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1.  Primary Mucinous Cystadenocarcinoma of the Breast with Endocervical-Like Mucinous Epithelium 
Breast Care  2013;8(6):445-447.
Primary mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the breast is an extremely rare entity. To the best of our knowledge, only 17 patients have been described in the PubMed database.
Case Report
Here, we report a primary breast mucinous cystadenocarcinoma with endocervical-like mucinous epithelium in a 62-year-old woman. The patient was followed for 5 months without any adjuvant treatment and she continues to be disease free.
Primary breast mucinous cystadenocarcinoma usually displays unique pathologic and immunohistochemical characteristics simulating its ovarian counterparts; it seems to have a good prognosis after complete resection.
PMCID: PMC3919496  PMID: 24550753
Breast cancer; Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma; Immunohistochemistry
2.  Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression in breast cancer: correlation with clinical pathological features 
The overexpressed HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a valuable therapeutic target. Precise assessment of HER2 status is thus crucial in the treatment of breast cancer. In this study, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of tumors from 304 breast cancer patients who underwent curative surgery procedures between 2011 and 2014 were tested by immunohistochemistry (IHC) as a primary estimate of HER2 status, followed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Concordance rate between IHC and FISH was evaluated. The Χ2 test was used to evaluate the correlation between HER2 gene amplification status and different clinical pathological features including: (estrogen receptor) ER and (progesterone receptor) PR expression, age, menopausal status and tumor size. The results show that 84.8% of IHC score 3+ cases and 6.2% of IHC score 0/1+ cases were amplified by FISH. After exclusion of group IHC 2+, the concordance rate between FISH and IHC was 87.4%. There was a significant inverse association between expression of hormone receptors (ER and PR) and HER2 amplification (P < 0.001) among the patients studied. However, no relationship was observed between HER2 amplification and age, menopausal status and tumor size (P > 0.05). The data demonstrate a relatively high level of concordance rate for HER2 testing between FISH and IHC, and HER2 overexpression was associated with the levels of ER and PR.
PMCID: PMC4314040
Breast cancer; HER2; clinical pathological features; immunohistochemistry (IHC); fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
3.  Synbindin in Extracellular Signal-Regulated Protein Kinase Spatial Regulation and Gastric Cancer Aggressiveness 
The molecular mechanisms that control the aggressiveness of gastric cancer (GC) remain poorly defined. Here we show that synbindin contributes to the aggressiveness of GC by activating extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) signaling on the Golgi apparatus.
Expression of synbindin was examined in normal gastric mucosa (n = 44), intestinal metaplastic gastric mucosa (n = 66), and GC tissues (n=52), and the biological effects of synbindin on tumor growth and ERK signaling were detected in cultured cells, nude mice, and human tissue samples. The interaction between synbindin and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK1)/ERK was determined by immunofluorescence and fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays. The transactivation of synbindin by nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) was detected using luciferase reporter assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation.
High expression of synbindin was associated with larger tumor size (120.8 vs 44.8cm3; P = .01), advanced tumor node metastasis (TNM) stage (P = .003), and shorter patient survival (hazard ratio = 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01 to 2.27; P = .046). Synbindin promotes cell proliferation and invasion by activating ERK2 on the Golgi apparatus, and synbindin is directly transactivated by NF-κB. Synbindin expression level was statistically significantly higher in human GCs with activated ERK2 than those with low ERK2 activity (intensity score of 11.5, 95% CI = 10.4 to 12.4 vs intensity score of 4.6, 95% CI 3.9 to 5.3; P < .001). Targeting synbindin in xenograft tumors decreased ERK2 phosphorylation and statistically significantly reduced tumor volume (451.2mm3, 95% CI = 328.3 to 574.1 vs 726.1mm3, 95% CI = 544.2 to 908.2; P = .01).
Synbindin contributes to malignant phenotypes of GC by activating ERK on the Golgi, and synbindin is a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for GC.
PMCID: PMC4042874  PMID: 24104608
4.  SSTR2-based reporter expression after plasmid-based in vivo gene delivery to Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer 
Molecular imaging  2013;12(7):1-10.
Plasmids tend to have much lower expression than viruses. Assessing gene expression after systemic administration of plasmid vectors has not been assessed using SSTR2-based reporters. The purpose of this work was to identify gene expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) after systemic liposomal nanoparticle delivery of plasmid containing somatostatin receptor type-2 (SSTR2)-based reporter gene.
Materials and Methods
In vitro, Western blotting was performed after transient transfection with plasmids CMV-SSTR2, CMV-TUSC2-IRES-SSTR2, or CMV-TUSC2. SSTR2 is the reporter and TUSC2 is a therapeutic gene. Mice with A549 NSCLC lung tumors were injected intravenously with CMV-SSTR2, CMV-TUSC2-IRES-SSTR2, or CMV-TUSC2 plasmids in DOTAP:Cholesterol-liposomal nanoparticles. Two days later, mice were injected intravenously with 111In-octreotide. The next day, biodistribution was performed. The experiment was repeated including SPECT-CT imaging. Immunohistochemistry was performed.
In vitro, SSTR2 expression was similar in cells transfected with CMV-SSTR2 or CMV-TUSC2-IRES-SSTR2. TUSC2 expression was similar in cells transfected with CMV-TUSC2 or CMV-TUSC2-SSTR2. Biodistribution demonstrated significantly greater 111In-octreotide uptake in tumors from mice injected with CMV-TUSC2-IRES-SSTR2 or CMV-SSTR2 than control plasmid, CMV-TUSC2 (P<0.05). Gamma-camera and SPECT-CT imaging illustrated SSTR2 expression in tumors in mice injected with CMV-TUSC2-IRES-SSTR2 or CMV-SSTR2 versus background with control plasmid. Immunohistochemistry corresponded with imaging.
SSTR2-based reporter imaging can visualize gene expression in lung tumors after systemic liposomal nanoparticle delivery of plasmid containing SSTR2-based reporter gene or SSTR2 linked to a second therapeutic gene, such as TUSC2.
PMCID: PMC4103180  PMID: 23962694
Somatostatin receptor; reporter; plasmid; non-small cell lung cancer; imaging
5.  KEAP1-dependent synthetic lethality induced by AKT and TXNRD1 inhibitors in lung cancer 
Cancer research  2013;73(17):10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-0712.
Intrinsic resistance to agents targeting phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway is one of the major challenges in cancer treatment with such agents. The objective of this study is to identify the genes or pathways that can be targeted to overcome the resistance of non-small cell lung cancer to the AKT inhibitor, MK2206, which is currently being evaluated in phase I and II clinical trials. Using a genome-wide small interfering RNA (siRNA) library screening and biological characterization we identified that inhibition of Thioredoxin Reductase-1 (TXNRD1), one of the key anti-oxidant enzymes, with siRNAs or its inhibitor, Auranofin, sensitized non-small cell lung cancer cells to MK2206 treatment in vitro and in vivo. We found that simultaneous inhibition of TXNRD1 and AKT pathways induced robust reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which was involved in c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK, MAPK8) activation and cell apoptosis. Furthermore we found that the synthetic lethality interaction between the TXNRD1 and AKT pathways occurred through the KEAP1/NRF2 cellular antioxidant pathway. Lastly, we found that synthetic lethality induced by TXNRD1 and AKT inhibitors relied on wild type KEAP1 function. Our study indicates that targeting the interaction between AKT and TXNRD1 antioxidant pathways with MK2206 and Auranofin, a FDA approved drug, is a rational strategy to treat lung cancer and that KEAP1 mutation status may offer a predicative biomarker for such combination approaches.
PMCID: PMC3868367  PMID: 23824739
Synthetic lethality; AKT; TXNRD1; MK2206; KEAP1
6.  A long non-coding RNA signature to improve prognosis prediction of colorectal cancer 
Oncotarget  2014;5(8):2230-2242.
Increasing evidence suggests long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are frequently aberrantly expressed in cancers, however, few related lncRNA signatures have been established for prediction of cancer prognosis. We aimed to develop a lncRNA signature to improve prognosis prediction of colorectal cancer (CRC). Using a lncRNA-mining approach, we performed lncRNA expression profiling in large CRC cohorts from Gene Expression Ominus (GEO), including GSE39582 test series(N=436), internal validation series (N=117); and two independent validation series GSE14333 (N=197) and GSE17536(N=145). We established a set of six lncRNAs that were significantly correlated with the disease free survival (DFS) in the test series. Based on this six-lncRNA signature, the test series patients could be classified into high-risk and low-risk subgroups with significantly different DFS (HR=2.670; P<0.0001). The prognostic value of this six-lncRNA signature was confirmed in the internal validation series and another two independent CRC sets. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) analysis suggested that risk score positively correlated with several cancer metastasis related pathways. Functional experiments demonstrated three dysregulated lncRNAs, AK123657, BX648207 and BX649059 were required for efficient invasion and proliferation suppression in CRC cell lines. Our results might provide an efficient classification tool for clinical prognosis evaluation of CRC.
PMCID: PMC4039159  PMID: 24809982
colorectal cancer; lncRNAs; survival; GSEA
7.  Gene Silencing by Gold Nanoshell-Mediated Delivery and Laser-Triggered Release of Antisense Oligonucleotide and siRNA 
ACS nano  2012;6(9):7681-7691.
The approach of RNA interference (RNAi)- using antisense DNA or RNA oligonucleotides to silence activity of a specific pathogenic gene transcript and reduce expression of the encoded protein- is very useful in dissecting genetic function and holds significant promise as a molecular therapeutic. A major obstacle in achieving gene silencing with RNAi technology is the systemic delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides. Here we demonstrate an engineered gold nanoshell (NS)-based therapeutic oligonucleotide delivery vehicle, designed to release its cargo on demand upon illumination with a near-infrared (NIR) laser. A poly(L)lysine peptide (PLL) epilayer covalently attached to the NS surface (NS-PLL) is used to capture intact, single-stranded antisense DNA oligonucleotides, or alternatively, double-stranded short-interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules. Controlled release of the captured therapeutic oligonucleotides in each case is accomplished by continuous wave NIR laser irradiation at 800 nm, near the resonance wavelength of the nanoshell. Fluorescently tagged oligonucleotides were used to monitor the time-dependent release process and light-triggered endosomal release. A green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing human lung cancer H1299 cell line was used to determine cellular uptake and gene silencing mediated by the NS-PLL carrying GFP gene-specific single-stranded DNA antisense oligonucleotide (AON-GFP), or a double-stranded siRNA (siRNA-GFP), in vitro. Light-triggered delivery resulted in ∼ 47% and ∼49% downregulation of the targeted GFP expression by AON-GFP and siRNA-GFP, respectively. Cytotoxicity induced by both the NS-PLL delivery vector and by laser irradiation is minimal, as demonstrated by a XTT cell proliferation assay.
PMCID: PMC3888232  PMID: 22862291
Plasmon; nanoshell; antisense oligonucleotide; siRNA; Gene therapy; controlled drug release; polylysine
8.  The Tumor Suppressor Gene TUSC2 (FUS1) Sensitizes NSCLC to the AKT Inhibitor MK2206 in LKB1-dependent Manner 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77067.
TUSC2-defective gene expression is detected in the majority of lung cancers and is associated with worse overall survival. We analyzed the effects of TUSC2 re-expression on tumor cell sensitivity to the AKT inhibitor, MK2206, and explored their mutual signaling connections, in vitro and in vivo. TUSC2 transient expression in three LKB1-defective non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines combined with MK2206 treatment resulted in increased repression of cell viability and colony formation, and increased apoptotic activity. In contrast, TUSC2 did not affect the response to MK2206 treatment for two LKB1-wild type NSCLC cell lines. In vivo, TUSC2 systemic delivery, by nanoparticle gene transfer, combined with MK2206 treatment markedly inhibited growth of tumors in a human LKB1-defective H322 lung cancer xenograft mouse model. Biochemical analysis showed that TUSC2 transient expression in LKB1-defective NSCLC cells significantly stimulated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation and enzymatic activity. More importantly, AMPK gene knockdown abrogated TUSC2-MK2206 cooperation, as evidenced by reduced sensitivity to the combined treatment. Together, TUSC2 re-expression and MK2206 treatment was more effective in inhibiting the phosphorylation and kinase activities of AKT and mTOR proteins than either single agent alone. In conclusion, these findings support the hypothesis that TUSC2 expression status is a biological variable that potentiates MK2206 sensitivity in LKB1-defective NSCLC cells, and identifies the AMPK/AKT/mTOR signaling axis as an important regulator of this activity.
PMCID: PMC3798310  PMID: 24146957
9.  Candidate microRNA Biomarkers in Human Gastric Cancer: A Systematic Review and Validation Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73683.
Gastric cancer (GC) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and there is therefore a clear need to search for more sensitive early diagnostic biomarkers. We performed a systematic review of eight published miRNA profiling studies that compared GC tissues with adjacent noncancerous tissues. A miRNA ranking system was used that took the frequency of comparisons, direction of differential expression and total sample size into consideration. We identified five miRNAs that were most consistently reported to be upregulated (miR-21, miR-106b, miR-17, miR-18a and miR-20a) and two miRNAs that were downregulated (miR-378 and miR-638). Six of these were further validated in 32 paired sets of GC and adjacent noncancerous tissue samples using real-time PCR. MiR-21, miR-106b, miR-17, miR-18a and miR-20a were confirmed to be upregulatedin GC tissues, while the expression of miR-378 was decreased. Moreover, we found a significant association between expression levels of miR-21, miR-106b, miR-17, miR-18a and miR-20a and clinicopathological features of GC. These miRNAs may be used for diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers for GC and therefore warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3767766  PMID: 24040025
10.  Bidirectional regulation between WDR83 and its natural antisense transcript DHPS in gastric cancer 
Cell Research  2012;22(9):1374-1389.
Natural antisense transcripts (NATs) exist ubiquitously in mammalian genomes and play roles in the regulation of gene expression. However, both the existence of bidirectional antisense RNA regulation and the possibility of protein-coding genes that function as antisense RNAs remain speculative. Here, we found that the protein-coding gene, deoxyhypusine synthase (DHPS), as the NAT of WDR83, concordantly regulated the expression of WDR83 mRNA and protein. Conversely, WDR83 also regulated DHPS by antisense pairing in a concordant manner. WDR83 and DHPS were capable of forming an RNA duplex at overlapping 3′ untranslated regions and this duplex increased their mutual stability, which was required for the bidirectional regulation. As a pair of protein-coding cis-sense/antisense transcripts, WDR83 and DHPS were upregulated simultaneously and correlated positively in gastric cancer (GC), driving GC pathophysiology by promoting cell proliferation. Furthermore, the positive relationship between WDR83 and DHPS was also observed in other cancers. The bidirectional regulatory relationship between WDR83 and DHPS not only enriches our understanding of antisense regulation, but also provides a more complete understanding of their functions in tumor development.
PMCID: PMC3434345  PMID: 22491477
bidirectional regulation; natural antisense transcript; gastric cancer
11.  Skp2-RNAi suppresses proliferation and migration of gallbladder carcinoma cells by enhancing p27 expression 
AIM: To explore the role of S-phase kinase-associated protein-2 (Skp2) in gallbladder carcinoma and to identify whether depletion of Skp2 by Skp2-RNAi could attenuate proliferation and migration of gallbladder carcinoma.
METHODS: Skp2-RNAi was transduced into cells of the gallbladder carcinoma cell line GBC-SD, using a lentiviral vector. The effect of Skp2-RNAi on the proliferation, migration, invasion and cell cycle of GBC-SD cells was studied using in vitro assays for cell proliferation, colony formation, wound healing and cell cycle. The expression of Skp2 and p27 was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western immunoblotting. The effect of Skp2-RNAi on the proliferation of GBC-SD cells in vivo was investigated by tumorigenicity experiments in nude mice.
RESULTS: Lentivirus-mediated RNAi reduced the expression of Skp2 in cultured cells. The expression of the p27 protein increased along with the down-regulation of Skp2, although no significant difference was found in p27 mRNA expression. Flow cytometry revealed that Skp2-RNAi transfection significantly increased the proportion of cells in the S phase and significantly decreased the proportion of cells in the G2/M phase. No significant difference in the frequency of cells in the G0/G1 phase was observed. The results from the cell proliferation, colony formation and wound healing assays revealed that Skp2-RNAi transfection markedly inhibited the proliferation and migration of GBC-SD cells in vitro. Additionally, tumorigenicity experiments showed that suppression of Skp2 significantly decreased the weights of the tumors (0.56 ± 0.11 and 0.55 ± 0.07 g in the control and Scr-RNAi groups vs 0.37 ± 0.09 and 0.35 ± 0.08 g in the Skp2-RNAi-L and Skp2-RNAi-H groups).
CONCLUSION: The expression of Skp2 in GBC-SD cells was inhibited following Skp2-RNAi transfection. Silencing of the Skp2 gene inhibited proliferation, migration and invasiveness of GBC-SD cells by mechanisms dependent on enhanced expression of the p27 protein.
PMCID: PMC3740421  PMID: 23946596
Gallbladder carcinoma; S-phase kinase-associated protein-2; p27; Gene therapy; Cell cycle
12.  Polymorphism of A133S and promoter hypermethylation in Ras association domain family 1A gene (RASSF1A) is associated with risk of esophageal and gastric cardia cancers in Chinese population from high incidence area in northern China 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:259.
The role of tumor suppressor gene RASSF1A in the esophageal and gastric cardia carcinogenesis is still inconclusive. In this study, the polymorphism, promoter methylation and gene expression of RASSF1A were characterized in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA).
We firstly analyzed the prevalence of RASSF1A A133S in a total of 228 cancer patients with ESCC (n=112) and GCA (n=116) and 235 normal controls by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction enzyme-digestion assay. Then, the promoter methylation status of the RASSF1A in ESCC (n=143), GCA (n=92) and corresponding adjacent normal tissues were further investigated using methylation-specific PCR (MSP) approach. Finally, the RASSF1A protein expression were determined in ESCC (n=27), GCA (n=24) and the matched adjacent normal tissues by immunohistochemical method.
The frequency of 133Ala/Se and Ser/Ser genotype was significantly higher in GCA patients than in normal controls (19.0% vs. 10.2%, P=0.02). Compared with Ala/Ala genotype, Ala/Se and Ser/Ser genotype significantly increased susceptibility to GCA (OR=2.06, 95% CI=1.09–3.97). However, this polymorphism had no association with ESCC (P=0.69). The promoter methylation of RASSF1A gene was significantly increased the risk to both ESCC (OR=5.90, 95% CI=2.78–12.52) and GCA (OR=7.50, 95% CI= 2.78–20.23). Promoter methylation of RASSF1A gene in ESCC was also associated with age and cancer cell differentiation (for age: OR=3.11, 95% CI=1.10–8.73; for differentiation: OR=0.29, 95% CI=0.12–0.69). RASSF1A positive expression was significantly decreased the risk of GCA (OR=0.16, 95% CI=0.03–0.83). In contrast, there was no statistical significance between RASSF1A positive expression and ESCC. The expression of RASSF1A protein trend to be positively related with older GCA patients (OR=16.20, 95% CI=1.57–167.74).
The present findings suggest that alterations of RASSF1A may play an important role in gastric cardia carcinogenesis in terms of polymorphism, promoter hypermethylation and protein expression. Whereas, RASSF1A hypermethylation may probably also be involved in esophageal squamous cell carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3668992  PMID: 23705663
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Gastric cardia adenocarcinoma; A133S in RASSF1A; Polymorphism; Methylation; Protein expression
13.  Myosin II contributes to cell-scale actin network treadmilling via network disassembly 
Nature  2010;465(7296):373-377.
Crawling locomotion of eukaryotic cells is achieved by a process dependent on the actin cytoskeleton1: protrusion of the leading edge requires assembly of a network of actin filaments2, which must be disassembled at the cell rear for sustained motility. Although ADF/cofilin proteins have been shown to contribute to actin disassembly3, it is not clear how activity of these locally acting proteins could be coordinated over the whole-cell distance scale. Here we show that nonmuscle myosin II plays a direct role in actin network disassembly in crawling cells. In moving fish keratocytes, myosin II is concentrated in regions at the rear with high rates of network disassembly. Activation of myosin II by ATP in detergent-extracted cytoskeletons results in rear-localized disassembly of the actin network. Inhibition of myosin II activity and stabilization of actin filaments synergistically impede cell motility, suggesting the existence of two disassembly pathways, one of which requires myosin II activity. Our results establish the importance of myosin II as an enzyme for actin network disassembly; we propose that gradual formation and reorganization of an actomyosin network provides an intrinsic destruction timer, enabling long-range coordination of actin network treadmilling in motile cells.
PMCID: PMC3662466  PMID: 20485438
14.  Genotypic variants at 2q33 and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in China: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Abnet, Christian C. | Wang, Zhaoming | Song, Xin | Hu, Nan | Zhou, Fu-You | Freedman, Neal D. | Li, Xue-Min | Yu, Kai | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Yuan, Jian-Min | Zheng, Wei | Dawsey, Sanford M. | Liao, Linda M. | Lee, Maxwell P. | Ding, Ti | Qiao, You-Lin | Gao, Yu-Tang | Koh, Woon-Puay | Xiang, Yong-Bing | Tang, Ze-Zhong | Fan, Jin-Hu | Chung, Charles C. | Wang, Chaoyu | Wheeler, William | Yeager, Meredith | Yuenger, Jeff | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Giffen, Carol A. | Burdett, Laurie | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Tucker, Margaret A. | Chow, Wong-Ho | Zhao, Xue-Ke | Li, Jiang-Man | Li, Ai-Li | Sun, Liang-Dan | Wei, Wu | Li, Ji-Lin | Zhang, Peng | Li, Hong-Lei | Cui, Wen-Yan | Wang, Wei-Peng | Liu, Zhi-Cai | Yang, Xia | Fu, Wen-Jing | Cui, Ji-Li | Lin, Hong-Li | Zhu, Wen-Liang | Liu, Min | Chen, Xi | Chen, Jie | Guo, Li | Han, Jing-Jing | Zhou, Sheng-Li | Huang, Jia | Wu, Yue | Yuan, Chao | Huang, Jing | Ji, Ai-Fang | Kul, Jian-Wei | Fan, Zhong-Min | Wang, Jian-Po | Zhang, Dong-Yun | Zhang, Lian-Qun | Zhang, Wei | Chen, Yuan-Fang | Ren, Jing-Li | Li, Xiu-Min | Dong, Jin-Cheng | Xing, Guo-Lan | Guo, Zhi-Gang | Yang, Jian-Xue | Mao, Yi-Ming | Yuan, Yuan | Guo, Er-Tao | Zhang, Wei | Hou, Zhi-Chao | Liu, Jing | Li, Yan | Tang, Sa | Chang, Jia | Peng, Xiu-Qin | Han, Min | Yin, Wan-Li | Liu, Ya-Li | Hu, Yan-Long | Liu, Yu | Yang, Liu-Qin | Zhu, Fu-Guo | Yang, Xiu-Feng | Feng, Xiao-Shan | Wang, Zhou | Li, Yin | Gao, She-Gan | Liu, Hai-Lin | Yuan, Ling | Jin, Yan | Zhang, Yan-Rui | Sheyhidin, Ilyar | Li, Feng | Chen, Bao-Ping | Ren, Shu-Wei | Liu, Bin | Li, Dan | Zhang, Gao-Fu | Yue, Wen-Bin | Feng, Chang-Wei | Qige, Qirenwang | Zhao, Jian-Ting | Yang, Wen-Jun | Lei, Guang-Yan | Chen, Long-Qi | Li, En-Min | Xu, Li-Yan | Wu, Zhi-Yong | Bao, Zhi-Qin | Chen, Ji-Li | Li, Xian-Chang | Zhuang, Xiang | Zhou, Ying-Fa | Zuo, Xian-Bo | Dong, Zi-Ming | Wang, Lu-Wen | Fan, Xue-Pin | Wang, Jin | Zhou, Qi | Ma, Guo-Shun | Zhang, Qin-Xian | Liu, Hai | Jian, Xin-Ying | Lian, Sin-Yong | Wang, Jin-Sheng | Chang, Fu-Bao | Lu, Chang-Dong | Miao, Jian-Jun | Chen, Zhi-Guo | Wang, Ran | Guo, Ming | Fan, Zeng-Lin | Tao, Ping | Liu, Tai-Jing | Wei, Jin-Chang | Kong, Qing-Peng | Fan, Lei | Wang, Xian-Zeng | Gao, Fu-Sheng | Wang, Tian-Yun | Xie, Dong | Wang, Li | Chen, Shu-Qing | Yang, Wan-Cai | Hong, Jun-Yan | Wang, Liang | Qiu, Song-Liang | Goldstein, Alisa M. | Yuan, Zhi-Qing | Chanock, Stephen J. | Zhang, Xue-Jun | Taylor, Philip R. | Wang, Li-Dong
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(9):2132-2141.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
PMCID: PMC3315211  PMID: 22323360
15.  Novel Pancreatic Endocrine Maturation Pathways Identified by Genomic Profiling and Causal Reasoning 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56024.
We have used a previously unavailable model of pancreatic development, derived in vitro from human embryonic stem cells, to capture a time-course of gene, miRNA and histone modification levels in pancreatic endocrine cells. We investigated whether it is possible to better understand, and hence control, the biological pathways leading to pancreatic endocrine formation by analysing this information and combining it with the available scientific literature to generate models using a casual reasoning approach. We show that the embryonic stem cell differentiation protocol is highly reproducible in producing endocrine precursor cells and generates cells that recapitulate many aspects of human embryonic pancreas development, including maturation into functional endocrine cells when transplanted into recipient animals. The availability of whole genome gene and miRNA expression data from the early stages of human pancreatic development will be of great benefit to those in the fields of developmental biology and diabetes research. Our causal reasoning algorithm suggested the involvement of novel gene networks, such as NEUROG3/E2F1/KDM5B and SOCS3/STAT3/IL-6, in endocrine cell development We experimentally investigated the role of the top-ranked prediction by showing that addition of exogenous IL-6 could affect the expression of the endocrine progenitor genes NEUROG3 and NKX2.2.
PMCID: PMC3572136  PMID: 23418498
16.  Association between Polymorphisms of Alpha-Adducin Gene and Essential Hypertension in Chinese Population 
BioMed Research International  2012;2013:451094.
The association between polymorphisms of α-adducin (ADD1) gene and essential hypertension is still unclear. Thus, we carried out a case-control study and an interaction analysis to test whether ADD1 is a common candidate gene for hypertension in the Chinese population. Blood samples and information including body mass index (BMI), smoking habit, and alcohol abuse were collected. Meanwhile, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, triglyceride were measured by automatic biochemistry analyzer. All 6 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) within ADD1 gene were genotyped by SNPstream genotyping system. Multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) was used to identify the interactions among the SNPs and the non-genetic factors. Results showed that plasma triglyceride, total cholesterol, and BMI were significantly higher in the hypertensive group than in the control group. Result from genotyping indicated that rs4963 was significantly associated with essential hypertension. After stratification by gender, rs4963 was associated with essential hypertension only in males. MDR analysis indicated that interaction among BMI, rs4963, and rs16843452 were involved in susceptibility of hypertension. The present study indicated that rs4963 within ADD1 gene was associated with essential hypertension in Chinese population, which might be related to altered exonic splicing and disrupted gene regulation.
PMCID: PMC3591139  PMID: 23509723
17.  CACNA2D2-mediated apoptosis in NSCLC cells is associated with alterations of the intracellular calcium signaling and disruption of mitochondria membrane integrity 
Oncogene  2003;22(4):615-626.
The CACNA2D2 gene, a new subunit of the Ca2+-channel complex, was identified in the homozygous deletion region of chromosome 3p21.3 in human lung and breast cancers. Expression deficiency of the CACNA2D2 in cancer cells suggests a possible link of it to Ca2+ signaling in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and other cancers. We investigated the effects of overexpression of CACNA2D2 on intracellular Ca2+ contents, mitochondria homeostasis, cell proliferation, and apoptosis by adenoviral vector-mediated wild-type CACNA2D2 gene transfer in 3p21.3-deficient nonsmall cell lung cancer cell lines. Exogenous expression of CACNA2D2 significantly inhibited tumor cell growth compared with the controls. Overexpression of CACNA2D2 induced apoptosis in H1299 (12.5%), H358 (13.7%), H460 (22.3%), and A549 (50.1%) cell lines. Levels of intracellular free Ca2+ were elevated in AdCACNA2D2-transduced cells compared with the controls. Mitochondria membrane depolarization was observed prior to apoptosis in Ad-CACNA2D2 and Adp53-transduced H460 and A549 cells. Release of cyt c into the cytosol, caspase 3 activation, and PARP cleavage were also detected in these cells. Together, these results suggest that one of the pathways in CACNA2D2-induced apoptosis is mediated through disruption of mitochondria membrane integrity, the release of cyt c, and the activation of caspases, a process that is associated with regulation of cytosolic free Ca2+ contents.
PMCID: PMC3484891  PMID: 12555074
tumor suppressor genes; apoptosis; calcium channel proteins; human chromosome 3p21.3; lung cancer
18.  Expression of Several Genes in the Human Chromosome 3p21.3 Homozygous Deletion Region by an Adenovirus Vector Results in Tumor Suppressor Activities in Vitro and in Vivo1 
Cancer research  2002;62(9):2715-2720.
A group of candidate tumor suppressor genes (designated CACNA2D2, PL6, 101F6, NPRL2, BLU, RASSF1, FUS1, HYAL2, and HYAL1) has been identified in a 120-kb critical tumor homozygous deletion region (found in lung and breast cancers) of human chromosome 3p21.3. We studied the effects of six of these 3p21.3 genes (101F6, NPRL2, BLU, FUS1, HYAL2, and HYAL1) on tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis in human lung cancer cells by recombinant adenovirus-mediated gene transfer in vitro and in vivo. We found that forced expression of wild-type FUS1, 101F6, and NPRL2 genes significantly inhibited tumor cell growth by induction of apoptosis and alteration of cell cycle processes in 3p21.3 120-kb region-deficient (homozygous) H1299 and A549 cells but not in the 3p21.3 120-kb region-heterozygous H358 and the normal human bronchial epithelial cells. Intratumoral injection of Ad-101F6, Ad-FUS1, Ad-NPRL2, and Ad-HYAL2 vectors or systemic administration of protamine-complexed vectors significantly suppressed growth of H1299 and A549 tumor xenografts and inhibited A549 experimental lung metastases in nu/nu mice. Together, our results, coupled with other studies demonstrating a tumor suppressor role for the RASSSF1A isoform, suggest that multiple contiguous genes in the 3p21.3 120-kb chromosomal region may exhibit tumor suppressor activity in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3478680  PMID: 11980673
19.  The expression and distribution of α-Gal gene in various species ocular surface tissue 
To examine the α-Gal gene expression and distribution in the different species/genus and developing phase animal ocular surface tissue.
α-Gal binding assay were carried out on various animal eye sections. Photograph, slit-lamp observation on various eye showed normal corneal transparence.
A strong α-Gal expression in invertebrates and some vertebrates ocular tissue, but no α-Gal binding in birds, fish and mammal. α-Gal expression change in the development of mice ocular surface tissue (except sclera) and display genus dependency in the different murine ocular surface tissue.
This study identified specific α-Gal epitopes binding area in the ocular surface of several species and may solve the problem that naive ocular surface may be used as natural α-Gal gene knockout model/high risk immunologic rejection model or ocular surface scaffold material.
PMCID: PMC3484694  PMID: 23166862
α-Gal; xenotransplantation; animal; ocular surface; tissue engineering
20.  AP2β nucleolar localization predicts poor survival after stage I non–small cell lung cancer resection 
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery  2011;92(3):1044-1050.
Activating enhancer-binding protein-2β (AP2β) is a transcription factor involved in apoptosis. The purpose of the current study was to assess the cellular location and level of AP2β in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and normal lung tissue and investigate whether the level and localization of AP2β expression is predictive of overall survival in patients with stage I NSCLC.
We performed immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays (TMAs) prepared from stage I NSCLC specimens with adjacent normal lung tissue from two independent sets of patients who underwent lung resection with curative intent at our institution. AP2β intensity was assessed in TMAs, and AP2β staining patterns were classified as either diffuseor nucleolar in the TMAs. AP2β intensity and localization were analyzed for correlation with patients' survival.
Immunohistochemical analysis of TMAs showed that the intensity of AP2β immunohistochemical staining did not correlate with overall survival. When location of AP2β was analyzed in TMAs, all of the normal lung tissue had diffuse pattern of AP2β. In the first set of NSCLC, patients with nucleolar pattern had a significantly lower 5-year survival rate than patients with diffuse pattern (67% vs. 100%; P = 0.004); this finding was confirmed in the second set (64% vs. 91%; P = 0.02). Multivariate analysis revealed that nucleolar pattern was an independent predictor of poor overall survival in both sets.
The AP2β which is located in the nucleoplasm in normal lung tissue is found in either nucleoplasm or nucleoli in NSCLC. The patients with AP2β in the nucleoli had poor survival compared to patients with AP2β in the cytoplasm.
PMCID: PMC3272351  PMID: 21871297
Lung cancer biology; survival analysis
21.  STAT3 mediates resistance to MEK inhibitor through microRNA miR-17 
Cancer Research  2011;71(10):3658-3668.
AZD6244 is a small molecule inhibitor of the MEK kinase pathway currently in clinical trials. However, the mechanisms mediating intrinsic resistance to MEK inhibition are not fully characterized. To define molecular mechanisms of MEK inhibitor resistance, we analyzed responses of 38 lung cancer cell lines following AZD6244 treatment and their genome-wide gene expression profiles and identified a panel of genes correlated with sensitivity or resistance to AZD6244 treatment. In particular, Ingenuity pathway analysis revealed that activation of the STAT3 pathway was associated with MEK inhibitor resistance. Inhibition of this pathway by JSI-124, a STAT3-specific small molecule inhibitor, or with STAT3-specific siRNA sensitized lung cancer cells to AZD6244 and induced apoptosis. Moreover, combining a STAT3 inhibitor with AZD6244 induced expression of BIM and polyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage, whereas activation of the STAT3 pathway inhibited BIM expression and elicited resistance to MEK inhibitors. We found that the STAT3-regulated microRNA miR-17 played a critical role in MEK inhibitor resistance, such that miR-17 inhibition sensitized resistant cells to AZD6244 by inducing BIM and PARP cleavage. Together, these results indicated that STAT3-mediated overexpression of miR-17 blocked BIM expression and caused resistance to AZD6244. Our findings suggest novel approaches to overcome resistance to MEK inhibitors by combining AZD6244 with STAT3 or miR-17 inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3392199  PMID: 21444672
Gene expression profiling; MEK inhibitor resistance; AZD6244; STAT3 pathway; miR-17
22.  Regulation of tumor suppressor gene FUS1 expression by the untranslated regions of mRNA in human lung cancer cells 
FUS1, also known as tumor suppressor candidate 2 (TUSC2), is a tumor suppressor gene located in the human chromosome 3p21.3 region. FUS1 mRNA transcripts could be detected on Northern blots in both normal lung and some lung cancer cell lines, but no endogenous FUS1 protein could be detected in a majority of lung cancer cell lines and small cell and non-small cell lung tumor tissues. However, mechanisms regulating FUS1 protein expression and its inactivation in primary lung cancer cells are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of the 5′- and 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) of the FUS1 gene transcript in the regulation of FUS1 protein expression. We identified RNA sequence elements in FUS1 UTRs that regulate FUS1 protein expression. We found that two small upstream open-reading frames in the 5 UTR of FUS1 mRNA could inhibit the translational initiation of FUS1 protein by interfering with the “scanning” of the ribosome initiation complexes. Several secondary RNA structural elements/motifs on the 3′UTR of FUS1 also exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on FUS1 protein expression. The 3′UTR-mediated regulatory effect on FUS1 protein expression was also differentially detected in normal lung epithelial and fibroblast cells compared with lung cancer cells. Our results provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of FUS1 expression.
PMCID: PMC3129382  PMID: 21645495
FUS1/TUSC2; Tumor suppressor gene; Lung cancer; untranslated region (UTR); upstream open reading frame (uORF); expression regulation
23.  Attributions and Attitudes of Mothers and Fathers in China 
Parenting, science and practice  2011;11(2-3):102-115.
The present study examined mothers’ and fathers’ attributions and attitudes related to parenting in China.
Interviews were conducted with 241 pairs of parents to obtain maternal and paternal reports of attributions regarding successes and failures in parent-child interactions and on progressive versus authoritarian attitudes about parenting.
Mothers’ mean levels of attributions and attitudes did not differ significantly from fathers’ mean levels of attributions and attitudes. Significant correlations were found between mothers’ and fathers’ attributions regarding uncontrollable success, authoritarian attitudes, and modernity of attitudes.
Supporting the cultural evolutionary view that drastic social changes bring about non-conforming and individualistic behavioral tendencies, these findings rectify and expand the existing literature portraying Chinese parenting as uniformly Confucian and traditional.
PMCID: PMC3173814  PMID: 21927584
24.  Identification of Enriched Driver Gene Alterations in Subgroups of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Based on Histology and Smoking Status 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e40109.
Appropriate patient selection is needed for targeted therapies that are efficacious only in patients with specific genetic alterations. We aimed to define subgroups of patients with candidate driver genes in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Patients with primary lung cancer who underwent clinical genetic tests at Guangdong General Hospital were enrolled. Driver genes were detected by sequencing, high-resolution melt analysis, qPCR, or multiple PCR and RACE methods.
524 patients were enrolled in this study, and the differences in driver gene alterations among subgroups were analyzed based on histology and smoking status. In a subgroup of non-smokers with adenocarcinoma, EGFR was the most frequently altered gene, with a mutation rate of 49.8%, followed by EML4-ALK (9.3%), PTEN (9.1%), PIK3CA (5.2%), c-Met (4.8%), KRAS (4.5%), STK11 (2.7%), and BRAF (1.9%). The three most frequently altered genes in a subgroup of smokers with adenocarcinoma were EGFR (22.0%), STK11 (19.0%), and KRAS (12.0%). We only found EGFR (8.0%), c-Met (2.8%), and PIK3CA (2.6%) alterations in the non-smoker with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) subgroup. PTEN (16.1%), STK11 (8.3%), and PIK3CA (7.2%) were the three most frequently enriched genes in smokers with SCC. DDR2 and FGFR2 only presented in smokers with SCC (4.4% and 2.2%, respectively). Among these four subgroups, the differences in EGFR, KRAS, and PTEN mutations were statistically significant.
The distinct features of driver gene alterations in different subgroups based on histology and smoking status were helpful in defining patients for future clinical trials that target these genes. This study also suggests that we may consider patients with infrequent alterations of driver genes as having rare or orphan diseases that should be managed with special molecularly targeted therapies.
PMCID: PMC3387024  PMID: 22768234
25.  A selective small molecule inhibitor of c-Met, PHA-665752, reverses lung premalignancy induced by mutant K-ras 
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics  2008;7(4):952-960.
The c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase has been implicated in cellular transformation induced by mutant Ras, a commonly activated proto-oncogene in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the role of c-Met has not been defined in K-ras-mutant NSCLC, a disease for which no effective targeted therapeutic options currently exist. To acquire a greater understanding of its role, we used genetic and pharmacologic approaches to inhibit c-Met in mice and cultured cells. In KrasLA1 mice, which develop premalignant lung lesions that progress to multifocal lung adenocarcinomas owing to somatic mutations in K-ras, c-Met was expressed in multiple cell types within premalignant lung lesions, and high concentrations of HGF were detected in bronchoalveolar lavage samples. Short-term treatment with PHA-665752, a c-Met inhibitor, decreased the numbers of premalignant lung lesions and induced apoptosis in tumor cells and vascular endothelial cells within lesions. In cell culture, PHA-665752 induced apoptosis of a lung adenocarcinoma cell line derived from KrasLA1 mice (LKR-13) and a murine lung endothelial cell line (MEC). c-Met depletion by siRNA transfection induced apoptosis of MECs but not LKR-13 cells. Collectively, these findings suggest that apoptosis was an on-target effect of PHA-665752 in MECs but not in LKR-13 cells. We conclude that PHA-665752 inhibited lung tumorigenesis in KrasLA1 mice and may provide a novel therapeutic approach to the prevention of K-ras-mutant NSCLC. [Mol Cancer Ther 2008;7(4):952–60]
PMCID: PMC3378059  PMID: 18413809

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