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1.  Validation of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma candidate genes from high-throughput transcriptomic studies 
In a recent study, a unique gene expression signature was observed when comparing esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) epithelial cells to normal esophageal epithelial cells using laser capture microdissection (LCM) and cDNA microarray technology. To validate the expression of several intriguing genes from that study (KRT17, cornulin, CD44, and EpCAM), we employed two new technologies, expression microdissection (xMD) for high-throughput microdissection facilitating protein analysis and RNAscope for the evaluation of low abundant transcripts in situ. For protein measurements, xMD technology was utilized to specifically procure sufficient tumor and normal epithelium from frozen human tissue for immunoblot analysis of KRT17 (CK17) and cornulin. A novel in situ hybridization method (RNAscope) was used to determine the transcript level of two relatively low expressed genes, CD44 and EpCAM in both individual formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections and in an ESCC tissue microarray (TMA). The results successfully confirmed the initial expression pattern observed for all four genes, potentially implicating them in the pathogenesis of ESCC. Additionally, the study provides important methodological information on the overall process of candidate gene validation.
PMCID: PMC3744019  PMID: 23977449
Expression microdissection; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; RNAscope; immunoblot
2.  Layered Electrophoretic Transfer – A Method for Pre- Analytic Processing of Histological Sections 
Proteomics  2011;11(5):883-889.
Current technologies for measuring protein expression across a tissue section are based on mass spectrometry or in situ detection such as immunohistochemistry. However, due to the inherent molecular complexity of tissue samples and the large dynamic range of protein expression in cells, current approaches are often unable to measure moderate- and low-abundant proteins. In addition, they do not provide information on the physico- chemical properties of the proteins studied. To address these problems, we are developing a new pre-analytic methodology termed Layered Electrophoretic Transfer (LET) that selectively separates and processes proteins from an intact tissue section without compromising important two-dimensional histological information. LET offers two potential advantages over standard techniques: 1) A reduced complexity of the tissue proteome for subsequent analysis; 2) An opportunity to assess the biochemical status of proteins as they exist in situ. As an initial proof-of-concept, we demonstrate here that the protein content from a mixture of molecular weight standards, human tissue lysates, and tissue sections can be successfully transferred and separated using LET, and further demonstrate that the method can be coupled with immunoblotting or mass spectrometry for downstream measurements. LET technology represents a new pre-analytic tool for interrogating the proteome in tissue sections while preserving valuable spatial information.
doi:10.1002/pmic.201000476
PMCID: PMC3729035  PMID: 21280224
2D protein separation; layered electrophoretic transfer; tissue protein mapping; proteomics
3.  A dynamic magnetic shift method to increase nanoparticle concentration in cancer metastases: a feasibility study using simulations on autopsy specimens 
A nanoparticle delivery system termed dynamic magnetic shift (DMS) has the potential to more effectively treat metastatic cancer by equilibrating therapeutic magnetic nanoparticles throughout tumors. To evaluate the feasibility of DMS, histological liver sections from autopsy cases of women who died from breast neoplasms were studied to measure vessel number, size, and spatial distribution in both metastatic tumors and normal tissue. Consistent with prior studies, normal tissue had a higher vascular density with a vessel-to-nuclei ratio of 0.48 ± 0.14 (n = 1000), whereas tumor tissue had a ratio of 0.13 ± 0.07 (n = 1000). For tumors, distances from cells to their nearest blood vessel were larger (average 43.8 μm, maximum 287 μm, n ≈ 5500) than normal cells (average 5.3 μm, maximum 67.8 μm, n ≈ 5500), implying that systemically delivered nanoparticles diffusing from vessels into surrounding tissue would preferentially dose healthy instead of cancerous cells. Numerical simulations of magnetically driven particle transport based on the autopsy data indicate that DMS would correct the problem by increasing nanoparticle levels in hypovascular regions of metastases to that of normal tissue, elevating the time-averaged concentration delivered to the tumor for magnetic actuation versus diffusion alone by 1.86-fold, and increasing the maximum concentration over time by 1.89-fold. Thus, DMS may prove useful in facilitating therapeutic nanoparticles to reach poorly vascularized regions of metastatic tumors that are not accessed by diffusion alone.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S23724
PMCID: PMC3224717  PMID: 22131836
cancer; metastases; vasculature; drug delivery; magnetic; nanoparticles
4.  Analysis of Transcription Factor mRNAs in Identified Oxytocin and Vasopressin Magnocellular Neurons Isolated by Laser Capture Microdissection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69407.
The oxytocin (Oxt) and vasopressin (Avp) magnocellular neurons (MCNs) in the hypothalamus are the only neuronal phenotypes that are present in the supraoptic nucleus (SON), and are characterized by their robust and selective expression of either the Oxt or Avp genes. In this paper, we take advantage of the differential expression of these neuropeptide genes to identify and isolate these two individual phenotypes from the rat SON by laser capture microdissection (LCM), and to analyze the differential expression of several of their transcription factor mRNAs by qRT-PCR. We identify these neuronal phenotypes by stereotaxically injecting recombinant Adeno-Associated Viral (rAAV) vectors which contain cell-type specific Oxt or Avp promoters that drive expression of EGFP selectively in either the Oxt or Avp MCNs into the SON. The fluorescent MCNs are then dissected by LCM using a novel Cap Road Map protocol described in this paper, and the purified MCNs are extracted for their RNAs. qRT-PCR of these RNAs show that some transcription factors (RORA and c-jun) are differentially expressed in the Oxt and Avp MCNs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069407
PMCID: PMC3722287  PMID: 23894472
5.  Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Similarities and Differences among Anatomical Sites 
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an epithelial malignancy involving many anatomical sites and is the most common cancer capable of metastatic spread. Development of early diagnosis methods and novel therapeutics are important for prevention and mortality reduction. In this effort, numerous molecular alterations have been described in SCCs. SCCs share many phenotypic and molecular characteristics, but they have not been extensively compared. This article reviews SCC as a disease, including: epidemiology, pathology, risk factors, molecular characteristics, prognostic markers, targeted therapy, and a new approach to studying SCCs. Through this comparison, several themes are apparent. For example, HPV infection is a common risk factor among the four major SCCs (NMSC, HNSC, ESCC, and NSCLC) and molecular abnormalities in cell-cycle regulation and signal transduction predominate. These data reveal that the molecular insights, new markers, and drug targets discovered in individual SCCs may shed light on this type of cancer as a whole.
PMCID: PMC3175764  PMID: 21938273
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC); Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC); Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC); esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC); Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); epidemiology; risk factors; molecular characteristics; prognostic markers; targeted therapy
6.  MicroRNA analysis of microdissected normal squamous esophageal epithelium and tumor cells 
Previous studies have identified several dysregulated microRNAs in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC); however, to date there are no ex vivo analyses comparing expression levels of these regulatory molecules in esophageal squamous cell tumors versus patient-matched normal epithelium. We describe here a technical strategy to evaluate microRNAs in normal esophageal basal cells (NB), normal esophageal differentiated cells (ND), and tumor cells (T). Laser capture microdissection was used to procure target populations from five cases and 18 ESCC-associated microRNAs were measured by RT-qPCR. Five microRNAs (miR-25, miR-106b, miR-21, miR-203, and miR-145) demonstrated consistent differential expression in at least one of the three comparisons: T vs. NB, T vs. ND, or NB vs. ND. The potential regulatory role of the microRNAs in ESCC was further evaluated by correlating their expression with a matched mRNA dataset, which included the same five cases and cell populations. In conclusion, the present work demonstrates the feasibility of studying microRNA levels in precisely dissected cell populations from clinical samples, and sheds light on the molecular mechanisms associated with ESCC.
PMCID: PMC3142940  PMID: 21796275
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; laser capture microdissection; microRNA; basal layer; differentiated layer; miR-25; miR-106b; miR-21; miR-203; miR-145
7.  MicroRNA analysis of microdissected normal squamous esophageal epithelium and tumor cells 
Previous studies have identified several dysregulated microRNAs in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC); however, to date there are no ex vivo analyses comparing expression levels of these regulatory molecules in esophageal squamous cell tumors versus patient-matched normal epithelium. We describe here a technical strategy to evaluate microRNAs in normal esophageal basal cells (NB), normal esophageal differentiated cells (ND), and tumor cells (T). Laser capture microdissection was used to procure target populations from five cases and 18 ESCC-associated microRNAs were measured by RT-qPCR. Five microRNAs (miR-25, miR-106b, miR-21, miR-203, and miR-145) demonstrated consistent differential expression in at least one of the three comparisons: T vs. NB, T vs. ND, or NB vs. ND. The potential regulatory role of the microRNAs in ESCC was further evaluated by correlating their expression with a matched mRNA dataset, which included the same five cases and cell populations. In conclusion, the present work demonstrates the feasibility of studying microRNA levels in precisely dissected cell populations from clinical samples, and sheds light on the molecular mechanisms associated with ESCC.
PMCID: PMC3142940  PMID: 21796275
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; laser capture microdissection; microRNA; basal layer; differentiated layer; miR-25; miR-106b; miR-21; miR-203; miR-145
8.  Measuring collective cell movement and extracellular matrix interactions using magnetic resonance imaging 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:1879.
Collective cell behaviors in migration and force generation were studied at the mesoscopic-level using cells grown in a 3D extracellular matrix (ECM) simulating tissues. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was applied to investigate dynamic cell mechanics at this level. MDCK, NBT2, and MEF cells were embedded in 3D ECM, forming clusters that then migrated and generated forces affecting the ECM. The cells demonstrated MRI contrast due to iron accumulation in the clusters. Timelapse-MRI enabled the measurement of dynamic stress fields generated by the cells, as well as simultaneous monitoring of the cell distribution and ECM deformation/remodeling. We found cell clusters embedded in the 3D ECM can exert translational forces to pull and push, as well as torque, their surroundings. We also observed that the sum of forces generated by multiple cell clusters may result in macroscopic deformation. In summary, MRI can be used to image cell-ECM interactions mesoscopically.
doi:10.1038/srep01879
PMCID: PMC3662010  PMID: 23698816
9.  Decrease in CD8+ lymphocyte number and altered cytokine profile in human prostate cancer 
The tumor microenvironment is comprised of multiple cell types arranged in a three-dimensional structure. Interactions amongst the various cell components play an important role in neoplasia, including the inflammatory reaction that occurs as part of the host response. In this study, the regional lymphocyte subpopulations and cytokine profiles associated with prostate cancer were examined using a quantitative imaging approach and expression microarray analysis. Lymphocytes were measured in four different epithelial phenotypes in prostate cancer specimens: carcinoma; prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN); benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH); and normal epithelium. The data indicate that CD8 positive, cytotoxic T lymphocytes are significantly decreased in regions adjacent to hyperplasia and carcinoma as compared to normal epithelium and PIN. In contrast the relative number of CD4 positive and CD20 positive lymphocytes did not change markedly. Parallel mRNA expression array analysis of the normal and tumor microenvironments identified a distinct cytokine profile in cancer, with 24 dysregulated genes in tumor epithelium and nine altered in tumor-associated stroma. Overall, these data indicate that the spatial distribution of CD8 positive, cytotoxic T lymphocytes is dysregulated in human prostate glands that contain cancer, and cytokine profiles are altered at the mRNA level.
PMCID: PMC3180108  PMID: 21969236
Prostate cancer; lymphocytes; cytokines; histomathematics; histopathology
10.  Quantitative RT-PCR gene expression analysis of laser microdissected tissue samples 
Nature protocols  2009;4(6):902-922.
Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is a valuable tool for measuring gene expression in biological samples. However, unique challenges are encountered when studies are performed on cells microdissected from tissues derived from animal models or the clinic, including specimen related issues, variability of RNA template quality and quantity, and normalization. qRT-PCR using small amounts of mRNA derived from dissected cell populations requires adaptation of standard methods to allow meaningful comparisons across sample sets. The protocol described here presents the rationale, technical steps, normalization strategy, and data analysis necessary to generate reliable gene expression measurements of transcripts from dissected samples. The entire protocol from tissue microdissection through qRT-PCR analysis requires approximately 16 hours.
doi:10.1038/nprot.2009.61
PMCID: PMC2760821  PMID: 19478806
quantitative measurements; microdissected tissues; qRT-PCR; validation; gene expression analysis; protocol; normalization strategy
11.  Squamous cell carcinoma – similarities and differences among anatomical sites 
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an epithelial malignancy involving many anatomical sites and is the most common cancer capable of metastatic spread. Development of early diagnosis methods and novel therapeutics are important for prevention and mortality reduction. In this effort, numerous molecular alterations have been described in SCCs. SCCs share many phenotypic and molecular characteristics, but they have not been extensively compared. This article reviews SCC as a disease, including: epidemiology, pathology, risk factors, molecular characteristics, prognostic markers, targeted therapy, and a new approach to studying SCCs. Through this comparison, several themes are apparent. For example, HPV infection is a common risk factor among the four major SCCs (NMSC, HNSC, ESCC, and NSCLC) and molecular abnormalities in cell-cycle regulation and signal transduction predominate. These data reveal that the molecular insights, new markers, and drug targets discovered in individual SCCs may shed light on this type of cancer as a whole.
PMCID: PMC3175764  PMID: 21938273
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC); non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC); head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC); esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC); non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); epidemiology; risk factors; molecular characteristics; prognostic markers; targeted therapy
12.  Identification of unique expression signatures and therapeutic targets in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:73.
Background
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the predominant histological subtype of esophageal cancer, is characterized by high mortality. Previous work identified important mRNA expression differences between normal and tumor cells; however, to date there are limited ex vivo studies examining expression changes occurring during normal esophageal squamous cell differentiation versus those associated with tumorigenesis. In this study, we used a unique tissue microdissection strategy and microarrays to measure gene expression profiles associated with cell differentiation versus tumorigenesis in twelve cases of patient-matched normal basal squamous epithelial cells (NB), normal differentiated squamous epithelium (ND), and squamous cell cancer. Class comparison and pathway analysis were used to compare NB versus tumor in a search for unique therapeutic targets.
Results
As a first step towards this goal, gene expression profiles and pathways were evaluated. Overall, ND expression patterns were markedly different from NB and tumor; whereas, tumor and NB were more closely related. Tumor showed a general decrease in differentially expressed genes relative to NB as opposed to ND that exhibited the opposite trend. FSH and IgG networks were most highly dysregulated in normal differentiation and tumorigenesis, respectively. DNA repair pathways were generally elevated in NB and tumor relative to ND indicating involvement in both normal and pathological growth. PDGF signaling pathway and 12 individual genes unique to the tumor/NB comparison were identified as therapeutic targets, and 10 associated ESCC gene-drug pairs were identified. We further examined the protein expression level and the distribution patterns of four genes: ODC1, POSTN, ASPA and IGF2BP3. Ultimately, three genes (ODC1, POSTN, ASPA) were verified to be dysregulated in the same pattern at both the mRNA and protein levels.
Conclusions
These data reveal insight into genes and molecular pathways mediating ESCC development and provide information potentially useful in designing novel therapeutic interventions for this tumor type.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-73
PMCID: PMC3283499  PMID: 22280838
14.  An NIH intramural percubator as a model of academic-industry partnerships: from the beginning of life through the valley of death 
In 2009 the NIH publicly announced five strategic goals for the institutes that included the critical need to translate research discoveries into public benefit at an accelerated pace, with a commitment to find novel ways to engage academic investigators in the process. The emphasis on moving scientific advancements from the laboratory to the clinic is an opportune time to discuss how the NIH intramural program in Bethesda, the largest biomedical research center in the world, can participate in this endeavor. Proposed here for consideration is a percolator-incubator program, a 'percubator' designed to enable NIH intramural investigators to develop new medical interventions as quickly and efficiently as possible.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-9-54
PMCID: PMC3118127  PMID: 21548992
15.  SIVQ-aided laser capture microdissection: A tool for high-throughput expression profiling 
Introduction:
Laser capture microdissection (LCM) facilitates procurement of defined cell populations for study in the context of histopathology. The morphologic assessment step in the LCM procedure is time consuming and tedious, thus restricting the utility of the technology for large applications.
Results:
Here, we describe the use of Spatially Invariant Vector Quantization (SIVQ) for histological analysis and LCM. Using SIVQ, we selected vectors as morphologic predicates that were representative of normal epithelial or cancer cells and then searched for phenotypically similar cells across entire tissue sections. The selected cells were subsequently auto-microdissected and the recovered RNA was analyzed by expression microarray. Gene expression profiles from SIVQ–LCM and standard LCM–derived samples demonstrated highly congruous signatures, confirming the equivalence of the differing microdissection methods.
Conclusion:
SIVQ–LCM improves the work-flow of microdissection in two significant ways. First, the process is transformative in that it shifts the pathologist's role from technical execution of the entire microdissection to a limited-contact supervisory role, enabling large-scale extraction of tissue by expediting subsequent semi-autonomous identification of target cell populations. Second, this work-flow model provides an opportunity to systematically identify highly constrained cell populations and morphologically consistent regions within tissue sections. Integrating SIVQ with LCM in a single environment provides advanced capabilities for efficient and high-throughput histological-based molecular studies.
doi:10.4103/2153-3539.78500
PMCID: PMC3073068  PMID: 21572509
Laser capture microdissection; microarray; Spatially Invariant Vector Quantization
16.  Image microarrays (IMA): Digital pathology's missing tool 
Introduction:
The increasing availability of whole slide imaging (WSI) data sets (digital slides) from glass slides offers new opportunities for the development of computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) algorithms. With the all-digital pathology workflow that these data sets will enable in the near future, literally millions of digital slides will be generated and stored. Consequently, the field in general and pathologists, specifically, will need tools to help extract actionable information from this new and vast collective repository.
Methods:
To address this limitation, we designed and implemented a tool (dCORE) to enable the systematic capture of image tiles with constrained size and resolution that contain desired histopathologic features.
Results:
In this communication, we describe a user-friendly tool that will enable pathologists to mine digital slides archives to create image microarrays (IMAs). IMAs are to digital slides as tissue microarrays (TMAs) are to cell blocks. Thus, a single digital slide could be transformed into an array of hundreds to thousands of high quality digital images, with each containing key diagnostic morphologies and appropriate controls. Current manual digital image cut-and-paste methods that allow for the creation of a grid of images (such as an IMA) of matching resolutions are tedious.
Conclusion:
The ability to create IMAs representing hundreds to thousands of vetted morphologic features has numerous applications in education, proficiency testing, consensus case review, and research. Lastly, in a manner analogous to the way conventional TMA technology has significantly accelerated in situ studies of tissue specimens use of IMAs has similar potential to significantly accelerate CAD algorithm development.
doi:10.4103/2153-3539.86829
PMCID: PMC3237063  PMID: 22200030
IMA; SIVQ; TMA; WSI
18.  Increased matrix metalloproteinase activation in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 
Background
Esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC) are usually asymptomatic and go undetected until they are incurable. Cytological screening is one strategy to detect ESCC at an early stage and has shown promise in previous studies, although improvement in sensitivity and specificity are needed. Proteases modulate cancer progression by facilitating tumor invasion and metastasis. In the current study, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) were studied in a search for new early detection markers for ESCC.
Methods
Protein expression levels of MMPs were measured using zymography in 24 cases of paired normal esophagus and ESCC, and in the tumor-associated stroma and tumor epithelium in one sample after laser capture microdissection (LCM). MMP-3 and MMP-10 transcripts in both the epithelium and stroma in five cases were further analyzed by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
Results
Gelatin zymography showed bands corresponding in size to MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-9, and MMP-10 enzymes in each of the 24 cancer cases. MMP levels tended to be higher in tumors than paired normal tissue; however, only the 45 kDa band that corresponds to the activated form of MMP-3 and MMP-10 was strongly expressed in all 24 tumors with little or no expression in the paired normal foci. LCM-based analysis showed the 45 kDA band to be present in both the stromal and epithelial components of the tumor microenvironment, and that MMP-3 and MMP-10 mRNA levels were higher in tumors than paired normal tissues for each compartment.
Conclusions
Increased levels of MMPs occur in ESCC suggesting their up-regulation is important in esophageal tumorigenesis. The up-regulated gene products have the potential to serve as early detection markers in the clinic.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-8-91
PMCID: PMC2958908  PMID: 20920372
19.  2D-PCR: a method of mapping DNA in tissue sections† 
Lab on a chip  2009;9(24):3526-3534.
A novel approach was developed for mapping the location of target DNA in tissue sections. The method combines a high-density, multi-well plate with an innovative single-tube procedure to directly extract, amplify, and detect the DNA in parallel while maintaining the two-dimensional (2D) architecture of the tissue. A 2D map of the gene glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was created from a tissue section and shown to correlate with the spatial area of the sample. It is anticipated that this approach may be easily adapted to assess the status of multiple genes within tissue sections, yielding a molecular map that directly correlates with the histology of the sample. This will provide investigators with a new tool to interrogate the molecular heterogeneity of tissue specimens.
doi:10.1039/b910807f
PMCID: PMC2910845  PMID: 20024032
20.  Current molecular diagnostics of breast cancer and the potential incorporation of microRNA 
Although comprehensive molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine have sparked excitement among researchers and clinicians, they have yet to be fully incorporated into today’s standard of care. This is despite the discovery of disease-related oncogenes, tumor-suppressor genes and protein biomarkers, as well as other biological anomalies related to cancer. Each year, new tests are released that could potentially supplement or surpass standard methods of diagnosis, including serum, protein and gene expression analyses. All of these novel approaches have shown great promise, but initial enthusiasm has diminished as difficulties in reproducibility, expense, standardization and proof of significance beyond current protocols have emerged. This review will focus on current and novel molecular diagnostic tools applied to breast cancer with special attention to the exciting new field of microRNA analysis
doi:10.1586/erm.09.25
PMCID: PMC2758104  PMID: 19580430
breast cancer; microarray; microRNA; molecular diagnostics; predictive value; prognostic value
21.  Influence of hypoxia induced by minimally invasive prostatectomy on gene expression: implications for biomarker analysis 
Handling and processing of clinical specimens during and after surgical resection may significantly skew the molecular data obtained from analysis of those samples. Minimally invasive prostatectomy was used as a model to specifically study effects of surgical ischemia on gene expression in human clinical samples. Normal prostatic urethra cup biopsies were procured from 12 patients at three time points during laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. Homogeneous cells (stroma and epithelium) were microdissected. Transcript analysis of 3 oxygen-dependent, 3 oxygen-independent, and 3 control class genes was performed using quantitative RT-PCR. Data were analyzed by relative quantitation and two-sided t-test. Patient demographic and time covariates were fit by a linear mixed model. VEGF, an oxygen-dependent gene, showed significant expression alterations across three time points in epithelium (p=0.008), but not in stroma (p=0.66). Expression levels of VHL, STAT5B, and CYPA showed significant changes at the p<0.05 level in the stroma only. Effects of age, PSA, prostate size, Gleason score, surgery type, total surgery time, total ischemia time, and estimated blood loss on VEGF expression over time were not significant at the p<0.01 level. Therefore, surgical manipulation and tissue processing methods need to be taken into account when assessing prostatic biomarkers; however, resection does not dramatically alter mRNA profiles in prostate specimens.
PMCID: PMC2892411  PMID: 20589162
Laparoscopic surgery; prostatectomy; warm ischemia; hypoxia; tissue microdissection; gene expression analysis
22.  Over-Expression of CDC25B and LAMC2 mRNA and Protein in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinomas and Pre-Malignant Lesions in Subjects from a High-Risk Population in China 
Molecular events associated with the initiation and progression of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remain poorly understood, but likely hold the key to effective early detection approaches for this almost invariably fatal cancer. CDC25B and LAMC2 are two promising early detection candidates emerging from new molecular studies of ESCC. To further elucidate the role of these two genes in esophageal carcinogenesis, we performed a series of studies to: (i) confirm RNA over-expression; (ii) establish the prevalence of protein over-expression; (iii) relate protein over-expression to survival; and (iv) explore their potential as early detection biomarkers. Results of these studies indicated that CDC25B mRNA was over-expressed (≥2-fold over-expression in tumor compared to normal) in 64% of the 73 ESCC cases evaluated, while LAMC2 mRNA was over-expressed in 89% of cases. CDC25B protein expression was categorized as positive in 59% (144/243) of ESCC cases on a tumor tissue microarray, and non-negative LAMC2 patterns of protein expression were observed in 82% (225/275) of cases. Multivariate-adjusted proportional hazard regression models showed no association between CDC25B protein expression score and risk of death (Hazard Ratio [HR] for each unit increase in expression score = 1.00, P=0.90), however, several of the LAMC2 protein expression patterns strongly predicted survival. Using the cytoplasmic pattern as the reference (the pattern with the lowest mortality), cases with a diffuse pattern had a 254% increased risk of death (HR=3.52, P=0.007), cases with no LAMC2 expression had a 169% increased risk of death (HR=2.69, P=0.009), and cases with a peripheral pattern had a 130% greater risk of death (HR=2.30, P=0.02). CDC25B protein expression scores in subjects with esophageal biopsies diagnosed as normal (n=35), dysplastic (n=23), or ESCC (n=32) increased significantly with morphologic progression. For LAMC2, all normal and dysplastic patients had a continuous pattern of protein expression, while all ESCCs showed alternative, non-continuous patterns. This series of studies showed that both CDC25B and LAMC2 over-express RNA and protein in a significant majority of ESCC cases. The strong relation of LAMC2 pattern of protein expression to survival suggests a role in prognosis, while CDC25B’s association with morphologic progression indicates a potential role as an early detection marker.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-06-0666
PMCID: PMC2729558  PMID: 18559558
esophageal cancer; quantitative RT-PCR; tissue microarray; survival; early detection; CDC25B; LAMC2
23.  Molecular Alterations in Primary Prostate Cancer After Androgen Ablation Therapy 
PURPOSE
After an initial response to androgen ablation, most prostate tumors recur, ultimately progressing to highly aggressive androgen independent (AI) cancer. The molecular mechanisms underlying progression are not well known, in part due to the rarity of AI samples from primary and metastatic sites.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
We compared the gene expression profiles of ten AI primary prostate tumor biopsies with ten primary, untreated androgen-dependent (AD) tumors. Samples were laser capture microdissected, the RNA was amplified, and gene expression was assessed using Affymetrix Human Genome U133A Gene Chips. Differential expression was examined with principle component analysis (PCA) and Student t testing. Analysis of gene ontology was performed with Expression Analysis Systematic Explorer (EASE) and gene expression data were integrated with genomic alterations with DIfferential Gene locus MAPping (DIGMAP).
RESULTS
Unsupervised PCA showed that the AD and AI tumors segregated from one another. After filtering the data, 239 differentially expressed genes were identified. Two main gene ontologies were found discordant between AI and AD tumors: macromolecule biosynthesis was down-regulated and cell adhesion up-regulated in AI tumors. Other differentially expressed genes were related to IL-6 signaling, as well as angiogenesis, cell adhesion, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and hormone response. The DIGMAP analysis identified nine regions of potential chromosomal deletion in the AI tumors including 1p36, 3p21, 6p21, 8p21, 11p15, 11q12, 12q23, 16q12, and 16q21.
CONCLUSIONS
Taken together, these data identify several unique characteristics of AI prostate cancer that may hold potential for the development of targeted therapeutic intervention.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-05-0585
PMCID: PMC1432092  PMID: 16203770
microarrays; androgen-independent prostate cancer; laser capture microdissection; RNA amplification
24.  Genome-wide loss of heterozygosity and copy number alteration in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma using the Affymetrix GeneChip Mapping 10 K array 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:299.
Background
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a common malignancy worldwide. Comprehensive genomic characterization of ESCC will further our understanding of the carcinogenesis process in this disease.
Results
Genome-wide detection of chromosomal changes was performed using the Affymetrix GeneChip 10 K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, including loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and copy number alterations (CNA), for 26 pairs of matched germ-line and micro-dissected tumor DNA samples. LOH regions were identified by two methods – using Affymetrix's genotype call software and using Affymetrix's copy number alteration tool (CNAT) software – and both approaches yielded similar results. Non-random LOH regions were found on 10 chromosomal arms (in decreasing order of frequency: 17p, 9p, 9q, 13q, 17q, 4q, 4p, 3p, 15q, and 5q), including 20 novel LOH regions (10 kb to 4.26 Mb). Fifteen CNA-loss regions (200 kb to 4.3 Mb) and 36 CNA-gain regions (200 kb to 9.3 Mb) were also identified.
Conclusion
These studies demonstrate that the Affymetrix 10 K SNP chip is a valid platform to integrate analyses of LOH and CNA. The comprehensive knowledge gained from this analysis will enable improved strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat ESCC.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-299
PMCID: PMC1687196  PMID: 17134496
25.  Tumor-associated endothelial cells display GSTP1 and RARβ2 promoter methylation in human prostate cancer 
Background
A functional blood supply is essential for tumor growth and proliferation. However, the mechanism of blood vessel recruitment to the tumor is still poorly understood. Ideally, a thorough molecular assessment of blood vessel cells would be critical in our comprehension of this process. Yet, to date, there is little known about the molecular makeup of the endothelial cells of tumor-associated blood vessels, due in part to the difficulty of isolating a pure population of endothelial cells from the heterogeneous tissue environment.
Methods
Here we describe the use of a recently developed technique, Expression Microdissection, to isolate endothelial cells from the tumor microenvironment. The methylation status of the dissected samples was evaluated for GSTP1 and RARβ2 promoters via the QMS-PCR method.
Results
Comparing GSTP1 and RARβ2 promoter methylation data, we show that 100% and 88% methylation is detected, respectively, in the tumor areas, both in epithelium and endothelium. Little to no methylation is observed in non-tumor tissue areas.
Conclusion
We applied an accurate microdissection technique to isolate endothelial cells from tissues, enabling DNA analysis such as promoter methylation status. The observations suggest that epigenetic alterations may play a role in determining the phenotype of tumor-associated vasculature.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-4-13
PMCID: PMC1420331  PMID: 16512911

Results 1-25 (26)