Erlotinib, an orally active selective inhibitor of the EGFR tyrosine kinase has synergistic activity with radiation and with cisplatin. The EGFR is overexpressed in the majority of head and neck cancers. The primary objective of this Phase I study was to determine the Maximally Tolerated Dose (MTD) of erlotinib in combination with low-dose daily cisplatin and radiotherapy. We also sought evidence of biological activity of erlotinib alone using serial 18-FDG PET imaging.
Oral erlotinib was taken daily starting with a 14-day run-in and continued until RT was completed. Low-dose daily cisplatin, 6 mg/m2 IV was given concurrently with standard fractionation RT to a total dose of 66–70 Gy. Dose escalation followed a modified Fibonacci dose escalation design.
Twenty-two patients were enrolled and 18 patients received therapy on protocol. MTD of the combination of erlotinib, cisplatin and radiation therapy was not reached. The recommended phase II dose of erlotinib is 150 mg per day in combination with cisplatin and radiation therapy, the highest dose of erlotinib evaluated in this study. 18F-FDG PET demonstrated evidence for metabolic response to single agent erlotinib. Per PERCIST criteria, the overall metabolic response rate at day 14 was 38.8% (95%CI, 17.3–64.3%). On completion of concurrent chemoradiotherapy, overall response rate derived from tumor measurements based on imaging studies was 83% for all dose levels combined.
Erlotinib in combination with low dose daily cisplatin and radiation therapy is well tolerated and demonstrates evidence of clinical efficacy. The combination should be evaluated further.
Head and Neck/Oral Cancers; Phase I–III trials Head and Neck/Oral Cancers
Single-wall carbon nanohorns (SWNHs) have been demonstrated to accumulate in cytotoxic levels within organs of various animal models and cell types, which emerge as a wide range of promising biomedical imaging. Septic encephalopathy (SE) is an early sign of sepsis and associated with an increased rate of morbidity and mortality. Microglia activation plays an important role in neuroinflammation, which contributes to neuronal damage. Inhibition of microglia activation may have therapeutic benefits, which can alleviate the progression of neurodegeneration. Therefore, we investigated the functional changes of mice microglia cell lines pre-treated with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced by SWNHs. To address this question, the research about direct role of SWNHs on the growth, proliferation, and apoptosis of microglia cell lines in mice (N9 and BV2) pre-treated with or without LPS had been performed. Our results indicate that the particle diameter of SWNHs in water is between 342 to 712 nm. The images in scanning electron microscope showed that SWNHs on polystyrene surface are individual particles. LPS induced activation of mice microglia, promoted its growth and proliferation, and inhibited its apoptosis. SWNHs inhibited proliferation, delayed mitotic entry, and promoted apoptosis of mice microglia cells. The effects followed gradually increasing cultured time and concentrations of SWNHs, especially in cells pre-treated with LPS. SWNHs induced a significantly increase in G1 phase and inhibition of S phase of mice microglia cells in a dose-manner dependent of SWNHs, especially in cells pre-treated with LPS. The transmission electron microscope images showed that individual spherical SWNH particles smaller than 100 nm in diameters were localized inside lysosomes of mice microglia cells. SWNHs inhibited mitotic entry, growth and proliferation of mice microglia cells, and promoted its apoptosis, especially in cells pre-treated with LPS. SWNHs inhibited expression of Sirt3 and energy metabolism related with Sirt3 in mice microglia cells in a dose-dependent manner, especially in cells pre-treated with LPS. The role of SWNHs on mice microglia was implicating Sirt3 and energy metabolism associated with it.
Single-walled carbon nanohorns; Septic encephalopathy; Cell proliferation; Apoptosis; Lipopolysaccharide; Sepsis; Sirt3
Gene therapy represents a promising approach for delivering regenerative molecules to specific tissues including bone. Several laboratories have shown that virus-based BMP expression vectors can stimulate osteoblast differentiation and bone formation in vivo. Both in vivo and ex vivo transduction of cells can induce bone formation at ectopic and orthotopic sites. Adenovirus and direct DNA delivery of genes encoding regenerative molecules can heal critical-sized defects of cranial and long bones. Although osteogenic activity can be demonstrated for individual BMP vectors, substantial synergies may be achieved using combinatorial gene therapy to express complimentary osteogenic signals including specific combinations of BMPs or BMPs and transcription factors. Further control of the bone regeneration process may also be achieved through the use of inducible promoters that can be used to control the timing and magnitude of expression for a particular gene. Using these types of approaches, it should be possible to mimic natural processes of bone development and fracture repair and, in so doing, be able to precisely control both the amount and type of bone regenerated.
Adenovirus; Osteoblast; Fracture healing
Malignant glioma tumors are the most common primary central nervous system tumors. Despite the multidisciplinary approach to treatment, prognosis remains poor. In this study, we demonstrated that the Salmonella typhimurium A1-R tumor-targeting strain can inhibit and eradicate human glioma in an orthotopic nude-mouse model. S. typhimurium A1-R was administered by injection through a craniotomy open-window or intravenously in nude mice. To establish the model, 2 × 105 U87-RFP human glioma cells were injected stereotactically into the mouse brain through the craniotomy open window. Two weeks after glioma-cell implantation, mice were treated with S. typhimurium A1-R [2 × 107 CFU/200 µl intravenous injection (i.v.) or 1 × 106 CFU/1 µl intracranial injection (i.c.)] once a week for 3 weeks. Brain tumors were observed by fluorescence imaging through the craniotomy open window over time. S. typhimurium A1-R, administered i.c., inhibited brain tumor growth 7.6-fold compared with untreated mice (p = 0.009) and improved survival 73% (p = 0.001). Two of ten mice appeared to have their tumors eradicated. Intravenous administration of S. typhimurium A1-R was not effective. The craniotomy open window enabled observation of tumor growth in the brain in real time in both treated and untreated mice. The results of the present study demonstrate that bacterial therapy of brain cancer is a novel, effective and safe treatment strategy in a highly treatment-resistance cancer.
Salmonella typhimurium A1-R; fluorescent proteins; brain cancer; mouse model; in vivo imaging
S-trans,trans-Farnesylthiosalicylic Acid (FTS, salirasib) inhibits Ras-dependent cell growth by dislodging all isoforms of Ras, including mutant Ras, from the plasma membrane. This study evaluated the activity, safety, and toxicity of salirasib in preclinical models and patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDA).
Patients and methods
In the preclinical study, salirasib was tested, alone and in combination with gemcitabine, in patient derived xenografts (PDX) of PDA. In the clinical study, treatment-naïve patients with advanced, metastatic PDA were treated with a standard dose schedule of gemcitabine and salirasib 200–800 mg orally (PO) twice daily (bid) for 21 days every 28 days. Tissue from preclinical models and patients’ biopsies were collected pre-treatment and on Cycle (C) 1, Day (D) 9 to characterize the effect of gemcitabine and salirasib on activated Ras protein levels. Plasma samples for pharmacokinetics were collected for salirasib administered alone and in combination.
Salirasib inhibited the growth of 2/14 PDX models of PDA and modulated Ras signaling in these tumors. Nineteen patients were enrolled. No DLTs occurred. Common adverse events included hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicities and fatigue. The median overall survival was 6.2 months and the 1 year survival 37 %. In 2 patients in whom paired tissue biopsies were available, Ras and KRas protein levels were decreased on C1D9. Salirasib exposure was not altered by gemcitabine and did not correlate with PD outcomes.
The combination of gemcitabine and salirasib appears well-tolerated, with no alteration of salirasib exposure, and exerted clinical and PD activity in PDA.
Salirasib; Gemcitabine; Pancreatic cancer; Phase I; RAS
The cross talk of CD40/CD40 ligand (CD40L) plays a key role in CD4+ T cell priming, B-cell terminal maturation, and immunoglobulin (Ig) class-switch recombination. Genetic defects in the CD40L lead to a disorder characterized by elevated concentrations of serum IgM and immunodeficiency. Patients with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) characteristically show circulating anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMAs), liver infiltrating autoreactive T lymphocytes against mitochondrial antigens, and high levels of IgM. We hypothesized that CD40L may play a key role in the pathogenesis of the elevated serum IgM and analyzed genetic and epigenetic modifications of the gene coding for CD40L in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells isolated from circulating mononuclear cells from PBC patients and healthy controls. We herein demonstrate significantly lower levels of DNA methylation of the CD40L promoter in CD4+ T cells from PBC patients as compared with controls, and this decreased methylation was inversely correlated with levels of serum IgM in PBC patients. In conclusion, the findings of an absence of genetic modifications of the CD40L gene in concert with decreased DNA methylation of the CD40L promoter in PBC patients suggests that environmental factors rather than genetics must play a major role in the pathogenesis of elevated serum IgM in PBC.
Epigenetics; autoimmunity; methylation; CD40-CD40L
Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is one of the most prevalent abnormalities in human cancer. Tumors with cell autonomous Hh activation (e.g., medulloblastomas) can acquire secondary mutations at the Smoothened (Smo) antagonist binding pocket, which render them refractory to conventional Hh inhibitors. A class of Hh Pathway Inhibitors (HPIs) has been identified that block signaling downstream of Smo; one of these compounds, HPI-1, is a potent antagonist of the Hh transcription factor Gli1, and functions independent of upstream components in the pathway. Systemic administration of HPI-1 is challenging due to its minimal aqueous solubility and poor bioavailability. We engineered a polymeric nanoparticle from poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) conjugated with polyethylene glycol (PEG), encapsulating HPI-1 (NanoHHI). NanoHHI particles have an average diameter ~60nM, forms uniform aqueous suspension, and improved systemic bioavailability compared to the parent compound. In contrast to the prototype targeted Smo antagonist, HhAntag (Genentech), NanoHHI markedly inhibits the growth of allografts derived from Ptch−/+;Trp53−/− mouse medulloblastomas that harbor a SmoD477G binding site mutation (P<0.001), which is accompanied by significant downregulation of mGli1, as well as bona fide Hh target genes (Akna, Cltb, Olig2). Notably, NanoHHI combined with gemcitabine also significantly impedes the growth of orthotopic Pa03C pancreatic cancer xenografts that have a ligand-dependent, paracrine mechanism of Hh activation, when compared to gemcitabine alone. No demonstrable hematological or biochemical abnormalities were observed with NanoHHI administration. NanoHHI should be amenable to clinical translation in settings where tumors acquire mutational resistance to current Smo antagonists.
Hedgehog; smoothened; Gli1; HPI-1; polymeric nanoparticle; NanoHHI; HhAntag
Salmonella typhimurium double leu-arg auxotrophs have been shown to be highly effective as antitumor agents in nude mouse models of human metastatic cancer. In order to proceed to clinical development of the S. typhimurium double auxotroph, termed A1-R, it is necessary to evaluate antitumor efficacy in immunocompetent mice. In the present study, we have observed the efficacy of A1-R on the Lewis lung (LLC) carcinoma in vitro as well as in C57BL/6 (C57) immunocompetent mice. In vitro, A1-R treatment of LLC began to induce cell death within one hour. Various doses and schedules of A1-R were administered to C57 mice implanted with LLC, including bolus single intravenous injection; medium dose with weekly intravenous administration and metronomic treatment with small intravenous doses twice a week. Bolus treatment was toxic to the immunocompetent host in contrast to nude mice. Lower-dose weekly doses and metronomic doses were well-tolerated by the immunocompetent host. Weekly intravenous injection with 2 × 107 bacteria and twice a week intravenous injection with 107 bacteria significantly inhibited metastasis formation, while bolus injection was toxic. Intrathoracic administration was performed with 108 A1-R bacteria injected into Lewis lung-bearing C57 mice weekly for three weeks. Lung metastasis was significantly inhibited by intrathoracic bacterial administration without toxicity. The results in this report, demonstrating the anti-metastatic efficacy of S. typhimurium A1-R in immunocompetent mice, indicate the clinical potential of bacterial therapy of cancer.
Salmonella typhimurium; amino acid auxotroph; selective tumor targeting; lung; metastasis; RFP; GFP; fluorescence imaging; confocal microscopy
Vascular calcification is a major risk factor of cardiovascular mortality, particularly for patients with end-stage renal disease and diabetes. Although chronic inflammation is one of the etiologic factors, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. To clarify this, we studied how nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) induction, a mediator of inflammation, might promote vascular calcification. Activation of NF-κB by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) promoted inorganic phosphate-induced calcification in human aortic smooth muscle cells. Pyrophosphate (an inhibitor of calcification) efflux to the extracellular matrix was suppressed along with the decreased expression of ankylosis protein homolog (ANKH), a transmembrane protein that controls pyrophosphate efflux of cells. The restoration of ANKH expression in these cells overcame the decreased pyrophosphate efflux and calcification. Tristetraprolin, a downstream product of NF-κB activation, may mediate destablization of ANKH mRNA since its knockdown by shRNA increased ANKH expression and decreased calcification. Furthermore, a rat chronic renal failure model, with increased serum TNF levels, activated NF-κB and decreased ANKH levels. In contrast, the inhibition of NF-κB maintained ANKH expression and attenuated vascular calcification both in vivo and in vitro. Both human calcified atherosclerotic lesions and arteries from patients with chronic kidney disease had activated NF-κB and decreased ANKH expression. Thus, TNF-activated NF-κB promotes inflammation-accelerated vascular calcification by inhibiting ankylosis protein homolog expression and consequent pyrophosphate secretion.
chronic kidney disease; atherosclerosis; nuclear factor-kappa B; inorganic phosphate; tumor necrosis factor
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a form of inherited mental retardation in humans that results from expansion of a CGG repeat in the Fmr1 gene. Recent studies suggest a role of astrocytes in neuronal development. However, the mechanisms involved in the regulation process of astrocytes from FXS remain unclear. In this study, we found that astrocytes derived from a Fragile X model, the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse which lacks FMRP expression, inhibited the proper elaboration of dendritic processes of neurons in vitro. Furthermore, astrocytic conditioned medium (ACM) from KO astrocytes inhibited proper dendritic growth of both wild-type (WT) and KO neurons. Inducing expression of FMRP by transfection of FMRP vectors in KO astrocytes restored dendritic morphology and levels of synaptic proteins. Further experiments revealed elevated levels of the neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in KO ACM and the prefrontal cortex of Fmr1 KO mice. However, the levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) were normal. FMRP has multiple RNA–binding motifs and is involved in translational regulation. RNA–binding protein immunoprecipitation (RIP) showed the NT-3 mRNA interacted with FMRP in WT astrocytes. Addition of high concentrations of exogenous NT-3 to culture medium reduced the dendrites of neurons and synaptic protein levels, whereas these measures were ameliorated by neutralizing antibody to NT-3 or knockdown of NT-3 expression in KO astrocytes through short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs). Prefrontal cortex microinjection of WT astrocytes or NT-3 shRNA infected KO astrocytes rescued the deficit of trace fear memory in KO mice, concomitantly decreased the NT-3 levels in the prefrontal cortex. This study indicates that excessive NT-3 from astrocytes contributes to the abnormal neuronal dendritic development and that astrocytes could be a potential therapeutic target for FXS.
Fragile X syndrome is a form of inherited mental retardation in humans that results from expansion of a CGG repeat in the Fmr1 gene. Recent studies suggest that astrocytes play a role in neuronal growth. In this study, we find that astrocytes derived from a Fragile X model, the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse, inhibit the proper elaboration of dendritic processes of neurons in vitro. Excessive neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is released in the astrocytes from Fmr1 KO mice. Blockage of NT-3 by neutralizing antibodies and knockdown of NT-3 by using short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) in Fmr1 KO astrocytes can rescue the neuronal dendritic development. In vivo experiments show that prefrontal cortex microinjection of WT astrocytes or NT-3 shRNA–infected KO astrocytes rescues the deficit of trace fear memory in KO mice. This study provides the evidence that a lack of FMRP leads to an overexpression of NT-3, which reduces dendritic growth in neurons.
Epigenetic alterations are strongly associated with cancer development. We conducted a phase I/II trial of combined epigenetic therapy with azacitidine and entinostat, inhibitors of DNA methylation and histone deacetylation, respectively, in extensively pretreated patients with recurrent metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. This therapy is well tolerated, and objective responses were observed, including a complete response and a partial response in a patient who remains alive and without disease progression approximately 2 years after completing protocol therapy. Median survival in the entire cohort was 6.4 months (95% CI: 3.8–9.2), comparing favorably with existing therapeutic options. Demethylation of a set of four epigenetically silenced genes known to be associated with lung cancer was detectable in serial blood samples in these patients, and was associated with improved progression-free (p=0.034) and overall survival (p=0.035). Four of 19 patients had major objective responses to subsequent anti-cancer therapies given immediately following epigenetic therapy.
azacitidine; entinostat; demethylation; histone deacetylase inhibitor
The aim of this study was to investigate the biomechanical stability provided by a novel, polylactic acid/nano-sized, β-tricalcium phosphate, bioabsorbable, self-retaining cervical fusion cage (BCFC).
Quasistatic nonconstraining torques (maximum 1.5 NM) induced flexion, extension, lateral bending (±1.5 NM), and axial rotation (±1.5 NM) on 32 sheep cervical spines (C2–C5). The motion segment C3–C4 was first tested intact; the following groups were tested after complete discectomy: autologous tricortical iliac crest bone graft, Medtronic–Wego polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cage, Solis PEEK cage, and BCFC. The autologous bone graft group was tested with an anterior plate. The mean range of motion (ROM) was calculated from the load-displacement curves.
BCFC significantly decreased ROM in lateral bending and axial rotation compared to other implants, and no significant difference in ROM between two types of PEEK cages and BCFC could be observed in flexion and extension. Anterior cervical plate (ACP) significantly decreased ROM in flexion and extension, but no significant difference in ROM between BCFC and bone graft plus ACP could be determined in lateral bending and axial rotation.
The BCFC device showed better stability to autologous tricortical iliac crest bone graft and PEEK cages in single-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion models and thus may be a potential alternative to the current PEEK cages.
biomechanics; cervical spine; cages; bioabsorbable; sheep
Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is the cause of CSF which is a severe disease of pigs, leading to heavy economic losses in many regions of the world. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is a critical regulator of innate and adaptive immunity, and commonly activated upon viral infection. In our previous study, we found that CSFV could suppress the maturation and modulate the functions of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DCs) without activating NF-κB pathway. To further prove the effects of CSFV on the NF-κB signaling pathway, we investigated the activity of NF-κB after CSFV infection in vivo and in vitro.
Attenuated Thiverval strain and virulent wild-type GXW-07 strain were used as challenge viruses in this study. Porcine kidney 15 (PK-15) cells were cultured in vitro and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from the blood of CSFV-infected pigs. DNA binding of NF-κB was measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), NF-κB p65 translocation was detected using immunofluorescent staining, and p65/RelA and IκBα expression was measured by Western Blotting.
Infection of cells with CSFV in vitro and in vivo showed that compared with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulated cells, there was no distinct DNA binding band of NF-κB, and no significant translocation of p65/RelA from the cytoplasm to the nucleus was observed, which might have been due to the apparent lack of IkBa degradation.
CSFV infection had no effect on the NF-κB signaling pathway, indicating that CSFV could evade host activation of NF-κB during infection.
CSFV; NF-κB; PK-15; PBMC; p65; IκBα
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has been shown to improve left ventricular function and survival in rats with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and this maneuver has also been adopted clinically for the treatment of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Recent in vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that VNS can modulate the level of pro-inflammatory factors. Despite the beneficial effects of VNS, the stimulation parameters for obtaining favorable outcomes appear highly variable. To optimize VNS parameters, we set up different stimulation protocols with different pulse width (1–2 ms), frequency (1–6 Hz), voltage (1–6 V) and duration (40–240 min) of VNS by uniform design (UD). Rats were divided into seven groups with (Group1–Group6) or without VNS (MI group). Our results demonstrate that (1) the parameter sets in Group1, Group2 and Group3 yield the best post-MI protection by VNS, while the protective role were not observed in Group4, Group5 and Group6; (2) baroreflex sensitivity and the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor level were also increased in Group1, Group2 and Group3. (3) the parameter set in Group1 (G1:1 ms, 2 Hz, 3 V, 240 min) is judged the most optimal parameter in this study as rats in this group not only showed a reduced myocardial injury with better-preserved cardiac function compared with other groups, more important, but also exhibited minimal heart rate (HR) reduction. (4) the duration of VNS plays an important role in determining the protection effect of VNS. In conclusion, VNS displays a beneficial role in Group1, Group2 and Group3. Of note, the parameter set in Group1 provides the most optimal cardioprotective effect. These results may provide insight into development of novel treatment for ischemic heart diseases.
The title hydrated salt, C18H18N4
2+·2Cl−·2H2O, sits about an inversion centre, such that the asymmetric unit contains one half-molecule. In the crystal, hydrogen bonds occur between the water molecules and chloride anions, and there is π–π stacking of the benzene and imidazole rings of inversion-related pairs of molecules, with a centroid–centroid distance of 3.704 (17) Å.
Fragile X syndrome is a common inherited form of mental retardation caused by the lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) because of Fmr1 gene silencing. Serotonin (5-HT) is significantly increased in the null mutants of Drosophila Fmr1, and elevated 5-HT brain levels result in cognitive and behavioral deficits in human patients. The serotonin type 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) is highly expressed in the cerebral cortex; it acts on pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons to modulate cortical functions. 5-HT2AR and FMRP both regulate synaptic plasticity. Therefore, the lack of FMRP may affect serotoninergic activity. In this study, we determined the involvement of FMRP in the 5-HT modulation of synaptic potentiation with the use of primary cortical neuron culture and brain slice recording. Pharmacological inhibition of 5-HT2AR by R-96544 or ketanserin facilitated long-term potentiation (LTP) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of WT mice. The prefrontal LTP induction was dependent on the activation of NMDARs and elevation of postsynaptic Ca2+ concentrations. By contrast, inhibition of 5-HT2AR could not restore the induction of LTP in the ACC of Fmr1 knock-out mice. Furthermore, 5-HT2AR inhibition induced AMPA receptor GluR1 subtype surface insertion in the cultured ACC neurons of Fmr1 WT mice, however, GluR1 surface insertion by inhibition of 5-HT2AR was impaired in the neurons of Fmr1KO mice. These findings suggested that FMRP was involved in serotonin receptor signaling and contributed in GluR1 surface expression induced by 5-HT2AR inactivation.
Bisphoshonates are used clinically to treat disorders of calcium metabolism, hypercalcemia and osteoporosis, and malignant bone disease. Although these agents are commonly used in cancer patients and have potential direct anticancer effects, their use for the treatment of extraskeletal disease is limited as a result of poor cellular uptake. We have designed and synthesized bisphosphonamidate prodrugs that undergo intracellular activation to release the corresponding bisphosphonate and require only two enzymatic activation events to unmask multiple negative charges. We demonstrate efficient bisphosphonamidate activation and significant enhancement in anticancer activity of two bisphosphonamidate prodrugs in vitro compared to the parent bisphosphonate. These data suggest a novel approach to optimizing the anticancer activities of commonly used bisphosphonates.
bisphosphonates; clodronate; bisphosphonamidate; prodrug; lung cancer
The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) is induced by many tumor-suppressive stimuli and can mediate anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in cancer cells. Thus, identifying agents that enhance IRF-1 activity may be an effective approach to cancer therapy. A cell-based screening assay was developed to identify extracts and compounds that could enhance IRF-1 activity using an IRF-1-dependent luciferase reporter cell line. Through this approach, we identified a natural product extract and a known active component of this extract, baicalein, which causes a marked increase in IRF-1-dependent reporter gene expression and IRF-1 protein, with modulation of known IRF-1 targets PUMA and cyclin D1. Baicalein causes suppression of growth in vitro in multiple cancer cell lines in the low micromolar range. IRF-1 plays a role in this growth suppression as demonstrated by significant resistance to growth suppression in a breast cancer cell line stably transfected with shRNA against IRF-1. Finally, intraperitoneal baicalein by repeated injection causes inhibition of growth in both xenogeneic and syngeneic mouse models of cancer without toxicity to the animals. These findings indicate that identifying enhancers of IRF-1 activity may have utility in anticancer therapies, and that cell-based screening for activation of transcription factors can be a useful approach for drug discovery.
To investigate the placental proteome differences between pregnant women complicated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT).
We used two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) to separate and compare placental protein levels from GDM and NGT groups. Differentially expressed proteins between the two groups were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry and further confirmed by Western blotting. The mRNA levels of related proteins were measured by realtime RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to examine the cellular location of the proteins expressed in placenta villi.
Twenty-one protein spots were differentially expressed between GDM and NGT placenta villi in the tested samples, fifteen of which were successfully identified by mass spectrometry. The molecular functions of these differentially expressed proteins include blood coagulation, signal transduction, anti-apoptosis, ATP binding, phospholipid binding, calcium ion binding, platelet activation, and tryptophan-tRNA ligase activity. Both protein and mRNA levels of Annexin A2, Annexin A5 and 14-3-3 protein ζ/δ were up-regulated, while the expression of the Ras-related protein Rap1A was down-regulated in the GDM placenta group.
Placenta villi derived from GDM pregnant women exhibit significant proteome differences compared to those of NGT mothers. The identified differentially expressed proteins are mainly associated with the development of insulin resistance, transplacental transportation of glucose, hyperglucose-mediated coagulation and fibrinolysis disorders in the GDM placenta villi.
Interstitial lung disease in both children and adults has been linked to mutations in the lung-specific Surfactant protein C gene (SFTPC). Among these, the missense mutation (isoleucine to threonine at codon 73 = hSP-CI73T) accounts for ~30% of all described SFTPC mutations. We reported previously that unlike the BRICHOS misfolding SFTPC mutants, expression of hSP-CI73T induces lung remodeling and alveolar lipoproteinosis without a substantial ER stress response or ER-mediated intrinsic apoptosis. We show here that, in contrast to its wild type counterpart that is directly routed to lysosomal-like organelles for processing, SP-CI73T is misdirected to the plasma membrane and subsequently internalized to the endocytic pathway via early endosomes, leading to the accumulation of abnormally processed proSP-C isoforms. Functionally, cells expressing hSP-CI73T demonstrated both impaired uptake and degradation of surfactant phospholipid, thus providing a molecular mechanism for the observed lipid accumulation in patients expressing hSP-CI73T through the disruption of normal phospholipid recycling. Our data provide evidence for a novel cellular mechanism for conformational protein associated diseases, and suggest a paradigm for mistargeted proteins involved in the disruption of the endosomal/lysosomal sorting machinery.
Surfactant Protein C; post-translational processing; sorting; lysosomes; interstitial lung disease
Plant-derived polyphenols such as curcumin hold promise as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of chronic liver diseases. However, its development is plagued by poor aqueous solubility resulting in poor bioavailability. To circumvent the suboptimal bioavailability of free curcumin, we have developed a polymeric nanoparticle formulation of curcumin (NanoCurc™) that overcomes this major pitfall of the free compound. In this study, we show that NanoCurc™ results in sustained intrahepatic curcumin levels that can be found in both hepatocytes and non-parenchymal cells. NanoCurc™ markedly inhibits carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury, production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and fibrosis. It also enhances antioxidant levels in the liver and inhibits pro-fibrogenic transcripts associated with activated myofibroblasts. Finally, we show that NanoCurc™ directly induces stellate cell apoptosis in vitro. Our results suggest that NanoCurc™ might be an effective therapy for patients with chronic liver disease.
carbon tetrachloride; cirrhosis; curcumin; cytokines; liver fibrosis; myofibroblasts; NanoCurc™; polymeric nanoparticle
Exposure of Lead (Pb), a known neurotoxicant, can impair spatial learning and memory probably via impairing the hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as hippocampal neuronal injury. Activation of hippocampal microglia also impairs spatial learning and memory. Thus, we raised the hypothesis that activation of microglia is involved in the Pb exposure induced hippocampal LTP impairment and neuronal injury. To test this hypothesis and clarify its underlying mechanisms, we investigated the Pb-exposure on the microglia activation, cytokine release, hippocampal LTP level as well as neuronal injury in in vivo or in vitro model. The changes of these parameters were also observed after pretreatment with minocycline, a microglia activation inhibitor. Long-term low dose Pb exposure (100 ppm for 8 weeks) caused significant reduction of LTP in acute slice preparations, meanwhile, such treatment also significantly increased hippocampal microglia activation as well as neuronal injury. In vitro Pb-exposure also induced significantly increase of microglia activation, up-regulate the release of cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in microglia culture alone as well as neuronal injury in the co-culture with hippocampal neurons. Inhibiting the microglia activation with minocycline significantly reversed the above-mentioned Pb-exposure induced changes. Our results showed that Pb can cause microglia activation, which can up-regulate the level of IL-1β, TNF-α and iNOS, these proinflammatory factors may cause hippocampal neuronal injury as well as LTP deficits.
The intra- and postoperative complications resulting from surgery for giant thyroid gland tumors (diameter greater than 10 cm) present serious challenges to patient recovery. Although there are a number of methods, all have limitations. In this study, we present our experience with several complications of surgical treatment of giant thyroid gland tumors to increase the awareness and aid the prevention of these complications. A total of 137 consecutive patients who underwent surgical treatment in Henan Tumor Hospital were retrospectively analyzed. Statistics pertaining to the patients’ clinical factors were gathered. We found that the most common surgical complications were recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury and symptomatic hypoparathyroidism. Other complications included incision site infections, bleeding, infection and chyle fistula, the incidence of which increased significantly with increasing extent of surgery from group I (near-total thyroidectomy) to group V (total thyroidectomy plus lateral neck dissection). Low complication rates may be achieved with more accurate knowledge of the surgical anatomy, skilled surgical treatment and experience. More extensive surgery results in a greater number of complications.
complications; giant thyroid gland; recurrent laryngeal nerve; hypoparathyroidism
Rapamycin, an anti-proliferative agent, is effective in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and recurrent breast cancers. We proposed that this potent mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor may be useful for the treatment of gliomas as well. We examined the cytotoxicity of rapamycin against a rodent glioma cell line, determined the toxicity of rapamycin when delivered intracranially, and investigated the efficacy of local delivery of rapamycin for the treatment of experimental malignant glioma in vivo. We also examined the dose-dependent efficacy of rapamycin and the effect when locally delivered rapamycin was combined with radiation therapy. Rapamycin was cytotoxic to 9L cells, causing 34% growth inhibition at a concentration of 0.01 µg/mL. No in vivo toxicity was observed when rapamycin was incorporated into biodegradable caprolactone-glycolide (35:65) polymer beads at 0.3%, 3%, and 30% loading doses and implanted intracranially. Three separate efficacy studies were performed to test the reproducibility of the effect of the rapamycin beads as well as the validity of this treatment approach. Animals treated with the highest dose of rapamycin beads tested (30%) consistently demonstrated significantly longer survival durations than the control and placebo groups. All dose-escalating rapamycin bead treatment groups (0.3%, 3% and 30%), treated both concurrently with tumor and in a delayed manner after tumor placement, experienced a significant increase in survival, compared with controls. Radiation therapy in addition to the simultaneous treatment with 30% rapamycin beads led to significantly longer survival duration than either therapy alone. These results suggest that the local delivery of rapamycin for the treatment of gliomas should be further investigated.
Glioma; local delivery; rapamycin; sirolimus
Uncaria rhynchophylla is a component herb of many Chinese herbal formulae for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Previous study in our laboratory has demonstrated that an ethanol extract of Uncaria rhynchophylla ameliorated cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease induced by D-galactose. However, the active ingredients of Uncaria rhynchophylla responsible for the anti-Alzheimer's disease activity have not been identified. This study aims to identify the active ingredients of Uncaria rhynchophylla by a bioassay-guided fractionation approach and explore the acting mechanism of these active ingredients by using a well-established cellular model of Alzheimer's disease, beta-amyloid- (Aβ-) induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells. The results showed that six alkaloids, namely, corynoxine, corynoxine B, corynoxeine, isorhynchophylline, isocorynoxeine, and rhynchophylline were isolated from the extract of Uncaria rhynchophylla. Among them, rhynchophylline and isorhynchophylline significantly decreased Aβ-induced cell death, intracellular calcium overloading, and tau protein hyperphosphorylation in PC12 cells. These results suggest that rhynchophylline and isorhynchophylline are the major active ingredients responsible for the protective action of Uncaria rhynchophylla against Aβ-induced neuronal toxicity, and their neuroprotective effect may be mediated, at least in part, by inhibiting intracellular calcium overloading and tau protein hyperphosphorylation.