Graduate Institute of Medical science

Taipei, Taiwan

Graduate Institute of Medical science

Taipei, Taiwan

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Tsao C.-M.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | Yan M.-D.,Taipei Medical University | Shih Y.-L.,Tri Service General Hospital | Yu P.-N.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | And 3 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2012

Oncogenic activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is common in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our recent studies have demonstrated that SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 1 (SOX1) and secreted frizzled-related proteins are concomitantly promoter-hypermethylated, and this might lead to abnormal activation of the Wnt signaling pathway in HCC. SOX1 encodes a transcription factor involved in the regulation of embryonic development and cell fate determination. However, the expression and functional role of SOX1 in HCC remains unclear. In this study, we confirmed via quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction that SOX1 was frequently downregulated through promoter hypermethylation in HCC cells and tissues. Overexpression of SOX1 by a constitutive or inducible approach could suppress cell proliferation, colony formation, and invasion ability in HCC cell lines, as well as tumor growth in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Conversely, knockdown of SOX1 by withdrawal of doxycycline could partially restore cell proliferation and colony formation in HCC cells. We used a T cell factor (TCF)-responsive luciferase reporter assay and western blot analysis to prove that SOX1 could regulate TCF-responsive transcriptional activity and inhibit the expression of Wnt downstream genes. Furthermore, we used glutathione S-transferase pull-down, co-immunoprecipitation, and confocal microscopy to demonstrate that SOX1 could interact with β-catenin but not with the β-catenin/TCF complex. Moreover, restoration of the expression of SOX1 induces significant cellular senescence in Hep3B cells. Conclusion: Our data show that a developmental gene, SOX1, may function as a tumor suppressor by interfering with Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the development of HCC. © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


Peng Y.-J.,Graduate Institute of Medical Science | Lee C.-H.,Taipei Medical University Hospital | Wang C.-C.,Tri Service General Hospital | Salter D.M.,University of Edinburgh | Lee H.-S.,Tri Service General Hospital
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2012

Acute gouty arthritis results from monosodium urate (MSU) crystal deposition in joint tissues. Deposited MSU crystals induce an acute inflammatory response which leads to damage of joint tissue. Pycnogenol (PYC), an extract from the bark of Pinus maritime, has documented antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties. The present study aimed to investigate whether PYC had protective effects on MSU-induced inflammatory and nitrosative stress in joint tissues both in vitro and in vivo. MSU crystals upregulated cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), interleukin 8 (IL-8) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene expression in human articular chondrocytes, but only COX-2 and IL-8 in synovial fibroblasts. PYC inhibited the up-regulation of COX-2, and IL-8 in both articular chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts. PYC attenuated MSU crystal induced iNOS gene expression and NO production in chondrocytes. Activation of NF-κB and SAPK/JNK, ERK1/2 and p38 MAP kinases by MSU crystals in articular chondrocytes and synovial fibroblasts in vitro was attenuated by treatment with PYC. The acute inflammatory cell infiltration and increased expression of COX-2 and iNOS in synovial tissue and articular cartilage following intra-articular injection of MSU crystals in a rat model was inhibited by coadministration of PYC. Collectively, this study demonstrates that PYC may be of value in treatment of MSU crystal-induced arthritis through its anti-inflammatory and anti-nitrosative activities. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Ho L.-J.,National Health Research Institute | Luo S.-F.,Chang Gung University | Lai J.-H.,Chang Gung University | Lai J.-H.,Graduate Institute of Medical Science
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2015

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. Binding of IL-6 to its receptor (IL-6R) initiates both classical- and trans-signaling pathways. A number of autoimmune diseases are characterized by overproduction of IL-6. Tocilizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against IL-6R, blocks IL-6-mediated signaling and has been approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Castleman's disease. IL-6 levels are also upregulated in various tumors, and the levels of circulating IL-6 are associated with prognosis in cancer patients. The major issues covered in this commentary include (1) how IL-6-mediated biological effects may lead to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and cancers, (2) the rationale of developing anti-IL-6 strategies for therapeutic purposes, (3) recent advances in anti-IL-6 therapeutics (clinical benefits and adverse events), (4) current knowledge about clinical trials evaluating newly emerging anti-IL-6 treatments, (5) strategies to improve anti-IL-6 therapeutics from both basic and clinical aspects. This commentary provides a useful overview of the role of IL-6 in both autoimmune diseases and cancers from the laboratory as well as clinical perspectives. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Cheng C.-P.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | Sytwu H.-K.,A-Life Medical | Chang D.-M.,Tri Service General Hospital
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2011

Objective. To investigate the immune-modulated effects of decoy receptor 3 (DCR3) in an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. We delivered DCR3 plasmid into collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice using the hydrodynamic method and evaluated the serum level of DCR3 protein by ELISA. After immunization, we assessed disease severity of arthritis incidence, arthritis scores, paw thickness, and means of arthritic limbs, and used hematoxylin and eosin staining to observe synovial hyperplasia. We analyzed numbers of murine splenocytes and inguinal lymphocyte cells, cell populations, and serum proinflammatory cytokines by flow cytometry. We investigated B cell proliferation by carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester assay. We evaluated serum levels of total IgG2a and type II collagen-specific IgG and IgG2a using ELISA. Results. DCR3 expression in sera significantly attenuated disease severity in CIA mice. We found that DCR3 inhibited the volume of inguinal lymph nodes, numbers of CD19+ B cells, and populations of interferon-g, interleukin 4 (IL-4), IL-17A, and Foxp3-producing CD4+ T cell in vivo. We found that DCR3 inhibited Pam3CSK4 (Toll-like receptor 1/2 ligand)-induced B220+ B cell proliferation in vitro. DCR3 treatment reduced the serum level of IL-6, total IgG2a, and CII-specific IgG2a antibody. Conclusion. We postulated that the protective effects of DCR3 in CIA resulted from modulation of the immune system by maintaining the B/T cell balance and decreasing lymphocyte expansion. We suggest DCR3 as a prophylactic and potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of RA. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.


Huang H.-N.,National Taiwan Ocean University | Rajanbabu V.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Pan C.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Chan Y.-L.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | And 2 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2013

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes infections through open skin injuries, and its resistance makes treatment difficult. The antimicrobial peptide Epinecidin-1 (Epi-1) has been reported to possess antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antitumor functions. This study investigated the antimicrobial activity of Epi-1 against skin trauma-mediated MRSA infection in mice. One square centimeter of outer skin was excised from the ventral region of mice, and a lethal dose of MRSA was applied in the presence or absence of methicillin, vancomycin, or Epi-1. While untreated mice and mice treated with methicillin died within four days, mice treated with Epi-1 survived infection. Epi-1 decreased MRSA bacterial counts in the wounded region, enhanced wound closure, and increased angiogenesis at the injury site. Treatment with Epi-1 decreased serum levels of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and MCP-1, and regulated the recruitment of monocytes and clearance of lymphocytes around the wounded region during healing. In conclusion, Epi-1 may be effective at treating clinical MRSA, and may enhance wound recovery when combined with collagen. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Huang H.-N.,National Taiwan Ocean University | Pan C.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Chan Y.-L.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | Chen J.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Wu C.-J.,National Taiwan Ocean University
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2014

Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have recently been determined to be potential candidates for treating drug-resistant bacterial infections. Pardaxin (GE33), a marine antimicrobial peptide, has been reported to possess antimicrobial function. In this study, we investigated whether pardaxin promoted healing of contaminated wounds in mice. One square centimeter of outer skin was excised from the ventral region of mice, and a lethal dose of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was applied in the presence or absence of methicillin, vancomycin, or pardaxin. While untreated mice and mice treated with methicillin died within 3 days, mice treated with pardaxin survived infection. Pardaxin decreased MRSA bacterial counts in the wounded region and also enhanced wound closure. Reepithelialization and dermal maturation were also faster in mice treated with pardaxin than in mice treated with vancomycin. In addition, pardaxin treatment controlled excess recruitment of monocytes and macrophages and increased the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In conclusion, these results suggest that pardaxin is capable of enhancing wound healing. Furthermore, this study provides an excellent platform for comparing the antimicrobial activities of peptide and nonpeptide antibiotics. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Chen M.-C.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | Lee C.-F.,Institute of Preventive Medicine | Huang W.-H.,National Defense Medical Center | Chou T.-C.,National Defense Medical Center
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2013

The hypoxic environment in tumors is an important factor causing tumor angiogenesis by activating the key transcription factor, hypoxia-inducible factors-1α (HIF-1α). Magnolol isolated from Magnolia officinalis has been reported to exhibit an anticancer activity via elevation of apoptosis. However, whether magnolol inhibits tumor angiogenesis remains unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that magnolol significantly inhibited angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo evidenced by the attenuation of hypoxia and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced tube formation of human umbilical vascular endothelial cells, vasculature generation in chicken chorioallantoic membrane and Matrigel plug. In hypoxic human bladder cancer cells (T24), treatment with magnolol inhibited hypoxia-stimulated H 2O2 formation, HIF-1α induction including mRNA, protein expression, and transcriptional activity as well as VEGF secretion. Additionally, the enhanced degradation of HIF-1α protein via enhancing prolyl hydroxylase activity and the decreased newly-synthesized HIF-1α protein in hypoxic T24 cells may involve the reduction of HIF-1α protein accumulation by magnolol. Interestingly, magnolol also acts as a VEGFR2 antagonist, and subsequently attenuates the down-stream AKT/mTOR/p70S6K/4E-BP-1 kinase activation both in hypoxic T24 cells and tumor tissues. As expected, administration of magnolol greatly attenuated tumor growth, angiogenesis and the protein expression of HIF-1α, VEGF, CD31, a marker of endothelial cells, and carbonic anhydrase IX, an endogenous marker for hypoxia, in the T24 xenograft mouse model. Collectively, these findings strongly indicate that the anti-agngiogenic activity of magnolol is, at least in part, mediated by suppressing HIF-1α/VEGF-dependent pathways, and suggest that magnolol may be a potential drug for human bladder cancer therapy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Hsu Y.-C.,National Defense Medical Center | Cheng C.-P.,Graduate Institute of Medical science | Chang D.-M.,Tri Service General Hospital
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2011

Objective. Plectranthus amboinicus has been known to treat inflammatory diseases or swelling symptoms. We investigated whether P. amboinicus exhibited an inhibitory effect on osteoclastogenesis in vitro and inflammatory bone erosion in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice, an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. We attempted to identify the active component of P. amboinicus involved in regulation of osteoclastogenesis. Methods. We treated M-CSF- and RANKL-stimulated murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) and RANKL-induced RAW264.7 cells with different concentrations of P. amboinicus or rosmarinic acid, a phytopolyphenol purified from P. amboinicus, to monitor osteoclast formation by TRAP staining. The mechanism of the inhibition was studied by biochemical analysis such as RT-PCR and immunoblotting. CIA mice were administered gavages of P. amboinicus (375 mg/kg) or placebo. Then clinical, histological, and biochemical measures were assessed to determine the effects of P. amboinicus on synovial inflammation and bone erosion by H&E staining of the inflamed joints and ELISA. Results. Rosmarinic acid strongly inhibited RANKL-induced NF-κB activation and nuclear factor of activated T cells c1 (NFATc1) nuclear translocation in BMM, and also inhibited RANKL-induced formation of TRAP-positive multinucleated cells. A pit formation assay and the CIA animal model showed that P. amboinicus significantly inhibited the bone-resorbing activity of mature osteoclasts. Conclusion. We postulated that rosmarinic acid conferred the inhibitory activity on P. amboinicus for inhibition of osteoclastogenesis via downregulation of RANKL-induced NFATc1 expression. Our results indicated the possibility of P. amboinicus as a new remedy against inflammatory bone destruction. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.


Chen C.L.,Graduate Institute of Medical Science
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science | Year: 2012

The purpose of this article was to investigate the effects of glucosamine (GlcN) on the TNF-α-induced expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and the function of ICAM-1 in ARPE-19 cells in vitro. We quantified protein levels of TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 in ARPE-19 cells with Western blotting. The effects of GlcN on O-linked glycosylation, and therefore on ICAM-1 expression, were compared after the addition of alloxan, an inhibitor of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT), or O-(2-acetamido-2-deoxy-d-glucopyranosylidene)amino-N-phenylcarbamate (PUGNAc), an inhibitor of N-acetylglucosaminidase (O-GlcNAcase [OGA]), or after OGT gene overexpression. The effect of GlcN on the N-linked glycosylation of ICAM-1 was evaluated by the change in its molecular mass on Western blotting. The effect of O-linked glycosylation on the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway was examined using an NF-κB reporter gene assay. The effect of GlcN on ICAM-1 adhesion activity was examined using an ICAM-1 adhesion assay. GlcN, PUGNAc, and OGT overexpression inhibited TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression and NF-κB activity in ARPE-19 cells. Alloxan increased ICAM-1 expression and NF-κB activity in TNF-α-induced ARPE-19 cells. GlcN and tunicamycin reduced the molecular mass of TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 in ARPE-19 cells. The proteasome inhibitor MG-132 suppressed the GlcN-induced reduction in the molecular mass of TNF-α-induced ICAM-1. GlcN also attenuated the adhesion activity of TNF-α-induced ICAM-1. GlcN inhibits ICAM-1 expression and functions by modulating the O-linked glycosylation of factors involved in NF-κB signaling and by reducing the N-linked glycosylation of TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 in ARPE-19 cells. These effects may contribute to the GlcN-mediated anti-inflammatory effects in the eye.


Chu P.Y.,Graduate Institute of Medical science
PloS one | Year: 2013

Stimulation of the OSR1 (Oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1)/SPAK [STE20 (sterile 20)/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase]-NCC (Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter) signaling cascade plays an important role in the WNK [With-No-Lysine (K)] kinase 4 D561A knock-in mouse model of pseudohypoaldosteronism type II (PHA II) characterized by salt-sensitive hypertension and hyperkalemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the respective roles of Osr1 and Spak in the pathogenesis of PHA II in vivo. Wnk4 (D561A/+) mice were crossed with kidney tubule-specific (KSP) Osr1 knockout (KSP-Osr1 (-/-)) and Spak knockout (Spak (-/-)) mice. Blood pressure, plasma and urine biochemistries, and the relevant protein expression in the kidneys were examined. Wnk4 (D561A/+), KSP-Osr1 (-/-), and Spak (-/-) mice recapitulated the phenotypes of PHA II, Bartter-like syndrome, and Gitelman syndrome, respectively. Wnk4 (D561A/+).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) remained phenotypically PHA II while Wnk4 (D561A/+).Spak (-/-) mice became normotensive and lacked the PHA II phenotype. Phosphorylated Spak and Ncc were similarly increased in both Wnk4 (D561A/+) and Wnk4 (D561A/+).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) mice while phosphorylated Ncc normalized in Wnk4 (D561A/+).Spak (-/-) mice. Furthermore, Wnk4 (D561A/+).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) mice exhibited exaggerated salt excretion in response to thiazide diuretics while Wnk4 (D561A/+).Spak (-/-) mice exhibited normal responses. Wnk4(D561A/+).Spak (-/-).KSP-Osr1 (-/-) triple mutant mice had low blood pressure and diminished phosphorylated Ncc. Both SPAK and OSR1 are important in the maintenance of blood pressure but activation of SPAK-NCC plays the dominant role in PHA II. SPAK may be a therapeutic target for disorders with salt-sensitive hypertension related to WNK4 activation.

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