This study evaluated racial differences in bone size and volumetric density at the spine and hip in pre-and postmenopausal Chinese American and White women. Compared with White women, Chinese American women have greater cortical volumetric bone density (vBMD) at the hip, congruent with the results at the peripheral skeleton.
Chinese American women have lower rates of fracture than White women despite lower areal bone density. At the forearm and tibia, however, Chinese American women have higher cortical vBMD as well as greater trabecular and cortical thickness, but smaller bone area as measured by high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) compared with White women. Since HR-pQCT data are obtained at peripheral sites, it is unclear whether these differences are relevant to the clinically important lumbar spine and hip. This study assesses racial differences in bone size and vBMD at the spine and hip in Chinese American and White women.
QCT of the spine and hip was measured to assess racial differences in bone size, structure, and vBMD in pre-(n=83) and postmenopausal (n=50) Chinese American and White women. Data were adjusted for weight, height, physical activity, total calcium intake, parathyroid hormone, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.
Among premenopausal women, lumbar spine trabecular vBMD was 5.8% greater in Chinese American versus White women (p=0.01). At the hip, cortical vBMD was 3% greater at the femoral neck (p=0.05) and 3.6% greater at the total hip (p=0.01) in premenopausal Chinese American compared with White women. Among postmenopausal women, there was no difference in lumbar spine trabecular vBMD. Cortical vBMD was 4% greater at the total hip (p= 0.02) and tended to be greater at the femoral neck (p=0.058) in Chinese American versus White women.
Consistent with earlier findings in the peripheral skeleton, cortical vBMD is greater at the hip in Chinese American versus White women.
Central QCT; Chinese American; Race; Volumetric bone density; White
We report a clinical study that examines whether HIV infection affects Streptococcus mutans colonization in the oral cavity. Whole stimulated saliva samples were collected from 46 HIV-seropositive individuals and 69 HIV-seronegative control individuals. The level of S. mutans colonization was determined by conventional culture methods. The genotype of S. mutans was compared between 10 HIV-positive individuals before and after highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and 10 non-HIV-infected control individuals. The results were analyzed against viral load, CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell counts, salivary flow rate, and caries status. We observed that S. mutans levels were higher in HIV-infected individuals than in the non-HIV-infected control individuals (p = 0.013). No significant differences in S. mutans genotypes were found between the two groups over the six-month study period, even after HAART. There was a bivariate linear relationship between S. mutans levels and CD8+ counts (r = 0.412; p = 0.007), but not between S. mutans levels and either CD4+ counts or viral load. Furthermore, compared with non-HIV-infected control individuals, HIV-infected individuals experienced lower salivary secretion (p = 0.009) and a positive trend toward more decayed tooth surfaces (p = 0.027). These findings suggest that HIV infection can have a significant effect on the level of S. mutans, but not genotypes.
HIV infections; Streptococcus mutans; genotype; saliva; CD8+ T-lymphocytes; HAART
The Notch signalling pathway has been implicated in tumour initiation, progression, angiogenesis and development of resistance to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) targeting, providing a rationale for the combination of RO4929097, a γ-secretase inhibitor, and cediranib, a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
Patients received escalating doses of RO4929097 (on a 3 days-on and 4 days-off schedule) in combination with cediranib (once daily). Cycle 1 was 42 days long with RO4929097 given alone for the first 3 weeks followed by the co-administration of both RO4929097 and cediranib starting from day 22. Cycle 2 and onwards were 21 days long. Soluble markers of angiogenesis were measured in plasma samples. Archival tumour specimens were assessed for expression of three different components of Notch signalling pathway and genotyping.
In total, 20 patients were treated in three dose levels (DLs). The recommended phase II dose was defined as 20 mg for RO4929097 on 3 days-on and 4 days-off schedule and 30 mg daily for cediranib. The most frequent treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were diarrhoea, hypertension, fatigue and nausea. Eleven patients had a best response of stable disease and one patient achieved partial response. We did not detect any correlation between tested biomarkers of angiogenesis or the Notch pathway and treatment effect. There was no correlation between mutational status and time to treatment failure.
RO4929097 in combination with cediranib is generally well tolerated at the DLs tested. Preliminary evidence of antitumour efficacy with prolonged disease stabilisation in some patients with progressive malignancies warrants further clinical investigation of this treatment strategy.
RO4929097; cediranib; phase I; combination study
In the early days of BOLD fMRI, the acquisition of T2* weighted data was greatly facilitated by rapid scan techniques such as EPI. The latter, however, was only available on a few MRI systems that were equipped with specialized hardware that allowed rapid switching of the imaging gradients. For this reason, soon after the invention of fMRI, the scan technique PRESTO was developed to make rapid T2* weighted scanning available on standard clinical scanning. This method combined echo shifting, which allows for echo times longer than the sequence repetition time, with acquisition of multiple k-space lines per excitation. These two concepts were combined in order to achieve a method fast enough for fMRI, while maintaining a sufficiently long echo time for optimal contrast. PRESTO has been primarily used for 3D scanning, which minimized the contribution of large vessels due to inflow effects. Although PRESTO is still being used today, its appeal has lessened somewhat due to increased gradient performance of modern MRI scanners. Compared to 2D EPI, PRESTO may have somewhat reduced temporal stability, which is a disadvantage for fMRI that may not outweigh the advantage of reduced inflow effects provided by 3D scanning. In this overview, the history of the development of the PRESTO is presented, followed by a qualitative comparison with EPI.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) contrast; PRESTO (Principles of Echo-Shifting with a Train of Observation); Echo shifting
Metallic glasses are lucrative engineering materials owing to their superior mechanical properties such as high strength and great elastic strain. However, the Achilles' heel of metallic amorphous materials — low plasticity caused by instantaneous catastrophic shear banding, significantly undercut their structural applications. Here, the nanolayered crystalline Cu/amorphous Cu-Zr micropillars with equal layer thickness spanning from 20–100 nm are uniaxially compressed and it is found that the Cu/Cu-Zr micropillars exhibit superhigh homogeneous deformation (≥ 30% strain) rather than localized shear banding at room temperature. This extraordinary plasticity is aided by the deformation-induced devitrification via absorption/annihilation of abundant dislocations, triggering the cooperative shearing of shear transformation zones in glassy layers, which simultaneously renders the work-softening. The synthesis of such heterogeneous nanolayered structure not only hampers shear band generation but also provides a viable route to enhance the controllability of plastic deformation in metallic glassy composites via deformation-induced devitrification mechanism.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the application of flow cytometry total cell counts (TCCs) as a parameter to assess microbial growth in drinking water distribution systems and to determine the relationships between different parameters describing the biostability of treated water. A one-year sampling program was carried out in two distribution systems in The Netherlands. Results demonstrated that, in both systems, the biomass differences measured by ATP were not significant. TCC differences were also not significant in treatment plant 1, but decreased slightly in treatment plant 2. TCC values were found to be higher at temperatures above 15°C than at temperatures below 15°C. The correlation study of parameters describing biostability found no relationship among TCC, heterotrophic plate counts, and Aeromonas. Also no relationship was found between TCC and ATP. Some correlation was found between the subgroup of high nucleic acid content bacteria and ATP
(R2 = 0.63). Overall, the results demonstrated that TCC is a valuable parameter to assess the drinking water biological quality and regrowth; it can directly and sensitively quantify biomass, detect small changes, and can be used to determine the subgroup of active HNA bacteria that are related to ATP.
Heroin abuse and natural aging exert common influences on immunological cell functioning. This observation led to a recent and untested idea that aging may be accelerated in abusers of heroin. We examined this claim by testing whether heroin use is associated with premature aging at both cellular and brain system levels. A group of abstinent heroin users (n=33) and matched healthy controls (n=30) were recruited and measured on various biological indicators of aging. These measures included peripheral blood telomerase activity, which reflects cellular aging, and both structural and functional measures of brain magnetic resonance imaging. We found that heroin users were characterized by significantly low telomerase activity (0.21 vs 1.78; 88% reduction; t(61)=6.96, P<0.001; 95% confidence interval=1.12–2.02), which interacted with heroin use to affect the structural integrity of gray and white matter of the prefrontal cortex (PFC; AlphaSim corrected P<0.05), a key brain region implicated in aging. Using the PFC location identified from the structural analyses as a ‘seed' region, it was further revealed that telomerase activity interacted with heroin use to impact age-sensitive brain functional networks (AlphaSim corrected P<0.05), which correlated with behavioral performance on executive functioning, memory and attentional control (Pearson correlation, all P<0.05). To our knowledge, this study is the first to attempt a direct integration of peripheral molecular, brain system and behavioral measures in the context of substance abuse. The present finding that heroin abuse is associated with accelerated aging at both cellular and brain system levels is novel and forms a unique contribution to our knowledge in how the biological processes of drug abusers may be disrupted.
addiction; aging; heroin; MRI; prefrontal cortex; resting state; telomerase
The activation of NADPH oxidase has been implicated in NEFA-induced beta cell dysfunction. However, the causal role of this activation in vivo remains unclear. Here, using rodents, we investigated whether pharmacological or genetic inhibition of NADPH oxidase could prevent NEFA-induced beta cell dysfunction in vivo.
Normal rats were infused for 48 h with saline or oleate with or without the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin. In addition, NADPH oxidase subunit p47phox-null mice and wild-type littermate controls were infused with saline or oleate for 48 h. This was followed by measurement of NADPH oxidase activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and superoxide imaging and assessment of beta cell function in isolated islets and hyperglycaemic clamps.
Oleate infusion in rats increased NADPH oxidase activity, consistent with increased total but not mitochondrial superoxide in islets and impaired beta cell function in isolated islets and during hyperglycaemic clamps. Co-infusion of apocynin with oleate normalised NADPH oxidase activity and total superoxide levels and prevented beta cell dysfunction. Similarly, 48 h NEFA elevation in wild-type mice increased total but not mitochondrial superoxide and impaired beta cell function in isolated islets. p47phox-null mice were protected against these effects when subjected to 48 h oleate infusion. Finally, oleate increased the levels of total ROS, in both models, whereas inhibition of NADPH oxidase prevented this increase, suggesting that NADPH oxidase is the main source of ROS in this model.
These data show that NADPH-oxidase-derived cytosolic superoxide is increased in islets upon oleate infusion in vivo; and whole-body NADPH-oxidase inhibition decreases superoxide in concert with restoration of islet function.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2858-4) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Beta cell dysfunction; In vivo; Lipotoxicity; NADPH oxidase; Oleate; Oxidative stress
Germline genetic variations may partly explain the clinical observation that normal tissue tolerance to radiochemotherapy varies by individual. Our objective was to evaluate the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in radiation/platinum pathways and serious treatment-related toxicity in subjects with esophageal adenocarcinoma who received cisplatin-based preoperative radiochemotherapy.
In a multicenter clinical trial (E1201), 81 eligible treatment-naïve subjects with resectable esophageal adenocarcinoma received cisplatin-based chemotherapy concurrent with radiotherapy, with planned subsequent surgical resection. Toxicity endpoints were defined as grade ≥3 radiation-related or myelosuppressive events probably or definitely related to therapy, occurring during or up to 6 weeks following the completion of radiochemotherapy. SNPs were analyzed in 60 subjects in pathways related to nucleotide/base excision- or double stranded break repair, or platinum influx, efflux, or detoxification.
Grade ≥3 radiation-related toxicity (mostly dysphagia) and myelosuppression occurred in 18 and 33% of subjects, respectively. The variant alleles of the XRCC2 5′ flanking SNP (detected in 28% of subjects) and of GST-Pi Ile-105-Val (detected in 65% of subjects) were each associated with higher odds of serious radiation-related toxicity compared to the major allele homozygote (47% vs. 9%, and 31% vs. 0%, respectively; P = 0.005). No SNP was associated with myelosuppression.
This novel finding in a well-characterized cohort with robust endpoint data supports further investigation of XRCC2 and GST-Pi as potential predictors of radiation toxicity.
Chemoradiation; Esophageal cancer; Radiation toxicity prediction; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Trimodality
This study aimed to investigate the value of ultrasound in the identification of benign and malignant parotid masses.
Data of 189 patients with parotid gland masses undergoing ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA), core biopsy or surgery were reviewed retrospectively and the presumed sonographic diagnoses were compared with the histopathology. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of sonographic diagnoses were assessed and the sonographic characteristics of those lesions, including shape, margin, echogenicity, echotexture and vascularization, were studied.
Of the 189 patients, the final pathological diagnosis included 18 malignant tumours and 171 benign masses; the presumed sonographic diagnoses showed 165 cases as benign and probably benign masses (11 cases were confirmed malignant, 154 cases benign) and 24 cases were diagnosed as probably malignant and malignant masses (7 cases were confirmed malignant, 17 cases benign). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of ultrasound for the diagnosis of parotid gland masses were 38.9%, 90.1%, 29.2%, 93.3% and 85.2%, respectively, and accuracy for malignant masses was 20%. The sonographic characteristics of parotid masses between benign and malignant lesions had no significant differences. The parotid gland masses in this study included pleomorphic adenoma, Warthin's tumour, retention cyst, haemangiomas, chronic granuloma, lymphoma, fibrolipoma, abscess, basal cell adenoma, oncocytoma, lymphatic tuberculosis, myoepithelioma, neurilemmoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, alveolar soft part sarcoma and retinal blastoma (metastasis).
It is challenging to use sonography for differentiating between benign and malignant parotid gland masses. To make a definite diagnosis, ultrasound-guided FNA or core biopsy is advocated.
parotid gland; mass; benign; malignant; ultrasound
Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2), a NAD-dependent deacetylase expressed by oligodendrocytes (OLs), the myelin-producing cells of the central nervous system (CNS), is markedly up-regulated during active myelination (Li et al. 2007; Southwood et al. 2007; Werner et al. 2007). SIRT2 is a component of the myelin proteome and is severely reduced in the Plp1 knockout mouse brain, in which both PLP and DM20 are absent (Werner et al. 2007). The mechanisms that regulate SIRT2 expression in OLs and myelin remain to be investigated. We report for the first time that the expression of SIRT2 is regulated by the QKI-dependent pathway and this effect is mediated through selective regulation of PLP. In the homozygous quakingviable (qkv/qkv) mutant mouse that harbors QKI deficiency in OLs (Bockbrader and Feng 2008; Ebersole et al. 1996; Hardy et al. 1996), PLP, but not DM20 mRNA, was selectively down-regulated and SIRT2 protein was severely reduced while SIRT2 mRNA expression was unaffected. Expression of the cytoplasmic isoform QKI6 in OLs (Zhao et al. 2006) rescued SIRT2 expression in the qkv/qkv mutant concomitantly with restoration of PLP expression. Moreover, SIRT2 protein is diminished in myelin tracts and compact myelin of the PLP-ISEdel mutant brain, in which PLP protein but not DM20 is selectively reduced (Wang et al. 2008). In contrast, SIRT2 expression and its cellular function in regulating process complexity are not affected by the absence of PLP in PLP-ISEdel non-myelinating oligodendrocytes. Collectively, our results indicate that the abundance of SIRT2 in myelin is dependent on PLP, but not DM20.
oligodendrocytes; Sirtuin2; PLP; myelin; development; quaking
Cell fate decision is a critical step during physiological development when embryonic stem cells commit to either becoming adult stem cells or somatic cells. Recent advances in reprogramming demonstrate that a similar set of transcription factors (TFs), which are important for maintaining the pluripotent state of stem cells, can also reprogram somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In addition, trans-differentiation, which entails the use of different sets of defined factors, whereby one type of somatic cell can be directly converted into another and even to cell types from different germ layers has become a parallel widely used approach for switching cell fate. All these progresses have provided powerful tools to manipulate cells for basic science and therapeutic purposes. Besides protein-based factors, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), particularly microRNAs and long ncRNAs, are also involved in cell fate determination, including maintaining self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells and directing cell lineage. Targeting specific ncRNAs represents an alternative promising approach to optimize cell-based disease modeling and regenerative therapy. Here we focus on recent advances of ncRNAs in cell fate decision, including ncRNA-induced iPSCs and lineage conversion. We also discuss some underlying mechanisms and implications in molecular pathogenesis of human diseases.
ncRNAs; lncRNAs; microRNAs; reprogramming; trans-differentiation
A simple and versatile approach has been developed to synthesize multi-walled carbon nanotubes/metal-doped ZnO nanohybrid materials (MWNT/M-doped ZnO) by means of the co-deposition method. The experimental results illuminate that MWNTs can be modified by metal-doped ZnO nanoparticles at 450 °C, such as Mn, Mg, and Co elements. Furthermore, the MWNT/Mg-doped ZnO hybrids have been proven to have a high photocatalytic ability for methyl orange (MO), in which the degraded rate for MO reaches 100 % in 60 min. The enhancement in photocatalytic activity is attributed to the excellent electriconal property of MWNTs and Mg-doping. The resultant MWNT/Mg-doped ZnO nanohybrids have potential applications in photocatalysis and environmental protection.
Carbon nanotube; Metal-doped ZnO; Oxide hybrid; Photocatalytic property
Tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes are both commonly altered during carcinogenesis. For oncogenes and other genes that drive growth, targeting mutated or activated forms (such as the EGFR-Her2/Nneu pathway) has been shown to be an effective anti-cancer approach. Pharmacologically targeting tumor suppressor genes has not been as fruitful, as many tumor suppressor genes are irreversibly silenced through somatic mutation or entirely deleted during carcinogenesis, thereby making it difficult to restore gene function. BRM, a key SWI/SNF complex subunit and a putative tumor suppressor gene, is inactivated in 15–20% of many solid tumor types. Unlike other tumor suppressor genes, the loss of BRM has been shown to be a reversible epigenetic change, rather than an irreversible genetic alteration. Using a high throughput drug screen, we identified a number of compounds that could effectively restore BRM expression and function. Two of these compounds, RH (RH02032) and GK (GK0037), were found to be such reactivating agents. Both compounds led to robust re-expression of BRM, induced downstream expression of BRM-dependent genes and inhibited BRM-dependent growth across a wide range of BRM-deficient cancer cell lines of different origins. We therefore show, for the first time, that pharmacologic reversal of epigenetic changes of the SWI/SNF chromatic remodeling complex subunit, BRM, is a potentially viable and novel therapeutic approach.
SWI/SNF; epigenetic; tumor suppressor; target therapy; chromatin remodeling; cancer therapy
SWI/SNF (SWItch/sucrose non-fermentable) complexes are ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes critically involved in the regulation of multiple functions, including gene expression, differentiation, development, DNA repair, cell adhesion and cell cycle control. BRM, a key SWI/SNF complex subunit, is silenced in 15–20% of many solid tumors. As BRM-deficient mice develop 10-fold more tumors when exposed to carcinogens, BRM is a strong candidate for a cancer susceptibility gene. In this paper, we show that BRM is regulated by transcription, thus demonstrating that the promoter region is important for BRM expression. We sequenced the BRM promoter region, finding two novel promoter indel polymorphisms, BRM −741 and BRM −1321, that are in linkage disequilibrium (D′ ≥0.83). The variant insertion alleles of both polymorphisms produce sequence variants that are highly homologous to myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF2) transcription factor-binding sites; MEF2 is known to recruit histone deacetylases that silence BRM expression. Each polymorphic BRM insertion variant is found in ~20% of Caucasians, and each correlates strongly with the loss of protein expression of BRM, both in cancer cell lines (P=0.009) and in primary human lung tumor specimens (P=0.015). With such strong functional evidence, we conducted a case–control study of 1199 smokers. We found an increased risk of lung cancer when both BRM homozygous promoter insertion variants were present: adjusted odds ratio of 2.19 (95% confidence interval, 1.40–3.43). Thus, we here demonstrate a strong functional association between these polymorphisms and loss of BRM expression. These polymorphisms thus have the potential to identify a sub-population of smokers at greater lung cancer risk, wherein this risk could be driven by an aberrant SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling pathway.
genetic polymorphism; BRG1; SWI/SNF; chromatin remodeling; lung cancer
We previously reported that an abnormal CSF opening pressure (OP) in children was greater than 28 cm H2O. Since elevated intracranial pressure can cause optic nerve head edema (ONHE), we would expect that most patients with ONHE would have an OP greater than 28 cm H2O. This study describes the range of OP for children with ONHE and compared them to age-matched controls without ONHE.
Case subjects were children (1–18 years of age) enrolled in a prospective study of CSF OP that demonstrated ONHE at time of lumbar puncture and that the ONHE later resolved. Patients with ONHE secondary to infectious, inflammatory, or ischemic conditions were excluded. Control subjects from the same study, but without ONHE, were matched to cases.
Of the 472 subjects enrolled in the study, 41 OP measurements were obtained from 33 patients with ONHE who did not have any exclusionary criteria and matched to 41 control subjects without ONHE. Case subjects had a significantly higher OP (mean, 41.4 cm H20; range, 22–56) than control subjects (mean, 18.9 cm H2O; range, 9–29; p < 0.01). Forty of 41 (97.6%) case subjects and 2 of 41 (4.8%) control subjects had OP measures >28 cm H2O.
Children with ONHE not related to infectious, inflammatory, or ischemic causes typically have an OP >28 cm H2O, significantly higher than age-matched controls without ONHE. This study provides further support to our previously published findings that suggests an abnormal OP in children is typically above 28 cm H2O.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs)/Cu-doped ZnO composite powders were prepared by co-precipitation method, and were characterized by X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, fluorescence spectrum, and ultraviolet spectrum. Experimental results show that the MWNTs can be modified by Cu-doped ZnO nanoparticles with hexagonal wurtzite structure after annealed at 450 °C, and the nanoparticle size is about 15 nm. Two ultraviolet (UV) peaks and a green band centered at about 510 nm are observed in the fluorescence spectrum of MWNTs/Cu-doped ZnO composite powder annealed at 450 °C. Furthermore, MWNTs and Cu doping significantly improve the UV absorption ability of ZnO.
Carbon nanotube; Cu-doped ZnO; Composite powder; Optical property; Synthesis
Circadian oscillation and cell cycle progression are the two most essential rhythmic events present in almost all organisms. Circadian rhythms keep track of time and provide temporal regulation with a period of about 24 h. The cell cycle is optimized for growth and division, but not for time keeping. Circadian gated cell divisions are observed in nearly all organisms. However, the implications of this coupling to the physiology of mammals are unknown. A mutation (S662G) in the clock protein PERIOD2 (PER2) is responsible for familial advanced sleep phase syndrome in which sleep onset occurs in the early evening and wakefulness occurs in the early morning. Here, we provide evidence that the PER2S662 mutation leads to enhanced resistance to X-ray-induced apoptosis and increased E1A- and RAS-mediated oncogenic transformation. Accordingly, the PER2S662 mutation affects tumorigenesis in cancer-sensitized p53R172H/+ mice. Finally, analyzing the clock-controlled cell cycle genes p21, c-Myc, Cyclin D1 and p27, we found that the relative phases between p21 and Cyclin D expression profiles have been changed significantly in these Per2 allele mutant mouse embryonic fibroblasts. This key role of the Per2-mediated phase alteration of p21 provides what we believe to be a novel mechanism in understanding cell cycle progression, its plasticity and its resistance to interference.
PER2; circadian rhythms; cell cycle; tumorigenesis; FASPS
Chromosome fragmentation (C-Frag) is a newly identified MCD (mitotic cell death), distinct from apoptosis and MC (mitotic catastrophe). As different molecular mechanisms can induce C-Frag, we hypothesize that the general mechanism of its induction is a system response to cellular stress. A clear link between C-Frag and diverse system stresses generated from an array of molecular mechanisms is shown. Centrosome amplification, which is also linked to diverse mechanisms of stress, is shown to occur in association with C-Frag. This led to a new model showing that diverse stresses induce common, MCD. Specifically, different cellular stresses target the integral chromosomal machinery, leading to system instability and triggering of MCD by C-Frag. This model of stress-induced cell death is also applicable to other types of cell death. The current study solves the previously confusing relationship between the diverse molecular mechanisms of chromosome pulverization, suggesting that incomplete C-Frag could serve as the initial event responsible for forms of genome chaos including chromothripsis. In addition, multiple cell death types are shown to coexist with C-Frag and it is more dominant than apoptosis at lower drug concentrations. Together, this study suggests that cell death is a diverse group of highly heterogeneous events that are linked to stress-induced system instability and evolutionary potential.
chromosome fragmentation; system stress; mitotic cell death; genomic instability; genome theory
The aim of this study was to evaluate the imaging features of hepatic angiomyolipoma (AML) on contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS). The imaging features of 12 pathologically proven hepatic AML lesions in 10 patients who had undergone baseline ultrasound (BUS) and CEUS examinations were evaluated retrospectively. The enhancement extent, pattern and dynamic change, along with the enhancement process, on CEUS were analysed. The diagnostic results of BUS and CEUS before pathological examination were also recorded. The results showed that 75% (9/12) of the AML lesions exhibited mixed echogenicity on BUS and most showed remarkable hyperechogenicity in combination with a hypoechoic or anechoic portion. Arterial flow signals were detected in 75% (9/12) of the lesions on colour Doppler imaging. On CEUS, 66.7% (n = 8) of the 12 lesions exhibited hyperenhancement in the arterial phase, slight hyperenhancement (n = 2) or isoenhancement (n = 6) in the portal phase, and slight hyperenhancement (n = 1) or isoenhancement (n = 7) in the late phase. Three (25%) lesions exhibited hyperenhancement in the arterial phase and hypoenhancement in both portal and late phases. One (8.3%) lesion exhibited hypoenhancement throughout the CEUS process. Before pathological examination with BUS, only 3 (25%) lesions were correctly diagnosed as hepatic AML. Conversely, on CEUS, correct diagnoses were made for 66.8% (8/12) of hepatic AMLs. Therefore, arterial hyperenhancement and subsequent sustained enhancement on CEUS were found in the majority of hepatic AMLs. The combination of BUS and CEUS leads to the correct diagnosis in the majority of hepatic AMLs, and is higher than the success rate achieved by BUS alone.
In patients with advanced gastroesophageal cancer, the phase iii Randomized ECF for Advanced and Locally Advanced Esophagogastric Cancer 2 (real-2) trial demonstrated equivalent clinical efficacy when capecitabine (x) was substituted for 5-fluorouracil (5fu) in the epirubicin–cisplatin–5fu (ecf) regimen. The present analysis compares the direct medical costs associated with both regimens.
This cost–consequence analysis of direct medical costs took resource utilization data from the real-2 trial where available. Direct medical costs were derived from the perspective of the Canadian public health care system in 2008 Canadian dollars. Mean cost per patient on each treatment arm was calculated.
Drug costs from start of treatment until first progression, including pre- and post-chemotherapy medications and administration costs, totalled $5,344 for ecx as compared with $3,187 for ecf. Costs for treatment of adverse events were estimated at $2,621 for ecx as compared with $3,397 for ecf. An additional cost of $873 was associated with insertion of an implanted venous access. Total incremental cost of ecx over ecf was $508.
In advanced gastroesophageal cancer, capecitabine is an attractive alternative to 5fu. Although the drug cost per se is greater, use of capecitabine is associated with decreased consumption of hospital resources. Not only does capecitabine fit with patient preference for oral therapy, it also avoids the inconvenience and complications of central venous access.
Capecitabine; cost–consequence analysis; gastroesophageal cancer; infusional 5fu
20S-protopanaxadiol (aPPD) is a metabolite of ginseng saponins, which is reported to be pro-apoptotic in some cells but anti-apoptotic in neuronal cells by regulating Akt signaling. Owing to its cholesterol-like structure, we hypothesized that aPPD may regulate Akt signaling by interacting with lipid rafts. Here, we compared Akt signaling in glioblastoma U87MG and neuroblastoma Neuro-2a cells treated with aPPD. aPPD did not change Akt activity in the total plasma membranes of each cell type, but drastically altered the activity of raft-associated Akt. Strikingly, Akt activity was decreased in the rafts of U87MG cells but increased in N2a cells by aPPD through regulating raft-associated dephosphorylation. The bidirectional regulation of raft-associated Akt signaling by aPPD enhanced the chemotoxicity of Paclitaxel or Vinblastine in U87MG cells but attenuated the excitotoxicity of N-methyl--aspartate in N2a cells. Our results demonstrated that the activity of raft-associated but not total membrane Akt determines its cellular functions. Lipid rafts differ in different types of cells, which allows for the possibility of cell-type-specific targeting for which aPPD might prove to be a useful agent.
20S-protopanaxadiol; Akt; apoptosis; lipid rafts
Template unwinding during DNA replication initiation requires the loading of the MCM helicase activator Cdc45 at replication origins. We show that Cdc45 interacts with the DNA unwinding element (DUE) binding protein DUE-B and that these proteins localize to the DUEs of active replication origins. DUE-B and Cdc45 are not bound at the inactive c-myc replicator in the absence of a functional DUE or at the recently identified ataxin 10 (ATX10) origin, which is silent before disease-related (ATTCT)n repeat length expansion of its DUE sequence, despite the presence of the origin recognition complex (ORC) and MCM proteins at these origins. Addition of a heterologous DUE to the ectopic c-myc origin, or expansion of the ATX10 DUE, leads to origin activation, DUE-B binding, and Cdc45 binding. DUE-B, Cdc45, and topoisomerase IIβ binding protein 1 (TopBP1) form complexes in cell extracts and when expressed from baculovirus vectors. During replication in Xenopus egg extracts, DUE-B and Cdc45 bind to chromatin with similar kinetics, and DUE-B immunodepletion blocks replication and the loading of Cdc45 and a fraction of TopBP1. The coordinated binding of DUE-B and Cdc45 to origins and the physical interactions of DUE-B, Cdc45, and TopBP1 suggest that complexes of these proteins are necessary for replication initiation.
Cancerous stem-like cells (CSCs) have been implicated as cancer-initiating cells in a range of malignant tumours. Diverse genetic programs regulate CSC behaviours, and CSCs from glioblastoma patients are qualitatively distinct from each other. The intrinsic connection between the presence of CSCs and malignancy is unclear. We set out to test whether tumour stem-like cells can be identified from benign tumours.
Tumour sphere cultures were derived from hormone-positive and -negative pituitary adenomas. Characterisation of tumour stem-like cells in vitro was performed using self-renewal assays, stem cell-associated marker expression analysis, differentiation, and stimulated hormone production assays. The tumour-initiating capability of these tumour stem-like cells was tested in serial brain tumour transplantation experiments using SCID mice.
In this study, we isolated sphere-forming, self-renewable, and multipotent stem-like cells from pituitary adenomas, which are benign tumours. We found that pituitary adenoma stem-like cells (PASCs), compared with their differentiated daughter cells, expressed increased levels of stem cell-associated gene products, antiapoptotic proteins, and pituitary progenitor cell markers. Similar to CSCs isolated from glioblastomas, PASCs are more resistant to chemotherapeutics than their differentiated daughter cells. Furthermore, differentiated PASCs responded to stimulation with hypothalamic hormones and produced corresponding pituitary hormones that are reflective of the phenotypes of the primary pituitary tumours. Finally, we demonstrated that PASCs are pituitary tumour-initiating cells in serial transplantation animal experiments.
This study for the first time indicates that stem-like cells are present in benign tumours. The conclusions from this study may have applications to understanding pituitary tumour biology and therapies, as well as implications for the notion of tumour-initiating cells in general.
pituitary adenomas; tumour stem cells; growth hormone; benign tumours
Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is overexpressed in a variety of cancers, such as breast, colon, prostate, ovary, and lung cancers. However, the mechanism by which extracellular matrix fibronectin stimulates lung cancer cell migration and invasion through FAK remains to be investigated.
The signalling pathways in fibronectin-mediated lung cancer cell migration and invasion were examined using western blotting. The metastasis function was detected by wound healing, migration and invasion assays. Further, RNA interference and kinase inhibitors were also used to study the downstream signals.
In this study, we examined the FAK signalling pathways in relation to calpain-2 and RhoA in fibronectin-mediated lung cancer cell migration and invasion. We found that A549 lung epithelial cells stimulated by fibronectin showed increased phosphorylation of FAK and its downstream targets, Src, ERK1/2, phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3K), and Akt. Consistent with this observation, depletion of FAK by siRNA resulted in the inhibition of Src, ERK1/2, PI3K, and Akt activity. In addition, the Src inhibitor, PP2, blocked the phosphorylation of FAK, ERK1/2, PI3K, and Akt. Conversely, inhibition of MEK1/2 using PD98059 reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) and calpain-2. The PI3K inhibitor, LY294002, further blocked the expression of MMP9 and RhoA. Inhibition of both MEK1/2 and PI3K caused reduced cell migration and invasion.
Our data suggest that fibronectin-mediated activation of FAK that leads to lung cancer metastasis could occur through ERK or PI3K/Akt regulation of MMP9/calpain-2 or MMP9/RhoA activity, respectively.
FAK; lung cancer; metastasis