Fang Lin

Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, Liaoning, China

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Publications (29)76.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: miRNAs (miR) 34a has been shown to modulate critical gene transcripts involved in tumorigenesis, but its role in tumor-mediated immunosuppression is largely unknown. PD-L1 plays important role in immune responses, however, presently its transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are not well understood. In the present study, we analysed the expression of PD-L1 and miR-34a in 44 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples, and observed an inverse correlation between PD-L1 and miR-34a expression. Overexpression of miR-34a in HL-60 and Kasumi-1 cells blocked PD-L1 expression, and reduced PD-L1 surface expression. Using luciferase reporter assay and mutagenesis, we identified miR-34a as a putative binder of the PD-L1-3'UTR. Surface expression of PD-L1 induced by chemotherapeutic agents could also be inversed by miR-34a; furthermore, PD-L1 specific T cell apoptosis was reduced as well following miR-34a transfection. We also found that there is a positive feedback between PD-L1 expression and AKT activation. Our data suggest that miR-34a can regulate PD-L1 expression by targeting PD-L1 mRNA, and our president findings shed new light on the complex regulation of PD-L1 in human tumors, and on the miR-34a in cancer immuno-based therapy. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Cellular Signalling 12/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are closely associated with cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis in various types of cancer, including prostate cancer. In this study, the role of miR-429 in the regulation of cell proliferation was investigated in prostate cancer cells. miR-429 expression levels were measured in the IF11 and IA8 prostate cancer cell lines and normal prostate epithelial tissues by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. miR-429 mimics or an miR-429 inhibitor were then transfected into the human prostate cancer cell lines. MTT and fluorescence-activated cell sorting were used to detect the effect of miR-429 on cell proliferation. A luciferase reporter system was employed to verify the potential target of miR-429. The results revealed that miR-429 was significantly upregulated in the human prostate cancer cell lines, compared with the normal prostate epithelial tissue. Downregulation of miR-429 expression in IF11 and IA8 cells inhibited cell proliferation and arrested the cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. The luciferase assay demonstrated that p27Kip1 was a direct target of miR-429. Furthermore, overexpression of p27Kip1 was observed to partially rescue the proliferation‑promoting effect of miR-429 on IA8 cells. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge this study was the first to show that miR-429 is involved in the oncogenesis of prostate cancer and thus may be a novel prognostic biomarker in prostate cancer.
    Molecular Medicine Reports 10/2014; · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stathmin is an oncoprotein and is expressed at high levels in a wide variety of human malignancies, which plays important roles in maintenance of malignant phenotypes. The regulation of Stathmin gene overexpression has been wildly explored, but the exact mechanism still need to be elucidated. It is believed that regulation of an oncogene protein abundance through post-translational modifications is essential for maintenance of malignant phenotypes. Here we identified the Rlim, a Ring H2 zinc finger protein with intrinsic ubiquitin ligase activity, as a Stathmin-interacting protein that could increase Stathmin turnover through binding with this targeted protein and then induce it's degradation by proteasome in a ubiquitin-dependent manner. Inhibition of endogenous Rlim expression by siRNA could increase the level of Stathmin protein, which further led to cell proliferation and cell cycle changes in human osteosarcoma cell lines. On the other hand, forced overexpression of Rlim could decrease the level of Stathmin protein. These results demonstrate that Rlim is involved in the negative regulation of Stathmin protein level through physical interaction and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Hence, Rlim is a novel regulator of Stathmin protein in a ubiquitin-dependent manner, and represents a new pathway for malignant phenotype turnover by modulating the level of Stathmin protein in human osteosarcomas.
    Cellular Signalling 03/2014; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although studies have shown the oncogene WT1 is overexpressed in lung cancer, there is no data showing the implication of WT1 in lung cancer biology. In the present study, we first demonstrated that isotype C of WT1 was conservely overexpressed in 20 lung cancer patient specimens. Knockdown of WT1 by small interference RNA (siRNA) transfection resulted in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of cell cycle arrest at G1 phase, and the expression change of BCL-2 family genes in WT1+ A549 cells. Furthermore, we found that DDP treatment could decrease the WT1 mRNA expression level by 5% and 15% at a dose of 1 mug/ml, by 25% and 40% at a dose of 2 mug/ml for 24 and 48 h, respectively. In the mean time, DDP treatment also reduced the PI3K/AKT pathway activity. Further analysis by using siRNA targeting the AKT-1 and the PI3K pathway inhibitor Ly294002 revealed that the AKT-1 siRNA reduced the WT1 expression effectively in A549 cells, and the same result was observed in Ly294002 treated cells, indicating that DDP treatment could down regulate WT1 expression through the PI3K/AKT pathway. Of particular interest, knockdown of WT1 also inhibited the AKT expression effectively, Chip assay further confirmed that WT1 is a transcription factor of AKT-1. We thus concluded that there is a positive feedback loop between WT1 and AKT-1. Taken together, DDP treatment downregulates the WT1 expression through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, and there is a feedback between WT1 and AKT-1; WT1 is involved in cellular proliferation in A549 cells, WT1 inhibition in combination with DDP will provide a new light for lung cancer therapy.
    Cancer Cell International 11/2013; 13(1):114. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy has been widely used in cancer treatment, but the prognosis of the cancer patients following chemotherapy has not been substantially improved. Alternative strategies such as immunotherapy and their combinations with chemotherapy are now being considered; however, the effects of chemotherapy on the immune responses of cancer cells are not fully understood. In the present studies, we reveal a potential link between chemotherapy and cancer immunoresistance, we first examined the effects of chemopreventive agent DDP on the expression of a cell surface glycopreotein Trop-2 in lung cancer cells, and found that DDP not only induce Trop-2 surface expression in human lung cancer cells, but also induce T cell apoptosis effectively. In order to investigate the relationship between DDP induced Trop-2 expression and T cell apoptosis, we stably transfected A549 and PC14 lung cancer cells with Trop-2 shRNA, the DDP induced Trop-2 surface expression was effectively decreased in stably transfected cell lines, but chemotherapeutic reagent induced cell proliferation inhibition and apoptosis were increased through inhibition of the MAPK signaling pathway. In vivo animal experiments showed that Trop-2 knockdown tumors displayed a slower growth rate than the control xenografts. Importantly, DDP treatment exhibited a strong antitumor activity in the mice with Trop-2 knockdown tumors, but only a marginal effect in the control group. Taken together, our data show that DDP resistance in lung cancer cells could be induced through increased surface expression of Trop-2, which at least partially by interfering with MAPK pathway. These results provide novel insight into the function of Trop-2 and encourage the design and testing of approaches targeting this protein and its partners.
    Cancer biology & therapy 09/2013; 14(12). · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Astrocyte-elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) is implicated in the oncogenesis and angiogenesis of various types of human cancers. However, the biological roles of AEG-1 in cervical carcinoma remain to be further elucidated. In the present study, we demonstrated that the expression of AEG-1 was markedly upregulated in the cervical carcinoma cell lines HeLa, CaSki and SiHa, as well as in 8 paired primary cervical carcinoma tissue (CCT) specimens at both the transcriptional and translational levels when compared with normal cervical epithelial cells (NCECs). Furthermore, immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis demonstrated that 180 of 200 (90%) archived CCT specimens exhibited positive staining for AEG-1, and statistical analysis revealed that the upregulation of AEG-1 was significantly correlated with the clinical staging of the patients (P=0.034), including T (P=0.019), N (P=0.038) and M classification (P=0.018) as well as tumor differentiation (P=0.043). Furthermore, loss‑ and gain‑of‑function results showed that knockdown of AEG-1 expression by specific shRNA not only inhibited SiHa cell proliferation and invasive ability, but also significantly decreased the expression of the angiogenesis-related genes HIF-1α, Tie2, VEGF and TEM1/CD248. Moreover, an increased vascular formation ability was observed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) co-cultured with conditioned medium both from SiHa cells and NCECs transfected with ectopic AEG-1. In conclusion, these results suggest that elevated expression of AEG-1 plays an important role in the aggressiveness and angiogenesis of cervical carcinoma and that AEG‑1 represents a novel and valuable predictive factor for the prognostic evaluation of cervical carcinoma patients.
    Oncology Reports 07/2013; · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains highly fatal, highlighting the need for improved understanding of signal pathways that can lead to the development of new therapeutic regimens targeting common molecular pathways shared across different AML subtypes. Here we demonstrate that Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) is one of such pathways, involving in cell cycle and apoptosis regulation and contributing to enhanced proliferation and chemoresistance in HL-60 and U937 AML cells. The pleiotropic effects of AEG-1 on AML were found to correlate with two novel target genes, Aurora kinase A (AURKA) and Akt1. Down-regulation of AEG-1 by short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) could not only decrease AURKA expression both on mRNA and protein levels but also decrease the levels of pAkt473 and pAkt308(the active forms of phosphorylated Akt), similar effect as using AURKA inhibitor Tozasertib (VX680). Furthermore, the AEG-1 shRNA-induced malignant phenotype changes could be mitigated by forced overexpression of AURKA through increased Akt1 activation and phosphorylation in AML cells. On the other hand, although exogenous expression of AEG-1 could increase both AURKA and Akt expression levels the simultaneous use of AURKA inhibitor Tozasertib blocked AEG-1's role of up-regulation of Akt expression in ECV304 cells, suggesting that AURKA might be a key mediator of AEG-1 in regulating Akt activation, and a key effector of AEG-1 in maintaining the malignant state of AML. Moreover, knockdown AEG-1 expression also changed the expression levels of PTEN, survivin and stathmin, the genes that have been reported to be involved in the development of several other malignant tumors. Our results provide evidence for AEG-1's carcinogenesis role in AML and reveal a novel functional link between AEG-1 and AURKA on Akt1 activation. AEG-1 can be an important candidate as a drug design target within AURKA signal pathway for more specific killing of AML cells while sparing normal cells.
    Cellular Signalling 03/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract miR-34a was identified as one of the downregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) in human lung cancer. However, the precise biological role of miR-34a in p53 deficient lung cancer cell lines remains largely elusive. In the present study, we aimed to identify the role of miR-34a in the regulation of lung cancer cell proliferation. Using quantitative RT-PCR analysis, we found that miR-34a was highly upregulated in the p53 wild-type A549 human lung cancer cell line when treated with the DNA damaging agent adriamycin (ADR), but not in the SBC-5 cells harboring mutated p53. Transient introduction of miR-34a into A549 and SBC-5 cell lines caused complete suppression of cell proliferation and induced the cell cycle arrested at the G(1) phase. When we knockdown the miR-34a downstream target-Sitr1- using the small-interfering RNA, there was also a cell growth inhibition in both cell lines though not as much as miR-34a did. Moreover, we demonstrated that pretransfection of miR-34a could increase the sensitivity of both lung cancer cell lines to cisplatin (DDP), and this could be reverted by the miR-34a inhibitor. Moreover, when cells pretreated with siR-Sirt1, they are more sensitive to DDP than the control pretreated cells as well. We thus hypothesize the miR-34a/Sirt1 cascade involved with p53-independent functions. Overall, in this study, we found the proliferation inhibition function of miR-34a in vitro in lung cancer cell lines is p53 independent, and also demonstrated the combination therapeutic potential of miR-34a and DDP in lung cancer cell lines.
    Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals 10/2012; · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant tumors are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. The search for new biomarkers for the early diagnosis of the onset of cancer to reduce high mortality is crucial. The potential of minimal invasive testing using serum from patients renders auto-antibodies promising biomarkers for cancer diagnosis. In this study, a 181 amino acid peptide of extracellular astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) was expressed and purified, and the peptide was used in an ELISA assay to detect anti-AEG-1 auto-antibodies (AEG-1-Abs) in 483 serum samples from different cancer patients and 230 serum samples from normal blood donors. The results showed that AEG-1-Abs at titers ≥1:50 were detected in 238 of 483 (49%) cancer patients, and the positive antibody responses in different cancer patients were as follows: 44 of 98 (45%) in breast cancer patients, 48 of 96 (50%) in hepatic carcinoma patients, 43 of 88 (49%) in rectal cancer patients, 51 of 113 (45%) in lung cancer patients, and 52 of 88 (59%) in gastric cancer patients. These results were compared with 0 of 230 (0%) in normal individuals. Moreover, AEG-1-Abs at titers ≥1:50 were also detected in 24 of 94 (26%) cancer patients in TNM stages I and II, and the positive rates of AEG-1-Abs decreased with age. These results suggest that the AEG-1-Ab response acts as a diagnostic biomarker for cancer patients with AEG-1-positive expression, and may also prove to be a possible inducer, with substantial immunity against AEG-1 by immunization boosting with AEG-1 vaccines.
    Oncology letters 08/2012; 4(2):319-323. · 0.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As a highly conserved system, the activation of the Notch pathway has been implicated in the tumorigenesis of various hematologic diseases, including leukemias, lymphomas, and multiple myeloma. The Notch3 receptor is frequently expressed in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). To explore its possibility as a therapeutic target for T-ALL, we investigated the effect of Notch3 silencing on Jurkat and SupT1 cells using a novel tumor-specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA) driven by survivin promoters. We found that downregulated expression of Notch3 correlated with significant apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation. These facts suggest that downregulating expression of Notch3 could attenuate the Notch signaling activity in T-ALL. All these results indicate that inhibition of Notch3 expression can result in potent antitumor activity in T-ALL.
    Clinical lymphoma, myeloma & leukemia 09/2011; 12(1):59-65.
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a serine protease, is a promising target for the development of prodrugs in prostate cancer treatment. In this study, we designed a novel fusion peptide, BSD352, containing three functional domains: a protein transduction domain from HIV transactivating regulatory protein (TAT) followed by the BH3 domain of the p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (TAT-BH3), an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor peptide (SP5.2), and an anti-basic fibroblast growth factor peptide (DG2). These different domains in BSD352 were linked together by a linker sequence corresponding to a PSA hydrolytic substrate peptide. The BSD352 fusion peptide could be selectively cleaved by PSA in PSA-producing LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, the BSD352 fusion peptide was efficiently transduced into tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo, and the BH3 domain was found to induce tumor cell apoptosis by elevating the expression of Bax, cytochrome C release, and caspase-9 cleavage. Moreover, the SP5.2 and DG2 domains in the BSD352 fusion peptide also exhibited in-vitro endothelial cell growth inhibition and in-vivo antiangiogenic activities. Direct injection of BSD352 into an established LNCaP xenograft tumor in mice inhibited tumor growth, whereas a synergistic effect was observed with the combined use of wild-type BH3, SP5.2, and DG2 functional domains. These results suggest that BSD352 could be beneficial for the treatment of accessible prostate tumors and may provide a complementary strategy for prostate cancer therapy.
    Anti-cancer drugs 03/2011; 22(3):213-22. · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-small-cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs) exhibit poor prognosis and are usually resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Absence of p21WAF1/CIP1, a cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor, has been linked to drug resistance in many in vitro cellular models. RNA activation (RNAa) is a transcriptional activation phenomena guided by double-strand RNA (dsRNA) targeting promoter region of target gene. In this study, we explored the effect of up-regulation of p21 gene expression on drug-resistance in A549 non-small-cell lung carcinoma cells by transfecting the dsRNA targeting the promoter region of p21 into A549 cells. Enhanced p21 expression was observed in A549 cells after transfection of dsRNA, which was correlated with a significant growth inhibition and enhancement of chemosensitivity to cisplatin in A549 cells in vitro. Moreover, in vivo experiment showed that saRNA targeting the promoter region of p21 could significantly inhibit A549 xenograft tumor growth. These results indicate that p21 plays a role in lung cancer drug-resistance process. In addition, this study also provides evidence for the usage of saRNA as a therapeutic option for up-regulating lower-expression genes in lung cancer.
    BMC Cancer 11/2010; 10:632. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although the mechanisms of arsenic trioxide (As2O3)-induced apoptosis have been elucidated extensively in hematologic cancers, those in solid tumors have yet to be clearly defined. In the present study, we show that As2O3 triggers apoptosis through the intrinsic pathway and significantly downregulates stathmin expression. Decreased stathmin expression is necessary for the dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δ ψm), the translocation of cytochrome C from the mitochondria to the cytosol, and subsequent cell death. Overexpression of wild type stathmin effectively delays As2O3-mediated mitochondrial events. Conversely, expression of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting stathmin enhances As2O3-triggered apoptosis in cell culture and in mouse models. Furthermore, we demonstrate that As2O3-induced stathmin downregulation is mediated through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway, and that a PI3K inhibitor effectively attenuated stathmin downregulation and cell apoptosis upon As2O3-treatment. These data support a stathmin-dependent pathway of As2O3-mediated cell death in solid tumor cells, and indicate that stathmin is a target of the PI3K/Akt pathway in cervical cancer cells. All these results may provide a rationale for improving the efficacy of As2O3 as a therapeutic agent through combination treatment with stathmin inhibition or PI3K/Akt inhibitors.
    Cancer biology & therapy 09/2010; 10(6):632-43. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic trioxide (As2O3), a component of traditional Chinese medicine, has been used successfully for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), and As2O3 is of potential therapeutic value for the treatment of other promyelocytic malignancies and some solid tumors including breast cancer. However, the precise molecular mechanisms through which As2O3 induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in solid tumors have not been clearly understood. The goal of our study is to gain insight into the general biological processes and molecular functions that are altered by As2O3 treatment in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and to identify the key signaling processes that are involved in the regulation of these physiological effects. In the present study, MCF-7 cells were treated with 5 μM As2O3, and the differential gene expression was then analyzed by DNA microarray. The results showed that As2O3 treatment changed the expression level of several genes that involved in cell cycle regulation, signal transduction, and apoptosis. Notably, As2O3 treatment increased the mRNA and protein levels of the cell cycle inhibitory proteins, p21 and p27. Interestingly, knocking down p21 or p27 individually did not alter As2O3-induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest; however, the simultaneous down-regulation of both p21 and p27 resulted in attenuating of G1, G2/M arrest and reduction in apoptosis, thus indicating that p21 and p27 as the primary molecular targets of As2O3 against breast cancer. Overall, our results provide new insights into As2O3-related signaling activities, which may facilitate the development of As2O3-based anticancer strategies and/or combination therapies against solid tumors.
    Medical Oncology 05/2010; 28(4):1225-54. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major component of green tea polyphenol, has potent efficiency to prevent the growth of a variety of cancer cells. As a novel anticancer agent for treatment of cancers, EGCG is promising and the mechanism has not been fully understood. Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is one common tumor in head and neck cancers. In the present study, we assess the effects of EGCG on LSCC cell line Hep-2, and their possible involvement in EGCG-induced apoptosis. The result showed that treatment of Hep-2 cells with EGCG decreased the cell viability, inhibited the growth and proliferation, induced apoptosis and increased the activity of caspase-3 in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, we found that EGCG-treatment repressed telomerase activity effectively in a concentration-dependent manner. The combined results show that EGCG induced apoptosis in Hep-2 cells via inhibiting the telomerase activity.
    Archives of Pharmacal Research 09/2009; 32(9):1263-9. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) is a novel member of the inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) family. The overexpression of XIAP is asscociated with radioresistance of human malignancies. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of shRNA-targeted XIAP on the proliferation, apoptosis and radiosensitivity of human laryngeal carcinoma cells (Hep-2). A siRNA expression vector (pSilencer4.1-XIAPshRNA) was constructed and stably transfected into human laryngeal carcinoma cells (Hep-2). The downregulation of XIAP expression was evaluated by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Then, we investigated the effect of XIAP-shRNA on the proliferation, cell cycle changes and apoptosis in vitro of Hep-2 cells. Finally, the radiosensitivity of Hep-2 cells was investigated by clonogenic cell survival assay. We established stably transfected cell line (Hep-2/XIAPshRNA) in which the expression of XIAP gene was downregulated. The cell viability of Hep-2/XIAP-RNA cells was obviously decreased compared with that of untransfected Hep-2 cells. Morever, XIAP-shRNA induced cell arrest in the G(0)/G(1) phase of cell cycle by flow cytometry analysis. Results of TUNEL assay indicated that Hep-2 cells stably transfected pSilencer4.1-XIAP-shRNA showed obvious apoptosis characters. Furthermore, the downregulation of XIAP expression could lead to significant radiosensitivity enhancement in laryngeal carcinoma cells. RNAi-mediated downregulation of XIAP expression can inhibit proliferation, induce apoptosis and diminish the radioresistance of laryngeal carcinoma cells, so combined therapy with XIAP inhibition and radiation may be a potential strategy for the treatment of laryngeal carcinoma.
    Auris, nasus, larynx 12/2008; 36(3):332-9. · 0.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women around the world. Although much progress of the mechanism of colorectal carcinogenesis has been made, the studies centering on the mechanisms of tumorigenesis are much needed to be further exploited. The overexpression of RCK/p54 gene, a member of the DEAD box protein/RNA helicase family, has been found in this malignancy. Roles of RCK in the development of colon cancer, however, are unknown. In this report, we explored whether RCK/p54 plays a role in maintaining the malignant phenotype and functions in the canonical Wnt signaling pathway of colorectal cancer cells harboring an APC mutation. The ectopic overexpression of RCK/p54 gene in colorectal cancer cells by transfection with RCK/p54 cDNA could lead to a significant increase of Tcf transcriptional activity and expression levels of Wnt target genes. By RNAi assay, we also observed that the Tcf transcriptional activity in LoVo-shRNA cells was significantly decreased by approximately 61.3%, while the mRNA and protein expression levels of Wnt target genes were also obviously decreased. Furthermore, the anti-tumour effects and its possible mechanisms of actions in LoVo cells elicited by a decrease in the level of RCK/p54 by RNAi were examined. Results showed that RCK/p54 downregulation could significantly reduce the viability of LoVo cells, increased cell number of S phase, led to cell apoptosis induction, and inhibited tumor growth in nude mice. Taken together, RCK/ p54 might be a determinant of colorectal cancer proliferation by activating the canonical Wnt pathway and RCK/p54-shRNA might be a potential strategy for colorectal cancer gene therapy.
    Cancer biology & therapy 11/2008; 7(10):1669-76. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Survivin is a member of the inhibitors of apoptosis protein family, is expressed in most of human cancers. Thus, we hypothesized that using a survivin promoter-driven vector system, an apoptosis-inducible gene may be preferentially restricted to survivin-positive tumor cells. PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) was recently identified a potent proapoptotic molecule. In the present study, our aim is to investigate whether adenovirus-mediated PUMA gene transfer using the survivin promoter could specifically enhance radiosensitivity of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Firstly, we performed RT-PCR assay to detect survivin mRNA expression in four human breast cancer cell lines and two normal cell lines. Then, we constructed plasmid vectors expressing luciferase or EGFP reporter gene driven by the survivin core promoter and evaluated its transcriptional activity in vitro. Next, a survivin promoter-driven adenoviral system expressing PUMA gene was constructed. Western blotting analysis of PUMA protein expression in MCF-7 and MCF210 cells treated with various adenovirus (empty, driven by CMV promoter or survivin promoter). Followingly, the effects of PUMA overexpression on the in vitro radiosensitivity of breast cancer cells were investigated by clonogenic formation assay. Cellular apoptosis were determined by FCM and TUNEL assays. The expression and activities of cellular caspase-3 were assayed by Western blot and colorimetry. Finally, we investigated the effect of PUMA overexpression on the radiosensitivity of breast carcinoma cells in vivo. The survivin mRNA expression was obviously upregulated in breast cancer cell lines but in normal cell lines. Moreover, the survivin promoter could drive high-level expression of luciferase or EGFP in breast cells but not in normal cells. Using a survivin promoter-driven adenoviral system expressing PUMA gene, we found that PUMA expression was specifically and efficiently induced in MCF-7 cell but not in MCF210 cell. Furthermore, we observed that the novel adenovirus system could significantly enhance radiosensitivity of MCF-7 cell in vitro and in vivo, which might be associated with apoptosis induction by activating cellular caspase-3. Our findings indicated that the survivin promoter-driven adenovirus system expression PUMA gene might be explored as a potential tool for radiosensitization of human breast cancer cells with tumor specificity and high efficacy.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 10/2008; 117(1):45-54. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: STK15 (Aurora A/BTAK) is an oncogenic serine/threonine kinase that plays a role in centrosome separation and in the formation of the mitotic bipolar spindle. It is highly expressed and constitutively activated in various human tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To investigate its possibility as a molecular target for future therapies directed against hepatocellular carcinoma, we constructed a tissue-specific RNA interference (RNAi) system mediated by hypoxia-inducible (HI) enhancer/alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) promoter and employed it to downregulate exogenous reporters (LUC and EGFP) and endogenous STK15 gene expression and analyzed the phenotypical changes in HCC cells. Results showed that the expression of exogenous reporters (LUC and EGFP) was specifically downregulated in hepatoma cells but not in non-hepatoma cells. Moreover, the specific downregulation of STK15 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2) significantly inhibited in vitro cellular proliferation and in vivo tumorigenicity. Furthermore, we also found that the downregulation of STK15 expression led to cell arrest in the G(2)/M phase and finally apoptosis induction of HepG2 cells. Thus, the HI enhancer/AFP promoter-mediated RNAi targeting STK15 may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with tumor specificity and high efficacy.
    Cancer Science 10/2008; 99(11):2209-17. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), one isoform of cyclooxygenase proinflammatary enzymes, is a causal factor for tumor development, invasion, metastasis, and chemoresistance. It is frequently overexpressed in a variety of human malignancies, including laryngeal carcinoma. To investigate its possibility as a therapeutic target for the treatment of laryngeal carcinoma, we employed RNA interference technology to downregulate endogenous gene COX-2 expression in laryngeal carcinoma cells and analyzed its phenotypical changes. Results showed that shRNA-mediated downregulation of COX-2 expression in human laryngeal carcinoma cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation and colony formation in vitro and reduced the potential of tumorigenicity in vivo. The specific downregulation led to cell arrest in the G(0)/G(1) phase of cell cycle and final apoptosis induction. The increased apoptosis was associated with the ratios of Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL/Bax. In the present study, we also observed that the downregulation of COX-2 could obviously enhanced the cytotoxic effect of Taxanes both in vitro and in vivo. All these results suggest that knockdown of COX-2 expression can lead to potent antitumor activity and chemosensitizing activity to taxanes in human laryngeal carcinomas.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 08/2008; 317(1-2):179-88. · 2.33 Impact Factor