Molecular alterations in KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, and PTEN have been implicated in designing targeted therapy for colorectal cancer (CRC). The present study aimed to determine the status of these molecular alterations in Malaysian CRCs as such data are not available in the literature. We investigated the mutations of KRAS, BRAF, and PTEN, the gene amplification of PIK3CA, and the protein expression of PTEN and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunit (p110α) by direct DNA sequencing, quantitative real-time PCR, and immunohistochemistry, respectively, in 49 CRC samples. The frequency of KRAS (codons 12, 13, and 61), BRAF (V600E), and PTEN mutations, and PIK3CA amplification was 25.0% (11/44), 2.3% (1/43), 0.0% (0/43), and 76.7% (33/43), respectively. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated loss of PTEN protein in 54.5% (24/44) of CRCs and no significant difference in PI3K p110α expression between CRCs and the adjacent normal colonic mucosa (p = 0.380). PIK3CA amplification was not associated with PI3K p110α expression level, but associated with male cases (100% of male cases vs 56% of female cases harbored amplified PIK3CA, p = 0.002). PI3K p110α expression was significantly higher (p = 0.041) in poorly/moderately differentiated carcinoma compared with well-differentiated carcinoma. KRAS mutation, PIK3CA amplification, PTEN loss, and PI3K p110α expression did not correlate with Akt phosphorylation or Ki-67 expression. KRAS mutation, PIK3CA amplification, and PTEN loss were not mutually exclusive. This is the first report on CRC in Malaysia showing comparable frequency of KRAS mutation and PTEN loss, lower BRAF mutation rate, higher PIK3CA amplification frequency, and rare PTEN mutation, as compared with published reports.
Infection with Toxoplasma gondii is widespread and important in humans, especially pregnant women and immunosuppressed patients. A panel of tests is usually required for diagnosis toxoplasmosis. Excretory secretory antigen (ESA) is highly immunogenic, and thus it is a good candidate for investigation into new infection markers. ESA was prepared from tachyzoites of RH strain of T. gondii by mice intraperitoneal infection. Sera were obtained from several categories of individuals who differed in their status of anti-Toxoplasma IgM, IgG and IgG avidity antibodies. The ESA was subjected to SDS-PAGE, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and Western blot analysis. Antigenic bands of approximate molecular weights of 12, 20 and 30 kDa, when probed with anti-human IgM-HRP and IgA-HRP, showed good potential as infection markers. The highest sensitivity of the bands was 98.7% with combination of IgM and IgA blots with sera of patients with anti-Toxoplasma IgM+ IgG+. The specificities were 84% and 70% with sera from other infections and healthy controls in IgM blots and IgA blots respectively. By mass spectrometry, the 12 kDa protein was identified as thioredoxin. The two top proteins identified for 20 kDa molecule were microneme protein 10 and dense granule protein 7; whereas that for 30 kDa were phosphoglycerate mutase 1 and phosphoglycerate mutase.
In the present study, we evaluated the association between the TP53BP1 Glu353Asp and T-885G polymorphisms and breast cancer risk as well as with the clinicopathological characteristics of the patients. Genotyping of these polymorphisms was performed on 387 breast cancer patients and 252 normal and healthy women who had no history of any malignancy using PCR-RFLP method in a hospital-based Malaysian population. Breast cancer risk was not observed among women who were heterozygous (OR(adj) = 0.887; 95% CI, 0.632-1.245) or homozygous (OR(adj) = 1.083; 95% CI, 0.595-1.969) for Asp allele, and those carriers of Asp allele (OR(adj) = 0.979; 95% CI, 0.771-1.243). Similarly, women who were TG heterozygotes (OR(adj) = 1.181; 95% CI, 0.842-1.658) or GG homozygotes (OR(adj) = 1.362; 95% CI, 0.746-2.486) and carriers of G allele (OR(adj) = 1.147; 95% CI, 0.903-1.458) were not associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Asp allele genotype was significantly associated with ER negativity (p = 0.0015) and poorly differentiated tumours (p = 0.008), but G allele genotype was not associated with the clinicopathological characteristics. In conclusion, Glu353Asp and T-885G polymorphic variants might not have an influence on breast cancer risk, thus might not be potential candidates for cancer susceptibility. Glu353Asp variant might be associated with tumour aggressiveness as defined by its association with ER negativity and poorly differentiated tumours.
Toxoplasma gondii is an important human pathogen with a worldwide distribution. It is primarily of medical importance for pregnant women and immunocompromised patients. Primary infection of the former is often associated with fetal infection, which can lead to abortion or severe neonatal malformation. Immunocompromised patients are at risk of contracting the severe form of the disease that may be fatal. Thus, detection of T. gondii infection with high sensitivity and specificity is crucial in the management of the disease. Toxoplasmosis is generally diagnosed by demonstrating specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies to toxoplasma antigens in the patient's serum sample. Most of the commercially available tests use T. gondii native antigens and display wide variations in test accuracy. Recombinant antigens have great potential as diagnostic reagents for use in assays to detect toxoplasmosis. Thus in this review, we address recent advances in the use of Toxoplasma recombinant proteins for serodiagnosis of toxoplasmosis.
Spermatogenesis-associated 19 (SPATA19) is a cancer/testis antigen overexpressed in various cancers. However, its protein expression profile in malignant or non-malignant tissues remains unknown. Thus, in this study, we investigated SPATA19 protein expression patterns in a panel of non-malignant human samples and primary prostate cancer (PCa) with or without benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) tissues. SPATA19 was absent in all non-malignant tissues investigated (n=14) except testis and prostate tissues. In terms of malignancies, all PCa cases were positive for SPATA19 exhibiting frequency between 20 and 100% (median 85%) with 63 (52.5%) and 57 (47.5%) cases demonstrating weak/moderate and strong intensities, respectively. Thirty-nine PCa cases (32.5%) contained BPH, and all BPH glands were SPATA19 positive (frequency between 20 and 100%; median 90%) with 13 (33.3%) demonstrating strong SPATA19 expression. Higher SPATA19 expression (higher frequency, intensity, or H-score) was not associated with overall survival or disease-specific survival (DFS) in all PCa cases. However, biochemical recurrence (BR) was associated with worse DFS (p = 0.005) in this cohort of 120 patients, and cases with strong SPATA19 intensity were associated with BR (p = 0.020). In conclusion, we showed that SPATA19 protein was frequently expressed in both BPH and PCa glands, and this warrants future investigations on its pathogenic roles in the disease.
This experiment evaluated Panduratin A (PA), a chalcone isolated from Boesenbergia rotunda rhizomes, for its hepatoprotectivity. Rats were subjected to liver damage induced by intra-peritoneal injection of thioacetamide (TAA). PA was tested first for its acute toxicity and then administered by oral gavage at doses 5, 10, and 50 mg/kg to rats. At the end of the 8th week, livers from all rats were excised and evaluated ex vivo. Measurements included alkaline phosphatase (AP), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), serum platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF-β1), and hepatic metalloproteinase enzyme (MMP-2) and its inhibitor extracellular matrix protein (TIMP-1). Oxidative stress was measured by liver malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitrotyrosine levels, urinary 8-hydroxy 2- deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), and hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities. The immunohistochemistry of TGF-β1 was additionally performed. PA revealed safe dose of 250 mg/kg on experimental rats and positive effect on the liver. The results suggested reduced hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) activity as verified from the attenuation of serum PDGF and TGF-β1, hepatic MMP-2 and TIMP-1, and oxidative stress. The extensive data altogether conclude that PA treatment could protect the liver from the progression of cirrhosis through a possible mechanism inhibiting HSCs activity.