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O'Brien C.A.,University of Queensland | Hobson-Peters J.,University of Queensland | Yam A.W.Y.,University of Queensland | Yam A.W.Y.,Cancer Science Institute | And 9 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2015

Mosquito-borne viruses encompass a range of virus families, comprising a number of significant human pathogens (e.g., dengue viruses, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus). Virulent strains of these viruses are continually evolving and expanding their geographic range, thus rapid and sensitive screening assays are required to detect emerging viruses and monitor their prevalence and spread in mosquito populations. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is produced during the replication of many of these viruses as either an intermediate in RNA replication (e.g., flaviviruses, togaviruses) or the double-stranded RNA genome (e.g., reoviruses). Detection and discovery of novel viruses from field and clinical samples usually relies on recognition of antigens or nucleotide sequences conserved within a virus genus or family. However, due to the wide antigenic and genetic variation within and between viral families, many novel or divergent species can be overlooked by these approaches. We have developed two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) which show co-localised staining with proteins involved in viral RNA replication in immunofluorescence assay (IFA), suggesting specific reactivity to viral dsRNA. By assessing binding against a panel of synthetic dsRNA molecules, we have shown that these mAbs recognise dsRNA greater than 30 base pairs in length in a sequence-independent manner. IFA and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were employed to demonstrate detection of a panel of RNA viruses from several families, in a range of cell types. These mAbs, termed monoclonal antibodies to viral RNA intermediates in cells (MAVRIC), have now been incorporated into a high-throughput, economical ELISA-based screening system for the detection and discovery of viruses from mosquito populations. Our results have demonstrated that this simple system enables the efficient detection and isolation of a range of known and novel viruses in cells inoculated with field-caught mosquito samples, and represents a rapid, sequence-independent, and cost-effective approach to virus discovery. © 2015 O’Brien et al. Source

Leschik J.,Genopole | Leschik J.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Caron L.,Harvard University | Yang H.,Cancer Science Institute | And 3 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2015

Human embryonic stem (HUES) cells are derived from early individual embryos with unique genetic printing. However, how their epigenetic status might affect their potential to differentiate toward specific lineages remains a puzzling question. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-polymerase chain reaction and ChIP-on-chip, the status of bivalent domains on gene promoters (ie, histone 3 on lysine 4 and histone 3 on lysine 27 trimethylation) was monitored for both undifferentiated and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2)-induced cardiac-committed cells. A marked difference in the epigenetic profile of HUES cell lines was observed and this was correlated to the pattern of gene expression induced by BMP2 as well as to their potential to generate cardiac progenitors and differentiated myocytes. Thus, the epigenetic H3trimeK4 and H3trimeK27 prints generating bivalent domains on promoters, could be used to predict a preference in their differentiation toward a specific lineage. © Copyright 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Fatima S.,University of Hong Kong | Lee N.P.,University of Hong Kong | Tsang F.H.,University of Hong Kong | Kolligs F.T.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 7 more authors.
Oncogene | Year: 2012

Deregulation of Wnt/Β-catenin pathway is a hallmark of major gastrointestinal cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The oncogenic role of Β-catenin is well defined but reasons for its accumulation in HCC remain unclear. Dickkopf 4 (DKK4) acts as a negative regulator of Wnt/Β-catenin pathway but its functional role in liver carcinogenesis has not been studied. We investigated the role of DKK4 in Β-catenin regulation in HCC. Reduced expression of DKK4 was found in 47% (38/81) of HCC, as measured by quantitative real time PCR. Ectopic expression of DKK4 in two HCC cell lines, PLC/PRF/5 (PLC) and MHCC97L (97L), attenuated Β-catenin responsive luciferase activity, and decreased both Β-catenin and cyclin D1 protein levels. To study the effect of DKK4 on cell growth and tumourigenicity, two stable HCC cell lines were established from PLC and 97L cells. Functional assays demonstrated that overexpression of DKK4 hampered cell proliferation, reduced colony formation and retarded cell migration. When DKK4-expressing 97L stable cells were used to induce tumour xenografts in nude mice (n=8), reduction in tumour sizes was observed (P=0.027). Furthermore, immunohistochemical studies showed that decreased expression of DKK4 was associated with Β-catenin accumulation in HCC tissues. Additionally, inhibition of the proteasome using specific inhibitor in DKK4-expressing 97L stable cells masked the effect of Β-catenin. Our findings suggest a potential tumour suppressive role of DKK4 as well as that of an important regulator of HCC. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source

Yin D.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Yang W.G.,University of Southern California | Weissberg J.,University of Southern California | Goff C.B.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) induce apoptotic pathways in human cancer cells. The potential therapeutic effective of nsPEF has been reported in cell lines and in xenograft animal tumor model. The present study investigated the ability of nsPEF to cause cancer cell death in vivo using carcinogen-induced animal tumor model, and the pulse duration of nsPEF was only 7 and 14 nano second (ns). An nsPEF generator as a prototype medical device was used in our studies, which is capable of delivering 7-30 nanosecond pulses at various programmable amplitudes and frequencies. Seven cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma cell lines and five other types of cancer cell lines were used to detect the effect of nsPEF in vitro. Rate of cell death in these 12 different cancer cell lines was dependent on nsPEF voltage and pulse number. To examine the effect of nsPEF in vivo, carcinogen-induced cutaneous papillomas and squamous cell carcinomas in mice were exposed to nsPEF with three pulse numbers (50, 200, and 400 pulses), two nominal electric fields (40 KV/cm and 31 KV/cm), and two pulse durations (7 ns and 14 ns). Carcinogen-induced cutaneous papillomas and squamous carcinomas were eliminated efficiently using one treatment of nsPEF with 14 ns duration pulses (33/39 = 85%), and all remaining lesions were eliminated after a 2nd treatment (6/39 = 15%). 13.5% of carcinogen-induced tumors (5 of 37) were eliminated using 7 ns duration pulses after one treatment of nsPEF. Associated with tumor lysis, expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xl and Bcl-2 were markedly reduced and apoptosis increased (TUNEL assay) after nsPEF treatment. nsPEF efficiently causes cell death in vitro and removes papillomas and squamous cell carcinoma in vivo from skin of mice. nsPEF has the therapeutic potential to remove human squamous carcinoma. © 2012 Yin et al. Source

Wong N.-S.,National Cancer Center | Seah E.Z.H.,National University of Singapore | Wang L.-Z.,Cancer Science Institute | Yeo W.-L.,National University of Singapore | And 10 more authors.
Pharmacogenetics and Genomics | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVES: Vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor being actively evaluated in solid tumors, is metabolized by UGT2B17. UGT2B17 null genotype (UGT2B17*2) has been shown in vitro to reduce UGT2B17 activity. This variant is common in Asians but rare in Caucasians, and we studied its impact on vorinostat pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in a clinical study in Asian patients with metastatic breast cancer. METHODS: Eligible patients received 400 mg of vorinostat monotherapy daily in a lead-in phase I followed by a phase II study. Patients were genotyped for UGT2B17*2, which was correlated with vorinostat pharmacokinetics and clinical outcomes. Results: Twenty-six patients were treated with no complete response, one partial response, six stable disease lasting for 12 weeks or more, and 19 progressive disease. Sixteen patients (62%) were UGT2B17*2 homozygotes and had significantly lower mean area under the curve ratio of vorinostat-O-glucuronide/vorinostat (1.84 vs. 2.51 on day 1, P=0.02; 1.63 vs. 2.38 on day 15, P=0.028), and trended toward having higher vorinostat area under the curve (399.02 vs. 318.40, P=0.188), more serious adverse events (31 vs. 0%, P=0.121), higher clinical benefit rate (40 vs. 10%, P=0.179), and longer median progression-free survival (3.0 vs. 1.5 months, P=0.087) than patients with at least one wild-type allele. Conclusion: UGT2B17*2 genotype reduces vorinostat glucuronidation and may increase vorinostat efficacy and toxicity. These observations are important in the development of vorinostat, and may have clinical implications on other cancer and noncancer drugs that are UGT2B17 substrates such as exemestane and ibuprofen. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

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