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1.  Phosphorylated 4EBP1 is associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis in Xp11.2 translocation renal cell carcinoma 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:23594.
Two main signaling pathways, PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RAS-MAPK, are involved in transmitting the proliferative signals which play critical roles in human cancers. However, the functions of these pathways in Xp11.2 RCC remain undefined. This study aimed to explore the expression of mTOR and MAPK cascades in Xp11.2 RCC and to assess the prognostic significance of proteins evaluated. Immunohistochemistry was performed to evaluate the expression of 4EBP1, p-4EBP1, p-mTOR, p-S6K and p-MAPK in 36 adult Xp11.2 RCC patients who were confirmed by FISH assay. Cox regression models were used to evaluate the prognostic value of all covariates. Among 36 assessed patients, 14 (38.9%), 26 (72.2%), 16 (44.4%), 19 (52.8%), and 9 (25.0%) patients showed high expression of 4EBP1, p-4EBP1, p-mTOR, p-S6K, and p-MAPK, respectively. We noted that p-4EBP1 expression was significantly correlated with lymph node metastases (P = 0.027). Multivariate analysis showed that high p-4EBP1 expression was an independent adverse prognostic factor for both PFS (HR = 33.750, P = 0.017) and OS (HR = 56.111, P = 0.026). Our findings suggest that p-4EBP1 may serve as a funnel factor that converge the upstream proliferative oncogenic signals. Effective inhibition of the pathways responsible for 4E-BP1 phosphorylation might be a useful strategy to improve the outcome of Xp11.2 RCC patients.
PMCID: PMC4812307  PMID: 27026382
2.  Targeting protein neddylation with an NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor MLN4924 induced apoptosis or senescence in human lymphoma cells 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2015;16(3):420-429.
Recent studies indicate that post-translational protein neddylation is required for the maintenance of cell viability in several lymphoma cell lines, while inhibition of the neddylation pathway with an NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE) inhibitor MLN4924 induces apoptosis in lymphoma cells. However, the mechanism by which neddylation inhibition induces apoptosis in lymphoma cells has not been fully elucidated. Moreover, it is unknown whether neddylation inhibition triggers non-apoptotic cell-killing responses, such as cell senescence, in lymphoma cells. Here, we report that MLN4924 specifically inhibited protein neddylation, inactivated cullin-RING E3 ligase (CRL), the best-known neddylation substrate, and induced the accumulation of tumor-suppressive CRL substrates in lymphoma cells. Moreover, MLN4924 potently suppressed the growth of lymphoma cells by inducing G2 cell-cycle arrest, followed by apoptosis or senescence in a cell line-dependent manner. MLN4924-induced apoptosis was mediated by intrinsic apoptotic signaling with substantial up-regulation of pro-apoptotic Bik and Noxa as well as down-regulation of anti-apoptotic XIAP, c-IAP1 and c-IAP2, while senescence induction upon neddylation inhibition seemed dependent on the expression of tumor suppressor p21/p27. Together, these findings expand our understanding on how lymphoma cells respond to neddylation inhibition and support the development of neddylation inhibitors (e.g. MLN4924) for the treatment of lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC4623239  PMID: 25782162
apoptosis; lymphoma; MLN4924; neddylation; senescence
3.  Diagnosis of adults Xp11.2 translocation renal cell carcinoma by immunohistochemistry and FISH assays: clinicopathological data from ethnic Chinese population 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:21677.
This study aimed to assess the utility of transcription factor E3 (TFE3) break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay in diagnosis of Xp11.2 translocation renal cell carcinoma (Xp11.2 RCC) and to compare the clinicopathological features between adult Xp11.2 RCC and non-Xp11.2 RCC. 76 pathologically suspected Xp11.2 RCCs were recruited from our institution. Both TFE3 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and TFE3 FISH assay were performed for the entire cohort. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. FISH analysis confirmed 30 Xp11.2 RCCs, including 28 cases with positive TFE3 immunostaining and 2 cases with negative immunostaining. The false-positive and false-negative rates were 6.7% (2/30) and 4.3% (2/46), respectively, for TFE3 IHC compared with FISH assay. Xp11.2 RCC was significantly associated with higher pathological stage and Fuhrman nuclear grade compared with non-Xp11.2 RCC (P < 0.05). The median PFS and OS for TFE3 FISH-positive group were 13.0 months (95% CI, 8.4–17.6 months) and 50.0 months (95% CI, 27.6–72.4 months), respectively, while the median PFS and OS had not been reached for TFE3 FISH-negative group. In conclusion, TFE3 break-apart FISH assay is a highly useful and standard diagnostic method for Xp11.2 RCC. Adult Xp11.2 RCC is clinically aggressive and often presents at advanced stage with poor prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4754949  PMID: 26880493
4.  Detection of lung adenocarcinoma with ROS1 rearrangement by IHC, FISH, and RT-PCR and analysis of its clinicopathologic features 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;9:131-138.
To detect ROS1 rearrangement using three different assays, including immunohistochemistry (IHC), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and to analyze the clinicopathologic features of ROS1 rearrangement in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.
One hundred eighty-three consecutive patients with lung adenocarcinoma with operation and follow-up data were analyzed for ROS1 rearrangement by IHC, FISH, and RT-PCR. PCR products of the RT-PCR-positive samples were sequenced for confirmation of the specific fusion partners.
Three of the 183 (1.64%) cases were identified to be positive for ROS1 rearrangement through all three methods. The fusion patterns were CD74 e6-ROS1 e32, CD74 e6-ROS1 e34, and TPM3 e8-ROS1 e35, respectively. FISH-positive cases showed two types of signals, single 3′ signals (green) and split red and green signals. Using FISH as a standard method, the sensitivity and specificity of ROS1 IHC with 1+ staining or more were 100% and 96.67%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of RT-PCR were both 100%. Univariate analysis identified female sex (P=0.044), Stage I disease (P<0.001), and ROS1-negative status (P=0.022) to be significantly associated with longer overall survival.
IHC, FISH, and RT-PCR are all effective methods for the detection of ROS1 rearrangement. IHC would be a useful screening method in routine pathologic laboratories. RT-PCR can detect exact fusion patterns. ROS1 rearrangement may be a worse prognostic factor. The exact correlation of ROS1 rearrangement with prognosis and whether different fusion types are correlated with different responses to targeted therapy need to be further investigated.
PMCID: PMC4706119  PMID: 26770062
ROS1; lung adenocarcinoma; rearrangement; IHC; FISH; RT-PCR
5.  Immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability analysis in molecular subtyping of colorectal carcinoma based on mismatch repair competency 
Mismatch repair defective (MMRd) colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is a distinct molecular phenotype of colorectal cancer, including 12% of sporadic CRC and 3% of Lynch Syndrome. In order to investigate the clinicopathological characteristics of MMRd colorectal carcinoma, and to find the most effective method for preliminary screening, 296 CRC fulfilled revised Bethesda Guideline (RB) were selected from 1450 CRCs to perform both IHC staining for MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2 and MSI analysis. Sixty-eight tumors were classified as MSI-H by MSI test. Colorectal carcinomas with MSI-H were prone to be proximal located, poorly differentiated, and relatively early staged, with infrequent metastasis to lymph node as well as to distant organs, compared with MSS ones. All of the 68 MMRd CRCs presented abnormal expression of at least one mismatch repair protein (MMRP), with 48 concurrent negative of MLH1 and PMS2, 14 concurrent negative of MSH2 and MSH6, 4 isolated negative of MSH6, 1 isolated negative of PMS2, and 1 concurrent negative of 4 MMRPs. All of the MLH1 negative tumors also showed abnormal expression of PMS2. All of the MSH2 negative cases also presented negative expression of MSH6. The sensitivity and specificity of the 2-antibody IHC test contained only PMS2 and MSH6 for screening for MMRd CRC were 100% and 98.2% respectively, exactly the same as that of the 4-antibody IHC test with all of the 4 MMRPs. The diagnostic accordance rate of the 2-antibody approach and MSI analysis was 98.6%. In conclusion, MMRd CRC has characteristic clinicopathological features different from MSS CRCs. The 2-antibody IHC approach containing MSH6 and PMS2 is the most easy and effective way to detecting MMR deficiency in CRC.
PMCID: PMC4723875  PMID: 26885030
Mismatch repair; microsatellite instability; Lynch syndrome; immunohistochemistry; molecular phenotype; CRC
6.  Whole Exome Sequencing Identifies Frequent Somatic Mutations in Cell-Cell Adhesion Genes in Chinese Patients with Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:14237.
Lung squamous cell carcinoma (SQCC) accounts for about 30% of all lung cancer cases. Understanding of mutational landscape for this subtype of lung cancer in Chinese patients is currently limited. We performed whole exome sequencing in samples from 100 patients with lung SQCCs to search for somatic mutations and the subsequent target capture sequencing in another 98 samples for validation. We identified 20 significantly mutated genes, including TP53, CDH10, NFE2L2 and PTEN. Pathways with frequently mutated genes included those of cell-cell adhesion/Wnt/Hippo in 76%, oxidative stress response in 21%, and phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase in 36% of the tested tumor samples. Mutations of Chromatin regulatory factor genes were identified at a lower frequency. In functional assays, we observed that knockdown of CDH10 promoted cell proliferation, soft-agar colony formation, cell migration and cell invasion, and overexpression of CDH10 inhibited cell proliferation. This mutational landscape of lung SQCC in Chinese patients improves our current understanding of lung carcinogenesis, early diagnosis and personalized therapy.
PMCID: PMC4621504  PMID: 26503331
7.  PIWIL1 destabilizes microtubule by suppressing phosphorylation at Ser16 and RLIM-mediated degradation of stathmin1 
Oncotarget  2015;6(29):27794-27804.
Human PIWIL1, alias HIWI, is a member of Piwi protein family and expressed in various tumors. However, the underlying mechanism of PIWIL1 in tumorigenesis remains largely unknown. Stathmin1 is a cytosolic phosphoprotein which has a critical role in regulating microtubule dynamics and is overexpressed in many cancers. Here we report that PIWIL1 can directly bind to Stathmin1. Meanwhile, PIWIL1 can up-regulate the expression of Stathmin1 through inhibiting ubiquitin-mediated degradation induced by an E3 ubiquitin ligase RLIM. Furthermore, PIWIL1 can also reduce phosphorylation level of Stathmin1 at Ser-16 through inhibiting the interaction between CaMKII and Stathmin1. Our results showed that PIWIL1 suppresses microtubule polymerization, and promotes cell proliferation and migration via Stathmin1 for the first time. Our study reveals a novel mechanism for PIWIL1 in tumorigenesis.
PMCID: PMC4695026  PMID: 26317901
PIWIL1; STMN1; tubulin; proliferation; migration
8.  Role of Src in Vascular Hyperpermeability Induced by Advanced Glycation End Products 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:14090.
The disruption of microvascular barrier in response to advanced glycation end products (AGEs) stimulation contributes to vasculopathy associated with diabetes mellitus. Here, to study the role of Src and its association with moesin, VE-cadherin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in AGE-induced vascular hyperpermeability, we verified that AGE induced phosphorylation of Src, causing increased permeability in HUVECs. Cells over-expressed Src displayed a higher permeability after AGE treatment, accompanied with more obvious F-actin rearrangement. Activation of Src with pcDNA3/flag-SrcY530F alone duplicated these effects. Inhibition of Src with siRNA, PP2 or pcDNA3/flag-SrcK298M abolished these effects. The pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) isolated from receptor for AGEs (RAGE)-knockout mice decreased the phosphorylation of Src and attenuated the barrier dysfunction after AGE-treatment. In vivo study showed that the exudation of dextran from mesenteric venules was increased in AGE-treated mouse. This was attenuated in RAGE knockout or PP2-pretreated mice. Up-regulation of Src activity induced the phosphorylation of moesin, as well as activation and dissociation of VE-cadherin, while down-regulation of Src abolished these effects. FAK was also proved to interact with Src in HUVECs stimulated with AGEs. Our studies demonstrated that Src plays a critical role in AGE-induced microvascular hyperpermeability by phosphorylating moesin, VE-cadherin, and FAK respectively.
PMCID: PMC4585381  PMID: 26381822
9.  Therapeutic effects of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells expressing interleukin-12 in mice bearing malignant ascites tumor 
This study is to investigate the therapeutic effects of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) expressing interleukin (IL)-12 on malignant ascites tumor-bearing mice and the related mechanisms. Malignant ascites tumor mouse model was established by the intraperitoneal inoculation with MethA or H22 tumor cells. Mouse BMSCs were transfected with lentiviral vector containing IL-12, and then transplanted into these mouse models via intraperitoneal injection. The peritoneal permeability in these mice was evaluated and compared. The contents of INF-γ and VEGF in ascites were determined by ELISA. Mouse models receiving IL-12-expressing BMSCs were rechallenged with tumor cells, and the animal survival was observed and analyzed. In both MethA and H22 tumor cell-induced malignant ascites tumor mouse models, there were no significant differences in the peritoneal permeability between the normal saline (NS), BMSC-control, and BMSC-null groups. However, compared with NS control group, the peritoneal permeability was significantly decreased by IL-12-expressing BMSCs. Moreover, ELISA showed that, in both the MethA and H22 tumor cell-induced mouse models, compared with the NS control group, the contents of INF-γ in ascites were significantly elevated, while the contents of VEGF in ascites were significantly decreased, in the BMSC-IL-12 groups. In addition, IL-12-expressing BMSCs significantly elongated the survival of mouse models after rechallenging with tumor cells. IL-12-expressing BMSCs exert protective effects against malignant ascites tumor, and the anti-tumor effects might be associated with the enhanced anti-tumor immunity. Our findings might bring new insights into the treatment of tumors with immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4658974  PMID: 26629085
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs); interleukin (IL)-12; malignant ascites tumor; immunotherapy
10.  Effects of paroxetine on spatial memory function and protein kinase C expression in a rat model of depression 
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of paroxetine on the spatial memory and expression level of protein kinase C (PKC) in a rat model of depression. Rat models of depression were established by chronic unpredictable mild stress. The spatial learning and memory function of the rats were assessed by the Morris water maze test. The expression levels of PKC in the hippocampus were detected by western blotting. The results showed that, compared with the control group, the escape latency was prolonged and the percentage of time in the target quadrant and the number of times the rats crossed the platform were reduced in the model group; however, the impaired spatial learning and memory function in these rat models could be restored by paroxetine, almost to a level comparable with that in the normal control animals. In addition, the expression of PKC in the model group was significantly decreased compared with that in the control group, and the expression could also be elevated by paroxetine treatment. These results suggest an association between PKC levels and the pathogenesis of depression. The application of paroxetine can improve the spatial memory and reverse the changes in PKC levels in the hippocampus in the rat model of depression. The present findings have enhanced the understanding of the pathogenesis of depression, and provide experimental evidence for the treatment of depression with paroxetine.
PMCID: PMC4578077  PMID: 26622512
depression; paroxetine; spatial memory; protein kinase C; Morris water maze
11.  Identification of a Comprehensive Spectrum of Genetic Factors for Hereditary Breast Cancer in a Chinese Population by Next-Generation Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0125571.
The genetic etiology of hereditary breast cancer has not been fully elucidated. Although germline mutations of high-penetrance genes such as BRCA1/2 are implicated in development of hereditary breast cancers, at least half of all breast cancer families are not linked to these genes. To identify a comprehensive spectrum of genetic factors for hereditary breast cancer in a Chinese population, we performed an analysis of germline mutations in 2,165 coding exons of 152 genes associated with hereditary cancer using next-generation sequencing (NGS) in 99 breast cancer patients from families of cancer patients regardless of cancer types. Forty-two deleterious germline mutations were identified in 21 genes of 34 patients, including 18 (18.2%) BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, 3 (3%) TP53 mutations, 5 (5.1%) DNA mismatch repair gene mutations, 1 (1%) CDH1 mutation, 6 (6.1%) Fanconi anemia pathway gene mutations, and 9 (9.1%) mutations in other genes. Of seven patients who carried mutations in more than one gene, 4 were BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, and their average onset age was much younger than patients with only BRCA1/2 mutations. Almost all identified high-penetrance gene mutations in those families fulfill the typical phenotypes of hereditary cancer syndromes listed in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, except two TP53 and three mismatch repair gene mutations. Furthermore, functional studies of MSH3 germline mutations confirmed the association between MSH3 mutation and tumorigenesis, and segregation analysis suggested antagonism between BRCA1 and MSH3. We also identified a lot of low-penetrance gene mutations. Although the clinical significance of those newly identified low-penetrance gene mutations has not been fully appreciated yet, these new findings do provide valuable epidemiological information for the future studies. Together, these findings highlight the importance of genetic testing based on NCCN guidelines and a multi-gene analysis using NGS may be a supplement to traditional genetic counseling.
PMCID: PMC4415911  PMID: 25927356
12.  Hydroxysafflor yellow A inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells via Toll-like receptor-4 pathway 
Abnormal proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is closely associated with early vascular hyperplasic lesions. Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 is a pathogen pattern recognition receptor expressed on VSMCs, and can be activated by lipopolysaccharide. Activated TLR-4 plays a promoting role in VSMCs proliferation and migration through the downstream signaling pathways including Rac1/Akt. Hydroxysafflor yellow A (HSYA) is the main component of the safflower yellow pigments, which has long been used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in traditional Chinese medicine. However, the effect of HSYA on VSMC proliferation and migration remains unknown. In the present study, we showed that HYSA could inhibit LPS-induced VSMCs proliferation and migration, accompanied by the downregulated levels of several key pro-inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8. We further showed that HYSA inhibited LPS-induced upregulation of TLR-4 expression as well as the activation of Rac1/Akt pathway, suggesting that HSYA inhibits LPS-induced VSMCs proliferation and migration, partly at least, via inhibition of TLR-4/Rac1/Akt pathway. Accordingly, HSYA may be used as a promising agent for prevention and treatment of vascular hyperplasic disorders.
PMCID: PMC4483943  PMID: 26131104
Hydroxysafflor yellow A; vascular smooth muscle cell; lipopolysaccharide; proliferation; migration
13.  Acute hemodynamic and renal effects of glucagon-like peptide 1 analog and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor in rats 
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) analogs and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors are a newer class of antidiabetics named as incretin-based therapy. In addition to the homeostatic control of glucose, the incretin-based therapy has shown beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system in preclinical and clinical studies. However, there is limited information on their renal effects. To this end, we assessed the acute hemodynamic and renal effects of a GLP-1 analog, Liraglutide, and a DPP4 inhibitor, MK-0626.
Experiments were performed in anesthetized male Sprague–Dawley rats. Three ascending doses of Liraglutide (3, 9, and 27 nmol/kg/h) or MK-0626 (1 mg/kg) with or without GLP-1 peptide (2.4, 4.8, or 9.6 pmol/kg/min) were administered. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were recorded from an indwelling catheter. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal blood flow (RBF) were assessed by inulin and para-aminohippurate clearance, respectively. Renal excretory function was assessed in metabolic studies.
Both Liraglutide and MK-0626 plus GLP-1 evoked significant diuretic and natriuretic responses and increased GFR. MK-0626 alone increased RBF. Liraglutide at 27 nmol//kg/h and MK-0626 plus GLP-1 at 9.6 pmol/kg/min also increased HR, whereas BP was not affected.
The results of the present study demonstrated that a GLP-1 analog and a DPP4 inhibitor may have beneficial effects on renal sodium and water handling. Additionally, the DPP4 inhibitor, MK-0626, favorably affects renal hemodynamics by increasing RBF. However, exceedingly high levels of GLP-1 receptor agonists may adversely affect the cardiovascular system in acute setting, as demonstrated by an acute increase in HR.
PMCID: PMC4476171  PMID: 25888997
Glucagon-like peptide 1; Dipeptidyl peptidase-4; Hemodynamics; Renal function
14.  Development of a High-Throughput Resequencing Array for the Detection of Pathogenic Mutations in Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0119553.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a rare inherited skeletal disease, characterized by bone fragility and low bone density. The mutations in this disorder have been widely reported to be on various exonal hotspots of the candidate genes, including COL1A1, COL1A2, CRTAP, LEPRE1, and FKBP10, thus creating a great demand for precise genetic tests. However, large genome sizes make the process daunting and the analyses, inefficient and expensive. Therefore, we aimed at developing a fast, accurate, efficient, and cheaper sequencing platform for OI diagnosis; and to this end, use of an advanced array-based technique was proposed.
A CustomSeq Affymetrix Resequencing Array was established for high-throughput sequencing of five genes simultaneously. Genomic DNA extraction from 13 OI patients and 85 normal controls and amplification using long-range PCR (LR-PCR) were followed by DNA fragmentation and chip hybridization, according to standard Affymetrix protocols. Hybridization signals were determined using GeneChip Sequence Analysis Software (GSEQ). To examine the feasibility, the outcome from new resequencing approach was validated by conventional capillary sequencing method.
Overall call rates using resequencing array was 96–98% and the agreement between microarray and capillary sequencing was 99.99%. 11 out of 13 OI patients with pathogenic mutations were successfully detected by the chip analysis without adjustment, and one mutation could also be identified using manual visual inspection.
A high-throughput resequencing array was developed that detects the disease-associated mutations in OI, providing a potential tool to facilitate large-scale genetic screening for OI patients. Through this method, a novel mutation was also found.
PMCID: PMC4350936  PMID: 25742658
15.  A molecular signature for the prediction of recurrence in colorectal cancer 
Molecular Cancer  2015;14(1):22.
Several clinical and pathological factors have an impact on the prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC), but they are not yet adequate for risk assessment. We aimed to identify a molecular signature that can reliably identify CRC patients at high risk for recurrence.
Two hundred eighty-one CRC samples (stage II/III) were included in this study. A two-step gene expression profiling study was conducted. First, gene expression measurements from 81 fresh frozen CRC samples were obtained using Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays. Second, a focused gene expression assay, including prognostic genes and genes of interest from literature reviews, was performed using 200 fresh frozen samples and a Taqman low-density array (TLDA) analysis. An optimal 31-gene expression classifier for the prediction of recurrence among patients with stage II/III CRC was developed using logistic regression analysis. This gene expression signature classified 58.5% of patients as low-risk and 41.5% as high-risk (P < 0.001). The signature was the strongest independent prognostic factor in the multivariate analysis. The five-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rates for the low-risk patients and the high-risk patients were 88.5% and 41.3% (P < 0.001), respectively.
We identified a 31-gene expression signature that is closely associated with the clinical outcome of stage II/III CRC patients.
PMCID: PMC4320628  PMID: 25645394
Molecular signature; Gene expression; Colorectal cancer; Recurrence
16.  FOXM1 Promotes Lung Adenocarcinoma Invasion and Metastasis by Upregulating SNAIL 
The forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) transcription factor is one of the key genes inducing tumor invasion and metastasis by an unknown mechanism. In this study, we set out to investigate the effects of FOXM1 overexpression on metastatic human lung adenocarcinoma and the underlying mechanism. FOXM1 expression was analyzed in 78 frozen lung adenocarcinoma tissue samples using an Affymetrix microarray and a 155-paraffin-embedded lung adenocarcinoma tissue microarray with immunohistochemical detection. FOXM1 was found to be overexpressed in lung adenocarcinoma, particularly in metastatic patients, compared to non-metastatic patients. Knockdown of FOXM1 by a specific siRNA significantly suppressed EMT progression, migration and invasion of lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro, and tumor growth and metastasis in vivo, whereas restored expression of FOXM1 had the opposite effect. FOXM1 binds directly to the SNAIL promoter through two specific binding sites and constitutively transactivates it. Collectively, our findings indicate that FOXM1 may play an important role in advancing lung adenocarcinoma progression. Aberrant FOXM1 expression directly and constitutively activates SNAIL, thereby promoting lung adenocarcinoma metastasis. Inhibition of FOXM1-SNAIL signaling may present an ideal target for future treatment.
PMCID: PMC4279094  PMID: 25561901
Lung adenocarcinoma; Invasion; Metastasis; FOXM1; SNAIL
17.  Clinicopathological and genetic features of Chinese hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) 
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical value of different criteria and to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype in Chinese hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). A total of 116 unrelated probands of suspected HNPCC families from the Fudan Colorectal Registry were studied. A total of 32, 28, and 56 families fulfilled the Amsterdam criteria, the Fudan criteria and the revised Bethesda guideline, respectively. Direct DNA sequencing of all exons of hMSH2 and hMLH1 genes were performed on all 116 samples. Mutations and clinicopathological features were compared between the groups. Thirty-two pathological germline mutations were identified. Out of 32 mutations, 16 were located at hMLH1 and 16 at hMSH2. The sensitivity of Amsterdam criteria was 50 %, specificity was 81 %, and Youden’s index was 31 %. The sensitivity of Fudan criteria was 75 %, specificity was 58 %, and Youden’s index was 33 %. Among all the 32 families with mutations, families with hMSH2 mutation had a higher ratio of synchronous and metachronous colon cancers than families with hMLH1 mutation (33 vs. 6 %, P = 0.04). Patients with hMSH2 mutation more frequently harbour synchronous and metachronous colon cancers. Fudan criteria had a little higher sensitivity and accuracy than Amsterdam criteria for identification of Chinese HNPCC.
PMCID: PMC4162985  PMID: 25216868
HNPCC; Clinicopathological features; MLH1/MSH2 mutations; Clinical criteria
18.  PIWIL2 induces c-Myc expression by interacting with NME2 and regulates c-Myc-mediated tumor cell proliferation 
Oncotarget  2014;5(18):8466-8477.
c-Myc serves as a crucial regulator in multiple cellular events. Cumulative evidences demonstrate that anomalous c-Myc overexpression correlates with proliferation, invasion and metastasis in various human tumors. However, the transcriptionally activating mechanisms responsible for c-Myc overexpression are complex and continue to be intangible. Here we showed that Piwi-Like RNA-Mediated Gene Silencing 2 (PIWIL2) can upregulate c-Myc via binding with NME/NM23 nucleoside diphosphate kinase 2 (NME2). PIWIL2 promotes c-Myc transcription by interacting with and facilitating NME2 to bind to G4-motif region within c-Myc promoter. Interestingly, in a c-Myc-mediated manner, PIWIL2 upregulates RhoA, which in turn induces filamentary F-actin. Deficiency of PIWIL2 results in obstacle for c-Myc expression, cell cycle progress and cell proliferation. Taken together, our present work demonstrates that PIWIL2 modulates tumor cell proliferation and F-actin filaments via promoting c-Myc expression.
PMCID: PMC4226697  PMID: 25193865
PIWIL2; c-Myc; NME2; Proliferation; F-actin
19.  CDK11p58 inhibits ERα-positive breast cancer invasion by targeting integrin β3 via the repression of ERα signaling 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:577.
CDK11p58, a Ser/Thr kinase that belongs to the cell division cycle 2-like 1 (CDC2L1) subfamily, is associated with cell cycle progression, tumorigenesis and apoptotic signaling. CDK11p58 is also involved in the regulation of steroid receptors, such as androgen and estrogen receptors. We previously found that CDK11p58 was abnormally expressed in prostate cancer. However, its role in breast cancer remains unclear.
CDK11p58 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining in a tissue array. A Transwell assay was used to detect invasion and metastasis in breast cancer cells. The TaqMan® Metastasis Gene Expression Assay was used to search for potential downstream factors in the CDK11p58 signaling pathway. qRT-PCR was used to evaluate mRNA levels, and the dual luciferase array was used to analyze promoter activity. Western blotting was used to detect the protein level.
CDK11p58 expression was negatively correlated with node status (P = 0.012), relapse status (P = 0.002) and metastasis status (P = 0.023). Kaplan-Meier survival curves indicated that the disease-free survival (DFS) was significantly poor in breast cancer patients with low CDK11 expression. Interestingly, using the breast cancer cell lines ZR-75-30 and MDA-MB-231, we found that CDK11p58 was capable of repressing the migration and invasion of ERα-positive breast cancer cells, but not ERα-negative breast cancer cells, in a kinase-dependent manner. Gene expression assays demonstrated that integrin β3 mRNA was dramatically repressed by CDK11p58, and luciferase results confirmed that the integrin β3 promoter was inhibited by CDK11p58 through ERα repression. The expression of integrin β3 was highly related to ERα signaling; ERα overexpression stimulated integrin β3 expression, whereas siRNA-mediated knockdown of ERα attenuated integrin β3 expression.
These data indicate that CDK11p58 is an anti-metastatic gene in ERα-positive breast cancer and that the regulation of integrin β3 by CDK11p58 via the repression of ERα signaling may constitute part of a signaling pathway underlying breast cancer invasion.
PMCID: PMC4138392  PMID: 25106495
CDK11p58; Metastasis; Integrinβ3; ERα; Tissue array; TaqMan assay
20.  Long-term follow-up of whole lung lavage in patients with pulmonary alveolar proteinosis 
Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) is a rare disorder characterized by intra-alveolar accumulation of lipid and proteinaceous material. While a small subset of patients with PAP spontaneously improve or even undergo disease remission, the majority of patients develop persistent or progressive disease. Numerous therapies have been used to treat PAP over the years; however, at present, whole lung lavage (WLL) remains the gold standard treatment for PAP. In the present study, data were accumulated from a cohort of patients with PAP (n=11) between 2003 and 2011 at the Wuxi People’s Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University. The disease affected males and females with a ratio of 2.7:1 and all the males were current or previous smokers. The disease severity score (DSS) of the patients was mainly distributed in DSS 4 or DSS 5. All the patients underwent WLL at least once, with one patient undergoing WLLs twice and another patient three times. The clinical features, arterial blood gas and pulmonary function of the patients, were assessed prior to and following the lavage. WLL resulted in a significant improvement in symptoms, radiographic features, PaO2, D(A-a)O2 and DLCO in patients with PAP, while pulmonary ventilation function did not significantly improve. WLL appears to be an effective approach for the treatment of PAP and leads to an improvement in survival rate.
PMCID: PMC4113632  PMID: 25120596
pulmonary alveolar proteinosis; whole lung lavage; follow-up
21.  Frequent copy number variations of PI3K/AKT pathway and aberrant protein expressions of PI3K subunits are associated with inferior survival in diffuse large B cell lymphoma 
It has been reported that the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is activated in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), PI3K constitutive activation plays a crucial role in PI3K/AKT pathway. However, the copy number variations (CNVs) of PI3K subunits on gene level remain unknown in DLBCL. Therefore, the aim of the study is to investigate the CNV of PI3K subunits and their relationship with clinicopathological features exploring the possible mechanism underlying of PI3K activation in DLBCL.
CNV of 12 genes in the PI3K/AKT pathway was detected by NanoString nCounter in 60 de novo DLBCLs and 10 reactive hyperplasia specimens as controls. Meanwhile, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to examine the expression of p110α, p110β, p110γ, p110δ, and pAKT on DLBCL tissue microarrays.
All PI3K and AKT subunits, except for PIK3R1, had various CNVs in the form of copy number amplifications and copy number losses. Their rates were in the range of 8.3–20.0%. Of them PIK3CA and PIK3CB gene CNVs were significantly associated with decreased overall survival (P = 0.029 and P = 0.019, respectively). IHC showed that the frequency of strong positive expression of p110α, p110β, p110γ, and p110δ were 26.7%, 25.0%, 18.3%, and 25.0% respectively, and they were found to be associated with decreased survival (P = 0.022, P = 0.015, P = 0.015, and P = 0.008, respectively). Expression of p110α was not only significantly associated with CNVs of PIK3CA (P = 0.002) but also positively correlated with strong positive expression of pAKT (P = 0.026).
CNV of PIK3CA is highly associated with aberrant p110α protein expression and subsequent activation of PI3K/AKT pathway. CNVs of PIK3CA and PIK3CB, and aberrant protein expression of p110 isoforms are of great important value for predicting inferior prognosis in DLBCL. Frequent CNVs of PI3K/AKT subunits may play an important role in the tumorigenesis of DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3896773  PMID: 24418330
DLBCL; CNV; PI3K/AKT; Subunits; Survival
22.  Abnormal expression of CDK11p58 in prostate cancer 
CDK11p58 is one of the large families of p34cdc2-related kinases whose functions are linked with cell cycle progression, tumorigenesis and apoptotic signaling. Our previous investigation demonstrated that CDK11p58 repressed androgen receptor (AR) transcriptional activity and was involved in the negative regulation of AR function.
CDK11p58 expression was examined in the prostate cancer tissues and adjacent tissues by IHC and qRT-PCR. Cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry. The metastasis of cancer cells was evaluated by the Transwell Assay. Finally we further investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms by examining expression levels of relevant proteins using western blot analysis.
We found that both RNA and protein expression of CDK11p58 were low in prostate cancer tissues compared with its adjacent noncancerous tissues. CDK11p58 promoted the prostate cancer cell apoptosis and inhibited its metastasis in a kinase dependent way. And finally CDK11p58 could inhibit the metastasis of AR positive prostate cancer cells through inhibition of integrin β3 and MMP2.
These data indicate that CDK11p58 is an anti-metastasis gene product in prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3893504  PMID: 24397471
CDK11p58; Metastasis; Prostate cancer; Androgen receptor
23.  Changes of predominant species/biovars and sequence types of Brucella isolates, Inner Mongolia, China 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:514.
Human brucellosis incidence in China was divided into 3 stages, high incidence (1950-1960s), decline (1970-1980s) and re-emergence (1990-2000s). Human brucellosis has been reported in all the 32 provinces, of which Inner Mongolia has the highest prevalence, accounting for over 40% of the cases in China. To investigate the etiology alteration of human brucellosis in Inner Mongolia, the species, biovars and genotypes of 60 Brucella isolates from this province were analyzed.
Species and biovars of the Brucella strains isolated from outbreaks were determined based on classical identification procedures. Strains were genotyped by multi locus sequence typing (MLST). Sequences of 9 housekeeping genes were obtained and sequence types were defined. The distribution of species, biovars and sequence types (STs) among the three incidence stages were analyzed and compared.
The three stages of high incidence, decline and re-emergence were predominated by B. melitensis biovar 2 and 3, B. abortus biovar 3, and B. melitensis biovar 1, respectively, implying changes in the predominant biovars. Genotyping by MLST revealed a total of 14 STs. Nine STs (from ST28 to ST36), accounting for 64.3% of all the STs, were newly defined and different from those observed in other countries. Different STs were distributed among the three stages. ST8 was the most common ST in 1950-1960s and 1990-2000s, while ST2 was the most common in 1970-1980s.
The prevalence of biovars and sequence types of Brucella strains from Inner Mongolia has changed over time in the three stages. Compared with those from other countries, new sequence types of Brucella strains exist in China.
PMCID: PMC3819263  PMID: 24176041
Brucella; Genotype; Biovar; Multi locus sequence typing
24.  Over Time, Do Anthropometric Measures Still Predict Diabetes Incidence in Chinese Han Nationality Population from Chengdu Community? 
Objective. To examine whether anthropometric measures could predict diabetes incidence in a Chinese population during a 15-year follow-up. Design and Methods. The data were collected in 1992 and then again in 2007 from the same group of 687 individuals. Waist circumference, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, and waist to height ratio were collected based on a standard protocol. To assess the effects of baseline anthropometric measures on the new onset of diabetes, Cox's proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratios of them, and the discriminatory power of anthropometric measures for diabetes was assessed by the area under the receiver operating curve (AROC). Results. Seventy-four individuals were diagnosed with diabetes during a 15-year follow-up period (incidence: 10.8%). These anthropometric measures also predicted future diabetes during a long follow-up (P < 0.001). At 7-8 years, the AROC of central obesity measures (WC, WHpR, WHtR) were higher than that of general obesity measures (BMI) (P < 0.05). But, there were no significant differences among the four anthropometric measurements at 15 years. Conclusions. These anthropometric measures could still predict diabetes with a long time follow-up. However, the validity of anthropometric measures to predict incident diabetes may change with time.
PMCID: PMC3810432  PMID: 24222764
25.  Central nervous system involvement in adult patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: Influence of rituximab 
Oncology Letters  2012;4(3):541-545.
CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone)-like chemotherapy, in combination with rituximab (R-CHOP-like), improves outcome in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We aimed to investigate the impact of rituximab on central nervous system (CNS) disease in adult patients. We studied 315 patients (aged 18–60 years old) from six hospitals between July 2003 and May 2008. All patients received CHOP-like (n=165) or R-CHOP-like (n=150) regimen every 3 weeks. With a median follow-up of 3.69 years, 10 patients (3.17%) developed CNS disease. The cumulative risk of CNS occurrence was not significantly different between the two treatment groups (P=0.871). We conclude that the addition of rituximab did not reduce the risk of CNS disease in adult patients with DLBCL.
PMCID: PMC3439009  PMID: 22970053
central nervous system; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; rituximab

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