Shadan Ali

Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Michigan, United States

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Publications (74)336.34 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) plays important roles in the development and progression of pancreatic cancer (PC). Expression analysis of miR-146a in human PC tissues showed decreased expression in about 80% of samples compared to corresponding non-cancerous tissue. Moreover, expression of miR-146a in eight PC cell lines, and in pancreatic tissues obtained from transgenic mouse models of K-Ras (K), Pdx1-Cre (C), K-Ras;Pdx1-Cre (KC) and K-Ras;Pdx1-Cre;INK4a/Arf (KCI), showed down-regulation of miR-146a expression in KCI mice which was in part led to over-expression of its target gene, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Treatment of PC cells with CDF, a novel synthetic compound, led to re-expression of miR-146a, resulting in the down-regulation of EGFR expression. Moreover, re-expression of miR-146a by stable transfection or treatment with CDF in vivo (xenograft animal model) resulted in decreased tumor growth which was consistent with reduced EGFR, ERK1, ERK2, and K-Ras expression. Further knock-down of miR-146a in AsPC-1 cells led to the up-regulation of EGFR expression and showed increased clonogenic growth. In addition, knock-down of EGFR by EGFR siRNA transfection of parental AsPC-1 cells and AsPC-1 cells stably transfected with pre-miR-146a resulted in decreased invasive capacity, which was further confirmed by reduced luciferase activity in cells transfected with pMIR-Luc reporter vector containing miR-146a binding site. Collectively, these results suggest that the loss of expression of miR-146a is a fundamental mechanism for over-expression of EGFR signaling and that re-expression of miR-146a by CDF treatment could be useful in designing personalized strategy for the treatment of human PC.
    Cancer letters. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most deadly cancers. The higher mortality is in part due to treatment resistance and early onset of metastasis. The existence of cancer stem like cells (CSLCs) has been widely accepted to be responsible for tumor aggressiveness in PC. Emerging evidence suggests that CSLCs have the capacity for increased cell growth, cell migration/invasion, metastasis, and treatment resistance, which leads to poor clinical outcome. However, the molecular role of CSLCs in tumor development and progression is poorly understood. Therefore, mechanistic understanding, and targeted killing of CSLCs may provide a newer therapeutic strategy for the treatment of PC. It has been well accepted that microRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles during tumor development and progression through deregulation of multiple genes. Moreover, deregulated expression of miRNAs may also play a key role in the regulation of CSLCs characteristics and functions. Here we show that isolated CD44+/CD133+/EpCAM+ cells (triple-positive cells) from human PC cell lines, MiaPaCa-2 and L3.6pl cells display aggressive characteristics such as increased cell growth, clonogenicity, cell migration, and self-renewal capacity, which is consistent with over-expression of CSLC signatures/markers. We also found deregulated expression of over 400 miRNAs including let-7, miR-30, miR-125b, and miR-335 in CSLCs. As a proof-of-concept, knockdown of miR-125b resulted in the inhibition of tumor cell aggressiveness of CSLCs (triple-positive cells), consistent with the down-regulation of CD44, EpCAM, EZH2, and snail. These results clearly suggest the importance of miRNAs in the regulation of CSLCs characteristics, and may serve as novel targets for therapy.
    Stem cells and development 04/2014; · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sub-populations of cancer stem cells (CSCs) or cancer stem-like cells (CSLCs) have been identified from most tumors including pancreatic cancer (PC), and the existence of these cells is clinically relevant. Emerging evidence suggests that CSLCs participate in cell growth/proliferation, migration/invasion, metastasis, and chemo-radio-therapy resistance, ultimately contributing to poor clinical outcome. However, the pathogenesis and biological significance of CSLCs in PC has not been well characterized. In the present study, we found that isolated triple-marker positive (CD44+/CD133+/EpCAM+) cells of human PC MiaPaCa-2 and L3.6pl cells behave as CSLCs. These CSLCs exhibit aggressive behavior such as increased cell growth, migration, clonogenicity, and self-renewal capacity. The mRNA expression profiling analysis showed that CSLCs (CD44+/CD133+/EpCAM+) exhibit differential expression of more than 1600 mRNAs including FoxQ1, compared to the triple-marker negative (CD44-/CD133-/EpCAM-) cells. The knock-down of FoxQ1 by its siRNA in CSLCs resulted in the inhibition of aggressive behavior, consistent with the inhibition of EpCAM and snail expression. Mouse xenograft tumor studies showed that CSLCs have a 100-fold higher potential for tumor formation and rapid tumor growth, consistent with over-expression of CSC-associated markers/mediators including FoxQ1, compared to its parental MiaPaCa-2 cells. The inhibition of FoxQ1 attenuated tumor formation and growth, and expression of CSC markers in the xenograft tumor derived from CSLCs of MiaPaCa-2 cells. These data clearly suggesting the role of differentially expressed genes in the regulation of CSLC characteristics, further suggesting that targeting some of these genes could be important for the development of novel therapies for achieving better treatment outcome of PC.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous non-coding single-stranded RNAs. They critically regulate the post-transcriptional activity of several key physiological and pathological cell processes including cancer. Through their transcriptional regulatory functions, miRNAs control tumor proliferation, invasion and metastasis. The expression of miRNAs is altered in malignancies. It could be either up or down-regulated depending upon the role of a particular miRNA in the pathogenetic development of the tumor. The up-regulated miRNAs exert an ‘oncogenic’ effect leading to tumor proliferation and metastasis. The down-regulated miRNAs have ‘tumor suppressor’ effects. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNAs have a role in the early diagnosis, prognosis and treatment outcome assessment of cancers. Every tumor has specific miRNA alterations i.e. some are over expressed and others are down-regulated. These altered miRNAs can be used as a tumor specific 'signature' for potential clinical use in improving accuracy of diagnosis, determining prognosis and as therapeutic targets for therapy. Specific miRNAs can be targeted using oligonucleotide sequences corresponding to the altered miRNAs. These are referred to as ‘antagomirs’. Depending upon the miRNA alterations in the tumor of an individual patient, one could design targeted therapies for personalized medicine in patients. Hence miRNAs have an immense role in personalized cancer therapy.
    Clinical Genetics 02/2014; · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are small endogenous noncoding RNAs that are critical regulators of several physiologic and pathologic processes including cancers. Variations in the level of microRNA expression have been linked with the development, progression, and spread of cancer to distant organs. These tiny molecules may play a role in accurate and early diagnosis, and also as prognostic determinants. Modulating their activity provides opportunities for developing and designing novel cancer therapeutics. Recent studies indicate their detection in a wide variety of human biologic specimens including blood, serum, fine-needle aspirates, and tissues, making them clinically useful biomarkers of disease for early detection, prognosis, and for designing personalized therapies.
    Clinics in laboratory medicine 12/2013; 33(4):773-786. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate Cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Current research findings suggest that the androgen receptor (AR) and its signaling pathway contribute significantly to the progression of metastatic PCa. The AR is a ligand activated transcription factor, where androgens such as testosterone (T) and dihydroxytestosterone (DHT) act as the activating ligands. However in many metastatic PCa, the AR functions promiscuously and is constitutively active through multiple mechanisms. Inhibition of enzymes that take part in androgen synthesis or synthesizing antiandrogens that can inhibit the AR are two popular methods of impeding the androgen receptor signaling axis; however, the inhibition of androgen-independent activated AR function has not yet been fully exploited. This article focuses on the development of emerging novel agents that act at different steps along the androgen-AR signaling pathway to help improve the poor prognosis of PCa patients. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 08/2013; · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been widely considered as critical cellular signaling molecules involving in various biological processes such as cell growth, differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. The homeostasis of ROS is critical to maintain normal biological processes. Increased production of ROS, namely oxidative stress, due to either endogenous or exogenous sources causes irreversible damage of bio-molecules such as DNA, proteins, lipids, and sugars, leading to genomic instability, genetic mutation, and altered gene expression, eventually contributing to tumorigenesis. A great amount of experimental studies in vitro and in vivo have produced solid evidence supporting that oxidative stress is strongly associated with increased tumor cell growth, treatment resistance, and metastasis, and all of which contribute to tumor aggressiveness. More recently, the data have indicated that altered production of ROS is also associated with cancer stem cells (CSCs), epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and hypoxia, the most common features or phenomena in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. However, the exact mechanism by which ROS is involved in the regulation of CSC and EMT characteristics as well as hypoxia- and, especially, HIF-mediated pathways is not well known. Emerging evidence suggests the role of miRNAs in tumorigenesis and progression of human tumors. Recently, the data have indicated that altered productions of ROS are associated with deregulated expression of miRNAs, suggesting their potential roles in the regulation of ROS production. Therefore, targeting ROS mediated through the deregulation of miRNAs by novel approaches or by naturally occurring anti-oxidant agents such as genistein could provide a new therapeutic approach for the prevention and/or treatment of human malignancies.
    Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy 08/2013; · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isoflavones have been investigated in detail for their role in the prevention and therapy of prostate cancer. This is primarily because of the overwhelming data connecting high dietary isoflavone intake with reduced risk of developing prostate cancer. A number of investigations have evaluated the mechanism(s) of anticancer action of isoflavones such as genistein, daidzein, biochanin A, equol, etc., in various prostate cancer models, both in vitro and in vivo. Genistein quickly jumped to the forefront of isoflavone cancer research, but the initial enthusiasm was followed by reports on its contradictory prometastatic and tumor-promoting effects. Use of soy isoflavone mixture has been advocated as an alternative, wherein daidzein can negate harmful effects of genistein. Recent research indicates a novel role of genistein and other isoflavones in the potentiation of radiation therapy, epigenetic regulation of key tumor suppressors and oncogenes, and the modulation of miRNAs, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and cancer stem cells, which has renewed the interest of cancer researchers in this class of anticancer compounds. This comprehensive review article summarizes our current understanding of the role of isoflavones in prostate cancer research.
    The AAPS Journal 07/2013; · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of small subpopulations of cancer stem cells (CSCs) from blood mononuclear cells in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 1997 was a landmark observation that recognized the potential role of CSCs in tumor aggressiveness. Two critical properties contribute to the functional role of CSCs in the establishment and recurrence of cancerous tumors: their capacity for self-renewal and their potential to differentiate into unlimited heterogeneous populations of cancer cells. These findings suggest that CSCs may represent novel therapeutic targets for the treatment and/or prevention of tumor progression, since they appear to be involved in cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and treatment resistance-all of which lead to poor clinical outcomes. The identification of CSC-specific markers, the isolation and characterization of CSCs from malignant tissues, and targeting strategies for the destruction of CSCs provide a novel opportunity for cancer research. This overview describes the potential implications of several common CSC markers in the identification of CSC subpopulations that are restricted to common malignant diseases, e.g., leukemia, and breast, prostate, pancreatic, and lung cancers. The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of CSC function is also discussed, as are several methods commonly used in CSC research. The potential role of the antidiabetic drug metformin- which has been shown to have effects on CSCs, and is known to function as an antitumor agent-is discussed as an example of this new class of chemotherapeutics.Curr. Protoc. Pharmacol. 61:14.25.1-14.25.14 © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in pharmacology 06/2013; Chapter 14:Unit14.25.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Alterations in microRNA (miRNA/miR) genes are of biological importance in the pathophysiology of cancers, including pancreatic cancer (PaCa). Although growing evidence supports the role of miRNA in cancer, their response to dietary phytochemicals is less known. Previously, we showed that garcinol induces PaCa cell growth arrest and apoptosis in vitro. The present study, discusses chemo-sensitization by garcinol in synergism with first-line PaCa drug, gemcitabine. The miRNA expression profile of gemcitabine-resistant Panc-1 cells treated with garcinol and/or gemcitabine was also evaluated. METHODS AND RESULTS: Garcinol synergizes with gemcitabine to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in PaCa cells with significant modulation of key cancer regulators including PARP, VEGF, MMPs, ILs, caspases, and NF-κB. In addition, biostatistical analyses, quantitative reverse transcription PCR data, and in silico modeling using TargetScan5, PicTar, and DNA intelligent analysis, microT-V.B4 database showed that these two agents modulated a number of microRNAs (miR-21, miR-196a, miR-495, miR-605, miR-638, and miR-453) linked to various canonical oncogenic signaling pathways. CONCLUSION: We identified garcinol-specific miRNA biomarkers that sensitize PaCa cells to gemcitabine treatment, thus attenuating the drug-resistance phenotype. These results prompt further interest in garcinol and gemcitabine combination strategy as a drug modality to improve treatment outcome in patients diagnosed with PaCa.
    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 01/2013; · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herceptin failure is a major clinical problem in breast cancer. A subset of breast cancer patients with high HER-2/neu levels eventually experience metastatic disease progression when treated with Herceptin as a single agent. Mechanistic details of development of this aggressive disease are not clear. Therefore, there is a dire need to better understand the mechanisms by which drug resistance develops and to design new combined treatments that benefit patients with aggressive breast cancer and have minimal toxicity. We hypothesized that 3, 3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), a non-toxic agent can be combined with Herceptin to treat breast cancers with high levels of HER-2/neu. Here, we evaluated the effects of Herceptin alone and in combination with DIM on cell viability, apoptosis and clonogenic assays in SKBR3 (HER-2/neu-expressing) and MDA-MB-468 (HER-2/neu negative) breast cancer cells. We found that DIM could enhance the effectiveness of Herceptin by significantly reducing cell viability, which was associated with apoptosis-induction and significant inhibition of colony formation, compared with single agent treatment. These results were consistent with the down-regulation of Akt and NF-kB p65. Mechanistic investigations revealed a significant upregulation of miR-200 and reduction of FoxM1 expression in DIM and Herceptin-treated breast cancer cells. We, therefore, transfected cells with pre-miR-200 or silenced FoxM1 in these cells for understanding the molecular mechanism involved. These results provide experimental evidence, for the first time, that DIM plus Herceptin therapy could be translated to the clinic as a therapeutic modality to improve treatment outcome of patients with breast cancer, particularly for the patients whose tumors express high levels of HER-2/neu.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54657. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer diagnosis is currently undergoing a paradigm shift with the incorporation of molecular biomarkers as part of routine diagnostic panel. The molecular alteration ranges from those involving the DNA, RNA, microRNAs (miRNAs) and proteins. The miRNAs are recently discovered small non-coding endogenous single-stranded RNAs that critically regulates the development, invasion and metastasis of cancers. They are altered in cancers and have the potential to serve as diagnostic markers for cancer. Moreover, deregulating their activity offers novel cancer therapeutic approaches. The availability of high throughput techniques for the identification of altered cellular molecules allowed their use in cancer diagnosis. Their application to a variety of body specimens from blood to tissues has been helpful for appreciating their use in the clinical context. The development of innovative antibodies for immunohistochemical detection of proteins also assists in diagnosis and risk stratification. Overall, the novel cancer diagnostic tools have extended their application as prognostic risk factors and can be used as targets for personalized medicine.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2013; 14(7):14771-84. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer related death in the US and exhibits aggressive features with short survival rate and high mortality. Therefore, it is important to understand the molecular mechanism(s) involved in the aggressive growth of pancreatic cancers, and further design novel targeted therapies for its treatment with better treatment outcome. In the present study, we found that the expression of miR-221 was significantly up-regulated in pancreatic cancer cell lines and tumor tissues compared to normal pancreatic duct epithelial cells and normal pancreas tissues. Moreover, we found that the pancreatic cancer patients with high miR-221 expression had a relatively shorter survival compared to those with lower expression, suggesting that miR-221 could be an oncogenic miRNA and a prognostic factor for poor survival of patients. Interestingly, transfection of miR-221 inhibitor suppressed the proliferative capacity of pancreatic cancer cells with concomitant up-regulation of PTEN, p27(kip1), p57(kip2), and PUMA, which are the tumor suppressors and the predicted targets of miR-221. Most importantly, we found that the treatment of pancreatic cancer cells with isoflavone mixture (G2535), formulated 3,3'-diindolylmethane (BR-DIM), or synthetic curcumin analogue (CDF) could down-regulate the expression of miR-221 and consequently up-regulate the expression of PTEN, p27(kip1), p57(kip2), and PUMA, leading to the inhibition of cell proliferation and migration of MiaPaCa-2 and Panc-1 cells. These results provide experimental evidence in support of the oncogenic role of miR-221 and also demonstrate the role of isoflavone, BR-DIM, and CDF as potential non-toxic agents that are capable of down-regulation of miR-221. Therefore, these agents combined with conventional chemotherapeutics could be useful in designing novel targeted therapeutic strategy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer for which there is no curative therapy.
    American Journal of Cancer Research 01/2013; 3(5):465-77. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The theory of cancer stem cells (CSCs) has provided evidence on fundamental clinical implications because of the involvement of CSCs in cell migration, invasion, metastasis, and treatment resistance, which leads to the poor clinical outcome of cancer patients. Therefore, targeting CSCs will provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment and/or prevention of tumors. However, the regulation of CSCs and its signaling pathways during tumorigenesis are not well understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been proved to act as key regulators of the post-transcriptional regulation of genes, which involve in a wide array of biological processes including tumorigenesis. The altered expressions of miRNAs are associated with poor clinical outcome of patients diagnosed with a variety of tumors. Therefore, emerging evidence strongly suggest that miRMAs play critical roles in tumor development and progression. Emerging evidence also suggest that miRNAs participate in the regulation of tumor cell growth, migration, invasion, angiogenesis, drug resistance, and metastasis. Moreover, miRNAs such as let-7, miR-21, miR-22, miR-34, miR-101, miR-146a, and miR-200 have been found to be associated with CSC phenotype and function mediated through targeting oncogenic signaling pathways. In this article, we will discuss the role of miRNAs in the regulation of CSC phenotype and function during tumor development and progression. We will also discuss the potential role of naturally occurring agents (nutraceuticals) as potent anti-tumor agents that are believed to function by targeting CSC-related miRNAs.
    Current drug targets 11/2012; · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Garcinol, obtained from Garcinia indica, has exhibited some promising anticancer activity. In particular, our earlier work has demonstrated its ability to inhibit cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in multiple cancer cell lines representative of breast, prostate, as well as pancreatic cancers. However, its exact mechanism of action remains largely unclear. Here we show that garcinol also targets signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) signaling pathway. STAT-3 is frequently found to be activated in many cancer types and this is the first report on such action of garcinol leading to its anticancer effects. Garcinol inhibited total, as well as phosphorylated, STAT-3 in breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer cell lines and was also found to inhibit cell invasion of all the cancer cell lines tested. STAT-3 phosphorylation was inhibited by garcinol in a dose-dependent manner. We also observed an inhibitory effect of garcinol on IL-6-induced STAT-3 phosphorylation and production of urokinase-type plasminogen activator, vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9, which might explain the reduced invasion and aggressiveness of cells treated with garcinol. The results were further verified in vivo using MDA-MB-231 breast cancer mouse xenograft model where administration of garcinol significantly inhibited tumor growth, and western blot analysis of remnant tumor lysates showed reduced STAT-3 expression and activation. These results suggest that garcinol may have translational potential as chemopreventive or therapeutic agent against multiple cancers and inhibition of STAT-3 signaling pathway is one of the mechanisms by which garcinol exerts its anticancer effects.
    Carcinogenesis 09/2012; · 5.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are one subgroup of adult stem cells and possess a proliferative potential and ability to differentiate into various ceells. Areas covered: Emerging evidence suggests that MSCs can reprogram toward cancer stem cells (CSCs), due to alterations of intrinsic and extrinsic microenvironments, leading to tumorigenesis. The CSC concept has fundamental clinical implications because of its involvement in cell migration/invasion, metastasis, and treatment resistance. Therefore, targeting CSCs provides a novel therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. However, the origin of CSCs and its molecular connections are not fully understood. Emerging evidence suggests the existence of an inter-relationship between CSCs and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotypic cells, in the context of inflammation and hypoxia, as well as the potential role of miRNAs. Expert opinion: We suggest that targeting CSC signatures along with EMT, inflammation, and hypoxia will provide a more effective therapeutic approach for the elimination of CSCs. To that end, curcumin especially its synthetic novel analog CDF have been shown to attenuate CSC characteristics along with the deregulation of multiple pathways and miRNAs, leading to the inhibition of human tumor growth in vivo, suggesting the potential role of CDF as an anti-tumor agent for the prevention/treatment of tumor progression.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 08/2012; 16(10):1041-54. · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anticancer properties of Garcinia indica-derived garcinol are just beginning to be elucidated. We have earlier reported its cancer cell-specific induction of apoptosis in breast cancer cells, which was mediated through the downregulation of NF-κB signaling pathway. To gain further mechanistic insight, here, we show for the first time that garcinol effectively reverses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), that is, it induces mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) in aggressive triple-negative MDA-MB-231 and BT-549 breast cancer cells. This was associated with upregulation of epithelial marker E-cadherin and downregulation of mesenchymal markers vimentin, ZEB-1, and ZEB-2. We also found that garcinol upregulates the expression of miR-200 and let-7 family microRNAs (miRNAs), which provides a molecular mechanism for the observed reversal of EMT to MET. Transfection of cells with NF-κB p65 subunit attenuated the effect of garcinol on apoptosis induction through reversal of MET to EMT. Forced transfection of p65 and anti-miR-200s could also reverse the inhibitory effect of garcinol on breast cancer cell invasion. Moreover, treatment with garcinol resulted in increased phosphorylation of β-catenin concomitant with its reduced nuclear localization. The results were also validated in vivo in a xenograft mouse model where garcinol was found to inhibit NF-κB, miRNAs, vimentin, and nuclear β-catenin. These novel findings suggest that the anticancer activity of garcinol against aggressive breast cancer cells is, in part, due to reversal of EMT phenotype, which is mechanistically linked with the deregulation of miR-200s, let-7s, NF-κB, and Wnt signaling pathways. Mol Cancer Ther; 11(10); 2193-201. ©2012 AACR.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 07/2012; 11(10):2193-201. · 5.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, suggesting that there is an urgent need to design novel strategies for achieving better treatment outcome of patients diagnosed with PDAC. Our previous study has shown that activation of Notch and NF-κB play a critical role in the development of PDAC in the compound K-Ras(G12D) and Ink4a/Arf deficient transgenic mice. However, the exact molecular mechanism by which mutated K-Ras and Ink4a/Arf deficiency contribute to progression of PDAC remains largely elusive. In the present study, we used multiple methods, such as Real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting assay and immunohistochemistry to gain further mechanistic insight. We found that the deletion of Ink4a/Arf in K-Ras(G12D) expressing mice led to high expression of PDGF-D signaling pathway in the tumor and tumor-derived cell line (RInk-1 cells). Furthermore, PDGF-D knock-down in RInk-1 cells resulted in the inhibition of pancreatosphere formation and down-regulation of EZH2, CD44, EpCAM, and vimentin. Moreover, we demonstrated that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was induced in the compound mice, which is linked with aggressiveness of PDAC. In addition, we demonstrated that tumors from compound transgenic mice have higher expression of cancer stem cell (CSC) markers. These results suggest that the acquisition of EMT phenotype and induction of CSC characteristics could be linked with the aggressiveness of PDAC mediated in part through the activation of PDGF-D, signaling. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 07/2012; · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers and clinicians have been challenged with the development of therapies for the treatment of cancer patients whose tumors metastasized to the brain. Among the most lethal weapons known today, current management of brain metastases involves multiple therapeutic modalities that provide little, if any, for improving the quality of life and overall survival. Recently the role of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the development of cancer has been studied extensively, and thus its role in the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment is now being investigated even in the realm of brain metastasis (BM). Recognizing the molecular make-up of CSCs as well as understanding the role of these cells in resistance to treatment modalities is expected to benefit cancer patients. Additionally, past decade has witnessed an increase in awareness and understanding of the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in various cancer types, and the deregulation miRNAs are critically important for the regulation of genes during the development and progression of human malignancies. The role miRNAs in BM is being investigated, and has also shown tremendous promise for future research. In this review, we discuss the problem and lethality of brain metastases and the current state of management, and further provide insight into novel avenues that are worth considering including the biological complexities of CSCs and miRNAs for designing novel therapies. J. Cell. Physiol. 228: 36-42, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 06/2012; 228(1):36-42. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is often activated and expressed in tumor cells with significant invasive properties, and is associated with poor prognosis of patients. This could partly be due to deregulated expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) which regulates the expression of MT1-MMP and PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) contributing to tumor invasion and metastasis. We initially compared the expression profile of miR-200 family, PTEN and MT1-MMP expression in six pancreatic cancer (PC) cell lines by qRT-PCR and western blot analysis. We found loss of expression of miR-200a, b and c in chemo-resistant PC cell lines, which was correlated with loss of PTEN and over-expression of MT1-MMP. Based on our initial findings, we chose BxPC-3, MIAPaCa-2 and MIAPaCa-2-GR cells for further mechanistic studies We assessed the effect of two separate novel agents CDF (a synthetic analog of curcumin) and BR-DIM (a natural agent) on PC cells. The expression of miR-200 family and PTEN was significantly re-expressed whereas the expression of MT1-MMP was down-regulated by CDF and BR-DIM treatment. Forced over-expression or silencing of miR-200c, followed by either CDF or BR-DIM treatment of MIAPaCa-2 cells, altered the morphology of cells, wound-healing capacity, colony formation and the expression of MT1-MMP and PTEN. These results provide strong experimental evidence showing that the loss of miR-200 family and PTEN expression and increased level of MT1-MMP leads to aggressive behavior of PC cells, which could be attenuated through re-expression of miR-200c by CDF and/or BR-DIM treatment, suggesting that these agents could be useful for PC treatment.
    Carcinogenesis 05/2012; 33(8):1563-71. · 5.64 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
336.34 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2014
    • Karmanos Cancer Institute
      • Division of Hematology and Oncology
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • 2003–2012
    • Wayne State University
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Division of Hematology and Oncology
      • • Division of Gynecologic Oncology
      • • Department of Internal Medicine
      Detroit, MI, United States