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1.  Clearance of Free Silica in Rat Lungs by Spraying with Chinese Herbal Kombucha 
The effects of spraying with kombucha and Chinese herbal kombucha were compared with treatments with tetrandrine in a rat silicosis model. Silica dust (50 mg) was injected into the lungs of rats, which were then treated with one of the experimental treatments for a month. The rats were then killed and the effects of the treatments were evaluated by examining the extent and severity of the histopathological lesions in the animals' lungs, measuring their organ coefficients and lung collagen contents, determining the dry and wet weights of their lungs, and measuring the free silica content of the dried lungs. In addition, lavage was performed on whole lungs taken from selected rats, and the numbers and types of cells in the lavage fluid were counted. The most effective treatment in terms of the ability to reduce lung collagen content and minimize the formation of pulmonary histopathological lesions was tetrandrine treatment, followed by Chinese herbal kombucha and non-Chinese herbal kombucha. However, the lavage fluid cell counts indicated that tetrandrine treatment had severe adverse effects on macrophage viability. This effect was much less pronounced for the kombucha and Chinese herbal kombucha treatments. Moreover, the free silica levels in the lungs of animals treated with Chinese herbal kombucha were significantly lower than those for any other silica-exposed group. These preliminary results indicate that spraying with Chinese herbal kombucha preparations can effectively promote the discharge of silica dust from lung tissues. Chinese herbal kombucha inhalation may thus be a useful new treatment for silicosis and other pneumoconiosis diseases.
doi:10.1155/2013/790792
PMCID: PMC3760100  PMID: 24023583
2.  Largazole Arrests Cell Cycle at G1 Phase and Triggers Proteasomal Degradation of E2F1 in Lung Cancer Cells 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2013;4(10):921-926.
Aberration in cell cycle has been shown to be a common occurrence in lung cancer, and cell cycle inhibitor represents an effective therapeutic strategy. In this study, we test the effects of a natural macrocyclic depsipeptide largazole on lung cancer cells and report that this compound potently inhibits the proliferation and clonogenic activity of lung cancer cells but not normal bronchial epithelial cells. Largazole arrests cell cycle at G1 phase with up-regulation of the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. Interestingly, largazole enhances the E2F1-HDAC1 binding affinity and induces a proteasomal degradation of E2F1, leading to suppression of E2F1 function in lung cancer but not normal bronchial epithelial cells. Because E2F1 is overexpressed in lung cancer tumor samples, these data indicate that largazole is an E2F1-targeting cell cycle inhibitor, which bears therapeutic potentials for this malignant neoplasm.
doi:10.1021/ml400093y
PMCID: PMC4027503  PMID: 24900585
Lung cancer; cell cycle; largazole; E2F1; degradation
3.  Serum Levels of Interleukin-9 Correlate with Negative Prognostic Factors in Extranodal NK/T-Cell Lymphoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94637.
Interleukin-9 (IL-9) is more functionally diverse than previously expected, especially with regards to lymphomagenesis. However, the relationship between IL-9 and the clinicopathological features of extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma is less well established. Patients with this lymphoma in Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center between January 2003 and March 2013 were systematically reviewed in an intention-to-treat analysis. Baseline serum IL-9 levels were determined using sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. A total of seventy-four patients were enrolled in this study. The mean concentration of serum IL-9 for all patients was 6.48 pg/mL (range: 1.38–51.87 pg/mL). Age, B symptoms and local lymph node involvement were found to be related to high serum IL-9 levels. Patients with low IL-9 levels tended to have higher rates of complete remission. Notably, the median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were longer in the low IL-9 level group than in the high IL-9 level group (PFS: 68.7 months vs. 28.3 months, P<0.001; OS: 86 months vs. 42.8 months, P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed independent prognostic factors for PFS. Similarly, high IL-9 levels (P = 0.003) and old age (P = 0.007) were independently predictive of shorter OS. Serum IL-9 is closely related to several clinical features, such as age, B symptoms and local lymph node involvement. It can also be a significant independent prognostic factor for extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, which suggests a role for IL-9 in the pathogenesis of this disease and offers new insight into potential therapeutic strategies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094637
PMCID: PMC3983224  PMID: 24722378
4.  A rare case of a glass fragment impacted in the parapharyngeal space associated with neurovascular compromise 
It is rare for foreign bodies to be found in the parapharyngeal space due to the protection of the mandibular ramus and zygomatic bone. The authors describe a rare case of a patient with an unusual penetrating neck injury caused by broken windshield glass in a traffic accident, which lodged in the parapharyngeal space and punctured the internal jugular veins and cranial nerves. 3 weeks later, a delayed exploration was performed on the patient after detailed evaluation of the relationship between the foreign body and the great vessels. The authors removed the glass fragment easily with no active bleeding because it had been surrounded by a fibrous envelope. This experience indicates that increasing the duration of foreign body retention in the parapharyngeal space may be helpful, allowing fibrosis to surround the foreign body, reducing the risk of active bleeding when it is removed.
doi:10.1016/j.ijom.2010.07.009
PMCID: PMC3000444  PMID: 20817479
penetrating injury; neck; parapharyngeal space; foreign body; glass fragment
5.  Small Compound 6-O-Angeloylplenolin Induces Mitotic Arrest and Exhibits Therapeutic Potentials in Multiple Myeloma 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21930.
Background
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a disease of cell cycle dysregulation while cell cycle modulation can be a target for MM therapy. In this study we investigated the effects and mechanisms of action of a sesquiterpene lactone 6-O-angeloylplenolin (6-OAP) on MM cells.
Methodology/Principal Findings
MM cells were exposed to 6-OAP and cell cycle distribution were analyzed. The role for cyclin B1 to play in 6-OAP-caused mitotic arrest was tested by specific siRNA analyses in U266 cells. MM.1S cells co-incubated with interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), or bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were treated with 6-OAP. The effects of 6-OAP plus other drugs on MM.1S cells were evaluated. The in vivo therapeutic efficacy and pharmacokinetic features of 6-OAP were tested in nude mice bearing U266 cells and Sprague-Dawley rats, respectively. We found that 6-OAP suppressed the proliferation of dexamethasone-sensitive and dexamethasone-resistant cell lines and primary CD138+ MM cells. 6-OAP caused mitotic arrest, accompanied by activation of spindle assembly checkpoint and blockage of ubiquitiniation and subsequent proteasomal degradation of cyclin B1. Combined use of 6-OAP and bortezomib induced potentiated cytotoxicity with inactivation of ERK1/2 and activation of JNK1/2 and Casp-8/-3. 6-OAP overcame the protective effects of IL-6 and IGF-I on MM cells through inhibition of Jak2/Stat3 and Akt, respectively. 6-OAP inhibited BMSCs-facilitated MM cell expansion and TNF-α-induced NF-κB signal. Moreover, 6-OAP exhibited potent anti-MM activity in nude mice and favorable pharmacokinetics in rats.
Conclusions/Significance
These results indicate that 6-OAP is a new cell cycle inhibitor which shows therapeutic potentials for MM.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021930
PMCID: PMC3130785  PMID: 21755010
6.  Overexpression and Small Molecule-Triggered Downregulation of CIP2A in Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20159.
Background
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with a five-year overall survival rate of only 15%. Cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) is a human oncoprotein inhibiting PP2A in many human malignancies. However, whether CIP2A can be a new drug target for lung cancer is largely unclear.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Normal and malignant lung tissues were derived from 60 lung cancer patients from southern China. RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate the expression of CIP2A. We found that among the 60 patients, CIP2A was undetectable or very low in paratumor normal tissues, but was dramatically elevated in tumor samples in 38 (63.3%) patients. CIP2A overexpression was associated with cigarette smoking. Silencing CIP2A by siRNA inhibited the proliferation and clonogenic activity of lung cancer cells. Intriguingly, we found a natural compound, rabdocoetsin B which is extracted from a Traditional Chinese Medicinal herb Rabdosia coetsa, could induce down-regulation of CIP2A and inactivation of Akt pathway, and inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in a variety of lung cancer cells.
Conclusions/Significance
Our findings strongly indicate that CIP2A could be an effective target for lung cancer drug development, and the therapeutic potentials of CIP2A-targeting agents warrant further investigation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020159
PMCID: PMC3105001  PMID: 21655278
7.  Synergy between Proteasome Inhibitors and Imatinib Mesylate in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(7):e6257.
Background
Resistance developed by leukemic cells, unsatisfactory efficacy on patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) at accelerated and blastic phases, and potential cardiotoxity, have been limitations for imatinib mesylate (IM) in treating CML. Whether low dose IM in combination with agents of distinct but related mechanisms could be one of the strategies to overcome these concerns warrants careful investigation.
Methods and Findings
We tested the therapeutic efficacies as well as adverse effects of low dose IM in combination with proteasome inhibitor, Bortezomib (BOR) or proteasome inhibitor I (PSI), in two CML murine models, and investigated possible mechanisms of action on CML cells. Our results demonstrated that low dose IM in combination with BOR exerted satisfactory efficacy in prolongation of life span and inhibition of tumor growth in mice, and did not cause cardiotoxicity or body weight loss. Consistently, BOR and PSI enhanced IM-induced inhibition of long-term clonogenic activity and short-term cell growth of CML stem/progenitor cells, and potentiated IM-caused inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis of BCR-ABL+ cells. IM/BOR and IM/PSI inhibited Bcl-2, increased cytoplasmic cytochrome C, and activated caspases. While exerting suppressive effects on BCR-ABL, E2F1, and β-catenin, IM/BOR and IM/PSI inhibited proteasomal degradation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), leading to a re-activation of this important negative regulator of BCR-ABL. In addition, both combination therapties inhibited Bruton's tyrosine kinase via suppression of NFκB.
Conclusion
These data suggest that combined use of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and proteasome inhibitor might be helpful for optimizing CML treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006257
PMCID: PMC2705802  PMID: 19606213

Results 1-7 (7)