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1.  Nanodrug Delivery Systems: A Promising Technology for Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Cancer 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2014;15(3):709-721.
Nanotechnology has enabled the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic strategies, such as advances in targeted drug delivery systems, versatile molecular imaging modalities, stimulus responsive components for fabrication, and potential theranostic agents in cancer therapy. Nanoparticle modifications such as conjugation with polyethylene glycol have been used to increase the duration of nanoparticles in blood circulation and reduce renal clearance rates. Such modifications to nanoparticle fabrication are the initial steps toward clinical translation of nanoparticles. Additionally, the development of targeted drug delivery systems has substantially contributed to the therapeutic efficacy of anti-cancer drugs and cancer gene therapies compared with nontargeted conventional delivery systems. Although multifunctional nanoparticles offer numerous advantages, their complex nature imparts challenges in reproducibility and concerns of toxicity. A thorough understanding of the biological behavior of nanoparticle systems is strongly warranted prior to testing such systems in a clinical setting. Translation of novel nanodrug delivery systems from the bench to the bedside will require a collective approach. The present review focuses on recent research efforts citing relevant examples of advanced nanodrug delivery and imaging systems developed for cancer therapy. Additionally, this review highlights the newest technologies such as microfluidics and biomimetics that can aid in the development and speedy translation of nanodrug delivery systems to the clinic.
PMCID: PMC4037475  PMID: 24550101
cancer therapy; liposome; nanodrug delivery systems; nanomedicine; polymer nanoparticles
2.  Cancer stem cells: progress and challenges in lung cancer 
The identification of a subpopulation of tumor cells with stem cell-like characteristics first in hematological malignancies and later in solid tumors has emerged into a novel field of cancer research. It has been proposed that this aberrant population of cells now called “cancer stem cells” (CSCs) drives tumor initiation, progression, metastasis, recurrence, and drug resistance. CSCs have been shown to have the capacity of self-renewal and multipotency. Adopting strategies from the field of stem cell research has aided in identification, localization, and targeting of CSCs in many tumors. Despite the huge progress in other solid tumors such as brain, breast, and colon cancers no substantial advancements have been made in lung cancer. This is most likely due to the current rudimentary understanding of lung stem cell hierarchy and heterogeneous nature of lung disease. In this review, we will discuss the most recent findings related to identification of normal lung stem cells and CSCs, pathways involved in regulating the development of CSCs, and the importance of the stem cell niche in development and maintenance of CSCs. Additionally, we will examine the development and feasibility of novel CSC-targeted therapeutic strategies aimed at eradicating lung CSCs.
PMCID: PMC4923513  PMID: 27358855
Biological markers; cancer stem cells (CSCs); lung cancer; molecular targeted therapy; nanomedicine; stem cell niche
3.  Effects of IRF5 Lupus Risk Haplotype on Pathways Predicted to Influence B Cell Functions 
Both genetic and environmental interactions affect systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) development and pathogenesis. One known genetic factor associated with lupus is a haplotype of the interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) gene. Analysis of global gene expression microarray data using gene set enrichment analysis identified multiple interferon- and inflammation-related gene sets significantly overrepresented in cells with the risk haplotype. Pathway analysis using expressed genes from the significant gene sets impacted by the IRF5 risk haplotype confirmed significant correlation with the interferon pathway, Toll-like receptor pathway, and the B-cell receptor pathway. SLE patients with the IRF5 risk haplotype have a heightened interferon signature, even in an unstimulated state (P = 0.011), while patients with the IRF5 protective haplotype have a B cell interferon signature similar to that of controls. These results identify multiple genes in functionally significant pathways which are affected by IRF5 genotype. They also establish the IRF5 risk haplotype as a key determinant of not only the interferon response, but also other B-cell pathways involved in SLE.
PMCID: PMC3304673  PMID: 22500098
4.  Association Between a Functional Variant Downstream of TNFAIP3 and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Nature genetics  2011;43(3):253-258.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, OMIM 152700) is an autoimmune disease characterized by self-reactive antibodies resulting in systemic inflammation and organ failure. TNFAIP3, encoding the ubiquitin-modifying enzyme A20, is an established susceptibility locus for SLE. By fine mapping and genomic resequencing in ethnically diverse populations we fully characterized the TNFAIP3 risk haplotype and isolated a novel TT>A polymorphic dinucleotide associated with SLE in subjects of European (P = 1.58 × 10−8; odds ratio (OR) = 1.70) and Korean (P = 8.33 × 10−10; OR = 2.54) ancestry. This variant, located in a region of high conservation and regulatory potential, bound a nuclear protein complex comprised of NF-κB subunits with reduced avidity. Furthermore, compared with the non-risk haplotype, the haplotype carrying this variant resulted in reduced TNFAIP3 mRNA and A20 protein expression. These results establish this TT>A variant as the most likely functional polymorphism responsible for the association between TNFAIP3 and SLE.
PMCID: PMC3103780  PMID: 21336280
5.  Aberrant Epstein–Barr viral infection in systemic lupus erythematosus☆ 
Autoimmunity reviews  2009;8(4):337.
Serologic association, cross-reactivity of select EBV-specific antibodies with SLE autoantigens, SLE-like autoimmunity after immunization with EBV peptides, increased EB viral load in SLE patients, and SLE-specific alterations in EBV humoral and cellular immunity implicate Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). To investigate SLE-specific differences in EBV gene expression, levels of eight EBV genes were compared between SLE patients and controls by using both ex vivo-infected and un-manipulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Expression levels of mRNA were significantly greater by Wilcoxen signed rank test in the ex vivo-infected SLE patient-derived cells for 4 of 8 EBV genes, including BLLF1, 3.2-fold (p<0.004); LMP-2, 1.7-fold (p<0.008); EBNA-1, 1.7-fold (p<0.01); and BcRF1, a proposed DNA binding protein, 1.7-fold (p<0.02). The frequency of LMP-1 gene expression was significantly greater by Chi square analysis in the peripheral blood from SLE patients than controls (44% of patients, 10% of controls p<0.05). PBMCs from SLE patients had greater expression of latent genes as well as increased expression of both latent and lytic genes after infection, suggesting that EBV may participate in SLE etiology through several mechanisms. Such altered infection patterns may contribute to the increased levels of EBV and the molecular mimicry seen in sera from SLE patients.
PMCID: PMC2822456  PMID: 19167523
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Epstein–Barr virus; Gene expression; Latency
6.  Chemical Sympathectomy Increases Susceptibility to Ocular Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infection 
Journal of neuroimmunology  2008;197(1):37-46.
The cornea is one of the most highly innervated tissues in the mammalian host. We hypothesized changes to cornea innervation through chemical sympathectomy would significantly alter the host response to the neurotropic viral pathogen, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) following ocular infection. Mice treated with 6-hydroxydopamine hydrobromide displayed reduced tyrosine hydroxylase-positive fibers residing in the cornea. Sympathectomized mice were also found to show a transient rise in virus recovered in infected tissues and succumbed to infection in greater numbers. Whereas there were no differences in infiltrating leukocyte populations including HSV-1-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the infected tissue, an increase in substance P and a decrease in IFN-γ levels in the trigeminal ganglion but not brain stem of sympathectomized mice were noted. Sympathectomized mice treated with the neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist L703,606 had delayed mortality implicating the involvement of substance P in HSV-1-mediated death.
PMCID: PMC2435389  PMID: 18495255
herpes Simplex Virus 1; 6-hydroxydopamine; substance P

Results 1-6 (6)