[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis plays an important role in the progression of tumor. Besides being regulated by tumor cells per se, tumor angiogenesis is also influenced by stromal cells in tumor microenvironment (TME), for example, tumor associated macrophages (TAMs). Activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a member of the ATF/CREB family, has been reported to be related to tumor angiogenesis. In this study, we found that exogenous overexpression of ATF4 in mouse breast cancer cells promotes tumor growth via increasing tumor microvascular density. However, ATF4 overexpression failed to increase the expression level of a series of proangiogenic factors including vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) in tumor cells in this model. Thus, we further investigated the infiltration of proangiogenic macrophages in tumor tissues and found that ATF4-overexpressing tumors could recruit more macrophages via secretion of macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF). Overall, we concluded that exogenous overexpression of ATF4 in breast cancer cells may facilitate the recruitment of macrophages into tumor tissues and promote tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth indirectly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) play a crucial role in tumor metastasis, but rare chemotherapy policy focuses on killing CTCs. Doxorubicin (Dox) micelles which showed improved anti-metastasis activity by killing CTCs were described. Dox micelles with small particle size and high encapsulation efficiency were obtained using a pH-induced self-assembly method. Compared with free Dox, Dox micelles exhibited improved cytotoxicity, apoptosis induction effect, and cellular uptake. In addition, Dox micelles showed a sustained release behavior in vitro, and in transgenic zebrafish model Dox micelles showed a longer circulation time and lower extravasation from blood vessels into surrounding tissues. Anti-tumor and anti-metastasis activities of Dox micelles were investigated in transgenic zebrafish models and mouse models. In transgenic zebrafish models, Dox micelles could inhibit tumor growth and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing zebrafish. Furthermore, Dox micelles could suppress tumor metastasis by killing CTCs. Besides, improved anti-tumor and anti-metastasis activities were also confirmed in mouse tumor models. Moreover, immunofluorescent staining of tumors indicated that Dox micelles induced more apoptosis and showed fewer proliferation-positive cells. Dox micelles showed lower side effects in transgenic zebrafish and mouse models. In conclusion, Dox micelles showed stronger anti-tumor and anti-metastasis activities and lower side effects both in vitro and in vivo, which may have potential applications in cancer therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
The differentiated cell lineages from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have shown their potential in regenerative medicine. However, the functional and transcriptional microRNA (miRNA) expression pattern during endothelial differentiation has yet to be characterized.
In this study, hESCs and hiPSCs were differentiated into endothelial cells (ECs). Then the endothelial-related gene profiling and miRNA profiling of hiPSCs, hESCs, hiPSCs derived endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs), hESC derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were compared using RT-PCR Array. The data was analyzed using the data analysis system on QIAGEN's website.
Our analysis demonstrated that the endothelial differentiation was triggered after EB formation and the EC-associated genes were up-regulated swiftly in both hESC-EBs and hiPSC-EBs; hiPSC-ECs and hESC-ECs had the similar EC-associated gene expression patterns. Moreover, we report here the first miRNA profiling study of hiPSC-ECs. Analyzing 376 unique miRNAs, we have identified several interesting miRNAs, including miR-20a, miR-20b, miR-222, miR-210, which have been previously reported to be involved in endothelial differentiation and show surprising expression patterns across our samples. We also identified novel miRNAs, such as miR-125a-5p, miR-149, miR-296-5p, miR-100, miR-27b, miR-181a and miR-137, which were up-regulated in both hiPSC-ECs and hESC-ECs during endothelial differentiation.
hiPSC-ECs and hESC-ECs exhibited a high degree of similarity with HUVECs in EC-associated genes expression. And the miRNA profiling analysis revealed significant differences between hiPSCs and hESCs, but a high degree of similarity between hiPSC-ECs and hESC-ECs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: JK184 could specially inhibit Gli in Hedgehog (Hh) pathway, which showed great promise in cancer therapeutics. For developing aqueous formulation and improving anti-tumor activity of JK184, we prepared JK184 encapsulated MPEG-PCL micelles by solid dispersion method without using any surfactants or toxic organic solvent. The cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of JK184 micelles were both increased compared with free drug. JK184 micelles induced more apoptosis and blocked proliferation of Panc-1 and BxPC-3 tumor cells. Besides, JK184 micelles exerted a sustained in vitro release behavior and had a stronger inhibitory effect on proliferation, migration and invasion of HUVECs than free JK184. Furthermore, JK184 micelles had stronger tumor growth inhibiting effects in subcutaneous Panc-1 and BxPC-3 tumor models. Histological analysis showed that JK184 micelles improved anti-tumor activity by inducing more apoptosis, decreasing microvessel density and reducing expression of CD31, Ki67, and VEGF in tumor tissues. JK184 micelles showed a stronger inhibition of Gli expression in Hh signaling which played an important role in pancreatic carcinoma. Furthermore, circulation time of JK184 in blood was prolonged after entrapped into polymeric micelles. Our results suggested that JK184 micelles were a promising drug candidate for treating pancreatic tumors with high inhibitory effect on Hh activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The natural flavonoid fisetin (3, 3', 4', 7-tetrahydroxyflavone) was discovered possessing antitumor activity, revealing its potential value in future chemotherapy. However, its poor water solubility makes it difficult for intravenous administration. In this study, monomethyl poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (MPEG-PCL) copolymer was applied to prepare nanoassemblies of fisetin by a self-assembly procedure. The prepared fisetin micelles gained a mean particle size of 22 ± 3 nm, polydisperse index of 0.163 ± 0.032, drug loading of 9.88 ± 0.14% and encapsulation efficiency of 98.53 ± 0.02%. Compared with free fisetin, fisetin micelles demonstrated a sustained and prolonged in vitro release behavior, as well as enhanced cytotoxicity, cellular uptake and fisetin-induced apoptosis in CT26 cells. As for in vivo studies, fisetin micelles were more competent for suppressing tumor growth and prolonging survival time than free fisetin in subcutaneous CT26 tumor model. Furthermore, histological analysis, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling assay, immunohistochemical detection of Ki-67 and microvessel density detection were conducted, demonstrating that fisetin micelles gained increased tumor apoptosis induction, proliferation suppression, and antiangiogenesis activities. In conclusion, we have successfully produced a MPEG-PCL-based nanocarrier encapsulating fisetin with enhanced antitumor activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tumor tropism of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) makes them an excellent delivery vehicle used in anticancer therapy. However, the exact mechanisms of MSCs involved in tumor microenvironment are still not well defined. Molecular imaging technologies with the versatility in monitoring the therapeutic effects, as well as basic molecular and cellular processes in real time, offer tangible options to better guide MSCs mediated cancer therapy. In this study, an in situ breast cancer model was developed with MDA-MB-231 cells carrying a reporter system encoding a double fusion (DF) reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase (Fluc) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). In mice breast cancer model, we injected human umbilical cord-derived MSCs (hUC-MSCs) armed with a triple fusion (TF) gene containing the herpes simplex virus truncated thymidine kinase (HSV-ttk), renilla luciferase (Rluc) and red fluorescent protein (RFP) into tumor on day 13, 18, 23 after MDA-MB-231 cells injection. Bioluminescence imaging of Fluc and Rluc provided the real time monitor of tumor cells and hUC-MSCs simultaneously. We found that tumors were significantly inhibited by hUC-MSCs administration, and this effect was enhanced by ganciclovir (GCV) application. To further demonstrate the effect of hUC-MSCs on tumor cells in vivo, we employed the near infrared (NIR) imaging and the results showed that hUC-MSCs could inhibit tumor angiogenesis and increased apoptosis to a certain degree. In conclusion, hUC-MSCs can inhibit breast cancer progression by inducing tumor cell death and suppressing angiogenesis. Moreover, molecular imaging is an invaluable tool in tracking cell delivery and tumor response to hUC-MSCs therapies as well as cellular and molecular processes in tumor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncogene-induced senescence is a stable proliferative arrest that serves as a tumor-suppressing defense mechanism. p38 MAPK has been implicated in oncogene-induced senescence and tumor suppression. However, the specific role of each of the four p38 isoforms in oncogene-induced senescence is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that p38δ mediates oncogene-induced senescence through a p53- and p16(INK4A)-independent mechanism. Instead, evidence suggests a link between p38δ and the DNA damage pathways. Moreover, we have discovered a novel mechanism that enhances the expression of p38δ during senescence. In this mechanism, oncogenic ras induces the Raf-1-MEK-ERK pathway, which in turn activates the AP-1 and Ets transcription factors that are bound to the p38δ promoter, leading to increase transcription of p38δ. These findings indicate that induction of the pro-senescent function of p38δ by oncogenic ras is achieved through 2 mechanisms, transcriptional activation by the Raf-1-MEK-ERK-AP-1/Ets pathway, which increases the cellular concentration of the p38δ protein, and posttranslational modification by MKK3/6, which stimulates the enzymatic activity of p38δ. In addition, these studies identify the AP-1 and Ets transcription factors as novel signaling components in the senescence-inducing pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myocardial infarction is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, and current treatments fail to address the underlying scarring and cell loss, which is a major cause of heart failure after infarction. The novel strategy, therapeutic angiogenesis and/or vasculogenesis with endothelial progenitor cells transplantation holds great promise to increase blood flow in ischemic areas, thus rebuild the injured heart and reverse the heart failure. Given the potential of self-renewal and differentiation into virtually all cell types, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) may provide an alternate source of therapeutic cells by allowing the derivation of large numbers of endothelial cells for therapeutic angiogenesis and/or vasculogenesis of ischemic heart diseases. Moreover, to fully understand the fate of implanted hESCs or hESC derivatives, investigators need to monitor the motility of cells in living animals over time. In this chapter, we describe the application of bioluminescence reporter gene imaging to track the transplanted hESC-derived endothelial cells for treatment of myocardial infarction. The technology of inducing endothelial cells from hESCs will also be discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have shown tropism towards primary tumors or metastases and are thus potential vehicles for targeting tumor therapy. However, the source of adult EPCs is limited, which highlights the need for a consistent and renewable source of endothelial cells for clinical applications. Here, we investigated the potential of human embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) as cellular delivery vehicles for therapy of metastatic breast cancer. In order to provide an initial assessment of the therapeutic potency of hESC-ECs, we treated human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells with hESC-ECs condition medium (EC-CM) in vitro. The results showed that hESC-ECs could suppress the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and thereby inhibit the proliferation and migration of MDAMB-231 cells. To track and evaluate the possibility of hESC-EC-employed therapy, we employed the bioluminescence imaging (BLI) technology. To study the therapeutic potential of hESC-ECs, we established lung metastasis models by intravenous injection of MDA-MB-231 cells labeled with firefly luciferase (Fluc) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) to NOD/SCID mice. In mice with lung metastases, we injected hESC-ECs armed with herpes simplex virus truncated thymidine kinase (HSV-ttk) intravenously on day 11, 16, 21, and 26 after MDA-MB-231 cell injection. The NOD/SCID mice were subsequently treated with ganciclovir (GCV) and the growth status of tumor was monitored by Fluc imaging. We found that MDA-MB-231 tumors were significantly inhibited by intravenously injected hESC-ECs. The tumor-suppressive effects of the hESC-ECs, by inhibiting Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and inducing tumor cell death through bystander effect in human metastatic breast cancer model, provide previously unexplored therapeutic modalities for cancer treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inadequate treatment efficacy, suboptimal cancer detection and disease monitoring in anticancer therapies have led to the quest for clinically relevant, innovative multifaceted solutions such as development of targeted and traceable approaches. Molecular imaging technologies with the versatility of liposomal nanoparticles platform offer tangible options to better guide treatment delivery and monitor outcome. In this study, we introduced noninvasive, quantitative and functional imaging techniques with reporter gene methods to probe breast cancer processes with liposomal nanoparticles by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). A breast cancer model was applied for therapy by injecting 5.0 x 10(5) 4T1 cells carrying a reporter system encoding a double fusion reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase (Fluc) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) into BALB/c mice. Liposomal nanoparticles loaded with a triple fusion gene containing the herpes simplex virus truncated thymidine kinase (HSV-ttk) and renilla luciferase (Rluc) and red fluorescent protein (RFP) were applied by in situ injection for monitoring and evaluating gene therapy. The BALB/c mice were subsequently treated with ganciclovir (GCV) and the growth status of tumor was monitored by bioluminescence imaging of Fluc and the treatment delivery of liposomal nanoparticle was efficiently tracked by Rluc imaging. In fact, TF plasmids were shown to be useful for monitoring and evaluating targeting efficacy and gene therapy by non-invasive molecular imaging. In conclusion, the combination of noninvasive imaging techniques and liposomal nanoparticle can provide a practical and clinically useful way for gene delivery and monitoring the level of gene expression over time and treatment response in patients undergoing gene therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Legumain is a member of the asparaginyl endopeptidase family that is over-expressed in response to hypoxic stress on mammary adenocarcinoma, colorectal cancer, proliferating endothelial cells, and tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Here, we demonstrate that elevated expression of legumain in ovarian cancer by a proteomic approach using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). To investigate the relationship between legumain expression and ovarian cancer development, we tested legumain expression in malignant human ovarian tumors (n = 60), borderline ovarian tumors (n = 20), benign ovarian tumors (n = 20), and normal ovary samples (n = 20) using immunohistochemical assay (IHC). A correlation between legumain expression, and clinocopathologic and biological variables was also established. Importantly, increased legumain expression was validated by real-time PCR and Western blots, correlated positively with an increased malignancy of ovarian tumors (P < 0.01). In fact, patients with strong legumain expression had a worse prognosis (P = 0.03). In addition, results of in vitro experiments revealed that over-expression of legumain correlates with increased cell migration and invasion of ovarian cancer cells. Although legumain's functional role and clinical utility remain to be established, our results indicated that a sensitive assay for early expression of legumain may serve as both a potential biomarker and a molecular target for treatment of ovarian cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) therapies fail to target cancer stem cells (CSCs) and monitor cancer progression or regression. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility of cancer imaging and simultaneously monitoring targeted therapy in a single animal by anti-CD44 antibody-mediated liposomal nanoparticle. In this study, an in situ liver tumor model was applied for therapy by injecting 1.0 × 10(6) HepG2 cells carrying a reporter system encoding a double fusion (DF) reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase (Fluc) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) into the liver of NOD/SCID mice. A strategy was developed which specifically targeted HCC via anti-CD44 antibody-mediated liposomal nanoparticle delivery, loaded of either doxorubicin (Dox) or a triple fusion (TF) gene containing the herpes simplex virus truncated thymidine kinase (HSV-ttk) and renilla luciferase (Rluc) and red fluorescent protein (RFP). The NOD/SCID mice were subsequently treated with ganciclovir (GCV) and the growth status of tumor was monitored by optical bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of Fluc and specific targeting of the liposomal nanoparticle was tracked by Rluc imaging. CD44 antibody-mediated liposomal nanoparticle, loaded of TF plasmids, were shown to be useful for monitoring and evaluating targeting efficacy and gene therapy by non-invasive molecular imaging. Here, we demonstrate the time intensive preclinical steps involved in molecular target identification, validation, and characterization by dual molecular imaging. This targeted and traceable therapeutic strategy has potential advantages to overcome the problems of conventional tumor therapy and may open a new application for the treatment of HCC by targeting CSCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem (hES) cells have a potential use for the repair and regeneration of injured tissues. However, teratoma formation can be a major obstacle for hES-mediated cell therapy. Therefore, tracking the fate and function of transplanted hES cells with noninvasive imaging could be valuable for a better understanding of the biology and physiology of teratoma formation. In this study, hES cells were stably transduced with a double fusion reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein. Following bioluminescence imaging and histology, we demonstrated that engraftment of hES cells was followed by dramatically increasing signaling and led to teratoma formation confirmed by histology. Studies of the angiogenic processes within teratomas revealed that their vasculatures were derived from both differentiated hES cells and host. Moreover, FACS analysis showed that teratoma cells derived from hES cells expressed high levels of CD56 and SSEA-4, and the subcultured SSEA-4(+) cells showed a similar cell surface marker expression pattern when compared to undifferentiated hES cells. We report here for the first time that SSEA-4(+) cells derived from teratoma exhibited multipotency, retained their differentiation ability in vivo as confirmed by their differentiation into representative three germ layers.