Ning-Sun Yang

Academia Sinica, T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan

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Publications (80)241.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In our continued focus on 1-benzyl-3-(5-hydroxymethyl-2-furyl)indazole (YC-1) analogs, we synthesized a novel series of 3,9-substituted α-carboline derivatives and evaluated the new compounds for antiproliferactive effects. Structure activity relationships revealed that a COOCH3 or CH2OH group at position-3 and substituted benzyl group at position-9 of the α-carboline nucleus were crucial for maximal activity. The most active compound, 11, showed high levels of cytotoxicity against HL-60, COLO 205, Hep3B, and H460 cells with IC50 values of 0.3, 0.49, 0.7, and 0.8 μM, respectively. The effect of compound 11 on the cell cycle distribution demonstrated G2/M arrest in COLO 205 cells. Furthermore, mechanistic studies indicated that compound 11 induced apoptosis by activating death receptor and mitochondria dependent apoptotic signaling pathways in COLO 205 cells. The new 3,9-substituted α-carboline derivatives exhibited excellent anti-proliferative activities, and compound 11 can be used as a promising pro-apoptotic agent for future development of new antitumor agents.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Bidens pilosa , a medicinal herb worldwide, is rich in bioactive polyynes. In this study, by using high resolution 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry analysis, as many as 2000 protein spots could be detected and those whose expression was specifically up- or downregulated in Jurkat T cells responsive to the treatment with 2- β -D-glucopyranosyloxy-1-hydroxytrideca-5,7,9,11-tetrayne (GHTT) can be identified. GHTT treatment can upregulate thirteen proteins involved in signal transduction, detoxification, metabolism, energy pathways, and channel transport in Jurkat cells. Nine proteins, that is, thioredoxin-like proteins, BH3 interacting domain death agonist (BID protein involving apoptosis), methylcrotonoyl-CoA carboxylase beta chain, and NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase, were downregulated in GHTT-treated Jurkat cells. Further, bioinformatics tool, Ingenuity software, was used to predict signaling pathways based on the data obtained from the differential proteomics approach. Two matched pathways, relevant to mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis, in Jurkat cells were inferred from the proteomics data. Biochemical analysis further verified both pathways involving GHTT in Jurkat cells. These findings do not merely prove the feasibility of combining proteomics and bioinformatics methods to identify cellular proteins as key players in response to the phytocompound in Jurkat cells but also establish the pathways of the proteins as the potential therapeutic targets of leukemia.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Continuous chemical investigation of the soft coral Klyxum molle resulted in the isolation of six new eunicellin-derived diterpenoids, klymollins Y (1), Z (2), and klyxumollins A-D (3-6), together with two known compounds (7 and 8). The planar structures and relative configurations of these new compounds were elucidated by MS, 1D and 2D NMR experiments. Klyxumollins C (5) represents the first 6,7-secoeunicellin possessing an ester group at C-6 and 6 is the first eunicellin comprising with an aromatic ether linkage. Anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities of the isolates were reported.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Tetrahedron
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    ABSTRACT: Suppression of tumor metastasis is a key strategy for successful cancer interventions. Previous studies indicated that rapamycin (sirolimus) may promote tumor regression activity or enhance immune response against tumor targets. However, rapamycin also exhibits immunosuppressant effects and is hence used clinically as an organ transplantation drug. We hypothesized that the immunosuppressive activities of rapamycin might also negatively mediate host immunity, resulting in promotion of tumor metastasis. In this study, the effects of rapamycin and phytochemical shikonin were investigated in vitro and in vivo in a 4T1 mouse mammary tumor model through quantitative assessment of immunogenic cell death (ICD), autophagy, tumor growth and metastasis. Tumor-bearing mice were immunized with test vaccines to monitor their effect on tumor metastasis. We found that intraperitoneal (ip) administration of rapamycin after a tumor-resection surgery drastically increased the metastatic activity of 4T1 tumors. Possible correlation of this finding to human cancers was suggested by epidemiological analysis of data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Since our previous studies showed that modified tumor cell lysate (TCL)-pulsed, dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer vaccines can effectively suppress metastasis in mouse tumor models, we assessed whether such vaccines may help offset this rapamycin-promoted metastasis. We observed that shikonin efficiently induced ICD of 4T1 cells in culture, and DC vaccines pulsed with shikonin-treated TCL (SK-TCL-DC) significantly suppressed rapamycin-enhanced metastasis and Treg cell expansion in test mice. In conclusion, rapamycin treatment in mice (and perhaps in humans) promotes metastasis and the effect may be offset by treatment with a DC-based cancer vaccine.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The tumor cell lysate-pulsed, dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer vaccine approaches are being actively evaluated for application to cancer immunotherapy, hopefully at a personalized medicine base. There is apparently an emerging technical problem however, the lack of highly efficacious potency in activation of patient's DCs for T-cell priming and the associated process for presenting tumor immunogenicity. Methods: One strategy to address this is to consider the manipulation of the tumor immunogenic cells death (ICD) complex ex-vivo for maximal activation of DC efficacy. In our previous study we showed that phytochemical shikonin (SK) can drastically enhance ICD activity in mouse tumor cells treated ex-vivo, and the resultant tumor cell lysate (TCL) can effectively augment such SK-TCL pulsed DC vaccine activity in vivo in anti-tumor activities. In this study, we investigated the specifics and the multi-functional effects of various damaged associated molecular pattern (DAMP) components of the ICD complex for their participation, roles and potential cross talks in activating DCs, as measured by five different functional assays. Results: Among three DAMPs tested, HSP70 and CRT mediate a key role in SK-TCL-induced DC immunity for both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferations in vitro. HSP70 is the most important component, followed by CRT, then HMGB1 in facilitating DC immunity on suppressing metastasis of mouse 4 T1 mammary tumors and prolonging survival in test mice. Only HSP70, but not CRT or HMGB1, is effective for the suppression of both granulocytic and monocytic MDSC populations in vivo. Both HSP70 and HMGB1, but not CRT, are essential in activating the expression of three key ICD molecules-associated receptors on test DCs. Each of the three test ICD proteins can exhibit a distinguishable pattern in stimulating the expression of four key chemokines in test DCs. Conclusion: Our findings on the differential roles or effect of various ICD components in activating vaccinated DCs may help formulate new strategies for future cancer vaccine designs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Molecular Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: For the development of "medical foods" and/or botanical drugs as defined USA FDA, clear and systemic characterizations of the taxonomy, index phytochemical components, and the functional or medicinal bioactivities of the reputed or candidate medicinal plant are needed. In this study, we used an integrative approach, including macroscopic and microscopic examination, marker gene analysis, and chemical fingerprinting, to authenticate and validate various species/varieties of Wedelia, a reputed medicinal plant that grows naturally and commonly used in Asian countries. The anti-inflammatory bioactivities of Wedelia extracts were then evaluated in a DSS-induced murine colitis model. Different species/varieties of Wedelia exhibited distinguishable morphology and histological structures. Analysis of the ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region revealed significant differences among these plants. Chemical profiling of test Wedelia species demonstrated candidate index compounds and distinguishable secondary metabolites, such as caffeic acid derivatives, which may serve as phytochemical markers or index for quality control and identification of specific Wedelia species. In assessing their effect on treating DSS induced-murine colitis, we observed that only the phytoextract from W. chinensis species exhibited significant anti-inflammatory bioactivity on DSS-induced murine colitis among the various Wedelia species commonly found in Taiwan. Our results provide a translational research approach that may serve as a useful reference platform for biotechnological applications of traditional phytomedicines. Our findings indicate that specific Wedelia species warrant further investigation for potential treatment of human inflammatory bowel disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: IL-12 p40, a common subunit for both IL-12 p70 and IL-23, plays a critical role in the development of Th1 and Th17 cells and autoimmune diseases. Regulation of IL-12 p40 expression is thus considered to be a strategy for developing therapies for Th1- and Th17-mediated autoimmune diseases. The mTOR protein is a subunit mTORC1 and mTORC2. Although mTORC1 has been shown to mediate IL-12 p40 expression in DCs and relevant signaling, the role of mTORC2 in IL-12 p40 expression remains largely unclear. In the present study, we demonstrate that blocking mTORC2 activity using the phytochemical cytopiloyne can specifically inhibit LPS-induced expression of IL-12 p70, IL-23, and IL-12 p40 in human DCs. This regulation by mTORC2 involving Akt activation and the persistent phase of NF-κB activation is further confirmed by siRNA knockdown of Rictor and Sin1 gene expression and the use of alternative inhibition approaches. In terms of IL-12 p40 expression, our findings reveal a new role for the mTORC2 pathway that is antagonistic to that of mTORC1. Our study provides new insight into mTOR regulation of IL-12 p40-mediated Th1 (IFN-γ) and Th17 (IL-17) responses and suggests that the phytochemical cytopiloyne might have useful applications in therapies for Th1 and Th17 cell-mediated inflammatory diseases. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of leukocyte biology
  • Ning-Sun Yang · Sheng-Yen Lin · Tzong-Shoon Wu

    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The FASEB Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cell (DC) vaccines are a newly emerging immunotherapeutic approach for the treatment and prevention of cancer, but major challenges still remain particularly with respect to clinical efficacy. Engineering and optimization of adjuvant formulations for DC-based vaccines is one strategy through which more efficacious treatments may be obtained. In this study, we developed a new ex vivo approach for DC vaccine preparation. We evaluated two highly purified mixed polysaccharide fractions from the root of Astragalus membranaceus and Codonopsis pilosulae, named Am and Cp, for their use in enhancing the efficiency of a DC-based cancer vaccine against metastasis of 4T1 mammary carcinoma in mice. Mixed lymphocyte reaction showed all Am-, Cp- and [Am+Cp]-treated DCs enhanced mouse CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell proliferation. [Am+Cp]-treated DCs exhibited the strongest anti-4T1 metastasis activity in test mice. Treatments with Am, Cp and [Am+Cp] also resulted in augmented expression of CD40, CD80 and CD86 markers in test DCs. Bioinformatics analysis of the cytokine array data from treated DCs identified that [Am+Cp] is efficacious in activation of specific immune functions via mediating the expression of cytokines/chemokines involved in the recruitment and differentiation of defined immune cells. Biochemical analysis revealed that Am and Cp are composed mainly of polysaccharides containing a high level (70-95%) glucose residues, but few or no (< 1%) mannose residues. In summary, our findings suggest that the specific plant polysaccharides Am and Cp extracted from traditional Chinese medicines can be effectively used instead of bacterial LPS as a potent adjuvant in the formulation of a DC-based vaccine for cancer immunotherapies.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Curcuminoids, including curcumin (CUR), demethoxycurcumin (DMC), and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC), show the maximum absorption wavelength near blue light. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been developed as a therapeutic modality, which could induce cell death via the formation of ROS under illumination. Recently, it has been suggested that curcuminoids may be developed as potential photosensitizers. Here we found that curcuminoids-PDT significantly inhibited cell viability in breast cancer cell lines; in particular DMC-PDT has the highest anti-proliferative effect. A comprehensive analysis of cell response to DMC-PDT showed that autophagy was an early event and apoptosis was a late event. The generation of ROS by exciting the photosensitizer in PDT can activate MAPK pathway. Pre-treatment with a singlet oxygen scavenger or JNK inhibitor in DMC-PDT resulted in the reversion of cell viability, a reduced LC3 conversion and PARP cleavage. These results indicate that DMC may be considered as a new photosensitizer in PDT for cancer treatment.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Functional Foods
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    ABSTRACT: High expression of vimentin, a canonical mesenchymal marker, is linked with poor prognosis in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), implying that vimentin may be a potential biomarker in the application of TNBC therapy. Pterostilbene (PTE) has shown anti-invasion activity, and thus, we investigated whether PTE inhibited the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in TNBC. Here, we show that PTE decreases the vimentin expression, but that the effect was transient. PTE stimulated Fas signaling, which drives EMT by the ERK1/2 and GSK3β/β-catenin pathways, supporting Fas signaling induction involved in EMT regulation. PTE also triggered autophagy in TNBC. The treatment of TNBC with 3-methyladenine an autophagy inhibitor, not only sustained PTE-inhibited EMT but also significantly promoted anti-proliferation, which indicates that autophagy plays a cyto-protective role and is associated with EMT. Taken together, these data showed that Fas signaling and autophagy accelerated the aggressiveness of TNBC. Inhibition of autophagy or Fas signaling may provide novel targets for TNBC therapy.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Food & Function
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    ABSTRACT: Five new eunicellin-based diterpenoids, klymollins T-X (1-5), along with two known compounds (6 and 7) have been isolated from the soft coral Klyxum molle. The structures of these new metabolites were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic analysis and by comparison with related known compounds. Compound 5 was found to exert significant in vitro anti-inflammatory activity against LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Furthermore, compounds 4 and 7 were shown to exhibit cytotoxicity against a limited panel of human cancer cell lines.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Marine Drugs
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    ABSTRACT: Adjuvants can be used to enhance the immunogenicity of antigens and improve the efficacy of vaccines. Potent adjuvant action is known to often correlate with the activation of the transcription factor, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Specific plant polysaccharides and a variety of phytochemicals from foods and traditional medicinal herbs have been shown to modulate NF-κB activation. In the present study, selected plant polysaccharides and phytochemicals were evaluated for use as a DNA vaccine adjuvant in a murine melanoma model. We observed that a specific ethanol extract fraction (DsCE-I) from the tuber of a key Traditional Chinese Medicine plant, Dioscorea ( Shān Yào), enhanced the protection against melanoma after immunization with a gene-based vaccine. A number of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals tested were able to partially diminish the inflammation-associated tumorigenesis elicited by LPS. Among the several phytochemical combinations investigated, the use of an adjuvant containing LPS in combination with emodin resulted in smaller tumors and higher survival rate in test mice than the use of other adjuvant treatments and the control sets in this DNA cancer vaccine model. A Dioscorea polysaccharide fraction (DsCE-I) and several specific phytochemicals warrant further exploration as useful adjuvants for anticancer vaccines.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is defined by a lack of expression of the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER 2). Therefore, targeted therapy agents may not be used, and therapy is largely limited to chemotherapy. Doxorubicin-treatment consequently acquires undesired malignance characteristics (i.e., epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and multidrug resistance). Our results illustrated that doxorubicin triggered EMT and resulted in the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype in TNBC cells. Moreover, we found that TGF-β and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways were acquired for doxorubicin-induced EMT. Interestingly, we found that curcumin suppressed doxorubicin-induced EMT. Curcumin would reverse doxorubicin-induced morphological changes, up-regulate the expression of E-cadherin, and down-regulate the expression of vimentin. We also found that curcumin inhibited doxorubicin -induced EMT by inhibiting the TGF-β and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. Moreover, curcumin enhanced the anti-proliferative effects of doxorubicin in TNBC cells. In summary, our results suggest that doxorubicin in combination with curcumin may be a potential therapy for TNBC.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: This review reports details on the natural products isolated from Taiwan soft corals during the period 2008-2012 focusing on their in vitro and/or in vivo anti-inflammatory activities. Chemical structures, names, and literature references are also reported. This review provides useful and specific information on potent anti-inflammatory marine metabolites for future development of immune-modulatory therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Marine Drugs
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    ABSTRACT: Yellow camellia, with its golden-yellow flowers, is rare in the world. Most studies of yellow camellia have focused on its ornamental properties; however, there were fewer published studies on its medical values. The purpose of this study was to define the chemical constituents and the biological potential of the water extract of leaves in six species of yellow camellia. Our data showed that Camellia murauchii had significantly higher total catechins and total polyphenol content than others; C. euphlebia had the highest total amino acids and γ-aminobutyric acid. Our results indicated that C. tunghinensis exhibited the highest free radical scavenging capacity and showed potent anticancer activities. C. nitidissima had stronger inhibitory effect than other species on fatty acid synthesis. In addition to catechins, 3-p-coumaroylquinic acid, kamepferol-3-O-glucoside and quercetin-3-O-glucoside were detected in C. tunghinensis using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Taken together, yellow camellias possess biological activity and worthy of continued study.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
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    Shu-Yi Yin · Wen-Chi Wei · Feng-Yin Jian · Ning-Sun Yang
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    ABSTRACT: Medicinal herbs and their derivative phytocompounds are being increasingly recognized as useful complementary treatments for cancer. A large volume of clinical studies have reported the beneficial effects of herbal medicines on the survival, immune modulation, and quality of life (QOL) of cancer patients, when these herbal medicines are used in combination with conventional therapeutics. Here, we briefly review some examples of clinical studies that investigated the use of herbal medicines for various cancers and the development of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in this emerging research area. In addition, we also report recent studies on the biochemical and cellular mechanisms of herbal medicines in specific tumor microenvironments and the potential application of specific phytochemicals in cell-based cancer vaccine systems. This review should provide useful technological support for evidence-based application of herbal medicines in cancer therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Dioscorea tuber phytoextracts can confer immunomodulatory activities ex vivo and improve regeneration of bone marrow cells in vivo. In present study, we evaluated specific Dioscorea phytoextracts for use ex vivo as a bone-marrow-derived dendritic cell- (DC-) based vaccine adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy. Fractionated Dioscorea extracts (DsII) were assayed for their effect on maturation and functions of DC ex vivo and antimelanoma activity of DC-based vaccine in vivo. The phytoextract from 50-75% ethanol-precipitated fraction of Dioscorea alata var. purpurea Tainung no. 5 tuber, designated as DsII-TN5, showed a strong augmentation of tumor cell lysate- (TCL-) loaded DC-mediated activation of T-cell proliferation. DsII-TN5 stimulated the expression of CD40, CD80, CD86, and IL-1 β in TCL-loaded DCs and downregulated the expression of TGF- β 1. DC vaccines prepared by a specific schema (TCL (2 h) + LPS (22 h)) showed the strongest antitumor activity. DsII-TN5 as a DC vaccine adjuvant showed strong antimelanoma activity and reduced myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) population in tested mice. DsII-TN5 can also activate DCs to enhance Th1- and Th17-related cytokine expressions. Biochemical analysis showed that DsII-TN5 consists mainly of polysaccharides containing a high level (53%) of mannose residues. We suggest that DsII-TN5 may have potential for future application as a potent, cost-effective adjuvant for DC-based cancer vaccines.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Hematological malignancies frequently have a poor prognosis and often remain incurable. Drug resistance, severe side effects, and relapse are major problems of currently used drugs, and new candidate compounds are required for improvement of therapy success. The naphthoquinone shikonin derived from the Chinese medicinal herb, Lithospermum erythrorhizon, is a promising candidate for the next generation of chemotherapy. The basal cellular mechanism of shikonin is the direct targeting of mitochondria. Cytotoxicity screenings showed that the compound is particularly effective against leukemia cells suggesting an additional cellular mechanism. mRNA and miRNA microarrays were used to analyze changes in gene expression in leukemia cells after shikonin treatment and combined with stable-isotope dimethyl labeling for quantitative proteomics. The integration of bioinformatics and the three "-omics" assays showed that the PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway was affected by shikonin. Deregulations of this pathway are frequently associated with cancerogenesis, especially in a wide range of hematological malignancies. The effect on the PI3K-Akt-mTOR axis was validated by demonstrating a decreased phosphorylation of Akt and a direct inhibition of the IGF1R kinase activity after shikonin treatment. Our results indicate that inhibiting the IGF1R-Akt-mTOR signaling cascade is a new cellular mechanism of shikonin strengthening its potential for the treatment of hematological malignancies.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Although various pharmacological activities of the shikonins have been documented, understanding the hierarchical regulation of these diverse bioactivities at the genome level is unsubstantiated. In this study, through cross examination between transcriptome and microRNA array analyses, we predicted that topical treatment of shikonin in vivo affects epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the expression of related microRNAs, including 200a, 200b, 200c, 141, 205, and 429 microRNAs, in mouse skin tissues. In situ immunohistological analyses further demonstrated that specific EMT regulatory molecules are enhanced in shikonin-treated epidermal tissues. RT-PCR analyses subsequently confirmed that shikonin treatment downregulated expression of microRNA-205 and other members of the 200 family microRNAs. Further, expression of two RNA targets of the 200 family microRNAs in EMT regulation, Sip1 (Zeb2) and Tcf8 (Zeb1), was consistently upregulated by shikonin treatment. Enhancement of these EMT activities was also detected in shikonin-treated wounds, which repaired faster than controls. These results suggest that topical treatment with shikonin can confer a potent stimulatory effect on EMT and suppress the expression of the associated microRNAs in skin wound healing. Collectively, these cellular and molecular data provide further evidence in support of our previous findings on the specific pharmacological effects of shikonin in wound healing and immune modulation.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Publication Stats

2k Citations
241.02 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001-2016
    • Academia Sinica
      • • Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center
      • • Institute of Molecular Biology
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2012
    • National Chung Hsing University
      • Graduate Institute of Biotechnology
      臺中市, Taiwan, Taiwan
  • 2008-2011
    • National Taiwan University
      • • Institute of Biotechnology
      • • Institute of Zoology
      T’ai-pei, Taipei, Taiwan