues. Culture-expanded MSCs are currently being evaluated as a possible cell therapy to replace/repair injured or diseased tissues. While a number of mAb reagents with specificity to human MSCs, including STRO-1, STRO-3 (BLK ALP), CD71 (SH2, SH3), CD106 (VCAM-1), CD166, and CD271, have facilitated the isolation of purified populations of human MSCs from primary tissues, few if any mAb reagents have been described that can be used to isolate equivalent cells from other species. This is of particular relevance when assessing the tissue regenerative efficacy of MSCs in large immunocompetent, preclinical animal models of disease. In light of this, we sought to generate novel monoclonal antibodies (mAb) with specific reactivity against a cell surface molecule that is expressed at high levels by MSCs from different species. Using CD106 (VCAM-1)-selected ovine MSCs as an immunogen, mAb-producing hybridomas were selected for their reactivity to both human and ovine MSCs. One such hybridoma, termed STRO-4, produced an IgG mAb that reacted with <5% of human and ovine bone marrow (BM) mononuclear cells. As a single selection reagent, STRO-4 mAb was able to enrich colony-forming fibroblasts (CFU-F) in both human and ovine BM by 16- and 8-folds, respectively. Cells isolated with STRO-4 exhibited reactivity with markers commonly associated with MSCs isolated by plastic adherence including CD29, CD44, and CD166. Moreover, when placed in inductive culture conditions in vitro, STRO-4(+) MSCs exhibited multilineage differentiation potential and were capable of forming a mineralized matrix, lipid-filled adipocytes, and chondrocytes capable of forming a glycosaminoglycan-rich matrix. Biochemical analysis revealed that STRO-4 identified the beta isoform of heat shock protein-90 (Hsp90beta). In addition to identifying an antibody reagent that identifies a highly conserved epitope expressed by MSCs from different species, our study also points to a potential role for Hsp90beta in MSC biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2008.0400DOI Listing
November 2009

A novel monoclonal antibody (STRO-3) identifies an isoform of tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase expressed by multipotent bone marrow stromal stem cells.

Stem Cells Dev 2007 Dec;16(6):953-63

Mesenchymal Research Laboratory, Division of Haematology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Hanson Institute and University of Adelaide, Australia 5000.

Numerous studies support the concept that the nonhemopoietic cells of the bone marrow (BM), are derived from a population of multipotent bone marrow stromal stem cells (BMSSCs), which reside in perivascular niches within the bone marrow. These BMSSCs are thought to give rise not only to more cells that are phenotypically and functionally identical but also differentiated, lineage-committed mesenchymal progeny, including chondrocytes, smooth muscle cells, adipocytes, and osteoblasts. Recently, we have generated a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) (designated STRO-3) that reacts with a minor subset of STRO-1(+) cells contained within adult BM aspirates and does not react with CD34(+) hemopoietic stem cells. Our results also show that STRO-3 identifies a high proportion of BMSSCs that possess extensive proliferative and multilineage differentiative capacity. Using retroviral expression cloning, we determined that STRO-3 binds to tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP), a cell-surface glycoprotein usually associated with cells of the osteoblast lineage. Studies presented here suggest that in addition to being expressed by osteoblasts, TNSALP may also represent a marker of immature BMSSCs in vivo. Finally, these studies suggest that antibodies to TNSALP may be used as an effective single marker of enrichment of BMSSCs from various tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2007.0069DOI Listing
December 2007

Long-term imatinib therapy promotes bone formation in CML patients.

Blood 2008 Mar 27;111(5):2538-47. Epub 2007 Nov 27.

Bone and Cancer Research Laboratories, and Division of Haematology, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science (IMVS), The Hanson Institute, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.

Imatinib inhibits tyrosine kinases important in osteoclast (c-Fms) and osteoblast (platelet-derived growth factor receptor [PDGF-R], c-Abl) function, suggesting that long-term therapy may alter bone homeostasis. To investigate this question, we measured the trabecular bone volume (TBV) in iliac crest bone biopsies taken from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients at diagnosis and again after 2 to 4 years of imatinib therapy. Half the patients (8 of 17) showed a substantive increase in TBV (> 2-fold), after imatinib therapy, with the TBV in the posttreatment biopsy typically surpassing the normal upper limit for the patient's age group. Imatinib-treated patients exhibited reduced serum calcium and phosphate levels with hypophosphatemia evident in 53% (9 of 17) of patients. In vitro, imatinib suppressed osteoblast proliferation and stimulated osteogenic gene expression and mineralized-matrix production by inhibiting PDGF receptor function. In PDGF-stimulated cultures, imatinib dose-dependently inhibited activation of Akt and Crk-L. Using pharmacologic inhibitors, inhibition of PI3-kinase/Akt activation promoted mineral formation, suggesting a possible molecular mechanism for the imatinib-mediated increase in TBV in vivo. Further investigation is required to determine whether the increase in TBV associated with imatinib therapy may represent a novel therapeutic avenue for the treatment of diseases that are characterized by generalized bone loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2007-07-104281DOI Listing
March 2008

Deconvolution of a complex target using DNA aptamers.

J Biol Chem 2005 Oct 4;280(40):34193-201. Epub 2005 Aug 4.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, South Australia 5042.

In vitro selection of single-stranded nucleic acid aptamers from large random sequence libraries is now a straightforward process particularly when screening with a single target molecule. These libraries contain considerable shape diversity as evident by the successful isolation of aptamers that bind with high affinity and specificity to chemically diverse targets. We propose that aptamer libraries contain sufficient shape diversity to allow deconvolution of a complex mixture of targets. Using unfractionated human plasma as our experimental model, we aim to develop methods to obtain aptamers against as many proteins as possible. To begin, it is critical that we understand how aptamer populations change with increasing rounds of in vitro selection when using complex mixtures. Our results show that sequence representation in the selected population changes dramatically with increasing rounds of selection. Certain aptamer families were apparent after only three selection rounds. Two additional cycles saw a decline in the relative abundance of these families and the emergence of yet another family that accounted for more than 60% of sequences in the pool. To overcome this population convergence, an aptamer-based target depletion method was developed, and the library screen was repeated. The previous dominant family effectively disappeared from the selected populations but was replaced by other aptamer families. Insights gained from these initial experiments are now being applied in the creation of second generation plasma protein screens and also to the analysis of other complex biological targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M504772200DOI Listing
October 2005

Characterization of mice lacking the tetraspanin superfamily member CD151.

Mol Cell Biol 2004 Jul;24(13):5978-88

Austin Research Institute, Melbourne.

The tetraspanin membrane protein CD151 is a broadly expressed molecule noted for its strong molecular associations with integrins, especially alpha3beta1, alpha6beta1, alpha7beta1, and alpha6beta4. In vitro functional studies have pointed to a role for CD151 in cell-cell adhesion, cell migration, platelet aggregation, and angiogenesis. It has also been implicated in epithelial tumor progression and metastasis. Here we describe the generation and initial characterization of CD151-null mice. The mice are viable, healthy, and fertile and show normal Mendelian inheritance. They have essentially normal blood and bone marrow cell counts and grossly normal tissue morphology, including hemidesmosomes in skin, and expression of alpha3 and alpha6 integrins. However, the CD151-null mice do show phenotypes in several different tissue types. An absence of CD151 leads to a minor abnormality in hemostasis, with CD151-null mice showing longer average bleeding times, greater average blood loss, and an increased incidence of rebleeding occurrences. CD151-null keratinocytes migrate poorly in skin explant cultures. Finally, CD151-null T lymphocytes are hyperproliferative in response to in vitro mitogenic stimulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.24.13.5978-5988.2004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC480914PMC
July 2004