Ze-Kuan Xu

Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Sheng, China

Are you Ze-Kuan Xu?

Claim your profile

Publications (23)42.21 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine, and presents strong anticancer activity in various cell lines. Cantharidin is a potent and selective inhibitor of serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Our previous studies revealed the prospect of application of cantharidin, as well as other PP2A inhibitors, in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. However, the mechanisms involved in the anticancer effect of PP2A inhibitors have not been fully explored. The Wnt/β‑catenin pathway is involved in cell migration and proliferation and participates in the progression of pancreatic cancer. If β‑catenin is phosphorylated and degraded, the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway is blocked. PP2A dephosphorylates β‑catenin and keeps the Wnt/β‑catenin pathway active. In the present study, we found that PP2A inhibitor treatment induced phosphorylation and degradation of β‑catenin. The suppression on the migration and growth of PANC‑1 pancreatic cancer cells could be attenuated by pretreatment with FH535, a β‑catenin pathway inhibitor. Microarray showed that PP2A inhibitor treatment induced expression changes in 13 of 138 genes downstream of the β‑catenin pathway. Real‑time PCR further confirmed that FH535 attenuated the expression changes induced by PP2A inhibitors in 6 of these 13 candidate genes. These 6 genes, VEGFB, Dkk3, KRT8, NRP1, Cacnalg and WISP2, have been confirmed to participate in the migration and/or growth regulation in previous studies. Thus, the phosphorylation- and degradation-mediated suppression on β‑catenin participates in the cytotoxicity of PP2A inhibitors. Our findings may provide insight into the treatment of pancreatic cancer using a targeting PP2A strategy.
    Oncology reports. 06/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence indicates an important role of transcription factor Yin Yang-1 (YY1) in human tumorigenesis. However, its function in cancer remains controversial and the relevance of YY1 to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains to be clarified.
    Molecular cancer. 05/2014; 13(1):130.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tumor-associated MUC4 mucin has considerable potential as an immunotherapy target for pancreatic cancer. In previous studies, we developed dendritic cell (DC) vaccines which elicited MUC4 antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (MS-CTL) response against tumor cells in vitro. Due to the observation that MS-CTL apoptotic rate increased significantly when co-cultured with MUC4+ tumor cells compared with T2 cells, we investigated whether high expression levels of MUC4 in pancreatic cancer cells would have an effect on the significant increase of apoptosis rate of MS-CTLs. First, the adverse influence of regulatory T cells (Tregs) was eliminated by CD8+ T lymphocyte sorting before the induction of MS-CTLs. Then, we constructed clonal MUC4-knockdown HPAC pancreatic cancer sublines with different MUC4 expression for co-incubation system. By utilizing appropriate control to rule out the possible apoptosis-induced pathway of intrinsic activated cell-autonomous death (ACAD) and analogous antigen-dependent apoptosis of CTL (ADAC) in our study system, further analysis of the effect of MUC4 membrane-expression, supernatants and blockade of CTL surface Fas receptor on MS-CTL apoptosis was carried out. The results demonstrated that the level of MUC4 membrane expression strongly positively correlated with MS-CTL apoptosis and the influence of supernatants and Fas-blockade did not significantly correlate with MS-CTL apoptosis. This evidence suggested that there may be a novel counterattack pathway of pancreatic cancer cells, which is a MUC4-mediated, cell contact-dependent and Fas-independent process, to induce CTL apoptosis. Therefore, further exploration and understanding of the potential counterattack mechanisms is beneficial to enhance the efficacy of MUC4 specific tumor vaccines.
    Oncology Reports 02/2014; · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Digestive malignancies, especially pancreatic cancer (PC), gastric cancer (GC), and colorectal cancer (CRC), still occur at persistently high rates, and disease progression in these cancers has been associated with tumor immunosurveillance escape. Natural killer (NK) cell dysfunction may be responsible for this phenomenon, however, the exact relationship between tumor immunosurveillance escape in digestive malignancies and NK cell dysfunction remains unclear. Percentage of the surface receptors NKG2A, KIR3DL1, NKG2D, NKp30, NKp44, NKp46, and DNAM-1, as well as the cytotoxic granules perforin and granzyme B positive NK cells were determined in patients with pancreatic cancer (n = 31), gastric cancer (n = 31), and CRC (n = 32) prior to surgery and healthy controls (n = 31) by multicolor flow cytometry. Independent t-tests or Mann-Whitney U-tests were used to compare the differences between the patient and healthy control groups, as well as the differences between patients with different pathologic features of cancer. Percentage of NKG2D, NKp30, NKp46, and perforin positive NK cells was significantly down-regulated in patients with PC compared to healthy controls, as well as GC and CRC; reduced levels of these molecules was associated with indicators of disease progression in each malignancy (such as histological grade, depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis). On the contrary, percentage of KIR3DL1 positive NK cells was significantly increased in patients with PC, as well as GC and CRC, but was not associated with any indicators of disease progression. Altered percentage of surface receptors and cytotoxic granules positive NK cells may play a vital role in tumor immunosurveillance escape by inducing NK cell dysfunction in patients with PC, GC, and CRC.
    Journal of Translational Medicine 10/2013; 11(1):262. · 3.46 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The human mucin 4 (MUC4) is aberrantly expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and tumor cell lines, while remaining undetectable in normal pancreas, indicating its important role in pancreatic cancer development. Although its transcriptional regulation has been investigated in considerable detail, some important elements remain unknown. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the existence of a novel inhibitory element in the MUC4 promoter and characterize some of its binding proteins. By luciferase reporter assay, we located the inhibitory element between nucleotides -2530 and -2521 in the MUC4 promoter using a series of deletion and mutant reporter constructs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) with Bxpc-3 cell nuclear extracts revealed that one protein or protein complex bind to this element. The proteins binding to this element were purified and identified as Yin Yang 1 (YY1) by mass spectrometry. Supershift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay confirmed that YY1 binds to this element in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, transient YY1 overexpression significantly inhibited MUC4 promoter activity and endogenous MUC4 protein expression. In conclusion, we reported here a novel inhibitory element in the human MUC4 promoter. This provides additional data on MUC4 gene regulation and indicates that YY1 may be a potential target for abnormal MUC4 expression.
    Molecular Biology Reports 06/2013; · 2.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To generate a gene delivery plasmid carrying the dominant negative form of the protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit a (DN-PP2Aca) driven by a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue-specific promoter and investigate its ability to inhibit growth of cultured hepatoma cells. The gene delivery plasmid was constructed by PCR-amplifying DN-PP2Aca from wild-type PP2Aca using site-directed mutagenesis and then ligating the sequence-verified amplicon downstream of an alpha-fetoprotein enhancer and phosphoglycerate kinase promoter (AFpg) in the luciferase reporter vector pGL3-Basic. Following transfection into two AFP+ hepatoma cell lines (HepG2 and HepG3) and two AFP- hepatoma cell lines (SK-HEP-1 and L02), the transcriptional activity of the AFpg-driven DN-PP2Aca plasmid was tested using luciferase reporter gene assay and western blotting. The effect on cell growth was tested using MTT assay. Between group differences were assessed by t-test. The AFpg-driven DN-PP2Aca plasmid showed high transcriptional activity and protein expression in both HepG2 and Hep3B cells. At 72 h after transfection, the proliferation capacities were repressed by 42.65%+/-3.99% (P = 0.0002) and 39.87%+/-3.91% (P = 0.0002) in AFP+ HepG2 and Hep3B cells, respectively (vs. untransfected). In contrast, the plasmid was transcriptionally inactive in and had no effect on proliferation of AFP- cells. The AFpg-driven DN-PP2Aca plasmid exhibits selective cytotoxicity against AFP+ hepatoma cells, and may represent a useful gene therapy strategy to treat HCC.
    Zhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology 06/2013; 21(6):459-63.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Current therapies are insufficient, making HCC an intractable disease. Our previous studies confirmed that inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) may provide a promising therapeutic strategy for cancer. Unfortunately, constitutive expression of PP2A in normal tissues limits the application of PP2A inhibition. Thus, a HCC-specific gene delivery system should be developed. The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) promoter is commonly used in HCC-specific gene therapy strategies; however, the utility of this approach is limited due to the weak activity of the AFP promoter. It has been shown that linking the AFP enhancer with the promoter of the non-tissue-specific, human housekeeping phosphoglycerate kinase (pgk) gene can generate a strong and HCC-selective promoter. METHODS: We constructed a HCC-specific gene therapy system to target PP2A using the AFP enhancer/pgk promoter, and evaluated the efficiency and specificity of this system both in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS: AFP enhancer/pgk promoter-driven expression of the dominant negative form of the PP2A catalytic subunit alpha (DN-PP2Acalpha) exerted cytotoxic effects against an AFP-positive human hepatoma cell lines (HepG2 and Hep3B), but did not affect AFP-negative human hepatoma cells (SK-HEP-1) or normal human liver cells (L-02). Moreover, AFP enhancer/pgk promoter driven expression of DN-PP2Acalpha inhibited the growth of AFP-positive HepG2 tumors in nude mice bearing solid tumor xenografts, but did not affect AFP-negative SK-HEP-1 tumors. CONCLUSIONS: The novel approach of AFP enhancer/pgk promoter-driven expression of DN-PP2Acalpha may provide a useful cancer gene therapy strategy to selectively target HCC.
    BMC Cancer 11/2012; 12(1):547. · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epigenetic modifications play an important role in multistage carcinogenesis. The role of the three functional DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) in pancreatic carcinogenesis has not been fully understood. The main goal of this study was to examine DNMT expression in different stages of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), and evaluate their prognostic significance in PDAC. A large number of premalignant and malignant pancreatic lesions were obtained by manual microdissection. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to detect DNMTs mRNA expression. Nonparametric test, logrank test and Cox regression analysis were used to evaluate the clinical significance of DNMT expression. The mRNA expression of the three DNMTs increased with the development of pancreatic cancer from normal duct to pancreatic intraductal neoplasia and further to PDAC, and were statistically correlated with each other. Expression of the three DNMTs was statistically correlated with TNM staging and history of chronic pancreatitis. DNMT3A and DNMT3B, but not DNMT1 expression, was statistically correlated with tumour size. Patients with higher levels of DNMT1, DNMT3A and/or DNMT3B expression had an overall lower survival than those with lower levels of expression. Univariate analysis showed that high expression levels of DNMTs, alcohol consumption, tumour differentiation and TNM staging were statistically significant risk factors. Multivariate analysis showed that high level of DNMT3B expression and tumour differentiation were statistically significant independent poor prognostic factors. These results suggested that pancreatic carcinogenesis involves an increased mRNA expression of three DNMTs, and they may become valuable diagnostic and prognostic markers as well as potential therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer.
    Clinical and Translational Oncology 02/2012; 14(2):116-24. · 1.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to investigate the influence of siRNA interference with a proliferation- inducing ligand (APRIL) gene on gastric carcinoma sgr-7901 cell apoptosis. Correlations between APRIL silencing and tyrosine kinase (trka) expression were also explored. Two APRIL-silencing siRNA vectors were constructed, and transfected into human gastric carcinoma sgr-7901 cells, expression before and after transfection being detected using RT-PCR and western blot analyses. The expression of 15 trka genes was detected using RT- PCR and apoptotic rates of sgr-7901 were assessed by flow cytometry. The expression levels of receptor trka genes were significantly decreased, and the apoptotic rate of sgr-7901 was significantly increased after transfection (P < 0.05). APRIL gene silencing can increase the apoptotic rate of gastric carcinoma cells, and inhibit the expression of receptor trka genes. There is a correlation between the signaling pathways of APRIL and trka.
    Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 01/2012; 13(4):1511-4. · 1.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gastric cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. H. pylori infection, a major risk factor for gastric cancer, generates high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Glutathione peroxidase 3 (GPX3), a plasma GPX member and a major scavenger of ROS, catalyzes the reduction of hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxides by reduced glutathione. To study the expression and gene regulation of GPX3, we examined GPX3 gene expression in 9 gastric cancer cell lines, 108 primary gastric cancer samples and 45 normal gastric mucosa adjacent to cancers using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Downregulation or silencing of GPX3 was detected in 8 of 9 cancer cell lines, 83% (90/108) gastric cancers samples, as compared to non-tumor adjacent normal gastric samples (P<0.0001). Examination of GPX3 promoter demonstrated DNA hypermethylation (≥10% methylation level determined by Bisulfite Pyrosequencing) in 6 of 9 cancer cell lines and 60% of gastric cancer samples (P = 0.007). We also detected a significant loss of DNA copy number of GPX3 in gastric cancers (P<0.001). Treatment of SNU1 and MKN28 cells with 5-Aza-2' Deoxycytidine restored the GPX3 gene expression with a significant demethylation of GPX3 promoter. The downregulation of GPX3 expression and GPX3 promoter hypermethylation were significantly associated with gastric cancer lymph node metastasis (P = 0.018 and P = 0.029, respectively). We also observed downregulation, DNA copy number losses, and promoter hypermethylation of GPX3 in approximately one-third of tumor-adjacent normal gastric tissue samples, suggesting the presence of a field defect in areas near tumor samples. Reconstitution of GPX3 in AGS cells reduced the capacity of cell migration, as measured by scratch wound healing assay. Taken together, the dysfunction of GPX3 in gastric cancer is mediated by genetic and epigenetic alterations, suggesting impairment of mechanisms that regulate ROS and its possible involvement in gastric tumorigenesis and metastasis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e46214. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a multimeric serine/threonine phosphatase that can dephosphorylate multiple kinases. It is generally considered to be a cancer suppressor as its inhibition can induce phosphorylation and activation of substrate kinases that mainly accelerate growth. We previously reported that cantharidin, an active constituent of a traditional Chinese medicine, potently and selectively inhibited PP2A, yet efficiently repressed the growth of pancreatic cancer cells through activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway. This suggested that activation of kinase pathways might also be a potential strategy for cancer therapy. In this study, we have confirmed that the basal activity of the phospatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/JNK/activator protein 1 (AP-1) pathway promoted pancreatic cancer cell growth when stimulated by growth factors. Interestingly, although treatment with the PP2A inhibitors, cantharidin or okadaic acid (OA), amplified the PI3K-dependent activation of JNK, cell growth was repressed. We therefore hypothesised that a specific level of activity of the JNK pathway might be required to maintain the promitogenic function, as both repression and overactivation of JNK could inhibit cell proliferation. It was found that the JNK-dependent growth inhibition was independent of the activation of AP-1, but dependent on the repression of Akt. Although the PP2A inhibitors triggered overactivation of JNK and inhibited cell growth, excessively activated protein kinase C (PKC) improved cell survival. Combined treatment with a PP2A inhibitor and a PKC inhibitor produced a synergistic effect, which indicates a potentially promising therapeutic approach to pancreatic cancer treatment.
    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 09/2011; 47(17):2654-64. · 4.12 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer immunotherapy requires an immunogenic tumor associated antigen (TAA) and an effective strategy for its presentation to lymphocytes. Here, we explored whether transduction of DCs with lentiviruses (LVs) expressing a fusion protein of secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC) and mucin 1 (MUC1) could stimulate antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) to human cancer cells in vitro. HLA-A2+ peripheral blood monocyte-derived DCs were transduced with recombinant lentiviruses LV at different multiplicities of infection (MOI), and MUC1, SLC or SLC-MUC1 mRNA and protein were detected by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Transduction efficiencies and phenotypes of DCs were evaluated by flow cytometry. Induction of T lymphocyte proliferation by DCs was examined with a Cell Count Kit-8 (CCK-8). CTL activities against tumor cells were analyzed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) cytotoxicity and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays. Stable expression of MUC1, SLC and SLC-MUC1 was obtained in DCs transduced with recombinant LVs, and the transduction efficiencies were dose-dependent. Transduction with LVs did not appreciably change the DC phenotype. CTL induced by LV MUC1 DCs potently and specifically lysed the HLA-A2+, MUC1+colon cancer cell line HCT-116. Moreover, this cytolytic activity against HCT-116 was enhanced with CTL stimulated by LV SLC-MUC1 DCs. DCs transduced with MUC1 could induce effective cytolytic activity against tumor cells in an antigen-specific and HLA-restricted fashion in vitro, and SLC promoted MUC1-specific anti-tumor activity. The transduction of DCs with LV SLC- MUC1 may be a promising strategy in DC-based cancer immunotherapy.
    Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 01/2011; 12(11):2811-7. · 1.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The hedgehog (Hh) pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Recent studies have suggested that Hh plays an important role in maintaining the cancer stem cell (CSCs) pool. Gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells highly express some of the CSCs markers. However, the expression level of Hh members in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells remains unknown. The aim of this study was to verify the expression of HH members, such as Shh, Ptc, SMO and Gli-1 in gemcitabine-resistant PDAC cell lines, and to explore a new strategy to overcome chemoresistance in PDAC. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (Q-PCR) and western blot were used to evaluate the relative expression level of HH members in SW1990, CFPAC-1 cells and gemcitabine-resistant SW1990, CFPAC-1 cells. The change of cancer stem cell markers and the expression level of HH members before and after cyclopamine treatment was evaluated using flow cytometry and Q-PCR, western blot, respectively. Cell apoptosis after cyclopamine treatment was measured by flow cytometry. CD44, CD133 and the expression level of HH members, including Shh, SMO, Gli-1, were found to be highly expressed in gemcitabine-resistant cells, which were significantly down-regulated by cyclopamine treatment. Flow cytometry analysis showed increased cell apoptosis after cyclopamine treatment. Gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells highly express CSCs markers and some of the HH members, and inhibition of HH by cyclopamine is an effective method of reversing gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer.
    Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift 01/2011; 141:w13208. · 1.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The MUC4 gene could have a key role in the progression of pancreatic cancer, but the quantitative measurement of its expression in clinical tissue samples remains a challenge. The correlations between MUC4 promoter methylation status in vivo and either pancreatic cancer progression or MUC4 mRNA expression need to be demonstrated. We used the techniques of quantitative real-time PCR and DNA methylation-specific PCR combined microdissection to precisely detect MUC4 expression and promoter methylation status in 116 microdissected foci from 57 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Both mRNA expression and hypomethylation frequency increased from normal to precancerous lesions to pancreatic cancer. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that high-level MUC4 expression (P = 0.008) and tumor-node-metastasis staging (P = 0.038) were significant independent risk factors for predicting the prognosis of 57 patients. The MUC4 mRNA expression was not significantly correlated with promoter methylation status in 30 foci of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. These results suggest that high mRNA expression and hypomethylation of the MUC4 gene could be involved in carcinogenesis and in the malignant development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The MUC4 mRNA expression may become a new prognostic marker for pancreatic cancer. Microdissection-based quantitative real-time PCR and methylation-specific PCR contribute to the quantitative detection of MUC4 expression in clinical samples and reflect the epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of MUC4 in vivo.
    Medical Oncology 10/2010; 28 Suppl 1:S175-84. · 2.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To establish a gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cell line SW1990/GZ, and to explore the relationship between drug-resistant cell line SW1990/GZ and pancreatic cancer stem cell. Gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cell line SW1990/GZ was obtained by treating parental cell line SW1990 in vitro with increasing dosage of gemcitabine in culture medium intermittently for 24 weeks. Stable cultures were obtained which were 77.2-fold increased in resistance relative to parental cells. Gene expressions of ABCB1/MDR1, ABCC1/MRP and ABCG2/BCRP were determined by real-time PCR. Tumorigenic potential was performed by nude mice xenograft transplant experiments. Side population analysis and CD24CD44 positive cells explore were determined by flow cytometry to examine cancer stem cell proportion. Gemcitabine-resistant cell line SW1990/GZ underwent obvious morphological and functional changes. Compared with the parental cell line, SW1990/GZ cell was small and turned into round shape. SW1990/GZ had a higher gene expression level of ABCB1/MDR1, ABCC1/MRP and ABCG2/BCRP than SW1990 (P < 0.01). Nude mice xenograft transplant experiments showed that only 1 × 10(5) SW1990/GZ cells were sufficient for tumor formation, whereas an injection of 1 × 10(5) SW1990 cells did not initiate tumors. Flow cytometry analysis showed that SP proportion in SW1990/GZ was (11.0 ± 1.0)%, whereas in parental SW1990 it was (4.6 ± 0.9)%, CD44CD24 positive cells was (8.73 ± 0.81)% in SW1990/GZ, whereas (1.1 ± 0.4)% in SW1990. Gemcitabine-resistant cell line SW1990/GZ has a higher proportion of pancreatic cancer stem cells compared to its parental cell line SW1990. CD44 is mainly responsible for acquired drug resistance, which can be a potential target to overcome acquired drug resistance in pancreatic cancer.
    Zhonghua wai ke za zhi [Chinese journal of surgery] 07/2010; 48(13):999-1003.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, we first sought to determine the existence of side population (SP) cells in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Furthermore, we compared the biological characteristics of SP and non-SP cells. The presence of side population cells in pancreatic cancer cell lines was detected by Hoechst 33342 staining and FACS analysis. Cell cycle distribution was analyzed using flow cytometry. SP and non-SP cells were exposed to various concentrations of gemcitabine; drug sensitivity was examined using the MTT assay and flow cytometry using Annexin-V and PI staining. To compare the tumorigenic ability in vivo, groups of nude mice were orthotopically inoculated with varying numbers of SP and non-SP cells. The percentages of CD44+CD24+ and CD133+ in SP and non-SP cells were also detected by FACS analysis. The SP fraction was detected in BxPc-3, CFPAC-1, MIA PaCa-2, PANC-1 and SW1990 pancreatic cancer cell lines. Cell cycle analysis revealed that the SP cells contained more cells in the G1 phase and fewer cells in the S phase when compared with the non-SP cells. The SP cells exhibited increased tumorigenetic ability following in vivo transplantation into BALB/C nude mice and increased chemoresistance following in vitro exposure to gemcitabine. FACS analysis showed that the SP cells contained more CD44+CD24+ and CD133+ cells than the non-SP cells. In conclusion, these observations suggest that SP cells in the pancreatic cancer cell lines possess the property of cancer stem cells. SP cells may therefore be novel specific targets for the effective treatment of pancreatic cancer.
    Oncology Reports 05/2010; 23(5):1375-82. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the methods of diagnosis and surgical treatment for nonfunctional islet cell tumor (NICT). Forty-four patients with non-functional islet cell tumor treated at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University during January 1968 to June 2008 were analyzed retrospectively. There were 9 males and 35 females, aged from 7- to 70-years-old. Clinical manifestation: 15 cases (34.1%) of abdominal masses, 17 patients (38.6%) with epigastric or back pain, 5 cases of jaundice, 5 cases (11.4%) for upper abdominal fullness or vomiting, 10 cases (22.7%) of pancreatic tumor noticed by routine health checkups or imaging examinations. Imaging examination: CT scan, sonography, ERCP, MRI, upper GI series were performed in 33 (75.0%), 16 (36.4%), 6 (13.6%), 2 (4.5%), and 10 cases (22.7%) respectively. Operation methods: 39 patients (88.6%) underwent surgical resection and the other 5 patients did not. Complications: pancreatic fistula in 7 patients (15.9%), intra-abdominal bleeding in 4 (9.1%), gastrojejunal anastomosis outlet obstruction in 1 (2.3%), biliary fistula in 2 (4.5%) and incisional infection in 3 (6.8%). Surgery related mortality happened in 2 patients (4.5%), both treated before 1999. Twenty-five patients underwent operation between January 1999 and June 2008 were followed up for 6 to 108 months. All survive except one died 75 months after the surgery for unknown reason. No specific clinical manifestation is recognized for non-functional islet cell tumor. Spiral CT is an optimal diagnostic method, while surgery is the first choice for treatment. Middle segmental pancreatectomy has become an alternative surgical protocol for NICT.
    Zhonghua wai ke za zhi [Chinese journal of surgery] 04/2009; 47(5):326-8.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To identify new biomarkers that improve the early diagnosis and lead to possible therapeutic targets in pancreatic carcinoma, we performed a proteomic approach to compare serum protein expression patterns of pancreatic carcinoma patients with that of gastric cancer patients, other pancreatic disease patients, and healthy volunteers. By two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) analyses and mass spectroscopic identification, 10 protein spots were found significantly changed in pancreatic carcinoma and 5 proteins including cyclin I, Rab GDP dissociation inhibitor beta (GDI2), alpha-1 antitrypsin precursor, Haptoglobin precursor, and Serotransferrin precursor were successfully identified. The increased levels of cyclin I and GDI2 found to be associated with pancreatic carcinoma were further confirmed by Western blot analyses in an independent series of serum samples and/or pancreatic juice samples. Applying immunohistochemistry, we further validated expression of cyclin I and GDI2 in additional pancreatic carcinomas. These results indicate that cyclin I and GDI2 may be potential molecular targets for pancreatic cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 07/2007; 1774(6):764-71. · 4.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of IFN-gamma inducible protein -10 (IP-10) and regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) protein in acute pancreatic allograft rejection in rats. An experimental pancreas transplantation model was established using diabetic SD rats as the recipient, induced by applying streptozocin (STZ). Pancreas transplantation was performed with a physiologic method of portal venous and enteric drainage. Rats were divided into two groups, isograft group (group A, n = 24) and allograft group (group B, n = 24) in which either healthy SD rats or Wistar rats served as donors, respectively. Twelve diabetic or healthy SD rats were used as controls. At d 1, 4, 7, and 10 post transplantation, serum IP-10 and RANTES were assessed by ELISA and their expression in the allografts was determined by immunohistochemistry. In group B (allograft group), the development of acute rejection was significantly correlated with increased serum concentration and tissue expression of IP-10 and RANTES, with a peak level at d 7 post transplantation. In contrast, there was no obvious change before and after transplantation in group A (isograft group). Our study suggests a possible role of IP-10 and RANTES in acute rejection and early monitoring of chemokines may be helpful in predicting the outcome of pancreas transplantation.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 08/2006; 12(26):4156-60. · 2.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) isoforms (alpha and gamma) are known to be expressed in pancreatic islets as well as in insulin-producing cell lines. Ligands of PPAR have been shown to enhance glucose-induced insulin secretion in rat pancreatic islets. However, their effect on insulin secretion is still unclear. To understand the molecular mechanism by which PPARgamma exerts its effect on glucose-induced insulin secretion, we examined the endogenous activity of PPAR isoforms, and studied the PPARgamma function and its target gene expression in INS-1 cells. We found that: (1) endogenous PPARg was activated in a ligand-dependent manner in INS-1 cells; (2) overexpression of PPARgamma in the absence of PPARgamma ligands enhanced glucose-induced insulin secretion, which indicates that the increased glucose-induced insulin secretion is a PPARgamma-mediated event; (3) the addition of both PPARgamma and retinoid X receptor (RXR) ligands showed a synergistic effect on the augmentation of reporter activity, suggesting that the hetero-dimerization of PPARgamma and RXR is required for the regulation of the target genes; (4) PPARs upregulated both the glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) and Cb1-associated protein (CAP) genes in INS-1 cells. Our findings suggest an important mechanistic pathway in which PPARgamma enhances glucose-induced insulin secretion by activating the expression of GLUT2 and CAP genes in a ligand-dependent manner.
    Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica 02/2006; 38(1):1-7. · 1.81 Impact Factor