• The actin targeting compound Chondramide inhibits breast cancer metastasis via reduction of cellular contractility.

      Menhofer, Magdalena H; Kubisch, Rebekka; Schreiner, Laura; Zorn, Matthias; Foerster, Florian; Mueller, Rolf; Raedler, Joachim O; Wagner, Ernst; Vollmar, Angelika M; Zahler, Stefan; et al. (2014)
      A major player in the process of metastasis is the actin cytoskeleton as it forms key structures in both invasion mechanisms, mesenchymal and amoeboid migration. We tested the actin binding compound Chondramide as potential anti-metastatic agent.
    • Chivosazole A Modulates Protein-Protein Interactions of Actin.

      Wang, Shuaijun; Gegenfurtner, Florian A; Crevenna, Alvaro H; Ziegenhain, Christoph; Kliesmete, Zane; Enard, Wolfgang; Müller, Rolf; Vollmar, Angelika M; Schneider, Sabine; Zahler, Stefan; et al. (American Society for Chemistry, 2019-07-26)
      Actin is a protein of central importance for many cellular key processes. It is regulated by local interactions with a large number of actin binding proteins (ABPs). Various compounds are known to either increase or decrease the polymerization dynamics of actin. However, no actin binding compound has been developed for clinical applications yet because of selectivity issues. We provide a crystal structure of the natural product chivosazole A (ChivoA) bound to actin and show that-in addition to inhibiting nucleation, polymerization, and severing of F-actin filaments-it selectively modulates binding of ABPs to G-actin: Although unphysiological actin dimers are induced by ChivoA, interaction with gelsolin, profilin, cofilin, and thymosin-β4 is inhibited. Moreover, ChivoA causes transcriptional effects differing from latrunculin B, an actin binder with a different binding site. Our data show that ChivoA and related compounds could serve as scaffolds for the development of actin binding molecules selectively targeting specific actin functions.
    • Modulation of actin dynamics as potential macrophage subtype-targeting anti-tumour strategy.

      Pergola, Carlo; Schubert, Katrin; Pace, Simona; Ziereisen, Jana; Nikels, Felix; Scherer, Olga; Hüttel, Stephan; Zahler, Stefan; Vollmar, Angelika M; Weinigel, Christina; et al. (2017-01-30)
      Tumour-associated macrophages mainly comprise immunosuppressive M2 phenotypes that promote tumour progression besides anti-tumoural M1 subsets. Selective depletion or reprogramming of M2 may represent an innovative anti-cancer strategy. The actin cytoskeleton is central for cellular homeostasis and is targeted for anti-cancer chemotherapy. Here, we show that targeting G-actin nucleation using chondramide A (ChA) predominantly depletes human M2 while promoting the tumour-suppressive M1 phenotype. ChA reduced the viability of M2, with minor effects on M1, but increased tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α release from M1. Interestingly, ChA caused rapid disruption of dynamic F-actin filaments and polymerization of G-actin, followed by reduction of cell size, binucleation and cell division, without cellular collapse. In M1, but not in M2, ChA caused marked activation of SAPK/JNK and NFκB, with slight or no effects on Akt, STAT-1/-3, ERK-1/2, and p38 MAPK, seemingly accounting for the better survival of M1 and TNFα secretion. In a microfluidically-supported human tumour biochip model, circulating ChA-treated M1 markedly reduced tumour cell viability through enhanced release of TNFα. Together, ChA may cause an anti-tumoural microenvironment by depletion of M2 and activation of M1, suggesting induction of G-actin nucleation as potential strategy to target tumour-associated macrophages in addition to neoplastic cells.
    • Pharmacological targeting of membrane rigidity: implications on cancer cell migration and invasion

      Braig, Simone; Sebastian Schmidt, B U; Stoiber, Katharina; Händel, Chris; Möhn, Till; Werz, Oliver; Müller, Rolf; Zahler, Stefan; Koeberle, Andreas; Käs, Josef A; et al. (2015-08-05)
    • Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Modified Miuraenamides

      Kappler, Sarah; Karmann, Lisa; Prudel, Cynthia; Herrmann, Jennifer; Caddeu, Giulia; Müller, Rolf; Vollmar, Angelika M.; Zahler, Stefan; Kazmaier, Uli; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.
    • Targeting actin inhibits repair of doxorubicin-induced DNA damage: a novel therapeutic approach for combination therapy.

      Pfitzer, Lisa; Moser, Christina; Gegenfurtner, Florian; Arner, Anja; Foerster, Florian; Atzberger, Carina; Zisis, Themistoklis; Kubisch-Dohmen, Rebekka; Busse, Johanna; Smith, Rebecca; et al. (Springer-Nature, 2019-04-03)
      Severe side effects often restrict clinical application of the widely used chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. In order to decrease required substance concentrations, new concepts for successful combination therapy are needed. Since doxorubicin causes DNA damage, combination with compounds that modulate DNA repair could be a promising strategy. Very recently, a role of nuclear actin for DNA damage repair has been proposed, making actin a potential target for cancer therapy in combination with DNA-damaging therapeutics. This is of special interest, since actin-binding compounds have not yet found their way into clinics. We find that low-dose combination treatment of doxorubicin with the actin polymerizer chondramide B (ChB) synergistically inhibits tumor growth in vivo. On the cellular level we demonstrate that actin binders inhibit distinctive double strand break (DSB) repair pathways. Actin manipulation impairs the recruitment of replication factor A (RPA) to the site of damage, a process crucial for homologous recombination. In addition, actin binders reduce autophosphorylation of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) during nonhomologous end joining. Our findings substantiate a direct involvement of actin in nuclear DSB repair pathways, and propose actin as a therapeutic target for combination therapy with DNA-damaging agents such as doxorubicin.
    • The V-ATPase-inhibitor archazolid abrogates tumor metastasis via inhibition of endocytic activation of the Rho-GTPase Rac1.

      Wiedmann, Romina M; von Schwarzenberg, Karin; Palamidessi, Andrea; Schreiner, Laura; Kubisch, Rebekka; Liebl, Johanna; Schempp, Christina; Trauner, Dirk; Vereb, Gyorgy; Zahler, Stefan; et al. (2012-11-15)
      The abundance of the multimeric vacuolar ATP-dependent proton pump, V-ATPase, on the plasma membrane of tumor cells correlates with the invasiveness of the tumor cell, suggesting the involvement of V-ATPase in tumor metastasis. V-ATPase is hypothesized to create a proton efflux leading to an acidic pericellular microenvironment that promotes the activity of proinvasive proteases. An alternative, not yet explored possibility is that V-ATPase regulates the signaling machinery responsible for tumor cell migration. Here, we show that pharmacologic or genetic reduction of V-ATPase activity significantly reduces migration of invasive tumor cells in vitro. Importantly, the V-ATPase inhibitor archazolid abrogates tumor dissemination in a syngeneic mouse 4T1 breast tumor metastasis model. Pretreatment of cancer cells with archazolid impairs directional motility by preventing spatially restricted, leading edge localization of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as well as of phosphorylated Akt. Archazolid treatment or silencing of V-ATPase inhibited Rac1 activation, as well as Rac1-dependent dorsal and peripheral ruffles by inhibiting Rab5-mediated endocytotic/exocytotic trafficking of Rac1. The results indicate that archazolid effectively decreases metastatic dissemination of breast tumors by impairing the trafficking and spatially restricted activation of EGFR and Rho-GTPase Rac1, which are pivotal for directed movement of cells. Thus, our data reveals a novel mechanism underlying the role of V-ATPase in tumor dissemination.