Xuan Zhang

Kansas City VA Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri, United States

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Publications (10)30.25 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite development of current targeted therapies for medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), long-term survival remains unchanged. Recently isolated novel withanolide compounds from Solanaceae physalis are highly potent against MTCs. We hypothesize that these withanolides uniquely inhibit RET phosphorylation and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in MTC cells as a mechanism of antiproliferation and apoptosis. MTC cells were treated with novel withanolides and MTC-targeted drugs. In vitro studies assessed cell viability and proliferation (MTS; trypan blue assays), apoptosis (flow cytometry with Annexin V/PI staining; confirmed by Western blot analysis), long-term cytotoxic effects (clonogenic assay), and suppression of key regulatory proteins such as RET, Akt, and mTOR (by Western blot analysis). The novel withanolides potently reduced MTC cell viability (half maximal inhibitory concentration [IC(50)], 270-2,850 nmol/L; 250-1,380 nmol/L for vandetanib; 360-1,640 nmol/L for cabozantinib) with induction of apoptosis at <1,000 nmol/L of drug. Unique from other targeted therapies, withanolides suppressed RET and Akt phosphorylation and protein expression (in a concentration- and time-dependent manner) as well as mTOR activity and translational activity of 4E-BP1 and protein synthesis mediated by p70S6kinase activation at IC(50) concentrations. Novel withanolides from Physalis selectively and potently inhibit MTC cells in vitro. Unlike other MTC-targeted therapies, these compounds uniquely inhibit both RET kinase activity and the Akt/mTOR prosurvival pathway. Further translational studies are warranted to evaluate their clinical potential.
    Surgery 12/2012; 152(6):1238-47. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the regulation of prosurvival factors heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) and breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) by a natural withanolide withaferin A (WA) in triple negative breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and BT20. Western analysis was used to examine alternations in HSF1 and BRCA1 protein levels following WA treatment. A protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide and a proteasome inhibitor MG132 were used to investigate the mechanisms of HSF1 and BRCA1 regulation by WA. It was found that WA induced a dose-dependent decrease in HSF1 and BRCA1 protein levels. Further analysis showed that levels of HSF1 and BRCA1 proteins decreased rapidly after WA treatment, and this was attributed to WA-induced denaturation of HSF1 and BRCA1 proteins and subsequent degradation via proteasome-dependent, and protein-synthesis dependent mechanism. In summary, WA induces denaturation and proteasomal degradation of HSF1 and BRCA1 proteins. Further studies are warranted to examine the contribution of HSF1 and BRCA1 depletion to the anticancer effects of WA in breast cancer.
    ISRN Biochemistry. 09/2012; 2012.
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    ABSTRACT: Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults. While effective therapy exists for the primary tumor, there is a lack of effective treatment for metastatic disease currently. Natural withanolide withaferin A (WA) has shown efficacy in cancers demonstrating upregulation of pro-survival pathways. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of WA as a potential therapeutic agent for UM in vitro as well as in vivo. UM cells were treated with WA and several cell-based assays, such as MTS, trypan blue exclusion assay, clonogenic, wound healing, cell cycle shift, annexin V/propidium iodide, and Western blot, were performed. In vivo experiments utilized the 92.1 cells in a xenograft murine model. WA inhibits cell proliferation of uveal melanoma cells with an IC50 of 0.90, 1.66, and 2.42 μM for OMM2.3, 92.1, and MEL290 cells, respectively. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrates G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis at 1 μM WA in treated cells. WA induced apoptosis partly through the suppression of c-Met, Akt, and Raf-1 signaling activation. In vivo studies using WA reduced tumor growth in 100% of animals (p = 0.015). Our observation indicates that WA is a potent drug that inhibits cell proliferation, shifts cell cycle arrest, and induces apoptosis in multiple UM cell lines in vitro. WA-mediated apoptosis in UM cells is partly mediated though the suppression of c-Met and Akt activation. WA significantly decreases UM tumor growth in vivo and justifies further evaluation of this drug for the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma.
    Tumor Biology 04/2012; 33(4):1179-89. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Current therapies for HNSCC, especially platinum agents, are limited by their toxicities and drug resistance. This study evaluates a novel C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor (CT-Hsp90-I) for efficacy and toxicity in vitro and in vivo in an orthotopic HNSCC model. Our hypothesis is that C-terminal inhibitors exhibit improved toxicity/efficacy profiles over standard therapies and may represent a novel group of anticancer agents. Methods MDA-1986 HNSCC cells were treated with doses of 17-AAG or KU363 (a CT-Hsp90-I) and compared for antiproliferation by GLO-Titer and trypan blue exclusion and for apoptosis by PARP cleavage and caspase-3 inactivation by Western analysis. In vivo studies in Nu/Nu mice examined an orthotopic model of MDA-1986 cells followed by drug dosing intraperitoneally for a 21-day period (mg/kg/dose: cisplatin = 3.5, low-dose KU363 = 5, high-dose KU363 = 25, 17-AAG = 175). Tumor size, weight, and toxicity (body score) were measured 3×/week. Results The IC50 levels for KU363 = 1.2–2 μM in MDA-1986. KU363 induces apoptosis at 1 μM with cleavage of PARP and inactivation of caspase-3 levels after 24 h. Client proteins Akt and Raf-1 were also downregulated at 1–3 μM of drug. In vivo, 100% of controls had progressive disease, while 100% of cisplatin animals showed some response, all with significant systemic toxicity. High-dose KU363 showed 88% of animals responding and low-dose KU363 showed 75% responding. KU363 animals showed significantly less toxicity (P
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 03/2012; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • 7th Annual Meeting, Academic Surgical Congress, Las Vegas, NV; 02/2012
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    ABSTRACT: Withaferin A, a natural withanolide, has shown anti-cancer properties in various cancers including breast cancer, but its effects in ovarian cancer remain unexplored. Notch 1 and Notch3 are critically involved in ovarian cancer progression. We decided to examine the effects of Withaferin A in ovarian carcinoma cell lines and its molecular mechanism of action including its regulation of Notch. The effects of Withaferin A were examined in CaOV3 and SKOV3 ovarian carcinoma cell lines using MTS assay, clonogenic assay, annexin V/propidium iodide flow cytometry, and cell cycle analysis. Western analysis was conducted to examine the molecular mechanisms of action. Withaferin A inhibited the growth and colony formation of CaOV3 and SKOV3 cells by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. These changes correlated with down-regulation of Notch1, Notch3, cdc25C, total and phosphorylated Akt, and bcl-2 proteins. Withaferin A inhibits CaOV3 and SKOV3 ovarian carcinoma cell growth, at least in part by targeting Notch1 and Notch3.
    Gynecologic Oncology 12/2011; 124(3):606-12. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is differentially expressed in tumor cells including melanoma and involved in proper folding, stabilization and regulation of cellular proteins. We investigated a novobiocin-derived Hsp90 C-terminal inhibitor, KU135, for anti-proliferative effects in melanoma cells. The results indicate that KU135 reduced cell viability and cell proliferation in melanoma cells and IC(50) values for A735(DRO), M14(NPA), B16F10 and SKMEL28 cells were 0.82, 0.92, 1.33 and 1.30μM respectively. KU135 induced a more potent anti-proliferative effect in most melanoma cells versus N-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor 17AAG. KU135 induced apoptosis in melanoma cells, as indicated by annexin V/PI staining, reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial cytochrome C release and caspase 3 activation. KU135 reduced levels of Hsp90 client proteins Akt, BRAF, RAF-1, cyclin B and cdc25. Additionally, levels of Hsp90 and Hsp70 did not increase, while the levels of phosphorylated HSF1 levels decreased. KU135 induced strong G2/M cell cycle arrest, associated with decreased expression of cdc25c, cyclin B and increased phosphorylation of cdc25c. These finding show that KU135 reduced cell survival, proliferation, and induces apoptosis in melanoma cells. We suggest that KU135 may be a potential candidate for cancer therapy against melanoma.
    Cancer letters 08/2011; 312(2):158-67. · 5.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Current therapies for HNSCC, especially platinum agents, are limited by their toxicities and drug resistance. This study evaluates a novel C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor (CT-Hsp90-I) for efficacy and toxicity in vitro and in vivo in an orthotopic HNSCC model. Our hypothesis is that C-terminal inhibitors exhibit improved toxicity/efficacy profiles over standard therapies and may represent a novel group of anticancer agents. MDA-1986 HNSCC cells were treated with doses of 17-AAG or KU363 (a CT-Hsp90-I) and compared for antiproliferation by GLO-Titer and trypan blue exclusion and for apoptosis by PARP cleavage and caspase-3 inactivation by Western analysis. In vivo studies in Nu/Nu mice examined an orthotopic model of MDA-1986 cells followed by drug dosing intraperitoneally for a 21-day period (mg/kg/dose: cisplatin = 3.5, low-dose KU363 = 5, high-dose KU363 = 25, 17-AAG = 175). Tumor size, weight, and toxicity (body score) were measured 3×/week. The IC(50) levels for KU363 = 1.2-2 μM in MDA-1986. KU363 induces apoptosis at 1 μM with cleavage of PARP and inactivation of caspase-3 levels after 24 h. Client proteins Akt and Raf-1 were also downregulated at 1-3 μM of drug. In vivo, 100% of controls had progressive disease, while 100% of cisplatin animals showed some response, all with significant systemic toxicity. High-dose KU363 showed 88% of animals responding and low-dose KU363 showed 75% responding. KU363 animals showed significantly less toxicity (P < 0.01) than cisplatin or 17-AAG. This novel CT-Hsp90-I KU363 manifests potent anticancer activity against HNSCC, showing excellent in vivo efficacy and reduced toxicity compared with standard agents justifying future translational evaluation.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 08/2011; 19 Suppl 3:S483-90. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Withaferin A (WA), a naturally occurring withanolide, induces apoptosis in both estrogen-responsive MCF-7 and estrogen-independent MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines with higher sensitivity in MCF-7 cells, but the underlying mechanisms are not well defined. The purpose of this study was to determine the anti-cancer effects of WA in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and explore alterations in estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and its associated molecules in vitro as novel mechanisms of WA action. The effects of WA on MCF-7 viability and proliferation were evaluated by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay and trypan blue exclusion assays. Apoptosis was evaluated by Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)/propidium iodide (PI) flow cytometry and Western blot analysis of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Cell cycle effects were analyzed by PI flow cytometry. Western blotting was also conducted to examine alterations in the expression of ERα and pathways that are associated with ERα function. WA resulted in growth inhibition and decreased viability in MCF-7 cells with an IC50 of 576 nM for 72 h. It also caused a dose- and time-dependent apoptosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest. WA-induced apoptosis was associated with down-regulation of ERα, REarranged during Transfection (RET) tyrosine kinase, and heat shock factor-1 (HSF1), as well as up-regulation of phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (phospho-p38 MAPK), p53 and p21 protein expression. Co-treatment with protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide or proteasome inhibitor MG132 revealed that depletion of ERα by WA is post-translational, due to proteasome-dependent ERα degradation. Taken together, down-regulation of ERα, RET, HSF1 and up-regulation of phospho-p38 MAPK, p53, p21 are involved in the pro-apoptotic and growth-inhibitory effects of WA in MCF-7 breast cancer cells in vitro. Down-regulation of ERα protein levels by WA is caused by proteasome-dependent ERα degradation.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2011; 11:84. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    Xuan Zhang
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor MET have been implicated in uterine development, pregnancy, and endometrial disorders, such as endometriosis and carcinoma. In vitro studies have shown that HGF acts as a mitogen, motogen, and morphogen on endometrial epithelial cells. However, the expression and regulation of HGF and MET in the uteri of different species remain obscure. The present study aimed to investigate the changes of HGF, MET, and HGF activator (HGFA) expression in the uterine endometrium during the estrous cycle in mice and to explore estrogen and progesterone regulation of their expression. MKI67 immunostaining was conducted to examine the association between HGF/MET expression and endometrial cell proliferation. Endometrial epithelial and stromal cells both expressed HGF, HGFA, and MET, but the cell type-specific patterns changed during the cycle. Estrogen and progesterone differentially regulated HGF, MET, and HGFA expression. Progesterone up-regulated their expression in the stroma and down-regulated their expression in the luminal epithelium, whereas 17-beta-estradiol down-regulated their expression in the glandular epithelium. The pattern of HGF/MET overall correlated with that of MKI67. In conclusion, HGF, HGFA, and MET expression in mouse uterus changes during the estrous cycle in a stage-, cell type-, and compartment-specific manner under the influence of estrogen and progesterone. HGF likely plays a role in cyclic endometrial remodeling, such as cell proliferation via autocrine/paracrine mechanisms in mouse uterus.
    Biology of Reproduction 02/2010; 82(6):1037-48. · 3.45 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

56 Citations
30.25 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2012
    • Kansas City VA Medical Center
      Kansas City, Missouri, United States
    • University of Kansas
      • Department of Surgery
      Kansas City, KS, United States
  • 2010–2012
    • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
      • • Department of Surgery
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Kansas City, Missouri, United States