AIM: To investigate the anti-tumor function of ginsenoside Rg3 on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vitro and in vivo, and its mechanism.
METHODS: Hep1-6 and HepG2 cells were treated by Rg3 in different concentrations (0, 50, 100 and 200 μg/mL) in vitro. After incubation for 0, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h, cell viability was measured by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptosis was identified by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling. Caspase-3 activity was measured by chromophore p-nitroanilide and flow cytometry. Bcl-2 family proteins were ascertained by Western-blotting. Mitochondria membrane potential was detected by 5, 5’, 6’ 6’ - tetrachloro-1, 1’, 3, 3’ - tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide. Forty liver tumor-bearing C57Bl6 mice were divided randomly into 4 groups for intra-tumor injection of saline, ginsenoside Rg3, cyclophosphamide (CTX) and ginsenoside Rg3 + CTX combination.
RESULTS: The survival time was followed up to 102 d. The mice in the Rg3 + CTX group showed significant increased survival time compared with those in the control group (P < 0.05). Rg3 could inhibit HCC cell proliferation and induce cell apoptosis in vitro in the concentration and time dependent manner. It also induced mitochondria membrane potential to decrease. Caspase-3 activation can be blocked by the inhibitor z-DEVD-FMK. Bax was up-regulated while Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL were down-regulated after Rg3 treatment.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggested that Rg3 alone or combined with CTX inhibited tumor growth in vivo and prolonged mouse survival time by inducing HCC cell apoptosis via intrinsic pathway by expression alterations of Bcl-2 family proteins.
Ginsenoside Rg3; Apoptosis; Hepatocellular Carcinoma; Bcl-2 family proteins; Cyclophosphamide
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies permit the rapid production of vast amounts of data at low cost. Economical data storage and transmission hence becomes an increasingly important challenge for NGS experiments. In this paper, we introduce a new non-reference based read sequence compression tool called SRComp. It works by first employing a fast string-sorting algorithm called burstsort to sort read sequences in lexicographical order and then Elias omega-based integer coding to encode the sorted read sequences. SRComp has been benchmarked on four large NGS datasets, where experimental results show that it can run 5–35 times faster than current state-of-the-art read sequence compression tools such as BEETL and SCALCE, while retaining comparable compression efficiency for large collections of short read sequences. SRComp is a read sequence compression tool that is particularly valuable in certain applications where compression time is of major concern.
Adaptive radiation (AR) theory predicts that groups sharing the same source of ecological opportunity (EO) will experience deterministic species diversification and morphological evolution. Thus, deterministic ecological and morphological evolution should be correlated with deterministic patterns in the tempo and mode of speciation for groups in similar habitats and time periods. We test this hypothesis using well-sampled phylogenies of four squamate groups that colonized the New World (NW) in the Late Oligocene. We use both standard and coalescent models to assess species diversification, as well as likelihood models to examine morphological evolution. All squamate groups show similar early pulses of speciation, as well as diversity-dependent ecological limits on clade size at a continental scale. In contrast, processes of morphological evolution are not easily predictable and do not show similar pulses of early and rapid change. Patterns of morphological and species diversification thus appear uncoupled across these groups. This indicates that the processes that drive diversification and disparification are not mechanistically linked, even among similar groups of taxa experiencing the same sources of EO. It also suggests that processes of phenotypic diversification cannot be predicted solely from the existence of an AR or knowledge of the process of diversification.
adaptive radiation; ecological opportunity; squamates; diversification; determinism; ecological limits
Insufficient durability and catalytic activity of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalyst are key issues that have to be solved for the practical application of low temperature fuel cell. This paper introduces a new catalyst design strategy using N-anchor to promote the corrosion resistance of electrocatalyst. The as-synthesized N-Pt3Fe1/C shows a high electrocatalytic activity and a superior durability towards ORR. The kinetic current density of N-Pt3Fe1/C as normalized by ECSA is still as high as 0.145 mA cm−2 and only 7% loss after 20000 potential cycles from 0.6 to 1.2 V (vs. NHE) in O2-bubbling perchloric acid solution, whereas Pt3Fe1/C shows 49% loss under the same tests. The N-anchor approach offers novel opportunities for the development of ORR catalyst with excellent electrochemical properties.
Wogonin is a plant monoflavonoid which has been reported to inhibit cell growth and/or induce apoptosis in various tumors. The present study examined the apoptosis-inducing activity and underlying mechanism of action of wogonin in A549 cells. The results showed that wogonin was a potent inhibitor of the viability of A549 cells. Apoptotic protein changes detected after exposure to wogonin included decreased XIAP and Mcl-1 expression, increased cleaved-PARP expression and increased release of AIF and cytotchrome C. Western blot analysis showed that the activity of c-Myc/Skp2 and HDAC1/HDAC2 pathways, which play important roles in tumor progress, was decreased. Quantitative PCR identified increased levels of c-Myc mRNA and decreased levels of its protein. Protein levels of Fbw7α, GSK3β and Thr58-Myc, which are involved in c-Myc ubiquitin-dependent degradation, were also analyzed. After exposure to wogonin, Fbw7α and GSK3β expression decreased and Thr58-Myc expression increased. However, MG132 was unable to prevent c-Myc degradation. The present results suggest that wogonin has multiple anti-cancer effects associated with degradation of c-Myc, SKP2, HDAC1 and HDAC2. Its ability to induce apoptosis independently of Fbw7α suggests a possible use in drug-resistance cancer related to Fbw7 deficiency. Further studies are needed to determine which pathways are related to c-Myc and Fbw7α reversal and whether Thr58 phosphorylation of c-Myc is dependent on GSK3β.
We present an analysis of the thermoelectric properties of of n-type GeTe and SnTe in relation to the lead chalcogenides PbTe and PbSe. We find that the singly degenerate conduction bands of semiconducting GeTe and SnTe are highly non-ellipsoidal, even very close to the band edges. This leads to isoenergy surfaces with a strongly corrugated shape that is clearly evident at carrier concentrations well below 0.005 e per formula unit (7–9 × 1019 cm−3 depending on material). Analysis within Boltzmann theory suggests that this corrugation may be favorable for the thermoelectric transport. Our calculations also indicate that values of the power factor for these two materials may well exceed those of PbTe and PbSe. As a result these materials may exhibit n-type performance exceeding that of the lead chalcogenides.
Intrathoracic goiter is commonly located in the anterior mediastinum. Here we report a case of a 58-year-old Chinese male in whom we successfully removed the intrathoracic goiter and eased his dyspnea by a right posterolateral thoracotomy approach. Posterior mediastinal thyroid goiter with mediastinal compressive symptoms is an indication of surgery.
Intrathoracic goiter; Posterior mediastinum; Thoracotomy
Evidence is emerging that the closely related ROCK1 and ROCK2 serine/threonine kinases support the invasive and metastatic growth of a spectrum of human cancer types. Therefore, inhibitors of ROCK are under preclinical development. However, a key step in their development involves the identification of genetic biomarkers that will predict ROCK inhibitor anti-tumor activity. One identified mechanism for ROCK activation in cancer involves the loss of function of the DLC1 tumor suppressor gene, which encodes a GTPase activating protein (RhoGAP) for the RhoA and RhoC small GTPases. DLC-1 loss may lead to hyperactivation of RhoA/C and its downstream effectors, the ROCK kinases. We therefore determined whether loss of DLC-1 protein expression identifies non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines whose growth and invasion phenotypes are sensitive to ROCK inhibition. We identified and characterized a novel small molecule pharmacologic inhibitor of ROCK and additionally applied genetic approaches to impair ROCK1 and/or ROCK2 activity, and we determined that although NSCLC anchorage-dependent growth was ROCK-independent, both anchorage-independent growth and Matrigel invasion were ROCK-dependent. However, loss of DLC-1 expression did not correlate with ROCK activation or with OXA-06 sensitivity. Unexpectedly, suppression of ROCK1 or ROCK2 expression alone was sufficient to impair anchorage-independent growth, supporting their non-overlapping roles in oncogenesis. Mechanistically, the block in anchorage-independent growth was associated with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, but not increased anoikis. We conclude that ROCK may be a useful therapeutic target for NSCLC.
DLC-1; Rho kinase; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); kinase inhibitors; Rho small GTPases; cancer therapeutics
Observational studies suggest an association between the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, the relationship between RA and MetS is controversial and research in this area is currently lacking.
The aim of this study was to assess whether the prevalence of MetS was higher in a group of RA patients compared to subjects without RA.
A PubMed database search was conducted during April 2013 to identify observational studies of RA and risk of MetS. Reference lists of retrieved articles were also reviewed. Two authors independently extracted information on the study design, the characteristics of the study participants, exposure and outcome assessments, and the method used to control for potential confounding factors. A random-effects model was used for the risk estimates.
Our meta-analysis of four cross-sectional controlled studies plus eight case-control studies involving a total of 2283 cases and 4403 controls identified a significant association between RA and risk of MetS, with an overall OR of 1.24 (95% CI, 1.03-1.50).
This meta-analysis provides further evidence supporting patients with RA have a higher prevalence of MetS than subjects without RA. In addition, the geographic region of the population and the criteria used for MetS diagnosis could influence the association. However, these observations would need to be evaluated using prospective, randomized studies.
Histiocytoid breast carcinoma (HBC) is a rare type of breast cancer with a controversial histogenesis. Here we describe a case report of a 65-year old woman with HBC. The patient presented with two masses in the right breast. Histopathologically, the tumors consisted of a diffuse infiltration of large tumor cells and histological components of carcinoma in situ and atypical lobular hyperplasia were also observed. The infiltration pattern was similar to that of invasive lobular carcinoma with targetoid and Indian file arrangements. The invasive histiocytoid cells had finely granular, eosinophilic to vesicular cytoplasm and nuclei with a bland uniform appearance, a single small eosinophilic nucleolus and finely granular chromatin. We compared the immunohistochemical profiles of 17 breast cancer markers between invasive carcinoma, carcinoma in situ, atypical lobular hyperplasia and normal breast epithelium. Although they all shared the same reactivity for many of the proteins, they exhibited differences in GCDFP-15, E-cadherin, P120, CEA, HER-2, ER and PR expression, and these are discussed. This is the first case study of two HBC masses occurring in one breast simultaneously. By analyzing and comparing their morphologic characteristics and spectrum of immunohistochemical expression, our study supports the view that HBC is a variant of lobular carcinoma and our findings may assist in future diagnoses of HBC.
Histiocytoid; breast cancer; invasive lobular carcinoma; carcinoma in situ; atypical lobular hyperplasia
Adult stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis by their ability to both self-renew and differentiate to distinct cell types. Multiple signaling pathways have been shown to play essential roles as extrinsic cues in maintaining adult stem cell identity and activity. Recent studies also show dynamic regulation by epigenetic mechanisms as intrinsic factors in multiple adult stem cell lineages. Emerging evidence demonstrates intimate crosstalk between these two mechanisms. Misregulation of adult stem cell activity could lead to tumorigenesis, and it has been proposed that cancer stem cells may be responsible for tumor growth and metastasis. However, it is unclear whether cancer stem cells share commonalities with normal adult stem cells. In this review, we will focus on recent discoveries of epigenetic regulation in multiple adult stem cell lineages. We will also discuss how epigenetic mechanisms regulate cancer stem cell activity and probe the common and different features between cancer stem cells and normal adult stem cells.
Adult stem cell; Germline stem cell; Intestinal stem cell; Hair follicle stem cell; Epigenetics; Cancer; Cancer stem cell
Human organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3, SLC22A3) mediates the uptake of many important endogenous amines and basic drugs in a variety of tissues. OCT3 is identified as one of the important risk loci for prostate cancer and is markedly under-expressed in aggressive prostate cancers. The goal of this study was to identify genetic and epigenetic factors in the promoter region that influence the expression level of OCT3. Haplotypes that contained the common variants, g.-81G>delGA (rs60515630) (minor allele frequency (MAF) 11.5% in African American) and g.-2G>A (rs555754) (MAF>30% in all ethnic groups) showed significant increases in luciferase reporter activities and exhibited stronger transcription factor binding affinity than the haplotypes that contained the major alleles. Consistent with the reporter assays, OCT3 mRNA expression levels were significantly higher in Asian (P<0.001) and Caucasian (P<0.05) liver samples from individuals who were homozygous for g.-2A/A in comparison with those homozygous for the g.-2G/G allele. Studies revealed that the methylation level in the basal promoter region of OCT3 was associated with OCT3 expression level and tumorigenesis capability in various prostate cancer cell lines. The methylation level of the OCT3 promoter was higher in 62% of prostate tumor samples compared with matched normal samples. Our studies demonstrate that genetic polymorphisms in the proximal promoter region of OCT3 alter the transcription rate of the gene and may be associated with altered expression levels of OCT3 in human liver. Aberrant methylation contributes to the reduced expression of OCT3 in prostate cancer.
SLC22A3; Polymorphism; Methylation and Prostate Cancer
At least some cancer stem cells (CSCs) display intrinsic drug resistance that may thwart eradication of a malignancy by chemotherapy. We have explored the genesis of such resistance by studying mouse models of liver cancer driven by either MYC or the combination of oncogenic forms of AKT and NRAS. A common manifestation of chemoresistance in CSCs is efflux of the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342. We found that only the MYC-driven tumors contained a subset of cells that efflux Hoechst 33342. This “side population” (SP) was enriched for CSCs when compared to non-SP tumor cells and exhibited markers of hepatic progenitor cells. The SP cells could differentiate into non-SP tumor cells, with coordinate loss of chemoresistance, progenitor markers and the enrichment for CSCs. In contrast, non-SP cells did not give rise to SP cells. Exclusion of Hoechst 33342 is mediated by ABC drug transporter proteins that also contribute to chemoresistance in cancer. We found that the MDR1 transporter was responsible for the efflux of Hoechst from SP cells in our MYC-driven model. Accordingly, SP cells and their tumor-initiating subset were more resistant than non-SP cells to chemotherapeutics that are effluxed by MDR1.
The oncogenotype of a tumor can promote a specific mechanism of chemoresistance that can contribute to the survival of hepatic CSCs. Under circumstances that promote differentiation of CSCs into more mature tumor cells, the chemoresistance can be quickly lost. Elucidation of the mechanisms that govern chemoresistance in these mouse models may illuminate the genesis of chemoresistance in human liver cancer.
Drug design is crucial for the effective discovery of anti-cancer drugs. The success or failure of drug design often depends on the leading compounds screened in pre-clinical studies. Many efforts, such as in vivo animal experiments and in vitro drug screening, have improved this process, but these methods are usually expensive and laborious. In the post-genomics era, it is possible to seek leading compounds for large-scale candidate small-molecule screening with multiple OMICS datasets. In the present study, we developed a computational method of prioritizing small molecules as leading compounds by integrating transcriptomics and toxicogenomics data. This method provides priority lists for the selection of leading compounds, thereby reducing the time required for drug design. We found 11 known therapeutic small molecules for breast cancer in the top 100 candidates in our list, 2 of which were in the top 10. Furthermore, another 3 of the top 10 small molecules were recorded as closely related to cancer treatment in the DrugBank database. A comparison of the results of our approach with permutation tests and shared gene methods demonstrated that our OMICS data-based method is quite competitive. In addition, we applied our method to a prostate cancer dataset. The results of this analysis indicated that our method surpasses both the shared gene method and random selection. These analyses suggest that our method may be a valuable tool for directing experimental studies in cancer drug design, and we believe this time- and cost-effective computational strategy will be helpful in future studies in cancer therapy.
TNF is a pleiotropic cytokine with intriguing biphasic pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects. Our previous studies demonstrated that TNF up-regulated FoxP3 expression and activated and expanded CD4+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) by utilizing TNFR2. Further, TNFR2-expressing Tregs exhibited maximal suppressive activity. In this study, we show that TNF, in concert with IL-2, preferentially up-regulated mRNA and surface expression of TNFR2, 4-1BB and OX40 on Tregs. Agonistic antibodies against 4-1BB and OX40 also induced the proliferation of suppressive Tregs. Thus, TNF amplifies its stimulatory effect on Tregs by inducing TNF receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) members. In addition, administration of neutralizing anti-TNF Ab blocked LPS-induced expansion of splenic Tregs and up-regulation of TNFR2, OX40 and 4-1BB receptors on Tregs in vivo, indicating that the expansion of Tregs expressing these co-stimulatory TNFRSF members in response to LPS is mediated by TNF. Taken together, our novel data indicate that TNF preferentially up-regulates TNFR2 on Tregs, and this is amplified by the stimulation of 4-1BB and OX40, resulting in the optimal activation of Tregs and augmented attenuation of excessive inflammatory responses.
TNF; regulatory T cells; co-stimulation; immune regulation
Our previous studies have shown that aberrant arachidonic acid metabolism, especially the 5-lipoxygenase (5-Lox) pathway, is involved in oral carcinogenesis, and can be targeted for cancer prevention. In order to develop potent topical agents for oral cancer chemoprevention, five known 5-Lox inhibitors from dietary and synthetic sources, Zileuton, ABT-761, Licofelone, Curcumin and Garcinol, were evaluated in silico for their potential efficacy. Garcinol, a polyisoprenylated benzophenone from the fruit rind of Garcinia spp., was found to be a promising agent based on the calculation of a theoretical activity index. Computer modeling showed that garcinol well fit the active site of 5-Lox, and potentially inhibited enzyme activity through interactions between the phenolic hydroxyl groups and the non-heme catalytic iron. In a short-term study on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-treated hamster cheek pouch, topical garcinol suppressed leukotriene B4 (LTB4) biosynthesis and inhibited inflammation and cell proliferation in the oral epithelium. In a long-term carcinogenesis study, topical garcinol significantly reduced the size of visible tumors, the number of cancer lesions, cell proliferation, and LTB4 biosynthesis. These results demonstrated that topical application of a 5-Lox inhibitor, garcinol, had chemopreventive effect on DMBA-induced hamster cheek pouch carcinogenesis.
Oral cancer; Chemoprevention; Garcinol; 5-Lipoxygenase; Topical
Claudins are known as tight junction proteins, and their expression pattern in gastric cancer is still controversial. The relationship between the expression patterns of tight junction proteins and tumor proliferation in early gastric cancer is still far from clear.
To investigate the expression patterns of claudin-18 and Ki-67 in early gastric cancer at the invasive front and surrounding normal gastric mucosa and to investigate the biological function of claudin-18 in the proliferation and invasion of cancer cells.
Seventy-five early gastric cancer lesions removed via endoscopic mucosal resection or endoscopic submucosal resection were evaluated. All gastric cancer lesions were diagnosed as differentiated adenocarcinoma using the Japanese Classification of Gastric Carcinoma. To assess epithelial proliferation, immunostaining with Ki-67 was performed, and the labeling index was calculated. To assess the expression of epithelial tight junction proteins, immunofluorescent staining of claudin-18 was performed. The immunoreactivity of claudin-18 was graded according to the number of stained cells. Correlation analysis was performed by Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. Transfection of claudin-18 small interfering RNA (siRNA) was accomplished in MKN74, a claudin-18-positive gastric cancer cell line, to investigate the effect of claudin-18 on proliferation and invasion of cancer cells.
Claudin-18 was significantly down-regulated in gastric cancer compared to surrounding gastric normal mucosa or intestinal metaplasia. The Ki-67 labeling index of gastric cancer at the invasive front was inversely correlated with the claudin-18 level, but that at the mucosal lesion was not correlated. Claudin-18 knockdown significantly promoted the proliferation of MKN74 compared with control siRNA-transfected cells. MKN74 invasion increased significantly with claudin-18 siRNA transfection compared with control siRNA transfection.
Down-regulation of claudin-18 is associated with the proliferative potential at the invasive front of gastric cancer, suggesting that it has a pivotal role in gastric cancer progression.
Increased de novo lipogenesis is one of the major metabolic events in cancer. In human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), de novo lipogenesis has been found to be increased and associated with the activation of AKT/mTOR signaling. In mice, overexpression of an activated form of AKT results in increased lipogenesis and hepatic steatosis, ultimately leading to liver tumor development. Hepatocarcinogenesis is dramatically accelerated when AKT is co-expressed with an oncogenic form of N-Ras. SCD1, the major isoform of stearoyl-CoA desaturases, catalyzing the conversion of saturated fatty acids (SFA) into monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), is a key enzyme involved in de novo lipogenesis. While many studies demonstrated the requirement of SCD1 for tumor cell growth in vitro, whether SCD1 is necessary for tumor development in vivo has not been previously investigated. Here, we show that genetic ablation of SCD1 neither inhibits lipogenesis and hepatic steatosis in AKT-overexpressing mice nor affects liver tumor development in mice co-expressing AKT and Ras oncogenes. Molecular analysis showed that SCD2 was strongly upregulated in liver tumors from AKT/Ras injected SCD1-/- mice. Noticeably, concomitant silencing of SCD1 and SCD2 genes was highly detrimental for the growth of AKT/Ras cells in vitro. Altogether, our study provides the evidence, for the first time, that SCD1 expression is dispensable for AKT/mTOR-dependent hepatic steatosis and AKT/Ras-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. Complete inhibition of stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity may be required to efficiently suppress liver tumor development.
Background & Aims
Aberrant activation of the AKT oncogenic pathway and downregulation of the Sprouty 2 (Spry2) tumor suppressor gene are frequently observed molecular events in human hepatocarcinogenesis. The goal of the present study was to investigate the eventual biochemical and genetic crosstalk between activated AKT and inactivation of Spry2 during liver cancer development by using in vivo and in vitro approaches.
Activated AKT and/or Spry2Y55F, a dominant negative form of Spry2, were overexpressed in the mouse liver via hydrodynamic gene delivery. Histological and biochemical assays were applied to characterize the molecular features of AKT and AKT/Spry2Y55F liver tumors. The human HLE hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line, stably overexpressing AKT, was transfected with Spry2Y55F to study the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatocarcinogenesis driven by Spry2 loss.
Spry2Y55F overexpression significantly accelerated AKT induced hepatocarcinogenesis in the mouse. AKT/Spry2Y55F liver lesions had increased proliferation and glycolysis and decreased lipogenesis when compared with AKT corresponding lesions. At the molecular level, AKT/Spry2Y55F HCCs exhibited a significantly stronger induction of activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Pyruvate Kinase M2 (PKM2) pathways than in AKT corresponding lesions. This phenotype was reproduced in HLE cells overexpressing AKT following transfection with Spry2Y55F. Furthermore, we found that concomitant suppression of the MAPK cascade and PKM2 strongly inhibited the growth induced by Spry2Y55F in AKT-overexpressing cells.
Inactivation of Spry2 accelerates AKT induced hepatocarcinogenesis via activation of MAPK and PKM2 pathways.
HCC; AKT; Spry2; MAPK; PKM2
The mesenchymal elements of the intestinal lamina propria reviewed here are the myofibroblasts, fibroblasts, mural cells (pericytes) of the vasculature, bone marrow–derived stromal stem cells, smooth muscle of the muscularis mucosae, and smooth muscle surrounding the lymphatic lacteals. These cells share similar marker molecules, origins, and coordinated biological functions previously ascribed solely to subepithelial myofibroblasts. We review the functional anatomy of intestinal mesenchymal cells and describe what is known about their origin in the embryo and their replacement in adults. As part of their putative role in intestinal mucosal morphogenesis, we consider the intestinal stem cell niche. Lastly, we review emerging information about myofibroblasts as nonprofessional immune cells that may be important as an alarm system for the gut and as a participant in peripheral immune tolerance.
myofibroblast; muscularis mucosae; stem cell niche; mucosal immunology; colorectal cancer
NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) is reported to be the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the kidneys during the early stages of diabetic nephropathy. It has been shown to mediate TGFβ1-induced differentiation of cardiac fibroblasts into myofibroblasts. Despite TGFβ1 being recognised as a mediator of renal fibrosis and functional decline role in diabetic nephropathy, the renal interaction between Nox 4 and TGFβ1 is not well characterised. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Nox4 inhibition on TGFβ1-induced fibrotic responses in proximal tubular cells and in a mouse model of diabetic nephropathy. Immortalised human proximal tubular cells (HK2) were incubated with TGFβ1 ± plumbagin (an inhibitor of Nox4) or specific Nox4 siRNA. Collagen IV and fibronectin mRNA and protein expression were measured. Streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic C57BL/6J mice were administered plumbagin (2 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (DMSO; 50 µl/mouse) for 24 weeks. Metabolic, physiological and histological markers of nephropathy were determined. TGFβ1 increased Nox4 mRNA expression and plumbagin and Nox4 siRNA significantly inhibited TGF-β1 induced fibronectin and collagen IV expression in human HK2 cells. STZ-induced diabetic C57BL/6J mice developed physiological features of diabetic nephropathy at 24 weeks, which were reversed with concomitant plumbagin treatment. Histologically, plumbagin ameliorated diabetes induced upregulation of extracellular matrix protein expression compared to control. This study demonstrates that plumbagin ameliorates the development of diabetic nephropathy through pathways that include Nox4 signalling.
Functionally selective G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) ligands, which differentially modulate canonical and non-canonical signaling, are extremely useful for elucidating key signal transduction pathways essential for both the therapeutic actions and side-effects of drugs. However, few such ligands have been created and very little purposeful attention has been devoted to studying what we term: ‘structure-functional selectivity relationships’ (SFSR). We recently disclosed the first β-arrestin-biased dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) agonists UNC9975 (44) and UNC9994 (36), which have robust in vivo antipsychotic drug-like activities. Here we report the first comprehensive SFSR studies focused on exploring four regions of the aripiprazole scaffold, which resulted in the discovery of these β-arrestin-biased D2R agonists. These studies provide a successful proof-of-concept for how functionally selective ligands can be discovered.
To investigate the prognostic value of intratumoral invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after curative resection.
Expression of TRAV10, encoding the Vα24 domain of iNKT cells, and IFN-γ mRNA were assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in tumor from 224 HCC patients undergoing curative resection. The prognostic value of these two and other clinicopathologic factors was evaluated.
Either intratumoral iNKT cells and IFN-γ alone or their combination was an independent prognostic factor for OS (P = 0.001) and RFS (P = 0.001) by multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis. Patients with concurrent low levels of iNKT cells and IFN-γ had a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.784 for OS and 2.673 for RFS. The areas under the curve of iNKT cells, IFN-γand their combination were 0.618 vs 0.608 vs 0.654 for death and 0.591 vs 0.604 vs 0.633 for recurrence respectively by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The prognosis was the worst for HCC patients with concurrent low levels of iNKT cells and IFN-γ, which might be related with more advanced pTNM stage and more vascular invasion.
Combination of intratumoral iNKT cells and IFN-γ is a promising independent predictor for recurrence and survival in HCC, which has a better power to predict HCC patients’ outcome compared with intratumoral iNKT cells or IFN-γ alone.
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical value of serum cytokeratin 19 fragment (CYFRA21-1) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the prediction of chemotherapy response and prognosis in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Serum CYFRA21-1 and CEA levels of 98 patients with advanced NSCLC were measured using immunoradiometric kits prior to and after 2 cycles of chemotherapy. After 2 cycles of chemotherapy, 45 patients achieved a radiological objective response (OR), 30 patients achieved stable disease (SD) and 23 patients had progressive disease (PD). Serum CYFRA21-1 and CEA were significantly decreased compared to baseline levels (P<0.001). By ROC curve analysis, a ≥60% reduction in CYFRA21-1 and a ≥25% reduction in CEA were the optimal cut-off levels with best sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of radiologic OR. The median survival of all patients was 10.2 months (range 2.6–26.3). Univariate survival analysis showed that the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) score, radiologic OR, a ≥60% reduction in CYFRA21-1 and a ≥25% reduction in CEA were significant prognostic factors for better overall survival. The median overall survival time in patients with a ≥60% reduction in CYFRA21-1 was significantly longer than in those with a <60% reduction (P<0.001). Similarly, the median overall survival time in patients with a ≥25% reduction in CEA was also significantly longer than in those with a <25% reduction (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that ECOG PS score, a ≥60% reduction in CYFRA21-1 and a ≥25% reduction in CEA were independent prognostic factors of survival, while radiologic OR was not. In conclusion, a ≥60% reduction in CYFRA21-1 and a ≥25% reduction in CEA may be reliable surrogate markers for the prediction of chemothrapy response and prognosis, especially for the diagnosis of radiologic OR.
cytokeratin 19 fragment; carcinoembryonic antigen; non-small cell lung cancer; chemotherapy response; prognosis