Aromatic essential oils extracted from fresh fruits of Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers., have diverse medical and economic values. The dominant components in these essential oils are monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of terpenoid biosynthesis is essential for improving the yield and quality of terpenes. However, the 40 available L. cubeba nucleotide sequences in the public databases are insufficient for studying the molecular mechanisms. Thus, high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of L. cubeba is necessary to generate large quantities of transcript sequences for the purpose of gene discovery, especially terpenoid biosynthesis related genes.
Using Illumina paired-end sequencing, approximately 23.5 million high-quality reads were generated. De
novo assembly yielded 68,648 unigenes with an average length of 834 bp. A total of 38,439 (56%) unigenes were annotated for their functions, and 35,732 and 25,806 unigenes could be aligned to the GO and COG database, respectively. By searching against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database (KEGG), 16,130 unigenes were assigned to 297 KEGG pathways, and 61 unigenes, which contained the mevalonate and 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathways, could be related to terpenoid backbone biosynthesis. Of the 12,963 unigenes, 285 were annotated to the terpenoid pathways using the PlantCyc database. Additionally, 14 terpene synthase genes were identified from the transcriptome. The expression patterns of the 16 genes related to terpenoid biosynthesis were analyzed by RT-qPCR to explore their putative functions.
RNA sequencing was effective in identifying a large quantity of sequence information. To our knowledge, this study is the first exploration of the L. cubeba transcriptome, and the substantial amount of transcripts obtained will accelerate the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of essential oils biosynthesis. The results may help improve future genetic and genomics studies on the molecular mechanisms behind the chemical composition of essential oils in L. cubeba fruits.
Uncovering human mobility patterns is of fundamental importance to the understanding of epidemic spreading, urban transportation and other socioeconomic dynamics embodying spatiality and human travel. According to the direct travel diaries of volunteers, we show the absence of scaling properties in the displacement distribution at the individual level,while the aggregated displacement distribution follows a power law with an exponential cutoff. Given the constraint on total travelling cost, this aggregated scaling law can be analytically predicted by the mixture nature of human travel under the principle of maximum entropy. A direct corollary of such theory is that the displacement distribution of a single mode of transportation should follow an exponential law, which also gets supportive evidences in known data. We thus conclude that the travelling cost shapes the displacement distribution at the aggregated level.
A combination of molecular-targeted cancer imaging and therapy is an emerging strategy to improve cancer diagnosis and minimize the side effects of conventional treatments. Here, we generated a recombinant protein, EC1-GLuc-p53C, by fusing EC1 peptide, an artificial ligand of ErbB2, with Gaussia luciferase (GLuc) and a p53-activating peptide, p53C. EC1-GLuc-p53C was expressed and purified from E. coli BL21. In vitro experiments showed that EC1-GLuc-p53c was stable in luminescent activity and selectively targeted ErbB2-overexpressing BT474 cells for bioluminescence imaging. Moreover, the internalized EC1-GLuc-p53C in BT474 cells exerted its function to reactivate p53 and significantly inhibited cellular proliferation. In tumor-bearing mice, the ErbB2-targeted bioluminescence imaging and therapeutic effect of EC1-GLuc-p53C were also observed specifically in BT474 tumors but not in MCF7 tumors, which does not overexpress ErbB2. Thus, the present study demonstrates EC1-GLuc-p53C to be an effective theranostic reagent targeting ErbB2 for bioluminescence imaging and cancer therapy.
Despite earlier studies demonstrating characteristics of colon cancer stem cells (CCSCs) and the role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tumor development, it remains controversial as to the relationship between CCSCs and EMT. In this study, in order to present an insight into this relationship in colon cancer, we developed HCT116 and HT29 sphere models, which are known to be the cells enriching cancer stem cells. Compared to their parental counterparts, spheroid cells displayed lower homotypic/heterotypic adhesion but higher in vitro migratory/invasive capacity, as well as higher tumorigenic and metastatic potential in vivo. The spheroid cells also demonstrated down-regulated E-cadherin and up-regulated α-SMA and Vimentin expression, which is the typical phenotype of EMT. In order to explore whether this phenomenon is associated to activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway, we detected several key signaling molecules. Compared with their parental cells, HCT116 and HT29 spheroid cells demonstrated down-regulated expression of GSK3β, but up-regulated expression of Slug and Snail. And also, the up-regulation of nucleus β-catenin in spheroid cells indicated that the free β-catenin transferred from cytoplasm to cell nucleus. Our findings indicate that spheroid cells have the characteristics of colon cancer stem cells, and EMT may account for their stemness and malignancy. And persistent activation of Wnt/β-catenin pathway may play an important role in the EMT of CCSCs.
A combined kinetic and computational study on our tryptophan-based bifunctional thiourea catalyzed asymmetric Mannich reactions reveals an apparent negative activation enthalpy. The formation of the pre-transition state complex has been unambiguously confirmed and these observations provide an experimental support for the formation of multiple hydrogen bonding network between the substrates and the catalyst. Such interactions allow the creation of a binding cavity, a key factor to install high enantioselectivity.
In this work, we investigate optimization-based image reconstruction from few-view (i.e., <10 views) projections of sparse objects such as coronary-artery specimens. Using optimization programs as a guide, we formulate constraint programs as reconstruction programs and develop algorithms to reconstruct images through solving the reconstruction programs. Characterization studies are carried out for elucidating the algorithm properties of “convergence” (relative to designed solutions) and “utility” (relative to desired solutions) by using simulated few-view data calculated from a discrete FORBILD coronary-artery phantom, and real few-view data acquired from a human coronary-artery specimen. Study results suggest that carefully designed reconstruction programs and algorithms can yield accurate reconstructions of sparse images from few-view projections.
Impaired consciousness in epileptic seizures has a major negative impact on patient quality of life. Prior work on epileptic unconsciousness has mainly used retrospective and nonstandardized methods. Our goal was to validate and to obtain initial data using a standardized prospective testing battery.
The responsiveness in epilepsy scale (RES) was used on 52 patients during continuous video/EEG monitoring. RES begins with higher-level questions and commands, and switches adaptively to more basic sensorimotor responses depending on patient performance. RES continues after seizures and includes postictal memory testing. Scoring was conducted based on video review.
Testing on standardized seizure simulations yielded good intra-rater and inter-rater reliability. We captured 59 seizures from 18 patients (35% of participants) during 1420 hours of RES monitoring. RES impairment was greatest during and after tonic-clonic seizures, less in partial seizures, and minimal in auras and subclinical seizures. In partial seizures, ictal RES impairment was significantly greater if EEG changes were present. Maximum RES impairment (lowest ictal score) was also significantly correlated with long postictal recovery time, and poor postictal memory.
We found that prospective testing of responsiveness during seizures is feasible and reliable. RES impairment was related to EEG changes during seizures, as well as to postictal memory deficits and recovery time. With a larger patient sample it is hoped that this approach can identify brain networks underlying specific components of impaired consciousness in seizures. This may allow the development of improved treatments targeted at preventing dysfunction in these networks.
Consciousness; Seizure; Behavior; Testing battery; Electroencephalography; Video/EEG monitoring
So far, no effective therapy is available for acute kidney injury (AKI), a common and serious complication with high morbidity and mortality. Interest has recently been focused on the potential therapeutic effect of mouse adult renal progenitor cells (MRPC), erythropoietin (EPO) and suramin in the recovery of ischemia-induced AKI. The aim of the present study is to compare MRPC with MRPC/EPO or MRPC/suramin concomitantly in the treatment of a mouse model of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) AKI.
MRPC were isolated from adult C57BL/6-gfp mice. Male C57BL/6 mice (eight-weeks old, n = 72) were used for the I/R AKI model. Serum creatinine (Cr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and renal histology were detected in MRPC-, MRPC/EPO-, MRPC/suramin- and PBS-treated I/R AKI mice. E-cadherin, CD34 and GFP protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemical assay.
MRPC exhibited characteristics consistent with renal stem cells. The features of MRPC were manifested by Pax-2, Oct-4, vimentin, α-smooth muscle actin positive, and E-cadherin negative, distinguished from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) by expression of CD34 and Sca-1. The plasticity of MRPC was shown by the ability to differentiate into osteoblasts and lipocytes in vitro. Injection of MRPC, especially MRPC/EPO and MRPC/suramin in I/R AKI mice attenuated renal damage with a decrease of the necrotic injury, peak plasma Cr and BUN. Furthermore, seven days after the injury, MRPC/EPO or MRPC/suramin formed more CD34+ and E-cadherin+ cells than MRPC alone.
These results suggest that MRPC, in particular MRPC/EPO or MRPC/suramin, promote renal repair after injury and may be a promising therapeutic strategy.
Adult kidney stem cell; Cell therapy; Erythropoietin; Suramin
Cisplatin is one of the most widely used chemical drugs for anticancer treatment. Recent studies have focused on the ability of cisplatin to retain the high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein in cisplatin-DNA adducts, thereby preventing its release from the nucleus. Because HMGB1 is a powerful inflammatory mediator in many diseases, the aim of this study is to evaluate the therapeutic effect of cisplatin acute liver failure. In this study, low-dose cisplatin was administered to treat PMA-induced macrophage-like cells induced by PMA and rats with acute liver failure. We found that cell viability and liver injury were greatly improved by cisplatin treatment. The extracellular levels of HMGB1, TNF-α and IFN-γ were also significantly decreased by the administration of cisplatin. During inflammation, nuclear HMGB1 translocates from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The administration of cisplatin reduced the cytoplasmic levels of HMGB1 and increased nuclear HMGB1 levels in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, cisplatin can protect against acute liver failure by retaining HMGB1 in the nucleus and preventing its release into the extracellular milieu.
cisplatin; acute liver failure; high mobility group box-1; HMGB1 translocation; inflammation
To profile RNA expression in gastric cancer by anatomic subsites as an initial step in identifying molecular subtypes and providing targets for early detection and therapy.
We performed transcriptome analysis using the Affymetrix GeneChip U133A in gastric cardia adenocarcinomas (n = 62) and gastric noncardia adenocarcinomas (n = 72) and their matched normal tissues from patients in Shanxi Province, and validated selected dysregulated genes with additional RNA studies. Expression of dysregulated genes was also related to survival of cases.
Principal Component Analysis showed that samples clustered by tumor vs. normal, anatomic location, and histopathologic features. Paired t-tests of tumor/normal tissues identified 511 genes whose expression was dysregulated (P<4.7E-07 and at least two-fold difference in magnitude) in cardia or noncardia gastric cancers, including nearly one-half (n = 239, 47%) dysregulated in both cardia and noncardia, one-fourth dysregulated in cardia only (n = 128, 25%), and about one-fourth in noncardia only (n = 144, 28%). Additional RNA studies confirmed profiling results. Expression was associated with case survival for 20 genes in cardia and 36 genes in noncardia gastric cancers.
The dysregulated genes identified here represent a comprehensive starting point for future efforts to understand etiologic heterogeneity, develop diagnostic biomarkers for early detection, and test molecularly-targeted therapies for gastric cancer.
Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Thailand occur most frequently in healthcare facilities. However, reports of community-associated MRSA are limited.
We characterized 14 MRSA isolates from outpatients (O-1 to O-14) by phenotypic and genotypic methods and compared them with 5 isolates from inpatients (I-1 to I-5). Thai MRSA isolates from a healthcare worker (N-1) and a pig (P-1) were also included as ST9 MRSA strains from other sources.
All MRSA isolates from the outpatients and inpatients were multidrug-resistant (resistant to ≥3 classes of antimicrobials). All of them except strains O-2 and I-3 carried type III SCCmec and belonged to agrI, coagulase IV, spa type t037 or t233, which related to ST239. The strain O-2 (JCSC6690) carried type IX SCCmec and belonged to agrII, coagulaseXIc, spa type t337 and ST9, whereas the strain I-3 carried a type III SCCmec and belonged to ST1429. Nucleotide sequence determination revealed that the type IX SCCmec element in strain O-2 was distinct from that in a Thai ST398 strain (JCSC6943) previously identified in 2011; nucleotide identities of ccrA and ccrB were 93 and 91%, respectively and several open reading frames (ORFs) at the joining regions were different. PCR experiments suggested that strain O-2 and N-1 carried similar SCCmec element, whereas that of strain P-1 was different, suggesting that distinct ST9-MRSA–IX clones might be spreading in this province.
The SCCmecIX-ST9 MRSA clones of distinct SCCmec subtypes might have emerged in the Thai community and might also have disseminated into the hospital.
S. aureus; CA-MRSA; SCCmec; ST9; Livestock
Community acquired-methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is a socially problematic pathogen that infects healthy individuals, causing severe disease. CA-MRSA is more virulent than hospital associated-MRSA (HA-MRSA). The underlying mechanism for the high virulence of CA-MRSA is not known. The transcription product of the psm-mec gene, located in the mobile genetic element SCCmec of HA-MRSA, but not CA-MRSA, suppresses the expression of phenol-soluble modulin α (PSMα), a cytolytic toxin of S. aureus. Here we report that psm-mec RNA inhibits translation of the agrA gene encoding a positive transcription factor for the PSMα gene via specific binding to agrA mRNA. Furthermore, 25% of 325 clinical MRSA isolates had a mutation in the psm-mec promoter that attenuated transcription, and 9% of the strains had no psm-mec. In most of these psm-mec-mutated or psm-mec-deleted HA-MRSAs, PSMα expression was increased compared with strains carrying intact psm-mec, and some mutated strains produced high amounts of PSMα comparable with that of CA-MRSA. Deletion of psm-mec from HA-MRSA strains carrying intact psm-mec increased the expression of AgrA protein and PSMα, and virulence in mice. Thus, psm-mec RNA suppresses MRSA virulence via inhibition of agrA translation and the absence of psm-mec function in CA-MRSA causes its high virulence property.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is resistant to various antibiotics, including β-lactams, thus causing serious clinical problems. Hospital-associated (HA)-MRSA infects immunocompromised patients in hospitals. Community-acquired (CA)-MRSA causes serious diseases in healthy people who have not had contact with hospitals in the United States, Canada, or Europe. CA-MRSA produces higher amounts of extracellular toxins and has higher virulence than HA-MRSA, although the reason for this is unclear. SCCmec is a foreign DNA integrated into the MRSA chromosome that contains several genes including the mecA gene that confers resistance against methicillin. The SCCmec of CA-MRSA does not contain the psm-mec gene that exists in the HA-MRSA SCCmec. In the present study, we found that the transcription product of psm-mec inhibits translation of the agrA gene encoding a positive transcription factor for many extracellular toxins by direct binding to the agrA mRNA, resulting in decreased extracellular toxin production. Furthermore, some HA-MRSA strains carry mutated psm-mec or no psm-mec and produce higher amounts of extracellular toxins than HA-MRSA strains carrying intact psm-mec. These findings suggest that psm-mec RNA negatively regulates agrA and mutation or absence of psm-mec leads to a high virulence capacity of MRSA.
Quantum networks provide access to exchange of quantum information. The primary task of quantum networks is to distribute entanglement between remote nodes. Although quantum repeater protocol enables long distance entanglement distribution, it has been restricted to one-dimensional linear network. Here we develop a general framework that allows application of quantum repeater protocol to arbitrary quantum repeater networks with fractal structure. Entanglement distribution across such networks is mapped to renormalization. Furthermore, we demonstrate that logarithmical times of recursive such renormalization transformations can trigger fractal to small-world transition, where a scalable quantum small-world network is achieved. Our result provides new insight into quantum repeater theory towards realistic construction of large-scale quantum networks.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) describes a group of metabolic disorders characterized by defects in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. Insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells is an important factor in the etiology of T2DM, though the complex regulation and mechanisms of insulin secretion from β-cells remains to be fully elucidated. High plasma levels of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) have been reported in T2DM patients, though the potential effect on insulin secretion is unclear. However, it is known that the 5-HT receptor 2C (5-HT2CR) agonist, mCPP, decreases plasma insulin concentration in mice. As such, we aimed to investigate the expression of the 5-HT2CR in pancreatic islets of diabetic mice and the role of 5-HT2CR signaling in insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. We found that 5-HT2CR expression was significantly increased in pancreatic islets of db/db mice. Furthermore, treatment with a 5-HT2CR antagonist (SB242084) increased insulin secretion from pancreatic islets isolated from db/db mice in a dose-dependent manner, but had no effect in islets from control mice. The effect of a 5-HT2CR agonist (mCPP) and antagonist (SB242084) were further studied in isolated pancreatic islets from mice and Min-6 cells. We found that mCPP significantly inhibited insulin secretion in Min-6 cells and isolated islets in a dose-dependent manner, which could be reversed by SB242084 or RNA interference against 5-HT2CR. We also treated Min-6 cells with palmitic acid for 24 h, and found that the expression of 5-HT2CR increased in a dose-dependent manner; furthermore, the inhibition of insulin secretion in Min-6 cells induced by palmitic acid could be reversed by SB242084 or RNA interference against 5-HT2CR. Taken together, our data suggests that increased expression of 5-HT2CR in pancreatic β-cells might inhibit insulin secretion. This unique observation increases our understanding of T2DM and suggests new avenues for potential treatment.
The spread of MRSA strains at hospitals as well as in the community are of great concern worldwide. We characterized the MRSA clones isolated at Tunisian hospitals and in the community by comparing them to those isolated in other countries.
We characterized 69 MRSA strains isolated from two Tunisian university hospitals between the years 2004-2008. Twenty-two of 28 (79%) community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) strains and 21 of 41 (51%) healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains were PVL-positive. The PVL-positive strains belonged to predicted founder group (FG) 80 in MLST and carried either type IVc SCCmec or nontypeable SCCmec that harbours the class B mec gene complex. In contrast, very diverse clones were identified in PVL-negative strains: three FGs (5, 15, and 22) for HA-MRSA strains and four FGs (5, 15, 45, and 80) for CA-MRSA strains; and these strains carried the SCCmec element of either type I, III, IVc or was nontypeable. The nucleotide sequencing of phi7401PVL lysogenized in a CA-MRSA strain JCSC7401, revealed that the phage was highly homologous to phiSA2mw, with nucleotide identities of more than 95%. Furthermore, all PVL positive strains were found to carry the same PVL phage, since these strains were positive in two PCR studies, identifying gene linkage between lukS and mtp (major tail protein) and the lysogeny region, both of which are in common with phi7401PVL and phiSa2mw.
Our experiments suggest that FG80 S. aureus strains have changed to be more virulent by acquiring phi7401PVL, and to be resistant to β-lactams by acquiring SCCmec elements. These novel clones might have disseminated in the Tunisian community as well as at the Tunisian hospitals by taking over existing MRSA clones.
Smoking and alcohol consumption explain little of the risk for upper-gastrointestinal (UGI) cancer in China, where over half of all cases in the world occur.
We evaluated questionnaire-based risk factors for UGI cancers in a case-control study from Shanxi Province, China, including 600 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC), 599 gastric cardia adenocarcinomas (GCA), 316 gastric noncardia adenocarcinomas (GNCA), and 1514 age- and gender-matched controls.
Ever smoking and ever use of any alcohol were not associated with risk of UGI cancer; only modest associations were observed between ESCC risk and highest cumulative smoking exposure, as well as GNCA risk and beer drinking. While several associations were noted for socioeconomic and some dietary variables with one or two UGI cancers, the strongest and most consistent relations for all three individual UGI cancers were observed for consumption of scalding hot foods (risk increased 150% to 219% for daily vs never users) and fresh vegetables and fruits (risk decreased 48% to 70% for vegetables and 46% to 68% for fruits, respectively, for high vs low quartiles).
This study confirms the minor role of tobacco and alcohol in UGI cancers in this region, and highlights thermal damage as a leading etiologic factor.
smoking; alcohol; socioeconomic status; diet
AIM: To evaluate the status of anorectal function after repeated transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM).
METHODS: Twenty-one patients undergoing subtotal colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis were included. There were more than 5 large (> 1 cm) polyps in the remaining rectum (range: 6-20 cm from the anal edge). All patients, 19 with villous adenomas and 2 with low-grade adenocarcinomas, underwent TEM with submucosal endoscopic excision at least twice between 2005 and 2011. Anorectal manometry and a questionnaire about incontinence were carried out at week 1 before operation, and at weeks 2 and 3 and 6 mo after the last operation. Anal resting pressure, maximum squeeze pressure, maximum tolerable volume (MTV) and rectoanal inhibitory reflexes (RAIR) were recorded. The integrity and thickness of the internal anal sphincter (IAS) and external anal sphincter (EAS) were also evaluated by endoanal ultrasonography. We determined the physical and mental health status with SF-36 score to assess the effect of multiple TEM on patient quality of life (QoL).
RESULTS: All patients answered the questionnaire. Apart from negative RAIR in 4 patients, all of the anorectal manometric values in the 21 patients were normal before operation. Mean anal resting pressure decreased from 38 ± 5 mmHg to 19 ± 3 mmHg (38 ± 5 mmHg vs 19 ± 3 mmHg, P = 0.000) and MTV from 165 ± 19 mL to 60 ± 11 mL (165 ± 19 mL vs 60 ± 11 mL, P = 0.000) at month 3 after surgery. Anal resting pressure and MTV were 37 ± 5 mmHg (38 ± 5 mmHg vs 37 ± 5 mmHg, P = 0.057) and 159 ± 19 mL (165 ± 19 mL vs 159 ± 19 mL, P = 0.071), respectively, at month 6 after TEM. Maximal squeeze pressure decreased from 171 ± 19 mmHg to 62 ± 12 mmHg (171 ± 19 mmHg vs 62 ± 12 mmHg, P = 0.000) at week 2 after operation, and returned to normal values by postoperative month 3 (171 ± 19 vs 166 ± 18, P = 0.051). RAIR were absent in 4 patients preoperatively and in 12 (χ2 = 4.947, P = 0.026) patients at month 3 after surgery. RAIR was absent only in 5 patients at postoperative month 6 (χ2 = 0.141, P = 0.707). Endosonography demonstrated that IAS disruption occurred in 8 patients, and 6 patients had temporary incontinence to flatus that was normalized by postoperative month 3. IAS thickness decreased from 1.9 ± 0.6 mm preoperatively to 1.3 ± 0.4 mm (1.9 ± 0.6 mm vs 1.3 ± 0.4 mm, P = 0.000) at postoperative month 3 and increased to 1.8 ± 0.5 mm (1.9 ± 0.6 mm vs 1.8 ± 0.5 mm, P = 0.239) at postoperative month 6. EAS thickness decreased from 3.7 ± 0.6 mm preoperatively to 3.5 ± 0.3 mm (3.7 ± 0.6 mm vs 3.5 ± 0.3 mm, P = 0.510) at month 3 and then increased to 3.6 ± 0.4 mm (3.7 ± 0.6 mm vs 3.6 ± 0.4 mm, P = 0.123) at month 6 after operation. Most patients had frequent stools per day and relatively high Wexner scores in a short time period. While actual fecal incontinence was exceptional, episodes of soiling were reported by 3 patients. With regard to the QoL, the physical and mental health status scores (SF-36) were 56.1 and 46.2 (50 in the general population), respectively.
CONCLUSION: The anorectal function after repeated TEM is preserved. Multiple TEM procedures are useful for resection of multi-polyps in the remaining rectum.
Familial adenomatous polyposis; Repeated transanal endoscopic microsurgery; Anorectal function; Anorectal manometry; Subtotal colectomy
In the title compound, C10H10N4O, the dihedral angle between the pyridine ring and the –C=O(CH2)CN group is 24.08 (12)°. In the crystal, inversion dimers linked by pairs of N—H⋯N hydrogen bonds generate R
MicroRNA-101 (miR-101) expression is negatively associated with tumor growth and blood vessel formation in several solid epithelial cancers. However, the role of miR-101 in human breast cancer remains elusive.
MiR-101 was significantly decreased in different subtypes of human breast cancer tissues compared with that in adjacent normal breast tissues (P<0.01). Up-regulation of miR-101 inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and promoted cell apoptosis in ER alpha-positive and ER alpha-negative breast cancer cells and normal breast cells. Down-regulation of miR-101 displayed opposite effects on cell growth and metastasis. Further investigation revealed a significant inverse correlation between the expression of miR-101 and Stathmin1 (Stmn1), and miR-101 could bind to the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of Stmn1 to inhibit Stmn1 translation. The inhibition of cell growth and metastasis induced by up-regulation of miR-101 was partially restored by overexpresson of Stmn1. Knockdown of Stmn1 attenuates the down-regulation of miR-101-mediated enhancement of cell growth and metastasis. More importantly, in vivo analysis found that Stmn1 mRNA and protein level in different subtypes of human breast cancer tissues, contrary to the down-regulation of miR-101, were significantly elevated.
This study demonstrates that down-regulation of miR-101 in different subtypes of human breast cancer tissues is linked to the increase of cellular proliferation and invasiveness via targeting Stmn1, which highlights novel regulatory mechanism in breast cancer and may provide valuable clues for the future clinical diagnosis of breast cancer.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been implicated in breast tumor angiogenesis. And tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a positive regulator of VEGF. This study was aimed to identify the signalling pathway of TNF-α in VEGF expression regulation in breast cancer cell line MCF7. Using luciferase reporter assays, we demonstrated that TNF-α significantly increased activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcriptional activity in the MCF7 cells. The expression of the AP-1 family members c-Jun, c-Fos and JunB and phosphorylation levels of c-Jun were upregulated by TNF-α, whereas other AP-1 family members Fra-1, Fra-2, and JunD were unaffected. The activation of AP-1 was associated with the formation of p-c-Jun-c-Jun and p-c-Jun-JunB homodimers. Furthermore, the phosphorylation levels of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) but not P38 and ERK were elevated by TNF-α in MCF7 cells. TNF-α potently upregulated the mRNA and protein levels of VEGF, which were significantly reversed by JNK inhibitor SP600125. Finally using chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP) assays, we found that p-c-Jun bound to the VEGF promoter and regulated VEGF transcription directly. These data suggest that the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α is a critical regulator of VEGF expression in breast cancer cells, at least partially via a JNK and AP-1 dependent pathway.
AP-1; JNK; MCF7; VEGF
The roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) as important regulators of gene expression have been studied intensively. Although most of these investigations have involved the highly expressed form of the two mature miRNA species, increasing evidence points to essential roles for star-form microRNAs (miRNA*), which are usually expressed at much lower levels. Owing to the nature of miRNA biogenesis, it is challenging to use plasmids containing miRNA coding sequences for gain-of-function experiments concerning the roles of microRNA* species. Synthetic microRNA mimics could introduce specific miRNA* species into cells, but this transient overexpression system has many shortcomings. Here, we report that specific miRNA* species can be overexpressed by introducing artificially designed stem-loop sequences into short hairpin RNA (shRNA) overexpression vectors. By our prototypic plasmid, designed to overexpress hsa-miR-146b-3p, we successfully expressed high levels of hsa-miR-146b-3p without detectable change of hsa-miR-146b-5p. Functional analysis involving luciferase reporter assays showed that, like natural miRNAs, the overexpressed hsa-miR-146b-3p inhibited target gene expression by 3′UTR seed pairing. Our demonstration that this method could overexpress two other miRNAs suggests that the approach should be broadly applicable. Our novel strategy opens the way for exclusively stable overexpression of miRNA* species and analyzing their unique functions both in vitro and in vivo.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most common causes of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in China, which requires renal replacement therapy. Recent investigations have suggested an essential role of podocyte injury in the initial stage of DN. This study investigated the potential therapeutic role of genipin, an active extract from a traditional Chinese medicine, on progression of DN in diabetic mice induced by intraperitoneally injection of streptozocin (STZ). In diabetic mice, orally administration of genipin postponed the progression of DN, as demonstrated by ameliorating body weight loss and urine albumin leakage, attenuating glomerular basement membrane thickness, restoring the podocyte expression of podocin and WT1 in diabetic mice. The protective role of genipin on DN is probably through suppressing the up-regulation of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in diabetic kidneys. Meanwhile, through inhibiting the up-regulation of UCP2, genipin restores podocin and WT1 expression in cultured podocytes and attenuates glucose-induced albumin leakage through podocytes monolayer. Therefore, these results revealed that genipin inhibited UCP2 expression and ameliorated podocyte injury in DN mice.
Although some studies described the characteristics of colon cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in neovascularization, it is still controversial whether an interaction exists or not between CSCs and EPCs. In the present study, HCT116 and HT29 sphere models, which are known to be the cells enriching CSCs, were established to investigate the roles of this interaction in development and metastasis of colon cancer. Compared with their parental counterparts, spheroid cells demonstrated higher capacity of invasion, higher tumorigenic and metastatic potential. Then the in vitro and in vivo relationship between CSCs and EPCs were studied by using capillary tube formation assay and xenograft models. Our results showed that spheroid cells could promote the proliferation, migration and tube formation of EPCs through secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Meanwhile, the EPCs could increase tumorigenic capacity of spheroid cells through angiogenesis. Furthermore, higher microvessel density was detected in the area enriching cancer stem cells in human colon cancer tissue. Our findings indicate that spheroid cells possess the characteristics of cancer stem cells, and the coaction of CSCs and EPCs may play an important role in the development of colon cancer.