Breast cancer mortality is primarily due to the occurrence of metastatic disease. We have identified a novel potential therapeutic agent derived from an edible root of the plant Colocasia esculenta, commonly known as taro, that has demonstrable activity in a preclinical model of metastatic breast cancer and that should have minimal toxicity. We have shown for the first time that a water-soluble extract of taro (TE) potently inhibits lung colonizing ability as well as spontaneous metastasis from mammary gland-implanted tumors, in a murine model of highly metastatic ER, PR and Her-2/neu negative breast cancer. TE modestly inhibits proliferation of some, but not all, breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Morphologic changes including cell rounding were observed. Tumor cell migration was completely blocked by TE. TE treatment also inhibited prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis and downregulated cyclooxygenase (COX) 1 and 2 mRNA expression. We purified the active compound(s) to near homogeneity with antimetastatic activity comparable to stock TE. The active compound with a native size of approximately 25 kD contains two fragments of nearly equal size. The N-terminal amino acid sequencing of both fragments reveals that the active compound is highly related to three taro proteins; 12 kD storage protein, tarin and lectin. All are similar in terms of amino acid sequence, post-translational processing and all contain a carbohydrate-binding domain. This is the first report describing a compound(s) derived from taro, that potently and specifically inhibits tumor metastasis.
Taro; Breast cancer; Antimetastatic activity; Tumor; Cancer therapy
mRNA decay mediated by the AU-rich elements (AREs) is one of the most studied post-transcriptional mechanisms and is modulated by ARE-binding proteins (ARE-BPs). To understand the regulation of K homology splicing regulatory protein (KSRP), a decay-promoting ARE-BP, we purified KSRP protein complexes and identified an RNA helicase, DDX1. We showed that down-regulation of DDX1 expression elevated cytoplasmic levels of KSRP and facilitated ARE-mediated mRNA decay. Association of KSRP with 14-3-3 proteins, that are predominately located in the cytoplasm, increased upon reduction of DDX1. We also demonstrated that KSRP associated with DDX1 or 14-3-3, but not both. These observations indicate that subcellular localization of KSRP is regulated by competing interactions with DDX1 or 14-3-3.
We aimed to mine the data in the Electronic Medical Record to automatically discover patients' Rheumatoid Arthritis disease activity at discrete rheumatology clinic visits. We cast the problem as a document classification task where the feature space includes concepts from the clinical narrative and lab values as stored in the Electronic Medical Record.
Materials and Methods
The Training Set consisted of 2792 clinical notes and associated lab values. Test Set 1 included 1749 clinical notes and associated lab values. Test Set 2 included 344 clinical notes for which there were no associated lab values. The Apache clinical Text Analysis and Knowledge Extraction System was used to analyze the text and transform it into informative features to be combined with relevant lab values.
Experiments over a range of machine learning algorithms and features were conducted. The best performing combination was linear kernel Support Vector Machines with Unified Medical Language System Concept Unique Identifier features with feature selection and lab values. The Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (AUC) is 0.831 (σ = 0.0317), statistically significant as compared to two baselines (AUC = 0.758, σ = 0.0291). Algorithms demonstrated superior performance on cases clinically defined as extreme categories of disease activity (Remission and High) compared to those defined as intermediate categories (Moderate and Low) and included laboratory data on inflammatory markers.
Automatic Rheumatoid Arthritis disease activity discovery from Electronic Medical Record data is a learnable task approximating human performance. As a result, this approach might have several research applications, such as the identification of patients for genome-wide pharmacogenetic studies that require large sample sizes with precise definitions of disease activity and response to therapies.
Human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a common form of malignant cancer, for which radiotherapy or chemotherapy are the main treatment methods. Cucurbitacin E (CuE) is a natural compound previously shown to be an antifeedant as well as a potent chemopreventive agent against several types of cancer. The present study investigates anti-proliferation (using MTT assay, CuE demonstrated cytotoxic activity against SAS cell with IC50 values at 3.69 μM) and induced apoptosis of human oral squamous cell carcinoma SAS cells after 24 h treatment with CuE. Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and caspase activity were studied and our results indicate that CuE inhibits cell proliferation as well as the activation of apoptois in SAS cells. Both effects increased in proportion to the dosage of CuE and apoptosis was induced via mitochondria- and caspase-dependent pathways. CuE can induce cell death by a mechanism that is not dependent on apoptosis induction, and thus represents a promising anticancer agent for prevention and treatment of OSCC.
cucurbitacin E; human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC); apoptosis; caspase
The principal event underlying the development of prion disease is the conversion of soluble cellular prion protein (PrPC) into its disease-causing isoform, PrPSc. This conversion is associated with a marked change in secondary structure from predominantly α-helical to a high β-sheet content, ultimately leading to the formation of aggregates consisting of ordered fibrillar assemblies referred to as amyloid. In vitro, recombinant prion proteins and short prion peptides from various species have been shown to form amyloid under various conditions and it has been proposed that, theoretically, any protein and peptide could form amyloid under appropriate conditions. To identify the peptide segment involved in the amyloid core formed from recombinant full-length mouse prion protein mPrP(23–230), we carried out seed-induced amyloid formation from recombinant prion protein in the presence of seeds generated from the short prion peptides mPrP(107–143), mPrP(107–126), and mPrP(127–143). Our results showed that the amyloid fibrils formed from mPrP(107–143) and mPrP(127–143), but not those formed from mPrP(107–126), were able to seed the amyloidogenesis of mPrP(23–230), showing that the segment residing in sequence 127–143 was used to form the amyloid core in the fibrillization of mPrP(23–230).
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are promising donor sources in cell therapies for various diseases. Although low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are necessary for the maintenance of stem cells, increased ROS levels initiate differentiation and cell damage. We and others have previously demonstrated that heme oxygenase (HO)-1, a stress response protein with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, plays critical protective functions in cardiovascular and other diseases. However, the functions of HO-1 in ESCs remain to be elucidated. Our goal was to investigate the roles of HO-1 in ESC survival and differentiation. Due to the lack of HO-1-deficient ESCs, we used Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4 retroviruses to reprogram mouse embryonic fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells of different HO-1 genotypes. These iPS-HO-1 cells exhibited characteristics of mouse ESCs (mESCs) and formed teratomas that were composed of cell types of all 3 germ layers after injected into severe combined immunodeficiency mice. In response to oxidant stress, iPS-HO-1–/– cells accumulated higher levels of intracellular ROS compared with D3 mESCs or iPS-HO-1+/+ cells and were more prone to oxidant-induced cell death. Spontaneous differentiation experiments revealed that Oct4 levels were significantly lower in iPS-HO-1–/– cells after leukemia inhibitory factor withdrawal and removal of feeders. Further, during the course of spontaneous differentiation, iPS-HO-1–/– cells had enhanced Erk1/2 phosphorylation, which has been linked to ESC differentiation. By the loss-of-function approach using iPS-HO-1–/– cells, our results demonstrate that a lack of HO-1 renders iPS cells more prone to oxidative stress-induced cell death and differentiation.
To research computational methods for coreference resolution in the clinical narrative and build a system implementing the best methods.
The Ontology Development and Information Extraction corpus annotated for coreference relations consists of 7214 coreferential markables, forming 5992 pairs and 1304 chains. We trained classifiers with semantic, syntactic, and surface features pruned by feature selection. For the three system components—for the resolution of relative pronouns, personal pronouns, and noun phrases—we experimented with support vector machines with linear and radial basis function (RBF) kernels, decision trees, and perceptrons. Evaluation of algorithms and varied feature sets was performed using standard metrics.
The best performing combination is support vector machines with an RBF kernel and all features (MUC score=0.352, B3=0.690, CEAF=0.486, BLANC=0.596) outperforming a traditional decision tree baseline.
The application showed good performance similar to performance on general English text. The main error source was sentence distances exceeding a window of 10 sentences between markables. A possible solution to this problem is hinted at by the fact that coreferent markables sometimes occurred in predictable (although distant) note sections. Another system limitation is failure to fully utilize synonymy and ontological knowledge. Future work will investigate additional ways to incorporate syntactic features into the coreference problem.
We investigated computational methods for coreference resolution in the clinical narrative. The best methods are released as modules of the open source Clinical Text Analysis and Knowledge Extraction System and Ontology Development and Information Extraction platforms.
Coreference resolution; natural language processing; biomedical informatics; information extraction; nlp; machine learning; human-computer interaction and human-centered computing; Intelligent tutoring and tailored information representation; Improving the education and skills training of health professionals; providing just-in-time access to the biomedical literature and other health information; applications that link biomedical knowledge from diverse primary sources (includes automated indexing); linking the genotype and phenotype; discovery
Many biological networks are signed molecular networks which consist of positive and negative links. To reveal the distinct features between links with different signs, we proposed signed link-clustering coefficients that assess the similarity of inter-action profiles between linked molecules. We found that positive links tended to cluster together, while negative links usually behaved like bridges between positive clusters. Positive links with higher adhesiveness tended to share protein domains, be associated with protein-protein interactions and make intra-connections within protein complexes. Negative links that were more bridge-like tended to make interconnections between protein complexes. Utilizing the proposed measures to group positive links, we observed hierarchical modules that could be well characterized by functional annotations or known protein complexes. Our results imply that the proposed sign-specific measures can help reveal the network structural characteristics and the embedded biological contexts of signed links, as well as the functional organization of signed molecular networks.
The use of a DNA vaccine encoding the BCR/ABL fusion gene is thought to be a promising approach for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) to eradicate minimal residual disease after treatment with chemotherapy or targeted therapy. In this study, our strategy employs genetic technology to create a DNA vaccine encoding the BCR/ABL fusion and human interleukin-2 (hIL-2) genes. The successfully constructed plasmids BCR/ABL-pIRES-hIL-2, BCR/ABL-pIRES, and pIRES-hIL-2 were delivered intramuscularly to BALB/c mice at 14-day intervals for three cycles. The transcription and expression of the BCR/ABL and hIL-2 genes were found in the injected muscle tissues. The interferon-γ (IFN-γ) serum levels were increased, and the splenic CD4+/CD8+ T cell ratio was significantly decreased in the BCR/ABL-pIRES-hIL-2-injected mice. Furthermore, specific antibodies against K562 cells could be detected by indirect immunofluorescence. These results indicate that a DNA vaccine containing BCR/ABL and hIL-2 together may elicit increased in vivo humoral and cellular immune responses in BALB/c mice.
MicroRNAs, which are small endogenous RNA regulators, have been associated with various types of cancer. Breast cancer is a major health threat for women worldwide. Many miRNAs were reported to be associated with the progression and carcinogenesis of breast cancer. In this study, we aimed to discover novel breast cancer-related miRNAs and to elucidate their functions. First, we identified confident miRNA-target pairs by combining data from miRNA target prediction databases and expression profiles of miRNA and mRNA. Then, miRNA-regulated protein interaction networks (PINs) were constructed with confident pairs and known interaction data in the human protein reference database (HPRD). Finally, the functions of miRNA-regulated PINs were elucidated by functional enrichment analysis. From the results, we identified some previously reported breast cancer-related miRNAs and functions of the PINs, e.g., miR-125b, miR-125a, miR-21, and miR-497. Some novel miRNAs without known association to breast cancer were also found, and the putative functions of their PINs were also elucidated. These include miR-139 and miR-383. Furthermore, we validated our results by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis using our miRNA expression profile data, gene expression-based outcome for breast cancer online (GOBO) survival analysis, and a literature search. Our results may provide new insights for research in breast cancer-associated miRNAs.
miRNA; breast cancer; protein interaction network; functional analysis
Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is defined as persistence of HBV DNA in liver tissues, with or without detectability of HBV DNA in the serum, in individuals with negative serum HBV surface antigen (HBsAg). Despite accumulating evidence suggesting its important clinical roles, the molecular and virological basis of occult hepatitis B remains unclear. In an attempt to establish new hepatoma cell lines, we achieved a new cell line derived from a hepatoma patient with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) and occult HBV infection. Characterization of this cell line revealed previously unrecognized properties. Two novel human hepatoma cell lines were established. Hep-Y1 was derived from a male hepatoma patient negative for HCV and HBV infection. Hep-Y2 was derived from a female hepatoma patient suffering from chronic HCV and occult HBV infection. Morphological, cytogenetic and functional studies were performed. Permissiveness to HBV infection was assessed. Both cell lines showed typical hepatocyte-like morphology under phase-contrast and electron microscopy and expressed alpha-fetoprotein, albumin, transferrin, and aldolase B. Cytogenetic analysis revealed extensive chromosomal anomalies. An extrachromosomal form of HBV DNA persisted in the nuclear fraction of Hep-Y2 cells, while no HBsAg was detected in the medium. After treated with 2% dimethyl sulfoxide, both cell lines were permissive for exogenous HBV infection with transient elevation of the replication intermediates in the cytosol with detectable viral antigens by immunoflurescence analysis. In conclusions, we established two new hepatoma cell lines including one from occult HBV infection (Hep-Y2). Both cell lines were permissive for HBV infection. Additionally, Hep-Y2 cells carried persistent extrachromosomal HBV DNA in the nuclei. This cell line could serve as a useful tool to establish the molecular and virological basis of occult HBV infection.
Matriptase, a membrane-associated serine protease, plays an essential role in epidermal barrier function through activation of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored serine protease prostasin. The matriptase-prostasin proteolytic cascade is tightly regulated by hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor (HAI)-1 such that matriptase autoactivation and prostasin activation occur simultaneously and are followed immediately by the inhibition of both enzymes by HAI-1. However, the mechanisms whereby matriptase acts on extracellular substrates remain elusive. Here we report that some active matriptase can escape HAI-1 inhibition by being rapidly shed from the cell surface. In the pericellular environment, shed active matriptase is able to activate hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), accelerate plasminogen activation, and shed syndecan 1. The amount of active matriptase shed is inversely correlated with the amount of antithrombin (AT) bound to the surface of the keratinocytes. Binding of AT to the surface of keratinocytes is dependent on a functional heparin binding site, Lys-125, and that the N-glycosylation site Asn-135 be unglycosylated. This suggests that β-AT, and not α-AT, is responsible for regulation of pericellular matriptase activity in keratinocytes. Keratinocytes appear to rely on AT to regulate the level of pericellular active matriptase much more than breast and prostate epithelial cells in which AT regulation of matriptase activity occurs at much lower levels than keratinocytes. These results suggest that keratinocytes employ two distinct serine protease inhibitors to control the activation and processing of two different sets of matriptase substrates leading to different biological events: 1) HAI-1 for prostasin activation/inhibition, and 2) AT for the pericellular proteolysis involved in HGF activation, accelerating plasminogen activation, and shedding of syndecans.
Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) is a blue-light receptor mediating blue-light inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic promotion of floral initiation. CRY2 is a constitutive nuclear protein that undergoes blue-light-dependent phosphorylation, ubiquitination, photobody formation, and degradation in the nucleus, but the relationship between these blue-light-dependent events remains unclear. It has been proposed that CRY2 phosphorylation triggers a conformational change responsible for the subsequent ubiquitination and photobody formation, leading to CRY2 function and/or degradation. We tested this hypothesis by a structure-function study, using mutant CRY2–GFP fusion proteins expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis. We show that changes of lysine residues of the NLS (Nuclear Localization Signal) sequence of CRY2 to arginine residues partially impair the nuclear importation of the CRY2K541R and CRY2K554/5R mutant proteins, resulting in reduced phosphorylation, physiological activities, and degradation in response to blue light. In contrast to the wild-type CRY2 protein that forms photobodies exclusively in the nucleus, the CRY2K541R and CRY2K554/5R mutant proteins form protein bodies in both the nucleus and cytosol in response to blue light. These results suggest that photoexcited CRY2 molecules can aggregate to form photobody-like structure without the nucleus-dependent protein modifications or the association with the nuclear CRY2-interacting proteins. Taken together, the observation that CRY2 forms photobodies markedly faster than CRY2 phosphorylation in response to blue light, we hypothesize that the photoexcited cryptochromes form oligomers, preceding other biochemical changes of CRY2, to facilitate photobody formation, signal amplification, and propagation, as well as desensitization by degradation.
protein phosphorylation; signal transduction; fluorescence imaging; protein degradation; photobody
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with cardiovascular atherosclerosis independent of classical risk factors. This study investigated the influence of NAFLD on autonomic changes, which is currently unknown.
Subjects without an overt history of cardiovascular disease were enrolled during health checkups. The subjects diagnosed for NAFLD using ultrasonography underwent 5-min heart rate variability (HRV) measurements that was analyzed using the following indices: (1) the time domain with the standard deviation of N-N (SDNN) intervals and root mean square of successive differences between adjacent N-N intervals (rMSSD); (2) the frequency domain with low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components; and (3) symbolic dynamics analysis. Routine blood biochemistry data and serum leptin levels were analyzed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was measured.
Of the 497 subjects (mean age, 46.2 years), 176 (35.4%) had NAFLD. The HRV indices (Ln SDNN, Ln rMSSD, Ln LF, and Ln HF) were significantly decreased in the NAFLD group (3.51 vs 3.62 ms, 3.06 vs 3.22 ms, 5.26 vs 5.49 ms2, 4.49 vs 5.21 ms2, respectively, all P<0.05). Ln SDNN was significantly lower in the NAFLD group after adjustment for age, sex, hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, body mass index, smoking, estimated glomerular filtration rate, HOMA-IR, and leptin (P<0.05). In the symbolic dynamic analysis, 0 V percentage was significantly higher in the NAFLD group (33.8% vs 28.7%, P = 0.001) and significantly correlated with linear HRV indices (Ln SDNN, Ln rMSSD, and Ln HF).
NAFLD is associated with decreased Ln SDNN and increased 0 V percentage. The former association was independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors and serum biomarkers (insulin resistance and leptin). Further risk stratification of autonomic dysfunction with falls or cardiovascular diseases by these HRV parameters is required in patients with NAFLD.
Background & Aims
The clinical relevance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) near the IL28B gene is controversial in patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. This study aimed to investigate the role of viral and host factors, including IL28B genotypes, in the natural course of chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
The study enrolled consecutive 115 treatment-naive CHB patients. HBV viral loads, genotypes, precore and basal core promotor mutations, serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and interferon-gamma inducible protein 10 (IP-10) levels as well as four SNPs of IL28B were determined. Serial alanine transaminase (ALT) levels in the previous one year before enrollment at an interval of three months were recorded. Factors associated with active hepatitis, defined as persistent ALT >2× upper limit of normal (ULN) or a peak ALT level >5× ULN, were evaluated.
The prevalence of rs8105790 TT, rs12979860 CC, rs8099917 TT, and rs10853728 CC genotypes were 88.3%, 87.4%, 88.4% and 70.9%, respectively. In HBeAg-positive patients (n = 48), HBV viral load correlated with active hepatitis, while in HBeAg-negative patients (n = 67), rs10853728 CC genotype (p = 0.032) and a trend of higher IP-10 levels (p = 0.092) were associated with active hepatitis. In multivariate analysis, high viral load (HBV DNA >108 IU/mL, p = 0.042, odds ratio = 3.946) was significantly associated with HBeAg-positive hepatitis, whereas rs10853728 CC genotype (p = 0.019, odds ratio = 3.927) was the only independent factor associated with active hepatitis in HBeAg-negative population.
HBV viral load and IL28B rs10853728 CC genotype correlated with hepatitis activity in HBeAg-positive and HBeAg-negative CHB, respectively. Both viral and host factors play roles in disease activity during different phases of CHB.
Alternative polyadenylation (APA) could result in mRNA isoforms with variable lengths of 3′ UTRs. Gain of microRNA target sites in the 3′ UTR of a long mRNA isoform may cause different regulation from the corresponding short isoform. It has been known that cancer cells globally exhibit a lower ratio of long and short isoforms (LSR); that is, they tend to express larger amounts of short isoforms. The objective of this study is to illustrate the relationship between microRNA differential regulation and LSR. We retrieved public APA annotations and isoform expression profiles of breast cancer and normal cells from a high-throughput sequencing method study specific for the mRNA 3′ end. Combining microRNA expression profiles, we performed statistical analysis to reveal and estimate microRNA regulation on APA patterns in a global scale. First, we found that the amount of microRNA target sites in the alternative UTR (aUTR), the region only present in long isoforms, could affect the LSR of the target genes. Second, we observed that the genes whose aUTRs were targeted by up-regulated microRNAs in cancer cells had an overall lower LSR. Furthermore, the target sites of up-regulated microRNAs tended to appear in aUTRs. Finally, we demonstrated that the amount of target sites for up-regulated microRNAs in aUTRs correlated with the LSR change between cancer and normal cells. The results indicate that up-regulation of microRNAs might cause lower LSRs of target genes in cancer cells through degradation of their long isoforms. Our findings provide evidence of how microRNAs might play a crucial role in APA pattern shifts from normal to cancerous or proliferative states.
The analysis of biological information from protein sequences is important for the study of cellular functions and interactions, and protein fold recognition plays a key role in the prediction of protein structures. Unfortunately, the prediction of protein fold patterns is challenging due to the existence of compound protein structures. Here, we processed the latest release of the Structural Classification of Proteins (SCOP, version 1.75) database and exploited novel techniques to impressively increase the accuracy of protein fold classification. The techniques proposed in this paper include ensemble classifying and a hierarchical framework, in the first layer of which similar or redundant sequences were deleted in two manners; a set of base classifiers, fused by various selection strategies, divides the input into seven classes; in the second layer of which, an analogous ensemble method is adopted to predict all protein folds. To our knowledge, it is the first time all protein folds can be intelligently detected hierarchically. Compared with prior studies, our experimental results demonstrated the efficiency and effectiveness of our proposed method, which achieved a success rate of 74.21%, which is much higher than results obtained with previous methods (ranging from 45.6% to 70.5%). When applied to the second layer of classification, the prediction accuracy was in the range between 23.13% and 46.05%. This value, which may not be remarkably high, is scientifically admirable and encouraging as compared to the relatively low counts of proteins from most fold recognition programs. The web server Hierarchical Protein Fold Prediction (HPFP) is available at http://datamining.xmu.edu.cn/software/hpfp.
While chemotherapy and targeted therapy are successful in inducing the remission of myeloid leukemia as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), the disease remains largely incurable. This observation is likely due to the drug resistance of leukemic cells, which are responsible for disease relapse. Myeloid leukemia vaccines may most likely be beneficial for eradicating minimal residual disease after treatment with chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Several targeted immunotherapies using leukemia vaccines have been heavily investigated in clinical and preclinical trials. This review will focus on peptides and DNA vaccines in the context of myeloid leukemias, and optimal strategies for enhancing the efficacy of vaccines based on myeloid leukemia immunization are also summarized.
DNA vaccine; Peptide vaccine; Leukemia-associated antigen; Myeloid leukemia; Immunotherapy
The defensive skin secretions of amphibians are a rich resource for the discovery of novel, bioactive peptides. Here we report the identification of a novel vascular smooth muscle-relaxing peptide, named vasorelaxin, from the skin secretion of the Chinese piebald odorous frog, Odorrana schmackeri. Vasorelaxin consists of 20 amino acid residues, SRVVKCSGFRPGSPDSREFC, with a disulfide-bridge between Cys-6 and Cys-20. The structure of its biosynthetic precursor was deduced from cloned skin cDNA and consists of 67 amino acid residues encoding a single copy of vasorelaxin (vasorelaxin, accession number: HE860494). Synthetic vasorelaxin caused a profound relaxation of rat arterial smooth muscle with an EC50 of 6.76 nM.
A cohort, double blind, and randomized study was conducted to investigate the effect of a single nucleotide polymorphism of the μ-opioid receptor at nucleotide position 118 (OPRM1:c.118A>G) on the association with the most common side effects (nausea or vomiting) induced by intravenous patient control analgesia (IVPCA) with morphine, including incidence and severity analysis. A total of 129 Taiwanese women undergoing gynecology surgery received IVPCA with pure morphine for postoperative pain relief. Blood samples were collected and sequenced with high resolution melting analysis to detect three different genotypes of OPRM1 (AA, AG, and GG). All candidates 24 h postoperatively will be interviewed to record the clinical phenotype with subjective complaints and objective observations. The genotyping after laboratory analysis showed that 56 women (43.4%) were AA, 57 (44.2%) were AG, and 16 (12.4%) were GG. The distribution of genotype did not violate Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium test. There was no significant difference neither between the severity and incidence of IVPCA morphine-induced side effects and genotype nor between the association between morphine consumption versus genotype. However, there was significant difference of the relation between morphine consumption and the severity and incidence of IVPCA morphine-induced nausea and vomiting. The genetic analysis for the severity and incidence of IVPCA morphine-induced nausea or vomiting showed no association between phenotype and genotype. It might imply that OPRM1:c.118A>G does not protect against IVPCA morphine-induced nausea or vomiting.
Previously, we reported that cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) mediates the apoptotic effect of bortezomib in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we report a proteasome-independent mechanism by which bortezomib induces autophagy in HCC. Our data indicate that bortezomib activated autophagy in a dose- and time- dependent manner in HCC cell lines including Huh-7, Sk-Hep1, and Hep3B. Bortezomib downregulated CIP2A, phospho-Akt (P-Akt) and phospho-4EBP1 (P-4EBP1) in a dose- and time-dependent manner in all tested HCC cells. Ectopic expression of CIP2A abolished the effect of bortezomib on autophagy. Co-treatment of bortezomib and calyculin A, a PP2A inhibitor, reduced the effect of bortezomib on P-Akt, P-4EBP1, and autophagy. Increased phosphorylation of either Akt or 4EBP1 by ectopic overexpression protected cells from bortezomib-induced autophagy. Furthermore, we examined the effect of ΔBtz, a bortezomib derivative that closely resembles bortezomib structurally but has no proteasome activity, in HCC. Interestingly, ΔBtz demonstrated similar effects to bortezomib on autophagy, CIP2A, P-Akt and P-4EBP1, suggesting that the effect of bortezomib on autophagy is independent of proteasome inhibition. Moreover, our in vivo data showed that both bortezomib and ΔBtz inhibited tumor growth, downregulated CIP2A, P-Akt and induced autophagy in Huh-7 tumors. In conclusion, bortezomib induces autophagy in HCC through a CIP2A-PP2A-Akt-4EBP1 pathway.
Although the relationship between allergy and cancer has been investigated extensively, the role of allergy in head and neck cancer (HNC) appears less consistent. It is not clear whether allergies can independently influence the risk of HNC in the presence of known strong environmental risk factors, including consumption of alcohol, betel quid, and cigarette.
The current paper reports results from: 1) an original hospital-based case-control study, which included 252 incident cases of HNC and 236 controls frequency-matched to cases on sex and age; and 2) a meta-analysis combining the results of the current case-control study and 13 previously published studies (9 cohort studies with 727,569 subjects and 550 HNC outcomes and 5 case-control studies with 4,017 HNC cases and 10,928 controls).
In the original case-control study, we observed a strong inverse association between allergies and HNC [odds ratio = 0.41, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.27–0.62]. The meta-analysis also indicated a statistically significant inverse association between HNC and allergies [meta-relative risk (RR) = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.63–0.91], particularly strong for allergic rhinitis (meta-RR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.40–0.76). In addition, the inverse association between allergies and HNC was observed only among men (meta-RR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.54–0.84) but not among women (meta-RR = 0.98, 95% CI: 0.81–1.18).
These findings suggest that immunity plays an influential role in the risk of HNC. Future studies investigating immune biomarkers, including cytokine profiles and genetic polymorphisms, are warranted to further delineate the relationship between allergies and HNC. Understanding the relationship between allergies and HNC may help devise effective strategies to reduce and treat HNC.
During disease progression to AIDS, HIV-1 infected individuals become increasingly immunosuppressed and susceptible to opportunistic infections. It has also been demonstrated that multiple subsets of dendritic cells (DC), including DC-SIGN(+) cells, become significantly depleted in the blood and lymphoid tissues of AIDS patients, which may contribute to the failure in initiating effective host immune responses. The mechanism for DC depletion, however, is unclear. It is also known that vast quantities of viral envelope protein gp120 are shed from maturing HIV-1 virions and form circulating immune complexes in the serum of HIV-1-infected individuals, but the pathological role of gp120 in HIV-1 pathogenesis remains elusive. Here we describe a previously unrecognized mechanism of DC death in chronic HIV-1 infection, in which ligation of DC-SIGN by gp120 sensitizes DC to undergo accelerated apoptosis in response to a variety of activation stimuli. The cultured monocyte-derived DC and also freshly-isolated DC-SIGN(+) blood DC that were exposed to either cross-linked recombinant gp120 or immune-complex gp120 in HIV(+) serum underwent considerable apoptosis after CD40 ligation or exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα and IL-1β. Furthermore, circulating DC-SIGN(+) DC that were isolated directly from HIV-1(+) individuals had actually been pre-sensitized by serum gp120 for activation-induced exorbitant apoptosis. In all cases the DC apoptosis was substantially inhibited by DC-SIGN blockade. Finally, we showed that accelerated DC apoptosis was a direct consequence of excessive activation of the pro-apoptotic molecule ASK-1 and transfection of siRNA against ASK-1 significantly prevented the activation-induced excessive DC death. Our study discloses a previously unknown mechanism of immune modulation by envelope protein gp120, provides new insights into HIV immunopathogenesis, and suggests potential therapeutic approaches to prevent DC depletion in chronic HIV infection.
HIV-1 infected individuals become increasingly immunocompromised and susceptible to opportunistic infection during disease progression, which is associated with significant reduction of the dendritic cell number in the peripheral blood or secondary lymphoid tissues. Because dendritic cells are the most powerful antigen-presenting cells, their survival is critical for host defence and inadequate dendritic cell number will fail to induce effective host immune responses. Here we describe a mechanism that may at least partly explain why dendritic cells become significantly depleted in chronic HIV-1 infection. We found that after binding of the HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 to the dendritic cell surface protein DC-SIGN, the subsequent activation by CD40 ligation, or by exposure to bacterial product lipopolysaccharide or pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β, will lead to overexpression of pro-apoptotic molecule ASK-1, resulting in excessive dendritic cell death. We also confirmed that DC-SIGN(+) dendritic cells in the blood of HIV-1 infected individuals have actually been pre-sensitized by viral gp120, which exists in vast amount in the blood, for activation-induced exorbitant death. Our study thus reveals a previously unknown pathway for dendritic cell depletion and provides clues for potential therapeutic approaches to prevent DC depletion in chronic HIV infection.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a stem cell disease in which BCR/ABL plays an important role as an oncoprotein and a molecular and immunogenic target. Despite the success of targeted therapy using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), CML remains largely incurable, most likely due to the treatment resistance of leukemic stem cells. Several immunotherapies have been developed for CML in different stages and relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. In the this review, several specific immunotherapeutic approaches for CML, including vaccination and adoptive cellular immunotherapy, are discussed along with results from clinical trials, and the value of such immunotherapies in the era of imatinib and leukemia-associated antigens (LAAs), which are capable of inducing specific T cell responses and are appropriate target structures for the immunological targeting of CML cells, are also summarized.
Chronic myeloid leukemia; Vaccine; BCR-ABL; Immunotherapy