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1.  FGFR2 gene amplification and clinicopathological features in gastric cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;106(4):727-732.
Frequency of FGFR2 amplification, its clinicopathological features, and the results of high-throughput screening assays in a large cohort of gastric clinical samples remain largely unclear.
Drug sensitivity to a fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitor was evaluated in vitro. The gene amplification of the FGFRs in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) gastric cancer tissues was determined by a real-time PCR-based copy number assay and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).
FGFR2 amplification confers hypersensitivity to FGFR inhibitor in gastric cancer cell lines. The copy number assay revealed that 4.1% (11 out of 267) of the gastric cancers harboured FGFR2 amplification. No amplification of the three other family members (FGFR1, 3 and 4) was detected. A FISH analysis was performed on 7 cases among 11 FGFR2-amplified cases and showed that 6 of these 7 cases were highly amplified, while the remaining 1 had a relatively low grade of amplification. Although the difference was not significant, patients with FGFR2 amplification tended to exhibit a shorter overall survival period.
FGFR2 amplification was observed in 4.1% of gastric cancers and our established PCR-based copy number assay could be a powerful tool for detecting FGFR2 amplification using FFPE samples. Our results strongly encourage the development of FGFR-targeted therapy for gastric cancers with FGFR2 amplification.
PMCID: PMC3322955  PMID: 22240789
FGFR2; gastric cancer; gene amplification
2.  Temporary blood pressure drop after bevacizumab administration is associated with clinical course of advanced colorectal cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(11):1693-1696.
A blood pressure drop after bevacizumab administration and its clinical significance have not been previously reported.
Blood pressure data at 0, 90, and 180 min after a total of 162 bevacizumab administrations in 81 advanced colorectal cancer patients were retrospectively investigated.
Twenty-five patients (30%) demonstrated an average temporary drop of 20 mm Hg or more in systolic blood pressure. We classified these 25 patients as group A and the others as group B. Median time-to-treatment failure (TTF) was significantly longer in group A than in group B (291 vs 162 days; P=0.02). Furthermore, the proportion of patients who required intervention with antihypertensive drugs during bevacizumab treatment was significantly higher in group A than in group B (36% vs 4% P<0.01).
This study suggests that a temporary blood pressure drop after bevacizumab administration could be a predictive marker for bevacizumab treatment.
PMCID: PMC3242590  PMID: 22033274
bevacizumab; blood pressure; hypotension; predictive marker
3.  Activin A inhibits vascular endothelial cell growth and suppresses tumour angiogenesis in gastric cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(8):1210-1217.
Activin A is a multi-functional cytokine belonging to the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily; however, the effect of activin A on angiogenesis remains largely unclear. We found that inhibin β A subunit (INHBA) mRNA is overexpressed in gastric cancer (GC) specimens and investigated the effect of activin A, a homodimer of INHBA, on angiogenesis in GC.
Anti-angiogenic effects of activin A via p21 induction were evaluated using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro and a stable INHBA-introduced GC cell line in vivo.
Compared with TGF-β, activin A potently inhibited the cellular proliferation and tube formation of HUVECs with induction of p21. A promoter assay and a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that activin A directly regulates p21 transcriptional activity through Smads. Stable p21-knockdown significantly enhanced the cellular proliferation of HUVECs. Notably, stable p21-knockdown exhibited a resistance to activin-mediated growth inhibition in HUVECs, indicating that p21 induction has a key role on activin A-mediated growth inhibition in vascular endothelial cells. Finally, a stable INHBA-introduced GC cell line exhibited a decrease in tumour growth and angiogenesis in vivo.
Our findings highlight the suppressive role of activin A, unlike TGF-β, on tumour growth and angiogenesis in GC.
PMCID: PMC3208490  PMID: 21897392
activin A; p21CIP1/WAF1; angiogenesis; gastric cancer
4.  Differential roles of STAT3 depending on the mechanism of STAT3 activation in gastric cancer cells 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(3):407-412.
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor that is activated in response to growth factors and cytokines, and which contributes to the regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, and motility in many human tumour types.
We investigated the mechanisms of STAT3 activation and the function of STAT3 depending on its mechanism of activation in gastric cancer cells.
The MET-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and cell transfection with a small interfering RNA (siRNA) specific for MET mRNA inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation in MET-activated cells, indicating that STAT3 activation is linked to MET signalling. Forced expression of a constitutively active form of STAT3 also attenuated MET-TKI-induced apoptosis, suggesting that inhibition of STAT3 activity contributes to MET-TKI-induced apoptosis. MKN1 and MKN7 cells, both of which are negative for MET activation, produced interleukin-6 (IL-6) that activated STAT3 through the Janus kinase pathway. Depletion of STAT3 by siRNA inhibited migration and invasion of these cells, suggesting that STAT3 activated by IL-6 contributes to regulation of cell motility.
Our data thus show that activated STAT3 contributes to either cell survival or motility in gastric cancer cells, and that these actions are related to different mechanisms of STAT3 activation.
PMCID: PMC3172904  PMID: 21730976
STAT3; MET; IL-6; JAK; apoptosis; migration and invasion
6.  Degree of freezing does not affect efficacy of frozen gloves for prevention of docetaxel-induced nail toxicity in breast cancer patients 
Supportive Care in Cancer  2011;20(9):2017-2024.
Frozen gloves (FG) are effective in preventing docetaxel-induced nail toxicity (DNT), but uncomfortable. The preventive effect of FG for DNT was compared using a standard (−25 to −30°C) or more comfortable (−10 to −20°C) preparation.
Breast cancer patients receiving docetaxel were eligible. Each patient wore an FG (prepared at −10 to −20°C for 90 min) for 60 min without replacement on the right hand. The left hand was protected by standard methods (FG prepared at −25 to −30°C overnight and worn for 90 min with replacement at 45 min). The primary endpoint was DNT occurrence at 5 months. Secondary endpoints included docetaxel exposure [cumulative dose and area under the blood concentration time curve (AUC)] until DNT occurrence and discomfort from FG. The pharmacokinetics of docetaxel was assessed.
From 23 patients enrolled between December 2006 and June 2010, seven who received docetaxel for less than 5 months were excluded from evaluation. The median accumulated docetaxel dose was 700 mg/m2 (340–1430 mg/m2). Within 5 months of FG use, none developed protocol-defined DNT in either hand. Two patients (13%) developed DNT at 7.2 and 7.3 months, respectively, both at −10 to −20°C. In the control hand (−25 to −30°C), discomfort occurred in 92% of the cycles, compared to 15% in the experimental hand (−10 to −20°C). Five patients (22%) experienced pain at −25 to −30°C, but none did at −10 to −20°C. The degree of docetaxel exposure was not related to DNT occurrence in our study.
A convenient preparation of FG at −10 to −20°C is almost as effective as a standard preparation at −25 to −30°C, with significantly less discomfort.
PMCID: PMC3411307  PMID: 22086405
Chemotherapy; Docetaxel; Frozen glove; Nail toxicity; Pharmacokinetics
7.  SOX2 is frequently downregulated in gastric cancers and inhibits cell growth through cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;98(4):824-831.
SOX transcription factors are essential for embryonic development and play critical roles in cell fate determination, differentiation and proliferation. We previously reported that the SOX2 protein is expressed in normal gastric mucosae but downregulated in some human gastric carcinomas. To clarify the roles of SOX2 in gastric carcinogenesis, we carried out functional characterisation of SOX2 in gastric epithelial cell lines. Exogenous expression of SOX2 suppressed cell proliferation in gastric epithelial cell lines. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that SOX2-overexpressing cells exhibited cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. We found that SOX2-mediated cell-cycle arrest was associated with decreased levels of cyclin D1 and phosphorylated Rb, and an increased p27Kip1 level. These cells exhibited further characteristics of apoptosis, such as DNA laddering and caspase-3 activation. SOX2 hypermethylation signals were observed in some cultured and primary gastric cancers with no or weak SOX2 expression. Among the 52 patients with advanced gastric cancers, those with cancers showing SOX2 methylation had a significantly shorter survival time than those without this methylation (P=0.0062). Hence, SOX2 plays important roles in growth inhibition through cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in gastric epithelial cells, and the loss of SOX2 expression may be related to gastric carcinogenesis and poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC2259184  PMID: 18268498
SOX2; gastric cancer; cell cycle; apoptosis; DNA methylation
8.  Clinical significance of VEGF-C status in tumour cells and stromal macrophages in non-small cell lung cancer patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2004;91(3):498-503.
PMCID: PMC2409842  PMID: 15226767
angiogenesis; lymphangiogenesis; stromal macrophages; VEGF; prognosis
9.  Virulence of Metallo-β-Lactamase-Producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa In Vitro and In Vivo 
We evaluated the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa carrying blaIMP, a metallo-β-lactamase gene, and the efficacy of ceftazidime, imipenem-cilastatin, and ciprofloxacin in the endogenous bacteremia model. The presence of blaIMP did not practically change the virulence of the parent strain, and ciprofloxacin was effective against infection with P. aeruginosa carrying blaIMP.
PMCID: PMC400588  PMID: 15105148
10.  DNA methylation and histone deacetylation associated with silencing DAP kinase gene expression in colorectal and gastric cancers 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(11):1817-1823.
Death-associated protein kinase is a positive regulator of programmed cell death induced by interferon γ. To investigate the role of epigenetic inactivation of death-associated protein kinase in gastrointestinal cancer, we examined the methylation status of the 5′ CpG island of the death-associated protein kinase gene. Methylation of the 5′ CpG island was detected in 3 of 9 colorectal and 3 of 17 gastric cancer cell lines, while among primary tumours, it was detected in 4 of 28 (14%) colorectal and 4 of 27 (15%) gastric cancers. By contrast, methylation of the edge of the CpG island was detected in virtually every sample examined. Death-associated protein kinase expression was diminished in four cell lines that showed dense methylation of the 5′ CpG island, and treatment with 5-aza-2′-deoxycitidine, a methyltransferase inhibitor, restored gene expression. Acetylation of histones H3 and H4 in the 5′ region of the gene was assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation and was found to correlate directly with gene expression and inversely with DNA methylation. Thus, aberrant DNA methylation and histone deacetylation of the 5′ CpG island, but not the edge of the CpG island, appears to play a key role in silencing death-associated protein kinase expression in gastrointestinal malignancies.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1817–1823. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600319
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2375414  PMID: 12087472
DNA methylation; histone acetylation; chromatin
11.  Apoptosis and p53 status predict the efficacy of postoperative administration of UFT in non-small cell lung cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(2):263-269.
To examine whether efficacy of postoperative oral administration of UFT, a 5-fluorouracil derivative chemotherapeutic agent, may be influenced by incidence of apoptosis (apoptosis index) or apoptosis-related gene status (p53 and bcl-2) of the tumour, a total of 162 patients with pathologic stage I non-small cell lung cancer were retrospectively reviewed. UFT was administrated postoperatively to 44 patients (UFT group), and not to the other 118 patients (Control group). For all patients, 5-year survival rate of the UFT group (79.9%) seemed higher than that of the Control group (69.8%), although without significant difference (P = 0.054). For patients with higher apoptotic index, 5-year survival rate of the UFT group (83.3%) was significantly higher than that of the Control group (67.6%, P = 0.039); for patients with lower apoptotic index, however, there was no difference in the prognosis between these two groups. Similarly, UFT was effective for patients without p53 aberrant expression (5-year survival rates: 95.2% for the UFT group and 74.3% for the Control group, P = 0.022), whereas not effective for patients with p53 aberrant expression. Bcl-2 status did not influence the efficacy of UFT. In conclusion, apoptotic index and p53 status are useful factors to predict the efficacy of postoperative adjuvant therapy using UFT. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363717  PMID: 11161386
p53; bcl-2; apoptosis; adjuvant therapy; 5-fluorouracil; UFT
12.  Role of coagulase in a murine model of hematogenous pulmonary infection induced by intravenous injection of Staphylococcus aureus enmeshed in agar beads. 
Infection and Immunity  1997;65(2):466-471.
We describe a novel mouse model of acute staphylococcal pneumonia induced by intravenous injection of Staphylococcus aureus enmeshed in agar beads. For comparison, we also used various strains of bacteria, including three strains of S. aureus, two strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis, one strain of Streptococcus pyogenes, three strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and one strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae. All except two strains of S. aureus were cleared rapidly from the lungs. When S. aureus NUMR1 enmeshed in agar beads was injected intravenously, the organisms concentrated and remained in the lung for a period longer than several weeks. Multiple lung abscesses were evident macroscopically, and histological examination of the infected lung showed multiple lung abscesses around the pulmonary arterioles, consisting of bacterial colonies encircled with fibrin filaments and surrounded by inflammatory cells of neutrophils and macrophages. When 14 strains of clinically isolated S. aureus were injected intravenously, the number of bacteria recovered from the lung tissue 7 days after infection correlated with the titer of staphylocoagulase (P < 0.01) but not with the titer of clumping factor. Injection of coagulase-deficient mutant strain DU5843 was associated with a markedly reduced number of viable bacteria isolated from the lung, compared with its coagulase-positive parental strain DU5789. Our results suggest that coagulase may play a role in the development of blood-borne staphylococcal pneumonia in our model. Our animal model is simple and reproducible and resembles blood-borne staphylococcal pneumonia in humans, and it could be useful for investigating the pathogenicity or treatment of staphylococcal pulmonary infection, including infections with methicillin-resistant S. aureus.
PMCID: PMC174618  PMID: 9009298
13.  Detection of Cryptococcus neoformans gene in patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1996;34(11):2826-2828.
Pulmonary cryptococcosis was diagnosed by nested PCR. Extraction of DNA was performed by mechanical destruction of the capsules of Cryptococcus neoformans by the glass bead technique. Nested PCR was positive for 4 of 5 culture-positive specimens but negative for 1 culture-positive specimen, 10 culture-negative specimens, and 1 specimen with undetermined culture results.
PMCID: PMC229412  PMID: 8897191
14.  In vitro studies of the mechanism of leukemogenesis. II. Characterization of endogenous murine leukemia viruses isolated from AKR thymic epithelial reticulum cell lines. 
Journal of Virology  1982;41(2):360-366.
Thymic epithelial reticulum (TER) cell lines were established from thymuses of a young healthy AKR mouse (A2T), a preleukemic AKR mouse (A6T), and two lymphoma-bearing AKR/Ms mice (ASLT-1 and ASLT-2). Numerous type-C virus particles with occasional budding forms were observed in all cell lines. Expression of XC-detectable, N-tropic, ecotropic virus was observed in every cell line, whereas the presence of xenotropic and mink cell focus-inducing (MCF) viruses could be detected only in TER cells derived from preleukemic and leukemic mice. Expression of xenotropic virus in various cells of newborn and young AKR mice could readily be induced by IUdR treatment, whereas MCF virus was never detected in these cells, with the exception of the A2T cell line after more than 20 passages, in which MCF virus with dual-tropic infectivity emerged in addition to ecotropic and xenotropic viruses. These spontaneous and induced MCF viruses were purified, and their virological properties were characterized. The cloned MCF viruses (MCFs AT1, AT2, AT3, and AT4-IU) showed dual tropism and produced cytopathic effect-like foci in mink lung cells. Preinfection with either ecotropic or xenotropic virus interfered with the infectivity of MCF viruses. Spontaneous leukemogenesis in AKR mice was accelerated by the inoculation of MCF viruses. These findings indicate that TER cells could serve as the host cells for the genetic recombination of the endogenous MuLV; the recombinant MuLV, MCF virus, appears to be most closely associated with leukemogenesis in AKR mice.
PMCID: PMC256766  PMID: 6281454
15.  Leukemogenicity and cell transformation mechanisms in vitro by Gross murine leukemia virus: analysis of virus subpopulations. 
Journal of Virology  1981;38(1):327-335.
The leukemogenic activity of Gross murine leukemia virus adapted to rats was tested in W/Fu rats and NIH/Swiss mice. All animals infected with this virus developed thymic and nonthymic T-cell leukemia with a short latency period. It was observed that cell-free extracts from thymic lymphoma tissue of mice and rats, induced by either Gross murine leukemia virus or Gross murine leukemia virus adapted to rats, consisted of both small-plaque-forming and large-plaque-forming viruses, as determined by the XC plaque test. MCF-type virus was found in these virus complexes. Transformed cell foci were induced in SC-1 cell layers by double infection of the cloned MCF-type virus and an ecotropic virus. SC-1 cells containing transformed cell foci were shown to be tumorigenic upon inoculation into nude mice. The formation of transformed cell foci in mink lung cells was also observed after double infection with the cloned MCF-type virus and a xenotropic virus. The possible mechanism of leukemogenesis by endogenous viruses is discussed.
PMCID: PMC171155  PMID: 7241657
16.  Transcriptional repressor ZF5 identifies a new conserved domain in zinc finger proteins. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1993;21(16):3767-3775.
We have cloned a cDNA encoding a new murine C2H2 zinc finger protein, ZF5. The 51.3 kD protein contains five GL1-Kruppel type zinc fingers at the C-terminus. At its N-terminus, ZF5 has a 41 amino acid region which was found to be homologous to the N-termini of several other zinc finger proteins. This region defines a new motif within zinc finger proteins which we have named the Zinc finger N-terminal (ZiN) domain. ZF5 binds to two sites in the c-myc promoter and to the -50 bp site of the herpes simplex thymidine kinase promoter. ZF5 is a transcriptional repressor and its repression domain is located N-terminal to the zinc finger domains. A single 4 kb ZF5 mRNA is expressed widely.
PMCID: PMC309887  PMID: 8367294

Results 1-16 (16)