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1.  Celecoxib suppresses hepatoma stemness and progression by up-regulating PTEN 
Oncotarget  2013;5(6):1475-1490.
Celecoxib, a COX-2 inhibitor and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, can prevent several types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we show that celecoxib suppressed the self-renewal and drug-pumping functions in HCC cells. Besides, celecoxib depleted CD44 + /CD133 + hepatic cancer stem cells (hCSC). Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and CD133 overexpression did not reverse the celecoxib-induced depletion of hCSC. Also, celecoxib inhibited progression of rat Novikoff hepatoma. Moreover, a 60-day celecoxib program increased the survival rate of rats with hepatoma. Histological analysis revealed that celecoxib therapy reduced the abundance of CD44 + /CD133 + hCSCs in hepatoma tissues. Besides, the hCSCs depletion was associated with elevated apoptosis and blunted proliferation and angiogenesis in hepatoma. Celecoxib therapy activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) and up-regulated PTEN, thereby inhibiting Akt and disrupting hCSC expansion. PTEN gene delivery by adenovirus reduced CD44/CD133 expression in vitro and hepatoma formation in vivo. This study suggests that celecoxib suppresses cancer stemness and progression of HCC via activation of PPARγ/PTEN signaling.
PMCID: PMC4039225  PMID: 24721996
hepatocellular carcinoma; hepatic cancer stem cells; celecoxib; prostaglandin E2; phosphatase and tensin homolog
2.  Correction: Up-Regulation of Hepatoma-Derived Growth Factor Facilities Tumor Progression in Malignant Melanoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):10.1371/annotation/02369930-29de-4cd6-a059-9520af0be6b9.
PMCID: PMC3735775
3.  Up-Regulation of Hepatoma-Derived Growth Factor Facilities Tumor Progression in Malignant Melanoma 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59345.
Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the fastest increasing malignancy in humans. Hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) is a novel growth factor identified from human hepatoma cell line. HDGF overexpression is correlated with poor prognosis in various types of cancer including melanoma. However, the underlying mechanism of HDGF overexpression in developing melanoma remains unclear. In this study, human melanoma cell lines (A375, A2058, MEL-RM and MM200) showed higher levels of HDGF gene expression, whereas human epidermal melanocytes (HEMn) expressed less. Exogenous application of HDGF stimulated colony formation and invasion of human melanoma cells. Moreover, HDGF overexpression stimulated the degree of invasion and colony formation of B16–F10 melanoma cells whereas HDGF knockdown exerted opposite effects in vitro. To evaluate the effects of HDGF on tumour growth and metastasis in vivo, syngeneic mouse melanoma and metastatic melanoma models were performed by manipulating the gene expression of HDGF in melanoma cells. It was found that mice injected with HDGF-overexpressing melanoma cells had greater tumour growth and higher metastatic capability. In contrast, mice implanted with HDGF-depleted melanoma cells exhibited reduced tumor burden and lung metastasis. Histological analysis of excised tumors revealed higher degree of cell proliferation and neovascularization in HDGF-overexpressing melanoma. The present study provides evidence that HDGF promotes tumor progression of melanoma and targeting HDGF may constitute a novel strategy for the treatment of melanoma.
PMCID: PMC3607612  PMID: 23536873
4.  Phyllanthus urinaria Induces Apoptosis in Human Osteosarcoma 143B Cells via Activation of Fas/FasL- and Mitochondria-Mediated Pathways 
Phyllanthus urinaria (P. urinaria), in this study, was used for the treatment of human osteosarcoma cells, which is one of the tough malignancies with few therapeutic modalities. Herein, we demonstrated that P. urinaria inhibited human osteosarcoma 143B cells growth through an apoptotic extrinsic pathway to activate Fas receptor/ligand expression. Both intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species were increased to lead to alterations of mitochondrial membrane permeability and Bcl-2 family including upregulation of Bid, tBid, and Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2. P. urinaria triggered an intrinsic pathway and amplified the caspase cascade to induce apoptosis of 143B cells. However, upregulation of both intracellular and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and the sequential membrane potential change were less pronounced in the mitochondrial respiratory-defective 143Bρ0 cells compared with the 143B cells. This study offers the evidence that mitochondria are essential for the anticancer mechanism induced by P. urinaria through both extrinsic and intrinsic pathways.
PMCID: PMC3291129  PMID: 22454688
5.  Rapid induction of orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma in immune-competent rats by non-invasive ultrasound-guided cells implantation 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:83.
The fact that prognoses remain poor in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma highlights the demand for suitable animal models to facilitate the development of anti-cancer medications. This study employed a relatively non-invasive approach to establish an orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma model in immune-competent rats. This was done by ultrasound-guided implantation of cancer cells and the model was used to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of short-term and low-dose epirubicin chemotherapy.
Rat Novikoff hepatoma cells were injected percutaneously into the liver lobes of Sprague-Dawley rats under the guidance of high resolution ultrasound. The implantation rate and the correlation between dissected and ultrasound-measured tumor sizes were evaluated. A similar induction procedure was performed by means of laparotomy in a different group of rats. Pairs of tumor measurement were compared by ultrasound and computerized tomography scan. Rats with a successful establishment of the tumor were divided into the treatment (7-day low-dose epirubicin) group and the control group. The tumor sizes were non-invasively monitored by the same ultrasound machine. Blood and tumor tissues from tumor-bearing rats were examined by biochemical and histological analysis respectively.
Ultrasound-guided implantation of Novikoff hepatoma cells led to the formation of orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma in 60.4% (55/91) of the Sprague-Dawley rats. Moreover, tumor sizes measured by ultrasound significantly correlated with those measured by calipers after sacrificing the animals (P < 0.00001). The rate of tumor induction by ultrasound-guided implantation was comparable to that of laparotomy (55/91, 60.4% vs. 39/52, 75%) and no significant difference in sizes of tumor was noted between the two groups. There was a significant correlation in tumor size measurement by ultrasound and computerized tomography scan. In tumor-bearing rats, short-term and low-dose epirubicin chemotherapy caused a significant reduction in tumor growth, and was found to be associated with enhanced apoptosis and attenuated proliferation as well as a decrease in the microvessel density in tumors.
Ultrasound-guided implantation of Novikoff hepatoma cells is an effective means of establishing orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma in Sprague-Dawley rats. Short-term and low-dose epirubicin chemotherapy had perturbed tumor progression by inducing apoptosis and neovascularization blockade.
PMCID: PMC2918526  PMID: 20649994
6.  Topical application of recombinant calreticulin peptide, vasostatin 48, alleviates laser-induced choroidal neovascularization in rats 
Molecular Vision  2010;16:756-767.
Vasostatin 48 (VS48) is a peptide of 48 amino acids derived from calreticulin. This study aimed to investigate the effects of topical application of VS48 eyedrops on experimental choroidal neovascularization (CNV).
Recombinant VS48 was expressed and purified as a thioredoxin (TRX)-fused protein, TRX-VS48. The anti-angiogenic effects of TRX-VS48 were validated by migration and tube formation assays performed on cultured endothelial cells, and by rat aorta ring assays. CNV lesions were created in Brown Norway rats by laser-induced photocoagulation at day 1. After topical TRX-VS48 application for 21 days, the CNV lesions were monitored via either choroidal flat mounts on day 21 or by fluorescent angiography on days 21, 28, 35, and 42. CNV lesions were evaluated by histological analysis. The retinal function of animals was examined by electroretinogram (ERG) to evaluate the safety and therapeutic efficacy of TRX-VS48.
Application of TRX-VS48 inhibited the migration and tube formation of endothelial cells. TRX-VS48 inhibited the growth of sprouting vessels in aorta rings. ERG analysis revealed that topical TRX-VS48 application for 21 days had no effect on rat retinal functions. After CNV induction, topical TRX-VS48 application for 21 days significantly reduced the size of CNV, as assayed by flat mounts. Fluorescent angiography revealed that the CNV areas in TRX-VS48-treated eyes were significantly reduced compared with TRX-treated eyes on days 21, 28, 35, and 42. Histological analysis also revealed attenuated CNV lesions in TRX-VS48-treated eyes. Topical TRX-VS48 treatment significantly reversed the CNV-induced alterations in ERG parameters on day 35.
Topical TRX-VS48 application suppressed laser-induced CNV in rats, thereby constituting a possible modality for ocular diseases due to excessive angiogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2862241  PMID: 20454694

Results 1-6 (6)