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author:("Zhang, xiamen")
1.  An Orally Active Small Molecule TGF-β Receptor I Antagonist Inhibits the Growth of Metastatic Murine Breast Cancer 
Anticancer research  2009;29(6):2099-2109.
Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) plays a complex role in breast carcinogenesis. Initially functioning as a tumor suppressor, this cytokine later contributes to the progression of malignant cells by enhancing their invasive and metastatic potential as well as suppressing anti-tumor immunity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of SM16, a novel small molecule ALK5 kinase inhibitor, to treat a highly metastatic, TGF-β-producing murine mammary carcinoma (4T1).
Materials and Methods
Mice bearing established 4T1 tumors were treated with SM16 intraperitoneally (i.p.) or orally and primary and metastatic tumor growth was assessed.
SM16 inhibited Smad2 phosphorylation in cultured 4T1 tumor cells as well as primary and metastatic 4T1 tumor tissue. Blockade of TGF-β signal transduction in 4T1 tumor cells by SM16 prevented TGF-β-induced morphological changes and inhibited TGF-β-induced invasion in vitro. When delivered via daily i.p. injection or orally through mouse chow, SM16 inhibited the growth of primary and metastatic 4T1 tumors. Splenocytes isolated from mice on the SM16 diet displayed enhanced IFN-γ production and anti-tumor CTL activity. Furthermore, SM16 failed to inhibit the growth and metastasis of established 4T1 tumors in immunodeficient SCID mice.
Taken together, the data indicate that the anti-tumor efficacy of SM16 is dependent on an immune mediated mechanism and that SM16 may represent a safe and effective treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC2860108  PMID: 19528470
breast cancer; 4T1; TGF-β; small molecule TGFβRI/ALK5 kinase inhibitor; SM16
2.  Systemic Blockade of Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) Signaling Augments the Efficacy of Immunogene Therapy 
Cancer research  2008;68(24):10247-10256.
Locally-produced TGF-β promotes tumor-induced immunosuppression and contributes to resistance to immunotherapy. This paper explores the potential for increased efficacy when combining immunotherapies with TGF-β suppression using the TGF-β type I receptor kinase inhibitor, SM16. Adenovirus expressing IFNβ (Ad.IFNβ) was injected intratumorally once in established subcutaneous AB12 (mesothelioma) and LKR (lung cancer) tumors or intratracheally in a K-ras orthotopic lung tumor model. Mice bearing TC1 (lung cancer) tumors were vaccinated with two injections of adenovirus expressing HPV-E7 (Ad.E7). SM16 was administered orally in formulated chow. Tumor growth was assessed and cytokine-expression and cell populations were measured in tumors and spleens by real time-PCR and flow cytometry. SM16 potentiated the efficacy of both immunotherapies in each of the models and caused changes in the tumor microenvironment. The combination of SM16 and Ad.INFβ increased the number of intratumoral leukocytes (including macrophages, NK cells, and CD8+ cells) and increased the percentage of T-cells expressing the activation marker CD25. SM16 also augmented the anti-tumor effects of Ad.E7 in the TC1 flank tumor model. The combination did not increase HPV-E7 tetramer-positive CD8+ T cells in the spleens, but did induce a marked increase in the tumors. Tumors from SM16-treated mice showed increased mRNA and protein for immunostimulatory cytokines and chemokines, as well as endothelial adhesion molecules, suggesting a mechanism for the increased intratumoral leukocyte trafficking. Blockade of the TGF-β signaling pathway augments the anti-tumor effects of Ad.INFβ immune-activating or Ad.E7 vaccination therapy. The addition of TGF-β blocking agents in clinical trials of immunotherapies may increase efficacy.
PMCID: PMC2637471  PMID: 19074893
tumor immunology; immunosuppression; TGFβ; tumor associated macrophages; cytokines; lung cancer; mesothelioma; tumor vaccine; interferon-β
3.  Characterization of NorR Protein, a Multifunctional Regulator of norA Expression in Staphylococcus aureus 
Journal of Bacteriology  2003;185(10):3127-3138.
We characterized a Staphylococcus aureus norA gene expression regulator, NorR, initially identified from its binding to the norA promoter. The norR gene was 444 bp in length, located ∼7 kb upstream from the norA gene, and encoded a predicted 17.6-kDa protein. Overexpression of norR in wild-type S. aureus strain ISP794 led to a fourfold decrease in sensitivity to quinolones and ethidium bromide and an increase in the level of norA transcripts, suggesting that NorR acts as a positive regulator of norA expression. Overexpression of norR in sarA and agr mutants did not alter quinolone sensitivity or levels of norA transcription, indicating that the presence of these two global regulatory systems is necessary for NorR to affect the expression of norA. Insertion and disruption of norR in ISP794 increased resistance to quinolones by 4- to 16-fold but had no effect on norA transcription, suggesting that NorR acts as a repressor for another unidentified efflux pump or pumps. These mutants also exhibited an exaggerated clumping phenotype in liquid media, which was complemented fully by a plasmid-encoded norR gene. Collectively, these results indicate that NorR is a multifunctional regulator, affecting cell surface properties as well as the expression of NorA and likely other multidrug resistance efflux pumps.
PMCID: PMC154082  PMID: 12730173
4.  Activity of and Resistance to Moxifloxacin in Staphylococcus aureus 
Moxifloxacin has enhanced potency against Staphylococcus aureus, lower propensity to select for resistant mutants, and higher bactericidal activity against highly resistant strains than ciprofloxacin. Despite similar activity against purified S. aureus topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase, it selects for topoisomerase IV mutants, making topoisomerase IV the preferred target in vivo.
PMCID: PMC152517  PMID: 12654680
5.  Topoisomerase Targeting with and Resistance to Gemifloxacin in Staphylococcus aureus 
Gemifloxacin, a novel quinolone with potent activity against Staphylococcus aureus, was 8- to 16-fold more active against wild-type S. aureus than ciprofloxacin. The two- to fourfold increase in the MIC of gemifloxacin in genetically defined grlBA mutants and the twofold increase in a single gyrA mutant, supported by the low frequency of selection of resistant mutants at twice the MIC (7.4 × 10−11 to 1.1 × 10−10), suggested similar targeting of the two enzymes by gemifloxacin. Dual mutations in both gyrase and topoisomerase IV caused a 64- to 128-fold increase in the MIC of gemifloxacin, similar to that seen with ciprofloxacin. Gemifloxacin also had similar activity in vitro against topoisomerase IV and gyrase purified from S. aureus (50% inhibitory concentrations of 0.25 and 0.31 μg/ml, respectively). This activity was 10- to 20-fold higher than that of ciprofloxacin for topoisomerase IV and 33-fold higher than that for gyrase. In contrast to the in vitro findings, only topoisomerase IV mutants were selected in first-step mutants. Overexpression of the NorA efflux pump had a minimal effect on resistance to gemifloxacin, and a mutation in the promoter region of the gene for NorA was selected only in the sixth step of serial selection of mutants. Our data show that although gemifloxacin targets purified topoisomerase IV and gyrase similarly in vitro, topoisomerase IV is the preferred target in the bacteria. Selection of novel resistance mutations in grlA requires further expansion of quinolone-resistance-determining regions, and their study may provide increased insight into enzyme-quinolone interactions.
PMCID: PMC149033  PMID: 12499202
6.  Dual Targeting of DNA Gyrase and Topoisomerase IV: Target Interactions of Garenoxacin (BMS-284756, T-3811ME), a New Desfluoroquinolone 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2002;46(11):3370-3380.
We determined the target enzyme interactions of garenoxacin (BMS-284756, T-3811ME), a novel desfluoroquinolone, in Staphylococcus aureus by genetic and biochemical studies. We found garenoxacin to be four- to eightfold more active than ciprofloxacin against wild-type S. aureus. A single topoisomerase IV or gyrase mutation caused only a 2- to 4-fold increase in the MIC of garenoxacin, whereas a combination of mutations in both loci caused a substantial increase (128-fold). Overexpression of the NorA efflux pump had minimal effect on resistance to garenoxacin. With garenoxacin at twice the MIC, selection of resistant mutants (<7.4 × 10−12 to 4.0 × 10−11) was 5 to 6 log units less than that with ciprofloxacin. Mutations inside or outside the quinolone resistance-determining regions (QRDR) of either topoisomerase IV, or gyrase, or both were selected in single-step mutants, suggesting dual targeting of topoisomerase IV and gyrase. Three of the novel mutations were shown by genetic experiments to be responsible for resistance. Studies with purified topoisomerase IV and gyrase from S. aureus also showed that garenoxacin had similar activity against topoisomerase IV and gyrase (50% inhibitory concentration, 1.25 to 2.5 and 1.25 μg/ml, respectively), and although its activity against topoisomerase IV was 2-fold greater than that of ciprofloxacin, its activity against gyrase was 10-fold greater. This study provides the first genetic and biochemical data supporting the dual targeting of topoisomerase IV and gyrase in S. aureus by a quinolone as well as providing genetic proof for the expansion of the QRDRs to include the 5′ terminus of grlB and the 3′ terminus of gyrA.
PMCID: PMC128724  PMID: 12384338
7.  A Mutation in the 5′ Untranslated Region Increases Stability of norA mRNA, Encoding a Multidrug Resistance Transporter of Staphylococcus aureus 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(7):2367-2371.
NorA, a multidrug efflux pump in Staphylococcus aureus, protects the cell from multiple drugs, including quinolones. The flqB mutation (T→G) in the 5′ untranslated region upstream of norA causes norA overexpression of 4.9-fold in cis, as measured in norA::blaZ fusions. The transcriptional initiation site of norA was unchanged in mutant and wild-type strains, but the half-life of norA mRNA was increased 4.8-fold in the flqB mutant compared to the wild-type strain. Computer-generated folding of the first 68 nucleotides of the norA transcript predicts an additional stem-loop and changes in a putative RNase III cleavage site in the flqB mutant.
PMCID: PMC95146  PMID: 11244079

Results 1-7 (7)