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
The GAL4/UAS gene expression system is a precise means of targeted gene expression employed to study biological phenomena in Drosophila. A modified GAL4/UAS system can be conditionally regulated using a temporal and regional gene expression targeting (TARGET) system that responds to heat shock induction. However heat shock-related temperature shifts sometimes cause unexpected physiological responses that confound behavioral analyses. We describe here the construction of a drug-inducible version of this system that takes advantage of tissue-specific GAL4 driver lines to yield either RU486-activated LexA-progesterone receptor chimeras (LexPR) or β-estradiol-activated LexA-estrogen receptor chimeras (XVE). Upon induction, these chimeras bind to a LexA operator (LexAop) and activate transgene expression. Using GFP expression as a marker for induction in fly brain cells, both approaches are capable of tightly and precisely modulating transgene expression in a temporal and dosage-dependent manner. Additionally, tissue-specific GAL4 drivers resulted in target gene expression that was restricted to those specific tissues. Constitutive expression of the active PKA catalytic subunit using these systems altered the sleep pattern of flies, demonstrating that both systems can regulate transgene expression that precisely mimics regulation that was previously engineered using the GeneSwitch/UAS system. Unlike the limited number of GeneSwitch drivers, this approach allows for the usage of the multitudinous, tissue-specific GAL4 lines for studying temporal gene regulation and tissue-specific gene expression. Together, these new inducible systems provide additional, highly valuable tools available to study gene function in Drosophila.
Objective: Biomarker assay is a noninvasive method for the early detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Searching for new biomarkers with high specificity and sensitivity is very important for the early detection of ESCC. Serum surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) is a high throughput technology for identifying cancer biomarkers using drops of sera. Methods: In this study, 185 serum samples were taken from ESCC patients in a high incidence area and screened by SELDI. A support vector machine (SVM) algorithm was adopted to analyze the samples. Results: The SVM patterns successfully distinguished ESCC from pre-cancerous lesions (PCLs). Also, types of PCL, including dysplasia (DYS) and basal cell hyperplasia (BCH), and healthy controls (HC) were distinguished with an accuracy of 95.2% (DYS), 96.6% (BCH), and 93.8% (HC), respectively. A marker of 25.1 kDa was identified in the ESCC patterns whose peak intensity was observed to increase significantly during the development of esophageal carcinogenesis, and to decrease obviously after surgery. Conclusions: We selected five ESCC biomarkers to form a diagnostic pattern which can discriminate among the different stages of esophageal carcinogenesis. This pattern can significantly improve the detection of ESCC.
Biomarker; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization; Support vector machine
Membrane-associated serine protease matriptase has been implicated in human diseases, and might be a drug target. In the present study, a novel class of matriptase inhibitors targeting zymogen activation is developed by a combination of the screening of compound library using a cell-based matriptase activation assay and a computer-aided search of commercially available analogs of a selected compound. Four structurally related compounds are identified that can inhibit matriptase activation with IC50 at low μM in both intact-cell and cell-free systems, suggesting that these inhibitors target the matriptase autoactivation machinery rather than the intracellular signaling pathways. These activation inhibitors can also inhibit prostasin activation, a downstream event that occurs in lockstep with matriptase activation. In contrast, the matriptase catalytic inhibitor CVS-3983 at a concentration 300-fold higher than its Ki fails to inhibit activation of either protease. Our results suggest that inhibiting matriptase activation is an efficient way to control matriptase function.
Chemokines play multiple roles in the development and progression in a variety of tumors. Chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 7 (CXCL7) has been found associated with pro-inflammatory responses, but its role in cancer growth remains unclear. Our previous study showed that R phase tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) produced large amounts of interleukin (IL)-6 which antagonized transforming growth factor (TGF)-β derived from CTVT to diminish the immune-suppressive microenvironment. Now we intend to determine the expression pattern of CXCL7 and the role of IL-6/TGF-β in CXCL7 induction during spontaneous progressive (P) and regressive (R) phases in canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT).
We have demonstrated that CXCL7 expressed at high level in P phase and down-regulated in R phase by western blot and real-time PCR. This suggested that CXCL7 expression was negatively correlated with the tumor growth. Co-culturing TILs with CTVT cells was found to reduce CXCL7 expression, while adding IL-6 blocking antibody reversed it. Moreover, in P phase CTVT, while IL-1β and TGF-β had no obvious effect on CXCL7 expression, IL-6 was found significantly to reduce CXCL7 expression in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA expression results of CXCL7 receptor, CXCR2, further confirmed the effects of IL-6 concentration on the CXCL7 expression.
CXCL7 overexpression might be associated with the progressive growth of CTVT. The results shown here also suggest the role of CXCL7 in cancer development and the potential as the anti-cancer therapeutic target.
CXCL7; CXCR2; IL-6; TGF-β; CTVT
CD4+interferon (IFN)-γ+ T cell (Th1) and CD4+interleukin (IL)-4+ T cell (Th2) polarizations are crucial in the pathogenesis of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, this hypothesis is largely based on animal experiments of Parent-into-F1 GVHD model. The causal relationship between kinetics of Th1, Th2 and associated cytokines and the clinical activity of GVHD in a real world situation remains unknown.
Peripheral blood was collected every week prospectively from Day 0 to Day 210 (patients without GVHD) or Day 300 (patients with chronic GVHD) after allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation in consecutive 27 patients. The frequencies of Th1 and Th2 within CD4+ T cells were determined by flow cytometry and pplasma IFN-γ, IL-12, IL-4, and IL-10 were determined by ELISA.
Kinetics of Th1, Th2 frequency, and the plasma IL-10 and IFN-γ more commonly coincided with, rather than predicted, the activity of GVHD. These markers are significantly higher when acute or chronic GVHD developed. The kinetics of IL-10 is especially correlated well with the activity of GVHD during clinical course of immunosuppressive treatment. For patients with hepatic GVHD, there is a positive correlation between plasma IL-10 levels and the severity of hepatic injury. The frequency of Th2 is also significant higher in acute GVHD and tends to be higher in chronic GVHD. Interestingly, there is a very good positive correlation between the frequency of Th1 and Th2 (r = 0.951, p<0.001). The plasma level of IL-4 and IL-12 are not associated with the activity of GVHD.
The frequency of Th1, Th2 within CD4+ T cells and plasma IL-10 and IFN-γ are good biomarkers of GVHD. Plasma IL-10 can also be used to monitor the therapeutic responsiveness. Furthermore, both Th1 and Th2 likely contribute to the pathogenesis of GVHD.
In the area of medical image analysis, 3D multimodality image registration is an important issue. In the processing of registration, an optimization approach has been applied to estimate the transformation of the reference image and target image. Some local optimization techniques are frequently used, such as the gradient descent method. However, these methods need a good initial value in order to avoid the local resolution. In this paper, we present a new improved global optimization approach named hybrid particle swarm optimization (HPSO) for medical image registration, which includes two concepts of genetic algorithms—subpopulation and crossover.
Aminoacylation of transfer RNAGln (tRNAGln) is performed by distinct mechanisms in different kingdoms and represents the most diverged route of aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis found in nature. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cytosolic Gln-tRNAGln is generated by direct glutaminylation of tRNAGln by glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS), whereas mitochondrial Gln-tRNAGln is formed by an indirect pathway involving charging by a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase and the subsequent transamidation by a specific Glu-tRNAGln amidotransferase. Previous studies showed that fusion of a yeast non-specific tRNA-binding cofactor, Arc1p, to Escherichia coli GlnRS enables the bacterial enzyme to substitute for its yeast homologue in vivo. We report herein that the same fusion enzyme, upon being imported into mitochondria, substituted the indirect pathway for Gln-tRNAGln synthesis as well, despite significant differences in the identity determinants of E. coli and yeast cytosolic and mitochondrial tRNAGln isoacceptors. Fusion of Arc1p to the bacterial enzyme significantly enhanced its aminoacylation activity towards yeast tRNAGln isoacceptors in vitro. Our study provides a mechanism by which trans-kingdom rescue of distinct pathways of Gln-tRNAGln synthesis can be conferred by a single enzyme.
One-dimensional pure zinc oxide (ZnO) and Y-doped ZnO nanorod arrays have been successfully fabricated on the silicon substrate for comparison by a simple hydrothermal process at the low temperature of 90°C. The Y-doped nanorods exhibit the same c-axis-oriented wurtzite hexagonal structure as pure ZnO nanorods. Based on the results of photoluminescence, an enhancement of defect-induced green-yellow visible emission is observed for the Y-doped ZnO nanorods. The decrease of E2(H) mode intensity and increase of E1(LO) mode intensity examined by the Raman spectrum also indicate the increase of defects for the Y-doped ZnO nanorods. As compared to pure ZnO nanorods, Y-doped ZnO nanorods show a remarked increase of saturation magnetization. The combination of visible photoluminescence and ferromagnetism measurement results indicates the increase of oxygen defects due to the Y doping which plays a crucial role in the optical and magnetic performances of the ZnO nanorods.
Y-doped ZnO nanorods; Wurtzite; Saturation magnetization; Photoluminescence; Ferromagnetism
Aligned ZnO nanowires with different lengths (1 to approximately 4 μm) have been deposited on indium titanium oxide-coated glass substrates by using the solution phase deposition method for application as a work electrode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). From the results, the increases in length of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires can increase adsorption of the N3 dye through ZnO nanowires to improve the short-circuit photocurrent (Jsc) and open-circuit voltage (Voc), respectively. However, the Jsc and Voc values of DSSC with ZnO nanowires length of 4.0 μm (4.8 mA/cm2 and 0.58 V) are smaller than those of DSSC with ZnO nanowires length of 3.0 μm (5.6 mA/cm2 and 0.62 V). It could be due to the increased length of ZnO nanowires also resulted in a decrease in the transmittance of ZnO nanowires thus reducing the incident light intensity on the N3 dye. Optimum power conversion efficiency (η) of 1.49% was obtained in a DSSC with the ZnO nanowires length of 3 μm.
ZnO; Nanowires; DSSC; Open-circuit voltage
The energetically demanding process of translation is linked to multiple signalling events through mTOR mediated regulation of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4F complex assembly. Disrupting mTOR constraints on eIF4F activity can be oncogenic and alter chemotherapy response, making eIF4F an attractive anti-neoplastic target. Here we combine a newly developed inducible RNAi platform and pharmacological targeting of eIF4F activity to define a critical role for endogenous eIF4F in Myc-dependent tumor initiation. We find elevated Myc levels are associated with deregulated eIF4F activity in the prelymphomatous stage of the Eμ-Myc lymphoma model. Inhibition of eIF4F is synthetic lethal with elevated Myc in pre-malignant preB/B cells resulting in reduced numbers of cycling preB/B cells and delayed tumor onset. At the organismal level, eIF4F suppression affected a subset of normal regenerating cells but this was well tolerated and rapidly and completely reversible. Therefore, eIF4F is a key Myc client that represents a tumor-specific vulnerability.
Gene regulatory networks control the global gene expression and the dynamics of protein output in living cells. In multicellular organisms, transcription factors and microRNAs are the major families of gene regulators. Recent studies have suggested that these two kinds of regulators share similar regulatory logics and participate in cooperative activities in the gene regulatory network; however, their combinational regulatory effects and preferences on the protein interaction network remain unclear.
In this study, we constructed a global human gene regulatory network comprising both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory relationships, and integrated the protein interactome into this network. We then screened the integrated network for four types of regulatory motifs: single-regulation, co-regulation, crosstalk, and independent, and investigated their topological properties in the protein interaction network.
Among the four types of network motifs, the crosstalk was found to have the most enriched protein-protein interactions in their downstream regulatory targets. The topological properties of these motifs also revealed that they target crucial proteins in the protein interaction network and may serve important roles of biological functions.
Altogether, these results reveal the combinatorial regulatory patterns of transcription factors and microRNAs on the protein interactome, and provide further evidence to suggest the connection between gene regulatory network and protein interaction network.
Angiogenesis plays an important role in many physiological and pathological processes. Identification of small molecules that block angiogenesis and are safe and affordable has been a challenge in drug development. Hypericum attenuatum Choisy is a Chinese herb medicine commonly used for treating hemorrhagic diseases. The present study investigates the anti-angiogenic effects of quercetin-4′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (QODG), a flavonoid isolated from Hypericum attenuatum Choisy, in vivo and in vitro, and clarifies the underlying mechanism of the activity.
Tg(fli1:EGFP) transgenic zebrafish embryos were treated with different concentrations of quercetin-4′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (QODG) (20, 60, 180 µM) from 6 hours post fertilisation (hpf) to 72 hpf, and adult zebrafish were allowed to recover in different concentrations of QODG (20, 60, 180 µM) for 7 days post amputation (dpa) prior morphological observation and angiogenesis phenotypes assessment. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with or without VEGF and different concentrations of QODG (5, 20, 60, 180 µM), then tested for cell viability, cell migration, tube formation and apoptosis. The role of VEGFR2-mediated signaling pathway in QODG-inhibited angiogenesis was evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting.
Quercetin-4′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (QODG) was shown to inhibit angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro and zebrafish in vivo via suppressing VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGFR2. Our results further indicate that QODG inhibits angiogenesis via inhibition of VEGFR2-mediated signaling with the involvement of some key kinases such as c-Src, FAK, ERK, AKT, mTOR and S6K and induction of apoptosis. Together, this study reveals, for the first time, that QODG acts as a potent VEGFR2 kinase inhibitor, and exerts the anti-angiogenic activity at least in part through VEGFR2-mediated signaling pathway.
It is widely understood that tumor cells express tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), of which many are usually in low immunogenicity; for example, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is specifically expressed on human colon cancer cells and is viewed as a low-immunogenic TAA. How to activate host immunity against specific TAAs and to suppress tumor growth therefore becomes important in cancer therapy development.
To enhance the immune efficiency of CEA in mice that received, we fused a partial CEA gene with exogenous SARS-CoV fragments. Oral vaccination of an attenuated Salmonella typhimurium strain transformed with plasmids encoding CEA-SARS-CoV fusion gene into BALB/c mice elicited significant increases in TNF-α and IL-10 in the serum. In addition, a smaller tumor volume was observed in CT26/CEA-bearing mice who received CEA-SARS-CoV gene therapy in comparison with those administered CEA alone.
The administration of fusing CEA-SARS-CoV fragments may provide a promising strategy for strengthening the anti-tumor efficacy against low-immunogenic endogenous tumor antigens.
immunotherapy; tumor-derived peptide; tumor vaccine; low-immunogenicity
Inherently unstable mRNAs contain AU-rich elements (AREs) in the 3′ untranslated regions. Expression of ARE-containing type I interferon transcripts is robustly induced upon viral infection and rapidly shut off thereafter. Their transient accumulation is partly mediated through posttranscriptional regulation. Here we show that mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from knockout mice deficient in KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP), an RNA-binding protein required for ARE-mediated mRNA decay, produce higher levels of Ifna and Ifnb mRNAs in response to viral infection as a result of decreased mRNA decay. Functional analysis showed that KSRP is required for the decay of Ifna4 and Ifnb mRNAs by interaction with AREs. The increased IFN expression renders Ksrp−/− cells refractory to herpes simplex virus type 1 and vesicular stomatitis virus infection. These findings support a role of a posttranscriptional mechanism in the control of type I IFN expression and highlight the function of KSRP in innate immunity by negatively regulating IFN production.