Publications by authors named "Derick N Rosario-Berrios"

3 Publications

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Calcium signaling induces a partial EMT.

EMBO Rep 2021 Sep 29;22(9):e51872. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Epithelial plasticity, or epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is a well-recognized form of cellular plasticity, which endows tumor cells with invasive properties and alters their sensitivity to various agents, thus representing a major challenge to cancer therapy. It is increasingly accepted that carcinoma cells exist along a continuum of hybrid epithelial-mesenchymal (E-M) states and that cells exhibiting such partial EMT (P-EMT) states have greater metastatic competence than those characterized by either extreme (E or M). We described recently a P-EMT program operating in vivo by which carcinoma cells lose their epithelial state through post-translational programs. Here, we investigate the underlying mechanisms and report that prolonged calcium signaling induces a P-EMT characterized by the internalization of membrane-associated E-cadherin (ECAD) and other epithelial proteins as well as an increase in cellular migration and invasion. Signaling through Gαq-associated G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) recapitulates these effects, which operate through the downstream activation of calmodulin-Camk2b signaling. These results implicate calcium signaling as a trigger for the acquisition of hybrid/partial epithelial-mesenchymal states in carcinoma cells.
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September 2021

Dextran-Coated Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles: A Computed Tomography Contrast Agent for Imaging the Gastrointestinal Tract and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

ACS Nano 2020 08 28;14(8):10187-10197. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States.

Computed tomography (CT) is an X-ray-based medical imaging technique commonly used for noninvasive gastrointestinal tract (GIT) imaging. Iodine- and barium-based CT contrast agents are used in the clinic for GIT imaging; however, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) imaging is challenging since iodinated and barium-based CT agents are not specific for sites of inflammation. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeNP) can produce strong X-ray attenuation due to cerium's k-edge at 40.4 keV but have not yet been explored for CT imaging. In addition, we hypothesized that the use of dextran as a coating material on cerium oxide nanoparticles would encourage accumulation in IBD inflammation sites in a similar fashion to other inflammatory diseases. In this study, therefore, we sought to develop a CT contrast agent, , dextran-coated cerium oxide nanoparticles (Dex-CeNP) for GIT imaging with IBD. We synthesized Dex-CeNP, characterized them using various analytical tools, and examined their biocompatibility, CT contrast generation, and protective effect against oxidative stress. CT imaging was done with both healthy mice and a dextran sodium sulfate induced colitis mouse model. Dex-CeNP's CT contrast generation and accumulation in inflammation sites were compared with iopamidol, an FDA approved CT contrast agent. Dex-CeNP was found to be protective against oxidative damage. Dex-CeNP produced strong CT contrast and accumulated in the colitis area of large intestines. In addition, >97% of oral doses were cleared from the body within 24 h. Therefore, Dex-CeNP can be used as a potential CT contrast agent for imaging GIT with IBD while protecting against oxidative damage.
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August 2020

Comparison of chemical compounds associated with sclerites from healthy and diseased sea fan corals ().

PeerJ 2017 25;5:e3677. Epub 2017 Aug 25.

Bell Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, United States of America.

Background: The roles of gorgonian sclerites as structural components and predator deterrents have been widely studied. Yet their role as barriers against microbes has only recently been investigated, and even less is known about the diversity and roles of the chemical compounds associated with sclerites.

Methods: Here, we examine the semi-volatile organic compound fraction (SVOCs) associated with sclerites from healthy and diseased sea fan corals to understand their possible role as a stress response or in defense of infection. We also measured the oxidative potential of compounds from diseased and healthy colonies.

Results: The results showed that sclerites harbor a great diversity of SVOCs. Overall, 70 compounds were identified, the majority of which are novel with unknown biological roles. The majority of SVOCs identified exhibit multiple immune-related roles including antimicrobial and radical scavenging functions. The free radical activity assays further confirmed the anti-oxidative potential of some these compounds. The anti-oxidative activity was, nonetheless, similar across sclerites regardless of the health condition of the colony, although sclerites from diseased sea fans display slightly higher anti-oxidative activity than the healthy ones.

Discussion: Sclerites harbor great SVOCs diversity, the majority of which are novel to sea fans or any other corals. Yet the scientific literature consulted showed that the roles of compounds found in sclerites vary from antioxidant to antimicrobial compounds. However, this study fell short in determine the origin of the SVOCs identified, undermining our capacity to determine the biological roles of the SVOCs on sclerites and sea fans.
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August 2017