Publications by authors named "Ya-Chin Hou"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Local ablation of gastric cancer by reconstituted apolipoprotein B lipoparticles carrying epigenetic drugs.

Nanomedicine 2021 Jul 29;37:102450. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan; Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Epigenetic inhibitors have shown anticancer effects. Combination chemotherapy with epigenetic inhibitors has shown high effectiveness in gastric cancer clinical trials, but severe side effect and local progression are the causes of treatment failure. Therefore, we sought to develop an acidity-sensitive drug delivery system to release drugs locally to diminish unfavorable outcome of gastric cancer. In this study, we showed that, as compared with single agents, combination treatment with the demethylating agent 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and HDAC inhibitors Trichostatin A or LBH589 decreased cell survival, blocked cell cycle by reducing number of S-phase cells and expression of cyclins, increased cell apoptosis by inducing expression of Bim and cleaved Caspase 3, and reexpressed tumor suppressor genes more effectively in MGCC3I cells. As a carrier, reconstituted apolipoprotein B lipoparticles (rABLs) could release drugs in acidic environments. Orally administrated embedded drugs not only showed inhibitory effects on gastric tumor growth in a syngeneic orthotopic mouse model, but also reduced the hepatic and renal toxicity. In conclusion, we have established rABL-based nanoparticles embedded epigenetic inhibitors for local treatment of gastric cancer, which have good therapeutic effects but do not cause severe side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nano.2021.102450DOI Listing
July 2021

The Fibronectin Expression Determines the Distinct Progressions of Malignant Gliomas via Transforming Growth Factor-Beta Pathway.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 6;22(7). Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan.

Due to the increasing incidence of malignant gliomas, particularly glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a simple and reliable GBM diagnosis is needed to screen early the death-threaten patients. This study aimed to identify a protein that can be used to discriminate GBM from low-grade astrocytoma and elucidate further that it has a functional role during malignant glioma progressions. To identify proteins that display low or no expression in low-grade astrocytoma but elevated levels in GBM, glycoprotein fibronectin (FN) was particularly examined according to the mining of the Human Protein Atlas. Web-based open megadata minings revealed that FN was mainly mutated in the cBio Cancer Genomic Portal but dominantly overexpressed in the ONCOMINE (a cancer microarray database and integrated data-mining platform) in distinct tumor types. Furthermore, numerous different cancer patients with high FN indeed exhibited a poor prognosis in the PrognoScan mining, indicating that FN involves in tumor malignancy. To investigate further the significance of FN expression in glioma progression, tumor specimens from five malignant gliomas with recurrences that received at least two surgeries were enrolled and examined. The immunohistochemical staining showed that FN expression indeed determined the distinct progressions of malignant gliomas. Furthermore, the expression of vimentin (VIM), a mesenchymal protein that is strongly expressed in malignant cancers, was similar to the FN pattern. Moreover, the level of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) inducer transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) was almost recapitulated with the FN expression. Together, this study identifies a protein FN that can be used to diagnose GBM from low-grade astrocytoma; moreover, its expression functionally determines the malignant glioma progressions via TGF-β-induced EMT pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073782DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038731PMC
April 2021

Epigenetic silencing of AATK in acinar to ductal metaplasia in murine model of pancreatic cancer.

Clin Epigenetics 2020 06 17;12(1):87. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Background: Cancer subtype switching, which involves unclear cancer cell origin, cell fate decision, and transdifferentiation of cells within a confined tumor microenvironment, remains a major problem in pancreatic cancer (PDA).

Results: By analyzing PDA subtypes in The Cancer Genome Atlas, we identified that epigenetic silencing of apoptosis-associated tyrosine kinase (AATK) inversely was correlated with mRNA expression and was enriched in the quasi-mesenchymal cancer subtype. By comparing early mouse pancreatic lesions, the non-invasive regions showed AATK co-expression in cells with acinar-to-ductal metaplasia, nuclear VAV1 localization, and cell cycle suppression; but the invasive lesions conversely revealed diminished AATK expression in those with poorly differentiated histology, cytosolic VAV1 localization, and co-expression of p63 and HNF1α. Transiently activated AATK initiates acinar differentiation into a ductal cell fate to establish apical-basal polarization in acinar-to-ductal metaplasia. Silenced AATK and ectopically expressed p63 and HNF1α allow the proliferation of ductal PanINs in mice.

Conclusion: Epigenetic silencing of AATK regulates the cellular transdifferentiation, proliferation, and cell cycle progression in converting PDA-subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13148-020-00878-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7301993PMC
June 2020

Pancreatic stellate cells activated by mutant KRAS-mediated PAI-1 upregulation foster pancreatic cancer progression via IL-8.

Theranostics 2019 23;9(24):7168-7183. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

The dense fibrotic stroma enveloping pancreatic tumors is a major cause of drug resistance. Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) in the stroma can be activated to induce intra-tumor fibrosis and worsen patient survival; however, the molecular basics for the regulation of PSC activation remains unclear. The coculture system was used to study cancer cell-PSC interactions. Atomic force microscopy was used to measure the stiffness of tumor tissues and coculture gels. Cytokine arrays, qPCR, and Western blotting were performed to identify the potential factors involved in PSC activation and to elucidate underlying pathways. PSC activation characterized by α-SMA expression was associated with increased pancreatic tumor stiffness and poor prognosis. Coculture with cancer cells induced PSC activation, which increased organotypic coculture gel stiffness and cancer cell invasion. Cancer cells-derived PAI-1 identified from coculture medium could activate PSCs, consistent with pancreatic cancer tissue microarray analysis showing a strong positive correlation between PAI-1 and α-SMA expression. Suppression by knocking down PAI-1 in cancer cells demonstrated the requirement of PAI-1 for coculture-induced PSC activation and gel stiffness. PAI-1 could be upregulated by KRAS in pancreatic cancer cells through ERK. In PSCs, inhibition of LRP-1, ERK, and c-JUN neutralized the effect of PAI-1, suggesting the contribution of LRP-1/ERK/c-JUN signaling. Furthermore, activated PSCs might exacerbate malignant behavior of cancer cells via IL-8 because suppression of IL-8 signaling reduced pancreatic tumor growth and fibrosis . KRAS-mutant pancreatic cancer cells can activate PSCs through PAI-1/LRP-1 signaling to promote fibrosis and cancer progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.36830DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6831292PMC
September 2020

The differential distributions of ASPM isoforms and their roles in Wnt signaling, cell cycle progression, and pancreatic cancer prognosis.

J Pathol 2019 12 23;249(4):498-508. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Laboratory of Advanced Molecular Therapeutics, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly aggressive and treatment-resistant malignancy. The lack of pathway-informed biomarkers hampers the development of rational diagnostics or therapies. Recently, the protein abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated (ASPM) was identified as a novel Wnt and stemness regulator in PDAC, while the pathogenic roles of its protein isoforms remain unclarified. We developed novel isoform-specific antibodies and genetic knockdown (KD) of putative ASPM isoforms, whereby we uncovered that the levels of ASPM isoform 1 (iI) and ASPM-iII are variably upregulated in PDAC cells. ASPM isoforms show remarkably different subcellular locations; specifically, ASPM-iI is exclusively localized to the cortical cytoplasm of PDAC cells, while ASPM-iII is predominantly expressed in cell nuclei. Mechanistically, ASPM-iI co-localizes with disheveled-2 and active β-catenin as well as the stemness marker aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 (ALDH-1), and its expression is indispensable for the Wnt activity, stemness, and the tumorigenicity of PDAC cells. By contrast, ASPM-iII selectively regulates the expression level of cyclin E and cell cycle progression in PDAC cells. The expression of ASPM-iI and ASPM-iII displays considerable intratumoral heterogeneity in PDAC tissues and only that of ASPM-iI was prognostically significant; it outperformed ALDH-1 staining and clinico-pathological variables in a multivariant analysis. Collectively, the distinct expression patterns and biological functions of ASPM isoforms may illuminate novel molecular mechanisms and prognosticators in PDAC and may pave the way for the development of therapies targeting this novel oncoprotein. © 2019 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6899738PMC
December 2019

Low CD8⁺ T Cell Infiltration and High PD-L1 Expression Are Associated with Level of CD44⁺/CD133⁺ Cancer Stem Cells and Predict an Unfavorable Prognosis in Pancreatic Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Apr 15;11(4). Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 704, Taiwan.

Cancer immunotherapy targeting immune checkpoints has exhibited promising clinical outcomes in many cancers, but it offers only limited benefits for pancreatic cancer (PC). Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a minor subpopulation of cancer cells, play important roles in tumor initiation, progression, and drug resistance. Accumulating evidence suggests that CSCs employ immunosuppressive effects to evade immune system recognition. However, the clinical implications of the associations among CD8⁺ T cells infiltration, programmed death receptor ligand-1 (PD-L1) expression, and CSCs existence are poorly understood in PC. Immunostaining and quantitative analysis were performed to assess CD8⁺ T cells infiltration, PD-L1 expression, and their relationship with CD44⁺/CD133⁺ CSCs and disease progression in PC. CD8⁺ T cells infiltration was associated with better survival while PD-L1 expression was correlated with PC recurrence. Both the low CD8⁺ T cells infiltration/high PD-L1 expression group and the high CD8⁺ T cells infiltration/high PD-L1 expression group show high levels of CD44⁺/CD133⁺ CSCs, but patients with low CD8⁺ T cells infiltration/high PD-L1 expression had worse survival and higher recurrence risk than those with high CD8⁺ T cells infiltration/high PD-L1 expression. Moreover, high infiltration of CD8⁺ T cells could reduce unfavorable prognostic effect of high co-expression of PD-L1 and CD44/CD133. Our study highlights an interaction among CD8⁺ T cells infiltration, PD-L1 expression, and CD44⁺/CD133⁺ CSCs existence, which contributes to PC progression and immune evasion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11040541DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520688PMC
April 2019

Elevated Serum Interleukin-8 Level Correlates with Cancer-Related Cachexia and Sarcopenia: An Indicator for Pancreatic Cancer Outcomes.

J Clin Med 2018 Dec 1;7(12). Epub 2018 Dec 1.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 704, Taiwan.

Cancer cachexia (CC), characterized by body weight loss and sarcopenia, contributes to over 20% of all cancer-related death. Approximately 80% of pancreatic cancer (PC) patients develop CC during disease progression. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, have been correlated with CC; however, its prognostic significance remains unclear. In this study, serum levels of the CC-related cytokines were determined in normal donors and PC patients. IL-8 expression was assessed in PC tissue microarrays. The correlation of levels of each cytokine with disease progression, weight loss, and sarcopenia was calculated. The relationships among the baseline variables, CC, and IL-8 expression with disease progression were examined using univariate and multivariate analyses. Of these mentioned cytokines, only serum IL-8 level was elevated in the locally advanced group ( = 55) compared with the normal ( = 17) and resected groups ( = 55). Serum IL-8 level was positively correlated with CC status, weight loss, sarcopenia, but was negatively correlated with total psoas area (TPA). IL-8 expression in tissue samples was also positively associated with weight loss. Furthermore, serum IL-8 level was an independent predictor of survival. In conclusion, elevated serum IL-8 level significantly correlates with CC and sarcopenia and can be used as a prognostic indicator in PC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm7120502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306800PMC
December 2018

Increased risk of brain cancer incidence in stroke patients: a clinical case series, population-based and longitudinal follow-up study.

Oncotarget 2017 Dec 15;8(65):108989-108999. Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan.

Stroke and brain cancer are two distinct diseases. However, the relationship between both diseases has rarely been examined. This study investigated the longitudinal risk for developing brain cancer in stroke patients. To study this, we first reviewed the malignant gliomas previously with or without stroke using brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images and the past histories. Two ischemic stroke patients before the malignant glioma were identified and belonged to the glioblastoma mutiforme (GBM). Particularly, both GBM specimens displayed strong hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression in immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. To elucidate the significance of this relationship, we then used a nationwide population-based cohort in Taiwan to investigate the risk for the incidence of brain cancer in patients previously with or without stroke. The incidence of all tumors in the stroke group was lower than that in the control group with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.74-0.84) in both gender and age older than 60 years. But the stroke patients had higher risk of developing only brain cancer with an adjusted HR of 3.09 (95% CI: 1.80-5.30), and otherwise had lower risk of developing head and neck, digestive, respiratory, bone and skin, as well as other tumors, all with p<0.05. After stratification by gender and age, the female and aged 40-60 year old stroke patients had higher risk of developing brain cancer with an adjusted HR of 7.41 (95% CI: 3.30-16.64) and 16.34 (95% CI: 4.45-62.13), respectively, both with p<0.05. Patients with stroke, in particular female and age 40-60 years old, have an increased risk for developing brain cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22480DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5752498PMC
December 2017

Tumor-Associated Macrophages Promote Epigenetic Silencing of Gelsolin through DNA Methyltransferase 1 in Gastric Cancer Cells.

Cancer Immunol Res 2017 10 23;5(10):885-897. Epub 2017 Aug 23.

Department of Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.

Epigenetic repression of the tumor suppressor gelsolin (GSN) is frequently observed in cancers. Chronic inflammation can promote tumor progression via aberrant DNA methylation. In this study, we investigated the role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in DNA methylation of the gene during gastric cancer progression. Immunofluorescence staining of 121 gastric cancer tissues showed aberrant localization of GSN and DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and juxtaposition of DNMT1 and M2 TAMs. Decreased GSN protein and mRNA expression and increased DNA methylation in the promoter were observed in gastric cancer cell lines and clinical specimens. To examine the effect of TAMs on DNA methylation in gastric cancer cells, we performed coculture assays and found increased DNMT1 expression but decreased GSN expression in gastric cancer cells after coculture with U937 cells. Knockdown of DNMT1 expression in gastric cancer cells could abort U937 coculture-mediated GSN downregulation. Meanwhile, CCL5 was the main chemokine upregulated in coculture medium. Treatment with CCL5 could induce DNMT1 expression in gastric cancer cells via STAT3 signaling. Inhibiting DNMT1 activity with procainamide, inhibiting DNA methylation with 5-AZA, or inhibiting CCL5/CCR5 signaling with maraviroc reduced tumor growth In conclusion, upregulation of DNMT1 by CCL5/CCR5/STAT3 signaling is critical for TAM-mediated silencing in gastric cancer. This study identified potential targets for gastric cancer therapy. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-16-0295DOI Listing
October 2017

Interleukin-20 targets podocytes and is upregulated in experimental murine diabetic nephropathy.

Exp Mol Med 2017 03 31;49(3):e310. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Research Center of New Antibody Drug, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Interleukin (IL)-20, a proinflammatory cytokine of the IL-10 family, is involved in acute and chronic renal failure. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of IL-20 during diabetic nephropathy development. We found that IL-20 and its receptor IL-20R1 were upregulated in the kidneys of mice and rats with STZ-induced diabetes. In vitro, IL-20 induced MMP-9, MCP-1, TGF-β1 and VEGF expression in podocytes. IL-20 was upregulated by hydrogen peroxide, high-dose glucose and TGF-β1. In addition, IL-20 induced apoptosis in podocytes by activating caspase-8. In STZ-induced early diabetic nephropathy, IL-20R1-deficient mice had lower blood glucose and serum BUN levels and a smaller glomerular area than did wild-type controls. Anti-IL-20 monoclonal antibody (7E) treatment reduced blood glucose and the glomerular area and improved renal functions in mice in the early stage of STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy. ELISA showed that the serum IL-20 level was higher in patients with diabetes mellitus than in healthy controls. The findings of this study suggest that IL-20 induces cell apoptosis of podocytes and plays a role in the pathogenesis of early diabetic nephropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/emm.2016.169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5382560PMC
March 2017

KIT Exon 11 Codons 557-558 Deletion Mutation Promotes Liver Metastasis Through the CXCL12/CXCR4 Axis in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors.

Clin Cancer Res 2016 07 2;22(14):3477-87. Epub 2016 Mar 2.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. Department of Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan.

Purpose: KIT mutations, the most prevalent genetic event in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), are associated with malignant features and poor prognosis. Aggressive GISTs possess a high propensity to spread to the liver. This study aimed to explore the role of KIT mutations in GIST liver metastasis.

Experimental Design: A total of 170 GISTs were used to determine the association between KIT mutations and liver metastasis. Immunohistochemistry was performed to assess the correlation of KIT mutations with CXCR4 and ETV1 expression. Genetic and pharmacologic methods were used to study the regulation of CXCR4 and ETV1 by KIT mutations.

Results: Codons 557 and 558 in KIT exon 11 were deletion hot spots in GISTs. KIT exon 11 deletions involving codons 557-558 were highly associated with liver metastasis. Overexpression of mutant KIT with exon 11 codons 557-558 deletion (KIT Δ557-558) increased GIST cell motility and liver metastasis. Mechanistically, overexpression of KIT Δ557-558 in GIST cells increased ETV1 and CXCR4 expression. CXCR4 knockdown counteracted KIT Δ557-558-mediated cell migration. Moreover, KIT Δ557-558-induced CXCR4 expression could be abolished by silencing ETV1. The chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that ETV1 directly bound to the CXCR4 promoter. After ERK inhibitor PD325901 treatment, the upregulation of ETV1 by KIT Δ557-558 was prevented. In addition, KIT exon 11 codons 557-558 deletion enhanced CXCL12-mediated GIST cell migration and invasion.

Conclusions: KIT exon 11 557-558 deletion upregulates CXCR4 through increased binding of ETV1 to the CXCR4 promoter in GIST cells, which thus promotes liver metastasis. These findings highlighted the potential therapeutic targets for metastatic GISTs. Clin Cancer Res; 22(14); 3477-87. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-2748DOI Listing
July 2016

Blockade of autophagy reduces pancreatic cancer stem cell activity and potentiates the tumoricidal effect of gemcitabine.

Mol Cancer 2015 Oct 12;14:179. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Background: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are considered responsible for the recurrence and chemoresistance of cancer. Dysregulated autophagy is highly prevalent in many types of cancer including pancreatic cancer and has been implicated in cytoprotection and tumor promotion. This study aimed to investigate the role of autophagy in regulating cancer stemness and chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer.

Methods: The correlation between autophagy and CSCs and its clinical significance were analyzed using pancreatic cancer tissue microarrays. Genetic and pharmacological approaches were applied to explore the function of autophagy on CSC activity and gemcitabine resistance of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Results: LC3 expression positively correlated with the expression of CSC markers aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1), CD44, and CD133 in pancreatic cancer tissues. High coexpression of LC3/ALDH1 was associated with both poor overall survival and progression-free survival. In pancreatic cancer cell lines, higher LC3-II expression was observed in the sphere-forming cells than in the bulk cells. Blockade of autophagy by silencing ATG5, ATG7, and BECN1 or the administration of autophagy inhibitor chloroquine markedly reduced the CSC populations, ALDH1 activity, sphere formation, and resistance to gemcitabine in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, osteopontin (OPN) was found to stimulate LC3-II, ALDH1, CD44, and CD133 expression in PANC-1 cells, whereas this effect could be prevented by OPN knockdown and autophagy blockade. After treatment with various inhibitors against the major signaling pathways downstream of OPN, only the inhibitor of NF-κB activation, BAY 1170-82, could effectively counteract OPN-induced autophagy and CSC activity. According to the histochemical results, pancreatic cancer patients manifesting high levels of OPN/LC3/ALDH1 and OPN/CD44/CD133 had poor survival.

Conclusions: Induction of autophagy mediated by OPN/NF-κB signaling is required for maintenance of pancreatic CSC activity. Combination of gemcitabine with pharmacological autophagy inhibitors is a promising therapeutic strategy for pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12943-015-0449-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4603764PMC
October 2015

Coexpression of CD44-positive/CD133-positive cancer stem cells and CD204-positive tumor-associated macrophages is a predictor of survival in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Cancer 2014 Sep 19;120(17):2766-77. Epub 2014 May 19.

Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Background: The interactions between cancer stem cells (CSCs) and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) can promote tumor progression, maintain the CSCs population, and reduce therapeutic effects. The objective of this study was to investigate the coexpression of CSCs and TAMs and its clinical significance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Methods: Ninety-six patients with PDAC were included in this study. Tissue microarrays were constructed for immunostaining of the CSCs markers CD44 and CD133 and the TAMs marker CD204. Correlations between the expression of CSCs and TAMs markers and clinicopathologic characteristics or disease progression were analyzed.

Results: Expression levels of CD44/CD133 and CD204 were significantly higher in tumor tissues than in normal tissues (P < .0001). The variables associated with survival were high coexpression of CD44/CD133 (P = .000), high expression of CD204 (P = .011), and tumor grade (P = .014). There was a positive correlation between CD44/CD133 and CD204 expression (r = 0.294; P = .004). Survival analysis indicated that high coexpression of CD44/CD133 and CD204 was associated significantly with shorter overall survival (P = .000) and disease-free survival (P = .003). Multivariate analysis revealed that high CD44/CD133 expression was an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival, whereas high CD204 expression was an independent predictor for both overall and disease-free survival.

Conclusions: Coexpression of CD44/CD133 and CD204 is a useful survival prediction marker for patients with PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.28774DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4232049PMC
September 2014

A gene expression signature of epithelial tubulogenesis and a role for ASPM in pancreatic tumor progression.

Gastroenterology 2013 Nov 27;145(5):1110-20. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Laboratory for Tumor Epigenetics and Stemness, National Institute of Cancer Research and Translational Center for Glandular Malignancies, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan, Taiwan; Department of Pathology, National Cheng-Kung University Hospital and College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Background & Aims: Many patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) develop recurrent or metastatic diseases after surgery, so it is important to identify those most likely to benefit from aggressive therapy. Disruption of tissue microarchitecture is an early step in pancreatic tumorigenesis and a parameter used in pathology grading of glandular tumors. We investigated whether changes in gene expression during pancreatic epithelial morphogenesis were associated with outcomes of patients with PDAC after surgery.

Methods: We generated architectures of human pancreatic duct epithelial cells in a 3-dimensional basement membrane matrix. We identified gene expression profiles of the cells during different stages of tubular morphogenesis (tubulogenesis) and of PANC-1 cells during spheroid formation. Differential expression of genes was confirmed by immunoblot analysis. We compared the gene expression profile associated with pancreatic epithelial tubulogenesis with that of PDAC samples from 27 patients, as well as with their outcomes after surgery.

Results: We identified a gene expression profile associated with tubulogenesis that resembled the profile of human pancreatic tissue with differentiated morphology and exocrine function. Patients with PDACs with this profile fared well after surgery. Based on this profile, we established a 6-28 gene tubulogenesis-specific signature that accurately determined the prognosis of independent cohorts of patients with PDAC (total n = 128; accuracy = 81.2%-95.0%). One gene, ASPM, was down-regulated during tubulogenesis but up-regulated in human PDAC cell lines and tumor samples; up-regulation correlated with patient outcomes (Cox regression P = .0028). Bioinformatic, genetic, biochemical, functional, and clinical correlative studies showed that ASPM promotes aggressiveness of PDAC by maintaining Wnt-β-catenin signaling and stem cell features of PDAC cells.

Conclusions: We identified a gene expression profile associated with pancreatic epithelial tubulogenesis and a tissue architecture-specific signature of PDAC cells that is associated with patient outcomes after surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2013.07.040DOI Listing
November 2013

Interleukin-19 mediates tissue damage in murine ischemic acute kidney injury.

PLoS One 2013 26;8(2):e56028. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Inflammation and renal tubular injury are major features of acute kidney injury (AKI). Many cytokines and chemokines are released from injured tubular cells and acts as proinflammatory mediators. However, the role of IL-19 in the pathogenesis of AKI is not defined yet. In bilateral renal ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI)-induced and HgCl2-induced AKI animal models, real-time quantitative (RTQ)-PCR showed that the kidneys, livers, and lungs of AKI mice expressed significantly higher IL-19 and its receptors than did sham control mice. Immunohistochemical staining showed that IL-19 and its receptors were strongly stained in the kidney, liver, and lung tissue of AKI mice. In vitro, IL-19 upregulated MCP-1, TGF-β1, and IL-19, and induced mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in murine renal tubular epithelial M-1 cells. IL-19 upregulated TNF-α and IL-10 in cultured HepG2 cells, and it increased IL-1β and TNF-α expression in cultured A549 cells. In vivo, after renal IRI or a nephrotoxic dose of HgCl2 treatment, IL-20R1-deficient mice (the deficiency blocks IL-19 signaling) showed lower levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in serum and less tubular damage than did wild-type mice. Therefore, we conclude that IL-19 mediates kidney, liver, and lung tissue damage in murine AKI and that blocking IL-19 signaling may provide a potent therapeutic strategy for treating AKI.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0056028PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3582636PMC
August 2013
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