Cathepsins are highly expressed in various human cancers, associated with tumor metastasis. It is superfamily, concluding A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, L, K, O, S, V, and W family members. As a group of lysosomal proteinases or endopeptidases, each member has a different function, playing different roles in distinct tumorigenic processes such as proliferation, angiogenesis, metastasis, and invasion. Cathepsins belong to a diverse number of enzyme subtypes, including cysteine proteases, serine proteases and aspartic proteases. The contribution of cathepsins to invasion in human cancers is well documented, although the precise mechanisms by which cathepsins exert their effects are still not clear. In the present review, the role of cathepsin family members in cancer is discussed.
Cathepsin; Tumor; Metastasis; Mechanism
Cell adhesion, migration and invasion are critical steps for carcinogenesis and cancer metastasis. Ganoderma lucidum, also called Lingzhi in China, is a traditional Chinese medicine, which exhibits anti-proliferation, anti-inflammation and anti-metastasis properties. Herein, GAEE, G. lucidum extract mainly contains ganoderiol A (GA), dihydrogenated GA and GA isomer, was shown to inhibit the abilities of adhesion and migration, while have a slight influence on that of invasion in highly metastatic breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells at non-toxic doses. Further investigation revealed that GAEE decreased the active forms of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and disrupted the interaction between FAK and SRC, which lead to deactivating of paxillin. Moreover, GAEE treatment downregulated the expressions of RhoA, Rac1, and Cdc42, and decreased the interaction between neural Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (N-WASP) and Cdc42, which impair cell migration and actin assembly. To our knowledge, this is the first report to show that G.lucidum triterpenoids could suppress cell migration and adhesion through FAK-SRC-paxillin signaling pathway. Our study also suggests that GAEE may be a potential agent for treatment of breast cancer.
The effect of metformin, pioglitazone and sitagliptin on β-cell function in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is controversial. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to obtain a better understanding in the β-cell effects of metformin, pioglitazone and sitagliptin.
We searched Pubmed and the Cochrane Center Register of Controlled Trials to identify relevant studies. Trials investigating effects of sitagliptin, metformin or pioglitazone on β-cell function were identified. The primary outcomes were homeostasis model assessment of β-cells (HOMA-β) and proinsulin/insulin ratio (PI/IR). Secondary outcome was hemoglobin A1c level. We used version 2 of the Comprehensive Meta Analysis software for all statistical analyses.
Metformin monotherapy was more effective than sitagliptin in improving HOMA-β (18.01% (95% CI 11.09% to 24.94%) vs. 11.29% (95% CI 9.21% to 13.37%), P = 0.040) and more effective (−0.137 (95% CI −0.082 to −0.192)) than both sitagliptin (−0.064 (95% CI −0.036 to −0.092), P = 0.019) and pioglitazone (−0.068 (95% CI −0.044 to −0.093), P = 0.015) in decreasing PI/IR. Metformin and sitagliptin combined (40.23% (95%CI 32.30% to 48.16%)) were more effective than sitagliptin and pioglitazone (11.82% (95% CI 6.61% to 17.04%), P = 0.000) and pioglitazone and metformin(9.81% (95% CI 1.67% to 17.95%), P = 0.022) in improving HOMA-β and decreasing PI/IR (−0.177 (95% CI −0.118 to −0.237); −0.080 (95% CI −0.045 to −0.114), P = 0.007; −0.038 (95% CI, −0.005 to 0.071), P = 0.023).
The included RCTs were of short duration (12–54 weeks). We could not determine long term effects on β-cells.
Metformin improves β-cell function more effectively than pioglitazone or sitagliptin in type 2 diabetes patients. Metformin and sitagliptin improved HOMA-β and PI/IR more than other combinations.
Contemporary combined therapies that include the use of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic compounds have reduced relapse rates from ~50 to <10% in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patients, however relapse treatment remains controversial. Treatment outcomes in relapsed patients with APL previously treated with combined ATRA + arsenic compound therapy were investigated. A retrospective, observational study was conducted of 25 patients with APL (male to female ratio, 17:8; mean age, 36.4±10.3 years) exhibiting first-time relapse following combined ATRA + arsenic compound therapy. These patients were subsequently treated with secondary ATRA + arsenic compound therapy, salvage chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy or intrathecal chemotherapy, between January 1994 and December 2010. The overall remission rate, duration of remission and toxic effects were assessed. Patient outcomes included mortality during secondary induction therapy (6/25, 24.0%); complete recovery from central nervous system (CNS) relapse following intrathecal chemotherapy (1/25, 4.0%); complete remission following ATRA + arsenic compound therapy (10/25, 40.0%), chemotherapy (3/25, 12.0%) and targeted therapy (1/25, 4.0%); and non-remission (NR) following ATRA + arsenic compound therapy (4/25, 16%). Four (16.0%) patients were subsequently treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), two of which remained disease-free at the end of the study period and two of which succumbed to the disease. Secondary bone marrow and CNS relapse occurred in 14 (56.0%) patients and one (4.0%) patient, respectively. ATRA + arsenic compound-based combination therapy was effective in re-inducing morphological remission in relapsed patients with APL with previous exposure to ATRA + arsenic compounds, producing low molecular remission rates and high risk of secondary relapse. Furthermore, investigation of early allo-HSCT is required to determine its potential as a therapeutic option for re-inducing morphological remission in relapsed patients with APL with previous exposure to ATRA + arsenic compounds.
acute promyelocytic leukemia; relapse; re-induction therapy; remission; all-trans retinoic acid; arsenic compound
T lymphopoiesis in the thymus was thought to be completed once it reaches the single positive (SP)
stage, a stage when T cells are “fully mature” and waiting to be exported at random or follow a “first-in-first-out” manner. Recent evidence, however, has revealed that the newly generated SP thymocytes undergo a multistage maturation program in the thymic medulla. Such maturation is followed by a tightly regulated emigration process and a further postthymic maturation of recent thymic emigrants (RTEs). This review summarizes recent progress in the late stage T cell development. The regulation of this developmental process is discussed.
We examined the psychological impact of the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on hospital employees in Beijing, China.
In 2006, randomly selected employees (n = 549) of a hospital in Beijing were surveyed concerning their exposure to the 2003 SARS outbreak, and the ways in which the outbreak had affected their mental health.
About 10% of the respondents had experienced high levels of posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms since the SARS outbreak. Respondents who had been quarantined, or worked in high-risk locations such as SARS wards, or had friends or close relatives who contracted SARS, were 2 to 3 times more likely to have high PTS symptom levels, than those without these exposures. Respondents’ perceptions of SARS-related risks were significantly positively associated with PTS symptom levels and partially mediated the effects of exposure. Altruistic acceptance of work-related risks was negatively related to PTS levels.
The psychological impact of stressful events related to an infectious disease outbreak may be mediated by peoples’ perceptions of those events; altruism may help to protect some health care workers against these negative impacts.
severe acute respiratory syndrome; health care workers; posttraumatic stress; infectious disease outbreak; China
In order to observe the clinical therapeutic effects of Yiqi Kaimi Prescription and biofeedback therapy on treating constipation with deficiency of spleen qi, the 30 cases in the control group were given oral administration of Yiqi Kaimi Prescription, in combination with anus-lifting exercise; the 30 cases in the treatment group were given biofeedback therapy on the basis of the afore mentioned methods for the control group. The TCM symptom scores and anorectal pressures before and after treatment were observed and evaluated. There were significant differences in TCM symptom scores, anorectal pressure, and clinical recovery rate before and after treatment. In the treatment group, the total recovery rate was 86.66%, while in the control group it was 50%; there were significant differences between the two groups (P < 0.01). Yiqi Kaimi Prescription coupled with biofeedback therapy is clinically effective for treating constipation with deficiency of spleen qi, and thus this method is applicable for functional constipation with deficiency of spleen qi.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by the loss of control. Because the cingulate cortex is believed to be important in executive functions, such as inhibition, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to examine whether and how activity and functional connectivity (FC) of the cingulate cortex were altered in drug-naïve OCD patients.
Twenty-three medication-naïve OCD patients and 23 well-matched healthy controls received fMRI scans in a resting state. Functional connectivities of the anterior cingulate (ACC) and the posterior cingulate (PCC) to the whole brain were analyzed using correlation analyses based on regions of interest (ROI) identified by the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF). Independent Component Analysis (ICA) was used to identify the resting-state sub-networks.
fALFF analysis found that regional activity was increased in the ACC and decreased in the PCC in OCD patients when compared to controls. FC of the ACC and the PCC also showed different patterns. The ACC and the PCC were found to belong to different resting-state sub-networks in ICA analysis and showed abnormal FC, as well as contrasting correlations with the severity of OCD symptoms.
Activity of the ACC and the PCC were increased and decreased, respectively, in the medication-naïve OCD patients compared to controls. Different patterns in FC were also found between the ACC and the PCC with respect to these two groups. These findings implied that the cardinal feature of OCD, the loss of control, may be attributed to abnormal activities and FC of the ACC and the PCC.
To investigate the ability of rESAT6 to identify different mycobacteria-sensitized guinea pigs and its safety in preclinical and phase I clinical study.
Guinea pigs were sensitized with different Mycobacteria. After sensitization, all animals were intradermally injected with rESAT6 and either PPD or PPD-B. At 24 h after the injection, the erythema of the injection sites were measured using a double-blind method. For the preclinical safety study, different doses of rESAT6 and BSA were given 3 times intramuscularly to guinea pigs. On day 14 after the final immunization, the guinea pigs were intravenously injected with the same reagents in the hind legs and the allergic reactions were observed. A single-center, randomized, open phase I clinical trial was employed. The skin test was conducted in 32 healthy volunteers aged 19–65 years with 0.1 μg, 0.5 μg, and 1 μg rESAT6. Physical examination and laboratory tests were performed before and after the skin test and adverse reactions were monitored. The volunteers’ local and systemic adverse reactions and adverse events were recorded for 7 days.
Positive PPD or PPD-B skin tests were observed in all Mycobacteria-sensitized guinea pigs; the diameters of erythema were all >10 mm. The rESAT6 protein induced a positive skin test result in the guinea pigs sensitized with MTB, M. bovis, M. africanum and M. kansasii; the diameters of erythema were 14.7±2.0, 9.3±3.8, 18.7±2.4, and 14.8±4.2 mm, respectively. A negative skin test result was detected in BCG-vaccinated and other NTM-sensitized guinea pigs. The rESAT6 caused no allergic symptoms, but many allergic reactions, such as cough, dyspnea, and even death, were observed in the guinea pigs who were administered BSA. During the phase I clinical trial, no adverse reactions were found in the 0.1 μg rESAT6 group, but in the 0.5 μg rESAT6 group 2 volunteers reported pain and 1 reported itching, and in the 1 μg rESAT6 group there was 1 case of pain, 1 case of itching, and 1 case of blister. No other local or systemic adverse reactions or events were reported.
The rESAT6 can differentiate effectively among MTB infection, BCG vaccination, and NTM infection and is safe in healthy volunteers.
phase I clinical trial; recombinant protein; skin test; latent M. tuberculosis infection
Progesterone receptor (PR) antagonists are potent antitumor agents in carcinogen and progestin-dependent mammary tumorigenesis models through both PR and non-PR-mediated mechanisms. The PR antagonist mifepristone/RU486 has been used primarily as an abortifacient possessing high affinity for both the PR and glucocorticoid receptors (GR). To determine whether mifepristone would be effective as a chemopreventive agent, we assessed its effect on progestin/DMBA-induced mammary carcinogenesis in wild-type (WT) and estrogen receptor-α-positive (ER+) transgenic mice expressing the dominant-negative Pax8PPARγ (Pax8) fusion protein. Mifepristone administered at a dose of 2.5 mg significantly delayed mammary tumorigenesis in WT, but not in Pax8 mice, whereas, a three-fold higher dose almost completely blocked tumorigenesis in both WT and Pax8 mice. The sensitivity of WT mice to 2.5 mg mifepristone correlated with a expression profile of 79 genes in tumors, 52 of which exhibited the opposite response in Pax8 mice, and corresponded primarily to the down-regulation of genes associated with metabolism, inflammation and invasion. These results suggest that the chemopreventive activity of mifepristone in WT mice correlates with a specific gene expression signature that is associated with multiple nuclear receptor signaling pathways.
Plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (P-EIS) is developed to investigate molecular binding on surfaces. Its basic principle relies on the sensitive dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) signal on surface charge density, which is modulated by applying an AC potential to a SPR chip surface. The AC component of the SPR response gives the electrochemical impedance, and the DC component provides the conventional SPR detection. The plasmonic-based impedance measured over a range of frequency is in quantitative agreement with the conventional electrochemical impedance. Compared to the conventional SPR detection, P-EIS is sensitive to molecular binding taking place on the chip surface, and less sensitive to bulk refractive index changes or non-specific binding. Moreover, this new approach allows for simultaneous SPR and surface impedance analysis of molecular binding processes.
SPR; Surface Plasmon Resonance; Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy; Plasmonic-based impedance spectroscopy; P-EIS
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese surgical treatment for anal fistulae with secondary tracks and abscess.
METHODS: Sixty patients with intersphincteric or transsphincteric anal fistulas with secondary tracks and abscess were randomly divided into study group [suture dragging combined with pad compression (SDPC)] and control group [fistulotomy (FSLT)]. In the SDPC group, the internal opening was excised and incisions at external openings were made for drainage. Silk sutures were put through every two incisions and knotted in loose state. The suture dragging process started from the first day after surgery and the pad compression process started when all sutures were removed as wound tissue became fresh and without discharge. In the FSLT group, the internal opening and all tracts were laid open and cleaned by normal saline postoperatively till all wounds healed. The time of healing, postoperative pain score (visual analogue scale), recurrence rate, patient satisfaction, incontinence evaluation and anorectal manometry before and after the treatment were examined.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding age, gender and fistulae type. The time of healing was significantly shorter (24.33 d in SDPC vs 31.57 d in FSLT, P < 0.01) and the patient satisfaction score at 1 mo postoperative follow-up was significantly higher in the SDPC group (4.07 in SDPC vs 3.37 in FSLT, P < 0.05). The mean maximal postoperative pain scores were 5.83 ± 2.5 in SDPC vs 6.37 ± 2.33 in FSLT and the recurrence rates were 3.33 in SDPC vs 0 in FSLT. None of the patients in the two groups experienced liquid and solid fecal incontinence and lifestyle alteration postoperatively. The Wexner score after treatment of intersphincter fistulae were 0.17 ± 0.41 in SDPC vs 0.40 ± 0.89 in FSLT and trans-sphincter fistulae were 0.13 ± 0.45 in SDPC vs 0.56 ± 1.35 in FSLT. The maximal squeeze pressure and resting pressure declined after treatment in both groups. The maximal anal squeeze pressures after treatment were reduced (23.17 ± 3.73 Kpa in SDPC vs 22.74 ± 4.47 Kpa in FSLT) and so did the resting pressures (12.36 ± 2.15 Kpa in SDPC vs 11.71 ± 1.87 Kpa in FSLT), but there were neither significant differences between the two groups and nor significant differences before or after treatment.
CONCLUSION: Traditional Chinese surgical treatment SDPC for anal fistulae with secondary tracks and abscess is safe, effective and less invasive.
Traditional Chinese surgical treatment; Suture dragging; Pad compression; Anal fistulae; Secondary tracks and abscess
(De)acetylation of histone and non-histone proteins is an important post-translational modification affecting many cellular processes. Here we report that NuA4 acetylation of Sip2, one of three regulatory β subunits of Snf1 complex (yeast AMP-activated protein kinase), decreases as cells age. We used mutations at four acetylation sites, K12, 16, 17 and 256, to study acetyl-Sip2 function. Sip2 acetylation, controlled by antagonizing NuA4 acetyltransferase and Rpd3 deacetylase, enhances interaction with Snf1, the catalytic subunit of Snf1 complex. Sip2-Snf1 interaction inhibits Snf1 activity, thus decreasing phosphorylation of a downstream target, Sch9 (homolog of Akt/S6K), ultimately leads to slower growth but extends replicative lifespan. Sip2 acetylation mimetics are more resistant to oxidative stress. We further demonstrate that the anti-aging effect of Sip2 acetylation is independent of extrinsic nutrient availability and TORC1 activity. We propose a novel protein acetylation- phosphorylation cascade that regulates Sch9 activity, controls intrinsic aging and extends replicative lifespan in yeast.
Alkaloids are important chemical compounds that serve as a rich reservoir for drug discovery. Several alkaloids isolated from natural herbs exhibit antiproliferation and antimetastasis effects on various types of cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Alkaloids, such as camptothecin and vinblastine, have already been successfully developed into anticancer drugs. This paper focuses on the naturally derived alkaloids with prospective anticancer properties, such as berberine, evodiamine, matrine, piperine, sanguinarine, and tetrandrine, and summarizes the mechanisms of action of these compounds. Based on the information in the literature that is summarized in this paper, the use of alkaloids as anticancer agents is very promising, but more research and clinical trials are necessary before final recommendations on specific alkaloids can be made.
First identified as histone-modifying proteins, lysine acetyltranferases (KATs) and deacetylases (KDACs) antagonize each other through modification of the side chains of lysine residues in histone proteins1. (De)acetylation of many non-histone proteins involved in chromatin, metabolism or cytoskeleton regulation were further identified in eukaryotic organisms2–6, but the corresponding modifying enzymes and substrate-specific functions of the modification are unclear. Moreover, mechanisms underlying functional specificity of individual KDACs7 remain enigmatic, and the substrate spectra of each KDAC lack comprehensive definition. Here we dissect the functional specificity of twelve critical human KDACs using a genome-wide synthetic lethality screen8–13 in cultured human cells. The genetic interaction profiles revealed enzyme-substrate relationships between individual KDACs and many important substrates governing a wide array of biological processes including metabolism, development and cell cycle progression. We further confirmed that (de)acetylation of the catalytic subunit of the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a critical cellular energy-sensing protein kinase complex, is controlled by the opposing catalytic activities of HDAC1 and p300. Its deacetylation enhances physical interaction with the upstream kinase LKB1, in turn leading to AMPK phosphorylation and activation, resulting in lipid breakdown in human liver cells. These findings provide new insights into previously underappreciated metabolism-regulatory roles of HDAC1 in coordinating nutrient availability and cellular responses upstream of AMPK, and demonstrate the importance of high-throughput genetic interaction profiling to elucidate functional specificity and critical substrates of individual human KDACs potentially valuable for therapeutic applications.
Furanodiene (FUR) is a natural terpenoid isolated from Curcumae Rhizoma, a well-known Chinese medicinal herb that presents antiproliferation activities in several cancer cell lines. In this study, we demonstrated that FUR concentration dependently inhibits the cell proliferation of A549, NIH-H1299, and 95-D lung cancer cells. β-elemene, another terpenoid isolated from Curcumae Rhizoma, exhibited weaker antiproliferative effects in A549 and NIH-H1299 cells and activities similar to FUR in 95-D cells. FUR significantly inhibited colony formation in A549 and 95-D cells and upregulated both the mRNA and protein expression levels of binding immunoglobulin protein (BIP) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), indicating that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is induced. FUR treatment led to the accumulation of CHOP in the nucleus, which further confirms induction of ER stress. Furthermore, combined treatment of FUR with paclitaxel showed significant synergetic activities in NIH-H1299 and 95-D cells, suggesting its potential roles in combination therapy. These findings provide a basis for the further study of the anticancer effects in vivo and the internal mechanisms of FUR.
We sought to compare the baseline demographics, standard pathologic factors and long-term clinical outcomes between ILC and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) using a large database.
Clinicopathologic features, overall survival (OS), and recurrence/metastasis-free survival (RFS) were compared between 2,202 patients with IDC and 215 patients with ILC.
ILC was significantly more likely to be associated with a favorable phenotype, but the incidence of contralateral breast cancer was higher for ILC patients than for IDC patients (8.4% vs. 3.9%; P =0.001). The frequencies of recurrence/metastasis (P = 0.980) and death (P = 0.064) were similar among patients with IDC and patients with ILC after adjustment for tumor size and nodal status. The median follow-up was 42.8 months.
Chinese women with ILCs do not have better clinical outcomes than their counterparts with IDC. Management decisions should be based on individual patient and tumor biologic characteristics, and not on lobular histology.
Invasive lobular carcinoma; Tumor characteristics; Clinical outcome
Summarizing the status of drugs in the market and examining the trend of drug research and development is important in drug discovery. In this study, we compared the drug targets and the market sales of the new molecular entities approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from January 2000 to December 2009. Two networks, namely, the target–target and drug–drug networks, have been set up using the network analysis tools. The multi-target drugs have much more potential, as shown by the network visualization and the market trends. We discussed the possible reasons and proposed the rational strategies for drug research and development in the future.
Ureaplasma urealyticum (UUR) and Ureaplasma parvum (UPA) are sexually transmitted bacteria among humans implicated in a variety of disease states including but not limited to: nongonococcal urethritis, infertility, adverse pregnancy outcomes, chorioamnionitis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in neonates. There are 10 distinct serotypes of UUR and 4 of UPA. Efforts to determine whether difference in pathogenic potential exists at the ureaplasma serovar level have been hampered by limitations of antibody-based typing methods, multiple cross-reactions and poor discriminating capacity in clinical samples containing two or more serovars.
We determined the genome sequences of the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) type strains of all UUR and UPA serovars as well as four clinical isolates of UUR for which we were not able to determine serovar designation. UPA serovars had 0.75−0.78 Mbp genomes and UUR serovars were 0.84−0.95 Mbp. The original classification of ureaplasma isolates into distinct serovars was largely based on differences in the major ureaplasma surface antigen called the multiple banded antigen (MBA) and reactions of human and animal sera to the organisms. Whole genome analysis of the 14 serovars and the 4 clinical isolates showed the mba gene was part of a large superfamily, which is a phase variable gene system, and that some serovars have identical sets of mba genes. Most of the differences among serovars are hypothetical genes, and in general the two species and 14 serovars are extremely similar at the genome level.
Comparative genome analysis suggests UUR is more capable of acquiring genes horizontally, which may contribute to its greater virulence for some conditions. The overwhelming evidence of extensive horizontal gene transfer among these organisms from our previous studies combined with our comparative analysis indicates that ureaplasmas exist as quasi-species rather than as stable serovars in their native environment. Therefore, differential pathogenicity and clinical outcome of a ureaplasmal infection is most likely not on the serovar level, but rather may be due to the presence or absence of potential pathogenicity factors in an individual ureaplasma clinical isolate and/or patient to patient differences in terms of autoimmunity and microbiome.
A series of modifications have been introduced to the TNM staging system over time for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), mainly focused on the T (primary tumor) and N (local node) components of the system. The M1 stage is a ‘catch all’ classification, covering a group of patients whose outlook ranges from potentially curable to incurable. Since the current M1 stage does not allow clinicians to stratify patients according to prognosis or guide therapeutic decision-making and allow comparison of results of radical and non-radical treatments, we aimed to subdivide the M1 stage according to a retrospective study of 1027 metastatic NPC patients and to review the relevant literature. Between 1995 and 2007, 1027 inpatients with distant metastasis from NPC were retrospectively analyzed. Various possible subdivisions of the M1 stage were considered, looking at different metastatic sites, the number of metastatic organs and the number of metastases. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. The most frequently involved metastatic sites were the bone, lung and liver. The incidence rates of solitary metastatic lesions and pulmonary metastasis were 16.2 and 41.3%. Despite the poor survival of these patients with a median survival of 30.8 months, patients in the metachronous metastatic group with metastases to the lung and/or solitary lesions, were defined as M1a, and were significantly associated with favorable median survival of 41.5 and 49.1 months in the univariate and multivariate analysis, respectively. Patients in the metachronous metastatic group with metastasis to the lung and/or solitary lesions (M1a) have a more favorable prognosis compared with those patients with multiple metastases located in other anatomic sites (M1b). These data, in one of the largest reported metastatic NPC cohorts, are the first to show the prognostic impact of metastatic status in NPC. As a powerful predictor, the potential clinical value of a modified M1 of the TNM system for NPC will facilitate patient counseling and individualize management.
distant metastasis; M1 stage; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; metastatic survival; prognostic factors
Metastasis is the main cause of cancer-related mortality; patients with liver metastases (LM) have the worst prognosis among patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, at present, few biomarkers for detecting organ-specific metastasis have been identified. Proteomics, an ultra-sensitive analytical technique, can detect molecular changes before organ-specific metastasis occurs. Analysis with matrix-assisted, laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), combined with magnetic chemical affinity beads is a new technique for evaluating protein separation. We sought to identify potential liver-specific, metastasis-associated proteomic printing in patients with NPC. We examined 64 serum samples from 50 patients who had pathologically confirmed NPC and 14 who had pathologically confirmed non-NPC with LM using MALDI-TOF-MS with weak cation bead protein chips. During follow-up of at least 37 months (maximum, 176 months) following radiotherapy, we confirmed 16 cases of LM (LM NPC), 16 cases without LM (non-LM NPC) and 18 cases without metastasis (non-M NPC). Using comparison analysis, 4 protein mass peaks, 4155.34, 4194.87, 4210.78 and 4249.56 m/z were identified as liver-specific, metastasis-associated protein peaks in NPC and two of them (4155 and 4249 m/z) met two different statistical criteria in both ClinProt software analyses and discriminant analyses. Models based on the 4 potential serum markers of NPC discriminated between LM NPC, non-LM NPC, non-M NPC and non-NPC LM analyzed with sieved markers. The recognition capability and cross-validation of these models for differentiating the above 4 groups are all approximately 80%. MALDI-TOF-MS combined with tree analysis models may provide a clinical diagnostic platform for detecting potential liver-specific, metastasis-associated proteomic printing in NPC. However, markedly differential proteins still need to be identified.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; organ-specific metastasis; liver metastasis; proteomics
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorγ (PPARγ) is a key regulator of metabolism, proliferation, inflammation and differentiation, and upregulates tumor suppressor genes, such as PTEN, BRCA1 and PPARγ itself. Examination of mammary carcinogenesis in transgenic mice expressing the dominant-negative Pax8PPARγ fusion protein revealed that tumors were estrogen receptorα (ER)-positive and sensitive to the ER antagonist, fulvestrant. Here we evaluated whether administration of an irreversible PPARγ inhibitor in vivo could similarly induce ER expression in otherwise ER-negative mammary tumors following induction of carcinogenesis, and sensitize them to the antitumor effects of fulvestrant. In addition, we wished to determine whether the effect of GW9662 was associated with a PPAR-selective gene expression profile. Mammary carcinogenesis was induced in wild-type FVB mice by treatment with medroxyprogesterone and dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) that were subsequently maintained on a diet supplemented with 0.1% GW9662, and tumorigenesis and gene expression profiling of the resulting tumors were determined. Administration of GW9962 resulted in ER+ tumors that were highly sensitive to fulvestrant. Tumors from GW9662-treated animals exhibited reduced expression of a metabolic gene profile indicative of PPARγ inhibition, including PPARγ itself. Additionally, GW9662 upregulated the expression of several genes associated with the transcription, processing, splicing and translation of RNA. This study is the first to show that an irreversible PPARγ inhibitor can mimic a dominant-negative PPARγ transgene to elicit the development of ER-responsive tumors. These findings suggest that it may be possible to pharmacologically influence the responsiveness of tumors to anti-estrogen therapy.
PPARγ; ERα; fulvestrant; GW9662
Albumin transports both fatty acids and zinc in plasma.
binding studied by isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that
physiologically relevant levels of fatty acids modulate the Zn-binding
capacity of albumin, with far-reaching implications for biological
zinc speciation. The molecular mechanism for this effect is likely
due to a large conformational change elicited by fatty acid binding
to a high-affinity interdomain site that disrupts at least one Zn
site. Albumin may be a molecular device to “translate”
certain aspects of the organismal energy state into global zinc signals.
Heightened surveillance of acute febrile illness in China since 2009 has led to the identification of a severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) with an unknown cause. Infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been suggested as a cause, but the pathogen has not been detected in most patients on laboratory testing.
We obtained blood samples from patients with the case definition of SFTS in six provinces in China. The blood samples were used to isolate the causal pathogen by inoculation of cell culture and for detection of viral RNA on polymerase-chain-reaction assay. The pathogen was characterized on electron microscopy and nucleic acid sequencing. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indirect immunofluorescence assay, and neutralization testing to analyze the level of virus-specific antibody in patients’ serum samples.
We isolated a novel virus, designated SFTS bunyavirus, from patients who presented with fever, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia, and multiorgan dysfunction. RNA sequence analysis revealed that the virus was a newly identified member of the genus phlebovirus in the Bunyaviridae family. Electron-microscopical examination revealed virions with the morphologic characteristics of a bunyavirus. The presence of the virus was confirmed in 171 patients with SFTS from six provinces by detection of viral RNA, specific antibodies to the virus in blood, or both. Serologic assays showed a virus-specific immune response in all 35 pairs of serum samples collected from patients during the acute and convalescent phases of the illness.
A novel phlebovirus was identified in patients with a life-threatening illness associated with fever and thrombocytopenia in China. (Funded by the China Mega-Project for Infectious Diseases and others.)