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1.  Claudins 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 in solar keratosis and squamocellular carcinoma of the skin 
Claudins are tight junction proteins regulating the paracellular permeability of cell layers. We investigated the expression of claudins 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 in a sample set consisting of a total of 93 cases representing normal skin, actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. There were several changes found in claudin expression. Claudin 1 appeared to be progressively decreased in solar keratosis and skin squamous cell carcinomas compared to normal skin while expression of claudin 2 was increased. With claudins 3 and 5 occasional immunoreactivity was found in squamous cell carcinomas. Claudins 4 and 7 were variably expressed in skin neoplasia compared to normal skin. According to the results expression of claudins 1 and 2 change in parallel with the severity of the epidermal preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions thus probably influencing the disturbed epithelial polarity characteristic of these lesions. Claudin 1 under- and claudin 2 overexpression also lead to a leakier epithelial barrier function of the skin with a resulting damage to skin epithelial resistance. Other claudins investigated in this study did not show progressive changes even though occasional overexpression of them was found in skin squamous cell carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3843265  PMID: 24294371
Tight junction; claudins; squamocellular carcinoma; dysplasia; actinic keratosis
2.  miR-221/222 Target the DNA Methyltransferase MGMT in Glioma Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74466.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most deadly types of cancer. To date, the best clinical approach for treatment is based on administration of temozolomide (TMZ) in combination with radiotherapy. Much evidence suggests that the intracellular level of the alkylating enzyme O6-methylguanine–DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) impacts response to TMZ in GBM patients. MGMT expression is regulated by the methylation of its promoter. However, evidence indicates that this is not the only regulatory mechanism present. Here, we describe a hitherto unknown microRNA-mediated mechanism of MGMT expression regulation. We show that miR-221 and miR-222 are upregulated in GMB patients and that these paralogues target MGMT mRNA, inducing greater TMZ-mediated cell death. However, miR-221/miR-222 also increase DNA damage and, thus, chromosomal rearrangements. Indeed, miR-221 overexpression in glioma cells led to an increase in markers of DNA damage, an effect rescued by re-expression of MGMT. Thus, chronic miR-221/222-mediated MGMT downregulation may render cells unable to repair genetic damage. This, associated also to miR-221/222 oncogenic potential, may poor GBM prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3798259  PMID: 24147153
3.  Combination of Strong MMP-2 and Weak TIMP-2 Immunostainings Is a Significant Prognostic Factor in Endometrial Carcinoma 
Disease markers  2013;35(4):261-266.
Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the combined effects of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 protein immunoreactivities on the prognosis in endometrial carcinoma. Methods. Paraffin-embedded tissue samples from 225 primary endometrioid adenocarcinomas and 13 histologies other than endometrioid adenocarcinoma were immunohistochemically stained for MMP-2 and TIMP-2. Results. In Kaplan-Meier analysis, the 5-year cancer-specific survival rate of the endometrioid adenocarcinoma patients with negative MMP-2 and positive TIMP-2 staining was 100%, whereas only 78% of patients presenting with positive MMP-2 and negative TIMP-2 staining results were alive at that time. In Cox regression analysis, patients with positive MMP-2 and negative TIMP-2 immunostaining had a 4.7-fold relative risk of death from endometrial carcinoma compared to the group of patients with negative MMP-2 and positive or negative TIMP-2 immunoreaction. Conclusions. MMP-2 seems to be the main metalloproteinase determining the prognosis in endometrial carcinoma. Combination of strong MMP-2 and weak TIMP-2 immunostainings was the most potent prognostic marker for poor survival.
PMCID: PMC3810671  PMID: 24344400
4.  Transmembrane Prostatic Acid Phosphatase (TMPAP) Interacts with Snapin and Deficient Mice Develop Prostate Adenocarcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73072.
The molecular mechanisms underlying prostate carcinogenesis are poorly understood. Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), a prostatic epithelial secretion marker, has been linked to prostate cancer since the 1930's. However, the contribution of PAP to the disease remains controversial. We have previously cloned and described two isoforms of this protein, a secretory (sPAP) and a transmembrane type-I (TMPAP). The goal in this work was to understand the physiological function of TMPAP in the prostate. We conducted histological, ultra-structural and genome-wide analyses of the prostate of our PAP-deficient mouse model (PAP−/−) with C57BL/6J background. The PAP−/− mouse prostate showed the development of slow-growing non-metastatic prostate adenocarcinoma. In order to find out the mechanism behind, we identified PAP-interacting proteins byyeast two-hybrid assays and a clear result was obtained for the interaction of PAP with snapin, a SNARE-associated protein which binds Snap25 facilitating the vesicular membrane fusion process. We confirmed this interaction by co-localization studies in TMPAP-transfected LNCaP cells (TMPAP/LNCaP cells) and in vivo FRET analyses in transient transfected LNCaP cells. The differential gene expression analyses revealed the dysregulation of the same genes known to be related to synaptic vesicular traffic. Both TMPAP and snapin were detected in isolated exosomes. Our results suggest that TMPAP is involved in endo-/exocytosis and disturbed vesicular traffic is a hallmark of prostate adenocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3769315  PMID: 24039861
5.  Snail promotes an invasive phenotype in lung carcinoma 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):104.
Snail is a transcriptional factor which is known to influence the epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) by regulating adhesion proteins such as E-cadherin and claudins as well as matrix metalloproteases (MMP).
To evaluate the functional importance of snail, a transciptional factor involved in EMT in lung tumors, we investigated its expression in a large set of lung carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Expression of snail and effects of snail knockdown was studied in cell lines.
Nuclear snail expression was seen in 21% of cases this being strongest in small cell lung carcinomas (SCLC). There was significantly greater snail expression in SCLC compared to squamous cell or adenocarcinoma. Positive snail expression was associated with poor survival in the whole material and separately in squamous cell and adenocarcinomas. In Cox regression analysis, snail expression showed an independent prognostic value in all of these groups. In several cell lines knockdown of snail reduced invasion in both matrigel assay and in the myoma tissue model for invasion. The influence of snail knockdown on claudin expression was cell type specific. Snail knockdown in these cell lines modified the expression of MMP2 and MMP9 but did not influence the activation of these MMPs to any significant degree.
The results show that snail plays an important role in the invasive characteristics of lung carcinoma influencing the survival of the patients. Snail knockdown might thus be one option for targeted molecular therapy in lung cancer. Snail knockdown influenced the expression of claudins individually in a cell-line dependent manner but did not influence MMP expressions or activations to any significant degree.
PMCID: PMC3546026  PMID: 23157169
Lung; Carcinoma; Snail; Claudin; MMP
6.  Histone demethylase GASC1 - a potential prognostic and predictive marker in invasive breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:516.
The histone demethylase GASC1 (JMJD2C) is an epigenetic factor suspected of involvement in development of different cancers, including breast cancer. It is thought to be overexpressed in the more aggressive breast cancer types based on mRNA expression studies on cell lines and meta analysis of human breast cancer sets. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic and predictive value of GASC1 for women with invasive breast cancer.
All the 355 cases were selected from a cohort enrolled in the Kuopio Breast Cancer Project between April 1990 and December 1995. The expression of GASC1 was studied by immunohistochemistry (IHC) on tissue microarrays. Additionally relative GASC1 mRNA expression was measured from available 57 cases.
In our material, 56% of the cases were GASC1 negative and 44% positive in IHC staining. Women with GASC1 negative tumors had two years shorter breast cancer specific survival and time to relapse than the women with GASC1 positive tumors (p=0.017 and p=0.034 respectively). The majority of GASC1 negative tumors were ductal cases (72%) of higher histological grade (84% of grade II and III altogether). When we evaluated estrogen receptor negative and progesterone receptor negative cases separately, there was 2 times more GASC1 negative than GASC1 positive tumors in each group (chi2, p= 0.033 and 0.001 respectively). In the HER2 positive cases, there was 3 times more GASC1 negative cases than GASC1 positives (chi2, p= 0.029). Patients treated with radiotherapy (n=206) and hormonal treatment (n=62) had better breast cancer specific survival, when they were GASC1 positive (Cox regression: HR=0.49, p=0.007 and HR=0.33, p=0.015, respectively). The expression of GASC1 mRNA was in agreement with the protein analysis.
This study indicates that the GASC1 is both a prognostic and a predictive factor for women with invasive breast cancer. GASC1 negativity is associated with tumors of more aggressive histopathological types (ductal type, grade II and III, ER negative, PR negative). Patients with GASC1 positive tumors have better breast cancer specific survival and respond better to radiotherapy and hormonal treatment.
PMCID: PMC3547738  PMID: 23148692
Epigenetics; GASC1; Breast cancer; Survival; Tissue microarrays
7.  Oxidative stress and redox state-regulating enzymes have prognostic relevance in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
Oxidative stress and redox-regulating enzymes may have roles both in lymphomagenesis and resistance to lymphoma therapy. Previous studies from the pre-rituximab era suggest that antioxidant enzyme expression is related to prognosis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), although these results cannot be extrapolated to patient populations undergoing modern treatment modalities. In this study we assessed expression of the oxidative stress markers 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and nitrotyrosine and the antioxidant enzymes thioredoxin (Trx), manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL) via immunohistochemistry in 106 patients with DLBCL. All patients were treated with CHOP-like therapy combined with rituximab. Immunostaining results were correlated with progression-free survival, disease-specific survival and traditional prognostic factors of DLBCL.
Strong 8-OHdG immunostaining intensity was associated with extranodal involvement (p = 0.00002), a high International Prognostic Index (p = 0.002) and strong Trx (p = 0.011) and GCL (p = 0.0003) expression. Strong Trx staining intensity was associated with poor progression-free survival (p = 0.046) and poor disease-specific survival (p = 0.015). Strong GCL immunostaining intensity predicted poor progression-free survival (p = 0.049). Patients with either strong Trx or strong nitrotyrosine expression showed significantly poorer progression-free survival (p = 0.003) and disease-specific survival (p = 0.031) compared with the other patients.
The redox state-regulating enzymes GCL and Trx are promising markers in the evaluation of DLBCL prognosis in the era of modern immunochemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3506993  PMID: 23210982
Antioxidant enzyme; Nitrotyrosine; Prognosis; Reactive oxygen species; Thioredoxin
8.  Epigenetic Regulation of miR-212 Expression in Lung Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27722.
Many studies have shown that microRNA expression in cancer may be regulated by epigenetic events. Recently, we found that in lung cancer miR-212 was strongly down-regulated. However, mechanisms involved in the regulation of miR-212 expression are unknown. Therefore, we addressed this point by investigating the molecular mechanisms of miR-212 silencing in lung cancer. We identified histone modifications rather than DNA hypermethylation as epigenetic events that regulate miR-212 levels in NSCLC. Moreover, we found that miR-212 silencing in vivo is closely associated with the severity of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3216999  PMID: 22110741
9.  Claudins 10 and 18 are predominantly expressed in lung adenocarcinomas and in tumors of nonsmokers 
We investigated the expression of claudins 18 and 10 in a large set of primary lung carcinomas.
Methods and results
Immunohistochemical expression of claudin 18 was seen in 12.7 % and claudin 10 in 12.5 % of lung carcinomas. Their expression significantly associated with each other (p<0.001). The expression of claudin 18 and 10 was most prominent in lung adenocarcinomas which displayed positivity in 21.2% and 23.4 % of cases. Female patients had more often claudin 18 and 10 positive tumors, also separately in adenocarcinomas. Interestingly, claudin 10 (p=0.036) and claudin 18 (p=0.001) were more common in tumours of nonsmokers. In adenocarcinomas claudin 18 predicted a better survival (p=0.032). In Cox multivariate analysis, claudin 18 had an independent prognostic value (p=0.027).
The results show that both claudins are most commonly expressed in lung adenocarcinomas and they are more occasionally detected in other histological tumour types. Curiously, female patients and non-smokers express these claudins more commonly suggesting that they may play a part in the carcinogenesis of tobacco unrelated carcinoma. Claudin 18 associated with a better survival in lung adenocarcinoma and had an independent prognostic value and may thus be used in the evaluation of patient prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3209607  PMID: 22076167
Lung; carcinoma; claudin; smoker
10.  Twist and snai1 expression in pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma stroma is related to cancer progression 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:350.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial process in tumorigenesis since tumor cells attain fibroblast-like features enabling them to invade to surrounding tissue. Two transcription factors, TWIST and SNAI1, are fundamental in regulating EMT.
Immunohistochemistry was used to study the expression of TWIST and SNAI1 in 109 pharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas.
Tumors with intense stromal staining of TWIST relapsed more frequently (p = 0.04). Tumors with both positive TWIST and SNAI1 immunoreactivity in the stroma were at least Stage II (p = 0.05) and located more often in hypopharynx (p = 0.035). Tumors with negative immunostaining of TWIST and SNAI1 in the stromal compartment were smaller (T1-2) (p = 0.008), less advanced (SI-II) (p = 0.031) and located more often in the oropharynx (p = 0.007). Patients with negative SNAI1 and TWIST immunostaining in tumor stroma had a better 5-year disease-specific and overall survival (p = 0.037 and p = 0.014 respectively).
TWIST and SNAI1 expression in stromal cells is associated with clinical and histopathological characteristics that indicate progressive disease. Negative expression of these EMT-promoting transcription factors predicts a better outcome.
PMCID: PMC3173446  PMID: 21834956
Pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma; Stromal cells; TWIST; SNAI1; Prognosis; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
11.  Oxidative stress and counteracting mechanisms in hormone receptor positive, triple-negative and basal-like breast carcinomas 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:262.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) are breast cancer subtypes with an especially poor prognosis. 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is a widely used marker of oxidative stress and the redox-state-regulating enzymes peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are efficient at depressing excessive reactive oxygen species. NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) are redox-sensitive transcription factors that regulate PRDX expression. This is the first study to assess oxidative stress and or cell redox state-regulating enzymes in TNBC and BLBC.
We assessed immunohistochemical expression of 8-OHdG, Nrf2, Keap1, PRDX III and PRDX IV in 79 women with invasive ductal breast carcinomas. Of these tumors, 37 represented TNBC (grade II-III tumors with total lack of ER, PR and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 [HER2] expression). Control cases (n = 42) were ER-positive, PR-positive and HER2-negative. Of the 37 TNBCs, 31 had BLBC phenotype (TNBC with expression of cytokeratin 5/6 or epidermal growth factor receptor 1).
Patients with TNBC had worse breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) than the control group (p = 0.015). Expression of 8-OHdG was significantly lower in TNBC than in the non-TNBC group (p < 0.005). 8-OHdG immunostaining was associated with better BCSS (p = 0.01), small tumor size (p < 0.0001) and low grade (p < 0.0005). Keap1 overexpression was observed in the TNBC cohort (p = 0.001) and Keap1-positive patients had worse BCSS than Keap1-negative women (p = 0.014). PRDX IV was overexpressed in the TNBC vs. the non-TNBC group (p = 0.022).
Cellular redox state markers may be promising targets when elucidating the pathogenesis of TNBC.
PMCID: PMC3141776  PMID: 21693047
12.  Claudins in lung diseases 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):70.
Tight junctions are the most apically localized part of the epithelial junctional complex. They regulate the permeability and polarity of cell layers and create compartments in cell membranes. Claudins are structural molecules of tight junctions. There are 27 claudins known, and expression of different claudins is responsible for changes in the electrolyte and solute permeability in cells layers. Studies have shown that claudins and tight junctions also protect multicellular organisms from infections and that some infectious agents may use claudins as targets to invade and weaken the host's defense. In neoplastic diseases, claudin expression may be up- or downregulated. Since their expression is associated with specific tumor types or with specific locations of tumors to a certain degree, they can, in a restricted sense, also be used as tumor markers. However, the regulation of claudin expression is complex involving growth factors and integrins, protein kinases, proto-oncogens and transcription factors. In this review, the significance of claudins is discussed in lung disease and development.
PMCID: PMC3128860  PMID: 21619599
13.  8-hydroxydeguanosine and nitrotyrosine are prognostic factors in urinary bladder carcinoma 
Oxidative stress markers and peroxiredoxins are connected to cancer. A large set of urinary bladder carcinomas were studied for the expression of nitrotyrosine and 8-hydroxydeguanosine (8OHdG) , two markers indicating oxidative damage. Serum and urine 8-OHdG were assessed in a subset of patients. We also analysed immunohisto-chemically the expression of nrf2, keap1, all six peroxiredoxins (prx) and thioredoxin (trx) in these tumors. 15 % of the cases showed 8OHdG and 36 % nitrotyrosine positivity. Expression of nitrotyrosine and 8OHdG associated with a poor prognosis (p=0.050, p=0.011, respectively). Peroxiredoxin positivity ranged from 39 % to 84 % lowest expression being for prx 4 and highest for prx 3. Prx 4 expression associated with a poor prognosis (p=0.025) with high grade (p=0.044) and larger tumors (p=0.023). Cytoplasmic trx positivity was seen in 91 % and nuclear in 59 % of tumors. Nuclear and cytoplasmic trx associated with each other (p<0.001), and nuclear trx associated with prx 6 (p=0.001), prx 2 (p<0.001), and prx 5 (p<0.001). 8OHdG associated with nuclear trx positivity (p=0.002), inversely with prx 1 (p=0.025) and with keap1 (p=0.020). Nuclear nrf2 was associated with nitrotyrosine (p=0.042). The results show that the amount of oxidative stress in urinary bladder tumors affects the prognosis of the patients. Of antioxidative enzymes, prx4 associated with an unfavourable prognosis. Selective inhibition of prx4 expression might then be one additional option of treatment of bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3071659  PMID: 21487522
Urinary bladder; carcinoma; oxidative stress; peroxiredoxin; nrf2; keap1
14.  Transcription factors zeb1, twist and snai1 in breast carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:73.
Epitheliomesenchymal transition (EMT) is the process where cancer cells attain fibroblastic features and are thus able to invade neighboring tissues. Transcriptional factors zeb1, snai1 and twist regulate EMT.
We used immunohistochemistry to investigate the expression of zeb1, twist and snai1 in tumor and stromal compartments by in a large set of breast carcinomas. The results were compared with estrogen and progesterone receptor status, HER2 amplification, grade, histology, TNM status and survival of the patients.
Nuclear expression for twist was seen in the epithelial tumor cell compartment in 3.6% and for snai1 in 3.1% of the cases while zeb1 was not detected at all in these areas. In contrast, the tumor stromal compartment showed nuclear zeb1 and twist expression in 75% and 52.4% of the cases, respectively. Although rare, nuclear expression of twist in the epithelial tumor cell compartment was associated with a poor outcome of the patients (p = 0.054 log rank, p = 0.013, Breslow, p = 0.025 Tarone-Ware). Expression of snai1, or expression of zeb1 or twist in the stromal compartment did not have any prognostic significance. Furthermore, none of these factors associated with the size of the tumors, nor with the presence of axillary or distant metastases. Expression of zeb1 and twist in the stromal compartment was positively associated with a positive estrogen or progesterone receptor status of the tumors. Stromal zeb1 expression was significantly lower in ductal in situ carcinomas than in invasive carcinomas (p = 0.020). Medullary carcinomas (p = 0.017) and mucinous carcinomas (p = 0.009) had a lower stromal expression of zeb1 than ductal carcinomas. Stromal twist expression was also lower in mucinous (p = 0.017) than in ductal carcinomas.
Expression of transcriptional factors zeb1 and twist mainly occur in the stromal compartment of breast carcinomas, possibly representing two populations of cells; EMT transformed neoplastic cells and stromal fibroblastic cells undergoing activation of zeb1 and twist due to growth factors produced by the tumor. However, epithelial expression of twist was associated with a poor prognosis, hinting at its importance in the spread of breast carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3055233  PMID: 21324165
15.  Divergent expression of claudin -1, -3, -4, -5 and -7 in developing human lung 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):59.
Claudins are the main components of tight junctions, structures which are associated with cell polarity and permeability. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of claudins 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 in developing human lung tissues from 12 to 40 weeks of gestation.
47 cases were analyzed by immunohistochemisty for claudins 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. 23 cases were also investigated by quantitative RT-PCR for claudin-1, -3 and -4.
Claudin-1 was expressed in epithelium of bronchi and large bronchioles from week 12 onwards but it was not detected in epithelium of developing alveoli. Claudin-3, -4 and -7 were strongly expressed in bronchial epithelium from week 12 to week 40, and they were also expressed in alveoli from week 16 to week 40. Claudin-5 was expressed strongly during all periods in endothelial cells. It was expressed also in epithelium of bronchi from week 12 to week 40, and in alveoli during the canalicular period. RT-PCR analyses revealed detectable amounts of RNAs for claudins 1, 3 and 4 in all cases studied.
Claudin-1, -3, -4, -5, and -7 are expressed in developing human lung from week 12 to week 40 with distinct locations and in divergent quantities. The expression of claudin-1 was restricted to the bronchial epithelium, whereas claudin-3, -4 and -7 were positive also in alveolar epithelium as well as in the bronchial epithelium. All claudins studied are linked to the development of airways, whereas claudin-3, -4, -5 and -7, but not claudin-1, are involved in the development of acinus and the differentiation of alveolar epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC2886022  PMID: 20478039
16.  Evaluation of neuroendocrine markers in renal cell carcinoma 
Diagnostic Pathology  2010;5:28.
The purpose of the study was to examine serotonin, CD56, neurone-specific enolase (NSE), chromogranin A and synaptophysin by immunohistochemistry in renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) with special emphasis on patient outcome.
We studied 152 patients with primary RCCs who underwent surgery for the removal of kidney tumours between 1990 and 1999. The mean follow-up was 90 months. The expression of neuroendocrine (NE) markers was determined by immunohistochemical staining using commercially available monoclonal antibodies. Results were correlated with patient age, clinical stage, Fuhrman grade and patient outcome.
Eight percent of tumours were positive for serotonin, 18% for CD56 and 48% for NSE. Chromogranin A immunostaining was negative and only 1% of the tumours were synaptophysin immunopositive. The NSE immunopositivity was more common in clear cell RCCs than in other subtypes (p = 0.01). The other NE markers did not show any association with the histological subtype. Tumours with an immunopositivity for serotonin had a longer RCC-specific survival and tumours with an immunopositivity for CD56 and NSE had a shorter RCC-specific survival but the difference was not significant. There was no relationship between stage or Fuhrman grade and immunoreactivity for serotonin, CD56 and NSE.
Serotonin, CD56 and NSE but not synaptophysin and chromogranin A are expressed in RCCs. However, the prognostic potential of these markers remains obscure.
PMCID: PMC2876076  PMID: 20462442
17.  Specific expression profile and prognostic significance of peroxiredoxins in grade II-IV astrocytic brain tumors 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:104.
Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) have recently been suggested to have a role in tumorigenesis.
We studied the expression of Prx I-VI and their relationship to patient survival in 383 grade II-IV diffuse astrocytic brain tumors.
Prx I positivity was found in 68%, Prx II in 84%, Prx III in 90%, Prx IV in 5%, Prx V in 4% and Prx VI in 47% of the tumors. Prx I and Prx II expression decreased significantly with increasing malignancy grade (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001). Patients with Prx I or Prx II positive tumors were significantly younger than the average age of all the patients (p = 0.014 and p = 0.005). A lower proliferation rate was associated with Prx I and Prx VI positive tumors (p = 0.019 and p = 0.033), and a lower apoptotic rate was found within Prx I and Prx II positive tumors (p < 0.001 and p = 0.007). Patients with Prx I and Prx II positive tumors had a significantly better survival rate than their Prx-negative counterparts (p = 0.0052 and p = 0.0002).
The expression of Prx I and Prx II correlates with astrocytic tumor features, such as grade and patient age and proliferation activity (Prx I), and accordingly with patient survival.
PMCID: PMC2858108  PMID: 20307276
18.  Nuclear expression of Snail1 in borderline and malignant epithelial ovarian tumours is associated with tumour progression 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:289.
Transcription factor Snail1 has a central role in induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The aim of the present study was to elucidate the expression of Snail1 protein during epithelial ovarian tumourigenesis and to study the association of Snail1 expression with clinicopathological factors and prognosis.
Epithelial and stromal fibroblast-like fusiform cells of 14 normal ovarian samples, 21 benign, 24 borderline and 74 malignant epithelial ovarian tumours were studied for Snail1 protein using immunohistochemistry.
Nuclei of surface peritoneal cells of normal ovaries (n = 14) were regarded as negative for Snail1. Nuclear expression of Snail1 protein in epithelial ovarian tumours was increased during tumour progression from precursor lesions into carcinomas both in epithelial (p = 0.006) and stromal cells (p = 0.007). Nuclei of benign tumours (n = 21) were negative for Snail1. In borderline tumours (n = 24) occasional positive epithelial cells were found in 2 (8%) samples and in 3 (13%) samples stromal cells were focally positive for Snail1. In carcinomas (n = 74) focal Snail1 staining in epithelial cells was present in 17 (23%) tumours, and in stromal cells in 18 (24%) tumours. Nuclear expression of Snail1 in epithelial or stromal cells was not associated with clinicopathological factors or prognosis.
Nuclear Snail1 expression seems to be related to tumour progression, and expression in borderline tumours indicates a role for Snail1 in early epithelial ovarian tumour development. Snail1 also appears to function more generally in tissue remodelling as positive staining was demonstrated in stromal cells.
PMCID: PMC3087336  PMID: 19695091
19.  Glutathione-S-transferases in lung and sputum specimens, effects of smoking and COPD severity 
Respiratory Research  2008;9(1):80.
Oxidative stress plays a potential role in the pathogenesis and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) detoxify toxic compounds in tobacco smoke via glutathione-dependent mechanisms. Little is known about the regulation and expression of GSTs in COPD lung and their presence in airway secretions.
GST alpha, pi and mu were investigated by immunohistochemistry in 72 lung tissue specimens and by Western analysis in total lung homogenates and induced sputum supernatants from non-smokers, smokers and patients with variable stages of COPD severity.
GST alpha was expressed mainly in the airway epithelium. The percentage of GST alpha positive epithelial cells was lower in the central airways of patients with very severe (Stage IV) COPD compared to mild/moderate COPD (p = 0.02). GST alpha by Western analysis was higher in the total lung homogenates in mild/moderate COPD compared to cases of very severe disease (p < 0.001). GST pi was present in airway and alveolar epithelium as well as in alveolar macrophages. GST mu was expressed mainly in the epithelium. Both GST alpha and pi were detectable in sputum supernatants especially in patients with COPD.
This study indicates the presence of GST alpha and pi especially in the epithelium and sputum supernatants in mild/moderate COPD and low expression of GST alpha in the epithelium in cases of very severe COPD. The presence of GSTs in the airway secretions points to their potential protective role both as intracellular and extracellular mediators in human lung.
PMCID: PMC2654438  PMID: 19077292
20.  Carbonic anhydrase IX in oligodendroglial brain tumors 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:1.
Carbonic anhydrase IX is a hypoxia-induced enzyme that has many biologically important functions, including its role in cell adhesion and invasion.
This study was set out to investigate the role of CA IX in a series of 86 oligodendroglial brain tumors (71 primary and 15 recurrent; 48 pure oligodendrogliomas and 40 mixed oligoastrocytomas).
80% of the tumors showed CA IX expression by immunohistochemistry. Tumors with moderate or strong CA IX expression had decreased level of cell proliferation compared to weak or no CA IX expression (median 2.9 vs. 5.8, p = 0.015). CA IX correlated with two antioxidative enzymes, manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and regulatory gammaglutamylcysteine synthetase (GLCL-R): CA IX expression was significantly higher in MnSOD-positive tumors (p = 0.008) and decreased in GLCL-R-positive tumors (p = 0.044). In Cox multivariate analysis CA IX expression, patient age and histological component (pure oligodendroglioma vs. mixed oligoastrocytoma) showed independent prognostic values (p = 0.009, p = 0.003 and p = 0.022, respectively), CA IX positivity predicting poorer outcome.
CA IX was proved to be an independent prognostic indicator in oligodendroglial brain tumors, and it also correlates reversely with cell proliferation. It may have a role in the biology of oligodendrogliomas, and most interestingly, as it is mainly expressed in tumor tissue, CA IX could serve as a target molecule for anticancer treatments.
PMCID: PMC2245965  PMID: 18173856
21.  Cellular turnover and expression of hypoxic-inducible factor in acute acalculous and calculous cholecystitis 
Critical Care  2007;11(5):R116.
Epithelial corrective and destructive mechanisms have not been studied in inflammatory gallbladder disease.
Epithelial apoptosis, cell proliferation and expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α were compared in gallbladders from patients with acute acalculous cholecystitis (AAC; n = 30) and acute calculous cholecystitis (ACC; n = 21), and from patients undergoing surgery for other reasons (normal gallbladders; n = 9), which were removed during open cholecystectomy. The immunohistochemical stains included antibodies to Ki-67 (proliferation), M30 (apoptosis) and HIF-1α. Proliferation and apoptosis were expressed as percentages of positive cells. HIF-1α expression was expressed as absent, weak, or strong.
Apoptosis (median [25th to 75th percentile]) was significantly increased in AAC (1.31% [0.75% to 1.8%], P < 0.001) and ACC (1.10% [0.63% to 1.64%], P = 0.001), compared with control samples (0.20% [0.07% to 0.45%]. The proliferation rate was significantly increased in AAC (8.0% [4.0% to 17.0%], P < 0.001) and ACC (14% [7.5% to 26.5%], P = 0.001) compared with control samples (1.0% [1.0% to 3.0%]). Strong HIF-1α staining was observed in 57% of AAC, in 100% of ACC and in 44% of control specimens (P < 0.001). Intense HIF-1α expression was associated with increased cell proliferation (P = 0.002).
Cell proliferation and apoptosis were increased in AAC and ACC, as compared with normal gallbladders. Expression of HIF-1α was lower in AAC than in ACC.
PMCID: PMC2556769  PMID: 17974017
22.  Glutathione S-transferase omega in the lung and sputum supernatants of COPD patients 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):48.
The major contribution to oxidant related lung damage in COPD is from the oxidant/antioxidant imbalance and possibly impaired antioxidant defence. Glutathione (GSH) is one of the most important antioxidants in human lung and lung secretions, but the mechanisms participating in its homeostasis are partly unclear. Glutathione-S-transferase omega (GSTO) is a recently characterized cysteine containing enzyme with the capability to bind and release GSH in vitro. GSTO has not been investigated in human lung or lung diseases.
GSTO1-1 was investigated by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis in 72 lung tissue specimens and 40 sputum specimens from non-smokers, smokers and COPD, in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and in plasma from healthy non-smokers and smokers. It was also examined in human monocytes and bronchial epithelial cells and their culture mediums in vitro.
GSTO1-1 was mainly expressed in alveolar macrophages, but it was also found in airway and alveolar epithelium and in extracellular fluids including sputum supernatants, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, plasma and cell culture mediums. The levels of GSTO1-1 were significantly lower in the sputum supernatants (p = 0.023) and lung homogenates (p = 0.003) of COPD patients than in non-smokers.
GSTO1-1 is abundant in the alveolar macrophages, but it is also present in extracellular fluids and in airway secretions, the levels being decreased in COPD. The clinical significance of GSTO1-1 and its role in regulating GSH homeostasis in airway secretions, however, needs further investigations.
PMCID: PMC1939846  PMID: 17617905
23.  Modulation of glutaredoxin in the lung and sputum of cigarette smokers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):133.
One typical feature in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the disturbance of the oxidant/antioxidant balance. Glutaredoxins (Grx) are thiol disulfide oxido-reductases with antioxidant capacity and catalytic functions closely associated with glutathione, the major small molecular weight antioxidant of human lung. However, the role of Grxs in smoking related diseases is unclear.
Immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses were conducted with lung specimens (n = 45 and n = 32, respectively) and induced sputum (n = 50) of healthy non-smokers and smokers without COPD and at different stages of COPD.
Grx1 was expressed mainly in alveolar macrophages. The percentage of Grx1 positive macrophages was significantly lower in GOLD stage IV COPD than in healthy smokers (p = 0.021) and the level of Grx1 in total lung homogenate decreased both in stage I–II (p = 0.045) and stage IV COPD (p = 0.022). The percentage of Grx1 positive macrophages correlated with the lung function parameters (FEV1, r = 0.45, p = 0.008; FEV1%, r = 0.46, p = 0.007, FEV/FVC%, r = 0.55, p = 0.001). Grx1 could also be detected in sputum supernatants, the levels being increased in the supernatants from acute exacerbations of COPD compared to non-smokers (p = 0.013) and smokers (p = 0.051).
The present cross-sectional study showed that Grx1 was expressed mainly in alveolar macrophages, the levels being decreased in COPD patients. In addition, the results also demonstrated the presence of Grx1 in extracellular fluids including sputum supernatants. Overall, the present study suggests that Grx1 is a potential redox modulatory protein regulating the intracellular as well as extracellular homeostasis of glutathionylated proteins and GSH in human lung.
PMCID: PMC1633737  PMID: 17064412

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