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1.  Regulated genes in mesenchymal stem cells and gastric cancer 
World Journal of Stem Cells  2015;7(1):208-222.
AIM: To investigate the genes regulated in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and diffuse-type gastric cancer (GC), gene expression was analyzed.
METHODS: Gene expression of MSCs and diffuse-type GC cells were analyzed by microarray. Genes related to stem cells, cancer and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were extracted from human gene lists using Gene Ontology and reference information. Gene panels were generated, and messenger RNA gene expression in MSCs and diffuse-type GC cells was analyzed. Cluster analysis was performed using the NCSS software.
RESULTS: The gene expression of regulator of G-protein signaling 1 (RGS1) was up-regulated in diffuse-type GC cells compared with MSCs. A panel of stem-cell related genes and genes involved in cancer or the EMT were examined. Stem-cell related genes, such as growth arrest-specific 6, musashi RNA-binding protein 2 and hairy and enhancer of split 1 (Drosophila), NOTCH family genes and Notch ligands, such as delta-like 1 (Drosophila) and Jagged 2, were regulated.
CONCLUSION: Expression of RGS1 is up-regulated, and genes related to stem cells and NOTCH signaling are altered in diffuse-type GC compared with MSCs.
PMCID: PMC4300932  PMID: 25621121
Mesenchymal stem cells; Gastric cancer; Stem cells; Gene; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
2.  Relation between microRNA expression and progression and prognosis of gastric cancer: a microRNA expression analysis 
The Lancet. Oncology  2009;11(2):136-146.
Analyses of microRNA expression profiles have shown that many microRNAs are expressed aberrantly and correlate with tumorigenesis, progression, and prognosis of various haematological and solid tumours. We aimed to assess the relation between microRNA expression and progression and prognosis of gastric cancer.
353 gastric samples from two independent subsets of patients from Japan were analysed by microRNA microarray. MicroRNA expression patterns were compared between non-tumour mucosa and cancer samples, graded by diffuse and intestinal histological types and by progression-related factors (eg, depth of invasion, metastasis, and stage). Disease outcome was calculated by multivariable regression analysis to establish whether microRNAs are independent prognostic factors.
In 160 paired samples of non-tumour mucosa and cancer, 22 microRNAs were upregulated and 13 were downregulated in gastric cancer; 292 (83%) samples were distinguished correctly by this signature. The two histological subtypes of gastric cancer showed different microRNA signatures: eight microRNAs were upregulated in diffuse-type and four in intestinal-type cancer. In the progression-related signature, miR-125b, miR-199a, and miR-100 were the most important microRNAs involved. Low expression of let-7g (hazard ratio 2·6 [95% CI 1·3–4·9]) and miR-433 (2·1 [1·1–3·9]) and high expression of miR-214 (2·4 [1·2–4·5]) were associated with unfavourable outcome in overall survival independent of clinical covariates, including depth of invasion, lymph-node metastasis, and stage.
MicroRNAs are expressed differentially in gastric cancers, and histological subtypes are characterised by specific microRNA signatures. Unique microRNAs are associated with progression and prognosis of gastric cancer.
National Cancer Institute.
PMCID: PMC4299826  PMID: 20022810
3.  Decreased Fronto-Temporal Interaction during Fixation after Memory Retrieval 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110798.
Previous studies have revealed top-down control during memory retrieval from the prefrontal cortex to the temporal cortex. In the present functional MRI study, we investigated whether the fronto-temporal functional interaction occurs even during fixation periods after memory retrieval trials. During recency judgments, subjects judged the temporal order of two items in a study list. The task used in the present study consisted of memory trials of recency judgments and non-memory trials of counting dots, and post-trial fixation periods. By comparing the brain activity during the fixation periods after the memory trials with that during the fixation periods after the non-memory trials, we detected heightened brain activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the lateral temporal cortex and the hippocampus. Functional interactions during the fixation periods after the memory vs. non-memory trials as examined using a psychophysiological interaction revealed a decreased interaction from the lateral prefrontal cortex to the lateral temporal cortex, but not to the hippocampus. The functional interaction between the same frontal and temporal regions was also present during the memory trials. A trial-based functional connectivity analysis further revealed that the fronto-temporal interaction was positive and decreased during the fixation periods after the memory trials, relative to the fixation periods after the non-memory trials. These results suggest that the fronto-temporal interaction existed during the post-trial fixation periods, which had been present during the memory trials and temporally extended into the fixation periods.
PMCID: PMC4207733  PMID: 25340398
4.  Depressive symptoms and neuroanatomical structures in community-dwelling women: A combined voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging study with tract-based spatial statistics 
NeuroImage : Clinical  2014;4:481-487.
Depressive symptoms, even at a subclinical level, have been associated with structural brain abnormalities. However, previous studies have used regions of interest or small sample sizes, limiting the ability to generalize the results. In this study, we examined neuroanatomical structures of both gray matter and white matter associated with depressive symptoms across the whole brain in a large sample. A total of 810 community-dwelling adult participants underwent measurement of depressive symptoms with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The participants were not demented and had no neurological or psychiatric history. To examine the gray and white matter volume, we used structural MRI scans and voxel-based morphometry (VBM); to examine the white matter integrity, we used diffusion tensor imaging with tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). In female participants, VBM revealed a negative correlation between bilateral anterior cingulate gray matter volume and the CES-D score. TBSS showed a CES-D-related decrease in fractional anisotropy and increase in radial and mean diffusivity in several white matter regions, including the right anterior cingulum. In male participants, there was no significant correlation between gray or white matter volume or white matter integrity and the CES-D score. Our results indicate that the reduction in gray matter volume and differences in white matter integrity in specific brain regions, including the anterior cingulate, are associated with depressive symptoms in women.
•We studied neuroanatomical structures associated with subclinical depression.•The analysis was performed across the whole brain in a large sample.•Anterior cingulate gray matter volume reduction was revealed by VBM.•Broad white matter integrity differences were revealed by DTI with TBSS.•Both changes were seen only in females but not in males.
PMCID: PMC3984445  PMID: 24818074
Anterior cingulate gyrus; Voxel-based morphometry; Diffusion tensor imaging; Tract-based spatial statistics; Subclinical depression; CES-D, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; DTI, diffusion tensor imaging; FA, fractional anisotropy; MD, mean diffusivity; RD, radial diffusivity; TBSS, tract-based spatial statistics; VBM, voxel-based morphometry
5.  Human Subperitoneal Fibroblast and Cancer Cell Interaction Creates Microenvironment That Enhances Tumor Progression and Metastasis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88018.
Peritoneal invasion in colon cancer is an important prognostic factor. Peritoneal invasion can be objectively identified as periotoneal elastic laminal invasion (ELI) by using elastica stain, and the cancer microenvironment formed by the peritoneal invasion (CMPI) can also be observed. Cases with ELI more frequently show distant metastasis and recurrence. Therefore, CMPI may represent a particular milieu that facilitates tumor progression. Pathological and biological investigations into CMPI may shed light on this possibly distinctive cancer microenvironment.
We analyzed area-specific tissue microarrays to determine the pathological features of CMPI, and propagated subperitoneal fibroblasts (SPFs) and submucosal fibroblasts (SMFs) from human colonic tissue. Biological characteristics and results of gene expression profile analyses were compared to better understand the peritoneal invasion of colon cancer and how this may form a special microenvironment through the interaction with SPFs. Mouse xenograft tumors, derived by co-injection of cancer cells with either SPFs or SMFs, were established to evaluate their active role on tumor progression and metastasis.
We found that fibrosis with alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression was a significant pathological feature of CMPI. The differences in proliferation and gene expression profile analyses suggested SPFs and SMFs were distinct populations, and that SPFs were characterized by a higher expressions of extracellular matrix (ECM)-associated genes. Furthermore, compared with SMFs, SPFs showed more variable alteration in gene expressions after cancer-cell-conditioned medium stimulation. Gene ontology analysis revealed that SPFs-specific upregulated genes were enriched by actin-binding or contractile-associated genes including α-SMA encoding ACTA2. Mouse xenograft tumors derived by co-injection of cancer cells with SPFs showed enhancement of tumor growth, metastasis, and capacity for tumor formation compared to those derived from co-injection with cancer cells and SMFs.
CMPI is a special microenvironment, and interaction of SPFs and cancer cells within CMPI promote tumor growth and metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3913740  PMID: 24505356
6.  Percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with stenting for stenotic venous bypass grafts: report of two cases 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:456.
Cases of percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty for renal artery stenosis are increasing. However, percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with stenting for stenotic venous bypass grafts has never been reported. Herein, the authors describe two cases of percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with stenting for a stenotic venous bypass graft. The patients in both cases had undergone bypass grafting using autologous saphenous veins, which were anastomosed directly to their abdominal aortas. We successfully conducted percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with stenting. One of the keys for technical success is an appropriate selection of guiding catheter compatible with postoperative nonanatomical vasculature, and the other is relatively high pressure dilation for venous stenosis.
PMCID: PMC3786075  PMID: 24083105
Angioplasty; Renal artery; Stents; Venous grafts
7.  Missense allele of a single nucleotide polymorphism rs2294008 attenuated antitumor effects of prostate stem cell antigen in gallbladder cancer cells 
Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA), an organ-dependent tumor suppressor, is down regulated in gallbladder cancer (GBC). It is anticipated that the missense allele C of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2294008 (T/C) in the translation initiation codon of the gene affects the gene's biological function and has some influence on GBC susceptibility. We examined the biological effect of the C allele on the function of the gene and the relation between the C allele and GBC susceptibility.
Materials and Methods:
Functional analysis of the SNP was conducted by introducing PSCA cDNA harboring the allele to a GBC cell line TGBC- 1TKB and performing colony formation assays in vitro and tumor formation assays in mice. The effect on transcriptional regulation was assessed by reporter assays. The association study was conducted on 44 Japanese GBC cases and 173 controls.
The PSCA cDNA harboring the C allele showed lower cell growth inhibition activity (20% reduction) than that with the T allele. Concordantly, when injected into subcutaneous tissues of mice, the GBC cell line stably expressing the cDNA with the C allele formed tumors of almost the same size as that of the control cells, but the cell line expressing the cDNA with the T allele showed slower growth. The upstream DNA fragment harboring the C allele had more transcriptional activity than that with the T allele. The C allele showed positive correlation to GBC but no statistical significant odds ratio (OR = 1.77, 95% confidence interval 0.85-3.70, P value = 0.127 in dominant model).
The missense allele was shown to have a biological effect, attenuating antitumor activities of PSCA, and consequently it may be a potential risk for GBC development. An association study in a larger sample size may reveal a significant association between the allele and GBC.
PMCID: PMC3622366  PMID: 23599686
Association study; cancer susceptibility; gallbladder cancer; missense single nucleotide polymorphism; tumor suppressor
8.  Reg IV Is a Direct Target of Intestinal Transcriptional Factor CDX2 in Gastric Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e47545.
REG4, which encodes Reg IV protein, is a member of the calcium-dependent lectin superfamily and potent activator of the epidermal growth factor receptor/Akt/activator protein-1 signaling pathway. Several human cancers overexpress Reg IV, and Reg IV expression is associated with intestinal phenotype differentiation. However, regulation of REG4 transcription remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated whether CDX2 regulates Reg IV expression in gastric cancer (GC) cells. Expression of Reg IV and CDX2 was analyzed by Western blot and quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction in 9 GC cell lines and 2 colon cancer cell lines. The function of the 5′-flanking region of the REG4 gene was characterized by luciferase assay. In 9 GC cell lines, endogenous Reg IV and CDX2 expression were well correlated. Using an estrogen receptor-regulated form of CDX2, rapid induction of Reg IV expression was observed in HT-29 cells. Reporter gene assays revealed an important role in transcription for consensus CDX2 DNA binding elements in the 5′-flanking region of the REG4 gene. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that CDX2 binds directly to the 5′-flanking region of REG4. These results indicate that CDX2 protein directly regulates Reg IV expression.
PMCID: PMC3487720  PMID: 23133598
9.  Deciphering the Genome of Polyphosphate Accumulating Actinobacterium Microlunatus phosphovorus 
Polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) belong mostly to Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria and are quite divergent. Under aerobic conditions, they accumulate intracellular polyphosphate (polyP), while they typically synthesize polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) under anaerobic conditions. Many ecological, physiological, and genomic analyses have been performed with proteobacterial PAOs, but few with actinobacterial PAOs. In this study, the whole genome sequence of an actinobacterial PAO, Microlunatus phosphovorus NM-1T (NBRC 101784T), was determined. The number of genes for polyP metabolism was greater in M. phosphovorus than in other actinobacteria; it possesses genes for four polyP kinases (ppks), two polyP-dependent glucokinases (ppgks), and three phosphate transporters (pits). In contrast, it harbours only a single ppx gene for exopolyphosphatase, although two copies of ppx are generally present in other actinobacteria. Furthermore, M. phosphovorus lacks the phaABC genes for PHA synthesis and the actP gene encoding an acetate/H+ symporter, both of which play crucial roles in anaerobic PHA accumulation in proteobacterial PAOs. Thus, while the general features of M. phosphovorus regarding aerobic polyP accumulation are similar to those of proteobacterial PAOs, its anaerobic polyP use and PHA synthesis appear to be different.
PMCID: PMC3473371  PMID: 22923697
Microlunatus phosphovorus; whole genome sequence; polyphosphate accumulating organism; polyphosphate; polyhydroxyalkanoate
10.  Complete Genome Sequence of Sphingobium sp. Strain SYK-6, a Degrader of Lignin-Derived Biaryls and Monoaryls 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(2):534-535.
Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6 is able to grow on an extensive variety of lignin-derived biaryls and monoaryls, and the catabolic genes for these compounds are useful for the production of industrially valuable metabolites from lignin. Here we report the complete nucleotide sequence of the SYK-6 genome which consists of the 4,199,332-bp-long chromosome and the 148,801-bp-long plasmid.
PMCID: PMC3256637  PMID: 22207743
11.  Diminished Medial Prefrontal Activity behind Autistic Social Judgments of Incongruent Information 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39561.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to make inadequate social judgments, particularly when the nonverbal and verbal emotional expressions of other people are incongruent. Although previous behavioral studies have suggested that ASD individuals have difficulty in using nonverbal cues when presented with incongruent verbal-nonverbal information, the neural mechanisms underlying this symptom of ASD remain unclear. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we compared brain activity in 15 non-medicated adult males with high-functioning ASD to that of 17 age-, parental-background-, socioeconomic-, and intelligence-quotient-matched typically-developed (TD) male participants. Brain activity was measured while each participant made friend or foe judgments of realistic movies in which professional actors spoke with conflicting nonverbal facial expressions and voice prosody. We found that the ASD group made significantly less judgments primarily based on the nonverbal information than the TD group, and they exhibited significantly less brain activity in the right inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral anterior insula, anterior cingulate cortex/ventral medial prefrontal cortex (ACC/vmPFC), and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) than the TD group. Among these five regions, the ACC/vmPFC and dmPFC were most involved in nonverbal-information-biased judgments in the TD group. Furthermore, the degree of decrease of the brain activity in these two brain regions predicted the severity of autistic communication deficits. The findings indicate that diminished activity in the ACC/vmPFC and dmPFC underlies the impaired abilities of individuals with ASD to use nonverbal content when making judgments regarding other people based on incongruent social information.
PMCID: PMC3382122  PMID: 22745788
12.  Integrative genomics identifies LMO1 as a neuroblastoma oncogene 
Nature  2010;469(7329):216-220.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that accounts for approximately 10% of all paediatric oncology deaths1,2. To identify genetic risk factors for neuroblastoma, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 2,251 patients and 6,097 control subjects of European ancestry from four case series. Here we report a significant association within LIM domain only 1 (LMO1) at 11p15.4 (rs110419, combined P = 5.2 × 10−16, odds ratio of risk allele = 1.34 (95% confidence interval 1.25–1.44)). The signal was enriched in the subset of patients with the most aggressive form of the disease. LMO1 encodes a cysteine-rich transcriptional regulator, and its paralogues (LMO2, LMO3 and LMO4) have each been previously implicated in cancer. In parallel, we analysed genome-wide DNA copy number alterations in 701 primary tumours. We found that the LMO1 locus was aberrant in 12.4% through a duplication event, and that this event was associated with more advanced disease (P < 0.0001) and survival (P = 0.041). The germline single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) risk alleles and somatic copy number gains were associated with increased LMO1 expression in neuroblastoma cell lines and primary tumours, consistent with a gain-of-function role in tumorigenesis. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated depletion of LMO1 inhibited growth of neuroblastoma cells with high LMO1 expression, whereas forced expression of LMO1 in neuroblastoma cells with low LMO1 expression enhanced proliferation. These data show that common polymorphisms at the LMO1 locus are strongly associated with susceptibility to developing neuroblastoma, but also may influence the likelihood of further somatic alterations at this locus, leading to malignant progression.
PMCID: PMC3320515  PMID: 21124317
13.  NRF2 Mutation Confers Malignant Potential and Resistance to Chemoradiation Therapy in Advanced Esophageal Squamous Cancer1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2011;13(9):864-873.
Esophageal squamous cancer (ESC) is one of the most aggressive tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. A combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy (CRT) has improved the clinical outcome, but the molecular background determining the effectiveness of therapy remains unknown. NRF2 is a master transcriptional regulator of stress adaptation, and gain of-function mutation of NRF2 in cancer confers resistance to stressors including anticancer therapy. Direct resequencing analysis revealed that Nrf2 gain-of-function mutation occurred recurrently (18/82, 22%) in advanced ESC tumors and ESC cell lines (3/10). The presence of Nrf2 mutation was associated with tumor recurrence and poor prognosis. Short hairpin RNA-mediated down-regulation of NRF2 in ESC cells that harbor only mutated Nrf2 allele revealed that themutant NRF2 conferred increased cell proliferation, attachment-independent survival, and resistance to 5-fluorouracil and γ-irradiation. Based on the Nrf2 mutation status, gene expression signatures associated with NRF2 mutation were extracted from ESC cell lines, and their potential utility for monitoring and prognosis was examined in a cohort of 33 pre-CRT cases of ESC. The molecular signatures of NRF2 mutation were significantly predictive and prognostic for CRT response. In conclusion, recurrent NRF2 mutation confers malignant potential and resistance to therapy in advanced ESC, resulting in a poorer outcome. Molecular signatures of NRF2 mutation can be applied as predictive markers of response to CRT, and efficient inhibition of aberrant NRF2 activation could be a promising approach in combination with CRT.
PMCID: PMC3182278  PMID: 21969819
14.  Artificially Induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Surgical Subjects: Its Implications in Clinical and Basic Cancer Research 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18196.
Surgical samples have long been used as important subjects for cancer research. In accordance with an increase of neoadjuvant therapy, biopsy samples have recently become imperative for cancer transcriptome. On the other hand, both biopsy and surgical samples are available for expression profiling for predicting clinical outcome by adjuvant therapy; however, it is still unclear whether surgical sample expression profiles are useful for prediction via biopsy samples, because little has been done about comparative gene expression profiling between the two kinds of samples.
Methodology and Findings
A total of 166 samples (77 biopsy and 89 surgical) of normal and malignant lesions of the esophagus were analyzed by microarrays. Gene expression profiles were compared between biopsy and surgical samples. Artificially induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (aiEMT) was found in the surgical samples, and also occurred in mouse esophageal epithelial cell layers under an ischemic condition. Identification of clinically significant subgroups was thought to be disrupted by the disorder of the expression profile through this aiEMT.
Conclusion and Significance
This study will evoke the fundamental misinterpretation including underestimation of the prognostic evaluation power of markers by overestimation of EMT in past cancer research, and will furnish some advice for the near future as follows: 1) Understanding how long the tissues were under an ischemic condition. 2) Prevalence of biopsy samples for in vivo expression profiling with low biases on basic and clinical research. 3) Checking cancer cell contents and normal- or necrotic-tissue contamination in biopsy samples for prevalence.
PMCID: PMC3080870  PMID: 21533028
15.  Serum concentration and expression of Reg IV in patients with esophageal cancer: Age-related elevation of serum Reg IV concentration 
Oncology Letters  2011;2(2):235-239.
Regenerating islet-derived family, member 4 (REG4, which encodes Reg IV) is a marker for cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic utility of Reg IV measurement in sera from esophageal cancer patients. Reg IV expression was examined in 269 esophageal cancer samples by immunostaining and the Reg IV levels in sera were measured from 65 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. No Reg IV staining was detected in 255 SCC and 4 small cell carcinoma samples, whereas Reg IV was stained in 4 of 10 (40%) adenocarcinoma samples. Serum Reg IV concentration in esophageal SCC patients was significantly higher compared to that of the control subjects (P=0.0003). A significant correlation between serum Reg IV concentration and age was found in control subjects (P<0.0001). When serum Reg IV concentration was analyzed according to age, the distribution of serum Reg IV concentration in patients with esophageal SCC was similar to that of the control subjects. These results suggest that Reg IV expression is highly specific for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Further investigation is required to clarify whether Reg IV serves as a serum tumor marker for esophageal cancer.
PMCID: PMC3410574  PMID: 22866070
Reg IV; esophageal cancer; tumor marker; immunohistochemistry
16.  Using a customized DNA microarray for expression profiling of the estrogen-responsive genes to evaluate estrogen activity among natural estrogens and industrial chemicals. 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2004;112(7):773-781.
We developed a DNA microarray to evaluate the estrogen activity of natural estrogens and industrial chemicals. Using MCF-7 cells, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of estrogen-responsive genes among approximately 20,000 human genes. On the basis of reproducible and reliable responses of the genes to estrogen, we selected 172 genes to be used for developing a customized DNA microarray. Using this DNA microarray, we examined estrogen activity among natural estrogens (17beta-estradiol, estriol, estrone, genistein), industrial chemicals (diethylstilbestrol, bisphenol A, nonylphenol, methoxychlor), and dioxin. We obtained results identical to those for other bioassays that are used for detecting estrogen activity. On the basis of statistical correlations analysis, these bioassays have shown more sensitivity for dioxin and methoxychlor.
PMCID: PMC1241992  PMID: 15159206

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