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1.  Anti-Tumor Effect against Human Cancer Xenografts by a Fully Human Monoclonal Antibody to a Variant 8-Epitope of CD44R1 Expressed on Cancer Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e29728.
Background
CD44 is a major cellular receptor for hyaluronic acids. The stem structure of CD44 encoded by ten normal exons can be enlarged by ten variant exons (v1-v10) by alternative splicing. We have succeeded in preparing MV5 fully human IgM and its class-switched GV5 IgG monoclonal antibody (mAb) recognizing the extracellular domain of a CD44R1 isoform that contains the inserted region coded by variant (v8, v9 and v10) exons and is expressed on the surface of various human epithelial cancer cells.
Methods and Principal Findings
We demonstrated the growth inhibition of human cancer xenografts by a GV5 IgG mAb reshaped from an MV5 IgM. The epitope recognized by MV5 and GV5 was identified to a v8-coding region by the analysis of mAb binding to various recombinant CD44 proteins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. GV5 showed preferential reactivity against various malignant human cells versus normal human cells assessed by flow cytometry and immunohistological analysis. When ME180 human uterine cervix carcinoma cells were subcutaneously inoculated to athymic mice with GV5, significant inhibition of tumor formation was observed. Furthermore, intraperitoneal injections of GV5markedly inhibited the growth of visible established tumors from HSC-3 human larynx carcinoma cells that had been subcutaneously transplanted one week before the first treatment with GV5. From in vitro experiments, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and internalization of CD44R1 seemed to be possible mechanisms for in vivo anti-tumor activity by GV5.
Conclusions
CD44R1 is an excellent molecular target for mAb therapy of cancer, possibly superior to molecules targeted by existing therapeutic mAb, such as Trastuzumab and Cetuximab recognizing human epidermal growth factor receptor family.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029728
PMCID: PMC3260170  PMID: 22272243
2.  Effect of heme oxygenase-1 polymorphisms on lung function and gene expression 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:117.
Background
Oxidative stress induced by smoking is considered to be important in the pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1) is an essential enzyme in heme catabolism that is induced by oxidative stress and may play a protective role as an antioxidant in the lung. We determined whether HMOX1 polymorphisms were associated with lung function in COPD patients and whether the variants had functional effects.
Methods
We genotyped five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HMOX1 gene in Caucasians who had the fastest (n = 278) and the slowest (n = 304) decline of FEV1 % predicted, selected from smokers in the NHLBI Lung Health Study. These SNPs were also studied in Caucasians with the lowest (n = 535) or the highest (n = 533) baseline lung function. Reporter genes were constructed containing three HMOX1 promoter polymorphisms and the effect of these polymorphisms on H2O2 and hemin-stimulated gene expression was determined. The effect of the HMOX1 rs2071749 SNP on gene expression in alveolar macrophages was investigated.
Results
We found a nominal association (p = 0.015) between one intronic HMOX1 SNP (rs2071749) and lung function decline but this did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. This SNP was in perfect linkage disequilibrium with rs3761439, located in the promoter of HMOX1. We tested rs3761439 and two other putatively functional polymorphisms (rs2071746 and the (GT)n polymorphism) in reporter gene assays but no significant effects on gene expression were found. There was also no effect of rs2071749 on HMOX1 gene expression in alveolar macrophages.
Conclusions
We found no association of the five HMOX1 tag SNPs with lung function decline and no evidence that the three promoter polymorphisms affected the regulation of the HMOX1 gene.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-117
PMCID: PMC3180266  PMID: 21902835
Heme oxygenase; polymorphism; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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