[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells are becoming recognised as being responsible for metastasis and treatment resistance.The complex cellular and molecular network that regulates cancer stem cells and the role that inflammation plays in cancer progression are slowly being elucidated. Cytokines, secreted by tumour associated immune cells, activate the necessary pathways required by cancer stem cells to facilitate cancer stem cells progressing through the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and migrating to distant sites. Once in situ, these cancer stem cells can secrete their own attractants, thus providing an environment whereby these cells can continue to propagate the tumour in a secondary niche.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: EpCAM is expressed at low levels in a variety of normal human epithelial tissues, but is overexpressed in 70-90% of carcinomas. From a clinico-pathological point of view, this has both prognostic and therapeutic significance. EpCAM was first suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of epithelial cancers in the 1990s. However, following several immunotherapy trials, the results have been mixed. It has been suggested that this is due, at least in part, to an unknown level of EpCAM expression in the tumors being targeted. Thus, selection of patients who would benefit from EpCAM immunotherapy by determining EpCAM status in the tumor biopsies is currently undergoing vigorous evaluation. However, current EpCAM antibodies are not robust enough to be able to detect EpCAM expression in all pathological tissues. Here we report a newly developed EpCAM RNA aptamer, also known as a chemical antibody, which is not only specific but also more sensitive than current antibodies for the detection of EpCAM in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary breast cancers. This new aptamer, together with our previously described aptamer, showed no non-specific staining or cross-reactivity with tissues that do not express EpCAM. They were able to reliably detect target proteins in breast cancer xenograft where an anti-EpCAM antibody (323/A3) showed limited or no reactivity. Our results demonstrated a more robust detection of EpCAM using RNA aptamers over antibodies in clinical samples with chromogenic staining. This shows the potential of aptamers in the future of histopathological diagnosis and as a tool to guide targeted immunotherapy.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e57613. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have the capacity to generate the heterogeneous lineages of all cancer cells comprising a tumor and these populations of cells are likely to be more relevant in determining prognosis. However, these cells do not operate in isolation, but instead rely upon signals co-opted from their microenvironment, making the targeting and imaging of CSCs within a cancer mass a daunting task. A better understanding of the molecular cell biology underlying CSC pathology will facilitate the development of new therapeutic targets and novel strategies for the successful eradication of cancer. In addition, the continued investigation of sensitive molecular-imaging modalities will enable more accurate staging, treatment planning and the ability to monitor the effectiveness of CSC-targeted therapies in vivo. In this review, we explore the possibilities and limitations of CSC-directed therapies and molecular imaging modalities.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulfatide is a glycosphingolipid known to interact with several extracellular matrix proteins, such as tenascin-C which is overexpressed in many types of cancer including that of the colon. In view of the limited success of chemotherapy in colorectal cancer and high toxicity of doxorubicin (DOX), a sulfatide-containing liposome (SCL) encapsulation approach was taken to overcome these barriers. This study assessed the in vitro cytotoxicity, biodistribution, therapeutic efficacy and systemic toxicity in vivo of sulfatide-containing liposomal doxorubicin (SCL-DOX) using human colonic adenocarcinoma HT-29 xenograft as the experimental model. In vitro, SCL-DOX was shown to be delivered into the nuclei and displayed prolonged retention compared with the free DOX. The use of this nanodrug delivery system to deliver DOX for treatment of tumor-bearing mice produced a much improved therapeutic efficacy in terms of tumor growth suppression and extended survival in contrast to the free drug. Furthermore, treatment of tumor-bearing mice with SCL-DOX resulted in a lower DOX uptake in the principal sites of toxicity of the free drug, namely the heart and skin, as well as reduced myelosuppression and diminished cardiotoxicity. Such natural lipid-guided nanodrug delivery systems may represent a new strategy for the development of effective anticancer chemotherapeutics targeting the tumor microenvironment for both primary tumor and micrometastases.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49277. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A high-carbohydrate low-fat (HC/LF) diet and lipoprotein lipase gene (LPL) Ser447Stop and Hind III polymorphisms have separately been found to be associated with triacylglycerol (TG) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). This study sought to test the effects of LPL polymorphisms and an HC/LF diet on the serum lipid profile of Chinese with a lower incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) consuming a diet with less fat and more carbohydrates. Fifty-six healthy subjects (22.89 ± 1.80 years) were given a control diet of 30.1% fat and 54.1% carbohydrates for 7 days, followed by an HC/LF diet of 13.8% fat and 70.1% carbohydrate for 6 days; there were no changes in the fatty acid composition or restrictions on total energy. Serum lipid profiles at baseline, before and after the HC/LF diet, and LPL polymorphisms were analyzed. After 6 days of the HC/LF diet, TG and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMAIR) index were found to increase only in females with S447S. No decrease in HDL-C was noted. In subjects with Hind III polymorphism, increased TG was found in all females but not in males. Increased HDL-C, together with apolipoprotein (apo) AI, was found in male H- carriers but not in males with H+/H+ and females. In conclusion, LPL Ser447Stop and Hind III polymorphisms modified the effects of an HC/LF diet on the serum lipid profiles of a young Chinese population in different ways. Effective strategies for dietary interventions targeted at younger populations should take into account the interplay between genetic polymorphisms, diet, and gender.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lack of a specific targeting strategy against cancer stem cells in current cancer treatment regimens is at least partly responsible for life-threatening cytotoxicity for patients undergoing traditional chemotherapy. An effective cancer stem cell targeting system is urgently required for the next generation of cancer medicine. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is overexpressed in most solid cancers and it has recently been identified as a cancer stem cell marker. In this study, we isolated a 40-base RNA aptamer that binds to EpCAM from a random oligonucleotide library using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment. The aptamer was further truncated to 19 bases. This 19-nt RNA aptamer interacts specifically with a number of live human cancer cells derived from breast, colorectal, and gastric cancers that express EpCAM, but not with those not expressing EpCAM, as analyzed using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. The binding affinity of the EpCAM RNA aptamer to human cancer cells is approximately 55 nM. Importantly, this EpCAM RNA aptamer is efficiently internalized after binding to cell surface EpCAM. To our knowledge, this is the first RNA aptamer against a cancer stem cell surface marker being developed. Such cancer stem cell aptamers will greatly facilitate the development of novel targeted nanomedicine and molecular imaging agents for cancer theranostics.
Cancer Science 02/2011; 102(5):991-8. · 3.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Changes in lipid profiles have been shown to be associated with diet and apolipoprotein (APO) polymorphisms. Therefore, 2 polymorphisms, i.e. APOA5-1131T>C and APOC3-482C>T, and serum lipids were examined in a Chinese healthy young population with high-carbohydrate/low-fat (HC/LF) diet intervention.
After a wash-out diet for 7 days, 56 young adults (22.89 ± 1.80 years) received the HC/LF diet for 6 days. Body mass index (BMI) and fasting serum lipid profiles at baseline, after the wash-out diet, and after the HC/LF diet were measured.
APOA5-1131C carriers had higher triglyceride (TG) and TG-rich lipoprotein TG (TRL-TG) levels at baseline and after the HC/LF diet, though this mainly corresponded to the female cohort. APOC3-482T carriers had higher TRL-TG levels following the wash-out and HC/LF diets, but these were not directly attributable to a single gender.
Both polymorphisms may play an important role in the elevated TG and TRL-TG levels induced by the HC/LF diet, especially in females, thus indicating a potential dietary prevention of coronary heart disease in this Chinese cohort.
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 01/2011; 58(2):150-7. · 1.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions of genetic variants in the genes of cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) with high carbohydrate and low fat (HC/LF) diet on lipid profiles in a young and healthy Chinese Han population. Fifty-six healthy subjects (22.89±1.80 years) were given washout diets of 31% fat and 54% carbohydrate for 7 days, followed by HC/LF diets of 15% fat and 70% carbohydrate for 6 days, with no total energy restriction. Serum lipid profiles at baseline, after washout and following HC/LF diets, as well as CETP and LDLR polymorphisms were analyzed. Carriers of B2 allele of CETP TaqIB polymorphism had significantly higher levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and apo A-I in the whole study population after the diet intervention. Notably, males with CETP TaqIB B1B1 experienced significantly increased HDL-C and apo A-I after HC/LF diet. Regarding the LDLR Pvu II polymorphism, both P1P1 subjects and P2 carriers experienced decreased total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels after HC/LF diet with no statistically significant differences between the genotypes. Our results demonstrate that the elevated HDL-C levels after HC/LF diet in healthy Chinese Han youth are associated with CETP TaqI B2 allele while males with B1B1 genotype are more susceptible to the influence of HC/LF diet on their HDL-C levels. The decreased TC and LDL-C levels after HC/LF diet are not associated with LDLR Pvu II polymorphism.
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 02/2010; 21(11):1114-9. · 4.29 Impact Factor