HKBU Shenzhen Research Institute and Continuing Education

Shenzhen, China

HKBU Shenzhen Research Institute and Continuing Education

Shenzhen, China
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Liu J.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Liu J.,China Institute of Technology | Liu J.,Institute of Integrated Bioinformatic Medicine and Translational science | Liu J.,HKBU Shenzhen Research Institute and Continuing Education | And 50 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2015

Dysregulated microRNAs in osteoclasts could cause many skeletal diseases. The therapeutic manipulation of these pathogenic microRNAs necessitates novel, efficient delivery systems to facilitate microRNAs modulators targeting osteoclasts with minimal off-target effects. Bone resorption surfaces characterized by highly crystallized hydroxyapatite are dominantly occupied by osteoclasts. Considering that the eight repeating sequences of aspartate (D-Asp8) could preferably bind to highly crystallized hydroxyapatite, we developed a targeting system by conjugating D-Asp8 peptide with liposome for delivering microRNA modulators specifically to bone resorption surfaces and subsequently encapsulated antagomir-148a (a microRNA modulator suppressing the osteoclastogenic miR-148a), i.e. (D-Asp8)-liposome-antagomir-148a. Our results demonstrated that D-Asp8 could facilitate the enrichment of antagomir-148a and the subsequent down-regulation of miR-148a in osteoclasts invivo, resulting in reduced bone resorption and attenuated deterioration of trabecular architecture in osteoporotic mice. Mechanistically, the osteoclast-targeted delivery depended on the interaction between bone resorption surfaces and D-Asp8. No detectable liver and kidney toxicity was found in mice after single/multiple dose(s) treatment of (D-Asp8)-liposome-antagomir-148a. These results indicated that (D-Asp8)-liposome as a promising osteoclast-targeting delivery system could facilitate clinical translation of microRNA modulators in treating those osteoclast-dysfunction-induced skeletal diseases. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Liu B.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Liu B.,HKBU Shenzhen Research Institute and Continuing Education | Liu B.,Guangzhou University | Fu X.-Q.,Hong Kong Baptist University | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology | Year: 2017

Ethnopharmacologic relevance Berberine (BBR) is a naturally occurring alkaloid compound that can be found in Chinese medicinal herbs such as Rhizoma Coptidis and Phellodendri Cortex. These BBR containing herbs are commonly used by Chinese medicine doctors to treat cancers including melanoma. In this study, we explored proteins potentially involved in the anti-melanoma effects of BBR using computational and experimental approaches. Materials and methods Target proteins of BBR were predicted using the reverse pharmacophore screening, molecular docking and molecular dynamics. Anti-melanoma activities of BBR in melanoma cells were examined by MTT and EdU proliferation assays. Effects of BBR on activities of target proteins in melanoma cells were examined by Western blotting or fluorescence assay. Results Ten proteins implicated in cancer and with high fit-score in the reverse pharmacophore screening were selected as potential targets of BBR. Molecular docking and molecular dynamics revealed that BBR could stably bind to four of the ten proteins, namely 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). Cellular experiments showed that BBR inhibited cell proliferation, increased the phosphorylation of GR and p38, and inhibited the activity of DHODH in A375 human melanoma cells. Conclusions These findings suggest that p38, GR and DHODH are potentially involved in the anti-melanoma action of BBR. This study provided a chemical and pharmacological justification for the clinical use of BBR-containing herbs in melanoma treatment. © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


Su T.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Su T.,HKBU Shenzhen Research Institute and Continuing Education | Bai J.-X.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Chen Y.-J.,Hong Kong Baptist University | And 12 more authors.
Frontiers in Pharmacology | Year: 2017

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling is constantly activated in CRC, and has been proposed as a pathogenic factor and a therapeutic target of CRC. Ampelopsis Radix (AR), a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, possesses low toxicity and has long been used clinically for the treatment of cancers including CRC. Some constituents of AR have been reported to exert anti-cancer properties by targeting STAT3. However, the anti-CRC mode and mechanism of action of AR have not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the involvement of STAT3 signaling in the anti-CRC effects of AR. Results showed that AR reduced cell viability, induced cell apoptosis, and suppressed cell migration and invasion in human HCT-116 and SW480 CRC cells. Mechanistic studies showed that AR potently suppressed STAT3 and Src phosphorylation, and inhibited STAT3 nuclear localization in cultured CRC cells. AR also downregulated the expression of STAT3 target genes Mcl-1, Bcl-xL, and MMP-2 that are involved in cell survival and mobility. Moreover, the cytotoxic effect of AR was diminished by overexpressing STAT3C, a persistent active variant of STAT3. In conclusion, AR exerted anti-CRC effects in vitro and these effects are at least in part attributed to the inhibition of STAT3 signaling. Our findings provide a molecular justification for the traditional use of AR in treating CRC, and a pharmacological basis for developing AR-derived modern anti-CRC agent(s). © 2017 Su, Bai, Chen, Wang, Fu, Li, Guo, Zhu, Wang and Yu.

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