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1.  Afatinib circumvents multidrug resistance via dually inhibiting ATP binding cassette subfamily G member 2 in vitro and in vivo 
Oncotarget  2014;5(23):11971-11985.
Multidrug resistance (MDR) to chemotherapeutic drugs is a formidable barrier to the success of cancer chemotherapy. Expressions of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters contribute to clinical MDR phenotype. In this study, we found that afatinib, a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) targeting EGFR, HER-2 and HER-4, reversed the chemoresistance mediated by ABCG2 in vitro, but had no effect on that mediated by multidrug resistance protein ABCB1 and ABCC1. In addition, afatinib, in combination with topotecan, significantly inhibited the growth of ABCG2-overexpressing cell xenograft tumors in vivo. Mechanistic investigations exhibited that afatinib significantly inhibited ATPase activity of ABCG2 and downregulated expression level of ABCG2, which resulted in the suppression of efflux activity of ABCG2 in parallel to the increase of intracellular accumulation of ABCG2 substrate anticancer agents. Taken together, our findings may provide a new and useful combinational therapeutic strategy of afatinib with chemotherapeutical drug for the patients with ABCG2 overexpressing cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC4322967  PMID: 25436978
Multidrug resistance; ABCG2; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; afatinib; combined chemotherapy
2.  Conventional empirical law reverses in the phase transitions of 122-type iron-based superconductors 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7172.
Phase transition of solid-state materials is a fundamental research topic in condensed matter physics, materials science and geophysics. It has been well accepted and widely proven that isostructural compounds containing different cations undergo same pressure-induced phase transitions but at progressively lower pressures as the cation radii increases. However, we discovered that this conventional law reverses in the structural transitions in 122-type iron-based superconductors. In this report, a combined low temperature and high pressure X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurement has identified the phase transition curves among the tetragonal (T), orthorhombic (O) and the collapsed-tetragonal (cT) phases in the structural phase diagram of the iron-based superconductor AFe2As2 (A = Ca, Sr, Eu, and Ba). The cation radii dependence of the phase transition pressure (T → cT) shows an opposite trend in which the compounds with larger ambient radii cations have a higher transition pressure.
doi:10.1038/srep07172
PMCID: PMC4241531  PMID: 25417655
3.  Methylation-associated silencing of MicroRNA-335 contributes tumor cell invasion and migration by interacting with RASA1 in gastric cancer 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function as endogenous silencers of target genes, previous studies have shown that miR-335 play an important role in suppressing metastasis and migration in human cancer including gastric cancer (GC). However, the mechanisms which result in aberrant expression of miR-335 in GC are still unknown. Recent studies have shown that the silencing of some miRNAs is associated with DNA hypermethylation. In this study, we find the promoter of miR-335 we embedded in CpG island by accessing to bioinformatics data and the low expression of miR-335 in 5 gastric cell lines can be restored by 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) treatment. So we postulated that the miR-335 genes undergo epigenetic inactivation in GC. Subsequently, in GC cells and tissues, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (RTQ-PCR) to assess the expression of miR-335, and methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and bisulfite sequence-PCR (BSP) to evaluate the DNA methylation status in the CpG islands upstream of MiR-335. The result showed that the expression of miR-335 was significantly reduce in gastric cancer cell lines and tumor tissues compared to matched normal gastric tissues, and cell lines, and which is inverse correlation with DNA hypermethylation of miR-335 both in GC cells lines and tissues, but not in normal tissues. In addition, we found that the lower miR-335 expression induced by abnormal methylation may be mainly involved in gastric cell invasion and metastasis in GC tissues. No statistical significance was found about miR-335 expression and methylation level between healthy individuals with and without H. pylori (HP) infection. Finally, we carry out miRNA transfection, RTQ-PCR and western blot assay to find the RAS p21 protein activator (GTPase activating protein) 1 (RASA1) may be the possible target genes which lead to the gastric cell invasion and metastasis, furthermore, the re-expression of endogenous miR-335 by 5-Aza-dC treatment can exert effects similar to exogenous miRNAs transfection. Taken together, our results suggest that miR-335 may be silenced by promoter hypermethylation and play important roles in gastric cell invasion and metastasis through its target genes, such as RASA1. Its methylation level might be a predictive epigenetic marker of GC and remodeling on the expression by demethylation can provided a potential therapeutic strategy.
PMCID: PMC4266701  PMID: 25520857
MiR-335; methylation; gastric carcinoma; Cancer metastasis; cancer invasion; RASA1
4.  Reporting Quality of Systematic Reviews/Meta-Analyses of Acupuncture 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113172.
Background
The QUOROM and PRISMA statements were published in 1999 and 2009, respectively, to improve the consistency of reporting systematic reviews (SRs)/meta-analyses (MAs) of clinical trials. However, not all SRs/MAs adhere completely to these important standards. In particular, it is not clear how well SRs/MAs of acupuncture studies adhere to reporting standards and which reporting criteria are generally ignored in these analyses.
Objectives
To evaluate reporting quality in SRs/MAs of acupuncture studies.
Methods
We performed a literature search for studies published prior to 2014 using the following public archives: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) database, the Chinese Journal Full-text Database (CJFD), the Chinese Scientific Journal Full-text Database (CSJD), and the Wanfang database. Data were extracted into pre-prepared Excel data-extraction forms. Reporting quality was assessed based on the PRISMA checklist (27 items).
Results
Of 476 appropriate SRs/MAs identified in our search, 203, 227, and 46 were published in Chinese journals, international journals, and the Cochrane Database, respectively. In 476 SRs/MAs, only 3 reported the information completely. By contrast, approximately 4.93% (1/203), 8.81% (2/227) and 0.00% (0/46) SRs/Mas reported less than 10 items in Chinese journals, international journals and CDSR, respectively. In general, the least frequently reported items (reported≤50%) in SRs/MAs were “protocol and registration”, “risk of bias across studies”, and “additional analyses” in both methods and results sections.
Conclusions
SRs/MAs of acupuncture studies have not comprehensively reported information recommended in the PRISMA statement. Our study underscores that, in addition to focusing on careful study design and performance, attention should be paid to comprehensive reporting standards in SRs/MAs on acupuncture studies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113172
PMCID: PMC4232579  PMID: 25397774
5.  New β-phospholactam as a carbapenem transition state analog: synthesis of a broad-spectrum inhibitor of metallo-β-lactamases 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters  2013;23(21):10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.08.098.
In an effort to test whether a transition state analog is an inhibitor of the metallo-β-lactamases, a phospholactam analog of carbapenem has been synthesized and characterized. The phospholactam 1 proved to be a weak, time-dependent inhibitor of IMP-1 (70%), CcrA (70%), L1 (70%), NDM-1 (53%), and Bla2 (94%) at an inhibitor concentration of 100 µM. The phospholactam 1 activated ImiS and BcII at the same concentration. Docking studies were used to explain binding and to offer suggestions for modifications to the phospholactam scaffold to improve binding affinities.
doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.08.098
PMCID: PMC3833270  PMID: 24064498
6.  Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Evaluation of Elosulfase Alfa, an Enzyme Replacement Therapy in Patients with Morquio A Syndrome 
Clinical Pharmacokinetics  2014;53(12):1137-1147.
Background and Objectives
Morquio A syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis IVA; MPS IVA) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfatase, an enzyme required for degradation of the glycosaminoglycan keratan sulfate. Enzyme replacement therapy with elosulfase alfa provides a potential therapy for Morquio A syndrome. We analyzed the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of elosulfase alfa in Morquio A patients from a phase III clinical trial.
Methods
In a randomized double-blind study, elosulfase alfa at 2.0 mg/kg was administrated weekly or every other week for 24 weeks. Pharmacokinetic parameters of elosulfase alfa were determined at weeks 0 and 22 by non-compartmental analysis. Safety was assessed throughout the study. The relationship of pharmacokinetic parameters to patient demographics, pharmacodynamic assessments, immunogenicity, and efficacy and safety outcomes were assessed graphically by treatment group.
Results
Elosulfase alfa exposure and half-life (t½) increased for both dose regimens during the study. There appeared to be no consistent trend between drug clearance (CL) and patient’s sex, race, body weight, or age. All patients developed anti-drug antibodies, but no association was noted between total antibody titer and CL. In contrast, positive neutralizing antibody (NAb) status appeared to associate with decreased CL and prolonged t½ for patients in the cohort dosed weekly. NAb may interfere with receptor-mediated cellular uptake and lead to increased circulation time of elosulfase alfa.
Conclusion
Despite the association between NAb and decreased drug clearance, neither dosing cohort showed associations between drug exposure and change in urinary keratan sulfate, 6-min walk test distances, or the occurrence of adverse events.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40262-014-0173-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s40262-014-0173-y
PMCID: PMC4243006  PMID: 25234648
7.  Regulation of pre-natal circle of Willis assembly by vascular smooth muscle Notch signaling 
Developmental biology  2013;381(1):107-120.
The circle of Willis (cW) is a major arterial collateral structure interconnecting hemispheric circulation within the brain, and in humans, anatomical variation of the cW is linked to stroke risk. Our prior studies in adult mice deficient in vascular smooth muscle cell (vSMC) Notch signaling revealed altered cerebroarterial maturation and patterning, including an anatomically incompetent cW similar to human variants. However, a developmental dependency on Notch signaling for cW formation in this model remained uncharacterized. Through temporospatial embryonic analyses, we now demonstrate that cW assembly is a pre-natal process highly sensitive to vSMC Notch signals, whose absence results in delayed nascent vascular plexus formation and under-development of the cW including the key anterior communicating artery (AComA) interconnecting anterior forebrain circulation. Mutant embryos additionally feature reduced vSMC coverage, non-uniform calibers and asymmetric branching at bifurcations of the major proximal cerebral arteries. At the cellular level, a notable reduction in vascular endothelial cell proliferation exists in the region of AComA assembly despite the presence of Vegfa. Furthermore, Notch signaling-deficient vSMCs in developing cerebral vessels feature reduced Pdgfrβ and Jagged1 levels and impaired proliferation. These collective findings in the embryonic brain support studies in adult animals demonstrating a reliance on intact vSMC Notch signaling for optimal neovascular responses to angiogenic stimuli. Importantly, the new data provide unique insights into the native formation of the cW and underscore a pioneering developmental role for vSMC Notch signaling in regulating temporospatial assembly of the clinically relevant cW.
doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.06.007
PMCID: PMC3805056  PMID: 23769842
Notch signaling; angiogenesis; vascular smooth muscle cell; circle of Willis
8.  Phenotypic Modulation of Corpus Cavernosum Smooth Muscle Cells in a Rat Model of Cavernous Neurectomy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105186.
Background
Patients undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP) are at high risk for erectile dysfunction (ED) due to potential cavernous nerve (CN) damage during surgery. Penile hypoxia after RP is thought to significantly contribute to ED pathogenesis.
Aim
We previously showed that corpora cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CCSMCs) undergo phenotypic modulation under hypoxic conditions in vitro. Here, we studied such changes in an in vivo post-RP ED model by investigating CCSMCs in bilateral cavernous neurectomy (BCN) rats.
Methods
Sprague-Dawley rats underwent sham (n = 12) or BCN (n = 12) surgery. After 12 weeks, they were injected with apomorphine to determine erectile function. The penile tissues were harvested and assessed for fibrosis using Masson trichrome staining and for molecular markers of phenotypic modulation using immunohistochemistry and western blotting. CCSMC morphological structure was evaluated by hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) staining and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
Results
Erectile function was significantly lower in BCN rats than in sham rats. BCN increased hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and collagen protein expression in corpora cavernous tissue. H&E staining and TEM showed that CCSMCs in BCN rats underwent hypertrophy and showed rough endoplasmic reticulum formation. The expression of CCSMC phenotypic markers, such as smooth muscle α-actin, smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, and desmin, was markedly lower, whereas vimentin protein expression was significantly higher in BCN rats than in control rats.
Conclusions
CCSMCs undergo phenotype modulation in rats with cavernous neurectomy. The results have unveiled physiological transformations that occur at the cellular and molecular levels and have helped characterize CN injury–induced ED.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105186
PMCID: PMC4134279  PMID: 25127037
10.  Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T gene polymorphism and essential hypertension: A meta-analysis of 10,415 subjects 
Biomedical Reports  2014;2(5):699-708.
The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism has been suggested to be associated with the risk of essential hypertension (EH), however, results remain inconclusive. To investigate this association, the present meta-analysis of 27 studies including 5,418 cases and 4,997 controls was performed. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and its corresponding 95% confidence interval were calculated using the random-effects model. A significant association between the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism and EH was found under the allelic (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.20–1.45; P=0.000), dominant (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.25–1.55; P=0.000), recessive (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.18–1.62; P=0.000), homozygote (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.32–1.92; P=0.000), and heterozygote (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.20–1.45; P=0.000) genetic models. A strong association was also revealed in subgroups, including Asian, Caucasian and Chinese. The Japanese subgroup did not show any significant association under all models. Meta-regression analyses suggested that the study design was a potential source of heterogeneity, whereas the subgroup analysis additionally indicated that the population origin may also be an explanation. Another subgroup analysis revealed that hospital-based studies have a stronger association than population-based studies, however, the former suffered a greater heterogeneity. Funnel plot and Egger’s test manifested no evidence of publication bias. In conclusion, the present study supports the evidence for the association between the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism and EH in the whole population, as well as in subgroups, such as Asian, Caucasian and Chinese. The carriers of the 677T allele are susceptible to EH.
doi:10.3892/br.2014.302
PMCID: PMC4106611  PMID: 25054014
methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; meta-analysis; essential hypertension; gene polymorphism
11.  Toll-Like Receptor 4 Mediates Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion in Smooth Muscle Cells Induced by Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e95935.
Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL)-regulated secretion of inflammatory cytokines in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is regarded as an important step in the progression of atherosclerosis; however, its underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated the role of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in oxLDL-induced expression of inflammatory cytokines in SMCs both in vivo and in vitro. We found that the levels of TLR4, interleukin 1-β (IL1-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression were increased in the SMCs of atherosclerotic plaques in patients with femoral artery stenosis. In cultured primary arterial SMCs from wild type mice, oxLDL caused dose- and time-dependent increase in the expression levels of TLR4 and cytokines. These effects were significantly weakened in arterial SMCs derived from TLR4 knockout mice (TLR4−/−). Moreover, the secretion of inflammatory cytokines was blocked by TLR4-specific antibodies in primary SMCs. Ox-LDL induced activation of p38 and NFκB was also inhibited in TLR4−/− primary SMCs or when treated with TLR4-specific antibodies. These results demonstrated that TLR4 is a crucial mediator in oxLDL-induced inflammatory cytokine expression and secretion, and p38 and NFκB activation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095935
PMCID: PMC3995878  PMID: 24755612
12.  Epicardial HIF signaling regulates vascular precursor cell invasion into the myocardium 
Developmental biology  2013;376(2):136-149.
During cardiogenesis, a subset of epicardial cells undergoes epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT) and the resulting epicardial derived cells (EPDCs) contribute to the formation of coronary vessels. Our previous data showed hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression at specific sites within the epicardium and support a link between hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) and the patterning of coronary vasculogenesis. To better understand the autocrine role of HIFs in the epicardium, we transduced adenovirus mediated expression of constitutively active HIF-1α (AdcaHIF1α) into the embryonic avian epicardium where the vascular precursors reside. We found that introducing caHIF1α into the epicardial mesothelium prevented EPDCs from proper migration into the myocardium. In vitro collagen gel assays and ex vivo organ culture data further confirmed that infection with AdcaHIF1α impaired the ability of EPDCs to invade. However, the proficiency of epicardial cells to undergo EMT was enhanced while the movement of EPDCs within the sub-epicardium and their differentiation into smooth muscle cells were not disrupted by caHIF1α. We also showed that the transcript level of Flt-1 (VEGFR1), which can act as a VEGF signaling inhibitor, increased several fold after introducing caHIF1α into epicardial cells. Blocking the activation of the VEGF pathway in epicardial cells recapitulated the inhibition of EPDC invasion. These results suggest that caHIF1α mediated up-regulation of Flt-1, which blocks the activation of the VEGF pathway, is responsible for the inhibition of EPDC myocardial migration. In conclusion, our studies demonstrate that HIF signaling potentially regulates the degree of epicardial EMT and the extent of EPDC migration into the myocardium, both of which are likely critical in patterning the coronary vasculature during early cardiac vasculogenesis. These signals could explain why the larger coronaries appear and remain on the epicardial surface.
doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.01.026
PMCID: PMC3602346  PMID: 23384563
Epithelial to mesenchymal transformation; Hypoxia inducible factor; Vascular growth factor; Epicardium; Invasion
13.  DNA methylation study of fetus genome through a genome-wide analysis 
BMC Medical Genomics  2014;7:18.
Background
DNA methylation is a crucial epigenetic modification of the genome which is involved in embryonic development, transcription, chromatin structure, X chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting and chromosome stability. Consistent with these important roles, DNA methylation has been demonstrated to be required for vertebrate early embryogenesis and essential for regulating temporal and spatial expression of genes controlling cell fate and differentiation. Further studies have shown that abnormal DNA methylation is associated with human diseases including the embryonic development diseases. We attempt to study the DNA methylation status of CpG islands in fetus related to fetus growth and development.
Methods
GeneChip® Human Tiling 2.0R Array set is used for analysis of methylated DNA in a whole-genome wide in 8 pairs amniotic fluid and maternal blood DNA samples.
Results
We found 1 fetus hypermethylation DNA markers and 4 fetus hypomethylation DNA markers though a Genome-wide analysis. These DNA markers all found to be associated with the critical genes for fetus growth and development (SH2D3C gene, EML3 gene, TRIM71 gene, HOXA3 gene and HOXA5 gene).
Conclusions
These genes can be used as a biomarker for association studying of embryonic development, pathological pregnancy and so on. The present study has provided new and fundamental insights into the roles that DNA methylation has in embryonic development and in the pathological pregnancy.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-7-18
PMCID: PMC3996908  PMID: 24731722
DNA methylation; Fetus; GeneChip® human tiling 2.0R array set; Clone sequencing; Embryonic development
14.  Characterization of Constitutive Promoters for piggyBac Transposon-Mediated Stable Transgene Expression in Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94397.
Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can undergo self-renewal and give rise to multi-lineages under given differentiation cues. It is frequently desirable to achieve a stable and high level of transgene expression in MSCs in order to elucidate possible molecular mechanisms through which MSC self-renewal and lineage commitment are regulated. Retroviral or lentiviral vector-mediated gene expression in MSCs usually decreases over time. Here, we choose to use the piggyBac transposon system and conduct a systematic comparison of six commonly-used constitutive promoters for their abilities to drive RFP or firefly luciferase expression in somatic HEK-293 cells and MSC iMEF cells. The analyzed promoters include three viral promoters (CMV, CMV-IVS, and SV40), one housekeeping gene promoter (UbC), and two composite promoters of viral and housekeeping gene promoters (hEFH and CAG-hEFH). CMV-derived promoters are shown to drive the highest transgene expression in HEK-293 cells, which is however significantly reduced in MSCs. Conversely, the composite promoter hEFH exhibits the highest transgene expression in MSCs whereas its promoter activity is modest in HEK-293 cells. The reduced transgene expression driven by CMV promoters in MSCs may be at least in part caused by DNA methylation, or to a lesser extent histone deacetlyation. However, the hEFH promoter is not significantly affected by these epigenetic modifications. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the hEFH composite promoter may be an ideal promoter to drive long-term and high level transgene expression using the piggyBac transposon vector in progenitor cells such as MSCs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094397
PMCID: PMC3979777  PMID: 24714676
15.  Comparison of the efficacy and safety of denosumab versus bisphosphonates in breast cancer and bone metastases treatment: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(6):1997-2002.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in females worldwide. Patients with breast cancer and bone metastases may experience increased osteoclast activity, resulting in local bone destruction and skeletal complications, including pain, hypercalcemia and skeletal-related events. Intravenous bisphosphonates (BPs) are the standard treatment administered to patients with breast cancer and bone metastases to prevent skeletal-related events. However, in certain patients, BPs may cause renal toxicity, acute-phase reactions and osteonecrosis of the jaw. More effective, safer and more tolerable therapies, which prevent bone destruction and skeletal complications, are required in order to improve patient quality of life. Denosumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to and neutralizes receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, which is a key mediator in the pathogenesis of a broad range of skeletal diseases, thereby inhibiting osteoclast function and bone resorption. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to compare both the safety and efficacy of denosumab and BPs in the treatment of breast cancer and bone metastases. Five databases, two clinical trial registry platforms and reference lists of relevant papers were analyzed. The meta-analysis concluded that denosumab was more effective at preventing pain and skeletal-related events than BPs, in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases. Patients receiving denosumab demonstrated a higher level of clinical improvement in terms of health-related quality of life than patients receiving BPs. Compared with BPs, denosumab reduced the incidence of certain indicators of adverse events, including pyrexia, bone pain, edema and renal failure.
doi:10.3892/ol.2014.1982
PMCID: PMC4049725  PMID: 24932278
denosumab; bisphosphonates; meta-analysis; breast cancer; bone metastases
16.  pH-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles employed in controlled drug delivery systems for cancer treatment 
Cancer Biology & Medicine  2014;11(1):34-43.
In the fight against cancer, controlled drug delivery systems have emerged to enhance the therapeutic efficacy and safety of anti-cancer drugs. Among these systems, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with a functional surface possess obvious advantages and were thus rapidly developed for cancer treatment. Many stimuli-responsive materials, such as nanoparticles, polymers, and inorganic materials, have been applied as caps and gatekeepers to control drug release from MSNs. This review presents an overview of the recent progress in the production of pH-responsive MSNs based on the pH gradient between normal tissues and the tumor microenvironment. Four main categories of gatekeepers can respond to acidic conditions. These categories will be described in detail.
doi:10.7497/j.issn.2095-3941.2014.01.003
PMCID: PMC3969802  PMID: 24738037
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles; pH-responsive; controlled drug release; drug delivery systems; antineoplastic protocols
17.  Quantification of EGFR mutations in primary and metastatic tumors in non-small cell lung cancer 
Background
EGFR mutation detection has been widely applied in the prediction of TKIs therapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Metastatic tumors rather than primary tumors were usually assayed for those patients in advanced stages. Although the difference of EGFR mutation status in primary and metastatic tumors has been reported, the quantitative difference (ratio of mutated EGFR among total EGFR) in primary and metastatic tumors as well as in different sites of primary tumors was not clear.
Methods
Genomic DNA in Formalin Fixed-Paraffin Embedded samples of primary and metastatic tumors of 50 NSCLC patients was extracted. Real-time fluorescent PCR was performed to quantify the EGFR mutation ratios.
Results
The EGFR mutation ratios detected in different sites of primary tumors were highly concordant, whereas the EGFR mutation ratios in metastatic tumors were lower than those in primary tumors.
Conclusions
Randomly chosen sample may reliably represent the type and ratio of mutations of EGFR in primary tumors. EGFR mutation ratios in primary tumors and metastatic tumors are different. If metastatic tumors are used for the detection of EGFR mutation, the sensitivity of the detection assay must be considered.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-33-5
PMCID: PMC3892091  PMID: 24398248
Non-small cell lung cancer; EGFR mutations; Primary tumors; Metastatic tumors; Quantification
18.  Increase of ADAM10 Level in Coronary Artery In-Stent Restenosis Segments in Diabetic Minipigs: High ADAM10 Expression Promoting Growth and Migration in Human Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells via Notch 1 and 3 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83853.
Background
This study aimed to identify major proteins in the pathogenesis of coronary artery in-stent restenosis (ISR) in diabetic minipigs with sirolimus-eluting stenting, and to investigate the roles of key candidate molecules, particularly ADAM10, in human arterial smooth muscle cells (HASMCs).
Methods and Results
The stents were implanted in the coronary arteries of 15 diabetic and 26 non-diabetic minipigs, and angiography was repeated at six months. The intima of one vascular segment with significant ISR and one with non-ISR in diabetic minipigs were isolated and cultured in conditioned medium (CM). The CM was analyzed by LC-MS/MS to uncover proteins whose levels were significantly increased (≥1.5-fold) in ISR than in non-ISR tissues. After literature searching, we focused on the identified proteins, whose biological functions were most potentially related to ISR pathophysiology. Among them, ADAM10 was significantly increased in diabetic and non-diabetic ISR tissues as compared with non-ISR controls. In cell experiments, retrovirus-mediated overexpression of ADAM10 promoted growth and migration of HASMCs. The effects of ADAM10 were more remarkable in high-glucose culture than in low-glucose culture. Using shRNA and an inhibitor of γ-secretase (GSI), we found that the influences of ADAM10 were in part mediated by Notch1 and notch 3 pathway, which up-regulated Notch downstream genes and enhanced nuclear translocation of the small intracellular component of Notch1 and Notch3.
Conclusions
This study has identified significantly increased expression of ADAM10 in the ISR versus non-ISR segment in diabetic minipigs and implicates ADAM10 in the enhanced neointimal formation observed in diabetes after vascular injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083853
PMCID: PMC3873985  PMID: 24386293
19.  Integrated Analysis of Long Noncoding RNA and Coding RNA Expression in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Tumorigenesis is a complex dynamic biological process that includes multiple steps of genetic and epigenetic alterations, aberrant expression of noncoding RNA, and changes in the expression profiles of coding genes. We call the collection of those perturbations in genome space the “cancer initiatome.” Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are pervasively transcribed in the genome and they have key regulatory functions in chromatin remodeling and gene expression. Spatiotemporal variation in the expression of lncRNAs has been observed in development and disease states, including cancer. A few dysregulated lncRNAs have been studied in cancers, but the role of lncRNAs in the cancer initiatome remains largely unknown, especially in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a genome-wide screen of the expression of lncRNAs and coding RNAs from ESCC and matched adjacent nonneoplastic normal tissues. We identified differentially expressed lncRNAs and coding RNAs in ESCC relative to their matched normal tissue counterparts and validated the result using polymerase chain reaction analysis. Furthermore, we identified differentially expressed lncRNAs that are co-located and co-expressed with differentially expressed coding RNAs in ESCC and the results point to a potential interaction between lncRNAs and neighboring coding genes that affect ether lipid metabolism, and the interaction may contribute to the development of ESCC. These data provide compelling evidence for a potential novel genomic biomarker of esophageal squamous cell cancer.
doi:10.1155/2013/480534
PMCID: PMC3814080  PMID: 24222893
20.  Inhibition of ARNT severely compromises endothelial cell viability and function in response to moderate hypoxia 
Angiogenesis  2012;15(3):409-420.
Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) is a master heterodimeric transcriptional regulator of oxygen (O2) homeostasis critical to proper angiogenic responses. Due to the distinctive coexpression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α subunits in endothelial cells, our goal was to examine the genetic elimination of HIF transcriptional activity in response to physiological hypoxic conditions by using a genetic model in which the required HIF-β subunit (ARNT, Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator) to HIF transcriptional responses was depleted. Endothelial cells (ECs) and aortic explants were isolated from ArntloxP/loxP mice and infected with Adenovirus -Cre/GFP or control -GFP. We observed that moderate levels of 2.5% O2 promoted vessel sprouting, growth, and branching in control aortic ring assays while growth from Adenovirus -Cre infected explants was compromised. Primary Adenovirus -Cre infected EC cultures featured adverse migration and tube formation phenotypes. Primary pulmonary or cardiac ARNT-deleted ECs also failed to proliferate and survive in response to 8 or 2.5% O2 and hydrogen peroxide treatment. Our data demonstrates that ARNT promotes EC migration and vessel outgrowth and indispensible for the proliferation and preservation of ECs in response to the physiological environmental cue of hypoxia. Thus, these results demonstrate that ARNT plays a critical intrinsic role in ECs and support a critical role for the collaboration of HIF-1 and HIF-2 transcriptional activity in these cells.
doi:10.1007/s10456-012-9269-x
PMCID: PMC3661274  PMID: 22484908
Angiogenesis; ARNT; HIF; physiological hypoxia; endothelium
21.  Altered Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha expression levels correlate with coronary vessel anomalies 
The outflow tract myocardium and other regions corresponding to the location of the major coronary vessels of the developing chicken heart, display a high level of hypoxia as assessed by the hypoxia indicator EF5. The EF5 positive tissues were also specifically positive for nuclear-localized hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), the oxygen-sensitive component of the hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) heterodimer. This led to our hypothesis that there is a “template” of hypoxic tissue that determines the stereotyped pattern of the major coronary vessels. In this study we disturbed this template by altering ambient oxygen levels (hypoxia 15%; hyperoxia 75-40%) during the early phases of avian coronary vessel development, in order to alter tissue hypoxia, HIF-1α protein expression and its downstream target genes without high mortality. We also altered HIF-1α gene expression in the embryonic outflow tract cardiomyocytes by injecting an adenovirus containing a constitutively active form of HIF-1α (AdCA5). We assayed for coronary anomalies using anti-alpha-smooth muscle actin immunohistology. When incubated under abnormal oxygen levels or injected with a low titer of the AdCA5, coronary arteries displayed deviations from their normal proximal connections to the aorta. These deviations were similar to known clinical anomalies of coronary arteries. These findings indicated that developing coronary vessels may be subject to a level of regulation that is dependent on differential oxygen levels within cardiac tissues and subsequent HIF-1 regulation of gene expression.
doi:10.1002/dvdy.22089
PMCID: PMC3724469  PMID: 19777592
22.  Early efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy combined with adoptive immunotherapy for advanced malignancies 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;1(5):925-929.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) concentrates radiation to a predefined target, affecting all the cells within it. Adoptive immunotherapy is not restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in recognizing and eliminating target cells. We investigated the effects of the combined modality of SBRT and adoptive immunotherapy on patients with advanced malignant tumors. The database of 316 patients with 845 tumors who underwent SBRT between April, 2010 and February, 2012 was retrospectively reviewed. Of the 316 patients, 145 received biological immunotherapy and were assigned into the observation group, whereas the remaining patients constituted the control group. Patients in the two groups were recorded on efficacy assessment, Karnofsky performance status (KPS), cell phenotype expression level in vitro and the percentages of lymphocyte subsets and ratio of CD4+/CD8+ lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. Following treatment, the total effectiveness [complete response (CR) + partial response (PR)], the KPS score, the percentages of lymphocyte subsets and the CD4+/CD8+ lymphocyte ratio in the observation group were higher compared to those in the control group, with a statistically significant difference (P<0.05). The expression of CD3+ and CD3+CD56+ cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells were increased from 56.76±4.54% and 11.32±2.96% to 94.67±4.46% and 32.65±1.12%, respectively, when cultured in vitro (P<0.01). The percentages of lymphocyte subsets and the CD4+/CD8+ lymphocyte ratio were significantly increased compared to prior to treatment in the observation group (P<0.05). SBRT combined with adoptive immunotherapy may be a novel therapeutic option for patients with advanced malignant tumors.
doi:10.3892/mco.2013.157
PMCID: PMC3915675  PMID: 24649272
CyberKnife; cytokine-induced killer; optimal treatment; advanced malignant tumor; combined modality
23.  Expression of lymphatic markers during avian and mouse cardiogenesis 
The adult heart has been reported to have an extensive lymphatic system, yet the development of this important system during cardiogenesis is still largely unexplored. The nuclear-localized transcription factor Prox-1 identified a sheet of Prox-1-positive cells on the developing aorta and pulmonary trunk in avian and murine embryos just prior to septation of the four heart chambers. The cells coalesced into a branching lymphatic network that spread within the epicardium to cover the heart. These vessels eventually expressed the lymphatic markers LYVE-1, VEGFR-3, and podoplanin. Before the Prox-1-positive cells were detected in the mouse epicardium, LYVE-1, a homologue of the CD44 glycoprotein, was primarily expressed in individual epicardial cells. Similar staining patterns were observed for CD44 in avian embryos. The proximity of these LYVE-1/CD44-positive mesenchymal cells to Prox-1-positive vessels suggests that they may become incorporated into the lymphatics. Unexpectedly, we detected LYVE-1/PECAM/VEGFR-3-positive vessels within the embryonic and adult myocardium which remained Prox-1/podoplanin-negative. Lymphatic markers were surprisingly found in adult rat and embryonic mouse epicardial cell lines, with Prox-1 also exhibiting nuclear-localized expression in primary cultures of embryonic avian epicardial cells. Our data identified three types of cells in the embryonic heart expressing lymphatic markers: (1) Prox-1-positive cells from an extracardiac source that migrate within the serosa of the outflow tract into the epicardium of the developing heart, (2) individual LYVE-1-positive cells in the epicardium that may be incorporated into the Prox-1-positive lymphatic vasculature, and (3) LYVE-1-positive cells/vessels in the myocardium that do not become Prox-1-positive even in the adult heart.
doi:10.1002/ar.21043
PMCID: PMC3607319  PMID: 19938109
lymphatics; heart; Prox-1; LYVE-1; VEGFR-3; epicardium
25.  Wnt10b Promotes Differentiation of Mouse Hair Follicle Melanocytes 
Previous research has revealed that Wnt10b activates canonical Wnt signaling, which is integral to melanocyte differentiation in hair follicles (HFs). However, the function of Wnt10b in HF melanocytes remains poorly understood. We determined using Dct-LacZ transgenic mice that Wnt10b is mainly expressed near and within melanocytes of the hair bulbs during the anagen stage of the hair cycle. We also found that Wnt10b promotes an increase in melanocyte maturation and pigmentation in the hair bulbs of the mouse HF. To further explore the potential functions of Wnt10b in mouse HF melanocytes, we infected iMC23 cells with Ad-Wnt10b to overexpress Wnt10b. We demonstrated that Wnt10b promotes the differentiation of melanocytes by activating canonical Wnt signaling in melanocytes.
doi:10.7150/ijms.6170
PMCID: PMC3619118  PMID: 23569433
Wnt10b; Wnt/β-catenin signaling; Hair follicle; Melanocyte; Differentiation.

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