Objective. To analyze the methylation status of miR-124a loci in synovial tissues of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP). Materials and Methods. DNA obtained from the frozen tissue of 7 RA samples, 6 osteoarthritis (OA) samples, and 3 healthy controls were undergoing bisulfite conversion and then analyzed for miR-124a promoter methylation using MSP assay. Results. miR-124-a1 and miR-124-a2 promoter methylation were both seen in 71.4% of RA samples compared to 16.7% of OA samples. miR-124-a3 promoter methylation was seen in 57.1% of RA samples and 0% of OA samples. All the three loci were unmethylated in 3 healthy controls. Conclusion. The methylation status of miR-124a seen in this study concurs with that reported in tumor cells, indicating epigenetic dysregulation constituents, a mechanism in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
The aim of this study was to investigate the modified Ross criteria score and the diagnostic cut-off level for plasmatic amino-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in the diagnosis of pediatric heart failure, by analyzing the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The plasma NT-proBNP level was measured in 80 children diagnosed with heart failure according to the modified Ross criteria, 80 children with non-cardiogenic dyspnea and 80 healthy children. The NT-proBNP levels were then compared using an F-test. The cut-off score for heart failure in the modified Ross criteria and the diagnostic cut-off level for plasmatic NT-proBNP in pediatric heart failure were determined by ROC curve analysis. The results demonstrated that the NT-proBNP level was markedly increased in 76 of the 80 children with heart failure, and the correlation with the modified Ross criteria was 95%. Based on ROC curve analysis, the diagnosis of pediatric heart failure was most accurate when the modified Ross criteria score was ≥4 and the plasmatic NT-proBNP level was ≥598 ng/l. The NT-proBNP level was normal (0–300 ng/l) in the children with non-cardiogenic dyspnea and the healthy children. Significant differences were observed in the comparison of the three groups (P<0.01). In conclusion, a NT-proBNP level of ≥598 ng/l, combined with a modified Ross criteria score ≥4, is highly diagnostic of heart failure in children.
heart failure; amino-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; diagnostic criteria; children
Yeast tRNA-thiouridine modification protein 1 was overpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized. The crystals belonged to space group I41 and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
Yeast tRNA-thiouridine modification protein 1 (Tum1p), a crucial component of the Urm1 system, is believed to play important roles in protein urmylation and tRNA-thiouridine modification. Previous studies have demonstrated that the conserved residue Cys259 in the C-terminal rhodanese-like domain of Tum1p is essential for these sulfur-transfer activities. Here, recombinant Tum1p protein has been cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3). After purification, crystals of Tum1p were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to 1.9 Å resolution. The preliminary X-ray data showed that the tetragonal Tum1p crystal belonged to space group I41, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 120.94, c = 48.35 Å. The asymmetric unit of the crystal was assumed to contain one protein molecule, giving a Matthews coefficient of 2.41 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 49.0%.
Tum1p; Urm1 system; rhodanese
Background & Aims
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the development and progression of human cancers. We investigated the roles and mechanisms of miR-26a in human cholangiocarcinoma.
We used in situ hybridization and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to measure expression of miR-26a in human cholangiocarcinoma tissues and cell lines (eg, CCLP1, SG231, HuCCT1, TFK1). Human cholangiocarcinoma cell lines were transduced with lentiviruses that expressed miR-26a1 or a scrambled sequence (control); proliferation and colony formation were analyzed. We analyzed growth of human cholangiocarcinoma cells that overexpress miR-26a or its inhibitor in severe combined immune-deficient mice. Immunoblot, immunoprecipitation, DNA pull-down, immunofluorescence, and luciferase reporter assays were used to measure expression and activity of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β, β-catenin, and related signaling molecules.
Human cholangiocarcinoma tissues and cell lines had increased levels of miR-26a compared with the noncancerous biliary epithelial cells. Overexpression of miR-26a increased proliferation of cholangiocarcinoma cells and colony formation in vitro, whereas miR-26 depletion reduced these parameters. In severe combined immune-deficient mice, overexpression of miR-26a by cholangiocarcinoma cells increased tumor growth and overexpression of the miR-26a inhibitor reduced it. GSK-3β messenger RNA was identified as a direct target of miR-26a by computational analysis and experimental assays. miR-26a–mediated reduction of GSK-3β resulted in activation of β-catenin and induction of several downstream genes including c-Myc, cyclinD1, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ. Depletion of β-catenin partially prevented miR-26a-induced tumor cell proliferation and colony formation.
miR-26a promotes cholangiocarcinoma growth by inhibition of GSK-3β and subsequent activation of β-catenin. These signaling molecules might be targets for prevention or treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.
Biliary Tract; Prostaglandin; COX-2; Post-Transcription Gene Regulation
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) induces autophagy-associated apoptotic cell death in wild-type p53 cancer cells via regulation of p53. The present study investigated the effects of DHA on PC3 and DU145 prostate cancer cell lines harboring mutant p53. Results show that, in addition to apoptosis, DHA increased the expression levels of lipidated form LC3B and potently stimulated the autophagic flux, suggesting that DHA induces both autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells expressing mutant p53. DHA led to the generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), as shown by the mitochondrial ROS-specific probe mitoSOX. Similarly, pretreatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) markedly inhibited both the autophagy and the apoptosis triggered by DHA, indicating that mitochondrial ROS mediate the cytotoxicity of DHA in mutant p53 cells. Further, DHA reduced the levels of phospho-Akt and phospho-mTOR in a concentration-dependent manner, while NAC almost completely blocked that effect. Collectively, these findings present a novel mechanism of ROS-regulated apoptosis and autophagy that involves Akt-mTOR signaling in prostate cancer cells with mutant p53 exposed to DHA.
Cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α) is a rate-limiting key enzyme controlling the release of arachidonic acid (AA) substrate for the synthesis of prostaglandins and leukotrienes. This study was designed to explore the role of hepatocyte cPLA2α in Fas-mediated liver injury, in vivo.
Transgenic mice with targeted expression of cPLA2α under control of the albumin-promoter enhancer and wild-type mice were injected intraperitoneally with anti-Fas antibody Jo2 or lipopolysaccharide plus D-galactosamine and monitored for liver injury and survival at various time points.
The cPLA2α Tg mice resist Fas-induced liver failure, as reflected by the lower serum transaminase levels, fewer apoptotic hepatocytes, reduced caspase activation, and reduced PARP cleavage when compared to the matched wild type mice. Inhibition of cPLA2α by its pharmacological inhibitor, pyrrolidine, enhanced Jo2-induced liver injury in both cPLA2α Tg and wild type mice. Hepatic overexpression of cPLA2α increases the expression of EGFR in the liver and the EGFR inhibitor, AG1478, exacerbated Jo2-mediated liver injury. The cPLA2α transgenic mice develop more prominent liver tissue damage than wild-type mice after LPS/D-galactosamine injection.
Hepatocyte cPLA2α protects against Fas-induced liver injury and this effect is mediated at least in part through upregulation of EGFR.
Cytosolic phospholipase A2; liver; Fas; apoptosis; epidermal growth factor receptor; LPS
The novel supervised learning method of vertex discriminant analysis (VDA) has been demonstrated for its good performance in multicategory classification. The current paper explores an elaboration of VDA for nonlinear discrimination. By incorporating reproducing kernels, VDA can be generalized from linear discrimination to nonlinear discrimination. Our numerical experiments show that the new reproducing kernel-based method leads to accurate classification for both linear and nonlinear cases.
Gaussian reproducing kernels; nonlinear classifier; regular simplex; reproducing kernel Hilbert space
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been reported to induce tumor cell death by apoptosis. However, little is known about the effects of DHA on autophagy, another complex well-programmed process characterized by the sequestration of cytoplasmic material within autophagosomes. Here we show that DHA increased both the level of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 and the number of autophagic vacuoles without impairing autophagic vesicle turnover, indicating that DHA induces not only apoptosis but also autophagy. We also observed that DHA-induced autophagy was accompanied by p53 loss. Inhibition of p53 increased DHA-induced autophagy and prevention of p53 degradation significantly led to the attenuation of DHA-induced autophagy, suggesting that DHA-induced autophagy is mediated by p53. Further experiments showed that the mechanism of DHA-induced autophagy associated with p53 attenuation involved an increase in the active form of AMP-activated protein kinase and a decrease in the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin. In addition, compelling evidence for the interplay between autophagy and apoptosis induced by DHA is supported by the findings that autophagy inhibition suppressed apoptosis and further autophagy induction enhanced apoptosis in response to DHA treatment. Overall, our results demonstrate that autophagy contributes to the cytotoxicity of DHA in cancer cells harboring wild-type p53.
DHA; autophagy; apoptosis; p53; cancer; mTOR; AMPK; p27
Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) is a key enzyme that couples with cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) for the production of PGE2. Although COX-2 is known to mediate the growth and progression of several human cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the role of mPGES-1 in hepatocarcinogenesis is not well established. This study provides novel evidence for a key role of mPGES-1 in HCC growth and progression. Forced overexpression of mPGES-1 in two HCC cell lines (Hep3B and Huh7) increased tumor cell growth, clonogenic formation, migration and invasion, whereas knockdown of mPGES-1 inhibited these parameters, in vitro. In a SCID mouse tumor xenograft model, mPGES-1 overexpressed cells formed palpable tumors at earlier time points and developed larger tumors when compared to the control (p<0.01); in contrast, mPGES-1 knockdown delayed tumor development and reduced tumor size (p<0.01). Mechanistically, mPGES-1-induced HCC cell proliferation, invasion and migration involve PGE2 production and activation of early growth response 1 (EGR1) and β-catenin. Specifically, mPGES-1-derived PGE2 induces the formation of EGR1-β-catenin complex, which interacts with TCF4/LEF1 transcription factors and activates the expression of β-catenin downstream genes. Our findings depict a novel crosstalk between mPGES-1/PGE2 and EGR1/β-catenin signaling that is critical for hepatocarcinogenesis.
Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1); β-catenin; early growth response 1 (EGR1); hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); liver
Haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) has been used to treat hematologic malignancies but it is unknown whether the procedure is more effective in adults or children. To address this question, we analyzed patients aged 1–65 years old receiving myeloablative conditioning regimens followed by family 2 to 3 antigen HLA-mismatched HCT and reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR, n=137) or performed in Dao-Pei Hospital in Beijing, China (n=181). The Dao-Pei cohort had more acute and chronic GVHD, less relapse, lower transplant related mortality (TRM) and better leukemia-free survival (LFS) than the CIBMTR cohort. Overall survival (OS) and outcomes were similar between adults and children. In the CIBMTR cohort receiving ex vivo T cell depletion (TCD), adults had higher TRM (RR 2.71, 95% CI 1.29–5.69, p=0.008) and lower overall survival (RR 1.75, 95%CI 1.08–2.84, p=0.023) than children. In the CIBMTR subset that did not receive ex vivo TCD, relapse was lower in adults compared to children (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.07–0.80, p=0.020) but TRM, LFS and OS were similar. We conclude that outcomes in adults and children are similar overall, although children have better survival than adults if ex vivo TCD is used.
HLA-mismatched; haploidentical; blood and marrow transplantation; leukemia; antithymocyte globulin
Background & Aims
Microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 (mPGES-1) is a rate-limiting enzyme that is coupled with cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Although COX-2 is involved in development and progression of various human cancers, the role of mPGES-1 in carcinogenesis has not been determined. We investigated the role of mPGES-1 in human cholangiocarcinoma growth.
We used immunohistochemical analyses to examine the expression of mPGES-1 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human cholangiocarcinoma tissues. The effects of mPGES-1 on human cholangiocarcinoma cells were determined in vitro and in SCID mice. Immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation assays were performed to determine the levels of PTEN and related signaling molecules in human cholangiocarcinoma cells with overexpression or knockdown of mPGES-1.
mPGES-1 is overexpressed in human cholangiocarcinoma tissues. Overexpression of mPGES-1 in human cholangiocarcinoma cells increased tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and colony formation; in contrast, RNAi knockdown of mPGES-1 inhibited tumor growth parameters. In SCID mice with tumor xenografts, mPGES-1 overexpression accelerated tumor formation and increased tumor weight (P<0.01), whereas mPGES-1 knockdown delayed tumor formation and reduced tumor weight (P<0.01). mPGES-1 inhibited the expression of PTEN, leading to activation of the EGFR–PI3K–AKT–mTOR signaling pathways in cholangiocarcinoma cells. mPGES-1–mediated inhibition of PTEN is regulated through blocking of EGR-1 sumoylation and binding to the 5′-UTR of the PTEN gene.
mPGES-1 promotes experimental cholangiocarcinogenesis and tumor progression by inhibiting PTEN.
cancer cell signaling; biliary tract cancer; bile duct; liver
Here, for the first time, we evaluate the hypothesis that the proliferative abilities of satellite cells (SCs) isolated from Lantang (indigenous Chinese pigs) and Landrace pigs, which differ in muscle characteristics, are different. SCs were isolated from the longissimus dorsi muscle of neonatal Lantang and Landrace pigs. Proliferative ability was estimated by the count and proliferative activity of viable cells using a hemocytometer and MTT assay at different time points after seeding, respectively. Cell cycle information was detected by flow cytometry. Results showed that there was a greater (P<0.05) number of SCs in Lantang pigs compared with Landrace pigs after 72 h of culture. The percentage of cell population in S phase and G2/M phases in Lantang pigs were higher (P<0.05), while in G0/G1 phase was lower (P<0.05) in comparison with the Landrace pigs. The mRNA abundances of MyoD, Myf5, myogenin and Pax7 in SCs from Lantang pigs were higher (P<0.05), while those of myostatin, Smad3 and genes in the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway (with the exception of 4EBP1) were lower (P<0.05) than the Landrace pigs. Protein levels of MyoD, myogenin, myostatin, S6K, phosphorylated mTOR and phosphorylated eIF4E were consistent with the corresponding mRNA abundance. Collectively, these findings suggested that SCs in the two breeds present different proliferative abilities, and the proliferative potential of SCs in Lantang pigs is higher than in Landrace pigs.
In this article we study a semiparametric additive risks model (McKeague and Sasieni (1994)) for two-stage design survival data where accurate information is available only on second stage subjects, a subset of the first stage study. We derive two-stage estimators by combining data from both stages. Large sample inferences are developed. As a by-product, we also obtain asymptotic properties of the single stage estimators of McKeague and Sasieni (1994) when the semiparametric additive risks model is misspecified. The proposed two-stage estimators are shown to be asymptotically more efficient than the second stage estimators. They also demonstrate smaller bias and variance for finite samples. The developed methods are illustrated using small intestine cancer data from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) Program.
Censored data; correlation; efficiency; measurement errors; missing covariates
We report here the epitaxial growth of III-nitride material on freestanding HfO2 gratings by molecular beam epitaxy. Freestanding HfO2 gratings are fabricated by combining film evaporation, electron beam lithography, and fast atom beam etching of an HfO2 film by a front-side silicon process. The 60-μm long HfO2 grating beam can sustain the stress change during the epitaxial growth of a III-nitride material. Grating structures locally change the growth condition and vary indium composition in the InGaN/GaN quantum wells and thus, the photoluminescence spectra of epitaxial III-nitride grating are tuned. Guided mode resonances are experimentally demonstrated in fabricated III-nitride gratings, opening the possibility to achieve the interaction between the excited light and the grating structure through guided mode resonance.
PACS: 78.55.Cr; 81.65.Cf; 81.15.Hi.
InGaN/GaN QWs; fast atom beam etching; molecular beam epitaxy
Hepatocellular carcinoma often develops in the setting of abnormal hepatocyte growth associated with chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Transforming growth factor-βs (TGF-βs) are multifunctional cytokines pivotal in the regulation of hepatic cell growth, differentiation, migration, extracellular matrix production, stem cell homeostasis and hepatocarcinogenesis. However, the mechanisms by which TGF-βs influence hepatic cell functions remain incompletely defined. We report herein that TGF-β regulates the growth of primary and transformed hepatocytes through concurrent activation of Smad and phosphorylation of cPLA2α, a rate-limiting key enzyme that releases arachidonic acid for production of bioactive eicosanoids. The interplays between TGF-β and cPLA2α signaling pathways were examined in rat primary hepatocytes, human hepatocellular carcinoma cells and hepatocytes isolated from the newly developed cPLA2α transgenic mice. Our data show that cPLA2α activates PPAR-γ and thus counteracts Smad2/3-mediated inhibition of cell growth. Therefore, regulation of TGF-β signaling by cPLA2α and PPAR-γ may represent an important mechanism for control of hepatic cell growth and hepatocarcinogenesis.
Transforming growth factor-β; cytosolic phospholipase A2α; peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ; hepatocyte; liver
We report here the fabrication of freestanding HfO2 grating by combining fast atom beam etching (FAB) of HfO2 film with dry etching of silicon substrate. HfO2 film is deposited onto silicon substrate by electron beam evaporator. The grating patterns are then defined by electron beam lithography and transferred to HfO2 film by FAB etching. The silicon substrate beneath the HfO2 grating region is removed to make the HfO2 grating suspend in space. Period- and polarization-dependent optical responses of fabricated HfO2 gratings are experimentally characterized in the reflectance measurements. The simple process is feasible for fabricating freestanding HfO2 grating that is a potential candidate for single layer dielectric reflector.
PACS: 73.40.Ty; 42.70.Qs; 81.65.Cf.
HfO2 film; grating; fast atom beam etching
Genetic variants in TRAF1C5 and PTPN22 genes have been shown to be significantly associated with arthritis rheumatoid in Caucasian populations. This study investigated the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TRAF1/C5 and PTPN22 genes and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a Han Chinese population. We genotyped SNPs rs3761847 and rs7021206 at the TRAF1/C5 locus and rs2476601 SNP in the PTPN22 gene in a Han Chinese cohort composed of 576 patients with RA and 689 controls. The concentrations of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (CCP) and rheumatoid factor (RF) were determined for all affected patients. The difference between the cases and the controls was compared using χ2 analysis.
Significant differences in SNPs rs3761847 and rs7021206 at TRAF1/C5 were observed between the case and control groups in this cohort; the allelic p-value was 0.0018 with an odds ratio of 1.28 for rs3761847 and 0.005 with an odds ratio of 1.27 for rs7021206. This significant association between rs3761847 and RA was independent of the concentrations of anti-CCP and RF. No polymorphism of rs2476601 was observed in this cohort.
We first demonstrated that genetic variants at the TRAF1/C5 locus are significantly associated with RA in Han Chinese, suggesting that TRAF1/C5 may play a role in the development of RA in this population, which expands the pathogenesis role of TRAF1/C5 in a different ethnicity.
rheumatoid arthritis; genetics; TRAF1/C5; association study; Chinese
AIM: To develop a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) xenograft model for studying hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication in a mice, and antiviral treatment.
METHODS: We developed a stable S3-green fluorescence protein (GFP) cell line that replicated the GFP-tagged HCV sub-genomic RNA derived from a highly efficient JFH1 virus. S3-GFP replicon cell line was injected subcutaneously into γ-irradiated SCID mice. We showed that the S3-GFP replicon cell line formed human HCC xenografts in SCID mice. Cells were isolated from subcutaneous tumors and then serially passaged multiple times in SCID mice by culturing in growth medium supplemented with G-418. The mouse-adapted S3-GFP replicon cells were implanted subcutaneously and also into the liver of SCID mice via intrasplenic infusion to study the replication of HCV in the HCC xenografts. The tumor model was validated for antiviral testing after intraperitoneal injection of interferon-α (IFN-α).
RESULTS: A highly tumorigenic S3-GFP replicon cell line was developed that formed subcutaneous tumors within 2 wk and diffuse liver metastasis within 4 wk in SCID mice. Replication of HCV in the subcutaneous and liver tumors was confirmed by cell colony assay, detection of the viral RNA by ribonuclease protection assay and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. High-level replication of HCV sub-genomic RNA in the tumor could be visualized by GFP expression using fluorescence microscopy. IFN-α cleared HCV RNA replication in the subcutaneous tumors within 2 wk and 4 wk in the liver tumor model.
CONCLUSION: A non-infectious mouse model allows us to study replication of HCV in subcutaneous and metastatic liver tumors. Clearance of HCV by IFN-α supports use of this model to test other anti-HCV drugs.
Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Tumor xenograft; SCID mouse; Interferon-α; Antiviral agent; Virus replication
Insight into the mechanisms of organ engraftment and acquired tolerance has made it possible to facilitate these mechanisms, by tailoring the timing and dosage of immunosuppression in accordance with two therapeutic principles: recipient pretreatment, and minimum use of post-transplant immunosuppression. We aimed to apply these principles in recipients of renal and extrarenal organ transplants.
82 patients awaiting kidney, liver, pancreas, or intestinal transplantation were pretreated with about 5 mg/kg of a broadly reacting rabbit antithymocyte globulin during several hours. Post-transplant immunosuppression was restricted to tacrolimus unless additional drugs were needed to treat breakthrough rejection. After 4 months, patients on tacrolimus monotherapy were considered for dose-spacing to every other day or longer intervals.
We frequently saw evidence of immune activation in graft biopsy samples, but unless this was associated with graft dysfunction or serious immune destruction, treatment usually was not intensified. Immunosuppression-related morbidity was virtually eliminated. 78 (95%) of 82 patients survived at 1 year and at 13–18 months. Graft survival was 73 (89%) of 82 at 1 year and 72 (88%) of 82 at 13–18 months. Of the 72 recipients with surviving grafts, 43 are on spaced doses of tacrolimus monotherapy: every other day (n=6), three times per week (11), twice per week (15), or once per week (11).
The striking ability to wean immunosuppression in these recipients indicates variable induction of tolerance. The simple therapeutic principles are neither drug-specific nor organ-specific. Systematic application of these principles should allow improvements in quality of life and long-term survival after organ transplantation.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common human cancer with high mortality and currently there is no effective chemoprevention or systematic treatment. Recent evidence suggests that COX-2-derived PGE2 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways are implicated in hepatocarcinogenesis. Here we report that ω-3 PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), inhibit HCC growth through simultaneously inhibition of COX-2 and β-catenin. DHA and EPA treatment resulted in a dose-dependent reduction of cell viability with cleavage of PARP, caspase-3 and caspase-9 in three human HCC cell lines (Hep3B, Huh-7, HepG2). In contrast, arachidonic acid (AA), a ω-6 PUFA, exhibited no significant effect. DHA and EPA treatment caused dephosphorylation and thus activation of GSK-3β, leading to β-catenin degradation in Hep3B cells. The GSK3-β inhibitor, LiCl, partially prevented DHA-induced β-catenin protein degradation and apoptosis. Additionally, DHA induced the formation of β-catenin/Axin/GSK-3β binding complex, which serves as a parallel mechanism for β-catenin degradation. Furthermore, DHA inhibited PGE2 signaling through downregulation of COX-2 and upregulation of the COX-2 antagonist, 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH). Finally, the growth of HCC in vivo was significantly reduced when mouse HCCs (Hepa1–6) were inoculated into the Fat-1 transgenic mice which express a Caenorhabditis elegans desaturase converting ω-6 to ω-3 PUFAs endogenously. These findings provide important preclinical evidence and molecular insight for utilization of ω-3 PUFAs for the chemoprevention and treatment of human HCC.
hepatocellular carcinoma; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid; beta-catenin; cyclooxygenase-2; prostaglandin E2; 15-PGDH
COX-2-derived PGs participate in a number of pathophysiological responses such as inflammation, carcinogenesis, and modulation of cell growth and survival. This study utilized complementary approaches of COX-2 transgenic and knockout mice models to evaluate the mechanism of COX-2 in Fas-induced hepatocyte apoptosis and liver failure, in vivo. We generated transgenic mice with targeted expression of COX-2 in the liver by using the albumin promoter-enhancer driven vector. The COX-2 transgenic (Tg), COX-2 knockout (KO), and wild type mice were treated with the anti-Fas antibody Jo2 (0.5 µg/g body weight) for 4–6 hours and the extent of liver injury was assessed by histopathology, serum transaminases, TUNEL staining and caspase activation. The COX-2 Tg mice showed resistance to Fas-induced liver injury when compared to the wild type mice, as reflected by the lower ALT and AST levels, less liver damage and less hepatocyte apoptosis (p<0.01). In contrast, the COX-2 KO mice showed significantly higher serum ALT and AST levels, more prominent hepatocyte apoptosis, and higher levels of caspase-8, 9, 3 activities than the wild type mice (p<0.01). The COX-2 Tg livers express higher levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) than the wild type controls; the COX-2 KO livers express lowest levels of EGFR. Pretreatment with the COX-2 inhibitor (NS-398) or the EGFR inhibitor (AG1478) exacerbated Jo2-mediated liver injury and hepatocyte apoptosis. These findings demonstrate that COX-2 prevents Fas-induced hepatocyte apoptosis and liver failure at least in part through upregulation of EGFR.
Cyclooxygenase-2; liver; Fas; apoptosis; epidermal growth factor receptor
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) activate retinoid-containing quiescent hepatic stellate cells (qHSCs) to retinoid-deficient fibrogenic myofibroblast-like cells (aHSCs). However, ROS also cause apoptosis of aHSCs, and apoptotic aHSCs are observed in inflammatory fibrotic liver. Here, we investigated mechanisms of the effects of oxidative stress on the survival of qHSCs and aHSCs. HSCs from normal rat liver were used after overnight culture (qHSCs), or in 3–5 passages (aHSCs). For in vivo induction of oxidative stress, tert-butylhydroperoxide was injected into control and CCl4-induced cirrhotic rats. Spontaneous caspase-3 activation and apoptosis, observed in cultured qHSCs, decreased with time and were unaffected by superoxide. In contrast, superoxide caused caspase-3 and p38-MAPK activation, reduction in Bcl-xL expression, and apoptosis in aHSCs. Inhibition of caspase-3 and p38-MAPK did not affect the viability of qHSCs in the absence or presence of superoxide, but inhibited superoxide-induced death of aHSCs. Glutathione (GSH) level and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were lower in aHSCs than qHSCs. Superoxide increased GSH content, and activities of SOD, catalase and GPx in qHSCs but not in aHSCs. Incubation of 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA)-treated aHSCs with superoxide increased their GSH content significantly, and prevented superoxide-induced p38-MAPK and caspase-3 activation while dramatically reducing the extent of apoptosis. Finally, oxidative stress induced in vivo caused apoptosis of aHSCs in cirrhotic but not of qHSCs in control rats. These results suggest that the absence of retinoids render aHSCs susceptible to superoxide-induced apoptosis via caspase-3 and p38-MAPK activation.
Hepatocytes express adrenergic receptors (ARs) that modulate several functions, including liver regeneration, hepatocyte proliferation, glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis, synthesis of urea and fatty acid metabolism. Adrenergic hepatic function in adults is mainly under the control of α1-ARs; however, the mechanism through which they influence diverse processes remains incompletely understood. This study describes a novel α1-AR-mediated transactivation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (Stat3) in primary and transformed hepatocytes. Treatment of primary rat hepatocytes with the α1-AR agonist, phenylephrine (PE), induced a rapid phosphorylation of Stat3. PE also increased Stat3 phosphorylation, DNA binding and transcription activity in transformed human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (Hep3B). The PE-induced Stat3 phosphorylation, DNA binding and reporter activity were completely blocked by the selective α1-AR antagonist, prazosin. In addition, transfection of Hep3B cells with human α1B-AR expression vector also enhanced Stat3 phosphorylation and reporter activity. Moreover, overexpression of RGS2, a protein inhibitor of Gq/11 signaling, blocked PE-induced Stat3 phosphorylation and reporter activity. The observations that PE induced the formation of c-Src-Stat3 binding complex and phosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and that inhibiting Src and EGFR prevented PE-induced Stat3 activation indicate the involvement of Src and EGFR. Taken together, these observations demonstrate a novel α1-AR-mediated Stat3 activation that involves Gq/11, Src and EGFR in hepatic cells.
alpha1-adrenergic receptor; signal transducer and activator of transcription-3; hepatocyte; epidermal growth factor receptor; phenylephrine
Motivation: In ordinary regression, imposition of a lasso penalty makes continuous model selection straightforward. Lasso penalized regression is particularly advantageous when the number of predictors far exceeds the number of observations.
Method: The present article evaluates the performance of lasso penalized logistic regression in case–control disease gene mapping with a large number of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) predictors. The strength of the lasso penalty can be tuned to select a predetermined number of the most relevant SNPs and other predictors. For a given value of the tuning constant, the penalized likelihood is quickly maximized by cyclic coordinate ascent. Once the most potent marginal predictors are identified, their two-way and higher order interactions can also be examined by lasso penalized logistic regression.
Results: This strategy is tested on both simulated and real data. Our findings on coeliac disease replicate the previous SNP results and shed light on possible interactions among the SNPs.
Availability: The software discussed is available in Mendel 9.0 at the UCLA Human Genetics web site.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.