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author:("Xu, jiulong")
1.  Inhibition of p70 S6 Kinase (S6K1) Activity by A77 1726 and Its Effect on Cell Proliferation and Cell Cycle Progress12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2014;16(10):824-834.
Leflunomide is a novel immunomodulatory drug prescribed for treating rheumatoid arthritis. It inhibits the activity of protein tyrosine kinases and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, a rate-limiting enzyme in the pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis pathway. Here, we report that A77 1726, the active metabolite of leflunomide, inhibited the phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 and two other substrates of S6K1, insulin receptor substrate-1 and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 2, in an A375 melanoma cell line. A77 1726 increased the phosphorylation of AKT, p70 S6 (S6K1), ERK1/2, and MEK through the feedback activation of the IGF-1 receptor–mediated signaling pathway. Invitro kinase assay revealed that leflunomide and A77 1726 inhibited S6K1 activity with IC50 values of approximately 55 and 80 μM, respectively. Exogenous uridine partially blocked A77 1726–induced inhibition of A375 cell proliferation. S6K1 knockdown led to the inhibition of A375 cell proliferation but did not potentiate the antiproliferative effect of A77 1726. A77 1726 stimulated bromodeoxyuridine incorporation in A375 cells but arrested the cell cycle in the S phase, which was reversed by addition of exogenous uridine or by MAP kinase pathway inhibitors but not by rapamycin and LY294002 (a phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor). These observations suggest that A77 1726 accelerates cell cycle entry into the S phase through MAP kinase activation and that pyrimidine nucleotide depletion halts the completion of the cell cycle. Our study identified a novel molecular target of A77 1726 and showed that the inhibition of S6K1 activity was in part responsible for its antiproliferative activity. Our study also provides a novel mechanistic insight into A77 1726–induced cell cycle arrest in the S phase.
PMCID: PMC4212247  PMID: 25379019
2.  Mesenchymal Stem Cells Develop Tumor Tropism but Do Not Accelerate Breast Cancer Tumorigenesis in a Somatic Mouse Breast Cancer Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e67895.
The role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on breast cancer progression, growth and tumorigenesis remains controversial or unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of MSCs on breast tumor induction and growth in a clinically relevant somatic breast cancer model. We first conducted in vitro studies and found that conditioned media (CM) of RCAS-Neu and RCAS-PyMT breast cancer cell lines and tumor cells themselves dramatically increased the proliferation and motility of MSCs and induced morphological changes of MSCs and differentiation into fibroblast-like cells. In contrast, the CM of MSCs inhibited the proliferation of two breast cancer cell lines by arresting the cell cycle at the G0/G1 phase. In vivo studies revealed that fluorescence dye-labeled MSCs migrated into tumor tissues. Unexpectedly, single or multiple intravenous injections of MSCs did not affect the latency of breast cancer in TVA- transgenic mice induced by intraductal injection of the RCAS vector encoding polyoma middle-T antigen (PyMT) or Neu oncogenes. Moreover, MSCs had no effect on RCAS-Neu tumor growth in a syngeneic ectopic breast cancer model. While our studies consistently demonstrated the ability of breast cancer cells to profoundly induce MSCs migration, differentiation, and proliferation, the anti-proliferative effect of MSCs on breast tumor cells observed in vitro could not be translated into an antitumor activity in vivo, probably reflecting the antagonizing or complex effects of MSCs on tumor environment and tumor cells themselves.
PMCID: PMC3771967  PMID: 24069135
3.  Human FasL Gene Is a Target of β-Catenin/T-Cell Factor Pathway and Complex FasL Haplotypes Alter Promoter Functions 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26143.
FasL expression on human immune cells and cancer cells plays important roles in immune homeostasis and in cancer development. Our previous study suggests that polymorphisms in the FasL promoter can significantly affect the gene expression in human cells. In addition to the functional FasL SNP -844C>T (rs763110), three other SNPs (SNP -756A>G or rs2021837, SNP -478A>T or rs41309790, and SNP -205 C>G or rs74124371) exist in the proximal FasL promoter. In the current study, we established three major FasL hyplotypes in humans. Interestingly, a transcription motif search revealed that the FasL promoter possessed two consensus T-cell factor (TCF/LEF1) binding elements (TBEs), which is either polymorphic (SNP -205C>G) or close to the functional SNP -844C>T. Subsequently, we demonstrate that both FasL TBEs formed complexes with the TCF-4 and β-catenin transcription factors in vitro and in vivo. Co-transfection of LEF-1 and β-catenin transcription factors significantly increased FasL promoter activities, suggesting that FasL is a target gene of the β-catenin/T-cell factor pathway. More importantly, we found that the rare allele (-205G) of the polymorphic FasL TBE (SNP -205C>G) failed to bind the TCF-4 transcription factor and that SNP -205 C>G significantly affected the promoter activity. Furthermore, promoter reporter assays revealed that FasL SNP haplotypes influenced promoter activities in human colon cancer cells and in human T cells. Finally, β-catenin knockdown significantly decreased the FasL expression in human SW480 colon cancer cells. Collectively, our data suggest that β-catenin may be involved in FasL gene regulation and that FasL expression is influenced by FasL SNP haplotypes, which may have significant implications in immune response and tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC3191176  PMID: 22022540
4.  Major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A/B (MICA/B) expression in tumor tissue and serum of pancreatic cancer: Role of uric acid accumulation in gemcitabine-induced MICA/B expression 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:194.
Major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain A and B (MICA/B) are two stress-inducible ligands that bind the immunoreceptor NKG2D and play an important role in mediating the cyotoxicity of NK and T cells. In this study, we sought to study MICA/B expression in pancreatic cancer and to determine whether and how genotoxic drugs such as gemcitabine can affect MICA/B expression and natural killer cytotoxity.
Seven pancreatic cancer cell lines were analyzed for MICA/B expression by flow cytometry and for their sensitivity to NK-92 cell killing by a 51Cr release assay. MICA/B expression in tumor tissues and sera of pancreatic cancer was analyzed by immunohistochemical staining (IHC) and ELISA, respectively.
Two MICA/B-positive cell lines were sensitive to the cytotoxic activity of NK-92 cells. Other two MICA/B-positive cell lines and three MICA/B-negative cell lines were resistant to NK-92 cell killing. MICA/B expression was positive in 17 of 25 (68%) pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas but not in normal pancreatic ductal epithelial cells. Serum MICA/B levels were significantly elevated in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinomas but did not correlate with the stage of pancreatic cancer and patient survival. Gemcitabine therapy led to increased serum MICA levels in 6 of 10 patients with detectable serum MICA. Allopurinol, an inhibitor of xanthine oxidoreductase that converts xanthine to uric acid, blocked uric acid production, MICA/B expression, and sensitivity to NK-92 cell killing toward a PANC-1 cancer cell line exposed to radiation and two genotoxic drugs, gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil.
The levels of MICA/B expression in serum and tissue of pancreatic cancer are elevated. DNA damage-induced MICA/B expression is mediated through increased uric acid production.
PMCID: PMC3118197  PMID: 21605422
Pancreatic cancer; MICA/B; Gemcitabine; Uric acid; Allopurinol; DNA damage
5.  Induction of Heparanase-1 Expression by Mutant B-Raf Kinase: Role of GA Binding Protein in Heparanase-1 Promoter Activation1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2010;12(11):946-956.
Heparanase-1 (HPR1), an endoglycosidase that specifically degrades heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans, is overexpressed in a variety of malignancies. Our present study sought to determine whether oncogene BRAF and RAS mutations lead to increased HPR1 expression. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that HPR1 gene expression was increased in HEK293 cells transiently transfected with a mutant BRAF or RAS gene. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that B-Raf activation led to loss of the cell surface HS, which could be blocked by two HPR1 inhibitors: heparin and PI-88. Cotransfection of a BRAF or RAS mutant gene with HPR1 promoter-driven luciferase reporters increased luciferase reporter gene expression in HEK293 cells. Knockdown of BRAF expression in a BRAF-mutated KAT-10 tumor cell line led to the suppression of HPR1 gene expression, subsequently leading to increased cell surface HS levels. Truncational and mutational analyses of the HPR1 promoter revealed that the Ets-relevant elements in the HPR1 promoter were critical for BRAF activation-induced HPR1 expression. Luciferase reporter gene expression driven by a four-copy GA binding protein (GABP) binding site was significantly lower in BRAF siRNA-transfected KAT-10 cells than in the control siRNA-transfected cells. We further showed that BRAF knockdown led to suppression of the expression of the GABPβ, an Ets family transcription factor involved in regulating HPR1 promoter activity. Taken together, our study suggests that B-Raf kinase activation plays an important role in regulating HPR1 expression. Increased HPR1 expression may contribute to the aggressive behavior of BRAF-mutated cancer.
PMCID: PMC2978917  PMID: 21076620

Results 1-5 (5)