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Dehydrocostus lactone suppresses cell growth and induces apoptosis in recombinant human papilloma virus‑18 HaCaT cells via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

Dehydrocostus lactone is considered to be the major cholagogic ingredient of the Costus genus of plants. It exhibits strong cholagogic effects, and also exerts antimicrobial and antineoplastic activity. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of dehydrocostus lactone on the cell growth and apoptosis of recombinant human papilloma virus (HPV)‑18 HaCaT cells. The HPV‑18 genome was transfected into HaCaT cells, which were subsequently used for analysis. The results demonstrated that dehydrocostus lactone reduced the cell proliferation and induced apoptosis of HPV‑18 HaCaT cells, as determined by MTT and N‑acetyl‑Asp‑Glu‑Val‑Asp p‑nitroanilide assays, respectively. Furthermore, caspase‑3/9 activity was determined using a caspase‑3/9 activity kit and western blotting was performed to investigate the expression of certain proteins. The results demonstrated that caspase‑3/9 activities, and the protein expression of Bcl‑2‑associated X and p53, in HPV‑18 HaCaT cells were significantly increased, while cyclin D1 protein expression was suppressed by dehydrocostus lactone. Additionally, dehydrocostus lactone significantly upregulated the protein expression of phosphatase and tensin homolog and inhibited the phosphatidylinositol 3‑kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway in HPV‑18 HaCaT cells. Therefore, the results of the present study indicate that dehydrocostus lactone may suppress cell growth and induce apoptosis in recombinant HPV‑18 HaCaT cells via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, and may be a represent a novel potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of condyloma acuminatum.

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Notch signaling triggered via the ligand DLL4 impedes M2 macrophage differentiation and promotes their apoptosis.

Notch signaling controls many cellular processes, including cell fate determination, cell differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. In mammals, four Notch receptors (Notch 1-4) can interact with five distinct ligands [Jagged1, Jagged2, Delta-like 1 (DLL1), DLL3, and DLL4]. We previously reported that Notch activation is modulated in endothelial cells and monocytes during inflammation and showed that inflammation upregulates DLL4 on endothelial cells. DLL4 promotes differentiation of blood monocytes into proinflammatory M1 macrophages. Here, we further investigated the ability of DLL4 to interfere with the polarization of blood monocytes into immunosuppressive M2 macrophages.

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Long noncoding RNA Lnc‑EGFR promotes cell proliferation and inhibits cell apoptosis via regulating the expression of EGFR in human tongue cancer.

Tongue cancer remains a difficult disease to overcome. Long noncoding RNAs (LncRNAs) have been shown to serve significant roles in the diagnosis and treatment of tongue cancer. Herein, the present study aimed to investigate the role of a newly‑discovered Lnc, Lnc‑EGFR in tongue cancer. The results showed that the transcript level of Lnc‑EGFR was upregulated in patients with tongue cancer and in cultured tongue cancer cell lines. Consistently, expression of EGFR was also elevated selectively in cancerous tissues and malignant cell lines. Knockdown of Lnc‑EGFR inhibited the clonogenic ability and cell viability of human tongue cancer cell lines UM1 and CAL‑27, as evidenced by colony formation assays, and cell proliferation assays. Furthermore, depletion of Lnc‑EGFR in UM1 and CAL‑27 cells increased cell apoptosis by upregulating the activities of caspase‑3, and caspase‑9, but not caspase‑8. Lnc‑EGFR knockdown‑mediated inhibition of clonogenic ability and cell viability was rescued by overexpression of EGFR by adding EGFR recombinant protein into both cell lines. Likewise, Lnc‑EGFR knockdown‑induced cell apoptosis was reversed by co‑treatment with recombinant EGFR protein in UM1 and CAL‑27 cells. All of these results suggested the oncogenic potential of Lnc‑EGFR, which was achieved by positive regulation of EGFR in human tongue cancer.

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Neural Stem Cell Transplantation Is Associated with Inhibition of Apoptosis, Bcl-xL Upregulation, and Recovery of Neurological Function in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common disease that usually causes severe neurological damage, and current treatment is far from satisfactory. The neuroprotective effects of neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation in the injured nervous system have largely been known, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, and their limited sources impede their clinical application. Here, we established a rat model of TBI by dropping a weight onto the cortical motor area of the brain and explored the effect of engrafted NSCs (passage 3, derived from the hippocampus of embryonic 12- to 14-d green fluorescent protein transgenic mice) on TBI rats. Moreover, RT-PCR and Western blotting were employed to investigate the possible mechanism associated with NSC grafts. We found rats with TBI exhibited a severe motor and equilibrium dysfunction, while NSC transplantation could partly improve the motor function and significantly reduce cell apoptosis and increase B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL) expression at 7 d postoperation. However, other genes including Bax, B-cell lymphoma 2, Fas ligand, and caspase3 did not exhibit significant differences in expression. Moreover, to test whether Bcl-xL could be used as a therapeutic target, herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 carrying Bcl-xL recombinant was constructed and injected into the pericontusional cortices. Bcl-xL overexpression not only resulted in a significant improvement in neurological function but also inhibits cell apoptosis, as compared with the TBI rats, and exhibits the same effects as the administration of NSC. The present study therefore indicated that NSC transplantation could promote the recovery of TBI rats in a manner similar to that of Bcl-xL overexpression. Therefore, Bcl-xL overexpression, to some extent, could be considered as a useful strategy to replace NSC grafting in the treatment of TBI in future clinical practices.

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Generation of apoptosis-resistant HEK293 cells with CRISPR/Cas mediated quadruple gene knockout for improved protein and virus production.

Apoptosis has important functions during pathophysiologic processes. However, from a biopharmaceutical point of view, active apoptosis of host cells is undesirable during viral packaging or protein expression, because it decreases the efficiency of viral or protein production. Here we used the CRISPR/Cas technique to knock out four pro-apoptotic genes, Caspase3, Caspase6, Caspase7 and AIF1, in HEK293 cells, and successfully produced an apoptosis-resistant cell line. Furthermore, this cell line showed higher expression levels of pro-apoptotic proteins and higher packaging efficiency for the virus carrying these proteins than control HEK293 cells. This study not only produced an apoptosis-resistant cell line that is useful in producing apoptosis-inducing proteins or viruses expressing these proteins, but also provides a methodology to build other apoptosis-resistant cell lines.

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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor propeptide inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in C6 glioma cells.

There are several forms of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the precursor of BDNF, mature BDNF, and BDNF propeptide. They exert different effects through different transmembrane receptor signaling systems. Precursor of BDNF is enzymatically cleaved, either by intracellular or by extracellular proteases, to generate mature BDNF and its propeptide (BDNF propeptide). The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential molecular mechanisms that underlie the inhibition of glioma cell growth by the BDNF propeptide. To achieve this, we examined the expression of BDNF propeptide in C6 glioma cells. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-Yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and the apoptosis assay were used to assess the effects of the BDNF propeptide on the growth and apoptosis of glioma cells. We found that the BDNF propeptide promoted C6 glioma cell apoptosis and decreased in-vitro cell growth. We also found using western blot that cleaved caspase3 and B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2)-associated X protein abundances increased, whereas Bcl2 abundance decreased. Our data suggest that the BDNF propeptide may have an inhibitory effect on glioma through activation of the caspase3 pathway.

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CD44-shRNA recombinant adenovirus inhibits cell proliferation, invasion, and migration, and promotes apoptosis in HCT116 colon cancer cells.

The cell-surface glycoprotein CD44 is closely associated with cell proliferation, tumor invasion, and metastasis. Previous studies have reported that knockdown of CD44 with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) reduced cell proliferation and migration, and induced apoptosis. However, more efficient means of delivering small interference RNA are still necessary. We developed an in vitro model of CD44-shRNA recombinant adenovirus (Ad-CD44-shRNA) and evaluated its ability to alter tumor invasion, migration, and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells. An shRNA against CD44 was used for knockdown of CD44 expression, and recombinant adenovirus was constructed using AD293 cells. The Ad-CD44-shRNA-treated HCT116 colon cancer cells showed a significant decrease in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, while apoptosis was increased. The Ad-CD44-shRNA also decreased the phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β. The levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL expression were downregulated, whereas the expression levels of Bax, cleaved caspase‑3 and -9, and PARP were increased in Ad-CD44-shRNA-treated colon cancer cells. These results support the feasibility of an adenovirus-mediated RNA interference therapy targeting human colon cancer via the CD44 as a potential future therapeutic intervention.

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Recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin protects against brain injury in a CVST rat model, via downregulation of the HMGB1-RAGE axis.

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a distinct cerebrovascular disorder, and ~50% of CVST patients progress to cerebral venous infarction, resulting in elevation of cerebral venous pressure. Anticoagulation is the standard initial treatment and is associated with a reduced relative risk of mortality and dependency. Recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin (rhs‑TM) is a promising therapeutic natural anticoagulant comparable to antithrombin, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, and activated protein C. The present study aimed to investigate the protective effects of rhs‑TM in a CVST rat model, and identify any underlying mechanisms. Rats were treated with rhs‑TM intravenously prior to CVST. Following neurological function evaluation, animals were sacrificed and brain water content and infarct volume were assessed. Brain tissue was collected from the infarcted segments and mRNA and protein expression levels of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‑α, interleukin (IL)‑1β, IL‑6, caspase‑3, B‑cell lymphoma‑2 and Bcl‑2 associated X were analyzed by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. rhs‑TM significantly prevented neurological deficits in locomotor function and reduced infarct volume. The expression levels of HMGB1‑RAGE were upregulated in the infarcted segments of rat brains following CVST. Pretreatment with rhs‑TM inhibited the HMGB1‑RAGE axis, alleviating the expression levels of the proinflammatory cytokines, TNF‑α, IL‑1β and IL‑6; however, expression levels of the apoptosis-associated genes and proteins remained unaffected. The results of the present study indicated that rhs‑TM protects against CVST in the rat model via inhibition of the HMGB1‑RAGE axis and inflammation, but not via apoptosis.

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Expression of HIF-1α ODD domain fused canine caspase 3 by EGFR promoter-driven adenovirus vector induces cytotoxicity in canine breast tumor cells under hypoxia.

Adenovirus (Ad) vectors are widely used in cancer gene therapies. However, compared to human patients, relatively limited information is available on gene transduction efficiency or cell-specific cytotoxicity in canine tumor cells transduced with Ad vectors. Since epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is highly expressed on canine breast tumor cells, we sought to develop an Ad vector based on the RGD fiber-mutant adenovirus vector (AdRGD) that expresses canine caspase 3 under the control of EGFR promoter. The aims of this study were to achieve high transduction efficiency with transgene expression restricted to canine breast tumor cells. Using EGFR promoter-driven AdRGD, we were able to restrict transgene expression to canine breast tumor cells with no evidence of expression in normal cells. Canine breast tumor cells transduced with EGFR promoter-driven AdRGD carrying canine caspase 3 gene showed cytotoxic activity. We constructed a second AdRGD vector that expressed oxygen-dependent degradation (ODD)-caspase 3 under the control of the EGFR promoter; the fusion protein contains a core part of the ODD domain of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) fused to caspase 3. Transduction of canine breast tumor cells with EGFR promoter-driven AdRGD expressing ODD-caspase 3 induced a higher rate of cell death under hypoxic conditions compared with under normoxia. The results indicate that the EGFR promoter-driven AdRGD vectors will be of value for tumor-specific transgene expression and safe cancer gene therapy in dogs.

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[Cloning, eukaryotic expressing and function analysis of Schistosoma japonicum apoptosis gene Sjcaspase3].

For further research of the apoptosis mechanism of Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum). The cDNA encoding Sjcaspase3 of Schistosoma japonicum was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, which contained 900 nucleotides and encoded 299 amino acids. The theory molecular weight and isoelectric point (PI) of the deduced protein is 33.5 kDa and 6.39, respectively. Real-time PCR was used to analyze the transcription profiles of Sjcaspase3 at different development stages of S. japonicum. The results showed that this gene was expressed in all stages of S. japonicum with the highest expression in 21d worms, and the level of gene transcription in 42 d female worms was higher than that of male worms. The recombinant plasmid pXJ40-FLAG-Sjcaspase3 was constructed and transfection into Hela cells successfully. Real-time PCR and Western blotting analysis showed Sjcaspase3 was successfully expressed in Hela cells. Enzyme activity analysis revealed that recombinant Sjcaspase3 possessed the activity to cut substrate DEVD. Flow cytometry proved that Sjcaspase3 could induce early apoptosis of Hela cells. The results provide the basis for proceeding further study on the biological function of Sjcaspase3 and better understand the apoptosis mechanism of S. japonicum.

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