Theodore J. Kottom, Eva M. Carmona, Andrew H. Limper

Targeting host tyrosine kinase receptor EphA2 signaling via small-molecule ALW-II-41-27 inhibits macrophage pro-inflammatory signaling responses to Pneumocystis carinii β-glucans

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

ABSTRACT Pneumocystis jirovecii, the fungus that causes Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP), is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals. We have previously shown that lung epithelial cells can bind Pneumocystis spp. β-glucans via the EphA2 receptor, resulting in activation and release of proinflammatory cytokines. Herein, we show that in vivo Pneumocystis spp. β-glucans activation of the inflammatory signaling cascade in macrophages can be pharmacodynamically inhibited with the EphA2 receptor small-molecule inhibitor ALW-II-41-27. In vitro , when ALW-II-41-27 is administrated via intraperitoneal to mice prior to the administration of highly proinflammatory Saccharomyces cerevisiae β-glucans in the lung, a significant reduction in TNF-alpha release was noted in the ALW-II-41-27 pre-treated group. Taken together, our data suggest that targeting host lung macrophage activation via EphA2 receptor-fungal β-glucans interactions with ALW-II-41-27 or other EphA2 receptor kinase targeting inhibitors might be an attractive and viable strategy to reduce detrimental lung inflammation associated with PJP.

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