Matching Items (51)

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Investigate and characterize the means to reduce the toxicity of genetically engineered cancer therapeutic recombinant attenuated Salmonella

Description

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. S. Typhimurium strains are specifically attracted to compounds produced by cancer cells and could overcome the traditional therapeutic barrier. However, a major problem with using live attenuated Salmonella as anti-cancer agents is their toxicity at the dose required for therapeutic efficacy, but reducing the dose results in diminished efficacy. In this project, we explored novel means to reduce the toxicity of the recombinant attenuated Salmonella by genetically engineering those virulence factors to facilitate maximal colonization of tumor tissues and reduced fitness in normal tissues. We have constructed two sets of Salmonella strains. In the first set, each targeted gene was knocked out by deletion of the gene. In the second set, the predicted promoter region of each gene was replaced with a rhamnose-regulated promoter, which will cease the synthesis of these genes in vivo, a rhamnose-free environment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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TWEAK functions as chemotactic factor for glioma cells via Lyn activation

Description

The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme is compromised by the tumor's proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain. These invasive cells escape surgery and display resistance

The long-term survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme is compromised by the tumor's proclivity for local invasion into the surrounding normal brain. These invasive cells escape surgery and display resistance to chemotherapeutic- and radiation-induced apoptosis. We have previously shown that tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily, can stimulate glioma cell invasion and survival via binding to the fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14) receptor and subsequent activation of the Rac1/NF-kappaB pathway. In addition, we have reported previously that Fn14 is expressed at high levels in migrating glioma cells in vitro and invading glioma cells in vivo. Here we demonstrate that TWEAK can act as a chemotactic factor for glioma cells, a potential process to drive cell invasion into the surrounding brain tissue. Specifically, we detected a chemotactic migration of glioma cells to the concentration gradient of TWEAK. Since Src family kinases (SFK) have been implicated in chemotaxis, we next determined whether TWEAK:Fn14 engagement activated these cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases. Our data shows that TWEAK stimulation of glioma cells results in a rapid phosphorylation of the SFK member Lyn as determined by multiplex Luminex assay and verified by immunoprecipitation. Immunodepletion of Lyn by siRNA oligonucleotides suppressed the chemoattractive effect of TWEAK on glioma cells. We hypothesize that TWEAK secretion by cells present in the glioma microenvironment induce invasion of glioma cells into the brain parenchyma. Understanding the function and signaling of the TWEAK-Fn14 ligand-receptor system may lead to development of novel therapies to therapeutically target invasive glioma cells.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Detection of antibodies to HPV16-associated oropharyngeal cancer using custom bead arrays

Description

Oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is the world's sixth most common cancer and in many cases is associated with infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. Antibodies (Abs) to HPV16 viral antigens

Oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is the world's sixth most common cancer and in many cases is associated with infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. Antibodies (Abs) to HPV16 viral antigens are potential diagnostic biomarkers of HPV-associated OPC (HPV OPC). A custom multiplexed bead array assay was used to detect Abs to HPV16 antigens E1, CE2, NE2, E4, E5, E6, E7, L1, and L2. Following extensive optimization of the assay, these genes were expressed as GST-fusion proteins and captured onto anti-GST magnetic beads. Serum was obtained from 256 OPC patients at the time of diagnosis and from 78 healthy controls. The median fluorescent intensity (MFI) was determined for each antigen and ratios of MFI to control GST-fusion protein were determined for each serum sample. Cutoff values were set as the mean + 3 SD of the MFIs of healthy controls and p-values were calculated using Wilcoxon unpaired and Fisher's exact test. Results of this experiment showed that HPV16 E1, CE2, NE2, E4, E6, and E7 Ab levels were elevated in OPC patients compared to controls (p<0.001), as were Ab levels to L1 (p = 0.013) and L2 (p = 0.023), per Fischer's exact test. Abs to CE2, NE2, E6, and E7 were identified as a potential biomarker panel for early detection of HPV OPC. For the 111 patients with known HPV+ tumors as measured by tumor PCR of E6 and/or E7, this assay had a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 87% (AUC = 0.96). From these results, we conclude that custom bead array assays can be used to detect HPV16 Abs in patient sera, and we have identified a 4-Ab biomarker panel for the early detection of HPV OPC.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

Genetically Engineered Salmonella Typhimurium for Targeting & Selective Expression of TRAIL in Necrotizing Tumors

Description

A novel and unconventional approach for delivering a eukaryotic apoptosis factor, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), to cancer cells within and around necrotizing tumors by utilizing a S. Typhimurium purine requiring

A novel and unconventional approach for delivering a eukaryotic apoptosis factor, TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), to cancer cells within and around necrotizing tumors by utilizing a S. Typhimurium purine requiring auxotroph as a biological vector to develop two anticancer therapies with multiple modality and broad economic feasibility.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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A Survey of Lectin Reactivity to Coccidioides in Infected Lung Tissue and Identification of Lectin-Binding Coccidioidal Glycoproteins

Description

Background: Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a respiratory disease that is caused by the soil-dwelling fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii. Because fungal glycosylation patterns are distinct from mammalian glycosylation patterns,

Background: Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a respiratory disease that is caused by the soil-dwelling fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii. Because fungal glycosylation patterns are distinct from mammalian glycosylation patterns, we hypothesized that certain lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) might have differential binding properties to coccidioidal glycoproteins, and therefore serve as a tool for the purification and characterization of these glycoproteins from patient specimens. Materials and Methods: To identify potential Coccidioides-binding lectins, lectin-based immunohistochemistry was performed using a panel of 21 lectins on lung tissue from human patients infected with Coccidioides. Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) were used to confirm and test candidate Coccidioides-binding lectins for their ability to bind to proteins from antigen preparations of laboratory-grown Coccidioides. Inhibition IHC and ELISAs were used to confirm binding properties of these lectins. SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry were performed on eluates from coccidioidal antigen preparations run through lectin-affinity chromatography columns to characterize and identify lectin-binding coccidioidal glycoproteins. Results: Two GlcNAc-binding lectins, GSLII and sWGA, bound specifically to spherules and endospores in infected human lung tissue, and not to adjacent lung tissue. The binding of these lectins to both Coccidioides proteins in lung tissue and to coccidioidal antigen preparations was confirmed to have lectin-like characteristics. SDS-PAGE analysis of eluates from lectin-affinity chromatography demonstrated that GSLII and sWGA bind to coccidioidal glycoproteins. Mass spectrometric identification of the top ten lectin affinity-purified glycoproteins demonstrated that GSLII and sWGA share affinity to a common set of coccidioidal glycoproteins. Conclusion: This is the first report of lectins that bind specifically to Coccidioides spherules and endospores in infected humans. These lectins may have the potential to serve as tools for a better method of detection and diagnosis of Valley Fever.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Improving the Valley Fever Gene Annotation Through Proteogenomic Analysis

Description

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a respiratory disease that affects 10,000 people annually, primarily in Arizona and California. Due to a lack of gene annotation, diagnosis and treatment

Valley Fever, also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a respiratory disease that affects 10,000 people annually, primarily in Arizona and California. Due to a lack of gene annotation, diagnosis and treatment of Valley Fever is severely limited. In turn, gene annotation efforts are also hampered by incomplete genome sequencing. We intend to use proteogenomic analysis to reannotate the Coccidioides posadasii str. Silveira genome from protein-level data. Protein samples extracted from both phases of Silveira were fragmented into peptides, sequenced, and compared against databases of known and predicted proteins sequences, as well as a de novo six-frame translation of the genome. 288 unique peptides were located that did not match a known Silveira annotation, and of those 169 were associated with another Coccidioides strain. Additionally, 17 peptides were found at the boundary of, or outside of, the current gene annotation comprising four distinct clusters. For one of these clusters, we were able to calculate a lower bound and an estimate for the size of the gap between two Silveira contigs using the Coccidioides immitis RS transcript associated with that cluster's peptides \u2014 these predictions were consistent with the current annotation's scaffold structure. Three peptides were associated with an actively translated transposon, and a putative active site was located within an intact LTR retrotransposon. We note that gene annotation is necessarily hindered by the quality and level of detail in prior genome sequencing efforts, and recommend that future studies involving reannotation include additional sequencing as well as gene annotation via proteogenomics or other methods.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Ebselen Inhibits QSOX1 Enzymatic Activity and Suppresses Invasion of Pancreatic and Renal Cancer Cell Lines

Description

Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is a highly conserved disulfide bond-generating enzyme that is overexpressed in diverse tumor types. Its enzymatic activity promotes the growth and invasion of tumor cells

Quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase 1 (QSOX1) is a highly conserved disulfide bond-generating enzyme that is overexpressed in diverse tumor types. Its enzymatic activity promotes the growth and invasion of tumor cells and alters extracellular matrix composition. In a nude mouse-human tumor xenograft model, tumors containing shRNA for QSOX1 grew significantly more slowly than controls, suggesting that QSOX1 supports a proliferative phenotype in vivo. High throughput screening experiments identified ebselen as an in vitro inhibitor of QSOX1 enzymatic activity. Ebselen treatment of pancreatic and renal cancer cell lines stalled tumor growth and inhibited invasion through Matrigel in vitro. Daily oral treatment with ebselen resulted in a 58% reduction in tumor growth in mice bearing human pancreatic tumor xenografts compared to controls. Mass spectrometric analysis of ebselen-treated QSOX1 mechanistically revealed that C165 and C237 of QSOX1 covalently bound to ebselen. This report details the anti-neoplastic properties of ebselen in pancreatic and renal cancer cell lines. The results here offer a “proof-of-principle” that enzymatic inhibition of QSOX1 may have clinical relevancy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-06-01

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Dynamic Reprogramming of DNA Methylation in SETD2-Deregulated Renal Cell Carcinoma

Description

Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) harbor frequent mutations in epigenetic modifiers including SETD2, the H3K36me3 writer. We profiled DNA methylation (5mC) across the genome in cell line-based models of

Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) harbor frequent mutations in epigenetic modifiers including SETD2, the H3K36me3 writer. We profiled DNA methylation (5mC) across the genome in cell line-based models of SETD2 inactivation and SETD2 mutant primary tumors because 5mC has been linked to H3K36me3 and is therapeutically targetable. SETD2 depleted cell line models (long-term and acute) exhibited a DNA hypermethylation phenotype coinciding with ectopic gains in H3K36me3 centered across intergenic regions adjacent to low expressing genes, which became upregulated upon dysregulation of the epigenome. Poised enhancers of developmental genes were prominent hypermethylation targets. SETD2 mutant primary ccRCCs, papillary renal cell carcinomas, and lung adenocarcinomas all demonstrated a DNA hypermethylation phenotype that segregated tumors by SETD2 genotype and advanced grade. These findings collectively demonstrate that SETD2 mutations drive tumorigenesis by coordinated disruption of the epigenome and transcriptome,and they have important implications for future therapeutic strategies targeting chromatin regulator mutant tumors.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-12-05

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Prolonged Exposure of Primary Human Muscle Cells to Plasma Fatty Acids Associated with Obese Phenotype Induces Persistent Suppression of Muscle Mitochondrial ATP Synthase β Subunit

Description

Our previous studies show reduced abundance of the β-subunit of mitochondrial H+-ATP synthase (β-F1-ATPase) in skeletal muscle of obese individuals. The β-F1-ATPase forms the catalytic core of the ATP synthase,

Our previous studies show reduced abundance of the β-subunit of mitochondrial H+-ATP synthase (β-F1-ATPase) in skeletal muscle of obese individuals. The β-F1-ATPase forms the catalytic core of the ATP synthase, and it is critical for ATP production in muscle. The mechanism(s) impairing β-F1-ATPase metabolism in obesity, however, are not completely understood. First, we studied total muscle protein synthesis and the translation efficiency of β-F1-ATPase in obese (BMI, 36±1 kg/m[superscript 2]) and lean (BMI, 22±1 kg/m[superscript 2]) subjects. Both total protein synthesis (0.044±0.006 vs 0.066±0.006%·h[superscript -1]) and translation efficiency of β-F1-ATPase (0.0031±0.0007 vs 0.0073±0.0004) were lower in muscle from the obese subjects when compared to the lean controls (P<0.05). We then evaluated these same responses in a primary cell culture model, and tested the specific hypothesis that circulating non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) in obesity play a role in the responses observed in humans. The findings on total protein synthesis and translation efficiency of β-F1-ATPase in primary myotubes cultured from a lean subject, and after exposure to NEFA extracted from serum of an obese subject, were similar to those obtained in humans. Among candidate microRNAs (i.e., non-coding RNAs regulating gene expression), we identified miR-127-5p in preventing the production of β-F1-ATPase. Muscle expression of miR-127-5p negatively correlated with β-F1-ATPase protein translation efficiency in humans (r = – 0.6744; P<0.01), and could be modeled in vitro by prolonged exposure of primary myotubes derived from the lean subject to NEFA extracted from the obese subject. On the other hand, locked nucleic acid inhibitor synthesized to target miR-127-5p significantly increased β-F1-ATPase translation efficiency in myotubes (0.6±0.1 vs 1.3±0.3, in control vs exposure to 50 nM inhibitor; P<0.05). Our experiments implicate circulating NEFA in obesity in suppressing muscle protein metabolism, and establish impaired β-F1-ATPase translation as an important consequence of obesity.

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Date Created
  • 2016-08-17

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Genome-Wide Characterization of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Patients Using Next Generation Sequencing

Description

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is among the most lethal malignancies. While research has implicated multiple genes in disease pathogenesis, identification of therapeutic leads has been difficult and the majority of currently

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) is among the most lethal malignancies. While research has implicated multiple genes in disease pathogenesis, identification of therapeutic leads has been difficult and the majority of currently available therapies provide only marginal benefit. To address this issue, our goal was to genomically characterize individual PAC patients to understand the range of aberrations that are occurring in each tumor. Because our understanding of PAC tumorigenesis is limited, evaluation of separate cases may reveal aberrations, that are less common but may provide relevant information on the disease, or that may represent viable therapeutic targets for the patient. We used next generation sequencing to assess global somatic events across 3 PAC patients to characterize each patient and to identify potential targets. This study is the first to report whole genome sequencing (WGS) findings in paired tumor/normal samples collected from 3 separate PAC patients. We generated on average 132 billion mappable bases across all patients using WGS, and identified 142 somatic coding events including point mutations, insertion/deletions, and chromosomal copy number variants. We did not identify any significant somatic translocation events. We also performed RNA sequencing on 2 of these patients' tumors for which tumor RNA was available to evaluate expression changes that may be associated with somatic events, and generated over 100 million mapped reads for each patient. We further performed pathway analysis of all sequencing data to identify processes that may be the most heavily impacted from somatic and expression alterations. As expected, the KRAS signaling pathway was the most heavily impacted pathway (P<0.05), along with tumor-stroma interactions and tumor suppressive pathways. While sequencing of more patients is needed, the high resolution genomic and transcriptomic information we have acquired here provides valuable information on the molecular composition of PAC and helps to establish a foundation for improved therapeutic selection.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-10-10