AIM: To investigate the efficacy and potential mechanism of Xiaotan Tongfu granules (XTTF) in stress ulcers.
METHODS: One hundred sixty rats were randomly divided into 4 groups (n = 10) as follows: the model group (MP group), the control group (CP group), the ranitidine group (RP group) and the XTTF granule group (XP group). Rats in the MP group received no drugs, rats in the CP group received 0.2 mL of a 0.9% sodium chloride solution via oral gavage, and rats in the RP and XP groups received the same volume of ranitidine (50 mg/kg) or XTTF granule (4.9 g/kg). The cold-restraint stress model was applied to induce stress ulcers after 7 consecutive days of drug administration. Afterwards, rats were sacrificed at 0, 3, 6 and 24 h. Gastric pH was measured by a precise pH meter; gastric emptying rate (GER) was measured by using a methylcellulose test meal; myeloperoxidase activity (MPO), macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) were measured by immunohistochemical staining; and mucosal cell apoptosis was measured by transferase dUTP nick end labeling.
RESULTS: In the cold-restraint stress model, the development of stress ulcers peaked at 3 h and basically regressed after 24 h. Gastric lesions were significantly different in the RP and XP groups at each time point. Interestingly, although this index was much lower in the RP group than in the XP group immediately following stress induction (7.00 ± 1.10 vs 10.00 ± 1.79, P < 0.05. Concerning gastric pH, between the RP and XP groups, we detected a statistically significant difference immediately after stress induction (0 h: 4.56 ± 0.47 vs 3.34 ± 0.28, P < 0.05) but not at any of the subsequent time points. For GER, compared to the RP group, GER was remarkably elevated in the XP group because a statistically significant difference was detected (3 h: 46.84 ± 2.70 vs 61.16 ± 5.12, P < 0.05; 6 h: 60.96 ± 6.71 vs 73.41 ± 6.16, P < 0.05; 24 h: 77.47 ± 3.17 vs 91.31 ± 4.34, P < 0.05). With respect to MPO and MIF, comparisons between the RP and XP groups revealed statistically significant differences at 3 h (MPO: 18.94 ± 1.20 vs 13.51 ± 0.89, P < 0.05; MIF: 150.67 ± 9.85 vs 122.17 ± 5.67, P < 0.05) and 6 h (MPO: 13.22 ± 1.54 vs 8.83 ± 0.65, P < 0.05; MIF: 135.50 ± 9.46 vs 109.83 ± 6.40, P < 0.05). With regard to HSP70, HSP70 expression was significantly increased in the RP and XP groups at 3 and 6 h compared to the MP and CP groups. In addition, comparing the RP and XP groups also showed statistically significant differences at 3 and 6 h. The expression of PCNA was higher in the RP and XP groups 3 h after stress induction. Between these two groups, small but statistically significant differences were observed at all of the time points (3 h: 69.50 ± 21.52 vs 79.33 ± 15.68, P < 0.05; 6 h: 107.83 ± 4.40 vs 121.33 ± 5.71, P < 0.05; 24 h: 125.33 ± 5.65 vs 128.50 ± 14.49, P < 0.05) except 0 h. With regard to apoptosis, the apoptotic activity in the RP and XP groups was significantly different from that in the MP and CP groups. The XP group exhibited a higher inhibition of cell apoptosis than the RP group at 3 h (232.58 ± 24.51 vs 174.46 ± 10.35, P < 0.05) and 6 h (164.74 ± 18.31 vs 117.71 ± 12.08, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The Xiaotan Tongfu granule was demonstrated to be similar to ranitidine in preventing stress ulcers. It exhibited multiple underlying mechanisms and deserves further study.
Stress ulcer; Xiaotan Tongfu granule; Inflammation; Heat shock protein 70; Proliferation and apoptosis; Gastric emptying rate
Many oncology drugs are administered at their maximally tolerated dose without the knowledge of their optimal efficacious dose range. In this study, we describe a multifaceted approach that integrated preclinical and clinical data to identify the optimal dose for an antiangiogenesis agent, anti-EGFL7. EGFL7 is an extracellular matrix–associated protein expressed in activated endothelium. Recombinant EGFL7 protein supported EC adhesion and protected ECs from stress-induced apoptosis. Anti-EGFL7 antibodies inhibited both of these key processes and augmented anti-VEGF–mediated vascular damage in various murine tumor models. In a genetically engineered mouse model of advanced non–small cell lung cancer, we found that anti-EGFL7 enhanced both the progression-free and overall survival benefits derived from anti-VEGF therapy in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, we identified a circulating progenitor cell type that was regulated by EGFL7 and evaluated the response of these cells to anti-EGFL7 treatment in both tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients from a phase I clinical trial. Importantly, these preclinical efficacy and clinical biomarker results enabled rational selection of the anti-EGFL7 dose currently being tested in phase II clinical trials.
A γ-AApeptide-based tracer for positron emission tomography imaging of integrin αvβ3 is reported. Despite its shorter sequence and linear nature, this tracer had comparable integrin αvβ3 binding affinity as the cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid peptide but significantly higher resistance to enzymatic degradation and better stability.
Non-invasive and quantitative imaging of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) expression levels is highly important in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and patient management. Although various literature reports have investigated the tumor expression levels of VEGFR-2 using imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, targeted ultrasound, etc., accurate evaluation of the dynamic microdistribution of VEGFR-2 in vivo with good spatial and temporal resolution remains a major challenge. In this issue of the American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, He at al. reported the use of a VEGFR-2 targeted probe for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of VEGFR-2 in two glioma models in rats (i.e. C6 and RG2). The heterogeneity of VEGFR-2 expression was non-invasively imaged with MRI and validated with various in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo experiments. Not only was heterogeneous expression of VEGFR-2 found in different glioma tumors, it was also observed in different regions within the same tumor (e.g. tumor periphery, peri-necrotic area, and tumor interior). This report highlights the complex nature of gliomas, which may offer invaluable insights into tumor heterogeneity and potential clinical management of glioma patients. These patients have dismal clinical outcomes and are in urgent need of better tools to improve brain tumor treatment.
Molecular MRI (mMRI); glioma; tumor angiogenesis; VEGFR-2; molecular imaging
Graphene, with its excellent physical, chemical, and mechanical properties, holds tremendous potential for a wide variety of biomedical applications. As research on graphene-based nanomaterials is still at a nascent stage, due to the very short time span since its initial report in 2004, a focused review on this topic is timely and necessary. In this feature review, we first summarize the results from toxicity studies of graphene and its derivatives. Although literature reports have mixed findings, we emphasize that the key question is not how toxic graphene itself is, but how to modify and functionalize it and its derivatives so that they do not exhibit acute/chronic toxicity, can be cleared from the body over time, and thereby can be best used for biomedical applications. Next, we discuss in detail the exploration of graphene-based nanomaterials for tissue engineering, molecular imaging, and drug/gene delivery applications. The future of graphene-based nanomaterials in biomedicine looks brighter than ever, and it is expected that they will find a wide range of biomedical applications with future research effort and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Graphene; graphene oxide (GO); reduced graphene oxide (rGO); molecular imaging; tissue engineering; drug/gene delivery; positron emission tomography (PET); nanomedicine
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) due to mutations in genes encoding sarcomere proteins is most commonly inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Since nearly 50% of HCM cases occur in the absence of a family history, a recessive inheritance pattern may be involved.
A pedigree was identified with suspected autosomal recessive transmission of HCM. Twenty-six HCM-related genes were comprehensively screened for mutations in the proband with targeted second generation sequencing, and the identified mutation was confirmed with bi-directional Sanger sequencing in all family members and 376 healthy controls.
A novel missense mutation (c.1469G>T, p.Gly490Val) in exon 17 of MYBPC3 was identified. Two siblings with HCM were homozygous for this mutation, whereas other family members were either heterozygous or wild type. Clinical evaluation showed that both homozygotes manifested a typical HCM presentation, but none of others, including 5 adult heterozygous mutation carriers up to 71 years of age, had any clinical evidence of HCM.
Our data identified a MYBPC3 mutation in HCM, which appeared autosomal recessively inherited in this family. The absence of a family history of clinical HCM may be due to not only a de novo mutation, but also recessive mutations that failed to produce a clinical phenotype in heterozygous family members. Therefore, consideration of recessive mutations leading to HCM is essential for risk stratification and genetic counseling.
The goal of this study was to employ nano-graphene for tumor targeting in an animal tumor model, and quantitatively evaluate the pharmacokinetics and tumor targeting efficacy through positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using 66Ga as the radiolabel. Nano-graphene oxide (GO) sheets with covalently linked, amino group-terminated six-arm branched polyethylene glycol (PEG; 10 kDa) chains were conjugated to NOTA (1,4,7-triazacyclononane-1,4,7-triacetic acid, for 66Ga-labeling) and TRC105 (an antibody that binds to CD105). Flow cytometry analyses, size measurements, and serum stability studies were performed to characterize the GO conjugates before in vivo investigations in 4T1 murine breast tumor-bearing mice, which were further validated by histology. TRC105-conjugated GO was specific for CD105 in cell culture. 66Ga-NOTA-GO-TRC105 and 66Ga-NOTA-GO exhibited excellent stability in complete mouse serum. In 4T1 tumor-bearing mice, these GO conjugates were primarily cleared through the hepatobiliary pathway. 66Ga-NOTA-GO-TRC105 accumulated quickly in the 4T1 tumors and tumor uptake remained stable over time (3.8 ± 0.4, 4.5 ± 0.4, 5.8 ± 0.3, and 4.5 ± 0.4 %ID/g at 0.5, 3, 7, and 24 h post-injection respectively; n = 4). Blocking studies with unconjugated TRC105 confirmed CD105 specificity of 66Ga-NOTA-GO-TRC105, which was corroborated by biodistribution and histology studies. Furthermore, histological examination revealed that targeting of NOTA-GO-TRC105 is tumor vasculature CD105 specific with little extravasation. Successful demonstration of in vivo tumor targeting with GO, along with the versatile chemistry of graphene-based nanomaterials, makes them suitable nanoplatforms for future biomedical research such as cancer theranostics.
Graphene; 66Ga; CD105 (endoglin); positron emission tomography (PET); molecular imaging; tumor angiogenesis
High translocation speed of a DNA strand through a nanopore is a major bottleneck for nanopore detection of DNA molecules. Here, we choose MgCl2 electrolyte as salt solution to control DNA mobility. Experimental results demonstrate that the duration time for straight state translocation events in 1 M MgCl2 solution is about 1.3 ms which is about three times longer than that for the same DNA in 1 M KCl solution. This is because Mg2+ ions can effectively reduce the surface charge density of the negative DNA strands and then lead to the decrease of the DNA electrophoretic speed. It is also found that the Mg2+ ions can induce the DNA molecules binding together and reduce the probability of straight DNA translocation events. The nanopore with small diameter can break off the bound DNA strands and increase the occurrence probability of straight DNA translocation events.
Nanopore; DNA sequencing; Translocation speed
The goal of this study is to employ the HaloTag technology for positron emission tomography (PET), which involves two components: the HaloTag protein (a modified hydrolase which covalently binds to synthetic ligands) and HaloTag ligands (HTLs). 4T1 murine breast cancer cells were stably transfected to express HaloTag protein on the surface (termed as 4T1-HaloTag-ECS, ECS denotes extracellular surface). Two new HTLs were synthesized and termed NOTA-HTL2G-S and NOTA-HTL2G-L (2G indicates second generation, S stands for short, L stands for long, NOTA denotes 1,4,7-triazacyclononane-N,N’N’’-triacetic acid). Microscopy studies confirmed surface expression of HaloTag in 4T1-HaloTag-ECS cells, which specifically bind NOTA-HTL2G-S/L. Uptake of 64Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-L in 4T1-HaloTag-ECS tumors (4.3 ± 0.5, 4.1± 0.2, 4.0 ± 0.2, 2.3 ± 0.1, and 2.2 ± 0.1 %ID/g at 0.5, 3, 6, 18, and 24 h post-injection respectively; n = 4) was significantly higher than that in the 4T1 tumors (3.0 ± 0.3, 3.0± 0.1, 3.0 ± 0.2, 2.0 ± 0.4, and 2.4 ± 0.3 %ID/g at 0.5, 3, 6, 18, and 24 h post-injection respectively; n = 4) at early time points. In comparison, 64Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-S did not demonstrate significant uptake in either 4T1-HaloTag-ECS or 4T1 tumors. Blocking studies and autoradiography of tumor lysates confirmed that 64Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-L binds specifically to HaloTag protein in the 4T1-HaloTag-ECS tumors, corroborated by histology. HaloTag protein-specific targeting and PET imaging in vivo with 64Cu-NOTA-HTL2G-L serves as a proof-of-principle for future non-invasive and sensitive tracking of HaloTag-transfected cells with PET, as well as many other studies of gene/protein/cell function in vivo.
HaloTag; positron emission tomography (PET); reporter gene; 64Cu; cancer; molecular imaging
A multifunctional unimolecular micelle made of a hyperbranched amphiphilic block copolymer was designed, synthesized, and characterized for cancer-targeted drug delivery and non-invasive positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in tumor-bearing mice. The hyperbranched amphiphilic block copolymer, Boltorn® H40-poly(L-glutamate-hydrazone-doxorubicin)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (i.e., H40-P(LG-Hyd-DOX)-b-PEG), was conjugated with cyclo(Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Phe-Cys) peptides (cRGD, for integrin αvβ3 targeting) and macrocyclic chelators (1,4,7-triazacyclononane-N, N′, N″-triacetic acid [NOTA], for 64Cu-labeling and PET imaging) (i.e., H40-P(LG-Hyd-DOX)-b-PEG-OCH3/cRGD/NOTA, also referred to as H40-DOX-cRGD). The anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin (DOX) was covalently conjugated onto the hydrophobic segments of the amphiphilic block copolymer arms (i.e., PLG) via a pH-labile hydrazone linkage to enable pH-controlled drug release. The unimolecular micelles exhibited a uniform size distribution and pH-sensitive drug release behavior. cRGD-conjugated unimolecular micelles (i.e., H40-DOX-cRGD) exhibited a much higher cellular uptake in U87MG human glioblastoma cells due to integrin αvβ3-mediated endocytosis than non-targeted unimolecular micelles (i.e., H40-DOX), thereby leading to a significantly higher cytotoxicity. In U87MG tumor-bearing mice, H40-DOX-cRGD-64Cu also exhibited a much higher level of tumor accumulation than H40-DOX-64Cu, measured by non-invasive PET imaging and confirmed by biodistribution studies and ex vivo fluorescence imaging. We believe that unimolecular micelles formed by hyperbranched amphiphilic block copolymers that synergistically integrate passive and active tumor-targeting abilities with pH-controlled drug release and PET imaging capabilities provide the basis for future cancer theranostics.
Unimolecular micelles; Drug delivery; Theranostic nanocarriers; Hyperbranched amphiphilic block; copolymer; Positron emission tomography (PET); Cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (cRGD); peptide
Herein we demonstrate that nano-graphene can be specifically directed to the tumor neovasculature in vivo through targeting of CD105 (i.e. endoglin), a vascular marker for tumor angiogenesis. The covalently functionalized nano-graphene oxide (GO) exhibited excellent stability and target specificity. Pharmacokinetics and tumor targeting efficacy of the GO conjugates were investigated with serial non-invasive positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and biodistribution studies, which were validated by in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo experiments. The incorporation of an active targeting ligand (TRC105, a monoclonal antibody that binds to CD105) led to significantly improved tumor uptake of functionalized GO, which was specific for the neovasculature with little extravasation, warranting future investigation of these GO conjugates for cancer-targeted drug delivery and/or photothermal therapy to enhance therapeutic efficacy. Since poor extravasation is a major hurdle for nanomaterial-based tumor targeting in vivo, this study also establishes CD105 as a promising vascular target for future cancer nanomedicine.
Nano-graphene; tumor angiogenesis; positron emission tomography (PET); CD105 (endoglin); molecular imaging; 64Cu; cancer
The livertaxis of glycyrrhizic acid-conjugated bovine serum albumin (GL-BSA) has been reported in the literature. Now, in this paper, we describe a novel type of drug-targeted delivery system containing 10-hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT) with liver tumor targeting.
First, GL was coupled to BSA then HCPT was encapsulated in GL-BSA by high-pressure homogenization emulsification. In the experimental design, the influencing variables on particle size and drug loading efficiency were determined to be BSA concentration, volume ratio of water to organic phase, and speed and speed duration of homogenization as well as homogenization pressure and the number of times homogenized at certain pressures. Particle size plays an important role in screening optimal conditions of nanoparticles preparation. Characteristics of 10-hydroxycamptothecin-loaded glycyrrhizic acid-conjugated bovine serum albumin nanoparticles (GL-BSA-HCPT-NPs), such as the drug encapsulation efficiency, drug loading efficiency, and GL-BSA content were studied. In addition, the morphology of the nanoparticles (NPs) and weight loss rate were determined and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy, and thermal analysis performed.
The average particle size of the sample NPs prepared under optimal conditions was 157.5 nm and the zeta potential was −22.51 ± 0.78 mV; the drug encapsulation efficiency and drug loading efficiency were 93.7% and 10.9%, respectively. The amount of GL coupling to BSA was 98.26 μg/mg. Through physical property study of the samples, we determined that the HCPT had been successfully wrapped in GL-BSA. In vitro drug-release study showed that the nanoparticles could release the drug slowly and continuously. Hemolysis testing showed the safety of GL-BSA as a novel drug delivery system. The targeting properties of GL-BSA-HCPT-NPs were studied in an in vitro cell uptake study and cell proliferation assay. Cells incubated with GL-BSA-HCPT-NPs and labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate showed more extensive fluorescence spots and stronger fluorescence intensity than samples without GL conjugation. MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay was used to determine the inhibitory rate of the samples. It was found that the inhibitory rate of GL-BSA-HCPT-NPs develops as concentration rises. Further, the inhibitory rate of GL-BSA-HCPT-NPs was higher at the same concentration and had a lower half maximal inhibitory concentration value than the other samples. The half maximal inhibitory concentration values of GL-BSA-HCPT-NPs, BSA-HCPT-NPs, and HCPT sodium were 0.78 ± 0.015, 1.62 ± 0.039, and 7.93 ± 0.255 μg/mL, respectively.
The results of this study show GL-BSA-HCPT to be a promising new vehicle for hepatocellular carcinoma-targeting therapy.
HCPT; BSA; GL; high-pressure homogenization emulsification
CD105 (endoglin) is an independent prognostic marker for poor prognosis in > 10 solid tumor types, including breast cancer. The goal of this study was to develop a CD105-specific agent for both positron emission tomography (PET) and near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging, which can have potential clinical applications in diagnosis and imaged-guided surgery of breast cancer. TRC105, a chimeric anti-CD105 monoclonal antibody, was labeled with both a NIRF dye (i.e. 800CW) and 64Cu to yield 64Cu-NOTA-TRC105-800CW. Flow cytometry analysis revealed no difference in CD105 binding affinity/specificity between TRC105 and NOTA-TRC105-800CW. Serial PET imaging revealed that the 4T1 murine breast tumor uptake of 64Cu-NOTA-TRC105-800CW was 5.2 ± 2.7, 11.0 ± 1.4, and 13.0 ± 0.4 %ID/g at 4, 24, and 48 h post-injection respectively. Tumor uptake as measured by ex vivo NIRF imaging exhibited a good linear correlation with the %ID/g values obtained from PET (R = 0.74). Biodistribution data were consistent with the PET/NIRF findings. Blocking experiments, control studies with dual-labeled cetuximab (an isotype-matched control antibody), and histology confirmed the CD105 specificity of 64Cu-NOTA-TRC105-800CW. Successful PET/NIRF imaging of CD105 expression warrants further investigation and clinical translation of dual-labeled TRC105-based imaging agents.
CD105/endoglin; positron emission tomography (PET); near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF); tumor angiogenesis; TRC105; 64Cu; breast cancer
Bone is a slowly regenerating tissue influenced by various physiological processes, including proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis, under the control of growth factors. Shortening this healing time is an important and popular clinical research focus in orthopedics. Negative pressure can stimulate angiogenesis, improve blood circulation, promote granulation tissue growth and accelerate tissue wound healing. We sought to determine whether negative pressure could reduce bone healing time in a rabbit cranial defect model.
Four symmetrical holes (diameter, 3.5 mm) were drilled into the skulls of 42 New Zealand white rabbits, with two holes in each parietal bone. For each rabbit, the two sides were then randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. Using negative pressure suction tubes, experimental holes were treated with −50 kPa for 15 minutes, four times per day, whereas the control holes remained untreated. After 4 weeks, the negative pressure suction tubes were removed. At 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks, three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction computed tomography (CT), X-ray radiopacity, and two-photon absorptiometry were used to evaluate new bone formation. Histological changes were determined by hematoxylin and eosin (H.E) staining. At weekly intervals until 6 weeks, the mRNA expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 were evaluated by RT-PCR. A paired student’s t-test was employed to compare X-ray radiopacity and bone density measurements between the experimental and control groups.
3D-reconstruction CT showed that new bone regeneration in the experimental group was greater than that in the control group at 4 and 6 weeks. At these time points, the experimental group presented with higher X-ray radiopacity and increased bone density (P < 0.05) as compared with the control group. Cartilage islands and new bone were observed by H.E staining at 2 weeks in the experimental group. By 6 weeks, the new bone had matured into lamellar bone in the experimental group. RT-PCR results showed that VEGF and BMP-2 were highly expressed in the experimental group as compared with control.
Intermittent negative pressure can promote the regeneration of bone possibly by enhancing the expression of VEGF and BMP-2.
Negative pressure; Bone regeneration; VEGF; BMP-2; Animal experimental use
Because negative pressure can stimulate vascular proliferation, improve blood circulation and promote osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow stromal cells, we investigated the therapeutic effect of negative pressure on femoral head necrosis (FHN) in a rabbit model. Animals were divided into four groups (n = 60/group):  model control,  core decompression,  negative pressure and  normal control groups. Histological investigation revealed that at 4 and 8 weeks postoperatively, improvements were observed in trabecular bone shape, empty lacunae and numbers of bone marrow hematopoietic cells and fat cells in the negative pressure group compared to the core decompression group. At week 8, there were no significant differences between the negative pressure and normal control groups. Immunohistochemistry staining revealed higher expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) in the femoral heads in the negative pressure group compared with the core decompression group. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that cell organelles were further developed in the negative pressure group compared with the core decompression group. Microvascular ink staining revealed an increased number of bone marrow ink-stained blood vessels, a thicker vascular lumen and increased microvascular density in the negative pressure group relative to the core decompression group. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that expression levels of both VEGF and BMP-2 were higher in the negative pressure group compared with the core decompression group. In summary, negative pressure has a therapeutic effect on FHN. This effect is superior to core decompression, indicating that negative pressure is a potentially valuable method for treating early FHN.
High tumor microvessel density (MVD) correlates with poor prognosis in multiple solid tumor types. The clinical gold standard for assessing MVD is CD105 immunohistochemistry on paraffin-embedded tumor specimens. The goal of this study was to develop an 89Zr-based positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for non-invasive imaging of CD105 expression.
TRC105, a chimeric anti-CD105 monoclonal antibody, was conjugated to p-isothiocyanatobenzyl-desferrioxamine (Df-Bz-NCS) and labeled with 89Zr. FACS analysis and microscopy studies were performed to compare the CD105 binding affinity of TRC105 and Df-TRC105. PET imaging, biodistribution, blocking, and ex vivo histology studies were performed on 4T1 murine breast tumor-bearing mice to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and tumor targeting efficacy of 89Zr-Df-TRC105. Another chimeric antibody, cetuximab, was used as an isotype-matched control.
FACS analysis of HUVECs revealed no difference in CD105 binding affinity between TRC105 and Df-TRC105, which was further validated by fluorescence microscopy. 89Zr-labeling was achieved with high yield and specific activity. Serial PET imaging revealed that the 4T1 tumor uptake of 89Zr-Df-TRC105 was 6.1 ± 1.2, 14.3 ± 1.2, 12.4 ± 1.5, 7.1 ± 0.9, and 5.2 ± 0.3 %ID/g at 5, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h post-injection respectively (n = 4), higher than all organs starting from 24 h post-injection, which provided excellent tumor contrast. Biodistribution data as measured by gamma counting were consistent with the PET findings. Blocking experiments, control studies with 89Zr-Df-cetuximab, as well as ex vivo histology all confirmed the in vivo target specificity of 89Zr-Df-TRC105.
Herein we report the first successful PET imaging of CD105 expression with 89Zr as the radiolabel. Rapid, persistent, CD105-specific uptake of 89Zr-Df-TRC105 in the 4T1 tumor was observed.
CD105/Endoglin; Positron emission tomography (PET); Tumor angiogenesis; 89Zr; RadioimmunoPET; TRC105
Primary roots of young maize seedlings showed peculiar growth behavior when challenged by placing them on a slope, or if whole seedlings were turned upside down. Importantly, this behavior was dependent on the light conditions. If roots were placed on slopes in the dark, they performed “crawling” behavior and advanced rapidly up the slope. However, as soon as these roots were illuminated, their crawling movements along their horizontal paths slowed down, and instead tried to grow downwards along the gravity vector. A similar light-induced switch in the root behavior was observed when roots were inverted, by placing them in thin glass capillaries. As long as they were kept in the darkness, they showed rapid growth against the gravity vector. If illuminated, these inverted roots rapidly accomplished U-turns and grew down along the gravity vector, eventually escaping from the capillaries upon reaching their open ends. De-capped roots, although growing vigorously, did not display these light-induced photophobic growth responses. We can conclude that intact root cap is essential for the photophobic root behavior in maize.
gravity; light; phototropism; plant behavior; roots; signaling
Raman spectroscopy has been explored for various biomedical applications (e.g. cancer diagnosis) because it can provide detailed information on the chemical composition of cells and tissues. For imaging applications, several variations of Raman spectroscopy have been developed to enhance its sensitivity. To date, a wide variety of molecular targets and biological events have been investigated using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-active nanoparticles. The superb multiplexing capability of SERS-based Raman imaging, already successfully demonstrated in live animals, can be extremely powerful in future research where different agents can be attached to different Raman tags to enable the simultaneous interrogation of multiple biological events. Over the last several years, molecular imaging with SERS-active nanoparticles has advanced significantly and many pivotal proof-of-principle experiments have been successfully carried out. It is expected that SERS-based imaging will continue to be a dynamic research field over the next decade.
Cancer; Molecular imaging; Multiplexed imaging; Nanoparticle; Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)
Angiogenesis is an indispensable process during tumor development. The currently accepted standard method for quantifying tumor angiogenesis is to assess microvessel density (MVD) based on CD105 staining, which is an independent prognostic factor for survival in patients of most solid tumor types. The goal of this study is to evaluate tumor angiogenesis in a mouse model by near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging of CD105 expression.
TRC105, a human/murine chimeric anti-CD105 monoclonal antibody, was conjugated to a NIRF dye (IRDye 800CW; Ex: 778 nm; Em: 806 nm). FACS analysis and microscopy studies were performed to compare the CD105 binding affinity of TRC105 and 800CW-TRC105. In vivo/ex vivo NIRF imaging, blocking studies, and ex vivo histology were performed on 4T1 murine breast tumor-bearing mice to evaluate the ability of 800CW-TRC105 to target tumor angiogenesis. Another chimeric antibody, Cetuximab, was used as an isotype-matched control.
FACS analysis of HUVECs revealed no difference in CD105 binding affinity between TRC105 and 800CW-TRC105, which was further validated by fluorescence microscopy. 800CW conjugation of TRC105 was achieved in excellent yield (> 85%), with an average of 0.4 800CW molecules per TRC105. Serial NIRF imaging after intravenous injection of 800CW-TRC105 revealed that the 4T1 tumor could be clearly visualized as early as 30 minutes post-injection. Quantitative region-of-interest (ROI) analysis showed that the tumor uptake peaked at about 16 h post-injection. Based on ex vivo NIRF imaging at 48 h post-injection, tumor-uptake of 800CW-TRC105 was higher than most organs thus providing excellent tumor contrast. Blocking experiments, control studies with 800CW-Cetuximab and 800CW, as well as ex vivo histology all confirmed the in vivo target specificity of 800CW-TRC105.
This is the first successful NIRF imaging study of CD105 expression in vivo. Fast, prominent, persistent, and CD105-specific uptake of the probe during tumor angiogenesis was observed in mouse models. 800CW-TRC105 may be used in the clinic for imaging tumor angiogenesis within the lesions close to the skin surface, tissues accessible by endoscopy, or during image-guided surgery.
CD105/endoglin; Near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging; Tumor angiogenesis; Monoclonal antibody (mAb); TRC105; Breast cancer
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) plays an important role in proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and tumor invasion. Histology and in situ hybridization studies have revealed that IGF1R was significantly up-regulated at the protein and mRNA level in many types of cancer. Since measuring IGF1R expression with immunohistochemistry has many limitations, non-invasive imaging of IGF1R can allow for more accurate patient stratification (e.g. selecting the right patient population for IGF1R-targeted therapy) and more effective monitoring of the therapeutic responses in cancer patients. In this review, we will summarize the current status of imaging IGF1R expression in cancer, which includes single-photon emission computed tomography, positron emission tomography, fluorescence, and γ-camera imaging. The four major classes of ligands that have been developed for non-invasive visualization of IGF1R will be discussed: proteins, antibodies, peptides, and affibodies. To date, molecular imaging of IGF1R expression is understudied and more research effort is needed in the future.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R); molecular imaging; peptide nucleic acid (PNA); positron emission tomography (PET); single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT); cancer
(−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most extensive studied tea polyphenol for its anti-cancer function. In this study, we report a novel mechanism of action for EGCG-mediated cell death by identifying the critical role of lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP). First, EGCG-induced cell death in human cancer cells (both HepG2 and HeLa) was found to be caspase-independent and accompanied by evident cytosolic vacuolization, only observable when cells were treated in serum-free medium. The cytosolic vacuolization observed in EGCG-treated cells was most probably caused by lysosomal dilation. Interestingly, EGCG was able to disrupt autophagic flux at the degradation stage by impairment of lysosomal function, and EGCG-induced cell death was independent of Atg5 or autophagy. The key finding of this study is that EGCG is able to trigger LMP, as evidenced by Lyso-Tracker Red staining, cathepsin D cytosolic translocation and cytosolic acidification. Consistently, a lysosomotropic agent, chloroquine, effectively rescues the cell death via suppressing LMP-caused cytosolic acidification. Lastly, we found that EGCG promotes production of intracellular ROS upstream of LMP and cell death, as evidenced by increased level of ROS in cells treated with EGCG and the protective effects of antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) against EGCG-mediated LMP and cell death. Taken together, data from our study reveal a novel mechanism underlying EGCG-induced cell death involving ROS and LMP. Therefore, understanding this lysosome-associated cell death pathway shed new lights on the anti-cancer effects of EGCG.
Human height is a highly heritable trait considered as an important factor for health. There has been limited success in identifying the genetic factors underlying height variation. We aim to identify sequence variants associated with adult height by a genome-wide association study of copy number variants (CNVs) in Chinese.
Genome-wide CNV association analyses were conducted in 1,625 unrelated Chinese adults and sex specific subgroup for height variation, respectively. Height was measured with a stadiometer. Affymetrix SNP6.0 genotyping platform was used to identify copy number polymorphisms (CNPs). We constructed a genomic map containing 1,009 CNPs in Chinese individuals and performed a genome-wide association study of CNPs with height.
We detected 10 significant association signals for height (p<0.05) in the whole population, 9 and 11 association signals for Chinese female and male population, respectively. A copy number polymorphism (CNP12587, chr18:54081842-54086942, p = 2.41×10−4) was found to be significantly associated with height variation in Chinese females even after strict Bonferroni correction (p = 0.048). Confirmatory real time PCR experiments lent further support for CNV validation. Compared to female subjects with two copies of the CNP, carriers of three copies had an average of 8.1% decrease in height. An important candidate gene, ubiquitin-protein ligase NEDD4-like (NEDD4L), was detected at this region, which plays important roles in bone metabolism by binding to bone formation regulators.
Our findings suggest the important genetic variants underlying height variation in Chinese.
With many desirable properties such as ease of synthesis, small size, lack of immunogenicity, and versatile chemistry, aptamers represent a class of targeting ligands that possess tremendous potential in molecular imaging applications. Non-invasive imaging of various disease markers with aptamer-based probes has many potential clinical applications such as lesion detection, patient stratification, treatment monitoring, etc. In this review, we will summarize the current status of molecular imaging with aptamer-based probes. First, fluorescence imaging will be described which include both direct targeting and activatable probes. Next, we discuss molecular magnetic resonance imaging and targeted ultrasound investigations using aptamer-based agents. Radionuclide-based imaging techniques (single-photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography) will be summarized as well. In addition, aptamers have also been labeled with various tags for computed tomography, surface plasmon resonance, dark-field light scattering microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy imaging. Among all molecular imaging modalities, no single modality is perfect and sufficient to obtain all the necessary information for a particular question. Thus, a multimodality probe has also been constructed for concurrent fluorescence, gamma camera, and magnetic resonance imaging in vivo. Although the future of aptamer-based molecular imaging is becoming increasingly bright and many proof-of-principle studies have already been reported, much future effort needs to be directed towards the development of clinically translatable aptamer-based imaging agents which will eventually benefit patients.
Aptamers; molecular imaging; cancer; positron emission tomography; DNA/RNA; fluorescence; personalized medicine
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Tumor-targeted drug delivery is one of the major areas in cancer research. Aptamers exhibit many desirable properties for tumor-targeted drug delivery, such as ease of selection and synthesis, high binding affinity and specificity, low immunogenicity, and versatile synthetic accessibility. Over the last several years, aptamers have quickly become a new class of targeting ligands for drug delivery applications. In this review, we will discuss in detail about aptamer-based delivery of chemotherapy drugs (e.g. doxorubicin, docetaxel, daunorubicin, and cisplatin), toxins (e.g. gelonin and various photodynamic therapy agents), and a variety of small interfering RNAs. Although the results are promising which warrants enthusiasm for aptamer-based drug delivery, tumor homing of aptamer-based conjugates after systemic injection has only been achieved in one report. Much remains to be done before aptamer-based drug delivery can reach clinical trials and eventually the day-to-day management of cancer patients. Therefore, future directions and challenges in aptamer-based drug delivery are also discussed.
Aptamers; drug delivery; cancer; nanomedicine; theranostics; RNA interference; siRNA
Many human cancer cells express filamin A (FLNA), an actin-binding structural protein that interacts with a diverse set of cell signaling proteins, but little is known about the biological importance of FLNA in tumor development. FLNA is also expressed in endothelial cells, which may be important for tumor angiogenesis. In this study, we defined the impact of targeting Flna in cancer and endothelial cells on the development of tumors in vivo and on the proliferation of fibroblasts in vitro.
First, we used a Cre-adenovirus to simultaneously activate the expression of oncogenic K-RAS and inactivate the expression of Flna in the lung and in fibroblasts. Second, we subcutaneously injected mouse fibrosarcoma cells into mice lacking Flna in endothelial cells.
Knockout of Flna significantly reduced K-RAS–induced lung tumor formation and the proliferation of oncogenic K-RAS–expressing fibroblasts, and attenuated the activation of the downstream signaling molecules ERK and AKT. Genetic deletion of endothelial FLNA in mice did not impact cardiovascular development; however, knockout of Flna in endothelial cells reduced subcutaneous fibrosarcoma growth and vascularity within tumors.
We conclude that FLNA is important for lung tumor growth and that endothelial Flna impacts local tumor growth. The data shed new light on the biological importance of FLNA and suggest that targeting this protein might be useful in cancer therapeutics.
Cancer; Angiogenesis; Cytoskeleton; Migration