Browsing by Subject "NEURTURIN"

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  • Kallijärvi, Jukka; Stratoulias, Vassilis; Virtanen, Kristel; Hietakangas, Ville; Heino, Tapio I.; Saarma, Mart (2012)
  • Barker, Roger A.; Björklund, Anders; Gash, Don M.; Whone, Alan; Laar, Amber Van; Kordower, Jeffrey H.; Bankiewicz, Krystof; Kieburtz, Karl; Saarma, Mart; Booms, Sigrid; Huttunen, Henri J.; Kells, Adrian P.; Fiandaca, Massimo S.; Stoessl, A. Jon; Eidelberg, David; Federoff, Howard; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Dexter, David T.; Eberling, Jamie; Brundin, Patrik; Isaacs, Lyndsey; Mursaleen, Leah; Bresolin, Eros; Carroll, Camille; Coles, Alasdair; Fiske, Brian; Matthews, Helen; Lungu, Codrin; Wyse, Richard K.; Stott, Simon; Lang, Anthony E. (2020)
    The concept of repairing the brain with growth factors has been pursued for many years in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including primarily Parkinson's disease (PD) using glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). This neurotrophic factor was discovered in 1993 and shown to have selective effects on promoting survival and regeneration of certain populations of neurons including the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. These observations led to a series of clinical trials in PD patients including using infusions or gene delivery of GDNF or the related growth factor, neurturin (NRTN). Initial studies, some of which were open label, suggested that this approach could be of value in PD when the agent was injected into the putamen rather than the cerebral ventricles. In subsequent double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, the most recent reporting in 2019, treatment with GDNF did not achieve its primary end point. As a result, there has been uncertainty as to whether GDNF (and by extrapolation, related GDNF family neurotrophic factors) has merit in the future treatment of PD. To critically appraise the existing work and its future, a special workshop was held to discuss and debate this issue. This paper is a summary of that meeting with recommendations on whether there is a future for this therapeutic approach and also what any future PD trial involving GDNF and other GDNF family neurotrophic factors should consider in its design.
  • Kotliarova, Anastasiia; Sidorova, Yulia A. (2021)
    Well-known effects of neurotrophic factors are related to supporting the survival and functioning of various neuronal populations in the body. However, these proteins seem to also play less well-documented roles in glial cells, thus, influencing neuroinflammation. This article summarizes available data on the effects of glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands (GFLs), proteins providing trophic support to dopaminergic, sensory, motor and many other neuronal populations, in non-neuronal cells contributing to the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain. The paper also contains our own limited data describing the effects of small molecules targeting GFL receptors on the expression of the satellite glial marker IBA1 in dorsal root ganglia of rats with surgery- and diabetes-induced neuropathy. In our experiments activation of GFLs receptors with either GFLs or small molecule agonists downregulated the expression of IBA1 in this tissue of experimental animals. While it can be a secondary effect due to a supportive role of GFLs in neuronal cells, growing body of evidence indicates that GFL receptors are expressed in glial and peripheral immune system cells. Thus, targeting GFL receptors with either proteins or small molecules may directly suppress the activation of glial and immune system cells and, therefore, reduce neuroinflammation. As neuroinflammation is considered to be an important contributor to the process of neurodegeneration these data further support research efforts to modulate the activity of GFL receptors in order to develop disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative disorders and neuropathic pain that target both neuronal and glial cells.
  • Mahato, Arun Kumar; Kopra, Jaakko; Renko, Juho-Matti; Visnapuu, Tanel; Korhonen, Ilari; Pulkkinen, Nita; Bespalov, Maxim M.; Domanskyi, Andrii; Ronken, Eric; Piepponen, T. Petteri; Voutilainen, Merja H.; Tuominen, Raimo K.; Karelson, Mati; Sidorova, Yulia A.; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Background Motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) are caused by degeneration and progressive loss of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons. Currently, no cure for this disease is available. Existing drugs alleviate PD symptoms but fail to halt neurodegeneration. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is able to protect and repair dopamine neurons in vitro and in animal models of PD, but the clinical use of GDNF is complicated by its pharmacokinetic properties. The present study aimed to evaluate the neuronal effects of a blood-brain-barrier penetrating small molecule GDNF receptor Rearranged in Transfection agonist, BT13, in the dopamine system. Methods We characterized the ability of BT13 to activate RET in immortalized cells, to support the survival of cultured dopamine neurons, to protect cultured dopamine neurons against neurotoxin-induced cell death, to activate intracellular signaling pathways both in vitro and in vivo, and to regulate dopamine release in the mouse striatum as well as BT13's distribution in the brain. Results BT13 potently activates RET and downstream signaling cascades such as Extracellular Signal Regulated Kinase and AKT in immortalized cells. It supports the survival of cultured dopamine neurons from wild-type but not from RET-knockout mice. BT13 protects cultured dopamine neurons from 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+)-induced cell death only if they express RET. In addition, BT13 is absorbed in the brain, activates intracellular signaling cascades in dopamine neurons both in vitro and in vivo, and also stimulates the release of dopamine in the mouse striatum. Conclusion The GDNF receptor RET agonist BT13 demonstrates the potential for further development of novel disease-modifying treatments against PD. (c) 2019 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
  • Sidorova, Yulia A.; Saarma, Mart (2020)
    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands (GFLs) are able to promote the survival of multiple neuronal populations in the body and, therefore, hold considerable promise for disease-modifying treatments of diseases and conditions caused by neurodegeneration. Available data reveal the potential of GFLs for the therapy of Parkinson's disease, neuropathic pain and diseases caused by retinal degeneration but, also, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and, possibly, Alzheimer's disease. Despite promising data collected in preclinical models, clinical translation of GFLs is yet to be conducted. The main reasons for the limited success of GFLs clinical development are the poor pharmacological characteristics of GFL proteins, such as the inability of GFLs to cross tissue barriers, poor diffusion in tissues, biphasic dose-response and activation of several receptors in the organism in different cell types, along with ethical limitations on patients' selection in clinical trials. The development of small molecules selectively targeting particular GFL receptors with improved pharmacokinetic properties can overcome many of the difficulties and limitations associated with the clinical use of GFL proteins. The current review lists several strategies to target the GFL receptor complex with drug-like molecules, discusses their advantages, provides an overview of available chemical scaffolds and peptides able to activate GFL receptors and describes the effects of these molecules in cultured cells and animal models.
  • Jmaeff, Sean; Sidorova, Yulia; Lippiatt, Hayley; Barcelona, Pablo F.; Nedev, Hinyu; Saragovi, Lucia M.; Hancock, Mark A.; Saarma, Mart; Saragovi, H. Uri (2020)
    Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) binds the GFR alpha 1 receptor, and the GDNF-GFR alpha 1 complex binds to and activates the transmembrane RET tyrosine kinase to signal through intracellular Akt/Erk pathways. To dissect the GDNF-GFR alpha 1-RET signaling complex, agents that bind and activate RET directly and independently of GFR alpha 1 expression are valuable tools. In a focused naphthalenesulfonic acid library from the National Cancer Institute database, we identified small molecules that are genuine ligands binding to the RET extracellular domain. These ligands activate RET tyrosine kinase and afford trophic signals irrespective of GFR alpha 1 coexpression. However, RET activation by these ligands is constrained by GFR alpha 1, likely via an allosteric mechanism that can be overcome by increasing RET ligand concentration. In a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa, monotherapy with a small-molecule RET agonist activates survival signals and reduces neuronal death significantly better than GDNF, suggesting therapeutic potential. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A genuine ligand of RET receptor ectodomain was identified, which acts as an agonist. Binding and agonism are independent of a coreceptor glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family receptor a, which is required by the natural growth factor glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and are selective for cells expressing RET. The lead agent protects neurons from death in vivo. This work validates RET receptor as a druggable therapeutic target and provides for potential leads to evaluate in neurodegenerative states. We also report problems that arise when screening chemical libraries.