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Zhou J.-X.,Henan Tumor Hospital | Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Li Q.-J.,Henan Tumor Hospital | Feng W.,Henan Tumor Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2016

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a commonly fatal tumour. It is characterized by early metastasis and high mortality. Many patients die as a result of PDAC tumour progression. However, the underlying mechanism of invasion and metastasis in PDAC is still not fully understood. Previous studies showed that the Notch signalling pathway may play an important role in the progression of tumour invasion and metastasis. However, it is not yet known whether the Notch signalling pathway participates in the progression of invasion in PDAC. In the present study, immunohistochemistry showed that a high expression of Notch3 was correlated with tumour grade, metastasis, venous invasion and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Kaplan-Meier curves suggested that a high expression of Notch3 was a significant risk factor for shortened survival time. We also showed that inhibition of Notch3 had an anti-invasion role in PDAC cells. In vitro, the inhibition of Notch3 reduced the migration and invasion capabilities of PDAC cells by regulating the expressions of E-cadherin, CD44v6, MMP-2, MMP-9, VEGF and uPA via regulating the COX-2 and ERK1/2 pathways. These results indicated that downregulation of the Notch signalling pathway may be a novel and useful approach for preventing and treating PDAC invasion.


Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Zhou L.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Wang D.E.-S.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Li Q.-J.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2012

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies. The main cause of death in HCC patients is tumor progression with invasion and metastasis. However, the underlying mechanisms of HCC invasion and metastasis are still not fully understood. Some studies show that the Notch signaling pathway may participate in tumor invasion and metastasis. However, the mechanisms by which the Notch signaling pathway mediates tumor cell invasion, especially in hepatocellular carcinoma, are not yet known. In the current study, we investigated the anti-invasion effect of the downregulation of the Notch signaling pathway by DAPT in HCC cells. The Notch signaling pathway inhibitor could suppress invasion of HCC cells via the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathways, resulting in the downregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 (MMP-2 and -9) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These observations suggested that inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway by DAPT would be useful for devising novel preventive and therapeutic strategies targeting invasion of HCC.


Lu C.-Y.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Yang Z.-X.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Huang Z.-Z.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 4 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2013

Although EphA3 expression has been associated with progression or prognosis in several types of tumors, the role of EphA3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown. This study sought to investigate the clinicopathological and prognostic relevance of EphA3 expression in HCC as well as the underlying mechanisms responsible. EphA3 protein was mainly localized within the cytoplasm and at the cell membrane. High EphA3 expression was correlated with tumor size, tumor grade, metastasis, venous invasion and AJCC TNM stage (P<0.05), and patients with high levels of EphA3 expression were at a significantly increased risk for shortened survival time (P<0.05). In vitro, the downregulation of EphA3 expression decreased the invasive capacity of HCC cells via the regulation of VEGF. EphA3 may represent a novel candidate marker for patient prognosis as well a molecular target for HCC therapy.


Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Yang Z.-X.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Song W.-J.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Li Q.-J.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2013

Due to invasion and intrahepatic metastasis, the prognosis for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is poor. However, the mechanisms underlying these processes of HCC remain unclear. Cancer stem cells may be involved in early systemic dissemination and metastasis formation and side population (SP) cells isolated from diverse cancer cells possess stem cell-like properties. However, the mechanisms involved in migration and invasion of cancer stem cells are not well understood. In this study, we identified and isolated populations of SP cells from HCC cell lines using flow cytometry. SP cells showed higher levels of migration and invasion capability. Higher expression of miR-21 was observed in SP cells. Silencing of miR-21 led to a reduction in the migration and invasion of these cells and overexpression of miR-21 can increase in cell migration and invasion. Overexpression of miR-21 did not cause degradation of PTEN or RECK or PDCD4 mRNA but drastically inhibited its protein expression. Consistent with these results, silencing miR-21 increased the levels of PTEN, RECK and PDCD4 protein, respectively. The role of silencing miR-21 was partially attenuated by silencing of PTEN or RECK or PDCD4 mRNA. The results of this study revealed the aberrant expression of miR-21 in SP cells and showed that miR-21 regulates the expression of multiple target proteins that are associated with tumor dissemination. MiR-21 is a pro-metastatic miRNA in SP cells and raises the possibility that therapy of HCC may be improved by pharmaceutical strategies directed towards miR-21.


Wang X.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Zhang J.,44 Hospital of PLA | Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Lu P.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology | Year: 2015

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are associated with human carcinogenesis and tumor development. Moreover, serum miRNAs can reflect the level of tissue miRNAs and be potential tumor markers. Serum microRNA-21 (miR-21) is overexpressed in many human cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, how serum miR-21 changes during the HCC formation and whether miR-21 plays a regulatory role in this whole process are unknown. The current study evaluated the prognostic and diagnostic potential of serum miR-21 in HCC patients. Next, we established a HCC rat model and collected the blood and liver tissues at regular time points. AFP from the serum, RNA from the serum and liver tissues were collected and quantified separately. The results revealed that tissue and serum miR-21 was upregulated significantly in the groups of cirrhosis, early and advanced HCC compared with normal and fibrosis groups. The AFP levels were increased in early and advanced HCC compared with other groups. Then, the changes of miR-21 downstream proteins (i.e., programmed cell death 4 [PDCD4] and phosphatase and tensin homolog [PTEN]) in the liver tissues were measured. PDCD4 and PTEN expression was decreased gradually after tumor induction and negatively correlated with miR-21 expression. All these results suggested that serum miR-21 was associated with the prognosis of HCC; the changes in serum miR-21 were earlier and more accurately reflected the pathogenesis of HCC than AFP; therefore, it could be used as an early diagnostic marker for HCC. Our in vivo experiments further confirmed that miR-21 plays an important role in promoting the occurrence and development of HCC by regulating PDCD4 and PTEN.


Zhang N.,China General Hospital of PLA | Zhang N.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Duan W.-D.,China General Hospital of PLA | Leng J.-J.,China General Hospital of PLA | And 6 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2015

Despite advances in the detection and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the prognosis remains poor partly due to recurrence or extra/intrahepatic metastasis. Stem-like cancer cells are considered the source of malignant phenotypes including metastasis in various types of cancer. HCC side population (SP), considered as stem-like cancer cells, plays an important role in the migration and invasion in HCC, while the mechanisms involved remain unknown. In the present study, high levels of STAT3 and phospho-STAT3 were observed in MHCC97H SP cells compared with the main population (MP) cells. Inhibition of phospho-STAT3 led to a reduction of miR-21 expression, an increase of PTEN, RECK, and programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) expression as well as the migration and invasion of SP cells. A set of rescue experiments was performed using different combinations of STAT3 inhibitor, miR-21 mimics and siRNAs to observe the expression of miR-21 targets, cell migration and invasion alterations. Data indicated that the alterations induced by STAT3 inhibition were partly reversed by the upregulation of miR-21. Additionally, the cells migration and invasion when silencing the targets of miR-21 were also reversed by STAT3 inhibition. In conclusion, the present study revealed the aberrant expression of STAT3 and miR-21 in HCC SP cells. Targeting STAT3 may limit HCC migration and invasion, which is likely to involve the regulation of miR-21 and its targets PTEN, RECK and PDCD4. Strategies directed towards STAT3 may therefore be a novel approach for the treatment of HCC.


Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Zhang W.-G.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Wang D.-S.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Tao K.-S.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 2 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2014

As a highly aggressive malignant disease, the prognosis of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is poor. Yet, the mechanisms underlying the progression of PDAC remain unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) may be involved in various human cancers as cancer suppressors or oncogenes. MicroRNA-183 (miR-183) was recently reported to be dysregulated in various types of cancer and to play an important role in the processes of cancer. However, the effects and potential mechanisms of action of miR-183 in PDAC have not been explored. In the present study, low expression of miR-183 was observed in PDAC tissues and cell lines. Low expression of miR-183 in PDAC was significantly associated with tumor grade, metastasis and TNM stage. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that patients harboring low expression of miR-183 had a significantly reduced overall survival than patients with a high level of miR-183 expression. The present study revealed that B-cell-specific Moloney murine leukemia virus insertion site 1 (Bmi-1) expression was inversely correlated with miR-183. Our findings also demonstrated that a low level of miR-183 expression effectively suppressed the growth of PDAC cells via regulation of Bmi-1. Following Bmi-1 silencing or upregulation of miR-183, the expression levels of cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)2 and CDK4 were decreased. It is reasonable to conclude that alteration of miR-183 expression may regulate the function of PDAC cells by the downregulation of Bmi-1 expression.


Wang X.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Zhang J.,44 Central Hospital of PLA | Zhou L.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Sun W.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2015

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common human malignancies and also the leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. The mechanisms underlying the progression and metastasis of HCC remain unclear. The E3 ubiquitin ligase F-box and WD repeat domain-containing 7 (Fbxw7) is broadly considered as a tumor suppressor gene. However, the role of Fbxw7 in HCC is not clear. To investigate the expression and biological functions of Fbxw7 in HCC, we examined Fbxw7 expression level using HCC tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry. Our data showed that Fbxw7 expression is significantly reduced in HCC compared with non-cancerous tissues (P<0.05). Fbxw7 levels were significantly associated with tumor differentiation (P=0.013), the incidence of portal or hepatic venous invasion (P= 0.031), metastasis (P=0.027) and AJCC cancer stage (P=0.047). Then, we observed a strong correlation between low Fbxw7 expression and a worse 5-year survival of HCC patients (P<0.001). Furthermore, multivariate Cox regression analyses demonstrated that the Fbxw7 expression (P>0.001) was an independent factor for the prediction of the overall survival of HCC patients. We also found that both Fbxw7 mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in HCC cell lines compared with human liver non-tumor cell line. Moreover, our in vitro experiments showed a remarkable increase of cell migration and invasion in Fbxw7-knockdown cells and a decrease in Fbxw7-overexpress cells. In addition, the present study demonstrated that Fbxw7 is involved in the migration and invasion of HCC cells via regulating Notchl and the downstream molecules of Notchl. Taken together, our findings indicate that Fbxw7 can be used as a prognostic marker; it has an important role in HCC progression and inhibits HCC cell migration and invasion through the Notchl signaling pathway.


Lu P.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Wang Z.-P.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Dang Z.,General Hospital of Lanzhou | Zheng Z.-G.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | And 5 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2015

Neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 9 (NEDD9) plays an integral role in natural and pathological cell biology. Overexpression of NEDD9 protein has been correlated with poor prognosis in various types of cancer. However, few available data address the precise function of the NEDD9 gene in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, we investigated NEDD9 expression in 40 primary human HCC tissues compared with matched adjacent non-tumor hepatic tissues using RT-qPCR and western blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry was performed to analyze the correlations between NEDD9 expression and clinicopathological factors. Statistical analyses were applied to derive prognostic values of NEDD9 in HCC. The results showed that the NEDD9 mRNA and protein expression levels in HCC tissues were significantly higher than those in matched adjacent non-tumor hepatic tissues. High NEDD9 expression was correlated with larger tumor size, advanced tumor grade, metastasis, intrahepatic venous invasion and high UICC TNM stages in HCC patients. Patients with high NEDD9 expression levels exhibited poorer recurrence-free and overall survival than those with a low NEDD9 expression. Additionally, NEDD9 expression status was an independent prognostic factor for survival. This correlation remained significant in patients with early-stage HCC or with normal serum AFP levels. The results of this study suggest that NEDD9 may be a valuable prognostic biomarker for HCC, including early-stage and AFP-normal patients.


Guo C.,Chongqing Medical University | Guo C.,155 Central Hospital of PLA | Liao Y.,Chongqing Medical University | Li Y.,Chongqing Medical University | And 9 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2011

Background: H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) is the major causative agent of chronic active gastritis. The population of H. pylori shows a high genomic variability among isolates. And the polymorphism of repeat-units of genomics had participated the important process of evolution. Its long term colonization of the stomach caused different clinical outcomes, which may relate to the high degree of genetic variation of H. pylori. A variety of molecular typing tools have been developed to access genetic relatedness in H. pylori isolates. However, there is still no standard genotyping system of this bacterium. The MLVA (Multi-locus of variable number of tandem repeat analysis) method is useful for performing phylogenetic analysis and is widely used in bacteria genotyping; however, there's little application in H. pylori analysis. This article is the first application of the MLVA method to investigate H. pylori from different districts and ethnic groups of China. Results: MLVA of 12 VNTR loci with high discrimination power based on 30 candidates were performed on a collection of 202 strains of H. pylori which originated from five regions of China and Japan. Phylogenetic tree was constructed using MLVA profiles. 12 VNTR loci presented with high various polymorphisms, and the results demonstrated very close relationships between genotypes and ethnic groups. Conclusions: This study used MLVA methodology providing a new perspective on the ethnic groups and distribution characteristics of H. pylori. © 2011 Guo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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