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author:("Yi, xiaoyan")
1.  Induction of autophagy contributes to cisplatin resistance in human ovarian cancer cells 
Molecular Medicine Reports  2014;11(1):91-98.
Cisplatin resistance is a major challenge in the clinical treatment of ovarian cancer, of which the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of autophagy in cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells. A2780cp cisplatin-resistant ovarian carcinoma cells and the A2780 parental cell line, were used as a model throughout the present study. The cell viability was determined using a water soluble tetrazolium salt-8 assay, and western blot analysis was performed to determine the protein expression levels of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3 I and LC3 II), and Beclin 1. Beclin 1 small interfering (si)RNA and 3-methyladenine (3-MA) were used to determine whether inhibition of autophagy may re-sensitize cisplatin-resistant cells to cisplatin. The ultrastructural analysis of autophagosomes was performed using transmission electron microscopy, and apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry. In both A2780cp and A2780 cells, cisplatin induced the formation of autophagosomes and upregulated the expression levels of autophagy protein markers, LC3 II and Beclin 1. However, the levels of autophagy were significantly higher in A2780cp cells, as compared with the A2780 cells. The combined treatment of cisplatin with 3-MA, the autophagy pharmacological inhibitor, increased the cell death rate, but had no effects on apoptosis, as compared with cisplatin treatment alone in A2780cp cells. However, inhibition of autophagy by siRNA knockdown of Beclin 1 expression enhanced cisplatin-induced cell death and apoptosis. The findings of the present study suggest that autophagy has a protective role in human ovarian cancer cells, and that targeting autophagy may promote chemotherapeutic sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC4237096  PMID: 25322694
ovarian carcinoma; cisplatin; autophagy; resistance
2.  Posttranscriptional Suppression of Proto-Oncogene c-fms Expression by Vigilin in Breast Cancer ▿ §  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2010;31(1):215-225.
cis-acting elements found in 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs) are regulatory signals determining mRNA stability and translational efficiency. By binding a novel non-AU-rich 69-nucleotide (nt) c-fms 3′ UTR sequence, we previously identified HuR as a promoter of c-fms proto-oncogene mRNA. We now identify the 69-nt c-fms mRNA 3′ UTR sequence as a cellular vigilin target through which vigilin inhibits the expression of c-fms mRNA and protein. Altering association of either vigilin or HuR with c-fms mRNA in vivo reciprocally affected mRNA association with the other protein. Mechanistic studies show that vigilin decreased c-fms mRNA stability. Furthermore, vigilin inhibited c-fms translation. Vigilin suppresses while HuR encourages cellular motility and invasion of breast cancer cells. In summary, we identified a competition for binding the 69-nt sequence, through which vigilin and HuR exert opposing effects on c-fms expression, suggesting a role for vigilin in suppression of breast cancer progression.
PMCID: PMC3019847  PMID: 20974809
3.  Nrf2 expression in endometrial serous carcinomas and its precancers 
Endometrial serous carcinoma (ESC) is the most aggressive subtype of endometrial cancer. Its aggressive behavior and poor clinical outcome may be partially attributed to lack of early diagnostic markers and unclear patho-genesis. The transcription factor Erythroid–E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a recently identified protein marker, which plays a role in carcinogenesis as well as responsible for poor prognosis of many human cancers. The aim of this study is to determine the Nrf2 expression in benign endometrium (n=28), endometrial cancers (n=122) as well as their precursor lesions (n=81) trying to see whether Nrf2 has any diagnostic usage and is potentially involved in endometrial carcinogenesis. The level of Nrf2 was evaluated by immunohistochemical (IHC) and verified by using Western blots. Among the malignant cases, Nrf2 was positive in 28 (68%) of 50 ESCs, which was significantly more than in 3 (6%) of 50 endometrioid carcinomas (p < 0.001) and 2 (13%) of 15 clear cell carcinomas (p = 0.001) and other histologic types of endometrial cancers. Among endometrial precursor lesions, both serous endometrial glandular dysplasia (EmGD, 40%) and serous endometrial intraepithelial carcinoma (EIC, 44%) showed a significantly higher Nrf2 expression than that in atypical endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia (0%), clear cell EmGD (10%), and clear cell EIC (25%), respectively. We conclude that Nrf2 overexpression is closely associated with endometrial neoplasms with serous differentiation. Alteration of Nrf2 expression may represent one of the early molecular events in ESC carcinogenesis and overexpression of Nrf2 may used as a diagnostic marker in surgical pathology.
PMCID: PMC3016106  PMID: 21228930
Nrf2; endometrial cancer; precancer; endometrial serous carcinoma; endometrial glandular dysplasia
4.  The multifunctional protein glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is both regulated and controls CSF-1 mRNA stability in ovarian cancer 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2008;6(8):1375-1384.
Although GAPDH’s predilection for AU-rich elements has long been known, the expected connection between GAPDH and control of mRNA stability has never been made. Recently, we described GAPDH binding the AU-rich terminal 144nt of the CSF-1 3′UTR, which we showed is an mRNA decay element in ovarian cancer cells. CSF-1 is strongly correlated with poor prognosis of ovarian cancer patients. We investigated the functional significance of GAPDH’s association with CSF-1 mRNA, and found that GAPDH siRNA reduces both CSF-1 mRNA and protein levels, through destabilizing CSF-1 mRNA. CSF-1 mRNA half-lives were decreased by 50% in the presence of GAPDH siRNA. RNA footprinting analysis of the 144nt CSF-1 sequence revealed that GAPDH associates with a large AU-rich containing region. The effects of binding of GAPDH protein or ovarian extracts to mutations of the AU-rich regions within the footprint were consistent with this finding. In a tissue array containing 256 ovarian and fallopian tube cancer specimens, we found that GAPDH was regulated in these cancers, with almost 50% of specimens having no GAPDH staining. Further, we found that low GAPDH staining was associated with a low CSF-1 score (p=.008). In summary, GAPDH, a multifunctional protein, now adds regulation of mRNA stability to its repertoire. We are the first to evaluate the clinical role of GAPDH protein in cancer. In ovarian cancers, we show that GAPDH expression is regulated, and we now recognize one of the many functions of GAPDH is to promote mRNA stability of CSF-1, an important cytokine in tumor progression.
PMCID: PMC2587019  PMID: 18708368
ovarian cancer; CSF-1; GAPDH; RNA stability; tissue microarray
5.  Nrf2 enhances resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs, the dark side of Nrf2 
Carcinogenesis  2008;29(6):1235-1243.
Drug resistance during chemotherapy is the major obstacle to the successful treatment of many cancers. Here, we report that inhibition of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) may be a promising strategy to combat chemoresistance. Nrf2 is a critical transcription factor regulating a cellular protective response that defends cells against toxic insults from a broad spectrum of chemicals. Under normal conditions, the low constitutive amount of Nrf2 protein is maintained by the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein1 (Keap1)-mediated ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation system. Upon activation, this Keap1-dependent Nrf2 degradation mechanism is quickly inactivated, resulting in accumulation and activation of the antioxidant response element (ARE)-dependent cytoprotective genes. Since its discovery, Nrf2 has been viewed as a ‘good’ transcription factor that protects us from many diseases. In this study, we demonstrate the dark side of Nrf2: stable overexpression of Nrf2 resulted in enhanced resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents including cisplatin, doxorubicin and etoposide. Inversely, downregulation of the Nrf2-dependent response by overexpression of Keap1 or transient transfection of Nrf2–small interfering RNA (siRNA) rendered cancer cells more susceptible to these drugs. Upregulation of Nrf2 by the small chemical tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) also enhanced the resistance of cancer cells, indicating the feasibility of using small chemical inhibitors of Nrf2 as adjuvants to chemotherapy to increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the strategy of using Nrf2 inhibitors to increase efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents is not limited to certain cancer types or anticancer drugs and thus can be applied during the course of chemotherapy to treat many cancer types.
PMCID: PMC3312612  PMID: 18413364

Results 1-5 (5)