Nucleases play important roles in all DNA transactions, including replication, repair, and recombination. Many different nucleases from bacterial and eukaryotic organisms have been identified and functionally characterized. However, our knowledge about the nucleases from Archaea, the third domain of life, is still limited. We searched for 3′–5′ exonuclease activity in the hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus, and identified a protein with the target activity. The purified protein, encoded by PF2046, is composed of 229 amino acids with a molecular weight of 25,596, and displayed single-strand specific 3′–5′ exonuclease activity. The protein, designated as PfuExo I, forms a stable trimeric complex in solution and excises the DNA at every two nucleotides from the 3′ to 5′ direction. The amino acid sequence of this protein is conserved only in Thermococci, one of the hyperthermophilic classes in the Euryarchaeota subdomain in Archaea. The newly discovered exonuclease lacks similarity to any other proteins with known function, including hitherto reported 3′–5′ exonucleases. This novel nuclease may be involved in a DNA repair pathway conserved in the living organisms as a specific member for some hyperthermophilic archaea.
We have previously proven that the interspecies incompatibility of CD47 is responsible for in vitro phagocytosis of xenogeneic cells by host macrophages. Utilizing an in vivo model in the present study, we investigated whether genetically engineered expression of mouse CD47 in rat insulinoma cells (INS-1E) could inhibit macrophage-mediated xenograft rejection. INS-1E cells transfected with the pRc/CMV-mouse CD47 vector (mCD47-INS-1E) induced SIRPα-tyrosine phosphorylation in mouse macrophages in vitro, whereas cells transfected with the control vector (cont-INS-1E) did not. When these cells were injected into the peritoneal cavity of streptozotocin-induced diabetic Rag2−/−γ chain −/− mice, which lack T, B, and NK cells, the expression of mouse CD47 on the INS-1E cells markedly reduced the susceptibility of these cells to phagocytosis by macrophages. Moreover, these mice became normoglycemic after receiving mCD47-INS-1E, whereas the mice that received cont-INS-1E failed to achieve normoglycemia. Furthermore, injection of an anti-mouse SIRPα blocking monoclonal antibody into the mouse recipients of mCD47-INS-1E cells prevented achievement of normoglycemia. These results demonstrate that interspecies incompatibility of CD47 significantly contributes to in vivo rejection of xenogeneic cells by macrophages. Thus, genetic induction of the expression of recipient CD47 on xenogeneic donor cells could provide inhibitory signals to recipient macrophages via SIPRα; this constitutes a novel approach for preventing macrophage-mediated xenograft rejection.
Calorie restriction (CR) is an intervention known to extend the lifespan of a wide variety of organisms. In S. cerevisiae, chronological lifespan is prolonged by decreasing glucose availability in the culture media, a model for CR. The mechanism has been proposed to involve an increase in the oxidative (versus fermentative) metabolism of glucose. Here, we measured wild-type and respiratory incompetent (ρ0) S. cerevisiae biomass formation, pH, oxygen and glucose consumption, and the evolution of ethanol, glycerol, acetate, pyruvate and succinate levels during the course of 28 days of chronological aging, aiming to identify metabolic changes responsible for the effects of CR. The concomitant and quantitative measurements allowed for calculations of conversion factors between different pairs of substrates and products, maximum specific substrate consumption and product formation rates and maximum specific growth rates. Interestingly, we found that the limitation of glucose availability in CR S. cerevisiae cultures hysteretically increases oxygen consumption rates many hours after the complete exhaustion of glucose from the media. Surprisingly, glucose-to-ethanol conversion and cellular growth supported by glucose were not quantitatively altered by CR. Instead, we found that CR primed the cells for earlier, faster and more efficient metabolism of respiratory substrates, especially ethanol. Since lifespan-enhancing effects of CR are absent in respiratory incompetent ρ0 cells, we propose that the hysteretic effect of glucose limitation on oxidative metabolism is central toward chronological lifespan extension by CR in this yeast.
After cecal ligation and puncture, mice lacking the phosphatidylserine receptor CD300a on mast cells show more neutrophil recruitment to the peritoneal cavity, improved bacterial clearance, and extended survival.
When a cell undergoes apoptosis, phosphatidylserine (PS) is exposed on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. PS acts as an “eat-me” signal to direct phagocytes expressing PS receptors to engulf the apoptotic cell. We recently reported that the immunoreceptor CD300a, which is expressed on myeloid cells, is a PS receptor. We show that CD300a does not facilitate macrophage phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Instead, CD300a delivers an inhibitory signal in mast cells to suppress production of LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. After cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), when a large number of cells undergo apoptosis in the peritoneal cavity, CD300a-deficient peritoneal mast cells produced more chemoattractant and recruited more neutrophils than did wild-type (WT) mast cells. As a result, CD300a-deficient mice showed increased neutrophil recruitment and improved bacterial clearance in the peritoneal cavity, and survived longer than WT mice. Antibody blockade of CD300a–PS interactions improved bacterial clearance and extended survival of WT mice subjected to CLP. These results indicated that CD300a is a nonphagocytic PS receptor that regulates mast cell inflammatory responses to microbial infections.
Aberrant methylation patterns in CpG island are known to be influential in gene silencing. Histamine plays important physiological roles in the upper gastrointestinal tract and acts via the H2 receptor. We report an investigation into the effect of HRH2 promoter polymorphism (rs2607474 G > A) on the methylation of DAPK and CDH1.
Non cancerous gastric mucosa samples were obtained from 115 subjects with gastric cancer (GC) and 412 non-cancer subjects (non-GC). Methylation status of genes was determined by MSP. The genotyping of rs2607474 was performed by PCR-SSCP.
Methylation of DAPK and CDH1 was observed in 296 and 246 subjects, respectively. The frequency of CDH1 methylation in the subjects with GC was significantly lower in cancer lesion than in non cancerous mucosa, whereas that of DAPK methylation was not different. The allelic distribution of rs2607474 was 401GG, 119GA and 7AA. The GG homozygote was associated with a significantly increased risk for methylation of both DAPK and CDH1 (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0009, respectively). In the non-GC subjects or more than 60 years of age, GG homozygote was more closely associated with both DAPK and CDH1 methylation. However, this genotype did not show an increased risk for the development of methylation of both genes in patients with GC. In H. pylori negative subjects, GG homozygote showed an increased risk for the methylation of both DAPK and CDH1 (p = 0.0074 and p = 0.0016, respectively), whereas this genotype was associated with an increased risk for the development of DAPK methylation in H. pylori positive subjects (p = 0.0018). In addition, in subjects older than 60 years of age, atrophy and metaplasia scores were significantly higher in the GG homozygote (p = 0.011 and p = 0.039, respectively) and a significant correlation was observed between age and atrophy or metaplasia.
Our results suggest that rs2607474 GG homozygote confers a significantly increased risk for age- and inflammation-related DAPK and CDH1 methylation.
HRH2; Genetic polymorphism; Aberrant DNA methylation
We have developed a new portable taste sensor with a lipid/polymer membrane and conducted experiments to evaluate the sensor's performance. The fabricated sensor consists of a taste sensor chip (40 mm × 26 mm × 2.2 mm) with working and reference electrodes and a portable sensor device (80 mm × 25 mm × 20 mm). The working electrode consists of a taste-sensing site comprising a poly(hydroxyethyl)methacrylate (pHEMA) hydrogel layer with KCl as the electrolyte layer and a lipid/polymer membrane as the taste sensing element. The reference electrode comprises a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane layer with a small hole and a pHEMA layer with KCl. The whole device is the size of a USB memory stick, making it suitable for portable use. The sensor's response to tannic acid as the standard astringency substance showed good accuracy and reproducibility, and was comparable with the performance of a commercially available taste sensing system. Thus, it is possible for this sensor to be used for in-field evaluations and it can make a significant contribution to the food industry, as well as in various fields of research.
taste sensor; lipid/polymer membrane; portable sensor; in-field evaluation
Blood transfusion therapy (BTT), which represents transplantation of living cells, poses several risks. Although BTT is necessary for trauma victims with hemorrhagic shock, it may be futile for patients with blunt traumatic cardiopulmonary arrest (BT-CPA).
Materials and Methods:
We retrospectively examined the medical records of consecutive patients with T-CPA. The study period was divided into two periods: The first from 1995-1998, when we used packed red cells (PRC) regardless of the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), and the second from 1999-2004, when we did not use PRC before ROSC. The rates of ROSC, admission to the ICU, and survival-to-discharge were compared between these two periods.
We studied the records of 464 patients with BT-CPA (175 in the first period and 289 in the second period). Although the rates of ROSC and admission to the ICU were statistically higher in the first period, there was no statistical difference in the rate of survival-to-discharge between these two periods. In the first period, the rate of ROSC was statistically higher in the non-BTT group than the BTT group. However, for cases in which ROSC was performed and was successful, there were no statistical differences in the rate of admission and survival-to-discharge between the first and second group, and between the BTT and non-BTT group.
Our retrospective consecutive study shows the possibility that BTT before ROSC for BT-CPA and a treatment strategy that includes this treatment improves the success rate of ROSC, but not the survival rate. BTT is thought to be futile as a treatment for BT-CPA before ROSC.
Blood transfusion therapy; return of spontaneous circulation; survival to discharge; traumatic cardiopulmonary arrest
AIM: To clarify the association between a polymorphism -449 C>G (rs72696119) in 5’-UTR of NFKB1 with ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS: The studied population comprised 639 subjects, including patients with UC (UC cases, n = 174) and subjects without UC (controls, n = 465). We employed polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism to detect the gene polymorphism.
RESULTS: The rs72696119 G allele frequencies in controls and UC cases were 33.4% and 38.5%, respectively (P = 0.10). Genotype frequency of the GG homozygote in UC cases was significantly higher than that in controls (P = 0.017), and the GG homozygote was significantly associated with susceptibility to UC [odds ratio (OR), 1.88; 95%CI, 1.13-3.14]. In male subjects, the GG homozygote was associated with an increased risk for UC (OR, 3.10; 95%CI, 1.47-6.54; P = 0.0053), whereas this association was not found in female subjects. In addition, the GG homozygote was significantly associated with the risk of non-continuous disease (OR, 2.06; 95%CI, 1.12-3.79; P = 0.029), not having total colitis (OR, 2.40; 95%CI, 1.09-3.80, P = 0.040), disease which developed before 20 years of age (OR, 2.80; 95%CI, 1.07-7.32, P = 0.041), no hospitalization (OR, 2.28; 95%CI, 1.29-4.05; P = 0.0090) and with a maximum of 8 or less on the UCDAI score (OR, 2.45; 95%CI, 1.23-4.93; P = 0.022).
CONCLUSION: Our results provide evidence that NFKB1 polymorphism rs72696119 was significantly associated with the development of UC. This polymorphism influences the susceptibility to and pathophysiological features of UC.
Genetic polymorphism; NFKB1; Ulcerative colitis
Numerous associations between brain-reactive antibodies and neurological or psychiatric symptoms have been proposed. Serum autoantibody against the muscarinic cholinergic receptor (mAChR) was increased in some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or psychiatric disease. We examined whether serum autoantibody against mAChR affected the central cholinergic system by measuring brain mAChR binding and acetylcholinesterase activity using positron emission tomography (PET) in CFS patients with positive [CFS(+)] and negative [CFS(−)] autoantibodies.
Five CFS(+) and six CFS(−) patients, as well as 11 normal control subjects underwent a series of PET measurements with N-[11C]methyl-3-piperidyl benzilate [11C](+)3-MPB for the mAChR binding and N-[11C]methyl-4-piperidyl acetate [11C]MP4A for acetylcholinesterase activity. Cognitive function of all subjects was assessed by neuropsychological tests. Although the brain [11C](+)3-MPB binding in CFS(−) patients did not differ from normal controls, CFS(+) patients showed significantly lower [11C](+)3-MPB binding than CFS(−) patients and normal controls. In contrast, the [11C]MP4A index showed no significant differences among these three groups. Neuropsychological measures were similar among groups.
The present results demonstrate that serum autoantibody against the mAChR can affect the brain mAChR without altering acetylcholinesterase activity and cognitive functions in CFS patients.
To evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of trebananib (AMG 386)—a first-in-class angiopoietin-1/2 antagonist peptide-Fc fusion protein—in Japanese patients, we conducted a phase 1, dose escalation study.
Eligible patients were men or women, aged between 20 and 74 years, who had histologically or cytologically confirmed advanced solid tumors refractory to standard treatment. Trebananib (3, 10, and 30 mg/kg) was administered intravenously over 60 min in weekly cycles.
From June 2009 to April 2010, a total of 18 patients (6 for each dose cohort) were enrolled into the study. Trebananib was tolerated at all dose levels. No dose-limiting toxicities were observed. The most common adverse events were peripheral edema, constipation, fatigue, and pyrexia. Exposure to trebananib appeared to increase according to the dose administered. Serum clearance appeared to be similar across the dose range with the mean terminal-phase half-life ranging from 93.9 to 95.9 h. No neutralizing antibodies were detected. Tumor response was assessed in 18 patients. Of these, one patient with colon cancer in the 3-mg/kg cohort and one with bladder cancer in the 30-mg/kg cohort had partial responses as their best responses. These 2 patients were on treatment at the time of data cutoff (January 17, 2012).
Trebananib was tolerated and showed acceptable safety profile in Japanese patients with advanced solid tumors. The pharmacokinetic profiles were similar to those in the previous studies in the United States. Trebananib also showed evidence of durable antitumor activity in some patients.
Trebananib; AMG 386; Angiopoietin 1/2-neutralizing peptibody; Clinical trial, phase 1; Pharmacokinetics; Safety
AIM: To evaluate the usefulness and safety of argon plasma coagulation (APC) for superficial esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (SESC) in high-risk patients.
METHODS: We studied 17 patients (15 men and 2 women, 21 lesions) with SESC in whom endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), and open surgery were contraindicated from March 1999 through February 2009. None of the patients could tolerate prolonged EMR/ESD or open surgery because of severe concomitant disease (e.g., liver cirrhosis, cerebral infarction, or ischemic heart disease) or scar formation after EMR/ESD and chemoradiotherapy. After conventional endoscopy, an iodine stain was sprayed on the esophageal mucosa to determine the lesion margins. The lesion was then ablated by APC. We retrospectively studied the treatment time, number of APC sessions per site, complications, presence or absence of recurrence, and time to recurrence.
RESULTS: The median duration of follow-up was 36 mo (range: 6-120 mo). All of the tumors were macroscopically classified as superficial and slightly depressed type (0-IIc). The preoperative depth of invasion was clinical T1a (mucosal cancer) for 19 lesions and clinical T1b (submucosal cancer) for 2. The median treatment time was 15 min (range: 10-36 min). The median number of treatment sessions per site was 2 (range: 1-4). The median hospital stay was 14 d (range: 5-68 d). Among the 17 patients (21 lesions), 2 (9.5%) had recurrence and underwent additional APC with no subsequent evidence of recurrence. There were no treatment-related complications, such as bleeding or perforation.
CONCLUSION: APC is considered to be safe and effective for the management of SESC that cannot be resected endoscopically because of underlying disease, as well as for the control of recurrence after EMR and local recurrence after chemoradiotherapy.
Argon plasma coagulation; Superficial esophageal cancer; Squamous-cell carcinoma; High-risk patient; Endoscopic therapy
Peripheral circadian clocks in mammals are strongly entrained by light-dark and eating cycles. Their physiological functions are maintained by the synchronization of the phase of organs via clock gene expression patterns. However, little is known about the adaptation of peripheral clocks to the timing of multiple daily meals. Here, we investigated the effect of irregular eating patterns, in terms of timing and volume, on their peripheral clocks in vivo. We found that the phase of the peripheral clocks was altered by the amount of food and the interval between feeding time points but was unaffected by the frequency of feeding, as long as the interval remained fixed. Moreover, our results suggest that a late dinner should be separated into 2 half-dinners in order to alleviate the effect of irregular phases of peripheral clocks.
We aimed to compare the sensitive and quality-controlled KRAS testing with direct sequencing and to assess the impact on decision making of treatment.
Patients and methods:
We analysed genomic DNA isolated from macrodissected formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens by direct sequencing and an amplification refractory mutation system–Scorpion assay (ARMS/S) method. Cetuximab was administered to patients identified as having wild-type (WT) KRAS using direct sequencing. Therapeutic effects were evaluated according to their KRAS status as determined by ARMS/S.
Among the 159 patients, the overall mutation rate was determined to be 37.0% by direct sequencing and 44.0% by ARMS/S. For the patients diagnosed as WT by direct sequencing and treated with cetuximab (n=47), a response rate of 16.0% was observed for 38 ARMS/S WT patients, whereas 9 ARMS/S mutant (MUT) patients failed to respond. The ARMS/S WT patients showed significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) compared with ARMS/S MUT patients (PFS median 5.0 vs 1.7 months, hazards ratio (HR)=0.29, P=0.001; OS median 12.1 vs 3.8 months, HR=0.26, P=0.001).
Sensitive and quality-controlled KRAS testing may provide improved predictive power to determine the efficacy of anti-epidermal growth factor antibodies.
ARMS/S; colorectal cancer; direct sequencing; formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimen; KRAS
CpG island aberrant methylation is shown to be an important mechanism in gene silencing. The important role of IL-17 in inflammatory response to H. pylori colonization has been indicated. We investigated the influence of IL17A polymorphisms, -197 G > A (rs2275913) and *1249 C > T (rs3748067), on the methylation of DAPK and CDH1.
Gastric mucosal samples were obtained from 401 subjects without malignancies. Methylation status of gene was determined by MSP. The genotyping of IL17A was performed by PCR-SSCP.
Methylations of DAPK and CDH1 were seen in 196 and 149 of all 401 subjects, respectively. Overall, *1249 T carrier was associated with a decreased risk for DAPK methylation, whereas -197 G > A was not. In the subjects older than 60 years old, *1249 T carrier was more strongly associated with gene methylation and -197 A carrier tended to be associated with an increased risk for CDH1 methylation. When evaluating by inflammation promoting haplotype (-197 mutant carrier with *1249 homozygote), this haplotype had a more strongly increased risk for both DAPK and CDH1 methylations in comparatively older subjects. Both atrophy and metaplasia scores were significantly increased with age in -197 A carrier or *1249 CC homozygote, whereas were not in -197 GG homozygote or *1249 T carrier. PG I/II ratio was more significantly decreased in -197 A carrier than in GG homozygote under influence of H. pylori infection.
In -197 A allele carrier with *1249 CC homozygote, the methylations of both DAPK and CDH1 may be increased gradually, but more rapidly than the other genotypes, with age and altered gastric mucosal structure induced by H. pylori infection.
IL17A; Aberrant DNA methylation; DAPK; CDH1
KRAS mutations are predictive markers for the efficacy of anti-EGFR antibody therapies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Although the mutational status of KRAS is reportedly highly concordant between primary and metastatic lesions, it is not yet clear whether genotoxic chemotherapies might induce additional mutations.
A total of 63 lesions (23 baseline primary, 18 metastatic and 24 post-treatment metastatic) from 21 patients who were treated with FOLFOX as adjuvant therapy for stage III/IV colorectal cancer following curative resection were examined. The DNA samples were obtained from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens, and KRAS, NRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA mutations were evaluated.
The numbers of primary lesions with wild-type and mutant KRAS codons 12 and 13 were 8 and 13, respectively. The mutational status of KRAS remained concordant between the primary tumours and the post-FOLFOX metastatic lesions, irrespective of patient background, treatment duration and disease-free survival. Furthermore, the mutational statuses of the other genes evaluated were also concordant between the primary and metastatic lesions.
Because the mutational statuses of predictive biomarker genes were not altered by FOLFOX therapy, specimens from both primary tumours and post-FOLFOX tumour metastases might serve as valid sources of DNA for known genomic biomarker testing.
colorectal cancer; genomic biomarker; KRAS; anti-EGFR antibody; oxaliplatin
We analyzed the correlation between primary tumor response within 6 months after radiation therapy (RT) including proton beam therapy (PBT) and progression free survival rate (PFS) in patients with nasal cavity and paranasal sinus malignancies to clarify the impact of early radiological evaluation of treatment response on prognosis. Sixty-five patients treated between January 1998 and December 2008, and whose follow-up duration was more than 2 years were included. The Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (version 1.1) was used for the evaluation of treatment. Median age was 59 years (range 21–83 years). Olfactory neuroblastoma (n = 20, 30%) and squamous cell carcinoma (n = 15, 23%) were the major pathological tumor types. The median follow-up duration was 51.6 months. Radiological response evaluation within 6 months after treatment demonstrated that 15% of the patients achieved complete response (CR), and 3-year progression free survival rates of all patients was 49.2%. The 3-year PFS rates according to response for the treatment were 55.6% in the patients with CR and 46.4% in those with non-CR, respectively (P = 0.643). However, the 3-year PFS rates were 80.% in the patients with CR and 10.% in those with non-CR (P = 0.051) in the patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) histology. Radiological response evaluation within 6 months did not have a significant impact on prognosis when analysis included all histology, although early radiological response within 6 months after RT had a borderline significant impact on treatment outcomes for the patients with nasal and paranasal SCC.
response evaluation; nasal cavity; paranasal sinuses; radiation therapy; proton beam therapy
Lung cancer continues to be a major deadly malignancy. The mortality of this disease could be reduced by improving the ability to predict cancer patients' survival. We hypothesized that genes differentially expressed among cells constituting an in vitro human lung carcinogenesis model consisting of normal, immortalized, transformed, and tumorigenic bronchial epithelial cells are relevant to the clinical outcome of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Multidimensional scaling, microarray, and functional pathways analyses of the transcriptomes of the above cells were done and combined with integrative genomics to incorporate the microarray data with published NSCLC data sets. Up-regulated (n = 301) and down-regulated genes (n = 358) displayed expression level variation across the in vitro model with progressive changes in cancer-related molecular functions. A subset of these genes (n = 584) separated lung adenocarcinoma clinical samples (n = 361) into two clusters with significant survival differences. Six genes, UBE2C, TPX2, MCM2, MCM6, FEN1, and SFN, selected by functional array analysis, were also effective in prognosis. The mRNA and protein levels of one these genes—UBE2C—were significantly up-regulated in NSCLC tissue relative to normal lung and increased progressively in lung lesions. Moreover, stage I NSCLC patients with positive UBE2C expression exhibited significantly poorer overall and progression-free survival than patients with negative expression. Our studies with this in vitro model have lead to the identification of a robust six-gene signature, which may be valuable for predicting the survival of lung adenocarcinoma patients. Moreover, one of those genes, UBE2C, seems to be a powerful biomarker for NSCLC survival prediction.
Liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has the highest local controllability among all local treatments and results in a good survival rate. However, the recurrence rates of HCC continue to remain high even after curative hepatectomy Moreover, it has been reported that some patients with HCC have an early death due to recurrence. We analyzed the preoperative risk factors for early cancer death.
Between 1997 and 2009, 521 consecutive patients who underwent hepatectomy for HCC at our center were assigned to group ED (death due to HCC recurrence or progression within 1 year after hepatectomy) and group NED (alive over 1 year after hepatectomy). Risk factors for early cancer death were analyzed.
Group ED included 48 patients, and group NED included 473 patients. The cause of death included cancer progression (150; 78.1%), operation-related (1; 0.5%), hepatic failure (15; 7.8%), and other (26; 13.5%). Between the ED and NED groups, there were significant differences in albumin levels, Child-Pugh classifications, anatomical resections, curability, tumor numbers, tumor sizes, macroscopic vascular invasion (portal vein and hepatic vein), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels, AFP-L3 levels, protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonism factor II (PIVKA-II) levels, differentiation, microscopic portal vein invasion, microscopic hepatic vein invasion, and distant metastasis by univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis identified specific risk factors, such as AFP level > 1,000 ng/ml, tumor number ≥ 4, tumor size ≥ 5 cm, poor differentiation, and portal vein invasion. With respect to the preoperative risk factors such as AFP level, tumor number, and tumor size, 3 (1.1%) of 280 patients with no risk factors, 12 (7.8%) of 153 patients with 1 risk factor, 24 (32.9%) of 73 patients with 2 factors, and 9 (60.0%) of 15 patients with 3 risk factors died within 1 year of hepatectomy (p < 0.0001).
Hepatectomy should be judiciously selected for patients with AFP level > 1,000 ng/ml, tumor number ≥ 4, and tumor size ≥ 5 cm, because patients with these preoperative risk factors tend to die within 1 year after hepatectomy; these patients might be better treated with other therapy.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hepatectomy; Early death
Deployment of the air bag in a passenger vehicle accident rarely causes otologic injuries. However, sensorineural hearing loss induced by air bag deployment is extremely rare, with only a few cases reported in the English literature. A 38-year-old man involved in a traffic accident while driving his car at 40 km/hour presented with right sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus, without associated vertigo. Pure-tone audiometry demonstrated elevated thresholds of 30 dB and 25 dB at 4 kHz and 8 kHz, respectively, on the right side. Air bag deployment in car accidents is associated with the risk of development of sensorineural hearing loss.
A 69-year-old man was admitted to our hospital in October 2003, for further examination of two liver tumors. He was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) arising from decompensated hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related cirrhosis. Long-term lamivudine administration improved liver function dramatically despite repeated treatment for HCC. His Child-Pugh score was 9 points at start of lamivudine treatment, improving to 5 points after 1 year. His indocyanine green at 15 min after injection test score was 48% before lamivudine treatment, improving to 22% after 2 years and to 5% after 4 years. Radiofrequency ablation controlled the HCC foci and maintained his liver function. In April 2009, abdominal computed tomography revealed a tumor thrombus in the right portal vein. Since his indocyanine green test results had improved to less than 10%, we performed a right hepatectomy, which was successful. To our knowledge, there have been no documented reports of patients undergoing successful right hepatectomy for HCC arising from decompensated cirrhosis. The findings observed in our patient indicate the importance of nucleoside analogs for treating HBV-related HCC.
Hepatitis B virus; Lamivudine; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Decompensated cirrhosis; Hepatectomy
To facilitate development of innovative immunotherapy approaches, especially for treatment concepts exploiting the potential benefits of personalized therapy, there is a need to develop and validate tools to identify patients who can benefit from immunotherapy. Despite substantial effort, we do not yet know which parameters of anti-tumor immunity to measure and which assays are optimal for those measurements.
The iSBTc-SITC, FDA and NCI partnered to address these issues for immunotherapy of cancer. Here, we review the major challenges, give examples of approaches and solutions and present our recommendations.
Results and Conclusions
While specific immune parameters and assays are not yet validated, we recommend following standardized (accurate, precise and reproducible) protocols and use of functional assays for the primary immunologic readouts of a trial; consideration of central laboratories for immune monitoring of large, multi-institutional trials; and standardized testing of several phenotypic and functional potential potency assays specific to any cellular product. When reporting results, the full QA/QC performed, selected examples of truly representative raw data and assay performance characteristics should be included. Lastly, to promote broader analysis of multiple aspects of immunity, and gather data on variability, we recommend that in addition to cells and serum, that RNA and DNA samples be banked (under standardized conditions) for later testing. We also recommend that sufficient blood be drawn to allow for planned testing of the primary hypothesis being addressed in the trial, and that additional baseline and post-treatment blood is banked for testing novel hypotheses (or generating new hypotheses) that arise in the field.
Immunotherapy; Immune Monitoring; Vaccines; iSBTc; SITC
Recent studies on humans and rodents have suggested that the timing of food intake plays an important role in circadian regulation and metabolic health. Consumption of high-fat foods during the inactive period or at the end of the awake period results in weight gain and metabolic syndrome in rodents. However, the distinct effects of breakfast size and the breakfast/dinner size ratio on metabolic health have not yet been fully examined in mice.
We examined whether the parameters of metabolic syndrome were differentially affected in mice that consumed a large meal at the beginning of the awake period (breakfast; one meal group) and a relatively smaller meal at end of the awake period (dinner; two meals group). The mice of each group were provided equal food volume per day.
Mice on one meal exhibited an increase in body weight gain, hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia, and a decrease of gene expression associated with β-oxidation in adipose tissue and liver compared with those on two meals. The circadian expression pattern of the Clock gene in mice on one meal was disturbed compared with those on two meals.
In conclusion, a bigger breakfast with a smaller dinner (two meals per day) but not breakfast only (one meal per day) helps control body weight and fat accumulation in mice on a high-fat meals schedule. The findings of this study suggest that dietary recommendations for weight reduction and/or maintenance should include information on the timing and quantity of dietary intake.
Meal timing; Circadian rhythm; Metabolic syndrome; Breakfast versus dinner; High-fat diet
Herpes simplex virus entry into cells requires the binding of envelope glycoprotein D (gD) to an entry receptor. Depending on the cell, entry occurs by different mechanisms, including fusion at the cell surface or endocytosis. Here we examined the entry mechanism through a non-HSV receptor mediated by a soluble bi-specific adapter protein composed of recognition elements for gD and the EGF receptor (EGFR). Virus entered into endosomes using either EGF or an EGFR-specific single chain antibody (scFv) for receptor recognition. Infection was less efficient with the EGF adapter which could be attributed to its weaker binding to viral gD. Infection mediated by the scFv adapter was pH sensitive, indicating that gD-EGFR bridging alone was insufficient for capsid release from endosomes. We also show that the scFv adapter enhanced infection of EGFR-expressing tumor tissue in vivo. Our results indicate that adapters may retarget HSV infection without drastically changing the entry mechanism.
HSV entry; bispecific adapter; EGF receptor; endocytosis; fusion
Like all mammalian cells, normal adult chondrocytes have a limited replicative life span, which decreases with age. To facilitate the therapeutic use of chondrocytes from older donors, a method is needed to prolong their life span.
We transfected chondrocytes with hTERT or GRP78 and cultured them in a 3-dimensional atelocollagen honeycomb-shaped scaffold with a membrane seal. Then, we measured the amount of nuclear DNA and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and the expression level of type II collagen as markers of cell proliferation and extracellular matrix formation, respectively, in these cultures. In addition, we allografted this tissue-engineered cartilage into osteochondral defects in old rabbits to assess their repair activity in vivo.
Our results showed different degrees of differentiation in terms of GAG content between chondrocytes from old and young rabbits. Chondrocytes that were cotransfected with hTERT and GRP78 showed higher cellular proliferation and expression of type II collagen than those of nontransfected chondrocytes, regardless of the age of the cartilage donor. In addition, the in vitro growth rates of hTERT- or GRP78-transfected chondrocytes were higher than those of nontransfected chondrocytes, regardless of donor age. In vivo, the tissue-engineered cartilage implants exhibited strong repairing activity, maintained a chondrocyte-specific phenotype, and produced extracellular matrix components.
Focal gene delivery to aged articular chondrocytes exhibited strong repairing activity and may be therapeutically useful for articular cartilage regeneration.
Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is a key physiological inhibitor of fibrinolysis. Previously, we reported placenta growth factor (PlGF) mediated transcriptional upregulation of PAI-1 mRNAexpression via activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and activator protein-1 in human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMVEC); which resulted in elevated PAI-1 in humans with sickle cell anemia (SCA). Herein, we identified the role of post-transcriptional mechanism(s) of PlGF-mediated accumulation of PAI-1 mRNA in HPMVEC by examining the role of microRNAs in PlGF-induced PAI-1 mRNA stability. Our results show reduced expression of miR-30c and miR-301a, but not of miR-99a in response to PlGF, which have evolutionarily conserved binding sites in the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) of PAI-1 mRNA. Transfection of anti-miR-30c or anti-miR-301a oligonucleotides resulted in increased PAI-1 mRNA levels, which were further increased with PlGF stimulation. Conversely, overexpression of pre-miR-30c or pre-miR-301a resulted in attenuation of PlGF-induced PAI-1 mRNA and protein levels. Luciferase reporter assays using wild-type and mutant 3′UTR constructs confirmed that PAI-1-3′UTR is indeed a direct target of miR-30c and miR-301a. Finally, plasma levels of miR-30c and miR-301a were significantly downregulated in patients with SCA, compared to normal controls. These data provide a post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism of PlGF-inducedPAI-1elevation.
3′ untranslated region; adenosine- and uridine-rich elements; microRNAs; Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1; Placenta growth factor; Sickle cell anemia