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1.  Online Evaluation Programs: Benefits and Limitations 
Patient navigation programs are increasing throughout the USA, yet some evaluation measures are too vague to determine what and how navigation functions. Through collaborative efforts an online evaluation program was developed. The goal of this evaluation program is to make data entry accurate, simple, and efficient. This comprehensive program includes major components on staff, mentoring, committees, partnerships, grants/studies, products, dissemination, patient navigation, and reports. Pull down menus, radio buttons, and check boxes are incorporated whenever possible. Although the program has limitations, the benefits of having access to current, up-to-date program data 24/7 are worth overcoming the challenges. Of major benefit is the ability of the staff to tailor summary reports to provide anonymous feedback in a timely manner to community partners and participants. The tailored data are useful for the partners to generate summaries for inclusion in new grant applications.
PMCID: PMC3544411  PMID: 22447646
American Indian; Native American; Navigation; Evaluation; Cancer; Benefits; Limitations
2.  Serine 162, an Essential Residue for the Mitochondrial Localization, Stability and Anti-Apoptotic Function of Mcl-1 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45088.
Mcl-1 is an anti-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family that plays a key role in normal development, but also in pathologies such as cancer. It has some unusual properties compared to other anti-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family, and its expression and function are dynamically regulated by a variety of post-transcriptional and post-translational processes. Of note, Mcl-1 protein has a very short half life, and its stability and function may be regulated by reversible phosphorylation. There is also evidence to suggest that it may be localized to different subcellular compartments. The aim of this work was to determine whether residues within the PEST region of Mcl-1 that may undergo reversible phosphorylation, also regulate its subcellular distribution. We show that EGFP:Mcl-1 localizes mainly to the mitochondria of HeLa cells, with some additional cytoplasmic and nuclear localization. The mutations, S64A, S64E, S121A, S159A, T163A and T163E did not significantly affect the localization of Mcl-1. However, mutation of Ser162 to the phospho-null residue, Alanine resulted in an essentially nuclear localization, with some cytoplasmic but no mitochondrial localization. This mutant Mcl-1 protein, S162A, showed significantly decreased stability and it decreased the ability to protect against Bak-induced apoptosis. These data identify a new molecular determinant of Mcl-1 function, localization and stability that may be important for understanding the role of this protein in disease.
PMCID: PMC3443205  PMID: 23024798
3.  A Genome-wide screen identifies frequently methylated genes in haematological and epithelial cancers 
Molecular Cancer  2010;9:44.
Genetic as well as epigenetic alterations are a hallmark of both epithelial and haematological malignancies. High throughput screens are required to identify epigenetic markers that can be useful for diagnostic and prognostic purposes across malignancies.
Here we report for the first time the use of the MIRA assay (methylated CpG island recovery assay) in combination with genome-wide CpG island arrays to identify epigenetic molecular markers in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on a genome-wide scale. We identified 30 genes demonstrating methylation frequencies of ≥25% in childhood ALL, nine genes showed significantly different methylation frequencies in B vs T-ALL. For majority of the genes expression could be restored in methylated leukemia lines after treatment with 5-azaDC. Forty-four percent of the genes represent targets of the polycomb complex. In chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) two of the genes, (TFAP2A and EBF2), demonstrated increased methylation in blast crisis compared to chronic phase (P < 0.05). Furthermore hypermethylation of an autophagy related gene ATG16L2 was associated with poorer prognosis in terms of molecular response to Imatinib treatment. Lastly we demonstrated that ten of these genes were also frequently methylated in common epithelial cancers.
In summary we have identified a large number of genes showing frequent methylation in childhood ALL, methylation status of two of these genes is associated with advanced disease in CML and methylation status of another gene is associated with prognosis. In addition a subset of these genes may act as epigenetic markers across hematological malignancies as well as common epithelial cancers.
PMCID: PMC2838813  PMID: 20184741
4.  Vasopressin treatment of verapamil toxicity in the porcine model 
Vasopressin is a novel vasopressor agent used for intractable hypotension. There is little published data available on its use in the poisoned patient. We performed a randomized, controlled, blinded trial in a porcine model to study the effects of vasopressin infusion on mean arterial pressure after verapamil poisoning.
Eighteen anesthetized monitored swine received a verapamil infusion of 1 mg/kg/hr until the mean arterial pressure (MAP) had decreased to 70% of baseline. At this time, a continuous infusion of either vasopressin (0.01 U/kg/min) or an equal volume of normal saline was initiated. The swine were monitored for 60 minutes after initiation of the study infusion. The primary outcome was MAP.
There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in MAP, cardiac output or systemic vascular resistance. One half (four of eight) of the animals in the vasopressin group died, compared with 20% (two of ten) of those in the saline group.
Vasopressin infusion decreased the survival of verapamil-poisoned swine when compared to those treated with saline alone in this experimental model.
PMCID: PMC3550012  PMID: 18072096
vasopressins; verapamil; drug toxicity
5.  CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 5mer-induced apoptosis in MOLT-4 leukaemia cells does not require caspase 3 or new protein synthesis 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(9):2297-2304.
We have established that CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 5mers, of sequence type CGNNN (N = A, G, C or T), rapidly induce apoptosis/cell cycle arrest in human leukaemia lines. The 5′-CpG is obligatory for these effects. Induction of apoptosis in MOLT-4 cells did not require new protein synthesis and was insensitive to the caspase 3 inhibitor, Ac-DEVD-CHO, although the latter abrogated DNA laddering, phosphatidylserine externalization and collapse of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential. A subline of MOLT-4 cells, MOLT-4CpGR, was selected for acquired resistance to CpG 5mers. Differences in gene expression between MOLT-4 and MOLT-4CpGR cells were identified following three independent reciprocal cDNA subtractions, consensus selection and virtual cloning through targeted display. Several known genes were implicated in the action of or resistance to CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 5mers. Their protein products listed below immediately suggest cell signalling pathways/processes worthy of further investigation in elucidating the mechanism of CpG 5mer activity: caspase 2, the transcription factors Atf4, Hic, HoxB3 and Rqcd1, the splicing factors Rbmx, Sfrs5 and Sfrs7, the DNA replication factors Mcm5 and Brd4, phosphoinositide-3-kinase, annexin A1, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma translocation 1 and three enzymes involved in protein ubiquitylation, Siah1, Gsa7 and Nin283.
PMCID: PMC154220  PMID: 12711674
6.  Expression of c-myc is not critical for cell proliferation in established human leukemia lines 
A study was undertaken to resolve preliminary conflicting results on the proliferation of leukemia cells observed with different c-myc antisense oligonucleotides.
RNase H-active, chimeric methylphosphonodiester / phosphodiester antisense oligodeoxynucleotides targeting bases 1147–1166 of c-myc mRNA downregulated c-Myc protein and induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest respectively in cultures of MOLT-4 and KYO1 human leukemia cells. In contrast, an RNase H-inactive, morpholino antisense oligonucleotide analogue 28-mer, simultaneously targeting the exon 2 splice acceptor site and initiation codon, reduced c-Myc protein to barely detectable levels but did not affect cell proliferation in these or other leukemia lines. The RNase H-active oligodeoxynucleotide 20-mers contained the phosphodiester linked motif CGTTG, which as an apoptosis inducing CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 5-mer of sequence type CGNNN (N = A, G, C, or T) had potent activity against MOLT-4 cells. The 5-mer mimicked the antiproliferative effects of the 20-mer in the absence of any antisense activity against c-myc mRNA, while the latter still reduced expression of c-myc in a subline of MOLT-4 cells that had been selected for resistance to CGTTA, but in this case the oligodeoxynucleotide failed to induce apoptosis or cell cycle arrest.
We conclude that the biological activity of the chimeric c-myc antisense 20-mers resulted from a non-antisense mechanism related to the CGTTG motif contained within the sequence, and not through downregulation of c-myc. Although the oncogene may have been implicated in the etiology of the original leukemias, expression of c-myc is apparently no longer required to sustain continuous cell proliferation in these culture lines.
PMCID: PMC60647  PMID: 11734062
7.  Oligodeoxynucleotide 5mers containing a 5′-CpG induce apoptosis through a mitochondrial mechanism in T lymphocytic leukaemia cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2000;28(11):2242-2250.
A chimeric methylphosphonodiester/phosphodiester 15mer oligodeoxynucleotide of randomly selected sequence was observed to rapidly induce apoptosis in MOLT-4 and Jurkat E6 T lymphocytic leukaemia cells following intracytoplasmic delivery. A series of further methylphosphonate substitutions and mutations and truncations of the oligodeoxynucleotide served to establish that the phosphodiester-linked sequence CGGTA present in the 15mer was responsible for this biological activity. End-protected CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 5mers of sequence type CGNNN exhibited a range of apoptosis-inducing potencies, with CGTTA being the most active. The latter was shown to significantly reduce the rate of RNA synthesis in MOLT-4 cells within 1 h; DNA laddering and redistribution of phosphatidylserine to the outer surface of the plasma membrane were marked by 160 min and mitochondrial transmembrane potential collapsed over roughly the same time scale. Pro-caspase 8 was reduced within 130 min and the proteolytically activated caspase 8 substrate Bid was also down by this time, implicating release of cytochrome c from mitochondria by the active 15 kDa fragment of Bid. Substantial proteolytic activation of pro-caspase 3 was relatively delayed. These findings support a mitochondrial amplification mechanism for apoptosis triggered by CpG 5mers.
PMCID: PMC102630  PMID: 10871345
Cardiovascular Diseases  1974;1(5):433-448.
PMCID: PMC287514  PMID: 15215963

Results 1-9 (9)