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26.  Antitumor effects of WNT2B silencing in GLUT1 overexpressing cisplatin resistant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma 
Objectives: The increased rate of glucose uptake necessary to support the growth of tumor cells is mediated by glucose transporters, and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) is overexpressed in several types of cancer in correlation with poor prognosis. And WNT2B overexpression is thought to be involved in tumor progression. Here, we investigated the effects of WNT2B in GLUT1 overexpressing cisplatin resistant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in vitro and in vivo. Materials and methods: We generated GLUT1 overexpressing cisplatin resistant CAL27 and SCC25 oral cancer cells. Lentiviral mediated knock-down of WNT2B was performed in CAL27 and SCC25. QRT-PCR and Western blot analysis were used to detect the mRNA and protein expression of GLUT1, WNT2B, Cyclin D1 and β-catenin. Cell viability was assessed by MTT analysis. Colony formation assay was performed by staining with 0.5% crystal violet. The role of WNT2B in HNSCC was examined in vivo through the generation of a CAL27 (or cisplatin resistant CAL27 or cisplatin resistant CAL27 with WNT2B knock-down) nude mice xenograft model of HNSCC. Results: Knock-down of WNT2B in decreased cell viability and colony formation in cisplatin resistant CAL27 and SCC25 in association with the downregulation of GLUT1, cyclin D1 and β-catenin. In a cisplatin resistant CAL27 mouse xenograft model, shRNA mediated silencing of WNT2B increased survival and decreased tumor growth in correlation with the downregulation of GLUT1, cyclin D1 and β-catenin. Conclusion: WNT2B plays a role in tumorigenesis and chemotherapy resistance in oral cancer and provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with HNSCC.
PMCID: PMC4300709  PMID: 25628939
WNT2B; GLUT1; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; cisplatin
27.  Pirarubicin-based chemotherapy displayed better clinical outcomes and lower toxicity than did doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in the treatment of non-metastatic extremity osteosarcoma 
Pirarubicin (THP) is a newer generation anthracycline anticancer drug with antineoplastic efficacy against numerous tumors. Few studies have reported its application and efficiency in anti-osteosarcoma chemotherapeutic strategies. Ninety-six non-metastatic extremity osteosarcoma patients treated with THP or doxorubicin (DOX) in combination with high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX), cisplatin (DDP) and ifosfamide (IFO) within the past 9 years at our hospital were evaluated retrospectively to compare efficacy and side effects. Among the patients, 55.2% were male, 36.5% were ≤14 years old and 59.4% presented with a large tumor (≥1/3 of bone) to our department. The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate of the patients treated with the THP-based chemotherapeutic regimen was 70.2%, significantly higher than that of the DOX-based regimen-treated group (53.1%). The THP-based chemotherapeutic regimen decreased the lung metastatic rate significantly compared with the DOX-based regimen (19.1% vs. 36.7%, P=0.045), as well as the relapse rate (31.9% vs. 49.0%, P=0.067). Both regimens were generally well tolerated. However, while the THP-based chemotherapeutic regimen did not alter toxicity in the hematologic system, liver or kidneys compared with the DOX-based regimen, it showed lower rates of alopecia (63.8% vs. 85.7%, P=0.012), nausea and vomiting (51.1% vs. 79.6%, P=0.003), and mucositis (48.9% vs. 75.6%, P=0.003). THP also resulted in lower cardiac toxicity. Our data demonstrate that the THP-based regimen is better than the DOX-based regimen in terms of the 5-year DFS rate, pulmonary metastasis rate, relapse rate and side effects.
PMCID: PMC4300710  PMID: 25628949
Osteosarcoma; chemotherapy; pirarubicin; doxorubicin; relapse; side effects; disease-free survival; overall survival
28.  Characterization of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5b]pyridine at androgen receptor: mechanistic support for its role in prostate cancer 
2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5b]pyridine (PhIP) is a dietary mutagenic carcinogen that has been shown not only to induce the formation of DNA adducts, but is capable of inducing tumors in the colon, mammary, and prostate glands. The normal development and maturation of the prostate gland, as well as early progression of prostate cancer, is dependent on androgens acting on the androgen receptor (AR). The actual mechanism by which PhIP interacts with our biological system and its potential interaction at the AR has yet to be fully defined. Here, we describe our work in evaluating the molecular events associated with PhIP-mediated disruption of AR function in LNCaP human prostate cancer cells. We demonstrate, by molecular docking simulation, that PhIP and its metabolite can bind to the ligand-binding domain (LBD). The binding competes with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the native AR binding cavity of the receptor. In vitro assays show that PhIP increase AR protein expression in LNCaP cells and alters its responsiveness through PSA protein and mRNA expression. We propose that the mechanism for the tissue-specific carcinogenicity seen in the rat prostate tumors and the presumptive human prostate cancer associated with the consumption of well-done meat may be mediated by this receptor activation. Our results indicate that PhIP may play an important role in modifications of AR function.
PMCID: PMC4300711  PMID: 25628930
2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4; 5b]pyridine (PhIP); dietary carcinogenesis; molecular modeling; prostate cancer
29.  Clinical and pathological characteristics of Hispanic BRCA-associated breast cancers in the American-Mexican border city of El Paso, TX 
Hispanics in El Paso, TX, a large American-Mexican border city constitute 85% of the population. Limited cancer research has been conducted in this population. We sought to study the prevalence of BRCA mutations among Hispanic patients of Mexican origin, identify reported Mexican founder or recurrent mutations, and study the breast cancer characteristics in mutation carriers. Methods: Hispanic women of Mexican descent with a personal history of breast cancer, who presented consecutively for genetic cancer risk assessment, were enrolled in an Institutional Review Board-approved registry and underwent BRCA testing based on national guidelines. The characteristics of tumors and patients with positive BRCA mutation were analyzed. Results: 88 patients were screened; 18 patients (20%) were BRCA carriers. Among BRCA carriers, 72% were diagnosed with breast cancer at younger than 50 years, 61% had “Triple negative disease”. BRCA carriers had a significantly higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than non-carriers. Thirteen patients had BRCA1 mutations and five had BRCA2 mutations. A total of 17 deleterious BRCA Mutations were observed. Seven have been previously reported as specific genes from Mexico as country of origin. Five new mutations in BRCA carriers of Mexican descent were identified. Conclusion: Hispanic breast cancer patients of Mexican origin present at a younger age, and have predominantly triple negative tumors and high BMI. We identified 5 new mutations not reported previously in Hispanic BRCA carriers of Mexican descent. Interestingly, 41% of BRCA mutations identified have been reported as recurrent mutations in Hispanic individuals from Mexico as the country of origin. A more cost-effective approach to initial screening of Hispanic individuals based on country of origin is desirable and would potentially decrease the number of cases requiring complete sequencing.
PMCID: PMC4300712  PMID: 25628955
BRCA1; BRCA2; hispanic; estrogen receptor; progesterone receptor; HER2
30.  Poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase silencing down-regulates TCTP and Cofilin-1 associated with metastasis in benzo(a)pyrene carcinogenesis 
Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is a ubiquitously distributed environmental pollutant. BaP is a known carcinogen and can induce malignant transformation of rodent and human cells. Many evidences suggest that inhibitor of poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG) is potent anticancer drug candidate. However, the effect of PARG on BaP carcinogenesis remains unclear. We explored this question in a PARG-deficient human bronchial epithelial cell line (shPARG cells) treated with various concentration of BaP for 15 weeks. Soft agar assay was used to examine BaP-induced cell malignancy of human bronchial epithelial cells and shPARG cells. Mechanistic investigations were used by 2D-DIGE and mass spectrometry. Western blot analysis and Double immunofluorescence detection were used to confirm some of the results obtained from DIGE experiments. We found that PARG silencing could dramatically inhibit BaP-induced cell malignancy of human bronchial epithelial cells in soft agar assay. Altered levels of expression induced by BaP were observed within shPARG cells for numerous proteins, including proteins required for cell mobility, stress response, DNA repair and cell proliferation pathways. Among these proteins, TCTP and Cofilin-1 involved in malignancy, were validated by western blot analysis and immunofluorescence assay. PARG inhibition contributed to down-regulation of TCTP and Cofilin-1. This is the first experimental demonstration of a link between PARG silencing and reduced cell migration after BaP exposure. We propose that PARG silencing might down-regulate TCTP and Cofilin-1 associated with metastasis in BaP carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4300713  PMID: 25628927
poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation; poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase; benzo(a)pyrene; DNA damage; human bronchial epithelial cells (16HBE cells)
31.  MicroRNA regulation and therapeutic targeting of survivin in cancer 
Survivin, the smallest member of IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) family, is a dual functional protein acting as a critical apoptosis inhibitor and key cell cycle regulator. Survivin is usually expressed in embryonic tissues during development and undetectable in most terminally differentiated tissues. Numerous studies demonstrate that survivin is selectively upregulated in almost all types of human malignancies and its overexpression positively correlates with poor prognosis, tumor recurrence, and therapeutic resistance. This differential expression of survivin in tumors and normal tissues draws a great interest to develop survivin-targeted therapy for cancer treatment. Nonetheless, the molecular mechanisms controlling survivin expression in malignant tumor cells have not been fully understood. While aberrant activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and the downstream signaling, such as PI-3K/Akt, MEK/MAPK, mTOR, and STAT pathways, have frequently been shown to upregulate survivin, recent data suggest that a class of noncoding RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) also play an important role in survivin dysregulation in human cancers. Here, we focus on survivin expression-regulated by specific miRNAs binding to the 3’-UTR of survivin mRNA, and summarize the latest advances on survivin-targeted therapy in clinical trials and the therapeutic potential of survivin-targeting miRNAs in cancer.
PMCID: PMC4300714  PMID: 25628918
Survivin; miRNA; targeted therapy; cancer
32.  Effect of luteinizing hormone-induced prohibitin and matrix metalloproteinases on ovarian epithelial tumor cell proliferation 
Recent studies have suggested that elevated gonadotropins contribute to ovarian epithelial tumor (OET) cell proliferation. However, the cellular effects of luteinizing hormone, a member of gonadotropins, on OET proliferation are controversial. Our previous work showed that luteinizing hormone has no effect on cell proliferation, but the molecular mechanism of such finding remains to be clarified. Considering that the cell growth in various types of tumors has been associated with regulations of prohibitin and matrix metalloproteinases, we aim to investigate a possible regulatory role of luteinizing hormone on prohibitin and matrix metalloproteinases to determine the roles of these molecules in OET proliferation. We found that LH stimulation resulted in a dose-dependent expression of prohibitin and MMPs and time-dependent phosphorylations of ERK and AKT. Blocking MAPK or PI3K/AKT signaling could attenuate LH-induced prohibitin and MMPs expression. Additionally, the depletion of prohibitin reduced the level of MMPs expression, and increased prohibitin expression abolished the positive effect of LH-induced MMP-9 on cellular growth. Therefore, we conclude that LH is able to up-regulate both prohibitin and MMP-9 in OET cells without the cellular growth effect due to opposing biologic functions for cell proliferation between these two molecules. The opposing cellular growth function between prohibitin and MMP-9 is a novel finding. Regulation of either molecule may be useful for future targeted therapy for ovarian epithelial cancers.
PMCID: PMC4300715  PMID: 25628924
Prohibitin; MMP-2; MMP-9; LH; proliferation
33.  Postoperative adjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for resectable multiple hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Milan criteria: a retrospective analysis 
Objective: To clarify the value of postoperative adjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for resectable multiple hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Milan criteria. Background: Patients with multiple HCC have been shown to have a worse survival after a partial hepatectomy (PH) because of the high incidence of intrahepatic tumor recurrence. Postoperative adjuvant TACE is an optional strategy for HCC patients with a high recurrence risk. Its effects and range of applications are debatable. Methods: This retrospective study enrolled 135 HCC patients with resectable multiple hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Milan criteria, and those patients underwent a hepatectomy with/without postoperative adjuvant TACE from Jan. 2004 to Dec. 2008. The patients were divided to the PH cohort or the PH+TACE cohort. The prognosis measures were the disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) from the date of treatment. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the prognostic factors associated with DFS and OS, using the Cox proportional hazards model. Results: The 1-, 2-, and 5-year DFS and OS for the PH+TACE group differed significantly from the PH group (p = 0.004, p = 0.002, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that the significant independent risk factors associated with the DFS and OS were postoperative TACE treatment (p = 0.002, p = 0.001, respectively) and the number of tumors (p = 0.006, p = 0.037, respectively). Conclusions: Our results show that postoperative adjuvant treatment resulted in delayed intrahepatic recurrence and better survival for patients with resectable multiple hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Milan criteria. Postoperative adjuvant TACE should be regarded as a common strategy for patients with resectable multiple HCC beyond the Milan criteria.
PMCID: PMC4300716  PMID: 25628953
TACE; multiple hepatocellular carcinoma; Milan criteria; recurrence; prognosis
34.  Dramatic antitumor effects of the dual mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitor AZD2014 in hepatocellular carcinoma 
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has emerged as a critical effector in cell growth, proliferation, survival, angiogenesis, and autophagy through direct interaction with mTORC1 (mTOR complex 1) and mTORC2 (mTOR complex 2). The mTOR axis is aberrantly activated in about 50% of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases and thus has become an attractive target for drug development in this disease. Allosteric inhibitors of mTORC1, rapamycin and its derivatives have been used to study in patients with HCC but have not shown significant clinical utility, likely because of the lack of inhibition of mTORC2. In the present study, we describe that AZD2014, a small molecular ATP-competitive inhibitor of mTOR, was a highly potent inhibitor of mTORC1 and mTORC2 in human HCC cells, which led to a more thorough inhibition of mTORC1 than rapamycin, and the inhibition of mTORC2 prevented the feedback activation of AKT signaling. Compared with rapamycin, AZD2014 resulted in more profound proliferation suppression, apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and autophagy in HCC cells. Notably, we found blockage of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 by AZD2014 to be more efficacious than blockage of mTORC1 alone by rapamycin in inhibiting the migration, invasion and EMT progression of HCC cells. In conclusion, our current results highlight mechanistic differentiation between rapamycin and AZD2014 in targeting cancer cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, autophagy, migration, invasion and EMT progression, and provide support for further investigation of AZD2014 as an antitumor agent for the treatment of HCC in clinic.
PMCID: PMC4300717  PMID: 25628925
Hepatocellular carcinoma; mTOR kinase inhibitor; AZD2014; EMT; autophagy
35.  Overexpression of CDX2 in gastric cancer cells promotes the development of multidrug resistance 
Modulator of multidrug resistance (MDR) gene is a direct transcriptional target of CDX2. However, we still speculate whether CDX2 affects MDR through other ways. In this study, a cisplatin-resistant (SGC7901/DDP) and a 5-fluoro-2, 4(1h,3h)pyrimidinedione-resistant (BGC823/5-FU) gastric cancer cell line with stable overexpression of CDX2 were established. The influence of overexpression of CDX2 on MDR was assessed by measuring IC50 of SGC7901/DDP and BGC823/5-FU cells to cisplatin, doxorubicin, and 5-fluorouracil, rate of doxorubicin efflux, apoptosis, and cell cycle progression detected by flow cytometry. In addition, we determined the in vivo effects of CDX2-overexpression lentiviral vector (LV-CDX2-GFP) on tumor size, and apoptotic cells in tumor tissues were detected by deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling and hematoxylin and eosin staining. Results showed that LV-CDX2-GFP led to up-regulation of CDX2 mRNA and protein expression. It significantly inhibited the sensitivity of SGC7901/DDP and BGC823/5-FU cells to cisplatin, doxorubicin, and 5-fluorouracil. Flow cytometry confirmed that the percentage of apoptotic cells decreased after CDX2 up-regulation. This notion was further supported by the observation that up-regulation of CDX2 blocked entry into the M-phase of the cell cycle. Furthermore, up-regulation of CDX2 significantly decreased intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin. In molecular studies, quantitative reverse-transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting revealed that CDX2 up-regulation could suppress expression of Caspase-3, Caspase-9 and PTEN, and increased the expression of MDR1, MRP, mTOR, HIF-1α.
PMCID: PMC4300718  PMID: 25628941
Homeobox gene CDX2; lentiviral vector; gastric cancer; drug resistance; murine model
36.  Prediction of non-small cell lung cancer metastasis-associated microRNAs using bioinformatics 
Distant metastasis is one of the most common causes for failure in treatment of advanced NSCLC, and it is a key factor to determine the patients’ prognosis. This study aims to screen the microRNAs associated with non-small cell lung cancer metastasis, so as to provide theoretical basis for investigating their roles in non-small cell lung cancer metastasis. In this study, the fluorescent transfected human non-small cell lung cancer cell lines H460 developed tumors subcutaneously, which were then in situ transplanted into the left lung of nude mice to obtain the tissue specimens of primary tumor and metastatic tumor. The differentially expressed microRNAs associated with non-small cell lung cancer metastasis were identified using the microRNA microarray and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, and bioinformatics analysis of the microRNAs was performed. The microarray analysis results revealed that 17 microRNAs with up-regulated expression and 7 with down-regulated expression between the non-small cell lung cancer metastatic primary loci and the non-metastatic primary loci (Group A), while 20 microRNAs with up-regulated expression (ratio > 1.5 times, P < 0.05) and 16 with down-regulated expression (ratio < 0.65 times, P < 0.05) between the non-small cell lung cancer metastatic loci and the metastatic primary loci (Group B). RT-PCR validation and bioinformatics analysis of some microRNAs identified 2 microRNAs with up-regulated expression, miR-10b and miR-144, and 3 microRNAs with down-regulated expression, miR-9, miR-31 and miR-34b in Group A; and 4 microRNAs with down-regulated expression, miR-25, miR-92a, miR-202 and miR-326 in Group B, which may be mediated by transcription factors activator protein 1 (AP-1), p53, STATs and NF-κB, regulate cell development, proliferation and cycle, DNA and RNA metabolism and signal transduction pathway, and promote tumor growth and metastasis through the effects on target genes like RARβ, RASSF1 and E2F-1. In conclusion, there are differences in microRNA expression between the non-small cell lung cancer metastatic and non-metastatic tissues, which provides experimental basis for exploring the mechanism of non-small cell lung cancer metastasis and provides a potential idea for molecular diagnosis and treatment, as well as prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4300719  PMID: 25628919
Non-small cell lung cancer; metastasis; microRNA; microarray; nude mouse model; target gene
37.  A retrospective study of risk and prognostic factors in relation to lower respiratory tract infection in elderly lung cancer patients 
Lung cancer (LCa) is one of the most common and deadly malignancies in elderly patients. During the course of the disease, these patients frequently present with lower respiratory tract infection. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the clinical features of lower respiratory tract infection in elderly LCa patients and evaluate the impact on overall survival rate. Clinical and laboratory data were analyzed retrospectively for a total of 1936 patients that were over 60-years-old. Patients were classified into three groups based on pulmonary diseases: Group 1, lung cancer (LCa); Group 2, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and Group 3, other medical diseases without pulmonary problems (OMD). Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to evaluate related risk factors of infections and prognostic factors. The infection rate of the LCa group (46.25%) was significantly higher than the COPD (31.40%) and OMD (23.33%) groups. Polymicrobial infections were most prevalent in the LCa group (28.75%), which far exceeded the prevalence in COPD (11.05%) and OMD (4.44%) groups. In LCa patients, the most frequent pathogens were Gram-negative bacteria (44.87%), followed by fungi (34.62%) and Gram-positive bacteria (20.51%), the major pattern of polymicrobial infections was mixed Gram-negative bacteria and fungi (43.48%). Multivariate analysis revealed that COPD, pleural effusion, anatomical type, low cellular immune function, and length of hospital stay were related risk factors of lower respiratory tract infection in elderly LCa patients. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model revealed that age, stage of TNM, surgical resection, antitumor therapy, lower respiratory tract infection, COPD, and pleural effusion were independent prognostic factors for cancer-related death. Patients who received effective antimicrobial treatment had a better outcome than those who did not respond to antimicrobial drugs (HR = 0.458, P < 0.05). Understanding lower respiratory tract infection in elderly LCa patients is vital if we are to set up corresponding measures and to target effective antimicrobial treatment.
PMCID: PMC4300720  PMID: 25628950
Lung cancer; infection; risk factors; prognosis
38.  Histology subtypes and polyp size are associated with synchronous colorectal carcinoma of colorectal serrated polyps: a study of 499 serrated polyps 
Sessile serrated adenomas (SSA) and traditional serrated adenomas (TSA) are considered as precursors of colorectal cancer, and are often diagnostic challenges. Their true prevalence is masked by significant inter-observer variations. To investigate the true prevalence and synchronous colorectal carcinoma (sCRC) of colorectal serrated polyps (CSP) and their associated factors, we first retrospectively identified all colorectal polyps collected at our institution between June 1995 and May 2013. After centrally reclassifying all CSP to reduce inter-observer variations, Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the potential factors. Among the included 5501 colorectal polyps, 499 CSP of 428 patients were identified and studied, including 353 hyperplastic polyps (HP, 70.7%), 80 SSA (16.0%), 61 TSA (12.2%) and 5 mixed polyp (1.0%). Diagnostic disagreements were found in 68 CSP (13.63% of CSP). SSA and TSA were more often larger than 5 mm and in proximal colon than HP. SSA were also more likely associated with older age (p=0.005), size ≥5 mm (p<0.001) and ≥3 polyps (p=0.004) than HP in distal colon, but only more likely associated with older age (p=0.006) in proximal colon. Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated that CSP with sCRC, compared with CSP without sCRC, were linked to CSP size ≥1 cm (vs <1 cm, odds ratio [OR] 4.412, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.684-11.556, P=0.003) and a diagnosis of SSA or TSA (vs HP, OR 6.194, 95% CI 1.870-20.513, P=0.003 and OR 6.754, 95% CI 1.981-23.028, P=0.002, respectively), but not age, gender, polyp number and polyp shape. SSA and TSA are similarly often associated with sCRC (P=0.460). In conclusion, histology subtypes and polyp size may serve as markers for sCRC of CSP. SSA and TSA may warrant careful endoscopic examinations and similar follow-up intervals.
PMCID: PMC4300721  PMID: 25628945
Conventional adenoma; sessile serrated adenoma; traditional serrated adenoma; hyperplastic polyp; colon
39.  Prognostic significance of minichromosome maintenance proteins in breast cancer 
A role for the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins in cancer initiation and progression is slowly emerging. Functioning as a complex to ensure a single chromosomal replication per cell cycle, the six family members have been implicated in several neoplastic disease states, including breast cancer. Our study aim to investigate the prognostic significance of these proteins in breast cancer. We studied the expression of MCMs in various datasets and the associations of the expression with clinicopathological parameters. When considered alone, high level MCM4 overexpression was only weakly associated with shorter survival in the combined breast cancer patient cohort (n = 1441, Hazard Ratio = 1.31; 95% Confidence Interval = 1.11-1.55; p = 0.001). On the other hand, when we studied all six components of the MCM complex, we found that overexpression of all MCMs was strongly associated with shorter survival in the same cohort (n = 1441, Hazard Ratio = 1.75; 95% Confidence Interval = 1.31-2.34; p < 0.001), suggesting these MCM proteins may cooperate to promote breast cancer progression. Indeed, their expressions were significantly correlated with each other in these cohorts. In addition, we found that increasing number of overexpressed MCMs was associated with negative ER status as well as treatment response. Together, our findings are reproducible in seven independent breast cancer cohorts, with 1441 patients, and suggest that MCM profiling could potentially be used to predict response to treatment and prognosis in breast cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4300722  PMID: 25628920
Minichromosome maintenance complex; breast cancer; survival; prognosis
40.  Curcumin suppresses invasiveness and vasculogenic mimicry of squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx through the inhibition of JAK-2/STAT-3 signaling pathway 
To determine the role of JAK-2/STAT-3 signaling pathway in invasion and vasculogenic mimicry of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. HEp-2 cells were treated with 1 or 10 μmol/L curcumin and AG490 (the inhibitor of JAK-2) for 48 h, the invasion and vasculogenic mimicry of tumor cells were tested with Transwell chamber test and tube formation experiment. RT-PCR was used to measure the expression of MMP-2 and VEGF. Western blot assay was employed to determine the expression of JAK-2, STAT3, p-STAT3, MMP-2 and VEGF. Compared to control group,there were less tumor cells permeating membrane and less formed tubes after curcumin or AG490 treatment, RT-PCR showed that the expression of MMP-2 and VEGF at mRNA level were decreased (P < 0.01). Western blotting indicated that the expression of JAK-2, p-STAT3, MMP-2 and VEGF at protein levels were decreased (P < 0.01), while that of STAT-3 protein had no difference among each group (P > 0.05). Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that the expression of eNOS was down-regulated (P < 0.01). Curcumin and AG490 significantly inhibits invasion and vasculogenic mimicry of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma in vitro, and JAK-2/STAT-3 signaling pathway promotes above processes.
PMCID: PMC4300723  PMID: 25628937
Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; curcumin; JAK-2/STAT-3 signaling pathway; vasculogenic mimicry
41.  Anticancer activity of essential oils and their chemical components - a review 
Essential oils are widely used in pharmaceutical, sanitary, cosmetic, agriculture and food industries for their bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, antiparasitical and insecticidal properties. Their anticancer activity is well documented. Over a hundred essential oils from more than twenty plant families have been tested on more than twenty types of cancers in last past ten years. This review is focused on the activity of essential oils and their components on various types of cancers. For some of them the mechanisms involved in their anticancer activities have been carried out.
PMCID: PMC4266698  PMID: 25520854
Essential oils; anticancer activity; chemical composition
42.  Redundant kinase activation and resistance of EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors 
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have shown dramatic effects against that tumors harboring EGFR activating mutations in the EGFR intracytoplasmic tyrosine kinase domain and resulted in cell apoptosis. Unfortunately, a number of patients ultimately developed resistance by multiple mechanisms. Thus, elucidation of the mechanism of resistance to EGFR-TKIs can provide strategies for blocking or reversing the situation. Recent studies suggested that redundant kinase activation plays pivotal roles in escaping from the effects of EGFR-TKIs. Herein, we aimed to characterize several molecular events involved in the resistance to EGFR-TKIs mediated by redundant kinase activation.
PMCID: PMC4266699  PMID: 25520855
EGFR; redundant kinase activation; resistance to EGFR-TKIs
43.  Mahanine, a novel mitochondrial complex-III inhibitor induces G0/G1 arrest through redox alteration-mediated DNA damage response and regresses glioblastoma multiforme 
The Electron transport chain (ETC) is responsible for oxidative phosphorylation-mediated mitochondrial respiration. Here we wanted to address the mahanine-induced targeted pathways in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in the context of G0/G1 phase arrest and redox alteration. We have demonstrated mahanine, as a novel mitochondrial complex-III inhibitor which induced G0/G1 phase arrest in GBM. This event was preceded by accumulation of intracellular ROS by the inhibition of mitochondrial ETC. The accumulated ROS induced DNA damage response (DDR), that mediated Chk1/Chk2 upregulation and activation which were essential factors for the G0/G1 arrest. NAC-mediated scavenging of ROS generation reduced the propensity of G0/G1 phase arrest in GBM cells by mahanine. Knockdown of Chk1/Chk2 also affected the cell cycle inhibitory potential of mahanine. During G0/G1 arrest, other hallmark proteins like, cyclin D1/cyclin D3, CDK4/CDK6 and CDC25A were also downregulated. The G0/G1 phase restriction property of mahanine was also established in in vivo mice model. Mahanine-induced complex-III inhibition triggered enhanced ROS in hypoxia responsible for higher G0/G1 arrest. Furthermore, we demonstrated that mahanine-treated G0/G1 arrested cells were less potent to form xenograft tumor in vivo. Additionally, they exhibited reduced ability to migrate and form intracellular tube-like structures. Moreover, they became susceptible to differentiate and astrocyte-like cells were generated from the epithelial lineage. Taken together, our results established that complex-III of ETC is one of the possible potential targets of mahanine. This nontoxic chemotherapeutic molecule enhanced ROS production, induced cell cycle arrest and thereafter regressed GBM without effecting normal astrocytes.
PMCID: PMC4266700  PMID: 25520856
G0/G1 arrest; mitochondrial ETC; ROS; DNA damage response; glioblastoma multiforme; mahanine
44.  Methylation-associated silencing of MicroRNA-335 contributes tumor cell invasion and migration by interacting with RASA1 in gastric cancer 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as endogenous silencers of target genes, previous studies have shown that miR-335 play an important role in suppressing metastasis and migration in human cancer including gastric cancer (GC). However, the mechanisms which result in aberrant expression of miR-335 in GC are still unknown. Recent studies have shown that the silencing of some miRNAs is associated with DNA hypermethylation. In this study, we find the promoter of miR-335 we embedded in CpG island by accessing to bioinformatics data and the low expression of miR-335 in 5 gastric cell lines can be restored by 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) treatment. So we postulated that the miR-335 genes undergo epigenetic inactivation in GC. Subsequently, in GC cells and tissues, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (RTQ-PCR) to assess the expression of miR-335, and methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and bisulfite sequence-PCR (BSP) to evaluate the DNA methylation status in the CpG islands upstream of MiR-335. The result showed that the expression of miR-335 was significantly reduce in gastric cancer cell lines and tumor tissues compared to matched normal gastric tissues, and cell lines, and which is inverse correlation with DNA hypermethylation of miR-335 both in GC cells lines and tissues, but not in normal tissues. In addition, we found that the lower miR-335 expression induced by abnormal methylation may be mainly involved in gastric cell invasion and metastasis in GC tissues. No statistical significance was found about miR-335 expression and methylation level between healthy individuals with and without H. pylori (HP) infection. Finally, we carry out miRNA transfection, RTQ-PCR and western blot assay to find the RAS p21 protein activator (GTPase activating protein) 1 (RASA1) may be the possible target genes which lead to the gastric cell invasion and metastasis, furthermore, the re-expression of endogenous miR-335 by 5-Aza-dC treatment can exert effects similar to exogenous miRNAs transfection. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-335 may be silenced by promoter hypermethylation and play important roles in gastric cell invasion and metastasis through its target genes, such as RASA1. Its methylation level might be a predictive epigenetic marker of GC and remodeling on the expression by demethylation can provided a potential therapeutic strategy.
PMCID: PMC4266701  PMID: 25520857
MiR-335; methylation; gastric carcinoma; Cancer metastasis; cancer invasion; RASA1
45.  MicroRNAs in stool samples as potential screening biomarkers for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer 
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) accounts for approximately 90-95% exocrine malignant tumors of the pancreas. The high prevalence of metastasis and the difficulty of early diagnosis lead to a dismal prognosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in extensive biological processes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of stool miRNAs as novel biomarker for PDAC screening. MiRNAs were extracted from clinical specimens which included cancer and matched adjacent benign pancreatic tissues of 30 PDAC patients, pancreatic juice of 20 from the 30 PDAC patients and 10 chronic pancreatitis (CP) patients, stool samples of the 30 PDAC patients, the 10 CP patients and 15 healthy volunteers. Relative expression of a panel of 5 dysregulated miRNAs (miR-21, miR-155, miR-196a, miR-216 and miR-217) was analyzed with qRT-PCR. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis was performed to assess the diagnosing value of stool miRNAs in PDAC patients. The study showed that our methods of extracting and detecting miRNAs from pancreatic juice and stool specimens had high reproducibility. Compared to matched adjacent benign pancreatic tissues and pancreatic juice of CP patients, the expression of miR-21 (P = 0.0021 and P = 0.0027) as well as miR-155 (P = 0.0087 and P = 0.0067) was significantly higher and the expression of miR-216 (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0044) was significantly lower in primary tumor tissues and pancreatic juice of PDAC patients. PDAC patients had a significantly higher stool miR-21 and miR-155 (P = 0.0049 and P = 0.0112) and lower miR-216 level (P = 0.0002) compared to normal controls. The same results were obtained in the expression levels of stool miR-21, miR-155 and miR-216 between PDAC and CP patients (P = 0.0337, P = 0.0388 and P = 0.0117, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis by using stool miRNAs expression indicated that combination of miR-21 and miR-155 had best sensitivity of 93.33% while the combination of miR-21, miR-155 and miR-216 would be best for detecting and screening PDAC with area under the curve (AUC) of 0.8667 (95% CI: 0.7722-0.9612) and a better balance of sensitivity and specificity (83.33% vs. 83.33%). Our data indicate that miRNAs could be extracted and detected from pancreatic juice and stool efficiently and reproducibly. MiR-21, miR-155 and miR-216 in stool have the potential of becoming biomarkers for screening PDAC.
PMCID: PMC4266702  PMID: 25520858
PDAC; stool; microRNA; pancreatic juice; diagnosis
46.  Ligand-activated PPARδ modulates the migration and invasion of melanoma cells by regulating Snail expression 
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) δ is implicated in the carcinogenesis of several types of cancer. However, the therapeutic efficacy of PPARδ ligands against cancer progression is unclear. Here, we showed that PPARδ modulates the migration and invasion of melanoma cells by up-regulating Snail expression. Activation of PPARδ by GW501516, a specific ligand for PPARδ, significantly increased the migration and invasion of highly metastatic A375SM cells, but not that of low metastatic A375P cells. The migration- and invasion-promoting effects of PPARδ on A375SM cells was associated with increased Snail expression, which was accompanied by a decrease in E-cadherin expression. Furthermore, a significant concentration- and time-dependent increase in the levels of Snail mRNA and protein was observed in A375SM cells (but not A375P cells) treated with GW501516. The effects of GW501516 were almost completely abrogated by a small interfering RNA against PPARδ, suggesting that PPARδ mediates the effects of GW501516. Activation of PPARδ in SK-MEL-2 and SK-MEL-5 (but not SK-MEL-3) melanoma cell lines also led to significant increases in the expression of Snail mRNA and protein, which mirrored the invasive and migratory potential of these cell lines. These results suggest that PPARδ promotes the aggressive phenotype observed in highly metastatic melanoma cells by up-regulating Snail.
PMCID: PMC4266703  PMID: 25520859
PPARδ; Snail; melanoma; migration; invasion
47.  SPRY1 promotes the degradation of uPAR and inhibits uPAR-mediated cell adhesion and proliferation 
Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is a GPI anchored cell surface protein that is closely associated with invasion, migration, and metastasis of cancer cells. Many functional extracellular proteins and transmembrane receptors interact with uPAR. However, few studies have examined the association of uPAR with cytoplasm proteins. We previously used yeast two-hybrid screening to isolate several novel uPAR-interacting cytoplasmic proteins, including Sprouty1 (SPRY1), an inhibitor of the (Ras-mitogen-activated protein kinase) MAPK pathway. In this study, we show that SPRY1 interacts with uPAR and directs it toward lysosomal-mediated degradation. Overexpression of SPRY1 decreased the cell surface and cytoplasmic uPAR protein level. Moreover, SPRY1 overexpression augmented uPAR-induced cell adhesion to vitronectin as well as proliferation of cancer cells. Our results also further support the critical role of SPRY1 contribution to tumor growth. In a subcutaneous tumor model, overexpression of SPRY1 in HCT116 or A549 xenograft in athymic nude mice led to great suppression of tumor growth. These results show that SPRY1 may affect tumor cell function through direct interaction with uPAR and promote its lysosomal degradation.
PMCID: PMC4266704  PMID: 25520860
SPRY1; uPAR; degradation; adhesion; proliferation
48.  ABCG2 regulated by MAPK pathways is associated with cancer progression in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma 
ATP-binding cassette, subfamily G, member 2 (ABCG2) overexpression has been associated with multidrug resistance and cancer progression by promoting proliferation and/or suppressing apoptosis, but how this process happens remains to be determined. In this study, the roles and the mechanisms of ABCG2 in the progression of Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) were investigated. We found that introduction of ABCG2 siRNA into Hep-2 and Hep-2T cells significantly enhanced the intracellular accumulation of mitoxantrone (MX). Down-regulation of ABCG2 by transient RNAi inhibited cell proliferation and blocked cell cycle progression by regulating the expression of cyclin D3 and p21 Cip1. ABCG2 silence also induced cell apoptosis by regulating the expression of surviving, bcl-2 and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in Hep-2 and Hep-2T cells. ABCG2-specific inhibitor, fumitremorgin C (FTC), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitor, U0126, inhibited cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis by degrading endogenous ABCG2 in Hep-2T cells. Furthermore, inhibition of MAPK pathway by U0126 enhanced anti-cancer effects of MX in vivo. In conclusion, suppression of ABCG2 inhibits the procession of LSCC tumor growth by regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis. Our data also provide more evidence for the importance of the MAPK pathway as a suitable therapeutic target for LSCC.
PMCID: PMC4266705  PMID: 25520861
BCG2; laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; fumitremorgin C; MAPK pathway; mitoxantrone
49.  DACT2 is frequently methylated in human gastric cancer and methylation of DACT2 activated Wnt signaling 
Dapper, Dishevelled-associated antagonist of β-catenin (DACT), is a key regulator of Wnt signaling pathway. The purpose of this study is to explore the epigenetic changes and the function ofDACT2 in human gastric cancer (GC). Eight human gastric cancer cell lines, 167 cases of primary gastric cancer and 8 cases of normal gastric mucosa were involved in this study. In addition, methylation Specific PCR (MSP), semi-quantitative RT-PCR, colony formation assay, flow cytometry assay, siRNA, immunofluorescence techniques and xenograft mice models were employed. The results indicate that DACT2 is frequently methylated in human primary gastric cancer (55.7%), and that methylation of DACT2 is associated with lost or reduction in its expression (X2 test, P<0.01). We found that DACT2 expression was regulated by promoter region hypermethylation. Methylation of DACT2 is associated with tumor differentiation, invasion and intravascular cancerous emboli (X2 test, P<0.05, P<0.05 and P<0.05). In gastric cancer patients treated with 5-FU and cisplatin, the five-year survival rates are higher in DACT2 methylated cases. DACT2 inhibits cell proliferation, migration and invasion in gastric cancer cells and suppresses gastric cancer xenografts in mice. Restoration of DACT2 expression inhibits both canonical and noncanonical WNT signaling in SGC7901 cells. Restoration of DACT2 expression sensitized gastric cancer cells to paclitaxel and 5-FU. In conclusion, DACT2 is frequently methylated in human gastric cancer and DACT2 expression is silenced by promoter region hypermethylation. DACT2 suppressed gastric cancer proliferation, invasion and metastasis by inhibiting Wnt signaling both in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4266706  PMID: 25520862
Gastric cancer; DACT2; DNA methylation; Wnt signaling pathway; chemo-sensitivity
50.  RUNX3 site-specific hypermethylation predicts papillary thyroid cancer recurrence 
Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most common epithelial thyroid tumor, accounting for more than 80% of all thyroid cancers. Although PTC shows an indolent character and excellent prognosis, patients with aggressive characteristics are more likely to have a disease recurrence and die in the end. The aim of this study was to analyze BRAFV600E mutation and methylation levels of CpG sites in the promoters of CDH1, DAPK, RARβ and RUNX3 genes in a cohort of PTCs, and investigate their association with tumor recurrence. In this study, we used pyrosequencing method to individually quantified methylation levels at multiple CpG sites within each gene promoter, and detect BRAFV600E mutation in 120 PTCs and 23 goiter tissues as normal control. Moreover, appropriate cut-off values for each CpG site were set up to predict disease recurrence. Our data showed that overall average methylation levels of CDH1 and RUNX3 genes were significantly higher in PTCs than that in control subjects. Conversely, overall average methylation levels of DAPK promoter were significantly lower in PTCs than that in control subjects. Moreover, BRAFV600E mutation and overall average methylation levels of all these genes were not significant difference between recurrent and non-recurrent cases. However, we found that hypermethylation of RUNX3 at CpG sites -1397, -1406, -1415 and -1417 significantly increased the risk of of disease recurrence by using appropriate site-specific cut-off values. Collectively, our findings suggest RUNX3 site-specific hypermethylation may offer value in predicting or monitoring postoperative recurrence of PTC patients.
PMCID: PMC4266707  PMID: 25520863
Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC); tumor recurrence; RUNX3; promoter hypermethylation; pyrosequencing

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