Publications by authors named "Khadijeh Bijangi-Vishehsaraei"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cabozantinib for neurofibromatosis type 1-related plexiform neurofibromas: a phase 2 trial.

Nat Med 2021 01 13;27(1):165-173. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) plexiform neurofibromas (PNs) are progressive, multicellular neoplasms that cause morbidity and may transform to sarcoma. Treatment of Nf1;Postn-Cre mice with cabozantinib, an inhibitor of multiple tyrosine kinases, caused a reduction in PN size and number and differential modulation of kinases in cell lineages that drive PN growth. Based on these findings, the Neurofibromatosis Clinical Trials Consortium conducted a phase II, open-label, nonrandomized Simon two-stage study to assess the safety, efficacy and biologic activity of cabozantinib in patients ≥16 years of age with NF1 and progressive or symptomatic, inoperable PN ( NCT02101736 ). The trial met its primary outcome, defined as ≥25% of patients achieving a partial response (PR, defined as ≥20% reduction in target lesion volume as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) after 12 cycles of therapy. Secondary outcomes included adverse events (AEs), patient-reported outcomes (PROs) assessing pain and quality of life (QOL), pharmacokinetics (PK) and the levels of circulating endothelial cells and cytokines. Eight of 19 evaluable (42%) trial participants achieved a PR. The median change in tumor volume was 15.2% (range, +2.2% to -36.9%), and no patients had disease progression while on treatment. Nine patients required dose reduction or discontinuation of therapy due to AEs; common AEs included gastrointestinal toxicity, hypothyroidism, fatigue and palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia. A total of 11 grade 3 AEs occurred in eight patients. Patients with PR had a significant reduction in tumor pain intensity and pain interference in daily life but no change in global QOL scores. These data indicate that cabozantinib is active in NF1-associated PN, resulting in tumor volume reduction and pain improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-01193-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275010PMC
January 2021

Systems Biology Approach Identifies Prognostic Signatures of Poor Overall Survival and Guides the Prioritization of Novel BET-CHK1 Combination Therapy for Osteosarcoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 26;12(9). Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Department of Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Osteosarcoma (OS) patients exhibit poor overall survival, partly due to copy number variations (CNVs) resulting in dysregulated gene expression and therapeutic resistance. To identify actionable prognostic signatures of poor overall survival, we employed a systems biology approach using public databases to integrate CNVs, gene expression, and survival outcomes in pediatric, adolescent, and young adult OS patients. Chromosome 8 was a hotspot for poor prognostic signatures. The MYC-RAD21 copy number gain (8q24) correlated with increased gene expression and poor overall survival in 90% of the patients ( = 85). MYC and RAD21 play a role in replication-stress, which is a therapeutically actionable network. We prioritized replication-stress regulators, bromodomain and extra-terminal proteins (BETs), and CHK1, in order to test the hypothesis that the inhibition of BET + CHK1 in MYC-RAD21+ pediatric OS models would be efficacious and safe. We demonstrate that MYC-RAD21+ pediatric OS cell lines were sensitive to the inhibition of BET (BETi) and CHK1 (CHK1i) at clinically achievable concentrations. While the potentiation of CHK1i-mediated effects by BETi was BET-BRD4-dependent, MYC expression was BET-BRD4-independent. In MYC-RAD21+ pediatric OS xenografts, BETi + CHK1i significantly decreased tumor growth, increased survival, and was well tolerated. Therefore, targeting replication stress is a promising strategy to pursue as a therapeutic option for this devastating disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564419PMC
August 2020

c-FLIP, a Novel Biomarker for Cancer Prognosis, Immunosuppression, Alzheimer's Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and a Rationale Therapeutic Target.

Biomark J 2019 26;5(1). Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, USA.

Dysregulation of c-FLIP (cellular FADD-like IL-1β-converting enzyme inhibitory protein) has been shown in several diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). c-FLIP is a critical anti-cell death protein often overexpressed in tumors and hematological malignancies and its increased expression is often associated with a poor prognosis. c-FLIP frequently exists as long (c-FLIP) and short (c-FLIP) isoforms, regulates its anti-cell death functions through binding to FADD (FAS associated death domain protein), an adaptor protein known to activate caspases-8 and -10 and links c-FLIP to several cell death regulating complexes including the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) formed by various death receptors. c-FLIP also plays a critical role in necroptosis and autophagy. Furthermore, c-FLIP is able to activate several pathways involved in cytoprotection, proliferation, and survival of cancer cells through various critical signaling proteins. Additionally, c-FLIP can inhibit cell death induced by several chemotherapeutics, anti-cancer small molecule inhibitors, and ionizing radiation. Moreover, c-FLIP plays major roles in aiding the survival of immunosuppressive tumor-promoting immune cells and functions in inflammation, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Therefore, c-FLIP can serve as a versatile biomarker for cancer prognosis, a diagnostic marker for several diseases, and an effective therapeutic target. In this article, we review the functions of c-FLIP as an anti-apoptotic protein and negative prognostic factor in human cancers, and its roles in resistance to anticancer drugs, necroptosis and autophagy, immunosuppression, Alzheimer's disease, and COPD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.36648/2472-1646.5.1.59DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189798PMC
April 2019

Improved adductor function after canine recurrent laryngeal nerve injury and repair using muscle progenitor cells.

Laryngoscope 2018 07 8;128(7):E241-E246. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Purdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.

Objective: Muscle progenitor cells (MPCs) can be isolated from muscle samples and grown to a critical mass in culture. They have been shown to survive and integrate when implanted into rat laryngeal muscles. In this study, the ability of MPC implants to enhance adductor function of reinnervated thyroarytenoid muscles was tested in a canine model.

Study Design: Animal study.

Methods: Sternocleidomastoid muscle samples were harvested from three canines. Muscle progenitor cells were isolated and cultured to 10 cells over 4 to 5 weeks, then implanted into right thyroarytenoid muscles after ipsilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve transection and repair. The left sides underwent the same nerve injury, but no cells were implanted. Laryngeal adductor force was measured pretreatment and again 6 months later, and the muscles were harvested for histology.

Results: Muscle progenitor cells were successfully cultured from all dogs. Laryngeal adductor force measurements averaged 60% of their baseline pretreatment values in nonimplanted controls, 98% after implantation with MPCs, and 128% after implantation with motor endplate-enhanced MPCs. Histology confirmed that the implanted MPCs survived, became integrated into thyroarytenoid muscle fibers, and were in close contact with nerve endings, suggesting functional innervation.

Conclusion: Muscle progenitor cells were shown to significantly enhance adductor function in this pilot canine study. Patient-specific MPC implantation could potentially be used to improve laryngeal function in patients with vocal fold paresis/paralysis, atrophy, and other conditions. Further experiments are planned.

Level Of Evidence: NA. Laryngoscope, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lary.26992DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6661170PMC
July 2018

The Role of MDM2 in Promoting Genome Stability versus Instability.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Oct 23;18(10). Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Department of Pediatrics (Division of Hematology/Oncology), Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

In cancer, the mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) is an oncoprotein that contributes to the promotion of cell growth, survival, invasion, and therapeutic resistance. The impact of MDM2 on cell survival versus cell death is complex and dependent on levels of MDM2 isoforms, p53 status, and cellular context. Extensive investigations have demonstrated that MDM2 protein-protein interactions with p53 and other p53 family members (p63 and p73) block their ability to function as transcription factors that regulate cell growth and survival. Upon genotoxic insults, a dynamic and intricately regulated DNA damage response circuitry is activated leading to release of p53 from MDM2 and activation of cell cycle arrest. What ensues following DNA damage, depends on the extent of DNA damage and if the cell has sufficient DNA repair capacity. The well-known auto-regulatory loop between p53-MDM2 provides an additional layer of control as the cell either repairs DNA damage and survives (i.e., MDM2 re-engages with p53), or undergoes cell death (i.e., MDM2 does not re-engage p53). Furthermore, the decision to live or die is also influenced by chromatin-localized MDM2 which directly interacts with the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex and inhibits DNA damage-sensing giving rise to the potential for increased genome instability and cellular transformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5666895PMC
October 2017

Sulforaphane suppresses the growth of glioblastoma cells, glioblastoma stem cell-like spheroids, and tumor xenografts through multiple cell signaling pathways.

J Neurosurg 2017 Dec 6;127(6):1219-1230. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

1Indiana University Simon Cancer Center.

OBJECTIVE Defects in the apoptotic machinery and augmented survival signals contribute to drug resistance in glioblastoma (GBM). Moreover, another complexity related to GBM treatment is the concept that GBM development and recurrence may arise from the expression of GBM stem cells (GSCs). Therefore, the use of a multifaceted approach or multitargeted agents that affect specific tumor cell characteristics will likely be necessary to successfully eradicate GBM. The objective of this study was to investigate the usefulness of sulforaphane (SFN)-a constituent of cruciferous vegetables with a multitargeted effect-as a therapeutic agent for GBM. METHODS The inhibitory effects of SFN on established cell lines, early primary cultures, CD133-positive GSCs, GSC-derived spheroids, and GBM xenografts were evaluated using various methods, including GSC isolation and the sphere-forming assay, analysis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis, cell growth inhibition assay, comet assays for assessing SFN-triggered DNA damage, confocal microscopy, Western blot analysis, and the determination of in vivo efficacy as assessed in human GBM xenograft models. RESULTS SFN triggered the significant inhibition of cell survival and induced apoptotic cell death, which was associated with caspase 3 and caspase 7 activation. Moreover, SFN triggered the formation of mitochondrial ROS, and SFN-triggered cell death was ROS dependent. Comet assays revealed that SFN increased single- and double-strand DNA breaks in GBM. Compared with the vehicle control cells, a significantly higher amount of γ-H2AX foci correlated with an increase in DNA double-strand breaks in the SFN-treated samples. Furthermore, SFN robustly inhibited the growth of GBM cell-induced cell death in established cell cultures and early-passage primary cultures and, most importantly, was effective in eliminating GSCs, which play a major role in drug resistance and disease recurrence. In vivo studies revealed that SFN administration at 100 mg/kg for 5-day cycles repeated for 3 weeks significantly decreased the growth of ectopic xenografts that were established from the early passage of primary cultures of GBM10. CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that SFN is a potent anti-GBM agent that targets several apoptosis and cell survival pathways and further preclinical and clinical studies may prove that SFN alone or in combination with other therapies may be potentially useful for GBM therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2016.8.JNS161197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6086125PMC
December 2017

Emerging targets for glioblastoma stem cell therapy.

J Biomed Res 2016 01 20;30(1):19-31. Epub 2015 Sep 20.

Indiana University Simon Cancer Center.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), designated as World Health Organization (WHO) grade IV astrocytoma, is a lethal and therapy-resistant brain cancer comprised of several tumor cell subpopulations, including GBM stem cells (GSCs) which are believed to contribute to tumor recurrence following initial response to therapies. Emerging evidence demonstrates that GBM tumors are initiated from GSCs. The development and use of novel therapies including small molecule inhibitors of specific proteins in signaling pathways that regulate stemness, proliferation and migration of GSCs, immunotherapy, and non-coding microRNAs may provide better means of treating GBM. Identification and characterization of GSC-specific signaling pathways would be necessary to identify specific therapeutic targets which may lead to the development of more efficient therapies selectively targeting GSCs. Several signaling pathways including mTOR, AKT, maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK), NOTCH1 and Wnt/β-catenin as well as expression of cancer stem cell markers CD133, CD44, Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, and ALDH1A1 maintain GSC properties. Moreover, the data published in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) specifically demonstrated the activated PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in GBM tumorigenesis. Studying such pathways may help to understand GSC biology and lead to the development of potential therapeutic interventions to render them more sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Furthemore, recent demonstration of dedifferentiation of GBM cell lines into CSC-like cells prove that any successful therapeutic agent or combination of drugs for GBM therapy must eliminate not only GSCs, but the differentiated GBM cells and the entire bulk of tumor cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7555/JBR.30.20150100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4726830PMC
January 2016

Microarray Analysis Gene Expression Profiles in Laryngeal Muscle After Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injury.

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2016 Mar 3;125(3):247-56. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Objectives: The pathophysiology of recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) transection injury is rare in that it is characteristically followed by a high degree of spontaneous reinnervation, with reinnervation of the laryngeal adductor complex (AC) preceding that of the abducting posterior cricoarytenoid (PCA) muscle. Here, we aim to elucidate the differentially expressed myogenic factors following RLN injury that may be at least partially responsible for the spontaneous reinnervation.

Methods: F344 male rats underwent RLN injury (n = 12) or sham surgery (n = 12). One week after RLN injury, larynges were harvested following euthanasia. The mRNA was extracted from PCA and AC muscles bilaterally, and microarray analysis was performed using a full rat genome array.

Results: Microarray analysis of denervated AC and PCA muscles demonstrated dramatic differences in gene expression profiles, with 205 individual probes that were differentially expressed between the denervated AC and PCA muscles and only 14 genes with similar expression patterns.

Conclusions: The differential expression patterns of the AC and PCA suggest different mechanisms of reinnervation. The PCA showed the gene patterns of Wallerian degeneration, while the AC expressed the gene patterns of reinnervation by adjacent axonal sprouting. This finding may reveal important therapeutic targets applicable to RLN and other peripheral nerve injuries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0003489415608866DOI Listing
March 2016

Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) epigenetic plasticity and interconversion between differentiated non-GSCs and GSCs.

Genes Dis 2015 Jun;2(2):152-163

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA ; Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or cancer initiating cells (CICs) maintain self-renewal and multilineage differentiation properties of various tumors, as well as the cellular heterogeneity consisting of several subpopulations within tumors. CSCs display the malignant phenotype, self-renewal ability, altered genomic stability, specific epigenetic signature, and most of the time can be phenotyped by cell surface markers (e.g., CD133, CD24, and CD44). Numerous studies support the concept that non-stem cancer cells (non-CSCs) are sensitive to cancer therapy while CSCs are relatively resistant to treatment. In glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), there is clonal heterogeneity at the genetic level with distinct tumorigenic potential, and defined GSC marker expression resulting from clonal evolution which is likely to influence disease progression and response to treatment. Another level of complexity in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors is the dynamic equilibrium between GSCs and differentiated non-GSCs, and the potential for non-GSCs to revert (dedifferentiate) to GSCs due to epigenetic alteration which confers phenotypic plasticity to the tumor cell population. Moreover, exposure of the differentiated GBM cells to therapeutic doses of temozolomide (TMZ) or ionizing radiation (IR) increases the GSC pool both and . This review describes various subtypes of GBM, discusses the evolution of CSC models and epigenetic plasticity, as well as interconversion between GSCs and differentiated non-GSCs, and offers strategies to potentially eliminate GSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gendis.2015.02.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484766PMC
June 2015

Stem cell-derived tissue-engineered constructs for hemilaryngeal reconstruction.

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2014 Feb;123(2):124-34

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine (Halum, Bijangi-Vishehsaraei, Zhang, Sowinski), Indianapolis, Indiana.

Objectives: As an initial step toward our goal of developing a completely tissue-engineered larynx, the aim of this study was to describe and compare three strategies of creating tissue-engineered muscle-polymer constructs for hemilaryngeal reconstruction.

Methods: Cartilage-mimicking polymer was developed from electrospun poly(D,L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PCL). Primary muscle progenitor cell cultures were derived from syngeneic F344 rat skeletal muscle biopsies. Twenty F344 rats underwent resection of the outer hemilaryngeal cartilage with the underlying laryngeal adductor muscle. The defects were repaired with muscle stem cell-derived muscle-PCL constructs (5 animals), myotube-derived muscle-PCL constructs (5 animals), motor end plate-expressing muscle-PCL constructs (5 animals), or PCL alone (controls; 5 animals). The outcome measures at 1 month included animal survival, muscle thickness, and innervation status as determined by electromyography and immunohistochemistry.

Results: All of the animals survived the 1-month implant period and had appropriate weight gain. The group that received motor end plate-expressing muscle-PCL constructs demonstrated the greatest muscle thickness and the strongest innervation, according to electromyographic activity and the percentage of motor end plates that had nerve contact.

Conclusions: Although all of the tissue-engineered constructs provided effective reconstruction, those that expressed motor end plates before implantation yielded muscle that was more strongly innervated and viable. This finding suggests that this novel approach may be useful in the development of a tissue-engineered laryngeal replacement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0003489414523709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4505801PMC
February 2014

Differences in laryngeal neurotrophic factor gene expression after recurrent laryngeal nerve and vagus nerve injuries.

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2013 Oct;122(10):653-63

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Objectives: Recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and vagus nerve (VN) injuries characteristically are followed by differing degrees of spontaneous reinnervation, yet laryngeal muscle neurotrophic factor (NF) expression profiles after RLN and VN injuries have not been well elucidated. This study's objective was to determine the relative changes in gene expression of 5 well-characterized NFs from laryngeal muscle after RLN or VN injuries in a time-dependent fashion, and demonstrate how these changes correspond with electromyography-assessed innervation status.

Methods: Thirty-six male rats underwent left RLN transection (12 rats), left VN transection (12 rats), or a sham procedure (12 rats). The primary outcomes included electromyographic assessment and laryngeal muscle NF expression quantification with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction at 3 days and at 1 month.

Results: Electromyography at 3 days demonstrated electrical silence in the VN injury group, normal activity in the sham group, and nascent units with decreased recruitment in the RLN injury group. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that changes in NF gene expression from laryngeal muscles varied depending on the type of nerve injury (RLN or VN) and the specific laryngeal muscle (posterior cricoarytenoid or adductor) assessed.

Conclusions: Laryngeal muscle NF expression profiles after cranial nerve X injury depend both upon the level of nerve injury and upon the muscles involved.
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October 2013

Autologous myoblasts attenuate atrophy and improve tongue force in a denervated tongue model: a pilot study.

Laryngoscope 2014 Feb 1;124(2):E20-6. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Objectives/hypothesis: Autologous muscle-derived stem cell (MdSC) therapy is a promising treatment to restore function. No group has evaluated MdSC therapy in a denervated tongue model. The purpose of this pilot investigation was to determine the extent of autologous MdSC survival, effects on tongue muscle atrophy, maximal contractile force, and lingual pressure in a denervated ovine tongue model.

Study Design: Pilot animal experiment.

Methods: Bilateral implantable cuff electrodes were placed around the hypoglossal nerves in two Dorper cross ewes. Tensometer and high-resolution manometry (HRM) testing were performed during supermaximum hypoglossal nerve stimulation to assess baseline tongue strength. Sternocleidomastoid muscle biopsies were acquired to create autologous MdSC cultures. At 1 month, 5 × 10(8) green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled autologous MdSCs were injected into the partially denervated tongue. Two-months postinjection, lingual tensometer testing, HRM, and postmortem histological assessment were performed.

Results: GFP+ myofibers were identified in denervated tongue specimens indicating MdSC survival. Muscle fiber diameter was larger in GFP+ fibers for both tongue specimens, suggesting attenuation of muscle atrophy. Myofiber diameter was larger in GFP+ myofibers than preinjury diameters, providing evidence of new muscle formation. These myogenic changes led to a 27% increase in maximal tongue contractile force and a 54% increase in maximum base of tongue pressure in one animal.

Conclusions: Autologous MdSC therapy may be a viable treatment for the partially denervated tongue, with current findings demonstrating that injected MdSCs survived and fused with tongue myofibers, with a resultant increase in myofiber diameter and an increase in tongue strength.

Level Of Evidence: N/A.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lary.24352DOI Listing
February 2014

Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) promotes skeletal muscle progenitor cell (MPC) viability via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt pathway.

J Tissue Eng Regen Med 2014 Dec 13;8(12):963-8. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Muscle progenitor cells (MPCs) are currently being investigated as cellular vectors to deliver neurotrophic factor (NF) for the promotion of re-innervation after axonal injury. Ideally NF delivery in such a model would enhance axonal regeneration while simultaneously promoting MPC viability. To date, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is one of the few NFs known to promote both re-innervation and MPC viability. We herein identify ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) as a factor that promotes MPC viability in culture, and demonstrate CNTF to impart greater viability effects on MPCs than IGF-1. We demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition via LY294002 results in abrogation of CNTF-mediated viability, suggesting that the CNTF-mediated MPC viability benefit occurs via the PI3-Akt pathway. Finally, we employ a genetic model, establishing MPC cultures from mice deficient in class IA PI-3 K (p85α(-/-) ) mice, and demonstrate that the viability benefit imparted by CNTF is completely abrogated in PI-3 K-deficient MPCs compared to wild-type controls. In summary, our investigations define CNTF as a promoter of MPC viability beyond IGF-1, and reveal that the CNTF-mediated MPC viability effects occur via the PI3-Akt pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/term.1598DOI Listing
December 2014

Human GM3 Synthase Attenuates Taxol-Triggered Apoptosis Associated with Downregulation of Caspase-3 in Ovarian Cancer Cells.

J Cancer Ther 2012 Oct;3(5):504-510

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, Indianapolis, USA.

Background: Taxol (paclitaxel) inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells, but it also upregulates cytoprotective proteins and/or pathways that compromise its therapeutic efficacy.

Materials And Method: The roles of GM3 synthase (α2,3-sialyltransferase, ST3Gal V) in attenuating Taxol-induced apoptosis and triggering drug resistance were determined by cloning and overexpressing this enzyme in the SKOV3 human ovarian cancer cell line, treating SKOV3 and the transfectants (SKOV3/GS) with Taxol and determining apoptosis, cell survival, clonogenic ability, and caspase-3 activation.

Results: In this report, we demonstrated that Taxol treatment resulted in apoptosis which was associated with caspase-3 activation. Taxol treatment upregulated the expression of human GM3 synthase, an enzyme that transfers a sialic acid to lactosylceramide. Moreover, we cloned the full-length GM3 synthase gene and showed for the first time that forced expression of GM3 synthase attenuated Taxol-induced apoptosis and increased resistance to Taxol in SKOV3 cells.

Conclusions: GM3 synthase overexpression inhibited Taxol-triggered caspase-3 activation, revealing that upregulation of GM3 synthase prevents apoptosis and hence reduces the efficacy of Taxol therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jct.2012.35065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399708PMC
October 2012

Neurotrophic factor-secreting autologous muscle stem cell therapy for the treatment of laryngeal denervation injury.

Laryngoscope 2012 Nov 10;122(11):2482-96. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.

Objectives/hypothesis: To determine if the spontaneous reinnervation that characteristically ensues after recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury could be selectively promoted and directed to certain laryngeal muscles with the use of neurotrophic factor (NF)-secreting muscle stem cell (MSC) vectors while antagonistic reinnervation is inhibited with vincristine (VNC).

Study Design: Basic science investigation involving primary cell cultures, gene cloning/transfer, and animal experiments.

Methods: MSC survival assays were used to test multiple individual NFs in vitro. Motoneuron outgrowth assays assessed the trophic effects of identified NF on cranial nerve X (CNX)-derived motoneurons in vitro. Therapeutic NF was cloned into a lentiviral vector, and MSCs were transduced to secrete NF. Sixty rats underwent left RLN transection injury, and at 3 weeks received injections of either MSCs (n = 24), MSCs secreting NF (n = 24), or saline (n = 12) into the left thyroarytenoid muscle complex; half of the animals in the MSC groups simultaneously received left posterior cricoarytenoid injections of VNC, whereas half of the animals received saline.

Results: Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) had the greatest survival-promoting effect on MSCs in culture. The addition of CNTF (50 ng/mL) to CNX motoneuron cultures resulted in enhanced neurite outgrowth and branching. In the animal model, the injected MSCs fused with the denervated myofibers, immunohistochemistry demonstrated enhanced reinnervation based on motor endplate to nerve contact, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction confirmed stable CNTF expression at longest follow-up (4 months) in the CNTF-secreting MSC treated groups.

Conclusions: MSC therapy may have a future role in selectively promoting and directing laryngeal reinnervation after RLN injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lary.23519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3484207PMC
November 2012

A rapid, novel model of culturing cranial nerve X-derived motoneurons for screening trophic factor outgrowth response.

Neurol Res 2012 Jul 30;34(6):564-75. Epub 2012 May 30.

Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Objectives: After cranial nerve X (CN X) injury, vocal fold paralysis treatments currently face a myriad of obstacles in achieving non-synkinetic, functional reinnervation. Of particular therapeutic interest is the targeted administration of locally expressed biological neurotrophic factors (NFs). To date, a method to culture mature CN X motoneurons for NF responsiveness screening has not been described.

Methods: We herein present a novel method for establishing mature murine CN X motoneuron cultures, and use the model to test CN X motoneuron outgrowth response to individual and paired ascending concentrations of selected neurotrophic factors [glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF)].

Results: Findings demonstrated low concentration (5 ng/ml) CNTF to have the greatest positive effect on motoneuron outgrowth, beyond that of both indivual NF and paired NF combinations, based on total neurite outgrowth [mean total neurite outgrowth = 445.7±84.45 μm in the (5 ng/ml) CNTF group versus 179.7±13.63 μm in saline controls (P<0.01)]. Paired treatments with CNTF/GDNF, and CNTF/BDNF promoted motoneuron branching at a variety of concentrations beyond saline controls, and paired GDNF/BDNF had inhibitory effects on motoneuron branching.

Discussion: Our described in vitro model of establishing mature CN X cultures allowed rapid screening for responsiveness to therapeutic NFs at a variety of concentrations and combinations. While the model ultimately may be used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CN X motoneuron regeneration, the current study identified CNTF as a promising therapeutic candidate for the promotion of CN X outgrowth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1743132812Y.0000000046DOI Listing
July 2012

Selective TRAIL-triggered apoptosis due to overexpression of TRAIL death receptor 5 (DR5) in P-glycoprotein-bearing multidrug resistant CEM/VBL1000 human leukemia cells.

Int J Biochem Mol Biol 2010 18;1(1):90-100. Epub 2010 Jul 18.

The death-inducing cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), holds enormous promise as a cancer therapeutic due to its highly selective apoptosis-inducing action on neoplastic versus normal cells. Our results revealed that TRAIL selectively triggered apoptosis in the P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1) and DR5 overexpressing CEM/VBL1000 multidrug resistant leukemia cell line, but not in the parental CEM cells. Moreover, TRAIL treatment reduced P-gp expression in these cells. Mechanistic analysis of TRAIL-induced apoptosis revealed that TRAIL hypersensitivity is due to robust upregulation of the TRAIL receptor DR5 at the protein and mRNA levels during development of MDR in the CEM/VBL1000 variant. DR5 upregulation was independent of the level of expression of endoplasmic reticulum stress regulator C/EBP homologous transcription factor (CH0P/GADD153). TRAIL-triggered apoptosis was associated with increased expression of FADD; activation of caspases-3, -8, -9, and -10; and cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Therefore, both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways are involved in this process. These findings for the first time reveal that TRAIL treatment selectively causes apoptosis in P-gp-overexpressing CEM/VBL1000 cells through strong upregulation of DR5. Moreover, this hypersensitivity to TRAIL and its effect on reducing P-gp expression in these cells hold significant clinical implications for using TRAIL to eradicate MDR malignant cells.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2953951PMC
October 2012

4-(4-Chloro-2-methylphenoxy)-N-hydroxybutanamide (CMH) targets mRNA of the c-FLIP variants and induces apoptosis in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

Mol Cell Biochem 2010 Sep 6;342(1-2):133-142. Epub 2010 May 6.

Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Cellular FLICE (FADD-like IL-1beta-converting enzyme)-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) is a major resistance factor for the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand TRAIL and in drug resistance in human malignancies. c-FLIP is an antagonist of caspases-8 and -10, which inhibits apoptosis and is expressed as long (c-FLIP(L)) and short (c-FLIP(S)) splice forms. c-FLIP is often overexpressed in various human cancers, including breast cancer. Several studies have shown that silencing c-FLIP by specific siRNAs sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL and anticancer agents. However, systemic use of siRNA as a therapeutic agent is not practical at present. In order to reduce or inhibit c-FLIP expression, small molecules are needed to allow targeting c-FLIP without inhibiting caspases-8 and -10. We used a small molecule inhibitor of c-FLIP, 4-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)-N-hydroxybutanamide (CMH), and show that CMH, but not its inactive analog, downregulated c-FLIP(L) and c-FLIP(S) mRNA and protein levels, caused poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) degradation, reduced cell survival, and induced apoptosis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These results revealed that c-FLIP is a critical apoptosis regulator that can serve as a target for small molecule inhibitors that downregulate its expression and serve as effective targeted therapeutics against breast cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11010-010-0477-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4450253PMC
September 2010

TGF-beta1-induced expression of human Mdm2 correlates with late-stage metastatic breast cancer.

J Clin Invest 2010 Jan 1;120(1):290-302. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Department of Oncology, Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75390-8807, USA.

The E3 ubiquitin ligase human murine double minute (HDM2) is overexpressed in 40%-80% of late-stage metastatic cancers in the absence of gene amplification. Hdm2 regulates p53 stability via ubiquitination and has also been implicated in altering the sensitivity of cells to TGF-beta1. Whether TGF-beta1 signaling induces Hdm2 expression leading to HDM2-mediated destabilization of p53 has not been investigated. In this study, we report that TGF-beta1-activated SMA- and MAD3 (Smad3/4) transcription factors specifically bound to the second promoter region of HDM2, leading to increased HDM2 protein expression and destabilization of p53 in human cancer cell lines. Additionally, TGF-beta1 expression led to Smad3 activation and murine double minute 2 (Mdm2) expression in murine mammary epithelial cells during epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Furthermore, histological analyses of human breast cancer samples demonstrated that approximately 65% of late-stage carcinomas were positive for activated Smad3 and HDM2, indicating a strong correlation between TGF-beta1-mediated induction of HDM2 and late-stage tumor progression. Identification of Hdm2 as a downstream target of TGF-beta1 represents a critical prosurvival mechanism in cancer progression and provides another point for therapeutic intervention in late-stage cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI39194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2798681PMC
January 2010

PTEN and p53 are required for hypoxia induced expression of maspin in glioblastoma cells.

Cell Cycle 2009 Mar 21;8(6):896-901. Epub 2009 Mar 21.

Department of Pediatrics, Herman B Wells Center for Pediatrics Research, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.

In response to genotoxic stress, p53 induces the tumor suppressors maspin and PTEN. Here we demonstrate that in response to limited oxygen conditions PTEN and p53 work in tandem to induce maspin in glioblastoma cells. In response to hypoxia a portion of PTEN migrates to the nucleus and complexes with p53, while cytoplasmic PTEN prevents Mdm2 nuclear localization by attenuating Akt signaling. Subcellular distribution of PTEN in the cytoplasm or nucleus protects p53 from inactivation and degradation. The presence of nuclear PTEN and p53 coordinates the induction of maspin and p21 (both p53 gene targets) in response to hypoxia. Altering the expression of PTEN and/or p53 attenuated maspin gene induction under hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, implanting U87 (PTEN null) and PTEN reconstituted U87 cells (U87PTEN) in mice we observed by immunohistochemistry and western blot that Maspin was only detectable in cells with PTEN. The integration of PTEN and p53 into a common pathway for the induction of another tumor suppressor, Maspin, constitutes a tumor suppressor network of PTEN/p53/Mapsin that is operational under limited oxygen conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.8.6.7899DOI Listing
March 2009

Distinct roles of stress-activated protein kinases in Fanconi anemia-type C-deficient hematopoiesis.

Blood 2009 Mar 23;113(12):2655-60. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

The underlying molecular mechanisms that promote bone marrow failure in Fanconi anemia are incompletely understood. Evidence suggests that enhanced apoptosis of hematopoietic precursors is a major contributing factor. Previously, enhanced apoptosis of Fanconi anemia type C-deficient (Fancc(-/-)) progenitors was shown to involve aberrant p38 MAPK activation. Given the importance of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in the stress response, we tested whether enhanced apoptosis of Fancc(-/-) cells also involved altered JNK activation. In Fancc(-/-) murine embryonic fibroblasts, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) induced elevated JNK activity. In addition, JNK inhibition protected Fancc(-/-) murine embryonic fibroblasts and c-kit(+) bone marrow cells from TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Importantly, hematopoietic progenitor assays demonstrated that JNK inhibition enhanced Fancc(-/-) colony formation in the presence of TNF-alpha. Competitive repopulation assays showed that Fancc(-/-) donor cells cultured with the JNK inhibitor had equivalent levels of donor chimerism compared with Fancc(-/-) donor cells cultured with vehicle control. In contrast, culturing Fancc(-/-) cells with a p38 MAPK inhibitor significantly increased repopulating ability, supporting an integral role of p38 MAPK in maintaining Fancc(-/-) hematopoietic stem cell function. Taken together, these data suggest that p38 MAPK, but not JNK, has a critical role in maintaining the engraftment of Fancc(-/-)-reconstituting cells under conditions of stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-09-181420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2661855PMC
March 2009

Clonogenic endothelial progenitor cells are sensitive to oxidative stress.

Stem Cells 2007 Feb 5;25(2):297-304. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Department of Pediatrics, Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) circulate in the peripheral blood and reside in blood vessel walls. A hierarchy of EPCs exists where progenitors can be discriminated based on their clonogenic potential. EPCs are exposed to oxidative stress during vascular injury as residents of blood vessel walls or as circulating cells homing to sites of neovascularization. Given the links between oxidative injury, endothelial cell dysfunction, and vascular disease, we tested whether EPCs were sensitive to oxidative stress using newly developed clonogenic assays. Strikingly, in contrast to previous reports, we demonstrate that the most proliferative EPCs (high proliferative potential-endothelial colony-forming cells and low proliferative potential-endothelial colony-forming cells) had decreased clonogenic capacity after oxidant treatment. In addition, EPCs exhibited increased apoptosis and diminished tube-forming ability in vitro and in vivo in response to oxidative stress, which was directly linked to activation of a redox-dependent stress-induced kinase pathway. Thus, this study provides novel insights into the effect of oxidative stress on EPCs. Furthermore, this report outlines a framework for understanding how oxidative injury leads to vascular disease and potentially limits the efficacy of transplantation of EPCs into ischemic tissues enriched for reactive oxygen species and oxidized metabolites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/stemcells.2006-0340DOI Listing
February 2007

Enhanced TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis in Fanconi anemia type C-deficient cells is dependent on apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1.

Blood 2005 Dec 18;106(13):4124-30. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

Department of Pediatrics, Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, R4-476, 1044 W. Walnut St, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a chromosomal instability disorder characterized by progressive bone marrow failure. Experimental evidence suggests that enhanced oxidant and myelosuppressive cytokine-mediated apoptosis of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells contributes to the pathogenesis of marrow failure in FA. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for the apoptotic phenotype in hematopoietic cells are incompletely understood. Recent data in Fancc-/- murine embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) implicate increased oxidant-induced apoptotic signaling through the redox-dependent protein, apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (Ask1). Here, we examined whether altered Ask1 signaling participated in the proapoptotic phenotype of primary Fancc-/- MEFs and hematopoietic progenitors treated with the myelosuppressive cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Our data indicate that TNF-alpha induces hyperactivation of Ask1 and the downstream effector p38 in Fancc-/- MEFs. In addition,Ask1 inactivation in Fancc-/- MEFs and hematopoietic progenitors restored survival to wild-type (WT) levels in the presence of TNF-alpha. Furthermore, targeting the Ask1 pathway by using either antioxidants or a p38 inhibitor protected Fancc-/- MEFs and c-kit+ cells from TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Collectively, these data argue that the predisposition of Fancc-/- hematopoietic progenitors to apoptosis is mediated in part through altered redox regulation and Ask1 hyperactivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2005-05-2096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895245PMC
December 2005

Oxidant hypersensitivity of Fanconi anemia type C-deficient cells is dependent on a redox-regulated apoptotic pathway.

J Biol Chem 2004 Apr 5;279(16):16805-12. Epub 2004 Feb 5.

Department of Pediatrics, Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5254, USA.

Fanconi anemia is a genetic disorder characterized by bone marrow failure. Significant evidence supports enhanced apoptosis of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells as a critical factor in the pathogenesis of bone marrow failure in Fanconi anemia. However, the molecular mechanism(s) responsible for the apoptotic phenotype are incompletely understood. Here, we tested whether alterations in the activation of a redox-dependent pathway may participate in the pro-apoptotic phenotype of primary Fancc -/- cells in response to oxidative stress. Our data indicate that Fancc -/- cells are highly sensitive to oxidant stimuli and undergo enhanced oxidant-mediated apoptosis compared with wild type controls. In addition, antioxidants preferentially enhanced the survival of Fancc -/- cells. Because oxidative stress activates the redox-dependent ASK1 pathway, we assessed whether Fancc -/- cells exhibited increased oxidant-induced ASK1 activation. Our results revealed ASK1 hyperactivation in H2O2-treated Fancc -/- cells. Furthermore, using small interfering RNAs to decrease ASK1 expression and a dominant negative ASK1 mutant to inhibit ASK1 kinase activity, we determined that H2O2-induced apoptosis was ASK1-dependent. Collectively, these data argue that the predisposition of Fancc -/- hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells to apoptosis is mediated in part through altered redox regulation and ASK1 hyperactivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M313721200DOI Listing
April 2004
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