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Sureban S.M.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Sureban S.M.,Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center | May R.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Qu D.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal damage is a devastating adverse effect of radiation therapy. We have recently reported that expression of Dclk1, a Tuft cell and tumor stem cell (TSC) marker, 24h after high dose total-body gamma-IR (TBI) can be used as a surrogate marker for crypt survival. Dietary pectin has been demonstrated to possess chemopreventive properties, whereas its radioprotective property has not been studied. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of dietary pectin on ionizing radiation (IR)-induced intestinal stem cell (ISC) deletion, crypt and overall survival following lethal TBI. C57BL/6 mice received a 6% pectin diet and 0.5% pectin drinking water (pre-IR mice received pectin one week before TBI until death; post-IR mice received pectin after TBI until death). Animals were exposed to TBI (14 Gy) and euthanized at 24 and 84h post-IR to assess ISC deletion and crypt survival respectively. Animals were also subjected to overall survival studies following TBI. In pre-IR treatment group, we observed a three-fold increase in ISC/crypt survival, a two-fold increase in Dclk1+ stem cells, increased overall survival (median 10d vs. 7d), and increased expression of Dclk1, Msi1, Lgr5, Bmi1, and Notch1 (in small intestine) post-TBI in pectin treated mice compared to controls. We also observed increased survival of mice treated with pectin (post-IR) compared to controls. Dietary pectin is a radioprotective agent; prevents IR-induced deletion of potential reserve ISCs; facilitates crypt regeneration; and ultimately promotes overall survival. Given the anti-cancer activity of pectin, our data support a potential role for dietary pectin as an agent that can be administered to patients receiving radiation therapy to protect against radiation-induces mucositis. © 2015 Sureban et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Ali N.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Chandrakesan P.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Nguyen C.B.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Husain S.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | And 11 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancerrelated mortality worldwide. We previously showed that a tumor/cancer stem cell (CSC) marker, doublecortin-like kinase (DCLK1) positively regulates hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication, and promotes tumor growth in colon and pancreas. Here, we employed transcriptome analysis, RNA interference, tumor xenografts, patient's liver tissues and hepatospheroids to investigate DCLK1-regulated inflammation and tumorigenesis in the liver. Our studies unveiled novel DCLK1-controlled feed-forward signaling cascades involving calprotectin subunit S100A9 and NFκB activation as a driver of inflammation. Validation of transcriptome data suggests that DCLK1 coexpression with HCV induces BRM/SMARCA2 of SW1/SNF1 chromatin remodeling complexes. Frequently observed lymphoid aggregates including hepatic epithelial and stromal cells of internodular septa extensively express DCLK1 and S100A9. The DCLK1 overexpression also correlates with increased levels of S100A9, c-Myc, and BRM levels in HCV/HBV-positive patients with cirrhosis and HCC. DCLK1 silencing inhibits S100A9 expression and hepatoma cell migration. Normal human hepatocytes (NHH)-derived spheroids exhibit CSC properties. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of the hepatitis B/C-virus induced liver inflammation and tumorigenesis via DCLK1-controlled networks. Thus, DCLK1 appears to be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and HCC.


Weygant N.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Qu D.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Berry W.L.,Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center | Berry W.L.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Cancer | Year: 2014

Background: Doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1) is emerging as a tumor specific stem cell marker in colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of inhibiting DCLK1 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) as well as genetically targeting the DCLK1+ cell for deletion. However, the effects of inhibiting DCLK1 kinase activity have not been studied directly. Therefore, we assessed the effects of inhibiting DCLK1 kinase activity using the novel small molecule kinase inhibitor, LRRK2-IN-1, which demonstrates significant affinity for DCLK1.Results: Here we report that LRRK2-IN-1 demonstrates potent anti-cancer activity including inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion as well as induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Additionally we found that it regulates stemness, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and oncogenic targets on the molecular level. Moreover, we show that LRRK2-IN-1 suppresses DCLK1 kinase activity and downstream DCLK1 effector c-MYC, and demonstrate that DCLK1 kinase activity is a significant factor in resistance to LRRK2-IN-1.Conclusions: Given DCLK1's tumor stem cell marker status, a strong understanding of its biological role and interactions in gastrointestinal tumors may lead to discoveries that improve patient outcomes. The results of this study suggest that small molecule inhibitors of DCLK1 kinase should be further investigated as they may hold promise as anti-tumor stem cell drugs. © 2014 Weygant et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Sureban S.M.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Sureban S.M.,Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center | May R.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Qu D.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Stem cell pluripotency, angiogenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) have been shown to be significantly upregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and many other aggressive cancers. The dysregulation of these processes is believed to play key roles in tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis, and is contributory to PDAC being the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. The tumor suppressor miRNA miR-145 downregulates critical pluripotency factors and oncogenes and results in repressed metastatic potential in PDAC. Additionally, the miR-200 family regulates several angiogenic factors which have been linked to metastasis in many solid tumors. We have previously demonstrated that downregulation of DCLK1 can upregulate critical miRNAs in both in vitro and in vivo cancer models and results in downregulation of c-MYC, KRAS, NOTCH1 and EMT-related transcription factors. A recent report has also shown that Dclk1 can distinguish between normal and tumor stem cells in Apcmin/+ mice and that ablation of Dclk1+ cells resulted in regression of intestinal polyps without affecting homeostasis. Here we demonstrate that the knockdown of DCLK1 using poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-encapsulated-DCLK1-siRNA results in AsPC1 tumor growth arrest. Examination of xenograft tumors revealed, (a) increased miR-145 which results in decreased pluripotency maintenance factors OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 as well as KRAS and RREB1; (b) increased let-7a which results in decreased pluripotency factor LIN28B; and (c) increased miR-200 which results in decreased VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and EMT-related transcription factors ZEB1, ZEB2, SNAIL and SLUG. Specificity of DCLK1 post-transcriptional regulation of the downstream targets of miR-145, miR-200 and let-7a was accomplished utilizing a luciferase-based reporter assay. We conclude that DCLK1 plays a significant master regulatory role in pancreatic tumorigenesis through the regulation of multiple tumor suppressor miRNAs and their downstream pro-tumorigenic pathways. This novel concept of targeting DCLK1 alone has several advantages over targeting single pathway or miRNA-based therapies for PDAC. © 2013 Sureban et al.


Sureban S.M.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Sureban S.M.,The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center | Madhoun M.F.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | May R.,The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | And 13 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Tumor stem cell marker Doublecortin-like kinase1 (DCLK1) is upregulated in several solid tumors. The role of DCLK1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unclear. We immunostained tissues from human livers with HCC, cirrhosis controls (CC), and non-cirrhosis controls (NCC) for DCLK1. Western blot and ELISA analyses for DCLK1 were performed with stored plasma samples. We observed increased immunoreactive DCLK1 in epithelia and stroma in HCC and CCs compared with NCCs, and observed a marked increase in plasma DCLK1 from patients with HCC compared with CC and NCC. Analysis of the Cancer Genome Atlas' HCC dataset revealed that DCLK1 is overexpressed in HCC tumors relative to adjacent normal tissues. High DCLK1-expressing cells had more epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Various tumor suppressor miRNAs were also downregulated in HCC tumors. We evaluated the effects of DCLK1 knockdown on Huh7.5-derived tumor xenograft growth. This was associated with growth arrest and a marked downregulation of cMYC, and EMT transcription factors ZEB1, ZEB2, SNAIL, and SLUG via let-7a and miR-200 miRNA-dependent mechanisms. Furthermore, upregulation of miR-143/145, a corresponding decrease in pluripotency factors OCT4, NANOG, KLF4, and LIN28, and a reduction of let-7a, miR-143/145, and miR-200-specific luciferase activity was observed. These findings suggest that the detection of elevated plasma DCLK1 may provide a cost-effective, less invasive tool for confirmation of clinical signs of cirrhosis, and a potential companion diagnostic marker for patients with cirrhosis and HCC. Our results support evaluating DCLK1 as a biomarker for detection and as a therapeutic target for eradicating HCC.

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