I'm a PhD student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I want to find smarter ways to treat disease.
Dissecting interactions between two proteins involved in psoriasis disease progression
Psoriasis disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of the epidermal layer of skin. This inflammation is driven by migration of T cells into the epidermis and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. During active psoriasis disease, the chemokine CCL20 is up-regulated and promotes migration of T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CCR6. Targeting the CCL20/CCR6 interaction interface is an appealing therapeutic target, but structural information about this interaction is lacking. My thesis research investigates the key interactions between these two proteins to help focus future drug discovery efforts.
Abstract: Psoriasis is a common, chronic autoimmune disease of the skin. Despite a number of effective treatments, new therapies are needed with enhanced efficacy, safety and convenience. Chemokine receptors are GPCRs that control leukocyte trafficking, and like other GPCRs, are good potential drug targets. The chemokine receptor CCR6 is expressed on the T(H)17 subset of CD4(+) T cells, which produces IL-17A/F, IL-22, TNF-alpha and other cytokines, and which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. CCR6 and its ligand, CCL20/MIP-3alpha, are highly expressed in psoriatic skin and CCR6 is necessary for the pathology induced in a mouse model of psoriasis-like inflammation.This review summarizes the evidence for the importance of the IL-23/T(H)17 axis, and in particular CCR6 and CCL20 in psoriasis, dating from 2000 to the present, and discusses the possibility of inhibiting CCR6 as a treatment for the disease.The review informs the reader of the current thinking on the mechanisms of inflammation in psoriasis and the possible roles for CCR6 (and CCL20) in disease pathogenesis.We conclude that CCR6 should be investigated as a potential therapeutic target in psoriasis.
Pub.: 16 Jul '10, Pinned: 21 Jun '17
Abstract: Cytokine components of Th17 pathway play vital roles in human psoriasis. Although much is known about TCR αβ T cells in psoriasis, the role of unconventional T cells, including γδ T cells, is unclear. In this study, using an IL-23 skin injection model of psoriasiform dermatitis in mice, we demonstrate that IL-22, IL-17A, and the IL-23R were highly enriched in a population of CCR6(+), TCR γδ-low expressing (GDL) T cells that accumulated in the epidermis after IL-23 injections. GDL cells were distinct from resident TCR γδ-high, Vγ3(+),CCR6(-) T cells in the epidermis that did not change appreciably in numbers following IL-23 injection. Large numbers of CCR6(+) cells were detected at or above the level of the epidermal basement membrane by confocal microscopy 5 d after repeated IL-23 injections at the same time GDL cells increased in numbers in the epidermis. TCR δ-deficient mice (lacking γδ T cells) exhibited decreased ear swelling and downregulated expression of IL-22 and IL-17A in the epidermis following IL-23 injection. Our data suggest that a subset of γδ T cells play a critical role in IL-23-mediated psoriasiform dermatitis.
Pub.: 11 Oct '11, Pinned: 21 Jun '17
Abstract: Chemokine receptors are G-protein-coupled, seven-transmembrane-spanning surface receptors that play key roles in cell trafficking, cell motility, and survival. These receptors are activated by small molecular weight chemotactic cytokines called chemokines. Chemokine receptors and their corresponding chemokine ligands play roles in the migration and localization of normal T cells (and other cells) during physiological responses in inflamed or infected skin. In psoriasis, the chemokine receptor CCR6 is expressed on the Th17 cells and γδ T cells, which produce a variety of cytokines (IL17 and IL22 among others), that play a role in the immunological activation. CCR6 and its ligand, CCL20, are highly expressed in psoriatic skin lesion and CCR6 is essential for the development of the psoriasiform phenotype following IL23 injection in mouse skin. In this review, we focus on the roles of chemokine receptors, particularly of CCR6, in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and discuss chemokine receptors as novel therapeutic targets for psoriasis.
Pub.: 20 Dec '11, Pinned: 21 Jun '17
Abstract: A subset of CC chemokine receptor-6(+) (CCR6(+)), γδ-low (GDL) T cells that express Th17 cytokines in mouse skin participates in IL-23-induced psoriasiform dermatitis. We use CCR6-deficient (knockout, KO) and wild-type (WT) mice to analyze skin trafficking patterns of GDL T cells and function-blocking mAbs to determine the role of CCR6 in IL-23-mediated dermatitis. Herein, CCL20 was highly upregulated in IL-23-injected WT mouse ear skin as early as 24 hours after initial treatment, and large numbers of CCR6(+) cells were observed in the epidermis of IL-23-injected WT mice. Anti-CCL20 mAbs reduced psoriasiform dermatitis and blocked recruitment of GDL T cells to the epidermis. In CCR6 KO mice, GDL T cells failed to accumulate in the epidermis after IL-23 treatment, but the total numbers of GDL T cells in the dermis of WT and CCR6 KO mice were equivalent. There was an ∼70% reduction in the proportion of IL-22(+) GDL T cells in the dermis of CCR6 KO mice (vs WT mice), suggesting that effector function and epidermal recruitment of GDL T cells are impaired in CCR6-deficient mice. Thus, these data show that CCR6 regulates epidermal trafficking of γδ-T-cell subsets in the skin and suggest the potential of CCR6 as a therapeutic target for psoriasis.
Pub.: 17 Aug '12, Pinned: 21 Jun '17
Abstract: It has been nearly ten years since the introduction of SAR by NMR and the advent of fragment-based drug design. During this time, we have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about protein druggability, the limits of chemical diversity, and crafting high-affinity ligands from low molecular weight, weakly binding leads. This review will describe the concept of fragment-based drug design, discuss why it works, and illustrate the power of the approach with two case studies on the design of potent inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases and Bcl-2 family proteins.
Pub.: 13 Oct '06, Pinned: 21 Jun '17
Abstract: The application of NMR in fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD) has quickly developed from a sensitive method for the identification of low-affinity binders to an important tool in the hit-to-lead process. NMR can play a constructive role in the process from identifying those fragments with the best potential toward a biochemically active compound to developing them into molecules with high affinity and selectivity to a given target protein. NMR hit-to-lead involves revising the lead identification process at the beginning of a fragment-based drug discovery project, the primary screen, and also looking toward protein-detected NMR methods in advancing compounds from fragment hit into and through fragment hit-to-lead. With the development of higher sensitivity cold NMR probes, ligand-based NMR methods can be successfully applied to a majority of projects found in a pharmaceutical pipeline. Having matured from the original concepts such as SAR by NMR (Shuker, S. B., Hajduk, P. J., Meadows, R. P., Fesik, S. W. (1996) Discovering high-affinity ligands for proteins: SAR by NMR. Science274 (5292), 1531-1534.), projects that base their lead matter on fragment hits are close to or already in the clinic (Woodhead, A. J., Angove, H., Carr, M. G., Chessari, G., Congreve, M., Coyle, J. E., Cosme, J., Graham, B., Day, P. J., Downham, R., Fazal, L., Feltell, R., et al. (2010) discovery of (2,4-dihydroxy-5-isopropylphenyl)-[5-(4-methylpiperazin-1-ylmethyl)-1,3-dihydroisoindol-2-yl]methanone (AT13387), a novel inhibitor of the molecular chaperone Hsp90 by fragment based drug design. J. Med. Chem.53, 5956-5969, Chessari, G., and Woodhead, A. J. (2009). From fragment to clinical candidate: A historical perspective. Drug Discov. Today14 (13-14), 668-675.). Generating new ideas toward new binding modes and mechanisms of action as well as new intellectual property will be the standard by which the success of FBLD will need to be measured. A strategy outlining the various steps involved in NMR hit-to-lead is provided. By means of a specific example, the workflow is described to guide the reader through the experimental setup.
Pub.: 05 Mar '11, Pinned: 21 Jun '17