Oncology Research Laboratory

Fengcheng, China

Oncology Research Laboratory

Fengcheng, China
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Ripoli M.,Irccs Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza Hospital | Barbano R.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Balsamo T.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Piccoli C.,University of Foggia | And 5 more authors.
Virus Research | Year: 2011

Background and aim: The mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis induced by hepatitis C virus remain unclear. Our aim was to investigate the effect of the HCV core protein on the promoter methylation status of selected genes potentially involved in the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Materials and methods: We evaluated the promoter methylation levels of the E-cadherin (CDH1), the glutathione S-transferase p1 (GSTP1), adenomatosis polyposis coli (APC), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3), catenin (cadherin-associated protein) beta 1 (CNNTB1) genes by a quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (QMSP) in the in vitro model of Huh-7 cells expressing the HCV core protein of genotype 1b. Results: We found that CDH1 promoter was hypermethylated in genotype 1b HCV core protein-positive cells as compared to control cells expressing the GFP protein alone (HCV core 1b vs GFP p= 0.00; HCV core 1b vs Huh-7 p= 0.03). This resulted in reduced levels of CDH1 protein as evaluated by immunoblot and by immunofluorescence. On the other hand no significant changes were observed for the other genes investigated. Furthermore, we present evidence that genotype 1b HCV core protein expression induces SIRT1 upregulation and that treatment with SIRT1 inhibitor sirtinol decreases the methylation levels of CDH1 promoter (1b. +. sirtinol vs 1b p= 0.05; 1b. +. sirtinol vs GFP. +. sirtinol p= NS) resulting in 1.7-fold increased CDH1 mRNA expression (1b. +. sirtinol vs 1b p= 0.05). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that HCV core protein could play a role in HCC at least in part by altering the methylation status of CDH1 promoter. These findings could also suggest a novel therapeutic approach for HCC. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | University of Bari, Medical Genetics Service, Bioinformatics Unit, Oncology Research Laboratory and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Altered functioning of the biological clock is involved in cancer onset and progression. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) interact with the clock genes modulating the function of genetically encoded molecular clockworks. Collaborative interactions may take place within the coding-noncoding RNA regulatory networks. We aimed to evaluate the cross-talk among miRNAs and clock genes in colorectal cancer (CRC). We performed an integrative analysis of miRNA-miRNA and miRNA-mRNA interactions on high-throughput molecular profiling of matched human CRC tissue and non-tumor mucosa, pinpointing core clock genes and their targeting miRNAs. Data obtained in silico were validated in CRC patients and human colon cancer cell lines. In silico we found severe alterations of clock gene-related coding-noncoding RNA regulatory networks in tumor tissues, which were later corroborated by the analysis of human CRC specimens and experiments performed in vitro. In conclusion, specific miRNAs target and regulate the transcription/translation of clock genes and clock gene-related miRNA-miRNA as well as mRNA-miRNA interactions are altered in colorectal cancer. Exploration of the interplay between specific miRNAs and genes, which are critically involved in the functioning of the biological clock, provides a better understanding of the importance of the miRNA-clock genes axis and its derangement in colorectal cancer.


Solinas M.,University of Insubria | Massi P.,University of Milan | Cantelmo A.R.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Cattaneo M.G.,University of Milan | And 8 more authors.
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Several studies have demonstrated anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic actions of cannabinoids on various tumours, together with their anti-angiogenic properties. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) effectively inhibits the growth of different types of tumours in vitro and in vivo and down-regulates some pro-angiogenic signals produced by glioma cells. As its anti-angiogenic properties have not been thoroughly investigated to date, and given its very favourable pharmacological and toxicological profile, here, we evaluated the ability of CBD to modulate tumour angiogenesis. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Firstly, we evaluated the effect of CBD on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation and viability - through [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] assay and FACS analysis - and in vitro motility - both in a classical Boyden chamber test and in a wound-healing assay. We next investigated CBD effects on different angiogenesis-related proteins released by HUVECs, using an angiogenesis array kit and an ELISA directed at MMP2. Then we evaluated its effects on in vitro angiogenesis in treated HUVECs invading a Matrigel layer and in HUVEC spheroids embedded into collagen gels, and further characterized its effects in vivo using a Matrigel sponge model of angiogenesis in C57/BL6 mice. KEY RESULTS CBD induced HUVEC cytostasis without inducing apoptosis, inhibited HUVEC migration, invasion and sprouting in vitro, and angiogenesis in vivo in Matrigel sponges. These effects were associated with the down-modulation of several angiogenesis-related molecules. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS This study reveals that CBD inhibits angiogenesis by multiple mechanisms. Its dual effect on both tumour and endothelial cells supports the hypothesis that CBD has potential as an effective agent in cancer therapy. © 2012 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.


Zhang T.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Zhang T.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Xue X.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | He D.,Oncology Research Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Cancer Letters | Year: 2015

Recent advances in efficient microRNA (miRNA) delivery techniques using prostate cancer-targeted nanoparticles offer critical information for understanding the functional role of miRNAs in vivo, and for supporting targeted gene therapy in terms of treating miRNA-associated prostate cancer. Here, we report the polyarginine peptide (R11)-labeled non-toxic SSPEI nanomaterials capable of prostate cancer-specific miR-145 delivery to prostate cancer in vivo where they display full bioactivity at completely nontoxic concentrations. The R11-labeled BPEI-SS (R11-SSPEI) nanocarrier showed less toxicity in prostate cancer, and electrostatic interaction of R11-SSPEI with miR-145 exhibited optimal transfection efficacy. The R11-SSPEI/miR-145 polymer could be specifically uptaken in prostate cancer using FAM-miR-145 mixed with R11-SSPEI. The functional action of miR-145 oligomers released from polyplexes was evaluated by a reporter vector containing a miR-145-binding sequence, and showed a significantly reduced reporter signal in a dose-dependent manner. More importantly, in a peritoneal mouse tumor model, the systemic administration of the R11-SSPEI/FAM-miR-145 complex leads to the delivery of miR-145 into the tumors, dramatically inhibiting tumor growth and prolonged survival time. Hence, we establish a novel and prostate cancer-specific targeting system for the systemic in vivo application of microRNAs through R11-SSPEI complexation as a powerful tool for future therapeutic use. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Zhang T.,Shandong University | Wang X.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Wang X.,Oncology Research Laboratory | He D.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | And 4 more authors.
Anti-Cancer Drugs | Year: 2014

Metformin, an oral antidiabetic agent, has been reported to potentiate chemotherapeutic-induced cytotoxicity. In this study, we investigated the effects and molecular mechanisms of metformin in sensitizing tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis in human bladder cancer cells. Metformin alone did not induce apoptosis, but markedly potentiated TRAIL-induced apoptosis in 253J and RT4 bladder cancer cells. To elucidate the underlying mechanism, we examined the modulatory effects of metformin on the key components of the TRAIL signaling pathway and found that metformin did not alter the expression levels of death receptor 4 (DR4) and death receptor 5 (DR5), but significantly reduced the cellular Fas-associated death domain (FADD)-like interleukin-1β-converting enzyme (FLICE) inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) levels, contributing toward the sensitization to TRAIL. Further experiments showed that metformin did not affect the mRNA level, proteasomal degradation, and protein stability of c-FLIPL. However, metformin inhibited the mTOR/S6K1 pathway in 253J and RT4 cells, which usually regulates protein translation; moreover, knockdown of S6K1 effectively reduced the levels of c-FLIPL, indicating that metformin downregulates c-FLIP through inhibition of the mTOR/S6K1 pathway. In addition, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) inhibitor compound C did not prevent the inhibitory effects of metformin on the mTOR/S6K1 pathway and metformin-mediated sensitization to TRAIL. Taken together, our results indicate that metformin sensitizes human bladder cancer cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through downregulation of c-FLIP, which is mediated by the mTOR/S6K1 pathway, but independent of AMPK; furthermore, these findings provide a rationale for the combined application of metformin with TRAIL in the treatment of bladder cancer. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Wu K.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Ning Z.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Zeng J.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Fan J.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | And 11 more authors.
Cellular Signalling | Year: 2013

Muscle-invasive bladder cancer is associated with a high frequency of metastasis, and fewer therapies substantially prolong survival. Silibinin, a nontoxic natural flavonoid, has been shown to exhibit pleiotropic anticancer effects in many cancer types, including bladder cancer. Our and other previous studies have demonstrated that silibinin induced apoptosis and inhibited proliferation of bladder cancer cells, whether silibinin could suppress bladder cancer metastasis has not been elucidated. In the present study, we utilized a novel highly metastatic T24-L cell model, and found that silibinin treatment not only resulted in the suppression of cell migration and invasion in vitro, but also decreased bladder cancer lung metastasis and prolonged animal survival in vivo. Mechanistically, silibinin could inhibit glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) phosphorylation, β-catenin nuclear translocation and transactivation, and ZEB1 gene transcription that subsequently regulated the expression of cytokeratins, vimentin and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) to reverse epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). On the other hand, silibinin inhibited ZEB1 expression and then suppressed the properties of cancer stem cells (CSCs), which were evidenced as decreased spheroid colony formation, side population, and the expression of stem cell factor CD44. Overall, this study reveals a novel mechanism for silibinin targeting bladder cancer metastasis, in which inactivation of β-catenin/ZEB1 signaling by silibinin leads to dual-block of EMT and stemness. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Zeng J.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Sun Y.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Wu K.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Li L.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2011

Intravesical chemotherapy is often used to prevent the recurrence of superficial bladder cancer after transurethral resection. A search for more effective and less toxic intravesical agents is urgently needed. We previously found the in vitro apoptotic effects of silibinin, a natural flavonoid, on high-risk bladder carcinoma cells. Here, we further explored the underlying mechanisms and examined the intravesical efficacy in the prevention and treatment of bladder cancer. Human bladder carcinoma cell line 5637, which has the same molecular features of high-risk superficial bladder cancer, was used as the model system in vitro and in vivo. Autochthonous rat model of bladder cancer induced by intravesical N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) was used to investigate its intravesical efficacy. Exposure of 5637 cells to silibinin resulted in growth inhibition and induction of caspase-dependent and -independent apoptosis, which was associated with disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential and selective release of cytochrome c, Omi/HtrA2, and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria. Silibinin also downregulated survivin and caused nuclear translocation of AIF. Oral silibinin suppressed the growth of 5637 xenografts, which was accompanied with the activation of caspase-3, downregulation of survivin, and increased translocation of AIF. Furthermore, intravesical silibinin effectively inhibited the carcinogenesis and progression of bladder cancer in rats initiated by MNUby reducing the incidence of superficial and invasive bladder lesions without any side effects, which was accompanied with proapoptotic effects. These findings identify the in vitro and in vivo antitumor efficacy of silibinin, and suggest silibinin as an effective and novel intravesical agent for bladder cancer. ©2011 AACR.


Cammarota R.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Bertolini V.,Science and Technology Park | Pennesi G.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Bucci E.O.,IRCCS MultiMedica | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: Colorectal cancer can be efficiently treated when found at early stages, thus the search for novel markers is of paramount importance. Since inflammation is associated with cancer progression and angiogenesis, we investigated expression of cytokines like IL-6 and other mediators that play a key role in the innate immune system, in particular toll like receptor 4 (TLR4), in the microenvironment of lesions from different stages of colon disease progression, from ulcerative colitis to adenoma and adenocarcinoma to find useful markers.Methods: The presence of inflammatory cells and expression of key cytokines involved in the inflammation process were quantified by immunohistochemistry in specific tissue compartments (epithelial, stromal, endothelial) by immunohistochemistry. A murine azoxymethane/dextran sulfate model in which Tir8, a negative regulator of the inflammatory response, was ablated was used to confirm the clinical observations. 116 Archival tissue samples from patients with different stages of colorectal disease: 13 cases of ulcerative colitis (UC), 34 tubular or tubulo-villous adenomas (AD), and 53 infiltrating adenocarcinomas. 16 specimens of healthy mucosa surgically removed with the cancerous tissue were used as a control.Results: The differences between healthy tissues and the diverse lesions was characterized by a marked inflammatory-angiogenic reaction, with significantly (P < 0.05) higher numbers of CD68, CD15, and CD31 expressing cells in all diseased tissues that correlated with increasing grade of malignancy. We noted down-regulation of a potential modulator molecule, Hepatocyte Growth Factor, in all diseased tissues (P < 0.05). TLR-4 and IL6 expression in the tumor microenvironment were associated with adenocarcinoma in human samples and in the murine model. We found that adenocarcinoma patients (pT1-4) with higher TLR-4 expression in stromal compartment had a significantly increased risk in disease progression. In those patients with a diagnosis of pT3 (33 cases) colon cancer, those with very high levels of TLR-4 in the tumor stroma relapsed significantly earlier than those with lower expression levels.Conclusions: These data suggest that high TLR-4 expression in the tumor microenvironment represents a possible marker of disease progression in colon cancer. © 2010 Cammarota et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Guan Z.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Ding C.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Du Y.,Oncology Research Laboratory | Zhang K.,Oncology Research Laboratory | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2014

Hypoxia is a characteristic feature of solid tumors, leading to malignant behavior. During this process, HIF family members (HIFs) and the NF-κB pathway are activated. In addition, the hypoxia-associated factor (HAF) is reported to participate in the regulation of HIFs. However, the precise relationship among HIFs, HAF and the NF-κB pathway in bladder cancer (BC) remains unknown. In the current investigation, T24 BC cells were exposed to hypoxia, or by plasmid transfection to overexpress HAF or RelA (P65) to demonstrate their roles. The results indicate that hypoxia leads to the elevation of HAF plus activation of the NF-κB pathway, accompanied by the switch of HIF-1α to HIF-2α, resulting in the enhanced ability of malignancy in T24 cells. In order to further demonstrate the significance of this switch, HIF-1α and HIF-2α were co-transfected into T24 cells with HIF-β, respectively. The following results indicate that the T24 hif- 2α/β cells show enhanced ability of malignancy, accompanied by the maintenance of stem-cell markers, but the T24 hif-1α/β cells show higher expression of metabolism-related genes. Boyden assays and wound-healing assays indicate the enhanced ability of malignancy for T24hif-2α/β. Thus, we conclude that on the hypoxic microenvironment, the switching of HIF-1α to HIF-2α, which is driven by HAF through activating the NF-κB pathway, contributes to the malignancy of T24 cells, accompanied by the maintenance of stem-cell markers. This provides us an avenue for understanding the progression of bladder cancer.


PubMed | Xi'an Jiaotong University, Oncology Research Laboratory, The Forth Military Medical University and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Type: | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary tract for which the accurate measurement of minimal residual disease is critical to treatment and determining prognosis. Although cystoscope examination and voided urine cytology remain the current standard of care for detecting residual disease, these approaches are limited by mechanical trauma and lack sensitivity. To develop a new accurate noninvasive method, we developed a novel contrast agent where the surface of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles is functionalized with a bladder cancer-specific fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) labeled cell penetrating peptide (CPP)-polyarginine peptides (R11) for active targeting and imaging. The stable nanoparticles have an average hydrodynamic diameter of 51 nm, surface charge of -21 mV and MRI r2 relaxivity 135 mM-1s-1. In vitro cell studies demonstrated that the R11-conjugated SPIO (SPIO-R11) nanoparticles were taken up by bladder cancer cells (T24) in a dose-dependent manner, which was higher than unconjugated SPIO. TEM showed that SPIO-R11 was mainly concentrated on cell vesicle and lysosome, not in cell nucleus, and no obvious damage was seen on cell ultrastructure. Moreover, uptake of the nanoparticles showed significantly more SPIO-R11 accumulation in bladder cancer cells than in immortalized bladder epithelial cells unlike control SPIO. Further, SPIO-R11 was compatible with immortalized bladder epithelial cells at all tested concentrations up to 200 g/mL after 72 h incubation. Moreover, SPIO-R11 decreased the magnetic resonance T2 relaxation time by 73% in tumors cells in vitro compared to 12% with SPIO. These results indicate great potential of SPIO-R11 as contrast agent to target bladder cancer for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

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