AIM: To investigate the function of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor θ subunit (GABRQ) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction was used for detecting the expression of GABRQ receptor among HCC cell line HepG2, normal liver cell line L-02, non-malignant Chang’s liver cells, 8 samples of HCC tissues and paired non-cancerous tissues. HepG2 cells were treated with GABA at serial concentrations (0, 1, 10, 20, 40 and 60 μmol/L), and their proliferating abilities were analyzed with the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay, cell cycle analysis and tumor implanted in nude mice. Small interfering RNA was used for knocking down the endogenous GABRQ in HepG2. Proliferating abilities of these cells treated with or without GABA were analyzed.
RESULTS: We identified the overexpression of GABRQ in HCC cell lines and half of the tested HCC tissues. Knockdown of endogenous GABRQ expression in HepG2 attenuated HCC cell growth, suggesting its role in HCC cell viability. We studied the effect of GABA in the proliferation of GABRQ-positive cell lines in vitro and in vivo, and found that GABA increased HCC growth in a dose-dependent manner. Notably, the addition of GABA into the cell culture medium promoted the proliferation of GABRQ-expressing HepG2 cells, but not GABRQ-knockdown HepG2 cells, which means that GABA stimulates HepG2 cell growth through GABRQ.
CONCLUSION: GABRQ play important roles in HCC development and progression and could be a promising molecular target for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies of HCC.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Proliferation; Gamma-aminobutyric acid; Gamma-aminobutyric receptor θ; small interfering RNA
The expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in response to T cell receptor (TCR) agonists is regulated by the CARMA1 signalosome through the coordinated assembly of complexes containing the BCL10 adaptor protein. We describe a novel mechanism to negatively regulate the CARMA1 signalosome by the “death” adaptor protein, CRADD/RAIDD. We show that CRADD interacts with BCL10 through its caspase recruitment domain (CARD) and suppresses interactions between BCL10 and CARMA1. TCR agonist-induced interaction between CRADD and BCL10 coincides with reduction of its complex formation with CARMA1 in wild-type, as compared to Cradd-deficient, primary cells. Finally, Cradd-deficient spleen cells, CD4+ T cells, and mice respond to T cell agonists with strikingly higher production of proinflammatory mediators, including γ-interferon, IL-2, TNF-α, and IL-17. These results define a novel role for CRADD as a negative regulator of the CARMA1 signalosome and suppressor of T helper (Th)1- and Th17-mediated inflammatory responses.
Aggressive natural killer cell leukemia/lymphoma (ANKL) is a rare aggressive form of NK-cell neoplasm. We report an uncommon case of 36-year-old male who showed jaundice and spontaneous splenic rupture. The diagnosis was established by the biopsy of liver and spleen. The monomorphous medium-size neoplastic cells infiltrated into portal areas and sinus of liver as well as the cords and sinus of the spleen. Necrosis, mitotic figures and significant apoptosis could be seen easily. These neoplastic cells demonstrated a typical immunophenotype of CD3ε+, CD56+, CD16+, Granzyme B+, TIA-1+. T-cell receptor γ (TCR-γ) gene rearrangement analysis showed germline configuration and the result of in situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA (EBER-ISH) was positive. The patient has undergone an aggressive clinical course and died of multi-organ function failure 14 days later after admission. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of ANKL with spontaneous splenic rupture, and we should pay more attention to recognize it.
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
Aggressive natural killer-cell leukemia; Jaundice; Spontaneous splenic rupture
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication, absence or delay in language development, and stereotyped or repetitive behaviors. Genetic studies show that neurexin-neuroligin (NRXN-NLGN) pathway genes contribute susceptibility to ASD, which include cell adhesion molecules NLGN3, NLGN4 and scaffolding proteins SHANK2 and SHANK3. Neuroligin proteins play an important role in synaptic function and trans-synaptic signaling by interacting with presynaptic neurexins. Shank proteins are scaffolding molecules of excitatory synapses, which function as central organizers of the postsynaptic density. Sequence level mutations and structural variations in these genes have been identified in ASD cases, while few studies were performed in Chinese population. In this study, we examined the copy numbers of four genes NLGN4, NLGN3, SHANK2, and SHANK3 in 285 ASD cases using multiplex fluorescence competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We also screened the regulatory region including the promoter region and 5′/3′ untranslated regions (UTR) and the entire coding region of NLGN4 in a cohort of 285 ASD patients and 384 controls by direct sequencing of genomic DNA using the Sanger method. DNA copy number calculation in four genes showed no deletion or duplication in our cases. No missense mutations in NLGN4 were identified in our cohort. Association analysis of 6 common SNPs in NLGN4 did not find significant difference between ASD cases and controls. These findings showed that these genes may not be major disease genes in Chinese ASD cases.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common acute leukemia in adults. The disease is characterized by various cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities with distinct prognoses and gene expression profiles. Emerging evidence has suggested that circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) could serve as noninvasive biomarkers for cancer detection; however, little is known about circulating miRNA profiles in AML patients. In this study, a genome-wide serum miRNA expression analysis was performed using Solexa sequencing for initial screen, followed by validation with real-time PCR assays. The analysis was conducted on training and verification sets of serum samples from 140 newly diagnosed AML patients and 135 normal adult donors. After a two-phase selection and validation process, 6 miRNAs, miR-10a-5p, miR-93-5p, miR-129-5p, miR-155-5p, miR-181b-5p and miR-320d, were found to have significantly different expression levels in AML compared with control serum samples. Furthermore, unsupervised clustering analysis revealed the remarkable ability of the 6-miRNA profile to differentiate between AML patients and normal controls. The areas under the ROC curve for the selected miRNAs ranged from 0.8129 to 0.9531. More importantly, miR-181b-5p levels in serum were significantly associated with overall survival. These data demonstrated that the expression patterns of circulating miRNAs were systematically altered in AML and miR-181b-5p may serve as a predictor for overall survival in AML patients.
Since the KCNB1 encoding Kv2.1 channel accounts for the majority of Kv currents modulating insulin secretion by pancreatic islet beta-cells, we postulated that KCNB1 is a plausible candidate gene for genetic variation contributing to the variable compensatory secretory function of beta-cells in type-2 diabetes (T2D). We conducted two studies, a case-control study and a cross-section study, to investigate the association of common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in KCNB1 with T2D and its linking traits. In the case-control study, we first examined the association of 20 tag SNPs of KCNB1 with T2D in a population with 226 T2D patients and non-diabetic subjects (screening study). We then identified the association in an enlarged population of 412 T2D patients and non-diabetic subjects (replication study). In the cross-sectional study, we investigated the linkage between the candidate SNP rs1051295 and T2D by comparing beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity among rs1051295 genotypes in a general population of 1051 subjects at fasting and after glucose loading (oral glucose tolerance tests, OGTT) in 84 fasting glucose impaired subjects, and several T2D-related traits. We found that among the 19 available tag SNPs, only the KCNB1 rs1051295 was associated with T2D (P = 0.027), with the rs1051295 TT genotype associated with an increased risk of T2D compared with genotypes CC (P = 0.009). At fasting, rs1051295 genotype TT was associated with a 9.8% reduction in insulin sensitivity compared to CC (P = 0.008); along with increased plasma triglycerides (TG) levels (TT/CC: P = 0.046) and increased waist/hip (W/H) ratio (TT/CC: P = 0.013; TT/TC: P = 0.002). OGTT confirmed that genotype TT exhibited reduced insulin sensitivity by 16.3% (P = 0.030) compared with genotype TC+CC in a fasting glucose impaired population. The KCNB1 rs1051295 genotype TT in the Chinese Han population is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and increased plasma TG and W/H ratio, which together contribute to an increased risk for T2D.
To validate a panel of methylation-based salivary rinse biomarkers (P16, CCNA1, DCC, TIMP3, MGMT, DAPK, and MINT31) previously shown to be independently associated with poor overall survival and local recurrence in a larger, separate cohort of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
One hundred ninety-seven patients were included. All pre-treatment saliva DNA samples were evaluated for the methylation status of the gene promoters by quantitative methylation-specific PCR. The main outcome measures were overall survival, local recurrence-free survival and disease-free survival.
In univariate analyses, the detection of hypermethylation of CCNA1, MGMT, and MINT31 was significantly associated with poor overall survival; the detection of hypermethylation of TIMP3 was significantly associated with local recurrence-free survival; and the detection of hypermethylation of MINT31 was significantly associated with poor disease-free survival. In multivariate analyses, detection of hypermethylation at any single marker was not predictive of overall survival in patients with HNSCC; detection of hypermethylation of TIMP3 in salivary rinse had an independent, significant association with local recurrence-free survival (Hazard Ratio, 2.51, 95% CI, 1.10 to 5.68); and none of the studied markers was significantly associated with disease-free survival.
The detection of promoter hypermethylation of the seven genes in salivary rinse as an independent prognostic indicator of overall survival in patients with HNSCC was not validated. Detection of promoter hypermethylation of TIMP3 in pretreatment salivary rinse is independently associated with local recurrence-free survival in patients with HNSCC and may be a valuable salivary rinse biomarker for HNSCC recurrence.
The space environment has been shown to affect microbes by altering various features, including morphology, growth rate, metabolism, virulence, drug resistance, and gene expression and mutation. Here we present the draft genome sequence of the Enterococcus faecium strain LCT-EF258, derived from the E. faecium strain CGMCC 1.1736, which was exposed to 17-day space flight.
Paroxysmal sympathetic storming (PSS) is a rare disorder characterized by acute onset of nonstimulated tachycardia, hypertension, tachypnea, hyperthermia, external posturing, and diaphoresis. It is most frequently associated with severe traumatic brain injuries and has been reported in intracranial tumors, hydrocephalous, severe hypoxic brain injury, and intracerebral hemorrhage. Although excessive release of catecholamine and therefore increased sympathetic activities have been reported in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), there is no descriptive report of PSS primarily caused by spontaneous SAH up to date. Here, we report a case of prolonged PSS in a patient with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage and consequent vasospasm. The sympathetic storming started shortly after patient was rewarmed from hypothermia protocol and symptoms responded to Labetalol, but intermittent recurrence did not resolve until 3 weeks later with treatment involving Midazolam, Fentanyl, Dexmedetomidine, Propofol, Bromocriptine, and minimizing frequency of neurological and vital checks. In conclusion, prolonged sympathetic storming can also be caused by spontaneous SAH. In this case, vasospasm might be a precipitating factor. Paralytics and hypothermia could mask the manifestations of PSS. The treatment of the refractory case will need both timely adjustment of medications and minimization of exogenous stressors or stimuli.
Disruptions in the social environment, such as social isolation, are distressing and can induce various behavioral and neural changes in the distressed animal. We conducted a series of experiments to test the hypothesis that long-term social isolation affects brain plasticity and alters behavior in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). In Experiment 1, adult female prairie voles were injected with a cell division marker, 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU), and then same-sex pair-housed (control) or single-housed (isolation) for 6 weeks. Social isolation reduced cell proliferation, survival, and neuronal differentiation and altered cell death in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the amygdala. In addition, social isolation reduced cell proliferation in the medial preoptic area and cell survival in the ventromedial hypothalamus. These data suggest that long-term social isolation affects distinct stages of adult neurogenesis in specific limbic brain regions. In Experiment 2, isolated females displayed higher levels of anxiety-like behaviors in both the open field and elevated plus maze tests and higher levels of depression-like behavior in the forced swim test than controls. Further, isolated females showed a higher level of affiliative behavior than controls, but the two groups did not differ in social recognition memory. Together, our data suggest that social isolation not only impairs cell proliferation, survival, and neuronal differentiation in limbic brain areas, but also alters anxiety-like, depression-like, and affiliative behaviors in adult female prairie voles. These data warrant further investigation of a possible link between altered neurogenesis within the limbic system and behavioral changes.
BrdU; Ki67; NeuN; TUNEL; Amygdala; Hippocampus; Social affiliation
Milk fat globule factor-E8 (MFG-E8) has been regarded as a key factor involved in the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. We induced a lentivirus into the microglial cells for the augmentation or abrogation of MFG-E8 expression in mouse microglial cells, and investigated phagocytosis of phosphatidylserine tagged human red blood cells (hRBCs) in co-cultures. Increased MFG-E8 levels were associated with a significant increase in phagocytic activity compared to the controls. Conversely, phagocytosis dramitically decreased due to the abrogation of MFG-E8. In addition, the expression of the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-1β, also increased or decreased in the microglial cells with the augmentation or abrogation of MFG-E8, respectively. Our findings indicate that the enhanced expression of MFG-E8 could increase phagocytosis of apoptotic cells; conversely, the rate of phagocytosis and the expression of inflammatory cytokines decreased when MFG-E8 expression was knocked down. Our results confirm that MFG-E8 plays an important role in phagocytosis, and possibly serves as an essential signal molecule for microglial cells.
Emerging evidence showed that common functional −31G>C polymorphism (rs9904341 G>C) in the promoter region of the survivin gene is involved in the regulation of survivin expression, thus increasing an individual’s susceptibility to gastrointestinal tract (GIT) cancer; but individually published results are inconclusive. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to derive a more precise estimation of the association between survivin −31G>C polymorphism and GIT cancer risk.
A literature search of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and CBM databases was conducted from inception through July 1st, 2012. Crude odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the strength of association.
Nine case-control studies were included with a total of 2,231 GIT cancer cases and 2,287 healthy controls. The results indicated that survivin −31G>C polymorphism was associated with increased risk of GIT cancer. In the stratified analysis by cancer types, significant associations were observed between survivin −31G>C polymorphism and increased risk of colorectal and gastric cancers. However, the lack of association of survivin −31G>C polymorphism with esophageal cancer risk may be due to a lack of a sufficient number of eligible studies and the influence of different genetic and environmental factors.
Results from the current meta-analysis suggests that survivin −31G>C polymorphism might increase the risk of GIT cancer, especially among gastric and colorectal cancers.
Xiaoqinglong granules (XQLG) has been shown to be an effective therapy in asthma animal models. We reviewed the literature and conducted this study to assess the impact of XQLG as an add-on therapy to treatment with fluticasone/salmeterol (seretide) in adult patients with mild-to-moderate, persistent asthma. A total of 178 patients were randomly assigned to receive XQLG and seretide or seretide plus placebo for 90 days. Asthma control was assessed by asthma control test (ACT), symptoms scores, FEV1, and PEF. Baseline patient-reported Chinese medicine (CM)-specific symptoms were analyzed to determine whether the symptoms may be possible indicators of treatment response by conducting latent class analysis (LCA). There was no statistically significant difference in ACT score between two groups. In the subset of 70 patients with symptoms defined by CM criteria, XQLG add-on therapy was found to significantly increase the levels of asthma control according to global initiative for asthma (GINA) guidelines (P = 0.0329). There was no significant difference in another subset of 100 patients with relatively low levels of the above-mentioned symptoms (P = 0.1291). Results of LCA suggest that patients with the six typical symptoms defined in CM may benefit from XQLG.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in developed countries. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified novel susceptibility loci for colorectal cancer. To follow-up on these findings, and try to identify novel colorectal cancer susceptibility loci, we present results for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of colorectal cancer (2,906 cases, 3,416 controls) that have not previously published main associations. Specifically, we calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using log-additive models for each study. In order to improve our power to detect novel colorectal cancer susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis combining the results across studies. We selected the most statistically significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for replication using 10 independent studies (8,161 cases and 9,101 controls). We again used a meta-analysis to summarize results for the replication studies alone, and for a combined analysis of GWAS and replication studies. We measured 10 SNPs previously identified in colorectal cancer susceptibility loci and found eight to be associated with colorectal cancer (p-value range: 0.02 to 1.8 × 10−8). When we excluded studies that have previously published on these SNPs, five SNPs remained significant at p<0.05 in the combined analysis. No novel susceptibility loci were significant in the replication study after adjustment for multiple testing, and none reached genome-wide significance from a combined analysis of GWAS and replication. We observed marginally significant evidence for a second independent SNP in the BMP2 region at chromosomal location 20p12 (rs4813802; replication p-value 0.03; combined p-value 7.3 × 10−5). In a region on 5p33.15, which includes the coding regions of the TERT-CLPTM1L genes and has been identified in GWAS to be associated with susceptibility to at least seven other cancers, we observed a marginally significant association with rs2853668 (replication p-value 0.03; combined p-value 1.9 × 10−4). Our study suggests a complex nature of the contribution of common genetic variants to risk for colorectal cancer.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has neuroprotective effects in several neurodegenerative disease conditions. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In the present study, we investigated the effects of DHA on astrocyte Ca2+ signaling under in vitro ischemic conditions (oxygen/glucose deprivation and reoxygenation, OGD/REOX). OGD (2 hour) triggered a Ca2+ER store overload (~ 1.9 fold). Ca2+ uptake by the Ca2+ER stores was further augmented during REOX and Ca2+ER was elevated by ~ 4.7-fold at 90 min REOX. Interestingly, Ca2+ER stores abruptly released Ca2+ at ~ 120 min REOX and emptied at 160 min REOX. Depletion of Ca2+ER stores led to delayed elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration (Ca2+cyt) and cell death. Activation of the purinergic receptor P2Y1 was responsible for the release of Ca2+ER. Most importantly, DHA blocked the initial Ca2+ER store overload, the delayed depletion of Ca2+ER, and rise in Ca2+cyt, which was in part via inhibiting IP3 receptors. The DHA metabolite DiHDoHE exhibited similar effects. DHA also attenuated expression of phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α and activating transcription factor-4, two ER stress markers, following in vitro ischemia. Taken together, these findings suggest that DHA has protective effects in astrocytes following in vitro ischemia, in part, by inhibiting Ca2+ dysregulation and ER stress.
ER Ca2+; IP3 receptor; ryanodine receptor; polyunsaturated fatty acid; ER stress
With the advent of microsurgery and surgical techniques, along with the improvement in neuroimaging techniques and the microanatomy in cadaver study, improvement in terms of surgical morbidity and mortality has been remarkable; however, controversy still exists regarding the optimal surgical strategies for giant petroclival meningiomas (GPMs). We report a study of clinical and radiological features as well as the surgical findings and outcomes for patients with GPM treated at our institution over the past 6 years. During a 6-year period (April 2004 to March 2010), 16 patients with GPM underwent surgery by subtemporal transtentorial petrosal apex approach during which electrophysiological monitoring of cranial nerves and brainstem function were reviewed. There were nine females and seven males with a mean age of 56.9 years (range from 32 to 78 years). The most frequent clinical manifestations were headache (93.7%) and dizziness (93.7%). Regions and directions of tumor extension include clivus, parasellar, and cavernous sinus, as well as compression of brainstem, and so on. The trochlear nerve was totally wrapped in nine cases (56.2%). The postoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score was 76.3 ± 13.1. Mean maximum diameter of the tumors on magnetic resonance imaging was 5.23 cm (range, 4.5 to 6.2 cm). Subtemporal transtentorial petrosalapex approach was performed in all 16 cases. Gross total resection was achieved in 14 cases (87.5%) and subtotal resection in 2 cases (12.5%) with no resultant mortality. Follow-up data were available for all 16 patients, with a mean follow-up period of 28.8 months (range from 4 to 69 months), of which 11 (68.75%) lived a normal life (KPS, 80–100). Our suggestion is that GPM could be completely resected by subtemporal transtentorial petrosalapex approach. The surgical strategy of GPM should be focused on survival and postoperative quality of life. Microneurosurgical technique plays a key role in tumor resection and preservation of nerve function. Intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring also contributes dramatically to the preservation of the nerve function. Complete resection of the tumor should be attempted at the first operation. Any remnant is treated by radiosurgery.
subtemporal transtentorial petrosalapex approach; petroclival areas; meningioma; surgical approach; electrophysiological monitoring
The purpose of this study was to identify and validate circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in human plasma for use as breast cancer (BC) biomarkers and to analyze their relationship to clinicopathologic features and its preliminary biological function. Genome-wide expression profiling of miRNAs in BC was investigated by microarray analysis. miR-155 was up-regulated greater than two-fold in BC compared with Normal Adjacent Tissue (NAT), whereas let-7b, miR-381, miR-10b, miR-125a-5p, miR-335, miR-205 and miR-145 were down- regulated greater than two-fold. Our hypothesis was that circulating miRNAs are also present and differentially expressed in the serum of BC patients compared to controls. Using real-time PCR (RT-PCR), we analyzed miR-205 and miR-155 in archived serum from 30 participants, 20 with breast cancer and 10 healthy people. miR-205 was down-regulated in BC patient serum while miR-155 was up-regulated. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between the expression levels of these two miRNAs and the clinicopathologic parameters of BC patients. High expression of miR155 was associated with clinical stage, molecular type, Ki-67 and p53 in BC patients (P<0.05). By contrast, we found no significant correlation between miR-205 and BC patient clinicopathologic parameters. Functional analysis showed that ectopic expression of miR-205 significantly inhibits cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis. miR-205 was down-regulated and miR-155 was up-regulated in BC patient serum. miR-155 was positive correlated with clinical stage and ki-67 and negatively correlated with p53 status.
Breast cancer; microRNAs; miR-205; miR-155
A new method is used to isolate neutralizing antibodies recognizing a new epitope on the cell surface–expressed, but not soluble, HIV-1 spike.
Two to three years after infection, a fraction of HIV-1–infected individuals develop serologic activity that neutralizes most viral isolates. Broadly neutralizing antibodies that recognize the HIV-1 envelope protein have been isolated from these patients by single-cell sorting and by neutralization screens. Here, we report a new method for anti–HIV-1 antibody isolation based on capturing single B cells that recognize the HIV-1 envelope protein expressed on the surface of transfected cells. Although far less efficient than soluble protein baits, the cell-based capture method identified antibodies that bind to a new broadly neutralizing epitope in the vicinity of the V3 loop and the CD4-induced site (CD4i). The new epitope is expressed on the cell surface form of the HIV-1 spike, but not on soluble forms of the same envelope protein. Moreover, the new antibodies complement the neutralization spectrum of potent broadly neutralizing anti-CD4 binding site (CD4bs) antibodies obtained from the same individual. Thus, combinations of potent broadly neutralizing antibodies with complementary activity can account for the breadth and potency of naturally arising anti–HIV-1 serologic activity. Therefore, vaccines aimed at eliciting anti–HIV-1 serologic breadth and potency should not be limited to single epitopes.
Dedifferentiation and loss of hepatocyte polarity during primary culture of hepatocytes are major drawbacks for metabolic analyses. As a prominent profibrotic cytokine and potent inducer of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), TGF-β contributes to these processes in liver epithelial cells. Yet, a distinction between culture dependent and TGF-β driven hepatocyte dedifferentiation has not been shown to date.
Here, we show that in both settings, mesenchymal markers are induced. However, upregulation of Snai1 and downregulation of E-Cadherin are restricted to TGF-β effects, neglecting a full EMT of culture dependent hepatocyte dedifferentiation. Mechanistically, the latter is mediated via FAK/Src/ERK/AKT pathways leading to the induction of the oncogene caveolin-1 (Cav1). Cav1 was recently proposed as a new EMT marker, but our results demonstrate Cav1 is not up-regulated in TGF-β mediated hepatocyte EMT, thus limiting validity of its use for this purpose. Importantly, marking differences on Cav1 expression exist in HCC cell lines. Whereas well differentiated HCC cell lines exhibit low and inducible Cav1 protein levels - by TGF-β in a FAK/Src dependent manner, poorly differentiated cell lines display high Cav1 expression levels which are not further modulated by TGF-β.
This study draws a detailed distinction between intrinsic and TGF-β mediated hepatocyte dedifferentiation and elucidates cellular pathways involved. Additionally, by evaluating the regulation of the oncogene Cav1, we provide evidence to argue against Cav1 as a reliable EMT marker.
Autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) are classified as pervasive developmental disorders characterized by abnormalities in various cognitive and behavioral functions. Although exact underlying causes are still unknown, nearly 30% of autistic patients show elevated blood levels of serotonin (5-HT) and, therefore, various genetic and environmental factors that are known to elevate 5-HT levels may play a role in the development of ASDs. In the present study, we used the socially monogamous male prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) as an animal model to examine the effects of perinatal exposure to 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT), a non-selective serotonin agonist, on subsequent behavioural and neurochemical changes in the brain. 5-MT treated males showed a decrease in affiliation and an increase in anxiety-related behavior, as well as a decrease in the density of 5-HT immunoreactive (ir) fibers in the amygdala and oxytocin-ir and vasopressin-ir cells in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, compared to saline treated controls. These data indicate that exposure to 5-HT during early development can induce abnormalities in various neurochemical systems which, in turn, may underlie deficits in social and anxiety-related behaviors. In addition, these data will help to establish the prairie vole model to study the neurobiological underpinnings of complex neuropsychiatric disorders such as ASDs.
Autism; Social Affiliation; Anxiety; Serotonin; Oxytocin; Vasopressin
In oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), metastasis to lymph nodes is associated with a 50% reduction in 5-year survival. To identify a metastatic gene set based on DNA copy number abnormalities (CNAs) of differentially expressed genes, we compared DNA and RNA of OSCC cells laser-microdissected from non-metastatic primary tumors (n = 17) with those from lymph node metastases (n = 20), using Affymetrix 250K Nsp single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and U133 Plus 2.0 arrays, respectively. With a false discovery rate (FDR)<5%, 1988 transcripts were found to be differentially expressed between primary and metastatic OSCC. Of these, 114 were found to have a significant correlation between DNA copy number and gene expression (FDR<0.01). Among these 114 correlated transcripts, the corresponding genomic regions of each of 95 transcripts had CNAs differences between primary and metastatic OSCC (FDR<0.01). Using an independent dataset of 133 patients, multivariable analysis showed that the OSCC–specific and overall mortality hazards ratio (HR) for patients carrying the 95-transcript signature were 4.75 (95% CI: 2.03–11.11) and 3.45 (95% CI: 1.84–6.50), respectively. To determine the degree by which these genes impact cell survival, we compared the growth of five OSCC cell lines before and after knockdown of over-amplified transcripts via a high-throughput siRNA–mediated screen. The expression-knockdown of 18 of the 26 genes tested showed a growth suppression ≥30% in at least one cell line (P<0.01). In particular, cell lines derived from late-stage OSCC were more sensitive to the knockdown of G3BP1 than cell lines derived from early-stage OSCC, and the growth suppression was likely caused by increase in apoptosis. Further investigation is warranted to examine the biological role of these genes in OSCC progression and their therapeutic potentials.
Neck lymph node metastasis is the most important prognostic factor in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). To identify genes associated with this critical step of OSCC progression, we compared DNA copy number aberrations and gene expression differences between tumor cells found in metastatic lymph nodes versus those in non-metastatic primary tumors. We identified 95 transcripts (87 genes) with metastasis-specific genome abnormalities and gene expression. Tested in an independent cohort of 133 OSCC patients, the 95 gene signature was an independent risk factor of disease-specific and overall death, suggesting a disease progression phenotype. We knocked down the expression of over-amplified genes in five OSCC cell lines. Knockdown of 18 of the 26 tested genes suppressed the cell growth in at least one cell line. Interestingly, cell lines derived from late-stage OSCC were more sensitive to the knockdown of G3BP1 than cell lines derived from early-stage OSCC. The knockdown of G3BP1 increased programmed cell death in the p53-mutant but not wild-type OSCC cell lines. Taken together, we demonstrate that CNA–associated transcripts differentially expressed in carcinoma cells with an aggressive phenotype (i.e., metastatic to lymph nodes) can be biomarkers with both prognostic information and functional relevance. Moreover, results suggest that G3BP1 is a potential therapeutic target against late-stage p53-negative OSCC.
Background. Herb-derived compound andrographolide sulfonate (called Xiyanping injection) recommended control measure for severe hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) by the Ministry of Health (China) during the 2010 epidemic. However, there is a lack of good quality evidence directly comparing the efficacy of Andrographolide Sulfonate combination therapy with conventional therapy. Methods. 230 patients were randomly assigned to 7–10 days of Andrographolide Sulfonate 5–10 mg/Kg/day and conventional therapy, or conventional therapy alone. Results. The major complications occurred less often after Andrographolide Sulfonate (2.6% versus 12.1%; risk difference [RD], 0.94; 95% CI, 0.28–1.61; P = 0.006). Median fever clearance times were 96 hours (CI, 80 to 126) for conventional therapy recipients and 48 hours (CI, 36 to 54) for Andrographolide Sulfonate combination-treated patients (χ2 = 16.57, P < 0.001). The two groups did not differ in terms of HFMD-cause mortality (P = 1.00) and duration of hospitalization (P = 0.70). There was one death in conventional therapy group. No important adverse event was found in Andrographolide Sulfonate combination therapy group. Conclusions. The addition of Andrographolide Sulfonate to conventional therapy reduced the occurrence of major complications, fever clearance time, and the healing time of typical skin or oral mucosa lesions in children with severe HFMD.
PI3K; Akt; polycomb group protein; Bmi1; Ezh2; stem cell
Previous studies have shown that by minimizing the total variation (TV) of the to-be-estimated image with some data and other constraints, a piecewise-smooth X-ray computed tomography (CT) can be reconstructed from sparse-view projection data without introducing noticeable artifacts. However, due to the piecewise constant assumption for the image, a conventional TV minimization algorithm often suffers from over-smoothness on the edges of the resulting image. To mitigate this drawback, we present an adaptive-weighted TV (AwTV) minimization algorithm in this paper. The presented AwTV model is derived by considering the anisotropic edge property among neighboring image voxels, where the associated weights are expressed as an exponential function and can be adaptively adjusted by the local image-intensity gradient for the purpose of preserving the edge details. Inspired by the previously-reported TV-POCS (projection onto convex sets) implementation, a similar AwTV-POCS implementation was developed to minimize the AwTV subject to data and other constraints for the purpose of sparse-view low-dose CT image reconstruction. To evaluate the presented AwTV-POCS algorithm, both qualitative and quantitative studies were performed by computer simulations and phantom experiments. The results show that the presented AwTV-POCS algorithm can yield images with several noticeable gains, in terms of noise-resolution tradeoff plots and full width at half maximum values, as compared to the corresponding conventional TV-POCS algorithm.
Low-dose computed tomography; total variation; adaptive-weighted total variation; sparse-sampled data; image reconstruction
Inhibition of mTOR signaling by rapamycin has been demonstrated to activate ERK1/2 and Akt in various types of cancer cells, which contributes to rapamycin resistance. However, the downstream effect of rapamycin-activated ERKs and Akt on survival or death substrate(s) remains unclear. We discovered that treatment of human lung cancer cells with rapamycin results in enhanced phosphorylation of Bad at serine (S) 112 and S136 but not S155 in association with activation of ERK1/2 and Akt. A higher level of Bad phosphorylation was observed in rapamycin-resistant cells compared to parental rapamycin-sensitive cells. Thus, Bad phosphorylation may contribute to rapamycin resistance. Mechanistically, rapamycin promotes Bad accumulation in the cytosol, enhances Bad/14-3-3 interaction and reduces Bad/Bcl-XL binding. Rapamycin-induced Bad phosphorylation promotes its ubiquitination and degradation, with a significant reduction of its half-life (i.e. from 53.3 h to 37.5 h). Inhibition of MEK/ERK by PD98059 or depletion of Akt by RNA interference blocks rapamycin-induced Bad phosphorylation at S112 or S136, respectively. Simultaneous blockage of S112 and S136 phosphorylation of Bad by PD98059 and silencing of Akt significantly enhances rapamycin-induced growth inhibition in vitro and synergistically increases the anti-tumor efficacy of rapamycin in lung cancer xenografts. Intriguingly, either suppression of Bad phosphorylation at S112 and S136 sites or expression of the non-phosphorylatable Bad mutant (S112A/S136A) can reverse rapamycin resistance. These findings uncover a novel mechanism of rapamycin resistance, which may promote the development of new strategies for overcoming rapamycin resistance by manipulating Bad phosphorylation at S112 and S136 in human lung cancer.