Ronald R Fiscus

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

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Publications (27)71.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Prominin-1 (CD133) is the first identified gene of a novel class of pentaspan membrane glycoproteins. It is expressed by various epithelial and non-epithelial cells, and notably by stem and cancer stem cells. In non-cancerous cells such as neuro-epithelial and hematopoietic stem cells, prominin-1 is selectively concentrated in plasma membrane protrusions, and released into the extracellular milieu in association with small vesicles. Previously, we demonstrated that prominin-1 contributes to melanoma cells pro-metastatic properties and suggested that it may constitute a molecular target to prevent prominin-1-expressing melanomas from colonizing and growing in lymph nodes and distant organs. Here, we report that three distinct pools of prominin-1 co-exist in cultures of human FEMX-I metastatic melanoma. Morphologically, in addition to the plasma membrane localization, prominin-1 is found within the intracellular compartments, (e.g., Golgi apparatus) and in association with extracellular membrane vesicles. The latter prominin-1-positive structures appeared in three sizes (small, ≤40nm; intermediates ~40-80nm, and large, >80nm). Functionally, the down-regulation of prominin-1 in FEMX-I cells resulted in a significant reduction of number of lipid droplets as observed by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering image analysis and Oil red O staining, and surprisingly in a decrease in the nuclear localization of beta-catenin, a surrogate marker of Wnt activation. Moreover, the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) promoter activity was 2 to 4 times higher in parental than in prominin-1-knockdown cells. Collectively, our results point to Wnt signaling and/or release of prominin-1-containing membrane vesicles as mediators of the pro-metastatic activity of prominin-1 in FEMX-I melanoma.
    Experimental Cell Research 01/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • J. C. Wong, R.R. Fiscus
    01/2013; , ISBN: 9789535110309
  • Janica C Wong, Madhavi Bathina, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, our laboratory showed that nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic GMP (cGMP)/protein kinase G type-Iα (PKG-Iα) signaling pathway plays an important role in preventing spontaneous apoptosis and promoting cell proliferation in both normal cells (bone marrow stromal cells and vascular smooth muscle cells) and certain cancer cells (ovarian cancer cells). In the present study, we investigated the novel role of the cGMP/PKG-Iα pathway in preventing spontaneous apoptosis, promoting colony formation and regulating phosphorylation of cAMP response element binding (CREB) protein and protein expression of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2-related proteins in NCI-H460 and A549 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. 1H-(1,2,4)oxadiazolo(4,3-a)quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), which blocks endogenous NO-induced activation of cGMP/PKG-Iα, induced apoptosis and decreased colony formation. ODQ also decreased CREB ser133 phosphorylation and protein expression of c-IAP1, livin, and survivin. DT-2 (inhibitor of PKG-Iα kinase activity) increased apoptosis by twofold and decreased CREB ser133 phosphorylation and c-IAP1, livin, and survivin expression. Gene knockdown of PKG-Iα expression using small-interfering RNA increased apoptosis and decreased CREB ser133 phosphorylation, and c-IAP1, livin, survivin, and Mcl-1 expression. Inhibition of PKG-Iα kinase activity with DT-2 dramatically enhanced pro-apoptotic effects of the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin. Combined treatment of DT-2 and cisplatin increased apoptosis compared with cisplatin or DT-2 alone, showing a synergistic effect. The data suggest that the PKG-Iα kinase activity is necessary for maintaining higher levels of CREB phosphorylation at ser133 and protein expression of c-IAP1, livin, survivin, and Mcl-1, preventing spontaneous apoptosis and promoting colony formation in NSCLC cells, which may limit the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents like cisplatin. J. Cell. Biochem. 113: 3587-3598, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 06/2012; 113(11):3587-98. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-307-812-0
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    ABSTRACT: Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) inflammation is recognized as a mechanism by which obesity is associated with metabolic diseases. The communication between adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) and adipocytes is important to understanding the interaction between immunity and energy metabolism and its roles in obesity-induced diseases. Yet visualizing adipocytes and macrophages in complex tissues is challenging to standard imaging methods. Here, we describe the use of a multimodal nonlinear optical (NLO) microscope to characterize the composition of VATs of lean and obese mice including adipocytes, macrophages, and collagen fibrils in a label-free manner. We show that lipid metabolism processes such as lipid droplet formation, lipid droplet microvesiculation, and free fatty acids trafficking can be dynamically monitored in macrophages and adipocytes. With its versatility, NLO microscopy should be a powerful imaging tool to complement molecular characterization of the immunity-metabolism interface.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e38418. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Mary G Johlfs, Ronald R. Fiscus
    01/2012: pages 219-348;
  • Janica C Wong, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: Inappropriate signaling conditions within bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) can lead to loss of BMSC survival, contributing to the loss of a proper micro-environmental niche for hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), ultimately causing bone marrow failure. In the present study, we investigated the novel role of endogenous atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and the nitric oxide (NO)/cGMP/protein kinase G type-Iα (PKG-Iα) signaling pathway in regulating BMSC survival and proliferation, using the OP9 BMSC cell line commonly used for facilitating the differentiation of HSCs. Using an ANP-receptor blocker, endogenously produced ANP was found to promote cell proliferation and prevent apoptosis. NO donor SNAP (S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine) at low concentrations (10 and 50 µM), which would moderately stimulate PKG activity, protected these BMSCs against spontaneous apoptosis. YC-1, a soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activator, decreased the levels of apoptosis, similar to the cytoprotective effects of low-level NO. ODQ (1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3,-a]quinoxalin-1-one), which blocks endogenous NO-induced activation of sGC and thus lowers endogenous cGMP/PKG activity, significantly elevated apoptotic levels by 2.5- and three-fold. Pre-incubation with 8-Bromo-cGMP or ANP, which bypass the ODQ block, almost completely prevented the ODQ-induced apoptosis. A highly-specific PKG inhibitor, DT-3, at 20, and 30 µM, caused 1.5- and two-fold increases in apoptosis, respectively. ODQ and DT-3 also decreased BMSCs proliferation and colony formation. Small Interfering RNA gene knockdown of PKG-Iα increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation in BMSCs. The data suggest that basal NO/cGMP/PKG-Iα activity and autocrine ANP/cGMP/PKG-Iα are necessary for preserving OP9 cell survival and promoting cell proliferation and migration.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 03/2011; 112(3):829-39. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    Ronald R Fiscus, Mary G Johlfs
    BMC Pharmacology 01/2011; 11:1-2.
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we showed that basal activity of nitric oxide (NO)/cyclic GMP (cGMP)/protein kinase G (PKG) signaling pathway protects against spontaneous apoptosis and confers resistance to cisplatin-induced apoptosis in human ovarian cancer cells. The present study determines whether basal PKG kinase activity regulates Src family kinase (SFK) activity and proliferation in these cells. PKG-Ialpha was identified as predominant isoform in both OV2008 (cisplatin-sensitive, wild-type p53) and A2780cp (cisplatin-resistant, mutated p53) ovarian cancer cells. In both cell lines, ODQ (inhibitor of endogenous NO-induced cGMP biosynthesis), DT-2 (highly specific inhibitor of PKG-Ialpha kinase activity), and PKG-Ialpha knockdown (using small interfering RNA) caused concentration-dependent inhibition of DNA synthesis (assessed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation), indicating an important role of basal cGMP/PKG-Ialpha kinase activity in promoting cell proliferation. DNA synthesis in OV2008 cells was dependent on SFK activity, determined using highly selective SFK inhibitor, 4-(4'-phenoxyanilino)-6,7-dimethoxyquinazoline (SKI-1). Studies using DT-2 and PKG-Ialpha small interfering RNA revealed that SFK activity was dependent on PKG-Ialpha kinase activity. Furthermore, SFK activity contributed to endogenous tyrosine phosphorylation of PKG-Ialpha in OV2008 and A2780cp cells. In vitro coincubation of recombinant human c-Src and PKG-Ialpha resulted in c-Src-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of PKG-Ialpha and enhanced c-Src autophosphorylation/activation, suggesting that human c-Src directly tyrosine phosphorylates PKG-Ialpha and the c-Src/PKG-Ialpha interaction enhances Src kinase activity. Epidermal growth factor-induced stimulation of SFK activity in OV2008 cells increased PKG-Ialpha kinase activity (indicated by Ser(239) phosphorylation of the PKG substrate vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein), which was blocked by both SKI-1 and SU6656. The data suggest an important role of Src/PKG-Ialpha interaction in promoting DNA synthesis/cell proliferation in human ovarian cancer cells. The NO/cGMP/PKG-Ialpha signaling pathway may provide a novel therapeutic target for disrupting ovarian cancer cell proliferation.
    Molecular Cancer Research 04/2010; 8(4):578-91. · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • Mary G Johlfs, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that the cGMP/protein kinase G (PKG) signaling pathway plays an essential role in preventing spontaneous apoptosis in neural cells; however, the mechanism is not understood. A potential downstream target of PKG is the apoptosis-regulating protein Bad, which contains a sequence around its serine 155 (ser155 in mouse Bad, equivalent to ser118 in human Bad) predicted to be a consensus motif for PKG-catalyzed phosphorylation. Using both in vitro and cell-based experiments, we determined if PKG phosphorylates Bad at ser155 and if blocking/stimulating PKG-catalyzed Bad phosphorylation causes pro-apoptotic/anti-apoptotic responses. Recombinant PKG type-Ialpha (PKG-Ialpha) was found to directly phosphorylate recombinant Bad at ser155 in vitro. In N1E-115 mouse neural cells, which naturally express PKG-Ialpha as the predominant PKG isoform, addition of 8-Br-cGMP (0.1-1.0 mM), a cell-permeable direct PKG-Ialpha activator, increased ser155 phosphorylation of Bad. ODQ (50 microM), a soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor that lowers cGMP/PKG activity, decreased serum-induced ser155 phosphorylation of Bad and induced apoptosis in N1E-115 cells. Treatment with DT-2 and DT-3, selective PKG-Ialpha inhibitors, both decreased Bad ser155 phosphorylation and induced apoptosis. The data indicate that PKG-Ialpha directly phosphorylates Bad at ser155, which may participate in cGMP/PKG-induced anti-apoptotic/cytoprotective effects in neural cells.
    Neurochemistry International 03/2010; 56(4):546-53. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell theory hypothesizes that cancers are perpetuated by cancer stem cells (CSC) or tumor initiating cells (TIC) possessing self-renewal and other stem cell-like properties while differentiated non-stem/initiating cells have a finite life span. To investigate whether the hypothesis is applicable to lung cancer, identification of lung CSC and demonstration of these capacities is essential. The expression profiles of five stem cell markers (CD34, CD44, CD133, BMI1 and OCT4) were screened by flow cytometry in 10 lung cancer cell lines. CD44 was further investigated by testing for in vitro and in vivo tumorigenecity. Formation of spheroid bodies and in vivo tumor initiation ability were demonstrated in CD44(+) cells of 4 cell lines. Serial in vivo tumor transplantability in nude mice was demonstrated using H1299 cell line. The primary xenografts initiated from CD44(+) cells consisted of mixed CD44(+) and CD44(-) cells in similar ratio as the parental H1299 cell line, supporting in vivo differentiation. Semi-quantitative Real-Time PCR (RT-PCR) showed that both freshly sorted CD44(+) and CD44(+) cells derived from CD44(+)-initiated tumors expressed the pluripotency genes OCT4/POU5F1, NANOG, SOX2. These stemness markers were not expressed by CD44(-) cells. Furthermore, freshly sorted CD44(+) cells were more resistant to cisplatin treatment with lower apoptosis levels than CD44(-) cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of 141 resected non-small cell lung cancers showed tumor cell expression of CD44 in 50.4% of tumors while no CD34, and CD133 expression was observed in tumor cells. CD44 expression was associated with squamous cell carcinoma but unexpectedly, a longer survival was observed in CD44-expressing adenocarcinomas. Overall, our results demonstrated that stem cell-like properties are enriched in CD44-expressing subpopulations of some lung cancer cell lines. Further investigation is required to clarify the role of CD44 in tumor cell renewal and cancer propagation in the in vivo environment.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(11):e14062. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Janica C Wong, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinase G (PKG), a recognized downstream mediator of nitric oxide, is a key regulator of cardiovascular physiology and pathology. High-level stimulation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate/PKG signaling using high concentrations of nitric oxide donors, mimicking pathological conditions, induces apoptosis in vascular smooth muscle cells. In contrast, we have found that PKG at basal and moderately elevated activity prevents both spontaneous and toxin-induced apoptosis in many other cells. We hypothesized that PKG's apoptosis-regulatory role in vascular smooth muscle cells depends on PKG activation levels [low/basal-level activation prevents apoptosis, whereas high-level activation (hyperactivation) causes apoptosis]. Furthermore, we hypothesized that, although PKG hyperactivation inhibits vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation (potentially causing anti-atherogenic effects), basal PKG activity may promote vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation/atherogenesis. Involvement of PKG in apoptosis and proliferation was determined in unpassaged vascular smooth muscle cells from mouse aorta. Western blot analysis was used to determine PKG expression, and activators/inhibitors of PKG activity were used to determine involvement in apoptosis (Hoechst staining and DNA-fragmentation ELISAs) and proliferation (cell count, MTT assay, and BrdU incorporation). Both PKG-Iα and PKG-Iβ isoforms were expressed. Lower-level stimulation of PKG using the nitric oxide donor S-nitroso-acetylpenacillamine (10, 50 μM) significantly (P<.05) lowered spontaneous apoptosis, whereas S-nitroso-acetylpenacillamine at higher concentrations (500, 1000 μM) elevated apoptosis. Twenty-four-hour pretreatment with atrial natriuretic peptide, a PKG activator, completely prevented high-concentration, nitric oxide-induced apoptosis. Inhibition of basal PKG activity using highly selective PKG inhibitors, DT-2 and DT-3, significantly (P<.001) increased apoptosis and inhibited DNA synthesis/proliferation. The data suggest that basal/moderately elevated PKG activity protects against high/pathological-level nitric oxide-induced apoptosis and promotes DNA synthesis/proliferation in vascular smooth muscle cells, potentially important for atherogenesis.
    Cardiovascular pathology: the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology 01/2010; 19(6):e221-31. · 1.63 Impact Factor
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    E L Leung, M Fraser, R R Fiscus, B K Tsang
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    ABSTRACT: The present study determines if (1) basal protein levels of nitric oxide (NO) synthases (eNOS, iNOS, and nNOS) are different in cisplatin-sensitive (OV2008) and counterpart cisplatin-resistant (C13(*)) human ovarian cancer cells, (2) cisplatin alters NOS levels, (3) NO donor causes apoptosis and p53 upregulation, (4) NO donor sensitizes C13(*) cells to cisplatin via p53 upregulation (determined by p53 siRNA gene-knockdown), and (5) inhibition of endogenous NOS alters cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Basal iNOS levels were higher in OV2008 cells than in C13(*) cells. Cisplatin upregulated iNOS, but dramatically reduced eNOS and nNOS, in OV2008 cells only. Failure of cisplatin to upregulate iNOS and downregulate eNOS/nNOS in cisplatin-resistant C13(*) cells may be an aetiological factor in the development of resistance. The NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) increased p53 protein levels and induced apoptosis in both cell types, and enhanced cisplatin-induced apoptosis in C13(*) cells in a p53-dependent manner (i.e., enhancement blocked by p53 siRNA). Specific iNOS inhibitor 1400W partially blocked cisplatin-induced apoptosis in OV2008 cells. In cisplatin-resistant C13(*) cells, blocking all NOSs with N(G)-amino-L-arginine dramatically changed these cells from cisplatin-resistant to cisplatin-sensitive, greatly potentiating cisplatin-induced apoptosis. The data suggest important roles for the three NOSs in regulating chemoresistance to cisplatin in ovarian cancer cells.
    British Journal of Cancer 07/2008; 98(11):1803-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Crude extracts and three purified tannins from Geum japonicum Thunberg (Rosaceae) were examined for relaxant effects in isolated rat thoracic aorta and for hypotensive effects in anesthetized normotensive and hypertensive rats. The acetone extract and the butyl alcohol extract of Geum japonicum at a cumulative concentration of 30mug/ml potently relaxed phenylephrine-precontracted aortic rings by 73+/-5% and 80+/-7%, respectively, without affecting the resting tension of these vessels. Removal of the vascular endothelium, inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthase with N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine (l-NA) or inhibition of cGMP biosynthesis with methylene blue all abolished the vasorelaxant effects of the Geum japonicum extracts. Addition of l-arginine, the substrate for NO biosynthesis, reversed the inhibitory effects of l-NA. Similar vasorelaxant effects of 82+/-10%, 61+/-8% and 82+/-14%, were observed with the purified tannins, penta-O-galloyl-beta-glucoside, casuariin and 5-desgalloylstachyurin, respectively, at a cumulative concentration of 10muM. Intravenous injection of the butyl alcohol extract of Geum japonicum at a cumulative dose of 2.5mg/kg into both hypertensive and normotensive rats resulted in a marked reduction in the mean arterial blood pressure by 46+/-6% and 34+/-7%, respectively, which was abolished by prior injection of l-NA. Therefore, these results suggest that tannins may be responsible for the vasorelaxant and hypotensive effects of Geum japonicum, mediated via endogenous NO and subsequent cGMP formation. The data suggest that extracts of Geum japonicum may have potential use as new anti-hypertensive agents for lowering arterial blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
    Journal of Ethnopharmacology 02/2007; 109(1):128-33. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    M Fraser, S S L Chan, R R Fiscus, B K Tsang
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulated apoptosis plays a critical role in the development of a number of aberrant cellular processes, including tumorigenesis and chemoresistance. However, the mechanisms that govern the normal apoptotic program are not completely understood. Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) promote mammalian cell viability via an unknown mechanism and p53 status is a key determinant of cell fate in human ovarian cancer cells. Whether an interaction exists between these two determinants of cell fate is unknown. We hypothesized that basal sGC activity reduces p53 content and attenuates p53-dependent apoptosis in human ovarian cancer cells. Suppression of sGC activity with the specific inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) lowered cGMP content, and increased p53 protein content and induced apoptosis in three ovarian cancer cell lines, effects which were attenuated by the cGMP analog 8-Br-cGMP and by Atrial Natriuretic Factor, an activator of particulate guanylyl cyclase, which circumvent the inhibition of sGC. ODQ prolonged p53 half-life, induced phosphorylation of p53 on Ser15, and upregulated the p53-dependent gene products p21, murine double minute-2, and the proapoptotic, p53-responsive gene product Bax. ODQ activated caspase-3, and ODQ-induced apoptosis was inhibited by overexpression of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis Protein. Pretreatment with the specific p53 inhibitor pifithrin or downregulation of p53 using a specific small inhibitory RNA significantly attenuated ODQ-induced apoptosis. Moreover, ODQ-induced upregulation of p21 and Bax and ODQ-induced apoptosis were significantly reduced in a p53 mutant cell line relative to the wild-type parental cell line. Thus, the current study establishes that basal sGC/cGMP activity regulates p53 protein stability, content, and function, possibly by altering p53 phosphorylation and stabilization, and promotes cell survival in part through regulation of caspase-3 and p53.
    Oncogene 05/2006; 25(15):2203-12. · 7.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exaggerated vasospasm, platelet activation, and early graft occlusion are significant barriers to successful coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Interestingly, vascular smooth muscle and platelets are predominant sources of type-5 phosphodiesterase (PDE5) in the body, and this enzyme is specifically inhibited by PDE5 inhibitors (eg, sildenafil citrate). Together with endogenous nitric oxide, sildenafil can induce pulmonary and coronary vasodilation, precondition the myocardium, reduce platelet activation, and potentially reduce early graft occlusion. Currently, there are no published clinical trials investigating sildenafil in coronary surgery. Recent studies on the potential use of sildenafil strongly support its beneficial effects in a wide range of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, we sought to review the literature, explore the current hypothesis that the use of sildenafil in coronary surgery patients can be beneficial, and attempt to define its potential place in the setting of CABG.
    Chest 11/2005; 128(4):3065-73. · 5.85 Impact Factor
  • Gabriel H H Chan, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is produced at high levels by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) during inflammation and other pathological conditions, contributing to development of cardiovascular diseases. The present study determined if aging affects the ability of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, to induce increased NO production (assessed by Griess reaction) and iNOS mRNA levels (assessed by RT-PCR/agarose gel electrophoresis) in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from young (3-month-old) and elderly (20-22-month-old) rats. The VSMCs cells were used only in early passages (passages 0 and 1) to avoid phenotypic modulation. To uncover subtle differences in basal iNOS mRNA levels in VSMCs of young and elderly rats, RT-PCR products were also analyzed by a new ultrasensitive technique using capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detector (CE-LIF). IL-1beta (5 ng/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased NO production 3.7-fold in elderly female VSMCs and 6.7-fold in elderly male VSMCs, but had no detectable effect in young female and male VSMCs. Basal iNOS mRNA levels (assessed by RT-PCR/CE-LIF) were dramatically higher in VSMCs of elderly male rats compared to young ones. In general, VSMCs of elderly rats showed much greater sensitively to iNOS-inducing actions of IL-1beta. These data give new insight into effects of aging on iNOS expression in VSMCs, showing dramatic increases in both basal and stimulated iNOS mRNA levels, which may contribute to the development of vascular diseases in the elderly.
    Experimental Gerontology 03/2004; 39(3):387-94. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    Siu Lan Chan, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: The cGMP/protein kinase G (PKG) signalling pathway, at basal levels, has anti-apoptotic/pro-survival effects in certain neural cells. The present study determined apoptosis-regulating effects of basal cGMP/PKG in an immortalized uterine epithelial cell line, HRE-H9 cells, using two soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) inhibitors, NS2028 and ODQ, and a PKG inhibitor, KT5823. A new quantitative, ultrasensitive technique using capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescent detector (CE-LIF), recently developed in our laboratory, was used to quantify levels of apoptotic DNA fragmentation. NS2028 and ODQ increased apoptotic DNA fragmentation by 3.5- and 9-fold respectively, suggesting that lowering basal cGMP levels causes spontaneous apoptosis. 8-Br-cGMP, a cell-permeable cGMP analogue that directly activates PKG, reduced ODQ-induced apoptosis by 81%, indicating that replacement of lowered cGMP with a direct PKG activator prevents apoptosis. Western blot analysis, using PKG type I (PKG-I)-specific antibody, indicated that HRE-H9 cells express PKG-I at moderate levels. Inhibiting basal PKG activity with KT5823 increased apoptotic DNA fragmentation by 9.8-fold. Overall, the data show that inhibitors of basal sGC and PKG activities in immortalized uterine epithelial cells cause apoptosis, suggesting that normal basal levels of cGMP and PKG activity may be necessary to prevent a spontaneous development of apoptosis in these cells.
    Molecular Human Reproduction 01/2004; 9(12):775-83. · 4.54 Impact Factor
  • Siew Boon Cheng Chew, Pui Ying Leung, Ronald Ray Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: The TUNEL method is used to quantify the proapoptotic effects of an NO donor, S-nitroso- N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), in NG108-15 cells. Unlike sodium nitroprusside used in previous studies, SNAP does not release cyanide along with NO, thus NO toxicity was determined without concurrent cyanide toxicity. The present study also determined if pretreatment with ANP could protect against NO-induced apoptosis in NG108-15 cells. Cell death at 24 h following SNAP treatment was associated with apoptotic DNA fragmentation. SNAP at 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, and 2.0 mM caused significant (P<0.05) increases in the percentage of TUNEL-labeled cells from a control of 0.90% to 6.19%, 6.36%, 7.25%, and 15.1%, respectively. Thus, SNAP caused concentration-dependent induction of apoptosis in NG108-15 cells. SNAP-induced apoptosis was confirmed by morphological changes and increased levels of polynucleosome-sized fragments of DNA assessed by capillary electrophoresis. Preincubation for 24 h with ANP at 0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 microM, before the SNAP, significantly (P<0.05) decreased the percentage of labeled cells from 7.25% to 5.10%, 4.36%, and 3.24% in the presence of SNAP (1 mM) and from 15.1% to 7.91%, 6.64%, and 5.60% in the presence of SNAP (2 mM), respectively, representing protection of 24.0%, 34.0%, and 57.0% against SNAP (1 mM) and 26.0%, 37.0%, and 50.9% against SNAP (2 mM). Thus, prior activation of a cGMP-mediated neuroprotective mechanism induced by ANP appears to counterbalance, at least partially, the proapoptotic effects of excess NO. This neuroprotective mechanism involving cGMP may be especially important in protecting against the development of neurodegenerative diseases in which excess NO is thought to contribute to neuronal apoptosis.
    Histochemie 09/2003; 120(3):163-71. · 2.61 Impact Factor
  • Erik Fung, Ronald R Fiscus
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    ABSTRACT: Our laboratory previously demonstrated that nitric oxide and natriuretic peptides can synergistically enhance cAMP elevations and vasorelaxations in rat aortic rings induced by calcitonin gene-related peptide, likely involving cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-mediated inhibition of type-3 phosphodiesterase (PDE3). It was predicted that this cellular mechanism may also serve as a point of synergism between adrenomedullin (ADM) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) in aortic smooth muscle cells. The current study shows that ADM (100 nM)-induced vasorelaxations in isolated aortic rings of Sprague-Dawley rats are dependent on endothelium (34.1 +/- 4.2% relaxation with endothelium versus 3.0 +/- 0.6% relaxation without endothelium; P < 0.001). To determine interactions between ADM and BNP in smooth muscle cells without interference from endothelium-derived factors, further studies used aortic rings denuded of endothelium. Pretreatment with BNP (1 nM), which elevated cGMP levels 1.6 fold, uncovered direct vasorelaxant effects of ADM in endothelium-denuded rings, showing 5.6 +/- 1.8%, 20.9 +/- 6.1%, and 55 +/- 9.4% relaxations with ADM at 1, 10, and 100 nM, respectively (n = 6). ADM (100 nM) significantly (P < 0.05) increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels in denuded aortic rings pretreated with BNP (1 nM), but not in denuded rings without BNP. Quazinone (20 microM), a PDE3 inhibitor, caused similar enhancement of direct cAMP elevations to ADM (100 nM). The data indicate vasodilatory synergism between ADM and BNP in aorta, likely mediated by enhanced accumulation of cAMP in smooth muscle cells resulting from BNP/cGMP-induced inhibition of PDE3. This synergistic mechanism may be especially important in subjects with dysfunctional endothelium, in which BNP may uncover direct vasorelaxant effects of ADM in arteries that normally require healthy (nitric oxide-releasing) endothelium for ADM-induced vasorelaxations to occur.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 06/2003; 41(6):849-55. · 2.38 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

358 Citations
71.87 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
      Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
    • Roseman University of Health Sciences
      • College of Pharmacy
      Henderson, NV, United States
  • 2010–2011
    • Nevada cancer institute
      Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • 1999–2008
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Physiology
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong