Targeted therapy is becoming an increasingly important component in the treatment of cancer. How to accurately monitor targeted therapy has been crucial in clinical practice. The traditional approach to monitor treatment through imaging has relied on assessing the change of tumor size by refined World Health Organization criteria, or more recently, by the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. However, these criteria, which are based on the change of tumor size, show some limitations for evaluating targeted therapy. Currently, genetic alterations are identified with prognostic as well as predictive potential concerning the use of molecularly targeted drugs. Conversely, considering the limitations of invasiveness and the issue of expression heterogeneity, molecular imaging is better able to assay in vivo biologic processes noninvasively and quantitatively, and has been a particularly attractive tool for monitoring treatment in clinical cancer practice. This review focuses on the applications of different kinds of molecular imaging including positron emission tomography-, magnetic resonance imaging-, ultrasonography-, and computed tomography-based imaging strategies on monitoring targeted therapy. In addition, the key challenges of molecular imaging are addressed to successfully translate these promising techniques in the future.
molecular imaging; targeted therapy; PET; MRI; US; CT
Cellular senescence is defined as the physiological program of terminal growth arrest, which can be triggered by various endogenous or exogenous stress signals. Cellular senescence can be induced in response to oncogenic activation, acting as a barrier to tumorigenesis. Tumor cells can undergo senescence when exposed to chemotherapeutic agents. In addition to suppressing tumorigenesis, senescent cells remain metabolically active and may contribute to tumor formation and to therapy resistance. In the current review, we discuss the molecular regulation of cellular senescence, the potential implications of senescence in human cancer, and the possibility of exploiting cellular senescence as a therapeutic intervention in the treatment of cancer.
senescence; oncogenesis; cancer therapy; cell survival; cell death
The role of Ulinastatin in neuronal injury after cardiopulmonary resuscitation has not been elucidated. We aim to evaluate the effects of Ulinastatin on inflammation, oxidation, and neuronal injury in the cerebral cortex after cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Ventricular fibrillation was induced in 76 adult male Wistar rats for 6 min, after which cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated. After spontaneous circulation returned, the rats were split into two groups: the Ulinastatin 100,000 unit/kg group or the PBS-treated control group. Blood and cerebral cortex samples were obtained and compared at 2, 4, and 8 h after return of spontaneous circulation. The protein levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were assayed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and mRNA levels were quantified via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Myeloperoxidase and Malondialdehyde were measured by spectrophotometry. The translocation of nuclear factor-κB p65 was assayed by Western blot. The viable and apoptotic neurons were detected by Nissl and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL).
Ulinastatin treatment decreased plasma levels of TNF-α and IL-6, expression of mRNA, and Myeloperoxidase and Malondialdehyde in the cerebral cortex. In addition, Ulinastatin attenuated the translocation of nuclear factor-κB p65 at 2, 4, and 8 hours after the return of spontaneous circulation. Ulinastatin increased the number of living neurons and decreased TUNEL-positive neuron numbers in the cortex at 72 h after the return of spontaneous circulation.
Ulinastatin preserved neuronal survival and inhibited neuron apoptosis after the return of spontaneous circulation in Wistar rats via attenuation of the oxidative stress response and translocation of nuclear factor-κB p65 in the cortex. In addition, Ulinastatin decreased the production of TNF-α, IL-6, Myeloperoxidase, and Malondialdehyde.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; Ulinastatin; Oxidative Stress; Inflammatory Response; Neuronal Injury
Nucleus accumbens-1 (NAC1), a nuclear factor belonging to the BTB/POZ gene family, has emerging roles in cancer. We report here that NAC1 acts as a negative regulator of cellular senescence in transformed and non-transformed cells, and dysfunction of NAC1 induces senescence and inhibits its oncogenic potential. We show that NAC1 deficiency markedly activates senescence and inhibits proliferation in tumor cells treated with sub-lethal doses of γ-irradiation. In mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from NAC1 knockout mice, following infection with a Ras virus, NAC1−/− cells undergo significantly more senescence and are either non- or less transformed in vitro and less tumorigenic in vivo when compared with NAC1+/+ cells. Furthermore, we show that the NAC1-caused senescence blunting is mediated by ΔNp63, which exerts its effect on senescence through p21, and that NAC1 activates transcription of ΔNp63 under stressful conditions. Our results not only reveal a previously unrecognized function of NAC1, the molecular pathway involved and its impact on pathogenesis of tumor initiation and development, but also identify a novel senescence regulator that may be exploited as a potential target for cancer prevention and treatment.
NAC1; senescence; ΔNp63; oncogene; tumorigenesis
Engineered artificial tissues from stem cells show great potential in regenerative medicine, disease therapies and organ transplantation. To date, stem cells are typically co-cultured with inactivated feeder layers to maintain their undifferentiated state, and to ensure reliable cell purity. Herein, we propose a novel microfabricated approach for feeder-separated coculture of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) porous membrane-assembled 3D-microdevice. Normal mouse embryonic fibroblasts (mEFs) without inactivation were specifically co-cultured with mES cells, resulting in the formation of mES cell colonies on spatially controlled co-culture with feeder layers. An excellent undifferentiated state was confirmed by the expressions of Nanog, octamer binding protein 4 (Oct-4) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) after 5 days culture. As a result, with the significant advantages of efficiency and simplicity, pure mES cell populations (a purity of 89.2%) from mEFs co-cultures were easily collected without any further purification or separation.
Eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF-2K) is a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent enzyme that negatively regulates protein synthesis. eEF-2K has been shown to be up-regulated in cancer, and to play an important role in cell survival through inhibition of protein synthesis. Post-translational modification of protein synthesis machinery is important for its regulation and could be critical for survival of cancer cells encountering stress. The purpose of our study was to examine the regulation of eEF-2K during stress with a focus on the roles of phosphorylation in determining the stability of eEF-2K. We found that stress conditions (nutrient deprivation and hypoxia) increase eEF-2K protein. mRNA levels are only transiently increased and shortly return to normal, while eEF-2K protein levels continue to increase after further exposure to stress. A seemingly paradoxical decrease in eEF-2K stability was found when glioma cells were subjected to stress despite increased protein expression. We further demonstrated that phosphorylation of eEF-2K differentially affects the enzyme’s turnover under both normal and stress conditions, as evidenced by the different half-lives of phosphorylation-defective mutants of eEF-2K. We further found that the eEF-2K site (Ser398) phosphorylated by AMPK is pivotal to the protein’s stability, as the half-life of S398A mutant increases to greater than 24 h under both normal and stress conditions. These data indicate that eEF-2K is regulated at multiple levels with phosphorylation playing a critical role in the enzyme’s turnover under stressful conditions. The complexity of eEF-2K phosphorylation highlights the intricacies of protein synthesis control during cellular stress.
eEF-2K; Phosphorylation; Enzyme stability; Protein synthesis; Glioblastoma; AMPK
Objective: To investigate the feasibility and safety of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) transplantation on the improvement of burn wound healing. Method: Human BM-MSCs were injected into the skin of the mouse models, and the new blood vessels growth, the engraftment of BM-MSCs and the speed of healing were observed. Moreover the body weight and activity were tested after BM-MSCs transplantation. Results: We found that wound surface healing was significantly accelerated when BM-MSCs were applied to the wound surface in mice. Moreover, both the number and density of new blood vessels were increased in the BM-MSC-treated group. The engraftment of BM-MSCs was also investigated using GFP-labeled cells and no GFP-positive cells were observed in tissues other than the location of BM-MSC injection. We also found that both body weight and activity were quickly restored in BM-MSC-treated mice, and no tumor growth was found. Conclusion: The present results suggest that BM-MSC transplantation can effectively improve wound healing in a mouse model of burn injuries. Use of BM-MSCs might therefore facilitate development and improvement of burn injury treatments in future.
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; burn injury; wound healing; mouse model
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. Electroencephalogram (EEG) signals play a critical role in the diagnosis of epilepsy. Multichannel EEGs contain more information than do single-channel EEGs. Automatic detection algorithms for spikes or seizures have traditionally been implemented on single-channel EEG, and algorithms for multichannel EEG are unavailable.
This study proposes a physiology-based detection system for epileptic seizures that uses multichannel EEG signals. The proposed technique was tested on two EEG data sets acquired from 18 patients. Both unipolar and bipolar EEG signals were analyzed. We employed sample entropy (SampEn), statistical values, and concepts used in clinical neurophysiology (e.g., phase reversals and potential fields of a bipolar EEG) to extract the features. We further tested the performance of a genetic algorithm cascaded with a support vector machine and post-classification spike matching.
We obtained 86.69% spike detection and 99.77% seizure detection for Data Set I. The detection system was further validated using the model trained by Data Set I on Data Set II. The system again showed high performance, with 91.18% detection of spikes and 99.22% seizure detection.
We report a de novo EEG classification system for seizure and spike detection on multichannel EEG that includes physiology-based knowledge to enhance the performance of this type of system.
Targeted delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been regarded as one of the most important technologies for the development of siRNA therapeutics. However, the need for safe and efficient delivery systems is a barrier to further development of RNA interference therapeutics. In this work, a nontoxic and efficient siRNA carrier delivery system of low molecular weight polyethyleneimine (PEI-600 Da) cross-linked with 2-hydroxypopyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and folic acid (FA) was synthesized for biomedical application.
The siRNA carrier was prepared using a simple method and characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The siRNA carrier nanoparticles were characterized in terms of morphology, size and zeta potential, stability, efficiency of delivery, and gene silencing efficiency in vitro and in vivo.
The siRNA carrier was synthesized successfully. It showed good siRNA binding capacity and ability to protect siRNA. Further, the toxicity of the carrier measured in vitro and in vivo appeared to be negligible, probably because of degradation of the low molecular weight PEI and HP-β-CD in the cytosol. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy confirmed that the FA receptor-mediated endocytosis of the FA-HP-β-CD-PEI/siRNA complexes was greater than that of the HP-β-CD-PEI/siRNA complexes in FA receptor-enriched HeLa cells. The FA-HP-β-CD-PEI/siRNA complexes also demonstrated excellent gene silencing efficiency in vitro (in the range of 90%), and reduced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein expression in the presence of 20% serum. FA-HP-β-CD-PEI/siRNA complexes administered via tail vein injection resulted in marked inhibition of tumor growth and reduced VEGF protein expression in the tumors.
Our results suggest that the FA-HP-β-CD-PEI complex is a nontoxic and highly efficient gene carrier with the potential to deliver siRNA for cancer gene therapy effectively in vitro and in vivo.
polyethyleneimine; 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin; folic acid; siRNA carrier; vascular endothelial growth factor; gene silencing
AIM: To explore risk factors for lymph node metastases in early gastric cancer (EGC) and to confirm the appropriate range of lymph node dissection.
METHODS: A total of 202 patients with EGC who underwent curative gastrectomy with lymphadenectomy in the Department of Surgery, Xinhua Hospital and Ruijin Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University Medical School between November 2003 and July 2009, were retrospectively reviewed. Both the surgical procedure and the extent of lymph node dissection were based on the recommendations of the Japanese gastric cancer treatment guidelines. The macroscopic type was classified as elevated (type I or IIa), flat (IIb), or depressed (IIc or III). Histopathologically, papillary and tubular adenocarcinomas were grouped together as differentiated adenocarcinomas, and poorly differentiated and signet-ring cell adenocarcinomas were regarded as undifferentiated adenocarcinomas. Univariate and multivariate analyses of lymph node metastases and patient and tumor characteristics were undertaken.
RESULTS: The lymph node metastases rate in patients with EGC was 14.4%. Among these, the rate for mucosal cancer was 5.4%, and 8.9% for submucosal cancer. Univariate analysis showed an obvious correlation between lymph node metastases and tumor location, depth of invasion, morphological classification and venous invasion (χ2 = 122.901, P = 0.001; χ2 = 7.14, P = 0.008; χ2 = 79.523, P = 0.001; χ2 = 8.687, P = 0.003, respectively). In patients with submucosal cancers, the lymph node metastases rate in patients with venous invasion (60%, 3/5) was higher than in those without invasion (20%, 15/75) (χ2 = 4.301, P = 0.038). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the depth of invasion was the only independent risk factor for lymph node metastases in EGC [P = 0.018, Exp (B) = 2.744]. Among the patients with lymph node metastases, 29 cases (14.4%) were at N1, seven cases were at N2 (3.5%), and two cases were at N3 (1.0%). Univariate analysis of variance revealed a close relationship between the depth of invasion and lymph node metastases at pN1 (P = 0.008).
CONCLUSION: The depth of invasion was the only independent risk factor for lymph node metastases. Risk factors for metastases should be considered when choosing surgery for EGC.
Gastric neoplasm; Lymph node metastasis; Risk factors; Gastrectomy; Lymphadenectomy
Complement components and their receptors are found within and around Aβ cerebral plaques in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Microglia defend against pathogens through phagocytosis via complement component C3 and/or engagement of C3 cleavage product iC3b with complement receptor type 3 (CR3, Mac-1). Here we provide direct evidence that C3 and Mac-1 mediate, in part, phagocytosis and clearance of fibrillar amyloid-β (fAβ) by murine microglia in vitro and in vivo. Microglia took up not only synthetic fAβ42 but also amyloid cores from AD patients, transporting them to lysosomes in vitro. Fibrillar Aβ42 uptake was significantly attenuated by the deficiency or knockdown of C3 or Mac-1 and scavenger receptor class A ligands. In addition, C3 or Mac-1 knockdown combined with a scavenger receptor ligand, fucoidan, further attenutated fibrillar Aβ42 uptake by N9 microglia. Fluorescent fibrillar Aβ42 microinjected cortically was significantly higher in C3 and Mac-1 knockout mice compared to wild-type mice 5 days after surgery, indicating reduced clearance in vivo. Together, these results demonstrate that C3 and Mac-1 are involved in phagocytosis and clearance of fAβ by microglia, providing support for a potential beneficial role for microglia and the complement system in AD pathogenesis.
microglia; Aβ; complement component C3; complement receptor type 3; Mac-1; phagocytosis
The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is one of the most extensive habitats for alpine plants in the world. Climatic oscillations during the Quaternary ice age had a dramatic effect on species ranges on the QTP and the adjacent areas. However, how the distribution ranges of aquatic plant species shifted on the QTP in response to Quaternary climatic changes remains almost unknown.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We studied the phylogeography and demographic history of the widespread aquatic herb Hippuris vulgaris from the QTP and adjacent areas. Our sampling included 385 individuals from 47 natural populations of H. vulgaris. Using sequences from four chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) non-coding regions, we distinguished eight different cpDNA haplotypes. From the cpDNA variation in H. vulgaris, we found a very high level of population differentiation (GST = 0.819) but the phylogeographical structure remained obscure (NST = 0.853>GST = 0.819, P>0.05). Phylogenetic analyses revealed two main cpDNA haplotype lineages. The split between these two haplotype groups can be dated back to the mid-to-late Pleistocene (ca. 0.480 Myr). Mismatch distribution analyses showed that each of these had experienced a recent range expansion. These two expansions (ca. 0.12 and 0.17 Myr) might have begun from the different refugees before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).
This study initiates a research on the phylogeography of aquatic herbs in the QTP and for the first time sheds light on the response of an alpine aquatic seed plant species in the QTP to Quaternary climate oscillations.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal self-digestion process involved in degradation of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles. In recent years, increasing evidence indicates that autophagy is associated with a number of pathological processes, including cancer. In this review, we focus on the recent studies of the evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs) that are implicated in autophagosome formation and the pathways involved. We discuss several key autophagic mediators (eg, Beclin-1, UVRAG, Bcl-2, Class III and I PI3K, mTOR, and p53) that play pivotal roles in autophagic signaling networks in cancer. We discuss the Janus roles of autophagy in cancer and highlighted their relationship to tumor suppression and tumor progression. We also present some examples of targeting ATGs and several protein kinases as anticancer strategy, and discuss some autophagy-modulating agents as antitumor agents. A better understanding of the relationship between autophagy and cancer would ultimately allow us to harness autophagic pathways as new targets for drug discovery in cancer therapeutics.
autophagy; cancer; autophagy-related gene (ATG); Beclin-1; Bcl-2; Class III and I PI3K; mTOR; p53
To determine whether elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF-2 kinase) contributes to the malignant phenotype of glioblastoma multiforme by promoting the migration and invasion of glioma cells. The mechanism involved was also explored.
Human glioma cell lines T98G and LN-229 were used. The expression of eEF-2 kinase was silenced using siRNA, and the invasive potential of tumor cells was assessed using a wound-healing assay and a Matrigel invasion assay. Apoptosis was determined using propidium iodide (PI) staining and western blot analysis of cleaved caspase-3.
Silencing the expression of eEF-2 kinase by siRNA significantly suppressed both the migration and invasion of human glioma cells. Silencing eEF-2 kinase expression also sensitized glioma cells to anoikis, thereby decreasing tumor cell viability in the absence of attachment. Treatment of tumor cells with the caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk down-regulated Bim accumulation and abolished glioma cell sensitivity to anoikis.
The results suggest that the expression of eEF-2 kinase contributes to migration and invasion of human glioma cells by protecting them from anoikis. eEF-2 kinase expression may serve as a prognostic marker and a novel target for cancer therapy.
eEF-2 kinase; migration; invasion; anoikis; glioma
Jian-Pi-Zhi-Dong Decoction (JPZDD) is dedicated to the treatment for Tourette syndrome (TS) with the guidance of the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This study aims to investigate the expression of dopamine transporter (DAT) in the striatum and stereotyped behavior of TS mice model by intervention of JPZDD. Mice were induced by 3,3′-iminodipropionitrile (IDPN, 350 mg kg−1 day−1, i.p.) for 7 days and divided into 4 groups (n = 20, each): control and IDPN groups were gavaged with saline and the remaining 2 groups with Tiapride (Tia, 50 mg kg−1 day−1) and JPZDD (20 g kg−1 day−1), respectively. The results showed that the scores of stereotyped behavior in IDPN+JPZDD group were significantly reduced. A noticeably increased 11C-β-CFT binding at bilateral striatum was observed after administration of JPZDD versus that of IDPN or Tia. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization studies manifested higher levels of DAT protein and mRNA in IDPN+JPZDD group. These findings not only demonstrated that JPZDD could effectively inhibit the abnormal behaviors of TS mice model, but also increase the level of DAT in striatum. Therefore, JPZDD could be one of potential treatments of patients with TS.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy, toxicity and tolerability of simultaneous modulated accelerated radiation therapy (SMART)-intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plus cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy for patients with advanced nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Forty-five patients with stage II–IV NPC, determined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer system, were treated with prescribed doses of 72 Gy total to the gross tumor volume, 60 Gy to the clinical target volume and metastatic nodal station, and 54 Gy to the clinically-negative neck region. Before radiotherapy, two cycles of cisplatin (30 mg/m2/day on days 1–3) plus 5-FU (400 mg/m2/day on days 1–5) were delivered every three weeks for two cycles. Patients received two cycles of cisplatin (30 mg/m2 day on days 1–3) every three weeks during radiotherapy. In addition, two cycles of cisplatin and 5-FU were given after radiation. All patients completed the prescribed radiotherapy and all scheduled cycles of chemotherapy. Thirty of the 45 patients (66.6%) had a complete response at the end of treatment. Grade 3 mucositis occurred in 4/45 patients (8.8%) and grade 3 dermatitis occurred in 5/45 (11.1%) during radiotherapy. Grade 3 neutropenia occurred in 6/45 (13.3%) during concurrent chemotherapy. There was no treatment-related mortality. After a median follow-up time of 51 months, only three patients’ treatments had failed. Local and distant failure rates were 1.5 and 3.0%, respectively. SMART-IMRT plus cisplatin and 5-FU chemotherapy showed promising activity with manageable toxicity. It is a feasible regimen and improves locoregional disease control.
nasopharyngeal cancer; induction chemotherapy; concurrent chemoradiotherapy; SMART-IMRT; cisplatin
The title compound, C10H13ClN2O, was obtained as a by-product in the reaction of 2-chloromethyl-1H-benzimidazole, dimethyl sulfate and toluene to synthesise 2-chloromethyl-1-methylbenzimidazole. The dihedral angle between the benzene ring and the acetamide group is 89.72 (6)° while that between the aromatic ring and the chloracetyl group is 84.40 (4)°. In the crystal, adjacent molecules are linked by pairs of N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds into inversion dimers.
Gefitinib, a small molecule inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase, has been shown to induce autophagy as well as apoptosis in tumor cells. Yet, how to exploit autophagy and apoptosis to improve therapeutic efficacy of this drug against cancer remains to be explored. We reported here that MK-2206, a potent allosteric Akt inhibitor currently in Phase I trials in patients with solid tumors, could reinforce the cytocidal effect of gefitinib against glioma. We found that co-treatment with gefitinib and MK-2206 increased the cytotoxicity of this growth factor receptor inhibitor in the glioma cells, and the Compusyn synergism/antagonism analysis showed that MK-2206 acted synergistically with gefitinib. The benefit of the combinatorial treatment was also demonstrated in an intracranial glioma mouse model. In the presence of MK-2206, there was a significant increase in apoptosis in glioma cells treated with gefitinib. MK-2206 also augmented the autophagy-inducing effect of gefitinib, as evidenced by increased levels of the autophagy marker, LC3-II. Inhibition of autophagy by silencing of the key autophagy gene, beclin 1 or 3-MA, further increased the cytotoxicity of this combinatorial treatment, suggesting that autophagy induced by these agents plays a cytoprotective role. Notably, at 48 hours following the combinatorial treatment, the level of LC3-II began to decrease but Bim was significantly elevated, suggesting a switch from autophagy to apoptosis. Based on the synergistic effect of MK-2206 on gefitinib observed in this study, the combination of these two drugs may be utilized as a new therapeutic regimen for malignant glioma.
MK-2206; gefitinib; apoptosis; autophagy; glioblastoma
Background: The association between index finger to ring finger length ratio (2D:4D) and cardiac disorders has been reported, however it has not been discussed in terms of coronary artery disease (CAD). We investigated whether 2D:4D could be used as a marker for predisposition to CAD as assessed by coronary angiography in Chinese men and women.
Methods: This study included 1764 persons divided into 4 groups, 441 cases with CAD and 441 persons without CAD as control in each sex of the same age. Finger lengths were measured twice for both hands using electronic calipers. Student t test was used to detect the difference of 2D:4D among groups. The receiver operator characteristic curves (ROCs) were used to detect the diagnostic effect of 2D:4D for CAD.
Results: There were no significant differences in age among the four groups. A significant difference of 2D:4D ratios between right and left hand were observed only in men in both control and CAD groups. On the right hand in the control group and on both hands in the CAD group, the 2D:4D ratios were higher in women than in men (all, P < 0.001). In men with CAD, mean 2D:4D was higher than mean 2D:4D in control men (right hand 0.962±0.042:0.927±0.038; left hand 0.950±0.044:0.934±0.048; both hands, P < 0.001), but this was not observed in women. No relationship was found between 2D:4D and age (all, P >0.05). The area under the curve of right hand 2D:4D in male was 0.72 (95% CI 0.683-0.753, p<0.001), while it was 0.602 (95% CI 0.565-0.639, p<0.001) in left hand.
Conclusions: The present study showed an association between high 2D:4D ratio and CAD in both hands in men. There were no significant differences in mean 2D:4D between women with CAD and controls.
finger length ratio; 2D:4D; coronary artery disease; Chinese; coronary angiography; diagnosis.
Our recent study revealed a new role of nucleus accumbens-1 (NAC1), a transcription factor belonging to the BTB/POZ gene family, in regulating autophagy. Moreover, we found that the high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a chromatin-associated nuclear protein acting as an extracellular damage associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP), is the downstream executor of NAC1 in modulating autophagy. In response to stress such as therapeutic insults, NAC1 increases the expression, cytosolic translocation and release of HMGB1; elevated level of the cytoplasmic HMGB1 leads to activation of autophagy. The NAC1-HMGB1 partnership may represent a previously unrecognized pathway that regulates autophagy in response to various stresses such as chemotherapy.
Apoptosis; autophagy; cisplatin; HMGB1; NAC1
Elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF-2 kinase, also known as calmodulin-dependent protein kinase III), is a unique calcium/calmodulin-dependent enzyme that inhibits protein synthesis by phosphorylating and inactivating elongation factor-2 (eEF-2). We previously reported that expression/activity of eEF-2 kinase was up-regulated in several types of malignancies including Gliomas, and was associated with response of tumor cells to certain therapeutic stress. In the current study, we sought to determine whether eEF-2 kinase expression affected sensitivity of glioma cells to treatment with tumor the necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), a targeted therapy able to induce apoptosis in cancer cells but causes no toxicity in most normal cells. We found that inhibition of eEF-2 kinase by RNA interference (RNAi) or by a pharmacological inhibitor (NH125) enhanced TRAIL-induced apoptosis in the human glioma cells, as evidenced by an increase in apoptosis in the tumor cells treated with eEF-2 kinase siRNA or the eEF-2 kinase inhibitor. We further demonstrated that sensitization of tumor cells to TRAIL was accompanied by a down-regulation of the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-xL, and that overexpression of Bcl-xL could abrogate the sensitizing effect of inhibiting eEF-2 kinase on TRAIL. The results of this study may help devise a new therapeutic strategy for enhancing the efficacy of TRAIL against malignant glioma by targeting eEF-2 kinase.
eEF-2 kinase; TRAIL; Bcl-xl; apoptosis; glioblastoma
Nucleus accumbens-1 (NAC1), a nuclear factor belonging to the BTB/POZ gene family, is known to play important roles in proliferation and growth of tumor cells and in chemotherapy resistance. Yet, the mechanisms underlying how NAC1 contributes to drug resistance remain largely unclear. We reported here that autophagy was involved in NAC1-mediated resistance to cisplatin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug in the treatment of ovarian cancer. We found that treatment with cisplatin caused an activation of autophagy in ovarian cancer cell lines, A2780, OVCAR3, and SKOV3. We further demonstrated that knockdown of NAC1 by RNAi or inactivation of NAC1 by inducing the expression of a NAC1 deletion mutant that contains only the BTB/POZ domain significantly inhibited the cisplatin-induced autophagy, resulting in increased cisplatin cytotoxicity. Moreover, inhibition of autophagy and sensitization to cisplatin by NAC1 knockdown or inactivation were accompanied by induction of apoptosis. To confirm that the sensitizing effect of NAC1 inhibition on the cytotoxicity of cisplatin was attributed to suppression of autophagy, we assessed the effects of the autophagy inhibitors, 3-MA and chloroquine, and siRNAs targeting beclin 1 or Atg5, on the cytotoxicity of cisplatin. Treatment with 3-MA, chloroquine or beclin 1 and Atg5-targeted siRNA also enhanced the sensitivity of SKOV3, A2780 and OVCAR3 cells to cisplatin, indicating that suppression of autophagy indeed renders tumor cells more sensitive to cisplatin. Regulation of autophagy by NAC1 was mediated via high mobility group box1 (HMGB1), as the functional status of NAC1 was associated with the expression, translocation and release of HMGB1. The results of our study not only revealed a new mechanism determining cisplatin sensitivity, but also identified NAC1 as a novel regulator of autophagy. Thus, the NAC1- mediated autophagy may be exploited as a new target for enhancing the efficacy of cisplatin against ovarian cancer and other types of malignancies.
NAC1; autophagy; apoptosis; HMGB1; cisplatin; ovarian cancer
Uric acid is the product of purine metabolism. It is known that hyperuricemia, defined as high levels of blood uric acid, is the major etiological factor of gout. A number of epidemiological reports have increasingly linked hyperuricemia with cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Studies highlighting the pathogenic mechanisms of uric acid point to an inflammatory response as the primary mechanism for inducing gout and possibly contributing to uric acid's vascular effects. Monosodium urate (MSU) crystals induce an inflammatory reaction, which are recognized by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). These TLRs then activate NALP3 inflammasome. MSU also triggers neutrophil activation and further produces immune mediators, which lead to a proinflammatory response. In addition, soluble uric acid can also mediate the generation of free radicals and function as a pro-oxidant. This review summarizes the epidemiological studies of hyperuricemia and cardiovascular disease, takes a brief look at hyperuricemia and its role in neurological diseases, and highlights the studies of the advanced pathological mechanisms of uric acid and inflammation.
uric acid; hyperuricemia; inflammation; vascular disease; inflammasome
Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) remains the leading cause of newly acquired blindness in the developed world. Currently anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapies are broadly used to treat neovascular ocular disorders. Here we demonstrate the effect of a traditional Chinese medicine formula, HB01, on CNV.
A rat model of laser-induced CNV was used to investigate the effect of HB01 in vivo. The CNV lesions in the eye were evaluated using fundus fluorescein angiography and visualized/quantified using confocal microscopy. Expression of VEGF in the choroidal and retinal tissues was measured using quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry.
We demonstrated that a traditional Chinese Medicine formula, named HB01, significantly reduced neovascularization in a rat CNV model. The effect of HB01 on CNV was comparable to the intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (Avastin). Our results also suggested that HB01 may reduce CNV partially through inhibiting the expression of VEGF.
These data support HB01 as an alternative therapy for ocular neovascular disorders.
Choroidal neovascularization; Traditional Chinese medicine; VEGF