To compare different methods in order to assess adherence and persistence with oral endocrine therapy in women diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) in Catalonia.
Materials and methods:
This study covered all women newly diagnosed with stage I, II or IIIa BC and positive hormone receptors at six hospitals in Catalonia (Spain) in 2004. Adherence was assessed on the basis of physician report and patient self-report using a telephone questionnaire. Persistence was measured by refill prescriptions. We used the Kappa index to compare adherence measures and logistic regression to evaluate adherence-related risk factors.
The study covered a total of 692 women. Adherence ranged from 92% (self-report) to 94.7% (physician report), depending on the measure used; persistence was 74.7% at 5 years of follow-up. Low concordance between measures was observed (Kappa range: 0.018–0.267). Patients aged 50–74 years showed higher adherence than those aged <50 years. Adherence was also associated with: adjuvant chemotherapy and sequential hormonal therapy.
Concordance between the different measures was remarkably low, indicating the need for further research. Adherence is an issue in the management of BC patients taking oral drugs, and should be assessed in clinical practice.
early breast cancer; adherence; persistence; endocrine therapy
Intrinsic disorder is abundant in viral genomes and provides conformational plasticity to its protein products. In order to gain insight into its structure-function relationships, we carried out a comprehensive analysis of structural propensities within the intrinsically disordered N-terminal domain from the human papillomavirus type-16 E7 oncoprotein (E7N). Two E7N segments located within the conserved CR1 and CR2 regions present transient α-helix structure. The helix in the CR1 region spans residues L8 to L13 and overlaps with the E2F mimic linear motif. The second helix, located within the highly acidic CR2 region, presents a pH-dependent structural transition. At neutral pH the helix spans residues P17 to N29, which include the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor LxCxE binding motif (residues 21–29), while the acidic CKII-PEST region spanning residues E33 to I38 populates polyproline type II (PII) structure. At pH 5.0, the CR2 helix propagates up to residue I38 at the expense of loss of PII due to charge neutralization of acidic residues. Using truncated forms of HPV-16 E7, we confirmed that pH-induced changes in α-helix content are governed by the intrinsically disordered E7N domain. Interestingly, while at both pH the region encompassing the LxCxE motif adopts α-helical structure, the isolated 21–29 fragment including this stretch is unable to populate an α-helix even at high TFE concentrations. Thus, the E7N domain can populate dynamic but discrete structural ensembles by sampling α-helix-coil-PII-ß-sheet structures. This high plasticity may modulate the exposure of linear binding motifs responsible for its multi-target binding properties, leading to interference with key cell signaling pathways and eventually to cellular transformation by the virus.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is a major infectious agent that cause pediatric respiratory disease worldwide. Considered one of the main virulence factors of hRSV, NS1 is known to suppress type I interferon response and signaling, thus favoring immune evasion. This, together with the fact that NS1 is unique to hRSV among paramyxoviruses, and that has no homology within databases, prompted us to investigate its conformational stability, equilibria and folding. Temperature cooperatively induces conformational changes leading to soluble spherical oligomers (NS1SOs) with amyloid-like or repetitive ß-sheet structures. The onset of the thermal transition is 45°C, and the oligomerization rate is increased by 25-fold from 40 to 46°C. Conformational stability analyzed by chemical perturbation of the NS1 monomer shows a two-state, highly reversible and cooperative unfolding, with a denaturant midpoint of 3.8 M, and a free energy change of 9.6±0.9 kcal⋅mol−1. However, two transitions were observed in the chemical perturbation of NS1SOs: the first, from 2.0 to 3.0 M of denaturant, corresponds to a conformational transition and dissociation of the oligomers to the native monomer, indicating a substantial energy barrier. The second transition (2.0 to 3.5 M denaturant) corresponds to full unfolding of the native NS1 monomer. In addition, different cosolvent perturbations converged on the formation of ß-sheet enriched soluble oligomeric species, with secondary structure resembling those obtained after mild temperature treatment. Thus, a unique protein without homologs, structure or mechanistic information may switch between monomers and oligomers in conditions compatible with the cellular environment and be potentially modulated by crowding or compartmentalization. NS1 may act as a reservoir for increased levels and impact on protein turnover.
The role of inhaled steroids in patients with chronic respiratory diseases is a matter of debate due to the potential effect on the development and prognosis of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). We assessed whether treatment with inhaled steroids in patients with chronic bronchitis, COPD or asthma and CAP may affect early outcome of the acute pneumonic episode.
Over 1-year period, all population-based cases of CAP in patients with chronic bronchitis, COPD or asthma were registered. Use of inhaled steroids were registered and patients were followed up to 30 days after diagnosis to assess severity of CAP and clinical course (hospital admission, ICU admission and mortality).
Of 473 patients who fulfilled the selection criteria, inhaled steroids were regularly used by 109 (23%). In the overall sample, inhaled steroids were associated with a higher risk of hospitalization (OR=1.96, p = 0.002) in the bivariate analysis, but this effect disappeared after adjusting by other severity-related factors (adjusted OR=1.08, p=0.787). This effect on hospitalization also disappeared when considering only patients with asthma (OR=1.38, p=0.542), with COPD alone (OR=4.68, p=0.194), but a protective effect was observed in CB patients (OR=0.15, p=0.027). Inhaled steroids showed no association with ICU admission, days to clinical recovery and mortality in the overall sample and in any disease subgroup.
Treatment with inhaled steroids is not a prognostic factor in COPD and asthmatic patients with CAP, but could prevent hospitalization for CAP in patients with clinical criteria of chronic bronchitis.
Blood vessel-specific fluorescent transgenic mice are excellent tools to study the development of the vasculature and angiogenic processes. There is growing interest in the biological processes relevant to endothelial cells but limited tools exist to selectively evaluate subcellular functions of this cell type in vivo. Here, we report a novel transgenic animal model that expresses mitochondrially targeted enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) via the Hb9 promoter, a homeobox transcription factor with limited known involvement in the vasculature. Random integration of the transgene, containing the entire mouse Hb9 promoter, was found to be expressed in a variety of vascularised tissues. Further inspection revealed that Mito-EGFP localizes to the endothelial cells (ECs) of a subset of microvascular blood vessels, especially in the central nervous system (CNS), heart, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and skin. We demonstrate the utility of this novel transgenic mouse, named Endo-MitoEGFP, in the detection, imaging, and isolation of microvascular ECs and evaluation of EC mitochondrial function isolated from adult animals. These transgenic mice will be useful to studies of ECs in development, physiology, and pathology.
Aberrant regulation of the erythroblastosis oncogene B (ErbB) family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and their ligands is common in human cancers. ErbB3 is required in luminal mammary epithelial cells (MECs) for growth and survival. Since breast cancer phenotypes may reflect biological traits of the MECs from which they originate, we tested the hypothesis that ErbB3 drives luminal breast cancer growth. We found higher ERBB3 expression and more frequent ERBB3 gene copy gains in luminal A/B breast cancers compared with other breast cancer subtypes. In cell culture, ErbB3 increased growth of luminal breast cancer cells. Targeted depletion of ErbB3 with an anti-ErbB3 antibody decreased 3D colony growth, increased apoptosis, and decreased tumor growth in vivo. Treatment of clinical breast tumors with the antiendocrine drug fulvestrant resulted in increased ErbB3 expression and PI3K/mTOR signaling. Depletion of ErbB3 in fulvestrant-treated tumor cells reduced PI3K/mTOR signaling, thus decreasing tumor cell survival and tumor growth. Fulvestrant treatment increased phosphorylation of all ErbB family RTKs; however, phospho-RTK upregulation was not seen in tumors treated with both fulvestrant and anti-ErbB3. These data indicate that upregulation of ErbB3 in luminal breast cancer cells promotes growth, survival, and resistance to fulvestrant, thus suggesting ErbB3 as a target for breast cancer treatment.
Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) infection causes acute respiratory tract infections (RTI) which can result in hospitalization of both children and adults. To date, no antiviral or vaccine is available for this common viral infection. Immunomodulators could represent an interesting strategy for the treatment of severe viral infection. Recently, the role of protease-activated receptors (PAR) in inflammation, coagulation and infection processes has been of growing interest. Herein, the effects of a PAR1 agonist and a PAR1 antagonist on hMPV infection were investigated in BALB/c mice. Intranasal administration of the PAR1 agonist resulted in increased weight loss and mortality of infected mice. Conversely, the PAR1 antagonist was beneficial to hMPV infection by decreasing weight loss and clinical signs and by significantly reducing pulmonary inflammation, pro-inflammatory cytokine levels (including IL-6, KC and MCP-1) and recruitment of immune cells to the lungs. In addition, a significant reduction in pulmonary viral titers was also observed in the lungs of PAR1 antagonist-treated mice. Despite no apparent direct effect on virus replication during in vitro experiments, an important role for PAR1 in the regulation of furin expression in the lungs was shown for the first time. Further experiments indicated that the hMPV fusion protein can be cleaved by furin thus suggesting that PAR1 could have an effect on viral infectivity in addition to its immunomodulatory properties. Thus, inhibition of PAR1 by selected antagonists could represent an interesting strategy for decreasing the severity of paramyxovirus infections.
Myocardial infarct size is a strong predictor of cardiovascular events. Intravenous metoprolol before coronary reperfusion has been shown to reduce infarct size; however, it is unknown whether oral metoprolol initiated early after reperfusion, as clinical guidelines recommend, is similarly cardioprotective. We compared the extent of myocardial salvage associated with intravenous pre-reperfusion-metoprolol administration in comparison with oral post-reperfusion-metoprolol or placebo. We also studied the effect on suspected markers of reperfusion injury.
Thirty Yorkshire-pigs underwent a reperfused myocardial infarction, being randomized to pre-reperfusion-metoprolol, post-reperfusion-metoprolol or placebo. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was performed in eighteen pigs at day 3 for the quantification of salvaged myocardium. The amounts of at-risk and infarcted myocardium were quantified using T2-weighted and post-contrast delayed enhancement imaging, respectively. Twelve animals were sacrificed after 24 h for reperfusion injury analysis.
The pre-reperfusion-metoprolol group had significantly larger salvaged myocardium than the post-reperfusion-metoprolol or the placebo groups (31±4%, 13±6%, and 7±3% of myocardium at-risk respectively). Post-mortem analyses suggest lesser myocardial reperfusion injury in the pre-reperfusion-metoprolol in comparison with the other 2 groups (lower neutrophil infiltration, decreased myocardial apoptosis, and higher activation of the salvage-kinase phospho-Akt). Salvaged myocardium and reperfusion injury pair wise comparisons proved there were significant differences between the pre-reperfusion-metoprolol and the other 2 groups, but not among the latter two.
The intravenous administration of metoprolol before coronary reperfusion results in larger myocardial salvage than its oral administration initiated early after reperfusion. If confirmed in the clinical setting, the timing and route of β-blocker initiation could be revisited.
Myocardial infarction; Reperfusion injury; Beta-blockers; MRI; Cardioprotection; Myocardial salvage
Arabidopsis seedlings display rhythmic growth when grown under diurnal conditions, with maximal elongation rates occurring at the end of the night under short-day photoperiods. Current evidence indicates that this behavior involves the action of the growth-promoting bHLH factors PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) and PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 5 (PIF5) at the end of the night, through a coincidence mechanism that combines their transcriptional regulation by the circadian clock with control of protein accumulation by light. To assess the possible role of PIF3 in this process, we have analyzed hypocotyl responses and marker gene expression in pif single- and higher-order mutants. The data show that PIF3 plays a prominent role as a promoter of seedling growth under diurnal light/dark conditions, in conjunction with PIF4 and PIF5. In addition, we provide evidence that PIF3 functions in this process through its intrinsic transcriptional regulatory activity, at least in part by directly targeting growth-related genes, and independently of its ability to regulate phytochrome B (phyB) levels. Furthermore, in sharp contrast to PIF4 and PIF5, our data show that the PIF3 gene is not subject to transcriptional regulation by the clock, but that PIF3 protein abundance oscillates under diurnal conditions as a result of a progressive decline in PIF3 protein degradation mediated by photoactivated phyB, and consequent accumulation of the bHLH factor during the dark period. Collectively, the data suggest that phyB-mediated, post-translational regulation allows PIF3 accumulation to peak just before dawn, at which time it accelerates hypocotyl growth, together with PIF4 and PIF5, by directly regulating the induction of growth-related genes.
PIF3; hypocotyl elongation; short day; phytochrome-mediated degradation; transcriptional regulation; Arabidopsis
Chemotherapy resistance frequently drives tumour progression. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly characterized. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been shown to correlate with therapy resistance, but the functional link and signalling pathways remain to be elucidated. We report here that miR-30c, a human breast tumour prognostic marker, plays a pivotal role in chemo-resistance by a direct targeting of TWF1, which encodes an actin-binding protein and promotes EMT. An IL-6 family member, IL-11 was identified as a secondary target of TWF1 in the miR-30c signalling pathway. Expression of miR-30c inversely correlated with TWF1 and IL-11 levels in primary breast tumours and low IL-11 correlated with relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients. Our study demonstrates that miR-30c is transcriptionally regulated by GATA3 in breast tumours. Identification of a novel miRNA-mediated pathway that regulates chemo-resistance in breast cancer will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
Studies in animals showed that PCSK9 is involved in HDL metabolism. We investigated the molecular mechanism by which PCSK9 regulates HDL cholesterol concentration and also whether Pcsk9 inactivation might affect cholesterol efflux capacity of serum and atherosclerotic fatty streak volume.
Mass spectrometry and western blot were used to analyze the level of apolipoprotein E (APOE) and A1 (APOA1). A mouse model overexpressing human LDLR was used to test the effect of high levels of liver LDLR on the concentration of HDL cholesterol and APOE-containing HDL subfractions. Pcsk9 knockout males lacking LDLR and APOE were used to test whether LDLR and APOE are necessary for PCSK9-mediated HDL cholesterol regulation. We also investigated the effects of Pcsk9 inactivation on cholesterol efflux capacity of serum using THP-1 and J774.A1 macrophage foam cells and atherosclerotic fatty streak volume in the aortic sinus of Pcsk9 knockout males fed an atherogenic diet.
APOE and APOA1 were reduced in the same HDL subfractions of Pcsk9 knockout and human LDLR transgenic male mice. In Pcsk9/Ldlr double-knockout mice, HDL cholesterol concentration was lower than in Ldlr knockout mice and higher than in wild-type controls. In Pcsk9/Apoe double-knockout mice, HDL cholesterol concentration was similar to that of Apoe knockout males. In Pcsk9 knockout males, THP-1 macrophage cholesterol efflux capacity of serum was reduced and the fatty streak lesion volume was similar to wild-type controls.
In mice, LDLR and APOE are important factors for PCSK9-mediated HDL regulation. Our data suggest that, although LDLR plays a major role in PCSK9-mediated regulation of HDL cholesterol concentration, it is not the only mechanism and that, regardless of mechanism, APOE is essential. Pcsk9 inactivation decreases the HDL cholesterol concentration and cholesterol efflux capacity in serum, but does not increase atherosclerotic fatty streak volume.
Apolipoprotein E; Atherosclerotic fatty streak; Low-density lipoprotein receptor; Macrophage foam cell; Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9
Gene-expression profiling has had a considerable impact on our understanding of breast cancer biology, and more recently on clinical care. Two statistical approaches underlie these advancements. Supervised analyses have led to the development of gene-expression signatures designed to predict survival and/or treatment response, which has resulted in the development of new clinical assays. Unsupervised analyses have identified numerous biological signatures including signatures of cell type of origin, signaling pathways, and of cellular proliferation. Included within these biological signatures are the molecular subtypes known as the ‘intrinsic’ subtypes of breast cancer. This classification has expanded our appreciation of the heterogeneity of breast cancer and has provided a way to sub-classify the disease in a manner that might have clinical utility. In this Review, we discuss the clinical utility of gene-expression-based assays and their technical potential as clinical tools vis-a-vis the performance of breast cancer biomarkers that are the current standard of care.
The clinical efficacy and safety of a drug is determined by its activity profile across multiple proteins in the proteome. However, designing drugs with a specific multi-target profile is both complex and difficult. Therefore methods to rationally design drugs a priori against profiles of multiple proteins would have immense value in drug discovery. We describe a new approach for the automated design of ligands against profiles of multiple drug targets. The method is demonstrated by the evolution of an approved acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drug into brain penetrable ligands with either specific polypharmacology or exquisite selectivity profiles for G-protein coupled receptors. Overall, 800 ligand-target predictions of prospectively designed ligands were tested experimentally, of which 75% were confirmed correct. We also demonstrate target engagement in vivo. The approach can be a useful source of drug leads where multi-target profiles are required to achieve either selectivity over other drug targets or a desired polypharmacology.
The purpose of this study is to assess the potential relationships of circulating IGF-I, adrenal and gonadal steroids, and polymorphism ER22/23EK of the glucocorticoid receptor (GC-R) gene with nutritional, functional and cognitive deterioration in a group of elderly people living independently. This is a population-based prospective study with 313 individuals (160 women and 153 men, 76.7 ± 7 years) who participated. A physical exam, evaluation of functional capacity (Barthel scale), cognitive function (mini-mental state examination-MMSE), geriatric depression scale (GDS), mininutritional assessment (MNA-SF) and cardiometabolic status were performed at basal time point and at 2 years of follow-up. Biological measurements included cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulphate, testosterone, estradiol, IGF-I and polymorphism ER22/23EK of the GC-R gene. Estradiol was associated with MNA-SF decrease over time (p < 0.01, adjusted for age and gender, beta = −0.17, p = 0.03). Weight loss was related to testosterone in men (8.6 vs 12.1 pg/ml in no losers; p = 0.03), and in women with GDS (13.0% with depression vs 3.3% with no depression; p = 0.05) and MMSE (22.2% with cognitive deterioration vs 4.8% with no cognitive deterioration; p = 0.049). Barthel decrease was associated with testosterone (p = 0.02, after adjusting for age and gender, beta = −0.520, p < 0.001), and SHBG (p < 0.01, adjusted for age and gender, beta = 0.18, p < 0.01). DHEA was associated with deterioration in the MMSE (p = 0.01, after adjusting for age, gender, GDS scale and academic status, beta = −0.26, p = 0.01). Frailty development was related only in men with testosterone levels at the beginning of the study (p = 0.017). ER22/23EK was found in 3% of the subjects and carriers had a lower prevalence of hypertension. Adrenal and gonadal steroids are associated to impairment of the ageing health condition in elderly individuals living independently in Spain. ER22/23EK polymorphism of the GC-R gene has a low prevalence in our population.
Ageing; Steroidal hormones; Frailty; Functional capacity; Nutritional status; Cognitive function; Depression; Life Sciences; Molecular Medicine; Geriatrics/Gerontology; Cell Biology
Basal-like breast cancers (BLBC) express a luminal progenitor gene signature. Notch receptor signaling promotes luminal cell fate specification in the mammary gland, while suppressing stem cell self-renewal. Here we show that deletion of Lfng, a sugar transferase that prevents Notch activation by Jagged ligands, enhances stem/progenitor cell proliferation. Mammary-specific deletion of Lfng induces basal-like and claudin-low tumors with accumulation of Notch intracellular domain fragments, increased expression of proliferation-associated Notch targets, amplification of the Met/Caveolin locus, and elevated Met and Igf-1R signaling. Human BL breast tumors, commonly associated with JAGGED expression, elevated MET signaling, and CAVEOLIN accumulation, express low levels of LFNG. Thus, reduced LFNG expression facilitates JAG/NOTCH luminal progenitor signaling and cooperates with MET/CAVEOLIN basal-type signaling to promote BLBC.
Elevated LDL-cholesterol (LDLc) levels are a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. LDLc is cleared from circulation by the LDL receptor (LDLR). Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) enhances the degradation of the LDLR in endosomes/lysosomes, resulting in increased circulating LDLc. PCSK9 can also mediate the degradation of LDLR lacking its cytosolic tail, suggesting the presence of as yet undefined lysosomal-targeting factor(s). Herein, we confirm this, and also eliminate a role for the transmembrane-domain of the LDLR in mediating its PCSK9-induced internalization and degradation. Recent findings from our laboratory also suggest a role for PCSK9 in enhancing tumor metastasis. We show herein that while the LDLR is insensitive to PCSK9 in murine B16F1 melanoma cells, PCSK9 is able to induce degradation of the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP-1), suggesting distinct targeting mechanisms for these receptors. Furthermore, PCSK9 is still capable of acting upon the LDLR in CHO 13-5-1 cells lacking LRP-1. Conversely, PCSK9 also acts on LRP-1 in the absence of the LDLR in CHO-A7 cells, where re-introduction of the LDLR leads to reduced PCSK9-mediated degradation of LRP-1. Thus, while PCSK9 is capable of inducing degradation of LRP-1, the latter is not an essential factor for LDLR regulation, but the LDLR effectively competes with LRP-1 for PCSK9 activity. Identification of PCSK9 targets should allow a better understanding of the consequences of PCSK9 inhibition for lowering LDLc and tumor metastasis.
The PI3K signaling pathway regulates diverse cellular processes, including proliferation, survival, and metabolism, and is aberrantly activated in human cancer. As such, numerous compounds targeting the PI3K pathway are currently being clinically evaluated for the treatment of cancer, and several have shown some early indications of efficacy in breast cancer. However, resistance against these agents, both de novo and acquired, may ultimately limit the efficacy of these compounds. Here, we have taken a systematic functional approach to uncovering potential mechanisms of resistance to PI3K inhibitors and have identified several genes whose expression promotes survival under conditions of PI3K/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/mTOR) blockade, including the ribosomal S6 kinases RPS6KA2 (RSK3) and RPS6KA6 (RSK4). We demonstrate that overexpression of RSK3 or RSK4 supports proliferation upon PI3K inhibition both in vitro and in vivo, in part through the attenuation of the apoptotic response and upregulation of protein translation. Notably, the addition of MEK- or RSK-specific inhibitors can overcome these resistance phenotypes, both in breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived xenograft models with elevated levels of RSK activity. These observations provide a strong rationale for the combined use of RSK and PI3K pathway inhibitors to elicit favorable responses in breast cancer patients with activated RSK.
In mammals, seven proprotein convertases (PCs) cleave secretory proteins after basic residues, and four of them are called furin-like PCs: furin, PC5, PACE4, and PC7. In vitro, they share many substrates. However, furin is essential during development since deficient embryos die at embryonic day 11 and exhibit multiple developmental defects, particularly defects related to the function of endothelial cells. To define the role of furin in endothelial cells, an endothelial cell-specific knockout (ecKO) of the Furin gene was generated. Newborns die shortly after birth, indicating that furin is essential in these cells. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that ecKO embryos exhibit ventricular septal defects (VSD) and/or valve malformations. In addition, primary cultures of wild-type and ecKO lung endothelial cells revealed that ecKO cells are unable to grow. Growth was efficiently rescued by extracellular soluble furin. Analysis of the processing of precursors of endothelin-1 (ET-1), adrenomedullin (Adm), transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) confirmed that ET-1, Adm, and TGF-β1 are in vivo substrates of endothelial furin. Mature ET-1 and BMP4 forms were reduced by ∼90% in ecKO purified endothelial cells from lungs.
At our academic institution, we have noticed repeated examples of both false-positive and false-negative MR diagnoses in breast cancer. The most common diagnostic errors in interpreting MRI of the breast are discussed in this review and experience-based advice is provided to avoid similar mistakes. The most common reasons for false-positive diagnoses are misinterpretation of artefacts, confusion between normal enhancing structures and tumours and, above all, insufficient use of the American College of Radiology breast imaging reporting and data system lexicon, whereas false-negative diagnoses are made as a result of missed tiny enhancement, a background-enhancing breast, or enhancement interpreted as benign rather than malignant.
To identify a group of patients who might benefit from the addition of weekly paclitaxel to conventional anthracycline-containing chemotherapy as adjuvant therapy of node-positive operable breast cancer. The predictive value of PAM50 subtypes and the 11-gene proliferation score contained within the PAM50 assay were evaluated in 820 patients from the GEICAM/9906 randomized phase III trial comparing adjuvant FEC to FEC followed by weekly paclitaxel (FEC-P). Multivariable Cox regression analyses of the secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS) were performed to determine the significance of the interaction between treatment and the (1) PAM50 subtypes, (2) PAM50 proliferation score, and (3) clinical and pathological variables. Similar OS analyses were performed in 222 patients treated with weekly paclitaxel versus paclitaxel every 3 weeks in the CALGB/9342 and 9840 metastatic clinical trials. In GEICAM/9906, with a median follow up of 8.7 years, OS of the FEC-P arm was significantly superior compared to the FEC arm (unadjusted HR = 0.693, p = 0.013). A benefit from paclitaxel was only observed in the group of patients with a low PAM50 proliferation score (unadjusted HR = 0.23, p < 0.001; and interaction test, p = 0.006). No significant interactions between treatment and the PAM50 subtypes or the various clinical–pathological variables, including Ki-67 and histologic grade, were identified. Finally, similar OS results were obtained in the CALGB data set, although the interaction test did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.109). The PAM50 proliferation score identifies a subset of patients with a low proliferation status that may derive a larger benefit from weekly paclitaxel.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10549-013-2416-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; Paclitaxel; PAM50 subtypes; PAM50 proliferation score; Prediction of paclitaxel efficacy
Molecular mechanisms associated with pathophysiological changes in ventricular remodelling due to myocardial infarction (MI) remain poorly understood. We analyzed changes in gene expression by microarray technology in porcine myocardial tissue at 1, 4, and 6 weeks post-MI.
MI was induced by coronary artery ligation in 9 female pigs (30–40 kg). Animals were randomly sacrificed at 1, 4, or 6 weeks post-MI (n = 3 per group) and 3 healthy animals were also included as control group. Total RNA from myocardial samples was hybridized to GeneChip® Porcine Genome Arrays. Functional analysis was obtained with the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) online tool. Validation of microarray data was performed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).
More than 8,000 different probe sets showed altered expression in the remodelling myocardium at 1, 4, or 6 weeks post-MI. Ninety-seven percent of altered transcripts were detected in the infarct core and 255 probe sets were differentially expressed in the remote myocardium. Functional analysis revealed 28 genes de-regulated in the remote myocardial region in at least one of the three temporal analyzed stages, including genes associated with heart failure (HF), systemic sclerosis and coronary artery disease. In the infarct core tissue, eight major time-dependent gene expression patterns were recognized among 4,221 probe sets commonly altered over time. Altered gene expression of ACVR2B, BID, BMP2, BMPR1A, LMNA, NFKBIA, SMAD1, TGFB3, TNFRSF1A, and TP53 were further validated.
The clustering of similar expression patterns for gene products with related function revealed molecular footprints, some of them described for the first time, which elucidate changes in biological processes at different stages after MI.
This study investigated the promising effect of a new Platelet Glue obtained from Cryoprecipitation of Apheresis Platelet products (PGCAP) used in combination with Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) loaded on ceramic biomaterials to provide novel strategies enhancing bone repair.
PGCAP growth factor content was analyzed by ELISA and compared to other platelet and plasma-derived products. MSC loaded on biomaterials (65% hydroxyapatite/35% beta-TCP or 100% beta-TCP) were embedded in PGCAP and grown in presence or not of osteogenic induction medium for 21 days. Biomaterials were then implanted subcutaneously in immunodeficient mice for 28 days. Effect of PGCAP on MSC was evaluated in vitro by proliferation and osteoblastic gene expression analysis and in vivo by histology and immunohistochemistry.
We showed that PGCAP, compared to other platelet-derived products, allowed concentrating large amount of growth factors and cytokines which promoted MSC and osteoprogenitor proliferation. Next, we found that PGCAP improves the proliferation of MSC and osteogenic-induced MSC. Furthermore, we demonstrated that PGCAP up-regulates the mRNA expression of osteogenic markers (Collagen type I, Osteonectin, Osteopontin and Runx2). In vivo, type I collagen expressed in ectopic bone-like tissue was highly enhanced in biomaterials embedded in PGCAP in the absence of osteogenic pre-induction. Better results were obtained with 65% hydroxyapatite/35% beta-TCP biomaterials as compared to 100% beta-TCP.
We have demonstrated that PGCAP is able to enhance in vitro MSC proliferation, osteoblastic differentiation and in vivo bone formation in the absence of osteogenic pre-induction. This clinically adaptable platelet glue could be of interest for improving bone repair.
High circulating cholesterol is associated with hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, and stroke. However, the relation between cholesterol and tumorigenesis/metastasis is controversial. The proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) regulates low-density lipoprotein cholesterol homeostasis by targeting the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) for degradation. PCSK9 is mostly expressed in liver, which is one of the most common sites for metastatic disease. To reveal the function of PCSK9 and also evaluate the impact of cholesterol in liver metastasis development, B16F1 melanoma cells were injected into wild-type (WT) and Pcsk9-/- mice to induce liver metastasis. On chow diet, Pcsk9-/- mice harbored two-fold less liver metastases than WT mice. This decrease is related to low cholesterol levels in Pcsk9-/- mice, as the protection was lost after normalizing Pcsk9-/- cholesterol levels by a 2-week high cholesterol diet. Furthermore, a prolongation of this diet strongly increased metastasis in both genotypes, suggesting that high cholesterol levels promote metastatic progression. The protective effect of the PCSK9 deficiency is also associated with increased apoptosis in liver stroma and metastases. Tumor necrosis factor.α (TNFα) mRNA and protein were, respectively, higher in liver stroma and plasma of injected mice, likely increasing the apoptotic TNFα signaling. Furthermore, the anti-apoptotic factor B-cell lymphoma 2 was downregulated. TNFα regulation is LDLR-independent, as its mRNA level was similarly upregulated in mice lacking both PCSK9 and LDLR. Our findings show that PCSK9 deficiency reduces liver metastasis by its ability to lower cholesterol levels and by possibly enhancing TNFα-mediated apoptosis.
Stem cell therapies are promising strategies to regenerate human injured tissues, including ischemic myocardium. Here, we examined the acquisition of properties associated with vascular growth by human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCBMSCs), and whether they promoted vascular growth in vivo. UCBMSCs were induced in endothelial cell-specific growth medium (EGM-2) acquiring new cell markers, increased Ac-LDL uptake, and migratory capacity as assessed by qRT-PCR, Western blotting, indirect immunofluorescence, and invasion assays. Angiogenic and vasculogenic potentials could be anticipated by in vitro experiments showing self organization into Matrigel-mediated cell networks, and activation of circulating angiogenic-supportive myeloid cells. In mice, following subcutaneous co-injection with Matrigel, UCBMSCs modified to co-express bioluminescent (luciferases) and fluorescent proteins were demonstrated to participate in the formation of new microvasculature connected with the host circulatory system. Response of UCBMSCs to ischemia was explored in a mouse model of acute myocardial infarction (MI). UCBMSCs transplanted using a fibrin patch survived 4 weeks post-implantation and organized into CD31+network structures above the infarcted myocardium. MI-treated animals showed a reduced infarct scar and a larger vessel-occupied area in comparison with MI-control animals. Taken together, the presented results show that UCBMSCs can be induced in vitro to acquire angiogenic and vasculogenic properties and contribute to vascular growth in vivo.