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Thiruvananthapuram, India

Several reports have demonstrated the anticancer activities of plumbagin, a naphthoquinone derivative isolated from plants belonging to Plumbaginaceae family. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no reports which describe gold nanoconjugation with plumbagin, even though plumbagin is considered to be a promising therapeutic agent. In this report, we demonstrate the fabrication and characterization of gold nanoparticles conjugated with plumbagin (AuPB) that can reduce the toxicity of the latter, and their capacity for cellular localization and generation of reactive oxygen species. The anticancer activity and ability of plumbagin to produce reactive oxygen species was studied and compared with that of bromoderivatives of 1,4 naphthoquinones such as 2-bromo-1,4-naphthoquinone (2-BNQ) and 2,3-dibromo-1, 4-naphthoquinone (2,3-DBNQ) and their gold nanoconjugates. Plumbagin and bromoderivatives of 1,4 naphthoquinones in the form of gold nanoconjugates showed reduced cytotoxicity and apoptosis compared with the pristine compounds, ie, plumbagin, 2-BNQ, and 2,3-DBNQ. Interestingly, we observed that the gold nanoparticles could quench the reactive oxygen species-generating capacity of plumbagin, 2-BNQ, and 2,3-BNQ, which is one of the main mechanisms of action of the naphthoquinones. Therefore, it can be concluded that conjugation with gold nanoparticles can reduce the cytotoxicity of these compounds. Source

Shankar S.,Integrated Cancer Research Program | Pillai M.R.,Integrated Cancer Research Program
Molecular BioSystems

Synthetic biology concerns applying engineering principles to biological systems. Engineering properties such as fine tuning, novel specificity, and modularity could be components of a synthetic toolkit that can be exploited to explore various issues in cancer research such as elucidation of mechanisms and pathways, creating new diagnostic tools and novel therapeutic approaches. A repertoire of synthetic biology toolkits involving DNA, RNA and protein bio-parts, have been applied to address the issues of drug target identification, drug discovery and therapeutic treatment in cancer research, thereby projecting a new dimension in oncology research. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Richard V.,Integrated Cancer Research Program | Pillai M.R.,Integrated Cancer Research Program
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer

Tumors of the oral cavity provide an ideal model to study various stages of epithelial tumor progression. A group of cancer cells termed cancer stem cells (CSCs) eludes therapy, persists and initiates recurrence augmenting malignant spread of the disease. Hitherto, accurate identification and separation of such minimal residual cells have proven futile due to lack of identifiable traits to single out these cells from the heterogeneous tumor bulk. In this review we have compiled comprehensive evidence from comparative phenotypic and genotypic studies on normal oral mucosa as well as tumors of different grades to elucidate that differential expression patterns of putative stem cells markers may identify 'minimal residual disease' in oral squamous cell carcinoma. We propose the "cancer stem cell shift hypothesis" to explain the exact identity and switch-over, tumor-promoting mechanisms adapted by putative CSCs with correlation to tumor staging. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Somasundaram V.,Integrated Cancer Research Program | Srinivas P.,Integrated Cancer Research Program
Medicinal Research Reviews

BRCA1 expression is involved in normal embryonic development, mammary stem cell differentiation, and prostate cancer development. Inactivation of BRCA1 plays an important role in cancer stem cells and also leads to the development of high-grade, basal-like tumor. This review discusses why BRCA1-defective cancer stem cells need a prospective analysis, how ER alpha could influence BRCA1-defective tumor progression, phenotype of BRCA1-defective cancers, role of BRCA1 in other cancers and finally at what perspective BRCA1-defective cancers can be targeted for better therapeutic outcome. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Sreeja S.,Integrated Cancer Research Program | Santhosh Kumar T.R.,Integrated Cancer Research Program | Lakshmi B.S.,Anna University
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are estrogen receptor (ER) ligands exhibiting tissue-specific agonistic or antagonistic biocharacter and are used in the hormonal therapy for estrogen-dependent breast cancers. Pomegranate fruit has been shown to exert antiproliferative effects on human breast cancer cells in vitro. In this study, we investigated the tissue-specific estrogenic/antiestrogenic activity of methanol extract of pericarp of pomegranate (PME). PME was evaluated for antiproliferative activity at 20-320 μg/ml on human breast (MCF-7, MDA MB-231) endometrial (HEC-1A), cervical (SiHa, HeLa), ovarian (SKOV3) carcinoma and normal breast fibroblast (MCF-10A) cells. Competitive radioactive binding studies were carried out to ascertain whether PME interacts with ER. The reporter gene assay measured the estrogenic/antiestrogenic activity of PME in MCF-7 and MDA MB-231 cells transiently transfected with plasmids coding estrogen response elements with a reporter gene (pG5-ERE-luc) and wild-type ERα (hEG0-ER). PME inhibited the binding of [ 3H] estradiol to ER and suppressed the growth and proliferation of ER-positive breast cancer cells. PME binds ER and down-regulated the transcription of estrogen-responsive reporter gene transfected into breast cancer cells. The expressions of selected estrogen-responsive genes were down-regulated by PME. Unlike 17β-estradiol [1 mg/kg body weight (BW)] and tamoxifen (10 mg/kg BW), PME (50 and 100 mg/kg BW) did not increase the uterine weight and proliferation in ovariectomized mice and its cardioprotective effects were comparable to that of 17β-estradiol. In conclusion, our findings suggest that PME displays a SERM profile and may have the potential for prevention of estrogen-dependent breast cancers with beneficial effects in other hormone-dependent tissues. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.. Source

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