Publications by authors named "Lu-Hai Wang"

48 Publications

Nutrient supplements from selected botanicals mediated immune modulation of the tumor microenvironment and antitumor mechanism.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine At Mount Sinai, New York, 10029, USA.

Specific extracts of selected vegetables (SV) have been shown to benefit the survival of stage IIIb/IV non-small cell lung cancer patients in phase I/II studies and is currently in a phase III trial. However, the underlying mechanism of SV-mediated antitumor immune responses has not been elucidated. Our results indicate that SV modulated the NK and adoptive T cell immune responses in antitumor efficacy. Furthermore, antitumor effects of SV were also mediated by innate myeloid cell function, which requires both TLR and β-glucan signaling in a MyD88/TRIF and Dectin-1-dependent manner, respectively. Additionally, SV treatment reduced granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) infiltration into the tumor and limited monocytic MDSC toward the M2-like functional phenotype. Importantly, SV treatment enhanced antigen-specific immune responses by augmenting the activation of antigen-specific TH1/TH17 cells in secondary lymphoid organs and proliferative response, as well as by reducing the Treg population in the tumor microenvironment, which was driven by SV-primed activated M-MDSC. Our results support the idea that SV can subvert immune-tolerance state in the tumor microenvironment and inhibit tumor growth. The present study suggests that features, such as easy accessibility, favorable clinical efficacy, no detectable side effects and satisfactory safety make SV a feasible, appealing and convincing adjuvant therapy for the treatment of cancer patients and prevent tumor recurrence and/or metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-021-02927-2DOI Listing
April 2021

Effects of synthetic glucocorticoids on breast cancer progression.

Steroids 2020 12 13;164:108738. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Institute of Biotechnology, College of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan; Department of Medical Science, College of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Glucocorticoids (GCs) are widely prescribed as adjuvant therapy for breast cancer patients. Unlike other steroid hormone receptors, the GC receptor is not considered an oncogene. Research in the past few years has revealed the complexity of GC-mediated signaling, but it remains puzzling whether GCs promote or inhibit tumor progression in different cancer types. Here we evaluated the potential of using a synthetic GC, dexamethasone (DEX), in the treatment of breast cancer. We found that the administration of low-dose DEX suppressed tumor growth and distant metastasis in the MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 xenograft mouse model, whereas treatment with high-dose DEX enhanced tumor growth and metastasis, respectively. Treatment of breast cancer cells with DEX inhibited cell adhesion, migration, and invasion in a dose-dependent manner. The DEX-mediated inhibition of cell adhesion, migration, and invasion is partly through induction of microRNA-708 and subsequent Rap1B-mediated signaling in MDA-MB-231 cells. On the other hand, in MCF-7 cells, DEX-suppressed cell migration is independent from microRNA-708 mediated signaling. Overall, our data reveal that DEX acts as a double-edged sword during breast-cancer progression and metastasis: Lower concentrations inhibit breast cancer tumor growth and metastasis, whereas higher concentrations may play an undesired role to promote breast cancer progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2020.108738DOI Listing
December 2020

DOCK6 promotes chemo- and radioresistance of gastric cancer by modulating WNT/β-catenin signaling and cancer stem cell traits.

Oncogene 2020 09 4;39(37):5933-5949. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Gastric cancer (GC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide and prognosis after potentially curative gastrectomy remains poor. Administration of GC-targeting molecules in combination with adjuvant chemo- or radiotherapy following surgical resection has been proposed as a potentially effective treatment option. Here, we have identified DOCK6, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for Rac1 and CDC42, as an independent biomarker for GC prognosis. Clinical findings indicate the positive correlation of higher DOCK6 expression with tumor size, depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, vascular invasion, and pathological stage. Furthermore, elevated DOCK6 expression was significantly associated with shorter cumulative survival in both univariate and multivariate analyses. Gene ontology analysis of three independent clinical GC cohorts revealed significant involvement of DOCK6-correlated genes in the WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway. Ectopic expression of DOCK6 promoted GC cancer stem cell (CSC) characteristics and chemo- or radioresistance concomitantly through Rac1 activation. Conversely, depletion of DOCK6 suppressed CSC phenotypes and progression of GC, further demonstrating the pivotal role of DOCK6 in GC progression. Our results demonstrate a novel mechanistic link between DOCK6, Rac1, and β-catenin in GCCSC for the first time, supporting the utility of DOCK6 as an independent marker of GC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-020-01390-0DOI Listing
September 2020

Dysregulation of cystathionine γ-lyase promotes prostate cancer progression and metastasis.

EMBO Rep 2019 10 29;20(10):e45986. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Hydrogen sulfide (H S), an endogenous signaling gaseous molecule, is involved in various physiological activities, including vessel relaxation, regulation of cellular bioenergetics, inflammation, and angiogenesis. By using xenograft orthotopic implantation of prostate cancer PC3 cells and subsequently comparing bone metastatic with primary tumor-derived cancer cells, we find that H S-producing enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CTH) is upregulated in bone-metastatic PC3 cells. Clinical data further reveal that the expression of CTH is elevated in late-stage prostate cancer patients, and higher CTH expression correlates with poor survival from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) prostate cancer RNA-seq datasets. CTH promotes NF-κB nuclear translocation through H S-mediated sulfhydration on cysteine-38 of the NF-κB p65 subunit, resulting in increased IL-1β expression and H S-induced cell invasion. Knockdown of CTH in PC3 cells results in the suppression of tumor growth and distant metastasis, while overexpression of CTH in DU145 cells promotes primary tumor growth and lymph node metastasis in the orthotopic implanted xenograft mouse model. Together, our findings provide evidence that CTH generated H S promotes prostate cancer progression and metastasis through IL-1β/NF-κB signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embr.201845986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6776913PMC
October 2019

Cancer-Derived VEGF-C Increases Chemokine Production in Lymphatic Endothelial Cells to Promote CXCR2-Dependent Cancer Invasion and MDSC Recruitment.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Aug 6;11(8). Epub 2019 Aug 6.

National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan 704, Taiwan.

Breast cancer-derived vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) has been shown to enhance lymphangiogenesis in lymph nodes to accelerate cancer metastasis. However, the remodeling of lymph node microenvironments by VEGF-C remains elusive. By in vivo selection, we established a subline (named as "LC") with strong lymphatic tropism and high VEGF-C expression from the human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line. Co-culture with LC cells or treatment with LC-conditioned medium upregulated the expression of CXC chemokines in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs), which could be inhibited by pre-incubation with VEGF-C-neutralizing antibodies and VEGFR3 inhibitors. The chemokines produced by LECs enhanced recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) to tumor-draining and distant lymph nodes in tumor-bearing mice. Treatment with a CXCR2 inhibitor after tumor cell inoculation dramatically decreased the number of MDSCs in lymph nodes, suggesting the importance of the chemokine/CXCR2 signaling axis in MDSC recruitment. In addition, LEC-released chemokines also stimulated the expression of serum amyloid A1 (SAA1) in cancer cells, enhancing their lymphatic invasion by increasing VE-cadherin phosphorylation, junction disruption, and vascular permeability of LECs. Clinical sample validation confirmed that SAA1 expression was associated with increased lymph node metastasis. Collectively, we reveal a novel mechanism by which cancer cell-derived VEGF-C remodels lymphovascular microenvironments by regulating chemokine production in LECs to promote cancer invasion and MDSC recruitment. Our results also suggest that inhibition of CXCR2 is effective in treating lymphatic metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11081120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721484PMC
August 2019

A novel miR-365-3p/EHF/keratin 16 axis promotes oral squamous cell carcinoma metastasis, cancer stemness and drug resistance via enhancing β5-integrin/c-met signaling pathway.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2019 Feb 19;38(1):89. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Institute of Molecular Medicine, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan.

Background: Targeting the c-Met signaling pathway has become a therapeutic strategy in multiple types of cancer. We unveiled a novel c-Met regulating mechanism that could be applied as a modality for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) therapy.

Methods: Upregulation of keratin 16 (KRT16) was found by comparing isogenic pairs of low and high invasive human OSCC lines via microarray analysis. OSCC cells with ectopic expression or silencing of KRT16 were used to scrutinize functional roles and associated molecular mechanisms.

Results: We observed that high KRT16 expression significantly correlated with poorer pathological differentiation, advanced stages, increased lymph nodes metastasis, and decreased survival rate from several Taiwanese OSCC patient cohorts. We further revealed that miR-365-3p could target ETS homologous factor (EHF), a KRT16 transcription factor, to decrease migration, invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance in OSCC cells via inhibition of KRT16. Under confocal microscopic examination, c-Met was found possibly partially associates with KRT16 through β5-integrin. Colocalization of these three proteins may facilitate c-Met and β5-integrin-mediated signaling in OSCC cells. Depletion of KRT16 led to increased protein degradation of β5-integrin and c-Met through a lysosomal pathway leading to inhibition of their downstream Src/STAT3/FAK/ERK signaling in OSCC cells. Knockdown of KRT16 enhanced chemosensitivity of OSCC towards 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Various combination of c-Met inhibitor (foretinib), protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor (genistein), β5-integrin antibody, and 5-FU markedly augmented cytotoxic effects in OSCC cells as well as tumor killing effects in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that targeting a novel miR-365-3p/EHF/KRT16/β5-integrin/c-Met signaling pathway could improve treatment efficacy in OSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-019-1091-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381632PMC
February 2019

Crabp2 Promotes Metastasis of Lung Cancer Cells via HuR and Integrin β1/FAK/ERK Signaling.

Sci Rep 2019 01 29;9(1):845. Epub 2019 Jan 29.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Increased Crabp2 levels have been found in various types of cancer, and are associated with poor patients' survival. Although Crabp2 is found to be overexpressed in lung cancer, its role in metastasis of lung cancer is unclear. In this study, Crabp2 was overexpressed in high-metastatic C10F4 than low-metastatic lung cancer cells. Analysis of clinical samples revealed that high CRABP2 levels were correlated with lymph node metastases, poor overall survival, and increased recurrence. Knockdown of Crabp2 decreased migration, invasion, anoikis resistance, and in vivo metastasis. Crabp2 was co-immunoprecipitated with HuR, and overexpression of Crabp2 increased HuR levels, which promoted integrin β1/FAK/ERK signaling. Inhibition of HuR or integrin β1/FAK/ERK signaling reversed the promoting effect of Crabp2 in migration, invasion, and anoikis resistance. Knockdown of Crabp2 further inhibited the growth of cancer cells as compared with that by gemcitabine or irinotecan alone. The expression of Crabp2 in human lung tumors was correlated with stress marker CHOP. In conclusion, our findings have identified the promoting role of Crabp2 in anoikis resistance and metastasis. CRABP2 may serve as a prognostic marker and targeting CRABP2 may be exploited as a modality to reduce metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37443-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6351595PMC
January 2019

Emerging roles of gap junction proteins connexins in cancer metastasis, chemoresistance and clinical application.

J Biomed Sci 2019 Jan 14;26(1). Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Connexin, a four-pass transmembrane protein, contributes to assembly of gap junctions among neighboring cells and thus facilitates gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Traditionally, the roles of connexins were thought to mediate formation of hemichannels and GJIC assembly for transportation of ions and small molecules. Many studies have observed loss of GJIC, due to reduced expression or altered cytoplasmic localization of connexins, in primary tumor cells. Connexins are generally considered tumor-suppressive. However, recent studies of clinical samples suggested a different role of connexins in that expression levels and membrane localization of connexins, including Connexin 43 (Cx43, GJA1) and Connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2), were found to be enhanced in metastatic lesions of cancer patients. Cx43- and Cx26-mediated GJIC was found to promote cancer cell migration and adhesion to the pulmonary endothelium. Regulatory circuits involved in the induction of connexins and their functional effects have also been reported in various types of cancer. Connexins expressed in stromal cells were correlated with metastasis and were implicated in regulating metastatic behaviors of cancer cells. Recent studies have revealed that connexins can contribute to cellular phenotypes via multiple ways, namely 1) GJIC, 2) C-terminal tail-mediated signaling, and 3) cell-cell adhesion during gap junction formation. Both expression levels and the subcellular localization could participate determining the functional roles of connexins in cancer. Compounds targeting connexins were thus tested as potential therapeutics intervening metastasis or chemoresistance. This review focuses on the recent findings in the correlation between the expression of connexins and patients' prognosis, their roles in metastasis and chemoresistance, as well as the implications and concerns of using connexin-targeting drugs as anti-metastatic therapeutics. Overall, connexins may serve as biomarkers for cancer prognosis and as therapeutic targets for intervening metastasis and chemoresistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12929-019-0497-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6332853PMC
January 2019

Identification of the Novel Role of CD24 as an Oncogenesis Regulator and Therapeutic Target for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.

Mol Cancer Ther 2019 01 31;18(1):147-161. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive breast cancer subtype, with unfavorable prognosis and 5-year survival. The purpose of this study was to investigate the underlying mechanisms involved in TNBC progression. We determined that CD24 expression was elevated in highly lung and lymph node metastatic TNBC cells. CD24 depletion inhibited primary tumor growth and lymph node and lung metastasis and reduced the number of blood and lymphatic vessels in the tumor microenvironment. CD24 knockdown impaired EGFR/Met-mediated signaling and reduced lymphangiogenesis- and angiogenesis-related molecules, including vascular endothelial growth factors A and C, by promoting EGFR and Met protein instability via the lysosomal degradation pathway. CD24 monoclonal antibody treatment reduced lung metastasis and prolonged the survival in a lung metastasis mouse model. Clinical analyses revealed that the / "double-positive" signature identified a subset of TNBC patients with worst outcomes. We conclude that CD24 could be a therapeutic target by itself and in combination with the Met expression could be a good prognostic biomarker for TNBC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-0292DOI Listing
January 2019

Gjb4 serves as a novel biomarker for lung cancer and promotes metastasis and chemoresistance via Src activation.

Oncogene 2019 02 3;38(6):822-837. Epub 2018 Sep 3.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan.

Most lung cancer patients are diagnosed late with metastasis, which is the major cause of cancer-related death and recurrent tumors that often exhibit chemoresistance. In the present study, we initially identified gap junction beta-4 protein (Gjb4) to be overexpressed in highly metastatic cancer cells selected by their enhanced binding to serum components. Overexpression or knockdown of Gjb4 increased or decreased lung metastasis of syngeneic mice, respectively. We found that Gjb4 expression was higher in lung tumors than normal tissues (p = 0.0026), and Gjb4 levels in blood buffy coat samples showed significant performance in diagnosing stage I-III (p = 0.002814) and stage IV (p < 0.0001) lung cancer. Moreover, high Gjb4 expression levels were correlated with poor prognosis (p = 1.4e-4) and recurrence (p = 1.9e-12). Using syngeneic mouse model, we observed that Gjb4 was able to promote tumor growth. High molecular weight serum fraction containing the major growth factor component IGF1 was able to induce Gjb4 via PKC pathway. Gjb4 activated Src signaling via MET, and overexpression of Gjb4 enhanced sphere-forming ability and anchorage-independent growth, which were reversed by inhibition of Src. In addition, we demonstrated that Gjb4-mediated Src activation enhanced chemoresistance of cancer cells toward gemcitabine and etoposide. The combination of Gjb4 knockdown, gemcitabine, and dasatinib further enhanced the inhibition of cancer cell viability. Together, our study has identified Gjb4 as a potential novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for lung cancer. Targeting Gjb4 may be exploited as a modality for improving lung cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-018-0471-1DOI Listing
February 2019

Wild-type p53 upregulates an early onset breast cancer-associated gene GAS7 to suppress metastasis via GAS7-CYFIP1-mediated signaling pathway.

Oncogene 2018 07 30;37(30):4137-4150. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institute, Miaoli, Taiwan.

The early onset breast cancer patients (age ≤ 40) often display higher incidence of axillary lymph node metastasis, and poorer five-year survival than the late-onset patients. To identify the genes and molecules associated with poor prognosis of early onset breast cancer, we examined gene expression profiles from paired breast normal/tumor tissues, and coupled with Gene Ontology and public data base analysis. Our data showed that the expression of GAS7b gene was lower in the early onset breast cancer patients as compared to the elder patients. We found that GAS7 was associated with CYFIP1 and WAVE2 complex to suppress breast cancer metastasis via blocking CYFIP1 and Rac1 protein interaction, actin polymerization, and β1-integrin/FAK/Src signaling. We further demonstrated that p53 directly regulated GAS7 gene expression, which was inversely correlated with p53 mutations in breast cancer specimens. Our study uncover a novel regulatory mechanism of p53 in early onset breast cancer progression through GAS7-CYFIP1-mediated signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-018-0253-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6062498PMC
July 2018

Transketolase Regulates the Metabolic Switch to Control Breast Cancer Cell Metastasis via the α-Ketoglutarate Signaling Pathway.

Cancer Res 2018 06 29;78(11):2799-2812. Epub 2018 Mar 29.

Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Although metabolic reprogramming is recognized as a hallmark of tumorigenesis and progression, little is known about metabolic enzymes and oncometabolites that regulate breast cancer metastasis, and very few metabolic molecules have been identified as potential therapeutic targets. In this study, the transketolase (TKT) expression correlated with tumor size in the 4T1/BALB/c syngeneic model. In addition, TKT expression was higher in lymph node metastases compared with primary tumor or normal tissues of patients, and high TKT levels were associated with poor survival. Depletion of TKT or addition of alpha-ketoglutarate (αKG) enhanced the levels of tumor suppressors succinate dehydrogenase and fumarate hydratase (FH), decreasing oncometabolites succinate and fumarate, and further stabilizing HIF prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2) and decreasing HIF1α, ultimately suppressing breast cancer metastasis. Reduced TKT or addition of αKG mediated a dynamic switch of glucose metabolism from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation. Various combinations of the TKT inhibitor oxythiamine, docetaxel, and doxorubicin enhanced cell death in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. Furthermore, oxythiamine treatment led to increased levels of αKG in TNBC cells. Together, our study has identified a novel TKT-mediated αKG signaling pathway that regulates breast cancer oncogenesis and can be exploited as a modality for improving therapy. These findings uncover the clinical significance of TKT in breast cancer progression and metastasis and demonstrate effective therapy by inhibiting TKT or by adding αKG. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2906DOI Listing
June 2018

Low-dose glucocorticoids suppresses ovarian tumor growth and metastasis in an immunocompetent syngeneic mouse model.

PLoS One 2017 7;12(6):e0178937. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality rate among gynecologic malignancies. Despite chemotherapy and surgical debulking options, ovarian cancer recurs and disseminates frequently with a poor prognosis. We previously reported a novel role of glucocorticoids (GCs) in metastatic ovarian cancer by upregulating microRNA-708. In this study, we used an immunocompetent syngeneic mouse model and further evaluated the effect and optimal dosages of GCs in treating metastatic ovarian cancer. The treatment of C57BL/6-derived ovarian cancer ID-8 cells with a synthetic GC, dexamethasone (DEX), induced the expression of microRNA-708, leading to decreased cell migration and invasion through targeting Rap1B. Administration of DEX at a low dose, as low as 5 μg/kg body weight, inhibited the primary tumor size and abdominal metastasis in mice bearing ID-8 cell-derived ovarian tumors. In the treated primary tumors, microRNA-708 was upregulated, whereas some proinflammatory cytokines, namely interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18, were downregulated. The number of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor microenvironment were reduced. Overall, our study shows that low-dose GCs can suppress ovarian cancer progression and metastasis likely through not only the upregulation of the metastasis suppressor microRNA-708, but also the modulation of TAMs and MDSCs in the tumor microenvironment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178937PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5462394PMC
September 2017

MMP-13 is involved in oral cancer cell metastasis.

Oncotarget 2016 03;7(13):17144-61

Department of Medical Sciences and Institute of Bioinformatics and Structural Biology, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

The oral cancer cell line OC3-I5 with a highly invasive ability was selected and derived from an established OSCC line OC3. In this study, we demonstrated that matrix metalloproteinases protein MMP-13 was up-regulated in OC3-I5 than in OC3 cells. We also observed that expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers including Twist, p-Src, Snail1, SIP1, JAM-A, and vinculin were increased in OC3-I5 compared to OC3 cells, whereas E-cadherin expression was decreased in the OC3-I5 cells. Using siMMP-13 knockdown techniques, we showed that siMMP-13 not only reduced the invasion and migration, but also the adhesion abilities of oral cancer cells. In support of the role of MMP-13 in metastasis, we used MMP-13 expressing plasmid-transfected 293T cells to enhance MMP-13 expression in the OC3 cells, transplanting the MMP-13 over expressing OC3 cells into nude mice led to enhanced lung metastasis. In summary, our findings show that MMP-13 promotes invasion and metastasis in oral cancer cells, suggesting altered expression of MMP-13 may be utilized to impede the process of metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7942DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4941377PMC
March 2016

New dimension of glucocorticoids in cancer treatment.

Steroids 2016 07 27;111:84-88. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan, Miaoli County 350, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Glucocorticoids have been used in clinical oncology for over half a century. The clinical applications of glucocorticoids in oncology are mainly dependent on their pro-apoptotic action to treat lymphoproliferative disorders, and also on alleviating side effects induced by chemotherapy or radiotherapy in non-hematologic cancer types. Researches in the past few years have begun to unveil the profound complexity of glucocorticoids signaling and have contributed remarkably on therapeutic strategies. However, it remains striking and puzzling how glucocorticoids use different mechanisms in different cancer types and different targets to promote or inhibit tumor progression. In this review, we provide an update on glucocorticoids and its receptor, GR-mediated signaling and highlight some of the latest findings on the actions of glucocorticoids signaling during tumor progression and metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2016.02.019DOI Listing
July 2016

Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells as an Immune Parameter in Patients with Concurrent Sunitinib and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy.

Clin Cancer Res 2015 Sep 28;21(18):4073-4085. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

Department of Oncological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Purpose: The clinical effects of sunitinib on human myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) subsets and correlation of the T-cell-mediated immune responses and clinical outcomes in patients with oligometastases treated by stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) have been evaluated.

Experimental Design: The numbers of granulocytic and monocytic MDSC subsets, effector T cells, and regulatory T cells in the peripheral blood were evaluated pre- and post-sunitinib treatment and concurrent with SBRT. Correlations between MDSC, Treg, and T-cell responses and clinical outcomes were analyzed.

Results: Patients with oligometastases of various cancer types had elevated granulocytic MDSC and certain subsets of monocytic MDSC population. Sunitinib treatment resulted in a significant reduction in monocytic MDSC, phosphorylated STAT3, and arginase levels in monocytic MDSC (CD33(+)CD14(+)CD16(+)), and an increase in T-cell proliferative activity in cancer patients. Interestingly, the effects of sunitinib on reducing the accumulation and immune-suppressive function of MDSC were significantly correlated with Treg reduction, in responders but not in nonresponding patients. SBRT synergized the therapeutic effects of sunitinib, especially as related to decreased numbers of monocytic MDSC, Treg, and B cells, and augmented Tbet expression in primary CD4 and CD8 T cells. These effects were not observed in patients receiving radiation therapy alone. Most interestingly, the responders, defined by sunitinib-mediated reduction in CD33(+)CD11b(+) myeloid cell populations, tend to exhibit improved progression-free survival and cause-specific survival.

Conclusions: Sunitinib treatment increased the efficacy of SBRT in patients with oligometastases by reversing MDSC and Treg-mediated immune suppression and may enhance cancer immune therapy to prevent tumor recurrence post-SBRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-2742DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4720266PMC
September 2015

VAV3 oncogene expression in colorectal cancer: clinical aspects and functional characterization.

Sci Rep 2015 Mar 20;5:9360. Epub 2015 Mar 20.

1] Department of Medical Research, Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan [2] Department of Nutrition, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science, Tainan, Taiwan.

Although colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide, the current therapeutic approaches for advanced CRC are ineffective. In this study, we investigated the involvement of the VAV3 oncogene in tumor progression and in the prognosis of human CRC. The two patient cohorts in this study comprised 354 CRC cases from 1998 to 2005 with documented pathologic and clinical factors and clinical outcomes. VAV3 protein levels were significantly correlated with the depth of invasion (P = 0.0259), the nodal status (P < 0.0001), distant metastasis (P = 0.0354), the stage (P < 0.0001), and poor disease-free survival (P = 0.003). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that VAV3 overexpression is an independent prognostic marker for CRC (P = 0.041). In vitro experiments indicated that VAV3 knockdown inhibited CRC cell growth, spread, and xenograft proliferation. Mechanistic studies further revealed that VAV3 overexpression could dysregulate the expression of cell cycle control- and metastasis-related molecules by activating the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway in both CRC cells and xenografts. This study suggests that VAV3 overexpression could be a useful marker for predicting the outcomes of CRC patients and that VAV3 targeting represents a potential modality for treating CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep09360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4366846PMC
March 2015

Regulation of cancer metastasis by microRNAs.

J Biomed Sci 2015 Jan 23;22. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan Town, Miaoli County, 35053, Taiwan.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small non-coding RNAs that have been found highly conserved among species. MiRNAs are able to negatively regulate gene expression through base pairing of 3' UTRs of their target genes. Therefore, miRNAs have been shown to play an important role in regulating various cellular activities. Over the past decade, substantial evidences have been obtained to show that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in human malignancies and could act as "OncomiRs" or "Tumor suppressor miRs". In recent years, increasing number of studies have demonstrated the involvement of miRNAs in cancer metastasis. Many studies have shown that microRNAs could directly target genes playing a central role in epithelia-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), a cellular transformation process that allows cancer cells to acquire motility and invasiveness. EMT is considered an essential step driving the early phase of cancer metastasis. This review will summarize the recent findings and characterization of miRNAs that are involved in the regulation of EMT, migration, invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. Lastly, we will discuss potential use of miRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets for cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12929-015-0113-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318216PMC
January 2015

Glucocorticoids mediate induction of microRNA-708 to suppress ovarian cancer metastasis through targeting Rap1B.

Nat Commun 2015 Jan 8;6:5917. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, 35 Keyan Road, Zhunan, Miaoli Country 350, Taiwan.

Glucocorticoids are widely used in conjunction with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer to prevent hypersensitivity reactions. Here we reveal a novel role for glucocorticoids in the inhibition of ovarian cancer metastasis. Glucocorticoid treatments induce the expression of miR-708, leading to the suppression of Rap1B, which result in the reduction of integrin-mediated focal adhesion formation, inhibition of ovarian cancer cell migration/invasion and impaired abdominal metastasis in an orthotopic xenograft mouse model. Restoring Rap1B expression reverts glucocorticoid-miR-708 cascade-mediated suppression of ovarian cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Clinically, low miR-708 and high Rap1B are found in late-state ovarian tumours, as compared with normal, and patients with high miR-708 show significantly better survival. Overall, our findings reveal an opportunity for glucocorticoids and their downstream mediators, miR-708 or Rap1B, as therapeutic modalities against metastatic ovarian epithelial cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4354140PMC
January 2015

Interleukin-32 increases human gastric cancer cell invasion associated with tumor progression and metastasis.

Clin Cancer Res 2014 May 6;20(9):2276-88. Epub 2014 Mar 6.

Authors' Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine; Department of Nursing, Chang-Gung University of Science and Technology; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan; Department of General Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Chiayi; National Health Research Institute, Zhunan, Miaoli, Taiwan, Republic of China; and Pre-med Program, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California.

Purpose: The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-32 (IL-32) is a novel tumor marker highly expressed in various human carcinomas, including gastric cancer. However, its effects on prognosis of patients with gastric cancer and cancer metastasis are virtually unknown at present. The main aim of this study was to explore the clinical significance of IL-32 in gastric cancer and further elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying IL-32-mediated migration and invasion.

Experimental Design: Gastric cancer cells with ectopic expression or silencing of IL-32 were examined to identify downstream molecules and establish their effects on cell motility, invasion, and lung metastasis in vivo.

Results: IL-32 was significantly upregulated in gastric cancer and positively correlated with aggressiveness of cancer and poor prognosis. Ectopic expression of IL-32 induced elongated morphology and increased cell migration and invasion via induction of IL-8, VEGF, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), and MMP9 expression via phosphor-AKT/phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3β/active β-catenin as well as hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) signaling pathways. Conversely, depletion of IL-32 in gastric cancer cells reversed these effects and decreased lung colonization in vivo. Examination of gene expression datasets in oncomine and staining of gastric cancer specimens demonstrated the clinical significance of IL-32 and its downstream molecules by providing information on their coexpression patterns.

Conclusions: IL-32 contributes to gastric cancer progression by increasing the metastatic potential resulting from AKT, β-catenin, and HIF-1α activation. Our results clearly suggest that IL-32 is an important mediator for gastric cancer metastasis and independent prognostic predictor of gastric cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1221DOI Listing
May 2014

Downregulation of a putative tumor suppressor BMP4 by SOX2 promotes growth of lung squamous cell carcinoma.

Int J Cancer 2014 Aug 30;135(4):809-19. Epub 2014 Jan 30.

National Institute of Cancer Research, NHRI, Zhunan, Taiwan.

SOX2 is a transcription factor essential for self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Recently, SOX2 was found overexpressed in the majority of the lung squamous cell carcinoma (SQC), in which it acts as a lineage-survival oncogene. However, downstream targets/pathways of SOX2 in lung SQC cells remain to be identified. Here, we show that BMP4 is a downstream target of SOX2 in lung SQC. We found that SOX2-silencing-mediated inhibition of cell growth was accompanied by upregulation of BMP4 mRNA and its protein expression. Meta-analysis with 293 samples and qRT-PCR validation with 73 clinical samples revealed an inversely correlated relationship between levels of SOX2 and BMP4 mRNA, and significantly lower mRNA levels in tumor than in adjacent normal tissues. This was corroborated by immunohistochemistry analysis of 35 lung SQC samples showing lower BMP4 protein expression in tumor tissues. Cell-based experiments including siRNA transfection, growth assay and flow cytometry assay, further combined with a xenograft tumor model in mice, revealed that reactivation of BMP4 signaling could partially account for growth inhibition and cell cycle arrest in lung SQC cells upon silencing SOX2. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis and luciferase reporter assay revealed that SOX2 could negatively regulate BMP4 promoter activity, possibly through binding to the promoter located in the first intron region of BMP4. Collectively, our findings suggest that BMP4 could act as a tumor suppressor and its downregulation by elevated SOX2 resulting in enhanced growth of lung SQC cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.28734DOI Listing
August 2014

miRNA-491-5p and GIT1 serve as modulators and biomarkers for oral squamous cell carcinoma invasion and metastasis.

Cancer Res 2014 Feb 12;74(3):751-64. Epub 2013 Dec 12.

Authors' Affiliations: Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, Division of Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine, National Health Research Institute, Miaoli; Department of Life Sciences, National Central University, Jhongli; Environment-Omics-Disease Research Center, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung; Departments of Medical Biotechnology, Chang Gung University; Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital; Head and Neck Oncology Group, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan; Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Section, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Liouying; and Department of Oral Hygiene, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

MicroRNAs offer tools to identify and treat invasive cancers. Using highly invasive isogenic oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells, established using in vitro and in vivo selection protocols from poorly invasive parental cell populations, we used microarray expression analysis to identify a relative and specific decrease in miR-491-5p in invasive cells. Lower expression of miR-491-5p correlated with poor overall survival of patients with OSCCs. miR-491-5p overexpression in invasive OSCC cells suppressed their migratory behavior in vitro and lung metastatic behavior in vivo. We defined the G-protein-coupled receptor kinase-interacting protein 1 (GIT1)-as a direct target gene for miR-491-5p control. GIT1 overexpression was sufficient to rescue miR-491-5p-mediated inhibition of migration/invasion and lung metastasis. Conversely, GIT1 silencing phenocopied the ability of miR-491-5p to inhibit migration/invasion and metastasis of OSCC cells. Mechanistic investigations indicated that miR-491-5p overexpression or GIT1 attenuation reduced focal adhesions, with a concurrent decrease in steady-state levels of paxillin, phospho-paxillin, phospho-FAK, EGF/EGFR-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) activation, and MMP2/9 levels and activities. In clinical specimens of OSCCs, GIT1 levels were elevated relative to paired normal tissues and were correlated with lymph node metastasis, with expression levels of miR-491-5p and GIT1 correlated inversely in OSCCs, where they informed tumor grade. Together, our findings identify a functional axis for OSCC invasion that suggests miR-491-5p and GIT1 as biomarkers for prognosis in this cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-1297DOI Listing
February 2014

MicroRNA-138 suppresses ovarian cancer cell invasion and metastasis by targeting SOX4 and HIF-1α.

Int J Cancer 2013 Aug 9;133(4):867-78. Epub 2013 Mar 9.

National Health Research Institute, Zhunan, Miaoli, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Metastasis is the major factor affecting patient survival in ovarian cancer. However, its molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Our study used isogenic pairs of low- and high-invasive ovarian cancer cell lines to demonstrate the downregulation of miRNA-138 in the highly invasive cells, and its functioning as an inhibitor of cell migration and invasion. An orthotopic xenograft mouse model further demonstrated that the expression of miRNA-138 inhibited ovarian cancer metastasis to other organs. Results indicated that miR-138 directly targeted SRY-related high mobility group box 4 (SOX4) and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), and overexpression of SOX4 and HIF-1α effectively reversed the miR-138-mediated suppression of cell invasion. Epidermal growth factor receptor acted as the downstream molecule of SOX4 by way of direct transcriptional control, whereas Slug was the downstream molecule of HIF-1α by way of proteasome-mediated degradation. Analysis of human ovarian tumors further revealed downregulation of miR-138 and upregulation of SOX4 in late-stage tumors. Patients with miR-138(low)/SOX(high) signature are predominant in late stage and tend to have malignant phenotypes including lymph nodes metastasis, larger ascites volume and higher tumor grade. Our study demonstrates the role and clinical relevance of miR-138 in ovarian cancer cell invasion and metastasis, providing a potential therapeutic strategy for suppression of ovarian cancer metastasis by targeting SOX4 and HIF-1α pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.28086DOI Listing
August 2013

Targeting MCT-1 oncogene inhibits Shc pathway and xenograft tumorigenicity.

Oncotarget 2012 Nov;3(11):1401-15

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan.

Overexpression of Shc adaptor proteins is associated with mitogenesis, carcinogenesis and metastasis. Multiple copies in T-cell malignancy 1 (MCT-1) oncoprotein promotes cell proliferation, survival and tumorigenic effects. Our current data show that MCT-1 is a novel regulator of Shc-Ras-MEK-ERK signaling and MCT-1 is significantly co-activated with Shc gene in human carcinomas. The knockdown of MCT-1 enhances apoptotic cell death accompanied with the activation of caspases and cleavage of caspase substrates under environmental stress. The cancer cell proliferation, chemo-resistance and tumorigenic capacity are proved to be effectively suppressed by targeting MCT-1. Accordingly, an important linkage between MCT-1 oncogenicity and Shc pathway in tumor development has now been established. Promoting MCT-1 expression by gene hyperactivation may be recognized as a tumor marker and MCT-1 may serve as a molecular target of cancer therapy.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3717801PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.688DOI Listing
November 2012

Vav3-rac1 signaling regulates prostate cancer metastasis with elevated Vav3 expression correlating with prostate cancer progression and posttreatment recurrence.

Cancer Res 2012 Jun 1;72(12):3000-9. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Institute of Molecular and Genomic Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the Western world. Yet current therapies do not significantly improve the long-term survival of patients with distant metastasis. In this study, we investigated the role of the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav3 in prostate cancer progression and metastasis and found that Vav3 expression correlated positively with prostate cancer cell migration and invasion. Stimulation of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphA2 by ephrinA1 resulted in recruitment and tyrosine phosphorylation of Vav3, leading to Rac1 activation as well as increased migration and invasion in vitro. Reduction of Vav3 resulted in fewer para-aortic lymph nodes and bone metastasis in vivo. Clinically, expression of Vav3 and EphA2 was elevated in late-stage and metastatic prostate cancers. Among patients with stage IIB or earlier prostate cancer, higher Vav3 expression correlated with lower cumulative biochemical failure-free survival, suggesting that Vav3 may represent a prognostic marker for posttreatment recurrence of prostate cancer. Together, our findings provide evidence that the Vav3-mediated signaling pathway may serve as a therapeutic target for prostate cancer metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2502DOI Listing
June 2012

Clinical significance of increased guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav3 expression in human gastric cancer.

Mol Cancer Res 2012 Jun 27;10(6):750-9. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Department of Medical Research, Chi Mei Hospital Chiali, 606, Shin-Hwa Road, Chiali District, Tainan 722, Taiwan.

Although gastric cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide, little is known on the molecular process of its development and progression. This study investigates the involvement of guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav3 in tumor progression and in the prognosis of human gastric cancer. The two patient cohorts in this study consisted of 167 gastric cancer cases from 1997 through 2001, documenting pathologic and clinical factors, as well as the clinical outcomes. Immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription PCR, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence were used to examine Vav3 expression in tumor and nontumor pairs of gastric tissues and gastric cell lines. Small hairpin RNA (shRNA) technology was used to study the effects of Vav3 knockdown on the growth and spread of gastric cancer cells. Finally, xenograph proliferation was used to study the tumor growth. Overexpression of Vav3 was associated with the depth of invasion (P = 0.0004), nodal status (P = 0.0260), distant metastasis (P = 0.0003), stage (P = 0.0002), and vascular invasion (P = 0.0286); and correlated with poor disease-free survival (P < 0.0001). Multivariate Cox regression analysis shows that overexpression of Vav3 is an independent prognostic marker for gastric cancer (P = 0.033). Disrupting the expression of Vav3 using shRNA technology inhibited gastric cancer cell growth, spread, and xenograph proliferation. This study suggests that overexpression of Vav3 can be a useful marker for predicting the outcome of patients with gastric cancer and that Vav3 targeting can represent a potential modality for treating gastric cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-11-0598-TDOI Listing
June 2012

Interferon-β signaling contributes to Ras transformation.

PLoS One 2011 29;6(8):e24291. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Department of Pharmacology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America.

Increasing evidence has pointed to activated type I interferon signaling in tumors. However, the molecular basis for such activation and its role in tumorigenesis remain unclear. In the current studies, we report that activation of type I interferon (IFN) signaling in tumor cells is primarily due to elevated secretion of the type I interferon, IFN-β. Studies in oncogene-transformed cells suggest that oncogenes such as Ras and Src can activate IFN-β signaling. Significantly, elevated IFN-β signaling in Ras-transformed mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells was shown to contribute to Ras transformation as evidenced by morphological changes, anchorage-independent growth, and migratory properties. Our results demonstrate for the first time that the type I IFN, IFN-β, contributes to Ras transformation and support the notion that oncogene-induced cytokines play important roles in oncogene transformation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0024291PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163666PMC
December 2011

[UV/Visible spectroscopic study of the beta-diketonate zirconium active species for olefin polymerization].

Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi 2010 Jun;30(6):1566-9

Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300130, China.

The method of UV/Visible absorption spectroscopy for olefin catalytic system was introduced in this paper, whose testing condition was much closer to the polymerization conditions. The actions of olefin polymerization catalyst (dbm)2 ZrCl2 with cocatalyst AlEt2 Cl (or MAO) were investigated by UV/visible absorption spectroscopy at atmosphere temperature. It was shown that the UV/Visible main absorption band of the zirconocenium, which can be related to the ligand to metal charge transfer bands (LMCT), varies greatly upon incremental addition of AlEt2 Cl or MAO. For the low molar ratios of Al/Zr in the catalytic system, there was the substitution of an electron withdrawing chlorine atom by a donating alkyl group. Then a hypsochromic shift of the initial catalyst absorption band, corresponding to the monomethylation of the catalyst, was observed in each catalytic system (dbm)2 ZrCl2/AlEt2 Cl (or (dbm)2 ZrCl2/MAO). On the contrary, further addition of AlEt2 Cl (or MAO) was accompanied by a continuous bathochromic shift of the maximal wavelength, which corresponding to the formation of more dissociated ionic active species. Then, there would be a coordination of monomer to the ionic active species.
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June 2010