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#27905841   2016/12/01 Save this To Up

Cell-Delivered Entry Inhibitors for HIV-1: CCR5 Downregulation and Blocking Virus/Membrane Fusion in Defending the Host Cell Population.

HIV-1 infection requires the presence of the CD4 receptor on the target cell surface and a coreceptor, predominantly CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5). It has been shown that individuals who are homozygous for a defective CCR5 gene are protected from HIV-1 infection. A novel self-inactivating lentiviral vector LVsh5/C46 (Cal-1) has been engineered to block HIV-1 infection with two viral entry inhibitors, conferring resistance to HIV-1 infection from both CCR5 and CXCR4 tropic strains. Cal-1 encodes a short hairpin RNA (sh5) to downregulate CCR5 and C46, an HIV-1 fusion inhibitor. Gene therapy by Cal-1 is aimed at transducing CD4(+) T cells and CD34(+) hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in an autologous transplant setting. Pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies in vitro and in vivo (humanized mouse model and nonhuman primates) have shown that Cal-1 is safe with no indication of any toxicity risk and acts to decrease viral load and increase CD4 counts. Two clinical trials are underway using Cal-1: a phase I/II study to assess safety and feasibility in an adult HIV-1-positive population not on antiretroviral therapy (ART); and a second Fred Hutchinson Investigator Initiated phase I study to assess safety and feasibility in adults with HIV-1-associated non-Hodgkin or Hodgkin lymphoma.

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#27802204   2016/11/01 Save this To Up

Knockdown of S100A4 blocks growth and metastasis of anaplastic thyroid cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a locally aggressive type of thyroid tumor with high rate of distant metastases. It is often incurable because it does not respond to radioiodine, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy. With conventional treatment, the median survival is about 6 months; therefore, new treatment options are needed. S100A4 is a calcium-binding protein related to the metastatic potential of carcinoma. Previous study has found S100A4 was overexpressed in human papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) tissues, and overexpression of S100A4 is associated with thyroid tumour invasion and metastasis. In the present study, we first examined S100A4 protein expression in 14 ATC tissues, 20 PTC tissues and 14 normal thyroid tissue by immunohistochemistry analysis. We then knocked down of S100A4 expression by RNA interference (S100A4 siRNA) and investigated its effects on growth and metastasis in two human ATC cell lines 8505C (BRAFV600E) and Cal-62 (BRAFwt) in vitro and in vivo. S100A4 and BRAFV600E protein expression was evaluated by western blot assay and immunohistochemistry analysis. Using immunohistochemistry, we found that high levels of S100A4 were detected in ATC specimens and PTC specimens. No S100A4 staining was observed in normal thyroid tissues. S100A4 siRNA significantly decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis, and inhibited the invasive potential of the two cells in vitro. In addition, S100A4 siRNA could effectively inhibit BRAFV600E expression in the 8505C cells, and treatment with 100 ng/ml human recombinant BRAF V600E in S100A4 siRNA/8505C cells could partly restore its proliferative and invasive ability. Results of implantation in vivo showed S100A4 shRNA could significantly inhibit abdominal cavity metastasis and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, knockdown of S100A4 has significant role on invasion, metastasis and growth inhibition in the 8505C cells than that of in the Cal-62 cells. These results support the hypothesis that S100A4 contributes significantly to growth and metastasis, and that down-regulation of S100A4 expression decreases the metastatic potential of ATC cells. Furthermore, down-regulation of S100A4 expression is more marked in BRAFV600E cells than that of in the BRAFwt cells.

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#25855745   2015/05/18 Save this To Up

Influenza A Virus Protein PA-X Contributes to Viral Growth and Suppression of the Host Antiviral and Immune Responses.

Influenza virus infection causes global inhibition of host protein synthesis in infected cells. This host shutoff is thought to allow viruses to escape from the host antiviral response, which restricts virus replication and spread. Although the mechanism of host shutoff is unclear, a novel viral protein expressed by ribosomal frameshifting, PA-X, was found to play a major role in influenza virus-induced host shutoff. However, little is known about the impact of PA-X expression on currently circulating influenza A virus pathogenicity and the host antiviral response. In this study, we rescued a recombinant influenza A virus, A/California/04/09 (H1N1, Cal), containing mutations at the frameshift motif in the polymerase PA gene (Cal PA-XFS). Cal PA-XFS expressed significantly less PA-X than Cal wild type (WT). Cal WT, but not Cal PA-XFS, induced degradation of host β-actin mRNA and suppressed host protein synthesis, supporting the idea that PA-X induces host shutoff via mRNA decay. Moreover, Cal WT inhibited beta interferon (IFN-β) expression and replicated more rapidly than Cal PA-XFS in human respiratory cells. Mice infected with Cal PA-XFS had significantly lower levels of viral growth and greater expression of IFN-β mRNA in their lungs than mice infected with Cal WT. Importantly, more antihemagglutinin and neutralizing antibodies were produced in Cal PA-XFS-infected mice than in Cal WT-infected mice, despite the lower level of virus replication in the lungs. Our data indicate that PA-X of the pandemic H1N1 virus has a strong impact on viral growth and the host innate and acquired immune responses to influenza virus.

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#25381130   2015/02/02 Save this To Up

In vivo and in vitro sensitivity of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm to SL-401, an interleukin-3 receptor targeted biologic agent.

Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm is an aggressive malignancy derived from plasmacytoid dendritic cells. There is currently no accepted standard of care for treating this neoplasm, and therapeutic strategies have never been prospectively evaluated. Since blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm cells express high levels of interleukin-3 receptor α chain (IL3-Rα or CD123), antitumor effects of the interleukin-3 receptor-targeted drug SL-401 against blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The cytotoxicity of SL-401 was assessed in patient-derived blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm cell lines (CAL-1 and GEN2.2) and in primary blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm cells isolated from 12 patients using flow cytometry and an in vitro cytotoxicity assay. The cytotoxic effects of SL-401 were compared to those of several relevant cytotoxic agents. SL-401 exhibited a robust cytotoxicity against blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm cells in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, the cytotoxic effects of SL-401 were observed at substantially lower concentrations than those achieved in clinical trials to date. Survival of mice inoculated with a blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm cell line and treated with a single cycle of SL-401 was significantly longer than that of untreated controls (median survival, 58 versus 17 days, P<0.001). These findings indicate that blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm cells are highly sensitive to SL-401, and support further evaluation of SL-401 in patients suffering from blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm.

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#24403580   2014/02/25 Save this To Up

Specific residues of PB2 and PA influenza virus polymerase subunits confer the ability for RNA polymerase II degradation and virus pathogenicity in mice.

Influenza virus transcription requires functional coupling with cellular transcription for the cap-snatching process. Despite this fact, RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is degraded during infection in a process triggered by the viral polymerase. Reassortant viruses from the A/PR/8/34 (PR8) strain that induce (hvPR8) or do not induce (lvPR8) RNAP II degradation led to the identification of PA and PB2 subunits as responsible for the degradation process. Three changes in the PB2 sequence (I105M, N456D, and I504V) and two in PA (Q193H and I550L) differentiate PA and PB2 of lvPR8 from those of hvPR8. Using recombinant viruses, we observed that changes at position 504 of PB2, together with 550 of PA, confer the ability on lvPR8 for RNAP II degradation and, conversely, abolish hvPR8 degradation capacity. Since hvPR8 is more pathogenic than lvPR8 in mice, we tested the potential contribution of RNAP II degradation in a distant viral strain, the 2009 pandemic A/California/04/09 (CAL) virus, whose PA and PB2 subunits are of avian origin. As in the hvPR8 virus, mutations at positions 504 of PB2 and 550 of PA in CAL virus abolished its RNAP II degradation capacity. Moreover, in an in vivo model, the CAL-infected mice lost more body weight, and 75% lethality was observed in this situation compared with 100% survival in mutant-CAL- or mock-infected animals. These results confirm the involvement of specific PB2 and PA residues in RNAP II degradation, which correlates with pathogenicity in mice of viruses containing human or avian polymerase PB2 and PA subunits.

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#23698732   2013/12/09 Save this To Up

Afamin stimulates osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption via Gi-coupled receptor and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) pathways.

Afamin was recently identified as a novel osteoclast-derived coupling factor that can stimulate the in vitro and in vivo migration of preosteoblasts.

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#23640923   2013/12/04 Save this To Up

Lipocalin-2 increases fat oxidation in vitro and is correlated with energy expenditure in normal weight but not obese women.

The role of lipocalin-2 (Lcn2) was determined in regulating metabolism in cell, animal, and human models.

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#23478318   2013/04/16 Save this To Up

Vaccination with the recombinant major outer membrane protein elicits antibodies to the constant domains and induces cross-serovar protection against intranasal challenge with Chlamydia trachomatis.

To determine the ability of the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) to elicit cross-serovar protection, groups of mice were immunized by the intramuscular (i.m.) and subcutaneous (s.c.) routes with recombinant MOMP (rMOMP) from Chlamydia trachomatis serovars D (UW-3/Cx), E (Bour), or F (IC-Cal-3) or Chlamydia muridarum strain Nigg II using CpG-1826 and Montanide ISA 720 VG as adjuvants. Negative-control groups were immunized i.m. and s.c. with Neisseria gonorrhoeae recombinant porin B (Ng-rPorB) or i.n. with Eagle's minimal essential medium (MEM-0). Following vaccination, the mice developed antibodies not only against the homologous serovar but also against heterologous serovars. The rMOMP-vaccinated animals also mounted cell-mediated immune responses as assessed by a lymphoproliferative assay. Four weeks after the last immunization, mice were challenged i.n. with 10(4) inclusion-forming units (IFU) of C. muridarum. The mice were weighed for 10 days and euthanized, and the number of IFU in their lungs was determined. At 10 days postinfection (p.i.), mice immunized with the rMOMP of C. muridarum or C. trachomatis D, E, or F had lost 4%, 6%, 8%, and 8% of their initial body weight, respectively, significantly different from the negative-control groups (Ng-rPorB, 13%; MEM-0, 19%; P < 0.05). The median number of IFU recovered from the lungs of mice immunized with C. muridarum rMOMP was 0.13 × 10(6). The median number of IFU recovered from mice immunized with rMOMP from serovars D, E, and F were 0.38 × 10(6), 7.56 × 10(6), and 11.94 × 10(6) IFU, respectively. All the rMOMP-immunized animals had significantly less IFU than the Ng-rPorB (40 × 10(6))- or MEM-0 (70 × 10(6))-immunized mice (P < 0.05). In conclusion, vaccination with rMOMP can elicit protection against homologous and heterologous Chlamydia serovars.

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#23320083   2013/01/15 Save this To Up

The L-type Ca2+ channels blocker nifedipine represses mesodermal fate determination in murine embryonic stem cells.

Dihydropyridines (DHP), which nifedipine is a member of, preferentially block Ca(2+) channels of different cell types. Moreover, influx of Ca(2+) through L-type Ca(2+) channels (LTCCs) activates Ca(2+) signaling pathways, which in turn contribute to numerous cellular processes. Although LTCCs are expressed in undifferentiated cells, very little is known about its contributions to the transcriptional regulation of mesodermal and cardiac genes. This study aimed to examine the contribution of LTCCs and the effect of nifedipine on the commitment of pluripotent stem cells toward the cardiac lineage in vitro. The murine embryonic stem (ES, cell line D3) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS, cell clone 09) cells were differentiated into enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) expressing spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes (CMs). Early treatment of differentiating cells with 10 µM nifedipine led to a significant inhibition of the cardiac mesoderm formation and cardiac lineage commitment as revealed by gene regulation analysis. This was accompanied by the inhibition of spontaneously occurring Ca(2+) transient and reduction of LTCCs current density (I(CaL)) of differentiated CMs. In addition, nifedipine treatment instigated a pronounced delay of the spontaneous beating embryoid body (EB) and led to a poor surface localization of L-type Ca(2+) channel α(1C) (Ca(V)1.2) subunits. Contrary late incubation of pluripotent stem cells with nifedipine was without any impact on the differentiation process and did not affect the derived CMs function. Our data indicate that nifedipine blocks the determined path of pluripotent stem cells to cardiomyogenesis by inhibition of mesodermal commitment at early stages of differentiation, thus the proper upkeep Ca(2+) concentration and pathways are essentially required for cardiac gene expression, differentiation and function.

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#23015722   2012/11/20 Save this To Up

Design of Escherichia coli-expressed stalk domain immunogens of H1N1 hemagglutinin that protect mice from lethal challenge.

The hemagglutinin protein (HA) on the surface of influenza virus is essential for viral entry into the host cells. The HA1 subunit of HA is also the primary target for neutralizing antibodies. The HA2 subunit is less exposed on the virion surface and more conserved than HA1. We have previously designed an HA2-based immunogen derived from the sequence of the H3N2 A/HK/68 virus. In the present study, we report the design of an HA2-based immunogen from the H1N1 subtype (PR/8/34). This immunogen (H1HA0HA6) and its circular permutant (H1HA6) were well folded and provided complete protection against homologous viral challenge. Antisera of immunized mice showed cross-reactivity with HA proteins of different strains and subtypes. Although no neutralization was observable in a conventional neutralization assay, sera of immunized guinea pigs competed with a broadly neutralizing antibody, CR6261, for binding to recombinant Viet/04 HA protein, suggesting that CR6261-like antibodies were elicited by the immunogens. Stem domain immunogens from a seasonal H1N1 strain (A/NC/20/99) and a recent pandemic strain (A/Cal/07/09) provided cross-protection against A/PR/8/34 viral challenge. HA2-containing stem domain immunogens therefore have the potential to provide subtype-specific protection.

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