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Yang X.,Beijing Institute of Biotechnology
Military Medical Research | Year: 2015

Targeted mutagenesis based on homologous recombination has been a powerful tool for understanding the mechanisms underlying development, normal physiology, and disease. A recent breakthrough in genome engineering technology based on the class of RNA-guided endonucleases, such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated Cas9, is further revolutionizing biology and medical studies. The simplicity of the CRISPR-Cas9 system has enabled its widespread applications in generating germline animal models, somatic genome engineering, and functional genomic screening and in treating genetic and infectious diseases. This technology will likely be used in all fields of biomedicine, ranging from basic research to human gene therapy. © 2015 Yang; licensee BioMed Central. Source


Li X.-B.,Beijing Institute of Biotechnology
Cell Research | Year: 2016

The cellular origin of gastric cancer remains elusive. Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5) is the first identified marker of gastric stem cells. However, the role of Lgr5+ stem cells in driving malignant gastric cancer is not fully validated. Here, we deleted Smad4 and PTEN in murine gastric Lgr5+ stem cells by the inducible Cre-LoxP system and marked mutant Lgr5+ stem cells and their progeny with Cre-reporter Rosa26tdTomato. Rapid onset and progression from microadenoma and macroscopic adenoma to invasive intestinal-type gastric cancer (IGC) were found in the gastric antrum with the loss of Smad4 and PTEN. In addition, invasive IGC developed at the murine gastro-forestomach junction, where a few Lgr5+ stem cells reside. In contrast, Smad4 and PTEN deletions in differentiated cells, including antral parietal cells, pit cells and corpus Lgr5+ chief cells, failed to initiate tumor growth. Furthermore, mutant Lgr5+ cells were involved in IGC growth and progression. In the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) database, an increase in LGR5 expression was manifested in the human IGC that occurred at the gastric antrum and gastro-esophageal junction. In addition, the concurrent deletion of SMAD4 and PTEN, as well as their reduced expression and deregulated downstream pathways, were associated with human IGC. Thus, we demonstrated that gastric Lgr5+ stem cells were cancer-initiating cells and might act as cancer-propagating cells to contribute to malignant progression.Cell Research advance online publication 19 April 2016; doi:10.1038/cr.2016.47. © 2016 Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences Source


Wang Z.,Beijing Institute of Biotechnology | Sun Y.,University of Michigan
Translational Oncology | Year: 2010

Carcinogenesis is a multistage process, involving oncogene activation and tumor suppressor gene inactivation as well as complex interactions between tumor and host tissues, leading ultimately to an aggressive metastatic phenotype. Among many genetic lesions, mutational inactivation of p53 tumor suppressor, the "guardian of the genome," is the most frequent event found in 50%of human cancers. p53 plays a critical role in tumor suppression mainly by inducing growth arrest, apoptosis, and senescence, as well as by blocking angiogenesis. In addition, p53 generally confers the cancer cell sensitivity to chemoradiation. Thus, p53 becomes the most appealing target for mechanism-driven anticancer drug discovery. This review will focus on the approaches currently undertaken to target p53 and its regulators with an overall goal either to activate p53 in cancer cells for killing or to inactivate p53 temporarily in normal cells for chemoradiation protection. The compounds that activate wild type (wt) p53 would have an application for the treatment of wt p53-containing human cancer. Likewise, the compounds that change p53 conformation from mutant to wt p53 (p53 reactivation) or that kill the cancer cells with mutant p53 using a synthetic lethal mechanism can be used to selectively treat human cancer harboring a mutant p53. The inhibitors of wt p53 can be used on a temporary basis to reduce the normal cell toxicity derived from p53 activation. Thus, successful development of these three classes of p53 modulators, to be used alone or in combination with chemoradiation, will revolutionize current anticancer therapies and benefit cancer patients. Copyright © 2010 Neoplasia Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Qian X.,Beijing Institute of Biotechnology
PloS one | Year: 2012

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, although common, has recently been called into question. To find prostate cancer (PCa) diagnostic biomarkers that can make up for the defects of PSA, we compared the secretomes of several benign and PCa cell lines, selected candidate molecules, and then confirmed their clinical value. We first identified extracellular proteins by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) identification. We then validated the secreted proteins on a cellular level, and finally determined whether they could be used as PCa diagnostic biomarkers using prostate tissue and serum specimens of Chinese volunteers by immunohistostaining and sandwich ELISA. We obtained credible extracellular protein 2-DE graphs of prostate cell lines. The 5 spots that showed superior repeatability were selected for LC-MS/MS analysis, which identified seven candidate molecules. One of the candidate molecules, spondin-2 (SPON2), was only expressed in the conditioned media (CM) of androgen receptor (AR) positive PCa cell lines. Using tissue microarray by immunohistostaining, we found SPON2 to be over-expressed in PCa. SPON2 staining was more intense in Gleason score sum 7-8 and in PCa patients with metastasis. By receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, we found that the serum SPON2 level was elevated in PCa patients, showing sensitivity and specificity suitable for diagnostic use. We also found that SPON2 could be used to identify PCa patients with serum PSA levels no higher than 10 ng/ml from healthy elderly men. SPON2 is a new serum and histological diagnostic biomarker for PCa. It can avoid some of the problems of PSA testing and was here found to offer relatively high sensitivity and specificity relative to PSA. Source


Hou N.,Beijing Institute of Biotechnology
Yi chuan = Hereditas / Zhongguo yi chuan xue hui bian ji | Year: 2012

Previous microRNA (miRNA) array results have shown that the expression of miR-27b is upregulated in heart tissues from human cardiomyopathy and pressure-overloaded hypertrophic mouse model, implying that miR-27b might play an important role in heart diseases. To study the in vivo function of miR-27b, we generated a transgenic mouse line overexpressing miR-27b under the control of the 5.5 kb promoter of a-myosin heavy chain (a-MHC). Real-time PCR results demonstrated that miR-27b precursor and mature miR-27b were significantly increased in the heart tissues of miR-27b transgenic mice. miR-27b transgenic mice not only displayed cardiac hypertrophy, but also exhibited significant cardiac fibrosis. Further study showed that matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP13), a key regulator involved in cardiac fibrosis, was the target of miR-27b. The expression of MMP13 was decreased and the expression of Col I and III was increased in miR-27b transgenic mice.. In addition, defects in ultrastructral architecture were also found in miR-27b trans-genic mice. The above results demonstrated that miR-27b might promote cardiac fibrosis through inhibiting MMP13. Source

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