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1.  Genetic polymorphisms and tissue expression of interleukin-22 associated with risk and therapeutic response of gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma 
Blood Cancer Journal  2014;4(10):eXX-.
Chronic Helicobacter pylori-stimulated immune reactions determine the pathogenesis of gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. We aimed to explore the genetic predisposition to this lymphoma and its clinical implication. A total of 68 patients and 140 unrelated controls were genotyped for 84 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in genes encoding cytokines, chemokines and related receptors that play important roles in T cell-mediated gastrointestinal immunity. Five genotypes in IL-22, namely CC at rs1179246, CC at rs2227485, AA at rs4913428, AA at rs1026788 and TT at rs7314777, were associated with disease susceptibility. The former four genotypes resided in the same linkage disequilibrium block (r2=0.99) that conferred an approximately threefold higher risk. In vitro experiments demonstrated that co-culturing peripheral mononuclear cells or CD4+ T cells with H. pylori stimulated the secretion of interleukin-22 (IL-22), and that IL-22 induced the expression of antimicrobial proteins, RegIIIα and lipocalin-2, in gastric epithelial cells. Furthermore, patients with gastric tissue expressing IL-22 were more likely to respond to H. pylori eradication (14/22 vs 4/19, P<0.006). We conclude that susceptibility of gastric MALT lymphoma is influenced by genetic polymorphisms in IL-22, the product of which is involved in mucosal immunity against H. pylori and associated with tumor response to H. pylori eradication.
PMCID: PMC4220648  PMID: 25303370
2.  Decreased core muscle size is associated with worse patient survival following esophagectomy for cancer 
Preoperative risk assessment, particularly for patient frailty, remains largely subjective. This study evaluated the relationship between core muscle size and patient outcomes following esophagectomy for malignancy. Using preoperative computed tomography scans in 230 subjects who had undergone transhiatal esophagectomy for cancer between 2001 and 2010, lean psoas area (LPA), measured at the fourth lumbar vertebra, was determined. Cox proportional hazards regression was employed to analyze overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) adjusted for age, gender, and stage, and the Akaike information criterion was used to determine each covariate contribution to OS and DFS. Univariate analysis demonstrated that increasing LPA correlated with both OS (P = 0.017) and DFS (P = 0.038). In multivariate analysis controlling for patient and tumor characteristics, LPA correlated with OS and DFS in patients who had not received neoadjuvant treatment (n = 64), with higher LPA associated with improved OS and DFS. Moreover, LPA was of equivalent, or slightly higher importance than pathologic stage. These measures were not predictive among patients (n = 166) receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Core muscle size appears to be an independent predictor of both OS and DFS, as significant as tumor stage, in patients following transhiatal esophagectomy. Changes in muscle mass related to preoperative treatment may confound this effect. Assessment of core muscle size may provide an additional objective measure for risk stratification prior to undergoing esophagectomy.
PMCID: PMC4171877  PMID: 23350746
esophageal cancer; esophageal surgery; risk stratification
3.  Topology of feather melanocyte progenitor niche allows complex pigment patterns to emerge 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2013;340(6139):1442-1445.
Color patterns of bird plumage affect animal behavior and speciation. Diverse patterns are present in different species and within the individual. Here we study the cellular and molecular basis of feather pigment pattern formation. Melanocyte progenitors are distributed as a horizontal ring in the proximal follicle, sending melanocytes vertically up into the epithelial cylinder which gradually emerges as feathers grow. Different pigment patterns form by modulating the presence, arrangement, or differentiation of melanocytes. A layer of peripheral pulp further regulates pigmentation via patterned agouti expression. Lifetime feather cyclic regeneration resets pigment patterns for physiological needs. Thus the evolution of stem cell niche topology allows complex pigment patterning via combinatorial co-option of simple regulatory mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4144997  PMID: 23618762
4.  Correlation between microRNA-34a levels and lens opacity severity in age-related cataracts 
Eye  2013;27(7):883-888.
MicroRNA 34a (miR-34a) is involved in regulating tissue senescence. However, the role of miR-34a in age-related cataracts is unclear. In this study, we evaluated the correlations among the severity of lens opacity, patient age, and miR-34a expression level in the lens epithelium of age-related cataracts for clarifying the role of miR-34a in the lens senescence.
This study was carried as a case control study in the Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan. We recorded age of each patient at the time of their cataract surgery and information regarding lens opacity according to a modified version of the Lens Opacities Classification System III. Correlations among age, lens opacity, and miR-34a expression levels were evaluated.
This study evaluated 110 patients with a mean age of 73.19 years (SD±10.2). Older patients had higher nuclear cataract (NC), cortical (C), and posterior subcapsular cataract (P) scores (one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), P<0.05). miR-34a expression levels were significantly different between each age group (ANOVA post hoc Bonferroni's test, P<0.001), and there were moderate correlations between high NC, C, and P cataract scores and high miR-34a levels (Pearson correlation coefficient; R=0.606, 0.575, and 0.515, respectively).
The current study demonstrated positive correlations between high miR-34a levels and high lens opacity severity in NC, C, or P cataracts. These results suggest that miR-34a expression has a role in lens senescence.
PMCID: PMC3709404  PMID: 23661155
aging; cataract; microRNA; senescence
5.  Fluid intake, genetic variants of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and bladder cancer risk 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;108(11):2372-2380.
Results of studies of fluid consumption and its association with bladder cancer have been inconsistent. Few studies have considered modification effects from genetic variants that may interact with the type of consumed fluids. UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs), which are membrane-bound conjugating enzymes, catalyse the transformation of hydrophobic substrates to more water-soluble glucuronides to facilitate renal or biliary excretion. Whether genetic variants in UGTs could modulate the association between fluid intake and bladder cancer has not been studied.
We conducted a case–control study with 1007 patients with histopathologically confirmed bladder cancer and 1299 healthy matched controls. Fluid intake and epidemiologic data were collected via in-person interview. Multivariate unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and the 95% confidence intervals (95% CI).
After adjustment for potential confounders, high quantity of total fluid intake (⩾2789 vs <1696 ml per day) conferred a 41% increased risk of bladder cancer (OR=1.41; 95% CI=1.10–1.81). Specific fluids such as regular soft drinks and decaffeinated coffee were also associated with increased risks, whereas tea, wine, and liquor were associated with decreased risks. Among 83 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the UGT gene family, 18 were significantly associated with bladder cancer risk. The most significant one was rs7571337, with the variant genotype conferring a 29% reduction in risk (OR=0.71; 95% CI=0.56–0.90).
Total and specific fluid intakes are associated with bladder cancer risk in the study population and that genetic variants of UGT genes could modulate the effects. These results facilitate identification of high-risk individuals and have important implications in bladder cancer prevention.
PMCID: PMC3681021  PMID: 23632476
bladder cancer; fluid intake; UDP-glucuronosyltransferase; genetic polymorphism
6.  MicroRNA expression patterns in medullary and extramedullary plasmacytoma 
Blood Cancer Journal  2014;4(6):e223-.
PMCID: PMC4080212  PMID: 24972152
7.  HKH40A downregulates GRP78/BiP expression in cancer cells 
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(5):e1240-.
HKH40A, the 8-methoxy analog of WMC79, is a synthetic agent with promising in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity, especially against solid tumors. However, molecular mechanisms underlying its antitumor effects are poorly understood. Here, we report that HKH40A markedly reduces the level of GRP78/BiP protein in cancer cell lines of various origin. In this study, we show that HKH40A not only downregulates transcription of GRP78 but also directly binds to the isolated protein and induces its proteosomal degradation. Knockdown of BiP increased the efficacy of the drug and overexpression of BiP diminished its activity. BiP is generally highly elevated in solid tumors having a pivotal role in cancer cell survival and chemoresistance, and has been suggested as a novel target for therapeutic intervention. We show that reduction of BiP level by HKH40A impairs its function and induces unfolded protein response as evidenced by the activation of IRE1α, ATF6 and PERK. This leads to a series of downstream events, including sustained eIF2α phosphorylation, increased abundance of spliced XBP1 mRNA and protein levels of ATF4 and CHOP. We also demonstrate that HKH40A inhibited tumor formation in an in vivo xenograft tumor model. Collectively, our data show that HKH40A reduces BiP levels and this could have an important role in the activity of HKH40A against cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4047900  PMID: 24853418
HKH40A; GRP78/BiP; unfolded Protein Response (UPR); chemoresistance; cancer; paraptosis
8.  Myc represses miR-15a/miR-16-1 expression through recruitment of HDAC3 in mantle cell and other non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas 
Oncogene  2011;31(24):3002-3008.
Our recent study demonstrated miR-15a/16-1 downregulation in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Here, we investigated mechanisms of miR-15a/16-1 transcriptional repression and its epigenetic regulation by c-Myc and histone deacetylase (HDAC) in MCL. c-Myc expression was detected in MCL cell lines and in the primary MCL samples, and pri-miR-15a/16-1 mRNAs were significantly upregulated in Mino and Jeko-1 cells with c-Myc knockdown by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Our co-immunoprecipitation analysis showed that c-Myc interacted with HDAC3. Moreover, using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we demonstrated that both c-Myc and HDAC3 co-localized to the two promoters of the miR-15a/16-1 cluster gene, DLEU2, and inhibition of HDAC3 increased histone acetylation of the DLEU2 promoters. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed the dependence of Myc-mediated DLEU2 transcriptional repression on HDAC3. Treatment with the pan-HDAC inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and HDAC3 siRNA resulted in increased miR-15a/16-1 expression. The regulatory mechanism of miR-15a/16-1 was further demonstrated in Burkitt lymphoma and Myc overexpressing cell lines. These findings highlight the role of HDAC3 in Myc-induced miR-15a/16-1 changes and reveal novel mechanisms for c-Myc-driven microRNA suppression and malignant transformation in aggressive B-cell malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3982396  PMID: 22002311
Myc; miR15a/miR-16-1; lymphoma
9.  MicroRNA-18a is elevated in prostate cancer and promotes tumorigenesis through suppressing STK4 in vitro and in vivo 
Oncogenesis  2014;3(4):e99-.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) comprise a class of short, non-coding RNAs that regulate protein synthesis through posttranscriptional modifications. In this study, we found significant upregulation of miR-18a in prostate cancer specimens and prostate cancer cell lines compared with the normal controls. MiRNAs can be separated into two groups based on whether they regulate tumor suppressors or oncogenes. In our previous study, we found that miR-18a, which belongs to the miR17-92 cluster, is upregulated in prostate cancer; the objective of this study was to investigate the associated regulatory mechanisms. We found that miR-18a is upregulated in clinical tumor specimens and cancer cell lines. Our bioinformatics analysis showed that the serine/threonine-protein kinase 4 (STK4) 3′ untranslated region contains a highly conserved binding site for the miR-18a seed region. Luciferase reporter assays were performed to indicate that STK4 is a direct target of miR-18a. Interestingly, miR-18a knockdown decreased cell growth in prostate cancer cells and significantly decreased prostate tumor growth in in vivo nude mice experiments through STK4-mediated dephosphorylation of AKT and thereby inducing apoptosis. Our results suggest that miR-18a acts as an oncomiR targeting STK4 in prostate cancer, and inhibition of miR-18a expression may offer therapeutically beneficial option for prostate cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4007194  PMID: 24752237
STK4; prostate cancer; miR-18a
10.  IKK-β mediates hydrogen peroxide induced cell death through p85 S6K1 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2012;20(2):248-258.
The IκB kinase (IKK)/NF-κB pathway has been shown to be a major regulator in cell survival. However, the mechanisms through which IKK mediates cell death are not clear. In this study, we showed that IKK-β contributed to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced cell death independent of the NF-κB pathway. Our results demonstrated that the pro-death function of IKK-β under oxidative stress was mediated by p85 S6K1 (S6 kinase 1), but not p70 S6K1 through a rapamycin-insensitive and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 kinase-independent mechanism. We found that IKK-β associated with p85, but not p70 S6K1, which was required for H2O2-induced activation of p85 S6K1. IKK-β and p85 S6K1 contributed to H2O2-induced phosphorylation of Mdm2 (S166) and p53 accumulation. p85 S6K1 is critical for IKK-β-mediated cell death. Thus, these findings established a novel oxidative stress-responsive pathway that involves IKK-β, p85 S6K1 and Mdm2, which is response for H2O2-induced cell death. Our results have important implications for IKK-β and p85 S6K1 as potential targets for the prevention of diseases involved in oxidative stress-induced aberrant cell death.
PMCID: PMC3554328  PMID: 22955948
IKK-β; hydrogen peroxide; S6K1; mammalian target of rapamycin
11.  Potential autocrine regulation of interleukin-33/ST2 signaling of dendritic cells in allergic inflammation 
Mucosal immunology  2013;6(5):921-930.
This study identified a novel phenomenon that dendritic cells (DCs) produced interleukin (IL)-33 via Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated innate pathway. Mouse bone marrow–derived DCs were treated with or without microbial pathogens or recombinant murine IL-33. IL-33 mRNA and protein were found to be expressed by DCs and largely induced by several microbial pathogens, highly by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and flagellin. Using two mouse models of topical challenge by LPS and flagellin and experimental allergic conjunctivitis, IL-33-producing DCs were observed in ocular mucosal surface and the draining cervical lymph nodes in vivo. The increased expression levels of myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88 (MyD88), nuclear factor (NF)-κB1, NF-κB2, and RelA accompanied by NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation were observed in DCs exposed to flagellin. IL-33 induction by flagellin was significantly blocked by TLR5 antibody or NF-κB inhibitor quinazoline and diminished in DCs from MyD88 knockout mice. IL-33 stimulated the expression of DC maturation markers, CD40 and CD80, and proallergic cytokines and chemokines, OX40L, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, CCL17 (C-C motif chemokine ligand 17), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α), and IL-1β. This stimulatory effect of IL-33 in DCs was significantly blocked by ST2 antibody or soluble ST2. Our findings demonstrate that DCs produce IL-33 via TLR/NF-κB signaling pathways, suggesting a molecular mechanism by which local allergic inflammatory response may be amplified by DC-produced IL-33 through potential autocrine regulation.
PMCID: PMC3904307  PMID: 23299617
12.  Magnetic and structural transitions of SrFe2As2 at high pressure and low temperature 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:3685.
One of key issues in studying iron based superconductors is to understand how the magnetic phase of the parent compounds evolves. Here we report the systematic investigation of paramagnetic to antiferromagnetic and tetragonal to orthorhombic structural transitions of “122” SrFe2As2 parent compound using combined high resolution synchrotron Mössbauer spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction techniques in a cryogenically cooled high pressure diamond anvil cell. It is found that although the two transitions are coupled at 205 K at ambient pressure, they are concurrently suppressed to much lower temperatures near a quantum critical pressure of approximately 4.8 GPa where the antiferromagnetic state transforms into bulk superconducting state. Our results indicate that the lattice distortions and magnetism jointly play a critical role in inducing superconductivity in iron based compounds.
PMCID: PMC3890939  PMID: 24418845
13.  A pilot study of yogic meditation for family dementia caregivers with depressive symptoms: Effects on mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity 
This study examined the effects of brief daily yogic meditation on mental health, cognitive functioning, and immune cell telomerase activity in family dementia caregivers with mild depressive symptoms.
Thirty-nine family dementia caregivers (mean age 60.3 years old (SD=10.2)) were randomized to practicing Kirtan Kriya or listening to relaxation music for 12 minutes per day for eight weeks. The severity of depressive symptoms, mental and cognitive functioning were assessed at baseline and follow-up. Telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMBC) was examined in peripheral PBMC pre- and post-intervention.
The meditation group showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and greater improvement in mental health and cognitive functioning compared to the relaxation group. In the meditation group, 65.2% showed 50% improvement on the Hamilton Depression Rating scale and 52% of the participants showed 50% improvement on the Mental Health Composite Summary score (MCS) of the SF-36 scale; compared to 31.2% and 19% respectively in the relaxation group (pp<0.05). The meditation group showed 43% improvement in telomerase activity compared to 3.7% in the relaxation group (p=0.05).
This pilot study found that brief daily meditation practices by family dementia caregivers can lead to improved mental and cognitive functioning, and lower levels of depressive symptoms. This improvement is accompanied by an increase in telomerase activity suggesting improvement in stress-induced cellular aging. These results need to be confirmed in a larger sample.
PMCID: PMC3423469  PMID: 22407663
Dementia caregiver; stress; depression; resilience; cognition; Kirtan Kriya; yoga; meditation; relaxation; telomerase; NFkB
14.  Randomized trial of nutrition education added to internet-based information and exercise at the work place for weight loss in a racially diverse population of overweight women 
Nutrition & Diabetes  2013;3(12):e98-.
Obesity in the United States is highly prevalent, approaching 60% for black women. We investigated whether nutrition education sessions at the work place added to internet-based wellness information and exercise resources would facilitate weight and fat mass loss in a racially diverse population of overweight female employees.
A total of 199 (average body mass index 33.9±6.3 kg m−2) nondiabetic women (57% black) at our institution were randomized to a 6-month program of either internet-based wellness information (WI) combined with dietitian-led nutrition education group sessions (GS) weekly for 3 months and then monthly with shift in emphasis to weight loss maintenance (n=99) or to WI alone (n=100). All were given access to exercise rooms convenient to their work site. Fat mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
WI+GS subjects lost more weight than WI subjects at 3 months (−2.2±2.8 vs −1.0±3.0 kg, P>0.001). Weight (−2.7±3.9 vs −2.0±3.9 kg) and fat mass (−2.2±3.1 vs −1.7±3.7 kg) loss at 6 months was significant for WI+GS and WI groups (both P<0.001), but without significant difference between groups (both P>0.10); 27% of the WI+GS group achieved ⩾5% loss of initial weight as did 18% of the WI group (P=0.180). Blacks and whites similarly completed the study (67 vs 74%, P=0.303), lost weight (−1.8±3.4 vs −3.3±5.2 kg, P=0.255) and fat mass (−1.6±2.7 vs −2.5±4.3 kg, P=0.532), and achieved ⩾5% loss of initial weight (21 vs 32%, P=0.189), irrespective of group assignment.
Overweight women provided with internet-based wellness information and exercise resources at the work site lost weight and fat mass, with similar achievement by black and white women. Additional weight loss benefit of nutrition education sessions, apparent at 3 months, was lost by 6 months and may require special emphasis on subjects who fail to achieve weight loss goals to show continued value.
PMCID: PMC3877430  PMID: 24366370
obesity; adiposity; weight loss program; racial disparity; women's health
15.  Large-angular separation of particles induced by cascaded deflection angles in optical sorting 
Applied physics letters  2008;93(26):263901-363903.
A composite microlens array (MLA) with two cascaded guiding axes has been fabricated to achieve a large lateral separation of an object with different refractive indices or sizes. The MLA projects a composite pattern formed by its focal spots into a microchamber for optical sorting in a microscopic system. This approach enables passive, high power, efficient, and continuous microfluidic sorting without requiring complicated optical assembly. Separation of particles with different refractive indices to a lateral angle of 40° is experimentally demonstrated with moderate laser power.
PMCID: PMC3757087  PMID: 23997243
16.  A critical role of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and its' in vivo ligands in basal radio-resistance 
Cell Death & Disease  2013;4(5):e649-.
Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) plays a critical role in innate and acquired immunity, but its role in radio-resistance is unknown. We used TLR4 knockout (KO,−/−) mice and gut commensal depletion methods, to test the influence of TLR4 and its' in vivo agonist on basal radio-resistance. We found that mice deficient in TLR4 were more susceptible to IR-induced mortality and morbidity. Mortality of TLR4-deficient mice after IR was associated with a severe and persistent bone marrow cell loss. Injection of lipopolysaccharide into normal mice, which is known to activate TLR4 in vivo, induced radio-resistance. Moreover, TLR4 in vivo ligands are required for basal radio-resistance. We found that exposure to radiation leads to significant endotoxemia that also confers endogenous protection from irradiation. The circulating endotoxins appear to originate from the gut, as sterilization of the gut with antibiotics lead to increased mortality from radiation. Further data indicated that Myd88, but not TRIF, may be the critical adaptor in TLR4-induced radio-resistance. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that TLR4 plays a critical role in basal radio-resistance. Our data suggest, it is important not to give antibiotics that may sterilize the gut before the whole body irradiation. Further, these data also suggest that management of gut flora through antibiotic or possibly probiotic therapy may alter the innate response to the total body irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3674368  PMID: 23722538
ionizing radiation; toll-like receptor 4; lipopolysaccharide; commensal microflora; Myd88
17.  Coding regions of INHBA, SFRP4 and HOXA10 are not implicated in familial endometriosis linked to chromosome 7p13–15 
Molecular Human Reproduction  2011;17(10):605-611.
Endometriosis is a common, chronic gynaecological disease affecting up to 10% of women in their reproductive years. Its aetiology still remains unclear, but evidence indicates genetic factors play a role. We previously identified a region of significant linkage on chromosome 7 in 52 families comprising at least three affected women, stretching ∼6.4 Mb. We screened coding regions and parts of the regulatory regions of three candidate genes with a known role in endometrial development and function—INHBA, SFRP4 and HOXA10—located under or very near the linkage peak, for potential causal mutations using Sanger sequencing. Sequencing was conducted in 47 cases from the 15 families contributing most to the linkage signal (Zmean ≥ 1). Minor allele frequencies (MAFs) of observed variants were compared with MAFs from two publicly available reference populations of European ancestry: 60 individuals in HapMap and 150 individuals in the 1000 Genomes Project. A total of 11 variants were found, 5 (45%) of which were common (MAF > 0.05) among the 15 case families and the reference populations (P-values for MAF difference: 0.88–1.00). The remaining six were rare and unlikely to be individually or cumulatively responsible for the linkage signal. The results indicate that the coding regions of these three genes do not harbour mutations responsible for linkage to endometriosis in these families.
PMCID: PMC3172037  PMID: 21576276
endometriosis; aetiology; PCR sequencing; candidate gene; coding region
18.  MicroRNA-10b pleiotropically regulates invasion, angiogenicity and apoptosis of tumor cells resembling mesenchymal subtype of glioblastoma multiforme 
Cell Death & Disease  2012;3(10):e398-.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a heterogeneous disease despite its seemingly uniform pathology. Deconvolution of The Cancer Genome Atlas's GBM gene expression data has unveiled the existence of distinct gene expression signature underlying discrete GBM subtypes. Recent conflicting findings proposed that microRNA (miRNA)-10b exclusively regulates glioma growth or invasion but not both. We showed that silencing of miRNA-10b by baculoviral decoy vectors in a glioma cell line resembling the mesenchymal subtype of GBM reduces its growth, invasion and angiogenesis while promoting apoptosis in vitro. In an orthotopic human glioma mouse model, inhibition of miRNA-10b diminishes the invasiveness, angiogenicity and growth of the mesenchymal subtype-like glioma cells in the brain and significantly prolonged survival of glioma-bearing mice. We demonstrated that the pleiotropic nature of miRNA-10b was due to its suppression of multiple tumor suppressors, including TP53, FOXO3, CYLD, PAX6, PTCH1, HOXD10 and NOTCH1. In particular, siRNA-mediated knockdown experiments identified TP53, PAX6, NOTCH1 and HOXD10 as invasion regulatory genes in our mesenchymal subtype-like glioma cells. By interrogating the REMBRANDT, we noted that dysregulation of many direct targets of miRNA-10b was associated with significantly poorer patient survival. Thus, our study uncovers a novel role for miRNA-10b in regulating angiogenesis and suggests that miRNA-10b may be a pleiotropic regulator of gliomagenesis.
PMCID: PMC3481123  PMID: 23034333
microRNA-10b; angiogenicity; invasion; apoptosis; glioblastoma
19.  Oncogenic activation of c-Abl in non-small cell lung cancer cells lacking FUS1 expression: inhibition of c-Abl by the tumor suppressor gene product Fus1 
Oncogene  2007;26(49):6989-6996.
In lung cancer, frequent loss of one allele of chromosome 3p is seen in both small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), providing evidence of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in this chromosomal region. The mechanism of Fus1 tumor suppressor activity is unknown. We have found that a Fus1 peptide inhibits the Abl tyrosine kinase in vitro (IC50 35 μM). The inhibitory Fus1 sequence was derived from a region that was deleted in a mutant FUS1 gene (FUS1 (1–80)) detected in some lung cancer cell lines. Importantly, a stearic acid-modified form of this peptide was required for the inhibition, but stearic acid alone was not inhibitory. Two NSCLC cell lines, which lack expression of wild-type Fus1, contain activated c-Abl. Forced expression of an inducible FUS1 cDNA in H1299 NSCLC cells decreased levels of activated c-Abl and inhibited its tyrosine kinase activity. Similarly, treatment of c-Abl immune complexes with the inhibitory Fus1 peptide also reduced the level of c-Abl in these immune complexes. The size and number of colonies of the NSCLC cell line, H1299, in soft agar was strongly inhibited by the Abl kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate. Co-expression of FUS1 and c-ABL in COS1 cells blocked activation of c-Abl tyrosine kinase. In contrast, co-expression of mutant FUS1 (1–80) with c-ABL had little inhibitory activity against c-Abl. These findings provide strong evidence that c-Abl is a possible target in NSCLC patients that have reduced expression of Fus1 in their tumor cells.
PMCID: PMC3457636  PMID: 17486070
c-Abl; FUS1; NSCLC; lung cancer; imatinib
20.  Targeting colon cancer stem cells using a new curcumin analogue, GO-Y030 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(2):212-220.
Persistent activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) is commonly detected in many types of cancer, including colon cancer. To date, whether STAT3 is activated and the effects of STAT3 inhibition by a newly developed curcumin analogue, GO-Y030, in colon cancer stem cells are still unknown.
Flow cytometry was used to isolate colon cancer stem cells, which are characterised by both aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)-positive and CD133-positive subpopulations (ALDH+/CD133+). The levels of STAT3 phosphorylation and the effects of STAT3 inhibition by a newly developed curcumin analogue, GO-Y030, that targets STAT3 in colon cancer stem cells were examined.
Our results observed that ALDH+/CD133+ colon cancer cells expressed higher levels of phosphorylated STAT3 than ALDH-negative/CD133-negative colon cancer cells, suggesting that STAT3 is activated in colon cancer stem cells. GO-Y030 and curcumin inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation, cell viability, tumoursphere formation in colon cancer stem cells. GO-Y030 also reduced STAT3 downstream target gene expression and induced apoptosis in colon cancer stem cells. Furthermore, GO-Y030 suppressed tumour growth of cancer stem cells from both SW480 and HCT-116 colon cancer cell lines in the mouse model.
Our results indicate that STAT3 is a novel therapeutic target in colon cancer stem cells, and inhibition of activated STAT3 in cancer stem cells by GO-Y030 may offer an effective treatment for colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3142799  PMID: 21694723
STAT3; curcumin analogue; colon cancer; cancer stem cells; ALDH; CD133
21.  WW domain-containing oxidoreductase promotes neuronal differentiation via negative regulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β 
Cell Death and Differentiation  2011;19(6):1049-1059.
WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX), a putative tumour suppressor, is suggested to be involved in the hyperphosphorylation of Alzheimer's Tau. Tau is a microtubule-associated protein that has an important role in microtubule assembly and stability. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) has a vital role in Tau hyperphosphorylation at its microtubule-binding domains. Hyperphosphorylated Tau has a low affinity for microtubules, thus disrupting microtubule stability. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that WWOX contains two potential GSK3β-binding FXXXLI/VXRLE motifs. Immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation and molecular modelling showed that WWOX interacts physically with GSK3β. We demonstrated biochemically that WWOX can bind directly to GSK3β through its short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase/reductase domain. Moreover, the overexpression of WWOX inhibited GSK3β-stimulated S396 and S404 phosphorylation within the microtubule domains of Tau, indicating that WWOX is involved in regulating GSK3β activity in cells. WWOX repressed GSK3β activity, restored the microtubule assembly activity of Tau and promoted neurite outgrowth in SH-SY5Y cells. Conversely, RNAi-mediated knockdown of WWOX in retinoic acid (RA)-differentiated SH-SY5Y cells inhibited neurite outgrowth. These results suggest that WWOX is likely to be involved in regulating GSK3β activity, reducing the level of phosphorylated Tau, and subsequently promoting neurite outgrowth during neuron differentiation. In summary, our data reveal a novel mechanism by which WWOX promotes neuronal differentiation in response to RA.
PMCID: PMC3354054  PMID: 22193544
22.  Fatty Acid Profiles and Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase Gene Expression in Longissimus dorsi Muscle of Growing Lambs Influenced by Addition of Tea Saponins and Soybean Oil 
This study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary addition of tea saponins (TS) and soybean oil (SO) on fatty acid profile and gene expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) in longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of growing lambs. Thirty-two Huzhou lambs were assigned to four dietary treatments in a 2×2 factorial arrangement with main effects of TS (0 or 3 g/d) and SO (0 or 30 g/kg of diet DM). The diet without additives was considered as NTNS (no TS or SO). After a feeding trial for 60 d, four lambs of each treatment were slaughtered to collect the samples of LD muscle. Percentage of trans-11 vaccenic acid was enhanced (p<0.05) in muscle of lambs fed TS and SO. The proportion of total conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was increased (p<0.05) by SO, but decreased (p<0.05) by TS in LD muscle. The percentage of total saturated fatty acids in muscle was decreased (p<0.05) by addition of TS and SO, while addition of SO increased (p<0.05) the percentage of total polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ratio of cis-9, trans-11 CLA to tran-11 vaccenic acid was decreased (p<0.05) by TS, but increased (p<0.05) by SO. The same effects were observed in SCD mRNA expression. From these results it is indicated that including TS and SO in the diet of growing lambs affect the fatty acid profiles of LD muscle and that the proportion of cis-9, trans-11 CLA in the muscle influenced by TS and SO may be related to the SCD gene expression.
PMCID: PMC4093115  PMID: 25049609
Conjugated Linoleic Acid; Lamb; Soybean Oil; Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase; Tea Saponins
23.  Planar Steering of a Single Ferrofluid Drop by Optimal Minimum Power Dynamic Feedback Control of Four Electromagnets at a Distance 
Any single permanent or electro magnet will always attract a magnetic fluid. For this reason it is difficult to precisely position and manipulate ferrofluid at a distance from magnets. We develop and experimentally demonstrate optimal (minimum electrical power) 2-dimensional manipulation of a single droplet of ferrofluid by feedback control of 4 external electromagnets. The control algorithm we have developed takes into account, and is explicitly designed for, the nonlinear (fast decay in space, quadratic in magnet strength) nature of how the magnets actuate the ferrofluid, and it also corrects for electro-magnet charging time delays. With this control, we show that dynamic actuation of electro-magnets held outside a domain can be used to position a droplet of ferrofluid to any desired location and steer it along any desired path within that domain – an example of precision control of a ferrofluid by magnets acting at a distance.
PMCID: PMC3014617  PMID: 21218157
Magnetic particles; magnetic carriers; nano-particles; ferrofluid; magnetic drug delivery; manipulation at a distance; control; feedback; electromagnets; dielectrophoresis
24.  Establishment of a New Human Pneumococcal Standard Reference Serum, 007sp ▿ 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2011;18(10):1728-1736.
Lot 89SF has been the reference standard serum pool used in pneumococcal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) since 1990. In 2005, it was estimated that there remained between 2 and 5 years' supply of lot 89SF. Since lot 89SF was the reference standard used in the evaluation of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevnar (PCV7), the link to clinical efficacy would be severed if stocks became completely depleted. Furthermore, demonstration of immune responses comparable to those elicited by PCV7 is a licensure approach used for new pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, so a replacement reference standard was required. A total of 278 volunteers were immunized with the 23-valent unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine Pneumovax II, and a unit of blood was obtained twice within 120 days following immunization. Plasma was prepared, pooled, and confirmed to be free from hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV. The pooled serum was poured at 6 ml per vial into 15,333 vials and lyophilized. Immunological bridging of 007sp to 89SF was used to establish equivalent reference values for 13 pneumococcal capsular serotypes (1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F) by five independent laboratories. Antibody concentrations in 007sp were established relative to the lot 89SF reference preparation using the WHO reference ELISA. Subsequently, 12 existing WHO calibration sera had concentrations reassigned for 13 pneumococcal serotypes using new serum 007sp as the reference, and these were compared to concentrations relative to the original reference serum. Agreement was excellent for the 12 WHO calibration sera. The 007sp preparation has replaced 89SF as the pneumococcal reference standard. Sufficient quantity of this new preparation is available such that, with judicious use, it should be available for at least 25 years.
PMCID: PMC3187044  PMID: 21852547
25.  Endogenous insulin secretion in critically ill patients 
Critical Care  2012;16(Suppl 1):P168.
PMCID: PMC3363586

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