[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditional systemic chemotherapy does not provide survival benefits in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Molecular targeted therapy shows promise for HCC treatment, however, the duration of effectiveness for targeted therapies is finite and combination therapies offer the potential for improved effectiveness.
Sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor, and YC-1, a soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) activator, were tested in HCC by proliferation assay, cell cycle analysis and western blot in vitro and orthotopic and ectopic HCC models in vivo.
In vitro, combination of sorafenib and YC-1 synergistically inhibited proliferation and colony formation of HepG2, BEL-7402 and HCCLM3 cells. The combination also induced S cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, as observed by activated PARP and caspase 8. Sorafenib and YC-1 respectively suppressed the expression of phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) (Y705) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Combination of sorafenib and YC-1 significantly inhibited the expression of p-STAT3 (Y705) (S727), p-ERK1/2, cyclin D1 and survivin and SHP-1 activity compared with sorafenib or YC-1 used alone in all tested HCC cell lines. In vivo, sorafenib-YC-1 combination significantly suppressed the growth of HepG2 tumor xenografts with decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis observed by PCNA and PARP. Similar results were also confirmed in a HCCLM3 orthotopic model. There was a reduction in CD31-positive blood vessels and reduced VEGF expression, which suggested a combinational effect of sorafenib and YC-1 on angiogenesis. The reduced expression of p-STAT3, cyclin D1 and survivin was also observed with the combination of sorafenib and YC-1.
Our data show that sorafenib-YC-1 combination is a novel potent therapeutic agent that can target the STAT3 signaling pathway to inhibit HCC tumor growth.
Molecular Cancer 01/2014; 13(1):7. · 5.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Residual tumor progression after insufficient radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been recently reported. However, whether epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is a key process that drives cancer metastasis, is involved in the tumor progression after insufficient RFA is not well understood.
Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines SMMC7721 and Huh7 were used. Insufficient RFA was simulated using a water bath (47[degree sign]C 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 20 min and 25 min gradually). MTT assay was used to evaluate the proliferation of HCC cells in vitro. Migration and invasion of HCC cells were determined by transwell assay. The molecular changes in HCC cells after insufficient RFA were evaluated by western blot. LY294002 and PD98059 were used to treat HCC cells. An ectopic nude mice model and a tail vein metastatic assay were used to evaluate the growth and metastatic potential of SMMC7721 cells in vivo after insufficient RFA.
SMMC7721 and Huh7 cells after insufficient RFA (named as SMMC7721-H and Huh7-H respectively) exhibited enhanced proliferation, migration and invasion (6.4% and 23.6%, 33.2% and 66.1%, and 44.1% and 57.4% increase respectively) in vitro. Molecular changes of EMT were observed in SMMC7721-H and Huh7-H cells. LY294002 and PD98059 inhibited the EMT of SMMC7721-H and Huh7-H cells. SMMC7721-H cells also exhibited larger tumor size (1440.8 +/- 250.3 mm3 versus 1048.56 +/- 227.6 mm3) and more lung metastasis (97.4% increase) than SMMC7721 cells in vivo. Higher expression of PCNA, N-cadherin and MMP-2 and MMP-9, was also observed in SMMC7721-H tumors.
Insufficient RFA could directly promote the invasiveness and metastasis of HCC cells. Insufficient RFA may promote the EMT of HCC cells through Akt and ERK signaling pathways.
Journal of Translational Medicine 10/2013; 11(1):273. · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) stimulating angiogenesis is required for tumor growth and progression. The conventional VEGF-A isoforms have been considered as pro-angiogenic factors. Another family of VEGF-A isoforms generated by alternative splicing, termed VEGFxxxb isoforms, has anti-angiogenic property, exemplified by VEGF165b. Here, we identify a new number of VEGFxxx family-VEGF111b induced by mitomycin C, although not detected in mitomycin C-unexposed ovarian cancer cells. SKOV3 cells were transfected with pcDNA3.1 empty vector, pcDNA3.1-VEGF111b or pcDNA3.1-VEGF165b to collect conditioned mediums respectively. VEGF111b overexpression inhibits proliferation, migration and tube formation of endothelial cell by inhibiting VEGF-R2 phosphorylation and its downstream signaling, similar to VEGF165b but slightly lower than VEGF165b. The anti-angiogenic property depends on the six amino acids of exon 8b of the VEGFxxxb isoforms. Our results show that VEGF111b is a novel potent anti-angiogenic agent that can target the VEGF-R2 and its signaling pathway to inhibit ovarian tumor growth.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2013; · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The mechanism regarding rapid progression of residual hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after insufficient radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been preliminarily discussed. However, most studies have mainly focused on RFA-induced changes in the tumor cells. The present study was designed to determine whether tumor-associated endothelial cells (TAECs) could contribute to the invasiveness of HCC after insufficient RFA. METHODS: TAECs were isolated from fresh HCC tissue and characterized. Morphological changes were observed in TAECs after heat treatment for 10 min. TAEC proliferation, migration and tube formation after heat treatment for 10 min at 37[degree sign]C (control group), and 42 and 47[degree sign]C (insufficient RFA groups) were examined. The differences in TAEC interactions with HepG2-GFP or HCCLM3-GFP cells among the two insufficient RFA groups and control group were evaluated. The expression of E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in TAECs was measured. The effects of TAECs on the invasiveness of HepG2-GFP or HCCLM3-GFP cells after insufficient RFA were analyzed. The IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and GRO-alpha concentrations in conditioned medium from TAECs were measured after insufficient RFA. The associated signaling pathways of Akt, ERK1/2, STAT3 and NF-kappaB were analyzed in TAECs after insufficient RFA. RESULTS: TAECs expressed the EC-specific markers and took up complexes of Dil-Ac-LDL. Relative to the control group, the proliferation of TAECs was significantly inhibited and their migration and tube formation were significantly enhanced in the insufficient RFA groups. Significantly more HepG2-GFP or HCCLM3-GFP cells adhered to TACEs in these groups than in the control group (all P<0.001), via up-regulated expression of E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1. TAECs promoted the invasiveness of HepG2-GFP or HCCLM3-GFP cells after insufficient RFA via the up-regulation of IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and GRO-alpha in conditioned medium (all P<0.05). Insufficient RFA enhanced the activities of Akt, ERK1/2 and NF-kappaB signaling pathways and inhibited STAT3 signaling pathways. CONCLUSIONS: Insufficient RFA enhanced TAEC migration and tube formation, and this may play a key role in the rapid growth of residual HCC. Increased expression of metastasis-related molecules in TAECs after insufficient RFA may be a potential mechanism for the metastasis of residual HCC.
Journal of Translational Medicine 11/2012; 10(1):230. · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanism of rapid growth of the residual tumor after radiofrequency (RF) ablation is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effect of hyperthermia on HepG2 cells and generated a subline with enhanced viability and dys-regulated angiogenesis in vivo, which was used as a model to further determine the molecular mechanism of the rapid growth of residual HCC after RF ablation.
Heat treatment was used to establish sublines of HepG2 cells. A subline (HepG2 k) with a relatively higher viability and significant heat tolerance was selected. The cellular protein levels of VEGFA, HIF-1α and p-Akt, VEGFA mRNA and secreted VEGFA were measured, and all of these were up-regulated in this subline compared to parental HepG2 cells. HIF-1α inhibitor YC-1 and VEGFA siRNA inhibited the high viability of the subline. The conditioned media from the subline exerted stronger pro-angiogenic effects. Bevacizumab, VEGFA siRNA and YC-1 inhibited proangiogenic effects of the conditioned media of HepG2 k cells and abolished the difference between parental HepG2 cells and HepG2 k cells. For in vivo studies, a nude mouse model was used, and the efficacy of bavacizumab was determined. HepG2 k tumor had stronger pro-angiogenic effects than parental HepG2 tumor. Bevacizumab could inhibit the tumor growth and angiogenesis, and also eliminate the difference in tumor growth and angiogenesis between parental HepG2 tumor and HepG2 k tumor in vivo.
The angiogenesis induced by HIF1α/VEGFA produced by altered cells after hyperthermia treatment may play an important role in the rapid growth of residual HCC after RF ablation. Bevacizumab may be a good candidate drug for preventing and treating the process.
PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e37266. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic studies suggested complicated associations between type 2 diabetes mellitus and breast cancer. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is inversely associated with the risk and mortality of breast cancer. Our study is to determine the different effects of normal and diabetic HDL on breast cancer cell metastasis.
MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 cells were treated with N-HDL, D-HDL, G-HDL, and Ox-HDL. Cell metastasis potency was examined using a tail-vein injection model, and cell adhesion abilities to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and extracellular matrix (ECM) were determined in vitro. Integrin expression and protein kinase C (PKC) activity were evaluated, and PKC inhibitor was applied.
D-HDL dramatically promoted cell pulmonary metastasis (103.6% increase at P < 0.001 for MDA-MB-231 with 1 × 10(5) cell injection; 157.1% increase at P < 0.05 for MCF7 with 4 × 10(5) cell injection) and hepatic metastasis (18.1-fold increase at P < 0.001 for MCF7 with 4 × 10(5) cell injection), and stimulated higher TC-HUVECs adhesion (21.9% increase at P < 0.001 for MDA-MB-231; 23.6% increase at P < 0.05 for MCF7) and TC-ECM attachment (59.9% and 47.9% increase, respectively, for MDA-MB-231 and MCF7, both at P < 0.01) compared with N-HDL. D-HDL stimulated higher integrin (β1, β2, β3, and αν) expression on cell surface and induced higher PKC activity. Increased TC-HUVECs and TC-ECM adhesion induced by D-HDL, G-HDL, and Ox-HDL could be inhibited by staurosporine.
Our study showed that glycation and oxidation of HDL in diabetic patients could lead to abnormal actions on breast cancer cell adhesion to HUVECs and ECM, thereby promoting metastasis progression of breast cancer. This will largely draw the attention of HDL-based treatments in the diabetes patients with breast cancer.
Clinical Cancer Research 03/2012; 18(5):1246-56. · 8.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid progression of residual tumor after radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatocellular carcinoma has been observed increasingly. However, its underlying mechanisms remain to be clarified. The present study was designed to determine whether low temperature of RFA at the target sites facilitates rapid progression of residual hepatic VX2 carcinoma and to clarify the possible underlying mechanisms.
The residual VX2 hepatoma model in rabbits was established by using RFA at 55, 70 and 85 degrees C. Rabbits that were implanted with VX2 hepatoma but did not receive RFA acted as a control group. The relationship between rapid progression of residual hepatic VX2 carcinoma and low temperature of RFA at the target sites was carefully evaluated. A number of potential contributing molecular factors, such as proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured.
The focal tumor volume and lung metastases of RFA-treated rabbits increased significantly compared with the control group (P < 0.05), and the greatest changes were seen in the 55 degrees C group (P < 0.05). Expression of PCNA, MMP-9, VEGF, HGF and IL-6 in tumor tissues increased significantly in the RFA-treated groups compared with the control group, and of the increases were greatest in the 55 degrees C group (P < 0.05). These results were consistent with gross pathological observation. Tumor re-inoculation experiments confirmed that low temperature of RFA at the target sites facilitated rapid progression of residual hepatic VX2 carcinoma.
Insufficient RFA that is caused by low temperature at the target sites could be an important cause of rapid progression of residual hepatic VX2 carcinoma. Residual hepatic VX2 carcinoma could facilitate its rapid progression through inducing overexpression of several molecular factors, such as PCNA, MMP-9, VEGF, HGF and IL-6.
Journal of Translational Medicine 01/2010; 8:73. · 3.99 Impact Factor