Title of Invention


Abstract This invention relates to methods for activation of T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP) and for inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling in an individual. The invention concerns a method for preventing or treating a disease or disorder in an individual, wherein said disease or disorder is curable by inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling, and a method for preventing cancer, or preventing or inhibiting cancer growth, invasion or metastasis in an individual, based on activating T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP). The invention also concerns pharmaceutical compositions useful in the methods.
This invention relates to a method for activation of T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP) and a method for inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling in an individual. Further, the invention concerns a method for preventing or treating a disease or disorder in an individual, wherein said disease or disorder is curable by inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling. Still further, the invention concerns a method for preventing cancer, or preventing or inhibiting cancer growth, invasion or metastasis in an individual, based on activating T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP). The invention also concerns pharmaceutical compositions useful in the methods.
The publications and other materials used herein to illuminate the background of the invention, and in particular, cases to provide additional details respecting the practice, are incorporated by reference.
Integrin-mediated cell adhesion regulates a multitude of cellular responses including proliferation, survival and cross-talk between different cellular signalling pathways1. Thus far, integnns have been mainly shown to convey permissive signals enabling anchorage-dependent receptor tyrosine kinase signalling4"1 . In response to cell adhesion, integnns activate certain cytoplasmic signalling pathways directly and modulate signalling by growth factor receptors indirectly. The cytoplasmic domains of integrins are essential in mediating these functions 4"7. However, they lack intrinsic catalytic activity and require interactions with cytoplasmic proteins for signalling. Although collagen is a very abundant protein in the human body, relatively little is known about signalling of the four collagen

binding integrins, alpl, a2(31, alO(31 and al lpl. Integrin al(31 is a receptor for collagens and laminins. Its a-subunit has been shown to associate with caveolin-1 and thus recruit signalling adaptor protein She . This in turn leads to the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and increased survival and proliferation of fibroblasts on collagen . In addition, the conserved region found in all integrin a-cytoplasmic tails has been shown function in focal adhesion assembly via the association with paxillin, talin and focal adhesion kinase10. However, thus far signalling pathways specifically activated by al inetgrin alone have remainde unidentified.
A basis for the present invention is the discovery that the cytoplasmic tail of alpha-1-integrin selectively and directly interacts with a ubiquitously expressed protein tyrosine phosphatase TCPTP (T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase) and activates it upon cell adhesion to collagen. The activation results in reduced EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) phosphorylation upon EGF stimulation. The cytoplasmic tail of alpha-1-integrin functions as a negative regulator of EGFR signalling via the activation of a tumor suppressor protein, TCPTP. Introduction of the alpha-1 cytoplasmic domain peptide into cells induces phosphatase activation and inhibits EGF induced cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of malignant cells in vitro as well as in human fibrosarcoma zenografts in vivo. These data are the first demonstration of the regulation of TCPTP activity in vivo and represent a new molecular paradigm of integrin-mediated negative regulation of receptor tyrosine kinase signalling.
Thus, according to one aspect, this invention concerns an agent being either i) a peptide comprising the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1), or ii) a vector being capable of expressing said peptide in a mammalian cell, for use in therapy.

According to another aspect, the invention concerns a method for activation of T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP) in an individual by administering to said individual an effective amount of an agent, which is either i) a peptide comprising the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1), or ii) a vector being capable of expressing said peptide in a mammalian cell.
According to a third aspect, the invention concerns a method for inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling in an individual, by administering to said individual an effective amount of an agent capable of activating T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP).
According to a fourth aspect, the invention concerns a method for preventing or treating a disease or disorder in an individual, said disease or disorder being curable by inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling, by administering to said individual an effective amount of an agent capable of activating T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP).
According to a fifth aspect, the invention concerns a method for preventing cancer, or preventing or inhibiting cancer growth, invasion or metastasis in an individual, by administering to said individual an effective amount of an agent capable of activating T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP).
According to a sixth aspect, the invention concerns a pharmaceutical composition comprising a therapeutically effective amount of either a small molecule, able to activate TCPTP, or a peptide comprising the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO: 1), and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
According to a seventh aspect, the invention concerns a pharmaceutical composition comprising an expression vector encompassing a nucleic acid encoding a peptide comprising the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1)3 said vector being capable of expressing said peptide in a mammalian cell, and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.

Figures 1A to IF show that TCPTP associates with the cytoplasmic domain of integrin al-chain. PC3 (Fig. 1A) and HeLa (Fig. IB) cells were allowed to adhere to collagen, fibronectin or poly-L-lysine for 1 hour. Integrin al subunit and TCPTP were detected with two-color immunofluorescence stainings. Arrows point to representative areas of co-localization at the membrane. Pixel intensities for green and red (means ± SEM, n=12) were assessed starting from the cell edge with the confocal microscope software; bar 5 iim. Serum-starved HeLa cells (Fig. 1C) were surface biotinylated and left on plastic, stimulated with 10% FBS for 30min (FBS) or plated on collagen I (CI) or poly-L-lysine (PL) for lh. Imxnunoprecipitated (ip) integrins, TCPTP and controls (IgG) were detected in immunoblottings. HeLa cells (Fig. ID) were treated as in Fig. 1C, lysates were immunoprecipitated (ip) and blotted for TCPTP or denatured and re-precipitated (re-ip) with an anti- a 1 antibody and immunoblotted as indicated. HeLa cell lysate (Fig. IE) was incubated with immobilized glutathione-S-transferase (GST) or with GST-integrin cytoplasmic domain fusion proteins. Bound proteins and lysate samples were probed for TCPTP. Ponceau S staining was used to control loading. Recombinant and purified TCPTP (1 \ig) (Fig. IF) was incubated with GST or GST-ftision proteins with or without a 1 integrin cytoplasmic domain peptide (1 |j,g/ml). Bound proteins (and TCPTP loading control, total) were probed for TCPTP and GST. Figures IG to 1H) show adhesion to collagen and clustering of a 1-integrin activate TCPTP. Serum-starved HeLa cells (Fig. IG) were detached, plated on collagen or poly-L-lysine, subjected to immunoprecipitations (ip) and phosphatase activity (means ± SD, n=3) was determined. Half of the samples were immunoblotted for TCPTP. Serum-starved HeLa cells (Fig. 1H) were incubated with PBS, control IgG or anti- al mAb and clustering was induced with an anti-mouse secondary antibody for 30 min. Equal amounts of protein from lysates were assayed for phosphatase activity (means ± SD, n=3) in triplicates.

Figures 2A to 2D show that the integrin al cytoplasmic tail activates TCPTP. HeLa lysates (Fig. 2A) were immunoprecipitated (ip) with control (IgG), anti-TCPTP and anti-SHP-2 antibodies. The phosphatase activity (means ± SD, n=3) was analyzed using diFMUP as the substrate after treatments with vehicle (c), and synthetic al (alpep) and a2 (a2pep) cytoplasmic tail peptides. Half of the immunoprecipitates were resolved on SDS-PAGE and probed for TCPTP or SHP-2. Recombinant, purified TCPTP (0.15 p.g/ml) (Fig. 2B) was incubated with different peptide concentrations and analyzed for the phosphatase activity (means ± SD, n = 3). Fig. 2C shows schematic diagrams of the TCPTP deletion mutants. In competition assay (Fig. 2D), TCPTP deletion mutants fused to GST or GST alone were incubated with peptides as indicated before full length TCPTP was added and phosphatase activity (means ± SD, n = 3) measured.
Figures 2E to 2G show that integrin ctiBi is required for collagen induced attenuation of EGFR signalling. HeLa and HT1080 cells were analyzed (Fig. 2E) for surface expression of the integrins using FACS and MFI values are shown. Serum-starved HeLa and HT1080 cells were plated on collagen I (CI) or fibronectin (FN) and treated with EGF. EGFR phosphorylation was studied using phospho-specific antibody. Tubulin was used as a loading control. HT1080 cells transiently transfected (Fig. 2F) with al-cDNA or mock-transfected were serum-starved, plated on collagen I (CI) and treated with EGF. EGFR phosphorylation was analyzed as in Fig. 2E. Serum-starved HeLa cells (Fig. 2G) were treated as in Fig. 1H to crosslink al receptors and EGFR phosphorylation was studied by immunoblotting.
Figures 3A to 3F show that integrin alfil ligation attenuates EGFR phosphorylation via activation of TCPTP. Serum-starved HeLa cells (Figures 3A, 3B, 3C) maintained on plastic or plated on collagen I (CI) or fibronectin were treated with EGF and EGFR phosphorylation was studied using phospho-specific antibodies. Densitometric analyses of three (A, C) experiments (means ± SD) are shown. Tubulin or EGFR were used as loading controls, HeLa cells (Fig. 3D) transfected with two siRNAs specific for TCPTP (or scramble control) were plated on collagen and treated with EGF. Extracts were imrhunoblotted for the indicated proteins. A representative of three experiments with similar results is shown. Fibroblasts from

al -/- mice or their wild-type (Fig. 3E) littermates were plated on collagen and immunostained for integrin al and TCPTP. Pixel intensity for green and red (means ± SEM, n=12) were analyzed starting from the cell edge with confocal microscope software; bar 5 ^m. Serum-starved fibroblasts (Fig. 3F) from al-/- and +/+ animals () were plated on collagen or fibronectin, treated with EGF, and immunoblotted. Values are densitometric quantitations normalized to tubulin. Figure 3G shows that integrin al cytoplasmic peptide does not affect EGF-independent proliferation of matrix-adherent cells. HeLa cells were cultured in collagen or fibronectin coated wells in 5% serum in the presence or absence of 200 nM TAT-peptides and 50 ng/ml EGF and the numbers of live cells (means ± SD, n=3) at various time points was analyzed.
Figures 4A to 4E show that al cytoplasmic tail peptide induces phosphatase activity in vivo and inhibits anchorage-independent and EGF-induced cell growth. HeLa cells (Fig. 4A) were microinjected (asterixes) with fluorescein diphosphate (FDP), that becomes fluorescent upon dephosphorylation, and cytoplasmic integrin peptides. Fluorescence intensity was monitored for 30 min (representative images at 30 min are shown) and mean intensity in individual cells (means ± SEM, n-12) was measured. Fig. 4B shows that FITC-labeled TAT - al cytoplasmic tail fusion peptide (al-TAT) and TAT-scramble control fusion peptide (Scr-TAT) enter into HeLa cells. Their effect on the number of (Fig. 4B) live non-adherent HeLa cells in 5% serum, HeLa cells (Fig. 4C) in serum-free medium and (Fig. 4D) tumorigenic B104-1-1 fibroblasts in serum and in the presence or absence of 200 nM TAT-peptides and 50ng/ml EGF was measured (means ± SD, n=3). HeLa cells were grown for 9-days in agarose with or without the TAT-peptides (Fig. 4E). Representative phase contrast images taken double-blindly and analyzes of colony sizes are shown.
Figures 5A and 5B show that al cytoplasmic tail peptide reduces tumor growth and induces necrosis in vivo. HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells were injected into the flanks of nude mice and treated as indicated in experimental section. Subdermal tumors were removed after 4 weeks. The size (area) of the tumors was measured and are shown in Figure 5A (means±SEM, n=12). Whole-tumors cross sections

were stained with Masson-trichorome staining and areas of necrosis relative to the whole tumor area were scored double-blindly (Figure 5B, means±SEM, n=12). Analyzes of necrotic areas are shown.
The tern "treatment" or "treating" shall be understood to include complete curing of a disease or disorder, as well as amelioration or alleviation of said disease or disorder.
The term "prevention" shall be understood to include complete prevention, prophylaxis, as well as lowering the individual's risk of falling ill with said disease or disorder.
The term "individual" refers to a human or animal subject.
The term "effective amount" is meant to include any amount of an agent according to the present invention that is sufficient to bring about a desired therapeutical result, especially upon administration to an animal or human subject.
Preferable embodiments:
The agent to be used for activation of TCPTP can either be a small molecule able to activate TCPTP, or a peptide comprising the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO: 1). This sequence is specific for the cytoplasmic tail of alpha-1-integrin. The peptide can, according to one embodiment, be exactly the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1), which could be administered to the cell by microinjection, for example.
Alternatively, the peptide can be a longer chain encompassing the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ TD NO:1). According to a particularly preferable embodiment, the peptide (the chain RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1) or a longer

chain encompassing the same) can be part of a cell membrane permeable fusion protein. As an example of such a fusion protein can be mentioned a fusion protein comprising a protein transduction domain of HIV transcriptional transactivator (TAT) protein and the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO: 1). As a specific example of such fusion proteins can be mentioned YGRKKJIRQRRRWKLGFFKJIPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:2). The sequence YGRKKRRQRRR (SEQ ID NO:3) is derived from TAT and the sequence WKLGFFK (SEQ ID NO:4) is derived from the integrin (typical for any alpha-integrin).
According to a further alternative, the agent to be administered can be a vector, comprising a nucleic acid being capable of expressing the desired peptide in a mammalian cell. The nucleic acid can be inserted in a DNA sequence, an RNA sequence or in a viral vector. Such a viral vector is typically based on an adenovirus, an alphavirus, adeno-associated virus, a retrovirus or a herpes virus. For expression of peptides in cells, see for example M Parsons et al., Molecular and Cellular Biology, Aug. 2002, p.5897-5911.
Activation of TCPTP according to this invention can thus be used to prevent or treat disorders or diseases that are directly or indirectly influenced by said activation.
As examples of diseases or disorders at least partly indirectly influenced can be mentioned any disease or disorder, the curability of which would benefit from inhibiting tyrosine kinase signalling. As specific, non-limiting examples of such targets can be mentioned an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), an insulin receptor and a Janus kinase. Inhibition of EGFR will be useful in preventing cancers, preventing or inhibiting cancer growth, invasion or metastasis. However, these effects might also partly be due to other mechanisms caused by the activation of TCPTP.
On the other hand, the inhibition of EGFR may also be useful in prevention or treatment of other, non-cancer diseases or disorders.

Inhibition of the insulin receptor and Janus kinase may be useful in the treatment or prevention of disorders associated with overactive insulin initiated signalling leading to abnormal energy metabolism regulated by the insulin receptor and disorders associated with unwanted inflammatarory signalling by interferons which leads to abnormal activation of Janus kinase that associates with the interferon receptor.
The peptide comprising the sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1) is preferably brought in a form which allows permeation through the eel] membrane. Such a peptide can be admixed with any carrier that is suitable for parenteral administration of the composition. For example, the peptide can be complexed with a lipid, packed in a liposome, incorporated in a cyclodextrin or other complexing agent, a bioresorbable polymer or other suitable carrier for controlled release administration, or encompassed in a a nanoparticle or hydrogel.
Alternatively, an expression vector encompassing a nucleic acid encoding a peptide comprising the amino acid sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:1) can be administered to the individual. The nucleic acid can encode the exact sequence RPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID 1^0:1) or a longer peptide comprising this sequence. The vector can, for example, be complexed with a lipid, packed in a liposome, incorporated in a cyclodextrin or other complexing agent, a bioresorbable polymer or other suitable carrier for controlled release administration, or encompassed in a a nanoparticle or hydrogel.
The therapeutically effective amount of the peptide or expression vector to be given to a patient in need of such treatment may depend upon a number of factors including, for example, the age and weight of the patient, the precise condition requiring treatment and its severity, and the route of administration. The precise amount will ultimately be at the discretion of the attending physician. Thus, practice of the present invention may involve any dose, combination with other therapeutically effective drugs, pharmaceutical formulation or delivery system for

parenteral administration. The peptide or expression vector can be administered systemically or locally. As suitable routes of administration can be mentioned intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous injection, inhalation, topical, ocular, sublingual, nasal, rectal, intraperitoneal delivery and iontophoresis or other transdermal delivery systems.
The invention will be illuminated by the following non-restrictive Experimental Section.
Methods Yeast-two-hybrid system
al-integrin cytoplasmic domain was fused to GAL4 DNA-BD in the pGBKT7 vector (Clontech) and used as a bait to screen mouse 17-day embryo Matchmaker cDNA library (BD Clontech) Screening of the library was done according to manufacturer's protocol. One of the independent clones isolated that interacted with GAL4-DBD-alcyt, but not with unrelated baits encodes the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase.
Protein-protein interaction assays
alcyt and a2cyt were subcloned into pGEX4Tl (Amersham Biosciences). Full length TCPTP (45 kD) and its deletion mutants were PCR-amplified from pCG-TC45 plasmid n and cloned into pGEX-6P-l. GST-fiision proteins were expressed in E. coli (BL21 pLysS) and purified using manufacturer's instructions (Amersham Biosciences). Fusion proteins were either used immobilized to Glutathione-sepharose, eluted with 25 mM glutathione or GST was cleaved using precission protease according to manufacturers instructions (Amersham Biosciences). For pulldown assays, Hela cells were lysed to lysis buffer (1% octylglycoside, 50 mM Tris-HC1 pH 7.5, 150 mM NaCl, lmM MgC12, complete protease inhibitor (Roche)), clarified with centrifugation 10 min 13000 rpm +4 C, precleared with glutathione-sepharose and incubated with immobilized GST-fusion proteins and washed 3 times

with 1ml on the same buffer. Bound proteins were resolved on SDS-PAGE and detected with western blot. Alternatively, purified full-length TCPTP was incubated in the lysis buffer with GST-fusion proteins as indicated in the presence or absence of synthetic integrin al cytoplasmic tail peptide (RPLKKKMEKRPLKKKMEK, (SEQ ID NO:5) Genemed Synthesis).
Immunoprecipitations, western blotting and phosphatase assays
Serum starved Hela cells were either left untreated on plastic, stimulated with 10% FBS for 30 min or detached and replated on collagen type I or poly-L-lysine (10 H-g/ml, Sigma) coated tissue-culture plates for lh. When indicated cells were surface biotinylated as described . Cells were either lysed in Laemmli sample buffer and fractionated on SDS-PAGE for western blotting or lysed in lysis buffer and equal amounts of protein from each sample were precleared with protein G-Sepharose and subjected to immunopresipitation. Antibodies (anti-TCPTP, Oncogene; anti-al, anti-a5, anti-a6, all from Chemicon; anti-SHP-2, Santa Cruz) were incubated with protein G-Sepharose and immunoprecipitation was performed at 4 °C for 2 h. The immunoprecipitates were washed three times with cell lysis buffer. For co-presipitation assays, proteins were resolved on SDS-PAGE followed with western blotting or detection of biotin with Vectastain reagent (Vector). For phosphatase assays, immunopresipitates were resuspended in phosphatase reaction buffer (25mM Hepes pH 7.4, 50 mM NaCl, lmM DTT) and 1/3 of the reaction was subjected to western blotting and the remaining beads were assayed for phosphatase activity in triplicate using diFMUP (Molecular Probes) as a substrate and in the presence of serine/threonine phosphatase inhibitor cocktail (Sigma) according to manufacturers instructions. When indicate synthetic peptides were preincubated with the immunoprecipitates for 15 min prior to phosphatase assay reaction (a2 peptide KLGFFKRKYEKMTKNPDEIDETTELSS (SEQ ID NO:6), a kind gift from Dr Heino). For phosphatase assays with purified protein, full length TCPTP was incubated in phosphatase reaction buffer in the presence or absence of TCPTP deletion mutant proteins and synthetic integrin cytoplasmic tail peptides as indicated. Western blotting was performed with commercial antibodies raised against EGFR, EGFR(PY)845, 992 or 1068 (Cell Signalling Technologies), TCPTP

(Oncogene) or tubulin (Santa Cruz Biotechnology). Specific binding of antibodies was detected with peroxidase-conjugated secondary antibodies and visualized by enhanced chemiluminescence detection.
HT1080 cells were transiently transfected with alcDNA in pcDNA3.1/zeo vector (a kind gift from Dr Pozzi, Vanderbilt University) using Fugene 6 (Roche) reagent as described previously I3. Two different annealed siRNAs targeting TCPTP (ggcacaaaggaguuacauctt (SEQ ID NO:7), ggaguuacaucuuaacacatt (SEQ IDNO:8); Ambion) or scramble control siRNA were tranfected to Hela cells using Oligofectamine (Invitrogen) according to manufacturers protocol. 24h post transfection cells were serum-starved for 24h and treated as indicated before lysis and western blot analysis.
Cells were plated on acid-washed glass coverslips coated with collagen type L fibronectin or poly-L-lysine (10 jig/ml) and allowed to adhere for lh. Cells were washed in PBS and fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde for 10 min. For antibody staining, cells were permeabilized in PBS/0.1% Triton X-100 and washed with PBS/1% (w/v) BSA for blocking. Cells were stained with antibodies as indicated for 1 h at room temperature. Cells were then washed three times with PBS before detection with Alexa-488 or Alexa-555 -conjugated anti-rabbit or anti-mouse antibodies (Molecular Probes). After washing in PBS and water, cells were mounted in Mowiol (100 mM Tris-HCl at pH 8.5, 10% (w/v) Mowiol (Calbiochem, San Diego, CA) and 25% (v/v) glycerol containing antifade (2.5% (w/v) 1,4-diazadicyclo-2.2.2-octane (Sigma)). Slides were examined using Zeiss inverted fluorescence microscope or a confocal laser scanning microscope (Axioplan 2 with LSM 510; Carl Zeiss Inc., Jena, Germany) equipped with 63X/1.4 Plan-Apochromat oil immersion objectives. Confocal images represent a single z-section of approximately 1.0 jam. Cytosolic microinjections with lmM FDP (Molecular probes) and lmg/ml of peptide in PBS were performed on Hela cells cultured on

glass-bottom 3 cm plates. Fluorescense images from live cells were taken with identical settings and intensities were quantified using Zeiss Axioplan4 software.
Cell growth and Soft Agar assays
96-well plates were coated with BSA or matrix as indicated. Cells were seeded to the wells at 104/well. TAT-peptides (al-TAT fitc-
YGRKKRRQRRRWKLGFFKRPLKKKMEK (SEQ ID NO:2), Scr-TAT fitc-YGRKKRRQRRRLKGWRFKLKPKFKEMK (SEQ ID NO:2); Genemed Synthesis) and EGF (Sigma) were added as indicated and number of viable cells was detected with WST-1 (Roche) according to manufacturers protocol. Soft agar assays were performed as described 14. Medium containing 200 nM TAT peptide were replaced every 48h and after 9 days incubation, cultures were photographed double-blindly. Number and size of colonies from each field of view (4x magnification) we analysed using GeneTools software from Syngene. Colonies were classified according to size (small=200-499 pixels , medium=500-1000 and large over 1000).
Mice and tumor cell inoculation
Male, pathogen-free nude mice were used when they were 4 weeks of age. HT1080 tumor cells (5xl06 cells per 100 jul of PBS) were injected subdermally into the right dorsalateral flank of nude mice. Mice were treated with subdermal injections adjacent to the tumor cell inoculation site (20 \xl of PBS, 20±iM al-TAT or 20 \xM Scr-TAT peptide in PBS) three times a week for the duration of the experiment. Mice were sacrificed 4 weeks after inoculation. The tumors were removed, their size quantified and processed into paraffin blocks for immunohistochemistry. IHC was preformed as described previously (Grant D.S. et al., Int. J. Cancer 2003 104:121-129).
To characterize signalling pathways activated by al integrin-mediated cell adhesion to collagen, we used the yeast two-hybrid system to identify proteins that interact with the al cytoplasmic domain (alcyt). One of the positive clones encoded a 45

kDa form of TCPTP 15. This molecule is a ubiquitously expressed nuclear non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase capable of translocating to the cytoplasm in response to mitogenic stimuli n.
To verify the novel interaction in human cells, we first studied whether endogenous al integrin and TCPTP colocalize. PC3 and HeLa cells were plated onto different matrix proteins and al-integrin and TCPTP were visualized by two-color immunofluorescence stainings. In cells plated on poly-L-lysine, which fails to activate integrins, TCPTP seemed both cytoplasmic and nuclear. In cells plated on fibronectin, which binds to integrins other than the four collagen-binding integrins, TCPTP was found diffusely in the cytosol (Figure IB). In contrast, upon adhesion to collagen TCPTP co-localized with the aipi integrin in peripheral areas of the cell membrane (Figure 1 A,B). These data show that endogenous integrin al and TCPTP co-localize in human cells specifically upon cell adhesion to collagen.
Previous work has shown, that TCPTP translocates from the nucleus in response to mitogenic stimuli11 by a molecularly uncharacterized mechanism. As cell adhesion to collagen induced the co-localization of al-integrin and TCPTP, we tested whether binding to matrix or mitogenic stimuli would induce physical association of the two proteins. In immunoprecipitation experiments, endogenous integrin al(31 associated with endogenous TCPTP in HeLa cells following adhesion to collagen or serum stimulation while no interaction was detected in cells plated on poly-L-lysine or maintained in serum-free conditions (Figure 1C). In addition, TCPTP failed to associate with fibronectin-binding integrins a5 and a6 in these cells even following serum stimulation (Figure 1C). In reciprocal immunoprecipitation experiments, TCPTP readily bound to integrin al(31 but again specifically only following adhesion to collagen or serum induction (Figure ID). We conclude that endogenous al integrin and TCPTP become physically associated in response to collagen or mitogenic stimuli in human cells, thus providing the molecular explanation for TCPTP translocation to the plasma membrane.

HeLa cells have a high level of alp 1 surface expression (225±23 FACS mean fluorescence), significantly less a2(31 integrin (58,5^10,4 FACS mean fluorescence) and according to RT-PCR, no detectable alO or al 1 integrin. To study the specificity of the interaction between TCPTP and the collagen-binding integrins expressed in Hela cells, we performed pull-down experiments. Importantly, in pull-downs with GST-fused cytoplasmic tails of al- (GST-cytai and a2-integrins (GST-cyta2 from HeLa lysates, only GST-cytal was found to associate with endogenous TCPTP (Figure IE). Furthermore, the interaction is direct since purified recombinant TCPTP associates with GST-alcyt but not with GST-a2cyt (Figure IF). The pull-down experiments further showed that the interaction between alcyt and TCPTP involves the non-conserved amino acids in alcyt, since a soluble synthetic peptide lacking the conserved Trp-Lys-Ile-Gly-Phe-Phe -sequence (SEQ ID NO:9) shared with all integrin a-subunits, was able to compete with alcyt for the association with TCPTP (Figure IF). These data show that interaction between TCPTP and integrins is direct and specific to alfSl integrin.
Overexpression studies have shown that TCPTP has several plasma membrane associated substrates such as EGFR n, the insulin receptor 16 and Janus kinases (JAKs) that regulate mitogen- and cytokine-induced signalling. In vitro studies, using proteolytically cleaved fragments of TCPTP, have proposed that the catalytic activity of TCPTP is regulated by an intramolecular inhibition involving a carboxy-terminal segment of the 45 kDa form of TCPTP . However, it has remained unclear whether such a regulatory mechanism would function in cells and how it would operate. Since alcyt and the carboxy-terminal segment of TCPTP both share a similar basic charge, we hypothetized that association of TCPTP with alcyt could alleviate this autoinhibition by competition and lead to activation of the phosphatase. Indeed, cell adhesion to collagen induced catalytic activity of ectopically expressed TCPTP by 2,4 fold when compared to cells adhering to poly-L-lysine (Figure 1G). Furthermore, following treatment with synthetic peptide having the sequence of the cytoplasmic tail of al, the catalytic activity of immunoprecipitated TCPTP increased 2,95±0,48 fold (Figure 2A)? whereas the corresponding a2 tail peptide had no effect. The activation is specific, since another

protein tyrosine phosphatase, SHP-2, was not activated by either peptide. Recombinant, purified TCPTP was highly activated with very low amounts of synthetic al tail peptide (Figure 2B). To explore the molecular basis of alcyt induced activation of TCPTP in more detail, recombinant, purified GST-TCPTP deletion mutants (Figure 2C) were tested for their ability to interfere with the al cytoplasmic peptide induced activation of the full-length TCPTP (Figure 2D). Deletion mutant 1 containing the amino-terminal half of TCPTP efficiently prevented the activation. In contrast, no competition was observed if only the most amino-terminal part was included, or if the amino-terminal half was deleted. Thus, integrin al cytoplasmic tail might associate with the amino-terminal part of TCPTP and activate it possibly by inhibiting the proposed autoregulatory carboxy-terminal segmentl8 from interacting with the N-terminal part of the protein.
Integrin and growth factor mediated signals overlap and even synergize". Cell adhesion to matrix, in particular, conveys permissive signals enabling efficient signalling through receptor tyrosine kinases. Furthermore, integrins associate with EGFR and induce its phosphorylation. EGFR is also a substrate for TCPTP and overexpression of the phosphatase has been shown to suppress EGFR phosphorylation and signalling ] . If integrin al {31-mediated cell adhesion indeed activates TCPTP in vivo, EGFR may be affected. We therefore studied the effects of cell adhesion to matrix on EGFR phosphorylation. Serum-starved HeLa cells, either maintained as a monolayer on plastic or plated on collagen for Ih, were treated with EGF for 5 minutes and analyzed for EGFR phosphorylation. EGF efficiently induced EGFR phosphorylation on all the tyrosine residues studied in cells maintained on plastic. In contrast, on collagen EGF-induced receptor phosphorylation was strongly inhibited (Figure 3A). Adhesion to collagen attenuated most effectively the early EGF-induced peak of EGFR phosphorylation (Figure 3B). To confirm that the effect was specifically due to integrin-collagen interactions and not a general phenomenon related to detachment and replating to matrix, EGF stimulation was performed on HeLa cells plated on either collagen or fibronectin. EGF-induced receptor phosphorylation was notably higher in cells on

fibronectin than on collagen (Figure 3C), suggesting that collagen binding integrins are specifically involved in the inhibition of EGF signalling.
We then determined to study whether collagen-induced inhibition of EGFR phosphorylation is mediated through the activation of TCPTP. Small interfering RNAs (siRNA) specific for TCPTP, but not scrambled control siRNA, efficiently reduced endogenous expression of TCPTP in HeLa cells (Figure 3D). They also caused a significant increase in EGF-induced EGFR phosphorylation in cells plated on collagen (Figure 3D). These knockdown experiments confirm a role for TCPTP in the collagen-induced inhibition of EGFR signalling.
HeLa cells can adhere to collagen with al(31as well as with a2pi integrins. To study the integrin specificity of the integrin-TCPTP-EGFR signalling pathway, we used three strategies. First, in HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells, which do not express a 1(31 integrin, adhesion to collagen failed to inhibit EGFR phosphorylation (Figure 2E). Importantly, HT1080 cells transfected to transiently express al integrin, became sensitive to collagen-induced inhibition of EGFR phosphorylation (Fig. 2F). Secondly, in adherent, serum-starved HeLa cells, clustering of integrin al-subunits with a monoclonal antibody, increased cytosolic PTP activity 1,5 fold and blocked EGF-induced phosphorylation of EGFR (Figure 2G). Finally, we studied the specificity by using mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived form al integrin null mice and their wild type littermates 7. Both the wild type and the a\ -/- cells adhere to collagen (9, Figure 3E ). However, in the absence of alp 1 integrin, TCPTP was not recruited to sites of adhesion, whereas in the wild type cells integrin aipi and TCPTP co-localized in adhesion sites at the periphery of the cell (Figure 3E). al -/-cells showed equivalent EGF-induced EGFR phosphorylation when plated on collagen or fibronectin, while in the wild type cells adhesion to collagen resulted in inhibition of EGF-induced signalling (Figure 3F). Taken together, these experiments confirm that al-integrin specifically activates TCPTP and this interaction leads to inhibited phsophorylation of EGFR.

Overexpression studies using mutant or wild-type forms of TCPTP have demonstrated its role in the regulation of cell proliferation . Furthermore, TCPTP has been shown to suppress proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of glioblastoma cells expressing a mutant EGFR . However, thus far the regulation of TCPTP activity and therefore the mechanism of the in vivo execution of its inhibitory function have been unknown. We showed here that integrin al cytoplasmic tail is capable of activating TCPTP in vitro. To test whether it induces phosphatase activity also in cells, we microinjected non-fluorescent diphosphofluorescein (FDP) into HeLa cells together with either a 1 or a2 cytoplasmic tail peptides. FDP becomes fluorescent upon dephosphorylation and thus allows us to follow phosphatase activity in live HeLa cells. These quantitative assays clearly showed that integrin al cytoplasmic peptide induced phosphatase activity in HeLa cells when compared with the al or PBS co-injected cells (Figure 4A).
Induction of phosphatase activity may influence tumorigenity of cells in a manner similar to overexpression of TCPTP . Recently, the protein transduction domain of HIV transcriptional transactivator (TAT) protein, has been used to transport peptides and proteins into living cells ' . Therefore, we used cell-permeable FITC-conjugated peptides fused to the TAT-protein to deliver al-cyt peptide into cells for proliferation and tumorigenity assays. alcyt-TAT peptide and a scramble control peptide both entered the cells efficiently (Figure 4B), fluorescence was sustained over 24 hours and no detachment of cells was observed (not shown). In HeLa cells growing in 5% serum in suspension, 200nM al-TAT peptide inhibited serum-induced cell growth (Figure 4B). In contrast, growth was not significantly altered by the control peptide. Furthermore, al-TAT peptide was efficient in inhibiting EGF-induced cell growth while it had no effect on the basal growth and survival of HeLa cells maintained in serum-free conditions in suspension (Figure 4D). Serum-induced growth of tumorigenic B104-1-1 cells (3T3 fibroblasts transformed with neu-oncogene) was also inhibited by al-TAT peptide (Figure 4C). Interestingly, al-TAT peptide was effective only in regulating anchorage-independent, EGF-driven growth, since proliferation of adherent HeLa cells was not

influenced (Figure 3G). I addition, formation of large tumor colonies by HeLa cells cultured in soft-agar for 9 days was significantly inhibited by αl -TAT peptide, while the control peptide failed to significantly reduce colony size (Figure 4D). Finally, growth of human fibrosacroma cells as subcutaneous tumors in mice in vivo, was inhibited by treatment with the αl-TAT peptide (Figure 5A). Interestingly, detailed immunohistochemical studies revealed that tumors treated with al-TAT peptide showed more necrosis than the control tumors treated with either PBS injections of Scr-TAT (Figure 5B), These experiments demonstrate that in vivo induction of phosphatase activity by al cytoplasmic tail peptide causes identical effects to those achieved by overexpressing TCPTP in tumorigenic cells 20>23. Moreover, the peptide can be transduced to living cells and it efficiently blocks anchorage-independent, EGF-induced proliferation of malignant cells suggesting a possible role for al-delivered negative signals in maintaining normal cell growth in vivo.
a-cytoplasmic domains of integrins are essential in regulating integrin-mediated biological responses , but only a few interacting proteins have been identified so far. Integrins are known to positively regulate receptor tyrosine kinase signalling
\ 97
and even trigger RTK activation in the absence of ligands ' Also the ubiquitously expressed integrin al has been shown to activate ERJC MAP-kinase pathway in primary cells in response to collagen9. On the other hand it seems to be down-regulated in breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung adenocarcinoma3'27'28. The negative regulation of EGFR signalling via integrin al (31 mediated activation of TCPTP, seems to be a novel mechanism in adhesion mediated control of cellular responses. These findings provide molecular explanation for the control of phosphatase activity of this tumor suppressor protein in cells, and demonstrate one mechanism why TCPTP (like other PTPs) are promiscuous as isolated proteins, but highly specific in cells29. Local regulation of TCPTP by integrin αl is likely to be important for other signalling pathways as well, where precise localized control of protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation balance is essential. For example, the localized activation of TCPTP by interaction with integrin αl cytoplasmic domain at the plasma membrane in close proximity with EGFR (that associates with

integrins ) is a powerful way for cells to control RTK signalling in a tightly regulated manner. The inhibition of anchorage-independent but not adherent growth of cells by delivering αl cytoplasmic peptide into living cells, may offer new means to target transformed cells. In conclusion, the negative regulation of EGFR signalling via integrin α1β1 mediated activation of a tumor suppressor protein is a novel paradigm in adhesion-mediated control of cellular responses.
It will be appreciated that the methods of the present invention can be incorporated in the form of a variety of embodiments, only a few of which are disclosed herein. It will be apparent for the expert skilled in the field that other embodiments exist and do not depart from the spirit of the invention. Thus, the described embodiments are illustrative and should not be construed as restrictive.

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6-CHENP-2007 AMANDED CLAIMS 11-05-2010.pdf


6-chenp-2007 form-3 11-05-2010.pdf


Patent Number 243781
Indian Patent Application Number 6/CHENP/2007
PG Journal Number 46/2010
Publication Date 12-Nov-2010
Grant Date 04-Nov-2010
Date of Filing 02-Jan-2007
Applicant Address VUORIMIEHENTIE 3, FI-02150 Espoo.
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 IVASKA, Johanna, Anniitunakku 22, FI-20900 Turukku.
PCT International Classification Number C12N 15/85
PCT International Application Number PCT/FI05/000203
PCT International Filing date 2005-05-02
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 60/576,029 2004-06-02 U.S.A.