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1.  Knockdown of platinum-induced growth differentiation factor 15 abrogates p27-mediated tumor growth delay in the chemoresistant ovarian cancer model A2780cis 
Cancer Medicine  2014;4(2):253-267.
Molecular mechanisms underlying the development of resistance to platinum-based treatment in patients with ovarian cancer remain poorly understood. This is mainly due to the lack of appropriate in vivo models allowing the identification of resistance-related factors. In this study, we used human whole-genome microarrays and linear model analysis to identify potential resistance-related genes by comparing the expression profiles of the parental human ovarian cancer model A2780 and its platinum-resistant variant A2780cis before and after carboplatin treatment in vivo. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) was identified as one of five potential resistance-related genes in the A2780cis tumor model. Although A2780-bearing mice showed a strong carboplatin-induced increase of GDF15 plasma levels, the basal higher GDF15 plasma levels of A2780cis-bearing mice showed no further increase after short-term or long-term carboplatin treatment. This correlated with a decreased DNA damage response, enhanced AKT survival signaling and abrogated cell cycle arrest in the carboplatin-treated A2780cis tumors. Furthermore, knockdown of GDF15 in A2780cis cells did not alter cell proliferation but enhanced cell migration and colony size in vitro. Interestingly, in vivo knockdown of GDF15 in the A2780cis model led to a basal-enhanced tumor growth, but increased sensitivity to carboplatin treatment as compared to the control-transduced A2780cis tumors. This was associated with larger necrotic areas, a lobular tumor structure and increased p53 and p16 expression of the carboplatin-treated shGDF15-A2780cis tumors. Furthermore, shRNA-mediated GDF15 knockdown abrogated p27 expression as compared to control-transduced A2780cis tumors. In conclusion, these data show that GDF15 may contribute to carboplatin resistance by suppressing tumor growth through p27. These data show that GDF15 might serve as a novel treatment target in women with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC4329009  PMID: 25490861
AKT; GDF15; linear model analysis; ovarian cancer; platinum resistance
2.  Consumer neuroscience to inform consumers—physiological methods to identify attitude formation related to over-consumption and environmental damage 
PMCID: PMC4033014  PMID: 24904350
consumer neuroscience; emotion; attitude; objective measures; subjective measures; startle reflex modulation
3.  Structural Basis for Species Selectivity in the HIV-1 gp120-CD4 Interaction: Restoring Affinity to gp120 in Murine CD4 Mimetic Peptides 
Advances in Bioinformatics  2012;2011:736593.
The first step of HIV-1 infection involves interaction between the viral glycoprotein gp120 and the human cellular receptor CD4. Inhibition of the gp120-CD4 interaction represents an attractive strategy to block HIV-1 infection. In an attempt to explore the known lack of affinity of murine CD4 to gp120, we have investigated peptides presenting the putative gp120-binding site of murine CD4 (mCD4). Molecular modeling indicates that mCD4 protein cannot bind gp120 due to steric clashes, while the larger conformational flexibility of mCD4 peptides allows an interaction. This finding is confirmed by experimental binding assays, which also evidenced specificity of the peptide-gp120 interaction. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the mCD4-peptide stably interacts with gp120 via an intermolecular β-sheet, while an important salt-bridge formed by a C-terminal lysine is lost. Fixation of the C-terminus by introducing a disulfide bridge between the N- and C-termini of the peptide significantly enhanced the affinity to gp120.
PMCID: PMC3270550  PMID: 22312332

Results 1-3 (3)