Publications by authors named "Yi-Jun Shi"

36 Publications

Research Progress of Circular RNA in Gastrointestinal Tumors.

Front Oncol 2021 15;11:665246. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The Affiliated People's Hospital, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China.

circular RNA (circRNA) is a closed ring structure formed by cyclic covalent bonds connecting the 5'-end and 3'-end of pre-mRNA. circRNA is widely distributed in eukaryotic cells. Recent studies have shown that circRNA is involved in the pathogenesis and development of multiple types of diseases, including tumors. circRNA is specifically expressed in tissues. And the stability of circRNA is higher than that of linear RNA, which can play biological roles through sponge adsorption of miRNA, interaction with RNA binding protein, regulation of gene transcription, the mRNA and protein translation brake, and translation of protein and peptides. These characteristics render circRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic targets of tumors. Gastrointestinal tumors are common malignancies worldwide, which seriously threaten human health. In this review, we summarize the generation and biological characteristics of circRNA, molecular regulation mechanism and related effects of circRNA in gastrointestinal tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.665246DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8082141PMC
April 2021

Inhibition of Sp1-mediated survivin and MCL1 expression cooperates with SLC35F2 and myeloperoxidase to modulate YM155 cytotoxicity to human leukemia cells.

Biochem Pharmacol 2021 Apr 5;188:114544. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Although YM155 is reported to suppress survivin (also known as BIRC5) expression in cancer cells, its cytotoxic mechanism in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells has not been clearly resolved. In this study, we analyzed the mechanistic pathways that modulate the sensitivity of human AML U937 and HL-60 cells to YM155. YM155 induced apoptosis in AML cells, which was characterized by p38 MAPK phosphorylation and downregulation of survivin and MCL1 expression. Phosphorylated p38 MAPK causes autophagy-mediated Sp1 degradation, thereby inhibiting the transcription of survivin and MCL1. The reduction of survivin and MCL1 levels further facilitated Sp1 protein degradation through autophagy. The restoration of Sp1, survivin, or MCL1 expression protected U937 and HL-60 cells from YM155-mediated cytotoxicity. U937 and HL-60 cells were continuously exposed to hydroquinone (HQ) to generate U937/HQ and HL-60/HQ cells, which showed increased SLC35F2 expression. The increase in SLC35F2 expression led to an increase in the sensitivity of U937/HQ cells to YM155-mediated cytotoxicity, whereas no such effect was observed in HL-60/HQ cells. Of note, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in HL-60 and HL-60/HQ cells enhanced YM155 cytotoxicity in these cells, and the enforced expression of MPO also increased the sensitivity of U937 cells to YM155. Taken together, we conclude that p38 MAPK-modulated autophagy inhibits Sp1-mediated survivin and MCL1 expression, which, in turn, leads to the death of U937 and HL-60 cells following YM155 treatment. In addition, our data indicate that SLC35F2 increases the sensitivity of U937 cells to YM155-mediated cytotoxicity, whereas MPO enhances YM155 cytotoxicity in U937 and HL-60 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2021.114544DOI Listing
April 2021

Abnormality in coronary slow flow phenomenon detected by nailfold microcirculation microanalysis.

Chin Med J (Engl) 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Cardiology, Jinshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 201508, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CM9.0000000000001437DOI Listing
March 2021

miR-550a-5p Functions as a Tumor Promoter by Targeting LIMD1 in Lung Adenocarcinoma.

Front Oncol 2020 28;10:570733. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Lung adenocarcinoma accounts for half of all lung cancer cases in most countries. Mounting evidence has demonstrated that microRNAs play important roles in cancer progression, and some of them can be identified as potential biomarkers. This study aimed to explore the role of miR-550a-5p, a lung adenocarcinoma-associated mature microRNA screened out from the TCGA database via R-studio and Perl, with abundant expression in samples and with 5-year survival prognosis difference, as well as having not been studied in lung cancer yet. Potential target genes were predicted by the online database. Gene ontology enrichment, pathway enrichment, protein-protein interaction network, and hub genes-microRNA network were constructed by FunRich, STRING database, and Cytoscape. Then, LIMD1, a known tumor suppressor gene reported by multiple articles, was found to have a negative correlation with miR-550a-5p. The expression of miR-550a-5p was up-regulated in tumor samples and tumor-associated cell lines. Its high expression was also correlated with tumor size. Cell line A549 treated with miR-550a-5p overexpression promoted tumor proliferation, while H1299 treated with miR-550a-5p knockdown showed the opposite result. Mechanically, miR-550a-5p negatively regulated LIMD1 by directly binding to its 3'-UTR validated by dual luciferase assay. In summary, a new potential prognostic and therapeutic biomarker, miR-550a-5p, has been identified by bioinformatics analysis and experimental validation and , which promotes lung adenocarcinoma by silencing a known suppressor oncogene LIMD1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.570733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7655921PMC
October 2020

Modification of carboxyl groups converts α-lactalbumin into an active molten globule state with membrane-perturbing activity and cytotoxicity.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Nov 19;163:1697-1706. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

We investigated whether the modification of the negatively charged carboxyl groups with semicarbazide could confer membrane-disrupting and cytotoxic properties to bovine α-lactalbumin (LA). MALDI-TOF analysis revealed that eighteen of the twenty-one carboxyl groups in LA were coupled with semicarbazide molecules. Measurement of circular dichroism spectra and Trp fluorescence quenching studies showed that semicarbazide-modified LA (SEM-LA) had a molten globule-like conformation that retained the α-helix secondary structure but lost the tertiary structure of LA. Compared to LA, SEM-LA had a higher structural flexibility in response to trifluoroethanol- and temperature-induced structural transitions. In sharp contrast to LA, SEM-LA exhibited membrane-damaging activity and cytotoxicity. Furthermore, SEM-LA-induced membrane permeability promoted the uptake of daunorubicin and thereby its cytotoxicity. The microenvironment surrounding the Trp residues of SEM-LA was enriched in positive charges, as revealed by iodide quenching studies. The binding of SEM-LA with lipid vesicles altered the positively charged cluster around Trp residues. Although LA and SEM-LA displayed similar lipid-binding affinities, the membrane interaction modes of SEM-LA and LA differed. Collectively, these results suggest that blocking of negatively charged residues enables the formation of a molten-globule conformation of LA with structural flexibility and increased positive charge, thereby generating functional LA with membrane-disrupting activity and cytotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.09.095DOI Listing
November 2020

Blocking of negative charged carboxyl groups converts Naja atra neurotoxin to cardiotoxin-like protein.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Dec 23;164:2953-2963. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Naja atra cobrotoxin and cardiotoxin 3 (CTX3) exhibit neurotoxicity and cytotoxicity, respectively. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether the carboxyl groups of cobrotoxin play a role in structural constraints, thereby preventing cobrotoxin from exhibiting cytotoxic activity. Six of the seven carboxyl groups in cobrotoxin were conjugated with semicarbazide. Measurement of circular dichroism spectra and Trp fluorescence quenching showed that the gross conformation of semicarbazide-modified cobrotoxin (SEM-cobrotoxin) and cobrotoxin differed. In sharp contrast to cobrotoxin, SEM-cobrotoxin demonstrated membrane-damaging activity and cytotoxicity, which are feature more characteristic of CTX3. Furthermore, both SEM-cobrotoxin and CTX3 induced cell death through AMPK activation. Analyses of the interaction between polydiacetylene/lipid vesicles and fluorescence-labeled lipids revealed that SEM-cobrotoxin and cobrotoxin adopted different membrane-bound states. The structural characteristics of SEM-cobrotoxin were similar to those of CTX3, including trifluoroethanol (TFE)-induced structural transformation and membrane binding-induced conformational change. Conversely, cobrotoxin was insensitive to the TFE-induced effect. Collectively, the data of this study indicate that blocking negatively charged residues confers cobrotoxin with membrane-damaging activity and cytotoxicity. The findings also suggest that the structural constraints imposed by carboxyl groups control the functional properties of snake venom α-neurotoxins during the divergent evolution of snake venom neurotoxins and cardiotoxins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.08.163DOI Listing
December 2020

Longitudinal Analysis of Risk Factors for Clinical Outcomes of Meningitis/Encephalitis in Post-Neurosurgical Patients: A Comparative Cohort Study During 2014-2019.

Infect Drug Resist 2020 6;13:2161-2170. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Clinical Diagnosis, Laboratory of Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: Our study is a retrospective observational study conducted in one of the largest clinical centers of neurosurgery in China. We aimed to investigate the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of the isolates responsible for nosocomial meningitis/encephalitis in post-neurosurgical patients. Meanwhile, we tried to evaluate the risk factors for mortality following meningitis/encephalitis.

Patients And Methods: Medical data on clinical characteristics, antibiotic susceptibilities, and mortality were reviewed until patients' discharge or death in the hospital. Data for a total of 164 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infection cases due to after neurosurgery were collected between January 2014 and November 2019 in order to identify risk factors affecting the outcome. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were applied.

Results: In this study, a total of 2416 neurosurgical meningitis/encephalitis cases were reported between 2014 and 2019. accounted for 7.3% (176/2416) of all the bacterial infections. Of them, 164 isolates were available to divide into two groups according to the final outcome of whether the patient died or survived. In total, 38 patients died (23.2%) and 126 patients survived (76.8%). The most frequent infecting species was (47.0%, 77/164). Fourteen-day and 30-day mortality rates were 7.9% (13/164) and 15.2% (25/164). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that the risk factors of meningitis/encephalitis that resulted in poor outcomes included comorbidities, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, sepsis, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing , and ventilation. A GCS score of less than or equal to 8 (P=0.04, HR 2.562) was identified to be a significant risk factor for mortality according to the multivariable Cox proportional hazards model.

Conclusion: In-hospital mortality caused by meningitis/encephalitis in neurosurgery was high. A GCS score of ≤8 was an independent risk factor for mortality following meningitis/encephalitis in post-neurosurgical patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IDR.S252331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7351632PMC
July 2020

GSK3β suppression inhibits MCL1 protein synthesis in human acute myeloid leukemia cells.

J Cell Physiol 2021 Jan 22;236(1):570-586. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Previous studies have shown that glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) suppression is a potential strategy for human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy. However, the cytotoxic mechanism associated with GSK3β suppression remains unresolved. Thus, the underlying mechanism of N-(4-methoxybenzyl)-N'-(5-nitro-1,3-thiazol-2-yl)urea (AR-A014418)-elicited GSK3β suppression in the induction of AML U937 and HL-60 cell death was investigated in this study. Our study revealed that AR-A014418-induced MCL1 downregulation remarkably elicited apoptosis of U937 cells. Furthermore, the AR-A014418 treatment increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation and decreased the phosphorylated Akt and ERK levels. Activation of p38 MAPK subsequently evoked autophagic degradation of 4EBP1, while Akt inactivation suppressed mTOR-mediated 4EBP1 phosphorylation. Furthermore, AR-A014418-elicited ERK inactivation inhibited Mnk1-mediated eIF4E phosphorylation, which inhibited MCL1 mRNA translation in U937 cells. In contrast to GSK3α, GSK3β downregulation recapitulated the effect of AR-A014418 in U937 cells. Transfection of constitutively active GSK3β or cotransfection of constitutively activated MEK1 and Akt suppressed AR-A014418-induced MCL1 downregulation. Moreover, AR-A014418 sensitized U937 cells to ABT-263 (BCL2/BCL2L1 inhibitor) cytotoxicity owing to MCL1 suppression. Collectively, these results indicate that AR-A014418-induced GSK3β suppression inhibits ERK-Mnk1-eIF4E axis-modulated de novo MCL1 protein synthesis and thereby results in U937 cell apoptosis. Our findings also indicate a similar pathway underlying AR-A014418-induced death in human AML HL-60 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.29884DOI Listing
January 2021

Albendazole-Induced SIRT3 Upregulation Protects Human Leukemia K562 Cells from the Cytotoxicity of MCL1 Suppression.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 May 30;21(11). Epub 2020 May 30.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.

Previous studies have shown that MCL1 stabilization confers cancer cells resistance to microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) and functionally extends the lifespan of MTA-triggered mitotically arrested cells. Albendazole (ABZ), a benzimidazole anthelmintic, shows microtubule-destabilizing activity and has been repositioned for cancer therapies. To clarify the role of MCL1 in ABZ-induced apoptosis, we investigated the cytotoxicity of ABZ on human leukemia K562 cells. Treatment with ABZ for 24 h did not appreciably induce apoptosis or mitochondrial depolarization in K562 cells, though it caused the mitotic arrest of K562 cells. ABZ-evoked p38 MAPK activation concurrently suppressed Sp1-mediated MCL1 expression and increased SIRT3 mRNA stability and protein expression. ABZ and A-1210477 (an MCL1 inhibitor) enhanced the cytotoxicity of ABT-263 (a BCL2/BCL2L1 inhibitor) to their effect on MCL1 suppression. Unlike ABZ, A-1210477 did not affect SIRT3 expression and reduced the survival of K562 cells. Overexpression of SIRT3 attenuated the A-1210477 cytotoxicity on K562 cells. ABZ treatment elicited marked apoptosis and ΔΨm loss in ABT-263-resistant K562 (K562/R) cells, but did not alter SIRT3 expression. Ectopic expression of SIRT3 alleviated the cytotoxicity of ABZ on K562/R cells. Collectively, our data demonstrate that ABZ-induced SIRT3 upregulation delays the apoptosis-inducing effect of MCL1 suppression on apoptosis induction in K562 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113907DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312678PMC
May 2020

Inhibition of EGFR pathway promotes the cytotoxicity of ABT-263 in human leukemia K562 cells by blocking MCL1 upregulation.

Biochem Pharmacol 2020 08 22;178:114047. Epub 2020 May 22.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

ABT-263 induces MCL1 upregulation in cancer cells, which confers resistance to the drug. An increased understanding of the mechanism underlying ABT-263-induced MCL1 expression may provide a strategy to improve its tumor-suppression activity. The present study revealed that ABT-263 reduced the turnover of MCL1 mRNA, thereby upregulating MCL1 expression in human K562 leukemia cells. Furthermore, ABT-263-induced EGFR activation promoted AGO2 phosphorylation at Y393 and reduced miR-125b maturation. Treatment with EGFR inhibitors mitigated MCL1 upregulation induced by ABT-263. Additionally, lithium chloride (LiCl) alleviated ABT-263-induced MCL1 upregulation through EGFR-AGO2 axis-modulated miR-125b suppression. Ectopic expression of dominant negative AGO2(Y393F) or transfection with miR-125b abolished ABT-263-induced upregulation of MCL1 mRNA and protein levels. Co-treatment with either EGFR inhibitors or LiCl collaboratively enhanced ABT-263 cytotoxicity, while MCL1 overexpression eliminated this synergistic effect. Collectively, our data reveal that ABT-263 increases EGFR-mediated AGO2 phosphorylation, which in turn suppresses miR-125b-mediated MCL1 mRNA degradation in K562 cells. The suppression of this signaling pathway results in the synergistic cytotoxic effect of EGFR inhibitors or LiCl and ABT-263.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2020.114047DOI Listing
August 2020

Status of Asp29 and Asp40 in the Interaction of Cardiotoxins with Lipid Bilayers.

Toxins (Basel) 2020 04 18;12(4). Epub 2020 Apr 18.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.

It is widely accepted that snake venom cardiotoxins (CTXs) target the plasma membranes of cells. In the present study, we investigated the role of Asp residues in the interaction of cardiotoxin 1 (CTX1) and cardiotoxin 3 (CTX3) with phospholipid bilayers using chemical modification. CTX1 contains three Asp residues at positions 29, 40, and 57; CTX3 contains two Asp residues at positions 40 and 57. Compared to Asp29 and Asp40, Asp57 was sparingly modified with semi-carbazide, as revealed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass and mass/mass analyses. Thus, semi-carbazide-modified CTX1 (SEM-CTX1) mainly contained modified Asp29 and Asp40, while SEM-CTX3 contained modified Asp40. Compared to that of native toxins, trifluoroethanol easily induced structural transition of SEM-CTX1 and SEM-CTX3, suggesting that the structural flexibility of CTXs was constrained by Asp40. Modification of Asp29 and Asp40 markedly promoted the ability of CTX1 to induce permeability of cell membranes and lipid vesicles; CTX3 and SEM-CTX3 showed similar membrane-damaging activity. Modification of Asp residues did not affect the membrane-binding capability of CTXs. Circular dichroism spectra of SEM-CTX3 and CTX3 were similar, while the gross conformation of SEM-CTX1 was distinct from that of CTX1. The interaction of CTX1 with membrane was distinctly changed by Asp modification. Collectively, our data suggest that Asp29 of CTX1 suppresses the optimization of membrane-bound conformation to a fully active state and that the function of Asp40 in the structural constraints of CTX1 and CTX3 is not important for the manifestation of membrane-perturbing activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins12040262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7232319PMC
April 2020

Arsenic trioxide-induced p38 MAPK and Akt mediated MCL1 downregulation causes apoptosis of BCR-ABL1-positive leukemia cells.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2020 Apr 17;397:115013. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

In this study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying arsenic trioxide (ATO)-induced death of human BCR-ABL1-positive K562 and MEG-01 cells. ATO-induced apoptotic death in K562 cells was characterized by ROS-mediated mitochondrial depolarization, MCL1 downregulation, p38 MAPK activation, and Akt inactivation. ATO-induced BCR-ABL1 downregulation caused Akt inactivation but not p38 MAPK activation. Akt inactivation increased GSK3β-mediated MCL1 degradation, while p38 MAPK-mediated NFκB activation coordinated with HDAC1 suppressed MCL1 transcription. Inhibition of p38 MAPK activation or overexpression of constitutively active Akt increased MCL1 expression and promoted the survival of ATO-treated cells. Overexpression of MCL1 alleviated mitochondrial depolarization and cell death induced by ATO. The same pathway was found to be involved in ATO-induced death in MEG-01 cells. Remarkably, YM155 synergistically enhanced the cytotoxicity of ATO on K562 and MEG-01 cells through suppression of MCL1 and survivin. Collectively, our data indicate that ATO-induced p38 MAPK- and Akt-mediated MCL1 downregulation triggers apoptosis in K562 and MEG-01 cells, and that p38 MAPK activation is independent of ATO-induced BCR-ABL1 suppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2020.115013DOI Listing
April 2020

SIRT3, PP2A and TTP protein stability in the presence of TNF-α on vincristine-induced apoptosis of leukaemia cells.

J Cell Mol Med 2020 02 13;24(4):2552-2565. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The contribution of vincristine (VCR)-induced microtubule destabilization to evoke apoptosis in cancer cells remains to be resolved. Thus, we investigated the cytotoxic mechanism of VCR on U937 and HL-60 human leukaemia cell lines. We discovered that VCR treatment resulted in the up-regulation of TNF-α expression and activation of the death receptor pathway, which evoked apoptosis of U937 cells. Moreover, VCR induced microtubule destabilization and mitotic arrest. VCR treatment down-regulated SIRT3, and such down-regulation caused mitochondrial ROS to initiate phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. p38 MAPK suppressed MID1-modulated degradation of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit. The SIRT3-ROS-p38 MAPK-PP2A axis inhibited tristetraprolin (TTP)-controlled TNF-α mRNA degradation, consequently, up-regulating TNF-α expression. Restoration of SIRT3 and TTP expression, or inhibition of the ROS-p38 MAPK axis increased the survival of VCR-treated cells and repressed TNF-α up-regulation. In contrast to suppression of the ROS-p38 MAPK axis, overexpression of SIRT3 modestly inhibited the effect of VCR on microtubule destabilization and mitotic arrest in U937 cells. Apoptosis of HL-60 cells, similarly, went through the same pathway. Collectively, our data indicate that the SIRT3-ROS-p38 MAPK-PP2A-TTP axis modulates TNF-α expression, which triggers apoptosis of VCR-treated U937 and HL-60 cells. We also demonstrate that the apoptotic signalling is not affected by VCR-elicited microtubule destabilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.14949DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7028858PMC
February 2020

Compound C induces autophagy and apoptosis in parental and hydroquinone-selected malignant leukemia cells through the ROS/p38 MAPK/AMPK/TET2/FOXP3 axis.

Cell Biol Toxicol 2020 08 3;36(4):315-331. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, 804, Taiwan.

Hydroquinone (HQ), a major metabolic product of benzene, causes acute myeloid leukemia (AML) elicited by benzene exposure. Past studies found that continuous exposure of human AML U937 cells to HQ selectively produces malignant U937/HQ cells in which FOXP3 upregulation modulates malignant progression. Other studies revealed that AMPK promotes TET2 activity on DNA demethylation and that TET2 activity is crucial for upregulating FOXP3 expression. This study was conducted to elucidate whether compound C, an AMPK inhibitor, blocked the AMPK-TET2-FOXP3 axis in AML and in HQ-selected malignant cells. We found higher levels of AMPKα, TET2, and FOXP3 expression in U937/HQ cells compared to U937 cells. Treatment of parental Original Article and HQ-selected malignant U937 cells with compound C induced ROS-mediated p38 MAPK activation, leading to a suppression of AMPKα, TET2, and FOXP3 expression. Moreover, compound C induced apoptosis and mTOR-independent autophagy. The suppression of the autophagic flux inhibited the apoptosis of compound C-treated U937 and U937/HQ cells, whereas co-treatment with rapamycin, a mTOR inhibitor, sensitized the two cell lines to compound C cytotoxicity. Overexpression of AMPKα1 or pretreatment with autophagic inhibitors abrogated compound C-induced autophagy and suppression of TET2 and FOXP3 expression. Restoration of AMPKα1 or FOXP3 expression increased cell survival after treatment with compound C. In conclusion, our results show that compound C suppresses AMPK/TET2 axis-mediated FOXP3 expression and induces autophagy-dependent apoptosis in parental and HQ-selected malignant U937 cells, suggesting that the AMPK/TET2/FOXP3 axis is a promising target for improving AML therapy and attenuating benzene exposure-induced AML progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10565-019-09495-3DOI Listing
August 2020

Autophagic HuR mRNA degradation induces survivin and MCL1 downregulation in YM155-treated human leukemia cells.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2020 01 16;387:114857. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of YM155 cytotoxicity in human chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells. YM155-induced apoptosis of human CML K562 cells was characterized by ROS-mediated p38 MAPK activation, mitochondrial depolarization, and survivin and MCL1 downregulation. Moreover, YM155-induced autophagy caused degradation of HuR mRNA and downregulation of HuR protein expression, which resulted in destabilized survivin and MCL1 mRNA. Interestingly, survivin and MCL1 suppression contributed to autophagy-mediated HuR mRNA destabilization in YM155-treated cells. Pretreatment with inhibitors of p38 MAPK or autophagy alleviated YM155-induced autophagy and apoptosis in K562 cells, as well as YM155-induced downregulation of HuR, survivin, and MCL1. Ectopic overexpression of HuR, survivin, or MCL1 attenuated the cytotoxic effect of YM155 on K562 cells. Conversely, YM155 sensitized K562 cells to ABT-199 (a BCL2 inhibitor), and circumvented K562 cell resistance to ABT-199 because of its inhibitory effect on survivin and MCL1 expression. Overall, our data indicate that YM155-induced apoptosis is mediated by inducing autophagic HuR mRNA degradation, and reveal the pathway responsible for YM155-induced downregulation of survivin and MCL1 in K562 cells. Our findings also indicate a similar pathway underlying YM155-induced death in human CML MEG-01 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2019.114857DOI Listing
January 2020

Cardiotoxin 3 Elicits Autophagy and Apoptosis in U937 Human Leukemia Cells through the Ca/PP2A/AMPK Axis.

Toxins (Basel) 2019 09 12;11(9). Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.

Cardiotoxins (CTXs) are suggested to exert their cytotoxicity through cell membrane damage. Other studies show that penetration of CTXs into cells elicits mitochondrial fragmentation or lysosome disruption, leading to cell death. Considering the role of AMPK-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in mitochondrial biogenesis and lysosomal biogenesis, we aimed to investigate whether the AMPK-mediated pathway modulated (Taiwan cobra) CTX3 cytotoxicity in U937 human leukemia cells. Our results showed that CTX3 induced autophagy and apoptosis in U937 cells, whereas autophagic inhibitors suppressed CTX3-induced apoptosis. CTX3 treatment elicited Ca-dependent degradation of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit (PP2Acα) and phosphorylation of AMPKα. Overexpression of PP2Acα mitigated the CTX3-induced AMPKα phosphorylation. CTX3-induced autophagy was via AMPK-mediated suppression of the Akt/mTOR pathway. Removal of Ca or suppression of AMPKα phosphorylation inhibited the CTX3-induced cell death. CTX3 was unable to induce autophagy and apoptosis in U937 cells expressing constitutively active Akt. Met-modified CTX3 retained its membrane-perturbing activity, however, it did not induce AMPK activation and death of U937 cells. These results conclusively indicate that CTX3 induces autophagy and apoptosis in U937 cells via the Ca/PP2A/AMPK axis, and suggest that the membrane-perturbing activity of CTX3 is not crucial for the cell death signaling pathway induction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins11090527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784133PMC
September 2019

Naja atra cardiotoxins enhance the protease activity of chymotrypsin.

Int J Biol Macromol 2019 Sep 12;136:512-520. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Snake venom cardiotoxins (CTXs) present diverse pharmacological functions. Previous studies have reported that CTXs affect the activity of some serine proteases, namely, chymotrypsin, subtilisin, trypsin, and acetylcholinesterase. To elucidate the mode of action of CTXs, the interaction of CTXs with chymotrypsin was thus investigated. It was found that Naja atra CTX isotoxins concentration-dependently enhanced chymotrypsin activity. The capability of CTX1 and CTX5 in increasing chymotrypsin activity was higher than that of CTX2, CTX3, and CTX4. Removal of the molecular beacon-bound CTXs by chymotrypsin, circular dichroism measurement, and acrylamide quenching of Trp fluorescence indicated that CTXs bound to chymotrypsin. Chemical modification of Lys, Arg, or Met residues of CTX1 attenuated its capability to enhance chymotrypsin activity without impairing their bond with chymotrypsin. Catalytically inactive chymotrypsin retained the binding affinity for native and modified CTX1. CTX1 and chemically modified CTX1 differently altered the global conformation of chymotrypsin and inactivated chymotrypsin. Moreover, CTX1 did not reduce the interaction of 2-(p-toluidino)-naphthalene-6-sulfonate (TNS) with chymotrypsin and inactivated chymotrypsin. Together with previous results revealing that TNS can bind at the hydrophobic region of active site in chymotrypsin, our data suggest that CTXs can enhance chymotrypsin activity by binding to the region outside the enzyme's active site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.06.066DOI Listing
September 2019

Non-mitotic effect of albendazole triggers apoptosis of human leukemia cells via SIRT3/ROS/p38 MAPK/TTP axis-mediated TNF-α upregulation.

Biochem Pharmacol 2019 04 7;162:154-168. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Albendazole (ABZ) is a microtubule-targeting anthelmintic that acts against a variety of human cancer cells, but the dependence of its cytotoxicity on non-mitotic effect remains elusive. Thus, we aimed to explore the mechanistic pathway underlying the cytotoxicity of ABZ in human leukemia U937 cells. ABZ-induced apoptosis of U937 cells was characterized by mitochondrial ROS generation, p38 MAPK activation, TNF-α upregulation and activation of the death receptor-mediated pathway. Meanwhile, ABZ induced tubulin depolymerization and G2/M cell cycle arrest. ABZ-induced SIRT3 degradation elicited ROS-mediated p38 MAPK activation, leading to pyruvate kinase M2-mediated tristetraprolin (TTP) degradation. Inhibition of TTP-mediated TNF-α mRNA decay elicited TNF-α upregulation in ABZ-treated cells. Either the overexpression of SIRT3 or abolishment of ROS/p38 MAPK activation suppressed TNF-α upregulation and rescued the viability of ABZ-treated cells. In contrast to the inhibition of ROS/p38 MAPK pathway, SIRT3 overexpression attenuated tubulin depolymerization and G2/M arrest in ABZ-treated cells. Treatment with a SIRT3 inhibitor induced TNF-α upregulation and cell death without the induction of G2/M arrest in U937 cells. Taken together, our data indicate that ABZ-induced SIRT3 downregulation promotes its microtubule-destabilizing effect, and that the non-mitotic effect of ABZ largely triggers apoptosis of U937 cells via SIRT3/ROS/p38 MAPK/TTP axis-mediated TNF-α upregulation. Notably, the same pathway is involved in the ABZ-induced death of HL-60 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2018.11.003DOI Listing
April 2019

The suppressive effect of arsenic trioxide on TET2-FOXP3-Lyn-Akt axis-modulated MCL1 expression induces apoptosis in human leukemia cells.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2018 11 10;358:43-55. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been reported to inhibit the activity of Ten-eleven translocation methylcytosine dioxygenase (TET). TET modulates FOXP3 expression, while dysregulation of FOXP3 expression promotes the malignant progression of leukemia cells. We examined the role of TET-FOXP3 axis in the cytotoxic effects of ATO on the human acute myeloid leukemia cell line, U937. ATO-induced apoptosis in U937 cells was characterized by activation of caspase-3/-9, mitochondrial depolarization, and MCL1 downregulation. In addition, ATO-treated U937 cells showed ROS-mediated inhibition of TET2 transcription, leading to downregulation of FOXP3 expression and in turn, suppression of FOXP3-mediated activation of Lyn and Akt. Overexpression of FOXP3 or Lyn minimized the suppressive effect of ATO on Akt activation and MCL1 expression. Promoter luciferase activity and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed the crucial role of Akt-mediated CREB phosphorylation in MCL1 transcription. Further, ATO-induced Akt inactivation promoted GSK3β-mediated degradation of MCL1. Transfection of constitutively active Akt expression abrogated ATO-induced MCL1 downregulation. MCL1 overexpression lessened the ATO-induced depolarization of mitochondrial membrane and increased the viability of ATO-treated cells. Thus, our data suggest that ATO induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in U937 cells through its suppressive effect on TET2-FOXP3-Lyn-Akt axis-modulated MCL1 transcription and protein stabilization. Our findings also indicate that the same pathway underlies ATO-induced death in human leukemia HL-60 cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2018.09.008DOI Listing
November 2018

ABT-263-induced MCL1 upregulation depends on autophagy-mediated 4EBP1 downregulation in human leukemia cells.

Cancer Lett 2018 09 15;432:191-204. Epub 2018 Jun 15.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

The present study aimed to investigate the pathway related to MCL1 expression in ABT-263-treated human leukemia U937 cells. ABT-263 upregulated MCL1 protein expression but did not affect its mRNA level and protein stability. Notably, ABT-263 increased 4EBP1 mRNA decay and thus reduced 4EBP1 expression. Overexpression of 4EBP1 abrogated ABT-263-induced MCL1 upregulation. ABT-263-induced activation of IKKα/β-NFκB axis elicited autophagy of U937 cells, leading to reduced mRNA stability of 4EBP1. Inhibition of the IKKα/β-NFκB axis or autophagy mitigated the effect of ABT-263 on 4EBP1 and MCL1 expression. Amsacrine enhanced the cytotoxicity of ABT-263 in human leukemia U937, HL-60, and Jurkat cells because of its inhibitory effect on the IKKα/β-NFκB-mediated pathway. Our data indicate that ABT-263 alleviates the inhibitory effect of 4EBP1 on MCL1 protein synthesis through IKKα/β-NFκB-mediated induction of autophagy, and suggest a promising strategy to improve anti-leukemia therapy with ABT-263.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2018.06.019DOI Listing
September 2018

A Turn-on Fluorescence Sensor for Heparin Detection Based on a Release of Taiwan Cobra Cardiotoxin from a DNA Aptamer or Adenosine-Based Molecular Beacon.

Molecules 2018 Feb 19;23(2). Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.

This study presents two sensitive fluorescent assays for sensing heparin on the basis of the electrostatic interaction between heparin and cardiotoxin 3 (CTX3). Owing to CTX3-induced folded structure of an adenosine-based molecular beacon (MB) or a DNA aptamer against CTX3, a reduction in the fluorescent signal of the aptamer or MB 5'-end labeled with carboxyfluorescein (FAM) and 3'-end labeled with 4-([4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]azo)-benzoic acid (DABCYL) was observed upon the addition of CTX3. The presence of heparin and formation of the CTX3-heparin complex caused CTX3 detachment from the MB or aptamer, and restoration of FAM fluorescence of the 5'-FAM-and-3'-DABCYL-labeled MB and aptamer was subsequently noted. Moreover, the detection of heparin with these CTX3-aptamer and CTX3-MB sensors showed high sensitivity and selectivity toward heparin over chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid regardless of the presence of plasma. The limit of detection for heparin in plasma was determined to be 16 ng/mL and 15 ng/mL, respectively, at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3. This study validates the practical utility of the CTX3-aptamer and CTX3-MB systems for determining the concentration of heparin in a biological matrix.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6017339PMC
February 2018

Alleviation of palmitic acid-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress by augmenter of liver regeneration through IP3R-controlled Ca release.

J Cell Physiol 2018 08 6;233(8):6148-6157. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Department of Cell Biology and Municipal Laboratory for Liver Protection and Regulation of Regeneration, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

The aberrant release of Ca from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contributes to the onset of ER stress, which is closely related to the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. We previously reported that augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR) alleviates ER stress and protects hepatocytes from lipotoxicity. However, the link between ALR protection and the suppression of ER stress remains unclear. In this study, we investigated whether the protection against liver steatosis afforded by ALR is related to its inhibition of calcium overflow from the ER to the mitochondria. The treatment of HepG2 cells with palmitic acid (PA) upregulated IP3R expression, triggering ER-luminal Ca release and inducing ER stress. However, in ALR-transfected (ALR-Tx) HepG2 cells, PA-induced cell injury was clearly alleviated compared with that in vector-Tx cells. After exposure to PA, IP3R expression was downregulated and ER stress was effectively inhibited in the ALR-Tx cells, and ER-Ca release and simultaneous mitochondrial Ca uptake were lower than those in vector-Tx cells. The knockdown of ALR expression with shRNA abolished the protective effects afforded by ALR transfection. PA treatment also suppressed the interaction between BCL-2 and IP3R in HepG2 cells, whereas this interaction was massively enhanced in the ALR-Tx cells, effectively reducing the IP3R-mediated ER-Ca release and thus mitochondrial Ca influx. Our results suggest that the inhibition of ER stress by ALR is related to the interruption of the interaction between BCL2 and IP3R, demonstrating a novel mechanism of ER stress resistance in ALR-Tx cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.26463DOI Listing
August 2018

Membrane-damaging activities of mannosylated ovalbumin are involved in its antibacterial action.

Arch Biochem Biophys 2018 02 19;639:1-8. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Mannosylated ovalbumin (Man-OVA) prepared by modification of carboxyl groups with p-aminophenyl α-d-mannopyranoside shows an increase of net positive charge, which may enhance its binding to bacterial membrane. Thus, we aimed to investigate whether Man-OVA exerts antibacterial activity on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus via membrane-perturbing effect. Man-OVA inhibited the growth of E. coli and S. aureus, whereas ovalbumin (OVA) did not show any antibacterial activity. Moreover, Man-OVA induced an increase in the membrane permeability of E. coli and S. aureus, which was positively correlated to its bactericidal action. Morphological examination using scanning electron microscopy revealed that Man-OVA disrupted the bacterial membrane integrity. Destabilization of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) layer and inhibition of lipoteichoic acid (LTA) biosynthesis in the cell wall increased the bactericidal effect of Man-OVA. In contrast to OVA, Man-OVA also induced leakage of bacterial membrane-mimicking liposomes. Color transformation of phospholipid/polydiacetylene membrane assay revealed that the membrane-interaction mode of Man-OVA was distinct from that of OVA. LPS and LTA suppressed the membrane-damaging activity of Man-OVA, whereas an increase in the Man-OVA concentration attenuated the inhibitory action of LPS and LTA. Taken together, our data indicate that the bactericidal activity of Man-OVA depends strongly on its ability to induce membrane permeability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2017.12.006DOI Listing
February 2018

Quinacrine induces the apoptosis of human leukemia U937 cells through FOXP3/miR-183/β-TrCP/SP1 axis-mediated BAX upregulation.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2017 11 1;334:35-46. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan; Department of Biotechnology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Quinacrine, which is clinically used as an antimalarial drug, has anti-cancer activity. However, mechanism underlying its cytotoxic effect remains to be completely elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the cytotoxic effect of quinacrine on human leukemia U937 cells. Quinacrine-induced apoptosis of U937 cells was accompanied with ROS generation, mitochondrial depolarization, and BAX upregulation. Quinacrine-treated U937 cells showed ROS-mediated p38 MAPK activation and ERK inactivation, which in turn upregulated FOXP3 transcription. FOXP3-mediated miR-183 expression decreased β-TrCP mRNA stability and suppressed β-TrCP-mediated SP1 degradation, thus increasing SP1 expression in U937 cells. Upregulated SP1 expression further increased BAX expression. BAX knock-down attenuated quinacrine-induced mitochondrial depolarization and increased the viability of quinacrine-treated cells. Together, our data indicate that quinacrine-induced apoptosis of U937 cells is mediated by mitochondrial alterations triggered by FOXP3/miR-183/β-TrCP/SP1 axis-mediated BAX upregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2017.08.019DOI Listing
November 2017

Ovalbumin with Glycated Carboxyl Groups Shows Membrane-Damaging Activity.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Feb 28;18(3). Epub 2017 Feb 28.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether glycated ovalbumin (OVA) showed novel activity at the lipid-water interface. Mannosylated OVA (Man-OVA) was prepared by modification of the carboxyl groups with -aminophenyl α-dextro (d)-mannopyranoside. An increase in the number of modified carboxyl groups increased the membrane-damaging activity of Man-OVA on cell membrane-mimicking vesicles, whereas OVA did not induce membrane permeability in the tested phospholipid vesicles. The glycation of carboxyl groups caused a notable change in the gross conformation of OVA. Moreover, owing to their spatial positions, the Trp residues in Man-OVA were more exposed, unlike those in OVA. Fluorescence quenching studies suggested that the Trp residues in Man-OVA were located on the interface binds with the lipid vesicles, and their microenvironment was abundant in positively charged residues. Although OVA and Man-OVA showed a similar binding affinity for lipid vesicles, the lipid-interacting feature of Man-OVA was distinct from that of OVA. Chemical modification studies revealed that Lys and Arg residues, but not Trp residues, played a crucial role in the membrane-damaging activity of Man-OVA. Taken together, our data suggest that glycation of carboxyl groups causes changes in the structural properties and membrane-interacting features of OVA, generating OVA with membrane-perturbing activities at the lipid-water interface.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18030520DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372536PMC
February 2017

Detection of Naja atra Cardiotoxin Using Adenosine-Based Molecular Beacon.

Toxins (Basel) 2017 01 7;9(1). Epub 2017 Jan 7.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan.

This study presents an adenosine (A)-based molecular beacon (MB) for selective detection of cardiotoxin (CTX) that functions by utilizing the competitive binding between CTX and the poly(A) stem of MB to coralyne. The 5'- and 3'-end of MB were labeled with a reporter fluorophore and a non-fluorescent quencher, respectively. Coralyne induced formation of the stem-loop MB structure through A₂-coralyne-A₂ coordination, causing fluorescence signal turn-off due to fluorescence resonance energy transfer between the fluorophore and quencher. CTX3 could bind to coralyne. Moreover, CTX3 alone induced the folding of MB structure and quenching of MB fluorescence. Unlike that of snake venom α-neurotoxins, the fluorescence signal of coralyne-MB complexes produced a bell-shaped concentration-dependent curve in the presence of CTX3 and CTX isotoxins; a turn-on fluorescence signal was noted when CTX concentration was ≤80 nM, while a turn-off fluorescence signal was noted with a further increase in toxin concentrations. The fluorescence signal of coralyne-MB complexes yielded a bell-shaped curve in response to varying concentrations of crude venom but not those of and venoms. Moreover, venom also functioned as venom to yield a bell-shaped concentration-dependent curve of MB fluorescence signal, again supporting that the hairpin-shaped MB could detect crude venoms containing CTXs. Taken together, our data validate that a platform composed of coralyne-induced stem-loop MB structure selectively detects CTXs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins9010024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308256PMC
January 2017

Correlation between brain natriuretic peptide levels and the prognosis of patients with left ventricular diastolic dysfunction.

Exp Ther Med 2016 Jun 30;11(6):2583-2589. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Huashan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, P.R. China.

The present study aimed to investigate the association between brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels and the prognosis of patients with left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction. A total of 708 inpatients with cardiovascular disease (mean age, 66 years; 395 males and 313 females) were grouped according to initial BNP and were followed-up for 20-51 months (average, 30.86 months) until endpoint events occurred. Endpoints were defined as mortality or readmission due to cardiovascular disease, or mortality due to any other reason. A total of 67 and 77 events were reported in the BNP ≤80 pg/ml and BNP >80 pg/ml groups, respectively. The occurrence rate of the endpoint was significantly higher in the BNP >80 pg/ml group, as compared with the BNP ≤80 pg/ml group (26.28 vs. 16.14%; relative risk=1.63). Furthermore, the durations of patient survival were significantly shorter in the BNP >80 pg/ml group, as compared with the BNP ≤80 pg/ml group (P=0.0006), and patient survival decreased as BNP levels rose (P=0.0074). Among the 708 patients, 677 underwent echocardiographic detection at the same time. No significant correlation was detected between BNP levels and survival time in 178 patients with normal LV diastolic function [mitral Doppler flow, early diastolic (E)/late diastolic (A)>1] (P=0.2165); whereas a negative correlation was determined in 499 patients with LVD dysfunction (E/A≤1) (Spearman's rho=-0.0899; P=0.0447). The prognoses of patients with elevated BNP levels were correspondingly worse in the present study and these correlations were demonstrated to be significant in patients with LV diastolic dysfunction. Therefore, BNP levels may be used to predict the prognosis of patients with cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/etm.2016.3203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4888041PMC
June 2016

Variations in Glycogen Synthesis in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells with Altered Pluripotent States.

PLoS One 2015 13;10(11):e0142554. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Laboratory of Cellular Imaging and Macromolecular Biophysics, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 20892, United States of America.

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) represent very promising resources for cell-based regenerative medicine. It is essential to determine the biological implications of some fundamental physiological processes (such as glycogen metabolism) in these stem cells. In this report, we employ electron, immunofluorescence microscopy, and biochemical methods to study glycogen synthesis in hPSCs. Our results indicate that there is a high level of glycogen synthesis (0.28 to 0.62 μg/μg proteins) in undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) compared with the glycogen levels (0 to 0.25 μg/μg proteins) reported in human cancer cell lines. Moreover, we found that glycogen synthesis was regulated by bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP-4) and the glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) pathway. Our observation of glycogen bodies and sustained expression of the pluripotent factor Oct-4 mediated by the potent GSK-3 inhibitor CHIR-99021 reveals an altered pluripotent state in hPSC culture. We further confirmed glycogen variations under different naïve pluripotent cell growth conditions based on the addition of the GSK-3 inhibitor BIO. Our data suggest that primed hPSCs treated with naïve growth conditions acquire altered pluripotent states, similar to those naïve-like hPSCs, with increased glycogen synthesis. Furthermore, we found that suppression of phosphorylated glycogen synthase was an underlying mechanism responsible for altered glycogen synthesis. Thus, our novel findings regarding the dynamic changes in glycogen metabolism provide new markers to assess the energetic and various pluripotent states in hPSCs. The components of glycogen metabolic pathways offer new assays to delineate previously unrecognized properties of hPSCs under different growth conditions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0142554PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4643957PMC
July 2016

RANK rs1805034 T>C Polymorphism Is Associated with Susceptibility to Gastric Cardia Adenocarcinoma in a Chinese Population.

Oncol Res Treat 2015 27;38(10):503-10. Epub 2015 Sep 27.

Department of General Surgery, Affiliated People's Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China.

Background: Gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA) is a common malignant tumor of the digestive tract with a high incidence in China. Genetic factors such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may contribute to the carcinogenesis of GCA.

Methods: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study to evaluate the genetic association of functional SNPs with susceptibility to GCA development. A total of 330 GCA cases and 608 controls were recruited for this study. The SNPs OPG rs3102735 T>C and rs2073618 G>C, RANK rs1805034 T>C, and RANKL rs9533156 T>C and rs2277438 A>G were determined using the ligation detection reaction method.

Results: Our findings suggest that RANK rs1805034 T>C is associated with susceptibility to GCA, which is more evident among male patients, elderly patients (≥ 60 years), smokers, and patients who do not consume alcohol.

Conclusion: Based on our findings, the functional SNP RANK rs1805034 T>C may be an indicator for individual susceptibility to GCA. However, further larger studies with other ethnic populations and tissue-specific biological characterization are required to confirm the current findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000440855DOI Listing
July 2016

B-cell Lymphoma 2 rs17757541 C>G polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of gastric cardiac adenocarcinoma in a Chinese population.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013 ;14(7):4301-6

Department of Plastic Surgery, Wuhan Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Aim: Apoptosis has been considered as a fundamental component in cancer pathogenesis, and related genetic factors might play an important role in gastric cardiac adenocarcinoma (GCA) genesis.

Methods: We conducted a hospital based case-control study to evaluate the genetic effects of functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): BCL2 rs17757541 C>G, BCL2 rs12454712 T>C, FAS rs2234767 G>A, FASL/FASLG rs763110 C>T, ERBB2 rs1136201 A>G and VEGFR2/KDR rs11941492 C>T on the development of GCA. A total of 243 GCA cases and 476 controls were recruited for the study and genotypes were determined using a custom-by-design 48-Plex SNPscanTM Kit.

Results: The BCL2 rs17757541 C>G polymorphism was associated with increased risk of GCA. However, there was no significant associations with the other five SNPs. Stratified analyses indicated a significantly increased risk of GCA associated with the BCL2 rs17757541 C>G polymorphism among males, older patients and those with a history of smoking or drinking.

Conclusion: These findings indicated that the functional polymorphism BCL2 rs17757541 C>G might contribute to GCA susceptibility. However, our results were limited by small sample size. Future larger studies are required to confirm our current findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.7.4301DOI Listing
March 2014