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1.  The role of nitric oxide radicals in removal of hyper-radiosensitivity by priming irradiation 
Journal of Radiation Research  2013;54(6):1015-1028.
In this study, a mechanism in which low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity (HRS) is permanently removed, induced by low-dose-rate (LDR) (0.2–0.3 Gy/h for 1 h) but not by high-dose-rate priming (0.3 Gy at 40 Gy/h) was investigated. One HRS-negative cell line (NHIK 3025) and two HRS-positive cell lines (T-47D, T98G) were used. The effects of different pretreatments on HRS were investigated using the colony assay. Cell-based ELISA was used to measure nitric oxide synthase (NOS) levels, and microarray analysis to compare gene expression in primed and unprimed cells. The data show how permanent removal of HRS, previously found to be induced by LDR priming irradiation, can also be induced by addition of nitric oxide (NO)-donor DEANO combined with either high-dose-rate priming or exposure to prolonged cycling hypoxia followed by reoxygenation, a treatment not involving radiation. The removal of HRS appears not to involve DNA damage induced during priming irradiation as it was also induced by LDR irradiation of cell-conditioned medium without cells present. The permanent removal of HRS in LDR-primed cells was reversed by treatment with inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor 1400W. Furthermore, 1400W could also induce HRS in an HRS-negative cell line. The data suggest that LDR irradiation for 1 h, but not 15 min, activates iNOS, and also that sustained iNOS activation is necessary for the permanent removal of HRS by LDR priming. The data indicate that nitric oxide production is involved in the regulatory processes determining cellular responses to low-dose-rate irradiation.
PMCID: PMC3823782  PMID: 23685670
nitric oxide; inducible nitric oxide synthase; hyper-radiosensitivity; low dose-rate
2.  Gene Expression Profile Analysis of T1 and T2 Breast Cancer Reveals Different Activation Pathways 
ISRN Oncology  2013;2013:924971.
Breast cancers today are of predominantly T1 (0.1 ≥ 2.0 cm) or T2 (>2 ≤ 5 cm) categories due to early diagnosis. Molecular profiling using microarrays has led to the notion of breast cancer as a heterogeneous disease both clinically and molecularly. Given the prognostic power and clinical use of tumor size, the purpose of this study was to search for molecular signatures characterizing clinical T1 and T2. In total 46 samples were included in the discovery dataset. After adjusting for hormone receptor status, lymph node status, grade, and tumor subclass 441 genes were differently expressed between T1 and T2 tumors. Focal adhesion and extracellular matrix receptor interaction were upregulated in the smaller tumors while p38MAPK signaling and immune-related pathways were more dominant in the larger tumors. The T-size signature was then tested on a validation set of 947 breast tumor samples. Using the T-size expression signatures instead of tumor size leads to a significant difference in risk for distant metastases (P < 0.001). If further confirmed, this molecular signature can be used to select patients with tumor category T1 who may need more aggressive treatment and patients with tumor category T2 who may have less benefit from it.
PMCID: PMC3603375  PMID: 23533813
3.  In silico evolutionary analysis of Helicobacter pylori outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA) 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:206.
In the past decade, researchers have proposed that the pldA gene for outer membrane phospholipase A (OMPLA) is important for bacterial colonization of the human gastric ventricle. Several conserved Helicobacter pylori genes have distinct genotypes in different parts of the world, biogeographic patterns that can be analyzed through phylogenetic trees. The current study will shed light on the importance of the pldA gene in H. pylori. In silico sequence analysis will be used to investigate whether the bacteria are in the process of preserving, optimizing, or rejecting the pldA gene. The pldA gene will be phylogenetically compared to other housekeeping (HK) genes, and a possible origin via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) will be evaluated through both intra- and inter-species evolutionary analyses.
In this study, pldA gene sequences were phylogenetically analyzed and compared with a large reference set of concatenated HK gene sequences. A total of 246 pldA nucleotide sequences were used; 207 were from Norwegian isolates, 20 were from Korean isolates, and 19 were from the NCBI database. Best-fit evolutionary models were determined with MEGA5 ModelTest for the pldA (K80 + I + G) and HK (GTR + I + G) sequences, and maximum likelihood trees were constructed. Both HK and pldA genes showed biogeographic clustering. Horizontal gene transfer was inferred based on significantly different GC contents, the codon adaptation index, and a phylogenetic conflict between a tree of OMPLA protein sequences representing 171 species and a tree of the AtpA HK protein for 169 species. Although a vast majority of the residues in OMPLA were predicted to be under purifying selection, sites undergoing positive selection were also found.
Our findings indicate that the pldA gene could have been more recently acquired than seven of the HK genes found in H. pylori. However, the common biogeographic patterns of both the HK and pldA sequences indicated that the transfer occurred long ago. Our results indicate that the bacterium is preserving the function of OMPLA, although some sites are still being evolutionarily optimized.
PMCID: PMC3490997  PMID: 22974200
OMPLA; pldA; Phospholipase A; Outer membrane; Helicobacter pylori; Biogeography; Adaptation
4.  Expression of BMI-1 and Mel-18 in breast tissue - a diagnostic marker in patients with breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:686.
Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins are epigenetic silencers involved in maintaining cellular identity, and their deregulation can result in cancer. Expression of Mel-18 and Bmi-1 has been studied in tumor tissue, but not in adjacent non-cancerous breast epithelium. Our study compares the expression of the two genes in normal breast epithelium of cancer patients and relates it to the level of expression in the corresponding tumors as well as in breast epithelium of healthy women.
A total of 79 tumors, of which 71 malignant tumors of the breast, 6 fibroadenomas, and 2 DCIS were studied and compared to the reduction mammoplastic specimens of 11 healthy women. In addition there was available adjacent cancer free tissue for 23 of the malignant tumors. The tissue samples were stored in RNAlater, RNA was isolated to create expression microarray profile. These two genes were then studied more closely first on mRNA transcription level by microarrays (Agilent 44 K) and quantitative RT-PCR (TaqMan) and then on protein expression level using immunohistochemistry.
Bmi-1 mRNA is significantly up-regulated in adjacent normal breast tissue in breast cancer patients compared to normal breast tissue from noncancerous patients. Conversely, mRNA transcription level of Mel-18 is lower in normal breast from patients operated for breast cancer compared to breast tissue from mammoplasty. When protein expression of these two genes was evaluated, we observed that most of the epithelial cells were positive for Bmi-1 in both groups of tissue samples, although the expression intensity was stronger in normal tissue from cancer patients compared to mammoplasty tissue samples. Protein expression of Mel-18 showed inversely stronger intensity in tissue samples from mammoplasty compared to normal breast tissue from patients operated for breast cancer.
Bmi-1 mRNA level is consistently increased and Mel-18 mRNA level is consistently decreased in adjacent normal breast tissue of cancer patients as compared to normal breast tissue in women having had reduction mammoplasties. Bmi-1/Mel-18 ratio can be potentially used as a tool for stratifying women at risk of developing malignancy.
PMCID: PMC3013088  PMID: 21162745

Results 1-4 (4)