Activating HSP72 in rodent skeletal muscle increases mitochondrial number and oxidative capacity and decreases insulin resistance.

Authors: Henstridge DC, Bruce CR, Drew BG, Tory K, Kolonics A, Estevez E, Chung J, Watson N, Gardner T, Lee-Young RS, Connor T, Watt MJ, Carpenter K, Hargreaves M, McGee SL, Hevener AL, Febbraio MA.
Publisher: Diabetes. 2014 Jun;63(6):1881-94.

Induction of heat shock protein (HSP)72 protects against obesity-induced insulin resistance, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we show that HSP72 plays a pivotal role in increasing skeletal muscle mitochondrial number and oxidative metabolism. Mice overexpressing HSP72 in skeletal muscle (HSP72Tg) and control wild-type (WT) mice were fed either a chow or high-fat diet (HFD). Despite a similar energy intake when HSP72Tg mice were compared with WT mice, the HFD increased body weight, intramuscular lipid accumulation (triacylglycerol and diacylglycerol but not ceramide), and severe glucose intolerance in WT mice alone. Whole-body VO2, fatty acid oxidation, and endurance running capacity were markedly increased in HSP72Tg mice. Moreover, HSP72Tg mice exhibited an increase in mitochondrial number. In addition, the HSP72 coinducer BGP-15, currently in human clinical trials for type 2 diabetes, also increased mitochondrial number and insulin sensitivity in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Together, these data identify a novel role for activation of HSP72 in skeletal muscle. Thus, the increased oxidative metabolism associated with activation of HSP72 has potential clinical implications not only for type 2 diabetes but also for other disorders where mitochondrial function is compromised.

Muscle disorders: Preventing diaphragm dysfunction.

Authors: Crunkhorn S.
Publisher: Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016 Sep 29;15(10):678.

No abstract available

Membrane lipid therapy: Modulation of the cell membrane composition and structure as a molecular base for drug discovery and new disease treatment.

Authors: Escribá PV, Busquets X, Inokuchi J, Balogh G, Török Z, Horváth I, Harwood JL, Vígh L.
Publisher: Prog Lipid Res. 2015 Jul;59:38-53.

Nowadays we understand cell membranes not as a simple double lipid layer but as a collection of complex and dynamic protein-lipid structures and microdomains that serve as functional platforms for interacting signaling lipids and proteins. Membrane lipids and lipid structures participate directly as messengers or regulators of signal transduction. In addition, protein-lipid interactions participate in the localization of signaling protein partners to specific membrane microdomains. Thus, lipid alterations change cell signaling that are associated with a variety of diseases including cancer, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. This article reviews the newly emerging field of membrane lipid therapy which involves the pharmacological regulation of membrane lipid composition and structure for the treatment of diseases. Membrane lipid therapy proposes the use of new molecules specifically designed to modify membrane lipid structures and microdomains as pharmaceutical disease-modifying agents by reversing the malfunction or altering the expression of disease-specific protein or lipid signal cascades. Here, we provide an in-depth analysis of this emerging field, especially its molecular bases and its relevance to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches.

Mitochondrial dysfunction in oocytes of obese mothers: transmission to offspring and reversal by pharmacological endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibitors.

Authors: Wu LL, Russell DL, Wong SL, Chen M, Tsai TS, St John JC, Norman RJ, Febbraio MA, Carroll J, Robker RL.
Publisher: Development. 2015 Feb 15;142(4):681-91.

Over-nutrition in females causes altered fetal growth during pregnancy and permanently programs the metabolism of offspring; however, the temporal and mechanistic origins of these changes, and whether they are reversible, are unknown. We now show that, in obese female mice, cumulus-oocyte complexes exhibit endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, high levels of intracellular lipid, spindle abnormalities and reduced PTX3 extracellular matrix protein production. Ovulated oocytes from obese mice contain normal levels of mitochondrial (mt) DNA but have reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and high levels of autophagy compared with oocytes from lean mice. After in vitro fertilization, the oocytes of obese female mice demonstrate reduced developmental potential and form blastocysts with reduced levels of mtDNA. Blastocysts transferred to normal weight surrogates that were then analyzed at E14.5 showed that oocytes from obese mice gave rise to fetuses that were heavier than controls and had reduced liver and kidney mtDNA content per cell, indicating that maternal obesity before conception had altered the transmission of mitochondria to offspring. Treatment of the obese females with the ER stress inhibitor salubrinal or the chaperone inducer BGP-15 before ovulation increased the amount of the mitochondrial replication factors TFAM and DRP1, and mtDNA content in oocytes. Salubrinal and BGP-15 also completely restored oocyte quality, embryo development and the mtDNA content of fetal tissue to levels equivalent to those derived from lean mice. These results demonstrate that obesity before conception imparts a legacy of mitochondrial loss in offspring that is caused by ER stress and is reversible during the final stages of oocyte development and maturation.

Therapeutic inducers of the HSP70/HSP110 protect mice against traumatic brain injury.

Authors: Eroglu B, Kimbler DE, Pang J, Choi J, Moskophidis D, Yanasak N, Dhandapani KM, Mivechi NF.
Publisher: J Neurochem. 2014 Sep;130(5):626-41.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) induces severe harm and disability in many accident victims and combat-related activities. The heat-shock proteins Hsp70/Hsp110 protect cells against death and ischemic damage. In this study, we used mice deficient in Hsp110 or Hsp70 to examine their potential requirement following TBI. Data indicate that loss of Hsp110 or Hsp70 increases brain injury and death of neurons. One of the mechanisms underlying the increased cell death observed in the absence of Hsp110 and Hsp70 following TBI is the increased expression of reactive oxygen species-induced p53 target genes Pig1, Pig8, and Pig12. To examine whether drugs that increase the levels of Hsp70/Hsp110 can protect cells against TBI, we subjected mice to TBI and administered Celastrol or BGP-15. In contrast to Hsp110- or Hsp70i-deficient mice that were not protected following TBI and Celastrol treatment, there was a significant improvement of wild-type mice following administration of these drugs during the first week following TBI. In addition, assessment of neurological injury shows significant improvement in contextual and cued fear conditioning tests and beam balance in wild-type mice that were treated with Celastrol or BGP-15 following TBI compared to TBI-treated mice. These studies indicate a significant role of Hsp70/Hsp110 in neuronal survival following TBI and the beneficial effects of Hsp70/Hsp110 inducers toward reducing the pathological consequences of TBI. Our data indicate that loss of Hsp110 or Hsp70 in mice increases brain injury following TBI. (a) One of the mechanisms underlying the increased cell death observed in the absence of these Hsps following TBI is the increased expression of ROS-induced p53 target genes known as Pigs. In addition, (b) using drugs (Celastrol or BGP-15) to increase Hsp70/Hsp110 levels protect cells against TBI, suggesting the beneficial effects of Hsp70/Hsp110 inducers to reduce the pathological consequences of TBI.

The chaperone co-inducer BGP-15 alleviates ventilation-induced diaphragm dysfunction.

Authors: Salah H, Li M, Cacciani N, Gastaldello S, Ogilvie H, Akkad H, Namuduri AV, Morbidoni V, Artemenko KA, Balogh G, Martinez-Redondo V, Jannig P, Hedström Y, Dworkin B, Bergquist J, Ruas J, Vigh L, Salviati L, Larsson L.
Publisher: Sci Transl Med. 2016 Aug 3;8(350):350ra103.

Ventilation-induced diaphragm dysfunction (VIDD) is a marked decline in diaphragm function in response to mechanical ventilation, which has negative consequences for individual patients' quality of life and for the health care system, but specific treatment strategies are still lacking. We used an experimental intensive care unit (ICU) model, allowing time-resolved studies of diaphragm structure and function in response to long-term mechanical ventilation and the effects of a pharmacological intervention (the chaperone co-inducer BGP-15). The marked loss of diaphragm muscle fiber function in response to mechanical ventilation was caused by posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of myosin. In a rat model, 10 days of BGP-15 treatment greatly improved diaphragm muscle fiber function (by about 100%), although it did not reverse diaphragm atrophy. The treatment also provided protection from myosin PTMs associated with HSP72 induction and PARP-1 inhibition, resulting in improvement of mitochondrial function and content. Thus, BGP-15 may offer an intervention strategy for reducing VIDD in mechanically ventilated ICU patients.

Improvement of insulin sensitivity by a novel drug candidate, BGP-15, in different animal studies.

Authors: Literáti-Nagy B, Tory K, Peitl B, Bajza Á, Korányi L, Literáti-Nagy Z, Hooper PL, Vígh L, Szilvássy Z.
Publisher: Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2014 Mar;12(2):125-31.

BACKGROUND: Insulin resistance has been recognized as the most significant predictor of further development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Here we investigated the effect of a heat shock protein (HSP) co-inducer, BGP-15, on insulin sensitivity in different insulin-resistant animal models and compared its effect with insulin secretagogues and insulin sensitizers. METHODS: Insulin sensitivity was assessed by the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamp technique in normal and cholesterol-fed rabbits and in healthy Wistar and Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats in dose-ranging studies. We also examined the effect of BGP-15 on streptozotocin-induced changes in the vasorelaxation of the aorta in Sprague-Dawley rats. RESULTS: BGP-15 doses of 10 and 30 mg/kg increased insulin sensitivity by 50% and 70%, respectively, in cholesterol-fed but not in normal rabbits. After 5 days of treatment with BGP-15, the glucose infusion rate was increased in a dose-dependent manner in genetically insulin-resistant GK rats. The most effective dose was 20 mg/kg, which showed a 71% increase in insulin sensitivity compared to control group. Administration of BGP-15 protected against streptozotocin-induced changes in vasorelaxation, which was similar to the effect of rosiglitazone. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the insulin-sensitizing effect of BGP-15 is comparable to conventional insulin sensitizers. This might be of clinical utility in the treatment of T2DM.

The small-molecule BGP-15 protects against heart failure and atrial fibrillation in mice.

Authors: Sapra G, Tham YK, Cemerlang N, Matsumoto A, Kiriazis H, Bernardo BC, Henstridge DC, Ooi JY, Pretorius L, Boey EJ, Lim L, Sadoshima J, Meikle PJ, Mellet NA, Woodcock EA, Marasco S, Ueyama T, Du XJ, Febbraio MA, McMullen JR.
Publisher: Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 9;5:5705.

Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) share common risk factors, frequently coexist and are associated with high mortality. Treatment of HF with AF represents a major unmet need. Here we show that a small molecule, BGP-15, improves cardiac function and reduces arrhythmic episodes in two independent mouse models, which progressively develop HF and AF. In these models, BGP-15 treatment is associated with increased phosphorylation of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), which is depressed in atrial tissue samples from patients with AF. Cardiac-specific IGF1R transgenic overexpression in mice with HF and AF recapitulates the protection observed with BGP-15. We further demonstrate that BGP-15 and IGF1R can provide protection independent of phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt and heat-shock protein 70; signalling mediators often defective in the aged and diseased heart. As BGP-15 is safe and well tolerated in humans, this study uncovers a potential therapeutic approach for HF and AF.

Hsp70 plays an important role in high-fat diet induced gestational hyperglycemia in mice.

Authors: Xing B, Wang L, Li Q, Cao Y, Dong X, Liang J, Wu X.
Publisher: J Physiol Biochem. 2015 Dec;71(4):649-58.

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has emerged as an epidemic disease during the last decade, affecting about 2 to 5% pregnant women. Even among women who have gestational hyperglycemia may also be positively related to adverse outcomes as GDM. Since heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 has been reported to be associated with diabetes and insulin resistance and its expression was reported to be negatively regulated by the membrane-permeable Hsp70 inhibitor MAL3-101 while positively regulated by the Hsp70 activator BGP-15, we investigated whether Hsp70 played a role in a gestational hyperglycemia mouse model. Mice were divided into non-pregnant and pregnant groups, and each comprised three subgroups: control, high-fat diet (HFD) + MAL3-101, and HFD + BGP-15. We examined the serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, glucose, and insulin, as well as conducted thermal detection of brown adipose tissue (BAT). The role of Hsp70 in BAT apoptosis was also investigated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay and caspase-3 staining. Higher serum level of Hsp70 was associated with increased bodyweight gain after pregnancy in mice fed HFD. Circulating Hsp70 was elevated in control pregnant mice compared to control non-pregnant mice. BGP-induced serum Hsp70 expression reduced triglycerides, total cholesterol, glucose, and insulin levels in the serum. Additionally, thermal detection of BAT, TUNEL, and caspase-3 staining revealed relationship correlation between Hsp70 and BAT functions. Hsp70 level is associated with hyperglycemia during pregnancy. Our results support the role of Hsp70 in facilitating BAT activities and protecting BAT cells from apoptosis via caspase-3 pathway.

BGP-15 Improves Aspects of the Dystrophic Pathology in mdx and dko Mice with Differing Efficacies in Heart and Skeletal Muscle.

Authors: Kennedy TL, Swiderski K, Murphy KT, Gehrig SM, Curl CL, Chandramouli C, Febbraio MA, Delbridge LM, Koopman R, Lynch GS.
Publisher: Am J Pathol. 2016 Dec;186(12):3246-3260.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a severe and progressive striated muscle wasting disorder that leads to premature death from respiratory and/or cardiac failure. We have previously shown that treatment of young dystrophic mdx and dystrophin/utrophin null (dko) mice with BGP-15, a coinducer of heat shock protein 72, ameliorated the dystrophic pathology. We therefore tested the hypothesis that later-stage BGP-15 treatment would similarly benefit older mdx and dko mice when the dystrophic pathology was already well established. Later stage treatment of mdx or dko mice with BGP-15 did not improve maximal force of tibialis anterior (TA) muscles (in situ) or diaphragm muscle strips (in vitro). However, collagen deposition (fibrosis) was reduced in TA muscles of BGP-15-treated dko mice but unchanged in TA muscles of treated mdx mice and diaphragm of treated mdx and dko mice. We also examined whether BGP-15 treatment could ameliorate aspects of the cardiac pathology, and in young dko mice it reduced collagen deposition and improved both membrane integrity and systolic function. These results confirm BGP-15's ability to improve aspects of the dystrophic pathology but with differing efficacies in heart and skeletal muscles at different stages of the disease progression. These findings support a role for BGP-15 among a suite of pharmacological therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and related disorders.