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1.  RNA-Dependent Protein Kinase Is Essential for 2-Methoxyestradiol-Induced Autophagy in Osteosarcoma Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59406.
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumor in children and young adults. Surgical resection and adjunctive chemotherapy are the only widely available options of treatment for this disease. Anti-tumor compound 2-Methoxyestradiol (2-ME) triggers cell death through the induction of apoptosis in osteosarcoma cells, but not in normal osteoblasts. In this report, we have investigated whether autophagy plays a role in 2-ME actions on osteosarcoma cells. Transmission electron microscopy imaging shows that 2-ME treatment leads to the accumulation of autophagosomes in human osteosarcoma cells. 2-ME induces the conversion of the microtubule-associated protein LC3-I to LC3-II, a biochemical marker of autophagy that is correlated with the formation of autophagosomes. Conversion to LC3-II is accompanied by protein degradation in 2-ME-treated cells. 2-ME does not induce autophagosome formation in normal primary human osteoblasts. In addition, 2-ME-dependent autophagosome formation in osteosarcoma cells requires ATG7 expression. Furthermore, 2-ME does not induce accumulation of autophagosomes in osteosarcoma cells that express dominant negative mutant RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) and are resistant to anti-proliferative and anti-tumor effects of 2-ME. Taken together, our study shows that 2-ME treatment induces PKR-dependent autophagy in osteosarcoma cells, and that autophagy could play an important role in 2-ME-mediated anti-tumor actions and in the control of osteosarcoma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059406
PMCID: PMC3602192  PMID: 23527187
2.  C-Reactive Protein, Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate and Orthopedic Implant Infection 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e9358.
Background
C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) have been shown to be useful for diagnosis of prosthetic hip and knee infection. Little information is available on CRP and ESR in patients undergoing revision or resection of shoulder arthroplasties or spine implants.
Methods/Results
We analyzed preoperative CRP and ESR in 636 subjects who underwent knee (n = 297), hip (n = 221) or shoulder (n = 64) arthroplasty, or spine implant (n = 54) removal. A standardized definition of orthopedic implant-associated infection was applied. Receiver operating curve analysis was used to determine ideal cutoff values for differentiating infected from non-infected cases. ESR was significantly different in subjects with aseptic failure infection of knee (median 11 and 53.5 mm/h, respectively, p = <0.0001) and hip (median 11 and 30 mm/h, respectively, p = <0.0001) arthroplasties and spine implants (median 10 and 48.5 mm/h, respectively, p = 0.0033), but not shoulder arthroplasties (median 10 and 9 mm/h, respectively, p = 0.9883). Optimized ESR cutoffs for knee, hip and shoulder arthroplasties and spine implants were 19, 13, 26, and 45 mm/h, respectively. Using these cutoffs, sensitivity and specificity to detect infection were 89 and 74% for knee, 82 and 60% for hip, and 32 and 93% for shoulder arthroplasties, and 57 and 90% for spine implants. CRP was significantly different in subjects with aseptic failure and infection of knee (median 4 and 51 mg/l, respectively, p<0.0001), hip (median 3 and 18 mg/l, respectively, p<0.0001), and shoulder (median 3 and 10 mg/l, respectively, p = 0.01) arthroplasties, and spine implants (median 3 and 20 mg/l, respectively, p = 0.0011). Optimized CRP cutoffs for knee, hip, and shoulder arthroplasties, and spine implants were 14.5, 10.3, 7, and 4.6 mg/l, respectively. Using these cutoffs, sensitivity and specificity to detect infection were 79 and 88% for knee, 74 and 79% for hip, and 63 and 73% for shoulder arthroplasties, and 79 and 68% for spine implants.
Conclusion
CRP and ESR have poor sensitivity for the diagnosis of shoulder implant infection. A CRP of 4.6 mg/l had a sensitivity of 79 and a specificity of 68% to detect infection of spine implants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009358
PMCID: PMC2825262  PMID: 20179760

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