[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim: In this article, we use an alternative cancer model for the evaluation of nanotherapy, and assess the impact of surface functionalization and active targeting of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs) on therapeutic efficacy in vivo. Materials & methods: We used the chorioallantoic membrane xenograft assay to investigate the biodistribution and therapeutic efficacy of folate versus polyethyleneimine-functionalized γ-secretase inhibitor-loaded MSNPs in breast and prostate tumor models. Results: γ-secretase inhibitor-loaded MSNPs inhibited tumor growth in breast and prostate cancer xenografts. Folate conjugation improved the therapeutic outcome in folic acid receptor-positive breast cancer, but not in prostate cancer lacking the receptor. Conclusion: The results demonstrate that therapeutic efficacy is linked to cellular uptake of MSNPs as opposed to tumor accumulation, and show that MSNP-based delivery of γ-secretase inhibitors is therapeutically effective in both breast and prostate cancer. In this article, we present a model system for a medium-to-high throughput, cost-effective, quantitative evaluation of nanoparticulate drug carriers. Original submitted 12 November 2012; Revised submitted 8 February 2013.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress is believed to play a key role in cardiovascular disorders. Thioredoxin (Trx) is an oxidative stress-limiting protein with anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic properties. Here, we analyzed whether Trx-1 might exert atheroprotective effects by promoting macrophage differentiation into the M2 anti-inflammatory phenotype.
Trx-1 at 1 μg/mL induced downregulation of p16(INK4a) and significantly promoted the polarization of anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages in macrophages exposed to interleukin (IL)-4 at 15 ng/mL or IL-4/IL-13 (10 ng/mL each) in vitro, as evidenced by the expression of the CD206 and IL-10 markers. In addition, Trx-1 induced downregulation of nuclear translocation of activator protein-1 and Ref-1, and significantly reduced the lipopolysaccharide-induced differentiation of inflammatory M1 macrophages, as indicated by the decreased expression of the M1 cytokines, tumor necrosis factor-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Consistently, Trx-1 administered to hyperlipoproteinemic ApoE2.Ki mice at 30 μg/30 g body weight challenged either with lipopolysaccharide at 30 μg/30 g body weight or with IL-4 at 500 ng/30 g body weight significantly induced the M2 phenotype while inhibiting differentiation of macrophages into the M1 phenotype in liver and thymus. ApoE2.Ki mice challenged once weekly with lipopolysaccharide for 5 weeks developed severe atherosclerotic lesions enriched with macrophages expressing predominantly M1 over M2 markers. In contrast, however, daily injections of Trx-1 shifted the phenotype pattern of lesional macrophages in these animals to predominantly M2 over M1, and the aortic lesion area was significantly reduced (from 100%±18% to 62.8%±9.8%; n=8; P<0.01). Consistently, Trx-1 colocalized with M2 but not with M1 macrophage markers in human atherosclerotic vessel specimens.
The ability of Trx-1 to promote differentiation of macrophages into an alternative, anti-inflammatory phenotype may explain its protective effects in cardiovascular diseases. These data provide novel insight into the link between oxidative stress and cardiovascular diseases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous efforts to develop drugs that directly inhibit the activity of mutant KRAS, the most commonly mutated human oncogene, have not been successful. Cancer cells driven by mutant KRAS require expression of the serine/threonine kinase STK33 for their viability and proliferation, identifying STK33 as a context-dependent therapeutic target. However, specific strategies for interfering with the critical functions of STK33 are not yet available. Here, using a mass spectrometry-based screen for STK33 protein interaction partners, we report that the HSP90/CDC37 chaperone complex binds to and stabilizes STK33 in human cancer cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of HSP90, using structurally divergent small molecules currently in clinical development, induced proteasome-mediated degradation of STK33 in human cancer cells of various tissue origin in vitro and in vivo, and triggered apoptosis preferentially in KRAS mutant cells in an STK33-dependent manner. Furthermore, HSP90 inhibitor treatment impaired sphere formation and viability of primary human colon tumor-initiating cells harboring mutant KRAS. These findings provide mechanistic insight into the activity of HSP90 inhibitors in KRAS mutant cancer cells, indicate that the enhanced requirement for STK33 can be exploited to target mutant KRAS-driven tumors, and identify STK33 depletion through HSP90 inhibition as a biomarker-guided therapeutic strategy with immediate translational potential.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/2012; 209(4):697-711. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At present, there are three ways to determine effectively the quality of the cryopreservation procedure using ovarian tissue before the re-implantation treatment: evaluation of follicles after post-thawing xenotransplantation to SCID mouse, in-vitro culture in a large volume of culture medium under constant agitation and culture on embryonic chorio-allantoic membrane within a hen's eggs. The aim of this study was to compare the two methods, culture in vitro and culture on embryonic chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of cryopreserved human ovarian medulla-contained and medulla-free cortex. Ovarian fragments were divided into small pieces (1.5-2.0×1.0-1.2×0.8-1.5) of two types, cortex with medulla and medulla-free cortex, frozen, thawed and randomly divided into the following four groups. Group 1: medulla-free cortex cultured in vitro for 8 days in large volume of medium with mechanical agitation, Group 2: medulla-containing cortex cultured in vitro, Group 3: medulla-free cortex cultured in CAM-system for 5 days, Group 4: medulla-containing cortex cultured in CAM-system. The efficacy of the tissue culture was evaluated by the development of follicles and by intensiveness of angiogenesis in the tissue (von Willebrand factor and Desmin). For Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively 85%, 85%, 87% and 84% of the follicles were morphologically normal (P>0.1). The immunohistochemical analysis showed that angiogenesis detected by von Willebrand factor was lower in groups 1 and 3 (medulla-free cortex). Neo-vascularisation (by Desmin) was observed only in ovarian tissue of Group 4 (medulla-contained cortex after CAM-culture). It appears that the presence of medulla in ovarian pieces is beneficial for post-thaw development of cryopreserved human ovarian tissue. For medical practice it is recommended for evaluation of post-warming ovarian tissue to use the CAM-system as a valuable alternative to xenotransplantation and for cryopreservation of these tissues to prepare ovarian medulla-contained strips.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e32549. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive tumor of the central nervous system, has a dismal prognosis that is due in part to its resistance to radio- and chemotherapy. The protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine threonine kinases has been implicated in the formation and proliferation of glioblastoma multiforme. Members of the protein kinase D (PKD) family, which consists of PKD1, -2 and, -3, are prominent downstream targets of PKCs and could play a major role in glioblastoma growth. PKD2 was highly expressed in both low-grade and high-grade human gliomas. The number of PKD2-positive tumor cells increased with glioma grading (P < .001). PKD2 was also expressed in CD133-positive glioblastoma stem cells and various glioblastoma cell lines in which the kinase was found to be constitutively active. Inhibition of PKDs by pharmacological inhibitors resulted in substantial inhibition of glioblastoma proliferation. Furthermore, specific depletion of PKD2 by siRNA resulted in a marked inhibition of anchorage-dependent and -independent proliferation and an accumulation of glioblastoma cells in G0/G1, accompanied by a down-regulation of cyclin D1 expression. In addition, PKD2-depleted glioblastoma cells exhibited substantially reduced tumor formation in vivo on chicken chorioallantoic membranes. These findings identify PKD2 as a novel mediator of glioblastoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo and thereby as a potential therapeutic target for this devastating disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to generate genomic signals, the androgen receptor (AR) has to be transported into the nucleus upon androgenic stimuli. However, there is evidence from in vitro experiments that in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells the AR is able to translocate into the nucleus in a ligand-independent manner. The recent finding that inhibition of the glycogen-synthase-kinase 3β (GSK-3β) induces a rapid nuclear export of the AR in androgen-stimulated prostate cancer cells prompted us to analyze the effects of a GSK-3β inhibition in the castration-resistant LNCaP sublines C4-2 and LNCaP-SSR. Both cell lines exhibit high levels of nuclear AR in the absence of androgenic stimuli. Exposure of these cells to the maleimide SB216763, a potent GSK-3β inhibitor, resulted in a rapid nuclear export of the AR even under androgen-deprived conditions. Moreover, the ability of C4-2 and LNCaP-SSR cells to grow in the absence of androgens was diminished after pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3β in vitro. The ability of SB216763 to modulate AR signalling and function in CRPC in vivo was additionally demonstrated in a modified chick chorioallantoic membrane xenograft assay after systemic delivery of SB216763. Our data suggest that inhibition of GSK-3β helps target the AR for export from the nucleus thereby diminishing the effects of mislocated AR in CRPC cells. Therefore, inhibition of GSK-3β could be an interesting new strategy for the treatment of CRPC.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e25341. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumour angiogenesis is crucially dependent on the communication between the tumour and the associated endothelium. Protein kinase D (PKD) isoenzymes mediate vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) induced endothelial cell proliferation and migration and are also highly expressed in various tumours.
To examine the role of PKDs for tumour proliferation and angiogenesis selectively in pancreatic and gastric tumours and in tumour-associated endothelium in vitro and in vivo.
PKD2 expression in human tumours was determined by immunohistochemistry. The effect of PKD2 depletion in endothelial cells by siRNAs was examined in sprouting assays, the chorioallantois model (CAM) and tumour xenografts. In murine endothelium in vivo PKD2 was knocked-down by splice switching oligonucleotides. Human PKD2 was depleted in xenografts by siRNAs and PKD2-miRs. PKD2 activation by hypoxia and its role for hypoxia-induced NR4/TR3- and VEGF-A promoter activity, expression and secretion was investigated in cell lines.
PKD2 is expressed in gastrointestinal tumours and in the tumour-associated endothelium. Tumour growth and angiogenesis in the CAM and in tumour xenografts require PKD expression in endothelial cells. Conversely, hypoxia activates PKD2 in pancreatic cancer cells and PKD2 was identified as the major mediator of hypoxia-stimulated VEGF-A promoter activity, expression and secretion in tumour cells. PKD2 depletion in pancreatic tumours inhibited tumour-driven blood vessel formation and tumour growth in the CAM and in orthotopic pancreatic cancer xenografts.
PKD2 regulates hypoxia-induced VEGF-A expression/secretion by tumour cells and VEGF-A stimulated blood vessel formation. PKD2 is a novel, essential mediator of tumour cell-endothelial cell communication and a promising therapeutic target to inhibit angiogenesis in gastrointestinal cancers.
Gut 10/2010; 59(10):1316-30. · 10.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Potassium channel modulatory factor 1 (KCMF1) was found upregulated in a differential screen in the metaplastic epithelium in the pancreas of transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha transgenic mice. Expression analysis indicated broad overexpression in human cancer tissues. Therefore, we investigated the hypothesis that KCMF1 promotes metaplastic changes and tumor development. KCMF1 represents an evolutionarily highly conserved protein with a 95% identity between human and zebrafish. KCMF1 is expressed during embryonic development and in the majority of adult tissues investigated. Upregulation of nuclear KCMF1 expression is evident in preneoplastic lesions and in several epithelial malignancies, such as pancreatic cancer in mice and humans. In cell culture and in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane model, KCMF1 enhances proliferation, migration and invasion of HEK-293 and Panc1 cells. In crossbreeding experiments, KCMF1-knockdown gene trap mice showed a reduced number and size of premalignant lesions and absence of pancreatic cancer formation in TGF-alpha transgenic mice. This effect is related to the decreased expression of G1 to S cell-cycle regulators such as cyclin D and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4. Our data support the hypothesis that KCMF1 mediates pro-oncogenic functions in vitro and in vivo and downregulation of KCMF1 results in the inhibition of pancreatic cancer formation in mice. These effects are mediated through downregulation of cell-cycle control genes such as cyclin D and CDK4.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC) accumulate in atherosclerotic arteries where they can modulate atherogenesis. We investigated whether plasmin might alter the function of human DC.
Stimulation of monocyte-derived DC with plasmin elicited a time-dependent actin polymerization and chemotaxis comparable to that triggered by the standard chemoattractant formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine. Plasmin triggered rapid activation of Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases, followed by phosphorylation of the regulatory myosin light chain and chemotaxis. For the chemotactic DC migration, the activation of Akt and p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinases were indispensable, as shown by pharmacological inhibitors. DC express Akt1 and Akt2, but not Akt3. However, in DC, plasmin activates exclusively Akt2 via a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent pathway. Accordingly, knockdown of Akt2 with short-hairpin RNA, but not of Akt1, blocked the plasmin-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation and the chemotactic response. Moreover, plasmin-stimulated DC induced polarization of CD4(+) T cells toward the interferon-gamma-producing, proinflammatory Th1 phenotype. Consistent with a role for DC and adaptive immune response in atherogenesis, we demonstrate DC in human atherosclerotic vessels and show that plasmin is abundant in human atherosclerotic lesions, where it colocalizes with DC.
Plasmin generation in the atherosclerotic vessel wall might contribute to accumulation of DC, activation of the adaptive immune response, and aggravation of atherosclerosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RhoA and RhoC are highly related Rho GTPases, but differentially control cellular behaviour. We combined molecular, cellular, and biochemical experiments to characterise differences between these highly similar GTPases. Our findings demonstrate that enhanced expression of RhoC results in a striking increase in the migration and invasion of pancreatic carcinoma cells, whereas forced expression of RhoA decreases these actions. These isoform-specific functions correlate with differences in the cellular activity of RhoA and RhoC in human cells, with RhoC being more active than RhoA in activity assays and serum-response factor-dependent gene transcription. Subcellular localisation studies revealed that RhoC is predominantly localised in the membrane-containing fraction, whereas RhoA is mainly localised in the cytoplasmic fraction. These differences are not mediated by a different interaction with RhoGDIs. In vitro GTP/GDP binding analyses demonstrate different affinity of RhoC for GTP[S] and faster intrinsic and guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF)-stimulated GDP/GTP exchange rates compared to RhoA. Moreover, the catalytic domains of SopE and Dbs are efficacious GEFs for RhoC. mRNA expression of RhoC is markedly enhanced in advanced pancreatic cancer stages, and thus the differences discovered between RhoA and RhoC might provide explanations for their different influences on cell migration and tumour invasion.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evasion of apoptosis is a characteristic feature of pancreatic cancer, a prototypic cancer that is refractory to current treatment approaches. Hence, there is an urgent need to design rational strategies that counter apoptosis resistance. To explore X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) as a therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer, we analyzed the expression of XIAP in pancreatic tumor samples and evaluated the effect of small molecule XIAP inhibitors alone and in combination with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) against pancreatic carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Here, we report that XIAP is highly expressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma samples compared with normal pancreatic ducts. Small molecule XIAP inhibitors synergize with TRAIL to induce apoptosis and to inhibit long-term clonogenic survival of pancreatic carcinoma cells. In contrast, they do not reverse the lack of toxicity of TRAIL on nonmalignant cells in vitro or normal tissues in vivo, pointing to a therapeutic index. Most importantly, XIAP inhibitors cooperate with TRAIL to trigger apoptosis and suppress pancreatic carcinoma growth in vivo in two preclinical models, i.e., the chorioallantoic membrane model and a mouse xenograft model. Parallel immunohistochemical analysis of tumor tissue under therapy reveals that the XIAP inhibitor acts in concert with TRAIL to cause caspase-3 activation and apoptosis. In conclusion, our findings provide, for the first time, evidence in vivo that XIAP inhibitors prime pancreatic carcinoma cells for TRAIL-induced apoptosis and potentiate the antitumor activity of TRAIL against established pancreatic carcinoma. These findings build the rationale for further (pre)clinical development of XIAP inhibitors and TRAIL against pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Research 04/2009; 69(6):2425-34. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance to apoptosis is a hallmark of pancreatic cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths. Therefore, novel strategies are required to target apoptosis resistance. Here, we report that the combination of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) inhibition and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an effective approach to trigger apoptosis despite Bcl-2 overexpression and to suppress pancreatic cancer growth in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of XIAP by RNA interference cooperates with TRAIL to induce caspase activation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, cytochrome c release, and apoptosis in pancreatic carcinoma cells. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c release are extensively inhibited by a broad range or caspase-3 selective caspase inhibitor and by RNAi-mediated silencing of caspase-3, indicating that XIAP inhibition enhances TRAIL-induced mitochondrial damage in a caspase-3-dependent manner. XIAP inhibition combined with TRAIL even breaks Bcl-2-imposed resistance by converting type II cells that depend on the mitochondrial contribution to the death receptor pathway to type I cells in which TRAIL-induced activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 and apoptosis proceeds irrespective of high Bcl-2 levels. Most importantly, XIAP inhibition potentiates TRAIL-induced antitumor activity in two preclinical models of pancreatic cancer in vivo. In the chicken chorioallantoic membrane model, XIAP inhibition significantly enhances TRAIL-mediated apoptosis and suppression of tumor growth. In a tumor regression model in xenograft-bearing mice, XIAP inhibition acts in concert with TRAIL to cause even regression of established pancreatic carcinoma. Thus, this combination of XIAP inhibition plus TRAIL is a promising strategy to overcome apoptosis resistance of pancreatic cancer that warrants further investigation.
Cancer Research 11/2008; 68(19):7956-65. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this article, we studied the effect of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKbetaBA), a natural inhibitor of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB on the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice.
Atherosclerotic lesions were induced by weekly LPS injection in apoE-/- mice. LPS alone increased atherosclerotic lesion size by approximately 100%, and treatment with AKbetaBA significantly reduced it by approximately 50%. Moreover, the activity of NF-kappaB was also reduced in the atherosclerotic plaques of LPS-injected apoE-/- mice treated with AKbetaBA. As a consequence, AKbetaBA treatment led to a significant downregulation of several NF-kappaB-dependent genes such as MCP-1, MCP-3, IL-1alpha, MIP-2, VEGF, and TF. By contrast, AKbetaBA did not affect the plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, antioxidized LDL antibodies, and various subsets of lymphocyte-derived cytokines. Moreover, AKbetaBA potently inhibited the IkappaB kinase (IKK) activity immunoprecipitated from LPS-stimulated mouse macrophages and mononuclear cells leading to decreased phosphorylation of IkappaB alpha and inhibition of p65/NF-kappaB activation. Comparable AKbetaBA-mediated inhibition was also observed in LPS-stimulated human macrophages.
The inhibition of NF-kappaB activity by plant resins from species of the Boswellia family might represent an alternative for classical medicine treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Butyrates and retinoids are promising antineoplastic agents. Here we analyzed effects of sodium butyrate and N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-retinamide (4-HPR) on prostate cancer cells as monotherapy or in combination in vitro and in vivo. Sodium butyrate and 4-HPR induced concentration-dependent growth inhibition in prostate cancer cells in vitro. The isobologram analysis revealed that sodium butyrate and 4-HPR administered together antagonize effects of each other. For the in vivo studies, a water-soluble complex (4-HPR with a cyclodextrin) was created. A single dose of sodium butyrate and 4-HPR showed a peak level in chicken plasma within 30 minutes. Both compounds induced inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis in xenografts of the chicken chorioallantoic membrane. Analysis of the cytotoxic effects of the drugs used in combination demonstrated an antagonistic effect on inhibition of proliferation and on induction of apoptosis. Prolonged jun N-terminal kinase phosphorylation induced by sodium butyrate and 4-HPR was strongly attenuated when both compounds were used in combination. Both compounds induced inhibition of NF-kappaB. This effect was strongly antagonized in LNCaP cells when the compounds were used in combination. These results indicate that combinational therapies have to be carefully investigated due to potential antagonistic effects in the clinical setting despite promising results of a monotherapy.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 03/2007; 9(3):246-53. · 5.48 Impact Factor