Publications by authors named "Nguyen K Nguyen"

7 Publications

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HEYL Regulates Neoangiogenesis Through Overexpression in Both Breast Tumor Epithelium and Endothelium.

Front Oncol 2020 15;10:581459. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States.

Blocking tumor angiogenesis is an appealing therapeutic strategy, but to date, success has been elusive. We previously identified HEYL, a downstream target of Notch signaling, as an overexpressed gene in both breast cancer cells and as a tumor endothelial marker, suggesting that HEYL overexpression in both compartments may contribute to neoangiogenesis. Carcinomas arising in double transgenic Her2-neu/HeyL mice showed higher tumor vessel density and significantly faster growth than tumors in parental Her2/neu mice. Providing mechanistic insight, microarray-based mRNA profiling of HS578T-tet-off-HEYL human breast cancer cells revealed upregulation of several angiogenic factors including CXCL1/2/3 upon HEYL expression, which was validated by RT-qPCR and protein array analysis. Upregulation of the cytokines CXCL1/2/3 occurred through direct binding of HEYL to their promoter sequences. We found that vessel growth and migration of human vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) was promoted by conditioned medium from HS578T-tet-off-HEYL carcinoma cells, but was blocked by neutralizing antibodies against CXCL1/2/3. Supporting these findings, suppressing HEYL expression using shRNA in MDA-MB-231 cells significantly reduced tumor growth. In addition, suppressing the action of proangiogenic cytokines induced by HEYL using a small molecule inhibitor of the CXCl1/2/3 receptor, CXCR2, in combination with the anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab, significantly reduced tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 xenografts. Thus, HEYL expression in tumor epithelium has a profound effect on the vascular microenvironment in promoting neoangiogenesis. Furthermore, we show that lack of HEYL expression in endothelial cells leads to defects in neoangiogenesis, both under normal physiological conditions and in cancer. Thus, HeyL-/- mice showed impaired vessel outgrowth in the neonatal retina, while the growth of mammary tumor cells E0771 was retarded in syngeneic HeyL-/- mice compared to wild type C57/Bl6 mice. Blocking HEYL's angiogenesis-promoting function in both tumor cells and tumor-associated endothelium may enhance efficacy of therapy targeting the tumor vasculature in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.581459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7845423PMC
January 2021

Gut microbiota modulation with long-chain corn bran arabinoxylan in adults with overweight and obesity is linked to an individualized temporal increase in fecal propionate.

Microbiome 2020 08 19;8(1):118. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1, Canada.

Background: Variability in the health effects of dietary fiber might arise from inter-individual differences in the gut microbiota's ability to ferment these substrates into beneficial metabolites. Our understanding of what drives this individuality is vastly incomplete and will require an ecological perspective as microbiomes function as complex inter-connected communities. Here, we performed a parallel two-arm, exploratory randomized controlled trial in 31 adults with overweight and class-I obesity to characterize the effects of long-chain, complex arabinoxylan (n = 15) at high supplementation doses (female: 25 g/day; male: 35 g/day) on gut microbiota composition and short-chain fatty acid production as compared to microcrystalline cellulose (n = 16, non-fermentable control), and integrated the findings using an ecological framework.

Results: Arabinoxylan resulted in a global shift in fecal bacterial community composition, reduced α-diversity, and the promotion of specific taxa, including operational taxonomic units related to Bifidobacterium longum, Blautia obeum, and Prevotella copri. Arabinoxylan further increased fecal propionate concentrations (p = 0.012, Friedman's test), an effect that showed two distinct groupings of temporal responses in participants. The two groups showed differences in compositional shifts of the microbiota (p ≤ 0.025, PERMANOVA), and multiple linear regression (MLR) analyses revealed that the propionate response was predictable through shifts and, to a lesser degree, baseline composition of the microbiota. Principal components (PCs) derived from community data were better predictors in MLR models as compared to single taxa, indicating that arabinoxylan fermentation is the result of multi-species interactions within microbiomes.

Conclusion: This study showed that long-chain arabinoxylan modulates both microbiota composition and the output of health-relevant SCFAs, providing information for a more targeted application of this fiber. Variation in propionate production was linked to both compositional shifts and baseline composition, with PCs derived from shifts of the global microbial community showing the strongest associations. These findings constitute a proof-of-concept for the merit of an ecological framework that considers features of the wider gut microbial community for the prediction of metabolic outcomes of dietary fiber fermentation. This provides a basis to personalize the use of dietary fiber in nutritional application and to stratify human populations by relevant gut microbiota features to account for the inconsistent health effects in human intervention studies.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02322112 , registered on July 3, 2015. Video Abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-020-00887-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7439537PMC
August 2020

Precision Microbiome Modulation with Discrete Dietary Fiber Structures Directs Short-Chain Fatty Acid Production.

Cell Host Microbe 2020 Mar 30;27(3):389-404.e6. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Agricultural, Nutritional and Food Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada; APC Microbiome Ireland, School of Microbiology, Department of Medicine, and APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork T12 YT20, Ireland. Electronic address:

Dietary fibers (DFs) impact the gut microbiome in ways often considered beneficial. However, it is unknown if precise and predictable manipulations of the gut microbiota, and especially its metabolic activity, can be achieved through DFs with discrete chemical structures. Using a dose-response trial with three type-IV resistant starches (RS4s) in healthy humans, we found that crystalline and phosphate cross-linked starch structures induce divergent and highly specific effects on microbiome composition that are linked to directed shifts in the output of either propionate or butyrate. The dominant RS4-induced effects were remarkably consistent within treatment groups, dose-dependent plateauing at 35 g/day, and can be explained by substrate-specific binding and utilization of the RS4s by bacterial taxa with different pathways for starch metabolism. Overall, these findings support the potential of using discrete DF structures to achieve targeted manipulations of the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions relevant to health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2020.01.006DOI Listing
March 2020

HOXC10 Expression Supports the Development of Chemotherapy Resistance by Fine Tuning DNA Repair in Breast Cancer Cells.

Cancer Res 2016 08 14;76(15):4443-56. Epub 2016 Jun 14.

Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Development of drug resistance is a major factor limiting the continued success of cancer chemotherapy. To overcome drug resistance, understanding the underlying mechanism(s) is essential. We found that HOXC10 is overexpressed in primary carcinomas of the breast, and even more significantly in distant metastasis arising after failed chemotherapy. High HOXC10 expression correlates with shorter recurrence-free and overall survival in patients with estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. We found that HOXC10 promotes survival in cells treated with doxorubicin, paclitaxel, or carboplatin by suppressing apoptosis and upregulating NF-κB Overexpressed HOXC10 increases S-phase-specific DNA damage repair by homologous recombination (HR) and checkpoint recovery in cells at three important phases. For double-strand break repair, HOXC10 recruits HR proteins at sites of DNA damage. It enhances resection and lastly, it resolves stalled replication forks, leading to initiation of DNA replication following DNA damage. We show that HOXC10 facilitates, but is not directly involved in DNA damage repair mediated by HR. HOXC10 achieves integration of these functions by binding to, and activating cyclin-dependent kinase, CDK7, which regulates transcription by phosphorylating the carboxy-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II. Consistent with these findings, inhibitors of CDK7 reverse HOXC10-mediated drug resistance in cultured cells. Blocking HOXC10 function, therefore, presents a promising new strategy to overcome chemotherapy resistance in breast cancer. Cancer Res; 76(15); 4443-56. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0774DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970943PMC
August 2016

Short alleles, bigger smiles? The effect of 5-HTTLPR on positive emotional expressions.

Emotion 2015 Aug 1;15(4):438-48. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Department of Psychology and Institute for Personality and Social Research, University of California, Berkeley.

The present research examined the effect of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene on objectively coded positive emotional expressions (i.e., laughing and smiling behavior objectively coded using the Facial Action Coding System). Three studies with independent samples of participants were conducted. Study 1 examined young adults watching still cartoons. Study 2 examined young, middle-aged, and older adults watching a thematically ambiguous yet subtly amusing film clip. Study 3 examined middle-aged and older spouses discussing an area of marital conflict (that typically produces both positive and negative emotion). Aggregating data across studies, results showed that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR predicted heightened positive emotional expressions. Results remained stable when controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and depressive symptoms. These findings are consistent with the notion that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR functions as an emotion amplifier, which may confer heightened susceptibility to environmental conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4861141PMC
August 2015

The Notch pathway inhibits TGFβ signaling in breast cancer through HEYL-mediated crosstalk.

Cancer Res 2014 Nov 12;74(22):6509-18. Epub 2014 Sep 12.

Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Acquired resistance to TGFβ is a key step in the early stages of tumorigenesis. Mutations in TGFβ signaling components are rare, and little is known about the development of resistance in breast cancer. On the other hand, an activated Notch pathway is known to play a substantial role in promoting breast cancer development. Here, we present evidence of crosstalk between these two pathways through HEYL. HEYL, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor and a direct target of Notch signaling, is specifically overexpressed in breast cancer. HEYL represses TGFβ activity by binding to TGFβ-activated Smads. HeyL(-/-) mice have defective mammary gland development with fewer terminal end buds. On the other hand, HeyL transgenic mice show accelerated mammary gland epithelial proliferation and 24% of multiparous mice develop mammary gland cancer. Therefore, repression of TGFβ signaling by Notch acting through HEYL may promote initiation of breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0816DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4233182PMC
November 2014

Molecular pathways: current role and future directions of the retinoic acid pathway in cancer prevention and treatment.

Clin Cancer Res 2013 Apr 15;19(7):1651-9. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Breast Cancer Program, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

Retinoids and their naturally metabolized and synthetic products (e.g., all-trans retinoic acid, 13-cis retinoic acid, bexarotene) induce differentiation in various cell types. Retinoids exert their actions mainly through binding to the nuclear retinoic acid receptors (α, β, γ), which are transcriptional and homeostatic regulators with functions that are often compromised early in neoplastic transformation. The retinoids have been investigated extensively for their use in cancer prevention and treatment. Success has been achieved with their use in the treatment of subtypes of leukemia harboring chromosomal translocations. Promising results have been observed in the breast cancer prevention setting, where fenretinide prevention trials have provided a strong rationale for further investigation in young women at high risk for breast cancer. Ongoing phase III randomized trials investigating retinoids in combination with chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer aim to definitively characterize the role of retinoids in this tumor type. The limited treatment success observed to date in the prevention and treatment of solid tumors may relate to the frequent epigenetic silencing of RARβ. Robust evaluation of RARβ and downstream genes may permit optimized use of retinoids in the solid tumor arena.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3618522PMC
April 2013