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1.  Anti-tumor activity of olaparib, a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, in cultured endometrial carcinoma cells 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:179.
Background
PTEN inactivation is the most frequent genetic aberration in endometrial cancer. One of the phosphatase-independent roles of PTEN is associated with homologous recombination (HR) in nucleus. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) plays key roles in the repair of DNA single-strand breaks, and a PARP inhibitor induces synthetic lethality in cancer cells with HR deficiency. We examined the anti-tumor activity of olaparib, a PARP inhibitor, and its correlation between the sensitivity and status of PTEN in endometrial cancer cell lines.
Methods
The response to olaparib was evaluated using a clonogenic assay with SF50 values (concentration to inhibit cell survival to 50%) in 16 endometrial cancer cell lines. The effects of PTEN on the sensitivity to olaparib and ionizing radiation (IR) exposure were compared between parental HEC-6 (PTEN-null) and HEC-6 PTEN + (stably expressing wild-type PTEN) cells by clonogenic assay, foci formation of RAD51 and γH2AX, and induction of cleaved PARP. The effects of siRNA to PTEN were analyzed in cells with wild-type PTEN.
Results
The SF50 values were 100 nM or less in four (25%: sensitive) cell lines; whereas, SF50 values were 1,000 nM or more in four (25%: resistant) cell lines. PTEN mutations were not associated with sensitivity to olaparib (Mutant [n = 12]: 746 ± 838 nM; Wild-type [n = 4]: 215 ± 85 nM, p = 0.26 by Student’s t test). RAD51 expression was observed broadly and was not associated with PTEN status in the 16 cell lines. The number of colonies in the clonogenic assay, the foci formation of RAD51 and γH2AX, and the induction of apoptosis were not affected by PTEN introduction in the HEC-6 PTEN + cells. The expression level of nuclear PTEN was not elevated within 24 h following IR in the HEC-6-PTEN + cells. In addition, knocking down PTEN by siRNA did not alter the sensitivity to olaparib in 2 cell lines with wild-type PTEN.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that olaparib, a PARP inhibitor, is effective on certain endometrial cancer cell lines. Inactivation of PTEN might not affect the DNA repair function. Predictive biomarkers are warranted to utilize olaparib in endometrial cancer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-179
PMCID: PMC4007824  PMID: 24625059
PARP inhibitor; Homologous recombination; Endometrial cancer; PTEN; RAD51
2.  Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs) Is Suppressed by Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids In Vitro and In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89605.
Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are responsible for tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 secreted from cancer stroma populated by CAFs is a prerequisite for cancer angiogenesis and metastasis. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFA) have been reported to have anti-tumor effects on diverse types of malignancies. Fat-1 mice, which can convert omega-6 to omega-3 PUFA independent of diet, are useful to investigate the functions of endogenous omega-3 PUFA. To examine the effect of omega-3 PUFA on tumorigenesis, TC-1 cells, a murine epithelial cell line immortalized by human papillomavirus (HPV) oncogenes, were injected subcutaneously into fat-1 or wild type mice. Tumor growth and angiogenesis of the TC-1 tumor were significantly suppressed in fat-1 compared to wild type mice. cDNA microarray of the tumors derived from fat-1 and wild type mice revealed that MMP-9 is downregulated in fat-1 mice. Immunohistochemical study demonstrated immunoreactivity for MMP-9 in the tumor stromal fibroblasts was diffusely positive in wild type whereas focal in fat-1 mice. MMP-9 was expressed in primary cultured fibroblasts isolated from fat-1 and wild type mice but was not expressed in TC-1 cells. Co-culture of fibroblasts with TC-1 cells enhanced the expression and the proteinase activity of MMP-9, although the protease activity of MMP-9 in fat-1-derived fibroblasts was lower than that in wild type fibroblasts. Our data suggests that omega-3 PUFAs suppress MMP-9 induction and tumor angiogenesis. These findings may provide insight into mechanisms by which omega-3 PUFAs exert anti-tumor effects by modulating tumor microenvironment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089605
PMCID: PMC3937340  PMID: 24586907
3.  Antitumor Activity and Induction of TP53-Dependent Apoptosis toward Ovarian Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma by the Dual PI3K/mTOR Inhibitor DS-7423 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87220.
DS-7423, a novel, small-molecule dual inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), is currently in phase I clinical trials for solid tumors. Although DS-7423 potently inhibits PI3Kα (IC50 = 15.6 nM) and mTOR (IC50 = 34.9 nM), it also inhibits other isoforms of class I PI3K (IC50 values: PI3Kβ = 1,143 nM; PI3Kγ = 249 nM; PI3Kδ = 262 nM). The PI3K/mTOR pathway is frequently activated in ovarian clear cell adenocarcinomas (OCCA) through various mutations that activate PI3K-AKT signaling. Here, we describe the anti-tumor effect of DS-7423 on a panel of nine OCCA cell lines. IC50 values for DS-7423 were <75 nM in all the lines, regardless of the mutational status of PIK3CA. In mouse xenograft models, DS-7423 suppressed the tumor growth of OCCA in a dose-dependent manner. Flow cytometry analysis revealed a decrease in S-phase cell populations in all the cell lines and an increase in sub-G1 cell populations following treatment with DS-7423 in six of the nine OCCA cell lines tested. DS-7423-mediated apoptosis was induced more effectively in the six cell lines without TP53 mutations than in the three cell lines with TP53 mutations. Concomitantly with the decreased phosphorylation level of MDM2 (mouse double minute 2 homolog), the level of phosphorylation of TP53 at Ser46 was increased by DS-7423 in the six cell lines with wild-type TP53, with induction of genes that mediate TP53-dependent apoptosis, including p53AIP1 and PUMA at 39 nM or higher doses. Our data suggest that the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor DS-7423 may constitute a promising molecular targeted therapy for OCCA, and that its antitumor effect might be partly obtained by induction of TP53-dependent apoptosis in TP53 wild-type OCCAs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087220
PMCID: PMC3913610  PMID: 24504419
4.  Increased tissue levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids prevents pathological preterm birth 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3113.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have anti-inflammatory effects. Preterm birth is an important problem in modern obstetrics and one of the main causes is an inflammation. We here showed that abundance of omega-3 fatty acids reduced the incidence of preterm birth induced by LPS with fat-1 mice, capable of converting omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. We also indicated that the gene expression of IL-6 and IL-1β in uteruses and the number of cervical infiltrating macrophages were reduced in fat-1 mice. The analyses of lipid metabolomics showed the high level of 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoate in fat-1 mice, which was derived from EPA and was metabolized to anti-inflammatory product named resolvin E3 (RvE3). We finally showed that the administration of RvE3 to LPS-exposed pregnant wild type mice lowered the incidence of preterm birth. Our data suggest that RvE3 could be a potential new therapeutic for the prevention of preterm birth.
doi:10.1038/srep03113
PMCID: PMC3814804  PMID: 24177907
5.  Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Suppress the Cystic Lesion Formation of Peritoneal Endometriosis in Transgenic Mouse Models 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73085.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs) play a role in controlling pathological inflammatory reactions. Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue on the peritoneum and an exaggerated inflammatory environment around ectopic tissues. Here peritoneal endometriosis was reproduced using a mouse model in which murine endometrial fragments were inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of mice. Fat-1 mice, in which omega-6 can be converted to omega-3 PUFAs, or wild type mice, in which it cannot, were used for the endometriosis model to address the actions of omega-3 PUFAs on the development of endometriotic lesions. The number and weight of cystic endometriotic lesions in fat-1 mice two weeks after inoculation were significantly less than half to those of controls. Mediator lipidomics revealed that cystic endometriotic lesions and peritoneal fluids were abundant in 12/15-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (12/15-HEPE), derived from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and their amount in fat-1 mice was significantly larger than that in controls. 12/15-Lipoxygenase (12/15-LOX)-knockout (KO) and control mice with or without EPA administration were assessed for the endometriosis model. EPA administration decreased the number of lesions in controls but not in 12/15-LOX-KO mice. The peritoneal fluids in EPA-fed 12/15-LOX-KO mice contained reduced levels of EPA metabolites such as 12/15-HEPE and EPA-derived resolvin E3 even after EPA administration. cDNA microarrays of endometriotic lesions revealed that Interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression in fat-1 mice was significantly lower than that in controls. These results suggest that both endogenous and exogenous EPA-derived PUFAs protect against the development of endometriosis through their anti-inflammatory effects and, in particular, the 12/15-LOX-pathway products of EPA may be key mediators to suppress endometriosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0073085
PMCID: PMC3769312  PMID: 24039864
6.  PDZ Domains and Viral Infection: Versatile Potentials of HPV-PDZ Interactions in relation to Malignancy 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:369712.
Cervical cancer is caused by high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs), and a unique characteristic of these is a PDZ (P¯SD-95/D¯lg/Z¯O-1-)binding motif in their E6 proteins. Through this motif HPV E6 interacts with a variety of PDZ domain-containing proteins and targets them mainly for degradation. These E6-PDZ interactions exhibit extraordinarily different functions in relation to HPV-induced malignancy, depending upon various cellular contexts; for example, Dlg and Scrib show different distribution patterns from what is seen in normal epithelium, both in localization and in amount, and their loss may be a late-stage marker in malignant progression. Recent studies show that interactions with specific forms of the proteins may have oncogenic potential. In addition, it is interesting that PDZ proteins make a contribution to the stabilization of E6 and viral episomal maintenance during the course of HPV life cycle. Various posttranslational modifications also greatly affect their functions. Phosphorylation of hDlg and hScrib by certain kinases regulates several important signaling cascades, and E6-PDZ interactions themselves are regulated through PKA-dependent phosphorylation. Thus these interactions naturally have great potential for both predictive and therapeutic applications, and, with development of screening tools for identifying novel targets of their interactions, comprehensive spatiotemporal analysis is currently underway.
doi:10.1155/2013/369712
PMCID: PMC3777178  PMID: 24093094
7.  A Novel Interaction between hScrib and PP1γ Downregulates ERK Signaling and Suppresses Oncogene-Induced Cell Transformation 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53752.
Previous studies have shown that the cell polarity regulator hScrib interacts with, and consequently controls, the ERK signaling pathway. This interaction occurs through two well-conserved Kinase Interacting Motifs, which allow hScrib to bind ERK1 directly, resulting in a reduction in the levels of phospho-ERK. This suggests that hScrib might recruit a phosphatase to regulate this signaling pathway. Using a proteomic approach we now show that Protein Phosphatase 1γ (PP1γ) is a major interacting partner of hScrib. This interaction is direct and occurs through a conserved PP1γ interaction motif on the hScrib protein, and this interaction appears to be required for hScrib's ability to downregulate ERK phosphorylation. In addition, hScrib also controls the pattern of PP1γ localization, where loss of hScrib enhances the nuclear translocation of PP1γ. Furthermore, we also show that the ability of hScrib to interact with PP1γ is important for the ability of hScrib to suppress oncogene-induced transformation of primary rodent cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that hScrib acts as a scaffold to integrate the control of the PP1γ and ERK signaling pathways and explains how disruption of hScrib localisation can contribute towards the development of human malignancy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053752
PMCID: PMC3554735  PMID: 23359326
8.  Therapeutic Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines: A Novel Approach 
The Open Virology Journal  2012;6():264-269.
Cervical cancer is the second largest cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide, and it occurs following persistent infection, sometimes for decades, with a specific subset of human papillomavirus (HPV) types; the approximately 13 oncogenic subtypes. Prophylactic vaccines against HPV infections hold promise for cost-effective reductions in the incidence of cervical cancer, but this may not be enough. Two prophylactic HPV vaccines are presently available and both contain L1 virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from the HPV subtypes most frequently associated with cervical cancer, HPV-16 and -18. Since the L1-VLP vaccines can only effectively prevent infection by the specific HPV subtype against which the vaccine was developed, cervical cancers caused by high-risk HPV subtypes other than HPV-16 and -18 may still occur in recipients of the current HPV vaccines. Furthermore, HPV vaccination coverage for adolescents is insufficient in most countries and therefore even HPV-16 and -18 infections are unlikely to be fully eradicated using the existing strategies. The development of HPV therapeutic vaccines remains essential. Many therapeutic vaccines aimed at clearing HPV-related cervical lesions have been developed and tested in patients with HPV16-positive cervical intraepithelial lesions (CIN) or cervical cancers. To date, definitive clinical efficacy and appropriate immunological responses have never been demonstrated for cervical neoplasia although promising results have been reported in patients with vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia. Here we discuss shortcomings of previous HPV therapeutic vaccine candidates and propose a novel vaccination strategy that leverages newly gained knowledge about mucosal immunity and the induction of mucosal immune responses.
doi:10.2174/1874357901206010264
PMCID: PMC3547358  PMID: 23341862
HPV therapeutic vaccine; mucosal vaccination; cervical mucosal immune system; E7-expressing lactobacillusbases vaccine.
9.  CD1d, a Sentinel Molecule Bridging Innate and Adaptive Immunity, Is Downregulated by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) E5 Protein: a Possible Mechanism for Immune Evasion by HPV▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(22):11614-11623.
CD1d and CD1d-restricted natural killer T (NKT) cells serve as a natural bridge between innate and adaptive immune responses to microbes. CD1d downregulation is utilized by a variety of microbes to evade immune detection. We demonstrate here that CD1d is downregulated in human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive cells in vivo and in vitro. CD1d immunoreactivity was strong in HPV-negative normal cervical epithelium but absent in HPV16-positive CIN1 and HPV6-positive condyloma lesions. We used two cell lines for in vitro assay; one was stably CD1d-transfected cells established from an HPV-negative cervical cancer cell line, C33A (C33A/CD1d), and the other was normal human vaginal keratinocyte bearing endogenous CD1d (Vag). Flow cytometry revealed that cell surface CD1d was downregulated in both C33A/CD1d and Vag cells stably transfected with HPV6 E5 and HPV16 E5. Although the steady-state levels of CD1d protein decreased in both E5-expressing cell lines compared to empty retrovirus-infected cells, CD1d mRNA levels were not affected. Confocal microscopy demonstrated that residual CD1d was not trafficked to the E5-expressing cell surface but colocalized with E5 near the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In the ER, E5 interacted with calnexin, an ER chaperone known to mediate folding of CD1d. CD1d protein levels were rescued by the proteasome inhibitor, MG132, indicating a role for proteasome-mediated degradation in HPV-associated CD1d downregulation. Taken together, our data suggest that E5 targets CD1d to the cytosolic proteolytic pathway by inhibiting calnexin-related CD1d trafficking. Finally, CD1d-mediated production of interleukin-12 from the C33A/CD1d cells was abrogated in both E5-expressing cell lines. Decreased CD1d expression in the presence of HPV E5 may help HPV-infected cells evade protective immunological surveillance.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01053-10
PMCID: PMC2977886  PMID: 20810727
10.  Anatomical features that facilitate radial flow across growth rings and from xylem to cambium in Cryptomeria japonica 
Annals of Botany  2009;103(7):1145-1157.
Background and Aims
Although the lateral movement of water and gas in tree stems is an important issue for understanding tree physiology, as well as for the development of wood preservation technologies, little is known about the vascular pathways for radial flow. The aim of the current study was to understand the occurrence and the structure of anatomical features of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) wood including the tracheid networks, and area fractions of intertracheary pits, tangential walls of ray cells and radial intercellular spaces that may be related to the radial permeability (conductivity) of the xylem.
Methods
Wood structure was investigated by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy of traditional wood anatomical preparations and by a new method of exposed tangential faces of growth-ring boundaries.
Key Results
Radial wall pitting and radial grain in earlywood and tangential wall pitting in latewood provide a direct connection between subsequent tangential layers of tracheids. Bordered pit pairs occur frequently between earlywood and latewood tracheids on both sides of a growth-ring boundary. In the tangential face of the xylem at the interface with the cambium, the area fraction of intertracheary pit membranes is similar to that of rays (2·8 % and 2·9 %, respectively). The intercellular spaces of rays are continuous across growth-ring boundaries. In the samples, the mean cross-sectional area of individual radial intercellular spaces was 1·2 µm2 and their total volume was 0·06 % of that of the xylem and 2·07 % of the volume of rays.
Conclusions
A tracheid network can provide lateral apoplastic transport of substances in the secondary xylem of sugi. The intertracheid pits in growth-ring boundaries can be considered an important pathway, distinct from that of the rays, for transport of water across growth rings and from xylem to cambium.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcp050
PMCID: PMC2707907  PMID: 19258338
Cryptomeria japonica; bordered pit; intercellular spaces; lateral transport; tracheid network; water conduction; xylem permeability
11.  Expression of CD1d and Ligand-Induced Cytokine Production Are Tissue Specific in Mucosal Epithelia of the Human Lower Reproductive Tract▿  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(7):3011-3018.
Mucosal epithelia of the human lower reproductive tract (vagina, cervix, and penile urethra) are exposed to sexually transmitted microbes, including Chlamydia trachomatis. The in vivo susceptibility of each tissue type to infection with C. trachomatis is quite distinct. CD1d is expressed on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, including mucosal epithelial cells, and interacts specifically with invariant NKT cells. Invariant NKT cells play a role in both innate and adaptive immune responses to microbes. Here we assessed CD1d expression in normal reproductive tissues by using immunohistochemistry. Immortalized epithelial cell lines from the human lower reproductive tract (vagina, endocervix, and penile urethra) were examined for CD1d expression and for ligand-induced cytokine production induced by CD1d cross-linking. CD1d expression in normal tissue was strong in the vagina but weak in the endocervix and penile urethra. Gamma interferon exposure induced CD1d transcription in all of the cell types studied, with the strongest induction in vaginal cells. Flow cytometry revealed cell surface expression of CD1d in vaginal and penile urethral epithelial cells but not in endocervical cells. Ligation of surface-expressed CD1d by monoclonal antibody cross-linking promoted interleukin-12 (IL-12) and IL-15, but not IL-10, production in vaginal and penile urethral cells. No induction was demonstrated in endocervical cells. CD1d-mediated cytokine production in penile urethral cells was abrogated by C. trachomatis infection. Basal deficiency in CD1d-mediated immune responsiveness may result in susceptibility to sexually transmitted agents. Decreased CD1d-mediated signaling may help C. trachomatis evade detection by innate immune cells.
doi:10.1128/IAI.01672-07
PMCID: PMC2446716  PMID: 18458073

Results 1-11 (11)