Browsing by Subject "retinitis pigmentosa"

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  • Mahato, Arun Kumar; Sidorova, Yulia A. (2020)
    Rearranged during transfection (RET) is the tyrosine kinase receptor that under normal circumstances interacts with ligand at the cell surface and mediates various essential roles in a variety of cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, survival, migration, and metabolism. RET plays a pivotal role in the development of both peripheral and central nervous systems. RET is expressed from early stages of embryogenesis and remains expressed throughout all life stages. Mutations either activating or inhibiting RET result in several aggressive diseases, namely cancer and Hirschsprung disease. However, the physiological ligand-dependent activation of RET receptor is important for the survival and maintenance of several neuronal populations, appetite, and weight gain control, thus providing an opportunity for the development of disease-modifying therapeutics against neurodegeneration and obesity. In this review, we describe the structure of RET, its signaling, and its role in both normal conditions as well as in several disorders. We highlight the differences in the signaling and outcomes of constitutive and ligand-induced RET activation. Finally, we review the data on recently developed small molecular weight RET agonists and their potential for the treatment of various diseases.
  • 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; Nedev, Hinyu; Saarma, Mart; Saragovi, H. Uri (2020)
    Glial cell line?derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a growth factor that regulates the health and function of neurons and other cells. GDNF binds to GDNF family receptor ?1 (GFRa1), and the resulting complex activates the RET receptor tyrosine kinase and subsequent downstream signals. This feature restricts GDNF activity to systems in which GFRa1 and RET are both present, a scenario that may constrain GDNF breadth of action. Furthermore, this co-dependence precludes the use of GDNF as a tool to study a putative functional cross-talk between GFRa1 and RET. Here, using biochemical techniques, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling staining, and immunohistochemistry in murine cells, tissues, or retinal organotypic cultures, we report that a naphthoquinone/quinolinedione family of small molecules (Q compounds) acts as RET agonists. We found that, like GDNF, signaling through the parental compound Q121 is GFRa1-dependent. Structural modifications of Q121 generated analogs that activated RET irrespective of GFRa1 expression. We used these analogs to examine RET?GFRa1 interactions and show that GFRa1 can influence RET-mediated signaling and enhance or diminish AKT Ser/Thr kinase or extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling in a biased manner. In a genetic mutant model of retinitis pigmentosa, a lead compound, Q525, afforded sustained RET activation and prevented photoreceptor neuron loss in the retina. This work uncovers key components of the dynamic relationships between RET and its GFRa co-receptor and provides RET agonist scaffolds for drug development.