FMP Publications

Our publications are recorded in a searchable database since 2010, updates will be added regularly.

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Antimicrobial peptide cWFW kills by combining lipid phase separation with autolysis
Scheinpflug, K., Wenzel(*), M., Krylova, O., Bandow(*), J. E., Dathe, M.; Strahl(*), H.
Sci Rep, 7:44332

Tags: Peptide-Lipid-Interaction/ Peptide Transport (Dathe)

Abstract: The synthetic cyclic hexapeptide cWFW (cyclo(RRRWFW)) has a rapid bactericidal activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Its detailed mode of action has, however, remained elusive. In contrast to most antimicrobial peptides, cWFW neither permeabilizes the membrane nor translocates to the cytoplasm. Using a combination of proteome analysis, fluorescence microscopy, and membrane analysis we show that cWFW instead triggers a rapid reduction of membrane fluidity both in live Bacillus subtilis cells and in model membranes. This immediate activity is accompanied by formation of distinct membrane domains which differ in local membrane fluidity, and which severely disrupts membrane protein organisation by segregating peripheral and integral proteins into domains of different rigidity. These major membrane disturbances cause specific inhibition of cell wall synthesis, and trigger autolysis. This novel antibacterial mode of action holds a low risk to induce bacterial resistance, and provides valuable information for the design of new synthetic antimicrobial peptides.

Pharmacological restoration and therapeutic targeting of the B-cell phenotype in classical Hodgkin lymphoma
Du(*), J., Neuenschwander, M., Yu(*), Y., Dabritz(*), J. H., Neuendorff(*), N. R., Schleich(*), K., Bittner(*), A., Milanovic(*), M., Beuster(*), G., Radetzki, S., Specker, E., Reimann(*), M., Rosenbauer(*), F., Mathas(*), S., Lohneis(*), P., Hummel(*), M., Dörken(*), B., von Kries, J. P., Lee(*), S.; Schmitt(*), C. A.
Blood, 129:71-81

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), although originating from B cells, is characterized by the virtual lack of gene products whose expression constitutes the B-cell phenotype. Epigenetic repression of B-cell-specific genes via promoter hypermethylation and histone deacetylation as well as compromised expression of B-cell-committed transcription factors were previously reported to contribute to the lost B-cell phenotype in cHL. Restoring the B-cell phenotype may not only correct a central malignant property, but it may also render cHL susceptible to clinically established antibody therapies targeting B-cell surface receptors or small compounds interfering with B-cell receptor signaling. We conducted a high-throughput pharmacological screening based on >28 000 compounds in cHL cell lines carrying a CD19 reporter to identify drugs that promote reexpression of the B-cell phenotype. Three chemicals were retrieved that robustly enhanced CD19 transcription. Subsequent chromatin immunoprecipitation-based analyses indicated that action of 2 of these compounds was associated with lowered levels of the transcriptionally repressive lysine 9-trimethylated histone H3 mark at the CD19 promoter. Moreover, the antileukemia agents all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide (ATO) were found to reconstitute the silenced B-cell transcriptional program and reduce viability of cHL cell lines. When applied in combination with a screening-identified chemical, ATO evoked reexpression of the CD20 antigen, which could be further therapeutically exploited by enabling CD20 antibody-mediated apoptosis of cHL cells. Furthermore, restoration of the B-cell phenotype also rendered cHL cells susceptible to the B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma-tailored small-compound inhibitors ibrutinib and idelalisib. In essence, we report here a conceptually novel, redifferentiation-based treatment strategy for cHL.

Gamma oscillations organize top-down signalling to hypothalamus and enable food seeking
Carus-Cadavieco, M., Gorbati, M., Ye(*), L., Bender, F., van der Veldt, S., Kosse(*), C., Borgers(*), C., Lee(*), S. Y., Ramakrishnan(*), C., Hu, Y., Denisova, N., Ramm, F., Volitaki, E., Burdakov(*), D., Deisseroth(*), K., Ponomarenko, A.; Korotkova, T.
Nature, 542:232-236

Tags: Behavioral Neurodynamics (Korotkova/Ponomarenko)

Abstract: Both humans and animals seek primary rewards in the environment, even when such rewards do not correspond to current physiological needs. An example of this is a dissociation between food-seeking behaviour and metabolic needs, a notoriously difficult-to-treat symptom of eating disorders. Feeding relies on distinct cell groups in the hypothalamus, the activity of which also changes in anticipation of feeding onset. The hypothalamus receives strong descending inputs from the lateral septum, which is connected, in turn, with cortical networks, but cognitive regulation of feeding-related behaviours is not yet understood. Cortical cognitive processing involves gamma oscillations, which support memory, attention, cognitive flexibility and sensory responses. These functions contribute crucially to feeding behaviour by unknown neural mechanisms. Here we show that coordinated gamma (30-90 Hz) oscillations in the lateral hypothalamus and upstream brain regions organize food-seeking behaviour in mice. Gamma-rhythmic input to the lateral hypothalamus from somatostatin-positive lateral septum cells evokes food approach without affecting food intake. Inhibitory inputs from the lateral septum enable separate signalling by lateral hypothalamus neurons according to their feeding-related activity, making them fire at distinct phases of the gamma oscillation. Upstream, medial prefrontal cortical projections provide gamma-rhythmic inputs to the lateral septum; these inputs are causally associated with improved performance in a food-rewarded learning task. Overall, our work identifies a top-down pathway that uses gamma synchronization to guide the activity of subcortical networks and to regulate feeding behaviour by dynamic reorganization of functional cell groups in the hypothalamus.

Trictide, a tricellulin-derived peptide to overcome cellular barriers
Cording, J., Arslan, B., Staat, C., Dithmer, S., Krug(*), S. M., Krüger(*), A., Berndt, P., Günther, R., Winkler, L., Blasig, I. E.; Haseloff, R. F.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.)

Abstract: The majority of tight junction (TJ) proteins restrict the paracellular permeation of solutes via their extracellular loops (ECLs). Tricellulin tightens tricellular TJs (tTJs) and regulates bicellular TJ (bTJ) proteins. We demonstrate that the addition of recombinantly produced extracellular loop 2 (ECL2) of tricellulin opens cellular barriers. The peptidomimetic trictide, a synthetic peptide derived from tricellulin ECL2, increases the passage of ions, as well as of small and larger molecules up to 10 kDa, between 16 and 30 h after application to human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line 2. Tricellulin and lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor relocate from tTJs toward bTJs, while the TJ proteins claudin-1 and occludin redistribute from bTJs to the cytosol. Analyzing the opening of the tricellular sealing tube by the peptidomimetic using super-resolution stimulated-emission depletion microscopy revealed a tricellulin-free area at the tricellular region. Cis-interactions (as measured by fluorescence resonance energy transfer) of tricellulin-tricellulin (tTJs), tricellulin-claudin-1, tricellulin-marvelD3, and occludin-occludin (bTJs) were strongly affected by trictide treatment. Circular dichroism spectroscopy and molecular modeling suggest that trictide adopts a beta-sheet structure, resulting in a peculiar interaction surface for its binding to tricellulin. In conclusion, trictide is a novel and promising tool for overcoming cellular barriers at bTJs and tTJs with the potential to transiently improve drug delivery.

Claudin peptidomimetics modulate tissue barriers for enhanced drug delivery
Dithmer, S., Staat, C., Müller, C., Ku(*), M. C., Pohlmann(*), A., Niendorf(*), T., Gehne, N., Fallier-Becker(*), P., Kittel(*), A., Walter(*), F. R., Veszelka(*), S., Deli(*), M. A., Blasig, R., Haseloff, R. F., Blasig, I. E.; Winkler, L.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1397:169-184

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.)

Abstract: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) formed by the microvascular endothelium limits cerebral drug delivery. The paraendothelial cleft is sealed by tight junctions (TJs) with a major contribution from claudin-5, which we selected as a target to modulate BBB permeability. For this purpose, drug-enhancer peptides were designed based on the first extracellular loop (ECL) of claudin-5 to allow transient BBB permeabilization. Peptidomimetics (C5C2 and derivatives, nanomolar affinity to claudin-5) size-selectively (</=40 kDa) and reversibly (12-48 h) increased the permeability of brain endothelial and claudin-5-transfected epithelial cell monolayers. Upon peptide uptake, the number of TJ strand particles diminished, claudin-5 was downregulated and redistributed from cell-cell contacts to the cytosol, and the cell shape was altered. Cellular permeability of doxorubicin (cytostatic drug, 580 Da) was enhanced after peptide administration. Mouse studies (3.5 mumol/kg i.v.) confirmed that, for both C5C2 and a d-amino acid derivative, brain uptake of Gd-diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (547 Da) was enhanced within 4 h of treatment. On the basis of our functional data, circular dichroism measurements, molecular modeling, and docking experiments, we suggest an association model between beta-sheets flanked by alpha-helices, formed by claudin-5 ECLs, and the peptides. In conclusion, we identified claudin-5 peptidomimetics that improve drug delivery through endothelial and epithelial barriers expressing claudin-5.

Disruption of the vacuolar-type H+-ATPase complex in liver causes MTORC1-independent accumulation of autophagic vacuoles and lysosomes
Kissing(*), S., Rudnik(*), S., Damme(*), M., Lullmann-Rauch(*), R., Ichihara*), A., Kornak(*), U., Eskelinen(*), E. L., Jabs, S., Heeren(*), J., De Brabander(*), J. K., Haas(*), A.; Saftig(*), P.
Autophagy, 13:670-685

Tags: Physiology and Pathology of Ion Transport (Jentsch)

Abstract: The vacuolar-type H+-translocating ATPase (v-H+-ATPase) has been implicated in the amino acid-dependent activation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (MTORC1), an important regulator of macroautophagy. To reveal the mechanistic links between the v-H+-ATPase and MTORC1, we destablilized v-H+-ATPase complexes in mouse liver cells by induced deletion of the essential chaperone ATP6AP2. ATP6AP2-mutants are characterized by massive accumulation of endocytic and autophagic vacuoles in hepatocytes. This cellular phenotype was not caused by a block in endocytic maturation or an impaired acidification. However, the degradation of LC3-II in the knockout hepatocytes appeared to be reduced. When v-H+-ATPase levels were decreased, we observed lysosome association of MTOR and normal signaling of MTORC1 despite an increase in autophagic marker proteins. To better understand why MTORC1 can be active when v-H+-ATPase is depleted, the activation of MTORC1 was analyzed in ATP6AP2-deficient fibroblasts. In these cells, very little amino acid-elicited activation of MTORC1 was observed. In contrast, insulin did induce MTORC1 activation, which still required intracellular amino acid stores. These results suggest that in vivo the regulation of macroautophagy depends not only on v-H+-ATPase-mediated regulation of MTORC1.

Post-translational cleavage of Hv1 in human sperm tunes pH- and voltage-dependent gating
Berger(*), T. K., Fusshöller(*), D. M., Goodwin(*), N., Bönigk(*), W., Müller(*), A., Dokani Khesroshahi(*), N., Brenker(*), C., Wachten(*), D., Krause, E., Kaupp(*), U. B.; Strünker(*), T.
J Physiol, 595:1533-1546

Tags: Mass Spectrometry (Krause, E.)

Abstract: KEY POINTS: In human sperm, proton flux across the membrane is controlled by the voltage-gated proton channel Hv1. We show that sperm harbour both Hv1 and an N-terminally cleaved isoform termed Hv1Sper. The pH-control of Hv1Sper and Hv1 is distinctively different. Hv1Sper and Hv1 can form heterodimers that combine features of both constituents. Cleavage and heterodimerization of Hv1 might represent an adaptation to the specific requirements of pH control in sperm. ABSTRACT: In human sperm, the voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 controls the flux of protons across the flagellar membrane. Here, we show that sperm harbour Hv1 and a shorter isoform, termed Hv1Sper. Hv1Sper is generated from Hv1 by removal of 68 amino acids from the N-terminus by post-translational proteolytic cleavage. The pH-dependent gating of the channel isoforms is distinctly different. In both Hv1 and Hv1Sper, the conductance-voltage relationship is determined by the pH difference across the membrane (pH). However, simultaneous changes in intracellular and extracellular pH that leave DeltapH constant strongly shift the activation curve of Hv1Sper but not that of Hv1, demonstrating that cleavage of the N-terminus tunes pH sensing in Hv1. Moreover, we show that Hv1 and Hv1Sper assemble as heterodimers that combine features of both constituents. We suggest that cleavage and heterodimerization of Hv1 represents an adaptation to the specific requirements of pH control in sperm.

Structural Characterization and Ligand/Inhibitor Identification Provide Functional Insights into the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cytochrome P450 CYP126A1
Chenge(*), J. T., Duyet(*), L. V., Swami(*), S., McLean(*), K. J., Kavanagh(*), M. E., Coyne(*), A. G., Rigby(*), S. E., Cheesman(*), M. R., Girvan(*), H. M., Levy(*), C. W., Rupp, B., von Kries, J. P., Abell(*), C., Leys(*), D.; Munro(*), A. W.
J Biol Chem, 292:1310-1329

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries), Computational Chemistry and Protein Design (Kühne)

Abstract: The Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv genome encodes 20 cytochromes P450, including P450s crucial to infection and bacterial viability. Many M. tuberculosis P450s remain uncharacterized, suggesting that their further analysis may provide new insights into M. tuberculosis metabolic processes and new targets for drug discovery. CYP126A1 is representative of a P450 family widely distributed in mycobacteria and other bacteria. Here we explore the biochemical and structural properties of CYP126A1, including its interactions with new chemical ligands. A survey of azole antifungal drugs showed that CYP126A1 is inhibited strongly by azoles containing an imidazole ring but not by those tested containing a triazole ring. To further explore the molecular preferences of CYP126A1 and search for probes of enzyme function, we conducted a high throughput screen. Compounds containing three or more ring structures dominated the screening hits, including nitroaromatic compounds that induce substrate-like shifts in the heme spectrum of CYP126A1. Spectroelectrochemical measurements revealed a 155-mV increase in heme iron potential when bound to one of the newly identified nitroaromatic drugs. CYP126A1 dimers were observed in crystal structures of ligand-free CYP126A1 and for CYP126A1 bound to compounds discovered in the screen. However, ketoconazole binds in an orientation that disrupts the BC-loop regions at the P450 dimer interface and results in a CYP126A1 monomeric crystal form. Structural data also reveal that nitroaromatic ligands "moonlight" as substrates by displacing the CYP126A1 distal water but inhibit enzyme activity. The relatively polar active site of CYP126A1 distinguishes it from its most closely related sterol-binding P450s in M. tuberculosis, suggesting that further investigations will reveal its diverse substrate selectivity.

Structural Basis of the Oncogenic Interaction of Phosphatase PRL-1 with the Magnesium Transporter CNNM2
Gimenez-Mascarell(*), P., Oyenarte(*), I., Hardy(*), S., Breiderhoff(*), T., Stuiver, M., Kostantin(*), E., Diercks(*), T., Pey(*), A. L., Ereno-Orbea(*), J., Martinez-Chantar(*), M. L., Khalaf-Nazzal(*), R., Claverie-Martin(*), F., Müller(*), D., Tremblay(*), M. L.; Martinez-Cruz(*), L. A.
J Biol Chem, 292:786-801

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko)

Abstract: Phosphatases of regenerating liver (PRLs), the most oncogenic of all protein-tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), play a critical role in metastatic progression of cancers. Recent findings established a new paradigm by uncovering that their association with magnesium transporters of the cyclin M (CNNM) family causes a rise in intracellular magnesium levels that promote oncogenic transformation. Recently, however, essential roles for regulation of the circadian rhythm and reproduction of the CNNM family have been highlighted. Here, we describe the crystal structure of PRL-1 in complex with the Bateman module of CNNM2 (CNNM2BAT), which consists of two cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) domains (IPR000664) and represents an intracellular regulatory module of the transporter. The structure reveals a heterotetrameric association, consisting of a disc-like homodimer of CNNM2BAT bound to two independent PRL-1 molecules, each one located at opposite tips of the disc. The structure highlights the key role played by Asp-558 at the extended loop of the CBS2 motif of CNNM2 in maintaining the association between the two proteins and proves that the interaction between CNNM2 and PRL-1 occurs via the catalytic domain of the phosphatase. Our data shed new light on the structural basis underlying the interaction between PRL phosphatases and CNNM transporters and provides a hypothesis about the molecular mechanism by which PRL-1, upon binding to CNNM2, might increase the intracellular concentration of Mg2+ thereby contributing to tumor progression and metastasis. The availability of this structure sets the basis for the rational design of compounds modulating PRL-1 and CNNM2 activities.

Statin and rottlerin small-molecule inhibitors restrict colon cancer progression and metastasis via MACC1
Juneja(*), M., Kobelt(*), D., Walther(*), W., Voss(*), C., Smith(*), J., Specker, E., Neuenschwander, M., Gohlke(*), B. O., Dahlmann(*), M., Radetzki, S., Preissner(*), R., von Kries, J. P., Schlag(*), P. M.; Stein(*), U.
PLoS biology, 15:e2000784

Tags: Screening Unit (von Kries)

Abstract: MACC1 (Metastasis Associated in Colon Cancer 1) is a key driver and prognostic biomarker for cancer progression and metastasis in a large variety of solid tumor types, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC). However, no MACC1 inhibitors have been identified yet. Therefore, we aimed to target MACC1 expression using a luciferase reporter-based high-throughput screening with the ChemBioNet library of more than 30,000 compounds. The small molecules lovastatin and rottlerin emerged as the most potent MACC1 transcriptional inhibitors. They remarkably inhibited MACC1 promoter activity and expression, resulting in reduced cell motility. Lovastatin impaired the binding of the transcription factors c-Jun and Sp1 to the MACC1 promoter, thereby inhibiting MACC1 transcription. Most importantly, in CRC-xenografted mice, lovastatin and rottlerin restricted MACC1 expression and liver metastasis. This is-to the best of our knowledge-the first identification of inhibitors restricting cancer progression and metastasis via the novel target MACC1. This drug repositioning might be of therapeutic value for CRC patients.

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Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
Robert-Roessle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
+4930 94793 - 100 
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