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1.  Phytohemagglutinin-induced IL2 mRNA in whole blood can predict bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy for multiple myeloma patients 
Blood Cancer Journal  2013;3(10):e150-.
The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has revolutionized the treatment of multiple myeloma. However, bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy (BiPN) is a serious complication that compromises clinical outcome. If patients with a risk of developing BiPN could be predicted, physicians might prefer weekly, reduced-dose, or subcutaneous approaches. To seek biomarkers for BiPN, we conducted a multicenter prospective study using a simple and unique system. Multiple myeloma patients received twice-weekly or weekly 1.3 mg/m2 bortezomib intravenously, and a 2-ml sample of whole blood was obtained before treatment and 2–3 days and 1–3 weeks after the first dose. Induction of gene expression was then quantified by real-time PCR. Of a total of 64 enrolled patients, 53 patient samples qualified for mRNA analysis. The BiPN grade was associated with phytohemagglutinin-induced IL2, IFNG and TNFSF2, as well as with lipopolysaccharide-induced IL6 levels. More importantly, of the 19 patients showing a ⩾3-fold increase in phytohemagglutinin-induced IL2, 14 did not suffer from BiPN (73.7% prediction), whereas of the 34 patients with a <3-fold increase, 23 experienced BiPN (67.6% prediction). Therefore, we concluded that pretreatment of phytohemagglutinin-induced IL2 mRNA levels in whole blood serve as a promising biomarker for predicting BiPN, and this finding warrants validation in a larger study.
PMCID: PMC3816208  PMID: 24096714
bortezomib; peripheral neuropathy; interleukin 2; interferon-γ; TNF-α; interleukin 6
2.  Identification of Toyocamycin, an agent cytotoxic for multiple myeloma cells, as a potent inhibitor of ER stress-induced XBP1 mRNA splicing 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(7):e79-.
The IRE1α-XBP1 pathway, a key component of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response, is considered to be a critical regulator for survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Therefore, the availability of small-molecule inhibitors targeting this pathway would offer a new chemotherapeutic strategy for MM. Here, we screened small-molecule inhibitors of ER stress-induced XBP1 activation, and identified toyocamycin from a culture broth of an Actinomycete strain. Toyocamycin was shown to suppress thapsigargin-, tunicamycin- and 2-deoxyglucose-induced XBP1 mRNA splicing in HeLa cells without affecting activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and PKR-like ER kinase (PERK) activation. Furthermore, although toyocamycin was unable to inhibit IRE1α phosphorylation, it prevented IRE1α-induced XBP1 mRNA cleavage in vitro. Thus, toyocamycin is an inhibitor of IRE1α-induced XBP1 mRNA cleavage. Toyocamycin inhibited not only ER stress-induced but also constitutive activation of XBP1 expression in MM lines as well as primary samples from patients. It showed synergistic effects with bortezomib, and induced apoptosis of MM cells including bortezomib-resistant cells at nanomolar levels in a dose-dependent manner. It also inhibited growth of xenografts in an in vivo model of human MM. Taken together, our results suggest toyocamycin as a lead compound for developing anti-MM therapy and XBP1 as an appropriate molecular target for anti-MM therapy.
PMCID: PMC3408640  PMID: 22852048
multiple myeloma; ER stress; IRE1α; XBP1; toyocamycin; adenosine analog
3.  Potent antitumor effects of bevacizumab in a microenvironment-dependent human lymphoma mouse model 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(4):e67-.
We established a mouse model of microenvironment-dependent human lymphoma, and assessed the therapeutic potential of bevacizumab, an antitumor agent acting on the microenvironment. NOD/Shi-scid, IL-2Rγnull (NOG) mice were used as recipients of primary tumor cells from a patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which engraft and proliferate in a microenvironment-dependent manner. The lymphoma cells could be serially transplanted in NOG mice, but could not be maintained in in vitro cultures. Injection of bevacizumab together with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisolone) significantly increased necrosis and decreased vascularization in the tumor, compared with CHOP alone. Levels of human soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL2R) in the serum of bevacizumab+CHOP-treated mice (reflecting the DLBCL tumor burden) were significantly lower than in CHOP recipients. Mice receiving bevacizumab monotherapy also showed significant benefit in terms of tumor necrosis and vascularization, as well as decreased serum sIL2R concentrations. The present DLBCL model reflects the human DLBCL in vivo environment more appropriately than current mouse models using established tumor cell lines. This is the first report to evaluate the efficacy of bevacizumab in such a tumor microenvironment-dependent model. Bevacizumab may be a potential treatment strategy for DLBCL patients.
PMCID: PMC3346682  PMID: 22829969
bevacizumab; NOD/Shi-scid; IL-2Rγnull (NOG) mouse; lymphoma; tumor microenvironment
4.  Proteins altered by elevated levels of palmitate or glucose implicated in impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion 
Proteome Science  2009;7:24.
Development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is characterized by aberrant insulin secretory patterns, where elevated insulin levels at non-stimulatory basal conditions and reduced hormonal levels at stimulatory conditions are major components. To delineate mechanisms responsible for these alterations we cultured INS-1E cells for 48 hours at 20 mM glucose in absence or presence of 0.5 mM palmitate, when stimulatory secretion of insulin was reduced or basal secretion was elevated, respectively.
After culture, cells were protein profiled by SELDI-TOF-MS and 2D-PAGE. Differentially expressed proteins were discovered and identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. Complimentary protein profiles were obtained by the two approaches with SELDI-TOF-MS being more efficient in separating proteins in the low molecular range and 2D-PAGE in the high molecular range. Identified proteins included alpha glucosidase, calmodulin, gars, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A3, lon peptidase, nicotineamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen (NADH) dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate kinase, proteasome p45, rab2, pyruvate kinase and t-complex protein. The observed glucose-induced differential protein expression pattern indicates enhanced glucose metabolism, defense against reactive oxygen species, enhanced protein translation, folding and degradation and decreased insulin granular formation and trafficking. Palmitate-induced changes could be related to altered exocytosis.
The identified altered proteins indicate mechanism important for altered β-cell function in T2DM.
PMCID: PMC2732594  PMID: 19607692
5.  Role of MAPK in apolipoprotein CIII-induced apoptosis in INS-1E cells 
Individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have elevated levels of circulating apolipoprotein CIII (apoCIII). ApoCIII plays an important role for plasma triglyceride levels and elevated levels of the apolipoprotein have been connected with dyslipidemia in T2DM subjects. In addition, apoCIII has been linked to enhanced β-cell apoptosis. The present study was undertaken to investigate apoptotic mechanisms induced by the apolipoprotein.
ApoCIII (10 μg/ml) enhanced apoptosis 2-fold in insulin-producing INS-1E cells after 24 hours exposure to the apolipoprotein. At this time point phosphorylation of mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 had doubled but ERK1/2 and JNK were not activated. Instead, ERK1/2 showed rapid and transient phosphorylation (2-fold after 0.5 hour). No JNK phosphorylation was observed. In support of a role of activation of not only p38 but also ERK1/2 in apoCIII-induced apoptosis, inclusion of p38 inhibitor SB203580 (10 μM) or ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 (100 μM) normalized apoptosis. Whereas influx of Ca2+ was linked to apoCIII-induced ERK1/2 activation, pro-apoptotic protein CHOP/GADD of the unfolded protein response (UPR) was not affected by apoCIII.
It is suggested that elevated circulating apoCIII levels may contribute to β-cell apoptosis via activation of p38 and ERK1/2 in individuals with T2DM. Therapies aiming at normalizing levels of apoCIII could be beneficial not only for the function of the β-cell but also for cardiovascular protection.
PMCID: PMC2647908  PMID: 19196457

Results 1-5 (5)