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1.  Chemoprevention of rat liver toxicity and carcinogenesis by Spirulina 
Spirulina platensis (SP) is a filamentous cyanobacterium microalgae with potent dietary phyto-antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. The present study aimed to investigate the chemopreventive effect of SP against rat liver toxicity and carcinogenesis induced by dibutyl nitrosamine (DBN) precursors, and further characterized its underlying mechanisms of action in HepG2 cell line. Investigation by light and electron microscopy showed that DBN treatment induced severe liver injury and histopathological abnormalities, which were prevented by SP supplementation. The incidence of liver tumors was significantly reduced from 80 to 20% by SP. Immunohistochemical results indicated that both PCNA and p53 were highly expressed in the liver of DBN-treated rats, but were significantly reduced by SP supplementation. Molecular analysis indicated that SP treatment inhibited cell proliferation, which was accompanied by increased p21 and decreased Rb expression levels at 48hrs post-treatment. In addition, SP increased Bax and decreased Bcl-2 expression, indicating induction of apoptosis by 48hrs. This is the first report of the in vivo chemopreventive effect of SP against DBN-induced rat liver cytotoxicity and carcinogenesis, suggesting its potential use in chemoprevention of cancer.
PMCID: PMC2695150  PMID: 19521547
Spirulina platensis; Phyto-antioxidant; Liver toxicity; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Electron microscopy; p53
2.  Histopathological effects of cisplatin, doxorubicin and 5-flurouracil (5-FU) on the liver of male albino rats 
Cisplatin, doxorubicin and fluorouracil (5-FU), drugs belonging to different chemical classes, have been extensively used for chemotherapy of various cancers. Despite extensive investigations into their hepatotoxicity, there is very limited information on their effects on the structure and ultra-structure of liver cells in vivo. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, the effects of these three anticancer drugs on rat liver toxicity using both light and electron microscopy. Light microscopic observations revealed that higher doses of cisplatin and doxorubicin caused massive hepatotoxicity compared to 5-FU treatment, including dissolution of hepatic cords, focal inflammation and necrotic tissues. Interestingly, low doses also exhibited abnormal changes, including periportal fibrosis, degeneration of hepatic cords and increased apoptosis. These changes were confirmed at ultrastructural level, including vesiculated rough endoplasmic reticulum and atrophied mitochondria with ill-differentiated cisternae, dense collection of macrophages and lymphocytes as well as fibrocytes with collagenous fibrils manifesting early sign of fibrosis, especially in response to cisplatin and doxorubicin -treatment. Our results provide in vivo evidence, at ultrastructural level, of direct hepatotoxicity caused by cisplatin, doxorubicin and 5-FU at both light and electron microscopi. These results can guide the design of appropriate treatment regimen to reduce the hepatotoxic effects of these anticancer drugs.
PMCID: PMC2706427  PMID: 19584954
Cisplatin; doxorubicin; 5-FU; Hepatotoxicity; Rat liver; Chemotherapy.
3.  Association of Insertion/Deletion Polymorphism of Alpha-Adrenoceptor Gene in Essential Hypertension with or without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Malaysian Subjects 
An insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism of Alpha2B-Adrenoceptor (ADRA2B) gene located on chromosome 2 has been studied extensively in related to cardiovascular diseases. The main aim of the present study was to examine the potential association of D allele frequency of I/D polymorphism of ADRA2B gene in Malaysian essential hypertensive subjects with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study includes 70 hypertensive subjects without T2DM, 65 hypertensive subjects with T2DM and 75 healthy volunteers as control subjects. Genotyping of I/D polymorphism was performed by conventional PCR method. There was significant difference found in age, body mass index, systolic/diastolic blood pressure and high density lipoprotein cholesterol level between the case and control subjects. DD genotypic frequency of I/D polymorphism was significantly higher in hypertensive subjects (42.84% vs. 29.33%; P­=0.029) and in hypertensive with T2DM subjects (46.15% vs. 29.33%; P=0.046) than control group. D allele frequency was higher in hypertensive group (67.41%) than control subjects (52.67%). However, no significant difference was found between the three genotypes of I/D polymorphism of ADRA2B gene and the clinical characteristics of the subjects. The result obtained in this study show D allele of ADRA2B gene was associated with essential hypertension with or without T2DM in Malaysian subjects.
PMCID: PMC2567812  PMID: 18953403
Alpha2B-Adrenoceptor; Essential hypertension; Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; Insertion/Deletion polymorphism
4.  Qualification and application of an ELISA for the determination of Tamm Horsfall Protein (THP) in human urine and its use for screening of Kidney Stone Disease 
Kidney stone disease affects 1 - 20% of the general population. At present, the diagnosis of a stone is done using radiography method when noticeable symptoms appeared. We developed a non-invasive quantitative assay for urinary THP, namely ELISA; whereby our previous study and other reports had shown the usefulness of THP as biomarker for kidney stone disease. Since urine is biological fluid that is easily obtainable, this method could be used as a screening assay for kidney stone prior to confirmation with radiography. The ELISA gave assay linearity r2 > 0.999 within the range of 109 ng/mL to 945 ng/mL THP. Assay precisions were < 4% (C.V.) for repeatability and < 5% (C.V.) for reproducibility. Assay accuracy range from 97.7% to 101.2% at the various THP concentrations tested. Assay specificity and sensitivity were 80% and 86%, respectively. The cut-off points at P < 0.05 were 37.0 and 41.2 μg/mL for male and female, respectively. The assay is cost effective and rapid whereby the cost for assaying each urine sample in duplicate is approximately USD0.35 and within 5 hours, 37 samples can be assayed alongside full range of standards and 3 QC samples in each plate. Furthermore, sample preparation is relatively easy where urine sample was diluted 10 times in TEA buffer. The usability of the ELISA method for diagnosis of kidney stone disease is evaluated with 117 healthy subjects and 58 stone formers.
PMCID: PMC2500153  PMID: 18695745
Kidney stone disease; ELISA; Tamm-Horsfall protein; Screening assay
5.  MCEF is localized to the nucleus by protein sequences encoded within three distinct exons, where it represses HIV-1 Tat-transactivation of LTR-directed transcription 
Translocations between the human Mixed Lineage Leukemia (MLL) and AF4 Family (AFF) member genes, are implicated in leukemia. Mutations to AFFs can disrupt lymphopoesis, CNS development and spermatogenesis. However, despite the growing list of pathologies linked to AFF members, their evolutionary relationship and the structure/function of individual members, remain to be elucidated. Here, we first report that database mining and phylogenetic analysis with AFF proteins from multiple species, revealed two monophyletic sister clades, suggesting a common Bilateria ancestor. We then examined the structure/function of the most recently discovered AFF member, MCEF (also known as AF5q31 or AFF4). In silico, the human MCEF gene was found to have 21 exons, and code for a protein with seven nuclear localization sequences (NLS). In HeLa cells, an MCEF-EGFP fusion protein, localized exclusively to the nucleus. Consequently, we made twenty constructs, expressing MCEF deletion mutants fused to EGFP and/or DsRed fluorescent proteins. Three distinct protein sequences, encoded by three separate MCEF exons, were found to mediate nuclear localization, only two of which were predicted in silico. Importantly, we also found that ectopic expression of MCEF, repressed HIV-1 LTR-directed RNA Polymerase II transcription, at the level of Tat-transactivation. We suggest that portions of MCEF could be exploited for chimeric transcription factor repression (CTFR) of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC1820876  PMID: 17389929
Transcription; MCEF; AF5q31; AFF4; NLS; HIV; Tat

Results 1-5 (5)