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Mao Y.,Soochow University of China | Li W.,Soochow University of China | Chen K.,Soochow University of China | Xie Y.,Soochow University of China | And 7 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

B7-H1 and B7-H3, two members of the B7 family that are thought to regulate T-cell activation, are expressed in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, their prognostic significance is poorly understood. In the present study we reported that B7-H1 and B7-H3 were expressed in 96/128 (72.7%) and 89/128 (69.5%) samples, respectively. B7-H1 and B7-H3 expression and the number of infiltrating T-cell intracellular antigen-1+ and interferon-γ + cells in NSCLC tissues were significantly higher than those in the adjacent tissues (p < 0.01). High B7-H1 or B7-H3 expression was associated with lymph node metastasis and TNM stage (p < 0.05, respectively). Sex, TNM stage, B7-H1, B7-H3, and T-cell intracellular antigen-1 expression remained significant prognostic factors after adjusting for other prognostic factors in a multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model. In vitro studies revealed that knockdown of B7-H3 on tumor cells enhanced T-cell growth and interferon-γ secretion when stimulated by anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 monoclonal antibodies. Interferon-γ reduced CXCR4 expression on cancer cells and inhibited the CXCL12-induced cell migration.B7-H1 and B7-H3 are independent predictors of poorer survival in patients with NSCLC. Interference of the signal pathways of these negative regulatory molecules might be a new strategy for treating NSCLC.

Chen K.,Soochow University of China | Shou L.-M.,Soochow University of China | Lin F.,Soochow University of China | Duan W.-M.,Soochow University of China | And 6 more authors.
Anti-Cancer Drugs | Year: 2014

We found that artesunate (ART) inhibited the growth of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. ART arrested the cell cycle in the G2/M phase, which was accompanied by an upregulation of p21. ART upregulated the expression of Beclin1, an initiator of autophagy (type II programmed cell death). In addition, ART stimulated the aggregation of LC3, which is considered to be a marker of autophagosome formation. We further verified the transformation of LC3 from type I into type II. 3-MA, a classical autophagy inhibitor, attenuated ART-induced autophagosome formation, cell growth repression, G2/M arrest, and p21 upregulation. Autophagy induction and p21 upregulation were also repressed by knockdown of Beclin1. Furthermore, ART sensitized breast cancer cells to the chemotherapeutic agent epirubicin through an autophagy-dependent cascade. Our study showed that ART induced autophagy in breast cancer cells and indicated that the anticancer effects of ART were exerted through an autophagy pathway. Moreover, ART sensitized breast cancer cells to epirubicin chemotherapy. Our results provide a basis for further development of ART as a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of breast cancer. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Wang W.-J.,Soochow University of China | Wu M.-Y.,Soochow University of China | Shen M.,Soochow University of China | Zhi Q.,Soochow University of China | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2015

Increasing evidence suggests that tumors are composed of a heterogeneous cell population with a small subset of cancer stem cells (CSCs) that sustain tumor formation and growth, and are hypothesized to account for therapeutic resistance. Based on the expression of the surface markers CD44, CD24, and EPCAM, putative CSCs have also been identified in pancreatic cancers. It has been well established that aberrant activation of β-catenin signaling pathway may contribute to the maintenance of CSCs. Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine. In our previous studies, we demonstrated that cantharidin treatment induced phosphorylation of β-catenin, leading to repression on β-catenin pathway. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated whether cantharidin and its derivant, norcantharidin, could repress the stemness of pancreatic cancer cells through repression on β-catenin pathway. By using microarray and flow cytometry, we found that treatment with cantharidin and norcantharidin repressed the expression of CD44, CD24, and EPCAM at both mRNA and protein levels, leading to decreased CD44+/CD24+/EPCAM+ proportion, the putative pancreatic CSC subset. Pretreatment with the β-catenin pathway inhibitor FH535, attenuated the cantharidin- and norcantharidin-inducrd repression on CD44, CD24, and EPCAM, suggesting cantharidin and its derivant repressed stemness of pancreatic cancer cells in β-catenin pathway-dependent manner. Furthermore, cantharidin and norcantharidin strengthened the cytotoxicity of gemcitabine and erlotinib, two well established pharmacotherapeutics against pancreatic cancers, indicating cantharidin and norcantharidin could be promising candidates for reversing drug resistance in pancreatic cancers. In conclusion, we presently propose that cantharidin and norcantharidin hold their promise in pancreatic cancer therapy through repression on stemness and strengthening the cytotoxicity of the present therapeutics.

Shou L.-M.,Soochow University of China | Zhang Q.-Y.,Soochow University of China | Li W.,Soochow University of China | Xie X.,Soochow University of China | And 10 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2013

Cancer metastasis is a highly coordinated and dynamic multistep process in which cancer cells interact with a variety of host cells. Morphological studies have documented the association of circulating tumor cells with host platelets, where a surface coating of platelets protects tumor cells from mechanical trauma and the immune system. Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine. Cantharidin and norcantharidin are potent protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitors that exhibit in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity against several types of cancer, including breast cancer. We investigated whether cantharidin and norcantharidin could repress the ability of MCF-7 breast cancer cells to adhere to platelets. Using MTT, clone formation, apoptosis, adhesion and wound-healing assays, we found that cantharidin and norcantharidin induced apoptosis and repressed MCF-7 cell growth, adhesion and migration. Moreover, we developed a flow cytometry-based analysis of tumor cell adhesion to platelets. We proved that cantharidin and norcantharidin repressed MCF-7 cell adhesion to platelets through downregulation of α2 integrin, an adhesion molecule present on the surface of cancer cells. The repression of α2 integrin expression was found to be executed through the protein kinase C pathway, the activation of which could have been due to PP2A inhibition.

Chen Q.,Soochow University of China | Xia X.,Soochow University of China | Wu S.,Soochow University of China | Wu A.,Soochow University of China | And 11 more authors.
Cell Biochemistry and Function | Year: 2014

Enterocytes die during high-dose radiation exposure in radiation accidents. The modality of cell death has a profound effect on the therapeutic response. The ilea from mice with 15Gy total body irradiation (TBI) were drawn, morphological features observed by hematoxylin and eosin staining and transmission electron micrographs. The biochemical features of mouse ileum presented with the structure were cleaved Caspase-3 (apoptosis marker), Light Chain 3 (LC3)-I's conversion to LC3-II (autophagy marker) and high mobility group box chromosomal protein 1's secretion (necrosis marker). Then, the autophagy inhibitor (3-methyladenine), caspase inhibitor (Z-VAD-FMK) or necrosis inhibitor (necrostatin) was used to prevent death. Apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis were all appeared in the ileum, but necrosis had the biggest size; the use of 3-methyladenine and Z-VAD-FMK prolong one day's life of the mice after 15Gy TBI, necrostatin significantly extended the lifespan of 15Gy irradiated mice (p<0.05). The results suggest that the death of enterocytes could not be classified into one type of cell death but rather as 'mixed death.' © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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