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1.  YM500: a small RNA sequencing (smRNA-seq) database for microRNA research 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;41(D1):D285-D294.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs ∼22 nt in length that are involved in the regulation of a variety of physiological and pathological processes. Advances in high-throughput small RNA sequencing (smRNA-seq), one of the next-generation sequencing applications, have reshaped the miRNA research landscape. In this study, we established an integrative database, the YM500 (http://ngs.ym.edu.tw/ym500/), containing analysis pipelines and analysis results for 609 human and mice smRNA-seq results, including public data from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and some private sources. YM500 collects analysis results for miRNA quantification, for isomiR identification (incl. RNA editing), for arm switching discovery, and, more importantly, for novel miRNA predictions. Wetlab validation on >100 miRNAs confirmed high correlation between miRNA profiling and RT-qPCR results (R = 0.84). This database allows researchers to search these four different types of analysis results via our interactive web interface. YM500 allows researchers to define the criteria of isomiRs, and also integrates the information of dbSNP to help researchers distinguish isomiRs from SNPs. A user-friendly interface is provided to integrate miRNA-related information and existing evidence from hundreds of sequencing datasets. The identified novel miRNAs and isomiRs hold the potential for both basic research and biotech applications.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks1238
PMCID: PMC3531161  PMID: 23203880
2.  Frequent amplification of a chr19q13.41 microRNA polycistron (C19MC) in aggressive primitive neuro-ectodermal brain tumors 
Cancer cell  2009;16(6):533-546.
SUMMARY
We discovered a high-level amplicon involving the chr19q13.41 microRNA (miRNA) cluster (C19MC) in 11/45(~25%) primary CNS-PNET which results in striking over-expression of miR-517c and 520g. Constitutive expression of miR-517c or 520g promotes in vitro and in vivo oncogenicity, modulates cell survival and robustly enhances growth of untransformed human neural stem cells (hNSCs) in part by upregulating WNT pathway signaling and restricting differentiation of hNSCs. Remarkably, the C19MC amplicon, which is very rare in other brain tumors (1/263), identify an aggressive sub-group of CNS-PNET with distinct gene expression profiles, characteristic histology and dismal survival. Our data implicate miR-517c and 520g as oncogenes and promising biological markers for CNS-PNET and provide important insights into oncogenic properties of the C19MC locus.
doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2009.10.025
PMCID: PMC3431561  PMID: 19962671
3.  Treating glioblastoma multiforme with selective high-dose liposomal doxorubicin chemotherapy induced by repeated focused ultrasound 
Background
High-dose tissue-specific delivery of therapeutic agents would be a valuable clinical strategy. We have previously shown that repeated transcranial focused ultrasound is able to increase the delivery of Evans blue significantly into brain tissue. The present study shows that repeated pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can be used to deliver high-dose atherosclerotic plaque-specific peptide-1 (AP-1)-conjugated liposomes selectively to brain tumors.
Methods
Firefly luciferase (Fluc)-labeled human GBM8401 glioma cells were implanted into NOD-scid mice. AP-1-conjugated liposomal doxorubicin or liposomal doxorubicin alone was administered followed by pulsed HIFU and the doxorubicin concentration in the treated brains quantified by fluorometer. Growth of the labeled glioma cells was monitored through noninvasive bioluminescence imaging and finally the brain tissue was histologically examined after sacrifice.
Results
Compared with the control group, the animals treated with 5 mg/kg injections of AP-1 liposomal doxorubicin or untargeted liposomal doxorubicin followed by repeated pulsed HIFU not only showed significantly enhanced accumulation of drug at the sonicated tumor site but also a significantly elevated tumor-to-normal brain drug ratio (P < 0.001). Combining repeated pulsed HIFU with AP-1 liposomal doxorubicin or untargeted liposomal doxorubicin has similar antitumor effects.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that targeted or untargeted liposomal doxorubicin, followed by repeated pulsed HIFU, is a promising high-dose chemotherapy method that allows the desired brain tumor region to be targeted specifically.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S29229
PMCID: PMC3289450  PMID: 22393293
repeated focused ultrasound; interleukin-4 receptor; blood-brain barrier; brain tumor; target drug delivery
4.  Pediatric primary central nervous system germ cell tumors of different prognosis groups show characteristic miRNome traits and chromosome copy number variations 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:132.
Background
Intracranial pediatric germ cell tumors (GCTs) are rare and heterogeneous neoplasms and vary in histological differentiation, prognosis and clinical behavior. Germinoma and mature teratoma are GCTs that have a good prognosis, while other types of GCTs, termed nongerminomatous malignant germ cell tumors (NGMGCTs), are tumors with an intermediate or poor prognosis. The second group of tumors requires more extensive drug and irradiation treatment regimens. The mechanisms underlying the differences in incidence and prognosis of the various GCT subgroups are unclear.
Results
We identified a distinct mRNA profile correlating with GCT histological differentiation and prognosis, and also present in this study the first miRNA profile of pediatric primary intracranial GCTs. Most of the differentially expressed miRNAs were downregulated in germinomas, but miR-142-5p and miR-146a were upregulated. Genes responsible for self-renewal (such as POU5F1 (OCT4), NANOG and KLF4) and the immune response were abundant in germinomas, while genes associated with neuron differentiation, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, invasiveness and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (including SNAI2 (SLUG) and TWIST2) were abundant in NGMGCTs. Clear transcriptome segregation based on patient survival was observed, with malignant NGMGCTs being closest to embryonic stem cells. Chromosome copy number variations (CNVs) at cytobands 4q13.3-4q28.3 and 9p11.2-9q13 correlated with GCT malignancy and clinical risk. Six genes (BANK1, CXCL9, CXCL11, DDIT4L, ELOVL6 and HERC5) within 4q13.3-4q28.3 were more abundant in germinomas.
Conclusions
Our results integrate molecular profiles with clinical observations and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms causing GCT malignancy. The genes, pathways and microRNAs identified have the potential to be novel therapeutic targets.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-132
PMCID: PMC2837036  PMID: 20178649

Results 1-4 (4)