Publications by authors named "Tobias Lange"

111 Publications

Site-specific -glycosylation of integrin α2 mediates collagen-dependent cell survival.

iScience 2021 Oct 25;24(10):103168. Epub 2021 Sep 25.

Ovarian Cancer Research, Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel and University of Basel, Hebelstrasse 20, Basel 4031, Switzerland.

Integrin alpha 2 (ITGA2) promotes cancer metastasis through selective adhesion to ECM proteins; however, the specific contribution of integrin glycosylation remains uncertain. We provide evidence that ITGA2 is a highly glycosylated transmembrane protein expressed in ovarian cancer tissue and cell lines. In-depth glycoproteomics identified predominant - and -glycosylation sites harboring substantially divergent ITGA2 glycosylation profiles. Generated putative ITGA2 -glycosite mutants halted collagen and laminin binding and cells lacking -glycosylated ITGA2 were marginally adherent to collagen, likely associated with its enhanced proteasome degradation through poly-ubiquitination. Proteomic and enrichment pathway analysis revealed increased cellular apoptosis and collagen organization in non-glycosylated ITGA2 mutant cells. Moreover, we provide evidence that ITGA2-specific sialylation is involved in selective cell-ECM binding. These results highlight the importance of glycans in regulating ITGA2 stability and ligand binding capacity which in turn modulates downstream focal adhesion and promotes cell survival in a collagen environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.103168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8501769PMC
October 2021

Low expression of CD24 is associated with poor survival in colorectal cancer.

Biochimie 2021 Oct 9. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, HSE University, Moscow, Russia; SRC Bioclinicum, Moscow, Russia. Electronic address:

In this study we analyzed expression of CD24 in a cohort of colorectal cancer patients using immunohistochemistry staining of CD24. We found a significant association between absence or low expression of CD24 (10% of membranous and 55% of cytoplasmic staining) and shortened patient survival. Protein localization played a crucial role in the prognosis: membranous form was the major and prognostic one in primary tumors, while cytoplasmic expression was elevated in liver metastases compared to the primary tumors and contained prognostic information. Then, using The Cancer Genome Atlas Colon Adenocarcinoma (TCGA-COAD) RNA-seq data, we showed that CD24 mRNA level was two-fold decreased in primary colorectal cancers compared to adjacent normal mucosa. Like the protein staining data, ten percent of patients with the lowest mRNA expression levels of CD24 in primary tumors had reduced survival compared to the ones with higher expression. To explain these findings mechanistically, shRNA-mediated CD24 knockdown was performed in HT-29 colorectal cancer cells. It resulted in the increase of cell migration in vitro, no changes in proliferation and apoptosis, and a slight decrease in cell invasion. As increased cell migration is a hallmark of metastasis formation, this finding corroborates the association of a decreased CD24 expression with poor prognosis. Differential gene expression analysis revealed upregulation of genes involved in cell migration in the group of patients with low CD24 expression, including integrin subunit α3 and α3, β3 subunits of laminin 332. Further co-expression analysis identified SPI1, STAT1 and IRF1 transcription factors as putative master-regulators in this group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2021.10.004DOI Listing
October 2021

Rigorous approach for unifying wave optics and state of the art rendering techniques.

Opt Express 2021 Aug;29(18):29044-29055

With the capabilities of diffractive optics there is a rising demand for determining the light interaction of diffractive elements with arbitrary illumination and scenery. Since the structured surfaces' scale lies within the visible wavelengths and below, the light's interaction cannot be simulated with state of the art geometric optic rendering approaches. This paper presents a new model for the inclusion of wave-optical effects into Monte Carlo path rendering concepts. The derived method allows the coupling of a rigorous full-field approach with the concept of backward ray propagation through complex scenes. Therefore, the rendering of arbitrarily structured periodic optical components is now possible for complex sceneries for design, verification and testing purposes. The method's performance is demonstrated by comparing rendering results of complex sceneries including CDs with corresponding photographs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.433181DOI Listing
August 2021

Role of Metastasis-Related microRNAs in Prostate Cancer Progression and Treatment.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Sep 6;13(17). Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most prevalent cancer types in males and the consequences of its distant metastatic deposits are the leading cause of PCa mortality. Therefore, identifying the causes and molecular mechanisms of hematogenous metastasis formation is of considerable clinical importance for the future development of improved therapeutic approaches. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by targeting messenger RNAs. Numerous studies have identified miRNAs as promotors or inhibitors of metastasis and revealed, in part, their targeting pathways in PCa. Because miRNAs are remarkably stable and can be detected in both tissue and body fluid, its potential as specific biomarkers for metastasis and therapeutic response is also currently under preclinical evaluation. In the present review, we focus on miRNAs that are supposed to initiate or suppress metastasis by targeting several key mRNAs in PCa. Metastasis-suppressing miRNAs include miR-33a-5p, miR-34, miR-132 and miR-212, miR-145, the miR-200 family (incl. miR-141-3p), miR-204-5p, miR-532-3p, miR-335, miR-543, miR-505-3p, miR 19a 3p, miR-802, miR-940, and miR-3622a. Metastasis-promoting RNAs, such as miR-9, miR-181a, miR-210-3, miR-454, miR-671-5p, have been shown to increase the metastatic potential of PCa cells. Other metastasis-related miRNAs with conflicting reports in the literature are also discussed (miR-21 and miR-186). Finally, we summarize the recent developments of miRNA-based therapeutic approaches, as well as current limitations in PCa. Taken together, the metastasis-controlling miRNAs provide the potential to be integrated in the strategy of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of metastatic PCa. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of consistency between certain miRNA signatures and reproducibility, which impedes clinical implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13174492DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8431208PMC
September 2021

Selonsertib in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (ARROW): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Respir Med 2021 Aug 20. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Background: Data obtained in human lung tissue and preclinical models suggest that oxidative stress and increased apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) activity might have a prominent role in the pathobiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the ASK1 inhibitor selonsertib compared with placebo in patients with PAH.

Methods: We did a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial at 46 centres located in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Participants were aged 18-75 years and had an established diagnosis of idiopathic or hereditary PAH, or PAH associated with connective tissue disease, drugs or toxins, human immunodeficiency virus, or repaired congenital heart defects. Patients were stratified by PAH aetiology and background therapy, and randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) using an interactive voice-response or web-response system to placebo or selonsertib 2 mg, 6 mg, or 18 mg administered orally once daily. Both placebo and selonsertib were in tablet form. The primary efficacy endpoint was change in pulmonary vascular resistance, measured by right heart catheterisation, from baseline to week 24 in the full analysis set. Pair-wise comparisons between each of the selonsertib groups and the placebo group were made with a stratified Wilcoxon (van Elteren) rank sum test for participants without major protocol deviations who received at least one dose of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02234141.

Findings: Between Dec 3, 2014, and Nov 13, 2015, 151 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned. Of 150 participants who received selonsertib or placebo, 134 (89%) completed 24 weeks of the randomly assigned treatment; all were on background PAH therapy (138 [92%] on combination therapy). 90 (60%) patients were in functional class II and 60 (40%) in functional class III. Mean baseline pulmonary vascular resistance was 772 (SD 334) dyn·s/cm. Change in pulmonary vascular resistance was 6·0 dyn·s/cm (SD 28·0; n=31) for placebo, and 35·0 (35·4) dyn·s/cm (n=35; p=0·21 vs placebo) for 2 mg selonsertib, -28·0 (30·2) dyn·s/cm (n=34; p=0·27 vs placebo) for 6 mg selonsertib, and -21·0 (37·9) dyn·s/cm (n=36; p=0·60 vs placebo) for 18 mg selonsertib. The most frequent adverse events were headache (17 [15%]), abnormal dreams (eight [7%]), nausea (seven [6%]), and diarrhoea (seven [6%]) in the selonsertib groups, and headache (six [16%]), nausea (five [14%]), and diarrhoea (two [5%]) in the placebo group. Serious adverse events occurred in 23 (20%) of 113 selonsertib-treated patients and seven (19%) of 37 patients who received placebo.

Interpretation: Selonsertib once daily for 24 weeks did not lead to a significant reduction in pulmonary vascular resistance or to clinical improvement in patients with PAH, but appeared to be safe and well tolerated. Although these data do not support the clinical use of selonsertib in PAH, further study of the potential of targeting the ASK1-p38 pathway in PAH is warranted.

Funding: Gilead Sciences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00032-1DOI Listing
August 2021

GLS-driven glutamine catabolism contributes to prostate cancer radiosensitivity by regulating the redox state, stemness and ATG5-mediated autophagy.

Theranostics 2021 26;11(16):7844-7868. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Radiotherapy is one of the curative treatment options for localized prostate cancer (PCa). The curative potential of radiotherapy is mediated by irradiation-induced oxidative stress and DNA damage in tumor cells. However, PCa radiocurability can be impeded by tumor resistance mechanisms and normal tissue toxicity. Metabolic reprogramming is one of the major hallmarks of tumor progression and therapy resistance. Specific metabolic features of PCa might serve as therapeutic targets for tumor radiosensitization and as biomarkers for identifying the patients most likely to respond to radiotherapy. The study aimed to characterize a potential role of glutaminase (GLS)-driven glutamine catabolism as a prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for PCa radiosensitization. We analyzed primary cell cultures and radioresistant (RR) derivatives of the conventional PCa cell lines by gene expression and metabolic assays to identify the molecular traits associated with radiation resistance. Relative radiosensitivity of the cell lines and primary cell cultures were analyzed by 2-D and 3-D clonogenic analyses. Targeting of glutamine (Gln) metabolism was achieved by Gln starvation, gene knockdown, and chemical inhibition. Activation of the DNA damage response (DDR) and autophagy was assessed by gene expression, western blotting, and fluorescence microscopy. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the ratio of reduced glutathione (GSH) to oxidized glutathione (GSSG) were analyzed by fluorescence and luminescence probes, respectively. Cancer stem cell (CSC) properties were investigated by sphere-forming assay, CSC marker analysis, and limiting dilution assays. Single circulating tumor cells (CTCs) isolated from the blood of PCa patients were analyzed by array comparative genome hybridization. Expression levels of the and gene in tumor tissues and amino acid concentrations in blood plasma were correlated to a progression-free survival in PCa patients. Here, we found that radioresistant PCa cells and prostate CSCs have a high glutamine demand. GLS-driven catabolism of glutamine serves not only for energy production but also for the maintenance of the redox state. Consequently, glutamine depletion or inhibition of critical regulators of glutamine utilization, such as GLS and the transcription factor MYC results in PCa radiosensitization. On the contrary, we found that a combination of glutamine metabolism inhibitors with irradiation does not cause toxic effects on nonmalignant prostate cells. Glutamine catabolism contributes to the maintenance of CSCs through regulation of the alpha-ketoglutarate (α-KG)-dependent chromatin-modifying dioxygenase. The lack of glutamine results in the inhibition of CSCs with a high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity, decreases the frequency of the CSC populations and reduces tumor formation in xenograft mouse models. Moreover, this study shows that activation of the ATG5-mediated autophagy in response to a lack of glutamine is a tumor survival strategy to withstand radiation-mediated cell damage. In combination with autophagy inhibition, the blockade of glutamine metabolism might be a promising strategy for PCa radiosensitization. High blood levels of glutamine in PCa patients significantly correlate with a shorter prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time. Furthermore, high expression of critical regulators of glutamine metabolism, GLS1 and MYC, is significantly associated with a decreased progression-free survival in PCa patients treated with radiotherapy. Our findings demonstrate that GLS-driven glutaminolysis is a prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for PCa radiosensitization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.58655DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8315064PMC
August 2021

Integrin alpha-V is an important driver in pancreatic adenocarcinoma progression.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 26;40(1):214. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, University Medical-Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Mesothelial E- and P-selectins substantially mediate the intraperitoneal spread of Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) cells in xenograft models. In the absence of selectins in the host, the integrin subunit alpha-V (ITGAV, CD51) was upregulated in the remaining metastatic deposits. Here we present the first experimental study to investigate if ITGAV plays a functional role in PDA tumor growth and progression with a particular focus on intraperitoneal carcinomatosis.

Methods: Knockdown of ITGAV was generated using an RNA interference-mediated approach in two PDA cell lines. Tumor growth, intraperitoneal and distant metastasis were analyzed in a xenograft model. Cell lines were characterized in vitro. Gene expression of the xenograft tumors was analyzed. Patient samples were histologically classified and associations to survival were evaluated.

Results: The knockdown of ITGAV in PDA cells strongly reduces primary tumor growth, peritoneal carcinomatosis and spontaneous pulmonary metastasis. ITGAV activates latent TGF-β and thereby drives epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Combined depletion of ITGAV on the tumor cells and E- and P-selectins in the tumor-host synergistically almost abolishes intraperitoneal spread. Accordingly, high expression of ITGAV in PDA cells was associated with reduced survival in patients.

Conclusion: Combined depletion of ITGAV in PDA cells and E- and P-selectins in host mice massively suppresses intraperitoneal carcinomatosis of PDA cells xenografted into immunodeficient mice, confirming the hypothesis of a partly redundant adhesion cascade of metastasizing cancer cells. Our data strongly encourage developing novel therapeutic approaches for the combined targeting of E- and P-selectins and ITGAV in PDA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-021-01946-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8235815PMC
June 2021

Spontaneous breathing for managing analgesia during balanced anesthesia with remifentanil and desflurane: a prospective, single center randomized controlled trial.

Med Gas Res 2021 Jul-Sep;11(3):94-99

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

The main goal of anesthesiology is to achieve the best level of analgesia and a fast recovery of consciousness following anesthesia. The preservation of spontaneous breathing during general anesthesia with anesthetic gases is practiced by many anesthetists. However, very few studies have dealt with these positive properties of volatile anesthetics such as sevoflurane or desflurane. Remifentanil is a very short half-life opiate that combines sufficient intra-operative analgesia with a fast post-operative recovery time. We tested the hypothesis that spontaneous breathing can reduce overdosing with remifentanil during desflurane anesthesia. In this prospective, single center, multiple anesthetist study, 30 patients were randomized into two groups (volume-controlled ventilation mode and spontaneous breathing). The spontaneous breathing group showed a significantly lower post-operative pain level than the volume-controlled ventilation mode group. Furthermore, less remifentanil as well as less piritramide was needed in the spontaneous breathing group compared with volume-controlled ventilation mode. It was possible to achieve spontaneous breathing in all patients with 0.6 minimum alveolar concentration desflurane, in order to control the remifentanil rate and prevent an overdose. All spontaneous breathing patients had low intra- and post-operative pain levels and the need for analgesics was equal to or lower than that in the volume-controlled ventilation mode group. By reducing the intra-operative amount of opiates, both the post-operative pain and the amount of post-operative analgesia required can be reduced. A balanced anesthesia with spontaneous intra-operative breathing is needed to determine the required amount of opiates. This study was approved by the Ethic Committee of the Ruhr-University of Bochum (approval No. 2435) in September, 2004.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2045-9912.310606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174411PMC
May 2021

Analyzing tyrosine kinase activity in head and neck cancer by functional kinomics: Identification of hyperactivated Src family kinases as prognostic markers and potential targets.

Int J Cancer 2021 09 7;149(5):1166-1180. Epub 2021 May 7.

Mildred Scheel Cancer Career Center HaTriCS4, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Signal transduction via protein kinases is of central importance in cancer biology and treatment. However, the clinical success of kinase inhibitors is often hampered by a lack of robust predictive biomarkers, which is also caused by the discrepancy between kinase expression and activity. Therefore, there is a need for functional tests to identify aberrantly activated kinases in individual patients. Here we present a systematic analysis of the tyrosine kinases in head and neck cancer using such a test-functional kinome profiling. We detected increased tyrosine kinase activity in tumors compared with their corresponding normal tissue. Moreover, we identified members of the family of Src kinases (Src family kinases [SFK]) to be aberrantly activated in the majority of the tumors, which was confirmed by additional methods. We could also show that SFK hyperphosphorylation is associated with poor prognosis, while inhibition of SFK impaired cell proliferation, especially in cells with hyperactive SFK. In summary, functional kinome profiling identified SFK to be frequently hyperactivated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. SFK may therefore be potential therapeutic targets. These results furthermore demonstrate how functional tests help to increase our understanding of cancer biology and support the expansion of precision oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33606DOI Listing
September 2021

The Role of Platelet Cell Surface P-Selectin for the Direct Platelet-Tumor Cell Contact During Metastasis Formation in Human Tumors.

Front Oncol 2021 15;11:642761. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Mammalian platelets, devoid of nuclei, are the smallest cells in the blood stream. They are essential for hemostasis, but also transmit cell signals that are necessary for regenerative and generative processes such as inflammation, immunity and tissue repair. In particular, in malignancies they are also associated with cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Platelets promote metastasis and resistance to anti-tumor treatment. However, fundamental principles of the interaction between them and target cells within tumors are complex and still quite obscure. When injected into animals or circulating in the blood of cancer patients, cancer cells ligate platelets in a timely manner closely related to platelet activation either by direct contact or by cell-derived substances or microvesicles. In this context, a large number of different surface molecules and transduction mechanisms have been identified, although the results are sometimes species-specific and not always valid to humans. In this mini-review, we briefly summarize the current knowledge on the role of the direct and indirect platelet-tumor interaction for single steps of the metastatic cascade and specifically focus on the functional role of P-selectin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.642761DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006306PMC
March 2021

Knockdown of AKT3 Activates HER2 and DDR Kinases in Bone-Seeking Breast Cancer Cells, Promotes Metastasis In Vivo and Attenuates the TGFβ/CTGF Axis.

Cells 2021 02 18;10(2). Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Center for Experimental Medicine, Institute of Biochemistry and Signal Transduction, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.

Bone metastases frequently occur in breast cancer patients and lack appropriate treatment options. Hence, understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the multistep process of breast cancer bone metastasis and tumor-induced osteolysis is of paramount interest. The serine/threonine kinase AKT plays a crucial role in breast cancer bone metastasis but the effect of individual AKT isoforms remains unclear. Therefore, AKT isoform-specific knockdowns were generated on the bone-seeking MDA-MB-231 BO subline and the effect on proliferation, migration, invasion, and chemotaxis was analyzed by live-cell imaging. Kinome profiling and Western blot analysis of the TGFβ/CTGF axis were conducted and metastasis was evaluated by intracardiac inoculation of tumor cells into NOD scid gamma (NSG) mice. MDA-MB-231 BO cells exhibited an elevated AKT3 kinase activity in vitro and responded to combined treatment with AKT- and mTOR-inhibitors. Knockdown of AKT3 significantly increased migration, invasion, and chemotaxis in vitro and metastasis to bone but did not significantly enhance osteolysis. Furthermore, knockdown of AKT3 increased the activity and phosphorylation of pro-metastatic HER2 and DDR1/2 but lowered protein levels of CTGF after TGFβ-stimulation, an axis involved in tumor-induced osteolysis. We demonstrated that AKT3 plays a crucial role in bone-seeking breast cancer cells by promoting metastatic potential without facilitating tumor-induced osteolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells10020430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922044PMC
February 2021

Cardiopulmonary exercise pattern in patients with persistent dyspnoea after recovery from COVID-19.

Multidiscip Respir Med 2021 Jan 25;16(1):732. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Internal Medicine 2, University Medical Center, Regensburg.

Cause and mechanisms of persistent dyspnoea after recovery from COVID-19 are not well described. The objective is to describe causal factors for persistent dyspnoea in patients after COVID-19. We examined patients reporting dyspnoea after recovery from COVID-19 by cardiopulmonary exercise testing. After exclusion of patients with pre-existing lung diseases, ten patients (mean age 50±13.1 years) were retrospectively analysed between May 14 and September 15, 2020. On chest computed tomography, five patients showed residual ground glass opacities, and one patient showed streaky residua. A slight reduction of the mean diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide was noted in the cohort. Mean peak oxygen uptake was reduced with 1512±232 ml/min (72.7% predicted), while mean peak work rate was preserved with 131±29 W (92.4% predicted). Mean alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient (AaDO) at peak exercise was 25.6±11.8 mmHg. Mean value of lactate post exercise was 5.6±1.8 mmol/l. A gap between peak work rate in (92.4% predicted) to peak oxygen uptake (72.3% pred.) was detected in our study cohort. Mean value of lactate post exercise was high in our study population and even higher (n.s.) compared to the subgroup of patients with reduced peak oxygen uptake and other obvious reason for limitation. Both observations support the hypothesis of anaerobic metabolism. The main reason for dyspnoea may therefore be muscular.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/mrm.2021.732DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7893311PMC
January 2021

Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients With COPD: Results From the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA).

Chest 2021 Aug 11;160(2):678-689. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

German Center of Lung Research (DZL), Germany; Centre for Pulmonary Hypertension, Thoraxklinik Heidelberg gGmbH at Heidelberg University, Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD is a poorly investigated clinical condition.

Research Question: Which factors determine the outcome of PH in COPD?

Study Design And Methods: We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of patients enrolled in the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA) with moderate or severe PH in COPD as defined during the 6th PH World Symposium who received medical therapy for PH and compared them with patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH).

Results: The population included incident patients with moderate PH in COPD (n = 68), with severe PH in COPD (n = 307), and with IPAH (n = 489). Patients with PH in COPD were older, predominantly male, and treated mainly with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. Despite similar hemodynamic impairment, patients with PH in COPD achieved a worse 6-min walking distance (6MWD) and showed a more advanced World Health Organization functional class (WHO FC). Transplant-free survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were higher in the IPAH group than in the PH in COPD group (IPAH: 94%, 75%, and 55% vs PH in COPD: 86%, 55%, and 38%; P = .004). Risk factors for poor outcomes in PH in COPD were male sex, low 6MWD, and high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). In patients with severe PH in COPD, improvements in 6MWD by ≥ 30 m or improvements in WHO FC after initiation of medical therapy were associated with better outcomes.

Interpretation: Patients with PH in COPD were functionally more impaired and had a poorer outcome than patients with IPAH. Predictors of death in the PH in COPD group were sex, 6MWD, and PVR. Our data raise the hypothesis that some patients with severe PH in COPD may benefit from PH treatment. Randomized controlled studies are necessary to explore this hypothesis further.

Trial Registry: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT01347216; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2021.02.012DOI Listing
August 2021

Riociguat treatment in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: Final safety data from the EXPERT registry.

Respir Med 2021 03 12;178:106220. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Bayer AG, Global Development, Global Medical Affairs, Berlin, Germany.

Objective: The soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator riociguat is approved for the treatment of adult patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and inoperable or persistent/recurrent chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) following Phase 3 randomized trials. The EXPosurE Registry RiociguaT in patients with pulmonary hypertension (EXPERT) study was designed to monitor the long-term safety of riociguat in clinical practice.

Methods: EXPERT was an international, multicenter, prospective, uncontrolled, non-interventional cohort study of patients treated with riociguat. Patients were followed for at least 1 year and up to 4 years from enrollment or until 30 days after stopping riociguat treatment. Primary safety outcomes were adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs) coded using Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities preferred terms and System Organ Classes version 21.0, collected during routine clinic visits and collated via case report forms.

Results: In total, 956 patients with CTEPH were included in the analysis. The most common AEs in these patients were peripheral edema/edema (11.7%), dizziness (7.5%), right ventricular (RV)/cardiac failure (7.7%), and pneumonia (5.0%). The most common SAEs were RV/cardiac failure (7.4%), pneumonia (4.1%), dyspnea (3.6%), and syncope (2.5%). Exposure-adjusted rates of hemoptysis/pulmonary hemorrhage and hypotension were low and comparable to those in the long-term extension study of riociguat (Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension Soluble Guanylate Cyclase-Stimulator Trial [CHEST-2]).

Conclusion: Data from EXPERT show that in patients with CTEPH, the safety of riociguat in routine practice was consistent with the known safety profile of the drug, and no new safety concerns were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2020.106220DOI Listing
March 2021

Opposing prognostic relevance of junction plakoglobin in distinct prostate cancer patient subsets.

Mol Oncol 2021 Jul 17;15(7):1956-1969. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, Center for Experimental Medicine, University Cancer Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.

Both oncogenic and tumor suppressor functions have been described for junction plakoglobin (JUP), also known as γ-catenin. To clarify the role of JUP in prostate cancer, JUP protein expression was immunohistochemically detected in a tissue microarray containing 11 267 individual prostatectomy specimens. Considering all patients, high JUP expression was associated with adverse tumor stage (P = 0.0002), high Gleason grade (P < 0.0001), and lymph node metastases (P = 0.011). These associations were driven mainly by the subset without TMPRSS2:ERG fusion, in which high JUP expression was an independent predictor of poor prognosis (multivariate analyses, P = 0.0054) and early biochemical recurrence (P = 0.0003). High JUP expression was further linked to strong androgen receptor expression (P < 0.0001), high cell proliferation, and PTEN and FOXP1 deletion (P < 0.0001). In the ERG-negative subset, high JUP expression was additionally linked to MAP3K7 (P = 0.0007) and CHD1 deletion (P = 0.0021). Contrasting the overall prognostic effect of JUP, low JUP expression indicated poor prognosis in the fraction of CHD1-deleted patients (P = 0.039). In this subset, the association of high JUP and high cell proliferation was specifically absent. In conclusion, the controversial biological roles of JUP are reflected by antagonistic prognostic effects in distinct prostate cancer patient subsets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253102PMC
July 2021

Comprehensive insights into the formation of metabolites of the ghrelin mimetics capromorelin, macimorelin and tabimorelin as potential markers for doping control purposes.

Biomed Chromatogr 2021 Jun 2;35(6):e5075. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Center for Preventive Doping Research/Institute of Biochemistry, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, Cologne, 50933, Germany.

Analytical methods to determine the potential misuse of the ghrelin mimetics capromorelin (CP-424,391), macimorelin (macrilen, EP-01572) and tabimorelin (NN703) in sports were developed. Therefore, different extraction strategies, i.e. solid-phase extraction, protein precipitation, as well as a "dilute-and-inject" approach, from urine and EDTA-plasma were assessed and comprehensive in vitro/in vivo experiments were conducted, enabling the identification of reliable target analytes by means of high resolution mass spectrometry. The drugs' biotransformation led to the preliminary identification of 51 metabolites of capromorelin, 12 metabolites of macimorelin and 13 metabolites of tabimorelin. Seven major metabolites detected in rat urine samples collected post-administration of 0.5-1.0 mg of a single oral dose underwent in-depth characterization, facilitating their implementation into future confirmatory test methods. In particular, two macimorelin metabolites exhibiting considerable abundances in post-administration rat urine samples were detected, which might contribute to an improved sensitivity, specificity, and detection window in case of human sports drug testing programs. Further, the intact drugs were implemented into World Anti-Doping Agency-compliant initial testing (limits of detection 0.02-0.60 ng/ml) and confirmation procedures (limits of identification 0.18-0.89 ng/ml) for human urine and blood matrices. The obtained results allow extension of the test spectrum of doping agents in multitarget screening assays for growth hormone-releasing factors from human urine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmc.5075DOI Listing
June 2021

Riociguat treatment in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension: Final safety data from the EXPERT registry.

Respir Med 2020 Dec 3;177:106241. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Bayer AG, Global Development, Global Medical Affairs, Berlin, Germany.

Objective: The soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator riociguat is approved for the treatment of adult patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and inoperable or persistent/recurrent chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension following Phase 3 randomized trials. The EXPosurE Registry RiociguaT in patients with pulmonary hypertension (EXPERT) study was designed to monitor the long-term safety of riociguat in clinical practice.

Methods: EXPERT was an international, multicenter, prospective, uncontrolled, non-interventional cohort study of patients treated with riociguat. Patients were followed for at least 1 year and up to 4 years from enrollment or until 30 days after stopping riociguat treatment. Primary safety outcomes were adverse events (AEs) and serious adverse events (SAEs) coded using Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities preferred terms and System Organ Classes version 21.0, collected during routine clinic visits (usually every 3-6 months) and collated via case report forms.

Results: In total, 326 patients with PAH were included in the analysis. The most common AEs in these patients were dizziness (11.7%), right ventricular (RV)/cardiac failure (10.7%), edema/peripheral edema (10.7%), diarrhea (8.6%), dyspnea (8.0%), and cough (7.7%). The most common SAEs were RV/cardiac failure (10.1%), pneumonia (6.1%), dyspnea (4.0%), and syncope (3.4%). The exposure-adjusted rate of hemoptysis/pulmonary hemorrhage was 2.5 events per 100 patient-years.

Conclusion: Final data from EXPERT show that in patients with PAH, the safety of riociguat in clinical practice was consistent with clinical trials, with no new safety concerns identified and a lower exposure-adjusted rate of hemoptysis/pulmonary hemorrhage than in the long-term extension of the Phase 3 trial in PAH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2020.106241DOI Listing
December 2020

CHD1 loss negatively influences metastasis-free survival in R0-resected prostate cancer patients and promotes spontaneous metastasis in vivo.

Cancer Gene Ther 2021 Jan 7. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

The outcome of prostate cancer (PCa) patients is highly variable and depends on whether or not distant metastases occur. Multiple chromosomal deletions have been linked to early tumor marker PSA recurrence (biochemical relapse, BCR) after radical prostatectomy (RP), but their potential role for distant metastasis formation is largely unknown. Here, we specifically analyzed whether deletion of the tumor suppressor CHD1 (5q21) influences the post-surgical risk of distant metastasis and whether CHD1 loss directly contributes to metastasis formation in vivo. By considering >6800 patients we found that the CHD1 deletion negatively influences metastasis-free survival in R0 patients (HR: 2.32; 95% CI: 1.61, 3.33; p < 0.001) independent of preoperative PSA, pT stage, pN status, Gleason Score, and BCR. Moreover, CHD1 deletion predicts shortened BCR-free survival in pT2 patients and cancer-specific survival in all patients. In vivo, CHD1 loss increases spontaneous pulmonary metastasis formation in two distinct PCa models coupled with a higher number of multicellular colonies as compared to single-cell metastases. Transcriptome analyses revealed down-regulation of the PCa-specific metastasis suppressor and TGFβ signaling regulator PMEPA1 after CHD1 depletion in both tested PCa models. CHD1 loss increases the risk of postoperative metastasis in R0-resected PCa patients and promotes spontaneous metastasis formation in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41417-020-00288-zDOI Listing
January 2021

Secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and severe liver injury induced by hepatic SARS-CoV-2 infection unmasking Wilson's disease: Balancing immunosuppression.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Feb 4;103:624-627. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

A 21-year-old woman was hospitalized due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated respiratory and hepatic impairment concomitant with severe hemolytic anemia. Upon diagnosis of secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, immunosuppression with anakinra and steroids was started, leading to a hepatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and viremia. Subsequent liver biopsy revealed virus particles in hepatocytes by electron microscopy and SARS-CoV-2 virus could be isolated and cultured. Immunosuppression was stopped and convalescent donor plasma given. In the differential diagnosis, an acute crisis of Wilson's disease was raised by laboratory and genetic testing. This case highlights the complexity of balancing immunosuppression to control hyperinflammation versus systemic SARS-CoV-2 dissemination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.12.047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7781512PMC
February 2021

Complications in TLIF spondylodesis-do they influence the outcome for patients? A prospective two-center study.

Eur Spine J 2021 05 22;30(5):1320-1328. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Department of Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Purpose: Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a widely accepted surgical procedure for degenerative disk disease. While numerous studies have analyzed complication rates and risk factors this study investigates the extent to which complications after TLIF spondylodesis alter the clinical outcome regarding pain and physical function.

Methods: A prospective clinical two-center study was conducted, including 157 patients undergoing TLIF spondylodesis with 12-month follow-up (FU). Our study classified complications into three subgroups: none (I), minor (IIa), and major complications (IIb). Complications were considered "major" if revision surgery was required or new permanent physical impairment ensued. Clinical outcome was assessed using visual analog scales for back (VAS-B) and leg pain (VAS-L), and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

Results: Thirty-nine of 157 patients (24.8%) had at least one complication during follow-up. At FU, significant improvement was seen for group I (n = 118) in VAS-B (-50%), VAS-L (-54%), and ODI (-48%) and for group IIa (n = 27) in VAS-B (-40%), VAS-L (-64%), and ODI (-47%). In group IIb (n = 12), VAS-B (-22%, P = 0.089) and ODI (-33%, P = 0.056) improved not significantly, while VAS-L dropped significantly less (-32%, P = 0.013) compared to both other groups.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that major complications with need of revision surgery after TLIF spondylodesis lead to a significantly worse clinical outcome (VAS-B, VAS-L, and ODI) compared to no or minor complications. It is therefore vitally important to raise the surgeon´s awareness of consequences of major complications, and the topic should be given high priority in clinical work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-020-06689-wDOI Listing
May 2021

Procalcitonin Exerts a Mediator Role in Septic Shock Through the Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor.

Crit Care Med 2021 01;49(1):e41-e52

Department of Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Objectives: Clinically, procalcitonin represents the most widely used biomarker of sepsis worldwide with unclear pathophysiologic significance to date. Pharmacologically, procalcitonin was shown to signal through both calcitonin receptor and calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor in vitro, yet the identity of its biologically relevant receptor remains unknown.

Design: Prospective randomized animal investigations and in vitro human blood studies.

Setting: Research laboratory of a university hospital.

Subjects: C57BL/6J mice and patients with post-traumatic sepsis.

Interventions: Procalcitonin-deficient mice were used to decipher a potential mediator role in experimental septic shock and identify the relevant receptor for procalcitonin. Cecal ligation and puncture and endotoxemia models were employed to investigate septic shock. Disease progression was evaluated through survival analysis, histology, proteome profiling, gene expression, and flow cytometry. Mechanistic studies were performed with cultured macrophages, dendritic cells, and gamma delta T cells. Main findings were confirmed in serum samples of patients with post-traumatic sepsis.

Measurements And Main Results: Procalcitonin-deficient mice are protected from septic shock and show decreased pulmonary inflammation. Mechanistically, procalcitonin potentiates proinflammatory cytokine expression in innate immune cells, required for interleukin-17A expression in gamma delta T cells. In patients with post-traumatic sepsis, procalcitonin positively correlates with systemic interleukin-17A levels. In mice with endotoxemia, immunoneutralization of interleukin-17A inhibits the deleterious effect of procalcitonin on disease outcome. Although calcitonin receptor expression is irrelevant for disease progression, the nonpeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist olcegepant, a prototype of currently introduced antimigraine drugs, inhibits procalcitonin signaling and increases survival time in septic shock.

Conclusions: Our experimental data suggest that procalcitonin exerts a moderate but harmful effect on disease progression in experimental septic shock. In addition, the study points towards the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor as relevant for procalcitonin signaling and suggests a potential therapeutic application for calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor inhibitors in sepsis, which warrants further clinical investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000004731DOI Listing
January 2021

Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension phenotypes determined by cluster analysis from the COMPERA registry.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2020 12 30;39(12):1435-1444. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus der Technischen Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

The term idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is used to categorize patients with pre-capillary pulmonary hypertension of unknown origin. There is considerable variability in the clinical presentation of these patients. Using data from the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension, we performed a cluster analysis of 841 patients with IPAH based on age, sex, diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO; <45% vs ≥45% predicted), smoking status, and presence of comorbidities (obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and diabetes mellitus). A hierarchical agglomerative clustering algorithm was performed using Ward's minimum variance method. The clusters were analyzed in terms of baseline characteristics; survival; and response to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) therapy, expressed as changes from baseline to follow-up in functional class, 6-minute walking distance, cardiac biomarkers, and risk. Three clusters were identified: Cluster 1 (n = 106; 12.6%): median age 45 years, 76% females, no comorbidities, mostly never smokers, DLCO ≥45%; Cluster 2 (n = 301; 35.8%): median age 75 years, 98% females, frequent comorbidities, no smoking history, DLCO mostly ≥45%; and Cluster 3 (n = 434; 51.6%): median age 72 years, 72% males, frequent comorbidities, history of smoking, and low DLCO. Patients in Cluster 1 had a better response to PAH treatment than patients in the 2 other clusters. Survival over 5 years was 84.6% in Cluster 1, 59.2% in Cluster 2, and 42.2% in Cluster 3 (unadjusted p < 0.001 for comparison between all groups). The population of patients diagnosed with IPAH is heterogenous. This cluster analysis identified distinct phenotypes, which differed in clinical presentation, response to therapy, and survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2020.09.011DOI Listing
December 2020

Survival and quality of life after early discharge in low-risk pulmonary embolism.

Eur Respir J 2021 02 4;57(2). Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Emergency Dept, Clinico San Carlos Hospital, IdISSC, Madrid, Spain.

Introduction: Early discharge of patients with acute low-risk pulmonary embolism requires validation by prospective trials with clinical and quality-of-life outcomes.

Methods: The multinational Home Treatment of Patients with Low-Risk Pulmonary Embolism with the Oral Factor Xa Inhibitor Rivaroxaban (HoT-PE) single-arm management trial investigated early discharge followed by ambulatory treatment with rivaroxaban. The study was stopped for efficacy after the positive results of the predefined interim analysis at 50% of the planned population. The present analysis includes the entire trial population (576 patients). In addition to 3-month recurrence (primary outcome) and 1-year overall mortality, we analysed self-reported disease-specific (Pulmonary Embolism Quality of Life (PEmb-QoL) questionnaire) and generic (five-level five-dimension EuroQoL (EQ-5D-5L) scale) quality of life as well as treatment satisfaction (Anti-Clot Treatment Scale (ACTS)) after pulmonary embolism.

Results: The primary efficacy outcome occurred in three (0.5%, one-sided upper 95% CI 1.3%) patients. The 1-year mortality was 2.4%. The mean±sd PEmb-QoL decreased from 28.9±20.6% at 3 weeks to 19.9±15.4% at 3 months, a mean change (improvement) of -9.1% (p<0.0001). Improvement was consistent across all PEmb-QoL dimensions. The EQ-5D-5L was 0.89±0.12 at 3 weeks after enrolment and improved to 0.91±0.12 at 3 months (p<0.0001). Female sex and cardiopulmonary disease were associated with poorer disease-specific and generic quality of life; older age was associated with faster worsening of generic quality of life. The ACTS burden score improved from 40.5±6.6 points at 3 weeks to 42.5±5.9 points at 3 months (p<0.0001).

Conclusions: Our results further support early discharge and ambulatory oral anticoagulation for selected patients with low-risk pulmonary embolism. Targeted strategies may be necessary to further improve quality of life in specific patient subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02368-2020DOI Listing
February 2021

Impact of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on pulmonary hypertension out-patient clinics in Germany: a multi-centre study.

Pulm Circ 2020 Jul-Sep;10(3):2045894020941682. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Giessen, Germany.

Pulmonary hypertension is frequently underdiagnosed, and referral is delayed with subsequent impact on outcomes. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, restrictions on daily life and changes in hospitals' daily routine care were introduced in Germany. This multi-centre study provides evidence for a negative influence of these restrictions on patient care in pulmonary hypertension expert referral centres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2045894020941682DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7378724PMC
July 2020

Xenograft-derived mRNA/miR and protein interaction networks of systemic dissemination in human prostate cancer.

Eur J Cancer 2020 09 1;137:93-107. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, Hamburg, Germany.

Background: Distant metastasis formation is the major clinical problem in prostate cancer (PCa) and the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Our aim was to identify novel molecules that functionally contribute to human PCa systemic dissemination based on unbiased approaches.

Methods: We compared mRNA, microRNA (miR) and protein expression levels in established human PCa xenograft tumours with high (PC-3), moderate (VCaP) or weak (DU-145) spontaneous micrometastatic potential. By focussing on those mRNAs, miRs and proteins that were differentially regulated among the xenograft groups and known to interact with each other we constructed dissemination-related mRNA/miR and protein/miR networks. Next, we clinically and functionally validated our findings.

Results: Besides known determinants of PCa progression and/or metastasis, our interaction networks include several novel candidates. We observed a clear role of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways for PCa dissemination, which was additionally confirmed by an independent human PCa model (ARCAP-E/-M). Two converging nodes, CD46 (decreasing with metastatic potential) and DDX21 (increasing with metastatic potential), were used to test the clinical relevance of the networks. Intriguingly, both network nodes consistently added prognostic information for patients with PCa whereas CD46 loss predicted poor outcome independent of established parameters. Accordingly, depletion of CD46 in weakly metastatic PCa cells induced EMT-like properties in vitro and spontaneous micrometastasis formation in vivo.

Conclusions: The clinical and functional relevance of the dissemination-related interaction networks shown here could be successfully validated by proof-of-principle experiments. Therefore, we suggest a direct pro-metastatic, clinically relevant role for the multiple novel candidates included in this study; these should be further exploited by future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.06.025DOI Listing
September 2020

OSTE+ for in situ SAXS analysis with droplet microfluidic devices.

Lab Chip 2020 08 22;20(16):2990-3000. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Université Paris-Saclay, CEA, CNRS, NIMBE, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.

In recent years, microfluidic-based sample preparation techniques have emerged as a powerful tool for measurements at large scale X-ray facilities. Most often the microfluidic device was a form of hybrid system, i.e. an assembly of different materials, because a simple, versatile and inexpensive microfabrication method, on the one hand, and X-ray compatibility, on the other hand, cannot generally be achieved by the same material. The arrival of a new polymer family based on off-stoichiometric thiol-ene-epoxy (OSTE+) has recently redistributed the cards. In this context, we studied the relevance and the compatibility of OSTE+ for small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) studies. The material was characterized regarding its X-ray properties (transmission coefficient, attenuation coefficient, scattering pattern and polymer aging under X-ray light) and their comparison with those of the usual polymers used in microfluidics and/or for synchrotron radiation experiments. We show that OSTE+ has a better SAXS signal than polyimide, the polymer of reference in the SAXS community. Then a detailed protocol to manufacture a suitably thin full OSTE+ chip (total thickness <500 μm) is described and the potency of full OSTE+ devices for in situ SAXS studies is highlighted in two case-studies: the characterization of gold nanoparticles and the precipitation of cerium oxalate particles, both in moving droplets. Additionally, a method to analyze the scattering signals from droplet and carrier phase in a segmented flow is proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0lc00454eDOI Listing
August 2020

Glioma escape signature and clonal development under immune pressure.

J Clin Invest 2020 10;130(10):5257-5271

Department of Neurosurgery and.

Immunotherapeutic strategies are increasingly important in neuro-oncology, and the elucidation of escape mechanisms that lead to treatment resistance is crucial. We investigated the impact of immune pressure on the clonal dynamics and immune escape signature by comparing glioma growth in immunocompetent versus immunodeficient mice. Glioma-bearing WT and Pd-1-/- mice survived significantly longer than immunodeficient Pfp-/- Rag2-/- mice. While tumors in Pfp-/- Rag2-/- mice were highly polyclonal, immunoedited tumors in WT and Pd-1-/- mice displayed reduced clonality with emergence of immune escape clones. Tumor cells in WT mice were distinguished by an IFN-γ-mediated response signature with upregulation of genes involved in immunosuppression. Tumor-infiltrating stromal cells, which include macrophages/microglia, contributed even more strongly to the immunosuppressive signature than the actual tumor cells. The identified murine immune escape signature was reflected in human patients and correlated with poor survival. In conclusion, immune pressure profoundly shapes the clonal composition and gene regulation in malignant gliomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI138760DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524465PMC
October 2020

The initial engraftment of tumor cells is critical for the future growth pattern: a mathematical study based on simulations and animal experiments.

BMC Cancer 2020 Jun 5;20(1):524. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Competence Center Bioinformatics, Institute for Applied Computer Science, University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, Zur Schwedenschanze 15, 18435, Stralsund, Germany.

Background: Xenograft mouse tumor models are used to study mechanisms of tumor growth and metastasis formation and to investigate the efficacy of different therapeutic interventions. After injection the engrafted cells form a local tumor nodule. Following an initial lag period of several days, the size of the tumor is measured periodically throughout the experiment using calipers. This method of determining tumor size is error prone because the measurement is two-dimensional (calipers do not measure tumor depth). Primary tumor growth can be described mathematically by suitable growth functions, the choice of which is not always obvious. Growth parameters provide information on tumor growth and are determined by applying nonlinear curve fitting.

Methods: We used self-generated synthetic data including random measurement errors to research the accuracy of parameter estimation based on caliper measured tumor data. Fit metrics were investigated to identify the most appropriate growth function for a given synthetic dataset. We studied the effects of measuring tumor size at different frequencies on the accuracy and precision of the estimated parameters. For curve fitting with fixed initial tumor volume, we varied this fixed initial volume during the fitting process to investigate the effect on the resulting estimated parameters. We determined the number of surviving engrafted tumor cells after injection using ex vivo bioluminescence imaging, to demonstrate the effect on experiments of incorrect assumptions about the initial tumor volume.

Results: To select a suitable growth function, measurement data from at least 15 animals should be considered. Tumor volume should be measured at least every three days to estimate accurate growth parameters. Daily measurement of the tumor volume is the most accurate way to improve long-term predictability of tumor growth. The initial tumor volume needs to have a fixed value in order to achieve meaningful results. An incorrect value for the initial tumor volume leads to large deviations in the resulting growth parameters.

Conclusions: The actual number of cancer cells engrafting directly after subcutaneous injection is critical for future tumor growth and distinctly influences the parameters for tumor growth determined by curve fitting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-07015-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275472PMC
June 2020

Pulmonary Hypertension in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease: Real-World Data from the International COMPERA-CHD Registry.

J Clin Med 2020 05 13;9(5). Epub 2020 May 13.

Missionsärztliche Klinik gGmbH, Abteilung für Innere Medizin, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.

Introduction: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a common complication in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD), aggravating the natural, post-operative, or post-interventional course of the underlying anomaly. The various CHDs differ substantially in characteristics, functionality, and clinical outcomes among each other and compared with other diseases with pulmonary hypertension.

Objective: To describe current management strategies and outcomes for adults with PH in relation to different types of CHD based on real-world data.

Methods And Results: COMPERA (Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension) is a prospective, international PH registry comprising, at the time of data analysis, >8200 patients with various forms of PH. Here, we analyzed a subgroup of 680 patients with PH due to CHD, who were included between 2007 and 2018 in 49 specialized centers for PH and/or CHD located in 11 European countries. At enrollment, the patients´ median age was 44 years (67% female), and patients had either pre-tricuspid shunts, post-tricuspid shunts, complex CHD, congenital left heart or aortic disease, or miscellaneous other types of CHD. Upon inclusion, targeted therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) included endothelin receptor antagonists, PDE-5 inhibitors, prostacyclin analogues, and soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators. Eighty patients with Eisenmenger syndrome were treatment-naïve. While at inclusion the primary PAH treatment for the cohort was monotherapy (70% of patients), with 30% of the patients on combination therapy, after a median observation time of 45.3 months, the number of patients on combination therapy had increased significantly, to 50%. The use of oral anticoagulants or antiplatelets was dependent on the underlying diagnosis or comorbidities. In the entire COMPERA-CHD cohort, after follow-up and receiving targeted PAH therapy ( = 511), 91 patients died over the course of a 5-year follow up. The 5-year Kaplan-Meier survival estimate for CHD associated PH was significantly better than that for idiopathic PAH (76% vs. 54%; < 0.001). Within the CHD associated PH group, survival estimates differed particularly depending on the underlying diagnosis and treatment status.

Conclusions: In COMPERA-CHD, the overall survival of patients with CHD associated PH was dependent on the underlying diagnosis and treatment status, but was significantly better as than that for idiopathic PAH. Nevertheless, overall survival of patients with PAH due to CHD was still markedly reduced compared with survival of patients with other types of CHD, despite an increasing number of patients on PAH-targeted combination therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7290703PMC
May 2020

Fully automated dried blood spot sample preparation enables the detection of lower molecular mass peptide and non-peptide doping agents by means of LC-HRMS.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2020 Jun 16;412(15):3765-3777. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Center for Preventive Doping Research - Institute of Biochemistry, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933, Cologne, Germany.

The added value of dried blood spot (DBS) samples complementing the information obtained from commonly routine doping control matrices is continuously increasing in sports drug testing. In this project, a robotic-assisted non-destructive hematocrit measurement from dried blood spots by near-infrared spectroscopy followed by a fully automated sample preparation including strong cation exchange solid-phase extraction and evaporation enabled the detection of 46 lower molecular mass (< 2 kDa) peptide and non-peptide drugs and drug candidates by means of LC-HRMS. The target analytes included, amongst others, agonists of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor, the ghrelin receptor, the human growth hormone receptor, and the antidiuretic hormone receptor. Furthermore, several glycine derivatives of growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs), arguably designed to undermine current anti-doping testing approaches, were implemented to the presented detection method. The initial testing assay was validated according to the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines with estimated LODs between 0.5 and 20 ng/mL. As a proof of concept, authentic post-administration specimens containing GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 were successfully analyzed. Furthermore, DBS obtained from a sampling device operating with microneedles for blood collection from the upper arm were analyzed and the matrix was cross-validated for selected parameters. The introduction of the hematocrit measurement method can be of great value for doping analysis as it allows for quantitative DBS applications by managing the well-recognized "hematocrit effect." Graphical abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-020-02634-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7220872PMC
June 2020
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