Jung Ahn Lee

National Cancer Center Korea, Kōyō, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea

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Publications (4)15.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Reliable biomarkers are required to predict the response to sorafenib. We investigated genomic variations associated with responsiveness to sorafenib for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Blood samples from 2 extreme, 2 strong and 3 poor responders to sorafenib were subjected to whole-genome analysis. Then, we validated candidate genomic variations with another 174 HCC patients, and performed in vitro functional analysis and in silico analyses. Genomic data of >96 gigabases/sample was generated at average of ~34X sequencing depth. In total, 1813 genomic variations were matched to sorafenib responses in clinical data; 708 were located within regions for sorafenib-target genes or drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME)-related genes. From them, 36 variants were within the coding regions and 6 identified as non-synonymous single-nucleotide variants from 4 ADME-related genes (ABCB1, FMO3, MUSK, and SLC15A2). Validation genotyping confirmed sequencing results and revealed patients genotype for rs2257212 in SLC15A2 showed longer progression-free survival (HR = 2.18). In vitro study displayed different response to sorafenib depending on the genotype of SLC15A2. Structural prediction analysis revealed changes of the phosphorylation levels in protein, potentially affecting sorafenib-associated enzymatic activity. Our finding using extreme responder seems to generate robust biomarker to predict the response of sorafenib treatment for HCC. INTRODUCTION Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common types of cancers (with the highest prevalence in the Asia-Pacific region) and the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. [1] Because this disease is mostly diagnosed at an advance stage, potentially curative therapies are effective in less than 30–40% of HCC patients. [2, 3] While systemic therapies are indicated for advanced HCC, no effective systemic therapy for patients
    Oncotarget 04/2015; 6(18). DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.3758 · 6.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Discoidin domain receptors (DDRs) have been identified as tyrosine kinase receptors for collagen, and the overexpression of DDR1 was correlated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression in vitro. Little is known about DDR2 on HCC cells, and we investigated the expression and function of DDR2 in human HCC cells. Expression of DDR2 in human HCC cell lines and patient HCC tissues was observed. The suppression of DDR2 by siRNA against DDR2 was performed in vitro and in vivo study. All of HCC cell lines expressed DDR2 mRNA, and all HCC tissues from the ten patients with HCC demonstrated DDR2 mRNA expression. Transfection of DDR2 siRNA significantly inhibits cell growth compared to cells with nontarget siRNA transfection in vitro (P < 0.001). In SNU182, Hep3B, and HeLa cell xenograft models, there was a significant difference in average tumor volumes after 12 days of the DDR2 siRNA injection (P < 0.05) in SNU182 xenograft mice. DDR2 siRNA injection decreased the mean tumor volume by 65.6 % compared to that of the control. The apoptosis analysis demonstrated that DDR2 siRNA treatment significantly increased apoptotic cells (P < 0.01). Cell migration (P < 0.05) and cell invasion (P < 0.01) were significantly decreased by DDR2 siRNA treatment. The inhibition of DDR2 by RNA interference suppressed in vivo and in vitro growth of human HCC cells. Our results may support that the use of DDR2 as a novel target of HCC treatment through control of tumor apoptosis, migration, and invasion.
    Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 04/2015; 141(11). DOI:10.1007/s00432-015-1967-5 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) greatly contributes to the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is reported that a selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor inhibits cellular proliferation and may attenuate VEGF expression in HCC. We propose that different cascades in the VEGF pathway respond to COX-2 inhibition, depending on the cell types. The six human HCC cell lines--Hep3B, SNU387, SNU182, SNU423, SNU449, and PLC/PRF5--were cultured under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Cells were treated with a selective COX-2 inhibitor (NS-398) and discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2) siRNA, and microarray analysis was performed. NS-398 inhibited HCC proliferation and decreased the expression level of VEGF in HCC cells only under normoxia conditions. In hypoxia conditions, VEGF expression level in Hep3B cell was suppressed, while that in SNU387 cell was increased by NS-398 (P < 0.001). The NS-398-induced increase in VEGF expression in SNU387 cell was associated with the up-regulation of the DDR2 gene. NS-398-treated SNU series cells and PLC/PRF5 cells displayed a robust increase in DDR2 mRNA expression. Also, transfection with DDR2 siRNA decreased the VEGF expression level of SNU387, 423, 449 cells under hypoxia conditions (P < 0.05). In vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation assay demonstrated that NS-398 induces the enhancement of HIF-1α binding on VEGF promoter, leading to the increase in VEGF gene expression in hypoxic conditions. There is strong evidence that it is related to the DDR2 gene expression in SNU387 cells. These findings disclose a novel cell-dependent regulatory mechanism of VEGF involving DDR2 gene in HCC cells.
    Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 01/2012; 138(1):73-84. DOI:10.1007/s00432-011-1075-0 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is involved in the chronic inflammation-related development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and the use of selective COX-2 inhibitors might provide new chemoprevention strategies for HCC. However, the role of the COX-2 in hepatocarcinogenesis remains obscure, particularly as it has been primarily studied with selective COX-2 inhibitors that may affect other cellular proteins involved in cell proliferation. Therefore, we investigated the effects of the inhibition of COX-2 by the selective COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 as well as by COX-2 specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) in the human HCC cell lines Hep3B and SNU-387. These cell lines expressed COX-2, and NS-398 induced apoptosis of these cells. NS-398 inhibited more than 60% of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE2) production and cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner in these cells. The inhibition of proliferation was almost restored with PGE2 supplement, suggesting that NS-398 may inhibit cell growth partially through inhibition of COX-2 and PGE2 production in human HCC cells. However, treatment with NS-398 led to increased expression of COX-2 in Hep3B and SNU-387 cells. To examine the effect of COX-2 depletion on these cells, we electroporated COX-2-specific siRNAs into SNU-387 cells. We observed significant, sequence-specific reductions in COX-2 expression, PGE2 production, and cell proliferation, though the reduction in cell proliferation was less than that induced by NS-398. In conclusion, these data suggest that COX-2 itself is directly involved, though not decisively, in proliferation of human HCC cells. RNA interference may provide a useful tool for manipulating COX-2-related hepatocarcinogenesis in research and therapeutic settings.
    Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 04/2006; 132(3):184-92. DOI:10.1007/s00432-005-0060-x · 3.08 Impact Factor