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    CDK9 Inhibitor FIT-039 Suppresses Viral Oncogenes E6 and E7 and Has a Therapeutic Effect on HPV-Induced Neoplasia. Ajiro Masahiko,Sakai Hiroyuki,Onogi Hiroshi,Yamamoto Makoto,Sumi Eriko,Sawada Teruo,Nomura Takashi,Kabashima Kenji,Hosoya Takamitsu,Hagiwara Masatoshi Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. The purpose of this study is to assess the therapeutic effect of the newly developed cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitor FIT-039 on cervical neoplasia induced by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. We examined FIT-039 for its effect on HPV gene expression in HPV cervical cancer cells. Primary keratinocytes monolayer and organotypic raft culture models were used to evaluate HPV viral replication and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) phenotypes. Preclinical pharmacokinetics and toxicity tests for FIT-039 were also conducted. Finally, the anti-HPV effect of FIT-039 was further examined , using HPV cervical cancer xenografts. FIT-039 inhibits HPV replication and expression of E6 and E7 viral oncogenes, restoring tumor suppressors p53 and pRb in HPV cervical cancer cells. The therapeutic effect of FIT-039 was demonstrated in CIN model of an organotypic raft culture, where FIT-039 suppressed HPV18-induced dysplasia/hyperproliferation with reduction in viral load. FIT-039 also repressed growth of HPV16, but not HPV cervical cancer xenografts without any significant adverse effects. Safety and pharmacokinetics of FIT-039 were confirmed for systemic and topical routes. The CDK9 inhibitor FIT-039 showed potent anti-HPV activity without significant toxicity in preclinical studies. Thus, FIT-039 is expected to be a novel therapeutic for CIN to prevent cervical cancer. . 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-3119
    Cyclin T1/CDK9 interacts with influenza A virus polymerase and facilitates its association with cellular RNA polymerase II. Zhang Junjie,Li Gang,Ye Xin Journal of virology Influenza virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase scavenges the 5' cap from host pre-mRNA to prime viral transcription initiation. It is also well established that viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (vRNP) associates with cellular RNA polymerase II (Pol II), on which viral replication depends. Here we report that cyclin T1/CDK9 can interact with influenza virus polymerase and facilitate its association with cellular Pol II. The immunodepletion of cyclin T1/CDK9 totally abolished the association of vRNP with the C-terminal domain (CTD) Ser-2-phosphorylated form of RNA polymerase II. Further studies showed that overexpression of cyclin T1/CDK9 increased the transcription activity of vRNP, while knockdown of cyclin T1/CDK9 impaired viral replication. Our results suggest that cyclin T1/CDK9 serves as an adapter to mediate the interaction of vRNP and RNA Pol II and promote viral transcription. 10.1128/JVI.01696-10
    Small molecule degraders of the hepatitis C virus protease reduce susceptibility to resistance mutations. de Wispelaere Mélissanne,Du Guangyan,Donovan Katherine A,Zhang Tinghu,Eleuteri Nicholas A,Yuan Jingting C,Kalabathula Joann,Nowak Radosław P,Fischer Eric S,Gray Nathanael S,Yang Priscilla L Nature communications Targeted protein degradation is a promising drug development paradigm. Here we leverage this strategy to develop a new class of small molecule antivirals that induce proteasomal degradation of viral proteins. Telaprevir, a reversible-covalent inhibitor that binds to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease active site is conjugated to ligands that recruit the CRL4 ligase complex, yielding compounds that can both inhibit and induce the degradation of the HCV NS3/4A protease. An optimized degrader, DGY-08-097, potently inhibits HCV in a cellular infection model, and we demonstrate that protein degradation contributes to its antiviral activity. Finally, we show that this new class of antiviral agents can overcome viral variants that confer resistance to traditional enzymatic inhibitors such as telaprevir. Overall, our work provides proof-of-concept that targeted protein degradation may provide a new paradigm for the development of antivirals with superior resistance profiles. 10.1038/s41467-019-11429-w
    RelA Ser276 phosphorylation-coupled Lys310 acetylation controls transcriptional elongation of inflammatory cytokines in respiratory syncytial virus infection. Brasier Allan R,Tian B,Jamaluddin M,Kalita Mridul K,Garofalo Roberto P,Lu Muping Journal of virology Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus responsible for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in humans. In experimental models of RSV LRTI, the actions of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) transcription factor mediate inflammation and pathology. We have shown that RSV replication induces a mitogen-and-stress-related kinase 1 (MSK-1) pathway that activates NF-κB RelA transcriptional activity by a process involving serine phosphorylation at serine (Ser) residue 276. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which phospho-Ser276 RelA mediates expression of the NF-κB-dependent gene network. RelA-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) complemented with the RelA Ser276Ala mutant are deficient in CXCL2/Groβ, KC, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression, but NFKBIA/IκBα is preserved. We show that RSV-induced RelA Ser276 phosphorylation is required for acetylation at Lys310, an event required for transcriptional activity and stable association of RelA with the activated positive transcriptional elongation factor (PTEF-b) complex proteins, bromodomain 4 (Brd4), and cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9). In contrast to gene loading pattern of PTEF-b proteins produced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) stimulation, RSV induces their initial clearance followed by partial reaccumulation coincident with RelA recruitment. The RSV-induced binding patterns of the CDK9 substrate, phospho-Ser2 RNA polymerase (Pol) II, follows a similar pattern of clearance and downstream gene reaccumulation. The functional role of CDK9 was examined using CDK9 small interfering RNA (siRNA) and CDK inhibitors, where RSV-induced NF-κB-dependent gene expression was significantly inhibited. Finally, although RSV induces a transition from short transcripts to fully spliced mRNA in wild-type RelA (RelA WT)-expressing cells, this transition is not seen in cells expressing RelA Ser276Ala. We conclude that RelA Ser276 phosphorylation mediates RelA acetylation, Brd4/CDK9 association, and activation of downstream inflammatory genes by transcriptional elongation in RSV infection. 10.1128/JVI.05360-11
    BRD4 Couples NF-κB/RelA with Airway Inflammation and the IRF-RIG-I Amplification Loop in Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection. Tian Bing,Yang Jun,Zhao Yingxin,Ivanciuc Teodora,Sun Hong,Garofalo Roberto P,Brasier Allan R Journal of virology The airway mucosa expresses protective interferon (IFN) and inflammatory cytokines in response to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. In this study, we examine the role of bromodomain containing 4 (BRD4) in mediating this innate immune response in human small airway epithelial cells. We observe that RSV induces BRD4 to complex with NF-κB/RelA. BRD4 is functionally required for expression of the NF-κB-dependent inflammatory gene regulatory network (GRN), including the IFN response factor 1 (IRF1) and IRF7, which mediate a cross talk pathway for RIG-I upregulation. Mechanistically, BRD4 is required for cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) recruitment and phospho-Ser 2 carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) RNA polymerase (Pol) II formation on the promoters of , , and , producing their enhanced expression by transcriptional elongation. We also find that BRD4 independently regulates CDK9/phospho-Ser 2 CTD RNA Pol II recruitment to the IRF3-dependent IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). , poly(I·C)-induced neutrophilia and mucosal chemokine production are blocked by a small-molecule BRD4 bromodomain inhibitor. Similarly, BRD4 inhibition reduces RSV-induced neutrophilia, mucosal CXC chemokine expression, activation of the IRF7-RIG-I autoamplification loop, mucosal IFN expression, and airway obstruction. RSV infection activates BRD4 acetyltransferase activity on histone H3 Lys (K) 122, demonstrating that RSV infection activates BRD4 These data validate BRD4 as a major effector of RSV-induced inflammation and disease. BRD4 is required for coupling NF-κB to expression of inflammatory genes and the IRF-RIG-I autoamplification pathway and independently facilitates antiviral ISG expression. BRD4 inhibition may be a strategy to reduce exuberant virus-induced mucosal airway inflammation. In the United States, 2.1 million children annually require medical attention for RSV infections. A first line of defense is the expression of the innate gene network by infected epithelial cells. Expression of the innate response requires the recruitment of transcriptional elongation factors to rapidly induce innate response genes through an unknown mechanism. We discovered that RSV infection induces a complex of bromodomain containing 4 (BRD4) with NF-κB and cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9). BRD4 is required for stable CDK9 binding, phospho-Ser 2 RNA Pol II formation, and histone acetyltransferase activity. Inhibition of BRD4 blocks Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)-dependent neutrophilia and RSV-induced inflammation, demonstrating its importance in the mucosal innate response Our study shows that BRD4 plays a central role in inflammation and activation of the IRF7-RIG-I amplification loop vital for mucosal interferon expression. BRD4 inhibition may be a strategy for modulating exuberant mucosal airway inflammation. 10.1128/JVI.00007-17
    CDK9-dependent transcriptional elongation in the innate interferon-stimulated gene response to respiratory syncytial virus infection in airway epithelial cells. Tian Bing,Zhao Yingxin,Kalita Mridul,Edeh Chukwudi B,Paessler Slobodan,Casola Antonella,Teng Michael N,Garofalo Roberto P,Brasier Allan R Journal of virology Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus responsible for lower respiratory tract infections. During infection, the presence of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) activates the interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) transcription factor, an event triggering expression of immediate early, IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). We examine the role of transcriptional elongation in control of IRF3-dependent ISG expression. RSV infection induces ISG54, ISG56, and CIG5 gene expression in an IRF3-dependent manner demonstrated by IRF3 small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing in both A549 epithelial cells and IRF3(-/-) MEFs. ISG expression was mediated by the recruitment of IRF3, CDK9, polymerase II (Pol II), and phospho-Ser(2) carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) Pol II to the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) binding sites of the IRF3-dependent ISG promoters in native chromatin. We find that RSV infection enhances the activated fraction of cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) by promoting its association with bromodomain 4 (BRD4) and disrupting its association with the inhibitory 7SK small nuclear RNA. The requirement of CDK9 activity for ISG expression was shown by siRNA-mediated silencing of CDK9 and by a selective CDK9 inhibitor in A549 cells. In contrast, RSV-induced beta interferon (IFN-β) expression is not influenced by CDK9 inhibition. Using transcript-selective quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (Q-RT-PCR) assays for the ISG54 gene, we observed that RSV induces transition from short to fully spliced mRNA transcripts and that this transition is blocked by CDK9 inhibition in both A549 and primary human small airway epithelial cells. These data indicate that transcription elongation plays a major role in RSV-induced ISG expression and is mediated by IRF3-dependent recruitment of activated CDK9. CDK9 activity may be a target for immunomodulation in RSV-induced lung disease. 10.1128/JVI.03399-12
    RSV Reprograms the CDK9•BRD4 Chromatin Remodeling Complex to Couple Innate Inflammation to Airway Remodeling. Brasier Allan R Viruses Respiratory syncytial virus infection is responsible for seasonal upper and lower respiratory tract infections worldwide, causing substantial morbidity. Self-inoculation of the virus into the nasopharynx results in epithelial replication and distal spread into the lower respiratory tract. Here, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activates sentinel cells important in the host inflammatory response, resulting in epithelial-derived cytokine and interferon (IFN) expression resulting in neutrophilia, whose intensity is associated with disease severity. I will synthesize key findings describing how RSV replication activates intracellular NFκB and IRF signaling cascades controlling the innate immune response (IIR). Recent studies have implicated a central role for expressing progenitor cells in IIR, a cell type uniquely primed to induce neutrophilic-, T helper 2 (Th2)-polarizing-, and fibrogenic cytokines that play distinct roles in disease pathogenesis. Molecular studies have linked the positive transcriptional elongation factor-b (P-TEFb), a pleiotrophic chromatin remodeling complex in immediate-early IIR gene expression. Through intrinsic kinase activity of cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) 9 and atypical histone acetyl transferase activity of bromodomain containing protein 4 (BRD4), P-TEFb mediates transcriptional elongation of IIR genes. Unbiased proteomic studies show that the CDK9•BRD4 complex is dynamically reconfigured by the innate response and targets TGFβ-dependent fibrogenic gene networks. Chronic activation of CDK9•BRD4 mediates chromatin remodeling fibrogenic gene networks that cause epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). Mesenchymal transitioned epithelial cells elaborate TGFβ and IL6 that function in a paracrine manner to expand the population of subepithelial myofibroblasts. These findings may account for the long-term reduction in pulmonary function in children with severe lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). Modifying chromatin remodeling properties of the CDK9•BRD4 coactivators may provide a mechanism for reducing post-infectious airway remodeling that are a consequence of severe RSV LRTIs. 10.3390/v12040472
    In vivo RNA interference screens identify regulators of antiviral CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell differentiation. Chen Runqiang,Bélanger Simon,Frederick Megan A,Li Bin,Johnston Robert J,Xiao Nengming,Liu Yun-Cai,Sharma Sonia,Peters Bjoern,Rao Anjana,Crotty Shane,Pipkin Matthew E Immunity Classical genetic approaches to examine the requirements of genes for T cell differentiation during infection are time consuming. Here we developed a pooled approach to screen 30-100+ genes individually in separate antigen-specific T cells during infection using short hairpin RNAs in a microRNA context (shRNAmir). Independent screens using T cell receptor (TCR)-transgenic CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells responding to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) identified multiple genes that regulated development of follicular helper (Tfh) and T helper 1 (Th1) cells, and short-lived effector and memory precursor cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Both screens revealed roles for the positive transcription elongation factor (P-TEFb) component Cyclin T1 (Ccnt1). Inhibiting expression of Cyclin T1, or its catalytic partner Cdk9, impaired development of Th1 cells and protective short-lived effector CTL and enhanced Tfh cell and memory precursor CTL formation in vivo. This pooled shRNA screening approach should have utility in numerous immunological studies. 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.08.002
    Inhibitory effect of CDK9 inhibitor FIT-039 on hepatitis B virus propagation. Tanaka Tomohisa,Okuyama-Dobashi Kaori,Murakami Shuko,Chen Wenjia,Okamoto Toru,Ueda Keiji,Hosoya Takamitsu,Matsuura Yoshiharu,Ryo Akihide,Tanaka Yasuhito,Hagiwara Masatoshi,Moriishi Kohji Antiviral research Current therapies for hepatitis B virus (HBV) cannot completely eliminate the HBV genome because of the stable population of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) and so on. FIT-039, which is a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 9 inhibitor, is known to suppress the replication of several DNA viruses including HSV, HPV and human adenovirus. In this study, we investigated the antiviral effect of FIT-039 on HBV infection. HepG2 cells expressing human sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (HepG2/NTCP cells) were infected with HBV in the presence of FIT-039. FIT-039 dose-dependently reduced intracellular viral RNA, nucleocapsid-associated viral DNA, and supernatant viral antigens without cytotoxicity in the infected cells (IC50 = 0.33 μM, CC50 > 50 μM). The antiviral activity of FIT-039 was prominent at an early phase of viral infection, although the compound did not inhibit preS1-binding to HepG2/NTCP cells. FIT-039 reduced cccDNA in HBV-replicating or HBV-infected cells. Furthermore, the antiviral activity of entecavir was significantly enhanced by the combination with FIT-039 in the chimeric mice having human hepatocytes infected with HBV. None of the mice had significant drug-related body weight or serum human-albumin concentration changes. These data suggest that CDK9 inhibitor FIT-039 is a promising antiviral candidate for HBV infection. 10.1016/j.antiviral.2016.08.008
    CDK9 inhibitor FIT-039 prevents replication of multiple DNA viruses. Yamamoto Makoto,Onogi Hiroshi,Kii Isao,Yoshida Suguru,Iida Kei,Sakai Hiroyuki,Abe Minako,Tsubota Toshiaki,Ito Nobutoshi,Hosoya Takamitsu,Hagiwara Masatoshi The Journal of clinical investigation A wide range of antiviral drugs is currently available; however, drug-resistant viruses have begun to emerge and represent a potential public health risk. Here, we explored the use of compounds that inhibit or interfere with the action of essential host factors to prevent virus replication. In particular, we focused on the cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) inhibitor, FIT-039, which suppressed replication of a broad spectrum of DNA viruses through inhibition of mRNA transcription. Specifically, FIT-039 inhibited replication of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, human adenovirus, and human cytomegalovirus in cultured cells, and topical application of FIT-039 ointment suppressed skin legion formation in a murine HSV-1 infection model. FIT-039 did not affect cell cycle progression or cellular proliferation in host cells. Compared with the general CDK inhibitor flavopiridol, transcriptome analyses of FIT-039-treated cells revealed that FIT-039 specifically inhibited CDK9. Given at concentrations above the inhibitory concentration, FIT-039 did not have a cytotoxic effect on mammalian cells. Importantly, administration of FIT-039 ameliorated the severity of skin lesion formation in mice infected with an acyclovir-resistant HSV-1, without noticeable adverse effects. Together, these data indicate that FIT-039 has potential as an antiviral agent for clinical therapeutics. 10.1172/JCI73805