Publications by authors named "Zhiying Huang"

55 Publications

The anti-fibrotic drug pirfenidone inhibits liver fibrosis by targeting the small oxidoreductase glutaredoxin-1.

Sci Adv 2021 Sep 1;7(36):eabg9241. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abg9241DOI Listing
September 2021

Spatiotemporal pattern and coordination relationship between urban residential land price and land use intensity in 31 provinces and cities in China.

PLoS One 2021 20;16(7):e0254846. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China.

The trend towards efficient and intensive use of land resources is an inevitable outcome of current social development. The rational matching of urban land prices and land use intensity has become an important factor under accelerating urbanization, and promotes the healthy development of the social economy. Using data on residential land price and on land use intensity for 31 provinces and cities in China, we employ the E-G cointegration test and quadrant map classification to determine the coordination relationship between land price and land use intensity. We then employ HR coordination to calculate the coordination degree of land price and land use intensity, and classify the coordination type accordingly. Our results are as follows. (1) The spatio-temporal distribution of urban land price shows high variability with multiple maxima, and follows a decreasing trend from the southeast coastal area to the northwest inland area and the northeast. (2) The overall land use intensity is at or above the middle level, and shows large spatial differences between provinces, but the agglomeration between provinces is increasing. (3) From the perspective of the relationship between urban land price and land use intensity at the inter-provincial scale, we find that the land price and land use intensity are well coordinated, and the number of provinces has been dynamically changing during different development periods. There is an east-west difference in the spatial distribution of land price and land use intensity coordination level. Different provinces and cities with the same coordination stage show differences in their land price and land use intensity level.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0254846PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8291691PMC
July 2021

The novel FAT4 activator jujuboside A suppresses NSCLC tumorigenesis by activating HIPPO signaling and inhibiting YAP nuclear translocation.

Pharmacol Res 2021 Aug 9;170:105723. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Joint Laboratory for Translational Cancer Research of Chinese Medicine of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, International Institute for Translational Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, PR China; State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine/ Macau Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau (SAR), PR China. Electronic address:

FAT atypical cadherin 4 (FAT4) has been identified as a tumor suppressor in lung cancers. However, no agent for lung cancer treatment targeting FAT4 has been used in the clinic. Jujuboside A (JUA) is a major active compound in Semen Ziziphi Spinosae. Semen Ziziphi Spinosae is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used clinically for tumor treatment to improve patients' quality of life. However, the anti-lung cancer activity and the underlying mechanisms of JUA are not yet fully understood. Here, we demonstrated the anti-lung cancer activity of JUA in two lung cancer mice models and three non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, and further illustrated its underlying mechanisms. JUA suppressed the occurrence and development of lung cancer and extended mice survival in vivo, and suppressed NSCLC cell activities through cell cycle arrest, proliferation suppression, stemness inhibition and senescence promotion. Moreover, JUA directly bound with and activated FAT4, subsequently activating FAT4-HIPPO signaling and inhibiting YAP nuclear translocation. Knockdown of FAT4 diminished JUA's effects on HIPPO signaling, YAP nuclear translocation, cell proliferation and cellular senescence. In conclusion, JUA significantly suppressed NSCLC tumorigenesis by regulating FAT4-HIPPO-YAP signaling. Our findings suggest that JUA is a novel FAT4 activator that can be developed as a promising NSCLC therapeutic agent targeting the FAT4-HIPPO-YAP pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105723DOI Listing
August 2021

Triptolide impairs glycolysis by suppressing GATA4/Sp1/PFKP signaling axis in mouse Sertoli cells.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2021 08 1;425:115606. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP), a primary bioactive ingredient isolated from the traditional Chinese herbal medicine Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. F. (TWHF), has attracted great interest for its therapeutic biological activities in inflammation and autoimmune disease. However, its clinical use is limited by severe testicular toxicity, and the underlying mechanism has not been elucidated. Our preliminary evidence demonstrated that TP disrupted glucose metabolism and caused testicular toxicity. During spermatogenesis, Sertoli cells (SCs) provide lactate as an energy source to germ cells by glycolysis. The transcription factors GATA-binding protein 4 (GATA4) and specificity protein 1 (Sp1) can regulate glycolysis. Based on this evidence, we speculate that TP causes abnormal glycolysis in SCs by influencing the expression of the transcription factors GATA4 and Sp1. The mechanism of TP-induced testicular toxicity was investigated in vitro and in vivo. The data indicated that TP decreased glucose consumption, lactate production, and the mRNA levels of glycolysis-related transporters and enzymes. TP also downregulated the protein expression of the transcription factors GATA4 and Sp1, as well as the glycolytic enzyme phosphofructokinase platelet (PFKP). Phosphorylated GATA4 and nuclear GATA4 protein levels were reduced in a dose- and time-dependent manner after TP incubation. Similar effects were observed in shGata4-treated TM4 cells and BALB/c mice administered 0.4 mg/kg TP for 28 days, and glycolysis was also inhibited. Gata4 knockdown downregulated Sp1 and PFKP expression. Furthermore, the Sp1 inhibitor plicamycin inhibited PFKP protein levels in TM4 cells. In conclusion, TP inhibited GATA4-mediated glycolysis by suppressing Sp1-dependent PFKP expression in SCs and caused testicular toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2021.115606DOI Listing
August 2021

Intestinal Sulfation Is Essential to Protect Against Colitis and Colonic Carcinogenesis.

Gastroenterology 2021 Jul 2;161(1):271-286.e11. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Sulfation is a conjugation reaction essential for numerous biochemical and cellular functions in mammals. The 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS) synthase 2 (PAPSS2) is the key enzyme to generate PAPS, which is the universal sulfonate donor for all sulfation reactions. The goal of this study was to determine whether and how PAPSS2 plays a role in colitis and colonic carcinogenesis.

Methods: Tissue arrays of human colon cancer specimens, gene expression data, and clinical features of cancer patients were analyzed. Intestinal-specific Papss2 knockout mice (Papss2) were created and subjected to dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis and colonic carcinogenesis induced by a combined treatment of azoxymethane and dextran sodium sulfate or azoxymethane alone.

Results: The expression of PAPSS2 is decreased in the colon cancers of mice and humans. The lower expression of PAPSS2 in colon cancer patients is correlated with worse survival. Papss2 mice showed heightened sensitivity to colitis and colon cancer by damaging the intestinal mucosal barrier, increasing intestinal permeability and bacteria infiltration, and worsening the intestinal tumor microenvironment. Mechanistically, the Papss2 mice exhibited reduced intestinal sulfomucin content. Metabolomic analyses revealed the accumulation of bile acids, including the Farnesoid X receptor antagonist bile acid tauro-β-muricholic acid, and deficiency in the formation of bile acid sulfates in the colon of Papss2 mice.

Conclusions: We have uncovered an important role of PAPSS2-mediated sulfation in colitis and colonic carcinogenesis. Intestinal sulfation may represent a potential diagnostic marker and PAPSS2 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.03.048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238844PMC
July 2021

Transition metals and metal complexes in autophagy and diseases.

J Cell Physiol 2021 Oct 10;236(10):7144-7158. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Chiral Molecule and Drug Discovery, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Transition metals refer to the elements in the d and ds blocks of the periodic table. Since the success of cisplatin and auranofin, transition metal-based compounds have become a prospective source for drug development, particularly in cancer treatment. In recent years, extensive studies have shown that numerous transition metal-based compounds could modulate autophagy, promising a new therapeutic strategy for metal-related diseases and the design of metal-based agents. Copper, zinc, and manganese, which are common components in physiological pathways, play important roles in the progression of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, enrichment of copper, zinc, or manganese can regulate autophagy. Thus, we summarized the current advances in elucidating the mechanisms of some metals/metal-based compounds and their functions in autophagy regulation, which is conducive to explore the intricate roles of autophagy and exploit novel therapeutic drugs for human diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.30359DOI Listing
October 2021

Arginine Deiminase Induces Immunogenic Cell Death and Is Enhanced by -acetylcysteine in Murine MC38 Colorectal Cancer Cells and MDA-MB-231 Human Breast Cancer Cells In Vitro.

Molecules 2021 Jan 19;26(2). Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry, China State Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry, Shanghai 201203, China.

The use of arginine deiminase (ADI) for arginine depletion therapy is an attractive anticancer approach. Combination strategies are needed to overcome the resistance of severe types of cancer cells to this monotherapy. In the current study, we report, for the first time, that the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which has been used in therapeutic practices for several decades, is a potent enhancer for targeted therapy that utilizes arginine deiminase. We demonstrated that pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG 20) induces apoptosis and G0/G1 phase arrest in murine MC38 colorectal cancer cells; ADI-PEG 20 induces Ca overload and decreases the mitochondrial membrane potential in MC38 cells. ADI-PEG 20 induced the most important immunogenic cell death (ICD)-associated feature: cell surface exposure of calreticulin (CRT). The antioxidant NAC enhanced the antitumor activity of ADI-PEG 20 and strengthened its ICD-associated features including the secretion of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In addition, these regimens resulted in phagocytosis of treated MC38 cancer cells by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). In conclusion, we describe, for the first time, that NAC in combination with ADI-PEG 20 not only possesses unique cytotoxic anticancer properties but also triggers the hallmarks of immunogenic cell death. Hence, ADI-PEG 20 in combination with NAC may represent a promising approach to treat ADI-sensitive tumors while preventing relapse and metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26020511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835909PMC
January 2021

New Anti-Cancer Strategy to Suppress Colorectal Cancer Growth Through Inhibition of ATG4B and Lysosome Function.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Jun 10;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 10.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

Autophagy inhibition has been proposed to be a potential therapeutic strategy for cancer, however, few autophagy inhibitors have been developed. Recent studies have indicated that lysosome and autophagy related 4B cysteine peptidase (ATG4B) are two promising targets in autophagy for cancer therapy. Although some inhibitors of either lysosome or ATG4B were reported, there are limitations in the use of these single target compounds. Considering multi-functional drugs have advantages, such as high efficacy and low toxicity, we first screened and validated a batch of compounds designed and synthesized in our laboratory by combining the screening method of ATG4B inhibitors and the identification method of lysosome inhibitors. ATG4B activity was effectively inhibited in vitro. Moreover, 163N inhibited autophagic flux and caused the accumulation of autolysosomes. Further studies demonstrated that 163N could not affect the autophagosome-lysosome fusion but could cause lysosome dysfunction. In addition, 163N diminished tumor cell viability and impaired the development of colorectal cancer in vivo. The current study findings indicate that the dual effect inhibitor 163N offers an attractive new anti-cancer drug and compounds having a combination of lysosome inhibition and ATG4B inhibition are a promising therapeutic strategy for colorectal cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352571PMC
June 2020

Linking Obesity with Colorectal Cancer: Epidemiology and Mechanistic Insights.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 May 29;12(6). Epub 2020 May 29.

Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.

The incidence of obesity and colorectal cancer (CRC) has risen rapidly in recent decades. More than 650 million obese and 2 billion overweight individuals are currently living in the world. CRC is the third most common cancer. Obesity is regarded as one of the key environmental risk factors for the pathogenesis of CRC. In the present review, we mainly focus on the epidemiology of obesity and CRC in the world, the United States, and China. We also summarize the molecular mechanisms linking obesity to CRC in different aspects, including nutriology, adipokines and hormones, inflammation, gut microbiota, and bile acids. The unmet medical needs for obesity-related CRC are still remarkable. Understanding the molecular basis of these associations will help develop novel therapeutic targets and approaches for the treatment of obesity-related CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12061408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352519PMC
May 2020

PPAR-Mediated Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

Cells 2020 02 3;9(2). Epub 2020 Feb 3.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), members of the nuclear hormone receptor family, attract wide attention as promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of multiple diseases, and their target selective ligands were also intensively developed for pharmacological agents such as the approved drugs fibrates and thiazolidinediones (TZDs). Despite their potent pharmacological activities, PPARs are reported to be involved in agent- and pollutant-induced multiple organ toxicity or protective effects against toxicity. A better understanding of the protective and the detrimental role of PPARs will help to preserve efficacy of the PPAR modulators but diminish adverse effects. The present review summarizes and critiques current findings related to PPAR-mediated types of toxicity and protective effects against toxicity for a systematic understanding of PPARs in toxicology and applied pharmacology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9020352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072218PMC
February 2020

Triptolide dysregulates glucose uptake via inhibition of IKKβ-NF-κB pathway by p53 activation in cardiomyocytes.

Toxicol Lett 2020 Jan 13;318:1-11. Epub 2019 Oct 13.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP), a principal bioactive component extracted from traditional Chinese medicine Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. F. (TWHF), has attracted wide attention of its therapeutic effects on inflammation and autoimmune diseases. However, the therapeutic application of TP is hindered by severe cardiomyocyte toxicity and narrow therapeutic window. We previously identified that the p53 was an indispensable contributor in TP-induced myocardial injury. p53 has an inhibitory effect on IKKβ-NF-κB pathway that regulates glucose transporters (GLUT) expression. Based on these evidences, we speculate that p53 mediates TP-disturbed glucose uptake by blocking IKKβ-NF-κB signaling. This study focused on the effect of TP on cardiac glucose uptake and the role of p53 in glucose metabolism in cardiomyocytes, and p53 mice. TP treatment depressed glucose consumption and ATP production resulting in myocardial damage. Incubation with ATP (5 mM) remarkably decreased the cellular damage. Immunoblotting and immunofluorescence identified that TP suppressed glucose uptake by restricting IKKβ-NF-κB signaling activation, GLUT1 and GLUT4 expression. p53 inhibition alleviated the cell damage and the compromise of glucose uptake. Mechanistically, p53 antagonist PFTα abolished TP-induced the inhibition of IKKβ, IκBα phosphorylation, p65 nuclear translocation, and GLUT1, GLUT4 expression. Consistently, in acute heart injury models, p53 deficiency upregulated IKKβ-NF-κB activation and GLUT1, GLUT4 protein levels which was also indicated as amelioration of heart histological injury after 1.2 mg kg TP administration. The present findings indicate that TP-induced p53 overactivation suppresses glucose uptake by inhibiting IKKβ-NF-κB pathway and downregulating NF-κB-dependent GLUT1 and GLUT4 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2019.10.001DOI Listing
January 2020

Targeting ATG4 in Cancer Therapy.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 May 10;11(5). Epub 2019 May 10.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Design and Evaluation, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, China.

Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated degradation pathway that enables the degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic components to sustain metabolic homoeostasis. Recently, autophagy has been reported to have an astonishing number of connections to cancer, as tumor cells require proficient autophagy in response to metabolic and therapeutic stresses to sustain cell proliferation. Autophagy-related gene 4 (ATG4) is essential for autophagy by affecting autophagosome formation through processing full-length microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (pro-LC3) and lipidated LC3. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that ATG4B expression is elevated in certain types of cancer, implying that ATG4B is a potential anticancer target. In this review, we address the central roles of ATG4B in the autophagy machinery and in targeted cancer therapy. Specifically, we discuss how pharmacologically inhibiting ATG4B can benefit cancer therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11050649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562779PMC
May 2019

Triptolide induces oxidative damage in NRK-52E cells through facilitating Nrf2 degradation by ubiquitination via the GSK-3β/Fyn pathway.

Toxicol In Vitro 2019 Aug 26;58:187-194. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP) isolated from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. (TWHF) shows extensive anti-inflammation, immunosuppression and anti-tumor properties. However, its therapeutic potential is limited by its severe side effects, especially the nephrotoxicity. This study intended to explore the role of the GSK-3β/Fyn pathway in TP-induced oxidative damage and the potential mechanism of Nrf2 protein downregulation. Our data showed that TP induced oxidative stress and cell damage in the rat renal tubular epithelial cell line NRK-52E cells by activation of GSK-3β and nuclear translocation of Fyn, which resulted in decreased Nrf2 nuclear translocation. Moreover, TP significantly induced Nrf2 degradation by ubiquitination, which was blocked by the proteasome inhibitor MG132. In addition, cotreatment with a typical GSK-3β inhibitor, lithium chloride, promoted the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and decreased the nuclear translocation of Fyn, which led to reduced cell damage, LDH leakage, glutathione depletion and cell apoptosis. Collectively, our results indicated that TP induced oxidative damage in NRK-52E cells by facilitating Nrf2 degradation by ubiquitination via the GSK-3β/Fyn pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2019.03.032DOI Listing
August 2019

Elevated lipoprotein (a) levels are associated with the acute myocardial infarction in patients with normal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Biosci Rep 2019 04 5;39(4). Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Department of Cardiology, Wujin Hospital affiliated with Jiangsu University, Changzhou, Jiangsu 213016, China.

Elevated lipoprotein (a) [Lp(a)] and coronary artery disease (CAD) risk has been renewed interested in recent years. However, the association between Lp(a) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) risk in patients with normal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels has yet to been established. A hospital-based observational study including 558 AMI patients and 1959 controls was conducted. Lp(a) level was significantly higher in AMI patients with normal LDL-C levels than that in non-CAD group (median: 134.5 mg/l 108 mg/l, <0.001). According to Lp(a) quartiles (Q1, <51 mg/l; Q2, 51-108 mg/l; Q3, 108-215 mg/l; Q4, ≥215 mg/l), the incidence of AMI increased with the elevated Lp(a) quartiles (<0.001 and for trend<0.001). Logistic regression analysis suggested that patients with Q3 and Q4 of Lp(a) values had 1.666 (95%CI = 1.230-2.257, <0.001) and 1.769 (95%CI = 1.305-2.398, < 0.001) folds of AMI risk compared with patients with Q1, after adjusting for traditional confounders. Subgroup analyses stratified by gender and age showed that the association only existed in male and late-onset subgroups. In addition, we analyzed the association of Lp(a) with AMI risk in different cut-off values (cut-off 1 = 170 mg/l, cut-off 2 = 300 mg/l). A total of 873 (34.68%) and 432 (17.16%) participants were measured to have higher Lp(a) levels according to cut-off 1 and cut-off 2, respectively. Participants with high Lp(a) levels had 1.418- (cut-off1, 95%CI = 1.150-1.748, <0.001) and 1.521- (cut-off 2, 95%CI = 1.179-1.963, < 0.001) folds of AMI risk compared with patients with low Lp(a) levels. The present large-scale study revealed that elevated Lp(a) levels were associated with increased AMI risk in Chinese population with normal LDL-C levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BSR20182096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6449519PMC
April 2019

A preliminary study showing no association between methylation levels of C3 gene promoter and the risk of CAD.

Lipids Health Dis 2019 Jan 5;18(1). Epub 2019 Jan 5.

Department of Cardiology, Wujin Hospital affiliated with Jiangsu University, Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, 213017, China.

Objective: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a multi-factor disease. Complement component 3 (C3) plays an important role in the development of CAD. The present study investigated the association between DNA methylation status of C3 gene promoter and the risk of CAD.

Methods: One hundred CAD patients and 1 hundred age-and gender- matched controls were recruited in current study. Methylation levels in CpG island in C3 promoter were determined by the method of bisulfite amplicon sequencing.

Results: Methylation levels of four CpG sites in C3 promoter were measured. There were no significant difference in methylation level of each CpG site between CAD patients and controls. Average methylation rate was also calculated. No significant difference in average methylation rate was observed between CAD and control groups. Stratified analyses based on EH, DM and smoking status were carried out, no significant association between C3 promoter methylation levels and the susceptibility of CAD was observed. Furthermore, seven haplotypes were established and no significant difference in haplotypes was observed between CAD and control groups. However, our study showed that C3 DNA methylation levels were positively associated with LDL-C levels.

Conclusion: The present study showed no association between methylation levels of C3 promoter and the risk of CAD. However, the methylation levels might be related to LDL-C levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0949-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6320636PMC
January 2019

Gender specific effect of CETP rs708272 polymorphism on lipid and atherogenic index of plasma levels but not on the risk of coronary artery disease: A case-control study.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2018 Dec;97(49):e13514

Department of Pediatrics, No. 2 Hospital of Changzhou, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China.

Numerous studies have shown a relationship between cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) polymorphism in the synthesis of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and the coronary artery disease (CAD) susceptibility, but the results have remained inconsistent. In addition, there was no study exploring the relationship between CETP polymorphisms and atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) levels.We conducted a case-control study to evaluate the relationship between CETP rs708272 polymorphism and CAD risk and lipid levels in Chinese Han population. 556 CAD patients and 414 controls undergoing coronary angiography were consecutively enrolled in the hospital-based study. Polymerase chain reaction-ligase detection reaction (PCR-LDR) method was used to detect the different genotypes at rs708272.No significant association between CETP rs708272 polymorphism and CAD risk was observed in different genetic models. In the whole population, participants with TT genotype had higher HDL-C levels (1.17 ± 0.31 mmol/L vs 1.09 ± 0.29 mmol/L, P = .001) and lower AIP levels (0.08 ± 0.35 vs 0.16 ± 0.31, P = .004) compared to those with CC genotype, after adjusting for age, gender, smoking, essential hypertension (EH), and DM. The T allele carriers had higher HDL-C levels than the T allele non-carriers (1.13 ± 0.29 mmol/L vs 1.09 ± 0.29 mmol/L, P = .023). Furthermore, subgroup analyses based on gender were carried out. In males, the results showed that participants with TT genotype had significant higher HDL-C levels and lower AIP levels compared with CC genotype (P <.05). In addition, males with CT+TT genotypes had higher HDL-C levels and lower AIP levels than those with CC genotypes (HDL-C: CT+TT 1.11 ± 0.31vs CC 1.06 ± 0.30 mmol/L, P = .041; AIP: CT+TT 0.12 ± 0.32vs CC 0.16 ± 0.31, P = .034, respectively). However, there were no significant associations between lipid levels and CETP rs708272 polymorphism in females, after adjusting for confounders.CETP rs708272 polymorphism has a gender-specific effect on lipid and AIP levels but not on the risk of CAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000013514DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6310534PMC
December 2018

Triptolide impairs thioredoxin system by suppressing Notch1-mediated PTEN/Akt/Txnip signaling in hepatocytes.

Toxicol Lett 2019 Jan 28;300:105-115. Epub 2018 Oct 28.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP) is the main ingredient of Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f. (TWHF). Despite of its multifunction in pharmaceutics, accumulating evidences showed that TP caused obvious hepatotoxicity in clinic. The current study investigated the role of Notch1 signaling in TP-induced hepatotoxicity. Our data indicated that TP inhibited the protein expression of Notch1 and its active form Notch intracellular domain (NICD) leading to increased PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten) expression. Moreover, PTEN triggered Txnip (thioredoxin-interacting protein) activation by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation, which resulted in reduction of Trx (thioredoxin). In conclusion, TP caused liver injury through initiating oxidative stress in hepatocyte. This study indicated the potency of Notch1 to protect against TP-induced hepatotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2018.10.024DOI Listing
January 2019

Assessment of the Pig-a, micronucleus, and comet assay endpoints in rats treated by acute or repeated dosing protocols with procarbazine hydrochloride and ethyl carbamate.

Environ Mol Mutagen 2019 01 21;60(1):56-71. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Key Laboratory of Beijing for Safety Evaluation of Drugs, National Center for Safety Evaluation of Drugs, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

The utility and sensitivity of the newly developed flow cytometric Pig-a gene mutation assay have become a great concern recently. In this study, we have examined the feasibility of integrating the Pig-a assay as well as micronucleus and Comet endpoints into acute and subchronic general toxicology studies. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated for 3 or 28 consecutive days by oral gavage with procarbazine hydrochloride (PCZ) or ethyl carbamate (EC) up to the maximum tolerated dose. The induction of CD59-negative reticulocytes and erythrocytes, micronucleated reticulocytes in peripheral blood, micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes in bone marrow, and Comet responses in peripheral blood, liver, kidney, and lung were evaluated at one, two, or more timepoints. Both PCZ and EC produced positive responses at most analyzed timepoints in all tissue types, both with the 3-day and 28-day treatment regimens. Furthermore, comparison of the magnitude of the genotoxicity responses indicated that the micronucleus and Comet endpoints generally produced greater responses with the higher dose, short-term treatments in the 3-day study, while the Pig-a assay responded better to the cumulative effects of the lower dose, but repeated subchronic dosing in the 28-day study. Collectively, these results indicate that integration of several in vivo genotoxicity endpoints into a single routine toxicology study is feasible and that the Pig-a assay may be particularly suitable for integration into subchronic dose studies based on its ability to accumulate the mutations that result from repeated treatments. This characteristic may be especially important for assaying lower doses of relatively weak genotoxicants. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 60:56-71, 2019. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/em.22227DOI Listing
January 2019

Serum PCSK9 levels, but not PCSK9 polymorphisms, are associated with CAD risk and lipid profiles in southern Chinese Han population.

Lipids Health Dis 2018 Sep 11;17(1):213. Epub 2018 Sep 11.

Jiangsu University Health Science Center, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, 212001, China.

Background: Genetic and environment factors affect the occurrence and development of coronary artery disease (CAD). Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), has been investigated extensively in the field of lipid metabolism and CAD. We performed this case-control study to investigate the relationship between serum PCSK9 levels and PCSK9 polymorphisms and lipid levels and CAD risk in a southern Chinese population.

Methods: A hospital-based case-control study with 1, 096 subjects, including 626 CAD patients and 470 controls, were conducted. Genotyping of PCSK9 polymorphisms was performed using polymerase chain reaction-ligase detection reaction (PCR-LDR) method.

Results: The frequencies of the AA, AG and GG genotypes of PCSK9 E670G polymorphism were 90.58, 9.27, and 0.16% in the CAD patients, compared with 88.72, 10.85 and 0.43% in the controls, respectively. No R46L variant was detected in this population. There were no significant differences in genotype and allele frequencies of PCSK9E670G polymorphism between the CAD group and the controls. Serum lipid levels were not significantly different in carriers with the G allele and those with the AA genotype. The median (QR) of PCSK9 concentration was 1205.00 ng/l (577.28-1694.13 ng/l) in cases and 565.87 ng/l (357.17-967.50 ng/l) in controls, respectively. Compared with controls, CAD patients had significantly higher PCSK9 levels (z = 4.559, P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, gender, essential hypertension, diabetic mellitus, smoking and lipid profiles, PCSK9 levels remain significantly associated with increased CAD susceptibility (OR = 1.002, 95% CI = 1.001-1.002, P < 0.001). The correlation analyses showed that serum PCSK9 levels were positively associated with triglyceride (TG), Apo B and atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) levels in controls. No significant association between the PCSK9 E670G polymorphism and serum PCSK9 levels was observed in the CAD group and the controls.

Conclusions: The present study shows that serum PCSK9 levels, but not PCSK9 polymorphisms, are associated with CAD risk in Southern Chinese Han population, and that serum PCSK9 levels are positively associated with AIP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0859-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6134597PMC
September 2018

Discovery of a small molecule targeting autophagy via ATG4B inhibition and cell death of colorectal cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Autophagy 2019 02 20;15(2):295-311. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

a School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, National and Local United Engineering Lab of Druggability and New Drugs Evaluation, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Design and Evaluation , Sun Yat-Sen University , Guangzhou , Guangdong , China.

Human Atg4 homologs are cysteine proteases, which play key roles in the macroautophagy/autophagy process by cleaving Atg8 homologs for conjugation to lipid membranes and for deconjugation of Atg8 homologs from membranes. Expression of ATG4B is significantly increased in colorectal cancer cells compared to normal cells, suggesting that ATG4B may be important for cancer biology. Inhibition of ATG4B may reduce the autophagy activity, thereby sensitizing cancer cells to therapeutic agents. Thus, developing specific and potent ATG4B inhibitors for research as well as for potential therapeutic uses is highly needed. In this study, we integrated screening and assays to discover a potent ATG4B inhibitor, named S130, from a noncommercial library. This chemical binds to ATG4B with strong affinity and specifically suppresses the activity of ATG4B but not other proteases. S130 did not cause the impairment of autophagosome fusion, nor did it result in the dysfunction of lysosomes. Instead, S130 might attenuate the delipidation of LC3-II on the autolysosomes to suppress the recycling of LC3-I, which normally occurs after LC3-II cleavage by ATG4B. Intriguingly, S130 induced cell death, which was accompanied with autophagy stress and could be further exacerbated by nutrient deprivation. Such cytotoxicity could be partially reversed by enhancing ATG4B activity. Finally, we found that S130 was distributed in tumor tissues in vivo and was also effective in arresting the growth of colorectal cancer cells. Thus, this study indicates that ATG4B is a potential anticancer target and S130 might be a novel small-molecule candidate for future cancer therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2018.1517073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6333450PMC
February 2019

Triptolide induces p53-dependent cardiotoxicity through mitochondrial membrane permeabilization in cardiomyocytes.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2018 09 20;355:269-285. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP), a major active component of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f., is widely used in the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Its clinical application is limited by severe adverse effects, especially cardiotoxicity. Accumulative evidences indicate that TP induces DNA damage by inhibiting RNA polymerase. Considering the relationship among DNA damage, p53, and the role of p53 in mitochondria-dependent apoptosis, we speculate that TP-induced cardiotoxicity results from p53 activation. In this study, the role of p53 in TP-induced cardiotoxicity was investigated in H9c2 cells, primary cardiomyocytes, and C57BL/6 genetic background p53 mice. p53 protein level was elevated by TP in vitro and in acute heart injury models. With TP administration (1.2 mg/kg), p53 deficiency prevented heart histology injury and decreased serum cardiac troponin I (cTn-I) and apoptotic proteins. Mechanistically, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence staining identified that TP-induced toxicity is dependent on p53 nuclear translocation and transactivation of Bcl2 family genes, leading to mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and mitochondria dysfunction. Consistently, p53 antagonist PFTα counteracted TP-induced p53 overexpression and regulation of Bcl2 family transcription, which improved mitochondrial membrane integrity and prevented apoptosis. Moreover, Bax antagonist Bax inhibitor peptide (BIP) V5 ameliorated TP-induced apoptosis through suppressing membrane depolarization and ROS accumulation. These results suggest that TP-induced cardiotoxicity is p53-dependent by promoting Bax-induced mitochondria-mediated apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2018.07.011DOI Listing
September 2018

Triptolide-induced mitochondrial damage dysregulates fatty acid metabolism in mouse sertoli cells.

Toxicol Lett 2018 Aug 30;292:136-150. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide is a major active ingredient of tripterygium glycosides, used for the therapy of immune and inflammatory diseases. However, its clinical applications are limited by severe male fertility toxicity associated with decreased sperm count, mobility and testicular injures. In this study, we determined that triptoide-induced mitochondrial dysfunction triggered reduction of lactate and dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism in mouse Sertoli cells. First, triptolide induced mitochondrial damage through the suppressing of proliferator-activated receptor coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1α) activity and protein. Second, mitochondrial damage decreased lactate production and dysregulated fatty acid metabolism. Finally, mitochondrial dysfunction was initiated by the inhibition of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) with the regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in Sertoli cells after triptolide treatment. Meanwhile, triptolide induced mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation dysregulation by increasing AMPK phosphorylation. Taken together, we provide evidence that the mechanism of triptolide-induced testicular toxicity under mitochondrial injury may involve a metabolic change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2018.04.035DOI Listing
August 2018

Triptolide induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis of Burkitt's lymphoma cell via deacetylation of GSK-3β by increased SIRT3 expression.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2018 03 4;342:1-13. Epub 2018 Feb 4.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) is a highly aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma with rapid growth and dissemination propensity. Triptolide (TP), an active component extracted from Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f., has broad-spectrum anti-tumor activities. This study aimed to explore the in vitro and in vivo anti-cancer effects of TP on BL and the potential molecular mechanisms. In this study, the in vitro anti-tumor activity of TP was determined by CCK-8 and flow cytometry assays in Raji, NAMALWA and Daudi cells. The expression of SIRT3, phosphorylation and acetylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) were analyzed by Western blot assay. Moreover, we examined the mitochondrial membrane potential by JC-1 method and measured apoptosis related protein using Western blot assay. BL xenograft model in NOD/SCID mice were established to evaluate the in vivo anti-cancer effect of TP. We discovered that TP inhibited BL cell growth and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. Loss of SIRT3 provides growth advances for BL cells. However, TP could up-regulate SIRT3 expression, which resulted in suppression of BL cells proliferation. GSK-3β was activated by SIRT3-mediated deacetylation, which subsequently induced mitochondrial translocation and accumulation of Bax and decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential. Anti-tumor studies in vivo showed that TP (0.36 mg/kg) inhibited the growth of BL xenografts in NOD/SCID mice with an inhibitory rate of 73.13%. Our data revealed that TP triggered mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in BL by increasing SIRT3 expression and activating SIRT3/GSK-3β/Bax pathway. This study indicated that TP is a potential anti-cancer Chinese herbal medicine against BL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2018.01.011DOI Listing
March 2018

Epigenetic regulation of active Chinese herbal components for cancer prevention and treatment: A follow-up review.

Pharmacol Res 2016 12 30;114:1-12. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

International Institute for Translational Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510006, China; State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau (SAR), China. Electronic address:

Epigenetic modifications include DNA methylation, histone modification, and other patterns. These processes are associated with carcinogenesis and cancer progression. Thus, epigenetic modification-related enzymes, such as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), histone methyltransferases (HMTs), histone demethylases (HDMTs), histone acetyltransferases (HATs), and histone deacetylases (HDACs), as well as some related proteins, including methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBPs) and DNMT1-associated protein (DMAP 1), are considered as potential targets for cancer prevention and therapy. Numerous natural compounds, mainly derived from Chinese herbs and chemically ranging from polyphenols and flavonoids to mineral salts, inhibit the growth and development of various cancers by targeting multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations. This review summarizes the epigenetic mechanisms by which active compounds from Chinese herbs exert their anti-cancer effect. A subset of these compounds, such as curcumin and resveratrol, affect multiple epigenetic processes, including DNMT inhibition, HDAC inactivation, MBP suppression, HAT activation, and microRNA modulation. Other compounds also regulate epigenetic modification processes, but the underlying mechanisms and clear targets remain unknown. Accordingly, further studies are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2016.09.023DOI Listing
December 2016

Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3beta ameliorates triptolide-induced acute cardiac injury by desensitizing mitochondrial permeability transition.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2016 Dec 15;313:195-203. Epub 2016 Oct 15.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP), a diterpene triepoxide, is a major active component of Tripterygium wilfordii extracts, which are prepared as tablets and has been used clinically for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune disorders. However, TP's therapeutic potential is limited by severe adverse effects. In a previous study, we reported that TP induced mitochondria dependent apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) is a multifunctional serine/threonine kinase that plays important roles in the necrosis and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. Our study aimed to investigate the role of GSK-3β in TP-induced cardiotoxicity. Inhibition of GSK-3β activity by SB 216763, a potent and selective GSK-3 inhibitor, prominently ameliorated the detrimental effects in C57BL/6J mice with TP administration, which was associated with a correction of GSK-3β overactivity. Consistently, in TP-treated H9c2 cells, SB 216763 treatment counteracted GSK-3β overactivity, improved cell viability, and prevented apoptosis by modulating the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins. Mechanistically, GSK-3β interacted with and phosphorylated cyclophilin F (Cyp-F), a key regulator of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). GSK-3β inhibition prevented the phosphorylation and activation of Cyp-F, and desensitized mPTP. Our findings suggest that pharmacological targeting of GSK-3β could represent a promising therapeutic strategy for protecting against cardiotoxicity induced by TP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2016.10.007DOI Listing
December 2016

Immunotoxicological Evaluation of Genetically Modified Rice Expressing Cry1Ab/Ac Protein (TT51-1) by a 6-Month Feeding Study on Cynomolgus Monkeys.

PLoS One 2016;11(9):e0163879. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Key Laboratory of Beijing for Safety Evaluation of Drugs, National Center for Safety Evaluation of Drugs, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

The present study was performed to evaluate the food safety of TT51-1, a new type of genetically modified rice that expresses the Cry1Ab/Ac protein (Bt toxin) and is highly resistant to most lepidopteran pests. Sixteen male and 16 female cynomolgus monkeys were randomly divided into four groups: conventional rice (non-genetically modified rice, non-GM rice), positive control, 17.5% genetically modified rice (GM rice) and 70% GM rice. Monkeys in the non-GM rice, positive control, and GM rice groups were fed on diets containing 70% non-GM rice, 17.5% GM rice or 70% GM rice, respectively, for 182 days, whereas animals in the positive group were intravenously injected with cyclophosphamide every other day for a total of four injections before the last treatment. Six months of treatment did not yield abnormal observations. Specifically, the following parameters did not significantly differ between the non-GM rice group and GM rice groups: body weight, food consumption, electrocardiogram, hematology, immuno-phenotyping of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, mitogen-induced peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation, splenocyte proliferation, KLH-T cell-dependent antibody response, organ weights and ratios, and histological appearance (p>0.05). Animals from the GM rice group differed from animals in the non-GM rice group (p<0.05) in several parameters: specifically, their body temperatures and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were higher, whereas their levels of serum K+, Cl- and cytokines (IL-2, IL-4 and IL-5) were lower. Because dose- or time-dependent changes were not observed in this study and animals appeared histologically normal, the aforementioned differences were not considered to be adverse or related to the treatment with GM rice. In conclusion, a 6-month feeding study of TT51-1 did not show adverse immunotoxicological effects on cynomolgus monkeys.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163879PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5042482PMC
September 2016

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Pharmazie 2016 Sep;71(9):514-523

Clinical application of triptolide (TP), a main active ingredient of the traditional Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f. (TWHF), is limited by a series of severe toxicities, including cardiotoxicity. In previous studies, we found the activation of sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) attenuated TP-induced toxicity in cardiomyocytes. Resveratrol (RSV), a polyphenol from the skins of grapes and red wine, is an activator of SIRT3. The current study aimed to investigate the protective effect of RSV against TP-induced cardiotoxicity and the underlying mechanisms. Mice were treated with a single dose of TP (2.5 mg/kg) via the intragastric (i.g.) route. After 24 h, TP induced abnormal changes of serum biochemistry, activity decrease of antioxidant enzymes and damage of heart tissue such as myocardial fiber rupture, cell swelling and interstitial congestion. In contrast, administration with RSV (50 mg/kg i.g. 12 h before and 2 h after the administration of TP) attenuated the detrimental effects induced by TP in BALB/c mice. Moreover, the cardiomyocyte protective effects of RSV on TP-induced heart injury were associated with the activation of SIRT3 and its downstream targets. In vitro study also indicated that RSV counteracted TP-induced cardiotoxicity through SIRT3-FOXO3 signaling pathway in H9c2 cells. Collectively, these findings suggest the potential of RSV as a promising agent in protecting heart from TP-induced damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1691/ph.2016.6597DOI Listing
September 2016

Tanshinone IIA protects against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity via activating the Nrf2 pathway.

Phytomedicine 2016 Jun 22;23(6):589-96. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Background: Tanshinone IIA (Tan), the main active component of Salvia miltiorrhiza, has been demonstrated to have antioxidant activity. Acetaminophen (APAP), a widely used antipyretic and analgesic, can cause severe hepatotoxicity and liver failure when taken overdose. Oxidative stress has been reported to be involved in APAP-induced liver failure.

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effect of Tan on APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and the underlying mechanisms involved.

Study Design: C57BL/6J mice were divided into six groups: (1) control, (2) APAP group, (3) APAP+Tan (30mg/kg) group, (4) Tan (30mg/kg) group, (5) APAP+Tan (10mg/kg) group, (6) Tan (10mg/kg) group. Mice in group 3 and 5 were pre-treated with specified dose of Tan by gavage and subsequently injected with an overdose of APAP intraperitoneally (i.p., 300mg/kg). The effect of Tan on Nrf2 pathway was investigated in HepG2 cells and mice.

Methods: Plasma aspartate transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), liver glutathione (GSH), glutathione transferase (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) levels were determined after mice were sacrificed. Lipid peroxidation and histological examination were performed. The effect of Tan on the Nrf2 pathway was detected by western blotting and qRT-PCR.

Results: Tan pretreatment reduced APAP-induced liver injury. Tan was able to activate Nrf2 and increase the expression levels of Nrf2 target genes, including glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC), NAD(P)H:quinine oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) and hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1), in a dose-dependent manner in HepG2 cells. Consistent with our observations in HepG2 cells, Tan increased nuclear Nrf2 accumulation and upregulated mRNA and protein levels of the Nrf2 target genes GCLC, NQO1 and HO-1 in C57BL/6J mice compared with mice treated with APAP alone.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that Tan pretreatment could protect the liver from APAP-induced hepatic injury by activating the Nrf2 pathway. Tan may provide a new strategy for the protection against APAP-induced liver injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2016.02.022DOI Listing
June 2016

Activation of SIRT3 attenuates triptolide-induced toxicity through closing mitochondrial permeability transition pore in cardiomyocytes.

Toxicol In Vitro 2016 Aug 8;34:128-137. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China; Laboratory Animals Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, PR China. Electronic address:

Triptolide (TP), an active component of the traditional Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook f. (TWHF), has multiple pharmacological effects. However, the severe toxicity of TP greatly restricts its clinical applications. Although TP exposure causes serious heart injury, the mechanism underlying TP-induced cardiotoxicity has rarely been investigated. In previous studies, we found that TP-induced oxidative stress was involved in the mitochondria-dependent apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. Opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is the key to the mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiac toxicity. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential cardioprotective effects of sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) on the mPTP. In the present study, the cytotoxicity of TP was accompanied by the up-regulation of the SIRT3 protein level and its rapid aggregation in nuclei and mitochondria. The SIRT3-FOXO3 signaling pathway was activated simultaneously, resulting in increased transcription of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and catalase (CAT) for the elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In addition, augmentation of the SIRT3 level via the overexpression plasmid SIRT3-Flag provided resistance to TP-induced cellular damage, whereas knocking down the SIRT3 level via siRNA accelerated the damage. Because it is an activator of SIRT3, the protective effect of resveratrol was also evaluated in H9c2 cells. In conclusion, the current results suggest that activation of SIRT3 substantially ameliorates the detrimental effects of TP by closing the mPTP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2016.03.020DOI Listing
August 2016

Optimized Animal Model of Cyclophosphamide-induced Bone Marrow Suppression.

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2016 Nov 27;119(5):428-435. Epub 2016 May 27.

International Institute for Translational Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Myelosuppression is one of the serious side effects of anticancer chemotherapeutic drugs that deteriorate the bodily functions of patients, thereby affecting the quality of life considerably. Prevention of myelosuppression in anticancer chemotherapy is an important research topic. A stabilized chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression animal model is necessary in experimental research. This study aimed to establish an optimized animal model of chemotherapy-induced bone marrow suppression. After C57BL/6 mice were treated with intermediate- and high-dose (25/50 mg/kg) cyclophosphamide (CTX) for 10 days, the body-weight, changes in thymus and spleen, number of white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) and changes in bone marrow in the mice were systematically evaluated at the next 2, 7 and 14 days. Our results demonstrated that CTX treatments could significantly decrease the body-weight of mice, as well as the ratios of the weights of thymus and spleen to body-weight. The physiological structures of thymus and spleen were destroyed by CTX treatments. The number of WBCs and RBCs significantly declined after CTX treatments; however, the number of PLTs increased. Moreover, the expression of Sca1 in bone marrow cells decreased on Day 2 but increased on Day 14. The expression of CD34 decreased in bone marrow cells after CTX treatments. In conclusion, mice models, with high-dose CTX treatments for 10 days, can be an optimized animal model for chemotherapy-induced bone marrow suppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcpt.12600DOI Listing
November 2016
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