Publications by authors named "Muhammad Farid Johan"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Thymoquinone, as a Novel Therapeutic Candidate of Cancers.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 2021 Apr 16;14(4). Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Health sciences, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha 2713, Qatar.

To date, natural products are widely used as pharmaceutical agents for many human diseases and cancers. One of the most popular natural products that have been studied for anticancer properties is thymoquinone (TQ). As a bioactive compound of , TQ has shown anticancer activities through the inhibition of cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. The anticancer efficacy of TQ is being investigated in several human cancers such as pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, hepatic cancer, cervical cancer, and leukemia. Even though TQ induces apoptosis by regulating the expression of pro- apoptotic and anti-apoptotic genes in many cancers, the TQ effect mechanism on such cancers is not yet fully understood. Therefore, the present review has highlighted the TQ effect mechanisms on several signaling pathways and expression of tumor suppressor genes (TSG). Data from relevant published experimental articles on TQ from 2015 to June 2020 were selected by using Google Scholar and PubMed search engines. The present study investigated the effectiveness of TQ alone or in combination with other anticancer therapeutic agents, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors on cancers, as a future anticancer therapy nominee by using nanotechnology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ph14040369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8074212PMC
April 2021

Thymoquinone Suppresses Cell Proliferation and Enhances Apoptosis of HL60 Leukemia Cells through Re-Expression of JAK/STAT Negative Regulators.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2021 Mar 1;22(3):879-885. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Centralized Laboratory Management Centre, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, 22200 Besut, Terengganu, Malaysia.

Objective: The natural compound, thymoquinone (TQ) has demonstrated potential anticancer properties in inhibiting cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis in myeloid leukemia cells, breast cancer cells, and others. However, the effect mechanism of TQ on AML cells still not fully understood. In this study, the authors examined the effects of TQ on the expression of JAK/STAT-negative regulator genes SOCS-1, SOCS-3, and SHP-1, and their consequences on cell proliferation and apoptosis in HL60 leukemia cells.

Methods: MTT and trypan blue exclusion tests were conducted to determine the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) and cell proliferation. FITC Annexin and Guava® reagent were used to study the cell apoptosis and examine the cell cycle phases, respectively. The expression of JAK/STAT-negative regulator genes, SOCS-1, SOCS-3, and SHP-1, was investigated using reverse transcriptase- quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR).

Results: TQ demonstrated a potential inhibition of HL60 cell proliferation and a significant increase in apoptotic cells in dose and time-dependent manner. TQ significantly induced cycle arrest at G0-G1 phase (P < 0.001) and enhanced the re-expression of JAK/STAT-negative regulator genes.

Conclusion: TQ potentially inhibited HL60 cell proliferation and significantly increased apoptosis with re-expression of JAK/STAT-negative regulator genes suggesting that TQ could be a new therapeutic candidate for leukemia therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.31557/APJCP.2021.22.3.879DOI Listing
March 2021

Aberrant Methylation of Tumour Suppressor Gene ADAM12 in Chronic Lympocytic Leukemia Patients: Application of Methylation Specific-PCR Technique.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2021 Jan 1;22(1):85-91. Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Human Genome Centre, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Objective: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a common leukemia among Caucasians but rare in Asians population. We postulated that aberrant methylation either hypermethylation or partial methylation might be one of the silencing mechanisms that inactivates the tumour suppressor genes in CLL. This study aimed to compare the methylation status of tumour suppressor gene, ADAM12, among CLL patients and normal individuals. We also evaluated the association between methylation of ADAM12 and clinical and demographic characteristics of the participants.

Methods: A total of 25 CLL patients and 25 normal individuals were recruited in this study. The methylation status of ADAM12 was determined using Methylation-Specific PCR (MSP); whereas, DNA sequencing method was applied for validation of the MSP results.

Results: Among CLL patients, 12 (48%) were partially methylated and 13 (52%) were unmethylated. Meanwhile, 5 (20%) and 20 (80.6%) of healthy individuals were partially methylated and unmethylated, respectively. There was a statistically significant association between the status of methylation at ADAM12 and the presence of CLL (p=0.037).

Conclusion: The aberrant methylation of ADAM12 found in this study using MSP assay may provide new exposure to CLL that may improve the gaps involved in genetic epigenetic study in CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.31557/APJCP.2021.22.1.85DOI Listing
January 2021

Transcriptomic Profiles of MV4-11 and Kasumi 1 Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Lines Modulated by Epigenetic Modifiers Trichostatin A and 5-Azacytidine.

Int J Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Res 2020 Jan;14(1):72-92

Department of Hematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of acute leukemias in adults which is clinically and molecularly heterogeneous. Several risk and genetic factors have been widely investigated to characterize AML. However, the concomitant epigenetic factors in controlling the gene expression lead to AML transformation was not fully understood. This study was aimed to identify epigenetically regulated genes in AML cell lines induced by epigenetic modulating agents, Trichostatin A (TSA) and 5-Azacytidine (5-Aza). MV4-11 and Kasumi 1 were treated with TSA and/or 5-Aza at IC concentration. Gene expression profiling by microarray was utilized using SurePrint G3 Human Gene Expression v3. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway annotations were analyzed by DAVID bioinformatics software using EASE enrichment score. mRNA expression of the differentially expressed genes were verified by quantitative real time PCR. Gene expression analysis revealed a significant changes in the expression of 24,822, 15,720, 15,654 genes in MV4-11 and 12,598, 8828, 18,026 genes in Kasumi 1, in response to TSA, 5-Aza and combination treatments, respectively, compared to non-treated (<0.05). 7 genes (, , , , , and ) and 4 genes (, , and ) shown to be predominantly expressed in MV4-11 and Kasumi 1, respectively (EASE<0.1). The analysis also revealed phagosome pathway commonly activated in both cell lines. Our data showed a distinct optimal biological characteristic and pathway in different types of leukemic cell lines. These finding may help in the identification of cell-specific epigenetic biomarker in the pathogenesis of AML.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7167603PMC
January 2020

Genetic polymorphisms of HbE/beta thalassemia related to clinical presentation: implications for clinical diversity.

Ann Hematol 2020 Apr 20;99(4):729-735. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Department Hematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

HbE/Beta thalassemia (HbE/β-thalassemia) is one of the common genetic disorders in South East Asia. It is heterogeneous in its clinical presentation and molecular defects. There are genetic modifiers which have been reported to influence the disease severity of this disorder. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic polymorphisms which were responsible for the disease clinical diversity. A case-control study was conducted among Malay transfusion-dependent HbE/β-thalassemia patients. Patients who were confirmed HbE/β-thalassemia were recruited and genotyping study was performed on these subjects. Ninety-eight patients were selected and divided into moderate and severe groups based on clinical parameters using Sripichai scoring system (based on hemoglobin level, spleen size, growth development, the age of first transfusion and age of disease presentation). Forty-three (44.9%) and 55 (56.1%) patients were found to have moderate and severe clinical presentation, respectively. Genotyping analysis was performed using Affymetrix 6.0 microarray platform. The SNPs were filtered using PLINK and Manhattan plot by R software. From the GWAS results, 20 most significant SNPs were selected based on disease severity when compared between moderate and severe groups. The significant SNPs found in this study were mostly related to thalassemia complications such as rs7372408, associated with KCNMB2-AS1 and SNPs associated with disease severity. These findings could be used as genetic predictors in managing patients with HbE/β-thalassemia and served as platform for future study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00277-020-03927-5DOI Listing
April 2020

Anticancer activity of grassy Hystrix brachyura bezoar and its mechanisms of action: An in vitro and in vivo based study.

Biomed Pharmacother 2019 Jun 10;114:108841. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Department of Biomedical Science, Kuliyyah of Allied Health Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, 25200, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Porcupine bezoar (PB) is a calcified undigested material generally found in porcupine's (Hystrix brachyura) gastrointestinal tract. The bezoar is traditionally used in South East Asia and Europe for the treatment of cancer, poisoning, dengue, typhoid, etc. However, limited scientific studies have been performed to verify its anticancer potential to substantiate its traditional claims in the treatment of cancers. Hence, this study was aimed at investigating the in vitro and in vivo anticancer properties of two grassy PB aqueous extract (PB-A and PB-B) using A375 cancer cell line and zebrafish model, respectively. This paper presents the first report on in vitro A375 cell viability assay, apoptosis assay, cell cycle arrest assay, migration assay, invasion assay, qPCR experimental assay and in vivo anti-angiogenesis assay using the grassy PBs. Experimental findings revealed IC value are 26.59 ± 1.37 μg/mL and 30.12 ± 3.25 μg/mL for PB-A and PB-B respectively. PBs showed anti-proliferative activity with no significant cytotoxic effect on normal human dermal fibroblast (NHDF). PBs were also found to induce apoptosis via intrinsic pathway and arrest cell cycle at G2/M phase. Additionally, the findings indicated its ability to debilitate migration and invasion of A375 cells. Further evaluation using embryo zebrafish model revealed LC = 450.0 ± 2.50 μg/mL and 58.7 ± 5.0 μg/mL for PB-A and PB-B which also exerted anti-angiogenesis effect in zebrafish. Moreover, stearic acid, ursodeoxycholic acid and pregnenolone were identified as possible metabolites that might contribute to the anticancer effect of the both PBs. Overall, this study demonstrated that PB-A and PB-B possess potential in vitro and in vivo anticancer effects which are elicited through selective cytotoxic effect, induction of apoptosis, inhibition of migration and invasion and anti-angiogenesis. This study provides scientific evidence that the porcupine bezoar do possess anti-cancer efficacy and further justifies its traditional utility. However, more experiments with higher vertebrae models are still warranted to validate its traditional claims as an anticancer agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.108841DOI Listing
June 2019

Hystrix brachyura Bezoar Characterization, Antioxidant Activity Screening, and Anticancer Activity on Melanoma Cells (A375): A Preliminary Study.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2019 Feb 12;8(2). Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Kulliyyah of Allied Health Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan Campus, Bandar Indera Mahkota, Pahang 25200, Malaysia.

Porcupine bezoars (PBs) are masses of undigested calcareous concretions formed within the gastrointestinal tract. There are undocumented claims that PBs have antioxidant activity and can treat cancers. However, limited scientific study has been carried out to verify these traditional claims. Hence, this study was conducted to characterize the chemical profile and validate the antioxidant and anticancer activity against melanoma cells (A375). PB extract was initially subjected to Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), gas chromatography⁻mass spectrometry (GCMS), total phenolic content (TPC), and total flavonoid content (TFC) analyses. The bioautography of antioxidant assays, namely 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazy (DPPH), and β-carotene was performed. An in vitro A375 cell viability assay, apoptosis assay, cell cycle arrest assay, and gene expression assay were carried out as well. The experimental finding revealed 5,10-diethoxy-2,3,7,8-tetrahydro-1H,6H-dipyrrolo[1,2-a:1',2'-d]pyrazine, ursodeoxycholic acid, and cholest-5-en-3-ol (3 beta)-, carbonochloridate are major compounds detected in PB extract. PB extract has low phenolic content, viz. 698.7 ± 0.93 (µg GAE/5 mg dry weight). The bioautography antioxidant assays revealed a potent antioxidant effect (ABTS > DPPH > β-carotene), with free radical scavenging activity. Furthermore, PB extract exhibited dose- and time-dependent inhibition of cancer activity on A375 cells due to the exhibition of apoptosis via an intrinsic pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox8020039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6406421PMC
February 2019

Anti-Proliferative Effects of Methanol and Water Extracts of Pyrrosia piloselloides on the Hela Human Cervical Carcinoma Cell Line

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2019 Jan 25;20(1):185-192. Epub 2019 Jan 25.

Department of Biomedicine, School of Health Sciences, University Sains Malaysia (USM), Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. Email:

Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed neoplasms and a leading cause of cancer death among females worldwide. Limitations with conventional medical treatments have driven researchers to search for alternative approaches using natural products. This study aimed to detemine potential anti-proliferative effects of methanol and water extracts of Pyrrosia piloselloides (P. piloselloides) on the HeLa cell line. Methods: 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays were performed to determine IC50 concentrations and apoptosis analysis was by flow cytometry. To identify chemical compounds in the extracts, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was employed. Results: P. piloselloides methanol extracts (PPME) showed antiproliferative effects on HeL awith an IC50 of 16.25μg/mL while the P. piloselloides water extract (PPWE) was without influence. Neither extract showed any significant effects on apoptosis. GC-MS analysis, revealed 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (23.1%), allopurinol (8.66%) and 3, 5-dihydroxy-6-methyl-2,3-dihydropyran-4-one (7.41%) as major components in the PPME, while sulfolan-3-ol (10.1%), linoleic acid (9.06%) and β-sitosterol acetate (7.98%) predominated in the PPWE case. Conclusion: This first study of P. piloselloides showed PPME to exert potent anti-proliferative effect on HeLa cell lines. Further research now needs to be performed to establish the mechanisms of inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.31557/APJCP.2019.20.1.185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6485567PMC
January 2019

Identification and Quantification of Quercetin, A Major Constituent of Artocarpus altilis by Targeting Related Genes of Apoptosis and Cell Cycle: In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity Against Human Lung Carcinoma Cell Lines.

Nutr Cancer 2019 7;71(5):792-805. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

a Department of Biomedical Sciences , Kulliyyah of Allied Health Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Bandar Indera Mahkota , Kuantan , Pahang , Malaysia.

Nine phenolic compounds were identified and quantified in Artocarpus altilia fruit. One of the main compounds was quercetin, which is the major class of flavonoids has been identified and quantified in pulp part of A. altilis fruit of methanol extract. The aim of this study was to evaluate in vitro cytotoxic assay. Inhibitory concentration 50% concentration was determined using trypan blue exclusion assay. Apoptosis induction and cell cycle regulation were studied by flow cytometric analysis. The expression of apoptosis and cell cycle-related regulatory genes were assessed by RT-qPCR study of the methanol extract of pulp part on human lung carcinoma (A549) cell line. A significant increase of cells at G2/M phases was detected (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the pulp of the fruit downregulated the expression of anti-apoptosis gene BCL-2 and upregulated the expression of pro-apoptosis gene BAX. CASPASE-3 was also activated by the fruit, which started a CASPASE-3-depended mitochondrial pathway to induce apoptosis. As the results, the pulp was the most active in terms of all tests, due to high amount of quercetin in pulp part, 78% of total flavonoids. Taken together, these findings suggested that A. altilis induces apoptosis in a mitochondrial-dependent pathway by releasing and upregulating CYTOCHROME C expression and regulates the expression of downstream apoptotic components, including BCL-2 and BAX.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2018.1516790DOI Listing
May 2020

Re-Expression of Bone Marrow Proteoglycan-2 by 5-Azacytidine is associated with STAT3 Inactivation and Sensitivity Response to Imatinib in Resistant CML Cells

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2018 Jun 25;19(6):1585-1590. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Diagnostic and Biomedicine, Faculty of Health Science, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Compus, Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia. Email:

Background: Epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressor genes (TSG) is involved in development and progression of cancers. Re-expression of TSG is inversely proportionate with STAT3 signaling pathways. Demethylation of DNA by 5-Azacytidine (5-Aza) results in re-expression of silenced TSG. Forced expression of PRG2 by 5-Aza induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that potently inhibits BCR/ ABL tyrosine kinase resulting in hematological remission in CML patients. However, majority of CML patients treated with imatinib would develop resistance under prolonged therapy. Methods: CML cells resistant to imatinib were treated with 5-Aza and cytotoxicity of imatinib and apoptosis were determined by MTS and annexin-V, respectively. Gene expression analysis was detected by real time-PCR, STATs activity examined using Western blot and methylation status of PRG2 was determined by pyrosequencing analysis. Result: Expression of PRG2 was significantly higher in K562-R+5-Aza cells compared to K562 and K562-R (p=0.001). Methylation of PRG2 gene was significantly decreased in K562-R+5-Aza cells compared to other cells (p=0.021). STAT3 was inactivated in K562-R+5-Aza cells which showed higher sensitivity to imatinib. Conclusion: PRG2 gene is a TSG and its overexpression might induce sensitivity to imatinib. However, further studies are required to evaluate the negative regulations of PRG2 on STAT3 signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22034/APJCP.2018.19.6.1585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6103584PMC
June 2018

Anti-Proliferative Effects of Dendrophthoe pentandra Methanol Extract on BCR/ABL-Positive and Imatinib-Resistant Leukemia Cell Lines

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2016 11 1;17(11):4857-4861. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia.

Background: Imatinib mesylate, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor specifically targeting the BCR/ABL fusion protein, induces hematological remission in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, the majority of CML patients treated with imatinib develop resistance with prolonged therapy. Dendrophthoe pentandra (L.) Miq. is a Malaysian mistletoe species that has been used as a traditional treatment for several ailments such as smallpox, ulcers, and cancers. Methods: We developed a resistant cell line (designated as K562R) by long-term co-culture of a BCR/ ABL positive CML cell line, K562, with imatinib mesylate. We then investigated the anti-proliferative effects of D. pentandra methanol extract on parental K562 and resistant K562R cells. Trypan blue exclusion assays were performed to determine the IC50 concentration; apoptosis and cell cycle analysis were conducted by flow cytometry. Results: D. pentandra extract had greater anti-proliferative effects towards K562R (IC50= 192 μg/mL) compared to K562 (500 μg/ mL) cells. Upon treatment with D. pentandra extract at the IC50. concentration: K562 but not K562R demonstrated increase in apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. Conclusion: D. pentandra methanol extract exerts potent anti-proliferative effect on BCR/ABL positive K562 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.22034/APJCP.2016.17.11.4857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454686PMC
November 2016

Enhancing SHP-1 expression with 5-azacytidine may inhibit STAT3 activation and confer sensitivity in lestaurtinib (CEP-701)-resistant FLT3-ITD positive acute myeloid leukemia.

BMC Cancer 2015 Nov 7;15:869. Epub 2015 Nov 7.

Department of Haematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Background: Tumor-suppressor genes are inactivated by methylation in several cancers including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Src homology-2 (SH2)-containing protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1 (SHP-1) is a negative regulator of the JAK/STAT pathway. Transcriptional silencing of SHP-1 plays a critical role in the development and progression of cancers through STAT3 activation. 5-Azacytidine (5-Aza) is a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor that causes DNA demethylation resulting in re-expression of silenced SHP-1. Lestaurtinib (CEP-701) is a multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that potently inhibits FLT3 tyrosine kinase and induces hematological remission in AML patients harboring the internal tandem duplication of the FLT3 gene (FLT3-ITD). However, the majority of patients in clinical trials developed resistance to CEP-701. Therefore, the aim of this study, was to assess the effect of re-expression of SHP-1 on sensitivity to CEP-701 in resistant AML cells.

Methods: Resistant cells harboring the FLT3-ITD were developed by overexposure of MV4-11 to CEP-701, and the effects of 5-Aza treatment were investigated. Apoptosis and cytotoxicity of CEP-701 were determined using Annexin V and MTS assays, respectively. Gene expression was performed by quantitative real-time PCR. STATs activity was examined by western blotting and the methylation profile of SHP-1 was studied using MS-PCR and pyrosequencing analysis. Repeated-measures ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for statistical analysis.

Results: The cytotoxic dose of CEP-701 on resistant cells was significantly higher in comparison with parental and MV4-11R-cep + 5-Aza cells (p = 0.004). The resistant cells showed a significant higher viability and lower apoptosis compared with other cells (p < 0.001). Expression of SHP-1 was 7-fold higher in MV4-11R-cep + 5-Aza cells compared to parental and resistant cells (p = 0.011). STAT3 was activated in resistant cells. Methylation of SHP-1 was significantly decreased in MV4-11R-cep + 5-Aza cells (p = 0.002).

Conclusions: The restoration of SHP-1 expression induces sensitivity towards CEP-701 and could serve as a target in the treatment of AML. Our findings support the hypothesis that, the tumor-suppressor effect of SHP-1 is lost due to epigenetic silencing and its re-expression might play an important role in re-inducing sensitivity to TKIs. Thus, SHP-1 is a plausible candidate for a role in the development of CEP-701 resistance in FLT3-ITD+ AML patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-015-1695-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637135PMC
November 2015

Guidelines for nucleic acid detection and analysis in hematological disorders.

Malays J Pathol 2015 Aug;37(2):165-73

Universiti Sains Malaysia, School of Medical Sciences, Department of Haematology, 16150, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

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August 2015

Characterisation and Clinical Significance of FLT3-ITD and non-ITD in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Patients in Kelantan, Northeast Peninsular Malaysia.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2015 ;16(12):4869-72

Department of Hematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia E-mail :

Background: Mutations of the FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) receptor gene may promote proliferation via activation of multiple signaling pathways. FLT3-internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) is the most common gene alteration found in patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and has been associated with poor prognosis.

Materials And Methods: We performed mutational analysis of exons 14-15 and 20 of the FLT3 gene in 54 AML patients using PCR-CSGE (conformational sensitive gel electrophoresis) followed by sequencing analysis to characterise FLT3 mutations in adult patients diagnosed with AML at Hospital USM, Kelantan, Northeast Peninsular Malaysia.

Results: FLT3 exon 14-15 mutations were identified in 7 of 54 patients (13%) whereas no mutation was found in FLT3 exon 20. Six ITDs and one non-ITD mutation were found in exon 14 of the juxtamembrane (JM) domain of FLT3. FLT3-ITD mutations were associated with a significantly higher blast percentage (p-value=0.008) and white blood cell count (p-value=0.023) but there was no significant difference in median overall survival time for FLT3-ITD+/FLT3-ITD- within 2 years (p-value=0.374).

Conclusions: The incidence of FLT3-ITD in AML patients in this particular region of Malaysia is low compared to the Western world and has a significant association with WBC and blast percentage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2015.16.12.4869DOI Listing
April 2016

The first Malay database toward the ethnic-specific target molecular variation.

BMC Res Notes 2015 Apr 30;8:176. Epub 2015 Apr 30.

Department of Pediatric, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, 16150, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Background: The Malaysian Node of the Human Variome Project (MyHVP) is one of the eighteen official Human Variome Project (HVP) country-specific nodes. Since its inception in 9(th) October 2010, MyHVP has attracted the significant number of Malaysian clinicians and researchers to participate and contribute their data to this project. MyHVP also act as the center of coordination for genotypic and phenotypic variation studies of the Malaysian population. A specialized database was developed to store and manage the data based on genetic variations which also associated with health and disease of Malaysian ethnic groups. This ethnic-specific database is called the Malaysian Node of the Human Variome Project database (MyHVPDb).

Findings: Currently, MyHVPDb provides only information about the genetic variations and mutations found in the Malays. In the near future, it will expand for the other Malaysian ethnics as well. The data sets are specified based on diseases or genetic mutation types which have three main subcategories: Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP), Copy Number Variation (CNV) followed by the mutations which code for the common diseases among Malaysians. MyHVPDb has been open to the local researchers, academicians and students through the registration at the portal of MyHVP ( http://hvpmalaysia.kk.usm.my/mhgvc/index.php?id=register ).

Conclusions: This database would be useful for clinicians and researchers who are interested in doing a study on genomics population and genetic diseases in order to obtain up-to-date and accurate information regarding the population-specific variations and also useful for those in countries with similar ethnic background.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13104-015-1123-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440489PMC
April 2015

Multiplex amplification refractory mutation system (MARMS) for the detection of β-globin gene mutations among the transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia Malay patients in Kelantan, Northeast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Am J Blood Res 2014 5;4(1):33-40. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

Department of Pediatrics, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia Malaysia.

The aim of this study was to adapt MARMS with some modifications to detect beta mutation in our cohort of thalassemia patients. We focused only on transfusion-dependent thalassemia Malay patients, the predominant ethnic group (95%) in the Kelantanese population. Eight mutations were identified in 46 out of 48 (95.83%) beta thalassemia alleles. Most of the patients (54.2%) were compound heterozygous with co-inheritance Cd 26 (G>A). The frequencies of spectrum beta chain mutation among these patients are presented in Table 2. Among the transfusion dependent beta thalassemia Malay patients studied, 26 patients were found to be compound heterozygous and the main alleles were Cd 26 (G>A). Compound heterozygous mutation of Cd 26 (G>A) and IVS 1-5 (G>C) were 12 (46.2%), Cd 26 (G>A) and Cd 41/42 (TTCT) were 9 (34.6%), Cd 26 (G>A) and IVS 1-1 (G>C) were 2 (7.7%) respectively. Meanwhile the minority were made of a single compound heterozygous of Cd 26 (G>A) and Cd 71/72, Cd 26 (>A) and Cd 17 (A>T), Cd 26 (G>A) and -28 (G>A) respectively. Twenty out of forty six patients were shown to have homozygous of IVS 1-5 (G>C) were 2 (10.0%), Cd 26 (G>A) were 15 (75.0%), Cd 19 (A>G) were 1 (5.0%), and IVS 1-1 (G>T) were 2 (10.0%). The beta chain mutations among the Kelantanese Malays followed closely the distribution of beta chain mutations among the Thais and the Malays of the Southern Thailand. The G-C transition at position 5 of the IVS 1-5 mutation was predominant among the Malay patients. In conclusion, this method has successfully identified the mutation spectrum in our cohort of transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia patients, and this method is equally effective in screening for mutation among thalassemia patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4165115PMC
September 2014

Silencing of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 due to methylation results in phosphorylation of STAT3 in imatinib resistant BCR-ABL positive chronic myeloid leukemia cells.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014 ;15(11):4555-61

Department of Haematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia E-mail :

Background: Silencing due to methylation of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3), a negative regulator gene for the JAK/STAT signaling pathway has been reported to play important roles in leukemogenesis. Imatinib mesylate is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that specifically targets the BCR-ABL protein and induces hematological remission in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Unfortunately, the majority of CML patients treated with imatinib develop resistance under prolonged therapy. We here investigated the methylation profile of SOCS-3 gene and its downstream effects in a BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib.

Materials And Methods: BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib (K562-R) were developed by overexposure of K562 cell lines to the drug. Cytotoxicity was determined by MTS assays and IC50 values calculated. Apoptosis assays were performed using annexin V-FITC binding assays and analyzed by flow cytometry. Methylation profiles were investigated using methylation specific PCR and sequencing analysis of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes. Gene expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR, and protein expression and phosphorylation of STAT1, 2 and 3 were examined by Western blotting.

Results: The IC50 for imatinib on K562 was 362 nM compared to 3,952 nM for K562-R (p=0.001). Percentage of apoptotic cells in K562 increased upto 50% by increasing the concentration of imatinib, in contrast to only 20% in K562-R (p<0.001). A change from non-methylation of the SOCS-3 gene in K562 to complete methylation in K562-R was observed. Gene expression revealed down- regulation of both SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes in resistant cells. STAT3 was phosphorylated in K562-R but not K562.

Conclusions: Development of cells resistant to imatinib is feasible by overexposure of the drug to the cells. Activation of STAT3 protein leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation in imatinib resistant BCR-ABL due to DNA methylation of the SOCS-3 gene. Thus SOCS-3 provides a suitable candidate for mechanisms underlying the development of imatinib resistant in CML patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.11.4555DOI Listing
March 2015

Apoptosis induction in MV4-11 and K562 human leukemic cells by Pereskia sacharosa (Cactaceae) leaf crude extract.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014 ;15(1):475-81

Department of Haematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia E-mail :

Background: Pereskia sacharosa is a genus of cacti widely used in folk medicine for cancer-related treatment. Anti-proliferative effects have been studied in recent years against colon, breast, cervical and lung cancer cell lines, with promising results. We here extended study of anti-proliferative effects to a blood malignancy, leukemia.

Materials And Methods: Two leukemic cell lines, MV4-11 (acute myeloid leukemia) and K562 (chronic myeloid leukemia), were studied. IC50 concentrations were determined and apoptosis and cell cycle regulation were studied by flow cytometric analysis. The expression of apoptosis and cell-cycle related regulatory proteins was assessed by Western blotting.

Results: P sacharosa inhibited growth of MV4-11 and K562 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The mode of cell death was via induction of intrinsic apoptotic pathways and cell cycle arrest. There was profound up-regulation of cytochrome c, caspases, p21 and p53 expression and repression of Akt and Bcl-2 expression in treated cells.

Conclusions: These results suggest that P sacharosa induces leukemic cell death via apoptosis induction and changes in cell cycle checkpoint, thus deserves further study for anti-leukemic potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.1.475DOI Listing
November 2014

Enhanced induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via the mitochondrial membrane potential disruption in human U87 malignant glioma cells by aloe emodin.

J Asian Nat Prod Res 2013 Sep 22;15(9):1003-12. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

a Department of Neurosciences , Universiti Sains Malaysia , Kubang Kerian Kelantan 16150 , Malaysia.

Aloe emodin, one of the active compounds found in Aloe vera leaves, plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth and death. It has been reported to promote the anti-cancer effects in various cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. However, the mechanism of inducing apoptosis by this agent is poorly understood in glioma cells. This research is to investigate the apoptosis and cell cycle arrest inducing by aloe emodin on U87 human malignant glioma cells. Aloe emodin showed a time- and dose-dependent inhibition of U87 cells proliferation and decreased the percentage of viable U87 cells via the induction of apoptosis. Characteristic morphological changes, such as the formation of apoptotic bodies, were observed with confocal microscope by Annexin V-FITC/PI staining, supporting our viability study and flow cytometry analysis results. Our data also demonstrated that aloe emodin arrested the cell cycle in the S phase and promoted the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in U87 cells that indicated the early event of the mitochondria-induced apoptotic pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10286020.2013.818982DOI Listing
September 2013