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1.  2-(4-Hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-benzothiazole suppresses tumor progression and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells by inducing ubiquitin ligase CHIP 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7095.
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women and has poor survival and high recurrence rates for aggressive metastatic disease. Notably, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a highly aggressive cancer and there is no preferred agent for TNBC therapy. In this study, we show that a novel agent, 2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-benzothiazole (YL-109), has ability to inhibit breast cancer cell growth and invasiveness in vitro and in vivo. In addition, YL-109 repressed the sphere-forming ability and the expression of stem cell markers in MDA-MB-231 mammosphere cultures. YL-109 increased the expression of carboxyl terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein (CHIP), which suppresses tumorigenic and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the oncogenic pathway. YL-109 induced CHIP transcription because of the recruitment of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) to upstream of CHIP gene in MDA-MB-231 cells. Consistently, the antitumor effects of YL-109 were depressed by CHIP or AhR knockdown in MDA-MB-231 cells. Taken together, our findings indicate that a novel agent YL-109 inhibits cell growth and metastatic potential by inducing CHIP expression through AhR signaling and reduces cancer stem cell properties in MDA-MB-231 cells. It suggests that YL-109 is a potential candidate for breast cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4235287  PMID: 25403352
2.  Identification of a Novel Compound That Suppresses Breast Cancer Invasiveness by Inhibiting Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling via Estrogen Receptor α 
Journal of Cancer  2014;5(5):336-343.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of death by cancer among females worldwide. An overwhelming majority of these deaths is because of metastasis. Estrogen stimulates and promotes growth of breast tumors, whereas transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling promotes invasion and metastasis. We previously reported that estrogen and estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) suppressed breast cancer metastasis by inhibiting TGF-β signaling, whereas antiestrogens that suppress breast cancer growth, such as the selective ER modulator tamoxifen (TAM) or the pure antiestrogen fulvestrant (ICI 182,780), cannot suppress TGF-β signaling or breast cancer invasiveness. Therefore, we predicted that a compound that inhibits TGF-β signaling but does not facilitate ERα signaling would be ideal for suppressing breast cancer invasiveness and growth. In the present study, we identified an ideal candidate compound, N-23. Like estrogen, N-23 strongly decreased expression of TGF-β/Smad target gene plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), but it did not increase the expression of ERα target gene pS2. While estrogen decreased the levels of phosphorylated Smad2 and Smad3, N-23 had no effect. In addition, TGF-β-dependent recruitment of Smad3 to the PAI-1 gene promoter was inhibited in the presence of estrogen or N-23. We also investigated the effects of N-23 on proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells. In contrast to estrogen, N-23 inhibited the cellular proliferation of breast cancer cells. Moreover, we showed that N-23 suppressed the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells to the same extent as by estrogen. Taken together, our findings indicate that N-23 may be a candidate compound that is effective in inhibiting breast cancer progression.
PMCID: PMC3982180  PMID: 24723976
TGF-β; ERα; breast cancer; compounds; invasion and metastasis.
3.  A nonclassical vitamin D receptor pathway suppresses renal fibrosis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(11):4579-4594.
The TGF-β superfamily comprises pleiotropic cytokines that regulate SMAD and non-SMAD signaling. TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction is known to be involved in tissue fibrosis, including renal fibrosis. Here, we found that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3–bound [1,25(OH)2D3-bound] vitamin D receptor (VDR) specifically inhibits TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction through direct interaction with SMAD3. In mouse models of tissue fibrosis, 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment prevented renal fibrosis through the suppression of TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction. Based on the structure of the VDR-ligand complex, we generated 2 synthetic ligands. These ligands selectively inhibited TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction without activating VDR-mediated transcription and significantly attenuated renal fibrosis in mice. These results indicate that 1,25(OH)2D3-dependent suppression of TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction is independent of VDR-mediated transcriptional activity. In addition, these ligands did not cause hypercalcemia resulting from stimulation of the transcriptional activity of the VDR. Thus, our study provides a new strategy for generating chemical compounds that specifically inhibit TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction. Since TGF-β–SMAD signal transduction is reportedly involved in several disorders, our results will aid in the development of new drugs that do not cause detectable adverse effects, such as hypercalcemia.
PMCID: PMC3809783  PMID: 24135137
4.  Successful treatment of a 14-year-old patient with intestinal malrotation with laparoscopic Ladd procedure: case report and literature review 
Midgut malrotation is an anomaly of intestinal rotation that occurs during fetal development and usually presents in the neonatal period. We present a rare case of malrotation in a 14-year-old patient who presented with cramping, generalized right abdominal pain, and vomiting for a duration of one day. A computed tomography abdominal scan and upper gastrointestinal contrast studies showed malrotation of the small bowel without volvulus. Laparoscopy revealed typical Ladd’s bands and a distended flabby third and fourth duodenal portion extrinsically obstructing the misplaced duodeno-jejunal junction. The Ladd procedure, including widening of the mesenteric base and appendectomy, was performed. Symptoms completely resolved in a half-year follow up period. Patients with midgut malrotation may present with vague abdominal pain, intestinal obstruction, or intestinal ischemia. The laparoscopic Ladd procedure is feasible and safe, and it appears to be as effective as the standard open Ladd procedure in the diagnosis and treatment of teenage or adult patients with intestinal malrotation.
PMCID: PMC3663692  PMID: 23684081
Malrotation; Laparoscopic surgery; Ladd procedure; Acute abdomen; Teenager
5.  The E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Activity of Trip12 Is Essential for Mouse Embryogenesis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25871.
Protein ubiquitination is a post-translational protein modification that regulates many biological conditions [1], [2], [3], [4]. Trip12 is a HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase that ubiquitinates ARF and APP-BP1 [5], [6]. However, the significance of Trip12 in vivo is largely unknown. Here we show that the ubiquitin ligase activity of Trip12 is indispensable for mouse embryogenesis. A homozygous mutation in Trip12 (Trip12mt/mt) that disrupts the ubiquitin ligase activity resulted in embryonic lethality in the middle stage of development. Trip12mt/mt embryos exhibited growth arrest and increased expression of the negative cell cycle regulator p16 [7], [8], [9], [10]. In contrast, Trip12mt/mt ES cells were viable. They had decreased proliferation, but maintained both the undifferentiated state and the ability to differentiate. Trip12mt/mt ES cells had increased levels of the BAF57 protein (a component of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex) and altered gene expression patterns. These data suggest that Trip12 is involved in global gene expression and plays an important role in mouse development.
PMCID: PMC3196520  PMID: 22028794

Results 1-5 (5)