Skip to main content

Lund University Publications

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

A drug screen with approved compounds identifies amlexanox as a novel Wnt/β-catenin activator inducing lung epithelial organoid formation

Costa, Rita ; Wagner, Darcy E. LU orcid ; Doryab, Ali ; De Santis, Martina M. LU orcid ; Schorpp, Kenji ; Rothenaigner, Ina ; Lehmann, Mareike ; Baarsma, Hoeke A. ; Liu, Xueping and Schmid, Otmar , et al. (2021) In British Journal of Pharmacology 178(19). p.4026-4041
Abstract

Background and Purpose: Emphysema is an incurable disease characterized by loss of lung tissue leading to impaired gas exchange. Wnt/β-catenin signalling is reduced in emphysema, and exogenous activation of the pathway in experimental models in vivo and in human ex vivo lung tissue improves lung function and structure. We sought to identify a pharmaceutical able to activate Wnt/β-catenin signalling and assess its potential to activate lung epithelial cells and repair. Experimental Approach: We screened 1216 human-approved compounds for Wnt/β-catenin signalling activation using luciferase reporter cells and selected candidates based on their computationally predicted protein targets. We further performed confirmatory luciferase reporter... (More)

Background and Purpose: Emphysema is an incurable disease characterized by loss of lung tissue leading to impaired gas exchange. Wnt/β-catenin signalling is reduced in emphysema, and exogenous activation of the pathway in experimental models in vivo and in human ex vivo lung tissue improves lung function and structure. We sought to identify a pharmaceutical able to activate Wnt/β-catenin signalling and assess its potential to activate lung epithelial cells and repair. Experimental Approach: We screened 1216 human-approved compounds for Wnt/β-catenin signalling activation using luciferase reporter cells and selected candidates based on their computationally predicted protein targets. We further performed confirmatory luciferase reporter and metabolic activity assays. Finally, we studied the regenerative potential in murine adult epithelial cell-derived lung organoids and in vivo using a murine elastase-induced emphysema model. Key Results: The primary screen identified 16 compounds that significantly induced Wnt/β-catenin-dependent luciferase activity. Selected compounds activated Wnt/β-catenin signalling without inducing cell toxicity or proliferation. Two compounds were able to promote organoid formation, which was reversed by pharmacological Wnt/β-catenin inhibition, confirming the Wnt/β-catenin-dependent mechanism of action. Amlexanox was used for in vivo evaluation, and preventive treatment resulted in improved lung function and structure in emphysematous mouse lungs. Moreover, gene expression of Hgf, an important alveolar repair marker, was increased, whereas disease marker Eln was decreased, indicating that amlexanox induces pro-regenerative signalling in emphysema. Conclusion and Implications: Using a drug screen based on Wnt/β-catenin activity, organoid assays and a murine emphysema model, amlexanox was identified as a novel potential therapeutic agent for emphysema.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; and , et al. (More)
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; and (Less)
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
amlexanox, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, organoids, regenerative medicine, Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway
in
British Journal of Pharmacology
volume
178
issue
19
pages
4026 - 4041
publisher
Wiley
external identifiers
  • scopus:85111644305
  • pmid:34089180
ISSN
0007-1188
DOI
10.1111/bph.15581
language
English
LU publication?
yes
additional info
Funding Information: We are grateful to Anastasia van den Berg, Christine Hollauer, Kathrin Hafner, Kristina Hatakka, Maria Magdalena Stein and Stefanie Brandner for excellent technical support. We thank Dr Chiharu Ota for providing suggestions on experimental design. Open access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
id
28d7e0ad-e13a-43f7-884f-86583497266b
date added to LUP
2021-09-20 08:07:43
date last changed
2022-11-08 04:24:09
@article{28d7e0ad-e13a-43f7-884f-86583497266b,
  abstract     = {{<p>Background and Purpose: Emphysema is an incurable disease characterized by loss of lung tissue leading to impaired gas exchange. Wnt/β-catenin signalling is reduced in emphysema, and exogenous activation of the pathway in experimental models in vivo and in human ex vivo lung tissue improves lung function and structure. We sought to identify a pharmaceutical able to activate Wnt/β-catenin signalling and assess its potential to activate lung epithelial cells and repair. Experimental Approach: We screened 1216 human-approved compounds for Wnt/β-catenin signalling activation using luciferase reporter cells and selected candidates based on their computationally predicted protein targets. We further performed confirmatory luciferase reporter and metabolic activity assays. Finally, we studied the regenerative potential in murine adult epithelial cell-derived lung organoids and in vivo using a murine elastase-induced emphysema model. Key Results: The primary screen identified 16 compounds that significantly induced Wnt/β-catenin-dependent luciferase activity. Selected compounds activated Wnt/β-catenin signalling without inducing cell toxicity or proliferation. Two compounds were able to promote organoid formation, which was reversed by pharmacological Wnt/β-catenin inhibition, confirming the Wnt/β-catenin-dependent mechanism of action. Amlexanox was used for in vivo evaluation, and preventive treatment resulted in improved lung function and structure in emphysematous mouse lungs. Moreover, gene expression of Hgf, an important alveolar repair marker, was increased, whereas disease marker Eln was decreased, indicating that amlexanox induces pro-regenerative signalling in emphysema. Conclusion and Implications: Using a drug screen based on Wnt/β-catenin activity, organoid assays and a murine emphysema model, amlexanox was identified as a novel potential therapeutic agent for emphysema.</p>}},
  author       = {{Costa, Rita and Wagner, Darcy E. and Doryab, Ali and De Santis, Martina M. and Schorpp, Kenji and Rothenaigner, Ina and Lehmann, Mareike and Baarsma, Hoeke A. and Liu, Xueping and Schmid, Otmar and Campillos, Monica and Yildirim, Ali Önder and Hadian, Kamyar and Königshoff, Melanie}},
  issn         = {{0007-1188}},
  keywords     = {{amlexanox; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; emphysema; organoids; regenerative medicine; Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{19}},
  pages        = {{4026--4041}},
  publisher    = {{Wiley}},
  series       = {{British Journal of Pharmacology}},
  title        = {{A drug screen with approved compounds identifies amlexanox as a novel Wnt/β-catenin activator inducing lung epithelial organoid formation}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.15581}},
  doi          = {{10.1111/bph.15581}},
  volume       = {{178}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}