The TAM receptor tyrosine kinases Tyro3, Axl, and Mer regulate key features of cellular physiology, yet the differential activities of the TAM ligands Gas6 and Protein S are poorly understood. We have used biochemical and genetic analyses to delineate the rules for TAM receptor-ligand engagement, and find that the TAMs segregate into two groups based on ligand specificity, regulation by phosphatidylserine, and function. Tyro3 and Mer are activated by both ligands, but only Gas6 activates Axl. Optimal TAM signaling requires coincident TAM ligand engagement of both its receptor and the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PtdSer): Gas6 lacking its PtdSer-binding 'Gla domain' is significantly weakened as a Tyro3/Mer agonist and is inert as an Axl agonist, even though it binds to Axl with wild-type affinity. In two settings of TAM-dependent homeostatic phagocytosis, Mer plays a predominant role while Axl is dispensable, and activation of Mer by Protein S is sufficient to drive phagocytosis.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocol of the Salk Institute, Animal Use Protocol No. 11-00051, approval date of record June 3, 2014.
- Stephen P Goff, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University, United States
© 2014, Lew et al.
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Kinase inhibitors are successful therapeutics in the treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases and are useful tools in biomedical research. However, the high sequence and structural conservation of the catalytic kinase domain complicates the development of selective kinase inhibitors. Inhibition of off-target kinases makes it difficult to study the mechanism of inhibitors in biological systems. Current efforts focus on the development of inhibitors with improved selectivity. Here, we present an alternative solution to this problem by combining inhibitors with divergent off-target effects. We develop a multicompound-multitarget scoring (MMS) method that combines inhibitors to maximize target inhibition and to minimize off-target inhibition. Additionally, this framework enables optimization of inhibitor combinations for multiple on-targets. Using MMS with published kinase inhibitor datasets we determine potent inhibitor combinations for target kinases with better selectivity than the most selective single inhibitor and validate the predicted effect and selectivity of inhibitor combinations using in vitro and in cellulo techniques. MMS greatly enhances selectivity in rational multitargeting applications. The MMS framework is generalizable to other non-kinase biological targets where compound selectivity is a challenge and diverse compound libraries are available.
An imbalance of the gut microbiota, termed dysbiosis, has a substantial impact on host physiology. However, the mechanism by which host deals with gut dysbiosis to maintain fitness remains largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Escherichia coli, which is its bacterial diet, proliferates in its intestinal lumen during aging. Here, we demonstrate that progressive intestinal proliferation of E. coli activates the transcription factor DAF-16, which is required for maintenance of longevity and organismal fitness in worms with age. DAF-16 up-regulates two lysozymes lys-7 and lys-8, thus limiting the bacterial accumulation in the gut of worms during aging. During dysbiosis, the levels of indole produced by E. coli are increased in worms. Indole is involved in the activation of DAF-16 by TRPA-1 in neurons of worms. Our finding demonstrates that indole functions as a microbial signal of gut dysbiosis to promote fitness of the host.