Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 22 in total

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  1. Wong KK, Gascoyne DM, Soilleux EJ, Lyne L, Spearman H, Roncador G, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 Aug 16;7(33):52940-52956.
    PMID: 27224915 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.9507
    FOXP2 shares partially overlapping normal tissue expression and functionality with FOXP1; an established diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) oncogene and marker of poor prognosis. FOXP2 is expressed in the plasma cell malignancy multiple myeloma but has not been studied in DLBCL, where a poor prognosis activated B-cell (ABC)-like subtype display partially blocked plasma cell differentiation. FOXP2 protein expression was detected in ABC-DLBCL cell lines, and in primary DLBCL samples tumoral FOXP2 protein expression was detected in both germinal center B-cell-like (GCB) and non-GCB DLBCL. In biopsies from DLBCL patients treated with immunochemotherapy (R-CHOP), ≥ 20% nuclear tumoral FOXP2-positivity (n = 24/158) correlated with significantly inferior overall survival (OS: P = 0.0017) and progression-free survival (PFS: P = 0.0096). This remained significant in multivariate analysis against either the international prognostic index score or the non-GCB DLBCL phenotype (P < 0.05 for both OS and PFS). Expression of BLIMP1, a marker of plasmacytic differentiation that is commonly inactivated in ABC-DLBCL, did not correlate with patient outcome or FOXP2 expression in this series. Increased frequency of FOXP2 expression significantly correlated with FOXP1-positivity (P = 0.0187), and FOXP1 co-immunoprecipitated FOXP2 from ABC-DLBCL cells indicating that these proteins can co-localize in a multi-protein complex. FOXP2-positive DLBCL had reduced expression of HIP1R (P = 0.0348), which is directly repressed by FOXP1, and exhibited distinct patterns of gene expression. Specifically in ABC-DLBCL these were associated with lower expression of immune response and T-cell receptor signaling pathways. Further studies are warranted to investigate the potential functional cooperativity between FOXP1 and FOXP2 in repressing immune responses during the pathogenesis of high-risk DLBCL.
  2. Tiong KH, Tan BS, Choo HL, Chung FF, Hii LW, Tan SH, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 Sep 06;7(36):57633-57650.
    PMID: 27192118 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.9328
    Basal-like breast cancer is an aggressive tumor subtype with poor prognosis. The discovery of underlying mechanisms mediating tumor cell survival, and the development of novel agents to target these pathways, is a priority for patients with basal-like breast cancer. From a functional screen to identify key drivers of basal-like breast cancer cell growth, we identified fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) as a potential mediator of cell survival. We found that FGFR4 mediates cancer cell survival predominantly via activation of PI3K/AKT. Importantly, a subset of basal-like breast cancer cells also secrete fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19), a canonical ligand specific for FGFR4. siRNA-mediated silencing of FGF19 or neutralization of extracellular FGF19 by anti-FGF19 antibody (1A6) decreases AKT phosphorylation, suppresses cancer cell growth and enhances doxorubicin sensitivity only in the FGFR4+/FGF19+ breast cancer cells. Consistently, FGFR4/FGF19 co-expression was also observed in 82 out of 287 (28.6%) primary breast tumors, and their expression is strongly associated with AKT phosphorylation, Ki-67 staining, higher tumor stage and basal-like phenotype. In summary, our results demonstrated the presence of an FGFR4/FGF19 autocrine signaling that mediates the survival of a subset of basal-like breast cancer cells and suggest that inactivation of this autocrine loop may potentially serve as a novel therapeutic intervention for future treatment of breast cancers.
  3. Wu YS, Looi CY, Subramaniam KS, Masamune A, Chung I
    Oncotarget, 2016 Jun 14;7(24):36719-36732.
    PMID: 27167341 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.9165
    Pancreatic stellate cells (PSC), a prominent stromal cell, contribute to the progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). We aim to investigate the mechanisms by which PSC promote cell proliferation in PDAC cell lines, BxPC-3 and AsPC-1. PSC-conditioned media (PSC-CM) induced proliferation of these cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Nrf2 protein was upregulated and subsequently, its transcriptional activity was increased with greater DNA binding activity and transcription of target genes. Downregulation of Nrf2 led to suppression of PSC-CM activity in BxPC-3, but not in AsPC-1 cells. However, overexpression of Nrf2 alone resulted in increased cell proliferation in both cell lines, and treatment with PSC-CM further enhanced this effect. Activation of Nrf2 pathway resulted in upregulation of metabolic genes involved in pentose phosphate pathway, glutaminolysis and glutathione biosynthesis. Downregulation and inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase with siRNA and chemical approaches reduced PSC-mediated cell proliferation. Among the cytokines present in PSC-CM, stromal-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) activated Nrf2 pathway to induce cell proliferation in both cells, as shown with neutralization antibodies, recombinant proteins and signaling inhibitors. Taken together, SDF-1α and IL-6 secreted from PSC induced PDAC cell proliferation via Nrf2-activated metabolic reprogramming and ROS detoxification.
  4. Fadlullah MZ, Chiang IK, Dionne KR, Yee PS, Gan CP, Sam KK, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 May 10;7(19):27802-18.
    PMID: 27050151 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.8533
    Emerging biological and translational insights from large sequencing efforts underscore the need for genetically-relevant cell lines to study the relationships between genomic alterations of tumors, and therapeutic dependencies. Here, we report a detailed characterization of a novel panel of clinically annotated oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines, derived from patients with diverse ethnicity and risk habits. Molecular analysis by RNAseq and copy number alterations (CNA) identified that the cell lines harbour CNA that have been previously reported in OSCC, for example focal amplications in 3q, 7p, 8q, 11q, 20q and deletions in 3p, 5q, 8p, 18q. Similarly, our analysis identified the same cohort of frequently mutated genes previously reported in OSCC including TP53, CDKN2A, EPHA2, FAT1, NOTCH1, CASP8 and PIK3CA. Notably, we identified mutations (MLL4, USP9X, ARID2) in cell lines derived from betel quid users that may be associated with this specific risk factor. Gene expression profiles of the ORL lines also aligned with those reported for OSCC. By focusing on those gene expression signatures that are predictive of chemotherapeutic response, we observed that the ORL lines broadly clustered into three groups (cell cycle, xenobiotic metabolism, others). The ORL lines noted to be enriched in cell cycle genes responded preferentially to the CDK1 inhibitor RO3306, by MTT cell viability assay. Overall, our in-depth characterization of clinically annotated ORL lines provides new insight into the molecular alterations synonymous with OSCC, which can facilitate in the identification of biomarkers that can be used to guide diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of OSCC.
  5. Khan S, Zakariah M, Rolfo C, Robrecht L, Palaniappan S
    Oncotarget, 2017 May 09;8(19):30830-30843.
    PMID: 27027344 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.8306
    Although the idea of bacteria causing different types of cancer has exploded about century ago, the potential mechanisms of carcinogenesis is still not well established. Many reports showed the involvement of M. hominis in the development of prostate cancer, however, mechanistic approach for growth and development of prostate cancer has been poorly understood. In the current study, we predicted M. hominis proteins targeting in the mitochondria and cytoplasm of host cells and their implication in prostate cancer. A total of 77 and 320 proteins from M. hominis proteome were predicted to target in the mitochondria and cytoplasm of host cells respectively. In particular, various targeted proteins may interfere with normal growth behaviour of host cells, thereby altering the decision of programmed cell death. Furthermore, we investigated possible mechanisms of the mitochondrial and cytoplasmic targeted proteins of M. hominis in etiology of prostate cancer by screening the whole proteome.
  6. Namazi H, Kulish VV, Hussaini J, Hussaini J, Delaviz A, Delaviz F, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 Jan 5;7(1):342-50.
    PMID: 26586477 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.6341
    One of the main areas of behavioural neuroscience is forecasting the human behaviour. Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain becomes disrupted, causing seizures or periods of unusual behaviour, sensations and sometimes loss of consciousness. An estimated 5% of the world population has epileptic seizure but there is not any method to cure it. More than 30% of people with epilepsy cannot control seizure. Epileptic seizure prediction, refers to forecasting the occurrence of epileptic seizures, is one of the most important but challenging problems in biomedical sciences, across the world. In this research we propose a new methodology which is based on studying the EEG signals using two measures, the Hurst exponent and fractal dimension. In order to validate the proposed method, it is applied to epileptic EEG signals of patients by computing the Hurst exponent and fractal dimension, and then the results are validated versus the reference data. The results of these analyses show that we are able to forecast the onset of a seizure on average of 25.76 seconds before the time of occurrence.
  7. Arshad NM, In LL, Soh TL, Azmi MN, Ibrahim H, Awang K, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2015 Jun 30;6(18):16151-67.
    PMID: 26158863
    Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have reported that 1'-S-1'-acetoxychavicol acetate (ACA) isolated from rhizomes of the Malaysian ethno-medicinal plant Alpinia conchigera Griff (Zingiberaceae) induces apoptosis-mediated cell death in tumour cells via dysregulation of the NF-κB pathway. However there were some clinical development drawbacks such as poor in vivo solubility, depreciation of biological activity upon exposure to an aqueous environment and non-specific targeting of tumour cells. In the present study, all the problems above were addressed using the novel drug complex formulation involving recombinant human alpha fetoprotein (rhAFP) and ACA.
  8. Hung TH, Hsu SC, Cheng CY, Choo KB, Tseng CP, Chen TC, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2014 Dec 15;5(23):12273-90.
    PMID: 25401518
    Multidrug resistance in cancer cells arises from altered drug permeability of the cell. We previously reported activation of the Wnt pathway in ABCB1-overexpressed human uterus sarcoma drug-resistant MES-SA/Dx5 cells through active β-catenin and associated transactivation activities, and upregulation of Wnt-targeting genes. In this study, Wnt5A was found to be significantly upregulated in MES-SA/Dx5 and MCF7/ADR2 cells, suggesting an important role for the Wnt5A signaling pathway in cancer drug resistance. Higher cAMP response elements and Tcf/Lef transcription activities were shown in the drug-resistant cancer cells. However, expression of Wnt target genes and CRE activities was downregulated in Wnt5A shRNA stably-transfected MES-SA/Dx5 cells. Cell viability of the drug-resistant cancer cells was also reduced by doxorubicin treatment and Wnt5A shRNA transfection, or by Wnt5A depletion. The in vitro data were supported by immunohistochemical analysis of 24 paired breast cancer biopsies obtained pre- and post-chemotherapeutic treatment. Wnt5A, VEGF and/or ABCB1 were significantly overexpressed after treatment, consistent with clinical chemoresistance. Taken together, the Wnt5A signaling pathway was shown to contribute to regulating the drug-resistance protein ABCB1 and β-catenin-related genes in antagonizing the toxic effects of doxorubicin in the MDR cell lines and in clinical breast cancer samples.
  9. Gan CP, Patel V, Mikelis CM, Zain RB, Molinolo AA, Abraham MT, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2014 Oct 30;5(20):9626-40.
    PMID: 25275299
    Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has a propensity to spread to the cervical lymph nodes (LN). The presence of cervical LN metastases severely impacts patient survival, whereby the two-year survival for oral cancer patients with involved LN is ~30% compared to over 80% in patients with non-involved LN. Elucidation of key molecular mechanisms underlying OSCC metastasis may afford an opportunity to target specific genes, to prevent the spread of OSCC and to improve patient survival. In this study, we demonstrated that expression of the heterotrimeric G-protein alpha-12 (Gα12) is highly up-regulated in primary tumors and LN of OSCC patients, as assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). We also found that exogenous expression of the constitutively activated-form of Gα12 promoted cell migration and invasion in OSCC cell lines. Correspondingly, inhibition of Gα12 expression by shRNA consistently inhibited OSCC cell migration and invasion in vitro. Further, the inhibition of G12 signaling by regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) inhibited Gα12-mediated RhoA activation, which in turn resulted in reduced LN metastases in a tongue-orthotopic xenograft mouse model of oral cancer. This study provides a rationale for future development and evaluation of drug candidates targeting Gα12-related pathways for metastasis prevention.
  10. Campa D, Pastore M, Gentiluomo M, Talar-Wojnarowska R, Kupcinskas J, Malecka-Panas E, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 08 30;7(35):57011-57020.
    PMID: 27486979 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.10935
    The CDKN2A (p16) gene plays a key role in pancreatic cancer etiology. It is one of the most commonly somatically mutated genes in pancreatic cancer, rare germline mutations have been found to be associated with increased risk of developing familiar pancreatic cancer and CDKN2A promoter hyper-methylation has been suggested to play a critical role both in pancreatic cancer onset and prognosis. In addition several unrelated SNPs in the 9p21.3 region, that includes the CDNK2A, CDNK2B and the CDNK2B-AS1 genes, are associated with the development of cancer in various organs. However, association between the common genetic variability in this region and pancreatic cancer risk is not clearly understood. We sought to fill this gap in a case-control study genotyping 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2,857 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients and 6,111 controls in the context of the Pancreatic Disease Research (PANDoRA) consortium. We found that the A allele of the rs3217992 SNP was associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk (ORhet=1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.27, p=0.026, ORhom=1.30, 95% CI 1.12-1.51, p=0.00049). This pleiotropic variant is reported to be a mir-SNP that, by changing the binding site of one or more miRNAs, could influence the normal cell cycle progression and in turn increase PDAC risk. In conclusion, we observed a novel association in a pleiotropic region that has been found to be of key relevance in the susceptibility to various types of cancer and diabetes suggesting that the CDKN2A/B locus could represent a genetic link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer risk.
  11. Costa H, Xu X, Overbeek G, Vasaikar S, Patro CP, Kostopoulou ON, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 Jul 26;7(30):47221-47231.
    PMID: 27363017 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.9722
    BACKGROUND: Both arginase (ARG2) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) have been implicated in tumorigenesis. However, the role of ARG2 in the pathogenesis of glioblastoma (GBM) and the HCMV effects on ARG2 are unknown. We hypothesize that HCMV may contribute to tumorigenesis by increasing ARG2 expression.

    RESULTS: ARG2 promotes tumorigenesis by increasing cellular proliferation, migration, invasion and vasculogenic mimicry in GBM cells, at least in part due to overexpression of MMP2/9. The nor-NOHA significantly reduced migration and tube formation of ARG2-overexpressing cells. HCMV immediate-early proteins (IE1/2) or its downstream pathways upregulated the expression of ARG2 in U-251 MG cells. Immunostaining of GBM tissue sections confirmed the overexpression of ARG2, consistent with data from subsets of Gene Expression Omnibus. Moreover, higher levels of ARG2 expression tended to be associated with poorer survival in GBM patient by analyzing data from TCGA.

    METHODS: The role of ARG2 in tumorigenesis was examined by proliferation-, migration-, invasion-, wound healing- and tube formation assays using an ARG2-overexpressing cell line and ARG inhibitor, N (omega)-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA) and siRNA against ARG2 coupled with functional assays measuring MMP2/9 activity, VEGF levels and nitric oxide synthase activity. Association between HCMV and ARG2 were examined in vitro with 3 different GBM cell lines, and ex vivo with immunostaining on GBM tissue sections. The viral mechanism mediating ARG2 induction was examined by siRNA approach. Correlation between ARG2 expression and patient survival was extrapolated from bioinformatics analysis on data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

    CONCLUSIONS: ARG2 promotes tumorigenesis, and HCMV may contribute to GBM pathogenesis by upregulating ARG2.

  12. Namazi H, Khosrowabadi R, Hussaini J, Habibi S, Farid AA, Kulish VV
    Oncotarget, 2016 Aug 30;7(35):56120-56128.
    PMID: 27528219 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.11234
    One of the major challenges in brain research is to relate the structural features of the auditory stimulus to structural features of Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal. Memory content is an important feature of EEG signal and accordingly the brain. On the other hand, the memory content can also be considered in case of stimulus. Beside all works done on analysis of the effect of stimuli on human EEG and brain memory, no work discussed about the stimulus memory and also the relationship that may exist between the memory content of stimulus and the memory content of EEG signal. For this purpose we consider the Hurst exponent as the measure of memory. This study reveals the plasticity of human EEG signals in relation to the auditory stimuli. For the first time we demonstrated that the memory content of an EEG signal shifts towards the memory content of the auditory stimulus used. The results of this analysis showed that an auditory stimulus with higher memory content causes a larger increment in the memory content of an EEG signal. For the verification of this result, we benefit from approximate entropy as indicator of time series randomness. The capability, observed in this research, can be further investigated in relation to human memory.
  13. Leong CR, Funami K, Oshiumi H, Mengao D, Takaki H, Matsumoto M, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 10 18;7(42):68179-68193.
    PMID: 27626689 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.11907
    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) barely induces host interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs), which allows efficient HBV replication in the immortalized mouse hepatocytes as per human hepatocytes. Here we found that transfection of Isg20 plasmid robustly inhibits the HBV replication in HBV-infected hepatocytes irrespective of IRF3 or IFN promoter activation. Transfection of Isg20 is thus effective to eradicate HBV in the infected hepatocytes. Transfection of HBV genome or ε-stem of HBV pgRNA (active pgRNA moiety) failed to induce Isg20 in the hepatocytes, while control polyI:C (a viral dsRNA analogue mimic) activated MAVS pathway leading to production of type I IFN and then ISGsg20 via the IFN-α/β receptor (IFNAR). Consistently, addition of IFN-α induced Isg20 and partially suppressed HBV replication in hepatocytes. Chasing HBV RNA, DNA and proteins by blotting indicated that ISG20 expression decreased HBV RNA and replicative DNA in HBV-transfected cells, which resulted in low HBs antigen production and virus titer. The exonuclease domains of ISG20 mainly participated in HBV-RNA decay. In vivo hydrodynamic injection, ISG20 was crucial for suppressing HBV replication without degrading host RNA in the liver. Taken together, ISG20 acts as an innate anti-HBV effector that selectively degrades HBV RNA and blocks replication of infectious HBV particles. ISG20 would be a critical effector for ameliorating chronic HBV infection in the IFN therapy.
  14. Zhang M, Wang Z, Obazee O, Jia J, Childs EJ, Hoskins J, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 Oct 11;7(41):66328-66343.
    PMID: 27579533 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.11041
    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common pancreatic cancer susceptibility variants at 13 chromosomal loci in individuals of European descent. To identify new susceptibility variants, we performed imputation based on 1000 Genomes (1000G) Project data and association analysis using 5,107 case and 8,845 control subjects from 27 cohort and case-control studies that participated in the PanScan I-III GWAS. This analysis, in combination with a two-staged replication in an additional 6,076 case and 7,555 control subjects from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control (PanC4) Consortia uncovered 3 new pancreatic cancer risk signals marked by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2816938 at chromosome 1q32.1 (per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.20, P = 4.88x10 -15), rs10094872 at 8q24.21 (OR = 1.15, P = 3.22x10 -9) and rs35226131 at 5p15.33 (OR = 0.71, P = 1.70x10 -8). These SNPs represent independent risk variants at previously identified pancreatic cancer risk loci on chr1q32.1 ( NR5A2), chr8q24.21 ( MYC) and chr5p15.33 ( CLPTM1L- TERT) as per analyses conditioned on previously reported susceptibility variants. We assessed expression of candidate genes at the three risk loci in histologically normal ( n = 10) and tumor ( n = 8) derived pancreatic tissue samples and observed a marked reduction of NR5A2 expression (chr1q32.1) in the tumors (fold change -7.6, P = 5.7x10 -8). This finding was validated in a second set of paired ( n = 20) histologically normal and tumor derived pancreatic tissue samples (average fold change for three NR5A2 isoforms -31.3 to -95.7, P = 7.5x10 -4-2.0x10 -3). Our study has identified new susceptibility variants independently conferring pancreatic cancer risk that merit functional follow-up to identify target genes and explain the underlying biology.
  15. Hampras SS, Sucheston-Campbell LE, Cannioto R, Chang-Claude J, Modugno F, Dörk T, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 10 25;7(43):69097-69110.
    PMID: 27533245 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.10215
    BACKGROUND: Regulatory T (Treg) cells, a subset of CD4+ T lymphocytes, are mediators of immunosuppression in cancer, and, thus, variants in genes encoding Treg cell immune molecules could be associated with ovarian cancer.

    METHODS: In a population of 15,596 epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cases and 23,236 controls, we measured genetic associations of 1,351 SNPs in Treg cell pathway genes with odds of ovarian cancer and tested pathway and gene-level associations, overall and by histotype, for the 25 genes, using the admixture likelihood (AML) method. The most significant single SNP associations were tested for correlation with expression levels in 44 ovarian cancer patients.

    RESULTS: The most significant global associations for all genes in the pathway were seen in endometrioid ( p = 0.082) and clear cell ( p = 0.083), with the most significant gene level association seen with TGFBR2 ( p = 0.001) and clear cell EOC. Gene associations with histotypes at p < 0.05 included: IL12 ( p = 0.005 and p = 0.008, serous and high-grade serous, respectively), IL8RA ( p = 0.035, endometrioid and mucinous), LGALS1 ( p = 0.03, mucinous), STAT5B ( p = 0.022, clear cell), TGFBR1 ( p = 0.021 endometrioid) and TGFBR2 ( p = 0.017 and p = 0.025, endometrioid and mucinous, respectively).

    CONCLUSIONS: Common inherited gene variation in Treg cell pathways shows some evidence of germline genetic contribution to odds of EOC that varies by histologic subtype and may be associated with mRNA expression of immune-complex receptor in EOC patients.

  16. Hasanpourghadi M, Pandurangan AK, Karthikeyan C, Trivedi P, Mustafa MR
    Oncotarget, 2017 Apr 25;8(17):28840-28853.
    PMID: 28392503 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.16263
    Microtubule Targeting Agents (MTAs) induce cell death through mitotic arrest, preferentially affecting rapidly dividing cancer cells over slowly proliferating normal cells. Previously, we showed that Methyl 2-(-5-fluoro-2-hydroxyphenyl)-1H-benzo[d]imidazole-5-carboxylate (MBIC) acts as a potential MTA. In this study, we demonstrated that MBIC exhibits greater toxicity towards non-aggressive breast cancer cell-line, MCF-7 (IC50 = 0.73 ± 0.0 μM) compared to normal fibroblast cell-line, L-cells (IC50 = 59.6 ± 2.5 μM). The IC50 of MBIC against the aggressive breast cancer cell-line, MDA-MB-231 was 20.4 ± 0.2 μM. We hypothesized that the relatively high resistance of MDA-MB-231 cells to MBIC is associated with p53 mutation. We investigated p53 and three of its downstream proteins: survivin, cyclin dependent kinase (Cdk1) and cyclin B1. Following treatment with MBIC, survivin co-immunoprecipitated with caspases with higher affinity in MDA-MB-231 compared to MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, silencing survivin caused a 4.5-fold increase in sensitivity of MDA-MB-231 cells to MBIC (IC50 = 4.4 ± 0.3). In addition, 4 weeks of MBIC administration in MDA-MB-231 cells inoculated BALB/c nude mice resulted in 79.7% reduction of tumor volume compared to the untreated group with no severe sign of toxicity. Our results demonstrated MBIC has multiple anti-tumor actions and could be a potential drug in breast cancer therapy.
  17. Dai X, Wang L, Deivasigamni A, Looi CY, Karthikeyan C, Trivedi P, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2017 Feb 21;8(8):12831-12842.
    PMID: 28086233 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.14606
    A prior screening programme carried out using MTT assay by our group identified a series of novel benzimidazole derivatives, among which Methyl 2-(5-fluoro-2-hydroxyphenyl)-1H- benzo[d]imidazole-5-carboxylate (MBIC) showed highest anticancer efficacy compared to that of chemotherapeutic agent, cisplatin. In the present study, we found that MBIC inhibited cell viability in different hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines without exerting significant cytotoxic effects on normal liver cells. Annexin V-FITC/PI flow cytometry analysis and Western blotting results indicated that MBIC can induce apoptosis in HCC cells, which was found to be mediated through mitochondria associated proteins ultimately leading to the activation of caspase-3. The exposure to MBIC also resulted in remarkable impairment of HCC cell migration and invasion. In addition, treatment with MBIC led to a rapid generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and substantial activation of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK). The depletion of ROS by N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) partially blocked MBIC-induced apoptosis and JNK activation in HCC cells. Finally, MBIC significantly inhibited tumor growth at a dose of 25 mg/kg in an orthotopic HCC mouse model. Taken together, these results demonstrate that MBIC may inhibit cell proliferation via ROS-mediated activation of the JNK signaling cascade in HCC cells.
  18. Oon CE, Bridges E, Sheldon H, Sainson RCA, Jubb A, Turley H, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2017 Jun 20;8(25):40115-40131.
    PMID: 28445154 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.16969
    Delta-like 4 (DLL4) and Jagged1 (JAG1) are two key Notch ligands implicated in tumour angiogenesis. They were shown to have opposite effects on mouse retinal and adult regenerative angiogenesis. In tumours, both ligands are upregulated but their relative effects and interactions in tumour biology, particularly in tumour response to therapeutic intervention are unclear. Here we demonstrate that DLL4 and JAG1 displayed equal potency in stimulating Notch target genes in HMEC-1 endothelial cells but had opposing effects on sprouting angiogenesis in vitro. Mouse DLL4 or JAG1 expressed in glioblastoma cells decreased tumour cell proliferation in vitro but promoted tumour growth in vivo. mDLL4-expressing tumours showed fewer but larger vessels whereas mJAG1-tumours produced more vessels. In both tumour types pericyte coverage was decreased but the vessels were more perfused. Both ligands increased tumour resistance towards anti-VEGF therapy but the resistance was higher in mDLL4-tumours versus mJAG1-tumours. However, their sensitivity to the therapy was restored by blocking Notch signalling with dibenzazepine. Importantly, anti-DLL4 antibody blocked the effect of JAG1 on tumour growth and increased vessel branching in vivo. The mechanism behind the differential responsiveness was due to a positive feedback loop for DLL4-Notch signalling, rendering DLL4 more dominant in activating Notch signalling in the tumour microenvironment. We concluded that DLL4 and JAG1 promote tumour growth by modulating tumour angiogenesis via different mechanisms. JAG1 is not antagonistic but utilises DLL4 in tumour angiogenesis. The results suggest that anti-JAG1 therapy should be explored in conjunction with anti-DLL4 treatment in developing anti-Notch therapies in clinics.
  19. Škalamera D, Dahmer-Heath M, Stevenson AJ, Pinto C, Shah ET, Daignault SM, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 09 20;7(38):61000-61020.
    PMID: 27876705 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.11314
    Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental program that has been implicated in progression, metastasis and therapeutic resistance of some carcinomas. To identify genes whose overexpression drives EMT, we screened a lentiviral expression library of 17000 human open reading frames (ORFs) using high-content imaging to quantitate cytoplasmic vimentin. Hits capable of increasing vimentin in the mammary carcinoma-derived cell line MDA-MB-468 were confirmed in the non-tumorigenic breast-epithelial cell line MCF10A. When overexpressed in this model, they increased the rate of cell invasion through Matrigel™, induced mesenchymal marker expression and reduced expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin. In gene-expression datasets derived from breast cancer patients, the expression of several novel genes correlated with expression of known EMT marker genes, indicating their in vivo relevance. As EMT-associated properties are thought to contribute in several ways to cancer progression, genes identified in this study may represent novel targets for anti-cancer therapy.
  20. Saad N, Alberio R, Johnson AD, Emes RD, Giles TC, Clarke P, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2018 Mar 23;9(22):16008-16027.
    PMID: 29662623 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.24664
    Inducing stable control of tumour growth by tumour reversion is an alternative approach to cancer treatment when eradication of the disease cannot be achieved. The process requires re-establishment of normal control mechanisms that are lost in cancer cells so that abnormal proliferation can be halted. Embryonic environments can reset cellular programmes and we previously showed that axolotl oocyte extracts can reprogram breast cancer cells and reverse their tumorigenicity. In this study, we analysed the gene expression profiles of oocyte extract-treated tumour xenografts to show that tumour reprogramming involves cell cycle arrest and acquisition of a quiescent state. Tumour dormancy is associated with increased P27 expression, restoration of RB function and downregulation of mitogen-activated signalling pathways. We also show that the quiescent state is associated with increased levels of H4K20me3 and decreased H4K20me1, an epigenetic profile leading to chromatin compaction. The epigenetic reprogramming induced by oocyte extracts is required for RB hypophosphorylation and induction of P27 expression, both occurring during exposure to the extracts and stably maintained in reprogrammed tumour xenografts. Therefore, this study demonstrates the value of oocyte molecules for inducing tumour reversion and for the development of new chemoquiescence-based therapies.
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